Weird things players do .....

tim913

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I watched an old guy practicing the other day and he wasn't that bad a player, but I noticed that when he practiced his draw shots he would move his grip forward on the cue and drop his elbow following the stroke. I talked to him about it later and he said that when he was younger an old 'hustler' showed him a 'secret'. He said most people try to keep a level cue through the shot, which he agrees with on most shots, but not on the draw shot. He said that by moving his grip hand forward that the tip of the cue is actually traveling towards the cloth when it makes contact with the CB, like elevating the butt of the cue without actually having to elevate it. He then has to drop his elbow to get a comfortable finish. I've seen other players do different things depending on the shot like using a different finger, on the grip hand, to rest their cue on if it was a long shot versus one close up, but this is the first I've seen with the grip hand forward on a draw shot.

Please don't try to correct my draw shot, as I am quite happy with my stroke and would not change it. I'm just pointing out some weird things I've seen player's do and if it ups their confidence in a particular shot then who am I to try to change it.

Anyone else have any 'weird but true' RELEVANT stories they'd like to share?
 

easy-e

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Dude I played in a tournament last month had 4 pieces of chalk. He'd pick all of them up and roll them around in his hand while he was figuring out what he wanted to do. Then he'd set them on the rail. He left his chalks on the table when it wasn't his turn. Never bothered me, but it did make me wonder...
 

Patrick Johnson

Fish of the Day
Silver Member
He said that by moving his grip hand forward that the tip of the cue is actually traveling towards the cloth when it makes contact with the CB, like elevating the butt of the cue without actually having to elevate it.
Whatever works for him, but stroking the tip downward only improves certain draw shots - those that need the steepest possible draw angle. Other draw shots, especially long ones that need lots of draw, work best with a level stick.

pj
chgo
 

Cuedup

Active member
I played a session of APA 8 ball and the team I was on was mostly younger players at lower skill levels.
I noticed one of the guys, after his turn shooting, never looked at the table or watched his opponent. Most times he would have his back turned.
When I asked him about it he said it was because shooting bad was contagious. Misses breeds misses...... and he didnt want to start shooting bad and missing shots just because his opponent did.

I tried to explain that it was important to watch the table develop, watch your opponent and to be able to identify fouls but it did no good. He'll stay a 4 for the foreseeable future.
 

Bob Jewett

AZB Osmium Member
Staff member
Gold Member
Silver Member
Does "air stroking" count as a weird and useless affectation? ;)

Wrapping a paper towel around the stick in the bridge hand. This actually works pretty well but looks goofy.

Bill Hawkins was a top US 3-C player. He played side spin with a lot of swoop across the ball.

I'd put slip stroke in the weird and useless category, but others seem to like it.

Holding a piece of chalk at all times in the bridge hand. Lou Butera use to do this for speed.

Using inside english on nearly every shot. A friend of mine said it was much easier to aim shots like this. Of course, position suffers.

As noted above, I have also seen a player who intentionally looked anywhere but at the table when seated. I've been tempted to do that for opponents I just can't bear to watch, and maybe that's why he did it, but it is also distracting to some opponents.

Lassiter used to nap when seated.

I've told about "Hotel Al" before. He was in the bottom quarter of players in a local handicapped nine ball league. He was unique among his equals in realizing that he didn't play runouts as well as Earl. He knew there was no percentage in his making the 1, 2 or 3. He would try to ride the nine (smash a ball towards the nine hoping for luck) on most of his shots. When/if he played to pocket a low ball, it would be to maybe get position on a smash-and-pray shot.
 

fastone371

Certifiable
Silver Member
I played a session of APA 8 ball and the team I was on was mostly younger players at lower skill levels.
I noticed one of the guys, after his turn shooting, never looked at the table or watched his opponent. Most times he would have his back turned.
When I asked him about it he said it was because shooting bad was contagious. Misses breeds misses...... and he didnt want to start shooting bad and missing shots just because his opponent did.

