(S&D) Safety & Defense – the Blocked Pocket Tactic

(About the author)

Safety Toolbox (Advanced)

(This is today’s bit of advice from the book Safety Toolbox.)

A pocket is blocked when another object ball prevents the target ball from being made in that pocket. Blocked pockets complicate a game. A blocked pocket can add one or more innings to the game.

In 8 Ball, a blocked pocket is a problem. Many players will dance around the problem, shooting in other balls while avoiding having to address the problem. Eventually, it has to be faced, usually in the end-game and with very few options.

In 9 Ball, a blocked pocket is a show-stopper, preventing an easy run-out. If it happens to you, apply a proper defensive play. Use blocked pockets to create many kinds of thought-provoking predicaments for your opponent.

In the early-game, never allow blocked pockets to exist. They restrict your options. Eliminate them directly, or turn them around against your opponent. Do not allow your playing plan to be limited by a blocked pocket. That would be allowing your opponent to dictate terms to you.

Slide inside example

This blocks the blocker.

S&D Blocked Pocket - Slide Inside

S&D Blocked Pocket – Slide Inside

Butt out example

This example kicks the opponent’s ball away and leaves yours in place. Sometimes, you can carom off his ball and make yours in the pocket.

S&D Blocked Pocket - Butt Out

S&D Blocked Pocket – Butt Out

Clear the way example

Sometimes it makes sense to pocket an opponent’s ball and leave yours in its place. Use this opportunity to also carefully position the cue ball.

S&D - Blocked Pocket - Clear the Way

S&D – Blocked Pocket – Clear the Way

 

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