Ewa Mataya Laurance
Tonight, there's $20,000 on the line and four pool hustlers is out to get it! All it takes is talent, focus, and plenty of guts! THIS IS BALLBREAKERS!
Ballbreakers was a short-lived GSN original that featured four amateur pool players competing for $20,000 in this short-lived GSN original.
The show featured four people who first auditioned for the show in both categories of personality and pool skill. They then played a series of games of 9-ball against one another for bets. At the beginning of the show, the $20,000 prize was divided amongst each contestant (¼ or $5,000 for each player) for use in betting.
During warm-ups, a player was selected for control of the table. He decided who to play against for the first game. The minimum bet in the first round was $1,000 per game. The first round continued until all players had played at least once, at which point the two players with the least money were pitted against one another in an elimination round.
Any player with money was allowed to place a side bet on the current game (even one of the competing players). Anything could be bet on, e.g.: who would win, whether a particular ball would be made or missed, or whether one player would "run out the table". All side bets were in $500 increments, but the bettor was required to find a taker for a bet to be official.
In Round 2, minimum bets were $2,000, and the challenged player could not say no to any bet. The challenged player had to either accept the stakes or raise. Side bets were still bottomed at $500, and the winner of the first game played against the other player in the round. Unlike normal Pool rules, if no ball went into any hole on the "break", the opposing player would get "ball in hand". After two games, the two low scorers played in the Elimination game as in Round 1 unless someone went all-in & lost.
Elimination Round/Table Control GameEdit
The two players with the smallest bankrolls at the end of any of the first two rounds were forced to play one game to survive. Whoever had the smaller bankroll was of necessity all-in, and the opponent put in an equal amount. The winner of the game survived to move on to the next round which started with a "Table Control" game, and collected winnings as usual. If the "all-in" player moved on, that meant some leftover money was in contention. The winner of the "Table Control" game collected all of this contended money.
In the final round, the two remaining players played for all of the money. Unlike normal Pool rules, all misses (except when hitting the 9-ball) gave the opposing player "ball in hand". The first three games were "all-in" affairs; if the player with more money could win any of them, the show was over and the $20,000 was won by that player. If the round went three games with no player having all $20,000, a fourth & final game was played for all of the cash, regardless of each player's bankroll at that time.
For celebrity shows the rules were altered, in Round 1, each player automatically risked $1,000 and no higher during games, and side bets were limited to $500. In Round 2, players risked $2,000 for each game. The final round consisted of three sudden death games, with the player in 4th facing 3rd, the winner playing the person in 2nd, the winner of that playing against the player in first. The winner received $20,000 for their charity, the others received $10,000 for their charities, and all four celebrities also received a Brunswick pool table for themselves.
Two celebrity shows were broadcast.
Full Episode from 9/17/05