Archive Page

McMinn double dips Grey to win stop on Cuetec DFW 9-Ball Tour

Shane McMinn, Michael Pickering and Joey Gray

Two years ago, in April of 2019, when we last reported on a match in which Shane McMinn and Joey Gray met each other in an event final, we were lamenting the fact that we had no way of knowing just how many times they had done that. Neither do they. Back then, we’d tracked down one event from 2014 in which Gray “went undefeated, downing McMinn in the hot seat and finals,” and “found a few instances in which McMinn had bested Gray in the finals.” Whatever their total count and whoever’s ahead of who in total wins, we know for certain that it’s an often-renewed rivalry that goes back at least 15 years. McMinn began showing up in our database in 1999. Joey Gray, in 2006.

In that last meetup (that we know of) in 2019, Gray came from the loss side and double dipped McMinn in the finals to win a stop on the Midwest 9-Ball Tour. This past weekend, Sept. 18-19, McMinn returned the favor, coming from the loss side to double dip Gray in stop #9 on the Cuetec DFW 9-Ball Tour. The $1,500-added event drew 60 entrants to Jeffro’s Billiards in Canton, TX. 

McMinn started off by chalking up three wins against Garrett Hogue, Jennifer Hooten and TJ Davis by an aggregate score of 30-7, before running into Joey Gray in one of the winners’ side quarterfinals. Gray, who’d tallied an aggregate score of 27-11 versus Shawn Findley, Tony Top and Corey Flud, sent McMinn to the loss side 9-5 and drew Crispian Ng in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Michael Pickering, in the meantime, who’d gotten by Jamie Blevins, Jonathan Davis, Robert Webb and Clint Freeeman (28-10) picked up the Cuetec DFW 9-Ball Tour’s top player in the Tour standings, Daniel Herring, in the other winners’ side semifinal.

Gray advanced to the hot seat match with a 9-4 win over Ng, as Pickering got by Herring 7-3. Gray claimed the hot seat 9-5 over Pickering and waited on the return of a very familiar face.

On the loss side, it was Herring who drew Shane McMinn, in the middle of his five-match, loss-side winning streak that would take him all the way to the finals. Following his defeat at the hands of Gray, McMinn met up with and eliminated Chip Compton 10-4, a player who could readily be added to the McMinn/Gray rivalry, forming a Midwest rivalry triumvirate that’ve been battling each other all over the country for years. McMinn moved on to defeat Harold “Woody” Paine 10-4 and face Herring. Crispian Ng picked up Clint Freeman, who’d been sent over in a winners’ side quarterfinal by Pickering and defeated TJ Davis 9-5 and Alberto Nieto Garcia 9-6.

Freeman downed Ng 9-6 and in the quarterfinals, faced McMinn, who’d eliminated Herring 10-6. McMinn defeated Freeman 10-7 and then, in the semifinals, Pickering 10-5.

McMinn took the opening set of the true double elimination final 10-4. He went one better in the second set, claiming the event title 10-3.

Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Jeffro’s Billiards, as well as title sponsor Cuetec, Fort Worth Billiards Store, JB Cases, Internet Marketing Solutions, Granite Guyz and Dallas 8-Ball. The next stop on the Cuetec DFW 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for October 23-24, will be hosted by Snookered in Frisco, TX. 

Predator Live Training Day To Bring Fans Unique Insight Ahead Of Partypoker Mosconi Cup

Matchroom Multi Sport, in partnership with Predator Cues, will bring pool fans a unique insight into partypoker Mosconi Cup preparations this year with the Predator Live Training Day, a two-hour live stream event on Sunday, November 29.

Live from inside the event bubble at Ricoh Arena, Coventry from 6pm UK time (1pm Eastern), the Predator Live Training Day will see both teams take to the table for one hour each as they are put through their paces by their captains.

From 6pm, Alex Lely and Karl Boyes will lead a specially constructed Team Europe practice session, designed for live stream enjoyment, as the Captains put the final touches to their team ahead of next Tuesday’s partypoker Mosconi Cup. Viewers will also hear from all five players plus the Captain and Vice-Captain.

From 7pm (2pm Eastern), Team USA will take over with Jeremy Jones and Joey Gray leading the defending champions in one of their final practice sessions before the Cup begins.

Fans will be able to watch live on Matchroom Pool’s YouTube Channel, as well as on Matchroom Pool and Predator Facebook pages.

Emily Frazer, Managing Director of Matchroom Multi Sport, said: “With a few changes to the partypoker Mosconi Cup this year as well as usual pre-event activities, together with our friends at Predator we have decided to give fans a more backstage feel and allow a further insight to the players’ team training. With the entire year gearing up and all pool fans anticipating what outcome the Mosconi Cup will bring, it is a rare treat to give viewers a sneak preview into the training camp.

“Viewers will be able to catch both Team Europe and Team USA in action just two days ahead of the event; with this being the first time both teams are in presence of one another – it may just show who really is the favourite. See exclusive live interviews with the teams, their training equipment, strategy, and team mindset.

“Despite a lot of change this year, we are pushing to keep team spirit high and this training day will re-ignite the fire amongst the teams as well as fans at home to what will be a memorable partypoker Mosconi Cup. With the support of our partners at Predator, viewers will be able to tune in via both Matchroom Pool and Predator social media pages and receive exclusive content.”

Karim Belhaj, CEO of Predator Group, added: “We are thrilled to see our long-time partner Matchroom Multi Sport bring the Mosconi Cup to pool fans this year. The livestream sneak peak into the training of the teams is one of many innovative ideas that will surely please pool fans! We can’t wait to follow the event and see which team will bring the trophy home this year!”

Predator Live Training Day will commence at 6pm (UK time) on Sunday, November 29. The 2020 partypoker Mosconi Cup press conference will be live streamed on Matchroom Pool YouTube and Facebook pages from 7pm (UK time) on Monday, November 30.

The 2020 partypoker Mosconi Cup begins at 6:30pm (UK time) on Tuesday, December 1. The event will be broadcast live in full on Sky Sports in the UK, DAZN in America, Germany, Austria and all over DAZN territories. Full broadcast details can be found at MatchroomPool.com.

Follow Matchroom Pool on FacebookTwitterYouTube and Instagram. For all the latest event news please visit www.mosconicup.com.

Rookie Robinson Completes Team USA For Partypoker Mosconi Cup

Chris Robinson will make his Team USA debut at this year’s partypoker Mosconi Cup after being selected by Jeremy Jones as his fifth and final player to travel to London to defend the title against Team Europe this December 1-4, live on Sky Sports and DAZN.

The 22-year-old from California enjoyed a fifth-place finish at the Diamond Las Vegas Open before the Covid-19 pandemic put a halt to professional tournaments in March. Robinson has since impressed Captain Jones and Vice-Captain Joey Gray in training camps ahead of this year’s partypoker Mosconi Cup.

Robinson will join Shane van Boening, Skyler Woodward, Justin Bergman and Billy Thorpe on the team, with America looking to make it a partypoker Mosconi Cup three-peat having first regained the title after an eight-year drought in London in 2018 before successfully defending it in Las Vegas last Thanksgiving.

“I am so happy,” said Robinson. “I will be working my tail off from now until December. I felt like I left my best game on the table when I was training with JJ and that is the best you can do. I think I have evolved as a player and probably improved more over the last few months than I have in quite a while.

“When I got the call I was driving from a pool hall to where I was staying. I was kind of expecting it to be one of those calls the same as the two calls I’ve had in the past two years, where I still have stuff to work on and next year would be the year I’m shooting at. When Jeremy said I’d made it, I didn’t really know how to react. I don’t think it has 100 percent hit me yet.

“My career goal was to win a Mosconi Cup. This is setting into reality but just because I made it, we haven’t won yet, so I need to do my part, keep getting better, and it’s all part of the process.”

Captain Jones added: “There are many positives with Chris. He is a guy I have seen heading in the right direction, he is a grinder, plays hard, practises hard, trains hard and has a great frame of mind for this type of setting. He is also a player who I think is going to reap the rewards of being around the rest of the team.

