When you play on a tour or often in weekly tournaments, you find yourself always running into Nancy.
Who is Nancy? Well, Nancy is the generic name my friends and I gave to a player who always beat us. ALWAYS. We thought we were better than Nancy, but she still would beat us. It was VERY frustrating!
Everyone's Nancy is different for each of us. And Nancy isn't the top player on the tour or someone who is well above our level - she is just an average player we think we are better than. But for whatever reason, she always freaking beats us!
I remember being at a tournament in Austin and one of my friends left the table, then came back and said, "Dammit." I asked, "What?" She said, "I have to play Nancy next!" (again, the players name wasn't Nancy, it was the generic name we gave to each of our own nemesis's) I asked her, "Why did you even check the chart, you know you aren't suppose to look ahead." "I know," she replied, "But I was curious."
I would remind my friend to play the table, not the opponent, but let's face it - we can do that all day long but this Nancy person will still beat us. Damn you, Nancy!
And Nancy never even knew she was a nemesis. She was just enjoying the tournament and playing pool.
Several years would go by and our game would sharply improve and eventually we would beat Nancy! Highlight of any tournament is when one would finally beat her. The devil herself who always seemed to somehow beat us - except that day! And then we'd beat Nancy again. And eventually, some of us didn't have a Nancy anymore. We improved. We conquered. We kicked Nancy's butt!
But why couldn't we beat each of our Nancy's? We knew we were better than her, had better finishes (if we didn't run into her lol) and worked on our game more. Normally, anyone with a Nancy is because we have a mental block of some sort with certain players. And it normally happens by accident. We don't go through our pool journey trying to find our Nancy. We just happen to keep getting beat by the same player for a long time. Until we finally don't! And then she's gone. No more Nancy.
But what if Nancy is a person you gamble with? A friend of mine reached out to me about his Nancy. And wondered, "Since I can't beat the guy, should I continue to gamble with him?"
To be honest, the guy had TWO Nancy's he was asking about. Poor fella. Hell, one Nancy is enough!
Here's the difference, in leagues our tournaments, you have no choice to play your Nancy. The bracket Gods set it up that way. But when you gamble, you have the choice to play Nancy or not. So, what should you do?
Here is my take on his question if he should keep playing his Nancy or not: My friend had two Nancy's that he thought he should beat. One was a tough, dug-deep kinda gambler who knew a lot about the game. The other was just an average player. My friend kept getting beat by both of them, even though he felt he had the advantage. My opinion was there is no reason to play the average player. What can you gain? Broader shoulders if you beat him? That's about it. They weren't gambling for enough to even brag if he beat the guy. The real gambler on the other hand, his other Nancy, my friend could learn a TON from him. The guy has been gambling for decades, and really knows the game well. I suggested to keep playing that Nancy, even though it will be tough. But at least he'll be getting something out of the beatings lol.
Then he shared, "Well, when I play the better gambler and then lose, my confidence goes way down and then I play badly for days."
Well, that sealed it, "Then don't play him," I stated firmly. No reason to get your confidence beat down imho. There are a ton more guys he could be gambling with.
So, who is your Nancy? And have you beat them yet? If not, don't fret! You will. Just give yourself patience and time. Nancy eventually is just a bump in the road.
P.S. I have friend named Nancy and this is no relation to her at all.