by Bob Jewett
Do you want to play like Efren Reyes?
Previously, I’ve urged you to keep things as simple as possible. A recent column had you practicing shots
with just a rolling cue ball — no side spin, draw or slide. I’d like to add to that idea something from
Albert Einstein: “Make things as simple as possible, but not simpler.” There are times when the best
solution for a shot requires remarkable spin. Efren Reyes is known for being ready for such shots and
seeing those solutions. There’s no reason you can’t be a little more like Efren than you are right now.
In the diagram is a shot from an eight ball game in which you’re shooting solids. The shot diagrammed
has several nice features, including potentially blocking the pocket for the eight, running out if the five
goes in by getting “short-side” position, pocketing your opponent’s hung ball for safe, …. All you have to
do for this solution to your problem is spin the cue ball a little. That is, a little more than most beginners
and intermediates and even some advanced players are prepared to spin it.
This is not a power shot; use finesse instead. Cue as far to the left of whitey as you can without miscuing,
and at or slighlty above the equator. It is mostly the spin that will take you down the table.
As shown, the cut on the five is about half-ball or 30 degrees. If you make the cut a smaller angle, it’s
easy to get to the hung 10 ball. As you work on the shot, increase the cut angle until it’s no longer possible
to reach the short side of the four ball.
Sometimes you’ll have to use extreme measures. Prepare for them.