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09-13-2020, 09:00 PM

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Originally Posted by sjm View Post
Yup, looks like we're on the same page after all, and you're right that with almost no data available back in the day to size up players within a single poolroom scene, high run was often of great interest as a possible parameter to measure playing speed.

For the pros who competed at the top level, though, competitive record mattered far more. Mike Zuglan, surely one of the five best straight poolers of the 1990s, never ran 200, but everyone knew it was simply because high runs meant nothing to him. Everyone knew he was a stone cold killer in competition.

Like you, I don't see a clear path to reversing the trend, but in Europe, where there is a formal European Straight Pool Championship with a large field as part of the European Pool Championships, they've got the right idea. I also like what Peter Burrows is gradually building at the American 14.1 Event. We could do with a few more events like these.
I never would have guessed that Zuglan had never run 200. I always assumed he was a 300 ball runner.


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09-14-2020, 06:32 AM

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Originally Posted by Cameron Smith View Post
I never would have guessed that Zuglan had never run 200. I always assumed he was a 300 ball runner.
From a skills standpoint, Zuglan probably had what it took to run 400. Some just didn't care what their high run was. Yes, Babe Cranfield and John Schmidt were both obsessed with it, but at the the other end of the spectrum was Jose Parica.

When I asked Jose Parica (in about 1997) what his high run was, he said 200, to which I replied "Exactly 200?" He said, "yes, the game was over." He'd run 200 and out in a gambling match and, even though it was his personal high run, his thoughts turned to the next game, not to seeing how high he could go.
  
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09-14-2020, 08:17 AM

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Originally Posted by sjm View Post
From a skills standpoint, Zuglan probably had what it took to run 400. Some just didn't care what their high run was. Yes, Babe Cranfield and John Schmidt were both obsessed with it, but at the the other end of the spectrum was Jose Parica.

When I asked Jose Parica (in about 1997) what his high run was, he said 200, to which I replied "Exactly 200?" He said, "yes, the game was over." He'd run 200 and out in a gambling match and, even though it was his personal high run, his thoughts turned to the next game, not to seeing how high he could go.
I watched a Fedor Gorst match recently and his game reminds me of Parica. Nothing flashy. Keeps it simple. Makes good decisions.
  
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09-14-2020, 11:13 AM

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Originally Posted by sjm View Post
From a skills standpoint, Zuglan probably had what it took to run 400. Some just didn't care what their high run was. Yes, Babe Cranfield and John Schmidt were both obsessed with it, but at the the other end of the spectrum was Jose Parica.

When I asked Jose Parica (in about 1997) what his high run was, he said 200, to which I replied "Exactly 200?" He said, "yes, the game was over." He'd run 200 and out in a gambling match and, even though it was his personal high run, his thoughts turned to the next game, not to seeing how high he could go.
That reminds me of a few other players. I think I read that Archer was the same as Parica. His high run is apparently 200 because he ran 200 and out once. And I think Mika's run is 'low' too because of a lack of interest in high runs. I could be wrong about both, it's been a long time since I read either of those things.


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09-14-2020, 01:32 PM

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Originally Posted by sjm View Post
From a skills standpoint, Zuglan probably had what it took to run 400. Some just didn't care what their high run was. Yes, Babe Cranfield and John Schmidt were both obsessed with it, but at the the other end of the spectrum was Jose Parica.

When I asked Jose Parica (in about 1997) what his high run was, he said 200, to which I replied "Exactly 200?" He said, "yes, the game was over." He'd run 200 and out in a gambling match and, even though it was his personal high run, his thoughts turned to the next game, not to seeing how high he could go.
Yep, that's the way it was. When I 1st started playing Shorty my high run was only 93 I think.
I ran something in the high seventies and out on him and thought maybe I'd continue and possibly up my high run.
Two seconds later he had grabbed the balls and started racking them for another game. That stuff didn't fly with Larry.

Zuglan was a great player alright. Very classic and elegant game, beautiful to watch.
People today associate him with his Joss Tour having no idea 14.1 was his best game.
  
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09-14-2020, 01:44 PM

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Yep, that's the way it was. When I 1st started playing Shorty my high run was only 93 I think.
I ran something in the high seventies and out on him and thought maybe I'd continue and possibly up my high run.
Two seconds later he had grabbed the balls and started racking them for another game. That stuff didn't fly with Larry.

Zuglan was a great player alright. Very classic and elegant game, beautiful to watch.
People today associate him with his Joss Tour having no idea 14.1 was his best game.
Yeah, that was Boston Shorty, whose company I always enjoyed. Like Parica, he was all business.

