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View Full Version : Power Break - Speed vs Accuracy - 8 & 9 ball

BigRigTom
10-10-2007, 02:42 PM
I have been working on my break and trying desperately to develop a reliable power break for both 8 ball and 9 ball.
While trying to find my most efficient speed with accuracy this question came to mind.

Assuming the rack is tight (all balls touching) and straight plus properly on the foot spot, then the cue ball shot from the postion of about 1 ball off the side rail striks the head ball dead on with no spin (a perfect stun shot).
What speed transfers the proper power to rack to sink the 1 ball in the side pocket while also sinking one of the balls in a foot corner pocket and still make the cue ball stick dead near the center of the table.

I heard an announcer say once that Johnny Archer's break hits the rack at around 21 Miles per Hour while most other pros hit at about 19 mph....keep in mind that I have no idea if that is a true statement....

Has anyone ever measured the speed and calculated the force in foot pounds of energy and figured how that effects the angle of trajectory from the rack to the pockets then figured how the resulting speed effects the balls probability of entering the pocket even if striking a part of the cushion upon entry?

Wow!
That is a mouth full of question....hope it is not too dumb of one. If it is I'm sure there are lots of folks ready to tell me so...he he. /ccboard/images/graemlins/cool.gif

Eric.
10-10-2007, 02:57 PM
I dunno the exact speed. I know that a variety of speeds and CUE TIP POSITIONS can get action from the rack and the CB to squat. IMO, you can do it hitting low and you can do it with a tip above center too. The table conditions dictate how you adjust.

Eric

okinawa77
10-10-2007, 04:05 PM
I know that when I was lifting weights and was strong enough to bench press 500 lbs, I was able to use a 25 ounce cue and break hard enough to make the front half of balls in an 8 ball rack jump off the table with the cue ball plowing straight through the rack.

I got in a car wreck and messed up my elbow. I stopped lifting weights because of it, and am not as strong as I used to be.

I remember that I had to hit close to center, a tiny bit of low english to keep the cue ball from flying off the table. The cue ball actually would dig under neath the rack with the bottom english on the cue ball. I had to ease off on my full strength in order to maintain control of the break stroke. I hit the head ball dead on.
It didn't take long for my cue tip to explode.

I heard that our league operator used a tip pik on his break cue, and it exploded into several pieces during his break. He's a pretty big guy with a powerful break.

I use a mid crouch stance on my shots, but I have found that using a more "stand up" stance...allows me to get more power into the break.....because my back arm is moving more freely....and I can supplement the stroke with my chest muscles (pectorals).

I sure wish I could still break like that. It's nice when you only had a handful of balls left on the table after the break.

I remember when I was a kid, I challenged myself to make the 8 on the break 10 times consecutively. And I did, after a lot of practice. I sure wish I could remember the exact details of how I did it. I do remember that I had to look at the rack before each break....like Joe Tucker states in his videos...read the rack. Depending on the way the rack was, I could figure out how to make the 8 on the break, almost every time.

If only I was a kid again, playing pool for free at the youth center all day long.

I read a book recently, that talked about how some women will kind of keep their swing arm close to their body and use their hips to give them more power in their breaks.

BigRigTom
10-10-2007, 04:29 PM
Thanks for your imput guys but the reason this question is bothering me is.....

I can break pretty hard and not make a ball sometimes!
I can break pretty soft and make several balls, sometime!

I just don't see the optimum method...it all seems just "TOO RANDOM" and "T0O MUCH DEPENDENT ON LUCK"!

The pros suggestions don't help a whole lot because everyone has a slightly different opinion.
Johnny Archer Breaks 9 ball hard and Cory Duel breaks 9 ball soft and they both work great.......SOMETIMES THAT IS AND SOMETIMES IT DOESN'T WORK AT ALL FOR EITHER OF THEM!!!!

Is it really reduced to LUCK!??

1Time
10-10-2007, 04:37 PM
The easy answer to the OP's questions is to watch better players breaks and imitate what they do. No need to seek out measurements of speed and force; it's not like someone then can generate a corresponding break from such known measurements. The hard part is refining your break with practice to produce similar or better results.

A consistent and successful 9-ball break seems to be far more dependent on accuracy and consistency of speed than an 8-ball break.

