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View Full Version : Loser-breaks format can be tough to fade


sammspocket
03-14-2010, 02:44 PM
This weekend I played in a loser-breaks format tournament, possibly only the second one in my life.

I'm personally not a huge fan of this format.

I think it's supposed to level the playing field, but it just doesn't seem fair to me. It seems to favor the weaker player.
In this weekend's case, it was particularly difficult for the losing player to get back in the match because the tables were breaking really tough.
It's very difficult to get in a rhythm and get going when you win games and have to let your opponent break. I guess maybe that's the point.
Lastly, breaking is fun. It's like a reward to get to break after you win a game. You almost feel punished for winning.

Just my $.02. Any other thoughts on this format?
I did a search and didn't see another post on this topic so please post link here if it exists.

Thanks,

jdxprs
03-14-2010, 02:54 PM
i only like this format when the race is very short, like a best 2 out of three. if loser doesnt break, you could easily never even get a chance at the table.

poolpro
03-14-2010, 03:12 PM
This weekend I played in a loser-breaks format tournament, possibly only the second one in my life.

I'm personally not a huge fan of this format.

I think it's supposed to level the playing field, but it just doesn't seem fair to me. It seems to favor the weaker player.
In this weekend's case, it was particularly difficult for the losing player to get back in the match because the tables were breaking really tough.
It's very difficult to get in a rhythm and get going when you win games and have to let your opponent break. I guess maybe that's the point.
Lastly, breaking is fun. It's like a reward to get to break after you win a game. You almost feel punished for winning.

Just my $.02. Any other thoughts on this format?
I did a search and didn't see another post on this topic so please post link here if it exists.

Thanks,



Yeah, I am not a big fan of loser breaks at all. You are absolutely correct, it interupts your rythm and kills your momentum. Like you already said, I think that is the point!

It does level the playing field. As you pointed out, it tends to favor the weaker player ( thus leveling the field). In order to level things out, you have to do something to favor the weaker player, otherwise it would not be doing anything to close the gap.

It is a very strange feeling to win and rack the balls. Breaking after a win, or racking after a loss is literally a conditioned response. There is def a mental association with losing and racking. It kind of throws your brain for a loop to win and then rack for your opponent.

I think there are many layers to the dynamics of this. I feel it is def a handicap or a spot to the weaker player. Obviously, it is going to give the weaker player more chances at the table, and avoid a situation where the stronger player just leaves the opponent in the chair for multiple racks. However, there are many less obvious factors at play that do more to compound the swing towards the lesser player.


You can still win and overcome all of it, but it absolutely CAN be a match decider in many cases.


Just my .02



Jw

poolpro
03-14-2010, 03:49 PM
How does loser break favor weaker players?

In order for the break to count for something you need to be consistently able to run tables, break nines, or play lock-up safes.

If you are and your opponent is not (by virtue of being the weaker player), then how is his breaking and maybe making a couple of balls any detriment to your chances of winning?

As for ruining the momentum, the loser could just as easily do that by taking a long time to rack, racking badly on purpose, etc.. I guess this is negated by rack-your-own, tho.

I guess what I am saying is that if you get a single turn, with a shot at the table during the game, then the break is negated. If you don't, then you probably aren't playing a 'weaker' player.


The most obvious reason is that it gives the loser a chance to shoot where he would not have gotten one. The winner may have run the first 3 racks and then played safe. So the difference would be the opponent coming up to shoot with ball in hand and the break with a score of 1-0, OR coming to the table hooked behind a blocking ball with a low percentage kick and a score of 3-0! ( soon to be 4-0 with the winner breaking again).

Can you not see a HUGE difference in the 2 possbilities?

Also it is a tournament setting, so taking many long breaks to pull your opponent out of stroke is not going to happen. And about the racks, if you are getting bad racks, you need to check them first, or rack your own.

The point is, under winner breaks, you are not gauranteed a shot EVER! If you are playing a strong player who is on a roll, they can torture you relentlessly. You KNOW that any mistake can result in a MULTIPLE game changing score. In loser breaks, you ARE gauranteed at least a chance out of every 2 games. The only way you will not shoot in a given game is if you won a rack and your opponent gets the next break and runs out. Then it will be your break again.


