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

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

Derby City Classic XX, January 19-27, 2018
 
LIVE from the Horseshoe Southern Indiana Casino, Elizabeth, IN
 
DCC ONE POCKET CHAMPIONSHIP
 
393 entrants have been depleted to 9.
 
Shannon Daulton is the man with the momentum. By Round 11, he had a buy-back and had gotten a bye! 
 
At press time, those 9 players were still in action.
 
Bustamante and Bergman, who like Daulton is undefeated, were dueling in the Accu-Stats TV Arena. Chohan was jousting with Orcollo, as was Jeff DeLuna with Justin Hall. Billy Thorpe was contending with Warren Kiamco who had given Bustey his first loss by dispensing a blistering 8-and-out and 9-and-out!
 
Earlier, like in a flashback, Billy Thorpe and Alex Pagulayan had clashed in the TV pit in a near repeat performance of last year’s finals.
 
Alex, drained, then had to fade his 3-0 defeat as he entered into combat with Kiamko who calmly put him out of his misery.
 
Joshua Oneal waved bye-bye to Brumback who had been sent to buy back by Orcollo. Dennis had been given his first loss by the unshakable Billy Thorpe.
 
Jayson Shaw put a dent in Deuel’s hopes before Orcullo disposed of him. DeLuna had leveled Corey’s first loss.
 
Justin Hall, while quietly slipping up the ranks, ended Alcano’s aspirations as Ronnie had done to newly inducted One Pocket Hall of Fame member, Jeremy Jones.
 
BIG Foot Champion Roberto Gomez managed John Schmidt’s exit strategy as Bergman did for both Van Boening and Joey Gray.
 
Justin Hall delivered Kiamco to the buy-back booth as Bustey had to Tony Chohan.
 
It’s around this time that the All-Around Championship points enter into the equation. They are, currently, too close to tell, yet, with his 120 for first in Bank Pool, Corey remains a contender.
 
Due to scheduling delays created by the sheer volume of competitors, the Semis and Finals originally planned for Thursday evening will be broadcast on Friday.
 
Visit Accu-Stats.com for match times.
 
DCC BANKS RING GAME
 
The highly entertaining, 6 players, “all-in,” action packed short-rack Bank game, hosted by banking living legend, Truman Hogue, is not to be missed. Schedule permitting, the festivities should begin around 8 pm Friday..
 
DCC 9-BALL CHAMPIONSHIP
 
363 entries are well underway and, with no player draws of distinction, we begin with a road story.
 
When there are 363 players from far and wide, you can’t know them all. There lies the caveat: Not knowing your opponent can cause confusion, just ask, Dan Koste.
 
Tony Chohan walked over to his designated table and presumed that the player practicing was his match.
 
“It’s you and me,” he said.
 
When Tony was ahead around 7-2, Josh Roberts approached the table. Well-aware of who Chohan was, he inquired of his opponent, “Are you Dan Koste?”
 
“I am,” Dan replied. “Well, you are supposed to be playing me.”
 
“Oh,” said Dan, secretly relieved as he pondered the score beads. Tony, always a gentleman, quietly excused himself from the match. Roberts proceeded to administer similar punishment as Chohan.
 
6 women are in contention, including World Champions Karen Corr and Loree Jon Hasson, pro tour players Allison Fisher, Kelly Isaac, Stacy Sinclair and, the recently wed Mrs. Pia Filler: Congratulations to her and Josh on tying the knot just after the Mosconi Cup.
 
Other than that, there is not much to report. Friday and Saturday will be jam-packed.
 
LIVE 9-Ball Play continues at Accu-Stats.com
 
Accu-Stats thanks its Arena Sponsors: Diamond Billiards, Simonis Cloth, Cyclop Balls, Lucasi Custom, MEZZ Cues, McDermott Cues, National Billiard Academy, and Samsara Cues
 
The George Fels Memorial Straight Pool Challenge And, after 4 full days of scrambling for tables, waiting patiently for someone to miss, the top 8 high-runs recorded were:
 
Dennis Orcollo, 227, who tied Jayson Shaw’s Historical record.
John Schmidt, 183
Ruslan Chinakhov, 182
Marek Kudik 155
Maksim Dudanets, 127
Miesko Fortunski,125
Konrad Juszczyszyn, 118
Jayson Shaw, 110.
 
