View Full Version : Breaking in 9-Ball HURTS a pro player?????

01-27-2011, 11:36 PM
Here's a claim from a team member that he recently got from Harvey Mason, from whom he takes pool lessons:

Supposedly, using the entire Accustat database of 9-ball games, and over a lot of time, pros overall are 56% LOSERS on their own break. (Or have a 44% chance of winning a game they break, which is the equivalent).

The further claim is that there are only two exceptions for anyone meeting a standard of enough games in the database-- Archer and Strickland, and that THEY come in at a bare 52% winning percentage in 9-ball on their breaks.

I find this hard to believe. However, we know bad things happen on breaks. If you break dry with an open rack, likely a pro opponent cleans the table. If you scratch, ditto. If you make a ball and have no shot, there is the whole push out conundrum which might go either way. And etc.

I remember a couple of years back, Shane's first US Open, when Keith McCready had his 4th place or 5th place run, and they met on the tv table. Shane was the betting favorite, and Keith never made any ball on his break, and still won that match fairly handily (?).

Now it's POSSIBLE that the break STILL is helpful rather than hurtful, if the percentage of games won when not breaking is lower still than this number (say, 44% average wins when not breaking). But that would seem to contradict that if they win, on average, 46% on their break, their OPPONENTS who aren't breaking should be picking up that 54% winning figure.

What is your reaction? And can Accustats data be looked at by outsiders in some easy format? I try to believe impossible things everyday, a couple before lunch, usually, but on this one I certainly reserve my opinion without further info.

The Man
01-27-2011, 11:45 PM
You know I think you're right. Screw the statistics. I'm self taught for the most part and a great deal of the teachers where I live say stuff like if you think you will make the shot you will ignoring all technical detail.

The break clearly is a advantage in my eyes too.

Fran Crimi
01-28-2011, 08:45 AM
I think Pat Fleming already knows what the overall break statistic is. I'll give him a call and ask him to confirm it when he returns from DCC.

01-28-2011, 09:28 AM
I suppose its a matter of whether or not your break is working for you, or against. I'm sure there are good days, and bad. Especially with the numbers being so close, you cant really draw any conclusions.

01-28-2011, 11:01 AM
Please do ask Pat, Fran, and thanks in advance for reporting back what he says.

01-28-2011, 11:06 AM
I'm also thinking that is the dividing line on whether the break helps win games or not-- whether your break is working or not.

Those whose breaks are working, win on it more likely, and those whose breaks aren't working probably have a disadvantage on the break.

Is it possible that even at the pro level, they break ineffectively more often than well, overall, on average?

01-28-2011, 12:41 PM
Is it possible that even at the pro level, they break ineffectively more often than well, overall, on average?

Sure, but that doesnt really mean much to me. You could flip a coin 100 times and come up with similar numbers. Most pros feel the break and run is within their reach, so they wouldnt want to give up the chance. You never know when heads might come up 5 times in a row, or when a pro might lay down a string of wins.

Fran Crimi
01-28-2011, 01:06 PM
In order to get any kind of accurate percentage results, I think you first have to take the variables into consideration, which unfortunatly in breaking, there are lots. Some variables are:

The age and qulaity of cloth, balls and the spot.
Are both players allowed to check the rack?
Are they only a certain number of reracks allowed?
Has a third party racked the balls?
Are the players racking for themselves?
What type of triangle is being used?
The racking skill of the racker.
The breaker's ability to read the rack and to be able to act on that information.
Either player's previous knowledge of breaking on that particular table.
The list goes on and on...

01-28-2011, 01:39 PM
Since that is probably impossible to do, then we cannot get anything more than a gross number that doesn't take these admittedly important factors into account.

Another such factor would be whether the Sardo was involved, and whether the 1 or 9 ball was racked on the spot. That last one, at least, COULD be known, by which tournament the match came from.

All the rest, how could one realistically get anyone to to that much detailed work? Unless Accustats already put such info into their database, and I doubt that is the case. (But Pat knows all that he has.)

Fran Crimi
01-28-2011, 03:04 PM
You're right. There's no way Pat would have had the time to factor in the variables. His percentages will be very basic, but at least they're something.