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bigbro6060
11-26-2002, 08:21 PM
I play mainly 8Ball. I used to see Clusters are doom but am getting better at sorting through them and working out the problems.

Firstly, it's amazing how many balls in a cluster can be made into a pocket, even if it's only one.

Combinations, Caroms and Billiards can solve a lot of problems too, i'm finding myself using caroms especially a lot more.

Then when a cluster actually has to be broken, i'm getting better at hitting the clusters, calculating where the balls go is still a bit trial and error that's why i try to have a safety ball in case the cluster break isn't favourable

I have to admit that it is very rewarding succesfully breaking out a cluster /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

any other techniques, tips, strategies for dealing with clusters ?

BTW, you get a lot more clusters playing 8ball on a 7ft table than you do playing 9ball on a 9ft table /ccboard/images/graemlins/wink.gif

BLACKHEART
11-26-2002, 09:32 PM
Steve Miserak once told me, that when he goes into a cluster, he tries to move them, no more than 6 inches. You should try to control the balls in the cluster, not send them all over the place...JER

bigbro6060
11-26-2002, 10:06 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote BLACKHEART:</font><hr> Steve Miserak once told me, that when he goes into a cluster, he tries to move them, no more than 6 inches. You should try to control the balls in the cluster, not send them all over the place...JER <hr /></blockquote>

thanx /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

i know i get a bit excited and feel i have to blast the cluster , doesn't take much to break up a 2-3 ball cluster

heater451
11-26-2002, 10:14 PM
If you're dealing with a 2-3 ball cluster near a rail, you're sometimes better off leaving it for your opponent to break (8-ball game).

If a cluster is large, as from a bad rack, you may find better results with breaking 'toward the side' of a cluster--hitting a ball in passing. It may send some of the opposite side balls away, and leave a smaller cluster, but you hopefully have the cue ball out where you can take another shot. Many times when I try to plow into a large pack, I've lost enough force from the 'breaking ball' (like 14.1, the ball potted and caromed from, to break the cluster) that the cue ball gets buried in what's left of the pack, and I've got no shot--even a 'safety ball' won't help. (Then again, maybe I use a bad technique for the shot. . . .)

I know some people advocate breaking out as soon as possible, but I think you're better off waiting for the opportunity.

I once played a league match on a 7-ft table, where I tried to break a cluster with an easy layout--and missed. A scratch by my opponent later, and I tried with ball-in-hand--had to use an akward breaking ball, and missed again. Down to 1 'free' ball, the one in the cluster, and the eight, I had one more go. Stating aloud that I'd tried everything else but "dumb luck", I smacked the crap out of the free ball (an easy cut to the corner). The cue ran four rails around the table, and wound up just having enough power to roll into the cluster, leaving the cueball about 1/4" from the last OB, with a shot into the side, and easy position on the 8 for the win.

And, while I can't really recommend using "the luck", it sometimes falls your way. . . .



================

11-26-2002, 10:23 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote bigbro6060:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote BLACKHEART:</font><hr> Steve Miserak once told me, that when he goes into a cluster, he tries to move them, no more than 6 inches. You should try to control the balls in the cluster, not send them all over the place...JER <hr /></blockquote>

really just reinforcing what others have said, but...just like in 14.1 and especially in 1-p, never, ever hit any ball without a pretty good idea where it is going to stop.

i like the discussion about whether to break it early or late and i kind of equate that to the question of whether you are the aggressor or defender; runnin out or runnin and hidin, either of which can be the best winning strategy in a given game. anyway, best to think of nudging or rearranging clusters rather than "breaking" them. it ain't a break shot.

dan

BLACKHEART
11-26-2002, 10:52 PM
One of the things I emphasize to my league team is to look at your apponants balls FIRST, then if he has balls in clusters too or bad balls you can be more agressive in breaking balls apart or taking a more difficult shot. But what ever you do don't leavea cluster for your last shot. Remembe if you can't make the last shot don't make the one before it...JER

11-26-2002, 11:16 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote BLACKHEART:</font><hr> One of the things I emphasize to my league team is to look at your apponants balls FIRST, then if he has balls in clusters too or bad balls you can be more agressive in breaking balls apart or taking a more difficult shot. But what ever you do don't leavea cluster for your last shot. Remembe if you can't make the last shot don't make the one before it...JER <hr /></blockquote>

just to extend the point a bit, i've got larry schwart's book on 8-ball (stole it from a friend) and the only part of the book i really thought was worthwhile was where he talked about how your balls are your soldiers and you need to think of their value "on the table". mostly, he advises leaving them on the table till you can see a good run-out. that does not, in any way, stop you from breaking up clusters or other changes to the architecture but the more soldiers you have on the field, the more you can hide behind and watch the other guy get really red.

dan

bigbro6060
11-26-2002, 11:27 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote houstondan:</font><hr>

just to extend the point a bit, i've got larry schwart's book on 8-ball (stole it from a friend) and the only part of the book i really thought was worthwhile was where he talked about how your balls are your soldiers and you need to think of their value "on the table". mostly, he advises leaving them on the table till you can see a good run-out. that does not, in any way, stop you from breaking up clusters or other changes to the architecture but the more soldiers you have on the field, the more you can hide behind and watch the other guy get really red.

