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VIProfessor
05-31-2007, 07:35 AM
I was playing some straights last night, and I was on a 42-ball run and was playing perfectly--going through the racks the right way, landing perfect on the break balls and feeling like this was going to be the big 100-ball run. I got to the break ball, and noticed that the tangent line was taking me EXACTLY between the corner ball and the second ball, and the OB was close enough to the rack to allow for no adjustment with draw or follow to change where the cue ball would hit the rack (the cut angle, BTW, was just about a half ball hit). I tried anyway, however, and played with a little draw--big mistake. I hit the top part of that second ball and flew uptable to get frozen on the head rail.

How would the experts play such a break shot?

Irish634
05-31-2007, 07:50 AM
I am not an expert, but could you set this up on a CueTable?

Thanks,
Craig

selftaut
05-31-2007, 07:57 AM
High with a little inside is what I have seen most use on that shot, medium speed sends the cb to back rail then side rail and out to center table.

steev
05-31-2007, 07:58 AM
http://www.cruisesoft.com/break.jpg

this seems close.

-s

selftaut
05-31-2007, 08:09 AM
Thanks steev , if thats the shot then definately lots of follow to stretch the tangent line coming off the 10 ball to the back rail , some inside will bring it 2 rails and out to center table.

Blackjack
05-31-2007, 08:56 AM
High inside at about 11 o'clock - will cause the cue ball to whip to the bottom rail - out to the side rail and back to the center of the table.

eales
05-31-2007, 10:08 AM
Sorry, but I am confused. Wouldn't high-inside for this cut require hitting the cue ball closer to 1?

Jim Eales

VIProfessor
05-31-2007, 10:15 AM
Sorry if anyone got the wrong impression. The tangent line leads to the split between the HEAD corner ball and the second ball. I'll try to demonstrate on Wei. Hope it works.

Whoops! On the next post--the Wei button doesn't do what I thought it does. I'm off to master the cuetable attachment!

VIProfessor
05-31-2007, 10:31 AM
OK, let's see if I did it right.

START(
%AM4L7%BL7P8%CJ5O4%DL7N1%EM7P1%FK6P1%GK6N8%HM7N8%I L7O4%JK6M5
%KJ5P7%LJ5N2%MK6Q4%NJ5R0%OJ5M0%PY7M5%UO1M4%VY1M2%]M7M7%^M9M1
)END

As noted in the original post, I applied just a hint of draw, because I didn't dare play center ball, and I ended up frozen to the head rail. Could I have just played with stun follow, hoping to glance off the top of the second ball, or should I have just stroked it easier? Lord, I wish I was in a pool town where I could get these nuances of the game live from better players!

VIProfessor
05-31-2007, 10:33 AM
OK, let's see if I did it right.

START(
%AM4L7%BL7P8%CJ5O4%DL7N1%EM7P1%FK6P1%GK6N8%HM7N8%I L7O4%JK6M5
%KJ5P7%LJ5N2%MK6Q4%NJ5R0%OJ5M0%PY7M5%UO1M4%VY1M2%]M7M7%^M9M1
)END

As noted in the original post, I applied just a hint of draw, because I didn't dare play center ball, and I ended up frozen to the head rail. Could I have just played with stun follow, hoping to glance off the top of the second ball, or should I have just stroked it easier? Lord, I wish I was in a pool town where I could get these nuances of the game live from better players!

Edit: LOL! How did the 9-ball end up there??

3andstop
05-31-2007, 11:34 AM
I like a little inside with a sort of stun stroke. The inside will (at least the way I feel the shot) help prevent the cue ball from eating into the rack or taking the draw and rolling off the rack uptable faster.

JohnnyP
05-31-2007, 11:39 AM
Since a little draw got you to the head rail, why not experiment, and see how much it takes to come back to the center of the table?

Williebetmore
05-31-2007, 03:38 PM
VIP,
I have been told to hit this with a touch of left, and a touch of draw. The issue for you is that even a slight "touch of draw" will cause the cue ball to react VERY differently when the cue ball hits a ball with a lot of weight behind it. The amount of draw that bounces the cue ball to center table is ONLY SLIGHTLY different than the amount that takes the cue ball to it's death on the head rail. Your strike must be extremely precise. If you set up the shot 10 times and try to draw to the head rail, and 10 times to try to draw to the center; you will see that the 2 shots are painfully similar. The angle of the hit on the break shot also affects this (more angle = relatively more speed for whitey after contact) - even a slight difference in angle will yield remarkably different results.

