One Pocket: How to make a ball on the break

chopstick

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Joined
Jun 21, 2004
Messages
15
First off, I didn't invent this. It's been around for years. What I did come up with is the pre-requisite shot that you have to master to get it to work. I have to give the credit to Grady Matthews. Hanging around him, I have learned how he looks at shots and analyses them. I believe that he is one of the greatest minds in the game today, maybe ever. I have trouble with the shot myself so, as a test case I taught it to an APA ranked six in eight ball and he could do it in five minutes. So here goes. Let me know how you do with it. I am still looking for an easier way.

Step #1:

99% of all the one pocket breaks I have ever seen the head ball is hit too thick. So, first you have to be able to do this cut shot or it will never work.

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The one ball must hit the rail at or above(the thin side) of the middle diamond. If you can't do it consistently, forget it. You'll never get this break to work. Get this shot grooved before you go to step two or you'll just frustrate yourself.

Step #2:

Years ago I was shown this one pocket break exercise but, I never got it to work. Recently, I picked it up again and I discovered Step #1 that makes it all possible. Take three balls and put them in a triangle. The actual shot is to cut the one ball to one inch below the middle diamond. This will vary from table to table, but never more than one inch thicker or thinner. I know I just told you to practice a shot which is too thin. The reason is when you get other balls involved, you are going to hit it too thick. If you have already grooved the capability to hit it too thin, it is easier to back off to the thick side, than to go from too thick to thin enough. When you cut the one ball correctly, the corner ball will go straight in the corner pocket.

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How to judge misses. This shot has built in feed back about how you hit the shot. This is the shot when the one ball is hit too thick.

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The corner ball will head to the foot rail. This will be most of the misses.

This is the shot missed too thin.

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The corner ball will go to the side rail. This is missing to the good side.

Step #3:

When you make the corner ball, of the three ball rack, twice in a row. Rack up all fifteen and do the same thing. For some reason, that I don't understand, the fifteen ball rack will react in exactly the same way as the three ball rack. The corner ball will go in the corner and when you miss, the corner ball will go to the same rails that it did in the three ball rack.

The racks don't have to be perfect, just decent. There seems to a margin of error that I don't understand either. Even if you don't make the ball, you will be able to consistently throw the corner ball right at (within a half diamond) of the corner pocket and in one pocket a ball in the door is as good as made.
 

NH Steve

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Apr 25, 2004
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8,903
That is of course the desired hit for the standard One Pocket break. I like the concept of your 'drill' to practice the break -- starting with only the head ball, then adding two balls, then going to the full rack. I'll give that a try.

You get feedback from breaking a full rack in similar fashion to what you describe with three balls:
1 If you miss the head ball entirely, it pretty much stays there and the cue ball penetrates the rack too much -- often leaving your opponent a direct shot to their pocket
2 If you hit too much of the head ball then the cue ball tends to get a second bump off one of the other balls down along your opponent's side of the rack -- often kicking the cue ball right into their pocket as well! On a break hit right the cue ball should only contact the head and second ball -- near simultaneously.
 

Tennessee Joe6

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Jan 10, 2005
Messages
366
The real secret to the One Pocket break is to not let a ball go towards your opponents pocket.


Just ask.
 

LSJohn

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Aug 15, 2013
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7,846
LOL

For Mr3C -- who wants the science :) -- the head ball has to be struck a micro-second before the second ball. The head ball moves the ball we're trying to make the little distance to make it line up with the pocket before the second ball contacts it. Similar must occur with the full rack, but I can't work out the movement of each ball. (Sorry, Bill, to leave you hangin'. :D )
 

kollegedave

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Joined
Jul 1, 2004
Messages
121
That's it. Just don't sell out. The rest is gravy.
I would respectfully disagree here. I think playing one pocket at a high level requires a player to take advantage of opportunities. The break is a free chance to put your opponent in a trap.

The break is so powerful that a decent player that knows the game can keep a better player "under" the break and win. This is too important an opportunity to just work to not sell out. Especially now, when many one pocket tournaments are races to 3. If you win the flip, and you break great, then your chances of winning increase significantly.

I think the OP offered some nice ideas on learning to break better. I am going to give them a shot.

kollegedave
 

LSJohn

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Aug 15, 2013
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I would respectfully disagree here. I think playing one pocket at a high level requires a player to take advantage of opportunities. The break is a free chance to put your opponent in a trap.

The break is so powerful that a decent player that knows the game can keep a better player "under" the break and win. This is too important an opportunity to just work to not sell out. Especially now, when many one pocket tournaments are races to 3. If you win the flip, and you break great, then your chances of winning increase significantly.

I think the OP offered some nice ideas on learning to break better. I am going to give them a shot.

kollegedave
I think the "just" was a little tongue-in-cheek, the real point being that "Don't sell out" is the first priority but your points are valid.
 

baby huey

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Oct 29, 2008
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Table and ball conditions are the determining factors when attempting to make a ball on the break. New cloth and polished balls are the hardest conditions to making a ball. The balls need to be stuck together (somewhat dirty) and the table cloth somewhat worn. Ever notice that the finals at DCC where the cloth is brand new and balls polished result in so many poor breaks? That's because the balls have such a difficult time in freezing up. And with new cloth the cue ball squirts into the rack rather arching into the rack. That wall that you are looking at when breaking must be frozen solid for a good break to occur let alone making a ball on the break. Recently while playing in Houston, I made a ball on the break three times in a row and in my forth break hung it up. If I hadn't Joey Abruzzi would have definitely beat me. It was huge in my match. The conditions were perfect as described above.
 

LSJohn

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Aug 15, 2013
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If I hadn't Joey Abruzzi would have definitely beat me.
Aguzin.

It was a tough match. You both played very well. I wish it had been one table over; I'd like to watch it again. (Joey moves really well, and he can shoot.)
 
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