View Full Version : My Worst Game

05-27-2007, 06:01 AM
I dont expect many replys to this thread, but something I wanted to share,
I have played pool since 85, i played alot for 10 years then took some time away from serious pool but still hit'em around some, thats my background, at my best i'm a A- player on 9B and 8B and a B player in 1P, Snooker is my favorite, I made a 53 or 56 ptoin break on a American snooker table-not a golf table. So thats how I play on good days. to my point my high run playing 14.1 might be 10-12 balls, honestly I just cant play the game period-It brings the worst out of me in 2 innings, I love to watch it etc. But I have never ran a rack and broke the balls once, i've made 2-3 balls been in-line and opened the rack just to miss my next shot. It just amazes me how much difference there is for ME between 14.1 and other games, i understand 14.1, I just cant play a lick of it. I have beat guys who run 70's in 9 ball easily back in the day, but me 10 is a great inning. whats the matter with me? I wish you all the best.

Craig Fales
05-27-2007, 06:26 AM
When I start a new rack in 14.1 I pick a break ball immediately then pick off any stragglers that make there way to the other end of the table...then work out any clusters without disturbing my break ball if I can...

05-27-2007, 06:34 AM
I have a couple thoughts on your post , maybe not accurate but just thoughts , if your playing A level in 9b and 8b then you have the skills but maybe not the mindset for 14.1 , perhaps your are mentally defeating yourself in the game, maybe your mindset when you approach the table is "if I don't run 40 here then I suck" , which will actually be counter productive. 14.1 is played one ball at a time which leads to the good runs , secondly you can get away with playing area position in 9b and 8b most of the time , where in 14.1 you must play closer position, also determine what is ending your runs most of the time , are you getting your clusters broken up and not waiting to long forcing yourself into troule? are you getting to your trouble balls early enough? are you choosing the correct keyball to get onto the breakball? Lots of things could be causing your trouble , once you correctly analyze the problem I think you would be running some balls.

05-27-2007, 09:10 AM
not very much to add to what selftaut said. You have enough skill to run more than 10, so it's just a matter of knowledge. I play decent 9-ball and 8-ball as well, but when playing 14.1 it comes clear how much my positional play sucks. Point position versus area position differs a lot. So may be you are ready for 20ies but not 50ies, just like me at the moment.
As for knowledge, decision making is crucial. Even the exact moment you decide to make a secondary break can turn your run this or that way. Knowing patterns is important, and then here it comes your ability to execute them.

05-27-2007, 04:00 PM
I'd like to ask you what causes the majority of your misses, do you get stuck with no shot, steep angles, or just plain old misses?

Next, I'd like to tell you that as was mentioned, position in straight pool is much more precise, tighter, quicker angles with your draw strokes at times that accentuate the draw while minimizing cue ball movement.

Its hard for me to explain, but it is much more precision nip strokes, drag draw, rolling follows to the right angles.

It's much deeper concentration and focus (for me anyway) in actually feeling the cue ball reach its destination exactly with small movements.

Breaking up clusters is not good enough. You absolutely must have in mind the paths of the balls you are breaking, exactly which ball and at which speed you will be caroming with.

If I don't get myself into that deep feeling of concentration, I'll be one rack and stop also.

Try to have more than one route to go, with more than one insurance ball at as much as possible.

Deep concentration, and touch, thats my key to you if you play A speed.

05-27-2007, 06:38 PM
Thanks gentalman, i play A- speed on a good day-I had onr the other day, i broke and ran alot of 9B racks on a fairly easy table, but I'm not a consistant player from day to day, I can beat the B players 80% of the time just due to experience, but when I play bad it's bad, i'm only telling this so you have a feel for my abilitys, I cant win a open tournment with 48 in the field, i'll win the first couple matches-if I get a good draw and play good that day, i have awalys had hi highs and low lows-its just me, some days my mind is ready but man the cue just aint working.

