View Full Version : Introducing Gerker [Heads up STL!]

02-03-2008, 05:33 PM

"Gerker" is an an innovative and exciting new cue sports game created by Alex Schone and myself, Chris Muether. It is a point based game that takes influence from all the great billiard games out there, particularly: 9-ball, bank pool, one pocket, snooker, even artistic billiards ... as well as some other unlikely influences such as miniature golf, poker, and pinball. It aims to hone billiard players to utilize extreme control in safety play, pacing, offensive and defensive strategies, as well as direct 'on table' interaction with their opponent [due to the use of two cue balls] - something unheard of in traditional cue sports.


RULES: [note: for brevity's sake and because this is an introduction these are abbreviated. we do, however, have a full rulebook]

The game starts first and foremost with the creation of a course or "table design". Object balls and obstacles are spotted methodically to ensure a fast-moving, exciting, and highly strategic game. The courses that embody these traits the best are photographed, diagrammed, and reused in games to come. We hope to soon create an online database of our favorite courses.

The common characteristic of every course though, and a dynamic of the game that makes gerker truly unique, is the use of two cue balls. This makes playing safeties very different, you can't and don't want to hide your own cue ball - you instead must attempt to hide the object ball(s) from your opponent's cue (more depth on this in the strategies section).

Prior to a frame, a rock/paper/scissors match (best 2/3) determines who selects their ball for the frame. The other ball becomes the other player's by default. This method is used instead of a traditional lag because of the obstacles that may be in the way. It also allows players to mentally get into their opponents game before the frame begins which is fun.

The object of the game is to have the most points at the end of a frame after all the object balls have been potted. Every course has a total number of points available. Most balls are worth 1pt a piece, but specialty balls such as the black or 9 ball may be worth 2 or 3 pts. In rare cases, a purple ball has been used for a 4 pointer. The term "gerker" comes from the point in a frame when one player has earned enough points to "clinch" the victory, the opponent with the lower score is called "the gerker" (in other words, the table does not mathematically have enough object balls on to give the player with less points the ability to win on points) However the frame is not done as the gerker has new options to win.

The gerker may "assassinate" his opponent by making a legal combination shot hitting an object ball into his opponents cue ball potting it. (note: this technique may ONLY be used by a player in the gerker position). The player may also "sabotage" his/her opponent by making difficult safety shots, snooking their opponent, causing them to lose points by fouling (losing -1 pt for failing to make contact w/ an object ball, see below). He may finally stall the game hoping his opponent may scratch by accident on an error or fluke. This technique has been nick-named the "kevorkian" strategy.

Basic Fouls:

- Hitting your opponents cue ball before hitting any other balls on the table : -1 pt.
- Failing to hit any balls on the table: -1 pt.
- Direct contact w/ opponent?s cue ball in the process of potting legal ball: Loss of table control (however, point earned is kept)

also : scratching your cue ball or forcing any ball off the table is an immediate frame loss.




I know some of you reading this may think this game sounds a bit contrived and maybe even somewhat confusing, but its actually a fairly simple game - the one thing that throws people off are the obstacles used. As of now in the infancy of the game we're using whatever obstacles are handy in the room we play in (yes, including the eye catching houndstooth couch cushions), but we do pick obstacles based on what they bring to the game in terms of uniqueness and strategy. As the game matures we hope to slowly move in the direction using more streamlined objects that can be found handily in most houses (or if not can be purchased easily enough). This is one of the reasons we began using the 5 pound weights you see in the pictures. (additionally they make excellent obstacles)

(example of a high risk course)

Ramps can make the play of a course extremely dangerous. Courses that have a lot of ramps or other obstacles near the pockets that tend to deflect the cue to scratch are often called "high risk" tables. Breaks are usually made much softer, and shots more calculated with the utmost attention to where the cueball might ricochet. Other tables are a bit looser (such as the one at the very top)

The fact that is game is not as standardized as other cue games (such as knowing the science of the break to 8 or 9 ball) is actually something i take pride in ... it makes this game infinitely expandable and gives players creativity in added to the game by making new, never-before-thought-of, courses. It requires players to bring what they already know about playing pool, the angles, english, and position play, and apply it to untested waters. It is truly and exciting game and after having a friend and excellent APA 8-ball player come over a few weeks ago to try the game out after i piqued his interest he was really surprised how much thought and strategy went into it, despite its unusual exterior.

