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Midwest Open II In The Books

Fedor Gorst (Pool Action TV)

Some of the best players in the world were at Michael’s Billiards in Fairfield, OH this past week for the Midwest Open Billiard Championship II. 

Everywhere you looked there were recognizable faces! Milling around the spacious room was recent Scotty Townsend Memorial champ Alex Pagulayan, Music City Open champ Shane Wolford, Iron City Open 9 Ball Champ Tony Chohan, Derby City Open Ring Game champ Billy Thorpe as well as this year’s Derby City Open One Pocket Champ & Master of the Table Fedor Gorst! And then there was Roberto Gomez, John Morra, Omar Al shaheen, Sanjin Pehlivanovic, Louis Demarco, Jesus Atencio, Shane Winters, Mike DeLawder, Dee Adkins, Robert Frost, Shannon Murphy, Jason Miller and Manny Chau in addition to ladies stars Kristina Tkach and April Larson – way too many to mention! This year’s pool extravaganza was modeled after the legendary Derby City Classic and featured 9 Ball Banks, One Pocket & Ten Ball divisions with an All Around Champion Award. A Bank Ring Game, Ladies 8 Ball Tournament and a Pro Ten Ball Invitational were held as well. There was something for everyone! 

Sponsors for this $19,000 added event included Joseph Long Attorney At Law, Greg Sullivan, Aramith, Simonis, Meyer Custom Cues, Ryan Meyer Cues,, Diamond Billiard Products, Fort Worth Billiards Superstore, and Michael’s Billiards. 

Things kicked off on Tuesday evening with a 66 player field for the $3,000 added Bank Pool event. The format was double elimination, race to three with alternate breaks. 

Tuesday evening also featured a Banks Ring Game. The two finalists were Billy Thorpe and Mike DeLawder – Billy took top honors! Now back to the banks event! 

After many rounds of play, the field was pared down on the winner’s side to Tony Chohan and Louis Demarco. The hot seat match was all Tony as he sent Louis west with a 3-1 score. 

After being defeated in the fourth round by young gun Jesus Atencio 3-1, Fedor Gorst had methodically picked his way through the field to face John Morra on the one loss side – John had been upset by Chicago’s Michael Eck 3-2. 

After he got past John, Fedor then defeated Louis Demarco 3-1 leaving him in third place. Fedor then moved into the finals but with his eyes firmly affixed on the prize, the match was again all Tony as he blitzed Fedor 3-0 to claim the first event! 

Wednesday was a busy day at the Midwest Open! It was the start of the One Pocket, the Pro Ten Ball Invitational as well as the Ladies 8 Ball events! 

Tony Chohan (Pool Action TV)

The $10,000 added One Pocket event had 47 players vying for the title. As in the Banks event, the format was double elimination with a race to three and alternate breaks. Red hot Tony Chohan tore through the field leaving Jesus Atencio, Jeff Lawrence, Cody Myers, Dee Adkins and Jason Shearer in his wake. 

On the bottom half of the chart, Alex Pagulayan opened with a bye and then defeated Leo Kincannon, Jeremiah Stanfield and Can Salim before edging out the always tough Fedor Gorst to reach the hot seat match. 

And again, Tony was a man on a mission as he spanked Alex 3-1 to claim his spot in the finals. Alex headed west to await an opponent. 

In a battle of the young guns, Shane Wolford took down Gorst 3-1 to face Alex for a spot in the finals. Alex, however, was having none of it as he put Shane on ice and won the match 3-0! Fedor finished in fourth place while Shane finished third. 

The finals began between the two giants of the one pocket world. Alex won the first set 3-1 forcing a second for the title. The final set saw both players grinding it out to a 2-2 tie. However, it was again Chohan as he claimed his second title at the Midwest Open! 

April Larson (Pool Action TV)

The $500 added Ladies 8 Ball Championship had 29 players – double elimination format with races to 4/3 and alternate breaks. Angela Mears swept through the field undefeated to face April Larson in the finals. April prevailed leaving Angela with a runner-up finish and Danielle Lunsford in third place. 

The $1,000 added 10 Ball Invitational had ten players – the format was single elimination with races to thirteen and alternate breaks. Fedor Gorst and Jesus Atencio advanced to the finals. It was a close match all the way but Fedor closed it out to claim the title with a 15-12 score. Tony Chohan and Kashton Keeton tied for third place. 

And finally, Event #3 – the $3,000 Ten Ball! Featuring 106 players and played on seven foot Diamonds, the format was double elimination, races to 9/7 with alternate breaks. 

In contention with Tony Chohan for the Master of the Table crown, a determined Fedor Gorst plowed through the field and notched out wins over Todd Michael, Steve Anderson, edged out Shane Wolford, then Willie Butler, Mike DeLawder & finally Billy Thorpe to arrive at the hot seat match. 

Meanwhile, in the lower portion of the bracket, Sanjin Pehlivanovic also made his mark as he defeated Clay Carman, Tommy Stephenson, Koka Davladze, reigning Midwest Billiards bar box champ Kristina Tkach, Dee Adkins and Louis Demarco. 

Fedor and Sanjin battled it out in the hot seat match but it was Gorst who locked up his seat in the finals 9-6. 

After losing her match to Sanjin in the third round, Kristina Tkach survived her matches with Jerry Arvalaez, Can Salim, Matthew Carman, Mike DeLawder and Louis Demarco before she finally succumbed to Alex Pagulayan 7-6! Don’t think this lady can’t play! She finished in a hard earned fourth place. 

Alex and Sanjin then battled to the end before the Lion was slayed 7-6. He finished in third place as Pehlivanovic moved on to the finals. 

Always in the lead, Fedor went on to take Sanjin down 9-4 and claimed not only the Ten Ball title but also Master of the Table! 

Congratulations to this year’s champs – Fedor Gorst, Tony Chohan, Billy Thorpe and April Larson!!! And again, congratulations to Fedor for taking his second Master of the Table crown of the year! 

Thanks go out to owner Michael Medley and his staff for going the extra mile to make both players and fans welcome. We’d also like to thank Tournament Director Jason Hill and his assistants Robert Frost and Cody Myers for ably running the many events. would like to thank Jeremy Jones, Larry Schwartz, Mary Kenniston, Alex Pagulayan, Dee Adkins and Ray Hansen for their excellent commentary. 

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

Our next stop is Griff’s in Las Vegas, NV for the US Open 10 Ball, US Open 8 Ball, US Open One Pocket and the US Open Bank Pool Championships! Dates are April 3rd-14th! Sure hope to see you there!!!

