The Cannon takes Derby City Banks division

LIVE from the Horseshoe Southern Indiana Resort and Casino, Elizabeth, IN


Derby City Classic XVII, January 23-31, 2015


Diamond Derby City Classic XVII: Bank Pool Division: FINALS


From 413 entrants on Friday, tonight there were three: Efren Reyes, Shannon Daulton and John Brumback.


All had one loss. There would be no buy-backs. One of the them was going to get a bye.


In a unique way of picking who gets it, each player was asked to pick up one of 3 big boxes sitting on the Diamond table in the Accu-Stats Arena then, face the bottom of it to the audience.


Unbeknownst to the players, one of the boxes had BYE written on it. Much to his relief, Brumback had chosen it: He was sent swiftly into the Finals.


Efren and Shannon stayed in the Arena to determine who got 3rd.


If Efren won the semi's, then the finals, he would be the first man, ever, to complete the DCC career "Grand Slam" with wins in all 3 divisions. Banks, One-Pocket, and 9-Ball.


With a 2-0, and needing the case ball, Efren looked invincible. H even had a couple of attempts at it. Shannon reached for his cannon. Blasting back with some incredible shotmaking, the match was soon tied at 2. He was driven, but it wasn't over yet.


In the decider, Efren had 3 balls, Shannon had zero.  With more gut wrenching, inner strength,  Daulton caught a gear and now had 4. Efren, altho,' having showed moments of magic, was missing.


Shannon's opportunity arose when Efren left the 4-ball a couple of inches from the bottom rail. With incredible precision, Shannon crossed it the length of the table towards the opposite corner pocket.


As it passed the side, there was now doubt that it would run true. Daulton strode, with outstretched hand, toward Reyes as the ball dropped in behind him.


When The Cannon sank that last ball the exultation was written all over his face. He was ecstatic. So, were the hometown fans in the standing room only arena.


"I've been beaten so many times by Efren, including last year in the One-Pocket Finals," coincidently, the only division Shannon hasn't won.


"I really prepared for this. I've been going to sleep anywhere from 9-11, every night.


"I'm now 42 years old. You can either win upstairs, in action, or downstairs here on the TV table. In the TV table, you win forever."


No need for rest, he faced long time friend and fellow Southerner John Brumback. They grew up banging balls around together.  Both have many DCC titles. Money be-damned; There was nothing more important than garnering other one.


Shannon won the lag…broke, and ran 5 and out. They got down to one ball in the second game and Shannon sank that: 2-0.


Shannon stayed ahead and had opportunities to take it all but now the banks were eluding him. One even slow rolled to the hole only to tease him.


John stayed alive at 1-2 and took a time-out.


Yesterday, he and Shannon had been practicing together, for the same title, at a friend's house. Their deep-rooted friendship was most apparent when Shannon, with an energy drink in his hand, was late returning from the time-out.


John, mildly frustrated, said, " Where ya been? I've been waiting on you," Then he, nonchalantly, took Shannon's drink, sucked a long draft from the straw, and placed it back in his hand.


Shannon didn't even notice. "Go break, then," he said."


John did but to no avail. It garnered him only a ball.


Shannon showed the same form of the opening rack. Needing only one ball, he finally sank that elusive championship orb. They shared a congratulatory hug.


It'e easy to tell that these guys will be competitors and friends, in and out of the arena, for life. Today, they knew that it was just Shannon's turn.


On they go to the One-Pocket division.


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The One-Pocket Hall of Fame Banquet


Tuesday evening, Steve Booth hosted the most entertaining night at the Derby, The One

Pocket Hall of Fame Banquet in Legends Bar near the Horseshoe Southern Indiana food court.


The evening honored the life and times of the inimitable, sometimes notorious, Freddy "The Beard" Bentivegna. 1940-2014.


It was night full of sweet sadness, tears, spurious road stories, laughs–lots of laughs–and lastly, surprises–lots of surprises.


What night commemorating Freddy is not going to be filled with all of the above. Friends and family–his daughter Cat–came to honor him with tales portraying the man behind his infamous escapades to an audience transfixed.


Freddy's Chicago neighborhood friend of 43 years, John Bosnak, with the aid daughter Cat, dug into the archives to compile a slide show of pics that went as far back as the 40s.


The eerie the thing about John is not that only that he and Freddy looked like they were brothers, their voices, including intonation, sounded identical. So when John was commentating during the slide show, it sounded like Freddy was introducing himself.


"Yeah, we've been friends for so long that we started to be alike." John joked. Narrating the pics, he soon choked up as he was reminded that his dear friend was no longer with us. 


