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McMinn goes undefeated through 128-entrant field to win 38th Midwest Bar Table Classic

(l to r): Chuck Thomas (owner, John Wayne’s Pub) & Shane McMinn

Ten years ago, when Shane McMinn was in the midst of what was his best (recorded) earnings year at the tables, he won three events; two stops on the Midwest 9-Ball Tour, including the 5th Annual Bobby Wells Memorial and the Oklahoma State 8-Ball Championships. He finished among the top four in 11 of the 13 tournaments in which he cashed that year. The bulk of his recorded earnings that year came from a runner-up finish in a Midwest 9-Ball Tour Ring Game.
 
Throughout most of his career, which began (according to records here at AZ) in 1999, the bulk of his winnings came as a member of the Midwest 9-Ball Tour, in which, since that time, he has cashed in over 35 events. Since 2015, though, he’s only cashed in one stop on the Midwest 9-Ball Tour (July, 2016; he finished in the tie for 5th), as his ‘reach’ has extended to events like (among others) the Texas Open 10-Ball Championship (runner-up in February last year), the Derby City and Music City Classics, the Space City Open, and the US Bar Box 9-Ball Championships in August, 2016, when he was runner-up to Justin Bergman.
 
McMinn and Bergman met up again this past weekend (March 31-April 1) in another final; this time, at the 38th Annual Midwest Bar Table Classic, where, in the end, McMinn survived to go undefeated and capture the event title. The $5,000-added event drew a full field of 128 entrants to John Wayne’s Pub in Indianapolis, IN.
 
McMinn and Bergman played twice in this one. They first met in a winners’ side semifinal, while Shane Winters and Louis Demarco met up in the other one. McMinn downed Bergman 9-7 and in the hot seat match, met up with Winters, who’d sent DeMarco to the loss side 9-5. McMinn grabbed the hot seat 9-6 over Winters, and waited for Bergman to complete his three-match, loss-side trek back to the finals.
 
On the loss side, a lot of familiar Midwest (and elsewhere) faces lurked for a shot at this title, including, but not restricted to competitors like Alex Olinger, Ike Runnels, Dave Grau, and Molly Bontrager. While each of those four cashed in the event, none of them made it past the four-way tie for 13th. Among the event’s final 12, however, were (among others) Dennis Hatch, Shannon Murphy, and Jason Klatt. Bergman came over from the winners’ side final four, and drew Hatch, who’d eliminated Murphy 7-4 and Klatt, double hill, to reach him. DeMarco picked up Josh Franklin, who’d just finished winning two straight double hill matches against Taylor Anderson and DaWayne Pearson.
 
By identical 7-5 scores, Bergman and DeMarco advanced to the quarterfinals over Hatch and Franklin. Bergman earned himself a second shot at McMinn with two more 7-5 victories; over DeMarco in the quarterfinals, and Winters, in the semifinals. McMinn, though, was not to be denied. He took the opening (and only) set of a true double elimination final to claim the event title. 
Tour director John Klotz thanked John Wayne’s Pub’s owner, Chuck Thomas and his staff for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Bob Meucci and Chris Lawson of Muecci Cues, Accu-Rack, Simonis Cloth, Diamond Tables, and CueStix.com.

Derby City Classic Rolls Through Day Three

Carlo Biado

BIGFOOT Challenge Updates:

Skyler Woodward vs. Lee Vann Corteza kicked off the opening racks around 1pm. As every cue swinger of this calibre knows, that’s way too early for men of action. 1pm is about the appropriate time for a leisurely breakfast, followed by a nap: Pool players need their rest.

Sure enough, it took about 8 racks before the cobwebs were shaken off their strokes. Although Sky had his chances, by mid-match Lee Vann’s lead was comfortable enough to keep him from gaining any momentum. Woodward was held at 7.

Orcollo vs, Shaw. The railbirds had figured that the winner of this match was the favorite to win the tournament, although the upcoming contenders would have something to say about that! It took experimentation for Shaw’s signature playing-shape-on-the-one in the upper corner pocket to come into focus. Dennis was determined to show Shaw that his prior performance was yesterday, this was today. They battled back and forth until the business end of the set when Orcollo inexplicably hooked himself. Was it pressure, an aging lapse in concentration? Either way, a huge error. Instead of tying the match at 8, it was 9-7 Shaw.…and, breaking. His one ball, now tamed, was responding. He had total control of the table and Dennis’ future in the tournament. 11-7, Shaw!

BIG foot maybe a beast but Shaw is a monster. He’s fearless; brimming with confidence. His swagger around the table show’s that he feels invincible. No player, or shot, intimidates him. We’ll see how “Eagle Eye” holds up as he closes in on the $16K first prize.

