Shaw and Souto to square off at 1 p.m. Sunday in finals of SBE Pro Players Championship

Jonas Souto

The Iceman and Krull will meet in the inaugural Senior Open Pro Players Championship final

In our last report, there was a possibility that Jayson Shaw and Earl Strickland would meet in the semifinals of the SBE’s Open Pro Players Championship. That was yesterday. Today we know that’s not happening. We didn’t make any predictions or highlight potential matches regarding the Seniors Open yesterday, so we didn’t speculate on the possible matchups. That, too, was yesterday.

Today (Sunday), the Senior Open Pro bracket whittled itself down to a final two by around 10.p.m. The Open Pro Players started their semifinals around 10:30.

First up, Senior Day. It started at around 1 p.m., with eight of the field’s 22 entrants still at it. Frankie Hernandez, who’d started the day competing in the Open Pro Player event, where he was eliminated by Jonathan Pinegar in three sets (5-2, 5-1, 5-3), turned around and on the Senior bracket, won a double-hill (in sets) match against Kevin Clark, to draw Mika Immonen in one of the semifinals at 7 p.m. Immonen had started his day with a three-set victory over Bret Huth (5-0, 5-2, 5-1).

At the lower end of the bracket Jimmy Rivera and Rob Krull won their first match of the day, both of them going undefeated through their three sets against Dom Polo and Bryan Farah, respectively. They faced each other in one of the semifinals. Krull advanced to the finals in three straight sets (5-3, 5-3, 5-0), while Immonen was busy defeating Hernandez in three sets, as well (5-2, 5-2, 5-3). Immonen and Krull will meet at 1 p.m. today in an attempt to claim the SBE’s first Senior 9-Ball Open Players Championship.

“The Pearl” kept hope alive for another round in the Open Pro Players Championship

Earl Strickland’s day started out on a promising note, albeit a challenging one. His 1 p.m. match against Alan Rosado went back and forth through five sets for four hours; a grind, no matter how you look at it. It opened with a back-and-forth double-hill fight for the first set, won by Strickland and followed by a second-set 5-3 win. Rosado came back to do exactly likewise to Strickland; winning the third set, double hill and the fourth, 5-3. Strickland chalked up one more 5-3 win to advance to a quarterfinal match against Jonathan Pinegar. It looked to be deja vu all over again, although it was Pinegar who won the opening, double-hill set and then won a second set 5-3. Pinegar gave up only a single rack in the third set and advanced to the semifinals against Jayson Shaw.

Shaw, who’d started his day with a 15-3 set of games in three straight matches (5-2, 5-0, 5-1) over Martin Daigle, found himself in one hell of a battle versus Shane Wolford in one of the quarterfinals. Shaw opened with a 5-3 win in the first set, only to have Wolford reach the hill first with two straight; 5-2, 5-3. Shaw tied it up at 2-2 with a 5-3 win in the fourth set and then, sliding in at just under three hours, he won the final set 5-2, advancing to face Pinegar. 

Though Pinegar would challenge him, double hill, in their second set, Shaw won the opening set 5-2, survived the double-hill challenge and closed it out at 5-2, advancing to the finals. He didn’t wait around long enough afterwards to find out who’d be joining him.

Both of the 7 p.m. quarterfinals featured Spanish competitors and both went double hill against their opponents. John Morra downed Jose Delgado 5-3, 2-5, 5-3, 3-5 and 5-2. Jonas Souto, the other Spanish competitor, who’d played a 1 o’clock match against Sina Valizadeh and gave up only three racks in winning the three sets, had the unenviable task of eliminating Warren Kiamco and rose to the challenge. Souto took the opening set and watched Kiamco come back to win the next two to be the first to reach the hill. Souto won the next two by the same 5-3 scored and moved into the semifinals against Morra.

Souto went on to take the opening set against Morra, double hill. Morra came back to win the second 5-2, Souto answered by winning the third 5-3 to take the hill. He went on to take an early 3-1 lead, to which Morra could add only one more rack. About 10 minutes after the Expo Center had stopped serving alcohol at 2 a.m., Souto dropped the last 9-ball, advancing to the finals against Shaw. They will meet at 1 p.m., concurrently with the Senior Open Pro finalists.

Streaming options for viewing matches in the Professional Arena, provided by Upstate Al and Onsite Pool, are available by going to the SBE Website at   

Go to discussion...


Leave a comment

Please log in to comment