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View Full Version : Neils Feijen's 259 - Some Questions/Comments


Dan White
03-18-2007, 02:09 PM
This is a long post, but 14.1 is a long game, so I guess that's how it is. :o

Somebody posted a link to this great run the other day.
http://tinyurl.com/yoe6bx

The great thing about this video is that each shot is numbered, and you can scroll forward to any shot number without waiting for the whole video to download. I had posted the other day about playing certainties vs percentage shots and got some interesting responses. I wanted to comment on a few of Neils' shots and see what people here think was going on, or should have been going on. I'm trying to get a better handle on when great players know exactly where the cue ball is going and when they don't. Of course I could barely carry Neil's cue case so don't think I'm criticizing him. I'm just trying to figure out what his thought process was. Too bad he doesn't post here so he could tell us himself.

Scroll to the 13th shot (score says 12)
He walks very briefly I assume to see the cue ball path, then walks over to see either the path of the ob to the pocket, or maybe to look at the tangent line. If I were shooting the same object ball, I would have thought carefully about where the cue ball wanted to go, where I could make it go instead, and which side of which ball I wanted to hit. In this case I would try to draw into the ball in the middle of the rack, on the high side if possible, so that the cue ball drifts over to the open space a little for a shot on a ball into the low left pocket. It probably takes a lot of draw with a more delicate stroke. Feijen caroms off two balls and gets a shot, but he is so casual about it that I’m not so sure he knew that was going to happen. Was he playing this position or was he trying to do something else that didn't work? There is another shot in the run where he plays a two rail position after caroming off a ball, so I know he can play position off a carom.

Scroll to the 80th shot (score says 79)
The cue ball goes into the high side of the dark ball, drives through and scatters the rest nicely. I didn’t see any safety ball before the break out. In this run, the balls seem to be spreading easily. So, did he play a shot that Steve Lipsky describes as one of those educated guesses where the odds of getting a shot are in your favor? Since he was going in high on the dark ball, would he have thought that he’d have a shot on the striped or other dark ball into the side pocket? I can’t see risking a 79 ball run by not knowing exactly what is going to happen in this instance. Or putting it another way, getting snookered with a wide open table puts you in big trouble for your match.

Scroll to the 95th shot (score says 94)
Is this a pot luck shot? The balls are slick and are opening nicely, so is he playing the odds that he can draw into the cluster, and still hold on to that nice break ball? Actually the very next shot is the one I mentioned above about playing two rail position off a carom. It’s a very nice shot.

There are others, but I think you can see what I'm getting at. I know you can go into a cluster without regard to what will happen, and you might get in trouble. Or, you can go into the cluster and modify the cue ball path just enough to give you good odds at coming off clean and getting another shot. Last, and maybe not really feasible in most cases, you can go into the cluster, figure out where the important balls will go, and assure yourself of a shot.

I'm just curious if you think these are all educated pot luck shots, or if there is more than meets the eye.

Thanks!
dwhite

Bob Jewett
03-18-2007, 04:31 PM
> Scroll to the 13th shot (score says 12) He walks very briefly I assume to see the cue ball path, then walks over to see ... Feijen caroms off two balls and gets a shot, but he is so casual about it that I’m not so sure he knew that was going to happen.

I think he would get bad marks from the old-timers for this shot. He puts to balls into a cluster on the foot rail. Before he shot, no two balls were within three inches of each other. Prime directive: move no ball that fits. I think I see a way he could have unlocked the ball puzzle, but the angles are not always clear on video.

> Scroll to the 80th shot (score says 79) The cue ball goes into the high side of the dark ball, drives through and scatters the rest nicely. I didn’t see any safety ball before the break out.

The clustered balls are not solid but already loose. It seems like it will be improbable for anything bad to happen going between the two balls as he does. I think there is some luck here, but it's unlikely to turn out badly. The other shots he had looked awkward. It feels like a choice between trying to finesse two or three awkward shots in a row or taking a pretty good rebreak.

> Scroll to the 95th shot (score says 94) Is this a pot luck shot?