Now if neither player can run out, then it is not much of a game decider. The higher the level of play, the more important it becomes.

Ball in hand every shot is a HUGE spot, but not if the player getting it cannot run 3 balls ever! See what I mean? It is still a huge spot, but if you are not at a level to really take advantage, it really won't matter.


If you watch good players, ONE missed shot or safe will mean the rack ( and possibly many more under winner breaks rules). BUT, if you are watching 2 bangers, they can each take 4 shots a piece on the 7, 8, and the 9. The winner is ALWAYS up for grabs till the last ball drops.

This discussion was in the context of a higher level tournamnet, NOT 2 bangers on a bar box. These are 2 completely different animals.

Regardless of skill level, are you more likely to win a given game or match with one opportunity or several? Okay, HOW ABOUT NONE? The bottom line is that in loser breaks, the weaker player will have more chances to make something happen. That does not mean he will be successful, just that he will have more opportunitues to be. Though if this player can't win with 10 opportunities, I do not think he would do BETTER with 3 chances.


EDIT- To your main point: Obviously if the skill level difference is HUGE than you will still win under just about any rules/handicap. If I play someone who can't run 3 balls, I could spot them 4 games in a race to 7 and give them ball in hand every shot and the breaks, and still win! That does not mean that the game did NOT favor the weaker player! It obviously greatly favored the weaker player. It just did not favor him ENOUGH.

When the skill level between 2 players is close, you may be very suprised what seemingly minor thing can tip the game to one's favor. And EXTRA chances in this situation is NOT a minor thing!

Jw

Bambu
03-14-2010, 05:06 PM
This weekend I played in a loser-breaks format tournament, possibly only the second one in my life.

I'm personally not a huge fan of this format.

I think it's supposed to level the playing field, but it just doesn't seem fair to me. It seems to favor the weaker player.
In this weekend's case, it was particularly difficult for the losing player to get back in the match because the tables were breaking really tough.
It's very difficult to get in a rhythm and get going when you win games and have to let your opponent break. I guess maybe that's the point.
Lastly, breaking is fun. It's like a reward to get to break after you win a game. You almost feel punished for winning.

Just my $.02. Any other thoughts on this format?
I did a search and didn't see another post on this topic so please post link here if it exists.

Thanks,

I think its a great format; works best with evenly matched players. I play this way with my friends all the time. It makes it a little easier to catch a lead, and a little harder to keep one. Gives whoever is losing a fighting chance, I like it. Like anything else, it just takes a little getting used to.

donny mills
03-14-2010, 05:11 PM
This weekend I played in a loser-breaks format tournament, possibly only the second one in my life.

I'm personally not a huge fan of this format.

I think it's supposed to level the playing field, but it just doesn't seem fair to me. It seems to favor the weaker player.
In this weekend's case, it was particularly difficult for the losing player to get back in the match because the tables were breaking really tough.
It's very difficult to get in a rhythm and get going when you win games and have to let your opponent break. I guess maybe that's the point.
Lastly, breaking is fun. It's like a reward to get to break after you win a game. You almost feel punished for winning.

Just my $.02. Any other thoughts on this format?
I did a search and didn't see another post on this topic so please post link here if it exists.

Thanks,

You are so right! Loser breaks and alternate breaks favors the weaker player and breaker. Not to mention it takes the excitement out of the game like momentum shifts, fear of your opponent putting a 4 pack down, pressure is off, and like you said- you can't get in a rhythm!!

Seems like players that have weaker breaks and weaker play want loser or alternate breaks.

Tom In Cincy
03-14-2010, 05:23 PM
You win a game and give up the break.
The weaker players breaks and they you run out and are up 2-0 with the loser breaking.

Unless the losers is a run-out player, I like this format.

If two equally skilled players are using this formant it will favor the player with the stronger break. IMO it is better than alternate break if both are equally skilled.

Not a fan of either Loser break or alternate break.

You only lose your turn at the table if you MISS.

sammspocket
03-14-2010, 07:10 PM
Great feedback. Thanks for all the responses.

