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Blackjack
03-19-2007, 09:48 AM
http://i167.photobucket.com/albums/u151/Dsapolis/Shot_Sequence1.gif

http://i167.photobucket.com/albums/u151/Dsapolis/Shot_Sequence2.gif

Many players would make the mistake of leaving the 3 as an insurance ball in this situation. While you might be able to get back into position to break up the 7-8-15 cluster, there is also a chance that you might not.

I cannot overemphasize the importance of learning which balls serve a purpose and which balls do not serve a purpose. Some balls will serve a dual purpose. When you get down to having six or seven balls on the table, you had better have figured out your pattern and shot sequence to get to the break ball or you will pay a hefty price somewhere down the road.

Though pocketing the 10 ball is tempting, it really doesn't put us in an ideal position to break those balls up effectively. Using the 3 ball is the correct shot because it will put us at the perfect angle to get on the 12 ball, consequently breaking those balls out of the rack area and towards the pockets.

So how do we learn to do this at the table? By examining your options. In the above situation we have quite a few options:

Option 1 - pocket the 10 ball and get an off angle shot on the 12 to break up the cluster. The shot is risky and we may not be able to disperse the entire cluster effectively.

Option 2 - Pocket the 3 and get position above the 9 ball, setting up for the 7-8 combination. Upon making the combination, the 12 ball would be moved towards the center of the table, getting in between the 1 and the 10. If it goes up further than center table, then I have to needlessly go up table. I would rather keep everything where it is at and operate in the rack area of the table only. This option could also be used to push the 15 out for a manufactured break ball. I already have the 13 sitting pretty - so why try to do something that I don't really need to do?

Option 3 - Pocket the 3 and get position for the 12 in the corner (as illustrated).

When breaking this cluster, it is extremely important to send the cue ball directly into the gap between the 7 and the 15. This will disperse all 3 balls. Contact the balls hard enough to merely separate them. Don't blast away at it. You should get a shot on either of these 3 balls next, if not, the 10 ball serves as an insurance ball - as does the 1 ball. The 9 ball will then serve as a secondary key ball.

Choosing option #3 is the wisest choice because you are putting the odds in your favor. If by chance you have to change your sequence because the cluster break up up doesn't produce a shot, you can safely eliminate the 1 or the 10 and you will still have the 9 sitting pretty as your key ball.

When you recognize situations like this, be sure that you are playing the high percentage pattern. As I stated earlier, some balls serve a dual purpose. Many players would choose option #2 (going from the 3 ball to above the 9 ball). Eliminating the 9 ball at this stage of the run will also eliminate some of your options. High runs are either ended or extended by making the right or wrong decisions in situations such as this.

Steve Lipsky
03-19-2007, 10:35 AM
"I cannot overemphasize the importance of learning which balls serve a purpose and which balls do not serve a purpose."
- Blackjack David Sapolis

Should be taped to the cuecase of every aspiring 14.1 player...

- Steve

MailleMas
03-19-2007, 04:14 PM
Great post, as per usual. I've been lurking a while here (mostly in the 14.1 forum) and always look forward to your posts Blackjack. I must have learned something lurking, I picked 'right'... now if only I could shoot what I am learning to see!

Takumi4G63
03-19-2007, 05:09 PM
Do you even need to break it up? It looks like you could shoot 3, 12, 15, 7, 8, 9, 10, KB, break...

selftaut
03-19-2007, 06:03 PM
I would shoot the three and come off one rail to get on the 12 for the cluster , if I come short or to far there is the 10 to get back in line , plus moving the 3 opens that pocket , then on the 12 with a easy follow opening the cluster , if possible after that I would like the 7 ball gone and hopefully off the 7 get the 9 , then working the other side of the table and then out for my setup and key balls.

Bob Jewett
03-19-2007, 06:24 PM
Do you even need to break it up? It looks like you could shoot 3, 12, 15, 7, 8, 9, 10, KB, break...
It's not clear that the 15 goes past the 8. It is at least close. In example diagrams, I think it's fair to assume a close shot is not on unless the poser of the problem states that it will go.

That aside, it takes more accuracy than I usually have to play the 3-12-15 sequence if it does go. You have to get exactly the right angle on the 12 or you have little hope of holding the right angle on the 15. If it is a cut to the right, zero hope. If it is a slight cut to the left, perfect. If it is a 20-degree cut to the left, there is no way to stay on the 15 -- you risk going into or behind the 13 or leaving a large angle on the 15. To start with the 3 is pretty straight and your bridge arm is in an awkward position to help complicate things.

Try your plan 10 times and see if it works once. That's not to say that the plan is bad. As long as you always have alternative solutions in case the cue ball rolls a little too far to play your original shot, and that new plan doesn't require some circus shot, the plan is OK.

Blackjack
03-19-2007, 08:01 PM
It's not clear that the 15 goes past the 8. It is at least close. In example diagrams, I think it's fair to assume a close shot is not on unless the poser of the problem states that it will go.

That aside, it takes more accuracy than I usually have to play the 3-12-15 sequence if it does go. You have to get exactly the right angle on the 12 or you have little hope of holding the right angle on the 15. If it is a cut to the right, zero hope. If it is a slight cut to the left, perfect. If it is a 20-degree cut to the left, there is no way to stay on the 15 -- you risk going into or behind the 13 or leaving a large angle on the 15. To start with the 3 is pretty straight and your bridge arm is in an awkward position to help complicate things.

Try your plan 10 times and see if it works once. That's not to say that the plan is bad. As long as you always have alternative solutions in case the cue ball rolls a little too far to play your original shot, and that new plan doesn't require some circus shot, the plan is OK.

You hit the nail on the head, Bob. The 7-8-15 cluster is a cluster. I wouldn't try to get on the 15 in the corner either. A smart player plays the 12 in the corner to disperse the balls. As was pointed out earlier, disperse does not mean splatter. If you need that explained, refer to the last line in the original post in this thread which says, High runs are either ended or extended by making the right or wrong decisions in situations such as this.