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JLW
02-25-2007, 03:34 AM
I always seem to have a problem getting the pack to open up. It seems like I have to absolutely hammer the break shot to get the rack to open up at all. My table is in my basment, but I do have a de-humidifier down there. And I use Centennial Balls. I have a decent cloth on the table. It's supposed to be Simonis, but I don't see the Simonis name anywhere on it, so maybe it's not. Am I doing something wrong, or is there some equipment change I can make that will make a difference? I watch on videos, and the balls just seem to spread all over the table. I really want to play more straight pool, but it's very frustrating to feel like a have to hit all my break shots as hard as I can to get a decent spread. I would appreciate any input. Thanks in advance.

Gerry
02-25-2007, 03:42 AM
I've had the same problem on all kinds of equipment. Make sure the balls are obviously racked tight to begin with, but I think the way the balls open up mainly depends on the first ball you hit on the stack with the cue ball. If you go into the center of the rack they wont open as well as hitting the top 2 or bottom 2 sometimes?

IMO lose racks are the biggest killer of the break shot not opening up.

Gerry

Rich R.
02-25-2007, 08:28 AM
I always seem to have a problem getting the pack to open up. It seems like I have to absolutely hammer the break shot to get the rack to open up at all. My table is in my basment, but I do have a de-humidifier down there. And I use Centennial Balls. I have a decent cloth on the table. It's supposed to be Simonis, but I don't see the Simonis name anywhere on it, so maybe it's not. Am I doing something wrong, or is there some equipment change I can make that will make a difference? I watch on videos, and the balls just seem to spread all over the table. I really want to play more straight pool, but it's very frustrating to feel like a have to hit all my break shots as hard as I can to get a decent spread. I would appreciate any input. Thanks in advance.
IMHO, don't try to break the rack open completely on one break shot. Pick away at it, a few balls at a time. It is easier and you will have a lot more success.
Also, if you slam that rack and miss the shot, you may never get to the table again.

JLW
02-25-2007, 12:55 PM
I've had the same problem on all kinds of equipment. Make sure the balls are obviously racked tight to begin with, but I think the way the balls open up mainly depends on the first ball you hit on the stack with the cue ball. If you go into the center of the rack they wont open as well as hitting the top 2 or bottom 2 sometimes?

IMO lose racks are the biggest killer of the break shot not opening up.

Gerry
Thanks for the input. I'll try racking them tighter. I usually try for a break shot that allows me to hit the middle part of the rack. Maybe I'll try to change up where I have the break ball and see what happens. A couple more questions. How far away from the rack do you try to have your break ball for optimum results? Would you suggest Simonis 760 on a 4x8 table for playing lots of 14.1? And do you use high english on break shots whenever possible? I try to use the method Mike Sigel suggests, but I have mixed results.

Edit- I just noticed Blackjack's post on break balls. I'll definitely check that out too. Looks like it could help a lot.

Blackjack
02-25-2007, 03:05 PM
Also make sure that balls and the cloth are clean. John Schmidt has stated that the 245 run last year was due to perfect playing conditions and equipment (impeccable talent and consistency was also a BIG factor!!!) I also agree with Rich - never try to splatter the balls. Most of the time if you hammer the stack on the break shot you will leave yourself very few break ball options. WHy would you purposely want to eliminate your options? I have said it before - separate the balls enough to where you can open them for the pockets. Learn how to recognize and utilize secondary break shots. Also - If I try to blast away to spread the pack, I may jar the object ball in the pocket and open the table for my opponent. Let him work for his points, don't give him an excuse to take advantage of your carelessness.

Gerry
02-26-2007, 05:38 AM
Yea J I also use Sigels parallel theory on "most" break shots. It is a great place to start. I wouldn't say a high ball is always the best for every break shot, because obviously sometimes it will drive you back into the stack, or scratch you.

