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Takumi4G63
03-15-2007, 05:28 PM
I have wondered awhile about how much experience it takes to be a good straight pool player. I have played a decent amount of straight pool in my life, probably a few hundred hours or something but that's more of a wild guess than anything. Because it is usually by myself, I have in the past tended to lose myself in frustration and not really think about the patterns. Still, I think I have had a pretty decent amount of practice with the game, yet I still struggle immensely even running a couple racks though I am considered a AA to AAA player. My high run is only 37 on a 8' table, and around 30 on a 9 footer. On my new table (which has 4" point-to-point pockets) I've not even run 20 balls playing about 10 hours, which I should have done even how tough the table plays. I'm wondering, for those 100 ball runners, how much experience with the game does it take to be comfortable running over 50 balls fairly consistently? Do I just need more experience? Does it take years of playing the game to be a fairly consistent high ball runner?

Thanks for any responses.

Steve Lipsky
03-15-2007, 08:12 PM
Takumi,

It's not just the time put in; it's also who you are playing and who you are privileged enough to watch. It is not clear from your post who you can learn from, but if it's only yourself, you have a tougher road ahead of you.

If this is the case, the best thing you can do for yourself is buy some Accu-Stat DVDs. You'll learn more by spending 2 hours watching one than by playing 500 hours by yourself - I really do believe that, especially for someone who simply has no exposure to the game.

On another topic, why have you made your pockets so tight? 4 inches is ludicrous. The only game where the pockets should even be close to that would be one-pocket. Straight pool becomes super boring on a table such as yours, because the only really exciting thing in the game is running a bunch of balls. And 9-ball on pockets like that is an exercise in futility... often the set just becomes 13 games of playing safe on the 9, lol, until someone dogs the safe.

Pockets like that also hinder your confidence and remove a lot of creativity from the game. It's tough to wack a ball in and go 3 rails for position in 9-ball, for instance. Obviously cheating pockets is out of the question as well.

I'm sure many people will disagree with me, but in my opinion you'll realize your 14.1 goals much faster on a "normal" table, and it won't take anything at all away from the pride you'll feel.

- Steve

justnum
03-15-2007, 08:22 PM
Yup watching in person like lipsky says has worked for me. I went to the derby back in 06 studied those guys for a good hour or so before my brain turned to potato mush.

Came back to my hometown and placed in the top ten at my first or so 9-ball event. This considering I played in the straight pool league for me its an accomplishment.

I watched some of the sharpshooters around here too. That straight pool is killer just because of all the thinking. But the 9-ball was more of a pressurizer. I had to pull off some tough kicks just to place well. And since I was used to the abuse of watching racks get run in straight pool it was no big deal. But it really made me wonder how and what I would be able to do if I ever got back to the table.

It feels like just yesterday.

Takumi4G63
03-16-2007, 01:11 AM
Steve-

I will take the advice to heart on watching more straight pool. As far as my pockets go, to be really clear they are 4 and 1/8" point to point, and at the inside they are 3 and 1/2". It's only about 1/8" tighter than some of the tournament tables at the best pool hall in town. I cannot cheat the pocket much unless I'm fairly straight in out in the middle of the table and I'm in stroke. Side pockets, by the way, are 4.75" point to point.

It really is not quite as bad as it sounds. I made them play this tough because I want to really strengthen my mechanics and my focus, and I wanted to have a lot of confidence on any other table due to its being easier. If I stay 100% focused on each shot and I'm in stroke, the table is very playable. Usually I can tell the reason I missed a shot is because I slightly mis-hit the shot, rather than missing it because the table is so tough.

Also, I know that the reason nearly all of my runs have ended so short in straight pool is not because I was robbed by my table but because I lost concentration, got way out of line, or just played a bad pattern. I'm also still getting used to the speed of my cloth.

On this subject, I'm wondering what someone like John Schmidt or another over 100 ball runner thinks he could run on a table with pockets as tight as mine? Anyone? I believe they could still run 100s on my table.

Edit: Another reason my table is difficult right now is I have terrible lighting, 4 incandescent lights in spots over the table, so that makes it harder to endure. A good light is coming though.

rikdee
03-16-2007, 08:32 AM
[QUOTE=Takumi4G63]Steve-

I will take the advice to heart on watching more straight pool. As far as my pockets go, to be really clear they are 4 and 1/8" point to point, and at the inside they are 3 and 1/2". It's only about 1/8" tighter than some of the tournament tables at the best pool hall in town. I cannot cheat the pocket much unless I'm fairly straight in out in the middle of the table and I'm in stroke. Side pockets, by the way, are 4.75" point to point.


