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3andstop
03-15-2007, 03:08 PM
I would be very interested in what pro's would offer as their TOP THREE reasons they are able to consistently exceed 100 ball runs. In watching many straight pool videos its pretty obvious that not missing is a pretty important factor :) But many of us can bear down and make (with position) shots which are far more demanding than most shots encountered during a pro's 100+ ball run.

So, if any consistant 100 ball runners are willing to share what they feel are the most important things that contribute to their ability, I'm sure lots of us would love to hear their thoughts.

Please, if possible, lets not clutter this thread with speculations or ideas from just A or B players, lets hope to hear it from the horse's mouths of those gifted folks who do this consistently.

Takumi4G63
03-15-2007, 05:16 PM
This won't answer your question, but Phil Capelle's Play Your Best Straight Pool is a great book that talks all about this. It has a separate chapter just on how to make high runs. I would be interested to see a 100+ ball runner's opinion on this book.

Dan White
03-15-2007, 06:17 PM
Please, if possible, lets not clutter this thread with speculations or ideas from just A or B players, lets hope to hear it from the horse's mouths of those gifted folks who do this consistently.

Well I'm going to disappoint you with my A/B player clutter, but this is an open forum. I'll compromise -- I won't try to answer the question, but I'll speak to something that you don't have to be a pro player to understand. You wrote:

"many of us can bear down and make (with position) shots which are far more demanding than most shots encountered during a pro's 100+ ball run."

I think you've stumbled over something with this statement. Have you given any thought as to why a pro doesn't have that many hard shots during his 100 ball run, as you say? It's the old joke, "Hey what's so great about that guy Mosconi? He never has any hard shots!"

I think your premise is wrong. Most of us CANNOT bear down and make these shots WITH POSITION time after time. It is precision cue ball control that allows the game to look easy. There are other factors in running 100, but given your statement I think you are overlooking ball control.

I've always felt that these forums spend way too much time on how to pocket balls, and not on how to put the cue ball exactly where you want it to go. I think this is because the majority of internet posters haven't really mastered how to put a ball in the pocket, let alone think about how to put the cue ball in a 4 inch square target area.

dwhite

3andstop
03-15-2007, 06:49 PM
Thanks for the replies. Yes, I realize what I said, but the very concept of continually making the shots easy (IMO) has much more to do with focus and concentration than it does with position play once you reach a certain level.

I can consistently get through 25 to 40 balls but I always seem to stumble after the mid 3rd rack or so. Its like someone turned on the "you're awake now" switch and I'm done.

I was hoping for a deeper explanation of how some of the pros maintain or even control focus for extended periods. I didn't want to prompt a pro's response in either the physical or mental portion of the game however. I was in hopes their thoughts would lead the responses in one direction or the other. :)

Steve Lipsky
03-15-2007, 08:27 PM
I'll try to reply more in detail tomorrow, but my short answer is that the run should get easier as it progresses. You should be settling into patterns and even sometimes entering a little bit of a trance.

If these things aren't happening, you might be concentrating too much on the number (I'm guilty of this as well).

I've often said that if I were playing, say, Thorsten some 14.1, I might run less 30s than I normally do, because of the pressure. But on the rarer occasions I get past 30, I'm just as likely to run a bunch of balls on him as I am against a D player. Once I'm past 30, I'll be feeling a little bit of a stroke and it's just me, the table, and the patterns.

- Steve

Salamander
03-15-2007, 11:33 PM
I really agree with what Steve Lipsky just said....namely, you should not get too caught up on how much you are running balls. I am certainly guilty of hitting my 4,5, or 6th rack and suddenly realizing that I could hit hundred....and then promptly missing. My best runs came when I was not thinking about runs. Now I only think about playing the best straight pool that I can under the given circumstances. In fact, the same can be said of running racks in nine ball...namely, it is accomplished one shot at a time.

I've learned long ago that you can't force runs. The more you try, the more impossible it gets. Simply play correctly and the runs will come. Take the ego out of it and forget the number. If you can consistantly run 30 to 40 balls, then you are playing good straight pool.

One more thing. The table has a lot to do with how many balls you can run. I've been practicing on a tripple shimmed table, deep pockets, and large throat angle, and I guarantee you that a 100 ball running pro would be lucky to run 50 on this rig. Relatively speaking.

Regards,

Doug

3andstop
03-16-2007, 07:23 AM
Again, thanks much for the replies. I suppose I'm looking for that magic bullet that works on controlling focus. I'm a prior "room" owner, and player for lots of years, who after selling the business, lost complete interest in the game. After 10 yrs and lots of prodding by an old friend constantly asked me to play some with him, I decided I would. He has a nice GC3 in his basement and initially I went to his house more to respect his repeated requests than to respark an interest in the game. (although it did)

I'm not a real lover of 9 ball, (like lots of us older players from what I read) nor would I gamble with him, so we played the game I always loved, straight pool. In our first game, and my first in 10 yrs. after my inning, he said to me "nice run". I honestly thought I ran 6 balls. He told me it was 37, and I couldn't remember doing it. Now, we play more often (maybe twice a week) and we hit each other with 30s and 40s, but I guess I'm just searching for that magic map to dead stroke. :)

Of course, like lots of guys, I've had my far and few between high runs, but I just can't capture that feeling I need to be in to do it consistently. I don't focus on high runs, in fact, if anything I focus on rack by rack and one shot at a time when things get out of line a little.

This is the zone I recall getting in when I did play. I do remember it as a great feeling, but can't control either when, if, or for how long I can find that place.

