Here is a nine ball game situation that puzzles me and I would like
some thoughts on.
SITUATION: Race to 5, hill hill, opponent's game stronger than mine.
Plus, he is known to be an accomplished 3C player - confirmed so far in
the match by little success with my hooks.
I came to the table with the balls in this position.
| 6 9 |
|5 4 q |
| 8 |
| 3 |
The cut angle on the 3 was such that the cue ball (q) had to contact
both side rails for position on the 4. Here I guarded against the
scratch in the side and hooking myself behind the 9. So, instead of the
natural angle to get from the 4 to the 5 (5 nearly frozen to the end
rail, 2/3 diamond from corner pocket), I left myself with the position
| 6 9 |
|5 4 |
| q |
| 8 |
The angle to pocket the 4 in the corner was such that it wasn't
possible to also have the cue ball avoid the 6. Though of course I
could influence where and how firmly it contacted it.
My options, as I saw them:
A. Drawing the cue ball behind the 6 for a hook. I would need to drive
the 4 off the right side of the 5 to keep it (the 4) located near that
pocket and on the other side of the 6. This looked too tough on which
to control the speed. Also, the 4 ball hit into the 5 needed to be
nearly perfect to avoid the 4 rolling freely.
B. Going softly off the left side of the 6 with the cue ball, trying to
roll the cue ball down near that same pocket for a shot on the 5 into
the other corner pocket. This appeared to require too much precision
with speed and carom angle to both avoid the scratch and to get decent
position for the 5.
C. "Cinching" the 4 and then playing a safety from the 5. I rejected
this because of my opponent's skill in getting out of difficult
situations. I really wanted to "get out" NOW - since I had a workable
D. Sending the cue ball firmly and squarely into the 6, planning for a
"double kiss" to send the cue ball across table for a shot on the 5.
I chose to go with the option "D" with a firm hit, thinking that I
would carom out for a reasonable shot on the 5. If the resulting
position wasn't favorable, then I could try for a safety off the 5.
What happened? Well, the cue ball caromed off the 6 all right, but
contacted it too thinly and scratched down in the same corner pocket.
My opponent (the hideous monster) naturally ran out.
I set up the shot later. Trouble is, I can't seem to make any of these
options work out consistently. Too tough for me, I guess. Any thoughts?