Van Boening comes from the loss side to win his first major event since Turning Stone XXXIII

Mike Hoang of Omega Billiards and Shane Van Boening

He has reportedly enjoyed his time off and has used a lot of that time fishing.

But on the last weekend of January 2021, Shane Van Boening was back at the tables for three of the four events of the 1st Annual Michael Montgomery Memorial Tournament at Snookered Billiards in Frisco, TX. He and Dennis Orcollo emerged as symbiotic winners in those three events. Orcollo won the $2,000-added, 16-entrant 10-Ball mini and Van Boening was the runner-up. They switched place finishes in the other two; Orcollo won the $5,000-added, 12-entrant One Pocket event in which Van Boening finished tied for 5th/6th. In the weekend’s Main Event, the $7,500-added, 128-entrant 9-Ball tournament, Van Boening came from the loss side to claim is his first event title since he won Turning Stone XXXIII in January, 2020. It was Dennis Orcollo, after winning eight on the loss side, who finished in the tie for 5th/6th in this event. 

Russia’s Kristina Tkach, who traveled with Fedor Gorst to Texas, won the $1,500-added, 32-entrant Ladies event. Detailed reports of that event, along with the One Pocket and 10-Ball event can be found elsewhere in our News section.  

Van Boening got through his first four rounds of the 9-ball event with an aggregate score of 28-6 and half of those ‘6’ were chalked up against him in his fourth-round match against Robb Saez. Van Boening then got by James Davis, Jr. 7-4 in a winners’ side quarterfinal before being defeated by Fedor Gorst 7-5 in one of the winners’ side semifinals. 

Gorst, who appeared to be headed for a similar, ‘easy’ path through his first four matches with his opening round shutout over Jessi Kohl, encountered a series of increasing challenges shortly thereafter. Ruben Flores chalked up four against him, Roberto Gomez got five, and Daniel Schneider got four, before Manny Chau brought him to double hill and almost became the man who faced Van Boening in the winners’ side semifinal. Not to be, though. Gorst advanced to down Van Boening and moved into the hot seat match against Sky Woodward.

Woodward’s path to the hot seat threw some obstacles in his path. He opened his campaign with a workman-like 7-2 win against Dean Williams before four straight opponents (tough ones, to say the least; Thomas Haas, Jalal Alsarisi, Jesus Atencio and Evan Lunda) chalked up five against him. He advanced to his winners’ side semifinal against Shane Winters and defeated him 7-3 to face Gorst in the hot seat match. Woodward claimed the hot seat 7-4 in what would prove to be his last win of the event. 

Lurking among the loss side’s final eight going into the 9/12 matchups were Dennis Orcollo (about to play in his seventh loss-side match), Billy Thorpe, Jalal Alsarisi and James Aranas, who would play (respectively) Manny Chau, James Davis, Jr., Evan Lunda and Chris Byers. Of the four who had just arrived on the loss side from the winners’ side quarterfinal (Chau, Davis, Jr., Lunda and Aranas), only Aranas would advance. He went on to win two straight double hill matches, against Chris Byers and Alsarisi, to pick up Van Boening. 

Orcollo, in the meantime, chalked up wins #7 & #8, eliminating Chau 6-3 and Thorpe 6-4. He advanced to face Shane Winters.

Fargo Rate would have placed the odds of Winters winning the match that followed at less than 18%, or put another way, if he and Orcollo played a race to 6, 10 times, Winters might win twice. He won this one, though, eliminating Orcollo 6-4. Van Boening downed Aranas by the same score to join Winters in the quarterfinals.

Of the 10 matches played on the loss side from the 9/12 slots, seven of them ended up with a 6-4 score. That included the quarterfinals; Van Boening versus Winters and the semifinal rematch between Van Boening and Gorst. Van Boening advanced through them both for what turned out to be a double shot against former Mosconi Cup teammate, Sky Woodward, waiting for him in the hot seat. 

The wait did not appear to serve Woodward well, while the intangible benefit of momentum did serve Van Boening, who gave up only a single rack in the opening set of the true double elimination final. With each, now sporting a single loss, the second set was a race to 6. Woodward chalked up a second rack in that second set, but that was it, as Van Boening finished his 11-match run to claim the 9-ball title of the first Michael Montgomery Memorial. 

Tournament representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Snookered Billiards and Bar for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Omega, Predator, Simonis, ACME, Doc’s Billiards Office, LBS Championship Pool, Staggs Plumbing, Clutch Shot Billiards Apparel, John Eagle Honda of Dallas, Molina Mike, Dunski Dungeon, 1st Choice Appliance Repair, D Real Pool Promotions, Outsville, Hanshew Jump Cues, PDQ, Rackem Live Stream, Diamond, Off the Rail and OB Cues.