earl and ‘placement pool’

sjm

Sweating it at Derby City
Silver Member
And never saw earl play at his best.
The guy ran rack after rack dodging no shots playing no safeties.....in the late 70’s and 80’s-I saw it......it was impressive to say the least.

I also saw Earl as early as 1980 when he was just a late teen. One of the things I remember about him is how often the young Earl beat stone cold champions like Sigel, Hall, Varner and Rempe 11-2 or 11-3. Sigel payed as well as Earl, but he didn't beat opponents into submission the way Earl so often did. Earl had a top gear that had to be seen to be believed.
 

td873

C is for Cookie
Gold Member
Silver Member
meh.... I don't know. Only thing worse than doing drills is watching other people doing drills. That's pretty much what's being suggested.

To each their own, but I don't think there'd be much of an audience after the first few racks
I am pretty confident Earl wasn’t suggesting placement pool to win viewers.

-td
 

RussPrince

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Just watched his latest video where he mentions placement pool often. No idea what he's on about. I always though great augmentation you can to do ANY game is a "next ball" rule. (I just made that up). All that is required is you must call the next ball and where it's going. No banger would ever win a match with that rule in place.
 

Rocket354

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
There's a difference between a game being more difficult to play, and the game being more difficult to win.

Better equipment makes it "easier" to run racks, so it's easier to play in that sense. All anyone has to do is play with a warped bar cue with almost no tip and a cracked ferrule on an uneven table with nap cloth while constantly getting jostled by patrons in some podunk bar somewhere to know that there are some environments and levels of equipment that make it easier or harder to run a rack.

However, that does not mean the game is easier to win, because to win you have to beat the other players. With the game so international now, and so many amazing players, I think it's a hard sell to say it was harder to win 30 or 40 years ago. I mean, maaaybe it's true, but it would take some actual proof, and not just "listing names."

It's a longstanding tradition for athletes of previous generations of any sport to think the game was tougher "back then." Most objective analysis of the empirical evidence suggests otherwise. Perhaps an apocryphal story, but:

Interviewer (1960): "Mr. Cobb, you batted .366 in your career that ended over 30 years ago. What would you hit against today's pitchers?"
Ty Cobb: "About .300"
Interviewer: "Only .300?"
Ty Cobb: "You've got to remember--I'm seventy-three!"

At that time, "today's" pitchers included Sandy Koufax, Bob Gibson, and Whitey Ford.
 

Welder84

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I would bet all your dollars to someone else's doughnutz he is referring to target pool.

IMO, a great idea that never really gained traction.

P.S. Earl still doesn't like it, vs. today's elite.
There's a difference between a game being more difficult to play, and the game being more difficult to win.

Better equipment makes it "easier" to run racks, so it's easier to play in that sense. All anyone has to do is play with a warped bar cue with almost no tip and a cracked ferrule on an uneven table with nap cloth while constantly getting jostled by patrons in some podunk bar somewhere to know that there are some environments and levels of equipment that make it easier or harder to run a rack.

However, that does not mean the game is easier to win, because to win you have to beat the other players. With the game so international now, and so many amazing players, I think it's a hard sell to say it was harder to win 30 or 40 years ago. I mean, maaaybe it's true, but it would take some actual proof, and not just "listing names."

It's a longstanding tradition for athletes of previous generations of any sport to think the game was tougher "back then." Most objective analysis of the empirical evidence suggests otherwise. Perhaps an apocryphal story, but:

Interviewer (1960): "Mr. Cobb, you batted .366 in your career that ended over 30 years ago. What would you hit against today's pitchers?"
Ty Cobb: "About .300"
Interviewer: "Only .300?"
Ty Cobb: "You've got to remember--I'm seventy-three!"

At that time, "today's" pitchers included Sandy Koufax, Bob Gibson, and Whitey Ford.

Players are better now for sure. When 9 ball was two shot push out and scratches were spotted we are discussing a totally different game.

If the modern players played the old style pool they would learn to dominate that as well. The training material is so much better now.
 

kollegedave

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Of course it can't. In as many cases in individual sports, the game has become more difficult over time. Golf, for example, is now played on much longer courses than in the past. Today's putting greens have more undulations than those of yesteryear. New courses, intended for PGA events, are being built with more slope than those of yesteryear. In golf, those in charge recognized that as the skills of the players rose, the conditions had to be toughened accordingly.

