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Slider
05-12-2007, 11:05 PM
In the thread, Battle of the Sexes- Lee & Schmidt (http://forums.azbilliards.com/showthread.php?t=62483), a couple of posts refer to some straight pool gambling at DCC between John Schmidt and Alex Pagulayan. What happened? Who won?

About 6 or 7 years ago they matched up at the Reno Open playing to 150 points. John's game was off just a bit, and Alex managed to take full advantage, winning two in a row before John pulled up.

Ken

Williebetmore
05-13-2007, 05:44 PM
In the thread, Battle of the Sexes- Lee & Schmidt (http://forums.azbilliards.com/showthread.php?t=62483), a couple of posts refer to some straight pool gambling at DCC between John Schmidt and Alex Pagulayan. What happened? Who won?

Ken

The most well known match was about 4 years ago at DCC. I watched the match in it’s entirety, kept score as they played, and still have the scoresheet and notes. It was the greatest pool match I’ve ever seen.

MIDNIGHT

The match started at midnight; after a full day’s play in the 9-ball event; and a full weeks DCC under their belts. They both changed clothes after their 9-ball matches (Pagulayan still in the event, and had to play the next morning) – Schmidt in shorts and tennis shoes, Pagulayan in jeans and wrinkled shirt. They played in the main room, on the first table on the left as you walked in – about 10 or 15 spectators viewed the 5 ½ hour match (though, like Woodstock, the number of people claiming to have seen it will increase throughout the years). The Reyes – Palmer one-pocket semi-final was still going at this time; but I’d rather watch paint dry than a long one-pocket bunting contest.

It was rumored that they were playing race to 300 for $4,000 (I have no idea if there were backers involved). They were reported to have played twice before, with Schmidt winning both times (also secondhand info). They put a huge wad of bills on the light (Pagulayan couldn’t reach the top of the light even with a chair, so JS did the honors), put a bunch of bills aside to feed the table, and began. They FLIPPED FOR THE BREAK – and I thought to myself that this might not be such a great contest after all…how wrong I was.

Schmidt loses the flip, Pagulayan has a bit of problem racking, but finally finishes and sits down. JS looks at the rack, and doesn’t like the loose 6 ball, so grabs the rack to fix it. Pag’s BOLTS out of his chair like it was electrified. Pag’s watches the process, and keeps nagging, “it would be okay if I was breaking.” JS looks at him and says in his inimitable sardonic style, “Ya, I’m going to cheat you", then continues trying to get a good rack. Pag’s reluctantly watches JS fix the rack, and the game was on.

The first few racks were somewhat ragged. I believe this is quite typical for competitive straight pool games, as the players get a feel for the game and for the table; trying to find that perfect groove. JS breaks, Pag’s runs 3 and misses a tough shot, JS runs 5 and misses a tough shot, Pag’s runs 5 more balls and plays a fair safety, JS misses the tough shot. Pag’s then starts to hit the groove, running 23 balls before missing a god-awful tough shot. His style is UNBELIEVEABLE – he is shooting tough, “ohmygod” shots, moving the cueball up and down the table wildly, making 7 or 8 brutally tough shots each rack. This is NOT classic straight pool; but surely entertaining shotmaking. He is basically out of shape on 3 out of every 4 shots; but shoots his way out of it. Willie Mosconi would be spinning in his grave if he could see this style of play….it is “anti-old school.”

JS is obviously playing a more classical style, trying to minimize the cueball travel, nudging balls and clusters, trying to end the rack with a nice 3 or 4 ball stop shot pattern (not always succeeding, but obviously MUCH more in control than Pag’s who is sending the cue ball careening around the table multiple times a rack). JS runs 37 but gets straight on a break shot, gets only a few balls out of the rack, plays a good safe, Pag’s tries a safe, but leaves the edge of a ball, JS fires in another in a long line of tough shots (while Pag’s makes an incredible number of tough shots, JS makes almost all of his as well; it’s just that he leaves himself fewer than Alex), and is off and running, getting another 26 balls before yet again getting too straight on a breaker.

