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Dan White
03-25-2007, 05:30 PM
I think most know that when breaking into your next rack, you really should know whether the cue ball will contact the lower portion, middle, or upper portion of a ball in the pack. Another consideration is whether to contact a single ball or try to contact the crotch between two balls as shown here:

http://CueTable.com/P/?@4ADvO4BCYB4CBJl4DFKe4ECYf3FCxe4GBKP3HAMB3IAUe3JF bd3KCxA3LBjP3MEMO4NKwm3OBal4PLLe4kLLe4kJJX4kFBy@

I seem to get a better spread when contacting the crotch area, but I don't know if this is just a function of my balls and cloth, of if it is universal. I know Blackjack has a "clean in, clean out" philosophy, which is to hit the 1 or the 2 ball head on.

Another point is whether it matters which ball is hit first. You can't plan on hitting the 1 and 2 at exactly the same time, so I wonder what the difference is in glancing off the 1 and into the 2, and vice versa.

I don't know whether some of this stuff really matters or not, but I figure with the experience in this group there must be some good opinions.

thanks,
dwhite

pollux
03-25-2007, 05:53 PM
i don't think you're going to get a good spread, since the 1-ball isn't touching either the 5 or the 7..... :p

as far as your real question goes, i always seem to get stuck when i hit a ball straight on and scratch when it glances off of a few balls.

Dan White
03-25-2007, 08:53 PM
i don't think you're going to get a good spread, since the 1-ball isn't touching either the 5 or the 7..... :p

as far as your real question goes, i always seem to get stuck when i hit a ball straight on and scratch when it glances off of a few balls.

Ha Ha, eagle-eye. I had to rearrange the rack because I wanted the 1,2,3 next to each other.

As for the other part, I can't remember the last time I got stuck against the pack on a break shot. You really have to know which part of a ball in the pack the cue ball is going to contact, and go from there.

dwhite

3andstop
03-25-2007, 10:01 PM
Sometimes I see those shots (depending on exactly where I envision the contact) as avoiding getting stuck by using a touch of inside english with enough below center to be sliding in and not actually drawing in. It almost pops the cue off the rack and settles in just short of reaching center table and on the same side as where I broke. Not much more than a foot or so cue ball movement. (not a great explanation, I know) :(

pdcue
03-26-2007, 04:42 AM
I think most know that when breaking into your next rack, you really should know whether the cue ball will contact the lower portion, middle, or upper portion of a ball in the pack. Another consideration is whether to contact a single ball or try to contact the crotch between two balls as shown here:

http://CueTable.com/P/?@4ADvO4BCYB4CBJl4DFKe4ECYf3FCxe4GBKP3HAMB3IAUe3JF bd3KCxA3LBjP3MEMO4NKwm3OBal4PLLe4kLLe4kJJX4kFBy@

I seem to get a better spread when contacting the crotch area, but I don't know if this is just a function of my balls and cloth, of if it is universal. I know Blackjack has a "clean in, clean out" philosophy, which is to hit the 1 or the 2 ball head on.

Another point is whether it matters which ball is hit first. You can't plan on hitting the 1 and 2 at exactly the same time, so I wonder what the difference is in glancing off the 1 and into the 2, and vice versa.

I don't know whether some of this stuff really matters or not, but I figure with the experience in this group there must be some good opinions.

thanks,
dwhite

I hope this isn't belaboring the obvious, but it depends on where the break ball is.

Imagine 3 different BBs in three positions relative to the rack
so that you could hit exactly the same spot off all three.

The CB action, and resulting spread, varies quite a bit.
I also feel, tho can't suport with examples yet, that the farther
the BB is from the rack, the more significant the variation of results.