I wrote this yesterday on the mechanics forum addressing a similar issue:


I have a Diamond Pro. In original configuration the corners were 4.5" and the sides were 4.875", in effect, Pro Cut. Although at the extreme end of "enjoyment and challenge", the corner pockets were playable. BUT, at 4.875" the side pockets were not. At that dimension they literally changed the character of the game. The most basic shots were reduced to such low percentage that play became tedious and literally beyond challenging.
Thus, when I re-configured to 4.625" and 5.125" the table is at least playable but as I mentioned, and Greg has observed, it is still very demanding.
Diamond was the table vendor for a seniors event held here in Naples FL about two years back. It featured a galaxy of top level players; the side pockets on those tables measured 5.125"; that's how I arrived at the present dimension.
Having gone through this whole odyssey, I am convinced that a super tough table does not necessarily produce better skills in the long run. The balance between frustration and confidence is subtle.

Takumi4G63
03-16-2007, 03:09 PM
Thanks for the post rikdee. I will think about what you and Steve have pointed out about a table playing really tough, I appreciate the input. I actually have felt like the side pockets are about as playable as the tourney tables at the best pool hall in town, whereas my corners are really tough. I am used to playing conditions like these sides so they seem good, and I am used to corners that are slightly smaller than 4.5". The good thing about my side pockets is I will learn to use them such that any other table I play on I will be able to play all the same shots as I do on my table. If my practice table was 5.125" sides then there are some shots I simply could not use when I go to a tourney with 4.875" or smaller sides.

I also think it depends on the person as far as it helping your game to play on tighter pockets. It seems to me that it's the same sort of principle that makes playing on a 8' table so easy after a 9', or for the old-timers, playing on a 9' was so easy after the 10'. You feel like you can't miss on tables with easier playing conditions. Again, I think it depends on the person as to whether or not a tough practice table will help. A lot of it may have to do with the mental game.

I've only played on my table for probably around 15 hours total. After playing on the table for a few months I think I will have a better idea of whether the table is acceptable or not and I may choose to have my quadruple-shimmed pockets opened up a bit :cool: .

Takumi4G63
03-16-2007, 03:28 PM
http://a503.ac-images.myspacecdn.com/images01/7/l_9454a2a5ec10eebd4787d72e6f559346.jpg

I don't know if this will work but here's a picture of one of my corner pockets.

Samiel
05-02-2007, 01:10 PM
Wow, that's pretty darn tight!

lfigueroa
05-02-2007, 03:01 PM
I am all for tough demanding equipment. But there is a point where the equipment changes the game from pool to... something else. You have to be able to shoot a shot down the rail with speed -- and accuracy -- and have the ball drop. You have to be able to punch a break ball in a warp speed, and have the ball drop. And, you have to be able to use the side pockets, without anything over Minnie Mouse speed bobbling the ball.

I've played on the super stupid equipment, 14.1 and 1pocket and the game just totally changes and you're reduced to cinching balls instead of playing the right way.

Lou Figueroa



Thanks for the post rikdee. I will think about what you and Steve have pointed out about a table playing really tough, I appreciate the input. I actually have felt like the side pockets are about as playable as the tourney tables at the best pool hall in town, whereas my corners are really tough. I am used to playing conditions like these sides so they seem good, and I am used to corners that are slightly smaller than 4.5". The good thing about my side pockets is I will learn to use them such that any other table I play on I will be able to play all the same shots as I do on my table. If my practice table was 5.125" sides then there are some shots I simply could not use when I go to a tourney with 4.875" or smaller sides.

I also think it depends on the person as far as it helping your game to play on tighter pockets. It seems to me that it's the same sort of principle that makes playing on a 8' table so easy after a 9', or for the old-timers, playing on a 9' was so easy after the 10'. You feel like you can't miss on tables with easier playing conditions. Again, I think it depends on the person as to whether or not a tough practice table will help. A lot of it may have to do with the mental game.

I've only played on my table for probably around 15 hours total. After playing on the table for a few months I think I will have a better idea of whether the table is acceptable or not and I may choose to have my quadruple-shimmed pockets opened up a bit :cool: .

Samiel
05-02-2007, 03:32 PM
Lou, I thought you were going to say "snooker" there for a second! :p

One of my big peeves are shimmed pockets that won't let a ball go if you hit the inside of the pocket incorrectly. I play on tight table that is like this and I can't tell you how many well hit, slow speed balls have just popped out because I hit the wrong part of the shim.

duckie
05-02-2007, 07:08 PM
I look for and try to practice on tables with tight pockets like you have. Why, cause you have to be a dead eye to make balls. Then when you go to tables with large pockets, they look like grand canyons.

Watching a really good 14.1 player is a must. I had the luck to see a local top level 14.1 the other night, very enlighting and a joy to watch

lfigueroa
05-03-2007, 08:00 AM
Lou, I thought you were going to say "snooker" there for a second! :p

One of my big peeves are shimmed pockets that won't let a ball go if you hit the inside of the pocket incorrectly. I play on tight table that is like this and I can't tell you how many well hit, slow speed balls have just popped out because I hit the wrong part of the shim.

Yo, Samiel, how they hangin'? (I guess hangin' up :-)

I also have experience with the type of table where you can hit inside the pocket, but as you say, hit a bad part of the shim, and the ball won't drop.

I hate that.

Lou Figueroa