Ignacio Chavez Sweeps Open 8-Ball Division at Viking Cue’s Southern Classic Open II

Ignacio Chavez
Ignacio Chavez Sweeps Open 8-Ball Division at Viking Cue's Southern Classic Open II

Out of a total field of fifty-three players in attendance at Mr. Cues Billiards II in Atlanta, Georgia, only one would be crowned Open 8-Ball Division winner – Ignacio “Nacho” Chavez. The Viking Cues Southern Classic Open Billiards Championship has been running strong since Saturday, October 20th. From October 22nd through October 24th, the 8-ball division took precedence.

With names such as John Schmidt, Shawn Putnam, Mike Davis, Johnny Archer, Stevie Moore, Cliff Joyner, Sylver Ochoa, Wade Crane, Rafael Martinez, Chris Bartrum, and Louis Ulrich, the competition was obviously quite fierce and railbirds much be loving every minute of it. The WPBA women made their way out to work their way through the men as well – Monica Webb, Helena Thornfeldt and Alice Rim represented the women throughout the two day event.

After such great match-ups, only two players made it to the end. The finals match between Louis Ulrich and Ignacio "Nacho" Chavez was filled with intense play and dramatic shots by both players. The match score never showed more than a one game difference between the players and the score was tied 6-6, 7-7 and 8-8 in the race to nine competition. At 8-8 Ulrich broke and made a solid ball then in the open table format, choose to pocket a solid next. After the break, the cue ball came to rest on top of the eleven ball on the rail at the racking end of the table. Ulrich had a tough decision to make as he choose to shoot the five ball which was by the racking spot into the side pocket of a stripe ball that was partially blocking the side pocket. After carefully studying the shot, Ulrich fired the five off the eleven in the side and then continued to run the next two balls with ease. To the packed house of spectators, it looked as if Ulrich was out from there but on the next shot Ulrich missed a very makable straight in shot and Chavez easily ran out the rest of the stripes and the final 8-ball to win the event.

Chavez' path to the finals allowed for wins over Jason Klatt 9-5; Norris Likens 9-0; Paul Song 9-7; Louis Ulrich 9-7; Stevie Moore 9-8; Clint McCullough 9-4 (for the hot seat); and ultimately a repeat upset against Louis Ulrich in the finals 9-8.

Ulrich made his way through Art Keck 9-2; Jerry Ray 9-0; John Schmidt 9-8; and after losing to Chavez 9-7, started his reign on the one-loss side over Johnny Archer 9-3; Larry Nevel 9-5; Chuck Dorsett 9-3 (in the quarters); Stevie Moore 9-8 (in the semis); Clint McCullough 9-1; and lost ended with the loss to Chavez.

Next event, the one-pocket division. A total field of thirty-four players are competing for the $5000 added money and title of champ. Some of the more recognizable names include Earl Strickland, John Scmidt, Shawn Putnam, Cliff Joyner, Helena Thornfeldt, Monica Webb, Larry Nevel, Rafael Martinez, Steveie Moore, Wade Crane, Ignacio Chavez, and Louis Ulrich. Buddy Hall was scheduled to compete but fell ill with a collapsed lung. After talking with him he wished all the players in the event good luck. The Viking Tour and all the players wish Buddy a speedy recovery.

So far, the first round matches have not produced many upsets except for the mighty Cliff Joyner falling off to the one-loss side courtesy of Shawn Putnam with a score of 3-2; Chris Bartram fell to Kaci Joiner 3-2; and Wade Crane was defeated by Stevie Moore 3-0. More to follow as the one-pocket division will be played through October 26th.