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Hall wins second set of double elimination final to win Cuetec Banks at Omega Diamond Open

Brett Garson from Cuetec Cues, Justin Hall and Mike Hoang (Photo courtesy Mike Lear)

In 2012, Justin Hall, at the age of 25, downed Alex Pagulayan in the Banks division finals of the 1st Annual Southern Classic in Tunica, MS. He also won that event’s One Pocket division and went home with the event’s Master of the Table title. At the time, Russia’s Fedor Gorst, Hall’s opponent in the Cuetec Banks division finals of the 1st Annual Omega Diamond Open in Aiken, SC this past weekend (Sept. 29-30), was 12 years old.

Of the 41 entrants who competed and cashed in that first Southern Classic in Tunica, six of them, including Pagulayan, were in the house to compete in Aiken, SC; Warren Kiamco, Dennis Orcollo, Mike Delawder, and among the 15 competitors who finished in the tie for 27th place in Tunica, were Shane Van Boening and John Morra. Hall and Morra met up in the hot seat match this past weekend. The $3,000-added event, requiring players to call both the pocket and the number of rails to be employed in a table-race to five balls for a game win, drew 32 entrants to The Rack & Grill III in Aiken.

After an opening round shutout over Bader Alawahdi, Hall ran through a triple gauntlet of the sport’s top players. He survived a double hill match against Jayson Shaw and made short work of Billy Thorpe 4-1 to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal against Sky Woodward. Morra, in the meantime, who had also opened with a shutout (vs. Josh Roberts), got by Billy Burke 4-2 and sent Van Boening to the loss side 4-1, arriving at his winners’ side semifinal versus against Gorst. 

Hall got into the hot seat match with a double hill win over Woodward and was joined by Morra, who’d sent Gorst to the loss side 4-2, for what would turn out to be an eventual rematch in the semifinals. Hall shut Morra out in the hot seat match.

On the loss side, Woodward ran into Jayson Shaw, intent on a four-match, loss-side winning streak that had recently eliminated Naoyuki Oi 4-2 and Van Boening 4-1. Gorst drew Mike Delawder (already doing better than he had in Tunica, 12 years ago), who’d lost his opening round match to Tony Chohan and was working on his own five-match, loss-side run that included the double hill elimination of Billy Thorpe and a 4-2 win over Louis Demarco.

Woodward stopped Shaw’s run and Gorst finished Delawder’s by the same 4-2 score. Gorst then defeated Woodward 4-1 in the quarterfinals. The second Tunica-competitor-versus-Gorst match, the semifinal rematch between Gorst and Morra, went double hill, before Gorst prevailed to face Hall in the finals. 

Gorst handed Hall his first loss of the event in the opening set of the true double elimination final, which went double hill before Gorst forced a second set. Hall won the second set 4-2 to claim the event title. 

Justin Hall Wins US Open One Pocket Crown

Justin Hall and Mark Griffin

The 2021 US Open One Pocket Championships took place over the weekend of June 5th – 6th at Griff’s pool hall in Las Vegas. Mark Griffin, Gary Lutman, Griff’s staff & Tournament Director Jack Murray rolled out the red carpet for the players and fans. The professional One Pocket title is coveted by pool players worldwide who have an appreciation for this unique discipline. The game of One Pocket has become more popular over the years and a player has to combine shotmaking and skill with chess like strategy.

Stand out players in the event featured big names in the game like Tony Chohan, Justin Hall, Warren Kiamco, James Aranas, John Morra and local fan favorite Ronnie Wiseman. While there were many big names that came out to play, up and coming players such as Evan Lunda, Sergio Rivas and Rudy Alameda had stand out performances.

One of the most impressive surprise performances was put together by Bob Herchick who had an amazing run. Bob defeated John Peck 4-0, John Morra 4-0, Mike Grimm 4-2, Tony Chohan 4-3 before losing to Justin Hall 4-3 and Warren Kiamco 3-0 finishing a solid 5/6th.

Veteran grinder Justin Hall from Florida played amazing pool the entire event and went through the field undefeated. His road to the finals was a difficult one going through a gritty field. Justin defeated Mike Massey 4-0, Ronnie Wiseman 4-3, James Aranas 4-2, Bob Herchick 4-3 and Dennis Orcullo 4-1.

After losing to Justin 4-1, Dennis played stellar to defeat Warren Kiamco 4-0 to earn a spot in the finals.

