You’re starting in a good place here because I will not be blowing any smoke in your direction. Simply reviewing the material here and listening to my explanations of how shots and variables work will automatically put your head in the right place. After this initial education you will look at the game with pool eyes and a pool mind. When something happens on a pool table you should be able to judge it based on facts or at least an educated opinion. I’ll make sure that happens for you.
Watching high levels players complete with professional commentary is one of the best ways to gain proper education. Accu Stats video production is the industry leader in this area and I can’t recommend them highly enough. Youtube is also full of high level play but in this day and age with everyone streaming, these matches may or may not come with the high quality commentary. There are simply not enough quality commentators to go around. I’m going to beat on this commentary drum because I truly believe it is one of the key reasons that helped me reach a professional level of play. Billy Incardona, Grady Mathews, Danny Deliberto, Buddy Hall, Nick Varner and many other old school players helped me shave years off the learning curve by telling me WHY a player was shooting a certain shot, HOW they were shooting it, WHAT they were considering while shooting it, what they liked about it, what they feared about it and what their overall mindset was like while shooting it. To me this was GOLD and for years to follow I would hear the voices of these players commentating in my own head when I was out learning and competing. I’ll never be able to thank them enough.
Getting started on the educated path will not only help you get what you want but it will also save you a lot of time, money and frustration while getting there. I’ll help you start right away by bringing your attention to certain variables and tiny but beautiful details that will get you asking yourself and maybe others the correct questions.
When asking other players about the game I want you to do so with an open mind, open ears and in a polite manner but by no means take everything you hear as gospel. Take it in, evaluate it for yourself and maybe get a second opinion. A lot of the stuff I’ve heard passed around pool over the years can make my ears bleed.
I really miss hearing Billy and Grady debate which shot to shoot and why.