What sport/game does a joe vs pro stand the best chance?

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  • TheBigBean
    TheBigBean Posts: 20,568
    What about Lincoln vs Burnley?
  • ben@31
    ben@31 Posts: 2,327
    meursault wrote:
    Poker is a good shout, you can play perfect strategy but if the poker gods are against you, they will keep giving the fish the perfect miracle cards.

    I played in the world series of poker 2002, in Vegas, just before the boom. Won a $10000 seat in an online tournament. Lasted until end of day one, before being knocked out by another Brit, Julian Gardener who finished 2nd.

    I once read that novices ironically get good results at poker simply because they don't know what they're doing and are therefore unpredictable. They'll fold or raise when unexpected.
    The first poker game I played, I had no idea what to do and still ended up being one of the last ones still "in" by playing randomly.
    "The Prince of Wales is now the King of France" - Calton Kirby
  • mfin
    mfin Posts: 6,729
    The answer is Rugby, you take a lot of drugs like they all do, and as long as you're naturally strong and fast for a fat git you should be okay if you get fit and don't forget to take your pills and jabs.
  • meursault
    meursault Posts: 1,433
    ben@31 wrote:
    meursault wrote:
    Poker is a good shout, you can play perfect strategy but if the poker gods are against you, they will keep giving the fish the perfect miracle cards.

    I played in the world series of poker 2002, in Vegas, just before the boom. Won a $10000 seat in an online tournament. Lasted until end of day one, before being knocked out by another Brit, Julian Gardener who finished 2nd.

    I once read that novices ironically get good results at poker simply because they don't know what they're doing and are therefore unpredictable. They'll fold or raise when unexpected.
    The first poker game I played, I had no idea what to do and still ended up being one of the last ones still "in" by playing randomly.

    Some truth in this, but novice mistakes are usually too weak to last through the luck element. Call too much when holding 5th or 6th pair, and call too much in general, because they want to see what everyone had! A general rule against novices is wait for your stronger hands and value bet them. Against same level or better players you can use more psychology. But each hand is unique strategy wise.
    Superstition sets the whole world in flames; philosophy quenches them.

    Voltaire
  • meursault
    meursault Posts: 1,433
    mfin wrote:
    The answer is Rugby, you take a lot of drugs like they all do, and as long as you're naturally strong and fast for a fat git you should be okay if you get fit and don't forget to take your pills and jabs.

    I have never seen the appeal of hand egg. UK or US versions.
    Superstition sets the whole world in flames; philosophy quenches them.

    Voltaire
  • Pross
    Pross Posts: 40,479
    mfin wrote:
    The answer is Rugby, you take a lot of drugs like they all do, and as long as you're naturally strong and fast for a fat git you should be okay if you get fit and don't forget to take your pills and jabs.

    Yep, that's why the All Blacks regularly get turned over by minor nations at the World Cup.
  • rick_chasey
    rick_chasey Posts: 72,585
    cox?

    Fair.

    Though if you get a crap one, they're really very very crap.
  • Wheelspinner
    Wheelspinner Posts: 6,560
    Mate a long time ago won a competition where the prize was a chance to win 50 grand. To do it, he had to return three serves in a row from the then recently Number 1 ranked player, Pat Rafter. Now my mate was an awesomely fit and strong athlete from surf boat rowing and ironman, but a distinctly average tennis player, wildly erratic at the best of times. Could hit a screaming winner or launch a ball into orbit when he missed.

    We gave him a racket strung so tight it was dead as a board, and a little bit of practice returning serves from us standingup near half court, told him to just block everything and rely on his arm strength.

    Rafter had a speed gun on court to show he wasn’t tanking it. His three in a row were all 200+ km/h bullets, but our tactics worked. Our man was so quick, blocked them all back into play and even won the second point with one of his lucky screamers down the line, much to Rafter’s amusement. Picked up the cheque a very happy lad.
    Open One+ BMC TE29 Seven 622SL On One Scandal Cervelo RS
  • rick_chasey
    rick_chasey Posts: 72,585
    Great story!
  • mfin
    mfin Posts: 6,729
    Pross wrote:
    mfin wrote:
    The answer is Rugby, you take a lot of drugs like they all do, and as long as you're naturally strong and fast for a fat git you should be okay if you get fit and don't forget to take your pills and jabs.

    Yep, that's why the All Blacks regularly get turned over by minor nations at the World Cup.

