Banks and Bigfoot Progress at DCC
David Thomson, MediumPool.com
Jan. 22, 2017
Fedor Gorst
Fedor Gorst

Derby City Classic XIX, January 20-28, 2017

Diamond BIG Foot Challenge
 

As has been mentioned in the past, BIG Foot is a beast. Especially, if you’ve had only a few hours prior practice time on it. Or the Diamond Pro Cut pockets that were once forgiving are now tightening up as the Simonis 860 cloth gets broken in. There were more balls jawed today than yesterday which certainly affected player confidence and how soon they could warm to the conditions which, ultimately, could lower their Accu-Stats TPA score.
 
In Thorsten Hohmann’s opening bout with 2015 US Open finalist Karl Boyes, “Toasty” certainly acclimatized quicker then Karl who was playing catch up from the get go. Neither player had competed on BIG Foot before tho,’ within a few games Hohmann was running out like he would on a 9 foot. His highest TPA was a very respectable .943. It lowered a little to .931 before Karl succumbed at 11-6.
 
Up next was Alex Pagulayan against the second half of the Greek contingent, the somewhat unknown Alex Kazakis.
 
Altho,’ slow and deliberate, Kazakis showed considerable promise as he broke and ran before getting out of line on the 9. The Lion was left an uncomfortably long opening shot on the 10. The Cyclop orb bit into the jaw and was spat out to leave the Greek a one - nil lead. Kazakis then broke and ran the next 4 racks!
 
Alex P was unusually quiet. He got a look at a ball but, as position was difficult, his inning didn’t last long. 6-0. Kazakis then ran two more racks: 8-0 with a TPA of .949. His pace began to quicken yet, was still nowhere near Alex’s normal speed. A back and forth rack gave Alex a look at a hook, Tho,’ cold, not just from sitting but also from the powerful a/c blowing on his back, he kicked it so well, the ball sped to the pocket to allow him  his first rack; 8-1. Kazakis was soon back at the table: 9-1, and a dry break.
 
The closer Kazakis got the finish line, the harder it got to close. Alex mustered 5 more wins before Kazakis got on the hill. Then, in true championship style, he broke and ran the last rack. Neither Alex, nor the audience, knew what just hit them. This unknown quantity had shown up on these shores and taken total control of the match from its onset. Was this pulverizing of Pagulayan an upset? After closer inquiry, not quite.
 
Kazakis, hailing from Athens, was 25. He’d gotten 2nd on a couple of Euro Tour events when falling to Mosconi Cup teammates Niels Feijen and Mark Gray. He was a both a recent European 10-Ball Champion and the winner of Moscow’s Kremlin Cup. There he beat Thorsten Hohmann.
 
Here, he also avenged Shaw’s pounding of Ekonomoupoulis.
 
Next, in the line of fire, was a 16 year old. Fedor Gorst, an amiable, Russian teenage prodigy who has taken pool very seriously. He was smitten so severely, by 10, he’d asked his parents to pay for a personal coach. He wanted to know more.
 
Since then, he’s achievements include taking two European Junior Championship titles, one in 14.1 and one in 10-Ball. He won his first Pro event at the Lamia Open 9-Ball Championship in Greece last year.
 
Now, he’s in the twilight world of Derby City BIG Foot, with an hours practice on it, and his opponent is Darren Appleton. Fade that with the additional pressure of the worldwide Accu-Stats audience.
 
Appleton opened quite well and soon attained a comfortable 4-1 lead before the young Muscovite made his move. Ahead 7-4 Darren got stuck. Seeing Appleton falter, Fedor lunged and led for most of the remainder of the match.
 
Physically, and emotionally, Darren was visibly cold. He had donned another top to beat the chill of the arena’s over-amped a/c. He was offered opportunity at 9-10. Appleton applied himself and got to the hill. Again, he had control of the table, and the match, but it wasn’t to be. He just couldn’t muster the fire, or will, power to complete the deal. The youngster pounced and ran an admirable closing rack to add another notch to his belt.
 
