Sunday, August 8, 2010


I participated in a smallish local unhandicapped tournament last night. I was playing well, and found myself in a semi-final match against a very good player (rated significantly higher than me). In this tournament, the matches were 8-ball race to two on the winner's side of the bracket and 9-ball race to two on the one-loss side of the bracket.

Anyway, we each won a match and were hill-hill. He was on the 8 and I was at the table with two balls left. He had played a so-so safety and left me with a long shot on only one of my balls from near the rail. I had a tough cut on my object ball, but the long bank seemed to be close to dead on. Further, I realized I'd leave the cue ball in a safe position if I played a stop shot on the bank... so even if I missed it, I should be safe. It seemed like a good way to go, so I went for it. Unfortunately, I didn't put a lot of thought into the "what might go wrong" part. It requires a firm stroke to execute an effective stop shot at that distance (probably close to 5 feet). You also have to hit it dead-on (or at least close). Missing the dead-on part of the equation with a firm stroke tends to get real ugly in a hurry, and that's exactly what happened. I missed the shot and lost control of the cue ball and, of course, it ended up in good position for his shot on the 8-ball.

In hindsight, I did have a much safer, higher percentage defensive shot available... and that's the way I should have gone. I saw the possibility at the time, but dismissed it in favor of the more risky, more aggressive offensive/defense shot and paid the price.

One of these days I'll learn... hopefully  ;)

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