Monthly Archives: September 2010

TAR 19: Immonen vs. Van Boening

Coming up soon in October, Amsterdam Billiards in New York City will be hosting an epic three day battle.   On October 12 – 14, Mika Immonen and Shane Van Boening will be playing a ten ball match in a race to 100.  Each competitor put up $10,000 in a winner take all contest.  This is the most talked about matchup over the last 12 months.  Who will prevail?  The Iceman or SVB?  Live streaming will be provided by The Action Report on a pay per view basis.

This is one match I would love to see in person.  I wonder how much plane tickets are from San Francisco to NYC?  Maybe I could sleep on the floor at ABC to help defray the travel costs?  I doubt I’ll make the trip, but who knows?  According to some of the comments I’ve seen on the AZBilliard forums, SVB is the favorite.  I don’t know about that; I’ve seen The Iceman play 14.1, and he’s pretty formidable.  Who do you think will win?  Call me a nit if you will: Anyone willing to give me The Iceman and 10 games on the wire?


Cut Shot Drills Added

I just added some of the cut shot drills that I use in my training program.  The ability to plan and execute a cut shot is a base requirement for playing good pool.  The drills added are progressive in nature…they start easy and get harder with each shot.  The secret to making cut shots is to start by focusing on your fundamentals and making sure they are solid first, then working on your aiming method.  To determine the proper aiming point, I use the ghost ball aiming method.  Take your time on these drills, focus on the aiming point, and shoot smoothly with purpose.  Knowing how to make a cut shot is a requirement for almost every shot you will make, regardless of the game you play.  To view the cut shot drills, look under The Drills tab and select Cut Shots.  Hope you enjoy!

Fundamental Pool Practice Drills Updated

I just added two additional drills to my fundamentals collection.  The first drill is designed to calibrate your arm so that you can accurately send the cue ball down table with the appropriate speed required for a shot.  The second drill is designed to help you develop a straight stroke.  Both of these skills are critical if you want to take your game to the next level.  To view the two new fundamental drills, look under The Drills tab and select Fundamentals.  Best wishes in your development!

Challenging Pool Practice Drills

I just finished documenting some challenging pool practice drills that I use.  These gems require more thought than most drills and also require good route planning.  They develop your ability to plan and execute both short and long position routes and  move the cue ball all around the table with precision.  To view the challenging drills, look under The Drills tab and select Challenging Drills.  Bon Appetite!

Classic Pool Practice Drills

I just finished documenting some classic pool practice drills.  Samm Diep demonstrated a couple of these to me earlier this year.  These Oldie Goldies have been around forever…and for good reason.  They develop your ability to move the cue ball relatively short distances with precision.  For you movie buffs out there, a couple of these appeared in the movie The Color of Money.  To view the classics, look under The Drills tab and select Classic Drills.  Enjoy!

Fundamental Pool Shooting Drills

I just finished documenting the drills that I use to practice fundamentals.  At every practice session, and before I compete in tournaments, I use at least one of these drills to warm up and get me into the zone.  To get to the drills, look under The Drills tab and select Fundamentals.  These drills are designed to develop your ability to stop the cue ball on a dime and also your ability to follow and draw the cue ball.  Although development of these skills is pretty obvious, there’s really more here than meets the eye.  In order for you to execute these drills successfully, you’ll also need solid mechanics.  Be aware of your stance, bridge, and stroke while shooting these drills.  Solid mechanics provide the basis for you to develop your cue ball control skills.  I hope you enjoy!

Pool Practice Drills

I still have quite a bit of work remaining in my effort to document the pool drills I use.  I have now completed the standard position route drills.  Just look under The Drills tab, and select Standard Routes.  I selected these particular shots because they all return the cue ball to the center of the table.  This is a useful skill to learn because when you play 8 ball or 9 ball, it is often advantageous to return the cue ball to the center of the table after pocketing a ball.  Usually there will be other makeable shots from there.  The objective of each of the standard route drills is to pocket the object ball and make the cue ball stop within the target at the middle of the table.  I’ve drawn the diagrams assuming you want to hit a precise 12 inch target, but you don’t have to be that stringent.  Try to hit the target 75% of the time.  Once you master stopping the cue ball within these targets, experiment with different stopping distances.  If you hit the ball a little harder, you can aim for targets further down table.  I hope you enjoy these.  I’ll work this weekend to make progress on the other drills in my training program.

A New Look…A New Plan

This week I’m taking a little break from pool to recharge my batteries.  The all day Saturday/early Sunday morning US Amateur tournament was exhilarating but also very exhausting.  I’ve decided to use this week to rest a little and ponder my progress to date, assess which areas of my game are working well and which ones are not, then put together a new training plan for the next few months.  Placing 2nd in the US Amateur qualifier was both disappointing and inspiring.  Disappointing because I wish I had won, but also inspiring because it vindicated the hard work I’ve put in over the last nine months and validated the approach that I’m taking.  I know I will be making major changes to my training program based on my recent experiences, so I’ve started to redesign the structure of my blog to align with the coming changes.  I hope you like the new clean look.  Stay tuned for some major changes to this site over the next couple of weeks.