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Derby City Day Seven Update

Alex Pagulayan (Photo courtesy of David Thomson –

Derby City Classic XXI, January 25 – February 2nd, 2019
LIVE from the Horseshoe Southern Indiana Casino, Elizabeth IN.
410 entrants are now culled to 7.
Alex Pagulayan is one of them. As the 2016 One-Pocket winner, Alex is ready to reinstate his status as the best one-hole strategist around. Being, singularly, undefeated adds to his odds.
He closed out the night of the Accu-Stats TV coverage with a convincing win over Florida’s Anthony Meglino. 3-1.
Meglino, a tall, streak of a man, had just upset the flow chart by freezing Scott Frost.
Alex, in the previous round, ousted Justin Bergman who had been given his first loss by last year’s Master of the Table, Francisco Bustamante.
Banks runner-up Omar Al Shaheen, still on a roll, chilled Tony Chohan. Later, Omar was cornered by Corey Deuel, in round 10, his run was ended by Van Boening who continued to round 11. 
At around midnight, Alex showed Shane the buyback booth.
After his loss to Omar, Chohan drove Hohmann to buy back, then, ended Woodward’s aspirations.
Tony’s confrontation with Corey, the DCC two time Banks Champion, didn’t end well. Neither did Orcollo’s, who had just enabled Kevin Cheng to concentrate on his game of choice, 9-Ball.
Danny Smith, who finished 5th in Banks, had an incredible early morning meeting with John Schmidt. His power banking ability totally reversed positions that John had considered safe.
Danny was handed his first loss by Corey, and as the day continued, beat Bustey. Then, maybe the upset of the day, he faced Fedor Gorst.
Gorst has to be considered in the most improved category. His actions exited the well respected Evan Lunda, the aforementioned Smith, and lastly, grazed the other very much improved one-holer, Roberto Gomez.
Bustamante, in round 11, moved Hohmann homeward
So, we are at 7: Pagulayan with two lives, Van Boening, Bustamante, Deuel, Gomez, Gorst, and Orcullo in the win or walk division.
One Pocket matches, concluding with the Finals, will air at
407 entrants; Another attendance record broken!
140 are left with 47 of them having buy-backs.
Race to 9. 3 balls, minus those pocketed, must make the kitchen on the break.
Johnny continued his assault after bludgeoning Morra by bouncing Brumback to the booth. Mika Immonen mandated that Bustey buy back, then ran into Albanian bulldozer Eklent Kaci.  Mika had to pay a visit to the buy-back booth.
James Aranas snuck up on Jayson Shaw, John Schmidt won the Deuel duel, Filler applied his killer on Ralf, while Sky Woodward changed Chinakhov’s chances.
Young Russian EuroTour titlist Kristina Tkach charged into the 3rd round undefeated. Jennifer Barretta and Pia Filler are still in with one.
Some of the usual suspects with two are Justin Bergman, Konrad Juszczyszyn, Dee Adkins, Eklent Kaci, Maksim Dudanets, Niels Feijen (still trying to find the time to finish the 14.1 event), Justin Hall, Jeremy Jones, Rob Saez, Johnny, Alex Olinger, Josh Roberts, Vann Corteza, Orcollo, Melling, Shane, Cheng, and Chang.
The All-Around points are mounting. Thorpe, Al Shaheen, and Bustamante leading the hunt with Deuel, Orcollo, and Woodward hot on the trail.
Much more to come.
View the remaining matches at
Hosted by the inimitable Truman Hogue, the most boisterous Bank Pool Party on earth will challenge the world’s best to a winner-take-all funfest.
Warming up at 50 bucks a ball, you can be assured that by night’s end, in search of a winner, the all-in finalists will play for, at least, $500 a ball.
Don’t miss it at
The final Draw:
Neils Feijen 125, Joshua Filler 56
Immonen 125, Schmidt 26 
Melling vs. Van Boening
Orcollo vs. Corteza
Are finding time between their One-Pocket and 9-Ball to finish the 14.1 tournament.
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 Eight – Bustamante Wins One Pocket and Takes Master of the Table Lead

