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View Full Version : In every single straight pool tournament, you will hear this about the guy who wins.


CreeDo
09-17-2013, 07:30 AM
"This guy plays 14.1 all wrong but he just shoots so straight he gets away with it."

I've heard that said about Thorsten Hohmann, John Schmidt, Efren, Mike Dechaine,
probably a half dozen others. The funny thing is, often the guys saying it can actually
play so you can't just write it off.

If these guys play it wrong, who plays it right?
Anyone who isn't a senior citizen?

Maybe patterns are overrated. Discuss.

Nostroke
09-17-2013, 07:37 AM
"This guy plays 14.1 all wrong but he just shoots so straight he gets away with it."

I've heard that said about Thorsten Hohmann, John Schmidt, Efren, Mike Dechaine,
probably a half dozen others. The funny thing is, often the guys saying it can actually
play so you can't just write it off.

If these guys play it wrong, who plays it right?
Anyone who isn't a senior citizen?

Maybe patterns are overrated. Discuss.

It was certainly said about Manalo when he won the NJ State Championship-Daz and many more also of course.

sjm
09-17-2013, 07:45 AM
"This guy plays 14.1 all wrong but he just shoots so straight he gets away with it."

I've heard that said about Thorsten Hohmann, John Schmidt, Efren, Mike Dechaine,
probably a half dozen others. The funny thing is, often the guys saying it can actually
play so you can't just write it off.

If these guys play it wrong, who plays it right?
Anyone who isn't a senior citizen?

Maybe patterns are overrated. Discuss.

Good topic. First of all, let's note that Thorsten and John Schmidt are good pattern players, though perhaps just a bit less technically perfect than some of the living old timers like Ray Martin, Allen Hopkins, Jimmy Rempe, Mike Sigel, Nick Varner, Dan DiLiberto, Dallas West, Lou Butera, Bobby Hunter, Eddie Kelly and Dan Barouty.

Efren, Dechaine, and also Johnny Archer, all of whom are capable of very long runs, are certainly less skilled pattern players than John and Thorsten, and this is where I think there is some truth in your observations that "patterns may be overrated." In fact, back in the golden days of straight pool, the legendary Luther Lassiter was the only true example of a player who could run balls forever despite not being one of the best few pattern players. Of course, some feel Lassiter was the straightest shooter of all time.

In this year's Dragon 14.1 event, of the current generation of players, I thought Appleton and Immonen played the patterns particularly well, but of course, I may biased since I didn't watch all the matches.

One difference between today and yesteryear is that slower cloth and lower quality balls made it much harder back in the day to open the balls up on a break-shot, and the break shot had to be hit a bit harder. That's why good pattern play was so critical, because break shots could be missed when hit very hard, and back in the day, there were far more missed break shots. Hence, getting very close to the break ball was crucial.

Simonis 860 and Centennial and Aramith balls make it much easier to open the clusters today in 14.1, even when the break shot is attempted from several feet away from the object ball. As ideal position is not as important on the break shot today, the patterns don't have to be quite as good as back in the day.

To sum, good pattern play is important, but less critical than in days gone by. That is why it is so often true today that "straight shooting" can be a sufficient substitute for optimal table management.

RedEyeJedi
09-17-2013, 07:47 AM
Good topic. First of all, let's note that Thorsten and John Schmidt are good pattern players, though perhaps just a bit less technically perfect than some of the living old timers like Ray Martin, Allen Hopkins, Jimmy Rempe, Mike Sigel, Nick Varner, Dan DiLiberto, Dallas West, Lou Butera, Bobby Hunter, Eddie Kelly and Dan Barouty.

Efren, Dechaine, and also Johnny Archer, all of whom are capable of very long runs, are certainly less skilled pattern players than John and Thorsten, and this is where I think there is some truth in your observations that "patterns may be overrated." In fact, back in the golden days of straight pool, the legendary Luther Lassiter was the only true example of a player who could run balls forever despite not being one of the best few pattern players.

One difference between today and yesteryear is that slower cloth and lower quality balls made it much harder back in the day to open the balls up on a break-shot, and the break shot had to be hit a bit harder. That's why good pattern play was so critical, because break shots could be missed when hit very hard, and back in the day, there were far more missed break shots. Hence, getting very close to the break ball was crucial.

Simonis 860 and Centennial and Aramith balls make it much easier to open the clusters today in 14.1, even when the break shot is attempted from several feet away from the object ball. As ideal position is not as important on the break shot today, the patterns don't have to be quite as good as back in the day.

To sum, good pattern play is important, but less critical than in days gone by.

You, sir, have nailed it. :thumbup:

I still love to hear George Fels commentate and ream players on 80 ball runs for what truly seem to be obvious, glaring mistakes. Makes me envious of the old timers, with videos of classic style perfect pattern 14.1 few and far between.

bdorman
09-17-2013, 07:48 AM
The people who say it lack perspective. They think the only "right" way is the one they use. They don't understand that people are unique individuals who see things through their own lenses.

The commentator says one pattern is right based on his experience and ABILITY. He chooses a pattern because it avoids a long cut shot. Maybe the player is very comfortable with long cut shots so he sees the pattern differently.

Kim Bye
09-17-2013, 07:48 AM
Straight pool is a game of odds, so even if you can shoot straight as a ruler, getting out of position will screw you in the end.
Sure, the top guys can make difficult shots most of the time, but no ALL of the time.
The only way to consistently get high runs is playing connect the dots as much as possible.

duckie
09-17-2013, 07:54 AM
I don't think in terms of patterns, but of problems on the table or better put by Babe Cranfield, managing the rack.

