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DynoDan
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06-10-2018, 06:57 PM

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Originally Posted by measureman View Post
I played Willie an exhibition game in 1964 in Toms River ,N.J.
He wore a suit and was well groomed.
Very polite and friendly.
He turned in a world class performance in straight pool.
I turned in a world class performance in racking.
I did pocket a few balls and had a brief safety battle and then he ran 85 perfect balls and out.
I was only 17 and nervous as hell.
Very reminiscent of an exhibition I witnesed ca. 1961:
Willie Mosconi was a bit out of the price range of our small town Illinois room, so we got ‘the Knoxville Bear’ (Eddie Taylor) instead. They closed the tables to open play for the day, and after Eddie performed the usual trick-shot routine, he took on all comers. I was only 14, but could already run a couple racks, so I got in line. He had briefly been an official ‘straight pool champion’, so that was the designated game (we had never even heard of ‘one pocket’ or ‘bank pool’ back then). After he nearly DOUBLED everyone’s score by BANKING in every ball except the break shots, I soon lost interest, and put away my cue! I think the only game he lost all day was to our local ‘Star Player’, who beat him once at 3-cushion.
  
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sparkle84
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06-12-2018, 02:00 PM

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Originally Posted by Dan White View Post
My father, who saw Mosconi play numerous times, used to watch today's players at 14.1 and he would just shake his head and say it was joke...no comparison... you had to see Willie play to understand. He was in the audience when Appleton ran 200 and said that that was the closest thing he has seen to how Mosconi played.
I saw him somewhere around 20 times so I consider your father and I to be incredibly fortunate. We understand each other when one of us says he had to be seen to be believed.
I also was there when Appleton ran the 200 and it was an exceptional run but it still fell short of Mosconi.
My opinion of who the 5 best 14.1 players of today are (and this is in order).
Niels Feijen, Hohmann, Appleton, Schmidt and Immonen.
These guys are all exceptional players but Willie Mosconi was on a whole nother level.
Might seem hard to believe but I think of the people who've seen him play, to a man, they'd agree with that statement.
  
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measureman
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06-12-2018, 04:44 PM

[QUOTE=sparkle84;6166560]I saw him somewhere around 20 times so I consider your father and I to be incredibly fortunate. We understand each other when one of us says he had to be seen to be believed.
I also was there when Appleton ran the 200 and it was an exceptional run but it still fell short of Mosconi.
My opinion of who the 5 best 14.1 players of today are (and this is in order).
Niels Feijen, Hohmann, Appleton, Schmidt and Immonen.
These guys are all exceptional players but Willie Mosconi was on a whole nother level.
Might seem hard to believe but I think of the people who've seen him play, to a man, they'd agree with that statement.[
/QUOTE]

I agree.
And being from the N.Y.N.J.Philly area I've seen a lot of great 14.1 players since the early '60s and while there were some true artists Willie was just a level above them all.
As said you really had to see him in person.


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Dan White
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06-12-2018, 06:26 PM

[QUOTE=measureman;6166661]
Quote:
Originally Posted by sparkle84 View Post
I saw him somewhere around 20 times so I consider your father and I to be incredibly fortunate. We understand each other when one of us says he had to be seen to be believed.
I also was there when Appleton ran the 200 and it was an exceptional run but it still fell short of Mosconi.
My opinion of who the 5 best 14.1 players of today are (and this is in order).
Niels Feijen, Hohmann, Appleton, Schmidt and Immonen.
These guys are all exceptional players but Willie Mosconi was on a whole nother level.
Might seem hard to believe but I think of the people who've seen him play, to a man, they'd agree with that statement.[
/QUOTE]

I agree.
And being from the N.Y.N.J.Philly area I've seen a lot of great 14.1 players since the early '60s and while there were some true artists Willie was just a level above them all.
As said you really had to see him in person.
My father had great respect for Cicero Murphy, but he always enjoyed recounting a match between Mosconi and Cicero. After a miss by Cicero, Mosconi did his thing. Balls falling one after another, kerplunk, kerplunk, kerplunk and on and on without end. Cicero just sat there slowly shaking his head.


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06-15-2018, 05:12 AM

[QUOTE=measureman;6166661]
Quote:
Originally Posted by sparkle84 View Post
I saw him somewhere around 20 times so I consider your father and I to be incredibly fortunate. We understand each other when one of us says he had to be seen to be believed.
I also was there when Appleton ran the 200 and it was an exceptional run but it still fell short of Mosconi.
My opinion of who the 5 best 14.1 players of today are (and this is in order).
Niels Feijen, Hohmann, Appleton, Schmidt and Immonen.
These guys are all exceptional players but Willie Mosconi was on a whole nother level.
Might seem hard to believe but I think of the people who've seen him play, to a man, they'd agree with that statement.[
/QUOTE]

I agree.
And being from the N.Y.N.J.Philly area I've seen a lot of great 14.1 players since the early '60s and while there were some true artists Willie was just a level above them all.
As said you really had to see him in person.

oh yeah. I've seen most of the modern day practitioners play in person. Not a one has made the game look so simple, so elegant, so effortless as Willie did.

Lou Figueroa
  
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Play - 06-15-2018, 06:48 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pushout View Post
I think there is an attitude today, especially among bar table players, that people who don't play the short rack games, can't for some reason. I think it also is prevalent among those who play only 9 ball. I remember a thread in the main forum by a guy who INSISTED that 9 ball was the only game to play to improve one's skill in pool.
I play both straight and 9 ball with some 8 ball. In my opinion 9 ball dictates your next shot and forces you to be able to move the cue ball around the table. This helps my position play in straight pool.

