What's the best break against the 9 ball ghost

Tin Man

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
What's the best break against the 9 ball ghost? Rules are break from the side rail, 9 on the spot, no soft break but no 3 point rule (honest effort).

I saw Pia Filler play the ghost and she was breaking fairly soft, maybe 14-15mph. She was making the wing ball and often the one in the side. Nothing was moving enough to create clusters. Occasionally she had a ball in the rack area that only went in one pocket, but in general it was pretty smooth sailing. But when I tried this at my place I wasn't getting enough spread. I was getting congestion near the rack or near the foot rail (if balls kissed funny).

Then I tried breaking firmer. I kept getting clusters on the side rail straight to the right of the 9 ball as I looked at the table as the breaker (I was breaking from the left rail). I noticed the 2 ball was moving three rails and tying up with balls on that rail. So I backed off the speed just a hair, suddenly I was getting funny kisses again and more traffic.

With most of the competition going to the 9 ball ghost I really need to get this break down. A consistent controlled ghost break is probably worth 50-100 Fargo Points versus just smashing them hard and inaccurately. I just marked out where the rack should be with a laser and a pen so I can guarantee the correct rack. I'm polishing the balls and wiped down the table. I'm going to see if that helps the repeatability.

Any suggestions on optimal speed or approach? Just try to copy Pia?
 

hang-the-9

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
What's the best break against the 9 ball ghost? Rules are break from the side rail, 9 on the spot, no soft break but no 3 point rule (honest effort).

I saw Pia Filler play the ghost and she was breaking fairly soft, maybe 14-15mph.

14-15 is not a very soft break. A lot of the amateur players I see during the break contest when trying their best got to about there.

Best break depends on the rack as well as the table setup, 9 on the spot also changes things. There is no single best answer, what works will vary. I have seen breaks with a template rack with 9 on the spot and the corner ball still goes in, along with the 1 ball. Cut break seems to work better with the 9 on the spot.

Playing the ghost you can actually just hit hard and spread them since you get ball in hand anyway, but you do get a benefit if you can pocket a ball or two since you now have less traffic and less to run. I would say break is less important in playing vs the ghost than an actual game where you need to control the cueball more to get a clear shot at the lowest ball.
 

SBC

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Pia played great

She win 50 and the ghost 51
Very strong play for anyone
 

trinacria

in efren we trust
Silver Member
That has to be fake but I can’t figure out how they did it

im thinking the balls are set up like a trick shot, the rack looks kinda funny, it looks tight but it looks off. or maybe its movie magic. :shrug::shrug::scratchhead::scratchhead:
 

Straightpool_99

I see dead balls
Silver Member
What's the best break against the 9 ball ghost? Rules are break from the side rail, 9 on the spot, no soft break but no 3 point rule (honest effort).

I saw Pia Filler play the ghost and she was breaking fairly soft, maybe 14-15mph. She was making the wing ball and often the one in the side. Nothing was moving enough to create clusters. Occasionally she had a ball in the rack area that only went in one pocket, but in general it was pretty smooth sailing. But when I tried this at my place I wasn't getting enough spread. I was getting congestion near the rack or near the foot rail (if balls kissed funny).

Then I tried breaking firmer. I kept getting clusters on the side rail straight to the right of the 9 ball as I looked at the table as the breaker (I was breaking from the left rail). I noticed the 2 ball was moving three rails and tying up with balls on that rail. So I backed off the speed just a hair, suddenly I was getting funny kisses again and more traffic.

With most of the competition going to the 9 ball ghost I really need to get this break down. A consistent controlled ghost break is probably worth 50-100 Fargo Points versus just smashing them hard and inaccurately. I just marked out where the rack should be with a laser and a pen so I can guarantee the correct rack. I'm polishing the balls and wiped down the table. I'm going to see if that helps the repeatability.

Any suggestions on optimal speed or approach? Just try to copy Pia?

In Europe we play with 9 on the spot and 3 point rule. Makes little sense to play the ghost any other way for people who must play this way, IMO.

This makes it impossible to soft break with any consistency. So the best break is a medium/hard break, cutting the one very slightly to the opposite side of where your cueball starts. Cueball goes to the side rail, below the side pocket, and often the corner ball goes, with the right speed. Speed is extremely critical under these rules, and has to be experimented with. No way to convey clearly what exactly the speed should be. To hard, and you get collisions and invalid breaks. Too soft, and you don't make balls and get too few points.

