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Van Boening double dips Josh Roberts to win 2nd Annual Tornado Open

Shane Van Boening and Vivian Villarreal

If someone asked you to come up with 20 male competitors that you'd like to see at a pool tournament, you'd be hard-pressed to come up with a list better than the one that comprised the field of players at the Men's Open 10-Ball event of the 2nd Annual Tornado Open (a similar list of female players is, literally, a separate story). Fifteen of the top 25 players on the BCA's Player Ranking list were on hand, as were a host of other notables, like Tommy Kennedy, Skyler Woodward, Justin Bergman, Dennis Hatch, Robb Saez, Brandon Shuff, Mike Davis and Vilmos Foldes, to name just a few.
The $85,000-added Tornado Open, hosted by the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, in Hollywood, FL from Sept. 28 to Oct. 2, featured nine separate tournaments, three with $25,000-added and a total $100,000 purse. The marquee tournaments were the Men's and Women's 10-Ball Open, and the Scotch Doubles Tournament, featuring a host of dream pairs like the tournament's namesake, Vivian Villarreal and Dennis Orcollo, Shane Van Boening and Brittany Bryant, Mika Immonen and Helena Thornfeldt, Ewa Mataya Laurance and Ernesto Dominguez, Kelly Fisher and Darren Appleton, Karen Corr and Corey Deuel, and Allison Fisher and John Morra. (another literal separate story). 
In the end, the 78-entrant Men's Open 10-Ball event came down to three matches between Shane Van Boening and (something of a surprise, although not a big one) Josh Roberts, whose last (reported) major win came against Pagulayan in the finals of The Cheesehead Classic in Wisconsin last October. Roberts took the first of those three in the hot seat match, but Van Boening came back from the semifinals against Warren Kiamco and defeated Roberts twice in the double elimination final to claim the title.
As the field narrowed to 12, only five of the BCA's 25 top players remained – (in ranking order) Shane Van Boening (1), Dennis Orcollo (4), Warren Kiamco (6), Mike Dechaine (10) and Alex Pagulayan (17). Three of them (Van Boening, Orcollo and Pagulayan) were still on the winners' side of the 78-entrant bracket. 
After defeating Tommy Kennedy, Richard Pugliese, Justin Bergman, and Warren Kiamco, Van Boening squared off in a winners' side semifinal versus The Lion. Josh Roberts, who'd defeated Stony Stone, Drake Niepoetter, Manny Chau and Shaun Wilkie, faced Orcollo in the other one. 
Shane dominated 8-1 in his match against Pagulayan, as Roberts downed Orcollo 8-6. Roberts got into the hot seat with an 8-4 win over Van Boening, and waited on his return.
Over on the loss side, where Dechaine, Bergman, Kiamco, Davis and Manny Chau continued to lurk, Pagulayan drew Bergman, who'd eliminated Kevin Cheng 8-4 and Antonio Lining 8-3 to reach him. Orcollo picked up Kiamco, who'd been sent to the loss side by Van Boening in a winners' side quarterfinal and was in the midst of a four-match, loss-side streak that would take him as far as a re-match versus Van Boening in the semifinals. Kiamco had eliminated Dechaine 8-5 and Manny Chau 8-3 to get Orcollo.
Old adversaries, Pagulayan and Kiamco, advanced to the quarterfinals; Pagulayan eliminating Bergman 8-3 and Kiamco defeating Orcollo, double hill (Kiamco's first of three straight double hill matches). Kiamco went on to defeat Pagulayan, double hill, and then locked up with Van Boening for a third double hill battle that eventually gave Van Boening a second, and necessary third shot against Roberts. 
Van Boening and Roberts played 18 games over the two-set final. Van Boening won 16 of them. He gave up nothing in the opening set and though Roberts would chalk up two racks in the second set, Van Boening would close it out to claim the Men's Open 10-Ball title.