I'd love to have you all comment on this - please keep your comments constructive - and i'd love even more to play some of you folks in the St. Louis area who are interested in trying something new! We are in the process of setting up our inaugural tournament and need a few more players to make it happen.* So please contact me if you are interested!

(* for the tournament, pictures/diagrams of every course to be used will be uploaded to the net to give no player an unfair advantage)

02-04-2008, 03:32 AM

02-04-2008, 03:45 PM
i know a bunch of folks read this, but NO ONE wanted to respond?? not even with negative comments? i'm totally serious about this game & i'd definitely like to hear some feedback ... thanks for anyone who read the entire post and gave me a chance to be heard .. but now i'd like to hear from you!!

02-04-2008, 03:52 PM
My honest opinion is....

It looks as if someone got drunk and or extremly bored playing pool and while sitting on the couch.....said "hey I have an idea" ...an threw a couch cushion on the table....."You have to shoot around that to win"...Then the onther guy....not wanting to be outdone said..."oh yeah....well shoot around this...and pulled one of the wieghs off of the nearby weight bench...

From there it escalted beyound control....

I think this is also probably how Keno got started....;)

02-04-2008, 03:52 PM
that's a badass Beastmaster poster on your wall

02-04-2008, 04:08 PM
My honest opinion is....

It looks as if someone got drunk and or extremly bored playing pool and while sitting on the couch.....said "hey I have an idea" ...an threw a couch cushion on the table....."You have to shoot around that to win"...Then the onther guy....not wanting to be outdone said..."oh yeah....well shoot around this...and pulled one of the wieghs off of the nearby weight bench...

From there it escalted beyound control....

I think this is also probably how Keno got started....;)

hahahaha well thanks for your honest opinion at least. in actuality the origin of this game did spawn from drinking & boredom as you guessed, but it actually took time and effort and a sober mind to iron out the game and actually make it competitive/interesting. we're both intermediate players but after having a couple players better than us come over and try out the game i was really pleased with the results. there were some intense snookers & safety plays, and the sudden death element of the game (lose the frame on a scratch) heightens the drama even moreso. even though a skeptic might look at some of the pictures and just think its a game for amateurs, i really feel like better players will be the ones to unlock its real potential.

ohh and btw.. thanks for the beastmaster poster comment! :p

Ballistic Billiards
02-04-2008, 04:17 PM
Is there no bumper pool in Missouri?

02-04-2008, 04:57 PM
they figured you might be a teenaged billiards enthusiast and didn't want to douse your spirits with ridicule. But since you insist.... It looks like the dumbest idea that ever found it's way onto a pool table. My first thoughts were "I would rather watch grass grow." than even read such silly non-sense. I have a better idea for a fun game you might pursue next time you are this bored. It is guaranteed to convince you to stick to games like Scrabble, Monopoly, or even marbles. My game is called "Incoming". You go to your nearest dart store and buy precisely 10 darts of varying weights. Then yougo to a nearby football practice field and throw all 10 darts as straight as you can stright up in the air and yell " Incoming !" and try to get out of the way before they land! If you make it to a second round without severe pain... you collect one point. If you don't make it to the seocnd round, you still collect at least 1 point. get the point?? You play "Incoming" until you decide that Scrabble sounds like a really neat game.

Seriously... don't play this game unless you are at least as old as your IQ.

02-04-2008, 06:36 PM
wow, that definitely crosses the line from dousing someone's spirits to downright ignorance. i can clearly understand why someone on first glance may assume this game was something pulled out of a couple of kids asses and feel the urge the mock it - and yes it does appear somewhat odd when you first take a look at it ... but i would have hoped explaining the game in an intelligent, well thought out way would quell some people's initial skepticism and at least inspire some criticisms, questions, or thoughts.

what you did say had nothing at all to do with the game and was a completely unnecessary personal attack. yes, perhaps gerker isn't for everyone, but i can guarantee its a hell of a lot more fun than watching grass grow. i understand that some people prefer to stick with 8-ball, 9-ball, or straight pool ... but i figured for people who enjoy games like golf ... american players who enjoy the game of snooker ... or even players who wish to utilize trick shots in a competitive atmosphere - that something out of the box and creative may appeal to you. just please don't try to insult my intelligence.

ohhh and for the record .. i'm an excellent scrabble player :cool: