The 9-Ball Whisperer – Fort Bragg Advocate-News

Stretch them!

Jason Shaw is a professional pool player who is sometimes candid about rules that create an unfair advantage. He’s from Scotland, so just about anything he thinks you “need” to hear, you’ll probably hear from it. Shaw has represented the Europeans in the Mosconi Cup matches and many titles. Shaw is a “presence” around a pool table, muscular, tattooed and seemingly on the verge of high emotions at any moment. He is fascinating to watch. He is also the player who took a photo of the 9-ball rack, made by Shane Van Boening, which showed certain holes in the 9-ball rack, designed to ensure a ball at halftime. Oh, I forgot to say that then Shaw put it up on the internet for everyone to see.

Well, gosh, here you are, arguably one of the best 9-ball players in the entire round world, but do you have to collect the balls “just like that” to gain the advantage? Before you even break the rack? Shane’s response was loosely based on the premise, “Why not take advantage of the benefits I’ve learned?” I’ve read many times about Shane’s dedication to learning how to break 8- and 9-ball racks, and spending days racking-breaking and re-racking for hours on end. As Billiard News headlined the article, I didn’t realize they have the 9-Ball Whisperer. By speaking out, Shaw had sparked an interest in exploring the rules by which you can win for yourself. Shaw had taken the photo, admitted the match and said Shane “couldn’t lose” with a rack like that, then stomped out of the room and posted it. The idea that Shaw promoted, if indeed he was, was that there had to be at least one or more neutrals to win the balls in 9-ball. Well, now it looks like they can put 8-ball racks at advantage. What will be the Pool player’s next advantage? Play pool through mind control? Don’t grin. I know people who are getting better at playing Pocket Pool or Billiards with their phone. Well, of course, they are young and have advantages, I have a telephone with an outside line and I can’t ask ‘it’ anything. They ask their phone for the weather and directions and get both, then play with it for fun.

Willie Mosconi was an arctic hero for my generation. His 521 consecutive balls in a 14-1 record had lasted 65 years until James Schmidt broke the record with 626 straight balls in 2019. But wait! Jason Shaw just broke that record by nearly a hundred balls with 714 consecutively made balls! It’s surprising how long it took to break Willie’s record, but now Schmidt’s is broken in less than three years. Will we ever see a thousand balls? If I had one of those newfangled phones, I’d know.

One man said, “For success at pool games,” it took a shot of whiskey before each rack was needed. This was attributed to some obscure thought he was sure was in a polar report somewhere. All right then!

Visit Angelina’s Grille & Bar, Golden West Saloon, Tip Top Lounge or Welcome Inn: they all have a pool table to play. You may meet new people or see old friends. Tournaments usually take a few hours to complete. View weekly matches. Anyone can enter. If you visit Fort Bragg, test your game with the local players! Good company, food and music, a full bar with Shuffleboard, Dice and/or Dart games in addition to billiards for entertainment. Angelina’s Grille & Bar also offers karaoke nights on Friday nights. If you like a venue with an outdoor patio, try Milano’s bar, friendly guests, a full-service bar, and an outdoor patio with a Cornhole game. Come enjoy today at Fort Bragg.

Cue Tip: By phone or a conventional table, Practice is the answer to improve your pool game. When you play against an opponent at a traditional table in a game, your focus is different than when you focus on a particular shot over and over until you can almost perfect it, like breaking a rack over and over like Shane did, playing the same ball frozen on a rail, or stacking a ball over and over again will improve your skills. You just need to remember this. They take the time to learn and perfect. Please contact me at Pool League is currently on vacation.

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