Essay Writing English 101 Ibo Tok Essay Topics 2012 Tok Essay Prescribed Topics 2012 Essay Writing 3rd Person Essay Writing Third Person Essay Written In 3rd Person Personal Essay Writing 3rd Grade Teaching Essay Writing 5th Grade Persuasive Essay Sample 5th Grade Expository Essay Sample 5th Grade Argumentative Essay Help Argumentative Essay Writing Powerpoint Argumentative Essay Writing Steps Argumentative Essay Writing Example Essay Help College Confidential College Essay Help Online College Essay Help Forum Help College Essay Writing College Essay Help Free Essay Writing Competitions 2014 Essay Writing Competition 2013 Essay Writing Competition 2013 In India Essay Writing Competition Topics Essay Writing Competition Online Essay Writing Competition India Essay Writing Competition For College Students Essay Writing Competition Pakistan 2013 Essay Custom Writing Service Write Essay Customer Service Essay Writing On Customer Satisfaction Essay Writing On Old Custom Custom Essay Writing Uk Custom Essay Writing Reviews Write My Essay Custom Writing Custom Essay Writing Toronto Essay Writing English My Hobby Essay Writing English Topics Essay Writing English Tips Essay Writing English Examples Essay English Writing Skills Improve Essay Writing English Essay Writing Guide Essay Writing Guide For High School Essay Writing Guidelines For The School Of Biological Sciences Essay Writing Topics Global Warming Essay Written On Global Warming Ielts Writing Essay Global Warming Essay Writing General Topics Ielts General Essay Writing Topics Good Essay Writing Tips Good Essay Writing A Social Sciences Guide Good Essay Writing Skills Good Essay Writing Example Good Essay Writing Topics Good Essay Writing Words Good Essay Writing Phrases Essay Writing How To Write An Introduction Essay Writing How To Improve Your English Essay Writing How To Make Cake Essay Writing How To Reference Essay Writing How To Save Water Essay Writing How To Analyse Essay Writing How To Quote Essay Writing How To Prevent Dengue Essay Writing Jobs Online Free Essay Writing Jobs Online Online Essay Writing Jobs In India Online Essay Writing Jobs Pakistan Online Essay Writing Jobs Philippines Online Essay Writing Jobs In Kenya Essay Writing Jobs Uk Online Essay Writing Jobs Uk Writing Essays Kids Worksheets Essay Writing For Kids In English Essay Writing For Kids In Hindi Essay Writing Template Kids Persuasive Essay Writing Kids Essay Writing Current Topics Writing Literature Essays 20 Student Models Writing Literature Essays Chip Lee Writing Literature Essays Tips Writing Essays About Literature A Guide And Style Sheet Writing Essays About Literature By Kelley Griffith Writing Essays About Literature Pdf Writing Essays About Literature 8th Edition Writing Essays About Literature Acheson 1234 Help Me Essay Essay Topics My Friend Essay Writing Topic My Best Friend Example Essay Writing My Best Friend Essay On Writing Skills Essay On Writing Skills In English Reflective Essay On Writing Skills Essay On Improving Writing Skills Essay Writing Skills Worksheet Essay Writing Phrases English Essay Writing Phrases French Essay Writing Phrases In Spanish Essay Writing Phrases German Italian Essay Writing Phrases Essay Writing Linking Phrases Academic Essay Writing Phrases Essay Writing Rules Numbers Reflective Essay Writing Guide Reflective Essay Writing Process Reflective Essay Writing Portfolio Reflective Essay Writing In The First Person Essay Samples Scholarship Essay Writing Structure Essay Writing Structure Template Essay Writing Structure Examples Essay Writing Structure Tips Essay Writing Structure For Kids Essay Writing Structure In Ielts Essay Writing Structure High School Essay Writing Introduction Paragraph Essay Writing Introduction Structure How To Write Essay Introduction Sample Essay Writing Tips In Urdu Language Essay Writing Tips University Level Boston University Essay Writing Tips University Of Toronto Essay Writing Tips College Essay Help Online Free Online Help For Essay Writing Online Help For Essays Online Help For Writing An Essay For Free Help Online With Essay Online Help With Essay Writing Online Help With College Essays Free Online Help With Writing Essays Essay Header Mla Format Essay Format Mla Sample Essay Mla Format Template Sample Essay Outline Mla Mla Format Persuasive Essay Outline Essay Title Mla Essay Format Mla Style Essay Format Mla Examples Essay Cover Mla Heading An Mla Paper Mla Essay Format Quoting Mla Paper Format Citation Essay Heading Mla Format Mla Format Essay Heading Date Essay Title