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View Full Version : 8 ball break driving me nuts!!


trob
05-04-2009, 04:27 PM
I'm not sure if it's lack of execution or lack of luck! lol I'm putting the cue ball at the corner of the break box. I aiming to hit the cue ball middle and the head ball as solid as possible. I turn my hips in at contact to gain power and drive the the cue through the ball. The damn rack is blowing up. Balls flying every where. But nothing is dropping! I would say in 5 breaks maybe 2 I drop a ball. The rack is wide open with nothing dropping...not a good way to start lol Any tips out there?

BVal
05-04-2009, 04:31 PM
I'm not sure if it's lack of execution or lack of luck! lol I'm putting the cue ball at the corner of the break box. I aiming to hit the cue ball middle and the head ball as solid as possible. I turn my hips in at contact to gain power and drive the the cue through the ball. The damn rack is blowing up. Balls flying every where. But nothing is dropping! I would say in 5 breaks maybe 2 I drop a ball. The rack is wide open with nothing dropping...not a good way to start lol Any tips out there?
Maybe take a little power off of your break. Sometimes that works. It worked for my 9 ball break. When you hit the balls so hard more of them are moving and sometimes kicking balls out of pockets that would normally be going in.
BVal

~jj~
05-04-2009, 04:36 PM
If you break from the side, you aren't driving all the force through the center of the rack. The energy will get spread to one side more than the other.

When I see most pro's playing 8 ball it seems to be that they break from the center, or close to it. I don't know of any advantage of breaking from the side unless you are on the rail and really love a side-rail bridge.

Give it a shot from the center and put a good stroke on it too.

Good Luck

Roger Long
05-04-2009, 04:42 PM
I'm not sure if it's lack of execution or lack of luck! lol I'm putting the cue ball at the corner of the break box. I aiming to hit the cue ball middle and the head ball as solid as possible. I turn my hips in at contact to gain power and drive the the cue through the ball. The damn rack is blowing up. Balls flying every where. But nothing is dropping! I would say in 5 breaks maybe 2 I drop a ball. The rack is wide open with nothing dropping...not a good way to start lol Any tips out there?

That's a common problem with a rack of 15 balls. You can't break them the same as in 9-ball. Try putting your cue ball on the head string and just an inch or two off the side rail. Then hit the second ball as full as possible with a very level cue and a little bit of low inside english. Or hit the third ball with a lot of low outside english. Practice those two for a bit, and see if you get better results.

Roger

CreeDo
05-04-2009, 11:16 PM
I consider 50% a decent success rate (compared to my usual anyway) and you're making balls 40% of the time already. I'd say that's not so bad.

There are two ways of trying it... trying to make a specific ball (which is for suckers unless you're on a table that racks super consistently) and just using power.

Once you decide power is the way to go, the textbook says the highest power break is from dead center and hitting the head ball dead center too. This also makes parking the cue ball in the middle of the table more likely.

When you break from an angle, no matter what the angle is, your eyes will have a hard time seeing what a truly dead center square hit on the 1 ball is. I think the tendency is to hit a little bit on the side you're breaking from (so you will hit a bit to the left side of the 1 ball if you break from the left side of the box).

Instead, try to get the cue ball as close to dead center as possible. But, if you're like me, you don't always want to put the cue ball on the head spot, or there is no head spot, or you don't trust the head spot. I get a load more power with a rail bridge than I get shooting off the spot. So I set the cue ball about 1 diamond from the rail and I center it with a little trick. I split the table's nameplate or center diamond (hopefully yours has one) with my cue and then roll the cue ball a tiny bit left or right until it looks perfectly centered.

Then, when I aim, I am careful to line up as perfectly on the head ball as I can, I make sure my arm doesn't want to steer left or right during my practice swings... and... here's the big trick... I aim to hit at the BASE of the head ball, where I see the darkest bit of shadow below the ball. I read about this aiming at the base trick here on AZB and it's the nuts. Somehow I am getting much more perfectly square contact by doing this. I used to send the cue ball to the side rail almost every time when I break hard. Now I am parking the cue ball quite a lot, maybe 1 out of 3 breaks. I'm not scratching either.

That's it really. Get the cue ball as dead center as you can. Hit the head ball as dead center as you can. One of the first three balls will usually go in the side.

Drew
05-04-2009, 11:40 PM
That's a common problem with a rack of 15 balls. You can't break them the same as in 9-ball. Try putting your cue ball on the head string and just an inch or two off the side rail. Then hit the second ball as full as possible with a very level cue and a little bit of low inside english. Or hit the third ball with a lot of low outside english. Practice those two for a bit, and see if you get better results.

