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Taiwan’s Jung-Lin Chang Captures the Diamond BIG Foot Challenge

Runner-up Joshua Filler: So close he could taste it (Photo courtesy of Dave Thomson – Mediumpool)

Derby City Classic XXI, January 25 – February 2nd, 2019
 
LIVE from the Horseshoe Southern Indiana Casino, Elizabeth IN.
 
Diamond BIG Foot Challenge: FINAL DAY
 
$32,000 Prize Fund. Chang: $16,000, Filler, $8,000, Gorst and Orcullo, $4000 each.
 
Format: Race to 11, single elimination, alternate break, all balls count, 10-ball on the break is spotted.
 
Taiwan’s Jung-Lin Chang Captures the Diamond BIG Foot Challenge 
 
In true Derby City spirit, the race was on. Joshua Filler, the younger steed broke loose to streak ahead 4-0. Jung-Lin Chang, the senior, more experienced work horse, paced himself. In the second stretch he charged ahead to 7-5.
 
As they jockeyed back and forth, it was neck-and-neck as they neared the finish line. At 9-9, opportunity appeared and the well-seasoned veteran, calm and composed, closed out the set. At 11 games to 9, he had secured the prestigious Diamond BIG Foot title.
 
Jung-Lin Chang’s exemplary accomplishment established his reputation as one of the most formidable pro players competing today. OK, the Diamond BIG Foot Challenge takes only four matches to win but look at his Accu-stats’ Total Performance Averages (TPA): .922 in the final with Filler, his gutsy .930 gouged Gorst in the semi’s, a brutal .933 battered Van Boening, and a mere .883 in his opening encounter with the irrepressible Albanian Eklent Kaci. And, let’s not forget, this was Chang’s first sniff at Big Foot.
 
And what about Filler? He slipped to .888 in the finals after an unprecedented .956 that demonstrated a truly lionhearted assault on the dangerous Dennis Orcullo. He dipped to .850 with Bustey and began his crash course with a crushing .919 against Corteza. Three legendary Filipinos and Filler manifested not a sliver of fear, just sheer dominance compounded by inner belief.
 
Chang’s semifinal encounter with last year’s finalist Fedor Gorst was easier than he expected. He strode to the hill at 10-5. The young, resilient Russian managed a couple more before being eliminated at 11-7. Gorst was the first to admit that he had struggled, today. His, normally, fierce determination had eluded him.
 
Filler’s command of Orcollo, which opened today’s proceedings, was the finest demonstration of pool prowess in recent years. His aforementioned .956 TPA was garnered by eight break-and-runs, plus, when Dennis broke dry, Joshua ran two more: 10 of his 11 games were run-outs.
 
His pace around the table was also unprecedented. It was like he hadn’t planned to be in the finals and had a plane to catch to the next event. Then, in contrast, if his cueball fell just slightly out of perfect line on the nine to ease closing position on the 10, he would pause, reflect for a minute, consciously refocus, then calmly pocket the virtually unmissable balls. Maybe he had realized, Oh yeah, I’m at the Derby. The next tournament is here.
 
Jung-Lin, on the other hand, has a pace so concentrated that he almost always chooses the correct strategy and pattern of play.
 
Their match had begun where Filler left off with Orcollo, he broke and ran the first rack and was soon ahead 4-0 with a 1.000 TPA. As was translated in Jung-Lin’s post-match interview, ”I knew to be patient. Not to rush.” Perhaps, he was also aware of the mesmerizing trap of copying your opponent’s pace.
 
Speaking of traps, in one instance, he actually snared Joshua. Chang had made 4 balls on the break. Being frozen against a ball, he was snookered. He pushed out to offer Joshua a make-able long shot. Perhaps, by observing his young opponent’s predilection to be at the table at all costs, he sensed that Joshua couldn’t resist the temptation to shoot. And shoot he did. The trap was that simple shape was impossible. Joshua made the difficult ball but now had an even more demanding shot than the previous one. Filler missed. That move contributed to Chang’s string of 6 games to move from down 1-5 to 7-5 ahead.
 