I like using a defensive break in 8-ball if I suspect my opponent capable of running out and has a weak defensive game. Otherwise, I like to break big. One of my better 8-ball breaks is with the CB bouncing off the head ball and 2 rails and back through the rack, fun to watch too.

SKennedy
10-10-2007, 04:42 PM
Not only do I calculate the speed of my CB on the break, I also count the # of revolutions between stroking the ball with the tip amd its moment of impact. Obviously I'm joking. However, many good bowlers can tell you exactly the # of revolutions thier bowling ball makes!

BigRigTom
10-10-2007, 04:44 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote 1Time:</font><hr> The easy answer to the OP's questions is to watch better players breaks and imitate what they do. No need to seek out measurements of speed and force; it's not like someone then can generate a corresponding break from such known measurements. The hard part is refining your break with practice to produce similar or better results.

A consistent and successful 9-ball break seems to be far more dependent on accuracy and consistency of speed than an 8-ball break.

I like using a defensive break in 8-ball if I suspect my opponent capable of running out and has a weak defensive game. Otherwise, I like to break big. One of my better 8-ball breaks is with the CB bouncing off the head ball and 2 rails and back through the rack, fun to watch too. <hr /></blockquote>

OK!
Now what's the HARD answer...I have time to ponder it if anyone has it.

BigRigTom
10-10-2007, 04:55 PM
Come on Dr. Dave, jump on this opportunity!
There must be some math, physics and geometry we can use here.

We have a 2.25 inch 6 oz. sphere traveling X distance at Y angle and striking 9x or 15x spheres of equal mass and weight at Z feet per seconds resulting in either the 8 or 9 ball traveling after a certain # of ricochets at Y1 angle to Pocket #3 approximately ??% of the time.

Here is some interesting stuff for you scientist types?
Mass of a Billiard Ball (http://hypertextbook.com/facts/2004/OluwoleOwoseni.shtml)

ceebee
10-10-2007, 06:51 PM
Hey there Big Rig.... Do you know where to aim, to make the "Wing Ball", in 9-Ball? Do you know where to aim, to make the "Lead Ball" in 9-Ball? Accuracy of hit, on the rack of balls, does make a great deal of difference.

The Break Shot uses lots of body movement, which equates to "lots of moving parts", to accomplish a "Precision Task".

My suggestion is "Methodical Practice", for starters. Work on the basics, will always reward the player with better "Rhythm &amp; Coordination", which equates to greater Accuracy &amp; more Speed.

Good Luck....

DSAPOLIS
10-11-2007, 09:13 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote ceebee:</font><hr> Hey there Big Rig.... Do you know where to aim, to make the "Wing Ball", in 9-Ball? Do you know where to aim, to make the "Lead Ball" in 9-Ball? Accuracy of hit, on the rack of balls, does make a great deal of difference.

The Break Shot uses lots of body movement, which equates to "lots of moving parts", to accomplish a "Precision Task".

My suggestion is "Methodical Practice", for starters. Work on the basics, will always reward the player with better "Rhythm &amp; Coordination", which equates to greater Accuracy &amp; more Speed.

Good Luck....
<hr /></blockquote>

You tell him, Charley!I agree with you 100%!

BigRigTom
10-11-2007, 10:09 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote ceebee:</font><hr> Hey there Big Rig.... Do you know where to aim, to make the "Wing Ball", in 9-Ball? Do you know where to aim, to make the "Lead Ball" in 9-Ball? Accuracy of hit, on the rack of balls, does make a great deal of difference.

The Break Shot uses lots of body movement, which equates to "lots of moving parts", to accomplish a "Precision Task".

My suggestion is "Methodical Practice", for starters. Work on the basics, will always reward the player with better "Rhythm &amp; Coordination", which equates to greater Accuracy &amp; more Speed.

Good Luck....
<hr /></blockquote>
Yes I do know where to aim to make the wing ball, not sure which ball you are calling the "lead" ball but none of that is answering my question.

Like I said in the original post....
I can break hard and make balls...sometimes.
I can break soft and make balls...sometimes.
I can break from different points and make balls...sometime.
I can use various aims and english and draw and follow and make balls on the break hard or soft...sometimes.

The thing that bothers me and apparently plagues the pro as well is the "sometimes" part.

My question was....
"Is there an optimum speed that gives you the best chance of making the 1 ball in the side, one or more balls in the foot corner and sticking the cue ball somewhere near the center of the table?"

