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View Full Version : Common Sense Approach to 8-ball



Fred Agnir
12-30-2002, 03:13 PM
The recent 8-ball thread reminded me of a post I made a few months ago. It was in response to Bigbro, who is probably the same bigbro that post here.

<blockquote><font class="small">Quote me:</font><hr>bigbro@noman.com (bigbro) wrote


&gt;
&gt; anyway i found what he had to say most interesting. I play mainly
&gt; Eightball so when he said it was often best NOT to pot balls but to
&gt; set them up for a certain run out, i was a bit shocked, but it has
&gt; started to make sense. I have lost games when i've hit 5 or 6 balls
&gt; in, leaving 1 or 2 left, and found those last 1 or 2 very hard to get
&gt; in when your opponent has most of his left on the table!
&gt;

It all depends on your skill level and your ego, I suppose. Just like
any new tidbit or skill in pool, the rules of common sense changes at
each level.

The progression in 8-ball goes something like this:

Shoot at anything regardless of runout possibilities.

Shoot at anything, except for balls hanging in the pockets.

Play safeties when you can't run out.

Play safeties, bunting balls around, even when you can run out.

Realize that leaving the hanging balls is the worst thing for your game.

Realize that other people are running out on you while you're bunting around.

Go for the runout nearly every time.


Fred &lt;~~~ goes for the runout<hr /></blockquote>

In every 8-ball tournament I've ever played, the person that wins is the one who runs out early and often.

Fred

Cueless Joey
12-30-2002, 03:56 PM
In the 8-ball tourney I play, one certain player wins it most of the time. He's the "stinker" type player. He soft breaks and will wear you out. He doesn't run out. He will block holes near your balls, he will lag balls near the pocket and miss some balls on purpose when some balls are frozen, then run out an easy one whey you make a mistake. Makes you wanna hit him with your stick. He is the player you hate when he wins the flip for the break.

Popcorn
12-30-2002, 04:12 PM
The problem with this kind of player is they don't have a corner on the market in that kind of play. They can be beaten without a lot of problem. It is much tougher to beat a player that runs out. If you do choose to attempt to run out you need to be sure you know how you can get all the way out. On a 9 foot table it is not very hard to run out playing 8-ball but on a 7-foot table it is a whole different story, It requires more strategic play. Two of the best 8-ball players I have seen are Jimmy Reid and Rolf Sequay. (sp?)
Rolf is amazing, once he has decided to run out, it's over. You can see his plan as he runs out, he is a great player. Reid is the same way. I don't know if Jimmy has anything on his website about 8-ball, I would think he does. He would be the guy to ask about strategy, he likes the game, where a lot of other pros don't like to play 8-ball. His website is www.freepoollessons.com (http://www.freepoollessons.com)

bigbro6060
12-30-2002, 05:36 PM
Yep that was me /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

I am getting to the stage where i can runout from the break but i am still making mistakes which stop the runout. At the very top level, one mistake near the end of the runout and your opponent will almost always win. At my level, games are still salvagable even after a failed runout. I tend to check my runout situation before i attempt the last 3 balls. If i am very confident , i will go for it, if i am not, i will play safe. I feel i can still compete strategically even with 3 balls against 7 but 1 or 2 against 7 and it's hard.

i do feel that some of the frustration with 8ball results from crappy players are often rewarded strategically for bad shots.

of course if you 'pants' your opponent then it doesn't matter /ccboard/images/graemlins/cool.gif

cheesemouse
12-30-2002, 11:33 PM
[ QUOTE ]
In every 8-ball tournament I've ever played, the person that wins is the one who runs out early and often.<hr /></blockquote>


Common sense 8-ball
&gt; Don't scratch on the break.
&gt; If you don't think you can get out establish the best set of balls then duck the run while trying to create a problem with the other set of balls.
&gt; If you think you can run them but have a problem to solve swing at it early and often.
&gt; While running your balls buy insurance by trying to tie up the other set of balls but don't risk queering your run, do it only if it easily fits into your runout pattern.
&gt; When forced to play a bank try and hit it with pocket speed so it will cover the hole if missed.
&gt; Try and play shape on the eight ball that allows you to dead stop the cb.
&gt; Like Fred pointed out the winners are the runout players.