In the Monks book he speaks of our Id. I joke with my buddy telling him I've finally come to terms with my id. We've agreed that he won't disturb me while I'm playing pool, and I won't disturb him when my wife and I are intimate and he tells me that she's really Heather Locklear. :) haha...

Anyway, great players seem to have control of this zone and I suppose what I'm asking is what their individual specific focus is that helps enable it and enable it for extended periods.

bruin70
03-16-2007, 03:30 PM
In watching many straight pool videos its pretty obvious that not missing is a pretty important factor :)

Please, if possible, lets not clutter this thread with speculations or ideas from just A or B players, lets hope to hear it from the horse's mouths of those gifted folks who do this consistently.

know yourself.

pdcue
03-17-2007, 01:55 AM
I would be very interested in what pro's would offer as their TOP THREE reasons they are able to consistently exceed 100 ball runs. In watching many straight pool videos its pretty obvious that not missing is a pretty important factor :) But many of us can bear down and make (with position) shots which are far more demanding than most shots encountered during a pro's 100+ ball run.

So, if any consistant 100 ball runners are willing to share what they feel are the most important things that contribute to their ability, I'm sure lots of us would love to hear their thoughts.

Please, if possible, lets not clutter this thread with speculations or ideas from just A or B players, lets hope to hear it from the horse's mouths of those gifted folks who do this consistently.

If you think that ONLY 100 ball runners can help your game,
you have a long way to go towards understanding.

Do you think Mr Jordan is the only person who knows how to
dunk a basketball?

I'll help you right now. There is no magic bullet, there is NO magic bullet.

Learn the difference between
1 knowledge
2 focus
3 ability to execute

Short anecdote.
As a youngster I saw Mosconi at 3 - 4 exhibitions where he ran
100 or more so effortlessly it seemed almost criminal.

Except for the break shots, 90% of the shots could have been
made easily by a D player. "Fifteen inches away and 10 degrees off
straight in", was how the oldtimeers described Willie's style

Steve mentioned 'being in the zone' - this is important not only in pool,
but in any activity from basketball to ping pong. But, make no mistake about it. All the focus in the world combined with deadeye shotmaking
will not make you a 100 ball runner if you don't grasp the basic tennants
of 14.1

Straight pool is about control and precision<where have I heard that one before?>
If you can't learn to run racks with a level of CB and OB control
where most of the shots are 'dead easy', you're not
going to be a 100 ball runner

Dale

bruin70
03-17-2007, 03:11 AM
,,,,,,,,,,

I've often said that if I were playing, say, Thorsten some 14.1, I might run less 30s than I normally do, because of the pressure. But on the rarer occasions I get past 30, I'm just as likely to run a bunch of balls on him as I am against a D player. Once I'm past 30, I'll be feeling a little bit of a stroke and it's just me, the table, and the patterns.

- Steve

the numbers are inconsequential,,,the pros simply do.

the, by now, well known story of ginky going into abc days after mika ran 25x, and saying he was there to break mika's run, and then proceding to run balls falling about one rack short of mika's.....it bespeaks the mindset of a pro. to ginky, it wasn't a task for him to run balls, numbers weren't an issue. a pro is always in control of every aspect of the table. this is a foreign concept to most of us who are controled by the table.

when a pro is behind 130 - 20, he's not thinking "i need 110 to tie and 130 to win". he's thinking "just get me to the table". in other words, a pro doesn't think about 100 or 150,,and if he does, i'm thinking "he's not a good 14.1 pro"

3andstop
03-17-2007, 09:37 AM
Again, thanks for the replies. Please don't misunderstand what I'm attempting to ask. I"m sure I'm not asking the question well and I'm sure the reference to the100 ball run was a mistake now. I never meant it to be a interpreted as a threshold to work toward. It's my fault I assumed you would understand that. And maybe I'm looking at this from a far too cerebral approach. I don't know, thats why I asked the question in the first place.

My thought was that if a pro that can consistantly maintain the level of concentration required long enough to successfully get 100 ball plus runs, he or she may have some specific suggestions on how to develop that level of concentration for extended periods of time. Extended periods of time being the operative here.

Maybe its not all concentration, maybe its some insite to the maps they look for to make it an easier out. Again, I don't know what it is, or I'd be doing it. Heck, there are players here that profess to have run 2, 3, or even 4 hundred balls. That is clearly levels above my play. They didn't wake up doing that one day and perhaps, just perhaps they have further insite to what helped them progress.

Now, the reason I've explained that I'm able to pretty consistantly run 30s and 40s and an occasional 60 or so, is because I know I can't control concentration long enough to stay at the table to produce a "one inning game" and I didn't want to get a ton of speculation on how to do it by other players my speed. I’m perfectly capable of reciting all the clichés to myself as well.

I believe only those who can consistantly and at least on a semi regular basis maintain that kind of concentration can offer specifics on how to develop it because they actually had to in order to do it.

BTW, I do believe there's a magic bullet. I believe it may be (and most likely is) different for all of us, but I feel that there is one outstanding thing that can be specifically sited as the main reason we progress from level to level. It does not stand alone, it is not the "be all" missing link, it may not even be something tangable, but I do feel there is for each of us, if we think back, something we can name as very distinct and instrumental in reaching the next level. I think little lights go off in our brain all the time that help us along to better play. I just feel that as we progress they are farther and fewer between and more difficult to recognize.

That being said, I merely wondered if a pro was able to offer some insite to that link.

The rest of us can play guru all we want, but if we haven't actually been to the mountain on a regular basis, it is no more than speculation.

