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Stroke of Genius

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Video provided by Accu-Stats Video Productions

Make-It-Happen 8-Ball Invitational

Player: Jayson Shaw
Event: Make-It-Happen 8-Ball Invitational
Location: Edison, N.J.
Date: November 17, 2017

World-Class 8-ball lends itself to pedal-to-the-metal offense, considering defensive options severely limited once a few balls drop off the table. When an international star starts running out, it's often a breakneck run to (and hopefully through) the 8 ball.

The 2017 Accu-Stats' Make-It-Happen 8-Ball Invitational brought six of the world's best players to battle in a round-robin format. In the opening match, world champs Jayson Shaw and Joshua Filler battled in the race-to-10 on a 9-foot Diamond table.

In the first rack, Shaw was on his way through the stripes, when he came up a little short on the 11 ball. As you can see in the diagram, the Scotsman faced an extremely thin cut on the object ball along the top short rail. Not only that, Shaw only had one striped left, meaning he had to play position on the 14, tucked along the other short rail.

The window for position on the 14 was barely cracked open. Shaw had no way of playing position to pocket it in the bottom right corner, considering his angle on the 11 and the line of obstacles strewn over the table. Shaw could play for the 14 in the bottom right, but the 7 ball made that prospect tricky, considering the speed control needed to tuck the cue ball behind it without scratching.

Shaw pocketed the 11 with the cue ball going rail-first. With inside English, he allowed the cue ball to float down-table, eventually grazing the long rail before coming to a stop between the 7 and the corner pocket — with a perfect angle on his final stripe that provided natural position on the 8.

Shaw cleared this rack, but Filler came back to win the set, 10-8. Still, after five rounds of play, Shaw rebounded to win the event — partly due to pulling off shots like this one.

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

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