In addition, if you hit the bottom of the top ball first; the results are quite different from when whitey hits the top of the second ball first. A hit that strikes both top and second balls simultaneously is also different. Do 10 racks of each of these 3 shots (mark table carefully for position of whitey, break ball, and racked balls) and you will be an expert - not that demanding for a pool fanatic such as yourself. Since you often cannot change whitey's path into the rack; you must become expert at predicting; though even the experts are often surprised. It is said that Gene Nagy was the best at the world in assessing these break shot issues - but I believe it is an art rather than a science - I could be wrong.

selftaut
05-31-2007, 08:05 PM
Sorry if anyone got the wrong impression. The tangent line leads to the split between the HEAD corner ball and the second ball. I'll try to demonstrate on Wei. Hope it works.

Whoops! On the next post--the Wei button doesn't do what I thought it does. I'm off to master the cuetable attachment!

OK , in that case I would use a tip of draw with a touch of outside , and probably a light speed to get left about a foot above the rack , should have a shot to either corners.

CreeDo
05-31-2007, 09:04 PM
It's hard to say. In that other thread it was mentioned that if the tangent line sends the cueball into the crack between 2 balls it may scratch (I think the phrase was "touch the crack and you'll scratch your ass" or something), and conventional wisdom is that when there's very little room between the break ball and rack, it's a good idea to draw. I think you made the right decision, you avoided the natural scratch and left yourself above the rack and probably near the center of the table. Less speed or a hair closer to center might have left you below the head string.

Actually, at least one well known player (was it fleming?) would always play shots like this with a LOT of speed, planning on sending the cueball up to the head rail and then bouncing back down towards the center. The more I think about that, the more I like it, because you almost can't hit it too hard and there's no natural scratch.

VIProfessor
05-31-2007, 10:20 PM
It's hard to say. In that other thread it was mentioned that if the tangent line sends the cueball into the crack between 2 balls it may scratch (I think the phrase was "touch the crack and you'll scratch your ass" or something), and conventional wisdom is that when there's very little room between the break ball and rack, it's a good idea to draw. I think you made the right decision, you avoided the natural scratch and left yourself above the rack and probably near the center of the table. Less speed or a hair closer to center might have left you below the head string.

Actually, at least one well known player (was it fleming?) would always play shots like this with a LOT of speed, planning on sending the cueball up to the head rail and then bouncing back down towards the center. The more I think about that, the more I like it, because you almost can't hit it too hard and there's no natural scratch.

I was thinking about that option today, and I like it! BTW, I took WBM's suggestion and practiced that break shot a few times, and I got good results with just a hair (even less than a touch) of draw. As long as you don't get stuck to the rack, you're fine.

This is why I love this forum. If you stay on this board and don't improve your game, something is definitely wrong!

Blackjack
06-01-2007, 04:58 AM
I was thinking about that option today, and I like it! BTW, I took WBM's suggestion and practiced that break shot a few times, and I got good results with just a hair (even less than a touch) of draw. As long as you don't get stuck to the rack, you're fine.

This is why I love this forum. If you stay on this board and don't improve your game, something is definitely wrong!

I also tried WBM's suggestion and added a bit of a snap to the stroke and the cue ball came to the side rail and out. Great advice, Willie! I love this forum!

Williebetmore
06-01-2007, 08:38 AM
... I took WBM's suggestion and practiced that break shot a few times, and I got good results with just a hair (even less than a touch) of draw.

VIP,
I'm glad someone else sees this the same way. It is a VERY SMALL difference; and it does not take but a very slight below center hit to get back away from the pack - any more than that (and we are talking only a millimeter lower on the cue ball) and there you find yourself back up on the head rail.

Having said that; I will also point out that I personally am opposed to the theory that you can draw strongly off the pack, back whitey up to the head rail and back out. I have rarely seen anyone get whitey out of the "kitchen" with this technique. I hope sjm will weigh in on this point - I believe the old school philosophy is correct in avoiding this type of play.