In my more ambitious moments I think about devoting a week to
just setting up BBs and hitting the rack from every conceivable
angle

Dale

bruin70
03-26-2007, 05:40 AM
at this angle, i'd blow the rack to smithereens....and i've had equal success with both draw and follow, whatever my mood.

i think the angle looks too steep to worry about what part of the rack i'll get into. if the line to the ob was parallel to the side rail, i'd be more inclined to think about how i break. if the cb hits the end part of the rack, i use follow...if it hits the meat, i use draw. the 5 o'clock draw has never given me a problem as it goes straight to the back rail, off to the side and back out to the center of the table.

dmgwalsh
03-26-2007, 09:23 AM
I've become a little more curious about this lately,too.

Regarding side of the rack breaks:
In the past I had been taking Sigel's advice and using low if the line from the cue ball to the break ball was straight or cue ball was towards the center of the table and using high if the cue ball was towards the rail from a straight line to the object ball.

I am wondering if some of the better players could chime in on this. You see a lot of them in videos going up and figuring out where the tangent line is going to hit. Based on this, many of them know what they want to do.

Are they trying to alter where on the rack they will hit, by using high or low to get a desired result??

Are they using high, low, right or left to affect the way the cue ball reacts once it hits wherever the tangent line is sending the cue ball?

Is it a combination of both of these ideas? (Sometimes because of a thin hit or proximity to the rack, it would be hard to change where on the rack the cue ball hits)

Can we come up with some general concepts as to what to do if the cue ball hits (a) center of ball, (b) top of ball, (c) crotch between balls, (d) bottom of ball? Might it vary depending upon which of the balls is being contacted, i.e. high or low or middle of rack??

I was trying to fool around with some of this stuff on the table Saturday, but couldn't come up with consistent results.

I'm sure some of the better players have been down this road. Any hints?

Blackjack
03-26-2007, 10:21 AM
The thing about break shots is that no two are exactly the same. Dale pointed out something vey important - and that is that the position of the cue ball is just as important as the position of the break ball.

In your diagram, you have the cue ball going into the gap between the 1 and the 2. I don't like hitting two balls at once. I like to know EXACTLY which ball I am going to contact and WHERE I am going to make contact.

This rack will disperse differently if you make contact with the 1 instead of the 2. If you choose to make contact with the 2, then you will get different results if you hit the ball high than if you were to hit it low - and you will get different results if you use draw instead of follow. Remember - that break ball can be low on the stack, - in this diagram the 14 sits a shade low - but as the angle of the shot increases (in this diagram - inch the cue ball closer to the rail) - as this angle gets more severe, the cue ball will contact the stack higher - therefore putting you on the 2 ball instead of the 1. Knowing this, you can plan for a steeper angle on your break shot. I like doing this because I like contacting the second ball in the stack - by adjusting the shot angle - I can stay on the second ball.

It is very similar to this diagram -

http://i167.photobucket.com/albums/u151/Dsapolis/Break_Angle.jpg

I always use the rule of "neat in - neat out". That means that if I had this break shot, I would have the cue ball contact only one ball (either the 1 or the 2 ball) and then get my cue ball free. I do not want my cue ball to get in trouble. I would rather miss the break ball than to get kicked into a scratch or stuck against or behind something after pocketing it. I can accept a miss more easily that doing something careless that forces me into playing safe or scratching due to being reckless.

What I would do with this break shot

I have a choice of either drawing into the 2 ball, or follwing into the 1 ball. I don't like drawing the ball at this angle on any table. The follow is much more likely to spread the balls - and for those that have seen me call my next break ball out of the stack - I would probably have the 11 sitting pretty on the other side of the triangle when I am done with this shot. Yes, I can do this and I will get it on tape to prove it - its all about the speed of the shot and WHERE you contact the ball. Smashing it to smithereens (not picking on you Bruin) is okay too, as long as you don't mind fiddly-farting with trying to manufacture a break ball on your next 13 shots.

Kevin
03-26-2007, 11:18 AM
I hope this isn't belaboring the obvious, but it depends on where the break ball is.

Imagine 3 different BBs in three positions relative to the rack
so that you could hit exactly the same spot off all three.

