Pool : Luck or Skill?
The game of pool has been growing in popularity across the region. No matter where you play your game, you’re part of a sporting craze that is growing steadily.
What many tend to overlook is that the game requires full concentration, focus, accuracy and strategic thinking skills. But what happens when after all these preparations, a top-ranked player still loses to lower-ranked or non-seeded player? Does luck play any role in the game?
Lest you get the wrong idea, finely-honed skills are still the basic essentials for a good player but luck goes does sometime play a crucial part. Have you observed how pre-game rituals are religiously followed by even well-known sport personalities? Diego Maradona, the living legend who scored the infamous Hand-of-God goal in 1986 World Cup, has a habit of kissing his pendant before going on the field in every match. In golf, Tiger Woods wears his lucky red shirt in most of the important tournaments. These are some of the pre-game rituals that people do to psyche themselves before a big game – and to wish themselves luck.
Intrestingly, a number of Pool players at the Guinness 9 Ball Tour also indulge in pre-match rituals.
Chang Jung-Lin, last year’s Grand Final Champion and winner of the 2008 Chinese-Taipei and Penang legs says, ” I will spend at least 2 hours practising with the other Chinese-Taipei players and go for a jog or swim. It’s important to keep myself in a tip-top condition, mentally and physically.” While not very superstitious, he srongly believes in preparing physically and mentally for each tournament.
Representing the homeland is one of Malaysia’a most experienced and top pool player, Ibrahim Amir, who is looking to redeem his dissapointing lost after coming close to the quarter-finals at the previous leg in Penang. Ibrahim has expressed confidence to take on the challenge once again.
According to Ibrahim, ” I train everyday for a solid three hours non stop. This help me concentrate and stay focussed. With a snooker playing background, it is not difficult for me to concentrate. I also jog once a week to stay fit.”
Joven Bustamante from the Phillipines and a strong crowd favourite, responded, ” I go to church on the first day of every tournament I participate in. When I was in Chinese-Taipei, it was funny I could not find a Catholic Church nearby so I ended up in a Buddhist temple.
“During the World Pool Championship last year, I made it a point to go to church everyday of the tournament” he added. Joven will no doubt be doing the same as he prepares for the 3rd leh of Asia’s most prestigious pool tournament, the guinness 9-Ball Tour 2008.
Taken From TheStar.