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View Full Version : Straight Pool - predicting how the balls scatter?



qstroker2004
06-10-2004, 08:45 AM
I've been reading up on old posts related to straight pool and it seems like there is a lot of knowledge floating around. There was a thread discussing how hard to break the balls, looking at Hohmann on one end of the scale, and the 1 or 2 ball break guys on the other. I found an interesting post from someone here who played Balsis. The author of that post said he ran about 40 and then broke the balls wide open. Balsis asked him why he broke so hard, and he replied that he saw Balsis do it and figured it was the right thing to do. Balsis apparently replied that he could do it because he was a 150 ball runner, but you shouldn't do it -- just keep working on position play and observing how the balls break out of the rack with softer breaks (some paraphrasing there).

So what gives? I thought this was an interesting thing to say. Is Balsis saying he knows pretty much where all the balls are going when he slams into them?

Has anyone here ever tried to chart the paths of all the balls over and over for a particular kind of break? I keep toying with the idea. It would be a bit tedious, but might be interesting.

On another note, my poolroom (ie, basement) has been running about 69 degrees and 55% humidity lately. I find that the balls just do not want to break out that much. Is it my imagination, or do balls break significantly better when it is dry, all else being equal?

Thanks for any remarks,
dan white

Wally_in_Cincy
06-10-2004, 09:46 AM
[ QUOTE ]
.....Balsis asked him why he broke so hard, and he replied that he saw Balsis do it and figured it was the right thing to do. Balsis apparently replied that he could do it because he was a 150 ball runner, but you shouldn't do it -- just keep working on position play and observing how the balls break out of the rack with softer breaks (some paraphrasing there).

<font color="blue">This has been discussed before. I agree with Balsis. I'm a single-digit runner normally and I usually don't break too hard because it diminishes my chances of pocketing the break ball. Steve Lipsky, on the other hand, says that he wants to see evry ball in the rack move. He's a 142 ball runner. But if you hit the rack just right you can bust them without hitting the OB extremely hard.</font color>


So what gives? I thought this was an interesting thing to say. Is Balsis saying he knows pretty much where all the balls are going when he slams into them?

<font color="blue">I don't think even the best player can predict that. What's more important is to know where the cue ball is going. </font color>

<hr /></blockquote>

Steve Lipsky
06-10-2004, 09:49 AM
Hi Dan. The balls definitely do not break well when conditions are humid. They seem to stick to one another, and it makes large runs very, very difficult.

Nobody can know precisely where most of the balls will end up after a solid break. However, you will find with practice that many break shots lead to very predictable next shots. This is all a player really needs to continue a run.

You'll also discover those break shots which can be hit very firmly, because they entail almost a zero chance of something going wrong.

Here's a trick I sometimes use when I'm playing on a table which is not breaking very well. I'll start playing for breakshots under the rack, rather than on the side. For some reason I find that when the side breakshots aren't opening the pack well, the back ones do. (And no, I have no empirical data to back that claim up /ccboard/images/graemlins/wink.gif ).

- Steve

Steve Lipsky
06-10-2004, 09:51 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Wally_in_Cincy:</font><hr> <font color="blue">What's more important is to know where the cue ball is going. </font color><hr /></blockquote>

A great point, Wally, that should not be overlooked.

- Steve

Wally_in_Cincy
06-10-2004, 09:57 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Steve Lipsky:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote Wally_in_Cincy:</font><hr> <font color="blue">What's more important is to know where the cue ball is going. </font color><hr /></blockquote>

A great point, Wally, that should not be overlooked.

- Steve <hr /></blockquote>

At least that is the impression I got from Sigel's video. He pretty much knew he was going to have a shot, he just made sure he did not scratch and brought the CB toward the center of the table.

Grady did a short demonstration here a few months ago for the CSPL and I got the same impression from him.

daviddjmp
06-10-2004, 10:17 AM
Wally-

To which video do you refer? I have the Jim Rempe tapes but have never seen a Sigel video on straight pool-

Popcorn
06-10-2004, 10:17 AM
quote

"I don't think even the best player can predict that. What's more important is to know where the cue ball is going."

