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July 2011: Bank the Break
Player: Mike Sigel
Event: Predator World Straight-Pool Championships
Date: Oct. 9, 2010
MAYBE NOT the case with every entry in the Stroke of Genius catalog, but there's bound to be one or two shots that can be dismissed as lucky. No matter how much talent the Efrens and Earls of the world posses, a lot of things have to go right for a creative shot to go from daring to death defying.
Well, this month we'd like to flip things around a bit. With this creative break shot at the World Straight Pool Championship in 2010, Mike Sigel was more unlucky than anything. Trailing Stephan Cohen, who was the reigning champ at the time of this 200-point match, Captain Hook was looking to climb his way out of the 24th rack of the match. Spraying balls into the pockets without a clear choice for a break ball, Sigel eventually had to try for pinpoint position on the 7 ball. The only problem, as you can see in the diagram, was that he ended up near straight-in on it.
Left without much of an alternative, Sigel opted to bank the 7 ball back into the lower left corner pocket, creating enough of an angle for the cue ball to greet the foot rail on its way toward the back of the rack. He drilled the shot exactly as planned, with the 7 ball cleanly dropping in the pocket as the cue ball jumped off the rail and collided with the 9 ball.
The 1, 6 and 8 balls broke away from the stack, but the cue ball cozied near the 1 against the long rail. Sigel was forced to attempt the table-length cut on the 6 ball, which he then missed. From there, Cohen assumed control of the match, took the final 35 points, and walked away with a 200-143 victory.
While we're in no place to reprimand a Hall of Famer like Sigel, but maybe if he didn't get himself into this situation in the first place...
(Video clip provided by Accu-Stats Video Productions.)
(Check out Accu-Stats’ full library of great shots and amazing matches at www.accu-stats.com)
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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