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View Full Version : Effective Breakshots by Thorsten Hohmann at World 14.1 Championship 2007


cuetable
07-16-2007, 01:44 PM
At World 14.1 Championship 2007, Thorsten Hohmann did breakshots like this at least a dozen times. The CB always went staight back down the table right after the impact and spin to the right side afterwards. This technique will avoid any unlucky bumping from other balls. What a lethal weapon under his belt.

http://CueTable.com/P/?@3ANBv4BCYB3CCpA4DCYe4EFCe3FCxe4GBKP3HAMB3IAUe3JF bd4KDnP3LBjP3MEMO4NBJl3OBal2PLKL3UNBv3Ucxs2kLKL3kL mh3kFjA3kFBv2kGbl2kbNj3kRGG@

mosconiac
07-16-2007, 02:04 PM
You know, this very approach occured to me a while back. I found myself stuck on the end rail...yet again. Certain side of the rack break shots result in me either being stuck to the rack or sitting frozen to the end rail. I just can't find the sweet spot for that break.

I thought, why not just stroke it to ensure I don't stick to the rack and stroke it firmly enough such that I return to the middle of the table.

Then I heard Grady's words ringing in my ears that he doesn't much think of a 14.1 player that strokes the ball up and down the table...and I never tried it.

It may make the 14.1 purists reel in horror, but I just might have to play it next time I face that shot. It will ensure the rack is blown open too.

Jimmy M.
07-16-2007, 02:52 PM
Then I heard Grady's words ringing in my ears that he doesn't much think of a 14.1 player that strokes the ball up and down the table

He might have to start thinking a little more of a player who does that because one, in particular, just so happens to be the best 14.1 player out there right now. :)


You can hit that same shot, where the cue ball wants to go up table, with a *very small* amount of inside English (in addition to draw, of course) and it will usually prevent the cue ball from going up table. I had a friend show me that break shot (he's an old school straight pool player). I've experimented with it and now I use it whenever I have that angle and I want to hit the rack with some authority, but I don't want to lose the cue ball up table.

Bob Jewett
07-16-2007, 06:16 PM
He might have to start thinking a little more of a player who does that because one, in particular, just so happens to be the best 14.1 player out there right now. :) ...
Well, yes, but I think he scratched on the shot at least three times at the first revived NJ State championship at Comet Billiards to end long runs. (The scratches occurred when the hit was lower on the rack.) A major advantage of that style is that no ball is within six inches of any other ball after the break shot.

sjm
07-16-2007, 06:44 PM
No less an authority than Ray Martin always advocated against drawing hard enough to reach the back rail on the breakshot, for the simple reason that it will result in a scratch of the cue ball too often.

Thomas Engert stepped up to the table down about 143-120 against John Schmidt during the event just completed, and his scratch into the top corner off the draw-stroke break shot cost him the match.

Williebetmore
07-16-2007, 07:02 PM
I've seen the majority of the Accu-Stats 14.1 tapes, but I've never seen any player hit the break shots as hard as Hohmann and Immonen were doing in the Maryland qualifier. They were basically hitting the shots as hard as I hit my 9-ball break (I thought they might bring out their break cues for those shots). I also saw them hit several break shots at warp speed where the cue ball had to travel 3 rails before hitting the rack - I can't hit a 9-ball break shot as hard as they were hitting those object balls; the cue ball was still travelling faster than a traditional 14.1 break shot when it hit the rack.

Though the pockets were huge at that event; their style was DEFINITELY non-traditional, and they definitely missed some break shots as a result of the forcefulness of their strokes. I also saw a foul from an object ball jumping off the table on a secondary break shot struck at warp speed. It was an interesting style, which I have no desire (nor aptitude) to emulate. I doubt that there are many players who could successfully perform as well as they do using that particular style.

sjm
07-16-2007, 07:49 PM
What we have here is a prime example of the style of many of the Europeans, and maybe it's the right way, maybe it's the wrong way. It's not the "old school' way, and the risks it presents are obvious in impaired control of the cue ball off the rack.

Nonetheless, the risk must be measured against the beneift of doing a better job of spreading the balls, thereby leaving easier racks to run, and helping to produce some big runs.