Deeman3
10-11-2007, 10:12 AM
No, too many variables to make that statement.

BigRigTom
10-11-2007, 10:43 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Deeman3:</font><hr> No, too many variables to make that statement. <hr /></blockquote>

Thanks Deeman but I don't think there is such a thing as too many variables for a math problem where a range is the sot after answer. I'm not looking for a definitive or exact speed in feet per nano second but I would think that mathematically we should be able to say that breaking at approximately 15 mph is either better or worse that breaking at 21 mph and maybe 19 is better or worse than 15 etc.

Again what brings me to these questions is discussions I have read about shooting at pocket speed vs firing the balls into the holes.
We all know that a soft shot has a larger margin of error and a better chance of dropping when the ball touches the cushion before entering the pocket....how does this knowledge effect the probabilities of balls dropping on the break.
The power break will definitely rattle more balls out of the pocket so maybe the correctly adjusted soft break will result in more balls dropping at pocket speed instead of rattling out.

Am I chasing butterflies here or am I just not making my question clear.

Deeman3
10-11-2007, 10:55 AM
Respectfully, I think you are chasing a few butterflys but there are some generalizatins that might be made. The problem with variables outside a math equation is that you can't measure them all or many are too ramdom to capture.

A couple of well known points. With controlled racks, ala Sardo, the soft break has been very effective. Most people have been able to develop a repeatable soft break that makes a corner ball very consistently. With hand racks, you are generally better off to hit them hard, as long as cue ball position is controlled and make more balls with more velocity all other things being equal. Ceebee and Joe Tucker have made some remarkable observations that help but much of it is still, "Find a spot, hit it square and as hard as possible."

SPetty
10-11-2007, 11:59 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote BigRigTom:</font><hr>"Is there an optimum speed that gives you the best chance of making the 1 ball in the side, one or more balls in the foot corner and sticking the cue ball somewhere near the center of the table?"<hr /></blockquote>~16.872 mph. Good luck.

/ccboard/images/graemlins/tongue.gif

BigRigTom
10-11-2007, 12:10 PM
Wow!
So there really is an answer.....not so sure it is a correct answer...????
Thanks anyway!

Now for those who have a "different answer"

DSAPOLIS
10-11-2007, 12:21 PM
Tom

Look at what the variables are...
cloth speed... - fast, slow, damp, dry, old, new
the balls... clean, dirty, chipped, waxed, nonuniformity of size and weight-
the tightness of the rack... tight loose, anywhere in between here and there
the position of the rack... tilted, straight, too far forward, too far back, one on the spot, 9 on the spot
the cue ball ... in the box, on the rail, somewhere in between - clean dirty, chipped, waxed, heavy, light, flying, non flying, is it a blue dot, red dot, measle, etc

You can also add in humidity, a bad stroke, a variety of different mechanical flaws in your stroke and follow through - That's a lot of variables.

The best bet is to always experiment and stick with what works - and always be aware that you have adapt to the everchanging conditions of the table, the atmosphere and the equipment.

wolfdancer
10-11-2007, 12:30 PM
Tom, in case you missed it here...a few months back...Colin Colenso made a video of his technique for the power break. Unfortunately, he did this with a camera phone, so the video quality is poor, but the content great.
Colin is now back in Australia, and plans to re-shoot the video, using a much better camera.
I copied the original for a local BCA Master player....he shared that with one of the best local players, who was an IPT member. Talking to him the other day...he "loves" Colin's break theory..and said he's been using the wrong muscles all his pool life.
Here's the link to the video:

BigRigTom
10-11-2007, 12:51 PM
Thanks David,

Back to my question....
Again I know there is no truly definitive answer but "IF" we set a few ground rules we should be able to narrow down the options and variables and come up with a "mean" or "starting point" to work from...
Sort of like using the 90 degree rule or Dr. Dave's 30 degree rule to get an idea of the direction of the cue ball on any given shot.

All the variables you mention (except those related to the rack) are present on every shot and yet we watch people like Mike Massey sink multiple balls in multiple pockets cosistently because he sets up the shot according to known facts but he still must hit the shot correctly with the correct speed from the correct angle etc etc etc.

