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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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Apr: The Ghost
April 2015

Q: I hear a lot about playing "the ghost." What does this mean, and is it a good form of practice?

Robin Adrianni, Fairfield, Conn.

A: In my opinion, playing "the ghost" is one of the top ways you can play by yourself in a competitive and measurable way. It means you are playing by yourself against an imaginary opponent. The way I first learned it was that you had to break a rack of 9-ball and, whether or not you made a ball, you'd take ball in hand and try to run the table. If you succeed, you win the game. If you don't, the ghost wins the game. You can race to five or as many games as you'd like. Missing always costs you the game, so you really feel the heat. Now, I wasn't good enough yet to play the ghost the way I was taught, so I decreased to 7-ball and, eventually, 6-ball. You don't want to practice losing. You want it to be competitive. When I consistently beat the ghost at 6-ball, I increased the game to 7-ball, and so on. There are champions out there that can beat the ghost at 15-ball rotation, without ball-in-hand! That's sick! That's what is great about pool: You never get too good.