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These are some tips for those who struggle to put together runs - 06-21-2017, 05:17 PM

It took me a long time to realize why I, and several of the players I know couldn't put together the long runs in this game, when I was still a beginner. There are tons of really technical info on this game, patterns and breakshots and all that, but if your high run is in the 30's or even 20's, then you should disregard most of that for now.

Whenever you come to the table, look the table over carefully. Do you have a shot? Is it realistically makeable? Remember, only you can make that determination. It is very important that you keep your cueball clear of the object balls. Whenever I watch beginners, I'd say that maybe 80% of their errors are made on the first shot after their opponent missed/safed. I'm not talking about just missing either, but usually they either get stuck or end up on the wrong side of the balls. If you have a tough shot that has to be shot, and is then missed, I wouldn't count that as an error, for a beginner.

Try to move the cueball as little as possible, especially if you have many balls on the table, and they are cluttered up. If you have a secondary break ball that is hard to get to, try to look for a failsafe way to get on it even if it takes pocketing more than one ball first to achieve it. All too often people try to achieve miracles with just one shot, instead of playing two easy shots. If you play easy shots, you may amaze yourself by pocketing lots of balls with hardly any effort at all.

Also, you may find that you have a "window" of position for a secondary breakball in the shape of a wedge. The wedge gets bigger the further away from the ball you are. Do not try to get too close in these circumstances. Often it is incredibly difficult to get good on that ball up close, but childs play just a little bit further away. Maybe there is a stop shot pattern to get on it, if you look carefully. It's easy to become blind to these opportunities, which is why it is important to stand back and look the table over when you are in doubt what to do.

Quite frequently you'll end up either on the wrong side of the secondary breakball, too flat, or with too much of an angle. DONT BE STUBBORN! Look the pack over. Maybe you have a dead one? Can you pocket something else and get back on your ball, perhaps? When you pound balls or try to fan in 90 degree cuts, usually the run is over. Also, if you are flat (too little angle) and you have to shoot, do not pound the ball as hard as you can. Hit it with the amount of speed you can control and make sure that you pocket the ball. Even just barely touching the rack can pull a ball out and you can continue from there. Much better than missing the ball. Even if you can't pocket it, you may get a good safety opportunity. Maybe a ball will end up "dead", if you are lucky.

If you have a small cluster of 3-4 balls, usually you can go into them quite softly with either draw or follow, to ensure you don't get stuck. Sometimes you can stun the cueball as well. It's pointless and potentially hazardous to smash such clusters all over the table. Just gently push them apart.

In short I'd say the following principles should be applied:

Look for the easy way to accomplish your goals.

Be realistic about your abilities

When you go for something difficult, do it in the highest percentage way.

When there are lots of balls on the table, be careful not to get trapped with the cueball. Clean up a bit instead of instantly trying to do lots of fancy things. Limit cueball movement to ensure that you stay clear.
  
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06-22-2017, 09:05 AM

I love the game and have been playing it for over 10 years and I still struggle to put runs together. I will incorporate your thoughts and actions and see if it helps me to get higher ball runs.

Thanks

Kevin


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06-22-2017, 10:28 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Straightpool_99 View Post

It is very important that you keep your cueball clear of the object balls.

If you have a small cluster of 3-4 balls, usually you can go into them quite softly. It's pointless and potentially hazardous to smash such clusters all over the table.
Thoughtful post.

Interesting to me that even if someone gives you the above information up front, sometimes you still have to learn the old-fashioned way, (endless re-racking) before you pick up a new tip that helps your game....

As you point out, I have definitely learned to keep the CB "in the open", dont let it get tied up with other balls, or stuck all alone along the bottom rail (etc)....a hard shot or a long shot is 100 times better than no shot.

I have also finally learned that a soft brush against a cluster is often the best way to open them up, and you dont have to hit the "middle" of the cluster (where you might get stuck), but hitting the outside edge of the cluster is better, the CB will almost always stay in the open.

