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View Full Version : In search of the perfect break through analysis

05-19-2007, 04:27 PM
I have been pondering this for a while..is there a possible way to completely analyse the random factors that occur in a given 9 ball break shot?

For instance, continually observe a break shot with high speed cameras under a tightly controlled situation until there is an occurance of the 9 ball pocketing. That video could then be analzed to show exactly what happened when the rack was struck at that particular angle, pace and Q ball striking, so as to perfectly duplicate the shot again.

Realizing of course that even the slightest deviation from these parameters would set about a whole new set of random events. But now at least with the exact parameters established one then could then increase thier odds of success.

Pro players have worked out pocketing the wing ball etc, but the perfect break is still a lucky occurance.

Just a thought. Brad.

ceebee
05-21-2007, 10:40 AM
You can actually analyse a rack breaking up, with a high speed camera. You could actually pinpoint the point of impact, from the cue ball, thus defining the cue ball's path.

The problem with duplicating a Break Shot is the balls themselves. The Rack of balls is a sack of variables.

The balls are not all the exact same diameter (because of manufacturing tolerances) &amp; most times they are not perfectly round. Thus the connotation "sack of variables".
With these small physical variations, there will always be differences in rack action &amp; separation.

Puck
05-21-2007, 03:10 PM
Linked from SFBA; here is a collection of articles from George Onoda in which he breaks down the nine ball rack. Page 6 of 16.

http://www.sfbilliards.com/onoda_all_txt.pdf

pigbrain
05-21-2007, 11:50 PM
there are so many diameters that can effect the result after a break.
the balls are not perfect round, not perfect weight, not the same material elastic module, not the same friction. the cushion are also not perfect.
so cause 1000 breaks head to 1000 situations.
if we do find the exact point, speed, rotation/speed ratio ect that may cause the 9 ball sink, i think the parameters are beyond our human body measure sensibility.

Deeman3
05-22-2007, 07:23 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote pigbrain:</font><hr> there are so many diameters that can effect the result after a break.
the balls are not perfect round, not perfect weight, not the same material elastic module, not the same friction. the cushion are also not perfect.
so cause 1000 breaks head to 1000 situations.
if we do find the exact point, speed, rotation/speed ratio ect that may cause the 9 ball sink, i think the parameters are beyond our human body measure sensibility. <hr /></blockquote>

<font color="blue"> Thankfully, what you say is true. I think a predictable break would ruin this game. Look what even making the wing ball has done to pro nine ball. </font color>

Bob_Jewett
05-22-2007, 08:58 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Deeman3:</font><hr> ...
<font color="blue"> Thankfully, what you say is true. I think a predictable break would ruin this game. Look what even making the wing ball has done to pro nine ball. </font color> <hr /></blockquote>
I think what the problems with the break show is that the game needs to be fixed. One way is to play 10 ball. Or 14.1. If the way the referee puts the balls down seriously impacts the player's chance to win, the game is broken. That happens now. It's not clear what to do.

05-22-2007, 09:06 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Deeman3:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote pigbrain:</font><hr> there are so many diameters that can effect the result after a break.
the balls are not perfect round, not perfect weight, not the same material elastic module, not the same friction. the cushion are also not perfect.
so cause 1000 breaks head to 1000 situations.
if we do find the exact point, speed, rotation/speed ratio ect that may cause the 9 ball sink, i think the parameters are beyond our human body measure sensibility. <hr /></blockquote>

<font color="blue"> Thankfully, what you say is true. I think a predictable break would ruin this game. Look what even making the wing ball has done to pro nine ball. </font color> <hr /></blockquote>

Agreed that the balls vary and conditions are impossible to replicate exactly, what I'm saying is find that one situation that is most successful so as to increase your odds. Some guy managed to do this with a dice throw a few years back and as a consequence he's banned from the casinos. (which does'nt seem right to me the guy is not cheating)

My playing partner has a strong break and yesterday he got the 9 twice in a row. I was watching the rack like a hawk and noticed the nine went toward the left corner pocket immediately with what looked like no kick or carom. On the third attempt it was'nt even close...sure wish I knew what little change he made, if it had been recorded we would know. Of course I may have racked it slightly off, but I think there's a sweet spot that does the trick.

