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View Full Version : We need a starting point


Gerry
03-01-2007, 04:42 AM
Reading Blackjack' post I started realizing there are many opinions on when a run starts during practice. Personally I like to set a break ball and go, of course after loostening up.

I also got the feeling that some people don't put much credence in practice runs. Personally I feel it's easier to concentrate during a match. I guess we need a poll.

JimS
03-01-2007, 05:56 AM
Seems to me that the only way to have a consistent scoring method is to start counting with a new rack and a break ball. Whether you throw them out and run 14 leaving a break ball or just rack'm and set up a break ball the counting starts w/a new rack of 14 and break ball.

acedotcom
03-01-2007, 07:26 AM
Seems to me that the only way to have a consistent scoring method is to start counting with a new rack and a break ball. Whether you throw them out and run 14 leaving a break ball or just rack'm and set up a break ball the counting starts w/a new rack of 14 and break ball.

What kind of break ball, exactly? Could you freeze it on one of the corner balls so that it's dead in the corner, then blast away?:D

Slider
03-01-2007, 07:59 AM
What kind of break ball, exactly? Could you freeze it on one of the corner balls so that it's dead in the corner, then blast away?:D

If I tried that, I'd probably end up with a mess like this:
http://CueTable.com/P/?@4AObb3Bcpy4CVjJ4DSwt4EaIy4FUCW4GWnC3HWhN3IbFb4JM fO2KbdU3Lajd4MaBj2NHYc4OIne2PDdj@

I like the side pocket shot John Schmidt uses in his 245 video;
http://CueTable.com/P/?@2AFWM4BCYH3CDGH4DCYm4EFKm3FDGm4GBKW3HAUH3IAUm3JF rl4KDvW3LBrW3MEdV4NBJr3OBqr1PCVw@

(not an exact depiction) but I suppose you could use anything that worked well for you most of the time. I think that no matter what you used to get started, even if it was a carefully placed "Cosmo" spread, the meat of any significant run is in the stringing of racks, and the ability to make a LOT of consecutive shots without missing. Taking an 'easy" setup in the first frame only "guarantees" a run of 14, so I don't think that anyone would use that fact to cheapen your run of 135. It's kind of like playing the ghost in 9-ball, and taking ball in hand after the break.

Engaging yourself in a safety battle from a standard 14:1 opening break would be an interesting exercise, if potentially frustrating, since your "opponent" already knows what kind of shots you're likely to try, and has a pretty good idea what your percentages are, too. :)

Ken

TheOne
03-01-2007, 08:06 AM
I don't think it makes a difference,the purpose of practice is to prepare for match conditions. Runs in matches can start at anytime, with 14 hangers and a perfect break ball, or ball in hand and a perfect break ball.

I used to softly break a full pack to start my run but after DCC started with ball in hand I started to do that. The main reason I switched was because I needed more break shot practice and this provided this without having to run 15 balls to get to a break shot each time I started a run.

JMHO

Steve Lipsky
03-01-2007, 08:42 AM
Until they change the rules of 14.1 so that a run during a match does not officially begin until you get into a new rack, I am going to count my practice runs as soon as I begin pocketing.

What's next, don't count the easy ones?

- Steve

P.S. It's funny that many people in poolrooms exaggerate their high runs by a ton - AZ has a bunch of people lowballing themselves! :D

mthornto
03-01-2007, 08:44 AM
I think this only makes much a difference for those of us that can't regularly string racks together.

What I mean by this is that a do see a big difference in a run of 22 that started with 15 open balls and a run of 22 that started with just a setup break shot. I think both have value, but they are really two different beasts and we could argue which is harder.

Once runs get into a third rack and beyond, I don't think how you started really says much about the run you just put together. At that point you solved multiple racks the way you would in a real game.


michael <- C player at best, so take my input with a grain of salt

Williebetmore
03-01-2007, 09:14 AM
What's next, don't count the easy ones?



Steve,
Now THAT'S funny.

I sometimes wish there was a "degree of difficulty" bonus (you know, like in the Olympics where the Russian judge gives you extra points for the 9 footer off the rail); because my runs always seem substantially more difficult than those of the experts.

jojopiff
03-01-2007, 09:14 AM
I think this only makes much a difference for those of us that can't regularly string racks together.

What I mean by this is that a do see a big difference in a run of 22 that started with 15 open balls and a run of 22 that started with just a setup break shot. I think both have value, but they are really two different beasts and we could argue which is harder.

