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Can Practicing Exclusively on Tight Pocket Tables be a Detriment to Your Game?
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ChrisinNC
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Can Practicing Exclusively on Tight Pocket Tables be a Detriment to Your Game? - 07-19-2019, 03:35 PM

Most of my practice these days is limited to 3-4 nights a weeks for 2-3 hour sessions, either on our extremely tight pocket 9-foot table or on our almost as tight pocket 10-foot table. I feel like I used to be somewhat competitive playing sets against the 9-ball ghost on either of these two tables, although I very rarely won a race to 9 set vs the ghost. That is no longer the case as I find myself frustrated to the point that I'm rarely running a rack - usually due to rattling a very make-able shot in a corner pocket.

At 62, I'm still a good enough player to occasionally run a 2 or 3 pack in 9-ball on our more normal sized pocket tables with 4-3/4" corners pockets. I've always felt that for our lower skilled players, they were basically wasting their time practicing on our tightest tables - 4-1/4" corners or 4-1/8" corners, both with 143 degrees pocket facing angles that seemingly spit out anything other than a dead center pocket shot. Many of our players regardless of their skill level seem to hold the concept that practicing on these extremely tight pocket tables will make them better players. I guess I felt that at my skill level that didn't apply to me and that practicing on these tighter tables and on the 10-foot table would give me an advantage when playing in our weekly Monday tournaments that are played on the other more generous size pocket tables.

I'm starting to wonder if my frustration level in practicing virtually exclusively on these tight tables is taking such a toll on my confidence that it's carried over to playing way below my skill level on the other tables in our weekly Monday night tournaments? Any thoughts or suggestions? - thanks

Last edited by ChrisinNC; 07-19-2019 at 03:39 PM.
  
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grindz
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07-19-2019, 04:03 PM

I always felt that unless you were playing in dead punch, and had the world on a string..that tight tables just made you play differently. When you get used to just
a little less juice, and a little more sacrifice of the spot.. then you aren't used to using
all your horsepower, and when you don't use it all the time it can fail you more often.
JMHO

I don't know... I'm just a banger.... but when I played on a snooker table.. I sure didn't miss on a bar box much!

td
  
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07-19-2019, 04:13 PM

There's a post every week claiming tight pocket practice makes them unbeatable on normal tables so I'd say the answer is either A) no, in fact it helps, B) it makes no difference, or C) it's different for everyone but let's debate it as if it isn't.

I'm gonna go with C) and assume Mr. tight pocket/dead rubber/bad lighting/too hot/too cold/torture chamber practice table will be along shortly.
  
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jrctherake
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07-19-2019, 04:30 PM

I dont care what table you play on, your fundamentals are gonna tell in you.

A tighter table just makes your lack of good fundamentals show moreso than the normal to easy tables.

Its really no more complicated than ^^^^^^^.


Don't let your bark be bigger than your stroke.

If I had plenty of money, I would probably lose more often.
  
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jrctherake
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07-19-2019, 04:33 PM

As for your game being better or worse at times:

Welcome to the land of amateurs.


Sure, pros hit slumps also but, their slumps are so high we can't see them from our peaks.


Don't let your bark be bigger than your stroke.

If I had plenty of money, I would probably lose more often.
  
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07-19-2019, 04:34 PM

I have a tight Diamond and compete mainly on Gold Crowns lately. The transition does make it seem easier in the GC tables. However, I play everyday on my Diamond and compete maybe twice a month. Like compete for fun, no league, no serious money.

If I had to do it again, I wouldn’t have a right Diamond at home. I would optimize my daily table for fun and confidence; not for pain and discipline.



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Michael Andros
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07-19-2019, 04:36 PM

I don't see how it could do anything but help you, Chris. Now, that said, some people get frustrated easily and if they cant make a ball, they quit. But ( my impression, at any rate ) you're not that type person. All 6 GCs in our room are cut very tight ( 4 1/14, I believe, corners ) and the few times I go to other rooms in the area it's as if the pockets are 12" wide.




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07-19-2019, 04:38 PM

….depends on what level you play at...…...