The way I learned break shots was from the way Dallas West said He learned. Throw 4 or 5 balls out on the table with the cueball, now get on a breaker, then rackem and shoot the breaker. If you don't like the result set it up again use a different spin and try again til you get a good result. Then clear the table and try again. This will teach you to find unusual breakers, and to learn end rack patterns.

Gerry

SirBanksALot
02-26-2007, 06:12 AM
Yea J I also use Sigels parallel theory on "most" break shots. It is a great place to start. I wouldn't say a high ball is always the best for every break shot, because obviously sometimes it will drive you back into the stack, or scratch you.

The way I learned break shots was from the way Dallas West said He learned. Throw 4 or 5 balls out on the table with the cueball, now get on a breaker, then rackem and shoot the breaker. If you don't like the result set it up again use a different spin and try again til you get a good result. Then clear the table and try again. This will teach you to find unusual breakers, and to learn end rack patterns.

Gerry

No such thing as a silly question........right. "Parellel Theory" - please to briefly explain.

Thanks,

Keith

Williebetmore
02-26-2007, 07:53 AM
I always seem to have a problem getting the pack to open up. It seems like I have to absolutely hammer the break shot to get the rack to open up at all.

JL,
It is because of the age of the cloth. When the Simonis is new, the pack just falls apart if you breathe on it. A week later its a lot more difficult.

I remember Mike Davis running 152 at DCC this year, early in the week; a few days later he stated he thought his mark would be tough to beat because the cloth was MUCH more difficult, the pack was now NOT falling apart easily, and running the balls down the rail was now much more difficult - all resulting from a few days of tournament play. Imagine how tough my 3 year old cloth is; you have to PULVERIZE the cue ball to get a decent "Fleming-esque" spread.

poolplayer2093
02-26-2007, 08:24 AM
maybe you could use more angle on your break ball. a friend of mine drew a triangle around the rack we were using and a line at the top and middle to ensure the balls were racked in as close to the same possition as always. if it's your table (even if it's not) i thin you should give that a try. after a while chalk and dirt and what not build up on a table and racking the balls in the same place everytime helps them settle on it

Gerry
02-26-2007, 10:24 AM
No such thing as a silly question........right. "Parellel Theory" - please to briefly explain.

Thanks,

Keith

right!...no stupid questions, just stupid people!:)

here's a quick explaination...

http://CueTable.com/P/?@3AJqn4BCYH3CDGH4DCYm4EFKm3FDGm4GBKW3HAUH3IAUm3JF rl4KDvW3LBrW3MEdV4NBJr3OBqr3PJof3QOmf3REBf2qUAbCB

CB "A" is past parallel and hit with a high ball.

CB "B" is before parallel and hit with a low ball.

Blank CB IS parallel and hit with what works for you.

these are very "general" but a great place to start. you will learn when this rule won't work in some situations by trying about 2500 break shots!:)

Gerry

JLW
02-26-2007, 03:10 PM
I just wanted to clarify that I'm not trying to spread the balls all over the table. It's just that, on my table, it seems that I have to hit break shots very hard to get the pack to open up at all. I watch tapes, and the racks seem to just fall apart. I know much of that is due to the knowledge of the pros, but I just wonder if there's anything I can do equipment-wise to help me out. Would anyone suggest getting Simonis 760?

Thanks to everyone for their responses.

DJKeys
02-26-2007, 03:17 PM
Part of this has to do with the fact that most 14.1 tapes of tournaments are done under very hot lights, which take all of the moisture out of the cloth. Add new cloth, clean balls, and that is why the racks come apart so easily, as well as a lot of perfect opening break shots.

Gerry
02-26-2007, 05:22 PM
right!...no stupid questions, just stupid people!:)

here's a quick explaination...

http://CueTable.com/P/?@3AJqn4BCYH3CDGH4DCYm4EFKm3FDGm4GBKW3HAUH3IAUm3JF rl4KDvW3LBrW3MEdV4NBJr3OBqr3PJof3QOmf3REBf2qUAbCB

CB "A" is past parallel and hit with a high ball.

CB "B" is before parallel and hit with a low ball.