Winner-break is my personal favorite. Even if I get steamrolled, I always believe the game-winner deserves the next break.

As for mixed-field tournaments, alternate breaks guarantee the weaker player a chance at the table. Whether or not they capitalize is up to them.

I guess I just thought it was silly to take the extra measures to 'level the playing field' when there were already separate divisions in the singles and then the scotch-doubles was handicapped.

Oh well.

CreeDo
03-14-2010, 09:30 PM
Sadly what's the most fun for the players, what's the fairest for the players, and what's the most fun for viewers are three different things. Hard to find a format that satisfies all three.

Has anyone suggested this? Play loser breaks (or alternate breaks) but if a player breaks and RUNS OUT... the runout wins him an extra break. So you can still have the excitement of a 6-pack and whatnot, but for regular guys who aren't putting up packages... it keeps thing even. Maybe amend it so that a rack-and-run also wins the right to break (i.e. the racker steps up to the table after the opponent's dry break or opening miss... and then runs all 8 or all 9 balls).

poolpro
03-14-2010, 11:00 PM
I will agree with the argument you are making--completely. You just aren't arguing what you initially stated.

What I am getting from your argument is that winner break in highest level competition favors the person who wins the previous game or the lag. Surely you are correct.

If by 'higher level competition' you are arguing that either person is perfectly capable and likely to put together several single inning outs, pray tell, who is the 'weaker' player?

Well, now I am confused. I do not feel as I have changed my point of view or argument even the slightest bit.

I thought I directly addressed your points and stayed on topic.


I was under the impression that you took issue with the position that I and others have stated that the loser break format favors the weaker player. I specifically answered why I feel certain that it is the case. I just went into a more detailed version of my original response, and gave examples to illustrate it.


As to who the weaker player is in higher level tournaments. I do not understand the confusion here. Player A may be a run out player and a danger to string together a couple of racks, while player B may be a danger to string together 5 or more racks! So which is the weaker player? I am not seeing the confusion on this.

I did not say the weaker player has to be a weak player at all. The second best player in the world is still weaker than the BEST player! In EVERY tournament, there is a first place and a last place and a bunch in the middle. Is this even up for discussion? It also can just be the player who is having a much better day at that moment. Maybe player A should lose to player B, and would most of the time. BUT on this day and in this match, player A is on a roll and is putting together more games than usual. I think they deserve the chance to keep that momentum going and really capatalize on it, instead of having to sit down after a win.

If I run 6 racks in a row, that is pretty strong, unless the other guy gets up and runs 11 racks! I would not call either player "weak", but one player is playing better than the other.



Jw

poolpro
03-15-2010, 04:40 PM
JW,

Two questions, then. You stated that loser break favors the weaker player, correct?

How often to you expect the weaker player to win in a loser break match? Less than or more than most of the time will work.


Look, I really am not in the mood to debate this forever. I really do not see what you are not getting, or why you are resisting the obvious so much.

In your last post you said you understood and agreed. I am not sure what the point is anymore. I think it is plain to see, and many much more qualified people than me have also chimed in ( and started this topic from a direct experience they had) to back this up.

But I will address your post anyway. Question #1- In case you missed my very obvious statements YES! YES! YES!. I do in fact believe that a loser break format will give the lesser player more opportunities to win than they otherwise would have gotten in a winner breaks format. I have already gone into way more detail than should have been necessary to illustrate this point with specific examples. Please refer to previous posts.

Question # 2 - This question is literally impossible to answer. Who is playing who? How much of a gap is there between them? What kind of shoes are they wearing?:grin: Once again, re read my earlier post for much more detailed info on this topic too.

If I were to play Johnny archer , he could give me EVERY break, and 5 games on the wire, and the 7, and I do not have to like this game! Does this prove that this game did not favor me? Of course it did! It gave me many more chances to win AND many more ways to win, yet I still may not win!

The topic of the thread is that loser break is tough to fade. Meaning that it can be more difficult to really keep the heat on your opponent EVEN if you are the stronger player. It did not say " Loser breaks stink, because the weaker player will win every time, or even most of the time" .


Many others with much more playing experience than I, started this thread and agreed to its validity. In fact I believe you are the only one even remotely opposing it.

