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Lion Slays T-Rex

Alex Pagulayan

A sweator’s delight! At least that was how more than one described it!

Presented by and hosted by Buffalo’s Billiards in Jefferson, LA, a suburb of New Orleans, this latest iteration of the Champions Challenge featured two of the best one pocket players in the world battling it out for over $200,000!

The match was played over the course of the past four days. It was a race to 36 stopping daily at 9, 18, 27 and 36 for the win. 

Nicknamed “The Lion” or “The Killer Pixie” and sponsored by Lomax Custom Cues, Alex Pagulayan was born in the Philippines but his family emigrated to Canada when he was thirteen. He first started playing pool there – in the pool room managed by his father.

Since winning the Sands Regency 9-Ball Open in 1999, this BCA Hall of Famer has amassed over sixty major titles including the WPA World 9 Ball Championship, the World Pool Masters, the World Summit of Pool, US Open titles in 9 Ball, 8 Ball and One Pocket and the Buffalo’s Pro One Pocket Championship. A three-time gold medalist at the Southeast Asian Games, he is also a two-time Canadian Amateur Snooker champ as well as a two-time Master of the Table at the Derby City Classic. 

Buffalo’s House Pro and the 2007 US Open One Pocket Champion, Tony Chohan is having a banner year. He started off the year with a victory at the Iron City Open 9 Ball Championship, took down the Southeast Triple Crown One Pocket division and followed that with wins at the Midwest Open’s One Pocket and Banks events. He then earned his second US Open One Pocket Championship title and then returned to home base to snap off the Buffalo’s Pro One Pocket for the second year in a row. 

Tagged with the moniker, “T-Rex,” Tony is no stranger to high dollar matches. He’s been in the ring with the likes of Francisco Bustamante, Shane Van Boening, Dennis Orcollo, Scott Frost, Joshua Filler and Chip Compton. He faced off against Alex last September getting the same spot – 9/8. 

Day One saw Alex shoot out to 4-0 and almost won the next one. Tony won that one and got back into the match winning a few from there. However, Alex pulled away again and finished the day with that same four game lead – 9-5.

Tony started out Day Two winning several games but when play was over for the night, Alex had extended his lead to 18-13.

Entering Day Three, Tony was way behind but then it was like someone flipped on his switch! He won game after game and went ahead for the first time 23-21. However, that lead was shortlived. The next thing you knew, Alex went on a tear and claimed the next five out of six games and finished the day with a score of 27-24.

On the final day, there were more than a few games with the balls up table. Alex won most of those battles and finished out the match 36-29.

Congratulations, Alex, for another masterful job! Great effort, Tony! Kudos to both players for providing some of the best one pocket action we’ve ever seen! would like to James Leone (“Buff”), his manager Steve Tesvich (“Bullseye”) and their staff for taking such good care of the players and fans.

We’d also like to thank Jeremy Jones who was joined in the booth by Billy Incardona, Scott Frost, Joey Aguzin and Ray Hansen for their topnotch commentary.

In addition, we’d also like to thank our fans and sponsors. Our sponsors include JB Cases, Hanshew Jump Cues, Aramith, Simonis, Lomax Custom Cues, Diamond Billiard Products, Durbin Custom Cues, the Fort Worth Billiards Superstore of Fort Worth, TX and the Action Palace of Dayton, OH.

Our next event is the $15,000 added Beasley Open at the Brass Tap & Billiards in Raleigh, NC. Featuring both $10,000 added open 9 ball and $5,000 added one pocket divisions, we hope to see you there!

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Wise Guy Snaps Off Senior One Pocket

Ronnie Wiseman, Ray Hansen, Bogies Owner Cody Parish and Nick Varner

Thirty one players came from all over the country to Bogies Billiards & Sports Bar in Houston, TX for the 7th Annual Senior One Pocket Championship.

My favorite tournament of the year, I couldn’t wait to see my longtime friends. “Tall Jeff” Sparks stopped by on the first day as well as Keith Thompson, the 1970 Johnston City All-Around champ. Texas legend, Jerry Prado, was supposed to play in the tournament but had car trouble – he showed up for the last two days to see everyone anyway. 

My friends Linda Martin, Samm Rubin, LoreeJon Ogonowski-Brown, Julie Mason-Comitini, Chris Fields, Kelly Isaac were there as well as Phil Windham, Carl Honey, Big Tyme’s Jim Henry, Todd Comitini, Bogie’s House Pro Roberto Gomez and Alex Calderon. The Taiwan contingent including Cheng Yu-hsuan (“Kevin Cheng”) and Chang Jung-lin was also in town making a pit stop before heading to Atlantic City for the US Open Pool Championship. There was even a little ten ball action between Roberto and Alex and a couple of the Taiwanese players after the finals on Sunday night. 

Presented by PoolActionTV, Bogies Billiards, Aramith, Simonis, Diamond Billiard Products and the Fort Worth Billiards Superstore, owner Cody Parish & Manager John Rizzo welcomed players such as BCA and One Pocket Hall of Famer Nick Varner, James Christopher (“The Sniper”), Moises Pouncey (“Gabby”), Scott Kitto, Ronnie Wiseman (“Wise Guy”), “Jumpin’ Sammy Jones, Erman Bullard, “Tyler Bob” Valliere, Joey Aguzin (“Joey A”) and Robert Newkirk (“Newk”) to the fray.

Among several first time players were Perfect Pocketz’ Mark Gregory (“Mags”) and “Colonel Bille” Miller as well as the returning northern California contingent – Bob Beaulieu, Ed Neves, Lee Wallick and Al Markasky. Warren Ruth, Tad Sowa, Larry Landsman, Mark Dimmick, Jim McCary, Ronn Rutan, Gary Urinowski, Kent Berthelot, Bob Hayes, Wayne Catledge, Mike Hoyt, James Christensen and Louis Vickio rounded out the field.

Dealing with health issues and sorely missed were former champs Billy Incardona, Jerry Matchin, John Henderson and James Davis Sr. It just wasn’t the same without you guys! Sure hope to see you next year!

The $3,000 added double elimination event had a $200 entry fee with races to 4/3 and alternate breaks. The player auction was pretty healthy with Wiseman going as the first blind bid and Varner the second. The auction was followed by the players meeting, the draw and one round of play. 

Shaking off the rust and slicing through the top part of the bracket was Perfect Pocketz’ Mark Gregory. “Mags” is better known today for his beautiful restorations of the classic Brunswick Centennial and Anniversary tables as well as perhaps the best table mechanic on the planet. Mark sent both Al Markasky and Ronn Rutan west with identical 4-1 scores and skunked Warren Ruth 4-0. 

Plowing through the other part of the bracket was Iowa native Scott Kitto – also known as “911.” Along with Mark Wilson and Jeff Carter, the trio dominated pool in the Midwest in the eighties. Scott blitzed both Gary Urinoski and Larry Landsman 4-zip and “Joey A” 4-2 before running into Gregory. Gregory made short work of Kitto – score 4-1. Scott headed for the scenic route while Mark locked up his seat in the hot seat match.

On a collision course in the upper part of the bottom bracket was the “Kentucky Colonel,” Nick Varner and Ronnie Wiseman. Player of the Year in 1980, 1982, 1989, 1994 and 1999, Nick is one of the best all-around players of all time with over one hundred career titles beginning with ACUI Collegiate National Championships (representing Purdue University) in 1969 and 1970, as well as back to back US Open Nine Ball titles. Nick has also won world titles in nine ball, eight ball, straight pool, one pocket and bank pool and has represented Team USA eight times at the Mosconi Cup – four times as the team captain. 

