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View Full Version : Straight Pool & "Words of Wisdom" You will never forget.


Scottster
05-05-2007, 11:53 AM
I thought it would be fun to start a topic consisting of catchy phrases (quotes) that you will never forget that contain helpful knowledge in the world of Straight Pool.

I will start with one from my mentor Danny Harriman discussing breakshots and how the tangent line into the stack effects the type of english to apply to the cueball.

"Hitting the crack (between the balls) with center will cause you to scratch your a$$."

When he first said this I was close to tears. But the lesson behind it , I will never forget.

What he was explaining when he said this was, if the cue ball is going to hit a ball in the rack full, all you need to apply to the cueball is centerball with inside english. The cueball will actually pick up draw off of the full ball hit, and come back to the center of the table.

However, if the tangent line results in hitting between 2 balls in the rack (the crack) you have to apply low right english to avoid scratching in the corner.

FYI this was discussing one of many breakshots so this information doesn't pertain to every single breakshot in straight pool of course.

CreeDo
05-05-2007, 04:06 PM
I only wish I was lucky enough to have even a completely unknown 50-ball runner share words of wisdom, much less a pro with really funny (but useful) tips.

It's not really on-topic but the funniest thing I heard that was sorta straight pool related was when Tony Robles (I think) was commentating on a straight pool match between two german players and said something like "and these european players always look so fit and well-dressed when they play in these events, they're all so fit over there. Probably comes from eating bars of Dial soap every day." I don't know why but this just gave me fits throughout the day. It doesn't even make sense it's just funny.

Gerry
05-06-2007, 05:01 AM
My favorite piece of info comes from Babe Cranfield....GET TO WORK EARLY!

Gerry

Dan White
05-06-2007, 07:32 AM
What he was explaining when he said this was, if the cue ball is going to hit a ball in the rack full, all you need to apply to the cueball is centerball with inside english. The cueball will actually pick up draw off of the full ball hit, and come back to the center of the table.

Not sure I understand this. Is the inside spin turning into draw after contacting the pack somehow?

However, if the tangent line results in hitting between 2 balls in the rack (the crack) you have to apply low right english to avoid scratching in the corner.

Again, what does the english do here?

FYI this was discussing one of many breakshots so this information doesn't pertain to every single breakshot in straight pool of course.

Good post. Thanks!

dwhite

Scottster
05-06-2007, 06:14 PM
Hi Dan,

Set up a break shot where you are going to play your break ball in the left corner pocket (if you are right handed). Set the break ball up where the tangent line will hit the second ball in the rack full in the face or just a tad higher than full.

Hit the cue ball with center left medium speed. If you set the tangent line up correctly the cue ball will come back towards the center of the table.

If you set the break shot up to where your tangent takes you between 2 balls with a center ball hit whitey flirts with disaster in the corner pocket.

The main point is the center ball and full into a ball, and draw if you hit between two. The inside english ( I think) is to help the cue ball go away from the stack on impact, vs driving through it (outside english). I dont know the exact science behind it, but I do know it works rather consistantly.

Dan White
05-06-2007, 08:02 PM
Hi Dan,

The main point is the center ball and full into a ball, and draw if you hit between two. The inside english ( I think) is to help the cue ball go away from the stack on impact, vs driving through it (outside english). I dont know the exact science behind it, but I do know it works rather consistantly.

Hi Scottster. I think there is a lot of debate as to whether inside/outside does anything for the cue ball after it contacts that second ball full on. I think typically the physics guys say it doesn't do anything while the old timers say it does (to be general).

I think it is an important question to understand well for obvious reasons. If I'm going into the second ball head on where the tangent line from the contact will put me to the side of the pack, or more toward the center of the table, I just shoot with center ball. I never worry about sticking to the pack because there are so many balls in the pack that it acts almost like a rail, and the cue ball bounces off. The only time I have a problem with this is if I drop my arm during the shot and get even just a little bit of unintentional follow. When this happens, the cue ball may bounce off the pack, but then the brakes come on and I might end up only a few inches away, instead of one or two feet away.

dwhite

CreeDo
05-06-2007, 08:29 PM
hrm, in my experience the rack never acts like a rail. It acts like a brick wall (try rolling a cue ball into a wall at the pool hall sometimes and watch how far it rebounds). Balls only go off rails cuz they're rubber, but when a cueball hits an object ball in the face, even at high speed, it just sits there, and this happens to me like every damn day :(

I'm really interested to know the use of sidespin to move the ball. I'm a physics guy. Something I figured out is that true middle sidespin will not move a cueball in any direction, it won't change the course it will take anyway (do a centerball hit on an object ball with extreme left and the cueball just spins in place. Cut the ball with extreme left and the cueball moves along the tangent line just like it would without the sidespin, etc).

But I think that the instant left or right combines with top or bottom, the path of the cueball is altered in a way that's different from top or bottom alone. I can't explain it on paper, but imagine hitting with low left. Imagine the point of contact between the tip and the ball glowing, and when the ball spins that contact point is revolving around a sort of diagonal axis, from the bottom left to the top right (on the opposite side of the ball) and back to the bottom left. It makes the ball move a bit more in the direction of spin.

Anyway all of that long explanation was to say... I think sidespin helps only if you add a little follow or draw, either via the cuetip, or if contact with the rack somehow puts vertical spin somehow.

