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Bergman Ruled Out Of Partypoker Mosconi Cup After Positive Covid-19 Test (Corey Deuel Joins Team)

Corey Deuel

Former US Open Champion Corey Deuel To Join Team USA

Justin Bergman has been ruled out of the partypoker Mosconi Cup after testing positive for Covid-19. He will be replaced on Team USA by former US Open Champion Corey Deuel, who has provided a negative test result and will represent America for an 11th time at the event.

All players are required to test negative for Covid-19 just before departing for the UK, however Bergman’s test returned a positive result leaving him unable to travel to England.

Captains were asked to submit alternative picks in September, after they had chosen their team of five players. Team USA Captain Jeremy Jones opted for Deuel as his first alternate, hoping that the Californian can draw on his vast partypoker Mosconi Cup experience.

Speaking about Bergman being ruled out of the event, Captain Jones said: “It is a big body blow to a small man who has a huge heart. Playing in the Mosconi Cup means more than anything to Justin. He really likes the atmosphere of the team and having the other guys on his side, like most of us do. It is very, very unfortunate and one thing I can say about Justin is he will be our biggest fan out there.

“It wasn’t an easy decision but the way things went down with Chris being selected fifth and being a rookie, we felt like maybe if we needed a player to come in as an alternate we wanted a little more experience. Not to say that Tyler doesn’t have two years’ experience, but Corey has got 10 Mosconi Cups, and I think Corey is playing really well. When we talk about somebody coming in and filling shoes, we felt that experience was the way to go.”

Players will compete in the partypoker Mosconi Cup under Elite Sports Person Exemptions. They will be met on arrival to the UK and driven directly to the Ricoh Arena, Coventry for a further Covid-19 test and will remain within the event bubble until the completion of the event.

Everybody at Matchroom Multi Sport would like to send their best wishes to Justin – stay healthy, and have a speedy recovery.

The partypoker Mosconi Cup will take place from Tuesday, December 1 until Friday, December 4, live on Sky Sports Mix in the UK, DAZN and Matchroom.Live. Full broadcast details can be found at

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Thorpe Is Fourth For Team USA

Billy Thorpe (JP Parmentier/Matchroom Multi Sport)

Billy Thorpe will make his fourth consecutive appearance on Team USA having been selected as the penultimate player to join Jeremy Jones’ team at this year’s partypoker Mosconi Cup.

The Ohio man, famed for this excellent banking ability, made his Mosconi bow in 2017 and has been a key member of the team as USA first regained and then retained the Cup over the last two years.

He joins Justin Bergman, Skyler Woodward and Shane van Boening on the team to travel to London in December, with Captain Jones and Vice Captain Joey Gray to name their fifth and final team member next week.

“It sucks the way everything went down this year, but at least we have the biggest tournament, the one we all drive for all year,” said Thorpe. “I am super stoked and excited to be able to come back out there and compete again; I can’t wait.

“With us four on the team so far, we all click together pretty well, I know we will prepare well and we are going to three-peat for sure. It doesn’t matter if you have World champions on your team or not, it matters how you guys feed off each other and help each other to get out there and bring the best out of each other.

“The more World champions they have, the better for us – it’s just going to make us play even better. I feel like we are going to come out there strong.”

Captain Jones added: “Billy, I was hoping would have a good performance with the training along with the 2020 he started the year with, which was some big victories and looking like it was probably going to be his best year, just like every year has been better than the one before.

“He brings a lot of personality and is probably the one guy who is always ready. Even if he comes off a tough loss, he is ready to get back out there. He has a huge heart and is one hell of a player.”

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

Van Boening Confirmed For Team USA At Partypoker Mosconi Cup

Shane van Boening will play his 14th consecutive partypoker Mosconi Cup this December 1-4 after being chosen as one of captain Jeremy Jones’ wildcard selections.

Van Boening joins Justin Bergman and Skyler Woodward on the team, with captain Jeremy Jones commenting, “he might be our third selection but we all know he is number one.”

