Deuel stops Mika in US Open semifinal

Corey Deuel

It's hard to win a pool match, sitting on a stool. Just ask Mika Immonen. After falling in the hot seat match to Darren Appleton, Immonen stayed put at the Accu-Stat broadcast table, as Corey Deuel, fresh off his victory over Warren Kiamco in the quarterfinals joined him.  When Immonen played for the hot seat, he was two victories away from a third title. He was still only two victories away, when Deuel stepped to the table. Dueul, though, stopped him cold, winning eight in a row to finish the semifinal match and earn himself a slot in the finals versus Appleton.

Deuel's match versus Kiamco was the first to employ the ‘win by two' rule which had been established for the final two days of the event. Had it not been for that rule, Kiamco, who won the 21st rack of that quarterfinal match, would have been the one facing Immonen. Deuel , though, came back to tie things at 11, scratched on the subsequent break, and allowed Kiamco to ‘win' again at 12-11. Kiamco didn't know it at the time, but his US Open bid was over. Deuel tied it up at 12-12, won the next rack to go up 13-12, and then finished things with a flourish,using a 2-9 combo to win the first 26th rack in US Open history.

Immonen won the lag for the semifinal match and though he came up dry on the break, he kept Deuel away from a clean shot, and eventually won the opening game.  Immonen broke dry a second time, and Corey made him pay, eventually banking the 8-ball, and sinking the 9 to even the score.  Then it was Corey's turn to break dry, although he eventually took the lead 2-1. Corey went up 3-1 in a game that almost featured a 9-ball on the break, and included a long rail shot that he jumped to reach. Corey broke the fifth rack, but Mika eventually ran the rack to pull within one at 3-2. Deuel gave Immonen a ball in hand in rack six, and Mika, no surprise, ran the rack to tie things at 3-3. It was actually the end of Mika's run.

Deuel won the next eight, recording the match's first break and run to pull ahead by two at 5-3, and then recorded three of them in a row in racks 12, 13, and 14 to finish it. Deuel had used a deadly combination of excellent shot choices, execution and pinpoint, table speed precision to keep Immonen seated on the stool, as he moved on to vie for his second US Open title; the first of which he'd won by shutting Immonen out in 2001.

The finals of the US Open were scheduled to get underway at 7 p.m. this evening (Saturday).