Originally from Windsor, ON, Ronnie Wiseman made his debut at this event. Although Ronnie played in tournaments here and there – even winning a few including the 2005 Reno Open, the “Wise Guy” is considered to be one of the smartest – if not THE smartest – action guys in the pool biz.

Nick blitzed both Ed Neves and Sammy Jones 4-0 while Ronnie toasted “J-Tom Pilot” 4-1 and skunked “Colonel Bille” 4-0. In a match that was closer than the score indicated, Ronnie sent Nick west 4-2. His next match was Moises Pouncey – the legendary player with a silky stroke. He was tagged “Gabby” early in his career for standing like a statue – never saying a word. Gabby mowed down “Newk” 4-0 and edged out Mark Dimmick 4-3. His next match was Jim McCary – score 4-2. Ronnie then made short work of Gabby 4-1 and met Gregory in the hot seat match.

Mark took the first two games over Ronnie and was on his way to winning game three when he picked out two different shots out of the stack, fired them in and ended up frozen to another ball in both cases with no shot. Ronnie clawed his way back and won four in a row over his frustrated opponent and locked up his seat in the finals. Mark headed to the one loss side to await an opponent.

After losing his second match, Sammy Jones battled his former running mate, James Christopher, and escaped with a 3-2 win. He then ran through both Warren Ruth and Mark Dimmick 3-0 before running into Gabby. That one went down to the wire also and Gabby survived with a 3-2 win. Varner spanked both Ronn Rutan and Jim Tomassoni 3-0 and then outlasted Kitto in an eight hour marathon 3-2. 

Returning the following day at noon, Nick ground out a 3-1 victory over Gabby. He finished in fourth place. Next up was Mark Gregory – he went down with a 3-0 pounding. Mark finished in third place.

Since this tournament was double elimination, Nick had to defeat Ronnie twice to win the event. This title has eluded Varner for the past few years and he wanted it badly but it was not to be. Wiseman moved out quickly winning the first two games. Back to the grind, Nick managed to take the next two and tie it up.  2-2! Bearing down, Ronnie won the next and was on the hill. Methodically making one ball at a time, Nick stayed in the game – keeping it close. It looked like he was going to tie it up and then he scratched! Wiseman, needing one, leaped out of his chair and got down on the spot shot. He stood up and then got back down and rifled it in! Boom! And we had a new champion!

Congratulations to Ronnie for snapping off the title on his first attempt with his beautiful Steve Lomax custom cue! Great effort, Nick!

Once again, would like to thank Bogies owner Cody Parish, Manager John Rizzo and their staff for making all of us feel so welcome.

We’d like to thank our commentators for a fine job. They included One Pocket Hall of Famer Cliff Joyner, Mary Kenniston, Jeff Sparks, Joey Aguzin, Ronn Rutan and Ray Hansen.

We’d also like to thank our great fans and sponsors. Our sponsors include JB Cases, Aramith, Hanshew Jump Cues, Bogies Billiards, Lomax Custom Cues, Simonis, Diveney Cues, Diamond Billiard Products, Durbin Custom Cues, the Action Palace of Dayton, OH and Fort Worth Billiards Superstore of Fort Worth, TX.

Our next event is the One Pocket Champion Challenge featuring Tony Chohan and Alex Pagulayan with $100,000 plus in the middle! Hosted by Buffalo’s Billiards in Jefferson, LA, the dates are October 19th-22nd. Hope to see you there! 

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Chohan, Thorpe & Woodward Take Buffalo’s

All year long, one pocket aficionados look forward to the biggest tournament of the year!

Held in Jefferson, LA, a suburb of New Orleans, players and fans streamed into James Leone’s Buffalo’s on Bloomfield for the Seventh Annual Buffalo’s Pro Classic. Local sponsors for this year’s event – Buffalo’s, PoolActionTV, Lomax Custom Cues, Joseph P. Long, Aramith, ART CO, Diamond Billiards and Fort Worth Billiards – added a total of $26,000! $20,000 was added to the Pro One Pocket, $5,000 to the Open Nine Ball and $1,000 to the One Ball One Pocket.

Some of the best one pocket players came to play including Buffalo’s house pro, defending champ and current US Open One Pocket and Midwest Open One Pocket champ Tony Chohan.  He was joined by current Scotty Townsend Memorial One Pocket champ Alex Pagulayan, current Iron City One Pocket champ Josh Roberts, this year’s Derby City One Pocket and Master of the Table Fedor Gorst, last week’s Big Tyme Classic One Pocket Champ Robert Frost and last year’s One Ball One Pocket king John Morra. 

Billy Thorpe and Robbie Langford

Wednesday night kicked off with the 32 player One Ball One Pocket tournament. Posting a $200 entry fee, the format was single elimination with races to four. Including the players auction, there was a total purse of $21,430! 

Two-time Derby City Classic One Pocket champion, Billy Thorpe, plowed through the field on his way to the finals leaving Shane Winters, Hunter White, Josh Roberts and John Morra in his wake. The always tough Robbie Langford beat Kenny Nguyen, Mike DeLawder, Ike Runnels and Evan Lunda to get there. The final match was all Billy as he smoked Robbie 4-0 to claim the title. Congratulations, Billy! Good tournament, Robbie! 

The following evening, the $2,000 entry fee double elimination one pocket event began with a rousing player auction and was followed by the players meeting and draw. Twenty eight players racing to five and competing for a record $228,600 total purse! WOW!!!

Play began with Corey Deuel edging out Justin Hall 5-4 while Fedor Gorst skunked Sky Woodward 5-0. Ike Runnels had Danny Smith down 4-0 but ended up losing the match 5-4! Josh Roberts outmoved Roberto Gomez 5-1 and Billy Thorpe escaped with a 5-4 win over Robert Frost as did Scott Frost over Alex Calderon by the same score. Chip Compton got off to a great start as he defeated Warren Kiamco 5-1. 

Gorst won over Deuel 5-4, Evan Lunda spanked Earl Strickland 5-0 and Chohan beat Smith 5-3. Jeremy Seaman skunked Omar Al Shaheen 5-0 and Thorpe dusted Compton 5-2. Frost had Alex Pagulayan 3-0 and watched his opponent win five in a row to claim the match.

Fedor and Evan went down to the wire with Gorst claiming the win while Tony breezed past Jeremy 5-0. Billy started out strong against the Lion but he went down 5-2.

Down to four on the winners side, Chohan battled Gorst to a 5-3 win while Roberts kept Pagulayan off the board with a 5-0 score. Tony and Josh moved to the hot seat match where Chohan sent Roberts west to await an opponent – score 5-1.

After losing to Gorst in the third round, Lunda defeated Mike DeLawder 5-1 and Compton 5-3. Moving into his match with Pagulayan, he hung tough but Alex pulled out the win 5-4. 

Calderon had a tougher road. After losing his first match, he beat Deuel 5-1, Strickland 5-2, Hunter White 5-4 and Thorpe 5-3. He went down to the case game with Gorst but was eliminated 5-4.

This set up the match between Fedor and Alex Pagulayan. A man on a mission, he defeated Gorst 5-1 and then Josh Roberts 5-2. And to the finals he went!!!

Since this was true double elimination, Alex would have to beat Tony Chohan both sets to claim the title. With tens of thousands of dollars on the line, both players put their heads down and played their hearts out. 

Alex won the first two games and then Tony won three in a row. Tied again at 4-4, you could’ve heard a pin drop in the arena. Nerves got them both as they both missed makeable balls but this one is finally in the books! Tony Chohan successfully defended his title!

Alex Pagulayan and Tony Chohan

Congratulations, Tony! Great tournament, Alex! 