JS pockets the ball with a called safe, leaving the 15 ball rack with whitey up on the head rail. Pag’s has no idea what to do with the ball (he’s supposed to lag/bank the cue ball softly into the back of the stack). Instead of playing the intentional foul, he tries an impossible safety that fizzles badly, and JS is running another 28. He then shatters the pack with the break shot, parks whitey perfectly in the center of the table; then watches helplessly as one of the object balls smacks the cue ball violently, sending it all the way back uptable into one of the head corner pockets – freakish event.

1:30 A.M.

At this point we are about an hour and a half into the match and JS is ahead 92-47. Players are looking a bit more tired, with JS occasionally yawning and running to get a Snickers and a bottle of water. Both are starting to show a little bit of nervousness. It seems obvious to most that Pag’s is completely outclassed, and has no chance of competing; but we all stick around to watch the slaughter – little did we know what surprises were yet to come.

Pag’s now hits a lucky streak, runs 24 balls (with exactly 20 of them tough as nails – I’ve never seen anything like it… I would be lucky to make one of those shots). JS then runs 38, missing position on the breaker. JS gets ahead 132 – 76 and Pag’s is looking a bit more stressed, giggling nervously before spearing in yet another 9 foot cut shot.

Pag’s now gets a HUGE break – he smashes open the pack, but misses the ball; everything wide open, but NO SHOT for JS. JS misses a near impossible cut shot, and Pag’s runs 73. An amazing run, since only one rack ends stop-stop-stop. He leaves his clusters and rail shots for last, and plays amazing positional recoveries. He ends this run by trying to back cut a ball 8 feet back up table, and he scratches (but of course pockets the impossible cut). JS has only a long tough shot, with no hope for position – JS makes the shot, then misses the next impossible shot. Pag’s runs another 25 before sending whitey 18 feet to get just one inch too straight on a perfect break shot (hell, he usually gets perfect if he only has to move whitey 18 feet – we’ve come to expect the impossible).

2:30 A.M.

Pag’s is now ahead 173-133 and JS looks like he just took a couple of body blows from Mike Tyson. He’s played superior pool, technically far better (and more classical) than Alex, but still finds himself down to this whirling dervish. It’s now about 2:30 AM and he’s been playing for 15 hours. He gets another Snickers, sucks down a big slug from the water bottle, steps to the table and runs a masterful 112. Classic patterns, lots of stop-stop-stop sequences, clusters and trouble balls disposed of early in the racks, minimal cue ball movement. It is a thing of beauty and you can just see Pagulayan melting into his chair. At 100 I announce the milestone to the small group of spectators. JS hears this, looks over at us and says, “it seems like 200.” The stakes are huge, the players are definitely showing the stress now.

JS ends the run by missing shape on a key ball, leaving a poor breaker, misses a length of the table cut into a half-pocket. Pag’s is cold as ice, and runs only 3 before getting out of shape and missing an impossible shot (by now we know it was impossible, because he would have made it easily if it was only near-impossible). JS is still warm, steps up and runs 49 before getting out of position.

3:45 A.M.

The score is JS = 292, Pag’s = 176. It is 3:45 AM and one of the railbirds rises, pulls out the $20 he bet on Pag’s, and pays me. He says, “the little guy is toast, I’m going to bed.” Evidently Pag’s doesn’t agree, because he still wants to play.

Now follows a series of safeties and intentional scratches. JS has won most of these battles, and he succeeds in getting Pag’s onto 2 scratches, but can’t quite capitalize; let’s Pag see a 9 foot cutter, which he of course spears in, coming 2 rails for position, and he is off and running. A seemingly impossible 56 ball run. I’ve seen a hundred hours of Accu-Stats 14.1, but Alex makes more tough shots in this 56 balls than I’ve seen in those other hundred hours.

4:15 A.M.

At 4:15 AM Alex plays a bad safety and down 292-245 leaves JS a gentle cut into a head corner pocket. Thirteen ball about 2 feet from the pocket, cue ball a foot or two further, rest of the table fairly open – JS MISSES the ball. It’s the first easy shot missed by either player the entire match. JS says, “I’m doggin’ it so bad” and leaves the room briskly to get another Snickers and water.

Pag’s keeps shooting while JS is gone – no stalling in this game. These players are tired, and very visibly nervous. Little fine tremors, pulling up at the last second to reset on multiple shots.

