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Charles Hartfield
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Question for the instructors - 06-04-2019, 02:00 PM

I am 41 and have played pool on and off for about 25 years. I would rate myself as a high beginner/low intermediate player. I got my first table in February and have been working hard on my game since then. I work full time and put about 13 hours a week into practice. (One hour a day during the week and four on the weekend days) My question is what game should I play to get the maximum enjoyment out of the game compared to the work I put in. I currently play 14:1 exclusively and I have made little improvements at it despite the hard work. It is becoming a bit disheartening. My usual run is in the single digits and my high run is 17. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks. Charles
  
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BilliardsAbout
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06-05-2019, 04:55 AM

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Originally Posted by chart22 View Post
I am 41 and have played pool on and off for about 25 years. I would rate myself as a high beginner/low intermediate player. I got my first table in February and have been working hard on my game since then. I work full time and put about 13 hours a week into practice. (One hour a day during the week and four on the weekend days) My question is what game should I play to get the maximum enjoyment out of the game compared to the work I put in. I currently play 14:1 exclusively and I have made little improvements at it despite the hard work. It is becoming a bit disheartening. My usual run is in the single digits and my high run is 17. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks. Charles
Some advice:

1) Consider a lesson, my first one is free of cost to you--improving your pocketing skills in the first lesson will revive your love

2) What are you working on in 14:1? Break shots? Breaking clusters? Sometimes ball selection, not ball pocketing is key to longer runs--therefore another reason for a lesson

3) There are many practice games that can hold your amusement, but likely, you need to drill a bit (drills need not be boring) for specific skill improvements, mixed with free play


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Charles Hartfield
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06-05-2019, 06:15 AM

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Originally Posted by BilliardsAbout View Post
Some advice:

1) Consider a lesson, my first one is free of cost to you--improving your pocketing skills in the first lesson will revive your love

2) What are you working on in 14:1? Break shots? Breaking clusters? Sometimes ball selection, not ball pocketing is key to longer runs--therefore another reason for a lesson

3) There are many practice games that can hold your amusement, but likely, you need to drill a bit (drills need not be boring) for specific skill improvements, mixed with free play
Thanks for the response and the advice. I would like to get a lesson but don’t know of any instructors in my area. I do drills during the week and play 14.1 on the weekends. There are two things that I think hold me back...I miss to many easy shots and my knowledge of 14.1. As you said before, ball selection.

Last edited by Charles Hartfield; 06-05-2019 at 06:05 PM. Reason: Correct a sentence.
  
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06-05-2019, 04:34 PM

Chart22

Sounds like you might need to practice "behind the cueball". Stroke, eye pattern, tempo.
randyg
  
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Charles Hartfield
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06-05-2019, 05:53 PM

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Originally Posted by goettlicher View Post
Chart22

Sounds like you might need to practice "behind the cueball". Stroke, eye pattern, tempo.
randyg
I think you may be right. I miss to many makeable shots. If I made all the shots I should and then run out of options, then I would need help with 14.1 knowledge.
  
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06-05-2019, 07:03 PM

I'll pass along the advice I was given many years ago by 14.1 champ Ray Martin. He said that all great pool players started out as great shot-makers. He was my teacher at that time and he switched me over to 9 Ball from 14.1 and said to get cracking on my shot making skills, and maybe --- after I became a confident ball-pocketer --- I could play 14.1 again.
  
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06-08-2019, 09:34 PM

chart22...You have the 2018 PBIA Instructor of the Year just down the road from you in Dallas. Get your butt up there and take some lessons. Get started on the right path, the right way. It will be the best money you ever spent...and it has nothing to do with what game you like, or think you should play. Trust me, pool will be a LOT more fun for you, once you get a lesson from Randyg!

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I think you may be right. I miss to many makeable shots. If I made all the shots I should and then run out of options, then I would need help with 14.1 knowledge.


PBIA Master Instructor
  
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Dan White
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06-08-2019, 10:34 PM

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Originally Posted by FranCrimi View Post
I'll pass along the advice I was given many years ago by 14.1 champ Ray Martin. He said that all great pool players started out as great shot-makers. He was my teacher at that time and he switched me over to 9 Ball from 14.1 and said to get cracking on my shot making skills, and maybe --- after I became a confident ball-pocketer --- I could play 14.1 again.
Interesting to hear that, Fran. I know in straight pool you need to come with a shot here and there so that advice makes a lot of sense.


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06-09-2019, 10:02 AM

I would follow Ms. Crimi's/Mr. Martin's advice.

Personally, I preferred call shot 8 ball. I think a mix of both 9 or 10 ball & 8 ball may yield a wider array of practiced 'skills' of both the physical & mental.
  
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06-09-2019, 10:05 AM

CJ Wiley works out of the Dallas/Fort Worth area if you want some lessons form a VERY Good "Player".
  