Back to 14.1, is i'm awalys thinking way to far ahead and i really dont have a plan-crazy huh?, when I see a 9B rack barring any problems I see the out/pattern easily, in 8B which I dont play often I just find a way to win, I'm actually better at playing a short game in other words keeping a tight leash on the CB, in 9B an long inside to go around 3 rails around the table past the side pockets I ant make, i have to draw out of it, which is trerrible but with lots of inside english on a long shot not upclose-is a shot I still have problems with, and earl love him or hate him does it everytime, and lands perfect-its a very important shot I dont have in my bag of tricks-thus I'm an A-- player, but when the balls are close to the foot rail I can use any english and have good CB control in close, and am able to negoitate through tight windows, but if i have to open up 2-4 stuck on the rail l in 14.1, i wawlys seem to hit them in a way that they dont open up right, reading the clusters is hard for me the stack is impossible to open it up. or if i do manage to open them up the CB is far out of line, in snooker on a 12' table i just leave them long-i'm good at that so its more defence.

Where my breakdown is the mental part, I's worried about pin point shape and that awalys causes a miss, I sometimes dont see the key ball until its late in the frame, this is just lack of experience, but even when I watch the pro's play i never guess the right ball, when I watch high level 1P i usuaslly see the shot-unless its Ronnie of Efren they are from Mars or something. but the main problem is i'm thinking to far out and then get out of line and i miss trying to get back in line, its real bad no one here would ever believe I can play a lick if the you saw me play straight pool first,

I also cant read the stack at all, I can in 1P because I like to keep them tight or push them up table or a ball here and there works too-I have the patience, but in straight pool I cant get them to open very well-in 1P I just chip away at the edges so I rarely open them up unlessthey are all rolling to my hole and i'm ahead then i'll play more gressive, and 3-4 ball clusters on the rail is a death sentance too, It just throws me off, I have played 14.1 with alot of people/friends who play 9B a little better or worse and they steam roll me, 75-12 for example-and that sucks, i like the game, its fantastic to watch, not just high runs but safy play too.

now you know the issues, this game makes me miss shots i never miss playing other games-it bgings the worst out of me, and I wish it didnt, heck I'd be happy running 18, abd I can do that playing 9B from time to time. go figure, thanks for the replys, i'm not being negitative, perhaps the name of the thread seemed that way it isnt. watching guys run 100 balls dosent help me because they do it naturally-that what i need to learn is how to make it feel natural, thanks again for the advice. Its the fear of missing that causes me to miss, and i never bet on the game,,,,obviuosly, i guess I could play it to find a fish and switch games ;)

sorry for the long post but I'd like to round out my games a bit more and its very lopsided, has been for yoars,

fat boy

05-27-2007, 07:05 PM
Wide Boy,
All the things that you "don't like" about straight pool are the exact things that will improve your game the most; and also the things/challenges that you will come to enjoy the most about the game if you stick with it. ALL good players should give 14.1 a fighting chance; it IS the game of champions.

Learn to read the stack, learn to break clusters intelligently (with regard to proper speed and insurance balls - every cluster is different), learn to deal with your problems as early in the rack as possible, learn to shoot ALL shots and sequences in as low a risk fashion as possible, and most importantly learn to concentrate and focus for longer periods of time; and your game will advance and your enjoyment of all games will blossom.

There is no equivalent in 9-ball of a 2 hour straight pool match - the concentration needs to be continuous; and the entire last half hour can be tension-filled (as opposed to 2 minutes of tension in an average 9-ball game). Good luck, I hope you stick with it.

05-27-2007, 07:34 PM
Heavy ,

Do this , rack the balls full rack , break them medium speed , choose your breakball , your keyball (ball to get on the breakball) , and your setup ball (ball to get on the keyball ) , now pick up the cue ball and take BIH anywhere and run down to your last 3 you picked out and execute those to get on your breakshot , rack em and don't hit the breakshot 100 miles an hour , just make the breakball with a smooth firm stroke, once your inning ends at any point you rerack and start over. Do this 20 times a day for 2 weeks and you will be cured :)

05-27-2007, 07:47 PM
IMO this is exactly the reason I feel real world champions are the ones who can win at 14.1 Its a whole different type of concentration and for longer periods of time.

Like Danny Diliberto said, 9ball is play by numbers while straight pool forces you to make your own decisions.

I'm no world class player but I do enjoy the game very much. I'm a favorite to make a good 30 or 40 ball run or so in any given game with occasional higher runs here and there. I've only gotten to 78 once and a few 50+ runs so I don't think we are all that far off in skill believe it or not, I think its a focus thing and developing a plan for your rack as early as possible working backwards from your break ball choice.

