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mrclean132
03-13-2005, 01:53 PM
When people say to get back to the moddle of the table they surely don't mean between the center pockets, do they?
If I had to shoot a ball on the end rail one diamond in I would want to be in the middle of the table down toward the end of the table, wouldn't I? In other words, the middle of the table must run the length of the table just right and just left of the center diamondright? A diagram of what the center of the table is would be helpful, thanks in advance.

PQQLK9
03-13-2005, 03:52 PM
Middle of the table means just what it says. When you are in the middle of the table you have access to each pocket and no shot is longer than half a table in length.
Also when the cue ball crosses the middle of the table it will never scratch.
(unless it is traveling from corner to corner which is pretty unlikely)

Now the middle of the table is not going to give you the BEST position on every shot but the averages will be in your favor.

Popcorn
03-13-2005, 07:23 PM
I have heard it mostly applying to straight pool, but would not take it literally. It means to stay in the open keep your options open and not get stuck against rails or in traps with no alternatives. You want back doors.

Bob_Jewett
03-13-2005, 08:33 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote mrclean132:</font><hr> When people say to get back to the m(i)ddle of the table they surely don't mean between the center pockets, do they?
... <hr /></blockquote>
Yes, I think that's what's meant, but they include passing through the center spot. If you don't yet know how to control the cue ball or don't decide before you shoot what you ought to do, it's a reasonable place to start. But I'd suggest that you learn other position, because I think "through the center" is rarely the best way to play position. Nearly always there are shorter, better ways.

Fats suggested something similar, close to "when in doubt, go for the middle of the table" but he wasn't as specific.

Stretch
03-14-2005, 06:39 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Bob_Jewett:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote mrclean132:</font><hr> When people say to get back to the m(i)ddle of the table they surely don't mean between the center pockets, do they?
... <hr /></blockquote>
Yes, I think that's what's meant, but they include passing through the center spot. If you don't yet know how to control the cue ball or don't decide before you shoot what you ought to do, it's a reasonable place to start. But I'd suggest that you learn other position, because I think "through the center" is rarely the best way to play position. Nearly always there are shorter, better ways.

Fats suggested something similar, close to "when in doubt, go for the middle of the table" but he wasn't as specific. <hr /></blockquote>

i agree, that there are many more routs other than through centre to achieve position. But even though the centre does not come into play as such. an awareness of where it is in relation to that specific shot can serve as a mental boundry for the exicution of that shot. St.

SpiderMan
03-14-2005, 08:04 AM
It's a generalization, pointing out that if the cueball is in the center of the table you are more likely to have shot options than at other places. I think it would be more applicable to "easy-shot" games such as straight pool or equal offense, where you are allowed to shoot at any ball on the table.

Also, a line from any point on any rail, which goes through the center of the table, cannot end in a pocket. This means that if you play shape toward the center of the table (not necessarily planning to stop there), you greatly reduce the possibility of a scratch. Any line through the center of the table, which does not start from a pocket, cannot end at a pocket. I believe this gem is included on one of Bert Kinister's tapes.

SpiderMan

Bob_Jewett
03-14-2005, 11:59 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote SpiderMan:</font><hr> ...
Also, a line from any point on any rail, which goes through the center of the table, cannot end in a pocket. This means that if you play shape toward the center of the table (not necessarily planning to stop there), you greatly reduce the possibility of a scratch. ... <hr /></blockquote>
While this is obviously true, I think it is not really useful. I think you are better off choosing a target on the rail you want to contact and trying to send the cue ball there. For that matter, if you come off the cushion six inches from the corner pocket, and you miss the center of the table by three inches in the wrong direction -- that's only three inches in over four feet of travel -- you scratch in the opposite corner pocket.

When I'm struggling to avoid scratches, I send the cue ball to the center of the rail section I want to hit. That gives me two feet of margin.

