How Does an APA 7 Go Down to a 6?

The_JV

Local_Pro
Gotta love an apa thread ...they go on and on and on lol.

I am going to use a pro player as an anology to an apa 7...in 8 ball that is. An apa 7 is the top tier in apa leagues much like a pro is top tier in the game of pool.

Just because you can not beat other 7's does not mean you should not be a 7...if you are capable of playing at that level.

Lets use robb saez as an example. He is a known pro player. Can he hang with the likes of svb....dennis orcullo...efren etc etc. ? Hell no ! So ask yourself this ..should he not be a pro since there is a long list of pros he cannot beat.

Basically what this thread is about if you think on it.
Interesting angle... However that then begs the age old AZB question. What defines a "pro"...? It isn't your ability to play the game, that I'm certain of.

Until pool takes on the properties of something like the PGA wherein you need to maintain your pro status with performance based results. You can't use the designation of pool pro for any argument that involves the skill of that group.... ...imo
 

APA Operator

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Any player can be manually locked in at a 7 never to move again. We found out that one of our 7's was "locked in" after many losses, simply because he had been in APA for so long. The makeup of the local players changed and there was no way he should have been a 7 relative to other 7's.
Almost got it right. Any player can be locked in at any level, meaning that's as low as they can go. They can go higher if there is a higher level. That's no secret, it's in the Team Manual (LA and CLA).

Any player can also be unlocked. The process sometimes isn't immediate, and if unlocked a player still might not necessarily drop, but there is a way to unlock anyone or at least lower the lock. If a league operator tells you it cannot be done, he's lying to you because he doesn't think it should be done and he doesn't want to say it that way.
 

hang-the-9

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Interesting angle... However that then begs the age old AZB question. What defines a "pro"...? It isn't your ability to play the game, that I'm certain of.

Until pool takes on the properties of something like the PGA wherein you need to maintain your pro status with performance based results. You can't use the designation of pool pro for any argument that involves the skill of that group.... ...imo

A pro in pool is same as any other sport, the best players out there. With the Fargo rating systems, it's around 720+

The top 100 players start at over a 770 Fargo, guys like Shuff, Wilkie, Gabe Owen are in the 730s which is where I base my lower levels of pro at. That is about a top 100 US player list where everyone is over 700 Fargo and can be argued they can enter a pro level event like US Open and get several rounds in without much issue.

Another idea about pro level players, you can walk into any pool hall and can match up with anyone you meet there pretty safely playing even without first trying to scope out how the players are.

If I was a 720 Fargo and up, if someone asked me how I played, I would say "pro level".
 

The_JV

Local_Pro
A pro in pool is same as any other sport, the best players out there. With the Fargo rating systems, it's around 720+
Ok I'll let the whole pool being a 'sport' thing slide for a different thread. However in your opinion. I would be a pro pool player and not earn a dime playing the game and/or have any sponsorship, just as long as I have a fargo higher than 720...?

And with the above said.... I could also have a fargo <720 and live off my pool winnings / sponsorship and not be considered a pro...?
 

SJpilot

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Realistically how many pro speed players make a good living just from pool. I think he means "pro" as in a level of skill not necessarily that you make money. Like how chess has International Master Grandmaster etc. based off of FIDE rating. I think that's more what he means. That being said I've seen Fargo ratings going up, there's way more 800+ players now than ever. I've heard that ELO has been experiencing inflation as well I wonder if its inevitable in any rating system.

Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk
 

Tom1234

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Just because you can not beat other 7's does not mean you should not be a 7...if you are capable of playing at that level.
Key words-“if you are capable of playing at that level”. What I’m talking about is NOT being able to play at that level. That’s why there is a SL 6. APA‘s ranking system should not stop at 7 or 9. I’ve played SL9s in 9 ball that beat Sky; there should be higher rankings for people that good.
 

justadub

Rattling corners nightly
Silver Member
Key words-“if you are capable of playing at that level”. What I’m talking about is NOT being able to play at that level. That’s why there is a SL 6. APA‘s ranking system should not stop at 7 or 9. I’ve played SL9s in 9 ball that beat Sky; there should be higher rankings for people that good.
In theory, that would be correct. In practice, in the world of league pool, where the matches need to be done in a reasonable time so working people can go home, you can't just increase the game-spots by having higher skill levels. Not to mention the handicap limit, which is in place to keep teams balanced.