While the Pro One Pocket was in progress, 115 players filled the house on Saturday night to play in the Open Nine Ball event. Familiar faces such as defending champ Warren Kiamco, Sky Woodward, Roberto Gomez, Corey Deuel, Omar Al Shaheen, Justin Hall, Chip Compton, Charlie Bryant, Chris Reinhold, James Baraks, Richie Richeson, Robb Saez, Shane Winters, Jeremy Seaman, Sergio Rivas, Mike DeLawder, Justin Espinosa, Joey Aguzin, Derek Fontenet, Robert Frost and Kristina Tkach joined the fray.

Played on seven foot Diamonds, players paid $100 to play in this double elimination portion of the event. The format was rack your own, alternate breaks with races to seven until down to the final sixteen players. At that point, it was single elimination – races to nine. 

Omar Al Shaheen and Jeremy Seaman tied for third place. James Baraks moved into the finals to face Sky Woodward. 

The finals were neck and neck until the very end! Sky won the match 9-8!!! Congratulations, Sky!! Good tournament, James!

It was a helluva week! Great pool everywhere you looked! Once again, PoolActionTV would like to thank James Leone and his staff for going the extra mile as they took care of all the players and fans. 

We’d like to thank Tournament Director Jason Hill for doing a great job running the show – always with a smile on his face!

We’d also like to thank our expert commentators – Larry Schwartz, Jeremy Jones, Billy Incardona, John Henderson, Josh Roberts and Ray Hansen! Can’t get any better than this crew!

Last but not least, we’d like to thank our fans and sponsors. They include ART CO, JB Cases, CR’s Sports Bar, Hanshew Jump Cues, EnviroAssessments, Lomax Custom Cues, StraightPoolEye, Durbin Custom Cues, Aramith, Simonis, Diamond Billiard Products and the Fort Worth Billiards Superstore.

Our next stop is Leisure Time Billiards & Sports Bar in East Moline, IL for the $16,000 added Bar Box Classic featuring three divisions – Ten Ball, Eight Ball and One Pocket. Dates are June 1st-5th – hope to see you there!

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Hall And Gomez Take New Orleans

Justin Hall (Photo courtesy of

Billed as the second stop on the Efren Reyes Retirement Tour, sixteen of the top one pocket players on the planet and over a hundred nine-ball players stampeded to Buffalo’s Billiards in Jefferson, LA for their Fourth Annual Pro Classic. There were two divisions: the $10,000 added Pro One Pocket event and the $2000 added Open Nine-Ball.
The double elimination one pocket event had a $2000 entry fee with all races to five. Play began on Thursday night and everywhere you looked, there was world class one pocket. Tony Chohan and Corey Deuel marched through the field undefeated and met in the hot seat match. As with the previous matches, top-notch one pocket skills were displayed by both players and Chohan edged out the match 5-4 to claim his spot in the finals.
On the other side of the chart, Justin Hall defeated Dennis Orcollo in another close one, 5-4. Dennis finished in fourth place. By a score of 5-2, Corey had earlier sent Justin to the one loss side so Hall was looking for revenge. After a five hour match, it was Justin who emerged the victor leaving Corey in third place.
The finals began with Tony Chohan rocketing out to a 3-0 lead and it looked like victory was imminent. However, Justin Won the next three games to tie it up at 3-3 and then 4-4! Justin won the final game forcing a second set in the true double elimination format.
This time, it was Justin who leaped out to a 2-0 lead. Tony fought back and tied it up at two games each but then Justin forged ahead to take the hill first with a score of 4-2.
Tony fought back to make it 4-3 but Justin made short work of the last game as he took down the title – final score 5-3. Congratulations to Justin for a well-earned victory! Good job, Tony!
Saturday was opening day for the $40 entry 9 ball event. The format was double elimination, all races to seven with alternate breaks. When the smoke cleared on Sunday afternoon, Efren Reyes was the last man standing after defeating Roberto Gomez in the hot seat match and awaiting an opponent for the final match.
On the one loss side, Jeremy Jones and Billy Thorpe duked it out for a shot at Roberto – Jeremy prevailed leaving Billy with a fourth place finish. Gomez was determined to get another shot at Efren and he got his wish. Jeremy had to settle for third…
To win the tournament, Roberto would have to defeat Efren two sets. The first set was all Roberto as he raced to a 5-0 lead and an eventual 7-2 victory. The final set was much closer. Mid-set it was 5-4 Gomez and then hill-hill! One game for all the marbles! Doesn’t get much better than this, sports fans!!!
The crowd held their breath as Roberto broke and ran the final rack to take the title. Congratulations to Roberto for a well-played event! Good job, Efren! Looks like he has plenty of firepower left and is still a formidable threat! would like to thank James Leone, owner of Buffalo’s Billiards, and his staff for going the extra mile to show players and fans the Big Easy spirit. Tournament Director Steve McDonald had another well run event – thank you, Steve! Thanks to sponsors Attorney Joseph Long, Benwah Law Firm, Laguna Beach Daquiris, Bayou Billiards, Sound Advice USA, Lucky Coin Amusement and, of course, Buffalo’s Billiards, for their support.
We’d also like to thank Scott Rabon, Larry Schwartz, Jeremy Jones, Josh Roberts and Billy Incardona for their expert commentary.
Thanks to cuemaker Steve Lomax of Lomax Cues for donating a beautiful $2000 cue!
And, last but not least, thanks to all our fans and sponsors for another great event. Our sponsors include Steve Lomax of Lomax Custom Cues, Aramith, John Barton of JB Cases, James Hanshew of Hanshew Custom Cues,, Mike Durbin of Durbin Custom Cues, Kamui, Simonis and Club Billiards of Wichita, KS.
Our next event is the first stop of the WPBA Signature Tour. It will be held at Emerald Billiards in New Iberia, LA – the dates are June 21st – 24th. It will be live streamed free of charge on Facebook and YouTube. Hope to see you there!