I tried to explain that it was important to watch the table develop, watch your opponent and to be able to identify fouls but it did no good. He'll stay a 4 for the foreseeable future.
Wouldnt making good shots also breed making good shots by the same token???? :ROFLMAO: :ROFLMAO: :ROFLMAO:
I have known a couple of guys that would only shoot a couple of shots while practicing, they didnt want to use up all of their good shots practicing was the best explanation I could get. I wonder if I can "bank" those good shots and withdraw them when needed????:ROFLMAO:
 

middleofnowhere

Registered
I watched an old guy practicing the other day and he wasn't that bad a player, but I noticed that when he practiced his draw shots he would move his grip forward on the cue and drop his elbow following the stroke. I talked to him about it later and he said that when he was younger an old 'hustler' showed him a 'secret'. He said most people try to keep a level cue through the shot, which he agrees with on most shots, but not on the draw shot. He said that by moving his grip hand forward that the tip of the cue is actually traveling towards the cloth when it makes contact with the CB, like elevating the butt of the cue without actually having to elevate it. He then has to drop his elbow to get a comfortable finish. I've seen other players do different things depending on the shot like using a different finger, on the grip hand, to rest their cue on if it was a long shot versus one close up, but this is the first I've seen with the grip hand forward on a draw shot.

Please don't try to correct my draw shot, as I am quite happy with my stroke and would not change it. I'm just pointing out some weird things I've seen player's do and if it ups their confidence in a particular shot then who am I to try to change it.

Anyone else have any 'weird but true' RELEVANT stories they'd like to share?
I think you may have learned something, don't give unsolicited advice mind your own business. After years of beinging in the pool room business I never bothered people about how they played unless they asked.

As to your last comment. Watch every Philippine player, they are a pool instructors nightmare. They appear to do everything wrong. If you are sitting table side watching Efren play. If he is shooting in your direction he doesn't even look like he is going to hit the cueball.

Parica aims at the bottom of the cueball on every shot no matter what he is doing. Hall does that quite a bit as well. Forgot about Busti, his stroke is all over the place.

Then you have Hopkins who takes no strokes at all just a jab. Lassiter did much the same. His tip would move back and forth about an inch before taking one last back stroke.

Jimmy Moore with his slip stroke, Lou Butera running around the table not even seeming to even aim.

No beginner should probably ever emulate players with weird habit's. What works for them doesn't make it right.
I think Ray Martin may be the most fundementaly perfect player I have ever seen, Toby Sweet as well.
 

tim913

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Does "air stroking" count as a weird and useless affectation? ;)

Wrapping a paper towel around the stick in the bridge hand. This actually works pretty well but looks goofy.

Bill Hawkins was a top US 3-C player. He played side spin with a lot of swoop across the ball.

I'd put slip stroke in the weird and useless category, but others seem to like it.

Holding a piece of chalk at all times in the bridge hand. Lou Butera use to do this for speed.

Using inside english on nearly every shot. A friend of mine said it was much easier to aim shots like this. Of course, position suffers.

As noted above, I have also seen a player who intentionally looked anywhere but at the table when seated. I've been tempted to do that for opponents I just can't bear to watch, and maybe that's why he did it, but it is also distracting to some opponents.

Lassiter used to nap when seated.

I've told about "Hotel Al" before. He was in the bottom quarter of players in a local handicapped nine ball league. He was unique among his equals in realizing that he didn't play runouts as well as Earl. He knew there was no percentage in his making the 1, 2 or 3. He would try to ride the nine (smash a ball towards the nine hoping for luck) on most of his shots. When/if he played to pocket a low ball, it would be to maybe get position on a smash-and-pray shot.
I've seen the swooping across the ball, and a pro who would use what looked like the old finger trap between the fingers of his bridge hand instead of a paper towel to slide the cue through. Interesting stories, Thanks!
 
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tim913

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I think you may have learned something, don't give unsolicited advice mind your own business. After years of beinging in the pool room business I never bothered people about how they played unless they asked.