Blank CB IS parallel and hit with what works for you.

these are very "general" but a great place to start. you will learn when this rule won't work in some situations by trying about 2500 break shots!:)

Gerry

I forgot to add this theory works on all breakers....next to the rack, below the rack, side pocket breaker as well.

Gerry

SirBanksALot
02-26-2007, 06:37 PM
I forgot to add this theory works on all breakers....next to the rack, below the rack, side pocket breaker as well.

Gerry

That makes perfect sense. But - it sure helped to see it layed out on the "Cuetable".

Thanks!!!

JLW
02-26-2007, 07:30 PM
Also make sure that balls and the cloth are clean. John Schmidt has stated that the 245 run last year was due to perfect playing conditions and equipment (impeccable talent and consistency was also a BIG factor!!!) I also agree with Rich - never try to splatter the balls. Most of the time if you hammer the stack on the break shot you will leave yourself very few break ball options. WHy would you purposely want to eliminate your options? I have said it before - separate the balls enough to where you can open them for the pockets. Learn how to recognize and utilize secondary break shots. Also - If I try to blast away to spread the pack, I may jar the object ball in the pocket and open the table for my opponent. Let him work for his points, don't give him an excuse to take advantage of your carelessness.
Thanks for the input Blackjack. I'm thinking seriously about buying John's tape (if it's still available). Do you have any tape of yourself running balls? I think there are a lot of people here who would be interested in seeing some video of you talking us through a few racks.

DJKeys
02-26-2007, 07:35 PM
One other thing that is valuable is to identify the difference between clusters and balls that are just close together. Many players go into balls without realizing they can be made as they are. Best thing is to just play position for the pockets those balls can go in. A lot of times an open table may not appear open, but it is. Never run into balls unless you need to, as you always can tie them up worse than they were before you hit them.

JLW
02-26-2007, 07:39 PM
One other thing that is valuable is to identify the difference between clusters and balls that are just close together. Many players go into balls without realizing they can be made as they are. Best thing is to just play position for the pockets those balls can go in. A lot of times an open table may not appear open, but it is. Never run into balls unless you need to, as you always can tie them up worse than they were before you hit them.
I find myself doing this sometimes. I need to remember that not all clusters need to be broken up. Sometimes you can pick them apart; make the right ball, and everything opens up. I think all of that relates to a big problem that I have when playing 14.1; I play too fast. I need to slow down and really think about the consequences of every shot I take. The problem is, it's exhausting to do that. So I often find myself mindlessly shooting balls.

DJKeys
02-26-2007, 08:35 PM
That is one of the things about 14.1, you have to re-evaluate the table after each and every shot unless you can play perfect pool, and few can do that. The amount of concentration needed cannot be overstated. Shots that are hangers in 9-ball look nearly impossible sometimes in straight pool. I have missed 18 inch almost straight-in shots because my concentration lapsed. Part of playing good 14.1 (I am average but improving) is being in physical shape and having the stamina to stay focused for a match that can last two or more hours.

Kevin
02-28-2007, 07:37 AM
I always seem to have a problem getting the pack to open up. It seems like I have to absolutely hammer the break shot to get the rack to open up at all. My table is in my basment, but I do have a de-humidifier down there. And I use Centennial Balls. I have a decent cloth on the table. It's supposed to be Simonis, but I don't see the Simonis name anywhere on it, so maybe it's not. Am I doing something wrong, or is there some equipment change I can make that will make a difference? I watch on videos, and the balls just seem to spread all over the table. I really want to play more straight pool, but it's very frustrating to feel like a have to hit all my break shots as hard as I can to get a decent spread. I would appreciate any input. Thanks in advance.

I wonder if you have enough angle on your break shots so the cueball still has decent speed? Too straight and you really need to whack the cue to have any energy left to separate balls well.

Two quick ideas for your equipment needs...