Why are you fighting this simple point so much? Why are you only disagreeing when I say it? What am I missing here?


The topic was not even " Do you think that loser breaks favor the weaker player" that point was not even brought up for debate.


I really am not sure I have anything more to add about this topic. I think I have spelled it out about as much as I can.

If you want to continue to disagree, well, you have every right to your opinion. Good luck matching up, I think you may need it.


Jw

Jude Rosenstock
08-19-2013, 09:59 AM
Sorry to resurrect a 3-year-old thread but wanted to preserve what was already stated. Ever since hearing about loser-break rules, I've been fascinated by how it could work.

I just want to start by stating my opinion right now and say, I believe variety is an important element in tournament rules. Too often, I find the same rules applying event after event and loser-break rules offer another twist which I think could be very interesting, especially in events that have a large variety of skill-levels.

With all of that said, I see a lot of talk about "momentum shifts" and leveling the field. These are all fine points and I cannot argue with them BUT, there is one great advantage the stronger player gets from this format. If you're racing to 7 and you take a 6-1 lead, your opponent will break the next game but you will proceed to break the five remaining games. That's an incredible reward for reaching the hill first. You are guaranteed to get a chance to win every single game.

Yes, it's increasingly difficult to build a lead but once that lead is built, it's much easier to defend. In my opinion, I don't know if this is necessarily a "better" format. I do like that it's different. We keep trying new things and perhaps we should consider sticking with our traditional games and simply tinkering with the format.

hang-the-9
08-19-2013, 10:07 AM
Sorry to resurrect a 3-year-old thread but wanted to preserve what was already stated. Ever since hearing about loser-break rules, I've been fascinated by how it could work.

I just want to start by stating my opinion right now and say, I believe variety is an important element in tournament rules. Too often, I find the same rules applying event after event and loser-break rules offer another twist which I think could be very interesting, especially in events that have a large variety of skill-levels.

With all of that said, I see a lot of talk about "momentum shifts" and leveling the field. These are all fine points and I cannot argue with them BUT, there is one great advantage the stronger player gets from this format. If you're racing to 7 and you take a 6-1 lead, your opponent will break the next game but you will proceed to break the five remaining games. That's an incredible reward for reaching the hill first. You are guaranteed to get a chance to win every single game.

Yes, it's increasingly difficult to build a lead but once that lead is built, it's much easier to defend. In my opinion, I don't know if this is necessarily a "better" format. I do like that it's different. We keep trying new things and perhaps we should consider sticking with our traditional games and simply tinkering with the format.

I've never played in a loser break format, but from seeing how things usually go if you have B and C players, it won't matter much outside of a few rare cases in 9 ball when you make a 9 on the break. Although, with B and C players that may not know how to rack, the chances of 9 going in or hanging in the pocket for an easy combo is pretty larget.

In my 10 ball league, almost every player is a B level player with a few Cs, and there is pretty much 0 advantage to the break. We played 8 weeks or so with 16 players in the league, 3 matches per team with 4-18 games played in each match, and there were TWO break and runs the whole session. One by me, the other my one of my team mates. That's two break and runs over about 240 games played (8 weeks of 3 matches with each match taking 10 games total for someone to win, at times it can be 12+ games if they are high rank and it goes close). Granted if we were playing 9 ball where it's way easier to make a ball or 2 or 3 on the break that stat would be higher, but in 10 ball, the break with B-C-D players means almost nothing to the win stat.

Jude Rosenstock
08-19-2013, 10:11 AM
I've never played in a loser break format, but from seeing how things usually go if you have B and C players, it won't matter much outside of a few rare cases in 9 ball when you make a 9 on the break. Although, with B and C players that may not know how to rack, the chances of 9 going in or hanging in the pocket for an easy combo is pretty larget.

In my 10 ball league, almost every player is a B level player with a few Cs, and there is pretty much 0 advantage to the break. We played 8 weeks or so with 16 players in the league, and there were TWO break and runs the whole session. One by me, the other my one of my team mates. Granted if we were playing 9 ball where it's way easier to make a ball or 2 or 3 on the break that stat would be higher, but in 10 ball, the break with B-C-D players means almost nothing to the win stat.