14.1 is really like a mental puzzle (which I like), not unlike Sudoku, in that once you figure out how to do it, you can do it. (of course with decent shot making ability and CB control). I was very interested to hear that many players, once they run 100, can do it on a regular basis....basically they have figured out the puzzle....

Of course I am no where near that, but it told me how important strategy was in this game.

Sorry for rambling.
  
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06-23-2017, 05:18 AM

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Originally Posted by michael4 View Post
Thoughtful post.

Interesting to me that even if someone gives you the above information up front, sometimes you still have to learn the old-fashioned way, (endless re-racking) before you pick up a new tip that helps your game....

As you point out, I have definitely learned to keep the CB "in the open", dont let it get tied up with other balls, or stuck all alone along the bottom rail (etc)....a hard shot or a long shot is 100 times better than no shot.

I have also finally learned that a soft brush against a cluster is often the best way to open them up, and you dont have to hit the "middle" of the cluster (where you might get stuck), but hitting the outside edge of the cluster is better, the CB will almost always stay in the open.

14.1 is really like a mental puzzle (which I like), not unlike Sudoku, in that once you figure out how to do it, you can do it. (of course with decent shot making ability and CB control). I was very interested to hear that many players, once they run 100, can do it on a regular basis....basically they have figured out the puzzle....

Of course I am no where near that, but it told me how important strategy was in this game.

Sorry for rambling.
I agree, 14.1 is a very mental game, but much of the knowledge comes from trial and error. The knowledge is sometimes hidden from all but the most astute observers, which is why some reach a plateau and don't progress. Here are some puzzle pieces I've picked up:
http://forums.azbilliards.com/showth...=428989&page=3
http://forums.azbilliards.com/showthread.php?t=429312

I'm working on a new addition to the second thread, but it's highly technical and I want to make the information "bomb-proof" before I release it. It's about combinations, english and tangent line modifications to make breakballs..

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06-27-2017, 11:44 AM

My own Straight Pool game is pretty much built around the fact that I'm a mediocre (at best) shotmaker (or at least, that I firmly believe so), with the result that I won't take anything lightly, and try to keep things as simple as I can at all times. I do feel my position play is reasonable, however, so I'm more prepared to take a risk shooting an easier shot and trust in my ability to "get there", if not immediately, then in time. It doesn't always work out, but on the whole, the attitude results in fewer misses. I'm convinced that the long-term idea is what counts: try to shoot the easiest shot there is at all times, i.e. make all else follow suit.

Greetings from Switzerland, David.
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07-14-2017, 10:29 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by acousticsguru View Post
My own Straight Pool game is pretty much built around the fact that I'm a mediocre (at best) shotmaker (or at least, that I firmly believe so), with the result that I won't take anything lightly, and try to keep things as simple as I can at all times. I do feel my position play is reasonable, however, so I'm more prepared to take a risk shooting an easier shot and trust in my ability to "get there", if not immediately, then in time. It doesn't always work out, but on the whole, the attitude results in fewer misses. I'm convinced that the long-term idea is what counts: try to shoot the easiest shot there is at all times, i.e. make all else follow suit.

Greetings from Switzerland, David.
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„J'ai gâché vingt ans de mes plus belles années au billard. Si c'était à refaire, je recommencerais.“ – Roger Conti
Not trying to split hairs David as I always find your posts to be a good read , the one part of this that I might not agree on no matter if pro or beginner is when you say "try to shoot the easiest shot there is at all times". I would agree except when there is a loose ball near the stack. In this case you may want to take the more difficult shot and try to disperse the rack - as it may not be easy to get another chance at the secondary break shot.
  
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07-14-2017, 10:36 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Straightpool_99 View Post
It took me a long time to realize why I, and several of the players I know couldn't put together the long runs in this game, when I was still a beginner. There are tons of really technical info on this game, patterns and breakshots and all that, but if your high run is in the 30's or even 20's, then you should disregard most of that for now.

