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bluewolf
02-23-2003, 08:16 AM
All I know about 9-ball I learned from watching tv. Yesterday at the CAT tournament Dr D was so nice to play me a couple of racks and she showed me a couple of tips. I was so impressed with the way that she was not only good on difficult shots but knew when to play safe and when to play offense.

It occured to me that the reason I am better at safe than my potting % is because playing safe is easier. I mean lots of times a person just has to be able to touch the ball and make it hit a rail or sneak the cb behind it. This seems much easier than being accurate on pocketing the ball and getting position on the next shot and also being able to plan out the rack.

I do not understand why weaker players do not use this more. Also can see I have to work on skills more.

But look on the bright side. When Dr D is a pro, I can tell my grandchildren that I once got to play a couple of racks with her when she was still a semipro. It is kind of kool to meet famous people, especially nice ones. /ccboard/images/graemlins/wink.gif

Laura

Rich R.
02-23-2003, 09:23 AM
Just as there are easy shots and difficult shots, there are easy and difficult safeties. It takes a lot of skill to play both shots and safeties properly. It also takes a lot of knowledge to know when to make a shot and when to play a safety.
There is no easy way out, if you want to play well.

snipershot
02-23-2003, 01:10 PM
For me, why shoot a difficult shot when you can duck and make your opponent shoot an even harder shot, plus if you shoot and miss your often finished right there. I guess it depends how aggressive you are, I know some players that almost never duck because they are great shotmakers. Defensive play seems to be often overlooked, and underpracticed, a good defensive play often will lead to a good offensive chance (BIH!).

Gayle in MD
02-23-2003, 01:22 PM
Hey Sniper, those words should be carved in stone, so true. One thing that has really brought my game up, especially when playing really good players, is that I have put more time in this year on practicing safties. A good safe is always better than a shot you "Hope" to make. When in doubt, I go for the safe everytime, unless I can see a way to go for the shot, and leave them tough if I miss through a natural leave. I call it "Winning through aggrivation" LOL.

Gayle In Md., "And answers to the name 'Lucky "

bluewolf
02-23-2003, 01:36 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Gayle in MD:</font><hr> Hey Sniper, those words should be carved in stone, so true. One thing that has really brought my game up, especially when playing really good players, is that I have put more time in this year on practicing safties. A good safe is always better than a shot you "Hope" to make. When in doubt, I go for the safe everytime, unless I can see a way to go for the shot, and leave them tough if I miss through a natural leave. I call it "Winning through aggrivation" LOL.

Gayle In Md., "And answers to the name 'Lucky " <hr /></blockquote>

Sounds kind of like the way I think. In 8 ball I have gotten real okay with letting my opponent run most (5-6) of their balls off of the table so I can hide more. But, of course I am not playing the kind of people who are going to run out on me. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

And of course i know almost nothing about 9 ball. It was fun to try to figure out the strategy though.

Laura

sack316
02-23-2003, 02:55 PM
I am really bearing down on my "D" now. I noticed that all the people that are far and away better than me had strong defensive play. So I've worked hard on it. Then this past week I was in a tourney and was pretty off on my shooting, so I had to play more D to stay in the game and wound un taking 5th (my best finish by far, including nights I was "shooting good"). So I've learned my lesson on "D". It's also fun when playing someone you don't like and make them get really mad. Ha ha ha ha! (evil laugh)

bluewolf
02-23-2003, 06:52 PM
Congratulations!!!!

When I first started apa, my sl7 hubbie told me about safety and told me a coupla concepts like 'leave em hard and long'. For some reason it just clicked for me and I thought it was great fun. I also practiced ball speed so that I could do delicate shots. Being not very experienced, I do have problems,not seeing the safe, but in predicting how it will react against the rails. Also, when I have to get out of a safe, I lack expereince kicking out, which I think also is not knowing the rail action or doing masses (pretty bad at those). I am working on both of them and also getting better at pocketing. In fact, I need improvement in just about everything!!!!

Laura

Fred Agnir
02-24-2003, 09:16 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote bluewolf:</font><hr> When I first started apa, my sl7 hubbie told me about safety and told ...'leave em hard and long'. <hr /></blockquote>
So that explains why they call you "Bluewolf."

