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A Walk Through
By Mika Immonen
On the short list of the 21st century's greatest, the Iceman won the 2009 World 10-Ball Championship. And like Appleton, Immonen has won back-to-back U.S. Open titles, his in 2008-2009, in addition to the World Pool Championship and a host of other international titles.
My break was improving toward the end of the tournament, although it still wasn't anything amazing. Mostly, I was taking advantage of opportunities, all while committing very few unforced errors.
It's extremely important to stay in line early in the rack, because of all the traffic on the table. In this case, I didn't have too much trouble. The only shot that was close to running short was position on the 6, as you can see in Diagram 2. With the 8 ball so close, I didn't want an angle that would make the cue ball run into the 8. I knew if I was close to straight-in on the 6, I could draw back for a nice angle on the 7.
After I made the 9, I finally relaxed a little and pumped my fist; I knew I was one shot from victory. At the same time, I had to remember not to rush. You need to have a bit of humility while still being confident. That way, you can stay focused.
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Since 1978, Billiards Digest magazine has been the pool world’s best source for news, tournament coverage, player profiles, bold editorials, and advice on how to play pool. Our instructors include superstars Nick Varner and Jeanette Lee. Every issue features the pool accessories and equipment you love — pool cues, pool tables, instruction aids and more. Columnists Mike Shamos and R.A. Dyer examine legends like Willie Mosconi and Minnesota Fats, and dig deep into the histories of pool games like 8-ball, 9-ball and straight pool.
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