Three-Cushion Billiards. A Fascinating Stream.

sunnyone

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Dear Gentle Readers,

Back when I had a fella, we inherited a billiards table through the purchase of our loft. Gabriels Imperator, a pretty good one from what I’ve been told.

For old time’s sake (both the pretty-good boyfriend and the pretty-good table are histoire), I caught a few POV billiards games this past weekend.

A player so impressive that I jotted down his name - - Frederic Caudron - - was averaging over 2 points per inning. That didn’t sound like very much to me, given that professionals can run 15 - 20 - and up. But the commentator indicated it was pretty impressive. Apparently, a top, top amateur might average 1 point per.

Random thoughts …

> Stream Quality. Glitches? Of course. But the miracle of live streaming itself, of multiple camera angles, of savvy commentary, of an engaging chatroom … well … enjoyable is the word that springs to mind. Well done.

> Dress code. Vests, bow ties and long sleeved shirts. Coolio, except don’t the cuffs get a bit grimy? In any case, the air of casual formality provided a certain aura of significance beyond the $2,500 first place purse.

> Shooting ball. It can be either the white or the yellow ball. Any disadvantage to having the yellow one as your cue ball?

> Applause. Three appreciation forms that I noted - - subtle cue stick taps against the floor, standard handclaps and, my favorite, finger snaps like in those old beatnik poetry-reading movies.

> Position. It’s not only extremely difficult to make a successful 3-rail shot, but some of them were actually executed with position in mind. And, on the flip side, as the commentator pointed out ahead of time, there was the danger of leaving an easy shot for your opponent if a certain attempt failed.

> Shot selection. Watching one-pocket games I can at least see one or more possible choices. In those billiards games, as often than not, I often couldn’t even predict which ball would be hit first. Which is more difficult, one-pocket or billiards?

> Luck. It had never occurred to me that Dame Fortuna, in a table with no pockets, would come into play. Yet, a few times in the few games that I watched, a last-minute kiss resulted in, well, another last-minute kiss. The obverse occurred too, maybe it evens out. Although I didn’t lamp any double kisses from Mr. Caudron.

> Heat. I knew that my table could be warmed, but had no idea why. The commentator explained that heat keeps moisture out of the cloth, allowing for greater speed. Apparently heat also discourages the cushions from getting too hard and cold.

> Speed. With the top players, Mr. Caudron in particular, I was amazed at how slowly the cue ball traveled, even in some 5-cushion shots. It seemed, time and again, that there was no way his cue ball could keep rolling enough to make it there. It did. It was pointed out that English can provide a last minute propulsion off the final rail. Mr. C. probably knew that ahead of time.

> Equipment differentials. The balls, according to the commentary, are heavier than standard pool balls. The cloth is different, although I didn’t clock exactly why. More billiards players than pool players wear gloves. For some reason.

> Question. What percentage of shots entail more than three rails?

> Dumb question. Every time a player steps to the table, he choses which object ball to hit first. Would it be a good practice exercise to select the other ball? Practice only.

> Niceties. In the short time I watched, I saw the table being vacuumed. Not just brushed, but vacuumed. The fee to watch some of the world’s best players was $20. There was a photo-op session before the finals where spectators were encouraged to come down to the floor and take photos and videos. The players themselves were friendly and accommodating.

Discussing the obvious with people who know far more than I do is my life,

Sunny

P. S. My former beau contracted with a billiards instructor, a snot, to come to our loft. This simpering guru told me, condescendingly, not to even think about 3-cushion shots until I could regularly make 50 consecutive billiards.

Okay, maybe it was his tone, more than the actual advise, that smarted. Clot-faced wet.

P. P. S. Of the two wine-induced cloth replacements, one was absolutely not my fault.
 

keoneyo

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Messages
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The 2 streams over the weekend was magnificent. I know this is a one pocket forum but as the mighty Efren has shown the mastery of billiards is a great asset to his one pocket game and is one of the reason he comes up with such brilliant safes and kicks. I hear balkline is one of his favorite games.

