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    Ko Pin-Yi. Best player on earth.

    World 10-ball, World 9-ball, and now World Cup. Hats off.
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    So when's the next epic one-pocket battle?

    Bigtruck and accustats have spoiled me. Now I'm addicted. I need my fix... Alex vs Danny Smith? Efren? SVB?
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    Tip hardness and the amount of spin. Is the physics really settled?

    I recently got into a discussion about whether a soft tip actually results in more spin. The best pool physics resource I know of at colostate says that this is a myth: I understand the physics of the argument, but I'm still not...
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    How to practice one-pocket?

    Beyond just, say, practicing banks or general skills. In 9-ball, there's playing the ghost, in straight pool, you can set up a break shot and start a run. Those are both useful and also fun. Playing the "one pocket ghost" by just trying to run a lot of balls into the same pocket only covers a...
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    Is a legit world pool tour starting to emerge?

    With the Chinese 8-ball and the World 10-ball, there are now 6 events on the WPA schedule that could legitimately be called majors: China Open World 9-ball US Open 9-ball All-Japan Chinese 8-ball World 10-ball Still not there, obviously, but it's some momentum in the right direction. Too bad...
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    The physics of the break

    Most of what happens on a pool table can be understood pretty well with "high-school" physics. That doesn't mean it's simple, but it does mean that friction and collisions between rigid bodies cover most of what goes on. The break is different, though, because a lot of balls are colliding at...
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    The difference between Efren and AZ

    When Efren wins, he says "I got lucky" When the US or Shane loses, AZ says "the other guy got lucky" Or "the races are too short" Or "the table was too fast/easy" Or "the crowd was too noisy" Or "alternate breaks" Or... Here's Efren's perfect 3-second summary of what happened at Mosconi cup...
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    Another pool myth debunked: "pool isn't exciting"

    Nobody who has watched this mosconi cup (or any other, really), and the excitement in the audience can seriously argue that pool isn't a watchable spectator sport. Yeah, there are a lot of things going into this. The prestige of the event. The US-vs-Europe thing that gives fans someone to...
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    Multiple short races is a great format!

    First, for people complaining that races to 5 are two short, the mosconi format of race to 11 races to 5 is roughly the statistical equivalent to a single race to 65. If one team wins 51% of the games, in either race-to-65 or the mosconi format, the favorite has a 59% chance of winning. If the...
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    Anyone else getting a choppy accu-stats feed right now?

    Just tuned in to check out Alex v Earl. Lots of freezing. Don't think it's my internet connection, but wondering if anyone else is having a problem.
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    American Rotation: this is a great game!

    After watching the US Open finals with some non-pool-junkies and seeing their reactions, I got to thinking what kind of game could get more interest from a casual spectator's perspective. I watched a bit of Dechaine-Dupuis playing American Rotation on youtube...
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    Pro 9-ball is a breaking contest.

    I watched the finals with a few friends, some of whom are not avid pool players. It didn't take them long to figure out that the most pivotal part of most racks is whether a ball goes in on the break and whether there is a shot on the 1. Not to take anything away from Shane. He didn't make...
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    US Open Schedule for this weekend.

    I'm trying to figure out my weekend plans and also leave time for watching the open. I'm trying to figure out what the schedule of play is going to be like this weekend. Are there going to be matches all day on Saturday, with the finals at night? Is the time of the finals set yet, or is it...
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    Variance and luck in races and tournaments: some numbers.

    Here are some numbers on the chance of winning races and tourneys based on the single-rack win percentage. To illustrate, I'm assuming one player is better than the field, and that this player has the same single-rack winning percentage over everyone else in the field. Obviously, this is...
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    Thank you TAR!

    Hi, I hardly ever post here, in fact I hardly even play pool any more, but I just finished watching the replay of the Efren-SVB TAR 1-pocket match and it was just so damn unbelievable that I needed to say something. One of the best, most exciting and entertaining sporting events I've seen in a...
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    Winner vs. Alternating Breaks: it makes no difference

    I know this topic has been discussed to death, (e.g. here and here), but it's come up again due to WPC switching to winner break, and the announcers keep talking about how winner break makes it "important to keep the table" and how it "punishes mistakes" more, etc. When it's alternating breaks...
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    SVB =16/1 to win WPC at Stan James

    Looks like he's getting his due respect from the bookies. Efren, Busta, Manalo at 14/1, SVB, Yang, Wu, Alex P at 16/1, Alcano at 18/1 Pretty good company. Also, home-court advantage is probably factored in a bit for the Pinoys, and even the Taiwanese players are "closer to home" than Shane...
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    How about a college football style "coaches poll" for pool

    A key question in any sport is who's number 1. In (men's) pool, there's no real way to determine this, due to the lack of an organized tour. So how about having an organized (say) monthly poll similar to college football. AZ currently has two player rankings, one is by winnings, the other, I...
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    Single vs Double Elimination

    What is the rationale for double elimination at the pro level? Is it just tradition? Do any other serious pro sports use double elim? At the amateur/semi-pro level, maybe it's good to encourage participation by ensuring that everyone gets two chances: you're not out if you play one bad match...
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    How about rotation?

    Why don't people play rotation in the US? I've never played except one time just messing around. But, maybe it's the ultimate pool game at high levels and for TV. 8-ball and 9-ball (and 10-ball): too easy for pros, too much luck on the break, need a really long race to figure out who is best...