Filler and TRex. Tue -Wed at Roys

Tin Man

AzB Gold Member
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Those who say Tony should've played more conservatively make a good point, but I'm not so sure it would be one easy adjustment and he'd win this match

The thing about one pocket is that when you play aggressively you put restrictions on your opponent. When you have balls open near your hole and everything goes in your pocket and nothing goes in theirs, it forces them to pass on some more difficult shots. When they know you'll shoot at your hole if you miss it forces them to pass on some two way shots that might be a little leaky and instead be concerned with where they leave you.

So when you make an adjustment to start playing more conservatively, it takes the leash off your opponent and they can get even more aggressive. Pretty soon they have balls near their pocket, everything lies in their favor, you are on your back foot constantly trying to escape traps, and they have free reign of the table. Filler had a tiger by the tail and was still hyper aggressive, if Tony took his foot off the gas it might have been even worse for him.

Meanwhile it was an interesting match-up in the sense of how their strengths collided. Tony has built a game based on putting heat on his opponents with aggression and fearlessness. But Josh is more aggressive and even more fearless. Tony may have more experience and creativity, but he's used to being the guy to put fear in his opponent. With Josh that wasn't possible. And he was really struggling to find a way to take the role of using Josh's aggression against him because of what I said above. Sometimes he tried to play conservatively and it worked out, other times he tried to play a 'safe' shot and and Josh would just elevate and spear in a table length bank and shoot balls in anyway.

It was strange because Tony has only ever had one gear and one style, so to be in a match where he even had to wrestle with these types of questions was a first to see and not so easy for him to sort out in real time under that type of heat. When Filler was the first opponent to ever have Tony scrambling to adjust his game it says a lot about the match. I'm not saying more defense was a bad idea, only that it's a tricky game and there is no easy answer on how to beat this young man.
 
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overlord

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
For the elite pros, I don't think 4" vs 4.5" vs 5" pockets would make an ounce of difference. One quote from Buddy Hall is something like "it doesn't matter how small the pocket is when you always hit it in the center".

Even Filler admitted in the post game interview that he would not be able to run as many balls on a tighter table and there would be much more moving.

Straight pool is really hard on pockets under 4 inches. If you have super tight pockets and you add in humidity it even gets worse.
 

gxman

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Seems like hardly 1p players give games on the wire in big action matches.

If Filler was spotting 2 games, he'll get a lot more action.

Alex gave Hall a spot. Hall jumped on it and got bbq.
 

Johnny Rosato

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I'm a banger, but IMO, this is the way one hole should be played when you can execute to Filler's level. Efren changed the game in the 80's. Tony last decade. Filler today. If you can control the rock like them, and make the balls like them, you absolutely should play the game like them.

Playing up table all day long, wedge, slow role every shot, is for bangers like me that are liable to miss any and every shot.
The way Tony & Josh played this match is much more interesting for spectators too. I had never watched an entire match until Tony and Dennis last year.
The few that I had watched part of before that would've put me to sleep.
(I use the golf channel for sleep instead of Ambien, or Bob Ross painting).
 

jayburger

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
If i know Tony(and i DO) he will practice up and run this back for alot more than 8k. I don,t know if it will make any difference,but I promise you he,s not done. He,s about to move to New Orleans and he will probably be playing more pool than he has in years....but filler just don,t miss!!! I know one thing...i will take filler in the all around at the next derby city,and i might lay odds on the money!
 

Ken_4fun

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Filler's firepower ran over Trex knowledge of the game. When Filler gains a little more experience in one pocket he will be extremely tough to beat. Filler's no fear firepower is really something to watch.

My thoughts exactly.

I have often wondered if someone shot the "wrong" shot but it goes in they look like a genius, but if they miss they are an idiot. Josh shot a lot of shots for old one pocket players was the "wrong" shot but he made it and run out the 8 or 9 that he needed.

I still go back to the DCC finals between Efren and Jason Miller. Miller was/is an incredible shot maker, and I had watched him all week in awe. Efren beat him 3 straight games and Jason NEVER had a shot, he was froze to a ball or hooked.

Again, Josh Filler would have done the same as Jason Miller. Its hard to make a shot if you never have one...;);)

Ken
 
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TATE

AzB Gold Mensch
Gold Member
Silver Member
Knowing very little about one pocket, I would say Filler has balls of steel. I saw him going for difficult shots with complete confidence knowing he would sell out if he missed. He made a lot more of them than he missed. Fire it in, get position, run it out. This was really exciting - never thought I would say that about one pocket.
 

Black-Balled

He Rides the Skies
Silver Member
IMO, Filler, Alex, Busty, Dennis, Shane, Tony, are the top 5 one hole players in the world, in no particular order. I don't think anyone else today is close to them at all.