StraightPoolIU
06-01-2007, 01:21 PM
VIP,
I'm glad someone else sees this the same way. It is a VERY SMALL difference; and it does not take but a very slight below center hit to get back away from the pack - any more than that (and we are talking only a millimeter lower on the cue ball) and there you find yourself back up on the head rail.

Having said that; I will also point out that I personally am opposed to the theory that you can draw strongly off the pack, back whitey up to the head rail and back out. I have rarely seen anyone get whitey out of the "kitchen" with this technique. I hope sjm will weigh in on this point - I believe the old school philosophy is correct in avoiding this type of play.

Willie,

It's funny that you bring up that point. I was practicing the other night and that very situation came up. Like you and most others I also subscribe to the philosophy that drawing off the stack up to the head rail and back down is a fool's errand. However, when I was playing I hit the breakshot a little too hard and with a little too much draw and it did exactly that. Granted I did have fantastic shape after the breakshot (balls spread wide and whitey in the center of the table), but in my opinion it's far too unpredictable a shot to intend to play on a regular basis. In fact all the times I've tried to play that shot it hasn't worked out that way. What a silly game this can be.

Mike_Mason
06-01-2007, 06:43 PM
Funny that we're discussing probably the most desirable break shot position we could want...

Why there was a time when I could smack that almost like a 9-ball break...blast the rack open...and the cue ball would give a little hop and die in front of the foot spot...

Or I could blast it and draw the cue ball on a straight line to mid head rail and back down to center table...

And then I grew up...and now I would probably give a 20% attempt at my first option...give it a fair stroke and stun the cue ball to not travel much...should have a few shots to choose from...

Mike

Mike_Mason
06-01-2007, 06:55 PM
being bored with a typical high run...and with a long ash cigarette dangling from his lips...would whack the object ball into the corner pocket...and jump the cue ball into the center of the pack to spread the balls...wise guy...

VIProfessor
06-02-2007, 02:26 PM
Great posts and advice, folks! Since I got you on board, let me ask another break shot question. Which of the well known break shots give you the most trouble? For me, it's when the break ball is on or near the foot rail or the side rail and I'm sending the cue ball off the rail into the stack. I make the ball, but all too often I just find myself missing that blasted corner ball in one direction or the other. You all know the results of that! You miss the rack entirely or you end up ending your run with the cue stuck to the back of the pack. I honestly think its a psychological thing since I play the same shots as secondary break shots often and with precision. I suppose I just need to spend some quality time practicing my break shots in general and those shots in particular.

Thanks again for your input, and keep it coming!

pdcue
06-02-2007, 06:42 PM
Great posts and advice, folks! Since I got you on board, let me ask another break shot question. Which of the well known break shots give you the most trouble? For me, it's when the break ball is on or near the foot rail or the side rail and I'm sending the cue ball off the rail into the stack. I make the ball, but all too often I just find myself missing that blasted corner ball in one direction or the other. You all know the results of that! You miss the rack entirely or you end up ending your run with the cue stuck to the back of the pack. I honestly think its a psychological thing since I play the same shots as secondary break shots often and with precision. I suppose I just need to spend some quality time practicing my break shots in general and those shots in particular.

Thanks again for your input, and keep it coming!

Can I repeat your 'Great posts and advice', And add a 'good idea for
a thread' to you?

I have had similarly disapointing results on the off-the-rail brerak shots.
Often leaving the CB welded to the pack.
I've been working with a friend who, though a much better player
than I, is new to 14.1. We were watching the Dallas West tape<highly
recomended, BTW> and Dallas leaves a break off the foot rail. He
explains that on these shots you want to come into the rack at
a small angle - think glance off, not power thru.

I had mistakenly been thinking - thin cut brings you off the rail with
more speed. More speed equals better break.
Upon further review, it seems, the option that spreads the balls much
less, but leaves a shot, is much 'better' than the one that leaves
no shot.

