What Matters?

<br /> by Tom Simpson

Let’s look at some of the vital qualities of better players. What does it take to get better? Beyond knowledge, technique, and experience, what matters? What might you change or improve that will raise your game – or at least raise your enjoyment of the game?

Bar Box 8-Ball

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Bar Box 8-Ball
By: Marty Kaczmarowski, APA 7

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End of game or middle game strategy: take away a blocked pocket with a combination and put your ball in front of the pocket. This leaves you with a “duck” and your opponent with a headache.

Worse is Better

Worse is Better

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Worse is Better
By Samm Diep © December 2008
If you’re fortunate enough to play only on the finest Diamond or Gold Crown table with shiny, clean Super Aramith Pro balls and newly recovered Simonis cloth, then you’re probably pretty spoiled. And let me guess, you might struggle a little at league or the local weekly tournament when you have to play on bar tables with ripped felt, mismatched balls, and karaoke blasting in your ear.
There’s something to be said about practicing and competing under controlled environments where your opponent is respectful and everything is pristine, but welcome to the real world. Unless you’re a professional and you only compete in professional events where the equipment is perfect and consistent, then you’ll need to learn to adjust. Not even the pros are that lucky.
It’s no secret that sub-par conditions level the playing field. A C-player that wouldn’t win one game against you on a big table stands a fair chance of beating you on an unkempt bar table. The biggest weakness for the A-player is that they forget that they’re on a bar table. They’re still trying to play perfect pool. They’re delicate with safeties and attempting finesse shots for window shape. In this environment, it only gets them into trouble.

Cheaters Never Win

Cheaters Never Win

The Ref Stop
Cheaters Never Win
By Bob Hunt
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Have you ever thought about destiny?   Destiny is a vivid force in pool.  You know what I mean, when you slipped and privately bumped the cue ball, shot anyway and missed. Maybe you accidentally moved a ball that ended up in a good spot for you and failed to mention it.  You lost anyway or gave your opponent ball in hand because of something stupid.  That is destiny for cheaters.   Destiny is Mother Nature’s way to make things right.  Maybe a guilty conscious or a mysterious aura is at work.  I do not know, it just happens.  Players that cheat usually cannot win by skillful means.  So if you are worried about a cheater beating you, just let it go and win by destiny.  Of course, you should let the ref know so we can look out for those characters.  I love to catch them.  Make my day!

The Pep Talk: It’s the Same Shot – By Samm Diep

It was day two of the tournament and he was on the b-side. He had played poorly, missing shots and hooking himself. He admitted that he hadn’t played well, but all he could talk about was how much he hated that heavy bar table cue ball. It didn’t do what he wanted and he kept getting into trouble. Being more accustomed to the red circle cue ball, he was having difficultly adjusting to the heavier bar ball and the smaller tables. He was complaining about the conditions.

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Eric Yow – Triple Threat: Three Threes

By Eric “The Preacher” Yow!

This issue I want to show three easy set-up shots that will surely impress the passer-by. In my shows of “Eric Yow’s Trick Shot Madness” I perform a variety of shots, some easy, many hard, and everything in between. To get the show started, I often have a few shots setup, ready to go, which are almost sure makes just by virtue of them being set up properly. As illustrated, these are three of the shots, each requiring three balls, which are nice novelty shots to both warm up a crowd and arouse interest in what else you may have up your sleeve.

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Willie Jopling – One Pocket Proposition

If you can set this shot up and tap it into the table before your mark shows up this makes a good One Pocket proposition. Freeze the 2 and 5 balls together as you see them in this diagram. The 2 ball is near the foot-rail a ball or two beyond the center of table on your opponents side. The 2 and 5 are aimed directly towards the first diamond on the long rail on your opponent’s side of the table.

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