Pros shooting the last ball....please explain....

Maniac

2manyQ's
Silver Member
I had noticed it before but really was made more aware of it while watching Billiard Network YouTube matches that recently have Earl Strickland doing the solo commentary.

What I'm seeing (and hearing from Earl) is that when the pros are shooting a money ball (most commonly in rotation and 8-ball) is that although the last ball can easily be pocketed by using center cue ball with zero chance of scratching, they usually impart some sort of low, side, or a combination of both to make the shot.

Why do they do that???

I'm going to take a wild guess, but please enlighten me with the truth. Is to negate the chances of skid?

Maniac (has always hit center cue ball on these types of shots)
 

Chili Palmer

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
I had noticed it before but really was made more aware of it while watching Billiard Network YouTube matches that recently have Earl Strickland doing the solo commentary.

What I'm seeing (and hearing from Earl) is that when the pros are shooting a money ball (most commonly in rotation and 8-ball) is that although the last ball can easily be pocketed by using center cue ball with zero chance of scratching, they usually impart some sort of low, side, or a combination of both to make the shot.

Why do they do that???

I'm going to take a wild guess, but please enlighten me with the truth. Is to negate the chances of skid?

Maniac (has always hit center cue ball on these types of shots)

Two reasons I can think of:

Comfort - they are more comfortable with using top/bottom/left/right. A center ball hit, for me anyways, is much harder then putting a little english on the ball. I've been practicing more center ball so it's not as bad as it was 15 years ago but I just feel weird using center ball and I have to focus and adjust to do it. Money on the line, I'm using english, unless it's straight in.

Position - if the ball has any angle at all I will try to put the CB at the other end of the table, center diamond. If I need a little english to do that I'll use what's necessary.
 

David in FL

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
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I’m not sure exactly what you are talking about, but this may explain it in part…

In virtually every other shot throughout the game you’re concentrating on not only making a shot, but also playing position. A lot of very experienced players and instructors contend that in order to avoid being lackadaisical on the money ball, you should at least try to play some kind of simple position with the cue ball. It might be as easy as taking it to a rail, back to center table, or even an intentional stop shot when not really needed. They contend that the act of doing that helps maintain focus and reduces the chances for the dumbass brain fart that some of us are well known for.
 

JessEm

AzB Goldmember
Silver Member
Disclaimer: Far be it from me to say what pros are thinking.

A little english might just be a be a way of doubly ensuring exactly what happens after the shot. As opposed to shooting center and getting a little 'this or that'. It is also probably a more comfortable mindset, since most shots employ some type of english anyway.
 

MitchAlsup

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Jack Nicolas sumed it up in by saying "I play the fade". He goes on to explain that trying to hit a golf ball with no sidespin is difficult even for seasoned pros and that by putting "just a tad" of side spin on the ball, and changing the aim pint to compensate has much higher percentages of getting close to the pin (or hitting the fairway).
 

The_JV

'AZB_Combat Certified'
lol... awesome. We just had a bunch of melodrama regarding this same thing (shot choice) in the Instructor's forum.
 

Black-Balled

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
By imposing english on the shot, the cling between cb/ob can be controlled...a proactive measure against the throw that occurs?
 

Island Drive

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Any time you limit/or remove the interaction of play conditions with the shot using proper speed, you've set a baseline. Because, if you over or undercut it, you'll know Exactly the next time this comes up, the changes you'll need to do it correctly the next time.
 

Tin Man

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
It's easy to overthink this kind of thing. When shooting game ball you want to hit it with the swing speed and tip placement that maximizes your make percentage.

Often the money ball remains in the rack area. When shooting this from slightly above the shot line most players prefer to stun the ball with a twist of outside english and play the cue ball sharp out of the corner two rails towards the opposite side rail. I prefer to shoot it this way even when the cue ball is long, on the other side of the side pocket. Now, once I get to the kitchen line it is too far away to want to shoot with a stun shot as the swing speed required becomes too firm. In that case I switch to a smooth center ball roll.

In short, just make the ball. As long as you do you're doing it right.
 

SBC

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
There's such a thing as helping english. A little low and outside makes the contact period with the object ball and cue ball briefer...eliminates skids and imparts speed on the object ball allowing a softer hit. More repeatable because you know how the balls will react.

If you cut a ball center ball, there is contact induced throw because the cueball pushed the angle of the object ball further open. Just a little low outside english negates this.
 

ChrisinNC

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I had noticed it before but really was made more aware of it while watching Billiard Network YouTube matches that recently have Earl Strickland doing the solo commentary.

What I'm seeing (and hearing from Earl) is that when the pros are shooting a money ball (most commonly in rotation and 8-ball) is that although the last ball can easily be pocketed by using center cue ball with zero chance of scratching, they usually impart some sort of low, side, or a combination of both to make the shot.

Why do they do that???

I'm going to take a wild guess, but please enlighten me with the truth. Is to negate the chances of skid?