The excellence of the Europeans, who, for the second straight year, produced three of the four semifinalist and both finalists, forces one to evaluate whether they've found a better way of approaching the play of the breakshot. Maybe they have, and maybe they haven't, but it's certainly an interesting topic for consideration.

Jimmy M.
07-16-2007, 09:38 PM
Well I wouldn't hit the break shot that way but it's a little difficult to argue with the guy who is running more balls than anyone else at the moment. He had something ridiculous like 4 consecutive 125-and-outs in the European 14.1 Championships, if I heard the commentary correctly from last year's World finals. Not to say it's right, but I'd have a difficult time arguing with him over the "correctness" of the shot. If you take his choice in break shots out of the equation, I think he plays a more classic style of straight pool than the other European players. Of course, I'm basing that on limited exposure to the European straight pool players.

berry
07-17-2007, 12:37 AM
my 2 cents:

I was talking to Niels Feijen on this subject and he used to hit the pack with rocket power and then clean up the table. Every now and then he would scratch but break building went good. He won 4 European Championships 14.1 in the last 6 years!!

Now he changed his style a little bit by hitting the pack now softly and making sure that he would not scratch. Now he had to puzzle a lot more and take more risk in "pealing the pack". Just every now and then he would not hit the pack perfect leaving him no shot or getting stuck in the pack leaving him no shot.

So both styles have a pro and a disadvantage, Niels will go back to hitting the pack HARD and keep more flow in his game. Taking the scratch every now as part of his style.

TheWizard
07-17-2007, 09:30 AM
I don't think that it really matters exactly how traditional or non-traditional, that a player's breakshot style/speed is, if it works for them, that's what matters, but all in all, Straight Pool is a rhythm and concentration game, it's mostly a case of being able to start running balls and find your rhythm and to stay in that rhythm, but without getting ahead of yourself or losing your concentration and focus :)

I have yet to have the oppertunity to compete at high level straight pool, but I would very much love to compete in the US Open Straight Pool champrionships in Nov this year, but I'll have to see how thins go over the next 2-3 months :)

Willie

mosconiac
07-19-2007, 10:45 AM
Well, yes, but I think he scratched on the shot at least three times at the first revived NJ State championship at Comet Billiards to end long runs.
Bob's comment raised a memory...Hohmann struggled with scratching on the opening break at Bob's 2007 DCC 14.1 competition. I remember two occasions where he blasted the stack and scratched (once in the side & once in the upper corner pocket). I was recording his attempts, but decided to erase them after he scratched.

Blackjack
07-19-2007, 11:00 AM
Bob's comment raised a memory...Hohmann struggled with scratching on the opening break at Bob's 2007 DCC 14.1 competition. I remember two occasions where he blasted the stack and scratched (once in the side & once in the upper corner pocket). I was recording his attempts, but decided to erase them after he scratched.

I kind of like the break shot that John Schmidt uses to start out that 112run at DCC ... he said that Leil Gay showed that to him. Its actually the perfect shot, similar to the side pocket break that Cowboy Jimmy Moore would use quite often.

Here is a link to a video of the shot I am referring to ...

John Schmidt 112 Ball Run at DCC - 2006 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qxca56PIqt8)

I also have the Accu-Stats version where John gives commentary on this run - great stuff!

Williebetmore
07-19-2007, 11:45 AM
I kind of like the break shot that John Schmidt uses to start out that 112run at DCC ...

Blackjack,
An interesting strategy involving this type of breakshot was conveyed to me by George Breedlove. GB is DEFINITELY not a straight pool fan or player (though a shotmaker extraordinaire). When he plays straight pool, he will always leave a ball in the middle of the table near the side pocket, until he is sure that he has a traditional break ball that can be preserved until the end of the rack. Only then will he take away the side pocket ball. Remember that these are great break shots with ball-in-hand; and it is usually fairly easy to craft an end of the rack sequence that ends with whitey in the rack area.

Like all "rules", this is one that often must be ignored; but the player that uses this principle will find that it often helps in those tough racks where you lose your break ball, or have trouble developing one. It is a principle that I always try to follow; though I have never heard an old-school player speak of it.

P.S. - The first time GB tried straight pool, on a super-tight Diamond with crazy cut pockets, using a crooked house cue; he ran 45 opposite handed from the opening break in his very first inning. In the second inning he ran 43 shooting one-handed, jacked up (cue not ever touching the table). I didn't ask him to play again for a very long time.

