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StraightPoolIU
02-25-2007, 10:07 AM
Since I consider myself a little bit of a pool history buff here is a question for all of you straight pool historians out there. What brought about the end of the standard 5'x10' table? I remember when I read Willie's Game that he talked about the standard race being to 125, and when the table size changed that's when the standard became 150. I just don't remember when the change occured or why. I've had the pleasure of playing 14.1 on a converted 5x10 snooker table...an interesting experience to say the least.

Bobby
02-25-2007, 04:29 PM
Since I consider myself a little bit of a pool history buff here is a question for all of you straight pool historians out there. What brought about the end of the standard 5'x10' table? I remember when I read Willie's Game that he talked about the standard race being to 125, and when the table size changed that's when the standard became 150. I just don't remember when the change occured or why. I've had the pleasure of playing 14.1 on a converted 5x10 snooker table...an interesting experience to say the least.


They started using 4 1/2' x 9' tables in the World Championships in 1950. I'm not sure exactly why they did that but I've heard that 9 footers were becoming more common in poolrooms because room owners could fit more tables that way.

It would be interesting to see a tournament now using 5 x 10's and see how todays players would fare.

Bobby

Takumi4G63
02-26-2007, 03:30 AM
I have no idea the answer to that question, but I sure would love to play on a 5x10. I think a big part of the reason Mosconi and other greats of that era were so unconscious at pocketing balls on smaller tables was because of all the time on the 5x10s.

Gerry
02-26-2007, 06:02 AM
I have no idea the answer to that question, but I sure would love to play on a 5x10. I think a big part of the reason Mosconi and other greats of that era were so unconscious at pocketing balls on smaller tables was because of all the time on the 5x10s.


Good point, AND for top flight players the extra room on a 5x10 is a good thing....less chance of getting tied up. Think of playing 14.1 on a bar table.

Gerry

SirBanksALot
02-26-2007, 06:08 AM
[QUOTE=Gerry]Good point, AND for top flight players the extra room on a 5x10 is a good thing....less chance of getting tied up. Think of playing 14.1 on a bar table.

Gerry[/QUOTE


Gerry-An old friend of mine here in town has a 4 x 8 Pro table with 4 1/4" pockets. Runs on any consequence on that table requires precision cueball control. It absolutely makes it necessary to keep knocking balls off the rack into the open rather than opening them up real wide.

Keith

Robertduke
02-26-2007, 06:16 AM
Whats the High Run on a 5 by 10 ? Ummm..?

gulfportdoc
02-26-2007, 07:23 AM
Whats the High Run on a 5 by 10 ? Ummm..?
309 by Irving Crane. I believe that to be a far more difficult feat than Mosconi's 526 on a 4 x 8. The record will never be broken.

Doc

arsenius
02-26-2007, 08:00 AM
I don't know if this is true, or where I heard it (long time ago) but I heard that they reduced the table size because Irving Crane (I think?) was so tall, he had a big advantage over other people on a 5x10. He could reach all the shots when they couldn't. Has anyone else heard something like this?

Hopefully I'm not propagating any bad information here.:)

Fatboy
02-26-2007, 11:30 AM
in all my years of going into every pool room i could find, even after i stopped playing if i saw a pool room i'd go in just to see what i walked away from and in all those spots I only ever seen a 5X10 table once just outside Fresno at Beb(?) Billiards, bob beb's room, he made Rebco Tables. In his pool room he had alot of antique tables for sale and one of them was a proper 5X10 not a snooker table with converted rails that were too low or un-even saw a few of those, I had only been playing a year or two at the time but I did play on that 5X10 and wow it was tough, later on as I improved i'm sure it would have been easier. There is alot less traffic jams but the smaller target makes the 10' table tougher than a 9' any day.

DJKeys
02-26-2007, 12:13 PM
This happens regularly, a lot of times is someone is out of line on the break shot, they play safe so the ball goes on the foot spot. I always ask the player if they want a rerack, and always request it if I am shooting.

