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Stroke of Genius

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Video provided by Accu-Stats Video Productions

2001 Accu-Stats 8-Ball Invitational

Player: Efren Reyes
Event: 2001 Accu-Stats 8-Ball Invitational
Location: Burbank, Calif.
Date: October 26, 2001

One of the underappreciated aspects of pool is the "discussions" that often arise from one player's approach to a specific shot or layout of the table. For a game with a nearly infinite number of in-game situations, every player, opponent, teammate or railbird seems to know the right way to get through a rack. This month's Stroke of Genius reminds it's safe to assume Efren Reyes's approach at the table is always correct, if unconventional at times. At the 2001 Accu-Stats 8-Ball Invitation in Burbank, Calif., a round-robin event with six top pros, the Filipino legend was down, 7-5, to Johnny Archer in the race-to-8 format. Reyes opened the rack and began picking off the solids, all the while knowing the 8 ball sat nearly surrounded by stripes near the foot spot. The commentators had a few guesses for which ball Reyes would use to get position on the game-winner, but he surprised everyone when he left himself the shot shown in the diagram. The 2 ball was sitting a foot from the top left corner, making two-rail position a possibility for the 8 ball in the right side pocket. Instead, Reyes played the cue ball off four rails with perfect speed, having it bounce off the foot rail and stop in line with the 8 ball and the side pocket. Amazingly enough, Reyes missed the gimme for the game — though Archer would respond with his own miss for what would have been a match-clinching 8 ball. Reyes returned to the table, took this rack and the next two to complete the comeback. Not only that, the Magician ended up winning the event in a playoff — a victory that never would have happened had Reyes abandoned conventional wisdom for this month's spectacular position play.

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

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