Using "Center Ball" - is it good advice or a hidden disadvantage?

HawaiianEye

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Sorry if it’s embedded in one of the 11 pages of this thread, but regarding “edge of the tip”, how does the tip shape (nickel vs dime) come into consideration, if at all? Or is this a naive question? (In my pool playing progression I’m still trying to determine if I like nickel or dime better; I’m definitely leaning toward dime.)
I prefer nickel.
 

CJ Wiley

ESPN WORLD OPEN CHAMPION
Gold Member
Silver Member
Sorry if it’s embedded in one of the 11 pages of this thread, but regarding “edge of the tip”, how does the tip shape (nickel vs dime) come into consideration, if at all? Or is this a naive question? (In my pool playing progression I’m still trying to determine if I like nickel or dime better; I’m definitely leaning toward dime.)
It's personal preference because it really doesn't matter.

The story I told was about practicing with Buddy Hall at Bakers Billiards in Tampa one day. I had just got a new tip and ask Buddy that same question, "Buddy, should I shape this tip like a dime or a nickel" - Buddy smiled, with a twinkle in his eye said "It don't matter, CJ, you play the game with the edge, not the center!"

I thought he was being kind of cryptic in his response (which usually means there's a deeper meaning when coming from someone like Buddy Hall), but the more I watched him effortlessly move his cue ball around the table the more I could see he was clearly using the edge. The way you do this is with the angle of your cue, you'll notice all the Filipinos for example cue the ball low on every shot, Bustamante cues a few inches to the cloth Behind the cue ball. They don't draw the cueball on every shot, what they are doing is using the top Edge of their cue.

This is another reason that using "center ball," and a level cue aren't prudent when trying to play at your highest level. There's more reasons, but hopefully you can experiment with this part, let me know how it went and I'll be glad to give you another suggestion that will enhance it more.

The Game is the Teacher
 

boogieman

It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that ping.
It's personal preference because it really doesn't matter.

The story I told was about practicing with Buddy Hall at Bakers Billiards in Tampa one day. I had just got a new tip and ask Buddy that same question, "Buddy, should I shape this tip like a dime or a nickel" - Buddy smiled, with a twinkle in his eye said "It don't matter, CJ, you play the game with the edge, not the center!"

I thought he was being kind of cryptic in his response (which usually means there's a deeper meaning when coming from someone like Buddy Hall), but the more I watched him effortlessly move his cue ball around the table the more I could see he was clearly using the edge. The way you do this is with the angle of your cue, you'll notice all the Filipinos for example cue the ball low on every shot, Bustamante cues a few inches to the cloth Behind the cue ball. They don't draw the cueball on every shot, what they are doing is using the top Edge of their cue.

This is another reason that using "center ball," and a level cue aren't prudent when trying to play at your highest level. There's more reasons, but hopefully you can experiment with this part, let me know how it went and I'll be glad to give you another suggestion that will enhance it more.

The Game is the Teacher

It's Pool Parable time. Let's talk shaving. Modern razors like the Gillette Fusion are easy to use and work good. They are beginner friendly and you can't cut yourself. They cost a lot of money for refills (CF shafts and unicorn bone chalk anyone?). An old fashioned straight razor will actually give you a better shave after you learn the tool, but you might cut your throat while learning. You never have to buy refills (though you might have to learn to hone it eventually). Once you master a straight razor, you won't shave with anything else. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

Playing on a razor's edge is the ultimate pool experience. I don't want training wheels on my game. Center ball, level cue, follow through is training wheels. I want to lean my bike into the curve and almost brush the foot pedal on the ground. Imagine how dull it would be to watch creative players like Reyes or Chohan if they only used center ball!

So do you want the latest do-dads, shaving with a 5 wide blade (center tip), or do you want to ride the razor's edge? 🤔
 

bbb

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
It's Pool Parable time. Let's talk shaving. Modern razors like the Gillette Fusion are easy to use and work good. They are beginner friendly and you can't cut yourself. They cost a lot of money for refills (CF shafts and unicorn bone chalk anyone?). An old fashioned straight razor will actually give you a better shave after you learn the tool, but you might cut your throat while learning. You never have to buy refills (though you might have to learn to hone it eventually). Once you master a straight razor, you won't shave with anything else. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

Playing on a razor's edge is the ultimate pool experience. I don't want training wheels on my game. Center ball, level cue, follow through is training wheels. I want to lean my bike into the curve and almost brush the foot pedal on the ground. Imagine how dull it would be to watch creative players like Reyes or Chohan if they only used center ball!