For a league, I think it always matters less and if you're talking about players that don't run out, it matters far less. I think loser-breaks would be a format better suited for a larger-scale event where people might travel, sets are shorter than usual and people want to be guaranteed a chance at the table.

MapleMan
08-19-2013, 10:15 AM
I feel that this format brings out the lesser player.SVB could run a ten pack and I could say I did my best. With this format I must do my best or slowly I will be made to look bad. Now I have to break and run. Before I could just say "Oh I never got an offensive shot because I was always hooked."

One prob I do have with alt breaks is the difficulty of a comeback. A good player will make a 2 rack lead impossible to comeback from. I once grinded out a 6-3 deficit in this format in a race to 7 but it required serious chokes from my opponent.

Jude Rosenstock
08-19-2013, 10:25 AM
I feel that this format brings out the lesser player.SVB could run a ten pack and I could say I did my best. With this format I must do my best or slowly I will be made to look bad. Now I have to break and run. Before I could just say "Oh I never got an offensive shot because I was always hooked."

One prob I do have with alt breaks is the difficulty of a comeback. A good player will make a 2 rack lead impossible to comeback from. I once grinded out a 6-3 deficit in this format in a race to 7 but it required serious chokes from my opponent.

Technically, it's even harder in loser-breaks since the moment you begin your comeback, you will never break again.

the kidd
08-19-2013, 10:42 AM
Thats the whole point best man win. And break.

dundeewizard
08-19-2013, 11:08 AM
How does loser break favor weaker players?

In order for the break to count for something you need to be consistently able to run tables, break nines, or play lock-up safes.

If you are and your opponent is not (by virtue of being the weaker player), then how is his breaking and maybe making a couple of balls any detriment to your chances of winning?

As for ruining the momentum, the loser could just as easily do that by taking a long time to rack, racking badly on purpose, etc.. I guess this is negated by rack-your-own, tho.

I guess what I am saying is that if you get a single turn, with a shot at the table during the game, then the break is negated. If you don't, then you probably aren't playing a 'weaker' player.

I agree with you typically if the person can break and run consistently he probably won't be losing.I played in this format and enjoyed as the person broke dry or tried to get out and i had easy clearance. Gues depends on the level.

Jude Rosenstock
08-19-2013, 01:58 PM
I agree with you typically if the person can break and run consistently he probably won't be losing.I played in this format and enjoyed as the person broke dry or tried to get out and i had easy clearance. Gues depends on the level.

The more I think about it, loser-breaks format really promotes a back-and-forth set. If two players are both capable of controlling a game from start-to-finish, this format should keep things close even though one player could be professional while the other is a low shortstop. With that said, the moment the better player begins to take a lead, the advantage offered by allowing the loser to break disappears. Having the lead is a bigger advantage than in any other format since you will be guaranteed a turn at the table each and every game until you start winning again.

Imagine if we were talking about football and after a touchdown, the offense got the ball back. After a team scores, the other team *should* a chance. That's how it works. Of course, just like football, getting a big lead has its advantages because you're getting the ball back even if the opposing team scores a touchdown.

macguy
08-19-2013, 02:19 PM
I've never played in a loser break format, but from seeing how things usually go if you have B and C players, it won't matter much outside of a few rare cases in 9 ball when you make a 9 on the break. Although, with B and C players that may not know how to rack, the chances of 9 going in or hanging in the pocket for an easy combo is pretty larget.

In my 10 ball league, almost every player is a B level player with a few Cs, and there is pretty much 0 advantage to the break. We played 8 weeks or so with 16 players in the league, 3 matches per team with 4-18 games played in each match, and there were TWO break and runs the whole session. One by me, the other my one of my team mates. That's two break and runs over about 240 games played (8 weeks of 3 matches with each match taking 10 games total for someone to win, at times it can be 12+ games if they are high rank and it goes close). Granted if we were playing 9 ball where it's way easier to make a ball or 2 or 3 on the break that stat would be higher, but in 10 ball, the break with B-C-D players means almost nothing to the win stat.
The break is a pretty good advantage regardless of skill level. First, you take it away from you opponent so them doing anything with the break is no longer a factor. You also have the first possession on the table. Should you make a ball on the break you can at the very least play the first defensive shot. It is possible even though you don't break and run out, as a result of the break you keep your opponent out of the game even though it may go a few innings. I have to say, if asked few players will like just giving up the break every rack.