    I wasn't suggesting a whole team of amateurs, just putting one fat drugged up joe bloggs into a pro team. Providing you were naturally strong and fast and aggressive enough you probably wouldn't need a life of training at it to function well.
  • pinno
    pinno Posts: 51,320
    joe2008 wrote:
    Pinno wrote:

    There aren't any professional pool players in the UK, unless they play the American 9 ball game but theoretically true.
    Dave Turley was as close to being professional in the UK as anyone in the last 15 years (I got beaten by him in the final of the Wigtownshire singles in 2004 - 8 ball pool).

    Really?

    http://ipapool.com/rankings/professional/

    I would love to know how many of them actually get paid a salary and do not have to work part or full time. I bet the number is 0.
    They all play in ranked tournaments and therefore get a IPA ranking. What is termed as professional in this case is a very grey area.

    Anyway, scroll down

    http://ipapool.com/2016-world-series-overview/

    ...and you will see that to make a living of £10k a year, you would have to win 5 out of the 6 International tournaments in the IPA (International Pool Association). That's 26 hours a week earning minimum wage stacking shelves at Tesco. If the International series is £2k prize money per event, what is the domestic scene like for prize money?
    From what I can gather with this league is that there is ranking points attached to each domestic tournament and you pay an entrance fee.
    Unless some of those players are salaried or sponsored, the use of the word 'professional' is stretching it a little.

    Now, the US based IPT (International Pool Tour) hosted a series of big prize money 'Open' tournaments in 2006 around the US but it was a flop as it wasn't repeated. Prize money for the IPT tour in the US is currently $5000 max.

    None of it suggests that there are pool players earning enough in prize money to be full time 'professionals'.

    My line manager at Lincoln Financial Group was a guy called Andy Wills. He was Tony Alcock's Bowls partner. At lunch, surrounded by sycophants, one person asked when he was going to Australia to represent England. He was classed as 'professional'. I told him he was a plonker to which the rest of the table went silent and looked at me. He asked why I called him a plonker and I said "Why on earth did you pick a sport in which you have to work full time just to fund it?". To which he found amusing.

    So perhaps, we should clarify what constitutes a professional? It's a grey area in some 'sports'.
    Also, is pool, snooker, darts or Bowls a 'sport'? I always thought they were 'games'.
    seanoconn - gruagach craic!
  • drhaggis
    drhaggis Posts: 1,150
    The actual answer is nil. Sure, there may be some games where luck is involved, or sports like football which depend on fluctuations, but at the skill difference you're likely to see, you'd have better odds to win Euromillions next week.

    The problem is that skill is possibly a result of a gaussian distribution of talent plus hard work. The difference between "average joe" and someone 3 deviations above is massive. In terms of male height, that's the difference between 1m75 and 1m97. A pro is someone probably 4 or more deviations above (think basketball players), plus hard work.
  • Pross
    Pross Posts: 40,479
    mfin wrote:
    Pross wrote:
    mfin wrote:
    The answer is Rugby, you take a lot of drugs like they all do, and as long as you're naturally strong and fast for a fat git you should be okay if you get fit and don't forget to take your pills and jabs.

    Yep, that's why the All Blacks regularly get turned over by minor nations at the World Cup.

    I wasn't suggesting a whole team of amateurs, just putting one fat drugged up joe bloggs into a pro team. Providing you were naturally strong and fast and aggressive enough you probably wouldn't need a life of training at it to function well.

    Fair enough, Wales have done that for a few years with Alex Cuthbert. It even worked for a while.
  • timothyw
    timothyw Posts: 2,482
    DrHaggis wrote:
    The actual answer is nil. Sure, there may be some games where luck is involved, or sports like football which depend on fluctuations, but at the skill difference you're likely to see, you'd have better odds to win Euromillions next week.

    The problem is that skill is possibly a result of a gaussian distribution of talent plus hard work. The difference between "average joe" and someone 3 deviations above is massive. In terms of male height, that's the difference between 1m75 and 1m97. A pro is someone probably 4 or more deviations above (think basketball players), plus hard work.
    It sort of depends how much natural talent you're willing to endow your hypothetical amateur with.

    If we're talking about someone that is a keen amateur, and so plays their sport regularly, then you'd think that if they had potential to turn pro then they probably would - and having done so, they'd probably progress far beyond their former level as an amateur (although I recall Hutch making the point that several people he'd met in the TT scene actually went backwards having gone full time as they started overtraining).

    In such a match up, you'd be depending on the pro having an off day, the amateur having a hell of a good day and probably a good bit of luck besides. It does happen occasionally, although you do often wonder if there is a bit of funny business going on.

