Small pockets ruining the game

rexus31

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I agree with this. I played a tournament at a pool hall one time - I had been practicing there on 4.25" pockets for several hours and the TD asked if I wanted to play the tourney. The pockets on the tournament tables were 3 7/8". I played in it.

I realized quickly that I couldn't run out and neither could anybody else. He had me play as a "10" - probably higher than I should have been but ok.

I adjusted my strategy and just let everybody try to run out. Then picked up the pieces and really focused to make a good 9-ball shot. I got pretty far and I beat two other 10s and the TD called me out and said that I was not a "10" because he had seen 10s and I didn't play like them. "10s run out all the time." Um, not on 3 7/8" pockets. Basically people lost to me and complained that I was rated too high. WTF??? "That guy shouldn't be a 10 but he beat me..." Whatever.

I pointed out that I had beaten two of them and he just got pissed and told me I'd be a "9" next time.

Whatever. Boring pool. I don't care who I'm playing on equipment that tight, I'm letting them shoot at the 5 ball. Maybe even the 6 ball. I never went back.

I think the Matchroom events should be 4 1/4" pockets. That seems like the right combination of runout and still have to focus to make difficult shots.
Are you a World Class Player with an 800+ Fargo?
 

rexus31

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
So I went ahead and looked it up. Professional snooker players play on pockets that are up to 1/4” tighter. So up to 7% tighter. Shrinking down 4.75” pockets to 4” is 15% tighter. Or in comparison. Playing pool on 4” pockets is like playing snooker with <3” pockets. If you shrink 4.5” to 4 that’s 11%. In snooker that would be around 3-1/8” corners.
You are failing to take into account table size and cut of the pockets.
 

jsp

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Let's get back to the fundamental question. Why should the pockets for pro pool be significantly tighter?

Is it to substantially reduce the number of open table runouts for pro players? Do we actually want to see more misses by pro pool players on relatively routine shots? Do we want to see pros choose to play more safeties on fairly tough but wide open shots (maybe because they're unable to cheat the pocket and get position or they're simply afraid of missing a table-length shot)?

If the reason for much tighter pockets is for the cream to rise to the top, I argue that the cream will rise to the top regardless of pocket size. The cream will eventually find a way to win (maybe after some adjustment). But with much tighter pockets, you simply make the game slower, more painful to watch, and something that resembles pool played on Chinese tables.

If it were entirely up to me, for pro events I'd keep 4.5" pockets and switch to 12-ball.
 

jbart65

Well-known member
I did see what seemed like an inordinate amount of misses in the UK tournament. A lot of balls seem to hang in the jaws of the pocket.

There was one shot Filler missed, a really steep cut on a 4 I think, in the final frame vs Capito in the quarters. The ball hung in the jaws of the top right corner pocket.

I thought at the time that the ball would have dropped in a 4-inch pocket.

So what does Filler do the next match if the pockets are sub-4 inches again?

Not try the steep cut and play safe, giving Capito another chance? I am pretty sure that's what Filler will do next time.

Not what I want to see.
 

shooter_Hans

Well-known member
Let's get back to the fundamental question. Why should the pockets for pro pool be significantly tighter?

Is it to substantially reduce the number of open table runouts for pro players? Do we actually want to see more misses by pro pool players on relatively routine shots? Do we want to see pros choose to play more safeties on fairly tough but wide open shots (maybe because they're unable to cheat the pocket and get position or they're simply afraid of missing a table-length shot)?

If the reason for much tighter pockets is for the cream to rise to the top, I argue that the cream will rise to the top regardless of pocket size. The cream will eventually find a way to win (maybe after some adjustment). But with much tighter pockets, you simply make the game slower, more painful to watch, and something that resembles pool played on Chinese tables.

If it were entirely up to me, for pro events I'd keep 4.5" pockets and switch to 12-ball.
They don't want these guys running 7 racks. I thought the alternating breaks should solve that. They want more case games.

Unless, which I doubt, they want the pro level game to imitate casual players. Watching casuals sometimes are much more exciting than watching the shortstops. With casuals anything can happen. So a pro can rattle a ball or miss, then again, it will look bad for professional pool. People won't realize the pockets are smaller and think these guys are clowns for calling themselves professionals. LOL
 

Podunker

Active member
I agree with JSP to a point. 4.5 pockets. Dump the jump sticks. Stay at 9 ball. Then, I'm a product of my age. I'd much rather watch old videos of Siegal, Varner, Hall, Davenport, Earl etc. I like the old imperfections and excitement. Banks and an occasional ride. I do respect the precision of the modern player. I do find it a little boring.
 

shooter_Hans

Well-known member
I agree with JSP to a point. 4.5 pockets. Dump the jump sticks. Stay at 9 ball. Then, I'm a product of my age. I'd much rather watch old videos of Siegal, Varner, Hall, Davenport, Earl etc. I like the old imperfections and excitement. Banks and an occasional ride. I do respect the precision of the modern player. I do find it a little boring.
The slight imperfections of the past is mostly shape. They were more creative in the past so sloppy shape was much more exciting.

