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sjm
05-09-2009, 08:11 AM
I'm starting this thread so that I can share my experiences at the BCA pro events over the next eight days.

Though I may check in on the efforts of my friends from time to time at the bar table events, I won't be covering them, and request that questions about the bar table events be omitted from this thread.

I arrived at the Riviera yesterday afternoon, lined up for an eterninty to check in, went to my room and unpacked, played a little poker (lost $97), and then, after watching a little TV, I went to sleep at the remarkable hour of 7:30 PM, not having watched any pool. Having risen at 4:00 AM to make a 7:00 AM flight out of JFK, I'd had a long day Friday and felt that a long sleep was what I'd need to prepare for eight days of sweating matches. And, sure enough, I slept nearly 12 hours, and I feel a lot more energetic today.

If you're here and you'd like to see or meet me, just send me a PM and we'll arrange a hookup. Also, if you're here, I always buy extra tickets to the pro events and have several extra tickets this year, so if you're interested in attending a session of the Predator 10-ball event as my guest, let me know in person or by PM and I'll consider inviting you.

OK, today is the day I'll catch a stroke sweating the matches. That's all for now.

Williebetmore
05-09-2009, 10:06 AM
sjm,
Once again you make me feel like I'm missing all of the fun.

I'll be arriving Monday afternoon, and do not begin play in the team event until Wednesday afternoon. A professional friend has said I can use their admission pass, so I expect to watch a LOT of pool Monday and Tuesday (want to play a bit as well to warm up for the event).

Maybe we should try to have a nice breakfast at the Peppermill on Tuesday and/or Wednesday....you never know who might show up for free food. My wife will be along for the ride, so we might have little kids to endure, but maybe not (we plan on doing NOTHING together until after I am eliminated from the tournament, then we'll spend the next week doing Vegas).

TX Poolnut
05-09-2009, 10:42 AM
Thanks for the write-up.

sjm
05-09-2009, 11:30 AM
sjm,
Once again you make me feel like I'm missing all of the fun.

I'll be arriving Monday afternoon, and do not begin play in the team event until Wednesday afternoon. A professional friend has said I can use their admission pass, so I expect to watch a LOT of pool Monday and Tuesday (want to play a bit as well to warm up for the event).

Maybe we should try to have a nice breakfast at the Peppermill on Tuesday and/or Wednesday....you never know who might show up for free food. My wife will be along for the ride, so we might have little kids to endure, but maybe not (we plan on doing NOTHING together until after I am eliminated from the tournament, then we'll spend the next week doing Vegas).

Yeah, Willie, you are missing all the fun, but you'll be here soon.

We'll definitely hook up for some meals, and if there are little kids present, that's no problem, as we each have shown ourselves capable of dropping down to their level.

Tell Mrs. Betmore that I'm looking forward to seeing her, too. Also, check your PMs.

sjm
05-09-2009, 11:44 AM
I still haven't seen a ball hit, but at least my breakfast was spent with some pool diehards.

We were all delighted to see an article in the Las Vegas Review Journal, the local paper, about Shane Van Boening. The article took up nearly half a page and contained a huge picutre of Shane, the kind of coverage no pool player could ever get in my home own of New York City. Interestingly, in the article, Shane was quoted as noting that beating, and getting some very positive feedback from, Danny Harriman, a few years ago, was when he started to really believe in himself. e also noted that he doesn't want to be thought of as a deaf champion, just as a champion. It was a wonderful article about a great player who appreciates what he has, and won't let himself be dragged down by what he doesn't have.

Also, the chat over breakfast covered the upset of Van DenBerg over Pagulayan. In view of VanDenBerg's sterling play at the European 9-ball Championships just a couple of weeks ago, I suggested that this barely qualified as an upset.

OK, I've got two hours to kill before the World Pool Masters kicks off again. Catch you later.

JoeyA
05-09-2009, 01:19 PM
Now I am subscribed to this thread. :thumbup:

Now I can wait for SJM to send in all of those great posts so that I can live through him vicariously, at least for this week.

As to Shane Van Boening, I don't think he has to be concerned about people thinking of him as a deaf champion. When I think of Shane, I think about his tenacity, his gamble, his talent and his break.

The hearing impediment is of no more importance to me than the man in the moon.

That is the special thing about poolroom: It accepts all of us just as we are. The poolroom is a melting pot and a meeting place for pool afficianados to gather and share in this great sport. It holds no prejudices and has no boundaries of race, religion, culture or geography. When you walk through the poolroom doors, the only characteristic that is carefully measured is how you play the game and that is what everyone looks at and what everyone respects.

Shane is climbing the totem pole of success in the pool world and gaining respect wherever he goes and that is what matters to the people he shares this great sport with.

Keep those fingers limber and busy. We'll be watching this thread carefully.

THANKS!
JoeyA

Roy Steffensen
05-09-2009, 01:23 PM
Enjoy yourself, both SJM and Williebetmore! Hope to read updates from both of you!

SJM, please say hi to Roberto Gomez from me if you get a chance to meet him.

I agree with you about the "upset" in the Pagulayan - van den Berg match. Nick is playing super solid and I wouldn't be surprised if he wins the whole tournament.

Keep posting!

Melissa Herndon
05-09-2009, 02:17 PM
Hi Stu! I'm so happy to hear that you are here in Vegas! I am working the WPBA booth in the main tournament room, so please come say hi. And if you are interested, I'd love to hook up with you for breakfast one day! Actually, that Peppermill breakfast with you and Williebetmore sounds like a great way to start a day!!!!

Enjoy your time here!

Melissa

JAM
05-09-2009, 02:22 PM
....We were all delighted to see an article in the Las Vegas Review Journal, the local paper, about Shane Van Boening. The article took up nearly half a page and contained a huge picutre of Shane, the kind of coverage no pool player could ever get in my home own of New York City. Interestingly, in the article, Shane was quoted as noting that beating, and getting some very positive feedback from, Danny Harriman, a few years ago, was when he started to really believe in himself...

I read the article this morning online, entitled "The Sounds of Silence."

It was well written. For those who would like to see it, here's the link: http://www.lvrj.com/sports/44634207.html [Retrieved 9 May 2009]

Here's the picture below along with the caption: Shane Van Boening, 25, is the No. 1-ranked pool player in the world, according to AZBilliards.com. Van Boening, who is 97 percent deaf, is competing in the PartyPoker.net World Pool Masters at the Riviera.
Special to the Review-Journal

sjm
05-09-2009, 03:49 PM
How do you kill 33 minutes? Here's the remarkable answer.

Went down to the World Pool Masters to watch Tony Drago vs Niels Feijen, my first ever live look at Drago. Pleased to report that I sweated the match with my good friend and renowned AZB poster Bob Jewett.

Race to eight.

Niels made a superfine cut on a seven ball in rack one to gain a 1-0 advantage, but a poor push in rack two and a poor safety in rack three were costly, and gave Tony two easy ones, so Tony led 2-1. Niels had a bad miss on a three ball in the next rack, which led to a 3-1 lead for Drago.

Tony missed a long two ball in rack five, but Niels hooked himself on the three, and sold out on the kick, so Tony led 4-1. Illegal break by Tony (the rule in use is that you must send three balls past the headstring, with balls pocketed counting as having passed the headstirng) gave Niels an opening, but Niels made another postion error and a safety battle ensued. Safety battle was won by Drago, and the runout gave him a 5-1 lead. Break and run by Drago made it 6-1. Tony scratched on the next break, but Niels failed to get out, overcutting a long shot on the eight, so it was 7-1 Drago.

Geez, eight racks in 25 minutes! Drago shot, more or less, at Luc Salvas speed. In rack nine, Niels missed the two ball, but Tony missed a long, tough, three ball, and Niels ran out for 7-2.

Niels scratched on the next break, but Drago had a somewhat unlucky scratch on the three ball, giving Niels new life, and he combos in the five-nine for 7-3 behind.

In rack eleven, Niels has a bad miss on a five ball. Tony makes it, and misses a long two-way bank of the six ball, leading to a safety battle. Eventually, Tony earns this difficult look at the table:

?@3FMso2GBbl2HCHt4INSe2PFMe2kFMe3kMTd3kEnj1kPer@

Eureka, he hit it like a charm, leading to the match ending runout for an 8-3 victory. Late addition: the six was a bit straighter than my diagram suggests, but I can't be bothered to redo it.

My impression of Drago is that he runs the table just about as well as anyone on the planet, but I see a few weaknesses in his tactics and his speed control could be slightly better. A magnificent player for sure, but my guess is that he has to play even better than this to snap off the event.

As for Niels, he just had an off match, and really never got going. It happens, even to the very best, and Feijen is certainly one of them.

....... and that's how you kill thirty three minutes!

Williebetmore
05-09-2009, 04:35 PM
Hi Stu! I'm so happy to hear that you are here in Vegas! I am working the WPBA booth in the main tournament room, so please come say hi. And if you are interested, I'd love to hook up with you for breakfast one day! Actually, that Peppermill breakfast with you and Williebetmore sounds like a great way to start a day!!!!

Enjoy your time here!