Once runs get into a third rack and beyond, I don't think how you started really says much about the run you just put together. At that point you solved multiple racks the way you would in a real game.


michael <- C player at best, so take my input with a grain of salt

I am just starting to play 14.1 so I basically stink. I start my first rack by spreading 15 balls running them and leaving a break ball. I consider this the beginning of my run. But if we're count all the other balls then I have a high run of 23!! If not the I have 9. How embarrasing.

StraightPoolIU
03-01-2007, 01:48 PM
When I'm practicing I like to have the mindset of playing 1-no-count. My philosophy is that nothing sets up personal success like low expectations.

Takumi4G63
03-01-2007, 03:35 PM
In competition, it sometimes happens that you are left with an easy two or three balls or an easy break shot, or you are left with 15 hangers. In any of these cases the run would count. So in any case it seems that wherever a run really begins is going to be somewhat arbitrary. But I say you at least have to do some straight pool-like work by breaking apart the rack. Spreading out 15 open balls in a really easy setup is really like giving yourself free balls for a run (assuming you count them), as you don't have to employ any straight pool strategy to get them down. You could set them up as easy as you want to. But starting with a break shot, you do have to work through them in a straight-pool-like fashion. Although any of these situations can come up in competition, you are starting out with a straight pool shot to begin the run.

So I say in PRACTICE, a proper run starts with a ball and break shot, however you get there. On the other hand, if you miss a ball in a run and then continue shooting to start another run (just so long as the miss was not intended to give you a wide open table for another run), it seems legitimate to count that as well. Really I think the only run that is not legitimate would be giving yourself a wide open table on purpose to give yourself free balls.

So really none of the options in the poll seem to fit this.

Takumi4G63
03-01-2007, 03:41 PM
What I mean by this is that a do see a big difference in a run of 22 that started with 15 open balls and a run of 22 that started with just a setup break shot. I think both have value, but they are really two different beasts and we could argue which is harder.

I think starting with a setup break shot is clearly harder, because starting with 15 open balls you do not need to worry about getting another shot or avoiding scratching off the break, you can just play the table like an 8-ball pattern.

Blackjack
03-01-2007, 04:09 PM
I have been practicing "my way" for over 30 years, I don't see me changing much of anything at this point. I practice the way that suits me, some may not agree with that method but it is how I do things. I don't think it matters how you get there, as long as you are confortable in how your are practicing - that is all that matters.

mthornto
03-01-2007, 04:15 PM
I think starting with a setup break shot is clearly harder, because starting with 15 open balls you do not need to worry about getting another shot or avoiding scratching off the break, you can just play the table like an 8-ball pattern.

Yes, but to play devil's advocate: with 15 open balls you do (hopefully) get the "free" balls but then you have to 1) leave a break ball and 2) leave the cue ball where you have a decent shot on the break ball. With a break shot setup you get to start with a "perfect" break shot.

As I said, debatable, but nothing to argue about. I think which is harder depends on the player.


michael <- luck to get the "free" 15

supergreenman
03-01-2007, 04:16 PM
I'm suprised at the number of people that think you can only start a "counting run" from a break shot. So what? are you supposed to rerack every time you miss?

the way I see it, you're there to practice not count balls, every part of the rack is a different portion of the game, why would you limit yourself like that.

Start counting as soon as you make the 1st ball whether there's 14 balls on the table or 3.

That's the way I see it anyway.

mthornto
03-01-2007, 04:24 PM
I have been practicing "my way" for over 30 years, I don't see me changing much of anything at this point. I practice the way that suits me, some may not agree with that method but it is how I do things. I don't think it matters how you get there, as long as you are confortable in how your are practicing - that is all that matters.


Um, where have you been? "All ways are the Queen's ways!"*




* Alice in wonderland in case you are wondering

Jude Rosenstock
03-03-2007, 02:46 AM
I don't know who taught you guys how to play straight pool. I talked to Jimmy Mataya personally and he said that all runs begin with the 5-ball. Any balls pocketed prior shouldn't even count and any balls pocketed inbetween 5-balls should be counted as half a ball.

Jimmy M.
03-03-2007, 03:26 AM
I don't know who taught you guys how to play straight pool. I talked to Jimmy Mataya personally and he said that all runs begin with the 5-ball. Any balls pocketed prior shouldn't even count and any balls pocketed inbetween 5-balls should be counted as half a ball.

I'm not sure if you're joking here or being serious. :) If you're being serious, I'm totally lost.

Gerry
03-03-2007, 05:21 AM
I'm not sure if you're joking here or being serious. :) If you're being serious, I'm totally lost.