Seeing a problem on the table, say a cluster of balls on the rail, and seeing the best way to take care of them, or choosing a little "tougher" shot because I can use the cb to nudge another ball into say being a break ball.

The overall goal is to get to a break ball setup, how you get there really doesn't matter.

macneilb
09-17-2013, 08:08 AM
Good topic. First of all, let's note that Thorsten and John Schmidt are good pattern players, though perhaps just a bit less technically perfect than some of the living old timers like Ray Martin, Allen Hopkins, Jimmy Rempe, Mike Sigel, Nick Varner, Dan DiLiberto, Dallas West, Lou Butera, Bobby Hunter, Eddie Kelly and Dan Barouty.

Efren, Dechaine, and also Johnny Archer, all of whom are capable of very long runs, are certainly less skilled pattern players than John and Thorsten, and this is where I think there is some truth in your observations that "patterns may be overrated." In fact, back in the golden days of straight pool, the legendary Luther Lassiter was the only true example of a player who could run balls forever despite not being one of the best few pattern players. Of course, some feel Lassiter was the straightest shooter of all time.

One difference between today and yesteryear is that slower cloth and lower quality balls made it much harder back in the day to open the balls up on a break-shot, and the break shot had to be hit a bit harder. That's why good pattern play was so critical, because break shots could be missed when hit very hard, and back in the day, there were far more missed break shots. Hence, getting very close to the break ball was crucial.

Simonis 860 and Centennial and Aramith balls make it much easier to open the clusters today in 14.1, even when the break shot is attempted from several feet away from the object ball. As ideal position is not as important on the break shot today, the patterns don't have to be quite as good as back in the day.

To sum, good pattern play is important, but less critical than in days gone by. That is why it is so often true today that "straight shooting" can be a sufficient substitute for optimal table management.

I agree with everything you're saying, save for one thing...the pockets on those old tables that they played on were relative buckets compared to what they play on today (diamonds, gold crowns, etc). The pockets that Mosconi made his 500+ ball run were nearly 5". So while the balls break out of clusters easier due to the fast cloth, imo players of today need to be even more accurate with their break shots, no matter what distance they choose to do it from.

The other reason I believe the majority players of today, even the elite players, don't feel the need to get as close to their work is because most players of today grow up on 9 ball or rotation games, where getting really close to a ball isn't paramount, just leaving the correct angle to get on the next ball more than anything. Older players who grew up on straight pool probably came up placing more emphasis on getting close, hence why older players tend to play the game differently. Just my .02 :rolleyes:

sjm
09-17-2013, 08:48 AM
I....I believe the majority players of today, even the elite players, don't feel the need to get as close to their work is because most players of today grow up on 9 ball or rotation games, where getting really close to a ball isn't paramount, just leaving the correct angle to get on the next ball more than anything. Older players who grew up on straight pool probably came up placing more emphasis on getting close, hence why older players tend to play the game differently. Just my .02 :rolleyes:

This is an excellent point. I agree 100%. Because of their rotational pool backgrounds, this generation of players has learned to run the balls with emphasis on getting the angles right more than getting close to their work. This enables them to manage almost any end pattern in 14.1, even if it might mean they shoot the break shot from just a bit further away.

I learned something form your post!

DTL
09-17-2013, 09:12 AM
................................

3andstop
09-17-2013, 09:22 AM
Most often spoken by the old school players. These guys today have such accuracy and fire power that they play correctly for what they have in their tool box.

Mikey Town
09-17-2013, 09:23 AM
IMO... A players ball pocketing ability will, in part, dictate that players patterns.

If a shot that you or I would consider difficult looks like a hangar to Dechaine, Archer or Efren, then they would be less likely to try to get "perfect" on the ball because they are just going to make it anyway.

Good pattern play is very important because it helps keep you out of difficult situations. However, do to our varying skill levels, we all have a different definition of "difficult."

measureman
09-17-2013, 09:34 AM
The classic old timers were straight pool players first.
Today we have straight pool players that are 9 ball players first.
This is why we don't see the type of pattern play today as in the past.
Also because being a 9 ball player first they have no fear of getting out of line because coming with the tough shot is what they are used to. The old timers when confronted with a very tough shot would have played safe.
And I've seen most of the old timers going back to the early 60's.

elvicash
09-17-2013, 09:47 AM
I don't think in terms of patterns, but of problems on the table or better put by Babe Cranfield, managing the rack.

Seeing a problem on the table, say a cluster of balls on the rail, and seeing the best way to take care of them, or choosing a little "tougher" shot because I can use the cb to nudge another ball into say being a break ball.

The overall goal is to get to a break ball setup, how you get there really doesn't matter.


I play like you and have for a long time trying to fix problems and mostly just shooting and have to say I disagree, You will get what you get out of an instance so you are correct BUT the more often you pick the easiest way the more often you will actually get to the break, bad patterns will bring patterns as soon as you can say Willie Mosconi (purveyor of many great patterns).

So sure if you get out you get out, but if you want to get out alot find the better patterns. I am trying this and am finding bigger numbers.


IMO... A players ball pocketing ability will, in part, dictate that players patterns.

If a shot that you or I would consider difficult looks like a hangar to Dechaine, Archer or Efren, then they would be less likely to try to get "perfect" on the ball because they are just going to make it anyway.

Good pattern play is very important because it helps keep you out of difficult situations. However, do to our varying skill levels, we all have a different definition of "difficult."

True but great players find the simplest solutuons that look easy to everyone watching, That guy can't play he never shoots anything I cant make so he obviously cannot play.

alstl
09-17-2013, 09:57 AM
I wouldn't say patterns are overrated. I would say there is frequently disagreement as to what the correct pattern is.

