This controversy seems to be cropping its head up more and more as of late.
In the Planet Pool 9-Ball Tour, the winner racks their own, as opposed to loser
All of us have seen arguments erupt when two players don't agree with the rack.
It is thought on the PP 9-Ball Tour that having the WINNER rack prevents a lot
of wasted time arguing about getting the "perfect" rack.
How many of us have witnessed players arguing at the end of the table about the
rack, pressing the felt to ensure a smooth surface, hitting the head ball with
another ball, et cetera?
This past weekend, I watched a side-armed player in a match, and his opponent
racked the balls after each win, pressing and caressing the balls in the wooden
rack, examining the rack from every angle, touching the balls with his fingers.
After he removed the wooden rack, I saw him place his fingers on the 1-ball
moving it in place, I would think, to get a TIGHT rack.
Somebody on the rail actually said if he***ed his finger and touched the
1-ball that it would cause some sort of friction and make it fly on the break
better (LOL). I have a hard time believing this one, but now I'm beginning to
I have been told each table has a "sweet spot" relating to breaking, some
better than others. However, I witnessed the 1-ball fly in the side pocket 8
out of 9 times on the break in one match after the guy's***ed finger touched
In another match, with another player racking his own, I witnessed the 9-ball
move to the corner pocket within 1 to 2 inches EVERY SINGLE TIME, actually
pocketing the 9-ball on the break one time.
Is this a coincidence, I thought, or just good breaking and racking.
The TD, who was sitting next to me on the rail, actually suggested to me that
the side-armed player needs to make his opponents re-rack because he is
allowing "them" to place a gap between the two balls BEHIND the 9-ball, which
according to this guy makes the balls fly in better.
I'm not a racking guru, but I find this theory incredulous, but if this is the
case and players can "rig" the rack, it seems like the winner-racks format
The alternative is to have the loser rack. Just as there are ways to rack the
balls to enhance one's break, it works the other way, too. An opponent can
"rig" the rack and make it impossible for the breaking player to pocket
I have read the many pros and cons of the Sardo rack.
There is one school of thought that the BREAK is 50 percent of one's game when
competing at a higher level. We have all heard of top players running 6-packs,
et cetera. If it is a fair rack, then that's good shooting!
I would think one's racking capabilities would be an important feature and
figure into that "50 percent of one's game" equation as it pertains to
If a player is capable of adjusting a rack to make or not make balls, I think
this stinks just as bad as playing poker with a marked deck (IMO).
I would be interested to read some other thoughts on this topic. ;>)