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Stroke of Genius

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Video provided by Accu-Stats Video Productions

International 9-Ball Open

Player: Joshua Fuller
Event: Derby City Classic — 9-Ball Division
Location: Elizabeth, Indiana
Date: January 26, 2018

Since its first iteration in 1998, the Derby City Classic has produced its share of memorable moments. Check out this month’s special retrospective on the event for a few of the best, pg. 36. The nine-day slog has players matching up in all types of games in all different settings at all hours of the day. Things tend toward free-wheeling when sleep is minimal and daylight a rare sight.

Last year, Germany’s pool prodigy, Joshua Fuller, met Jason Roberts in the late rounds of the 9-ball event that began with 363 players. At this point, just 13 players remained when the two kicked off their race-to-9. Tied 4-4, Fuller dropped four balls on the break in the ninth rack.

He had an open look on the 2 ball along the right long rail. But the 9 ball, blocking a straight path to the bottom right corner, complicated matters. The distances between the balls and to the pocket made a combination tricky. But safety options weren’t plentiful with only five object balls on the table.

While Accu-Stats commentators Mark Wilson and Jerry Briesath debated Fuller’s options, he lined up for an innovative combination. He decided to bank the 2 directly into the long rail before it clipped the 9 ball. The thinking was, if he missed the shot, he could protect the cue ball by bringing it up-table and leaving space between it and the 2. Also, the 5 ball could be an obstacle to make things difficult for Roberts.

But Fuller wouldn’t need to worry about the defensive aspect to this two-way shot. The 2 ricocheted off the rail and sent the 9 ball directly into the corner pocket for the win. Fuller went on to win the next four racks for a 9-4 victory on his way to a ninth-place finish in the event.

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

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