(This is today’s bit of advice from the book Safety Toolbox.)
In 8 Ball, the end-game begins when one or both players are down to 2 or 3 balls or there are only five or six balls on the table. In 9 Ball, the end-game starts at the 6 or 7 ball.
There is a change in your approach at this point. With fewer balls to play with, fewer safety types are available. Usually, between two players who are using their brains, it becomes a safety battle requiring sharp wits and focused skills. The winner sometimes needs a bit of luck.
The loser of the game is usually the individual who makes a position or placement mistake. As the smarter player (as long as you have practiced the exercises and kept your emotions under control), you should win most of the games that reach this stage. With superior control, you can play inning after inning, wearing down your opponent’s will to win until he finally opens up the table for you.
This is when the highest level of attention and the greatest focus that can be mustered is required. You might have taken it easy during the early-game or mid-game, but the end-game is where the winner is determined.
Just to remind you, here are some tactics that give you the edge. When you let him shoot, give him these situations:
- Freeze the cue ball against a rail.
- Use the dead zones.
- Offer many banks.
- Far, far away is good.
- Bad angles are always a plus.
- Two-way shots are cool.
Above all – be patient. Until your opponent hands you the opportunity to win, take your time designing each defensive shot. Continue playing “keep away”. Give your opponent every opportunity to make mistakes and give you a generous gift.