View Full Version : 8 on the snap! (long)

phil in sofla
11-14-2002, 07:05 PM
Trying to make the 8 ball when breaking, playing 8-ball, has been discussed on this board more than a few times. The consensus seems to be that it is improbable, more or less luck thing that may happen maybe 5% of the time at the most, so that it isn't worth trying for.

My only 8-ball play is league, where the 8 on the break is a re-rack, and a night or two playing a friend some cheap sets of 8-ball, where we've agreed that the CALLED 8 on the break wins, is a re-rack or spot the 8 if it goes somewhere else, and a loss if you scratch and make the 8 anywhere. In winning two races to 5, ending 5-2 and 5-4, so in 8 breaks for me total (didn't win the flip either set, so I broke 4 times in winning 5 games each set) I made the 8 where I called it 3 times, one on the hill to end the first set, a bitter pill for my opponent to swallow in that situation!!

I had the 8 moving out of the rack area toward the side pockets almost all of the time (once to the opposite side pocket from where I was calling it), once having it hang just at the pocket I called.

I admit that this is an unusual success rate, and not one that I've seen in the past, so it might be a fluke. It was a different table from where we usually play, a doubled shimmed GC II, fast with relatively new 860 cloth (maybe 4 months old). The tightness of the pockets would tend to make this result harder, but the speed of the table being high would tend to make more balls go on the break, presumably including the 8 if it gets around a pocket. Probably a wash between the two factors in terms of making it easier on that table, compared to the wider pocket/slower table we usually play on.

What is different is the aim line I've just recently adopted. Still using a rail bridge break, and low inside English as I've always done, I had been aiming a half ball hit line at the second ball (center of the cue ball to the outside edge of the 2nd ball). I'm now aiming a little fuller, about a half tip to 3/4rs tip width outside of the center of the cue ball to the outside edge of the 2nd ball, and that appears to make this result considerably more repeatable.

IF you play 8-ball under rules that win the game with the 8 on the break (APA does, I think, and all bar pool does, to my knowledge), AND if you can snap the 8 about 40% of the time, as was the statistic in this admittedly small data sample, this could be a huge advantage. And, of course, normally winning with the 8 on the break doesn't require it be called, just that it go, anywhere. If it were only HALF that figure, about 20%, it's almost like getting a game on the wire in a race to 5. How much would you like that?

Even if the 8 doesn't count on the break, I still like this break, because it clears out the rack area very well, and moves the 8 out of any rack area clusters that could make it tricky to get a shot on the 8 when you're running out. (Ok, I'm quoting Mike Sigel's comments on the 2nd ball break there, but I agree with him).

Although I'm 6'2", 200 pounds, and use a 20.5 ounce break cue, I don't think that's relevant, because I'm not breaking with 100% power, since I cannot do that and keep the cue ball on the table with this break. I think it is more the fullness of the hit on the 2nd ball transferring that power into the center of the rack that does it. That, or the way the planets lined up last night, LOL! I'll see if this is a continuing result, or just one of those statistical flukes that happen occasionally if you play enough pool. I've had enough 'magical' keys to success that didn't work out in the long run to be somewhat realistic about this, but it's certainly an exciting possibility right now.


11-14-2002, 09:17 PM
Hey Phil...it must be something to do with Sigel's video. I've made the 8 on the snap a few times but the first was right after I watched the video. Now heres the kicker...I reviewed the video just the other day and you guessed it...made the 8. I know its only coincidence, but hitting the 2nd ball seems to be a pretty good break.