What was the first time you realized you’re a strong player?

ChrisSjoblom

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
The first time I realized I was a strong player was one league night in 1977. It's happened quiet a few times since then, but I always sober up the next morning and realize I still suck.
 

Pfs896

Active member
I remember I felt something when I broke and ran 10-ball on a 9’ with 4” pockets for the first time. But I still felt like I sucked cause I lost sets all the time.

Few years later I ended up at an after hours pool room and stumbled on two players I admired ( I considered them monsters at the time ). They were setting up a set for 500 and omg they were arguing over every tiny thing. One wants Texas express, the other cb fouls only, etc. I’m just excited to watch the action but feels like it’s never gonna happen. Then I say I’ll play if you want. They both turn to me and say “what kind of weight are you gonna give me?”. I was so shocked to hear that, I laughed it off. A week later I played one of them even and won 15-9, I still remember the score. I think that’s the first time I thought to myself maybe I’m decent at this thing.
I also recall practicing solo one day thinking this game is just too hard, feeling down. Some random approaches and wants to talk about his revo. He asks to play a few. We do. He then asks “how did you get so good”. He wanted tips. It was so funny to me, I’m over here thinking I’m garbage and he wants to shoot like me lol.
Hasn't happened yet 🙁
 

Samiel

Sea Player
Silver Member
I'm not a strong player (FR 605), but I can definitely remember hitting certain milestones. Winning my first tournament. Top shooter in my league. Beating a player I highly respected in a gambling match even. Winning a short set vs. a pro. Other players asking me for advice.

I think the hallmark of a good player is that no one asks them to gamble, lol. Is it just me or is it rare for two FR 700+ players matching up without backers?
 

johnnysd

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Perhaps a better title for this thread would be - What was the first time you realized you were NOT a strong pool player?
I was fairly strong 20 years ago. I stopped playing for 18 years and I am no longer remotely close to a strong player. My old self could likely give my current self 5 games in a race to 9 and not be all to stressed over it. My guess is I am somewhere in the range of 200 Fargo points lower than I was. At least I have APA where I can still be better than almost anyone I play. Not that it means I will win.
 

ShootingArts

Smorg is giving St Peter the 7!
Gold Member
Silver Member
I was fairly strong 20 years ago. I stopped playing for 18 years and I am no longer remotely close to a strong player. My old self could likely give my current self 5 games in a race to 9 and not be all to stressed over it. My guess is I am somewhere in the range of 200 Fargo points lower than I was. At least I have APA where I can still be better than almost anyone I play. Not that it means I will win.


When I came back to pool I planned to start gambling when I hit 85% of my best game. I never started gambling again!

Hu
 

ChrisinNC

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
When I came back to pool I planned to start gambling when I hit 85% of my best game. I never started gambling again!

Hu
That’s the thing - older players often say they’re still playing at 85% to 90% of their best game, as if that’s pretty good. Problem is it still means they are coming up 10% to 15% short anymore against players they used to play even with - which means most likely they are losing virtually all of those matchups.
 

Pin

Registered
It's all relative, but defining it as a strong local player: I went one league season undefeated; I knew I still wasn't a strong player then, because I had to get lucky a couple of times to do it, and I had to ride out some spells of pretty bad play during matches to get into stroke.

But a couple of years later I could consistently produce the standard of my better play from that season. By that time I'd moved to an area with a really strong local league and ironically I wasn't objectively anything special. But by my own standards, that was when.

(Obviously that level's still way below the national / pro level.)
 

ShootingArts

Smorg is giving St Peter the 7!
Gold Member
Silver Member
Not really Chris....''adjust''.


I'm too stubborn for my own good plus when room owners are giving out handicaps they rate me at my best game which is often nowhere to be found! I did get a chuckle one day. I was playing a young gun and he said he was winning too easily, wanted to give me the seven ball! First time in my life so the very next rack I reminded him the seven was my money ball too before shooting with three rails of draw when pocketing the six to roll through the area to tap the seven in perfectly on the long axis. I stopped about a foot from the seven for a tap in win. His response was "that is a little too good!" I think my seven ball spot lasted one game. Can't let the youngsters get too uppity! ;)

Hu
 

Get_A_Grip

Truth Will Set You Free
Silver Member
Thinking about this thread some more, for me, I would define a strong local player as someone that is above 625 Fargo Rating (simply because we don't have too many players over 650 around where I live). Nationally, I would say someone over 650 Fargo Rating. My experience is that someone over a 650 you really don't want to mess with gambling in the bars. They don't make many mistakes at all. Around a 600 level player, and they will still give up games occasionally by making some simple mistakes. After my last tournament I actually dropped below a 600 Fargo Rating, so I definitely don't consider myself a "strong" player. A decent player for sure, but STRONG to me is someone that you might be hesitant to play.
 

HawaiianEye

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
When I was about 15 years old and working in a pool hall and everybody who used to beat me now wanted a spot before they would gamble with me.

Then the owner of the pool hall told me if anyone came in wanting to play for money that I should quit working and take whatever money I needed out of the cash register and go play them...even if I didn’t know them.
 
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Pete H

Registered
Must have been while I was horrible and playing drunk. I'm still horrible and know it, 'cos I don't play drunk that much anymore.
 

CJ Wiley

ESPN WORLD OPEN CHAMPION
Gold Member
Silver Member
When I was 15 in Columbia Missouri I gave a pretty solid player the 6 Ball on a bar table. We were playing in a friend's basement and I hit a gear running 5 racks in a row, twice in a row. The man I was playing (Keith) said he would never play me again.....that was a great feeling, and led to many more!

The Game is the Teacher
 
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ChrisinNC

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
When I was 15 in Columbia Missouri I gave a pretty solid player the 6 Ball on a bar table. We were playing in a friend's basement and I hit a gear running 5 racks in a row, twice in a row. The man I was playing (Keith) said he would never play me again.....that was a great feeling, and led to many more!

The Game is the Teacher
CJ, you are one player on here that certainly has earned the right to respond to this thread, but one question - wouldn’t running 5 racks in a row twice in a row be the same as running 10 racks in a row?
 
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