In pool, there are way more good players today than fifteen years ago but the playing conditions are largely unchanged in that period, excepting the rare events played on a ten footer. That's why there's some validity in what Earl is saying.
SJM,

Wouldn't you say Diamond Pro Cut pockets are considerably tougher than the pockets of yester-year...maybe even the mid-nineties--just before Diamond came out with their first table? When I watch older Accu-stats tapes, I can't help but feel like Jayson Shaw, SVB, Ko brothers, and other elite modern players would dominate the fields in the old Sands Regency events, for example.

Additionally, with all the information available to anyone regarding the break today, I would argue that if a "pro" has bad luck on the break today, it is not luck at all. For example, Max Lechner at the last International Open, broke as well or better than everyone and his skill on that shot is not an accident. He was in the finals and the only thing that could beat him was probably the best 9 ball out by any living human in history (if not the best, I would argue tied for first).

To me, modern players will figure out any break. This figuring involves skill and practice. If some players are unwilling to do that practice, then that is their right, but I do not think it is fair to call today's skilled breakers lucky. There may be "some" element of luck, but some luck exists in any game, even one pocket. I am not sure I would want to watch a pool game devoid of all kinds of randomness that had to be overcome by the players. Just my 0.02.

Also, while it is easy to say that faster cloth, better balls, better cues improve things. I would also argue Diamond's bouncy rails make for a relatively unforgiving table when placed in combination with their deep pocket shelves.

Call me crazy, but if we actually played placement pool or whatever crazy game Earl wants to play, when some superior player beats him, he will say the crowd sharked him because someone sabotaged his gigantic ear muffs. Again, just my 0.02.

kollegedave
 

Tooler

AhSheetMaDruars
Silver Member
Players are better now for sure. When 9 ball was two shot push out and scratches were spotted we are discussing a totally different game.

If the modern players played the old style pool they would learn to dominate that as well. The training material is so much better now.

Not really.... There just are more better players, than years ago.

IMO, the top players of yesterday where just as strong as the players of 2021.
 

sjm

Sweating it at Derby City
Silver Member
SJM,

Wouldn't you say Diamond Pro Cut pockets are considerably tougher than the pockets of yester-year...maybe even the mid-nineties--just before Diamond came out with their first table? When I watch older Accu-stats tapes, I can't help but feel like Jayson Shaw, SVB, Ko brothers, and other elite modern players would dominate the fields in the old Sands Regency events, for example.
Yes, today's pockets are tougher than what was typically found at the Sands, a tournament whose heyday was some twenty five years to thirty ago, although it was still around several years after that. Yes, equipment got tougher and was befitting of the best players by 2005, but I feel it hasn't changed much since, which is why I indicated fifteen years in my post as the period in which the equipment has failed to evolve with the times. I feel we're playing on the same equipment as we were in 2005, and given how many more straight shooters we have today than in 2005, I think we're ready for a change again.

The equipment used at the 2020 Mosconi Cup was ideal and demonstrated that the runouts are very challenging on equipment befitting the elite players.
 

Straightpool_99

I see dead balls
Silver Member
Not really.... There just are more better players, than years ago.

IMO, the top players of yesterday where just as strong as the players of 2021.
Hard to compare as the conditions are entirely different. I'd say their playing style was much different. More offense, hard breaks, more powerful and ideosyncratic strokes and the rhytm players ruled.

Today is about precision, punting and alternate breaks encourage slower and more deliberate play. And the big power break is just gone forever. People are desperately trying to make pool into snooker. Sadly that game allready exists, and better approximations exist as well (Chinese 8 ball). Pool will always lose in comparison with snooker, when it comes to the aspects of precision and tactical play. To justify the further existence of the game it needs to carve out its own niche and play to its own strengths. Exiting play, power strokes, big athletic breaks and maybe even jump shots (though personally I'm not a big fan). I love pool, but I'm not really seeing a future for it with the direction it's going.
 
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westcoast

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I wish Earl would make a video of himself playing placement pool so we could have a better idea of what he is talking about
 

kollegedave

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Yes, today's pockets are tougher than what was typically found at the Sands, a tournament whose heyday was some twenty five years to thirty ago, although it was still around several years after that. Yes, equipment got tougher and was befitting of the best players by 2005, but I feel it hasn't changed much since, which is why I indicated fifteen years in my post as the period in which the equipment has failed to evolve with the times. I feel we're playing on the same equipment as we were in 2005, and given how many more straight shooters we have today than in 2005, I think we're ready for a change again.

