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07-22-2019, 10:00 AM

Its just the natural evolution of the equipment and player. In the past you were limited in education to the skills of the players in your local vicinity or how far you were willing to travel. You could play one pocket for years and not be exposed to the caliber of players or shots you can now find in minutes on youtube. Jeremy said something interesting in the 10ball commentary this weekend that applies here. He said the equipment is so much better these days that the players today do not have to have the knowledge that the players of yesteryear had to have. The rack spreads better, the balls dont tie up as much, and your stroke dosnt have to be as good as it used to have to be to move Whitney around. I cant think of one sport where play was more superior in the past than today. Imho if you took any of the old guard they would still be champions today after they adjusted to the equipment.

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07-22-2019, 10:39 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Schofield View Post
Each subsequent generation is bigger, stronger, faster, smarter, and has the benefit of newer technology.
I have to differ on the stronger, faster and smarter aspects of your statement. I think the top athletes are indeed stronger, faster and perhaps in some ways smarter than those of previous generations, mainly because of starting on their competitive path earlier and having the benefit of more advanced nutrition, medical service and training. However, going simply by my own observations, the population in general seems to be getting weaker and less intelligent.

I know that as an out of shape 60 year old, I still regularly outlast (non-athlete) guys a third or half of my age when it comes to physical endurance, although I am only about equal or inferior to most other guys of say 50 or older. The same with mental ability such as using general math, geometry or algebra, doing geographical navigation, moderately complex problem solving, etc.... I understand that the mental differences can be partly attributed to a larger store of knowledge due to spending more time alive, but that doesn't account for the whole difference, particularly when today's youth seem far less interested in learning anything new than my generation was and is.

My theory is that because of the advance of technology that makes our lives physically easier and mentally less challenging we are getting weaker as a species in general rather than stronger. Of course there are exceptions to this general trend, but I am talking about the whole first-world population as a whole. Technology props us up in medicine, nutrition, labor saving machines, etc, but if you remove those props each generation in recent history would be exposed as weaker than those that came before.

Just my 2-cents worth, and as I say this is only from what I have seen myself. I haven't looked into any scientific research that may be out there on this, but I have always been pretty well served by trusting my own observations.
  
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07-22-2019, 11:07 AM

I bet 64 year old Efren is happy to be known as "the latest generation"
  
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bigger stronger faster, so what?
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bigger stronger faster, so what? - 07-22-2019, 06:42 PM

Let's grant that today's generation is bigger stronger faster, plain better athletes. Smarts are a combination of raw brain power and learning. I'm none too sure today's generation is smarter other than a fairly small percentage. They certainly aren't smarter about pool, I think the opposite is true for the most part. The players of yesteryear were big enough, strong enough, and fast enough to play on that day's tables. They are certainly big enough, strong enough, and fast enough to play on today's without handicapping themselves.

The main reasons, perhaps the only reasons, today's players are better are equipment and playing conditions. Even in the sixties and seventies some of the places I played had no air conditioning, holes in the ceiling/roof that I could see stars through, cracks between the flooring planks that meant there was never need to pick up dust or cigarette butts when sweeping, they both went between the cracks. The only leveling of the table in decades was the beer coasters under the legs, sometimes under all four legs! One in awhile I took out dozens of coasters and started over. The cloth was original issue, decades old. The sweat, beer, cigarette ash, lord knows what all had the once green cloth a nasty gray.

The bugs deserve their own paragraph. Mostly just powered over termites, mosquitoes and small bugs. June bugs and bigger were deserving of respect. They would send balls in all new directions and there is no learning how to carom off of a june bug! Wasps and hornets deserved respect. Running over them was apt to annoy them and they would retaliate on whomever was closest, not necessarily the shooter.

Today we expect perfect tables, a cool place to play, and excellent lighting, something I didn't bother touching on above. We are hothouse players in the US and that certainly includes me. Easy to say we play better in our hothouses with everything perfect. I can't help thinking that the old guys would fair a lot better if they came here today than today's players would fair if we brought back yesterday!

