What would you do here?

Playing 9 Ball: In which pocket would you try to shoot the seven ball?

  • A

    Votes: 22 14.4%
  • B

    Votes: 15 9.8%
  • C

    Votes: 63 41.2%
  • D

    Votes: 5 3.3%
  • E

    Votes: 65 42.5%

  • Total voters
    153

David in FL

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
I have to admit, I’m surprised by all the votes for E.

To me that has absolutely the narrowest window of opportunity to get good on the seven. Short, and the nine blocks the shot, cross the line at all, and the nine interferes with shape on the eight.

Maybe I’m just not as precise as most of y’all.
 

The_JV

'AZB_Combat Certified'
Interesting... all the perferences toward C. Definitely not surprised at that preference by the 14.1 crowd.

I get the concept of not playing shape if you already have it, but maybe take another look.

You're back cutting the 6, so with stun the CB is going to leak down table further. Very easy to come down too far and generate a back cut into pocket C. Now you also have to hit the CB hard enough to get it to the opposite side of the table. Extremely easy to end up bumping the 9 and not getting position.

Rolling the shot creates a cut on the 7 that forces you to shoot strong with follow and come off the bottom long rail to reach the 8.

Shooting through it, and bringing the CB back up after the short rail is doable but not natural, and requires decent touch to avoid the already mentioned pit falls.

A pattern using pocket E contains two shots with rolling english. Two natural rails to reach the 7. Another two natural rails to reach the 8 and generate a rolling cut to run down to the 9.

Obviously I have my own bias, and I'm sure we all know how a voted. IMHO, although staying below the 7 provides the most targets, I really do think it presents the most traps as well.

If I was in a match and saw my opponent attempt to stay below the 7 in this situation, I'd be getting ready for my opprotunity.

Edit: I reread the OP so I think it may be useful to add SL to the opinions. I have an unsubstantiated 677 (usually closer to 700spd).
 
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sjm

Sweating it at Derby City
Silver Member
Very good thread, Sharivari, with generally exceptional responses.

There's no question that, from a purist angle management and pattern play vantage point, the shot to pocket E is technically superior, offering the longest line into the position zone for the eight, That said, crossing the line of an obstructing ball is usually something to avoid when unnecessary. Hence, the choice comes down to one's view of the tradeoff between a) the incremental risk of playing across an obstruction and also chancing ending up on the wrong side of the seven and b) the reward offered by playing the technically purer pattern. Volumes could be written on the management of such tradeoffs in actual play.

Anyone who sees no risk in crossing an obstructing ball on a two rail path here is probably already a top pro, so they can go either way and expect a very high success rate.
 

middleofnowhere

Registered
I can tell you what Efren would do. He would shoot it in C. It is already a workable shot, why complacat it. The way out presents itself. Anything else you are looking for trouble.
 

The_JV

'AZB_Combat Certified'
Very good thread, Sharivari, with generally exceptional responses.

There's no question that, from a purist angle management and pattern play vantage point, the shot to pocket E is technically superior, offering the longest line into the position zone for the eight, That said, crossing the line of an obstructing ball is usually something to avoid when unnecessary. Hence, the choice comes down to one's view of the tradeoff between a) the incremental risk of playing across an obstruction and also chancing ending up on the wrong side of the seven and b) the reward offered by playing the technically purer pattern. Volumes could be written on the management of such tradeoffs in actual play.

Anyone who sees no risk in crossing an obstructing ball on a two rail path here is probably already a top pro, so they can go either way and expect a very high success rate.
Add another check mark in the exceptional responses column.

While I whole heartedly agree that avoiding paths with obstructions when it isn't necessary is generally the strongest play. I really do think successful position below the 7 requires far more touch then some are giving it credit for, and will likely force a much more difficult 7 ball shot. The pure pot on the 7 will be easy regardless, but what needs to happen to reach the 8 is a different story.

I'm certainly no pro on any level, and I do recognize the potential pitfall with the pattern using the 'E' pocket. That said, like everything guaged by subjective opinion, the replies will be biased with personal favour. I sculpted my game around natural angles and rolling english, so my default choice is E. My pattern odds difference engine just fires off warnings when considering the shape below the 7.
 

Jimbojim

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I think playing for C with the option of playing it in D if you get out of line is the better option, at least for me it presents the biggest landing zone.
My first instinct would have been to do what Lawnboy777 said but I think it requires too perfect of a position to be sustainable.
 

Patrick Johnson

Fish of the Day
Silver Member
A.

Simple, safe, flexible shape on the 7 - easy route to the 8.

pj
chgo

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Simp
 

buckshotshoey

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
"A" is an option, but "B" is the better choice. Keeping cue ball rolling on shot line for 7 instead of crossing it. You still have to get position on the 8. Trying for "C" may cause a problem In which the 9 ball comes into play.
 

hang-the-9

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Form that cueball position, I would have to pick D. It's the only pocket you can play shape on with good simple accuracy by just rolling the cueball forward a bit to get the proper angle to go uptable for the 9.