The South Dakota kid has been ever-present for Team USA since 2007 and has enjoyed his most fruitful partypoker Mosconi Cups in the last two years; first making the winning 1/9 combo to win the Cup in London in 2018, and then helping to lead America to a famous repeat in Las Vegas last thanksgiving.

“The last two years, we did pretty well, so I am very proud of the team and I am looking forward to number three,” said Van Boening.

“Defending the partypoker Mosconi Cup in Las Vegas last year was probably the best Mosconi Cup I have ever played. We had a great team chemistry, the coaches did a good job and it worked out pretty good.

“If we can do the same things we did in the last two years, there won’t be any problems. They are going to have a hard time competing with us for sure.

“Jeremy is a good coach, he knows everything about the Mosconi Cup and has been with us the last couple of years. I think he is going to be a very good captain for us.”

“He has been the greatest player on the planet for the last 15+ years,” said captain Jones. “He is a guy who I think is going to continue on that road; he stays in great shape, is probably the most mentally strong player I have witnessed in my life and he trains hard and plays hard.

“He keeps everybody accountable without having to say much. He has a great connection with the guys, there is a huge respect factor there, and the thing about Shane is, he doesn’t really have a B game – if the A+ game is there we know what is going to happen, if the A game is there we most likely know what is going to happen, and if the A- game is there it is going to take a damn good Joshua Filler to beat him. The whole package is what it is with Shane.”

USA will take on a European team led by captain Alex Lely and vice-captain Karl Boyes. World Champion Fedor Gorst, Jayson Shaw and US Open champion Joshua Filler have already been named on Team Europe, with two more players to be announced this month for both teams.

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

Bergman & Gorst Confirmed For Partypoker Mosconi Cup

Fedor Gorst

Justin Bergman and Fedor Gorst will represent Team USA and Team Europe respectively at this December’s partypoker Mosconi Cup as the top player on each team’s current rankings.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, no ranking events have been staged since the Diamond Open in March. However, Matchroom Pool and team captains Jeremy Jones and Alex Lely wished to respect the achievements of players who had played the ranking events which had taken place. Therefore, it was agreed that the top player from each the USA and European ranking would automatically qualify to play in the partypoker Mosconi Cup with the remaining four players selected as captain’s wildcards.

That means a fifth appearance on Team USA for Bergman, who was part of last year’s winning team. For Europe, 20-year-old World Champion Fedor Gorst will make his debut on Lely’s team.

“I was very happy when I got the call from Alex,” said Gorst. “I was thinking that I deserved to be on the team this year, not only because I won the World title but because I feel that I have progressed as well.

“It is every player’s dream to be a part of the partypoker Mosconi Cup. Last year I tried very hard to be on the team and played all the qualification events. I missed one Euro Tour because I had a virus and I lost the very last match against Alex Kazakis to be on the team.

“I really don’t know what it is like to play the partypoker Mosconi Cup. I am sure the pressure is very big because of the crowd and the atmosphere and the importance of the tournament. I have good coaches around me and I will practice hard and be prepared.

“I have had a few practice sessions with Alex already, through Skype. I have also spoken to [former European and American coach] Johan Ruijsink about it, so I am starting my preparation with four months to go.”

European Captain Lely added: “I am happy to have Fedor on board. He is young, he is more than a talent; he is now a proven champion. He is a smart guy, he is a sociable guy, and he is very coachable, so for myself and [vice-captain] Karl Boyes it is perfect to have him on the team.

“As a person, and how he has grown as a player, he has learned to be open for input and feedback. He is a stand-up guy and he is really mature for his age, on and off the table. I will always check and see with the players how receptive they are, but with Fedor he is always firing away many questions, he is so hungry for knowledge.”

Lely and Boyes will now choose four wildcards to join the team, and those players will be announced over the coming weeks. However, with pool tournaments on hold due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Lely’s ability to assess the players is restricted.

“It is very difficult because we are limited to see the players in action, although many of the top players in Europe are entering these challenges online,” he said.

