US Amateurs – How I Played Shot 2

Times up!   As a reminder, here’s the layout I was presented with in ‘shot 2’ from my last post:

usam-shot-1a

My thoughts on this situation:

  1. Thinking ahead to the eight ball, the eight ball is blocked from both the left and right upper corner pockets, so it can only realistically be pocketed into the upper side pocket via a cut shot or the lower side pocket via a bank shot.  Obviously, I’d prefer to take the higher percentage cut shot, but if forced, the bank is an option.
  2. The solid ball (yellow) is easily makeable in the upper left corner, but I won’t have a shot on the eight ball from there.
  3. My opponent’s balls (blue) are everywhere, and they are not clustered, so my opponent has a pretty good chance of running the table if (or when) I miss.
  4. …UNLESS I CAN PLAY A REALLY GOOD SAFETY!  But how can I play a safe here???

I considered the safety shot diagrammed below, but decided against it given the extreme level of speed control required, not to mention the precise thin cut needed.  I thought my probability of success on this shot was next to zero; maybe 5-10% at best:

usam-shot-1c

Well, when all else fails, I fall back to an old mantra….”When all rational shots have been considered and discarded, whatever shot remains, no matter how irrational, must be the right shot!”  …lol…

Since I’m pretty good at draw shots (it helps to know thyself!), I thought I might be able to pull off the shot diagrammed below and then finish off the rack with a sharp cut or bank on the eight ball.  Here’s the shot I planned:

usam-shot-1d

I took a few practice strokes, focusing on body position, arm mechanics, and wrist snap, then uncorked a break shot speed stroke, hit the cue ball extremely low, applied maximum wrist snap, and as much follow through as I could manage.  The resulting shot is diagrammed below:

usam-shot-1b

Without a doubt the best draw shot I’ve ever executed!  I easily pocketed the eight ball on my next shot to win the rack.

 

 

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