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Billy_Bob
08-16-2008, 09:22 AM
The following is not pro pool, but for all the rest of us...

There are a couple of things I always do when playing 8-ball, which time and again gives *me* an advantage over my opponent and helps me win. I thought I would share. This stuff is "simple", but very "powerful"!

1. Don't pocket ANY of your balls if any are tied up. LEAVE THEM! Instead hit clusters where your balls are tied up and re-arrange the table so every one of your balls can be made into a pocket. THEN run out. You CAN'T win if one of your balls is tied up and can't be made into a pocket. You can't win if the 8-ball is tied up and can't be made into a pocket. Leaving your balls on the table will get in the way of your opponent. What will frequently happen if you do this is your opponent will shoot in most of his balls except two or three (as you are busy unblocking your clusters and turning the table back over to him). Then you wind up with a wide open table, very easy to runout at this point. You have cleared up your cluster problems first thing and your opponent has been kind enough to get his balls out of your way! RUNOUT!

2. If you can't runout because you still have one or more trouble balls, and you have a ball blocking a pocket and this is blocking the 8 or one of your opponent's balls, LEAVE IT! Shoot at a cluster and fix trouble balls first. Your opponent can't win if his ball or the 8 is blocked.

3. If you are left with a difficult shot and it is VERY LIKELY you will wind up giving your opponent ball-in-hand, might as well do something constructive instead of missing your shot. Something which will make winning for you easier or will make winning for your opponent more difficult. Shoot an intentional foul! Shoot one of your opponent's balls into a nasty spot. Create a cluster for your opponent by shooting at his balls. Shoot at one of your opponent's balls so it hits one of your balls which is in a cluster and tied up and this frees up your cluster. You were going to give him ball-in-hand anyway, but this way you have given him one more cluster/trouble ball, or given yourself one less cluster/trouble ball. This tips the scale so you will have more of an advantage to win.

4. Who is going to win? Look at clustered balls/trouble balls. How many balls does your opponent have which can't be made into a pocket? How many balls do you have which can't be made into a pocket? THIS is the "score board" as to who is going to win! You want to ALWAYS and FIRST THING adjust this scale so all of your balls can be made into a pocket and many of your opponent's balls can't be made into a pocket. If your opponent has balls tied up, he can't win. If all of your balls can be made into a pocket as well as the 8, then it is possible for you to runout. I feel this is the MOST important thing to winning. Work from the get go toward tipping the scale to your advantage and to the disadvantage of your opponent.

Example: It is your shot and you have 2 balls which can easily be pocketed. Instead you shoot at a cluster and move those balls so they can be pocketed and turn the table over to your opponent. (Your opponent has two clusters.) Your opponent shoots in a few balls, but does nothing with the clusters. Then your turn and you move your last trouble ball to a spot where it can be made into a pocket. Your opponent shoots in a few more balls and is left with his two clusters which he has left for last. He shoots at one and it does not go into a pocket. Now your turn. Wide open table, no trouble balls, your opponent has pocketed most of his balls so they are not blocking your shots, every one of your balls can be made into a pocket, easy runout and win!

dr_dave
08-16-2008, 04:04 PM
Billy_Bob,

Excellent post! I bet there are lots of league players out there who could benefit from such knowledge.

Regards,
Dave

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Billy_Bob</div><div class="ubbcode-body">The following is not pro pool, but for all the rest of us...

There are a couple of things I always do when playing 8-ball, which time and again gives *me* an advantage over my opponent and helps me win. I thought I would share. This stuff is "simple", but very "powerful"!

1. Don't pocket ANY of your balls if any are tied up. LEAVE THEM! Instead hit clusters where your balls are tied up and re-arrange the table so every one of your balls can be made into a pocket. THEN run out. You CAN'T win if one of your balls is tied up and can't be made into a pocket. You can't win if the 8-ball is tied up and can't be made into a pocket. Leaving your balls on the table will get in the way of your opponent. What will frequently happen if you do this is your opponent will shoot in most of his balls except two or three (as you are busy unblocking your clusters and turning the table back over to him). Then you wind up with a wide open table, very easy to runout at this point. You have cleared up your cluster problems first thing and your opponent has been kind enough to get his balls out of your way! RUNOUT!

2. If you can't runout because you still have one or more trouble balls, and you have a ball blocking a pocket and this is blocking the 8 or one of your opponent's balls, LEAVE IT! Shoot at a cluster and fix trouble balls first. Your opponent can't win if his ball or the 8 is blocked.

