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sparkle84
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12-03-2017, 02:56 PM

It looks like this might be a screenshot from a match at the World 14.1 tournament. Possibly from 2013 or 14. If so then I guess we can assume it involves a couple of fairly good players. Looking at the table I guess you could say that whoever's shooting has kind of butchered this rack. That's assuming that they've been shooting from the beginning of that rack.
Lets say that's the case. Well yeah, you could definitely make the point that their decisions so far have probably been somewhat suspect. Or possibly it's one of those racks from hell where no matter what you do it just goes wrong. It happens to all of us at times.
Let's look at a little different scenario for a minute. Say your opponent missed and left you with this situation. Would you be unhappy?
I wouldn't. Because as far as inherited racks go this one is actually not too bad. It's a relatively simple task to run the balls, shooting easy shots with high percentage position and fall real good on a decent breakshot.
It entails going across position zones on 2 shots but with fairly good sized margins of error and easy speed control. Also with options for recovery if needed.
As a matter of fact I see 3 different ways to run these balls with 3 different breakshots. But using the 5 ball below the rack with the 14 as a KB is by far the easiest and the most high percentage way to go.
So what looks like a fairly tough situation really isn't, provided you know how to take the balls off the table.
Now I'm going to address your previous post where you express displeasure with the fact that Blackjack and I are being too critical. (I doubt you'll hear from BJack again as he spent a lot of time and effort to try and help and was essentially told thanks but no thanks.)
I'm a glutton for punishment however so I'll try one more time to help you out. Keep in mind however that it will be critical. The only way anyone can improve in this game is to recognize where they're making mistakes and take steps to eliminate them.
I started off my 1st post by saying "I don't always agree with Blackjack". That doesn't translate into my saying to follow his recommendations. There were a few things he said that I don't agree with. What I did say, and wholeheartedly agree with, were his comments on precision and attention to detail. Pick any sport or endeavor from any walk of life and that's what separates the very best from everyone else. That and a burning desire to win/ or intense hatred of losing, they're kind of the same thing. My other mention of his analysis pertained to not recognizing and addressing problems quickly enough. IMO he didn't talk about that enough as that is a major problem with your game.
I pointed out 3 times during the video where I thought you'd gain some insight into why it might be better to do things a little differently. Ironically, all 3 times you admitted that you probably could have done things better. Yet then explained why you did it that way or what you would or should have done differently.
In the 1st situation you're trying to explain that you got a bad angle on the side pocket KB when you shot the 13. Maybe that's because you never went and looked at exactly where you needed to get. Something that Blackjack goes on and on about in every evaluation he does, including yours. Even so, what you're having trouble recognizing is that the 4 in the side was a horrible KB, good angle or not. At 9:15 there were 5 balls on the table besides the BS and any 1 of them was a better KB than the 4.
Besides all that, the 2 was a poor choice for a BS, unless played in the side, then it was ok and the 10 was a decent KB. The 4 and the 10 were both better breakshots than the 2 in the corner.
One good way to evaluate high breakshots is to draw a line from the spot to the closest point of the side pocket. If the entire ball is below that line then it's an excellent BS.
Now let's talk a little about attention to detail. We'll use the 1, 8, 13 end pattern as an example. Your statement... "I don't like the end pattern of 1, 8, 13. How do you expect to get perfect on the 13-ball from the 8-ball? Too difficult, I think."
You were perfect on the 13 ball when you shot the 8 ball at 14:30 and if you'll note where you shot it from you were on a line from the 1 to 8. Also, there was a large position zone on the 8 that could have been attained from any reasonable shot on the 1.
In retrospect you decided maybe you should have done it differently. I'm not saying your new plan is terrible per se but let's take a look at it from an "attention to detail" aspect.
Your statement.... "But looking back to 14:03, what I really should done was taken out the 13-ball first, then 10, 2,(it's actually the 4 next to the 9) 15. That would have given me a great end pattern of 1, 8, 9, break ball on the 7."