The CB action, and resulting spread, varies quite a bit.
I also feel, tho can't suport with examples yet, that the farther
the BB is from the rack, the more significant the variation of results.

In my more ambitious moments I think about devoting a week to
just setting up BBs and hitting the rack from every conceivable
angle

Dale

Absolutely. But this has more to do with fundamental skills perhaps than the game itself. If only every one of us could hit the cueball exactly where we think we are hitting it, versus where we really are. (Jerry Briesath Rule #1, Whitey Doesn't Lie) Can you (are you willing to practice?) stun the cueball from the object ball which hits center pocket every time? And stun it along that line at all speeds? (Cue lamentation: not me, not me well enough, hints of high/low/side creep in, especially at speed or when nervous on marginal break shots sure to splatter the stack).

The further away the break ball is from the cue and pocket and stack, the greater time these little things (of critical importance) have to influence matters.

If I were to formulate a general rule on break shots, less-skilled players should focus generally on closer to the rack break shots, so the contact point is less variable and can be repeated and learned from. Players with greater experience/control can play more confidently with the break ball further from the rack, perhaps even with break ball spotted on the head spot.:eek:

RE: spending that week on practice, consider this drill: Varying your speed of stroke and high/low to "reliably" try and hit the balls in this layout. Could be a week well spent. (Pretending those balls are in the stack, but actually trying to hit the numbered 1-12 balls located near the rails). Just an idea to help develop the "touch" to accurately predict the cueball's future.

http://CueTable.com/P/?@3AbFj3BaxR3CayC3Dayd3EbAG3FbAo3GbBR3HbCF3Iadh3JT Yh3KNEe3LHQe4MDnG4NKwm4OCgq4PLLe4kLLe4kJJX4kFBy@

Tin Man
03-26-2007, 11:19 AM
I used to get stuck on the pack on draw shot break shots sometimes. I would be so afraid of drawing the rock all of the way to the endrail that I would try to just use a slightly below center hit very firm to pull back one or two inches. Once in a while, I would stop dead and feel like an idiot.

I learned from a saavy player another way to play it- go ahead and use a solid draw stroke, drawing the rock all of the way to the endrail and back toward the middle of the table (as long as you know that you're not going toward a corner pocket). You can let your stroke out, make sure that you won't get stuck, and be rebounding toward the object balls, not away from them.

It may sound a little reckless, but it has worked well for me when the balls line up right.

Kevin
03-26-2007, 11:38 AM
at this angle, i'd blow the rack to smithereens....and i've had equal success with both draw and follow, whatever my mood.

i think the angle looks too steep to worry about what part of the rack i'll get into. if the line to the ob was parallel to the side rail, i'd be more inclined to think about how i break. if the cb hits the end part of the rack, i use follow...if it hits the meat, i use draw. the 5 o'clock draw has never given me a problem as it goes straight to the back rail, off to the side and back out to the center of the table.

Sounds to me like you are an advocate of the power break shot, Pat Fleming style, who prefers to aggressively open things up early. I deduce this from Grady Mathew's comments in his Accu-Stats 14-1 instructional "Break Shots, Key Balls" video, well worth the price just to see the proper speed and angle used to crack the rack professionally with control and a view toward your next likely break shots. It isn't pot luck with pro's, they know where the next shot is likely to be located.

http://www.accu-stats.com/Qstore/Qstore.cgi?CMD=011&PROD=000802

bruin70
03-26-2007, 12:46 PM
Sounds to me like you are an advocate of the power break shot, Pat Fleming style,

http://www.accu-stats.com/Qstore/Qstore.cgi?CMD=011&PROD=000802

actually,,,far from it :) i miss more when i hit hard. i just want to make sure my cb is in the open, and i have better success with this than any other. hitting hard just assures me the cb will come back off the back rail. i've been stuck back there too many times to shoot otherwise.

Kevin
03-26-2007, 02:12 PM
Regarding side of the rack breaks:

You see a lot of them in videos going up and figuring out where the tangent line is going to hit. Based on this, many of them know what they want to do.