Pag’s runs 26 to get to 292-271, but leaves himself with no shots near the end of a rack; and misses a tough shot with 3 balls on the table. JS gets on a breaker, breaks the pack and is now up 294-271. There are 4 balls open, but he needs 6 to win. The one ball is in the jaws of one of the corner pockets, and he has 3 balls below the stack that he can use to get into the stack. He MUST get into the pack, and seems to have the perfect angle; but he decides to pocket one of the low balls first, and ends up with much less angle into the pack. He takes the shot, gets a little bump into the stack, and ends up in the stack, AND HE CAN’T SEE THE ONE BALL HANGING IN THE JAWS, THE TABLE IS NOW OPEN, AND HE HAS NO SHOT. JS looks like he was shot in the gut. He tries to cut a ball 90 degrees up into the side but misses.

Pag’s now has a wide open table at 298-271. He makes a complete hash of it, his first 3 shots are the future break balls – he can’t believe he’s putting himself in a place where he can only shoot the breakers. He gets to 298-294 and on a super-easy shot runs THREE FEET PAST POSITION on his key ball. He giggles nervously and trembling he says, “I’m doggin’ it so bad – I’m NEVER playing you again.” He then makes the shot-of-the-century to cut a ball in the side and come all the way down for good position on a below the rack break shot that is in an awkward position. He comes 9 feet with outside English draw-drag on an 85 degree cut into an unforgiving side pocket for position in a target area the size of a silver dollar ( I could diagram these shots, but the post is long enough already).

He now needs only 6 balls, but strikes the below the rack break shot with NO ENGLISH AT ALL, and whitey comes directly back into the pack as expected. He now is at 298-295 but he’s got to jack up over the pack and cut a ball 70 degrees up into a side pocket and let it topple in, because the pocket is SMALL at this angle. He makes the shot, whitey comes right back into the pack, and he’s GOT TO DO IT AGAIN. Another jacked up, cut shot into the side is pocketed, and now he’s got to shoot the thirteen ball 2 feet into the far corner – very easy shot, but it rattles, sits on the edge for a second or two, then topples into the pocket. He gasps, puts his hands on his knees and says, “I can’t make 2 more balls.”

5:30 A.M.

He comes up to the last ball, and says, “I can’t make this” – it’s a medium cut into the side, some risk of scratching. He sets up to shoot, but his bridge hand is shaking so much he can’t put the stick on it. He gets up, starts whipping his arm back and forth to get his hand to stop shaking; he repeats, “I can’t make this.” Steps up and slices it in. Match over at about 5:30 A.M.

Final score Pag’s = 300, JS = 298. Pag’s did not look overjoyed, just RELIEVED. JS looked disdainful and unemotional; very tired and disgusted. The last hour or two of this match offered incredible drama and tension. There is NO equivalent in a match of 9-ball where the tension occurs minutes at a time, not hours.

Each player missed 6 shots in 300 balls (only 1 was an easy shot, another was fairly easy, but required heavy inside English). JS high run = 112, Pag’s high run = 73.

My thanks to the participants for one of the great sporting experiences of my life. I’ve seen Ali-Frazier, Ali-Foreman, Hearns-Leonard, and Tyson-Holyfield; but THIS was the ultimate and most enjoyable heavyweight matchup that I’ve seen. It’s an example of the best pool has to offer; we’ll never see the equivalent as long as 9-ball is the game.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

eales
05-13-2007, 07:29 PM
Sorry I wasn't there to see many great matches, but in this case, your description was more than worth the price of admission. Thanks from those of us who weren't there.

Jim Eales

dmgwalsh
05-14-2007, 07:21 AM
Willie:

Very nice commentary. I'm printing and sending it to Sailor so he can enjoy the game, too.

Williebetmore
05-14-2007, 08:05 AM
Willie:

Very nice commentary. I'm printing and sending it to Sailor so he can enjoy the game, too.

D-man,
If you do this, would you please tell Sailor that I am a student of Mark Wilson's and would love to meet him sometime, or perhaps take a lesson.

Tell him I finally broke 50, so hopefully I "qualify". He used to have a policy where he would not give lessons to someone who hadn't broken 50. Mark said he just lied to Sailor about it so he could get lessons. He said it must have been painfully obvious that he couldn't run 50, but Sailor must have sensed he was serious about the game, and gave him lessons anyway.

