Winner Breaks..

Swighey

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
It is much more exciting to watch winner breaks since you always have a chance to come back. When you get 3 or 4 behind in alternate break its about impossible to win unless your opponent starts dogging it real bad. "the Macho One" has nothing to do with it. When I am talking about losers it those players who whine about not getting to play in a match. If you want to play then go play tennis or a team sport. I admire excellent play and applaud players for it.
I disagree. Close, intense match ups in alternate break where both players are under pressure, are far more exciting in my opinion.
Regarding "alternate break is for losers" - this does still come across as macho - if that's not the intention then I apologise. Sure, some players will whine that they didn't get to play but those same players will whine about something else when they lose at alternate break. The fact that some players will whine isn't really an argument for either format.
 

The_JV

'AZB_Combat Certified'
It is much more exciting to watch winner breaks since you always have a chance to come back. When you get 3 or 4 behind in alternate break its about impossible to win unless your opponent starts dogging it real bad. "the Macho One" has nothing to do with it. When I am talking about losers it those players who whine about not getting to play in a match. If you want to play then go play tennis or a team sport. I admire excellent play and applaud players for it.
I think the intensity of a match is greatly enhanced by alternate break because every single shot counts and "dropping serve" comes with severe consequences. The losers that whine about not being able to come back after being down a game or two, should take up tennis or golf. Don't screw up and you don't have anything to whine about. The player with the best break and consistent play will win. Needing the multi-game come back safety net is for whiners that think they should be able to make mistakes with loose play and still win.

Because this is the internet and especially the AZB.forum. I will footnote the above as being tongue in cheek. Just wanted to illustrate a counterpoint as "macho" as the original argument.
 

chefjeff

Nazis are back.
Silver Member
One problem, imo, is that you and many others are not truly appreciating Bob's point.

You still seem to be thinking that because two good players with alternate break trade off lots of games and more frequently get to 9-8 or 9-7 scores, that the matches are "closer" than are the winner-breaks matches with more lopsided scores. Those matches are not actually closer. It is an illusion. The scores in the two formats are apples and oranges, or at least Granny Smith and McIntosh apples.

I'm not for alternate breaks, so I don't understand this post.


Jeff Livingston
 

mikepage

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Bob, I think the advantage of the break WOULD BE removed. Also removed is the greatest thrill executed in our sport: "The Break-And-Run". For comparison, it would be like taking the home-run out of baseball, the ace out of tennis, the run-back out of football, the hole-in-one out of golf, the block-start out of swimming and track. The logic given is that players cheat and it cannot be stopped.

The strategies of this proposal are yet to be discovered. I imagine new problems more plentiful and bigger than the original.

The break is skillful, fun, and exciting. I say keep it that way.

Your baseball, tennis, football examples have a fundamental feature missing in the pool break and run: they access the skill DIFFERENTIAL.
--A home run by a world-series batter against a world-series pitcher
--A super bowl run back against a super-bowl defense
--Acing a serve against a Wimbleton-final opponent

are all irresistible force vs immovable object, King Kong v Godzilla situations. The home run, run-back, and ace elevate with the competition so that as fans we can see them as the ultimate home run, the ultimate run back and the ultimate ace. Running a 9-Ball rack is just running a 9-Ball rack. It doesn't elevate with the competition.

How exciting would the Super Bowl be if each team kept doing runbacks against a third-party practice squad, and we were just waiting to see which team happened to falter first?

It is rare we can get the best players in the world to be in the same place at the same time for a few hours. Any time we use when they are together that doesn't actually depend on them being in the same place at the same time is valuable resource squandered.

Watch audiences--even those sitting at the bar watching a stream in a poolroom-- and ask yourself two questions: (1) when do they pay attention, and (2) why do they pay attention?

(1) For the "when," I think you will generally notice that fans go to the bathroom, chat with each other, and take out their phones, when top players have control of the table with balls spread out. They pay the most attention when they hear the crack of the break.

