The 14.1 Effect

http://www.poolstudent.com/2011/09/15/poolsynergy-23This month of PoolSynergy, us bloggers were asked, “What has worked for you?”  Meaning, what have you incorporated into your game that has had a positive impact.

The last 6 months I have played in the Amsterdam Straight Pool League.  After much coaxing from TR and Danny Barouty, I decided to join the league.  Since then a number of things have improved in my game that I directly attribute to my 14.1 time…

~Side Pocket Shots: I used to be scared to death of them from any angle.  In 14.1, they are a critical part of the game.  The majority of shots in 14.1 are pocketed in the 4 pockets surrounding the rack.  I have become so much more comfortable with side pocket shots because of this game as well as increasing my comfort and understanding in the steep angle shots into the side pocket.  williamfuentes.comI have also learned a great deal about the cue ball’s movement around the table from the side pocket shots.  These improvements have opened up so many doors in my 8/9/10-ball games. 

~ Caroms and Combos: Given the racks in 14.1 are often clumps of balls together, combos and caroms come up A LOT.  I was always fascinated by players that looked into a pack of balls, called some ball that seemed stuck in the middle and VOILA, they continue their run.  It turns out, this ISN’T blind luck!  🙂 Because of their frequent appearance in 14.1, I’ve learned some helpful carom and combo shots much sooner in my pool life than I would have if I only played the rotation games of pool.   

On a side note, a game called Scratch Pool is AWESOME for Carom practice as well.

~ Being on the Right/Wrong Side of the Ball: Pool is a game of angles anyway, but I have never been punished so much for being on the wrong side of the ball as I have in 14.1 matches.  Especially the oh so critical break shot.  OMG, how many times I stare down at a straight in break shot.  OH the torment I feel.  :)  My respect for the cue ball’s pin point positioning is much more heightened since playing 14.1.

williamfuentes.com~Concentration: Straight pool is the most mentally exhausting game I have ever played.  Four hours of straight pool is equivalent to a full day of tournament play for me.  The game DEMANDS perfection of cue ball control, pattern selection and focus.  Once your opponent leaves you a shot, you are now in complete control of how many balls you run.  And disrespecting a shot, not thinking out your pattern, letting your fundamentals collapse, all these are severely punished in the game. 

I don’t recommend 14.1 for beginner players.  I played in the league about 3 years ago and I just wasn’t ready.  I hadn’t developed my game enough to run balls and it just depressed me.  Wait till you are comfortable with your stroke & intermediate position play before trying out 14.1 competitively. 

DJ Nauticz I think I like 14.1 mostly because it’s really just me battling myself.  MY ability to stay focused, thoughtfully find a pattern, respect the shot in front of me, and maintaining my fundamentals … straight pool demands this, and when one fails, the punishment is squirming in your chair as your opponent runs out the rack you could have run out, and those thereafter.  And NOTHING is worse than CHAIR SQUIRMING  OMG! I hate it. 

Of course, on the flip side, surpassing your high run is such a rewarding feeling!  And there is no ceiling.  In Straight Pool, improvement is limitless.

To read other PoolSynergy posts that may help you with your game, check on http://www.poolstudent.com/2011/09/15/poolsynergy-23John Biddle’s summary of this month’s blogs.  click the PoolSynergy logo here->

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~ by g2 on September 15, 2011.

One Response to “The 14.1 Effect”

  1. Of course, it doesn’t hurt you have one of the best 14.1 players in your corner offering advice when you get stuck. :p

    I have to agree though, 14.1 is not for beginners. I tried it about a year ago (just after about a year of playing) thinking it’d be a lot of fun running balls… wow was I ever wrong. It’s on the back burner now, but I hope to get back to it someday. I’m focusing more on my one pocket game at the moment.

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