Unfortunately, as the top 8 high-run finishers were still in both the One Pocket and 9-Ball events, it was deemed impossible to schedule the hours it would have taken to complete the event.
 
The 8 players opted to split the $22.300 tournament prize money.
 
ONE POCKET HALL OF FAME DINNER
 
On Wednesday, Jan 24th, Jeremy Jones and the late Eugene “Clem” Metz were honored for their propagation of the chess game of pool, One Pocket.
 
There are no more opposite personalities than the precocious and boisterous, living legend Keith McCready and the more subdued and suave Charles “Country” Martin. Both, deservedly, were honored with the “Lifetime Pool in Action Award!
 
One Pocket Hall of Famers Shannon Daulton and Scott Frost entertained the sold-out crowd with their personal encounters with the honorees as they anchored the evening’s festivities.
 
1998 One Pocket Champion Jeremy Jones, proved he was more than a “mover” when, in 2003, he captured the US Open 9-Ball Championships and earned membership on the Mosconi Cup’s Team America.
 
Jeremy praised the infamous Jersey Red as his primary mentor and thanked Johnny Archer for guiding him to compete on the pro tour. “If you want to improve, that’s where you need to be,” Johnny advised. Jones took the journey and, with his acquired knowledge of both action and tournament play, became one of the game’s great communicators.
 
Pat Fleming, whom Jeremy also acknowledged as inspiration, was aware of Jeremy’s One Pocket prowess and invited him to compete in the 2016 Accu-Stats “Make It Happen” One Pocket Invitational.
 
During conversation, Fleming observing “Double J”’s communication skills invited him into the booth. His clearly stated concepts of pool’s most abstruse discipline determined that he return to commentate with Danny Diliberto on the 2017 “Make It Happen” 8-Ball and 14.1 Invitationals. Jeremy’s contribution to the Accu-Stats Vimeo On Demand series is more than commentary, it’s instruction.
 
Jeremy ended his stint at the podium by recalling a simple statement that had a lifetime effect. While under the tutelage of Jersey Red, Jones committed a one pocket cardinal sin, he had lost concentration and scratched. “Scratched?” said Red, “One time, I didn’t scratch for 8 years!” That’s a good mentor.
 
On a more somber moment, Mr. Incardona’s son Anthony’s untimely passing was honored by a minute of silence.
 
One Pocket Hall of Fame creator Steve Booth, always delving into history for the most deserving inductees, discovered Charles “Country” Martin.
 
His smooth demeanor, compounded by sartorial elegance allowed “Country” to gain trust wherever he went. Billy Incardona had heard many a tail of the impeccably dressed, spit-polished shoes, Italian knit sweater swagger of the handsome Martin.
 
“He was perhaps the smartest gambler ever. His six-figure wins were legendary. Country was clearly one of pool’s very special characters.”
 
He didn’t always play. He, for example, discovered Cisero Murphy and backed him on the road.
 
Martin was more than a gambler, he was a winner. Who else would invest the money made wagering and put his daughter, Sonya, through college.
 
“My father was my hero,” beamed Sonya.
 
Eugene “Clem” Metz, born in 1931, was renowned as one of the most patient safety players on the planet. Referring to the new breed of brash, like Ronnie Allen, he asserted he would “…stick all those hustlers in the shit house.”
 
Billy Incardona was invited to comment, “I didn’t know him too well but the word was that he was considered the best player in the world.”
 
Booth had then introduced Metz’ son Donny who thanked the room for honoring his father. “My dad always stated that,”You don’t have to be the best player, you just have to be the best game maker.”
 
Eddie Taylor, considered to be the greatest bank player ever, always left broke.
 
Game making is everything.
 
Let’s hear what McCready has to say.
 
“You always have to find a way to get the money.”
 
From about 10 years old, that was what it was all about from him. 
 
Danny DiLiberto told the story of when one of the few days he was in school, for security, Keith asked the gym teacher to hold some money for him. The wad would have choked the proverbial horse. The story goes that they thought he was a drug dealer and he never went back.
 
