International 9-Ball Open for 2020

Danimal

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
With neutral rackers, nine on the spot, and alternate break, nine ball isn't broken at all, and that's just what we get at the International. As we just saw a few weeks ago in an electrifying display of world championship level pool, four of the WPA top seven ranked players finished tied for 5th or better. As a professional pool product, the International is, in my view, making the grade.

Stu you are spot on as usual, except for the fact that the International is a winner beak format. We would have missed out on some of those marvelous comebacks last month had it have been alternate break!
 

Positively Ralf

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
After the Turning Stone, this is the best 9 ball tournament in the country right now. Hopefully the $500 entry gets even more players in.

Will there be a break box?
 

sjm

Sweating it at Derby City
Silver Member
Stu you are spot on as usual, except for the fact that the International is a winner beak format. We would have missed out on some of those marvelous comebacks last month had it have been alternate break!

Yes, you are correct, but in Post #1, Pat Fleming announced a switch to alternate break for 2020, and I was incorporating that change in to my comments.
 

jay helfert

Shoot Pool, not people
Gold Member
Silver Member
CSI and Predator do have the World 10-ball now, to coincide with BCA league championships in Vegas. It will be in March next year, so in 4 months.

I know very well about that event. It's a good event but small money compared to the International. There is no reason it couldn't be the International Ten Ball Open!
 

pt109

WO double hemlock
Gold Member
Silver Member
Gonna miss ‘winner break’....I like everything else about this contest.
 

jay helfert

Shoot Pool, not people
Gold Member
Silver Member
With neutral rackers, nine on the spot, and alternate break, nine ball isn't broken at all, and that's just what we get at the International. As we just saw a few weeks ago in an electrifying display of world championship level pool, four of the WPA top seven ranked players finished tied for 5th or better. As a professional pool product, the International is, in my view, making the grade.

Stu, I agree that the International is a great addition to the roster of pro tournaments held in this country, but if it ain't broke, don't fix it! What's wrong with a field of 100 of the best players in the world, unless you are just trying to get more players to fill more hotel rooms. The purse of nearly $150K isn't too shabby either.

Lastly, spectators like seeing players string racks. That's exciting! Switching to alternate breaks is a mistake imo. If one player puts together a four or five pack that pressures his opponent to do the same, or better. That's when you see the best pool being played. Note that this year playing winner breaks the top players excelled, with the cream rising to the top near the end. Alternate break will change nothing, except to give lesser players a chance to win more games. Boring! Or did I say that already.

JMHO as always. It's not my show, so Pat can do it anyway he wants. I know from experience what it takes to put on events like this and it's no easy task. I hate to see him feel like he has to keep fiddling with the rules. People like to watch great pool being played regardless of the rules at any particular event. Just look at the MC with it's super short races and alternate break (that's probably a good thing there). It can be crazy exciting at that event, with every game being so important to the final outcome.
 

Eric.

Club a member
Silver Member
I see nothing wrong with some rule tweeking. If anything, this might help the Int'l Open differentiate itself more, as the new major on US soil.

Pat's been at this stuff for a while, I'm sure this was not a snap decision to make changes.


Eric
 

Danimal

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Stu, I agree that the International is a great addition to the roster of pro tournaments held in this country, but if it ain't broke, don't fix it! What's wrong with a field of 100 of the best players in the world, unless you are just trying to get more players to fill more hotel rooms. The purse of nearly $150K isn't too shabby either.

Lastly, spectators like seeing players string racks. That's exciting! Switching to alternate breaks is a mistake imo. If one player puts together a four or five pack that pressures his opponent to do the same, or better. That's when you see the best pool being played. Note that this year playing winner breaks the top players excelled, with the cream rising to the top near the end. Alternate break will change nothing, except to give lesser players a chance to win more games. Boring! Or did I say that already.

JMHO as always. It's not my show, so Pat can do it anyway he wants. I know from experience what it takes to put on events like this and it's no easy task. I hate to see him feel like he has to keep fiddling with the rules. People like to watch great pool being played regardless of the rules at any particular event. Just look at the MC with it's super short races and alternate break (that's probably a good thing there). It can be crazy exciting at that event, with every game being so important to the final outcome.

So true.

The most scintillating match from the 2019 International was Shane and Lechner's match on the winner's side, when Max opened the match with a huge package and accrued a 9-0 lead, only to see SVB fight and claw back to 9-9.