Derby City Wrap Up – Melling Wins 9-Ball, Busty is Master of the Table

Chris Melling

Derby City Classic XX, January 19-27, 2018
LIVE from the Horseshoe Southern Indiana Casino, Elizabeth, IN
Francisco Bustamante’s win in the DCC One Pocket Championship, compounded with his 4th in Banks and 12th in 9-Ball totaled 198.5 points and secured his 3rd All-Around Champion and Master of the Table title.
Justin Bergman, with 153.3, got $3,000 for second and, for a first in the history of DCC, two players tied for 3rd and shared the $2,000. Corey Deuel and Shane Van Boening accumulated 141.0 points each.
Race to 9, Winner Break.
What a Final! We were graced with genius. In the wee, small hours, the hill-hill thriller was truly worth waiting up for. What would happen next, kept us on the edge of our seats until 3:30 am.
The 363 entries vying for the $16,000 first place prize money had all come down to two: England’s Chris Melling and Canada’s John Morra.
With snooker tour experience, the wise and wily Melling always employed his motto, “When in trouble, stick ’em!”  He certainly utilized it in play today,
Back in the semi’s, Dennis Orcullo got off to an expected lead, At 4-1, his tactics slowed the pace of Melling’s fast and loose shooting style to a standstill. Orcullo was taking more time to rack the racks than he was to run them.
Unintimidated, Chris patiently clawed to get ahead to 8-7. With nothing to shoot at, a snooker exchange ensued.
Ducking and dodging are where Melling excels. Being truly outmaneuvered, Dennis saw his quest for another DCC finals quickly slip away as Chris quietly closed the set, 9-7.
Morro, in semis #2, was up against his nemesis, Shane Van Boening. And, John had a score to settle. Shane had beaten him repeatedly in past encounters, including the DCC 9-Ball Finals in 2014.
Today, John got off to comfortable 3-0 lead. “And the next thing I knew, I was behind 3-5. I thought, I am not going to hand it to him.”
John summoned the Morra mustard and never lost another game: At 9-5, he regained his berth in the Accu-Stats Arena to face Chris.
Chris had begun the day in round 10 by administering a 9-5 battering of Joshua Filler. Morra had drawn a bye.
Melling’s buy-back still intact, he was leading Donny Mills 8-5. Needing only 1, it looked like it was going to stay that way. 
Chris was not familiar with ringer Donny Mills.
Donny has a history of finishing in the money, He fears no one, he revels in devouring champions, which was exactly what he did to Melling, he devoured him.
Chris never did capture that final rack, Donny did. 
Coincidently, with the DCC redraw process, he drew Morra. Donny managed 7.
Morra knew what to expect from Chris’s game plan. The emphasis would be on “when in doubt duck,” lots of hiding whitey, ballbuster shot-making, few misses and, elegant run outs.
And that’s just how the finals started until Chris, with a chance to move ahead at 4-2, missed! John closed out that rack and empowered…ran a six-pack!
Breaking at 8-3, all Morra needed was one more rack. He made a ball! And, missing within an inch of perfect position, he allowed Melling back at the table.
It was like he hadn’t left. From the start he attacked. Ball after ball fell in the hole. 4-8, 5-8, 6-8…
You could see the demons arise in Morra’s demeanor as Melling pummeled away. 
At 7-8 Melling, John got a look at a ball. He wisely, laid a snooker only to have Chris connect and leave him safe. 8-8!
Chris, capitalizing on the final opportunity, and calmly ran the winning rack. Relieved, and probably exhausted, his head fell forward as he took a moment’s rest and let it all sink in: What a deficit he had overcome.
The crowd applauded and yelled, you could tell that they felt empathy for the mild-mannered Canadian with the smooth stroke and impeccable composure.
John sincerely congratulated Chris, “Well played.”
For Melling, who was, incidentally, celebrating his 39th birthday, this was indeed a memorable moment. Not only had he captured one of pool’s most prestigious titles, he had survived 9-days of pool’s most grueling arena. 
Happy birthday to Chris, he earned it. He’ll never forget his performance today, neither will John.
“Somedays, it’s just not to be.” he later commented, philosophically.
Melling, clutching his new crystal obelisk award, has contributed to DCC ’s history, There is a feeling of agelessness when winning a championship, He might honor Jack Benny and remain 39 forever.
Accu-Stats thanks its Arena Sponsors: Diamond Billiards, Simonis Cloth,  Cyclop Balls, Lucasi Custom, MEZZ Cues, McDermott Cues, National Billiard Academy, and Samsara Cues.
Congratulations Greg and Chad at Diamond Billiards for 20 memorable years of DCC! And, thanks to their tournament crew for their contributions to these reports! That’s you, Brett Baker, Bill Stock, Paul Smith, Bonnie and Ric–the used to be Bad Boys of DCC; They’ve been demoted to naughty!
BTW: BadBoys captured alternative matches, featuring the top pros, which will be uploaded next week at for your viewing pleasure.
AND, let’s not forget Accu-Stats. Their DCC Vimeo On Demand Series featuring ALL the TV Table matches will be uploaded, soon.
You can also take advantage of their all-new On-Line Subscription service. 
Visit for more info.
Tell ‘em you read about it on AZB!
It took 2 grand to enter and the man Billy Incardona called, “The greatest bank pool player in the world, Billy Thorpe, outlasted them all.
At $600 a ball, Shawn Murphy was the last man to get massacred.
Jeremy Jones and Corey Deuel hung in there, while past winners, Skyler Woodward and Shannon Daulton, were the first to exit.

Derby City Days 6 & 7 – One Pocket Final 9, 9-Ball Underway, 14.1 Split and HOF Dinner

