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The Adventures of FastMikie
in search of Truth and Beauty in the art of pocket billiards.




Friday, August 31, 2007

Bizzaro Rules

Another night, another tournament.
Last night it was at Jim's Vista Lounge,
playing race-to-one 8-ball on little tables (yuk).

Here in this remote backwater of pooldom
they invented some bizarre rules.
For starters, if you put the cue ball in a pocket,
it's ball in hand, but only behind the head string.
(Like straight pool.)
In the APA, it's ball in hand anywhere,
except if you pocket the cue ball on the break,
and then it's ball in hand in the kitchen
(behind the head string).

Ok, I can live with that rule, I guess.
But check this one out:
If you table scratch (no ball/rail),
you lose your turn, of course,
but the cue ball just stays where it stops!
Again, like straight pool,
but at least in straight pool you lose a point.
Here, there's no penalty at all.

This can lead to some strange behavior.
Any safety attempt is like a push-out,
but the other guy has no option,
he has to take the shot as it sits.
But of course, he can do the same thing to you.

What is the point?
I have no idea...

I had the chance to test the limits of this rule
in my match with El Maestro
(who, in his usual magnificence, won the tournament).
At one point we must have traded safeties
at least a dozen times in a row.
While he took full advantage of the bizzaro-rule
I tried my best to play the normal rule
of ball and rail for a safety
just for the practice,
but when I ran out of imagination
I resorted to the bizzaro-rule.

So maybe that is the reason for the wacky rule:
they don't want to force the players to think too much.
Who knows...

I won every match I played,
except for the two times I played El Maestro.
I guess I can't complain about that.

In one of my matches,
my opponent tried the most blatant sharking
I have ever had attempted against me.
Of course, it had no effect as I ran out on him,
thinking all the time of that line from
The Color of Money:
"I don't rattle, kid"

I have been sharked by the best of them,
El Maestro himself!

Overall, I played pretty good,
and made some fun shots...

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3 Comments:

Blogger Robert Johnson said...

I am surprised you never heard of "bar room rules". I don't like them either. The rules you mention are extremely common. In addition, sometimes all balls in a combo or carom must your type. (If the table is open, they must match the ball you intend to sink.) Usually you have to not only call the ball and pocket but also all the little details of caroms and rails by the cue ball or object ball. Your bizarro rule is known as "Chelsea" -- considered bad taste by veteran pool players. Consider making your defense shots look like a valiant attempt, if you don't want complaints. A strange tactic is to pocket scratch on purpose to make opponent hit down and back at the 8 ball.

Friday, August 31, 2007 3:44:00 PM  
Blogger MM said...

Yes, I had heard of "bar rules" but was told that under bar rules you could NOT play safe at all, or had to make it look like you were really trying to make a shot at least... but in this instance they fully allowed safety play, but without having to hit your own ball at all, or even a ball/rail. Very strange.

Thanks for that tidbit about the pocket scratch to force shooting from the kitchen.

Lots of fun things to learn!

M.

Friday, August 31, 2007 5:28:00 PM  
Blogger richie007 said...

nice post


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