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Skess
08-23-2007, 06:35 AM
I was watching the Holman/Hopkins match on Propool and noticed (I think) that Holman would change the english on his breakshot depending on how the 15th ball was placed. As the 15th ball moved towards the bottom rail, he played it differently.

My questions is: what english do you use and why on the following breakshots?

I've experimented with different things, but don't think I've found the right one yet.



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I've been setting up breakshots and running as far as I can. I managed one run of 32, but mostly end up in the teens. I typically make the break ball, but don't get good first shots. That's why I'm asking.

Blackjack
08-23-2007, 08:01 AM
This quote comes directly from an older post by Danny Harriman, I believe that it applies to what you are asking.

Remember that if the fifteenth ball and or the 'break ball' is close to the rack we draw the cue ball, if the breakshot ball and the rack have distance (more than three ball's width) then we should address the cue ball with follow, there are a few exception's but this will help you not be so worried about scratching off of the rack and increase your high run average.

In the two diagrams you show, the balls are high and low. The low ball should be pocketed with inside draw, the other diagrammed shot can be hit with either stun or follow (I prefer following that ball and going 2 rails) - if you follow that shot with the ball that is close to the bottom of the rack, you will probably scratch.

It is also important to know exactly where you are making contact with the stack. I always go back to the rule "neat in, neat out" - which means that when pocketing the break ball, I try to contact one ball in the stack and get my cue ball out of danger.

3andstop
08-23-2007, 08:31 AM
Far be it from me to disagree with your methods :) but I would like to hear your thoughts on how I approach these type shots.

The general rule of thumb for me is I follow when the cue ball is nearer the rail and draw when its in the opposite position.

In these diagrams where they are parallel to the rail, I would tend to follow with the ball that is lower because I could "rip" through the corner balls.

On the other hand, I would avoid following into interior balls in the second diagram because you run the risk of glancing off them and scratching. I would rather hit this shot with a tad of inside draw to hop off the interior balls.

thanks,

Blackjack
08-23-2007, 08:52 AM
Far be it from me to disagree with your methods :) but I would like to hear your thoughts on how I approach these type shots.

The general rule of thumb for me is I follow when the cue ball is nearer the rail and draw when its in the opposite position.

In these diagrams where they are parallel to the rail, I would tend to follow with the ball that is lower because I could "rip" through the corner balls.

On the other hand, I would avoid following into interior balls in the second diagram because you run the risk of glancing off them and scratching. I would rather hit this shot with a tad of inside draw to hop off the interior balls.

thanks,

I think it comes down to a matter of preference and where you plan on making contact with the stack. I could clearly see why you would shoot that shot with follow and attack the corner, I just prefer drawing into the 10 ball and bringing my cue ball off the rail.

The ball in the first diagram is one of those either/or situations, like I said, it depends what ball you wanted to contact in the stack. In this shot, I would have liked to have gotten the cue ball an inch closer to the rail so I could have a little more angle on the shot - plus I can contact the bals higher in the stack - but because we are left with this shot, we have to do something more with the cue ball.

Blackjack
08-23-2007, 09:00 AM
Here is another thing that is good to know about how the angle fo teh shot will affect where you hit the stack...
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In this shot we are parallel with the break ball and we contact the stack while pocketing the one.
http://CueTable.com/P/?@3AKXq4BCYB3CCpA4DCYe4EFCe3FCxe4GBKP3HAMB3IAUe3JF bd4KDnP3LBjP3MEMO4NBJl3OBal3PKFy3UKXq3Ucxv3Ucxv3kK Fy3kJaa3kEsp@

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In this diagram, we have a bit more angle, and you can see that the cue ball is naturally coming up to the top of the stack.
http://CueTable.com/P/?@3AKXq4BCYB3CCpA4DCYe4EFCe3FCxe4GBKP3HAMB3IAUe3JF bd4KDnP3LBjP3MEMO4NBJl3OBal3PNPv3UKXq3Ucxt3kNPv3kK Ha3kELh@
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In this shot, I moved the cue ball out towards the center of the table, and you can see how the natural angle is going low to the stack.
http://CueTable.com/P/?@3AKXq4BCYB3CCpA4DCYe4EFCe3FCxe4GBKP3HAMB3IAUe3JF bd4KDnP3LBjP3MEMO4NBJl3OBal3PEyv3UKXq3Ucho3kEyv3kJ Ja3kFax@

Of course you can manipulate where the cue ball goes by using draw and follow, but this is also a good rule to remember when positioning your cue ball.