So do you want the latest do-dads, shaving with a 5 wide blade (center tip), or do you want to ride the razor's edge? 🤔
chohan and efren are using massive spin at times to do their magic
not a "touch"
 

boogieman

It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that ping.
chohan and efren are using massive spin at times to do their magic
not a "touch"
Definitely. Anyone whose mastered drawing when close to a rail understands the "magic" you can do with a jacked up cue. It's just a more extreme example than normal type shots.
 

CJ Wiley

ESPN WORLD OPEN CHAMPION
Gold Member
Silver Member
chohan and efren are using massive spin at times to do their magic
not a "touch"
They are demonstrating touch at a very high level, in one pocket it's necessary to change the angle, especially coming to a cushion after contact. I'll assure you when they play rotation games they don't spin their ball as much because they don't have to. I can spin the cueball as much as as accurately as anyone else, what I stress is developing a Master Shot that holds up under pressure, one you can count on so the cue ball does what you THINK - to do this it's essential to control the movement of the cueball at the highest level possible.
 

HawaiianEye

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
They are demonstrating touch at a very high level, in one pocket it's necessary to change the angle, especially coming to a cushion after contact. I'll assure you when they play rotation games they don't spin their ball as much because they don't have to. I can spin the cueball as much as as accurately as anyone else, what I stress is developing a Master Shot that holds up under pressure, one you can count on so the cue ball does what you THINK - to do this it's essential to control the movement of the cueball at the highest level possible.
I agree. I can spin the cue ball like a bat out of hell, but I choose not to unless it is absolutely necessary. I prefer to try to keep the cue ball “flat” and “keep it on a string”.

Nobody will ever understand TOI, unless they commit the time to actually try to understand it. Everybody is too fascinated with spin and trying to look cool. They will try TOI for about five minutes and then revert back to spinning.
 

CJ Wiley

ESPN WORLD OPEN CHAMPION
Gold Member
Silver Member
I agree. I can spin the cue ball like a bat out of hell, but I choose not to unless it is absolutely necessary. I prefer to try to keep the cue ball “flat” and “keep it on a string”.

Nobody will ever understand TOI, unless they commit the time to actually try to understand it. Everybody is too fascinated with spin and trying to look cool. They will try TOI for about five minutes and then revert back to spinning.
Yes, I remember when I used to watch Omaha John play, he used to say he had it "on a string," and would go for days and not make a position error. He told me "you have to make it float," so that's what I set my mind to do. At the time I didn't know that secret to the Touch of Inside so I started subconsciously hitting slightly to the inside on my last stroke.

Then in Florida an old man gave me another piece to the puzzle and it all started coming together. I needed a way to beat the best gamblers in the country on their home tables, which is a daunting task, however, when I stared dedicating to the TOI Style it gave me a distinct advantage because the longer I played a match the better it got.

This is a result of developing a "Master Shot," then if the table rolls off or is super tight it shows up even more because the pocket zone is bigger.

It's one thing about human nature, many people are comfortable with how they do things and even the thought of changing paradigms is terrifying. This is good for players like us, H.E. it naturally keeps the completion at the same level no matter how much they practice. Glad you're doing well, and enjoying the game, I've been playing more than ever, about to go take "dead aim" on a few gamblers.

The Game is the Teacher
 

Swighey

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
The "center ball" has been taught so long it became like an urban legend, same with the level cue and extended follow-through.

CJ, if you were up against Judd Trump in a long potting contest on a snooker table where the cue ball is a foot from one corner pocket and the object ball is a foot from the diagonally opposite pocket (straight or slightly angled - take your pick), he would beat you (and all of us). He'd be a favorite every time against Ronnie O'Sullivan for that particular contest. Even if the rules stated that he is not allowed to hit center ball and his opponent is, he would still beat all of us and also most elite amateur and pro snooker players most of the time.

