One pocket pool
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Old 06-25-2006, 04:47 PM
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gulfportdoc gulfportdoc is offline
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Default "Tuscaloosa Squirrel" insights...

Had a nice long chat with the legendary Marshall Carpenter at a tournament in Hattiesburg, Miss. this weekend. I was particularly interested in Hayden Lingo. Much of the commentary was noted previously in Steve's interview, but he did have a few points which surprised me.

We talked about several name players. He said Lingo was the best 1P player he ever saw. But unfortunately he was an alcoholic, which dampened his career. I asked him about Boston Shorty. He said they were set up to play a match in the 1960's for very large dough, but that Shory's horses backed out at the 11th hour. So he said they never played except in tournaments.

He said that Grady Mathews was more knowledgeable about one-pocket than any other player in the history of the game; but that Lingo maybe knew as much or even a shade more. Now that's saying something! He did say that Efren was a "freak", considering what he's able to do with the cueball. I told him I wouldn't be surprised if Efren could make the ball do a double curve.

He recalled that Irving Crane was one of the nicest gentlemen he's ever met in pool (I agree). He said Crane was kind enough to show Marshall a practice routine for running balls, which reportedly brought his pocketing game way up.

I thought it was interesting for Squirrel to relate that once he tried one-pocket, he immediately gave up playing any other pool game. No 9-ball, straight pool, nothing. Said he hasn't played any of those games in decades.

He cracked me up when I asked him about the nice looking cue he was using. Said he didn't know who made it; that someone gave it to him, and he liked the feel. How many guys don't know what kind of cue they're using?! It's a beautiful pole. Must be 20 or 21 ounces, with a leather grip. You gotta love his game prep style. Even at his age he just walks into the poolroom, hits a couple of shots using a hard stroke, and he's ready to start. Hell, I need an hour to warm up!

He did agree with seveal other top players that a good shooter will prevail over a good mover. Presumably that's why the game has morphed into a style that emphasizes running balls; which has in turn attracted younger players. Marshall's own game is still poetry to watch. Of course he's not usually a threat to run 8 and out. But if you get a shot at your hole, you've earned it. He's still playing strong at 78!

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Old 06-25-2006, 07:27 PM
Mike Mike is offline
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Nice post! Now if you could only get me Crane's practice routine...
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Old 06-26-2006, 10:53 AM
Shorty Shorty is offline
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Thanks Doc, great post!

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Old 06-26-2006, 12:43 PM
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ragbug74 ragbug74 is offline
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Does anyone have any info on this practice routine of Crane's? Is it some "top-secret" thing? Maybe we can get the info from Squirrel?
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Old 06-26-2006, 08:38 PM
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gulfportdoc gulfportdoc is offline
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Default Nothing new...

No, no. The routine isn't anything mystical or secretive. I knew I should've explained the routine in the post. It's simply this: You put all 15 balls in a circle in the middle of the table-- presumably 2-3 feet in diameter. Then you start with the cueball in the center, and try to run all the balls in any order in any pockets, but without touching another ball or a rail. Squirrel related that Crane said when you can successfully run 3 set-ups like that, then you're ready to play. There are many variations on this type practice drill. Of course, how many players actually use them?

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Old 06-26-2006, 11:23 PM
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Default thanks for posting

Thanks for posting that. I really enjoy hearing what people have to say after running into legends. I am always intersted how many still play pool. it would be great to see him on the table................
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Old 06-27-2006, 09:56 AM
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hemicudas hemicudas is offline
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Got to agree with all the rest. Great post, Doc. The Squirrel is like E.F. Hutton, when he speaks they all listen. Wish I could have made the Hattiesburg thing but I have been tied up on our 40th high school reunion work for a month. After this Saturday I will be free at last to get out and about again. Again thanks for the post, Doc.
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