2013 in Review – Part One – Derby City

'Django Unchanged' was the headline of Billiards Digest to celebrate the 49 year-old legends' run!

For American pool fans 2013 will be a year whose visage will be fine to watch from the rear-view mirror as it disappears and falls away. It seemed to be the year that a lot of optimism got pounded by reality and the pro game became a considerably smaller place. The tragedy at the Mosconi Cup was a suiting end to this year of dreams cast to the sidewalk.

Not that the year was devoid of positives. The Derby City Classic 2013  worked its usual magic and brought ‘that’ crowd together again. Sure, new folks come in every year, but a lot of those at Derby are the regulars. Many of them met each other there years ago and are now old friends. They are a particularly knowledgable breed of fan and they appreciate the nuances of games like Banks and One-Pocket and they enjoy the ‘making’ of a game between two great players at one of those disciplines. After all, making the game can determine the winner before the first rack is cracked. Every time there is a match-up one of the contestants has made the game properly and the other one will find his self-image tarnished.

“I shoulda got more weight.”

“I shoulda asked for weight.”

“Next time no short race stuff, he’s gotta play me to 21 games!”

And so on. And it is all played out right there in the hall or beside the table and you are invited to witness it first-hand and go back home with a story or two that will be good for the telling for as many decades as you have a tongue to wag. It is an eight-day long pool party and before long everyone knows your name and you don’t need to go back to your room until sleep begins to make absolute demands.

This is the event for the action junkies. Not only are you only steps away from the Harrahs Boat, you will not find it overly difficult to find a friend who will want to sweat a few matches with you over a small wad of cash. There are more than just the three main events. There are other events going on all day and all night, some of them major events like the Bigfoot 10-Ball Challenge played on the Diamond 10-footers assembled for the occasion.

As if he wanted to remind everybody that aging didn't bother him, Francisco Bustamante won the Master of the Table award after winning the Banks division, being runner-up to Corey Deuel in the One-Pocket division and placing 6th in the 9-Ball division. Now, let's see what the legendary 'Django' has in store for us in 2014 after turning 50 on the 29th of december of 2013!


NEXT: 2 of 5: The Trials of Tunica

Or you may jump directly to the following:

1 of 5: Derby City

2 of 5: The Trials of Tunica

3 of 5: The Big Opens and Turning Stone

4 of 5: Bonus Ball and the Mosconi Cup

5 of 5: It's a Wrap!