Wherever there is pool injustice, you'll find
Stop the madness! Pool Guy is sponsored by no one, sells nothing, and can not be influenced by vested interests. He is oppressed to the champions, and absolute Dog to millions of dyslexic pool players!
PCA - Standings
I really enjoyed your pages, your writing and your content is very entertaining and enjoyable. I hope that when I come back there is more to enjoy ! I do however have a suggestion, The PCA is an excellent alternative with some (IMHO) exciting ideas. Certainly no one would argue the quality of the Players. They are also doing a lot as far as getting attention to the game. I also like them teaming up with McDermott to hopefully get amateurs more involved in world class play.
Anything that will advance the cause of the amateur player is of prime concern to me. Although I love to watch the pros, and learn something in the process, a good amateur match can be much more exciting. The US Open in Virginia Beach in September is also the site for an APA tournament that I believe will get a lot of attention. See our Tournaments page for details.
Jim.....Have just found your web site. As an advanced player, (Years not ability), I am enjoying your discourse on the game. Particularly the Jackass syndrome, and your thoughts on outsmarting the youngsters with their good reflexes and eyesight. Got any pointers on the diamond system or some good way of practicing bank shots? Also, which cues do you consider the best, and what are the merits of the different tips? What are the physical effects on ball trajectory when playing on a bar box, where the cue ball is a different size or weight than the object ball? Is the 90 degree deflection angle still applicable? I know I have asked a lot of questions here, but they're things that most of us who are continually striving to improve our game, regardless of our ages, are concerned with.
1) Diamonds are a girls best friends. Take the time to learn the diamond system.
2) Banks and kicks? Just remember that the rebound angle from the rail is less when shooting hard.
3) Cue leather? Strictly a matter of choice. Harder tips offer more "feel" but miscues are more likely.
4) Bar table cue balls? The 90 degree deflection rule applies when the cue ball and object balls are the same weight and size, and when no forward, back or side spin is in effect at the time of contact. Avoid playing on bar tables that use cue balls of different sizes and weights. In fact, avoid any table that requires you to adjust your normal aim and stroke, or forces you to compensate for table imperfections. Consistency in winning is the result of consistency in practice. Bad tables influence consistency. Table size should not matter too much.
5) Cue sticks? Just get the best one you can afford and keep a good tip on it.
Long Straight In Shots
I just read your letter on the Internet regarding long straight in shots. Like you, if I'm making this shot, my game is on. If my game is off, I will not make this shot. Usually because I'm have problems with stroking. One trick I've tried, after lining up the shot, is to envision the object ball just 10 to 12 inches in front of the cue ball. I then execute the shot as such with appropriate speed for the long object ball. Try it. It works.
Whatever works. But, as Harry Crabtree once told me, don't develop shooting "tricks" that can't be taken to the bank. Shooting at imaginary (ghost) balls is often used as a means to help us see the path for the cue ball. Just make sure it is a temporary expedient while developing more sound methods of aiming directly at the object ball. One last thing: Shoot the long and straight firmly and with no spin. Trust the Pool Guy. Do what I say, not what I do.
I enjoyed your site. I write a column on pool (Broken English) for a Fl. bar handout called Player's Choice. I was wondering if you might know when Luther Lassiter died? Of course, he might still be alive. If so, could you let me know that? I need this info for a bio column that I'm writing about him.
Luther "Wimpy" Lassiter (1919-1988). He was inducted into the BCA Hall of Fame in 1983. He was from Elizabeth City, North Carolina, and played frequently in Norfolk, Virginia at Tuxedos and Q Masters. I had the pleasure of shooting him one game of 9 ball 35 years ago. I never got out of my chair. Some say Lassiter has never been equaled in the game of 9 ball. After watching him run one rack after another, I am a believer. Ain't it wonderful?
I have been playing pool for a number of years, and it seems to me that there is a debate as to which ball you should focus on during the stroke. So which is it, cue ball or target ball? I have played with equal results both ways. Any help would be appreciated.
Debate? Among whom? Focus intently on the object ball, after making absolutely certain you are ready to stroke. How often have you seen a hunter focusing on the sight rather than the quarry? You have peripheral vision. Use it with confidence. You may not know it, but your non-aiming eye will unconsciously see the cue ball and where to hit it. The secret? Get your chin to within 2 to 6 inches above the stick, and your dominant eye directly over the shaft in line with the path. This will compress the total view of your shot and allow your eyes to see the cue ball, object ball, path and pocket in a proper relationship. Of course there are exceptions to this rule. But not for you...yet. Concentrate! Focus! And aim the same way every time. Look at the pictures of the pro players aiming on our POOL PEOPLE page. Every one of them have their chin almost on the stick? Don't make me tell you again! Who loves ya baby.
