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Dear Jeanette
By Jeanette Lee
International billiard icon "The Black Widow" answers your questions about life, love, and everything else that happens in the poolhall.

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VIDEO: Pool Fundamentals

Feb: Men vs Women
February 2014
Q: Is the break shot really that different between men and women?
Ken Johnson, San Rafael, Calif.

A: Absolutely! It's like the drive in golf. Nothing prevents a woman from chipping or putting as well as a man, but the drive is a different story. Same is true with the break in pool. There are exceptions, of course, but pound for pound, men can generate more acceleration and cue speed. Most ball sports utilize a slow backswing, a pause and, then, acceleration through the follow-through. Tennis, golf and pool are similar in that way, and men simply have a physical advantage there. So, when a man starts off with two or three balls off the table, that's a huge advantage. Not only are there fewer balls to make, but there are fewer obstacles around the table to impede the chances for a run-out. In straight pool, however, there are no excuses. That's just a game of numbers. Men have played the game longer and tend to know the game better, so they have higher runs. Also, we rise to the level of our competition, and the level among women just isn't that high.