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Bustamante over Deuel Highlights Derby Day Three

Francisco Bustamante (Dave Thomson –

Diamond Derby City Classic XXII, January 24-Feb.2, 2020
Caesars Southern Indiana, Elizabeth, IN
David Thomson
LIVE from the Accu-Stats TV Arena
Format: Race to 11, single elimination, alternate break, all balls count, except the 10 on the break. It’s respotted..
Saturday’s Results
Alex and Shane had the arena in silence. You could hear a ball drop. And, there were lots of them. Neither player got ahead by far, as they capitalized on most opportunities to win their inning, Alex’s position was pin point. Shane’s break and shot making had tied the score at around 9-9.
Then their breaks dried up. Alex was on the hill. His break didn’t respond. Shane took control and got a little funny on the 8 and left a cross-side bank and perfect shape on the 10. The problem was, he missed the bank! a few safeties later, Alex had a long, almost straight, 10 into the corner. Calm and focused, he let his cue run free. “Oh yeah,” he exclaimed.
Alex awaited either Filler or Vann Corteza. You can guess who his choice was.
Filler and Corteza was another neck-and-neck match that could have gone either way–until Lee Vann was behind 7-6.
A crazy Corteza miss sent balls squirming, and the 10 into the hole. His luck wasn’t done yet. Kicking at a Filler snooker, the 6 kissed the 10 into the side. Within minutes, he was ahead 8-7. 
Then, it was Filler’s time to get a little luck. On his break, whitey was speeding towards scratching. Within inches of doom, the 8 caromed off of it into pocket. Filler held his serve. They both held their nerve until, at 10-9, Corteza had a decision to make. He had no pocket for the 3, which was about 8 feet away, nestled near a cluster by the 10.
You could hear his mind’s wheels grinding, “Should I stay or should I go?” Caramba, luck won’t fail me now! The 10 slammed into the back of the pocket! He was in the semi’s. Josh was in shock.
Morra’s calm may have had a hypnotic effect on Shaw. Seemingly subdued from his usually aggressive, “go get ‘em” approach, he trailed 3-7 before John lost a little focus. Plus, this game of millimeters, began to curse him.
Shaw, took a time out. “I left the arena, cleared my head, and returned with the attitude of starting all over again.”
He won the next 4 games. Morra was being punished for his lapse. Luck favors the brave. Jayson, did slop in a ball yet, he had truly found his firepower while John had lost just enough of his finesse. He garnered only one more game.
Shaw, comfortably, closed out the match 11-8.
On a note of honorable mention, the normally emotionless Morra never lost his sense of humor.
Understandably, the DCC audience is really spoiled. They expect excellence. Shaw pulled a 3 rail, table-length long draw shot to land in perfect position. There was not a whisper or applause. “You didn’t like that,” Jayson joked aloud? 
“Tough room.” commented Morra, smiling from his seat.
The consequences of loss, perhaps, had Corey and Django off to a cautious start. It seems, when we compound caution with misses, it hurts our confidence. “When I saw Corey missing, too, it helped my confidence,” considered Bustamante. “I thought, he must be nervous, too.”
Bustey strode ahead and led the throughout the match. Corey, still smooth stroking, was playing catch-up. Even when down 5-10, Corey made a valiant effort at a comeback but, to no avail.
He later admitted that earlier in the match, “One ball. That swing cost me six racks.” That’s the nature of our sport when competing with the best.
Results: Sunday
Alex Pagulayan .937 def. Shane Van Boening  .910 11-9
Lee Vann Corteza .915 def. Joshua Filler .913 11-9
Jayson Shaw def. John Morra .864 11-8
Francisco Bustamante .861 def. Corey Deuel .805
BIG Foot 10-ball Semis and finals on Monday.
2pm: Alex Pagulayan vs. Lee Vann Corteza
4pm: Jayson Shaw vs. Francisco Bustamante
9pm: Finals
Don’t miss a stroke at
Short Rack. Race to 3.
451 began. At last accounting, there were about 30.
7 are unbeaten: Brumback, Bustey, Filler, Evan Lunda, Orcollo, Pagulayan, and Thorpe
Efren is gone. Fresh from finding out that he will receive the honorable Philippine Sportswriters Association Lifetime Achievement Award, always humble, he stumbled into his first defeat: Beaten 3-2 by local hero James Flood.
As a Kentucky native, you know James can bank. ”I’ve been waiting my whole life to get a shot at Efren.” Worth the wait, we’re sure. Not everyone can say they sent Efren Reyes to the buy-back booth.
Next round, still reeling, Efren had a close encounter with Ryan Hollingsworth. In the deciding game, Ryan needed 2 balls, Reyes required 1. He made a respectable effort at a 4 railer. Then, when he got a shot at a short rail bank–Nothing but net.
Reyes let out a real rebel yell when that winning ball dropped. At 65, his passion is alive and well. 
The yell was short lived. Next on his hit list was not quite unknown Nederlander Tim DeRuyter. Talk about unsuspecting, his wiki page doesn’t even mention 1-Pocket.
His dream, much like James Flood’s, was to get a shot at the Master. “I have waited my whole life to play Efren. When I heard he’d retired, I thought I’d missed my chance.”
Efren, shrugging it all off, was last seen in search of his One-Pocket opponent.
Remember Chris Melling being talked into buying back after his despondence after his first round loss to 2004 Bank Pool Champion Jason Miller?
It was Tony Chohan who, finally, handed Melling his marching papers…in the 7th round! Wait ’til he sees those All-Around bonus points.
Jayson Shaw takes no prisoners. Whom did he eliminate? Skyler Woodward.
Mika, too, as he delivered Shane his first loss. 
Lastly, it’s Larry Nevel who deserves serious credit. From his wheelchair, he battered Bergman to earn a berth with last year’s Bank Champion, the currently undefeated Billy Thorpe.
365 entries, up 20 from last year!
Alex, confidently refreshed by his 10-Ball bout with Van Boening, he ran into Josh Roberts in the opening round of the One Pocket. Josh was not happy at the buy back booth. “I didn’t have a chance. Alex played perfect. He even broke and ran 8-and-out in the last rack!”
There’s more where that came from. Check in tomorrow.
Accu-Stats thanks its Arena Sponsors: Diamond Billiards, Simonis Cloth, Cyclop Balls, Cuetec Cues, Cue and Case, MEZZ Cues, McDermott Cues, National Billiard Academy.

Bigfoot Challenge Highlights Derby City Classic Day One

Alex has focus and fire that says ‘maybe’

