Stroke Drill



My end drill for the day. Shoot through the gates without touching the other balls. Slow, medium and hard speeds.

Strange how my cam phone shortens the apparent length of the table. The cue ball is on the foot spot and the 2 balls up top are on surrounding the headspot.  This is a 9ft table. heh.  The table immediately behind this one is a 7ft bar box, the table behind that is another 9ft though.

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Filed Under: Stroke · Training

Last Minute Tournament

So, yesterday was a big 9-ball tournament out at Ride The Rail on Telegraph.  Initially only XY was going to enter as she played for free (being a girl and also a C player). It was $10 for me, with a chance to win $500.  Yeah, that didn't so much happen.  It was on bar-tables, not my favorite.  I'll save that complaint for the end of the entry:

It was scheduled to start at 5pm with a max number of 64 players. I'm not sure how many they had, but I dont think it was 64.  Anyway, the previous day's tournament was running late in the 2nd half ($1K 1st prize) so we didn't get started until almost 6.  In the first round draw I ended up drawing this kid Justin who we knew from Sportcenter.  I won the round 7-4.  I'm glad to have started off with that win - and for some reason even moreso that I played someone I sorta knew.  It took the nerves down a bit - although he claimed to be a C player, and he was not.  C players don't get position like he was getting 50% of the time. *shrug* 

The 2nd round guy was this guy Keith, and he was a pretty decent player.  I would definitely like to play him again.  I got some rolls, but he got more of them unfortunately.  I really lost it when in the 6th game I ran the last 6 balls playing pretty decent position - but also having to deal with some pretty thin cuts that I would've missed on a large table - finally getting to the 9, making another thin cut, then not being used to the table-size/speed the cue ball went two rails towards the side pocket, then the table took it and it curved 4 inches on a slow-roll straight into the jaws.  If I had won that, like I was supposed to, I believe I would've gotten all my confidence back; as it was, I got scared of the weird rolls, dead-rails and unpredictable speed of the chewed up cue ball.  He won his hill match with, get this, a carom off the 6 to bank the 9 - to combo the 8 and have the 9 follow.  Then he tells me he meant to do that.  Sure.  Okay - you might have seen that - but if you could've done that at any time, you wouldn't have hung the 9 2 rounds ago, nor would you have scratched those three times.  Anyway - I go down 3-7 (I gotta check my log to be sure, but I'm pretty sure).

So, now I'm on the loser's side of the bracket and I draw this guy Bobby.  What he's doing on the loser's side, I have no idea - he was good. Real good. Better than me.  He made some mistakes, and for the most part, I capitalized on all of them, but he was more consistent and had an excellent feel for the table, speed-wise.  He was also part of the top 16 of the previous day's tournament; which I didn't think they let those guys play in this one.  oh well.  It was a pretty good match - considering the skill differences. I made some good shots, a great carom off the 5 to the 9, if I don't say so myself. But, in the end, he took the last two racks in a row to win 7-4.

XY (my stepdaughter) had a rough time, her first round was against a pretty good player - who was also being kinda rude to her (they played on the table next to us).  She lost 7-0.  Then on her next match, she drew a guy, a little younger, and started off down 0-3; but then game back to tie it up 5-5.  Unfortunately, she scratched on the 9 the next rack, given 6-5 and he wins the next rack, so she went out with 2 sets.  But, she was happy to  have played - but equally as frustrated with the bar tables. heh.

I'll post my bar table rant in a separate entry, I want to spread this around actually.

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Filed Under: 9-Ball · Tournaments

Guess im gonna enter the tournament today. Bar tables, race to 9 on the winners. 7 on the losers. Top four win cash. Here goes nothing. :)

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Late Night Pool and Bar Boxes

Friday night, XY went to the hall with some friends while I played my new Assassin's Creed 2 game for a while.  Her friends left early, so I went on up there to play a while and give her a ride home.  I don't recall doing anything spectacular that night - aside from being pretty consistent and winning games.  No fantastic shots or run-outs unfortunately.  I've discovered something though... I'm being quite a bit more consistent with the number of balls I can run; which isn't enough, but it's a start. 