With no such rules, and the 1 on the spot, I'd break fairly soft from the side, making the corner ball and the 1 in the side. Ghost run out is not contingent on gettting position on the 1, and every ball pocketed tends to up the percentage, so that is what I'd play for. If you get weird clusters at a speed where you make the corner ball and 1 in the side, it's quite likely that your magic rack is faulty. Such problems can often be fixed by simply switching racks or ball sets. I posted once about a race to 10 I had with the10 ball ghost, where on every break, a 4 ball cluster was formed or one rail or other. Changing speed and starting angle would mostly just move the cluster around. That was a faulty rack.
 
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Black-Balled

He Rides the Skies
Silver Member
I am surprised by your question, Tinner.

surely you must know each table breaks differently, even a single table can change from day to day.

there wont be a single 'best' and it behooves a player to find that sweet spot.
 

Dan White

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
im thinking the balls are set up like a trick shot, the rack looks kinda funny, it looks tight but it looks off. or maybe its movie magic. :shrug::shrug::scratchhead::scratchhead:

It's photoshopped somehow. The guy barely hits the cue ball with a crooked stroke and the balls go in like missiles.
 

Tin Man

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
Thank you!

In Europe we play with 9 on the spot and 3 point rule. Makes little sense to play the ghost any other way for people who must play this way, IMO.

This makes it impossible to soft break with any consistency. So the best break is a medium/hard break, cutting the one very slightly to the opposite side of where your cueball starts. Cueball goes to the side rail, below the side pocket, and often the corner ball goes, with the right speed. Speed is extremely critical under these rules, and has to be experimented with. No way to convey clearly what exactly the speed should be. To hard, and you get collisions and invalid breaks. Too soft, and you don't make balls and get too few points.

With no such rules, and the 1 on the spot, I'd break fairly soft from the side, making the corner ball and the 1 in the side. Ghost run out is not contingent on gettting position on the 1, and every ball pocketed tends to up the percentage, so that is what I'd play for. If you get weird clusters at a speed where you make the corner ball and 1 in the side, it's quite likely that your magic rack is faulty. Such problems can often be fixed by simply switching racks or ball sets. I posted once about a race to 10 I had with the10 ball ghost, where on every break, a 4 ball cluster was formed or one rail or other. Changing speed and starting angle would mostly just move the cluster around. That was a faulty rack.

Thank you for the thoughtful reply.

We are not enforcing the 3 point rule but we have all agreed to break hard. I have practiced the break you described above but have room to improve. You're right about it taking a feel. There is a certain speed/thickness that gets the results, and as you develop a feel your results go up quickly.

One thing I noticed, obvious now that I talk about it, was that the guy who put the spot on my table had it off a hair. I got out the laser pointer and got my rack exactly correct, then marked it off so I can rack it near perfect every time. Then I ran the balls through a polisher. I used this break and was able to get the corner ball over half the time, the one ball in the side slightly less often. I'd estimate:

60% 1-3 balls pocketed, no clusters
20% No balls pocketed, no clusters
10% No clusters but some congestion
10% Break out, bank, or combo needed to run out

This is a breath of fresh air to me. If I can break like this then I'll be just fine. In the past I've gotten frustrated and had 3-4 racks in a row where I create clusters. Not a path to success. But with 80% of my racks wide open and often less than a full rack, even if I'm under some pressure I'm going to get opportunities to work myself back into a match.

Thanks again!
 

Andrew Manning

Aspiring know-it-all
Silver Member
"Honest effort" is kind of a terrible rule. You're supposed to honestly try what? To hit them literally as hard as you can? That doesn't seem reasonable, only beginners do that on a 9-ball break. So what then? To hit them "sorta hard"? Where's that threshold?

The truth is, with no rule against soft break and a magic rack, you can end up with a VERY easy (optimally easy maybe) runout with an extremely soft break, definitely single-digit MPH. About the speed you'd use for an easy stop-shot on a money ball. So, given uncertain unenforceable verbiage about "honest effort" I'd be kind of treading on the limit, breaking as softly as I thought I could get away with.

Think you could run out this layout every time? https://youtu.be/mZa59OiRJd8?t=360

That's the one I'm trying for.
 

