Do Some Top Pool Players Have That Intangible Umami In Their DNA?

sunnyone

Verified Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2010
Messages
371
Dear Gentle Readers,

In the world of food, (my world!) that Japanese loanword, umami, means the fifth taste -- roughly translated as ‘pleasant savory‘ in addition to salty, bitter, sweet and sour. (Thanks, Wikipedia!)

This is top-of-cerebrum to me because a certain Los Angeles restaurant chain (which I adore!) has recently established a beachhead in NYC. Not too far from my own place in the Village, in fact.

Umami Burger will make it here or not.

Either way, the idea of a rather ethereal quality -- as it might apply to a few select billiards players -- intrigues me. Could that elusive umami essence explain, at least in part, how certain pool champions evolve and prosper?

For your consideration ... what are the success benchmarks in our beloved sport? In our very best players?

Let me stumble-start:

> Talent. (Duh.)

> Desire. (Hunger.)

> Perseverance. (SVB.)

> Nerve. (Several.)

> Creativity. (Sigh. My honey, Efren)

We can argue about adding and subtracting from that list (money, spouse, luck, stakehorse, timing, etc.) -- but for the narrow focus of our umami-discussion -- let’s consider whether there could also be an almost-intangible component for success. For winning.

If so, what would the manifestation of that mystic ingredient look like, what would that semi-indefinable ‘pleasant savory’ component be for pool?

I dunno! In fact, I don’t know if it even exists.

But … I’d be interested in your take … in the wit and wisdom of your reality-based and experienced-based opinions.

Thanks in advance for your gracious and generous, non-sarcastic, replies.

Damage control is my life,

Sunny

P. S. It’s not all pixie dust. These burgers are ‘painted, dusted and sprayed’ with Umami-brand products.

Hmm … well, pool has chalk, powder, wax, etc. Deodorant, too, I would imagine. One would hope.
 

lll

Verified Member
Joined
Mar 19, 2007
Messages
15,373
sunnyone
my problem in school was i couldnt write a 5 page book analysis in college
because after 1 page i said what i thought about the book and couldnt bs anymore
you dont seem to have that problem...:eek:
so i went for sciences in my major and did pretty well....:)
could you try to ask a DIRECT question???
i think you would get more responces...:D
if i understand your question
the answer is YES
all world class acheivers
have things you cant teach
ie... you cant fix stupid...or teach youth
jmho
icbw
 

tylerdurden

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Joined
Oct 1, 2011
Messages
1,959
It is like asking if the average joe off the street could beat Usain Bolt with some training and desire. Of course he could not. You can only run as fast as your dna will allow you.

Pool is a peculiar case however. As an example, Hacker often comes in here and talks about how great efren is, citing the number of victories at DCC as evidence. I also think it is pretty strong evidence myself. But, in pool we play races to 3 one pocket, or races to 9 in 9-ball. I honestly can't think of any sport where an inferior player has more of a shot at winning; I have seen medium level players string 4 and 5 racks together in 9 ball. In my mind, the results don't match up, the best players actually win MORE often than I think they should (and yes, I have gone off on a tangent). Pool is a sport where, if you have a certain threshold level of talent, we don't even need to see the other guy at the table very often. So, the more interesting question (to me), is why aren't there more upsets in pool? The answer is players are mentally weak, and the financial incentive is not there for them to become stronger. I have seen guys like Alex make terrible shots on efren, and just laugh it off like he is playing a god and can't win no matter what he does. Just not true. If these guys could not see who they were playing during a match, I think we'd all be amazed by the results.
 

wgcp

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Joined
Dec 13, 2004
Messages
1,725
tyler

tyler

I'll keep trying to tell myself that when I draw a 3 or 4 time world champion...

just saying...

B
 

piggybank04

Verified Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2004
Messages
230
top pros have near perfect fundamentals,and usually a pretty strong mental game--i know for myself, as many cool head turning shots that i can pull off, my fundamentals in certain areas are not pro level--bottomline is you have to have some ability, and you definately have to put your time in---thats my take......
 

tylerdurden

Verified Member
Joined
Oct 1, 2011
Messages
1,959
I'll keep trying to tell myself that when I draw a 3 or 4 time world champion...

just saying...