“I have tried to keep in contact with some of the usual players you think about when you think about Team Europe, but it is not the perfect scenario right now. I would rather see them in action in the States, in Asia, in Europe, and get a real feel for where their form is. But we will try and keep as good a contact with the players as we can.”

Justin Bergman

Team USA captain Jones was pleased to see Bergman as his side’s automatic qualifier and believes the Illinois man is a perfect fit for the roster.

“Bergman is one hell of a player, many have considered him one of the top three in the US for some time,” said Jones. “It was good for me and good for Joey that he was at the top of the rankings, it worked out a good deal for USA.

“Some might say he is a quiet guy, but when he speaks it’s exactly what needs to be said. He has an incredible mind and has competed at a high level in big tournaments since he was a junior. He always wants to play as well as the game will allow and last year sometimes didn’t get the opportunities.”

Jones and vice-captain Joey Gray will now work with a group of seven players, including Bergman, to select the final four players on the team. That will include video coaching sessions and limited-contact sessions with Jones and Gray, restricted to no more than two players each time. That wider group features Shane van Boening, Skyler Woodward, Billy Thorpe, Tyler Styer, Chris Robinson and Corey Deuel, and Jones will begin selecting his first wildcards later this month.

“It will be one-on-one training, with three guys coming in this month and four more in September. We have the five players from last year, of course Justin is already on the team, and then we add Corey Deuel and Chris Robinson. Corey is full of experience and was on a winning team just two years ago, and Chris has been trending in the right direction, and both were right up there on the rankings.”
The partypoker Mosconi Cup will take place at Alexandra Palace, London, this December 1-4, live on Sky Sports and DAZN.

Matchroom Pool are still hopeful and determined 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

Chang Takes Advantage of Aranas Mistakes to Win Diamond Las Vegas Open

Chang Jung-Lin (Courtesy JP Parmentier – Cue Sport International)

