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

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.
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.
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
Dennis Orcullo, 190 
Shane Van Boening, 150
Ruslan Chinakhov, 141
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