Hohmann vs. Kazakis. Neither player (remember Alex had beaten Thorsten to take the Kremlin Cup) delivered the same fire power of their previous matches. Kazakis, still slow and deliberate, used more extension on the 40 second Accu-Stats’ shot clock than any other player in history. “I am not going to rush,” he explained. “If I have the time, I will use it. I want to know that I am going to make the shot before I shoot.” The quick fired, calorie burning Toasty wasn’t buying in to any “psychology” move from Kazakis, yet managed only 7 games. He later criticized, “I played like a donkey.”

Gorst vs. Biado: It looked like the young Russian gun was going to be held at around 4 when Biado, at 8, missed a makeable 9-Ball. That slip cost Carlo 4 racks as Fedor broke and ran the next rack and won their safety exchanges until they were tied at 8. It was then the fight for the finish caused the visible nervousness of both players to err. Biado reflected, “Playing on a 9 foot, I can think, I’ll make this ball 100% of the time. Playing on BIG Foot, maybe, it’s 50-60% of the time.” He did get to the hill first but Fedor wasn’t done yet. Showing a heart of cold emotionless, he summoned the courage to clamber back and they were soon tied at 10. Coincidently, so were their Accu-Stats’ TPAs; .821!

A safety battle ensued. With Biado getting the better of it, the usually fast paced competitor consciously slowed down his stroke and his breathing. Who knows what his  his heartbeat was doing. Facing a very missable, long, down the length of the rail 10-Ball, he deliberately walked to his chair to take a deep drag on his water bottle. Cooled, calm, and very collected, he casually strolled back to the table and delivered the case 10-Ball snugly into the tight, pro-cut pocket. Jubilant, he jumped in the air, like he’d won the tournament. Relieved, He later related, “That ball earned me 4 thousand dollars. If I missed it, it cost me a thousand!” Onward to the semi’s. Money is a great motivator. Maybe, he’ll make more.

Play continues LIVE from the Accu-Stats Arena:

1:30pm: Lee Vann Corteza vs. Jayson Shaw
4pm: Alex Kazakis vs Carlo Biado
9-PM: The Finals

Don’t miss a stroke at accu-stats.com.

The DCC Bank Pool Championships

With 22 players in heated rivalry, Dennis Hatch, Warren Kiamko, Chris Melling, Larry Nevel, “Piggy banks” Rogers, Ike Runnels, and Billy Thorpe are still undefeated. Tony Chohan eliminated Scott Frost, Shannon Murphy sent Shannon Daulton to concentrate on 1-Pocket and, as did Ike Runnels with Danny Smith.

Bank Pool continues at 5:30 pm

Don’t forget there’s more disciplines to come:

The DCC One Pocket Championships is underway with 347 players.

The George Fels Memorial Straight Pool Challenge is streaming at billiardnet.tv

Dennis Orcollo got the annual event off to a rocketing start with the high-run of the day of 198. Shaw is fast on his heels with a 168, Taiwan’s Li Wen Lo: 138, Johann Chua: 115; Thorsten Hohmann, 112; Lee Vann Corteza, 105; John Schmidt, 98; Alex Pagulayan, 91. The 14.1 event runs thru the week as the 8 with the highest runs face off in single elimination. If scheduling permits, Accu-Stats will stream, at least, the finals.

The DCC 9-Ball Championships commences Wednesday.

BANKS RING GAME, on the Accu-Stats screen on Friday the 27th, will have the winner-take-all battle for the cash as, typically, the last 2 are usually banking for near a thousand a ball.

Don’t miss a stroke at accu-stats.com

Accu-Stats thanks its Arena Sponsors: Diamond Billiards, Simonis Cloth, Cyclop Balls, Cue and Case, MEZZ Cues, McDermott Cues, National Billiard Academy, OB Cues, and Samsara Cues.

 

Photography Courtesy of David Thomson, MediumPool.com

 

Banks and Bigfoot Progress at DCC

Fedor Gorst

Derby City Classic XIX, January 20-28, 2017

Diamond BIG Foot Challenge
 

As has been mentioned in the past, BIG Foot is a beast. Especially, if you’ve had only a few hours prior practice time on it. Or the Diamond Pro Cut pockets that were once forgiving are now tightening up as the Simonis 860 cloth gets broken in. There were more balls jawed today than yesterday which certainly affected player confidence and how soon they could warm to the conditions which, ultimately, could lower their Accu-Stats TPA score.
 
In Thorsten Hohmann’s opening bout with 2015 US Open finalist Karl Boyes, “Toasty” certainly acclimatized quicker then Karl who was playing catch up from the get go. Neither player had competed on BIG Foot before tho,’ within a few games Hohmann was running out like he would on a 9 foot. His highest TPA was a very respectable .943. It lowered a little to .931 before Karl succumbed at 11-6.
 
Up next was Alex Pagulayan against the second half of the Greek contingent, the somewhat unknown Alex Kazakis.
 
Altho,’ slow and deliberate, Kazakis showed considerable promise as he broke and ran before getting out of line on the 9. The Lion was left an uncomfortably long opening shot on the 10. The Cyclop orb bit into the jaw and was spat out to leave the Greek a one – nil lead. Kazakis then broke and ran the next 4 racks!
 