BigRigTom
10-11-2007, 01:06 PM
Thanks Wolfdancer, I did see that video and in fact it was part of the inspiration the got me to working on my break. It is really great stuff.
I know a few people who have great explosive breaks in both 9 ball and 8 ball and I have watched people like Francisco Bustamante break with that explosive power he has (kicking up and all) and balls banging all around the table and NOTHING DROPPING. I see Johnny Archer slam a rack and have balls bouncing all over and then stand there with that puzzled expression when NOTHING DROPS!

A couple of weeks ago my wife who is an APA 3 was playing another APA 3 in 9 ball. She racked and the opponent steps up to the table, lines up his break and proceeds to miscue...the cue ball manages some how to strick the 1 ball a bit off center ricocheting around a bit and the rack slowly spreads out with 4 balls dropping in 3 different pockets (one ball was the 9 ball kicked into the corner pocket). That player was in total awe as was I and he told me he had never made a 9 ball break before.

It just seems to me that this kind of break should be studied and somewhere there must be a reason beyond pure luck.
We won't know if we don't look closely with an open mind.

Cydpkt
10-11-2007, 01:16 PM
Another variable to throw into the mix is what weight cue to use. Good question.

wolfdancer
10-11-2007, 01:42 PM
Tom, we had a great 9 ball jackpot, growing weekly in Vacaville, Ca (home of Charles Manson)a few years back.
At \$4200 I drew a ticket, let my friend break, and the 9 hung in the side pocket.
At \$9600, a guy in a wheelchair broke for the \$\$. I wasn't there, but he can't generate a lot of power, since he can't even lift himself from the chair....people told me the rack broke apart very slowly, and the 9 ball trickled into the corner pocket. so much for the power and timing thing.
There is a 14 yr old around these parts...weighs about 135 soaking wet (that would be from my tears, if I had to play him for \$\$)....and he has a dynamite break...one that everybody admires. Folks stop playing just to watch him break.

BigRigTom
10-11-2007, 02:08 PM
Glad I'm not the only one who see's the falacy in the Power Break with speed, balance and timing being the only way.
Wouldn't it be great to break in a manner that would send all 9 balls smoothly toward the rails at pocket speed so that anything remotely close to the pocket would either drop or hang while the cue ball backs a few inches up out of the way and sits there while the rest of the ball flow to their destinations, then simply tap them in in order.

10-11-2007, 02:13 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote BigRigTom:</font><hr>
Has anyone ever measured the speed and calculated the force in foot pounds of energy and figured how that effects the angle of trajectory from the rack to the pockets then figured how the resulting speed effects the balls probability of entering the pocket even if striking a part of the cushion upon entry?
<hr /></blockquote>

Tom, I have been working on my break on and off for at least 3 years. I've found its not just power but a smooth fluid action that requires the QB be hit right in the sweet spot just like a tennis stroke or base ball swing. If you are off center even a 1/4 tip the ball will loose its forward striking force. You have probably noticed that sometimes you can hit the QB like godzilla and the rack just won't spread well.

I've noticed Johnny Archer has been experimenting around with the soft break in nine ball and plunking the wing ball everytime with the QB sitting nicely in the center, so there's controlled breaks and power hits, but its all in a nice straight through strike.

I lay off the power a bit and try for more accuracy for the sweet spot, you'll know when you've done it... it feels just like a home run swing! No glancing or resistance in the hit.

wolfdancer
10-11-2007, 03:18 PM
some years back, I thought Paul Brienza had the best break I had ever seen...still like it to this day. His action was both smooth and powerful,just the arm swing...the cue ball hit the rack jumped up and unless it got kissed would park near center table.
I'm wondering if you can't in fact, hit the rack too hard?
Bob Jewett had an experiment (Jacksonville?)on breaking...not sure of his findings though....

10-11-2007, 03:37 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote wolfdancer:</font><hr> some years back, I thought Paul Brienza had the best break I had ever seen...still like it to this day. His action was both smooth and powerful,just the arm swing...the cue ball hit the rack jumped up and unless it got kissed would park near center table.
I'm wondering if you can't in fact, hit the rack too hard?
Bob Jewett had an experiment (Jacksonville?)on breaking...not sure of his findings though.... <hr /></blockquote>

I think its all in controlled technique. A good example would be Nolan Ryan. He probably could'nt bench press his own weight, but he can throw the ball at 98 mph. Smooth action, perfect follow through and the power and accuracy is there.