The finals was a race to 5 games for the Championship, and Justin Hall put together another dominant set including capping off the match with an impressive final game – showing off his shotmaking and deep knowledge of the game. The. Final score was 4-2 Justin, who earned the new US Open One Pocket trophy along with $7,500 1st prize.

The equipment at Griff’s is world class featuring all Diamond tables, Simonis cloth and Amamith balls.

Online Brackets were provided by Digital Pool and can seen here: https://digitalpool.com/tournaments/2021-us-open-one-pocket-championship/bracket

Special thanks to all sponsors and supporters of the event including Simonis, Aramith, & OB Cues.

Special Thanks to Ben Sutherland and BBTV for producing a quality live stream with commentary for the fans.

The US Open 10 Ball starts on Sept 12, through the 15th. The US Open 8-Ball will immediately follow the 10-ball.

The US Open Banks Championship immediately follows the One pocket and starts June 8th and 9th. It’s free for spectators to watch and fans can find the Live Stream and follow the event by visiting Griff’s Facebook page for the info.

Orcollo & Morra Take It Down

Dennis Orcollo

Tallahassee, FL was the place to be for the past few days as Zingale’s Billiard Room & Sports Bar hosted The Southeastern Triple Crown of Billiards.

Inspired by the Derby City Classic, three different events were held – nine ball, nine ball banks & one pocket with another $1000 going to the all around player.

Starting Thursday evening & ably directed by Marianne Raulerston of Marianne’s Tournaments, play commenced after a player auction & draw.

When the smoke cleared, John Morra had taken the one pocket title over Anthony Meglino after a six hour final match. Dennis Orcollo won the nine ball after defeating Jeffrey de Luna in the finals & Justin Hall in the nine ball banks – locking up the all around cheese. Congratulations to all!

Players & fans alike were well taken care of by owner Michael Zingale & his staff.

Zingale’s & PoolActionTV.com were joined in sponsorship by Bull Carbon Shafts, Outsville, Cuetec, 89Billiards.com, Straight Shooter Gear, JB Cases, Pool Dawg & JMR Auto Group. Thank you!

Thanks to Larry Schwartz, Tom Wirth, Jay Helfert and Jeremy Jones and for their excellent commentary.

We’d also like to thank our fans & sponsors – they include Hanshew Jump Cues, JB Cases, Durbin Custom Cues, Lomax Custom Cues, StraightPoolEye & Fort Worth Billiards Superstore of Fort Worth, TX.

Our next event is the inaugural Bar Box Classic in East Moline, IL – May 5th-9th! Hope to see you there!
www.PoolActionTV.com

World-class trio of Orcollo, Kiamco & Bustamante go 1, 2, 3 at 6th Annual Texas Open 10-Ball

Kraber goes undefeated to win her second Texas Women’s 10-Ball Championship

(l to r): John Palmore, Dennis Orcollo & James Davis, Sr.

Being Texas, it’s never enough to just hold an Open and Ladies 10-Ball tournament every year. Instead, Skinny Bob’s Billiards in Round Rock, TX hosts a six-day extravaganza (this year, from Feb. 12-17) that has a way of feeling like a month-long extravaganza, headlined by the annual Texas 10-Ball Open and Ladies 10-Ball Championships.

Things got underway on Wednesday, Feb. 12 with a 10-Ball mini-tournament, as more or less of a warm-up for events to come. On Thursday, the activity was a Scotch Doubles tournament that was eventually won by the team of Warren Kiamco and Ellen Robinson, who downed John Gabriel and Ellen Jones in the finals. Later in the day, a Banks/Rails game was won Sergio Rivas, who defeated John Demet in the finals. On Friday, an Open Ring game was won by Jeffrey DeLuna, with Sky Woodward as runner-up and John Gabriel in third place.

In the absence of a defending champion (Alex Pagulayan), a few relatively well-known Filipino competitors stepped in to fill the gap at the $4,000-added 6th Annual Texas Open 10-Ball, which got underway on Friday evening. Dennis Orcollo ended up going undefeated through the field. He downed Warren Kiamco twice (hot seat and finals) and waited patiently as Kiamco eliminated Francisco Bustamante in the semifinals. We’ll get back to them in a while, but first. . . the ladies.

The $1,000-added Ladies 10-Ball Championship, which drew 20 entrants, got underway on Saturday. Unlike the Open Championship, the Ladies event featured its defending champion, Gail Eaton. It was won by its 2018 champion, Jennifer Kraber, who went undefeated through the field, downing Courtney Peters twice, hot seat and finals.

