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Stroke of Genius

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Video provided by Accu-Stats Video Productions

Derby City Classic — One-Pocket Division

Player: Joshua Filler
Event: Derby City Classic — 9-Ball Division
Location: Elizabeth, Ind.
Date: February 1, 2020

Joshua Filler is well beyond labels like wunderkind or preternatural talent. The world champ, at the age of 23, is clearly ready to be a world-beater for the next decade or two. It wasn't surprising, then, when he blasted his way through the first nine rounds of the 2020 Derby City Classic 9-ball division. Unbeaten in the modified double-elimination event, he drew Shane Van Boening in Round 10.

The German proved the importance of the lag by winning it--and then running the first five racks in the race-to-9 against his familiar Mosconi Cup rival. Filler finally let Van Boening out of his chair with a dry break in the sixth rack. The two then traded safeties, leaving Filler in the position shown in the diagram. Back at the table and clearly in stroke, Filler opted for an outright ridiculous position play on the 2 ball along the right long rail.

Hitting the cue ball with plenty of draw and right English, he sank the 1 ball in the bottom corner without a problem. Any shot with seven feet between the cue ball and the object ball isn't exactly easy, but drilling the 1 was the easy part.

What made the shot was when Filler then bent the cue ball's path back toward the right long rail, sending the cue ball between the 6 and 9 balls and into position for the 2 into the top right corner. The confidence and skill to attempt a shot like this is hard to capture – but think about the precision required to send the cue ball at a flat angle to split the 6 and 9.

Unsurprisingly, after taking the first six racks of the match, Filler went on to win the set, 9-2. He topped Dennis Orcollo, 9-4, before losing to Lee Vann Corteza, 11-4, in the final.

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

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