Rack ’em up!
Should we have more 15-1 8-ball Tournaments? That’s when you rack the 15 and 1-ball directly behind the 8-ball. It is played like regular 8-ball with exceptions. One exception is the 1 and 15 balls must play only to a side pocket. If the 1-ball went into one side first, then the 15 can only go to the opposite side pocket, and visa-versa. Another exception is when you put the 1 or 15-ball in a side pocket, which also becomes your side of the table to play your 8-ball. You must play the 8-ball to the pockets on the same side your 1 or 15-ball went. One idea to increase your odds is to play your 1-ball, or your 15-ball as early as possible and before your opponent makes their ball. When you are first, it reduces the options for your opponent, they must play their ball to the opposite side pocket from where you played your ball. You play your other balls as in any other regular 8-ball game. Except, of course, the 8-ball must go to the same side of the table you played your 1 or the 15-ball in.
This game enhances strategy and position play, like playing balls to get a position for a side pocket ball. You shouldn’t play most of your balls before your side-pocket ball. When it’s the only ball you have left, it will be challenging to win with only a side pocket to shoot for.
Learning to delay putting balls down pockets will help when you are playing regular 8-ball. Have you watched a person make all their balls except the 8-ball and lose? Yes, more often than we would wish. One reason to leave balls on the table is that the opponent can’t easily hook you. It’s never a good thing to give up ball in hand. When playing regular 8-ball, a defensive safety strategy can be used when an opponent has broken a rack and run all balls, except they miss the 8-ball. Don’t start making balls because you can, rather play a shot to hook them behind your many balls that are still on the table. With a ball in hand, you can play any problem ball, then make a ball, or two, and hook them again. If you don’t get another ball in hand, try again. If your opponent doesn’t have a clear play for their ball it will be nearly impossible for them to play it into a pocket and win. When you do eventually get the next ball in hand, run the rack, or if necessary hook them again. Have you played all of your balls down except for making the 8-ball and then lost? The frustration of not being able to get a clear shot on the 8-ball to win is, to say the least, upsetting. If the opponent is purposely making it harder, as they inch closer to winning, it adds that much more stress. Your game may go downhill from that stress, or as often happens, you scratch while trying to hit the 8-ball, and lose.
Keeping 2 or 3 balls on the table, in an 8-ball game, will help prevent either scenario from happening to you. It is frustrating to make all the balls, except the 8, and lose the game. It is even worse if the opponent uses safeties to hook you, and you give them the cue ball in hand, which they then use to win the game. Most players can run three balls, so keeping balls on the table, until you are confident that you have positioned balls and can easily run the entire table, might be the prudent approach.
Tournament Winners: Daniel Parttain for 8 ball. Congratulations!
Visit Angelina’s Grille & Bar, Golden West Saloon, Tip Top Lounge, or Welcome Inn: all maintain a Pool table for playing. You might meet new people, or see old friends.
Tournaments usually take a couple of hours to complete. Watch weekly competitions, anyone can enter. If visiting Fort Bragg, test your game with the local players! Good company, food, and music, full bars with Shuffleboard, Dice, and/or Dart games in addition to billiards for entertainment. Angelina’s Grille and Bar also features Karaoke Friday evenings. If you want a venue with an outdoor patio, try Milano’s Hotel and Bar, a full-service bar, off-sale, and an outdoor patio. Come and enjoy today at Fort Bragg.
Cue Tip: If you play someone that you struggle to win against, figure out how they win. Then use those same tactics back against them. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org Pool League starts in September.