Little mini-missions thoughout the rack can help give you focus rather than thinking of it as one big mess of 14 balls to deal with. Like thinking about removing these two balls so I can get on this next one that sits nicely for a shot in the corner once those balls are gone and that will give me an angle to open a 3 ball cluster. and before you know it you are shooting at the ball before your key.

Falling on the ball before your keyball for stop - stop - position is important, so if you can plan a pattern that allows for this, yet another small group of balls is accounted for.

I'm not good enough to run the high numbers but I think that may be a plus in trying to explain how I get along as far as I do because I think the guys who run 100's are on auto pilot while I'm working my butt off to get along. :)

I find it frustrating to be able to get through 2 or 3 racks often, but no more ... LOL I guess I'm just brain dead after that :)

My suggestions would be again....

extreme focus with definite plans - don't look at the rack as a single entity of 14 balls, but rather individual small missions ie problem balls, isolated balls, etc. - seriously minimize cue ball movement - evaluate balls by which ones go where, and which one prevent others from being pocketed - pocket speed, no firing balls.

05-27-2007, 09:34 PM
I had a similar problem. I might be somewhere between fatboy's speed and 3andstop's... I run 20's (twice tonight, I was happy) but I've never broken 30. I probably can't give you any better advice than these guys, but here's what took me from like 8-10 balls to 20 balls -

Focus on 'bad balls' - balls that block other balls from going in the pocket. So many times I come up to the last balls before the break shot, and I think "man I wish I'd gotten rid of that blocker ball earlier". You don't want to be shooting a combo when you're down to 4 or 5 balls. Very often clusters that are a bit loose (like 1 inch gaps between the balls) aren't really clusters at all if you can simply get rid of the balls in the right order.

The most common examples of bad balls will be on the left and right long rails near the corners. You will almost always have to clear those lanes.

There's a nice pattern that comes up over and over again after a typical break ... some balls from the bottom row of the rack roll down a bit from the rack area, and others go to the side rails. The balls from the bottom row make great secondary break shots, and those side rail shots are often lying nicely to get position on those secondary breaks.

Using under-the-rack balls to rebreak the rack is good because it means you can save those valuable side-of-the-rack break balls.
It's prolly easiest if I diagram it:


You want to shoot the bad ball (with the white arrow pointing at it) right away. It's a blocker ball, which is a good enough reason to shoot it. But it also can get you position on either of those balls with red arrows sticking out of them if you put the cue ball where the ghostly white ball is).

Of the two possible 'rebreak' balls shown, I like the uphill angle shot a lot better. It's easier to predict the cueball path and you won't have to hit it as hard. Like 3andstop said it's important to know how you'll be breaking the clusters. Notice I drew the cue ball hitting a particular ball. If I hit it full I will have a shot in the lower left corner. If I skim off the right side of it as planned I will have the ball on the right rail. So my plan is to be careful and make sure I don't hit the left side of it. You want to plan on having insurance balls on every shot. In fact that's kind of the mindset you always want.. every time you shoot, try to have a definite plan, and also try to have a plan B in case you f*** up plan A. If your positional play is still weak, try to pick out positions where you'll definitely have 2 or more options to shoot at if your speed control was bad. Avoid shooting at balls where if you miss your position, you've got nothing.

Oh, one last thing. I often dog a run because I get nice position on a break ball but just miss it. That's what stopped me at 30 :P
Try really hard to shoot it like a normal shot from 8-ball or 9-ball. Like if you decide the best break english would be hitting with high right and a lot of force, pretend the rack isn't there and shoot it exactly like you wanted to just sink the eight ball and send the cue ball 2 or 3 rails back up table for position on the 9. This little mental trick helped me so much.

05-27-2007, 11:53 PM
Hello Mirror Image,

I can definately relate to your tribulations. I blame them on the type(s) of games I grew up playing which were primarily 9-ball from ages 13-21, then started playing 1-hole at about 21. I did not start playing 14.1 until almost a year ago (32 yrs old).

For me, my biggest obstacle has been overcoming the fact that I am responsible for determining the correct run out patterns. Like you, in the game of 9-ball, the patterns are laid out for us after the break, we have no choice but to get to the next rotational ball. In 1-pocket we play for one hole and lots of 2-way shots.In straight pool it is all up to us, and I struggled for the longest time with alot of the scenarios you mentioned.