Hope this helps,

Fred

bluewolf
02-24-2003, 11:22 AM
Fred,

You are always helpful. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smirk.gif

Laura

eg8r
02-24-2003, 12:51 PM
Hello Laura,

I just have an idea and would like some input from the board.
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote bluewolf:</font><hr> It occured to me that the reason I am better at safe than my potting % is because playing safe is easier. <hr /></blockquote> This is no way has to do with Laura directly but mainly towards the more inexperienced players as a whole. I am in no way saying I know more than others but here is my idea...I notice a lot of people that have the same feelings as above expressed by Laura. I disagree with this idea and would like some feedback. I tend to think that a safety requires control over not only the cue ball (try to hide behind an impeding ball) but also the OB. I do not really think I played a safe if my opponent can see any portion of the OB, I just sort of got away with another chance at the table. A safety to me is when the opponent has a really difficult time making contact either having to go multiple rails or manuever through traffic.

I used to play a person in Orlando and he would get excited because I could not make the OB. What he did not take into account, was that his safety was so poorly played that I was able to hit enough of the ball and get him safe.

What does the board think?

eg8r

02-24-2003, 01:09 PM
Hello All,

This touches on a subject very close to my heart. Having played snooker most of my life, I have been converting to 9-ball over the last two years. I probably make the balls as well as most players I compete against, but get tied in knots by experienced players who just prevent me coming to the table.

I played a local pool champ the other night for a friendly beer a set arrangement and got highly frustated at how he kept me out of the balls. Couple that with the fact that when I finally got him safe he would kick to a safe, I was completely paralysed by his safety game.

I've attempted to emulate the safeties of the top players but find:

1) my choice of safety is often poor - again I rely on snooker experience which is not reliable for 9-ball.

2) the behavior of the balls after contact is different to snooker, and even after two years I haven't succesfully adjusted. Consequently I have a low % on many safes, and those I make are fair to easy for a good player to kick to another safe.

These factors motivate me to shy away from further safety - but I know this isn't the solution. Perhaps someone could recommend a book that is highly focused on the strategic element of the game, rather than more fundamental issues.

Fran Crimi
02-24-2003, 01:57 PM
Well, it's not that easy to control both balls when you play a safety. Most players will either focus on a specific placement of either the cb or ob and send the other in a general direction. If you try to get too exact with both balls, you're liable to wind up botching the safety and leaving your opponent a shot.

Also, you don't always have the opportunity to hide a ball when you play safe. Sometimes it's necessary just to leave your opponent long or a bank rather than shoot a low percentage shot yourself. That's still a legitimate safety and good strategy, even though you aren't hiding a ball.

Fran

Jon from MN
02-24-2003, 02:06 PM
I was playing in a tournament last year. This guy from Iowa was kicking everything in he was making 3 rail kicks. I told my friend I had to do something different. so I let him see just a little or I would leave him a tough cut or bank. I won that match and my friend just got a free lesson. Jon

Fran Crimi
02-24-2003, 02:12 PM
Well, if you're switching back and forth between pool and snooker, you'll probably have a more difficult time making the adjustments, but even if you aren't, nothing beats experience in learning about safeties.

Keep doing what you're doing, play against players who execute good safeties (hopefully it won't cost you too much) and also watch players. Also, it would be great if you could befriend someone who was willing to show you a few tricks of the trade.

While there are some things you can learn from books, the real key to playing good safeties is to develop the feel for it. That can only come with experience.

FRan

DSAPOLIS
02-24-2003, 02:27 PM
Laura,
Fran gives you the best advice in this area, be sure to look into her suggestions. In my next book, (Lessons in 9 ball) I have dedicated an entire section (Over 40 pages) to safeties. An important point for me to make about this topic is how I perfected my safety play. When I was younger, I didn't play safe, I went for every shot. It was not until I watched a match between Robin Bell (Dodson) and Ewa Mataya that I got intrigued by safeties. Robin plays some of the best lock ups I have ever seen either male or female. There is a good reason for this, mostly the body mechanics differences between men and women, which highlights itself off of the break for obvious reasons. Thus, more safety play. At first I was lousy at it, but I studied and I asked a lot of questions. As a male professional player I had the superiority attitude when talking to women pros. I learned a lot by swallowing my pride and taking the cotton out of my ears and sticking it into my mouth. There are many female players that are just as qualified to instructors as men. Believe me, I learned alot from Robin and also a lot from Loree Jon Jones by becoming a humble student, which is not half as bad as it sounds. To all the guys out there, don't knock female instruction. They know more than what we give them credit for.