I'm going to tell you what my thoughts would be if I was considering that particular pattern to end the rack.
1) If I shoot the 13 can I hold the CB to stay straight on the 10? I've already determined I'd like to be straight on it when I shoot the 10.
2) If I was at the table I could tell but have to guess looking at the video. I'm going to assume I'll slide to the left a little too much.
3) That means I have to cut the 10 a little to my right and send the CB off the bottom rail and across the zone for position on the 4. Which means I have to stop in a very small area. If I miss position short, I'm going to run into the 9 when I shoot the 4 and possibly ruin my BS. If I miss long I can't even see the 4 to shoot it. This immediately tells me that if I can't get straight on the 10 then shooting the 13 is not an option.
But I'm going to assume that I got good on the 4 and continue with your pattern.
4) So I'm straight on the 4 and I shoot it and maybe draw back a little so I have about a 3/4 ball cut on the 15. Now, when I shoot the 15, I'm coming off the side rail and have to be careful not to hit the 8.
5) That means I'll probably end up farther away from the 1 than is optimal. Not to mention the angle. If I'm straight or the CB is anywhere to the left of straight then I've got big problems. I need to be slightly to the right of straight but the further to the right I am the shot gets more difficult and position harder to control. This is once again a situation where there's a very small area to stop and should be avoided.
The above is just a small sample of the attention to detail required. And this was a fairly simple, straightforward situation. Sometimes it's much more complicated and you have to be much more detailed and careful.
As an aside: A ball around the 2nd diamond on the long rail with another ball somewhere in the rack area is sometimes a good last 2 balls before the BS. In this case it's not. Two things should be present before considering that type of end pattern.
A) The 2 or 3 balls leading up to the ball on the long rail should be situated in positions to allow achieving a very precise angle on the rail ball.
B) The position of the KB around the rack area and the BS allow you to see the long rail below the side pocket on the BS side. That way if you get a little thin on the KB you can go one rail out. Neither A nor B are present in the layout on the video in question which means that end pattern is suspect and should be rejected unless other options are worse.
Once again I could go on and on illustrating different principles from table layouts in your videos but I'm a one fingered typist and have other things to do this weekend. Before I quit I'll tell you what IMO you need to do if you want to run 100+ someday.
1)You have to develop a solid stroke. Right now, due to numerous reasons, your stroke is a extremely errratic. Toward that end, you should get Mark Wilsons book "Play Great Pool". It's about 80.00. It contains a lot of good stuff, amongst which is the single most important thing about pool, which is worth way more than 80.00 all by itself. I could tell you what it is but you'll probably believe it more if you spend the 80 bucks.
2)Spend at least 1/2 of your table time for the forseeable future doing the "Brainwash drill" There is not a better drill in existence for both CB control(this will also help with stroke development) and recognizing patterns.
3)If there's somewhere within a reasonable distance play some 3 cushion billiards. It will give you a much better understanding of how speed affects the CB.
4)Play people better than you. I don't know where in NJ you are but there's some pretty good players in certain areas down there. Search them out. Even lose a few bucks to them and then ask if they could help you out a little.
5)Expand you comfort zone. You mentioned "awkward shots" a couple times. It doesn't matter if you find it awkward, if it's the right shot, you need to shoot it. Keep doing that and at some point in the future, a whole bunch of shots that you used to think were awkward have all of a sudden become hangers.
6)If you watch videos of pro players don't pay too much attention to their shot making or position. Take note of their stroke length/speed and the preciseness with which they address the CB. The speed of their backswing and the smoothness of the cues delivery to the CB. Because, barring all else, those things are what allow them to make great shots and play great position. Also pause a lot and think about why they do certain things. The precision and attention to detail which they display when addressing and stroking the CB is also taking place in their thought process. The absolute best to watch for stroke mechanics and precision is IMO Alex P.
  