Francisco Bustamante – Photo courtesy of Dave Thomson –

Derby City Classic XX, January 19-27, 2018
LIVE from the Horseshoe Southern Indiana Casino, Elizabeth, IN
Let’s be frank and say it like it is. Francisco Bustamante’s One Pocket game has gotten better. Where has it improved? “I’m more aggressive,” he asserted. “To win, you must put pressure on your opponent.” 
In the opening game of the Final’s, Justin Bergman had made 6 and left the green Cyclop hanging in his pocket. Rather than just give it to him and leave the cue ball snuggled in Bergman’s pocket, the 54-year-old Filipino took on a three rail flier that would either make him or break him.
A stop shot would leave the cue ball in perfect position and allow the opportunity to get at least 4 more, but if he missed, with that dangling orb, Justin was surely out.
The three-railer took off the long rail and swept effortlessly into his pocket. He ran 6 to miss abruptly and they both needing 2.
He actually lost that game but that wasn’t the point. He feels that if he has an opportunity like that and doesn’t take it, that sends a message to the opponent that transfers the power to him. “If I’m gonna win, I win, if I’m gonna lose, I lose.”
Getting so close, also, gave Bustey the impetus to stick with the game plan; Keep applying the pressure.
He never looked back. His run outs were absolutely spectacular, his banking, superb, his defense–when it was the only option–so exceptional that he didn’t lose another game. And, most importantly, it catapulted the two-time Master of the Table into contention for a 3rd with an All-Around point total score of 198.5. 
Obviously disappointed, Bergman had had his best DCC finish yet. Today, he’d beaten past champion, Shannon Daulton, twice! He’d been bounced in and out of the Accu-Stats TV Table to play 9-Ball in the main arena where an additional 20 Diamond Tables were shimmering in a sea of Simonis Blue.
As the One Pocket runner-up and his high finish in Banks plus, his remaining buy-back in 9-Ball, he was looking strong in second place with an All-Around point total of 153.3. 
A quick recap of how we got to the finals would read: Tony Chohan was not intimidated by Kiamko’s earlier, stellar 17 ball run that, incidentally, initiated Bustey’s buy-back. Warren’s buy-back remains intact in the 9-Ball.
Bustey gave DeLuna his marching orders which allowed him to meet Tony in the semi’s #2 which had an interesting incident.
With tight, nip and duck strategy they were a tied at 2, In the deciding rack, Bustamante, aggressive as ever, led 7 balls to 1. Chohan, obviously pressured, needed all of them. Around the 4th ball, he lost his cue ball which headed off the short rail destined for the side pocket.
Sensing a scratch, Bustey, prematurely, sprang out of his seat. With ball-in-hand in the kitchen, he knew that he was surely out and into the finals.
“Oh yeah, Oh yeah,” he yelled, jumping up and down, hands in the air. But wait, whitey swerved slightly and rattled around the rim to settle table-top and leave Tony helpless.
363 entries vying for the $16,000 first place prize money.
The beauty, and blessing, of competing in any event at the Derby City Classic is that even though there are near 4-500 entries in any given division, the odds are that you are not going to draw a champion.
Virtually half the field is composed of B+ players who, by definition, occasionally break and run a rack of 9-Ball. if you can run two, odds are, you’re gonna go far, maybe, get close to the money, Then, if you do lose to a better class of opponent, it becomes mandatory that you use your buy-back privilege to protect your investment.
That’s the blessing, the beauty is that you can draw a Champion, either way, you leave with a tale to tell. Either way, you win.
“That’s the way of the Derby City Classic experience,” said Diamond’s Greg Sullivan, “I want everyone to leave with a story.”
Around 250 9-Ball players have been eliminated and 16 of the remaining 100, or so, are undefeated.
From Kuwait, Omar Al Shaheen, Justin Bergman, Marc Bijsterbosch, Gary Browning, John Brumback, Ruslan Chinakhov, Lee Vann Corteza, Josh Filler. Warren Kiamko, Chris Melling, John Morra, Dennis Orcullo, Alex Pagulayan, Jayson Shaw, and Shane Van Boening.
In summation, a truly International field of pool superstars and those are just the unbeaten. BIG Foot Gomez, Bank Champ Corey Deuel, Mika Immonen, Jeff DeLuna, Shannon Daulton, Jalal Yousif, Rob Saez, Fedor Gorst, John Schmidt, Justin Hall, Brandon Shuff, Ronnie Alcano…the list goes on.
In his match with Oklahoman Chip Compton, England’s Chris Melling put on a snooker clinic. “I didn’t get a look at a ball,” commented Compton.”Chris played great.”
The ladies, including Karen Corr and Loree Jon Hasson, are gone. Karen ran into Evan Lunda and Joey Gray.
What was of note with Loree Jon was that she had drawn Lee Vann Corteza. She was about to tie the match at 7 when she missed the 7. It could have cost her the match
Had she made it, Lee Vann confessed that it would have added serious pressure, “…as I had just came from 2-8 behind to escape the buy-back booth. When I saw how confident Loree Jon was, I started to get shaky. Lucky for me she missed.”
LIVE 9-Ball Play continues at
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 action packed 10-Ball Bank entertainment was in full swing at press time.
Bustamante had entered but, due to his exhausting day, decided to get some sleep and concentrate on his early morning 9-Ball match. He also, wants to protect those All-Around points.
Corey Deuel, Shannon Daulton, Jeremy Jones, Shawn Murphy, Billy Thorpe and Skyler Woodward are “all-in,” 
The 10-Ball Bank Ring Game, hosted by banking living legend, Truman Hogue began at $50 a ball. You can bet that it will be 10 times that by game’s end. We’ll keep you posted on the results, tomorrow,

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

Keith McCready with Scott Frost and Shannon Daulton (Photo courtesy of Dave

Derby City Classic XX, January 19-27, 2018
LIVE from the Horseshoe Southern Indiana Casino, Elizabeth, IN
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 for match times.
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..
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 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.
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.

