Gomez is Super at International One Pocket Open

Roberto Gomez (Courtesy Karl Kantrowitz)

It might have felt to the one pocket fans in attendance at the finals of the International One Pocket Open that Roberto Gomez was a little like Clark Kent, as he was facing one of the most ferocious players in the game today, Tony Chohan. In the end though, Gomez lived up to his nickname and emerged from the match as Superman with the win.

After day one of the event on Friday, four players were left undefeated and eight players were left on the one loss side, needing to win one match on day two to qualify for the single elimination stage of the event. Gomez was joined by Alex Pagulayan, Devin Poteet and Jeremy Jones on the winner’s side. Those four players were soon joined by Darren Appleton, Tony Chohan, Omar Al Shaheen and Corey Deuel, who advanced with early wins on Saturday.

Those eight players were then shuffled into an 8 man single elimination bracket. Surprisingly, three of the four undefeated players were eliminated in the first round of this new bracket with Al Shaheen defeating Pagulayan, Chohan defeating Poteet and Appleton beating Jones.

Gomez won a back and forth quarter final matchup with Al Shaheen to send the Kuwaiti player to the stands in third place, and Appleton quickly joined him there, after a 3-1 loss to Chohan in the other quarter final match.

The final match between Gomez and Chohan gave Chohan the opportunity to avenge his only loss of the event, having dropped a 3-0 match to Gomez on Friday. The match was expected to be a battle between the shot-making of Gomez and the strategic “moving” ability of Chohan, and it did not disappoint any of the fans in attendance.

Rack one saw Chohan playing very conservatively, not willing to allow Gomez an open shot to fire at. With Chohan leading 7 to -2, Gomez was able to run three balls to get back to 7-1 before Chohan pocketed the final ball for the 8-1 win. Chohan held an early 3-0 lead in the second rack, but he let Gomez see a shot and he made the most of it, running seven ball for a 7-3 lead. Trailing 7-4, Chohan scratched to leave Gomez a spot shot for the second rack and he drained the shot to tie things at 1-1.

Chohan took control of the third rack and scored a quick 8-1 win to get to the hill at 2-1, and looked to be ready to put the finishing touches on his tournament win as he led the fourth rack 7-1. Gomez threw all caution to the wind and amazed the crowd with a run of six to leave both he and Chohan needing the final ball to win the rack. Chohan would not get a chance at that ball as Gomez delivered a pressure filled three rail bank into his pocket to knot the score at 2-2.

The final rack saw Gomez play a nice safety to gain control after Chohan’s break, and Chohan selling out a long straight in shot for Gomez to get a run started on a relatively open table. Gomez missed the ball and Chohan looked to be in control. After making two balls though, Chohan missed a touchy cut on his third ball and Gomez had second life. That was all that Gomez needed as he maneuvered through the rack for an eight ball run and the 8-2 win for first place.

Gomez pocketed $4,500 in prize money for the win, with Chohan settling for $3,100 in second place prize money. The International 9-Ball Open and the International Bigfoot 10-Ball Challenge both kick off on Sunday morning. The 10-Ball event will be featured on the streaming table, but fans who purchase the online PPV will be able to choose to watch a match on any of the sixteen tables in the room. Fans can also follow the event with online brackets at digitalpool.com.