Jager85
10-11-2007, 04:48 PM
I am not an expert and have been trying to find a good controlled break for at least a year now and have had little if any luck. I do remember a study being done on TV a few years back about pros breaks. The results showed that pros only won about 1/3 of the matches that they broke in. This was all boiled down to that fact that so many things can go wrong during the break. You can squat the cue ball in the center of the table but whats not to say that another ball kicks it in the side pocket?

I belive the break is 10% control and 90% luck.

BigRigTom
10-11-2007, 05:10 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Jager85:</font><hr> I am not an expert and have been trying to find a good controlled break for at least a year now and have had little if any luck. I do remember a study being done on TV a few years back about pros breaks. The results showed that pros only won about 1/3 of the matches that they broke in. This was all boiled down to that fact that so many things can go wrong during the break. You can squat the cue ball in the center of the table but whats not to say that another ball kicks it in the side pocket?

I belive the break is 10% control and 90% luck. <hr /></blockquote>

I believe, based on current understanding and techniques, you are very close in your estimation.
My question is still "Does it HAVE to be that way?" or is there something we are all overlooking?
It is my opinion that it does not and I am wondering just how many agree with me and is there someone out there that can prove me wrong or at least make me quit wasting my time on this subject.

okinawa77
10-11-2007, 05:21 PM
If you want to consider increasing your odds on pocketing a ball or multiple balls on the break, consider the head ball in both 8 ball and 9 ball. This ball is usually consistently positioned on the foot spot. This ball can be pocketed in either side pocket with a soft break or hard break.

But consider this, if you use that same break, but use a hard break, then if the head ball misses the side pocket, it will bank towards the corner pocket, and if it misses the corner pocket, and may bank again toward another pocket. So, a powerful break that gets the balls rolling the most, increases your odds on pocketing a ball.
I played a guy in 9 ball, and he consistently pocketed a minimum of 3 balls on the break using a super powerful break. He always pocketed at least one ball.

10-11-2007, 05:40 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Jager85:</font><hr> I am not an expert and have been trying to find a good controlled break for at least a year now and have had little if any luck. I do remember a study being done on TV a few years back about pros breaks. The results showed that pros only won about 1/3 of the matches that they broke in. This was all boiled down to that fact that so many things can go wrong during the break. You can squat the cue ball in the center of the table but whats not to say that another ball kicks it in the side pocket?

I belive the break is 10% control and 90% luck. <hr /></blockquote>

I'm no expert either but must strongly disagree!

A top nine ball player can get a wing ball almost everytime... thats way beyond 10%, and even if he does'nt get shape to run out he will hook you and still probably win the game. In 9 ball the break is like a server in tennis. For the non breaker to win its like breaking his serve!

Now if you are talking 8 ball then that percentage may be more acurate although i still find it suspect. Maybe if we factor in all the pro tour, but if we hold it down to the top 15 players then I will go with the breaker every time.

okinawa77
10-11-2007, 06:21 PM
In the 9 ball rack, the wing balls can be the easiest balls to pocket....BUT....if the rack is not centered correctly, then you need to know this before breaking....and you can use this to your advantage. In pro tournaments, most use a SARDO rack which gives you consistently good racks. In hand racks, you should have the head ball consistently centered on the foot spot. Therefore, pocketing the head ball will be more consistent on hand racks.

Another thing to consider is...if the wing ball misses, where does it go?
Is it likely to bank and roll through traffic into another pocket?

The head ball has more pocketing probability than the wing balls....especially when the tournament decides to have the rack moved up...centering the 9 ball on the foot spot.

Have you ever seen a tournament move the rack up on 8 ball?
They might do it, if they want to speed the tournament along.
Centering the 8 ball on the foot spot will increase the wing balls pocketing probability significantly...and increase the 8 ball pocketing probability.

10-11-2007, 07:02 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote okinawa77:</font><hr> In the 9 ball rack, the wing balls can be the easiest balls to pocket....BUT....if the rack is not centered correctly, then you need to know this before breaking....and you can use this to your advantage. In pro tournaments, most use a SARDO rack which gives you consistently good racks. In hand racks, you should have the head ball consistently centered on the foot spot. Therefore, pocketing the head ball will be more consistent on hand racks.

Another thing to consider is...if the wing ball misses, where does it go?
Is it likely to bank and roll through traffic into another pocket?