Diamond Derby City Classic XXII, January 24-Feb.2, 2020
Caesars Southern Indiana, Elizabeth, IN
David Thomson
Notice the new host name. Thanks to the 90 MILLION+ spent in refurbishment, major changes are afoot in Indiana. The Horseshoe is no longer because Caesars, the umbrella company that owns it, has decided to rebrand.
Relaxed Indiana gambling laws have allowed the casino to relocate from the boat on the Ohio River and land neatly next to the hotel. New laws, new rules: Now, no one under 21 can enter the casino or, the adjacent convention center which houses the sea of Diamond Pool Tables.
Current 19-year-old World 9-Ball champion Fedor Gorst was sideswiped as he had booked tickets and a berth in the BIG Foot 10-Ball Challenge. 20-year-old Albanian Eklent Kaci received a glancing blow. He will turn 21 on the day the DCC 9-Ball Championship begins. Will he compete? We’ll keep you posted
Lastly, to ensure that the new Casino regulations are respected, there is now an ID, bag, and cue case security check on the main hallway leading from the hotel to the casino/convention center.
Enough of the public service announcement, let’s get to the action.
The Diamond BIG Foot Challenge
LIVE from the Accu-Stats TV Arena
Format: Race to 11, single elimination, alternate break, 10-Ball, caroms and combos win.
Shane’s break is a nightmare…for his opponents. Compound that with his cool, calm demeanor and he’s a demon. Roberto Gomez, normally a fearsome contender, was sluggish. “I had to rush back to the Phillipines,” he countered. His father, sadly, had died suddenly. “I’m not making excuses but, I just arrived after 24-hours of traveling to get here plus, I haven’t had any practice time…and the jetlag! I wasn’t there today:” Sad days indeed. Our condolences to Roberto and his family.
In match two, Newly inducted BCA Hall of Famer Alex Pagulayan showed renewed focus and that fighting spirit that had seemed missing in recent rotation game encounters. Billy Thorpe couldn’t catch a cold as his struggling .812 TPA was stifled by Alex’s .913.
More Filipino action followed as DCC titlist Lee Vann Corteza pounced on the unusual faltering of last year’s 9-Ball runner-up, the promising James Aranas.
The evening was made complete with an inspired performance by wunderkint Joshua Filler. Konrad Juszczyszyn fell under  the young German’s courageous, attacking spell yet still managed to eke out 5, well played racks.
Friday’s results
1pm:Shane Van Boening def. Roberto Gomez 11-5
3:30: Alex Pagulayan def. Billy Thorpe 11-4
7pm: Lee Vann Corteza def. James Aranas 11-7
9:30: Joshua Filler vs. Conrad Juszczyszyn 11-5 
Play continues Saturday at the same times. Check the schedule at 
Chris Melling vs. John Morra
Jayson Shaw vs.Skyler Woodward
Mika Immonen vs. Francisco Bustamante
Corey Deuel vs. Dennis Orcollo
Short Rack. Race to 3.
Efren Reyes is in the house!  The 5-time DCC All Around Champion and 6 time One-Pocket Champion, is out of retirement. Why? Could it be that it’s because he’s never won the Bank Pool? Alex Pagulayan is the only competitor to have taken all three titles. Banks, One Pocket, and 9-Ball. Shane was one ball away from winning them all…in one year!
But that was then. This is now.
Reyes sailed thru his opening encounter and will wait for the daily redraws to see who’s his next victim.
DCC XXII can boast 451 hard-banging banksters. it’s not a record but what other tournament can attract such an elite number? There were 452 but, Shannon Daulton had to withdraw as an alluring business opportunity took precedence. 
A scary opener for crafty Corey Deuel as he got caught in the ringer with stringer Rob Hart. Down 2-0, Corey had to muster the gumption that secured his 2 prior DCC Bank Pool titles.
Then 2006 DCC All-Around Champion Jason Miller and 2018 DCC 9-Ball Champion Chris Melling were drawn into the pit. Melling soon realized that he, admittedly, had a lot to learn from the proponents of the discipline of choice in this here neck of the woods. “It’s so hard to play safe,” Chris considered. “So you gotta go for it. And if you miss, these guys run 3, 4, or 5 and out. I’m not going to buy-back.”
Good friend Jayson Shaw, overhearing Chris’ despair, jumped on him. “You have to buy-back. What if you do well in the One Pocket? And the 9-Ball–a title you’ve already proved you can win? Are you gonna blow the $20,000 All Around Champion bonus money. You don’t know who you’re gonna draw next, It’s only the 2nd round. You need those points.
Chris realizing the Scotsman’s logic was last seen busy at the buy-back booth.
Don’t miss a stroke at
Accu-Stats thanks its Arena Sponsors: Diamond Billiards, Simonis Cloth, Cyclop Balls, Cuetec Cues, Cue and Case, MEZZ Cues, McDermott Cues, National Billiard Academy.

Derby City Classic Day One

Joshua Filler – Photo courtesy of David Thomson (

Derby City Classic XXI, January 25 – February 2nd, 2019
LIVE from the Horseshoe Southern Indiana Casino, Elizabeth IN.
Diamond BIG Foot Challenge
Format: Race to 11, single elimination, alternate break, all balls count.
The Accu-Rack 10-Ball template constricts the Cyclop Balls with laser-like accuracy. The 40-second shot clock allows for no foul when staying down on the shot if the time runs out. Combos and caroms that pocket the 10-ball count as a win. Non-nominated balls made as the result of kicks permit the inning to continue.
Player consensus is that the alternate rules make for an equal playing field. 
Now to the opening action: Chris Melling vs Dennis Orcollo
Chris got off to a slow start, altho,’ making a ball on the break, he just couldn’t get a peek at the one.
Orcullo, robotic, emotionless, diminutive, with uncanny accuracy treated BIG Foot like any other table-top and soon led 9-7.
Melling, last year’s DCC 9-Ball Champion, was unintimidated by the 2-time Master of the Table’s ability. All Chris wanted was opportunity. And, when he got it, the match was soon tied at ten.
In the final rack, interestingly, what contributed to Chris’ downfall was the former snooker player’s worst nightmare. He missed position while using the bridge and lost a safety exchange.
Dennis, nonchalant, survived.
Mika Immonen vs. Corey Deuel.
Speaking of snooker players, Corey Deuel is a former National US Snooker Champion. No stranger to BIG Foot distances, he calmly, and confidently, had amassed a seemingly insurmountable 10-4 lead. 
For Deuel, it was mostly downhill from there.
Immonen found himself in search of a miracle. Deuel’s dry breaks, compounded by an unfortunate scratch, allowed Mika back to the table. The alternate break format gave him the momentum so, when Corey erred in his inning, Mika capitalized two games at a time; 6-10, 8-10, and at 10-10 and Corey breaking, he dissolved the drought; Corey finally made a ball.
Now, could he summon the courage after having been stuck to his seat for 6 racks? Could he control his trusty Meucci as he motioned the remaining orbs toward their predesignated pockets?
"One ball at a time,” he later maintained. "That's all I had to make. Also, I never lost hope. Even when Mika had caught up, I truly still felt that I was going to win."
With Accu-Stats’ TPAs of .935 and .934, respectively, the Deuel–Immonen duo have set the standard.
Francisco Bustamante vs. John Morra
Another nail-biter: The drama in the Accu-Stats Arena was endless. Bustey, with the confidence of 3 Master of the Table titles, had Morra down 2-5.
The learned Diamond audience had heard of John’s switch to left-handed because of chronic neck pain incurred from years of shooting right-handed while being left-eye dominant.
In an apparent reversal of the comeback that Melling put on him in last year’s 9-Ball finals, John, smooth-stroked 4 in a row to lead 6-5. Back and forth they battled until John, stalled by an uncharacteristic scratch, allowed Francisco the opportunity to saunter into Sunday’s semi-finals.
Lee Vann Corteza vs. Joshua Filler
Filler, tournament tough from the residual effect of being recently crowned World 9-Ball Champion, was off to a trail-blazing start as he streaked to 10-4.
Corteza, crippled by the sheer firepower of his opponent, looked shot into submission when he hung the 9 deep, deep, deep in the shelf of the Diamond’s tight, pro-cut pocket.
Joshua, filled with that youthful over-confidence that he has somewhat tamed, leapt to the table to deliver the death-blow that would render Lee Vann defeated.
As he attempted to lick in the dangling orb, the cue ball sped into the Simonis clad rail only to ricochet into thin air and miss the 9 completely.
In a valiant effort, Lee Vann found the gumption to mount a comeback that, alas, was cut short at 8. In closing, Joshua’s .919 TPA had secured his presence on Sunday.
When asked about whether he feared the punishment of a Corteza reprisal after missing the hanging 9, “I was careless,” he confessed then added, “I was never afraid of losing. I know to be positive. Always be positive.”
Play continues Saturday. View at 
1:00pm: Konrad Juszczyszyn vs. Jayson Shaw
3:30pm: Fedor Gorst vs. Alex Pagulayan
7:00pm: Jung-Lin Chang vs. Eklent Kaci
9:30pm: Roberto Gomez vs. Shane Van Boening
505 players vie for $10,000 first place prize. Race to 3, 9-Ball–Short Rack:
Another record attendance certifies the Derby City Classic as the world’s biggest pro-pool tournament
There were too just many matches. Here are a few that deserve mention:
Round 1. Eklent Kaci vs Jason Miller: 3-0? What? Eklent toppled the 2006 DCC Banks and All Around Champion? Wow the sweaters are still shaking their heads.
Keep your eyes on Kristina Tkatch as the 18 year old Russian native wins her first ever Banks match.
Round 2. Thorsten Hohmann dispatches Jayson Shaw to the buy-back booth.

