By Keith Paradise/CSI Media Staff Writer
At many professional pocket billiards tournaments, the opening rounds sometimes have a bit of a perfunctory feel to them. As the pros jockey early to either stay in stroke or get in stroke to avoid an early trip over to the one-loss side of the bracket, crowds are many times sparse until an event reaches the later stages.
This wasn’t the case when fellow Americans Billy Thorpe and Shane Van Boening squared off in the opening round of the Predator World 10-ball Championship Monday night. With the event being played right in the heart of the Billiard Congress of America Pool League championships, amateur players and fans began filling the arena more than an hour the match was scheduled to begin.
“I like a crowd myself,” said Thorpe. “It sparks a bit of a fire in me.”
The two competitors didn’t disappoint, combining for eight breaks and runs as Thorpe defeated his friend and roommate for the week, 8-4, at the Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. The match was one of many tightly-contested pairings during the first act of this five-day, $100,000 added competition – with eight of the 32 first round matchups needing a deciding 15th game.
With two of the most decorated players in the United States squaring off, the matchup felt more like a quarterfinal or a semifinal match rather the beginning of the tournament. Van Boening and Thorpe split the first six games of the set, with each using two breaks-and-runs each along with effective safety play to maintain serve. The young man from Ohio edged ahead 4-3 when Van Boening left a 1-ball in the corner pocket’s jaws, then increased his lead to two games when he used a jump shot to run out in the eighth rack. The two competitors again traded breaks and runs for the next three games, with Thorpe maintaining a 6-5 lead.
“We broke well. I thought it might be different with the referees racking the balls with the template,” Thorpe said. “For a while I thought that it was going to be break and run the whole match.”
And it essentially was until the 12th game when Thorpe missed a 3-ball in the corner pocket.
“I really thought that I hit it good but the ball hopped on me,” Thorpe said.
Although Thorpe had left the window open for his friend, establishing position on the 4-ball would be a challenge thanks to two object balls providing cover. Van Boening pocketed the 3-ball then failed to land the 4-ball. Using a clutch jump shot, Thorpe pocketed the ball, cleared the table then added in one final break-and-run to clinch the victory.
Thorpe now heads to the second round where he will face Canadian John Morra Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. local time. Van Boening moves to the one-loss side where he will face Hunter Lombardo Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.
Also advancing to the winner’s side second round is current World Pool and Billiards Association 9-ball champion Joshua Filler of Germany, who survived a scare from Fan Yang, 8-5.
Playing in one of the opening matches of the tournament, Filler opened competition with a break-and-run then failed to capitalize on a Yang dry break the following game. Yang took the lead in the race-to-eight set after Filler fouled on the break. The young German used a break-and-run and a missed 2-ball to take a 3-2 lead but gave his opponent an opportunity when he missed an 8-ball in the following game. The two split the next four games before Filler used two breaks-and-runs and a Yang foul to pull away and close out the match.
With the competition now equally divided into 32 winners and losers, Tuesday’s schedule begins at noon local time with eight matches on the winner’s side of the bracket – including Chris Melling meeting Toru Kuribayashi on the live broadcast table. A second round of winner’s side matches will begin at 2:30 p.m. in a matchup of BCA Hall of Famers as Earl Strickland takes on Ralf Souquet. Other matches of note in this timeslot include Alex Kazakis meeting Skylar Woodward and Pin-Yi Ko matching up with Alex Pagulayan. The evening session broadcast schedule includes Fan Yang matching up against Raymund Faraon at 5 p.m. and Fedor Gorst going up against Matt Edwards at 7:30 p.m.
“美洲豹” 世界10號球錦標賽於美國當地時間22日在拉斯維加斯展開。在首日所進行的比賽中，其中一場由美國新生代選手 Billy Thorpe 對上五屆美國公開賽冠軍的美國名將 Shane Van Boening，最終 Thorpe 以8-4擊敗他的好友，拿下勝利。
前6局結束，雙方各自在自己的衝球局拿下2局並破發對手一局，3-3平手。Van Boening第7局的1號球留在袋口，給了Thorpe機會；再加上Thorpe在下一局當中，成功跳進8號球，取得5-3領先。在接下來的三局雙方你來我往，Thorpe保持著6-5的領先優勢。Thorpe 第12局在3號球發生失誤，台面上3號球在可繼續進攻狀態，但在2顆的阻礙下，4號球的位置相對較不理想。Van Boening 順利打進3號球，在4號球未能跳進的情況下，讓Thorpe再次回到球台並清光台面，結束比賽。