Monday, November 15, 2010

PoolSynergy: Three Handy Shots

Wow, it's been two whole weeks since my last post. It's amazing how quickly time flies when you're sick and your computer is dead. But it would take more than that for me to miss the special first anniversary edition of PoolSynergy, so I loaded up with a triple dose of Nyquil, booted my daughter off her computer and here I am! Her YouTube, Daily What, and U.S. Government homework can wait... it's MY turn damn it, and I built this computer in the first place - so HAH!

Now I have to hurry up and madly hammer this out before the Nyquil kicks in and I ZzzzZzzzzzz.
For this month's edition of PoolSynergy, John chose to go with the theme of "Three Tips" and after he very nicely explained to me that he was talking about three hints and not three tips such as the Moori, Tiger Sniper (my old favorite), and Tiger Onyx (my new favorite) I wandered off into my corner to figure out what I could possibly write about. Something GOOD. I mean "don't miss your shots," "don't scratch," and "don't hook yourself" seem kind of obvious (and short).

OK, I admit those were my backup plan in case I had to do the whole article from my iPhone. But I've commandeered a real computer so I'm going to do three real tips! And since I also listed my emergency backup tips, you get a sweet 2-for-1 deal on tips today and it's not even Black Friday yet!

Alright, the Nyquil is starting to kick in (which will be my excuse for any lame humor that appears in this post) so I need to get back on track. It actually took me awhile to come up with the three tips I was going to cover. Most of the other authors jumped on good ones before I could stake my claim (be sure to check the others out) so I had to dig a little deeper. I pondered some about what made me ME... and realized that I tend to use unique, creative shots more often than a lot of others do. While others get perfect shape shot after shot and sink everything (yawn), I'm the one who screws up shape just so I can pull some jaw-dropping crazy shot out of my ass. And then, of course, while the thrill is still fresh in the crowd's mind I miss an easy straight-in shot on the money ball and slink away to my chair. Or at least that's the way it seems during some matches.

But it is true that I use unique shots at times. Most of them aren't rocket science but as I mentioned, I often don't see them used when the opportunities present themselves to other players. Of course... once you know a shot and have practiced it a bit, it's easier to recognize the opportunities when they come up. It's like the old adage "when you have a hammer, the whole world looks like a nail."

I'm of the opinion that having as many tools available as possible is a Good Thing (tm). I mainly get ideas for shots from books like 99 Critical Shots in Pool and Byrne's Complete Book of Pool Shots. Another good resource for different types of shots is Dr. Dave's excellent Video Encyclopedia of Pool Shots (VEPS).

So without further ado, here are the three shots I've selected as being not quite so typical but definitely handy when the situations arise.

The first seems like a no-brainer but I'm amazed at the number of people who will gladly trade off an easier straight-on shot on the current shot for much poorer position on the following shot. Take a bit of time to practice off the rail shots, they're not that tough!

Slightly less obvious, but very handy nonetheless is the Ticky shot. Again, it really isn't a very difficult shot to do with just a little bit of practice.

Being able to roll a ball in after another ball can be extremely handy! I've used it numerous times to drop my ball in after an opponent's blocker ball, or dropping in two of my balls in one shot, or even in game winning situations. Again, this really isn't a tough shot once you get a feel for it with a little bit of practice.

A slightly different approach is required when your object ball is close to the blocker ball.

And there you have it, three handy shots to add to your repertoire if they're not already there. Shoot straight, and kick some butt out there people!


  1. OMG I loved this -- That ticky shot is the nuts! Thank you very much!

  2. ticky...the old billiard favorite. :)

  3. I loved this. I use these three shots frequently myself, being a fellow member of the "I don't always get great shape" club. The books you mentioned are classics, full of useful information, and Dr Dave's videos are wonderful as well, since it's easier sometimes to learn from a video.

    Well done sir.

  4. Always happy when I can ticky your fancy, Gail.

    Thanks for the kind comments as well p00lriah and John.

  5. Gary, I laughed all the way through your article. Great job. I especially enjoyed your statment, "While others get perfect shape shot after shot and sink everything (yawn), I'm the one who screws up shape just so I can pull some jaw-dropping crazy shot out of my ass." Yes, I'm guilty of this also! Great work on the videos also. Very nice!

  6. Three great shots that every MUST have in their bag. I can't tell you the times I shoot the in-off (ticky)and people actually applaud it. And with some practice this shot can be applied in many situations beyond pocketing.

    Great selection of tips.