Steve Lipsky
03-17-2007, 10:13 AM
3,

I stand by my original advice. But I'll go further now.

Running 100 balls is a frame of mind. You need a high level of skill to do it, and to insinuate anything different is not fair. I'm not saying you are; I'm saying that changing a mindset in a 30-ball runner is not instantly going to make him a 100-ball runner. You need a certain skill set and until you have it, you're not going to run a lot of balls consistently. I am not saying YOU don't have it, mind you; I am talking generically about a 30-ball runner.

That said, back to my original advice. The run should be getting easier as it progresses. Your mindset must be not "I have to keep doing good things to continue the run", but instead, "Something bad is going to have to happen to end this run."

It does not take inordinate amounts of concentration to run this many balls, because most of your shots should be very easy. If in every rack you're forced to take one or two 50% shots, then (math aside) you're probably not going to run 100. You're wasting too much energy focusing on one ball. While at the table, your external focus is on shooting every ball - but your internal focus should be nothing of the kind. Your internal focus should be on keeping your rhythm and feeling the art of what you are creating. It might sound pretentious, but it's not meant to be. Every well-played large run is a thing of beauty; it should not be taken for granted. At the end of the run, you will have a general feeling of satisfaction with what you have done; you won't be thinking "in the third rack, I got really nice position from the 5 to 3." It's no longer about the individual shots... it's about the sum of all the shots together and what they let you create.

As the run progresses, and you are into some high numbers, every succeeding shot should have a difficulty function exactly equal to that individual shot's difficulty. Once the shot becomes more difficult simply because of the number you're on, you're done. You probably won't run another 7 balls once the run itself is making things more difficult.

For me, the shots start becoming more difficult once I'm around the 130-140 range. I have a suspicion that for a player like Blackjack, that number is around the 170-180 range. For Mr. Schmidt, Mr. Hohmann, or Mr. Harriman, who knows, maybe it never happens. You raise this number by consistently getting there and surpassing it.

- Steve

P.S. Your adrenaline should carry you through the latter parts of a large run. The toughest thing to do is run a lot of balls, miss, your opponent misses, and then get back to the table starting at a run of 0. But this is a different question than what you are asking, in my opinion.

3andstop
03-17-2007, 12:40 PM
3,

I stand by my original advice. But I'll go further now.

Running 100 balls is a frame of mind. The run should be getting easier as it progresses. Your mindset must be not "I have to keep doing good things to continue the run", but instead, "Something bad is going to have to happen to end this run."

While at the table, your external focus is on shooting every ball - but your internal focus should be nothing of the kind. Your internal focus should be on keeping your rhythm and feeling the art of what you are creating. It might sound pretentious, but it's not meant to be. Every well-played large run is a thing of beauty; it should not be taken for granted. At the end of the run, you will have a general feeling of satisfaction with what you have done; you won't be thinking "in the third rack, I got really nice position from the 5 to 3." It's no longer about the individual shots... it's about the sum of all the shots together and what they let you create.



Steve, I want to thank you for elaborating and expressing your thoughts. While I realize every player's specific thoughts are different, these are EXACTLY the kinds of things I meant when I spoke of how the pros would maintain focus and concentration. The kinds of thoughts and expectations that put you and keep you in that zone. A sort of insight to how a pro thinks along his inning. Extremely informative words, none of which should be taken for granted.

thanks again! :)

bruin70
03-17-2007, 02:24 PM
Again, ,,,,,,,,,,,

BTW, I do believe there's a magic bullet. I believe it may be (and most likely is) different for all of us, but I feel that there is one outstanding thing that ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,.

i honestly believe you're missing it. people who look for advice ALL look for the magic bullet. i'm talking people who look for advice in MANY endeavors. to people who teach, those who understand the student teacher dynamic, they ackowledge to each other that "students" want to be told and don't want to learn.

now,,,this "magic bullet" you seek may be one of many things and it seems like you're open to whatever it might be,,,could even be a word, who knows, but it's probably something you're going to get from someone who understands your game.

Dan White
03-17-2007, 03:13 PM
Maybe its not all concentration, maybe its some insite to the maps they look for to make it an easier out. Again, I don't know what it is, or I'd be doing it. ...

Now, the reason I've explained that I'm able to pretty consistantly run 30s and 40s and an occasional 60 or so, is because I know I can't control concentration long enough to stay at the table to produce a "one inning game" and I didn't want to get a ton of speculation on how to do it by other players my speed. I’m perfectly capable of reciting all the clichés to myself as well.

I believe only those who can consistantly and at least on a semi regular basis maintain that kind of concentration can offer specifics on how to develop it because they actually had to in order to do it.


That being said, I merely wondered if a pro was able to offer some insite to that link.

The rest of us can play guru all we want, but if we haven't actually been to the mountain on a regular basis, it is no more than speculation.

You probably don't know how you are coming off in this thread. There is a bit of irony in this post. First, you say you want a pro to tell you how to run 100 balls, and don't want advice from a 40 ball runner. Fair enough, but then you, a 40 ball runner, keep steering the discussion back to "concentration."

Maybe you should have started the thread like this: I can't run 100 balls but I know it is because I can't concentrate after 40 balls. How do you overcome this?

You might find that it isn't your ability to pay attention to what you are doing at all. Let's say your friend can run 4 balls, but just can't seem to run 10. He's sure that it's mostly because he gets mentally tired after the ordeal of pocketing 4 balls. My first question is why it is taking so much mental effort for him to run 4 balls? Are you sure your breakdown in concentration is causing you to miss, or is it that your (relatively) weak ball control skills are causing you mental breakdown?