You are right, but you can know how the balls will break and what part of the rack will most likely come out. Often even which balls and what pockets they will go into next. It often depends on what ball is hit in the rack as to how it opens. the thing is, is to not get trapped and to get open where you can make a shot. A lot of times you can't really get the rack open much but can create situations where you set up a second break shot after the break to get the rack open more and continue the run. The worst thing is it to break, have the rack open up and not have a shot, this is what you are trying to avoid. If you have the classic break shot and blast it with no control of the cue ball at all, the chances are you will have some kind of shot, but there is also a chance you will have no shot, with balls all over the table and no where to play safe. You just do the best you can to have an idea what it going to happen and make the most of it. The same break shot can be shot in several ways and with different speeds. Some are more predictable then others and you want to learn this stuff as you gain experience playing the game. I need to add one other thing. Tables today in my opinion play much better then they did years ago. You have clean shiny balls sitting on fast cloth. A workable break shot may be anything you can touch the rack with, the balls open so easily. I watched Jimmy Caras do an exhibition at a collage with a table set up in a gym with no air condition and cloth as thick as a blanket. He couldn't run twenty balls.

qstroker2004
06-10-2004, 10:17 AM
Hi Steve. Thanks for replying. So are the people in BD better players than in RSB? lol...

I've come to like that back of the rack break more and more since I realized you really have to hit with plenty of follow and a little outside to get it above the rack.

Regarding your favorite break shots: It looks like on #1 your cue ball will contact the third ball down, or maybe the crotch between the 2nd and 3rd. Is this what you like to see in a break shot? In #4 you are trying to contact the ball next to the corner ball, whereas in #5 you are kind of getting hid behind the fat part of the pack?

In my limited testing for the classic break shot, it seems that if you hit the 2nd ball down at an angle that drives through the opposite corner ball (ie, through the fat part of the rack) that it is harder to spread the balls than if you hit that 2nd ball at other angles than that one. But, maybe that's just my table...

It seems to me if you are going to move every ball in the pack, that you really only care about controlling the cue ball, and have to hope you don't get snookered. I experimented with really whalloping the pack on a break shot and scattering the balls all over the table. For me, this seems to create longer shots and more cue ball movement. I'm thinking the ideal is to have maybe 8 balls within a 1 foot radius of the center of the rack area, but none/few touching.

dan white

qstroker2004
06-10-2004, 10:23 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Popcorn:</font><hr> I watched Jimmy Caras do an exhibition at a collage with a table set up in a gym with no air condition and cloth as thick as a blanket. He couldn't run twenty balls. <hr /></blockquote>

I feel better now. Balls never open up as well on my table, probably because of the humidity, and the cloth isn't as worn as at a pool hall. I guess it is like having a donut on your bat while in the on-deck circle.

dan white

dmgwalsh
06-10-2004, 10:26 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote qstroker2004:</font><hr>


On another note, my poolroom (ie, basement) has been running about 69 degrees and 55% humidity lately. I find that the balls just do not want to break out that much. Is it my imagination, or do balls break significantly better when it is dry, all else being equal?

Thanks for any remarks,
dan white <hr /></blockquote>

get a dehumidifier for your basement. It'll help draw off the moisture.

I was watching Sigel beat Varner on tape last night. He ran about 80 balls and then let up and missed a pretty easy one ball shot where he was bridging over some balls, Alittle later he ran in the 60s and out.

i set up a break shot broke ran the rack and then broke and got about halfway through the next rack before i screwed up. Oh well.

Wally_in_Cincy
06-10-2004, 10:38 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote daviddjmp:</font><hr> Wally-

To which video do you refer? I have the Jim Rempe tapes but have never seen a Sigel video on straight pool- <hr /></blockquote>

It's called "Perfect Pool". I don't think it's available anymore. I have no idea why it isn't.

Frank_Glenn
06-10-2004, 10:51 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Wally_in_Cincy:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote daviddjmp:</font><hr> Wally-

To which video do you refer? I have the Jim Rempe tapes but have never seen a Sigel video on straight pool- <hr /></blockquote>

It's called "Perfect Pool". I don't think it's available anymore. I have no idea why it isn't. <hr /></blockquote>

It's excellent. My copy is "missing" and I want one, so if you find a source, let me know.

Rod
06-10-2004, 12:45 PM
I like to hit the balls firm with the right break shot. Like Wally mentioned knowing where the c/b stops is most important. I saw mosconi break with the c/b bouncing off the rack only to go back again and drive through. He knew the angle and didn't want to get trapped.

I suggest you practice break shots from the side bottom and into the rack shooting into the side pocket. You have to be creative when the standard break is not available and know what english. There is a pattern how balls spread, which is what you need to know.

Humidity is a bummer playing 14-1 not to mention clean balls. Also worn out balls don't rack well, to many gaps that can kill a break. I hate playing in poor conditions; of course knowing what to expect makes the challenge less difficult. Playing in good conditions makes the game much easier. Here is a break shot I like even if conditions are not so favorable the balls spread out and up so a shot to the side exists even if you donít get whitey to center table. The bottom shot is what can happen if the angle is a little high in the rack and if balls are not tight, refer to above worn dirty ball comment. Stuff happens.

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wei (http://endeavor.med.nyu.edu/%7Ewei/pool/pooltable2.html)

Rod