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cueman1973
04-02-2004, 12:33 AM
It seems that this beautful game of skill and finesse is starting to fall by the wayside. Atleast where I live. When I started playing pool seriously back in 91 I seem to remember there was always a game of straight pool going on in the room. Has anybody else noticed this change?

Rod
04-02-2004, 12:40 AM
Yes, for about 20 years.

Popcorn
04-02-2004, 02:26 AM
I used to be a straight pool nut, but I have to admit, I would rather play one pocket, 9-ball or bank pool any more. I do play straight pool almost every day, but only by myself, put on some music and practice for a few hours, it's nice. Competitively though, I like the other games. I don't like sitting in the chair for 30 minutes waiting for a shot, or having a guy run out on me. I like the more personal back and forth battle of the short rack games. It is definitely not a good spectator game, I wouldn't count on it coming back any time soon. It possibly could be a little overrated also as the consummate test of skill. I have seen to many players that don't really play the game have no problem running balls.

Maybe not very pretty, but with good results. A lot of players like to gage straight pool by Mosconi, Crane and so on. But not all the champions played that kind of picture perfect game. Balsas would break the rack and run the balls off in what seemed like no particular pattern and bang open the next rack. You could never guess what Lassiter was going to do. You would be sitting there watching and always be turning to the guy next to you saying, "why did he do that"? I think the game can be played with well thought patterns, or just get most of the balls off any old way working toward the next break shot, each way with good results, as long as you follow certain rules regarding running balls

Keith Talent
04-02-2004, 02:55 AM
True enough. When you see people playing it here in NYC, usually it's guys over 50 who either can't see or don't really like to stroke it, or players (a lot of whom are in their 20s and 30s) in one of our local straight pool leagues.

Nonetheless, I've picked up a few games lately ... have been practicing some for a local 14.1 tourney, and people will sometimes approach when they see me quietly torturing myself. /ccboard/images/graemlins/crazy.gif

But I don't buy it as some ultimate test of skill ... seems to me it's more about focus and endurance, and a little bit of improvisation. But what do I know ... for me, one rack's easy but two is like Mount Rainier without crampons.

socrates
04-02-2004, 09:43 AM
"You call this pool? No this isnt't pool, this is for bangers. Its like cribbage or handball or something.
No- straight pool is pool, you have to be a surgeon to get a shot off, it takes finesse. Nowadays everythings 9 ball, good for loud break shots, good for TV.

Oh well, what the hell, checkers sells more than chess."

Or something similar to the above by Fast Eddie Felson in the color of money.

Cheers to all.

houseman
04-02-2004, 12:00 PM
14-1 gets paid everyday in my room, all age groups.
I think that if they would make it ball-in-hand like 8 and 9 ball it would be played more often. the east coast was the straight pool capitol for years. old school players would hate it though

Wally_in_Cincy
04-02-2004, 12:54 PM
We are fortunate to have The Cincinnati Straight Pool League playing out of SnookerS. Between 35 and 40 participants each session.

daviddjmp
04-02-2004, 12:55 PM
I play in a 14.1 league every Saturday here in Northern California and it is a lot of fun. Bob Jewett and Erik Harada play there on a regular basis and they are great players who can run 60-70 balls everytime they step up to the table. The league has an excellent handicap system, so anyone can make the playoffs and get in the money. There are players from ages of 21-50 in that league.

I also think that if they changed the rules and did away with the intentional foul rule and did BIH and shortened the matches the game would be more popular.

I think there is more pressure in 14.1, because if you miss, you may not shoot again. This is the same in any pool game, but much more so in straight pool.

Wally_in_Cincy
04-02-2004, 01:00 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote houseman:</font><hr> ...I think that if they would make it ball-in-hand like 8 and 9 ball it would be played more often....<hr /></blockquote>

<blockquote><font class="small">Quote daviddjmp:</font><hr> ...I also think that if they changed the rules and did away with the intentional foul rule and did BIH....<hr /></blockquote>

Nooooooooo.......!!!!

/ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif

Heresy say I, pure heresy /ccboard/images/graemlins/wink.gif

Steve Lipsky
04-02-2004, 01:05 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Keith Talent:</font><hr> True enough. When you see people playing it here in NYC, usually it's guys over 50 who either can't see or don't really like to stroke it"
<hr /></blockquote>

Hi Keith. So does the opposite argument apply? Can I say that 9-ball is mostly enjoyed by heartless nits who will only play a game which incurs almost no penalty for a mistake?

(I can't say this, because it's not true. But I hope you see how your above statement is a little inflammatory.)