3. If you are left with a difficult shot and it is VERY LIKELY you will wind up giving your opponent ball-in-hand, might as well do something constructive instead of missing your shot. Something which will make winning for you easier or will make winning for your opponent more difficult. Shoot an intentional foul! Shoot one of your opponent's balls into a nasty spot. Create a cluster for your opponent by shooting at his balls. Shoot at one of your opponent's balls so it hits one of your balls which is in a cluster and tied up and this frees up your cluster. You were going to give him ball-in-hand anyway, but this way you have given him one more cluster/trouble ball, or given yourself one less cluster/trouble ball. This tips the scale so you will have more of an advantage to win.

4. Who is going to win? Look at clustered balls/trouble balls. How many balls does your opponent have which can't be made into a pocket? How many balls do you have which can't be made into a pocket? THIS is the "score board" as to who is going to win! You want to ALWAYS and FIRST THING adjust this scale so all of your balls can be made into a pocket and many of your opponent's balls can't be made into a pocket. If your opponent has balls tied up, he can't win. If all of your balls can be made into a pocket as well as the 8, then it is possible for you to runout. I feel this is the MOST important thing to winning. Work from the get go toward tipping the scale to your advantage and to the disadvantage of your opponent.

Example: It is your shot and you have 2 balls which can easily be pocketed. Instead you shoot at a cluster and move those balls so they can be pocketed and turn the table over to your opponent. (Your opponent has two clusters.) Your opponent shoots in a few balls, but does nothing with the clusters. Then your turn and you move your last trouble ball to a spot where it can be made into a pocket. Your opponent shoots in a few more balls and is left with his two clusters which he has left for last. He shoots at one and it does not go into a pocket. Now your turn. Wide open table, no trouble balls, your opponent has pocketed most of his balls so they are not blocking your shots, every one of your balls can be made into a pocket, easy runout and win!
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JoeW
08-16-2008, 08:28 PM
I agree with the post and would add a couple more:

1. Use the 8-Ball break with players who do not play position well. A player who can not play position well usually gets rough position on the first ball and poor position on the second. In general these players cannot play in close quarters such as the 8-Ball break produces.

2. Good shooters can break clusters so you not only have to leave clusters but move cluster break balls too. Alternatively, make clusers where no cluster break balls are available.

3. Where possible and needed, try to leave at least one of your balls at opposite ends of the table. This makes it difficult for your opponent to snooker you.

4. If you are going to snooker your opponent try to leave him where he will break out a ball that you want moved.

Where I play it is said that one needs to be aware of old age and treachery !

Oh the most important rule: Never leave your opponent a shot.

Rail Rat
08-17-2008, 10:27 AM
These tactics should be weighed more on your opponents skill level than on your own.

The group I play in are at a very high level and if I give up the table they will get out about 70% of the time. So its very difficult to get a safety that does'nt back fire. When I play them I have a different strategy than when I'm in my league or I won't win.

I have to evaluate my play and decide if the layout is within my run out stats or not. If I see that the 8 is not guarded, then I usually go for the run or I won't be back to the table. Balls over pockets can be passed or followed in, so I don't worry about that. Combos that are close together should be attempted.

When I'm playing in my league I fall back more on the tactics you mention. brad

KellyStick
08-17-2008, 06:24 PM
This last post suggests that you might play different skill levels differently. I could argue against that but.. Watch your opponent closely. Watch his eyes and try to understand what he is thinking. try to understand if he knows the game or not. Understand if he is just banging balls awaiting the run. Maybe even give him a test or two. Know thy opponent and watch him closely.

wolfdancer
08-17-2008, 07:38 PM
a very good player, and friend used to say that the first player that tries to get out and doesn't quite make it, usually loses the game in 8 ball...that's assuming both players are fairly skilled and about even in their skills. It's sort of like a chess game in reverse...you take your own pieces off the board, thus weakening your control of the board.
However no rule is inviolate, especially if the other player has a
"tell"...weak on position play, safeties,long shots, banks, or position play.

JoeW
08-18-2008, 07:08 AM
I think that Woldancer is right and another of the previously unstated rules for 8-all is acknowledged:

Do not try to run the table until you can get all the way out (for the resons stated by Wolfdancer).

On a sidenote, Wolfdancer, have you read the "Fire and Ice" series by George Martin? There are a lot of wolf stories including direwolves in his epic I am in the third book.

wolfdancer
08-18-2008, 08:47 AM
I haven't read the stories, but thanks for the suggestion.
WD was just a natural web alias, after the movie "Dances With Wolves" had it's main character with the same name as mine.
(I didn't descend from a band of Transylvanian Gypsies, as has been rumored, nor was Lon Chaney Jr. a relative)