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sjm
03-01-2007, 07:56 PM
You face the position below, trailing 98-96 in a straight pool race to 100. You are in a tough spot, as your opponent needs two. You need four, so you need to force this game into another rack to win. If you play a shot here, a miss probably ends the match, and even if you make it, you probably don't run out the match, so the position seems to call for a defensive mindset.

Play the safety and if you get it wrong, you've probably lost. Even if you get it right, you won't apply too much pressure, and the battle for control of the table might continue for a couple of innings.

The tactic I recommend is what Irving Crane used to call "taking game off the table," although I've also heard this tactic referred to as "lowering the stakes."

Barely touch the cue ball with your tip for a foul. You'll be quite happy if opponent chooses to play this very challenging safety, but you probably won't be so fortunate, and opponent will also take a foul, so you'll have to play the frist safe. But now, it's 97-95, and if you misplay the safety, opponent will still have to break the next pack to run out the match, so you've made opponent's work more difficult, and have, thereby, improved your chance to win the match.

Against a top player, if you lose the safety battle, you still expect them to run out by breaking the next pack, but, even against them, your chances of getting another turn have improved because of the foul you took.

By taking the foul, you took game off the table and lowered the stakes in the safety battle.

Gerry
03-01-2007, 08:10 PM
Great points, and I'd add if I'm sitting this close to the finish line playing a great player....I'm REAL happy to be at the table, and feel the pressure might just be on them!?

Gerry

Slider
03-01-2007, 08:10 PM
Do you take it to two fouls, or do you shoot the safety after 1 foul each?
Is the point of this tactic simply to force play into the next rack?

If you go two fouls, when it's time to take your shot at the safety, it's not pretty if you miss the OB. I say that because my safety shot at this would be a very thin cut on the 1, moving it closer to the other ball, bringing the CB back to the head rail.

Ken

Steve Lipsky
03-01-2007, 08:14 PM
Excellent example, sjm. In some of my league matches, I am frequently surprised by my opponents' utter refusal to take an intentional. You have provided a very clear example of how it's often the only right play.

- Steve

sjm
03-01-2007, 09:06 PM
Do you take it to two fouls, or do you shoot the safety after 1 foul each?

No, you don't take two fouls here. If you play the safety while on one foul, you can afford to aim just a hair thinner on the eleven ball (the ball you clearly thought was the one ball), and if you miss it completely, you might still previal in the safety battle.

As you note, the point of this tactic is to try to force play into the next rack.

pdcue
03-01-2007, 09:25 PM
Taking the foul
---------------------------------------------------

Thanks sj - a good move that I shall now pretend
I was smart enough to think of

in some ways it is similar to one pocket where you are in a
double tuff trap, but can live to play another shot by lagging the CB
up to your oponents pocket.

I have seen many an intermediate player loose a game
because they refused to take a scratch, or roll a hanger
into their oponents pocket

Dale Pierce

jimmyg
03-01-2007, 10:47 PM
You face the position below, trailing 98-96 in a straight pool race to 100. You are in a tough spot, as your opponent needs two. You need four, so you need to force this game into another rack to win. If you play a shot here, a miss probably ends the match, and even if you make it, you probably don't run out the match, so the position seems to call for a defensive mindset.

Play the safety and if you get it wrong, you've probably lost. Even if you get it right, you won't apply too much pressure, and the battle for control of the table might continue for a couple of innings.

The tactic I recommend is what Irving Crane used to call "taking game off the table," although I've also heard this tactic referred to as "lowering the stakes."

Barely touch the cue ball with your tip for a foul. You'll be quite happy if opponent chooses to play this very challenging safety, but you probably won't be so fortunate, and opponent will also take a foul, so you'll have to play the frist safe. But now, it's 97-95, and if you misplay the safety, opponent will still have to break the next pack to run out the match, so you've made opponent's work more difficult, and have, thereby, improved your chance to win the match.

Against a top player, if you lose the safety battle, you still expect them to run out by breaking the next pack, but, even against them, your chances of getting another turn have improved because of the foul you took.

By taking the foul, you took game off the table and lowered the stakes in the safety battle.\

Hi SJM, it's so easy to underestimate the importance of knowing the 'basic strategy" of a particiliar game. In straight pool, as you know, if you are faced with a real tough, sell out safe and the game is on the table, you always want to take the game off the table and force another rack by using the intentional scratch.

Also, in the example you show, if your opponent has already scratched and you are forced into shooting this shot from behind the head string, rather that trying to thin one of the balls, using the intentional scratch by avoiding hitting either ball and banking the cue one or two rails back up against, and to the center of the top rail is also a good move, he is already on one scratch ahead of you.

