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View Full Version : Winning games without practicing!



Billy_Bob
11-25-2005, 10:28 AM
Hi everyone!

[I've been busy most of the summer installing a woodstove, cutting and splitting 6 cords of wood, and doing other projects. (I tried getting a contractor to install the stove/chimney, but they did not return calls or did not show up, so I decided to learn how to do it myself, and did so - to code, inspected, etc.)]

Needless to say, I have not had *any* time to practice or play much. My game so far as making shots has gone down the tubes....

BUT, I have still been winning games!

I have done this by playing a purely defensive game (playing 8-ball).

It to the point where I don't care if I pocket *any* balls before my opponent pockets most of his balls. I've learned I don't need to. I can take my sweet time.

1st priority (most important). The only thing which matters is where the cue ball will go after my shot. I do not try to pocket any balls - just try to leave the cue ball in a nasty place so my opponent does not have a shot. To do this, mostly I'm using draw or follow with no english. Then hitting my object ball in a spot, which will deflect the cue ball the direction I want it to go, and to leave it in a nasty spot. And then shoot with appropriate speed. I could care less where the object ball goes!

2nd priority. If while leaving the cue ball in a nasty spot, I can at the same time break one of my balls out of a cluster, or move one of my balls closer to a pocket, I will do so. Maybe send an object ball flying into a cluster.

3rd priority (least important). If while leaving the cue ball in a nasty spot, I can pocket a ball, I will do so. But it does not matter if I pocket the ball or not because I am leaving my opponent without a shot at the same time.

So I've learned I can go 'round and 'round not pocketing any balls, be in the situation where my opponent has most of his balls pocketed, and be able to slowly take my time pocketing my balls and leaving my opponent without a shot.

By the time my opponent has most of his balls in, I have re-arranged things so my balls are all broken out and closer to pockets. So then it is an easy runout.

And my opponent will say... "What a GREAT runout!"

Well there is nothing great about it. All his balls are out of the way, all my clusters are broken up, and many of my balls are close to pockets. It is an easy runout.

Of course this strategy does not work with a top player who can do the same back to me. But works with many lesser skilled players.

Get_A_Grip
11-25-2005, 07:34 PM
One of the most frustrating nights playing pool in a bar was playing against an opponent who never tried for a runout. He started each game by purposely missing his shots and leaving the pockets blocked with his balls.

I still got the best of him by knocking his balls out of the way or into the pockets as part of my cue ball leaves. The strategy he was using was fairly effective--he clearly one more games against me than he would have if he would have attempted runouts more often.

However, his strategy made the game really annoying and frustrating to me and I didn't have too much fun that night--even though I beat him more than he beat me. Remember, in bar pool...there isn't really any defined or sanctioned safety play.

I wouldn't have minded his strategy, but he did appear good enough to have been able to runout numerous times...but instead he just blocked-up the table for me instead. Along with this strategy, he was in the process of shooting an illegal jump shot by scooping under the ball...I tried 2 or 3 times to stop him by telling him that he could shoot the shot if he jumped it legally...but he ignored me and shot it anyways (he missed, but left me safe)...arg!

Cane
11-25-2005, 08:20 PM
BillyBob, It's poetry in motion to watch two top players get into a hide and go seek battle like this in 8-Ball. Well, at least to me it is. I love watching a good safety battle in 8-Ball better than I do a break and run... unless of course, I'm the one that breaks and runs! /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

Good strategy, and one overlooked too often by many 8-Ball players. 8-Ball, especially in close quarters like a bar box, is not an easy runout game everytime. Ducking is an art... learn it well and it will win you a lot of matches over time.

Later,
Bob

Billy_Bob
11-25-2005, 09:26 PM
Yes I learned it from the pros (or at least learned that it was OK to play that way watching the pros.)

I never saw more safeties played than watching a pro tournament in person. If they did not have a shot, they played a safety.

