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Question hitting head ball or 2nd ball in 8 ball break - 05-12-2007, 09:50 PM

With significant patience, occasional sandpaper & judicious chalking on my Sledgehammer, I have eliminated miscues & scratches & my CB placement is now satisfactory. I am hitting from a point just behind the foul line & between the 2nd & 3rd diamond of the short rail from the right.

I am making progress, but

Where precisely should I contact the headball to improve my perecentage of balls potted on the break?

Just to add to the confusion, I recently picked up a book on 8 ball, which alternatively suggests hitting the 2nd ball from a point farther to the right. Is this worth pursuing or shall I continue focussing on the headball. If the 2nd ball option is worth pursuing, again what is the precise contact point?
  
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05-12-2007, 10:13 PM

On a bar box if the one is cut as thin as possible I can pocket the 8 ball one or two times out of ten (Depends on the table).

On a 9 foot table this doesn't work often enough to consider (maybe one in 20) but I usally pocket at least a ball when the 1 is cut as thin as possible. The one must be hit with low outside english or no balls are pocketed (usually).

When the one is touched and it is not your "best" break the balls usually don't scatter a great deal when english is emphasized. This is a good break when playing with low handicaps as they can not position around balls very well -- it makes 8-Ball more like straight pool. So it depends on the game you want to play.

All in all I tend to use this break most of the time when playing 8-Ball as it makes it more difficult for most opponents.

When playing against skilled opponents on a 9' table I use the head ball break from inside the second diamond and play for a B&R.
  
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05-12-2007, 10:19 PM

It's pretty arguable in both directions. I feel the 2nd ball is definitely the better break, and I know at least one pro (mike sigel) uses it exclusively. However breaks to the head ball offer much better cueball control options.

The 2nd-ball break empties the rack area really gets the 8 moving. It's supposed to send the 8 into the side but I've sent it into the back corners too. Even if you're not playing 8-on-the-break-wins, it seems to send the balls flying around the table at nicer 'angles' to go into pockets. I more consistently sink something using this break.

The exact method is to put the cueball as close to the side rail as you comfortably can (maybe a couple of inches) and aim to hit the 2nd ball as square in the face as possible. The break can work if you barely skim the top ball on the way to the 2nd, but hitting the 2nd only half full usually has crappy results. The worst thing you can do is accidentally half-hit the top ball.

The big disadvantage to this break is you're pretty much throwing away cueball control. If you half hit the 2nd ball or clip the top ball badly, you will scratch immediately in the corner. If you break with center (or maybe a touch of draw or outside) the cueball wants to fly to the side rail, then bank directly into the opposite corner pocket. I use firm draw + a little outside spin to avoid this. I think you could also use inside english to avoid the bank scratch but I'm not as comfortable hitting it that way. Still, I almost always make something and have something to shoot after this break, the tendency is to end up near the foot rail where there's a bunch of stuff nearby.

Oh, I nearly forgot to mention, this is one of the few breaks that works BETTER when the opponent gives you a crappy rack
Little gaps between the top 3 balls really increase the 8's movement.
  
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"Inside the 2nd diamond"
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Question "Inside the 2nd diamond" - 05-12-2007, 10:21 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeW
On a bar box if the one is cut as thin as possible I can pocket the 8 ball one or two times out of ten (Depends on the table).

On a 9 foot table this doesn't work often enough to consider (maybe one in 20) but I usally pocket at least a ball when the 1 is cut as thin as possible. The one must be hit with low outside english or no balls are pocketed (usually).

When the one is touched and it is not your "best" break the balls usually don't scatter a great deal when english is emphasized. This is a good break when playing with low handicaps as they can not position around balls very well -- it makes 8-Ball more like straight pool. So it depends on the game you want to play.

All in all I tend to use this break most of the time when playing 8-Ball as it makes it more difficult for most opponents.

When playing against skilled opponents on a 9' table I use the head ball break from inside the second diamond and play for a B&R.
Excuse my ignorance, but please define "inside the 2nd diamond."
  
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05-13-2007, 12:51 AM

i love the second ball break for eight ball, i don't go all the way to the rail with the cueball though, almost close to the middle of the table and i can get cueball control and come close to pocketing the eight most of the times. If not, then i still get some action on it.