Roger

Oh yeah baby!! The APA break!! Guaranteed clusters

softshot
05-04-2009, 11:56 PM
I am a big fan of the dead center 8 ball break.. at a notch below full power (possibly two notches depending on the table)

easy to control the CB .. 50+% ball making.. nice spreads

some one mentioned that it is hard to hit dead center on the ball from an angle..

you hit dead center on the ball same as always... point your cue on the line from where the CB touches to felt to where the OB touches the felt... if you have room to make a full hit (and on the break you ALWAYS have room)

I find it hard to control the CB off of a full rack when shooting from the side.. it doesn't react the same way it does off of a 9 ball rack... at least that's the way it appears to me..

poolplayer2093
05-05-2009, 12:01 AM
I'm not sure if it's lack of execution or lack of luck! lol I'm putting the cue ball at the corner of the break box. I aiming to hit the cue ball middle and the head ball as solid as possible. I turn my hips in at contact to gain power and drive the the cue through the ball. The damn rack is blowing up. Balls flying every where. But nothing is dropping! I would say in 5 breaks maybe 2 I drop a ball. The rack is wide open with nothing dropping...not a good way to start lol Any tips out there?

i've heard that breaking form the center of the table instead of near the rail gets better results with an 8 ball rack

have you tried the second ball break?

Drew
05-05-2009, 12:10 AM
I just noticed that the table size has not been specified. I usually think bar tables when I think 8-ball. If you're making balls 40% of the time on a big table then you're doing alright; if it's on the bar table, you might want to think about adjusting. Try hitting harder, softer, moving the cue ball around. Power breaks aren't exactly a science. Every table and every rack breaks differently so switch it up until you find the technique.

trob
05-05-2009, 01:43 AM
It's a 7 foot table. I'll work on the spot tonight. I haven't broken from the spot in years so I'll see how that works out. It's the only part of my game thats not consistent right now and it's driving me crazy.

BVal
05-05-2009, 01:54 AM
It's a 7 foot table. I'll work on the spot tonight. I haven't broken from the spot in years so I'll see how that works out. It's the only part of my game thats not consistent right now and it's driving me crazy.
not so much the spot but a little left or right of it. If I break from the center I usually break from inbetween the 1st and middle diamond. Very rarely do I ever break from dead center. Either way there has been loads of good advice in here and I am sure you will figure something out for yourself.

BVal

predator
05-05-2009, 02:19 AM
This past weekend there was a pro tournament at my home club in 8ball discipline. There were some high profile european pro's here. Let me just tell you that they all suffered with the break. They made the balls alright, but the break let them down in critical moments too. Most of them are excellent ball breakers and runout machines, but not one of them could guarantee a ball made on the break. 50-60% rate of success at best.
All pros were using the break from or near the center...no side rail break or second ball break. That tells you something...

billbOK
05-05-2009, 03:06 AM
This past weekend there was a pro tournament at my home club in 8ball discipline. There were some high profile european pro's here. Let me just tell you that they all suffered with the break. They made the balls alright, but the break let them down in critical moments too. Most of them are excellent ball breakers and runout machines, but not one of them could guarantee a ball made on the break. 50-60% rate of success at best.
All pros were using the break from or near the center...no side rail break or second ball break. That tells you something...

Hi pred !

Can you give us more details ? Who was in the last 8 ?

Thanks !

predator
05-05-2009, 04:59 AM
Hi pred !

Can you give us more details ? Who was in the last 8 ?

Thanks !

Hi Bill!

The tournament was at Ground Zero club in Zagreb, Croatia.

Final 8 participants were:
Dalmatin, Putnik, Mladenovic, Klasovic, Foldes, Susnjara, Tot, Erculj

Semis:
Vilmos Foldes - Sandor Tot 10-9
Karlo Dalmatin - Goran Mladenovic 10-5

In the final Vilmos Foldes beat current Croatian #1 player Karlo Dalmatin by a 10-8 scoreline. He picked up 5500€ first prize and a trophy.

In the semifinal between Sandor Tot and Vilmos Foldes, Sandor was breaking at hill-hill and no balls went down. Vilmos cleared, so 2000€ lost in one shot for Sandor.

Interesting that Sandor Tot was partying all Saturday night. He stayed in the club until 6 a.m., but had little trouble getting up Sunday morning for last 16 match. He played lights out for most of the Sunday despite having so little sleep. The amount of energy this man has for playing pool is just amazing. His fellow players have seen it time and time again, but still can't quite believe it.

Some other international stars were supposed to appear, but didn't. It seems that a lot of top European pro's ask for appearence fee. Can't say I blame them, but this tournament was up for grabs...plenty of amateurs in it also. Our club owner has a firm stance on appearence fees, he won't pay any. But, unlike in some high profile international events however, the players got payed immediately, just like last year.