I much prefer Efren's sloppy and creative shape versus SVB robotic perfect shape.

These 4'' pockets will either see players strive for perfect shape or they are just going to have to get more creative and create a shot because these tight pockets will eliminate a lot of shots you normally see on a regular table. Which will happen? Time will tell.
 

straightline

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Right. And snooker is a non-attacking game. You can’t even hit a ball down the rail, which is the bread and butter position shot in pool.
My main gripe about snooker is just that. But it's the jaws that reject balls - not the apertures. Might as well have bumper pool things around the holes.
 

skogstokig

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Let's get back to the fundamental question. Why should the pockets for pro pool be significantly tighter?

Is it to substantially reduce the number of open table runouts for pro players? Do we actually want to see more misses by pro pool players on relatively routine shots? Do we want to see pros choose to play more safeties on fairly tough but wide open shots (maybe because they're unable to cheat the pocket and get position or they're simply afraid of missing a table-length shot)?

If the reason for much tighter pockets is for the cream to rise to the top, I argue that the cream will rise to the top regardless of pocket size. The cream will eventually find a way to win (maybe after some adjustment). But with much tighter pockets, you simply make the game slower, more painful to watch, and something that resembles pool played on Chinese tables.

If it were entirely up to me, for pro events I'd keep 4.5" pockets and switch to 12-ball.

because the players have become significantly better. what is 12-ball?
 

The_JV

'AZB_Combat Certified'
Let's get back to the fundamental question. Why should the pockets for pro pool be significantly tighter?
To differentiate between the pro and amateur game.

Someone earlier ran down a list of "other" sports that don't change the game for sake of the amateur vs pro player. However they're only citing what supports their argument. Pro golf courses are much longer and have thinner fairways and a par score remains the same. The hole may be the same size but it's placed in troublesome locations. These items were mentioned but for some reason the poster believes it doesn't make the game harder. Drop a 30 handicap on a course set up for pros from the black tees and see how they score. Probably as well as a APA 5 does a Diamond table with 4" pockets. Baseball fields are larger, the ball moves faster, and amateurs don't have to hit over 4 story walls 400yrds away. Tennis is a competitive sport. Players hit harder with more accuracy and your ability to succeed is directly proportional to the ability of the other player.
If the reason for much tighter pockets is for the cream to rise to the top, I argue that the cream will rise to the top regardless of pocket size. The cream will eventually find a way to win (maybe after some adjustment). But with much tighter pockets, you simply make the game slower, more painful to watch, and something that resembles pool played on Chinese tables.
You're 100% right. The cream will always rise. However in the pro game there are varying grades of cream. Making the table more difficult adds a filter to subpar play. How many times in the past have we seen top players eek through the first few rounds with subpar play..? ..only to wake up later on and win an event. Used to happen all the time. Now those same players will be eliminated in short order and we gain the benefit of new winners.

We're acting like every rack has 12 innings. While more missing does happen and safe play has become a more viable option. We're not running days behind on schedules.
If it were entirely up to me, for pro events I'd keep 4.5" pockets and switch to 12-ball.
I'd like to see 4.25" become the standard personally. With a tightening to 4" for true "majors". Not just every event MR hosts.
 
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iusedtoberich

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
The cream would rise to the top if it was 3-ball carnival game on 6” buckets, or 15 ball rotation on 4” diamond pockets. It makes no difference.

This particular event where the last couple of players were a notch below is probably within the statistical probability of it happening.

The root question imo should be what makes the game most exciting to viewers.

9 ball pool imo is way more exciting than Snooker, on the game level itself. I think the only reason snooker has a following is Barry Hearn. If he had chosen 9 ball 40 years ago the two sports would probably be reversed right now. And snooker organizers today may have been looking at ways to make the pockets more for aggressive play.
 

shooter_Hans

Well-known member
You want to lessen the amount of ball
The cream would rise to the top if it was 3-ball carnival game on 6” buckets, or 15 ball rotation on 4” diamond pockets. It makes no difference.

This particular event where the last couple of players were a notch below is probably within the statistical probability of it happening.

The root question imo should be what makes the game most exciting to viewers.

9 ball pool imo is way more exciting than Snooker, on the game level itself. I think the only reason snooker has a following is Barry Hearn. If he had chosen 9 ball 40 years ago the two sports would probably be reversed right now. And snooker organizers today may have been looking at ways to make the pockets more for aggressive play.
Please don't change snooker. Its very impressive what these guys are doing on the snooker table.
 

Cameron Smith

is kind of hungry...
Silver Member
9 ball pool imo is way more exciting than Snooker, on the game level itself. I think the only reason snooker has a following is Barry Hearn. If he had chosen 9 ball 40 years ago the two sports would probably be reversed right now. And snooker organizers today may have been looking at ways to make the pockets more for aggressive play.
Barry’s main contribution to snooker in the early years was promoting his players. He was a player manager until they started promoting snooker events later. But snooker had exploded when matchroom was essentially just Barry and Steve Davis.
 
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