Following victories over Kim Pierce, Kelly Jones and Rachel Hurst, Kraber moved into a winners’ side semifinal against Ming Ng. After being awarded an opening round bye, Peters downed Latonia Taylor and Michelle Yim, to draw Nicole McDaniel in the other winners’ side semifinal.

Kraber and Ng locked up in a double hill fight that eventually advanced Kraber to the hot seat match. She was joined by Peters, who’d defeated McDaniel 7-1. Kraber won the first of two versus Peters 7-3 and waited in the hot seat for her return.

On the loss side, Nicole McDaniel drew Kim Sanders, who’d recently eliminated defending champion Gail Eaton and Rachel Hurst, both 5-3. Ming Ng picked up Michelle Yim, who’d defeated Ellen Robinson 5-3 and Kelly Jones 5-2 to reach her.

Yim and Sanders handed Ng and McDaniel their second straight loss; Yim, 5-3 over Ng and Sanders shut McDaniel out to join Yim in the quarterfinals. Yim then did unto Sanders that which Sanders had most recently done to McDaniel; shut her out to advance.

In the semifinals that followed, Yim became the third shutout victim in a row and gave Peters a second shot at Kraber in the hot seat. Peters chalked up two more racks in the finals than she’d chalked up against Kraber in the hot seat match, but they weren’t enough, as Kraber completed her undefeated run 7-5 to claim the Ladies 10-Ball title.

Orcollo backs up Derby City Master of the Table title with undefeated run at Texas Open 10-Ball
It’s only February and Dennis Orcollo has pocketed money that would be the envy of most pool players to earn in an entire year. He finished 16th in the Derby City’s One Pocket Division, 3rd in the 9-Ball Division and won the 9-Ball Banks, all of which earned him the coveted Master of the Table title. All of this followed his victory at the Music City’s Midnight Madness Tournament and his runner-up finish (to Skyler Woodward) in the Music City’s Open Division. He didn’t get a chance to meet Woodward in this event, although Warren Kiamco did.

Robocop (as they call him) got by Kenny Loftis, John Gabriel, Justin Hall, Kevin Guimond and Junior Jueco by an aggregate score of 35-12, giving up just over two racks per match (on average). Orcollo drew Naoyuki Oi in one of the winners’ side semifinals.

Warren Kiamco, in the meantime, started his campaign out with back-to-back shutouts of Thomas Smith and Pat Castro. He then defeated Josh Roberts 7-1, Robert Gomez 7-3 and won a knock-down, drag-out, double hill match versus Sky Woodward (this event’s 2016 champion) to arrive at his winners’ side semifinal matchup with a 35-10 aggregate score and having given up an exact average of two racks per match. Kiamco squared off in his winners’ side semifinal against a very familiar opponent, Francisco Bustamante, who’d sent this event’s 2015 and 2017 champion, Manny Chau to the loss side.

Orcollo sent Oi to the loss side 7-2 and was joined in the hot seat match by Kiamco, who’d defeated Bustamante 7-4. Orcollo and Kiamco played an entertaining double hill hot seat match that eventually sent Kiamco to the semifinals and left Robocop in the hot seat.

On the loss side, Naoyuki Oi drew James Davis, Sr. (known as Strop, because he’s originally from Bastrop, TX), who’d recently defeated two strong opponents in a row to reach him; first Josh Roberts 7-4 and then, Sky Woodward 7-5. Bustamante picked up Roberto Gomez, who’d defeated Junior Jueco 7-1 and Sergio Rivas 7-3 to reach him.

Strop and Oi locked up in a double hill fight, eventually won by Strop. Bustamante joined Strop in the quarterfinals after eliminating Gomez 7-4. Bustamante then sent Davis, Sr. home 7-3 in those quarterfinals.

Those who thought that Bustamante and Kiamco would get into a double hill fight for a shot at Orcollo in the hot seat were disappointed. Kiamco gave up just a single rack and advanced to the finals 7-1 over Bustamante.

One might have been forgiven for believing that with that 7-1 momentum, the final rematch between Kiamco and Orcollo would have been something of an epic struggle. It wasn’t, really. Orcollo shut Kiamco out 7-0 to claim the event title.

Tour directors John Palmore and James Davis, Sr. thanked John and Sue Cielo and their Skinny Bob’s staff for their continued support of this event, to include their hands-on assistance with varied aspects of running the tournament; entries, money management, etc. In addition, noted Palmore, “Kaye Watson is the glue that holds everything together for (Davis) and I. She helps with bracket management and most importantly, that all the the money is correct coming in and going out.” They also thanked event sponsors Simonis, Hanshew Jump Cues and Sleep Inn.

