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View Full Version : Running the last 3 balls in 9 ball

BigRigTom
03-25-2007, 09:36 AM
I have been reading Phil Capelle's "Play Your Best Pool" (http://www.bigrigtoys.com/noname.html) and have found some real nuggets in there.
On page 274 he explains the importance of running the last 3 balls in Nine Ball and gives the percentages of various skill levels. For example "Players who make 80% of their shots have a 51.8% chance of running 3 balls."
WOW!
That was an eye opener for me and I didn't think that sounded right.
I went to my table and started testing this statement and I immediately saw what he meant and then by bearing down and trying really hard I started to run the 3 balls 5 or 6 times in ten which doesn't sound great but try this and see for yourself (You have to keep track of your success and failure which I had never done in this exercise before).

It is not as easy as we all think unless you are an extremely disciplined player.

03-25-2007, 10:07 AM
This assumes that each shot has the same probability of being made: 0.8 x 0.8 x 0.8 = 0.512.

In nine ball, where you are forced to shoot in rotation, I would think it might be a little tougher, although the lack of interfering balls probably mitigates this a bit.

It does emphasize the importance of cueball control. If you have one low probability shot, or two medium probability shots, defensive play may be a consideration.

BigRigTom
03-25-2007, 10:14 AM
The way I practiced the drill was:
Throw three balls (7,8,9) on the table hard so they bounce off several rails and bang into one another in and effort to get a random pattern every time.
Take cue ball in hand and start with the 7 just like I was playing an APA_Nine Ball Match.
In the APA match you usually are not trying to combo the 9.
It is better to take all 4 points than combo the 9 for only 2 points then risk not making a ball on the break and giving up the table.

BRussell
03-25-2007, 11:02 AM
In my experience, the probabilities are not constant, they decrease with each shot. If you start out with an easy shot, there's still a chance that you get a little out of line, which makes it harder to get position on the next shot, etc. etc. I think it's pretty common to get a little out of line, and then a bit further out of line, and so on.

I always joke with my friends that I get about 3 inches further out of line on each shot, and by the time I'm a foot out of line, I miss, so I usually make 4 balls but not more. Of course, if you play perfect position every time, that doesn't happen, but most mortals don't play perfect position, and therefore you get decreasing probabilities.

sofy60
03-25-2007, 12:05 PM
players that make 80 percent of there shots are not very good players. the last 3 is very challenging to such a player and I would think that it would be a lesser percentage than the 50% keeping in line ect.... toughie.. first you have to see what your shot percentage is overall.. need to keep some stats on yourself for a few hundred shots to get a fair est.

BigRigTom
03-26-2007, 01:45 AM
What percentage does a "very good" player make?

If he makes 90% then his chance of running 3 balls is 72.9%.

What percentage do you make?

trob
03-26-2007, 03:57 AM
Are you doig this on a 7ft table? I'm gonna do it tonight but on my 7 footer i really think I'll be able to do this more then 90 percent of the time. On the 9 ft gold crowns at the club I can see this being a nice challenge.

BigRigTom
03-26-2007, 10:42 AM
I have a Brunswick Pro 8' which has 46" x 92" playing surface.
I too thought that running 3 balls is pretty automatic but I had a rude awakening. I think most people who have not done this exercise and recorded their performance will be surprised.

The thing that amazed me was that once I realized how easy it was to miss a shot (for all the same old excuses) or get so far out of position that I then started to worry that I would not be able to finish the 3 ball run I started to focus more intensely and of course I did much better.

That is the purpose of the exercise after all and I think it is great!
I also think that any good player will tell you that he can get out from the 7 more than 90% of the time.....the proof is in the pudding....as they say. Phil mentions in the book this very true fallacy about how we all think we can and if we really are focused then we can but any minor distraction, error in judgement, stroke, aim, speed control, table roll, bad luck etc etc etc and you DON'T GET OUT!
Try it for yourself!

TennesseeJoe
03-26-2007, 11:41 AM
QUOTE "players that make 80 percent of there shots are not very good players. the last 3 is very challenging to such a player and I would think that it would be a lesser percentage than the 50% keeping in line ect.... toughie.. first you have to see what your shot percentage is overall.. need to keep some stats on yourself for a few hundred shots to get a fair est."

I'm not sure what game you are playing, but I think 80% would be difficult in One Pocket. I would even like to see it done in 9-ball. Rack and break the balls. The break does not count as a shot. Now run the rack and repeat the sequence (break then run). After 10 racks I don't think you would run an 80% average. But then again you may be a lot better than the above average 9-ball player.

trob
03-26-2007, 03:38 PM
Started my night with this drill at my house. I might have to try it on the 9 footers. I did it 20 times in a row with no problems. the last 5 I tried to make sure there was at least one ball on the rail to make it harder. I also broke and ran the first 4 racks of 8 ball so I was hitting them pretty good tonight.

BigRigTom
03-26-2007, 04:07 PM
Cool!
Remind me to never play you for money!
By the way........Did you have any witnesses? /ccboard/images/graemlins/cool.gif

trob
03-26-2007, 05:31 PM
I was at home so only my wife..lol like I said I'm gonna do it on the 9ft gold crowns at the club. I'm sure that will up the diffuculty level. /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif

TennesseeJoe
03-26-2007, 09:21 PM
If I understand this---you just ran 20 racks of 9-ball???

trob
03-27-2007, 06:38 AM
reread the initial post lol . if I ran 20 full racks in a rowI wouldbe on tour.