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Stroke of Genius

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Video provided by Accu-Stats Video Productions

World Pool Championship

Player: Skyler Woodward
Event: Mosconi Cup
Location: London, U.K.
Date: Dec. 8, 2021

Being a pool player from Kentucky means a bit more than where you call home. The Ohio Valley, including parts of Indiana, Ohio and Tennessee, is the spiritual home of bank pool. A regional discipline that sees the world’s best give it a whirl thanks to the Derby City Classic division, banks is a game that pool players from the area are simply assumed to be proficient in.

Sure, at the professional level, every player can drill a standard bank shot, but those who grew up in the game might have an edge when it comes to taking on banks that others might eschew, particularly in pressure situations. Such skill was on display at the 2021 Mosconi Cup in London. With the race-to-11-matches event tied, 3-3, Team USA put up Skyler Woodward and Shane Van Boening in a doubles set against Jayson Shaw and Albin Ouschan. Tied at 3-3 in the race-to-5, Woodward faced a difficult layout with the 3 ball along the long rail and the cue ball a half-diamond from the opposite side pocket.

Woodward had the slightest of windows to bank the 3 cross-corner, into the bottom left corner in the diagram to the right, but he had to thread a needle between the 7 and 8 balls. With a firm stroke, he did just that, splitting the pocket with the 3, while the cue ball slowly rolled up-table, going two rails for perfect position on the 4-9 combo that Van Boening pocketed for the rack.

The Americans went on to win the set, 5-4, though Team Europe eventually retained the Mosconi Cup, with an 11-6 win. While not victorious, Woodward spent another year performing well while representing his country, and with this shot, representing where he grew up.

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

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