Filler, unfazed, found the inner strength to capture the next 3, and he’s 8-7. Then, 8-8, 9-8, 9-9 and, with Joshua breaking, the well was dry.
 
Emotionless, Chang’s deliberate pause after every shot delivered one of the most nail-biting two-rack finishes ever recorded. He pocketed balls that would have brought out the dog in most. Instead, he mustered the stud.
 
In his closing comments, Jung-Lin added that he wanted to thank Adrian of Cyclop Balls for sponsoring his trip and the opportunity to experience the Derby, the biggest and most challenging Pro Pool tournament in the world. He has 5 more grueling, dawn-to-dawn days. Stay tuned, we’ll keep you posted on his progress.
 
 
BANK POOL CHAMPIONSHIP
 
Race to 3, 9-Ball–Short Rack, $10,000 first place prize:
 
From a record-setting 505 entrants, we are now down to four.
 
The day began with 17.
 
Round 10 was a bloodfest that gutted some of the most killer Bank Pool players in the world.
 
Danny Smith dismissed Filipino James Aranas. Russian Ruslan Chinakhov routed Francisco Bustamante. England’s Chris Melling churned Tony Chohan, Jayson Shaw tripped Troy Jones, Billy Thorpe busted Glen “Piggy Bank” Rogers. Josh Roberts bounced Shane Van Boening and, last but not least, Kuwait’s Omar Al Shaheen shattered John Brumback’s 4th Bank’s title aspirations.
 
Round 11 had Al Shaheen shutout Shaw, Thorpe throttled Aranas, Sky Woodward wounded Chinakhov (he still has a buy-back), Roberts melted Melling, and Smith ousted Orcullo.
 
Round 12. Roberts bettered Smith, Thorpe thumped Woodward.
 
Round 13. Billy Thorpe played some of the most devastating Banks Skyler has experienced as a pro. “I missed two balls and lost 3-0. Billy ran 5-and-out on me…twice! And now I have to play him again?” Not only that, Billy has a buy-back.
 
Round 14: Woodward vs, Thorpe. Josh Roberts will play Omar (who is this Guy?) Al Shaheen. Actually, we know Omar as a previous 9-Ball competitor. He teaches Bank Pool in Kuwait but has no competition there. He sure has it here.
 
The Semi’s and Finals will air on accu-stats.com at 7pm. EDT.
 
ONE POCKET CHAMPIONSHIP
 
410 entrants are underway. Not too much big-name encounters other than, Billy Thorpe has given Justin Hall his first loss. Ditto, as Kaci defeated Immonen.
 
One Pocket matches will air on accu-stats.com at NOON. EDT.
  
THE GEORGE FELS MEMORIAL STRAIGHT POOL CHALLENGE is streaming at billiardnet.tv, today!
 
The high-run contest is underway manned by 14.1 aficionados Dennis Walsh and Bill Maropulis. Bob Jewett, the event creator, has generously supplied healthy refreshments. Pool players sometimes forget to eat.
 
The 8 highest runs will compete in a single elimination play-off to determine the champion.
 
Here are the high-runs, so far:
 
Chris Melling, 244
John Schmidt, 216
Dennis Orcullo, 190 
Shane Van Boening, 150
Niels Feijen, 142
Ruslan Chinakhov, 141
Mieszko Fortunski, 136
Alex Pagulayan, 136
 
Accu-Stats thanks its Arena Sponsors: Diamond Billiards, Simonis Cloth, Cyclop Balls, Cuetec Cues, Lucasi Custom, MEZZ Cues, McDermott Cues, National Billiard Academy, and Samsara Cues.
 
