Small Pockets?, I Don't Think Much of the Idea

Small Pockets?, I Don't Think Much of the Idea

Post by Nixo » Mon, 30 Aug 1999 04:00:00


Group, et al.;

For years I've heard that playing, and practicing
on a table with pocket openings equal to, or
even less than, the BCA minimums, will improve
a player's game when playing on tables with
the larger, standard, openings encountered in
the average tournament or poolroom.

I used to agree with this thinking.  No longer.
Since last Spring, I've had to opportunity to
play/practice extensively on a table which,
inadvertently, has standard-shaped pockets
but which are a good quarter inch below the
BCA minimums.   During this period I've played
in weekly tournaments in a commercial room
that has standard sized pockets and I've found
myself (usually too late) avoiding fairly easy
shots because they are exceptionally hard to
make on the table I have available to practice
on; shots that I should be taking.

For optimum performance, I'd say one should
practice with pockets of the same dimensions
as those which will be used in serious play(other
things being equal).

What say, someone?

Dave

REJOICE, DEAR HEARTS!    Camelot del Appalachianos

 
 
 

Small Pockets?, I Don't Think Much of the Idea

Post by John Walku » Mon, 30 Aug 1999 04:00:00

Quote:

> Group, et al.;

> For years I've heard that playing, and practicing
> on a table with pocket openings equal to, or
> even less than, the BCA minimums, will improve
> a player's game when playing on tables with
> the larger, standard, openings encountered in
> the average tournament or poolroom.

> I used to agree with this thinking.  No longer.
> Since last Spring, I've had to opportunity to
> play/practice extensively on a table which,
> inadvertently, has standard-shaped pockets
> but which are a good quarter inch below the
> BCA minimums.   During this period I've played
> in weekly tournaments in a commercial room
> that has standard sized pockets and I've found
> myself (usually too late) avoiding fairly easy
> shots because they are exceptionally hard to
> make on the table I have available to practice
> on; shots that I should be taking.

> For optimum performance, I'd say one should
> practice with pockets of the same dimensions
> as those which will be used in serious play(other
> things being equal).

> What say, someone?

I agree, and I have been saying this all along.   I also
don't think it is a good idea to warm up with snooker,
because of the small cue ball.

--
John Walkup   The Cue Gallery (http://www.cuegallery.com)

Authorized Dealer:  Verl Horn Cues  Russ Espiritu Custom Cues

 
 
 

Small Pockets?, I Don't Think Much of the Idea

Post by WCri » Mon, 30 Aug 1999 04:00:00

I agree with you completely.

Tight pockets can actually alter your stroke and techniques a bit because of
the greater difficulty in pocketing certain types of shots. (rail especially)

It can also reduce your confidence in your ability to make some shots.

Similary, I would not practice on a very sloppy table either.  

 
 
 

Small Pockets?, I Don't Think Much of the Idea

Post by Al.. » Mon, 30 Aug 1999 04:00:00

I like to practice on tight-pocketed tables, especially the 9 footers.
I don't feel that it alternates either my stroke or my shot selection.
Whether the pockets are sloppy or tight shouldn't come into
consideration. To make any shot you have to focus, focus and focus.

What I find difficult moving from the tight 9 footers I practice on to
the 8 foot bar boxes that I play on in the BCA league is reduction in
table area: 5000 square inches to 3872 square inches. Even worst is
going to Las Vegas and playing on the 7 footers with only 3528 square
inches.

A good example is shooting in an approximately 30 degree cut into the
corner pocket and coming around 2 rails for position. On the tight
pockets of the 9 footer I have to focus on making the shot and not as
much on the english that I apply to the cue ball. On the 8 footer I
still focus as much on making the shot but I have to be more concerned
about the path that the cue ball will take coming 2 rails.

Pool is such a mental game that what this really boils down to is how
you perceive your game. I think that playing on tight pocketed 9
footers helps my game. So my perception is positive. If you feel that
playing on tight pocketed tables hurts your game then your perception
is negative. Any negative thoughts in pool will have a bad effect on
your game.

Thanks - Alan

Sent via Deja.com http://www.deja.com/
Share what you know. Learn what you don't.

