Today's pro level versus the pros of 1986

Eric.

Club a member
Silver Member
While comparing players from different eras can be a bit subjective, I thought it was interesting comparing the Accu Stats numbers from 1986 vs today. While it's not a huge gap, there is a notable difference in overall scores. If I had to guess, I would say today's top players are winning tournaments at a rating .050 higher than the guys from years ago?

http://sfbilliards.com/accustats/V2_N04.pdf (courtesy of Bob Jewett)


Eric
 
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8cree

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
While comparing players from different eras can be a bit subjective, I thought it was interesting comparing the Accu Stats numbers from 1986 vs today. While it's not a huge gap, there is a notable difference in overall scores. If I had to guess, I would say today's top players are winning tournaments at a rating .050 higher than the guys from years ago?

http://sfbilliards.com/accustats/V2_N04.pdf (courtesy of Bob Jewett)


Eric

AtLarge should along shortly to give confirmation. :cool:

That link is an wonderful flashback to read through. Thanks!
 
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Pangit

Banned
While comparing players from different eras can be a bit subjective, I thought it was interesting comparing the Accu Stats numbers from 1986 vs today. While it's not a huge gap, there is a notable difference in overall scores. If I had to guess, I would say today's top players are winning tournaments at a rating .050 higher than the guys from years ago?

http://sfbilliards.com/accustats/V2_N04.pdf (courtesy of Bob Jewett)


Eric
capture-20180122-212024-300x171.png



Who is Rudolf Wanderone?
 

garczar

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
IMO the biggest difference is in the kicking game. Until Efren came along you saw most guys kicking just to hit and avoid BIH. Once ER showed up in '85 the kicking became much more focused and important to success. I don't think current players shoot any better but kicking(and jumping) are much bigger part.
 

sjm

Sweating it at Derby City
Silver Member
Apples to oranges. Speaking as somebody who sometimes kept the stats for Pat Fleming in the late 1980's, Accu-stats were computed very differently back then and there were more deductions based on defense and kicking success or failure. Accu-stats were simplified in the 1990's and now primarily represent one's level of offensive efficiency.

No doubt, today's players shoot straighter than those of 1986. Still, the ten straightest shooters back then (for the sake of argument, Mike Sigel, Nick Varner, Earl Strickland, Buddy Hall, Efren Reyes, Jose Parica, Jim Rempe, Steve Mizerak, Allen Hopkins and Ray Martin) shot about as straight as today's top ten, but todays top fifty as a group are far better than the top fifty back then. The standard has risen quite a bit as there are far more good players.

Accu-stats won't tell the story in full, but the eye test confirms that the pros as a group are far more skilled than their counterparts of 1986. I think to say they shoot 50 Accu-stats points higher is misleading.
 

poolguy4u

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
.



More good players today because of better and easier equipment.

Tables roll more true and faster today. In the old days we needed to hit 'em hard.


Now we have the magic shafts where you don't have to aim or spin the cue ball.

Cues today play better than the old days. Cue balls play better today than the old days.






.
 

TATE

AzB Gold Mensch
Gold Member
Silver Member
No doubt, today's players shoot straighter than those of 1986. Still, the ten straightest shooters back then (for the sake of argument, Mike Sigel, Nick Varner, Earl Strickland, Buddy Hall, Efren Reyes, Jose Parica, Jim Rempe, Steve Mizerak, Allen Hopkins and Ray Martin) shot about as straight as today's top ten, but todays top fifty as a group are far better than the top fifty back then. The standard has risen quite a bit as there are far more good players.

I agree - the expansion of pool as an international sport has brought the game to a new (and exciting) level. The equipment is improved, the pockets have generally been tightened up a bit and the games require an expanded skill set.

Like all sports, today's pool players are better than ever. Their knowledge and skills surpass their predecessors. But, if you took talents like Mizerak or Mosconi and let them learn and adjust to the modern game, I am sure they would be champions in any era. These guys were ball pocketing machines, played extremely well under pressure at one of the most difficult games to master (14.1) and learned the hard way that any mistake at any moment could be fatal.
 

nine_ball6970

585 speed drunk
Silver Member
.888 for an entire tournament is strong. Sigel's best match was rated at .956.

I'd imagine the best of today might shoot .910-.920 for an entire tournament.

Conditions may play a part as well. Equipment is much more consistent today than it was then.

The Fargos for players who crossed eras are close to today. Earl and Efren still in the 790 range a couple years ago. Earl's average for the tournament listed was .777 I believe.
 

JoeyInCali

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Weaker by today's standards of course.
They had stock Gold Crown 3 then too.
Or Gandy or Murray. Much more forgiving but the cloth was slower.

Found Tor Lowry's name on the list. Did not know he played pro-ball.
 

Cornerman

Cue Author...Sometimes
Gold Member
Silver Member
One thing to also consider is the change in cloth. I know for a scrub like me, the game became much easier when going from Mali cloth to Simonis. I think that with easier equipment, better players even get better.
 