I'm not trying to be argumentative. I'm just responding to something in your post that was jumping out at me. Take it for what it is worth. :rolleyes:

dwhite

3andstop
03-17-2007, 03:20 PM
Of course I’m speaking metaphorically when I say magic bullet, but I really can relate to specific things that made big differences in my level of play. I’ll tell you what stands out for me, ridiculous as some of them may seem when I do. :)

Just for haha’s, looking back on my pool playing years, I began to get serious about the game back in the late 60’s. I bought my first cue in 69 (a Palmer). I was a pretty good shot maker, but had little concept of touch or position. Simply hanging around our local poolroom for hours was one thing that helped my game. In taking it to the next notch I specifically remember that being when one of the old timers telling me to practice something called “inside english”. I had no idea what it was but he took the time to explain it. That gave me a whole new perspective on how to be able to move the cue ball around.

Playing over time helped me improve naturally, but the next huge leap for me that really stands out, was when a very good player told me that if I wanted to get better at this game, I had to realize that pool wasn’t played on a pool table. He told me that as soon as I allowed myself to become part of a deeper experience I’d start playing better. That was definitely a milestone.

When I got better, I played in local tournaments and I’d find myself being outplayed by lesser players. I had been playing for about 6yrs at that point. I watched road players come into our local room and look for action. Mostly one-pocket games. One of our room regulars was loaded with “killer instinct”. It really didn’t matter who he played, better or not, he beat them all. One day I asked him how he managed to play so well against these guys. He told me something I never forgot. He said remember these words to a song, “A smile is just a frown turned upside down”. He said don’t let these leaches fool you. They want your blood. Even if they smile and joke with you, don’t give it to them. That was yet another level I reached in desire to win.

I really believe this game is a frame of mind also. I believe that just as someone could explain inside english when I was first learning, there is much to be learned and many ways to think about the mental aspect of the game.

I think what Steve said was profound when he said not to think in terms of having to continually do good things to maintain your inning, rather consider that something very bad would have to happen to end it. I am very happy to have learned this and would not be a bit surprised if this was my magic bullet to another level. Not to mention, that if I think it is, it is. :) I believe insight to great players thoughts such as what Steve offered are invaluable.

3andstop
03-17-2007, 03:32 PM
qstroker, thank you for your thoughts as well. Yes I surely did consider that. In fact I made light of it by saying originally that in watching many tapes of pros playing straight pool, one important factor is they don't miss much.

I think you are also correct about concentration perhaps not being the issue as much as how much of it I or any 40 ball runner has to expend in order to accomplish the run.

Its hard to ask the question correctly when you don't really understand what you are searching for. At least it seems so for me. My feeling is, at the level I'm at personally, distraction is my main enemy. But you may certainly be right. :)

The game is so intense that there is just a soup of issues that need to come together. At least this all stimulates conversation and that can't be a bad thing. Thanks.

Dan White
03-17-2007, 04:03 PM
The game is so intense that there is just a soup of issues that need to come together. At least this all stimulates conversation and that can't be a bad thing. Thanks.

Well, any thread Steve replies to becomes a good one (not to give him a big head). I think the idea that something has to go wrong, rather than everything having to go right, is interesting. I'm going to keep that in mind as well.

You're right about that soup. I don't think concentration is an issue for me but again who knows? lol I usually just mess up my position and get in a difficult spot, or end up without a good break ball, or you name it.

thanks,
dwhite

Steve Lipsky
03-17-2007, 06:47 PM
Your mindset must be not "I have to keep doing good things to continue the run", but instead, "Something bad is going to have to happen to end this run."

I just want to clarify this. This should not be taken to mean that your mindset should have negative thoughts in it ("something bad").

An analogy might be driving a car on a long-distance trip. You know the only thing preventing you from getting to your destination will be an accident, but accidents aren't really in your mind as you drive. In fact, something that would make it more likely for you to have an accident would be to try to consciously do everything right. "I must maintain safe distance from the car ahead of me. I must be prepared to swerve right if the car on my left tries to cut me off. I must look in my rear-view mirror exactly once every 10 seconds. I must do everything perfectly in order to get to my destination in one piece." You'd be clutching the steering wheel with both hands, so tight your knuckles would be white, in total fear!

Things like that are akin to trying to do everything right in a straight pool run. In the end, it just takes too much concentration. And if you're too conscious of trying to do everything right, you're going to be in the farthest place possible from the zone that will let you hit big numbers in 14.1.

- Steve

Blackjack
03-17-2007, 08:49 PM
This is a great thread!

My response is rather lengthy, but I hope by responding to this thread that I can help some of you extend your high runs into the 8th rack.

It is my experience that there more than 3 factors - but I will touch upon these areas because I believe that these are the most important.

1) Equipment

For me this is extremely important. The balls need to be clean - the felt needs to be clean. If not, the balls will not spread properly and you will start to muscle the balls out of frustration - that's never a smart thing to do with straight pool.

It is also a good idea to keep the playing surface free of chalk and powder - I can't stand to see powder on cloth - seeing any color chalk on the cloth sends me into a tirade also. It causes the balls to skid and to react unpredictably.