Blackjack David Sapolis

heater451
02-24-2003, 02:48 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Fran Crimi:</font><hr> . . .Also, you don't always have the opportunity to hide a ball when you play safe. Sometimes it's necessary just to leave your opponent long or a bank rather than shoot a low percentage shot yourself. That's still a legitimate safety and good strategy, even though you aren't hiding a ball.

Fran <hr /></blockquote>Another "non-hiding" safety is leaving the cueball where the best shot is blocked by another ball--best if it's your ball, but a leaving a low-% combo will work in a pinch. I guess you could consider this "hiding" the pocket though. . . .

You may also be able to "stack the tolerances", to borrow an assembly term--if you leave a low-% shot, and add distance, you've generally increased it's difficulty.



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

eg8r
02-24-2003, 03:21 PM
I guess I don't mean controlling both balls so much as to the extent of 1p, but much more than just hitting them. I have have screwed up before just worrying abuot getting my cue ball to a spot I thought was safe, only to see the object continue rolling down and leaving a shot. So, i guess not controlling the OB to point of leaving it in an exact spot, but controlling it enough to know where it is going and how hard to hit it.

eg8r

bluewolf
02-24-2003, 03:36 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Fran Crimi:</font><hr> Well, it's not that easy to control both balls when you play a safety. Most players will either focus on a specific placement of either the cb or ob and send the other in a general direction. If you try to get too exact with both balls, you're liable to wind up botching the safety and leaving your opponent a shot.

Also, you don't always have the opportunity to hide a ball when you play safe. Sometimes it's necessary just to leave your opponent long or a bank rather than shoot a low percentage shot yourself. That's still a legitimate safety and good strategy, even though you aren't hiding a ball.

Fran <hr /></blockquote>

Okay this makes sense. These are the kind of things I am calling safe. Of course it depends on the skill level of the player. Even though a lot of people say to play the table, if I can size up my opponents skill on certain types of shots rather quickly then it is easier to plan the safe strategy.

I mean why work any harder than I have to.So naturally I have to do a tighter save when playing a better player.

If the person is not a good shooter, about all I have to do is leave them hard. Or if they are good at long straight ins but not long cuts, leave a long cut.

If the person is not good at shape like me, then leave them at one end so that is hard to get on the next end for the next ball. for instanc, there may be a moderate difficult cut on the five, then they have to come back down on a mod diff six and the rest of the run is med difficulty. So if they are not good at shape and also only an intermediate shooter, then they wont run out on me.

If the person is say an sl6 to sl7 equiv, I would look at the proposed safe to see if they could kick, masse out. If it is not tight enough, I might work instead on blocking pockets and getting my balls in front of designated pockets or untying them to hope for a chance later. If I cant safe, I try to not give them a run out.

I can also give an sl7 a break that meets the qualifications of 4 touching the rail but leaves a rather nasty cluster.

If I do not have a legal hit, since they are going to get BIH anyway, I can do an illegal hit on their ball unblocking my pocket or freezing up one of their balls so that they have to use bih undoing the damage i did rather than getting an edge.

Well, there are some more scenarios but i guess it is endless really and much past my knowlege...I do not really practice safety anymore except speed finess because my game is lopsided enuff as it is, and spend time trying to get to be a better shooter which i so fall short in. /ccboard/images/graemlins/tongue.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/tongue.gif

Laura

bluewolf
02-24-2003, 03:59 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote DSAPOLIS:</font><hr> Laura,
Fran gives you the best advice in this area, be sure to look into her suggestions. In my next book, (Lessons in 9 ball) I have dedicated an entire section (Over 40 pages) to safeties. An important point for me to make about this topic is how I perfected my safety play. When I was younger, I didn't play safe, I went for every shot. It was not until I watched a match between Robin Bell (Dodson) and Ewa Mataya that I got intrigued by safeties. Robin plays some of the best lock ups I have ever seen either male or female. There is a good reason for this, mostly the body mechanics differences between men and women, which highlights itself off of the break for obvious reasons. Thus, more safety play. At first I was lousy at it, but I studied and I asked a lot of questions. As a male professional player I had the superiority attitude when talking to women pros. I learned a lot by swallowing my pride and taking the cotton out of my ears and sticking it into my mouth. There are many female players that are just as qualified to instructors as men. Believe me, I learned alot from Robin and also a lot from Loree Jon Jones by becoming a humble student, which is not half as bad as it sounds. To all the guys out there, don't knock female instruction. They know more than what we give them credit for.