“I think he will relish in the Mosconi Cup and really perform well in December. It felt that he was going to make a Mosconi Cup team at one time or another; I wasn’t so sure it was going to be this year but got to spend a little more time with him and love his attitude, love his goals and I think he is a player who will reap the rewards of being around those other four champions.”

The final player to join Team Europe will be announced on Thursday.

The 2020 partypoker Mosconi Cup is set to take place at Alexandra Palace, London from December 1-4, live on Sky Sports and DAZN.

Matchroom Pool are still hopeful and determined that the partypoker Mosconi Cup will take place this year and are in constant detailed discussions with the relevant organisations and personnel to stay up to date. Our highest priority is the safety of everyone connected with the event however we are working hard to explore every avenue to making this work and will continue to do so, if it is possible.

Follow Matchroom Pool on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram. For all the latest event news please visit www.mosconicup.com.

One Pocket Highlights Derby City Day Six

Justin Hall (Photo courtesy of Dave Thomson – Mediumpool.com)

Diamond Derby City Classic XXII, January 24-Feb.2, 2020
 
Caesars Southern Indiana, Elizabeth, IN
 
David Thomson
 
DIAMOND ONE POCKET CHAMPIONSHIP
 
365 entries, 16 players left. 3 with buy-backs. Justin Hall, Omar Al Shaheen and Justin Bergman.
 
Skyler got off to a sketchy start against his new Mosconi Cup Vice-Captain Joey Gray. It was easy to see the comfort and camaraderie between the, supposed, opponents. But, that didn’t mean they weren’t out there to win.
 
Skyler did squeak by to take the first rack, it was while getting to 7 balls to 6 in the second, his cue ball, instead of kicking the dangling orb out of Joey’s pocket, forced him to give it to him.
 
He then left a loose safety on the deciding orb. Gray drowned it off the short rail. 1-1.
 
That woke Skyler up. No more mister nice guy. Sorry coach, it’s time to show you what I got! 3-1.
 
Jayson’s formidable run-out reputation preceded him. James Aranas was in total defense mode throughout their match. And, every time he could have played aggressively, and didn’t, it cost him. When he thought he’d left Shaw safe, Jayson always found something, either to lock Aranas up or, make a crowd pleaser and regain control of the table.
 
A 2-0, and 5 balls, Jayson got a cold roll. After driving home a very missable ball down the long rail, his cueball barely passed the cluster he was attempting to open, and scratched.
 
He dropped back to 4 balls. Aranas had whitey-in-hand in the kitchen. 
 
He made 2 and got a little bit unlucky himself. While negotiating opening a cluster, he ended welded. James could have taken the aggressive route, but chose to nudge into the balls where, normally, they would be considered safe. Not with Shaw.
 
Jayson, masterfully, banked in a ball from nowhere, created the required shape and closed out the match 3-0.
 
Bustamante and Morra were next in the pit.
 
Django doesn’t jangle. He’s as solid as rock when under the lights of the Accu-Stats Arena.
 
A scratch cost Morra the 2nd game. Bustey, confident in his long banks off the short rail, had to throw it slightly to ensure not selling out if he missed. His finesse helped the ball, silently, drop into the hole.
 
He couldn’t quite get them all. 
 
Aggressive as always, John got creative and banked a combo into his pocket while securing his cueball in the stack. He had an insurance ball on the rail near his pocket. As he was jacked-up in the stack he couldn’t do much.
 
Morra erred again and, in one shot, reversed the position of power. 
 
Bustey did what he does. He ran the required balls to move on to his next opponent. 3-1.
 
Unfortunately, it was Billy Thorpe.
 
“I really had to bear down,“ said Billy. “Bustey had fired one in from nowhere while his cueball moved my ball out of my pocket.”
 
But it wasn’t enough. Bustey, tired now from 6 days, and nights, in pool’s most grueling arena, managed only one game. 3-1.
 
England’s Chris Melling and Canada’s Alex Pagulayan then, entered the TV arena.
 
Chris, admittedly, can’t “move.” But, like Shaw, he sure can nick into the rack setting up a few balls at a time to create opportunity for a run out. Like the “old school” straight pool players, he’ll chip away until he gets insurance balls where he wants them, then caramba, 8 and out!  
 