 
 

Derby City Day Five – Corey Wins Banks, One Pocket Field Dwindles and Dennis Runs 227

Corey Deuel keeps his eye on the ball – Photo courtesy of Dave Thomson – Mediumpool.com

Derby City Classic XX, January 19-27, 2018
 
LIVE from the Horseshoe Southern Indiana Casino, Elizabeth, IN
 
BANK POOL CHAMPIONSHIP
 
471 players vie for $10,000. Race to 3, 9-Ball–Short Rack
 
Today, there were 8:
 
Corey Deuel proved invincible! Unbeaten, he strolled thru the Banks brackets in indomitable style. As 2013 DCC Banks Champion, he desperately wanted another title. “I feel that Bank Pool has always eluded me. In the last five years, my best finish was 7th.”
 
He’d worked hard to improve. Humbly, he’d asked other players about their technique. He admitted, he’d learned a lot. After all, he’d just dueled 14 rounds that had included contending with past Champions John Brumback and Francisco Bustamante. His confidence continuing to grow, he had beaten them back to back. “That’s when I felt I had a chance to win it.”
 
Corey had begun the day by bruising Brumback by sending him to the buy-back booth.
 
John’s morning had been a marred by bad preparation. “I hadn’t eaten properly.” he confessed, “My hands were shakin’ so bad. Saltines just don’t cut it!” 
 
Shaw opened his day by sending Shane to buy back but it was short-lived as Brumback, then fighting for his life, administered Van Boening’s death blow.
 
Justin Bergman, who was originally given his first loss by Fedor Gorst, drew him again. “That guy can really play.” Justin asserted. “I wish I shot that good when I was 17.”
 
Bergman had managed the first game in their match. In game 2, they both needed one ball. Bergman continued, “And I hung it. He won that one then broke and ran out and, I’m down 1-2.” In their 4th game, the consensus was that better banking skills can beat superior strategy. “I got cautious and lost my aggressive attitude. I decided to out-move him–that, I know I can do. But, he just banks so good.”
 
Later, interestingly, it was Troy Jones who delivered Fedor’s final loss: He was last seen stalking the one-pocket matches. That, he admitted, is where he also needs to gain some strategy.
 
Troy then ran afoul of Shaw, Bustey, who had ousted Woodward earlier, couldn’t catch the cagey and consistent Corey. He, too, was sent to concentrate on one pocket.
 
And then, there were 3. In the Accu-Stats’ TV Arena, Corey was first pitted against 2017 finalist Jayson Shaw. Brumback had drawn the bye.
 
Corey was not intimidated. His quiet confidence reinforced by those big, aforementioned, wins over Brumback, a 3-time DCC Bank Pool Champion and 2017 title holder Fransisco Bustamante.
 
He won the first game 5 balls-2. At 4-4 in the 2nd game, Shaw, shockingly, scratched. With ball in hand in the kitchen, Corey, calmly, rolled it off the short rail and into the corner. 2-0.
 
Game 3 opened with Corey breaking and running a couple and Jayson firing a few right back at him.
 
Deuel didn’t falter even when, seemingly, safely stuck up behind the 6, rolled it off the long rail to drop gently into the corner.
 
One ball later, he had earned the right to do battle with Brumback. Up 2-1, Corey had to fade John’s four ball onslaught which tied the match, 2-2.
 
Always aggressive, never denying the opportunity to bank rather than duck, they both needed a couple. Corey was on the hill first and fired cross side. It hit the knuckle. Brumback sighed in relief. With 3 balls lined up on the spot, he attempted a cross side. It landed long and left opportunity.
 
Corey’s nerve held steadfast as he fired in the final orb.
 
Interestingly, in 2013 his jubilation had him jumping thru the roof. Today his knees gave way as he sank to rest on the table,
 
His face filled with joy as he announced, “It feels really satisfying to win, again, today.” He’s also $10,000 richer!
 
ONE POCKET CHAMPIONSHIP
 
393 entrants have now been depleted to 68.
 
