The “Iceman” and Dechaine to meet in Galveston 10-Ball Hot Seat match

Mika Immonen

The second half of the 75-entrant Galveston Classic 10-Ball hot seat puzzle fell into place just after 1 a.m. on Saturday morning, September 19, as Mika Immonen defeated Shane Van Boening in a hill-hill match viewed by over 1,000 fans signed on to the UStream Internet broadcast. An early lead by Van Boening was negated about midway through the match, and the two battled back forth to double-hill, before the “Iceman” lived up to his name, breaking and running the final rack.

“I have to admit,” said Immonen, moments later, “that I caught the rolls at the right time.”

 The “Iceman” will face Mike Dechaine, who, earlier in the evening, sent Johnny Archer to the west bracket 11-7. The two will square off to see who'll own the hot seat at 10 p.m. on Saturday.

“He's beaten me a couple of times,” said Immonen, “so I'm not going to take him for granted.”

On the one-loss side of the final eight bracket, Efren Reyes is scheduled to meet Warren Kiamco, while Alex Pagalayun faces off against Francisco Bustamante. Both of those matches are scheduled for noon, with the latter match as the likely candidate for the Ustream Internet broadcast. The winner of the Reyes/Kiamco match will face Archer at 6 p.m on Saturday evening, while the winner of the Pagalayun/Bustamante contest will face Van Boening at the same time.

After an opening round ‘bye,' Immonen's five-match journey to the hot seat match went through Hiroshi Takanaka, Mark Stubbs, Jeremy Jones (who would be commentating on his eventual matchup versus Van Boening), Steve Moore and Ramil Gallego, before completing that trip against Van Boening on Saturday night. Dechaine, arguably, had the tougher trip, beginning with an 11-8 win over Rodney Morris, and followed by a hill-hill victory over Charlie “Hillbilly” Bryant. Things didn't get any easier, but Dechaine persevered to chalk up an 11-5 win over Larry Nevel, an 11-8 win over Earl Strickland and the 11-7 win over Archer.

Two of the four players who advanced into the one-loss side of the final eight bracket moved over there in their opening matches. Reyes gave way in his opening match in a hill-hill struggle against Joey Korsiak, who'd follow him over a match later and eventually get dropped by Dennis Orcollo. Reyes' six-match journey on the one-loss side began with his semifinal opponent in the One-Pocket event, Cliff Joyner. Once past him, 11-7, he went on to defeat Sean Black, Glen Atwell, Neil Fujiwara, Brandon Shuff and Gallego to advance into the one-loss side of the event's final eight.

Warren Kiamco, who'd been defeated in the opening round of play by Dennie Strickland, moved to the one-loss side and got by John Hagar, Hunter Blackwell (in a shutout), John Schmidt, Dennis Orcollo, Steve Moore, Ronnie Alcano and Rodolfo Luat.

Bustamante and Pagalayun got sent to the one-loss side of their preliminary bracket by Corey Deuel and Johnny Archer, respectively. Bustamante moved over in the third round, thanks to Archer and Pagalayun joined him after the fifth round, following wins over Marlon Manolo, Shannon Daulton, Scott Frost (hill-hill) and Ernesto Dominguez. Pagalayun moved among the final eight after a single victory on the one-loss side; against  Deuel, denying Bustamante a second shot at him. Bustamante, in the meantime, had gone through Shawn Putnam, Lee Van Corteza, Francis Crevier, Jason Klatt and Earl Strickland to get into the final eight.