The 25th Jay “Swanee” Swanson Memorial 4k Added 9-ball Tournament Showcases Big Heart in Las Vegas

Corey Deuel and Shane Van Boening

A full field of 64 strong players came out to Griff’s in Las Vegas over the weekend of April 10th & 11th to compete in “The Swanee”. “The Swanee” is short for the Jay “Swanee” Swanson Memorial Tournament, and Griff’s hosted its 25th event.

The event attracted several stand out up and coming pros, and legendary road warriors that competed in the double elimination 4k added 9-ball tournament.  The event was free to spectators and available to view on live stream by a professional stream with commentary by BBTV via Griff’s Facebook page.

“Swanee” the player was a legendary, larger than life character who was known as the best player out of San Diego and one of the best in the nation. A towering “Gentle Giant” who was all heart and loved the excitement of competition and followed the action. The legend of Jay “Swanee” Swanson was huge. Unfortunately, “Swanee” had to quit the game after his doctor discovered that he had an enlarged heart and ultimately even he couldn’t contain it.

His legacy continues, and legends reflect back on great road stories and memories like Johnny Archer who respected how he always practiced hard and took the game seriously. After this weekend, even more new players will continue his legacy in remembering and participating in the 2021 Swanee. This event was run by Tim Kovacs and KPP (Kovacs Pool Promotions) and hosted by Mark Griffin, Gary Lutman and Griff’s staff.

All players played one another even with no jump cues allowed. Races to 8 on the winners side and races to 7 on the one-loss bracket. The finals was a race to 11 games. (The player had to win by two games, and if it went to 15-15, the match went to sudden death)

The event drew big names in the game, like Shane Van Boening, Vilmos Foldes, Warren Kiamco, Oscar Dominguez, Chris Robinson and Corey Deuel. The field was filled with a super strong field of talent with big heart.

Talent was deep in the field with 33 players rated 650 or higher with 17 over 700. On paper, Shane Van Boening came into the event as the favorite with an 817 Fargo.

It would be Shane’s old Mosconi Cup teammate, pro Corey Deuel who would stand out by going through the field to the hot-seat undefeated. Corey defeated Sergio Rivas, Oscar Dominguez, John Kocela, Nick De Leon, Danny Olson and Chris Robinson to earn his seat in the finals.

James Cabal, Daniel Sardoncillo, Manny Perez and Oscar Dominguez played solid finishing 9-12th.

Nick De Leon and Chris Lulek, both from team Arizona, had outstanding performances finishing 7-8th. Vilmos Foldes played outstanding throughout the event and knocked Chris Lulek out of the tournament 7-4, before running into a buzzsaw in Shane Van Boening on then TV table, losing 7-1.

Nick De Leon lost a well fought match against one of the favorites, Warren Kiamco, 7-4.

Warren was playing superb pool Saturday and all day Sunday before coming up short in a hill-hill thriller, getting defeated by the “South Dakota Kid” Shane Van Boening 7-6.

Shane would play another Mosconi Cup player, Chris Robinson, on the TV table for a chance to play Corey Deuel in the finals. Shane outperformed Chris in compelling fashion 7-3.

The stage was set, with all eyes on two top American players who have both represented the United States of America on one of pool’s largest stages – the Mosconi Cup. Both players embody all of the characteristics that “Swanee” would be proud of. Both of these players can play the game at the highest level and have heart, big heart.

In the finals…

All eyes were on the final match on the TV table… Corey Deuel vs Shane Van Boening.

Shane continued his hot play on the TV table while Corey played a solid set. Shane capitalized on a few key misses and jumped ahead at 9-6, before Corey closed the gap to two racks at  10 – 8. Corey’s late comeback came to an end with a scratch on the break, as Shane ran out the remaining balls and earned a hard fought victory capturing the 25th Swanee.

Griff’s etches the names of each years champion in a special plaque that has a picture of “Swanee”. This year, Shane Van Boening proved to have the biggest heart and dug the deepest to deliver a gritty win to become the 2021 “Swanee” Champion.

Griff’s had Simonis cloth and new Aramith Duramith Balls on every table. The tables played  perfectly straight and this event featured a special customized red Accu-rack produced by Outsville for this event.