    If we're talking about someone that has the natural aptitude, but has never played the sport before, then you arguably have better odds - such as the high jumper I mentioned earlier - assuming they have a few weeks to learn the basics, then in certain sports that can definitely be enough.

    There's a fairly mind blowing stat from the Sports Gene book about basketball players - if find any 7ft tall american aged between 20 and 40, the odds are approximately 1 in 6 that he is a current NBA player!

    That would rather suggest that if you get someone tall enough, give them a few weeks training and they could hold their own against professionals.
  • joe2008
    joe2008 Posts: 1,531
    TimothyW wrote:
    the amateur having a hell of a good day and probably a good bit of luck besides.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/41728826
  • TheBigBean wrote:
    What about Lincoln vs Burnley?
    Quite right! I'd forgotten about that. But my point remains valid that it is vanishingly rare.
  • drhaggis
    drhaggis Posts: 1,150
    TimothyW wrote:
    There's a fairly mind blowing stat from the Sports Gene book about basketball players - if find any 7ft tall american aged between 20 and 40, the odds are approximately 1 in 6 that he is a current NBA player!

    That would rather suggest that if you get someone tall enough, give them a few weeks training and they could hold their own against professionals.

    That'd be like picking a young Stephen Hawking as "your average primary school student". Seven feet's ludicrously tall, and so far beyond normal, statistical laws start falling apart. There are, what, 200 people at 7 feet or taller in the States (out of 350m people)? That's by no means your average Joe. Then, discard the people that are unfit for sports because those heights are tricky, and you still keep only, what, the top 25% performers?. And this is in a case where the correlation between height and sports success is clear.

    Also, in this case, I'd read the stats as if the difference in height is enough, it cannot be totally overcome by skill. Then of course you get the double flukes of tall+skillful, and get the Jordans and the Bryants and the Jameses.
  • narbs
    narbs Posts: 593
    Pross wrote:
    mfin wrote:
    Pross wrote:
    mfin wrote:
    The answer is Rugby, you take a lot of drugs like they all do, and as long as you're naturally strong and fast for a fat git you should be okay if you get fit and don't forget to take your pills and jabs.

    Yep, that's why the All Blacks regularly get turned over by minor nations at the World Cup.

    I wasn't suggesting a whole team of amateurs, just putting one fat drugged up joe bloggs into a pro team. Providing you were naturally strong and fast and aggressive enough you probably wouldn't need a life of training at it to function well.

    Fair enough, Wales have done that for a few years with Alex Cuthbert. It even worked for a while.

    :lol:
  • tailwindhome
    tailwindhome Posts: 18,929
    https://www.theatlantic.com/health/arch ... an/536592/
    [The] Dan Plan took shape. It would test how far practice could take you; and, taking a cue from Outliers, its time horizon would be 10,000 hours of practice. Golf fit neatly with this empirical goal. There were no barriers to entry—top golfers come in all shapes and sizes, no genetic assists for certain body types. And McLaughlin was a novice in it, a standing start against which he could measure his progress. To document this, he began the blog through which he’d soon become an evangelist for the sovereignty of hard work. “The idea of talent is [like] living in a society of kings and princes,” he says. “If you don’t limit yourself by this idea ... it’s more like a democracy where anyone who’s willing to work [can] succeed.”
    According to the PGA, for every one of the 245 spots on the PGA Tour, there are 326,000 active golfers worldwide.
    “New York has the haircuts, London has the trousers, but Belfast has the reason!
  • lostboysaint
    lostboysaint Posts: 4,250
    Fascinating article. I'm not sure I agree with the summary ("it asks more questions than it answers") but a really interesting read.
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  • drhaggis
    drhaggis Posts: 1,150
    Yeah, the allure of becoming as good as the best, by hard work and hard work alone. The flaw of the Dan plan is that he might have been seriously (better than 1%) talented, and that might have allowed him to become a pro, but that wouldn't have proven anything.

    People readily accept their hair colour, their height and proportions, which might make them suited to some sports. But there is no obvious "football gene", or "golf gene", the same way there is no obvious "smart gene", and the idea that only a few practice hours separate you from Messi becomes tempting. The self-made man. The ansatz that you alone can make your own fortune. In my anecdotal experience, neither talent nor hard work alone will bring you to the top.
  • lostboysaint
    lostboysaint Posts: 4,250
    DrHaggis wrote:
    In my anecdotal experience, neither talent nor hard work alone will bring you to the top.

