Van Boening unleashed "Beast Mode" in US Open 8-Ball Finals
Azb Staff
Jul. 26, 2016
Photo courtesy of JP Parmentier
Photo courtesy of JP Parmentier
When asked what it took for Shane Van Boening to win ten straight matches on the one loss side in order to win the US Open 8-Ball Championship title, his answer was simple. “A lot of work on my break, and I just put myself into beast mode” Van Boening said. “Beast Mode” was on full display on day three of the tournament, at the Rio All Suites Resort and Casino in Las Vegas Nevada.
 
The day started with Van Boening winning his seventh straight match on the one loss side. This time over Amar Kang hill-hill. At the same time, South Carolina’s Josh Roberts was eliminating Mike Dechaine 9-4. 
 
The next match saw Van Boening beat Roberts 9-6, in a match that was one shot shy of a perfect match. Van Boening made a ball and ran out on each of his breaks. Roberts made a ball and ran on out on all but one of his breaks. That one break saw Robert’s cue ball kicked into a pocket, and Van Boening ran that rack with ball in hand. 
 
Next up for Van Boening was bar table 8-ball specialist Jesse Bowman. Van Boening scratched on back-to-back breaks, but Bowman was unable to win games on his own break, as four of the first six racks were won by the player who didn’t break. The players then swapped racks until rack 10. Trailing 5-4, Bowman missed a shot he would make any other day, and Van Boening ran out for the first multi rack lead at 6-4. From there, Van Boening won the next three racks via table runs (one on a Bowman dry break), for the 9-4 victory. 
 
The extended race to 11 final match was a battle of the Dakota’s, with Van Boening hailing from South Dakota and Rory Hendrickson hailing from North Dakota. With that proximity, it was no surprise that the two players were friends who spend a fair amount of time together off the green baize. 
 
Hendrickson came out on fire, and took advantage of an early Van Boening mistake, to take a quick 3-0 lead. Then it was Van Boening's turn to wrap table runs around his opponents mistake (scratch on the break), and the score was tied at 3-3. Van Boening took his first lead at 5-4, and then extended it to 6-4 when Hendrickson couldn’t take advantage of a missed bank by Van Boening in rack ten. Hendrickson had the chance to tie the score at 7-7, but again failed to get out, and Van Boening went back ahead by two at 8-6. That rack seemed to take the wind out of Hendrickson’s sails, and Van Boening won the next three racks for the 11-6 win. 
 
The tournament win was Van Boening’s second title of the week, as he defeated Rodney Morris in the finals to win the US Open 10-Ball title three nights ago. Van Boening admitted that the two titles was his goal for the week. “I wanted to win two tournaments in Vegas. That was my goal and I made it happen” said Van Boening.
 
Hendrickson had nothing to be ashamed of with his performance all week. “If you watch how Shane beat Josh, and how he got back there to win every match, you have to play perfect to beat him.” he said. Hendrickson continued “I hit the ball good, but I don’t play pool more than once a week.” When asked about how he keeps his game at a top level with such little practice, Hendrickson’s response was “watching”. “My practice today was watching Shane play two matches in my room, alone and focusing.”
 
Hendrickson had nothing but compliments for Van Boening after the match. “Midwest 8-ball showed a big sign. That is where the best bar table players come from. They say when you go to the barbox, it’s kiddie land. It’s the exact opposite. You have to have a better cue ball on the barbox than you do on the big table, because you play to bigger areas on a big table. Here, you can’t make mistakes. Your cue ball has to be that good. There is a reason why Shane is the best player in the country, arguably the best player in the world.”
 
Van Boening’s win will move him to third place on the US Mosconi Cup points list. Aside from Corey Deuel moving up one spot to 9th place, no other changes took place on the list. 
 
Predator is the official cue of the US Open 8-Ball Championship. They are joined by Kamui (the official tip), Cyclop (the official balls), Omega Billiards (the official online store) and Diamond (the official table) as major sponsors of this event.