SpiderMan
03-14-2005, 01:32 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Bob_Jewett:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote SpiderMan:</font><hr> ...
Also, a line from any point on any rail, which goes through the center of the table, cannot end in a pocket. This means that if you play shape toward the center of the table (not necessarily planning to stop there), you greatly reduce the possibility of a scratch. ... <hr /></blockquote>
While this is obviously true, I think it is not really useful. I think you are better off choosing a target on the rail you want to contact and trying to send the cue ball there. For that matter, if you come off the cushion six inches from the corner pocket, and you miss the center of the table by three inches in the wrong direction -- that's only three inches in over four feet of travel -- you scratch in the opposite corner pocket.

When I'm struggling to avoid scratches, I send the cue ball to the center of the rail section I want to hit. That gives me two feet of margin. <hr /></blockquote>
The purpose, and "usefulness", of Bert's center-table strategy pertains to what happens AFTER you hit that rail. In other words, we're talking about the cueball path between the first and second rails. As an example, this happens any time the object ball is close to a rail and you cut in in from an angle, with enough speed to take the cueball all the way to a second rail contact.

If the path of the cue ball [as it rebounds off the first rail] is toward the center of the table, it will not terminate in a pocket but will always hit another rail (unless it stops first). This could be used as a sanity check whenever you prepare to send the cueball around the table.

Advanced players might not need it, but I have to say that the author came up with a great easy-to-remember "rule of thumb" that isn't dependent on a list of exceptions. I've heard folks dissing Bert Kinister as a player, and wouldn't know about that, but his teaching/learning/naming methods (also credited and used by Bob Henning in his books and videos) are pretty innovative and make a lot of sense.

SpiderMan

Bob_Jewett
03-14-2005, 01:39 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote SpiderMan:</font><hr>... but his teaching/learning/naming methods (also credited and used by Bob Henning in his books and videos) are pretty innovative and make a lot of sense.... <hr /></blockquote>
In my discussion I was referring to the travel from the first to the second cushion, which I believe is exactly what you were talking about. I regret that I did not make that clearer.

And Bert may have some useful ideas, but I still think that this "take it across the center spot" is not one of them.

wolfdancer
03-14-2005, 01:57 PM
I've got Henning's Pro Book DVD's,and had some of Bert's tapes.
Bert had some good ideas, but a little too much verbiage for me.Each three tape set could have been condensed into one.
Didn't notice any similarity between Bert's and Henning's styles, but that may have gone un-noticed......don't notice a lot of things lately.

SpiderMan
03-14-2005, 04:21 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Bob_Jewett:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote SpiderMan:</font><hr>... but his teaching/learning/naming methods (also credited and used by Bob Henning in his books and videos) are pretty innovative and make a lot of sense.... <hr /></blockquote>
In my discussion I was referring to the travel from the first to the second cushion, which I believe is exactly what you were talking about. I regret that I did not make that clearer.

And Bert may have some useful ideas, but I still think that this "take it across the center spot" is not one of them. <hr /></blockquote>

Yes, I see that you were talking about the path to second cushion when you said you aim for the center of the cushion.

I still think that, for many with less experience (I'm sure you're an above-average player), a closer reference point (that never moves) gets them aiming in the right direction. Sort of like bowlers - they don't aim at the pins, they aim at spots on the floor between themselves and the pins.

For a lower-level player who might otherwise be only playing "vague" position, this gives them an aiming point to think about.

SpiderMan

SpiderMan
03-14-2005, 04:25 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote wolfdancer:</font><hr> I've got Henning's Pro Book DVD's,and had some of Bert's tapes.
Bert had some good ideas, but a little too much verbiage for me.Each three tape set could have been condensed into one.
Didn't notice any similarity between Bert's and Henning's styles, but that may have gone un-noticed......don't notice a lot of things lately.
<hr /></blockquote>

In Henning's "Pro Book" (print version), I believe he credits Bert Kinister with pioneering the concept of named reference shots. Their styles are not similar; I mostly meant that Henning and Kinister both use the named-reference-shot concept.

