I recently came across two instances of slow play. Check these out:
SLOW PLAY ONE:
I played my second straight pool match of the Summer/Fall season last Friday (July 22).
I was up against a new guy, so I had no idea how we would do sparring against each other. With my season starting off with a loss, I yearned for a win, I admit.
He told me right away he used to play straight pool about 15 yeas ago, so he knew the game at least. When he practiced and hit a few balls with his black-wearing glove, he missed by almost a full diamond. I was like, "hmmm...."
[I will at this point start to call him Turtle #2].
When we started the match, he wasn't missing like he did when he warmed up. But I got side tracked. Not by the glove, not by hist shots, not by distractions, but how long he took to hit each ball. I was down -2 to 17 right off the bat, which didn't help, but he took so many strokes EACH ball, I seriously wondered how I would manage the race to 100!
At one point, I counted how many strokes Turtle #2 took. 15. FIFTEEN. I was in shock, sitting there watching him run a few balls, 15 strokes at a time, to get ahead 25-45. I'm down 20 points?? OMG....
Then I'm down 26-56. Down 30 points I finally just give in. I'm not playing all that good anyway, and I just accept the fact I'm going to be 0-2 the start of the season. :(
So, I loosened up, had a few drinks, and decided not to go for shots if they were risky (like I had earlier in the set). Next thing you know, I kinda catch up. 55-69. Still losing, but catching up. I have an 11 ball run to actually go ahead 72-70. Wow!
Then I saw him do what I normally do - he fell apart. The pressure of me tying the game got to him (I'm guessing). I even called two fouls on myself (touched a ball he didn't see and double kissed a ball only the shooter can feel) and was still ahead all of a sudden. [this is an all-foul league]
I admit I talked more from the drinks, went to pee more than normal (I hadn't had dinner yet) and so going on almost 3 1/2 hours I was probably annoying him and THEN I passed him up. All pure speculation on my part. But I end up winning 100-86 somehow! (almost exactly 4 hours later)
Everyone in the pool room noticed how slow he played. I was surprised how many noticed, so I guess it was obvious to them, too. I kinda feel sorry for (1) him - because people were kinda making fun of him from afar, and (2) his opponents - because they wont be happy how long the race to 100 will take if he gets to the table a lot (I know it annoyed me and I had to really try hard not to let it bother me).
SLOW PLAY TWO:
Two days later one of my straight pool league mates (The Talker) tells me he already played the "recognized" slow player in our league (Turtle #1) about a week ago. This slow guy is not the same as the guy I mention above. One has been on the season for while, and the one above is new to the league.
Turtle #1 has been known to annoy his opponents because he takes a while to make his decisions and shoots a little slow (not 15 strokes, just kinda slow). Plus, he plays a lot of safes. While the match may go slow, I don't mind because it's part of the game to play defensively. And, that's just the way he plays.
However, I was stunned what The Talker told me! He told me he told Turtle #1 he wasn't going to put up with him playing slow and playing a lot of safes. He actually TOLD the guy to go for shots instead of playing safe (like break out shots he thinks he might miss and leave a wide open table).
The Talker told me he already told the League Director he would forfeit if he played slow and didn't take chances. He said, "our matches shouldn't take 3-4 hours."
I was stunned. Really?? You're gonna make the guy get out of his element? Shoot more aggressive so YOU don't have a long match? What I see is The Turtle wants to win and he's giving himself the best chance by playing defensively (he had a great season last Spring, too).
I am still shocked as I type this.
I personally think the guy was out of line telling him to change his game and almost implying the league isn't important (imo) b/c he should go for shots and take risks. Huh? If you don't feel comfy, play safe. Lock them up. That wins games!
Ironically, The Turtle beat The Talker anyway.