    Ditto!
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  • laurentian
    laurentian Posts: 2,385
    There is this:

    http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/gene ... 98986.html

    . . . and also the amateur ladies marathon runner whose time in the London Marathon qualified her for the Rio Olympics I think
    Wilier Izoard XP
  • I'm talking a solid amateur keeping up with a low level pro.

    Flat stage in the Tour de France.
  • I'm talking a solid amateur keeping up with a low level pro.

    Flat stage in the Tour de France.

    Fav reckons a good club rider wouldn't make it out of the neutral zone at the start
  • rick_chasey
    rick_chasey Posts: 72,585
    I'm talking a solid amateur keeping up with a low level pro.

    Flat stage in the Tour de France.

    Fav reckons a good club rider wouldn't make it out of the neutral zone at the start

    okgo on here (who can shift a bit; fairly sure he holds the RP strava record) feels strongly otherwise on this point.
  • pinno
    pinno Posts: 51,320
    I'm talking a solid amateur keeping up with a low level pro.

    Flat stage in the Tour de France.

    Fav reckons a good club rider wouldn't make it out of the neutral zone at the start

    okgo on here (who can shift a bit; fairly sure he holds the RP strava record) feels strongly otherwise on this point.

    As long as the peloton stayed together on a TDF flat stage, a decent Cat 1 rider could probably sit in and draught for the duration of the stage but to win it would be a totally different matter. So that's keeping up with the Pro's but not emulating or beating them in any shape or form.
    seanoconn - gruagach craic!
  • drhaggis
    drhaggis Posts: 1,150
    laurentian wrote:
    There is this:

    http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/gene ... 98986.html

    . . . and also the amateur ladies marathon runner whose time in the London Marathon qualified her for the Rio Olympics I think

    So (1) he didn't make it into the top 10, (2) was hoping for a sub 2h16 time anyway, (3) is good enough to consider qualifying to the Commonwealth Games a relistic goal. That person is as close to a pro as it gets.
    okgo on here (who can shift a bit; fairly sure he holds the RP strava record) feels strongly otherwise on this point.

    So one person, in a bike-dedicated website, full of self-selected people, feels he would stay in the peloton. Even better, there are 37k PB's in strava around RP. Having a top time there means, well, you're really not average joe at all.

    However, the question is interesting. What do you need to keep up with the peloton on a flat stage? At a quick glance, Laurens Ten Dam's ride the 4th July on strava had a 209W weighted average power for 5h. That stage had 1500m of climbing over 200km, so not pan flat, but still. The problem is that the peloton might hold efforts over 400W for a few minutes. If you're dropped there, it's game over.

    What might save a good amateur rider is that, nowadays, the first breakaway is almost always allowed, and then the peloton eases at ~180W in the bunch. If you can hold that for 4h, plus 20m at 300W, then I recon you stand a chance.
  • tailwindhome
    tailwindhome Posts: 18,929
    edited October 2017
    Pinno wrote:
    I'm talking a solid amateur keeping up with a low level pro.

    Flat stage in the Tour de France.

    Fav reckons a good club rider wouldn't make it out of the neutral zone at the start

    okgo on here (who can shift a bit; fairly sure he holds the RP strava record) feels strongly otherwise on this point.

    As long as the peloton stayed together on a TDF flat stage, a decent Cat 1 rider could probably sit in and draught for the duration of the stage but to win it would be a totally different matter. So that's keeping up with the Pro's but not emulating or beating them in any shape or form.

    Top level amateurs mix it with low level pros in the An Post Ras
    By and large they're aiming for survival, battling each day to make the time limits

    Those who thrive as amateurs are typically guys who either didn't make the grade as pros for whatever reason or juniors with aspirations to make their way as pros.

    Damien Shaw IIRC was an amateur when he won the Irish National title. Can't remember who was in the field that year but there was maybe 20 -25 pro of varying levels from Nico Roche to Matt Bramiere etc.
    That said he was riding for ASEA the top amateur outfit who later morphed into Aquablue

    I suppose at the lowest rungs on the pro ladder you'd be hard pushed to earn a livelihood and I'm sure for many returning to amateur status is the only viable option
    “New York has the haircuts, London has the trousers, but Belfast has the reason!
  • tailwindhome
    tailwindhome Posts: 18,929
    the_mayo_centra_team.jpg

    Surviving another day
    “New York has the haircuts, London has the trousers, but Belfast has the reason!