Barretta and Thorpe Wins Highlight Derby City Day Eight

Jennifer Barretta (Photo courtesy of Dave Thomson – Mediumpool.com)

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.
 
DIAMOND 9-BALL CHAMPIONSHIP
 
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 Accu-Stats.com.
 
FRIDAY NIGHT BANKS RING GAME
 
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.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.

Thorpe Downs Hall for Derby One Pocket Title

Billy Thorpe (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
 
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.
 
DIAMOND 9-BALL CHAMPIONSHIP
 
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 Accu-Stats.com
 
FRIDAY NIGHT BANKS RING GAME
 
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.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.
 
 
 

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.

“Robocop” Robs Banks at Derby City Classic

Dennis Orcollo (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 BANK POOL CHAMPIONSHIP
 
Short Rack. Race to 3.
 
451 began. At last accounting, 1.
 
 “Robocop” Robs Banks!
 
That’s all there is to say. Dennis Orcollo robbed everyone who dared approach his table. He was unbeaten through a field of 451. He never needed his buy-back option to secure his 2nd Diamond Derby City Classic Championship.
 
There were 3 left. Dennis, Billy, and that spunky kid form Detroit we introduced to you yesterday, Evan Lunda. We can also add humble and calm under pressure to his description.
 
These characteristics, perhaps, attributed to Evan having a helluva tourney. In closing the day, he had given Filler his first loss and thwarted last year’s runner-up Omar Al Shaheen’s aspirations.
 
It was Billy who had finally handed Evan his first loss.
 
Billy’s journey included eliminating three time Champion John Brumback, And Filler, Shaw, Shane and Alex, just to name few.
 
So there were 3. Evan drew the bye, therefore, Billy had to play Dennis. Dennis had a buy-back so, If Billy won, Dennis would use that option while Billy would play Evan. 
 
The winner of that match would then play Dennis for the title. That’s the long version, you know, the result which could keep the Accu-Stats’ video crew up ’til dawn.
 
The short version is, if Dennis would beat Billy, then Evan, he would take the title.
 
And, so it began, race to three for $16k!
 
Billy got an opening. He blasted 4, then nailed the elusive one to take the first rack. 1-0
 
Thorpe was not intimidated. He was in full throttle.
 
Dennis, in Robocop mode, broke and drilled 4, then 1, and it was 1-1
 
Game 3, in almost a repeat performance, Orcollo ran 4, and it was 2-1.
 
Game 4: Dennis ran 3. Billy ran 3 and pocketed a hanger that sent the cue ball, “safe,” near the top rail. Dennis jacked up, aimed, and speared in the re-spotted Cyclop off the short rail. His shape on his fifth required orb proved fatal for Billy. In 40 minutes, Dennis was in the Final.
 
Evan, as he has said, gets, “Fired up competing with the ‘heavy hitters.”  
 
But, this was a whole new ball-game. The environment was new to him: He was, now, on the big stage with the “heat” of Accu-Stats TV lights,  LIVE on a world-wide stream, and of course facing Dennis the Menace…in murder-mode.
 
Frankly, Orcollo wasn’t in quite the same form demonstrated against Billy. None-the-less, he didn’t miss much. Lunda, on the other hand, was off quite a bit. On his tight, short rail banks, he should have been calling triples. He didn’t manage a game. At 3-0, in 37 minutes, it was trophy time.
 
Dennis had obliterated their bank accounts so quickly that they were last seen in search of an ATM! That would be Diamond. Billy got $5,350 and Evan received $8,000 for 2nd. Dennis deposited $16,000 for first!
 
Play continues at NOON Wednesday. 9-Ball is in the mix, too.
 
See it LIVE from the Accu-Stats TV Arena on the DIAMOND 9’ Pro Am. 
 
Visit accu-stats.com
 
DIAMOND ONE POCKET CHAMPIONSHIP
 
365 entries, up 20 from last year!
 
Crafty, and very creative, Corey Deuel kicked off the Accu-Stats TV Arena productions of the Diamond One Pocket Championship by truly manifesting his craft in the craftiest of all pool disciplines, One Pocket.
 
