Efren Reyes Defends Make It Happen Title

Efren Reyes
These two players were competing mostly for pride (and a grand), but that did not keep them from putting on a spectacular show for the 1-Pocket aficionados in the Simonis Arena. 
After several innings in game one the score was tied at 1-1. Then Smith made a carom and ran four more. Though he should have run out, he still led, 6-1. Smith left a shot and Chohan made one, then missed. Smith followed with a super cut shot to pull to within a ball of victory at 7-2. Chohan ran three, then made a spectacular take out/cross corner bank to trail by one. But Smith sealed the win with a super cross corner bank – the final: 8 to 6.
Game two started with Smith making a ball for Chohan. On a subsequent turn Smith pocketed a bank and four more to forge ahead, 5-1. After Chohan missed a bank, Smith ran three and out to win the game, 8-1. In game three Smith scored a ball and Chohan committed a foul. Smith steadily added to his lead and reached the hill leading 7 to -1. But Chohan ran five and then made a long rail bank to close the gap – he now trailed 7 -6. But a safety left Smith with a relatively easy kick shot, and he rolled in the ball to take a 3-0 lead. In this Tale of Two Parts, Part 1 had just come to a close. Now it was Chohan’s turn to taste victory.
In game four Chohan took quickly shot ahead to a 7-0 lead, then pocketed a spin cut to win the game, 8-2. In game five Smith made a super long rail bank and then hung up his next shot. Chohan began his inning with a cut/carom, then proceeded to make Smith’s hanger and seven more balls for himself, completing a run of eight and out. Smith’s lead was now cut to one game at 3 games to 2.
Smith hung a bank and Chohan made a thin cut, then made Smith’s hanger. At this point Chohan led, 2-1. Smith made a tough cut and one more ball before missing a billiard, leaving Chohan with a shot. Chohan ran three to go ahead, 5-3, before barely missing a shot. Smith pulled to within a ball before Chohan ran two to take a lead of 7-5. Smith answered with a super cut shot and a takeout shot. Then Chohan claimed the win with a long distance two-rail bank to tie the match at 3-3!
In the double hill game Smith missed a cut shot and Chohan ran two, then kicked in a ball that was in the stack and ran five more to complete his matching winning run of eight and out.
Chohan finished the event with a record of 2-3 while Smith concluded play at 1-4. 
Let me be clear – the players in this match are two of my favorites. Still, I was pulling slightly for Reyes because I wanted to see both of them enter tonight’s finals with identical records of 4-1. Now, when they play for the championship, the winner will emerge with a record of 5-1, and the loser will be 4-2. Now, on to the match.
Van Boening ran two and Reyes answered by kicking in a dead ball and he then made one more. Van Boening ran six and out to claim the first game. In game two Reyes was awarded the table after Van Boening committed an infraction. Reyes took advantage of the ruling with a run of six and out, tying the score at 1-1.
Van Boening made a ball, then one for Reyes that was some distance from the pocket! They traded intentional fouls, and Reyes sold out on his second intentional foul. Van Boening made a ball and played shape on a behind the rack break shot – he hopped the cue ball over the rack and emerged with a shot and proceeded to run eight and out. He now led, 2 games to 1.
In game four Van Boening left Reyes with a shot and The Magician artfully worked his way through a run of eight and out, tying the match at 2-2. 
Reyes made two balls on his first shot – for Van Boening! The position he gained was evidently worth it as Shane fouled. Reyes missed a bank, left a shot, Van Boening made one ball, and he now led, 2-0. He did leave a shot and Reyes ran four balls. After Van Boening left Reyes near the head rail, Reyes slowed rolled a long shot, made it, and bumped a ball for shape. He completed his run of four balls to win game five, 8-2, and he took a 3-2 lead in the match.
In game six Reyes found a dead ball in the stack, made it, and ran eight and out to win the match. So, both players will enter tonight’s finals with records of 4-1. 
Jeremy Jones opened the scoring in game one with a long shot, then ran two more balls. He fouled in a later inning, but then ran four and hung a ball to take a commanding 6-0 lead. Pagulayan made a long shot and then a double cross corner bank. In a later turn he made another ball but then fouled, so the score now read 6-2 in Jones’ favor. Jones added another ball, and then closed out the game after Pagulayan missed a ball. 
In game two Jones fouled, then Pagulayan fouled as well. Jones then went for a massive take out and removed a bunch of balls from Pagulayan’s pocket, but he scratched and Pagulayan proceeded to run nine and out!
Pagulayan made a bank to open the scoring in game three, but scratched. He fouled again, then ran five balls to take a 3-0 lead. Jones fouled, Pagulayan pocketed a two-rail bank, and he now led, 4 to -1. Jones made a bank, a long shot, and then a cluster busting combo before running five more to reach game ball with a lead of 7 to 4. Several innings later Pagulayan misplayed a safety and left Jones with a short range cut in front of his pocket, which he made to win the game, 8-4. Jones now led in the match, 2 games to 1. 
