Billiards Digest - Pool's Top Source for News, Views, Tips & More
HomeAbout Billiards DigestContact UsArchiveAll About PoolEquipmentOur AdvertisersLinks

Stroke of Genius

Presented by
Video provided by Accu-Stats Video Productions

Accu-Stats Make-It-Happen 8-Ball Invitational

Player: Earl Strickland
Event: Accu-Stats Make-It-Happen 8-Ball Invitational
Location: Edison, New Jersey
Date: November 10, 2014

Earl Strickland has done just about everything a player can do in his half century in pool — but rarely has he done it by the book. One of pool’s unique characters, the living legend has his own approach to the game. One rack at the 2014 Accu-Stats Make-It-Happen 8-Ball Invitational provided a perfect encapsulation of what makes the Pearl so special. Facing Shane Van Boening in a race-to-10 on a standard 9-foot table, Strickland trailed by a game, 4-3, when he broke the eighth rack. Sinking three solids, he then picked off three more before getting into terrible trouble on the final ball before the potential rack-winning 8. A line of stripes blocked a straight path from the cue ball to the 6, meaning Strickland would have to kick it in the corner pocket. If that weren’t enough, position on the 8 was a tricky proposition. It was near center table, but five stripes were in the area as possible obstacles. The one-rail kick might’ve given him the best chance at sinking the 6, but Strickland opted to go two rails, off the right long rail and then the foot rail, so he could open the cue ball’s angle for position on the 8. This meant the cue ball would need to thinly clip the right side of the 6 instead of the nearly full hit on a one-rail kick. With a touch more than pocket speed, Strickland played the shot perfectly — the cue ball sent the 6 directly into the corner pocket before navigating through the difficult stripes for position on the 8 into the side pocket. He took this rack on his way to a 10-8 victory over Van Boening — a win that was impressive and accompanied by a little of Strickland’s unique style.

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

See Past Shots:

(Check out Accu-Stats’ full library of great shots and amazing matches at