Keith McCready with Scott Frost and Shannon Daulton (Photo courtesy of Dave

Derby City Classic XX, January 19-27, 2018
LIVE from the Horseshoe Southern Indiana Casino, Elizabeth, IN
393 entrants have been depleted to 9.
Shannon Daulton is the man with the momentum. By Round 11, he had a buy-back and had gotten a bye! 
At press time, those 9 players were still in action.
Bustamante and Bergman, who like Daulton is undefeated, were dueling in the Accu-Stats TV Arena. Chohan was jousting with Orcollo, as was Jeff DeLuna with Justin Hall. Billy Thorpe was contending with Warren Kiamco who had given Bustey his first loss by dispensing a blistering 8-and-out and 9-and-out!
Earlier, like in a flashback, Billy Thorpe and Alex Pagulayan had clashed in the TV pit in a near repeat performance of last year’s finals.
Alex, drained, then had to fade his 3-0 defeat as he entered into combat with Kiamko who calmly put him out of his misery.
Joshua Oneal waved bye-bye to Brumback who had been sent to buy back by Orcollo. Dennis had been given his first loss by the unshakable Billy Thorpe.
Jayson Shaw put a dent in Deuel’s hopes before Orcullo disposed of him. DeLuna had leveled Corey’s first loss.
Justin Hall, while quietly slipping up the ranks, ended Alcano’s aspirations as Ronnie had done to newly inducted One Pocket Hall of Fame member, Jeremy Jones.
BIG Foot Champion Roberto Gomez managed John Schmidt’s exit strategy as Bergman did for both Van Boening and Joey Gray.
Justin Hall delivered Kiamco to the buy-back booth as Bustey had to Tony Chohan.
It’s around this time that the All-Around Championship points enter into the equation. They are, currently, too close to tell, yet, with his 120 for first in Bank Pool, Corey remains a contender.
Due to scheduling delays created by the sheer volume of competitors, the Semis and Finals originally planned for Thursday evening will be broadcast on Friday.
Visit for match times.
The highly entertaining, 6 players, “all-in,” action packed short-rack Bank game, hosted by banking living legend, Truman Hogue, is not to be missed. Schedule permitting, the festivities should begin around 8 pm Friday..
363 entries are well underway and, with no player draws of distinction, we begin with a road story.
When there are 363 players from far and wide, you can’t know them all. There lies the caveat: Not knowing your opponent can cause confusion, just ask, Dan Koste.
Tony Chohan walked over to his designated table and presumed that the player practicing was his match.
“It’s you and me,” he said.
When Tony was ahead around 7-2, Josh Roberts approached the table. Well-aware of who Chohan was, he inquired of his opponent, “Are you Dan Koste?”
“I am,” Dan replied. “Well, you are supposed to be playing me.”
“Oh,” said Dan, secretly relieved as he pondered the score beads. Tony, always a gentleman, quietly excused himself from the match. Roberts proceeded to administer similar punishment as Chohan.
6 women are in contention, including World Champions Karen Corr and Loree Jon Hasson, pro tour players Allison Fisher, Kelly Isaac, Stacy Sinclair and, the recently wed Mrs. Pia Filler: Congratulations to her and Josh on tying the knot just after the Mosconi Cup.
Other than that, there is not much to report. Friday and Saturday will be jam-packed.
LIVE 9-Ball Play continues at
Accu-Stats thanks its Arena Sponsors: Diamond Billiards, Simonis Cloth, Cyclop Balls, Lucasi Custom, MEZZ Cues, McDermott Cues, National Billiard Academy, and Samsara Cues
The George Fels Memorial Straight Pool Challenge And, after 4 full days of scrambling for tables, waiting patiently for someone to miss, the top 8 high-runs recorded were:
Dennis Orcollo, 227, who tied Jayson Shaw’s Historical record.
John Schmidt, 183
Ruslan Chinakhov, 182
Marek Kudik 155
Maksim Dudanets, 127
Miesko Fortunski,125
Konrad Juszczyszyn, 118
Jayson Shaw, 110.
Unfortunately, as the top 8 high-run finishers were still in both the One Pocket and 9-Ball events, it was deemed impossible to schedule the hours it would have taken to complete the event.
The 8 players opted to split the $22.300 tournament prize money.
On Wednesday, Jan 24th, Jeremy Jones and the late Eugene “Clem” Metz were honored for their propagation of the chess game of pool, One Pocket.
There are no more opposite personalities than the precocious and boisterous, living legend Keith McCready and the more subdued and suave Charles “Country” Martin. Both, deservedly, were honored with the “Lifetime Pool in Action Award!
One Pocket Hall of Famers Shannon Daulton and Scott Frost entertained the sold-out crowd with their personal encounters with the honorees as they anchored the evening’s festivities.
1998 One Pocket Champion Jeremy Jones, proved he was more than a “mover” when, in 2003, he captured the US Open 9-Ball Championships and earned membership on the Mosconi Cup’s Team America.
Jeremy praised the infamous Jersey Red as his primary mentor and thanked Johnny Archer for guiding him to compete on the pro tour. “If you want to improve, that’s where you need to be,” Johnny advised. Jones took the journey and, with his acquired knowledge of both action and tournament play, became one of the game’s great communicators.
Pat Fleming, whom Jeremy also acknowledged as inspiration, was aware of Jeremy’s One Pocket prowess and invited him to compete in the 2016 Accu-Stats “Make It Happen” One Pocket Invitational.
During conversation, Fleming observing “Double J”’s communication skills invited him into the booth. His clearly stated concepts of pool’s most abstruse discipline determined that he return to commentate with Danny Diliberto on the 2017 “Make It Happen” 8-Ball and 14.1 Invitationals. Jeremy’s contribution to the Accu-Stats Vimeo On Demand series is more than commentary, it’s instruction.
Jeremy ended his stint at the podium by recalling a simple statement that had a lifetime effect. While under the tutelage of Jersey Red, Jones committed a one pocket cardinal sin, he had lost concentration and scratched. “Scratched?” said Red, “One time, I didn’t scratch for 8 years!” That’s a good mentor.
On a more somber moment, Mr. Incardona’s son Anthony’s untimely passing was honored by a minute of silence.
One Pocket Hall of Fame creator Steve Booth, always delving into history for the most deserving inductees, discovered Charles “Country” Martin.
His smooth demeanor, compounded by sartorial elegance allowed “Country” to gain trust wherever he went. Billy Incardona had heard many a tail of the impeccably dressed, spit-polished shoes, Italian knit sweater swagger of the handsome Martin.
“He was perhaps the smartest gambler ever. His six-figure wins were legendary. Country was clearly one of pool’s very special characters.”
He didn’t always play. He, for example, discovered Cisero Murphy and backed him on the road.
Martin was more than a gambler, he was a winner. Who else would invest the money made wagering and put his daughter, Sonya, through college.
“My father was my hero,” beamed Sonya.
Eugene “Clem” Metz, born in 1931, was renowned as one of the most patient safety players on the planet. Referring to the new breed of brash, like Ronnie Allen, he asserted he would “…stick all those hustlers in the shit house.”
Billy Incardona was invited to comment, “I didn’t know him too well but the word was that he was considered the best player in the world.”
Booth had then introduced Metz’ son Donny who thanked the room for honoring his father. “My dad always stated that,”You don’t have to be the best player, you just have to be the best game maker.”
Eddie Taylor, considered to be the greatest bank player ever, always left broke.
Game making is everything.
Let’s hear what McCready has to say.
“You always have to find a way to get the money.”
From about 10 years old, that was what it was all about from him. 
Danny DiLiberto told the story of when one of the few days he was in school, for security, Keith asked the gym teacher to hold some money for him. The wad would have choked the proverbial horse. The story goes that they thought he was a drug dealer and he never went back.
Others, realizing his talent, took him on the road when he was 15. He, soon, fell into the improvised post “Hustler,” drink on, drug out, 70’s culture.
Sure, he attended tournaments but rarely entered. He went there to make games.
“You always have to find a way to get the money.”
He’s reputed to have matched up with Fats. They are cut from the same cloth: Hold their attention ’til you hold their money; Never let them think that you took it, make them feel that they gave it to you.
He was immortalized in The Color of Money with his line, “It’s like a nightmare, isn’t it.”
Taking the podium, Mary Kenniston shared when, in her pool room in Vegas, “He’d bring in these cute girls and tell them he was a movie star.” She’d put on the movie and propagate the myth.
By the 90s, battered and bruised by drugs and booze, he fell off the radar.
Rumor had it that he met a girl.
He resurfaced on Facebook. He maxed out at 5,000 “friends.” It’s no surprise, really: Keith McCready–social media mogul.
And here he is, now 60, honored as one of the greatest game makers of all time.
Maybe, there’s an extra C in Keith’s surname. Maybe, it should be McREADY. Never known to shy away from action, last night from the altar, he woofed at anyone in the building to step up. “I’m ready. Are you?
“I can look at the guys in here right now, I got games for all of them.
“I have my millionaire lawyer with me. He has told me to go right ahead.”
Tuning in to a more serious note, Keith acknowledged that he had a really good woman behind him, ”And, without her, I might not even be here, right now.”
McCready’s life became a veritable disaster. To survive, he certainly had to clean up his act. “I’ve been drug-free for 13 years. I quit smoking 4 1/2 years ago,” he paused and reflected fondly, “And it’s all because of her.”
Keith continued that in life there were always four or five guys that don’t really agree with what you do then, you have the 95 guys who love you like a brother so, I’m so happy to be here and thank you all for being here.”
Nothing has changed, “I got about 18 more hours here and, me and my big lawyer here, we’re ready. So get it together!”
He then signed autographs and reminisced with old friends who made the trip just to be with him. He also made a lot of new ones before wandering off into the night.

Davis wins third straight NC State 8-Ball Championship

Mike Davis, Jr.