Jude Rosenstock
08-19-2013, 02:26 PM
The break is a pretty good advantage regardless of skill level. First, you take it away from you opponent so they doing with the break is no longer a factor. You also have the first possession on the table. Should you make a ball on the break you can at the very least play the first defensive shot. It is possable even though you don't break and run out, as a result of the break you keep your opponent out of the game even though it went a few innings. I have to say, if asked few players will like just giving up the break every rack.

Oh, there's no doubt in some matches, the break can serve as a huge advantage but the question is, should that advantage automatically go to the winner? There are so many other sports like basketball and football where once the offense scores, the opposing team gets the ball.

Banks
08-19-2013, 02:33 PM
Oh, there's no doubt in some matches, the break can serve as a huge advantage but the question is, should that advantage automatically go to the winner? There are so many other sports like basketball and football where once the offense scores, the opposing team gets the ball.

You also gotta figure that the "better" player should still win. Unless it's just a race to two, the one that wins either does better on their breaks or does better on their opponent's breaks. I think it sucks to give up the breaks, but if you want to attract a bigger field then you have to give them incentives.

Jude Rosenstock
08-19-2013, 02:36 PM
You also gotta figure that the "better" player should still win. Unless it's just a race to two, the one that wins either does better on their breaks or does better on their opponent's breaks. I think it sucks to give up the breaks, but if you want to attract a bigger field then you have to give them incentives.

You're picking-up what I'm putting down. I think it would attract more players but here's the amazing catch, I don't think the weaker player has much of a chance. With every back-and-forth match this break-format produces, there's going to be twice as many matches were the better player gets a big lead and he's able to protect it because of the format. Remember, reach the hill first and you're guaranteed to break all but one of the remaining games.

the kidd
08-22-2013, 05:19 AM
Oh, there's no doubt in some matches, the break can serve as a huge advantage but the question is, should that advantage automatically go to the winner? There are so many other sports like basketball and football where once the offense scores, the opposing team gets the ball.

All sports and schools should operate winner advantage like golf first to tee off next hole.

Jude Rosenstock
08-22-2013, 06:44 AM
All sports and schools should operate winner advantage like golf first to tee off next hole.

I think if that were the case, both football and basketball would be ruined. Really, when you think about it, loser-breaks is not a huge advantage. It may seem that way in a close match but if the match isn't close, it becomes more and more difficult to mount any sort of comeback.

CreeDo
08-22-2013, 07:10 AM
All I know is alternate breaks was a very exciting format for USO 8-ball.
There's tons of pressure to run out, you must play absolutely perfect and that includes
never dry breaking. You dog it just once you probably lose that rack and the next one.
2 rack down, and comebacks are hard in alternate break format.

As a spectator I was definitely riveted, waiting to see who would be the first player
to flinch and drop the ball. Every little thing (like getting stuck to the head rail after the break),
had huge importance.

Winner breaks is entertaining and reasonably fair in 9b and 10b because most players
will not run out the set, 3 is a typical package and more than that is kind of rare.
And mistakes don't always get punished in those games, there's more room for good rolls.

Loser breaks never made much sense to me, it's artificially trying to keep the match close.
It's fine if the match is close because both players make the best possible use out of their opportunities.
It's not really fair that playing badly = you get extra opportunities.

Black-Balled
08-22-2013, 07:21 AM
I guess it all depejnds on the motivation behind the choice...Jude's proposed comparison is quite telling, IMO an I am somewhat inclined to believe that loser breaks is actually more appropriate than winner breaks.

Of course, I do like to break/ run a couple games in a row every few years or so...

We seem to be discussing it in the context of 8/9/10b...what thinks ye abou tit in 1p? It is more appropriate there, IMO.

Jude Rosenstock
08-22-2013, 07:46 AM
All I know is alternate breaks was a very exciting format for USO 8-ball.
There's tons of pressure to run out, you must play absolutely perfect and that includes
never dry breaking. You dog it just once you probably lose that rack and the next one.
2 rack down, and comebacks are hard in alternate break format.

