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Van Boening double dips Appleton to claim Andy Mercer Memorial in Vegas

Shane Van Boening

Posting its results on-line, organizers of the 2014 Andy Mercer Memorial at Rum Runners in Las Vegas, opted for a bit of humor. The event's winner, Shane Van Boening, was declared to be its Supreme Champion, while runner-up Darren Appleton was Worthy Adversary. Semifinalist Bernardo Chavez was granted the title of Maybe Next Time.
While name recognition can be an unreliable way to predict tournament outcomes (as evidenced by Mercer over Duke in the on-going NCAA basketball tournament), Van Boening and Appleton seemed destined to meet in this $3,700-added (guaranteed) tournament that drew 64 entrants to Vegas on the weekend of March 21-23. While the field had its share of other 'names' like the Dominguez family (Ernesto and Oscar), Ozzy Reynolds and Jason Klatt, it was more clearly represented by Maybe Next Time; Bernardo Chavez hasn't (to our knowledge) ever finished higher than seventh since his name started to appear on payout lists, dating back to 2007. In this tournament, though, he challenged Appleton for the hot seat, and had the misfortune of facing Van Boening in the semifinals.
Appleton's path to the event victory went through Joe Canella, Sal Butera, Jim Carmona, and Tres Kane before coming up against Jason Klatt in a winners' side semifinal. Klatt had just sent (in order) Ozzy Reynolds and Van Boening to the loss side. Chavez, in the meantime, had gotten by Roger Bordley, Ramin Bahktiari, Jimmy Moore and Fach Garcia and picked up Oscar Dominguez in the other winners' side semifinal. Appleton sent Klatt over, while Chavez was busy doing likewise to Dominguez. Appleton gained the hot seat over Chavez and sat in it, waiting on Van Boening.
Van Boening opened his loss-side proceedings with a victory over Brian Parks, followed it by defeating Bordley and drew Dominguez (Oscar), as a result. Klatt came over to face Walter Glass, who'd eliminated Garcia and the other Dominguez (Ernesto). Klatt and Van Boening advanced to a quarterfinal re-match, won by Van Boening, who then ended Chavez' hopes for a re-match against Appleton. Chavez would go home with almost as much prize money for this one event than he's reported to have earned at the tables over the last four years. 
Destiny's hand played out and the two winners of the last four US Open 9-Ball Championships (Appleton in 2010 and 2011, Van Boening in 2012 and 2013) met in a true double elimination final. Van Boening took both sets to claim the event title.