<hr /></blockquote>

CarolNYC
12-31-2002, 04:48 AM
Hey Fred,
I do not play 8-ball much, but I would imagine there would be a keyball to the 8-get rid of problem balls-do not lose control of cue by "smashing" into balls-just tapping gently moves balls out of the way-just my opinion!
Carol~will play some!:)

BillPorter
12-31-2002, 08:05 AM
Popcorn,

Jimmy can indeed play some 8-ball. I recall seeing him win a national 8-ball tourney some years back (maybe 20 or more years back!).

Fred Agnir
12-31-2002, 08:12 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Popcorn:</font><hr> Two of the best 8-ball players I have seen are Jimmy Reid and Rolf Sequay. (sp?)<hr /></blockquote>
It seems like all of the pros have little problem with 8-ball on a 9' table. I have a couple of tapes where there is one strategic game, and all the other games are won by the first person who had a hint of a look at the table, even it really wasn't that runnable (for the rest of us).

Fred

Popcorn
12-31-2002, 08:53 AM
I learned a lesson about 8-ball from a guy called Tracy Joe, (Joe Salazar). He beat me bad on a bar table. (He is the best bar table player I ever played.) He was out moving me easily, I didn't know I played 8-ball that bad till I played him. I wanted to move to a big table, then I would show him how the game was played. What a joke that was, he ran rack after rack, it seemed I was never at the table. It was not even a pool match, just a war to see who could run out the most, very little interaction. He seemed to run out almost time he made a ball on the break. It was fun, he was a nice guy to play with, but I played a little longer then I should have. This was around the mid 70s, Joe may have been the best unknown player in the country.

12-31-2002, 09:42 AM
Joe Salazar is not unknown in my neck of the woods. He attends many of the local and regional tournaments selling cues and ocassionally entering the tournament. He is still capable of quality side action. I find him to be a gentleman and an honest provider of quality pool cues. At my best I had Joe's number at bar table 8 ball but his firepower was too strong for me on the 9 footer.

Jimbo

12-31-2002, 01:57 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Fred Agnir:</font><hr> The recent 8-ball thread reminded me of a post I made a few months ago. It was in response to Bigbro, who is probably the same bigbro that post here.

<blockquote><font class="small">Quote me:</font><hr>bigbro@noman.com (bigbro) wrote


&gt;
&gt; anyway i found what he had to say most interesting. I play mainly
&gt; Eightball so when he said it was often best NOT to pot balls but to
&gt; set them up for a certain run out, i was a bit shocked, but it has
&gt; started to make sense. I have lost games when i've hit 5 or 6 balls
&gt; in, leaving 1 or 2 left, and found those last 1 or 2 very hard to get
&gt; in when your opponent has most of his left on the table!
&gt;

It all depends on your skill level and your ego, I suppose. Just like
any new tidbit or skill in pool, the rules of common sense changes at
each level.

The progression in 8-ball goes something like this:

Shoot at anything regardless of runout possibilities.

Shoot at anything, except for balls hanging in the pockets.

Play safeties when you can't run out.

Play safeties, bunting balls around, even when you can run out.

Realize that leaving the hanging balls is the worst thing for your game.

Realize that other people are running out on you while you're bunting around.

Go for the runout nearly every time.


Fred &lt;~~~ goes for the runout<hr /></blockquote>

In every 8-ball tournament I've ever played, the person that wins is the one who runs out early and often.

Fred

<hr /></blockquote>


My strategy goes like this:

1. Figure out which balls are easiest to run.
2. Figure out which group you have a good first shot for.
3. Divide those to figure out which group you like.
4. Factor in whether there are good key balls in either group to get to problem balls, or break clusters (or play safe off of)
5. Clean up one end of the table at a time.. if you can, clean up the end that DOES NOT have the 8-ball first.
6. Don't get out of line.
7. If you aren't sure which ball to play position for.. go for an area in which you have the most choices of shots.


Thats a start. 8-ball is a simple game in theory, but deep down there is alot of strategy to it. There is less strategy if you can get the cueball to anywhere on the table at any time, from any angle.. I.e. la cueball-on-a-string syndrome.

/ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

12-31-2002, 02:50 PM

12-31-2002, 03:03 PM
ww...that's pretty much the way i look at it. i play league 8-ball on 8-footers and sometimes at home on the 9 and we have our share of runouts but, as a general rule it's the smart player who can see when there is no real runout potential and will use the first couple of shots to break up clusters. for a lot of players, you can tell that their game has moved up a level when they stop going for the out every time and start playing for the win.

dan

silverbullet
12-31-2002, 03:09 PM
I like what you said here SK and also what Fred says.Your stratege sounds sound for looking at the run. Where I got stuck was this and people here pointed it out to me, which helped.

I had a pretty good safety game but was playing too defensively and getting beat. I was not thinking in terms of winning but in terms of not getting beat too bad or winning when the other person messes up rather than because I shot good.

So I started playing more offensively, that is what Fred's post reminds me of. No matter how good you are at safety, tying up pockets etc, a person is not going to win consistently unless they can run out consistently at a higher level or at least making more balls than other folks at your level for the rest of us.

bw

Popcorn
12-31-2002, 03:27 PM
You must have been really able to play. I played Ed Giger, Gean Cooper (Gean the Machine), Left handed Charlie Jones, Little Sid, Black Shortly and many of the better bar players. Joe was in my opinion the best. I did not mention that I also played him some 9-ball on a 7 foot table and I did fair better, but lost after a few nights. He was using a house cue, it was his, but nothing special. In 1974 I don't think many people knew him, he was sometimes called Seattle Joe also.

Fred Agnir
12-31-2002, 03:28 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote whitewolf:</font><hr> Fred, it's all relative of course. <hr /></blockquote>

Of course.

Just in case it got lost in the responses, my post was a progression of strategy (grand strategy?) as one progresses in skill level, and not the progression of strategy of one game. You could almost put an SL# next to each progression.


Fred

12-31-2002, 04:05 PM
Popcorn,

In the early 70's did you ever run across Little Bear, Gerald Daniels, Donnie Folks, Roger Estelle or Mike Betts? All except Mike were exceptional bar table players. I had no outs against Little Bear, Gerald or Roger on a bar box but held my own with Donnie and Mike. The good old days were just that! /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif How about Jim Whitman? I do not know how well he played bar tables but he was on the road often back then and played jam up. One more duo, Sam Shonhorst and Jim McDermott. I believe they ran down the road back then as well.


Jimbo

wolfsburg2
01-01-2003, 09:25 AM
i am not at the level you guys speak of yet. i still get up to the table and try to run out every time i can. safety play and ball sequence are 2 things i would really like to work on, any tips?

silverbullet
01-01-2003, 09:39 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote wolfsburg2:</font><hr> i am not at the level you guys speak of yet. i still get up to the table and try to run out every time i can. safety play and ball sequence are 2 things i would really like to work on, any tips? <hr /></blockquote>

could definately use some good tips on ball sequence too. i have some strategy but it is way less advanced, imo than a good player. i would say beginner to intermediate safety and strategy at best.

blu

bigbro6060
01-01-2003, 03:03 PM
I thihk strategy for the intermediate player is the hardest thing to suss out in 8ball. It seems to me that there is a quantum leap from 'beginner' strategy of just banging balls in to 'advanced proper' strategy of running out ONLY when you are sure you can run out. The intermediate player who can pot and has decent but not perfect cueball control will be able to pot 5 or so of their balls but just the little mistakes, the missed pot or slightly off position stops them fromm running out . Potting 5 or 6 balls is death is 8ball ! if your opponent has 7 balls and you have 1 or 2, it's gonna be very hard

What i do is if i start a runout which is theoretically within my ability, i re evaluate the whole situation when i have 3-4 balls left. If i am still sure of the runout, i will go for it, if it is looking dodgey (e.g. a cluster i haven't been able to break so far), i will play safe. Either block a critical pocket or hook my opponent. Worse thing to do is let your ego get in the way, pot another few balls and be left with a hard ball or cluster at the end.

Blocking pockets effectively is easier said than done and is something which needs to be practised. It's all to easy to either pot your ball unintentionally or not block the pocket enough making it easy for your opponent to either knock your ball out on get inside your ball giving you a dead ball.