As to your last comment. Watch every Philippine player, they are a pool instructors nightmare. They appear to do everything wrong. If you are sitting table side watching Efren play. If he is shooting in your direction he doesn't even look like he is going to hit the cueball.

Parica aims at the bottom of the cueball on every shot no matter what he is doing. Hall does that quite a bit as well. Forgot about Busti, his stroke is all over the place.

Then you have Hopkins who takes no strokes at all just a jab. Lassiter did much the same. His tip would move back and forth about an inch before taking one last back stroke.

Jimmy Moore with his slip stroke, Lou Butera running around the table not even seeming to even aim.

No beginner should probably ever emulate players with weird habit's. What works for them doesn't make it right.
I think Ray Martin may be the most fundementaly perfect player I have ever seen, Toby Sweet as well.
I never tried to give him advice, even stated that if it ups someone's confidence who am I to change it. Just having a conversation over a beer and a lot of players like to tell you why they do things whether you ask or not. I liked watching Jimmy Moore and wish I could have watched some matches when a lot of the old timer's were in their prime
 

Bob Jewett

AZB Osmium Member
Staff member
Gold Member
Silver Member
... No beginner should probably ever emulate players with weird habit's. What works for them doesn't make it right.
...
I agree, but what we see is frequent threads asking something like, "Willie does bizarre thing X. Should I try it too?" Or even, "I tried it and now I play three balls better." This thread can be a list of all the weird things such players should try because surely one of them will help their game. (y) 😈
 

Bob Jewett

AZB Osmium Member
Staff member
Gold Member
Silver Member
I think Pat Fleming sold something like that.
I believe what Pat sold was a weight that slipped over the shaft to keep the cue down on elevated shots.

Pat tried a lot of new ideas. One of them was to bevel the tip so the surface was angled. The idea was to turn the angle when applying a certain kind of side spin so you could get more tip surface contacting the cue ball.

Some players mark the ferrule so they can play with the cue in the same rotation or a selected rotation all the time. I think Meucci's Red Dot was for that reason.
 
I played a session of APA 8 ball and the team I was on was mostly younger players at lower skill levels.
I noticed one of the guys, after his turn shooting, never looked at the table or watched his opponent. Most times he would have his back turned.
When I asked him about it he said it was because shooting bad was contagious. Misses breeds misses...... and he didnt want to start shooting bad and missing shots just because his opponent did.

I tried to explain that it was important to watch the table develop, watch your opponent and to be able to identify fouls but it did no good. He'll stay a 4 for the foreseeable future.
I agree that bad shooting breeds bad shooting. I approach it from a different angle though. I watch my opponent so that I can get a gage on what skill they actually have. That helps influence my shots, whether to play a safety, or go for the shot and if I miss, the cue ball will be left in a position that I am confident that my opponent is going to have difficulty with and probably miss.

While I understand where he's coming from, I think it's better to fully understand your opponents game and capabilities.
 

middleofnowhere

Registered
Some players mark the ferrule so they can play with the cue in the same rotation or a selected rotation all the time. I think Meucci's Red Dot was for that reason.
I think you are right about that thing Pat had.
That marked shaft thing had to do with the wood grain. It flexes a certain way depending if it horizontal or vertical. Probably something to do with deflection.
 

measureman

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I played bar table league for a number of years.
There were stone cold beginners and a few very good players.
I saw more weird stuff then I can remember.
One of the strangest things was players holding a cube of chalk in their hand at the butt end of the cue,never figured out why.
 

tim913

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
This is the finger trap thingy I'm talking about. I've seen some players use it on every shot but it looks like Kevin Cheng only uses it on the break.
At 47:50 into video.

 

tim913

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I played bar table league for a number of years.
There were stone cold beginners and a few very good players.
I saw more weird stuff then I can remember.
One of the strangest things was players holding a cube of chalk in their hand at the butt end of the cue,never figured out why.
I've read where some instructors will teach their students to lightly hold the butt end of a cue by having them hold a piece of chalk in their grip hand like you've seen
 
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