It's hard to predict within half a ball of where the cue ball will hit the rack on that shot, so I'd say the shot is chancy, but how else are you going to break the balls? He was on a shot to open them and took some risk. It's not clear to me that the break ball he finally used would have fit to break the early cluster.

Dan White
03-18-2007, 06:59 PM
>
> Scroll to the 95th shot (score says 94) Is this a pot luck shot?

It's hard to predict within half a ball of where the cue ball will hit the rack on that shot, so I'd say the shot is chancy, but how else are you going to break the balls? He was on a shot to open them and took some risk. It's not clear to me that the break ball he finally used would have fit to break the early cluster.

Maybe there is a route that wouldn't require a pot luck shot. (Again, I could be wrong because it is hard to see all the angles) This rack started with the score counter at 91. He then knocks a ball on the foot rail into the right corner pocket. It looked like he could have popped the cue ball up away from the rail so that he could shoot the ball at the right edge of the cluster into the far right corner pocket. He actually does get close to this position in the video, except he shoots the other ball in the bottom left pocket. If he had a little straigher and easier angle at that ball in the cluster he could have nudged the cluster and still be assured a next shot. It looks like he could've bumped the next ball over and had a good shot on the dark ball in the low right corner, or something better depending on the outcome.

thanks,
dwhite

berry
03-19-2007, 02:47 AM
good post! Nice to see people realy watching the run and try to find good and bad points in it.

I cannot speak for Niels but I know a little bit how he play's his shots and what goos true his mind.

In your first point (shot 13) I think he wanted to hit the 3-ball full and have open position on the 3 ball in a row to that corner. He shoots it pretty good but the end result is not as he had planned.

80th shot: Well, he cannot do much with the q-ball and he had a look where the q-ball would hit the pack, it was on the sweet spot for opening them. I think he had in his mind that if it would hit the pack a bit lower then he would have the 6 to the bottom left corner and if he would hit it to high he would have a shot to the right bottom or middle pocket.

Shot 95: Again I think the 6-ball was his safety ball in case the draw didn't work out that nice.

BTW Niels Feijen just won the European straight pool champpionship 2007 also beating Hohmann! Niels has won this title now 4 times in 6 years!! He is simply the best European 14.1 player!

alstl
03-19-2007, 09:18 AM
Thanks for posting that video. I have a different question. Several times at the start of a rack he was looking at the beakout shot closely, I'm guessing to determine what type of spin to put on the cue ball. I would be very interested in what he was doing there, and what the deciding factor is in determining what type of english to apply. He obviously has something figured out that I don't because I get stuck in the rack a lot.

Also, the IPT players list showed him as using a Longoni/predator combination. Does he use the same for straight pool?

Steve Lipsky
03-19-2007, 10:21 AM
Scroll to the 80th shot (score says 79)
The cue ball goes into the high side of the dark ball, drives through and scatters the rest nicely. I didn’t see any safety ball before the break out. In this run, the balls seem to be spreading easily. So, did he play a shot that Steve Lipsky describes as one of those educated guesses where the odds of getting a shot are in your favor?


Thanks!
dwhite

I was all set to type that of course there would be a great chance he'd wind up with something. Then I watched it (lol) and my first instinct was, wow, he's sort of taking a chance here.

Immediately, I looked at how the two striped balls are blocking each other from going in the upper right corner, so they don't work as insurance balls.

You have the two balls on the lower right corner which can block the lane to that pocket as well.

My general rule is that whenever I am forced to take a shot that feels dangerous (because of no insurance ball), I will hit it a little harder than I normally would. Neils does not do this here. And I swear that I did not look at the results of the shot until I'm writing this very sentence - and it appears my instincts were sort of correct. His only shot it seems is an awkward 8-ball in the side.

This break shot at that speed would have scared me enough to hit the balls just a little bit harder. In truth, I might not have even played this shot - that's how big I feel getting a subpar result on this layout is.

- Steve

P.S. I want to make it clear that in the course of a long run, there will be a few decisions that could be second-guessed. In watching some of the video so far, I've already seen him do a few things which are clearly better than my choices would have been.

