By NYC Grind Editor Alison M. Fischer
After a long road of grueling competition in the One Pocket division of the 15th Annual Derby City Classic, three players remained standing with a chance for the title on the evening of Thursday, January 31 when the semifinal match began at 7pm.
The draw for this round of the event would match up two of the players, Corey Deuel and Shane Van Boening, while the third player, Francisco Bustamante, drew a bye. Deuel went into the round with no losses, while Van Boening and Bustamante both had one loss.
The opening game of the semifinal between Deuel and Van Boening was definitely a grind, and both players battled to assert control of the table. Deuel would end up taking a lead in ball count early, but was unable to close it out, and Van Boening would end up coming back to win the first rack. However, a critical error from Van Boening would give Deuel and opportunity to tie the match at 1-1 in the next game. Although neither player seemed to find a groove in this match, Van Boening went on to win the next two games and take the match at 3-1.
With this having been Deuel’s first loss, he was able to buy back in, and all semifinalists were redrawn again. This time, it was Deuel who scored the bye, and Shane Van Boening took to the Accu-Stats stage again versus Francisco Bustamante, the winner of the Derby Banks division. In this match, Bustamante brought his ‘A’ game and capitalized on his opportunities. Van Boening was not able to get his foot in the door, while Bustamante played very assertively, leading to a 3-0 victory.
For the second time at the Derby, Francisco Bustamante found himself in the championship match, along with his opponent, Corey Deuel. For Deuel, this would be a shot at his first-ever Derby City Classic title.
This final match, which took place in front of a standing-room only crowd, was streamed live by Accu-Stats.com and commentated by two of the most acclaimed and knowledgeable legends in the sport, Danny Diliberto and Billy Incardona. From the start, Deuel was pegged as the underdog, being that he had just come off the loss to Van Boening…and Bustamante would have the confidence of his recent wins on his side.
In the opening rack, Bustamante seemed to have the advantage of the table layout on his side, and he took an early lead. However, Deuel played with the patience necessary to turn the game in his favor, and he went up 1-0. Over the course of the next two games, Corey Deuel displayed great ability to manage the table as well as control the cue ball, and went on to sweep the match at 3-0.
Overall, compared to his previous performance against Van Boening, Deuel got into a much better rhythm of play, and was able to execute the vision of his shots more consistently. Congratulations to Corey Deuel on a strong finish to capture his first Derby City Classic title. Runner-up Francisco Bustamante again showed the knowledgable Derby spectators what makes him one of the best of the game…and his second top finish at the Derby makes him one of the forerunners for this year’s All-Around title.
Following the completion of the One Pocket, there is one more main event to continue it’s play in the final two days the 2013 DCC: the 9-Ball Division. The field in this event still has many players left in the running, including many of the premier names in the sport.
Some of the top remaining players with no losses in the 9-Ball event include defending champion Shane Van Boening, 2011 9-Ball champion Dennis Orcollo, 201 Banks champion Alex Pagulayan, 2007 champion Niels Feijen, Johnny Archer, Mike Dechaine, Thorsten Hohmann, Ralph Eckert, Warren Kiamco, Shawn Putnam, Raphael Martinez, Justin Hall, Jason Klatt, and John Morra. A number of Northeast regional players also have no losses to their record, including Zion Zvi, Tom D’Alfonso, and Phil Davis.
However, a number of the event’s top threats are moving on into Friday’s action with one loss under their belt. Current World 9-Ball Champion Darren Appleton is among them, who previously lost to Thorsten Hohmann. Former World 10-Ball Champion Huidji See of the Netherlands also has one loss, along with former DCC 9-Ball Champion Ralf Souquet, Lee Van Corteza, breakthrough young gun Jayson Shaw from Scotland, and Corey Deuel, who will next take on Johnny Archer in the 10am round of action. There is also one remaining female in the field, former World Junior Champion and current top-ranked WPBA pro, Brittany Bryant of Guelph, Ontario.
We will be following the action as the 9-Ball division unfolds on the last two days, along with the Bigfoot 10-Ball Challenge and the 14.1 Challenge.
You can watch the action on the online stream from Accu-Stats.com and get the details on completed and currently-scheduled matches on the Derby City Classic website, DCCtickets.com.
Good luck to all the players remaining!