Melissa

Melissa and Stu,
Well, I have no idea what happens when (I'm not even in town yet, and will be travelling with one of the pro players and extended family); so to avoid complication, why don't we just meet at the Peppermill at 9 A.M. Tuesday?? Stragglers can fend for themselves; but it is usually a leisurely affair.

Breakfast is on me; but be forewarned that there is sometimes a loud and large contingent of pool fanatics, spouses, and kid (singular) at the usual "Betmore Breakfast."

Can't wait.

vagabond
05-09-2009, 05:25 PM
sjm,
Once again you make me feel like I'm missing all of the fun.

I'll be arriving Monday afternoon, and do not begin play in the team event until Wednesday afternoon.

If you can text me the number of the table you will be playing

I can come and watch your match.

juegabillar
05-09-2009, 06:09 PM
How do you kill 33 minutes? Here's the remarkable answer.

Went down to the World Pool Masters to watch Tony Drago vs Niels Feijen, my first ever live look at Drago. Pleased to report that I sweated the match with my good friend and renowned AZB poster Bob Jewett.

Race to eight.

Niels made a superfine cut on a seven ball in rack one to gain a 1-0 advantage, but a poor push in rack two and a poor safety in rack three were costly, and gave Tony two easy ones, so Tony led 2-1. Niels had a bad miss on a three ball in the next rack, which led to a 3-1 lead for Drago.

Tony missed a long two ball in rack five, but Niels hooked himself on the three, and sold out on the kick, so Tony led 4-1. Illegal break by Tony (the rule in use is that you must send three balls past the headstring, with balls pocketed counting as having passed the headstirng) gave Niels an opening, but Niels made another postion error and a safety battle ensued. Safety battle was won by Drago, and the runout gave him a 5-1 lead. Break and run by Drago made it 6-1. Tony scratched on the next break, but Niels failed to get out, overcutting a long shot on the eight, so it was 7-1 Drago.

Geez, eight racks in 25 minutes! Drago shot, more or less, at Luc Salvas speed. In rack nine, Niels missed the two ball, but Tony missed a long, tough, three ball, and Niels ran out for 7-2.

Niels scratched on the next break, but Drago had a somewhat unlucky scratch on the three ball, giving Niels new life, and he combos in the five-nine for 7-3 behind.

In rack eleven, Niels has a bad miss on a five ball. Tony makes it, and misses a long two-way bank of the six ball, leading to a safety battle. Eventually, Tony earns this difficult look at the table:

?@3FMso2GBbl2HCHt4INSe2PFMe2kFMe3kMTd3kEnj1kPer@

Eureka, he hit it like a charm, leading to the match ending runout for an 8-3 victory. Late addition: the six was a bit straighter than my diagram suggests, but I can't be bothered to redo it.

My impression of Drago is that he runs the table just about as well as anyone on the planet, but I see a few weaknesses in his tactics and his speed control could be slightly better. A magnificent player for sure, but my guess is that he has to play even better than this to snap off the event.

As for Niels, he just had an off match, and really never got going. It happens, even to the very best, and Feijen is certainly one of them.

....... and that's how you kill thirty three minutes!


I had similar thoughts about Tony Drago's play when I was there last year for the Predator 10-Ball. Did he prove me wrong.!!!

sjm
05-09-2009, 11:12 PM
In the evening session of the World Pool Masters, the match I chose to cover was Mika Immonen vs Fu Jian Bo.

In rack one, Mika made a ball on the break, but had to play safe, and played it well. Fine two rail kick by Fu left tough 6-1 combo, but Mika was up to it, and moments later he hit a tricky 2-9 combo well to win rack for a 1-0 lead.

In rack two, Mika made a ball on the break, but faced this:

?@2AWOg4BHIR2CSqR4Darq1EOMW4HQDr4IKYa4PVJN4kVJN2kV hT2kbOJ4kbPc3kDQl3kHYP@

Wow, what a shot! Look at the position he played with outside draw to get form the one to the two. This set up his runout and he led 2-0.

In rack three, a good break earned Mika a good look at the table, and moments later he made an easy 3-9 combo for a 3-0 lead.

In rack four, Mika made a ball but was snookered from the one. He pushed out and Fu, wisely in my opinion, gave it back. Mika hit the kick safe accurately but just barely too softly, leaving Fu a bank shot, which Fu hit well. The runout chance earned was a difficult one, but Fu was up to the task, pulling within 3-1.

...continued in next post

sjm
05-09-2009, 11:25 PM
Immonen vs Fu, World Pool Masters, continued, if you haven't read post 14, read it before you read this.

In rack five, Fu made a ball on the break, but faced this:

?@1ARbD3BFlP4DSfV2Eaaw2FXTX1GEUn3HVRq4IQNL3PQdX1UR bD1Uchr1Ucpu3kQdX1kQkq1kQkp4kGCV@

Going to the rail on the draw shot was chancy, so Fu opted for a draw with outside english on the near straight one ball, and hit it brilliantly! This set up his runout and he pulled to within 3-2.

In rack six, Fu made a ball on the break and tried to carom the one into the side, but he hit it poorly for a bad miss, and Mika's runout made it 4-2.

In rack seven, Mika's dry break left an easy runout, completed by Fu, who pulled to within 4-3.

In rack eight, Fu broke the nine in, tying the match at 4-4.

In rack nine, Fu broke dry, and Mika has a look at a missable 1-8 combo, but Mika hit it well to earn a runout chance, completed nicely for a 5-4 advantage.

In rack ten, Mika's dry break left no shot, but a simple safe put Fu in control. Mika narrowly failed on a brilliant masse attempt, but hung the one, and Fu, who made a combo along the way, ran out for 5-5.

..... continued in the next post.

sjm
05-09-2009, 11:40 PM
Immonen vs Fu, World Pool Masters, continued, if you haven't read posts 14 and 15, read them both before you read this.

In rack eleven, Fu broke in a ball and had this difficult look at the one ball:

?@2AGQd1BCba1DXOP3EQEi2FaAd4GXuM4HAeJ3IGxn4PXhB2UG Qd2Ucxq1VCba1VEvn1VKrP4kXhB4kWjD2kFCR1kAnP1kAnP1kB EV@

From the jaws of the bottom corner pocket, Fu had to slow roll it, and nudged the two perfectly to create a shot. This shot was really quite remarkable, and it set up a runout, that despite a near miss on the nine, was completed by Fu for his first lead in the match, 6-5.

In rack twelve, Fu made a ball, but wasn't up to the tricky backwards cut of the one ball. Mika saw to it that Fu paid the price in full, running out for 6-6.

In rack thirteen, Mika broke in a ball, and made a nice cut on a missable one ball. He still had a 4-8 combo to negotiate, and although he made it, his shape onto the four was not ideal. He recovered with a superb thin cut shot played with the bridge, and ran out for a 7-6 lead.

Then, Michaela Tabb racked what I'm sure Mika hoped would be the last rack of the match, but Mika broke dry. Fu played a beautiful shot to get from the one to the two and then made a fine shot on the two up the long rail, setting up a runout, completed impressively for 7-7, double hill.

In rack 15, the double hill rack, Fu broke dry but left just a 1-3 combo, perhaps a 50% chance, missed by Mika. Fu had a look at a tough layout, and played well up to the 5-6 combo, which he missed. Mika ran out for an 8-7 victory.

This was a fantastic match with brilliant play by both players, and I felt privileged to have been there to watch it.

ShootingArts
05-10-2009, 06:55 AM
. . . Then, Michaela Tabb racked . . .

I was all set to give you an attaboy for a great match report complete with cue table diagrams until I realized you made us read two and a half posts before mentioning the real reason you focused on this match! :D :D :D

Hu

jay helfert
05-10-2009, 07:02 AM
I'm just gonna jump in here and offer my take after only one FULL day at the BCAPL Championships. Mark Griffin has recreated this event into a MUST NOT MISS event on the U.S. pool calendar. It is right up there with Derby City and the U.S. Open as one of the three best pool parties of the year.

In addition to the staggering amount of amateur players flogging away on 260 Diamond Smart Tables, there are several pro laden tourneys to savor. It is simply too much for one pool fanatic to take it all in. The biggest problem becomes which event to watch. Let's see Allison is playing in the Women's Masters division over here, Kelly Fisher is a couple of tables away over there, Shane is battling several tables down in the Men's Grand Masters division. Oh, and did mention that Johnny is getting ready to take on Nick Van Den Berg in the ballroom where the World Pool Masters is being played. My head is spinning. :eek:

What Mark has done, in his infinite wisdom, is create bar table events designed for the professional level players. For the women it's the Masters division. For the men, it's the Grand Masters. NO ONE is barred from these events and the fields are full of great players. And I mean FULL! The list of players in these two events reads like a who's who in pro pool. And it's a treat to see all these great players playing Eight Ball on the 7' Diamonds. Let me tell you, there's some damn good pool being played here!

sjm
05-10-2009, 07:24 AM
I'm just gonna jump in here and offer my take after only one FULL day at the BCAPL Championships. Mark Griffin has recreated this event into a MUST NOT MISS event on the U.S. pool calendar. It is right up there with Derby City and the U.S. Open as one of the three best pool parties of the year.