Blackjack David Sapolis <hr /></blockquote>

I liked Fran's advice. I also am interested in what you say in your book. I figure that to be a 'pro' at safe requires a long time. That is why when my husband first told me about it, I figured I might as well get started. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

In the beginning I could not do any of the beginning safe concepts because I could barely hold a stick. For the time I have played I have learned a lot but in watching pros on tv, I have also seen safes I had no idea how they did them.

I am hoping that by the time I get to be a good shooter, I will also be good, better at safes. Perhaps my shooting will catch up to my safety. Anyway, by posting here, others can tell me input in case my logic is faulty. Also if others have neat safes they know I would love to hear about them..

Oh yeah, about your book. The amount I learned was slowly. At first, I was told leave em long and hard and tie up the pockets. So will your book overwhelm me with a bunch of technical stuff or is it user friendly?

Laura

L.S. Dennis
02-24-2003, 10:34 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Rich R.:</font><hr> Just as there are easy shots and difficult shots, there are easy and difficult safeties. It takes a lot of skill to play both shots and safeties properly. It also takes a lot of knowledge to know when to make a shot and when to play a safety.
There is no easy way out, if you want to play well. <hr /></blockquote>


When I hear this being discussed as to when to play safe and when not to, I think back to what the great Buddy Hall had to say when asked this same question. And that is " if the safe is a hard as the shot, take the shot!" Very true you need to give yourself a chance to win in those situations.

02-25-2003, 12:41 AM
Dear Blue wolf. When I began playing pool, back in the days when there were no cars &amp; I had to ride a horse up to the pool hall, Shooting safe shots got you very rich or very dead. Playing safe was called ...... pool. We were mostly shooters, we loved to shoot. When you become a real shotmaker like me, you think you can make anything, &amp; try to do exactly that. When safe play really came in, it was driving me nuts to get beat by someone who had half of my playing ability. It really burned me I guess to be out smarted. The rules, the code changes, and we must adjust. I had to learn how to safe, and now I am quite good at it. Nobody has ever beat me in 9 ball hooking me 3 times in a row, I am un hookable. Being a shooter &amp; a shotmaker like me, means you are probably a loser if that is all you do. You have to learn to back off, &amp; not take those crazy shots. If it's a l0% shot, and playing a nice safety that can hook the guy &amp; give me cue ball in hand where running out is a snap, and the safety is a 70% shot, I shoot safe every time. Learn to play the percentages. Get the opponent shooting those tough 10% shots, you keep shooting those 75% shots, who do you think is going to win. You first need to examine honestly who you are &amp; how you think &amp; act. Then put your self into 1 of 2 boxes, you are a shooter, you are a ducker, which of the two do you like &amp; do best. Mike Sigel won a hundred events &amp; his handle was captain hook, what does that tell you. Be like Mike, be able to do both great, be as good of a ducker as you are a shooter, do not favor one over the other. Dont let one get better than the other one. Practice both skills so they become equal. Now when a choice comes up, you don't choose what you like, you choose what is the smartest shot with the highest percentage in your favor of you making it &amp; or winning. IMHO THIS IS THE WAY YOU DO IT, In Wonder Dog's humble opinion, this is all bull hockey, you just run out of the other sausage, then there is no way you can lose. Old Wonder has never hit a safety in his life.
So you see blue, everyone has a different opinion, and free opinions, are just that, you usually get what you paid for them. Best Wishes, Fast Larry Guninger

bluewolf
02-25-2003, 06:18 AM
Larry,

Glad to see you back.

That must have been frustrating, getting beaten by lessor opponents because they could play safe. One of my captains last session was an sl5. He was about the worst shooting sl5 that I have seen. But, he won against sl5s and an ocasional sl6, because he was good at the defeinsive game.In fact, he told me some good strategies.

