What are the odds of this happening?

L.S. Dennis

Active member
Here’s a story that I once heard Buddy Hall telling it’s so unusual that I think if bares repeating. The story went something like this:

There was some tournament going on down south somewhere, maybe Arkansas where this player had never won a tournament and was now on the verge of winning his very first one. Upon taking his last gaming winning shot all of a sudden there was a power shortage and total black out. After about 5 or 6 seconds the power came back on and play resumed. The guy got down to shoot his game and tournament winning shot when much to his astonishment his missed wildly! How could this happen after he barely missing ball all day? Well as it happened during the short black out a large flying insect (they’re big in that part of the country) flew in and nestled itself just under the front of the cue ball causing it to jump to one side after the player shot it.

I wonder what the odds would be in Vegas for something like that occurring?
 

book collector

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
The odds of a fly being under the ball at just that instant, and in that circumstance are probably astronomical. The odds of his opponent or some spectator with a bet placing it there are 50/50. If the fly was still there, dead or incapacitated, after the shot , it's a 100 to 1, it was placed there by hand.
 

hang-the-9

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I have had a fly land on the cueball or on the object ball several times that I remember while playing. So it's possible. About same chance as anything random like that happening, no way to know past a wild guess. If there were a bunch of insects in the room and area, the chances are higher.
 

sjm

Sweating it at Derby City
Silver Member
The odds against the occurrence you described are astronomical.

Hang around the game long enough and you'll see it all. Freddie the Beard spoke of the time when a ceiling tile came loose above his table in a big action match and a rat fell onto the table. As for me, I recall shooting a set winning nine ball but as I shot it, a waitress passing by slipped and dropped her entire tray of drinks in my line of sight and I missed badly. Kim Davenport was playing well at the PBT Championship event in Providence, RI in what I believe was 1997 when his pants got caught on the sharp metal edge of the table and they ripped, with the rip over a foot long above the knee. Always a guy who took his appearance very seriously, Kim's brain got so fried he couldn't find his best game again. Corey Deuel was a few balls from the finish line with an easy layout in the double hill final of the Super Billiards Expo 10-ball in 2009 when a ball skidded on him, costing him the title.

Crazy things happen over the green felt, and sometimes at the worst possible time.
 

fjk

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Not that my story compares to all the others, but it's a story nonetheless :)

Many, many years ago I was playing some guy 9 ball and I kept losing and I kept doubling up (I did that kind of thing when I was young). Anyway, it was the last set because the room was getting ready to close. I was playing my guts out because I had so much money on the line (as opposed to my opponent...the worst he could do was break even). I ran the case hill-hill rack and got dead straight on the 9 in the side from about 12 inches away. It was absolutely a gimmy. I was so sure it was routine I was talking about our session as I got down to shoot it. I miscued. Didn't sleep well that night.
 

MitchAlsup

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Pretty close to the odds that live did not spontaneously arise from a chemical soup in the oceans of primitive earth.
 

fastone371

Certifiable
Silver Member
Not that my story compares to all the others, but it's a story nonetheless :)

Many, many years ago I was playing some guy 9 ball and I kept losing and I kept doubling up (I did that kind of thing when I was young). Anyway, it was the last set because the room was getting ready to close. I was playing my guts out because I had so much money on the line (as opposed to my opponent...the worst he could do was break even). I ran the case hill-hill rack and got dead straight on the 9 in the side from about 12 inches away. It was absolutely a gimmy. I was so sure it was routine I was talking about our session as I got down to shoot it. I miscued. Didn't sleep well that night.
The thought of mis-cueing on gimmie money ball shots goes thru my mind every time Im in that situation.
 

hang-the-9

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Not that my story compares to all the others, but it's a story nonetheless :)

Many, many years ago I was playing some guy 9 ball and I kept losing and I kept doubling up (I did that kind of thing when I was young). Anyway, it was the last set because the room was getting ready to close. I was playing my guts out because I had so much money on the line (as opposed to my opponent...the worst he could do was break even). I ran the case hill-hill rack and got dead straight on the 9 in the side from about 12 inches away. It was absolutely a gimmy. I was so sure it was routine I was talking about our session as I got down to shoot it. I miscued. Didn't sleep well that night.

