At it's most basic, the pool table is a small battlefield. An excerpt from "The Art of War" is provided with how it applies to the competition between opponents.
This segment is from:
Chapter 11 - The nine situations
The art of war recognizes nine varieties of ground..
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This information considers how battlefield strategies and tactics can be used to win more games. If this seems interesting, read these AWAP posts.
The art of war recognizes nine varieties of ground: (1) dispersive ground, (2) facile ground, (3) contentious ground, (4) open ground, (5) ground of intersecting highways, (6) serious ground, (7) difficult ground;, (8) hemmed-in ground, (9) desperate ground
- (1) When a chieftain is fighting in his own territory, it is dispersive ground.
- (2) When he has penetrated into hostile territory, but to no great distance, it is facile ground.
- (3) Ground the possession of which imports great advantage to either side, is contentious ground.
- (4) Ground on which each side has liberty of movement is open ground.
- (5) Ground which forms the key to three contiguous states, so that he who occupies it first has most of the Empire at his command, is a ground of intersecting highways.
- (6) When an army has penetrated into the heart of a hostile country, leaving a number of fortified cities in its rear, it is serious ground.
- (7) Mountain forests, rugged steeps, marshes and fens - all country that is hard to traverse: this is difficult ground.
- (8) Ground which is reached through narrow gorges, and from which we can only retire by tortuous paths, so that a small number of the enemy would suffice to crush a large body of our men: this is hemmed in ground.
- (9) Ground on which we can only be saved from destruction by fighting without delay, is desperate ground.
- (1) On dispersive ground, fight not.
- (2) On facile ground, halt not.
- (3) On contentious ground, attack not.
- (4) On open ground, do not try to block the enemy’s way.
- (5) On the ground of intersecting highways, join hands with your allies.
- (6) On serious ground, gather in plunder.
- (7) In difficult ground, keep steadily on the march.
- (8) On hemmed-in ground, resort to stratagem.
- (9) On desperate ground, fight.
There are many types of competitions that can be played.
- Where two players compete in their home pool hall, this is a home competition. The competitive terms will vary from friendly matches to small bets.
- Where one goes to an opponent's pool hall, usually with a team for a set of matches, this is a league competition.
- Where one competes in a locally scheduled event, you will have some familiarity with the location. This is a small tournament competition.
- Where tables are available as part of community services, such as a senior center, this is casual competition.
- Where qualifier events are scheduled, usually for entry to higher levels, these are regional tournament competitions.
- Where you enter an unfamiliar bar with unknown rules, this is friendly bar competition (only as long as no bets are being made).
- Where you play at a bar at a much lower class level that you are familiar with, this is a dangerous bar competition.
- Where you play at expensive high class pool halls, you are subject to higher standards of play and dress. This is an upper social class competition.
- Where you compete in tournaments with a one loss and out, this is a single elimination tournament.
- Where you compete in a tournament where two losses are required to lose, this is a double elimination tournament.
- Where you compete against every entrant, this is a round robin tournament.
- Where you play a competition with a big entry fee, you are in a high skill level tournament.
- Where you are betting small amounts on sequential matches, you are in a small stakes competition.
- Where you are placing large amounts on your ability to win, you are in a high stakes competition.
- Respect the unofficial standards of conduct of the places you play
- If you don't know the rules of play, ask.
- Dress and act appropriately.
- Do not over-consume alcohol.
- Observe new environments carefully before participating.
- Make friends with local regulars to develop advisors and allies.
- Do not act foolish, brash, or pushy.
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