Gerry
02-26-2007, 12:21 PM
in all my years of going into every pool room i could find, even after i stopped playing if i saw a pool room i'd go in just to see what i walked away from and in all those spots I only ever seen a 5X10 table once just outside Fresno at Beb(?) Billiards, bob beb's room, he made Rebco Tables. In his pool room he had alot of antique tables for sale and one of them was a proper 5X10 not a snooker table with converted rails that were too low or un-even saw a few of those, I had only been playing a year or two at the time but I did play on that 5X10 and wow it was tough, later on as I improved i'm sure it would have been easier. There is alot less traffic jams but the smaller target makes the 10' table tougher than a 9' any day.


smaller target?......were the pockets tight on the one you played on, or does say a 4-3/4" pocket appear to be tighter because of the bigger table?

Gerry

Williebetmore
02-26-2007, 12:31 PM
Good point, AND for top flight players the extra room on a 5x10 is a good thing....less chance of getting tied up. Think of playing 14.1 on a bar table.

Gerry

Gerry,
I'm going to have to disagree with you on the relative ease of the tables. Every top 14.1 player I have asked, or seen quoted in print, has always said that the 5 x 10 is more difficult. And almost without exception, their high runs are higher, the smaller the table.

See Willie Mosconi's statement at the Valley Forge taping about how playing on the 9 - footers with bucket pockets is like playing on a toy table compared to the 10-footers, and how he was prouder of a 300 ball run on a 10 footer than a 526 on a smaller table.

I suspect that the notion that the congestion factor outweighs the ease of shotmaking is an argument brought up by bar table afficionado's who may be a little overly sensitive about the merits (?or liabilities?) of their chosen table. The specialists at 14.1 don't fear any congestion (moving around and through it is their area of expertise). The smaller playing area allows more opportunities for cluster breaking, more and easier insurance balls, wider variety of viable break shots, easier banks/caroms/combo's, and easier pocketing - I see little drawback to the congestion for a highly skilled player. I can see a LOT of drawbacks to the tight 10 footer.

Neil
02-26-2007, 04:03 PM
...............

Neil
02-26-2007, 04:05 PM
................

Gerry
02-26-2007, 04:47 PM
yea Willie, the 8' tables are actually perfect for me because I'm a "Wilt Chaimberlainesque" 5'6" tall! :)

but I have played almost exclusively on 9'ers and find they are the best all around IMO. Also, If willie sais so......it's gospel

Mosconi that is;)

Gerry

Rich R.
02-26-2007, 05:02 PM
I don't know if this is true, or where I heard it (long time ago) but I heard that they reduced the table size because Irving Crane (I think?) was so tall, he had a big advantage over other people on a 5x10. He could reach all the shots when they couldn't. Has anyone else heard something like this?

Hopefully I'm not propagating any bad information here.:)
I don't remember where, but I read somewhere that a portion of the country was using 5X10 tables and another portion of the country was using 8X10 tables. To make things more uniform for tournaments, the two sides compromised and settled on the 4 1/2X10 tables.

I have no idea if this is true, but it sounds logical.

StraightPoolIU
02-26-2007, 08:11 PM
In my experience the biggest differences I've noticed when playing 14.1 on different sized tables has everything to do with shotmaking. The difference in cluster management was neglible for me when playing on the 5x10 or my own 4x8 at home, but the hard part was on the 5x10 you know you had to play position a lot closer to the key ball and break ball. Also, those shots up table to get out of jam are a lot more interesting on a 5x10 which I've heard Dallas West attest to in an Accu-stats video.

Williebetmore
02-26-2007, 08:40 PM
yea Willie, the 8' tables are actually perfect for me because I'm a "Wilt Chaimberlainesque" 5'6" tall! :)
Also, If willie sais so......it's gospel

Mosconi that is;)

Gerry

G,
Well, I'm doubtful that Willie Mosconi played much on 7-footers. My comment was directed towards the difference between 10-footers and 9-footers (which SPIU started the thread with and which Willie specifically addressed in the Valley Forge video).

Willie was intimately familiar with the 10-footers, the 9-footers, and even the 8-footers (see his video on how to run a 50 - which he does in about 5 minutes on an 8-footer, talking while he shoots, walking to the next shot and setting up for the next shot before the cue ball stops rolling).

