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Stroke of Genius

Presented by PoolDawg.com
Video provided by Accu-Stats Video Productions
October 2010: Mighty Draw

Player: Steve Mizerak
Event: 1992 U.S. Open 14.1 Championship
Date: August 20, 1992

SAYING STEVE Mizerak was a powerful player is like pointing out that a pool table's got six pockets - so obvious it's not worth mentioning. But in case any spectators at the 1992 U.S. Open 14.1 Championship needed to be reminded of the big man's even bigger stroke, the Mighty Miz provided this display.

Trailing Johnny Archer, 112-104, in a 150-point match, Mizerak dropped a ball in the side pocket to get shape on his key ball (the 10), which was headed for the same destination. But the cue ball drifted a bit too far, leaving the Hall of Famer dead straight-in on the 10 ball.

Mizerak might have been able to power the 10 into the side with draw, cheating the pocket a bit to produce the necessary angle for the cue ball to pull back into position for his break shot on the other half of the table. This is what commentator Nick Varner, himself well versed in escaping danger with a bit of creativity, expected to happen.

But Mizerak had a better plan.

He powered up with lots of draw. But instead of cheating the pocket, Mizerak yanked the cue ball straight back toward the bottom rail. The compliant cue ball then rolled off the long rail and missed the 1 ball by a hair on its way to perfect position for the break shot.

No doubt a sublime shot, this masterpiece exemplified what made Mizerak such a great player. The power to draw the cue ball two rails is one thing. Having the ability to guage and control such power is a whole different animal.

Mizerak eventually took the lead, though he'd give his opponent other chances. Finally, Archer mishandled an unremarkable break shot, and Mizerak closed out the match, 150-121.

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

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