But I'm glad I tuned in, though, as a great benefit came out of that.
I was watching a young player, I think from Mexico, who kept running racks. I noticed he was deep in the tourney, and also the player he was beating was a top player, so I already knew he could play just based on the unexpected score of a guy I've never heard of, lol.
What I am about to point out is something I didn't learn for the first 15 years of playing pool. I want to stress that this is VERY important, yet I had never been shown, told, or knew this for the first 15 years.
Now, I'm not saying it propelled me straight to earning trophies my very next tournament, but what it did do was give me a much better appreciation for the decision for shape and it DID help me immensely. It makes so much sense and has helped me out so much, I sure wish I knew this earlier than 15 years into my pool journey, lol.
I remember distinctly I was just hitting a rack of 9 ball at Rusty's in Arlington one afternoon and one of the top players says, after I shoot the 8 ball, "Hey, why not shoot the 8ball instead like this, so the cue ball can come "into" the 9 ball." And then he showed me what he meant. My boyfriend at the time was standing there and he didn't say anything, but a HUGE lightbulb showed up above my head. Ahhhhhhh! HUGE learning experience.
And, when I saw this particular shot on the stream, it reminded me of that day about 7 years ago, and I have been itching to share this with you all!
So, as I hope you all do, too, as I was watching the stream, I think about what I would do or what I should shoot or how, while watching them play.
So, the guy gets to something like this:
But! He surprised me and did something else. Before you scroll more, what other option would you do? Or, would you do the way I envisioned?
Don't cheat! What would you do?
So what he did was just as I described in the intro about "coming into the next ball." (that I had obviously forgot about lol.) There are several benefits to this I will mention below, but let's see what he did that was smarter than my initial thoughts, too:
Instead of getting straight on the 7 ball to draw back for the 9 ball, he instead got UNDERNEATH the 7 ball to give him a good angle, something like this:
I can't recall exactly where the balls were, but you get the drift of what I'm trying to show I hope.
"Coming into the next ball" is a more NATURAL way to get position. Further, let's look at pros and cons:
Cons if you try and get straight on the 7:
- You may not get straight in the 7 ball and then have to maneuver the cue ball more than you expected.
- Drawing from the 7, you could over draw or under draw and then have a tough shot on the 9
- Or, drawing from the 7 you could even scratch in the side.
Pros of going three rails Into the 9ball:
- Less chance of scratching
- You have an entire area to shoot from as the cueball moves down the table, for a good shot on the 9ball
- Shooting 3 rails to get to the 9ball is a NATURAL pattern. Drawing is not really a natural flow. You aren't forcing anything or risking with draw, it's all natural rolling of the cueball.
- It's much easier to control a 3-rail shot than it is draw.
- You have a larger area for the cue ball if it's going INTO the 9 ball. With draw, the area to shoot from is much smaller.
Coming into the 9 ball like this guarantees you shape on the 9 ball. Drawing is risky and doesn't guarantee you anything.
Sure, drawing it doesn't mean you will lose or miss, right? BUT - going three rails ensure you will have a good shot left for the 9 ball.
I'm probably not stating this all correctly, easy, or using the correct vernacular, but I hope my points came across.
If you don't believe me....how about you set this shot up and try each way 10 times each. See which one you can get on the 9 ball easiest, which gives you better shape, and which one gives you more confidence.
I bet I know the answer already!