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12-04-2017, 09:52 PM

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Originally Posted by sparkle84 View Post
One good way to evaluate high breakshots is to draw a line from the spot to the closest point of the side pocket. If the entire ball is below that line then it's an excellent BS.
The zone for side break shots is contained by two curves. The way to determine those curves is to look at 90 degree tangent lines off of all possible side break shots hit at high speed. Once you do, you see that your line from the spot to the side pocket point is well outside of the zone for good break shots. Most would be too high and would require perfect placement of the cue ball as well as perfect speed and spin on the shot. The diagram below shows that the upper curve terminates below the second diamond.

The cue ball on shots 1-5 will catch a small portion of the top of the rack and on shots 6-9 will catch a small portion of the bottom of the rack. Any break ball between those curves is a break ball that can be hit hard from any angle and with any spin and contact the rack. Any break ball outside of those curves is a potential problem.

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12-07-2017, 08:52 PM

pepper, you've had sage advice from at least 4 100-ball runners that i know, and one 200-ball runner. Steve (sparkle) is one of them.

for a guy who usually runs single digits, you seem remarkably resistant to the suggestions they're giving you -- and which you asked for. you say they're dissing your playing, but Blackjack actually complimented your shots where appropriate in his analysis. and you didn't say you wanted attaboys, you said you wanted help.

before you lecture Steve about breakshots, you might consider that what he told you was specifically about "high" breakshots, and has been the conventional wisdom for decades from 100-ball runners; he is not shooting from the hip, or making academic diagrams from stun angles, he is giving you, for free, the knowledge and experience that took him years of shooting 14.1 to assemble. same with Blackjack, in spades, and the others.

now, you may be right, and they may all be wrong. but the numbers indicate that they might have something for you to learn from.


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12-07-2017, 10:17 PM

I'm sorry everyone. I must be wrong if sparkle and blackjack are both 100 ball runners. So I must be out of my mind for questioning advice that makes no sense after watching and studying 400-ball runners for years who don't seem to follow it? Add to that all that's being overlooked in favor of platitudes that don't apply and yes, I'm going to challenge anyone who offers advice that doesn't add up. Just because I have less than stellar cue ball control and shooting skills doesn't make me less knowledgeable about what is essentially a puzzle game.

As for high break balls, that line to the side pocket point may as well extend to the head corner pockets, because if you're above the tangent line curves I diagrammed, you'd have to land the cue ball just right and play the break shot just right anyway. A little too much angle and you miss the stack. Even with the perfect angle, you're playing either a softer shot into the stack or taking chances with a smaller angle and a force follow. I'm surprised if that line from the spot to the side pocket point is a long time reference for high break shots. Yes, those shots are playable, but excellent? I was just watching a Thorsten run where the break ball was barely above my diagrammed upper curve, and he took the time to find a way to bump it down below the curve.

I am trying to play nice, but should I point out very suspect pattern play and technique from those who are giving me advice that doesn't even apply to their own game? Should I share those video links? Or can we just agree to disagree at this point?

You might think that I felt personally attacked by the advice given to me. Wrong. I simply can't sit calmly while advice that I think is misleading is being accepted as truth. If the advice were given to another player rather than me, I'd challenge it just the same.

Last edited by bluepepper; 12-08-2017 at 01:56 AM. Reason: I calmed down enough to be clearer
  
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12-08-2017, 05:26 PM

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Originally Posted by bluepepper View Post
I'm sorry everyone. I must be wrong if sparkle and blackjack are both 100 ball runners. So I must be out of my mind for questioning advice that makes no sense after watching and studying 400-ball runners for years who don't seem to follow it? Add to that all that's being overlooked in favor of platitudes that don't apply and yes, I'm going to challenge anyone who offers advice that doesn't add up. Just because I have less than stellar cue ball control and shooting skills doesn't make me less knowledgeable about what is essentially a puzzle game.

As for high break balls, that line to the side pocket point may as well extend to the head corner pockets, because if you're above the tangent line curves I diagrammed, you'd have to land the cue ball just right and play the break shot just right anyway. A little too much angle and you miss the stack. Even with the perfect angle, you're playing either a softer shot into the stack or taking chances with a smaller angle and a force follow. I'm surprised if that line from the spot to the side pocket point is a long time reference for high break shots. Yes, those shots are playable, but excellent? I was just watching a Thorsten run where the break ball was barely above my diagrammed upper curve, and he took the time to find a way to bump it down below the curve.