Jung-Lin Chang stood at the table Saturday night, clinging to a 6-5 lead. His opponent, James Aranas of the Philippines, had won four of the last five racks to shave Chang’s lead down to a single game. With Chang controlling the break, he could either increase his lead or let Aranas all the way back into the match. 
“I didn’t think too much because it was my break,” Chang said. “After that, I had a chance to run out.” 
Chang took full advantage of the opportunity, as the powerful player from Chinese Taipei ran out and then used a handful of unforced errors by Aranas down the stretch to win the four of the final six games and claim the Diamond Las Vegas Open championship at Rio Hotel and Casino. Chang’s 9-5 victory in the finals avenged an earlier 7-4 loss to the previously unbeaten Aranas the finals on the winner’s side of the bracket.  
“(Aranas) made a lot of mistakes on some easy shots and that allowed me to get more points,” Chang said after the match. 
The Filipino opened the title match by using a victorious safety exchange to run out and take an early lead. Aranas appeared positioned to tack another rack onto his lead in the second game but misplayed position on the 9 ball, rolling the cue ball into the blocking 10 ball. He missed a kick shot on the object ball and Chang seized on the opportunity, using two breaks and runs along with an Aranas scratch on the break to build a 5-1 lead in a race to nine. 
“In the final I wasn’t comfortable,” Aranas said. 
The Filipino broke and ran in the seventh game to cut the deficit to three games and closed the gap even more when Chang missed a jump shot on the 4 ball in the following rack. Aranas appeared to be on the verge of slicing the lead down to one game but missed a makeable 8 ball in the corner pocket. 
“That was the chance for me to get closer,” said Aranas. “I was thinking about the shot clock and I was kind of like rushing and I missed it.” 
Chang cleared the table to push the lead to 6-3 but the Filipino continued to battle, taking advantage of a dry break by his opponent and adding a break-and-run to again narrow the gap to one game. Chang, who won the 2018 International Open, broke and ran in the 12th game, gutted out a win in the following game and closed out the match in the 14th rack when Aranas overran position on the 3 ball and ultimately overcut the shot. 
“The most important thing of all is mentality. You have to go through the pressure,” said Chang. “The last thing is the gods. The gods give you something, you take it.” 
The second-place finish is one of Aranas’s best in a 128-player tournament with an international field. The Filipino, who is reigning Super Billiards Expo 10 ball champion, opened the event with three consecutive 7-5 victories against Rory Hendrickson, Chris Melling and Maximillian Lechner. After defeating Ian Costello, 7-3, Aranas worked his way past Justin Bergman, 7-5, then jumped out to a 6-1 lead against Ralf Souquet only to see the German battle back and cut the lead to one. During a lengthy safety exchange with Souquet in the final game, the Filipino jumped in the 1 and 2 balls then ran out the rack to secure the match. 
“Ralf is such a great player, he’s a legend to me,” Aranas. “It’s hard to give him a chance to get back on the table.”  
Aranas then advanced to face Chang in their first matchup of the way, using two breaks and runs and a dry break from his opponent to jump out to an early 4-0 lead. After Chang used two breaks and runs and a scratch on the break by the Filipino to narrow the gap to 4-3, Aranas cleared the table in the eighth game then took advantage of two dry breaks by Chang to close out the match. 
“I’m proud of myself for what I’ve done,” said Aranas. “This is probably the first time I’ve come this close in an event like this. This was a big opportunity for me.”  
Justin Bergman is adamant that he didn’t play well during the event. Whatever game he did have was good enough for third place, as the young man from Illinois gutted his way past opponents until fatigue took its toll.
After a 7-4 decision against Kengo Suzuki in the opening round, Bergman took down John Morra, 7-5; Ta-Li Lin, 7-1 and Ko Pin-Yi, 7-5. After falling to Aranas 7-5 late early Saturday morning around 2 a,m., Bergman grabbed about an hour of sleep and was back at the table Saturday morning at 10 a.m. He gutted out back-to-back hill-hill matches against Corey Deuel and Poland’s Karol Skowerski before taking down Chris Robinson, 7-4. Now playing in the quarterfinals on the one-loss side, Bergman split the first six games with Souquet before a missed 5 ball by the German in the seventh game opened the floodgates. 
“I changed my mind right before the shot,” said Souquet. “That basically threw me off completely afterwards. It wasn’t a tough runout, I just needed good shape on the 6 ball and, for whatever reason, I changed my mind.”
Bergman cleared the table to take a 4-3 lead, then took advantage of a couple additional missed shots by Souquet to close out the match, 7-3. His luck – and energy – would run out in the next round against Chang as he failed to pocket a ball on the break in his first three attempts. Chang built a commanding 6-0 then held off a late rally by his opponent, ultimately winning 7-3. 
“I wasn’t comfortable and he’s such a great player, you have to do everything perfect to beat him,” Bergman said. 
It was a turn-back-the-clock weekend for the 51-year-old Souquet, who used his first trip to American soil in 2020 to land a fourth-place finish. After an opening round forfeit by his opponent, the German rattled off four straight wins to reach the final four on the winner’s side before falling to Aranas. Souquet then defeated Ko Pin-Yi on the one-loss side of the bracket before falling to Bergman. 
The Diamond Las Vegas Open is a presentation of Cue Sports International and sponsored by Diamond Billiard Products, an industry leader in pocket billiard table manufacturing. The event is being hosted by the Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino and broadcast live on YouTube by CSI Media, a subsidiary of Cue Sports International. For more information, visit 
CueSports International (CSI) is an international billiards organization which produces the United States Open 8-ball, 10-ball, one pocket, bank pool and straight pool championships. CSI, which also operates national amateur pool leagues, has three divisions: CSI leagues, CSI events and CSI media. CSI leagues manages the BCA Pool League and USA Pool League, the events division produces numerous amateur and professional events and the media department creates live video billiards content. For more information about CSI, visit or find CueSports International on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter.
The Diamond Las Vegas Open is sponsored by: Predator Group, Omega billiard supplies and Kamui cue tips. 