 
 
 

Small Pockets?, I Don't Think Much of the Idea

Post by sam » Mon, 30 Aug 1999 04:00:00

Dave, I disagree with you.  The reason you are avoiding those "fairly easy"
shots in your REAL games is because you have been AVOIDING them on your
practice table.  Learn to make them on your practice table and they will
look even easier on the table with bigger pockets.  Tight pocket practice is
good, as long as you don't get crazy.  Corner pockets down to 4 and 5/8
should be good for practice.  IMO  Sincerely, Sam
Quote:

>Group, et al.;

>For years I've heard that playing, and practicing
>on a table with pocket openings equal to, or
>even less than, the BCA minimums, will improve
>a player's game when playing on tables with
>the larger, standard, openings encountered in
>the average tournament or poolroom.

>I used to agree with this thinking.  No longer.
>Since last Spring, I've had to opportunity to
>play/practice extensively on a table which,
>inadvertently, has standard-shaped pockets
>but which are a good quarter inch below the
>BCA minimums.   During this period I've played
>in weekly tournaments in a commercial room
>that has standard sized pockets and I've found
>myself (usually too late) avoiding fairly easy
>shots because they are exceptionally hard to
>make on the table I have available to practice
>on; shots that I should be taking.

>For optimum performance, I'd say one should
>practice with pockets of the same dimensions
>as those which will be used in serious play(other
>things being equal).

>What say, someone?

>Dave

>REJOICE, DEAR HEARTS!    Camelot del Appalachianos

 
 
 

Small Pockets?, I Don't Think Much of the Idea

Post by Roger Ballenge » Mon, 30 Aug 1999 04:00:00

Actually, I think it is better to practice shooting into a particular part
of the pocket, whichever equipment presents itself to you. In this way you
turn the negative of a smaller target into a positive. Also, it's better for
focusing, and, it will keep you from becoming mentally complacent with
'easier' equipment.

Roger Ballenger

 
 
 

Small Pockets?, I Don't Think Much of the Idea

Post by sam » Mon, 30 Aug 1999 04:00:00

Roger,  Good point.  Sincerely, Sam

Quote:

>Actually, I think it is better to practice shooting into a particular part
>of the pocket, whichever equipment presents itself to you. In this way you
>turn the negative of a smaller target into a positive. Also, it's better
for
>focusing, and, it will keep you from becoming mentally complacent with
>'easier' equipment.

>Roger Ballenger

 
 
 

Small Pockets?, I Don't Think Much of the Idea

Post by Nixo » Mon, 30 Aug 1999 04:00:00

(commentary inserted)

Quote:
> Dave, I disagree with you.  The reason you are avoiding those "fairly easy"
> shots in your REAL games is because you have been AVOIDING them on your
> practice table.  Learn to make them on your practice table and they will
> look even easier on the table with bigger pockets.

Sam;
That is not the case at all.  Certain shots at certain speeds are impossible
to learn with the smaller pockets because they are always low
percentage, i.e.,
fast down the rail into a corner pocket.      Many others of similar
nature and results.
I'd take standard sizes for practice every time.
Dave

Quote:
>  Tight pocket practice is
> good, as long as you don't get crazy.  Corner pockets down to 4 and 5/8
> should be good for practice.  IMO  Sincerely, Sam


> >Group, et al.;

> >For years I've heard that playing, and practicing
> >on a table with pocket openings equal to, or
> >even less than, the BCA minimums, will improve
> >a player's game when playing on tables with
> >the larger, standard, openings encountered in
> >the average tournament or poolroom.

> >I used to agree with this thinking.  No longer.
> >Since last Spring, I've had to opportunity to
> >play/practice extensively on a table which,
> >inadvertently, has standard-shaped pockets
> >but which are a good quarter inch below the
> >BCA minimums.   During this period I've played
> >in weekly tournaments in a commercial room
> >that has standard sized pockets and I've found
> >myself (usually too late) avoiding fairly easy
> >shots because they are exceptionally hard to
> >make on the table I have available to practice
> >on; shots that I should be taking.

> >For optimum performance, I'd say one should
> >practice with pockets of the same dimensions
> >as those which will be used in serious play(other
> >things being equal).

> >What say, someone?