As a spectator I was definitely riveted, waiting to see who would be the first player
to flinch and drop the ball. Every little thing (like getting stuck to the head rail after the break),
had huge importance.

Winner breaks is entertaining and reasonably fair in 9b and 10b because most players
will not run out the set, 3 is a typical package and more than that is kind of rare.
And mistakes don't always get punished in those games, there's more room for good rolls.

Loser breaks never made much sense to me, it's artificially trying to keep the match close.
It's fine if the match is close because both players make the best possible use out of their opportunities.
It's not really fair that playing badly = you get extra opportunities.

There are games like tennis where an alternating format is used and, it's been used for so long, nobody thinks about what the raw scores are. Everything is broken into sets and games and points with alternating serves. Do you ever stop to wonder what the total points scored was? Certainly, a blow-out is far more likely to occur if we're only counting the raw score. Tennis, probably the world's most popular mano-y-mano competitions, deliberately tries to keep it close. I think pool can learn something from that.

I do think alternating breaks is also a fair format. In fact, I think I could be convinced that it's the most fair format. It's either alternating breaks or loser breaks but IMO, for strong-amateurs and professionals, winner breaks has gotta go.

maha
08-22-2013, 10:40 AM
the better players still will win in the long run. short run too.
but loser breaks keeps everyone in the game or at least getting shots at winning a rack here and there.

everyone complains pool is dying but wants to slaughter their opponents. if it isnt fun with them getting lots of chances then they dont come back.

Jude Rosenstock
08-22-2013, 10:59 AM
the better players still will win in the long run. short run too.
but loser breaks keeps everyone in the game or at least getting shots at winning a rack here and there.

everyone complains pool is dying but wants to slaughter their opponents. if it isnt fun with them getting lots of chances then they dont come back.

Well said and precisely my point.

skogstokig
08-22-2013, 11:07 AM
i like winner break best but when to equally good players face off it favors lucky breaks. especially in the short run. this is the problem with winner breaks, not that it favors the better player bcs he/she will win anyway.

CreeDo
08-22-2013, 02:10 PM
There are games like tennis where an alternating format is used and, it's been used for so long, nobody thinks about what the raw scores are.
...Tennis, probably the world's most popular mano-y-mano competitions, deliberately tries to keep it close. I think pool can learn something from that.

Eh, the more I see sports analogies on AZ, the less I can play along with them.
I can't criticise really, I've done it too. But It's too easy to cherrypick
some successful sport to support an opinion -

The NBA is successful so shot clocks are good. Golf is successful so shot clocks are bad.
Tennis uses loser breaks. Baseball evenly alternates scoring opportunities.
Bowling and golf switch up playing conditions so different playing conditions are good.
Pro basketball is always played in the same conditions so different playing conditions are bad.

Tennis is tennis, and who knows how much role 'break format' plays in its popularity.
Maybe it'd be just as popular if the winner served every time, or even more popular.

Pool is not very successful and odds are there are 500 things we need to address
to fix that before we play with break format.

The main point I wanted to make is that alternating break is not as boring
as people assume... and there's no question it's fair.

ignomirello
08-22-2013, 07:46 PM
the better players still will win in the long run. short run too.
but loser breaks keeps everyone in the game or at least getting shots at winning a rack here and there.

everyone complains pool is dying but wants to slaughter their opponents. if it isnt fun with them getting lots of chances then they dont come back.

I agree 100%

Also according accu stats the breaker is at a disadvantage & will lose more often :-) If you don't believe me ask Pat Flemming. !

Don't kill me i'm only the messenger :-)

CreeDo
08-23-2013, 08:01 AM
I agree 100%

Also according accu stats the breaker is at a disadvantage & will lose more often :-) If you don't believe me ask Pat Flemming. !

Don't kill me i'm only the messenger :-)

I've seen this old stat too, 51% vs. 49% ...however I think this stat was taken long ago using a wide
mix of players, maybe some worldbeaters and maybe some not-so-much. The racks have gotten
better and making balls on the break is less random than it used to be.