Not only that, but the (very) few people that play at that high a level are rarely involved in rec-level APA pool. The number of players that would really affect is miniscule, compared to the rest of the people playing APA.
 

hang-the-9

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Ok I'll let the whole pool being a 'sport' thing slide for a different thread. However in your opinion. I would be a pro pool player and not earn a dime playing the game and/or have any sponsorship, just as long as I have a fargo higher than 720...?

And with the above said.... I could also have a fargo <720 and live off my pool winnings / sponsorship and not be considered a pro...?

If you make a living off pool, then there is an argument there for being a "pool pro", however since there is no official pool tour, being a pro in pool is not really a set thing. There are "pro" women that could not beat a good APA player, but still make OK money from putting their picture on stuff, and pro level players that are men that need jobs even though they can beat just about anyone they meet.

There are no PRO POOL PLAYERS, with the exception of the few top world players that are good enough and popular enough to make a living only through pool. Until there is a national or world PRO TOUR with enough money to earn the members a living, any discussion about what a PRO in pool is makes no sense past looking at skill level and discussing/arguing about it online LOL
 

hang-the-9

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Key words-“if you are capable of playing at that level”. What I’m talking about is NOT being able to play at that level. That’s why there is a SL 6. APA‘s ranking system should not stop at 7 or 9. I’ve played SL9s in 9 ball that beat Sky; there should be higher rankings for people that good.

If there is someone in the APA that can beat someone like Sky, they are too good for the APA and should not be allowed to play. If they can do it more than once every 10 years that is. My son beat Jayson Shaw in an even race once, then lost to a guy that maybe had a 600 Fargo next round. Does not make my son a pro level player, he just got on a roll and happened to run out 3 racks off a scratch by Jayson.

Brian Park who can play even with the pro level players has won the APA National event many times but was still allowed to play despite a lot of players thinking he was out of the level that should be allowed in the APA, he is like a 700 Fargo. I think that level is too high for a league like APA with the handicap limit. A 700 player is about twice as good as someone that can also max out the APA handicap at 550 or 600 Fargo. I think every 100 point difference is a 2-1 ratio of games, so a 700 vs a 600 would be a 10-5 race, but in the APA they would be playing even.

Probably a 650 range is where APA should cut off. Or they need to make another higher level step or 2.
 
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APA Operator

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
In theory, that would be correct. In practice, in the world of league pool, where the matches need to be done in a reasonable time so working people can go home, you can't just increase the game-spots by having higher skill levels. Not to mention the handicap limit, which is in place to keep teams balanced.

Not only that, but the (very) few people that play at that high a level are rarely involved in rec-level APA pool. The number of players that would really affect is miniscule, compared to the rest of the people playing APA.
^^^^^ This, and the fact that there are other league systems for these people. Usually they're not playing in APA to compete, but to be involved with friends and loved ones who aren't that good. Over the years I've had a few of those people (maybe five), and I always make it a point to find out why they are playing in the league. Then I have a conversation with them about the competitive aspect of the league, and if they or their teammates want them there primarily for the competitive aspect, I ask them not to play. So far I've had to ask two of them not to play (one is back, playing with family and limiting his actual play so he doesn't win any individual awards), and a third got to play with his friends until the APA declared him a professional, which we both knew would eventually happen and talked about.

Most of the time, these people are a joy to play against and the people who play against them have no problem with allowing them in the league. Nobody can compete with them consistently and if that matters to you, you should play someone else. But creating a separate skill level for five out of 2000 players is overkill and isn't worth the new problems it brings.
 

Maniac

2manyQ's
Silver Member
Relative to the OP or not, these are a few of my observations from playing in the APA leagues for 15 years:

1.) There are varying degrees of all the skill levels. As one example, there are strong SL5's, normal SL5's, and weak SL5's. This applies to all skill levels. The stronger of the skill level is going to beat the weaker of that same skill level more times than not.

2.) A poorly kept scoresheet can sometimes be the difference in one's skill level. I've turned in scoresheets that I had marked 25-30 defensive shots for the five matches played whereas the opposing team scoresheet had very few marked. What's the APA headquarters supposed to do with that???