Skess
08-23-2007, 09:34 AM
This quote comes directly from an older post by Danny Harriman, I believe that it applies to what you are asking.

Remember that if the fifteenth ball and or the 'break ball' is close to the rack we draw the cue ball, if the breakshot ball and the rack have distance (more than three ball's width) then we should address the cue ball with follow, there are a few exception's but this will help you not be so worried about scratching off of the rack and increase your high run average.

In the two diagrams you show, the balls are high and low. The low ball should be pocketed with inside draw, the other diagrammed shot can be hit with either stun or follow (I prefer following that ball and going 2 rails) - if you follow that shot with the ball that is close to the bottom of the rack, you will probably scratch.

It is also important to know exactly where you are making contact with the stack. I always go back to the rule "neat in, neat out" - which means that when pocketing the break ball, I try to contact one ball in the stack and get my cue ball out of danger.

I think I may have been approaching it backwards.
Thanks for the info! I'll try it out this weekend.

3andstop
08-23-2007, 09:47 AM
Thanks for that info.

I'd like to mention one interesting thing that I've been playing with. I've always been pretty good pocketing breakshots although not perfect by any means, it never intimidated me as lots of folks have asked be about.

But, recently, after attending the 14.1 tourney in NJ, I was watching one player in particular, (wish I could remember his name) He made a conscious effort to view the break by carefully measuring the tangent line, and view each shot from the pocket as well as behind the shot.

This drill he conducted was consistent for each break shot. It somehow struck me as more interesting than normal that a pro would almost over examine these angles with each break.

I began to experiment with this at home after I returned and what I found was not only is the break shot not intimidating, but the review of all these angles actually created a kind of aiming entity for me.

I think a lot of what players can use to help them advance is to mentally turn negative thoughts into positive ones.

Now for me the rack is actually an aiming aid similar to running a shot down the rail an inch or so off it. The rail acts as a guide. Now with this clearer envisioning of exactly how the execution will go, the pocketing of the ball is even easier and the rack itself plays a major part in seeing the shot.

Don't know if I said that right but, watching that player was very insightful.

Bob Jewett
08-23-2007, 11:03 AM
... But, recently, after attending the 14.1 tourney in NJ, I was watching one player in particular, (wish I could remember his name) He made a conscious effort to view the break by carefully measuring the tangent line, and view each shot from the pocket as well as behind the shot.

This drill he conducted was consistent for each break shot. It somehow struck me as more interesting than normal that a pro would almost over examine these angles with each break. ...
I believe that was Martin Kempter, the young player from Austria, who also had the high run of 160 (150-and-out plus 10 after the normal end of the game).

3andstop
08-23-2007, 11:11 AM
Bob, yes thanks you're right! He was sure in the zone, and if the announcer didn't remind everyone at 10 second intervals that he was on his high run, he may not have missed when I believe it was Dennis Hatch that left the table for a second. :) ( I couldn't help thinking that while listening)

CreeDo
08-23-2007, 12:54 PM
something that I sorta gradually figured out, and has been working for me... is to use more follow if you keep ending up hosed after the break.

Follow is good because you can go into the balls two or even three times and that helps spread them. You also generally head down towards the foot rail where most of your shots will end up. If you don't get hooked close behind another ball, you should end up with a decent shot into one of the bottom corner pockets. You'll be pretty close to everything so even a ugly cut to the far corner or the side will be makeable.

When you draw, you end up getting far away, sometimes stuck on the head rail... and a lot of the balls that popped out are unshootable because the rack is in the way, or they 'double up' to form useless combinations.