Barretta and Thorpe Wins Highlight Derby City Day Eight

Jennifer Barretta (Photo courtesy of Dave Thomson –

Diamond Derby City Classic XXII, January 24-Feb.2, 2020
Caesars Southern Indiana, Elizabeth, IN
This just in! The All Around Champion leaderboard has Billy Thorpe ahead of Orcollo by 4.2 points.
David Thomson
408 entrants. 9 on the spot, compliant break, Outsville Template Rack.
Jennifer Barretta vs. Joey Korsiak was the nail-biter of the day in the Accu-Stats Arena.
Jennifer proved fighting fit as she overcame a 4-1 deficit to tie the match at 7.
On the 8, which would have, put her on the hill, alas, she mis-cued. 
Joey, with only 2 balls to pocket, captured that spot and was soon breaking. Then, mid-rack, it was his turn to commit the unforgivable. He missed a makable ball in the side.
Jennifer, exercising perfect fundamentals, looked like she’d been coached at Mark Wilson’s pool school. With grace and poise, she, calmly, closed out the rack.
Barretta, now battle ready, broke the last rack. It was compliant. Composed and considerate, she negotiated the layout with extraordinary ease. Within moments, she was straight in on the 9. There was no chance of mishap now. Smiling and relaxed, she powered the remaining orb home. 9-8.
More action in the Accu-Stats TV Arena had Corey’s .887 Total Performance Average(TPA) over Mika’s .796 pretty much speak for itself. 9-5, 
Then, Skyler Woodward and Omar Al Shaheen had the audience’s attention.
Omar, empowered by his decent performance in Banks and One Pocket, was in his comfort zone and never wandered from the task.
Skyler, playing catch-up was about to tie the match at 7 when he hooked himself, missed the kick and Shaheen was on the hill and on his way upward. 9-6.
They would meet again in the evening’s Banks Ring game.
Shane Van Boening, Joshua Filler, Justin Bergman, LeeVann Corteza, Justin Bergman are all undefeated.
Efren Reyes was removed by John Demet and Mieszko Fortunski, who gave Melling his first loss as did Jayson Shaw to Konrad Juszczyszyn.
Konrad, having his best result ever, later eliminated Melling who had been sent to the booth by Jesus Atencio.
German Can Salim canned Jeff DeLuna, and Shaw, to be later eliminated by Filler.
Lee Vann Corteza exited Olinger, Immonen, and Bustamante. Dennis Orcollo got Gomez and Tyler Styer.
Chris Melling had sent Corey Deuel buying back.
Billy Thorpe, before being ejected by Japan’s Naoyuki Oi, had gotten Max Eberle who had sent Tim DeRuyter home.
Justin Bergman removed Marty Turpin and later handed Tyler Styer his 1st loss and much later, removed Omar.
Francisco Bustamante relieved Evan Lunda.
James Aranas got over Josh Roberts and, fellow countrymen be damned, killed Bustamante and Kiamko.
Last Chance for 9-Ball. It commences at noon, the Finals at night.
Check out the schedule at
Featuring Skyler Woodward, Billy Thorpe, Jayson Shaw, Jonathan Demet, Justin Hall and Omar Al Shaheen.
Billy Thorpe strikes again. At $800 a ball, Skyler Woodward couldn’t contain him, but it took a while.
$1500 ante, Diamond added $3k, equals $12,000.
The difference this year, rather than the winner take all, they were paying $8k for first and $4k for second.
The last 2 standing played ’til one gutted the other and was declared the winner.
The action began at $50 a ball. Every 3 racks they would reshuffle the order and the $s would raise to 100, 200, 400, etc.
The shocker was that Shaw was the first to go, followed swiftly by Demet, then last year’s Banks semi-finalist Omar Al Shaheen. By $300 per orb, Hall was bankrupt. That left Skyler and Billy battling for the cash.
Woodward had $5700 and Billy had $3300. 3 racks later, The bank rolls were reversed and it was Sky $5700, Billy $3300.
That’s when the bloodbath began. at $700 a ball, Billy moved into slaughter mode. The sky was falling in on Woodward and with $2100 to Billy’s $6900, the action raised to $800.
Sky had 2 and a half bullets. Billy, smelling blood, upped it to smiling assassin mode and soon had the moolah!
Then it was all hugs and beers, back to good buddies and, “What time’s your 9-Ball match?”
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.

