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big pocket's or small pockets ?

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  • big pocket's or small pockets ?

    I remember reading somewhere many years ago a pro saying that it is better to practice on big pockets as it builds confidence. My game has gone down hill over the last few years and it has coincided with me changing the table that I used to practise on in the old Riley's shepherds bush club to the one my practice partner preferred, Terry noted after watching one of my vid's that the pockets looked generous, I disagreed at the time. Now after changing club and playing on a very tight table I have found out that my old table had indeed generous pockets.
    As a result (with out me even noticing) I had become sloppy and my accuracy had fallen away.
    So I am now of the opinion that I should have stuck to my original table with tight pockets when practising and that a tight table is better. The problem is knowing what is a tight table and what is a bad table. I suppose if I had a pro playing at my club I could use him as a guide to what is achievable on any given table. By this I mean if he is knocking in ton after ton and I can't score 20 then it's me and not the table therefore I need to improve.
    What are your views on this matter????
    Last edited by cazmac1; 3rd September 2012, 06:21 PM.

  • #2
    I'm of the opinion that it's best to learn the game on a table with big pockets, otherwise those difficult near the cushion shots will be missed so often that one becomes afraid to play them to such a degree that they will not become part of your game.
    Once learned it is easier to hone your accuracy with a bit of fine tuning and a bit more care than it is to have to be absolutely spot on right from the start.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by vmax4steve View Post
      I'm of the opinion that it's best to learn the game on a table with big pockets, otherwise those difficult near the cushion shots will be missed so often that one becomes afraid to play them to such a degree that they will not become part of your game.
      Once learned it is easier to hone your accuracy with a bit of fine tuning and a bit more care than it is to have to be absolutely spot on right from the start.
      I agree, if your starting out you don't want to be put off before you have even got out of the starting blocks. I suppose I'm thinking of an intermediate player.

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      • #4
        big pocket's or small pockets ?

        We have 3 full size tables in our bus depot. They were originally installed in the late 50's and all 3 have pockets that I can only describe as "tough" compared to my local club tables. The pockets in the club look like buckets compared to works tables. I much prefer a tight table. A 70/80 break gives me so much more satisfaction on a tough table.
        You may defeat me but I will fight you to the very end!!!!

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        • #5
          Originally posted by fred.england View Post
          We have 3 full size tables in our bus depot. They were originally installed in the late 50's and all 3 have pockets that I can only describe as "tough" compared to my local club tables. The pockets in the club look like buckets compared to works tables. I much prefer a tight table. A 70/80 break gives me so much more satisfaction on a tough table.
          do you find you have to change your game to compensate for the tight pocket's

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          • #6
            cazmac:

            I think for a player just starting out a fairly loose table is best. He will learn to pot quicker and then his concentration will focus on position. I feel this is the same for an intermediate player making steady 40-50 breaks.

            My argument is, once a player learns how to control the cueball and get good position then he has a lot less difficult shots, at least once he gets in. It's that first pot off a safety exchange that makes the difference and having the confidence to pot that ball from being used to a generous table I think really helps.

            A lot of the famous players started out on loose tables. Among them Alex Higgins and Jimmy White. Being Canadian, I'm more familiar with our pros and I know most of them started out on generous Brunswick tables with vitalite balls and they found it easy to change to the heavier balls and tighter pockets, but it did take some adjustment. They learned potting quickly and sort of graduated to better cueball control so they didn't have so many difficult pots.

            Terry
            Terry Davidson
            IBSF Master Coach & Examiner

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            • #7
              Hi terry, I would like to carry this on tomorrow, I'm too tried now to get deep into the subject but I want some advice from you and your thoughts.
              Good night all and sweet dreams

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              • #8
                Club tables are a bit like women bud, some are tighter than others but ya just take more care with the tight ones and you can be a bit rougher and slam them in the looser ones alot more.....


                I'll get my coat then...


                On a more serious note, with playing on so many variations of tables over the years us club players just play what we get and adjust accordingly. if we are up against a tight table we just take a little more care over the shots than you would on a more generous table, being a club player you should be used to the difference in tables from club to club and suss quite quickly how the table plays...

                Btw the way...I prefer tighter ones

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                • #9
                  Big pockets when your confidence is low is a must IMO.

                  It's actually ironic that, because you're more confident on a table with bigger pockets, you'll be more acurate anyway, because you'll hit the ball better.

                  Playing on a tight table when my confidence is low, is terrible for me. I'll just miss all those slightly tricky balls around the black spot, and then my condfidence goes even lower. You lose all that self belief that you're going to pot everything, and you're almost in that mindset where you think sooner or later you're going to miss.
                  WPBSA Level 2 - 1st4Sport Coach
                  Available for personalised one-to-one coaching sessions
                  --------------------------------------------------------------------
                  Contact: steve@bartonsnooker.co.uk
                  Website: www.bartonsnooker.co.uk

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                  • #10
                    As a billiard fitter I have a few stories to tell about large pocket openings

                    I was working in a snooker club in sutton in ashfield many years ago around 1981/82 when I noticed a young lad who should have been in his last year at school playing on a table with 4 inch pockets , I told him you will never make it playing on a table like that , well a few years later Ray Reardon tipped him to become a good player to watch out for , that player got ranked to no5 in the world I think in 1991/92, his name Gary Wilkinson . so there maybe some truth in those large pocket tables giving a person confidence.
                    [/SIGPIC]http://www.gclbilliards.com

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                    • #11
                      The club i play at has six tables, on two of them the middle pockets are huge and on another two they are really tight.

                      I used to practise a lot on the tables with huge middle pockets but i found this made me complacent and when i would have to play at a different club on tighter tables i would lose my confidence in potting to the middle pockets.

                      Now i practise solely on the table with tighter pockets. I did miss more pots initially but now i think my accuracy has improved and when i play on other tables i am a lot more confident and i think, well this is easy.

                      I would class myself as an intermediate player and i think playing on tables with tighter pockets is more beneficial to my game. I agree that beginners would be better off with bigger pockets because snooker can be frustrating enough when starting out.

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                      • #12
                        the way I've always approached most tables is to play centre pocket, regardless of the pocket size. I know in my mind what wouldn't go in on a tight table as I've played on all sorts down the years, from the riley aristocrat, BCE westbury to the new Star tables to very old early 20th century billiard tables.
                        Yes you can cheat a bigger pocket but that is the same for both players, you adapt to the table, doesn't really make the game any easier as its the same for both.

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                        • #13
                          big pocket's or small pockets ?

                          Yes caz. On our work tables, a ball along any cushion has got to be spot on or it won't drop so more safety play is required.
                          You may defeat me but I will fight you to the very end!!!!

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by cally View Post

                            Btw the way...I prefer tighter ones
                            Tables? .

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by cazmac1 View Post
                              I remember reading somewhere many years ago a pro saying that it is better to practice on big pockets as it builds confidence.
                              )
                              IIRC John Spencer, I think..

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