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By Jeanette Lee
International billiard icon "The Black Widow" answers your questions about life, love, and everything else that happens in the poolhall.

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December: Sharp Angled Shots
Dec 2015

Q: Am I the only person that seems to have trouble with sharp-angled shots into the side pocket? Side pockets are bigger than corner pockets, but I still have trouble shooting into the side pocket at an angle. I tend to shoot those shots pretty soft. Is there a trick to aiming for side pocket shots?

Jackson Fothergill, Milwaukee, Wis.

A: Side pockets have given us all nightmares! They are bigger in size than corner pockets, but that only helps when the object ball is close to or between the side pockets. Angled shots are more difficult, particularly when the object ball is closer to the rail. Also, unlike shots to the corner pockets, you can't hit the rail and expect the object ball to drop in. Honestly, most of the time I try to hit the ball softly when the object ball is closer to the rail. Personally, I prefer a systematic approach, starting with an easy cut shot. Practice a shot at least 10 times, and don't increase the difficulty until you have reached a 90-plus percentage success rate. Over time, increase the degree of the angle or the distance of the object ball from the side pocket. It will take time, but you will get the hang of it.