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freedomcue
02-16-2005, 08:34 PM
I have been playing in the APA for a lot of years and my game is to run a rack as far as i can go then safe.The only thing now is that i run a rack 5,6,7 balls then leave the table to open and then my opponent makes the first good ball and has the table open for him to run or safe. I tried to slow my game down and they slow play with safes that is a waiting game that sucks and then it is a big chance for them to get a good run out.Any help would be great or if i can elaberate I will.A story to get info from would be great also. Thanks in advance.

Billy_Bob
02-16-2005, 09:00 PM
I assume the game is 8-ball?

Anyway there is a thing called "one ball hell". If you leave just one ball on the table, your opponent can easily leave you with no shot. It is therefore better to have two or three balls left, then run out when the conditions are right.

I of course don't always follow this advice and sometimes have just one ball left while my opponent has most of his remaining. Then I wish I had left a few more balls on the table.

ms_cue
02-17-2005, 07:40 AM
I hate to say it but you sound like the type player I loved to play when I was in the APA. I loved the fact that you would run all your balls out of my way and open up any problems on the table. The thing is you are recognizing that it is no longer working for you.

I'm assuming you play 8 ball. In 8 ball, running out should not be considered unless you are 100% confident you can run out. Any doubt, then playing smart is the way to go. Smart doesn't necessarily mean safe either.

First, I always make it a point to leave at least 2 balls left on the table (not including the 8). I try to mainpulate it so that they are in the middle of the table or close by a pocket.

Second, I strategically miss. I used to love hanging balls in the pocket or blocking the path of their balls into a pocket. Suddenly, I've made their lives so much harder and mine easier. A lot of times, I'll leave the cue in a positon where they have to take a shot that is causing me a headache.

If you look at a table there are a million ways to force your opponent to do exactly what you want them to do. Why should you do all the work?

Good luck and let us know how it goes.

caedos
02-17-2005, 09:17 AM
My $.02= You said that you run most of the balls and then leave an out for your opponent. If this means you don't run out on runnable tables, and you know it, you might consider a two and stop game. Shoot two or three balls (even four) and get safe. Plan your pattern to get to a safety, not just to pocket x number of balls and then "I guess it's time to play safe". Think of safeties as an offensive tool, not a defensive fallback position. It's no crime to not be a run-out artist. Only a small percentage of people who play can run-out with regularity. Plan the work, work the plan.

poolturtle
02-17-2005, 09:28 AM
My $.02(add that to caedos and you've got $.04 worth of advice. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif) Athough I haven't seen your game, it sounds like you may be seeing the table pattern and "trying to run out, no matter what" I used to do it too (still catch myself at it). One thing is to study the table more, looking for the problems or possible problems. Don't leave them for the last "hoping to get a leave on them". Instead, look for ways to fix them early(breaking up a cluster, etc) while playing an early safety, or possibly during an offensive shot.

The point is, the longer you wait to clear up the problems, the harder they become to clear up.

Hope this helps.

Fred Agnir
02-17-2005, 09:33 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote freedomcue:</font><hr> The only thing now is that i run a rack 5,6,7 balls then leave the table to open and then my opponent makes the first good ball and has the table open for him to run or safe. <hr /></blockquote>I'll go a different angle. I think you're doing fine. You'll never know if you can consistently run out if you don't try. If it's nothing but for league pride, I say keep running and gunning and pay attention to the areas that you blew it.

Rather than slow it down and make sure you don't run 7 and blow it, I'd suggest to put more effort into planning the entire out with conviction. The easiest way to do that is to plan backwards from the 8-ball.

If this game was so easy, nobody would play.

Fred

rhoffman
02-17-2005, 10:01 AM
I'm pretty sure I'll get hammered for this response, but I disagree with most of what has been said so far. I recently joined this forum to get some help identifying my cue, and because I saw that Dick Leonard, one of my pool heroes from my Albany, NY days was a member, but I need to respond to this one. Most of you are certainly much more active in pool than I am, as I have not played serious competitive/money pool for more than 30 years, and consequently are probably much more qualifed to answer the question. But for me I would much rather be improving so that I could run out, rather than simply win in any fashion. In order to "win," if I need to pocket one or two balls and then play safe, I don't think I'll ever improve. I might be winning the games, but I wouldn't be getting much satisfaction out of the way I was playing, and therefore for me I would be losing, not winning. I have played a lot of competitive tennis and handball in my life, including being a tennis teaching professional, and the way I felt good about myself was to play to my opponent's strength. That way, if I won, I knew I was beating his/her best, and it was the fastest way to force me to improve. For me, I'd rather lose knowing I played my best and was pushing myself to improve, rather than win in the same old way time after time.