(2). This gets to the "why." There are two reasons to be interested in what is happening. One is mere outcome-based interest. We care about ANYTHING that affects the outcome of who wins because we have anointed the outcome as important. There could be a clown that comes in and flips a coin and awards ball-in-hand to one of the players at random times in the match. We would be intensely interested every time we see the clown. Our interest in the break has some things in common with this. Outcome-based interest is low-lying fruit.

Content-based drama is when we have successfully pitted one player's finely honed world-class skills against another's. It is when a player has to assume risk to gain control of the table or avoid losing control. This is where it matters that two world-class players are in the same place at the same time.

Imagine Skyler rolls out to a position for which Jayson sees a cut shot for which he is 70% but the cueball will fly around. He is afraid to pass it back because he fears Skyler would prefer a two-rail bank with some potential two-way benefit. Jayson's sweating. The announcers are explaining the situation. The fans are riveted. This is content-based drama.

For promoters to expand the fan base, they must get us--the knowledgeable fans-- to be excited by content-based drama, not merely outcome-based drama. The latter doesn't translate to new people.
 

middleofnowhere

Registered
What is the intent of getting away from winner breaks? To make the game more fair? Fair for who?
To make it more interesting for the spectators?
Most of the players on here gamble, when was the last time you played 9 ball any other way then winner breaks gambling?
Excluding some sort of handicapped game with a player getting a spot, when was the last time you saw two players match up for the cash and not play winner breaks? I'm talking about players who can play, not two goofballs in the poolroom.
Is there a pro playing today who would advacate playing loser breaks or alternate breaks?
 

Bob Jewett

AZB Osmium Member
Staff member
Gold Member
Silver Member
... The break is skillful, fun, and exciting. I say keep it that way.
Well, maybe, Paul, but your solution which works in your situation is "breaker shoots next regardless and alternate break". At the top level I think that is likely to be less exciting than you might hope for. Especially once Corey works on it.
 

The_JV

'AZB_Combat Certified'
Most of the players on here gamble, when was the last time you played 9 ball any other way then winner breaks gambling?
Excluding some sort of handicapped game with a player getting a spot, when was the last time you saw two players match up for the cash and not play winner breaks? I'm talking about players who can play, not two goofballs in the poolroom.
I've seen it given as weight to the lesser player as you mentioned.

Generally players gambling against each other dream of getting the advantage by pulling off winning a few games in a row. That may or may not happen, but I highly doubt any of them consider it a means to catch back up. Which is the angle some are suggesting with "never being out of it".
 

Cameron Smith

is kind of hungry...
Silver Member
When I think about which is better the better format, I’m usually considering who the prospective audience is. The market Matchroom is targeting probably owns 0.8 cues, has a high run of 0.7 racks and doesn’t know what AZbilliards is. This group is more likely to look down at their phones during safety play than run outs. And if pool ever really takes off, I don’t think this group necessarily gets more knowledgeable, there is just more of them.

This is definitely true of a lot of the casual snooker fans I’ve spoken to. They generally have a high break of less than 30 and many consider the match a poor standard if the pros aren’t trading centuries.

I can get behind the idea of a mandatory push out after the first break and in the deciding frame. But I think packages and the anything can happen aspect of winner breaks is a better draw to casual fans. And again, this also hinges on very tight pockets because they need to see the pros miss balls. If they don’t think a miss is possible, then yes they will look down at their phones. But if unforced errors are not unlikely, then it’s worth watching to see if they complete the run out.
 

The_JV

'AZB_Combat Certified'
I can get behind the idea of a mandatory push out after the first break and in the deciding frame. But I think packages and the anything can happen aspect of winner breaks is a better draw to casual fans. And again, this also hinges on very tight pockets because they need to see the pros miss balls. If they don’t think a miss is possible, then yes they will look down at their phones. But if unforced errors are not unlikely, then it’s worth watching to see if they complete the run out.
I don't know about the mandatory push out... Guess I'd have to see it before passing judgement.

I would personally keep winner breaks, if in combination with tight equipment AND triangle/ref racking. Like you said, there needs to be some level of uncertainty or why bother watching...
 

