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The term has also been applied to other activities, such as archery, shooting sports, basketball, whipcracking, darts, tennis, golf, and bowling, but those usages are outside the scope of this article. See specific articles on those sports for more information.
A trick shot (also trickshot or trick-shot) is a shot played on a billiards table (most often a pool table, though snooker tables are also used), which does something with the balls (and often various props) that would seem unlikely or impossible. As an organized cue sports discipline, trick shot competition is known as artistic pool.

Competition formats

Billiards trick shots are the subject of increasing international competition, both amateur and professional. There are world championships, such as the WPA Artistic Pool World Championships and the World Snooker Trickshot Championship, and made-for-TV events, such as Trick Shot Magic and the World Cup of Trick Shots, often televised in both the USmarker and the UKmarker and providing enough prize money that some professional players specialize in the discipline.

The formats vary depending on the competition. Some are purely exhibitions, with a panel of judges scoring subjectively to determine the winner. These often allow the players to make up new tricks with which to challenge competitors, while others have stricter, pre-defined requirements.

Open events like Trick Shot Magic and the World Cup feature head-to-head competition where the players select shots that have strictly outlined requirements specified in a playbook. They are given two attempts to complete the shot within the given parameters, and earn one point for each successful shot. Each player or team gets to select a given number of shots, generally eight or ten, and a winner is declared when one side is mathematically eliminated.

More stringently, artistic pool (see below) has a (three attempts each, in a sliding-scale point system), with precisely outlined parameters, and additional gameplay limitations and requirements.

Artistic pool

Artistic pool trick shot competitions, inspired by the related discipline of artistic billiards, began in 1993 in the US at an amateur level and in 2000 professionally and internationally. They feature a program of 56 tricks to attempt, and include the BCA North American Championship, EPBF European Championship, and WPA World Championship, among others. The tricks are divided into eight "disciplines", including trick/fancy, prop/novelty/special arts, and disciplines for extremes in each of the core cueing techniques. The world governing body for this (eventually Olympic-hopeful ) sport is the WPA Artistic Pool Division, while the largest league and player organization is the US-based Artistic Pool & Trick Shot Association (APTSA). A high-profile proponent of artistic pool is Tom "Dr. Cue" Rossman, a notable professional player and billiards author.

In APTSA competitions, competitors have three chances to successfully perform each trick, earning full points if they are successful on their first attempts and incrementally reduced points for subsequent attempts. Each shot has an associated difficulty rating (also the point value) with a higher rating being more difficult. A preliminary round of 40 shots is performed, and the top players (the number varies depending on the number of competitors, but usually the top 12) proceed into a head-to-head playoff format to determine the winner. Artistic pool also features equipment limitations, and shot requirements (e.g., preclusion of any off-the-table tricks, such as are popular in events like Trick Shot Magic).

Objects used

As with other pool and billiards games, trick shots usually utilize a , one or more , and a cue stick. However, many props can be used in trick shots including bottles, drinking glasses, baskets, coins, ball racks, cue tip chalk, and other billiards- and non-billiards-related equipment. Props are used to change the difficulty of the shot or add aesthetic value. As with artistic billiards pros, trick shot artists often have specialized cue sticks for performing particular types of shots, particularly and massés. .

8 Disciplines of trick shots

  • Trick and/or fancy
Primarily deals with setup shots, multiple ball configurations, and/or a shot where cue ball travels in a "kick" pattern to make final ball(s). May also include "Extreme" cut shots and special skill shots not in other disciplines.
  • Prop/Novelty and Special Arts
Unusual or new shots of any nature, shots with "props", such as cues, bridge(s), rack(s),coin(s), chalk, etc., and shots of a unique or "special" art form, such as wing shots, time shots, "legal" or "illegal" follow-thru shots, push shots, roller coaster technique/waterfall specialties, plus demonstrations of one-handed jack up, behind back, under leg, and more. Referred to as general amusement category.
  • Draw
Basic to advanced with cue ball greater than 1/2" from 1st object ball
  • Follow
Basic to advanced with cue ball greater than 1/2" from 1st object ball.
  • Bank/Kick
Banks meaning to hit object ball(s) into cushion(s), and kicks meaning to hit cue ball into "x" number of cushions first and then to object ball(s), etc.
  • Stroke
Cue ball less than 1/2" from 1st object ball(s), for draw or follow, plus accuracy position shots, speed control shots, or unique "stroke" shots.
  • Jump
Any shot utilizing "jump" technique, other than "Prop" shots with bridge(s), and some special "Stroke" shots.
  • Masse
Half and full masse -- Cue elevations over 10 degrees.

