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Stroke of Genius

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Video provided by Accu-Stats Video Productions

World Pool Championship

Player: Shane Van Boening
Event: Mosconi Cup
Location: Las Vegas, Nev.
Date: Nov. 30, 2022

The Mosconi Cup is the unquestioned highlight that ends each year of the pool calendar. The talent, the atmosphere, the history — purists may quibble with the format, but you can't deny the end product. Considering the qualification process for many of the 10 spots on the two teams is now a year-long slog, the competition opens in a slightly sadistic format for players who are looking to get loose and find their strokes. The team match, with each team rotating through its quintet of players, is antithetical to rhythm.

At last year's event, held in Las Vegas at Bally's, the stop-and-start format of the debut race-to-5 didn't present much of a problem to Shane Van Boening. The American star, making his 16th appearance (putting him just one behind all-time leader Johnny Archer), came to the table in the first game after a loose safety from Team Europe's Jayson Shaw.

With the 3 and 4 balls tied up near the center of the table and the cue ball nearly butted up to the head rail, Van Boening didn't have any clear options. But the two-ball cluster was angled in just the perfect way where he could confidently play a three-way offensive shot. He could hope for the 3 to carom off the 4 and into the side pocket, the 4 to drop in the bottom right corner in a combo with the 3 ball, or both. Not surprisingly from the reigning world champion, Van Boening drilled both balls, all while sending the cue ball to the right long rail in perfect position on the 5.

Team USA went on to win the first point of the Mosconi Cup, 5-3, but the Europeans roared back to take the title, 11-7. While Shaw opened the door for his opponent's great shot, he recovered to win three singles matches.

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

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