A Brief History of the Derby City Classic

Dennis Orcollo danced through the field last year (Photo courtesy of Dave Thomson –

In celebration of The Derby City Classic’s 20th anniversary, we thought that you avid pool fans might be interested in a few tidbits of its unique history, statistics, and hear what the sone of the past champions have to say about it all.
The “Derby” was sired by Diamond Billiards’ Greg Sullivan in 1999. 200 plus entrants vying for titles in three disciplines; Bank Pool, One Pocket, and 9-Ball graced Louisville KY’s Executive Inn. Due to DCC’s irrepressible growth, by 2009, the action was upgraded to the grander Horseshoe Southern Indiana Casino, just across the border, in Elizabeth, IN.
Today, more than double that original amount are expected to participate. That stat makes it the most successful, competitively attended pro pool tournament in the world.
Greg’s ambition grew from experiencing the Johnson City hustler’s convention at the tender age of 16. He was immediately smitten, in fact, he still has his original entry ticket!
It was that passion for pool that eventually drove him to create the Diamond pool table to his exacting, standardized specifications that would catapult pool from a game to a sport.
The table’s success allowed Greg, with Chad in the background managing the numbers, to create a pool tournament which would attract the full gamut of cuemen. He wanted those who were funded by gambling on themselves and those who excelled in the immediacy of tournament action.
Sullivan beamed as he stated without the glimmer of a boast, ”The most satisfying compliment I’ve ever received is that DCC is like Johnson City…on steroids.”
2001 All Around Champion (also know as the Master of the Table) Shannon Daulton concurs. “Once a year, everyone from World Champions to the toughest money players on the earth come together for nine days of torture to see who comes out on top.”
Five time All Around Champion Efren Reyes dubs the Derby  his favorite tournament, ever. ”I got to spend time with my friends, now icons, like Earl and Nick (Varner). And, more recently, new friends I’ve made in all the events. It’s always been a gathering of the best players in the world.”
Another attraction; the moolah. Where else can one pool player, in one tournament, get the opportunity to cash $76,000? And that doesn’t include the extra curricular activities; nudge, nudge.
If he, or she, were to win the Bank Pool: $10,000, and the One Pocket; $12,000, then the 9-Ball; $16,000. All those points awarded for each win earn an additional $20,000 as the aforementioned Master of the Table.
Plus, let’s not forget DCC’s auxiliary enticements: The Diamond BIG Foot Challenge: $16,000, and the George Fels Memorial 14.1/Straight Pool, instigated by Billiards Digest columnist Bob Jewett and currently hosted by Dennis Walsh and Bill Maropulos: $8,000.
It all adds up to $76,000. That’s not a bad week’s wages.
In its evolution over the decades, as if the 9 days of dawn to dawn dueling weren’t murderous enough, more entertainment was added.
The Action and Entertainment" (A&E) commemorates the legendary “St.Louis” Louis Robert respected for his mesmerizing ability and high-roller attitude. As a matter of interest, in 2010, the entrancing Jeanette Lee robbed ‘em!
The event that is dearly missed was Steve Booth’s One Pocket and Bank Pool Hall of Fame Dinner. It was perhaps the most fun-filled night in Pool–never mind the Derby!
To hear the inductees be introduced by pool’s spellbinding raconteurs like the late Grady Mathews and Freddy “The Beard” Bentivegna was known to reduce some of these bad boys to tears.
The good news is that–it’s back! Jeremy Jones and the late Eugene 'Clem' Metz will be honored for One Pocket. And truly precocious Keith McCready for the “Lifetime Pool in Action Award! 
Wednesday, 24th, Jan. Doors open ar 6pm
It was in 2010 that the always entertaining Banks Ring Game was introduced.
In 2014, in celebration of the Diamond’s new 10’ table, the BIG Foot 10-ball Challenge was inaugurated. Always looking for innovation, Greg’s methodology was that the challenge of negotiating a 50 sq. ft. playing surface with the standard tight, pro-cut pockets would determine, indisputably, the best player.
The Derby City Classic All Around Champion is also the most bad-ass title to hold. Taking it means that you kick ass, not just in one of the disciplines, but at least 2, and arguably, all three. Hence, the All Around Champion is also recognized as Master of the Table, that’s why both titles are inscribed on the newly created, very elegant, crystal obelisk being presented to the 2018 points winner. Smaller obelisks will go to the winners of all 5 events.
Another interesting feature is that DCC is the only pool tournament where it costs more to enter the bleachers than it does to enter the arena. So, if you intend to attend the greatest pool show on earth and stand in awe of the international field of competitors, it will behoove you to play; It will certainly improve your speed plus, generate a tale or two for your grandchildren–especially, if you’re lucky enough to draw a champion!
In DCC’s first ever incarnation in 1999, Efren won the inaugural All Around event. The turn of the century, Dee Adkins had the honor, It took Shannon Daulton until 2001 to create his most treasured memory, in 2002 Jose Parica took the praise until Larry Nevel reveled in it in 2003. In 2004: The Return of Reyes: in the 4 years thru 2007, Efren was the “Master” three times: He “repeated” ’04 and ’05 and titled again in 2007. Incidentally, he won the One Pocket in all 4 of those years. Jason Miller interrupted in 2006.  2008 had fellow Filipino Francisco Bustamante, 2009, the brutal banker, John Brumback. In, 2010, guess who? Yup, Efren again! 2011 announced Shane Van Boening coming in to his own. He back-to backed thru ’12, The Filipino invasion was resuscitated as Francisco Bustamante titled again in ’13, Dennis Orcollo dominated 2014 then, Alex Pagulayan  paralyzed everyone, even Efren, in 2015 and ’16. Dennis danced thru the field again in 2017.
Alex reminisced, “Without a doubt, my best memory was winning the One Pocket in 2015. What I like about the DCC is that I really get to play some pool, I mean lots of pool, and in all those different discipline.”
John Brumback concurred, “I’ve had no greater feeling than when they announced my first win in Banks, then, the second I heard that I was the All Around Champion, wow, nothin’ better.”
So, in conclusion, who is the Master of the Table? Well, the stats don’t lie. As was once stated, “You can have your own opinion but, you can’t have your own facts!”
When you add up Efren’s attendance record, consider that he competed in only 11 years of the Derby and was the All Around Champion in 5 of them.That seems like an almost impossible statistic to repeat. Even in 2017, in his 60s, he was still pounding an Accu-Stats’ 9-Ball Total Performance Average (TPA) in the 890s and 900s.
We’ll see what future generations will accomplish as we are sure of one thing, DCC will be there for decades to come. DCC XXX will create some interesting search results.
Maybe Shannon said it best, “We really have to thank Greg Sullivan for taking such a chance 20 years ago. To this day, in my opinion, it’s our Greatest Show on Earth.”
Experience it for yourself: Get there, there is still time. Or view on

Shaw Repeats as Bigfoot Champ

Shaw Keeps Going!

