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Billiards Planet, Issue #008 — Playing Pool Mucho?
April 27, 2008 


Welcome to another issue of “Billiards Planet”, (Billiards E-Zine).

I hope you enjoy this issue of “Billiards Planet”.

One more month has gone by in a flash.

I have been hard pressed to get this issue out while it is still April. Here I am April 26th typing it out now. lol

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Billiards Planet #008 April-26-2008

Check out the Billiards Hub for Live Auctions on about and type of Billiard Supplies. Follow this Long Link.

Table of Contents:

  • Las Vegas BCA Nationals. I fly out May 8th.
  • Why do we miss that shot when we should be out?
  • Billiards Links Page added to Website.
  • Billiards Planet Subscriber Feed Back
  • Tip of the Month

Why do we miss that shot when we should be out?

The rack is going smooth. You are making balls one after the other. Moving the cue ball into line on the next shot and cruising through the rack. You get position on the ball or 2 before the money ball and you think right on I’m going to get out from here and win the game. You shoot the next shot and either the cue ball gets bad on your next shot or you take the easy shot for granted.

How many times has this happened to you?

It happens to everyone who plays from time to time.

This Billiards Game can be a tricky thing. It makes a person want to burn the pool cues and sell the billiards table some times.

Worse than the example above is when you run all the way down to the money ball and then miss a fairly easy shot on the money.

A while back I wrote an article on contenderosis. This is when a person just can’t seem to win a game. AKA the Choke factor. This is when a person gets nervous and talks themselves out of a shot. Very common with part time non serious players.

This is usually not the case with advanced players. The advanced player will usually let up on concentration or allow their focus to be more on the shape than pocketing the ball. If you watched the Mosconi Cup on ESPN recently, you would have seen some top pros do this.

The other common thing that will cause a missed shot or self imposed safety is not taking the time to bear down and cinch the shot. This is usually why I fall prey to this. I lost a match in the Dr. Cue Pool Tournament last month because I took a shot when I knew that I didn’t have it cinched.

This article could go on forever, but we will call it good for this issue. I would love to read any comments or opinions on this subject.

Flying out on May 8th for the BCA National 8 Ball Tournament.

Our B.C.A. (Billiards Congress of America) Eight Ball league has come to an end for this season. Our team ended up taking 4th place this year. I guess it’s not all bad, there were over 50 teams and a dozen of them are tough competition.

In the semi finals we had a team down 7 to 3 and then later in the match I won a game to put us ahead 9 to 6. The next game I played Car (last years senior BCA National Champion) and He broke and ran out on me. I won my next game making the score 10 to 12 their lead and we lost the match 13 to 10. Winning this match would have guaranteed us 3rd place.

We went on to win our next match securing 4th place and then lost the next one. I was happy with my game during the play offs and my average for the last three matches was 10 wins and 4 losses.

The players here in Pueblo and I’m sure around the country are either playing in tournaments or matching up for some money action. The goal is to play some pool and be in stroke for Vegas.

Visit BCA Website Here.


Billiards Ezine presents Billiards Hub.

Billiards Planet is proud to present you with the Billiards Hub.

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These products are changing constantly and you can find some Great deals by keeping an eye on them.

The link is below.
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Billiards Planet Subscriber Feed Back

James asked:

Question: In the APA when you scratch on the 8 ball you lose the game. What happens if the opposing player doesn’t acknowledge the foul and puts the cue on the table and continues to shoot? ( he forgot or didn’t know the rule ).

My Answer:

Hello James, This question is a real grey area. I think if he takes the next shot without confrontation, the game should be back in session. I would probably just shake his hand and accept the loss before he had a chance to retrieve the cue ball. I would check with your local league operator on this one. I have noticed these Grey area rules are handled differently in different leagues. Sorry I couldn’t be more help. Ted

James G asked:

Ted, we have a guy on our team we call Tremulous because he tends to tremble when the match or game is on the line. Any suggestions to help in out. Your letters and advice has been helpful.

