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The Pro's Game
By Kelly Fisher
Since winning the World 10-Ball Championship in 2011, her first world title, Fisher has dominated the women's game. She's continued her winning ways with three more wins on Asian soil, including the World 9-Ball crown in 2012.
WHEN IT comes to my preference in disciplines, I really enjoy 10-ball for a number of reasons. First, adding that extra ball to the rack makes the break much harder to control completely. As Darren talked about in his section, it's more difficult to repeatedly sink a ball on the break. While you can get an idea where certain balls will go, the break is generally more challenging to master.
Also, with the vast majority of 10-ball tournaments being played with a call-shot rule, there is less of a luck factor for mistakenly making balls. The added factor of calling your shot favors the better player, because a lesser skilled player can't rely on favorable rolls. This requirement and the more challenging break are two factors that can work as equalizers in 9-ball.
Additionally, when it comes to breaking in 9-ball, you are more likely to sink multiple balls. Say, for instance, you are routinely making a wing ball, there are eight other balls on the table - and it's not unlikely to make one or two of them.
Because you're more likely to face a table with eight, nine of 10 object balls, 10-ball usually leaves you with much more challenging tables. It's also why you're not likely to see players run a number of racks in a row. The extra object balls certainly increase the amount of safety play and make the game tougher.
When it comes to preparing your game for 10-ball, it's still important to work on your break. No matter what game you're playing, having a better break than your opponent is a huge advantage.
Additionally, playing proper patterns and selecting the correct shots are two vital skills. You obviously need these abilities in 9-ball, but they're that much more important in 10-ball because of the additional balls. With extra balls tied up and/or patterns more difficult to run, you will find yourself in trouble more often than compared to 9-ball. It's important to recognize when you have to play safe and when you should go for the runout.
Personally, while 10-ball suits my game, I always feel capable of winning an event as long as I'm playing well. At the World 10-Ball Championship in 2011, I believed I could win the title as the week progressed because I seemed to be consistently strong from match to match.
In pool, to win any big event or match, the gods have to be with you a bit. While my safety play was sharp and my shot-making was strong, things went my way and it worked out.
10-Ball is certainly a challenge, but focusing on the few things I've mentioned here will help you make the transition.
10-Ball Home Page
Bob Jewett: Know the Rules
Darren Appleton: Break It Open
Kelly Fisher: The Pro's Game
Mika Immonen: A Walk Through