Gold Crown IV
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Sorto Rotation - Perfect Runout with cliff-hanger ending
For the first time ever, recorded on video!
Something extraordinary happened at FastMikie's Fun House today. And I got it on video! Tony Sorto ("El Maestro") did in fact run a perfect rack at Honduran rotation pool.
Honduran rotation is extremely challenging, and is the ONLY game they play in Honduras, the birthplace of Tony Sorto.
It starts with the 1-ball on the foot spot, and the other 14 balls frozen on the rails in ascending order, as you see in the video. The game requires a wide range of skills including banks, combinations, as well as pinpoint accuracy and extraordinary touch.
This is the first time a perfectly run rack has been recorded on video. Yes, it is that challenging! Try it!
1. The one ball is a natural spot shot, from behind the head string, but positioned so that the cue ball falls onto the inside edge of the 3-ball, bumping it just off the rail. This sets up a later bump on the 6. That's right, on this opening shot we are playing 6 balls ahead!
2. The 2-ball is easily enough pocketed but the flawlessly played strategic draw into a bump on the 6-ball is a key setup in the run.
3. The 3-ball is easy only because the play on the 1-ball popped it out. In this shot, Sorto gives a good bit of inside english to kill the travel, avoiding trouble with the side pocket and offering shape on the 4-ball.
4. The shot on the 4-ball is classic Sorto. Gobs of inside english, with a rail-first hit on the 4-ball cause the cue ball to go downtable under the 15 ball, and then back uptable in a most unexpected display of control and touch, delivering the cue ball to the 5-ball.
5. The 5-ball is relatively simple because of the spectacular position off the 4-ball, and because the 6-ball is waiting near the side pocket, thanks to the perfect shot on the 2-ball. It seems as if there is some Grand Plan going on here, and there is!
6. The 6-ball is so simple, but remember that this easy 6-ball was set up earlier by a shot on the 2-ball. Now it may become clearer that this game is quite a bit more than it appears.
7. Sorto is heard to speak for the second time in this video when he says "Not what I wanted, but I'll take what I get." And then he proceeds to lay the object ball cross corner with such confidence that he doesn't even watch the lazy slow roll to the hole. Sorto stays down through it all, with utter confidence that it will drop.
8. The 8-ball is a combination on the 9-ball, and he left himself perfect on it with his spectacular shot on the 7-ball. He sinks the combination and the cue ball follows to the head rail and back out for the bank on the 8-ball.
9. The 8-ball is banked almost nonchalantly, surprisingly gently, coming off the rail for natural shape on the 10-ball.
10. The 10-ball gets inside english, of course, but with strong follow-through and top english as well. I love this shot, one of the first he taught me. It's almost a diagonal, downward-twisting motion of the cue at delivery. The action it produces is poetry, coming around nicely, three cushions for the 11.
11. The 11-ball is a carbon copy of the 10-ball, but of course different, especially with regard to speed and touch, but Sorto handles it flawlessly.
12. The 12-ball is surprising in its simplicity, but it leaves you wondering because it is so far away from the 13, which now seems impossible. Could he be playing for the three ball combination?
13. This shot is absolutely stunning, on several levels. First of all, it is completely unexpected, and it happens so fast, with such incredible force, and with such deadly accuracy.... well, the senses are overloaded on this one.
14. Sorto knows he is closing in on a perfect rack. After such an adrenaline pumping shot on the 13, it would be easy to shoot the next shot too quickly, but Sorto shows the wisdom of his many years with this game, and and he is shown taking a bit of extra time on the bank shot into the side pocket. And he comes 3 rails for shape on the 15.
15. A shot like this is where many a choke would occur, but Sorto nails it with such an abundance of confidence that one could truly say that he achieved the limit with this shot.
And there you have it. An historic moment in the world of pool. Congratulations, Tony Sorto! You have shown us the world class shot-making skill that it takes to complete a perfect rack in Honduran rotation, and to do it on video, first time ever, so we all can enjoy it and learn from it. Fantastic!