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Stroke of Genius

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Video provided by Accu-Stats Video Productions

U.S. Open Pool Championship

Player: Joshua Filler
Event: U.S. Open Pool Championship
Location: Las Vegas, Nev.
Date: April 27, 2019

Pool prides itself on nicknames. Some are ironic, some are funny, some are accurate. Some great players have iconic monikers, some average bangers have noms de plume. Whether you're a fan of the Duchess of Doom or Weenie Beanie, few nicknames are as straightforward and spot-on as ‛Killer‛ for Joshua Filler.

The 24-year-old German looks like a nice young man — and he is — but his amicable personality belies the lethality of his game. Filler can string racks together and make it look easy. He can also pull out highlight-reel shots that leave opponents shaking their heads.

In the final of the 2019 U.S. Open Pool Championship in Las Vegas, he displayed the latter. After running two racks to inch back into the race-to-13 against Wu Jiaqing, 3-2, Filler found himself in the unfortunate spot shown here after banking the 1 in the side. The cue ball drifted down near the headrail, with the 5 blocking a straight path to the 4.

But such an obstacle wasn't enough for Filler to play a safety and hand the table back to Wu. Instead, he opted for a nearly three-quarter-table jump on the 4 ball. With a short, compact stroke that hammered down on the cue ball, he popped the cue ball slightly over the 5, limiting its height and rebound as it crashed into the 4. The object ball split the upper left corner pocket, while the cue ball ricocheted off the footrail and long rail, heading back uptable.

The cue ball came to rest with an awkward but workable angle on the 5 into the side. Filler cleaned up this rack and two more to take a 5-3 lead on his way to an eventual 13-10 win for his first U.S. Open 9-Pool Championship.

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

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