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View Full Version : No Luck in 9ball!

AceHigh
04-12-2005, 11:51 AM
There is no such thing! For those of you who constantly whine and moan when you lose, because you're opponent got "lucky". Just get over it! The only time that luck is even a slight factor in the game of 9ball, is on the break.

For anyone who doubts my claim, we can look at two constants in 9ball that clearly show that luck is not a factor, CAUSE AND EFFECT. You see, unlike a game like poker, there are no major variables in this game. This is what happens when you or someone else plays the game:

Tip of stick hits cueball at desired location (cause)

Cueball then travels and hits something; a rail, an object ball, or the back of the pocket (effect)

If the cueball rolls into the sidepocket due to a slight problem with the table. You weren't unlucky, and your opponent wasn't lucky. You were just uninformed that the table rolls funny.

I hope some of you can make sense of this, and try to agree with what I'm saying.

Good Luck!

PrinsNick
04-12-2005, 11:55 AM
There is no such thing! For those of you who constantly whine and moan when you lose, because you're opponent got "lucky". Just get over it! The only time that luck is even a slight factor in the game of 9ball, is on the break.

For anyone who doubts my claim, we can look at two constants in 9ball that clearly show that luck is not a factor, CAUSE AND EFFECT. You see, unlike a game like poker, there are no major variables in this game. This is what happens when you or someone else plays the game:

Tip of stick hits cueball at desired location (cause)

Cueball then travels and hits something; a rail, an object ball, or the back of the pocket (effect)

If the cueball rolls into the sidepocket due to a slight problem with the table. You weren't unlucky, and your opponent wasn't lucky. You were just uninformed that the table rolls funny.

I hope some of you can make sense of this, and try to agree with what I'm saying.

Good Luck!

What if the cue ball hits the object ball, which then misses the (corner) pocket, goes around the table once and collides with another ball and then enters the side pocket, as it so often does?

AceHigh
04-12-2005, 11:56 AM
What if the cue ball hits the object ball, which then misses the (corner) pocket, goes around the table once and collides with another ball and then enters the side pocket, as it so often does?

that is the effect.

Muxy
04-12-2005, 11:59 AM
of luck.......

Muxy
04-12-2005, 12:01 PM
luck n.

1. The chance happening of fortunate or adverse events;

meaning that you fluked a 9ball is luck... look at the deffinition.

landshark77
04-12-2005, 12:03 PM
IMO, luck occurs when your desired outcome is not achieved, yet the result is beneficial to yourself and not beneficial to your opponent. If I am trying to pocket a ball and miss, yet I leave my opponent snookered, though my only intention was to pocket my ball....not play safe...then in fact I got lucky.

BazookaJoe
04-12-2005, 12:04 PM
No one ever made it to the finals of the US open on LUCK.
If you can't outplay someone elses' "luck" in a match (not 1 game), you are either being hustled, or you aren't as good as you think you are.

DaveK
04-12-2005, 12:12 PM
There is no such thing! For those of you who constantly whine and moan when you lose, because you're opponent got "lucky". Just get over it! The only time that luck is even a slight factor in the game of 9ball, is on the break.

For anyone who doubts my claim, we can look at two constants in 9ball that clearly show that luck is not a factor, CAUSE AND EFFECT. You see, unlike a game like poker, there are no major variables in this game. This is what happens when you or someone else plays the game:

Tip of stick hits cueball at desired location (cause)

Cueball then travels and hits something; a rail, an object ball, or the back of the pocket (effect)

If the cueball rolls into the sidepocket due to a slight problem with the table. You weren't unlucky, and your opponent wasn't lucky. You were just uninformed that the table rolls funny.

I hope some of you can make sense of this, and try to agree with what I'm saying.

Good Luck!