Justin Hall Snaps Off Memphis Open One Pocket

Justin Hall, Tracy Whitney and Chip Compton

A very tough field, one shy of a full line up, came to Tracy Whitney’s High Pockets for the One Pocket division of the Memphis Open. Joey Gray took the bye as the rest of the field went to work. First round casualties included pre-tournament favorites Danny Smith, defeated by Chip Compton 4-1, and Tony Chohan, who was taken down by Billy Thorpe 4-0.
After defeating Smith in the first round, Compton defeated the always tough Josh Roberts and veteran Jeremy Jones while Hall defeated High Pockets house pro Robb Saez, young gun Billy Thorpe and former US Open One Pocket champ Corey Deuel to arrive at the hot seat match. Hall won the showdown 4-2 and sent Compton over to the west side to wait for an opponent.
Meanwhile, on the west side, Chohan mowed down Saez, Roberts, Johnathan Pinegar (“Hennessee”) and Deuel. After losing his second match, Thorpe took down Drake Niepoetter, Gray and Jones. It was time for a Chohan-Thorpe rematch and, again, Thorpe prevailed 4-2.
It was now the semi-finals and both players fought hard to go on to the finals but when it was over, it was Compton 4-2 leaving Thorpe in third place.
Since it would be true double elimination, Compton would have to defeat Hall twice to win the event. It was a neck and neck battle as both players fought hard. With the score knotted at 3-3, Compton missed a bank & Hall ran out to take the title.
Congratulations to Justin Hall for becoming the new Memphis Open One Pocket Champion – great showing by Chip Compton!
The Ten Ball Division starts later tonight – player auction begins at 6:00 pm central time and matches start around 8:00 pm central time. Join us for some great pool! Get your pass at

Bergman hangs on to win Third Annual Big Muddy Freeroll Tournament in Louisiana

Justin Bergman

Justin Bergman took the second set of a true double elimination final against Bruce Luttrell to win the 3rd Annual Big Muddy Freeroll Tournament, held on the weekend of September 14-15. The $2,500-added, handicapped event, which did not require an entry fee, drew 107 entrants to The Billiard Center in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.
With players racing to their handicap number, from 4 to 14, Bergman was one of a handful playing at the top end of the system. He faced Bruce Luttrell, racing to 8, three times; once in the hot seat match, and twice in the finals, winning two double hill matches of those three.
From among the winners' side final four, Bergman met up with Robert Frost (12), as Luttrell was facing Jimmy Lang (10). Bergman sent Frost to the left bracket 14-10, as Luttrell was downing Lang, 8-5. In their first of two straight double hill matches Bergman prevailed 14-7, and sat in the hot seat, waiting for Luttrell to return from the semifinals.
Lang moved over and met up with Skyler Woodward (one of three, among the event's final 12, racing to 14), who'd defeated Drake Niepoetter 14-5 and Shane McMinn (another player racing to 14) 14-7. Frost drew Brady Behrman, who'd defeated Devin Poteet 10-7, and Dustin Roach 10-5. Roach, having previously defeated Drake Niepoetter's father, Dale, was, in effect, instrumental in seeing to it that father and son got to leave the tournament together, at the same time.
Frost downed Behrman 12-6, as Woodward handed Lang his second straight loss 14-6. A double hill fight ensued in the quarterfinals with Woodward prevailing over Frost to meet Luttrell, who at this point, racing to 8, was looking at three straight matches against two players racing to 14, in order to win the thing. He jumped the first hurdle with a 7-8 victory over Woodward in the semifinals, to earn his second, and hopefully, third shot against Bergman.
Luttrell took full advantage, winning the opening set of the true double elimination final 7-7. Bergman rallied, though, and took the second set 14-5 to claim the event title.
In addition to the standard payouts, the tournament paid $200 each to the top "B" and "C" finishers in the tournament. Andy Auer took home the $200, "B" prize, while 12-year-old Matt Wisely captured the "C" money.