Horsehoe Casino of Southern Indianna: Big Foot’s getting meaner yet, you gotta love it. It really tests the most experienced players. Distance is not the only challenge. Balls hit just slightly inaccurately will rock back and forth between the knuckles of the pocket to rest, all perked up, deep in the shelf of the slate. Many racks are stolen due to those misguided, uncooperative Cyclop orbs. So, beware.

Meanwhile, during Shaw’s one pocket match, upstairs overlooking the Accu-Stats Arena, he observed Corteza practicing for their semi’s scheduled next on BIG Foot. Jayson, later entering the arena asked casually, “Lee Vann, how long have you been here?”  Lee, in that harmless yet, quintessential pool player understatement, responded, “About 10 minutes.” Jayson smiled wryly. And, that’s the way their match began. Jayson in one pocket stroke and Corteza all warmed up on BIG Foot. But, isn’t this the true challenge of the Derby? How quickly competitors can switch disciplines and how much stamina they possess as the week progresses? So, not so surprisingly, Cortesa got swiftly into the lead while Shaw was still looking for his fast and loose BIG Foot stroke.

It didn’t take long. Shaw couldn’t string much together as his break was plagued by scratches. Corteza capitalized at every opportunity. At around 6, Jayson got a game ahead but, not for long. Corteza summoned his Big Foot experience, rallied to 10-8 where he had a marginally higher Accu-Stats’ TPA, .859 to Shaw’s .826: Not exactly record breaking yet substantial. Then, he faltered. He allowed Jayson another point on the scoreboard. Again, Jayson’s break proved unproductive. Pressure building while running out a 10-9, Lee Vann faced the 8 with the 9 and 10 pretty much hangers.

It was over. The audience knew it was over, Jayson, low in his seat, jaw hanging on his chest, knew it was over. Lee Vann’s Filipino brethren were already counting the cash. Corteza, stroking cautiously, yet with authority, coaxed it into the jaws of the pocket. It rattled a little yet everyone knew it was destined to fall. Suddenly, the rattling stopped. The ball hadn’t dropped. The deep shelf had held the 8 on the tabletop. Jayson jumped out his chair and stared at the black orb in disbelief. Careful not to breathe too heavily as his inhale might have sucked it into the pocket, he quickly approached the table. The remaining 3 balls were sunk with ease: It’s hill-hill. Emotions in check, careful not to get too big on the break, Shaw ran faultlessly to the finish line. There, he allowed himself relief. Elated, he let loose to run screaming into the Finals.

Semi’s #2: Phillipines vs Greece, round 2: Carlo Biado and Alex Kazakis. First timers on BIG Foot and in the semi’s? Both players were overjoyed to have accomplished so much. Biado was wary of Kazakis as he’d seen what he’d done to Pagulayan. His “A” game hadn’t shown up. In fact, truth be told, he hadn’t approached his potential all tournament. Kazakis seemed to play off of Biado’s “B” game rather than his reach for his own capability. That, we’d gotten a glimpse of against Pagulayan. As they struggled, Carlo managed to get atop the hill two games ahead of Alex. There, his real struggle began. He couldn’t complete the deal. The pressure he put on himself was palpable. The weaker his performance got, the more the Kazakis killer instinct kicked in. Before long, Biado had allowed Alex to join him on the hill.

Even though both competitors were emotionally wrecked, Biado’s fate was sealed. Kazikis, when dropping the winning 10-Ball was so relieved that we first saw a sign of his relief as he fist-pumped his way to face Shaw in the finals. The good news for Biado? His salary had doubled from $4K to 8. Now, Kazakis had 2 hours to regroup…and prepare for the biggest payday of his life: $16 thousand, The runner up would garner 8.

Shaw was well ready. His year was off to a flying start. He was AZ Billiard’s 2016 Player of the Year and he won his 5th Turning Stone title out of 6. Plus, he had the emotional cushion of knowing that he’d beaten, arguably, the sport’s greatest rotation player, Shane Van Boening, in last year’s BIG Foot final. A formidable opponent indeed. In this match’s final encounter, Shaw was a little surprised: Kazakis had come to compete. He’d picked up on the two-stroking Scot’s pace and, pretty much, held serve until they were tied at 7. Then, his momentous bombshell exploded. He, inexplicably, fumbled ball-in-hand. Kazakis later confessed, “I was feeling so good, so confident, that I lost focus. I, still, can’t believe I missed that 5 ball.”

Shaw could. He’d seen it with his own eyes. He then, mercilessly, ran out the set! 35 balls disappeared in about 10 minutes. And, he was the back-to-back BIG Foot Challenge Champion. It had looked dark for a moment. Only Corteza had challenged Shaw’s prowess. His Final’s .911 TPA wasn’t only an enviable accomplishment, it was also a distress call for the upcoming 9-Ball field.

BTW: Jayson went immediately upstairs to the George Fels Memorial Straight Pool Challenge and ran 98 balls in about 21 minutes. The 9 foot, Diamond Pro AM looked like a bar box.

The DCC Bank Pool Championships

10 players remain: The rumor in the arena is that Billy Thorpe is the one to watch. Piggy Bank’s last words on being beaten by him were, “Billy’s not guessing. His banks are going straight into the middle of the pocket.” Billy is the first to admit he’s playing well. “My goal is to win undefeated.”  He’s not bragging here as he might just do that: In ten rounds, he’s lost only 3 games: Out of 30 racks! In the past, players have been known to run 15 balls and out on opponents but, to lose only 10% of one’s games in 10 rounds, that’s unheard of! How long do you have to be in stroke to maintain that statistic? We’ll see tomorrow.

Here’s the latest: Billy and Warren Kiamco, still undefeated, have buy-backs. Billy eliminated Orcollo, Brumback is no longer in contention as he was first defeated by nemesis Jason Miller then, Evan Lunda; Chris Melling sent Piggy Banks packing, as did Kiamco to Shane Van Boening. Earlier, Olinger got Shaw, Frost got Juniors’ Champion, and Skyler’s road partner, Manny Perez. The Finals will air Tuesday night from the Accu-Stats Arena: Time, TBD.


Don’t forget there’s more disciplines to come:

At noon, LIVE from the Accu-Stats Arena: The American 15 Ball Rotation Championship Series VIII. James Blackburn of Gate City Billiards, Greensboro NC VS. Chris McDaniel of Felt Billiards, Denver CO Best of 3 sets, race to 60 points each set.

The DCC One Pocket Championships is underway with 347 players. No known favorites have lost their matches. Stay tuned. Many will crash and burn tomorrow.

The George Fels Memorial Straight Pool Challenge is streaming at Dennis Orcollo’s 198 still stands as does Shaw’s 168, Mika Immonen entered the fray with 146 while England’s Chris Melling sported a competitive 143.Taiwan’s Li Wen Lo’s 138 is still good and John Schmidt upped his 98 before running out of gas at 125. Johann Chua’s 115 and Thorsten Hohmann’s 112 round out the top 8. Mika, Chris, and John won $300, $200, and $100, respectively, for Monday’s high runs. The 14.1 event runs thru the week until the 8 highest run holders face off in single elimination for a prize fund of $22,000. If scheduling permits, Accu-Stats will stream, at least, the finals.

