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sjm
03-04-2007, 09:00 PM
In this thread, let's examine a mistake I often see straight poolers make. The principle is called "deny the long response."

Consider the position in the top diagram. You've gotten wrong on the break shot, as we all do from time to time, and you have decided not to go for it, so it's time to play a safety.

The Wrong Safety (Center Diagram)
The shot I see league players play far too often is shown directly below, in which the one ball is ducked below the rack, with the cue ball left against the pack to ensure that no shot is left on the one ball. While this ensures that no shot is left, it's a very poor safety, for opponent will simply play safe uptable off the edge of the pack and your next safety will have to be played from the other end of the table, and you'll become the underdog to win the safety battle.

A Much Better Safety (Bottom Diagram)
There are many reasonable safety shots available, but let's consider just one of them. In the bottom diagram, the safety played is to hit the one ball more or less full, sending it two rails back near the center of the table, while using a little follow to leave the cue ball under the pack. Now you're on even footing in the safety battle, haqving given up no advantage.

Remember, when you play safe, deny the long response. Otherwise, you'll become the underdog in the safety battle that follows!

Williebetmore
03-05-2007, 11:16 AM
The principle is called "deny the long response."

Remember, when you play safe, deny the long response. Otherwise, you'll become the underdog in the safety battle that follows!

sjm,
Very sound advice - thanks for the series of "simple tips". Of course, keeping things simple is the essence of the old school game (I think); and I appreciate your thoughts in giving tips helpful to those of us still relatively new to the game

A more advanced extension of this issue (and I'm not trying to in any way promote "straight pool snobbery":) :) ) is found in the question "when do you want to avoid sending whitey uptable for a safety?" Much depends on the skill of the opponent, and situation; but I have had 3 old-schoolers tell me that against world-beaters they NEVER sent whitey up table off the pack unless they were absolutely sure that they would not develop a dead ball/combo/carom for their opponent (in other words, if you are not sure, then don't do it). If you are not going to disturb the pack in going up table, then carefully inspect it first to make sure no dead balls are already there (trust me, it hurts to have them shatter the pack on an easy dead ball after you sent them up there). In my limited competition against world-beaters this has been sound advice.

Jude Rosenstock
03-05-2007, 11:50 AM
I may even take this shot a step further and try to nudge-out a few balls from the stack. In my opinion (as you are illustrating), there is a difference between safing and stalling. The ideal safety leaves your opponent unfavorable options while a stall is simply a shot that will undoubtedly yield an equal, if not better safety in return.

sjm
03-05-2007, 05:39 PM
sjm,
Very sound advice - thanks for the series of "simple tips". Of course, keeping things simple is the essence of the old school game (I think); and I appreciate your thoughts in giving tips helpful to those of us still relatively new to the game

A more advanced extension of this issue (and I'm not trying to in any way promote "straight pool snobbery":) :) ) is found in the question "when do you want to avoid sending whitey uptable for a safety?" Much depends on the skill of the opponent, and situation; but I have had 3 old-schoolers tell me that against world-beaters they NEVER sent whitey up table off the pack unless they were absolutely sure that they would not develop a dead ball/combo/carom for their opponent (in other words, if you are not sure, then don't do it). If you are not going to disturb the pack in going up table, then carefully inspect it first to make sure no dead balls are already there (trust me, it hurts to have them shatter the pack on an easy dead ball after you sent them up there). In my limited competition against world-beaters this has been sound advice.

Absolutely right, Willie, and this would have been a good thread topic,too. Of course, in my example, the wrong safe I show enables opponent to graze the very edge of the pack without disturbing even a single ball, which is why it is such a poor safety.

Sounds like you've got the right team steering the S.S. Williebetmore.

