Derby City Classic XVIII, Day One

LIVE from the Horseshoe Southern Indiana Resort and Casino, Elizabeth, IN

DCC just turned 18. iI’s old enough to drink, to vote, to be tried as an adult. 18; It probably thinks it’s all growed up! But you know what, it might just be struttin’ into its post-pubescent spurt.

Why, you may ask? Because 475 competitors entered the Bank division. That’s HUGE: An increase of 15% over last year. Even event and Diamond founder Greg Sullivan was impressed. “And, if it weren’t for the sudden, winter weather, there may have been more,” he laughed.

Indiana, knee deep in snow, so what? A few falling flakes weren’t gonna deny these hearty, Derby hardened, competitors an opportunity to compete in the world’s largest pro pool event. Plus, the enticement of a potential, fat 50K if one took it off? That’s a lotta loot for a coupla week’s work.

That’s probably around what Alex Pagulayan, last year’s All Around Champion, must have won. It certainly contributed to why the increasing contingency from Chinese Taipei were here and, from Shanghai, the formidable Ko brothers.

Europe is well represented, too, with Appleton, Shaw, Feijen, Lely–great to see Souquet back–just to name a few. Canada has John Morra and Russia has Ruslan Chinakhov. Will he repeat in 14.1?

The Filipinos are here with Efren at the helm…and Bustey, Biado, Vann Corteza, Orcullo,
Kiamco, and, of course, the aforementioned Alex.

And let’s not forget the AMERICANS and Mosconi Cup players; Van Boening. DeChaine, Bergman, Woodward, Deuel, Hall, Schmidt…it’s endless

Who really knows who’s all here and, will be here, once the One-Pocket and 9-Ball roll around. All that matters now is that we celebrate DCC at 18 with 475 in the Banks. Bravo!

Well, actually, by day’s end, a few less…and some upsets: Woodward fell to Jason Jones 1-3. Hall got nailed by Nevel. All the other players listed above survived opening-day butterflies or, should we say, bullfrogs…and battle-axes.

The bruising continued at the Diamond BIG Foot 10-Ball Challenge. The Accu-Stats Arena hosts the 16 man, single elimination opening event in its entirety as the PPV is streamed LIVE, worldwide. Where else can you see 10 foot action? As Sullivan reminds us, “It’s the true test of a Champion.”

Friday’s first 3 encounters all went hill-hill with the ones who reached it first getting clobbered as the underdogs clambered back to close them out 11-10.

Alex really showed his LION heart against current US Open 9-Ball Champion Kevin Cheng. Kevin won 6 consecutive games to take what looked like an insurmountable lead, Alex, needing the bridge half the time to tame BIG Foot, maintained focus to, finally, run the last rack in his fearless, inimitable style.

In the 4th match, It was Efren who upset the come-from-behind applecart when he got to 11 first and allowed Appleton only 9. So, Chinakhov, Biado, Cheng, and Appleton said bye, bye, while it’s Lee Vann Corteza vs. Dennis Orcullo, and Alex vs. Efren plus, Saturday’s surviving quarter-finalists, on Sunday.

The semis and finals will conclude on Monday.

Saturday’s matches commence at noon, Derby time, with Feijen vs. Van Boening, Pin Ye Ko vs. Bustamante, Jayson Shaw vs. John Morra, and Woodward vs. Bergman.

Don’t miss a stroke at

The Banks continue at 8:45 am, EDT. Brutal!