The relatively small country of the Philippines continues to turn out world class players. I think one reason is that they don't learn to play in hothouses. They adapt readily to the conditions they find to compete in.

Hu
  
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07-22-2019, 06:53 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Low500 View Post
There are many reasons, but here are a few in my opinion.
1. They're not lamenting the absence of Willie Mosconi, Irving Crane, Don Willis, Ronnie Allen, or any of those dinosaurs from the past. And they don’t waste valuable mental energy giving those guys any sentimental reverence or allegiance they don't deserve. And they don’t try to copy them.
2. They're not concerned with "who robbed who" 50 years ago at Johnston City, or who carried two .38 pistols, or how many boxing matches somebody won, or how "baaaaad" everyone was at Bensingers. They live IN THE PRESENT. As far as they’re concerned the ancient history is for old pool room drunks sitting around half asleep.
3. The Asians are very disciplined mentally...they start out that way and it carries over into just about everything they do.
4. The newer generation of players is creative and they embrace modern ideas and concepts readily.
At the height of his abilities, I'd have taken Eddie Taylor against many of todays greats.


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07-22-2019, 07:26 PM

Interesting discussion. I have yet to see a better One Pocket player than Efren. And there is no one today who had Ronnie's overall game. He just played a different game (and better) than anyone I see playing today.

Ten Ball is another story entirely. I can remember the first pro Ten Ball tournaments held nearly 30 years ago. The players as a whole had trouble running any racks and a two rack run was something to celebrate. It was boring watching these guys struggle to get out and many games took a few innings to complete. Contrast with today's top players who are running multiple racks of Ten Ball and are treating it like an extended form of 9-Ball.

And then again, there's Bank Pool. Once again, I have only seen one or two players (John Brumback and Jason Miller) who were anything close to the speed of Eddie Taylor, Bugs or Cannonball. And if you ask John he will probably tell you that he's not in Taylor's league (true!).

Same goes for Straight Pool. Yes, players are making high runs, but not that frequently in matches. Guys like Mizerak (#1!), Sigel (#2), Varner, Rempe or Hopkins may all have been better all around players. They all had a deep understanding of safety play, the ideal break shots and how to play off the rack.

So in some cases (9-Ball, Ten Ball and Eight Ball) I will admit that today's players are superior (the best players definitely have healthier life styles) and in some cases (see above) I'm not so sure.

Pool is not like many other sports. You don't have to be bigger or stronger to excel. Take a look at all the little guys who are and have been great players. It took me decades to realize that having a short stature (Mosconi was 5'7, Willis maybe 5'6, Caras also 5'7, Boston Shorty 5'2, Parica also 5'2, and on and on) can be advantageous at Pool. Last I heard the table height was still 30" off the floor!

One last thing. For mental toughness I have yet to see anyone like Harold Worst. Nothing ever fazed him (even approaching death!) and he never let up for a second. I never saw him shoot a bad shot! And I never heard him utter a negative remark about anybody or anything. Try that one on for size. Even the most hard core hustlers paid homage to this one man. The only guy even close in this respect is Efren, and I'd still put him in line behind Worst.


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Paul Schofield
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07-22-2019, 10:35 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by jay helfert View Post
Interesting discussion.......
I am not going to disagree with any of this. I share your admiration of the great players from our generation.


Shoot what you break.

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07-22-2019, 10:54 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Schofield View Post
Each subsequent generation is bigger, stronger, faster, smarter, and has the benefit of newer technology.

The cue ball hasn't changed much.


Favorite Cues:
Meucci Pro Series
1990s Viking
  
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07-22-2019, 11:32 PM

I think moving and management have become way weaker overall.
  
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07-23-2019, 12:10 AM

I think the simplest explanation is that pool is a science and, just like in every other science, new discoveries are still being made and new techniques developed.

John Ervolino used to marvel at Efren and said of him [Efren looks at a layout on a pool table and sees things that no player before him ever saw.] It may seem like sacrilege for me to say so, but it's reasonable to expect that a player that sees things that even Efren didn't see or understand will emerge at some point.

