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Stroke of Genius

Presented by PoolDawg.com
Video provided by Accu-Stats Video Productions

June 2012: Chain Reaction

Player: Ralf Souquet
Event: U.S. Open 14.1 Championship
Location: New York, N.Y.
Date: April 15, 2000

THE FINAL of the 2000 U.S. Open Straight Pool Championship matched usual suspect Ralf Souquet against upstart Chin Min-Wai. The lanky Taipei resident scorched an impressive swath through the right side of the bracket, topping Oliver Ortmann, Efren Reyes and Souquet to take the hot-seat. But in the 150-point final, the Kaiser jumped out to an early lead. Chin, though, managed to narrow the gap to 66-61, before missing an impossibly difficult kiss, one so tough it earned him a smattering of applause in failure.

June12_Stroke Souquet then faced the difficult position faced in Diagram 1. With the cue ball in the upper left corner, the German had a direct angle on zero of the 13 balls on the table. Commentator Billy Incardona spied the possibility of a nifty massé kiss shot, sending the cue ball off the short rail and into the bottom side of the 3 to knock the 7 in the corner.

Souquet went in another direction. He lined up the five-ball combination shown here. Unlike standard three- or four-ball combinations seen in straight pool, where the balls neatly line up with a corner pocket among the jumbled pack around the racking area, this set-up called for Souquet's combo to extend three feet from first ball to last. And even knowing the 7 ball was nearly a sure thing, no matter what angle the 3 ball took, Souquet had plenty of variables to deal with.

With a firm stroke and a touch of topspin, Souquet drilled the 14, setting off the chain reaction that left the 7 pocketed. From there, he had a perfect angle on the 2 ball to continue his run, as seen in Diagram 2.

Chin had a chance to respond, and he did - which we'll feature in next month's Stroke of Genius.

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

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