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Treehumper
04-02-2008, 08:46 AM
Looking for a Pool Hall nearer to our home, my wife and I found Clifton Billiards in NJ. This old time pool hall was opened by Ray Martin in the early 60s. It was here that I purchased a beautiful second hand Predator cue with a 314 shaft.

I have seen his book but wonder what the thoughts are on it as a resource. Is this a book to have in my library?

JJFSTAR
04-02-2008, 09:28 AM
It is a great book. Its whole idea is a great way to teach pool. However I think it is too much of a "My way is the best and only way" approach to the game. There are so many pro's and great pool players who have this fundamentally flawed approach to teaching. So be leery of taking ALL of the advice in the book

JJFSTAR

dr_dave
04-02-2008, 10:09 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Treehumper</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I have seen his book but wonder what the thoughts are on it as a resource. Is this a book to have in my library?</div></div>If you have a library of pool/billiards books, this classic should definitely be included.

Dave

DeadCrab
04-02-2008, 10:13 AM
I recommend this book, but with a couple of reservations

- I would have preferred that it be divided into sections of shots requiring side english, and those that can be cued along the center vertical axis.

- One of the recommended shot planning techniques for banks has flawed geometry

- You may find that you have developed your own approach to certain shots that is better for you (e.g. cut shots where ball is frozen to rail).

Having said that, I think it is a worthwhile text in that it helps you recognize some shots that look hard, but are really quite easy, and it has some good tips for cue ball control.

For beginners and intermediate players,it is worth buying, in my opinion.

BigRigTom
04-02-2008, 10:59 AM
I have this book and it is great. The graphics are terrrible but that is not why you would want the book anyway.

Everyone who wants to be a good pool player needs to be able to do the shots in this book and many of them are not obvious to most players. Ray Martin says several times through out the book "most players don't know this shot". He may or may not be right about that but I sure found shots in there that I would not know if I had not read his book.

There is a great section near the back on how to recognize easy or simple shots in the middle of clusters. This alone is worth the price of the book and I have not seen that anywhere else.

Buy the book, you won't be sorry.

But you should also get Dr. Dave's book as well. That one is the best book I have seen for beginners to intermediates and a lot of advanced players could learn a few thing from it as well.

Bob_Jewett
04-02-2008, 11:29 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Treehumper</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> ... I have seen his book but wonder what the thoughts are on it as a resource. Is this a book to have in my library? ... </div></div>
Yes, I think so. You should also have several books by Byrne including his recent 350 Shots book, books by Capelle, Mosconi, Alciatore and some others I've forgotten. In the US, chains like Barnes & Noble often carry 5 to 10 pool books, so you can browse for the ones you like. For an article about Martin's book, see http://www.sfbilliards.com/articles/2002-07.pdf

And be sure to pay attention to the last paragraph of that article.

socrates
04-02-2008, 11:49 AM
In my simple opinion:

Ray Martin's book, Byrnes Standard Book of Pool and Billiards, and George Fels Mastering Pool were the first books I purchased in the 80's and/or in 1990 when I started playing again. They have stood the test of time and if taken to the table I have found them to be very beneficial.

There have been some really good books written since then but these classics likely will still find there way to the top of most lists

Treehumper
04-02-2008, 12:07 PM
I have "Byrne's New Standard Book of Pool and Billiards" which is very good. I figured it would be a nice addition to my future billiards room to have a good selection of books to assist in my wife and my development.

So, Martin's book with some limitations.

How about other books? Oh yeah, Dr. Dave's... can that be found at amazon?

BTW, I was at Borders the other day at the Garden State Plaza and found no books on pool!

BigRigTom
04-02-2008, 12:16 PM
Thanks for that link Bob, I had not read your review before but it is dead on. It explains the good and not so good aspects about Ray Martins book while still complimenting it as a whole. I like your style.