My Answer:

James, Try some valium. lol The other thing would be for him to play as many tournament and league matches as possible. Practice as much as he can and build some confidence. I have a friend who is a great player and sometimes he will take half of a valume before playing a big match. This is of course only possible when he has some Valium. lol Once we know the fundamentals, the game is mostly mental. He could also work on controlling his thought patterns. Hope this helps, Ted

Lawrence Wrote:

Ted.. Here is a question for you for which I have never gotten a clean answer…. I understand that there are two basic shapes for a cue tip. One has the roundness of a “nickel”, and the other of a “dime”. I even have a shaping device that allows me to select either one. So…..What one should I use, or in other words, what are the “pros” and “cons” of each…??? I’m just a cut above a beginner with a handicap of 3…. Lawrence Scharbach. PS I continue to enjoy your communications. I know that you are a very busy guy, but you should be commended for doing this….!!!

My Answer:

Hello Lawrence, Sorry about the delayed reply. I was out of town with the family over part of the week end and I have been helping my cousin get some farm land ready for planting. (driving tractor) Thanks for the cool compliment. It’s always good to hear from you. That is a good question. I have not heard mention of this for years. I don’t know which is better. I have always been accused of shooting with a flat tip. I used to try to stay with the shape of a nickel. I was replacing tips every couple of months. Now I start out with the roundness of the nickel and do my best not to grind the tip much. I will scuff it when needed to help the chalk stick, but that’s it. I use a separate break cue and this helps preserve the tip on my Joss pool cue. I play pretty sporty with my tip the way it is. I think it comes down to what you are used to and what works best for you. Sorry I couldn’t be more help. Thanks, Ted

John G wrote:

I am up to date and doing good. I am 63 and haven’t played pool since I was 25. Now I love it again, new McDermott cue stick and I have won a few bucks already. Just fun games with friends. We play a game called”haragan”. It’s played with numbered pills. You probably know about it. You get two pills and keep one. Pills are numbered 1-15. The one pill that you keep is the ball you have to make. The other pill determines when you shoot, lowest pill goes first. GREAT GAME. tks for your support, it’s good of you to share your knowledge. There are not enough people like you around today. So many of them do everything only for money. John G.

I replied:

Hello John, Thanks for the note. Happy to hear you are doing well and making some money. I think we call that game kelly pool. We play mostly 8 ball and 9 ball here, sometimes some one pocket.. Ring 9 if more than 2 players. I am heading for a masters match in a few minutes. Where are you from? Thanks, Ted

John G Replied:

You can put me comments in your letter. If I find time I’ll send picture and testimonial. When I miss a shot, I usually over cut it, even a fairly straight shot. why is that!! John G.

I replied:

Thanks for the reply. You must be either hitting the ball in the wrong place or perhaps you are applying English and spinning the ball off of your aiming line. Practice shooting with center ball hits only for a while and when you aim at the object ball, let your peripheral vision see the ball going into the pocket. Let me know if this helps.

Jerry G wrote:

looks like your video that you are playing on a bar box pool table.maybe you can help me .on some cut shorts. i play alot on the bar box with heavy cue ball and the red dot one i thing its a little lighter.i see the spot were i should hit it.but miss it long or short.

I replied:

Hello Fast Eddie, With a name like that I should be asking you for some advice. LOL Thanks for the reply and yes that is a Valley Bar Box. Are you missing while using English or are you hitting the ball center? What are you looking at when you take the shot? The mud ball is tough for everyone. This heavy cue ball tends to throw the object ball a little funny sometimes. As for the red dot, Is it the red dot or the red circle? The red circle has a small red circle on it. This cue ball is light and easy to move around. This is the common ball on the Diamond tables used for play in the National Tournaments in Vegas for both the BCA and APA. I predict that over time, most establishments will use this equipment. I would suggest picking up a red circle if you are not using one. You will find one with link below.

Please answer the above questions so I can help you out further. Thanks, Ted

Walter G wrote:

I am having trouble with the “ghost” ball concept. Are there any books and/or dvds the explore other concepts for aiming the cue ball? Thanks

I replied:

There are many systems out there. My personal system is to practice running balls so much that you can simply see where to hit the. This is what I did and do. I usually miss because of taking my eyes off the shot or standing up on the shot. I played around with the ghost ball method years ago and it didn’t do much for me. You could google billiard aiming system and find plenty of content I’m sure.