B
That is kinda the point, you should not tell yourself anything, just go out and play good pool.

On a kind of corollary point, I have noticed over the years that some "champions" are very disrespectful and arrogant when they are down to a lesser player. It is very effective too, the lesser player many times folds to the "I am better than him, so why am I losing" vibe. I am going to get off my butt if this topic perpetuates, and pull out a match I have of tony ellen vs reyes. One match with reyes doesn't really prove anything of course, but the body language and total indifference ellen so apparently has during the match speaks volumes. He not only won the match, but I believe had a very good record against reyes. I am sure my sentiments don't come off well this being a forum and it being all talk and all, but that is just how I feel, ie, this is the one sport where overpowering talent can be overcome imo. I am referring mostly to 9 ball, one pocket is a bit different story :cool: Nobody is going to beat a player they are in awe of, and all the body language and verbiage indicates such. I have seen this over and over with reyes. The first thing you learn if you get into sports psychology is you want to eliminate all excuses for losing before play. "I didn't dog it, I drew reyes" is a BIG one, probably the biggest pre match excuse there is imo. And of course reyes is just symbolic, this happens with players at every level.
 

wincardona

Verified Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2007
Messages
7,413
Dear Gentle Readers,

In the world of food, (my world!) that Japanese loanword, umami, means the fifth taste -- roughly translated as ‘pleasant savory‘ in addition to salty, bitter, sweet and sour. (Thanks, Wikipedia!)

This is top-of-cerebrum to me because a certain Los Angeles restaurant chain (which I adore!) has recently established a beachhead in NYC. Not too far from my own place in the Village, in fact.

Umami Burger will make it here or not.

Either way, the idea of a rather ethereal quality -- as it might apply to a few select billiards players -- intrigues me. Could that elusive umami essence explain, at least in part, how certain pool champions evolve and prosper?

For your consideration ... what are the success benchmarks in our beloved sport? In our very best players?

Let me stumble-start:

> Talent. (Duh.)

> Desire. (Hunger.)

> Perseverance. (SVB.)

> Nerve. (Several.)

> Creativity. (Sigh. My honey, Efren)

We can argue about adding and subtracting from that list (money, spouse, luck, stakehorse, timing, etc.) -- but for the narrow focus of our umami-discussion -- let’s consider whether there could also be an almost-intangible component for success. For winning.

If so, what would the manifestation of that mystic ingredient look like, what would that semi-indefinable ‘pleasant savory’ component be for pool?

I dunno! In fact, I don’t know if it even exists.

But … I’d be interested in your take … in the wit and wisdom of your reality-based and experienced-based opinions.

Thanks in advance for your gracious and generous, non-sarcastic, replies.

Damage control is my life,

Sunny

P. S. It’s not all pixie dust. These burgers are ‘painted, dusted and sprayed’ with Umami-brand products.

Hmm … well, pool has chalk, powder, wax, etc. Deodorant, too, I would imagine. One would hope.
All the attributes that you described are basically what all champions share, however, there is another attribute that is needed in the recipe for success and that is a good work ethic. Players that have good work ethics get the most out of their game, it allows them to reach their potential when at the table and gives them the confidence to meet and conquer most of the challenges that they may be challenged with in their journey to success.

Dr. Bill
 

bstroud

Verified Member
Joined
May 29, 2010
Messages
1,426
I would add one more attribute:

Curiosity!

It makes you want to know WHY something happened!

Without IT you are not driven to examine and experiment.

Bill S.
 

piggybank04

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Joined
Aug 22, 2004
Messages
230
i know a guy a very good one pocket player, and he is always(like me) coming up with new shots, never seen before--i like that..... there is so much more in one pocket to be discovered.......creativity is big, but you have to use it within the boundaries of your talent and skill set......
 

vapros

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Joined
May 24, 2004
Messages
3,627
Bill, you're so right! Curiosity is the driving force behind all learning. ;)
 

piggybank04

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Joined
Aug 22, 2004
Messages
230
Singleness of purpose and total commitment.

Beard
so true--how many times have we as players gotten over a shot,not 100 percent committed to it..........then seeing less than perfect results--predictible.....when you let the doubt creep in.......
 
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