Alex P was unusually quiet. He got a look at a ball but, as position was difficult, his inning didn’t last long. 6-0. Kazakis then ran two more racks: 8-0 with a TPA of .949. His pace began to quicken yet, was still nowhere near Alex’s normal speed. A back and forth rack gave Alex a look at a hook, Tho,’ cold, not just from sitting but also from the powerful a/c blowing on his back, he kicked it so well, the ball sped to the pocket to allow him  his first rack; 8-1. Kazakis was soon back at the table: 9-1, and a dry break.
 
The closer Kazakis got the finish line, the harder it got to close. Alex mustered 5 more wins before Kazakis got on the hill. Then, in true championship style, he broke and ran the last rack. Neither Alex, nor the audience, knew what just hit them. This unknown quantity had shown up on these shores and taken total control of the match from its onset. Was this pulverizing of Pagulayan an upset? After closer inquiry, not quite.
 
Kazakis, hailing from Athens, was 25. He’d gotten 2nd on a couple of Euro Tour events when falling to Mosconi Cup teammates Niels Feijen and Mark Gray. He was a both a recent European 10-Ball Champion and the winner of Moscow’s Kremlin Cup. There he beat Thorsten Hohmann.
 
Here, he also avenged Shaw’s pounding of Ekonomoupoulis.
 
Next, in the line of fire, was a 16 year old. Fedor Gorst, an amiable, Russian teenage prodigy who has taken pool very seriously. He was smitten so severely, by 10, he’d asked his parents to pay for a personal coach. He wanted to know more.
 
Since then, he’s achievements include taking two European Junior Championship titles, one in 14.1 and one in 10-Ball. He won his first Pro event at the Lamia Open 9-Ball Championship in Greece last year.
 
Now, he’s in the twilight world of Derby City BIG Foot, with an hours practice on it, and his opponent is Darren Appleton. Fade that with the additional pressure of the worldwide Accu-Stats audience.
 
Appleton opened quite well and soon attained a comfortable 4-1 lead before the young Muscovite made his move. Ahead 7-4 Darren got stuck. Seeing Appleton falter, Fedor lunged and led for most of the remainder of the match.
 
Physically, and emotionally, Darren was visibly cold. He had donned another top to beat the chill of the arena’s over-amped a/c. He was offered opportunity at 9-10. Appleton applied himself and got to the hill. Again, he had control of the table, and the match, but it wasn’t to be. He just couldn’t muster the fire, or will, power to complete the deal. The youngster pounced and ran an admirable closing rack to add another notch to his belt.
 
Ironically, the player he’d beaten, to get to the quarters, in Lamia was Appleton.
 
Maybe, it was the temperature of the arena as neither Biado nor Chinahov could find the heat of their A game, either.
 
Carlo is a merciless Filipino easily capable of an 8 pack in 9-Ball who revels in high stakes action. Ruslan is a dedicated Russian devotee of the game who thrives on competition in any discipline. Remember that he had also beaten Jayson Shaw in the George Fels 14.1 Finals in 2015.
 
When Biado got ahead 9-5, death looked imminent for Ruslan. But, Carlo couldn’t close. In a last ditch effort, Chinahov managed to clamber to 8 before Biado put the match to bed.
 
The good news is that Ruslan won’t have to play Fedor, his fellow Russian friend. Biado will.
 
Matches continue on Sunday:
 
1pm: Skyler Woodward meets Lee Vann Corteza
3:30: Dennis Orcollo vs. Jayson Shaw
7pm: Thorsten Hohmann vs. Alex Kazakis
9:30: Fedor Gorst vs Carlo Biado
 
It’s all LIVE from the Accu-Stats Arena. Don’t miss a stroke at accu-stats.com.
 
The DCC Bank Pool Championships
 
In search of his 4th title, 2016 DCC Bank Pool Champion, John Brumback, drew DCC 2013, #3, Shannon Murphy in reputedly one of the best banks matches ever played. As the word spread, about 150 spectators huddled along the rail sweating it along with them.
 
In the race to 3, each player had missed only one ball. Brumback had the lead at 2-1 when Shannon tied it at 2…and broke the deciding rack, dry. John ran 5 and out!
 
He later reported, “I was so deep in the zone that I didn’t even know I’d won. I was walking to shoot the next ball when Shannon stood up and took my hand. That’s when It sank in.” Now that, for those of you who strive for it, is playing in the zone.
 
Shane Van Boening had an interesting encounter with Taiwan’s Li Wen Lo. Tied at 2, Shane was in search of one last ball. Li Wen would have none of it. He had the remaining 5 balls on the table tied up so tight that Shane, rarely a safety player, was showing signs of frustration as they nudged balls, safe, into the shelf of the pocket. Shane doesn’t like not pocketing balls. At last, Lo let one leak. Van Boening closed the door with a very tasty 4 railer. Even Lo had to smile.
 