First, Capelle's Play your Best Straight Pool... he has good advice on really looking at the tangent line and where exactly you will hit the stack. It is much easier to keep the cueball from getting tied up if you take on the two outside balls with the cueball striking them rather full (glancing blows at speed lets the cueball get away from you uptable...). Hitting the pack in the "center of mass" (i.e. 3rd ball on the side) means you have to move effectively 8 or 9 balls with one little 6oz. cueball. Tons of other useful advice in the book as well, and in opening up the pack, these little details are the difference!

I also highly recommend accu-stats.com video by Grady Mathews Break Shots, Key Balls. Just watching how a good player discusses the time-honored break shots and demonstrates them, his intent and what line he intends the cue ball to follow and end up and the speed he uses is very useful. With a thinner angle on the break shot and taking on the outer balls, there is no need to really clobber the balls and risk missing or making clusters on the rail.

Getting any other videos of top players like Jim Rempe How to Run 100 Balls (Accu-stats.com), match tapes of Efren, Mike Siegel, John Schmidt etc. is almost as good as being there and seeing the best at work getting perfect position for the right angle to easily and safely nudge a cluster open and keep getting great shape on key balls and break shots. There is a stately flow and rhythm and orderliness to watching good players at work that tends to rub off, hopefully!

DJKeys
02-28-2007, 10:43 AM
I wonder if you have enough angle on your break shots so the cueball still has decent speed? Too straight and you really need to whack the cue to have any energy left to separate balls well.

Two quick ideas for your equipment needs...

First, Capelle's Play your Best Straight Pool... he has good advice on really looking at the tangent line and where exactly you will hit the stack. It is much easier to keep the cueball from getting tied up if you take on the two outside balls with the cueball striking them rather full (glancing blows at speed lets the cueball get away from you uptable...). Hitting the pack in the "center of mass" (i.e. 3rd ball on the side) means you have to move effectively 8 or 9 balls with one little 6oz. cueball. Tons of other useful advice in the book as well, and in opening up the pack, these little details are the difference!

I also highly recommend accu-stats.com video by Grady Mathews Break Shots, Key Balls. Just watching how a good player discusses the time-honored break shots and demonstrates them, his intent and what line he intends the cue ball to follow and end up and the speed he uses is very useful. With a thinner angle on the break shot and taking on the outer balls, there is no need to really clobber the balls and risk missing or making clusters on the rail.

Getting any other videos of top players like Jim Rempe How to Run 100 Balls (Accu-stats.com), match tapes of Efren, Mike Siegel, John Schmidt etc. is almost as good as being there and seeing the best at work getting perfect position for the right angle to easily and safely nudge a cluster open and keep getting great shape on key balls and break shots. There is a stately flow and rhythm and orderliness to watching good players at work that tends to rub off, hopefully!

These are all great suggestions. Jim Rempe's "How to Run a Rack in Straight Pool" is also invaluable as he talks out loud while he is running the racks. I have watched that video numerous times. Other great videos:

Ortmann vs. Rempe 2000 US Open (Ortman runs 129, Rempe 96)
Reyes vs. Soquet " ( Soquet with a picture perfect 120)
Sigel vs. Zuglan 1992 US Open (Sigel 150 and out)
Zuglan vs. Martin " (Zuglan runs 148)
Clash of the Titans Balsis vs. Crane 1966 US Open (Crane runs 150 and out)

Kevin
02-28-2007, 01:04 PM
These are all great suggestions. Jim Rempe's "How to Run a Rack in Straight Pool" is also invaluable as he talks out loud while he is running the racks. I have watched that video numerous times. Other great videos:

Ortmann vs. Rempe 2000 US Open (Ortman runs 129, Rempe 96)
Reyes vs. Soquet " ( Soquet with a picture perfect 120)
Sigel vs. Zuglan 1992 US Open (Sigel 150 and out)
Zuglan vs. Martin " (Zuglan runs 148)
Clash of the Titans Balsis vs. Crane 1966 US Open (Crane runs 150 and out)

I think with the Rempe "Player Review" tape from Accu-stats.com we mean the same video. The video "Clash of the Titans" is interesting, done from film, dark, hard to compare with modern lighting and camera angles, but the commentator is very excited! Very 1966, and a flashback to what pool used to be, perhaps.

