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The 99 Critical Shots in Pool: Everything You Need to Know to Learn and Master the Game [Paperback]

Ray Martin , Inc. IMGS , Estate of Rosser Reeves
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 18.99
Price: CDN$ 13.71 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Book Description

Oct. 5 1993 Other
Thirtieth anniversary edition out in 2007!

World Champion Pool Player Ray "Cool Cat" Martin shares his secrets for playing winner's pool in this classic book, now with a new introduction by the author. Written with co-author Rosser Reeves three decades ago, The 99 Critical Shots in Pool remains one of the most authoritative guides to the game ever written. Over 200 illustrations show the proper form, technique, and approach to shots such as:

• The Center Ball Cheat-the-Pocket
• The Hook Shot
• The Seven Ball Stop Shot
• The Jump Shot
• The Frozen Kiss Shot
• The Nudge Shot
• The Side Pocket By-Pass Shot

Ray Martin, a Billiards Congress of America Hall of Fame inductee, is one of only seven players in the twentieth century to win three or more world 14.1 titles. He co-wrote this book with Rosser Reeves in 1976.

Frequently Bought Together

The 99 Critical Shots in Pool: Everything You Need to Know to Learn and Master the Game + Byrne`s Complete Book Of Pool Shots: 350 Moves Every Player Should Know + Byrne's New Standard Book of Pool & Billiards: 2nd Edition
Price For All Three: CDN$ 47.49

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  • Byrne`s Complete Book Of Pool Shots: 350 Moves Every Player Should Know CDN$ 16.89

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  • Byrne's New Standard Book of Pool & Billiards: 2nd Edition CDN$ 16.89