Dale<expert in aproprition of other people's skills>

CreeDo
06-02-2007, 08:07 PM
There are really only a few break shots that I'd call 'standard'. I dunno if this is a standard one, but the one I hate most is the side rail break. You only use it when you screwed up. There's a fair chance of scratch. There's a fair chance of ending up in the kitchen. You have hit it pretty hard except from very steep missable angles... You often have to use some sidespin to control where it hits the stack and get a better result. Speed + sidespin + on the rail = pretty small, missable pocket.

A break I like that people are weirdly skeptical of is the side pocket break shot. Not the precise one seen in books where your OB is a bit above the head spot and the cueball is a bit below it... the one where the OB is 'straight in' the side and somewhat close to it, and the cueball is maybe in the kitchen. I find those can be hit really hard and are pretty easy to control. Supposedly there's a double chance of scratch there but I think you have to be pretty unlucky to do it.

PoolFool
06-02-2007, 10:01 PM
Something I picked up along the years which most people use as a rule of thumb. If the natural weight of the cue ball is going towards the corner pocket off that corner ball, it's ok to use draw. When the weight of the cue ball is driving more towards the center of the table, follow will do just fine. Medium strength on both shots will do fine.

alinco
06-04-2007, 05:09 PM
...How would the experts play such a break shot?
Hey Islander!

I've been studying just this type of situation very carefully the last few months. I haven't come to complete conclusions that I will share just yet since I still need to work things out. But I do have these thoughts to share:

1. Joe Tucker's break DVD discusses the 14.1 break shot a little bit. This is what got me started thinking about this.

2. You must be very aware of where the cue ball is contacting the pack. Especially the part of the ball (high/low/straight). I use this information to determine usage of follow, draw and speed.

3. An interesting way to test this is simpler than just setting up the break shot and hitting it several times. Just put the cue ball in the "ghost" position and shoot it soft to medium speed straight into the pack. This way your contact point is very accurate and you can see which way it goes. If you've never tried this, you'll be amazed at how little aiming difference results in completely opposite cue ball paths when you're shooting at crack of 2 balls!

4. I avoid break shots that look like the tangent line will go right between 2 balls. It's very hard to determine which it will hit first. Hit the top ball and you can scratch straight in the corner. Hit the bottom ball and...well you know what happens... kitchen. I'll set up for a different break shot if possible. If not, then I just completely chicken out and use a soft to medium speed. You might end your run but it'll be on your terms without a wide open table. Easier to play safe with a few balls loose and a close cue ball than a wide open 14 balls with the cue at the long end of the table. This is my answer to your original question.

5. Reading the tangent line is harder than people think when you're trying to be very accurate. Marking the table for ball positions is of course a must but use a very small mark. It's easy to be off by a quarter inch when you're placing a ball. It's also easy to misjudge where the 90 degrees is. I sometimes set up a marked break ball with no pack at all. Look at where you think you're cueball is going to go and then see if it really goes there. This works well when you put no draw or follow on so the cue path doesn't "bend". This practice will help you determine your pack ball contact allowing for better draw/follow/speed decisions.

And with all that said...take it for what you like...I'm just a 58 ball runner!

Andy

pdcue
06-04-2007, 10:56 PM
Ok alinco, sotp giving away my secrets.

To be brutaly honest, I hace not yet put much time into actual
practice. But have long felt that the start of understanding break shots
is to practice without-the-OB-breaks, much like what you described.

I guess I have more confidence in my ability to judge the CB contact
point. Maybe I will find it is more dificult than I thought.

IMHO - if the break ball is less than 6 inches from the pack, you should
be able to predict with good precision. Stay tuned.

To build a bit on your good idea, IMHO - dealing with clusters,
secondary break shots, is just as important. The same
shoot-the-CB-and-watch-what-happens aproach should give equally
good results.

I think most secondary breaks require a decision among three choices

1. glance off
2. power thru
3. pull back

1 and 2 are usually played with follow
3 is done with draw

Secondary break outs are, by nature, more comples than break shots.
I don't recall ever hearing anyone discuss a 'standard' secondary
break, but I feel there are such things, at least in concept.

Gaps, loose clusters, blocked paths, etc, etc. Many traps await
the unwary.

Dale (you-don't-NEED-a-break-ball-to-practice-break-shots) Pierce