Alex, unexpectedly, had missed a few balls that allowed Melling to apply the chipping principle and tie the match at 2.
 
Chris, confident now, closed in on the last rack with such a sublime example of cueball control and finesse that he had Alex perplexed. How could this happen? Oh, he knows, They are both fine snooker players, in fact, Chris had a snooker tour card.
 
it seems that great pool is evolving to combine disciplines. That’s why, now, there is Chinese 8-Ball: Pool, with Cyclop Balls, played on a 9 foot snooker table…with the biggest prize money in our sport.
 
Efren, possibly tired too, ran into nemeses Danny Smith and Justin Bergman. Brutal! Reyes had moments but the momentum was with his very worthy opponents. Alas, no 7th title, at least not this year.
 
Filler sent Jeffrey De Luna home, Omar Al Shaheen, still on a roll, took care of Corey, Skyler gave Alex his first loss, Jayson continued and removed Tom DeRuyter, Roberto Gomez broke Gary Abood to face a man he’s never beaten – at One Pocket anyway – Dennis Orcollo.
 
Still brandishing the intimidating Superman logo on his chest, Roberto turned out to be Dennis’ kryptonite.
 
Two and a half hours into the match, in the final game, intentional fouls, et al, had the score bounce from Dennis with 5 balls to 3, then to 4 games to 1. Then, 5-3, again.
 
With 4 fouled spheres stacked on top of each other on the spot, Dennis, while making the bottom ball on the tower, then scratched, 2 rails in the corner.
 
Now there were 6 balls on the spot with a loose one not too far from Superman’s hole.
 
Roberto stepped into the kitchen…and nailed it to the back of the pocket. Plus, he stroked it so accurately, he had shape on the lowest ball in the skyscraper. In that went, with a little inside english to tickle the stacked balls into playable position.
 
No mercy: Gomez wasn’t going to let this opportunity slip by. 3-2.
 
Filler and Oklahoma sharpshooter Chip Compton closed out the evening. 
 
Joshua, relied on his Straight Pool pattern play, bank power, and shotmaking to move 2-1 ahead.
 
Chip knows the game and knows Joshua. So, he wasn’t shocked to have fallen a game behind 1-2.
 
In game 4, Filler took on a loose position play and left Compton an easy starter. Chip could see at least 3 but, how to get 8? That’s the goal, 8.
 
Brilliantly, that’s how. He maneuvered the Cyclop around the Diamond, breaking clusters and sniping stragglers like a marksman on steroids. 2-2!
 
In the decider, within minutes Filler had the momentum. A nice bank got him started. A few more left a courageous cut. As the cueball kissed off the rack, two more were into his pocket. A slow, cross-corner crept in, while leaving whitey at the top rail.
 
There was one lonely ball sat near the stack. He let his cueball loose to stop dead, defensively, behind the remaining 7 ball cluster. 3 rails later the projectile dropped into his pocket.
 
Goodnight.
 
More great One-Pocket at NOON, and 6pm, Thursday.
 
 
DIAMOND 9-BALL CHAMPIONSHIP
 
They’re off but not much to report yet. 
 
We’ll have plenty tomorrow.
 
FRIDAY NIGHT BANKS RING GAME
 
Derby’s most casual  assembly of the no safeties allowed, murderer’s row bankers clash in the winner-take-all bloodfest.
 
Not to be missed!
 
Featuring Skyler Woodward, Billy Thorpe, Jayson Shaw, Jonathan Demet, Justin hall, Omar Al Shaheen.
 
Don’t miss a stroke at accu-stats.com
 
Accu-Stats thanks its Arena Sponsors: Diamond Billiards, Simonis Cloth, Cyclop Balls, Cuetec Cues, Cue and Case, MEZZ Cues, McDermott Cues, National Billiard Academy.

Jones Takes On Team USA Captaincy

Jeremy Jones (JP Parmentier)

Jeremy Jones will captain Team USA as they go for the three-peat at the 2020 partypoker Mosconi Cup at Alexandra Palace, London this December 1-4.

