Predator International 10-Ball Final Report

On Saturday, May 16, the 2009 Predator International 10-ball Championship, presented by Dragon Promotions  which garnered 112 of the best pool players from across the globe from places as diverse as Japan, Curacao, and the Netherlands, to name a few, came to a conclusion.

This star-studded event was also attended by numerous American champions like Johnny Archer, Kim Davenport, Shane Van Boening, and Corey Deuel.  The outcome of this tremendous tournament would be nearly impossible to predict, with so many top players.

However, it was the phenomenal Filipino players who dominated the semi-finals of this event, with 3 out of 4 players being from the Republic of the Philippines.  Click Here to view the photo gallery from the semi-final and final matches.

After nearly a week of grueling competition, we saw a winner emerge in Filipino champion, Dennis Orcollo, who has been described as "the most feared money player in the world."

Sponsors for this event include Ozone Billiards,, Laser Rack, Diamond Tables, and Uni-Loc.

11 AM: SEMI-FINAL MATCH #1: Dennis Orcullo vs Warren Kiamco

Saturday at 11 am saw the first semi-final pairing facing off to see who would be the top half of the bracket finalist. This comes after a week of battles between the 112 players that entered in this prestigious event.  Day after day they whittled down this original number, until we had only four players left in the tournament.

Whoever your favorite player was, or who you thought should win it based on their playing form at this or some other time. Doesn't matter any more, as the dice have been rolled, and the final pairings are as follows:

At 11 am Saturday we had Dennis Orcollo sparring with Warren Kiamco for a place in the final. Both of these fine players are from the Republic of the Philippines, a country that for some reason produces an unusually large amount of world-class players.

Dennis caused a few hearts to pound a little harder than usual, when he almost no-showed for the match, and a few more impromptu speeches were quickly added by Charlie Williams speech writer. Then all of a sudden the smiles came back to the organizers faces, when Dennis suddenly appeared at the door.

Well, after the introductions, Dennis and Warren lagged for the break. Dennis won the lag, and came up dry on the break to let Warren run out the first game. Score 1-0 to Warren.

Warren broke the second game and came up dry, and gave the game to Dennis. Score now 1-1.

Dennis broke the third game and promptly ran out. Score now 2-1 to Dennis.

Warren came to the table and made the 1 and the 2 ball then missed the three, thereby leaving it in the pocket. Dennis duly ran out. Score 3-1 to Dennis.

Dennis breaks comes up dry again, leaving Warren hooked who pushes to Dennis. Dennis decides to have a go at the extreme cut on the 1 ball, and misses. Warren runs out. Score now 3-2 to Dennis.

Warren breaks and makes the 2 ball, plays a clever shot on the 4 ball where he caroms into the 10 ball, moving it away from the 5 ball. He runs a little too far for the seven, and has to execute an acute shot and pulls it off, and manages to get perfect on the 8 ball in the process. Warren runs out the rest of the balls to win the rack and put the match square at 3-3.

Rack seven goes back and forth after Warren breaks and makes the 8 ball, but has no shot. He pushes and Dennis takes the shot--misses--yet lucks in the 2 ball. A safety battle ensues until Warren leaves a makeable shot to Dennis. He makes it and runs out. Score now 4-3 to Dennis.

Dennis breaks and makes the 2 ball, and proceeds to run out. Score now 5-3 to Dennis.

Dennis breaks and makes the 2 ball, but has no shot on the 1 ball. Pushes and gets it back. Dennis jumps to make the 1 ball, but ends up getting a safe from the shot. Warren can just see the edge of the 1 ball, and cuts it, but leaves it over the bottom left pocket. Dennis does not have a direct shot and makes it of the rail, getting perfect on the 3 ball. However he ends up with a hard cut on the 4 ball, and misses. Warren runs out and puts the score at 5-4 to Dennis.

Warren breaks the tenth game and comes up dry again, Dennis plays a great safe, but leaves the 1 ball right next to a corner pocket. Warren kicks at it and misses, leaving Dennis to run out the rack. Score now 6-4 to Dennis.

Dennis breaks what would become the last rack of the set, makes the 2 ball, but the 1 ball is blocked by the 5 ball. Dennis elects to push. Warren plays a great safe, and Dennis plays an equally good safe. Warren then plays another good safe, followed by a great safe by Dennis who almost scratched in the corner pocket. Warren makes his final mistake when he attempts a safe and scratches. This leaves Dennis an easy run out to put the score at 7-4 and win the match.

