assumption in knowledge

before we begin, a quick recap of this weekend.  i was emailing my friend golly about some stuff, and eventually the emails turned to food plans for the weekend.  and golly said that she had some two-for-one coupons for ihop.

ihop?  did she say ihop?  the magical ihop in the mist?  the ihop that offers valet service on the weekends?  why, yes.  i would like to go back to that magical ihop please.

so weekend came and we assaulted went to ihop.  upon arriving at the ihop, our waiter took the drink order then handed us menus.  golly and i were trying to figure out what to get.  originally, we had thought that we should order one plate, get the second plate for free, then split the tab.  golly was hungry and came up with the brilliant idea of ordering two plates each, since it was buy one get one free.  i didn’t really eat lunch that day except for a couple of snack bars.  well, one thing led to another, and this happened.

we ended up ordering the same platter from the menu.  the above picture contained the following: four orders of swedish crepes, eight eggs, 12 pieces of bacon, and four pieces of sausage.  golly had four sausages and four pieces of bacon; i went for all bacon.  the rest were split evenly.  i loved how they framed my eggs with the bacon pieces.  bonus point for presentation.  😀

the rest of the time were spent demolishing the food.  does the phrase shamefully glorious make sense?  who cares.  totally righteous grub.  the city should declare this place a landmark and offer free unicorn rides outside, or maybe hourly ninja fights.  going back for SURE.  anyway, onto the main topic for this week.

hubris breeds nemesis.

~ theme in greek tragedy

knowledge is an important element in pool.  if you know a shot and your opponent does not, you can use it to your advantage.  but some people assume that superior knowledge (or at least what they think is superior knowledge) is enough to become a superior player.  before i dropped out of college to panhandle, i kind of had that assumption, since i was one of those science major types like engineering and physics (before my brain imploded and i switched major anyway).  when you are daily drenched in math and physics formulas, as i was, it’s easy to take up such presumptions.  (good thing i abandoned that assumption long ago.  whew.  :shock:)

it is true that every shot in pool involves some type of physics and equations.  by knowing the physical laws, a player can turn that knowledge into an advantage.  as a result, some players assume quite incorrectly that they will be the superior player just because they know physics and the various mathematical equations accompanying the theories.  this assumption of course applies to other types of knowledge, like knowing different shots or various forms of safeties.  this assumption can be dangerous, particularly when a person decides to wager on that assumption.

the inaccuracy of this assumption is that a couple of big factors are completely ignored: physical ability to execute the shot, and the soundness of a person’s fundamentals and techniques.  here’s a very incomplete list of examples:

• how much hand-eye coordination  person possesses
• ability to control or deal with bodily chemicals (e.g., adrenalin)
• mental functions (e.g., will power, mental stamina)
• straightness of stroke
• how accurate can a person aim

and it goes on and on.  basically, even if you know something, you still have to be able to execute it.  for instance, if you have a crooked stroke, no amount of knowledge will do you any good on the table.

many people compare pool to a chess game; in some respect it is a good comparison.  there is a lot of stragety involved in both chess and pool; you try to maneuver your chess pieces, or the balls on the table, to places that will yield you maximum advantage.  however, it is entirely possible to play chess even if you can’t move your arms and legs.  you can call out your moves and have someone move the pieces for you; in other words, chess is almost purely mental.  pool, on the other hand, requires you to think of a move, then execute it to near perfection.  assuming you have perfect pool knowledge, it’ll still mean s~* if you can’t physically perform that shot.

another factor is that even if you possess encyclopedic knowledge of pool, it’ll mean jack squat if you’re not at the table.  back in ’91, incardona played against danny medina in the sands open (it’s on dvd somewhere).  now, most pool players will agree that incardona is almost a walking vault of pool knowledge; it is likely that incardona has seen shots you’ve never heard of.  but during their match, medina cracked open the whupa~* jar and ran eight racks on incardona.  for all the knowledge that incardona possessed, he couldn’t do a d~* thing to stop the bleeding.

think about it.

although assumptions are bad, this one is not: if something like this can happen at the pro level, it can surely happen in the hack level, because you probably know much less than pros do.  even if you know a ton, someone can straight-up out-shoot you in a match.  or, as i have witnessed recently at tad cup 2011, a person can beat you just because that player wants to beat you so much worse than you want to beat him/her.  it takes an incredible amount of focus and energy, but yes, it can and has been done, and more than once.

so if you’re the type with a lot of actual or perceived knowledge and prone to a turgid head, chances are a no-name kid will walk in, run packs on you, collect your cash, and disappear.  you won’t even catch his name; because to him, you’re just another loser in a long line of fools, of whom he has turned into his private donation plate.  and he knows one of the biggest secrets in pool:

in pool, there will always be someone who knows more, who is more creative, who is physically stronger and faster, than you.  and on the day that you lost, the no-name kid was that person.

that’s it.  out.


4 comments on “assumption in knowledge

  1. You two ate all that? Did you two actually finish all that?

    Did a no-name kid actually kicked your a** and took all your money?

    • why, yes. yes we did. plus beverages.

      i didn’t get my a~* kicked by a no-name kid, but i have seen plenty of nameless hustlers come in and beat people out of $$. the marks that played them, well, as soon as they thought “i can beat that new guy”, it was all over. i’ve seen the reverse too: when a hustler picked the wrong mark & thought “i can beat that chump”, they lost money and had to borrow cab fare. goes both ways. 🙂

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