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View Full Version : Break Shot info from the Mosconi Cup



ceebee
12-29-2004, 11:14 AM
Below is some interesting information taken from an article describing the action at the Mosconi Cup.

We have come for the Mosconi Cup. For the sixth time, in as many years, the Americans have come to face the best that Europe has to offer in order to return the Mosconi Cup to Yankee shores.

..Earl Strickland called the European contingent "by far the toughest group they have ever thrown against us."

The Cup is contested in York Hall, a venue built during the late 1800s. The heating system predates the players and is prone to siesta at any moment from blown breakers.

Each morning Earl must warm the practice balls on portable heaters so his charges can practice their breaks. The practice conditions are the biggest thorn in his side. "This ain't right. The TV table is warm and fast from the heat of the lights and this thing is cold and getting wetter as the week goes on. How are we supposed to work on our breaks when what we do up here bears no relation to the conditions downstairs?"

The American Team could not have gotten a better captain. Earl structured the practice times for his players, made sure the next guys up got their swings in, and he racked the balls. Boy, did he rack the balls. Michael Coltrain told us, "He musta' racked those balls a thousand times. He would just stand down there and we would crack em open and he would comment on what we did and he would rack em up again and we did that over and over again until the breaks were working. You get those breaks working and everything else has a chance of working. No breaks, no chances."

Indeed, the practice rooms of both camps were breaking marathons. Players at this level can run hundreds of balls, so nine of them just isn't that much of a problem if they can get a good shot on the lowest ball and not have a bunch of clusters to screw up the paths of position.

Yeah, well that happens when you cluster the table up on the break and can't get position on a stop shot. Give any of these twelve pros a clean shot on a clean table and you can bet they're out. Game after game saw the successful breaker clean the table. Anyone able to break the other man's serve generally cruised on to victory in the short race-to-five sets.

Meanwhile, Americans Strickland and Deuel were flawless. They ran out when they should and played safe when required. The American captain had figured out the break and his side had the advantage.

Upstairs, Strickland had been obsessed with finding a break that would work. He heated the practice balls on the portable electric heaters in the practice room to get them to react the way the ones under the TV lights would. Then he racked them time and again while various team members tried different breaks. First they learned to break from the left. That side of the table was working better. Then they made the big discovery. Earl and Johnny found that when you moved the cue ball back about a ball's width from the head string that balls started dropping on the break. Earl refined the shot by describing the proper speed and the Americans were making balls on the snap.

Earl never stopped working on the break. All week he refined it as the playing conditions shifted and the cloth on the playing table began to wear in. The final break version used on Sunday was a powered-up cut break shot that began with the cue ball almost on the side rail, a far cry from the undercooked square shot that began the week.

Deeman2
12-29-2004, 11:34 AM
ceebee,

It's nice to hear something positive about Earl posted here. Thanks for the info.

Deeman

Qtec
12-29-2004, 11:40 AM
[ QUOTE ]
Give any of these twelve pros a clean shot on a clean table and you can bet they're out. Game after game saw the successful breaker clean the table. Anyone able to break the other man's serve generally cruised on to victory in the short race-to-five sets <hr /></blockquote>

Could it be true? A good break DOES /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif give you an advantage!

Q tec [ Thinks: if you could hit the pack hard enough, you would always make a ball]

wolfdancer
12-29-2004, 03:12 PM
I have to heat up my balls also, before I can play.
Ya jes can't play with cold balls.
The pool table is out in the garage, and there's no
insulation.
Yours was the first post I've ever read, that had something positive to say about Earl. For ten years, twice a year at the Reno Open, I got used to seeing him arguing with some fan. My friend asked him outside after he picked on his girlfriend, and once between sets, in the finals, Kim said
"let's step outside, and settle this"
I just think the guy,is so into his game, that he becomes irrational, at times....nice to hear something good...thanks