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10-04-2002, 06:23 PM
I am reading with interest Advanced Pool by George Fels. I haven't been playing long, only 4 months so Fel's Eightball strategy about NOT potting balls until you can run out seemed a bit weird at first, but giving it some thought, it does make sense

Is Fel's strategy the most correct one around ?

Is there anyone here with a significantly different strategy ?

Barbara
10-04-2002, 06:39 PM
Larry Schwartz has the same strategy in his book, like GF, but I've never read GF's book. Just about any great 8-ball player will tell you the same.

Playing your balls off the table is the same as killing your own soldiers. It takes away from your options of your offensive attack. How many times have you had an opponent run off their balls to get down to the 8 (or their last and the 8) and not win because you have all your blockers on the table to pick and choose how to run out?

And then there's the "no run-out situation" where you have to shoot a ball in to break up a cluster and play safety. Or purposefully miss. Now, in bar situations, this is a no-no to purposefully make a safety. If you're real good, you can make this happen and your opponent won't suspect a thing. (Ooops, I missed again while his last ball is tied up with one of yours). In a serious tournament, safety play is expected.

For the bottom line, the best players let their opponent run all the balls they want and then they step up and commit torture on their way to victory.

Barbara~~~was victimized too much in Vegas....

phil in sofla
10-04-2002, 06:47 PM
Any smart player uses at least a weaker variation of that. You'd never want to run out your balls to where you have no shot left on your remaining balls, or the eight (although plenty of not smart enough players do just that).

However, a lot of players still would run or almost run the balls down to where there was no shot at pocketing the remaining legal balls to play, but where there is a safety they planned to play shape for off that last made ball.

This is fairly reasonable, and more aggressive than George's advice, but flawed. Should you have just one ball you can legally hit, even if you've left your opponent safe, if they can kick to a good hit, they may very well leave YOU safe, or at least left bad enough that you can't do anything positive with your last ball then.

However, if, per George's strategy, you'd left yourself more than one ball before you play that safe, especially a hanger or two you've set up maybe blocking your opponent's balls, it will be considerably harder for your opponent to leave you safe, or to get out if they get ball in hand somehow.

Otherwise, if you've played down to your last ball and don't get out, you should generally lose if your opponent knows how to play.

Ludba
10-04-2002, 07:47 PM
I started reading that book several months ago, and it made a lot of sense to me. After playing many matches against more and less skilled players, it made even more sense, because as soon as you run out five, six, or seven balls and then have no shot on the next ball, your opponent has an amazing advantage, because his balls are out in the open, and especially if you have chosen the wrong group of balls, he can shoot with his eyes closed.

The problem is that this strategy is meant for more advanced players, hence the title. If, after only playing a few months, you start playing not to run out the table (as I did), two things happen.

First, my playing became very defensive. I started taking the safe over the medium to high difficulty shot. This is not bad in and of itself, but this affects your progression as an offensive player, and in some ways it affects your practice, which further affects your progress as a player. The thing is, when you are just starting out playing, you don't have much to lose, so you should be working on fundamentals and trying to be more aggressive, that is trying to push yourself to shoot progressively more difficult shots. I'd estimate that a defensive strategy is very good for about one in four games as a beginning player. The other three games it is probably better to risk trying to run out, both because you should be focusing on playing to win (however infrequent that may be), and because unless you are playing a better player, they probably will not be able to capitalize on the strategic opening you have given them. If you're playing someone you know is really good, I would definitely suggest a strategy of "make a few easy shots, then safety."

Second, the biggest problem I had when I played defensively is that I never would (or could) take my chance to win, so in actuality I was playing not to lose. This is a BAD rut to get into. It is so damn frustrating.

So I guess what I'm saying is that Fels' strategy is right on...for advanced players (especially when a poor break leaves balls clumped together or in bad position), but remember the point is to try to win the game. You can't win the game by playing 100% defense. You have to find your opportunities and leave your opponent none.