For the poster who extended the debate to include 7-footers I can only say I have never seen the game played on a bar table (or smaller, like the guy with a 6 1/2 footer), nor do I have any plans to try it or watch it. Since Willie ran his 526 on an 8-footer (reportedly), it's very hard to imagine him having much trouble with a smaller table - those guys knew how to deal with clusters, how to manufacture shots, and how to play close position at a level probably never seen by most of us. But then again, count me as one who thinks 8-ball is much easier on a bar table.

I am also hopeful to get in some straight pool on a 10 footer within the next month or two (Mark Wilson has a great one at his house near St. Louis - I've just not been invited to play on it yet:) - you have to be one of the pool elite to get such an invitation.......or else bribe him as I plan to do). I will report once I have had a chance. I believe that Mark's high run on the 10-footer is significantly lower than his high run on 9-footers, but that he values it more (I don't know the numbers, but I think they are around 200 and 100 respectively).

Dan White
02-26-2007, 10:00 PM
G,

Willie was intimately familiar with the 10-footers, the 9-footers, and even the 8-footers (see his video on how to run a 50 - which he does in about 5 minutes on an 8-footer, talking while he shoots, walking to the next shot and setting up for the next shot before the cue ball stops rolling).


There's a video of Mosconi running 50 balls? Where can I find this?

thanks,
dwhite

Hambone
02-27-2007, 01:03 AM
I don't remember where, but I read somewhere that a portion of the country was using 5X10 tables and another portion of the country was using 8X10 tables. To make things more uniform for tournaments, the two sides compromised and settled on the 4 1/2X10 tables.

I have no idea if this is true, but it sounds logical.

The larger 5x10 tables also known as "rebel traps" were mainly found up North. 4x8 tables were more common down South. A comprimise was reached to play on 4 1/2 x 9 ft tables.

Williebetmore
02-27-2007, 07:16 AM
There's a video of Mosconi running 50 balls? Where can I find this?

thanks,
dwhite

Q,
It is part of one of the series of tapes sold by Bert Kinister. He has an extensive series of classic tapes (I bought them ALL), containing most of the documentary and newsreel pool footage that exists from players 1960 and earlier. Good luck finding it; you might search "Bert Kinister" or post a thread on the main forum; I'm sure someone here knows how to find them.

Dan White
02-27-2007, 08:21 PM
Q,
It is part of one of the series of tapes sold by Bert Kinister. He has an extensive series of classic tapes (I bought them ALL), containing most of the documentary and newsreel pool footage that exists from players 1960 and earlier. Good luck finding it; you might search "Bert Kinister" or post a thread on the main forum; I'm sure someone here knows how to find them.

I do have a tape from Kinster. I have the one with Greenleaf shooting trick shots that was mentioned here. It really isn't a tape I could recommend, but you do get to see some old time players in action... sort of.

Thanks a lot.

dwhite

Williebetmore
02-28-2007, 06:14 AM
I do have a tape from Kinster. I have the one with Greenleaf shooting trick shots that was mentioned here. It really isn't a tape I could recommend, but you do get to see some old time players in action... sort of.

Thanks a lot.

dwhite

Q,
The series of tapes has all of the ESPN Legend series - which is fairly interesting (probably 8 or 9 VHS tapes). The documentary footage (another 10 or so tapes) is of little interest to anyone except pool history buffs (like me).

Rich93
02-28-2007, 04:22 PM
Since I consider myself a little bit of a pool history buff here is a question for all of you straight pool historians out there. What brought about the end of the standard 5'x10' table? I remember when I read Willie's Game that he talked about the standard race being to 125, and when the table size changed that's when the standard became 150. I just don't remember when the change occured or why. I've had the pleasure of playing 14.1 on a converted 5x10 snooker table...an interesting experience to say the least.

I have Willie's Game in front of me, and here is what he says (wish I could just cut and paste):

In August of 1949, the BCA shortened the standard pool table from five by ten feet to four and a half by nine. The also widened the corner pockets from five to five and a half inches and the side pockets from four and a half to five (Rich93's note - I'm sure these dimensions are backwards, Willie must have misspoke and it was never caught). One reason for the change in table size was that manufacturers were producing five-by-tens only for championship play. The proprietors of pool halls had been ordering the smaller tables for years because they could fit more of them into their rooms. But essentially the changes were intended to speed play and generate excitement with the likelihood of longer runs. By way of compensation, the number of points needed to win a game was increased from 125 to 150 for national and world competition. How much of a difference did all of that make? Enough to say that starting in 1950 the game of pocket billiards was transformed; it became a markedly different game.