Even if you were allowed to hit outside the center, you wouldn't because you would lose any hope of winning or making it a close contest. It's nothing like an urban legend - there is a reason for hitting center ball. Yes it's true that the best players rarely hit center ball on most shots but that's because there is a shot-specific reason for hitting where they hit. When these players hit outside of center they are not thinking of the actual center being shifted a touch to the inside of the physical center - they know where center ball is and their action on the ball is relative to that.

Some of the great players lean towards playing by physics, others by rote and learned (programmed) play, others by feel. Others lean towards all of those depending on the situation and type of shot. There are many good reasons for playing with what you call a "touch of inside" to help you make some shots.

Anyway, here's a question for you: in the hypothetical long potting contest against Judd Trump, would you play with a "touch of inside" or would you aim for center ball?
 

Swighey

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
If you have a match between two great players of equal skill level - and you restrict one player to only shoot the center of the cue ball, and the other can only use top; bottom; left and right english - I'd be willing to bet any amount of money that the player not hitting center cue will win.

I agree, but that's a different argument. A similar argument would could be made for a player shooting anything other than a touch of inside to a player shooting only with a touch of inside.

A better question, related directly to this topic would be "if you restrict one player to only shoot the center of the cue ball, and the other to only shoot with a touch of inside on every shot, who would win?"
 

CJ Wiley

ESPN WORLD OPEN CHAMPION
Gold Member
Silver Member
I agree, but that's a different argument. A similar argument would could be made for a player shooting anything other than a touch of inside to a player shooting only with a touch of inside.

A better question, related directly to this topic would be "if you restrict one player to only shoot the center of the cue ball, and the other to only shoot with a touch of inside on every shot, who would win?"
I can do anything with the cueball someone else can do with the Touch of Inside and they can use the entire cue ball. The exceptions are going to cushion after contact and curving the cue ball (obviously), or jacked up over another ball - there are things I can do they can't if their Fargo rating is under 700.
 

CJ Wiley

ESPN WORLD OPEN CHAMPION
Gold Member
Silver Member
CJ, if you were up against Judd Trump in a long potting contest on a snooker table where the cue ball is a foot from one corner pocket and the object ball is a foot from the diagonally opposite pocket (straight or slightly angled - take your pick), he would beat you (and all of us). He'd be a favorite every time against Ronnie O'Sullivan for that particular contest. Even if the rules stated that he is not allowed to hit center ball and his opponent is, he would still beat all of us and also most elite amateur and pro snooker players most of the time.

Even if you were allowed to hit outside the center, you wouldn't because you would lose any hope of winning or making it a close contest. It's nothing like an urban legend - there is a reason for hitting center ball. Yes it's true that the best players rarely hit center ball on most shots but that's because there is a shot-specific reason for hitting where they hit. When these players hit outside of center they are not thinking of the actual center being shifted a touch to the inside of the physical center - they know where center ball is and their action on the ball is relative to that.

Some of the great players lean towards playing by physics, others by rote and learned (programmed) play, others by feel. Others lean towards all of those depending on the situation and type of shot. There are many good reasons for playing with what you call a "touch of inside" to help you make some shots.

Anyway, here's a question for you: in the hypothetical long potting contest against Judd Trump, would you play with a "touch of inside" or would you aim for center ball?
I don't shoot straight in shots with TOI, but the Filipino players do, so I'm open to experimenting. I've had a few snooker players contact me through the years about the TOI used in snooker, but my snooker experience is just a few hours, I have ran over 80 several times and over 100 once on the 6/12 I had in my pool room. It's a great game, but not my area of expertise.
 

Gunn_Slinger

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
When it comes to drawing whitey, I defer to UJ Puckett. My old road partner
hooked up with UJ in Texas in the late 70's for about 3 months.
Albert was a good player having taken the 8 ball playing Billy Incardona and won playing 9 ball at Beenies in the middle 70's.
Albert won over $400 from a player that UJ put him on. In the car later,
UJ asked him a question ; 'do you walk backwards as well as you do foward ??' !
Albert , as most of us did in the 70's was drawing his rock way too much.
When he came back to Beenies, he had improved the '7' over his old speed
by following his rock more and using the rails.
Pushout forever !!! Yo BB ! lol
 

The_JV

Local_Pro
I don't shoot straight in shots with TOI, but the Filipino players do, so I'm open to experimenting. I've had a few snooker players contact me through the years about the TOI used in snooker, but my snooker experience is just a few hours, I have ran over 80 several times and over 100 once on the 6/12 I had in my pool room. It's a great game, but not my area of expertise.
Wow... surprised you didn't focus on snooker. In only a few hours of play time you managed 3-4 breaks over 80. You're easily the greatest player that ever lived. You could earn more in two seasons of snooker on the pro circuit, then a lifetime of playing pool in the U.S.
 

