Deska hangs on to spoil Shuff bid for two straight on the Action Pool Tour

Brandon Shuff was looking to make it two in a row on the Action Pool Tour. Since his July victory on the Action Pool Tour's second stop, he'd squeezed in a fifth place finish on the Seminole Pro Tour, behind Shane Van Boening, Darren Appleton, Rodney Morris and Johnny Archer and had shared his money spot with Alex Pagalayun.  He came north, and on the weekend of August 13-14, in an event that drew 40 entrants to Break Time in Salisbury, MD, he was stopped by Brian Deska in the second set of a true double elimination final.

Deska was thinking maybe his finals opponent was going to be Shaun Wilkie, with whom he'd battled for possession of the hot seat. Deska had defeated Josh Brothers from among the winners' side final four 8-5, as Wilkie was busy sending Kevin West west, as it were, 8-4. The hot seat match was a tightly contested, double hill battle that eventually sent Wilkie to the semifinals and a meet-up with Shuff.

Shuff, in the meantime, was hard at work on a seven-match, one-loss side winning streak that had begun when Chip Klein had sent him west 8-5 in the third round. Shuff shut out Joe Hughes and squeaked by Brett Stottlemyer in a double hill match, before defeating Matt Krah 8-3, and Butch Wiemer 8-6 to reach Brothers; Shuff had to come back from a 6-2 deficit against Wiemer to get there. West drew Klein, who'd followed Shuff over, when Brothers had defeated him 8-4 in the fourth round (winners' side final eight). Klein then defeated Ricky Myers 8-2, and just did get by tour director Ozzie Reynolds in a double hill match, to face off against West.

The battle for advancement to the quarterfinals took 29 of the maximum 30 games necessary, and denied Shuff the potential satisfaction of a re-match versus Klein. It was West emerging from the double hill battle against Klein, while Brothers took six racks from Shuff  before giving way. Shuff dispatched West quickly 8-2 in the quarterfinals that followed, and then, repeated that score in a semifinal victory over Wilkie.

In the opening set of the true double elimination finals, with momentum clearly on his side, Shuff defeated Deska 8-4. In the second set, with determination just as clearly on his side, Deska battled to double hill, and then, when Shuff broke dry on the 15th rack, ran the table to complete the event victory.