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September 2008: Frank’s Killer Kick at Derby City
Player: Troy Frank
Event: 1999 Derby City Classic
Date: Jan. 30, 1999
Depending on your opponent, sometimes the best play is the aggressive shot. And hopefully you’re in a groove and feeling confident. That was the situation in which Troy Frank found himself while playing Efren Reyes in the final of the 1999 Derby City Classic’s 9-ball division.
This month’s entry into our compendium of incredible shots actually could be considered a two-fer. Frank’s first eye-popping shot in the last rack required some planning, but the second was a surprise to everyone.
Frank streaked through the Derby 9-ball brackets on the wings of devastating play. The 28-year-old house pro and road player from just outside Canton, Ohio, wasn’t intimidated by his world-champion foe in the final.
“I had the speed of the table down all day,” he said. “I felt very confident playing Efren.”
Leading 6-4 in the race-to-7 match, Frank had the option of pushing out or playing safe on the layout diagrammed here — both less-than-desirable options against the kicking wizard Reyes. So, Frank lined up the kick on the 2 ball — to the consternation of the Accu-Stats commentators calling the match — and calmly nailed it in the corner.
The cue ball traveled three rails and nudged the 4 for position on the 3. Frank planned to pocket the ball in the bottom-left corner, figuring it could pass the nearby 9 ball.
“The pockets were tight, and if I tried to hit the 3 thin, I might have missed,” he said. “I just didn’t expect the 9 to go in.”
Indeed, the 3 hit the 9 more fully than expected, knocking the yellow stripe uptable and into the left corner for the title.
(Check out Accu-Stats’ full library of great shots and amazing matches at www.accu-stats.com)
Since 1978, Billiards Digest magazine has been the pool world’s best source for news, tournament coverage, player profiles, bold editorials, and advice on how to play pool. Our instructors include superstars Nick Varner and Jeanette Lee. Every issue features the pool accessories and equipment you love — pool cues, pool tables, instruction aids and more. Columnists Mike Shamos and R.A. Dyer examine legends like Willie Mosconi and Minnesota Fats, and dig deep into the histories of pool games like 8-ball, 9-ball and straight pool.
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