Derby City Day Two And Three

Fedor Gorst (Photo courtesy of Dave Thomson - Medium Pool)
Derby City Classic XXI, January 25 - February 2nd, 2019
LIVE from the Horseshoe Southern Indiana Casino, Elizabeth IN.
Diamond BIG Foot Challenge: $32,000 Prize Fund.
Format: Race to 11, single elimination, alternate break, all balls count, 10-ball on the break is respotted.
Saturday’s play opened with Poland’s Konrad Juszczyszyn opposing Scotland’s Jayson Shaw. Konrad, a two time Euro Tour Championship semi-finalist, was hard-pressed to perform against Shaw’s confident swagger.
The Scot’s .927 TPA spoke reams as did the 11-2 result.
in 2017’s BIG Foot Challenge, we were first introduced to Gorst as a slender sixteen-year-old when he ousted Darren Appleton 11-10. Last year, he succumbed to Gomez in another hill-hill thriller.
Today, still slender, he faced a Pagulayan so despondent that, in the opening racks, it was suggested they check for a pulse. Down 6-3, Alex suddenly came alive and Fedor, after dropping four in a row, was fumbling. Manifesting much maturity, he, wisely, took a timeout.
On his return to the Accu-Stats TV Arena, he broke and ran the next rack to tie the match at 7. Gorst, exuding new-found confidence, resuscitated his dominance to close the encounter, 11-9.
The educated DCC audience had heard of Taiwan’s Chang, thanks to his recent win at Pat Fleming’s 2018 International 9-Ball Open.
Kaci, they knew after seeing Efren miss an 8 that left perfect shape on the closing 9. Eklent, steady as a rock, ran out the set. But that was years ago – two to be exact – the night before his 17th birthday.
Since then, the battle-hardened Albanian had blasted his way past champion after champion with wins that include two back-to-back World 8-Ball Series titles.
Chang was not intimidated by the Kaci resume. After finding their feet on the 10-foot behemoth, they would soon attack long shots that would scare mere mortals–even on a 9-foot. The only difference was that, at 3-2 and .852 versus .818 Accu-stats’ TPAs would attest, Jung-Lin would jangle less.
Eklent’s cue ball began to stray. His position wasn’t as pinpoint as Chang’s who was now ahead 8-5 with a TPA of over .900.
Kaci couldn’t quite catch the momentum and managed only two more games before the gap widened and Chang closed at 11-7.
Would Roberto, the DCC XX BIG Foot Champion, repeat? Not if Shane had any input. He leapt ahead 4-0. Then, the gutsy Filipino found that gear. In the blink of a lens, he was pounding them into the back of BIG foot’s diminutive pockets. Gomez, now led 6-5. Both men had TPA’s tipping .900.
Shane was in shock…and looked it. Could he recover? Damn right he could! Back and forth they battled until, tied at 7, Van Boening bore down to sprint to the finish line before Roberto new what hit him.
Sunday’s final 8, or quarterfinals.
There is no prize money ’til the last 4 places: $16,000 for first, $8,000 for second, and $4,000 each for third/fourth.
It opened with Orcollo in Robocop mode. Stoic as always, he strode to an 8-2 advantage. In the middle of the set, Deuel, desperate, donned his dueling cap. In a flurry of recovery, he won a few.
Orcollo, unconquerable, captured the set 11-5.
Corey was later observed challenging the 100 dollar chess game in the lobby by the bar. There, he beat the incumbent player.
The young German gun versus the 3-time Filipino Master of the Table. The master had magically maneuvered to 5-2. In command of the table, Bustey jawed a make-able ball. The next two games he donated by missing a ball again–one of which was a 10!
As he sat staring into the abyss, we can only imagine the tape running in Bustey’s head. Without the unforced errors, arguably, he would have had Filler floundering. 
Francisco never quite regained that opening, casual composure.
Nothing like the sign of weakness to inspire the conqueror. Closing it out at 11-8, Filler was in the quarters.
Fedor Gorst vs. Jayson Shaw
Things aren’t exactly auspicious when, in the opening break, the cue ball scratches in the side. Then, while attempting a long shot in the corner, the ball jaws and he was minus 2. That’s how it all began for Shaw.
Yet, he soon recouped and they were tied at 5. Shaw, now loose, looked the stronger and, at 9-7, had developed a two game lead.
Fedor, aided by his slick and sturdy Cuetec carbon fiber shaft, found his form and won the next three games: 10-9. The 20th game had more safeties than any set in the tournament. Each time a player was hooked, the fellow contestant either countered with a hook or, left it safe.
Shaw won the exchange and, with incredible accuracy, caromed in the 10.
It was yet another hill-hill encounter for Gorst.
Shaw had the momentum but, as is often the case, the balls were lying a little bit funny. He, unflinchingly, pocketed the immediate spheres with ease. Adrenalin pumping, an overrun cue-ball mandated that he use the bridge. He needed a touch of inside to get in line for the 8 that would lead to the 9, the 10, and the match. The english didn’t take and he was off-angle to get straight on the 8. Trying to force it, the 8 spat out of the pocket to leave an incredulous Gorst a cosmo.
“I thought it was over for me,” Fedor later reflected. “I really thought it was over.” 
Jun-Ling Chang vs. Shane Van Boening
In, perhaps, the most anticipated match-up of the day, Shane was pounding the break: Chang, too. Making 3 balls was not uncommon and, in one instance, Shane actually pocketed 4.
Run-outs? Shane 3, Chang 2. No one was really aware of those, what mattered was the score. And, at 8-8 with the cue-ball snuggled up against the rail, Chang, inexplicably–for him–missed a 10-ball. Nerves? You betcha! Van Boening had been on his opponent’s tail for most of the match. Now he had the opportunity to rattle Chang’s chain.
Left long, Shane, cautiously, disposed of Chang’s errant 10, and at 9-8, was finally in front.
But, Chang was breaking. Alas, Shane managed only one more game. At 11-9 Jung-Lin was now destined to meet Gorst for a possible berth in the finals.
Jun-Ling Chang had mustered the highest TPA of the match with, at one point, a superlative .984. That had been reduced a bit to a .933 but was still well ahead of Van Boening’s .876.
Play continues Monday. View at 
2:00pm: Dennis Orcullo vs. Joshua Filler
4:30pm: Fedor Gorst vs. Jung-Lin Chang
9:00pm: Final
Race to 3, 9-Ball–Short Rack:
505 entrants are now reduced to 24 as players vie for $10,000 first place prize. 
A more complete review will be presented tomorrow.
410 entrants are underway.
The high-run contest is underway manned by 14.1 aficionados Dennis Walsh and Bill Maropulis. Bob Jewett, the event creator, has been seen enjoying the 10-Ball/
The entrants with the 8 highest runs will compete in a single elimination play-off to determine the champion.
John Schmidt has scored a 160. He’s determined to beat his 434 record in his search of bettering Mosconi’s 526 ball World Record.
Accu-Stats thanks its Arena Sponsors: Diamond Billiards, Simonis Cloth, Cyclop Balls, Cuetec Cues, Lucasi Custom, MEZZ Cues, McDermott Cues, National Billiard Academy, and Samsara Cues.