Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Second Day Tourney Thoughts - The Danielson Series

Danielson, like most of us, has a more difficult time playing well on Sundays of a two-day tournament.  Why?  Because there is so much more pressure on day two!

What helped me get over that hump was to stay as ever-present as I could and not think ahead.  Experience also helped - the more times I lasted until Sunday, the less pressure I felt because each time I lasted until Sunday was another success and I started to feel more comfortable.  Experience helps immensely.  (that's why I preach to play in as many tournaments as you can)

Danielson had another great finish in the November Omega tournament and I asked him how he felt going into Sunday.  I was so impressed by this thought process, I wanted to share it.

On the Omega Billiards Tour, we whittle it down from around 100 players and bring back 24 players on Sunday.

Danielson told me, "I just look at Sundays as a new 24-man tournament.  That helps any pressure I might be feeling going into day two, as I just look at it in a different way, not the continuation of a big tournament.

"24-man tournament" - that's perfect!  GREAT philosophy.  Wish I had heard this when I was competing!

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Fargo Ratings Rule!

Although handicap tournaments are more difficult to run than Open tournaments, Fargo Ratings help me out so much!  And not just to me personally as the Tournament Director, but also for the players competing in handicapped events. 

Fargo Ratings allow for more accurate handicapping which helps all the players overall.  Further, as a Tournament Director, it saves us a ton of time trying to nail down someone's true handicap.  Accurate handicaps also lead to less complaints.  And a big thank you to Fargo Rate for that!

Btw, in case you are new to the term "Fargo Ratings," Fargo Ratings are world-wide pocket-billiard ratings designed to rate every player on the planet on the same scale based on wins and losses against opponents of known rating." Check this link for further details.
Below are two excellent examples from the Omega Billiards Tour stop just a couple of weeks ago that prove how effective and helpful Fargo Ratings are. 

We had two players enter the tournament who no one knew well.

One guy was from California.  He moved to the Dallas Fort Worth (DFW) area only a few months ago and it was his first time to play on the Tour.  In the past, I'd have to ask around, "how does this guy play, who does he play like?" in order to try and establish his handicap for the tour (we use rankings from 4 to 10).  But that weekend, I just type his little name into http://www.fargorate.com and there he was!  He was an established player and he had a pretty high Fargo ranking - so high he was automatically an 8 handicap.

Fargo Rating  -    Omega Tour Handicap:
Above 750     -    10 handicap
700-749         -     9 handicap
645-699         -     8 handicap
570-644         -     7 handicap
515-569         -     6 handicap
460-514         -     5 handicap
below 460      -     4 handicap

THEN - another player signed up.  He was from the country Jordan, and it was really cool - he also had an established Fargo Rating!  Took the guess out for me, reduced stress, saved time, and made my job easier for sure.  :) 

This player had an even higher Fargo Rating and he was a 9 handicap on the tour (one spot away from top pro level).

The point is, it is really helpful to have Fargo Ratings for players all across not just the U.S., but the world, as well.  Even a guy from California and a guy from Jordan had an established rating and we were able to set their handicaps accurately right from the get go!   So awesome. 

What a great data system!

Friday, November 17, 2017

Noticing Players' Games

I find myself wanting to help players improve more and more.  Because I give lessons now, it kinda comes even more naturally for me to see things more than usual and wanting to help.

I've actually been a very perceptive person anyway, but it's compounded more because I want to share the things I've learned from my own journey with pool.

I don't actively seek out players who might need help, I just happen to notice players, who if they had a just a few extra tips, they would be succeeding more.  I wrote about helping a friend back in 2012 just from observing her.  So, it's not like I'm seeking people out, I just happen to notice their game could improve remarkably by just a little tip or two (tips I wished I learn A LOT earlier in my journey).

I was watching a player over the weekend at the Omega Billiards Tour and he has improved a lot in just the last few months, but he's missing out on wins because of not knowing 3-ball shape.  I wanted to grab him, take him to a side table, and go over 3 ball shape with him for an hour!  LOL.

I also found myself thinking this in the middle of a tournament last month, while playing in a match, about my opponent, lol!  The guy kept missing late in the rack and it was because he didn't know about 3-ball shape.  It was quite comical to myself I thought about how I could help him improve..... while I'm trying to beat him, lol.  But, I knew if I could work with him a little bit, that his game would skyrocket.

I'm more of a strategic and mental coach, not one who teaches fundamentals or how to hold a cue.  So, the key to all these players is:  they already have a great game and set of skills.  They just haven't been taught or are not aware of 3-ball shape or strategy yet.   Once we get that down, it's amazing how much we improve and win more matches!

P.S.  The reason I didn't approach these two players to help was (1) I didn't know the one player and wasn't sure if he would be amenable to the idea and (2) the other player already has a coach I found out, and "strategy" is part of the plan in his future lessons.