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Old 08-22-2019, 12:07 PM
jerry matchin jerry matchin is offline
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Postscript: When I was about 20 years old, I ran 139 balls and thought I had arrived on the pool scene. I never repeated or exceeded that run again.
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Old 08-22-2019, 06:50 PM
beatle beatle is offline
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i never ran a lot of balls, never ran out in nine ball or in one pocket. and had lock action all my life. made more money than almost any other pool player.

if you want to make money only play 6 ball, 8 ball, and one pocket. never play your true speed even if it means losing, and never ever make a shot that your opponent cant make.

and learn to play one handed and other trick things to make games so you dont burn out your customer.
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Old 08-22-2019, 08:09 PM
Frank Almanza Frank Almanza is offline
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Here's an article I wrote about straight pool for one the billiard publications a number of years ago.

Who's your Daddy?
By Frank Almanza
Once upon a time, a long long time ago, born to the green felt was a little game. During his toddler years, he was known as "little line up", and in his adolescent years, people came to know him as "14.1 continuous". When he matured to an adult, he became known as Mr. Straight Pool. As he grew up, having prospered from his fans admiration, he found himself living on the better side of the tracks, opposite from his cousin, old Mr. One Hole.

Mr. Straight Pool's reputation grew in stature, as he became the game of choice for all the big tournaments around the country. He developed all the pride and prestige of nobility. Thus, he acquired a reputation everyone wanted to be associated with. His rules of play had all bases covered, and defined all the situations that could arise. He had all the rules that were needed for a match to continue without creating arguments. Penalties were assessed to the naughty for not following his rules.

He was a game born to show off all the polish a master cueist had to offer, along with their tuxedos and all that stuff. The legends of that time got so familiar with Mr. Straight Pool and were so good at pocketing balls in succession, that it looked like they were just out for a Sunday stroll. They would be at the table pocketing balls until they got tired of walking around the table, ended their run by choice, or when all the spectators, their opponent, and referee fell asleep. Sometimes they themselves looked like they were asleep.

The abilities of the Mosconies, the Mizeraks, and the Segals made this game look like child's play. After all the balls were opened up to a certain degree, everything was basically just mop up till they got to the last three or four balls, than they would pause to select a key ball or break ball or something like that. Who knows what, but I'm sure they did.

It would be a rare occasion that we would see maybe a bank shot, a deep cut shot, or anything that might resemble some excitement. When they got tired, they just went and sat down while inviting their opponents up to the table to see how may balls they could run before they also tired themselves out. And so it went for many years until one day a new kid came to town.

This gutsy new comer came to town like a cowboy busting down that swinging door at the saloon and just using nine balls. Imagine that! This upstart hit the country like a house on fire. This guy was just as exciting to watch, as it was to play. Move over Mr. Mosconi and make room for Mr. Strickland.

But what about rules for this new little guy? Could they use the same ones as straight pool? Heck no! Something else was needed. How about maybe a heavy-duty penalty after a foul that would give the incoming player the ability to put the cue ball anywhere on the table? Yea! That's it. That ought to perk things up a bit. We'll call it "ball in hand". Coincidentally, this rule change just happened to agree with television. How about that? Now we have this new game called "nine ball" that would keep everyone wide eyed with its bank shots, jump shots, kick shots, combos, masses, and some giant opening game break shots too. In this game you get to see all of what pool has to offer, including luck shots.

It wasn't too long before he became the game for most tournaments. Along with the approval of all the spectators, estimated time of matches could now be predicted, thus giving more flexibility in scheduling tournaments. Albeit nine ball surely is an exiting game to play, as well as it is to be a spectator of, and to play it well it requires a good deal of skill.

Sure sounds like goodbye to Mr. Straight Pool, doesn't it? Well let's see. Now the Barber speaks…

Contrary to what you just read, Mr. Straight Pool is not dead. He is alive and as healthy as he ever was. He has only been moved to the back seat because nine-ball can be fitted into tournament formats much easier. Our up and coming players of the future, having been saturated primary with nine-ball, need to expose themselves to some of the finer aspects of pool, if they have aspirations of becoming top notch.

Seems like a formal introduction to Mr. Straight Pool is in order. Let's see what the daddy has to offer.

Straight pool only looks easy, because a skilled player has developed the ability to make it look that way. Take it from me, if you want to elevate your nine ball game, then what you need is a regular dose of straight pool to help you gain the discipline, knowledge, and concentration that is needed for all other games and not just nine ball. Your game will benefit in position play because it will insist that you place the cue ball to a more precise location as opposed to most shots that you would accept in nine ball. Correct angles on position play are what will enable you to stretch out higher runs.