This is assuming that we are human and can't just place the cueball anywhere we want at will 100% of the time, so IMHO the easiest shape with the right angle would be for pocket D to go forward to a bit of draw to go down for the 8.
 

garczar

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Man, you folks playing shape for the sides are either brave or broke. I use them as escape routes but i rarely play shape on a side pocket.
 

mikemosconi

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I think that this was a great example for everyone to comment- this is really a comfort zone position play- both from one's comfort zone in playing the position on the 7 and in choosing a pocket for the 7 ball. We each have our own comfort zones regarding both aspects of this shot- no right or wrong answer IMO.
Personally, my choice would, as some mentioned, depend on the table itself, real tough playing pro cut pockets would lead me to the 7 in E and one rail up or straight back draw ( depending how I land on the 7) for the 8 in C. I would tend to avoid side pockets, if possible, on a tough table , as well as longer shots into the corners. With wide open pockets, it would just be a matter of choice at that time for me.

A pro should be able go either way with no second thoughts on a tighter pro cut table.
 

The_JV

'AZB_Combat Certified'
Man, you folks playing shape for the sides are either brave or broke. I use them as escape routes but i rarely play shape on a side pocket.
A side shot for the 7 in that position is sketchy..., agreed. I tend to pot into sides more often then most I think. Combination of snooker and 14.1 thinking. I really only actively avoid steep angles into side pockets when playing a true barbox.
 

middleofnowhere

Registered
Well this is one of those what would you do type of puzzles, it also contains pool theory. Much of what you do on a pool table is risk and reward. In this case is the risk of trying to get much better position worth it.

Or should you just take the shot presented into pocket C and a little bit of risk that might be presented because it's a somewhat longer shot. That's why my comment about Reyes would shoot in the pocket C.

I've watched him play quite a bit in person and I think i know how he thinks. He really has no fear of shots being a little bit longer. He usually concerns himself more with a proper angle and the easiest way to go.
 

indiana slim

Registered
I see two options. You would have to choose between getting position on the seven to shoot it in A or play easier position and have the long shot on the seven. I would choose the shorter shot on the seven in the side and stun for the eight. Getting that position would be easier than bridging off the rail, long seven in C with follow for the eight.
 

fastone371

Certifiable
Silver Member
I am putting the 7 in pocket A. I don't like pockets B or C because I am looking at it from the perspective that I am on a 9' table and I don't want shoot a 3/4 table shot with the cue ball on the short rail. If the angle is not correct for B or C you risk scratching in the side or hitting the 8 or 9 balls, by playing the 7 in the side I have options for getting to the 8, I can roll it or stun depending on where the cue ball lands. Heck, if I missed shape on the 7 bad enough I think I could even back cut the 7 in pocket A and get to the 8 with some draw. I suppose the preference for this shot largely depends on what you feel you strengths are. If the 6 was a straight up stop shot I would probably play the 7 in B or C.
 

ChrisinNC

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I have to admit, I’m surprised by all the votes for E.

To me that has absolutely the narrowest window of opportunity to get good on the seven. Short, and the nine blocks the shot, cross the line at all, and the nine interferes with shape on the eight.

Maybe I’m just not as precise as most of y’all.
Choosing pocket E for the 7-ball, you just have to make it to the second rail sight with the cue ball to not fall too short, and even if you come up a little too high, high inside on the 7-ball shot should still allow you to get up table for the 8-ball, even if it glances slightly off the left edge of the 9-ball.

As I said in an earlier post, I am one of the very few players that is way more comfortable using high inside than most players I know. I’m not saying this is the right way to play it for everyone, but it is for me.
 
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The_JV

'AZB_Combat Certified'
He usually concerns himself more with a proper angle and the easiest way to go.
this is so true of better players
This is exactly why I opted to go with E...lol. Natural shots, easy angles, tons of room for error, and all the shots lead to a natural angle for the next ball.

I don't mean to bunch myself in with "better players", but I do try to emulate what they do. Efren is an outlier and using his play as a "best approach" might not be the best idea. I also wouldn't model my choices in golf to Tiger, or offensive decisions in basketball after Jordan.

I went home for lunch, and roughly set up this pattern. Played the 6 with rolling english two rails, and actually came up a hair short (was my first shot of the day), but still well on the 7. Ended up playing it fractionally harder and nearly hit a 3rd rail back and forth for the 8, and still had a natural angle to funnel down to the 9.

I can see why some may feel the 'E' pattern was more difficult, or maybe better said as more hazardous. I happen to think that the hazards with playing below the 7 are more so subtle, and easily overlooked. It these types of hazards that lead to sticking your neck out by trying to recover.
 

Cameron Smith

is kind of hungry...
Silver Member
I think this shot looks deceptive on the screen. Looking at it here, my first thought was C as well. But when I tried it I found that it was a bit trickier than it looks. It's easy to get the wrong angle playing for C here and end up either hitting the 9, or going straight at the 8.

When I tried E, it was the most consistent of the options. You have a longer position window than it first appears and the 9 really doesn't come into play as an obstruction unless you don't hit at all. It also generally provides a great angle into the position zone for the 8. Further, If you get too straight, you can draw straight back. If you get the wrong angle, I found it easy enough to draw off the 9 to get back up for the 8. Not ideal, but it works if you need it.
 
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