According to some newer AtLarge break stats (thanks as always AtLarge):

US Open 9 ball 2012: Breaker wins 55%
That's with a wide mix of guys.

TAR 31 - SVB vs. Mike Dechaine: Breaker wins 69%
With a very narrow mix of guys who both break great.

DCC 10 ball 2012: 55%
Accustats 8 Ball Invitational, final day: 61%
Tunica 10 ft 10 ball: 53%
Tar 34: 63%
Turning Stone XX 9b: 51%
Jay Swanson Memorial: 59%

I didn't cherrypick these, it's just the first results google brought up.
These days, breaking is an advantage, no question... well, among the pros.
I'm sure in everyday league play the breaker may still be a slight underdog.

macguy
08-23-2013, 08:17 AM
i like winner break best but when to equally good players face off it favors lucky breaks. especially in the short run. this is the problem with winner breaks, not that it favors the better player bcs he/she will win anyway.
Rotating the break may be the most fair. I put on quite a few tournaments with this format. I also added an equal number of breaks rule in hill hill games. If the breaking player either makes the 9 on the break of breaks and runs out, the sitting player get a one time free break to tie the game. It is actually easy to keep track of whose break it is. The first player to break always breaks when the score is an even number. I think I explained this correctly it has been a long time.

macguy
08-23-2013, 08:22 AM
I've seen this old stat too, 51% vs. 49% ...however I think this stat was taken long ago using a wide
mix of players, maybe some worldbeaters and maybe some not-so-much. The racks have gotten
better and making balls on the break is less random than it used to be.

According to some newer AtLarge break stats (thanks as always AtLarge):

US Open 9 ball 2012: Breaker wins 55%
That's with a wide mix of guys.

TAR 31 - SVB vs. Mike Dechaine: Breaker wins 69%
With a very narrow mix of guys who both break great.

DCC 10 ball 2012: 55%
Accustats 8 Ball Invitational, final day: 61%
Tunica 10 ft 10 ball: 53%
Tar 34: 63%
Turning Stone XX 9b: 51%
Jay Swanson Memorial: 59%

I didn't cherrypick these, it's just the first results google brought up.
These days, breaking is an advantage, no question... well, among the pros.
I'm sure in everyday league play the breaker may still be a slight underdog.
I sat and watched Pat play Nick Varner in a 9 ball tournament and every time Pat won a game he gave the break to Nick. It seemed crazy but Pat ended up winning. If you know Pat ask him about this. He had just worked out that on that table the break was not an advantage for some reason. I didn't even know the rule let you do that. I guess if you win the game you have the choice to break or not.

ceebee
08-23-2013, 08:33 AM
All of this is a good case for developing a GOOD Break Shot.....

Ken_4fun
08-23-2013, 09:11 AM
I am a HUGE fan of this format.

It helps from getting ran over, as it almost guarentees that each player gets a chance every other game.

For all of you guys not in favor of it. Think of this. How would like football if the team scores and then you immediately give them the ball again? Sounds silly doesn't it?

I was doing an interview for a magazine and I interviewed Allen Hopkins. He made that example and I had never thought of it that way.

Best of rolls,

Ken Strain

RioSevario
08-23-2013, 10:04 AM
Great feedback. Thanks for all the responses.

Winner-break is my personal favorite. Even if I get steamrolled, I always believe the game-winner deserves the next break.

As for mixed-field tournaments, alternate breaks guarantee the weaker player a chance at the table. Whether or not they capitalize is up to them.

I guess I just thought it was silly to take the extra measures to 'level the playing field' when there were already separate divisions in the singles and then the scotch-doubles was handicapped.

Oh well.


You didn't mention in your initial question that it was already a handicapped tournament. I believe that the stronger player will normally win in the loser/alternate break situation.

The place I like to see it is when you have a tournament where a few pro players come to crash the party. Yes it is fun to watch someone that knows what to do on the table, but I am not the kind of guy that is willing to drop one or two hundred just to see it. Anytime you get a player like Van Boening, Archer, or similar talent, they are automatically the favorite anyway. But how many local players would put up a couple hundred knowing they don't have a chance?