Some big-name upsets of note: Sky Woodward was gone by the third round. “I’ve been firing ‘em in all weekend and now I’m slow rolling balls, choking up on my stroke, switching back and forth ‘cause I’m still in the Banks.”
 
Interestingly enough, he was originally enrolled in the BIG Foot and withdrew to concentrate on his bank game figuring that it would also help in the One Pocket.
 
Immonen is now gone, eliminated by Dee Adkins and Robb Saez.
 
Oklahoma’s big-money, action player Chip Compton ran afoul of Daulton in the 4th round and Brumback in the 5th.
 
Cliff Joyner was taken to the buy-back booth by Tommy Tokoph and, later on, eliminated in the match of the day with Scott Frost.
 
At 2-2, Joyner was ahead 7 balls-1. Jacked up on the rail Scott, aggressive as ever, fired in a combo the length of the table…and ran out! Cliff fell off the hill!
 
In his match with Joshua Filler, it looked like Gorst was applying his knowledgable 14.1. pattern play. He strung multiple ball runs together, so quickly, that the match was over in 30 minutes. Now Josh had the time to hone in on some one-pocket.
 
The record of Gorst’s 30 minute annihilation didn’t last long. Later, John Schmidt devoured an opponent in 22!
 
Allan Hopkins, altho.’ having one loss, is still alive as he sent Bill Meacham home.
 
Tied 2-2 with young-gun Evan Lunda, Shane’s cue ball was hindered by the newly broken rack. Jacked up by using 2 bridges stacked on top of each other, he slow-rolled the finest cut into the corner. With six balls loose, he had total control of the table. He made only two of them. Lunda continued the execution. Buy back Shane.
 
Matches begin at noon on 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 is streaming at billiardnet.tv, today!
 
The players with the 8 highest runs, tallied from the total entrants, face off in single elimination. If scheduling permits, Accu-Stats will stream, at least, the finals.
 
Shot of the Day:
 
Dennis Orcollo has tied Jayson Shaw’s still unbeaten 227, historical, tournament high run.
 
Little did he know, had he beaten it, he would be $1000 richer. Instead, his wealth, by capturing the high run of the day, increased by only $300.
 
At 225, and the balls burst wide open, there were audience asides: “He needs three more to beat it.” At 226, “He needs two more….” Dennis wasn’t quite aware of what they were talking about.
 
So, at 227, focused and confident as always, rather than cinch an easier ball, he unnecessarily attempted to draw a close to the rail cue ball into position. With the additional encumbrance, he jacked up, stroked back and forth a few times…and missed!
 
The good news? He’s definitely qualified for the final 8. 
 
Orcollo, Dennis 227
Chinakhov, Ruslan 182
Fortunski, Miesko 125
Shaw, Jayson 110
Corteza, LeeVan 102
Poteet, Devin 94
DeLuna Jeffery 84
Melling, Chris 84
Archer, Johnny 81
 

Derby City Day Four – Superman Wins, Banks Final Eight and One Pocket Kicks Off

Roberto Gomez speeds around the Accu-Stats Arena (Photo courtesy of Dave Thomson – Mediumpool.com)

Derby City Classic XX, January 19-27, 2018

LIVE from the Horseshoe Southern Indiana Casino, Elizabeth, IN

Diamond BIG Foot Challenge

Format: Race to 11, single elimination, alternate break, all balls count.

Day 4:

What a way to end it. Roberto Gomez had to ward off three 11-10 finishes with Alcano, Immonen and, finally, Gorst. Joshua Filler was expected to be his most difficult opponent. He had handily dismissed him at 6.

Earlier on Monday, Immonen was down 4-8 and clawed back to 7-9. He had won 3 games to Gomez’s one. Mika nabbed another 2: it’s 9-9 and he’s breaking.

If Immonen got to the hill, Gomez is well aware that with the alternate break format, Mika can’t run out the set and the match. Gomez knew he would have a crack at the next rack.

