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P O O L    S H O O T E R

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

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Getting The Breaks

Today's practice session with El Maestro
produced some extraordinary results.
We played several races to 7 in 9-ball.
He always spots me the break shot
because my break shot is so weak
and inconsistent that I need the practice.

But today, all the planets aligned,
and I must have been doing something right.

I sunk the 9 on the break a LOT.
Tony figures it was 7 times!
That sure is an easy way to win...

Also, I was getting balls on the break,
many times multiple balls,
and giving myself a good chance for
a break and run.

Late in the practice session
I asked him if he could figure out
why I was getting so "lucky" on the break.
He said it might have something to do
with the conditions of the table.
The door was open and the air
was cooler than normal, 50-52 degrees,
and humidity between 40-60%.
And, the table had been re-leveled
just the day before.

What I noticed is that I was
much more focused on hitting the cue ball
in exactly the right place,
really burning my eyes into a very
specific spot on the cue ball
just before the break shot.

Today's lesson proved beyond a doubt
just how important a strong break shot is.
I won 3 out of 5 races to 7.

I still have work to do
with cue ball control on the break.
My tendency is to hit the ball too high
and it spins forward instead of
stopping in the center of the table.

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