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Dr Ian Plummer

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Advanced Pegged Out Tactics

Scenario 3 - Discussion

Scenario 3Clips: U on 4-back, K peg, R rover, Y box.

UK are guarding H3/C3 with a rush for U to 4-b. R is near C1. What should R do?

NC: Shoot R at UK, same rationale as first scenario. 

SJ: Move to E boundary opposite penult.

SP: Shoot.  UK will probably finish from that whether you shoot or not, so this could well be your last chance.  If the hoops are really tough and/or the rush is a bad one, then corner II might be OK.

SM: The two ball break seems fairly trivial from here for UK, so shooting seems to be the option.

TM: Shoot at whatever feels right :-)

DK: just out of corner I

RB: I would probably shoot. The chances of such a player finishing from this position are too high to justify cornering.

JK: Shoot. If you are a terrible shot and want to lurk, the place to do it is probably penult-high on the East boundary.

CC responds:

This is probably the most difficult decision I tend to find myself with and my decision will be based on how the game has been played, how much I fancy the shot and how nervy I think my opponent is. If you are playing someone who is confident and seems to be playing well or you are shooting well yourself, then having a shot is perfectly playable.

However, it is a very long shot and it should be your last. In this particular scenario, I believe that the percentages slightly favour a defensive line of play. If I shoot, I win c. 16% and I think I'm going to win over 16% of the time if I don't shoot.

So, where do we go? Level with penult has been suggested as has C2. Let's look at opponents next turn. They rush to 4-b and try and get a rush to penult. If they finish short, I don't want them to go "Hey look, I've got a nice rush to the ball in C2 – yippee!!". Don't go anywhere that gives them increased rushing angles, particularly in "safe" non-lift corners.

Let's say they rush to 3 yards north of penult after 4-b. If I have an opponent ball on a side boundary, I'll approach penult putting partner slightly on the side of the lawn that the opponent ball is. If I run the hoop nicely, I'll have a rush pointing 2 yards to one side of rover, if I over-hit my hoop shot, I might have a rush to the opponent ball. I can rush to the side boundary, take off to get a rush to rover and if things don't go right, my opponent will still need to hit a lift shot.

Therefore, my line of play in scenario 3 is to play into C1 and hope to generate a shorter shot than 30+ yards. If they rush to C1 at any stage, they'll be leaving a ball in Baulk if anything goes wrong. If I'm playing a top 5 player, I'll probably shoot, but the next level of player down make sufficient errors, particularly when under pressure to give you enough potential reward to turn down your 16% chance.

It is perhaps important at this stage to note that I am playing for mis-play from my opponent. What normally happens is opponent rushes 4 feet in front or side of 4-b and approaches the hoop and tries to get a rush to penult. This shouldn't happen – can the non-minus players see why?

If you can accept that your next action after playing to C1 might be shaking your opponent's hand, then I believe it represents the best percentage play.



Whether the player with 2 balls has the patience to wait until they play the rush to 4-b well before approaching is a big factor. C2 is playable against someone with patience, likely to encourage making 4-b even after an average rush and more likely they won't get a good rush to penult (or C2). The worse their initial rush to 4-b the better C2 looks compared to C1. Shooting also makes more sense if you know they are patient and will do the right thing. 

There is nothing that wrong with C4 (particularly with average boundary areas), I think the slim chance they fail 4-b and give you a target reasonably weighs up with the chance of them making penult and having a rush they would rather take to C4 than simply cut towards rover. Provides some doubt if they rush to 4-b poorly as to whether you might shoot if they roll back to guard the corner, which might encourage them to approach when they shouldn't.

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Updated 28.i.16
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