I realize you then go on to mention the younger generation that plays the leagues. But your connotation is that it's a good game to play when you're blind or without a stroke - and I can assure you either of those conditions will cause you to be one hell of a terrible straight pool player.

- Steve

Tom_In_Cincy
04-02-2004, 01:29 PM
Steve.. TAP! TAP! TAP!

And to add, if you enjoy 14.1 you will probably be a fan of One Pocket also.

Both require thinking about the bigger picture.

If you want quick gratification, play 9 or 8 ball.. or even 3 ball.

Two equally skilled players can have an enormous amount of pool playing pleasure by engaging in a friendly game of 14.1

141and3c
04-02-2004, 01:47 PM
Portland Oregon has a long time running Straight Pool tournament @ Sams Billiards the first Sunday of every month.

Keith Talent
04-02-2004, 02:54 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Steve Lipsky:</font><hr> But your connotation is that it's a good game to play when you're blind or without a stroke - and I can assure you either of those conditions will cause you to be one hell of a terrible straight pool player.

- Steve <hr /></blockquote>

OK, I suppose that was a tad inflammatory. /ccboard/images/graemlins/blush.gif And a slight, er, exaggeration.

But when I look around the ph, I might see one decent game of 14.1 -- if I hang around a few hours -- vs. a dozen decent matchups of 9 ball.

Hey, but I'm becoming a convert ... maybe it's because I got no stroke, either? /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

rocky
04-02-2004, 04:22 PM
It is prob. the best game for teaching you to run 10-15 balls instead of being content with running 4-5. We play every night, but alot of the players dont have the patience for it.

ryushen21
04-04-2004, 12:40 PM
The rules definitely should not change. Yeah, it might make it a little more attractive to other players to have ball in hand or shorten the races but i doubt it would generate more players. I think that it's just because the popularity of games like 8-ball, 9-ball, 7-ball, etc. have taken over a lot of the space where Straight Pool used to have ground. So most player learn the others, then learn Straight and end up not really liking it because it tends to be a little more demanding of the player. I am one of the only straight pool players in my pool room and rarely does anyone want a game because i won't play less than 125. I think that if people get introduced to it well, and see the challenge inherent in the game, it will gain a little more popularity. And it is still the best game around.

Popcorn
04-04-2004, 01:38 PM
quote
"i won't play less than 125."

Why? If you have guys that are running 6 or 8 balls, 125 is like a marathon to them, they should play 50 points. If you are such a superior player though, why not accommodate them and pass on some of that knowledge by playing with them. Straight pool is not much fun anyway for a weak player playing a strong player even with a handicap. They run 6, then sit and watch you run 70. Straight pool is a hard game to match up and have it be fun for both players if their skills are so far apart. That is the great thing about 9-ball, players of all levels can play together. An average player can play Buddy Hall and get plenty of turns at the table. That may have a little bit to do with the game, (straight pool,)dyeing out, where is a new player to begin playing the game. You can go into the pool room and practice with anyone in the room, playing 8-ball or 9-ball, they may pick up a few pointers, or you may if you are the lesser player and you both have fun, plus some knowledge is exchanged.

Frank_Glenn
04-04-2004, 02:10 PM
Well, I think you may be gambling incorrectly at 14.1. Don't play to 100 balls for $20, play for $1 a ball. When one of these "old blind guys" runs 100 &amp; out and you have to fork up a franklin, you will start to see the light.

Popcorn
04-04-2004, 05:04 PM
I don't see your point.

Williebetmore
04-04-2004, 06:51 PM
In Indianapolis we have a straight pool league that has been running for over 50 years. Very entertaining, it is now handicapped. The best player still usually wins, but he has to play his @#@@ off. It is 10 times more fun than the weekly 9 Ball tournament.

There is no comparison between 9 Ball and 14.1. When you are in a long match, you have 2 hours of constant tension - no such thing as an easy shot when you get near the end. Nine ball is a sneeze, straight pool is a 2 hour orgasm when played properly.

I agree that ball count (not just winning or losing) should be factored into a betting match, or league play.

I also think todays equipment (ie. fast cloth) makes the game easier (clusters break more easily, and you don't need as powerful a stroke to move the cueball), so it may appear to be easier at first glance than you will find it to be if you match up with a good player.

By the way, is this poster the Steve Lipsky that played in the New Jersey State Straight Pool Tournament last year? If yes, one our local professionals thinks he is a heck of a pool player.