I am trying to play nice, but should I point out very suspect pattern play and technique from those who are giving me advice that doesn't even apply to their own game? Should I share those video links? Or can we just agree to disagree at this point?

You might think that I felt personally attacked by the advice given to me. Wrong. I simply can't sit calmly while advice that I think is misleading is being accepted as truth. If the advice were given to another player rather than me, I'd challenge it just the same.

The video I made for you has been removed from Youtube.


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12-08-2017, 06:43 PM

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The video I made for you has been removed from Youtube.
No worries, David.
  
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12-08-2017, 09:02 PM

Just old story ...

Nan-in, a Japanese master during the Meiji era, received a university professor who came to inquire about Zen.

Nan-in served tea. He poured his visitor’s cup full, and then kept on pouring. The professor watched the overflow until he no longer could restrain himself. “It is overfull. No more will go in!”

Like this cup, Nan-in said, you are full of your own opinions and speculations. How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup?
I like the tea story a lot, it is a great reminder that in order to learn we have to be humble, to empty our mind and make room for the new.


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12-08-2017, 09:14 PM

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Originally Posted by Poolmanis View Post
Just old story ...

Nan-in, a Japanese master during the Meiji era, received a university professor who came to inquire about Zen.

Nan-in served tea. He poured his visitor’s cup full, and then kept on pouring. The professor watched the overflow until he no longer could restrain himself. “It is overfull. No more will go in!”

Like this cup, Nan-in said, you are full of your own opinions and speculations. How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup?
I like the tea story a lot, it is a great reminder that in order to learn we have to be humble, to empty our mind and make room for the new.
Nice. But I wonder who in this thread are you suggesting is Nan-in and who is the professor? And who is Gilligan? And how do we get off of this island?
  
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12-09-2017, 09:34 AM

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Originally Posted by Blackjack View Post
The video I made for you has been removed from Youtube.
Can't say I blame you, but still, it's a shame it's no longer available. I've seen a fair amount of your material but nothing like this one. The info about attention to detail and precision is so true. Consider putting it back up so people who want to learn can benefit.
Poolmanis...You're the man.
Thanks Bob...I've tried to help many, many people that play at that level without a lot of success. Every once in awhile someone gets it and then it's worth it. But most of the time you're reminded of Danny D's well known saying, which seems to be the case here.
  
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12-09-2017, 10:29 AM

Blackjack, I also think you should put the video back up. Just because I didn't find it helpful doesn't mean that others won't. And maybe others will see the issues I have with it as well, which can lead to further discussion, which I'm not against.
  
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12-11-2017, 09:17 PM

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Originally Posted by bluepepper View Post
Blackjack, I also think you should put the video back up. Just because I didn't find it helpful doesn't mean that others won't. And maybe others will see the issues I have with it as well, which can lead to further discussion, which I'm not against.
Jeff - I'm guessing you sleep on the couch a lot?

A little diplomacy never hurt. So if a guy takes his time to help you and you think he is off base in some of his comments, why not just ignore that part, or disagree politely, and concentrate on the one or two things you might have learned from his FREE advice. You are telling me there isn't ONE thing in his video that you learned and you didn't know before? I mean, even if it is just reinforcement of good practices that you are already aware of, being told it again is never a bad thing. BJ said you need to walk around the table. You said that even though you don't do that you are doing it in your mind very quickly. Really? I nearly fell off my chair! If you learn nothing from his video but this one thing, you should be grateful. You cannot survey the table from one perspective and claim that is the same thing as actually walking around the table. A guy who runs 200 balls has to walk around the table but the guy who runs 10 doesn't need to?

I think you have been a little defensive in these admittedly somewhat direct reviews you received (hey, these guys are pool players, not UN diplomats). There is a natural tendency for the student to try and show the teacher that he is really better and more knowledgeable than the teacher believes. It happens all the time and I've caught myself doing that. I suppose that is along the lines of that tea cup parable. Guess what, no matter how good you are it isn't going to impress the instructor. He doesn't really care. He simply wants to show you where you need to improve. If he is wrong about something, then ignore that point and move on to the next issue, and don't assume you know more than he does. If a guy doesn't know your game and makes bad assumptions, make some more videos and play better. Let him review your new video and learn more about your experience level. Why not make that video you were talking about where you talk out loud about your intentions?

