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Stroke of Genius

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Video provided by Accu-Stats Video Productions

2001 Accu-Stats Invitational 8-Ball Tournament

Player: Roger Griffis
Event: 2001 Accu-Stats Invitational 8-Ball Tournament
Location: Burbank, California
Date: October 26, 2001

This match-up at the 2001 Accu-Stats Invitational 8-Ball Tournament between Roger Griffis and Efren Reyes wasn’t the highest stakes — taking place in the round-robin portion of the six-player event — but it was a rematch significant to Roger Griffis’s original story a decade prior. A longtime road player, he brought his powerful game to the tournament scene in the early 1990s. After finishing runner-up to Reyes at the Sands event in 1990, the burly Griffis blasted the Magician in a rematch at the Hollywood Billiards Open a few weeks later.

Back to 2001, tied 1-1 in the third rack of the race-to-8 set, Griffis started picking his way through solids after a dry break from Reyes. With two object balls remaining, he slightly misplayed position on the 3 ball, letting the cue ball drift too close to the lower right corner pocket. Considering the layout, with Reyes having all seven stripes on the table and few places to hide the cue ball, Griffis opted for a difficult backward cut on the 6.

His plan was to send the 6 into the top right corner, while the cue ball goes straight across table and back, hitting the 8 ball and giving him an angle on the 2. Amazingly enough, Griffis did exactly that, using the perfect amount of draw to send the cue ball along the needed angle to make nearly full contact with the 8 to open up a path to victory. Unsurprisingly, he pocketed the final two balls to take the rack on his way to an 8-6 victory in the match.

When all players had finished their five round-robin matches, Griffis and Reyes were tied for first with 4-1 records. The two played another race-to-8 for the title, but this time Reyes got revenge on his frequent opponent, winning the event by a count of 8-3.

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

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