During the Masters Championship in 2021, Mark Williams completely reinvented the traditional break-off shot, and safe to say it caused quite a stir!
Rather than a conventional break-off, Williams opted to roll into the pack of reds off the top cushion, causing a different problem for his opponent.
An impressive move from the Welshman has seen a number of other professional players copy him, as they too have seen the benefits from the defensive shot.
Understandably, Williams isn’t pleased about the suggestions that his tactic should be banned.
“The only reason I’m doing it is because I’m sick and tired of leaving a red on and people potting it and making breaks,” he told Eurosport.
“How can they ban a perfectly legal shot?
“Are they going to start banning rolling up to the baulk colours or when the white goes behind the black?”
Rather hilariously, Williams suggested that he should create an alternative break-off shot, if his current approach is banned.
“I’ll think of another break-off. Why don’t I just smash it into the pack and leave all the reds on for everyone – would they be happy with that?”
After calls to ban the shot, an email was sent round to current professional players, asking if it should be allowed.
“I was laughing because I thought it was pathetic we had an email about banning it.
“They’ve sent an email asking players what they think about it. Get on with it. There are a lot of worse things happening than worrying about my poxy break-off.
“Just count how many frames are lost from someone’s break-off. It ain’t going to happen against me.
“The only reason I’m doing it is because I’m sick and tired of leaving a red on and people potting it and making breaks.
“I just thought I had to find a way to stop them doing it, which I have.”
Judd Trump chimed in to give his opinion on the shot, claiming it was too negative for his liking.
“It’s not something I would ever do. It’s so negative. Being so outspoken about how I want to improve the game and make it more exciting, it’s certainly not something I’m a big fan of.”
Despite this, a handful of professional players have followed suit, adding the shot to their arsenal.
In the 2021 World Championship, Ronnie O’Sullivan attempted the break very poorly in his defeat to Anthony McGill.
John Higgins cheekily used the shot against the inventor, Williams himself!
Williams said: “Then John Higgins done it, Ronnie O’Sullivan done it, 10 or more of them were doing it. You’ll soon get sick of leaving a long red!”