  
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05-13-2007, 01:18 AM

i was in vegas playing everyday, and vegas is a 1P town, I played 9-ball point is no players ever played 8-ball, but we had a lot of raod players pass through and most of the time they were known by someone-most of the time the road players got beat too,

ok now to 8-ball, 2 guys come in and Toby knew them and said they were both 8-ball champions from Flordia or gerogia(nice Hispanic guys)-I cant remember where from but east. They were in and out of the room looking for a game for a couple of days until some one bit and played them, 8-ball. This was interesting for me as I had been working on my 1P game talking, watch, and playing the ledgends, but 8-ball? Well ok why not? So I sit down and watch the road player play the local guy, I it was Joe (something) the fat guy that worked at cue-topia with a beard from New Mexico who moved to Vegas; I didnt like him thus I forgot his name, but he was a jam up player. They rack the balls and the road player was awalys breaking from the second ball(I had never seen this, Joe was as well but not as effectavilly), the table was a GC4 with tight pockets-not 1Ptight but not factory lose-just right, and he(road player) made the 8 on the pop alot, 1 in 10 perhaps and alot of times it would roll close, I had never seen that before, I remember it vividly(I was amazed), it looked like a good prop bet it was so easy for him. Like a D player shooting a spot shot, it awalys went the right direction and sonetimes go in, It was a $500 set I dont know if it was a race or an ahead set, I watched for hours. Road player got beat, but it took along time he played super strong infact Joe was about the only guy in Vegas that was capable of winning that game and I had the line on everyone. In 1P or 9B the road played would have got beat easily by lots of guys.

The other road player didnt play as strong and I watched them play each other just before they left town, they knew there was no more action and justed wanted to stay in stroke befor getting to LA they both broke hitting the 2nd ball everytime from right to left, I know the direction dosent matter it probably was just the table, a good table at that, Toby was a very smart gambler and he wouldnt play them except 1p he even said he had no chance playing these guys 8-ball, which was rare for Toby to say something like that. THats how good these guys were.

So along comes another guy in Vegas for something(not a road player, but a strong player) he was from Fl-owned a pool room, and wanted some action, I said wadda ya play? I was in my peak-I have never been a great player(to just take action from who walks in the door, I pick my spots) but that night I felt good, he said 8-ball, I was thinking I just watched super strong 8B players and picked up a few moves and a break shot,so with my new found skills I fired at him the guy I played owned a pool hall in Fl so we played I win only $100 maybe $150, his friend wanted to go, pissed me off I was playing the best I ever played and had him hooked, it wasnt a score(not even close but it felt like one I had to work for it) but we played an hour and he had the 2nd ball break down cold too, I used it but couldnt make it work, but I break worse than any one on AZ, long story i hope you liked it but the point is that 2nd ball break is the way foward, the english and CB placement is key and I dont now it. But I do know what I saw from 3 different players that all made it work, it gave them a huge advantage where as the head ball dosent. I wish I knew that break...

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Last edited by Fatboy; 05-13-2007 at 01:38 AM.
  
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05-13-2007, 01:50 AM

Sounds like the 2nd ball break is worth some experimentation. Thank you so much!
  
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05-13-2007, 02:51 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by berlowmj
With significant patience, occasional sandpaper & judicious chalking on my Sledgehammer, I have eliminated miscues & scratches & my CB placement is now satisfactory. I am hitting from a point just behind the foul line & between the 2nd & 3rd diamond of the short rail from the right.

I am making progress, but

Where precisely should I contact the headball to improve my perecentage of balls potted on the break?

Just to add to the confusion, I recently picked up a book on 8 ball, which alternatively suggests hitting the 2nd ball from a point farther to the right. Is this worth pursuing or shall I continue focussing on the headball. If the 2nd ball option is worth pursuing, again what is the precise contact point?
Hello Partner, the current break you are using I think is the easiest to attain good results from. I find that using your current break from the position you have outlined, I generally can keep the cue ball in the center of the table after the break. (When aiming at the head ball no matter where from, you must attempt to hit as full as possible, or it will glance off the rack and go behind the rack) I do this by hitting the cue ball about a tip below center and about a half tip off center left if breaking from the left, and just the opposite if breaking from the right. Upon hitting the head ball with the cue ball it will deflect to the side rail and back out to the center of the table, and also remember that when breaking, do not hurry your break.

This is a problem that many people have, and they just do not understand why they do not not have good results. The number of warm-up strokes taken also should be very numerous, I normally take between 8 and 11 for break shots due to the force with which I hit the cue ball. Another thing that will improve your break is a more up right stance. Normally when shooting a shot my chin is almost touching the shaft, however, when I break, I am at a almost erect stance. This way I can put my upper body into the break for additional follow through and power.

