If you don't know already, the SidePocket Open is a big tourney held about 4 times a year in Shreveport, LA. It's held on bar tables and gets some HEAVY hitters, along with the die-hard fans, and has a large Calcutta (two of them I believe). I've never been, but have watched the results from afar for many years and it's a great tourney if you want to either get your feet wet with the big dogs, or you already are a big dog, lol.
So, this guy was fighting his way through the winner's side and when I noticed him on the stream a couple of times I would keep watching. Why? Because he chose the correct path on almost every shot. Even if he happened to miss good shape, he would get back in line soon after. Further, he safes were on point, AND his kicks were on point. I'm not saying he played perfect, but it was a joy to watch him play because his shot selection was "correct."
Wait, what do you mean by "correct," Melinda?
"Correct" means basically he plans for the next few shots by moving the cueball along the best, proper (more correct) path toward his next shot, to set him up for the shot after that (what I refer to as 3-ball shape). It's basically good, solid, pattern play.
Also, he studied his options, he took his time, he walked around the table to ensure he was on the correct side for his next shots, and he played good, solid, smart pool. It's the type of pool you want to watch, to help yourself.
I noticed a few guys he competed against played smart at times as well, but didn't keep it up the entire match. Further, one opponent in particular got out of line a lot. IMHO, he was not shooting the correct paths, and he was a shot maker and just making balls. He kept getting out of line and then he couldn't get back in line. Don't get me wrong, he still got out most of his games (and even won the match hill-hill), but it wasn't as fun for me to watch.
Now, don't think I'm being partial or playing favorites, it was just a fluke I tuned in when this guy was on the stream and then he played on the stream right up again. I'm sure there are many other players who play smart and correct, I just didn't see them on the stream over the weekend because I only checked it a couple of times.
I'll be honest, I'd rather watch smart, "correct" pool all day long, not shot makers. Sure, if you have your money on the shot makers, then you don't care how they are getting out as long as they are winning, right? lol. But I give lessons, and *I* was getting a lesson every game I watched the other guy. And so it will help me when I help others.
Further, watching "correct" pool helps your own game. As you have heard a million times already, watching pool improves your game. But if you are just watching shotmakers, how is that helping you? I mean, it DOES prove to you that you can make balls from anywhere (so don't be nervous if you get out of line), but I want to watch repetitive shot making from the correct side of the ball, I want to watch someone go the proper path to get on their shots, I want to watch someone take their time and walk around the table to see where they need to be, I want to watch someone stay down and follow through, I want to watch someone consistently shoot the correct or proper shot to get on their next ball. Watching all of these key things repetitively will help us make better choices at the table, which in turn will help us win more games. Watching a shotmaker wont help me win games. Strategy, smart play, correct paths will!
Now, I'm not saying there are not different options to each shot. We could have ten different players shoot one shot differently to get on the next ball. But, most of the knowledgeable, seasoned players will shoot the same pattern to get to the next ball.
That's what we need to be striving for!
And that's why I loved watching this guy play "correct" pool.