In game four Pagulayan made a ball, then another in a subsequent turn, but left Jones a shot so the score was 2-1, Pagulayan’s favor. Pagulayan found a ball in the stack and made it (and one for Jones) and one more ball to take a 4-2 lead. Jones then played a bad safety and sold out, but Pagulayan ran only three before missing position on the game ball. He then sold out and Jones ran four before jawing a ball. Still, Pagulayan led, 7-6. But he then made an odd decision to go for a long rail bank rather than making Jones’ hanger. When he missed Jones made two super simple shots for the win. Jones now led, 3 games to 1. 
Jones made a ball, but then took an intentional foul. Pagulayan fouled, then made a bank, so the score was where it started at 0-0. Jones got an opening and ran four. Then Pagulayan sold out and Jones made two balls before missing a bank and double banking it into Pagulayan’s pocket! Pagulayan ran seven out, including a gamewinning cross corner bank to win the game, 8-6. Jones lead was cut to a game at 3-2.
In game six Jones made a bank and opened the balls, but had to play safe. Pagulayan tied the score at 1-1. A few turns later Pagulayan sold out while playing a safety and Jones ran six balls to take a 7-1 lead before missing position on the game ball. Pagulayan left Jones with a long cross table cut, which he missed badly. Pagulayan was left with a long shot which jawed out of his pocket and banked across the table into Jones’ pocket! Jones won the game, 8-1, and the match, 4 games to 2. 
Jones ended his first time in the MIH 1-Pocket in third place with a record of 3-2 while Pagulayan finished tied for last with a record of 1-4.
Efren Reyes 4 – Shane Van Boening 3
In the tune up match on Sunday afternoon Reyes foreshadowed the finals to come when he ran eight and out in beating Van Boening and evening their records in this event at 4-1. As a result, there would be no ties – the winner of the Make It Happen Invitational would be the player with the best record. 
The match opened with Van Boening scratching on his break, but he did not leave Reyes with a shot. After Van Boening hung a bank, Reyes kicked it in, erasing Van Boening’s foul. Reyes then fouled but Van Boening sold out and Reyes made a ball – so after several innings they were both scoreless. Van Boening ran two and, after Reyes missed a bank, he ran six and out to win game one.
Van Boening sold out and Reyes ran four balls. Reyes then played an intentional foul and Van Boening fouled as well, so the score was now 3 to -1 in Reyes’ favor. Reyes made a bank into a double carom (!) and ran five and out to even the match at 1-1.
Van Boening blundered with a scratch and Reyes ran four, made a combo/carom, and then completed his run of eight and out. 
Van Boening left Reyes with a combo and Reyes made it to take a 1-0 lead. Van Boening then left Reyes with another combo and he made it, igniting a run of seven and out to win the game, 8 to -1. Reyes now led in the match 3 games to 1.
Van Boening made a combo, but was a bit unlucky as he had no other shot. Reyes made a ball for Van Boening and jawed a ball in his own pocket. Reyes later made that ball to trail in the game, 2 to 1. Reyes then sold out on a safety and Van Boening ran two balls. Reyes replied with a bank, but then missed badly and Van Boening ran four and out to win the game, 8-2. He now was behind in the match, 3-2. 
Van Boening made a ball for Reyes, then in a subsequent turn he left Reyes with a shot and Efren ran four before hanging up a ball. Van Boening made that ball for Reyes, who was now ahead, 6-0. After Van Boening left Reyes with a shot, he made it, but then passed on a long shot that could have won the game, and the momentum changed. Van Boening opened his six ball run with a long rail bank, a long stop shot, and another bank. After Reyes left a ball near his own pocket, Van Boening made a super crossover bank to tie the score at 7-7. Van Boening left a ball near his pocket and he made it to win the game after Reyes’ takeout had left him with a shot. The match was now tied at three games each.
Reyes took an intentional foul, but Van Boening left him with a shot and he ran four to take a 3-0 lead. Reyes was provided with another offensive opportunity and he took full advantage of it, running five and out to win the game, 8-0, and the title. 
Reyes, 61, had beaten Van Boening, 32, who is arguably the best player in the world, in the game that Reyes is undisputedly the best ever. As a measure of Reyes’ firepower, nine of his 21 games won ended with long runs of 7 (3 times) and 8 (6 times), underscoring his skill at the game’s strongest move – running lots of balls!
Efren Reyes ------------ 5– 1   
Shane Van Boening----4 – 2    
Jeremy Jones-----------3 – 2  
Tony Chohan-----------2 – 3  
Alex Pagulayan---------1 – 4  
Danny Smith------------1 – 4  
Match #13 - Tony Chohan 4 – Danny Smith 3
Match #14 - Efren Reyes 4 – Shane Van Boening 2
Match #15 - Jeremy Jones 4 – Alex Pagulayan 2
Match #16 - Efren Reyes 4 – Shane Van Boening 3