The closing game in his 3-0 annihilation of Dennis Orcollo showed just how creative Corey is. No one knows what he is thinking. To see all the kisses and caroms he articulated, Accu-Stats director Pat Fleming commented, “We had to utilize so many instant replays just to see what he’d done.”
 
Dennis, now down 2-0, had attempted an always tricky carom, back-cut kind of-a-thing, into his pocket. Two balls got in the way of each other and the rack, which should have been his, was wide open.
 
Corey got 5 and, in an attempt at opening a few more balls, his shape was obstructed by an inconsiderate, roaming orb. End of run, no clear shot at his hole. Not for crafty Corey it wasn’t. He decided on caroming a ball off another–that was sitting 2 feet from the pocket! 
 
“He bet the game on that,” was announced from the commentary booth.
 
Never a doubt, he landed perfectly for his last two balls.
 
Deuel had decided that the odds were with him to make that carom, and that he would win the match from there. He was, wisely, all offense.
 
You can be sure we’ll get this DVD. “How’d he do-dat?” 
 
Danny Olson, left the Accu-Stats TV Arena 10 minutes after his one-sided defeat by daunting dualist, 2012 Diamond Southern Classic Banks and One Pocket Champion Justin Hall.
 
Danny was not having his best day. He then faced Jayson Shaw who was empowered by his BIG Foot title.
 
One-Pocket, isn’t Jayson’s game of choice tho,’ he is vastly improved. He doesn’t quite have the “moving” skills yet, but his pin-point position play, compounded by his fire power, compensate admirably.
 
Years ago, when Jayson first entered the DCC One Pocket event, Danny Diliberto had asked him, “Do you play One Pocket?”
 
“No. I’ll just run out,” he answered naively.
 
That’s exactly what he did, to Olson–3 times! In 16 minutes he was registering his win at the tournament desk.
 
Shaw’s self confessed secret is that he’s been working 8 hours a day on his game. Isn’t that a normal day’s work for a fair day’s pay?
 
In addition, he smashed Dee Adkins’, recently mentioned, fastest Bank’s match record by about 10 minutes.
 
Mika wasn’t having his best DCC day either. He’d traded strokes with Tyler Styer to end up at the buy-back booth.
 
Then, speaking of “I’ll just run out,” he got down 2-0 to Joshua Filler. “So I started to grind him, got even, and then made a simple position error to hand him the match!” He’s now practicing 9-Ball.
 
In other action, Tony Chohan didn’t escape Pagulayan’s prowess. Django got Cliff Joyner, who’s gone, and Lunda sent Olinger  to the booth at 3-1.
 
A funny thing happened with that match. Lunda had gotten distracted and was gazing at action on an adjacent table. Olinger was composing a sweet run-out when he ran afoul of an obscuring ball. Making a valiant attempt, he missed. That left 2 balls hanging in both their pockets.
 
Evan made a gallant effort at caroming on one of Alex’s balls while cross-banking the other to combo a ball in his pocket. His soft stroke was too soft and it hung in the lip.
 
“Why did you do that?” Alex questioned. “You were straight in on your ball.”
 
“I didn’t see it,”  laughed laid-back Lunda.
 
Olinger joked, “I thought I was gonna learn a new move.”
 
DIAMOND 9-BALL CHAMPIONSHIP
 
Players meeting was at noon, Wednesday. 
 
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.
 
 

Styer Leads US Contingent at Diamond Las Vegas Open

Tyler Styer (Photo courtesy of Erwin Dionisio)

The Diamond Las Vegas Open begins day three on Friday with just sixteen players still on the winner’s side. 
 
Tyler Styer is one of four remaining American players without a loss. Styer will face Chinese Taipei’s Kun Lin Wu on Friday evening.  Wu already has wins over Shane Van Boening, Jung-Lin Chang and Ralf Souquet in this event, but Styer will be looking to bring that winning streak to an end. 
 
Other winner’s side matches on Friday are 
 
Niels Feijen vs Alex Pagulayan
Eklent Kaci vs Corey Deuel
Omar Al Shaheen vs Carlos Ariel Castro
Raymund Faraon vs Jeffrey Ignacio
Justin Hall vs Mieszko Fortunski
Maximilian Lechner vs Skyler Woodward
Ko Ping-Chung vs Nguyen Phuc Long
 
Friday will also see a slew of eliminations as the field is narrowed to just 32 players by day’s end, and the left side of the board is filled with top talent. James Aranas, Van Boening, Souquet, Roberto Gomez, Ko Pin-Yi, Alex Kazakis, Carlo Biado, Albin Ouschan, Thorsten Hohmann, Joshua Filler and Francisco Bustamante are just a few of the players still fighting it out with one loss in this event. 
 