Others, realizing his talent, took him on the road when he was 15. He, soon, fell into the improvised post “Hustler,” drink on, drug out, 70’s culture.
 
Sure, he attended tournaments but rarely entered. He went there to make games.
 
“You always have to find a way to get the money.”
 
He’s reputed to have matched up with Fats. They are cut from the same cloth: Hold their attention ’til you hold their money; Never let them think that you took it, make them feel that they gave it to you.
 
He was immortalized in The Color of Money with his line, “It’s like a nightmare, isn’t it.”
 
Taking the podium, Mary Kenniston shared when, in her pool room in Vegas, “He’d bring in these cute girls and tell them he was a movie star.” She’d put on the movie and propagate the myth.
 
By the 90s, battered and bruised by drugs and booze, he fell off the radar.
 
Rumor had it that he met a girl.
 
He resurfaced on Facebook. He maxed out at 5,000 “friends.” It’s no surprise, really: Keith McCready–social media mogul.
 
And here he is, now 60, honored as one of the greatest game makers of all time.
 
Maybe, there’s an extra C in Keith’s surname. Maybe, it should be McREADY. Never known to shy away from action, last night from the altar, he woofed at anyone in the building to step up. “I’m ready. Are you?
 
“I can look at the guys in here right now, I got games for all of them.
 
“I have my millionaire lawyer with me. He has told me to go right ahead.”
 
Tuning in to a more serious note, Keith acknowledged that he had a really good woman behind him, ”And, without her, I might not even be here, right now.”
 
McCready’s life became a veritable disaster. To survive, he certainly had to clean up his act. “I’ve been drug-free for 13 years. I quit smoking 4 1/2 years ago,” he paused and reflected fondly, “And it’s all because of her.”
 
Keith continued that in life there were always four or five guys that don’t really agree with what you do then, you have the 95 guys who love you like a brother so, I’m so happy to be here and thank you all for being here.”
 
Nothing has changed, “I got about 18 more hours here and, me and my big lawyer here, we’re ready. So get it together!”
 
He then signed autographs and reminisced with old friends who made the trip just to be with him. He also made a lot of new ones before wandering off into the night.

A Brief History of the Derby City Classic

Dennis Orcollo danced through the field last year (Photo courtesy of Dave Thomson – Mediumpool.com)

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

Davis wins third straight NC State 8-Ball Championship

Mike Davis, Jr.

If state pool championships are the measurement device, then Mike Davis is the best pool player in North Carolina. He owns back-to-back titles in the state’s 9-Ball Championships and on the weekend of November 4-5, he chalked up his third straight NC State 8-Ball title.
 
Say what you will about competing in a small field, Davis locked up his third 8-Ball title by defeating one of the game’s better known veterans, Mark Tademy, cited by The Hyper Texts (http://www.thehypertexts.com) as one of a list of “unknown monster players who could play with anyone on a given day.” A little over 10 years ago (2006), Davis and Tademy were among a  world-wide cast of the best in the International Pool Tour’s (IPT) North American Open Championship in Las Vegas. Finishing in the tie for 61st, and pocketing $5K, Tademy was in tied company with (among others) Keith McCready, Mike Sigel, George “Ginky” Sansouci, Shannon Daulton, Allison Fisher, Loree Jon Hasson, Jeremy Jones, Allen Hopkins and Gerda Hofstatter. Davis, who finished 121st, and pocketed $2K, was in tied company with (among others) Grady Mathews, Jose Parica, Mike Massey, Tommy Kennedy, Warren Kiamco, Ewa Mataya Laurance, Tony Robles, Shane Van Boening, Karen Corr, and Billy Incardona.
 
And so, the hot seat and finals of the 2017 NC State 8-Ball Championships, held under the auspices of the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour, featured two of the sport’s more prominent competitors; one (Tademy), a little more old-school than the other (Davis). The $300-added event drew 23 entrants to Brown’s Billiards in Raleigh, NC. It should be noted that the weekend of November 4-5 played host to at least two other major 8-Ball Tournaments, which are about as rare as teenagers who don’t play video games – NYC’s BCA-sanctioned 8-Ball Championships, which drew 241 entrants (with some duplication over six separate events) and Maryland State’s 8-Ball Championships, which drew a full field of 128 entrants. North Carolina appeared to have drawn the ‘short straw’ on available 8-ball competitors.
 
