Ability to clock a player

iusedtoberich

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How good does a player have to be in order to rate a better player?

For example, can a C player determine who is stronger between two A players? Can a B player determine who is stronger between two Open players?

I hear all the time C and B players (which I belong to) say such and such is the best in the state, etc. Does this class of player really have the ability and skill to make that determination?
 

Donovan

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Many people will probably disagree with me, but I personally think it depends on whether or not they have been anywhere or actually have seen anyone outside their own area. And by this I mean all over.

When I was younger I used to think I knew that kind of stuff, until I started traveling around. Then I realized people I thought were really tough were merely mediocre and I was really horrible. LOL

Also, there is the second factor of what they really know about the game they are evaluating. Some B/C players study the heck out of a game and even if they have no touch they can figure out what a good shot is and what a good move looks like. Some don't have a clue.

The third factor for me is, can they tell what they would need to win a game? They have to know that when they get lose on a shot that they can usually make 2 or 3 balls in 1P and they have to know that the player they are playing usually sells out 3 or 4 big shots a game. If they can figure out how many times they sell out and how many the other guy usually runs, then maybe they would at least have an idea of where they have a chance. Now they have to ask for a bigger spot that that to win. This is a mundane and vague example, but the average player is not likely to do this. They are just going to guess at it.

If a B or C player can understand and experience these three things, then I would say they would have at least an educated guess. And that is what we are talking about.

BTW, some backers can figure this out and they don't even pick up a cue. That is proof that this is possible. JMO
 

NH Steve

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One guy who is pretty good at clocking players these days is the fellow seated between Rickie Byrd & Marshall Carpenter. I believe he's from Pittsburgh, PA -- but obviously he must get around a bit because Pittsburgh isn't exactly the crossroads of USA pool hustling :) . Not to knock the Steel City, it's just that it is a little more off the beaten path than, for example Chicago. I don't believe I have ever seen him play -- but he sure is a sharp observor of action.

I believe his name is Steve, and I heard someone call him "ten-to-two" because of the slight natural lean to his head...
 

jrhendy

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Clocking And Comparing Players

Clocking And Comparing Players

It can get pretty complicated when you are trying to compare different players speed. I might beat a guy you can beat and you might rob me. Playing styles come into it. Some one pocket players can't stand to get shot at & their game may go downhill against a ball runner. Some aggressive players can't make a ball if you keep them in the stack and never leave them air to shoot at. If the style of player you are matched up with makes you change your method of playing, your speed is probably going down. Top players can adjust to any style and that is why they are top players. When you are playing someone who consistently comes up with shots you don't know or can't execute, your game is going to suffer. The mind game of one pocket is at least as important as the skill game. Banking is probaly my weak suit, and I play a fair game of one pocket. I can out duck most of them and usually get to the shot first, but don't take advantage of it like a top player, and that usually pumps the other player up and improves their game. It will be interesting see see some other opinions on this. Good thread.
 

BackPocket9Ball

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NH Steve,

Stevie can play. And Pittsburgh does have a firm pool (as well as one pocket tradition) -- Marvin Henderson, Jimmy Marino, Gary "Bushwacker" Nolan, Gerry Slivka, and to a slightly lesser degree, Sy Brown, Paul Mottey, and up-and-comer Shane Hennen. And of course, Stevie!

But you're right. Stevie can clock players' speeds with the best of them.
 

gulfportdoc

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BackPocket9Ball said:
NH Steve,

Stevie can play. And Pittsburgh does have a firm pool (as well as one pocket tradition) -- Marvin Henderson, Jimmy Marino, Gary "Bushwacker" Nolan, Gerry Slivka, and to a slightly lesser degree, Sy Brown, Paul Mottey, and up-and-comer Shane Hennen. And of course, Stevie!

But you're right. Stevie can clock players' speeds with the best of them.
And don't forget Pittsburgh Jack, although I think he left Pgh in '62. I'm from Pittsburgh myself, but I left in the 60's.

I didn't realize Steve played. Thought he was just a side-bettor, perhaps backer. I had a nice conversation with him in gulfport during Grady's Gulf Coast Classic. The guy really gets around! He might turn up anywhere. So he's either independently weathy, or he can earn a living betting-- something that even few players can do...

Doc
 

hemicudas

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Pittsburgh, Mike?

Pittsburgh, Mike?

gulfportdoc said:
And don't forget Pittsburgh Jack, although I think he left Pgh in '62. I'm from Pittsburgh myself, but I left in the 60's.