Mika ran out perfectly, no doubt, encouraged by his win over Van Boening.

Now, down 9-10, Gomez stood over his last chance at breaking. With eyes closed, he took the deepest of breaths, paused, then, slowly exhaled from deep in his diaphragm. His eyes opened slowly to stare directly at the contact point on the one ball.

All that was left to do was maintain that calm focus, draw back, summon the will, and fire into the rack!  It exploded! He was rewarded, balls were pocketed and he had a shot on the one. His pressure was palpable. The packed to the gills Accu-Stats Arena felt it. They could hear every ball drop as he sealed a decider at 10-10.

Mika, now breaking for his shot at the title, and the $16,000, sank the one ball but, alas, got hooked on the two. He played a two way kick that went awry and, after all the work, left Gomez lined up with a long shot at the blue.

His pace was so poised, concentrated, that when he finally faced that normally, no-brainer 10-ball, he took a long deep breath, paused for a full 10 seconds before pulling the trigger. Then, it was his turn to release two quick yells so loud they filled the arena.

Semis #2, Morra was devastated. He hadn’t had a look at a ball and was down 8-2.

Fedor’s superb cue ball, lock-up safety play, early combinations and indomitable defense had left the that 8-2, insurmountable lead.

John was the first to admit it, “He played perfect.”

John did mount a bit of a comeback and grabbed at every opportunity, but to no avail, Fedor was in the finals.

Gomez was off to a 2-love lead. Gorst stayed right on his tail and never left. He knows no give up.

At 6-5, instead of moving ahead 7-5, Gomez jawed the 10-Ball gifting it to Gorst: 6-6. How quickly errors are punished in this sport. In the next rack, a deft 1-10 combo got Gorst his first lead in the match.

Finally, after a fluke from Gorst which, surprisingly, lead to him actually missing a ball, Gomez found his speed, closed the rack…and took a well-timed time out.

At 10-9, Gomez missed shape to leave an awkward cut. It was amazing the courage it took for Fedor to maintain composure and fire at the last two balls and take the match to yet another 10-10.

In the final rack Fedor had another fluke when he faced a well placed Gomez hook. He kicked at the one. The cue ball connected then, ran 3 rails to knock in a hanger in the corner.

Roberto was probably a bit relieved as the cue ball was now about 7’ away from a dogleg cut into the opposite corner.  Whamo, Gorst nailed it to leave position on a much more makable 2. He jawed it!

Gomez eagerly jumped out of his chair and methodically managed the trickiest layout to conclude, perhaps, the most heart-pounding finish the Derby crowd has ever seen.

Snooker’s 6 time World Champion Steve Davis OBE said it best, “You have to play like it means nothing when it means everything.”

Gomez, so shaky he could barely sign a fan’s cue ball, reflected on his victory, “You just have to do your best. I just do my job. If I did my best, win or lose, it’s OK.”

Thanks Diamond, for one of the most memorable BIG Foot Challenge ever.

The good news is, for those who missed it, Accu-Stats will have the whole DCC event uploaded to their On-line Subscription Service on Vimeo On Demand, soon.

Results: Semis

Roberto Gomez .893 def. Mika Immonen .931, 11-10
Fedor Gorst .883 def. John Morra .773,11-5

Finals
Gomez .799 def Gorst .788, 11-10!

1st; $16,000, Runner-up, $8,000, 3rd & 4th, $4,000.

Play continues today: View on accu-stats.com:

BANK POOL CHAMPIONSHIP

471 players vie for $10,000. Race to 3, 9-Ball–Short Rack

Now 8 left going into Round 11:

Undefeated are former Bank Pool Champions John Brumback and Corey Deuel. Shane Van Boening is looking for his first.

This morning’s contenders were: Justin Bergman who was sent to buy back by Fedor Gorst then ousted by Shaw. Gorst then eliminated John Morra.

Skyler Woodward contemplated, “I played my best match ever and was sent to buy back by Brumback.”