Blackjack
07-19-2007, 12:05 PM
Blackjack,
An interesting strategy involving this type of breakshot was conveyed to me by George Breedlove. GB is DEFINITELY not a straight pool fan or player (though a shotmaker extraordinaire). When he plays straight pool, he will always leave a ball in the middle of the table near the side pocket, until he is sure that he has a traditional break ball that can be preserved until the end of the rack. Only then will he take away the side pocket ball. Remember that these are great break shots with ball-in-hand; and it is usually fairly easy to craft an end of the rack sequence that ends with whitey in the rack area.

Like all "rules", this is one that often must be ignored; but the player that uses this principle will find that it often helps in those tough racks where you lose your break ball, or have trouble developing one. It is a principle that I always try to follow; though I have never heard an old-school player speak of it.

P.S. - The first time GB tried straight pool, on a super-tight Diamond with crazy cut pockets, using a crooked house cue; he ran 45 opposite handed from the opening break in his very first inning. In the second inning he ran 43 shooting one-handed, jacked up (cue not ever touching the table). I didn't ask him to play again for a very long time.

Exactly. Like I said, Jimmy Moore would do this all of the time. Usually, it was because he had a better angle to hit the two head balls in the stack, and he told me that he knew that he wasn't going to scratch. Who was I to argue with him? lol Cowboy sure did like the side pocket break shots, and he was a lot of fun to watch! (Unless like me, you were his victim in the electric chair)

That is definitely some strong shooting from GB.

cmssuits
07-19-2007, 12:29 PM
Is it possible table/equipment conditions dictate when is a good opportunity to play the break shot this way?

For example, if I knew I could break the pack wide open with my first hit on the stack, I may opt/gamble to hit the first break shot harder to spread the rack better initially. However, if the equipment was a bit sticky and the balls weren't opening up so great, I would never play the uptable breakshot, especially if the cloth is slow or damp.

The way I learned, you weren't supposed to play it up table for two reasons, you might scratch, or you could get stuck up table. The only guy I knew that did play it that way, said not to as well. lol

Donald

TheWizard
07-19-2007, 02:20 PM
Watever happened to using the break shot that Willie Mosconi had been known to use quite often?, where the break ball would be top-of-the-stack High, and then the CB would be a little lower down and he would play the BB in the side, and run the CB through into the side of the stack, hitting the middle 2 balls on the stack, to take away the scratch possibility and to therefore, to continue the run.

On another note, on the side pocket breaks that Jimmy Moore played, I have been fonder of these breaks shots, more so, than the traditional breaks because it is possible to set that shot up, leaving the BB is close to the side pocket, but still leave a solid angle to crack the stack wide open, but without requiring overdrive to do it :)

Are there any of you good foles that use either of these breakshots? :)

Willie

3andstop
07-19-2007, 02:41 PM
If I may offer my thoughts on the break. Not being a 100 ball runner and very happy to hit 50 :) I have found a softer more controlled break does a few things for me.

First it prevents me from having various small clusters all over the place to deal with.

Secondly it allows me to find a focus for a deeper concentration in terms of working the rack.

As far as where the break ball lies, I like a conventional corner pocket break but I much more prefer to carom into one of the two highest balls on the side of the stack rather than going lower.

For me, I can control the cue to the center much easier and with much less force. Sometimes when you're stuck with a lower break, even if you draw, the cue slides down and scratches as though you followed. If I do end up with only a lower break ball available, I try my best to make it a steep angle into the rack so I can put a smooth but more forceful follow stroke on the shot and make the cue eat into the stack.

A controlled break hitting one of the center balls in the stack and drawing to the side rail with the cue, although common, to me is scary also. It seems I never end up with much more than one shot in a side pocket if I'm lucky.

The break Blackjack showed JS shooting also is pretty scary to me. Not being the most accurate player in the world, I worry about glancing off the side and into the corner. I think if I had the choice on that type shot, I'd opt to come around 2 rails behind the balls.

I find this a very interesting topic. As I mentioned once before, it would be great to display high run figures for each poster to get a feel for how different level players approach different problems.