A number of times I'd get to the table on the 6 and run out with few problems.  If I get there on the 7, it's almost a locked in win.  However, when I break, I rarely run more than 5 balls.  So, it seems that something is preventing me from going any further.  Either I start thinking about how I could be out if I'm careful (thereby distracting my head from the current shot) or I get more and more out of line, forcing harder and harder shots.  I think it's a bit of both.  I know the latter holds true, I know that for sure - and I used to catch myself focusing on the rest of the rack while on the 3 or 4 ball and have mostly corrected myself of that habit.  One ball at a time - with eyes on the next 2. 

That's how I'm playing right now.  And for the most part, that's fine - but it's also shown me that I don't have as clear of an idea where the CB will be traveling as I had previously thought; causing me to get out of the line.  I have a decent shot making ability, so for the most part it doesn't kill me - but it does make me frustrated; which does affect my shot making.  So... some more things I need to work on, obviously.

Last night, XY suggested we hit up the bar-boxes so she can practice for her tournament next weekend.  I still haven't decided if I'm playing in it - but I'm thinking not.  It's interesting playing on those tables, like it's almost difficult to take them seriously - to really get down and shoot a serious shot on them.  At first I was shooting wildly because, lets face it, everywhere is close to the next ball on that thing.  I never did get a break'n'run - but I did run 1-9 on a practice rack while XY was at the jukebox.  Thank the makers for those giant pockets though - cuz a few of those shots would have never gone on a 9ft table. haha  I was a bit disappointed in myself though because I didn't break'n'run out on that thing - as easy as it is to sink balls, I still managed to hide myself playing position - which is a bit more forgivable, imo, because I'm used to sending the CB 15 feet, not 8 for 2-rails position.  *shrug*  Next Saturday we'll be back there playing a good long time, as the tournament is Sunday.

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Filed Under: 9-Ball · Tournaments

Back in the Saddle

So, last night XY and I went back to the pool hall.  It was the first time I've played since Monday. Okay, 3.5 whole days, but still.... it felt like a long time.  We did some warmup racks and then she wanted to do some drills, so... we did.  Nothing too serious, mostly rail drills and draw/stroke drills.  It was nice playing again - and surprisingly, I played pretty well.

Today's adventure was nice as well.  My usual hall, C&C, was dead empty, so I went to the double-shim'd table (tight pockets) and shot some position drills for a while.  A little while later this other regular, Todd, came in and we played a few racks.  He's a very good player and regularly beats Morris so I was curious to see how this would turn out.  We didn't have a lot of time to play and he was experimenting with some different stroke techniques, so we ended up with a 3-3 score before I had to go.  It should've been 5-1 or 4-2 though - as he jawed the 9 once and then the 8 another rack. 

Afterwards, we talked about strokes and whatnot - he gets awesome CB action, i mean, awesome - but his stroke is non-existent.  He stabs the ball; which just befuddles me how he's able to get such good action.  However, he definitely inflated my brain a bit with comments about my stroke and mentioning watching me play from time to time.  I missed easy balls, but I think it was because I was overconfident on them.  In general, I'm feeling pretty confident about a lot more shots than I used to - but there are still some that I need to make sure to check more than once.  I really believe that in not too long a time, I will be able to run some racks, provided the break is decent.  As it is now, I can't seem to run more than 6 consistently - each one gets just a tiny bit more out of line and by the 7th ball, I've completely gotten out of line and either hit it way too hard or way too soft - if I make it at all, the 8th ball is near impossible.

I hope to get some quality pool time over the thanksgiving break, but we'll see how that goes.  I'm also an avid gamer and will be picking up Assassin's Creed 2 on the way home today (I preordered it) and I expect that is going to occupy some hours. heh.

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Filed Under: 9-Ball · Stroke · Training

Thank you Samm!