"Then again...you may be the Antichrist"
  
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07-19-2019, 04:41 PM

I think of it like golf - when I go to the practice green, I go for short putts (2-3 footers), while others try to sink 20-30 footers. I want the short ones to build confidence. Seeing the ball go in the cup, hearing the drop, all gives me confidence I can do it on the course. On the course, all I need to do is get the ball in a three foot circle around the cup, and I know I can two putt and out.

So, I think you’re on to something. Practice on the table that your going to play on for tourneys or for money. Build confidence and practice that game you want to and can play on those tables.

Just my thoughts...


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For me this was true - 07-19-2019, 05:04 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by grindz View Post
I always felt that unless you were playing in dead punch, and had the world on a string..that tight tables just made you play differently. When you get used to just
a little less juice, and a little more sacrifice of the spot.. then you aren't used to using
all your horsepower, and when you don't use it all the time it can fail you more often.
JMHO

I don't know... I'm just a banger.... but when I played on a snooker table.. I sure didn't miss on a bar box much!

td


I found the same thing. Practicing on tight tables while playing on other tables all the time too was great for my game. However, when I spent too much time on tough tables without spending time on other tables it subtly altered my shot selection and pattern play. When I finally played on a looser table I played it the same way I played the tight table. Led to making bad choices on the loose table.

Like you, a few hours on a snooker table made the pockets on a bar table or even nine footer with generous pockets feel like I was shooting at #3 washtubs!

Hu
  
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07-19-2019, 05:38 PM

A subject near and dear to my heart. First lets talk about pocket billiard games played around the world. From what I can see Americans are the only ones who play with large pockets. Russian Pyramid, Chinese 8 ball, Snooker, British Isle black pool...all of these tables/games have tight pockets. It is a superior way to play in my opinion. Now growing up in So Cal and playing on Dominguez's specialized tables, you best be good with tight pockets or you won't belong.
My first Minnesota Fats table had buckets and I got Practice Pro Pocket reducers to adjust to 3 7/8 and 4" flat.
Currently I have a Diamond Pro-Am with 4 1/4 and worn 860HR, I'll play on anything, but I wont gamble on anything looser than my table.
In short my philosophy is Practice in the 100mph cage to get ready for guy who throws in the 90's.
  
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07-19-2019, 05:43 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by jrctherake View Post
I dont care what table you play on, your fundamentals are gonna tell in you.

A tighter table just makes your lack of good fundamentals show moreso than the normal to easy tables.

Its really no more complicated than ^^^^^^^.
I'm on my way East . Any tight tables around? I'm in Nashville thinking bout Huntsville if anyone wants action
  
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Cool 07-19-2019, 07:33 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisinNC View Post
I'm starting to wonder if my frustration level in practicing virtually exclusively on these tight tables is taking such a toll on my confidence that it's carried over to playing way below my skill level on the other tables in our weekly Monday night tournaments? Any thoughts or suggestions? - thanks
looking into this over the last year for myself I came to the conclusion they are nothing but annoying during practice and otherwise just not much fun. It always seems that the ball I miss gets in the way of my next shot anyways.

After spending some time at another pool hall that has a lot of tight pockets and working with them I found the only thing they added in were negative effects on the game. Things like not cheating the pockets, ball speed, angles, bla bla,.. Nothing good. Just overpriced junk that causes lot's of problems. I do see the hustler mode here but really,

Bottom line the middle of the pocket is the middle of the pocket and that's what I look at as the balls go in.

I do promote them on the demo site I made at pool-hall.com


Supporting Olympic dreams since 2009
  
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07-19-2019, 07:45 PM

Practice on the tables that are like the ones you are going to play on.

I hate super tight tables...they ruin the game.

People will say that "looser" tables are easier.

If they are "easier", then increase the number of games in the set to make up for it.

Tables with super tight pockets encourage too many safety plays.

I like to see "offense" and "packs". I don't like games where the table makes the players "gun shy" and they resort to 50% defense when difficult shots come up.
  
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07-19-2019, 07:51 PM

For me playing on a 4 1/4 is seldom, but as far as width goes I find them no different than 4 1/2 besides the darn facing (the angle changes everything for me). I honestly miss looser pockets, I can't find them anymore, everything is "pro cut" Diamonds.

If you're on the hunt for extreme difficulty, you could have pyramid rails cut to 1/16" wider than your balls and end that quest forever... just watch your blood pressure.
  
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