View Full Version : Simple Tactics #2

03-03-2007, 04:29 PM
In this thread, I'd like to illustrate the concept of developing threats as you play defense, a point that is practically second nature to the one-pocket gurus. In straight pool, however, although expert players often do this, even accomplished players sometimes fail to pay sufficient attention to this critical principle.

Compare the two positions shown below.

In position 1 (top left diagram), you are behind the rack and the one ball is on the top rail. You need to play a safety, and directly below Position 1, I show two of the more popuar choices from this position (left center and left bottom diagrams). In each case, you get the safety battle started, and neither shot is superior to the other. No particular advantage is gained from either safety, for, although no shot is left, opponent's response is quite simple.

Position 2 is the same as Position 1 except that the one ball is now deep in the side pocket, so deep in the pocket that it is a break shot from virtually anywhere on the table. Hence, the player winning the race to the one ball is a big favorite to gain control of this rack. Consider the same two safeties noted previously in consideration of Position 1. Notice how the safety that loosens the thirteen ball (bottom right diagram), is superior to the other (center right diagram). Opponent has less room for error now that you've created an additional threat on the other side of the rack, so you've applied more pressure on them.

Remember, create threats as you play your defense!

Steve Lipsky
03-03-2007, 09:52 PM
This is excellent, sjm. We can all learn from analyses like this... please post more!!

- Steve

03-04-2007, 06:58 AM
Thanks SJM, I'm taking notes love the tactical stuff.

I know we all get excited about the high runs but one of the biggest things I learnt from last years 14.1 event was that even the best players have many low run innings. These tactical battles are arguably much more important, it was interesting to see that much of this knowledge has been lost by the modern day players that rarely play 14.1.