For me, the best way to learn how to run more balls was to do it in a game, not just in practice. Pushing myself in competition is the best way for me to see if I've improved, given the pressure of the actual game. I might lose some games/matches, but eventually I'm going to be running more and more balls, and out.

As Dick Leonard has said several times on this forum, running 200 balls is better than making love. Using that analogy, I'm not sure what running 2 balls and then playing a safe every time is equivalent to, but it can't be that special, even if you end up winning the game.

I guess for me, winning any particular game is simply not that important to me because, no matter what I am doing, I am ultimately competing with myself to play my best, and always trying to get better. As long as I am doing that, I come away a winner.

Perhaps I'm alone in these feelings, and for the rest of you winning is the greatest high, no matter how it is achieved. Maybe it is simply how each of us defines winning.

Bob

ms_cue
02-17-2005, 10:15 AM
Bob, in response to your post, I would agree that running balls to win is important if you're playing 14.1 and possibly to some extent 9 ball. But when it comes to league play in the APA and 8 ball, running out most times is not an option. With 8 ball there is a lot of strategy involoved and that strategy is what makes it interesting and fun. I'm not saying miss for the sole reason of missing, but miss strategically.

MrLucky
02-17-2005, 10:29 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote freedomcue:</font><hr> I have been playing in the APA for a lot of years and my game is to run a rack as far as i can go...<font color="red"> This may be the strategic error in my opinion many try to do the same thing and go as far as you can go making balls and then when you are stuck try and leave a safety! In my experience its better to read the table and not wait till you are no longer in control of the table.. i.e. able to comfortably pocket your balls if a safty is needed, you want to be in control of the table! you want to play a sfety when it is in your best advantage to do so not absolutely a neccesity for you to! so what I am saying is you may want to try to safe your opponent when you know you can leave him for a ball in hand! not when you run out of shots! for 2 reasons if you safe him when you are pretty much guarenteed a ball in hand you want to be able to use the ball in hand to get out not to just have to give him another so he will break your balls out hopefully ! or so that you are forced to break out his balls inorder to get to yours ! When you have shots left that enable a break out and run out is the time to get the ball in hand ! Pool strategy is a chess match the best strategist wins! </font color>

then safe.The only thing now is that i run a rack 5,6,7 balls then leave the table to open and then my opponent makes the first good ball and has the table open for him to run or safe. I tried to slow my game down and they slow play with safes that is a waiting game that sucks and then it is a big chance for them to get a good run out.Any help would be great or if i can elaberate I will.A story to get info from would be great also. Thanks in advance. <hr /></blockquote> /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

poolturtle
02-17-2005, 10:38 AM
I'm not hammering you, but I'll add to my $.02 from earlier. (man this is getting expensive /ccboard/images/graemlins/shocked.gif)

I do agree that practicing to run more balls is good for your game. But anyone who has played the game knows that you are never going to get a complete run out opportunity on EVERY rack you play.

Safeties (whether used defensively or offensively) are a whole different skill(and almost an art form when played properly). I personally feel that your game is not complete without them. Being able to control speed while pocketing a ball and trying to get position on the next is one thing, but controlling cue ball speed(and object ball speed sometimes) to play a safety is a completely different world. Most of the time, depending on the lay of the table, you have a larger margin of error for offensive cue ball position. (i.e. within a certain 1 or 2ft square) But in safety play, you may have only a 6in area to play with. (I missed my leave on a safety by 1in and the guy ran out.)

The main point is this: Trying to run out every time is ok for most normal games you play for fun. If that's your goal, then that's fine. But if you are trying to be more competitive all around, you need to incorporate more safety play into your game. You don't have to use them in EVERY match, but it's a heck of a lot easier to play one when you've practiced. It all depends on your goal for each particular match.