A lot of thanks has to go to POV Pool and Daniel Busch. Also I personally want to thank Mr3cushion for talking with me on the chat and giving me interesting views on the game.
 

mr3cushion

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Dear Gentle Readers,

Back when I had a fella, we inherited a billiards table through the purchase of our loft. Gabriels Imperator, a pretty good one from what I’ve been told.

For old time’s sake (both the pretty-good boyfriend and the pretty-good table are histoire), I caught a few POV billiards games this past weekend.

A player so impressive that I jotted down his name - - Frederic Caudron - - was averaging over 2 points per inning. That didn’t sound like very much to me, given that professionals can run 15 - 20 - and up. But the commentator indicated it was pretty impressive. Apparently, a top, top amateur might average 1 point per.

Random thoughts …

> Stream Quality. Glitches? Of course. But the miracle of live streaming itself, of multiple camera angles, of savvy commentary, of an engaging chatroom … well … enjoyable is the word that springs to mind. Well done.

> Dress code. Vests, bow ties and long sleeved shirts. Coolio, except don’t the cuffs get a bit grimy? In any case, the air of casual formality provided a certain aura of significance beyond the $2,500 first place purse.

> Shooting ball. It can be either the white or the yellow ball. Any disadvantage to having the yellow one as your cue ball?

> Applause. Three appreciation forms that I noted - - subtle cue stick taps against the floor, standard handclaps and, my favorite, finger snaps like in those old beatnik poetry-reading movies.

> Position. It’s not only extremely difficult to make a successful 3-rail shot, but some of them were actually executed with position in mind. And, on the flip side, as the commentator pointed out ahead of time, there was the danger of leaving an easy shot for your opponent if a certain attempt failed.

> Shot selection. Watching one-pocket games I can at least see one or more possible choices. In those billiards games, as often than not, I often couldn’t even predict which ball would be hit first. Which is more difficult, one-pocket or billiards?

> Luck. It had never occurred to me that Dame Fortuna, in a table with no pockets, would come into play. Yet, a few times in the few games that I watched, a last-minute kiss resulted in, well, another last-minute kiss. The obverse occurred too, maybe it evens out. Although I didn’t lamp any double kisses from Mr. Caudron.

> Heat. I knew that my table could be warmed, but had no idea why. The commentator explained that heat keeps moisture out of the cloth, allowing for greater speed. Apparently heat also discourages the cushions from getting too hard and cold.

> Speed. With the top players, Mr. Caudron in particular, I was amazed at how slowly the cue ball traveled, even in some 5-cushion shots. It seemed, time and again, that there was no way his cue ball could keep rolling enough to make it there. It did. It was pointed out that English can provide a last minute propulsion off the final rail. Mr. C. probably knew that ahead of time.

> Equipment differentials. The balls, according to the commentary, are heavier than standard pool balls. The cloth is different, although I didn’t clock exactly why. More billiards players than pool players wear gloves. For some reason.

> Question. What percentage of shots entail more than three rails?

> Dumb question. Every time a player steps to the table, he choses which object ball to hit first. Would it be a good practice exercise to select the other ball? Practice only.

> Niceties. In the short time I watched, I saw the table being vacuumed. Not just brushed, but vacuumed. The fee to watch some of the world’s best players was $20. There was a photo-op session before the finals where spectators were encouraged to come down to the floor and take photos and videos. The players themselves were friendly and accommodating.

Discussing the obvious with people who know far more than I do is my life,

Sunny

P. S. My former beau contracted with a billiards instructor, a snot, to come to our loft. This simpering guru told me, condescendingly, not to even think about 3-cushion shots until I could regularly make 50 consecutive billiards.

Okay, maybe it was his tone, more than the actual advise, that smarted. Clot-faced wet.

P. P. S. Of the two wine-induced cloth replacements, one was absolutely not my fault.
Well, I must say, I'm totally impressed Sunny! You do have away with pen.