If state pool championships are the measurement device, then Mike Davis is the best pool player in North Carolina. He owns back-to-back titles in the state’s 9-Ball Championships and on the weekend of November 4-5, he chalked up his third straight NC State 8-Ball title.
Say what you will about competing in a small field, Davis locked up his third 8-Ball title by defeating one of the game’s better known veterans, Mark Tademy, cited by The Hyper Texts ( as one of a list of “unknown monster players who could play with anyone on a given day.” A little over 10 years ago (2006), Davis and Tademy were among a  world-wide cast of the best in the International Pool Tour’s (IPT) North American Open Championship in Las Vegas. Finishing in the tie for 61st, and pocketing $5K, Tademy was in tied company with (among others) Keith McCready, Mike Sigel, George “Ginky” Sansouci, Shannon Daulton, Allison Fisher, Loree Jon Hasson, Jeremy Jones, Allen Hopkins and Gerda Hofstatter. Davis, who finished 121st, and pocketed $2K, was in tied company with (among others) Grady Mathews, Jose Parica, Mike Massey, Tommy Kennedy, Warren Kiamco, Ewa Mataya Laurance, Tony Robles, Shane Van Boening, Karen Corr, and Billy Incardona.
And so, the hot seat and finals of the 2017 NC State 8-Ball Championships, held under the auspices of the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour, featured two of the sport’s more prominent competitors; one (Tademy), a little more old-school than the other (Davis). The $300-added event drew 23 entrants to Brown’s Billiards in Raleigh, NC. It should be noted that the weekend of November 4-5 played host to at least two other major 8-Ball Tournaments, which are about as rare as teenagers who don’t play video games – NYC’s BCA-sanctioned 8-Ball Championships, which drew 241 entrants (with some duplication over six separate events) and Maryland State’s 8-Ball Championships, which drew a full field of 128 entrants. North Carolina appeared to have drawn the ‘short straw’ on available 8-ball competitors.
The tournament did, however, draw two marquee players into its final two matches. Davis and Tademy met first in the hot seat match, once Davis had sent Jim Lewis to the loss side 7-3 in one winners’ side semifinal and Tademy had dispatched former NC State 9-Ball Champion Jeff Abernathy 7-4 in the other one. Davis claimed the hot seat 7-3 over Tademy and waited for round two.
On the loss side, Abernathy picked up Eddie Little, who’d gotten by Kenny Daughtrey 7-3 and Steve Page 7-4. Lewis drew Joshua Padron (winner of the 2016 Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour Championships this past January), who’d defeated Brown’s Billiards’ owner Dave Huffman 7-2 and Tyler Chappell 7-5.
Little and Padron eliminated winners’ side semifinalists Abernathy and Lewis, respectively; Little, 7-4 over Abernathy and Padron, 7-3 over Lewis. Little dropped Padron 7-5 in the quarterfinals that followed, before having his two-match, loss-side run ended by Tademy 7-3 in the semifinals.
The two veterans, Davis and Tademy, fought back and forth in the early going of the finals to a 5-5 tie. Davis, though, took command at that point and chalked up the next four in a row to win it and claim his third straight NC State 8-Ball title.
Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked Brown’s Billiards’ owner Dave Huffman and his staff for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues, Delta 13 Racks, AZBilliards and Professor Q Ball. The next stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for November 11-12, will be a $1,000-added event, hosted by Mr. Cues II in Atlanta, GA.

Orcollo comes from the loss side to win second straight Cole Dickson Memorial

Dennis Orcollo shoots under the watchful eye of Mika Immonen

"Cole Dickson was an icon from a bygone era, when pool was about the road; about rattletrap vehicles pulling into small towns, and road warriors hustling the locals for enough money to get to the next town with a stake." – Billiards Digest, 2013
It's hard to know how Cole Dickson and his contemporaries (Jimmy Mataya, Larry Schwartz, Billy Incardona and Grady Mathews, et al) would have fared had they emerged into the world of 21st century pool with its tournaments-all-over-the-place structure. Planes have replaced automobiles, and stepping into a given pool hall might expose you to a combination of the best in the country and world, instead of the hot shots within a country mile. As good as they all were, and some, to a degree, still are, they never had to walk into a pool hall in Iowa and face the likes of Dennis Orcollo from the Philippines, or Mika Immonen from Finland, neither of whom were born when Dickson was starting out on the road.
As the initial stop on a two-week blitz of West coast tournaments, known collectively as the West Coast Swing, the 5th Annual Cole Dickson Memorial Tournament was held on the weekend of July 1-2. Sponsored by West State Billiards and POVPool, the $2,500-added event drew 83 entrants to Family Billiards in San Francisco, and featured a finals matchup between the aforementioned (and defending champion) Dennis Orcollo and "The Iceman," Mika Immonen. Orcollo, coming off the heels of a five-match, loss-side winning streak, downed Immonen to claim his second straight Cole Dickson Memorial title.
With Orcollo already at work on the loss side, having been downed by Rodney Morris in a winners' side quarterfinal, Immonen advanced to a winners' side semifinal against Vilmos Foldes. Rodney Morris faced Family Billiards' room owner and long-time friend of Dickson, Delbert Wong in the other winners' side semifinal. Morris and Immonen advanced to the hot seat match; Morris 7-4 over Wong and The Iceman 7-2 over Foldes. Immonen claimed the hot seat 7-5 over Morris, and settled in for what proved to be a long wait for Dennis Orcollo to finish his loss-side campaign.
As if it weren't enough to be on the loss side at this stage of the proceedings, Orcollo opened that loss-side campaign against Francisco Bustamante, who'd just survived a tough double hill fight against a local veteran, Jason Williams. Orcollo eliminated Bustamante, and then, Lee Brett, to draw Foldes. Wong picked up Steve Lingelbach, who'd advanced past Santos Sambajon and Gus Briseño.
Orcollo downed Foldes 7-3, advancing to the quarterfinals. Wong joined him after a double hill win over Lingelbach. Though home room support went to the man who owned the room, Orcollo ended Wong's run 7-2, and then turned to what proved to be an epic re-match against Morris in the semifinals. The two battled to double hill before Orcollo finished it for a shot at the Iceman.
Though the final race-to-11 would show early, back-and-forth signs of becoming Orcollo's second straight double hill match, Robocop (as he's occasionally known) pulled away at the end to secure an 11-8 win and his second straight Cole Dickson Memorial title.

