9-Ball Banks, One-Pocket, 9-Ball, Straight Pool Challenge, One Pocket Challenge, Mini-Tournaments, Carom and Artistic plus action, action, action and more - The Derby City Classic !
To be honest - it is a bit controversial in my opinion. I wanna promote pool as a professional sport. Clean, serious but fun, no smoking, no gambling. The Derby City Classic promotes the exact opposite what I am fighting for. Action and Gambling. Sometimes it is even hard to distinguish between a gambling match and an exhibition match, I know. And I have to admit, it is cool when you are here and wether it is day or night, the place is always packed with people playing for money. But will it change the image of Pool for the better ? Will parents send their kids to the pool room to learn a new sport if they see what's going on here ? I don't know the answer. I just wanna share my thoughts. What do you think ?
People come here with different expectations and goals. I personally like the Derby because it gives me the opportunity to practice my other games like Bank Pool and One-Pocket. Since Derby City Classic founder Greg Sullivan with the help of Bob Jewett added the Straight Pool competition it is even more fun for me. I don't gamble at all but it's cool to see what's going on here.
The tournament started as every year with the 9-Ball Banks devision. American Airlines screwed up my flight from New York to Louisville, so I ended up missing the first round. About 450 players had signed up at this unusual format. Let me explain how it works...
It's a single elimination tournament with a new draw every new round. Every player has the option of a buy back, which means no matter which round you lose your match, you have one chance to buy yourself back in. Even if the first match you lose is the final.
Sometimes there is an odd number of players, so one lucky guy gets a by.
There is no exact schedule. Because of this system, the tournament director has to wait for each round to finish completely before he can do the next draw. That means players have to stand by and wait. Sometimes you go there and you are told: "Next draw is approximately at 5.30pm". So you show up at that time but then you are told: "7pm". My advice: Bring a book, a playstation or start writing a blog...
So I missed the first round of the Banks but bought myself right back in. I was practicing for the 9-Ball Banks in New York City with Randy Goldwater every day for a few hours and wanted to do well. I survived the next few rounds until I found my master in Jose Parica, a former winner of the Bank-devision. The year before I finished in the top 15, a good accomplishment for me.
Winner of the Banks: Larry Price
The One Pocket was next. The game I have the least experience in but boy, I did well. At the end I finished 10th out of again more than 400 players. I had to bow to Scott Frost and Shannon Daulton. Both just have much more knowledge in this game than I do, but I was extremely happy with my performance. I even beat Alan Hopkins on the tv-table :-)
Here a possible development of a one-pocket game. Look how the balls slowly move uptable...
Winner of the One-Pocket: Gabe Owen
I don't really wanna talk about the 9-Ball. So, let's just skip it. But let me be a typical pool player and give the excuse that I was really sick :-P
Winner of the 9-Ball: Ralf Souquet
There was an extra prize of 20 000 $ for the overall point winner after all three disciplines which went to: Francisco Bustamante
I also participated in Bob Jewett's Straight Pool competition. We Straight Pool lovers have to say a big big thank you to Bob. Not only he added 10 000 $ out of his own pocket to the event, he spent the whole day from 10am in the morning until late late at night inside the little room writing down scores of us players. Thank you Bob !!!
For 100$ entry fee I had 12 tries to score a high run. Every day's high run was awarded with a bonus prize. The top eight highscore shooters would meet in a single elemination tournament.
I ran 98, 98, 98 some 50's and 60's and qualified for the last stage, but lost to Niels Feijen in three innings race to 150 in the quarter final. The winner of the Straight Pool competition, a surprise I am sure for all of us was - Darren Appleton who beat Niels in the final. Congratulations Darren ! I am expecting more from you in the future...
I didn't really follow all the other events, including the gambling so I can't give any informations or stories about that. Overall I enjoy playing the Derby and one day I might be able to do really well in the One-Pocket or the Banks...