The head ball has more pocketing probability than the wing balls....especially when the tournament decides to have the rack moved up...centering the 9 ball on the foot spot.

Have you ever seen a tournament move the rack up on 8 ball?
They might do it, if they want to speed the tournament along.
Centering the 8 ball on the foot spot will increase the wing balls pocketing probability significantly...and increase the 8 ball pocketing probability. <hr /></blockquote>

My comments were in general to show Jager this his estimation that the break is 10% luck is way to low.

Yes the head ball is usually sent to the side pocket, but in 9 ball where the breaker shoots from the side rail, the wing ball is almost automatic.
This has resulted in a lot of tournies banning the side rail break.

There's not to many pro matches up here so I have never seen the rack being placed with the 8 or 9 on the spot?

The pro matches I have attended the Sardo rack is usually used in the semi finals only, in the regular play each player racks his own so he can't blame anyone for a sloppy rack. In my amatuer league we rack for the other player but he has the option if he wants a re rack.

SKennedy
10-12-2007, 09:37 AM
I know that breaking is important, etc. However, I think there are plenty more aspects to this game that deserve much more attention. I know guys who take great pride in their powerful break (and my breaks not too shabby either), but they act as if it is the most important aspect of the game. If I'm their opponent, I seem to focus more and play better, thus depriving them of future breaking opportunities (if winner breaks). Granted, I think breaking is important and I think skill is important, but of all aspects of the game, luck is the largest factor on the break than any other part of the game. Therefore, beyond basic fundamentals...accuracy, speed, and controlling the CB, why spend a lot of time on the break?
I amost always break from the center-line of the table and hit the head ball dead-on, with as much accuracy and speed as possible, while most of my buddies do the more common things associated with the break. For the most part, I find my breaks to be just as effective as theirs. Every now and then I'll get "fancy" and instead of hitting the CB dead center, I'll put a lot of top spin on it so it will hit the rack, come back, and then follow back into the rack again (usually just in 9-ball). I normally don't do this as I perfer having more control of the CB. (This is just my opinion and I know many of you are a much better player than I) And I use a light cue (18 oz.) as I think it generates more speed on the CB, which I think is important.

Deeman3
10-12-2007, 09:57 AM
I think the importance of the break has a lot to do with the game and the skill level of the player. In nine ball, the break has very little advantage if you are not capable of running a rack, for instance. In 8 ball, because of the group selection process, it takes on more weight even for less skilled players unless they are completely just banging away and not thinking. In the end, if you are not losing a majority of the games your opponents break, it may not matter much at all to you in real terms.

10-12-2007, 10:12 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Deeman3:</font><hr> I think the importance of the break has a lot to do with the game and the skill level of the player. In nine ball, the break has very little advantage if you are not capable of running a rack, for instance. In 8 ball, because of the group selection process, it takes on more weight even for less skilled players unless they are completely just banging away and not thinking. In the end, if you are not losing a majority of the games your opponents break, it may not matter much at all to you in real terms. <hr /></blockquote>

Yes, that was my point. In the top ranks of the pros the breaker is expected to get a ball down and have the advantage to either run out or put their opponent on the defensive. As I said its like having the serve in tennis.

SKennedy
10-12-2007, 01:42 PM
I agree with you guys and our differences may have more to do with the skill level of our opponents. I agree the break is important, but I still say that luck is involved with it more than any other element of the game (APA aside). Some nights I win more games when my opponent breaks than when I break. I suspect it has to do with the fact that when I break and try to "run-out" I put more pressure on myself, whereas when I don't break, I'm more relaxed. I do hate APA rules on the break....you'r stuck with whatever ball you make on the break.....that's unamerican...but it takes the advantage away from the winner on many occasions(guy breaking).

1Time
10-12-2007, 02:45 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote SKennedy:</font><hr> I agree the break is important, but I still say that luck is involved with it more than any other element of the game (APA aside).
<hr /></blockquote>

Luck is only one factor in a break and the degree to which it can factor into an outcome can to some extent be controlled. For example, one can significantly reduce the roll of luck in the break with a more controlled break, like in a straight pool break. The same is true for 8 and 9-ball. Luck factors in more with a less controlled break, like when blasting away at the rack. Those who consistently have more successful breaks than most do not do so because they are consistently more lucky. They are better at controlling (to varying degrees) the variables that are within their power to control. Note, however, that a successful break need not only be defined as a totally offensive one that sets up a relatively easy run out.