Those 435 entrants are now down to 92–How quickly they crumble.
 
Carlo Biado was shaken when 73 year old banking veteran Jim Fulcher showed him the door. Also eliminated, Corey Deuel by Tony Chohan, Pagulayan by Shannon Daulton, Efren by the dynamic Billy Thorpe. Nemesis Cliff Joyner had previously sent Efren to buy back tho,’ sadly, he is, reportedly, under the weather. 
 
Appleton, Bergman, Bustamante, Chinahov, Hatch, Kiamko, Murphy, Larry Nevel, Glenn “Piggy Banks” Rogers, Ike Runnels, Rob Saez, Shaw, Danny Smith, to name some of the better known players, are safely into round 7.
 
Don’t forget there’s more disciplines to come:
 
The DCC One Pocket Championships commences Sunday afternoon.
 
The George Fels Memorial Straight Pool Challenge begins streaming on Sunday at billiardsnet.tv
 
The 14.1 event runs thru the week as the 8 with the highest runs face off in single elimination. If scheduling permits, Accu-Stats will stream, at least, the finals.
 
The DCC 9-Ball Championships commences Wednesday.
 
BANKS RING GAME, on the Accu-Stats screen on Friday the 27th, will have the winner-take-all battle for the cash as, typically, the last 2 are usually banking for near a thousand a ball.
 
Don’t miss a stroke at accu-stats.com
 
Accu-Stats thanks its Arena Sponsors: Diamond Billiards, Simonis Cloth, Cyclop Balls, Cue and Case, MEZZ Cues, McDermott Cues, National Billiard Academy, OB Cues, and Samsara Cues.
 


Photography Courtesy of David Thomson, MediumPool.com

A pair of Mikes win 8-ball/9-ball events on Great Southern Billiard Tour

Shannon Daulton, Mike Grooms, Shannon Murphy and Mike Medley

Mike Grooms won the 8-ball event of the Great Southern Billiard Tour's most recent stop, while Mike Leek took top honors in the concurrently-run 9-ball event. The $800-added 8-ball tournament drew 32 entrants to the 7-ft., bar box Diamond tables at Michael's Billiards in Fairfield, OH, while the $1,000-added 9-ball event drew 43 to the 9-ft. Diamond tables on the weekend of February 21-23. Shannon Murphy, who played in both, finished in second place in the 8-ball event and third in the 9-ball. Brandon Williams, who also played in both, finished second in the 9-ball and third in the 8-ball.
 
Grooms' path to the 8-ball winners' circle went through Murphy twice. They met first in the hot seat match, after Grooms had defeated Steve Lavey 6-3 and Murphy had sent Jordan Grubb to the losers' bracket 8-5. Grooms downed Murphy the first time, double hill (6-7; Murphy racing to 8) and sat in the hot seat awaiting the re-match.
 
Lavey and Grubb moved over and picked up their second straight losses immediately. Lavey fell 3-1 to Julie Skripak, who, racing to 3, had shut out both Misha Ivanesco and Gary Link. Grubb was eliminated by Brandon Williams, who'd gotten by Kevin Tomlin 6-1 and Rick Giarmatti 6-2.  Williams won the quarterfinal matchup versus Skripak 6-1, but was eliminated by Murphy in the semifinals 8-4. Sitting in the hot seat, Grooms gave up only a single rack to claim the 8-ball title.
 
Mike Leek had to come from the loss side and win two double hill battles against Brandon Williams (third in the 8-ball event) to capture the 9-ball title. Leek and Williams played three altogether, and the middle match of the three fell one game short of double hill.
 
Leek first had to contend with Shannon Murphy, playing in his second winners' side semifinal of the weekend. He defeated Murphy 8-5 and in the hot seat match, faced Williams, who'd sent D.J. Holloway to the losers' bracket 7-4. Leek and Williams battled to double hill in their first of three, with Williams prevailing to sit in the hot seat.
 
Murphy moved over and picked up Jake Cooper, who'd defeated Jordan Grubb 7-5 and Dwayne Pearson, double hill (7-7; Pearson racing to 8). D.J. Holloway drew Steve Flick, who'd gotten by Anthony Rock 6-2 and Mary Valhamer 6-1. Murphy eliminated Cooper 11-4, as Holloway was finishing Flick's day 7-5. Murphy defeated Holloway 11-4 in the quarterfinals, and was then dropped into third place by Leek 7-5.
 
Leek and Williams played their second match in the opening set of the finals, with Leek winning it 7-5. In their final and deciding set, they fought to double hill before Leek completed his successful run to claim the 9-ball title.
 
Shannon Daulton thanked the ownership and staff at Michael's Billiards, as well as sponsors Nick Varner Cues & Cases, Delta-13, Ozone Billiards, Tiger Products, Andy Gilbert Custom Cues, Lomax Cues, and Universe Clothing.

