2009 World Cup of Trick Shots - Semifinal #2
USA Shot #1 USA - 0 Europe - 0
Team USA opened up with Andy Segal picking this classic jump shot with the twist being that it had to be performed one-handed. The cue ball had to clear a row of 7 balls and hit the combination perfectly to pocket one of the balls in the side and another in the corner. Segal couldn't get enough hang time on his attempts, hitting the last blocker ball in the row. Ralph Eckert took the attempt for Team Europe, but was also unable to score the point.
Europe Shot #1 USA - 0 Europe - 1
Eckert came back with something slightly more classical, a dipsy doodle, through the window, bank shot. The cue ball banks the first object ball cross side, then caroms into the rail and kicks back out, curving through the two ball gap between the blocker balls and pocketing the hanging ball in the corner pocket. Eckert masterfully guided the cue ball through the window for the point. Bruce Barthelette, on the other hand, wasn't able to duplicate the feat.
USA Shot #2 USA - 1 Europe - 1
Barthelette's challenge for the USA also put together a few different skills. The first cue ball sends the second cue ball around the table three rails and then draws back to pocket a ball in the corner pocket. Meanwhile, while the second cue ball is still moving, it's jumped through a box to pocket a ball in the other corner pocket. Unfortunately, neither Barthelette for the USA nor Nick Nikolaidis for Europe was able to make the shot.
Europe Shot #2 USA - 1 Europe - 2
Nikolaidis decided to try a different kind of jump shot. Here, the cue ball hops into the object ball causing the object ball to jump over a couple of rows of blocker balls and into the corner pocket. It's a tougher variation on a shot where the object ball is just jumped out of a rack; this shot requires a bit more power though. Nikolaidis had no issues flexing his muscle though, easily making the shot. Barthelette subbed in for Segal on this challenge and the move paid off as he was able to get the point.
USA Shot #3 USA - 2 Europe - 3
Keeping with the jump theme, Segal went for a high jump instead. The cue ball is jumped over standing racks, down the table, hitting the helper rack to pocket the hanger in the corner pocket. Segal popped it clean over for the easy point. Nikolaidis subbed in for Eckert on Europe's attempt, grazing the racks on his way over, but still completing the shot, keeping Europe's one point advantage.
Europe Shot #3 USA - 2 Europe - 4
Returning to something more elegant, Eckert picked this shot, the Half Butterfly. It takes half of the Butterfly shot, but also makes the cue ball go around 3 rails to pocket a hanging ball in the corner pocket. Eckert beautifully executed the shot. Segal had to take the shot for the US, but couldn't get it to go.
USA Shot #4 USA - 2 Europe - 4
This novelty shot was team USA's next challenge. Barthelette tried the Combination Wing Shot, rolling two balls down the table and hitting a combination shot while both are still rolling. Unfortunately, he couldn't get the combo to go, but Europe was unable to take advantage as Eckert failed as well.
Europe Shot #4 USA - 3 Europe - 5
Adding more variety into the shot selections, Nikolaidis challenged with his resistance draw stroke shot. The cue ball and five object balls are lined up on the short rail. Shooting into the line of balls, they are pocketed in the corner pocket with the help of a rack while the cue ball hops over the bridge across the table, drawing back and spinning around the table three rails, finally hitting the helper rack to pocket the hanging ball in the corner pocket. Nikolaidis smoothly hit it to keep the pressure on the USA. Segal was up to the task however, barely nudging the last ball in, but not letting Europe extend their lead.
USA Shot #5 USA - 4 Europe - 5
Segal challenged back with this creative shot. A pyramid of balls is built inside a rack, with three balls stacked vertically at the top. The middle ball is hit first and the top ball is hit as it falls and both go into the corner pocket while the rest of the pyramid remains undisturbed. Segal showed his quick stroke, shooting both balls in quick succession. Nikolaidis didn't quite live up to his nickname "Quick Nick" on this shot though, and the US cut the deficit to one.
Europe Shot #5 USA - 4 Europe - 6
Going a little more extreme, Nikolaidis picked this jump-masse shot. The cue ball pockets an object ball in the corner pocket, then jumps over a row of chalks and off the far rail. It masse's back to catch two more rails, finally hitting a helper rack and pocketing another ball in the adjacent corner pocket. Nikolaidis smashed it as the cue ball danced around the table, making the shot. Barthelette, on the other hand, wasn't so lucky as the USA fell behind by two points again.
USA Shot #6 USA - 4 Europe - 6
Team USA teamed up for this version of the Thunder and Lightning shot introduced in 2009. Here, one player juggles the cue ball around the table three rails while speed shooting five balls into the side pocket. This is done twice. The cue ball is juggled a third time two rails and the teammate jumps the cue ball across the table, pocketing a ball underneath the 8 ball pillow in the corner pocket. Segal, while quick, hit the cue ball too softly for Barthelette to get the proper angle on the jump shot, leaving the door open for Europe. However, they were unable to take advantage of the opening.
Europe Shot #6 USA - 6 Europe - 3
Falling back on to a less-involved shot, Eckert chose this spot shot squeeze for his next challenge. Here, the first object ball is on the spot with another frozen directly behind it, as may come up in a game where you spot balls. The cue ball is behind the headstring and is hit into the first object ball causing it to squeeze into the corner pocket. Eckert and Segal both came close, but were unable to sink it.
USA Shot #7 USA - 4 Europe - 6
Needing to make up some points fast, team USA went with this crazy multiple jump shot. There are three sets of balls: the first is a set of three, the second is a set of two, and the third is a single ball. Each set is jumped through a spinning rack and into the corner pocket. Barthelette got unlucky as he got the triple jump through the rack, but one of them popped off the table. Nikolaidis hit the triple jump, but Eckert was unable to convert the double as both teams ultimately failed in picking up a point.
Europe Shot #7 USA - 4 Europe - 7
Trying to at least clinch a tie, Nikolaidis chose this ambidexterous jump shot, consisting of six one-handed jumps over stacks of poker chips into the side pocket, alternating left-handed and right-handed and all done within 18 seconds. He quickly mowed through the shot, clinching the tie. With the pressure on, Barthelette came up for the USA but was unable to make the shot, giving Europe the victory and a point heading in to the finals.
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