StraightPoolIU
05-14-2007, 08:39 AM
I just wanted to say thanks to Willie for taking the time to write all of that out. I had heard about the match several times, but I'd had never heard the details. Straight Pool + Gambling + John Schmidt= great story IMHO.

dmgwalsh
05-15-2007, 08:29 AM
D-man,
If you do this, would you please tell Sailor that I am a student of Mark Wilson's and would love to meet him sometime, or perhaps take a lesson.

Tell him I finally broke 50, so hopefully I "qualify". He used to have a policy where he would not give lessons to someone who hadn't broken 50. Mark said he just lied to Sailor about it so he could get lessons. He said it must have been painfully obvious that he couldn't run 50, but Sailor must have sensed he was serious about the game, and gave him lessons anyway.


I'm sure he would teach you something but he's way up in Racine Wisconsin. He's just recently showing me 14.1 stuff. The last few years, it's just been stroke and shots and cue ball control. Finally, I am close to being worthy. Or, finally I have wore him down.:D

COLLECTION GURU
05-26-2007, 04:47 PM
The most well known match was about 4 years ago at DCC. I watched the match in it’s entirety, kept score as they played, and still have the scoresheet and notes. It was the greatest pool match I’ve ever seen.

MIDNIGHT

The match started at midnight; after a full day’s play in the 9-ball event; and a full weeks DCC under their belts. They both changed clothes after their 9-ball matches (Pagulayan still in the event, and had to play the next morning) – Schmidt in shorts and tennis shoes, Pagulayan in jeans and wrinkled shirt. They played in the main room, on the first table on the left as you walked in – about 10 or 15 spectators viewed the 5 ½ hour match (though, like Woodstock, the number of people claiming to have seen it will increase throughout the years). The Reyes – Palmer one-pocket semi-final was still going at this time; but I’d rather watch paint dry than a long one-pocket bunting contest.

It was rumored that they were playing race to 300 for $4,000 (I have no idea if there were backers involved). They were reported to have played twice before, with Schmidt winning both times (also secondhand info). They put a huge wad of bills on the light (Pagulayan couldn’t reach the top of the light even with a chair, so JS did the honors), put a bunch of bills aside to feed the table, and began. They FLIPPED FOR THE BREAK – and I thought to myself that this might not be such a great contest after all…how wrong I was.

Schmidt loses the flip, Pagulayan has a bit of problem racking, but finally finishes and sits down. JS looks at the rack, and doesn’t like the loose 6 ball, so grabs the rack to fix it. Pag’s BOLTS out of his chair like it was electrified. Pag’s watches the process, and keeps nagging, “it would be okay if I was breaking.” JS looks at him and says in his inimitable sardonic style, “Ya, I’m going to cheat you", then continues trying to get a good rack. Pag’s reluctantly watches JS fix the rack, and the game was on.

The first few racks were somewhat ragged. I believe this is quite typical for competitive straight pool games, as the players get a feel for the game and for the table; trying to find that perfect groove. JS breaks, Pag’s runs 3 and misses a tough shot, JS runs 5 and misses a tough shot, Pag’s runs 5 more balls and plays a fair safety, JS misses the tough shot. Pag’s then starts to hit the groove, running 23 balls before missing a god-awful tough shot. His style is UNBELIEVEABLE – he is shooting tough, “ohmygod” shots, moving the cueball up and down the table wildly, making 7 or 8 brutally tough shots each rack. This is NOT classic straight pool; but surely entertaining shotmaking. He is basically out of shape on 3 out of every 4 shots; but shoots his way out of it. Willie Mosconi would be spinning in his grave if he could see this style of play….it is “anti-old school.”

JS is obviously playing a more classical style, trying to minimize the cueball travel, nudging balls and clusters, trying to end the rack with a nice 3 or 4 ball stop shot pattern (not always succeeding, but obviously MUCH more in control than Pag’s who is sending the cue ball careening around the table multiple times a rack). JS runs 37 but gets straight on a break shot, gets only a few balls out of the rack, plays a good safe, Pag’s tries a safe, but leaves the edge of a ball, JS fires in another in a long line of tough shots (while Pag’s makes an incredible number of tough shots, JS makes almost all of his as well; it’s just that he leaves himself fewer than Alex), and is off and running, getting another 26 balls before yet again getting too straight on a breaker.