Jim W Wrote:

Ted: I reviewed the 7 fundamentals and found them to be very informative. I will refer back to them I’m sure. My situation is that I am in my seventies and gave up pool about 50 years ago. In the past year I have started to take it up again in the community room where I live, and I sometimes go to a pool room and play on the regular tables. I do not know what I would be rated at, but I often play with a couple of friends who play in APA league (8 ball) and they are rated 5. I also have my share of wins against both. We play for fun. I would like to join a league, but I do not want to do the bar leagues. I have to check out some of the pools parlors and see what is available. I practice 3-4 days a week, and I want to raise the bar so I can be competitive if I join a league. Anyway, thanks again for the script. I read some back issues and they are extremely well put together. You can use this in an issue if you care to.

Jim Walsh

I replied:

Hello Jim, Sorry about the late reply. Have been extremely busy the last few days. Thanks for the note. I will put it in Aprils Billiards Planet news. Maybe you can find a pool hall with weekly tournaments. Most leagues involve bars. To Your Run Out Success! Ted

Jerry R wrote:



Sharie B wrote in a reply from email # 1 fundamentals:

Ted!!! I have been playing pool for a number of years now . I can do any cut shot , but when it comes to straight in shots – I suck!!!! I’m looking forward to the lessons and maybe i can get over my personal obstacle with your course. Looking forward to the next lesson!!! Sharie

I replied:

Hello Sharie,

I’m not sure if I replied to this message or not. If I did, sorry for the double reply.

Straight in shots are one of the hardest shots in the game. If you are exactly straight in, it is hard to move your cue ball around for position. You must learn to cheat the pocket on these shots.

If you are missing straight in shots with no concern about where the cue ball is going, then you either have an aiming or stroke problem. I hope the fundamental course can help you to uncover the problem.

Let me know if I can help further.

Jim W. Wrote:

Ted: I’m very happy with the lessons, and I’m right on track. I practice 10-12 hours a week and I play with others about 4 hours a week. I can stop the cue ball on a dime and I can draw it half way across the table. Not all the time but most of the time. I’m now concentrating on long rail shots and follow through. I even invested in a break/jump stick instead of using rack sticks. So far the most I have been able to run is 12 balls. I’m sure it will get better. I was having a problem with my right hand folding out to an almost horizontal position. I don’t know why, it seemed like an unconscious thing and it was causing me grieve on my shots. I solved the problem by buying a Wellwatch brand strap that is used for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. It keeps my wrist nice and straight, and I’m hoping over a period of time I can do away with it. I now use bar tables where I work part time, but my goal is to take my game to the regulation tables. Take care, Jim

I replied:

Thanks for the note. I’m happy to hear the course is helping you out. Congrats on the new cue.

Would you mind if I put your note in the April “Billiards Planet” newsletter?

If you want to send a testimonial with a picture, I will put it on the website.

Let me know.

Kyle L wrote”

thanks for the tips that i have recieved so far. i have been practicing those along with some that i have learned from some other well known pool players eric durbin and tommy stevens. but i want to learn some run out practice shots for one pocket and more advanced shots like jumping the ball over the stack and developing more of a draw stroke..

I replied:

Hello Kyle,

On the draw stroke, start close to the object ball with the cue ball, use a level stroke hit the cue ball low and follow through. As you get better at drawing the ball spread the object ball and cue ball farther apart.

I don’t have anything on those other subjects yet. I will be putting some material together in the future. Check https://www.youtube.com

Do a search and I’ll bet you find some material.

Let me know.


George R wrote:

I wonder if you would give me your opinon on a round robin game i was playing. on the weekend,’double knockout’ there was 4 sets of parteners. 8 players total. my partener and I’ won the first three sets we played ‘ players #no 2 won two lost 1′ set.’ players # 3 won 1 lost one’.set’my question is who plays next?and do we play any more? I would appricate your personal. or offical answer’ Im new on your ‘cite’ and dont t know if its right to ask you this or not! but appricate your view yours” george” P.S im a 82 year old learner ‘ I asumed that as we won the first three out of five . that we should not have to play anymore am I’ wrong?

I replied:

Hello George,

This may sound funny, but I have only played in 2 round robin format events.

Everyone played everyone once and the team with the most wins at the end wins the match. If there is a tie, a play off match is played between the two teams or individuals who tied.

Sorry I can’t be more help.

Rob K wrote:


I replied:

Hello Rob,

Thanks for the note.

I think the best way to work on focus is through intense practice. This builds confidence and helps to make your shots like second nature. I focus on hitting the object ball in the right place to pocket the ball and get shape. You have to focus on making the shot and have faith in the shape.

The link for Zen Pool is not working. Must be something wrong with Max Eberle’s Website.

