Landon Shuffett Delivers A Clinic Two Nights in a Row at The Diamond 10 Ball Challenge in Tunica, MS

Landon Shuffett (Photo courtesy of Ricky Bryant)

The star of the Diamond 10 Ball Challenge on Thursday night was young gun Landon Shuffett from Greenburg, Kentucky. Shuffett had his opponent Earl “The Pearl” Strickland in a stranglehold for the complete match, and gave a clinic with his phenomenal breaking and pin point run outs. His safety game was really on and Earl was in a kicking mode for most of the match.

Earl did manage to put four games on the wire, but never really put up much of a struggle against the youngster. If Landon can keep playing with such a commanding game as we witnessed both last night and the night before he can absolutely win this event.

Many fans did wonder if Landon could come up with the goods two nights in a row, but now there is no doubt that his play against John Morra was no fluke. I also heard some comments that maybe he would collapse when he met Earl at the table. By my observations I don't think Landon was even aware that Mr. Strickland was there.

On paper, this match favored Dennis, who is regarded as the best 10 Ball player on the planet. On the other hand, fans who had witnessed UK young gun Phil Burford's break and shot making ability, thought that he definitely had a shot at beating Dennis.

Phil got off to a great start putting the score at 3-0, but when his break came up dry Dennis pounced and clinically ran out. Once Dennis closed the match to 3-3, the match stayed close right up to 5-4 in Phil's favor, before young 21 year old Burford got ahead by what would be his biggest margin in the match at 7-4.

Dennis pulled the score back to 7-7, and then stayed ahead until Phil leveled it at 10-10. They then went neck and neck to 12-12, when Phil uncharacteristically missed a couple of shots, and Dennis literally leapt out of his chair to close out the match 15-12.

This grueling match which started at midnight, did not finish until 4:30 am, and all of the players were experiencing how the lack of sleep is not conducive to sharp decision making.

This match was absolutely neck and neck right up to 14-12 in Charlie's favor, when Johnny who is known for being a grinder, took the last three games to get the win at 15-14. This match did not finish until 5:00 am.

Never count out Mr. Archer, who never gives up.

This match was identical to the Archer/Bryant match with the score always within one game and ended up tied at 12-12, before Alex put the pedal down and took the last three games to close Jeremy out 15-12

The two semi final matches will be played in the Accu-stats Simonis Arena at 12 noon and 4:00 pm and the final will be played at 8:00 pm. These matches will be played on a 10 ft table that was put into the arena over night (the 10 ft table will be switched back to a 9 ft table early Saturday morning for the 9 Ball semi finals and final on Saturday).