Remember, if it's for money or a tournament win, it's the guy who drops the eight ball last that takes home the cash, not the the guy with the best run. /ccboard/images/graemlins/wink.gif

MrLucky
02-17-2005, 10:49 AM
<font color="purple"> Well stated! </font color> /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Deeman2
02-17-2005, 11:51 AM
Nice Post. Well thought out and correct.

I played a guy in a tournament in Nashville (JOB's) in the early 80's (I think Keith won it). Anyway, I drew a guy who shot so well in the warm-up it frightened me, really! Sometimes a guy warms up super hot and can't get out but this guy was different, he started off by running a three pack on me and I only got to shoot then because he shot an offensive three rail bank that he had a great safe for. He would shoot lights out, then go for some, what I thought were near impossible shots when safes were available. I ended up edging him 9-7 but I knew he should have killed me. Despite my better judgement as I might have met him again later in the tournament, I commented, "You played great but you sure go for some wild **s shots don't you?"

He said, "Some of us play for different reasons than others do." I shook it off maybe as a sore loser even though he said it as politely as I could imagine, then proceeded to get drummed in two straight matches by guys I normally beat. This same guy later "handed" David Howard a win (David's words, not mine). The point of this is, over the years, I've learned we all do play for many, many different reasons. Then, twenty years ago, I couldn't possibly imagine anyone spending $125 to play a tournament and not give yourself the very best chance to win, with any appropriate strategy. Heck, I would not have thrown a game to my Mom back then. In the many years since, I've seen a guy come into a pool hall in Yokohama Japan and practice ONE three rail kiss Carom every night for four months! My step father who can still run a hundred, has not played a game of pool outside his house in 15 years, plays by himself several hours a day at age 79, except for the three or so days a year I visit and play him (still in his house, on his Gold Crown).

Winning is the most important strategy to most of us but don't ever think you have completely figured out everyone else's reason for playing or for how they win/lose. There are more than a few out there that just play to their own music.

Deeman
doesn't have his own music, yet...

Fred Agnir
02-17-2005, 12:30 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote rhoffman:</font><hr> I'm pretty sure I'll get hammered for this response, <hr /></blockquote>Not from me, you won't. I agree with you 100%.

Fred

wolfdancer
02-17-2005, 01:03 PM
".. including being a tennis teaching professional, and the way I felt good about myself was to play to my opponent's strength."
I read where tennis great Bill Tilden used to change his game, to beat the other guy at his own style of play. If you were a baseline player, volley &amp; serve, etc...he'd mirror your play.
(While his tennis was great....maybe he should have been a priest instead).
Another tennis notable, Tim Gallway, had an audio tape "On Winning" "If winning is so important" he said "here's a method by which you may never lose again.! Never play anybody, near as good as you are"
I've seen lots of players that have never improved their game, but think their won/loss record is the hallmark to judge their proficiency by.
......and you can "get hammered" here, when the "boys" haven't had their nap.

Billy_Bob
02-17-2005, 01:23 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote rhoffman:</font><hr> I'm pretty sure I'll get hammered for this response...<hr /></blockquote>

I learn the most when everyone gives their point of view. (And there are many different points of view to consider.) Good post and an excellent way to think of things. Thanks!

SpiderMan
02-17-2005, 01:42 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote rhoffman:</font><hr> I'm pretty sure I'll get hammered for this response, but I disagree with most of what has been said so far. I recently joined this forum to get some help identifying my cue, and because I saw that Dick Leonard, one of my pool heroes from my Albany, NY days was a member, but I need to respond to this one. Most of you are certainly much more active in pool than I am, as I have not played serious competitive/money pool for more than 30 years, and consequently are probably much more qualifed to answer the question. But for me I would much rather be improving so that I could run out, rather than simply win in any fashion. In order to "win," if I need to pocket one or two balls and then play safe, I don't think I'll ever improve. I might be winning the games, but I wouldn't be getting much satisfaction out of the way I was playing, and therefore for me I would be losing, not winning. I have played a lot of competitive tennis and handball in my life, including being a tennis teaching professional, and the way I felt good about myself was to play to my opponent's strength. That way, if I won, I knew I was beating his/her best, and it was the fastest way to force me to improve. For me, I'd rather lose knowing I played my best and was pushing myself to improve, rather than win in the same old way time after time.