I posted a run once on here and a couple people chimed in that I didn't clear off balls uptable early enough and shouldn't have used a key ball near the rail uptable on the same side as the break ball.

In this video Mosconi leaves a ball uptable until near the end in both racks and uses a key ball in the second rack near the rail on the same side as the break ball. Did Mosconi have bad patterns?

https://vimeo.com/4957545

It is important to have a pattern once the balls are open. There is room for interpretation as to what that pattern should be. The main thing is to have a pattern you can execute to get on the break shot.

macguy
09-17-2013, 10:00 AM
"This guy plays 14.1 all wrong but he just shoots so straight he gets away with it."

I've heard that said about Thorsten Hohmann, John Schmidt, Efren, Mike Dechaine,
probably a half dozen others. The funny thing is, often the guys saying it can actually
play so you can't just write it off.

If these guys play it wrong, who plays it right?
Anyone who isn't a senior citizen?

Maybe patterns are overrated. Discuss.

As a guy who could really be a pain in the ass when I was a kid around top players, here is what Joe Balsis told me. Now he was a great player but not necessarily one of the best of all time but I respected his opinion. We were sitting watching a match at the US open and I asked him about patterns. I had noticed he would get a break shot and whack it like he was breaking a 9 ball rack many times. His attitude was, every ball is worth 1 point and you can take them off in any number of ways and it is fine.

Once the balls are open you look for the problems, and get a general idea how you will be running the rack. It doesn't have to go perfectly as long as you don't get yourself in trouble. It is bad to play position on a ball where if you don't get perfect you are dead. Straight pool contrary to what many like to think, is very forgiving as long as you don't do really stupid things. Are there patterns, maybe to a degree but more the game is based on theory of how to stay out of trouble. The first sign someone doesn't know what they are doing is if as they begin getting to the end of a rack they have balls scattered around the table often on rails and are having to travel to far to get off the last few balls. It is best to clear the table in sections. Regardless you can shoot off the balls anyway you like.

It is not unusual to see a player maybe shoot several balls in the same pocket just drawing back for no other reason then it is convenient as he clears off an area. Straight pool has to be one of the easiest game to criticize a players play because they do something differently. Like Balsis said, the balls are all worth only 1 point it doesn't really matter how you get them off.

I remember seeing Crane yell at Miz after losing a match because he said Miz played the game wrong. Crane had played a good safe sending the cueball up table and Miz took a shot and ran out instead of playing safe back. Crane was furious and stomped out of the room. Later I saw him downstairs in the hotel restaurant replaying the shot with salt and pepper shakers as I guess it was his wife had to sit there and listen to it.

measureman
09-17-2013, 01:07 PM
As a guy who could really be a pain in the ass when I was a kid around top players, here is what Joe Balsis told me. Now he was a great player but not necessarily one of the best of all time but I respected his opinion. We were sitting watching a match at the US open and I asked him about patterns. I had noticed he would get a break shot and whack it like he was breaking a 9 ball rack many times. His attitude was, every ball is worth 1 point and you can take them off in any number of ways and it is fine.

Once the balls are open you look for the problems, and get a general idea how you will be running the rack. It doesn't have to go perfectly as long as you don't get yourself in trouble. It is bad to play position on a ball where if you don't get perfect you are dead. Straight pool contrary to what many like to think, is very forgiving as long as you don't do really stupid things. Are there patterns, maybe to a degree but more the game is based on theory of how to stay out of trouble. The first sign someone doesn't know what they are doing is if as they begin getting to the end of a rack they have balls scattered around the table often on rails and are having to travel to far to get off the last few balls. It is best to clear the table in sections. Regardless you can shoot off the balls anyway you like.

It is not unusual to see a player maybe shoot several balls in the same pocket just drawing back for no other reason then it is convenient as he clears off an area. Straight pool has to be one of the easiest game to criticize a players play because they do something differently. Like Balsis said, the balls are all worth only 1 point it doesn't really matter how you get them off.

I remember seeing Crane yell at Miz after losing a match because he said Miz played the game wrong. Crane had played a good safe sending the cueball up table and Miz took a shot and ran out instead of playing safe back. Crane was furious and stomped out of the room. Later I saw him downstairs in the hotel restaurant replaying the shot with salt and pepper shakers as I guess it was his wife had to sit there and listen to it.

Well said. Good advice.
There are several ways to play a rack usually. As long as you can get position on the break ball fairly easy it's a good pattern you played.

RunoutJJ
09-17-2013, 02:31 PM
I will say this... When Daz first started playing 14:1 he was just potting balls that he could with no really pattern play. Although... After watching Darren's record breaking 200 ball run at the World's tourney I did noticed that his pattern play was that of a straight pool player and not a player just potting whatever he could. Was thoroughly impressed to say the least....

JoeyA
09-17-2013, 02:41 PM
"This guy plays 14.1 all wrong but he just shoots so straight he gets away with it."

I've heard that said about Thorsten Hohmann, John Schmidt, Efren, Mike Dechaine,
probably a half dozen others. The funny thing is, often the guys saying it can actually
play so you can't just write it off.

If these guys play it wrong, who plays it right?
Anyone who isn't a senior citizen?

Maybe patterns are overrated. Discuss.

Perhaps it is a bit of an ego trip for the commentator since the commentator thinks that the player has made incorrect choices according to their way of thinking.

On the other hand the commentator is paying a nice compliment referencing the straight shooting of the player.

The same thing happens in one pocket commentary. It is a personal perspective by the commentator and depending upon their style of play, may or may not vary from one commentator to the next.