I was watching as you were, The whole of the LA area was privileged to afford the opportunity to witness the play of the GREATEST ALL AROUND Carom player in the World, Frederick Caudron! He is the quintessential 3 Cushion player, He is the current version of the Legendary, Raymond Ceulemans, both being from Belgium may I add.

Your observation, not knowing the game very well, was for the most accurate.
At the start of the game, you have the lag. The winner of the lag plays the "white" ball, leaving the "yellow" for their opponent. You may NOT switch balls during the course of the game!

The equipment condition in 3C, is a little more critical than pocket pool. The simple fact, that the CB has to travel 20-40 feet on some shots, along with for many shots the CB has to be able to maintain effect "spin" on more than just 3cushions.

Although the semi-formal wear is somewhat uncomfortable, it gives a sense of some form of, "elegance" to an already graceful, (if played correctly),game! The simple, "snapping" of the fingers also adds a little, "gene se qua" to the atmosphere!

It is a totally delightful, thread, keep them coming!
 
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mr3cushion

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The 2 streams over the weekend was magnificent. I know this is a one pocket forum but as the mighty Efren has shown the mastery of billiards is a great asset to his one pocket game and is one of the reason he comes up with such brilliant safes and kicks. I hear balkline is one of his favorite games.

A lot of thanks has to go to POV Pool and Daniel Busch. Also I personally want to thank Mr3cushion for talking with me on the chat and giving me interesting views on the game.
Anytime buddy, looking forward to seeing you soon at HOB!

You can give me a workout on the 3C table.
 

NH Steve

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Messages
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Saturday I made one of my once or twice a month trips to Malden MA, to Amazin' Billiards, the poolroom owned by 2006 US national three cushion champion Mazin Shooni. It's a real pleasant and well maintained room with 9 pool tables (mostly Brunswick GC IV's but a couple Euro tables and one older GC) along with about very well maintained 5 heated billiard tables.

I've tried dabbling at the 3C billiards myself but with limited free time and already having a pool game I love and don't get enough of (yeah, One Pocket of course), I just felt like I didn't want to split my time between pool and billiards. Plus I found it difficult to adjust between the 2-3/8" diameter billiard balls and 2-1/4" diameter pool balls (billiard balls being a surprising % heavier than pool balls).

There are only a few players there that seem to go back and forth between the billiards tables and the pool tables, and no champions among them. I really don't understand how greats like Harold Worst & Boston Shorty could be champions at both disciplines.

Count me in with those who love to watch well played three cushion though! Just a couple weeks ago Mazin hosted former world champ Dick Jaspers for a few days of exhibitions and clinics. Yeah, that was impressive to watch!
 

Patrick Johnson

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I found it difficult to adjust between the 2-3/8" diameter billiard balls and 2-1/4" diameter pool balls (billiard balls being a surprising % heavier than pool balls).
[nerdalert]

Yeah, adding 1/8" of diameter to a 2-1/4" ball is only another 5.5% in diameter, but it's another 17.6% in volume/weight - more than 3 times the difference in diameter!

[/nerdalert]

pj
chgo
 

mr3cushion

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Saturday I made one of my once or twice a month trips to Malden MA, to Amazin' Billiards, the poolroom owned by 2006 US national three cushion champion Mazin Shooni. It's a real pleasant and well maintained room with 9 pool tables (mostly Brunswick GC IV's but a couple Euro tables and one older GC) along with about very well maintained 5 heated billiard tables.

I've tried dabbling at the 3C billiards myself but with limited free time and already having a pool game I love and don't get enough of (yeah, One Pocket of course), I just felt like I didn't want to split my time between pool and billiards. Plus I found it difficult to adjust between the 2-3/8" diameter billiard balls and 2-1/4" diameter pool balls (billiard balls being a surprising % heavier than pool balls).

There are only a few players there that seem to go back and forth between the billiards tables and the pool tables, and no champions among them. I really don't understand how greats like Harold Worst & Boston Shorty could be champions at both disciplines.

