This is another delaying shark that is often observed in pool. To implement this effort, the hustler simply slows down his basic shooting routine. Used by a master gamesman, it becomes less a game of pool and more of a game of Patience. This tactic stretches out the amount of time that he is in control of the table – which extends the time you spend sitting down.
A casual (amateur) hustler may have accidently discovered this technique; either used against him or watched it being done against a friend. The trick and the results can be fairly obvious to an observer. Over time, he uses this trick primarily as a technique to slow down an opponent’s run of good luck. He would use it in the same way a football time-out is called when the opponent’s offense (or defense) seems to be tougher than usual.
An experienced hustler has many options. He can integrate the process into his routine as a default shooting style against a particularly vulnerable (impatient) opponent. He can utilize it constantly, although his normal competitors easily recognize the shark and take mental preparation steps to counter. Even a natural style, against new opponents, it can be very effective. As with the amateur, it can be a routine response to a player shooting the lights out.
This tactic becomes VERY dangerous when applied during end-games and when the match is very close (i.e., hill-hill). He wants to modify your state of mind from the deadly focus of a predator to the irritated (or even furious) result of impatience.
Here is the basic slow shooter routine:
- He lays the tip of his cue stick behind the cue ball to track the shooting line. (Waits several seconds.)
- The feet are then positioned, very carefully. First, the back foot is placed. In slow motion, the front foot is moved. Slowly, he bends down over the stick. (This can take up to 20-30 seconds).
- Next the bridge hand is set up – maybe switching from open to several varieties of closed bridges.
- Adjusting the bridge hand height, he experiments with draw and follow. (Another 15 seconds gone.)
- Now the eyeballs switch back and forth from cue ball to object ball.
- Several practice strokes are made – all in slow motion.
- If he wants to be particularly irritating, this is when he stands up and repeats.
- Eventually the shot gets shot, after which he seems frozen in place on the table (apparently cogitating the results.
- If unsuccessful, he can spend another 10 seconds leaving the table. If successful, you are forced through reruns.
Any steps can be made into a mini-movie production about careful setup. The practice strokes could be extended out to 20+. A full-blown effort could easily turn one shot into a three to five minute marathon.
If he has a talent for torture, he can first setup on the wrong ball to make you hope for a momentary lapse in judgment. Then, as if realizing his mistake, gets up and moves to set up on the correct shot – causing another anticipated hope to be dashed to the floor.
Of course, he has to carefully judge your controlled patience. This shark has been known to backfire and result in much pain to the hustler.
Demanding he stop this simply proves his efforts are fruitful. In tournament play, invoke Rule 19 of the World Pool-Billiard Association Rules and demand a shot clock. In a personal competition, you need to take another path.
First, chose not to be temperamental. Instead, use the time to study the layouts. Consider the many dozens of shooting options available, both offensively and defensively. Mentally play these options to evaluate their feasibility.
By attempting to use this tactic on you, he has given you an excellent opportunity to play with greater intelligence. You would be surprised how many clever ideas your mind can generate.