Here is the table layout: Ok.. I couldn't get the 9ft table to work at www.pool.bz so this is a bar table layout, and I actually hate how the table comes over now.. I'm sorry they are so small now.
As you know... I always try to shoot off of the 5 ball. Kind of my thing. I like the brightness of the ball and can focus on it really well. First line up balls from the middle diamond to the middle of the corner pocket exactly one ball width away from the rail. The number of balls varies with with size table you are playing on. Every ball in this line NEEDS TO BE FROZEN to each other. Once they are all in a nice straight line... you are going to move the first two balls out a little further from the rail to create a sort of 'funnel' for the cue ball. The last ball in the line needs to be a little off center also, but this ball can not be too far off center or it will kick the ball next to it into the 'make ball'.
Next, place two balls, about a chalk width apart from each other, surrounding the first diamond on the short rail. In the above picture this is the 5 ball and 8 ball. Don't forget to put a ball in the pocket ... I watched a player once do a similar shot to this at The Masters, they forgot their make ball and hit the shot. No points. The shot was good too, but the player was not rewarded and had to continue on to his second attempt. Aaahhhem... we won't mention names.
The cue ball placement in this shot makes or breaks it. This isn't just a force follow shot... you need to FIRST hit the 5 ball, clear it out, and THEN hit the 8 ball clearing it out... AND THEN your cue ball will carom and skid down the rail into the line of balls. This angle is critical. if too steep, the cue ball will come off the rail to sharply. If the angle is too shallow, it might not clear out the 8 ball or not enter the line of balls.
Do not crush this shot. Hit this too hard and it just doesn't flow. You don't get massive force follow by using your muscles, you get it by a smooth stroke at the top of the ball. This goes in your game also. If you notice even when you are hitting the ball hard and you aren't getting follow - it's probably because you are jamming your stroke. Let it flow. LOVE the ball. Don't hate it.
This shot looks hard... but trust me... a few tries and you'll be close. A few more and you'll get it.
Now.. let's step it up to the harder Machine Gun Masse shot:
Cue ball gets placed on the long rail at the middle diamond. Three balls are frozen to it toward the corner pocket on the rail. I use the 1,2,3, ball for the balls next to the cue ball on the rail. I think it's a trick shot artist thing. But notice... the 5 ball is in the mix :) You need the four ball next to the one ball. Frozen. From the 4 ball, a line of balls is frozen to it all the way to the side pocket. Every ball is frozen to the next and EXACTLY a balls width away from the rail. You get this exact width away from the rail by placing balls along the rail as you are making the 'machine line' and removing them after the balls are tapped into place.
Tapped. Not 'pound the shit out of', TAP. If you want a ball to stay EXACTLY where you put it (sometimes the cloth already has an imperfection or is flattened already and the ball will roll from where you put it), you need to hold the ball in place and TAP the top of the ball. This makes a slight indent that is very temporary in the cloth and the ball will 'settle' into this 'divot'. You've all seen the players that take the 8 ball and pound the shit out of the head ball in the rack because they can't get the ball to stay on the spot. THIS IS SOOOOO WRONG. DO NOT be this person. A small light tap is all that is needed. Sometimes a small light tap twice.. but you get my meaning.
Again... don't forget to place your make ball in the side pocket. Now elevate your cue and hit the cue ball on the 'edge' behind and left. This is so hard to describe. You know where the cue ball sits on the rail. As you are looking straight down on it (as per the above set up picture) you are going to hit the right and slightly down (toward the rail) edge of the cue ball. Stand at the table and try to get my perspective. Hayner and a lot of other players put their leg up on the table and bridge off their leg, so their view of this set up is slightly different from what I just described. (To see pictures of this move on to my blog about bridges :)
Me? I'm short and just old school air bridge and hit the snot out of the ball. Oh. Yes. You do indeed need to hit this shot. A masse stroke is different from other strokes you use on the pool table. Depending on your grip type, you throw or use the weight of the cue to make the stroke, or you use a little more 'arm' and stroke down not moving your shoulder. I guess truly you don't have to hit the crap out of this shot, but it sounds much harder than other shots because yes indeed, your cue comes through the ball and slams into the slate... making a well known 'BAM' noise that every single pool hall owner can recognize. Over loud music. Over turning around to get someone a beer. Over outside grabbing a smoke. TRUST ME.. you will be caught. So unless you have the prior authorization to bang up some pool hall owner's tables... do this only at home.
This shot is harder than the first, but totally within your wheelhouse if you try. I know Hayner is the exception to almost every single person I've ever seen pick up a cue... He listens. He doesn't question when being told something mechanically new. He thinks. He tries... over and over. Within a week of meeting him.. and the 1st day he ever tried a masse stroke, I had him hitting this shot. He got it on his 3rd try. He can step away from the table and not play for months and he can pick up a cue and hit this shot within 3 tries all day. Once you get this shot... you have it. Forever.
Of COURSE I have a pic of Hayner's first make on this shot. ;) Click.
Ok. I rarely do this. But wanna' see me making this shot??? Ok. Ok. Twist my arm. Here's a link to the shot on the Golden Cue youtube account.