The pockets on the new tables looked as big as bushel baskets. Not only were they larger, they were closer to the shooter; it looked as though you couldn't miss. It no longer made much sense to play defense. On the one hand the shots were easier to make; on the other, it was more difficult to leave your opponent safe, for he would always be closer to the object ball than he would have been on the larger table. Almost immediately, records began to fall, encouraged both by the enlarged dimensions of the table and by the extended score of each game. It was now possible to run 150 balls or more in a single game, and it wasn't long before such runs were recorded.

The change in table size had another consequence, which went largely unnoticed. It opened championship competetion to players from the South. For some reason, the four-and-a-half-by-nines had always been standard in the southern states. That's why no tournaments were ever held in that part of the country. It's also why there never were any championship caliber players from the South until after 1950. The difference of a foot one way and six inches the other may not sound like a lot, but a player from North Carolina or Georgia would come up North and bend over a five-by-ten and it would look like a football field to him. Switching from the larger table to the smaller one had, of course, the opposite effect, and the difference was apparent in that very first tournament in Chicago.

Takumi4G63
02-28-2007, 11:35 PM
309 by Irving Crane. I believe that to be a far more difficult feat than Mosconi's 526 on a 4 x 8. The record will never be broken.

Doc

I know this is pushing it, but any idea the pocket size on this 5x10? Is there any info on this run? How did you hear of it?

pdcue
03-01-2007, 12:07 AM
I have Willie's Game in front of me, and here is what he says (wish I could just cut and paste):

In August of 1949, the BCA shortened the standard pool table from five by ten feet to four and a half by nine....



I was also crusing thru Willie's Game, looking for insights on
5 x 10s vs 4 1/2 x 9. I had forgoten just how much the switch
had changed the game<at least acording to Mosconi>

A few thoughts:
Those of you who are not table mechanics might not fully
apreciate just how much difference there is in the physical
aspects of the tables

NOTE: don't claim to be someone who 'loves' pool unless
you have lugged at least one 5 x 10 up and down at least
one flight of stairs

Now, the math geeky part
like building lumber 2 x 4s
the designations 8, 9, and 10 footers are nominal
and can be somewhat misleading

actual playing surface dimensions<cushion nose to cushion nose>
in inches are:
4 x 8 46 x 96
4 1/2 x 9 500 x 100
5 x 10 56 x 112

for those who may care, that expands out to playing areas<sq ins> of

4232
5000
6272

So why would you care? Well, the move up to a 10 footer
from a nine footer is more than a 50% greater increase
than the move from an 8 footer to a 9 footer

it may just look like a couple of inches here and there,
but if you've never experienced pool on a 5 x 10,
it's hard to apreciate the difference.

Hope this helps some with perspective

Dale Pierce

Dan White
03-03-2007, 11:48 PM
Q,
The series of tapes has all of the ESPN Legend series - which is fairly interesting (probably 8 or 9 VHS tapes). The documentary footage (another 10 or so tapes) is of little interest to anyone except pool history buffs (like me).


I checked and realized that I already have the Kinister tape you mention with Mosconi running balls. However, he only runs 2 racks, not 50. If there is another tape of him running 50 I definitely want it, but I think this is probably the same tape, with a run of 28.

thanks,
dwhite

dmgwalsh
03-11-2007, 07:16 AM
I do have a tape from Kinster. I have the one with Greenleaf shooting trick shots that was mentioned here. It really isn't a tape I could recommend, but you do get to see some old time players in action... sort of.

Thanks a lot.

dwhite

About a year ago or more I asked Bert for the tape that WillieB was talking about. He sent me a copy of a Willie Mosconi tape I already had, the one where Willie was interviewed and then starts demonstrating on a table with gold cloth.I think it might have been called the world of pocket billiards. He runs a few but I don't think it was 50, more like a couple of racks as I recall. Bert said that's the only one he had.