TheWizard
07-19-2007, 03:52 PM
I agree with you wholeheartedly, it's always great to discuss various shots and scenarios in Straight Pool :)

I remember reading in the "Straight Pool Bible" by Babe Cranfield, in which he mentions the break shot that the late great Ralph Greenleaf played, where he would hit the break shot so had, that the cueball would hit the stack, reverse back temporarily, and then run through what was left of the stack :)

What about break shots from behind the stack?... if there were 4 balls left on the table, but neither ot them were useable or movable position, for a traditional break shot, where whereabouts to the back of the stack, would you prefer the BB to be and what way would you play the shot, would you follow 1 or 3 rails, draw off the stack, whatever? :)

Willie

Bob Jewett
07-19-2007, 04:02 PM
... ... he said that Leil Gay showed that to him. ...
Leil used that shot 54 times at the DCC in 2006. The main things you have to worry about are putting the object ball in the right place and getting the right amount of follow on the cue ball. Adjust the follow/draw so the cue ball goes no more than two diamonds up or down the table from the head of the rack. It you can do that, a scratch is unlikely.

3andstop
07-19-2007, 05:11 PM
What about break shots from behind the stack?... if there were 4 balls left on the table, but neither ot them were useable or movable position, for a traditional break shot, where whereabouts to the back of the stack, would you prefer the BB to be and what way would you play the shot, would you follow 1 or 3 rails, draw off the stack, whatever? :)

Willie


Behind the rack isn't my favorite, but if I had to I'm about 50/50 with two options. The first is with the OB almost lying in the center behind the rack and about 2 to 3 ball widths low. With the cue even closer to the bottom rail I like to use inside english and go the three rails. The space between the OB and the rack affords the angle for the cue ball to contact the rack at about the second ball in on the last row.

I also don't mind the OB being an inch or so off the bottom rail, in line with about the second ball in and the cue being up closer to the rack. With a touch of below center hit and outside english, I try to contact the last two balls in the rack at the opposite end from the OB. The cue hits the long rail after contact and slides up toward the center.

Both of those seem to keep the cue out of trouble. But for me .... any behind the rack shot requires me to put much extra concentration on a real smoothy stroke. :)

TheWizard
07-20-2007, 05:39 AM
Generally I prefer to use inside English on the CB also, making the BB in the corner and going 3 rails and out to centre field :)

There is another behind the stack break shot that I use, if the BB and CB are both much closer to the stack, with a simple cut into the corner pocket, but hitting the with a regular stroke leaves the CB stuck to the stack, and so, instead I would tend to jack up and play a 1/2 jump shot, where I make the ball in the corner, but make the CB hop up, in a way that it slides across and comes down on top of the stack, opening them from the inside, it is a risky break shot to use, but if you play the CB to come down on the opposite half of the stack, (Playing the break shot from the right hand side of the stack, to bring the CB down on top of the left side of the stack) then you will have a better chance of the CB clearing the stack and having a few shots to choose from :)

Other than Torsten's break shot, what is the most unorthodox break shot you have seen and/or played in Straight Pool? :)

Willie

3andstop
07-20-2007, 06:21 AM
Willie, its funny you mentioned the hop into the middle of the stack shot. I like that also. I mentioned that in the other thread here while we talked about jumpsticks in 14.1 .

I guess one unorthodox break that I'm very comfortable using is when the break OB is lying very near the jaws of the pocket at the other end of the table. I like to put the cue ball parallel to it, the same distance off the end/short rail and by the other corner pocket.

I like to hit the shot with force follow outside english and have the cue hit the long rail and then kind of bend and dive into the top of the rack. For some reason I can just feel that shot well consistently.

But aside from the nutty breaks, I do like the standard side of the rack breaks, sort of high, and with the cue ball closer to the side rail than the OB by maybe 2 or 3 ball widths. Thats what I try to play for whenever I can.

These days I'm finding it very difficult to get in the zone for extended periods. It's very frustrating for me. Years ago, I can remember being so lost in that great place, running balls and bombs could be going off around me and I'd never know it.