DickLeonard
04-02-2008, 12:22 PM
BigRigTom just a little story I was in Petey Palmers shop in Elizabeth NJ ordering a cue when he pointed me to the Book.

I opened the book and started browsing thru it. I came to a page and I said this is wrong How can that be wrong give me a cueI said. The only cue he had was a house cue and no chalk. Thats okay Pete I don't need chalk.

The shot was cueball on the rail and drawing the cueball back his solution was elevating the cue and hitting the cueball hard. I placed the cueball in the same position and instead of hitting the cueball hard I aimed the shot and I hit into the cushion compressing the cushion and drawing the cueball back as easy pie.

That is one of the real secrets of pool as I get older I have decided to make my store house of secrets. Try this you will be amazed how easy it is.####

SpiderMan
04-02-2008, 01:49 PM
It's a good one, though in some cases the explanations are not good enough to make sense to someone who doesn't already have some idea of how to make similar shots.

I think this was the first pool book I ever bought, and I was pretty much a beginner at the time. Some of the shots didn't make sense to be because I wasn't familiar with the concepts. If an experienced player had been around to help me, it would have been better. I appreciated the book much more after I'd been playing for a while.

SpiderMan

dmgwalsh
04-02-2008, 02:27 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: DickLeonard</div><div class="ubbcode-body">
The shot was cueball on the rail and drawing the cueball back his solution was elevating the cue and hitting the cueball hard. I placed the cueball in the same position and instead of hitting the cueball hard I aimed the shot and I hit into the cushion compressing the cushion and drawing the cueball back as easy pie.

That is one of the real secrets of pool as I get older I have decided to make my store house of secrets. Try this you will be amazed how easy it is.#### </div></div>

Mr. Leonard: you swore me to secrecy on that shot.

Is it ok to let the cat out of the bag?

Dennis Walsh

p.s.

Did you ever get that video back of you shooting some pool Joe Canton style?

BigRigTom
04-02-2008, 02:41 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: DickLeonard</div><div class="ubbcode-body">BigRigTom just a little story I was in Petey Palmers shop in Elizabeth NJ ordering a cue when he pointed me to the Book.

I opened the book and started browsing thru it. I came to a page and I said this is wrong How can that be wrong give me a cueI said. The only cue he had was a house cue and no chalk. Thats okay Pete I don't need chalk.

The shot was cueball on the rail and drawing the cueball back his solution was elevating the cue and hitting the cueball hard. I placed the cueball in the same position and instead of hitting the cueball hard I aimed the shot and I hit into the cushion compressing the cushion and drawing the cueball back as easy pie.

That is one of the real secrets of pool as I get older I have decided to make my store house of secrets. Try this you will be amazed how easy it is.#### </div></div>

Thanks for relating that story Dick!
I have the book here on my desk so I immediately looked up the shot you are referring to...it is Shot # 9 on page 39...now....
I'm trying to envision how you described the way you would get draw. Are you saying that you don't jack up the cue? Instead you shoot the tip of the cue into the cushion which compresss the cushion and allows the cue tip to contact the cue ball below center to obtain draw?

I gotta try that but I wanted to make sure I understand your description first.

dr_dave
04-02-2008, 04:55 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Treehumper</div><div class="ubbcode-body">How about other books? Oh yeah, Dr. Dave's... can that be found at amazon?</div></div>My book and many other pool books are available on Amazon and B&N. My stuff is also available on my commercial website here (http://dr-dave-billiards.com/).

Regards,
Dave

hal houle
04-03-2008, 07:02 AM
RAY MARTIN IS ONE OF THE BEST 14 1 PLAYERS WHO EVER PLAYED THIS GAME. WORLD CHAMPION THREE TIMES.

eb_in_nc
04-03-2008, 07:11 AM
Willie Mosconi still holds the record for "straight pool" at 526 balls - That's 35 consecutive racks!!!

DickLeonard
04-03-2008, 10:05 AM
Dennis you now have my okay but never show that to your opponent. Sometimes that shot comes up and then it is used against you.