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06-11-2019, 09:29 PM

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Originally Posted by chart22 View Post
I am 41 and have played pool on and off for about 25 years. I would rate myself as a high beginner/low intermediate player. I got my first table in February and have been working hard on my game since then. I work full time and put about 13 hours a week into practice. (One hour a day during the week and four on the weekend days) My question is what game should I play to get the maximum enjoyment out of the game compared to the work I put in. I currently play 14:1 exclusively and I have made little improvements at it despite the hard work. It is becoming a bit disheartening. My usual run is in the single digits and my high run is 17. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks. Charles
I am not an instructor but since you are having a hard time finding one here is my suggestion. Go to the following website and purchase Mark Wilson's book. https://playgreatpool.com Read chapters 3, 4, 5 an 6. Think deeply about what you are reading and practice the fundamentals in the chapters. Then read these 4 chapters again. Read them 5 times or so within a 6 month period. Work on straightening your stroke in chapter 6. In my opinion, this is the only "college level" textbook for pool players. For those living in rural areas or where finding a coach is difficult, you can teach yourself with these techniques and video recording your stroke with your cell phone. Good luck.
  
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06-11-2019, 10:05 PM

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... I would like to get a lesson but donít know of any instructors in my area. ...
The PBIA (Professional Billiard Instructors Association) website lists one instructor in Houston. Maybe there's one closer to Vidor but I don't recognize the name of the town. (I've been through Vidor multiple times in multiple decades, but only noticed the name now.)


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SF Billiard Academy
  
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07-01-2019, 11:28 AM

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Originally Posted by chart22 View Post
I am 41 and have played pool on and off for about 25 years. I would rate myself as a high beginner/low intermediate player. I got my first table in February and have been working hard on my game since then. I work full time and put about 13 hours a week into practice. (One hour a day during the week and four on the weekend days) My question is what game should I play to get the maximum enjoyment out of the game compared to the work I put in. I currently play 14:1 exclusively and I have made little improvements at it despite the hard work. It is becoming a bit disheartening. My usual run is in the single digits and my high run is 17. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks. Charles
As far as a more fun practice then 14:1 you might like this version we do here:

1. Full hard break - try to develop a break that "squats the rock" so you have a shot and don't scratch at the same time making a ball. Keep track of how often you make a ball, as a side issue. This works on your break for games like 8 or 9 ball.
2. If you scratch you get one re-break focus and don't scratch again!!
3. One point for each ball
4. If you run out all 15 you get to go again. (Surprisingly this simulates match pressure. Missing the last couple of balls blows your chance at a multiple rack runs and high scoring.)
5. On the second rack you must not scratch or your run is over.
6. A match is 10 innings. Track your high runs and your high and low total scores.
7. Go for consistency. Pretty soon you start to recognize ways you get into trouble and your overall scores will show improvement.

I learned I get trapped on the foot rail by getting too straight in. I also learned I am crappy with the bridge. I also learned I am bad at seeing if I have clearance. My runs get ended by nicking a ball going by. I learned to avoid it if it is any where near close. I get more angles on the rail and learned a crazy cool new way to use the bridge from a video by Shavari on Utube. I have since seen some world class snooker players do it. If you have never seen it, you use the bridge for your left hand, attach an extension to your cue and bend into the shot and cue under hand like normal. Too great, at least for a guy who just can't get that overhand stroke right.

It is hard to practice and to get better if you aren't enjoying what you are doing.

Last edited by skipbales; 07-01-2019 at 11:30 AM.
  
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07-01-2019, 04:57 PM

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Originally Posted by skipbales View Post
...learned a crazy cool new way to use the bridge from a video by Shavari on Utube. I have since seen some world class snooker players do it. If you have never seen it, you use the bridge for your left hand, attach an extension to your cue and bend into the shot and cue under hand like normal. Too great, at least for a guy who just can't get that overhand stroke right.
I've heard of Corey Deuel gambling with the handicap of using the bridge for every shot. For normal reach shots he strokes underhanded with the bridge handle over his shoulder.

I find that the more vertical I can get my stroking forearm (like throwing a dart) the straighter my stroke with the bridge - it works best for draw shots.

pj
chgo
  
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07-02-2019, 05:30 AM

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Originally Posted by Patrick Johnson View Post
I've heard of Corey Deuel gambling with the handicap of using the bridge for every shot. For normal reach shots he strokes underhanded with the bridge handle over his shoulder.

I find that the more vertical I can get my stroking forearm (like throwing a dart) the straighter my stroke with the bridge - it works best for draw shots.

pj
chgo
In the same video Sharivari did another unusual trick for draw shots. To get a really level cue he put the stick THROUGH the bridge instead of on top of it. This dropped the cue down and leveled out the stroke a lot. Pretty crazy stuff but a very creative way to look at things.
  
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