TXsouthpaw
05-05-2009, 07:21 AM
During a lesson with johnny archer he said he usually breaks 8 ball from the middle of the table maybe a few inches to either side. He said it give the best spread and the best chance of a ball dropping.

That being said Joe tucker also has some good advice on the subject.
If your playing a weaker player whos not likely to run out go for the 2nd ball break and try and make the 8. If your playing a player thats likely to run out if you miss then break from the middle and try and get out.


Hope that helps.

the420trooper
05-05-2009, 07:30 AM
I play a lot of barbox 8 ball, and I've noticed that most of the time when I hit the balls "perfect", I come up dry. Hitting hard, and squatting the CB looks pretty, but I'm slowly becoming convinced it's not the best way to break...

When I hit the rack hard, and send the CB directly to the rail on the side I'm breaking from, I tend to make 2 or 3 balls, and still spread them pretty well.

JMO

poolfoole
05-05-2009, 08:15 AM
I'm not sure if it's lack of execution or lack of luck! lol I'm putting the cue ball at the corner of the break box. I aiming to hit the cue ball middle and the head ball as solid as possible. I turn my hips in at contact to gain power and drive the the cue through the ball. The damn rack is blowing up. Balls flying every where. But nothing is dropping! I would say in 5 breaks maybe 2 I drop a ball. The rack is wide open with nothing dropping...not a good way to start lol Any tips out there?

Just keep doing what you're doing and don't get discouraged. Don't make any major changes to your break. Just break from a different spot if you're breaking dry. Most tables have a sweet spot where you can break from and balls are more likely to be pocketed on the break. Observe where your opponent is breaking from. If he is making balls, break from exactly the same spot he breaks from. If you find a spot that's working, stick with it.

You're probablly just having a little bad luck. The break shot in 8-ball or 9-ball is a lot like a jump shot in basketball. Some nights everything goes in. Other nights, nothing goes. In the long run, however, a good breaker or a good jump shooter will have a high percentage of success regardless of some short term bad luck.

It sounds like you have a pretty strong break, just a little short term bad luck. If you're making a ball on the break 40% of the time, that's not too bad. If you're breaking as good as you say, you'll probably make something 60% of the time when the luck starts going more your way, as it eventually will.

Good luck.

poolfoole
05-05-2009, 08:18 AM
During a lesson with johnny archer he said he usually breaks 8 ball from the middle of the table maybe a few inches to either side. He said it give the best spread and the best chance of a ball dropping.


Very good point. I've heard Mike Sigel same the same thing. This is what I usually do for an 8-ball break too.

billbOK
05-05-2009, 02:04 PM
Hi Bill!

The tournament was at Ground Zero club in Zagreb, Croatia.

Final 8 participants were:
Dalmatin, Putnik, Mladenovic, Klasovic, Foldes, Susnjara, Tot, Erculj

Semis:
Vilmos Foldes - Sandor Tot 10-9
Karlo Dalmatin - Goran Mladenovic 10-5

In the final Vilmos Foldes beat current Croatian #1 player Karlo Dalmatin by a 10-8 scoreline. He picked up 5500 first prize and a trophy.

In the semifinal between Sandor Tot and Vilmos Foldes, Sandor was breaking at hill-hill and no balls went down. Vilmos cleared, so 2000 lost in one shot for Sandor.

Interesting that Sandor Tot was partying all Saturday night. He stayed in the club until 6 a.m., but had little trouble getting up Sunday morning for last 16 match. He played lights out for most of the Sunday despite having so little sleep. The amount of energy this man has for playing pool is just amazing. His fellow players have seen it time and time again, but still can't quite believe it.

Some other international stars were supposed to appear, but didn't. It seems that a lot of top European pro's ask for appearence fee. Can't say I blame them, but this tournament was up for grabs...plenty of amateurs in it also. Our club owner has a firm stance on appearence fees, he won't pay any. But, unlike in some high profile international events however, the players got payed immediately, just like last year.

Thanks Pred for the informations !

A good one for Vilmos and Karlo. I am a bit surprise that there wasn't much German or Dutch players... The prize money was great.

About Sandor, I also have some nice experiences LOL This guy is incredible... not human, and what a great player ! I really like him, he has so much heart for the game... and partying:wink:

Alex Kanapilly
05-05-2009, 02:52 PM
Oh yeah baby!! The APA break!! Guaranteed clusters

It's more than that. Watch the top players at the BCA and Valley national tournaments and I bet you half will be using this break with great success. Especially the master players.

Yes, you may get some clusters but if you're a strong player, it's more important to keep control of the table than have a wide open table.

I start off with the head ball break and then switch to the second ball break if the standard break isn't working for me.

About a month ago I was practicing between matches with my team and I ran my first 5 pack (I'm calling it a 5 pack even though I didn't break the first rack, my opponent broke empty). I used the 2nd ball break every time and only had a tough table on one of the four racks that I ran out. I didn't make a ball on the fifth rack.

spoons
05-05-2009, 03:29 PM
A lot of good advice already on here. I have to disagree with a couple of points people have made though....

