UPA Desert Shoot-Out Down to Winners’ Final Eight
10-Ball Desert Shoot-Out / Tempe, AZ
by Skip Maloney
As the sun set over the desert, the winners’-side bracket of the 10-Ball Desert Shoot-Out in Tempe, AZ, was down to eight players. In five of the eight matches on Friday at Kolby’s Korner Pocket Billiards, the winners gave up four games or less. The other three went double-hill.
After shutting out his first two opponents in the opening rounds, Johnny Archer extended his unbeaten streak by five games before Bobby Emmons dented his armor with two wins. But that was all, as Archer cruised into the final eight 9-2. His next opponent is Gabe Owen, who moved into the final eight on the heels of a tightly contested hill-hill victory over Tony Robles.
Robb Saez and Oscar Dominguez joined the winners’ grouping with hill-hill victories over Rodney Morris and Thorsten Hohmann. Corey Deuel and Mike Davis sent Charlie Williams and Tony Crosby to the one-loss side of the bracket with 9-3 wins, respectively, while John “Mr. 400” Schmidt and Mika Immonen did the same to Charlie Bryant and Jose Parica with 9-4 wins.
On the one-loss side of the bracket, Earl Strickland jumped out to a 6-1 lead against Steve Moore, and after giving up a single game, won two more to reach the hill. Moore battled back to win the next two, but Strickland closed it out at 9-4, eliminating Moore from the tournament. Also eliminated were Dennis Hatch and Sparky Ferrell, who fell to Ernesto Dominguez and Louis Ulrich, respectively. Dominguez moved on to a back-and-forth struggle against Efren Reyes, in which he moved ahead of Reyes 3-1 at the start. Reyes came back to tie, and Dominguez responded to take another lead. The match seesawed back and forth, but the final tip moved in Reyes’ direction as he won 9-7 and moved on to meet Williams. In the meantime, Ulrich knocked off Chris Adams 9-1, to move into a match-up against Jose Parica.
The one-loss side of the bracket moved into the money round ($1,000 guaranteed) late on Friday night with key match-ups that included Reyes and Williams, Ulrich against Parica, Strickland versus Emmens, and Crosby squaring off against Jeremy Jones.
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