Damn it, dude! Slow down. He's literally only played it a couple times!

I think maybe somebody else has a better chance... Not like Tony whose game is built on overpowering opponents.

I'm comfortable with making him top six, after the last couple days. LOL
 

wincardona

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Tinman.

Excellent post, your analysis on the type of games each player has is spot on. Tony knows only one way to play, and that's offensive. Filler is a beast and a force to be reckoned with in future years, make no mistake about it. I watched the last two hours of day one and concluded that Tony was in trouble because he didn't have the firepower Filler has and IMO, that's how the games were going to be played. Filler also showed no respect for Tony, not in a bad way, in a way that led me to believe that he was focused on what he wanted to do and that was to play super aggressively. Filler has a high pool IQ, and his ball-striking ability is second to none; his cue ball control is excellent, and his speed of the cue ball is outstanding. He holds over Tony in every aspect of the game technically other than the experience level which apparently is not enough to make up the ground Tony loses technically. I would like to go out on a limb and predict that in the future, Filler will be the number 1 one pocket player in the world based mainly on his fearlessness and ball-striking ability. He looks to be a quick study, and most importantly, he believes in himself 100%.

Bill Incardona
 
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wincardona

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Tony was a perfect opponent for Filler, both players are super aggressive. There are two players that will slow down Filler and they are both Philipino's, and one is not Bustamante even though I love his game but like Tony, he plays mainly an aggressive game. Orcullo and Pagulayan will get Filler's attention and that will slow him up. However, it will be great to watch.

Bill Incardona
 
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Nostroke

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Tony was a perfect opponent for Filler, both players are super aggressive. There are two players that will slow down Filler and they are both Philipino's, and one is not Bustamante even though I love his game but like Tony, he plays mainly an aggressive game. Orcullo and Pagulayan will get Filler's attention and that will slow him up. However, it will be great to watch.

Bill Incardona

They better play him within about 7-8 months imo although Filler's progress could be slowed if he can't get some decent opponents in Europe.
 

Black-Balled

He Rides the Skies
Silver Member
I hope this is an invitation of sorts to the Asian contingent.

The game ain't hard and you're not barred.

One pocket: its an epidemic.
 

sjm

Sweating it at Derby City
Silver Member
Well, I underestimated Filler again, picking Tony in this spot, but maybe it's time to ask this question:

Are we watching the emergence of the best player of all time?

No player of the last 40 years has shown this kind of form at the age of 22. Personally, I'm not sure any player has been this committed at 22 to excelling at every discipline in the last forty years, all of which I watched up close.

1) At 9-ball, Filler's already a world champion, has won the US Open 9-ball, has won the China Open 9-ball and has been a Mosconi Cup MVP. Most believe he's the best 9-ball player in the world. He beat Shane 9-2 at Derby City, and beat Shane 5-0 and 5-1 at the Mosconi, so he's won 19 of his last 22 racks against Shane.

2) Both Jay Helfert and Billy lncardona are raving about Filler's one pocket game, suggesting that it will take the most elite couple of players in the discipline to take him down. At this point, I'll defer to them when it comes to one pocket, but given his win in a race to 21 over Chohan, I don't think it's premature to count him among the stars of the discipline.

3) At bank pool, Filler is already gambling and holding his own with some of the biggest stars of the discipline, including both Evan Lunda and Shannon Murphy.

4) Johnny Archer is on record as saying Shane can't beat Filler in a long 10-ball race and I agree. Filler topped JL Chang in 10-ball action at the 2019 DCC, during which no other player, Shane included, was willing to step up to the plate against JL Chang in big action.

5) At straight pool, Filler ran 285 on 4 1/2" pockets at the DCC in 2019. He ran 293 at the age of 17, too.

6) Filler has been European 8-ball champion and was going to play 8-ball specialist Justin Bergman for $20,000 until JB's backers took a lot of the money off the table.

Filler, it seems, will play anyone at any game on a pool table, and has amazing form in every discipline. In my estimation, he already has the credentials for BCA Hall of Fame induction.

I don't think it too far fetched to consider the matter of whether we are watching a historically great player who will, a few years from now, belong in the conversation of the best pool player ever. Yes, there are a lot of Filler haters out there, but I'm guessing even they'll come around.
 
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Tin Man

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
Thank you

Tinman.

Excellent post, your analysis on the type of games each player has is spot on. Tony knows only one way to play, and that's offensive. Filler is a beast and a force to be reckoned with in future years, make no mistake about it. I watched the last two hours of day one and concluded that Tony was in trouble because he didn't have the firepower Filler has and IMO, that's how the games were going to be played. Filler also showed no respect for Tony, not in a bad way, in a way that led me to believe that he was focused on what he wanted to do and that was to play super aggressively. Filler has a high pool IQ, and his ball-striking ability is second to none; his cue ball control is excellent, and his speed of the cue ball is outstanding. He holds over Tony in every aspect of the game technically other than the experience level which apparently is not enough to make up the ground Tony loses technically. I would like to go out on a limb and predict that in the future, Filler will be the number 1 one pocket player in the world based mainly on his fearlessness and ball-striking ability. He looks to be a quick study, and most importantly, he believes in himself 100%.