Thorpe Downs Hall for Derby One Pocket Title

Billy Thorpe (Photo courtesy of Dave Thomson –

Diamond Derby City Classic XXII, January 24-Feb.2, 2020
Caesars Southern Indiana, Elizabeth, IN
David Thomson
Race to 3, 365 entries, 1 man standing.
Billy Thorpe and Justin Hall put on a competitive one-pocket display that will be praised for decades. It can truly be said that it was unfortunate that there was only one winner. They both played their hearts out.
There were no signs of the weakness that being in a final can sometimes induce. No unnecessary tension created by considering the outcome. These free-stroking athletes were celebrating their mastery in the moment!
The two gallant young guns, aggressive from the get-go, could not be contained. In the opening racks, they both ran 8.
Yet, it was the intrepid Billy “Torpedo” Thorpe, now a 2 time DCC One Pocket Champion, who prevailed.
And, like a torpedo, he attacked from the depths to undermine the one-pocket skillset that Justin employed to tie the match at 2.
Hall also had the benefit of the break. The break is huge in one pocket. It’s like the power of the opening move in chess, You have to defend. Billy became the underdog.
Hall spread the balls well as they rippled toward his pocket.
Billy leapt to the table. It appeared that one may have leaked out.
This was no time for doubt. His Cuetec carbon fiber shaft powered the Cyclop across the ice blue Simonis. The audience gasped at his spunk.
Justin was first to observe as the ball sped, unobstructed,  into the back of the tight, Diamond pro-cut pocket.
What Billy proceeded to achieve is a rack for the ages. 
Justin’s strategy couldn’t be faulted. One millimeter of a roll and he was rendered powerless as he experienced Billy’s superlative ability in action, Only moments ago, Justin was in the vanquishing seat. Now, he saw his hopes vanish, one ball at a time.
8 and out. 3-2. Billy’s dream accomplished; Justin’s nightmare corroborated. 
Justin’s road to the finals included an encounter with Joshua Filler in the Accu-Stats TV Arena. Joshua’s Straight Pool pattern play, bank power, and shotmaking were in fine form. And, his “moving” improving. This match would be the test. 
Justin “Hollywood” Hall, 2012 Southern Classic Bank Pool and One-Pocket Champion, unblemished, still had his buy-back. The reason being he had obliterated everyone in his path.
He can, obviously, bank, he’s aggressive and will attack with calculated risk, as long as there is an exit plan. It’s “moving” where he excels.
That’s what got him to 2.1, and ahead 7 balls to 6 in the 3rd.
The moment that swung the match was when Filler’s fine execution of a formidable bank incurred a truly freaky scratch. Instead of 2-2, Hall had ball-in-hand anywhere behind the headstring. And, a spot shot! He hasn’t missed one of those since the Clinton era. 3-1. 
Filler should be commended for garnering such a high finish in this field of landmines. With some expert guidance, like Melling and Shaw, he could be a one-pocket contender.
Meanwhile, out in the Diamond Arena, The rumors that the, aforementioned, Melling’s prowess is improving were rumbling thru the hallways. Just ask the baffled 2013 Southern Classic One-Pocket Champion Justin Bergman who had just shaved a few whiskers from Al Shaheen. And, Gomez, who outblasted Jayson Shaw’s ambitions.
Hall had also routed the personable Robert Frost who had waxed poetic to the final 6.
And, what about this 21-year-old, Jesus Atencio who had swum so far upstream in his first ever DCC 1-Pocket event? It had taken Billy to tame the fearless Latino invader.
Then, there were 4. 
Melling and Gomez found each other again on the Accu-Stats TV table while Thorpe and the unbeaten Hall were designated in the Diamond Arena.
Both Melling and Gomez had rallied on their excellent safety, banking, and shotmaking skills. But, now that they were alone, Without the guidance of a “mover,” you could see they were fish out of water. They were first to admit, in some instances, they had no idea what to do.
It was Melling who committed the ultimate one-pocket cardinal sin. With ball-in-hand, he pocketed a ball in his opponent’s pocket while playing shape on another which left a perfect bank for Gomez. Those 2 balls, cost him that game and any further advancement.
You can be sure that they will enter, again, next year.  Success is addicting.
And then there were 3, Billy, Justin, and Roberto.
Billy’s 3-1 defeat of Justin demanded that he buy back.
Billy drew the bye. Justin derailed Roberto’s route at 3-0…in 37 minutes. They were playing real one-pocket now.
And, that’s how Thorpe and Hall rode to the hottest seat in Caesars Southern Indiana.
The All Around Champion points are adding up with Billy’s One-Pocket and Orcollo’s Banks results bounding up the leaderboard.
Efren got handed his first loss in the 2nd round by John Demet who also had a decent finish in the Banks event. Efren laughed, “He played good. I no lucky.”
Jeffrey DeLuna moved Maksim Dudanets to the one loss side, ditto with Tyler Styer and Michael Delawder.
The ladies are competing in the cosmopolitan field including: Kristina Tkach, Pia Filler, and, our very own, Jennifer Barretta.
We’ll have plenty more tomorrow.
9-Ball commences at noon. Check out the schedule at
Derby’s most casual cutthroat assembly clash in the murderer’s row of bankers in the, no safeties allowed, 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 thanks its Arena Sponsors: Diamond Billiards, Simonis Cloth, Cyclop Balls, Cuetec Cues, Cue and Case, MEZZ Cues, McDermott Cues, National Billiard Academy.