I had the opportunity to see Mosconi play an exhibition when I was 14 yrs. old I remember telling my buddy the same thing many others have mistakenly said after watching him run rack after rack. " all his shots were easy I could have done that "

I watched the YouTube tape of Melling ( my favorite player currently )running 225 and I saw him make some great shots as well as unbelievable break shots. I thought to myself
Mosconi played much better position not needing to make extreme shots. To run 100's on a regular basis and consistently have great shape says an awful lot about how good Willie Mosconi was.
  
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john coloccia
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06-15-2018, 07:48 PM

FWIW, I mostly play 14.1 these days, and I find 9 ball to be pretty boring and "easy." It's easy in the sense that if the table is open with no problems, I'm more than not going to run out.

At higher levels than me (and I pretty much feel like I suck) it's a much different game, but most of us are not at a pro level. I feel like a player like me (that sucks) can go head to head with a much better player than me and the final outcome will be something of a toss up.

Could I go head to head with a much MUCH better player? No way. I'd get killed.

That's where I think 9 ball falls short. A crappy me can go head to head with a really decent shot, and the outcome will still be something of a tossup. It's just 9 stupid balls, and then you start over. It really tends to equalize a lot of skill differences.

In 14.1, a player that is just a little better than me will start to pull ahead most of the time, and the longer the race the farther they pull ahead The cream rises to the top in 14.1 when the race is long enough.

I'm not surprised Mosconi didn't really like 9 ball. Until recently, the opening break was the great equalizer because no one could really predict it.
  
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06-16-2018, 09:23 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by john coloccia View Post
FWIW, I mostly play 14.1 these days, and I find 9 ball to be pretty boring and "easy." It's easy in the sense that if the table is open with no problems, I'm more than not going to run out.

At higher levels than me (and I pretty much feel like I suck) it's a much different game, but most of us are not at a pro level. I feel like a player like me (that sucks) can go head to head with a much better player than me and the final outcome will be something of a toss up.

Could I go head to head with a much MUCH better player? No way. I'd get killed.

That's where I think 9 ball falls short. A crappy me can go head to head with a really decent shot, and the outcome will still be something of a tossup. It's just 9 stupid balls, and then you start over. It really tends to equalize a lot of skill differences.

In 14.1, a player that is just a little better than me will start to pull ahead most of the time, and the longer the race the farther they pull ahead The cream rises to the top in 14.1 when the race is long enough.

I'm not surprised Mosconi didn't really like 9 ball. Until recently, the opening break was the great equalizer because no one could really predict it.
If you're playing 14.1 vs players who you can consistently beat as long as you're able to run up to 14 balls whenever they screw up early in the rack, yes, you're playing the wrong players and not challenging yourself. It is possible to play some decent straight pool with no more than 10-14 ball runs, as long as you end your inning with a good safety or virtually no balls left on the table.

However, playing against players who can string racks, and take totally different patterns to running out a rack to maximize their chances of leaving an ideal set-up ball and break ball, is a completely different game. That's the only way you'll improve your 14.1 game.
  
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06-16-2018, 01:34 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by 14-1StraightMan View Post
I know for a fact that Mosconi did not like 9 ball but would play it when Road Players came into his town. I was told this by Leroy Kinman who was a very close personal friend of Mosconi's. Leroy told me that Willie always left the Road Players enough money in their pockets to take a bus out of town.... (Leroy who is play by play commentator during the match from Chicago between Mosconi & Jimmy Caras). As for Mosconi's skill level. I do believe that he was the best all around player that has ever lived. He is to the Sport of Pool as Jordan is to basketball, Marciano is to Boxing, Gretzky is to hockey and so on & on. I do not believe anyone can break his high run record and it's been a very long time since he has accomplished it. Too many things go wrong on the table but one never knows. On a side note. I had lunch with Mosconi when I was about 16... He treated me with totally respect and talked to me face to face with kindness.
Great post! Regarding the bold above:

Reproduced without permission (sue me) from Willie's Game (An Autobiography):

I remember one night in Bensinger's we were having a bite of lunch together, and a fairly good journeyman player by the name of Joe Sebastian came up to us and challenged Ponzi to play some nine-ball at fifty-dollars a game...[snipped brief rules to nine-ball]... Ponzi had no interest in playing nine-ball, but the guy kept at him and wouldn't let him eat his lunch. Sebastian had a backer with him and the two of them wouldn't let up. Finally, Andy, who was never more content than when he was eating, turned to me and said, "Willie, why don't you play this guy and shut him up?"

I won the lag for break and began ripping off rack after rack. At the end of each game, the backer peeled off fifty dollars and dropped it on the table. When I had won thirteen straight, the backer said, "That's it, I quit."

"Quit? How an you quit?" Sebastian said. "You haven't seen me shoot yet."


I think Mosconi could hold his own just fine at nine-ball, and then some.


Dan White
  
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06-16-2018, 04:49 PM

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Originally Posted by ChrisinNC View Post
If you're playing 14.1 vs players who you can consistently beat as long as you're able to run up to 14 balls whenever they screw up early in the rack, yes, you're playing the wrong players and not challenging yourself. It is possible to play some decent straight pool with no more than 10-14 ball runs, as long as you end your inning with a good safety or virtually no balls left on the table.

However, playing against players who can string racks, and take totally different patterns to running out a rack to maximize their chances of leaving an ideal set-up ball and break ball, is a completely different game. That's the only way you'll improve your 14.1 game.
I agree, Chris. My point was that most of us aren't good enough at 9 ball to string together racks. Until you get to that point, the break tends to equalize a wide range of skill levels so I don't find it very interesting from a competition point of view.
  
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