Make It Happen One Pocket – Day Two Results

Alex Pagulayan

Match #5
Francisco Bustamante 4   Billy Thorpe 1
Bustamante won the lag and broke strong, forcing Thorpe to go for a bank, which he missed. He left Bustamante with an easy shot, which he made and used to open the stack. He then artfully worked his way around the balls on his way to an opening run of 8 and out.
In game 2 Bustamante was in a trap, made a ball for Thorpe, but sold out. Thorpe then ran 5 before failing to get difficult shape, and left the table leading 6-0. Bustamante trapped Thorpe, who answered with a short rail bank, then missed the gamewinner. Thorpe made one for Bustamante and now led 7-1. Bustamante made a trick shot, banking a ball across the table three times into his pocket! He ran four more to close to 7-6. He went after a pinch long rail bank, missed, but made the ball in another pocket. It spotted and Thorpe, with the cue ball on the end rail, cut it in!
The score: 1-1.
After some defensive maneuvers Thorpe left Bustamante with an easy cut down the short rail with an angle for going into the stack. Bustamante took full advantage as he sliced it in, spread the balls, and ran to as simple bank, which he made, to run 8 and out, taking a 2-1 lead.
Bustamante opened the scoring with a bank/combo, found a dead ball, and ran 7 plus one for Thorpe’s side. Thorpe made a bank, missed, and left Bustamante a thin cut. He made it to win the game, 8-2 while taking a commanding 3-1 lead in the race to four. 
In game 5 Thorpe tried for a bank, but got kissed out and left Bustamante a shot. He ran four before running out of shots after a break shot failed to produce a shot. In a subsequent turn Bustamante made a dead ball, then hung a double table length bank. Thorpe made a bank, then missed one, leaving Bustamante with three super easy shots for the win. The score: 8-2 and 4 game to 1. Bustamante is now 1-1 while Thorpe dropped to 0-2.
Match #6
Josh Roberts 4  –  Efren Reyes 1
Reyes opened the scoring with a backcut bank, made one more available shot, then played safe. Reyes played a long distance offensive kick, but left Roberts with a shot – and he responded with a five ball run before missing close on a bank. Reyes lagged it in and Roberts now led, 6-2. Roberts fired in a bank off the third diamond, then made a straight in to win the first game. 
In game 2 Roberts made a tough combo, then took a ball out of Reyes’ pocket. Reyes answered with a double bank. 1-1. Roberts made a bank, followed to the end rail and made another bank to lead, 3-1. Roberts made a combo and now led 5-1. A long shot off the end rail and a thin cut by Reyes narrowed the gap. After a Robert’s safety Reyes gambled on a combo, missed, and left a shot. Roberts made it, but fouled. So the score remained at 5-3 Roberts. Roberts made a carom shot, but failed to play shape. 6-3. So, after a couple of safeties, the six remaining balls were now up table – which spells safety time! Reyes made a long and thin cut with inside english leading to shape on an easy bank, and he now trailed, 6-5. After several safeties Roberts made a two railer that Incardona called “A ten.” He reached the hill with a 7-5 lead. Reyes fouled and now trailed, 7-4, then he missed a bank and left Roberts a long shot which he rolled it in to win game 2, 8-4. 2-0 Roberts. 
In game 3 Reyes made a ball but failed to play position. Roberts rolled a bank in front of his pocket and Reyes softly kicked it in. Reyes had fouled, but he then hung a ball and Roberts made it. The score: 1-1. Roberts made another one for Reyes. 2-1 the Magician. Roberts pocketed a long thin cut, then a dead ball before missing to take a 3-2 lead. Reyes made a hanger for himself, then one for Roberts – so it was 4-3 Roberts. Reyes made a bank and one more, then missed a makeable shot after jumping up. Reyes now led 5-4, but he left Roberts a shot and he ran three to moved ahead, 7-5. Roberts misplayed a safety and Reyes ran three and out to win, 8-7
Reyes played what looked like a fine three ball take out, but he left Roberts a bank, which he made, igniting a run of 8 and out – the final ball being a superbly struck cross corner bank. Roberts now led in the match, 3-1.
Roberts made a billiard, then played a safety. He then made a spin bank and one more to lead, 3-0. Reyes misplayed a bank and made it for Roberts! Roberts then ran four and out to win the match, 4-1. Both players are now 1-1. 
Match #7
Shane Van Boening 4   FRANCISCO BUSTAMANTE 1
Bustamante won the lag, but quickly found himself in trouble after a strong move by Van Boening. He tried a take-out shot, but accidently made a ball for Van Boening, and compounded his troubles by leaving Shane with an easy shot. Van Boening ran six balls before missing a tricky combo on the game ball. A could of innings later Bustamante left game ball in front of Van Boening’s pocket, and he made it to win game 1, 8-0.
Van Boening deposited a bank, then played safe. Bustamante made a super tough long backcut, but was rewarded by making one for Van Boening, who now led 2-1. As a consolation, he did lay down a strong safety. A couple of turns later Van Boening answered a poor safety with a short rail bank, then went on to run six and out. He now led in the match, 2-0.
Van Boening was forced to kick at a ball in front of Bustamante’s pocket, missed the mark, and left a shot. Bustamante ran three, then played safe. Van Boening attempted a take-out and again left Bustamante with a shot. Bustamante ran another three to go ahead, 6-0. Van Boening banked a ball in front of his pocket and Bustamante followed through one ball and made the hanger! It was now 6-1. Van Boening double kissed a bank and Bustamante made a short rail bank, and now led, 7-1. Van Boening made an easy long railer, then, on his next turn three more banks (none were easy) and a long slice to close the gap to a single ball at 7-6. Bustamante put a ball near his pocket, but Van Boening removed it. Van Boening sliced a ball across the table in front of his pocket and Bustamante had to make it for him – 7-7!! Then, after all of this work, Van Boening tried for a double bank, sold out, and Bustamante fired in the gamewinner! 
Bustamante played a super aggressive safety, left Van Boening with a shot – and he missed! Bustamante sank one, but came up empty on a break shot, and led, 1-0 with the balls now spread all over the table. The time: 8:03. 
Van Boening lagged a bank in front of his pocket. Bustamante then gambled on a combo, made it, and then tried to masse in Van Boening’s ball. He missed it, and left Van Boening with a shot in the jaws. Shane ran five to take a 5-2 lead. But he left Bustamante a long shot, which he made – before selling out after missing a bank. Van Boening made one to go ahead, 6-3. Bustamante missed a bank and Van Boening made a ball from behind the head string before missing game ball. Bustamante ran three to pull to within a ball at 7-6. Bustamante made a long rail bank on a ball that was spotted, tying the score at 7-7, then pocketed the last ball. Van Boening took a foul and now trailed, 7-6! Van Boening made a short rail crossover bank to tie the score, 7-7, then made the 15th ball in the far corner – and it spotted up. At this point both players made an all-out effort to not lose – resulting in a gazillion safeties. Honestly, I have no clue as to how or why this one will ever end. The time: 8:41. “I should have been counting the safes,” said Danny Diliberto. “This has gotten personal,” said Billy Incardona. Then the crowd goes nuts when Bustamante almost makes a two railer. At 8:51 Van Boening got a shot at a tough long rail bank and made it to win this marathon, and to go ahead, 3-1. 
Bustamante got the first shot and ran four before losing position and leaving Van Boening with a shot. Big mistake. Van Boening ran seven, then barely missed the match winning bank – but he now led. 7-4. A few turns later all of the balls were up-table, suggesting another marathon could be coming. But Bustamante barely missed a long rail bank and Van Boening made a sharp back cut to win the game, 8-4, and the match, 4-1. He is now 3-0 while Bustamante fell to 1-2.  
Match #8
Alex Pagulayan 4  – BILLY THORPE 3 
Thorpe opened with a difficult carom before playing an aggressive safety. Thorpe kicked for a ball in front of Pagulayan’s pocket, but failed to make it and Alex made only one ball. The score: 1-1. Thorpe went for another carom but missed this time and Pagulayan ran seven and out. 
Thorpe broke, but Pagulayan left a ball in front of his own pocket and Thorpe pocketed it. Pagulayan took a foul and the game was again scoreless – then he took yet another one. Thorpe attempted a bank, missed, and left Pagulayan with shot. He made only one and then missed a bank. Thorpe ran four to lead, 4-0. Pagulayan made a tough backcut, then played safe, but left Thorpe with a thin cut that he spun in. He played safe, but left Pagulayan with a bank, which he hung in the jaws. After Thorpe made it for him, Thorpe now led, 5-2. He made a bank and two cut shots to win the game, 8-2. 
Thorpe fouled. Pagulayan then slammed in a bank and made one more before failing to execute a simple position play. He now led, 2 to -1. Thorpe made a crossover bank and three more to move ahead, 3-2. Several innings later Thorpe hung a bank and Pagulayan made it for him. 4-2, Thorpe. Pagulayan unluckily left Thorpe a shot on the short side far up the table, and Thorpe added two balls to his score. Thorpe made a billiard and now led, 7-2. Pagulayan made a long rail bank, then a long backcut to cut into Thorpe’s lead. Thorpe closed out the game with a super tough cross table bank in which the ball hit the side rail six diamonds up on the opposite side of the pocket. He now led the match, 2 games to 1. 
Pagulayan committed a foul and left Thorpe with a shot. He took full advantage by running 8 and out to reach the hill with a lead of 3-1. 
Pagulayan was in a tough spot and took a foul, and then another. Thorpe made one for Pagulayan and now led, 0 to -1. Thorpe fouled, so both were now owed a ball. Pagulayan ran four, and now led, 3 to -1. Thorpe made a difficult bank, then ran four more to take a slim 4-3 lead. He did leave Pagulayan with a crossover bank, and he made it and three more before slamming home a game winning long rail bank. Thorpe now led in the match, 3-2. 
Thorpe scored first to lead. 1-0. He then made a ball near Pagulayan’s pocket, so the score was tied at 1-1. Thorpe fouled when playing a soft kick shot. Pagulayan hung a bank, leaving Thorpe with a golden opportunity to run balls. He responded with four, then made Pagulayan’s hanger – and now led, 4-2. Thorpe fouled, following a ball into the corner. Pagulayan took ball-in-hand and ran four before failing to separate a cluster – so he left the table leading 6-3. Pagulayan made a clutch crossover bank to reach game ball, but missed it – badly! Thorpe ran only two before playing poor position, and then missing a triple tough cross table cut. So, Pagulayan now led, 7-5. He barely missed a three rail bank. Thorpe made a super difficult cross table cut, but failed to take out the ball, so Pagulayan won the game, 8-6, tying the match at 3 games each. 
Thorpe missed a bank and left Pagulayan an easy shot. He broke the balls, they opened well, and he proceeded to run 8 and out. His record improved to 2-1 while Thorpe fell to 0-3 is the first player to fall out of the chase for the title. 
Ivan Lee and Simonis Cloth are sponsoring this coverage. For more information of Simonis Cloth and Aramith balls, please visit their web site at:
Coverage is being provided by Phil Capelle.
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For a live stream of the event, see 