In addition to the staggering amount of amateur players flogging away on 260 Diamond Smart Tables, there are several pro laden tourneys to savor. It is simply too much for one pool fanatic to take it all in. The biggest problem becomes which event to watch. Let's see Allison is playing in the Women's Masters division over here, Kelly Fisher is a couple of tables away over there, Shane is battling several tables down in the Men's Grand Masters division. Oh, and did mention that Johnny is getting ready to take on Nick Van Den Berg in the ballroom where the World Pool Masters is being played. My head is spinning. :eek:

What Mark has done, in his infinite wisdom, is create bar table events designed for the professional level players. For the women it's the Masters division. For the men, it's the Grand Masters. NO ONE is barred from these events and the fields are full of great players. And I mean FULL! The list of players in these two events reads like a who's who in pro pool. And it's a treat to see all these great players playing Eight Ball on the 7' Diamonds. Let me tell you, there's some damn good pool being played here!

Well said, Jay. It is a poolfest of unprecedented magnitude, with the pro-filled bar table events an unexpected bonus over previous BCA weeks, and I've been to over fifteen of them. The scheduling difficulties are obvious, with some playing in the World Pool Masters and the Men's Grand Masters bar table event simulataneously. I had a long chat with Mark Griffin about it yesterday afternoon, and he spoke highly of the cooperation between the people running the World Pool Masters and his own staff. How tough is the men's bar table 8-ball field? Max Eberle managed to beat Rodolfo Luat early yesterday evening, and he must now face Roberto Gomez today. Champions galore! I also saw the late stages of Melissa Little's double hill win over Allison Fisher in the winner's bracket semifinal of the Women's Grand Masters event. Melissa made a brilliant runout in the case game.

sjm
05-10-2009, 07:47 AM
OK, I'm really getting burned out already. I've been a social recluse to this point, greeting many (probably over 100 already) but the list of those I've spent 15+ consecutive minutes with is a short one indeed. The pool schedule is just so tough to keep up with.

Today looks just as crazy for me. I'll breakfast from about 9:00-10:00, and then I'll go to the sports book to watch my beloved New York Mets play (yes, East Coast baseball day games start early here in Vegas) from 10:00 - 1:00. From 1:00-2:00, I'll go to the gym for an hour on the treadmill. At 2:00, the World Pool Masters day session begins, which will feature the remaining three quarterfinals (VanDenBerg is already through to the semis). When it ends, I'll grab a meal, but will have to be done by 7:00, as that's when the World Pool Masters final session, in which the champion will be crowned, will take place. And, of course, along the way, I'll have ten different peeks at the bar table events.

I'll try to stay the course but eight days of this will be quite a test, even for this veteran fan who has been attending major pool events since the mid-1970's.

JoeyA
05-10-2009, 12:42 PM
OK, I'm really getting burned out already. I've been a social recluse to this point, greeting many (probably over 100 already) but the list of those I've spent 15+ consecutive minutes with is a short one indeed. The pool schedule is just so tough to keep up with.

Today looks just as crazy for me. I'll breakfast from about 9:00-10:00, and then I'll go to the sports book to watch my beloved New York Mets play (yes, East Coast baseball day games start early here in Vegas) from 10:00 - 1:00. From 1:00-2:00, I'll go to the gym for an hour on the treadmill. At 2:00, the World Pool Masters day session begins, which will feature the remaining three quarterfinals (VanDenBerg is already through to the semis). When it ends, I'll grab a meal, but will have to be done by 7:00, as that's when the World Pool Masters final session, in which the champion will be crowned, will take place. And, of course, along the way, I'll have ten different peeks at the bar table events.

I'll try to stay the course but eight days of this will be quite a test, even for this veteran fan who has been attending major pool events since the mid-1970's.

I feel really sorry for you about right now. :barf::barf::barf:

JoeyA

Milo
05-10-2009, 01:10 PM
[QUOTE=jay helfert;1812460]I'm just gonna jump in here and offer my take after only one FULL day at the BCAPL Championships. Mark Griffin has recreated this event into a MUST NOT MISS event on the U.S. pool calendar. It is right up there with Derby City and the U.S. Open as one of the three best pool parties of the year.

In addition to the staggering amount of amateur players flogging away on 260 Diamond Smart Tables, there are several pro laden tourneys to savor. It is simply too much for one pool fanatic to take it all in. The biggest problem becomes which event to watch. Let's see Allison is playing in the Women's Masters division over here, Kelly Fisher is a couple of tables away over there, Shane is battling several tables down in the Men's Grand Masters division. Oh, and did mention that Johnny is getting ready to take on Nick Van Den Berg in the ballroom where the World Pool Masters is being played. My head is spinning. :eek:


Jay,

Allison is playing in the womens GRAND masters event I believe. :wink:
Thank god!!!!! :D
(Milo is a master player, not in same division:D)
Not playing singles this year,(just team) but I will be there next year for sure.:)

JAM
05-10-2009, 02:58 PM
...I also saw the late stages of Melissa Little's double hill win over Allison Fisher in the winner's bracket semifinal of the Women's Grand Masters event. Melissa made a brilliant runout in the case game.

I adore Allison Fisher, but I am so happy for Melissa Little a/k/a "The Viper." She has given back so much to the community where she lives, trying to promote pool. What a great win for her! She and Mark must be on Cloud Nine! :)

kath13
05-10-2009, 06:05 PM
Thanks SJM for the update on this match! I've been a fan of Fu's for some time. I turned into a Mika fan after watching him play at Deby this year, it must have been great for you to watch this match live. I'm a little envious now! :)

JoeyA
05-10-2009, 06:50 PM
I adore Allison Fisher, but I am so happy for Melissa Little a/k/a "The Viper." She has given back so much to the community where she lives, trying to promote pool. What a great win for her! She and Mark must be on Cloud Nine! :)

Melissa is a great gal. I had the pleasure of doing some pool commentary with her this past year while at The Great Southern Billiard Tour Championship.
JoeyA

sjm
05-10-2009, 08:17 PM
With near perfect play, Nick VanDenBerg has beaten Shane Van Boening at the World Pool Masters. In my next few posts, we;ll take a closer look at how it happened.

sjm
05-10-2009, 08:29 PM
Shane Van Boening vs Nick VanDenBerg, World Pool Masters, semifinal

Rack 1: Shane, after winning the lag, breaks in a ball but scratches as he pockets the one ball. Nick has to negotiate a difficult shot form the five to the six, but hits it well, setting up a runout and a 1-0 lead.

Rack 2: Nick makes a ball on the break, but will need to combo in the 4-7 to get out, and plays it well. The rest is easy for a 2-0 lead.

Rack 3: Dry break by Nick, but Shane can't see the one. Close decision whether to push out, but Shane opts to try a kick safe and hits it badly. Nick makes a nice one ball but slightly misplays the two. A favorable carom of the cue ball off the nine gives him somewhat fortunate shape onto the three, and from there, he plays the pattern well for a 3-0 lead.

Rack 4:Illegal break by Nick negates the ball he made on the break, but Shane misplays a rail-first chance at the two and Nick regains control. With the shot clock running out, Nick misses the five ball, but gets a roll and Shane must play safe, which he does passably at best. Nick plays a fine safety to bury the five ball under a cluster, and Shane opts to tie up the five by tapping the six up to it, conceding ball in hand. Nick 's safety left Shane this kick:

?@3EadG3FYNm1GVIW3IVkR2PXMr@

Shane's soft kick barely grazed the six before hitting the five, so, with Shane on two fouls, Nick repeated the same safety as before, leaving almost exactly the same kick, and Shane missed it again for a three foul, giving Nick a 4-0 lead.

...... continued in next post

sjm
05-10-2009, 08:44 PM
Van Boening vs VanDenBerg, continued

In rack 5, Nick hits a perfect break and runs out easily for 5-0.

In rack 6, an illegal break by Nick gives Shane the inning, but Shane opts to push, and Nick wisely gives it back. Shane's kick safe is ineffective, and Nick makes a spectacular thin cut of the two ball up the short rail to set up a possible runout. Moments later, however, he hooks himself on the five, and sells out on the kick, so Shane gets on the board, 5-1.

In rack 7, Shane makes a ball on the break but faces this awkward position:

?@3BIrb4DXEm1EDct2FNix2GLEY2HLDb3IFIb3PFJP3VIrb2Vb Sa2Vbba3kFJP3kISs3kISs3kbgp3kBEl4kVKu@

The two in the side is the easiest shot to pocket, but offers little chance to get good on the four. Shane found a far more creative two way shot of the two into the top corner, surely reckoning that even a miss would leave the two buried under all the traffic on the table. As shown, Shane hit it like a charm and got onto the four, leading to a runout that pulled him to within 5-2.

In rack 8, Shane breaks dry but leaves Nick a mess to deal with. After a well played one ball, Nick can't see enough of the two ball to pocket it, and might opt for a safe, but makes a magnificent shot to pocket the nine, and the crowd erupts with applause.

