Bustamante comes back from semifinals to take down Compton at White Diamond Super 9-Ball

Francisco Bustamante


Sent to the semifinals of the 4th Annual White Diamond Super 9-Ball Tournament on the heels of a stellar performance by Chip Compton, Francisco Bustamante returned for a double elimination re-match finals and taught the young 'whipper-snapper' a lesson or two that eventually put the event title in the older guy's pocket. The $1,000-added event, held on the weekend of March 16-17, drew 128 entrants to White Diamond Billiards in Lafayette, LA, with live streaming from PoolActionTV, via the Big Truck (Ray Hansen) Show.

Bustamante and Compton hooked up in the battle for the hot seat, once Bustamante had sent Shane Manaole west and Compton had sent Warren Kiamco over, both by 7-5 scores. Compton stepped into the hot seat match, as though he'd never heard of Bustamante, getting out to a 5-1 lead with a demonstration of fearless shot making that had even stream commentators Big Truck and Joey Aguzin marvelling at the level of his confidence. Bustamante got a few more licks in before Compton closed things out at 7-4 to sit in the hot seat.

Kiamco moved over and had the misfortune of running into a 'whipper-snapper' of his own; young Skyler Woodward, who'd been sent to the loss side by Justin Hall in the second round, and was in the midst of 10-match, loss-side winning streak that would get him all the way to the semifinals for a match against Bustamante. With six down and four to, he defeated Jason Evans 7-5 and Mike Black 7-5 to draw Kiamco. Manaole picked up Hall, who'd gotten by Kenny Loftus 7-3 and shut out Manny Chau. 

Woodward dropped Kiamco 7-5, and when Hall eliminated Manaole 7-2, the re-match was on in the quarterfinals. Woodward wreaked his vengeance on Hall for the long, loss-side trip he'd been forced to take 7-4, and then ran into Bustamante. The kid put up a gritty fight, but the wily veteran, anxious for a second shot against Compton, finished Woodward's loss-side streak with a 7-5 win in the semifinals.

Bustamante got right to work. They played 18 games in the two-set finals, and Bustamante gave Compton only four of them. Bustamante took each set 7-2 to claim the event title and its $2,143 first-place prize.

According to Ashley Klein, manager of the White Diamond Billiard Club, and 19-year 'main squeeze' of owner Chris Miller (they've run the room together for 17 of those years), this year's 4th Annual Super 9-Ball Tournament had to turn away 51 players who'd signed up on an alternate list. The tournament, she said, featured a record total payout (part Calcutta) of over $70,000.