Six Guns Firing

Corey Deuel

This was the most brutal day so far at the IPT World Open 8-Ball Championship. On all the other days the players needed to only finish in the top half of their groups to progress. But today that goal was raised and the only survivors out of each six-man group were the top two players. Four in each group had their tickets canceled at the end of the day.

The eighteen remaining men were divided into three groups of six men each. Group one was ruled by the play of Rodney Morris who won four of his five matches, losing only to Corey Deuel (8-1). The other five players were left scrapping for the final open slot in that group. Francisco Bustamante, who had an unblemished 100% winning record coming into the day, wound up as one of the odd men out when he faltered three times today. With losses to Karl Boyes, Rodney Morris and David Alcaide, Bustamante was forced out of the hunt. Hsia Hui-Kai was also eliminated and David Alcaide and Corey Deuel wound up being the only two left with a chance to move on. When Corey handed that single loss to Rodney Morris he wound up as the lucky dog of the bunch.

Group two proved fatal for two Americans. Charlie Williams and Danny Harriman each managed only one win for the day. Ralf Souquet had a great week ended in the last match when he lost to Mika Immonen who kicked in a mid-table ball to cinch the last game and his right to play on Saturday. His three wins fell short of the mark required. Mika won four of his five matches. Niels Feijen struggled today and was eliminated as well with two victories on the day. So Dennis Orcollo, with four wins on the day, took the final pass from the group. Orcollo only lost to Souquet today (8-5).

Oliver Ortmann was the master of the final group. He won four of his five challenges, falling only to fellow countryman Thomas Engert (8-4). When the smoke cleared at the end of the day it was Efren Reyes who made that last cut with three wins while Mick Hill, Thomas Engert, Dimitri Jungo and Alex Pagulayan received unwanted time off. All four of them managed only two wins while Reyes garnered three wins to make it through.

In sum, the six men who still have the opportunity to capture $500,000 on Sunday are Rodney Morris, Corey Deuel, Efren Reyes, Oliver Ortmann, Dennis Orcollo and Mika Immonen.