?@4BaTS1CYbj2DQQd2EPew4FTPa2GJHy4HYMl3IAWc4PJbW4Va TS4Vbyb4VFUm4VCbd3dAWc3dcYp4kJbW4kJKa4kXgL@

This gives Nick a 6-2 lead.

sjm
05-10-2009, 08:51 PM
Van boening vs VanDenBerg, World Pool Masters, semifinal, continued

In rack 9, Nick breaks them well. the layout is tricky, and will require a cross table diagonal draw from the five to the short side of the six, played elegantly to set up a runout, bringing Nick to the hill, 7-2.

A perfect break by Nick in rack 10 leads to a runout for Nick, and gives him a well deserved 8-2 victory.


And that's how it all went down. Nick is, pretty much, in dead stroke, and it's easy to see why he won the European nine-ball championship a couple of weeks ago. Either Appleton or Immonen will have their hands full in what will be an all-European final that should make Roy Steffensen happy!

ShootingArts
05-10-2009, 09:01 PM
It wasn't too long ago I was thinking VDB had pretty much faded away. Apparently somebody forgot to tell him that!

Great report!

Hu



Van boening vs VanDenBerg, World Pool Masters, semifinal, continued

In rack 9, Nick breaks them well. the layout is tricky, and will require a cross table diagonal draw from the five to the short side of the six, played elegantly to set up a runout, bringing Nick to the hill, 7-2.

A perfect break by Nick in rack 10 leads to a runout for Nick, and gives him a well deserved 8-2 victory.


And that's how it all went down. Nick is, pretty much, in dead stroke, and it's easy to see why he won the European nine-ball championship a couple of weeks ago. Either Appleton or Immonen will have their hands full in what will be an all-European final that should make Roy Steffensen happy!

sjm
05-11-2009, 12:04 AM
After a stellar effort against Immonen, requiring a bank of the five ball at 7-6 ahead to get out of the match, Appleton beat VanDenBerg in a less than spectacular final. Nick's game came down to earth, and Darren was effective, if not absolutely polished in his play.

Well played, Darren.

My first World Pool Masters is now behind me, and I must admit that I enjoyed it very much.

sjm
05-11-2009, 12:15 AM
During my busy day, I managed a few peeks at the bar table play, and was lucky enough to catch the Men's Grand Masters hot seat match, between Roberto Gomez and a fellow from Canada I wasn't familiar with named Simon Pickering. Both played well and the match reached double hill, with Gomez beginning the rack with a dry break, but one that didn't spread the balls well. The result was a long tactical sequence, controlled mostly by Gomez, but with some good kicking, Pickering kept his chances alive, eventually earning this chance (he had stripes in the double hill rack):

?@3CBEd2DRRu2HAtE4IDAd3KBcw1OTOC3PRtI@

Pickering had an easy shot on the eleven, but realized he'd gain little by playing it. With a jacked up cue, he opted for the fifteen in the corner, drawing the cue ball and ending up near the side pocket. He then slow rolled the eleven into the corner and nudged the nine perfectly to create a shot, a runout, and a win that ensured he will play in the final.

Well played, Simon Pickering.

sjm
05-11-2009, 12:25 AM
Came out of my shell today, actually spending some time with numerous friends. Of the AZBers, today I caught up with Boradriver, Nostroke, TheOne, and a few others. I had seen Jay Helfert, Robroy (BCA Hall of Famer Robin Dodson), Collection Guru, Mark Griffin, Cris Delagarza, Vagabond, Jude Rosenstock, Bob Jewett and GG11 yesterday.

Have already caught up with several of my pro friends, including Allison Fisher, Kim Shaw, Kelly Fisher, Val Finnie, Liz Ford, Jeanette Lee, Ralf Souquet, Jeremy Jones, Tony Robles, Max Eberle and numerous others.

So it's on to the Predator 10-ball event tomorrow. Six days of sweating ten ball should be quite an experience.

sjm
05-11-2009, 08:51 AM
OK, it's another day, and my goal for today is to check out some pool.

First order of fare today will be sneaking a peek at the bar table events. A few friends of mine have matches this morning, among them AZB poster Jude Rosenstock, looking for his third win on the winner's side in his division. I believe Shane will play Gomez at 10:00 for a spot against Simon Pickering in the Men's Grand Masters 8-ball final. The people will surely be packed like sardines for this one, as there's not much room to sit or stand, with the bar tables less than ten feet apart from the adjacent table(s).

Then it's off to the ten ball, and the big field is sure to contain some players I've never before had the chance to watch. I'll probably focus on those players also keeping an eye on the ladies in the field, most of whom I've never seen play ten ball. One notable exception is Allison Fisher, whose impressive ten ball skills were on display at Valley Forge.

OK, off I go.

boradriver
05-11-2009, 01:15 PM
OK, it's another day, and my goal for today is to check out some pool.

First order of fare today will be sneaking a peek at the bar table events. A few friends of mine have matches this morning, among them AZB poster Jude Rosenstock, looking for his third win on the winner's side in his division. I believe Shane will play Gomez at 10:00 for a spot against Simon Pickering in the Men's Grand Masters 8-ball final. The people will surely be packed like sardines for this one, as there's not much room to sit or stand, with the bar tables less than ten feet apart from the adjacent table(s).

Then it's off to the ten ball, and the big field is sure to contain some players I've never before had the chance to watch. I'll probably focus on those players also keeping an eye on the ladies in the field, most of whom I've never seen play ten ball. One notable exception is Allison Fisher, whose impressive ten ball skills were on display at Valley Forge.

OK, off I go.


Hey SJM, sorry I couldn't talk longer yesterday but my buddies just got in and were very eager to see what was going on.

sjm
05-12-2009, 12:26 AM
Hey SJM, sorry I couldn't talk longer yesterday but my buddies just got in and were very eager to see what was going on.

No biggie. Stop me another time when you're less busy and we'll chat. I'm here all week.

sjm
05-12-2009, 12:34 AM
Monday is now in the books, and the morning brought about the conclusion of the men's and women's grand masters 8-ball events.

On the men's side, Van Boening was up to the task of topping Gomez, but was not up to defeating Simon Pickering in the final.

On the women's side, Yu Ram Cha comleted a stellar run through the loser's bracket to reach the final. On the way, she beat Kristi Carter, Kim Shaw, Allison Fisher and when she beat Melissa Little, she advanced to the final, where she topped Julia Gabriel.

The Predator 10-ball event is now underway, beginning this evening. I can't say I watched many matches and I wasn't taking notes today, but I saw Ortmann play well to advance, and Darryl Peach, who appeared to be in dead stroke, had a 6-0 lead on Ernesto Dominguez when I left the arena. Tomorrow, I'll get it in gear as far as watching this event.

Off to bed!

JoeyA
05-12-2009, 07:16 AM
Monday is now in the books, and the morning brought about the conclusion of the men's and women's grand masters 8-ball events.

On the men's side, Van Boening was up to the task of topping Gomez, but was not up to defeating Simon Pickering in the final.

On the women's side, Yu Ram Cha comleted a stellar run through the loser's bracket to reach the final. On the way, she beat Kristi Carter, Kim Shaw, Allison Fisher and when she beat Melissa Little, she advanced to the final, where she topped Julia Gabriel.

The Predator 10-ball event is now underway, beginning this evening. I can't say I watched many matches and I wasn't taking notes today, but I saw Ortmann play well to advance, and Darryl Peach, who appeared to be in dead stroke, had a 6-0 lead on Ernesto Dominguez when I left the arena. Tomorrow, I'll get it in gear as far as watching this event.

Off to bed!

Stu,

It sounds like the European players are playing extremely well.

Can you make one pick as to whom you think will prevail from each Continent, especially Europe, Asia and North America?

Are there any Aussie's playing? I don't ever remember any pool players from the Antarctica so you won't have to stress over that Continent.

We already know who you would LIKE to win the 10 Ball Championship so just crack that egg and make a prediction based upon the level of play you see. OK, you have one day, two if you need it but not more. :D

Oh, and get some rest. We want you spryly moving from one match after another. Hope the arm is doing well.

JoeyA

JAM
05-12-2009, 08:07 AM
So my question is this. Will Stu sacrifice American Idol tonight while in Vegas? :grin:

I'm betting he does. :wink:

sjm
05-12-2009, 08:19 AM
Stu,

It sounds like the European players are playing extremely well.

Can you make one pick as to whom you think will prevail from each Continent, especially Europe, Asia and North America?

Are there any Aussie's playing? I don't ever remember any pool players from the Antarctica so you won't have to stress over that Continent.

We already know who you would LIKE to win the 10 Ball Championship so just crack that egg and make a prediction based upon the level of play you see. OK, you have one day, two if you need it but not more. :D

Oh, and get some rest. We want you spryly moving from one match after another. Hope the arm is doing well.