One Pocket Highlights Derby City Day Six

Justin Hall (Photo courtesy of Dave Thomson –

Diamond Derby City Classic XXII, January 24-Feb.2, 2020
Caesars Southern Indiana, Elizabeth, IN
David Thomson
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.
More great One-Pocket at NOON, and 6pm, Thursday.
They’re off but not much to report yet. 
We’ll have plenty tomorrow.
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 thanks its Arena Sponsors: Diamond Billiards, Simonis Cloth, Cyclop Balls, Cuetec Cues, Cue and Case, MEZZ Cues, McDermott Cues, National Billiard Academy.

Atencio Over Shaw at Derby One Pocket Division

Jesus Atencio (Erwin Dionisio)

In any pool game, and especially One Pocket, it is said that experience and the ability to “out-move” your opponent is the key. Sometimes though, not knowing that the shot you are lining up is the wrong “move” can be a player’s best friend. That might have been the case in round 9 of the Derby City Classic One Pocket Division on Wednesday night when Jesus Atencio took on “Eagle Eye” Jayson Shaw
Atencio, who moved from Venezuela to Charlotte three months ago, was excited to just get the opportunity to play Shaw. “This is my first big one pocket event, and to get the chance to play a player like Jayson was a dream come true” said Atencio through a friend who was translating.
Shaw came out strong and ran the first rack for the 1-0 lead, but that is when the pool gods decided to get a littLe Mischievous. Atencio proceeded to score 8-6, 8-5 and 8-6 wins over this year’s Bigfoot Challenge champion. 
“Jesus went for two shots that he knows he shouldn’t have, but they both went in” said Atencio’s friend. Shaw had the same explanation for what happened. “The kid played all the wrong shots and kept getting away with it” he said. “I need two and he needs two at the end, and I kick a ball out of his hole and the the white get double kissed and scratched. Not much you can do when that stuff happens. “
Atencio, who already has a loss at the hands of Justin Bergman, will now wait for round ten to be drawn. The loss was Shaw’s first, and he was upbeat after the loss. “I still have one life left” he reminded the rest of the remaining players. 