10-04-2002, 08:03 PM
Just as a thought, 8-ball changes dramatically when played on a small table as an opposed to a 9 ft table.

10-04-2002, 08:43 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Anonymous:</font><hr> I am reading with interest Advanced Pool by George Fels. I haven't been playing long, only 4 months so Fel's Eightball strategy about NOT potting balls until you can run out seemed a bit weird at first, but giving it some thought, it does make sense

Is Fel's strategy the most correct one around ?

Is there anyone here with a significantly different strategy ? <hr></blockquote>

8-ball is one of the only cue games that adopts that strategy. Most games you always try to run out or play a safety and run out.. but in 8-ball, knowing who you are playing actually can help you.

It is utterly stupid to try to run out in 8-ball if you have more than one cluster and don't have an easy way of breaking it out, or if the run just seems impossible. It's usually best to let your opponent break things out for you.. however, if you were playing a professional, they would do the same thing I do, which is to break things out and leave you safe at the same time, so if you don't get a good hit and leave a tough shot or leave things safe, I can run out.

Using the 8 ball to tie up a cluster or to tie up a pocket is sometimes a good strategy as well.. but as with all cue games, the ability to run out.. I.e. get position, and not miss a shot, is important, and playing safe against a player who is much better than you will only prolong the inevitable. Generally, if you can't run 7 or 8 balls consistantly with them all wide open, then perhaps you should just try to run out every time to gain experience in shooting and position. You'll have better luck winning games that way against good players.

Although, it has been said that aggressive players win the majority of the time in 8-ball. If you see the 8-ball is tied up, but all your other balls are wide open, you have a good chance at winning if you can run down to the 8, and then try to put the 8 near a pocket, or block a pocket.. (perferably one that your opponent really needs, like a pocket in which he has a few balls on that side of the table). however, again, it depends on who you are playing.. If I'm playing a very good player, I try to leave all my balls on the table to make it difficult for him to maneuver the cueball around, and if I get a shot, I try to break up any clusters I have while playing safe, or I just play safe if I don't think I have a good shot or run out, and if I have a good run out, I try to plan it so that if I do happen to miss, they don't have an easy shot afterwards... even if it means taking a difficult shot or nearly impossible shot myself.

Ludba
10-05-2002, 12:01 AM
Amen.

10-05-2002, 01:30 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Barbara:</font><hr> Larry Schwartz has the same strategy in his book, like GF, but I've never read GF's book. Just about any great 8-ball player will tell you the same.

Playing your balls off the table is the same as killing your own soldiers. It takes away from your options of your offensive attack. How many times have you had an opponent run off their balls to get down to the 8 (or their last and the 8) and not win because you have all your blockers on the table to pick and choose how to run out?

And then there's the "no run-out situation" where you have to shoot a ball in to break up a cluster and play safety. Or purposefully miss. Now, in bar situations, this is a no-no to purposefully make a safety. If you're real good, you can make this happen and your opponent won't suspect a thing. (Ooops, I missed again while his last ball is tied up with one of yours). In a serious tournament, safety play is expected.

For the bottom line, the best players let their opponent run all the balls they want and then they step up and commit torture on their way to victory.

Barbara~~~was victimized too much in Vegas.... <hr></blockquote>

barbara, that's one of the best explanations of how to approach an 8-ball table that i have seen.

the only thing that i will add is the rule of 3.

3??

it's the first magic.

always, and i mean really always, plot your 8-ball table 3 shots in advance. sometimes more but at least 3.

dan...or so it seems.

10-05-2002, 03:41 AM
Ludba mentions the possibility of selecting the wrong group of balls. If the table is open when I play my first shot after the break, I use that shot to select the RIGHT group of balls. Once this is accomplished I break up any cluster that might not be reachable later in the game and then leave my opponent safe. I believe that this is consistent with the principles developed by Fels and Schwartz.

Geometer