One drill I would recommend to help with your "end of rack" situations would be to set up a break ball (any where you want) and a key ball (for starters set one up in a side pocket that gives you perfect position for your break ball after pocketing the key ball with a stop shot).

Then roll out 3 other balls on the table, find the correct pattern to properly get on your key ball. Once you master the 3- ball pattern, add another ball and repeat the cycle.

If you put forth the effort to this it should definately help you out alot.

I am by no means a 100 ball runner (yet, hi run 52), but my mentor is a daily 100 ball runner and this little lesson helped me out tremendously.

Best of luck in your quest with the game of champions.

05-28-2007, 08:23 AM
14.1 is a devils game.It brings the worse out of me too.Like a lot of people said, you need pinpoint position play, sometimes 1 inch too high or too low makes the difference.and you must be consistent, you just cant afford to miss a ball on a open table.In 9b you miss and with little luck you`ll be back at the table.
But on the other hand it gives you soo much.It really is a game of champions.i`ve been playing for almost 2 years and my high is 29:rolleyes:

05-28-2007, 08:24 AM

You mentioned twice that breaking clusters of 2-4 balls on the rails is hard for you. That is hard for everyone. However, you can avoid having to do it, most of the time. If there are balls clustered on a rail in a straight pool game, it is almost always because one of the players pushed a ball (or more) toward a ball already on a rail. This happens either because of an accidentally bumped ball (a straight pool no-no) or a secondary break shot that pushed balls that way. If you can clear the first ball off the rail before you shoot that secondary break shot, or if you can break the cluster toward the other side of the table, you won't have to break clusters that are on the rail, at least very often.

05-28-2007, 08:45 AM
14.1 is a devils game.It brings the worse out of me too.Like a lot of people said, you need pinpoint position play, sometimes 1 inch too high or too low makes the difference.and you must be consistent, you just cant afford to miss a ball on a open table.In 9b you miss and with little luck you`ll be back at the table.
But on the other hand it gives you soo much.It really is a game of champions.i`ve been playing for almost 2 years and my high is 29:rolleyes:

Nekdo, I understand what you mean, but really, it brings out and demands using our true ability to control the cue ball. Exposing our true speed to ourselves is what is devilish. :)

05-28-2007, 12:48 PM

05-28-2007, 03:37 PM
Get a copy of George Fels book Mastering Pool. It has a section on 14.1. It shows the table, and then you decide what the pattern is. Then he explains what and why he did. It really teaches you to see the patterns.
This is a really good idea, and not just for the diagrams. Fels writes about Straight pool for readers who miss sometimes.

05-28-2007, 10:16 PM
play your best straight pool by capelle is also good, super super detailed book, like 400 pages, but very worth it.

05-29-2007, 12:20 AM
I just got in from Germany and am seeing spots, I really didnt expect many comments on my thread, thanks to everyone, i will read them tomarrow carefully, and thanks again-perhaps there is hope, I have skills and can play, its a mental thing. until tomarrow, cheers fatboy

05-29-2007, 05:21 PM
Get a copy of George Fels book Mastering Pool. It has a section on 14.1. It shows the table, and then you decide what the pattern is. Then he explains what and why he did. It really teaches you to see the patterns.

I agree about George's book. I have one of the first ones out, I wrote to him after reading a piece in the National Billiard News about it, and he sent me a copy, gratis. First book that I read that explained WHY you shot what you shot. {grimace} Capelle's book is good, too. TONS of detail. Also, Babe Cranfied's book, The Straight Pool Bilble. I also have a tape of Dallas West running 100 balls and talking you through the run.
In my experience, and I'm not a real good player, when I've had a 20-30 ball run, I've always remembered that during the run, I really wasn't thinking about it, just doing it.

05-29-2007, 05:34 PM
Something I forgot in my last post...Fels's book got me following the cue ball with my eyes after the object ball is on it's way. Any time I've been able to remember to do this, my concentration has been improved quite a bit. No head movement, mind you, just the eyes. I got "into the cue ball". Better cue ball control and better position play. I've had people laugh at that, but it's worked for me when I've remembered to do it, which is no where near as often as I would like.