USA Are Partypoker Mosconi Cup Champions

Team USA (JP Parmentier – Matchroom Multi Sport)

Team USA 11-8 Team EUROPE
Billy Thorpe 5–3 Jayson Shaw
Tyler Styer 1-5 Eklent Kaci
Shane Van Boening 5-3 Alex Kazakis
Skyler Woodward 5-3 Joshua Filler
Team USA retained the partypoker Mosconi Cup with an 11-8 success over Team Europe on Thanksgiving at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino Convention Center, Las Vegas, live on Sky Sports and DAZN.
The American side, aiming to repeat their win in London last year, began the final day with an 8-7 lead and made an early statement of intent as Billy Thorpe beat Jayson Shaw, the decisive moment coming in the seventh as Shaw punched the 3-ball to the top pocket but saw it rattle the draw, allowing Thorpe to take the rack and run out for victory in the next.
Eklent Kaci hit back in style for Europe, defeating Tyler Styer 5-1. Momentum swung back to the home side when Shane van Boening defeated Alexander Kazakis 5-3, taking America to the partypoker Mosconi Cup hill at 10-8.
Next up was Joshua Filler for Europe, with many expecting him to narrow the deficit. But Skyler Woodward relished the occasion and was celebrating with the crowd on their feet before he had even played the 5/9 combination for a 5-3 victory which sealed the cup and his own second successive Most Valuable Player title.
“Today I came out focussed, ready to play and I had a feeling I would be playing Filler,” said Woodward, who earns an invite to March’s World Pool Masters as MVP. “From the beginning I said I wanted to play Filler.
“I wouldn’t rather have a different team. We lost eight in a row but we won two in a row. This is the best team we could have and we are all good friends. I wouldn’t rather have anybody else backing me up than these guys.”
Thorpe added: “I knew I was going up against one of their best players, Jayson like Josh has so much firepower. I knew I had to come out, stay swinging and not let up on my stroke. We will be ready next year to defend the trophy. We will all be ready to go overseas and make it three years in a row.”
Justin Bergman, who would have faced Niels Feijen had Europe won another point, said: “I was ready to play but I told the guys to finish them off. I didn’t think I was going to play because I believed in them but I was ready if I was needed. This is the best team I have ever been on so I had a good feeling all week.”
van Boening said: “It was 2009 the last time we won a Mosconi Cup at home, and without all the fans’ supporting we wouldn’t be here. This group is probably the best team I have ever played with. We have a great friendship, great chemistry and it is an unbelievable team.
Styer said: “This team has such a good balance, we all get along and there is no better group to do it than this. Johan has been getting us up early, doing everything together, and we are brothers now.
Coach Johan Ruijsink commented: “We had great support. Happy Thanksgiving! This was by far the hardest one to win. They had a great side, it is hard to be in America with all the pressure of winning last time. Last year was 9-6 on the last day but this time was 8-7 but we had a good line-up, came out strong and it was a good win.
“Last year was a bit of a surprise to Europe and we caught them off guard. This year they were prepared and we had extra pressure. This year was about handling the pressure, being in Vegas with all of its distractions and we came through. Every year will be a great fight every single year.
“I couldn’t have done this without Jeremy Jones. We are a great team. He is the perfect connection between me and the players and he has been in this arena as a player, which I haven’t.”
European captain Marcus Chamat said: “We came here to USA ten days ago. We have stuck together for the whole ten days, we came here as a team and we will leave here as a team. We stood beside each other the whole time and I am really proud of this team. Things weren’t going our way and Joshua put up some great performances. Without him it wouldn’t be 11-8.
“I want to thank all the fans, American and European fans, who have helped make this amazing event. The American players put in an amazing performance.”
The 2020 partypoker Mosconi Cup will take place at Alexandra Palace, London from Tuesday, December 1st until Friday, December 4th next year, with tickets on sale to Matchroom Pool Club members from midday next Monday, December 2nd and will go on general sale at midday on Tuesday, December 3rd 2019.
The 2019 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. CSI is the official sponsor of Team USA and Just Eat sponsor Team Europe.
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