To summarize this match, Warren just made too many errors and also came up dry a couple of times, and just did not control the cue ball. This was not Warren's best performance, and when running to a race to seven, you cannot afford to make so many errors.

Dennis managed to get the "W," but I am sure he was not happy with his performance.

Dennis would then face the winner out of Alex and Ralf in the 1 pm semi-final.

1:00 PM SEMI-FINAL MATCH: Ralf Souquet vs Alex Pagulayan

We now had the match up that the fans dream for, yes we had the effervescent and charismatic Alex Pagulayan (PHI) against "Mr. Precision" and consummate professional Ralf Souquet (GER). This match looked like it had it all, well how wrong can you be.

This match turned into a one-sided affair, that really had only one participant in it. This was not because Alex played bad, but just because Alex did not play period.

We saw a display of perect pool from Ralf who allowed Alex to win only one game, and that came about because on rack four, Ralf came up dry on the break, and Alex ran out the rack.

The rest of the racks went as follows:

Alex wins the lag, breaks and scratches. Ralf duly runs out. 1-0 to Ralf Souquet.

Ralf breaks and runs out. Score 2-0 to Ralf.

Ralf breaks and runs out. Score now 3-0 to Ralf.

Ralf breaks comes up dry, and Alex runs out. Score now 3-1 to Ralf.

Alex comes up dry, and Ralf runs out. Score now 4-1 to Ralf.

Ralf breaks and makes the 8 ball, and runs out another rack. Score now 5-1 to Ralf.

Ralf breaks makes the 8 ball, and runs out the rack. Score now 6-1.

Ralf breaks and runs out, match over, good night nurse. Score 7-1 to "Mr. Clinical Man."

Ralf's performance was almost perfect pool, just not making any errors and producing perfect positional shots time after time. This is as near to giving a clinic as you will ever get the chance to see. Wow, that was some pool we witnessed out there.

I wrote a little note on my writing pad just before the above match started. It reads as follows:

Alex came to the table to practice a few shots, and he immediately played to the crowd and was his usual relaxed and effervescent self. He is quite a character and it is a delight to watch his antics and his stylish play.

Yet in contrast, Ralf sat stoic in his chair contemplating his game plan, and not partaking in the jovialities - "I'm here to do business" his demeanor clearly stated.

I love Ralf's professionalism and his clinical approach to the game, and I clearly think that somehow he manages to put mind over matter. and I think that it worked for him in this match up today.


Well, we had quite a match up here, with Dennis Orcollo who had not been playing upto his past winning performances, and yet has seemed to get just a little better with every match.

His opponent was "Mr. Consistency" Ralf Souquet who had just given a clinic to Alex Pagulayan in his previous semi final match.

I think everybody who had witnessed both of the semi-final matches, would to a man (and a woman) have thought that Ralf was the clear favorite here.

The final match to find the winner of the prestigious event would be an 8 rack affair.

Ralf won the lag perfectly, with the ball settling exactly on the bottom cushion.  He then broke and came up dry, and leaves the run out for Dennis. Score 1-0 to Dennis.

Dennis comes up dry, and Ralf plays a safe behind the 7 ball. Dennis kicks and leaves Ralf safe. Ralf kicks at the one and hits it but knocks the 10 ball so it ends up sitting in the bottom pocket. Dennis plays the 1 ball onto the ten for game two. Score now 2-0 to Dennis.

Dennis breaks and makes the 1 ball, then shoots the  2 ball, misses but lucks in two balls. He now proceeds to run out the rack to put the score at 3-0 to Dennis.

The audience is in shock mode, and cannot believe what they are seeing. Dennis just missed a shot and lucked in two balls, maybe he is the one who is going to get all the rolls. He is three ahead so quickly... what was happening?  You could cut the tension with a knife.

Dennis breaks the 4th rack and makes a ball but leaves the 10 ball hanging in the bottom pocket. Unfortunately the 1 ball is on the side rail at the opposite end of the table. You could see that Dennis clearly wants to have a go at the 10 ball, Dennis and then Ralf both try to carom into the 10 ball, and Dennis makes the 1 and 2 ball before trying the carom off the 3 ball.