FWIW, I also seem to do much better on TOUGHER equipment. In talking with John Schmidt and Danny Harriman it seems that i am not alone. Loose equipment doesn't always lead to monster runs - as matter of fact I get bored shooting the balls into bucket sized pockets. The tight pockets and faster cloth forces me to bring out my best game and to bear down and conentrate. My high run of 212 was done on on a GC 4 with 4 and 5/8 inch pockets and Simonis cloth. My recent 141 was done on 5 inch pockets on an old AMF table with 5 inch buckets and pathetically slow Mali cloth. I don't think I can hit 200 on that AMF table, but I would love to try to get 150 on a real tight Diamond just to go one on one with the conditions. :) - I'm sure John and Danny feel the same way. The high runs are more rewarding on the tougher tables.

2) Patterns

Seeing the patterns that will set you up on your last 3 balls is essential. I have a gift for this - its not a God given gift, it was drilled into my head by guys like Cisero Murphy and Jack Colavita who instilled in me the importance of proper planning. Many players have their runs end by getting out of position 3 or 4 shots before they miss a shot. This makes proper shot sequence essential in maintaining control over the table. You can either control the table or the table can control you. In John Schmidt's 112 at the 2006 DCC, you can see where John started getting eaten up by the elements of the table, causing him to get awkward on the last 3 balls. I believe he moved his break ball inadvertantly. John was forced to pocket his key ball early and settle for a tougher angle with another ball to get on the break ball. Though he got awkward on the ensuing break shot and missed, the error John made 4 or 5 shots earlier put him in that position.

3) Managing Clusters

Nothing is more frustrating than having a pain in the a$$ cluster that you can't seem to hit. (Can I get an AMEN?)

Sometimes there seems to be an invisible force that is purposely steering the cue ball away from that cluster just to antagonize you. lol - This happens to me just like it happens to you.

When watching novice players, I notice that they are content to run into the balls to merely scatter them - but - there is much more to it than that. You need to learn how to contact the cluster at different speeds - and if you need to hit the left side of the ball, you need to know how to properly execute that shot. It is also a good idea to have an insurance ball (preferably a hanger) to shoot at after you run into any cluster of balls. This way you knowthat you will have a shot afterwards. By mastering this part of the game, you will also become proficient at:

a) Manufacturing a break ball
b) Opening up the table
c) Dealing with secondary break shots

Many runs end due to the players lack of familiarity or expertise with those types of situations.

4) Getting the right break shot

In John Schmidt's 245 DVD, he talks about sizing up his opponents by watching the angle they set up for on their break shot. If he sees a guy getting straight on the break ball, he knows that the player is scared that they might miss and that they are being cautious. However, if he sees a guy leaving one of those Johhny Ervolino angles on the break shot and rifling the ball in - he knows that the player is confident and that this guy will probably run a lot of balls. I completely agree.

Many players play for "conservative" break shots and in return they get conservative results. Practice shooting in break shots that have a good angle and afford you the opportunity to get into the balls without getting the cue ball in trouble. Learn what shots you will need to follow and which ones you need to draw. By familiarizing yourself with these shots, you will add a new dimension to your game. Limited knowledge and experience will get you limited results.

FWIW, I DO NOT run hundreds all of the time - definitely NOT consistently. Some days I am a complete hack - not able to run more than 20-25 balls (ugly 25 ball runs). I play almost every day - and so far I have hit 98 as my high run for the month of March. I have literally hundreds of runs that have ended at 98, 84, 56, 70, 28... You do the math and figure out what happened. lol. Most of my big runs have occurred unexpectedly - usually because I got some good rolls, or because I stopped fighting myself and the conditions. Most of my big runs have ended by making mindless blunders, missing an easy shot that I took for granted, or scratching on a break shot. My 212 ended with a break shot that was low to the stack - I was able to make the break ball - only one or two balls came out of the stack. I missed by trying to do too much with the cue ball - but the error occurred in the previous rack when I ran into the break ball - sending it low on the stack. I haven't hit 200 since that day in March of 2000.

If there is one piece of advice I could give the aspiring 14.1 player, it is to recognize what the table IS giving you and what it IS NOT giving you. Sometimes you will get a ball that is a so-so break shot - and that is what the table has given you. Learn to accept that instead of trying to force some wild-a$$ stunt that will probably eliminate all of your pre-existing options. I have seen even the best players get into trouble by trying to create a "great" situation when they already have a "good" situation. In the end they are left with a horrible situation that could have been avoided if they just planned a pattern around what was already there. Ideal situations aren't always going to be there, so if you have a ball in the rack area that works - keep it there - and if something else develops along the way, fine. If not, you still have that ball to work with.

As the run builds, the surface conditions might get tougher. Many of you will hate me for admitting this, but usually I am able to get my next break ball to develop off of the break shot. I don't believe that it is by dumb luck, I think that its because I choose the correct break shots, key balls and set up shots. I also control the speed of my break shots and I try not to splatter the object balls up table. By doing so, I keep more balls in the triangle area which leaves me more break shot options than players that are banging and praying.

Also, I don't recklessly knock in balls hoping and wishing and praying that I might have something good develop. I evaluate the table constantly. I devise a game plan from break shot to break ball - and I am constantly re-evaluating the lay of the table in accordance to where I am with the cue ball position. 14.1 is a "thinking player's" game.

All of my triple digit runs have occurred because I paid attention to these areas of the game - oh ... I forgot the most importance thing...

DON'T MISS!!!

Takumi4G63
03-18-2007, 03:22 AM
It is also a good idea to keep the playing surface free of chalk and powder - I can't stand to see powder on cloth - seeing any color chalk on the cloth sends me into a tirade also. It causes the balls to skid and to react unpredictably.