9-Ball Takes Over at Derby City

Bankers Convention

The DCC 9-Ball Championships

At daybreak, we had 22 players remaining from the original 321. With 170 points, Billy Thorpe is ahead in the race for the DCC All Around Champion title and the $20,000 bonus money. He is also the current cash leader with $12,000 for the One Pocket title and $1400 for 5/6th in Banks. Francisco Bustamante and Alex Pagulayan (who was overpowered by Ramil Gallego) gone from the 9-Ball, Dennis Orcollo is next on the list with 107.5. To put this in perspective, if Dennis were to win the 9-Ball, Billy would need to get 3rd to keep his points lead intact and maintain as All Around Champion.

But, let’s not forget Shane Van Boening. Shane can’t become the All around champion, but certainly can upset the applecart. Van Boening is undefeated and on fire. He’s ruthlessly running over anyone in his path, For example, Vann Corteza, always a contender, had him 3 nil. Shane ran 4. Corteza botched a safety. Shane ran 5 and out. He then met the young Manila money player, Johann Chua. He was demoralized at 9-0. Mika Immonen was next eliminated, 9-3. If either Billy or Dennis get drawn against him, they’d better bring the heavy machinery, applecarts are not going to contain him.

Shaw, after a self imposed thrashing from Skyler, unscrewed his cue mid game and departed the arena, apparently, disgusted with his performance. Somedays you just can’t catch a gear, Today was Jayson’s day. His opponent in the BIG foot finals, Alex Kazakis, later cooled Woodward. Mistica put Corteza out of his misery, Shawn Wilkie ejected Josh Roberts, Appleton applied the exit strategy on Brandon Shuff while Melling chewed on Chinahov. Then, Biado showed Chohan the door.  After bagging Brumback, Efren ran into the fearless Albanian, Eklent Kaci who exacted great fortitude as he clawed from a 7-9 deficit to break and calmly run the closing rack. Orcollo later eliminated Appleton and Thorpe overpowered Hohmann. So all of the above are still in stroke and in contention as Saturday finalizes the event’s festivities.

View at all day tomorrow.

The George Fels Memorial Straight Pool Challenge is streaming at

Now in the single elimination stage of the event, in their race to 125 points, Chris Melling’s mesmerizing 78 ball run exited Li Wen Lo, Jayson allowed Johnny Archer only 6, Pagulayan extracted only 59 from Appleton, and Mika got Orcollo at 97 as they parry for the $22,000 prize fund. On Saturday, in the semi’s, Melling will face Shaw while Mika will play Appleton.

Accu-Stats could stream if scheduling permits.

BANKS RING GAME. Banks veteran, Truman Hogue, as MC, controlled the packed Accu-Stats Arena and what ensued must be considered an upset: Past Banks robber, Francisco Bustamante, like all great bankers, was considered too big to fail. Danny Smith soon followed. Billy Thorpe was the third man down. Shannon Daulton delivered runs of 4, 6, and at $600 a ball, Shaw and Skyler were All-In as he ran 6 and out. The kids just couldn’t catch him. Tonight, he banked $9,000.

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,


Morra wins Derby Banks Event

John Morra (Photo courtesy of Dave Thomson –

John Morra may not be known for his bank pool game, but that will be be a thing of the past as he has won the Derby City Classic Bank Pool event.

Morra started the event with a fairly manageable draw but that is only half the battle in any tournament. Morra displayed a bank game that many fans were not expecting from him with notable wins over Jerry Matchin, Josh Smith and Josh Oneal in the early rounds. The level of competition picked up after that as Morra rattled off wins against Louie Ulrich, Charlie Bryant and John Brumback to make his way undefeated into round twelve with only three players remaining.

The other two players left at that time were Shane Van Boening and Brandon Shuff. Van Boening had dropped a match to Francisco Bustamante in the 8th round, but had come back with wins over Efren Reyes, Jonathan Pinegar and Alvis Fitch. Shuff had dropped his 7th round match against Truman Hogue, but had wins over Pinegar, Robb Saez and Danny Smith to compliment a bye in the 10th round.

With three players left in the 12th round, one player would get a bye and fate would smile on Morra as he got to sit out and watch Van Boening and Shuff try to knock each other out of the tournament. 

Van Boening eliminated Shuff and got ready for the unenviable task of trying to hand Morra back to back losses. 

Shane was up the task in the first match 3-2, but the second match saw Morra take a 2-0 lead and then at 2-1, take advantage of a number of hung balls by Van Boening to notch a 5-3 win in the final game for the 3-1 win and the banks title.

With the bank pool event complete, attention now turns to One Pocket with just over 200 players competing over the next three days.

We promised you results from last night’s Senior One Pocket Tournament and the results from the 83 player event were as follows…

1st Bob Herchik $800
2nd Walt Anderson $400
3rd Charlie Lane 
3rd Dennis Schell $200
5th Jerry Matchin
5th Jose Parica
5th John Henderson
5th Sy Brown $50

2006 Derby City Banks Ring Game – Bentivegna / Brumback / Daulton / Fargo / Hogue / Gregg / Rogers