I'm confused too!, but coming from Jimmy Mataya it might just make sense!:)

Gerry

Steve Lipsky
03-03-2007, 07:33 AM
I'm not sure if you're joking here or being serious. :) If you're being serious, I'm totally lost.

Jimmy, you should have been there at the World 14.1 Championships this last July. A totally on-tilt Jimmy Mataya, during the round-robin stages, pretty much refused to play any other ball than the 5. Regardless of where it was (sometimes it was stuck in the middle of the pack).

He'd try banks on it with totally open shots on other balls. Then when he'd miss it, he'd just grab the cueball and try it again (no, not kidding). The crowd was besides themselves, as you can only be during a train wreck of that magnitude. It was the most disgraceful yet hilarious thing I've ever seen, bar none.

Of course, he did all this while wearing sunglasses.

- Steve

Williebetmore
03-03-2007, 07:54 AM
I don't know who taught you guys how to play straight pool. I talked to Jimmy Mataya personally and he said that all runs begin with the 5-ball. Any balls pocketed prior shouldn't even count and any balls pocketed inbetween 5-balls should be counted as half a ball.

JR,
Sounds good to me, at least we finally have a method upon which we can all agree.

Williebetmore
03-03-2007, 08:02 AM
Start counting as soon as you make the 1st ball whether there's 14 balls on the table or 3.

.

Green-one,
I like this idea; and I'll tell you why.

When I first started playing pool 5 years ago; I always thought that breaking apart the pack properly would be the hardest part of learning straight pool. After a couple of years of intensive practice and play I was able to get most packs apart; but found that I was consistently failing on those last 3 to 7 balls - even when they were sitting in ideal position.

A couple of great instructors told me I could solve this by spreading 5 to 8 balls in the foot area of the table (with at least one in good break shot position), and then running up to the break shot (assuming I put in the work to develop and excellent, repeatable stroke first). They told me if I did that 20 or 30 thousand times I could improve.

supergreenman
03-03-2007, 10:47 AM
Green-one,
They told me if I did that 20 or 30 thousand times I could improve.

So did you? or have you made 20 thousand times yet?

Jude Rosenstock
03-03-2007, 06:05 PM
JR,
Sounds good to me, at least we finally have a method upon which we can all agree.


Well, I'm glad this debate is now settled. So, the 5-ball it is then! Oh, and as Steve pointed out, if you mess-up, just grab the cue-ball BEFORE your opponent can get to the table and all remains intact!

Jude Rosenstock
03-03-2007, 06:09 PM
Green-one,
I like this idea; and I'll tell you why.

When I first started playing pool 5 years ago; I always thought that breaking apart the pack properly would be the hardest part of learning straight pool. After a couple of years of intensive practice and play I was able to get most packs apart; but found that I was consistently failing on those last 3 to 7 balls - even when they were sitting in ideal position.

A couple of great instructors told me I could solve this by spreading 5 to 8 balls in the foot area of the table (with at least one in good break shot position), and then running up to the break shot (assuming I put in the work to develop and excellent, repeatable stroke first). They told me if I did that 20 or 30 thousand times I could improve.


Yeah, seriously... Even though there are technically easier points to start a high-run, all that makes no difference whatsoever once you're past the first full rack. If you run 200 balls, nobody is going to say, "Well, of course he ran 200! Did you see that dead-ball he had to start the run?"

I mean, one could actually argue that if your run is littered with difficult shots, you did it wrong so what difference does it make if you start-off with something easy?

Williebetmore
03-03-2007, 11:04 PM
Yeah, seriously... Even though there are technically easier points to start a high-run, all that makes no difference whatsoever once you're past the first full rack. If you run 200 balls, nobody is going to say, "Well, of course he ran 200! Did you see that dead-ball he had to start the run?"

I mean, one could actually argue that if your run is littered with difficult shots, you did it wrong so what difference does it make if you start-off with something easy?

JR,
You are correct. I used to think only competition runs should count; but now that I think about it; most of my "high" runs would start with an opponent missing a shot and leaving me a wide open table - a layout I really didn't earn.

To be serious (just for a moment); I don't think the method of starting matters at all.

Donovan
03-06-2007, 06:39 PM
JR,
You are correct. I used to think only competition runs should count; but now that I think about it; most of my "high" runs would start with an opponent missing a shot and leaving me a wide open table - a layout I really didn't earn.

To be serious (just for a moment); I don't think the method of starting matters at all.

I feel, In a match, you should count when you start shooting...obviously. However, for me in practice, it comes from a break shot, because if I can not construct and maneuver a rack to get to the next one, I just don't feel the accomplishment. JMO

Keep in mind, I don't have a very high run average. So take that with that in mind.