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Focusing During League Play

Focusing During League Play

Last night the 8 ball team I play on excelled and the play put us in first place. Now we have to work to stay there. I was pushed up from a 3 to 4 so I played a more experienced player. And that was a good thing. It kept me on my toes. Every time we play I watch the other team to see how they play. Many of the players, my team included, make a social event of the evening and have a few beers. Nothing wrong with that considering it is a bar league.

I watch the drinkers because I may have to play against them at some time. Maybe I'm being devious here, but not maliciously I assure you. It is my feeling that someone has had 2 or 3 bottles of beer cannot be totally focused on what they are doing when playing pool. They will made mistakes they would not normally make, and the mistakes could cost them the game. Especially when their opponent is a predator in the figurative sense.

Having said all this, I must point out that most of the people who play in the league, both men and women, are pretty good sports. And rarely will you see any one pissing and moaning because they lost a match. Even if they do not know why they lost. And, I for one will not tell them.

Focusing During League Play

Replies & Comments

  1. quickshotdkrager on 11/14/2008 3:57:11 PM

    That’s a very dangerous assumption to make. Perhaps it’s the bar shooter coming out in me but I have learned over the years to never to try and clock a player based on their alcohol consumption. That’s a suckers assumption, which is why “the drunk guy” is one of the oldest hustles out there.

    That said, I fully understand you are talking about league play, I just feel that its bad practice in general to factor in alcohol when clocking a player because the only possible result is that you will subconsciously throttle back your own game thinking you have an edge that may or may not actually be there. Besides it’s a fairly safe bet that your opponent reached their skill level playing with a few beers under their belt every week so you are hardly coming back with an exclusive scouting report.



  2. quickshotquickshot on 11/14/2008 8:04:15 PM

    In essence I am separating the bar player from the once a week league player. I have a great respect for the bar shooter, and I have never gotten involved with them. I neither like to be hustled or do I hustle. Nor do I make any assumptions about the, as you said, drunk guy. I have been on this planet for 78 years and around the block more times than I care to think about. If there is any one thing I have learned, it is the ability to read people when in any given situation. Some things just come with experience. I do not judge. I only make observations.

    As for the league play, I study my opponents as the rest of the team is playing. I want to know what their weakness is in case I ever have to play any one person. And, I have seen some players who have 4-5 bottles of beer and then try to play a match, maybe the last one of the night. Here is a person who may not even drink during the week, and the league night is a social one for him. I have seen some normally good players blow shots they never would have if they weren't drinking. As for my game, I never throttle it back. I play every ball as if it is the 8 ball.

    As for clocking a person it is no different than any other sport. You name it:NFL, MLB, NBA, they all study and clock their opponents abilities and short comings. It is the nature of competition and always will be.

    But, your position is a valid one from your perspective, and I can respect that. After all, if every one agreed with every one else it would be boring as hell.

    As the old masters said...always have a game plan.

  3. quickshotJustanotherevolutionary on 11/15/2008 3:33:37 PM

    I've made this observation as well quickshot. And after reading both your posts and replies, I couldn't agree with the both of you more. As for myself I do drink 1 or 2 16oz microbrews on league night, which is more than your typical lager. Now I'm a nervous, not anxious and jittery 5 cups of espresso nervous, but a little nerved when playing on league night, partly because I'm the newbie and don't know many people. So I like 1-2 beers to chill me out a bit. And I can see a noticable difference when I don't. What I'm saying is a little can actually help some people, such as myself. The more relaxed I am the better I focus, the better I shoot. Everyone is different with handling their booze too, so I wouldn't take anything for granted! If the guy falls on the table, then ok you might have a slight advantage. It doesn't sound like you leave anything to chance though, so I imagine you are not phased by this either way.. which is an advantage in itself. If I were you, I would focus more on you and your comfort level, rather then the opposing team. So there it is from a light drinker's perspective, maybe I'll get hammered next sunday and let you know how that goes! Good luck to you sir.

  4. quickshotquickshot on 11/15/2008 4:49:12 PM

    You make some very valid points. I am not talking about a person who has a couple of beers. I am referring to the player who dumps 4 or 5. As an ex-drinker I know that that many beers has to have an effect on a persons performance. As I mentioned before, I've been around the block a few times. My main point here is, that I do not care how many drinks a person has. If I 'm playing that person my focus is on his weakness and I will take advantage of it. I do not have a problem with my comfort level, I know where I am, and if I can pick up an advantage I will. Hell. I even know of some who take a Valium on league night just to ward of the chokes and be relaxed. I am not putting anyone down for anything they do. I merely state that I will, if I can, find a weakness and exploit it. I am part of a team and we depend on each other. And believe me, there have been times when I could have used a Valium if I had one.

    In the long haul, league play is a fun thing and I enjoy being part of it. I've never met anyone I didn't care for. And I doubt very much that you will get hammered. You know where you are.

  5. quickshotdlabout on 12/2/2008 8:28:18 AM

    I understand studying your opponent. I too love the player who insists that they play better drunk. I have always felt that they don't play better, but they just don't care that they suck.

    I will play to another players weaknesses if I can. If they say "I can't bank" then believe me I will play safeties that require a solid bank to get out. It forces my opponent to improve their game.

    A lot of my attitude towards my opponent depends on the context of the game. If it is league play then I will try to keep it friendly but I will play my best. If it is a tournament then I tend to keep to myself and focus on the game. In a bar I try to help the person I'm playing against if they are willing to listen.

    We have all had the player who already knows everything and on the flip side those players who are anxious to learn.

    My current team mates are social drinkers which doesn't bother me. After all we are there to have fun and if that is there avenue to a good time then so be it. I am a non drinker so I enjoy the social side of league. My fellow pool players are what I come to league for.

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Focusing During League Play

  • Title: Focusing During League Play
  • Author: (Jim Walsh)
  • Published: 11/11/2008 9:05:27 PM