Friday, May 23, 2008

Time for Another Pool Trick Shot

Here is a fun pool trick shot from Dr Cue. It is relatively easy and looks impressive to the ladies!

Tom "Dr. Cue" Rossman Trick Shot
3 Balls, 3 Pockets & 3 Cushions!


CONFIDENCE FACTOR: 5 minutes, 48 seconds per day for 3 days

SETUP/POSITION: 1-ball slightly left and 1 inch out from pocket BC; 2-ball frozen to 1-ball and aim setup line for (1) - (2) is to left center of TC; 3-ball on center edge of pocket TR; Cue ball 1 diamond segment back of 2-ball and in a straight line with 2-ball as you stand behind it. Maintain good fundamental form! DOUBLE CHECK SETUP!

BALL(S) POCKETED/OBJECTIVE: Shoot cue ball (c) to aim point (a) on 2-ball. 1-ball will drop in BC, 2-ball will travel to BL and drop, and cue ball will travel to (r) on #1 cushion and make 2 more cushion contacts on head and #3 before making 3-ball in pocket TR.

ADJUSTMENT ANALYSIS: If 1-ball and/or 2-ball does not go in, recheck setup and adust as follows: a) setup line for (1) - (2) adjusted to right slightly if 2-ball hits too much of cushion #3, and to the left slightly if 2-ball hits head cushion. If cue ball does not make 3-ball in TR at (h), adjust toward TL with cue ball contact (r) by making a thinner hit on 2-ball or applying a fraction more english — this is of course, if cue ball hits cushion #2 after 3rd contact at #3 cushion. If cue ball hits foot cushion after kick, adjust to TC or make fuller hit on 2-ball. You might also try a little more high english, and less sidespin.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Cue "Tips" From "The Blud"

This article from answered so many of my questions regarding care and maintenance of my cue. There is nothing worse than realizing your prized stick has become warped. This article contains valuable information for anyone with a cue they value.

Cue "Tips" From "The Blud"
Leonard Bludworth is a pioneer in cue repair. He is considered to be the first traveling cue repair man, with 28 years of experience. Bludworth has been making cues for over 20 years, and has produced cues for 17 world champions. He is also the original founder of the American Cuemaker Association. Born and raised in Texas, Bludworth began repairing cues while playing on the Men's Pro Tour. After numerous request from fellow professionals to work on their cues, Bludworth decided to start his own cue repair business. A few years later, at the request of the Hall of Famer Buddy Hall, Bludworth began building his own line of cues.

Cues, Cases and Mother Nature
In my column in the Fall 2002 issue of The American Poolplayer magazine, I addressed how to properly clean your cue. Shortly thereafter, one APA member contacted me and said that he soaked his wooden joint with alcohol for several minutes, but then he could not screw the shaft on the butt of the cue. Note: I never said to soak the cue in alcohol to clean it. To properly clean the cue, you should pour some alcohol in the joint (fill it about halfway), cover it with your thumb and shake it up and down.

Then pour the alcohol out and repeat this process once more. If you are experiencing the same difficulty as this member, just put a little paste wax on the pin and screw the shaft on and off several times. Then remove the excess wax from the pin and shaft. This procedure should take care of the problem.

Cues, Cases and MoistureNever leave your cue and case in a trunk or inside a car during hot and humid weather. This can cause the cue and/or the shaft to warp. The case will also gather moisture. Not only will it gather moisture, but it will maintain that moisture for a long time. Some cases can hold moisture for up to several months. Remember, the lining of the case is made of cloth.

Ivory Ferrules and Cold Weather
Winter weather is upon us. Many of you may own cues that have ivory ferrules and/or ivory joints. Cold weather affects ivory. When you take your cue to your Host Location to play, hold or grip your ivory joint and/or ferrule with your hand to allow the ivory to warm-up to at least the room temperature or your hand temperature. This allows the ivory to become stable. If the ivory is not allowed to stabilize at a warmer temperature, you risk breaking or developing a crack in either the joint or the ferrule. It’s best to let the cue sit out of the case at room temperature for 20-30 minutes to allow it to stabilize. Whichever method you use, be sure not to screw the shaft down tight on the butt until you’re satisfied that it has reached the room’s temperature.
See ya,
“ Da Blud”

Monday, May 19, 2008

10 Vital Fundamentals

Here is another great article off It contains several great tips for improving your game. Follow the simple pointers in this article and your game is sure to improve...

