2013 in Review – Part Two – The Trials of Tunica

Mika Immonen came back under the spotlight with a bang in Tunica

The Ultimate Ten Ball Championships came to Tunica with $100,000 in added money between the men and the ladies. It ran on time and everyone was paid on the spot so the two most critical aspects were successfully accomplished. And the players paid that back with some fantastic matches. Ten Ball is a game that challenges the player on many levels. The break shot is tough and certainly not always reliable. And the one extra ball seems to crowd the table early and it leads to the need for skillful safety play. In Tunica the masters that week were Mika Immonen and Ga-Young Kim.

Immonen was just dead-on perfect. He dominated every opponent he faced and he faced some very tough guys. Among his victims were Ernesto Dominguez, Nick Ekonomopoulos, Mike Dechaine, Darren Appleton and then Can Wang in the finals. Immonnen had hit a gear that week that is rare in pool. But Immonen was not the only immovable object in Tunica that week. Ga-Young Kim put on a show of devastation herself as she made crushing World Champions look like child’s play. She busted up Siming Chen, Jasmin Ouschan, Line Kjoersvik, and Allison Fisher on her way out to the finals and only one of those names got to four games on her.

In the finals she would again face Allison Fisher. Allison hung in there real well and at one point the match was tied at four games apiece. But then Ga-Young took charge. She would have won it 9-5 but a fan popped a flash at her just as she pulled the trigger on the winning 10-Ball and that game was gifted to Fisher. Kim came right back to take the next rack and the title.

So as a pro tournament the UTBC events were a huge success. The problem was it was held in front of very few fans and its founder Badi Nazhat announced a few weeks later that UTBC would not return until he could develop a more sustainable format located inside a structure for the sport that would assist in the success of the game.

The UTBC was paired up with Diamond Billiards' Southern Classic. This event bumped up against Bonus Ball and that, coupled with another low fan turn-out, cost the event its life. The Southern Classic joined the list of events held for the last time in 2013. Add to that list two CSI events (US Open 10-Ball and US Open 8-Ball) which will not return in 2014, at least not in their current form.


NEXT: 3 of 5: The Big Opens and Turning Stone

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!