Jones, a former US Open champion and five-time Mosconi Cup winner, has been vice-captain to Johan Ruijsink as USA won back the Cup from Team EUROPE in London in 2018 and successfully defended it in Las Vegas last November. Jones has appointed Joey Gray as his Vice-Captain.

Jones said: “After the last couple of years I think me and the guys realize it’s about creating confidence, comfort and knowing our team has each other’s back. Along with serious training, that is what makes a winning team.

“So this next year will be much more of that and not standing still at all. We are professionals and a high standard is required and expected and our guys know this. They have learned to respect this while loving the challenge; that’s called heart!

“For my vice-captain, I thought of many worthy names for many reasons but Joey Gray was the first and last one to enter my mind. Joey is a great player, great dude and very involved in improving pool. I’ve known him for many, many years and feel he’ll mix with any five we go with. I personally can’t wait to work alongside him. 2020 is going to be awesome.”

Gray, a professional player and instructor based out of Oklahoma, said: “I was floored when I was asked to participate as Vice-Captain. Words could not explain. It was probably the best phone call I have ever received. I will never forget the moment I was asked. I always give 100 percent to what I put my mind to and this will be my life’s biggest goal. To represent Team USA as Vice-Captain is a dream come true.”

Jones moves into the Captaincy role having been vice-coach to Ruijsink, who led Team USA from 2017 and lifted the Cup in 2018 and 2019. Matchroom Pool would like to thank Johan for his hard work in helping Team USA become a winning team again.

Team USA Rankings will return in 2020 with two players to earn their spot on the team from the rankings with the remaining three places to be chosen by Captain Jones as wildcards. Full details of the Team USA Rankings will be announced later in January.

Tickets for the 2020 partypoker Mosconi Cup are on sale now at www.mosconicup.com. Tickets are priced at £25, £40 and £60 per day with Platinum VIP packages from £170 per day. Season tickets for all four days start at £90 with the Platinum VIP season ticket priced £600. Platinum VIP includes seating in the front three rows, a two-course buffet dinner, mid-session hot-food bowl, unlimited beer, wine and soft drinks from 6:30pm-10:30pm and much more.

The 2020 partypoker Mosconi Cup is partnered by Rasson Billiards who supplies the Official Table; the cloth is supplied by Iwan Simonis and Saluc is the Official Ball Provider. Predator is the Official Cue of the event, Kamui the Official Chalk and Tip and Ultimate Team Gear provide all partypoker Mosconi Cup apparel.

Follow the partypoker Mosconi Cup on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram. For all the latest event news please visit www.mosconicup.com.

Gray double dips McMinn to win stop on the Midwest 9-Ball Tour

(l to r): Joey Gray & Magoo’s Mgr. Shad McMinn

Dodd goes undefeated to take Ladies title
 
Trying to figure out how many times Joey Gray has defeated Shane McMinn in the finals of a regional tour event is like looking for two needles in a haystack. To make matters worse, it seems likely that a lot of needles, representing the number of times that it’s happened, have been left out of that haystack, not reported for any number of reasons. We were able to find one event – The 3rd Summer Heat 9-Ball Classic Open Division in Midwest City, OK in 2014 – at which Gray went undefeated, downing McMinn in the hot seat and finals. We found a few instances in which McMinn had bested Gray in the finals, all dating back to 2008. These two, along with another Midwest notable, Chip Compton, have been pounding the pool pavement for over a dozen years now, and they’ve probably traded picking up first-place cash at least that many times, but again, hard to know really. There’s nothing quite like history to make a rivalry, any rivalry, compelling to hear about, and if you’ve been lucky enough, to watch.
 
On the weekend of March 30-31 at Magoo’s Bar & Grill in Tulsa, OK, Gray and McMinn went at it again at a stop on the Midwest 9-Ball Tour, where, it’s relatively safe to say, this long-standing rivalry has occurred the most and arguably, most times not in the finals of a given event on the tour. This time around, Gray chalked up his second (known) victory over McMinn in the finals. They met three times; once in the hot seat and twice in the finals. Gray took two of the three, double-dipping McMinn in a double elimination final. The $1,550-added event drew 56 entrants.
 