> >Dave

> >REJOICE, DEAR HEARTS!    Camelot del Appalachianos

--
Dave

REJOICE, DEAR HEARTS!    Camelot del Appalachianos
 
 
 

Small Pockets?, I Don't Think Much of the Idea

Post by Ron2 » Mon, 30 Aug 1999 04:00:00

[playing on tight-pocket tables...]

Quote:
>I used to agree with this thinking.  No longer.

Yes, this is something that we've discussed here in RSB a few times before.  I
think it is alright to practice on a table with slightly tougher pockets, but
it starts to hurt your judgement if they are much tighter than the tables you
compete on.  You find yourself passing shots that you should be taking, and you
find yourself leaving your oppoenents easier shots than you intended.

$.02 -Ron Shepard

 
 
 

Small Pockets?, I Don't Think Much of the Idea

Post by sam » Mon, 30 Aug 1999 04:00:00

Dave,  Well, I've been wrong before.  Ha Ha  Sincerely, Sam

Quote:

>That is not the case at all.  Certain shots at certain speeds are
impossible
>to learn with the smaller pockets because they are always low
>percentage, i.e.,
>fast down the rail into a corner pocket.      Many others of similar
>nature and results.
>I'd take standard sizes for practice every time.
>Dave

 
 
 

Small Pockets?, I Don't Think Much of the Idea

Post by Nixo » Mon, 30 Aug 1999 04:00:00

(commentary inserted)

Quote:
> I like to practice on tight-pocketed tables, especially the 9 footers.
> I don't feel that it alternates either my stroke or my shot selection.
> Whether the pockets are sloppy or tight shouldn't come into
> consideration. To make any shot you have to focus, focus and focus.

Alan, I appreciate you opinion but cannot agree.  The size of the
pockets and, indeed, the configuration of the pockets is
of significant consideration.   Substantial variation in either
of these can alter the way a given shot must be played and
might make certain shots impossible or extremely low
percentage.

Quote:
> What I find difficult moving from the tight 9 footers I practice on to
> the 8 foot bar boxes that I play on in the BCA league is reduction in
> table area: 5000 square inches to 3872 square inches.

I know what you mean.   It's like you can't do ANYTHING for all
the balls in the way.      chuckle

Quote:
> Even worst is
> going to Las Vegas and playing on the 7 footers with only 3528 square
> inches.

They are impossible.  I don't play on 'em any more.

Quote:
> A good example is shooting in an approximately 30 degree cut into the
> corner pocket and coming around 2 rails for position. On the tight
> pockets of the 9 footer I have to focus on making the shot and not as
> much on the english that I apply to the cue ball. On the 8 footer I
> still focus as much on making the shot but I have to be more concerned
> about the path that the cue ball will take coming 2 rails.

For sure.

Quote:
> Pool is such a mental game that what this really boils down to is how
> you perceive your game. I think that playing on tight pocketed 9
> footers helps my game. So my perception is positive.

As you say.

Quote:
> If you feel that
> playing on tight pocketed tables hurts your game then your perception
> is negative.

You mistate my position.  I just don't think that playing on tables
with openings under the BCA minimums helps my game when
I play on a standard table.      I used to think differently but I
think my change of opinion on this is to the positive, not to the
negative, i.e., I play better in a tournament when I've been
practicing on a table set up just like the tournament tables.

Quote:
> Any negative thoughts in pool will have a bad effect on
> your game.      Thanks - Alan

I think you may be on to something there, Alan.

Dave


REJOICE, DEAR HEARTS!    Camelot del Appalachianos

 
 
 

Small Pockets?, I Don't Think Much of the Idea

Post by Patrick Johnso » Mon, 30 Aug 1999 04:00:00

Quote:

> [playing on tight-pocket tables...]
> >I used to agree with this thinking.  No longer.

> Yes, this is something that we've discussed here in RSB a few times before.

And I've always defended tight-pocket practice as "sharpening" your aim, but I also
agree that it's just as good to always shoot for a specific part of the pocket
whatever its size.

Quote:
>  I think it is alright to practice on a table with slightly tougher pockets, but
> it starts to hurt your judgement if they are much tighter than the tables you
> compete on.  You find yourself passing shots that you should be taking, and you
> find yourself leaving your oppoenents easier shots than you intended.