Maniac (has always hit center cue ball on these types of shots)
Many players both pros and amateurs prefer to hit a certain angle shot on the last ball with a certain spin on it that they are most comfortable with, even if spin is not required for shape or to avoid scratching. For most, that’s usually outside spin, but for some including myself it might be inside spin, depending on the angle of the shot. For others it may be draw or follow or a combination of draw/follow with inside/outside.

Sometimes they might also be playing position for the cue ball to end up in a certain area of the table just in case they miss, and the spin / speed that would allow them to get to that location, which would more likely leave their opponent a tougher shot if by chance they miss.
 

pt109

WO double hemlock
Gold Member
Silver Member
By imposing english on the shot, the cling between cb/ob can be controlled...a proactive measure against the throw that occurs?
I like this one....reducing the chance of a skid....also, I feel back spin on whitey reduces skids even more.
 

pvc lou

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Jack Nicolas sumed it up in by saying "I play the fade". He goes on to explain that trying to hit a golf ball with no sidespin is difficult even for seasoned pros and that by putting "just a tad" of side spin on the ball, and changing the aim pint to compensate has much higher percentages of getting close to the pin (or hitting the fairway).

Sounds like what CJ has preached. I tend to agree.

I still think the earth is a globe though...
 

JessEm

AzB Goldmember
Silver Member
It's easy to overthink this kind of thing. When shooting game ball you want to hit it with the swing speed and tip placement that maximizes your make percentage.

Often the money ball remains in the rack area. When shooting this from slightly above the shot line most players prefer to stun the ball with a twist of outside english and play the cue ball sharp out of the corner two rails towards the opposite side rail. I prefer to shoot it this way even when the cue ball is long, on the other side of the side pocket. Now, once I get to the kitchen line it is too far away to want to shoot with a stun shot as the swing speed required becomes too firm. In that case I switch to a smooth center ball roll.

In short, just make the ball. As long as you do you're doing it right.

Finally, "Put It In The Hole" strategy explained! Thank you.

😂

 
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philly

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
Throw works to your advantage sometimes.
Think of it as insurance.
 

couldnthinkof01

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
If I was to guess it is because they are taking a path through the center of the table. It eliminates any scratches, poor stroke, roll off, and skids.

Otherwise its a stop shot or center ball to the rail.
 

9ball5032

AzB Gold Member
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Silver Member
If I were to guess I would say comfort. A lot of times i'll go high outside on money balls only cause in the current session I have been using it more than usual and my brain feels comfortable and confident using it. I think I copied it after watching Jayson Shaw and Rodney Morris using it.
 

Maniac

2manyQ's
Silver Member
I’m not sure exactly what you are talking about, but this may explain it in part…
Just pull up and watch some YouTube videos of recent Euro Tour matches streamed by the Billiard Network, the ones that have Earl Strickland's name in the title. They are easy to find.

Then fast forward to any game where the 9-ball is being played....very easy shot for a professional with no chance of scratching if the ball is simply rolled in. These are usually about a two-foot shot (give or take) into the corner pocket with the cue ball a couple feet away (give or take) and a slight to medium angle to the pocket.

Here's an example: Eklent KACI - Rulsan CHINAKHOV | 2020 | Earl Strickland Presents Ep.# 20 - Mosconi Ranking Event - YouTube @ 57:50 mark. Why would Kaci need to stun that cue ball as Earl said he would. I'm no pro, far from it, but I roll that ball in all day with zero spin. Sometimes the two ball are in a similar position but both closer to the pocket and they still impart, low, or side, or stun. At 1:05:30 Kaci stuns a 9-ball into the corner pocket that came closer to scratching than it would have if he had just rolled it in.

I know there must be a good reason for it. I have read a lot of good explanations so far (although they vary). I guess it must be a comfort thing subjective to each individual player.

Thanks guys for responding.

Maniac
 

JohnnyOzone

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Just pull up and watch some YouTube videos of recent Euro Tour matches streamed by the Billiard Network, the ones that have Earl Strickland's name in the title. They are easy to find.

Then fast forward to any game where the 9-ball is being played....very easy shot for a professional with no chance of scratching if the ball is simply rolled in. These are usually about a two-foot shot (give or take) into the corner pocket with the cue ball a couple feet away (give or take) and a slight to medium angle to the pocket.

Here's an example: Eklent KACI - Rulsan CHINAKHOV | 2020 | Earl Strickland Presents Ep.# 20 - Mosconi Ranking Event - YouTube @ 57:50 mark. Why would Kaci need to stun that cue ball as Earl said he would. I'm no pro, far from it, but I roll that ball in all day with zero spin. Sometimes the two ball are in a similar position but both closer to the pocket and they still impart, low, or side, or stun. At 1:05:30 Kaci stuns a 9-ball into the corner pocket that came closer to scratching than it would have if he had just rolled it in.

I know there must be a good reason for it. I have read a lot of good explanations so far (although they vary). I guess it must be a comfort thing subjective to each individual player.

Thanks guys for responding.

Maniac
Top players almost NEVER roll the cue ball unless there is no choice. WAY more accurate if letting your stroke out
 
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