dan <hr /></blockquote>

This same idea is in George Fels books and others i have come accross. I think it's pretty standard strategy now for high level Eightball. You definitely need a certain level of skill to play like this. I'm almost there, not quite and not the to level i'd like to be. When you start playing like this, you find yourself smirking at people who knock in all their easy ones only to leave a couple of hard shots. Then the odds are really in your favour /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

bluewolf
11-27-2002, 05:36 AM
WOW. You guys are really knowlegeable on this,thanks, and this is one of my weaknesses. I have gotten some advice from my team about when to break out clusters or when my ball is frozen with their ball.

The skinny is that I want to make sure I am getting good advice, so would love to get a book or two on this.

Maybe next time i get a lesson from a bca master, i will get help on this also.

blu

CarolNYC
11-27-2002, 06:06 AM
TAP-TAP-TAP!
Carol

11-27-2002, 07:06 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote bigbro6060:</font><hr>
Firstly, it's amazing how many balls in a cluster can be made into a pocket, even if it's only one.<hr /></blockquote>

This is one of my favorite things to do. Instead of trying to find a break ball for the cluster, I'll try to determine which ball would give me shape to pick off a ball from the cluster. This is especially fun when the cluster consists of one of my balls and two of my opponent's. There's no better feeling than to pick off a ball leaving the others locked up. If I don't see the pattern for that, I look to see how it can be manufactured. If that is out of the question, I'll look for a break ball. If there is no good break ball, I'll see if I can manufacture one. If that seems too difficult, I'll play safe.

Lester
11-27-2002, 09:04 AM
Bigbro6060
In any game you play, the goal should be that your opponent doesn't get a shot. You will have to break up clusters to achieve this. The trick is to have a "safety valve" a "trap-door" to escape from if the cluster doesn't break out your next shot like planned. Most people will try to break up clusters early, to allow for more "safety valves". You just make sure you break out the cluster in a way that doesn't prevent the cue ball from getting to your safety valve. BTW - nothing demoralizes an opponent more than to "get out" of a seemingly impossible pattern by breaking up a couple clusters. JMHO ****Lester****

11-27-2002, 09:27 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote bigbro6060:</font><hr> I play mainly 8Ball. I used to see Clusters are doom but am getting better at sorting through them and working out the problems.

Firstly, it's amazing how many balls in a cluster can be made into a pocket, even if it's only one.

Combinations, Caroms and Billiards can solve a lot of problems too, i'm finding myself using caroms especially a lot more.

Then when a cluster actually has to be broken, i'm getting better at hitting the clusters, calculating where the balls go is still a bit trial and error that's why i try to have a safety ball in case the cluster break isn't favourable

I have to admit that it is very rewarding succesfully breaking out a cluster /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

any other techniques, tips, strategies for dealing with clusters ?

BTW, you get a lot more clusters playing 8ball on a 7ft table than you do playing 9ball on a 9ft table /ccboard/images/graemlins/wink.gif <hr /></blockquote>

It depends.. there are some clusters that are a great opportunity to duck out, while at the same time breaking it up for after your opponent misses, or gives you ball in hand. If I have a cluster I need to get rid of, I go after it first thing.. first or second ball. If I can't, then I look for a way to play safe while breaking it up a little (assuming none of my opponents balls are in the cluster) but if it contains a ball or two of my opponents, I try to get them to break it up, but at my turn at the table, I try to make sure I sew up a pocket, so that if they do break the one cluster, they still have a tough time getting out.

Playing strait pool for an hour or so a week will make you 1000% better at analyzing, breaking, and controlling cluster shots. (IMO)

Stretch
11-27-2002, 11:18 AM
There are some very good tips here for dealing with clusters so i won't reiterate them. Just want to add a few things that have not yet been mentioned.

When you see a cluster you need to determine the best place to attack it from. If you can, knock the balls "away" from a blocked pocket, not towards it. Otherwise you have not gained much, especialy if you've opened up one or more of your opponents balls as well.

If there are no break balls handy to the cluster, then put one there. Sure it will cost you a turn, but if it's done as a safety it's a strong play. This is especialy potent particularely when one of his balls is also tied up there. If he manages to get back in he still has to deal with it, the differance now is that if he dosn't come with a very difficult out, you got him.

Look for combonations and situations where one of your balls can be made, but one of his can't. A lot of clusters actualy have dead combo's in them that a lot of players don't see (either directly or indirectly after a path has been cleared) Usually these types of clusters look a lot tuffer than they actualy are. Then there is no urgency to going in early and you can wait for getting the cue ball just so, or looking after another problem first.

Another option is that clusters offer a great place to hide behind. So the run to a safe is another alternative in an attempt to get ball in hand because with the hand ball you can either solve it outright with a break shot or play a two way lock up by opening up the cluster and freezing to a ball. Good luck, and great topic! St