The Western US Pool Season started full swing in style with the completion of the 17th Jay Swanson Memorial 9-Ball Tournament. The “Swanee” is produced by CueSports International (CSI) and was held at Hard Times Billiards in Bellflower, California. Live streaming was provided by POV Pool (povpool.com).
The full 192 field ushered into the pool room early Saturday morning February 23rd to face one of the most regarded and grueling two day 9-ball events in the country. With a total purse of $15,520 up for grabs and the strongest field in the “Swanee” 17 year history; it was tough action for the rail birds. With such names in the field as recent two time consecutive winner Alex Pagulayan, Shane Van Boening - the undisputed top US player for the past several years and multiple world champions such as Francisco Bustamante, Darren Appleton, Dennis Orcollo and making a re-appearance on US soil Ronnie Alcano, the top spot could go to any player.
However not to be ruled out were rock solid top California players such as Sal Butera, Ernesto Dominguez and Louis Ulrich to name a few who have the arsenal in their playing repertoire to take on their international counterparts.
Winning the Swanee comes down to several factors, as all premier tournaments do; skill, a strong mental game, perseverance, a dash of occasional luck of the rolls and in this particular event, stamina.
When the dust settled it was Dennis Orcollo crowned champion late Sunday night and pocked the $3,000 first place prize. In addition to winning the 17th Jay Swanson Memorial, a few additional highlights of Orcollo’s professional 13 career includes winning the 2012 US Open 10-Ball Championship – also produced by CSI, the 2011 Derby City Classic 9-Ball division, the 2011 WPA World 8-Ball Championship and the 2010 World Pool Masters.
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