Of course I am only playing 5 or 6 hrs a week ... LOL .. so for me, its not like it used to be. Not to mention finding a straight pool game is like finding hen's teeth. I walked into a pool room near by a few months ago and I felt like Eddie Felson seeing all the kids smashing balls, loud obnoxious music blaring, haha... I don't think I saw one table using all 15 balls. :)

The kids all play 9 ball so well, that I suppose if I did find a straight pool game it would be with some 17yr old hundred ball runner anyhow. :)

TheWizard
07-20-2007, 09:56 AM
Yes, funnily enough, I played that shot occasionally when I first started playing Straight Pool as a kid, but as I got better, I didn't play it that much and had forgotten about it, but then I saw Jimmy Rempe use that shot, when he played Oliver Ortman, in the 2000 US Open, which I had enjoyed watching as it was a kind of like refreshing the memory on other shots that I hadn't used in quite a while, and so, it's nice to be able to finally remember some of the shots, that used to be played as if it were second nature to me, especially if there is ever the situation, where that shot would come in handy :)

I know what you mean :) lol, I've had that same feeling myself a few times, when looking for a game of Straight Pool, but luckily enough, there's a few guys in the room, that will play anything, but although I'm 27, (Turned 27 last Friday) I still feel like I'm a much older player, because I prefer the older and tougher games like Straight Pool, One Pocket and Full Rack Banks, compared to all the 9ball and 10ball that's being played :)

I enjoy playing on the original type equipment, the slower heavier cloth, centennial balls, wooden racks, having the rack area marked out on the table, along with the spooting string, and a centre spot, in case of those very rare occasions where the CB has to go on the 50 yard line :)

Like you, I'm lucky to get to the pool room once a week, simply because the only place that has American tables worth playing on, is 15 mjiles from me, there are a few other rooms that are closer, but one room dowsn;t know what windows are, and the other has bar stools bolted into the floor at the corners of the tables, and so, anytime you're shooting from certain corner pockets, there's the problem of a bar stool messing up your stance and stroke :) lol, and so, as you can imagine, I avoid them like the plague :) lol

I would very much love to come over to the US and play straight pool, with some solid players, it wouldn't matter if they could run 100+ or not, just to be able to play would be great, as my high run is still 104 unfinished, and that's been from 5 years ago, as I haven't had much oppertunity to play Straight Pool since then :)

If you guys had the choice to play straight pool on either Simonis 860 or the heavier bar box type cloth, which would you choose and why? :)

Willie

Blackjack
07-20-2007, 10:30 AM
I'm pretty sure that I have posted this diagram before, but as it says, I learned this break shot by accident... lol

:p

http://i167.photobucket.com/albums/u151/Dsapolis/modified_side_break-1.jpg

Hey... whatever works!

Blackjack
07-20-2007, 10:30 AM
Double post.

3andstop
07-20-2007, 01:11 PM
Willie, on my table which is in my basement with a dehumidifier but no A/C, I opted for the 760 actually since I felt with the little use it had and relatively warm semi humid conditions it would mimic a worn 860 that the poolrooms use. ha... I dunno, but I like it anyway.

For me it seems easier to adapt to slower cloth than the other way around.

Blackjack, for me that shot would require one of two things, either an opponent who can't get through a rack, or 4 + bud lights. :)

TheWizard
07-20-2007, 04:49 PM
I prefer the slower cloth myself also, not because I find it easier to adapt or anything like that, but for me, I feel that Straight Pool is played on heavier cloth, but that's just my own views and I'm a more traditional style player :)

That's actually a very useful breakshot to have in your case, especially for those times when you least expect to need it :), nice one, Blackjack :)

Willie

Roy Steffensen
07-22-2007, 12:12 PM
I set up the "toastie-shot" 10 times today, smacked the balls with all my power and left-english draw and it worked as hell all 10 tries. Blowed up the pack and had wide open table each time.

Guess it will work different in a match-setting when I can't put the cueball and breakball where I want it, but for me it is definitely something to consider if I have the chance to play position for that shot.

Niels Feijen wrote on his website that he prefers the hard breaks aswell. He said that he might scratch 1 out of 10 breaks, but the other 9 times he will have wide open tables.

Btw: European 14-1 Championship this year: Niels Feijen - Thorsten Hohmann. Hohmann has the opening shot, Niels ran 114 +-, then scratched on the break. Hohmann ran 56+- then scratched on the break. Niels won the match... I think both scratched in the upper corner.