The next event was One Pocket with 317 entrants. The finals was two unexpected players, Shane Van Boening playing Earl Strickland and this was a very entertaining match. In general the One Pocket was not played as technically sound as in other years throughout the tournament, and the matches were not that memorable.
The Nine Ball event drew 293 players and held many exciting matches. The semi-final match was stellar with Neils Feijen playing Shane Van Boening and qualifies as a "must see" match that holds a crucial shot that fans will talk about for eternity. I have watched Neils Feijen for some years and he has always been a good player but this year he proved to everyone that he is among the elite in all games, I was very impressed with his performance. Athletic, focused, and confident apply to him and a better representative of the sport could not be found. The final match was Dennis Orcollo against Shane Van Boening and after Shane failed in the first rack Dennis won and broke and ran four more games to take a 5-0 lead. Soon thereafter Dennis earned a game and broke and ran out for the title. These two matches held stellar performances to watch and it was an honor to commentate this part of pool history. Lee Van Corteza and Rodney Morris also played very well and warrant your attention as well as Jonathon Pinegar playing Corteza.
The "Fatboy 10 Ball Challenge" is always my favorite event as this is played single elimination, race to 15 games, $1000 entry fee, 16 players. The first round had Ralf Souquet playing Shane Van Boening and the final score was 15-13 and was both exciting and well played with a number of break and run outs and the score flipping back and forth. Ralf lost but might have played the better pool. Then Fransisco Bustamante played Raphael Martinez and won a game in the middle of the match and proceeded to break and run out 6 more times producing stellar shot making along the way. This was a very compelling performance and an indication of the high level of exceptional play witnessed throughout the nine days.
The summary of my trip is that perhaps the best players have now moved the game of pool into an "art form". The break shot, kicking speeds and purposeful direction applied to the kicking game, terrific shot making, and great safety shots, adds up to a "new standard". The players that displayed the ability to set the pace of this "new standard" and bear observation to improve your game are; Fransisco Bustamante, Darren Appleton, Neils Feijen, Shane Van Boening, Lee Van Corteza, Earl Strickland, Ralf Souquet, Dennis Orcollo, and Shannon Daulton. While some of these players were not described much in this story they all performed at the highest level and I encourage you to obtain videos of their efforts for your own development. You can do so by calling Accu-Stats at 1-800-828-0397 or going to the web site, www.accu-stats.com , you will be rewarded, educated, and entertained.