The DCC 9-Ball Championships commences Wednesday.

BANKS RING GAME, on the Accu-Stats screen on Friday the 27th, will have the winner-take-all battle for the cash as, typically, the last 2 are usually banking for near a thousand a ball.

Don’t miss a stroke at

Accu-Stats thanks its Arena Sponsors: Diamond Billiards, Simonis Cloth, Cyclop Balls, Cue and Case, MEZZ Cues, McDermott Cues, National Billiard Academy, OB Cues, and Samsara Cues.

Photography courtesy of David thomson,


Derby City Day Two: Morra Shows Heart

John Morra (Photo courtesy of Dave Thomson –

LIVE from the Horseshoe Southern Indiana Resort and Casino, Elizabeth, IN

Day two allows the worldwide competitors to settle in over their jet lag, adjust to the freeze of the Kentucky winter…and their stroke; Blood pressure is lowering and bank accounts are rising.
The George Fels Memorial Straight Pool Challenge
The George Fels Memorial Straight Pool Challenge begins today!
14.1 enthusiasts hunt to run as many balls as they can and the highest 8 switch to a single elimination format until the winner is honored on Saturday.
See it live at
Diamond BIG Foot 10-Ball Challenge.
The single elimination, all balls count, shoot-out began with the return of Alex Pagulayan and Jayson Shaw to the Accu-Stats Arena and  Internet stream.
The all balls count, rather than the usual call shot of pro 10-Ball competition, has a caveat: The 10 on the break is respotted and the breaker continues shooting.
Alex having returned from his foray into the world of big money snooker managed to qualify for all IBSF snooker events in 2015. That means he'll be hanging out the likes of Ronnie O'Sullivan, Neil Robertson, and Mark Selby. And with a 300,000 pounds for a World title win, who can blame him.
But let's face it, winning the Diamond Derby City Classic Master of the Table award offers the best prize money in Pro Pool so, that's about 50,000+ reasons to be here.
Plus, if one can take the BIG Foot title, that'll pocket an additional $16,000.
Jayson Shaw, just coming for back to back Turning Stone wins should have been feeling pretty confident but he confessed that BIG Foot got to him. "It's surprisingly different from a 9 foot. I haven't had much opportunity to compete on the 10-foot so, I was happy that I got 8 games."
Alex, on the other hand, had experience as he had competed in a previous Accu-Stats Invitational BIG Foot event.
After his seemingly, stress-free, 11-8 win a fan commented that he really looked comfortable out there. Alex responded, "I may have looked comfortable on the outside, but inside, I was shaking with butterflies."
Against Bustamante, John Morra began with an ominous scratch on the opening break. Busty took full advantage and was soon ahead 6-1. 
Morra, normally unemotional, was showed frustration as he was still scratching and, after a miscue,  hunched over and pounded the table with his fist.
Busty was now confident–maybe a little too confident; He missed a 9 that would, he felt, at 7-1, cinched the match.
But John Morra is man of different mettle.
A player, rejuvenated, stepped to the table. By the time John got to 6 Bustamante had garnered only two more games. Bustey then got to 10 and was breaking: He scratched! John ran out. At 10-10, a safety battle ensued that had the audience gasping. Morra nipped and ducked and soon secured that golden moment; Ball in hand. His inner strength came shining through and campy ran the remainder of the rack…and the match. The American Heart Association has a new poster boy: John Morra.
His emotions now allowed a smile. When asked, "What's your secret?, he responded, "Never give up!"
Johnny Archer has no give-up in him either. But against some devastating rolls and Shane Van Boening's ball splattering break, he was rendered helpless.
Shane looked like he was breaking on a bar box; Balls, "Opened like an umbrella." as Accu-Stats' commentator Danny Diliberto so eloquently states.
Shane knows how to close the deal; Johnny was soon put out of his misery. You can be assured, in the coming days, he'll be looking for a rematch on the 9 foot.
The Accu-Stats DVD library has a new addition, Mexico's Ruben Batista. A short time in the States, Ruben has already secured a semi-final finish in a MEZZ State Tour stop and a runner-up at the Hard Times 10-Ball Open on the West Coast.
Speaking of MEZZ, his opponent in the last round of the evening, was very a happy Jason Klatt. Jason had just renewed his player representative contract with MEZZ. "I'm happy they renewed," he commented, "After playing with my MEZZ for about 5 years now, I wouldn't know how to shoot with anything else."
it showed. An admittedly very nervous Batista took a while to overcome his opening round jitters under the Accu-Stats lights but, it was a little to late to catch the confident Klatt.
BIG Foot action continues at
Diamond Derby City Classic XVII: Bank Pool Division.
After a grueling two days of. "When's the redraw or, when do I play,"  413 Bankers where whittled down to about 100, 40 of whom still have a buy-back.
Efren, Orcollo, Justin Hall, Shannon Daulton, Brandon Shuff, Mika Immonen, Warren Kiamco, John Brumback, Jason Miller, and John Morra, to name few, are still undefeated.
The upsets continued as Skyler Woodward went two and out; his last loss to Rob Hart. Shane was also two and out. Alex Olinger had that honor but there is no shame in it. Alex is no stranger to high drama. As a White Diamond, Brickyard, and Shooters, Olathe, KS titlist, he doesn't rattle.
Unofficial Banks Ring Game
Skyler Woodward redeemed himself. After the shock of two and out in the Banks Division he headed straight to he a somewhat impromptu Banks Ring Game with Mike Delawder, Billy Thorpe, Danny Smith and Richie Richeson.
The $2,000 a man, winner-take-all, race to 100 rails is a somewhat new format. Each rail counts as one, so if you pocket a two railer and then a 3 railer then, you only have 95 more rails to go. Fun huh?
As was mentioned, Skyler redeemed himself. With runs like a 13 and then a 7, he was the first man to a 100…and the 10 large.
Don't worry if you missed it. You can be sure that he'll be in attendance in the Accu-Stats Arena for Friday night's official Ring Game.
American Rotation
Mike Dechaine  captured his 3rd, consecutive US American Rotation Championship title by overpowering Jody McLaughlin.
Diamond thanks its sponsors: The Horseshoe Southern Indiana, Cyclop Balls, Simonis Cloth, BCA Pool League, and BadBoys Billiard Productions.
Accu-Stats thanks its Arena Sponsors: Simonis Cloth, Cyclop Balls, OB Cues, Cue and Case, MEZZ Cues, Samsara Cues, and National Billiard Academy.