In a $450-added Ladies event that drew 17 entrants, Alisha Dodd downed Jenny Shaffer twice and undefeated, claimed the Ladies title (more on this later).
 
Gray and McMinn got into their first match, battling for the hot seat, after two, 7-6 double hill matches in their respective winners’ side semifinals. Gray sent Jackie Melton to the loss side, while McMinn sent Cody Pratt over. McMinn sent Gray to the semifinals in a match that fell a single game short of double hill (7-5) and left McMinn in the hot seat.
 
On the loss side, Melton drew Ryan Robinson, who’d eliminated John Gabriel and Jonathan Kitchen. Pratt picked up Marshal Roney, who’d defeated Neil Drews and Tony Vue. Pratt and Robinson downed Roney and Melton and advanced to the quarterfinals.
 
Robinson then defeated Pratt 5-3 in those quarterfinals, before having his loss-side run terminated by Gray 5-3 in the semifinals. Gray took the opener of the double elimination final 7-5, and then shut McMinn out 5-0 in the second set to claim the event title.
 
In what might be considered a mega-event, within the tournament itself, AMC’s Remodeling in Mullinville, KS sponsored a ‘bounty hunt.’ Spectators at the event selected a competing candidate as the individual most likely to win the actual event. Any player who sent that individual to the loss side earned himself $50. If a player eliminated that player from competition, he’d earn $100. Shane McMinn was the player selected as the likely winner of the event, so when Joey Gray sent him to the loss side by winning the first set of the double elimination final, he earned himself $50. When Grey defeated him the second time, thus eliminating him, he earned the other $100.
 
Dodd goes undefeated to claim title, runner-up Shaffer collects bounty on Brittany Maynard
 
Alisha Dodd went undefeated through the 17 entrants in the Ladies event, downing Jenny Shaffer twice in the hot seat and finals. Shaffer, however, was the player who sent the spectator-selected Brittany Maynard to the loss side, earning herself $25, and then, in the semifinals, when she defeated Maynard a second time, she picked up an additional $25.
 
Dodd and Shaffer met first in the hot seat, once Dodd had sent Jessica Westbrook to the loss side and Shaffer had sent Kat Snelling over. Dodd claimed the hot seat 5-3 over Shaffer and waited on her return.
 
On the loss side, Westbrook picked up and defeated Laura McDermott. Snelling drew Maynard, who defeated her. Maynard shut Westbrook out 4-0 in the quarterfinals and then fell to Shaffer 4-2 in the semifinals. In a repeat of the hot seat match, Dodd defeated Shaffer in the finals 5-3 to claim the event title, while Shaffer collected her bounty for her two victories over Maynard.

December Billiards Buzz Released

The December issue of the Billards Buzz online publication is now online. 
 
Keep up with all of November's news, including the World Junior 9-Ball Championship, All Japan Championship, US Amateur Nationals, NAPT Coupe De Quebec, Eurotour and Ocean State Championship. Our usual assortment of columnists are back with Melinda Bailey interviewing Chip Compton and Joey Gray, Anthony Beeler focuses on positive self talk, Chris Stankovich talks about asking the right question and Jerry Briesath writes about your backswing.
 
This issue, as well as every other issue, can be found online at http://www.azbilliards.com/buzz/

Olinger, Gray, Lincoln-Carton win 9-Ball, One Pocket, Ladies events on Midwest 9-Ball Tour

Alex Olinger (Photo courtesy of Erwin Dionisio)

The Midwest 9-Ball Tour was back at Shooter’s in Olathe, KS on the long weekend of July 12-15, and played host to three separate tournaments. The $1,000-added One Pocket event, which launched the weekend on Thursday, July 12 drew 38 entrants and was won by Joey Gray. The $600-added Ladies event, won by Karen Lincoln-Catron, drew 19 entrants. The $3,400-added 9-Ball Open drew the largest crowd (116) and was won by Alex Olinger.
 