Example: sparkle said draw a line from the foot spot to the side pocket corner. Any ball completely below that line is an "excellent" break shot. I remember the rule as being from one of the head balls to the side pocket corner, but I well could have that wrong. Also, is it really an "excellent" break shot? Well, you went ahead with a diagram showing curved lines and stun shot tangents, supposedly disproving sparkle's rule of thumb, and then questioning how that rule of thumb could have been around so long. Did you consider that any break shot that moves 3 or 4 balls into the clear might just be an "excellent" break for a 200 ball runner? Your diagram doesn't consider that you don't have to hit your break shots so hard that they are all following the tangent line into the pack. If you hit the upper or lower balls in the pack in a way that the cue ball can get clear, a natural follow is just fine. That's probably why the rule of thumb has been around so long. Now, being a rule of thumb, you should take it to the table and play around with the limitations for you and see how close to that line you can be. My follow up questions for sparkle would have been 1) Do you really consider a break ball near that line still to be "excellent" and why, and 2) Do you ever hear people use the top ball as the reference point instead of the foot spot, because that's what I recall. That keeps the discussion going and I might learn something.

As it is, you have a few excellent players who probably won't give you advice from here on out, which is too bad. I'm sure it was never your intent.


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12-11-2017, 10:48 PM

Let me try to explain my stance, because it appears that it's me against the 14.1 world right now. I admit that at times I can make bad planning errors. Everyone does, no matter what their level. Yes, I could have chosen better options for shots here and there. But a very real problem in this thread is when someone offering advice doesn't seem to be able to separate a player's planning from his execution. Platitudes from an ivory tower that do not account for the situations at hand should be challenged!

Some of the advice I got here was helpful, and I've already started working on using it and trying to improve. I wasn't aware that I was moving my bridge hand. I was hitting balls too hard, and my cue ball control needs work, so I'm working on drills. In my post after watching his video I did indeed agree with Blackjack that I need to walk around the table more, and I'm doing that more.

I don't know why everyone's coming down on me simply because I don't bow in reverence to allegedly great players (whom I've never seen play good 14.1) that are offering very questionable advice. And by asking me not to challenge advice that I find misleading, you're asking that I allow questionable instruction to be assumed as valid and to perpetuate misleading others who won't know to question it.

Sure I could be wrong about everything, and sure everything in the video and from Sparkle could be right, but it's certainly unproductive to remain silent. What kind of a culture do we have here if debate isn't welcomed? It shouldn't matter if a person's high run is 400, 100, 10, or 2. Lessons can be learned from everyone. Just look at all of the high running pros who get away with not playing good patterns. You don't think they could learn something from a lesser player who can't control the rock or shoot as well as they can? What if that lesser player has the capacity to see patterns 14 balls ahead that no one else can see? Is he to be ignored because his stick shakes and his eyes are bad?

Please read my comments to Blackjack again. I quote them below. They were not disrespectful. I thanked him for taking the time to do the video. He's a friend, and we messaged a bit on Facebook and we're cool, and he even offered great advice that I'm taking on video production. No worries there. And to his credit he didn't attack me for what I said. He's a gentleman who understands that some people aren't going to be helped by his offerings. Why do you feel the need to defend him? He's fully capable of defending himself if he chooses to do so. He's moved on.

"Hey, David. I just watched your commentated video. I do appreciate that you're trying to help, and I agree that I need to walk around the table more, take more time on each shot, and hit the balls softer. But trust me when I tell you that when I'm not moving around the table, my mind is moving quite a bit around the table. I see more options from certain perspectives, and moving is sometimes a distraction from all of the possible paths. I do agree I need to walk around the table to get the odd perspective though. I think I am doing more of that now as can be seen in the second video.

