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Stroke of Genius

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Video provided by Accu-Stats Video Productions

World Pool Championship

Player: Jayson Shaw
Event: Mosconi Cup
Location: London, U.K.
Date: Dec. 7, 2021

Now that the sun is setting earlier, the temperatures are dropping, and winter is imminent, the holiday season must be around the corner. For pool, that means it’s the end of another season, so it’s time to celebrate — and there’s no party quite like the Mosconi Cup.

While this year’s transatlantic tilt will be held on American soil for the first time since 2019, this month’s Stroke of Genius took place at last year’s clash. On an opening day that traditionally sees the two sides trying to work themselves into stroke, Team Europe was in a tough spot after dropping the first two matches in the race-to-11 overall competition. But following a 5-2 win by Joshua Fuller over Team USA’s Shane Van Boening, the final doubles match meant Europe could end Day 1 tied or on the wrong side of a 3-1 deficit.

Europe’s Jayson Shaw and David Alcaide jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the race-to-5 set, but the duo had to play safe when facing the layout in the diagram, where the 9 ball blocked direct access to the 3 ball that didn’t have a natural pocket. With Shaw at the table, the Scot had to come up with a way to play safe, either by feathering the object ball with a soft hit or firmly sending the cue ball into the cluster.

With a deft touch, Shaw knocked the 3 ball gently into the 5, while the cue ball went two rails before stopping on the opposite side of the 7. The speed control and angle into the 3 were masterful, helping the European tandem eventually take the match, 5-0, to emphatically even the competition.

While Team USA proved troublesome, Europe eventually ran away to take the cup, 11-6, with Shaw winning MVP honors for the second consecutive year.

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

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