I've seen great commentators make statements about a particular shot that a shooter is getting ready to shoot, saying that the player is shooting the wrong shot even if he makes it.

Sometimes the commentators are correct and sometimes it is just their personal perspective which can be totally wrong because each player has different strengths and they must play to those strengths, the score, and the situation at hand in that moment of the match. Knowing the strengths and weaknesses of each player is critical in doing commentary. Even knowing those things, we sometimes say things that aren't 100% correct. Sometimes, those type of comments can be just poor exclamations about the talent of the player.

JoeyA

Mikey Town
09-17-2013, 04:07 PM
True but great players find the simplest solutuons that look easy to everyone watching, That guy can't play he never shoots anything I cant make so he obviously cannot play.

You will never see a 100+ ball run made up of all easy shots. You might not see the cue ball fly around the table, like you do in 9-10 ball, but difficult shots need to be made.

While great pattern play can make up for weaknesses in shot making ability, it also works the other way around. The top shot makers of the game won't always play perfect patterns because they just don't have to. Also, their skill level is so far advanced that they may feel comfortable with different things than others are.

The "correct" pattern can be different, depending on the level of the player executing it.

lfigueroa
09-17-2013, 05:46 PM
You will never see a 100+ ball run made up of all easy shots. You might not see the cue ball fly around the table, like you do in 9-10 ball, but difficult shots need to be made.

While great pattern play can make up for weaknesses in shot making ability, it also works the other way around. The top shot makers of the game won't always play perfect patterns because they just don't have to. Also, their skill level is so far advanced that they may feel comfortable with different things than others are.

The "correct" pattern can be different, depending on the level of the player executing it.


Whenever I watched Mosconi I would swear running a hundred balls was the easiest thing in the world. He never had a tough shot. After watching him I'd run to a table *knowing* I could do it too -- he just made it look that simple.

Lou Figueroa

Bob Jewett
09-17-2013, 07:26 PM
You will never see a 100+ ball run made up of all easy shots. You might not see the cue ball fly around the table, like you do in 9-10 ball, but difficult shots need to be made. ...
In Mike Sigel's 150-and-out against Mike Zuglan, there was one moderately hard shot and that was a ball by the side of the rack up to a head pocket -- just after a break, I think. I don't recall any other shot that was a tester.

But I agree that in general a 100 ball run will have some number of 80% shots. In Lassiter's case that might include a couple of banks.

measureman
09-17-2013, 09:39 PM
Whenever I watched Mosconi I would swear running a hundred balls was the easiest thing in the world. He never had a tough shot. After watching him I'd run to a table *knowing* I could do it too -- he just made it look that simple.

Lou Figueroa

I played Mosconi an exhibition game and watched him play a hand full of times. And when he was on his game he made it look so simple.
His play was a notch above his competition.He was on his own level.
Pretty much like Tiger Woods in his prime.

macguy
09-17-2013, 10:34 PM
In Mike Sigel's 150-and-out against Mike Zuglan, there was one moderately hard shot and that was a ball by the side of the rack up to a head pocket -- just after a break, I think. I don't recall any other shot that was a tester.

But I agree that in general a 100 ball run will have some number of 80% shots. In Lassiter's case that might include a couple of banks.
Your Lassiter comment made me laugh. We were watching him playing straight pool and at one point he inexplicably banked a ball cross side. The thing was, all he had to do was walk around the table and shoot a ball straight in the corner.

CJ Wiley
09-18-2013, 12:05 AM
Earl and I played in a straight pool tournament in Portland Maine and did well despite people wondering about our "pattern play". Earl had a high run of 407 before that tournament so his patterns must have been "ok". ;)

Tobermory
09-18-2013, 08:16 AM
Dear MacGuy--

I think you ought to move Balsis up in your ranking of players. Back in the '70's I saw him play an afternoon and an evening exhibition of straight pool and shoot the most glorious straight pool you could ever imagine. When he sat down after the second exhibition and hung out with us, he said he had not wanted to say anything when he had arrived because he didn't want to build us up and then disappoint us, but two days before he had played an exhibiton at another place and had run three hundred (!) balls.

It should be added, he was a wonderful guest for the three or four days he spent with us. He was a fine instructor and an excellent companion. I remember in particular that one of the players brought his severely handicapped son to the exhibition and when Joe did trick shots the boy rolled over his wheelchair to the table and began to motion at spots on the table. It was clear he wanted Joe to play some particular shot, but it was also very unclear exactly what it was. Joe patiently puzzled out what the boy wanted him to do and then performed the shot several times to the boy's delight.

Joe's oft-repeated advice in straight pool was to move the cue ball as little as possible.

macguy
09-18-2013, 09:23 AM
Dear MacGuy--

I think you ought to move Balsis up in your ranking of players. Back in the '70's I saw him play an afternoon and an evening exhibition of straight pool and shoot the most glorious straight pool you could ever imagine. When he sat down after the second exhibition and hung out with us, he said he had not wanted to say anything when he had arrived because he didn't want to build us up and then disappoint us, but two days before he had played an exhibiton at another place and had run three hundred (!) balls.

It should be added, he was a wonderful guest for the three or four days he spent with us. He was a fine instructor and an excellent companion. I remember in particular that one of the players brought his severely handicapped son to the exhibition and when Joe did trick shots the boy rolled over his wheelchair to the table and began to motion at spots on the table. It was clear he wanted Joe to play some particular shot, but it was also very unclear exactly what it was. Joe patiently puzzled out what the boy wanted him to do and then performed the shot several times to the boy's delight.