I think the only time you don't want to follow is if you can see losing the cue ball and especially scratching. The way I often scratch is shown here - basically you graze the bottom of one ball, which sends the cue ball skimming into the side of the ball below it, and it caroms into the pocket.
I dunno if the lines make the 'double carom' action clear but I think that's where a lot of scratches can happen.

http://www.jessescornerpocket.com/scratch_off_break.jpg

Scratching directly off a single ball in the stack is possible too, but at some angles it's less likely. Basically, think of the side of the rack as one straight line. If you can send the cue ball directly into that line (so that the cueball's path and the edge of the rack would make a "T") then you're pretty unlikely to carom off a single ball and then scratch. You'd have to be moving really fast and hit the ball at exactly the wrong place for that to happen. So look at the stack and see if the ball is going to go into the crack between two balls, and if not, cut loose with follow. You lose the cue ball but you usually come up with a shot anyway.

Remember that you really need to commit to your follow when you do this shot. The cue ball has to be spinning when it leaves the tip, still spinning when it hits the OB, and still spinning after hitting the rack... that's a ton of topspin. Don't think that a fast rolling ball is good enough, this cueball has to be diving forward like a kamikaze after touching the rack. So really commit to the topspin. With draw you don't need to go so crazy with it because you don't want to end up on the head rail, you're just trying to get away from the stack a foot or so.

Blackjack
08-23-2007, 01:03 PM
something that I sorta gradually figured out, and has been working for me... is to use more follow if you keep ending up hosed after the break.

Follow is good because you can go into the balls two or even three times and that helps spread them. You also generally head down towards the foot rail where most of your shots will end up. If you don't get hooked close behind another ball, you should end up with a decent shot into one of the bottom corner pockets. You'll be pretty close to everything so even a ugly cut to the far corner or the side will be makeable.

When you draw, you end up getting far away, sometimes stuck on the head rail... and a lot of the balls that popped out are unshootable because the rack is in the way, or they 'double up' to form useless combinations.

I think the only time you don't want to follow is if you can see losing the cue ball and especially scratching. The way I often scratch is shown here - basically you graze the bottom of one ball, which sends the cue ball skimming into the side of the ball below it, and it caroms into the pocket.
I dunno if the lines make the 'double carom' action clear but I think that's where a lot of scratches can happen.

http://www.jessescornerpocket.com/scratch_off_break.jpg

Scratching directly off a single ball in the stack is possible too, but at some angles it's less likely. Basically, think of the side of the rack as one straight line. If you can send the cue ball directly into that line (so that the cueball's path and the edge of the rack would make a "T") then you're pretty unlikely to carom off a single ball and then scratch. You'd have to be moving really fast and hit the ball at exactly the wrong place for that to happen. So look at the stack and see if the ball is going to go into the crack between two balls, and if not, cut loose with follow. You lose the cue ball but you usually come up with a shot anyway.

Remember that you really need to commit to your follow when you do this shot. The cue ball has to be spinning when it leaves the tip, still spinning when it hits the OB, and still spinning after hitting the rack... that's a ton of topspin. Don't think that a fast rolling ball is good enough, this cueball has to be diving forward like a kamikaze after touching the rack. So really commit to the topspin. With draw you don't need to go so crazy with it because you don't want to end up on the head rail, you're just trying to get away from the stack a foot or so.

Excellent post! What you describe is very common - which always leads me back to "neat in - neat out". That is why it is so important to know exactly where you want to contact the stack.

CreeDo
08-23-2007, 09:25 PM
thanks blackjack :)

I've been nailing my breakshots lately and cutting loose and pounding them. I had a break shot that was gonna hit square on the very bottom row of balls, and by committing myself and loading up with follow I nailed the rack twice, and afterwards it looked like some of my 8-ball breaks.

I think the important thing is first to see whether you're hitting the rack high or low, or close or far... then make an initial gameplan (follow or draw)... then finally see if the specific ball you're going to hit might screw up that gameplan and force you to switch it. When I approach the breakshots with this mentality I never scratch and I rarely am left with nothing to shoot at.