Breaking up clusters and getting a feel for where the cue ball will come to rest is a huge benefit you can get from straight pool. This may enable you to secure position on a stationary ball that could be used as an escape valve if needed. If these stationary balls don't get moved, they could turn into lifesavers and help you stay up at the table longer. This is very important unless you know for certain where the clustered balls will come to rest at after the break up.

Other important benefits we can derive from this game, because of it's nature, would be to identify kiss shots, combinations and how much a ball will throw one way or another. Having the knowledge to see a cluster of balls and to pretty much know the flight of each ball during a break up is quite an advantage.

Playing safe in straight pool with and open table could be quite a challenge and may require quite a bit of ingenuity, but these are the things that make us stronger. There are so many things to be learned from this game, These are just a few, but you will have to get into it and see for yourself.

Translating the knowledge that you gain from straight pool into your game of nine ball will make you a much more effective player. There are some things that you can't hide from your opponents and that's knowledge and cue ball control. Elements that are passed down from the big guy "Mr. Straight Pool".

In my opinion, this is the best game to play if you want to possess all the skills and knowledge needed for all other games. It also is a good way to gage your progress. As your skills develop, your runs get higher. In order to reach higher levels of play, what is needed is a well-rounded game.

Now go ahead and ask "little nine-ball" who's your daddy? He'll tell you.
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Old 08-22-2019, 08:35 PM
Billy Jackets Billy Jackets is offline
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None for me thanks.
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Old 08-22-2019, 08:38 PM
lll lll is offline
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that was /is a great post and oh so true
to me one pocket is the next step in the sense
you dont shoot many banks in straight pool
but its a necessary skill in onepocket
yet all the skills of straight pool carry over to onepocket
straight pool is the big brother and onepocket is uncle charlie.....
vice versa.....
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Old 08-22-2019, 11:11 PM
Cory in dc Cory in dc is offline
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Originally Posted by evergruven View Post
I know this is a one pocket forum, but the games seem to have things in common philosophically, and in terms of play-
just curious what you all think on the subject, if you play, etc.
Straight pool seems mostly dead, except that it's alive and well in Richmond, VA. I was there earlier this year and went by Greenleaf's. Their busy straight pool league was just ending so I asked if anyone would play some straight pool with a one pocket player. They sent someone my way and we played to 125. I had a lot of fun, found that my 1P play was helpful and relevant, and ran a 20-something or two.

They offered to call in the owner if I wanted to bet $500+. I wisely declined.

So, if you're in Richmond, go to Greenleaf's and try some straight pool.
"LOL ... judging by your shot selections you play good" -- Hacker, September 29, 2015.
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Old 08-23-2019, 08:58 AM
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gulfportdoc gulfportdoc is offline
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Good article, Frank!
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Old 08-23-2019, 10:03 AM
Dennis "Whitey" Young Dennis "Whitey" Young is offline
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Location: Klamath Falls, Or.
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Being in so.Cal. the game was 9-ball, I played and practiced 10 of thousand games of 9-ball. I loved that game! But, every day I also practice 14-1. I enjoyed the higher end aspects of the game, but just pocketing balls bored me to death but each day I still practiced it, and very grateful for it!
Love your article Frank! Whitey
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Old 08-23-2019, 11:20 AM
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Island Drive Island Drive is online now
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Originally Posted by jerry matchin View Post
Postscript: When I was about 20 years old, I ran 139 balls and thought I had arrived on the pool scene. I never repeated or exceeded that run again.
When I reached around 100, game was usually over and it was time to rack em up and play another. I never felt the urge to run more balls than needed.
Bill Meacham
no link....
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Old 08-23-2019, 01:14 PM
HowardK HowardK is offline
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Location: San Jose, CA
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Default Times have changed!

I was always fascinated by the "runs" in straight pool. I was able to run 45 once. However, the game has changed. Primarily the equipment. Now we are playing on Simonis cloth with 4 1/4" pockets. I used to play with 4 3/4" pockets. Very difficult to run balls now. You can't cheat the pockets for shape. You must play perfect position. If the pockets increase to 4 1/2 or larger, I may take it up again.

I watch our "straight pool" league playing on the tight pockets and you don't see anyone run more than 10 balls. As I said, the game has changed.
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