Are they trying to alter where on the rack they will hit, by using high or low to get a desired result?? /QUOTE]

Depends on the angle and distance. Note that thin angles suggest higher cueball speeds into the rack, thicker demands more whack to free the cue ball. This is art not science. Thicker angles of the 10 to 15 degree variety offer greater cueball control, but less power. Balance.

As Bob Jewett and Bob Byrne or David Alciatore or other like-minded folks have pointed out, when you are hitting at a half-ball angle smaller variation is likely which is useful in all games and carom games especially. Accurately judging this key shot is a game-changer.

But you simply MUST MAKE the break ball, or all is in vain, you can't win from the bottom of the pocket scratching or missing the shot.

[QUOTE=dmgwalsh]Are they using high, low, right or left to affect the way the cue ball reacts once it hits wherever the tangent line is sending the cue ball?

Is it a combination of both of these ideas? (Sometimes because of a thin hit or proximity to the rack, it would be hard to change where on the rack the cue ball hits)

It must be the balancing act between both of those ideas. If you can't realistically change the angle of attack into the balls, you have two choices, burrow into the balls with a thin hit and speed and follow and hope to spring free on the other side like Mizerak, or, draw away and to the side with maybe or not a touch of spin perhaps off a rail towards center to maximize next shot choices on the other side of the rack. What can YOU do/envision as likely?

The key thing is your personal judgment of what is likely to happen if you do X and your expected next choices likely Y can never be removed from the game, these factors are based on your skill level and ability to make good on those expectations, and result in the art that good pool is made from. Yo baby, it is your stroke and possibilities you can do see and realistically make happen. Not everybody can do what you are sure you can do, and some can consistently do more than you can do.

Your brain automatically deduces the likely future layout if you let it. Don't fight nature, work with it. The perfect shot percolates upward and is known inside you already, let it out, if you believe it will work and the time is ripe.

Can we come up with some general concepts as to what to do if the cue ball hits (a) center of ball, (b) top of ball, (c) crotch between balls, (d) bottom of ball? Might it vary depending upon which of the balls is being contacted, i.e. high or low or middle of rack??

Absolutely, we can and we should, in general. But there are three variables cited and a fourth, specifically what angle the cue ball is heading into the rack.

There are big effects and small effects, but I suggest the fourth input, the angle the cueball is heading into the rack with either follow or draw, is of greatest importance.

If cueball hits the second from last ball on the lower end and is angled towards the center foot diamond, with anything less than trick-shot force follow speed, it cannot scratch in the near foot pocket, nor scratch in the forward pocket, there are too many balls in the way. It is a safe break and can be hit with confidence and rack-spreading speed.

If the cue is center table, glancing 30 degrees off the side of the rack with speed towards the foot of the table, bad scratches can be foreseen. Bounce hard from the high side, follow forward and hook to the foot, scratch. Natural.

Thin hits excessive speed or spin from the top of the rack often result in !unforeseen! scratches bottom, side, or 3 or 4 railer scratches as well. I joke on unforeseen, letting whitey loose is asking for disaster.

Dan White
03-26-2007, 04:02 PM
I learned from a saavy player another way to play it- go ahead and use a solid draw stroke, drawing the rock all of the way to the endrail and back toward the middle of the table (as long as you know that you're not going toward a corner pocket). You can let your stroke out, make sure that you won't get stuck, and be rebounding toward the object balls, not away from them.


This sounds like the shot Bruin likes. I've watched Hohmann do this as well, except his cue ball draws to the head of the table, 2 rails, and all the way back down to the foot end of the table where the balls are.

dwhite

Dan White
03-26-2007, 04:21 PM
The thing about break shots is that no two are exactly the same. Dale pointed out something vey important - and that is that the position of the cue ball is just as important as the position of the break ball.