Mathematics is a science that is over 2,500 years old, and yet new discoveries are still being made, new understandings are being developed, new solutions to old problems are still often found, and none of it in any way diminishes the giants of the past, for as a science, mathematics is still evolving.

... and so it is with pool. Every generation is a step beyond the one that came before it, and that's the natural progression of things.
  
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07-23-2019, 12:49 AM

it isnt math it is intelligence. efrin is much more intelligent than all or almost all of the other touring pros.
ervolino was stupid to say the least. so ya he didnt see what efrin sees when he looks at a rack.
  
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07-23-2019, 01:02 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by maha View Post
it isnt math it is intelligence. efrin is much more intelligent than all or almost all of the other touring pros.
ervolino was stupid to say the least. so ya he didnt see what efrin sees when he looks at a rack.
Not a very informed post here. When it came to pool, Ervolino was among the more imaginative players of his generation, especially at one pocket. Further, Grady Matthews said Johnny played the straight pool patterns as well as anybody he'd ever seen and Jimmy Fusco called him "the man who knew everything."
  
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07-23-2019, 07:09 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by sjm View Post
I think the simplest explanation is that pool is a science and, just like in every other science, new discoveries are still being made and new techniques developed.

John Ervolino used to marvel at Efren and said of him [Efren looks at a layout on a pool table and sees things that no player before him ever saw.] It may seem like sacrilege for me to say so, but it's reasonable to expect that a player that sees things that even Efren didn't see or understand will emerge at some point.

Mathematics is a science that is over 2,500 years old, and yet new discoveries are still being made, new understandings are being developed, new solutions to old problems are still often found, and none of it in any way diminishes the giants of the past, for as a science, mathematics is still evolving.

... and so it is with pool. Every generation is a step beyond the one that came before it, and that's the natural progression of things.
I think Diamond Tables have done a lot to elevate play. Players have had to become more precise to play the skill level they might expect to play at on a gold crown. This process, once done, could be repeated (potentially) to achieve a higher level of skill and precision continually for amateurs and pros alike. I would argue part of the advancement in today's game is a response to tough, but fair and reliable equipment.

I think the DCC has changed one pocket. Now, the biggest one pocket tournament every year is centered around a race to 3. Someone with the firepower of Scott Frost or Tony Chohan (with the right draw) can easily zoom through early rounds with little mental or physical drain. For the "die hards" of one pocket, I think many see it as a game meant to be played as a 15-hour war of attrition. Players are responding to a changed format...at least partly. Although, I would concede that Chohan and Frost are likely to play the same way in a 15 hour session.

I believe the DCC bank pool tournament has made all the pros better bankers--as a group, while maybe no one of them is as good as Mr. Taylor--according to Mr. Helfert, but I will defer to him on that matter.

Finally, I worry for straight pool. I love the DCC straight pool event, because I think as a discipline 14.1 is an endangered species. I do not want to see it go away. Anything, that gets people interested in it, playing it, and appreciating it is a good thing. As a community of people that enjoy pool, I think we should all be concerned to guard against losing knowledge about a game or its history. While pros do not compete in 14.1 like they used to, some have taken to use it as a practice tool and an additional event at the DCC, and I hope it continues. Of course, pros today don't know the strategy in the way Rempe or Sigel did, but they would catch on quick if tournaments would ever materialize.

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07-23-2019, 12:47 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by maha View Post
it isnt math it is intelligence. efrin is much more intelligent than all or almost all of the other touring pros.
ervolino was stupid to say the least. so ya he didnt see what efrin sees when he looks at a rack.
Have you ever heard Ervolino do commentary on a match?


"He knew what those jubilant crowds did not know, but could have learned from books; that the plague bacillus never dies or disappears for good...and that perhaps the day would come when, for the bane and the enlightening of men, it would rouse up its rats again and send them forth to die in a happy city."
  
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Why does the latest generation
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Why does the latest generation - 07-23-2019, 01:20 PM

It would be hard for any living human that isn't a 300 ball runner to question the intelligence of a guy that ran a 360-something on his 66th birthday according to Billiards Digest. Tommy D.


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