Shane Wins Bigfoot Challenge; Derby Day Four

Shane Van Boening

Derby City Classic XVI, Jan 24-Feb 1, 2014
 
Horseshoe Southern Indiana
Elizabeth, Indiana.
 
Sponsored by Diamond SMART TABLE, True Blue Simonis 860 Cloth, and Cyclop Pool Balls.
 
Day 4: Diamond BIG Foot 10-Ball Challenge
 
Semi's #1
Niels Feijen showed no fear of BIG Foot as he devoured the first rack with such intimidating force that even his opponent, Ralf Souquet, was impressed.
 
A month ago they were conquering Mosconi Cup teammates, today they were mortal enemies, at least, on the table.
 
Niels speared in the Cyclops the length of the table with such incredible accuracy not even the Simonis rippled. The tight Pro-Cut Diamond pockets accepted the balls as if lubricated.
 
Was Big Foot vulnerable? Had Niels tamed the Beast? Whatever the table dictated, Niels could deliver.
 
Not so for Ralf Soquet. His tempo showed signs of fatigue. He got through a frame or two and then missed to gift wrap the rack.
 
Nothing fatigued about Feijen. A force to be reckoned with, he gratefully accepted the donations–all the way to the hill.
 
At 10-3 Feijen showed the first sign of slowing. He ran a little short on shape on the ten and over cut it.
 
Is this an omen of things to come?
 
Ralf quietly sank the dangling ten, broke and ran to fall a little iffy on the 5 to get to the six. He stabbed it straight into the cut of the pocket to have it pop back at him on the table.
 
Feijen, not letting his chance fly by, ran the remaining rack and sealed the match at 11-4. Niels had also shot a new high Total Point Average(TPA) of .896. Pretty impressive.
 
Semi's #2
Now it was time for Van Boening to meet Bustamante, his bogey man.
 
Shane has always maintained that the toughest guy he'd played for the cash was Bustey. "But I know I can beat him on the 10 foot. There are shots that he just can't make. I'm taller than he is. He has to use the bridge more,"
 
Shane was right. Using that bridge, Bustey miscued twice. And, they'd cost him; He was soon down 4-8.
 
Yet, he wasn't the only one falling foul. A multitude of scratches, missed kicks, jumped balls that scraped the top of the snookering ball; There was a plague on both their houses yet, Bustey snags another couple of racks and it's 6-8.
 
Shane grinds to 9-6. His shape runs too long or too short. He commits the ultimate sin, he flubs a 10-Ball. It's 9-7.
 
Bustey breaks. Nothing. Shane steals and runs to leave a long thin cut on the 10. He has to use the bridge. Remarkably, it slides into the pocket. He's on the hill.
 
He breaks dry. Bustey's back at the table, but not for long.
 
It's 10-8. Bustey knows he has to come with it. "How many chances am I going to get?"
 
Shane, nerves wreaking havoc, sweats in his chair. Not again, I can't lose to him, again, not on BIG Foot.
 
Bustamante manages a couple of balls and gets into trouble.
 
Shane, acknowledging the simplicity of the table, knows that he has to do it now, or, its never; he's history, he's BIG Foot meat.
 
Shane defaults to champion mode. Now cool, calm, and collected,–not even breathing heavily–he quietly rendered the remaining balls harmless. it was 11-8.
 
But, is he ready for Niels?
 
Finals
 
Although had had just shot a respectable .862, Shane knew that he had escaped. He had 30 minutes to shake it off, push the reset button, and step up.
 
He had heard tale of Feijen's intimidating performance against Ralf. He had observed him deservedly attain MVP status at the Mosconi Cup last month. He knew Niels wasn't here to play, he was hear to win.
 
Niels got off to a fine start. Down 2 zip, Shane stepped to the table. After a couple of safes to shoot at, the next thing Niels knew was that Shane was ahead 6-2, which included putting together a 2 pack, twice.
 
Shane has found his sweet spot. His big break is back and balls were going in.
 
No problem, Niels, composed, got the next rack and, down 6-3, inconceivably, missed a straight in 10. Shane was left a long bank, using the bridge, off the short rail: Nothing but net: 7-3.
 
Shane over runs shape on the 9 and has to pound three rails to end inches from the 10. No problem; it's very makable.
 
He misses it!
 
It leaves a thin cut for Niels. He misses it. 
 
The Beast is back.
 
Shane makes it: 9-3. Breaks, makes one, leaves none, pushes out. Niels, announces, "Time out." Smart.
 
Returning, accepting the push out, he fails to leave safe: 10-3.
 
Shane breaks dry. Niels composes a 2 pack! 10-5.
 
Breaks dry. Shane makes 2 balls and hooks himself. Niels nails it: 10-6. 
 
Niels breaks. Shane's hooked–in jail, Rather than kick, he rearranges the furniture. Niels, showing signs of his bad self, breaks Shane's cluster and it's 10-7.
 
