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Old 02-21-2016, 08:26 PM   #1
youtalkfunny
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How I went from "running 3-4 balls" to "running out from the break" in one week (not spam!)

The one-word answer: YouTube! They got guys on there that give lessons!

And if you found that answer disappointing because you also can only run 3-4 balls and you think lessons wouldn't help you much because you've been playing for years and you already know everything about the fundamentals, then I've got news for you: there's a lot you don't know! The only difference between you and the guys who can run out when the balls are wide open, is they know/consider this stuff, and you don't! My brain is EXHAUSTED after an hour of practice right now, as I try to apply all that I learned on every shot.

Here's my story, which I'm posting here because I imagine there are a lot of pool players who can run 3-4 balls, and haven't seen any improvement in their game in years:

A couple of years ago I moved in with roommates who had a 7' table in the basement. I hadn't picked up a cue in 20 years, but I practically lived in the poolroom when I was a teen (I gave it up when I got old enough to gamble away my money on other things; at my best, I could occasionally run a rack, except for ALWAYS dogging the last shot, no matter how easy a shot it was, even in practice!). I had a lot of fun knocking balls around again on this seven footer.

My roommate saw my interest in the game, and grabbed his cue. It turned out we were pretty evenly matched. He could also run a few balls, and would also dog easy shots, even though we weren't even playing for money...but I would consistently beat him, because he never considered playing a safety, no matter how hopeless his position.

He was rather shocked by these results. He told me he was the captain of a pool team in a local bar league. At his urging, I joined his team. It's been a lot of fun, too. About 90% of the players in this league are just like us; and even though I'm the only guy using a house cue, I'm winning more than I'm losing because I'm pretty good at defense, in a world where no one even thinks about that.

Then I caught the flu a couple of weeks ago. Stuck on the couch for a week, I wandered over to YouTube. I was just looking for some pointers about 8-ball strategy, because I never played serious 8-ball back in my day, I thought it was a kid's game...and down the rabbit hole I fell! Here is just a sample of some of the things I learned in that one week:

--The Ghost Ball! I'd never heard of it. Aiming got a lot easier when I stopped worrying about controlling TWO balls. All I needed to control was the cue ball. If it hits the Ghost Ball spot perfectly, I've done my job.

--You usually don't need left/right English to get position. Often, you don't need top/bottom, either. Before YouTube, I never hit a shot WITHOUT English! I was Mr FPS (Fancy Play Syndrome). Funny, balls don't bobble in the jaws of the pocket any more.

--Get on "the right side of the line" when playing position. I'd never heard of this. I only had a vague idea where I wanted to leave the cue ball. This one thing led to a huge leap in my game.

--Do all your thinking before you bend over! What a game-changer THIS piece of advice was! I would miss so many shots because of all the questions/doubts that would flood into my head while I was over the ball. I *knew* that this was a problem. "My hands already know what to do, I just got to get my brain out of the way!" Now I commit to a plan before bending, and there's nothing left to think about. I just take a couple of practice strokes and think, "1, 2, hit." There's nothing left for the brain to do but watch the ball go in, while the cue ball reports directly to the spot that you imagined it would.

--The importance of keeping your right arm relaxed (if you're right-handed). Tension in those muscles, even the slightest tremor, can louse up a shot.

--Still having trouble with dogging that last ball? Here's a trick that has helped me tremendously: pretend it's NOT the last ball! When you're doing your "thinking before bending", imagine there's another ball you need to get position for after this one. Busying yourself with this position consideration helps to keep away those pesky thoughts of, "OMG,this is it, moment of truth, game ball, this means so much, what if I miss, what will my friends think of me?...", etc. Try it, it's awesome.

--Plan your entire runout before your first shot. I never used to plan for more than 2-4 balls. Guess how many I'd usually run?

There's so, so much more. Start with the novice stuff, don't skip anything. If I had skipped the stuff about the stance and forming the bridge, etc, I would have missed that stuff about keeping the right arm relaxed. I even picked up a tip about forming a more solid bridge when you're shooting over a ball and shooting from stuck on the rail. Again, I thought I knew everything (I told this to a friend, who replied, "Yeah, you DO think you know everything!").

So spend some time on YouTube. Look for vids by Jimmy Reid, Tor Lawry, and DrDave.

