Hi, Rekoons. I think you probably won't be too surprised at my photograph. From all I can see, our tables should play very similarly to each other. Mine is not a standard table by any means, very unusual manufacturer for a snooker table, Brunswick, Balke, Collender, from nearly 100 years ago. American standards were different than the British standards back in those days and so this table was originally designed for balls of 2-1/8" diameter (rather than the slightly smaller historic British diameter of 2-1/16". The shapes of the cushion rubber was different than modern style and pointed rather than the flat face of British rubber. I understood nothing about this when I purchased that table and it was my dream to recreate the playing surface that I knew from the time I spent in England in my youth. Fortunately, the table fitter who installed my table originally was quite possibly the best table fitter on the North American continent at the time, the late, great Bobby Graham of Toronto. He had a full machine shop and the skills needed to modify my cushion rails to accept the "proper" Northern Rubber cushions. This was quite a massive undertaking and this along with a number of other personal modifications I have made to my table over the years, means that it is fair to say my snooker table is rather unique in all the world. Along with that however, I believe it is also fair to say that if Steve Davis were to ever happen into my club one day for some reason, he would find the actual table surface to be strangely familiar and very reminiscent of the tables that he won all of his World Championships on back in the 1980's. Suffice to say I am quite pleased with the state of my equipment and would now have a hard time settling for anything else.
So here is my comparative picture. The track lines of the ball running along cushion are very faint on my cloth so I added the straight edge I use to draw the baulk line along with a ball for reference. I also added a blue line on the other cushion so it is easier to see that the intersection point of the centers of two balls each coming down the adjacent cushion (in other words, the contact point of the bottom of the ball with the table surface) would be well above the fall of the pocket, probably about 3/4" out or so. It appears yours would be about the same. The club table on the other hand, this corresponding point would occur just about exactly at the actual fall of the pocket.
My table is originally templated using the official WPBSA templates from 2006. (That is the date that I replaced my cushion rubbers. Prior to that, my table played rather loose to the late, great Mr. Graham's personal templates, which of course played much easier. After all, he made his living setting up club tables much closer to your picture on the left.) I agree with your assessment that when I watch professional tournament play, occasionally a ball will fall that I am quite certain would not have dropped on my table under any circumstance. This does make me wonder if the standards have loosened a bit since the 2006 date of my template shape/size.
You are correct, it is extremely difficult to run a ball down the cushion and there is not and never will be a way to do this easily. That is no reason to be afraid of attempting these shots however. You just need to learn when and how to attempt it. Speeds and spins are what allows a ball running the cushion to drop. To have the best chance to drop, the object must be played strictly at pocket weight. To be clear, by "pocket weight", I mean that if the surface remained flat and there was no hole for the ball to drop into and no cushion on the other side to stop the ball rolling, then you strike the object with such power that it will ONLY roll past the hole, say, about 3 to 6 inches. Of course, that means if you miss the pot, you WILL leave a sitter right there in the jaws of the pocket for your opponent to steal away. If you strike stronger than that, yes, you are correct, the object will strike the rubber on the far side of the pocket and nearly certainly have enough power left to bounce away without falling.
So why and when would you ever do this? It obviously comes with great risk to even attempt to pot an object ball touching the Black cushion at a distance of perhaps halfway to Black spot (call it 18 inches). It depends on your confidence in several ways. If you are playing a Red like this, then obviously DO NOT do it if the frame is on the line because the score is close. But if your opponent needs snookers, then why not try it? Or even if he doesn't need snookers yet but you feel your score is high enough that he will not catch you even if you give him an easy opener in the jaws, then try it. Played this way, you should start making these more often than 5 percent. I would put myself at 20 to 25 percent for this type shot. Still a low percentage, but worth trying when you feel the frame is safe. And again to be clear, I do not mean that I will pot the ball 20/25 percent when I face this situation. By far, most of the time that I face this situation, the frame is not safe, and I will not be foolish enough to attempt the pot. I will either play something different, or else I will play it strong (not pocket weight) knowing I will almost definitely miss but Red will bounce out and White will go safe. I will pot 20/25 percent when there is no risk whatsoever so I just go ahead and try it. When you watch the pros, they will nearly always leave that particular Red along the Black cushion until last. They will keep coming out for the Reds in the Pink/Black area first, then play that one along the cushion when snookers are required by their opponent. And they nearly always make it. So why don't they play it earlier? They nearly always make it anyway so why not play for it sooner? Confidence. The opponent is on the ropes needing snookers, balls just start dropping easier. That is certainly true in my game and probably yours as well. So play that ball when there isn't much risk to it and you will learn how to do it.
If a Red is on the Black cushion closer to the pocket, say 8 or 12", then you can still play at it but don't risk it at pocket weight in a tight frame. You have to play it stronger, plan on getting White out to Blue or Baulk so there is no chance of leaving the Red hanging. In a case like this, your best chance to pot involves three things: 1) This is much easier if the ball is actually in physical contact with the cushion. If it is just close to the cushion, but not actually touching the cloth, it is much more difficult. 2) Put a touch of running side on the White. Not too much or you will need to compensate for the White's curve as it travels which of course makes the pot even more difficult. And for the same reason, keep your cue as absolutely level as possible. Just a slight elevation of the cue will throw White off the needed line. 3) Figure on striking the cushion ever so slightly first before the White contacts the object. I mean a tiny amount first, like perhaps 1/16". Most people try to hit both the cushion and the object at exactly the same time. That is admirable but chances are, it is not ever going to happen. Think of it this way.....hitting both ball and cushion at exactly the same time is very, very, very specific. Like throwing darts and hitting the double-bull, right? Not even close! Imagine that inside the double-bull, there is one very tiny green fiber surrounded by the rest of the red fibers of the double bull. And THAT is what you are trying to hit. Not gonna happen. Snooker is not as precise as we make it out to be. There is plenty of room for error. So if you are trying to hit EXACTLY the ball and the cushion at EXACTLY the same time, like the green fiber, it probably ain't gonna happen. So if you are not precise and you hit the ball first just a microsecond before the cushion, you missed the pot. BUT, if you hit the cushion first a microsecond before the ball, think about what happens.....the White continues traveling in the same direction as it sinks into the rubber cushion. And of course that means it hits the object ball just that microsecond later and very probably knocking it close enough to the correct direction to fall in the hole. If you hit the ball first even by just that microsecond, it will bounce off the cushion and away from the pocket. Every. Single. Time.
I am very happy to know that you are looking into these very minute details. It is exactly the same sorts of things that I have been studying quite closely for well over a decade now. As I said, my table was originally a lot looser than it is today. And I still was not a particularly good player. But part of the problem was that I didn't realize that I was not a particularly good player. The balls seemed to fall into the holes often enough so I was quite happy in my blissful ignorance. Since my table has been playing to proper standards, my game has been improving by leaps and bounds. A tighter table tells me exactly where my problems are and what I need to do to correct the flaws. Stick with it, it is well worth it.