Last of all remember when breaking and only when breaking it matters not which ball you look at last. Normally when going through your warm-strokes you glance back and forth between the cue ball and the object ball. But you must be focused on the object ball when contact with the cue ball is made. This is not the case with the break shot however, in fact I would recommend looking at the cue ball upon contact. Again the force used and the follow through necessary for a good break, along with the importance of keeping the cue ball under control throughout this process, I like to focus on the point where I strike the cue ball.

The thing I have found when breaking near the side rail into the second ball, is that many times you will get so much action that a ball will rebound into the cue ball and change it's final position. When using this break I hit the cue ball a little more center than the break above, but still slightly left of center when breaking from the left. When I hit the second ball I like to hit as close to the head ball as possible, and I use a draw stroke so that it will rebound off the rail and head toward the center of the table between the side pockets.

By the way, if you continue to come up empty on your breaks move the position of the cue ball a little right or left from your normal breaking point, or move to the other side of the table.

Hope this helps, and have a great night!!!!!


Best Regards

"Warlock 1"

Craig W. Rittel

Last edited by manwon; 05-13-2007 at 02:57 AM.
  
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I salute you!
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I salute you! - 05-13-2007, 12:12 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by manwon
Hello Partner, the current break you are using I think is the easiest to attain good results from. I find that using your current break from the position you have outlined, I generally can keep the cue ball in the center of the table after the break. (When aiming at the head ball no matter where from, you must attempt to hit as full as possible, or it will glance off the rack and go behind the rack) I do this by hitting the cue ball about a tip below center and about a half tip off center left if breaking from the left, and just the opposite if breaking from the right. Upon hitting the head ball with the cue ball it will deflect to the side rail and back out to the center of the table, and also remember that when breaking, do not hurry your break.

This is a problem that many people have, and they just do not understand why they do not not have good results. The number of warm-up strokes taken also should be very numerous, I normally take between 8 and 11 for break shots due to the force with which I hit the cue ball. Another thing that will improve your break is a more up right stance. Normally when shooting a shot my chin is almost touching the shaft, however, when I break, I am at a almost erect stance. This way I can put my upper body into the break for additional follow through and power.

Last of all remember when breaking and only when breaking it matters not which ball you look at last. Normally when going through your warm-strokes you glance back and forth between the cue ball and the object ball. But you must be focused on the object ball when contact with the cue ball is made. This is not the case with the break shot however, in fact I would recommend looking at the cue ball upon contact. Again the force used and the follow through necessary for a good break, along with the importance of keeping the cue ball under control throughout this process, I like to focus on the point where I strike the cue ball.

The thing I have found when breaking near the side rail into the second ball, is that many times you will get so much action that a ball will rebound into the cue ball and change it's final position. When using this break I hit the cue ball a little more center than the break above, but still slightly left of center when breaking from the left. When I hit the second ball I like to hit as close to the head ball as possible, and I use a draw stroke so that it will rebound off the rail and head toward the center of the table between the side pockets.

By the way, if you continue to come up empty on your breaks move the position of the cue ball a little right or left from your normal breaking point, or move to the other side of the table.

Hope this helps, and have a great night!!!!!
This is the most eloquent, thoroughly rigorous, detailed, practical & senstive intructional prose I have encountered. Your ability, as a master, to reconstruct the mindset of a novice & articulate the basic elements of a physical movement, which for you has become a habit, is uncanny.

I have Mosconi, Hoppe, Byrne, Chappelle, & 99 Critical Shots(I forgot the author) & a specific book on 8 ball on my bookshelf. Although they have given me a significant advantage over other novices, your instructional prose are superior. You should think about doing a book. If I am ever in your neck of the woods & you are willing, I would definitely cherish the opportunity to study with you. Thanks again.
  
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05-13-2007, 01:12 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by berlowmj
This is the most eloquent, thoroughly rigorous, detailed, practical & senstive intructional prose I have encountered. Your ability, as a master, to reconstruct the mindset of a novice & articulate the basic elements of a physical movement, which for you has become a habit, is uncanny.

I have Mosconi, Hoppe, Byrne, Chappelle, & 99 Critical Shots(I forgot the author) & a specific book on 8 ball on my bookshelf. Although they have given me a significant advantage over other novices, your instructional prose are superior. You should think about doing a book. If I am ever in your neck of the woods & you are willing, I would definitely cherish the opportunity to study with you. Thanks again.
You are very welcome, I hope this helps, if you have any more questions I will try to answer them. Also, if you find yourself in Tacoma Washington please stop in, I would enjoy it.

Have a great day!!!!


