|From left to right Corey Deuel, Justin Bergman, Dennis Orcollo, John Morra. Photo courtesy of Pool Action TV|
By: Erik Hjorleifson
Smokin Aces BBQ and Billiards in Poplar Bluff Missouri, hosted the third edition of their $2000 entry 16 man invitational. The format was Bar Box 9 Ball double knockout race to 21 winner breaks. Notables in action on the weekend included; Corey Deuel, John Morra, Johnny Archer, Warren Kiamco, Shane VanBoening and Dennis Orcollo. Also past winners Justin Bergman and Skylar Wodward were present as well.
The first round yielded one major upset with Missouri native Chuck Raulston dispatching Shane VanBoening. VanBoening had recently dropped out of an event in Sweden after complaining about a pinched nerve in his neck. The 3 time reigning U.S Open Champion did go on to win his next three, so it does appear that he has at least partially recovered. Also in the first round Warren Kiamco won over Johnny Archer, who surprisingly went two and out losing his next match to Danny Smith.
In the Second round John Morra had his first of many impressive wins on the weekend defeating Warren Kiamco 21-6. In a field of only 16 Morra quickly found his way into the final four on the winners side with tournament favourites Orcollo, Bergman and Deuel. Morra matched up with Orcollo in what turned out to be a real barn burner. With the score at 20-20 in the race to 21 Orcollo miscued on the 8, leaving a stunned Morra to finish out the rack. Deuel also advanced defeating Bergman.
This set up a winners side final with Deuel and Morra. Who were also the finalists at the Chinook Winds Casino Bar table 8 ball tournament in March. The match lived up to its billing and was very close with Deuel edging out a hard fought 21-18 victory. On the losers side Jayson Shaw's run was ended by Justin Bergman. This came after Shaw was putting together a good run which included a win over Shane VanBoening. Dennis Orcollo also ended Rob Saez bid leaving him one short of the prize money in 5th place.
In the 4th place match Filipino star Orcollo would defeat Bergman to set up a rematch with Morra. This was another close one with Morra pulling out the 21-18 victory. The finals was played as a true double knockout and Morra would have to beat Deuel twice.
|Photo courtesy of Pool Action TV|
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Corey Deuel $20 000 + $8000 Calcutta
John Morra $7000 + $5500 Calcutta
Dennis Orcollo $5000+ $4000 Calcutta
Justin Bergman $2000+$2000 Calcutta