Jayson Shaw Wins Make It Happen 8-Ball

Jayson Shaw (Photo courtesy of Karl Kantrowitz)

Final Standings
Jayson Shaw (Champion)             4-2      $4,000
Shane Van Boening (Runner-Up) 4-2  $4,000
Corey Deuel                                         3-2  $3,000
John Morra                                             2-3  $2,000
Darren Appleton                                     2-3  $2,000
Rodney Morris                                         1-4  $1,000

Nov. 17-20 – Sandcastle Billiards – Edison NJ


Congratulations to Jayson Shaw, The 2016 MIH 8-Ball Champion!



Jayson SHAW 10 – Shane VAN BOENING 4


Jayson Shaw issued a statement that he was ready to avenge his loss in the previous match with a break and run. He then ran out game 2 after Van Boening broke dry.


One of the very best position plays of the week came in game 3 when Shaw drew back 4 feet to a microscopic shape zone for the key ball to the key ball. He completed his second break and run to take a 3-0 lead.


Van Boening came back strong with a break and run, then made three super shots in a row to close out the next game. He now trailed, 3-2.

In game 6 Van Boening pounded the balls on his break, but nothing fell and Shaw ran out, then broke and ran out to extend his lead to 3 games.


They split the next two games. Then, in game 10 Van Boening left the cue ball way to close to the 8-ball, missed, and Shaw cleared off the roadmap layout.


In game 11 it looked like Van Boening had a chance to begin a comeback, but he committed a huge position play blunder, then missed a long shot to a partial pocket and Shaw ran out. He now led, 8-3.


The two traded safeties before Van Boening continued his run of subpar play by missing while attempting to break out a ball using a super hard pound stroke. Shaw missed in game 13 and Van Boening ran out. But in game 14 Van Boening faced a miserable layout after making a ball on the break. He missed a long shot and Shaw ran out to win the match, 10-4, and the title.




Nov. 17-20 – Sandcastle Billiards – Edison NJ



Shane VAN BOENING 10 – Jayson SHAW 7


According to Billy Incardona, Jayson Shaw secured his spot in the finals after he won his second game, at which point this was match was played for pride – and the grand, of course.


In the opener Shaw hooked himself and Van Boening eventually ran out. He also took the second game to lead, 2-0. In game 3 Van Boening missed a long cut shot and Shaw won his first game.


Van Boening came back with a break and run, then ran out again after Shaw broke dry to take a 4-1 lead. Van Boening then scratched on the break and this set off an extended run of great play by both competitors. Shaw started it by taking ball-in-hand and running out. He then broke and ran out to pull to within a game at 4-3.


Van Boening replied with a break and run, and Shaw came back with one of his own. In game 10 Van Boening missed position but made a super long shot and went on to run that rack from the break. Shaw then B&R game 11!


Van Boening failed to squeeze his ball past an obstructer in front of the pocket and Shaw ran out to tie the score at 6-6. He then broke and ran out, but Van Boening answered with one of his own and they were now tied at 7 games apiece.


After Shaw missed, Van Boening made a tough shot and ran out. In the following game Shaw blundered near the end of the rack and Van Boening cleared off an easy layout to reach the hill. Shaw surprisingly hooked himself when a runout looked certain, committed a foul, and Van Boening ran the routine layout to win the match, 10-7. He also claimed the best record in the round robin phase at 4-1, and he won 49 games and lost 40. Shaw finished at 3-2 with a won-lost record of 44 and 31.


The two will now play a single match for the championship.


The Score

VV – S – VV – SS – V – S – V – SSS – VVVV



Nov. 17-20 – Sandcastle Billiards – Edison NJ



Darren APPLETON 10 – Rodney MORRIS 3


Going into this match both players were at 1-3, but the cash, the desire to avoid the cellar, and professional provide can be strong motivators – and apparently they were for Darren Appleton, who played superbly in this contest of Mosconi Cup foes.


Appleton started off with a dry break, but ran out after Morris failed to. In game 2 both players missed long shots, then traded safeties before Appleton got the upper hand. But he missed shape on the 8-ball and had to play a tricky cut into a little more than a half pocket – and he slid it in just past the point to take a 2-0 lead.


In the next rack Appleton completed a break and run by slicing the key ball to the key ball across the table – a ridiculously tough shot that reminded us of what a super shotmaker he is.


Morris made nothing on his break and Appleton ran out, then broke and ran out again. After Morris missed a tricky shot into the side, Appleton ran out to take a commanding lead of 6-0.


Morris finally got on the board after an uncharacteristic display of generosity by Appleton, who missed the 8-ball. After Morris ran out the score was 6-1.


In game 8 Morris broke dry again, but Appleton jawed a shot. Morris played what appeared to be a fine safety, but there was a small window to the 2-ball and Appleton made it and ran out.


Appleton made nothing on his break but Morris missed his first shot and Appleton ran out. Morris broke and ran, Appleton did as well, and Morris returned the favor with his second consecutive break and run.


On the final game, Appleton played an incredible 3-rails around the table cluster break, executed another with a thin cut using inside, then polished of his fourth break and run in 7 tries to win the match, 10-3.


Appleton finished the event with a 2-3 record and a W-L record in games of 38-37. Morris finished at 1-4 with a W-L record of 36-47.


The Score

AAAAAA – M – AA – M – A – M – A



Nov. 17-20 – Sandcastle Billiards – Edison NJ



Corey DEUEL 10 – John MORRA 3


John Morra broke dry in the opening rack and Corey Deuel executed a precision runout, then broke and ran out to jump out to a 2-0 lead.


In game three Morra again failed to make a ball but Deuel hooked himself and missed a kick – butt Morra missed and Deuel stole game 3. A break and run followed, and Deuel won again when Morra played terrible position and missed a bank. Deuel now led 5-0, and he added another W with his third break and run, completing an opening streak of 6 straight games.


Morra then executed a B&R, Deuel followed with his fourth straight, and Morra again broke and ran. In game 10 Deuel committed a huge blunder when he hooked himself while playing shape on his key ball and Morra ran out. At this point Deuel led, 7-3.


In game 11 Morra looked like he was going to run out, but he leaned over the table to play an easy shot, possibly changing his head position and his line of aim – and he missed badly. Deuel ran out. In the next game Morra missed positon and had to play a long shot, which he missed. Deuel ran out, then ran out again after Morra broke dry for the third time – winning the match, 10-3.


Deuel earned a thousand dollars for his superb performance and a place in the upper half of the field with a record of 3-2, and 39 games won against 40 losses. Morra finished at 2-3 with a W-L record of 31-42.


The Score