Texas Carom Club

play 1cushion & balkline
Silver Member
When were “heated” carom and snooker tables introduced?

its said to have heated carom tables since the 1800s


from wikipedia

Heated slate
The slate bed of a billiard table is often heated to about 5 °C (9 °F) above room temperature, which helps to keep moisture out of the cloth to aid the balls rolling and rebounding in a consistent manner, and generally makes a table play faster. A heated table is required under international tournament rules. It is an especially important requirement for the games of three-cushion billiards and artistic billiards, and even local billiard halls often have this feature in countries where carom games are popular. Heating table beds is an old practice. Queen Victoria (lived 1819–1901) had a billiard table that was heated using zinc tubes, although the aim at that time was chiefly to keep the then-used ivory balls from warping. The first use of electric heating was for an 18.2 balkline tournament held in December 1927 between Welker Cochran and Jacob Schaefer Jr.[1] The New York Times announced it with fanfare: "For the first time in the history of world's championship balkline billiards a heated table will be used ..."[1][11]
 
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ShootingArts

Smorg is giving St Peter the 7!
Gold Member
Silver Member
Johnny Archer

Apples to oranges. Speaking as somebody who sometimes kept the stats for Pat Fleming in the late 1980's, Accu-stats were computed very differently back then and there were more deductions based on defense and kicking success or failure. Accu-stats were simplified in the 1990's and now primarily represent one's level of offensive efficiency.

No doubt, today's players shoot straighter than those of 1986. Still, the ten straightest shooters back then (for the sake of argument, Mike Sigel, Nick Varner, Earl Strickland, Buddy Hall, Efren Reyes, Jose Parica, Jim Rempe, Steve Mizerak, Allen Hopkins and Ray Martin) shot about as straight as today's top ten, but todays top fifty as a group are far better than the top fifty back then. The standard has risen quite a bit as there are far more good players.

Accu-stats won't tell the story in full, but the eye test confirms that the pros as a group are far more skilled than their counterparts of 1986. I think to say they shoot 50 Accu-stats points higher is misleading.


I was thinking about it last night for some reason. Seems like Johnny is comparatively forgotten now.

I do agree with you, much more level fields now. Pro, amateur, all areas. Partially it is better quality equipment everywhere but I do believe that the internet has spread knowledge far and wide too. Of course all the people trying to survive putting information out there.

It used to be that knowledge was hard to come by. An old player or two took a liking to a younger player or you watched the old players, maybe you hit that million balls. Now vast knowledge is available under $100. Of course you have to know what to buy and some of that knowledge is half-vast.

I do think the best of yesteryear would be in much the same places today but might not have quite the records they compiled in a different era just because of the dilution of fields today.

In local play, that one-eyed man had a huge edge in '86! The blind were everywhere. They had seen The Color of Money. All it took was a cheap pool stick and an alias or three to be a hustler making money right and left! A person just a little more skilled was definitely in a target rich environment. No need to hustle, they would come to you.

The skill levels were more stratified years ago it seems to me. A big gap between levels, Now they all blur together B and above it seems. My thoughts anyway.

Hu
 

jasonlaus

Rep for Smorg
Gold Member
Silver Member
.



More good players today because of better and easier equipment.

Tables roll more true and faster today. In the old days we needed to hit 'em hard.


Now we have the magic shafts where you don't have to aim or spin the cue ball.

Cues today play better than the old days. Cue balls play better today than the old days.






.


You also had 5" pockets.
 

rossaroni

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
Like all sports, today's pool players are better than ever. Their knowledge and skills surpass their predecessors. But, if you took talents like Mizerak or Mosconi and let them learn and adjust to the modern game, I am sure they would be champions in any era. These guys were ball pocketing machines, played extremely well under pressure at one of the most difficult games to master (14.1) and learned the hard way that any mistake at any moment could be fatal.

I agree. A champion in a past era, would more then likely be a champion in any era.

I believe that if you were able to transport a player from the 80’s to today, they would not have much of a chance. This goes with just about every sport. Technology and knowledge is just so much more today. I love the players of the older generations, but if you watch 9 ball matches from the 80’s, I believe you will easily see some big differences....mostly the break and kicking game.

It amazing how often this conversation comes up. I have nothing but respect for the older generations of athletes, but sports evolve, just like most things in life. For example, I am posting this from my phone.....20 years ago, I was playing ‘snake’ on my Nokia phone, and that was high tech back then. :)

I often like to mention Jesse Owens in this conversation. His fastest times would not even be somewhat close to the fastest times today. Based just on his times, he would not even make it to the Olympics, let alone being one of the greatest Olympian of all time. Good thing we can take everything into account, and base the greatness of athletes on how great they were in their era.
 

hang-the-9

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
While comparing players from different eras can be a bit subjective, I thought it was interesting comparing the Accu Stats numbers from 1986 vs today. While it's not a huge gap, there is a notable difference in overall scores. If I had to guess, I would say today's top players are winning tournaments at a rating .050 higher than the guys from years ago?

http://sfbilliards.com/accustats/V2_N04.pdf (courtesy of Bob Jewett)


Eric

After a lot of watching matches and talking to pros old and young, I think the last 10,15 years of pro players were overall stronger than the 80s and 90s players, and probably in any decade before. Sloppy tables, cheaper ball sets, larger pockets, 9 balls flying in or being left for early combos due to loose racks, all those factors made pool easier. Now the standard pro game is played on 4.5" pockets or smaller in pretty much every tournament, along with tight racks which makes making the 9 much harder. In a lot of the older matches it was not rare to see the 9 go in the corner several times a set, or hang up near the corner for an easy win, which would inflate the stats. I think if you took the top 10 current players vs the top 10 players from 20+ years ago and set them up in a Mosconi like multi day event, the modern players would have a clear edge.

I talked to Ralph Soquet not too long ago when he was in the area doing lessons and asked him the same thing, he agreed that current players are stronger, and this is coming from a guy who was around all the best players back in the day.
 
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