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Archive for August, 2009

Pool RacksIn many pool halls they have wooden and plastic pool racks, always use the wooden ones. A plastic rack will flex and bend so by the time you pull off the rack the balls will shift unless you are very careful when lifting it off. When this happens you get a very loose rack so when anyone goes to break the rack it will not disperse equally or even worse the rack will not break at all. Any expert player knows this and a good tight rack will allow you to shoot high to medium speed and the ball should shatter all across the pool table. So when choosing your rack make sure you grab a wooden one, the reason most pool halls have the plastic racks is because of cost effectiveness but if you own your own pool table make sure you up grade to a goo thick wooden rack.

And as a note if a good pool player racks your pool balls and you strike them and they don’t break out well then there is only 2 reason for it, either it was a mistake or they purposely did it so they could have the next shot immediately. But its common courtesy for you to re-rack for your opponent if you give a bad rack.

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3 ball pool rackThis game is perfect for average players and advanced players the object is to line up three balls on the breaking dot then break as well as take the least amount of shot possible to make all three balls quickly. OR you can modify the game for advanced players and make it timed as well in other work who can run all three ball in the quickest time possible.

What this game really allows your to practice (without the timed runs) is to make open shots on the pool table with a little stress meaning the less shots you take the better it is for you to win. You can have unlimited players play this game but its best with around 10. At the end of each round who ever has the least amount of shots to get in three balls is the winner but if there is a tie it rolls over to the next round until there is a straight winner. Some of the best shots are usually around 2 or 3 while making 1 or 2 pool balls on the break.

The times shots run will get you used to playing under pressure since its times you have to get ready on your next shot quickly and follow the cue ball to make the next shot. I think this game is an absolute must for advanced players only because if its times and to get the lowest time there is the extra pressure of making your shot quickly and effectively, stops shots are preferable to win at the times games. You should always practice how you play and if you are under extreme amount of stress and pressure this will train you to control your mind and body under strenuous situations. But good advice is play it like a NAVY SEAL smooth is fast, and fast is smooth so don’t get jerky, stay calm, and have confidence.

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pool rack

A great three player game is “Cut Throat” where you rack a full rack of 15 balls then out of the three players one person breaks you can choose by any order you feel fell or a game of Rock, Paper, Scissors can be the chooser. After the ball break if no ball are sunk then the next person will shoot, if a ball is sunk then the first person will have the ability to choose which set of balls is his or hers. The three sets are 1-5, 6-10, 11-15 the object of the game is to sink everyone ball on the table and keep your balls on the table. So the the breaker sinks a 12 it is advantageous to choose one of the other sets preferably the one hardest to sink.

So example is if player 1 chooses the 6-10 ball and then runs the table out of all 1-5 and 11-15 then they are proclaimed the winner, but if player 1 misses the next shot and player 2 sinks a ball then chooses 11-15 the thier goal is to sink all of the other balls except 11-15.

If all of all the balls of a set get sunk in the middle of that game that player is eliminated and so forth until there is only one person standing.

There are shark rules involved such as you may shoot your own set of balls in to get to another shot or to no give up a turn, so if player 1 is still Set 6 -10 and there are only 2 choices to sink their own ball or lose the turn they may sink their own ball to get to another as long as they have enough balls on the table to keep playing.

If there is a scratch the next player in line get ball in hand and can place the cue ball anywhere on the table they choose.

This game is a more fun for three game and not very challenging at all for above average pool player but it is a great game if you have odd people at the table or just a three pack of friends with a possible 12 pack of booze.

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Pool Cue ShaftMost average to expert level pool players are picky about their shaft size, especially the Diameter around. Most standard pool cue sticks are about 13mm from the tip down but then you can get a 12 millimeter and even and slim as 11.75mm which does not seem like a lot of size difference but if you have a regular cue that you shoot with and switch over it is definitely a huge handling difference.

The theory between the different sizes really are meant for the tips of the cue stick. A 13mm tip will obviously have a lot more surface and is more for starting players or the average player who does not use a lot of trick shots or over use of English, versus a 12mm tip some people believe that since its a smaller surface area on the stick that your draw stroke, or your top strokes allow more precision shooting.

I believe that the real difference between the 2 size shafts is the extra weight of the complete cue stick, so if you have a bigger pool cue shaft your stick will be a lot more front heavy like a corvette sports car versus a smaller tips shaft most of the weight will be in the back much like a Lamborghini. Either way this really depends on personal preference because the only other way to compensate for either one is to get a Custom pool cue stick where the complete stick is perfectly balanced from the middle out.