JoeyA

Only half the field has played even one match, so it's way too early to make any predictions. Yes, the Europeans are in good form right now, but I really only saw Ortmann and Peach play well yesterday. A fan sitting next to me said Jasmin was impressive in her win, but I didn't see any of her match. Seeing how Appleton play will be interesting, as he had his heart ripped out by Hatch early in the week (ten ball), but has now rebounded with success in the World Pool Masters (nine ball). Of the Asian players, Parica looked solid, but I was disappointed when Roberto Gomez' opponent was a no-show, resulting in a forfeit. Though I'd seen him play bar table eight ball, I was quite keen on watching him for the first time on the big table. As for the Americans the only ones I saw play in a considerable stretch were Max Eberle, who appears in his top form, Ernesto Dominguez, who is struggling, and Oscar Dominguez, who was playng passably but doesn't appear to have found his best form yet. Today and tomorrow, I'll continue to gauge the field, and start to form opinions about who the favorites seem to be. Haven't seen any Aussies to this point.

From what I've seen, nobody is doing much stringing racks (winner breaks). The tables seem to be playing tight, the side pockets in particular. I really feel that a three pack or better will be quite a feat on this equipment.

sjm
05-12-2009, 08:25 AM
So my question is this. Will Stu sacrifice American Idol tonight while in Vegas? :grin:

I'm betting he does. :wink:

You know me all too well, JAM, and this is a decision I'm really struggling with. I hope to catch Adam, Danny and Chris performing tonight, but if the matches really reel me in, I might just skip it. Two years ago, I recall, right here at the Riviera, watching in shock as Melinda Doolittle was eliminated to finish third in Season 6.

sjm
05-12-2009, 11:05 AM
Melissa and Stu,
Well, I have no idea what happens when (I'm not even in town yet, and will be travelling with one of the pro players and extended family); so to avoid complication, why don't we just meet at the Peppermill at 9 A.M. Tuesday?? Stragglers can fend for themselves; but it is usually a leisurely affair.

Breakfast is on me; but be forewarned that there is sometimes a loud and large contingent of pool fanatics, spouses, and kid (singular) at the usual "Betmore Breakfast."

Can't wait.


Willie, breakfast this morning was fun with you and your wife, Vagabond and our mutual professional friends. Melissa, where were you? We missed you. I'll drop by the WPBA booth, the location of which I don't kow but will find out, and say hi. OK, I'm off to the pro event. See you there.

Stu

sjm
05-12-2009, 02:24 PM
The day session of the Predator 10-ball Classic has already produced something special. Here's a recap of Allison Fisher vs George Breedlove.

The first key moment came with Allison leading 3-2. George had a bad miss on a nine ball that gave Allison a most unexpected 4-2 lead. Her next break gave George a 1-10 combo that he made, but his next break, a scratch, gave Allison a 2-10 combo with ball in hand that she made for a 5-3 lead. Allison played well and attained a 9-5 lead, but the race to ten, it turned out, was far from over. After pulling to within 9-6, George was hooked on the one after a well-played Fisher safety, but his kick was effective, and Allison had to play a swerve shot to try to pocket the one. The next ball was hanging and the layout favorable, so it appeared that if she made this, she'd run out for the win, but she wasn't up to the challenge, allowing George to pull to 9-7. The rest of the match would be breathtaking. After a safety by George, Allison layed a nice masse to produce a decent safety, leaving George a difficult, long, diagonal cut on the one, with multi-rail shape needed to get to the position needed to shoot the 2-10 combo. He hit it superbly, as good a shot as I've seen this week and made the shape. Moments later, he pocketed the 2-10 combo to pull within 9-8. Another will safety battle took place in the next rack. After a solid safety by George, Allison made a phenomenal two rail kick with draw at the two ball to hook back, but George kicked the two in and made the following shape on the three:

?@3CNcx3DVSv4ENoU2FKnh2GCHR3HTXK3IbBr2JVJi3PWKf@

The four didn't pass the nine into the corner, and George's body language told you he didn't care much for the 4-9 combo, which he couldn't easily play tight shape onto. His solution was impressive.

?@3CNcx3DVSv4ENoU2FKnh2GCHR3HTXK3IbBr2JVJi3PWKf3WN cx4Wbok3WcbN3kWKf3kPhF3kOrC@

He simply banked the three into the side, drawing the cueball on to the four in the opposite diagonal corner. A miss would have left Allison snookered but there would be no miss on this occasion, with George making the bank and getting the intended shape. After pocketing the four in the bottom corner, he ran out to reach 9-9, double hill.

At double hill, George made a ball on the break but had to push out. After the push out, Allison faced this:

?@2BYxb3CWbJ2DYMe1EYnW2GQUa2HWnP1IMDO1JVrB4PDph@

She gave the shot back, and George opted to bank the two into the five, a shot he made, but he lost control of the cue ball, nearly scratching, but ending up snookered on the three. His kick sold out the match, or so it seemed, but Allison got funny on the ten ball, and had to make a super-thin cut of it up the long rail to win. She was up to it, though, and she scored an impressive 10-9 victory.

Well played, Allison, and, let's face it, George showed incredible heart in his near comeback form 9-5 behind.

Tbeaux
05-12-2009, 07:31 PM
SJM,if you get an opportunity see what brand and/or model camera they're using for the streaming. That has got to be one of the clearest vids I've ever seen.

sjm
05-13-2009, 03:18 PM
Here are some tidbits form the Wednesday day session of the Predator 10-ball Classic.

Tiffany Nelson Crain vs Erik Hjorleifson
The match was tight all the way and got to double hill, when Erik played a good safety on the one ball. Tiffany attemtped to jump in the ball, but, though making a good hit, she sent the one off the table. With ball in hand Erik ran out for the 10-9 win.

George Breedlove vs, Rafael Martinez
This was really no match at all. Three break and runs by Martinez coupled with two missed ten balls by Bredlove added up to a 7-1 lead for Martinez, as he coasted 10-3.

Stevie Moore vs Carlos Cabello
Cabello was fresh off his upset of Souquet last night. Stevie got out of the gate well, and cruised to a 3-0 lead. Cabello found his form, and kept it close. Stevie really struggled to throw the knockout punch in this one. At 8-5 ahead, Stevie scratched on the break, and Cabello's runout made it 8-6. The next rack involved a safety battle won by Cabello, but he missed a fairly easy 5-9 combo, allowing Stevie to get out for 9-6, and the match appeared over. However, in the next rack, Stevie was two balls form the finish line when he had a shocking scratch on the nine ball, allowing Cabello to pull within 9-7. Visibly disgusted, Stevie took his break, and came back and ran out a nice rack off Cabello's dry break for a 10-7 victory.

...... in my next post, I'll comment on Steve Folan's remarkable victory over Shane Van Boening.

JAM
05-13-2009, 03:25 PM
...... in my next post, I'll comment on Steve Folan's remarkable victory over Shane Van Boening.

I know this Steve Folan. From England? First time I met him was in 2003 at the Glass City Open in Toledo. It was his very first trip to the States.

Here is a snippet of the post I made about meeting him:

Buckster_uk, I just met Steve Folan in the lobby where the Beat the Champ table is. Keith is playing challengers for 5 bucks, and if they win, they get a free T-shirt. Buddy Hall just finished playing on the Beat the Champ table.

Steve Folan is standing here with me now as I write this on the hotel computer in the lobby. He said he won a qualifer in Stoke-on-Trent which is located in the Midlands. He got a free entry fee and all-expense paid trip from England to Toledo, Ohio, to compete in this great event. Steve has been playing snooker for about 12 years, and he just took up 9-ball about 5 months ago. He's a very nice young lad, all of 20 years old, full of enthusiasm, and he's having a really, really good time. This is the first time he has ever been outside of the U.K.

I think I even got a picture of him. If I can find it, I will post it up for grins! :)

sjm
05-13-2009, 03:29 PM
Wednesday day session at the Predator 10-ball classic, continued form previous post ....

Shane Van Boening vs Steve Folan
Folan led 5-4 when I began watching this match. Another spectator told me Shane had miscued on the eight ball at 3-3 to lose a key rack. A solid runout by Folan made it 6-4. In the next rack, Shane played a nice safety, but Folan made a great kick to leave Shane no more than a rail first look at the five. Shane made the shot and faced a cross-side bank of the six, a shot I reckon he should make 70% of the time, but he missed out, and Folan ran out for a 7-4 lead, a lead which he padded with a break and run for 8-4. Folan had a good look at another runout in the next rack but missed the four. Shane had a choice between a supertough 4-9 combo and a safety, and, wisely in my view, opted for the safety. He hit the safety very poorly, however, and sold out the four. Folan was up to the fiarly difficult runout that remained and it got him to the hill, 9-4. In the next rack, a dry break by Folan gives Shane an opening but he misplayed the shape from the four to the five. He played a two way cut shot on the five, missing the shot but nailing the intended defense. Remarkably, Folan kicked in the five the length of the table, probably a 5% chance. Somewhat unfortunately, Folan ended up snookered behind the eight ball and would have to play a long jump shot along the table diagonal, a very difficult shot. Incredibly, he made the jump, and after he pocketed the seven, Shane, who'd probably seen enough, conceded the last three balls, giving Folan the well-deserved 10-4 victory. Folan pokceted very well in this one, and his kicking was also exceptional, and that added up to an upset.

