Many of the games that are played on pool tables enjoy worldwide popularity. Games like pool, snooker and carom billiards are Olympic sports, enabling professional players to gain a high level of experience and recognition with their skill. Due to so many players trying their hand at the pool table, there are a large number of spectacular trick shots that can be performed in an informal setup. A competition game, however, tends to make even professionals play carefully, restricting their best shots for times when they see no other option.
In in June 11th 1995, a Battle of Champions tournament saw Earl Strickland face off against Efren Reyes over the pool table. The game was tied at 12-12, pressurising both players to try their best to outdo each other. In this situation, “The Magician” Efren Reyes played one of the most famous pool shots of all time.
During the game, Efren Reyes happens to accidentally pot the 8-ball when he attempted to play a safe shot, leaving him with a seemingly impossible shot on the 5-ball which was on the other side of the table, touching the rail. In order to hit the ball, Efren Reyes surveys the table and realises that the only way to hit the ball to bounce the cue ball off both the rails without sinking the cue ball.
Efren Reyes aims and effortlessly makes the shot, sinking the 5-ball using a spectacular 2-rail kick shot that avoided the three other object balls on the table. He even managed to bring the cue ball to the perfect spot on the table from where he can hit the 6-ball and continue the game.
A close observation of the table layout and the difficult position the cue ball was in reveals that performing any other shot would have most likely given the opponent, Earl Strickland a good opportunity to perform a runout. Although Efren Reyes has performed a number of spectacular shots throughout his career, earning himself the nickname “the magician”, the 2-rail kick shot performed in the 1995 Battle of Champions is considered by many to be the best.