“He’s a Sandbagger!” The Common Misunderstanding of Player Ratings:
A player wins a 567 & Under non-handicapped tournament going undefeated. He plays to the best of his ability and it showed. He is celebrating with his friends and family and it already is starting… “he is easily a 650…” or “man, was he underrated…” or “he knew how to work the system.”
People get caught up in the assumption that the winner or top finishers of tournaments are “sandbaggers” or that they are underrated. This conversation and misunderstanding comes from many places, but mostly in the ingrained belief that a player’s rating is the highest skill level at which they should perform. Obviously this is not true (see FargoRate Video on The Myth of Consistency in Pool) as we all know that we can play great one day and horrible the next. It is one of the reasons I classify “pool” as one of the four-letter words. I am currently rated a 582. But I know I have played a set or two in at a high 600 level, maybe even the low 700’s. But I also know that I have also played too many sets in the low 400’s level, or worse…
Why do so many people jump to the underrated assumption? There are a few that have this thought as it is a guilty conscience, but the actual number of pool players manipulating their rating is miniscule compared to the assumed number. The real issue, I believe, is ego. That is right. We need to feel that we were good enough to win “if only they were rated right”.
Players’ egos have led to many things, some good and some bad. Ego is what gets us to step up and challenge ourselves. It gives us the confidence to get down and shoot that pressure cut shot to get shape on our out ball. But, ego also sometimes gets us thinking there has to be a better reason for losing or, someone else winning than, they just played better.
During the 2022 Moby Dick $1,000 Entry 567 & Under 10-Ball Shootout, Sady Quezada of Utah just played better. He is likely a solid 560ish player and was a favorite coming into the Moby Dick 567 & Under Shootout. He played lights out and went undefeated. I tip my hat to Sady, as well as the rest of the players who made the cash. They weren’t underrated. They’re not sandbaggers. We don’t need to raise the robustness requirement. They just played better for their ability than the rest of the field.
The next high entry tournament we are running is the Puddle Jumper $300 Entry 458 & Under 9-Ball Shootout April 30-May 1st at Putters Eastern (Click here for event information). We already have many entries flying in from all over the country. The winner will be the player who plays to the best of her or his ability, regardless what the egos say…
Play pool. Have fun. M.O.B. on!