John Schmidt, Pool's "Mr. 400"

john schmidt, 400, hi-run, straight pool, tiger woods
John Schmidt, aka "Mr. 400", can see clearly now. Photo (c)

Name And Pool Moniker:

John Schmidt, aka "Mr. 400".

Claim To Fame:

John Schmidt made headlines and fans running 400 balls at Straight Pool to become the famous "Mr. 400" in billiards, a feat that ranks him among the best ever at the game. It is difficult to communicate just how great a feat this is. Only a few dozen champions have ever run more than 200 balls without a miss, ever.


Nine Mile Billiards Parlor owner, John "Mr. 400" Schmidt, grew up in California, not playing pool until a teen at 18. Preferring golf to pool, the diminutive Schmidt could still belt a ball 280 yards and even got the chance to play with Tiger Woods.

On The Road:

Discovered to be a pool prodigy and mentored by cue craftsman Bobby Hunter, Schmidt wound up a road player for five years, honing his craft especially at Straight Pool and One Pocket, a game where he pocketed most of $200,000 in winnings around the U.S.

Off The Road:

Schmidt suffered a dreadful motorcycle accident and it took him some time to rebuild his game but he is back now near top form.

How To Get That Good:

One of Schmidt's mentors saw his liking and aptitude for Straight Pool and told him to have a goal to run 100 balls at least once a day without a miss as "After that, the game is yours." Young Schmidt was able to do so, likely before he realized how incredibly difficult a feat that is.

Many enjoy Straight Pool but have never gotten to run out a second rack for over 25 points in a row even once, let alone run 100 balls without a miss each day of a week.

400 Straight:

Schmidt's current hi-runs include more than 40 sessions of Straight Pool with 200 to 285 shots taken without a miss. His best effort was 400 in a row, an effort that kept him on his feet just over three hours as he plays 14.1 at a relatively brisk pace.

In comparison, "Captain Hook" and "Kentucky Colonel" played over three hours to get into the 300 range while "The Mosc" took three hours to run 526, the official Straight Pool record. Then again, Willie would play even faster if he had tickets to watch his favorite baseball team at a Yankee Stadium home game. He would run 125 balls in 45 minutes or less!

What They'll Say 100 Years From Now About Mr. 400, John Schmidt:

Who can say? Perhaps it will be"John Schmidt eclipsed even Mosconi's Straight Pool record..." Then again, it is said there were practice rounds at Mosconi's home in the 600's and 700's!