I don't know of any shots that I fear more on "tight pocket" tables, which leads me
to believe that the tables I think of as tight are really only slightly tight.  The
tight pockets at Chris's are 4-1/2" at the throat, but probably 4-5/8" at the
mouth.  Are these "slightly tighter" in your terms?

Pat Johnson
Chicago

 
 
 

Small Pockets?, I Don't Think Much of the Idea

Post by Ron2 » Tue, 31 Aug 1999 04:00:00

Quote:
>I don't know of any shots that I fear more on "tight pocket" tables, which
>leads me
>to believe that the tables I think of as tight are really only slightly
>tight.  The
>tight pockets at Chris's are 4-1/2" at the throat, but probably 4-5/8" at
>the
>mouth.  Are these "slightly tighter" in your terms?

It also depends on how the pockets are shaped.  I usually don't think of 4-5/8"
GCIII pockets as too tight, but if the pocket facings are a little cupped, no
matter what the pocket width, then balls won't drop that I think should drop.

Here's an example of the type of shot where the equipment affects shotmaking
decisions.  Say both the cue ball and the 8-ball are 1/2 inch off the end
cushion, a diamond or two apart, and you need to move the cue ball to the other
end of the table for the 9-ball.  If the 8-ball is close to the pocket then you
would play the shot cushion-first (either topspin or draw works, depending on
the exact positions of the balls) and it is a high-percentage shot.  But as the
8-ball starts off farther from the corner pocket, then the shot gets harder,
and at some point you are better off ducking the shot.  The distance that it
gets too hard depends on how the pockets play.  On some tables I wouldn't go
for this shot if the 8-ball was more than a diamond from the corner, while on
other tables I feel alright if the 8-ball is two diamonds away.

If you always practice on tight pocket tables, then you might pass up this shot
too often when playing on tournament tables.  

Now that I think of it, I played this shot in one of my matches at the RSB
tournament -- against either you or Phil, I forget, and I think it was on a
5-ball or a 6-ball instead of the 8-ball, and yes, I got myself into that
position, it wasn't left to me. :-)

$.02 -Ron Shepard

 
 
 

Small Pockets?, I Don't Think Much of the Idea

Post by Fred Agn » Tue, 31 Aug 1999 04:00:00

Quote:

>For optimum performance, I'd say one should
>practice with pockets of the same dimensions
>as those which will be used in serious play(other
>things being equal).

I think that there's a difference between "tight" and "grossly
unfair".  I like practicing on tight, but in-spec., equipment.  When
I play on a table  that has an unfair pocket or pockets, then that
takes away too much from my normal game.  And, it affects my game on
other tables as well.  By "unfair" I mean if you hit a ball and it
hits the face of the pocket (no rail), it should go in, shouldn't it?
Or if the pocket opening is smaller than the minimum spec, than that
would "unfair" as well.  

Regards,

Fred Agnir
Templeton, MA

 
 
 

Small Pockets?, I Don't Think Much of the Idea

Post by Brian Ritte » Tue, 31 Aug 1999 04:00:00

I understand and appreciate your argument Nixon, but when I think of tight
pocket paractice.  I mean proctice not shooting off a rack of balls.  I'm
either going to proctice the shot til I can't miss, or if its next to
impoosible I'm not going to proctice it at all.  The shots we shy away from
in competition are the ones we miss when we are shooting.  If we miss them
when we are practicing, we just practice them some more.
Quote:

> Group, et al.;

> For years I've heard that playing, and practicing
> on a table with pocket openings equal to, or
> even less than, the BCA minimums, will improve
> a player's game when playing on tables with
> the larger, standard, openings encountered in
> the average tournament or poolroom.

> I used to agree with this thinking.  No longer.
> Since last Spring, I've had to opportunity to
> play/practice extensively on a table which,
> inadvertently, has standard-shaped pockets
> but which are a good quarter inch below the
> BCA minimums.   During this period I've played
> in weekly tournaments in a commercial room
> that has standard sized pockets and I've found
> myself (usually too late) avoiding fairly easy
> shots because they are exceptionally hard to
> make on the table I have available to practice
> on; shots that I should be taking.

> For optimum performance, I'd say one should
> practice with pockets of the same dimensions
> as those which will be used in serious play(other
> things being equal).

> What say, someone?

> Dave

> REJOICE, DEAR HEARTS!    Camelot del Appalachianos