Dan White
03-19-2007, 08:34 PM
This break shot at that speed would have scared me enough to hit the balls just a little bit harder. In truth, I might not have even played this shot - that's how big I feel getting a subpar result on this layout is.


Thanks for confirming my suspicions. You had mentioned in response to one of my other posts that you often have to go for the percentage shot rather than the sure thing that might be too touchy a shot. This example from the video puts your thinking in better perspective for me. In other words, you're not such a big risk taker.

dwhite

berry
03-20-2007, 01:41 AM
Thanks for posting that video. I have a different question. Several times at the start of a rack he was looking at the beakout shot closely, I'm guessing to determine what type of spin to put on the cue ball. I would be very interested in what he was doing there, and what the deciding factor is in determining what type of english to apply. He obviously has something figured out that I don't because I get stuck in the rack a lot.

Also, the IPT players list showed him as using a Longoni/predator combination. Does he use the same for straight pool?

Lets start with his cue. Yes he playes with a Longoni / Predator combination and playes with that combination in every dicipline. The cue was custom made in Italy.

For his aiming system on the breakball I know why he does it and how he does it. I play him very often (or should I say "I rack for him very often LOL). He starts looking at the stun-pot and where the Q-ball would hit the pack. Now he can change this a little bit to make sure the q-ball comes out of the pack and back on the table.

So he starts with the 90 degree rule (stun effect) and ajust the point of impact for his benefit.

alstl
03-20-2007, 10:10 AM
Lets start with his cue. Yes he playes with a Longoni / Predator combination and playes with that combination in every dicipline. The cue was custom made in Italy.

For his aiming system on the breakball I know why he does it and how he does it. I play him very often (or should I say "I rack for him very often LOL). He starts looking at the stun-pot and where the Q-ball would hit the pack. Now he can change this a little bit to make sure the q-ball comes out of the pack and back on the table.

So he starts with the 90 degree rule (stun effect) and ajust the point of impact for his benefit.

It looks like he applies different english depending on the angle that the cue ball with strike the rack. I'm trying to figure out exactly what his thinking is there.

lfigueroa
03-20-2007, 02:48 PM
Lets start with his cue. Yes he playes with a Longoni / Predator combination and playes with that combination in every dicipline. The cue was custom made in Italy.

For his aiming system on the breakball I know why he does it and how he does it. I play him very often (or should I say "I rack for him very often LOL). He starts looking at the stun-pot and where the Q-ball would hit the pack. Now he can change this a little bit to make sure the q-ball comes out of the pack and back on the table.

So he starts with the 90 degree rule (stun effect) and ajust the point of impact for his benefit.


I've only watched up to about 100, but two things I've noticed so far:

He likes to use draw on his break shots. And frankly, you can't argue with his results. He eliminates the chance of a scratch and is consistently getting towards the middle of the table.

The other thing is he seems loath to shoot balls to the two up table corner pockets, unless a couple of strays have gone up table. Otherwise, he's shooting four pocket pool.

Lou Figueroa

berry
03-21-2007, 09:53 AM
It looks like he applies different english depending on the angle that the cue ball with strike the rack. I'm trying to figure out exactly what his thinking is there.

Will try to explain you but this is easier on the table and in my native language :cool: . The side of the rack has all kinds of curves because of the balls. If you would make contact with a ball in the rack below his centre line then you must add extra spin / draw to get the q-ball back on the table. If you would make contact on the centre line, medium speed draw and just a little spin is enough to make it go up table and if you would hit the ball above its centre line then almost no draw or spin is needed because of it's natural line.

Now if you look at the point of impact you can ajust this! Be carefull because draw effect will make the ball go foreward first and then the draw kicks in and topspin will make the q-ball go back a little (after impact with the object ball) and the the topspin kicks in.

You can train this by putting you breakball next to the rack on a marked spot and break with cantre ball. Watch closely where the q-ball hits the pack. Now move the objectball up and down a little bit and try to figure out where the q-ball hits the pack every time. (no spin).

When you know where the point of impact is no mather where the object ball is then you can add draw to it to see how much you can ajust the point of impact. Do the same with spin and try to get the q-ball centre table every time!