Hal2
03-11-2007, 03:25 PM
I agree with Willie.
When I starting playing pool in a pool hall back in Buffalo, NY there were 9 foot table and two 10 foot tables. The 10 foot tables were/are much harder to run balls on.
Even Danny Dilberto's mentor Joe Moran mostly chose a 9 table vs a 10 table when playing straight pool.

If you could run only two racks of straight pool on a 10 footer and then switched to a 9 footer, your game would immediately improve. At least that was my exprience.

Best Regards,
Hal

TheWizard
03-29-2007, 03:07 AM
Hey guys :)

I've been a fan of Straight Pool from I started playing at 5 years old, and in fact, it was reading about Willie Mosconi's achievements that got me into picking up a pool cue in the first place, although due to my location, the only tables that I have been able to play straight pool on, are 4.5' x 9's, but I have always felt that a 5' x 10' table would be much better for competing on, not just for straight pool, but also for other games like one-pocket and banks, but to me it doesn't matter because I'm happy to shoot straight pool whenever I can, I will always prefer it over 8ball and 9ball everytime :)

3andstop
03-29-2007, 04:56 AM
I'm old enough to remember when 10' tables were sprinkled around various pool rooms, more as a novelty or drawing feature. Then you would usually see a 5x10 and a billiard table or two also.

Another aspect of having it be more difficult to run balls on a 10' table, at least from what I experienced is that our "mind's eye" is trained to get down and "feel" the shot / angle on a 9' table and doing the same thing on a 10' table sort of puts our pool memory banks on tilt somewhat which impeads our natural ability to feel the shots.

pdcue
03-30-2007, 08:38 PM
309 by Irving Crane. I believe that to be a far more difficult feat than Mosconi's 526 on a 4 x 8. The record will never be broken.

Doc

What is your source for the Crane record?

Mosconi had a high run of 309 on a 5 x 10.

I had heard of Irv running 300 Plus on a 9 ft

Dale

Bob Jewett
03-30-2007, 09:05 PM
What is your source for the Crane record?

Mosconi had a high run of 309 on a 5 x 10....
Here is how Wikipedia puts it (which matches my memory of the records in the BCA rule book):

In 1939, at just 26, Crane ran 150 balls and out against his opponent in an exhibition straight pool match on a difficult 5' by 10' table in Layton, Utah. While this was impressive in and of itself, at the crowd's urging, he continued his run, ultimately pocketing 309 consecutive balls; a new world record.

Mosconi ran the same shortly(?) after that. Mosconi was said to have had a 350 or so later to take the lead for 5x10 exhibition runs.

Procita has the record for 14.1 tournament play at 182, which was on a 5x10(?) against Mosconi.

pdcue
03-31-2007, 07:22 AM
Here is how Wikipedia puts it (which matches my memory of the records in the BCA rule book):

In 1939, at just 26, Crane ran 150 balls and out against his opponent in an exhibition straight pool match on a difficult 5' by 10' table in Layton, Utah. While this was impressive in and of itself, at the crowd's urging, he continued his run, ultimately pocketing 309 consecutive balls; a new world record.

Mosconi ran the same shortly(?) after that. Mosconi was said to have had a 350 or so later to take the lead for 5x10 exhibition runs.

Procita has the record for 14.1 tournament play at 182, which was on a 5x10(?) against Mosconi.

Thanks Bob,

'Willies Game' lists 309 as the 5 x 10 max run.
Of course, they also repeat the oft mistated error that the
526 was done in Springfield IL, when it was, in fact Springfield, OH.

I recall hearing for years that Willie had run somewhere in the
350 - 360 range a few weeks before. Never any mention of table
size.

FWIW - local lore has it that there was a 9 ft table(s)
in East High, but Willie couldn't play on it because it
wasn't a Brunswick.

Dale

TheOne
03-31-2007, 01:04 PM
Just curious, anyone know what the proper 12ft straight pool record is?

Bob Jewett
04-01-2007, 11:21 PM
... Mosconi ran the same shortly(?) after that. Mosconi was said to have had a 350 or so later to take the lead for 5x10 exhibition runs.
...
I just looked through some old BCA rule books and it looks like I was wrong. Only Crane is listed as running 309, and there was no higher exhibition run on 5x10 tables. Sorry for the misinformation.