Lawrence S wrote:

Ted.. Thanks for the update. I look forward to receiving your next newsletter. I’ve gotten into a new source for pool/billiards tips. I’ve been going to “You Tube”, and have found some basic instructions from “Force Follow” and “Dr.Cue”…..actually over 100 or so of short video clips. I now know how to do an “8 ball break” to increase my chances of sinking the 8 ball on the break, and so far I have had two successes….!!!! Keep up the good work.. LAWRENCE SCHARBACH

I replied:

Hello Lawrence,

Nice to hear from you. Good to hear your game is going well. Dr. Cue was at my house shooting trick shots on my 5 year old sons dinky table and playing video games about a month back. He was in town for the 14th annual Dr. Cue Tournament and he and his wife Marty (Miss Cue) lol, stopped by our place for some breakfast burritos.

Tom (Dr. Cue) taught me that 8 ball break several years back. It will work now and then. You have to watch out for making the 8 and the cue ball however.

To Your Run Out Success,


Sherry C wrote:

Ted: My pool game has improved tremendously, Thank You! However, I am still not “confident” in myself when I’m playing. One reason is that I have trouble with shot selection, according to other pool players. They are telling me that I should have done this or that. But, had the ball dropped on the shot that I was making, I would have had shape on my next shot and then the next and so on. The second reason, is I’m correcting a bad habit of looking at the cue ball rather than the object ball when shooting. So I am adjusting and not quite up to par yet. I will say that there is improvement in pocketing the ball since making this adjustment. And finally, I do not have a pool table at home to practice, practice, practice. So, I have to practice when and where I can. On another note, I will be competing in a National Straight Pool tournament on May 16-18, 2008 in Atlantic City, NJ. My flight leaves on May 15. I’m very excited and hopefully I will do well. I will let you know how I did when I return. I wish you the best of luck on your tournament in May. Please let me know how you did in the tournament. Thanks!

I replied:

Nice to hear you are pocketing more balls. You are right, with your own table it is easier to practice, practice, practice. lol

Good luck in NJ.

I hope to hear that you did well.

I will let you know how Vegas turns out.


Bill P wrote:

sorry it took so long to respond but now that I am retired I have no time to do everything I want to do. I have been practicing my pool. I am only a beginner with not much natural ability so I have been working hard on my stroke. I start each day like you taught by shooting 160 balls in to the pockets. Then I hit a ball up center table stopping the cue and having the ball come striaght back to hit it. This has greatly improved my aiming and shot making. I want to thank you for posting the lessons. I see your boy is going to take after his dad and love the game. I sent along a photo. Let me know of any other tips you want to pass along.

Jim W Wrote:

Ted: I have finished doing the 7-part series and the one thing that struck me was the simplicity of the lessons. They are full of information without going overboard with unnecessary and boring details. That in itself says a lot. My game has improved 100 % by following the tips and most important of all doing the recommended practice. I put in about 15 hours a week practicing. My method of practice is not to play frames. I practice individual shots over and over and it has paid off when I get into real play. For some this method might get boring, but it is the cream that goes on the cereal. I even developed a few of my own strategies when it comes to bank shots both long and side. I have the diamonds burnt into my mind. Thanks again for the tips. Jim Walsh..aka..Quickshot

Brush up on your Official Billiards Rules with this link.

Tip Of the Month!

I am cutting this section short again due to the extreme length of the reader feed back. There are many tips in the questions and answers above. If you have a specific question or challenge, please send it in. You can reply to this email.

OK 1 Tip. Don’t eat yellow snow.

lol Joke couldn’t resist.

No now for the real tip. The mental tip.

When we teach ourselves how to play, through practice and repetition, our bodies and minds learn how to stroke the ball. When a pressure situation arises in your game, You have to calm your nerves, stick to the fundamentals, and bring your perfect practice stroke to the pressure match.


OK One more repeat Tip.

Keep A Positive Attitude. Your Attitude determines your Altitude in pool and in life.

Editors Note

Thank You for subscribing to “Billiards Planet”. Please feel Free to reply to this email or use contact us on the home page. We would love to read your stories and comments. If You send a story and it fits in to one of our publications, We would like to publish it along with your Sig.

We would love to use our subscribers questions, stories and comments as a major part of this publication. Jump right in and put in your 2cents worth.

To Your Run Out Success!

Ted Mauro


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