Shaw comes back from the loss side to win 5th Annual Dismal Swamp Classic
Skip Maloney
Nov. 2, 2019
Roberto Gomez, Jayson Shaw and Denis Grabe
Roberto Gomez, Jayson Shaw and Denis Grabe
In the weeks preceding the International US Open in Norfolk, VA, many of the country’s and a large contingent of the world’s top pool players participated in a regularly scheduled series of independent tournaments which normally don’t like to be thought of as ‘warm-ups’ for the International, but generally, for the players, are. It began with the Steinway Classic in New York City, a 10-ball event, during the week of October 13, won by Thorsten Hohmann. On the weekend of Oct. 19-20, at the same location, NYC held its annual multi-division 8-ball championships, also won by Thorsten Hohmann, and on the following Tuesday, rounding out the disciplines, and edging closer to Norfolk, VA, Peter Burrows held his annual American 14.1 Straight Pool Championships, won by Ruslan Chinakhov, in Virginia Beach, VA.
 
On that final weekend, preceding the International, as the 14.1 Straight Pool Championships moved into its single elimination phase, the only 9-Ball ‘warm-up’ to the International got underway in Elizabeth City, NC. Called the Dismal Swamp Classic and dedicated to Elizabeth City native, and 6-time World Champion, Luther “Wimpy” Lassiter, the $9,000-added Classic drew a strong contingent of the country and world’s top pool players, as well, many of whom may, to some, have appeared to be missing from the other warm-ups; Jayson Shaw, Shane Van Boening, Sky Woodward, James Aranas, and Alex Kazakis as examples, all of whom are still ‘in the hunt’ at the International, all on the loss side, except for Kazakis, who’ll play in the hot seat.
 
Shaw emerged from the Swamp Classic attendees to claim the event title. His path to the winners’ circle got sidetracked by Roberto Gomez in a winners’ side semifinal, but he came back to defeat Gomez and then, Dennis Grabe in the finals. The 5th Annual Dismal Swamp Classic, held from Oct. 24-26 under the auspices of the J. Pechauer Southeast Open 9-Ball Tour, drew 31 entrants to Colonial Cues in Elizabeth City.
 
As Shaw was busy being sent to the loss side 8-5 in a winners’ side semifinal by Gomez, Van Boening was being sent over in the other winners’ side semifinal, same score, by Dennis Grabe. Grabe then defeated Gomez 8-6 to claim the hot seat.
 
Shaw moved over and picked up John Morra, who’d defeated James Aranas, double hill, and Josh Roberts 8-6. Van Boening drew Jalal Youcef, who’d eliminated Chris Melling 8-4 and Alex Kazakis, double hill; two tasks most assuredly more difficult to accomplish than the sentence describing it.
 
Shaw and Van Boening moved on to the quarterfinals with identical 8-3 victories over Morra and Youcef, respectively. Apparently enjoying that score, Shaw moved on to chalk it up against Van Boening in the quarterfinals.
 
Shaw’s rematch against Gomez came within a game of going double hill, but it didn’t. Shaw got a shot at Grabe in the hot seat with an 8-6 win over Gomez in the semifinals. 
 
Shaw was apparently done with fooling around. He chalked up a four- and a five-pack in the finals to claim the event title 12-3 over Grabe.
 
Tour/event director Tommy Kennedy thanked the ownership and staff at Colonial Cues for thei hospitality, as well as title sponsor J. Pechauer Custom Cues. The next stop on the J. Pechauer Southeast Open 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for November 30, will be a $500-added event, hosted by Waldo’s in Daytona Beach, FL.