Derby City Day Four - Superman Wins, Banks Final Eight and One Pocket Kicks Off
Dave Thomson
Jan. 23, 2018
Roberto Gomez speeds around the Accu-Stats Arena (Photo courtesy of Dave Thomson - Mediumpool.com)
Roberto Gomez speeds around the Accu-Stats Arena (Photo courtesy of Dave Thomson - Mediumpool.com)
Derby City Classic XX, January 19-27, 2018
 
LIVE from the Horseshoe Southern Indiana Casino, Elizabeth, IN
 
Diamond BIG Foot Challenge
 
Format: Race to 11, single elimination, alternate break, all balls count.
 
Day 4:
 
What a way to end it. Roberto Gomez had to ward off three 11-10 finishes with Alcano, Immonen and, finally, Gorst. Joshua Filler was expected to be his most difficult opponent. He had handily dismissed him at 6.
 
Earlier on Monday, Immonen was down 4-8 and clawed back to 7-9. He had won 3 games to Gomez’s one. Mika nabbed another 2: it’s 9-9 and he’s breaking. 
 
If Immonen got to the hill, Gomez is well aware that with the alternate break format, Mika can’t run out the set and the match. Gomez knew he would have a crack at the next rack.
 
Mika ran out perfectly, no doubt, encouraged by his win over Van Boening.
 
Now, down 9-10, Gomez stood over his last chance at breaking. With eyes closed, he took the deepest of breaths, paused, then, slowly exhaled from deep in his diaphragm. His eyes opened slowly to stare directly at the contact point on the one ball. 
 
All that was left to do was maintain that calm focus, draw back, summon the will, and fire into the rack!  It exploded! He was rewarded, balls were pocketed and he had a shot on the one. His pressure was palpable. The packed to the gills Accu-Stats Arena felt it. They could hear every ball drop as he sealed a decider at 10-10.
 
Mika, now breaking for his shot at the title, and the $16,000, sank the one ball but, alas, got hooked on the two. He played a two way kick that went awry and, after all the work, left Gomez lined up with a long shot at the blue.
 
His pace was so poised, concentrated, that when he finally faced that normally, no-brainer 10-ball, he took a long deep breath, paused for a full 10 seconds before pulling the trigger. Then, it was his turn to release two quick yells so loud they filled the arena.
 
Semis #2, Morra was devastated. He hadn’t had a look at a ball and was down 8-2.
 
Fedor’s superb cue ball, lock-up safety play, early combinations and indomitable defense had left the that 8-2, insurmountable lead.
 
John was the first to admit it, “He played perfect.”
 
John did mount a bit of a comeback and grabbed at every opportunity, but to no avail, Fedor was in the finals.
 
Gomez was off to a 2-love lead. Gorst stayed right on his tail and never left. He knows no give up.
 
At 6-5, instead of moving ahead 7-5, Gomez jawed the 10-Ball gifting it to Gorst: 6-6. How quickly errors are punished in this sport. In the next rack, a deft 1-10 combo got Gorst his first lead in the match.
 
Finally, after a fluke from Gorst which, surprisingly, lead to him actually missing a ball, Gomez found his speed, closed the rack…and took a well-timed time out.
 
At 10-9, Gomez missed shape to leave an awkward cut. It was amazing the courage it took for Fedor to maintain composure and fire at the last two balls and take the match to yet another 10-10.
 
In the final rack Fedor had another fluke when he faced a well placed Gomez hook. He kicked at the one. The cue ball connected then, ran 3 rails to knock in a hanger in the corner.
 
Roberto was probably a bit relieved as the cue ball was now about 7’ away from a dogleg cut into the opposite corner.  Whamo, Gorst nailed it to leave position on a much more makable 2. He jawed it!
 
Gomez eagerly jumped out of his chair and methodically managed the trickiest layout to conclude, perhaps, the most heart-pounding finish the Derby crowd has ever seen.
 
Snooker’s 6 time World Champion Steve Davis OBE said it best, “You have to play like it means nothing when it means everything.”
 
Gomez, so shaky he could barely sign a fan’s cue ball, reflected on his victory, “You just have to do your best. I just do my job. If I did my best, win or lose, it’s OK.”
 
Thanks Diamond, for one of the most memorable BIG Foot Challenge ever.
 
The good news is, for those who missed it, Accu-Stats will have the whole DCC event uploaded to their On-line Subscription Service on Vimeo On Demand, soon.
 
Results: Semis
 
Roberto Gomez .893 def. Mika Immonen .931, 11-10
Fedor Gorst .883 def. John Morra .773,11-5
 
Finals
Gomez .799 def Gorst .788, 11-10!
 
1st; $16,000, Runner-up, $8,000, 3rd & 4th, $4,000.
 
Play continues today: View on accu-stats.com: 
 
BANK POOL CHAMPIONSHIP
 
471 players vie for $10,000. Race to 3, 9-Ball–Short Rack
 
Now 8 left going into Round 11:
 
Undefeated are former Bank Pool Champions John Brumback and Corey Deuel. Shane Van Boening is looking for his first.
 
This morning’s contenders were: Justin Bergman who was sent to buy back by Fedor Gorst then ousted by Shaw. Gorst then eliminated John Morra.
 
Skyler Woodward contemplated, “I played my best match ever and was sent to buy back by Brumback.”
 
Bustey eliminated Mitch Ellerman, Troy Jones–Daulton, and Deuel–Jalal Yousif.
 
Tuesday’s match-ups are:
 
Fedor vs Troy Jones.
Brumback vs. Deuel
Shaw vs. Shane
Bustey vs. Woodward
 
Tuesday, 9 pm. See the Bank Pool Finals, visit accu-stats.com
 
ONE POCKET CHAMPIONSHIP
 
393 entrants are underway.
 
What better One Pocket training ground than the Derby to learn to dodge and burn, nudge and needle, tease and squeeze.
 
For those who want to truly learn the grandfather of all pool games you have to compete here. You can’t be taught what is divulged without actual experience. And the only way you get that is to man-up.
 
Matches begin at noon on Accu-Sats.com
 
Accu-Stats thanks its Arena Sponsors: Diamond Billiards, Simonis Cloth, Cyclop Balls, Lucasi Custom, MEZZ Cues, McDermott Cues, National Billiard Academy, and Samsara Cues
 
 
The George Fels Memorial Straight Pool Challenge is streaming at billiardnet.tv, today!
 
The high run contest is underway
 
Chinakhov, Ruslan 182
Orcollo, Dennis 163
Fortunski, Miesko 125
Shaw, Jayson 110
Corteza, LeeVan 102
Poteet, Devin 94
DeLuna Jeffery 84
Melling, Chris 84
Archer, Johnny 81