So the only sport I play is pool. However, people sometimes point out that this is a photography blog, not a pool blog, and that is absolutely right. That's why I never write any pool-related posts here. And never will.
If I did ever write about pool, though, I might do what I do for my brother Scott, and pass along links to entertainingly spectacular shots that I run across while viewing old matches on YouTube. I'd never do that here, as I say, but here's an example of something I might send to Scott: in this 2004 9-ball match in Taipei between Jeong Young Hwa and Filipino Efren Reyes, the South Korean has no shot after the break and—at the 21:00 mark—hits a splendid defensive shot (much harder than it looks), leaving the cue ball fully blocked from the solid yellow 1 ball by the striped yellow 9 ball. Reyes, who by rule must make contact with the 1 ball first, does not even have a short-rail bank shot (running the length of the table twice) because there is a blocking ball (the solid green 6) in the way.
What Efren does next is a superb example of why they call him "The Magician" and why many consider him the greatest pool player who ever lived. Watch in awe.
And it's why I propose such shots be called "Efrens":
Ef • ren, n., A pool shot that you're trying for but that can't be made and that no one alive could possibly pull off, but that works anyway.
You'd call it a fluke except he does such things again and again. There are other phenomenal shots in this very match*.
His next shot on the solid blue 2 is routine, but he overruns position on the pink 4 ball (which is why he grimaces in embarrassment). His shot on the 4 is hilarious, passing the cue ball right in the path of the 4 just barely missing it (watch before the shot as he points with his cue to the spot on the table where the two balls might collide). Anticlimax: next, despite his heroics, Efren can't struggle into position, misses the long shot on the solid orange 5, and loses the rack.
But...whew. If you did want to read about pool, somewhere else, that unreal four-rail kick would be something you'd want to see.
*For instance at 38:00 when he massés around the solid orange 5 ball into a triple combination and makes it.
UPDATE: I set up Efren's shot on an empty table and it took me 23 tries to make it. Jeez!
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(To see all the comments, click on the "Comments" link below.)
Featured Comments from:
Jim Simmons: "This has started my day with magic and a smile."
Pete F.: "OK, I'll admit, I enjoyed that."
Michael Roche: "Pity you didn't write about it Mike as I'm a big fan of Efren and would have liked to see the video should you have written about it, which you didn't. Ah well, one has to maintain standards I suppose!!! P.S. feel free to not write about pool anytime you get the urge."
Bill Tyler: "If I had read this piece, which I didn't, or followed the link to the match, which I couldn't have done, since I didn't read the posting, and couldn't have seen the link, I might have compared your occasional off-topic post to the spices I use on my food. They don't have the same flavor as the main part of the dish, but they add something well worth having. Please don't continue not writing about pool, music, or whatever fails to strike your fancy."