JAM
05-13-2009, 03:34 PM
Thanks for the match report, Stu.

I cannot find my Steve Folan picture from 2003, but I found one on the Internet taken in 2008 of him at a pool room in England, I think, named Riley's. :)

He's the one on the right. He won the tournament!

sjm
05-13-2009, 11:31 PM
Stu,

Can you make one pick as to whom you think will prevail from each Continent, especially Europe, Asia and North America?

We already know who you would LIKE to win the 10 Ball Championship so just crack that egg and make a prediction based upon the level of play you see.

OK, I've finally seen enough play to start forming an opinion about who the favorites are. By continent, the best performers to this point have been:

North America

1. Corey Deuel, after leading 8-3, withstood a furious charge from Thorsten Hohmann, with Corey prevailing 10-8 in what may have been the best match of the day.

2. John Schmidt is playng extremely well, picking up right where he left off at Valley Forge

3. Tony Robles, who was very impressive in his 10-6 win over Dennis Orcullo, is in good form, and has a very good track record in this venue.

Europe

1. Mika Immonen is showing exceptional form to this point.

2. Darren Appleton played a fine match to beat Rodney Morris 10-7, and fresh off his World Pool Masters win earlier this week, seems to be feeling good about his game again.

3. Nick VanDenBerg is continuing to play very fine pool, just as he did in his runnerup effort in World Pool Masters arlier this week. He won a thriller against Jeremy Jones 10-8, in a generally well-played match.

4. Tony Drago has been very efficient in his play and seems to be getting stronger as the event goes on.

Asia

1. Roberto Gomez lost a total of three racks in his three matches, and made a big statement in crushing Charlie "Hillbilly" Bryant 10-1.

2. Alex Pagulayan is playing some superb ten ball, cruising in his matches, and looks dangerous.

3. Warren Kiamco has played beautifully to this point.

Overall

The ten players noted seem to be playing the best pool right now, but it's a long way from here to the finish line.

In my opinion, Roberto Gomez has been the best player to this point, with Immonen, Schmidt, and Deuel just slightly behind Gomez in the quality of their play. I look for one of these four to win it, but once single elimination begins, as we all understand, anything can happen.

JoeyA
05-14-2009, 07:39 AM
Excellent report and prognostication. This will give us all something to pay attention to.

Roberto Gomez only lost 3 games in 3 matches? Did he have a bye in one or two of his matches? LOL. WOW! OH.... he must have played a match with Travis Trotter.

Isn't Corey Deuel about due for a major win?

Go SCHMITTY!

Good luck Darren!

Thanks for all of the excellent posts sjm!
JoeyA

Roy Steffensen
05-14-2009, 08:15 AM
OK, I've finally seen enough play to start forming an opinion about who the favorites are. By continent, the best performers to this point have been:

North America

1. Corey Deuel, after leading 8-3, withstood a furious charge from Thorsten Hohmann, with Corey prevailing 10-8 in what may have been the best match of the day.

2. John Schmidt is playng extremely well, picking up right where he left off at Valley Forge

3. Tony Robles, who was very impressive in his 10-6 win over Dennis Orcullo, is in good form, and has a very good track record in this venue.

Europe

1. Mika Immonen is showing exceptional form to this point.

2. Darren Appleton played a fine match to beat Rodney Morris 10-7, and fresh off his World Pool Masters win earlier this week, seems to be feeling good about his game again.

3. Nick VanDenBerg is continuing to play very fine pool, just as he did in his runnerup effort in World Pool Masters arlier this week. He won a thriller against Jeremy Jones 10-8, in a generally well-played match.

4. Tony Drago has been very efficient in his play and seems to be getting stronger as the event goes on.

Asia

1. Roberto Gomez lost a total of three racks in his three matches, and made a big statement in crushing Charlie "Hillbilly" Bryant 10-1.

2. Alex Pagulayan is playing some superb ten ball, cruising in his matches, and looks dangerous.

3. Warren Kiamco has played beautifully to this point.

Overall

The ten players noted seem to be playing the best pool right now, but it's a long way from here to the finish line.

In my opinion, Roberto Gomez has been the best player to this point, with Immonen, Schmidt, and Deuel just slightly behind Gomez in the quality of their play. I look for one of these four to win it, but once single elimination begins, as we all understand, anything can happen.

As the perhaps biggest Roberto Gomez-fan in the world, I am pleased to see that he is performing well.

Hope he can go all the way!

JAM
05-14-2009, 08:29 AM
As the perhaps biggest Roberto Gomez-fan in the world, I am pleased to see that he is performing well.

Hope he can go all the way!

Well, I will definitely be pulling for Robert Gomez all the way, but, first, I have to see what Americans are left.

If the finals is Gomez and a non-American, I will be rooting for Superman! :wink:

sjm
05-14-2009, 09:15 AM
Excellent report and prognostication. This will give us all something to pay attention to.

Roberto Gomez only lost 3 games in 3 matches? Did he have a bye in one or two of his matches? LOL. WOW! OH.... he must have played a match with Travis Trotter.

Isn't Corey Deuel about due for a major win?

Go SCHMITTY!

Good luck Darren!

Thanks for all of the excellent posts sjm!
JoeyA

Gomez lost three racks in three matches played.

You were there, Joey, to witness what happened to Deuel at Valley Forge, and it's hard to fault him for not snapping off that one.

Darren's key shot vs. Rodney Morris was when he jumped in a bank shot in rack thirteen. It looked like Rodney was on his way to pulling within 7-6, but this shot turned the tables and Darren's runout gave him an 8-5 lead, which proved decisive.

sjm
05-14-2009, 05:11 PM
Much of the day session is in the books here in Vegas.

Jasmin Ouschan was good enough to beat a slighlty off-form Dan Louie, in a match where neither ever seemed to have a shot on the ne ball after the break. Dan had a chance to pull within 8-7, but hooked himself on the eight ball as he pocketed the seven, a mistake he never recovered from. The score was 10-6, in a match that barely had a break and run.

Allison Fisher crushed Amalia Matas, a very good player from Spain who had beaten Kim Shaw easily in the previous round. On this occasion, Allison won the first five racks for 5-0, and after Matas pulled to within 5-3, Allison won the next five racks for 10-3. Her next match will be against Japan's Uchigaki.

Johnny Archer played fairly well to outlast Sal Butera, who kept it interesting,10-7.

Allen Hopkins lost a heartbreaker to Japan's Takenaka, 10-9.

Mark Vidal had the first good chance in the double hill rack aganst Kim Davenport, but his miss on a tough two ball was decisive, with Kim running out for the 10-9 win.

Jeanette Lee had enough good chances to beat Yu Ram Cha, who led all the way up to 9-8, but a shocking defensive error in Rack 18 by Lee sealed her fate, with Cha the deserving winner, 10-8. Yu Ram Cha gets Van Boening next, with the winner advancing to single elimination.

On my way back to my room, I stopped in to watch some of my lady friends from NYC playing in the Women's Masters bar table 8-ball event. On the opposing team was none other than AZB's own Milo, and I saw her make a nice runout to win a rack before introducing myself. Nice lady, good player.

That's about the size of it!

TX Poolnut
05-14-2009, 05:41 PM
Thanks for the updates!

lewdo26
05-14-2009, 11:49 PM
Thanks for the updates, SJM. And my good luck wishes to all the New Yorkers playing the 8 ball event and Tony! ;)

sjm
05-15-2009, 08:44 AM
When I returned to my room at about 2:00 AM, AZB was down, so I couldn't share my impressions of the evening session. I'll do so now.

The story of the evening session was the fine play of the ladies, with three of them advancing to the sngle elimination stage of the event.

The lady of the evening was Yu Ram Cha, who trailed Van Boening 8-4 but wn six straight racks to win 10-8, a true shocker. Cha's play has been as infectious as her smile this week, and she has been the darling of the event.

Allison Fisher has a relatively easy go of it, winning her matches comfortably to reach single elimination.

Jasmin Ouschan had an interesting match with Cabello. Jasmin played well up to 5-3, and then made a 1-10 combo and a 2-10 combo in the next two racks for 7-3. Cabello won the next for 7-4, but Jasmin appeared headed for a runout in the next one until she miscued on the seven ball, which led to 7-5, and Cabello broke and ran for 7-6. Jasmin got the critical Rack 14 for an 8-6 lead, and then Cabello was on the verge of running one of the most impressive racks I've seen all week, but the ten ball skidded badly, and it was Jasmin 9-6. The rest was easy and Jasmin advanced.

In other matches:

Rodolfo Luat was brilliant in eliminating Van Cortezza, winner of the 10-ball event at Derby City.

Thorsten Hohmann was solid as a rock in beating Rafael Martinez, who played well all week.

Johnnny Archer, who hadn't found his top form in a single match yet, finally shot the lights out and Jeremy Jones wasn't sharp in Johnny's shocking 10-2 victory in a match that seemingly promised t be a thriller.
Ortmann won a thriller, double hill, over Kim Davenport. Oliver was deserving in this one, but to see Kim get through would have made this fan very happy.

