Stroke like the greats?

wagdad

Yup, I'm that Guy.
Silver Member
Hello AZB'rs. I've been a member for awhile now, I dont have many posts. But dont let that fool ya, I figure you have 2 ears 2 eyes and 1 mouth, so if your running 1 the other 2 dont work so well! My enquiry is, how did the "old schoolers " have such a tremendous stroke? By old schoolers, I'm referring to the greats. Eddie Taylor, Luther Lassiter, Mosconi, Balsis and many others from times past. I watch old videos when I can find them and to see these guys in their 70's and older, just put a stroke on a ball for position or a long bank shot and do it with such accuracy amazes me! Now, I'm no pro or even a "good" player, I've won against a couple retired pros and a few state champs here n there, but they made money at the game. Enough to live on! I cant even afford to bet a double shot of good scotch! So if anyone knows how those great players of the past did what they did so well, I'd love to hear it. I love learning new things and passing it on to other players.
 

straightline

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Loose pockets, fuzzy cloth, standing up higher for a better view and leverage, defense wasn't the major priority it is today. The field favored "shooters" They had to shoot harder by default anyway.

Next...
 

BC21

Poolology
Gold Member
Silver Member
Hello AZB'rs. I've been a member for awhile now, I dont have many posts. But dont let that fool ya, I figure you have 2 ears 2 eyes and 1 mouth, so if your running 1 the other 2 dont work so well! My enquiry is, how did the "old schoolers " have such a tremendous stroke? By old schoolers, I'm referring to the greats. Eddie Taylor, Luther Lassiter, Mosconi, Balsis and many others from times past. I watch old videos when I can find them and to see these guys in their 70's and older, just put a stroke on a ball for position or a long bank shot and do it with such accuracy amazes me! Now, I'm no pro or even a "good" player, I've won against a couple retired pros and a few state champs here n there, but they made money at the game. Enough to live on! I cant even afford to bet a double shot of good scotch! So if anyone knows how those great players of the past did what they did so well, I'd love to hear it. I love learning new things and passing it on to other players.


I love all the greats, but I don't believe the greats of the past were any better than the greats of today as far as stroking powerful shots. I mean, when it comes to stroke and acquired skill, the greatest players today are no less (or no more) incredible than the greatest players of the past.
 
Last edited:

FranCrimi

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Slow cloth. I started playing right at the end of the slow cloth era and if you wanted to survive in a pool room, you had to know how to hit the cue ball with authority and not hold back. Even in pro tournaments during those days, on brand new cloth, it wouldn't take very long for the cloth so slow down. They used to bring out an iron and iron the tables in between rounds just to get the nap down.

Try to imagine what it must have been like to play in a pool room in the hot and humid summer on slow cloths with no a/c. That's how those guys grew up playing. Only the strong survive in those conditions.
 

BilliardsAbout

BondFanEvents.com
Silver Member
Hello AZB'rs. I've been a member for awhile now, I dont have many posts. But dont let that fool ya, I figure you have 2 ears 2 eyes and 1 mouth, so if your running 1 the other 2 dont work so well! My enquiry is, how did the "old schoolers " have such a tremendous stroke? By old schoolers, I'm referring to the greats. Eddie Taylor, Luther Lassiter, Mosconi, Balsis and many others from times past. I watch old videos when I can find them and to see these guys in their 70's and older, just put a stroke on a ball for position or a long bank shot and do it with such accuracy amazes me! Now, I'm no pro or even a "good" player, I've won against a couple retired pros and a few state champs here n there, but they made money at the game. Enough to live on! I cant even afford to bet a double shot of good scotch! So if anyone knows how those great players of the past did what they did so well, I'd love to hear it. I love learning new things and passing it on to other players.

First thought that comes to mind--playing on slow tables with slower cloth. You have to develop a power stroke to gain position!
 

Island Drive

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Early yrs

With the pockets larger, and the play surface much slower, the equipment demanded the player develop this type of swing to ''get around'' the table.

When the faster non directional cloths were introduced, especially when the 760 speedo type cloth came out at it's inception, it changed play and the game dramatically. This cloth was not liked by good players, and they had to tone down their swing ALLOT.

This equipment change allowed players with very little stroke to get around the play surface.

Now with the ld shafts and different cloths than the earlier Simonis, play styles again had to adjust.

No different that playing tennis on different surfaces and developing your play to fit the court makeup.
 
  • Like
Reactions: bbb

measureman

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Slow cloth. I started playing right at the end of the slow cloth era and if you wanted to survive in a pool room, you had to know how to hit the cue ball with authority and not hold back. Even in pro tournaments during those days, on brand new cloth, it wouldn't take very long for the cloth so slow down. They used to bring out an iron and iron the tables in between rounds just to get the nap down.

Try to imagine what it must have been like to play in a pool room in the hot and humid summer on slow cloths with no a/c. That's how those guys grew up playing. Only the strong survive in those conditions.

I learned to play on slow cloth and clay balls.
You had to power up on 14.1 break shots.
I ran 100 balls with that cloth and balls.
And a bunch of 30 and 40's and a few more.
Know why?
Because I didn't know any better.
 

