You and your opponent each have 4 balls left on the table. There is a cluster of 4 balls(2 yours-2 your opponents) and the other balls are in the open. Each player has an equal shot at the breakout. The four balls are in a difficult spot so a clean breakout is not guaranteed by any means, maybe they're sitting on the rail or something.
Tournament situation for the win.
Your up, do you take the breakout or leave it for your opponent?
I think it really depends on the table layout and the opponent. If I didn't like my chances at the breakout I would look to play safe in such a way that moves one of my balls near the cluster so I have an easy breakout.
BCA & ACS Instructor, Pittsburgh, PA
I would break them out if I could hit the pack at speed. Depending on the layout of the table, I usually like to hit packs with draw so my cue ball is farther away from the area. I believe I am more likely to have a chance at a good hit, or be able to pocket another ball that was not involved in the breakout.
All depends on the layout! Maybe I would use follow if the balls were not on the rail.
The layout and likelihood of achieving the desired break out play a key factor; however, If I am confident that I can achieve the breakout and still allow for a good safety should I get stumped....I'm going to take the breakout and hope I get a decent roll. If my opponent has a ball hanging in the pocket, I may reconsider, as a safety may be out of the question. I'm going to seek options to get his duck out of play before I take that risk.
In general, I hate to see my opponent solve a problem and win when I would have had a chance to do it myself. In the long run, stalling won't get you anywhere - I'd rather go down all guns blazing once in a while (= as long as on average, this keeps working out for me, I'll have to accept the fact that it won't every now and then). It's really a matter of average: whatever one does, it's not worth much if one pays the price for one's "principles" all too often. And: one's a much better player if one didn't have many such principles to begin with - best do what's best at any given moment and considering the situation at hand.
Greetings from Switzerland, David.
„J'ai gâché vingt ans de mes plus belles années au billard. Si c'était à refaire, je recommencerais.“ – Roger Conti