But I have to say that I disagree with you on many of the comments, both in theory and in analysis of the real life table situations and why they arose. Often we'll watch straight pool matches with top pros, and commentators who are great players themselves will disagree with one another and wonder what the heck the player at the table is doing. I know I'm not a pro at the table, but I could walk you and others through what I was thinking at each moment of this session, and you'll realize that 90% of what is seen as improper planning is actually changing from Plan A to Plan B and then Plan C and D and E. And this necessity to continually change plans boils down to 90% poor cue ball control and 10% fear of certain awkward shots."

Dan, I will do one of those videos where I talk through a rack or two some time in the next couple of weeks. Lots going on that doesn't even allow me to get to the table. But I do look forward to doing it, and it will be unique for the very reason that I'm not a straight shooter and can't control the rock, so I have to think harder through my racks than better players in order to have any chance to run a lot of balls. Half of my time spent at the table is finding routes of recovery and changes of plan. This is the stuff that's being overlooked by most of you, and I think it will help everyone to have a lesser player like me expose it. So stay tuned.

As for the Blackjack video, I could go shot by shot, comment by comment, defending my case. I really don't want to have to do it, because it would be drudgery for me, especially knowing how many of you assume I couldn't possibly know anything and so I'm not worth listening to. But if the video were put back up and people are truly willing to open their minds, which so far they haven't been, I'd do it.
  
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12-12-2017, 03:04 PM

I don't want to beat this to death. I'm a neutral observer and my observation is that you aren't particularly tactful. All you had to say to David is that you think you have a pretty good handle on strategy, but you don't appear to because of your cue ball control... and leave it at that.

That's just one issue, though. You reproduced the following text to show your agreement with walking around the table. I found your reply to be the exact opposite and that was my first impression when I read it. Here is the text with my translation in blue:

Quote:
Originally Posted by bluepepper View Post
"Hey, David. I just watched your commentated video. I do appreciate that you're trying"trying"?- that's an odd thing to say to help, and I agree that I need to walk around the table more, take more time on each shot, and hit the balls softer. OK But trust me when I tell you that when I'm not moving around the table, my mind is moving quite a bit around the table. I see more options from certain perspectives, and moving is sometimes a distraction from all of the possible paths.In other words, I disagree that walking around the table is necessary. My way is better for me I do agree I need to walk around the table to get the odd perspective though.I suppose you could be right about moving around the table, but ONLY in the rare situation where I need to get an odd perspective (whatever that means) I think I am doing more of that now as can be seen in the second video.
So agree or disagree, I'm just sayin' that's what I read into your replies. Blackjack quietly announced he was removing your video and, IMO, this is simply because you implied you don't trust his opinion, I guess, because he thought you had strategy deficiencies rather than cue ball control issues.

My suggestion, if you are an A level at strategy, is stop with the strategy discussion and spend that time working on your weaknesses.


Dan White
  
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12-12-2017, 03:55 PM

Dan, I try to be tactful. Maybe I'm not. So be it. At least I'm honest.
  
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12-12-2017, 04:37 PM

Hey Dan,
If you refer to the picture in post #32 you'll note that the 5 ball is directly below that line. I would call that a very good BS. (maybe very good would have been a better word to use as opposed to excellent, but not by that much.)
It can be hit with decent speed and the position zone is good sized. If you start moving the OB further along that line away from the rack it remains a good BS. As you move farther away however, the position zone shrinks, though not appreciably, and you need to use some descretion as to speed and cue tip placement. That is true with all BS's that are a good distance from the rack no matter where they're positioned.
My whole point in mentioning that line was that it's a good guideline for recognizing whether or not a high BS is viable. Many people aren't sure of a certain ball position and this can help them.
I've never heard of that line mentioned or the one from the top ball either. It's just something I noticed many years ago and saw it as a way to quickly know for sure whether a ball was usable as an effective BS.
I noticed your 2nd post and I'll have some comments on that but it'll have to wait till the weekend.
I'm also working on some stuff regarding shot selection which I'll be posting on HUKIT's thread titled "New high run". You and others may find it interesting.
It's rather long and drawn out but that's because it's a very complicated subject.
  
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