Deeman3
05-22-2007, 09:24 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Bob_Jewett:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote Deeman3:</font><hr> ...
<font color="blue"> Thankfully, what you say is true. I think a predictable break would ruin this game. Look what even making the wing ball has done to pro nine ball. </font color> <hr /></blockquote>
I think what the problems with the break show is that the game needs to be fixed. One way is to play 10 ball. Or 14.1. If the way the referee puts the balls down seriously impacts the player's chance to win, the game is broken. That happens now. It's not clear what to do. <hr /></blockquote>

<font color="blue"> Clearly, the game could become a simple exercise in skill by laying out the balls in identical patterns on the table and beginning each game from that spot. To me, this would become more like artistic billiards or trick shots in it's application. There is, despite all the calls to the contrary, a lot of likability of the randomness of the break that would go away if one could control it completely. I see your point in fairness and beleive a rack should be made as fair as possible but don't beleive anything is going to change it much. Great breakers still tend to make balls and control the cue ball position much more than others and that's about as fair as it can get with all the varibles we have. I just sort of like it that way. I get bad rolls but that's as much a part of the game as anything. 14.1 does allow more control as you have a very cpontrolled break at the start anyway. Certainly, we can't lay claims to needing more control over clusters that are broken out later? 10 ball, yes, that gives one more chance at randomness but still, if played enough, the better breakers will win out, given equal shooting skills at higher levels.

If we all swap to patterned layouts instead of breaks, the game would not survive a year. IMHO

Did Sardo help the game?</font color>

05-22-2007, 10:24 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Bob_Jewett:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote Deeman3:</font><hr> ...
<font color="blue"> Thankfully, what you say is true. I think a predictable break would ruin this game. Look what even making the wing ball has done to pro nine ball. </font color> <hr /></blockquote>
I think what the problems with the break show is that the game needs to be fixed. One way is to play 10 ball. Or 14.1. If the way the referee puts the balls down seriously impacts the player's chance to win, the game is broken. That happens now. It's not clear what to do. <hr /></blockquote>

Some good ideas here although I think the creative pattern break is to easy to be manipulated by the ref.

I like the idea of a 10 ball game, games could be longer and a little more balanced. Its boring to see one player get hot and the other who may be a better player, sit and watch till he's eliminated.

There's even the idea of a full rack version, or 15 ball! This would entail much more strategy play. Also to see someone run a 15 ball rack in rotation would be exciting to watch. Id like to see them add that to the tour.

Bob_Jewett
05-22-2007, 12:52 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Deeman3:</font><hr> ... Did Sardo help the game? <hr /></blockquote>
What the Sardo rack did was to point out that there are fundamental problems with the rack. I don't think we had ever had fair, tight racks before, even though they are required by the rules.

Deeman3
05-22-2007, 02:18 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Bob_Jewett:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote Deeman3:</font><hr> ... Did Sardo help the game? <hr /></blockquote>
What the Sardo rack did was to point out that there are fundamental problems with the rack. I don't think we had ever had fair, tight racks before, even though they are required by the rules. <hr /></blockquote>

<font color="blue"> Bob,

Are you saying that the rack (Sardo) has fundamental problems or just the racking of balls in general. As far as I know, the Sardo did exactly what it was supposed to do, reduce variables in balls not touching and give a more precise location for the balls.

If you are saying, in a bigger sense, there has to be a better way to begin a game or that there is a possible way of reducing the variation even more, i.e. rounder balls, different rack configurations or, as I mentioned, starting games with balls not racked but in pre-determined locations, I'd like to hear further about it.