Whenever you come to the table, look the table over carefully. Do you have a shot? Is it realistically makeable? Remember, only you can make that determination. It is very important that you keep your cueball clear of the object balls. Whenever I watch beginners, I'd say that maybe 80% of their errors are made on the first shot after their opponent missed/safed. I'm not talking about just missing either, but usually they either get stuck or end up on the wrong side of the balls. If you have a tough shot that has to be shot, and is then missed, I wouldn't count that as an error, for a beginner.

Try to move the cueball as little as possible, especially if you have many balls on the table, and they are cluttered up. If you have a secondary break ball that is hard to get to, try to look for a failsafe way to get on it even if it takes pocketing more than one ball first to achieve it. All too often people try to achieve miracles with just one shot, instead of playing two easy shots. If you play easy shots, you may amaze yourself by pocketing lots of balls with hardly any effort at all.

Also, you may find that you have a "window" of position for a secondary breakball in the shape of a wedge. The wedge gets bigger the further away from the ball you are. Do not try to get too close in these circumstances. Often it is incredibly difficult to get good on that ball up close, but childs play just a little bit further away. Maybe there is a stop shot pattern to get on it, if you look carefully. It's easy to become blind to these opportunities, which is why it is important to stand back and look the table over when you are in doubt what to do.

Quite frequently you'll end up either on the wrong side of the secondary breakball, too flat, or with too much of an angle. DONT BE STUBBORN! Look the pack over. Maybe you have a dead one? Can you pocket something else and get back on your ball, perhaps? When you pound balls or try to fan in 90 degree cuts, usually the run is over. Also, if you are flat (too little angle) and you have to shoot, do not pound the ball as hard as you can. Hit it with the amount of speed you can control and make sure that you pocket the ball. Even just barely touching the rack can pull a ball out and you can continue from there. Much better than missing the ball. Even if you can't pocket it, you may get a good safety opportunity. Maybe a ball will end up "dead", if you are lucky.

If you have a small cluster of 3-4 balls, usually you can go into them quite softly with either draw or follow, to ensure you don't get stuck. Sometimes you can stun the cueball as well. It's pointless and potentially hazardous to smash such clusters all over the table. Just gently push them apart.

In short I'd say the following principles should be applied:

Look for the easy way to accomplish your goals.

Be realistic about your abilities

When you go for something difficult, do it in the highest percentage way.

When there are lots of balls on the table, be careful not to get trapped with the cueball. Clean up a bit instead of instantly trying to do lots of fancy things. Limit cueball movement to ensure that you stay clear.
Bueno, this is solid and well articulated Straightpool.

Last edited by Danny Harriman; 07-14-2017 at 10:40 AM.
  
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07-29-2017, 04:31 PM

Mediocre shotmakers aren't running 3 figures on a regular basis. I'm not buying that


Quote:
Originally Posted by acousticsguru View Post
My own Straight Pool game is pretty much built around the fact that I'm a mediocre (at best) shotmaker (or at least, that I firmly believe so), with the result that I won't take anything lightly, and try to keep things as simple as I can at all times. I do feel my position play is reasonable, however, so I'm more prepared to take a risk shooting an easier shot and trust in my ability to "get there", if not immediately, then in time. It doesn't always work out, but on the whole, the attitude results in fewer misses. I'm convinced that the long-term idea is what counts: try to shoot the easiest shot there is at all times, i.e. make all else follow suit.

Greetings from Switzerland, David.
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„J'ai gâché vingt ans de mes plus belles années au billard. Si c'était à refaire, je recommencerais.“ – Roger Conti


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07-29-2017, 06:25 PM

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Originally Posted by mjantti View Post
Mediocre shotmakers aren't running 3 figures on a regular basis. I'm not buying that
Even though it's been a while, you've seen me shoot, welcome to judge from memory! I certainly don't have much confidence in that department.

