US Open 8-Ball Championship Kicks Off

Rodney Morris
The US Open 8-Ball Championship kicked off on July 29th at the Rio in Las Vegas with eighty seven players gunning for the $11,000 first prize available. The theme on day one of this event was the break, as even the top players in the game had more than their fair share of problems adapting to the Magic Rack on the 7’ Diamond Smart Tables.
One player who didn’t have any of these problems was “The Rocket” Rodney Morris. Knowing he would kick off his campaign on the main TV table, Morris was hitting balls on the table an hour before match time. It would turn out that Morris may have spent more time practicing for his match, than he did actually playing the match, as he ran over Scott Frost 9-0 in under 35 minutes. Even the alternating break format couldn’t stop Morris, as he ran out on all of his breaks and also ran out on each of Frost’s breaks when he got to the table. 
Morris’ next match on the TV table saw him facing young gun Skyler Woodward. Woodward led the match early 4-2, but then his break deserted him. Back to back dry breaks by Woodward allowed Morris to regain control and take the lead at 6-4. Woodward would continue to struggle with the break and would lose the match that was not really as close as the 9-7 scoreline would indicate. 
Morris will kick off his day two with a noon match against Gregory Hogue, who scored wins over Oliver Medenilla and Danny Smith on Wednesday.
Crowd favorites Shane Van Boening and Dennis Orcollo met on the TV table on Wednesday, and the break was again the story of the match. Orcollo wouldn’t make a ball on the break until his third try, already trailing Shane 4-0. The ball Orcollo made in rack five would also be his only ball on the break for the duration of the match as Van Boening went on to win 9-2 when Orcollo unscrewed his cue trailing 8-2 after jumping the cue ball off the table on his break. Things won’t get any easier for Van Boening as he faces Tony Robles at Noon on Thursday.
US Open 10-Ball Champion Thorsten Hohmann looked strong early as he ran out to a 7-1 lead over Dennis Hatch. Hatch would make a run at a comeback, but would fall short 9-4. Hohmann then dropped his final match of the day to Canadian Jason Klatt 9-4. Klatt will face Craig Riley at noon on Thursday. 
Another Canadian hot-shot, John Morra, kept his strong play of late going with wins over Jeremy Sossei, Corey Deuel and Danny Olson. Morra will face Chad Vilmont on Thursday. 
Warren Kiamco turned in another strong performance on Day One with wins over Steve Register, Tony Chohan and Erik Hjorliefson. Kiamco won all three matches handily, not allowing an opponent past 4 games. He will have his hands full at noon though, with a match against Darren Appleton.
West Coast sensation Oscar Dominguez, went hill-hill in both of his last two matches before dispatching Jayson Shaw and Johnny Archer. He will be hoping to avoid that sort of drama in his noon match with Mike Dechaine
As is always the case in an event with this much firepower, the one loss side will be rough waters for any players still hoping to cash that first place check. Mark Tadd will face Brandon Shuff, Tony Chohan will take on Danny Olson, Archer will play Raymond Faraon, Matt Krah will face Justin Bergman and Amar Kang will take on Orcollo on the one loss side. That doesn’t even mention other heavyweights like Hohmann, Alex Pagulayan, Shaw, Frost and Hatch who are also waiting to ambush an unsuspecting player on the left side of the board.
Matches get underway at 10:00 am, and will continue until the last matches start at 8pm. To follow the tournament in real time please visit where you can find links to the live streaming and to the constantly updated brackets.