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Stroke of Genius

Presented by PoolDawg.com
Video provided by Accu-Stats Video Productions
July 2008: Reyes’ Cross-Side Bank Break

Player: Efren Reyes
Event: 2000 BCA U.S. Open 14.1 Championships
Date: April 12-16, 2000

You won’t see this ridiculously aggressive cross-side bank break shot in too many straight-pool manuals. And to try it against Mike Sigel, one of the greatest 14.1 players of all time, you’d either have to be crazy ... or Efren Reyes.

This mouth-watering matchup of Hall of Famers occurred in the early rounds of the 2000 BCA U.S. Open 14.1 Championships, held in New York City’s Roseland Ballroom. Sigel came out of semi-retirement for the event, and showed some rust early on. His opening shot in the match was a scratch, and at 15-12 (Reyes’ advantage) he left himself short for a break shot with the 3 ball on the headspot. His subsequent miss left Reyes in the situation diagrammed here.

In Reyes’ parlance, he was “lucky” enough to see the edge of the 3 ball, but couldn’t cut it into the left side pocket. His options were to either play safe on the 3 with a full rack to use as an obstacle (perfectly reasonable), or to try to bank the 3 and get downtable to break open the pack (simply audacious). In hindsight, it’s not too surprising that “The Magician” attempted the latter.

Applying a bit of topspin and a stiff hit, Reyes banked the 3 and watched the cue ball arc to the head rail and then rebound into the foot rail and into the rack. Marveling at Reyes’ daring, Accu-Stats commentator Billy Incardona said, “You either have to have a total disregard for your opponent, or you’re not thinking clearly.”

The third option would be to trust in your own exceptional ability. Reyes promptly ran 42 in the inning, and eventually won his matchup with Sigel, 150-54.

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