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View Full Version : Accepted a loose rack on purpose, and...



Soflasnapper
01-28-2011, 01:47 PM
...made three balls with an excellent spread!

Checking the rack, I noticed the 1 had rolled off one of the balls directly behind it, but still was in contact with the other one. (The rest were snugged up tight to each other.)

Taking Joe Tucker's advice in Secrets of the Rack, I broke from the side that led from the 1 ball to the contacting ball behind it, and got an excellent result.

I remember something I overheard Danny D say-- with all the fuss over getting everything tight (right after we'd had some 4 re-racks in the match he was commentating for), no one can guarantee a ball on the break if everything's touching, and no one can guarantee you WON'T sink a ball if there are gaps. (In the match in question, after the breaker was satisfied that all gaps were gone, no ball was made on the break, occasioning Danny's remark.

I also don't mind a gap one way or the other when breaking 8-ball, since I use the second ball break. A little gap on either backside of the 1 allows a fuller hit on that second ball, making for a better spread and less chance of a scratch.

Rich R.
01-29-2011, 07:17 AM
Phil, you are probably doing the right thing in learning to read and work with the small gaps in the rack. On a well used pool room table it is very difficult to get a good, let alone perfect, rack.
IMHO, most players, especially in normal leagues like the APA, don't know the importance of a tight rack. I know I rarely even check the rack in league play and it is extremely rare that I would ask for a rerack. I know that I try to give my opponents the best possible rack but on some tables a perfectly tight rack is just not going to happen.

BTW, I can't stand the guys who bang on the top of the balls to get a tight rack. After a few guys do that it is virtually impossible to get a good rack on the table.

Bambu
01-29-2011, 09:52 AM
Man I hate getting slug racked. These guys pretend they dont know what a tight rack does, but they do. I just walk up to the balls and re-rack them myself. I always ask in a nice way, if they mind if I re-rack. Half the time they arent even paying attention, or even looking my way....so I just do it. Never once had anyone complain about it.

No guarantees, but the tighter the balls are the better they spread. Especially on a small table against a lower level player, I am more concerned with a good spread than making a ball.

Sid_Vicious
01-30-2011, 02:30 PM
I salivate when I see a totally loose 1-B in the rack. Tons of low spin on the CB, right up the pipe, gives the one the forward drive into the buried 9. Stuff happens with the nine lots of times. sid

Soflasnapper
01-30-2011, 07:53 PM
Really??!?! I don't think Joe Tucker covers that play. I will have to see what I think of playing that situation, based on this tip. Thanks for it!

Chopstick
01-31-2011, 05:43 AM
Racking Secrets is an excellent book. No rack is perfect. There is alway a strong and weak side. I always go and look at the rack. I once had a guy come back to the table when I looked at the rack. He asked if there was something wrong with it. I said no. Then he racked them again. So, I had to go look at it again. He wanted to rack again and I insisted that there was nothing wrong with the rack.

He thought I was critical of his racking when all I was doing was making a game plan. I picked up a few things about breaking from Grady Matthews. I might even have that on tape somewhere. In general, you setup your break based on where the two ball or the next probable lowest ball is located in the rack. One example it if the two ball is located behind the one ball or in front of the last ball in the rack. You always break from the side the two ball is on. If you do it correctly the one ball and two ball always wind up on the same side of the table.

You also break in such a way as to send the cue ball to where you are sending the one ball. You can break with the one ball going to the rail below the side pocket or above it on the kitchen side. If you break to send the one ball below the side pocket then you want the cue ball to stay in the middle. If you break the one ball above the side pocket it is going to head for the head rail so you want the cue ball back toward the kitchen. Of course there are lots of variations but in general you send the one ball and cue ball to the same area the two ball is likely to wind up.

This also works in reverse. If the table isn't giving you anything on the break then send the one ball and two ball in opposite directions or send the one ball to the head rail and the cue ball to the foot rail. There are no guarantees. I am primarily a one pocket and straight pool player. I don't believe in the stuff happens style of breaking. When I go into a stack of balls, I will only do it when I have the probabilities stacked in my favor, and I have a reasonable expectation that I will remain in control of the outcome. The break is a precise shot that can yield great dividends if approached correctly.