I will try to agree, because your post does make sense. BUT ... it presumes that the tip hits the cueball at the desired location. You omit 'with desired speed in the desired direction', but I believe you meant that as well. The problem is that in reality one cannot hit that precisely. There will always be some error in the strike. Top pros will have very very little error, hacks like me are all over the place. Now, if you could do some analysis of what happens across the range of ones typical error you would find some result in fine shots, but some cause the OB to miss the pocket, some cause the f^%\$&^ cue ball to end up behind the f^#&()\$^ 7 ball, or in the pocket. Since the actual strike will be within the range of your precision, and the results will vary from excellent to real bad, there is some luck involved. Of course the play is perfectly predictable if you know exactly where the tip hits the cb etc., and therefore no luck at play, but the tip hitting the cueball is not exactly predictable, which is where luck enters imo.

Dave

TATE
04-12-2005, 12:21 PM
There is no such thing! For those of you who constantly whine and moan when you lose, because you're opponent got "lucky". Just get over it! The only time that luck is even a slight factor in the game of 9ball, is on the break.

For anyone who doubts my claim, we can look at two constants in 9ball that clearly show that luck is not a factor, CAUSE AND EFFECT. You see, unlike a game like poker, there are no major variables in this game. This is what happens when you or someone else plays the game:

Tip of stick hits cueball at desired location (cause)

Cueball then travels and hits something; a rail, an object ball, or the back of the pocket (effect)

If the cueball rolls into the sidepocket due to a slight problem with the table. You weren't unlucky, and your opponent wasn't lucky. You were just uninformed that the table rolls funny.

I hope some of you can make sense of this, and try to agree with what I'm saying.

Good Luck!

To good players, luck makes only marginal difference and it balances out over time.

However, at the lower skill levels they're playing a different game altogether. I was recently shocked by a guy who could only run two or three balls. He was a "C" player. He liked playing short sets, races to 5, and getting wild ball spots. When the tables were full of balls, he would just slam the balls at break speed and ride the money balls a lot. I would say 80% of the time, a ball would drop! Then he would just do it again. We played two races to 5. If he had played the usual way, I would have probably shut him out. Even if I safed him he would kick at full speed and make balls.

I beat him in both sets but he won 3 games in each set mostly just slopping balls in - kind of freaky.

Chris

Jude Rosenstock
04-12-2005, 12:22 PM
There is no such thing! For those of you who constantly whine and moan when you lose, because you're opponent got "lucky". Just get over it! The only time that luck is even a slight factor in the game of 9ball, is on the break.

For anyone who doubts my claim, we can look at two constants in 9ball that clearly show that luck is not a factor, CAUSE AND EFFECT. You see, unlike a game like poker, there are no major variables in this game. This is what happens when you or someone else plays the game:

Tip of stick hits cueball at desired location (cause)

Cueball then travels and hits something; a rail, an object ball, or the back of the pocket (effect)

If the cueball rolls into the sidepocket due to a slight problem with the table. You weren't unlucky, and your opponent wasn't lucky. You were just uninformed that the table rolls funny.

I hope some of you can make sense of this, and try to agree with what I'm saying.

Good Luck!

The "luck factor" comes in all different shapes and sizes. Yes, unless you play absolutely perfect, much of your demise can be attributed to skill rather than luck but make no mistake of it, the beast lives beyond the break. Take these examples (many of which I was the victim of):

1. I break, make a ball and hang-up the 9 in one pocket and the 1 in another without a clear shot at either. O' where o' where do I push?

2. My opponent misses, hangs up the 9 and corner-hooks the cue-ball. How you like that two way shot!

3. In a word, SKID! That single word should prove my entire argument.

The fact is, variables are constant (pun intended). Just because you contacted the correct point on the object ball, doesn't mean the object ball will follow the correct path. Just because you (or your opponent) intended to do one thing, doesn't necessarily mean the outcome will consistently be successful. There are unintended outcomes which can yield a highly positive or negative result. I can tell you of countless times where I was completely baffled by what to do, knowing that the moment I forfeit the table, my opponent would have a Mickey Mouse out.

Poker is a game (not a sport) that has little in common with pool. Betting strategy and hand selection are a far cry from the physical requirements of the game combined with the strategical nuances necessary for success. I can tell you how to play Aces when you're on the button and the big-blind has gone all-in and will assure you that you'll win 80% of the time. I cannot say the same for all ball-in-hands on the 5-ball for any player. The player himself is a variable along with the cloth speed, balls, pattern, etc.