Joe's oft-repeated advice in straight pool was to move the cue ball as little as possible.
I in no way meant to sound like I was not respecting his play. He was for sure great but not one of the greatest players of all time. I think if not for Lassiter though he may have been more dominant in his era. It is important to also remember he may have been somewhat of a part time player for many years and not as dedicated as some others. He actually at one point went like 15 years without competing then made a comeback. His talent is without question.

He did as you say not move the cueball much. He liked to get the rack open then work the table a section at a time with minimum movement. Players like Mosconi and Crane always seemed to be picking around the rack with few balls ever moving above the side pockets. Balsis spread the ball as soon as possible. Different styles I guess and they both work for the players.

Not long before he died he was at the BCA trade show. They were having at the same time in the same building a Junior tournament. People at the show would wander in and out. I went in quite a few times and he was sitting there in the stands by himself watching. He may have spent half the day in there watching. I seriously doubt any of the kids had any idea who he was. He had aged though and if not pointed out I could see people not recognized him.

I saw him play a 1000 point catch up match over 5 days against Danny DiLiberto. They played 200 points a night. He drilled Danny like 2 to 1. When he got going he could really play.

sjm
09-18-2013, 09:25 AM
The greatest tribute to Joe Balsis I've ever heard was when Johnny Ervolino told me that back in the 1970's, he feared Balsis more than Mizerak. Wow, strong stuff!

In 1980, at the age of 59, Joe reached the final of the PPPA World 14.1 Championship but ran into some young gun who was seeking his first world championship...................................... ....that young gun's name was Mike Sigel.

8ballEinstein
09-18-2013, 10:39 PM
"This guy plays 14.1 all wrong but he just shoots so straight he gets away with it."

I've heard that said about Thorsten Hohmann, John Schmidt, Efren, Mike Dechaine,
probably a half dozen others. The funny thing is, often the guys saying it can actually
play so you can't just write it off.

If these guys play it wrong, who plays it right?
Anyone who isn't a senior citizen?

Maybe patterns are overrated. Discuss.

My criticism of many of todays 14.1 players is that they often have to shot their way out of trouble. Without a doubt, many of them do this rather well. The old classic sraight pool players had a way of managing the rack so that difficult shots rarely came up.

In Willie Mosconi's case, it looked like he choreographed the whole run. He viewed it as following a pattern and just repeating it, with a little variation here and there. The results of his break shots were just as he planned it, knowing exactly what he'd shoot at next. The man had extreme control of the game. Other players of those days had similar knowledge and skill. This is very different from what I've seen in our top players today. Not knocking them - just different than the old days.

Tony_in_MD
09-19-2013, 02:24 AM
My criticism of many of todays 14.1 players is that they often have to shot their way out of trouble. Without a doubt, many of them do this rather well. The old classic sraight pool players had a way of managing the rack so that difficult shots rarely came up.

In Willie Mosconi's case, it looked like he choreographed the whole run. He viewed it as following a pattern and just repeating it, with a little variation here and there. The results of his break shots were just as he planned it, knowing exactly what he'd shoot at next. The man had extreme control of the game. Other players of those days had similar knowledge and skill. This is very different from what I've seen in our top players today. Not knocking them - just different than the old days.

It is not surprising to observe this because it is a direct result of focusing on this game throughout your whole career. Something that today's players could not afford to do.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk.

Gerry
09-19-2013, 05:19 AM
I agree with much of what is said here, like any game, the individual dictates how they run the balls off, but, there are ways to play the game that make big runs easier.

I feel if 14.1 was THE game of today, solid logical pattern play, and high runs would naturally revert back to how the old school guys played it.....just because there are ways to make it easy.....

BUT, if you are a top notch pro and only play a few events a year IMO, the best theory to play by is to splash the balls open all over the table as quickly as you can, then use your rotation skills to get on a breaker. It is just the age of pool we are in today.

On the same note.....go back and watch the "old school" guys play 9ball! it seems laughable sometimes what they did. We would all be stunned at some of the banks they shot at, and the lack of safety play.....and the jump shot? huh? :)

G.

8ballEinstein
09-19-2013, 06:19 AM
I remember seeing Crane yell at Miz after losing a match because he said Miz played the game wrong. Crane had played a good safe sending the cueball up table and Miz took a shot and ran out instead of playing safe back. Crane was furious and stomped out of the room. Later I saw him downstairs in the hotel restaurant replaying the shot with salt and pepper shakers as I guess it was his wife had to sit there and listen to it.

This was funny to me because when Irving Crane was young he played a top player in a tournament where he left himself a sharp cut shot near the foot rail for the break shot. The cue ball was way up table. The startegy was simply to play safe but Crane goes for the shot, makes it and scatters the other balls. Plenty of other observers later told him no one in their right mind would've taken that shot.

Many years later he criticizes the Miz for doing something similiar. Too funny.

Straightpool_99
09-19-2013, 07:45 AM
....................

Bob Jewett
09-19-2013, 08:08 AM
This was funny to me because when Irving Crane was young he played a top player in a tournament where he left himself a sharp cut shot near the foot rail for the break shot. The cue ball was way up table. The strategy was simply to play safe but Crane goes for the shot, makes it and scatters the other balls. Plenty of other observers later told him no one in their right mind would've taken that shot.

Many years later he criticizes the Miz for doing something similar. Too funny.
Well, I think a lot of 14.1 players play too conservatively. If Crane was 60% on the tough cut, he was supposed to shoot it. Unless you are in a very good position to play a dynamite safe, you can't figure you're better than 50% to win a safe battle against another good player. So, take the 60% shot if that's what you have and it leads to something good.

On the other hand, if Crane had been playing a tough 60% cut that had no chance to break the balls but had a 20% chance to hang up in the pocket where the other player would have a good break shot and a start to a run, then Crane should have ducked. It seems to me that Crane may have made the right choice.