SPetty
04-04-2004, 07:36 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Williebetmore:</font><hr>If yes, one our local professionals thinks he is a heck of a pool player.<hr /></blockquote>Well, he's got a lot of company here - there's a lot of folks here who think he's one heck of a pool player too. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

ryushen21
04-04-2004, 07:59 PM
Ok, i am not a superior Straight pool player by any means. It is my preferred game to play and the one that i play better than the others. I play in a college pool hall 90% of the time because i work there and get to play for free. I do have my days when i go on good runs. And by that i mean, maybe 20 balls. And I usually do give them a handicap somewhere around 20-30 points.

My reason for playing only the longer races is because it makes things a lot more interesting. Some of the guys that i play with like to see a guy go on a big run and the longer races accomodate that kind of thing more often. it's not like we are being are extremely serious or playing for money. We play for fun and maybe for some of the guys they learn a few things in the game too. I always help anyone out who asks me for help with their game.

I also think that straight pool is the best learning game out there because it has aspects that are applicable to almost all pool games. There is position playing, rack reading, safeties, etc. A guy who is a moderate to good straight pool player can almost always just well to games like 9-ball.

Frank_Glenn
04-04-2004, 08:05 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Popcorn:</font><hr> I don't see your point. <hr /></blockquote>
Well, I'm an old blind guy, does that help?

c.holtz009
04-04-2004, 09:31 PM
To me, pool is pool. Any game, any opponent, anywhere.
All games, to me, have their own distinctive qualities. If the game is played on a pool table, I love it.
I guess I'm just saying I love pool no matter what the game.
What can I do? I'm a die hard.
I have played some 14.1. Most people here haven't even heard of it, or don't know how it's played. It's a real shame because it's such a great game to play!

buddha162
04-05-2004, 02:54 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote ryushen21:</font><hr>A guy who is a moderate to good straight pool player can almost always just well to games like 9-ball. <hr /></blockquote>

I don't think I agree with this at all.

9-ball requires a stroke that straight pool players use only occasionally. How often do you force follow three rails to get shape in straight pool?

I practice straight pool once or twice a week, and even after those brief sessions I start to fear a long green shot when I switch back to 9-ball.

I think it's harder for pure straight-pool players to adjust physically to 9-ball, and for 9-ball players it's more of a mental issue when facing a complicated straight pool pattern.

-Roger

ryushen21
04-05-2004, 03:32 AM
What i was referring to in that instance was the kind of planning and control inherent in both games. 9-ball recquires a lot of precision in CB placement and shot selection. The same is very true of Straight Pool even though it is possible to have another shot available straight pool, you have the one shot that you want and that you will shoot and set for.

One of the better examples of similiarities between 9-ball and Straight Pool is key ball and break ball selection compared to setting for the 9. In SP, i look for the KB and BB about halfway through the rack after it's opened up a bit. I'll know exactly what kind of shot i want on the KB so that i can have good position on the BB. In nine ball you have to consider the same option. There may be several ways to pocket the last ball before the nine, but you are going to go for the one that will provide you with the best set for the nine.

I was just saying that there are traits that are similar to both the games. I prefer straight pool when i can get a game, but i have adjusted to 9-ball pretty well.

dmgwalsh
04-05-2004, 04:40 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Williebetmore:</font><hr>

There is no comparison between 9 Ball and 14.1. When you are in a long match, you have 2 hours of constant tension - no such thing as an easy shot when you get near the end. Nine ball is a sneeze, straight pool is a 2 hour orgasm when played properly.

<hr /></blockquote>

I agree with the tension part. As I got casual on a few shots last night, I had to sit when my opponent cleaned up the rest of the rack and got halfway through the next rack to take a game I was winning away from me.

I'm still having trouble with the pin point position on the key and break ball. In nine ball, as long as you can pot the next ball and get shape on the following you're probably ok. On the break ball in straight, you obviously have to get shapes on the right side of the ball.

I'm trying to get into a Straight pool league that starts in may at Red Shoes in Chicago. I should be able to learn something from those guys.

Williebetmore
04-05-2004, 07:40 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote buddha162:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote ryushen21:</font><hr>A guy who is a moderate to good straight pool player can almost always just well to games like 9-ball. <hr /></blockquote>

I don't think I agree with this at all.

9-ball requires a stroke that straight pool players use only occasionally. How often do you force follow three rails to get shape in straight pool?

I practice straight pool once or twice a week, and even after those brief sessions I start to fear a long green shot when I switch back to 9-ball.

I think it's harder for pure straight-pool players to adjust physically to 9-ball, and for 9-ball players it's more of a mental issue when facing a complicated straight pool pattern.