FWIW, I also seem to do much better on TOUGHER equipment. In talking with John Schmidt and Danny Harriman it seems that i am not alone. Loose equipment doesn't always lead to monster runs - as matter of fact I get bored shooting the balls into bucket sized pockets. The tight pockets and faster cloth forces me to bring out my best game and to bear down and conentrate. My high run of 212 was done on on a GC 4 with 4 and 5/8 inch pockets and Simonis cloth. My recent 141 was done on 5 inch pockets on an old AMF table with 5 inch buckets and pathetically slow Mali cloth. I don't think I can hit 200 on that AMF table, but I would love to try to get 150 on a real tight Diamond just to go one on one with the conditions. :) - I'm sure John and Danny feel the same way. The high runs are more rewarding on the tougher tables.

I have a couple questions on this section

(1) How are you supposed to avoid chalk on the cloth? When I follow through my tip naturally goes into the cloth, leaving a chalk mark. Or do you mean something else?

(2) I'm glad to hear that tighter equipment is better. I've been wanting to ask a good straight pool player like you how tight is too tight? My table has 4 and 1/8th inch pockets, which is quite a difference. I've only run 29 on this table but I'm not a good straight pool player yet. Do you think you could make a big run on this table? I think the most challenging part is the break shots on this table.

Thanks.
-Jeremy

ShootingArts
03-18-2007, 04:13 AM
BTW, I do believe there's a magic bullet. I believe it may be (and most likely is) different for all of us, but I feel that there is one outstanding thing that can be specifically sited as the main reason we progress from level to level. It does not stand alone, it is not the "be all" missing link, it may not even be something tangable, but I do feel there is for each of us, if we think back, something we can name as very distinct and instrumental in reaching the next level. I think little lights go off in our brain all the time that help us along to better play. I just feel that as we progress they are farther and fewer between and more difficult to recognize.

That being said, I merely wondered if a pro was able to offer some insite to that link.

The rest of us can play guru all we want, but if we haven't actually been to the mountain on a regular basis, it is no more than speculation.


Ah Grasshopper, what you don't realize is that there are many mountains and some of the same tools are used to reach the top of more than one mountain. All of this talk of magic bullets and such reminds me of a simple little mental exercise that I have been neglecting that is indeed a magic bullet. I'm not qualified to share the information in this thread but I do want to give you a sincere thanks for reminding me to get back to using it myself.

Hu

3andstop
03-18-2007, 06:23 AM
Blackjack, thank you very much for offering your thoughts they are very insightful. I don't know if the following question has an answer because it can just vary so much, but when you spoke of proper patterns, is there any generic concept or concepts that you can pass along beyond addressing the problem balls and balls blocking pockets?



(1) How are you supposed to avoid chalk on the cloth? When I follow through my tip naturally goes into the cloth, leaving a chalk mark. Or do you mean something else?


I'm a real stickler for clean player area also. One thing that comes to mind for me (being a prior billiard room owner and having to clean lots of tables) is never to buy chalk the same color as the cloth. You tend to miss it on the table and it tends to build up more over time causing the balls to get dirty faster.

SPINDOKTOR
03-18-2007, 07:41 AM
I Believe Patterns to be a big key to high runs, Ive watched alot of straight pool matches and alot of times I say to myself "why in the world are they shooting that shot" ? most of us aimlessly pot balls whitch we know we can pocket without realizing what a key ball is, the players I have watched may shoot around this ball untill they get the position they want on it, then things start to happen. So yes there is a Magic Bullet. The Magic being how to read the table. Since this can be taught but so elusive to so many players Id call it nothing less.

Ofcourse Skill is needed, but with all the skill in the world a player isnt going to acheive high runs unless the formula is known.

The Legends of the game are just that, not saying you can achieve legendary status but I do believe a good player with the right know how could exceed a 100 ball run on a regular basis if you have good habbits.

but thats my .02 so take it for what its worth...


SPINDOKTOR

Blackjack
03-19-2007, 07:55 PM
(2) I'm glad to hear that tighter equipment is better. I've been wanting to ask a good straight pool player like you how tight is too tight? My table has 4 and 1/8th inch pockets, which is quite a difference. I've only run 29 on this table but I'm not a good straight pool player yet. Do you think you could make a big run on this table? I think the most challenging part is the break shots on this table.

Thanks.
-Jeremy

I believe that there is a different between tough equipment and impossible equipment. The most important part is how big the side pockets are. Many times you will have to send a ball into the side pocket at an angle to either open up a cluster or to manufacture a break ball. Sometimes you get under the balls and you are forced to use the side pockets also. If the pockets are so tight that they are unplayable and near impossible and impassable, then forget about the big numbers on that table. I believe that when the equipment is too tough that you become passive and tight in your stroke and your mental game suffers the same fate.

You also bring up a problem with break shots. On 4 and 1/8 inch pockets, that doesn't leave much room for error. Sometimes you will need to get an angle on the break shot and that pocket width would probably eliminate most of those shots completely out of your arsenal.

Dan White
03-19-2007, 08:23 PM
[QUOTE=Blackjack]This is a great thread!

1) Equipment

For me this is extremely important. The balls need to be clean - the felt needs to be clean. If not, the balls will not spread properly and you will start to muscle the balls out of frustration - that's never a smart thing to do with straight pool.

I just got my Bluworth ball machine, and WOW does it make a difference to have clean, polished balls. Everything just rolls better, and the cue ball goes where you want it, (Well sometimes not). I think I've always underrated the importance of clean balls.

4) Getting the right break shot

snip

I also control the speed of my break shots and I try not to splatter the object balls up table. By doing so, I keep more balls in the triangle area which leaves me more break shot options than players that are banging and praying.