The equipment used at the 2020 Mosconi Cup was ideal and demonstrated that the runouts are very challenging on equipment befitting the elite players.
SJM,

This post from you is an example of why I appreciate your participation in this board so much. Your observations are careful and well thought out.

To me, Diamond Tables are so difficult I did not even consider making pool even harder as it seems you have. Yikes! In reading your response to my question, I understand why someone might think we now have to use even more difficult equipment.

Maybe I could be talked out of this, but to me, Diamond tables play plenty hard. I realize the elite players are not challenged in the same way I am, but I feel like there is a point at which tightening the pockets changes the game too much.

Additionally, for pool to improve it needs more eyeballs on it, not less. I think most people watching a more offensive game. Watching two players run the same lay out into tiny pockets might be an interesting thing for folks like us (die hard pool fans) in addition to what we already have, but I don't think I would sign on to Earl's solution instead of what we have. Just my 0.02

kollegedave
 

cueman

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
I dare say the best are in the PI, but you have to travel quite a bit to get there.

There are many areas where the young are extremely efficient in the sport and esports so bring friends.

The main purpose is are you looking to make records or have a fun match that is not as you expected.

After about one move I knew I was out gunned, I didn't even grab the cue at the right place.

They told me Jose Parica is the best, second effren.

I can't say I haven't seen much, just hear the stories.

I never knew Archer had an accent, until a few years ago.

I was happy to meet them and I wish I had better tagalog. Their face when I couldn't was awful.... they are from a very large city compared to me, they have farmlands to help.

no other details are allowed, go there and travel

you will be invited when you hear the billiard balls.
I have lived here most of my life and I never noticed Archer having an accent
 

Dan_B

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
I have commented on a couple of these videos asking when we can see video of Earl playing placement pool. They have replied that it's coming.
uooo, a plot thickin's...
I'm thinking Earl is on to something too.
 

pt109

WO double hemlock
Gold Member
Silver Member
Just watched his latest video where he mentions placement pool often. No idea what he's on about. I always though great augmentation you can to do ANY game is a "next ball" rule. (I just made that up). All that is required is you must call the next ball and where it's going. No banger would ever win a match with that rule in place.
I think ‘next ball’ might take some skill out of the game....percentage shape is a great skill.
calling next ball and next pocket makes the game more mundane.
 

pt109

WO double hemlock
Gold Member
Silver Member
Maybe "placement pool" is another term for something with which we're already familiar. Then again, Earl, who, not long ago was challenging the top players to a match on a table having no side pockets, has been known to invent games from time to time.

That said, Earl's sentiments are understood. Back in the early 1980's, when Earl and Sigel were combining to win so many titles, the game was more difficult, played on slower cloth with poorer quality balls , lower quality cushions, and even the big events were often contested on worn (rather than new) cloth. Earl probably feels that the game, over the years, has become easier, and Sigel has said the same.

In short, Earl's call for a stiffer test of cueing skills is not without merit.
Seems to me that Earl and Mike are forgetting that the pockets were relatively buckets in their primes.
you see more side pocket position, like snooker, today because the corners are more missable.

I saw an old 14.1 tape where a length of the table shot from about six inches from the side rail hit the middle diamond and went in....no table today does that ball fall.
 

sjm

Sweating it at Derby City
Silver Member
Seems to me that Earl and Mike are forgetting that the pockets were relatively buckets in their primes.
you see more side pocket position, like snooker, today because the corners are more missable.

I saw an old 14.1 tape where a length of the table shot from about six inches from the side rail hit the middle diamond and went in....no table today does that ball fall.
Point is well taken. Pocketing has become more difficult, but position play has become easier over the years.

Like you, I learned the game in the pre-Simonis era. Some of the power strokes and stun shots off of slight angles were far more difficult to produce back then. The guys with the big strokes, like Sigel and Strickland, had a significant edge and some of that edge vanished when the pro game switched to faster cloth.

Sigel's famous quote about when they changed to the fast cloth was [all of a sudden, a lot more guys played like me].
 

Chili Palmer

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
Just watched his latest video where he mentions placement pool often. No idea what he's on about. I always though great augmentation you can to do ANY game is a "next ball" rule. (I just made that up). All that is required is you must call the next ball and where it's going. No banger would ever win a match with that rule in place.

That's what I was thinking when I first saw this thread. Next ball would add a bit of complicity as you're forced to play the original "next ball" in a called pocket although your leave may not reciprocate that ;)

It's a fun game to play with friends.
 
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