3.) No one (LO, Division rep, etc.) ever comes to observe the play of a player that has been complained about. Or any player for that matter. We had a kid on our 9-ball team that was an honest SL2. Couldn't make three balls in a row with ball-in-hand (missing a lot of BIH shots). Scratches about 5-6 times a match. He had an average winning %. If anyone saw him play, they would agree his skill level was correct. He is the worst male pool player I have ever witnessed in league play. One session he played about 3 or 4 games above his normal game, got moved up to a SL3. That poor kid lost his next 14 matches before he got moved back down to a SL2 the next session. Then he wins a couple of matches and gets moved back up to a SL3 (where he is to this day). He now only wins an occasional match. This is clearly a case of moving a bad player up because of a rare few games of playing better, when his overall performances clearly shows him to be at a SL2 level.

My point is with this kids story, the scoresheets don't always tell an accurate story. Let me give you another example:

My wife was a SL3 in 8-ball from the time she first started playing about 10 years ago. Her lifetime winning % was right at (almost exactly) 50%. One night she was playing a SL5 (who also was a division rep) in 8-ball and the match went hill-hill. Her opponent had two object balls left and in prime shape to put the match away, but he scratched shooting the first ball. My wife got BIH and with a timeout was shown how to run her last two balls out to get on the 8 (which was out in front of a corner pocket about 6" away). She preceded to make her balls as instructed and won the match. The next week she was moved up to a SL4. Wouldn't you think that a player who started life as a SL3, played all her games in 10 years as a SL3 and had a 50/50 winning percentage would just be accepted as a SL3??? (Equalizer system to perfection)

Now....she would have lost that match had it not been for her opponent scratching. The scoresheet ONLY reflects the fact that she won, not the way that it was handed to her. If she would have lost that match, do you think she would have still been raised to a SL4? The scoresheets have no way to determine whether or not luck was a factor in a win or loss.

I could go on, but I digress. Over the years I've learned to just show up and play my best. Sometimes you just have to try to outrun the spot whether it's fair or not. It's still fun, win or lose.

Maniac (sorry for the long post)
 
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APA Operator

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
3.) No one (LO, Division rep, etc.) ever comes to observe the play of a player that has been complained about. Or any player for that matter.
That you know of. Maybe not ever, in your area, but I doubt it. I send people incognito to watch players. I don't do it myself for a very good reason, and that's because nobody ever shoots their best if they know I'm there to watch them. Intentional or not, they just don't.

Your two examples are perfect for demonstrating that the system is not trying to measure your overall (average) performance. It's trying to measure how well you play when you play well. Two different players can have the same average performance, and the one who has higher highs and lower lows may be rated higher. That's because the highs count more than the lows.
 

mikepage

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
That you know of. Maybe not ever, in your area, but I doubt it. I send people incognito to watch players. I don't do it myself for a very good reason, and that's because nobody ever shoots their best if they know I'm there to watch them. Intentional or not, they just don't.

Your two examples are perfect for demonstrating that the system is not trying to measure your overall (average) performance. It's trying to measure how well you play when you play well. Two different players can have the same average performance, and the one who has higher highs and lower lows may be rated higher. That's because the highs count more than the lows.
This may help to discourage "unnatural" inconsistency.
Generally, though, we find the relation of people's high to their average stays about the same
 

hang-the-9

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Relative to the OP or not, these are a few of my observations from playing in the APA leagues for 15 years:

Wouldn't you think that a player who started life as a SL3, played all her games in 10 years as a SL3 and had a 50/50 winning percentage would just be accepted as a SL3??? (Equalizer system to perfection)


Maniac (sorry for the long post)

How is it possible to be a 3, play for 10 years and still be a 3? I mean you can get better purely by accident even without trying through muscle memory and experience of making the shots. You need to be actively trying to make mistakes to stay the same level as a 3 unless you play only a few times a year during your match then never play pool again till the next match.
 

Maniac

2manyQ's
Silver Member
How is it possible to be a 3, play for 10 years and still be a 3? I mean you can get better purely by accident even without trying through muscle memory and experience of making the shots. You need to be actively trying to make mistakes to stay the same level as a 3 unless you play only a few times a year during your match then never play pool again till the next match.
She is better, but not glaringly so. I teach her a lot, but most of it doesn't "stick". She's 67 years old and didn't start playing until she was into her fifties. She's a Marine Corp veteran and a grandmother of nine. But she still wins only 50% of her matches, mostly against players of her own skill level. She has beaten SL7's in her 10 years and also lost to SL1's. The APA "Equalizer" system has it "supposedly" set up to where "anybody can win". In fact.....that's exactly what it says on their advertisements.