Ironically, the player he’d beaten, to get to the quarters, in Lamia was Appleton.
 
Maybe, it was the temperature of the arena as neither Biado nor Chinahov could find the heat of their A game, either.
 
Carlo is a merciless Filipino easily capable of an 8 pack in 9-Ball who revels in high stakes action. Ruslan is a dedicated Russian devotee of the game who thrives on competition in any discipline. Remember that he had also beaten Jayson Shaw in the George Fels 14.1 Finals in 2015.
 
When Biado got ahead 9-5, death looked imminent for Ruslan. But, Carlo couldn’t close. In a last ditch effort, Chinahov managed to clamber to 8 before Biado put the match to bed.
 
The good news is that Ruslan won’t have to play Fedor, his fellow Russian friend. Biado will.
 
Matches continue on Sunday:
 
3:30: Dennis Orcollo vs. Jayson Shaw
7pm: Thorsten Hohmann vs. Alex Kazakis
9:30: Fedor Gorst vs Carlo Biado
 
It’s all LIVE from the Accu-Stats Arena. Don’t miss a stroke at accu-stats.com.
 
The DCC Bank Pool Championships
 
In search of his 4th title, 2016 DCC Bank Pool Champion, John Brumback, drew DCC 2013, #3, Shannon Murphy in reputedly one of the best banks matches ever played. As the word spread, about 150 spectators huddled along the rail sweating it along with them.
 
In the race to 3, each player had missed only one ball. Brumback had the lead at 2-1 when Shannon tied it at 2…and broke the deciding rack, dry. John ran 5 and out!
 
He later reported, “I was so deep in the zone that I didn’t even know I’d won. I was walking to shoot the next ball when Shannon stood up and took my hand. That’s when It sank in.” Now that, for those of you who strive for it, is playing in the zone.
 
Shane Van Boening had an interesting encounter with Taiwan’s Li Wen Lo. Tied at 2, Shane was in search of one last ball. Li Wen would have none of it. He had the remaining 5 balls on the table tied up so tight that Shane, rarely a safety player, was showing signs of frustration as they nudged balls, safe, into the shelf of the pocket. Shane doesn’t like not pocketing balls. At last, Lo let one leak. Van Boening closed the door with a very tasty 4 railer. Even Lo had to smile.
 
Those 435 entrants are now down to 92–How quickly they crumble.
 
Carlo Biado was shaken when 73 year old banking veteran Jim Fulcher showed him the door. Also eliminated, Corey Deuel by Tony Chohan, Pagulayan by Shannon Daulton, Efren by the dynamic Billy Thorpe. Nemesis Cliff Joyner had previously sent Efren to buy back tho,’ sadly, he is, reportedly, under the weather. 
 
Appleton, Bergman, Bustamante, Chinahov, Hatch, Kiamko, Murphy, Larry Nevel, Glenn “Piggy Banks” Rogers, Ike Runnels, Rob Saez, Shaw, Danny Smith, to name some of the better known players, are safely into round 7.
 
Don’t forget there’s more disciplines to come:
 
The DCC One Pocket Championships commences Sunday afternoon.
 
The George Fels Memorial Straight Pool Challenge begins streaming on Sunday at billiardsnet.tv
 
The 14.1 event runs thru the week as the 8 with the highest runs face off in single elimination. If scheduling permits, Accu-Stats will stream, at least, the finals.
 
The DCC 9-Ball Championships commences Wednesday.
 
BANKS RING GAME, on the Accu-Stats screen on Friday the 27th, will have the winner-take-all battle for the cash as, typically, the last 2 are usually banking for near a thousand a ball.
 
Don’t miss a stroke at accu-stats.com
 
Accu-Stats thanks its Arena Sponsors: Diamond Billiards, Simonis Cloth, Cyclop Balls, Cue and Case, MEZZ Cues, McDermott Cues, National Billiard Academy, OB Cues, and Samsara Cues.
 


Photography Courtesy of David Thomson, MediumPool.com