Better Missing. ~ Tom Simpson © October 2012—All Rights Reserved {}

Vast casino empires are built on a house advantage of a few percent.

In the long run, tiny advantages can compound into major gains. What if your ball pocketing came up a few percent? What if you missed just one ball fewer for every 15 minutes you’re at the table? How big a difference would that make? The difference can be enormous.

Often, the ball you miss is the one you shouldn’t have shot or the one that is the key to the rack. Not missing the key shot makes everything else easy. Shooting the wrong shot is a knowledge or fear issue. If you make that key shot or difficult shot a little more frequently, your winning percentage will go up. As things go better, you get more confidence. As you become more confident, you perform better. As you miss a few less balls, you’ll spend more time at the table. As you play better and spend more time at the table, your opponent’s confidence will erode.

The player in the chair often “gets cold” and his performance falls off. The idea here is that something as seemingly simple as missing a few less balls could make a big difference in our results and in how we feel about our game. Why do we miss, and how can we do it less?

Here are some of the primary culprits:

Shooting the “wrong” shot.

The shot was too low-percentage to attempt in the current game situation. Like golfers, reality eventually makes us wise up and play smarter. Golfers don’t swing for the pin every shot, and pool players don’t try to run out every time at the table. Believing you can, will prove disappointing and unproductive. When would now be a good time to start pl