The Beast turns cold; Niels gets the kiss from hell–and scratches.
 
Shane never looked back. Without hesitation, it was over; 11-7 and another prestigious accolade in his pocket. "Show me the money!"
 
Shane had just shot a .908: The highest Accu-Stats TPA of the event, a truly impressive performance.
 
After this event, surely, he'd be remembered as the best 10-Ball player ever, at least, to date. 9-foot, 10-foot, it didn't matter, he's the most consistent 10-Ball competitor. He'd overcome so much adversity, so much pressure–mostly self inflicted–the pressure that only true champions survive.
 
He'd tamed the Beast.
 
Who else can compare?
 
He finished 11th in the Banks. Now, he can concentrate on the One Pocket.
 
Derby City Classic Bank Pool Division:
 
Earl Strickland defeated David Grossman.
Dennis Orcollo defeated Justin Bergman
Francisco Bustamante defeated Shannon Murphy.
 
Semis #1
 
Dennis vs. Bustey (Dennis is undefeated and can buy-back)
 
Earl got the bye.
 
Watch it LIVE Tuesday, FEB. 28, 7pm; accu-stats.com
 
Derby City Classic One-Pocket Championship.
 
Mon. 25th. JAN, 2104. highlights:
 
Darren Appleton d. Warren Kiamco
Oscar Dominguez d. Wang Can
Corey deuel d. Robert Frost
John Schmidt d. Bobby Hunter
Lee Vann Corteza d. Mike Massey
Efren Reyes d. Mark Haddad
Niels feijen d. Huidji See
Shane Van Boening d. Joey Grey.
 
Watch LIVE: Noon TUES, FEB 28:  Wang Can vs. Scott Frost
 
accu-stats.com
 
2014 George Fels Memorial Straight Pool Challenge:
High runs Monday, 27th.
Ralf Souquet: 178
Darren Appleton: 122
John Schmidt: 103
Nick van der Berg: 100
Jayson Shaw: 95
Huiji See: 93
Alex lely: 88
Wang Can: 85
 
Watch Straight Pool LIVE: TUES, FEB 28:  insidepoolmag.com
 
 The American Rotation Challenge: 12pm Mon. JAN 27th.
 
Joe Tucker hosted with Biil Biggs on accu-stats.com
 
Thorsten Hohmann d John Morra.

Derby Banks and Bigfoot Wind Down; One Pocket Underway

Shane Van Boening

Derby City Classic XVI, Jan 24-Feb 1, 2014
 
Horseshoe Southern Indiana
Elizabeth, Indiana.
 
Sponsored by Diamond SMART TABLE, True Blue Simonis 860 Cloth, and Cyclop Pool Balls.
 
Day 3 is always the busiest as the 10-Ball and Banks divisions continue while, this year, the 1-Pocket division summoned 298 fresh combatants.
 
The Diamond crew is at its craziest as they scramble schedules so that all players get a chance, at least, to eat. Sleep is out of the question. 
 
Competitors have to switch gears quickly from one discipline to the other. Niels Feijen, immediately after his Banks match finished, was slamming the BIG Foot shuffle with Efren. That's when you need the ability to slip it into overdrive.
 
But, wait, we're getting ahead of ourselves.
 
In the opening quarter final, 10-Ball match, early morning jitters had Ralf Souquet  and Jayson Shaw jawing balls that they would normally make in their sleep.
 
Ralf woke up a little quicker than Jayson and jumped ahead 6-1.
 
Succumbing to that comfortable lead, Ralf fell into BIG Foot's trap, jawed another one, and left the 5 dangling in the hole.
 
After sitting in the "electric chair" for so long, Jayson, wisely, took that so important time-out.
 
Returning to the table, it seemed that he had quieted the voices as he ran out with elegant ease. And, it's 2-6. Breaking and running through the 9th rack he got out of line and the elusive object ball rode around the lip of the pocket. It was then that Jayson began to unravel, never to recover.
 
With a hefty .874 Total Performance Average Ralf, quietly, with surgeon-like skill, sliced and diced until Jayson conceded the set at 11-3.
 
Quarter finals #2 had Efren, patiently, await Niels Feijen who was effectively negotiating racks in that Banks match in the outer arena.
 
Feijen grabbed a bite, recomposed his focus, and without further ado, began firing them in, from all distances, on the BIG Foot.
 
Efren, playing really well, wasn't phased.
 
Neither player got ahead as they nipped and ducked until tied at 8. Then, it was truly cat and mouse until Niels got to the hill, found that overdrive, stayed calm and collected, and ran the last rack.
 
His TPA of .889 was 1/10 of a point behind Shane's .899 captured earlier in the event. Efren's .854 wasn't too shabby either.
 
In Q3, Shane sat on a comfortable cushion as he had bounced ahead 6-1 against young John Morra. The Van Boening effortless break is so formidable that–even on the BIG Foot–for the average player, it's hard to fade.
 