The match eventually went hill-hill, and the whole arena was completely enraptured in watching the epic comeback! Even the TV table was overshadowed as everyone wanted to see the outcome. At the end of the match, Max Lechner single-handedly went from a nobody to a household name. A classic match that would have been forgone had it been alternate break.

In recent years, there have been great comebacks on the TV table such as Shaw beating Big Ko after being down 10-4. He did it twice, in 2017 and 2018, each time coming from behind in epic fashion. The crowd in those matches was completely electric, stomping their feet and cheering! Another great TV match from a few years ago was when Sky was down 10-6 to Imran Majid, and proceeded to run 5 and out to take the set. All of these memorable matches couldn't have happened without winner breaks.

I've remembered all these moments over the years, and they only could've occurred with a winner break format. I understand alternate break is "fairer" for the players, and maybe more "worth it" for players that have to travel and pay expenses to play in the International. However, concerning all the international and overseas events utilizing the equitable alternate break format, as a spectator of those events I have found those matches to be forgettable and ultimately boring.
 

Poolhall60561

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Unfortunately I will not be able to make it but as usual I will get the stream,
This years streamed matches were great and I spent the whole week watching pool and following action on AZ.
 

iusedtoberich

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
I totally missed the alt break change in the first post until I read the latest thread comments.

Put me down for winner break also. Reason being is it’s more exciting for the fans. I could care less what the players want. We, the paying fans, should have a bigger say in the rules, IMO:)

<=== Paying fan who buys many streams.
 

Mich

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I kind of like alternate the break because it's more like Tennis--the Serve and Break are big weapons but not the only weapon. When you play alternate the break it puts more pressure on the big breakers to hold serve. I like the tension as players exchange racks. Look at the Predator 10 Ball this year, in the semis and finals all the matches came down to players with excellent breaks failing to hold serve. I like this tweak to the rules for 2020.
 

sjm

Sweating it at Derby City
Silver Member
I totally missed the alt break change in the first post until I read the latest thread comments.

Put me down for winner break also. Reason being is it’s more exciting for the fans. I could care less what the players want. We, the paying fans, should have a bigger say in the rules, IMO:)

<=== Paying fan who buys many streams.

Ditto, I also prefer winner breaks, but it seems most of the players prefer
alternate, and the question being addressed was whether the players would come to the event. The Americans will, of course, come and the Europeans, who play this exact same version of nine ball on the Eurotour, should show up in droves. The top Asians are a little harder to predict, but they tend to show up to all WPA sanctioned events.

I'm not to be counted among those who feel ten ball is important in the world of tournament pool. The seven biggest events of the year, in this fan's view, are the WPA World Championship, the Matchroom US Open, the China Open, the All Japan Championships. the World Pool Masters, the World Cup of Pool and the Mosconi Cup. All seven of them play nine ball, the game the fans play, are accustomed to, and enjoy watching.

The only truly great ten ball event of the year is the Bigfoot Challenge at Derby City, because it uses Texas Express rules. Add "call shot" and "ten ball last", and both are required under WPA rules, and this fan gets less interested in watching.
 

HawaiianEye

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I've ALWAYS advocated for winner break, in tournaments and in gambling.

Maybe I'm wrong but, based upon almost everything I've seen during my pool years, it seems that the players who are always advocating alternate breaks are the players who CAN'T break as well and/or run as many packages as their opponent.

Speaking of "races", lets take a mile long race in track. The race is made up of four 1/4-mile laps. Does the person in the lead have to slow down to let the other catch up on each leg and then try to outrun them on the final lap?

No, they get ahead and try to stay ahead. Their opponents have the same opportunity when they get ahead.
 

jay helfert

Shoot Pool, not people
Gold Member
Silver Member
Ditto, I also prefer winner breaks, but it seems most of the players prefer
alternate, and the question being addressed was whether the players would come to the event. The Americans will, of course, come and the Europeans, who play this exact same version of nine ball on the Eurotour, should show up in droves. The top Asians are a little harder to predict, but they tend to show up to all WPA sanctioned events.

I'm not to be counted among those who feel ten ball is important in the world of tournament pool. The seven biggest events of the year, in this fan's view, are the WPA World Championship, the Matchroom US Open, the China Open, the All Japan Championships. the World Pool Masters, the World Cup of Pool and the Mosconi Cup. All seven of them play nine ball, the game the fans play, are accustomed to, and enjoy watching.

The only truly great ten ball event of the year is the Bigfoot Challenge at Derby City, because it uses Texas Express rules. Add "call shot" and "ten ball last", and both are required under WPA rules, and this fan gets less interested in watching.