Karen Lincoln-Catron was the only winner to go undefeated. She got into the hot seat with a 7-3 win over Marnie Zimmerman. On the loss side, Carlee Hart defeated Sandra Derham 7-5 in the quarterfinals, and then, Zimmerman in the semifinals 7-3. Lincoln-Catron needed only the first set of the true double elimination final to defeat Hart 7-4 and complete her undefeated run.
 
It was Joey Gray who advanced to the hot seat in the One Pocket event, downing Raymund Faroan, double hill. On the loss side, Charlie “Hillbilly” Bryant downed Mike Beehler in the quarterfinals, double hill and then left Faroan in third place with a double win in the semifinals, as well. Bryant took the opening set of the true double elimination final 3-1. Gray came back to win the second set by the same score to capture the One Pocket title.
 
Alex Olinger and Manny Perez battled three times in their effort to claim the 9-Ball Open title. They met first in the hot seat match, won by Olinger 9-7. On the loss side, Raymund Faroan downed Mike Beehler in the quarterfinals 9-7, only to be defeated by Perez double hill (9-8) in the semifinals. Perez won his second straight double hill match in the opening set of the true double elimination final. Olinger took the second set 9-4 to claim the Open 9-Ball title.

Derby City Day Eight – Bustamante Wins One Pocket and Takes Master of the Table Lead

Francisco Bustamante – Photo courtesy of Dave Thomson – Mediumpool.com

Derby City Classic XX, January 19-27, 2018
 
LIVE from the Horseshoe Southern Indiana Casino, Elizabeth, IN
 
DCC ONE POCKET CHAMPIONSHIP
 
Let’s be frank and say it like it is. Francisco Bustamante’s One Pocket game has gotten better. Where has it improved? “I’m more aggressive,” he asserted. “To win, you must put pressure on your opponent.” 
 
In the opening game of the Final’s, Justin Bergman had made 6 and left the green Cyclop hanging in his pocket. Rather than just give it to him and leave the cue ball snuggled in Bergman’s pocket, the 54-year-old Filipino took on a three rail flier that would either make him or break him.
 
A stop shot would leave the cue ball in perfect position and allow the opportunity to get at least 4 more, but if he missed, with that dangling orb, Justin was surely out.
 
The three-railer took off the long rail and swept effortlessly into his pocket. He ran 6 to miss abruptly and they both needing 2.
 
He actually lost that game but that wasn’t the point. He feels that if he has an opportunity like that and doesn’t take it, that sends a message to the opponent that transfers the power to him. “If I’m gonna win, I win, if I’m gonna lose, I lose.”
 
Getting so close, also, gave Bustey the impetus to stick with the game plan; Keep applying the pressure.
 
He never looked back. His run outs were absolutely spectacular, his banking, superb, his defense–when it was the only option–so exceptional that he didn’t lose another game. And, most importantly, it catapulted the two-time Master of the Table into contention for a 3rd with an All-Around point total score of 198.5. 
 
Obviously disappointed, Bergman had had his best DCC finish yet. Today, he’d beaten past champion, Shannon Daulton, twice! He’d been bounced in and out of the Accu-Stats TV Table to play 9-Ball in the main arena where an additional 20 Diamond Tables were shimmering in a sea of Simonis Blue.
 
As the One Pocket runner-up and his high finish in Banks plus, his remaining buy-back in 9-Ball, he was looking strong in second place with an All-Around point total of 153.3. 
 
A quick recap of how we got to the finals would read: Tony Chohan was not intimidated by Kiamko’s earlier, stellar 17 ball run that, incidentally, initiated Bustey’s buy-back. Warren’s buy-back remains intact in the 9-Ball.
 
Bustey gave DeLuna his marching orders which allowed him to meet Tony in the semi’s #2 which had an interesting incident.
 
With tight, nip and duck strategy they were a tied at 2, In the deciding rack, Bustamante, aggressive as ever, led 7 balls to 1. Chohan, obviously pressured, needed all of them. Around the 4th ball, he lost his cue ball which headed off the short rail destined for the side pocket.
 
Sensing a scratch, Bustey, prematurely, sprang out of his seat. With ball-in-hand in the kitchen, he knew that he was surely out and into the finals.
 