Long Straight In Shots
The long straight shot you describe is definitely one of the most difficult shots to execute. I practice this one every time I get on a table by myself. I think the secret to this shot is not to fire away until you are confident that you are perfectly lined up and stroking perfectly straight. If you are not confident in your alignment, get up, and back away from the table a few steps. Walk into the shot, drop your cue to table level as you do this. Keep it in a line with the balls and pocket. I also try to use dead stop, using a strong stroke with a little draw. Don't forget to follow through, and keep your head down. Don't get discouraged if you miss a lot at first, you will develop a feel for this shot eventually, and find yourself sinking it with more regularity. It is a real confidence-builder when you sink it on your first try. When I sink it on the first try, I go to something else for awhile, and then return to it.
Here something else I do to practice alignment: Set up a straight in shot...object ball 2 feet from pocket, cue ball two feet from object ball. Get down, go through your warm-up strokes, then right before you release, turn your head completely away from the shot. I do it with draw and stop. Now that I think of it, I've never tried it with follow. I'll try that next time :)
You are right on in your first paragraph. I'm not too sure of turning away at the last minute, even in practice. I want to follow through with my eyes as well as my stroke. Anyway, I wear a full head mask, and any sudden turn of my head chaffs my neck.
We are a bunch of work colleagues at present working here in South Africa. One of the guys just bought a pool table. Unfortunately we all "know the rules" but no one knows the correct rules. Could you please tell us if there is a site on the net with the correct rules.
That's easy. Sink the 8 ball last, the 9 ball first, and the cue ball never. If you want more specific rules, we have just installed the BCA rules of 8 Ball, Nine Ball, 14.1 Continuous Pool and General Pool Rules on our site. Of course there are a great number of variations of the rules put out by other billiard associations and leagues. As long as the competitors are playing by the same rules during the same game, all rules are cool. In fact, you can make up your own rules to fit the caliber of play, or the mental state and size of your opponent. It is a good idea to let the biggest guy make the rules.
REALLY ENJOYED ARTICLES ON INTERNET. JUST FELT COMPELLED TO COMMENT ON "MARKING YOUR POCKET." DURING RECENT SESSION PLAYOFFS IN APA IN RICHMOND, AN OPPOSING PLAYER TRIED TO CALL A FOUL FOR THE POCKET NOT BEING CALLED. WE DON'T HAVE TO ACTUALLY PHYSICALLY MARK THE POCKET, BUT ONLY POINT AT IT AND BE SURE THEY KNOW WHERE YOU'RE PLAYING THE BALL. REGARDLESS, I HAD A STRAIGHT IN SHOT IN THE CORNER WITH REALLY NO REAL OPPORTUNITY TO PLAY THE BALL IN ANOTHER POCKET. I AM A SKILL LEVEL 6, SO I THINK THAT THE STRAIGHT IN SHOT WAS NO MYSTERY. NEEDLESS TO SAY, A REAL RUCKUS BROKE OUT WHEN HE TRIED TO CALL A FOUL TO TAKE THE GAME. IT'S A PERFECT EXAMPLE OF MISUSE OF RULES. I THINK IT IS MORE OF A SPORTSMANSHIP ISSUE ON MY OPPONENT'S PART IN ALLOWING THE INCIDENT TO OCCUR. REGARDLESS, I'VE TALKED TO MUCH. I COME TO THE OBELISK EVERY TIME I'M IN THE AREA. LOVE THE ROOM AND THE OWNER IS ALWAYS VERY FRIENDLY. HOPE TO GET THE OPPORTUNITY TO MEET YOU IN THE FUTURE.
A ruckus? Sounds like a job for....Pool Guy! I know how disgusted you felt. But there is nothing we can do about bad sports, or people who believe winning is more important than integrity. They are like a bad cold. Maybe we can shoot at the Obelisk some time. And you are right about the owner (Herb Smith). He is indeed a gentleman. Love ya, but never again write to me in all caps, you naughty guy! It makes me anxious.
What about this situation? You're shooting, you're hot, you're making everything. Then you say to yourself: this is impossible, "I can't keep this up." And, sure enough, you can't. You've just told yourself it's impossible, so you start missing. I feel that to win consistently takes a certain arrogance, the feeling that it's impossible to fail. It also takes the willingness to take responsibility for your talent. I've found this to be true in golf and bowling as well. Also: I see barroom players pick a cue stick from the rack and roll it on the table to see if it's straight. Experienced players of course (if they don't have their own stick) examine the tip first and foremost, then the weight, then the thickness of the shaft, then maybe the straightness. When I see an opponent select a cue based on the tip, then I know I am up against a player. And if I see him secretly grind the tip against a rough surface, I know I am really in trouble. Your thoughts?
Like you, I often tell myself that I can't keep it up. But, unlike you, I am Pool Guy and I am expected to keep it up! I feed on that kind of pressure! I scoff at stress! I am..... Pool Guy! One word of advice though: never ever rub your tip on a rough surface. Pool Guy don't even do that. All other observations are right on target, but don't be intimidated by people who know how to select a good stick. Worry when they start running racks with it.
Can anybody tell me how to judge the hit of a cue?
Please read the article Selecting a Cue Stick in my Tales & Tips section.
Happy Shooting, Jim & Pat
8 Ball Rules
9 Ball Rules