Horsehoe Casino of Southern Indianna: Big Foot’s getting meaner yet, you gotta love it. It really tests the most experienced players. Distance is not the only challenge. Balls hit just slightly inaccurately will rock back and forth between the knuckles of the pocket to rest, all perked up, deep in the shelf of the slate. Many racks are stolen due to those misguided, uncooperative Cyclop orbs. So, beware.
Meanwhile, during Shaw’s one pocket match, upstairs overlooking the Accu-Stats Arena, he observed Corteza practicing for their semi’s scheduled next on BIG Foot. Jayson, later entering the arena asked casually, “Lee Vann, how long have you been here?” Lee, in that harmless yet, quintessential pool player understatement, responded, “About 10 minutes.” Jayson smiled wryly. And, that’s the way their match began. Jayson in one pocket stroke and Corteza all warmed up on BIG Foot. But, isn’t this the true challenge of the Derby? How quickly competitors can switch disciplines and how much stamina they possess as the week progresses? So, not so surprisingly, Cortesa got swiftly into the lead while Shaw was still looking for his fast and loose BIG Foot stroke.
It didn’t take long. Shaw couldn’t string much together as his break was plagued by scratches. Corteza capitalized at every opportunity. At around 6, Jayson got a game ahead but, not for long. Corteza summoned his Big Foot experience, rallied to 10-8 where he had a marginally higher Accu-Stats’ TPA, .859 to Shaw’s .826: Not exactly record breaking yet substantial. Then, he faltered. He allowed Jayson another point on the scoreboard. Again, Jayson’s break proved unproductive. Pressure building while running out a 10-9, Lee Vann faced the 8 with the 9 and 10 pretty much hangers.
It was over. The audience knew it was over, Jayson, low in his seat, jaw hanging on his chest, knew it was over. Lee Vann’s Filipino brethren were already counting the cash. Corteza, stroking cautiously, yet with authority, coaxed it into the jaws of the pocket. It rattled a little yet everyone knew it was destined to fall. Suddenly, the rattling stopped. The ball hadn’t dropped. The deep shelf had held the 8 on the tabletop. Jayson jumped out his chair and stared at the black orb in disbelief. Careful not to breathe too heavily as his inhale might have sucked it into the pocket, he quickly approached the table. The remaining 3 balls were sunk with ease: It’s hill-hill. Emotions in check, careful not to get too big on the break, Shaw ran faultlessly to the finish line. There, he allowed himself relief. Elated, he let loose to run screaming into the Finals.
Semi’s #2: Phillipines vs Greece, round 2: Carlo Biado and Alex Kazakis. First timers on BIG Foot and in the semi’s? Both players were overjoyed to have accomplished so much. Biado was wary of Kazakis as he’d seen what he’d done to Pagulayan. His “A” game hadn’t shown up. In fact, truth be told, he hadn’t approached his potential all tournament. Kazakis seemed to play off of Biado’s “B” game rather than his reach for his own capability. That, we’d gotten a glimpse of against Pagulayan. As they struggled, Carlo managed to get atop the hill two games ahead of Alex. There, his real struggle began. He couldn’t complete the deal. The pressure he put on himself was palpable. The weaker his performance got, the more the Kazakis killer instinct kicked in. Before long, Biado had allowed Alex to join him on the hill.
Even though both competitors were emotionally wrecked, Biado’s fate was sealed. Kazikis, when dropping the winning 10-Ball was so relieved that we first saw a sign of his relief as he fist-pumped his way to face Shaw in the finals. The good news for Biado? His salary had doubled from $4K to 8. Now, Kazakis had 2 hours to regroup…and prepare for the biggest payday of his life: $16 thousand, The runner up would garner 8.
Shaw was well ready. His year was off to a flying start. He was AZ Billiard’s 2016 Player of the Year and he won his 5th Turning Stone title out of 6. Plus, he had the emotional cushion of knowing that he’d beaten, arguably, the sport’s greatest rotation player, Shane Van Boening, in last year’s BIG Foot final. A formidable opponent indeed. In this match’s final encounter, Shaw was a little surprised: Kazakis had come to compete. He’d picked up on the two-stroking Scot’s pace and, pretty much, held serve until they were tied at 7. Then, his momentous bombshell exploded. He, inexplicably, fumbled ball-in-hand. Kazakis later confessed, “I was feeling so good, so confident, that I lost focus. I, still, can’t believe I missed that 5 ball.”
Shaw could. He’d seen it with his own eyes. He then, mercilessly, ran out the set! 35 balls disappeared in about 10 minutes. And, he was the back-to-back BIG Foot Challenge Champion. It had looked dark for a moment. Only Corteza had challenged Shaw’s prowess. His Final’s .911 TPA wasn’t only an enviable accomplishment, it was also a distress call for the upcoming 9-Ball field.
BTW: Jayson went immediately upstairs to the George Fels Memorial Straight Pool Challenge and ran 98 balls in about 21 minutes. The 9 foot, Diamond Pro AM looked like a bar box.
第19屆德比城經典賽的10尺台挑戰賽順利落下帷幕，蘇格蘭選手Jayson Shaw在決賽中擊敗希臘的Alexander Kazakis衛冕成功。
28歲的Jayson Shaw可說是目前相當火紅的一位球員，去年對Jayson來說更是爆炸性的一年，更在上周榮獲AZB 2016年度 年度最佳球員。進入到2017年，Jayson的表現依舊火熱，身為衛冕冠軍的他，首場比賽就以11:1血洗了希臘名將Nick Ekonomopoulos，八強11:7 淘汰菲律賓名將Dennis Orcollo，四強賽再以11:10力克另一位菲律賓好手Lee Van Corteza 再次晉級到決賽。
他在決賽中的對手則是25歲的希臘年輕好手Alexander Kazakis，Kazakis首場比賽11-5擊敗加拿大名將Alex Pagulayan後，八強級四強賽再分別以11-6、11-10結束了德國名將Thorsten Hohmann及Carlo Biado 10尺台挑戰賽之旅，闖進決賽。
Original report from David Thomson/MediumPool.com on AZB