Bill Incardona

Bill, hearing this made my night. You may not realize how much of an impact you made on pool players over the years.

I got the pool bug in 1993 when I was 13 years old. We didn't have any top pros in my area and of course the internet wasn't available to me at that time. What did I do to watch top pool players? Well, my pool room had a handful of Accu-Stats tapes of 9 ball matches. I would watch them again and again and again. And while my favorite pool players were Nick, Reyes, Rempe, and Hall, when it came to commentary I gobbled up everything you said. Of course when you were paired with Mr. Matthews it was always a pleasure!

It got to the point I couldn't play pool without hearing your voice in my head. I vividly remember one time I had my first shot at the table during a big set and I heard you saying "Now, it's important that young Demetrius get off to an early lead if he's going to have a real chance to win this set". No joke. And I learned how to build my runs around identifying key transitions and ensuring I'd have a good angle to get through them. Lord only knows how much I learned from you. And while I never achieved the highest levels of pool, this game has been rewarding and fulfilling to me beyond description.

I just want to thank you very much for all you've done for pool and for the players like me who's lives you changed. I don't know if you ever travel to tournaments and today that question is more up in the air than ever, but if I had one pool wish it wouldn't be to win a big tournament, it would be to sweat a match like this in your company. Be well my friend!

Demetrius
 

JAM

Railbird
Silver Member
What a great read, this thread! THIS is what makes AzBilliards cool when the pool experts, fans, players, railbirds, and aficionados come together and network, sharing thoughts.

I said a long, long time ago that Filler was a legend in the making. Of course, living in Roy's basement and hitting balls with other champions is a great way to stay in shape.
 

skogstokig

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
The way Tony & Josh played this match is much more interesting for spectators too. I had never watched an entire match until Tony and Dennis last year.
The few that I had watched part of before that would've put me to sleep.
(I use the golf channel for sleep instead of Ambien, or Bob Ross painting).

i guess i'm on the other side of the spectrum being a one hole fan, but i think all of tonys matches are spectator friendly. the same can be said about rafael martinez and scott frost.
 

Danimal

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I’m not saying that this was a deciding factor in this match, but I wonder if the outcome would have been the same if it could have been played on a more “neutral” table.
 

TATE

AzB Gold Mensch
Gold Member
Silver Member
Well, I underestimated Filler again, picking Tony in this spot, but maybe it's time to ask this question:

Are we watching the emergence of the best player of all time?

No player of the last 40 years has shown this kind of form at the age of 22. Personally, I'm not sure any player has been this committed at 22 to excelling at every discipline in the last forty years, all of which I watched up close.

1) At 9-ball, Filler's already a world champion, has won the US Open 9-ball, has won the China Open 9-ball and has been a Mosconi Cup MVP. Most believe he's the best 9-ball player in the world. He beat Shane 9-2 at Derby City, and beat Shane 5-0 and 5-1 at the Mosconi, so he's won 19 of is last 22 racks against Shane.

2) Both Jay Helfert and Billy lncardona are raving about Filler's one pocket game, suggesting that it will take the most elite couple of players in the discipline to take him down. At this point, I'll defer to them when it comes to one pocket, but given his win in a race to 21 over Chohan, it don't think it's premature to count him among the stars of the discipline.

3) At bank pool, Filler is already gambling and holding his own with some of the biggest stars of the discipline, including both Evan Lunda and Shannon Murphy.

4) Johnny Archer is on record as saying Shane can't beat Filler in a long 10-ball race and I agree. Filler topped JL Chang in 10-ball action at the 2019 DCC, during which no other player, Shane included, was willing to step up to the plate against JL Chang in big action.

5) At straight pool, Filler ran 285 on 4 1/2" pockets at the DCC in 2019. He ran 293 at the age of 17, too.

6) Filler has been European 8-ball champion and was going to play 8-ball specialist Justin Bergman for $20,000 until JB's backers took a lot of the money off the table.

Filler, it seems, will play anyone at any game on a pool table, and has amazing form in every discipline. In my estimation, he already has the credentials for BCA Hall of Fame induction.

I don't think it too far fetched to consider the matter of whether we are watching a historically great player who will, a few years from now, belong in the conversation of the best pool player ever. Yes, there are a lot of Filler haters out there, but I'm guessing even they'll come around.

The only way to describe him is as a genius.
 
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