Did you know that Grady Matthews, prior to the onset of the 1992 US Open 14.1 event in NY, predicted that Mike Zuglan would win the event. As we know, Sigel put him Mike in the loser's bracket with a 150 and out game and Dallas West eliminated Mike in the loser's bracket final in two innings. Mike was in dead stroke, but sometimes even that's not enough!

Ah, those were the days.
  
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09-14-2020, 02:01 PM

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I watched a Fedor Gorst match recently and his game reminds me of Parica. Nothing flashy. Keeps it simple. Makes good decisions.
Yeah, there are some similarities. As incredible as this will sound, I think Gorst shoots a hair straighter than Jose did at his best, but Jose's patterns were more classic. Guess I'm buying that when it comes to offensive play and running the table, they both make great decisions. However, Gorst's tactical decisions in defense, kicking and general strategy are not yet first rate and Parica was a master in all of these.
  
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09-15-2020, 08:14 AM

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Yeah, there are some similarities. As incredible as this will sound, I think Gorst shoots a hair straighter than Jose did at his best, but Jose's patterns were more classic. Guess I'm buying that when it comes to offensive play and running the table, they both make great decisions. However, Gorst's tactical decisions in defense, kicking and general strategy are not yet first rate and Parica was a master in all of these.
I suspect Gorst had some good instruction or advice at an early age unless he lived in a pool hall like Efren and learned from watching pool all day.
  
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09-15-2020, 08:46 AM

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I suspect Gorst had some good instruction or advice at an early age unless he lived in a pool hall like Efren and learned from watching pool all day.
Yes, he was coached (and still is) by legendary instructor and Mosconi Cup coach Johan Ruijsink. Johan's other top student, Ruslan Chinakhov, is also known as one of the world's straightest shooters. Johan's students seem to have near perfect fundamentals. Skyler Woodward has also taken note that Johan helped him take his gamer to the next level.

Gorst was an early bloomer. At the 2015 Derby City Classic, as a fourteen year old, he came within a whisker of beating Alex Pagulayan in the nine ball event, falling 9-8 after playing near perfect pool. Of course, this year, at nineteen, Fedor was too young to participate!

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09-15-2020, 03:14 PM

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Originally Posted by sjm View Post
Yup, looks like we're on the same page after all, and you're right that with almost no data available back in the day to size up players within a single poolroom scene, high run was often of great interest as a possible parameter to measure playing speed.

For the pros who competed at the top level, though, competitive record mattered far more. Mike Zuglan, surely one of the five best straight poolers of the 1990s, never ran 200, but everyone knew it was simply because high runs meant nothing to him. Everyone knew he was a stone cold killer in competition.

Like you, I don't see a clear path to reversing the trend, but in Europe, where there is a formal European Straight Pool Championship with a large field as part of the European Pool Championships, they've got the right idea. I also like what Peter Burrows is gradually building at the American 14.1 Event. We could do with a few more events like these.
Just wanted to add a couple things. This thread has morphed off the original question but in a good way I think.

Peter Burrows. If you're a 14.1 fan this man deserves your utmost respect and admiration. For those who don't know, he's the driving force behind the American 14.1 Championship.
He's (83 I think) yet still has the desire to put forth the effort (not to mention, a lot of money) to promote this tournament and try to keep this great game alive.
If you love the game and have the wherewithal then support him either monetarily or by attending the tournament.
Andy Lincoln (alinco on AZB) is his right hand man and hopefully will continue if Peter is unable to.
Wouldn't surprise me if Peter has provisions in his will to fund the tournament. That's how much he loves the game.

This thread has brought back memories of the great players and poolrooms of the past. Things have changed quite a bit.
For people new to the game who are interested in yesteryear, a really good book to get a sense of the way it was is Ned Polskys "Hustlers Beats And Others".
Used copies are available on Amazon for about 10 bucks and I highly recommend it.
  
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14.1 outrun itself, now look at it!
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14.1 outrun itself, now look at it! - 09-15-2020, 04:28 PM

Sorry, but in the 1960s to 1980s; No one in any pool hall asked other players what their highest run was, because it carried absolutely no weight.
There were always hustlers who would come into any pool parlor and offer anybody there most anything to get a game going.
When they came in pairs, the better player usually was sidelined until a local best player showed up.
In 14.1, they would give anybody there 25 balls and play to 50 for $20. They would give anybody there 50 and play to 100 for $50.
The higher you would bet, the more they would give you to get a game.
If you could run 50-75 each inning then, you could play with anyone.

Last edited by xradarx; 09-18-2020 at 01:06 PM.
  
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