Banks and Big Foot Kick Off The Derby

Jayson Shaw Signs Autographs

Derby City Classic XIX, January 20-28, 2017

LIVE from the Horseshoe Southern Indiana Resort and Casino, Elizabeth, IN:

Diamond BIG Foot Challenge

The Accu-Stats Arena Big Foot opening act cast Mosconi Cup teamster, Styler Woodward against Oklahoman John Gabriel. John, whose home room is the infamous McGoo’s, has a reputation as a formidable Diamond bar box competitor. There’s a Diamond 10 foot nearby, too. He, admittedly, didn’t attend with expectations of winning but more for the experience of being pitted against the big boys on Big Foot.

Sky’s start was a little slow. It was around 6 apeice when he decided to stop the rot. His concentration kicked in and off he ran to the finish line.

The most dramatic and eagerly anticipated match was with fellow Filipinos Lee Vann Corteza and Johann Chua.

Lee Vann, winner of the 2013 DCC 9-Ball event, was the 10-Ball runner-up to Van Boening in ’15 so, he knew his way around BIG Foot.

This was Johann’s first trip to the US. He’s 24 years young and has been playing since he was 13. How would he perform, in unknown territory, with his first Stateside, professional encounter under the heat of the Accu-Stats lights?

His only battleground was the Phillipines where recently he had beaten both Orcollo and Biado in $10K challenge matches. Lee wasn’t impressed and soon took an early 4-1 lead. Chua, as he’s called, caught a gear and masterfully, and unemotionally, leapt to 7-4.

Then, they parried until Corteza got inspired and was ahead 10-8. Breaking, and making balls, the last orb rolling snookered him for the one. He pushed.

Deftly, Chau sent the cue ball on a slow drag 3/4 the length of the table until it deflected inches off the one to nestle underneath the 9. Corteza was stuck. He missed the kick yet still on the hill at 10-9. Breaking, Johann’s eyes glistened with excitement. There was a confidence in his stroke; he could do this. About 8 strokes later, it’s hill-hill.

The balls burst open and as whitey headed for the side pocket it was intercepted, only to be kicked straight into the upper corner pocket.

Now it’a Corteza’s eyes that are glistening. How many times had he been here, needing that one last rack? It’s a walk in the park. Calmly methodically, he ambled around the table. Like a sniper the balls were picked off to fall into their designated pockets. Slumped in his seat, resignation written all over his face, Chua knew it was over. He’d grown up watching, learning, as Lee administered similar death blows time and time again.

The evening session was one of pool’s all time great rivalries: Van Boening and Orcollo. The Accu-Stats’ catalog is rife with DVDs of these two going head to head. Whose turn was it to win tonight?

In the opening racks it was all Shane…until he hooked himself. What looked like a dominating 7-3 lead, with Shane breaking, was decimated to 6-4. The difference is huge, especially, as Dennis was now breaking. Van Boening’s snookering, overrun cue ball turned the tide of the match. At every opportunity, the balls punished him. It was especially evident when, as aggressive as ever, he made a superb, thinly cut combination only to be snookered, again. Shane grimaced for the remainder of the games when, at 8, Dennis sat atop the hill. It was there he stumbled. He, hung the case 10-ball!

Shane’s big break spread the balls like butter on bread. He ran until, with only 4 balls left on the table, he committed the ultimate sin; Playing shape, he landed on the wrong side of the object ball, the final blow to one of his more frustrating matches in recent memory.

Dennis, quietly, avenged their 2016 BIG Foot encounter.

Jayson Shaw vs. Nick Ekonomopoulos was one of the most powerful, error free, manifestations of pure pool prowess ever recorded. Shaw, still high from his well deserved AZ Billiards Player of the Year award, compounded by his 5th Turning Stone Victory in 6 years, had the new Nick the Greek 10-0 after delivering an unconcievable Accu-Stats Total Performance Average (TPA) of .989. A .989 TPA on a 9-Foot is an exemplary accomplishment but, on BIG Foot, it’s extraordinary.

His effortless stroll around the table was facilitated by a play-for-shape-on-the-one-ball that had it sit near the top corner pocket after most of his blistering break shots. His taming of the one ball contributed to the mighty 6 pack that had Nick nailed to his chair, powerless.

At 10-0 after Jayson’s break, the one ball, as directed, waited patiently near the corner pocket. Alas, no balls had fallen. Nick, hypnotized now by Jayson’s display, was numb: He missed the dangling orb! Shaw was so shocked he fumbled shape on the 2. (Down goes that TPA) He attempted a low-percentage carom off the 6, “I should have played safe,” he later confessed, and Nick, somewhat composed, saved the whitewash.

Needless to say, to no avail. Jayson gently coached an early combo to seal his unsparing victory and verify his reputation as a true marvel in rotation games.

Matches continue on Saturday:

1pm: Karl Boyes vs. Thorsten Hohmann
3:30: Alex Pagulayan vs. Alex Kazakis
7pm: Fedor Gorst vs. Darren Appleton
9:30 Carlo Biado vs. Ruslan Chinakov

It’s all LIVE from the Accu-Stats Arena. View at

The DCC Bank Pool Championships

435 entries prove that Bank Pool is the most popular cue sport around. Where else in the world could draw such attendance to a tournament–any tournament–not just Bank Pool? Only Kentucky. As a previous short stop, Diamond’s Greg Sullivan certainly knows his demographic.

All the big names are competing; Efren Reyes, John Brumback, Jayson Shaw, Alex Pagulayan, Shannon Daulton, Scott Frost, Justin Hall, Francisco Bustamante, Corey Deuel, just to name a few of the recent finalists, are all into the second round.

There were a few upsets: Interestingly enough, Caleb Schumaker sent Lee Vann Corteza to the buy-back booth and then Danny Hiner sent him bye-bye. Thorsten Hohmann was way ahead only to have Tom Harris deliver the upset. Thorsten will be at the buy-back booth bright and early.

Dennis O, Dennis Hatch, Bobby Hunter, Roberto Gomez, Josh Roberts, Shawn Murphy, and Alex Olinger (last year’s 3rd) are still undefeated. Saturday, the bigger players will get drawn against each other and, by tomorrow night, the field will be weeded way down.

Don’t forget there’s more action to come:

The DCC One Pocket Championships

The DCC 9-Ball Championships

The George Fels Memorial Straight Pool Challenge also runs thru the week as the 8 with the highest runs face off in single elimination. If scheduling permits, Accu-Stats will stream, at least, the finals.

BANKS RING GAME, on the Accu-Stats screen on Friday the 27th, will have the winner-take-all battle for the cash as, typically, the last 2 are usually banking for near a thousand a ball.

Don’t miss a stroke at

Accu-Stats thanks its Arena Sponsors: Diamond Billiards, Simonis Cloth, Cyclop Balls, Cue and Case, MEZZ Cues, McDermott Cues, National Billiard Academy, OB Cues, and Samsara Cues.

Photography Courtesy of David Thomson,