-Roger <hr /></blockquote>
Actually the best straight pool players have extremely powerful strokes (see Steve Mizerak, Jimmy Rempe). In the days before fast cloth, an extremely powerful stroke was necessary to move the cueball around, and on break shots and cluster breaks. The older straight pool players will have no special problem with the long green - they know it is critically important, and they will have worked on their technique. In addition, straight pool requires multiple shots not used as often in 9 Ball (secondary cluster breaks, caroms, billiards, combinations, pinpoint short side position, and yes lots of 3 rail routes but with a smaller target). If you are to beat the best players in our league at 14.1, you had better be darn good at all of those shots, and you had better not fear the long shots (having said that, in straight pool, because of the tension it does make you tend to think more about the consequences of missing; but you had better get over it).

#### leonard
04-05-2004, 08:10 AM
Willie that is the same Steve Lipsky, as for a two hour orgasm I have always said on this board. That given the choice of making love to the most beutiful women in the world or running 200 balls, I would take the running two hundred balls, it is a high that I have never been able to duplicate with a women.

It is a drug free trip to lala land.####

Williebetmore
04-06-2004, 02:52 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Popcorn:</font><hr> Straight pool is not much fun anyway for a weak player playing a strong player even with a handicap. They run 6, then sit and watch you run 70. Straight pool is a hard game to match up and have it be fun for both players if their skills are so far apart. That is the great thing about 9-ball, players of all levels can play together. An average player can play Buddy Hall and get plenty of turns at the table. That may have a little bit to do with the game, (straight pool,)dyeing out, where is a new player to begin playing the game. You can go into the pool room and practice with anyone in the room, playing 8-ball or 9-ball, they may pick up a few pointers, or you may if you are the lesser player and you both have fun, plus some knowledge is exchanged. <hr /></blockquote>

Popcorn,
I would respectfully disagree with this assessment. I have introduced lots of new players to straight pool, and they have uniformly loved it. They can shoot any ball, the rules are simple; it is certainly easier to run balls for them. Yes, they will have to watch if they are playing a superior player, but really if you are shooting at a brisk pace they will still get their chances (and plenty of them if they are playing me). When I play 9 Ball with the professionals I find myself either kicking or shooting at some impossible shot - how much fun would that be for a beginner (maybe Buddy Hall is more compassionate than the people I play with). Even if a beginner gets to the table in 9 Ball, is he really going to run more than 3 or 4 balls. In straight pool the beginner can occasionally get a whole rack. In addition, I think handicapping is a great thing for straight pool. In our league some of my very best and most exciting matches were against the worst players - and they felt the same way. I spot them 75 balls in a 100 point game - you have to play your rear off to beat them, and they feel like they have a real chance. The last 20 minutes of the game is always completely tension-filled. Much better than the tension-filled 1 minute of a 9 Ball game; just my opinion (and that of every other hardcore straight pool fanatic/loser on the planet).
P.S. - no one runs 70 every time at the table. I think the Miz and Mosconi probably averaged somewhere around 15 balls an inning - plenty of opportunity for a novice to shoot (and heck, just take pity on the poor schmoe and leave him something to shoot - don't ruin his life by getting him interested in stupid rotation games). End of screed.

SteveFromNY
04-08-2004, 07:57 AM
I tell ya, ever since I started playing about a month ago (was a sole 9-ball player before that), I haven't been able to stop. And unfortunately, I've since grown to loathe 9-ball and its luck factor. I am COMPLETELY IN LOVE with the game now! I plan on joining my first straight league in a few weeks at Corners and I seriously CANNOT wait!

Williebetmore
04-08-2004, 11:46 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote SteveFromNY:</font><hr> I tell ya, ever since I started playing about a month ago (was a sole 9-ball player before that), I haven't been able to stop. And unfortunately, I've since grown to loathe 9-ball and its luck factor. I am COMPLETELY IN LOVE with the game now! I plan on joining my first straight league in a few weeks at Corners and I seriously CANNOT wait! <hr /></blockquote>

Steve,
Straight pool is a great game, but I think you'll see that competition makes it much better (adds that tension that is not present when you and friends are just banging it around). While there is always an element of luck in any game, it seems to be fairly minimal in 14.1. You will enjoy getting to the end of a game and feeling good about winning (without that nagging suspicion that maybe you just got lucky).

dmgwalsh
04-08-2004, 12:04 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote SteveFromNY:</font><hr> I tell ya, ever since I started playing about a month ago (was a sole 9-ball player before that), I haven't been able to stop. And unfortunately, I've since grown to loathe 9-ball and its luck factor. I am COMPLETELY IN LOVE with the game now! I plan on joining my first straight league in a few weeks at Corners and I seriously CANNOT wait! <hr /></blockquote>

Ditto. I'm going to Red Shoes in Chicago this Saturday to see about getting into a straight league that starts in May. Apparently, the guy running it has to check me out re handicap. hopefully, they'll let me play.