“Oh yeah, Oh yeah,” he yelled, jumping up and down, hands in the air. But wait, whitey swerved slightly and rattled around the rim to settle table-top and leave Tony helpless.
 
DCC 9-BALL CHAMPIONSHIP
 
363 entries vying for the $16,000 first place prize money.
 
The beauty, and blessing, of competing in any event at the Derby City Classic is that even though there are near 4-500 entries in any given division, the odds are that you are not going to draw a champion.
 
Virtually half the field is composed of B+ players who, by definition, occasionally break and run a rack of 9-Ball. if you can run two, odds are, you’re gonna go far, maybe, get close to the money, Then, if you do lose to a better class of opponent, it becomes mandatory that you use your buy-back privilege to protect your investment.
 
That’s the blessing, the beauty is that you can draw a Champion, either way, you leave with a tale to tell. Either way, you win.
 
“That’s the way of the Derby City Classic experience,” said Diamond’s Greg Sullivan, “I want everyone to leave with a story.”
 
Around 250 9-Ball players have been eliminated and 16 of the remaining 100, or so, are undefeated.
 
From Kuwait, Omar Al Shaheen, Justin Bergman, Marc Bijsterbosch, Gary Browning, John Brumback, Ruslan Chinakhov, Lee Vann Corteza, Josh Filler. Warren Kiamko, Chris Melling, John Morra, Dennis Orcullo, Alex Pagulayan, Jayson Shaw, and Shane Van Boening.
 
In summation, a truly International field of pool superstars and those are just the unbeaten. BIG Foot Gomez, Bank Champ Corey Deuel, Mika Immonen, Jeff DeLuna, Shannon Daulton, Jalal Yousif, Rob Saez, Fedor Gorst, John Schmidt, Justin Hall, Brandon Shuff, Ronnie Alcano…the list goes on.
 
In his match with Oklahoman Chip Compton, England’s Chris Melling put on a snooker clinic. “I didn’t get a look at a ball,” commented Compton.”Chris played great.”
 
The ladies, including Karen Corr and Loree Jon Hasson, are gone. Karen ran into Evan Lunda and Joey Gray.
 
What was of note with Loree Jon was that she had drawn Lee Vann Corteza. She was about to tie the match at 7 when she missed the 7. It could have cost her the match
 
Had she made it, Lee Vann confessed that it would have added serious pressure, “…as I had just came from 2-8 behind to escape the buy-back booth. When I saw how confident Loree Jon was, I started to get shaky. Lucky for me she missed.”
 
LIVE 9-Ball Play continues at Accu-Stats.com
 
Accu-Stats thanks its Arena Sponsors: Diamond Billiards, Simonis Cloth, Cyclop Balls, Lucasi Custom, MEZZ Cues, McDermott Cues, National Billiard Academy, and Samsara Cues
 
DCC BANKS RING GAME
 
The action packed 10-Ball Bank entertainment was in full swing at press time.
 
Bustamante had entered but, due to his exhausting day, decided to get some sleep and concentrate on his early morning 9-Ball match. He also, wants to protect those All-Around points.
 
Corey Deuel, Shannon Daulton, Jeremy Jones, Shawn Murphy, Billy Thorpe and Skyler Woodward are “all-in,” 
 
The 10-Ball Bank Ring Game, hosted by banking living legend, Truman Hogue began at $50 a ball. You can bet that it will be 10 times that by game’s end. We’ll keep you posted on the results, tomorrow,
 
 
 
 

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

Keith McCready with Scott Frost and Shannon Daulton (Photo courtesy of Dave Thomson-Mediumpool.com)

Derby City Classic XX, January 19-27, 2018
 
LIVE from the Horseshoe Southern Indiana Casino, Elizabeth, IN
 
DCC ONE POCKET CHAMPIONSHIP
 
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 Accu-Stats.com for match times.
 
DCC BANKS RING GAME
 
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..
 
DCC 9-BALL CHAMPIONSHIP
 
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.com
 
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.
 
ONE POCKET HALL OF FAME DINNER
 
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.