Derby City Day One: Banks, Bigfoot and American Rotation

Dennis Orcollo (Photo courtesy of Dave Thomson –

Day one is always fun…at least for the spectators. In pool's largest professional competition, The Bank Pool division of the 3 tiered event got rolling as did the Diamond BIG Foot 10-Ball Challenge in the Accu-Stats TV Arena.
"413 players in  the Banks," beamed DCC founder Greg Sullivan. "Actually it was 414, but one unfortunate international competitor's US visa wasn't in order so we refunded his entry fee."
413 is up a stunning 62 from last year's 351. "I can't remember the last time we had so many entrants." Greg continued, "It's been at least 10 years. And, we have a waiting list for the BIG Foot." Everybody loves Diamond.
There are about 36 Smart Tables in place to accommodate the primary Bank Pool, 1-Pocket, and 9-Ball events. Mini tourneys will run into the night to keep the night owls in action. The George Fels Memorial Straight Pool Challenge get begins on Sunday. Pool's biggest and most enduring nine day stamina test is underway and we'll report to the last man standing.
Diamond BIG Foot 10-Ball Challenge.
Dennis Orcollo, last year's Master of the Table, got off to a roaring start as he easily won is first two Bank Pool matches after destroying accomplished roadman Chris Bartram 11-1 in the opening match of the BIG Foot Challenge.
"I think I ran a 5-pack," Dennis acknowledged humbly. "After that, there were a lot of safeties, and I realized that I was, as usual, a little bit nervous. So, I had to find my 'Pool Concentration' and focus on one ball at a time." About 50 balls later, Chris was on the road again.
In the Accu-Stats Arena's second match, Mika Immonen had to find his "Pool Concentration," too. He had drawn, in Diamond's 16 man invitational, Mosconi Cup teammate, Nick Van Der Berg. They weren't teammates today; Today, they were mortal enemies and one of them was going to be terminated by "Friendly Fire."
Their single elimination shoot-out began with Mika getting ahead, Nick catching up and getting ahead, then, each player repeating the catch-up and get-ahead scenario until they were all tied up at 9.
Where was their "Pool Concentration?" In the deciding racks, both men had chances: Mika was running out only to miscue. Nick soon scratched and it was 10-9 Mika. Mika broke, tension allowed Nick to the table and it was his turn to miscue. And, then it was over. "I was happy to survive that one," Mika sighed at 11-9. "A big break means so much more on Big Foot. If I'm gonna wins this thing, I gotta go work on my break."
Match 3 had 2013 US Open 10-ball Champion Rodney Morris opposing 2010 US Open 10-Ball Champion Lee Vann Corteza.
After being down 5-7, Rodney had forged ahead 8-7. "Just give me one more chance.'"  begged Corteza. His prayers were answered and he respectfully won without conceding Rodney another rack.
It was generally acknowledged that the elusive Big Foot had the players(other than, maybe, Orcollo) not only  intimidated but, a little bit dumbfounded. Lee Vann later commented, "I had to change my stroke. In order to power the cue-ball around the rails, my stroke became less smooth." 
The man with the most powerful stroke, and break, yet to get to the table today was Mike Dechaine. In practice, he was breaking the cue ball chest high, and smacking in balls the length of the table. Soon, he was two ahead of Accu-Stats Arena and US newbie, Jeffrey Ignacio, a very mannerly and unassuming Filipino.
Considering that it was Jeff's first trip to the America, his composure was quite remarkable. Admittedly, he did dog an early 9-ball, then a straight in 3 to give Mike a 4-2 lead.
Mike, always a powerful presence at any table, after every big shot would shoot his quiet Filipino opponent an intimidating glance. The stare didn't phase Jeff one bit and he quietly went about his business, Now, down 5-8, Mike's daunting glare had lost its luster. He captured only one more game.
Admittedly, it was not only Ignacio's calm, competitive approach but his ability to counter Mike's quality safety play by connecting with the hidden orb and leaving Mike safe.  
When asked how it felt being welcomed to America with a win, especially under the heat of the TV lights, Jeff joked, "I felt like I was playing on a snooker table!"
Play continues at Noon on Saturday with Alex P vs. Jayson S, John M vs. Bustey, Shane vs, Johnny, Jason K, vs. the lesser known Mexico's Ruben Batista. See it all LIVE at
Diamond Derby City Classic XVII: Bank Pool Division
Upsets abound: Skyler Woodward, who demolished all in last year's exceptional, 6 man RING Game, was the first to fall. "I played great and got drilled 3-0," he exclaimed. Taz Holliday, who administered the defeat, will sleep well tonight.
At press time, Sky was onto his do-or-die Banks match with the recently married Bobby Hunter. Our congrats go to Bob and his delightfully sweet, yet with such a wicked sense of humor, wife Debbie as they are expecting their first child.
Next to be sent to the buy-back booth, by Brandon Shuff, was Shane Van Boening.
Scott Frost was jubilant as he out-played "Mike's Billiards" Medley from Fairfield OH. Former DCC Master of the Table and Bank Pool Champions Efren Reyes, John Brumback and Jason Miller, to name a few, plus the Filipino contingent including Carlo Biado, and the newly inducted BCA Hall-of-Famer, Jose Parica will also continue play on Saturday.
American Rotation
Mike Dechaine is in contention for his 3rd, straight US Championship title in Joe Tucker's American Rotation. See the Championship at 1pm, Saturday. You can catch it LIVE and streamed by Big Truck on
Mike plays Jody McLaughlin who upset last weekend's MEZZ West Coast Tour 10-Ball titlist, "Edgie" Geronimo, in the American Rotation event at Hard Times Billiards, Bellflower, CA.
Diamond thanks its sponsors: The Horseshoe Southern Indiana, Cyclop Balls, Simonis Cloth, BCA Pool League, and BadBoys Billiard Productions.
Accu-Stats thanks its Arena Sponsors: Simonis Cloth, Cyclop Balls, OB Cues, Cue and Case, MEZZ Cues, Samsara Cues, and National Billiard Academy.

