One Pocket Highlights Derby City Day Six
Dave Thomson (Mediumpool.com)
Jan. 30, 2020
Justin Hall (Photo courtesy of Dave Thomson - Mediumpool.com)
Justin Hall (Photo courtesy of Dave Thomson - Mediumpool.com)
Diamond Derby City Classic XXII, January 24-Feb.2, 2020
 
Caesars Southern Indiana, Elizabeth, IN
 
David Thomson
 
DIAMOND ONE POCKET CHAMPIONSHIP
 
365 entries, 16 players left. 3 with buy-backs. Justin Hall, Omar Al Shaheen and Justin Bergman.
 
Skyler got off to a sketchy start against his new Mosconi Cup Vice-Captain Joey Gray. It was easy to see the comfort and camaraderie between the, supposed, opponents. But, that didn’t mean they weren’t out there to win.
 
Skyler did squeak by to take the first rack, it was while getting to 7 balls to 6 in the second, his cue ball, instead of kicking the dangling orb out of Joey’s pocket, forced him to give it to him.
 
He then left a loose safety on the deciding orb. Gray drowned it off the short rail. 1-1.
 
That woke Skyler up. No more mister nice guy. Sorry coach, it’s time to show you what I got! 3-1.
 
Jayson’s formidable run-out reputation preceded him. James Aranas was in total defense mode throughout their match. And, every time he could have played aggressively, and didn’t, it cost him. When he thought he’d left Shaw safe, Jayson always found something, either to lock Aranas up or, make a crowd pleaser and regain control of the table.
 
A 2-0, and 5 balls, Jayson got a cold roll. After driving home a very missable ball down the long rail, his cueball barely passed the cluster he was attempting to open, and scratched.
 
He dropped back to 4 balls. Aranas had whitey-in-hand in the kitchen. 
 
He made 2 and got a little bit unlucky himself. While negotiating opening a cluster, he ended welded. James could have taken the aggressive route, but chose to nudge into the balls where, normally, they would be considered safe. Not with Shaw.
 
Jayson, masterfully, banked in a ball from nowhere, created the required shape and closed out the match 3-0.
 
Bustamante and Morra were next in the pit.
 
Django doesn’t jangle. He’s as solid as rock when under the lights of the Accu-Stats Arena.
 
A scratch cost Morra the 2nd game. Bustey, confident in his long banks off the short rail, had to throw it slightly to ensure not selling out if he missed. His finesse helped the ball, silently, drop into the hole.
 
He couldn’t quite get them all. 
 
Aggressive as always, John got creative and banked a combo into his pocket while securing his cueball in the stack. He had an insurance ball on the rail near his pocket. As he was jacked-up in the stack he couldn’t do much.
 
Morra erred again and, in one shot, reversed the position of power. 
 
Bustey did what he does. He ran the required balls to move on to his next opponent. 3-1.
 
Unfortunately, it was Billy Thorpe.
 
“I really had to bear down,“ said Billy. “Bustey had fired one in from nowhere while his cueball moved my ball out of my pocket.”
 
But it wasn’t enough. Bustey, tired now from 6 days, and nights, in pool’s most grueling arena, managed only one game. 3-1.
 
England’s Chris Melling and Canada’s Alex Pagulayan then, entered the TV arena.
 
Chris, admittedly, can’t “move.” But, like Shaw, he sure can nick into the rack setting up a few balls at a time to create opportunity for a run out. Like the “old school” straight pool players, he’ll chip away until he gets insurance balls where he wants them, then caramba, 8 and out!  
 
Alex, unexpectedly, had missed a few balls that allowed Melling to apply the chipping principle and tie the match at 2.
 
Chris, confident now, closed in on the last rack with such a sublime example of cueball control and finesse that he had Alex perplexed. How could this happen? Oh, he knows, They are both fine snooker players, in fact, Chris had a snooker tour card.
 
it seems that great pool is evolving to combine disciplines. That’s why, now, there is Chinese 8-Ball: Pool, with Cyclop Balls, played on a 9 foot snooker table…with the biggest prize money in our sport.
 
Efren, possibly tired too, ran into nemeses Danny Smith and Justin Bergman. Brutal! Reyes had moments but the momentum was with his very worthy opponents. Alas, no 7th title, at least not this year.
 
Filler sent Jeffrey De Luna home, Omar Al Shaheen, still on a roll, took care of Corey, Skyler gave Alex his first loss, Jayson continued and removed Tom DeRuyter, Roberto Gomez broke Gary Abood to face a man he’s never beaten - at One Pocket anyway - Dennis Orcollo.
 
Still brandishing the intimidating Superman logo on his chest, Roberto turned out to be Dennis’ kryptonite.
 
Two and a half hours into the match, in the final game, intentional fouls, et al, had the score bounce from Dennis with 5 balls to 3, then to 4 games to 1. Then, 5-3, again.
 
With 4 fouled spheres stacked on top of each other on the spot, Dennis, while making the bottom ball on the tower, then scratched, 2 rails in the corner.
 
Now there were 6 balls on the spot with a loose one not too far from Superman’s hole.
 
Roberto stepped into the kitchen…and nailed it to the back of the pocket. Plus, he stroked it so accurately, he had shape on the lowest ball in the skyscraper. In that went, with a little inside english to tickle the stacked balls into playable position.
 
No mercy: Gomez wasn’t going to let this opportunity slip by. 3-2.
 
Filler and Oklahoma sharpshooter Chip Compton closed out the evening. 
 
Joshua, relied on his Straight Pool pattern play, bank power, and shotmaking to move 2-1 ahead.
 
Chip knows the game and knows Joshua. So, he wasn’t shocked to have fallen a game behind 1-2.
 
In game 4, Filler took on a loose position play and left Compton an easy starter. Chip could see at least 3 but, how to get 8? That’s the goal, 8.
 
Brilliantly, that’s how. He maneuvered the Cyclop around the Diamond, breaking clusters and sniping stragglers like a marksman on steroids. 2-2!
 
In the decider, within minutes Filler had the momentum. A nice bank got him started. A few more left a courageous cut. As the cueball kissed off the rack, two more were into his pocket. A slow, cross-corner crept in, while leaving whitey at the top rail.
 
There was one lonely ball sat near the stack. He let his cueball loose to stop dead, defensively, behind the remaining 7 ball cluster. 3 rails later the projectile dropped into his pocket.
 
Goodnight.
 
More great One-Pocket at NOON, and 6pm, Thursday.
 
 
DIAMOND 9-BALL CHAMPIONSHIP
 
They’re off but not much to report yet. 
 
We’ll have plenty tomorrow.
 
FRIDAY NIGHT BANKS RING GAME
 
Derby’s most casual  assembly of the no safeties allowed, murderer’s row bankers clash in the winner-take-all bloodfest.
 
Not to be missed!
 
Featuring Skyler Woodward, Billy Thorpe, Jayson Shaw, Jonathan Demet, Justin hall, Omar Al Shaheen.
 
Don’t miss a stroke at accu-stats.com
 
Accu-Stats thanks its Arena Sponsors: Diamond Billiards, Simonis Cloth, Cyclop Balls, Cuetec Cues, Cue and Case, MEZZ Cues, McDermott Cues, National Billiard Academy.