Paul Schofield

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
Well, maybe, Paul, but your solution which works in your situation is "breaker shoots next regardless and alternate break". At the top level I think that is likely to be less exciting than you might hope for. Especially once Corey works on it.
Corey has worked on it. He has played in a number of events at my place. He really surprised me from the on-set by breaking the balls strategically correct for the No Conflict Rules: firm hit, cue ball control, 1-ball control. Even with not having to make a ball on the break, his break-and-run percentage is lower than you would expect. Pool is hard.
 

mikepage

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
When I think about which is better the better format, I’m usually considering who the prospective audience is. The market Matchroom is targeting probably owns 0.8 cues, has a high run of 0.7 racks and doesn’t know what AZbilliards is. This group is more likely to look down at their phones during safety play than run outs. And if pool ever really takes off, I don’t think this group necessarily gets more knowledgeable, there is just more of them.

I get your point. I wasn't so much thinking the casual fans would get that much more sophisticated. I was more thinking of a compromise: the casual fans getting a BIT more sophisticated and the enthusiasm of the knowledgeable fans getting a BIT more infectious because it is more genuine.

This is definitely true of a lot of the casual snooker fans I’ve spoken to. They generally have a high break of less than 30 and many consider the match a poor standard if the pros aren’t trading centuries.

I can get behind the idea of a mandatory push out after the first break and in the deciding frame. But I think packages and the anything can happen aspect of winner breaks is a better draw to casual fans. And again, this also hinges on very tight pockets because they need to see the pros miss balls. If they don’t think a miss is possible, then yes they will look down at their phones. But if unforced errors are not unlikely, then it’s worth watching to see if they complete the run out.
Yes, this makes sense. Push out in the opening frame and deciding frame is an intriguing idea.
 

Paul Schofield

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
Your baseball, tennis, football examples have a fundamental feature missing in the pool break and run: they access the skill DIFFERENTIAL.
--A home run by a world-series batter against a world-series pitcher
--A super bowl run back against a super-bowl defense
--Acing a serve against a Wimbleton-final opponent

are all irresistible force vs immovable object, King Kong v Godzilla situations. The home run, run-back, and ace elevate with the competition so that as fans we can see them as the ultimate home run, the ultimate run back and the ultimate ace. Running a 9-Ball rack is just running a 9-Ball rack. It doesn't elevate with the competition.

How exciting would the Super Bowl be if each team kept doing runbacks against a third-party practice squad, and we were just waiting to see which team happened to falter first?

It is rare we can get the best players in the world to be in the same place at the same time for a few hours. Any time we use when they are together that doesn't actually depend on them being in the same place at the same time is valuable resource squandered.

Watch audiences--even those sitting at the bar watching a stream in a poolroom-- and ask yourself two questions: (1) when do they pay attention, and (2) why do they pay attention?

(1) For the "when," I think you will generally notice that fans go to the bathroom, chat with each other, and take out their phones, when top players have control of the table with balls spread out. They pay the most attention when they hear the crack of the break.

(2). This gets to the "why." There are two reasons to be interested in what is happening. One is mere outcome-based interest. We care about ANYTHING that affects the outcome of who wins because we have anointed the outcome as important. There could be a clown that comes in and flips a coin and awards ball-in-hand to one of the players at random times in the match. We would be intensely interested every time we see the clown. Our interest in the break has some things in common with this. Outcome-based interest is low-lying fruit.

Content-based drama is when we have successfully pitted one player's finely honed world-class skills against another's. It is when a player has to assume risk to gain control of the table or avoid losing control. This is where it matters that two world-class players are in the same place at the same time.

Imagine Skyler rolls out to a position for which Jayson sees a cut shot for which he is 70% but the cueball will fly around. He is afraid to pass it back because he fears Skyler would prefer a two-rail bank with some potential two-way benefit. Jayson's sweating. The announcers are explaining the situation. The fans are riveted. This is content-based drama.

For promoters to expand the fan base, they must get us--the knowledgeable fans-- to be excited by content-based drama, not merely outcome-based drama. The latter doesn't translate to new people.
Mike, I don't know about all this that you write about. I do know that there is beauty in perfection in sports. Breaking and running the rack is a thing of beauty.
 

