Derby City Classic XVI Underway

Damn it's cold! But, nasty weather didn't stop 361 Bank Pool entrants traveling from near and far in search of glory and, of course, a chance at a downpayment on the $25,000 Master of the Table added cash.
Diamond Billiard Products awards $20,000 to the player who accumulates the highest finishes in the Bank Pool, One-Pocket, and 9-Ball events.
Diamond also adds another $50,000 to those three events.
If that's not enough, there's the Diamond Big Foot 10-Ball Challenge: Diamond doubles the 16 large that, arguably, sixteen of the world's best 10-Ball busters ante-up, at a grand a man, to battle it out for $32,000. BTW, it's single elimination and only the top four finishers get paid. (Suddenly, it just got colder.)
And, let's not forget the 14.1/ Straight Pool preliminary rounds where the top 8 high runs, derived from a ball-in-hand break shot, square off in single elimination.
Or, the PUMP-UP MINI tourneys held in the wee small hours–just to keep you in stroke–when you really should be in bed resting-up for tomorrow's torture.
And, we love it., we love it so much, we've have been lining up for 16 years to this Derby City medley; Young and old; fearless and full of fight, battered and bewildered, we're all here, hundreds of us.
Where else do pool's super stars get to mingle with the best and the brightest of new talent? And, get beaten. Look at Justin Hall's success against Shannon Daulton. Or, Justin Bergman's against Bustey in last July's Southern Classic.
The race to 3 game, short rack Banks division held few surprises–except that Efren is back.
Rumor had it that he'd retired. Not yet he hasn't. Running 7 and out still holds a certain satisfaction. (He's just warming up for One-Pocket.) He's also playing in the 10-Ball with Rodney Morris today on the Accu-Stats' TV table.
Efren has 5 Master of the Table titles. Wouldn't it be great to see him take another? Or, is it like expecting Federer to take out Djokovic and Nadal? This week will tell.
What might be considered an upset was when not-so-well-known Paul Smith had Brandon Shuff shuffling back to the buy-back booth.
Saturday also has Scott Frost, Shannon D, Freddy the Beard, Cliff Joyner and, more. John Brumback  and Shawn Putnam will square off while Corey Deuel meets Sylver Ochoa.
The Big Foot Challenge opened on the Accu-Stats TV table with Scotland's Jayson Shaw pitted against former Florida State Champion Robb Saez. Shaw had had little sleep and delivered, not his best, Accu-Stats Total Performance Average(TPA) of .826 but, let's not forget, this is the ten foot. Rob garnered an uncharacteristically low .742 to lose 11-8.
Last year's Southern Classic 9-Ball champ Lee Vann Corteza then faced 2012 Banks Champ John Morra
Lee Vann's TPA of .811 and John's .810 TPA showed how accurately the system actually is as both player's were on the hill. Vann faltered to leave John a long shot on the rail which he hammered home with great composure. Then, the normally emotionless Morra steadied himself to face the last 3 balls with loud, pursed lip exhales before executing each shot. He, then, calmly sank the ten to move into the semi's on Sunday.
Shane shone over nemesis Dennis Orcollo. The ten foot doesn't faze Shane as he has plenty of past experience straddling its length. His .890 is world class in any discipline. Orcollo's .819 showed he wasn't quite battle ready and he was only allowed to 8.         
LA's Oscar Dominguez performed fearlessly when surmounting a zero to 2 deficit to hover over the mighty Earl at 5-2. Luck favored him most of the way. In the race to eleven, he'd stayed ahead until 8-5. Then the warm wind changed direction and the cold set in. Earl started making balls on the break. Running out at 10-8, his bank in the side skidded off tip of the pocket and sped along the rail into the corner. Sinking the remaining 3 balls secured him a seat in the quarters on Sunday.
Saturday has Ralf Souquet vs. the new Filipino threat Carlos Biado, Efren and Rodney, Corey Deuel vs. Niels Feijen, and Francisco Bustamante vs. Darren Appleton.
To see these matches LIVE on your computer, visit
For the 14.1/Straight Pool action visit
The 2014 Derby City Classic is Sponsored by Diamond SMART TABLE, True Blue Simonis 860 Cloth, and Cyclop Pool Balls.