There's a reason most of my runs end at 14 x […] + 1 in that I keep missing the occasional tough shot I'm left with after an otherwise successful break shot. I've long lost track of how many 43s, 57s, 71s, 85s and 99s I've run over the years, and how many times I've said to myself that if only I could overcome that tough shot that inevitably comes up once in a while, but no…

Greetings from Switzerland, David.
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07-30-2017, 12:27 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by mjantti View Post
Mediocre shotmakers aren't running 3 figures on a regular basis. I'm not buying that
Just ran 85 again today, the usual problem. Cue ball got kicked upstream, left with a long if makable shot, with the object ball barely five inches from a corner pocket, only with my eyes, I really can't tell a difference aiming one way or another. Seriously, I'd swear that 99% of all players half my speed wouldn't ever miss a shot like that…

Greetings from Switzerland, David.
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08-27-2017, 11:43 PM

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Originally Posted by mjantti View Post
Mediocre shotmakers aren't running 3 figures on a regular basis. I'm not buying that
I realize what may be the rt pattern or shot for me could be wrong for a beginner. What I meant is say your practicing and have only a couple options. First a secondary break shot that is a little tough, 2nd an easy shot - but it's straight in or the angle is not condusive to position on secondary loose ball break shot. If one is competing, I would say cinch the straight in shot and then look for a safety. If practicing (total offense) you may want to go for the difficult break shot and continue the run.
  
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08-28-2017, 08:49 AM

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Originally Posted by Danny Harriman View Post
I realize what may be the rt pattern or shot for me could be wrong for a beginner. What I meant is say your practicing and have only a couple options. First a secondary break shot that is a little tough, 2nd an easy shot - but it's straight in or the angle is not condusive to position on secondary loose ball break shot. If one is competing, I would say cinch the straight in shot and then look for a safety. If practicing (total offense) you may want to go for the difficult break shot and continue the run.
Thanks Danny, no worries, I don't think Mikko was referring to what you said, but to my claim to be no more than a "mediocre at best shotmaker" - we know each other in person, as a matter of fact, we do so because he refereed one (perhaps several - there's one in particular I remember) of my matches, so he thinks he knows something that I don't, LOL!

Greetings from Switzerland, David.
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08-28-2017, 10:05 AM

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Originally Posted by acousticsguru View Post
Just ran 85 again today, the usual problem. Cue ball got kicked upstream, left with a long if makable shot, with the object ball barely five inches from a corner pocket, only with my eyes, I really can't tell a difference aiming one way or another. Seriously, I'd swear that 99% of all players half my speed wouldn't ever miss a shot like that…

Greetings from Switzerland, David.
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"the usual" , break out of your pattern.
  
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08-30-2017, 12:59 AM

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Originally Posted by acousticsguru View Post
Thanks Danny, no worries, I don't think Mikko was referring to what you said, but to my claim to be no more than a "mediocre at best shotmaker" - we know each other in person, as a matter of fact, we do so because he refereed one (perhaps several - there's one in particular I remember) of my matches, so he thinks he knows something that I don't, LOL!

Greetings from Switzerland, David.
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Well you look solid the time I watched one of your runs. I once heard Steve Lipsky talk about how he said he was still lookin for that perfect run. I think I know the reason he does not say high run. 'The Perfect Run' is when over 80% of the end game patterns look easy (simple shoot stop patterns). Of course there will be a few shots that are more difficult than others. The word perfect' instead of high' could also lean towards flow' or feel' rather than focusing on surpassing a personal best (which is ego and less related to having a smooth focus at the table). What do you think acoustic guru? Should I write a book and sell a few copies eh. :-) it was Steve's idea I maybe expanded on it some that's all.

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08-30-2017, 02:50 AM

Bad shot making, Diamond's, dogging end rack patterns, dirty balls sticking to racks, scratching off break shots, lack of focus, sent me to 3 cushion.
  
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