Power One Pocket - Sneak Peek

This is, what I'm assuming, an unedited sneak peek/leak preview of one of the shots from the upcoming Power One Pocket, featuring Scott Frost.

It's unlikely that anyone would shoot this for money, however, it's one hell of a shot to show off with and maybe bet on, if you're very... very familiar with the table. 5-rail bank with 3-rail shapes!

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Filed Under: One Pocket

IT'S ON!!! Mika Immonen vs Shane van Boening!

It's finally happening!  I will buy the PPV then the DVD when it's released.  These 2 powerhouses of pool are matching up for a race to 100 in 10-Ball.  Each player puts up $10,000 and winner takes home the pot.  It's being spread over three days and will be held in mid-October in New York.  For all the details, visit The Action Report.

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Filed Under: 10-Ball

Back to Practice

Last Friday, I hit up what will be my nice and quiet pool hall for practice.  What makes it so nice for practice? Check this out:

As you can see, it's empty, quiet and has decent tables.  As such, I worked on a few things, but mainly I really wanted to work on a few shots; I know them, but I wanted to make them nearly instinctual.  I set up the cueball dead center table and placed an object ball 1 ball width off the rail at the 2nd diamond on the long rail. I shot it with no english [center-ball] until I made it 10 times in a row. Then I shot it until I made it 10 times in a row with high+inside, then 10 times with low-outside. Then I mirror-imaged the layout and did it all over again. I did the same exercise with 3 shots I miss more often than I ever should. It took about 3 hours with breaks for snacks and smokes etc. It felt really good to be practicing, for real, almost like in a hardcore "practice zone".

I'm going back tonight, once I decide what I want to work on. I have the IPAT book, but I'm not sure if I want to work on 9-ball play, or just particular shot-making. I guess it will depend on how I feel later. However I feel, it'll be good to get some more practice time.

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Filed Under: Training

One Pocket Action - Round 2

Last night, I played Josh again (see this post for the results of that), but this time instead of playing an all-around, we only played One Pocket only. Got started around 9:30pm, finished up around 3:30am. I played pretty well, and I'm very happy about the night overall. I made a few mistakes, but those were far less costly than the last time. I made most of the shots I sent to my hole and I played pretty conservatively. I won the first 2 sets, and we doubled the bet on the 3rd. I knew it would be tough to win a 3rd game, as he was getting stronger as the night went on, but I figured the worst that can happen is I break even - and that's almost like a win when it comes to gambling, in my mind.

You can catch all the action in these three videos:

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Filed Under: One Pocket

Amazing Draw Shot (Corey Deuel)

This is a famous shot that I can not watch enough times. I will never, ever be able to do this, but then again, almost no one in the world can (excluding top 3-cushion players). The fact he did this in a US Open is even more impressive. Just wait about a minute for the amazing shot - you'll know it when you see it.

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Filed Under: 9-Ball · Stroke

A New Stroke... Again?

While reading a bunch of threads on AZB and watching videos I found an interesting piece of info related to how the muscles surrounding the shoulder and arm work.  Without getting into a lot of the science involved, I'll just say that it makes sense, scientifically, it is also contradictory to what you would think.  The advice: For power strokes, choke up on the cue, do not, as would be instinctive, grip further towards the butt end for a longer bridge, etc.  If you watch some of the big-stroke guys, Mika, Bustamante, they grip in the middle/forward half of the handle when they need to really juice up the ball.  I would post a diagram of some stroke shots I was shooting this week, but cuetable is referencing an incorrect version of shockwave, so my computer tells me. hrmm.  I will say that my force-follow stroke has really improved with this new grip.  However, I feel like my draw stroke has suffered a little bit.  For long-distance draw shots, I feel it definitely has; but most everything else, it's still good.

The secret to this new grip will only work if you're one of those players that has a very loose wrist and good timing on the snap.  Watch Bustamante's wrist, it's like it's not really attached to his forearm, but dragging behind it.  It's that extra wrist action that loads up the cue ball.  I can easily hit a corner-to-corner nearly straight in shot with forcefollow and inside and get the cb to follow up the end rail and spin back downtable to past the side pockets.  I never had that kind of follow-stroke before, and certainly not with any sort of confidence or control.  I used to have to hit that ball about as hard I can, now I can hit it with only about 60% and get it.  It's still a power shot, but well within controllable range.

