How would you play this shot?

Last night was APA night for my 8-Ball team.  We met at California Billiards and started warming up in anticipation of playing one of the top teams in the league.  (My team is dead last in the league…Wahoo!)  When it was my turn to play, I knew I would be playing against one of the top players in the league in a race to 5 match.  I jumped out to a quick lead, but he caught me and tied the match at 4-4.  In the double-hill game, my opponent made a mistake and gave me a chance to clear my last 4 balls.  The layout was not that difficult to run, but I missed the position zone on my last shot.  The cue ball rolled just barely behind one of my opponent’s balls and I could not see enough of the stripe to make a clean cut into the corner pocket.  I thought to myself, “Great!  I just blew the match!  Now what do I do?”  I considered 3 different options for about a minute, knowing that if I missed the shot my opponent would be able run the table with no problems at all.  Suddenly, I had an epiphany, and realized there was a 4th option that I had not originally considered, which of course I immediately choose to attempt. 

Take a good look at the diagram below, and let me know (1) the different options you might consider, and (2) how would you ultimately play this shot?  Tomorrow, I’ll tell you the options I considered, what I decided to do, and what the outcome was.

You are stripes. What do you do?

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3 responses to “How would you play this shot?

  1. Most options appear to be tie up ball kind of options. (1) snug the ball between yours and his up behind yours and give him ball in hand (2) cut his ball that’s near the spot into the two balls on the end rail and give him ball in hand (3) thin your stripe and try to bring your cue ball back around to the other end of the table (preferably on the rail) (4) kick off the end lightly to snug your ball up against his blocker and NOT give him ball in hand (5) I can’t tell for sure from the diagram, but you might have a cross-over bank to the opposite corner available (a shot I nailed last night, coincidentally) (6) again, I can’t tell for sure, but you might have a 3 rail bank into the side by the 8 available.

    What to do, what to do… #1 probably has the lowest risk of blowing it, but you give him ball in hand… #4 would be better if you felt you had a high percentage chance of getting it right… #5… well, that’s the cowboy-throw-caution-to-the-wind-damn-the-double-kiss-possibility shot and I don’t get the sense that’s your style (usually)… so I’ll go with #4.

    • LOL! I loved your analysis…you are going to love my decision! 😉

    • One of the things I like about writing these posts is the incredible number of possibilities that other players offer. I actually never even considered some of your recommendations. If I had, I may have chosen a different path.

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