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Orcollo Wins US Open 10-Ball Championship; Pockets $15,000

Dennis Orcollo

FILIPINO Dennis “Robocop” Orcollo added the 4th US Open 10-Ball Championship  to his growing list of tournament achievements when he won on Saturday (Sunday morning in Manila) at the Riviera Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.

Regarded as the top player of Bugsy Promotions, Orcollo defeated compatriots 2004 WPA World 9-Ball Champion Alex “The Lion” Pagulayan, 9-8, in the semi-final round and 2010 WPA World 9-Ball Champion Francisco “Django” Bustamante, 11-5, in the finals to win the top prize of US$15,000. The top player of Puyat Sports Bustamante received the runner-up prize of US$8,500.

On the road to the semi-finals, the 2011 WPA World 8-Ball Champion Orcollo needed to beat Oscar Dominguez of Mexico,  Kostas Paspatis of Greece, Mike Dechaine and Manny Chau of USA and Rain Chiang of Taiwan, respectively.

Orcollo, a former fisherman from Bislig, Surigao del Sur’s trip to United States was supported by Malungay Life Oil, Bugsy Promotions, BRKHRD Corporation, Hermes Sports, ACCEL, B-League Corp., BMPAP (Billiards Managers and Players Association of the Philippines) and Quezon City government headed by mayor Herbert Bautista, vice-mayor Joy Belmonte and rep. Winston Castelo.

“I want to show through my actions that athletic excellence can be achieved with dedication, hard-work and support.” said the reigning Philippine Sportswriter Association (PSA) Co-Athlete of the Year Orcollo, a feared money-game shark anywhere in the world.

“I would like to dedicate my victory to my countrymen and as well as my boss Perry and Verna (Mariano) who have been helping me compete abroad,” added Orcollo.

Mariano, also the founder of the National Collegiate Billiards League (NCBL) or B-League was ecstatic to hear of Orcollo’s feat.

Last May 6, Orcollo dismantled Shane Van Boening of USA, 11-3, in the finals enroute the 3rd Annual Hard Times 10-Ball Open title at the Hard Times Billiards in California, USA.

Other Filipinos who competed in the US Open 10-Ball Championship were Jose “Amang” Parica, Santos “The Saint” Sambajon and Jun Almoite.

Ramon “Maestro Monching” Mistica, who acted the spokesman of the Philippine contingent, said that Filipino pool wizards will resume their quest for honor and glory when the 2012 WPA World 9-Ball Championship gets underway on June 22 to 29 the Al Sadd Sports Club Al Sadd St. Sport Roundabout in Doha, Qatar.

Orcollo will be teaming up with Bustamante and Filipino billiards maestro Efren “Bata” Reyes as well former World Women’s 10-ball ruler Rubilen “Bingkay” Amit for the 2012 World Teams gets underway on June 30 to July 6 in China