JS pockets the ball with a called safe, leaving the 15 ball rack with whitey up on the head rail. Pag’s has no idea what to do with the ball (he’s supposed to lag/bank the cue ball softly into the back of the stack). Instead of playing the intentional foul, he tries an impossible safety that fizzles badly, and JS is running another 28. He then shatters the pack with the break shot, parks whitey perfectly in the center of the table; then watches helplessly as one of the object balls smacks the cue ball violently, sending it all the way back uptable into one of the head corner pockets – freakish event.

1:30 A.M.

At this point we are about an hour and a half into the match and JS is ahead 92-47. Players are looking a bit more tired, with JS occasionally yawning and running to get a Snickers and a bottle of water. Both are starting to show a little bit of nervousness. It seems obvious to most that Pag’s is completely outclassed, and has no chance of competing; but we all stick around to watch the slaughter – little did we know what surprises were yet to come.

Pag’s now hits a lucky streak, runs 24 balls (with exactly 20 of them tough as nails – I’ve never seen anything like it… I would be lucky to make one of those shots). JS then runs 38, missing position on the breaker. JS gets ahead 132 – 76 and Pag’s is looking a bit more stressed, giggling nervously before spearing in yet another 9 foot cut shot.

Pag’s now gets a HUGE break – he smashes open the pack, but misses the ball; everything wide open, but NO SHOT for JS. JS misses a near impossible cut shot, and Pag’s runs 73. An amazing run, since only one rack ends stop-stop-stop. He leaves his clusters and rail shots for last, and plays amazing positional recoveries. He ends this run by trying to back cut a ball 8 feet back up table, and he scratches (but of course pockets the impossible cut). JS has only a long tough shot, with no hope for position – JS makes the shot, then misses the next impossible shot. Pag’s runs another 25 before sending whitey 18 feet to get just one inch too straight on a perfect break shot (hell, he usually gets perfect if he only has to move whitey 18 feet – we’ve come to expect the impossible).

2:30 A.M.

Pag’s is now ahead 173-133 and JS looks like he just took a couple of body blows from Mike Tyson. He’s played superior pool, technically far better (and more classical) than Alex, but still finds himself down to this whirling dervish. It’s now about 2:30 AM and he’s been playing for 15 hours. He gets another Snickers, sucks down a big slug from the water bottle, steps to the table and runs a masterful 112. Classic patterns, lots of stop-stop-stop sequences, clusters and trouble balls disposed of early in the racks, minimal cue ball movement. It is a thing of beauty and you can just see Pagulayan melting into his chair. At 100 I announce the milestone to the small group of spectators. JS hears this, looks over at us and says, “it seems like 200.” The stakes are huge, the players are definitely showing the stress now.

JS ends the run by missing shape on a key ball, leaving a poor breaker, misses a length of the table cut into a half-pocket. Pag’s is cold as ice, and runs only 3 before getting out of shape and missing an impossible shot (by now we know it was impossible, because he would have made it easily if it was only near-impossible). JS is still warm, steps up and runs 49 before getting out of position.

3:45 A.M.

The score is JS = 292, Pag’s = 176. It is 3:45 AM and one of the railbirds rises, pulls out the $20 he bet on Pag’s, and pays me. He says, “the little guy is toast, I’m going to bed.” Evidently Pag’s doesn’t agree, because he still wants to play.

Now follows a series of safeties and intentional scratches. JS has won most of these battles, and he succeeds in getting Pag’s onto 2 scratches, but can’t quite capitalize; let’s Pag see a 9 foot cutter, which he of course spears in, coming 2 rails for position, and he is off and running. A seemingly impossible 56 ball run. I’ve seen a hundred hours of Accu-Stats 14.1, but Alex makes more tough shots in this 56 balls than I’ve seen in those other hundred hours.

4:15 A.M.

At 4:15 AM Alex plays a bad safety and down 292-245 leaves JS a gentle cut into a head corner pocket. Thirteen ball about 2 feet from the pocket, cue ball a foot or two further, rest of the table fairly open – JS MISSES the ball. It’s the first easy shot missed by either player the entire match. JS says, “I’m doggin’ it so bad” and leaves the room briskly to get another Snickers and water.