Best Regards

"Warlock 1"

Craig W. Rittel
  
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2nd Ball 8-Ball Break works for me ...
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2nd Ball 8-Ball Break works for me ... - 05-14-2007, 09:31 AM

I have been using this break the last couple of years in League and it seems to work very well on most Bar-Box Tables ... Either the 8-Ball goes in the side pocket (or damn near) or, at least, I pocket one or more balls and spread the rack nicely for an 8-Ball Run ... You must be careful though, as the Cue Ball tends to travel indiscriminately around the table and sometimes scratches ... Several other local League Players have tried this break method and most end up rocketing the cue ball from the table ... "I love it when a plan comes together" ... As to 4.5' x 9' tables for 8-ball, I tend to contact the head ball with moderate power and low english from the point where the first diamond on the left headrail intersects with the first diamond on the left side rail ... Cue Ball control is fairly consistent, ball(s) are usually pocketed, and the rack is evenly spread ...

Don't forget Murphy's Law : "Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong".

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Simple - 05-14-2007, 09:44 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by berlowmj
With significant patience, occasional sandpaper & judicious chalking on my Sledgehammer, I have eliminated miscues & scratches & my CB placement is now satisfactory. I am hitting from a point just behind the foul line & between the 2nd & 3rd diamond of the short rail from the right.

I am making progress, but

Where precisely should I contact the headball to improve my perecentage of balls potted on the break?

Just to add to the confusion, I recently picked up a book on 8 ball, which alternatively suggests hitting the 2nd ball from a point farther to the right. Is this worth pursuing or shall I continue focussing on the headball. If the 2nd ball option is worth pursuing, again what is the precise contact point?

You start out front-breaking (hitting the head ball), if after 2 breaks, you don't make anything, you switch to the side-break (hitting 2nd ball).

The best spreads come from front-breaking most of the time, but sometimes the side-breaking is more consistent for making a ball on the break. Side-breaking usually involves trickier run-outs overall, but not always.

The trick to front-breaking is finding a good break that is consistent in making a ball and getting a good spread. Several players can make a ball, but many fall short of getting a good spread without clusters.


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05-14-2007, 10:54 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by CreeDo
It's pretty arguable in both directions. I feel the 2nd ball is definitely the better break, and I know at least one pro (mike sigel) uses it exclusively. However breaks to the head ball offer much better cueball control options.

The 2nd-ball break empties the rack area really gets the 8 moving. It's supposed to send the 8 into the side but I've sent it into the back corners too. Even if you're not playing 8-on-the-break-wins, it seems to send the balls flying around the table at nicer 'angles' to go into pockets. I more consistently sink something using this break.

The exact method is to put the cueball as close to the side rail as you comfortably can (maybe a couple of inches) and aim to hit the 2nd ball as square in the face as possible. The break can work if you barely skim the top ball on the way to the 2nd, but hitting the 2nd only half full usually has crappy results. The worst thing you can do is accidentally half-hit the top ball.

The big disadvantage to this break is you're pretty much throwing away cueball control. If you half hit the 2nd ball or clip the top ball badly, you will scratch immediately in the corner. If you break with center (or maybe a touch of draw or outside) the cueball wants to fly to the side rail, then bank directly into the opposite corner pocket. I use firm draw + a little outside spin to avoid this. I think you could also use inside english to avoid the bank scratch but I'm not as comfortable hitting it that way. Still, I almost always make something and have something to shoot after this break, the tendency is to end up near the foot rail where there's a bunch of stuff nearby.

Oh, I nearly forgot to mention, this is one of the few breaks that works BETTER when the opponent gives you a crappy rack
Little gaps between the top 3 balls really increase the 8's movement.
I used to use a second ball break exclusively. If you get a feel for how to hit it on a particular table, you can be deadly. I once pocketed the 8 ball in the side three games in a row. That session made a fellow player quit pool.

I disagree that you necessarily throw cue ball control away.

I break off the side rail, pretty much where a 9 ball breaker breaks from. As someone else said, use low outside english.

Since you want to break hard, the cue ball will deflect off your tip because of the low outside english. This means you want to aim about 3/4 of a ball on the second ball.

Wat you said is right. It almost does not matter how bad a rack your opponent gives you. If you can hit this break full speed without scratching/jumping the table, you have great movement on the 8, and will make a ball a high percentage of the time.

I've made 6 balls on a barbox with this break before..

Russ


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05-14-2007, 11:31 AM

I like to use the second ball break off the side rail. Spreads the balls out really nicely for me
  
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CreeDo
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05-14-2007, 02:05 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by russ chewning
I used to use a second ball break exclusively.
For a second I thought I was gonna read "but then I saw you wrote that Mike Sigel endorses it so I stopped forever. :P
  
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