On a side note, did you know the diameter of object balls will vary? Typically, the 1-ball is the smallest ball on the table (since it's always the apex ball) and the 8-ball is the largest (since it's replaced most frequently due to theft). The variance is so significant that a blind-folded person could determine which is which simply by holding one in each hand. If the balls aren't consistent then nothing in pool is without variance.

AceHigh
04-12-2005, 12:22 PM
I will try to agree, because your post does make sense. BUT ... it presumes that the tip hits the cueball at the desired location. You omit 'with desired speed in the desired direction', but I believe you meant that as well. The problem is that in reality one cannot hit that precisely. There will always be some error in the strike. Top pros will have very very little error, hacks like me are all over the place. Now, if you could do some analysis of what happens across the range of ones typical error you would find some result in fine shots, but some cause the OB to miss the pocket, some cause the f^%\$&^ cue ball to end up behind the f^#&()\$^ 7 ball, or in the pocket. Since the actual strike will be within the range of your precision, and the results will vary from excellent to real bad, there is some luck involved. Of course the play is perfectly predictable if you know exactly where the tip hits the cb etc., and therefore no luck at play, but the tip hitting the cueball is not exactly predictable, which is where luck enters imo.

Dave

I probably should have said that the cause was just the tip hitting the cueball. Regardless of where contact is made, that is the cause, what happens afterwards is the effect.

Teacherman
04-12-2005, 12:26 PM
Luck is there. It exists. In fact, it is as prevalent if not more so, in one pocket and 8 ball than in 9 ball.

DaveK
04-12-2005, 01:08 PM
I probably should have said that the cause was just the tip hitting the cueball. Regardless of where contact is made, that is the cause, what happens afterwards is the effect.

OK, but the luck enters earlier, because 'hitting the cueball' is imprecise, the infamous bell curve etc. ....

Dave

DaveK
04-12-2005, 01:13 PM
On a side note, did you know the diameter of object balls will vary? Typically, the 1-ball is the smallest ball on the table (since it's always the apex ball) and the 8-ball is the largest (since it's replaced most frequently due to theft). The variance is so significant that a blind-folded person could determine which is which simply by holding one in each hand. If the balls aren't consistent then nothing in pool is without variance.

Picking a nit, wouldn't the cue ball become the smallest ball on the table ? It sees the most wear of all balls. I would believe that the 1 ball is the second smallest.

Dave, who agrees that all these seemingly little phenomena cause effects that can best be attributed to luck, even though they should even themselves out over the long run assuming intelligent shot selection.

vapoolplayer
04-12-2005, 01:43 PM
wonder what danny harriman(sp) would have said about this arguement after earl made a fluke kick/carom on the 9 ball hill/hill...............hmmmmmm :confused:

VAP

Rackin_Zack
04-12-2005, 01:54 PM
wonder what danny harriman(sp) would have said about this arguement after earl made a fluke kick/carom on the 9 ball hill/hill...............hmmmmmm :confused:

VAP

I spoke to Danny after the L.A. tourney when he passed through here and he mentioned that very shot and his displeasure with it!

Masayoshi
04-12-2005, 11:52 PM
yesterday i lost to a bank which was originally a straight shot down the rail (opponent missed by about 6 inches and object ball banked into the opposite corner and leaving shape for an easy 9 combo).

not much you can do about stuff like that even though it seems to happen all the time for people who like to just hit balls around. -_-;;

sjm
04-13-2005, 12:33 AM
Gotta admit that my first reaction to the thread title was that the premise introduced was just plain stupid, but on further consideration, I think there's some sense in it.

Still, the hole in the argument is that when an effect lies outside any human being's capacity to foresee it as a consequence of the cause, that effect is generally considered to have occurred by chance, meaning by luck.