I left that out because it seemed there was enough on the plate already. I know you like hitting one ball instead of two, but do you not find that you can get a better spread by hitting two balls instead of one, all things being equal?

Remember - that break ball can be low on the stack, - in this diagram the 14 sits a shade low - but as the angle of the shot increases (in this diagram - inch the cue ball closer to the rail) - as this angle gets more severe, the cue ball will contact the stack higher - therefore putting you on the 2 ball instead of the 1. Knowing this, you can plan for a steeper angle on your break shot. I like doing this because I like contacting the second ball in the stack - by adjusting the shot angle - I can stay on the second ball.

That's very interesting! I hadn't considered the idea of changing contact point by changing cue ball angle. I don't understand why the angle would change, since the contact point on the object ball (and the tangent line) is the same for any angle, except for a minor difference due to throw. I think throw is the most for 1/2 ball hits, and least for full or thin cuts. Is this the reason your contact point changes? I'm surprised it changes that much.

StraightPoolIU
03-26-2007, 06:58 PM
This sounds like the shot Bruin likes. I've watched Hohmann do this as well, except his cue ball draws to the head of the table, 2 rails, and all the way back down to the foot end of the table where the balls are.

dwhite

If he does that I find it very interesting. I've always heard that hitting the breakshot with a hard draw stroke and playing to draw it back to the headrail and back down was one of the games biggest no no's. I believe Williebetmore asked Danny Diliberto about this very thing one time, and if I remember his response was "Yea it's ok to do that when you stop liking money." Also, I've never seen a pro do it on any accu-stats tapes. Of course if you're Thorsten Hohmann I think it's your perogitive to invent your own strategies.

Dan White
03-26-2007, 07:40 PM
If he does that I find it very interesting. I've always heard that hitting the breakshot with a hard draw stroke and playing to draw it back to the headrail and back down was one of the games biggest no no's. I believe Williebetmore asked Danny Diliberto about this very thing one time, and if I remember his response was "Yea it's ok to do that when you stop liking money." Also, I've never seen a pro do it on any accu-stats tapes. Of course if you're Thorsten Hohmann I think it's your perogitive to invent your own strategies.

Well he looks like he works out, too. A big draw shot for him might be well within control, whereas for me and my pencil arms would be like a 9 ball break shot!

He definitely did do this. I saw it firsthand at the NJ State Championships (Jack Colavita Memorial) a few years ago. I'm pretty sure that was the year Bob Jewett attended, so he might have seen it as well. I can't tell you how many times he used this break, though.

dwhite

dmgwalsh
03-27-2007, 02:53 AM
"but as the angle of the shot increases (in this diagram - inch the cue ball closer to the rail) - as this angle gets more severe, the cue ball will contact the stack higher" Blackjack


That's very interesting! I hadn't considered the idea of changing contact point by changing cue ball angle. I don't understand why the angle would change, since the contact point on the object ball (and the tangent line) is the same for any angle, except for a minor difference due to throw. I think throw is the most for 1/2 ball hits, and least for full or thin cuts. Is this the reason your contact point changes? I'm surprised it changes that much.[/QUOTE]

I was wondering the same thing. Once the object ball is sitting there, the contact point should be the same wherever the cue ball would be. The tangent line and consequent point of contact should be the same, too, regardless of the angle coming off the cue ball. What am I not understanding??:confused:

pdcue
03-27-2007, 03:05 AM
If he does that I find it very interesting. I've always heard that hitting the breakshot with a hard draw stroke and playing to draw it back to the headrail and back down was one of the games biggest no no's. I believe Williebetmore asked Danny Diliberto about this very thing one time, and if I remember his response was "Yea it's ok to do that when you stop liking money." Also, I've never seen a pro do it on any accu-stats tapes. Of course if you're Thorsten Hohmann I think it's your perogitive to invent your own strategies.

Dallas West, great 14.1 player and as good an all-round player
as ever punched a ball, played this shot to near perfection.

