Thorpe Downs Hall for Derby One Pocket Title
Dave Thomson (Mediumpool.com)
Jan. 31, 2020
Billy Thorpe (Photo courtesy of Dave Thomson - Mediumpool.com)
Billy Thorpe (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
 
Race to 3, 365 entries, 1 man standing.
 
Billy Thorpe and Justin Hall put on a competitive one-pocket display that will be praised for decades. It can truly be said that it was unfortunate that there was only one winner. They both played their hearts out.
 
There were no signs of the weakness that being in a final can sometimes induce. No unnecessary tension created by considering the outcome. These free-stroking athletes were celebrating their mastery in the moment!
 
The two gallant young guns, aggressive from the get-go, could not be contained. In the opening racks, they both ran 8.
 
Yet, it was the intrepid Billy “Torpedo” Thorpe, now a 2 time DCC One Pocket Champion, who prevailed.
 
And, like a torpedo, he attacked from the depths to undermine the one-pocket skillset that Justin employed to tie the match at 2.
 
Hall also had the benefit of the break. The break is huge in one pocket. It’s like the power of the opening move in chess, You have to defend. Billy became the underdog.
 
Hall spread the balls well as they rippled toward his pocket.
 
Billy leapt to the table. It appeared that one may have leaked out.
 
This was no time for doubt. His Cuetec carbon fiber shaft powered the Cyclop across the ice blue Simonis. The audience gasped at his spunk.
 
Justin was first to observe as the ball sped, unobstructed,  into the back of the tight, Diamond pro-cut pocket.
 
What Billy proceeded to achieve is a rack for the ages. 
 
Justin’s strategy couldn’t be faulted. One millimeter of a roll and he was rendered powerless as he experienced Billy’s superlative ability in action, Only moments ago, Justin was in the vanquishing seat. Now, he saw his hopes vanish, one ball at a time.
 
8 and out. 3-2. Billy’s dream accomplished; Justin’s nightmare corroborated. 
 
Justin’s road to the finals included an encounter with Joshua Filler in the Accu-Stats TV Arena. Joshua’s Straight Pool pattern play, bank power, and shotmaking were in fine form. And, his “moving” improving. This match would be the test. 
 
Justin “Hollywood” Hall, 2012 Southern Classic Bank Pool and One-Pocket Champion, unblemished, still had his buy-back. The reason being he had obliterated everyone in his path.
 
He can, obviously, bank, he’s aggressive and will attack with calculated risk, as long as there is an exit plan. It’s “moving” where he excels.
 
That’s what got him to 2.1, and ahead 7 balls to 6 in the 3rd.
 
The moment that swung the match was when Filler’s fine execution of a formidable bank incurred a truly freaky scratch. Instead of 2-2, Hall had ball-in-hand anywhere behind the headstring. And, a spot shot! He hasn’t missed one of those since the Clinton era. 3-1. 
 
Filler should be commended for garnering such a high finish in this field of landmines. With some expert guidance, like Melling and Shaw, he could be a one-pocket contender.
 
Meanwhile, out in the Diamond Arena, The rumors that the, aforementioned, Melling’s prowess is improving were rumbling thru the hallways. Just ask the baffled 2013 Southern Classic One-Pocket Champion Justin Bergman who had just shaved a few whiskers from Al Shaheen. And, Gomez, who outblasted Jayson Shaw’s ambitions.
 
Hall had also routed the personable Robert Frost who had waxed poetic to the final 6.
 
And, what about this 21-year-old, Jesus Atencio who had swum so far upstream in his first ever DCC 1-Pocket event? It had taken Billy to tame the fearless Latino invader.
 
Then, there were 4. 
 
Melling and Gomez found each other again on the Accu-Stats TV table while Thorpe and the unbeaten Hall were designated in the Diamond Arena.
 
Both Melling and Gomez had rallied on their excellent safety, banking, and shotmaking skills. But, now that they were alone, Without the guidance of a “mover,” you could see they were fish out of water. They were first to admit, in some instances, they had no idea what to do.
 
It was Melling who committed the ultimate one-pocket cardinal sin. With ball-in-hand, he pocketed a ball in his opponent’s pocket while playing shape on another which left a perfect bank for Gomez. Those 2 balls, cost him that game and any further advancement.
 
You can be sure that they will enter, again, next year.  Success is addicting.
 
And then there were 3, Billy, Justin, and Roberto.
 
Billy’s 3-1 defeat of Justin demanded that he buy back.
 
Billy drew the bye. Justin derailed Roberto’s route at 3-0…in 37 minutes. They were playing real one-pocket now.
 
And, that’s how Thorpe and Hall rode to the hottest seat in Caesars Southern Indiana.
 
The All Around Champion points are adding up with Billy’s One-Pocket and Orcollo’s Banks results bounding up the leaderboard.
 
DIAMOND 9-BALL CHAMPIONSHIP
 
Efren got handed his first loss in the 2nd round by John Demet who also had a decent finish in the Banks event. Efren laughed, “He played good. I no lucky.”
 
Jeffrey DeLuna moved Maksim Dudanets to the one loss side, ditto with Tyler Styer and Michael Delawder.
 
The ladies are competing in the cosmopolitan field including: Kristina Tkach, Pia Filler, and, our very own, Jennifer Barretta.
 
We’ll have plenty more tomorrow.
 
9-Ball commences at noon. Check out the schedule at Accu-Stats.com
 
FRIDAY NIGHT BANKS RING GAME
 
Derby’s most casual cutthroat assembly clash in the murderer’s row of bankers in the, no safeties allowed, 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.