Arguably the singular American player to skyrocket to the top of the professional pool scene in the last decade, Shane Van Boening is considered a threat to win nearly every event that he enters.
And being so, it is no surprise that Van Boening would go unbeaten at the Championship Cloth Pro Classic 10-Ball, which featured many of the world’s premier top pros.
Get all the details on the final rounds leading up to Shane Van Boening’s victory in the story below from event producer Dragon Promotions...
Photos courtesy Justin “Vegas” Acker
New Iberia, Louisiana- In an epic conclusion to the Championship Cloth Pro Classic, Shane Van Boening and Johnny Archer put on a show for the ages. Both players were on their top A+ game with big runs and unbelievable comebacks in the 10-Ball Pro Classic finals. The Championship Cloth 5th Annual Pro Classic events were pro 9-Ball and 10-Ball events during October 16th-20th, 2012. The events took place side by side to the Ozone Billiards US Amateur Open all hosted by Emerald Billiards and produced by Dragon Promotions. The event was co-sponsored by Predator Cues, Poison Cues, Aramith Balls, Pool & Billiard Magazine and sanctioned as an ABP International Rankings Points Tournament.
Shane made it to the finals unscathed with a bye as the #1 ABP seed, and then wins over Gary Abood, Rodney Morris 9-3, Mike Davis 9-7, Robb Saez 9-5.
Archer got a bye as the #4 seed and won over Daulton Riley 9-3, lost to Engel 9-5, and bounced back with wins over Warren Kiamco 9-8, Brandon Shuff 9-3, Mike Davis 9-7, Rodney Morris 9-3, and Robb Saez 9-6.
The finals between Van Boening and Archer started off lopsided with Shane breaking and running the first 4 racks. He went up 5-0 before Archer could mark a game up. But Van Boening’s break seemed unstoppable and he climbed to a 9-2 lead within 45 minutes. It looked like it would be a very short night. But here comes Johnny!
Archer came back and rattled off 4 games in a row before Shane could stop the bleeding. One game included a length of the table thin cut shot on the 2ball that was do or die for Archer. Frozen off the back rail, Archer fired in at warp speed the slice and the ball trickled down perfectly in and he followed with a run. At 10-6, the match was still heavily favoring Shane, but a lot closer making every shot more meaningful. Archer knowing this, failed to make any errors and was playing pinpoint position and surefire accuracy on his offense. He climbed to 10-8 to the thrill of the audience.
Game 19 was an incredible game of cat and mouse. Shane’s one pocket experience helping him with kicks and maneuvering, while Archer’s will power and stubbornness to never give up matching Shane’s every move. Eventually Archer got a look at a shot and came with a tough one ball, tricky two ball, long off angle 4ball, backwards cut on five ball where he also broke out a troublesome 9ball that was frozen, and then fired in a off angle seven ball and forced followed the cue ball up table for perfect position on the eight ball. Climbing to a 10-9 score.
Francisco Bustamante was commentating the match (his first USA commentary ever) with Ray Hansen on live stream, and even he was awed with Archer’s persistence. “Wow,” he kept commenting. “If Johnny keeps playing like this, he can comeback and win the finals!” said the Filipino World Champion.
Archer was rewarded with a perfect break the next rack as he smashed the rack with power but controlled the cue ball perfectly. With an open shot on the 1ball, he ran out to tie it at 10-10! One game for the championship!
“Well, it doesn’t get any better than this. Keith Hulin, you are getting your money’s worth pal!” said event producer Charlie Williams to the audience, directing his words to the Emerald Billiards owner.
The final game saw Archer break, making a ball, but was forced to play safety. Another safety battle ensued, and again Archer was able to get a look at the one ball. Faced with a long off angle one ball, and having to force the cue ball around three rails or play safe, Archer opted for offense. He fired the ball and the cue ball went three rails. Except, the one ball did not go in. Archer’s first miss in ten games, and Shane’s first opportunity in an hour. Shane was left with a short massé on the 1ball which he studied and made. And then had to force the two ball in with follow with the cue ball off the side rail a hair. Though pressure-packed, Shane smoothly ran the table perfectly for the win.
“I was playing really good and just felt I had to take the tough one ball. I hadn’t missed yet so I liked my odds. But Shane played great and deserved it,” said Archer.
“I just tried to play good in the finals. I was up a lot, and didn’t want to let Johnny get a shot, but I missed the two ball and he came back. But thanks to all the fans and Keith for bringing us here and look forward to coming back,” said Van Boening.
“We are going to do this again next year and make it bigger and better!” said Keith Hulin. Keith and his lovely wife Lisa are credited for bringing professional pool to Louisiana the past 3 years.
Van Boening will retain his #1 ranking in the ABP Pro Tour and Archer will climb for sure. Updated ABP Pro rankings will be up by Monday.
Follow the pros on the ABP Pro Tour at facebook.com/ABPpros.
The events were streamed live on poolactiontv.com, and sponsored by Ozone Billiards and Predator Cues.
Fans can support Louisiana pool by coming to Emerald Billiards (337) 364-9922, located at 2511 West Old Spanish Trail, New Iberia, LA 70560.
Championship Cloth is a division of D & R Industries, Inc. which began in 1963 in a small apartment in Chicago, Illinois. Through the years, D & R Industries, Inc. went through many changes and expanded into a variety of recreation-oriented businesses, but really found its niche within the billiard industry. After distributing billiard fabrics for more than 25 years, it was clear to D & R that there was a need for affordable high quality billiard fabrics. Thus, a team consisting of engineers, textile experts and old time billiard people worked together to develop what is now known as the “Championship Line” of billiard fabrics. Championship’s expert team of engineers and experts worked for over five years to develop the finest billiard cushion rubber in the industry.
A decade later, Championship’s cushion rubber can already be found on the tables of many of today’s major billiard table manufacturers. More recently Championship acquired major billiard supplier MBS Group, which has substantially expanded Championship further. D & R has now been a proud staple of the billiard industry for almost 50 years providing the finest billiard fabrics, cushion rubber and component parts. Today Championship now sells more billiard fabric than all of its major competitors combined. Please visit www.champbilliards.com.