Bob Jewett
03-21-2007, 02:14 PM
... Be carefull because draw effect will make the ball go foreward first and then the draw kicks in and topspin will make the q-ball go back a little (after impact with the object ball) and the the topspin kicks in....
High-speed video has shown that this idea is false, at least in the case of a cue ball hitting a single object ball. In general the cue ball will be going forward very, very slightly immediately after the collision for any full hit and then the spin will take giving constant acceleration of the cue ball until it achieves smooth rolling. That's for a cue ball that is not bouncing. This is shown quite clearly on the Jacksonville Project ultra-high-speed video (up to 12,000 frames per second). This is also what physics predicts.

I suspect that your feeling is due to the apparent pause of the cue ball before it takes off, but that is illusion. If you mean specifically about the cue ball against a full rack, the mechanics are quite different, and if the cue ball goes forward with draw it is due to a non-full hit rather than any property of the ball. The initial path and speed of the cue ball after hitting one ball or the rack is not changed by whether it has draw or follow.

berry
03-22-2007, 06:09 AM
Hi Bob,

I think we can be both right;) I am talking on power strokes with a nice angle on the object ball. At this moment (maybe you can change that) I a pretty sure that if I would apply high speed foreward motion with draw, the q-ball will still have some foreward speed after you made contact with the object ball, soon the foreward motion is beaten by the draw. This makes the q-ball bent a little bit on his path.

To prove my point place an object ball on the first diamond of the short and the second diamond of the long rail (that crossing), do the same (but oppesit) with the q-ball. Now try to pot this ball in his corner pocket using a good draw. Try to make the q-ball hit the other long rail and come back to the place it begun (this is only possible if you stroke it sweet and with some spin).

I'll assure you after impact you will have a nice bent!

Please feel free to prove me wrong!:cool:

btw this website has lots of high speed video's of pool.
http://www.engr.colostate.edu/~dga/pool/high_speed_videos/

Bob Jewett
03-22-2007, 11:27 AM
... I think we can be both right;) I am talking on power strokes with a nice angle on the object ball. ...
On such a shot. the cue ball leaves the collision along the tangent line. (That is also called the kiss line, and it is perpendicular to the path of the object ball.) For the initial direction of the cue ball from the object ball, follow and draw have no effect.

As soon as the cue ball leaves the collision, it starts to curve if it had any follow or draw going into the collision. Follow will make the cue ball curve forward, away from you. Draw will make the cue ball curve back, towards you. The curves are parabolas. The curvature ends at the instant that the cue ball is rolling smoothly on the cloth. This curvature happens on all draw and follow shots, but on the softer ones, the curve takes only a very short time.

Perhaps I misunderstood your original statement. It seemed to me to contradict the above well-known results.

A little deeper: there are lots of things that can cause the above rules to be violated. If the cue ball is airborne when it contacts the object ball, strange and sometimes useful things will happen. Sometimes the cue ball is lighter or heavier than the object ball, and then it will not leave the collision on the tangent line. If the cue ball is bouncing as it leaves the object ball, its path will be a series of hops with the path between hops straight lines as seen from above, but the whole path looks more or less like a parabola. (This can be seen on Robert Leitner's infrared high-speed video mentioned here recently.) If the cue ball is not perfectly elastic, it will act as if it is heavier than the object ball. (In this context, "elastic" is a very special word from physics, and its meaning is very specific within physics.) If there is throw on the shot, the initial angle between the paths of the cue ball and the object ball will not be 90 degrees.

berry
03-23-2007, 01:11 AM
Thanks!

Are you a BCA instructor?

Kevin
03-26-2007, 12:44 AM
Bob Jewett is a BCA master instructor, billiards columnist, and mean physics geek with a real job.

Check out this website: http://www.sfbilliards.com/

Over the years, one notices he only stays in useful threads, and steers well clear of the other types.

Bob Jewett
03-26-2007, 11:28 AM
... Over the years, one notices he only stays in useful threads, and steers well clear of the other types.
Well, you must not have kept up with the current "SAM" aiming method thread. Whether the discussion there will turn into something useful for anyone remains to be seen. Now, where did I leave my
trebuchet (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trebuchet)?