Ralf Souquet was efficient, if not brilliant, in his win over Go Takami.

Oscar Dominguez was sharp in easily besting Sylver Ochoa.

Rodney Morris played superbly to get a 6-2 lead on Matt Tetrault, and Matt hang tough and pulled to within 7-5 at one point, but in the end, it was clear that Matt had dug toodeep a hole and Rodney advanced comfortably.

Charlie Williams prevailed over Ramil Gallego in a match containing few errors. At 9-8 ahead, Charile made a pretty runout to advance.

I'd say Luat, Hohmann, and Archer were the ones that made big statements last night with their play.

That's as much as I remember.

So the final thirty two is set, and, though I have yet to see the chart, the next round features these matches:

Gomez/Williams
Pagulayan/Facquet
Immonen/Ortmann
Kiamco/Takenaka
Gama/Archer
Deuel/Peach
Boyes/Ouschan
Folan/Luat
Putnam/A Fisher
Majid/Hohmann
Robles/Cha
Drago/Orcullo
Moore/Souquet
VanDenBerg/Morris
Appleton/O Dominguez
Schmidt/Alcaide

Let the games begin.

sjm
05-15-2009, 07:49 PM
Gomez/Williams - Charlie was sharp Gomez was sloppy, and Charlie won easily.

Pagulayan/Facquet - Alex was down 7-2 but rallied for 9-9. He made an error in rack nineteen, but Facquet didn't get out, so Alex led 10-9, and went on to score the 11-9 victory.

Immonen/Ortmann - They went back and forth up to 6-6, when Immonen's miss of a combo on the ten ball turned the momentum sharply in Oliver's favor, and Oliver prevailed 11-6.

Kiamco/Takenaka - Warren was sharp up to 7-4 ahead, but Takenaka came back very strong, and took the lead at 9-8, but Kiamco regrouped and played three solid racks for an 11-9 win.

Gama/Archer
I didn't watch it, but Archer advanced.

Deuel/Peach - Perhaps the best match of the session. Peach led narrowly most of the way, but couldn't throw the knockout punch. He had a runout for 6-4 that went wrong, and failed to punsih Corey for a bad miss at 8-7. At 10-9, favor of Corey, Darryl missed a cross corner bank but played it two way, leaving Deuel supertough but Deuel played a nice shot that left Darryl a tough cross-sdie bank, which he missed, selling out the match, with Corey advancing in a thrilling match that showcased the impressive skills of both of them.

Boyes/Ouschan - Jasmin kept it close, but trailed all the way, and Boyes was a deserving winner.

Folan/Luat - I didn't watch it, but Luat advanced.

Putnam/A Fisher - Allison fought the good fight up to 5-5, but two errors in the next three racks were costly, leading to an 8-5 Putnam lead, and shawn cruised from there.

Majid/Hohmann - Close most of the way, with imran pulking away late. Hohmann had a fairly easy ten ball to pull within 10-8, but missed it to end the match, with Majid advancing.

Robles/Cha - Tony played very well up to 8-3 ahead, but Yu Ram Cha fought valiantly to pull within 8-7. Tony made it 9-7, and when Tony jumped in the four in rack seventeen, it all but sealed the deal, with Robles advancing.

Drago/Orcullo
I didn't watch it, but Orcullo advanced.

Moore/Souquet
This was a blowout in every sense of the word, with Ralf advancing 11-3.

VanDenBerg/Morris -Great match that got to 6-6, 7-7, 8-8, 9-9, and with Morris ahead 10-9, Nick made an error that sealed his fate, with Rodney advancing.

Appleton/O Dominguez -Oscar was sharp in building a 9-5 lead, but Darren fought the good fight and pulled to within 10-9. Darren ad a couple of chances in rack twenty, but failed to cash them in, and Oscar advanced, 11-9.

Schmidt/Alcaide - An unexpected blowout in this one, with Alcaide playing magnficently.

What a session!. The sixteen undefeated qualifiers went 7-9, and the #1 and #3 seeds were beaten, with the #2 seed (pagulayan) coming back from the dead in his match.

We're down to sixteen palyers, and the title chase is starting to look wide open.

sjm
05-16-2009, 02:27 AM
The quarterfinals are now in the books.

Charlie Williams and Dennis Orcullo had a good match, but a couple of bad rolls hurt Charlie, and Dennis ran two racks off of each of Charlie's two major errors, which added up to a victory for Orcullo in a very competitve match.

Ralf Souquet, who breezed through all three of his matches today, was dominant in his 11-3 win over Archer.

Warren Kiamco dominated Majid, who had knocked otu Deuel in the prior match.

The wild one was Pagulayan vs Boyes, an even match up to 9-9, when a fifteen minute safety battle with some freaky rolls was won by Boyes. Moments later, however, Boyes missed the shape on the eight, and sold out with a miss, giving Alex a 10-9 lead. A missed kick safe in rack twenty seemed to doom Boyes, but Alex miscued on a routine five ball, leaving Boyes a 5-10 combo which Boyes missed, selling out the match, with Alex prevailing in a match that was half laborious and half entertainment.

So, tomorrow, it's Souquet vs Pagulayan and Orcullo vs Kiamco. Of the four, Kiamco has been the best player this week, but Souquet was the best if Friday alone is considered. Of course, it's anybody's tournament now. Should be fun!

ShootingArts
05-16-2009, 02:54 AM
I know I am repeating myself but you are providing absolutely great reports.

They are very much appreciated!

Hu


The quarterfinals are now in the books.

Charlie Williams and Dennis Orcullo had a good match, but a couple of bad rolls hurt Charlie, and Dennis ran two racks off of each of Charlie's two major errors, which added up to a victory for Orcullo in a very competitve match.

Ralf Souquet, who breezed through all three of his matches today, was dominant in his 11-3 win over Archer.

Warren Kiamco dominated Majid, who had knocked otu Deuel in the prior match.

The wild one was Pagulayan vs Boyes, an even match up to 9-9, when a fifteen minute safety battle with some freaky rolls was won by Boyes. Moments later, however, Boyes missed the shape on the eight, and sold out with a miss, giving Alex a 10-9 lead. A missed kick safe in rack twenty seemed to doom Boyes, but Alex miscued on a routine five ball, leaving Boyes a 5-10 combo which Boyes missed, selling out the match, with Alex prevailing in a match that was half laborious and half entertainment.

So, tomorrow, it's Souquet vs Pagulayan and Orcullo vs Kiamco. Of the four, Kiamco has been the best player this week, but Souquet was the best if Friday alone is considered. Of course, it's anybody's tournament now. Should be fun!

JoeyA
05-16-2009, 03:13 AM
The quarterfinals are now in the books.

Charlie Williams and Dennis Orcullo had a good match, but a couple of bad rolls hurt Charlie, and Dennis ran two racks off of each of Charlie's two major errors, which added up to a victory for Orcullo in a very competitve match.

Ralf Souquet, who breezed through all three of his matches today, was dominant in his 11-3 win over Archer.

Warren Kiamco dominated Majid, who had knocked otu Deuel in the prior match.

The wild one was Pagulayan vs Boyes, an even match up to 9-9, when a fifteen minute safety battle with some freaky rolls was won by Boyes. Moments later, however, Boyes missed the shape on the eight, and sold out with a miss, giving Alex a 10-9 lead. A missed kick safe in rack twenty seemed to doom Boyes, but Alex miscued on a routine five ball, leaving Boyes a 5-10 combo which Boyes missed, selling out the match, with Alex prevailing in a match that was half laborious and half entertainment.

So, tomorrow, it's Souquet vs Pagulayan and Orcullo vs Kiamco. Of the four, Kiamco has been the best player this week, but Souquet was the best if Friday alone is considered. Of course, it's anybody's tournament now. Should be fun!

WOW! Those Filipinos must know something. Three in the finals.:thumbup:

Ralf an always be relied upon to remain staying in the hunt. It is hard to keep a good man down.

Speaking of good men, thanks again sjm for all of your posts. We will have to take a look at your fortune telling skills, though. :D

(Hint: Don't bet against the Kaiser unless JoeyA has already picked him.:grin-square:)
JoeyA

JimS
05-16-2009, 04:20 AM
SJM...

I don't know who the hell you are but I know you produce dammed fine pool reports. Thanks.

JMuck
05-16-2009, 04:38 AM
Thank you sjm for taking time to reduce all this information to this simple,enlightened descriptive form.I'm looking forward to all your future posts.

Roy Steffensen
05-16-2009, 07:50 AM
Thanks for all the nice reports, SJM! Much appreciated!

sjm
05-16-2009, 06:51 PM
It's all over now.

Kiamco was a little sloppy against Orcullo in the first semifinal and made it pretty easy for Dennis to advance.

Souquet played one of the best sets of ten ball imaginable against Pagulayan, getting all seven of his racks by running one through ten, never losing his pattern in any of them. He broke dry once and had to tie two balls up after a perfect Pagulayan safety, but was otherwise perfect. Alex never had a chance in the 7-1 thrashing.

