Category Archives: Pool

Stats, Stats, Stats – Season 2

A good end to a horrendous season, which eventually saw me remain on the Regional Tour.

I finally got my act together to comfortably win the final tournament (for 0 ranking points – if it were the tournament before, I’d have been promoted).

Unfortunately, I could barely string 3 pots together for the rest of the season.

End of Season 2 – Regional Tour – Results

End of Season 2 – Regional Tour – Stats

The good news, after playing for 3 hours last night, is that I’ve found my ‘potting ability’ again. Reflected in winning the final tournament of the season and I’m going well in the first tournament of the new season – hopefully I’ll be able to keep it up.

I’m now half way through season 3 and am sitting top of the rankings table with a win, a runner up, a 4th place, quarter finalist and a last 8 to my name.

I’ve been playing a little snooker too and haven’t lost a frame so far on the local tour with a high break of 29 (on the tournament table).

Stats, Stats, Stats!

My virtual and real life pool game is coming along nicely – I can see a steady improvements over the last 3 weeks.

Here are a couple of screenshots showing my results and statistics from the first season ( The Local Tour) of my virtual career on Virtual Pool 4.

End of Season 1 – Local Tour – Results

Season 1 - Local Tour - Results - Virtual Pool 4

End of Season 1 – Local Tour – Statistics

Season 1 - Local-Tour - Stats


Picked up the Pool cue

Virtual Pool 4Well it’s just about Winter, which means it’s too dark to play golf among other reasons, namely the expense and the general snottyness of your standard golf club so I’ve picked up the Pool cue again, both virtually and in real life.

Why? I don’t know really… I watched a documentary about Ronny O’Sullivan which led me to re-install Virtual Pool 3 awakening the pool bug inside me. A few days later I found myself in Riley’s with my mate Mal (who incidentally has a great blog so check it out) and on return bought myself Virtual Pool 4.

Considering it was the first time I’d played in over a year it wasn’t too bad really – some good shots (and a lot of bad).

The game is great – though I’ve had to turn off room backgrounds and lower graphic quality to be able to play it smoothly.

I’m planning on recording a few games and uploading – not for entertainment – just to  track progress really.

And that’s just about all I have to say on that.


World Cup 2010

The World Cup is nearly upon us, kicking off this Friday at 3pm.

I’m looking forward to it, no doubt England will be knocked out in the quarter / semi finals but a month solid of football on TV will be enjoyable – it’s a shame I’m going to have to watch the games on mute… a month of those vuvenzelas (South African horns) blasting through the TV is enough to drive anyone mad.

World Cup 2010I’ve even booked Friday off work so that I can watch the opening ceremony to get the World Cup started properly.

Looks like I’m going to be heading down to Riley’s in the morning for a couple of hours of 9 ball and maybe even some snooker before heading home to get comfy and watch the World Cup unfold.

My pool game’s coming on nicely. I’m now making runs of 4-5 balls fairly often, with a high of 8 balls but that elusive full rack is still proving to be a challenge – it’ll come soon though – that’s for sure.

9 ball run

I went Durham City Snooker & Pool last night to work on my game and had a relatively successful time.

The table wasn’t in the best condition, balls (which were chipped) had been tapped – in the wrong position – too much so it was impossible to break, the cloth must’ve been on for 20 years as it was very ‘worn’, moth eaten and in some places even moved when I put my bridge hand down.

It could do with a good clean, reclothing and levelling and it would play quite well.

Anyhow… back to me. I decided to just throw 9 balls out on the table and pot them in any order – doing this I managed to run 7 balls a few times, with my average run being about 4 balls.

I then tried a couple of racks of 9 ball vs the ghost.

If you’re not familiar with ‘the ghost’ then to put it quite simply if you miss a shot the ghost wins wins. Meaning it’s very difficult to win against the ghost and needless to say – I lost.

To end my practice session I decided to just throw all 15 balls on the table randomly and pot them in any order. Doing this I managed to make a couple of runs of 9, just need to work on running 9 out of 9 balls in the correct order and I’ll be on my way.

All in all I had a decent session getting used to potting angles and speeds and I’m looking forward to Saturday when I go to Riley’s in Sunderland with Malcolm Clarke for practice and a race to 9.

Seem to be improving every time I get on the table so let’s hope it continues.

Big Pockets

Whenever I mention that I’ve been playing 9 ball pool the person I’m talking to always says, ‘Ah, the one with the big pockets?’

To which I reply, ‘yes’ – anything else would be a lie as American Pool tables do have bigger pockets than British Pool tables.

It’s as if they’re saying it’s got bigger pockets so it must be easier, however it isn’t.

One thing they don’t take into account is the fact that American Pool tables are 9ft long which is 1.5 times (3 feet) longer than a standard British Pool table (the one you find in most pubs).

American Pool tables have ‘squared off’ jaws / knuckles whereas British tables are ’rounded’ – OK fair enough, on an American table if you hit the ‘right’ part of the jaw the ball will drop but hit the ‘wrong’ part and the ball won’t even have the slightest chance of dropping.

On an English table, with the rounded jaws the ball always has a chance of dropping as long as it’s played at the right speed.

Something else people don’t take into account is the bigger ball size used on an American table. American pool balls are 2 3/4″ that’s  three quarters of an inch bigger than standard British pool balls.

Those ‘big’ pockets suddenly don’t seem as big anymore do they?

One thing that really gets on my nerves is how people think American tables are so easy to play on – if that’s the case then why don’t they quit they’re jobs, join the pro tour and win everything?

That’s right… It may be made to look easy by the pros but trust me. It’s not as easy as it looks.

My Journey into 9 Ball Pool

I’ve recently started playing pool again, the 9 ball variety that is,  and this time I’m taking it seriously.

I’d always enjoyed playing pool but generally the only chance to play comes when I’m in the pub.

I do have my own 7ft American Style table but unfortunately it’s been ‘out of commission’ for the last year and a half to two years after moving house and being unable to find the space but hopefully I’ll be moving into a house with enough room to get the old table out soon.

I got back in touch with an old friend – Malcolm Clarke, whom I’ve known since… well as far back as I can remember, who has played on the pro tour and with him have managed to get a couple of hours of 9 ball under my belt and have really enjoyed the racks we’ve played as well as just getting in touch with an old mate – one which I must’ve spent hundreds of hours playing NHL games with in our youths.

Now, I’m the type of person that will read just about everything I can find about technique and tactics and always welcome hints and tips so that’s what I’ve been doing as well as watching all the 9 ball I can find on youtube, mostly Efren Reyes and Earl Strickland.

Mal has agreed to help coach me and I must say that even after just a few tips the difference in my game after receiving the advice is more than noticeable. He also gave me a great book, ‘Play your best 9 Ball’ which I’d recommend any aspiring 9 ball player to read as I’m sure it will benefit everyone from beginners to the pros.

My cue - a BCE BA-26I’ve bought my own cue now, (pictured) so that I can get used to one cue rather than using a different club cue each time I play and I’m looking forward to testing it out this Saturday.

I now really can’t wait to get my table back up and running so that I can work on my game at home as well as in the club, but until then I’ll keep playing Virtual Pool 3 – the best billiards game available on the PC to date, to help with sighting and tactics.

And who knows, with the practice I’m willing to put in, my drive to get better and my competitive nature you may see me in a tournament in the distant future, hopefully winning it.

Be sure to check back here to see how I’m progressing and until the next post, Seeya.