It's true that if you are always shooting 60% shots you won't get very far, but if you make a lot of 99% shots but then end up with a 60% shot (after the break or some such) you should usually go for it.

Related to which, I was sitting next to Mike Eufemia at the 1977 PPPA World 14.1 championships, and he spoke disgustedly of Crane's style calling him a showboat who was too in love with fancy shots.

I think that veteran 14.1 players develop a feel for how they themselves should play a given layout and when they see another player straying from that path, they get uncomfortable.

CreeDo
09-19-2013, 09:15 AM
To me it sounds like even if today's players do play it differently, guys like Mosconi
knew how to stay out of trouble better. Two guys might both have the same high run,
but if one of them just gets in trouble less, his average in tournaments will always be higher.
Maybe we gotta stop using high run as a measuring stick.

I definitely don't think playing longer, slightly harder shots with more angle (i.e. "9 ball shots")
is a 'style'. It's not six of one, half dozen of the other.
It's flat out better to leave yourself less missable shots, more often.

So I guess I'm wondering if the youngish players today like Toastie really fail to do that,
or if they're doing it but just getting a bad rap.

I have a theory that contrary to what some old-timers say, today's fast cloth is harder to play on.
Sure you need to be able to hit a ball warp-speed if you are on slow cloth and fall straight in.
But on fast cloth your touch must be so perfect and nice. A small error in speed control turns into a
"shit-I'm-frozen-to-the-head-rail" disaster.

Maybe the old guys could more easily play simple patterns because slow cloth
made speed control easier... hitting 20% too hard on slow cloth, will carry the cue ball less far
than hitting 20% too hard on simonis 860. And you could hold balls from almost anywhere on slow cloth,
in situations where you'd have to settle on shape or go over-and-back playing on 860.

Tony_in_MD
09-19-2013, 03:40 PM
To me it sounds like even if today's players do play it differently, guys like Mosconi
knew how to stay out of trouble better. Two guys might both have the same high run,
but if one of them just gets in trouble less, his average in tournaments will always be higher.
Maybe we gotta stop using high run as a measuring stick.

I definitely don't think playing longer, slightly harder shots with more angle (i.e. "9 ball shots")
is a 'style'. It's not six of one, half dozen of the other.
It's flat out better to leave yourself less missable shots, more often.

So I guess I'm wondering if the youngish players today like Toastie really fail to do that,
or if they're doing it but just getting a bad rap.

I have a theory that contrary to what some old-timers say, today's fast cloth is harder to play on.
Sure you need to be able to hit a ball warp-speed if you are on slow cloth and fall straight in.
But on fast cloth your touch must be so perfect and nice. A small error in speed control turns into a
"shit-I'm-frozen-to-the-head-rail" disaster.

Maybe the old guys could more easily play simple patterns because slow cloth
made speed control easier... hitting 20% too hard on slow cloth, will carry the cue ball less far
than hitting 20% too hard on simonis 860. And you could hold balls from almost anywhere on slow cloth,
in situations where you'd have to settle on shape or go over-and-back playing on 860.

Good points. Absolutely the less hard shots you leave yourself the higher the runs.

As far as the old slow cloth another thing to consider is that the balls composition was surly different in the past. How did that ( and the weight) of the balls factor in.

I know for myself this past 2 weeks I have been playing more straight pool now then I have the past 35 years combined. Two different rooms in Baltimore with speed of the tables that could not be more different. I prefer the slow place for straights as I can control my speed better.

If I am playing nineball I like the fast place.

:)


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk.

Gerry
09-20-2013, 05:50 PM
you know guys , I was just re-reading this thread and it made me recall a day at the pool room when I was cleaning the tables. Andy, the best 14.1 player in the room was practicing and bored. He asked me why I didn't play more 14.1, and I said I can't get the hang of "patterns" or how to shoot the balls off. So, He racked em and set up a breaker, and handed me the cue.....he said this...you shoot, I'll tell you what and how to hit the shots.......ok lets go....

I ran 72 balls before missing a combo. On that day.... I realized it is NOT my pocketing ability that makes high runs....it was how to get around the balls.

From then on I practiced knowing high runs were out there waiting for my to unlock them.....not.....I'll never know how to do this!!!


G.

APA BRIAN
09-20-2013, 07:44 PM
"If I ran like everybody else, I'd be back there like everybody else." - Olympic sprinter Micheal Johnson on his unique running style.

8ballEinstein
09-20-2013, 08:00 PM
Well, I think a lot of 14.1 players play too conservatively. If Crane was 60% on the tough cut, he was supposed to shoot it. Unless you are in a very good position to play a dynamite safe, you can't figure you're better than 50% to win a safe battle against another good player. So, take the 60% shot if that's what you have and it leads to something good.

On the other hand, if Crane had been playing a tough 60% cut that had no chance to break the balls but had a 20% chance to hang up in the pocket where the other player would have a good break shot and a start to a run, then Crane should have ducked. It seems to me that Crane may have made the right choice.

It's true that if you are always shooting 60% shots you won't get very far, but if you make a lot of 99% shots but then end up with a 60% shot (after the break or some such) you should usually go for it.

Related to which, I was sitting next to Mike Eufemia at the 1977 PPPA World 14.1 championships, and he spoke disgustedly of Crane's style calling him a showboat who was too in love with fancy shots.

I think that veteran 14.1 players develop a feel for how they themselves should play a given layout and when they see another player straying from that path, they get uncomfortable.

Bob, I had to think about your reply.

