Van Boening Wins Andy Mercer Memorial

Shane Van Boening

The last day of the Andy Mercer Memorial at the Rumrunner in Las Vegas, was a very exciting day with several upsets and comebacks.

Fred Boggs played an awesome tournament with his very deliberate and methodical play and came back from a 5-1 deficit to make his match hill-hill with Sean Lane. Unfortunately for Boggs, a missed tough combo on the 7-8 cost him the match. He still finished 9-12th and in the money.

Sean Lane went on to play Jim Blakeman from Las Vegas but was stopped short and took 7th/ 8th.

Jerry Decker was a dark horse that came galloping through the tournament and had a great win against Billy Palmer 6-1. However, Decker finished 5th/ 6th along with Jim Blakeman.

Down to the final 4, Sal Butera, Danny Petrolba, Darren Appleton and Shane Van Boening, the play got very serious with players checking every rack. Danny Petrolba played Darren Appleton for the hot seat. Petrolba took command of the match and was up 5-1 right away but Appleton was not ready to give up. Darren came back one game at a time until he won the match 6-5. A heartbreaking loss for Danny but a fantastic come back from Darren.

On the B side, Sal Butera and Shane Van Boening started their match and Butera kept the lead but only by 1 game. Butera had a few opportunities to close out the set. When the score was 5-4 Butera, He had the 7 and 9 to shoot. Both balls were sitting in the pocket but a miscue caused Butera to jump the cue ball over the 7 and right into the pocket. With ball in hand, Shane easily made the score 5-5. Shane then broke but scratched. Butera proceeded to run out, on the 8 however he decides to draw the 8 back and comes up short leaving him an awkward bank on the 9. Sal got down and fired the bank but came up short and the 9 rolled into the jaws of the opposite corner pocket leaving it for Shane who won the set 6-5.

Shane's next match was with Danny Petrolba who put him in the B side. A few of Shane's matches were a little shaky but not with Danny. During the entire set, Danny only got up to the table twice and both times it was to kick at the ball. Shane won the set 6-0. Danny played unbelievable all weekend and finished 3rd.

The last match of the tournament came down to Shane Van Boening and Darren Appleton with Van Boening having to beat Appleton twice. Darren won the flip and broke and ran out making it 1-0. However on the next game Darren hung up the 3 giving Shane the chance to make the score 1-1, which he had no problem doing. The next game Van Boening left a tough shot on the 4, but Darren short rail kicked at the 4-9 combo winning that game and the next by making a 1-9 combo. Darren led the set 4-1.

Van Boening beared down and came back to tie the set but on game 9 the 2 players traded safes until Darren had the opportunity to run out. Darren made a great run but got a really sharp angle on a cut on the 9 and missed, leaving a hard cut for Shane to make. Van Boening shot at the 9 and scratched, giving Appleton the win and making him the first on the hill. Shane made it hill-hill and in game 11 a safety paid off for Van Boening who went on to win the 1st set.

Round 2 looked as if Shane was going to run the set out when he broke and ran the 1st 4 games but Darren was not so easily dismissed and kept trudging on and showed the crowd why he was in the final match.  Darren again made it to the hill first. On the next game Darren made the 2 ball and was well on his way to being out but the cue ball caromed off the 5 and scratched letting Shane back in the door. Shane took the reigns and rode that pony all the way out for the set and match.

Tournament organizers wanted to thank Geno, Gordie and Jimmy Hill for a well run tourney; and Mike Gans and Billy Hall for doing all of the racking for the tournament.