New High Run!
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HUKIT
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New High Run! - 11-27-2017, 01:01 PM

Well last night I hit my highest straight pool run at 56! I know compared to others thats pretty low but after a 20 year lay off I was pretty stoked to say the least. That brings me to why I really posted, shot selection. Are there drills to get better or is that just a practice with trial and error? I definitely kept making it hard on myself more often than not.


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11-27-2017, 01:04 PM

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Originally Posted by HUKIT View Post
Well last night I hit my highest straight pool run at 56! I know compared to others thats pretty low but after a 20 year lay off I was pretty stoked to say the least. That brings me to why I really posted, shot selection. Are there drills to get better or is that just a practice with trial and error? I definitely kept making it hard on myself more often than not.
Congrats. I ran a 55 earlier this year and I hadn't practiced 14.1 for probably a year. Without practicing this game or knowing the best patterns or approach, you definitely need to shoot your butt off to run into the 50's.


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11-27-2017, 01:46 PM

Well done,
I can't focus myself enough ever to run enough worth mentioning
  
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11-27-2017, 02:09 PM

Thanks. I'd really like to get better at shot selection so i don't have to wait till the stars align again to repeat and extend that run.


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11-27-2017, 02:47 PM

Congratulations. That's right around my high run. With all that can go wrong in a single rack, I think that stringing 4 full racks together is quite an accomplishment. Just look at how hard it can be sometimes for even the best players.

I'm curious what ends most of your runs. Do you get snookered, leave too difficult of a break shot and don't open balls, does cue ball control fail you and leave you with too tough of a shot, does poor planning leave you with balls that eventually don't connect, do you miss easy shots? The reason I ask is that I think we each have our strengths and weaknesses, and the high run number doesn't tell the whole story.
  
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11-27-2017, 03:11 PM

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Congratulations. That's right around my high run. With all that can go wrong in a single rack, I think that stringing 4 full racks together is quite an accomplishment. Just look at how hard it can be sometimes for even the best players.

I'm curious what ends most of your runs. Do you get snookered, leave too difficult of a break shot and don't open balls, does cue ball control fail you and leave you with too tough of a shot, does poor planning leave you with balls that eventually don't connect, do you miss easy shots? The reason I ask is that I think we each have our strengths and weaknesses, and the high run number doesn't tell the whole story.
That's pretty much in a nutshell, I don't always see the best patterns. It's like a kick in the dick when I miss an easy shot to end a good run but mainly my cue ball control and poor shot planning is what kills me.

Jeff, I enjoyed watching your videos as well.


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11-27-2017, 03:55 PM

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That's pretty much in a nutshell, I don't always see the best patterns. It's like a kick in the dick when I miss an easy shot to end a good run but mainly my cue ball control and poor shot planning is what kills me.

Jeff, I enjoyed watching your videos as well.
Thanks! Yeah, I get what you're saying. I think we both need to do those Darren Appleton-style cue ball control drills until our arms fall off and we're really sharp. But there are so many videos of great matches on YouTube that are worth slowing down to understand shot selection. All the lessons are there in the runs themselves. Hohmann's and Appleton's shot selections are my favorites to study, because they almost always take the safest routes and take the fewest chances. One exercise that I think is great is watching say Thorsten run a rack and write down the balls he chooses in order. Then go back and watch the same rack again pausing before every shot. You can see pretty clearly why he's about to do what you now know he will. Why did he choose that ball instead of the one you'd go for?

One thing I see in both of their approaches is that after the break shot, their number one priority is to open up pockets for any balls that don't have a clear path to one. But they also keep their eyes open for opportunities to create break balls and key balls and do their best to avoid creating new clusters and moving good break balls. But there are situations where you'll see them take off what looks to be a perfect break ball, and it might be, but by doing so opens up a path to or for blocked balls.

After they solve the problems, that's when their priority shifts to end patterns.

Last edited by bluepepper; 11-27-2017 at 03:58 PM.
  
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11-27-2017, 05:02 PM

There is nothing better in life than new 14.1 high run!