Fans who can’t make it to the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas to watch this event in person, can follow all of the action with online brackets at https://www.ctsondemand.com and free streaming coverage of select matches at https://www.youtube.com/user/csipool

Hall ‘catches a (loss-side) gear’ and wins Sunshine Pro Am stop with a shutout final

(l to r): Anthony Meglino, Jeremy Bell, Justin Hall & Brewlands’ owner, Larry Walthall

It seemed like such an unlikely scenario, to the point of being almost of unheard of, that we had to double check.
 
In the brackets detailing the results of Stop #4 on the Sunshine State Pro Am Tour on the weekend of May 11-12, there was reportedly a shutout in the final match. Such designations, when they show up on a posted bracket, are often ‘code’ for a circumstance in which the two finalists agree to split the top prizes, and since there is no way to indicate this on a tournament bracket, tour representatives will often write in a shutout score or a double hill score.
 
Not this time.
 
According to tour directors Janene Phillips and Bobby Garza, Justin Hall ‘caught a gear’ during his first loss-side match and went, like the proverbial ‘hot knife through butter,’ through three loss-side matches and then shut out hot seat occupant, Jeremy Bell to capture the event title. The $1,350-added event drew 64 entrants to Brewlands in North Lakeland (Tampa), FL.
 
It was also reported in the same posted bracket that the top finishing female in the event was Jeanette Lee and as that, too, seemed a little unlikely, we double-checked, assuming we would discover that another woman who happened to have the same name as the well-known female pool champion had finished in the four-way tie for 13th place. But no, it was THE Jeanette Lee, who was sent to the loss side in the second round of play by Faheem Zia and after a single win on the loss side, ran into Tommy Kennedy, who defeated her in a double hill battle.
 
Though Hall may have ‘caught the gear’ that propelled him into the finals when he arrived on the loss side, he was showing evidence of a solid performance early. He won his first two matches, against Marvin Limas and Will Smith (not the actor) 7-1. Stephanie Mitchell gave him a run for his money, but fell 7-5. Hall then defeated Robert Batson 7-2 to draw Bell for the first time in a winners’ side semifinal. He arrived at the winners’ side semifinal with a 75.67% game-winning percentage (28-9); a touch better than winning three out of every four games he’d played.
 
Bell, in the meantime, arrived at that winners’ side semifinal with a 66% winning percentage (28-14). At the other end of the bracket, Anthony Meglino was making his way to the hot seat and arrived at his winners’ side semifinal with a 65% winning percentage (28-15). He got by Angel Alvardo and Bobby Garza, both 7-4 before running into Tommy Kennedy, who battled  him to double hill, before giving way. A 7-1 victory over Faheem Zia put Meglino in the other winners’ side semifinal against Shannon Fitch.
 
Bell sent Hall to the loss side 7-3, as Meglino and Fitch locked up in a double hill fight that eventually put Meglino in the hot seat match against Bell. Meglino ended up on the wrong side of this third double hill match and headed for the semifinals.
 
On the loss side, Fitch picked up Serrano Serafin, who’d defeated Robert Batson, double hill, and Mike Xiarhos, Sr. 5-1 to reach him. Xiarhos had previously eliminated Kennedy in a double hill match. Hall drew Faheem Zia, who’d survived a double hill fight against Nathan Rose and eliminated Che Mrvos 5-3.
 
Fitch shut Serafin out and advanced to the quarterfinals. Hall, in the meantime, was digging himself a hole with Zia on the hill at 4-0. Hall stopped digging and ‘caught the gear’ at that point. Over the next 27 games, Hall would give up only three racks. He chalked up five against Zia and moved into the quarterfinals against Fitch.
 
Hall gave up a single rack to Fitch in those quarterfinals and then downed Meglino 5-2 in the semifinals. In the interim between meeting Bell for the first time and his eventual victory over him in the finals, Hall’s winning percentage had dropped by about five points to 70% (55-23), but it was more than enough to claim the event title.
 
Tour directors Janene Phillips and Bobby Garza thanked the owner, Larry Walthall and his Brewlands staff for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Predator Cues, Cyclops Balls, Stitch It To Me Embroidery, USA Pool League and AZBilliards. The next stop on the Sunshine State Pro Am Tour, scheduled for June 22-23, will be hosted by Strokers in Palm Harbor, FL.