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Pool Homework Jan. 1 2004
Of The 23 trillion or so possible pool table layouts, the author has distilled them down to 99 different recurring situations in this best seller book. Including are basic cuts, combos, banks, jumps, masse' and advanced force through shots. Those fortunate enough to have a pool table at home can experiment privately with each shot for maximum learning impact. The one famous error in the book does not offset the great value of it. (error: hit the ball and the rail at the same time to cut a frozen ball down the rail).
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3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but here's something Better... Nov. 11 2003
I got this book as a rookie. I started practicing about 5 days a week and thought I should get a book. This was a good book for practicing a few shots. And the things that the author explained were true, but if you really want to improve your game, you should seriously consider "Byrne's New Standard Book of POOL and BILLIARDS". Now that's a book that deserves the title of "everything you need to know to learn and master the game"! A guy at the local pool hall recommended it to me. I ended up buying both books. I don't even use the 99 Critical Shots book anymore. I mean, it's still a good book, and if I had a table in the basement and just wanted to practice a few shots on some Saturday afternoon, I would totally refer to this book. Otherwise, Byrne's book has been my guide and has helped improve my game far more than these 99 Critical Shots.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This book gives you a really solid foundation April 17 2003
By A Customer
I had the good fortune of finding this book right after I decided I wanted to really learn to shoot pool (as opposed to just bang balls around at bars). This book has pretty much all the shots; with practice, you will learn to apply the principles from this book to almost any situation - eight ball, nine ball, straight pool, even some one-pocket. Great book. Practice the shots in here, along with developing your stroke, and you'll get at least up to a "B" level. Just note that Ray's thoughts on stance are a little dubious given the style of the modern players like Reyes, etc. I say you could stand quite a bit lower than Ray does and still have a solid stance. Buy this book - you won't regret it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent course for pool proficiency Oct. 10 2002
By A Customer
99 Critical Shots functions as a shot-by-shot course that introduces aspiring players to sound pool concepts and helps them build the skill to execute these concepts. While no book will carry you from beginning to end (in-person advice from a skilled pool player is imperative), Martin and Reeves put the aspiring pool player on the right track.
The book starts out with basic shots, then builds in complexity. At no point is the player suddenly thrown into the deep end, but many of the shots are sufficiently detailed to force the player to concentrate on the mechanics necessary for well played pool.
Some of the diagrams could be plotted better, but they didn't detract from my learning. When I saw that a shot wasn't playing out like it was diagrammed, I analyzed it to see why the deviation was happening; I also experimented with different stroke speeds and English to see how they effected the shot. This experimentation taught me a lot. No other pool instruction book has encouraged me to experiment and analyze as much as 99 Critical Shots has.
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5.0 out of 5 stars You say you're good? This will make you better! Sept. 8 2002
By dlh
If you are looking for a good book for beginners, this isn't it. This book is all about making a good pool player better. It assumes a basic knowledge of pool has already been established. If you're a beginner, check out Ewa Mataya Laurance's "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Pool & Billiards." It's a great straight-forward book to get you started right. But if you're already a pretty good pool player and want to add some great shots to your game, I highly recommend "The 99 Critical Shots in Pool."
The book is not without it's drawbacks. This is a 220 page book. Of that, 50 pages are devoted to The Official Rules and Glossary of Terms. An additional 25 pages skim the basics of shooting form, etc. That leaves only 145 pages for the meat of the book, the 99 critical shots. Of the 99 shots, 22 are devoted to break shots for straight pool. If, like me, you play only 8-ball and 9-ball, then this book should be called "The 77 Critical Shots in Pool" because you'll never use the other 22. So, for me, this 220 page book has only 107 useful pages.
The format of the shots section is great. Each shot includes a diagram of the whole table layout, a diagram of the cue ball showing exactly where to strike it to impart the draw, follow or English, and a text description of the shot. As others have pointed out, the text refers to a black ball (the object ball) and gray balls (all other balls), yet they are indistinguishable in the diagrams; they both look black. This is an annoyance, but does not keep you from understanding the author's intentions. Between the text description and the lines indicating the ball paths, I was always able to determine which ball was the object ball.
If I still had my own pool table, I would have this book sitting right next to it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars excellent shot foresight to last a life time May 21 2002
This is my third billiard book (one more to go for now) and this was by far the most informative. The illustrations and explanations were clear and understandable. I have been shooting about 60% of the 99 shots, but some i did not understand the principle. Now that i do, it opens up a whole new arena a possibilites. Some of the shots I had no idea they would pocket and best of all, they work on a real table, not just on paper. These are not trick shots but realworld situations. I realy like this book and I am sure I will refer back to it many times in the future. I am not usualy so generous in my reviews.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding book on shotmaking
As a poolplayer, and a personal friend of Ray Martin, I wholeheartedly recommend this book to beginners, intermediates, and professionals. Read more
Published on April 29 2002 by W. Bailey
3.0 out of 5 stars Better books out there.
I got this book as an intermediate player and it really has not helped my game. I think there are better books out there, so shop around.
Published on April 7 2002 by Steven L. Gordon
5.0 out of 5 stars Great tutorial!
This book really works. After I had read this book once and looked at the table next day I was surprised how many new shots I could see and, more important, make.
Published on April 5 2002 by Ruslan Moskalenko
4.0 out of 5 stars 99 - 24 = 75
This book is not a bad read. Many of the 99 shots are duplicated, so it's more like 75 critical shots. Read more
Published on March 13 2002 by M. Nguyen
4.0 out of 5 stars 2/3 Worth It
I am really into pool. I was told this book would help me game. It did as I was told. The problem is, Ray Martin probably only got up to 70 critical shots, then combined some of... Read more
Published on Sept. 25 2001 by Bishop
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a must bring to practice sessions.
This book should reside in your cue case. When it time to practice and you need to increase your accuracy, pull out this book and go to town.
Published on Sept. 23 2001 by Roy
5.0 out of 5 stars This will improve your game!
This is one of the better books on playing pool...and I'll tell you why.
First, the book is filled with useful information that appeals to both beginner, intermediate, and... Read more
Published on Jan. 17 2001 by zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
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