John is no average player. Showing so much heart and, that never-give-up initiative, Morra grabbed at every opportunity. It seemed in the blink of a Cyclop, he had tied it at 7.
 
Back and forth they battled until Shane got atop the hill first. John, eyes on the prize, clambered up behind him. With so much power, he slammed at the last rack.  BIG Foot is cruel. He broke dry.
 
Shane, ever so cautious, crept to the table. It wasn't going to be easy: There was a cluster and a ball had to be banked. His breathing stayed steady, his poise never wandered, and every ball found its destination.
 
Shane, when straight in on the 10, John graciously climbed out of his chair, offered his hand, and his congratulations.
 
Morra had come ever so close; Watch for him throughout the rest of the series. He'a driven; Shane, too.
 
Q4: Earl meets Bustey.
 
Maybe, I'm drinking the Earl Kool-Aid but, I am starting to believe him when he states, " I'm the unluckiest player in the world."
 
All weekend long, as entertaining as ever, he counseled the crowd that he can't believe his luck–or, lack of it.
 
Today, even Bustey had to agree. "I did get lucky." He flashed his smile, "We both missed some balls and, I got lucky"
 
Luck does enter into it but, harnessing a .881, against Earl's .856, showed that they both shot lights-out, BIG Foot 10-Ball.
 
The good news is that they are both in the last 6 of the banks division. That's not luck, that's skill.
 
Maybe, they'll meet again, there, too. It's all in the luck of the draw.
 
The Diamond BIG Foot Challenge, semi's:
 
Ralf vs. Niels, Monday, JAN. 27, 3pm. EDT.
 
Bustey vs. Shane, 6pm. 
 
The final is at 9.
 
Bank Pool Division: Speaking of the last 6 in Banks, Dennis Orcollo is the only player with a buy-back. That means that he is undefeated.
 
The aforementioned Earl and Bustey, will play tomorrow as do Southern Classic 1-Pocket winner Justin Bergman; 3rd in 2013 DCC Banks, Shannon Murphy, and Floridian David Grossman
 
The semi's and finals are scheduled for Tuesday in the Accu-Stats' TV arena.
 
One Pocket Division: 298 movers and shakers are cued for action. Highlights included Corey Deuel drawing first blood with Adam Wheeler and Tyler Woodward ousting Charle Morra. They'll be back.
 
Dennis Walsh's 14.1 Straight Pool Challenge got underway with Nick Van Den Berg posting a 99 ball, high run in the chase to the last 8 to compete in the $7,000 added event.
 
Huidji See followed with a 93 and, John Schmidt, a 73.
 
John is back playing again and happy to mention that it's all thanks to a new sponsor, Str8-Shots. "These guys are really good for pool and have developed a great junior's program. They are in it for the long haul," said John.
 
Speaking of Johnnies, Mr. Archer is anticipated to make a high run for it, tomorrow as will Bobby Hunter.
 
Bobby has another commitment lined up: This summer, he will marry the sweet, and gracious, Debbie, his long time girlfriend. Debbie's got game: She's competing in the DCC 9-Ball division.
 
American Rotation: And, last but not least, congratulations to Jerry Calderon's 150-120 win over Joe Dupuis to win the first American Rotation event.
 
Developed by Joe Tucker, you know him from the well selling "Racking Secrets" DVD, American Rotation is based on regular Rotation only with more interaction between players.
 
Sponsored by Mark Griffin and CSI, Accu-Stats is hoping to showcase a challenge game between two high profile pros before the BIG Foot semi's, around noon, on Monday.
 
To see this and the BIG Foot 10-Ball semi's and finals, LIVE, visit accu-stats.com.
 
For the 14.1/Straight Pool action visit insidepoolmmag.com

Bonus Ball Kicks off Tonight

The long-awaited Bonus Ball season kicks off tonight with a free stream of the Atlanta Scorpions VS the New York Pride at 9 PM EST. The Scorpions feature Johnny Archer, Shannon Daulton and Dennis Hatch as regulars with John Brumback and Shannon Murphy as alternates. The New York Pride team consists of Earl Strickland, Larry Nevel and Warren Kiamco with alternates Santos Sambajon and Francisco Bustamante.

To view the free stream of this match just go to www.WPBLTV.com

The weekend matches are Pay-Per-View. You may purchase your tickets for this at: www.wpbltv.com/subscription and you may choose the length of subscription you wish, from a weekly pass to a season ticket. Matches this weekend feature the Miami Cruise VS the Philadelphia Aces at 9 PM EST on Friday, the Phoenix Fire Vs the Minnesota Outlaws on Saturday at 9 AM EST and the Los Angeles Wave VS the Chicago Rockets at 1 PM EST. On Sunday the Houston Hustlers will face the Pittsburgh Poison at 9 AM EST and the Las Vegas Dice will roll out against the Toronto Blue Sharks at 1 PM EST.

Full season schedules and all other info may be found at the WPBL website as listed above.
 