Ralf never had to play a safety in the seimfinal match, and, arguably, this hurt him in the final, where three defensive errors cost him three racks, with Orcullo winning comforably.

Well played, Dennis Orcullo. Congratulations!

That completes my coverage of the BCA event in Vegas. Hope you enjoyed it. Flying back to NYC shortly, and look forward to it, but ... I had a wonderul nine days here in Vegas, seeing a lot of great pool, renewing old friendships and making a few new friends.

If you were here and I said hello, it was great seeing you. If you were here and I didn't have the chance to say hello, I regret it. If you weren't here, I hope to catch up with you at a poolroom or pool event soon.

Bye now.

bud green
05-16-2009, 07:02 PM
I'm sure I speak for everyone who wants to give you a big "Thanks" for spending the time to post your, as usual, excellent observations.

Shame its a short race the way Ralf played against Alex but overall it seemed to be a good event and Dennis is without a doubt a worthy champion.

JAM
05-17-2009, 01:46 AM
It's all over now.

Kiamco was a little sloppy against Orcullo in the first semifinal and made it pretty easy for Dennis to advance.

Souquet played one of the best sets of ten ball imaginable against Pagulayan, getting all seven of his racks by running one through ten, never losing his pattern in any of them. He broke dry once and had to tie two balls up after a perfect Pagulayan safety, but was otherwise perfect. Alex never had a chance in the 7-1 thrashing.

Ralf never had to play a safety in the seimfinal match, and, arguably, this hurt him in the final, where three defensive errors cost him three racks, with Orcullo winning comforably.

Well played, Dennis Orcullo. Congratulations!

That completes my coverage of the BCA event in Vegas. Hope you enjoyed it. Flying back to NYC shortly, and look forward to it, but ... I had a wonderul nine days here in Vegas, seeing a lot of great pool, renewing old friendships and making a few new friends.

If you were here and I said hello, it was great seeing you. If you were here and I didn't have the chance to say hello, I regret it. If you weren't here, I hope to catch up with you at a poolroom or pool event soon.

Bye now.

Thank the good Lord for SJM's updates. I came onto this forum this morning, wanting to know who won the tournament.

I read several threads, with no mention of the winner. There was a lot of colloquy about betting on the players as if they were racehorses, but no mention of the great triumph.

Thanks, Stu. I knew I could count on you and this thread for the facts, always well written and enjoyable. :)

sjm
05-17-2009, 04:09 PM
Home sweet home.

Would like to share a couple of more things about the BCA experience.

I must concede that I felt a bit ignorant when the fact that soft-breaking wasn't being permitted was mentioned just before the TV rounds in the Predator 10-ball challenge. Apparently, for the length of the tournament, the rule in effect was that if, in the referee's judgment, a break attempt did not qualify as an attempt to hit the balls hard, the penalty would be loss of that rack.

A story that continued to quietly emerge during my trip to the BCA's was the continued improvement of the English players. Darren Appleton won the World Pool Masters, and in the Predator 10-ball event, Karl Boyes, who came 5th, barely missed beating Pagualayan out of a semifinal appearance, while Imran Majid was good enough to finish ninth, eliminating Corey Deuel alng the way. In fact, Yorkshire alone has now produced World 10-ball champion Darren Appleton, 2008 WPBA Player of the Year Kelly Fisher, and 2007 World 9-ball Campion Darryl Peach.

Oh, one last thing. Jay Helfert did one hell of a job directing, up until Saturday, at which time he was unconscionably demoted in rank to shotclock official, a capacity in which he, once again, shined.

JimS
05-17-2009, 06:07 PM
Oh, one last thing. Jay Helfert did one hell of a job directing, up until Saturday, at which time he was unconscionably demoted in rank to shotclock official, a capacity in which he, once again, shined.

You lost me here. Could you elaborate? (on the underlined part I mean.)

Thanks... for all the reporting. Exemplary job!!

jay helfert
05-17-2009, 07:57 PM
You lost me here. Could you elaborate? (on the underlined part I mean.)

Thanks... for all the reporting. Exemplary job!!


My co-directors Scott Smith and Justin ref'd the final three matches. Both are very capable officials and, in truth, working the shot clock and scoring device is more complicated. There are buttons to push and reset on each player's turn, and you must watch the clock closely at all times, and you have to keep track of time clock "extensions" and make sure you have the correct score. Sounds easy, but it required my 100% concentration.

sjm
05-17-2009, 08:08 PM
My co-directors Scott Smith and Justin ref'd the final three matches. Both are very capable officials and, in truth, working the shot clock and scoring device is more complicated. There are buttons to push and reset on each player's turn, and you must watch the clock closely at all times, and you have to keep track of time clock "extensions" and make sure you have the correct score. Sounds easy, but it required my 100% concentration.

Just kidding here, of course, Jay. It was great seeing you in Vegas. Hope to catch up again soon.

DogsPlayingPool
05-17-2009, 08:28 PM
I didn't know that about the soft break rule either and I was there Monday night thru Friday. But now I more fully appreciate the work you did all week Jay. I mean even when you weren't involved in a immediate situation you always were looking over all the matches in the entire room and now I understand that you had to always be aware when a new rack was being broken into so you would be in position to enforce that rule if you saw a violation.

sjm
05-17-2009, 09:28 PM
Ok, I kind of missed the social recap, so here goes:

Caught up, in some cases just briefly, with these AZBers this week.

Boradriver, Nostroke, TheOne, Milo, Jay Helfert, Robroy (BCA Hall of Famer Robin Dodson), Collection Guru, Mark Griffin, Cris Delagarza, Vagabond, Jude Rosenstock, Bob Jewett, GG11, Crown City Corey, Fatboy, Melissa Herndon, Sarah Rousey, Liz Ford, Dan Barouty, Steve Lipsky, Marop, Williebetmore ...... and many more.

Two of the highlights of my week were a) a Tuesday breakfast with Williebetmore, Vagabond and a few others, and b) a Friday breakfast with Melissa Herndon and former WPBA pro Kristi Carter.

Other than the aformentioned pros who post here, I caught up with each of the following current pros whom I'm pleased to count as friends: Allison Fisher, Kim Shaw, Jennifer Barretta, Kelly Fisher, Val Finnie, Jeanette Lee, Jasmin Ouschan, Ralf Souquet, Jeremy Jones, Kim Davenport, Tony Robles, Max Eberle, Rodney Morris, Al Lapena, Thorsten Hohmann, Oliver Ortmann, Darren Appleton, Nick VanDenBerg ..... and many others.

I was also pleased to meet and chat with these pros for the first time: a) Karl Boyes, an animated, friendly, fellow from Blackpool, England, where I once vacationed, and b) Tony Drago, who is extremely amusing and very personable, and c) Neil Fujiwara, a very friendly guy I met at the Tiger booth.

I hadn't seen him for 28 years, but I caught up with Sal Butera (Lou's son), whom I last saw at the 1981 World Straight Pool Championships in New York City. He was quite impressed that I remembered his participation in that event.

Finally, I thought I'd relate that when Robroy (BCA Hall of Fame Robin Dodson) and I had a nice long chat, I complained at length to her that she seems to have, quite unfairly, staved off the aging process. I don't know how she does it, but Robin still manages to look very young over twenty five years after I first met her. She really looks great, as does my friend and former WPBA pro Darlene Stinson, who was working at Robin's booth.

Thanks to all for the companionship and the memories. We'll do it again soon.

... and, of course, before signing off, thank you to Matchroom Sports and Mark Griffin for everything you do for our sport.

Fuji-whopper
05-17-2009, 10:26 PM
Great to finally meet you SJM, thank you for coming to the Tiger booth to introduce yourself. Your writing is amazing so thank you for taking the time to use your own words (and Wei layouts) to explain in detail what was happening for those of us that weren't able to watch the matches.

Thanks again and great to meet you!!

JimS
05-18-2009, 03:34 AM
My co-directors Scott Smith and Justin ref'd the final three matches. Both are very capable officials and, in truth, working the shot clock and scoring device is more complicated. There are buttons to push and reset on each player's turn, and you must watch the clock closely at all times, and you have to keep track of time clock "extensions" and make sure you have the correct score. Sounds easy, but it required my 100% concentration.

Thanks Jay.

Sounds like you were entrusted with a duty that demanded quite a bit of knowledge, ability and integrity. That's not a small job and you, it seems to me, are the very definition of the "go to guy" when it's imperative that a job be done right the FIRST time.

SJM... you are a very knowledge and bright guy. I hope we meet up one day. Thanks again for your insights and the gift of energy you expended allowing us the privilege of experiencing your insights.

Brian in VA
05-18-2009, 05:39 AM
Stu,

Thanks so much for these amazing reports, layouts and insightful analysis! I know how difficult it can be to produce these sorts of things and you've done an incredible job over the past nine days. I hope to make your acquaintance at a future event!

Best regards to you!

Brian in VA

sjm
05-18-2009, 08:10 AM
I hope to make your acquaintance at a future event!

I'm about 50/50 for the US Open at Chesapeake in the fall. If you'll be there, Brian, PM me before the event begins, and, if I'm going, we can prearrange a hookup.