Defense vs. offense – Fort Bragg Advocate-News

Rack ’em up!

Imagine for a moment that it is a dark and stormy night with the Football Stadium Lights blazing and the crowd chanting, “DEFENSE! DEFENSE! over and over. The entire crowd believes in defense and calls for it. That is because we all know defense wins football games, right? Why doubt that would also work in a pool game? When you are playing a tough shot, stop and think, is there a defensive way I can shoot this shot? Where will my cue ball end up if I miss this shot, and will that cause me to lose? Think defense within your offense. Then if you do miss, as we all do, maybe it won’t be a complete loss. You’ve heard it more than a few times. “I only made one mistake, just one, and I lost the game!” We have players that will win if you make a mistake, but it may depend on where you are in a game. Early on, you can survive a mistake or two with many balls on the table. When just two or three balls are left, you won’t often survive even one mistake.

I watched a Tournament game played Saturday afternoon at the Welcome Inn. The player accidentally played a defensive move. By accident, they hooked the other player, got a ball in hand, and won the match. It would have been a simple safety shot to make on purpose, but they didn’t see it or didn’t want to use it. They accidentally did so and then easily won the game but would still explain, “I don’t play safely on purpose.”

They had managed to play a safety shot by accident and then had won the game, but wouldn’t on purpose as it would be unfair or look like they were a chicken. Defense in a pool game at the amateur level is considered unfair but essential at the professional level.

Because of a safety play or lousy luck, kick shots have become an essential part of a pool game, especially in rotation games like 9 ball. Darren Appleton said something close to that when discussing the need to learn kick shots. He said that by safety play or by accident, hooks happen, and you need to learn to kick well, and playing a safety and making them kick for their ball is essential.

For Tuesday, 07/26/2022:

Tournament Winners: Saturday afternoon Welcome Inn: Luis Medina. Thursday evening Tip Top Lounge: Jeff Delasantos. Congratulations!

Visit Angelina’s Grille & Bar, Golden West Saloon, Milano Hotel and Bar, Tip Top Lounge, or Welcome Inn: all maintain Pool tables. You might meet new people, or meet up with old friends.

Tournaments usually take a couple of hours to complete, and a schedule is posted. Watch weekly pool competitions, where anyone can enter and compete. If visiting Fort Bragg, test your pool game against local players. Good company, food, and music, full bars with Shuffleboard, Dice, Darts, and/or corn-hole in addition to billiards for entertainment. Angelina’s Grille and Bar also features Karaoke on Friday evenings. Golden West Saloon with outdoor seating and top-of-the-line whiskeys and spirits. Tip Top Lounge is cozy with a younger crowd. Welcome Inn has an off-sale liquor license. If you prefer a venue with an outdoor patio, try Milano’s Hotel and Bar, a full-service and off-sale bar with an outdoor patio and tables for sitting and relaxing.

If you go to Mendocino, you must stop at Dick’s place, Patterson’s, or the Mendocino Hotel while strolling through the quaint village. Come and enjoy leisure time in Fort Bragg and Mendocino today.

Cue Tip: You know how you feel when you play safety but fail? More than once, everyone has sworn off safety plays because of selling out the game, don’t despair. I know this sounds silly, but just a little practice by yourself with safety plays, and you are guaranteed to become better at playing them. When one shot can end up being a game decider in your favor, why not use it? If Pro-players say they are essential tools in a pool game, why wouldn’t you learn to use them? Because they are too difficult? Maybe so. They are one of the most speed and contact-sensitive shots in pool and require extreme finesse. Playing it safe could make you look scared, silly thinking, but true. Although I know most of us would agree, watching a pro-player play safety and doing it perfectly is pretty, isn’t it? Contact me at

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