Derby City Wrap Up - Melling Wins 9-Ball, Busty is Master of the Table
Dave Thomson
Jan. 28, 2018
Chris Melling
Chris Melling
Derby City Classic XX, January 19-27, 2018
 
LIVE from the Horseshoe Southern Indiana Casino, Elizabeth, IN
 
Francisco Bustamante’s win in the DCC One Pocket Championship, compounded with his 4th in Banks and 12th in 9-Ball totaled 198.5 points and secured his 3rd All-Around Champion and Master of the Table title.
 
Justin Bergman, with 153.3, got $3,000 for second and, for a first in the history of DCC, two players tied for 3rd and shared the $2,000. Corey Deuel and Shane Van Boening accumulated 141.0 points each.
 
DCC 9-BALL CHAMPIONSHIP
 
Race to 9, Winner Break.
 
What a Final! We were graced with genius. In the wee, small hours, the hill-hill thriller was truly worth waiting up for. What would happen next, kept us on the edge of our seats until 3:30 am.
 
The 363 entries vying for the $16,000 first place prize money had all come down to two: England’s Chris Melling and Canada’s John Morra.
 
With snooker tour experience, the wise and wily Melling always employed his motto, “When in trouble, stick ’em!”  He certainly utilized it in play today,
 
Back in the semi’s, Dennis Orcullo got off to an expected lead, At 4-1, his tactics slowed the pace of Melling’s fast and loose shooting style to a standstill. Orcullo was taking more time to rack the racks than he was to run them.
 
Unintimidated, Chris patiently clawed to get ahead to 8-7. With nothing to shoot at, a snooker exchange ensued.
 
Ducking and dodging are where Melling excels. Being truly outmaneuvered, Dennis saw his quest for another DCC finals quickly slip away as Chris quietly closed the set, 9-7.
 
Morro, in semis #2, was up against his nemesis, Shane Van Boening. And, John had a score to settle. Shane had beaten him repeatedly in past encounters, including the DCC 9-Ball Finals in 2014.
 
Today, John got off to comfortable 3-0 lead. “And the next thing I knew, I was behind 3-5. I thought, I am not going to hand it to him.”
 
John summoned the Morra mustard and never lost another game: At 9-5, he regained his berth in the Accu-Stats Arena to face Chris.
 
Chris had begun the day in round 10 by administering a 9-5 battering of Joshua Filler. Morra had drawn a bye.
 
Melling’s buy-back still intact, he was leading Donny Mills 8-5. Needing only 1, it looked like it was going to stay that way. 
 
Chris was not familiar with ringer Donny Mills.
 
Donny has a history of finishing in the money, He fears no one, he revels in devouring champions, which was exactly what he did to Melling, he devoured him.
 
Chris never did capture that final rack, Donny did. 
 
Coincidently, with the DCC redraw process, he drew Morra. Donny managed 7.
 
Morra knew what to expect from Chris’s game plan. The emphasis would be on “when in doubt duck,” lots of hiding whitey, ballbuster shot-making, few misses and, elegant run outs.
 
And that’s just how the finals started until Chris, with a chance to move ahead at 4-2, missed! John closed out that rack and empowered…ran a six-pack!
 
Breaking at 8-3, all Morra needed was one more rack. He made a ball! And, missing within an inch of perfect position, he allowed Melling back at the table.
 
It was like he hadn’t left. From the start he attacked. Ball after ball fell in the hole. 4-8, 5-8, 6-8…
 
You could see the demons arise in Morra’s demeanor as Melling pummeled away. 
 
At 7-8 Melling, John got a look at a ball. He wisely, laid a snooker only to have Chris connect and leave him safe. 8-8!
 
Chris, capitalizing on the final opportunity, and calmly ran the winning rack. Relieved, and probably exhausted, his head fell forward as he took a moment’s rest and let it all sink in: What a deficit he had overcome.
 
The crowd applauded and yelled, you could tell that they felt empathy for the mild-mannered Canadian with the smooth stroke and impeccable composure.
 
John sincerely congratulated Chris, “Well played.”
 
For Melling, who was, incidentally, celebrating his 39th birthday, this was indeed a memorable moment. Not only had he captured one of pool’s most prestigious titles, he had survived 9-days of pool’s most grueling arena. 
 
Happy birthday to Chris, he earned it. He’ll never forget his performance today, neither will John.
“Somedays, it’s just not to be.” he later commented, philosophically.
 
Melling, clutching his new crystal obelisk award, has contributed to DCC ’s history, There is a feeling of agelessness when winning a championship, He might honor Jack Benny and remain 39 forever.
 
Accu-Stats thanks its Arena Sponsors: Diamond Billiards, Simonis Cloth,  Cyclop Balls, Lucasi Custom, MEZZ Cues, McDermott Cues, National Billiard Academy, and Samsara Cues.
 
Congratulations Greg and Chad at Diamond Billiards for 20 memorable years of DCC! And, thanks to their tournament crew for their contributions to these reports! That’s you, Brett Baker, Bill Stock, Paul Smith, Bonnie and Ric–the used to be Bad Boys of DCC; They’ve been demoted to naughty!
 
BTW: BadBoys captured alternative matches, featuring the top pros, which will be uploaded next week at badboysbp.com for your viewing pleasure.
 
AND, let’s not forget Accu-Stats. Their DCC Vimeo On Demand Series featuring ALL the TV Table matches will be uploaded, soon.
 
You can also take advantage of their all-new On-Line Subscription service. 
 
Visit accu-stats.com for more info.
 
Tell ‘em you read about it on AZB!
 
 
DCC BANKS RING GAME
 
It took 2 grand to enter and the man Billy Incardona called, “The greatest bank pool player in the world, Billy Thorpe, outlasted them all.
 
At $600 a ball, Shawn Murphy was the last man to get massacred.
 
Jeremy Jones and Corey Deuel hung in there, while past winners, Skyler Woodward and Shannon Daulton, were the first to exit.