In Ray Martin’s book The 99 Critical Shots in Pool, there’s a chapter called Some Cluster Shots — A Test for Your Eyes. There are 11 tests designed to determine the extent to which the reader was able to fully understand some of the previously discussed 99 shots and apply them to situations that looked very different from the clean uncluttered diagrams in the book. These shots are like magic, unless you fully understand the principles behind them. But even when you do, there’s just something special about watching someone make, or better yet making, a shot out of what seems like nothing.
One of the great thrills of a tournament is is to see a player baffled because he has no shot. He walks forward, leans over, and studies intensely the cluster and the lie of the balls. He turns his head this way, that way, squints, broods, crouches to look at different angles. Then he walks back to his cue ball, calls a shot, and shoots. The ball rolls in, and there’s a storm of applause.
Even if you don’t have such a crowd watching you play, the thrill of making a shot out of seemingly nothing never goes away. To me, it’s even better than the look of a great draw shot.
I used straight pool as the game being played to simplify my task and to keep from giving away the answer too easily. These shots, or others like them, could come up in any game.
These aren’t Ray’s tests, they’re mine. They are, however, based on the same principles, and are just as easy once you know the secret and train yourself to see the opportunity. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did creating them. Let me know what you think, and don’t hesitate to send me more.
|Find-a-Shot||Straight Pool (14.1)||Low||Puzzle #1|
|Find-a-Shot||Straight Pool (14.1)||High||Puzzle #2|
|Find-a-Shot||Straight Pool (14.1)||Medium||Puzzle #3|
|Find-a-Shot||Straight Pool (14.1)||High||Puzzle #4|
|Find-a-Shot||Straight Pool (14.1)||Low||Puzzle #5|
|Find-a-Shot||Straight Pool (14.1)||Medium||Puzzle #6|
|Find-a-Shot||Straight Pool (14.1)||Medium||Puzzle #7|