In less than ideal news, either my new stance coupled with new grip, or the piece of junk office chair/desk at work is causing my bridge shoulder to start hurting again.  It's something internal like a rawness and reminds me of when I last this kind of discomfort, which was caused by putting too much weight on my bridge arm.  I'm not doing that this time, but I am having to put my arm out and bent more than I'm used to in order to keep the bridge hand a little closer to my body.  Instead of having a straight arm, my elbow is bent around the 45-60 degree range, when I have the space.  I have to be careful here as it could easily turn into something quite painful, but I'm not sure what I can do about it.  I just have to monitor my stance and try to make small adjustments to see what hurts and what doesn't.  Of course, all day at work it feels less and less comfortable, so I know that the ergonomics offered are just terrible and aren't helping.  *sigh*

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Filed Under: Stroke

Getting back to basics

I love the internet.  Especially when I'm building a "to-do" list at the pool hall and I get the monthly instructional email from Pooldawg which happens to include a lovely little article by Liz Ford about "Constructing Your Game".  6 Steps/Drills to build your game.  Each requires dedication, patience, mental strength, attention to detail and drive.  Some of these are the most "unfun" drills, but can be the most valuable (like the first drill listed).

I still haven't had the chance to get back to a solid practice session/schedule yet, but I've got a whole laundry list of things I'm gonna work on - and these 6 items are definitely among them.

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Filed Under: Training

Jesse Jallred Is Not Human

Don't believe me? Check this out:

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A Mental Breakthrough!

I'm really excited about pool today!  I had something of a slap in the face of reality which turns out, was exactly what I think I needed.  I'm in quite a hurry but it's been on my mind for the last 7 hours, so I should go ahead and just get it out.

In a nutshell... Just because I have on rare occasion ran a table (8, 9 or 10 ball), doesn't mean I can do it everytime.  The problem is, when I get to an all open table and things are laying what I think is pretty good - I expect to get out.  So when I miss a shot or blow position, I start getting down on myself - and we all know what happens then.  But now that I've read the advice phrased in just the way I needed to hear it, I feel much more in-tune with my game and more appropriately make games and handle missed shots.  I won't be able to test this until tomorrow sometime, as it's Friday the 13th (my favorite day of the year), and my girl and I are hitting up a neato alt-art show entitled 13 Plagues.

The advice I read: "People often make the mistake of thinking that they are as good as their best game instead of accepting that their level is their average game." - Ilona Bernhard

You can read my earlier version and announcement on AZB here.

Have a good Friday everyone!

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Filed Under: General · Training

More Training and Tools

Since I've been slacking in my practice regimen, I decided get a few new practice tools. First, a book for the mental game: Pleasure of Small Motions.  I've read the free excerpt on Google Books and I think I'm going to like it.  Also, since I've always been fond of the layouts and exercises, I decided to start the IPAT Training Program.  I ordered the Level 1 Workbook this morning.  I'm sure I could come up with a number of drills that would enhance my shot making and speed control, but I decided to use an already established and well thought-out system.  Lastly, because I'd like to get the most out of my Kamui tip, I ordered their new Gator Grip tip tool. The instructional video definitely looks like it will prolong the life of the tip while still giving plenty of grip.

In playing news, league on Tuesday was both awesome from a team standpoint, but also terribly annoying from a personal standpoint. The awesome is that we, as a team, won 11 straight games from the start to shut out our opponents completely.  The annoying part is that I didn't play a single game. Not one.  I did play some warm-up/practice games with the other members, so I got to at least hit some balls; and I hit them pretty well, winning more than losing.  But, it doesn't matter over there. *shrug*  My only concner in that my really poor play this session has me in a situation where I might be moved down a level.  That's a big hit to the morale, but there's still one week left.  As long as I win 1 game and don't lose any, I'll stay my current level.  If I don't play at all, I still think I'll probably stay at my current ranking, just because I'm less than 1/10th of a point from the cut-off.

I went to the pool hall last night with the intention of getting some cheap action, just something to put a little pressure on to try and get me used to the idea.  Sadly, there was none to be had.  Everyone was busy rotating in and out of the doubles one-pocket game.  I never really got in stroke, of course.  I did get to play Mark O'Brian, the league's top-shooter with a record this session of 27 and 3.  He's a serious 1p player and is very friendly with his information.  It's always a joy to play him, but painful at the same time... especially when he prefaces a shot with "watch this one".

I need to find a pool hall that's open during the day on the weekends... well, actually, I know of a few, but both are places where I'd know someone and probably would end up playing them instead of running the drills I need to be running.  Although, I'm really tempted to just give it a try anyway - anything would be better than waiting for the evening and hoping to get some "alone" time at the table.  The best place to practice doesn't open till 5pm, and it's 99.9% guaranteed that I wont know anyone there, but I dont always want to wait that long.  *shrug* I guess we'll see how it goes.  I miss practicing - and I especially miss the abilities and confidence it can give me.  Here's hoping some new drills and info will help spark the drive to continue to practice.

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Filed Under: Training

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