Bustey eliminated Mitch Ellerman, Troy Jones–Daulton, and Deuel–Jalal Yousif.

Tuesday’s match-ups are:

Fedor vs Troy Jones.
Brumback vs. Deuel
Shaw vs. Shane
Bustey vs. Woodward

Tuesday, 9 pm. See the Bank Pool Finals, visit accu-stats.com

ONE POCKET CHAMPIONSHIP

393 entrants are underway.

What better One Pocket training ground than the Derby to learn to dodge and burn, nudge and needle, tease and squeeze.

For those who want to truly learn the grandfather of all pool games you have to compete here. You can’t be taught what is divulged without actual experience. And the only way you get that is to man-up.

Matches begin at noon on Accu-Sats.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 is streaming at billiardnet.tv, today!

The high run contest is underway

Chinakhov, Ruslan 182
Orcollo, Dennis 163
Fortunski, Miesko 125
Shaw, Jayson 110
Corteza, LeeVan 102
Poteet, Devin 94
DeLuna Jeffery 84
Melling, Chris 84
Archer, Johnny 81

Parks and Parker Win U.S. Amateur Championship Titles

Brian Parks

Champs Advance to Pro Event in 2017

It’s about leaving a legacy. Sure, there’s perks too.  Like a getaway to Tampa, one of the premier vacation destinations in the world.  An all-expenses paid trip to a pro event next year courtesy of the APA.  Oh, and let’s not forget the championship trophy – a combination of marble and bronze that more closely resembles a piece of fine art than something awarded at a tournament.

But winning the U.S. Amateur Championship is all about the title.  It’s about leaving one’s mark on the sport of pool.  It’s about having your name and your accomplishment forever etched in history.  That’s what drove more than 2,000 of North America’s top amateur players to try and qualify.  That’s what brought 128 men and 33 women to Stroker’s in Palm Harbor, Fla., in early November to compete in this year’s U.S. Amateur Championship.
 
Parks Wins Record 4th Title
 
Brian Parks of Bakersfield, Calif., has already left his legacy on the sport.  The three-time U.S. Amateur Champ had little to prove. He’d been there and done that.  
 
That was before a then 68-year-old fellow Californian named Henry Brodt decided to come out of retirement to win his third U.S. Amateur Championship title in 2015 – tying Parks record.  In his post-victory celebration, Brodt playfully “called out” Parks – who’d chosen not to compete last year.  Aware of Brodt’s good-natured ribbing, Parks returned this year, determined not to share his unmatched excellence.  Early on, he showed no rust from his one year hiatus.  He was vintage Parks, going undefeated through the first two days of competition and knocking off some of the top players in the field including Troy Jones, Marvin Guss and Brett Stottlemyer.
 
Then came an unexpected setback – a loss to the up-and-coming James Adams of Brooksville, Fla., a potential heir apparent to the U.S. Amateur Championship throne.  Parks would have to fight his way back through the one-loss bracket, and avenge his earlier round loss to Adams, to advance to the final round.
 
In the final round, Parks would face young Daniel Gambill of Hickory, N.C.  Gambill, another U.S. Amateur Championship regular who’s poised to be part of the event’s next generation of perennial stars.  Gambill had gone undefeated throughout the event and was playing arguably the best pool of his career.
 
The finale began in the 8-Ball set at Parks choosing.  Gambill opened with two quick wins.  Parks regrouped for two wins of his own.  They’d go on to split the next four games and were dead-locked at 4-4 heading into the 9-Ball set.  That’s where Parks shined.  He won seven straight games, giving Gambill few chances at the table.  What moments before looked like it might be a hill-hill nail-biter, was suddenly over faster than anyone expected.  Parks had won 11-4, and secured his fourth U.S. Amateur Championship title.
 
A gracious Gambill was the first to congratulate him, understanding all too well who’d defeated him, and knowing that his time would eventually come.
 