Williebetmore
03-05-2007, 09:34 PM
Sounds like you've got the right team steering the S.S. Williebetmore.

sjm,
Nahhh. In my most recent match against the league's #1 player, I lost the FIRST SIX SAFETY BATTLES IN A ROW!!!!!! (cost me about 80 balls is my guesstimate). Playing safeties (or is it "stalls" according to Jude) against world-beaters is definitely different than playing safeties against the average league player. I am not sure my strategy is up to the task (execution was fine). I may need some more input from you - I await your next thread.

03-07-2007, 03:55 AM
If i may suggest another approach:

*Dont hit the one ball at all

*Shoot a safety shot into what seems to be the 12ball (2nd last ball), hard enough to bring the 11(?) ball to the rail

*That leaves the white frozen to the stack, leaving your opponent with two options if he does not want to commit a foul, 1) try to bank the one ball bridging over the whole rack, or 2) send whitey up table, leaving you with an opportunity to make the one ball.

sjm
03-07-2007, 04:39 AM
If i may suggest another approach:

*Dont hit the one ball at all

*Shoot a safety shot into what seems to be the 12ball (2nd last ball), hard enough to bring the 11(?) ball to the rail

*That leaves the white frozen to the stack, leaving your opponent with two options if he does not want to commit a foul, 1) try to bank the one ball bridging over the whole rack, or 2) send whitey up table, leaving you with an opportunity to make the one ball.

I agree that this is an excellent choice. As noted in my post, there are numerous reasonable safeties here.

Even so, the response to your safety of tapping the one to the long rail would never leave more than a bank, so the advantage gained is minimal. Or, if I prefer, I can just duck the one across the table leaving it jusr below the third diamond on the opposite long rail. This safety doesn't win the safety battle, but, as I've noted, it's a very sound choice.

SPINDOKTOR
03-14-2007, 09:05 PM
I dont believe Id play safe, that shot would likely lead to a rack...IMHO

SPINDOKTOR

bruin70
03-14-2007, 11:00 PM
I may even take this shot a step further and try to nudge-out a few balls from the stack. In my opinion (as you are illustrating), there is a difference between safing and stalling. The ideal safety leaves your opponent unfavorable options while a stall is simply a shot that will undoubtedly yield an equal, if not better safety in return.

how do you propose to do this, jude.

03-15-2007, 12:31 AM
I think Jude is referring to your bad safety. When you hit the side of the rack, do so with enough force to knock a couple of balls from the other side of the rack. Then again, I may be wrong.

Jimmy M.
03-15-2007, 01:02 AM
I think Jude is referring to your bad safety. When you hit the side of the rack, do so with enough force to knock a couple of balls from the other side of the rack. Then again, I may be wrong.

From that angle, if you hit the 4 pretty dead on, it forces the 3 to the end rail and the 14 to the side rail. If you hit it well, from there, your opponent might be better off than they would be if the 1 weren't there but, even with the 1 there, their options will be pretty limited. Add to that the fact that they'll have a difficult time making a bridge over the entire stack just to hit the 1. I think that's a legitimate option in this situation.

bruin70
03-15-2007, 02:14 AM
From that angle, if you hit the 4 pretty dead on, it forces the 3 to the end rail and the 14 to the side rail. If you hit it well, from there, your opponent might be better off than they would be if the 1 weren't there but, even with the 1 there, their options will be pretty limited. Add to that the fact that they'll have a difficult time making a bridge over the entire stack just to hit the 1. I think that's a legitimate option in this situation.

you're looking at the first diagram, right? you propose hitting the 4 straight on.

HOLY CHRIST, MAN,,,you have balls of steel!!!!!
i would never take that shot in a million years.:)

Jimmy M.
03-15-2007, 10:44 AM
you're looking at the first diagram, right? you propose hitting the 4 straight on.

HOLY CHRIST, MAN,,,you have balls of steel!!!!!
i would never take that shot in a million years.:)

Yeah, you're right. Now that I look at the diagram more closely, I guess the cue ball is too high. The shot would be there if the cue ball were a little lower.