The_JV

'AZB_Combat Certified'
Mike, I don't know about all this that you write about. I do know that there is beauty in perfection in sports. Breaking and running the rack is a thing of beauty.
If I may be so bold...

I believe Mike is saying that "perfection" in the examples of other sports is performed with the opponent actively trying to prevent the outcome. Whereas in pool the 'break and run' is a singular player event that has no bearing on the performance of the opponent. This numbs the competitive aspect of the match.

IMHO, the 'break and run' is the expectation when viewing players at the highest level. Several innings of strong safety and strategic moves is a thing of beauty.
 

Poolmanis

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Good safety battle is thing of beauty. I still feel if there is too much safety play it will get boring.
Run outs vs safe play balance the game. If other is not present at all it is probably not so enjoyable to watch.
But if it is same safety battle every rack too then I start get bored. Especially if many matches like that. Some might be interesting but that exception IMO.
 

middleofnowhere

Registered
I've seen it given as weight to the lesser player as you mentioned.

Generally players gambling against each other dream of getting the advantage by pulling off winning a few games in a row. That may or may not happen, but I highly doubt any of them consider it a means to catch back up. Which is the angle some are suggesting with "never being out of it".
No, No one likes to have a negative view and hopes to not be behind but it is going to happen. After 60 years of playing pool gambling and tournaments it happens all the time. You are two or three games down. Your opponent is on the hill running out and screws up and doesn't get out. You win the game and run off the next couple to win the match. I've done it lots of times and for sure had it happen to me many times.

One of the best things about pool is the randomness of it. From the break to balls getting moved around changing things during the game. The way each player can even effect changes during the game. Guy misses a ball and an easy runout becomes complicated when they stop.

Im on the hill and I cut a ball down the rail and it needed to pass the 9 ball. There was plenty of room but it brushed the 9 leaving it on the rail now and unmake-able. Couldn't bank it, couldn't cut it. After a lot of time I decided to thin it on the pocket side and go up the table. Of course I missed the whole ball giving ball in hand on the 9. That made it hill-hill and he broke and ran out. This was in a tournament playing Steve Cook.
I have probably played a million racks of 9 ball but there are always a few that you don't forget.
 

Paul Schofield

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
What I would like to see at least once is "breaker must push out".
Bob, I try almost anything at the chance that it might improve something, anything. Most all experiments that I try fail. That being said, I take my very few winners and capitalize. I have built a business around them. I can't try your idea because my pool instincts tell me for what is gained, more is lost. I know you have jumped into the promoting side a number of times. I urge you to try it out. I will even offer to travel and help.
 

straightline

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Given there is no solution, there are lots of options that can be mixed and matched. Tourney sets could easily accommodate both alternate and winner breaks - even a no-count phase could be thrown in.
 

chefjeff

Nazis are back.
Silver Member
If one contestant doesn't get a shot, is it a competition?

Not really. More like a good practice session.

That's my point about LOSER BREAKS. At least Momma can see her kid shoot a few shots. Better than none.

Money CAN come to pool IF it is entertaining to the public. One-sided practice sessions are not entertaining to the public.


Jeff Livingston
 
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filerunner

New member
Is the way how pool should be played. PROVE ME WRONG! :ROFLMAO:

Ok. Here is little thought for discussion.
1. Alternative break is ok if matches are short races(max 5-6). Longer matches it is boring to watch. Not suitable for TV if we want to sport grow and interest more people.
2. Winner breaks no lead is safe. Huge comebacks happen and they bring drama. It is possible to comeback alternative break too but often it means leading player need to start play and break bad. Making match again not so great. Winner breaks it is possible that losing player get only one chance and take max out from it!
3. World Pool Championship maybe show this better for everyone.
4. Tourneys rarely are all single elimination. So if someone get destroyed in winner breaks they still in and can do same for some other guy in tournament. So double elimination brackets are friend of winner breaks.
5. I could go on but I let others chime in ;)
How about loser breaks?
 
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