Freshly armed with this new knowledge, I went to my Thursday night pool league. In this league, our team of five guys plays round-robin against their five guys, one rack of 8-ball. I won four of my five racks. The one I lost, I never had a chance, the striped balls were hopelessly tied up and I got stuck with that suit. But in another rack, I beat a guy with a sky-high rating, who may be the best player in our league, I'm told. Before my YouTube week, I never would stood a chance against this guy...but confidence is a funny thing in this game. After I ran 6-and-out, I rejoined my teammates, who were rather surprised by the result. I told them that I was not surprised, that a little defense goes a long way in this league (my opponent, the "best player in this league", had not played a single defensive shot against me...though in his defense, he probably felt he didn't need to, as a guy with my rating shouldn't be running 6-and-out). I pointed out to my teammates that his last two balls were tied up in the middle of the short rail, and "...this game could have went six more innings, and those two balls would STILL be tied up there!" OK, I got a little carried away, but I was pretty pumped up about beating such a good player.

Different format in our Tuesday night league. Instead of round robin, the team captains match wits by arranging one-on-one matchups. Its so silly, watching these captains tanking over these decisions, when its a handicap league, which makes every match pretty much a fair fight. I was matched up against a guy with a near-identical rating as me, and sure enough, he was as advertised, about as good as I was before my very recent education. We played a race to four. I dogged a shot in the first rack, for the usual reasons--got nervous, heart pounding, what will my friends think of me if I lose tonight?--and he ran out.

But early in the second rack, he bobbled an easy shot, and all my nerves disappeared. My focus on each shot was incredible, it felt like I was the only person in the room. I destroyed this guy, won every rack the rest of the way, and none were close. My confidence grew; his crumbled. Soon we both knew he was drawing dead. I'd never experienced that before.

After the match, I told my team captain, "Next week, I want their best guy!" I'll let you know how that goes.

The following day, I went out and bought a new cue, first time I've owned a cue in over twenty years. Spent just over $150 on a Player. They let me hit a few balls with it at the store, but they wouldn't let me chalk it. I felt like this was the cue for me, even though it's hard to tell without chalk. I ran to a bar with it to hit some balls...and I never played better in my life!

Next day, back to the Thursday, round-robin league, and man, we were in tough. I have the highest rating on our team, but I'd be the lowest-rated guy on this other team. They were all good, and one guy is considered practically a pro (he had dismantled my roommate in that Tuesday league, two nights prior, beat him eight racks to two, with several long runouts).

My first game, I broke, and nothing fell, table was wide open. My opponent was clearly very good, and looked like he was going to run out...but he got a little out of shape after his fifth ball. He was able to make his sixth, but he left himself no shot on his last solid ball. He tried a low percentage shot and missed. He never considered playing safe on his last two shots.

I stepped up to a wide open table, thinking, this guy's good. I'd better not miss. I took a minute to map out my entire runout, which wasn't that tough. Not just the order I'd make the balls, but which pocket each would go in, and on "which side of the line" I should leave each shot. I visualized each shot before bending: aiming point, English, and speed. This is MUCH more thinking than I'm used to doing, and it's exhausting when you're not used to it. I got a little out of shape after my fifth shot, but luckily I was still OK if I shot my remaining two balls in a different order than planned. Made the simple stop shot on the sixth. Just make a straight in shot on the last one, draw back a foot or two for an easy shot on the 8...holy cow, I'm gonna run the table!

Those last seven words are exactly what you should NOT be thinking about when you're bent over. I made that seventh ball, but didnt get that 1'-2' of draw i needed. The cue ball stopped in the center of the table, leaving me a tough cut shot on the eight.

I hit it pretty good, but not quite enough speed, and it hung. I got lucky on the leave. He had nowhere to hide since the 8 was hanging, so he tried an impossible bank shot, but you could tell from his body language he thought he couldn't win, so he hit 1000 mph and scratched, giving me ball in hand. He conceded the gimme. First win in the books.

On the other table, my roommate was once again being dismantled by that same champion guy who crushed him Tuesday. Champ ran out, then came over to play me.

I aint scared.

He broke. Not a good break. Nothing fell. Cue ball ended up back in the kitchen. Only shot I REALLY dont want stripes here. Neither of us can run out the stripes, and he can probably run the solids. I try a long, hopeless combo instead, and it doesnt go. He sinks a solid, and i sit down, not expecting to get another shot. He makes it look easy, potting ball after ball. He left himself a longer shot on the 8 than either of us expected, and we were both surprised when he bobbled it.