I tend to agree with you here Stu. The biggest and most important pool events are all 9-Ball, so it is the accepted test for greatness in pool today. That said, Ten Ball is a more difficult game and there should be a place for it in pro pool. Greg Sullivan and I created the Bigfoot with just that in mind. He wanted to promote his ten foot tables and I wanted to promote Ten Ball. I also felt that playing Ten Ball just like 9-Ball, with the same rules, was the right way to go. We went round and round about letting the ten ball count on the break and finally agreed that it wouldn't count in the bottom two corner pockets. I still don't like that rule. You see how often the ten ball is made on the break. Maybe once on a good day!

The Bigfoot, with all the elite players, quickly became the most popular event at DCC and still is to this day. That is unless Efren is playing someone One Pocket. The pool world turned out for his big matches at DCC!
 

TheLoneSilencer

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I absolutely hate the change to single elimination at the final 32. This bs needs to stop already. Also bring back a true double elimination, players are already there & not like it can't be done timing wise.
 

sjm

Sweating it at Derby City
Silver Member
I tend to agree with you here Stu. The biggest and most important pool events are all 9-Ball, so it is the accepted test for greatness in pool today. That said, Ten Ball is a more difficult game and there should be a place for it in pro pool. Greg Sullivan and I created the Bigfoot with just that in mind. He wanted to promote his ten foot tables and I wanted to promote Ten Ball. I also felt that playing Ten Ball just like 9-Ball, with the same rules, was the right way to go. We went round and round about letting the ten ball count on the break and finally agreed that it wouldn't count in the bottom two corner pockets. I still don't like that rule. You see how often the ten ball is made on the break. Maybe once on a good day!

The Bigfoot, with all the elite players, quickly became the most popular event at DCC and still is to this day. That is unless Efren is playing someone One Pocket. The pool world turned out for his big matches at DCC!

Agreed that ten ball is a little tougher, but my philosophy is that if pro pool is to be successful in drawing the amateurs as fans, the game played must be one with which the amateurs are greatly familiar. To me, that leaves eight ball and nine ball, and at least for me, where Kevin Trudeau and the IPT had it right was playing eight ball (yes, they were wrong in countless other ways), the game best known to amateurs and the only game that many who play solely in bars have ever seen.

As a fifty three year veteran of the pool halls, I have rarely seen ten ball played other than by highly accomplished players, and even then, I have rarely seen it played at all. Played Texas Express, ten ball is at least intelligible to those that play nine ball, but add "call shot", "ten ball last", "money ball doesn't count on the break" or, worst of all, "call safe", the first two of which are required under WPA rules, and the casual fan is quickly disenfranchised.

Our beloved former poster Edwin Reyes, to paraphrase, said "if it's good for the players, it's good for pro pool." With due respect for a highly respected, and sorely missed AZB poster, Edwin was mistaken. In truth, what's good for pro pool is whatever keeps the fans interested enough to watch it.

The typical amateur has never even heard of ten ball and even fewer know it as played under current WPA rules. As we saw with Bonus Ball, a game of great skill and intrigue, give the fans a game they don't know or play and not that many of them will choose to watch.

Ten ball with call shot has its place in our game as a big action game because the big action matches attract a very different type of fan. Ray Hansen and many others have offered countless exciting ten ball matches for this kind of fan, who tends to be a serious player very familiar with all games played on a pool table.

All that said, although Eurotour plays nine ball, Europe, a few years ago, added ten ball as a discipline in the European Championships. It is possible, though in my view improbable, that this will popularize ten ball among the European amateurs, but only time will tell.
 

Keith E.

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Good posting by our members here. With that being said, "Pat, I'll see you there next year." and hope to see some of you gents there as well.

Keith
 

Nostroke

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
It’s not too early for this announcement!
The International 9-Ball Open continues in 2020.​
See some details:
• October 25-31, 2020
• $500 Entry Fee
• $50,000 Added
• Alternate Breaks
• Races to 10, Double Elimination
• Single Elimination when down to 32 players
• Sheraton Waterside Norfolk Hotel, Norfolk, VA
• WPA Sanctioned
• 2020 BCA Hall of Fame Banquet

Comments welcome!

Thanks,


alternate breaks?? WHY?
 

sjm

Sweating it at Derby City
Silver Member
alternate breaks?? WHY?

I'm with you. When there are neutral rackers, alternate break is unnecessary.

That said, though, the Mosocni Cup has neutral rackers and alternate break, so this formula is not without precedent.
 
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