Van Boening Maintains Wide Margin over Strickland in Action Challenge IITwo of three days in 10-Ball race to 100 completed, $20 grand at stake tomorrow
by Paul Berg, InsidePOOL Magazine Staff
At 46, Earl “The Pearl” Strickland doesn’t quite have 24-year-old Shane Van Boening doubled in the age category. After two days of 10-Ball between the two, the reigning World 10-Ball and U.S. Open 9-Ball champ doesn’t have Strickland quite doubled in games won either, but Sioux Falls’ Van Boening has opened up a commanding 60-40 lead in The Action Challenge II.
It’s the second such race to 100 produced by TheActionReport, in which “The South Dakota Kid” has participated as the de facto home team, the first a 100-70 win over Corey Deuel in Van Boening’s hometown pool room.
After the first day, Strickland trailed 30-17 and stayed afterwards firing balls in seemingly on the cusp of catching a gear. After rallying with three consecutive break and runs on his way to closing the gap before Van Boening reached the designated 60-game mark to close this second night of play, Strickland was in another familiar mood to longtime observers of the five-time U.S. Open 9-Ball winner and BCA Hall of Famer.
Van Boening does not look like he will let off the gas anytime soon. With a devastating break, and clearly smarter and more polished safety play than Strickland, Van Boening’s mistakes have been incredibly rare, and he has gotten the best of the rolls when he makes the occasional error.
There won’t be a cutoff score tomorrow, as one of these amazing players will reach the 100-game-finish line and claim the $20,000 prize, made up of a ten-grand entry per man. Mike Gulyassy of Sledgehammer Cues and Baby’s Pro Shop fame is backing Strickland, while Van Boening has staked himself.
Like the previous two nights, TheActionReport will offer the match pay-per-view and will also undoubtedly collect the footage onto a DVD set as the have with The First Action Challenge.
Stay tuned to InsidePOOLmag.com for results from the last day Van Boening’s battle with Strickland, as well as final results from the BCAPL events at the Qlympics in Louisville.