Please tell wonder dog that I think he is cute.

Laura

cheesemouse
02-25-2003, 08:58 AM
Larry,
Credit where credit is due. I think this is the best advice that can be given on this subject of offence/defence in shot selection....glad to see your taking your med's Larry.......LOL LOL /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Fred Agnir
02-25-2003, 09:29 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Fast Larry:</font><hr> Mike Sigel won a hundred events &amp; his handle was captain hook, what does that tell you <hr /></blockquote>
Mike Sigel was certainly a great defensive player, but many would argue that he is the most aggressive of the 14.1 champions. He used to shoot at everything while eschewing the safety option. I think he really was the start of the "new 14.1 strategy" which includes going for a lot more difficult shotmaking as compared with previous champions.

I always thought the moniker wasn't appropriate for him. It seems that particular nickname of Captain Hook made more sense in that he'd rather go fishing than play pool. Maybe something more appropriate would be:

Captain Complainer
The Yes-man
Mr. Finals
or how about:

Mike "I stole your drapes and made me a vest" Sigel?

It's catchy.

HTH,

Fred

OnePocketChamp
02-25-2003, 09:32 AM
Concerning safety play and my buddy Ed, I have played many hours with him and I have one word that should improve his safety play "Bowling".

02-25-2003, 09:54 AM
Dear Cheeze, the only medicine I take, are aspirin, alleve, water pills, blood pressure medicine, I am l20/85, Lipitor, now 120. I do take a lot of herbs. I have a vey strong anti illegal drug message &amp; I try to tell childred the dangers of smoking weed or cigarettes. Your best pool is played with a clear mind, dead sober, well meditated &amp; focused, and a little hungry. Lee Trevino, a all time great, say's a hungry dog hunts best. When I feed Wonder Dog, he flops down goes to sleep and the show is over. Just try &amp; pull &amp; lift a 135 dog up on a table that has just gone limp. Best Wishes, Fast Larry Guninger

eg8r
02-25-2003, 10:05 AM
Ouch, thank you for the encouragement.

eg8r /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

HOWARD
02-25-2003, 04:21 PM
Lloydlas

Since you seem to have played a lot of snooker already. I assume you are very good at pocketing balls. Safety play should start with cb control and speed - speed - speed. Next is ob control and speed - speed - speed.

If you are not proficient at pocketing balls that is the first thing not safety play for improvement.

Howard

bluewolf
02-25-2003, 05:49 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote HOWARD:</font><hr> Lloydlas

Since you seem to have played a lot of snooker already. I assume you are very good at pocketing balls. Safety play should start with cb control and speed - speed - speed. Next is ob control and speed - speed - speed.

If you are not proficient at pocketing balls that is the first thing not safety play for improvement.

Howard <hr /></blockquote>

Why not both? /ccboard/images/graemlins/tongue.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/tongue.gif

Laura

Rod
02-25-2003, 06:24 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote HOWARD:</font><hr> Lloydlas

Since you seem to have played a lot of snooker already. I assume you are very good at pocketing balls. Safety play should start with cb control and speed - speed - speed. Next is ob control and speed - speed - speed.

If you are not proficient at pocketing balls that is the first thing not safety play for improvement.

Howard <hr /></blockquote>

I feel much the same way Howard. You have to pocket balls to win and in the process learn speed and effect off balls and cushions. I've seen those safety battles, then when it's time to go, the player can't make a reasonable shot or passes up a good opportunity. I'd lean heavy on offense and play safe when you must. People get scared to take a shot. As I see it, whats there to be scared of? The worst that can happen is you lose a game. Don't lose it by hiding under a rock. I've seen lots of games lost by a person being to cautious. Your opponent can see it as a weakness and run right over you since your not going to shoot anyway. Safety play is important but you don't win games if you can't make a ball. The last I checked you have to pocket the balls before the winning ball to actually win! lol

HOWARD
02-25-2003, 06:26 PM
BW,

I learned one pocket before I was through learning the balance of pool. When I started dinking and donking the ball
with slow speeds and concentrating on feel and touch.

I did this in my early development. I believe to this day, that method slowed down my shot making ability. Made me look for ways to leave cb safe instead looking for a run out.