Dale

bruin70
03-27-2007, 05:22 AM
If he does that I find it very interesting. I've always heard that hitting the breakshot with a hard draw stroke and playing to draw it back to the headrail and back down was one of the games biggest no no's..

the drawbacks are obvious, but i've seen varner do it. i think what it is is that AT THAT MOMENT, it feels like the right thing to do. i have never encountered a problem with this shot, using 5 o'clock draw, never coming close to scratching in either pocket, as it ALWAYS takes the following path......

i can think of a couple of reasons why,,,

1...the distance from cb to ob was too short, and i didn't feel i could get enough power on a follow shot for the cb to go through the rack,,,and felt the cb might get buried, OR WORSE, the cb sliding off the pack and feebly rolling into a pocket scratch.

2...i'm not good at controlling the cb wherein i power the shot yet control the cb as it bounces off the rack. the break into the meat of the rack is not the same as my break into the head ball, where it doesn't take muscle get a nice spread and yet still control the cb.

3...so essentially, i have to ixne the follow shot in favor of the power draw where i can max the power to the meat of the rack, and at least have some semblance of control over the cb as it follows the path in the diagram.

it's just me understanding what my limits are.

lfigueroa
03-28-2007, 06:05 AM
This sounds like the shot Bruin likes. I've watched Hohmann do this as well, except his cue ball draws to the head of the table, 2 rails, and all the way back down to the foot end of the table where the balls are.

dwhite


I imagine he only does this when he has a shallow angle into the rack...

Lou Figueroa
just guessing

lfigueroa
03-28-2007, 06:10 AM
I left that out because it seemed there was enough on the plate already. I know you like hitting one ball instead of two, but do you not find that you can get a better spread by hitting two balls instead of one, all things being equal?



That's very interesting! I hadn't considered the idea of changing contact point by changing cue ball angle. I don't understand why the angle would change, since the contact point on the object ball (and the tangent line) is the same for any angle, except for a minor difference due to throw. I think throw is the most for 1/2 ball hits, and least for full or thin cuts. Is this the reason your contact point changes? I'm surprised it changes that much.


On this shot you can do a lot of different things just by controlling your stroke speed. Heck, with the right power follow stroke you could easily hit the three, have the cue ball back up and squat mid-table (or, if hit less than ideally, go one rail or straight into the side pocket :-)

I think using the right stroke speed and hit on the cue ball is part of becoming a better straight pool player. The same applies to going into clusters or secondary break shots. How you hit the shot and what stroke speed you use changes everything, often by a lot.

Lou Figueroa

3andstop
03-28-2007, 02:02 PM
I think its worth a quick experiment. Its all good if it works for you. As I mentioned, I like in certain angle situations very similar to what is being discussed, to use a touch of inside draw. It helps me control the amount the cue comes back.

Also, on a complete unrelated side note to the draw, the inside english helps IMO prevent the break shot over tensing syndrome that can result in the over application of outside english which over spins the shot to the side rail.

Dan White
03-28-2007, 09:12 PM
I imagine he only does this when he has a shallow angle into the rack...

Lou Figueroa
just guessing

I couldn't say as I don't remember the orientation of the balls. I do remember that the rack splattered open pretty well, though.

dwhite

Dan White
03-28-2007, 09:20 PM
On this shot you can do a lot of different things just by controlling your stroke speed. Heck, with the right power follow stroke you could easily hit the three, have the cue ball back up and squat mid-table (or, if hit less than ideally, go one rail or straight into the side pocket :-)

I think using the right stroke speed and hit on the cue ball is part of becoming a better straight pool player. The same applies to going into clusters or secondary break shots. How you hit the shot and what stroke speed you use changes everything, often by a lot.