Growing up I mostly played straight pool, and almost never played nine ball. Twenty five years later, in my first 9-ball tournament, my opponent broke, left the 9 ball hanging in front of the corner pocket and me unable to directly hit the one ball. not knowing that I could simply "push", knock in the the nine ball and that it would be spotted, I tried kicking at the almost impossible shot and missed. My opponent looked at me like I was crazy, getting ball in hand he picked up the cue and knocked in the one nine combo. Not knowing sometimes hurts.

I'm sure that your advice is appreciated by a lot of new, and some older, straight pool players.

Jim

Robertduke
03-02-2007, 12:01 AM
Deleted by poster

jimmyg
03-02-2007, 10:25 AM
Deleted by poster

Although I usually practice a few racks of straight pool by myself, I hardly get to actually play anything other than 9 ball any longer, so if I'm partially mistaken, hopefully someone will correct me.

During the first rack of straight pool, balls that are made when calling a safety, any ball scratched on, or during intentional scratches, balls unintentionally pocketed without making the called shot, or those that accidently leave the table are spotted on the foot spot. Also, only during the first rack, a scratch without pocketing a ball will require the spotting of a previously made ball. Scratching while making a called ball require spotting two balls, the one made plus another. If the shooter does not have another ball to spot, he owes one and must spot one when he makes another and at the end of his inning. Multiple balls are spotted in a line extending from the foot spot to the foot rail.

After the first rack, illlegally made balls, balls made while scratching, ones made while playing safe, or balls leaving the table are spotted. With respect to all others scratches, including intentional scratches, balls are only deducted from the players TOTAL accumulated point total, not the current rack, and are not spotted.

There are other rules regarding the placement of both the cueball and object ball being inside the rack after the fourteenth ball is made. I believe if the cueball is within the rack, the shooter gets to shoot from anywhere inside the kitchen. And when the fiftheenth ball of any rack lies within the rack, I believe that it gets spotted on the foot spot. If you google straight pool rules, they have a chart which outlines all the possibilities.

Hope this helps, and is not as confusing as I think I may have made it.
Open to corrections.

Jim

Blackjack
03-02-2007, 12:22 PM
Great post, SJM!

pdcue
03-02-2007, 01:29 PM
Although I usually practice a few racks of straight pool by myself, I hardly get to actually play anything other than 9 ball any longer, so if I'm partially mistaken, hopefully someone will correct me.

During the first rack of straight pool, balls that are made when calling a safety, any ball scratched on, or during intentional scratches, balls unintentionally pocketed without making the called shot, or those that accidently leave the table are spotted on the foot spot. Also, only during the first rack, a scratch without pocketing a ball will require the spotting of a previously made ball. Scratching while making a called ball require spotting two balls, the one made plus another. If the shooter does not have another ball to spot, he owes one and must spot one when he makes another and at the end of his inning. Multiple balls are spotted in a line extending from the foot spot to the foot rail.

After the first rack, illlegally made balls, balls made while scratching, ones made while playing safe, or balls leaving the table are spotted. With respect to all others scratches, including intentional scratches, balls are only deducted from the players TOTAL accumulated point total, not the current rack, and are not spotted.

There are other rules regarding the placement of both the cueball and object ball being inside the rack after the fourteenth ball is made. I believe if the cueball is within the rack, the shooter gets to shoot from anywhere inside the kitchen. And when the fiftheenth ball of any rack lies within the rack, I believe that it gets spotted on the foot spot. If you google straight pool rules, they have a chart which outlines all the possibilities.

Hope this helps, and is not as confusing as I think I may have made it.
Open to corrections.

Jim

Not exactly.

Your comments on the first rack apply to games like one pocket
and 'scratch' Bank Pool.

14.1 the first rack is just like all the others.

HTH
Dale Pierce

jimmyg
03-03-2007, 10:45 AM
Not exactly.

HTH
Dale Pierce

Always preferred "not exactly" to "wrong".

In my neighborhood, Lower Manhattan, back during the late sixtys, we always played the first rack the way I described so that the first inning would always work out to be a fourteen ball rack. But having never played in a major straight pool tournament, the "official" rules may be as you state.

No harm, no foul. Thanks!

Jim

acedotcom
03-03-2007, 08:28 PM
I like that move - thanks for the insight.

Dan White
03-03-2007, 09:16 PM
You face the position below, trailing 98-96 in a straight pool race to 100.

Not to be a snob, but racing if for 9 ball. :)

I had a guy take the game off the table on me, and I hadn't experienced it before. I did the right thing by taking fouls, but it didn't feel right. I lost probably 4 points in all before I was able to finish out the game. At least now I know I played it right.

dwhite