I'm not disagreeing with any of your observations but just trying to get clarity in what you think the better possibilities might be. </font color>

Bob_Jewett
05-22-2007, 03:39 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Deeman3:</font><hr> ... <font color="blue"> Bob,

Are you saying that the rack (Sardo) has fundamental problems or just the racking of balls in general. ... </font color> <hr /></blockquote>
I meant the racking of the balls in general, and at nine ball in particular. We now know that if the rack is solid, the wing ball goes in (90% or more) and if the wing ball does not go in, the rack was probably loose. It is not necessary to use the Sardo to get a tight rack, since pretty much the same thing can be accomplished by training (tapping) the table and using a very good triangle that is always in the same place.

At one Mosconi cup I saw, the table was trained and the rack was moved about half a ball high by agreement of the team captains. The wing ball still went in.

Deeman3
05-22-2007, 04:04 PM
I see. Well, I hate to admit it but we seem to have an almost unsolvable problem. At least one that we will find it hard to get many to agree on.

05-22-2007, 07:59 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Deeman3:</font><hr> I see. Well, I hate to admit it but we seem to have an almost unsolvable problem. At least one that we will find it hard to get many to agree on. <hr /></blockquote>

Some tourneys require breaking from the center spot only, that cuts it down a bit.

KellyStick
05-23-2007, 11:40 AM
I think your question is kind of like predicting weather. They basically know how to do this but the problem is that there are thousands or millions (Or more) variables to the equations that we just have no way of defining all the variables or obtaining the values. So I suspect this can be done but I suspect it never will happen.

Plus if every pool game started out the same way it would be like those people who can work a rubiks cube blind folded. After a while they get bored and so would you if you had the same set up each time. It would ruin the game.

I have noticed on certain nights under whatever the prevailing conditions that happen to be in place that you get different action on the break. Like sometimes the 8-ball wants to move and other nights it does not. One night in particular I made the 8 on the break twice and barely missed it the other two times. Same break same pocket each time. My buddy did the same. Same table, same break different night the 8 don't seem to wanna move. So watch whats happening and try to take advantage of whatever sack of variables happen to be in place at the time. Then, appreciate the fact that this is always changing thus the game is always different and be thankful!

05-23-2007, 03:35 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote KellyStick:</font><hr> I think your question is kind of like predicting weather. They basically know how to do this but the problem is that there are thousands or millions (Or more) variables to the equations that we just have no way of defining all the variables or obtaining the values. So I suspect this can be done but I suspect it never will happen.

Plus if every pool game started out the same way it would be like those people who can work a rubiks cube blind folded. After a while they get bored and so would you if you had the same set up each time. It would ruin the game.

I have noticed on certain nights under whatever the prevailing conditions that happen to be in place that you get different action on the break. Like sometimes the 8-ball wants to move and other nights it does not. One night in particular I made the 8 on the break twice and barely missed it the other two times. Same break same pocket each time. My buddy did the same. Same table, same break different night the 8 don't seem to wanna move. So watch whats happening and try to take advantage of whatever sack of variables happen to be in place at the time. Then, appreciate the fact that this is always changing thus the game is always different and be thankful! <hr /></blockquote>

Sinking the 9 can be done over and over again. I got 3 in a row once, and I have seen 4 completed in a set of 9. So there is some factor that is constant. I know its puzzeling that it won't happen again despite the same exact conditions, so maybe it is just luck like a slot machine that pays some nights then goes dead the next.

But as far as hurting the game should a constant be found it might help the game not hurt it. The break has always been an unfair factor except when its alternate. So if someone found a constant then maybe the rules would tighten up.

Of course Its many things that are random, different wear on cloth, rack placement but mostly I think its the ability of a player who by chance only, finds the sweet spot and consistantly pots the 9. Everyone gets hot and does it. Granted it may be a Holy Grail quest but I'm a firm believer that nothings impossible.

And I can't see any player who would'nt give their right ___ to do it!

KellyStick
05-23-2007, 07:51 PM
Ok agreed bradb. There is often consistency as I stated, one particular night.