SpiderMan

Bob_Jewett
03-14-2005, 05:00 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote SpiderMan:</font><hr> ... In Henning's "Pro Book" (print version), I believe he credits Bert Kinister with pioneering the concept of named reference shots. Their styles are not similar; I mostly meant that Henning and Kinister both use the named-reference-shot concept. ... <hr /></blockquote>
I suspect that neither had seen many books on English Billiards, which have been naming shots for about a hundred years. See for example Wallace Ritchie's "Useful Strokes for Billiard Players," published about 1910. For extra credit, what's a "jenny," a "jimmy," or a "Napoleon's Hat" shot? At carom billiards, we have cross-table shots, tickies, naturals, short-angles, reverse-the-corners, drive-and-blocks, dead-ball-draws, .... Hoppe's book has quite a few named reference shots. Didn't Ray Martin name some of his shots? (1977)

DickLeonard
03-15-2005, 06:31 AM
I think this was another comandment never play to a rail.####

SpiderMan
03-15-2005, 09:05 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Bob_Jewett:</font><hr> Didn't Ray Martin name some of his shots? (1977) <hr /></blockquote>

If you're talking about the book "99 Critical Shots", yes - Ray Martin did give names to various shots. For example, he used the generic term "ghost ball shot" to represent an instance where the cueball (or an object ball) becomes moved into a "secondary cueball" position where it will pot a called object ball.

Ray Martin's application of "naming" is not like Kinister's, though both men published very useful material.

Ray's viewpoint is more about imagination and creativity - he's illustrating principles. For example, the named "ghost ball shot" is a very general situation to be recognized and exploited in a plethora of different setups. Kinister's "named shots" are far more specific, ie a particular setup with a particular cueball and object-ball path, which you practice as a reference point and then recognize minor variations in game situations. Kinister's "named shots" make encountered situations seem familiar, so that the student isn't confused over what to do.

Also, Martin's named shots generally focus only on potting (in sometimes-difficult situations), while Kinister's named shots generally focus on cueball positioning after a relatively-simple pot.

"99 Critical Shots" was the first "good" pool book I acquired, though I was a beginner at the time and couldn't make the best use of the material. Later, I developed a much greater appreciation, despite Reeve's campy narration style ("the master has never used a full-masse in his entire brilliant career"). If that quote is inaccurate, it's because I haven't actually seen my copy of the book for about 10 years. But Reeve did say something silly like that, along with enough other tripe to make you grin now and then. The content, however, is priceless despite a few errors.

SpiderMan

SpiderMan
03-15-2005, 09:10 AM
When I was more of a beginner than currently, someone also tried to impress upon me that it was "better" to accomplish a shot without going to the rail. I don't remember the specific context of that advice, though, or if the man should be trusted. I think we were learning straight pool at the time.

SpiderMan

Stretch
03-15-2005, 10:24 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote SpiderMan:</font><hr> When I was more of a beginner than currently, someone also tried to impress upon me that it was "better" to accomplish a shot without going to the rail. I don't remember the specific context of that advice, though, or if the man should be trusted. I think we were learning straight pool at the time.

SpiderMan <hr /></blockquote>

Hi there Spidey. I've always been taught that NOT going to the rails "whenever possible" (to steal a great line from George) was better. I believe this gives you stronger pattern play instincts. That drill where you spread all the balls out and work on running them out without going to a rail really gives you the touch for working the cue ball short distances and getting precision shape. One observation i made is that going to the rail often means your going accross the perfect shape zone rather than entering from the wide part. This "usualy" dosn't pose much of a problem if your weight is right on, but often you'll wind up on the wrong side of your next ball.

Great advice i got from......[censored] can't remember. The secret to great cue ball control. "you just let the cueball go where it wants to go anyway". /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif St.