|Tournament director Mike Zuglan with winner Jayson Shaw|
Sunday August 23rd was the final day of the of the most recent edition of the Turning Stone Classic. For fans who have never been, it really is the ideal location to watch some great pool and rub shoulders with the best in the world all while enjoying the luxuries of the resort and casino. One of the neatest attractions to this event is not only its free admission, but if you stay on the resort its very likely you can bump in to and start a conversation with the likes of Dennis Hatch, Shane Van Boening, Jayson Shaw, Mike Dechaine and many more.
|Deuel vs Dechaine|
Matches began at 11:00 a.m. on Sunday and it was only the final 8 who were brought back to play out the rest of the tournament. Mike Dechaine vs Corey Deuel met up in the 7/8 bracket on the losers side to start off the day. On Saturday Dechaine who lost his first match of the tournament to Canadian Luc Salvas, was on fire winning all of his matches by a scoreline of 9-2. Based on the previous days results I kind of expected him to dominate this match as well. But Deuel is never an easy out in any tournament and this was a battle to the end with Dechaine winning 9-7.
The other match in this bracket was Brandon Shuff vs Tom D'Alfonso. This was an interesting match because it paired two of perhaps the most underrated players on the pro circuit. D'Alfonso had a win 9-5 against Darren Appleton in the previous round. Appleton who despite losing his first match and thought to have pulled out of the tournament due to medical reasons, battled back through the losers side to finish in the 9/12 position. Meanwhile Shuff had an impressive 9-5 win of his own against Johnny Archer to set up the match with D'Alfonso who beat Shuff 9-5.
In the Winners side final four there was Jayson Shaw vs Justin Hall and Shane Van Boening vs Roberto Gomez. By the looks of how the week went it appeared as though SVB and Shaw would meet up eventually in the winners side final and they did not disappoint. Both players won their matches, Shaw won 9-7 and SVB running 6 and out to win 9-3 over Gomez.
|Gomez vs D'Alfonso|
D'Alfonso and Roberto Gomez met up in the 5/6 bracket as did Dechaine and Justin Hall. Dechaine and D'Alfonso both won their matches and met to decide who would finish 4th. In this match Dechaine continued his torrid pace winning convincingly earning himself a a spot in the losers side final.
The winners side final between SVB and Shaw was a thrilling match for the fans. In the beginning SVB got off to a great start taking the early 2-0 lead and maintained this two gap lead until the middle of the set. Shaw eventually caught up and the lead exchanged hands a few times until Shaw eventually won 9-8 to book his third straight appearance in the Turning Stone final.
|SVB vs Shaw|
Shaw came out firing as only he can racking up a 4-0 lead in what felt like just a few minutes in this extended race to 13. This match had some drama as Shaw declined every one of Dechaine's racks and the two began to exchange a few words which caused a few chuckles in the crowd. This seemed to be the spark that "Fireball" needed as he took the next 5 racks to take the lead. The lead changed again with Shaw going up 11-7 and 12-10 before an error from Dechaine gave him the chance he needed to secure yet another Turning Stone title. You can see the final rack in the video below.
In the end Shaw made history becoming the first ever 3-peat champion. Tournament director Mike Zuglan did mention he plans to change the racking rules in the future, because a lot of matches where slowed down to a snails pace because of racking disputes. I would imagine they will eventually change to the Magic Rack which seems to be the least controversial racking method these days.
I would like to congratulate Zuglan for running another great tournament, as well as the Azbilliards team of Mike Howerton and Jerry Forsyth in conjuction with Upstate Al for their top notch streaming and tournament coverage. It really is a treat for fans that cannot make the trip to watch the tournament for free online. Finally I would like to thank my sponsor for this event David Touhey from Touhey Management in Ottawa Ontario. I look forward to the next event, see you all there! To see our entire coverage of this event please check out the Cue Sport Nation Facebook page.