With his balls cleared, my once-hopeless layout was now wide open. I ran out, but in stark contrast to my opponent, I did NOT make it look easy at all. I made the SHOTS look easy, but I was tanking really, really hard between shots. Again, all this thinking and planning is brand new to me. But I got the run out, aided by playing position on the imaginary 9th baIl so I wouldn't follow the hanging 8 into the pocket, lol.

I just beat a champ. Holy crap. Two weeks ago, i couldn't run five balls. A little more speed on that first 8 ball, and barring a hopeless combo, i just ran two racks in a row!

Third rack was a tangled mess. We each had four balls left when i played a pretty good safety. Now my balls were were almost wide open. I left the cue ball by a corner pocket. His only shot was a ball in the center of the table, but the two obvious pockets for it were blocked. He could only cut it to the other far corner, and if he did, he'd have no idea where the cue ball was going. He ended up making that shot, and two other shots that were just as difficult, while running out. Can't win 'em all, I guess.

Fourth match, made two balls, played safe, ran out when I got back to the table.

Fifth match, opponent broke, nothing fell, he sat down and watched me run out.

This is crazy! Thanks, YouTube!
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Old 02-22-2016, 02:43 AM   #2
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Re: How I went from "running 3-4 balls" to "running out from the break" in one week (not spam!)

Quote:
On the other table, my roommate was once again being dismantled by that same champion guy who crushed him Tuesday. Champ ran out, then came over to play me.

I aint scared.

He broke. Not a good break. Nothing fell. Cue ball ended up back in the kitchen. Only shot I have is the 14 in the side, but I REALLY dont want stripes here. Neither of us can run out the stripes, and he can probably run the solids. I try a long, hopeless combo instead, and it doesnt go. He sinks a solid, and i sit down, not expecting to get another shot. He makes it look easy, potting ball after ball. He left himself a longer shot on the 8 than either of us expected, and we were both surprised when he bobbled it.
Fmp.
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Old 02-22-2016, 02:51 PM   #3
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Re: How I went from "running 3-4 balls" to "running out from the break" in one week (not spam!)

Good post, thanks for sharing.

I used to play a lot and in the leagues etc... and I agree with a lot of what you said.

I was happy to see the line about playing shape on your last ball at an imaginary 9th ball (I do that too).

One thing I found helped, was basically slowing myself down half way through a rack. making the first two or three, and then standing up and reapproaching the table as if my opponent just missed and I had a new opportunity to run out the last 4 or 5...

A good tip for game management is to make your breakouts early. Anything tied up, get to if early. As you alluded to, it is easy to run a table whan your opponent balls are all out of the way. If you have a tough shot, or a shot where you need to move other balls, do it early and you may get the second kick at it that you need.

Also good job figuring out to take all the junk off the ball. Get yourself an angle and learn how hard to hit stuff is way more effective than junking the cue ball to make it go places.

I am trying to decide if I should get back into pool, but I would probably need tournaments more than leagues, because watching some of these low handicaps battle is so exhausting.

Good luck.
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Old 02-22-2016, 06:12 PM   #4
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Re: How I went from "running 3-4 balls" to "running out from the break" in one week (not spam!)

Thanks, buddy. I also look at the last few balls as a whole new inning... But that's because I got out of shape after a shot, and need a new plan.
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Old 02-26-2016, 04:45 AM   #5
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Re: How I went from "running 3-4 balls" to "running out from the break" in one week (not spam!)

Nice posting YTF. Making me think about taking the game back up. I played religiously back in college over a decade ago. Hmm... how buried in the back of the closet is that Pechauer cue...
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Old 03-04-2016, 07:51 AM   #6
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Re: How I went from "running 3-4 balls" to "running out from the break" in one week (not spam!)

Lol, nice enthusiasm. You remind me of how I was 25 years ago when I first started getting really good at pool. It's amazing the improvements you can make when you actually study something instead of just passively participating in it.

If I were you, I'd start to seek out singles tourneys in your area. Most of the tourney players will probably make your "pro" look like a chump. Don't get discouraged if you don't do well right away, consider it cheap pool lessons. Watch, ask questions, and learn. It's tough to improve if you're not playing people better than you are.

