Lucasi King of the Hill Pro Challenge

Johnny Archer

Six of the worlds greatest players were invited to play in a special Lucasi King of the Hill format where players play 1 on 1 and the winner stays on with the incoming challenger next in line breaking. When a player loses 3 games, they are eliminated. Last player standing wins. 1st place $7000, 2nd place $4000. This event was part of the LTL Atlanta Open sanctioned by the UPA as a points ranking event.

The invited players were Johnny Archer, Rodney Morris, Troy Frank, Robb Saez, Young Hwa Jeong, and Corey Deuel. The sponsors of the event were:
OB Osceola of Seminole Tribe of FL
Rocky McElroy of Capones FL
LTL Rob & LeAnn Sapp
Greg Sullivan of Diamond Billiards
Frank Alvarez of the UPA
Angry White
Dragon Promotions

Archer and Jeong drew the first match and Archer took him down for the first game. Next challenger was Troy Frank and Frank ran out to the last 2 balls which were the 9 ball and 10 ball only to hook himself and gave Archer an easy ball in hand after he missed the kick. Then Deuel came up next and was fortunate from a rare misjudgement on Archer's part as he caromed off the 3 ball for a scratch and gave Deuel the win. Deuel takes over the table and Morris challenges next. Again Deuel comes through but loses afterwards to final challenger Saez. Saez is new king and Jeong comes up next but Jeong hangs up an easy 8 ball and Frank comes up next only again to face misfortune when the 8 ball rolled off down the rail. Archer next and finally unseated Saez to give him his first loss.

After the next rotation of games, everyone had 2 losses. Jeong than eliminated Frank with 3 losses. Next Morris eliminated Jeong and then Deuel came up to challenge Morris. After some fantastic safety exchanges, Morris put Deuel in a lock up safe with no kicks or jump shots available. Deuel, after rare deliberation, opted to jump the cue ball off the rail into the air and hit the one ball. He succeeded into popping the cue ball into the air, landed on the one ball and left Morris a difficult shot on the one ball! But to everyones surprise, Tournament Official Marty Rimlinger caught the foul as Deuel amazingly did not hit a rail afterwards! This gave Morris ball in hand and the run out to eliminate Deuel.

Now it was down to 3 players and Morris faced Archer. The winner was guranteed a minimum of 2nd place. Both players played a saefty exchange, but Archer left Morris a length of the table shot with the 4 ball on the middle diamond. Morris opted to play the safety and tried to cover the cue ball behind 2 balls and play the 4 ball behind the 6 ball. But a little too hard and left Archer a challenging shot. Archer rarely dogs it when its this close, and this was no different as he cinched and finessed the 4 ball landing perfect on the 6 ball to run out the rest of the balls to eliminate Morris and put himself in the last game against Saez.

The final game started out badly for Archer as he scratched off a safety attempt, but the table was clustered so Saez tried a safety to go for the 3 fouls. Archer made a good hit and Saez resafed but accidentally pocketed a ball leaving himself a shot nonetheless. He would have to play position for another safe, but this time he let the cue ball go a little too much leaving the Scorpion enough to make the shot and the out for the $7000 win! Saez settled for $4000.

This was the 4th special pro invitational Dragon Promotions has produced in conjunction with their normal pro tournaments as a special treat for fans and players on the players meeting nights. So far, players have won nearly $50,000 in the last 4 special pro invitationals. Past winners are Cory Deuel, Rodney Morris, Rob Saez and now Johnny Archer.

The next DP Pro Invitational will be at the US Pro Tour Championship in Jan.

File photo courtesy of Diana Hoppe - Pool Pics by Hoppe