Archer Earns Top Gun Honors
10-Ball Desert Shootout / Tempe, AZ
by Skip Maloney
Veteran billiard player Johnny Archer struggled through some middle matches in the 10-Ball Desert Shoot-Out but roared back in the double-elimination finals to defeat Mika “Iceman” Immonen twice and take home the $12,500 first prize.
Immonen got off the first shot in the hot seat match, and the two started firing back and forth until the score seesawed to double-hill. From there Immonen got the last rack to advance to the finals undefeated 9-8.
On the one-loss side, Mike Davis was hard at work shooting his way back. He traded shots with Robb Saez early, then jumped out to a 7-3 lead. Saez fought back to within one at 7-6 before Davis closed it out with two in a row.
Charlie “Hillbilly” Bryant dispatched John Schmidt into fifth place and faced Davis in the quarterfinal. Davis dropped Bryant into fourth and turned to face Archer. It looked for a while as if Archer had rediscovered his rhythm, opening the semifinal match winning three in a row, but Davis could see the $12,500 and tried to struggle back one game at a time. He got within two at 8-6 before Archer finished him off and dropped him into third place.
“The Scorpion” came at Immonen in the first game of the final with both guns blazing, taking a 3-0 lead that he never relinquished. The Finn took the fourth game and the sixth in that first match, but that was it—Archer won the first set 9-2. Immonen spent the break at a table, shooting at metaphoric “tin cans” to stay loose and on target. It worked, because he took the first lead of the two-set match. Archer came back to tie and then take a 3-game lead at 4-1.
“Don’t get mad,” goes the saying, “get even,” and that’s just what Immonen did, winning the next three games to tie it at 4. This was the last tie, and as it turned out, Immonen had only one more bullet in the chamber. He fired it after Archer had won three more in a row. At 7-5, Archer took the next two to finish the shootout as top gun, while Immonen loaded his saddlebag with the second-place haul of $7,500.
1st Johnny Archer $12,500
2nd Mika Immonen $7,500
3rd Mike Davis $5,000
4th Charlie Bryant $4,000
5th John Schmidt $2,800
7th Oscar Dominguez $1,500
9th Jose Parica $1,250
13th Rodney Morris $1,000