Case in point I was at a tournament and Babe Cranfield was showing how to make a ball frozen to the cueball along the end rail. The shot is made by creating an imaginary triangle between pocket and were the object ball is aimed at the cushion divide the triangle in half and aim the cueball there. The cueball hits the object ball after it has hit the rail and billiards the ball in the pocket.

Petey Margo had the same shot in his gamee with him and played safe. After his game I said to Babe I can't believe he didn't play that shot you were showing everybody. Babe maybe its best not to show shots during tournaments you'll never know when it can be used against you.####

DickLeonard
04-03-2008, 10:14 AM
Tom I think I left out elevating the cue and hit straight down into the cushion just before the cueball. Try it both ways and see the difference. You'll be amazeed how easy it is to draw the cueball.####

Eric.
04-03-2008, 01:49 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Treehumper</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Looking for a Pool Hall nearer to our home, my wife and I found Clifton Billiards in NJ. This old time pool hall was opened by Ray Martin in the early 60s. It was here that I purchased a beautiful second hand Predator cue with a 314 shaft.

I have seen his book but wonder what the thoughts are on it as a resource. Is this a book to have in my library?

</div></div>

Another good room is Herberts, in Secaucus. It should be about 3-4 miles from your house. http://www.herbertsnj.com


Eric

Treehumper
04-04-2008, 09:10 AM
We played there originally but found it expensive for a night and the tables too close. Clifton Billiards and Billiards Cafe in Lodi both have a flat fee per player for the day. There's no alcohol so it tends to be more subdued. My wife's a beginner so it helps to have fewer distractions.

Tried Gotham's too but it felt like it was still under construction!

JJFSTAR
04-06-2008, 07:12 PM
Bob your review of 99CS is 100% correct.

New2Pool
04-07-2008, 08:48 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: dr_dave</div><div class="ubbcode-body"><div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Treehumper</div><div class="ubbcode-body">How about other books? Oh yeah, Dr. Dave's... can that be found at amazon?</div></div>My book and many other pool books are available on Amazon and B&N. My stuff is also available on my commercial website here (http://dr-dave-billiards.com/).

Regards,
Dave </div></div>

The following comments about books reflect the view of a pool novice and will be of little or no use to average or better players.

I purchased Dave's book a few months ago. It just recently came back in stock at Amazon.com and I received it on Good Friday. I am not really qualified to comment on the technical aspect of the book because I am so new to all this that my opinion on how "correct" the instructions are would not have any basis.

I will say that Dave's book is easy to understand and that the style suites me very well. I like to know how things work and his book does a good job of explaining what is going on to make a shot work. On thing I was surprised at was the aesthetic quality of the book. Dave's book looks and feels better than most books. The paper quality is superb and the illustrations are very clear. (As opposed to Martin's book which uses dark gray and black balls to illustrate shots. I have gotten too old to be able to see the subtle difference.)

So in regards to the books I have read I would say that Ray Martin's, Dr. Dave's, and "Play Your Best Pool" by Capelle are all outstanding. I bought Capelle's book first but it was too advanced for me so I had to put it up for a few months. Now that I can make a few shots I am finding Capelle's book to be a great read.

I also read "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Pool and Billiard" by Laurence. It was good and I would read it when I was away from the table for more of an easy read. (She was the first person I read and I did love the "X" banking system (http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/0028626451/ref=sib_dp_srch_bod?v=search-inside&keywords=x+banking+system) . It works great for cross banks.) But the other 3 books I mentioned always get me excited about what I am reading and next thing I know I am down in my basement trying some of the shots that are illustrated.

I have learned something from every book I have read so far. I am starting to see shots that I could not see before I read the books.

dr_dave
04-07-2008, 09:46 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: New2Pool</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I purchased Dave's book a few months ago. It just recently came back in stock at Amazon.com and I received it on Good Friday. I am not really qualified to comment on the technical aspect of the book because I am so new to all this that my opinion on how "correct" the instructions are would not have any basis.

