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Stroke of Genius

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Video provided by Accu-Stats Video Productions

World Pool Championship

Player: David Alcaide
Event: World Pool Championship
Location: Atlantic City, N.J.
Date: September 18, 2021

David Alcaide has been at the top of Europe's talent pool for more than a decade, but his performance in recent years has him reaching even greater heights. At the resurrected World Pool Championship in 2021, the Spaniard was rolling through the single-elimination bracket, where he eventually faced Austria's Max Lechner in the quarterfinals.

Jumping out to a 3-0 lead in the race-to-11, Alcaide hit a bit of a speed bump when Lechner pushed out to the situation shown in the diagram. Alcaide could see the 2 ball, frozen along the right long rail, but he couldn't pocket it and defensive options weren't exactly intuitive. Fortunately, with a history playing three-cushion along with the pocketed varieties of billiards, Alcaide had a plan. With a clean, controlled stroke, he sent the cue ball into the 2 at the exact angle needed to send it four rails back up behind the 7-9 cluster by the top right corner. The speed control to have the cue ball come to a stop after barely nudging the 9 ball is one thing. The control of the cue ball's angle on its way off the 2 is another. Looking at the diagram, you can see how little margin of error he had in the cue ball's path to safety.

The 2 ball, meanwhile, missed the 5 and headed two rails near the 4 ball, just barely inching out from behind it, which would have made an incredible shot that much more impressive.

But Alcaide had all the firepower he needed in this set. He eventually booked a spot in the semifinals with an 11-4 victory. His tournament would then end at the hands of another Austrian, as he dropped the set to eventual World Pool Champion Albin Ouschan.

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

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