This is something I missed the first time I read this post. I hadn't considered this before but I like the concept. Of course, before I got the balls and cloth cleaned up, the balls tended to hang around the rack no matter how hard I hit the break shot. Thanks!

dwhite

Takumi4G63
03-19-2007, 10:38 PM
I believe that there is a different between tough equipment and impossible equipment. The most important part is how big the side pockets are. Many times you will have to send a ball into the side pocket at an angle to either open up a cluster or to manufacture a break ball. Sometimes you get under the balls and you are forced to use the side pockets also. If the pockets are so tight that they are unplayable and near impossible and impassable, then forget about the big numbers on that table. I believe that when the equipment is too tough that you become passive and tight in your stroke and your mental game suffers the same fate.

You also bring up a problem with break shots. On 4 and 1/8 inch pockets, that doesn't leave much room for error. Sometimes you will need to get an angle on the break shot and that pocket width would probably eliminate most of those shots completely out of your arsenal.

My side pockets are 4 and 3/4" wide. There are times when my run ends because you could say I was robbed by my table, but I feel like this is rare. Usually my run ends because I lose my concentration and move on my stroke, I play a bad pattern, or I get much too far out of line. When I ran 29 the reason the run ended was because I got near straight on my break shot. I've only run over 20 once on this table but I've played less than 20 hours and again I'm not a great straight player.

When I'm really in stroke and my break ball is out far from the rail (making the pocket bigger) I don't have much problem making them but it is sometimes tough getting in stroke.

I understand what you say about my stroke tightening up and suffering mentally. This has definitely happened to me. In fact, after some people saying how my table sounds too tough I became fearful and played terribly. But once I loosen up and get confidence I can run out on this table and if I miss I usually deserve to miss. Perhaps having a table like this is a good thing because it will train me to bear down, focus, keep my concentration, and not taking anything for granted. If I could play position like Mosconi I think I could run 100 on this table. =)

We'll see in the next few months if I'm able to run a decent number.

lfigueroa
03-20-2007, 02:42 PM
I would be very interested in what pro's would offer as their TOP THREE reasons they are able to consistently exceed 100 ball runs. In watching many straight pool videos its pretty obvious that not missing is a pretty important factor :) But many of us can bear down and make (with position) shots which are far more demanding than most shots encountered during a pro's 100+ ball run.

So, if any consistant 100 ball runners are willing to share what they feel are the most important things that contribute to their ability, I'm sure lots of us would love to hear their thoughts.

Please, if possible, lets not clutter this thread with speculations or ideas from just A or B players, lets hope to hear it from the horse's mouths of those gifted folks who do this consistently.

Well, I am not a pro, but I have run over 100 half a dozen times in the last six months and this week I've had an 86 and an 84 (damnit). I'm kinda currently in the midst of going through the 100 ball barrier you're asking about, sooo here's my take:

First, I believe it's how accurately you can stroke... how accurately you can control the speed of that stroke... and how well you can combine those skills and fractionate different cue ball hits to produce consistent outcomes. I know you could say: well, that's for all pool games -- but IMO it is what it takes to run 100s.

From there you need to develop a certain simplicity and elegance in your game, which are qualities that are very tough to come by. You need to be able to see the simple paths and then execute the simple shots. This means developing the discipline of thinking before shooting and mastering the small cue ball movements that move it a scooch there or a smidge over there, usually without going to a rail.

Then, you need to master certain shots that come up often at 14.1, like shooting break shots firmly and confidently (noticed I didn't say whacking the bejesus out of them); bumping balls into favorable positions; manufacturing break balls; and managing clusters.

Finally, I think it becomes a matter of confidence. You learn to avoid playing area position and trying to whack the balls apart and instead, believe in your skills to take the rack apart within the framework of a specific and logical plan. That's often called playing or seeing patterns.

And that's it. I'm sure there's more and when I get to the 200 ball level I'll be sure to send a postcard :-)

Lou Figueroa

3andstop
03-20-2007, 03:37 PM
Thank you very much for your reply. I believe your words are very true. I think I'm guilty of not seeing the open lanes and options for pocketing balls using these small movements as often as I may be able to.

When I do manage 2 or 3 or more racks, I find myself thinking geez that was pretty easy. Of course playing for many yrs is still no substitute for playing often. Lately, since I resparked interest in the game, I'm probably not playing more that 5 hrs a week and thats not enough. Concentration, mind wandering is a problem for me too.

I may have to take this show on the road and play a little for money a few times a week, maybe get slapped around a little, to kind of force that focus back again. I've only been playing at my buddy's house or mine and I know I'm not really zoning in well. We both have 9' tables and its so convenient, I have no drive to visit a poolroom. Not to mention it would probably be tough to find a halfway decent game of straight pool. I really dislike 9 ball, and although I do enjoy some one-pocket, its not the best thing to play for developing long term concentration.

Hmm, maybe I'm just over the hill too :)

SPINDOKTOR
03-20-2007, 06:47 PM
I believe that there is a different between tough equipment and impossible equipment. The most important part is how big the side pockets are. Many times you will have to send a ball into the side pocket at an angle to either open up a cluster or to manufacture a break ball. Sometimes you get under the balls and you are forced to use the side pockets also. If the pockets are so tight that they are unplayable and near impossible and impassable, then forget about the big numbers on that table. I believe that when the equipment is too tough that you become passive and tight in your stroke and your mental game suffers the same fate.