The main thing is to keep it fun. I had about ten years of solid improvement, and fully expected to become one of the best of the best. I got to the point where I'd play just about anyone I didn't know for money, I knew just about everyone around that could beat me. Then I hit a wall and stagnated for about five years, and the game just stopped being fun. I was too competitive and expected too much, so I quit for about ten years.

About two years ago I took it up again with my only goal being to have fun, and I'm glad I did. I found a team of good guys, but bad pool players, and just go out for entertainment now. I'm happy with it and almost back to where I was when I quit, but it's a lot easier to have fun with it when I don't have the lofty aspirations to weigh me down.

I always assumed you were about my age, YTF. I'm 43, was I close? Good job for an old dog like you to learn new tricks.
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Old 03-06-2016, 05:47 PM   #7
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Re: How I went from "running 3-4 balls" to "running out from the break" in one week (not spam!)

Yeah, I'm 49.

Others have also advised me to jump from bar leagues to tourneys. I will eventually, but I'm not THAT good yet!

BRAG: Just moved in with my GF.
BEAT: Now that my thoughts are once again consumed with this game, I no longer have a pool table in the house.
VARIANCE: ...but now I live pretty close to a real pool hall, its on my way to work, and 9' tables are so much more fun.

BTW, the worst player on my team has improved DRAMATICALLY since I joined the team, and I'm taking much of the credit for that. The other players have not improved at all, they refuse to take any coaching from me. If things keep going like they are, it won't be long before my protégé passes all of them....but now he's getting cocky, refusing to use his timeouts, and it's costing him racks.

Quote:
. I found a team of good guys, but bad pool players,
I don't mind being teamed with bad players...but a few of my teammates are real jerks. The winter league is winding down and the spring league is just starting. After this, I think I'll look for a league/team in this town I just moved to.
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Old 03-21-2016, 03:36 PM   #8
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Re: How I went from "running 3-4 balls" to "running out from the break" in one week (not spam!)

Biggest flaw in my game right now is speed. When I get out of shape, its usually the right shot, right angle/line, wrong speed. Only way to fix this is HAMB (hit a million balls).

This is so much fun.
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Old 03-29-2016, 04:52 PM   #9
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Re: How I went from "running 3-4 balls" to "running out from the break" in one week (not spam!)

Bought my first book, Capelle's Practicing Pool. Haven't even got to the drills yet, and I'm already a happy customer after reading the section on the stroke. "Relax your right arm" is way too vague. Capelle is far more specific, such as pointing out the Hit Impulse. Dealing with that is a lot easier once you know it exists.

I've got a lot of work to do, but for the first time, I'm thinking it's possible to become an A player some day, or at least close to it. That's pretty exciting.
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Old 03-29-2016, 11:17 PM   #10
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Re: How I went from "running 3-4 balls" to "running out from the break" in one week (not spam!)

i asked this old guy a long time ago what books i should get (he was super knowledgeable about the gam) and these are the ones he said:
99 critical shots in pool
and byrne's books volume 1 and 2.
changed my game. especially the ones by byrne. gl and keep studying/practicing.
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Old 03-30-2016, 05:58 PM   #11
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Re: How I went from "running 3-4 balls" to "running out from the break" in one week (not spam!)

Local library had a Byrne's, I started with that.

99 Critical Shots is on my list...but I think Capelle's A Mind For Pool might be next for me, because nothing annoys me more than dogging a shot. Anyone read this one?

http://www.amazon.com/Mind-Pool-Mast...0WM7XVYS77YS7C

This has always been a problem for me. I'm still dogging gimmes on the money ball IN PRACTICE. There's a self-destruct problem between my ears--see my history of overcoming compulsive gambling and my ongoing battle with compulsive overeating. The first was a simple fix, because I wasn't enjoying poverty. The second is tougher, because I DO enjoy overeating. I get no pleasure from dogging shots in pool, tho, so I'm somewhat confident that this will be a simple fix, as well...and I'm hoping the answer is in a book somewhere.
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Old 03-31-2016, 05:35 PM   #12
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Re: How I went from "running 3-4 balls" to "running out from the break" in one week (not spam!)

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Originally Posted by youtalkfunny View Post
I'm still dogging gimmes on the money ball IN PRACTICE.
A buddy of mine once bought fourteen extra 8 balls and would rack a game of 8 ball and just shoot nothing but the black ***** to train his mind its just another ball. I thought he was odd, but he claims it worked.
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Old 04-01-2016, 02:56 PM   #13
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Re: How I went from "running 3-4 balls" to "running out from the break" in one week (not spam!)

