Common mistakes a lot of average players make.

boogieman

It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that ping.
When I watch mid level amateurs one of the biggest problems I see is that many don't seem to play the layout (8 ball). Instead they often just take the easy balls. Too often you see trouble balls ignored until there is nothing left to shoot. Naturally a miss results and the other player runs out.
This so much. Sometimes you might have to try 2-3 shots just to get the breakout you need. If you shoot off all the easy shots, you no longer have anything to work with for the break out or other strategic options.
 

CocoboloCowboy

Cowboys are my heros.
Silver Member
I see people all the time buy a instructional book, or dvd, then never read or view more than once.

Mussel memory is built on repetition, and doing many times.
 

Swighey

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
1: Thinking they can run out every rack, despite the fact that their runout percentage might be 10%, which means 90% of the time they are not running out.

2: Establishing an aim line while down on the shot with zero regard for feet placement or body alignment.
10% is pretty good for an "average" player. Anyone who can run out 10% of the time would be crazy not to believe they can run out every time
 

BobTfromIL

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Watching some of our "weaker'" players the one thing I have noticed beyond fundamental issues, is poor selections when they have ball in hand.
Most unusual was playing a tough combination with a bridge, that was one that I just didn't understand at all.
 

Cuedup

Active member
Watching some of our "weaker'" players the one thing I have noticed beyond fundamental issues, is poor selections when they have ball in hand.
Most unusual was playing a tough combination with a bridge, that was one that I just didn't understand at all.
Ball in hand and taking the easy ball inthe middle of the table and ignoring problem balls.
 

BC21

Poolology
Gold Member
Silver Member
10% is pretty good for an "average" player. Anyone who can run out 10% of the time would be crazy not to believe they can run out every time

Using this logic, if you know your percentage on a certain bank shot is 10% (meaning that you typically only make it 1 out of 10 tries), would you go for the bank every single time it comes up, believing that somehow your odds of making it will magically be better than 10%?

If going for it and missing will likely lead to losing, then it's smarter to not go for it. The same theory should apply to runouts. If you typically can't run 5 or 6 without missing or getting too far out of line, then trying to run the entire rack every time is setting yourself up to lose quite often.
 

Hoogaar

Registered
Ball in hand and taking the easy ball inthe middle of the table and ignoring problem balls.
Not sure if it's the same everywhere, but our leagues here allow for coaching, but the player has to ask. I would always tell them it's never a bad idea to ask me your first turn at the table, or when you have ball in hand - not when you're left wired behind a couple of balls with a 0.1% chance Reyes could get a hit on.

Naturally, I would only ever get asked how to make the impossible hits on their way to a loss...
 

justnum

Principal Investigator of Magic Trick Shots
Silver Member
Start listening to matches with Danny D or Jeremy J as a commentator.
 

Swighey

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Using this logic, if you know your percentage on a certain bank shot is 10% (meaning that you typically only make it 1 out of 10 tries), would you go for the bank every single time it comes up, believing that somehow your odds of making it will magically be better than 10%?

If going for it and missing will likely lead to losing, then it's smarter to not go for it. The same theory should apply to runouts. If you typically can't run 5 or 6 without missing or getting too far out of line, then trying to run the entire rack every time is setting yourself up to lose quite often.
I would be believing from the first ball that I can runout. If I reached that 90% place where I'me finally out of position on one of the later balls, then I would adjust. It wouldn't stop me believing in the first place.
 

BC21

Poolology
Gold Member
Silver Member
I would be believing from the first ball that I can runout. If I reached that 90% place where I'me finally out of position on one of the later balls, then I would adjust. It wouldn't stop me believing in the first place.

I agree that on a wide-open rack all players should "believe" they can run out. I mean, if you don't believe you can something then you're not even giving yourself a good chance to do it in the first place.

I'm simply talking about playing smart and realizing your current limitations. That means if you have a rack with multiple trouble issues that need dealt with, and you have no idea how to deal with the trouble, you should not be looking for a runout.

For example, if you have to fire a bank shot in and draw the cb off 2 rails for a breakout and position on the next shot, and you know your chance of making the bank (without considering position play) is very slim, you're probably about to sell out. If that's the only option, then go for it. But most of the time there is always a better option, and it requires kicking your ego out of your head. Lol.
 

sjm

Sweating it at Derby City
Silver Member
Danny DiLiberto
While this advice was passed on to me by a friend, the source is Danny DiLiberto, and Danny wisely points out:

Don't play a shot that can lose the rack unless that shot can also win you the rack

In other words, don't take a flier that, even if executed, will play you into a dead end.

Irving Crane
Especially after a well-played defensive shot after which opponent came with something very special or even very lucky, Irving always made sure that his approach didn't change just because he had played the percentages and it backfired. Irving's wise opinion, to paraphrase, was:

Never forget that the percentages don't always work, but after all is said and done, they remain the percentages

Makes sense, but so many players get this wrong, abandoning the percentages just because they backfired that one time.
 
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CocoboloCowboy

Cowboys are my heros.
Silver Member
While this advice was passed on to me by a friend, the source is Danny DiLiberto, and Danny wisely points out:

Don't play a shot that can lose the rack unless that shot can also win you the rack.

In other words, don't take a flier that, even if executed, will play you into a dead end.


Great advice.👍
 

Bob Jewett

AZB Osmium Member
Staff member
Gold Member
Silver Member
Some of the comments depend on what we consider to be an average player. If you count all people who play pool several times per year, I think we're talking under 200 FargoRate. The average player in the APA, who plays in competition every week, is about a 400. (Almost by definition, the average APA player is a 4 in the APA by the way teams are constructed.)

The first "average player" has never run out a rack of eight ball. The APA average player runs out maybe one in 20 racks of eight ball on a bar table.

Here's a good video about how the various ratings stack up.
 
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