in my opinion, good pool and winning pool don’t exist in the same plane. there are times they overlap, which creates the illusion that good pool means winning pool. i think the overlap remains exactly that though: an illusion.
a while back, this well-known wpba pro strolled into town. normally you’d see her back east, but she happened to be visiting socal (personal trip i think) and decided to play in one of the local sunday 9-ball events. in one of the matches she played, she drew a pretty good local player. firepower-wise, i think the local dude could’ve handily overwhelmed her. however, she played the well-known run-and-duck pool. per inning, she pocketed a maximum of two balls before playing safety. i mean that literally. the safeties she played were your basic one-rail kick safeties; nothing too difficult to hit. however, after literally playing 8-9 safeties PER GAME, every game, she wore down the local dude and promptly defeated him. it was some of the most tedious, the most boringly craptastic pool i’ve seen. that match would’ve made quasimodo look majestic.
as i posited earlier, winning pool isn’t necessarily good pool. no guarantee that those two things will ever intersect.
i think winning pool comprises largely of what we’re willing to do to win. if winning demands us to look like an a~* playing left-footed, then that’s what it takes, and whatever else it takes. it means we’ll have to take shots we don’t want to take, suppress certain instincts/dispositions we don’t want to suppress, and bite our lips or open our mouths when we’re not so inclined. largely, winning comes down to a battle of the bigger desire. personally, because of this idea i believe in, i feel that tournaments and money matches belong firmly in the work category. there’s nothing intrinsically fun about tournaments and money matches; it’s about winning, and nothing more. we play for a certain goal; once we achieve the goal, we move on.
of course, the unscrupulous set would include cheating and sharking in the “whatever it takes” category. for me, cheating and sharking taints the victory, should you come away with it. doubtlessly, such reasoning will never stop the shady folks. short of dishonorable tactics, winning pool demands heavily of us. and it doesn’t always demand good pool.