In Mla Format Article Title In Essay Mla Mla Essay Title In Italics How To Write Essay Title In Mla Essay Title Italicized Mla Mla Heading Of Essay Mla Format Of Essay Example Mla Format Of Essay Writing Mla Heading College Essay Mla Format Title Of Essay Mla Format Collection Of Essays Mla Format Book Of Essays Mla Format Structure Of Essay Essay Title Page Mla Essay Cover Page Mla Essay Cover Page Mla Format College Essay Cover Page Mla How To Make An Essay Title Page Mla Title Page For Comparative Essay Mla Format Essay Outline Mla Sample Analytical Essay Mla Format Sample Formal Essay Heading Format Formal Essay Title Format Formal Essay Title Page Format Essay Hooks About Love 1984 Essay Hooks Essays On Bell Hooks Talking Back Bell Hooks Essay On Love Comparison And Contrast Essay Hooks Essay Hook Discrimination Essay Discrimination Conclusion Good Hook American Dream Essay College Essay Hooks Examples Persuasive Essay Hooks Examples Essay Hooks About Food Essay Hook Attention Grabber Essay Introduction Attention Grabber Essay Hook Sentence Ideas Essay Introduction Sentence Examples Hooks In Essay Writing Types Of Hooks In Essay Writing Good Hooks In Writing Essays Immigration Essay Hooks Essay Hooks List Essay Hook Lesson Plan Essay Conclusion Lesson Plans Literary Analysis Essay Hooks Bell Hooks Essay Madonna Narrative Essay Hooks Essay Hook On Technology Essay Introduction On Technology Essay Conclusion Powerpoint Essay Types Of Hooks Persuasive Essay Hooks Argumentative Essay Hooks Essay Hooks Quotes Essay Hook Sentences Essay Conclusion Sentences Essay Intro Sentence Essay Introduction Sentence Starters Essay Hook Statement Essay Intro Sentence Example Good Essay Topic Sentence Examples Essay Writing Topic Sentence Examples Narrative Essay Topic Sentence Examples College Essay Topic Sentences College Essay Introduction Sentence Essay Hook For Slavery Good Hook For Slavery Essay Essay Conclusion Tips Essay Hooks Worksheet Essay With Hook Sample Essay With Hook Essay With A Hook Example Starting Essay With Hook Essay Hook Types Essay Yazarken Hook Essay Help Software Essay Writing Students 3 Paragraph Essay Writing For Kids Writing Essays College Tips Essay Topics College Essay Writing For Dummies Pdf Essay Writing For Dummies Ebook Essay Writing For Dummies Amazon Essay Writing For Dummies High School Essay Writing For Dummies Download Essay Writing For Dummies Pdf Download Academic Essay Writing For Dummies Essay Help Free Online Essay Writing Free Essay Writing Free Online Help Writing A Essay For College Help With My Essay For College Help With Personal Essay For College Essay Writing For English Tests Essay Writing For English Tests Pdf Essay Writing For English Essay Writing For English Tests Gabi Duga Pdf Essay Writing For English Tests Free Download Essay Writing For English Proficiency Test Essay Writing For English Proverbs Essay For Helping Others Essay For Helping People Essay Help For Free Essay Help For Kids Essay Help For College Application Essay Help For To Kill A Mockingbird Essay Writing Example Introduction Essay Writing Jobs Freelance Freelance Essay Writing Jobs Uk Freelance Essay Writing Jobs India Essay Writing Japanese Essay Written Japanese Essay Topics Japanese History Japanese Essay Writing Style Essay Writing Lesson Plans High School Essay Writing Lesson Plans Esl Essay Writing Lesson Plans 5th Grade Persuasive Essay Writing Lesson Plans College Essay Writing Lesson Plans Essay Help Macbeth Essay Writing Macbeth Sample Essay Macbeth Essay Writing Made Easy Stephen Mc Laren Essay Writing Made Easy With The Hourglass Organizer Essay Writing Made Easy Pdf Essay Writing Made Easy Excel Essay Writing Made Easy Kids Essay Writing Made Easy Amazon Peel Essay Writing Made Easy Essay Writing Topic Myself Essay Topics My Family Essay Writing Topics My Family English Essay Writing My Family Example Essay Writing My Family English Essay Topics My Family Essay Writing Narrative Essay Writing Narrative Essay Example English Essay Narrative Writing Narrative Essay Writing Tips Narrative Essay Writing Worksheets Writing Narrative Essay Powerpoint Narrative Essay Writing Lesson Plan Essay Topics Of Ielts Essay Writing Ielts Samples Essay Writing Ielts General Training Essay Writing Ielts Task 1 Essay Writing Using Quotes Essay Writing Introducing Quotes Essay Questions For The Help By Kathryn Stockett Common App Essay Questions Help Common Application Essay Questions Help Essay Writing Rubric Essay Writing Rubric High School Essay Writing Rubric For Middle School