Andrew Manning

Aspiring know-it-all
Silver Member
That has to be fake but I can’t figure out how they did it

They set the balls up to make them all dead in one of those fancy trick-shot configurations in the rack area. It's not a diamond shape at all, just a trick shot. They shoot the video of the guy shooting and making the trick shot.

Then they shoot several seconds, without moving the camera or changing the lighting, of a regular 9-ball rack. Then they overlay the whole rack area of the "regular rack" video onto the rack area of the trickshot video, removing the overlay a frame after the CB hits the 1. Tada.
 

iusedtoberich

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
I agree that the rule "honest effort" is the worst rule to ever come about in pool. The number of balls past a certain point on the table is easy to interpret, and can be adjusted if the sport wants a "harder" or "softer" break. Or, use the app to measure break speed, and if its below a certain amount, its an illegal break.

The language "honest effort" is wide open. When that language was in effect for a few pro events, I can't remember it might have been the US Open 5 or so years ago, players were obviously "soft-medium" speed breaking, and none of them got called on the "honest effort" rule.
 

Black-Balled

He Rides the Skies
Silver Member
I can often do similar on my table, but it feels dirty.

I like dirty, but not always.
"Honest effort" is kind of a terrible rule. You're supposed to honestly try what? To hit them literally as hard as you can? That doesn't seem reasonable, only beginners do that on a 9-ball break. So what then? To hit them "sorta hard"? Where's that threshold?

The truth is, with no rule against soft break and a magic rack, you can end up with a VERY easy (optimally easy maybe) runout with an extremely soft break, definitely single-digit MPH. About the speed you'd use for an easy stop-shot on a money ball. So, given uncertain unenforceable verbiage about "honest effort" I'd be kind of treading on the limit, breaking as softly as I thought I could get away with.

Think you could run out this layout every time? https://youtu.be/mZa59OiRJd8?t=360

That's the one I'm trying for.
 

Tin Man

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
Honest effort

"Honest effort" is kind of a terrible rule. You're supposed to honestly try what? To hit them literally as hard as you can? That doesn't seem reasonable, only beginners do that on a 9-ball break. So what then? To hit them "sorta hard"? Where's that threshold?

The truth is, with no rule against soft break and a magic rack, you can end up with a VERY easy (optimally easy maybe) runout with an extremely soft break, definitely single-digit MPH. About the speed you'd use for an easy stop-shot on a money ball. So, given uncertain unenforceable verbiage about "honest effort" I'd be kind of treading on the limit, breaking as softly as I thought I could get away with.

Think you could run out this layout every time? https://youtu.be/mZa59OiRJd8?t=360

That's the one I'm trying for.

I agree in general honest effort is a terrible idea.

In this case we are discussing the format for the Cue It Ip Ghost Challenge. This will be Mosconi Cup style, with 5 players on each team (USA and Europe). We will have Karl Boyes and Alex Lely doing something commentary.

Given the small group of invited players and the scrutiny on each rack I don’t think we’ll have any issues. This is mostly an exhibition and we are doing it for the love of the game. I don’t see anyone angle shooting here.

But yes, in general this is a rule type that rewards unscrupulous players. Bad idea.
 

westcoast

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
"Honest effort" is kind of a terrible rule. You're supposed to honestly try what? To hit them literally as hard as you can? That doesn't seem reasonable, only beginners do that on a 9-ball break. So what then? To hit them "sorta hard"? Where's that threshold?

The truth is, with no rule against soft break and a magic rack, you can end up with a VERY easy (optimally easy maybe) runout with an extremely soft break, definitely single-digit MPH. About the speed you'd use for an easy stop-shot on a money ball. So, given uncertain unenforceable verbiage about "honest effort" I'd be kind of treading on the limit, breaking as softly as I thought I could get away with.

Think you could run out this layout every time? https://youtu.be/mZa59OiRJd8?t=360

That's the one I'm trying for.

That Deuel-Orcullo match was kind of disgraceful. Somebody should have stepped in and prevented the pattern racking. I'm generally a fan of both players, but that was farcical.
 

Andrew Manning

Aspiring know-it-all
Silver Member
That Deuel-Orcullo match was kind of disgraceful. Somebody should have stepped in and prevented the pattern racking. I'm generally a fan of both players, but that was farcical.

Agreed, it's a case-study in why pattern racking shouldn't be allowed. It reduces the game to something much less than it should be.
 
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