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Stroke of Genius

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Video provided by Accu-Stats Video Productions

World Pool Championship

Player: Chris Melling
Event: World Pool Championship
Location: Kielce, Poland
Date: Feb. 3, 2023

Pool nicknames aren't always known for their pinpoint accuracy — sometimes it might sound good or go with a name. But when it comes to Chris Melling, “Magician hits the bullseye.” The English professional is one of the most creative and inventive players, seeing and attempting shots that would seem ridiculous to even his fellow world-beaters.

If you've spent even a few minutes bouncing around YouTube looking for pool highlights, the algorithm has likely led you to Melling's absurd 8-ball clearance from a World Pool Series event a few years back. The internet is known for hyperbole, but it's spot on when calling it “the most unbelievable run-out ever.”

Flash-forward to the 2023 World Pool Championship, where Melling advanced from the group stage to face Aloysius Yapp in the Round of 64. With the two players tied at 7-7 in the race-to-11, Melling approached the table as seen in the diagram. The angle on the 2 ball isn't anything too daunting. The 3-4 cluster, though, is plenty troublesome for deciphering a way through this rack.

With the cue ball naturally angling away from the cluster after contact, Melling needed to rely on some interesting geometry to have a shot on the 3. Loading up on backspin, he punched the 2 into the top right corner, bending the cue ball's path back toward him. It then went across the table and gently broke open the balls, catching the red ball on the right side, sending the cue ball down-table and the 4 to the side rail.

An unbelievable shot of creativity and execution, it wasn't enough for Melling to advance, as he fell to Yapp, 11-8.

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

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