Wilkie makes it six straight on the Action Pool Tour with VA State 10-Ball Championship

Shaun Wilkie
Whether it's a back-and-forth contest through multiple ties or a situation in which a player comes back from a significant deficit, double hill pool matches are the Cadillacs/Mercedes-Benz/Jaguars of billiard competition. Add a degree of previous performance context to these double hill battles and you've got yourself what's known as a 'thriller.' 
Case in point: The finals of the 3rd Annual VA State 10-Ball Championships, held under the auspices of the Action Pool Tour on the weekend of February 7-8 at Diamond Billiards in Midlothian, VA. The Context: A field of 70 was on hand for the competition, including last year's runner-up, Shaun Wilkie, who, less than a month ago (January 18) had chalked up an unprecedented fifth straight win on the Action Pool Tour. Last year's winner, Adam Kielar, did not compete. 
Wilkie went on, undefeated, to claim the VA State 10-Ball title, but not before he had first, shut Matt Krah out in the battle for the hot seat, and then, was challenged by Krah in a double hill finals thriller that eventually gave Wilkie his sixth straight APT victory.
It took Wilkie four matches to reach a winners' side semifinal match against Chris Bruner; four, race-to-7 matches in which he gave up, on average, only two racks, including none in a match versus Nathan Childress and one in a victory over Mike Davis. Krah, in the meantime, chalked up three 7-3 wins and a 7-2 victory to reach the winners' side semifinal and a matchup against Greg Taylor.
Bruner got as close to Wilkie as anyone up to that point with five racks in the winners' side semifinal, but Wilkie won it and turned to face Krah, who'd sent Taylor west 7-3. Wilkie shut Krah out to claim the hot seat and waited on his 'loaded with context' return.
Over on the loss side, Bruner picked up Mike Davis, who'd won four on the loss side, including a 6-4 win over Chris Futrell and a 6-2 win over David Hunt to reach him. Taylor drew Chris Loar, who'd gotten by Jimmy Varias 6-2 and survived a double hill fight against Kenny Miller
Loar and Bruner squared off in a 'Chris' quarterfinal, once they'd defeated Taylor and Davis, both 6-3. It was Bruner who advanced to meet Krah in the semifinals with a 6-4 victory over Loar. 
Seemingly determined to earn himself a second shot against Wilkie in the hot seat, Krah gave up only a single rack to Bruner in those semifinals and with the sting of a hot seat shutout on his mind, got that chance. Krah put up a double hill fight, but Wilkie prevailed to win the VA State 10-Ball title and his sixth straight victory on the APT.