Karl Boyes Takes Bigfoot Challenge at Diamond Southern Classic

Karl Boyes

Former 8-Ball World Champion Karl Boyes from Blackpool, England, put in a late entry into the Diamond Bigfoot Challenge and wound up scooping the top prize.

Mr. Boyes, who flew in to play in only the Ultimate 10 Ball Championship last week, decided at the last minute to change his flight plans and take the last spot available in the sixteen man field for the Diamond Bigfoot Challenge.

The Challenge was contested on two 10-ft tables. There were two matches at 6:00 pm on Friday evening, and two more at 8:30 pm to whittle the top eight in the draw down to four players. The same format was used on Saturday evening for the bottom half of the draw.

At 6:00 pm on Friday the matches featured CJ Wiley (USA) VS Chris Melling (UK) and Phil Burford (UK) VS Corey Deuel (USA). In the first match Chris Melling outshot CJ to get the “W” at 11-6. In the second match Burford beat Deuel by the identical score of 11-6.

The Friday 8:30 pm matches had Dennis Orcollo (Phi) VS Shane Van Boening (USA)  and Alex Pagulayan (Phi) VS Francisco Bustamante (Phi). In the first match Van Boening came out the winner over Orcullo 11-6. 

The second match was more dramatic. Although Busti had the Lion 5-0 at the start of the match, Pagulayan just kept coming with great shot after great shot, and eventually got the win 11-9 after a couple of unexpected misses by Bustamante.

On Saturday evening the 6:00 pm matches were Jayson Shaw (UK) VS Karl Boyes (UK) and Nikos Ekonomopoulos (Greece) VS Wang Can (China) - In the first match Mr. Boyes came with his best game and did not allow “Eagle Eye” Jayson many visits to the table, hence the lopsided score line of 11-3 to Boyes.

In the second match Economopoulis seemed to handle the bigger table the best and took down the young gun Wang Can 11-6.

The 8:30 pm matches were made up of Carlo Biado (Phi) VS Niels Feijen (Den) and Efren Reyes (Phi) VS Jonathan Pinegar (USA) - In the first match the Greek ran over the Dane, even though Feijen was a favorite to take down this event. Biado just did not give Feijen any wiggle room, and even after a strong come back Niels ended up on the wrong side of an 11-7 score.

In the second match we saw Efren Reyes make too many mistakes and that allowed Jonathan Pinegar to forge ahead to a 11-7 win. That led us to Sunday evening with eight players left fighting to get into the $4,000 money round.

In the first round at 6:00 pm we saw Phil Burford VS Chris Melling and Shane Van Boening VS Alex Pagulayan. Burford beat Melling in a fairly sloppy match filled with more misses than they would like to see at 11-9. Van Boening defeated Pagulayan.

In the 8:30 pm second round we had Karl Boyes VS Nikos Ekonomopoulos and Carlo Biado VS Jonathan Pinegar. Karl Boyes beat up on his fellow European opponent to advance. Jonathan Pinegar also advanced beating Mr. Biado.

We now had four players only two rounds away from the $16,000 first prize. The players would get a day off on Monday to await three Accu-Stats TV matches (The 9ft Diamond Arena table being switched for a 10ft table overnight) starting Tuesday afternoon at 2:30 pm.

When the Challenge resumed on Tuesday, the first match saw Karl Boyes VS Jonathan Pinegar in a match that went back and forward to 7-7. Then Mr. Boyes took off and won 11-7 to secure a spot in the final and a guaranteed $8,000.

At 4:30 pm we saw Phil Burford VS Shane van Boening in a sloppy match with both parties missing shots that left the crowd shocked at the standard of play. Both players could have been up by four games, but neither player advanced when logic said they would. The final score was 11-9 to Van Boening who looked his normal self during the last two rack clearances.

Our finalists in the Bigfoot Challenge then were Karl Boyes (UK) and Shane Van Boening (USA). This match was high caliber throughout and close all the way until the Englishman put his foot on the gas to win the coveted title with a score line of 11-8.

Not a bad win for a last minute entry into the event, and a few hundred dollars worth of flight re-scheduling - Maybe a flight upgrade is in the books for the return trip!!!

I must say that Karl, who started playing in the Ultimate 10 Ball Championship last week, did not play startling pool in his first matches. But like the Energizer Bunny he just kept getting better and better as the event progressed. He told me that he had not been playing that much even though he took down the last GB9 event in the UK a couple of weeks ago. But, the form that has made him a World Champion really surfaced in this Bigfoot format. As he told me after the match “Boyes Will Be Boyes!"

Congratulations to Diamond and their Bigfoot Tournament Direct Jay Helfert for bringing us this great event for the second year running at the Southern Classic at the Harrah’s Casino and Hotel in Tunica, MS.