The_JV

Local_Pro
I can do anything with the cueball someone else can do with the Touch of Inside and they can use the entire cue ball. The exceptions are going to cushion after contact and curving the cue ball (obviously), or jacked up over another ball - there are things I can do they can't if their Fargo rating is under 700.
What about throwing the OB with what would normally require "outside" spin on the CB...?

I also can do anything with a center ball hit that other players can do using the whole ball. ...Unless of course it requires something other than a center ball hit.

FWIW, I have no fargo rating
 

8BALL EDDIE

Member
I agree, but that's a different argument. A similar argument would could be made for a player shooting anything other than a touch of inside to a player shooting only with a touch of inside.

A better question, related directly to this topic would be "if you restrict one player to only shoot the center of the cue ball, and the other to only shoot with a touch of inside on every shot, who would win?"

I respectfully disagree.

The topic was created with the 'center cue ball theory' as its main point. The title and main question posed asked whether using center cue ball was "...good advice or a hidden disadvantage?"
Therefore, my input was focused on center cue ball -vs- non-center cue ball.
If you go back and thoroughly read my entry, you will see, it was laid out fairly clearly.

So, again...
If you have a match between two great players of equal skill level - and you restrict one player to only shoot the center of the cue ball, and the other can only use top; bottom; left and right english - I'd be willing to bet any amount of money that the player not hitting center cue will win.
 

Matt_24

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
When it comes to drawing whitey, I defer to UJ Puckett. My old road partner
hooked up with UJ in Texas in the late 70's for about 3 months.
Albert was a good player having taken the 8 ball playing Billy Incardona and won playing 9 ball at Beenies in the middle 70's.
Albert won over $400 from a player that UJ put him on. In the car later,
UJ asked him a question ; 'do you walk backwards as well as you do foward ??' !
Albert , as most of us did in the 70's was drawing his rock way too much.
When he came back to Beenies, he had improved the '7' over his old speed
by following his rock more and using the rails.
Pushout forever !!! Yo BB ! lol
Clay, how come you never tell any stories about how good I played when we were on the road? huh??
 

CJ Wiley

ESPN WORLD OPEN CHAMPION
Gold Member
Silver Member
Wow... surprised you didn't focus on snooker. In only a few hours of play time you managed 3-4 breaks over 80. You're easily the greatest player that ever lived. You could earn more in two seasons of snooker on the pro circuit, then a lifetime of playing pool in the U.S.
I'd say a lot of champion pool players can run over 80 if they play a couple of days. My game adapts to snooker well, I used to play on a snooker table (5/10) with pool balls to sharpen up. I ran over 43 balls playing 9 ball with break, ball in hand one time playing the ghost and ran 27 racks in a row in Atlanta on a table called "Jaws" with 4" pockets.......I have no illusions of being the greatest player that ever lived, but probably made long shots, especially off the rail with pin point position as well as anyone.
 

CJ Wiley

ESPN WORLD OPEN CHAMPION
Gold Member
Silver Member
What about throwing the OB with what would normally require "outside" spin on the CB...?

I also can do anything with a center ball hit that other players can do using the whole ball. ...Unless of course it requires something other than a center ball hit.

FWIW, I have no fargo rating
There's no reason to "throw" the balls with outside instead of a touch of inside. If you have to curve, or swerve the cue ball that's different, you must use spin otherwise the touch of inside cuts all shots slightly thinner anyway.
 

The_JV

Local_Pro
There's no reason to "throw" the balls with outside instead of a touch of inside. If you have to curve, or swerve the cue ball that's different, you must use spin otherwise the touch of inside cuts all shots slightly thinner anyway.
I wasn't talking about swerving the CB. I meant opening up an angle on a shot that can't be hit normally by hitting throwing the OB with CB outside spin. This cannot be done with inside.
 
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