Will Freeman wins at Sharky’s

John Pokora (3rd) Will Freeman (1st) Rick Carrillo (2nd) Jeff Paxton (4th)

The nineteenth stop of the 50-stop 2008/2009 Pechauer All American Tour (produced by the American CueSports Alliance – ACS) was hosted at Sharky's Billiards in Sedalia, MO, on Saturday, December 13.  Shooters from the four different states of Missouri, Illinois, Minnesota, and Mississippi, converged on Sedalia, MO, December 13-14th, at Sharky's Billiards and Modern Day Veterans, Chapter 402 for the Third Annual All-American ACS/Pechauer Tour 8-Ball Tournament. Of the 33 entries in the tournament, the Illinois shooters were the ones who served notice they were present and ready to win.
First place was claimed by Will Freeman (Centralia, IL). Freeman reigned in the A-bracket and had to wait for the B-bracket to shoot it out before he would claim the tournament championship. Rick Carrillo (Sterling, IL)  placed second and had originally been placed in the B-bracket by Freeman in the fifth round of A-bracket play.
John Pokora (Springfield, IL) was placed in the B-bracket in the third round of play by Chris Wilder (Chenoa, IL), who ended up tying for 5th place with Brad Blankenship (Sedalia, MO). Wilder won the match against Pokora in the A-bracket with one of the tournament's four award-winning “Spectacular Shots.” With both shooters having won six games in a race to seven, Wilder made his last ball, but rolled the cue ball to the foot of the table behind two of Pokora's balls. Wilder said later, "Sometimes you play safe. Sometimes you play to win. I had to shoot this one to win." To accomplish that, he lined the cue ball up and banked it off the right bottom rail, so that it would kick off of the left top rail and tap the eight ball into the right corner pocket in the kitchen. He had seven-plus feet of angles and geometry to calculate absolutely correctly in order to make that shot, which he did. However, his winning streak in the A-bracket was brought to a halt in his next match by Freeman.
Jeff Paxton (Sedalia, MO) defeated Wilder in the B-bracket to advance to competition for 3rd and 4th place. Pokora defeated Blankenship in the B-bracket to also advance to the match determining 3rd and 4th place. Pokora was on a streak and defeated Paxton in the B-bracket to insure at least a 3rd place finish. Pokora hit a bump in the road when he came up against Carrillo in the match for 2nd. Carrillo jumped out ahead of him in the first three games, the first of which Carrillo took a mere two minutes and six seconds to dispatch Pokora. Battling back, Pokora took the fourth game and his first win, but he couldn't extend his streak. Carrillo took the fifth game, and while Pokora did win one more in the sixth, Carrillo took the match in the seventh game for a 5-2 margin, giving Pokora 3rd place in the tournament and rewarding Carillo with the chance to play for the title against Will Freeman.
The match for 1st between Freeman and Carrillo rivaled any professional match seen on television. Carrillo made an award-winning “Spectacular Shot” when he called, and made, a cross-side two-banks, eight ball shot. Carrillo broke and ran the table in one minute, 45 seconds to take the lead in the race-to-7. Tournament rules were alternating breaks, and Freeman returned the favor in the second game, breaking and running the table in one minute, 47 seconds, tying the match 1-1. Carrillo broke the third game, but missed his first shot, giving Freeman the chance for a table run and win, which he accomplished in two and one-half minutes. Following Carrillo's example in the third game, Freeman broke and missed his first shot. It looked like Carrillo was going to return the favor on the table run until he scratched on his fifth shot. Freeman took ball-in-hand and ran his seven balls off the table. Unfortunately, he left the cue ball hidden behind the last two of Carrillo's and was forced to try a jump shot on the eight ball. Freeman made the jump shot and won the game, giving him a 3-1 lead, as well as one of the “Spectacular Shot Awards” of the tournament.
It appeared Carrillo was going to stage a comeback in the fifth game with a break and run; however, he missed a hard-angled shot into the side pocket on the eight ball. Hitting the tip of the side pocket, the eight ball rolled back out and sat pretty in the center of the table. With all of Carrillo's balls out of the way, Freeman had a table run on his seven balls and the eight ball which he accomplished in one minute, 29 seconds, giving him a 4-1 lead. Freeman broke in the sixth game, but missed his second shot. Carrillo had a chance to win that one also, but called a two-bank cross-side eight ball shot, the same shot he won with in the first game. It just wasn't his day to make that shot twice in one match, and the eight ball dropped in the first side pocket after the first bank.
Behind, but not defeated, Carrillo broke and ran the next game, with Freeman following suit the game after. The score was Freeman 6, Carrillo 2 going into the ninth game, with Carrillo having the break.  He had a dry break and Freeman took control of the table. Freeman missed after his fourth shot and it looked like Carrillo would take the game, but he missed a critical bank shot on his fourth shot. He gave the table back to Freeman who had only four open balls and the eight ball left. Freeman made them easily and took the game win as well as the match.
Clarence Hunter and Cory Smith, both of Sedalia, MO, took 7th and 8th place. Nicole Stock (Sedalia, MO) and the only female to compete, didn't place, but she did claim the fourth “Spectacular Shot Award” of the tournament. Freeman, by virtue of being the highest placing American Cue Sports Alliance member, also earned a free entry into the National Championship Single's Competition in Las Vegas, NV, in June 2009. The next tournament at Sharky's will be the Nine-Ball Memorial Tournament for Players Loved and Lost January 17th. For more information on tournaments visit www.sharkysbilliards.com  The ACS wishes to thank sponsors J. Pechauer Custom Cues, Championship Billiard Fabric, Nick Varner Signature Cases and oZone Billiards for their support in donating “Value-In-Kind” product for this and all stops on the Pechauer All American Tour. Sponsorship opportunities are still available for the 2008/2009 All American Tour by contacting the ACS.