TheWizard
04-02-2007, 04:49 AM
Hey Bob, no worries buddy :), after all we're all human :)

I'm wondering how many of you would've liked the idea of a World Straight Pool Championship tournament, on 5' x 10' tables? :)

Willie

poolshark52
06-12-2007, 08:10 AM
I agree with Willie.
When I starting playing pool in a pool hall back in Buffalo, NY there were 9 foot table and two 10 foot tables. The 10 foot tables were/are much harder to run balls on.
Even Danny Dilberto's mentor Joe Moran mostly chose a 9 table vs a 10 table when playing straight pool.

If you could run only two racks of straight pool on a 10 footer and then switched to a 9 footer, your game would immediately improve. At least that was my exprience.

Best Regards,
Hal

joe was a great guy and good friend. he ran 93 on me at the salt city open in syracuse i 65. i was 17. he used to come to rochester tournys and we would play for $10 or $20. always a pleasure to play. i missed him when he passed....pat howey

poolshark52
06-12-2007, 08:36 AM
it was at alangers in philly. thet had about 16 10 footers and only 4 or 5 9 footers. they were a chalenge. just the size was intimidating but if you got over that you could play them like any other table. the big differance was in the balls. they were clay. boy could you aply english to those balls! they drew and followed so differently!
also got to play willy in exibition in sandiago in 68, i was in the navy. it was on a new 5by 10. he ran a 65 from the break and i came back with 68, he ran out to 125 the next shot! the next 4 days he ran out twice and out in 2 inings the other 2 games! he could move balls like magic . seems he would just break out 2 or 3 balls at a time and do it over and over!he shot a lot of balls in the sides and top corners. it was something to watch!
if you are in the largo , seminol area in fla. there is one good 10 footer at a room called the corner pocket on starkey rd between ulmerton rd and bryandary.

Mike_Mason
06-13-2007, 01:13 PM
I was playing pretty well in the early to mid 90's...practiced regularly at my local hall...the owner got his hands on a real nice 10-footer and put it in a niche area to the side...

I had been playing 9-ball tournaments regularly but practicing a lot of straight pool...and I went after that 10-footer like a kid with a new toy...but it was murder...like Willie said...it looked like a football field...

I was just beginning to put some decent runs together after a couple of months...when he sold it...because I was the only one playing on it...and I was the house man who didn't have to pay lol...

Good riddance I say...

bud green
06-21-2007, 05:36 PM
I think Freddie The Beard said that Sailor Barge had run 356 or 365 on a 10 foot table once. Its definately not a record with a number of witnesses attesting to it, but it seems to have the the same ring of truth that stories of Babe Cranfield running over 600 on a nine footer have.

I think most people agree that Mosconi's run of 526 would be beaten if a large enough incentive was given.

If Willie was given the chance to win a million bucks (modern day equivalent) by running 1000 balls on a nine footer back in his prime, and a bit of time to do it, I have a feeling he probably could of gotten it done. He used to just quit after running 100, 150, 200 balls all the time... it just was kind of pointless to keep going.

TheWizard
06-27-2007, 06:47 AM
Willie actually did the same thing, when he ran the 526, he had been running balls for like 3 and a half hours, making that run, and was set to at least run another rack, and he just quit :) lol, and so, it's highly possible that he could've easily kept going and ran another 200 or 300 balls or so, oh well :), fair play to him for making such a great run in the first place :)

Willie

Williebetmore
06-27-2007, 09:14 AM
Willie actually did the same thing, when he ran the 526, he had been running balls for like 3 and a half hours, making that run, and was set to at least run another rack, and he just quit
Willie

Wiz,
At the Valley Forge match with Jimmy Caras, Willie Mosconi himself described it (as you did) as an unfinished run. Unfortunately all of the spectators present are positive that he DID miss to end the run (??2 ball??). I think Willie's memory was significantly impaired near the end of his life - he died shortly after that video was recorded.

P.S. - I can't recall how he describes it in his biography; but I think he admits to missing it in the book (don't hold me to that; but someone with more time can look it up).

TheWizard
06-27-2007, 10:09 AM
I see what you mean buddy, and it's understandable that his memory wouldn't have been as good, as it is natural with age.

