Derby City Classic Day One

Joshua Filler - Photo courtesy of David Thomson (
Derby City Classic XXI, January 25 - February 2nd, 2019
LIVE from the Horseshoe Southern Indiana Casino, Elizabeth IN.
Diamond BIG Foot Challenge
Format: Race to 11, single elimination, alternate break, all balls count.
The Accu-Rack 10-Ball template constricts the Cyclop Balls with laser-like accuracy. The 40-second shot clock allows for no foul when staying down on the shot if the time runs out. Combos and caroms that pocket the 10-ball count as a win. Non-nominated balls made as the result of kicks permit the inning to continue.
Player consensus is that the alternate rules make for an equal playing field. 
Now to the opening action: Chris Melling vs Dennis Orcollo
Chris got off to a slow start, altho,’ making a ball on the break, he just couldn’t get a peek at the one.
Orcullo, robotic, emotionless, diminutive, with uncanny accuracy treated BIG Foot like any other table-top and soon led 9-7.
Melling, last year’s DCC 9-Ball Champion, was unintimidated by the 2-time Master of the Table’s ability. All Chris wanted was opportunity. And, when he got it, the match was soon tied at ten.
In the final rack, interestingly, what contributed to Chris’ downfall was the former snooker player’s worst nightmare. He missed position while using the bridge and lost a safety exchange.
Dennis, nonchalant, survived.
Speaking of snooker players, Corey Deuel is a former National US Snooker Champion. No stranger to BIG Foot distances, he calmly, and confidently, had amassed a seemingly insurmountable 10-4 lead. 
For Deuel, it was mostly downhill from there.
Immonen found himself in search of a miracle. Deuel’s dry breaks, compounded by an unfortunate scratch, allowed Mika back to the table. The alternate break format gave him the momentum so, when Corey erred in his inning, Mika capitalized two games at a time; 6-10, 8-10, and at 10-10 and Corey breaking, he dissolved the drought; Corey finally made a ball.
Now, could he summon the courage after having been stuck to his seat for 6 racks? Could he control his trusty Meucci as he motioned the remaining orbs toward their predesignated pockets?
"One ball at a time,” he later maintained. "That's all I had to make. Also, I never lost hope. Even when Mika had caught up, I truly still felt that I was going to win."
With Accu-Stats’ TPAs of .935 and .934, respectively, the Deuel–Immonen duo have set the standard.
Another nail-biter: The drama in the Accu-Stats Arena was endless. Bustey, with the confidence of 3 Master of the Table titles, had Morra down 2-5.
The learned Diamond audience had heard of John’s switch to left-handed because of chronic neck pain incurred from years of shooting right-handed while being left-eye dominant.
In an apparent reversal of the comeback that Melling put on him in last year’s 9-Ball finals, John, smooth-stroked 4 in a row to lead 6-5. Back and forth they battled until John, stalled by an uncharacteristic scratch, allowed Francisco the opportunity to saunter into Sunday’s semi-finals.
Filler, tournament tough from the residual effect of being recently crowned World 9-Ball Champion, was off to a trail-blazing start as he streaked to 10-4.
Corteza, crippled by the sheer firepower of his opponent, looked shot into submission when he hung the 9 deep, deep, deep in the shelf of the Diamond’s tight, pro-cut pocket.
Joshua, filled with that youthful over-confidence that he has somewhat tamed, leapt to the table to deliver the death-blow that would render Lee Vann defeated.
As he attempted to lick in the dangling orb, the cue ball sped into the Simonis clad rail only to ricochet into thin air and miss the 9 completely.
In a valiant effort, Lee Vann found the gumption to mount a comeback that, alas, was cut short at 8. In closing, Joshua’s .919 TPA had secured his presence on Sunday.
When asked about whether he feared the punishment of a Corteza reprisal after missing the hanging 9, “I was careless,” he confessed then added, “I was never afraid of losing. I know to be positive. Always be positive.”
Play continues Saturday. View at 
505 players vie for $10,000 first place prize. Race to 3, 9-Ball–Short Rack:
Another record attendance certifies the Derby City Classic as the world’s biggest pro-pool tournament
There were too just many matches. Here are a few that deserve mention:
Round 1. Eklent Kaci vs Jason Miller: 3-0? What? Eklent toppled the 2006 DCC Banks and All Around Champion? Wow the sweaters are still shaking their heads.
Keep your eyes on Kristina Tkatch as the 18 year old Russian native wins her first ever Banks match.
Round 2. Thorsten Hohmann dispatches Jayson Shaw to the buy-back booth.