You also bring up a problem with break shots. On 4 and 1/8 inch pockets, that doesn't leave much room for error. Sometimes you will need to get an angle on the break shot and that pocket width would probably eliminate most of those shots completely out of your arsenal.


The table I frequent have a decent opening but the throat is very small, If you hit the flat part of the rail inside the pocket it will bobble. The slate also pertudes in the pocket way to far and has no bevel, the slate is flat, so the ball can travel very deep into the pocket but not fall. These are Olhousen 9 footers. I dont think 200+ is gonna happen on these tables, not by me anyhow..

Compared to say a Gold Crown where it looks like marbles beside the pockets these Olhousen tables are pretty tough.


SPINDOKTOR

JE54
07-31-2009, 02:35 PM
I just saw this post and there is alot of good info in it.
Thanks
By the way I just got my high run of 41 on a bar box. It's the best I've done so I'm happy. It makes want to do better.

Williebetmore
07-31-2009, 07:14 PM
3,

I stand by my original advice. But I'll go further now.

Running 100 balls is a frame of mind. You need a high level of skill to do it, and to insinuate anything different is not fair. I'm not saying you are; I'm saying that changing a mindset in a 30-ball runner is not instantly going to make him a 100-ball runner. You need a certain skill set and until you have it, you're not going to run a lot of balls consistently. I am not saying YOU don't have it, mind you; I am talking generically about a 30-ball runner.

That said, back to my original advice. The run should be getting easier as it progresses. Your mindset must be not "I have to keep doing good things to continue the run", but instead, "Something bad is going to have to happen to end this run."

It does not take inordinate amounts of concentration to run this many balls, because most of your shots should be very easy. If in every rack you're forced to take one or two 50% shots, then (math aside) you're probably not going to run 100. You're wasting too much energy focusing on one ball. While at the table, your external focus is on shooting every ball - but your internal focus should be nothing of the kind. Your internal focus should be on keeping your rhythm and feeling the art of what you are creating. It might sound pretentious, but it's not meant to be. Every well-played large run is a thing of beauty; it should not be taken for granted. At the end of the run, you will have a general feeling of satisfaction with what you have done; you won't be thinking "in the third rack, I got really nice position from the 5 to 3." It's no longer about the individual shots... it's about the sum of all the shots together and what they let you create.

As the run progresses, and you are into some high numbers, every succeeding shot should have a difficulty function exactly equal to that individual shot's difficulty. Once the shot becomes more difficult simply because of the number you're on, you're done. You probably won't run another 7 balls once the run itself is making things more difficult.

For me, the shots start becoming more difficult once I'm around the 130-140 range. I have a suspicion that for a player like Blackjack, that number is around the 170-180 range. For Mr. Schmidt, Mr. Hohmann, or Mr. Harriman, who knows, maybe it never happens. You raise this number by consistently getting there and surpassing it.

- Steve

P.S. Your adrenaline should carry you through the latter parts of a large run. The toughest thing to do is run a lot of balls, miss, your opponent misses, and then get back to the table starting at a run of 0. But this is a different question than what you are asking, in my opinion.

Steve,
Many thanks for your responses in this thread. Very inspirational; you are definitely the kind of pool player that is always welcome in Betmore's Basement. Anyone who sees a run (or a difficult rack dissected) as a thing of beauty really "gets it".

I will not only continue to try to implement your suggestions, but will also copy your post and pin it up on the wall for a while in hopes that a little bit of that inspiration and philosophy will rub off a bit on the players in "the Basement" trying so diligently to improve their games (there are quite a few of us now).

sausage
07-31-2009, 08:27 PM
whops.... nevermind...

wrldpro
08-02-2009, 01:35 AM
I would be very interested in what pro's would offer as their TOP THREE reasons they are able to consistently exceed 100 ball runs. In watching many straight pool videos its pretty obvious that not missing is a pretty important factor :) But many of us can bear down and make (with position) shots which are far more demanding than most shots encountered during a pro's 100+ ball run.

So, if any consistant 100 ball runners are willing to share what they feel are the most important things that contribute to their ability, I'm sure lots of us would love to hear their thoughts.

Please, if possible, lets not clutter this thread with speculations or ideas from just A or B players, lets hope to hear it from the horse's mouths of those gifted folks who do this consistently.Well here is some advise for the 14.1 players out there.To be able to make high runs there are several things that come to mind.First i like to get warmed up instead of playing cold.This will get your stroke ready and make you comfortable with the table you are playing on.Next look at all possibilities on all shots you might be missing a decision you could be making and even a dead ball every now and then.Play your speed of pool you will know your speed once you get through 2 or 3 racks.I think it is much easier to have high runs in practice as you can be aggresive all the time without any opponent.if you have an opponent and you are on a 30 ball or so run by keeping your opponent in his chair it might to start to feel like practice.Also set your self some goals like 50 ball run,75 ball run, and so on.My goal everyday is to run 100 balls most of the time it doesnt happen however it has happened now over 300 times.(high run 227)
Thanks,
Bobby Chamberlain
WWW.BOBBYCHAMBERLAIN.COM

md5key
08-03-2009, 10:49 AM
... Once the shot becomes more difficult simply because of the number you're on, you're done. You probably won't run another 7 balls once the run itself is making things more difficult ...

Thanks for all of your advice, but this especially hit home with me. This is what stops 90% of the runs when I'm over 20. I get excited and start thinking of getting over 30, but almost always mess it up.

Thanks again!

grandpapkusky
08-03-2009, 06:16 PM
What a great thread! thanks everybody who posted info.