Lou Figueroa

I don't see how I could make the cue ball contact the 3 with follow, Lou. :confused: Here is the diagram again,

http://CueTable.com/P/?@4ADvO4BCYB4CBJl4DFKe4ECYf3FCxe4GBKP3HAMB3IAUe3JF bd3KCxA3LBjP3MEMO4NKwm3OBal4PLLe4kLLe4kJJX4kFBy@

Let's say as a ground rule that the 1/2 crotch is the tangent line. Now I could cheat the corner pocket a little and get the cue ball to come higher on the 2, but how can I get the cue ball to come back away from the tangent line with follow? Unless you are jumping the cueball, or something weird, I don't understand.

If you asked me how to contact the 3, my only hope would be a very soft hit with tons of draw.

dwhite

lfigueroa
03-29-2007, 05:27 AM
I don't see how I could make the cue ball contact the 3 with follow, Lou. :confused: Here is the diagram again,

http://CueTable.com/P/?@4ADvO4BCYB4CBJl4DFKe4ECYf3FCxe4GBKP3HAMB3IAUe3JF bd3KCxA3LBjP3MEMO4NKwm3OBal4PLLe4kLLe4kJJX4kFBy@

Let's say as a ground rule that the 1/2 crotch is the tangent line. Now I could cheat the corner pocket a little and get the cue ball to come higher on the 2, but how can I get the cue ball to come back away from the tangent line with follow? Unless you are jumping the cueball, or something weird, I don't understand.

If you asked me how to contact the 3, my only hope would be a very soft hit with tons of draw.

dwhite


OK, you're right, Dan. The 14 is a little lower than I first thought. I guess I was thinking it was something more like this:

http://CueTable.com/P/?@4ANia4BCYB3CCpA4DCYe4EFCe3FCxe4GBKP3HAMB3IAUe3JF bd4KDnP3LBjP3MEMO4NBJl3OBal4PNHg@

Lou Figueroa
Wei Table impaired :-)

Williebetmore
03-29-2007, 09:31 AM
...playing to draw it back to the headrail and back down was one of the games biggest no no's. I believe Williebetmore asked Danny Diliberto about this very thing one time, and if I remember his response was "Yea it's ok to do that when you stop liking money." Also, I've never seen a pro do it on any accu-stats tapes. .

SP,
I will admit that I always thought that there might be a situation where this could be a viable option - but I no longer believe it. A true old-schooler will examine the rack and object ball; and will be able to come up with a stroke that will keep whitey on the foot half of the table. If the player doesn't know how to do this, then he should hit away as best he can.

Remember that the difference between a semi-stun hit (that will leave whitey center table) and a hard draw (that brings whitey back into the kitchen) may be a difference of a single millimeter in contact point on whitey. With a forceful hit these mistakes may be amplified, and many of these forceful draws may be MISTAKES (you would have to ask the player shooting).

Having said that, I watched Niels performance; and can honestly say that I thought those draws back into the kitchen were not good shots (did any make it back out of the kitchen???....if they did, it was not by much) - leaving him much tougher shots than most players would like. He was very lucky to have easy recovery shots from his position downtable...such shots are often NOT available when whitey is sitting in the kitchen. Surely there are NO straight poolers who prefer a 8 or 9 foot shot out of the kitchen to a 3 or 4 foot shot from center table. Side pocket hangers are easy from either place; and corner pocket shots are often available from center table; but obstructed if you are in the kitchen. Even the monster pro's will have trouble coming off the stack, drawing all the way back to the head rail, and then getting whitey to come back out of the kitchen (remember that even though it looks dramatic, a LOT of the force of the breakshot is absorbed by the pack, and I have rarely seen the cueball escape it's usual fate "in the kitchen").

I fail to see any advantage in this type of break shot (count me "convinced by Danny D."). I also will refuse to critcize a player who likes it (Niels is a LOT better than me), but I will not attempt to emulate that particular style. I like the style of using as close to center ball as possible, with as little force as possible, with as little cueball movement as possible - these principles are sound, not just for regular play, but for the break shot as well. All of these things will help minimize risk, and maximize chances of success..........oh yes, also I will keep practicing my stroke until I can pocket balls like Niels - he's a freaking machine.