Choosing a Better Route

Written by Mark Finkelstein

This week I want to look at a better way to play a position route. Take a look at this layout.


Figure 1

This looks like a simple end game pattern, and I agree. However, a lot of the time you can get in to trouble going one rail from the 6 to the 8. I learned this from Mike Siegel. You can get on the wrong side of the 8, come down too far, not come down far enough, miss the 6, and as unlikely as it seems, you can even scratch in the side pocket!

The better percentage shot is to draw the cue ball to the short rail and come two rails through the center of the table to get on the 8. Here is the preferred track.


Figure 2

The advantages of this route are that you can make the 6 ball with out any English. All you need is a center ball draw shot. You are on the correct side of the 8 and going in to the shot. From this line, all you need is a rolling ball on the 8 to get on the 9. This route takes you through the center of the table and avoids any possible scratch.

Look for this route as it comes up a lot, and I see a lot of players misplay this type of lay out because they go one rail.

Now there is something else we can learn from this lay out. When the cue ball goes in to the short rail at a 45 degree angle, and is within two diamonds of the corner pocket, the cue ball track goes through the center of the table. That means there is no scratch on that line!!! You can see this coming back as in this shot, or going forward as in the next diagram.


Figure 3

This is a little bit of magic, but it means that you can spin the cue ball off the end rail, or draw it off the end rail and go through the center of the table. This is a valuable position route to know and practice.

Have fun with this and as Heath Gil says to me, "Keep your head down!!"

I hope to see you in Las Vegas for the BCA Expo. See you on the road.

About The Author: Mark Finkelstein is a professional pool player, a BCA Master instructor, an American Cue Sports (ACS) level 4 instructor, and house pro at Slate Plus in New York. Mark can be reached via phone at 347-545-1916, email at nycpool<at_char>gmail<dot_char>com or thru his website at www.mfpool.com.

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Author Info - Mark Finkelstein