Count me in with those who love to watch well played three cushion though! Just a couple weeks ago Mazin hosted former world champ Dick Jaspers for a few days of exhibitions and clinics. Yeah, that was impressive to watch!
Steve; The were several players that made the transition from Pool to 3C, but only ONE the made it the other way around, "Harold Worst." He started out as a 3C player. Greenleaf, Mosconi, Procita, Fitzpatrick, Crane and Shorty. The Best being, Joe Procita. Efren plays, but NOT their caliber.

BTW, Steve, 3C balls are 61.5mm or 2" 27/64 in size and also weighs, approximately 200 grams.
 
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mr3cushion

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[nerdalert]

Yeah, adding 1/8" of diameter to a 2-1/4" ball is only another 5.5% in diameter, but it's another 17.6% in volume/weight - more than 3 times the difference in diameter!

[/nerdalert]

pj
chgo
Patrick; Since it appears that you are our, "Go to" guy for the science of equipment. Just was wondering your thoughts on why 95% of 3 Cushion players play with a cue that is 56"-57" in length, weighs between, 17.0 and 18.5 ounces and has an 11.8-12.25mm tip size. When in pocket billiards the CB and number balls are much smaller. The players cues are considerably heavier, longer and the tip usually around 13mm.

Your scientific thoughts, please!
 

vapros

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Ooh, Sunny! I'm at a loss for words - almost. It's as if we had just discovered that our son was wearing his shorts with the fly in the back.
 

baby huey

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Your observations are spot on. I was raised in a room in which both 3C and Pool Players mixed. The 3C players were all lawyers, bankers and doctors and the pool players were all, well the blue collar trades. And, that is being kind. So billiards or abbreviated called 3C was always the gentleman's game and so it is today. I think that that was not always the case and in fact I have seen many pictures of old tournaments where pool players played in tuxedos. That occured as recently as the old World Championships of 14.1 at the ELKS Club in Los Angeles 40 years ago and I have seen some vests and tuxedo pants in some recent pool events 20 years ago. The ladies play with the vests quite frequently and it looks great and very professional.
 

mr3cushion

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For any viewers who have not had the privilege to see the Number one 3 Cushion player in the World, Frederick Caudron, whether LIVE or on video. Here's an UNBELIEVABLE game played by Him and the #3 player. Caudron's nickname is, "The Extraterrestrial!"

The AMAZING thing about this match going to 50 points is, the LOOSER runs a 22 and 10 in the match! Final score, 50-47 in 13 innings!

Enjoy


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XdnZW2w8Ik4
 
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Patrick Johnson

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Patrick; Since it appears that you are our, "Go to" guy for the science of equipment. Just was wondering your thoughts on why 95% of 3 Cushion players play with a cue that is 56"-57" in length, weighs between, 17.0 and 18.5 ounces and has an 11.8-12.25mm tip size. When in pocket billiards the CB and number balls are much smaller. The players cues are considerably heavier, longer and the tip usually around 13mm.

Your scientific thoughts, please!
Not being a 3C player, I can only speculate, Bill, but fortunately for you that's never been an impediment to me posting on a topic. :)

Shorter length: can't imagine why, except that it helps reduce weight...?

Lighter weight: better speed control? With a lighter cue you need a faster stroke to achieve the same CB speed - this can make a straight stroke more of a challenge, but on the other hand you use a wider range of stroke speeds to achieve the same range of CB speeds, giving you more "fine tuning" ability.

Smaller tip: better tip/CB contact accuracy + lower squirt? I use a 10MM tip to play pool for these reasons - the smaller tip makes it easier to see exactly where the tip contacts the CB and the lower endmass reduces squirt (the heavier balls squirt less either way, but they squirt least with a smaller tip). I would think both of these are especially important for 3C cueing. [P.S. I also imagine that, like my cue, 3C cues have more conical tapers so they'll be stiff enough. P.P.S. Contrary to popular legend, a smaller tip does not spin the CB more and is not more sensitive to stroke errors.]

