Dechaine One Win Away From the Semis

The CSI 8-Ball Invitational kicked off on Wednesday with two morning matches. The first was between Jayson Shaw and Mike Dechaine. In this one Dechaine got off to a big lead and at one time the score was 5-1 in his favor in the race to 9 games.

Shaw tried to change the pace of the match with soft breaking but the effort was far too late. Dechaine stuck to his knitting and won 9-6.

On the other table we had Ping-Chung Ko facing veteran Warren Kiamco. Ko, who had already finished second in the Ten Ball event earlier this week, kept up his strong play and he won 9-7. This young man is only 18 years old and seems destined to be a force in this game for a very long time to come.

Both of these matches were in Group A of the round robin. Our next two matches featured players out of Group B. Table one was Efren Reyes versus Jung-Lin Chang and table two was Thorsten Hohmann versus Corey Deuel. After the first seven racks on table one Chang led 4-3 and soon increased that lead to 6-3 simply by keeping Reyes seated as he ran through the balls.

Reyes began to stop the bleeding in rack 8 as he ran the rack, overcoming some tough positions to do so. Now trailing 6-4 he needed some help in this alternating break format if he were to make a charge. He got that help when Chang failed in his attempt at a combo. That was all Reyes needed to bring the score close at 6-5.

Reyes scratched on the next break. Chang was out before he got to the table. His focus and cue ball control continue to astound and his lead of 7-5 over the great Reyes offered ample testimony to his prowess. He impressed again when he broke and ran the next rack to go out to 8-5 and onto the hill. Reyes then broke and chose to play the solids. Everything looked good but he ran into the 15 ball on his way to shape on the six and had to change his pattern late in the game. This  made his out a lot tougher but he wasp to the task and ran out to bring us to 8-6.

Now it was Chang's break and his task was to break and run to win the match. Instead, he broke dry and Reyes came to the table once again. This changed the whole complexion of the game as if he could get out he would be at 7 games and breaking to get on the hill beside Chang. Chang looked anxious in his chair as Reyes calmly cleared the table to get 7 games.

Reyes needed to make a ball on the break, get a good spread, and have an opening shot. He failed. Nothing fell on the break. Chang faced a tough table. Clusters were abound. He massaged one of those part on the first shot and then somehow fit the cue ball through a keyhole to get to the only spot on the table where he could reach the second ball in the combo to take away that challenge. There were still problems with balls that only could go in a single pocket. But his sharpshooting picked those birds off the wire one by one and he won the match 9-7.

On table two Hohmann seemed comfortable and in control over Deuel. His lead started early and near the later stages had stretched to 7-3. At the end of the next rack he stood on the hill at 8-3 but Deuel had a little air as it was his break. That proved to be little advantage when nothing fell on his break. Hohmann cleared the table for a very comfortable 9-3 victory.

Next came our first look at Group C. On table 1 we had Ralf Souquet versus Shane Van Boening and table two offered up Yu-Hsuan Cheng versus Dennis Orcollo. Early on Van Boening took the first mark on table 1 as Cheng went out to a narrow 2-1 lead over Orcollo. That would not last as Orcollo broke and ran the next rack to tie them at two apiece.

By that time Cheng's lead had also disappeared and he and Souquet were tied at 1. Then Souquet easily cleared the next rack to lead 2-1 while Orcollo eased out to a 3-2 lead over Cheng.

Table 1 was destined to stay close. Souquet and SVB traded the next two racks to tie again at 2 apiece. Table 2 at this point showed Orcollo with a 5-2 lead over Cheng. Cheng was rapidly running out of room and air. Orcollo then delivered another body blow with a break and run to go up 6-2.

Souquet and Van Boening traded two more racks to be tied now at three apiece while Cheng found some renewed vigor to bring his score to 6-3. He ran through his colors in the next rack but got out of line on the 8 ball and had to jump. When that failed he left Orcollo an easy out and Dennis cashed it to lead 7-3.

Souquet and Van Boening kept up their pattern of winning their own breaks with runouts and were soon tied again at 4 apiece. At this point, one and a half hours into the matches, Orcollo led Cheng 7-4.

The next rack on table 1 found Shane breaking Souquet's serve and winning to go to 5-4 and owning the break. But Shane broke dry and left an ugly table that would require a lot of tactics to conquer. Souquet was up to the task and managed to clean this very tough table to once again be tied, this time at 5 apiece, with Van Boening. Meanwhile, Orcollo had gotten to the hill on table 2 and led 8-4 over Cheng. Cheng won the next rack but Orcollo then broke and ran the next rack to take the victory 9-5.

Finally on table 1 Souquet was able to put two racks together for a 7-5 lead over Van Boening. Now Van Boening would be forced to win against Souquet's break if he were to succeed in the match. He did so and the players returned to trading racks until they were both on the hill at 8-8.The final rack was Souguet's break and he kept the table, ran the rack, and won the match 9-8. In an alternate break format it pays to win the lag.

We were unavailable to watch the next round but can report this round  was comprised of members of Group D. In this round Francisco Bustamante defeated Pin-Yi Ko 9-2 largely on the strength of his break shots. On the other table Darren Appleton defeated John Morra 9-4.

The final round of the night found another set of players from Group A. On table 1 it was Jayson Shaw versus Ping-Chung Ko and table 2 featured Warren Kiamco versus Mike Dechaine. Dechaine broke and ran his first rack while Shaw and Ko were having a strategic battle. Ko won that argument when Shaw failed to hide the cue ball on a two-way shot and left Ko with full vision on his remaining balls. Ko took the first mark to lead 1-0. At the same moment Kiamco finished off his table to tie Dechaine at 1.

Early on both matches stayed close and soon both tables showed identical scores of 3-2 with Ko leading on table 1 and Dechaine on table 2. Dechaine became the first player in the room to own a 2 game lead at 4-2 over Kiamco while Ko and Shaw remained tight at 3-3. Then Kiamco caught a little gear and soon our tables were tied again with both matches at 4-4.

After two more racks on both tables Shaw and Ko were still tied, this time at 5 apiece, while Dechaine took both racks on table 2 to lead 6-4. That lead grew to 7-4 for Dechaine after the next rack while Shaw went out to a narrow lead of 6-5. But that lead went away in the next rack and Shaw and Ko were tied yet again at 6 apiece.

The first man to get to the hill was Mike Dechaine when he took his score with Kiamco to 8-6. He then broke and ran the next rack to win the match 9-6.

On table one Ko was beginning to get some momentum. He won one rack to go to 7-6 and then ran through the colors in the next rack. But on his shot on the key ball he missed his shape on the eight ball and wound up with only a tough jump shot into the side pocket as his only option. He made it and went to the hill against Shaw 8-6. Ko never let Shaw see the table in the final rack. He broke and ran for a 9-6 victory.
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