The tournament did, however, draw two marquee players into its final two matches. Davis and Tademy met first in the hot seat match, once Davis had sent Jim Lewis to the loss side 7-3 in one winners’ side semifinal and Tademy had dispatched former NC State 9-Ball Champion Jeff Abernathy 7-4 in the other one. Davis claimed the hot seat 7-3 over Tademy and waited for round two.
 
On the loss side, Abernathy picked up Eddie Little, who’d gotten by Kenny Daughtrey 7-3 and Steve Page 7-4. Lewis drew Joshua Padron (winner of the 2016 Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour Championships this past January), who’d defeated Brown’s Billiards’ owner Dave Huffman 7-2 and Tyler Chappell 7-5.
 
Little and Padron eliminated winners’ side semifinalists Abernathy and Lewis, respectively; Little, 7-4 over Abernathy and Padron, 7-3 over Lewis. Little dropped Padron 7-5 in the quarterfinals that followed, before having his two-match, loss-side run ended by Tademy 7-3 in the semifinals.
The two veterans, Davis and Tademy, fought back and forth in the early going of the finals to a 5-5 tie. Davis, though, took command at that point and chalked up the next four in a row to win it and claim his third straight NC State 8-Ball title.
 
Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked Brown’s Billiards’ owner Dave Huffman and his staff for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues, Delta 13 Racks, AZBilliards and Professor Q Ball. The next stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for November 11-12, will be a $1,000-added event, hosted by Mr. Cues II in Atlanta, GA.

The Pearl Returns To The Winners Circle

Earl Strickland (Photo courtesy of poolactiontv.com)

This weekend, the Bank Shot Bar & Grill in Laurel, MD was the venue for the Maryland State 10-Ball Bar Table Championship. A full field of 128 players, including such well-known names as Mike Davis, Matt Krah, Earl Strickland, Ryan McCreesh, Bill Stephen, Shaun Wilkie, Brandon Shuff and Keith McCready ponied up their entries to vie for the title. The format was call shot, alternate break and race to seven.
 
Saturday’s action began with a players auction – James Aranas and Earl Strickland were the top two picks. The draw was completed and they were off!!! At the end of play on Saturday night, the field was whittled down to 48 players.
 
Play began today at noon and by early evening, the tournament was down to the final four on the winners side. Earl Strickland defeated Mike Davis in a hill-hill nailbiter to advance. Wilkie also eked out a 7-6 win over Reymart Lim to become Earl’s opponent in the battle for the hot seat. The hot seat match began with Wilkie leading 6-4. Failing to make a ball on the break in what could be the match, Earl won that game and the next two to go
undefeated into the finals.
 
Meanwhile, on the other side of the chart, James Aranas was getting his revenge against Mike Davis. Mike had earlier sent James To the west side 7-5. This time, it was James who knocked Mike out of the event – leaving him in fourth place. Next victim was Wilkie – the score in that match was 7-3 – leaving Shaun in third place.
 
James’ dreams of taking down the tournament were dashed with a flawless performance by the legendary Strickland. Earl took no prisoners as he roared to a 7-1 victory. Great tournament, James! Congratulations, Earl!
This event wouldn’t have been possible without its sponsors. Thanks again to host site, The Bank Shot Bar & Grill and tournament sponsors On The Hill Productions, Choice Pool League, Sly Custom Cues, Lights Out Billiard Apparel and Joss Cues.
 
PoolActionTV.com was proud to bring our viewers another fine event sponsored by Steve Lomax of Lomax Custom Cues, John Barton of JB Cases, James Hanshew of Hanshew Custom Cues, Mike Durbin of Durbin Custom Cues, Simonis, Aramith, GoPlayPool.com, Kamui and Club Billiards of Wichita, KS.
 
Our next stop is the 2nd Annual Don Coates Memorial with $10,000 added guaranteed. It will be held at Brass Tap & Billiards in Raleigh, NC – August 23-27th. We also have a few two-man events brewing! See you all down the road!!!