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Stroke of Genius

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Video provided by Accu-Stats Video Productions

World Pool Championship

Player: Carlo Biado
Event: U.S. Open 9-Ball Championship
Location: Las Vegas, Nev
Date: Sept. 18, 2021

It's great when everything goes right, the pockets look like buckets, and the cue ball behaves exactly as it should. But regardless of skill level, players have to make the best of situations where things aren't exactly ideal. Carlo Biado faced such a situation in the semifinal of the 2021 U.S. Open 9-Ball Championship. Facing Naoyuki Oi, the Filipino struggled out of the gate in the race-to-11, eventually falling into an 8-4 deficit. While Oi racked up a pocketing percentage of 92% to this point in the match, Biado's lagged at 86%.

With his margin for error quickly slimming, Biado came to the table in the 13th game to find a tricky angle on the 2 ball, as shown in the diagram to the right. With four object balls downtable and an awkward backward cut on the 2 into the bottom right corner, he needed all of his powerful stroke to keep the cue ball from trouble. Having to raise the butt of his cue to strike the ball near the jaws of the top right pocket didn't help matters.

The shot clock ticked down, beeping its fifth and final time a split second after Biado struck the cue ball with a firm stroke. He powered the 2 ball into the bottom corner as the cue ball bent back toward the headrail on its way to the left long rail. On its way back across the table, the cue ball barely missed the side pocket, catching the rail a half inch from the point. It came to a rest a few inches later, with natural shape on the 4 ball.

Biado kept the momentum after clearing this rack, eventually completing a stunning comeback with an 11-9 victory. He then took the U.S. Open title with another come-from-behind victory, winning the final 10 racks in a 13-8 clinching victory against Aloysius Yapp.

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

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