View Full Version : Earl's Unorthadox Eye Alignment and Form

09-05-2002, 04:47 PM
For those who want to know exactly where Earl aligns his cue under his head or eyes, the cover photo on the current September BD tells it all. The shadow of the cue shaft can even be seen - just on the outside edge of Earl's right pupil. I know you can't always be sure as far as how much the camera angle or the angle of the shadow may distort our perception of the photo, but what an absolutely great photo!

The second revealing photo of Earl is on page 60. Although quite arguablly the greatest 9-ball player ever, clearly Earl's alignment on his stroke is not one to copy from a fundamentals standpoint. His wrist is cocked way in and his right elbow is way out in right field - far outside of the wrist and the cue. This is the exact opposite of Efren who has his elbow tucked inside his wrist and cue, as where Allison is in perfect vertical alignment with her cue, forearm, elbow, shoulder and chin. You cannot argue with Earl's success, so perhaps fundamentals aren't as important as I had thought. - Chris in NC

phil in sofla
09-05-2002, 05:07 PM
Watching both Color of Money matches, I didn't pick up on Earl's odd form. Of course, maybe I'd see it now, once alerted to look for it (not the most observant person sometimes). But have you seen this before from Earl, or is this maybe some odd shot/stance situation that isn't reflective of his normal mechanics of shooting?

Then again, the genius level, one-in-a-generation level of player, might be able to get away with things that would seriously hamper the less than that, although good, player, so one example of getting away with 'flawed' fundamentals might not disprove the rule generally.

Just saw a piece on the great concert pianist, Vladimir Horowitz. In later years, he declined to practice at all, stating 'I've done that for 45 years, why do I have to do it now?' When you're a Horowitz, and when you HAVE done it for 45 years, that may be so. Others may find their mileage varies.

09-05-2002, 05:15 PM
Earl has always (at least since I first saw pics of him several years ago) had his cue way out to the right.

And I agree with the rest of your post. Robert Byrne said once that great players might be succeeding in spite of their unorthodox techniques, not because of them.

I remember someone once pointing out a certain pro's stroke, citing it as an example of how proper fundamentals are not necessary. I offer two responses to that. One, this pro does not make every shot. He is not perfect. Of course, no one is. But it is a definate possibility that he would miss less if he used much better mechanics. Note Earl's comment in the BD article about using a Snooker stance for the tournament. His comment was "Steve Davis never misses a shot."

The second point I offer is that not everyone has this pro's level of talent and experience. Most of us do not have world-class talent and 12 hours a day to play Pool. Most of us have average talent and closer to 12 hours a week to play Pool. A bit of work on proper fundamentals can go a long way for those of us that haven't been playing 12 hours a day every day for 20 years.

09-06-2002, 01:21 AM
I have a picture in my billiard room of Earl in a shooting pose in 1995, using a Meucci, in which Earl's cue is centered under his chin. When I asked him when did he change
he said "I don't know, it wasn't intentional, but back then
I never missed!"