Doesn't sound odd to me at all. I know how he felt.
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Old 04-01-2016, 10:53 PM   #14
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Re: How I went from "running 3-4 balls" to "running out from the break" in one week (not spam!)

IMHO 99 Critical Shots is overrated and nowhere near as helpful unless you really really want to play straight pool (very very few people 16 years ago when I was reading it, and probably even less now.)

Byrne's books are solid gold.
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Old 04-02-2016, 01:30 AM   #15
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Re: How I went from "running 3-4 balls" to "running out from the break" in one week (not spam!)

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Originally Posted by Quadstriker View Post
Byrne's books are solid gold.
Yup. His videos are required viewing too. Probably the biggest jump in skill for me was right after I watched (and watched and watched) his videos when I was first learning.
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Old 04-02-2016, 08:42 AM   #16
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Re: How I went from "running 3-4 balls" to "running out from the break" in one week (not spam!)

Agree with the Byrne love. He's a master at breaking **** down.
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Old 04-04-2016, 04:34 PM   #17
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Re: How I went from "running 3-4 balls" to "running out from the break" in one week (not spam!)

I've been practicing on a 7' table, because that's what I'll be competing on in the foreseeable future.

All the 7's were taken for league play the other night, so I practiced on a 9'er...and I was LOST. Like I was thrown into the deep end of the pool.

So the question is, should I be practicing on the 9'? I want to move beyond bar leagues some day.

I'm thinking I need to do the shot making drills on the 9, and practice 8-ball runouts and safeties on the 7.

Would be interested in your thoughts on this.
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Old 04-07-2016, 07:35 PM   #18
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Re: How I went from "running 3-4 balls" to "running out from the break" in one week (not spam!)

Nice thread. My advice for the 9-foot would be to forget 8-ball and focus on 9-ball. Having no choice as to what ball you can shoot next will force you to play better position. Try playing the 'ghost' where you rack the balls, break, and then take ball in hand and try to run out. If you make the nine you win, if you don't the ghost wins. See how many games you can win in say a race to five or seven games. Try and focus on thinking at least three shots ahead and wherever possible getting the cue ball back to roughly the center of the table. Archer. Archer made a career out of almost that skill alone.

Funny you mention Jimmy Reid's videos, as I can well remember sitting next to him on a flight once where he was talking about how he was going to upload a bunch of instructional videos to the Internet for people to use for free. I thought he was nuts at the time lol.

Later if I have time I'll tell you a hilarious story about Jimmy and the 'Christmas trees'. Still makes me laugh.
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Old 04-08-2016, 09:47 PM   #19
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Re: How I went from "running 3-4 balls" to "running out from the break" in one week (not spam!)

There is an upside to practicing on both and many ppl have different opinions on it. Personally, I think you should practice on the 9' for shotmaking. If you can pocket balls on a 9' readily, it makes the pockets on the 7' seem like 5 gallon buckets. Practice runouts and patterns on the 7' because there is less room on the 7' to get around. It is a little easier to get around on the 9', but the shots are longer/harder. The banks and speed of the cloth will play a little different between the two.
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Old 04-09-2016, 06:16 AM   #20
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Re: How I went from "running 3-4 balls" to "running out from the break" in one week (not spam!)

I grew up on 9'. I'm just now realizing that when I get out of shape on the 7', ive got the right angle, right line, but wrong speed--usually too much speed. So I'm working on that now, learning to really baby those balls. It has helped a lot.
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Old 04-09-2016, 06:17 AM   #21
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Re: How I went from "running 3-4 balls" to "running out from the break" in one week (not spam!)

Thanks guys. Really like suit's idea.
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Old 04-11-2016, 05:52 AM   #22
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Re: How I went from "running 3-4 balls" to "running out from the break" in one week (not spam!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Suit View Post
There is an upside to practicing on both and many ppl have different opinions on it. Personally, I think you should practice on the 9' for shotmaking. If you can pocket balls on a 9' readily, it makes the pockets on the 7' seem like 5 gallon buckets. Practice runouts and patterns on the 7' because there is less room on the 7' to get around. It is a little easier to get around on the 9', but the shots are longer/harder. The banks and speed of the cloth will play a little different between the two.
Agree 100%. I compare it (mostly practicing on the 9') to warming up with a doughnut in baseball. When you step up to the 7', you'll be amazed at how 'light' your stick feels.
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Old 04-12-2016, 01:35 PM   #23
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Re: How I went from "running 3-4 balls" to "running out from the break" in one week (not spam!)

