Things Get Tough in Norfolk

SVB on Tough Road

Wednesday at the U.S. Open found many of the world's best players headed for the exit. Among those now eliminated are names like double World Champion Pin-Yi Ko, Jeremy Sossei, Tony Drago, Johnny Archer, Marcus Chamat, Alex Pagulayan, Mike Davis, Stevie Moore, Justin Hall, Shannon Daulton, Niels Feijen, John Morrra, Shaun Wilkie, Brandon Shuff, and Nikos Ekonomopoulos.

All of the above have many tournament wins to their credit, but the field here is so tough that no one is safe. Many more will hit the doors today.

We only have eight men remaining who are still undefeated. Their matches today will be top-drawer as Jayson Shaw will take on Oliver Ortmann, Haitao Liu faces Karl Boyes, Ralf Souguet readies for K.L. Hsu, and Ruslan Chinakov goes against Y.H. Cheng. Note that none of the undefeated are Americans. The international field is showing its impressive strength here in Norfolk.

Hill-hill is a terrible way to lose but the drama for the fans is terrific. We have had more than our share of drama. Haitao Liu took the narrow win yesterday over Mika Immonen as did Y.H. Cheng over Justin Bergman. It is even worse for those on the one-loss side. Those shown the exit by a mere game included Pin-Yi Ko at the hands of Kenichi Uchigaki, Ivica Putnik got the treatment from Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz, and John Morra who felt the sting from M. Teutscher.

For the rest of the week most all of the matches will be toss-ups. Multi-time champs Shane Van Boening and Darren Appleton will have hills to climb as Appleton must face Nick van den Berg and SVB prepares for Corey Deuel. It gets no easier from there. If they survive those matches Appleton will have to take on Carlo Biado and Van Boening will find Albin Ouschan awaiting. If they get past those they will then face each other.

All of the chaff has now been blown away in Norfolk and all of the strong wheat is facing a tough wind ahead. The primo matches will all be streamed at

The BCA Hall of Fame induction will take place tonight as Oliver Ortmann and Charlie Ursitti will take their seats among the greats. There are only a handful of tickets remaining and those will go quickly this morning as the storied career of Oliver Ortmann and the long involvement of Charlie Ursitti with the game will make for a very entertaining evening.