Shane Shines at Diamond Billiards

Shane Van Boening

The former World Ten Ball Champion, Shane Van Boening, asserts his dominance over a world class field. Amongst world champions in multiple disciplines, “The South Dakota Kid” shows that his skill set is ultimate in the game of ten ball. The crowd never ceased to be amazed at the tremendous power from this young man's break. Unite that with an incredibly polished stroke, and you could argue that this tournament was his to lose.

With an undefeated trek to the finals, Shane conquered Louie Smith 7-2, James Roberts 7-1, Neil Fujiwara 8-2, Larry Nevel 8-2 and Mika Immonen 8-5. Securing a shot at his first Seminole Pro Tour championship, Van Boening would await the victor of a seriously powerful loser's side bracket.

On the Loser's side Larry Nevel was clearing a path straight for the title. He eliminated Johnny Archer 8-3, and Stevie Moore 8-2. Unfortunately Nevel would fall one game short of a shot at the title, as he would succumb to “The Iceman” in an epic hill-hill battle.

The finals were set, pitting the same finalists from last weeks Mezz classic Shane Van Boening and Mika Immonen. The two exchanged heavy body blows early on. But it would be Shane who started pulling away. Leading 6-4 and looking like he was going to cruise to victory, Shane missed a very makeable 6 ball. This would allow Mika to close the gap to 6-5. This would prove to be a very key game indeed.

In the twelfth game, both players jockeyed back and forth for control of this crucial game. With a difficult rack the two players exchanged safeties. It looked like Shane would be the one to blink first after he attempted a kick safety. However the four ball that hung in the jaws of the hungry pocket was unkind to “The Iceman”. After pocketing the long-distance four, Mika would scratch in the opposite corner pocket.

Leading 7-5, it would seem that frustration would begin to take its icy grip over Immonen. An errant push at the conception of the 13th game would leave him in a serious disadvantage. After contemplating for several minutes, Mika failed at an off angle two-rail kick to make contact on the one ball. Visibly shaken at the direction the match was taking, Mika was forced to sit and watch as Shane would take control of this game as well as the match. Exercising his precision cue ball control and beautiful shot making, Shane would run out the rack and lay claim to the hill at 8 games to 5.

Mika's championship level talent would not allow him to go out without a fight. Immonen would make a great run-out in the next rack after a failed safety attempt by Van Boening. Immediately after that, Mika came with a crusher of a break. He was unable to come up with a clean shot on the one and was forced to play safe. Both former US Open champions would engage in a safety battle. Van Boening would secure the first opportunity acquiring ball in hand after a missed kick on the 1 ball by Immonen. Unfortunately for Shane however it would not be the last opportunity in the rack. Tricky position below the 8 ball forced a miss from the young champion.

After Mika's subsequent run-out, the set would tighten at 8-7, with “The Iceman” breaking. His break would force the former would 9 ball champion into shooting a bank on the one. The cue ball would perfectly billiard the four down table and simultaneously opened up the rack for a run out. The entire tournament would rest on one rack; one game for title of champion.

The wonderful crowd in attendance resounded with uproarious applause. Their gratitude at the incredible battle before them was evident in the noise they made.

The final rack would end with Mika breaking. With bated breath the crowd waited to see if he could complete the rally and win the tournament. Unfortunately for Mika, his break would not bring him any rewards. Shane jumped up from the chair, and with the cool, collected demeanor that's garnered him such reputation and success, he would run out the rack and claim the well deserved title of Champion.

These two players really deserve a lot of credit. Both are gentlemen at the table, and with their skill sets, are true assets to the world of pool.

We'd love to thank James Oswalt, Ward, and all the staff at Diamond Billiards for their outstanding service. Their hospitality for all the players was second to none. Please visit their establishment as they are doing wonderful things by supporting pool. Also we'd like to thank Matt Highsmith from for providing live streaming coverage of the event. Thank you to Fred Stoll from for taking some wonderful shots of all the action this weekend. Thanks to Ted Harris Custom Cue Repairs for providing first class work all weekend long. Finally, special thanks to the Seminole Tribe of Florida. Without them, we couldn't have the best pool in the world being played here in the southeast. It doesn't get any better than this. As John Ditoro would say, “This is just like ESPN, only live!”