Dennis hits the 10 ball but moves it away from the pocket and leaves Ralf the run out. Score 3-1 to Dennis.

Ralf comes up dry, Dennis runs to the 4 ball, and then plays safe behind the 10 ball. Ralf plays a safe of the side of the 5 ball. Dennis plays a great safe leaving no shot on the 5 ball which is left sitting by the side pocket. Ralf makes a long rail kick to make the 5 ball in the side, only to scratch, Dennis has an easy run out. Score now 4-1 to Dennis.

Dennis breaks dry, and leaves Ralf the run out. Score now 4-2 to Dennis. It is at this point that Ralf fans think that there is a possibility that he is back in the game. How wrong could they have been.

Ralf breaks and makes a ball, but has no shot so plays safe. They enter into three safes with Dennis coming out the winner, and runs out. Score now 5-2 to Dennis.

Dennis breaks and starts run out to the 4 ball, then plays safe. Ralf tries safe but leaves 5 ball by the side pocket, which Dennis makes and runs out. Score 6-2 to Dennis.

Dennis breaks and comes up dry, Ralf runs out. Score 6-3  to Dennis. Once again Ralf fans think that maybe a miracle is possible.

Ralf breaks dry, and leaves a tough cut on the 1 ball, which Dennis misses and scratches down town. Ralf plays a really good safe. Dennis elects to take a foul by laying the 6 ball against the 4 and 5 ball on the side rail.

This move paid of for Dennis, when Ralf ran out the 2 and the 3 balls and then attempted a slow roll safe on the 4 ball, which he thought would leave Dennis hooked behind the 6 ball.

Ralf told me after the game that he just over hit the ball and ended up splitting up the cluster of three balls, and left Dennis the run out. Score now 7-3.

Dennis broke and ran out the last rack to put the score at 8-3 and win him the title.

On reflection, this was not the game we had been hoping for, and Ralf's performance was not anywhere up to par, and nothing like the Ralf we saw in the performance he put on against Alex.

Ralf told me that he was not interested in the money, but that he really wanted that trophy. "It's the win I wanted, not the money," he said.

Dennis was not as sharp as we saw against Warren Kiamco in his semi-final match.

Overall, we saw a strong performance from Dennis, although it was unfortunate that we did not see a true battle from both of these champions. It could have been the culmination of a very long week (plus the World Pool Masters last weekend) for these guys, or just nerves. We will never know, eh!

Congratulations to Dennis Orcollo and to Ralf Souquet as runner-up, as well semifinalists Alex Pagulayan & Warren Kiamco.

To summarize what I have seen here this week, I would first like to say that having gotten to know the organizing personnel through being in close proximity this week, I take my hat of to their organizational skills and downright hard work and dedication to running this event in a top-class manner.

Especially relative to the organization that went into the smooth running of all of the BCAPL Amateur events. It might not be a Rolex, but they ran it pretty smooth.

I was also very impressed with a few of the other players partaking in the Predator event. My biggest standout was a young lady who must only weigh around 80 lbs soaking wet, but manages to make two balls on the break in her 10 ball matches. Yes, I am talking about the phenom from Korea, Yu-Ram Cha, who took down Shane Van Boening in her match on Wednesday.

What an achievement this was for this very talented young lady, who NYC Grind has nicknamed "Charlie's Angel"... she will certainly be a star within a year. Well done Yu-Ram!  By the way, we should also congratulate Charlie Williams for all the effort that he has put into mentoring this young lady and putting her on the map.

I thought that the play of both Karl Boyes and Stephen Folan from the UK, should not go without mention, I am sure that we will be seeing them over here again very soon.

Stephen, who did not quite get as far as Karl, will be remembered for beating Raj Hundal and Shane Van Boening, a talent that we will be seeing more of in the future.

I thought that the inclusion of fifteen ladies in this event added a new dimension to the make-up of tournament. I felt that it added another competitive edge to the event, and the fans dearly wanted to see how the ladies fared against the guys. Yu Ram Cha's win over Shane clearly illustrated this point.

We at hope you enjoyed our coverage of both the World Pool Masters event and The Predator International 10 Ball Championship, plus our coverage of all the BCAPL amateur events.

NYC Grind's coverage of the 2009 BCAPL National 8-Ball Championships is sponsored by...

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