So the Jimmy Reid story goes like this: Back in the day the pool players used to do a lot of speed and stuff when they were playing, and one of the popular drugs of the time were these pills called Christmas Trees, which were green and white (hence the name).

So sometime in the mid-70's, a guy I know is playing Jimmy Reid and they are playing fairly big sets and back in those days there was no such thing as quitting, so they played for like 2 and half days. So now according to my friend, Jimmy comes with this one eight hour stretch where he literally never missed a ball. No exaggeration he played perfect for eight straight goddamn hours!! Made every shot he shot at, played perfect position, shot after shot after shot, game after game after game, hour after hour after hour. And all my friend could do is watch this, shot after shot, game after game, hour after hour, losing set after set for all those hours. And on it went...

FINALLY after eight hours, Jimmy misses a ball and hangs it. And my friend is standing there leaning against a wall or whatever and watching this, and he's a little shell shocked so he just stands there for a minute. So Jimmy walks over to him and leans against the wall next to him shaking his head, and says,

"You know, I don't know what it is. I just can't play at all on these Christmas Trees."
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Old 04-12-2016, 03:50 PM   #24
youtalkfunny
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Re: How I went from "running 3-4 balls" to "running out from the break" in one week (not spam!)

Nice one, thx.
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Old 04-13-2016, 04:19 PM   #25
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Re: How I went from "running 3-4 balls" to "running out from the break" in one week (not spam!)

So guess who won the last three racks last night, including a runout from the break in the hill-hill game?

I didn't even know we were hill-hill. I'd been choking in those spots, and told my teammates, "Don't tell me when I'm on the hill!" I was In The Zone (finally!) during that last run-out, and eager to break again, when my opponent snapped me out of it by offering his hand.

This being bar-league 8-ball, there was more rules nittery afoot. I don't respect the opinion of anyone there, so I'd rather ask you guys:

--I have ball in hand. I place the cue ball, get down on the shot, then use my shaft to slightly reposition the cue ball before making the shot. Opponent did not call foul, but tried to give me a friendly warning that he could have. I tell him he's wrong, it's only a foul if I use my tip or ferrule, but not the shaft. He shrugs, because he's not a nit, and says that was how the rule was explained to him.

After my turn, I went over to my teammates. Most weren't sure, but they ALL agreed that what I had done was a foul. I asked the one who WAS sure, "Since when?"

"Since always," he replied.

"Don't say always," I cautioned, "because I know for a fact that it was legal before you were born!"

So, anyone here know the 2016 rule on this?

--8 ball is near the center of the table, and I leave myself dreadful shape for it, near the second diamond, and both obvious pockets are blocked. He's got hangers everywhere, there is no safety to be played. My only shot is to either cut it into a corner pocket, or bank it into that same pocket. Cutting it looks impossible, it looks like 90°, there's no way to hit a ball that thin and have it travel that far....but is it really 90°?

I lay my cue stick on the table, parallel to my line of aim, and walk a quarter-way around the table to look down the line from the 8 to the pocket. Comparing this line to my cue stick, yup, that's 90° degrees, or close enough that I need to play the weird cut-bank shot.

After I miss, lol, my teammates tell me that laying my stick on the table and releasing it is a foul.

WHAT??? WHY????

No one knows why. You can lay it down to line up shots, as long as you keep a hand on it.

Oh, that makes perfect sense.

I've laid it down like this plenty of times before shooting, but not to line up a shot. If I was frustrated by snookering myself and needed time to plan my way out of it, I would sometimes lay it down on the table, and no one seemed to mind. But watching me do it to calculate a shot riled the nits.

Question 2: are they correct?

-- there was also talk about other arcane fouls: shooting while a piece of chalk is on the felt (or even atop the felt-covered cushion!) is a foul, even if no ball contacts that chalk? Starting to unscrew your cue stick while your opponent is at the table?

Actually, I don't mind that last one.

But for the rest, anyone know the rules?

If I hadn't made that great comeback, all this nitting might have ruined my night.
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