Popcorn
04-08-2004, 12:23 PM
I understand what you are saying, but a beginning player I can totally bury. Run 30 or 40 balls, hit them with safeties run balls, they would never want to play with me again. Giving a big spot does not make the game any more fun for them, they are still never at the table. 9 ball and 8 ball is different. It is easy to handicap and make it fun for the other player. It is a very good game for any player to play but it is still hard for a beginner to play a better player if there is a big difference in their skills. You could make it more fun by shooting stupid shots and banking racks open but it would be a bogus game.

Wally_in_Cincy
04-08-2004, 12:38 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Popcorn:</font><hr> I understand what you are saying, but a beginning player I can totally bury. Run 30 or 40 balls, hit them with safeties run balls, they would never want to play with me again....<hr /></blockquote>

I would guess most of us are not used to playing someone who can consistently do that. Even the A players in our league eventually miss.

I know what you are saying though. My first league match (it was only about the 4th time I had ever played 14.1) my opponent beat me 100-15 /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif. I thought "What have I gotten myself into?".

If I played the same guy now I would get about 60 or 70 off of him, just due to knowledge moreso than shot-making.

Frank_Glenn
04-08-2004, 08:48 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Popcorn:</font><hr> I understand what you are saying, but a beginning player I can totally bury. Run 30 or 40 balls, hit them with safeties run balls, they would never want to play with me again. Giving a big spot does not make the game any more fun for them, they are still never at the table. 9 ball and 8 ball is different. It is easy to handicap and make it fun for the other player. It is a very good game for any player to play but it is still hard for a beginner to play a better player if there is a big difference in their skills. You could make it more fun by shooting stupid shots and banking racks open but it would be a bogus game. <hr /></blockquote>

I play a beginner. He gets 65 balls in a race to 100, and I can not play any safe. When he wins, his HC goes down 5 points, when I win it goes up 5 points. I usually win, but not always. He is slowly improving. Oh, and when i say no safties, I mean just that. I call a ball (and try to make one) off the opening rack. I also do this on clusters. I have learned a lot about dead balls doing this.

Popcorn
04-09-2004, 12:38 AM
That is a pretty good spot. I play my wife sometimes and she gets two misses per inning. It gives her more time at the table. She can play a little also, her high run is 52, (Not with the free miss, on the square playing someone at the pool room). I play opposite handed with her also. It is good practice for me and she get to play a lot. I give her the two misses also playing 9 ball and it makes for a pretty good game. She will sometimes use the miss as a push to improve her position, it is a fun game for us to play. Mostly when we practice we play scotch doubles by ourselves, just trying to run out. It is amazing how fast her game improved playing like that. I don't really coach her or anything, she just seems to pick it up faster. Talking about spots and straight pool, years ago I used to go into a bowling alley and there was a guy there that had money and used to sponsor several teams.. He liked to play straight pool and somehow we got playing with me giving him odds on the money. I gave him 10 to 1 on the money and we played even. We played every week two or three games. He never won a game in the two years or so we played. He played terrible, I think he just liked giving me money. We played 100 point games and usually for $10. or $20. (pretty cheap I know, but this was when gas was $.29 a gallon).

daviddjmp
04-09-2004, 09:36 AM
Our straight pool league director has an excellent handicap system. We have had players of all levels make the playoffs for the money. It is a 13 week league, attendance is not mandatory, but you must play 10 games to qualify for the playoffs. Players rankings go from around 590 to 740. Each time you win, your rating goes up 3, a loss takes it down 3. We have beginning to professional players of all ages and a couple of seasons ago, one of the weakest players won the finals. Giving a large spot can be intimidating to any player. If any of you would like a copy , PM me and I will email you the spread sheet with the handicap system he uses, which I think is one of the fairest I have seen-

Popcorn
04-09-2004, 10:06 AM
I have sent you a PM, I would be interested in seeing the system.

daviddjmp
04-09-2004, 12:02 PM
You should have it now-

Bob_Jewett
04-09-2004, 03:10 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote daviddjmp:</font><hr> Our straight pool league director has an excellent handicap system. [...] <hr /></blockquote>
For those who get Billiards Digest, the system was described in the June 2003 issue.

daviddjmp
04-09-2004, 03:25 PM
See you tomorrow, Bob-

Popcorn
04-09-2004, 05:14 PM
I could not get it to open, but it is me. I don't know much. I will see if my wife can do it later.