Pag’s keeps shooting while JS is gone – no stalling in this game. These players are tired, and very visibly nervous. Little fine tremors, pulling up at the last second to reset on multiple shots.

Pag’s runs 26 to get to 292-271, but leaves himself with no shots near the end of a rack; and misses a tough shot with 3 balls on the table. JS gets on a breaker, breaks the pack and is now up 294-271. There are 4 balls open, but he needs 6 to win. The one ball is in the jaws of one of the corner pockets, and he has 3 balls below the stack that he can use to get into the stack. He MUST get into the pack, and seems to have the perfect angle; but he decides to pocket one of the low balls first, and ends up with much less angle into the pack. He takes the shot, gets a little bump into the stack, and ends up in the stack, AND HE CAN’T SEE THE ONE BALL HANGING IN THE JAWS, THE TABLE IS NOW OPEN, AND HE HAS NO SHOT. JS looks like he was shot in the gut. He tries to cut a ball 90 degrees up into the side but misses.

Pag’s now has a wide open table at 298-271. He makes a complete hash of it, his first 3 shots are the future break balls – he can’t believe he’s putting himself in a place where he can only shoot the breakers. He gets to 298-294 and on a super-easy shot runs THREE FEET PAST POSITION on his key ball. He giggles nervously and trembling he says, “I’m doggin’ it so bad – I’m NEVER playing you again.” He then makes the shot-of-the-century to cut a ball in the side and come all the way down for good position on a below the rack break shot that is in an awkward position. He comes 9 feet with outside English draw-drag on an 85 degree cut into an unforgiving side pocket for position in a target area the size of a silver dollar ( I could diagram these shots, but the post is long enough already).

He now needs only 6 balls, but strikes the below the rack break shot with NO ENGLISH AT ALL, and whitey comes directly back into the pack as expected. He now is at 298-295 but he’s got to jack up over the pack and cut a ball 70 degrees up into a side pocket and let it topple in, because the pocket is SMALL at this angle. He makes the shot, whitey comes right back into the pack, and he’s GOT TO DO IT AGAIN. Another jacked up, cut shot into the side is pocketed, and now he’s got to shoot the thirteen ball 2 feet into the far corner – very easy shot, but it rattles, sits on the edge for a second or two, then topples into the pocket. He gasps, puts his hands on his knees and says, “I can’t make 2 more balls.”

5:30 A.M.

He comes up to the last ball, and says, “I can’t make this” – it’s a medium cut into the side, some risk of scratching. He sets up to shoot, but his bridge hand is shaking so much he can’t put the stick on it. He gets up, starts whipping his arm back and forth to get his hand to stop shaking; he repeats, “I can’t make this.” Steps up and slices it in. Match over at about 5:30 A.M.

Final score Pag’s = 300, JS = 298. Pag’s did not look overjoyed, just RELIEVED. JS looked disdainful and unemotional; very tired and disgusted. The last hour or two of this match offered incredible drama and tension. There is NO equivalent in a match of 9-ball where the tension occurs minutes at a time, not hours.

Each player missed 6 shots in 300 balls (only 1 was an easy shot, another was fairly easy, but required heavy inside English). JS high run = 112, Pag’s high run = 73.

My thanks to the participants for one of the great sporting experiences of my life. I’ve seen Ali-Frazier, Ali-Foreman, Hearns-Leonard, and Tyson-Holyfield; but THIS was the ultimate and most enjoyable heavyweight matchup that I’ve seen. It’s an example of the best pool has to offer; we’ll never see the equivalent as long as 9-ball is the game.

iF YOU SEE SOMETHING LIKE THIS AGAIN, PLEASE WAKE ME UP
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------IF YOU SEE A GAME LIKE THIS, WAKE ME UP; THANKS

Fatboy
05-27-2007, 05:44 AM
thanks for the long post-great story, i have seen some hard-to-believe things too that sadly were not on video, which usually seems to be the case. I would have loved to have seen that, the different styles, the emotions of the players, the drama, fatigue etc thats the stuff the camera dosent pick up, the vibe so to speak. I hate playing 14.1 but i'll watch it all day and night. funny how that works.