Unfortunately, I haven't got a copy of the book, otherwise I would look it up, but requardless of whether he missed the 527th ball or not, it's still a damn good achievement to run 526 :)

Willie

pdcue
06-27-2007, 12:44 PM
I see what you mean buddy, and it's understandable that his memory wouldn't have been as good, as it is natural with age.

Unfortunately, I haven't got a copy of the book, otherwise I would look it up, but requardless of whether he missed the 527th ball or not, it's still a damn good achievement to run 526 :)

Willie

Willie or won'tHe or "A miss is as good as a Millimeter"

Wiz and WbetM,

Short version - he missed.

On pg 167 of "Willie's Game" he describes the shot he missed as a
difficult cut shot, adding, by that time he was weary.

Why he claimed to have just quit, for so many years,
has long puzzled me. My own best guess, and this is just speculation,
is that it had something to do with the intense annimosity between
Mosconi and the more "colorfull" gambling players, like the guys who
participated at Johnston City.

Mosconi was very adament, and public in his disdain for 'pool sharks'
or 'hustlers'. They, in turn, lost no love for him - missing no opoptunity
to minimize his accomplishments or critize his character.

Back to the confussion. As late as 1984, in his Willie's World
instructional tape, he was still saying he didn't miss, just quit because
he was tired. "Willie's Game" was published in 1993. Perhaps by then
he was aware that "the miss" was documented in the Springfield
newspaper article about the event.

IMHO - all these years of bickering is truly sad - sort of as if
baseball players were to question the talent of Babe Ruth. It also has
lead to many well informed fans believing and repeating
the...umm, mis-information

Dale Pierce<setting the record straight for more than 1/10th of a century>

TheWizard
06-27-2007, 01:14 PM
Hey Dale :), many thanks buddy for clearing that up :)

Lmao, I've heard that phrase many times as a kid and it kinda brings back memories of when I first started playing pool :) lol

I agree with you about the bickering, because after all, pool is pool and any record or achievement is something to be respected, but also to be surpassed :)

Thank you once again for clearing this up :)

Willie

Stones
06-27-2007, 08:23 PM
My understanding of the downsizing of tables from 5x10 to 4.5x9 was due to a number of reasons.

The economy of Italy after WWII was destroyed due to the war. Italy being the home of most slate production in the world. It took a few years to bring production back up to pre war levels. With the return of the soldiers from overseas, the call for home recreational tables was in demand and the slate producers in Italy started making more 4x8 and 4.5x9 beds to meet the demand for home use. One other factor with the smaller tables for home use was the opening of the pocket facing making it easier for the recreational player to make more balls.

Billiard and pool room owners liked the transition to the smaller tables and larger pockets as they were able to fit more tables into the same footage. Larger pockets meant more happy customers.

From the time I was sixteen until nineteen, I played straight pool on a 5x10 with small pockets until the pool room went under. It really was like playing on a golf course. Seemed like Acres of felt!

One of the worst days for pool was the day they invented the bar box or coin operated table. It's a pool table is about the best I can say. I guess I'm spoiled in my old age.

Stones

lockwood
06-28-2007, 04:10 AM
I have been playing pool in NYC for 30 years and the biggest difference is the break shot. Since the advent of 9 foot tables, players are not afraid to smash the rack wide open at 100mph... sending balls up table. This was a no no on an 5x10. On an 4.5 x 9 it is much much easier to clean up balls in bad places ie on the rail by the side or near the "brunswick" which is a real headache on a 5x10.
Jonathan Smith

14oneman
06-28-2007, 05:30 PM
Since I consider myself a little bit of a pool history buff here is a question for all of you straight pool historians out there. What brought about the end of the standard 5'x10' table? I remember when I read Willie's Game that he talked about the standard race being to 125, and when the table size changed that's when the standard became 150. I just don't remember when the change occured or why. I've had the pleasure of playing 14.1 on a converted 5x10 snooker table...an interesting experience to say the least.

According to what Willie told me, many years ago, the switch to 9' was to even the playing field for Southern players who almost always played on 9's. Apparently 10' were in vogue in the North East, but almost non existant down South, therefor tournaments were rarely if ever held in the South prior to 1949.;)