I will say that Dave's book is easy to understand and that the style suites me very well. I like to know how things work and his book does a good job of explaining what is going on to make a shot work. On thing I was surprised at was the aesthetic quality of the book. Dave's book looks and feels better than most books. The paper quality is superb and the illustrations are very clear. (As opposed to Martin's book which uses dark gray and black balls to illustrate shots. I have gotten too old to be able to see the subtle difference.)

So in regards to the books I have read I would say that Ray Martin's, Dr. Dave's, and "Play Your Best Pool" by Capelle are all outstanding.</div></div>Thank you for the nice words about my book. I appreciate it. You should also get Byrne's "Complete Book of Pool Shots" if you don't have it already. No billiards book collection would be complete without it.

Regards,
Dave

KellyStick
04-07-2008, 11:47 AM
The "99 Critical Shots" is a great book in my opinion. This was my first book on pool. What I found was that I knew several of the shots but then I would get to one that I didn't. I would practice a bit and learn something new. Then I would get to a shot that I did not understand hardly at all. This was back when I pretty much avoiding any sort of Right/Left english. I would reccomend putting the book down or skipping a page where things get beyond your current ability. Take it slow and pick the book up later until you get through it. This may take several years depending on where you are and so forth.

I think people trying to be an expert overnight is one of the real big problems pool players have towards improving. People want to put all sorts of cool "stuff" on the ball from day one. Never mind they can't make a pocket or "see" the shot much less stroke the ball. They see it done, read how to do it, can maybe visualize it but simply cannot execute until they improve other aspects of their game. This frustrates people and I see people who seem to never get better year after year and I think this is a big cause of that. So like someone else said it would be nice if the English shots were separated. On the other hand there are some real easy concepts that nearly anyone can grasp right off like BigRigToms comment about analyzing clusters. When Fats said "you left enough" I think this is what he was talking about. But I think anyone can do this one and just knowing to look at it is worth the price of admission. Plus it looks real cool for those that don't know clusters.

I also have some notes written in my copy that say stuff like how I think a given shot is plain wrong. But that is OK. I find there is more than one way to do things and some ways are easier than others. What I like the most is the descriptions are straight forward, brief and to the point. Though the sketches may not be perfect there is a LOT of info in this book that gets delivered quickly. Great BOOK!

My favorite is the section on getting position off a rail ball where it shows you how to send the CB in any direction from a fairly simple shot. This one concept alone translates to so many aspects of pool position.

It might be interesting to do a poll about what your favorite shot is in 99 critical shots. another poll might be around which shots you disagree with and what the real answer should be. Another might be on what shots are missing that should have made the top 99. ??? maybe I'll post these.

Fran Crimi
04-07-2008, 08:43 PM
If you think about how long ago Ray's book was written, you would realize just how innovative it was for it's time. It's one of the classics in the game of pool and it should be looked at in the perspective of the era in which it was written. I wouldn't be surprised if Ray's book was the inspiration for many future pool book authors.

I think everyone who takes the game seriously should own a copy.

Fran

Eric.
04-08-2008, 01:43 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Treehumper</div><div class="ubbcode-body">We played there originally but found it expensive for a night and the tables too close. Clifton Billiards and Billiards Cafe in Lodi both have a flat fee per player for the day. There's no alcohol so it tends to be more subdued. My wife's a beginner so it helps to have fewer distractions.

Tried Gotham's too but it felt like it was still under construction!

</div></div>

Unfortunately, Gotham was closed. I heard teh cops shut it down, dont know the reason.


Eric

KellyStick
06-29-2012, 07:21 AM
Hey, I've been away from this site for a while but several years back someone circulated a book for many of us to read, sign and then send to the next guy. It was about old pool hustlers. So it was a bit historical. Anyone recall the name and the author? I tried searching for that thread but did not find it.