Incidentally john schmidt advocates using a little outside on his shots, I think he said it was to help avoid skid though, so it's not just an old-timer thing. I wonder what thorsten thinks? In a recent tournament, he seemed to leave himself about a 45 degree cut every time, and he seems to use some form of draw (or at least not follow) on most of his shots, or maybe it's just how the break balls happened to lie when he was being filmed.

Maybe the only way to really determine it is to set up the exact same shot over and over and try to hit it the exact same way (with and without sidespin) over and over, but there are so many tiny variables that it seems like it would be impossible to prove anything.

Dan White
05-06-2007, 08:54 PM
hrm, in my experience the rack never acts like a rail. It acts like a brick wall (try rolling a cue ball into a wall at the pool hall sometimes and watch how far it rebounds). Balls only go off rails cuz they're rubber, but when a cueball hits an object ball in the face, even at high speed, it just sits there, and this happens to me like every damn day :(

I have to disagree on this one. Just test it out and see. Put the cue ball where the break ball would be. Then, shoot the cue ball directly into one of the balls in the rack full on, and hit CENTER ball. Watch what happens! Now, if you have just a little follow, the cue ball will park next to the pack. Conversely, if you have a little draw, you will lose the cue ball uptable.


Anyway all of that long explanation was to say... I think sidespin helps only if you add a little follow or draw, either via the cuetip, or if contact with the rack somehow puts vertical spin somehow.

I agree that this stuff isn't easy to figure out. However, if we know that follow and draw definitely cause the cue ball to rebound with more action off the pack, and it appears that sidespin doesn't then why keep looking to sidespin for it to do something?

Incidentally john schmidt advocates using a little outside on his shots, I think he said it was to help avoid skid though, so it's not just an old-timer thing.

It seems many top players like a little outside. The couple I've talked to seem to do it for cue ball position off a rail after the break, or to reduce cling/skid rather than for pocketing the ball.

Maybe the only way to really determine it is to set up the exact same shot over and over and try to hit it the exact same way (with and without sidespin) over and over, but there are so many tiny variables that it seems like it would be impossible to prove anything.

Thanks,
dwhite

bruin70
05-06-2007, 11:39 PM
"why did you miss?"

CreeDo
05-07-2007, 11:39 AM
well, what I was saying about the cueball sticking is that it will stick regardless of whether you use center or any type of side. But yeah, definitely follow or draw will make it move away.

I guess I kind of agree, why use sidespin at all if we can all see that strictly follow or strictly draw will get the job done? But all those old-timers seem to advocate it, so that carries some weight.

I find that follow sticks me pretty good to the pack, and center often can too, so it seems like really 80%+ of the break shots should be with draw (?!@)

Bob Jewett
05-07-2007, 11:49 AM
... I guess I kind of agree, why use sidespin at all if we can all see that strictly follow or strictly draw will get the job done? ...
Because with the standard side-of-the-rack break, outside english can keep the cue ball from going up the table. If the cue ball follows off the rack to the foot rail, and it has outside, it will tend to go back through the balls. With no side spin, it is more likely to end on the head rail. That's a problem.

pdcue
05-07-2007, 11:54 AM
well, what I was saying about the cueball sticking is that it will stick regardless of whether you use center or any type of side. But yeah, definitely follow or draw will make it move away.

I guess I kind of agree, why use sidespin at all if we can all see that strictly follow or strictly draw will get the job done? But all those old-timers seem to advocate it, so that carries some weight.

I find that follow sticks me pretty good to the pack, and center often can too, so it seems like really 80%+ of the break shots should be with draw (?!@)

Sidespin:

1 Does nothing DIRECTLY to improve opening up the balls.

2. using sidespin can, on a specific shot, change where the CB
contacts the rack because you can hit the OB thinner/fuller than if
you had hit center ball. Sometimes that will give a better break.

To revisit an old idea
it isn't as simple as just where you hit the rack
it matters a ton what angle the CB path is in relation
to the rack

Dale

fred_in_hoboken
05-10-2007, 05:21 PM
I only wish I was lucky enough to have even a completely unknown 50-ball runner share words of wisdom, much less a pro with really funny (but useful) tips.

It's not really on-topic but the funniest thing I heard that was sorta straight pool related was when Tony Robles (I think) was commentating on a straight pool match between two german players and said something like "and these european players always look so fit and well-dressed when they play in these events, they're all so fit over there. Probably comes from eating bars of Dial soap every day." I don't know why but this just gave me fits throughout the day. It doesn't even make sense it's just funny.

It was the match between Immonen and Engert in last years' world straight pool championship. Shortly after Engert misses what would have been his 100th ball, Charlie Williams commented on how the europeans all dress sharp. Danny Barouty's response was "Well they're all leam, and they're in good shape. Probably comes from eating ivory soap every day. Cuz it looks like they eat bars of it!"

I have no idea what it means either, but judging by his earlier comment about Judge Landis, i'm guess it's some old reference. Google was of little help (http://www.zug.com/pranks/natural/).

CreeDo
05-10-2007, 11:31 PM
I think it's just a funny mental image he somehow came up with on the fly, which is just fantastic. Something like "this guy's so clean, he must actually EAT the soap instead of just wash with it". I tried googling too and was quickly depressed to learn that eating soap is a common problem with people who have bad alzheimer's. Anyway, I want barouty commentating everything I watch from now on.