It’s a good idea to stop and check some basics from time to time. Unless we’re vigilant, we tend to drift into old habits and go into slumps. When you’re having a slump, or when you’re trying to help someone learn the game, the following are ten of the most common problem areas that cause us trouble, and some simple suggestions for dealing with them.

Doubt: Don’t shoot in the Thinking Position; don’t think in the Shooting Position. Don’t go down on a shot until you have a plan. If you go down, and feel you should change your plan, stand up, back away, chalk up, and start over. If you shoot with doubt or without committing to your plan, you’re likely to get what you had in mind— doubtful results.

Tip & Chalk: Some players don’t maintain their tip adequately. If your tip is too flat, you will not get as much spin as you expect, and you’ll miscue more easily. Keep your tip rounded and shaped the same all the way around. Chalk the edge of the tip. That’s where it is really needed and where you will miscue. Actually look at your chalk job before hitting an extreme spin shot.

Vertical Axis: Many players gradually develop a habit of using english on every shot. When you hit the cueball anywhere on its vertical axis (in other words, no sidespin whatsoever), it goes straight, in precisely the direction you aimed. Hit even a millimeter to the left or right of the axis, and that cueball is going to squirt and curve. If it hits the target, it’s because the squirt and curve happened to exactly cancel each other out at that distance and speed. And of course, there is also spin-induced throw and transfer of spin to the object ball to deal with. Master the vertical axis. Get off the axis only when there is good reason, and you know you’re making the adjustments. It’s a lot easier to deal with a cueball that’s going where you aimed.

Undercutting: Because of collision-induced throw (a sideways friction phenomenon between balls), most misses are by undercutting. For example, how often do you see someone miss a table-length, close-to-the-long-rail shot to a distant corner pocket by overcutting and hitting the end rail? Rarely. In fact, I call this “missing on the pro side” because most of us undercut and miss by hitting that side rail. The real fix here is to gain a clear understanding of the “rules” of throw.
But since we don’t have space for that here, just plan on cutting a little thinner. The dirtier the balls, the softer you’re going to hit the shot, the further it is from the pocket, and the closer the cut angle is to a half-ball hit (30°), the more throw effect you’ll get, and the more you’ll need to compensate. Overcut a little.

Elevation: Because we have knuckles, and because pool tables have rails, we can never get our stick completely flat. It’s important to get as close to flat as practical, though, because as we elevate the butt of the cue, we risk unintentionally causing the cueball to curve. If we strike the cueball with any sidespin whatsoever, it’s going to curve. The more sidespin, and the more elevation, the more curve. Try to keep your stick within a finger thickness of the rail, unless you have reason to elevate. When you must elevate and hit straight, focus on hitting the vertical axis.

Unstable bridge: The purpose of the bridge is to provide a solid foundation that will guide the cue to your precisely intended contact point on the cueball. If your bridge is not a rock, your plans are not going to work. Do not move your bridge side to side. Try anchoring the bridge to the table. With an open bridge (no loop over the shaft), press your forefinger firmly into the cloth. With a closed bridge (forefinger looped over the shaft), press your middle finger into the cloth. Nail it down.

Unstable stance: If your stance is moving, you’re not going to deliver where you think you’ve aimed. Settle into the floor. If you’re not comfortable, or if you have to twist or move to get aimed, get up, chalk up, and try again.

Finishing: One of the most common problems is not finishing a shot. Not following through, poking, and jumping up all lead to missed shots and inconsistent ball action. Get your stick through the cueball, and allow it to follow through as far as its momentum takes it.

Staying down: Coming up before the shot is complete is a common problem. Your body knows you’re going to jump up, and that affects your stroke. You need to plan on staying down, so your stroke will complete without interference. When possible, stay down and watch the shot until the balls come to a stop. Down until done.