I'm interested to hear what 3C players like you think about this.

pj
chgo
 
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mr3cushion

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Not being a 3C player, I can only speculate, Bill, but fortunately for you that's never been an impediment to me posting on a topic. :)

Shorter length: can't imagine why.

Because 3C cues are MORE conical, if the cue was say, 59" it would reduce the effect of being conical with that length.
Lighter weight: better speed control? With a lighter cue you need a faster stroke to achieve the same thing (which can make a straight stroke more of a challenge), The BEST 3C players deliver the cue perfectly STRAIGHT, I think many pool players the cue dips up n down a little on the back and forward swing. Maybe because the way they hold the cue in their hand.but on the other hand you use a wider range of stroke speeds to achieve the same range of CB speeds - giving you more "fine tuning" ability.

Smaller tip: better tip/CB contact accuracy + lower squirt? I use a 10MM tip to play pool for these reasons - the smaller tip makes it easier to see exactly where the tip contacts the CB and the lower endmass reduces squirt. If you believe this to be true, then why don't cue builders that offer LD and NO deflection shafts, hover around, 12.8-13mm tip size? I would think both of these are especially important for 3C cueing (even though the heavier balls squirt less either way, they squirt least with a smaller tip). I also imagine that, like my cue, 3C cues have more conical tapers so they'll be stiff enough. [P.S. Contrary to popular legend, a smaller tip does not spin the CB more and is not more sensitive to stroke errors.] IMHO, the smaller tip size does impart more effect, English on VERY slow speeds as in, (straight-rail and balkline) typical tip size for these game are,10.5-11.5mm
I'm interested to hear what 3C players like you think about this.

pj
chgo
My replies are obviously in RED.
 

Patrick Johnson

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Me:
Shorter length: can't imagine why.
Bill:
Because 3C cues are MORE conical, if the cue was say, 59" it would reduce the effect of being conical with that length.
Interesting point. However, it's the length of the taper that matters, and the taper on the longer shaft could start an inch or two from the joint and be the same length as on the shorter shaft.

Me:
Lighter weight: better speed control? With a lighter cue you need a faster stroke to achieve the same thing (which can make a straight stroke more of a challenge)
Bill:
The BEST 3C players deliver the cue perfectly STRAIGHT, I think many pool players the cue dips up n down a little on the back and forward swing. Maybe because the way they hold the cue in their hand.
Yes, a straight stroke at higher speed is a challenge that 3C players are clearly up to!

Me:
Smaller tip: better tip/CB contact accuracy + lower squirt? I use a 10MM tip to play pool for these reasons - the smaller tip makes it easier to see exactly where the tip contacts the CB and the lower endmass reduces squirt.
Bill:
If you believe this to be true, then why don't cue builders that offer LD and NO deflection shafts, hover around, 12.8-13mm tip size?
I'm guessing you mean "why do cue builders ... hover around 12.8-13mm". Actually, the trend nowadays is toward smaller tips, especially for LD shafts (I don't believe no deflection shafts exist), but tradition and habit are strong in this sport.

Me:
Contrary to popular legend, a smaller tip does not spin the CB more and is not more sensitive to stroke errors.
Bill:
IMHO, the smaller tip size does impart more effect, English on VERY slow speeds as in, (straight-rail and balkline) typical tip size for these game are,10.5-11.5mm
I think most players believe this, but it's easily demonstrated (I've described a simple test before on AzB) that if you hit the CB on the same spot, the amount of spin is the same for any size tip. A more rounded tip (smaller or not) can result in inadvertently hitting the CB slightly farther from center (with the shaft's center the same distance from center), although the difference would be very small.

Thanks for your interesting thoughts, Bill.

pj
chgo
 

mr3cushion

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If you want to see ALL the subtle techniques and strokes that are used in 3 Cushion, watch Caudron with the link I provided!
 
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