Darren Appleton Rises to the Top at the First Accu-Stats ‘Make it Happen’ All-Stars

Darren Appleton (Photo courtesy of Karl Kantrowitz)
On Sunday, April 20, the first-ever Accu-Stats ‘Make it Happen’ All-Stars Invitational came to a close, and culminated in the final day’s opening match. With a lineup of four of the world’s best, in-house spectators in the Aramith / Simonis Arena at Sandcastle Billiards in Edison, NJ joined fans around the world watching the action on the live stream as they battled for six days in 8-ball, 10-ball, one pocket, and straight pool.
Former World 10-Ball & US Open 9-Ball Champion Darren Appleton came into the final day with the top-ranked record, and was only match away from clinching an overall victory for the event. In the opening round, Appleton had a closely-contended match with Thorsten Hohmann in 10-ball, which tied at 6-6, 7-7, and 8-8. At this point, Appleton successfully got Hohmann to foul three consecutive times, which put him on the hill at 10-8.
n the following game, Appleton failed to make a ball on the break, but unfortunately for Hohmann, he had no open shot at the one ball, Hohmann opted to play a push out, while attempting to tie up the two. His attempt did not prove successful, and he left a possible rail-first shot for Appleton on the one, while the two was on the opposite end of the table. Appleton decided to put the heat back on Hohmann, and return the shot. Although Hohmann made the shot, the cue ball’s path conflicted with the six ball while trying to get position on the two, and he was left with no shot. Hohmann fell short on his safety attempt, and Appleton ran out the rack to finish the match at 11-8, securing a winning overall record.
Following the ‘Make it Happen’ All-Stars completion, Darren Appleton took time out to share his thoughts on his overall performance and experience in the event:
“I played so good the first three days to win 7 of 7. After that, I lost focus, and my mindset changed a little, and ended up giving a couple of matches away…but main thing for me was to win the title against all these great champions, and to do it in this format, all-around, I am delighted. The last six months, I finish 2nd, 3rd, and 4th a lot, so it’s great to win a big one after so many close finishes. Great confidence boost for rest of the year. The win also means I will be invited to the next ‘Make it Happen’ event.
The event was great, I was delighted to be invited. It’s a great format great, organized by great people, and they treat the players very well. The conditions were great, and there were good crowds of hardcore pool fans watching every match. It was a job well done by all.”
While Appleton secured the win following the end of the first match, the remaining three matches were still played out, as players were still vying for prize money in each round.
Results of Sunday’s Final 3 Matches:
Orcollo def. Hohmann 3-1, One-Pocket
Orcollo def. Van Boening 10-8, 8-Ball
Van Boening def. Appleton 100-85, Straight Pool
Accu-Stats official photographer Karl Kantrowitz was on-site throughout the event, and provided a brief of the All-Stars highlights:
After the dust had settled, Appleton was the only player to compile a winning record in One-Pocket, 14.1 Straight Pool, 8-Ball, and 10-Ball. Darren was undefeated in One-Pocket and 8-Ball. Surprisingly, he lost all three of his Straight Pool matches, on his way to compiling an 8-4 won-lost record.
Tied for second place were Shane Van Boening and Dennis Orcollo, both with 6-6 records. Thorsten Hohmann finished fourth with a 4-8 won-lost record. However, Thorsten did pick up some bonus money with his high run of 111 balls in his Straight Pool match against Appleton.
Accu-Stats founder Pat Fleming and his entire crew put on another world-class production, which included great commentary by Danny Diliberto, Billy Incardona, and Billy Gibbs.
The level of play seen from all four players was outstanding, and as Fleming mentioned following the conclusion, “Nearly every match was as exciting as the finals of any major event.”