CueTips Billiards Instruction – A Tough Route to Master

Posted on by Mark Finkelstein

By NYC Grind Contributor, Mark Finkelstein

As we close out another year, I’d like to thank all my readers, and wish you a Healthy and Happy Holiday Season!

This week, I want to look at a layout that causes some of the greatest players problems, and some of the steps we can take to minimize the difficulties.

Here is the layout you are faced with:

A Tough Route to Master - Diagram 1

We have the 8 ball around the second diamond, and the 9 ball around the middle of the end rail.

One thing that makes this shot so difficult is that we need to use a more stroke to move the cue ball around the table, which makes the pocket play smaller.  We also have the side pocket scratch, the corner pocket scratch, coming up short, going too long, and missing the shot as other options.  I saw Efren Reyes draw back and hit the 9, freezing on it as well!  All bad outcomes for sure.

Since this layout comes up all the time in rotation games, we need a plan and a practice routine to make sure we own this layout.  This is one of those patterns that you need to practice until you get it.  You will be glad you did.

A Tough Route to Master - Diagram 2

Let’s look at some ways to get better at this.  First is drawing the ball back for position.  You need a smooth, zippy draw stroke that brings the cue ball back for the 9.  You don’t need any English on this shot, just good draw.  Some things to check for when you are practicing this shot are a consistent bridge distance to the cue ball, a light grip that keeps constant pressure on the cue stick, a slow pull back, eyes on the object ball when shooting, staying down on the shot and making sure you hit the cue ball really low.  I am amazed at how many players think they are hitting the cue ball low, and are really hitting it around the center.  Remember you are looking down on your stick so there is an optical illusion there! You are striking the cue ball with the top half of the tip, which is higher than you think!

The next thing to learn about your game is the transition point when draw won’t work anymore.  This will be different for each of you and will vary with the tables conditions and the cue balls size and weight.  Knowing this will help you decide where to leave your cue ball for the next shot.

Once we pass the place that draw works reliably for us, we need to think about going 3 rails.

A Tough Route to Master - Diagram 3

We are too straight to come off the side rail, but not straight enough to draw back as we will be coming right at the 9, which is not a good track.

The tendency on this shot is to over-hit it.  You need a truly level stick, and a smooth stroke to generate the spin and speed you need for this shot.  Remember, squirt is real, even if you have a high tech shaft, so you need to take this in to consideration when you are aiming.  I like to aim straight at the object ball with a little high right spin (2 o’clock or so), using the squirt to move the cue ball over enough to pocket the 8, and give my cue ball enough spin to get around the table.  This is another shot that is well worth practicing.

Finally, you get to the point that you have enough angle to the long rail to use it coming back down the table.  It is important for you to know this for your game and stroke as well.

The third flavor of this shot is when we can use the long rail to bring the cue ball back down table.

A Tough Route to Master - Diagram 4

I’ve shown two routes that you can use, depending on the table, where the 9 ball is, and your stroke.  One tip I have for this shot is that I like to use spin to control the angle coming off the long rail more than I like to use draw.  My reasoning is that spin is easier to control and predict than draw, and I can hit the cue ball a little slower.  I use more center left here than low left!

To be complete in looking at this shot, here is a good two way shot where you can play for the 8, get position on the 9 and be safe if you miss.  I aim to over cut the 8 a little so it hits the long rail first if it misses.  This puts the 8 on the short rail and the cue ball way up table, giving me the best of it.

A Tough Route to Master - Diagram 5

Finally, here is a stone cold safe you can play from here.  I might think about doing this on a really tight pocket table, but for my money this is too conservative and more like a one pocket shot.  I always like to swing at the money when I can!

Something to keep in mind as you practice these shots isn’t mentioned in too many places, but, what you put on the cue ball isn’t what you get on the object ball!  What happens is that the friction of the cloth eats up some of your spin so that you are not getting exactly what you put on the cue ball at the object ball.

What we need to think of is what do I need to put on the cue ball to have what I need on the object ball at the moment of impact?  For example, early in the day I play on slow tables that really eat up spin, and later in the day I play on faster cloth.  I always tend to over-spin shots for the first few minutes that I play on the faster tables.

This layout is tough and your game will improve when you master it.  There is no substitution for an hour or so working on this.  When it comes up in your next game, you will have the confidence to play this shot correctly.


I’d like to focus on a problem I hear from many students, and how to fix it.  A lot of my students say that they practice really well, then when the get to a match, they tend to choke, miss easy shots or not play up to their practice speed.

Here is what happens.  When you practice, you are relaxed and not trying to do anything.  Once you start a match, you are concentrating more, trying to do thinks and in general stressing yourself out.

The solution is really simple to say although much harder to do.  Make sure that when you practice, you do everything like you are playing!  That’s it.  So if you are free stroking in practice, and not free stroking in a game, you will eventually run in to problems!

Make sure you practice just like you play, that way every time you pick up a cue stick, nothing is different.

Good luck and see you on the road. Heading to Atlanta with Tom Simpson ( in early January!

Mark Finkelstein is the House Pro at Slate Billiards on 21st Street in Manhattan.

If you have questions, or would like to see a particular topic addressed, you can email Mark at

This entry was posted in Pool Instruction, The Latest and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Super News Spotlight: Predator Tour Stop #14 @ Amsterdam Billiards… Amateur + Open Pro Event Breakdown from NYC Grind on Vimeo.

Follow Us

Hook up with us in the Social World, Let's Keep the Conversation Going!

Featured Recent Popular

On the List?

Add your name to our List, to Stay Plugged In!

Enter your Email

Preview | Powered by FeedBlitz
launch Grind radio

  • Upcoming Events