16 Year Old And World Champion Amongst WPBL’s New Alternates

Daryl Peach

The World Professional Billiard League has expanded its previous roster of 48 players (36 fulltime and 12 alternate) to 60 by adding a second alternate to each team. The WPBL season will kick off Thursday May 30th at 6pm PST with a free live broadcast from the WPBL Arena in Las Vegas, NV.

 
The decision to increase the roster was made to provide league players the flexibility to compete in other events that coincide with the WPBL’s current schedule. Director of Player Relations Dave McColl stated “We want to do what is best for the league and our players.  The inclusion of a second alternate, allows players to stay faithful to other obligations, while keeping each team competitive in the WPBL”. Of the 12 new alternates, two players have yet to be announced.  The New York Pride is in currently in negotiations with a potential candidate, and a big announcement is scheduled for later this week by the Los Angeles Wave regarding their selection.   
 
Both world and national champions from around the globe have been signed to the WPBL with the addition of the new alternates. In the North Division, one of the most significant selections is 2007 World Pool Champion Daryl Peach of the UK, who will play for the Pittsburgh Poison.  Ralph Eckert joins fellow German stars Hohmann and Souquet as part of the Minnesota Outlaws.  While the Toronto Blue Sharks chose respected pro, Beau Runningen.  In addition, The Chicago Rockets add Amar Kang to the roster reuniting him with Team India partner Raj Hundal.  Lastly, one of the most notable picks was made by the Philadelphia Aces with 16 year old sensation Billy Thorpe, who team Captain Darren Appleton said is “The future of pool in America”. 
 
The South Division is chockfull of talent as well, with 2004 US Open 9 ball champion Gabe Owen joining the Miami Cruise and the Phoenix Fire selecting arguably the best barbox player in the country in Jesse Bowman.  The Houston Hustlers add Arizona pool champion Mitch “Wonderboy” Ellerman, while the Las Vegas Dice select Jeremy “The Giant Killer” Sossei. Finally, Bank pool specialist Shannon Murphy will play for the Atlanta Scorpions lead by team captain and HOF player Johnny Archer
 
All teams are scheduled to play during the league’s launch weekend with the first match featuring the Atlanta Scorpions taking on the New York Pride. Watch this and every match live at www.wpbltv.com
 
Please continue to follow the league for additional updates:
 
Web:  http://wpbltv.com/ 
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wpbltvcom
Twitter: https://twitter.com/wpbltv

Murphy holds off Stone challenge to go undefeated in GSBT 9-Ball event

They’re like footsteps creeping up behind you, those matches won by loss-side opponents looking to dethrone the occupant of a given tournament’s hot seat. Shannon Murphy heard them on the weekend of February 17-19, as he sat in the hot seat, waiting for Ryan Stone to complete a five-match, loss-side winning streak that propelled him into the finals. Murphy, though, took the opening set of what would have been a true double elimination final and finished the 9-ball segment of the weekend’s activities undefeated. The $1,500-added amateur event drew 55 entrants to Michael’s Billiards in Fairfield, OH.

Murphey was the only ‘AA’ player among the winners’ side final four, that included three ‘A’ players – Frank Ruby, Mike Brown and Billy Thorpe. Murphy got into the hot seat match with a commanding 11-1 victory over Thorpe, and was joined by Brown, who’d sent Stone west among the winners’ side final eight and then downed Ruby 9-7. Murphy moved into the hot seat with an 11-5 victory over Brown and sat listening for the footsteps.

Those Ryan Stone footsteps began  on the loss-side with an 11-3 victory over D.J. Holloway and an 11-8 win over Lee Holt, which set him up to face Thorpe. Ruby drew Clay Carmen, who’d downed Joe Pierce 7-2 and James Davis, Jr. 7-7. It was Stone and Ruby advancing to the quarterfinals; Stone with an 11-8 victory over Thorpe, and Ruby advancing 9-7 over Carmen.

With three down and two to go, Stone ended Ruby’s day with an 11-4 victory in the quarterfinals to earn a re-match against Brown in the semifinals. He completed his loss-side journey with a successful rematch victory over Brown 11-7. Murphy, though, put a stop to the winning streak. He took the first of what might have been two, with an 11-7 victory that secured the 9-ball title with an undefeated effort.

Beginning on Friday night, February 17, this GSBT event opened with a 32-player, bank pool mini-tournament, with races to 2 on the winners’ side and 1 on the loss side. Timmy Heath pocketed the first place prize of $300 with a finals victory over T.J. Bach, who went home with $200 for his effort. Greg Putnam finished third ($100) and Shane Winters finished fourth ($40). The weekend also entailed an 8-ball event that drew 52 entrants (see accompanying report).

Tour directors Shannon and Marge Daulton thanked Mike Medley and his staff for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Andy Gilbert Custom Cues, Nick Varner Cues and Cases, Mike Davis Exterminating, Tiger Products and Delta-13 racks.