Just a quick shout-out to my first and only follower; Samm Diep.  Be sure to check out her many sites, including The Tip Jar where gives advice and updates on her own pro-am progress and writes for Pool Synergy which I posted about yesterday. :)

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My 3-Rail Bank Shot

Last night, XY surprised me by taking me to the pool hall on her dime; which was definitely a nice surprise.  Overall, the night was less than stellar, but at one point, myself and Josh, another local, were playing and when got down to the 9-ball he tried a 3-rail bank that just missed.  So, we kept trying to either kick or bank the 9 at least 3 rails.  After one of his attempts, he left me nearly straight in the corner along the bottom short rail.  I thought about it for a bit then shot this:



I was ecstatic!  I wonder if I could do it again if I had to? haha... not on the first try i'm sure. On the other hand, i don't have to make it again - i just did.  I'll be keeping that shot in mind if/when I ever play a Banks game.

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Filed Under: 9-Ball

Articles, Help and Advice

Some things have come up which are going to prevent me from playing pool this week - at all it seems.  This is quite annoying after last week's seemingly unending hours of play.  However, I think/hope this will be a good thing.

I bought 2 books last week: Byrne's Complete Book of Pool Shots and Zen Pool.  I'm hoping/expecting that between these two titles, I can gain both information and confidence in both the physical and mental aspect of the game.

Byrne's book appears to be a nice collection of how-to and what-if shots for nearly all types of situations/positions.  The next time I go to practice seriously, I'll be taking this book along with me. I hope to work through all the situations/position/chapters eventually - but for now I'm just starting small and choosing a few that caught my eye as I flipped through it.

Zen Pool is more of a 'what to do, how to prepare *mentally*' kind of book.  I expect to read these throughout this week and am looking forward to putting my new skills into action.  This will take considerably more time and effort, I expect.  But I'm looking forward to bringing my game to the next level.  This means I'm going to have to spend more time doing drills to hammer out the mechanics, further train my body and allow my subconscious to handle those high-pressure shots.

Lastly, I just added a new link on my sidebar to www.poolstudent.com (AKA Pool Synergy).  I just found this site, and already I am favoriting the URL.  Here are a few articles I particularly enjoyed reading today:
Play Pool Without Fear, How to Practice, How to Practice Part 2 and finally one that I find drives me up the wall more than just about any other topic: Learn to Win Under Pressure (why we choke and how to avoid it).

That's all I have for today - but it's plenty of information for you to browse through.

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Filed Under: Training

Lots of Pool Yesterday (jumps and tricks)

So, first up, the WBPA Tour Championships are being streamed live; and I watched some of that. Then I went to the pool hall where I played a lot of pool (too long actually).  Then later in the evening, XY suggested we go play since she was wanting to go, so we did.  Instead just being there the 3 hours I had originally said, we were there 5 hours.  I played reasonably well and hit balls with confidence, I'm learning to control my speed better when I have to put a lot of english on the ball.  Especially when I need to use low-right/left and draw back across the table 2 rails.  I'm gaining a lot of confidence in that shot specifically actually. Which is very nice.  The same with a lot of the cut shots I had so many problems with before.  I'm getting pretty happy with my playing.  Still don't run more than 5 balls consistently though.  Have to work on that.

I finally made a pretty good jump-shot yesterday too.  Here the curved line represents the jumping action:


I did learn a trickshot last night though.  I found an archive of layouts on cuetable.com and this was the only the one I could remember enough of to figure it out.  It's fun, for sure, and I make it every time. :)



Today is more live streaming. :)

Happy Friday the 13th!!

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Filed Under: 9-Ball · Stroke

The 'Color of Money' and Other Trick Shots

In a previous post, I talked about making the "Color of Money" shots.  Well, here they are in diagram mode (plus a few others I like and have made)



The first one is the traditional shot, named as such during artistic pool competitions.  The 2nd page is just something that caught my eye during the movie.




The 3rd is one that I just learned last weekend; although I'm not 100% sure on the placement. This seems a bit too simple and I'm betting the "real" shot is a smaller angle.




The 4th and 5th shots are ones that I've been shooting for a couple of years on and off.  The 4th shot is a higher success rate for me than the 5th - but regardless, I've shot the both, made them both.  They are fun and pretty easy to do with some practice.



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