For me, the best way to learn how to run more balls was to do it in a game, not just in practice. Pushing myself in competition is the best way for me to see if I've improved, given the pressure of the actual game. I might lose some games/matches, but eventually I'm going to be running more and more balls, and out.

As Dick Leonard has said several times on this forum, running 200 balls is better than making love. Using that analogy, I'm not sure what running 2 balls and then playing a safe every time is equivalent to, but it can't be that special, even if you end up winning the game.

I guess for me, winning any particular game is simply not that important to me because, no matter what I am doing, I am ultimately competing with myself to play my best, and always trying to get better. As long as I am doing that, I come away a winner.

Perhaps I'm alone in these feelings, and for the rest of you winning is the greatest high, no matter how it is achieved. Maybe it is simply how each of us defines winning.

Bob <hr /></blockquote>

Bob,

I suppose that if I did not care about win/loss I would also go for the run every time, it's certainly more fun and also a great yardstick to measure your skills. But if I really didn't care, I guess I wouldn't bother playing anyone either - I'd just break the balls and try to run out, then start over if I didn't. Wouldn't bother entering tournaments, or even leaving the house if I had my own table. Of course, that's sort of extreme. Shooting around with less-experienced players, I seldom play safe except to demonstrate a point. But tournaments are a different matter - there's too much waiting around to not give it my best shot when they finally call my name.

I do agree in principle with much of your sentiment - you won't learn to run out if you don't try to run out, and the best players do run out. On the other hand, you can't always run out, and if you do care about winning at all you'd better be good at defensive moves when you're up against a good player. So it's back full circle to "you don't learn what you don't try". I've seen great shotmakers (with great cueball control) fall down on defensive play, not because it's harder but simply because it's an unfamiliar skill.

Perhaps your orientation is more toward straight pool or even 9-ball. I note that the original post was oriented toward 8-ball, and the endgame logistics are quite different. In 9-ball and 14.1, shots are easier as the rack progresses. In 8-ball they become more difficult, due to the ratio of legal balls to clutter.

SpiderMan

poolturtle
02-17-2005, 04:16 PM
[ QUOTE ]
Shooting around with less-experienced players, I seldom play safe except to demonstrate a point. <hr /></blockquote>

uhm...I sure got a lot of safeties played on me. /ccboard/images/graemlins/shocked.gif

Turtle
knows now where he stands in the food chain...

freedomcue
02-18-2005, 11:46 AM
yes I play 8 ball in the APA. I do love to play safes to run out but then if I miss a shot they get out. I don't know if bare down enough or don't get the roll.How do you get out of a funk? Should I get back to basics and take ten strokes on every shot or I don't know.

Gayle in MD
02-20-2005, 08:58 AM
Hi there,
Sounds like you are talking about 8 ball, right? And you seem to be talking about league shooting strategy, so I just wanted to say that when I am shooting for a team, I play a whole different game. I am shooting only to win! I think it is hard to suggest only one overall strategy, because there are just too many variables.

In 8 ball league play, you make your decisions according to which lay out you end up with after the break, who you're shooting against, how well you are on your game on that particular night, there are just too many variables. Experience is the only thing that can help you to determine all this at a glance, and know what your best strategy might be for any particular lay out, against any particular person on any given night.

I've had nights when I knew I could go for it, and beat anyone in the room, and on those nights, I shoot to run out. When I know I am off my game, or shooting against someone who can smash me in a flash, I shoot a whole different game.


When you are on a team, you are shooting as a team member, and you have to shoot not only for yourself, but you want to win for the team, and not let your team mates down, so you aren't shooting for improving your game, that you do when you are practicing and no one else is depending on you, or when just shooting as in individual.

On a small table, if you are going for a difficult shot, shoot softly, and make sure you will atleast leave that ball in the pocket, leaving the cueball either on the rail, or hidden, leaving no shot for your oponent. If you think you might miss a shot, atleast don't set the other player up for his shot.

While I don't like to shoot safties when I am playing outside league play, and hardly ever do when I am shooting just for myself, I will do whatever I have to do to win when I am playing with my team, including faking a miss.