I'm not sure Crane had a 60% shot but for the sake of arguement, let's say he did. On the shot he had, the wildcard in going for it was the chances of getting a shot afterward. Since the cueball was comng from the back of the stack with no good control of where it would hit, there was no guarantee a clear shot was available. In that case, firing a 60% shot seems like a gamble. True, he could've missed it and also left his opponent with nothing - another gamble. At the top levels, I don't see these guys taking on a gamble too often. This is what you likely mean when you say they play too conservative. I'm thinking there's a good reason for that.

Anyhow, I figure if Crane's peers thought he clearly took the wrong shot, I have to think he lucked out by firing at it and coming out good.

8ballEinstein
09-20-2013, 08:11 PM
you know guys , I was just re-reading this thread and it made me recall a day at the pool room when I was cleaning the tables. Andy, the best 14.1 player in the room was practicing and bored. He asked me why I didn't play more 14.1, and I said I can't get the hang of "patterns" or how to shoot the balls off. So, He racked em and set up a breaker, and handed me the cue.....he said this...you shoot, I'll tell you what and how to hit the shots.......ok lets go....

I ran 72 balls before missing a combo. On that day.... I realized it is NOT my pocketing ability that makes high runs....it was how to get around the balls.

From then on I practiced knowing high runs were out there waiting for my to unlock them.....not.....I'll never know how to do this!!!


G.

I've heard similar stories where an experienced player coaches an average shooter through a straight pool run. The shooter may have had a previous high run of, say, 30 balls. But with guidance, they pull off an 80+. I've never witnessed this but reliable sources have confirmed this to me.

If this is all true, that says something about the power to recognize proper patterns.

Bob Jewett
09-20-2013, 08:44 PM
Bob, I had to think about your reply.

I'm not sure Crane had a 60% shot but for the sake of arguement, let's say he did. On the shot he had, the wildcard in going for it was the chances of getting a shot afterward. Since the cueball was comng from the back of the stack with no good control of where it would hit, there was no guarantee a clear shot was available. In that case, firing a 60% shot seems like a gamble. True, he could've missed it and also left his opponent with nothing - another gamble. At the top levels, I don't see these guys taking on a gamble too often. This is what you likely mean when you say they play too conservative. I'm thinking there's a good reason for that.

Anyhow, I figure if Crane's peers thought he clearly took the wrong shot, I have to think he lucked out by firing at it and coming out good.
There's almost never any guarantee on any shot. A perfect break shot might triple kiss as the cue ball snakes its way into a pocket.

If young Crane played the hard shot against a champion, then he was probably less than 50% to get the first open shot if he had gone into a safety battle. If he felt good about running the balls if the break worked, then maybe the tough break is the right shot even with a less than 50% chance for that single shot. If he makes the break but does not get a shot, then he can start a series of safeties.

I think what a lot of players fail to ask themselves is, if I start a safety battle now, what chance do I have to win it? Some players think they're 100% to get the first shot, but not everyone can be 100%. Another possibility is that Crane had watched the other player before and was frequently surprised by how often he made a great safety that turned the game around. Crane might have put himself at 20% to get the first shot. If that's true, he has to shoot at 30% shots if the alternative is a mediocre safe.

duckie
09-20-2013, 08:48 PM
It's been my observation that setting a a break shot that opens up a rack is harder than it looks.

If the pattern played didn't get a good setup for a break shot, than that pattern wasn't the right one.

After pocketing consistency in high runs, getting consistent quality break shots is the next.

But this is just my observation about my game.....

JB Cases
09-21-2013, 12:08 AM
"This guy plays 14.1 all wrong but he just shoots so straight he gets away with it."

I've heard that said about Thorsten Hohmann, John Schmidt, Efren, Mike Dechaine,
probably a half dozen others. The funny thing is, often the guys saying it can actually
play so you can't just write it off.

If these guys play it wrong, who plays it right?
Anyone who isn't a senior citizen?

Maybe patterns are overrated. Discuss.

14.1 has evolved. Look at any of the 14.1 videos of yesteryear and you can see that they play pretty much the same as today EXCEPT that they miss difficult shots more when presented with them. Players today make those shots and know how to move their cue ball around the table with power. They can take worse position and they can handle tougher shots because they are better players.

I mean Darren Appleton, 200 and out in a major? Archer 199 in his first 14.1 tournament final against Nick Varner? If that's doing it wrong then no one does it right.

14.1 is played by pocketing balls and leaving one ball out to continue the run. Therefore there is not a right way and a wrong way to do this. The right way is as Mosconi said, "don't miss".

Of course, as in all games there are patterns that make it easier to get around. Such patterns reveal themselves the better a player gets. The more you play the more you see which patterns repeat. But sometimes you can't make it happen or you overrun your position and this is where the superior firepower of today's players comes into play.

measureman
09-21-2013, 04:50 AM
There's almost never any guarantee on any shot. A perfect break shot might triple kiss as the cue ball snakes its way into a pocket.

If young Crane played the hard shot against a champion, then he was probably less than 50% to get the first open shot if he had gone into a safety battle. If he felt good about running the balls if the break worked, then maybe the tough break is the right shot even with a less than 50% chance for that single shot. If he makes the break but does not get a shot, then he can start a series of safeties.

I think what a lot of players fail to ask themselves is, if I start a safety battle now, what chance do I have to win it? Some players think they're 100% to get the first shot, but not everyone can be 100%. Another possibility is that Crane had watched the other player before and was frequently surprised by how often he made a great safety that turned the game around. Crane might have put himself at 20% to get the first shot. If that's true, he has to shoot at 30% shots if the alternative is a mediocre safe.