I was just going overboard assuming some sort of perfect break solution could be found, which won't happen, plus wanting to discourage the desire to find the perfect result. Which would ruin the game. I'm not worried.

However your comment that things were identical but you did not sink the 9b is I think wrong. If you didn't sink it later and all was idetical there was something obviously something not identical. It could be you, the table, the atmospheric conditions.... etc... Otherwise identical would have had the same results ehh? So what was differnt?

05-24-2007, 10:19 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote KellyStick:</font><hr> Ok agreed bradb. There is often consistency as I stated, one particular night.

I was just going overboard assuming some sort of perfect break solution could be found, which won't happen, plus wanting to discourage the desire to find the perfect result. Which would ruin the game. I'm not worried.

However your comment that things were identical but you did not sink the 9b is I think wrong. If you didn't sink it later and all was idetical there was something obviously something not identical. It could be you, the table, the atmospheric conditions.... etc... Otherwise identical would have had the same results ehh? So what was differnt? <hr /></blockquote>

You have hit on the very essence of the question... is there a constant that can be duplicated and if so, how exact must that duplication be?...

Any reasonable thinking on this says no, its just a random event that is subject to an impossible number of variables. But then again we all know that the event can and has been duplicated in real situations. So I guess thats why I would like to see a controlled experment.

Would'nt it be wild if someone set up a mechanical pool shot on a perfectly reset ball rack and was able to pot the 9 every single time!

Hopefully the guys who produce Myth Busters will read this and take up the challenge. /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif

Bob_Jewett
05-24-2007, 02:57 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote bradb:</font><hr> ... Sinking the 9 can be done over and over again. I got 3 in a row once, and I have seen 4 completed in a set of 9. So there is some factor that is constant. I know its puzzeling that it won't happen again despite the same exact conditions, so maybe it is just luck like a slot machine that pays some nights then goes dead the next. ... <hr /></blockquote>
You made the nine ball because the rack was loose and the gaps were in the right spots. It is very clear that with a tight rack, the nine rarely moves much unless struck by a banked ball. If the rack is tight, the results can be quite repeatable. If the rack is loose, as nearly all racks are in normal play, the result is less predictable unless you manage to always get the same sizes of gaps in the same places.

Joe Tucker has studied how the various gaps affect the break. I believe one result is if one of the back-side balls is not quite touching the nine, the nine will move in the direction of the corresponding foot pocket.

Any attempt to study break shots that does not carefully take into account the gaps is doomed to be useless.

05-24-2007, 04:48 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Bob_Jewett:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote bradb:</font><hr> ... Sinking the 9 can be done over and over again. I got 3 in a row once, and I have seen 4 completed in a set of 9. So there is some factor that is constant. I know its puzzeling that it won't happen again despite the same exact conditions, so maybe it is just luck like a slot machine that pays some nights then goes dead the next. ... <hr /></blockquote>
You made the nine ball because the rack was loose and the gaps were in the right spots. It is very clear that with a tight rack, the nine rarely moves much unless struck by a banked ball. If the rack is tight, the results can be quite repeatable. If the rack is loose, as nearly all racks are in normal play, the result is less predictable unless you manage to always get the same sizes of gaps in the same places.

Joe Tucker has studied how the various gaps affect the break. I believe one result is if one of the back-side balls is not quite touching the nine, the nine will move in the direction of the corresponding foot pocket.

Any attempt to study break shots that does not carefully take into account the gaps is doomed to be useless. <hr /></blockquote>

Bob, you missed my point... I made 3 because the event was exactly dupilcated!... by chance or by design I don't know. I do know I always rack tight. And the time I made 3 in a row I can assure you the rack was as tight on the second two breaks as it could be made. Racking by hand is never perfect, but usually with some effort its nearly there. So the instance of a colliding ball can be close everytime.

You are right in that with a tight rack the 9 sits right there, but a constant event would be a particulat kind of hit that would provide the best result from another colliding ball.

Of course any study would have to not only include a machined tight rack with all balls frozen, but placed squarely on the spot, with a brushed cloth and clean new balls.

