THE DREADED END RAIL -- Anthony Beeler

Over the years, I have noticed one thing about the game of 8-Ball; the player that generally has the best layout wins the majority of the time. In recent months, we have already discussed several strategies related to varying circumstances the game sometimes brings about, but the one thing I have neglected to share with you are my thoughts related to balls that are sitting near either of the two end rails.

Why is the end cushion a problem? The answer lies with the fact that balls positioned in this location are often difficult to pocket. Many times, it is a necessity to have a key ball just to play position on this area of the table. Unfortunately, this isn’t always an option.

In fact, I know several great pool players that don’t understand how big of an obstacle that the end rail is. In reality, the problem is so big that it’s almost like a bunker in golf. Anytime you have one of your object balls lying in that location, it is imperative to remove it as soon as possible. Most players just keep on shooting until they run out of easy shots and when they do they are often left firing at an impossible bank shot.