Louis Ulrich Claims Chet Itow Memorial

February 24th & 25th, 2012; there was certainly something for everyone in Mountain View, CA., thanks to the infamous California Billiard Club, its owner Chris Swart who hosted the 3rd Annual Chet Itow Memorial 9-Ball Tournament.  Nuclear engineer “Chet” who created and built this great venue was honored in the grand style, which was indicative of the great efforts that he put into the creation of the hall. The true “double elimination” event kicked off at noon on Saturday, February 25th with a race to 8 on both sides, and a winner break format.
Any one of the over 4,000 pool enthusiasts who tuned in this last weekend to Point Of View (POV) Pool’s free live internet coverage of this event, were treated to a multitude of not only legendary player match-ups, but also to a host of the unusual and dramatic antics that are ever present amongst these individuals.
Thanks to hall owner Chris Swart, a “$3000 Added” incentive packed the house and drew in 101 participants including many of the billiard worlds’ most elite players.  Locals as well as those who tuned into the live internet stream got their pool fixes watching the likes of Rodney “The Rocket” Morris, Jose Parica, Louis Ulrich, Santos Sambajon, Rafael Martinez, House Pro Dave Hemmah of Hard Times – Bellflower, “Team Mexico” – Oscar and Ernesto Dominguez, Amar Kang, and last but not least, world renowned champion and two time consecutive winner of the infamous “Swanee” – Alex “The Lion” Pagulayan.
Walk in patrons and attendees alike were packed in all weekend long, taking advantage of the 3000 sq ft plus “viewing” area, ordering from a fantastic full menu, and topping it all off with a trip to the fully stocked bar complete with an efficient and friendly staff.  In short, it was a setting for a pool player’s “Paradise”!
Early upsets in the event included last year’s winner, Santos Sambajon and runner up Oscar Dominguez. Also knocked were Alex Pagulayan, and long time veteran Jose Parica was pushed early to the one loss side by “Combination” Jason Williams, who eventually shot his way up to 4th place in the event! Jason Williams put on quite a show during the weekend and was motivated by an eagerness to play and win over Rodney “The Rocket” Morris. Those who remained to stroke their way up the chain included Rodney Morris, Ernesto Dominguez, Kevin May, Amar Kang, Rafael Martinez, Ed Ramos, and eventual winner, Louis Ulrich.
Antics were abound during the course of the tourney with Amar Kang giving Alex Pagulayan a mini Golf swing lesson before their match, and quite a commentary stint on POV Pool’s live stream with local Emilyn Callado.  And of course all were treated to the usual short riff of Alex’s legendary karaoke.  Guest commentators joining Daniel Busch, owner of POV Pool and co-commentator Barbara Lee, included Jeff Gregory, local “Women Power” stars Mary Rakin, Emilyn Callado and OMGWTF’s – Melinda Huang.  Additional commentators included, pool veteran – John Henderson of The Cue Sports Journal (Soon to re-launch), Scott White, Bucktooth (Who’s claim to fame is “beating everybody”), and Oscar Dominguez who stated “Well now everyone pretty much knows my life story”!
Unfortunate news during the event was for Jun Almoite, who had to forfeit on Saturday to attend to “The Princess of Pool” – Mary Avina, who fell ill enough for hospitalization due to a high fever associated with a bout of the flu.  The good news is, all is well and Mary is home and recovering.  Whew!
Wrapping up the event late Sunday night were semi final match-ups between Rodney Morris and Jason Williams, Kevin May and Amar Kang, and culminated with Louis Ulrich versus Ernesto Dominguez.  A shocking display of “doesn’t ANYONE want this 7 ball?” commenced between Amar and Alex, which lasted several innings before Amar finally got the pesky maroon into a pocket.
In another match between Louis Ulrich and Hillary Morse, Louis slammed in the 9 a stunning 4 times during the break-shot, which unfortunately was re-spotted due to the rule associated with the rack your own format for this event.  This proved to be a running theme on the “stream” table for many players during the break-shot, with the 9 ball usually en-route to the bottom left-hand corner and the 1-ball almost always hitting the rail below the left middle pocket and landing either into or very close to the top right-hand corner pocket. As a result, the best break show, which highlighted this phenomenon, was between Jason Williams and Rodney Morris, with a barrage of early 9 ball combinations and caroms that seriously shortened the length of the match. And in contrast was John Henderson vs. Arturo Rivera in a nip and tuck session, which literally lasted 16 games, and without either player having more than a 1-game lead.
Rounding up the finale was Louis Ulrich versus Ernesto Dominguez who would have had to win two races to 8 for the win due to the true double elimination format.  Ernesto took an early 3-0 lead over an obviously tired Louis and it looked like a double set was shaping up. Louis however managed to come back to tie it up, and then rally back and forth to create a hill-hill thriller. The nail biting final game found Ernesto running down to the perfectly lined up 9 with precision play, that is until he fails to close; missing an almost straight 9-ball and leaving a medium difficulty cut for Louis. After the stunned railbirds exhaled, Louis got up and with nary a thought, and sliced the 9-ball effortlessly for the win over a disappointed but ever gracious Ernesto.
The top final 8 payouts were Louis Ulrich, $3,000, Ernesto $1700, Rodney Morris $900, Jason Williams $550, Kevin May and Amar Kang at $250, and Rafael Martinez and Ed Ramos at $150.
POV Pools live Internet coverage and archived matches can be viewed by going to
Payouts for the 3rd Annual Chet Itow Memorial 9-Ball Tournament
1st – Louis Ulrich / $3,000
2nd – Ernesto Dominguez / $1,700
3rd – Rodney Morris / $900
4th – Jason Williams / $550
5th/6th – Kevin May / $250
5th/6th – Amar Kang / $250
7th/8th – Rafael Martinez / $150
7th/8th – Ed Ramos / $150
9th/12th – George Michaels / $100
9th/12th – Craig Oden / $100
9th/12th – Bryce Avila / $100
9th/12th – Dale Alpajora / $100
13th/16th – John Henderson / $75
13th/16th – Santos Sambajon / $75
13th/16th – Jose Parica / $75
13th/16th – Jeremy King / $75
17th/24th – Mark Tiu / $50
17th/24th – Mary Rakin / $50
17th/24th – Mike Tucci / $50
17th/24th – Alex Pagulayan / $50
17th/24th – George Pagulayan / $50
17th/24th – Jeff Padjan / $50
17th/24th – Ernesto Reyes / $50