Accu-Stats Make It Happen Event Continues at Sandcastle Billiards


The Round Robin format is heating up at the Accu-Stats "Make It Happen"8 Ball event being held inside the Simonis Arena at Sandcastle Billiards in Edison, NJ, where six of the best pool players on the planet are playing for $1,000 per match (each player plays five matches).

Johnny Archer V Corey Deuel, 1:00 PM Match
This was expected to be a great match featuring Johnny Archer (with two wins already to his credit and one loss) up against Corey Deuel who really needed to win this match as he had the burden of one loss to go with his single win. Deuel could not afford to get behind the count or he would stand no chance of making the winners circle come Sunday night.

The match began in Archer's favor as he got out to a 4-1 lead and looked to be running away with the match. Deuel managed to close the gap to 4-3 before Archer stretched his lead again to 6-3. Deuel hit back when he ran out the yellows in rack ten to put the score at 6-4.

In rack eleven it appeared that Deuel would get the win, but he got out of position and elected to play a two ball combo into the side pocket which he missed. This let Archer get to 7-4 and it looked to all be over at this point. Then Deuel took the driver's seat for the next three games against the serve and leveled the score at 7-7. Who would have thunk it!?

The next rack turned out to be the most exciting that has been played so far this week. Initially there were difficult balls on the rails and no one wanted to make the first move. Finally Archer started a run out on the yellow balls and was doing well until he played a two-way shot that seemed at first look to have worked perfectly for him. He had missed pocketing the ball but had made the second half of his stroke and landed with a safe on Deuel where Deuel had no direct way to contact his lone object ball.

Deuel's single ball was on the top rail about 9 inches from the corner pocket. It could only be pocketed by a two rail kick which if played at the right speed would give Deuel good position on the 8 ball. The 8 was in the middle of the table on the head string. Unbelievably, Deuel played the perfect kick and landed dead on the 8 ball. The crowd went wild as Deuel took the much deserved win which put him level with Archer and Darren Appleton with two wins each.

Alex Pagulayan V Efren Reyes 3:00 PM Match
This match had Alex Pagulayan miles ahead after no time at all.  In very short order the score was 6-1 favoring Pagulayan. The score did not reflect on how well Pagulayan was playing, but more to highlight just how badly Reyes was performing. Reyes did run a couple of racks, but not without changing his plans for potting the balls several times during a run out.

Generally when Pagulayan would hand him the rack after coming up dry on the snap the Magician would get out of position after two shots and then miss. He was struggling to pull any rabbits from his top hat. In contrast to his performance in this event just two weeks ago Reyes finished second in the World Straight Pool Championship in NY to John Schmidt 200 to 169 in the final. No fan enjoys watching Reyes struggle, but he is struggling as he has not won a single match so far in this event. Reyes did manage to put two more beads on the wire before Pagulayan finished of the match 8-3.

Darren Appleton V Corey Deuel 7:00 PM Match
This match looked to be a humdinger on paper, but Deuel did not know that he would meet Appleton on a day when Appleton was giving a clinic. It was not the breaking that was great with either player, with Appleton breaking dry twice in the match, and Deuel coming up dry three times.

The key to the lop-sided score line was Appleton's fearless shot making. He did not miss a ball while conducting pinpoint positional play on the way to run out after run out. With the score at 2-2 Appleton increased his lead to 5-2, before Deuel put one more game on the wire at 5-3. At this point Deuel could do nothing but watch as Appleton did his Energizer Bunny impression and just kept on going and going until he finished off Deuel 8-3.

Alex Pagulayan V Shane Van Boening 9:00 PM Match
This match was very important as the winner would be on three wins and would probably be in the final with Darren Appleton (who also has three wins) on Sunday evening.

This said, it did not seem as though either player wanted to win, as they passed the baton back and forwards after miss after miss, with the score getting to 3-3 due to some scrappy play from both players. Out of their seven breaks each both players had four dry breaks. Van Boening also had a scratch on the break.

All hell broke loose when Pagualayan's next snap sent the 8 ball into the side pocket for a win. With Pagualayan jumping up and down for joy it took a second for the realization to set in that he had just won the $500 bonus that had been organized by five spectators around the arena. One guy offered a hundred and before you knew it it snowballed to $500. Ironically the fund was started after Corey Deuel made two 8 balls on the break in one match on Thursday. Poor Deuel earned nothing for his efforts.

From the tied game at 3-3 it stayed even up until 6-6 with Pagulayan breaking rack 13. Pagulayan made a yellow on the break but elected to play the red balls. He emptied the table of that suit but missed the 8 ball. The crowd was stunned.  Van Boening came to the table to run out the yellow balls. Remember that there were only yellow balls on the table apart from the 8 ball. Van Boening missed the sixth ball and had to sit and watch Pagulayan make the 8 ball to get on the hill at 7-6.

Van Boening broke the next rack and made a yellow. There were a couple of clusters that needed splitting up, and Van Boening sent the cue ball into one of them while executing his shot and paid a severe penalty for his effort. He had no shot available after this move. (In fact Van Boening got caught in this fashion several times in this match when he seemed to be out of focus with his normally sharp position play.) Finally Van Boening played a safe that allowed a shot for Pagulayan to attempt.  Pagulayan ran out the rack and got the win at 8-6.

This match was a little on the sloppy side, and it looked as though both players were uncomfortable at the table. I spoke to Pagulayan immediately after the match, and asked him specifically as to why on Thursday he played lights out and that on Friday he did not play that well. His reply was: "I really very rarely play 8 ball, and therefore do not know what to do in certain situations, and I certainly do not have enough time to study the table due to the time clock"Well, there you have it from one of the men at the top of the event!

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