10-12-2007, 04:27 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote SKennedy:</font><hr> I agree with you guys and our differences may have more to do with the skill level of our opponents. I agree the break is important, but I still say that luck is involved with it more than any other element of the game (APA aside). Some nights I win more games when my opponent breaks than when I break. I suspect it has to do with the fact that when I break and try to "run-out" I put more pressure on myself, whereas when I don't break, I'm more relaxed. I do hate APA rules on the break....you'r stuck with whatever ball you make on the break.....that's unamerican...but it takes the advantage away from the winner on many occasions(guy breaking).
<hr /></blockquote>

Interesting that you must shoot the pocketed color, up here in my league its optional... we're Canadian so go figure?

I agree whole heartedly that the break is not that big a deal in amatuer 8 ball play. I have had no B and O's but i have had several approach and outs. Don't know why that is, I guess its because since my opponent did'nt score there's less pressure, also if i don't like my shot I have the option of leaving him tough.

In 9 ball the break is a big factor even in amateur play. You can pot the nine, set it up for a combo or run out, the break is the most important play in that game.

An interesting comment was made by Strickland on why he's not winning in 9 ball anymore. He said his break is not up to some of the new young players who have developed big power breaks and are dominating 9 ball now.

SKennedy
10-12-2007, 09:22 PM
The break is more important in 9-ball..likely because of run-outs and there is a higher probablility of pocketing the 9 in 9-ball than the 8 in 8-ball.
And yes, I only play amateurs, although some of them think they're pros.

Cydpkt
10-13-2007, 10:40 PM
Tom if you have a chance I found a short excerpt from Phil Capelle's book "Play Your Best Nine Ball." (page 41)I guess in 1996 another magazine did a speed test on breaks using a laser meter. I don't want to quote anything in case of copyright laws. (not sure how they would apply)

BigRigTom
10-15-2007, 10:20 AM
I don't have the book "Play Your Best 9 Ball" but using your words I searched Google and came up with soom threads on the rec.sport.billiard group.

I found this one very interesting though I have no "facts" to support any of these comments. Apparently this is a pretty well hashed subject from years gone by and Bob Jewett has been involved in many conversations about it as well.
<font color="red">
Tim White from the billiard sanctuary uses a radar gun during his lesson on
the break. He grades the break on speed, cue ball position, and balls made.

He holds the radar gun over the rack with the gun aimed slightly in front of

He was here recently and as we were working through our 170 racks of 9 ball
we decided to put each other on the gun. He breaks very hard. All his breaks
were over 26 and most were 27 or 28. My break speed has increased to 20
since the lesson.
We also graded cue ball position. We found that when we concentrated on cue
ball position and did not try so hard to apply the muscle, we actually got
better results with accuracy and speed. Staying loose and not clenching was
important.

We put the kids on the gun too. My boys got a real kick out of that. Last
spring Tim had picked out my middle child(10 yrs old) as the one with the
natural stroke. He still mentions it. My middle child had the highest break
speed at 14. My oldest has a break speed of 13 and the youngest could not
get it to register. He was demoralized. He has had to put up with grief from
his big brothers. The gun would not register under 10.

Otto </font color>

poolguy123
10-17-2007, 02:44 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote okinawa77:</font><hr> He always pocketed at least one ball. <hr /></blockquote>

NOBODY ALWAYS pockets at least one ball. They may have a great break and often pocket one or more balls but the rolls will go wrong eventually and a dry streak will occur.

I watched the tapes of Earl and Efren in the \$100,000 Challenge. Efren struggled for 3/4 of the race to 120 to make anything on the break, while Earl made balls with ease it seemed. Even his power though did not make balls EVERY time. Then near the end-the worm turned and the opposite results gave Efren the edge.

For us rookies- solid and accurate contact on the head ball is the best anyone can strive for. The search for a mathematically perfect solution with the infinite variables involved, I think, is wishful thinking and a waste of good practice time!

BigRigTom
10-18-2007, 09:18 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote poolguy123:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote okinawa77:</font><hr> He always pocketed at least one ball. <hr /></blockquote>

NOBODY ALWAYS pockets at least one ball. They may have a great break and often pocket one or more balls but the rolls will go wrong eventually and a dry streak will occur.

