Monday, 26 January 2015

Bigfoot Challenge Down to the Final 4

By: Erik Hjorleifson

The Action at the Derby City classic is getting into full swing as day 3 is now in the books. Sunday featured the quarter finals of the Bigfoot 10-ball challenge and the banks division has been narrowed down from 415 players to about 30 players heading into round 8 on Monday, Sunday also saw the first round of the one pocket division get underway.

In the first match of the day in the $16 000 first prize Bigfoot Challenge, Canada's Jason Klatt was up against Shane Van Boening. The match was close early on, in game 4 Klatt ran out to a very make-able 10 which he proceeded to miss. It was a very elementary mistake but I'm sure we can all relate, however Klatt regrouped well and regained the lead at 4-3. The middle part of the match was highlighted by a very odd choice of rules in my opinion,  as I was playing in a tournament yesterday it was my first chance to watch the stream and I became aware that flukes counted!?.

In two of the 6 games in the middle of the match Van Boening fluked in balls and proceeded to run the rack. With the score at 7-6 for Shane, Klatt had a very make able 1-10 combo and hung it in the pocket which was a huge turning point in the match. Other than the two mistakes on the 10 Klatt played a pretty strong match, Shane looked a little out of stroke but the better part of the rolls pushed him forward in this one.

In the Second match of the day World Cup of pool Canadian representatives John Morra and Alex Pagulayan went to battle. Pagulayan looked very strong in the first ten games of the match holding his accu-stats TPA (total performance average) well over 900 which is particularly impressive considering they are playing on 10 foot tables. Alex is choosing to go with a medium speed break from the side rail which tends to send most of the balls to the same side of the table the player is breaking from. This results in a lot of tactical games which plays into his strengths, Pagulayan stumbled a bit over the finish line but overall Morra aside from a few missed pots, fell victim to his strong play. Look for him to be a force to win the event, he will play his semi-final match against Van Boening on Monday.

I was unable to watch the third match of the day between Jeffrey Ignacio and Dennis Orcollo both from the Phillipines, the favourite coming in to the match was probably Orcollo taking into account he won his first round match 11-1, however Ignacio the young upstart continues to impress with his attacking style of play which reminds me of Francisco Bustamante. He booked his spot in the semi-final with an 11-8 victory.

In the final match of the day between Mika Immonen and Lee Van Corteza I was able to tune in about half way through with Mika leading the match 6-5. The quality of play from there on was very high and Corteza edged his way to a 10-8 lead, Immonen made a very tough out in game 19 and broke and ran the next to make it hill-hill. In the hill game Immonen broke dry and didn't leave a shot on the one, a safety battle ensued and Corteza gained the opportunity for the win. The 3 ball was in a tough position and after a good attempt Corteza ended up hooking himself. With no option for a kick safe he went all offense at the 3 and ended up fluking it in the side and ran out for the win, again why they are not playing call shots in this tournament is beyond me. Aside from the lucky roll in the hill game Corteza played well and will face off against Ignacio in the semi finals on Monday.

In the banks division we are into round 8 with about 25 players left, notables who are yet to lose a match include John Brumback, Shannon Daulton and Shannon Murphy. Filipino veterans Orcollo, Reyes, Bustamante are still in the tournament with one loss, John Morra will face off once again against Alex Pagulayan with both on one loss.

All the action on Monday and for the duration of the week can be viewed at play starts at noon eastern, stay tuned to for daily updates throughout the

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