Bustamante Leads The Way at Bigfoot Challenge

Francisco Bustamante

Derby City Classic XVI
The Horseshoe Southern Indiana
Elizabeth, Indiana
BIG Foot is a beast! The Diamond 10 foot has players reeling. It's not only the length of the table, it's those pesky, tight 4 5/16" pro-cut pockets.
As creator Greg Sullivan said, "Big Foot is the true test of a champion. Whatever the discipline, the player who can consistently compete at the BIG Foot level, can terrorize the rest on a 9 foot."
Ask any player who was eliminated today in the Diamond BIG Foot 10-Ball Challenge and you'll get a similar answer:  BIG Foot's deceptive power snuck up on them. It was such a different experience and, of course, the more they missed, the more the fear of the beast set in. Even Efren, who won, acknowledged that, "The angles are different. And, you need so much more power to move the cue ball. Also, I can't reach," he laughed, "I'm too short."
Players have added a new skillset. using the bridge.
The day began with Carlo Biado getting off to a solid start until Ralf Souquet connected with his break. Making as many as four balls, Carlo sat there as Ralf played 6-Ball. He also captured the event's high-run with 3 racks from a ball-in-hand after Carlos scratched. Final tally, 11-5.
Match 2: Efren's stature didn't diminish as he stretched his lead over Rodney Morris to 6-0. Rodney was dumbfounded by the table's difficulty, he admitted that, had he not donated, normally, he would have been ahead 4-2.  Efren closed the door at 11-4.
Match 3: Holland's Niels Feijen came out firing at Corey Deuel. His fundamentals are so embedded in his form that they allow him to follow through the ball with so much power that, today, his accuracy his was unparalleled. Never will you see Niels jump up–no matter what the circumstance. Corey was held to only 2 games.
Match 4: 2008 World10-Ball Champion Darren Appleton, in his bout with Bustamante, fell afoul of BIG Foot. His strategy and shotmaking skills deserted him early. Admittedly, with his cue ball close to the rail, he missed a near straight-in 10-ball.  He never, really, recovered from it. That's how truly punishing BIG foot can be.
Bustamante summoned the breaking power that he had in his twenties and, consistently, sank balls. He was soon ahead 5-2. On his way to 6, he faltered and allowed Darren to 3. 
Appleton then made the smart move, he took a time out. Refreshed and regrouped, he broke and ran the next rack. His TPA surged to .829.
He broke and ran to a long straight-in 8 in the next rack, rattled it, and the cue ball followed deep into the hole.
Smelling blood, Bustey's performance progressed and some of his run outs seemed effortless. All Darren could do was play catch-up. He never quite did.  Bustey's .836, including the closing 10-Ball, lucked, from an Appleton safe, reminded Darren that, this time, it just wasn't to be. He surrendered at 11-7.
So far, the strongest TPAs posted are Shane: .890, Ralf: .874,  Efren with .840 and Bustey, .836. These are really respectable scores, even on a 9-foot.
How will they fare tomorrow?
Play begins at Noon, EDT with
Ralf vs. Jayson
3pm: Efren and Niels
6pm: Shane  and John Morra
9pm: Earl and Bustey.
See it LIVE at
The Bank Pool event held a few surprises as 2 time semi-finalist Glen "Piggy Banks" Rogers sent  2 time champ John Brumback to the buy-back booth. Justin Hall was beaten by Brady Behrman–no relation to Barry, and, Corey was sent packing by both Sylver Ochoa and Charles Morra–no relation to John.
Justin Bergman, Bustey, Shane Van B, Shannon Daulton, Jason Miller, Earl, Dutchmen Huidjii See, Nick Van Den Berg, and Dennis Orcollo are all still undefeated.
Evgeny Stalev and Constantine Stepanov are leading a slew of 9 Russians, including a couple of women players, to the chilly winds of Horseshoeville. But, of course, for the average Muscovite, today's 6 degrees was balmy.
Sunday, Dennis Walsh hosts the $7000 added 14.1 Challenge. World 14.1 Champion Thorsten Hohmann, Huidjii See, and John "Mr 400" Schmidt were seen warming up. You can be assured that Ralf will be running racks, too. 
Check out the stream at
The 2014 Derby City Classic is Sponsored by Diamond SMART TABLE, True Blue Simonis 860 Cloth, and Cyclop Pool Balls.

Lucasi Hybrid Cues ACS Midwest 8-Ball Championships Expands in Iowa

With over 500 players, 112 teams and a venue that drew accolades from every attendee, the 2012 Lucasi Hybrid Cues ACS Midwest 8-Ball Championships at the Riverside Casino & Resort in Riverside, Iowa, January 19-22, enjoyed another attendance expansion in a warm environment amongst the winter plains of the Midwest  The $10,400-added championships – produced by the American CueSports Alliance (ACS) – offered competition in six primary events and three secondary events:  Men’s and Women’s Advanced 8-Ball Singles, Men’s and Women’s Open 8-Ball Singles, Men’s and Women’s four-person 8-Ball Teams, Scotch Doubles 8-Ball and separate handicapped Men’s and Women’s 9-Ball Singles.
In the 20-player Men’s Advanced 8-Ball Singles, young Chad Behnke (Farley, IA) followed up on his recent Iowa ACS Men’s Advanced title with a 6-0 thrashing of once-defeated Alan Schares (Independence, IA) in the finals to secure the ACS Midwest title.
In the 7-player Women’s Advanced 8-Ball Singles, multi-time national champion and 2010 ACS Midwest champion Jessica Frideres (Ft. Dodge, IA) regained her crown after a runner-up finish to Chicago’s Amy Latzko in 2011, by outpointing Connie O’Heron (Wausau, WI) 5-2 in this 2012 finals.
In the 155-player Men’s Open 8-Ball Singles, Washington Iowa’s undefeated Mike Peiffer (Washington, IA) recovered from a final’s first-set 0-4 trouncing by 17-year old Anthony Asher (St. Joseph, MO) to regain the momentum in the deciding set to claim the title by a 4-2 margin.
In the 64-player Women’s Open 8-Ball Singles, Simone Huskey (Silvis, IL) dominated the division, capping off her title with a 3-0 final’s win over Georgia Countryman (Braidwood, IL).
In the Men’s 8-Ball Teams, undefeated “Freewheelers” (IL) [Dan Hayes (Captain-Advanced), Tony Sifuentez, Dave Reimer and John Stukel] captured the hot seat over the 80-team field despite having to race to 11 each match (teams with no “Advanced” player raced to 9).  The finals against “Hot Shots” (IA) [Todd Davis (Captain-Open), Abe Palmer, Jerry Udelhofen and Laurence Henderson] proved a challenge for “Freewheelers,” as “Hot Shots” prevailed in the first set, 9-6.  But “Freewheelers” avenged the loss in set #2 to gain the title by an 11-5 margin!
In the Women’s 8-Ball Teams, the team of “Empty Pockets” (IL) [Linda Cruz (Captain–Advanced), Joan Livingston, Kay Reimer and Sue Wiechec] spotted most teams two games to dispatch the 32-team field, including some narrow escapes; but the one-set finals against “Just The Tip” [Patty Anderson (Captain-Open), Stacy McNamara, Jolyn Cox and Debbie Melroy] was anti-climactic, as “Empty Pockets” dominated by a 9-3 score to claim the Championship!    
The team of Dawn Spencer and Jerry Dietz (IA), captured the Scotch Doubles 8-Ball event over a field of eighteen teams by dispatching the team of Dawn Huser/Jason Miller (IL) in the finals 3-1.  Open player Jim Gessay of Hartland, WI, outpointed a 128-player field in the Men’s 9-Ball Singles for the top spot, including taking advantage of a 2-game spot from Advanced player Ron Martin (E. Moline, IL) by a 4-4 margin in the finals for the crown!  Sheree Houseman (Muscatine, IA) bested a field of 20 for the Women’s 9-Ball Singles honors – besting Shari Rice (Omaha, NE) in the finals 3-2. “Transformers” (IL) [Frank DeCastecker (Captain-Advanced), Jerry French, Mike Christopher and Ted Cole] captured the Men’s 2nd Chance Team division over “Krug’z Guerillas” (IA) [Jody McCormick (Captain), Jeff Nguyen (Advanced), Devin Barclay, James Miller and Marc Wells], while “No Balls Just Racks” (MO) [Paula Reeder (Captain-Advanced), Jennifer Fugman, Tawni Lewis, Courtney Cadwell, Pam Brown and Mindy Spiker] outpaced “Lucky Dawgs” (IL) [Kelly McBride (Captain-Open), Simone Huskey, Cathy Harness and Heidi French] in the finals of the Women’s 2nd Chance Team division.
The ACS would like to thank the title sponsor of the event – Lucasi Hybrid Cues, the Riverside Casino & Golf Resort for its support and outstanding hospitality, and other sponsors Iowa Sports Center apparel, Old Time Billiards and Diveney Custom Cues; and Nick Varner Signature Cues and Cases, whose multi-World Champion namesake took on all challengers throughout the event! The event was conducted by Gary & Shelly Benson and John Maestry under the auspices of High Country Promotions.  Special thanks as well to ACS referees Cecil Messer, Robert Ball, James Reed and Tom Fankhauser, and to the equipment crew of Mike Peiffer, Chris Bringman, Shane Lee and Jeremy Bush.