So, my point being, if she has a lifetime winning percentage of 50%, wouldn't that be the "Equalizer" system personified? It can't get any more equal than 50/50.....unless the "new" math has changed THAT much.

And that said....she has NEVER sandbagged an inning in her life!

Also keep in mind that unlike many people, pool is not her "thing". She goes and plays simply because I do and she wants to be involved in my interests. She goes fishing with me and actually makes a few token casts when she's not in the bottom of the boat reading her e-reader. She goes with me to the gun range and sometimes gets out of the car (where she is again reading) and fires off a few shots. At home, when I'm an hour or so at the table practicing, she's in the den reading, maybe sewing, sometimes working puzzles on her Kindle. She could probably get better if she really set her mind to it, but contrary to what many of us believe......pool ISN'T life, for her. It's really not so hard to imagine one not improving much, given those parameters.

The game is NOT for everybody, and I have seen many examples of other players that prove this to be so.

Maniac (will certainly come to the defense of his wife)
 

The_JV

Local_Pro
There are no PRO POOL PLAYERS, with the exception of the few top world players that are good enough and popular enough to make a living only through pool.
That was my point... "pro" isn't a tangible/measurable thing in the pool world. Even when speaking objectively about the very best in the world. With those 'very best' it's just a obvious subjective opinion that no one would think or bother to argue.
 

justadub

Rattling corners nightly
Silver Member
That you know of. Maybe not ever, in your area, but I doubt it. I send people incognito to watch players. I don't do it myself for a very good reason, and that's because nobody ever shoots their best if they know I'm there to watch them. Intentional or not, they just don't.

Your two examples are perfect for demonstrating that the system is not trying to measure your overall (average) performance. It's trying to measure how well you play when you play well. Two different players can have the same average performance, and the one who has higher highs and lower lows may be rated higher. That's because the highs count more than the lows.
It would stick out, in our room. If the LO, or someone that doesn't play in the league that we don't know, is there and watching matches, we'd all be wondering. Especially the LO, but he could be there under the guise of a meeting, I suppose....were he to actively start watching a match, I'd certainly be curious.

Our scenario is likely a bit different than many territories, as our LO has a couple hundred miles from one end of the territory to the other, and as such, we rarely see him in our room. He could send someone in, but it would likely be someone we know that plays in a different territory, and as such would also raise suspicion.

I think it would be great to have in practice. I know he has a couple people who watch matches at the bigger events, primarily at States.
 

justadub

Rattling corners nightly
Silver Member
How is it possible to be a 3, play for 10 years and still be a 3? I mean you can get better purely by accident even without trying through muscle memory and experience of making the shots. You need to be actively trying to make mistakes to stay the same level as a 3 unless you play only a few times a year during your match then never play pool again till the next match.

I have a SL4 on my team who has been SL4 for probably close to 20 years now, over 600 matches. Its a running joke that he is a lifer at that Skill Level. And guess what? That's where he should be. He can catch fire in a game or two, and play with higher level players, but he comes crashing back to earth rather quickly. He won't run the table, ever.

(His nick name is Johnny Jump-Up, if you can visualize his shooting style :) )

As such, he's rather valuable, since we know he'll be a 4. He is maddening at times, in his inconsistency. Cuz he certainly can play well, at times. Has a good knowledge of the game, and is great with beginning players. He's a great guy, and a lot of fun to have on our team.
 

whammo57

Kim Walker
Silver Member
it's easy ............. we had a 6 on our team........ he lost every match for a whole session......... went down to a 5............. bounced him off the team............. now he has assembled his own team of cheaters..................... he told me that my team will never get to Vegas because we don't cheat....................

Kim
 

The_JV

Local_Pro
Not only that, but the (very) few people that play at that high a level are rarely involved in rec-level APA pool. The number of players that would really affect is miniscule, compared to the rest of the people playing APA.
All the elite players (In general not necessarily APA) either play a session or two in APA then quit, or play at <60% speed and drink with their buddies. A 7 is a 7 regardless of the effort you put in, so I think these very very few (maybe couple) of guys like to play and enjoy the near zero pressure the weak league and 'race to' format provides them.

Otherwise, strong players in my area don't play APA. Not a knock against APA. It's just not a league designed for that level of player.
 
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