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BreathingOne of the most important things to remember or focus on in pool is breathing most people that have played in organized sports will tell you breathing comes from the diaphragm and should be something you focusing on while working out or delivering a sports motion, and doing it on a pool table is no different. Watching people play billiards for year I have found the most common bad habit isĀ  holding your breath before and during a stroked shot. When you hold your breath during a shot your body will automatically tighten up and you will feel tense, and in most cases you will rush your shot.

A good basic way to overcome this is when you bend over the pool table to line up your cue ball on the shot is to take a couple of line up practice stroke by pumping your cue stick behind the cue ball and make sure you are breathing while you are doing it and just before you take your real shot inhale when you being your stick back and exhale as you shoot the cue ball. Also if you are about to shoot the cue ball and something doesn’t feel right its always a great idea to get up form the shot take a deep breath then continue this way you reset your body and mind.

The point of breathing is pool is relaxation of your body and muscles, a tense body will give you a tense shot while will in turn give your failed results. Plus if you get into a bind on any shot taking a deep breath and relaxing before you walk up to the table will give you more options to your present mind state. Think about a very tense person who gets into a situation and panics there is no thought process going through their brains except how the messed up or what kind of trouble they are in. Always remember by breathing and focusing on your breathing will relax your mind and body and give you the opportunity to have a perfect clarity to any pool shot.

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How To shoot poolShooting pool can seem like the most simple things in the world but if you are a starter pool player there are 3 key things you need to really focus on while shooting.

The first is selecting a good straight pool cue stick. You would think this would be easy and any cue will do but if you are playing pool at a bar where there are use pool cues everywhere first start out by find the right length cue it should be about chest level the the weight should feel average not too heavy or light. Then make sure its straight unless you’ve purchased your own cue and gone through these tests a bar cue is usually worn and warped and has a bow in it, find on that is as straight and possible and you can test it by rolling it across a table and you will see wiggles and wave across the shaft if it’s a straight cue stick or not. Most of the time if you are picking up a stick on the wall its going to have some imperfections so just go with the flow and find the best possible.

The second thing is your stroke. Your stroke should be as close to you body as possible you can even rest it across your waist or if you are a girl below your <cough> bosom. Your elbow should work and a pendulum and should be and easy and clean stroke, take a few practice shot on a cue ball before playing and see how straight your shot is. Bring your cue stick back loosely in your hand and flow straight forward increasing the pressure between you hands and your stick for a straight smooth shot across the felt.

The third thing is probably the most important even for above average players. Keep down on the shot at all times, because even the best of players accidentally pop up after striking the cue ball. This usually happens when you are not concentrating or hurrying up your shot. When you bend over the pool table and pull back your stick and shoot forward make sure you stay as low to the table as possible and and still as possible until you see the cue ball leave the stick. Straightening your back mid shot will change the shot completely. For advanced players your English shot on the ball will be pulled down on the cue and for starting players this may cause your shot to jerk so dramatically you will pull your shots all over the place except what you are aiming for. So make sure you stay down on the shot and pretend there is a weight on your back keeping you still.

With these techniques, especially for beginner this will improve your game by 200% I promise that. And for advanced player when you are not shooting as well as you should always go back to the basics of pool this will calm your shot down and keep you from getting discourage. At least it will keep you thinking about your technique and not about the stresses of the one on one game itself.

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Corner Pocket PoolIf you have master the art of shooting pool balls straight into the pockets it is important to remember other than keeping low and looking straight down the shaft of your cue that a good long mild stroke will always beat a shooter who is slamming balls around a table. The reason why is that rails are soft and are meant to compress. Plus if you shoot hard you have a higher rate of inaccurate shot. Most players who shoot harder, and harder are either 2 things. Inexperienced shooters, or they are trying to intimidate you or the crowd in some way.

Shooting into a pool ball into any pocket should be a very nice finesse calm shot with follow through. This way if you are a little off target when it hits the pocket corners it follows its Pattern and drops into the pocket. A great example of seeing this is when a shooter shoots too hard and it barley hits a corner it rattles back and forth in between a corner pocket, the reason why is when it hits the corner it compresses the rail which will change the complete angle of the shot itself. To prove this all you have to do is walk up to one of these pockets and press one the corner of the pocket, notice it sinks in. Now imagine you shooting a ball hard into that corner with the compression, you have now changed your angle completely and this is why pool palls rattle inside of pockets.

Pool is a complete game of finesse, watch the professionals if you notice none of them shoot hard or make any loud pocket noises. The reason why is they are taking their time with nice smooth long strokes and not focusing on power at all. So shooting hard does not force a pool balls or billard balls in, but a slower smooth shot can save you shot if you are a little off.

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