Great point. It's good to know your opponents strong and weak points and use this to your advantage.
I play a guy that banks better than Wells Fargo so when playing 9 ball if I can't hide the cue ball when playing a safe I always leave him a long tough shot rather then any bank shot.

macguy
09-21-2013, 05:42 AM
14.1 has evolved. Look at any of the 14.1 videos of yesteryear and you can see that they play pretty much the same as today EXCEPT that they miss difficult shots more when presented with them. Players today make those shots and know how to move their cue ball around the table with power. They can take worse position and they can handle tougher shots because they are better players.

I mean Darren Appleton, 200 and out in a major? Archer 199 in his first 14.1 tournament final against Nick Varner? If that's doing it wrong then no one does it right.

14.1 is played by pocketing balls and leaving one ball out to continue the run. Therefore there is not a right way and a wrong way to do this. The right way is as Mosconi said, "don't miss".

Of course, as in all games there are patterns that make it easier to get around. Such patterns reveal themselves the better a player gets. The more you play the more you see which patterns repeat. But sometimes you can't make it happen or you overrun your position and this is where the superior firepower of today's players comes into play.
I don't think the players today are any better then players of old, they just play with a different philosophy. Players of old who played almost exclusively 14.1 had to play more carefully. Unlike 9 ball when a miss here and there cost you a game or two in a set. I miss in 14.1 can cost you the whole match at any point. They just did not take risks. Having said that there are players who were known as amazing shot makers when they had to. I knew a guy who played with Ponzy regularly in the pool room. He told me they would play pill games and Ponzy could make almost anything. He was the best shot maker he had ever seen.

That is hearsay, but I can tell you from my own observation that Crane was also an unbelievable shot maker. When he played 9 ball he made everything he shot at. I saw him once practicing at Weenie Beanie's before a 9 ball tournament and he would roll balls down the table and make them from where ever they stopped with such ease it was amazing. If he had decided to play in many of the 9 ball tournaments back then he would have been regarded as a great 9 ball player with his amazing ability to get out. Playing 14.1 though he dialed it back. He just did not take chances. I don't know if he was calculating probabilities but I know he would pass on a shot for a safety many times.

I don't understand the idea of being afraid of a safety battle. If I have no shot I have to play safe. Of course if the safety is going to be as hard as say taking a shot I would have to consider if I may want to play the shot instead because taking a shot has rewards if you make it, heck I could win the whole game right game there. Where as playing even the best safety brings my opponent back to the table and anything can happen from there no matter what.

That is the nature of pool. You can lose games doing the right thing and win games doing something seemingly stupid that just goes your way.

Ratta
09-21-2013, 06:11 AM
"This guy plays 14.1 all wrong but he just shoots so straight he gets away with it."

I've heard that said about Thorsten Hohmann, John Schmidt, Efren, Mike Dechaine,
probably a half dozen others. The funny thing is, often the guys saying it can actually
play so you can't just write it off.

If these guys play it wrong, who plays it right?
Anyone who isn't a senior citizen?

Maybe patterns are overrated. Discuss.

If someone would say that about Hohmann.....he should better quit with pool-billiards. Hohmann is for sure one of the most knowledged 14.1 players alive :-)

8ballEinstein
09-21-2013, 08:38 AM
There's almost never any guarantee on any shot. A perfect break shot might triple kiss as the cue ball snakes its way into a pocket.

If young Crane played the hard shot against a champion, then he was probably less than 50% to get the first open shot if he had gone into a safety battle. If he felt good about running the balls if the break worked, then maybe the tough break is the right shot even with a less than 50% chance for that single shot. If he makes the break but does not get a shot, then he can start a series of safeties.

I think what a lot of players fail to ask themselves is, if I start a safety battle now, what chance do I have to win it? Some players think they're 100% to get the first shot, but not everyone can be 100%. Another possibility is that Crane had watched the other player before and was frequently surprised by how often he made a great safety that turned the game around. Crane might have put himself at 20% to get the first shot. If that's true, he has to shoot at 30% shots if the alternative is a mediocre safe.

Bob, I totally get your point. In fact I see many players, myself included, using your startegy to size up the odds. This happens all the time when I'm up against a player who's clearly better than I am. The reason for taking those calculated risks is because, I'm giving myself a chance to win.

In Irving's case, I don't remember who he was playing and whether or not he was the favorite. But if Crane was the underdog, I could see him taking a flyer to improve his chances of winning. But, on hearing the story, I got the impression young Crane just didn't know any better.

In later life, Crane was considered one of the toughest safety players in the game. The last thing most of his opponents wanted was to get into a safety battle with him. Crane's chances of comng out good on these battles must've been much better than 50%. In his youth, when the story took place, I can't say how strong his safety play was. Lots of possibilities, endless anaysis.

Thanks Bob, I always appreciate your contributions here.

(((Satori)))
09-23-2013, 08:01 AM
you know guys , I was just re-reading this thread and it made me recall a day at the pool room when I was cleaning the tables. Andy, the best 14.1 player in the room was practicing and bored. He asked me why I didn't play more 14.1, and I said I can't get the hang of "patterns" or how to shoot the balls off. So, He racked em and set up a breaker, and handed me the cue.....he said this...you shoot, I'll tell you what and how to hit the shots.......ok lets go....

I ran 72 balls before missing a combo. On that day.... I realized it is NOT my pocketing ability that makes high runs....it was how to get around the balls.

From then on I practiced knowing high runs were out there waiting for my to unlock them.....not.....I'll never know how to do this!!!


G.

One other factor that I am sure helped you that day is that you had a clear plan and picture of what you were going to do before every shot. Once you were ready to shoot you were clear on one shot and how to execute.