Billiards Digest - Pool's Top Source for News, Views, Tips & More
HomeAbout Billiards DigestContact UsArchiveAll About PoolEquipmentOur AdvertisersLinks

Stroke of Genius

Presented by
Video provided by Accu-Stats Video Productions

1992 U.S. Open 14.1 Championships

Player: Mike Zuglan
Event: 1992 U.S. Open 14.1 Championships
Location: New York, New York
Date: August 20, 1992

Our entry this month is from the 1992 U.S. Open 14.1 Championships at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York — with Mike Zuglan facing Cicero Murphy in a 150-point match. It's interesting enough to sweat a match from 28 years ago — but Accu-Stats brought Zuglan back to review his performance.

As for the shot, Zuglan found himself in the situation in the diagram right after the break. The cue ball was a half-diamond off the bottom rail, which is not exactly a sweet spot for straight pool. The 8 ball was near the bottom right pocket, but it was high enough along the side rail that prevented a direct cut into that corner.

But this Stroke of Genius occurred between the player's ears more than on the table. In his player review for Accu-Stats, Zuglan remembers the light bulb going on over his head.

"See the 1 ball?" he asked. "It's a dead kiss off the 8 ball on the side rail. It was a perfect kiss — the 8 was just enough off the rail to stop it from double-kissing."

If Zuglan could get the cue ball off the side rail and into the stack, the 1 would be sent off the right side of the 8 ball on its way into the corner. Once the plan was set, his margin for error was surprisingly large. If he makes contact with the 15, he'd be nearly assured of dropping the 1 ball.

"All I had to do was get the cue ball in there off the rail," he said.

That's exactly what he did. The 1 ball obeyed orders, while the rest of the stack broke up, with the cue ball coming to rest around where the 2 ball is sitting in the diagram. (The full post-shot action has been edited in the diagram to emphasize the paths of the cue ball and 1.)

(Video clip provided by Accu-Stats Video Productions.)

See Past Shots:

(Check out Accu-Stats’ full library of great shots and amazing matches at