Consistent Pool Play sticky icon

PoolBum- I'm sending this email in hopes of some direction and advice. I have been playing pool since I was young and started to understand decent fundamentals around 14 yrs old. I re-read your Mastering The Inner Game book when I'm not feeling on my game and keep it electronically on my phone's kindle app. I relate to the way you explain things about mental focus and like how you speak of the Small Motions book. I keep that book as well, and read it periodically.

However, I continuously find myself falling into the same pattern of frustration when my consistency of play suffers despite the fact that I realize a miserable player is simply a miserable player. All of the points I know are correct seem to get lost during play. When I'm playing well I am very happy with my performance but when it's bad it's really bad.

I was hoping you may have some advice which will help my consistency when I play. Or anything you may do or have done to keep focused or stay competitive in the game when it's going badly or your not feeling good during a match. Sorry for the long drawn out question.  I look forward to hearing from you. ~CL, Florida

The State Of The Game sticky icon

Dear PoolBum,

I enjoyed your book on the mental game of pool. The method of finding your stance I found particularly helpful. I too have a lifelong affinity for the sport, starting with snooker.

However, I never played seriously until I was introduced to One Pocket two years ago at Capone’s in Spring Hill, Florida, where I live. I’m now 74 and I love the game to the point of adding a room to my house to install an old Gold Crown.

There is one thing that bothers me about the sport in the US:

Mastering The Inner Game Of Pool sticky icon

I'm proud to announce that my newly updated small book: Mastering The Inner Game Of Pool has just been released in Kindle format. It's available at Amazon for only the price of a cup of Starbucks coffee. I promise a worthwhile read and a high likelyhood of game improvement. If you have a Kindle, check it out.

If you don't have a Kindle, you can still get it as a pdf file at PoolBum Gear for slightly more than a cup of coffee. Thanks.

Oldie But Goodie: Wiley vs Mizerak sticky icon

The Miz and CJ play world class 9 Ball

This is one of the best match videos I have ever seen. The great Miz and CJ both shoot at a world class+ level. World class starts at an Accu-Stat score of 850. Both players here shoot well over 900. It is a great match to watch and is commentated by Billy Incardona and Buddy Hall. 

1-Pocket Match (Bartram & Deuel) sticky icon

Chris & Corey match up

There is no commentary in this 1-pocket match between Chris Bartram and Corey Deuel, just pure one-hole. Can you find situations where you would have picked a different shot?

John Schmidt: Fundamentals Part 1 sticky icon

John Schmidt Talks About Pool Fundamentals (Video)

John Schmidt gives a private lesson

This is Part 1 of 3 parts on fundamentals. It was very cool to hear someone of John's caliber talk about what he feels is important. I found some of these insights very helpful. I think you will too.

Pool and Poker sticky icon

It’s no coincidence that many top poker players are equally skilled at the pool table -- and you can’t chalk it all up to The Color of Money style hustling that many gamblers gravitate towards. Many of the same skills necessary to play poker well are the very same ones that excellent pool players possess, especially when it comes to the ability to stay focused for hours at a time and all of the necessary practice and preparation that goes on behind the scenes.

Playing the Percentages sticky icon

I've heard the phrase "play the percentages."  What does it mean and how does it apply to 9-Ball. Thanks.



Competing in pool is different than playing for fun with your friends or practicing. Competing implies that your primary intent... is to win the game or the match. This should not be confused with your focus during each shot, which should not involve the idea of winning or losing, missing or making the ball but a very present moment awareness with little or no thoughts at all. The actual shot dynamics is its own topic (check out the question/answer about approaching each shot.)

Competing is not a time for practicing or experimenting but a time to apply what you have practiced. The idea of "playing the percentages" has more to do with your overall strategy to give yourself the best chance of winning...