Parks will compete in the 2017 U.S. Open, and his name will once again be added to the Larry Hubbart Trophy of Champions.  Gambill finished as Runner-up, while Adams finished in 3rd Place – it was both players top finish in U.S. Amateur Championship competition.
 
Fernando Vaca of Gaithersburg, Va., finished in 4th Place.  Brett Stottlemyer of Pasadena, Md., and David Singleton of Port Orange, Fla., tied for 5th Place. 
 
[photo id=45563|align=right]Parker Takes Women’s Field By Storm
 
Generally it takes newcomers a few years of U.S. Amateur Championship competition to be in a position to take home the title.  Maybe it’s the combination 8-Ball and 9-Ball format.  Maybe it’s the level of competition.  Whatever it is, it certainly wasn’t the case for Robin Parker of Birmingham, Ala.  After failing to qualify in a Preliminary Round five years ago, Parker not only qualified, she steamrolled this year’s Women’s U.S. Amateur Championship field in just her first appearance.  Parker went undefeated, taking out seasoned veterans like Dee Dee Copeland and former champion Betty Lea.
 
Her most difficult test would come from Jackie Blomlie of Ocala, Fla. Parker sent Blomlie to the one-loss bracket early on the final day of competition, but Blomlie would put herself in position to avenge the loss by ousting Lea for a spot in the final round.
 
In the finals, Blomlie got on the board first with a win in the 8-Ball set, and led 3-1 after four games.  An unfazed Parker would take the next two games, and evened the match 3-3 as the ladies moved into the 9-Ball set.  Blomlie again got on the board first in the 9-Ball set.  Just when it looked as though she might open up the match, Parker rose to the occasion, and reeled off six straight wins for a dominating 9-4 win.
 
The victory secures Parker a spot in a 2017 WPBA pro event, while Blomlie had to settle for a strong Runner-up finish.  Former champion Betty Lea (’06) finished in 3rd Place in her first U.S. Amateur Championship competition in several years.
 
Match coverage, including the finals, of this year’s U.S. Amateur Championship and Women’s U.S. Amateur Championship, can be found on the APA YouTube channel at youtube.com/apaleagues.
 
The entry window for the 2017 U.S. Amateur Championship will open April 1 with the Preliminary Rounds scheduled across North America in mid-September.
 
The 2016 U.S. Amateur Championship was conducted by the APA, and is the only tournament produced by the APA open to both members and non-members.  Preliminary qualifying rounds were held throughout the country in mid-September.
 
As Champions, both Parks and Parker will return next year to defend their coveted titles.
 
The U.S. Amateur Championship is a double elimination tournament that offers the nation’s top amateur players the opportunity to showcase their skills through a combination of 8-Ball and 9-Ball matches, in the only APA event that does not use The Equalizer® handicap system.
 
The APA, based in Lake Saint Louis, Mo., sanctions the world’s largest amateur pool league, with leagues throughout the United States, Canada and Japan.  More than 250,000 members compete in weekly 8-Ball and 9-Ball League play.  The APA is generally recognized as the Governing Body of Amateur Pool, having established the official rules, championships, formats and handicap systems for the sport of amateur billiards.
 
The APA produces three major tournaments each year—the APA World Pool Championships, the APA Poolplayer Championships and the U.S. Amateur Championship—that, together, pay out more than $2 Million in cash and prizes annually!
 
The APA and its championships are sponsored by Aramith, Action Cues and Pool Dawg.
 
For complete coverage of the U.S. Amateur Championship visit http://www.poolplayers.com/usam/.

Pagulayan Wins Southern Classic Banks Division

Alex Pagulayan (Photo courtesy of Ricky Bryant)

Alex Pagulayan came second to Justin Hall in last years inaugural Southern Classic Banks event, but revenge was sweet this year as he took down the title and possession of the accompanying check for $8,000 with his win over runner-up Skyler Woodward.
 
