Drago New Predator 10-Ball Champion
Predator 10-Ball Championship / Las Vegas, NV
by InsidePOOL Staff
Tony “Tornado” Drago was crowned the new champion of the Predator 10-Ball Championship by virtue of his victory over Filpino billiard legend Francisco Bustamante in the finals. This five-day event was hosted by the Riviera Hotel Casino in Las Vegas, NV, in conjunction with the BCA Pool League Nationals.
The extended, race-to-13 final match began inauspiciously when, in the first rack, Bustamante scratched off the 6 ball into the side pocket, Drago rattled the 7 ball, and both players took a couple of turns at the 8 before Bustamante finally scratched and Drago won the game. Indeed, not just the match but almost every rack was peppered with uncharacteristic errors by both players.
It was obvious, though, that Drago was the front-runner as he quickly pulled in front of Bustamante, his trademarked speedy pace and jaunty walk around the table showing his confidence. Up 4-3, Drago ran the table after Bustamante missed a 5 ball and then broke and ran the next to gain a three-rack lead. They struggled with gaining and keeping control of the match, and Bustamante managed to knot the score at 9 apiece, but when he sent the cue ball off the table on his next break, Drago again pulled ahead.
A flubbed 5-10 carom by “Django” ended up costing him the next rack, as Drago zeroed in on the 7-10 combination; however, Bustamante took the next rack after Drago came up short for the 5 ball and left the Filipino an out. One of the biggest errors in the match that gave Drago the hill came when, in the next rack, Bustamante shot at a hanging 1 ball and drew the cue ball so far down the rail, it scratched. Only in need of one more game, Drago broke and ran out the last rack to win 13-10.
In the awards ceremony that followed, both contestants gave short speeches. “I have to give credit to myself,” announced Drago to cheers and laughter. “I have never played ten-ball before, so to win this event, that’s really saying something.”
View the Predator 10-Ball Championship image gallery (/gallery2/v/Pool+Tournaments/Predator-10-ball-championship/)
1st Tony Drago $17,000
2nd Francisco Bustamante $7,500
3rd Jeremy Jones $4,000
5th Tyler Edey $2,700
Lee Van Corteza
Shane Van Boening
9th Niels Feijen $1,500
17th Alex Lely $1,000
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