Lend somebody a buck. If they use it to buy food that proves poisonsous and results in their death, is that cause and effect? Did your loan cause their death? Using the straight cause and effect argument it did, but the fact is that the borrower's death was an unforseeable consequence of the loan, so the death was a chance result of the loan.

Cause and effect in pool? I'm buying the argument up to the foreseeable consequences of any shot, but beyond that, it's all luck. What makes nineball a lucky game relative to other games is that the occurrence of the unforeseeable produces far more good results for the shooter than in most other pool games.

mjantti
04-13-2005, 03:42 AM
Gotta admit that my first reaction to the thread title was that the premise introduced was just plain stupid, but on further consideration, I think there's some sense in it.

Still, the hole in the argument is that when an effect lies outside any human being's capacity to foresee it as a consequence of the cause, that effect is generally considered to have occurred by chance, meaning by luck.

Lend somebody a buck. If they use it to buy food that proves poisonsous and results in their death, is that cause and effect? Did your loan cause their death? Using the straight cause and effect argument it did, but the fact is that the borrower's death was an unforseeable consequence of the loan, so the death was a chance result of the loan.

Cause and effect in pool? I'm buying the argument up to the foreseeable consequences of any shot, but beyond that, it's all luck. What makes nineball a lucky game relative to other games is that the occurrence of the unforeseeable produces far more good results for the shooter than in most other pool games.

Great post, sjm ! You have the ability to go underneath the surface and get more philosophical over many issues ! Keep those posts coming...

On the luck issue, when I'm winning, I'm never lucky, it's just pure skill. If I lose, my opponent is verrrry lucky despite with inferior skill ! :p

JimS
04-13-2005, 04:29 AM
Make your 9 ball games all call-shot. Then you'll discover how much luck was involved in anything goes 9 ball. It's a whole new ball game!

AceHigh
04-13-2005, 05:52 AM
Okay, thanks for all the responses people. Here's another example:

(we'll look at it from varying points of view)
You're playing a "C" player and he slams the rock into the 2 ball causing it to go 3 rails into the corner pocket.

Was he lucky? No, once again, the 2ball being pocketed is merely the effect of the cause, which was causing the cueball to contact the 2ball.

Now what if the tracking of the table were off a little, and the ball missed? Were you lucky? Of course not, your opponent just didn't know the tracking of the table was off.

CaptainJR
04-13-2005, 05:54 AM
Make your 9 ball games all call-shot. Then you'll discover how much luck was involved in anything goes 9 ball. It's a whole new ball game!

AMEN! Including: 9 on the break does not win.

vapoolplayer
04-13-2005, 06:27 AM
AMEN! Including: 9 on the break does not win.

i agree with you(really i do) captain.......i don't think any game should be able to be won on the break, the ball should spot.

i know grady has his own rules for 9 ball.........would grady or anyone like to share them? i know there is no luck allowed in his rules.

maybe this would solve the problem of 9 ball........the only bit of luck involved would be if you missed a shot and left your opponent safe by accident.

VAP

LastTwo
04-13-2005, 06:43 AM
I probably should have said that the cause was just the tip hitting the cueball. Regardless of where contact is made, that is the cause, what happens afterwards is the effect.

LOL, luck can be part of the effect. Pointless thread. :rolleyes:

drivermaker
04-13-2005, 07:05 AM
LOL, luck can be part of the effect. Pointless thread. :rolleyes:

But, weren't you "lucky" to have read it and figured that out on your own? ;)

Luck is ALWAYS present...Clint Eastwood said so....
"Well.....do you feel LUCKY..PUNK?!!! KAAAAABOOOOOOOOM!!!!

Jude Rosenstock
04-13-2005, 07:18 AM
Picking a nit, wouldn't the cue ball become the smallest ball on the table ? It sees the most wear of all balls. I would believe that the 1 ball is the second smallest.

Dave, who agrees that all these seemingly little phenomena cause effects that can best be attributed to luck, even though they should even themselves out over the long run assuming intelligent shot selection.

Absolutely. I was referring to object balls but yes, the cue-ball will become the smallest ball on the table. However, decent poolrooms will typically replace cue-balls. I know from experience that the blue-dot on the Centennial cue-ball will wear away when it's time to replace it. However, the same care will never be taken with object balls.