The Banks division of the Southern Classic Championship held at the Harrah’s Hotel and Casino reached its conclusion on Monday afternoon when we found a field that looked remarkably like the one we had last year. In addition to Pagulayan, this year and last also found both John Brumback and Richie Richeson in the final five. Our newcomers to the Monday group were Woodward and Troy Jones.
 
At 2 pm on Monday afternoon we saw Alex Pagulayan (still with a buy-back), and John Brumback fighting it out in the Accu-Stats Simonis Arena. John would not progress as Alex showcased his remarkable shot making skills to secure a convincing win.
 
In the second 2 pm match we saw Troy Jones battling it out with Skyler Woodward (both with no buy-backs). This match went to the emerging young gun Skyler Woodward as he finished the fine run of Mr. Jones.
 
Next up at 7 pm on the Accu-Stats TV Table was Alex Pagulayan Vs Richie Richeson. Richeson had been waiting in the wings due to his receiving a bye in the draw. In this match we saw Alex once again firing on all cylinders, as he took down Richie 3-0. Thus settled Mr. Richeson for third place and $2,250.
 
This left Alex a single hurdle to better his second place in last years event, as he met Skyler Woodward in the final. It should be noted that young Woodward (20 years old) is making a regular habit of making the podium in these events. Due to Alex still having a buy-back, Skyler would have the unenviable task of having to beat Alex twice in the final.
 
But that was not to be as Pagulayan proved once again that he always finds a way to get the job done and he won the match with a convincing score line of 3-1.
 
Skyler Woodward should be complimented on taking down second place and a handsome check for $4,000, in such an illustrious event at such a young age. All can agree that titles are not far away in his future.
 
Alex Pagulayan, who never lost a match throughout the event, once again illustrated that he possesses such a remarkable all around game, one that very few masters have possessed. This future Hall of Famer is still six years away from being old enough to be on the ballot and he has chapters yet to write for us to consider as bits of his legacy.
 
Coming up are the semi-final and final of the Bigfoot 10 Ball event, held in the afternoon on the Diamond 10 ft table in the Accu-Stats Simonis Arena.
 
The semis feature Phil Burford (UK) VS Shane Van Boening (USA) and Karl Boyes (UK) VS Jonathan Pinegar (USA).
 
The losers of the two matches above will win $4,000 (3rd and 4th place), and the two winners will battle it out in the final to see who grabs the $16,000 first prize, with $8,000 going to second place.
 
Look for our coverage over the next few days!!!

Derby City Day Two

Scott Frost

AZBilliards wishes to correct an error we made in yesterday’s story. We reported that 303 players participated in the Banks competition at DCC. The true number of players is 404. We apologize for our error.  

Day two continued on in the banks with by and large the expected results. The much-anticipated Banks Ring Game found Scot Frost taking down the $5,000 first prize with Troy Jones capturing the $2,000 reward for second place. This is banks country and there are players here who can ride the rails as well as any train. Not many of them get surprised but one banks king, Shannon Daulton, found himself on the wrong end of the score line when he lost his match to Shaun Wilkie. Not that that is a huge surprise but most regard Wilkie as a great 9-baller and he is not often touted as a banks man. That may now have to change. On a nearby table John Brumback (one of the perennial favorites in this discipline) rolled over Francisco Bustamante 3-1 to win their match.  

John Schmidt is in town. In practice for the 14.1 competition yesterday he ran over 230 balls on a super-tight Diamond so he may be the one to reckon with there.  
Humor always finds its place here. One competitor who had just recovered from a heart attack was teasing the tournament staff that they needed to put him up against a blind guy in a wheelchair. The staff replied that  they did not have any blind men to play against him but they could provide him with a deaf guy. He declined the offer. When Shane Van Boening was told of the incident he had a hearty laugh about it.  

And then there is the simply amazing stuff that happens. Today it was Scot Frost who did the impossible. He won his afternoon race to three banks match in 12 minutes.