I watched the tapes of Earl and Efren in the \$100,000 Challenge. Efren struggled for 3/4 of the race to 120 to make anything on the break, while Earl made balls with ease it seemed. Even his power though did not make balls EVERY time. Then near the end-the worm turned and the opposite results gave Efren the edge.

For us rookies- solid and accurate contact on the head ball is the best anyone can strive for. The search for a mathematically perfect solution with the infinite variables involved, I think, is wishful thinking and a waste of good practice time! <hr /></blockquote>

Thank you poolguy!
This is the most sensible reply I have seen so far.
As for the mathematical formula for a perfect break every time?...@^\$(@)_!_&amp;#!*^(%\$

I would just like to see what the results of a resonably close mathematical formula would suggest for "best" results...it does not have to be perfect to be a great help in providing a base line to work with.

Seems like we should be able to get an idea what "should" work better than what we have now.

Derek
10-18-2007, 01:13 PM
I always thought my break was my weak point for years . . . and then I watched that Colin guy's video on YouTube. Helped me immensely. It's still a work in progress but I already think I break better than 90% of the players I hang out with versus in the past of being in the bottom 25%.

Launching my body into the stroke or at least my hips seems to help. I've also been trying to emulate what Colin does in relationship to the pros. A lot of similarities for the pros who still power break. A good example I saw lately was one of the Asian women pros who's all of 5' &amp; short and she had a beautiful wind-up going into the stroke.

For me, a lighter cue works. I ended up buying an 18 oz break/jump cue, but now I'm thinking 19 oz is my optimal weight. I've seen a lot of pros state the lighter break cue is better for more velocity rather than trying to gain power from a heavy cue. I'm sure a lot of it comes down to player preference, but a player shouldn't overlook experimenting with a lighter cue.

Supposedly, hitting the cue ball just above center, like a stun-follow shot, is the best place to hit the cue ball. And then, obviously, you better hit the object ball dead-on. This is currently my biggest flaw.

I get down in a normal stroke to line up my shot and then start to get in a more upright stance so that I can launch my hips into the shot. I choke up on the cue but I've been clunking my forefinger into the rail at times and then it smarts for the next day or two.

One thing I'm not a strong believer in is breaking from the side. I prefer breaking 8-ball racks from the center and then 9-ball racks around 6-12" off-center. If I'm not making anything in the first couple of racks then I start shirting the cue ball around by 3" or 4" until I find some mythical "sweet spot". I think breaking from the side is overrated but then it seems to be the preference of the pros.

My two cents on the subject.

craigstevens
10-19-2007, 05:37 PM
This is what is wrong with this joint, 50 opinions, all 50 are world class experts, all 50 have a different view, newsflash, 49 of them are wrong. Now lets play the Wheel of fortune, which one of the 49 panes has the right answer in it. Any body want to buy a vowel, especially if you last name is two letters.

One said:I have been working on my break and trying desperately to develop a reliable power break for both 8 ball and 9 ball.

There is no reliable power break for 9 ball, learn the soft break, be a girlie boy, buy a pink dress, laugh all the way to the bank.

The power break does work at 8 ball, break down the middle, or a half diamond off it.

My middle name has 3 letters in it? It's Korean, Lee.
Or Southern like ole robt E.

10-23-2007, 07:04 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote craigstevens:</font><hr> This is what is wrong with this joint, 50 opinions, all 50 are world class experts, all 50 have a different view, newsflash, 49 of them are wrong. Now lets play the Wheel of fortune, which one of the 49 panes has the right answer in it. Any body want to buy a vowel, especially if you last name is two letters.

One said:I have been working on my break and trying desperately to develop a reliable power break for both 8 ball and 9 ball.

There is no reliable power break for 9 ball, learn the soft break, be a girlie boy, buy a pink dress, laugh all the way to the bank.

The power break does work at 8 ball, break down the middle, or a half diamond off it.

My middle name has 3 letters in it? It's Korean, Lee.
Or Southern like ole robt E. <hr /></blockquote>

FL, all 50 of the top pros would probably answer this with their own break method. Not saying there are 50 pros here especially me, but I have observed Archer switching back and forth from girlie to godzilla. Do you think its the weather... maybe air pressure has an effect on collidng spheres?