Every player has their own style of play at the table. Some can adjust to different situations, but some remain in their same style, even if the table layout begs otherwise (being able to adjust is the proper way, btw).
When it comes to 8ball, I am more the defensive player. If it's a tricky out with lots of clusters, I tend to lay low and let my opponent try to be the hero. That is my style.
I DO go for breakouts when the time is right, but if there are many clusters or a tough out, I would rather punt.
I have noticed men tend to not punt as much. They play much more aggressive. I suppose that makes my style passive?
So I found myself in an interesting situation the other day a couple of months ago during the ACS State 8 ball tourney. In the team event on Sunday morning, I was pitted against a player who used to not know 8ball very well. But, she has been dating a really good player and I noticed a drastic change in her 8ball game. She had also placed well in the singles for the first time, so I knew her game had improved anyway.
Duing our match, I noticed she was more passive than she used to be. She played smart. She played, dare I say, now more correctly. But, with a twist.
We have several clusters, and so she kept punting. She wouldn't break anything out. And, she didn't make any of her balls.
Now, usually I'm the one punting, waiting for good break outs, and not making any of my balls. But, I saw the writing on the wall. And if I didn't do SOMETHING, we would be there all day.
So, I went out of my comfort zone and became the more aggressive player and broke out the many clusters and went for the run. I took chances and broke out shots.
While she played correctly, she also played WAY TOO passive. When you get two players who only punt, it can be a very difficult game to wait on, lol.
The problem wasn't that she didn't break things out. While that may be correct in 8 ball til you see a run, the problem was she never positioned her balls to better spots, so she just kept punting.
Non-experienced players would make all their open balls and then find themselves with a cluster staring them in the face. And no way to break it out because they just made all their ducks.
While I know not to make balls if I can't run, it's also important to know to move your balls into good positions. It's important to find OR make good breakout balls. I think she took the rule of not running out if it wasn't an open table to an EXTREME.
I used to be somewhat this way, also. Glad I've changed.
BTW, I won that game. :)