I still can't run balls for shit tho :/ I was at 24 with a good manufactured break ball (my highest being a crappy 30) when I dogged my position by a foot and ended up with nothing except a weird off-angle bank. I get frustrated cuz I know the planning and breakshots and the little nuances but I still just miss balls and screw up position. I played a guy earlier who has run 88 or so and he says at my level I should be running in the 50's routinely... yet I rarely touch 30 and never get past it.

alstl
08-24-2007, 05:40 PM
This quote comes directly from an older post by Danny Harriman, I believe that it applies to what you are asking.

Remember that if the fifteenth ball and or the 'break ball' is close to the rack we draw the cue ball, if the breakshot ball and the rack have distance (more than three ball's width) then we should address the cue ball with follow, there are a few exception's but this will help you not be so worried about scratching off of the rack and increase your high run average.

In the two diagrams you show, the balls are high and low. The low ball should be pocketed with inside draw, the other diagrammed shot can be hit with either stun or follow (I prefer following that ball and going 2 rails) - if you follow that shot with the ball that is close to the bottom of the rack, you will probably scratch.

It is also important to know exactly where you are making contact with the stack. I always go back to the rule "neat in, neat out" - which means that when pocketing the break ball, I try to contact one ball in the stack and get my cue ball out of danger.

Thanks for pointing me towards this thread. This should help solve my problem of getting stuck in the rack on breakout shots.

Scottster
08-25-2007, 01:50 AM
That is why it is so important to know exactly where you want to contact the stack.


Another "Dannyism" that might help that I will never forget. Which is prudent to Blackjack's quote is this, "If you hit the crack with center, you will scratch your ass."

What Danny was referring to as the "Crack" is if you hit the space between 2 balls on the center axis of the CB the tangent sends right to the corner pocket.

When hitting the crack you will want to have draw on the CB to bring the CB towards the center of the table.

If you hit the ball in the stack full, you can hit the CB with center, inside english and the CB will head back up table towards the center of the table.

Hope this little funny quote will help you out.

SpiderWebComm
08-27-2007, 11:50 AM
This quote comes directly from an older post by Danny Harriman, I believe that it applies to what you are asking.

Remember that if the fifteenth ball and or the 'break ball' is close to the rack we draw the cue ball, if the breakshot ball and the rack have distance (more than three ball's width) then we should address the cue ball with follow, there are a few exception's but this will help you not be so worried about scratching off of the rack and increase your high run average.

In the two diagrams you show, the balls are high and low. The low ball should be pocketed with inside draw, the other diagrammed shot can be hit with either stun or follow (I prefer following that ball and going 2 rails) - if you follow that shot with the ball that is close to the bottom of the rack, you will probably scratch.

It is also important to know exactly where you are making contact with the stack. I always go back to the rule "neat in, neat out" - which means that when pocketing the break ball, I try to contact one ball in the stack and get my cue ball out of danger.

I can't stress how key this is. I could never figure out why I stuck to the rack sometimes until you start to only focus on 1 ball in the rack - and make adjustments accordingly. Thanks Blackjack and Joe T!!

nick serdula
08-29-2007, 11:51 AM
When I liked 14-1 I always wanted to leave the break shot with having a very high probability of the cue being outside the object ball. This forced it into the rack and just ment all I had to do was play the rock above and between the rail and of the break ball. This always gave a very forgiving angle to play on the break ball from almost everywhere.
This type break shot murders the rack and allows for great control of the cueball with a very slght adjustment on center and spin to allow for control after full contact. It is almost like shooting the rock straight into the pack. Which is by the way a real good way to figure out how you need to contact the rack with your break shot!
I have to admit right now I wounder if I could even run a rack. But once I get to swingin this is my thought pattern.
I was reminded of the straight pool champion in Baltimore by Timi that used to put on exibitions in the summer when he was on vacation from work that used the two rail into the side break shot. He also banked the rock to the back rail and into the pack. He also would run 100 from the crack.!
Nick :D:D
High run 9