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Yesterday, 03:39 PM

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Originally Posted by HUKIT View Post
Thanks. I'd really like to get better at shot selection so i don't have to wait till the stars align again to repeat and extend that run.
Yes, there are things you can do to improve shot selection. As far as drills go I'd say the Brainwash drill is the best.
If you stick with it for awhile you'll start recognizing patterns quicker and easier. An added benefit will be seen in improved position and even in better ball pocketing. That's the short answer.
However, recognizing patterns is only one facet of shot selection and maybe not even the most important one.
There's a lot of emphaysis on end patterns and many people may be aware of books and videos dealing with that(most notably Capelles stuff) and while it has value, once again, it's just a small part of the story. In a lot of the scenarios presented, any decent B player or above will look at the table layout and the majority of the time arrive at the same conclusion as the player on the video did. If that's the case then they really didn't learn anything.
Sometimes things just fall into place and you end up with a great pattern to get you to the BS but most of the time having a good end pattern is the result of your shot choices earlier in the rack.
So, how do we achieve good shot selection? IMO, it's setting goals and then attemping to achieve said goals as quickly and efficiently as possible while at the same time following, whenever possible(WP), the general rules that apply to 14.1* and also, WP, using correct position methods**.
*...I'm talking about things like clearing pockets, taking balls off rails,etc,etc. This info is well known and easily available.
**... Info on correct position play is also readily available.
What are the goals in straight pool? Essentially, your goals are dictated by problems. The goal is to identify and solve problems.
It's basically making the highest percentage decision that conforms to your goals, on every single shot that you take. Notice I didn't say highest percentage shot, or highest percentage chance of position success. The 'decisions' you make must be the best ones possible that further the achievement of your goals in the least amount of shots while at the same time having insurance. It's very, very important to not waste balls. Every ball taken off the table decreases your options.
Insurance is most often thought of in relation to going into clusters. Having an out ball if you get stuck. Of course that's needed but we should also keep insurance in mind when playing position. In fact, insurance should be factored in to every shot we take and every decision we make. That alone will increase your success rate.
So many people(especially younger people) come from a 9 ball background. Position in 14.1 is different. It's often not good enough to get over there somewhere on the correct side of the ball. It's more often necessary to play more precise position and get more exact angles.
I think most people that play 14.1 are aware of these things, but, most of us aren't perfect in getting exactly where we want every time and that's when position insurance becomes important.
It's not just whether we have a shot when we miss position, it's whether we have a shot that helps as much as possible to achieve our goals.
Let's say you shoot a ball and come off 2 rails with the intention of getting in an exact spot to play a ball and bump a BS into position.
The zone is very small but the reward is great so it's worth trying for. _____This is something that comes up a lot in straight pool. Situations where it's a little tricky to get perfect position but if you do execute it, everything plays easier from then on and your chances of getting through the rack with a great BS have improved immensely.
How many times have you said to yourself, or heard someone else say, "I know I should have shot ball X and tried to get that angle on ball Y but it was kind of tricky and I wasn't really comfortable with it, even though it was probably the right play. That type of thinking may be the 2nd biggest roadblock to improvement. The 1st is not developing a bulletproof stroke.
I'm not saying to try ridiculously low percentage plays. What I'm referring to are situations where you recognize something you could do to quickly address a problem but have doubts that you can execute it even though you've seen better players do it with regularity. Those players were like you at some point. You have to keep pushing the limits and expanding your comfort zone._____

So we're trying to get in a small area to bump out a breakshot and we don't quite get there. What's next? What's next is that we should have considered what's next before we shot the shot.(or maybe even before we shot the 2 shots previous to that) Seems obvious, right, yet many people don't do it, or they do it but in a very superficial manner.
Every time you play position you can miss 4 ways. Short, long, left or right. Each possibility has to be examined in minute detail taking all variables into account, before you get down and pull the trigger.
If you do miss, which of those 4 ways would be most beneficial in regards to furthering your goals. Depending on which way you miss you might have 4 different balls you could shoot with multiple position paths off each one. Which would be the best for achieving your goals?
If we do happen to miss it's usually preferable to miss in a certain way. This must be considered before we shoot.
There is another very important factor in this little scenario. Anyone who's been playing for a decent amount of time will have recognized that with certain shots and angles, if we do miss position, we're more likely to miss it in a particular way. If that's the case we need to determine if missing in that fashion is beneficial in regards to our goal. If it is, shoot it, if not... look for a better solution. Simple, right?
Not really. Playing good 14.1 can get extremely complicated at times but can usually be simplfied somewhat by identifying goals and attacking them immediately while at the same time paying "ridiculous attention to detail".(RATD) I stole that phrase from Blackjack, hope he doesn't mind. Some of you may have already seen it, if not, check it out here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x8Dko09FPn0 So, let's add paying RATD to the list for achieving superior shot selection.
Couple more things may help. I won't go into too much detail, just list them.
1) It's imperative to stay off the rail with the CB. It's extremely limiting. If you end up close to the rail a lot you need to carefully examine the way you're playing position.
2) Distance between OB and CB. Once again, extremely limiting for position options and superior CB control.
3) Watch your speed. 95% of B players and below hit the ball too hard. Even a large % of A players use excessive speed.
4) A good amount of players with poor shot selection tend to blame it on poor CB control. That's not usually true. If you strive to improve shot selection your CB control will improve also.
5) Work backwards. This is obvious to some people but not everyone. Position tutorials often mention "the pros think 3 balls ahead".
While true, it's also rather simplistic. Good players think as far ahead as the layout allows. When dealing with problems you always start at the problem, try to identify the highest percentage way to eliminate it, and then work backwards, step by step, to the present CB location. All along the way you try to control as many variables as possible and adjust as necessary.
6) If you're not comfortable with inside english take up a new hobby. Or else get comfortable with it. It's essential to playing good
14.1.
7) If you're serious about improving your shot selection, CB control,high runs, and 14.1 game in general, then spend a fair amount of
time with the 'Brainwash drill'. It will help tremendously.

Focusing on improving shot selection is probably the quickest way to higher runs. Are there any mediocre 14.1 pros who have great shot selection? Not likely. All the top 14.1 guys have very good to excellent shot selection and that's probably the main reason why they are the best.

Well, I hope this can help some people. I know it's kind of long but it's far from definitive, I cut a lot of stuff out to shorten it up.
I just tried to take a little of the mystery out of shot selection. I know it's a difficult subject for a lot of people.
I have to consider myself lucky in that when I started playing pool it was in a setting where '14.1' was played almost exclusively and I had the opportunity to watch and play with a lot of very knowledgable players.
  
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