I didn't realize Steve played. Thought he was just a side-bettor, perhaps backer. I had a nice conversation with him in gulfport during Grady's Gulf Coast Classic. The guy really gets around! He might turn up anywhere. So he's either independently weathy, or he can earn a living betting-- something that even few players can do...

Doc
Someone refresh my memory. Late 79 or early 80 Bill Stack and I run into a big guy who lived above a bar in Michawaka(sp), IN they called Pittsburgh Mike. He was about 6'4" and about 250Lbs. We had been steared to this spot looking for another guy. We beat our guy but the owner goes up stairs and wakes this Pittsburgh Mike up. He comes down stairs with a cup of coffee in his hand and proceeds to send us packing in short time. This was obviously a bar table. I talked to a few Chicago players who said they knew the guy but never knew his last name. I don't even know if he was actually from Pittsburgh. This guy sound familiar to any of you other, older than dirt, scuffs?
 

OldHasBeen

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I got to know him a little in Detroit.

I got to know him a little in Detroit.

hemicudas said:
Someone refresh my memory. Late 79 or early 80 Bill Stack and I run into a big guy who lived above a bar in Michawaka(sp), IN they called Pittsburgh Mike. He was about 6'4" and about 250Lbs. We had been steared to this spot looking for another guy. We beat our guy but the owner goes up stairs and wakes this Pittsburgh Mike up. He comes down stairs with a cup of coffee in his hand and proceeds to send us packing in short time. This was obviously a bar table. I talked to a few Chicago players who said they knew the guy but never knew his last name. I don't even know if he was actually from Pittsburgh. This guy sound familiar to any of you other, older than dirt, scuffs?
He spent quite a bit of time in Detroit when the action started each year. Good OP player and pretty good overall. Pretty gruff type fellow to get along with and I would want to know the whole story before making a side bet. Originally from Pittsburgh but I think he spent a lot of time in Philly. Was pretty close to Red.
Another good Pittsburgh Mike was from Pittsburgh KS. We played quite a bit in Okla City. He offered me either the break OR 7 ball on a tough GC. He had quite a great reputation to uphold and I was just a salesman who liked to play pool. It was like weather he wanted die from a knife or gun. I naturally took the break and the cash. Good and nice player though and about my age.

TY & GL, OHB
 

OldHasBeen

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On second thought........

On second thought........

As entitled to us "Old Farts" - My Oldtimers may be acting up again. I may have been thinking of Pittsburgh John and not Pittsburgh Mike.

Thanks, OHB
 

hemicudas

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Got to be.

Got to be.

OldHasBeen said:
As entitled to us "Old Farts" - My Oldtimers may be acting up again. I may have been thinking of Pittsburgh John and not Pittsburgh Mike.

Thanks, OHB
There has always got to be one smart ass everywhere that remembers the right name, OHB, LOL. OK,,,,,,,,,,,,, it was JOHN. What do they say these days, My Bad. The only Mike I knew, other than Bandy in the Chi. area was Round Lake Mike and we beat him. Oh, and Mike Parker.
 
Last edited:

scotttheshooter

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Very Nice Post!!

Very Nice Post!!

Donovan said:
Many people will probably disagree with me, but I personally think it depends on whether or not they have been anywhere or actually have seen anyone outside their own area. And by this I mean all over.

When I was younger I used to think I knew that kind of stuff, until I started traveling around. Then I realized people I thought were really tough were merely mediocre and I was really horrible. LOL

Also, there is the second factor of what they really know about the game they are evaluating. Some B/C players study the heck out of a game and even if they have no touch they can figure out what a good shot is and what a good move looks like. Some don't have a clue.

The third factor for me is, can they tell what they would need to win a game? They have to know that when they get lose on a shot that they can usually make 2 or 3 balls in 1P and they have to know that the player they are playing usually sells out 3 or 4 big shots a game. If they can figure out how many times they sell out and how many the other guy usually runs, then maybe they would at least have an idea of where they have a chance. Now they have to ask for a bigger spot that that to win. This is a mundane and vague example, but the average player is not likely to do this. They are just going to guess at it.

If a B or C player can understand and experience these three things, then I would say they would have at least an educated guess. And that is what we are talking about.

BTW, some backers can figure this out and they don't even pick up a cue. That is proof that this is possible. JMO
________________________________________________________________
Well said, insightful and tough to argue with.

I travel quite a bit on business and always try to play or at least do some heavy sweating wherever I go. Sit and watch good 1P players in Las Vegas and then watch 1P in Denver and its night and day!!!!!