Bob Jewett

AZB Osmium Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
... Try to imagine what it must have been like to play in a pool room in the hot and humid summer on slow cloths with no a/c. That's how those guys grew up playing. ... .
And before air conditioning was common, championships were never held during the summer. The big league championships in Vegas in July would be pretty interesting if the A/C failed. :eek:

Willie Mosconi won all of his 19 championships between October and May. But not in the same year.:wink:
 

BC21

Poolology
Gold Member
Silver Member
And before air conditioning was common, championships were never held during the summer. The big league championships in Vegas in July would be pretty interesting if the A/C failed. :eek:

Willie Mosconi won all of his 19 championships between October and May. But not in the same year.:wink:

Yep....June, July, and August were not pool player months.

Even with air conditioning as good as it is nowadays, I'm glad the BCA League Championship tournament in Vegas has moved to March -- much more comfortable temperatures.
 

Island Drive

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
No A/C?

And before air conditioning was common, championships were never held during the summer. The big league championships in Vegas in July would be pretty interesting if the A/C failed. :eek:

Willie Mosconi won all of his 19 championships between October and May. But not in the same year.:wink:

Bob, what was the location and time of yr for Mosconi's high run?
 

FranCrimi

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Pool rooms didn't shut their doors during the summer months. People still played through the summer, even though the major tournaments may have taken place in the cooler months. Matching up didn't come to a grinding halt in the summer months.

But no doubt, it was tough playing in the summer. I remember one year playing in a WPBA regional event in New Jersey. The temp was 101 in the shade that day and the pool room a/c went out in the middle of the tournament. Some players went home but most of us stuck it out. It was the most challenging playing conditions I've ever experienced. I wound up taking off my shoes and socks, rolled up my pants above my knees. Sweat was pouring from my face on to my cue. It was dripping into my eyes and causing them to sting and become blurry. My hands were stuck to my cue. Powder was useless. I'm glad I experienced it but I wouldn't want to go through that again.
 
Last edited:

MattPoland

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I think it is rare for a top pro today to need to open their stroke full throttle. Every now and then you see it and that ball goes flying. I think the slower cloth back in the day meant players had to pull it out more often. But I’m certain if today’s pros needed to on that felt, it’d be there for them.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
 

Bob Jewett

AZB Osmium Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
... I remember one year playing in a WPBA regional event in New Jersey. The temp was 101 in the shade that day and the pool room a/c went out in the middle of the tournament. ...
Kind of like the US Snooker Championship one year in Houston. It was at the end of May which sounds like it ought to be OK, but it was Houston. The air conditioner stopped about half way through. It was decided that the players didn't have to wear dress shirts, vests and ties until the air conditioner was fixed.
 

FranCrimi

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I think it is rare for a top pro today to need to open their stroke full throttle. Every now and then you see it and that ball goes flying. I think the slower cloth back in the day meant players had to pull it out more often. But I’m certain if today’s pros needed to on that felt, it’d be there for them.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

I think the top pros today welcome the opportunity to let their stroke out. I think it's what separates the top players from the rest. I call fast cloths the great equalizers because they take away a huge edge that the better players have over the weaker players.--- Even at the pro level, I often wonder if some would cut it as pros if the cloths were the old style.
 

3kushn

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I thought this question was going to lead to:
How did these players develop such great strokes without coaching?"
Of course there were good friendships made and tit for tat trading of stuff and such. But my understanding is back in those days knowledge was kept close to the vest, particularly Depression Days when many of the "commonly known" Greats rose to the top.

Thinking it further, a better question for historical sake is, Who coached Who. Who from the 20's or 30's coached the greats of the 40's or 50's.

If there were few to none giving up "secrets", then of the millions of players of those days, we're admiring just a few that had to figure it all out with only their grit and determination. Some of that was just to survive. The cream that rose to the top.
 
Last edited:

Bob Jewett

AZB Osmium Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
I thought this question was going to lead to:
How did these players develop such great strokes without coaching?"
Of course there were good friendships made and tit for tat trading of stuff and such. But my understanding is back in those days knowledge was kept close to the vest, particularly Depression Days when many of the "commonly known" Greats rose to the top.

Thinking it further, a better question for historical sake is, Who coached Who. Who from the 20's or 30's coached the greats of the 40's or 50's.

If there were few to none giving up "secrets", then of the millions of players of those days, we're admiring just a few that had to figure it all out with only their grit and determination. Some of that was just to survive. The cream that rose to the top.
Hoppe is said to have had help from Maurice Daly. Hard to say how much. Cochran got clear, explicit, lengthy training from Lanson Perkins according to stories written and oral. I heard that Perkins changed him from side-arm to orthodox pendulum and dead straight through.
 

garczar

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
And before air conditioning was common, championships were never held during the summer. The big league championships in Vegas in July would be pretty interesting if the A/C failed. :eek:

Willie Mosconi won all of his 19 championships between October and May. But not in the same year.:wink:
C'mon Bob, we all all know Vegas is a "dry heat". At least that's what they all like to say. ;)
 

BC21

Poolology
Gold Member
Silver Member
C'mon Bob, we all all know Vegas is a "dry heat". At least that's what they all like to say. ;)

Lmao! I remember my first time stepping out of an air conditioned casino at midnight. It was about 107° outside. Sweat beads appeared on our faces as we waited on a ride, and my contact lenses felt like they were started to shrivel up. I heard someone say, "at least it's dry heat", but that didn't make my eyeballs feel any better.
 

3kushn

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Hoppe is said to have had help from Maurice Daly. Hard to say how much. Cochran got clear, explicit, lengthy training from Lanson Perkins according to stories written and oral. I heard that Perkins changed him from side-arm to orthodox pendulum and dead straight through.

I heard Hoppe was tight lipped.
Wonder if its true?
 
Top