You're right to worry about spreading the balls for your opponent. And, I firmly believe that hitting the same break over and over and hoping for different results is foolish. When you're playing a strong player who will run out a dry break, I don't see any reason not to try something a little different. If you're already losing games on your break, what's the worst that could happen? Of course, if your opponent isn't getting out from your dry breaks, and instead ends up clearing things out of your way, then maybe you've found a recipe for success...

Unfortunately, no matter how many of the variables you try to control, you're still going to need some luck to consistently make a ball in 8-ball.

Here are the four things I toy around with when I'm struggling to make a ball on the break:

1. Switch spots on the table. Rather than shooting the mirror shot on the other side of the table, I find I have more success by moving a few inches at a time on the same side of the table. It's probably in my head, but it works for me.

2. Change the break speed (slow it down). I'm consistently amazed by how softly you can break the pack and still drop a ball or two. Plus, the balls are likely to spread a little differently, and if nothing drops, maybe your opponent will have a harder time running out.

3. 2nd ball break. This is the old standby. You've completely changed the impact point with the rack, and you should get completely different results. By playing with the speed (usually taking some off), you can retain a good deal of control over how clustered the balls get.

4. Break from the same spot as with the 2nd ball break, but try to clip the head ball on the way in. It's really important with this break to keep the speed down, and try to minimize the jumping of the cue ball. I usually hit this break with my regular playing cue, because I have better control. A last resort, because it's playing with all different types of fire, but with the high risk comes the high reward. I probably make more balls and get a better spread this way than with any other 8-ball break. I also jump the cue ball off the table or scratch more often this way than any other way. :(

Don't let yourself get discouraged. Just look at it as a challenge and a puzzle to solve.

trob
05-05-2009, 04:18 PM
no worries about getting discouraged..Ive been playing this game on almost a daily basis for 23 years. It's little things like this that keep the fires burning and keep you coming back.

Today I was breaking from the center with about the same results. Although when I switched to 9 ball with that break I was dropping a ball 4 out 5 racks. most of the time dropping more then ball.

The one thing I noticed when I blow it up wide open I don't drop anything..when I leave clusters is when I'll drop a couple balls. lol

BVal
05-05-2009, 04:20 PM
no worries about getting discouraged..Ive been playing this game on almost a daily basis for 23 years. It's little things like this that keep the fires burning and keep you coming back.

Today I was breaking from the center with about the same results. Although when I switched to 9 ball with that break I was dropping a ball 4 out 5 racks. most of the time dropping more then ball.

The one thing I noticed when I blow it up wide open I don't drop anything..when I leave clusters is when I'll drop a couple balls. lol
So now work on breaking up clusters or if you can't get out play safe early in the rack and not late. If you can't get out in 8 ball then don't even try.

BVal

spoons
05-06-2009, 04:26 PM
If you can't get out in 8 ball then don't even try.

BVal

ha ha.... I'm pretty sure I know what you meant by that, but out of context it's pretty funny!:wink:

BVal
05-06-2009, 04:29 PM
ha ha.... I'm pretty sure I know what you meant by that, but out of context it's pretty funny!:wink:
Just to explain what I did mean - I meant if you can't run out the rack for sure then don't try. :)

BVal

trob
05-06-2009, 04:34 PM
Well the center spot break was working great playing 9 ball today lol I was droping the wing ball I would say 7 out of 10 breaks and dropping a ball 9 out of 10. I had 3 breaks in a row where I dropped 4 then 5 then 4 balls again on the break. With and easy shot on the first ball. Christ If I could consistantly do that all the time your gonna see me on ESPN soon lol

CreeDo
05-06-2009, 06:49 PM
weird for a center break to work in 9 ball but congrats :)

I had tried a few inches off of center in the believe it subtly skews the break to one side and gets a higher chance of making a ball. But after doing it for probably the last 3+ years and then switching to absolute dead center, I can say for sure I get a ball on the break more often with dead center, plus awesome spreads. I really notice balls fighting to go into the side, and often when I make more than one ball it's gonna be in the sides.

I do know what 420trooper is saying tho, when I dry break and squat the cue ball it drives me nuts. But it's a little different on a barbox. I think barboxes already have a lot of spread issues, between the dirty equipment and slow cloth, so I definitely whale on it from dead center to eke out every last bit of energy I can. But I've had breaks where the CB bashes them dramatically, hops straight up and bounces, squats in the middle, and absolutely nothing went in. So maybe for a barbox you really should do that break a couple of inches off to the side.

Really, the only absolute truth is every table is different and you gotta find the breaking tricks that work on your particular table.