Thanks for mentioning the other taped matches, I will be looking for them. Any other info on year or event to help the search?

Gerry
02-28-2007, 02:49 PM
I think with the Rempe "Player Review" tape from Accu-stats.com we mean the same video. The video "Clash of the Titans" is interesting, done from film, dark, hard to compare with modern lighting and camera angles, but the commentator is very excited! Very 1966, and a flashback to what pool used to be, perhaps.

Thanks for mentioning the other taped matches, I will be looking for them. Any other info on year or event to help the search?

YES, Rempe' player review is where I got the 4 commandments of straight pool I follow to a "T". It took me a while, but I was able to take all the info I learned over the years, and put it into 4 tenants I can remember while playing. This has simplified the game for me, and I don't get too flustered when nervous. I just go to the list in my head and know what to do.

Gerry

DJKeys
02-28-2007, 04:25 PM
I think with the Rempe "Player Review" tape from Accu-stats.com we mean the same video. The video "Clash of the Titans" is interesting, done from film, dark, hard to compare with modern lighting and camera angles, but the commentator is very excited! Very 1966, and a flashback to what pool used to be, perhaps.

Thanks for mentioning the other taped matches, I will be looking for them. Any other info on year or event to help the search?

Rempe has Three Tapes that are valuable:

Player reviewed match against Ginky San Souci

http://www.accu-stats.com/Qstore/Qstore.cgi?CMD=011&PROD=000601

And his two instructional tapes:

http://www.accu-stats.com/Qstore/Qstore.cgi?CMD=009&DEPT=000004&CAT=000007&BACK=A0007A1B0000004B1

I have all of these and have learned the most from How to Run a Rack in Straight Pool.

The Crane-Balsis tape is pretty bad audio quality, but the cameraman does a good job. You can see how much different the play was back then, slower cloth, shorter bridges, and a style of play where the racks had to be picked apart much more than today. I like that tape a lot and have seen it many times. Crane starts the run on a wrap around combination out the pack, and gets stuck a couple of times after a break and always finds some sort of combination to keep his run alive.

JLW
02-28-2007, 05:04 PM
I wonder if you have enough angle on your break shots so the cueball still has decent speed? Too straight and you really need to whack the cue to have any energy left to separate balls well.

Two quick ideas for your equipment needs...

First, Capelle's Play your Best Straight Pool... he has good advice on really looking at the tangent line and where exactly you will hit the stack. It is much easier to keep the cueball from getting tied up if you take on the two outside balls with the cueball striking them rather full (glancing blows at speed lets the cueball get away from you uptable...). Hitting the pack in the "center of mass" (i.e. 3rd ball on the side) means you have to move effectively 8 or 9 balls with one little 6oz. cueball. Tons of other useful advice in the book as well, and in opening up the pack, these little details are the difference!

I also highly recommend accu-stats.com video by Grady Mathews Break Shots, Key Balls. Just watching how a good player discusses the time-honored break shots and demonstrates them, his intent and what line he intends the cue ball to follow and end up and the speed he uses is very useful. With a thinner angle on the break shot and taking on the outer balls, there is no need to really clobber the balls and risk missing or making clusters on the rail.

Getting any other videos of top players like Jim Rempe How to Run 100 Balls (Accu-stats.com), match tapes of Efren, Mike Siegel, John Schmidt etc. is almost as good as being there and seeing the best at work getting perfect position for the right angle to easily and safely nudge a cluster open and keep getting great shape on key balls and break shots. There is a stately flow and rhythm and orderliness to watching good players at work that tends to rub off, hopefully!
Yeah, I have Rempe's instructional tapes on straight pool. And I also have the Sigel/Zuglan tape and the Crane/Balsis tape. I've thought about buying the Capelle book. I probably will in the near future. Thanks for your input.