Sid_Vicious
01-31-2011, 01:29 PM
How do you elect to break if the 2 is at the very back? TIA sid

Chopstick
01-31-2011, 07:02 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Sid_Vicious</div><div class="ubbcode-body">How do you elect to break if the 2 is at the very back? TIA sid </div></div>

If I remember correctly, if the two is the tail ball, it is neutral as far as which side of the rack to break from but I think that slightly more than 50% of the time it is going to rebound off the foot rail and head up table and wind up in the kitchen area.

Rich R.
02-01-2011, 07:29 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Chopstick</div><div class="ubbcode-body"><div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Sid_Vicious</div><div class="ubbcode-body">How do you elect to break if the 2 is at the very back? TIA sid </div></div>

If I remember correctly, if the two is the tail ball, it is neutral as far as which side of the rack to break from but I think that slightly more than 50% of the time it is going to rebound off the foot rail and head up table and wind up in the kitchen area. </div></div>
I have been to tournaments that required the two ball be racked in the very back of the rack. It just about eliminated an early combination on the nine and it seemed to reduce the number of break and runs. IMHO, that is not a bad requirement.

Bambu
02-01-2011, 08:12 AM
Yes I agree, the tail ball goes in cross corner sometimes too.

Chopstick
02-01-2011, 12:27 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Rich R.</div><div class="ubbcode-body">
I have been to tournaments that required the two ball be racked in the very back of the rack. It just about eliminated an early combination on the nine and it seemed to reduce the number of break and runs. IMHO, that is not a bad requirement. </div></div>

I've played those. I don't mind. Then I start looking for the three of some other edge. I have a rack diagram somewhere that covers every ball. It is supposed to maximize the probability that every ball in sequence will wind up on opposite sides and/or ends of the table. It causes your opponent to have to cross the table through traffic the most times. It may be in Joe's book. I remember writing it down somewhere.

Sid_Vicious
02-01-2011, 02:42 PM
Reason I asked was because I get a wild8 from one player, and he usually always puts the 8 in the tail position. I broke using dead center-spot for weeks thinking that's where the mass movement is the best for that back wild ball. I shifted to the customary r-side rail spot to break recently, and sh!tted in the 8 several times over several hours that night, almost al in the kitchen. Maybe I just had a good night of being lucky on the snap. sid

Chopstick
02-01-2011, 04:18 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Sid_Vicious</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Reason I asked was because I get a wild8 from one player, and he usually always puts the 8 in the tail position. I broke using dead center-spot for weeks thinking that's where the mass movement is the best for that back wild ball. I shifted to the customary r-side rail spot to break recently, and sh!tted in the 8 several times over several hours that night, almost al in the kitchen. Maybe I just had a good night of being lucky on the snap. sid </div></div>

It's for sure that guy wasn't from Memphis. We always put the spot ball right behind the one. I can see bringing the kitchen corner pockets into play with an offset break. Depends on the table and the cloth that day. You can throw it like a regular frozen combo as long as you have a frozen path through the rack from the head to the tail. Nothing like having a free one at the money. With enough of them some of them are going to go in.

There ain't no rule against using your head to take advantage of conditions. Think about it. At the top that is all there is. If two guys never miss a ball which one is going to win. The one who pays attention to the game environment and stacks the most probabilities in his favor. Are the rails playing long or short? Is the rack showing tendencies to be strong on the right side or the left. Is your opponent right or left handed? Is he tall or short? Is he good with a bridge or not?

I once played a guy safe with a stop shot right out in the open in the middle of the table. He was too short to reach the ball and he was a sucker for trying to get too fancy with the bridge. I knew he would try to draw the ball with a bunch of spin off the bridge to get out of where I put him. There was a high probability he would miss and leave me out and he did.

If he made the ball I would have been happy to stay in the chair and say good shot. Grady once told me "Never fail to compliment your opponent when he shoots an extraordinarily difficult shot with little or no return, because that is exactly the kind of behavior you want to encourage." I know somebody is going to call this sharking. How can it be sharking if it's true? He did shoot a good shot and if it wasn't for that bad roll he would have been out for sure. It was the pool gods fault and it will be the pool gods fault when he does it again. When he loses it will be because you were lucky and it had nothing to do with your not shooting at sell out shots, keeping yourself in a position to win, and staying within the probabilities of what you can consistently do. Oh hell no. You were just lucky.