The post by John - JR Hendy - is also very insightful. If you take what you passed along and add what JR had to say about playing styles....you have a HUGE CLUE about winning and losing.

The guy in Vegas may not have a chance against the guy from Denver if the Vegas guy gets rattled because he's seeing some new stuff thrown at him.

GOOD STUFF;)
 

Mike

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I played a "Pittsburgh John" 9 ball about 20-25 yrs. ago in Phila. PA but have not seen or heard about his since.
 

scotttheshooter

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Outstanding Post...

Outstanding Post...

jrhendy said:
It can get pretty complicated when you are trying to compare different players speed. I might beat a guy you can beat and you might rob me. Playing styles come into it. Some one pocket players can't stand to get shot at & their game may go downhill against a ball runner. Some aggressive players can't make a ball if you keep them in the stack and never leave them air to shoot at. If the style of player you are matched up with makes you change your method of playing, your speed is probably going down. Top players can adjust to any style and that is why they are top players. When you are playing someone who consistently comes up with shots you don't know or can't execute, your game is going to suffer. The mind game of one pocket is at least as important as the skill game. Banking is probaly my weak suit, and I play a fair game of one pocket. I can out duck most of them and usually get to the shot first, but don't take advantage of it like a top player, and that usually pumps the other player up and improves their game. It will be interesting see see some other opinions on this. Good thread.
Right On John...

Just like different styles of playing golf score better on certain types of courses...different styles of 1P have to affect the other player. In golf, you are playing against the course (for the most part) and if you are not familiar with a certain style of course (a desert course versus a tree lined course), it feels different, requires different shots and can definitely take away the "comfort zone." The pro golfers travel around so much they learn to handle all styles of challenges presented by different course designers and terrain. ** It is very unusual for a rookie pro golfer to win or even place real high in his first year or two on a course that is not somewhat similar to what he is used to playing on.



Good thread for sure!!!
 

hemicudas

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Mike said:
I played a "Pittsburgh John" 9 ball about 20-25 yrs. ago in Phila. PA but have not seen or heard about his since.
I see now. You must be the MIKE I was thinking of, LOL. The guy that beat us would be in his 60s now. Played solid bar pool. I don't remember seeing him again after that.
 

fred bentivegna

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Pittsburg Mike?

Pittsburg Mike?

Mike said:
I played a "Pittsburgh John" 9 ball about 20-25 yrs. ago in Phila. PA but have not seen or heard about his since.
Did you wear thick glasses and came down to Bensingers a few times 25-30 years ago?

the Beard
 

gulfportdoc

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jrhendy said:
I can out duck most of them and usually get to the shot first, but don't take advantage of it like a top player, and that usually pumps the other player up and improves their game.
I think that's why a strong shooter can outrun most any spot given to a weaker opponent. Once the shotmaker sees that the other guy can't or won't go for position on runouts, he just starts free-wheeling and firing into his hole. So if he's giving the guy, say, 9-6; he could just as safely give him 10-6 or more.

Doc
 

Mike

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fred bentivegna said:
Did you wear thick glasses and came down to Bensingers a few times 25-30 years ago?

the Beard
No, not the same Mike. At the present time I'm 65 and still don't need glasses! Just lucky or maybe I missed something in life!!! :D
 

Wayne

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The X factor once you have everyone "clocked" is how are you and your opponent playing that day and how are the rolls going?

I have beaten some of the best playing even in a single session but they figure to win in the long run. I have some opponents that I completely dominate with big spots but every once in awhile they torture me for a full session. Some days you are in dead stroke and some days it's like "Momma somebody shrunk my pocket." Some days it seems every roll goes your way and then there are those days where every shot your opponent takes, somehow, no matter how badly hit, works out perfect.

The point being you may have a match perfectly "clocked" and still come out way on the short end because of the X factors.

Wayne
 

Shorty

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I agree 100% Wayne. The last time I shot 1h was against a buddy of mine. He had never played the game, and shoots decent 9 ball, an SL7 in APA. He wanted to learn 1h and I decided to teach him what I knew. He beat my brains in...never once running over 2 balls...just simply, I could not find my hole with a roadmap!!! Then just two years ago, I play my buddy Pelican, and played some of the best one hole of my life...go figure.

Shorty
 

Mike

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hemicudas said:
I see now. You must be the MIKE I was thinking of, LOL. The guy that beat us would be in his 60s now. Played solid bar pool. I don't remember seeing him again after that.
Hemi, wish I was!! :D But unfortunately I lost that session to John. :eek: We played on a reg. table at the Boulevard Billiards in NE Philly.
 
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