The Magician Conjures Up More Magic at Derby City

Efren Reyes (David Thomson – Medium Pool)

Diamond Derby City Classic XXIII, January 21-29, 2022

Caesars Southern Indiana, Elizabeth, IN

David Thomson

LIVE from the Accu-Stats TV Arena


Race to 3.

370 specialists compete in our sport’s most cerebral discipline: Chess with balls.

Reyes vs. Gomez

Fellow Filipinos, Efren Reyes and Roberto Gomez opened the One-Pocket festivities in the Accu-Stats TV Arena.

If you want to experience how Reyes tortures his opponents, this one’s for you.

Known as such a gentle soul off the table, he’s venomous on it.

The first game didn’t take long,

In the second, it seemed that most of the time, Gomez was shooting the same shot.

Efren would promote a ball to his side, then run the cue ball 2, 3, or 4 rails towards Roberto’s pocket.

There it would be buried or tucked neatly under two frozen balls that never moved during the entire game. Even Roberto was amused…for a while. 2-0.

In the closing game, Efren ran 6. He frustrated Roberto some more when pocketing a bank that he thought safe.  

Whitey twirled away to leave sublime position to sink his eighth and final ball. 

Mesmerizing: Efren is known as the “Magician” for good reason.

Woodward vs. Thorpe

Skyler and Billy, friends off the table, foes on it.

Woodward, 2019 DCC All-Around Champion, Thorpe, the 2017 DCC One-Pocket Champion.

Equally competitive, equally talented, equally aggressive, so it’s no wonder that their score was quickly tied at two.

In the decider, Woodward put 5 together, then one more: 6-0. And, unbeaten, he had a buy-back option.

One ball at a time, Billy, with only one life to live, battled back to get to 5. Then tied it up at 6, then ahead 7-6. 

Woodward, squirming a little in his seat, sensed the inevitable. He’d seen Billy exert his power from this position many times.

His pocketing power was so precise, he left position for a short railer that leapt onto the leather at the back of the pocket.

Their sportsmanlike handshake was a little short-lived as Woodward had to run to beat the buy-back booth deadline.

Pagulayan vs. Gabriel

The ultra-experienced Tulsa Oklahoman John Gabriel had Alex Pagulayan 7 to -2.

Pagulayan surprised us all, even Gabriels, with an impressive recovery that stole the opening game. 

Gabriel now inspired, won the second, then the third with a convincing six-ball run.

Alex was now in trouble. Remember, he lost his first life in an encounter with Japan’s Naoyuki Oi.

Within a few strokes of the 4th rack, Alex needed 4 while Gabriel, never afraid to take a scratch, was -4. 

Superb defense allowed Pagulayan to stay alive and force a decider.

Here Gabriel, at the table, pocketed perhaps the most creative shot of the event. 

With balls now spread everywhere…except where John had an opening to his hole, defense prevailed.

No matter what Alex did to protect his position, John had an answer; He would soft roll a 2-railer, happy to proceed one ball at a time, then play safe. 

Finally, Alex left him frozen to the top rail…and John ran 4 and out.

Today, Pagulayan met his match.

Shaw vs. Meglino

Florida’s Anthony Meglino‘s  reputation preceded him as a formidable One-Pocket opponent.

Scotland’s Jayson Shaw, now a Connecticut billiard room owner, is the first to admit that he is still a student of the game.

He relies on his shotmaking, his straight pool pattern play and his indisputable Banking ability.

Three powerful attributes to have while he continues to explore “moving” to win games.

Applying his above strengths against Meglino produced a well-crafted 8-and-out on their opening game.

Game 2 with a similar run and it’s 2-0.

Meglino said two can play that game and skillfully executed his run and it’s 2-1.

Anthony continued with a 4-1 lead in game four.

Then he erred leaving an open rack. Jayson uncharacteristically overran the mark and had to duck.

Anthony showed his shotmaking expertise and soon found the four balls required to force the decider.

Shaw’s aggressive approach may be considered reckless by old school “movers” yet, it soon had him ahead six balls to zero.

The pressure applied to Anthony soon provoked an error.

Jayson was offered a bank that left natural position to pocket his game ball.

Shaw was “moving” to the next round.

Other results of interest include: Mika ousting Efren at 3-2. Sky, after his bout with Billy, got gouged by Gomez; Shane then obliterated Billy 3-0; Fedor fried Chohan at 3-0; Garcia got Filler to visit the buy-back booth; and Grabe, still going strong, gave Lee Vann his first loss.

There are 23 players left as the day’s final round  commences…at midnight.

This is the Derby; not for the  faint of heart.

It’s One-Pocket for most of Thursday on Accu-Stats PPV OnDemand culminating with the Semis and Finals in the evening.


473 will Battle on the Derby’s Most Brutal Battlefield.

As Matchroom has deemed the Derby’s 9-Ball Championship a Mosconi Cup point garnering event. 9-Ball has become this year’s most populated event.

We’re still in the first round so, not much to report.

Tune in tomorrow.

Diamond Derby City Classic ONE-POCKET Championship: Sun Jan. 23 – Wed. Jan. 26. Semis and Finals  in the Accu-Stats TV Arena, Thursday evening, Jan 27.

Diamond Derby City Classic 9-BALL Championship: Wed. Jan 26 – Sat. 29.

Accu-Stats PPV OnDemand service

The cream of the match-ups is presented via the Accu-Stats Pay-Per-View OnDemand, 4-camera HD production.

Approximately, 60 action-packed hours of pro-pool are projected, PLUS reruns. After each match concludes, it is uploaded and available to you.

With PPV OnDemand, you choose when you view, no matter what you’re timezone.