I personal belief is you are much better off using power strokes and trying to run out than playing safe early on. The safety way leaves you always looking to play safe soft it in and other bad habits. After you gone through the I'll fire it in the hole and draw it eight feet for shape. Than you may go to the safety with great effect for your game.

Howard

bluewolf
02-25-2003, 06:33 PM
Thanks for answering!!! I am working on my offense!!!

Laura

Alfie
02-25-2003, 11:26 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Rod:</font><hr> I've seen lots of games lost by a person being to cautious. <hr /></blockquote> Haven't you seen lots of games lost through overaggressiveness, too?

- Methinks we're splitting hairs.

Rod
02-26-2003, 12:14 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Alfie:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote Rod:</font><hr> I've seen lots of games lost by a person being to cautious. <hr /></blockquote> Haven't you seen lots of games lost through overaggressiveness, too?

- Methinks we're splitting hairs. <hr /></blockquote>

Sure I have Alfie no doubt about that. My post was related towards low rated players that lack being agressive because their afraid to take a chance. Meanwhile their opponent sets up balls and picks them off. It's the sort of game that no one is going to run balls. Their opponent could have most of their balls off and supposedly be at a disadvantage, except when this player gets a shot they can't run balls and sell out anyway. It's my opinion with very low rated players they do need to pocket a ball or two when they have the chance.

bluewolf
02-26-2003, 06:07 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Rod:</font><hr> Sure I have Alfie no doubt about that. My post was related towards low rated players that lack being agressive because their afraid to take a chance. Meanwhile their opponent sets up balls and picks them off. It's the sort of game that no one is going to run balls. Their opponent could have most of their balls off and supposedly be at a disadvantage, except when this player gets a shot they can't run balls and sell out anyway. It's my opinion with very low rated players they do need to pocket a ball or two when they have the chance. <hr /></blockquote>

In playing safe, I am setting myself up easy shots so that I can pick them off. Here is the problem that I have. It often comes down to one ball and the eight when I am playing someone who is a slightly better shooter than me. I am not good enuff at shape to get from my previous ball onto my last ball turning it into an easy shot and then if the 8 is in a hard position from that last one, same problem of not getting in the best position.

I have actually beat better players at games and a few matches by playing safe but if it comes down to the last ball and it is a difficult shot and no safes left, that is where I screw up and lose.

Laura

#### leonard
02-26-2003, 07:04 AM
One pocket wasn't played in the north in my day. I did play an afternoon of one pocket with Johnny Vivus in Conn while waiting to trap the owner in straight pool. If I were to have played one pocket I would have played the safe shots left handed and shoot the shots right handed. Playing those did and dabs shots screw up your stroke.####

landshark1002000
02-27-2003, 01:29 AM
Hi Laura:
Thanks for your post about defense /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif.

Lots of good comments already. I just wanted to bring up some ideas about defense in 8 ball and 9 ball.

It may sound funny but competing in a game of pool is a bit like a sociable "war game". In war you CAN rely on an overwhelming offense but that seems to work best when one player has a big skill advantage over the other. Contests between equals CAN be offensive slug-fests. But more often, you see DEFENSE used to create offensive DISadvantages for the opponent. Leaving the other player a very difficult (low percentage) shot is great defensive strategy. And doing it over and over again is great MENTAL GAME strategy too. In the Mosconi cup Corey Duel lost his game against (???--the opponent about the same age as Corey) because he kept stepping up to the table to face a low percentage shot... over and over. Corey was shooting well but he was stuck in offensive high-gear. He missed defensive opportunities by "going for it". And it cost him.

--Here are some other thoughts.

In 8 ball you can create a defensive blockade (block a pocket with a ball from your group). But, in 9 ball there's no advantage to this... you're BOTH playing the same "ball group"!! Balls at the pocket are ADVANTAGES for both players.

In 9 ball it's crucial to be able to play multi-rail kickshots. In 8 ball it hardly comes up.

There's all kinds of ways to describe the two games... this is just another example--

Both games are like a horse race. You have to get all the way around the track to cross the finish line. But 8 ball is a horse race with obstacles to jump over (like a steeplechase). Both are still horse races but 8 ball has a few more DEFENSIVE OPPORTUNITIES for you to create obstacles for your opponent to jump over.

Sorry this is so long!!!!
--Ted from Phoenix