Pocket speed: The harder you shoot, the smaller the pockets become, and the more you lose control of the cueball. Pocket speed is the speed that sinks the ball, but without hitting the back of the pocket. Less speed, more control. Shoot only as hard as necessary for the current shot, position requirements, and equipment—and understand the trade-offs.

Far more games are won or lost on these kinds of basics than are won or lost with tricky, advanced shots. In fact, with better basics, we don’t get in trouble and need those fancy shots nearly so often. Simple is good.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Sinkin' the Money Ball

Who has not missed that critical shot to win or lose a game? Here is a terrific article off on how to make the shots that count!

Sinkin the Money Ball
by Tom Simpson -

In most games, there is a moment when we face the game-winning (or game-losing) shot--the money ball. In Eight Ball and Nine Ball, obviously, it's shooting the 8 or the 9. We've been there a thousand times, and it's not always pretty.

Because making this one shot matters so much, and because the ball just sits there waiting for us to decide we're ready, we have opportunities to get ourselves in trouble. We think of the money shot as something different from the other shots, and the pressure begins to rise.

We allow the pressure to influence how we approach the shot, how we feel about it, and how we shoot it. And guess what? We start to see it as a different shot. It doesn't look like it would if it was just a regular shot. The pressure to make it, and the potential embarrassment if we don't, distracts us from the task at hand. We get tied up with issues of winning and losing, fear of missing an easy shot, looking like we have succumbed to the pressure and self-consciousness because we feel the judging gaze of the railbirds. We desperately try to avoid choking and, of course, that causes us to choke.

This is a huge, multi-faceted problem, one we're all too familiar with. We've all missed game-winning hangers. We all face the money ball challenge--hopefully, frequently. Psychotherapy is expensive, takes too long, and will have our opponents poking fun at us (causing even more stress and pressure). So, what practical steps can we take to deal with those pesky money balls? Here are a few tips:

Don't break your rhythm. We tend to shoot best with a particular cadence (a series of counts or beats that coincide with the various stages of our shooting routine). We also shoot with a certain tempo (how quickly or slowly our cadence runs). How everything works together for good timing and good results is our rhythm. It's okay to slow your tempo for pressure shots, but don't change the action sequence of your cadence. In other words, try to shoot the money ball just like any other ball. Play basic, easy position. Don't hesitate. Don't give it special consideration. Don't do anything different.

No speed, no spin. Okay, you've broken your rhythm and the anxiety is mounting. You still have to make the ball. On money ball shots, all you have to do is make the shot and not scratch. On every shot except the money ball shot, you have to control Angle, Speed, and Spin. This is why the game is difficult. But now, on the money ball, all you need to control is cut angle. Put all of your focus on cutting the ball; use no unnecessary spin, and shoot at your natural speed. Your natural speed is the speed your body shoots if you're not thinking about speed; the speed you shoot with your eyes closed.

Cinch the shot. Now, you're hoping your opponent doesn't see your hand shaking. You're so clenched up; you've lost any fluidity you once had. You don't trust your stroke. Okay, let's just make the ball. To cinch the shot, take the shortest bridge you can (maybe 4" of stroking room). Put your tip very close to the cueball, so you can see exactly where you're going to hit. Now take an insanely short stroke (maybe 2") and sink that ball. You won't have room to go off line, and with the short stroke, your opponent won't be able to see you quaking.

Back away. You're down on the shot, and your head is filled with chatter and doubt. You're not confident. Something is telling you you're likely to miss. STOP and back away. It's less costly and embarrassing than missing. Take a lap of the table. Go wipe down your shaft. Take a couple of deep breaths--whatever. Let some time pass to allow the adrenaline to drain out of your brain. Approach the shot, walking in on the shot line, from as far away as possible. As you approach, stay focused on the shot line. Settle softly down into the shot. It's just you and the balls.

Own the shot. Run the shot in your imagination. To give yourself the best chance to make it, you have to want it. You have to expect it. You have to believe it. Don't shoot if you're not ready. Yes, this is easier to say than to do. What can I tell you? Figure it out. If this game was easy, we wouldn't be such fanatics about it!