Scott Frost was first from the pool community to the podium. "Freddy told me that, 'If you stick with it, one day you will beat Efren.' The interesting thing is that I believed him. I really credit that his motivation contributed to my success today."


Billy Incardona and Danny Diliberto waxed eloquently stating that Bentivegna was one of pool's greatest characters and raconteurs.


Mary Kenniston, Nick Varner, and Efren Reyes were respectfully present.


Videographer Angel Levine stated that Freddy and his great friend George Fels (who had edited his recent, Encyclopedia of Pool Hustlers) were a profound influence in her life and, jokingly, referred to them as scoundrels and scholars. "As a teenager, hanging out in the pool room, they not only watched out for me, they were like father figures to me."


Freddy's daughter Cat has started a Freddy the Beard Facebook page and it already has 3000 "likes." She invites anyone to share their personal Freddy story.


"His philosophy was that, in life, everyone should strive to do what ever makes them happy," Cat reflected.


Accu-Stats commentator, and cue maker, Bill Gibbs donated a cue that he had made in 1989. In 2008 he started having all the One Pocket and Bank Pool legends sign it at the annual Hall of Fame Banquets. Today, it has a proud new owner.


Then came the surprises: The legendary  Marshall "Squirrel" Carpenter was in the house. Scott Frost returned to the mic and shared that The Tuscaloosa Squirrel was his first road partner. "And now, at 87, he's still matching up!"


"Do you have the nuts?" was hollered form the floor? "I never had the nuts, I just liked to crack 'em," he retorted.


Then Bank Pool Hall of Famer Hogue was back at the Podium preparing us for the evening's biggest surprise. it was time to honor the "Lifetime Pool in Action" award.


"When I was a kid, this man had so much faith in me that he took me on the road as my stake horse and it took me six months to book a winner. He always stood by me.


"His whole life has been dedicated to allowing people to see the beauty of Pool…"


Meanwhile, Greg Sullivan, Diamond's president and founder of the Derby City Classic turned to his wife Kay and whispered incredulously. "This sounds like me."


Hogue's deep, resonating voice was still bellowing into the microphone. "…Greg Sullivan," 


The room went crazy, Lifetime Pool in Action award? Greg's jaw dropped as, overwhelmed, he was dragged to the podium, "No, no, you take it. " he choked, "Give it to me later. I hate the limelight," tears now streaming down his face. 


Finally, somewhat composed, he graciously thanked everyone. "All I ever wanted to do was let pool evolve from a game into a sport." 


"Well, you've certainly done that," said Banquet founder, Steve Booth, closing the ceremonies. "Pool has always had two sides," Steve acknowledged, "The Tournament side and the Action side. Here at the Derby, Greg, you've brought them together."


Kay Sullivan was still sitting, observing all, from her setting at the table. She had known of her husband's surprise presentation, and kept it secret, for two terrifying weeks. Her face beaming with pride, still glistening from her tears.


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The George Fels Memorial Straight Pool Challenge


Action all day as daily bonuses are distributed to the top 3 high runs. $300, $200, $100.


No one has caught Jayson's 227 or Mika's 224.


When Orcollo heard that there was $1,000 prize for the tournament's highest run, he ran upstairs between one-pocket matches and, in his first inning, delivered a 197. That should ensure him a berth in the final 8. Can he repeat?


Nick Van Den Berg has a 149, Warren Kiamco, a 145. Mika struck an additional 112.


One more day of qualifiers before the top 8 high runners square off in single elimination. it looks like a lowly 100 might get you in there.


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Diamond Derby City Classic XVII: One Pocket Division


352 One Pocket are now down to 70 As Morra, at 3-1, sent veteran Cliff Joyner to buy back. "John shot well," said Cliff. "I got distracted by all the action around me rather than focussing on the game."


"It was an interesting match coming from the pace of the Banks and 10-Ball," observed John, "The first game took 90 minutes, the last one, 90 seconds."


Frost lost 1-3 to World 14.1 Champion Stephan Cohen and Efren bought back after a second round loss to New Yorker, Jim Milazoo. Didn't that previously happen to him in the Banks too?


More One-Pocket Action in the Accu-Stats TV arena tomorrow starting with Efren and Shane at 10am EDT, He'd better get some rest after his Banks match. One more loss and he's gone.


Diamond thanks its sponsors: The Horseshoe Southern Indiana, Cyclop Balls, Simonis Cloth, BCA Pool League, and BadBoys Billiard Productions.


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