Common trick shots

  • "Machine gun" (1): A line of object balls are placed in a row about a ball width away from a , and the cue ball is shot into the space between the balls and the cushion so as to reverberate between them while traveling and hit each one of the object balls in series, issuing a machine gun-like sound.
  • "Machine gun" (2): A line of object balls are placed in a row along but not against a cushion, and are then shot directly with the cue, one after another, around the table, each contacting three cushions, and into the same pocket. The trick requires carefully timing the shots, so that newly-shot balls travel between balls already in motion
  • "Machine gun" (3): A line of object balls are placed on the table. The cue ball is shot into a pocket with deadweight and the object balls are all potted into the same pocket directly one after the other with the cue, while the cue ball is still traveling. Done right, the cue ball is the first ball hit and the last ball falling.
  • "The dollar bill shot": This shot uses a banknote, typically a US$100 bill, placed on the short rail near the corner pocket as a target landing zone. The cue ball is banked off of eight or nine cushions and should land with the ball's edge over the banknote. This shot is used as a tiebreaker on Trick Shot Magic with the competitor landing closest to the bill winning the match.
  • "Up and in": Originated by World Trick Shot Champion Mike Massey; the cue ball is jumped off the table into a cowboy boot on the floor. Also referred to as "The boot shot".
  • "The butterfly": Six object balls are grouped in the middle of the table in a butterfly shape; in a single shot, each ball drops into a different pocket in the billiards table.
  • "Just showing off": Five object balls are clustered near the left side pocket and a hanging object ball in the lower right corner. The cue ball is sent in to the cluster pocketing all five balls and then travels 3 rails to pocket the hanging object ball. This shot was made famous by Steve Mizerak in a beer commercial in the 1970s.


Famous Trick Shots

  • “The Snake Shot”: Fifteen object balls are placed across the table. The 15 ball is the first and it is placed 6 inches away from the corner pocket. Each successive ball is placed 3 inches behind the previous one in a winding chain. Each combination of balls beginning with the 1 and the 2 should aligned so they aim toward the third ball on each side of them. The cue ball must be set up in position to make a straight line with the first 2 ball combination. When the one ball is hit should cause a chain reaction as each two ball set hits each other.


  • "Up and in": Originated by World Trick Shot Champion Mike Massey; the cue ball is jumped off the table into a cowboy boot on the floor. Also referred to as "The Boot Shot".


  • "Just showing off": Five object balls are clustered near the left side pocket and a hanging object ball in the lower right corner. The cue ball is sent in to the cluster pocketing all five balls and then travels 3 rails to pocket the hanging object ball. This shot was made famous by Steve Mizerak in a beer commercial in the 1970s.


The Top 7 Trick Shot Artists

  • Paul Gerni
  • Mike Massey
  • Andy "The Magic Man" Segal
  • Tom Rossman also known as "Dr. Cue"
  • Nick Nikolaidis
  • Stefano Pelinga
  • Bogdan Wołkowski as "The Wizard"


In popular culture

Various trick shot competitions (sometimes with footage dating back years) remain among the most dominant of ESPN's (sparse) pool-related programming, and the World Snooker Trickshot Championship has enjoyed notable popularity in the UK. Trick shots appear frequently in films and television (perhaps most outlandishly when in BBC Two's hit sci-fi comedy series Red Dwarf, the character Dave Lister uses his pool-playing skills to play a trick shot at an astronomical level in order to save the ship, using a thermonuclear device as a "cue" and planetary bodies as "balls", in the episode "White Hole"). The British TV Game Show Big Break, which ran from 1991 to 2002, featured a round each week called "Virgo's Trick Shot". John Virgo would demonstrate a trick shot which the player would then attempt to copy. The show also aired 8 trick shot specials between 1995 and 1999. In the 2003 movie Poolhall Junkies, there was a wager between a law student's position in the opponents' firm. To bet against that if he missed, our hero is saved by Christopher Walken accepts with his Mercedes and it's "can't get lost" system. Actor Mars tries the shot one-handed and drains it securing his girl a internship.

Links to Videos

  •  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fLtAsLefizE
  •  http://www.play89.com/PoolTrickShotsVincentFacquet.html
  •  http://www.trickshottim.com/trick-shot-index.php


See also



References

External links




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