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Stroke of Genius

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Video provided by Accu-Stats Video Productions

U.S. Open Pool Championship

Player: Albin Ouschan
Event: U.S. Open Pool Championship
Location: Las Vegas, Nev.
Date: April 24, 2019

The jump shot may still be a topic of disagreement among the purists of the game. (Folks who can kick and bank with the best of them may also be against aerial maneuvers.) But short cues are in the cases of the game's best rotation players for the foreseeable future.

At the 2019 U.S. Open Pool Championship at Sin City's Mandalay Bay, the first organized and promoted by Matchroom Multisport, Albin Ouschan was working his way through the one-loss side of the bracket, when he ran into former back-to-back U.S. Open champ Darren Appleton in the 33rd-place match.

In the fourth set, Ouschan broke the rack with a 2-1 lead and buried the 1 and 8 balls. Unfortunately, he had a tricky angle on the 2, forcing him to play safe. Appleton returned with a defensive shot, before a safety battle left Ouschan in the position shown in the diagram.

With the 6 proving to be a tricky obstacle, the Austrian two-time world champion opted to go vertical to start his run. With little more than a diamond between the cue ball and the 2, Ouschan used a quick, firm stroke to pop the cue ball over the blocker. It made nearly full contact with the 2, which sprinted directly toward the top left corner. The cue ball, meanwhile, pulled back toward the footrail, boucning off into a difficult but playable position on the 3.

Making another difficult shot on the 3, Ouschan cleared the rack en route to an 11-7 win over his British rival. But only a round later, Ouschan would be sent packing by eventual U.S. Open winner Joshua Fuller, finishing the event in 25th place.

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

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