Funny how we can remember shots from years ago. I have one from probably 25 or more years ago, shooting a bank combo at the 9, it was dead in the hole with how the ball was traveling, then the first ball just stopped and jumped to the side maybe two inches from the 9, never even hit the the 9, because it hit a piece of chalk. That chalk caused me the set and it's one of few shots I remember clear as day, down to where the table was located in the room and my stunned reaction when the ball jumped out of line.
 

Black-Balled

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I just told this story over the weekend, but it happened years ago...

I left house before 6am to go to tournament. At about 1230 that night, I am hill-hill adn shooting the 8 in the side to get to $ round next day. It is a firm hit into the L side of a side pocket and I just let cb stun over about 12" for the 9.

I shot that ball right into the point and it left an easy out for opponent (I believe it was that Norris B. I was playing).

I was so mad I made me drive home. Saw a car crash...kept driving. Fell asleep like 10x...kept driving. Had to pee...kept driving!!

Got home like 7am. Did not love pool.
 

mikemosconi

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
As for me, I recall shooting a set winning nine ball but as I shot it, a waitress passing by slipped and dropped her entire tray of drinks in my line of sight and I missed badly.
HA HA - I have missed so many shots with waitresses walking past my table that I have lost count by now- and they never had to drop any trays either! :) :) :)
 
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ShootingArts

Smorg is giving St Peter the 7!
Gold Member
Silver Member
Here’s a story that I once heard Buddy Hall telling it’s so unusual that I think if bares repeating. The story went something like this:

There was some tournament going on down south somewhere, maybe Arkansas where this player had never won a tournament and was now on the verge of winning his very first one. Upon taking his last gaming winning shot all of a sudden there was a power shortage and total black out. After about 5 or 6 seconds the power came back on and play resumed. The guy got down to shoot his game and tournament winning shot when much to his astonishment his missed wildly! How could this happen after he barely missing ball all day? Well as it happened during the short black out a large flying insect (they’re big in that part of the country) flew in and nestled itself just under the front of the cue ball causing it to jump to one side after the player shot it.

I wonder what the odds would be in Vegas for something like that occurring?

"Large flying insect" not that unlikely in the South, especially if that was long enough ago the place wasn't air conditioned. It hid when the lights came back on and that was that. I used to gamble in places without air conditioning. Termites and smaller, just shoot a little harder. June bugs and larger, move the bug before you shoot! I still remember a $20 june bug from the seventies. Any kind of beetle was the equal of an IED.

Hu
 

straightline

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Speaking of astronomical somebody please tell the Ronnie Allen earthquake (actual geological earthquake lol) story. I forget how it goes.
 

jay helfert

Shoot Pool, not people
Gold Member
Silver Member
I've seen ALL the pros miss hangers when they lost concentration for a moment. Heck, I just watched the great golfer Bryson Dechambeau absolutely duff two balls in a row and blow the Players Championship this past Sunday.

The one I remember best in pool was the Finals of the Disneyland tournament back in the mid 80's (1986 I believe). First place was 15K and 7.5K for second, so it was a big one. David Howard was playing Danny Medina and I was in with Danny 50-50. I had paid all his expenses and the entry fee. The match went hill-hill of course with David breaking. He made a ball on the break, had an easy shot on the one to draw back for a hanger 2-9 billiard in the side. When I say it was a hanger, the two ball was a couple of inches from the nine and the nine was maybe six inches from the side pocket, and they were sitting perfectly. You couldn't miss this shot! David made the one and drew back a foot or so for the perfect angle on the billiard. He had a huge smile on his face as he took his time preparing to make the winning shot. In his mind he had already won. He got down on the shot (it looked normal) and promptly miscued, missing everything! There was a huge gasp from the crowd. Danny had BIH on the combo and stayed dead calm as he stroked it in. I doubt that David has ever forgotten that one and neither have I.
 

L.S. Dennis

Active member
Maybe someone could get a hold of Buddy and ask him to chime in on this, I’d like to hear him describe it again!
 
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