I'm not saying we could duplicate the hit exactly, what my point is... determine what type of hit best increases your odds for success.

Bob_Jewett
05-24-2007, 05:12 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote bradb:</font><hr> ... I do know I always rack tight. ... <hr /></blockquote>
And I'm willing to bet that under normal conditions, you leave at least four gaps between the balls. The real requirement for a tight rack is that the balls be much closer to each other than the amount that they "go into" each other during the collisions. (The balls compress during collisions. This has been measured. The flat spots are about 1/4-inch in diameter).

The next time you rack, try looking carefully at the rack. Very carefully. Any visible gap is too much gap. Let us know how many there are.

A related article is at: http://www.onthebreaknews.com/Jewett4.htm#July05

You should always be able to rack nine ball with only one gap in the rack, even with badly mis-matched balls. That rarely happens. The problem, I believe, is the inevitable craters in the cloth.

05-24-2007, 06:10 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Bob_Jewett:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote bradb:</font><hr> ... I do know I always rack tight. ... <hr /></blockquote>
And I'm willing to bet that under normal conditions, you leave at least four gaps between the balls. The real requirement for a tight rack is that the balls be much closer to each other than the amount that they "go into" each other during the collisions. (The balls compress during collisions. This has been measured. The flat spots are about 1/4-inch in diameter).

The next time you rack, try looking carefully at the rack. Very carefully. Any visible gap is too much gap. Let us know how many there are.

A related article is at: http://www.onthebreaknews.com/Jewett4.htm#July05

You should always be able to rack nine ball with only one gap in the rack, even with badly mis-matched balls. That rarely happens. The problem, I believe, is the inevitable craters in the cloth. <hr /></blockquote>

Good reading Bob, I'm supposed to be working on my Mac right now so I'll spend some time going through your site later.

I notice that if you push the balls up tight then lift away, the bottom balls will have very minute gaps, if you try and tap them up the head ball loosens. I like to push up the balls tight then tap the top and bottom ball before lifting away. Now there seems to be no gaps but I'm sure if you shined a light in there you might see some tiny spaces.

This technique is usually tight enough to produce a dead nine ball hit. I play on Simonis 760 which is a very hard fast surface that indents very little, so its a little harder to rack. But the old napped cloth (which I got my 3) is very good at tapping down to get the balls to settle. It was an old ratty pool hall so those results are worthless, but I still would like to see all the variations of different hits under controlled conditions.- Brad

ceebee
05-24-2007, 10:06 PM
Joe Tucker wrote a book about reading the rack, as to how to use the spaces for the Breaker's advantage. Joe has a video out about the RACKING SECRETS, which describes the nuances of the Rack &amp; how to use these anomalies to your advantage.

05-25-2007, 09:56 AM
Thanks, interesting material. Brad

05-25-2007, 10:35 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Puck:</font><hr> Linked from SFBA; here is a collection of articles from George Onoda in which he breaks down the nine ball rack. Page 6 of 16.

http://www.sfbilliards.com/onoda_all_txt.pdf <hr /></blockquote>

I just got a chance to read this and its very informative. Onoda has certainly gone further than most to understand the events of the break. He has studied pro breaks, which I assume most were mechanically racked, so we have a good constant here. He has diagramed the events of the scatter, but when the balls that have momentum reach the rails, the different events that can happen after that become in the thousands if not the millions.

So maybe this is as far as any reasonable study can go. But darn it, it still nags away at me... how can the 9 pot 3 times in a row?

-If anybody had told me the Q-ball only travels 26 mph i would'nt have believed it. -Brad

Bob_Jewett
05-25-2007, 10:50 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote bradb:</font><hr>... He has studied pro breaks, which I assume most were mechanically racked, ...
<hr /></blockquote>
No, his study was done before the Sardo Rack existed, and the tables were almost certainly not "trained." (A table is trained by tapping the balls into locations that will make them rack tightly.)