For Great Practice, Try 14.1 ~ by Roger Long

Something very special happened on May 27, 2019 at Easy Street Billiards in Monterey, CA. That date and place was when and where one of pool’s most coveted records fell.  The record broken was the 65-year-old feat of running 526 balls without a miss by the great Willie Mosconi during a 1954 exhibition in Springfield, IL.

The man setting the new record has been one of pool’s straightest shooters as well as one of its finest ambassadors for many years. His name is John Schmidt, and although he plays every game at a championship level, it appears that the game of 14.1 has become his favorite. He successfully ran 626 balls to break the record.

But now the question is: what lasting impact, if any, will Mr. Sch

midt’s accomplishment have on the rest of the pool-playing world? Will it spur more participation in the few 14.1 championship tournaments that remain? Will it encourage more people to take up 14.1? And if so, will that in turn create new 14.1 tournaments for amateurs?

How can Practicing 14.1 be beneficial to my game?

All those things remain to be seen. But one thing is for certain: practicing the game of 14.1 can lead to benefits not found in any other pool game. For instance, one game to 125 points will contain practically every type of pool shot imaginable. There will be power-follow and power-draw shots, as well as many follow, draw, and stop shots that require a soft touch. There will also be cut shots, straight-ins, combinations, and bank shots – each with the intention of gaining position for the next shot, and all for the purpose of attaining the highest runs possible – for high runs are what keep you at the table and your opponents in their chairs.

But let’s also consider some of the other benefits. Imagine the level and duration of John Schmidt’s concentration in running 626 balls. Imagine how he had to bear down and make ever