As to the previous reply, I will begin playing in bar money tournaments again shortly, and some of these do not allow safeties. "Obvious safeties that is!" For these, I can always "accidentially miss my shot" and leave the cue ball in a nasty spot. And perhaps bank instead of cut a ball to get the cue ball to wind up in a nasty spot. But you're right, some bar players will get quite ticked off with safety play. I use my judgement.

supergreenman
11-26-2005, 04:29 AM
I personally don't like to play in a tournament with bar rules. There is too much room for disagreement. And like you said safety play is discouraged. (it can get you into a fight although there is no real rule against it)

sack316
11-26-2005, 04:40 AM
I play a lot of safe shots in 8 ball too. I tend to not make balls unless there is a runout or to lead up to a planned safety later on--unless one of mine is open and not disturbing a shot my opponent may have later.

As far as the bar room rules goes, there's nothing more fun that playing someone who will just tap the cue ball somewhere bad for you without hitting any of his balls. I don't do that, until someone does it to me... then as far as I'm concerned it open season and they get mad because I'm better at their own game than them in that sense! Man that's fun!

Sack

Billy_Bob
11-26-2005, 08:29 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote sack316:</font><hr>...As far as the bar room rules goes, there's nothing more fun that playing someone who will just tap the cue ball somewhere bad for you without hitting any of his balls...<hr /></blockquote>

I always play by BCA/league rules even if playing by bar rules. And this is just for my own practice. And that is to always hit one of my object balls first, then drive a ball to a rail.

Stretch
11-26-2005, 09:14 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Billy_Bob:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote sack316:</font><hr>...As far as the bar room rules goes, there's nothing more fun that playing someone who will just tap the cue ball somewhere bad for you without hitting any of his balls...<hr /></blockquote>

I always play by BCA/league rules even if playing by bar rules. And this is just for my own practice. And that is to always hit one of my object balls first, then drive a ball to a rail.
<hr /></blockquote>

Just an added note. You'll often find yourself with no shot, or no "payoff" for sinking one. Then playing safe is the right thing to do. Fare enough. But try to develope your table by playing safe off an awkward ball, like one tight to a rail or tie up one of his in so doing. Never squander a good opportunity. Yes the first objective is leaveing no shot. But u can advance your own cause as well at the same time.

Here's a for instance, and this comes up a lot in 9 ball. You get ball in hand and your next ball is right beside another one. Perfect right? You can knock that ball anywhere and freeze up for safe #2. But think now, just sending the ball anywhere is not good enough. You need to break something out makeing the table open, or leave it in the vicinity of other balls (hopefully for return safe #3), or threaten a ob 9 ball combo? Something. But time and again u get beat out with a good kick. That's why.

There's an old addage that goes. When u see your shot.....look for a better one /ccboard/images/graemlins/wink.gif St.

sack316
11-27-2005, 07:09 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Billy_Bob:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote sack316:</font><hr>...As far as the bar room rules goes, there's nothing more fun that playing someone who will just tap the cue ball somewhere bad for you without hitting any of his balls...<hr /></blockquote>

I always play by BCA/league rules even if playing by bar rules. And this is just for my own practice. And that is to always hit one of my object balls first, then drive a ball to a rail.
<hr /></blockquote>

I agree with ya here billy bob, if at all possible I do play APA or BCA rules.... but soemtimes you get somewhere that whoever happens to be on the table at the time insists on playing "real" (ahem) pool (generally when venturing out of the pool hall and into bars that happen to have a table or two is what I'm referring to). To avoid arguments I simply ask how they play and play however they want to.

sneakypapi
11-27-2005, 09:00 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote sack316:</font><hr>
As far as the bar room rules goes, there's nothing more fun that playing someone who will just tap the cue ball somewhere bad for you without hitting any of his balls.
Sack <hr /></blockquote>

If a player does that even under Bar Rules then it defeats the purpose of playing pool. I always try to make an effort to at least hit one of my balls even in bar rules when I do not have a shot, esp. if there is no money on the game.