Jude Rosenstock
04-13-2005, 07:20 AM
Great post, sjm ! You have the ability to go underneath the surface and get more philosophical over many issues ! Keep those posts coming...

On the luck issue, when I'm winning, I'm never lucky, it's just pure skill. If I lose, my opponent is verrrry lucky despite with inferior skill ! :p

Didn't you know, the very point in pool is to become skillful enough to overcome your opponent's good luck?

Rackin_Zack
04-13-2005, 07:30 AM
Granted everything in pool is cause and effect and we all know that the cue ball and object balls do exactly what our cues tell them to do. However, it is luck when someone is trying to do one thing and is lucky enough to accidentally tell the balls to do something else that is favorable to them, be it a potted ball or unintended safe. Just my \$2!

sixpack
04-13-2005, 07:44 AM
There is no such thing! For those of you who constantly whine and moan when you lose, because you're opponent got "lucky". Just get over it! The only time that luck is even a slight factor in the game of 9ball, is on the break.

For anyone who doubts my claim, we can look at two constants in 9ball that clearly show that luck is not a factor, CAUSE AND EFFECT. You see, unlike a game like poker, there are no major variables in this game. This is what happens when you or someone else plays the game:

Tip of stick hits cueball at desired location (cause)

Cueball then travels and hits something; a rail, an object ball, or the back of the pocket (effect)

If the cueball rolls into the sidepocket due to a slight problem with the table. You weren't unlucky, and your opponent wasn't lucky. You were just uninformed that the table rolls funny.

I hope some of you can make sense of this, and try to agree with what I'm saying.

Good Luck!

People can scoff, but when I started forcing myself to think this way, it took my game to a whole new level. Basically the attitude was that whatever happened at the table after a shot was a direct result of that shot, not luck. It doesn't matter if the person who played it understood all of the factors leading to the result or not. No sense to get upset about it.

A player can get caught up in the luck of the game to the point where they use it as an excuse not to win.

In fact, when I play somebody whom I know complains about luck, I might try some things early that will look like luck. If I make them, they will believe they can't win because they're not lucky. They will already be rehearsing their excuses to their friends in their head rather than playing the match to win.

Regas

Teacherman
04-13-2005, 07:48 AM
Okay, thanks for all the responses people. Here's another example:

(we'll look at it from varying points of view)
You're playing a "C" player and he slams the rock into the 2 ball causing it to go 3 rails into the corner pocket.

Was he lucky? No, once again, the 2ball being pocketed is merely the effect of the cause, which was causing the cueball to contact the 2ball.

Now what if the tracking of the table were off a little, and the ball missed? Were you lucky? Of course not, your opponent just didn't know the tracking of the table was off.

Hey genius, luck shots do have a cause................and an effect.

OldHasBeen
04-13-2005, 08:38 AM
I have always thought that IF my oponent seemed to get lucky, it is because I let him get to the table.
YOU CAN'T FIX THE GAME - BUT - YOU CAN FIX YOURSELF!

TY & GL

mjantti
04-13-2005, 08:47 AM
I have always thought that IF my oponent seemed to get lucky, it is because I let him get to the table.
YOU CAN'T FIX THE GAME - BUT - YOU CAN FIX YOURSELF!

TY & GL

Agreed. Also, if you can escape from a snooker and make the ball or leave your opponent hooked, you still needed skill to hit the ball in the first place. So, sometimes you need skills to get lucky...

lewdo26
04-13-2005, 08:56 AM
Agreed. Also, if you can escape from a snooker and make the ball or leave your opponent hooked, you still needed skill to hit the ball in the first place. So, sometimes you need skills to get lucky...
That's correct. I never expect a shot when my opponent hands me the table. I try to *earn* that shot with a nice kick or whatever else.
Also, I never expect another shot when I lose control of the table myself. Whatever happens from that point on is the result of losing control of the table in the first place. If my opponent is lucky, it's because I gave him a chance to get lucky.