Most misses I see occur because the shooter is shooting too hard, too fast, and or mentally compromising himself between the shot, and the leave. Commit to making the ball, first, and try to choose shots that either leave you two alternatives if you don't get the leave you hope for, or will leave no shot for your oponent, or block on of his crucial pockets. Always make sure that the last shot before the eight, is an easy shot that will set you up for the eight.

Spend time practicing combos and learn to love them! In eight ball knowing how to shoot combos, is often your way out of a really tough situation, and when you have blocked a few pockets with other balls, you can combo your way out of anything.

Keep your game simple. Exude confidence no matter what. Never react when you miss a shot, your oponent will think you missed on purpose, and it will freak him out trying to figure out what you're up to! Pool is a lot like chess, but don't forget, it is a lot like poker, much more than most folks want to admit, LOL.

I am no shark, but I have beaten a many an APA 7 just by not leaving him a shot, and leaving my balls in the pocket on tough shots.

Never shoot a safety in a strange bar!!! You might get shot!

Good luck!

Gayle in Md. This game will drive you nuts, but you'll love every minute of it

rhoffman
02-24-2005, 01:09 PM
I have read the same thing about Tilden. He would play his opponent's game and beat them at it, just to show everyone how dominant he was in tennis. He could beat them at their best and wouldn't even bother to play to his opponent's weakness, as most of us are taught to do in competition. His hands were also big enough that he could hold 4 balls in one hand. He would hold 4 while serving and proceed to hit 4 aces. As to The Inner Game of Tennis, the book like that that actually helped me the most in all sports, including tennis and pool, is Zen and the Art of Archery, by Eugene Herrigal. Great book about visualization, philosophy, sports, and life itself.

Bob

dbankjr
02-25-2005, 01:16 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Gayle in MD:</font><hr> Hi there,
Sounds like you are talking about 8 ball, right? And you seem to be talking about league shooting strategy, so I just wanted to say that when I am shooting for a team, I play a whole different game. I am shooting only to win! I think it is hard to suggest only one overall strategy, because there are just too many variables.

In 8 ball league play, you make your decisions according to which lay out you end up with after the break, who you're shooting against, how well you are on your game on that particular night, there are just too many variables. Experience is the only thing that can help you to determine all this at a glance, and know what your best strategy might be for any particular lay out, against any particular person on any given night.

I've had nights when I knew I could go for it, and beat anyone in the room, and on those nights, I shoot to run out. When I know I am off my game, or shooting against someone who can smash me in a flash, I shoot a whole different game.


When you are on a team, you are shooting as a team member, and you have to shoot not only for yourself, but you want to win for the team, and not let your team mates down, so you aren't shooting for improving your game, that you do when you are practicing and no one else is depending on you, or when just shooting as in individual.

On a small table, if you are going for a difficult shot, shoot softly, and make sure you will atleast leave that ball in the pocket, leaving the cueball either on the rail, or hidden, leaving no shot for your oponent. If you think you might miss a shot, atleast don't set the other player up for his shot.

While I don't like to shoot safties when I am playing outside league play, and hardly ever do when I am shooting just for myself, I will do whatever I have to do to win when I am playing with my team, including faking a miss.

Most misses I see occur because the shooter is shooting too hard, too fast, and or mentally compromising himself between the shot, and the leave. Commit to making the ball, first, and try to choose shots that either leave you two alternatives if you don't get the leave you hope for, or will leave no shot for your oponent, or block on of his crucial pockets. Always make sure that the last shot before the eight, is an easy shot that will set you up for the eight.

Spend time practicing combos and learn to love them! In eight ball knowing how to shoot combos, is often your way out of a really tough situation, and when you have blocked a few pockets with other balls, you can combo your way out of anything.

Keep your game simple. Exude confidence no matter what. Never react when you miss a shot, your oponent will think you missed on purpose, and it will freak him out trying to figure out what you're up to! Pool is a lot like chess, but don't forget, it is a lot like poker, much more than most folks want to admit, LOL.

I am no shark, but I have beaten a many an APA 7 just by not leaving him a shot, and leaving my balls in the pocket on tough shots.

Never shoot a safety in a strange bar!!! You might get shot!

Good luck!

Gayle in Md. This game will drive you nuts, but you'll love every minute of it

<hr /></blockquote>
Ya took the words right out of my mouth...know your zone!