Half of Final Field Set at Predator 10-Ball Championship
Predator 10-Ball Championship / Las Vegas, NV
by InsidePOOL Staff
Thursday’s billiard matches at the Predator 10-Ball Championship at the Riviera Hotel Casino in Las Vegas, NV, left 8 billiards players remaining undefeated and 24 in the one-loss bracket. With only four to return Saturday, Friday’s schedule will be a grueling one.
The winners’ bracket was whittled from 16 to 8 in the final round. A battle between two great Brits ended up with Raj “Hitman” Hundal taking precedence over fellow countryman Darren Appleton. Their match began evenly, but when the score was knotted at 4 apiece, Hundal pulled ahead by winning the next four racks in a row.
Appleton retaliated by taking two more games, but Hundal took advantage of an empty break by his opponent to reach the hill and then scored on a 3-10 combo to win 10-6.
Jose Parica and fellow Filipino Francisco Bustamante played a hotly contested set that seesawed all the way to 7-all. Bustamante took the next two games before Parica grabbed one, but Francisco emerged the winner in that match 10-8.
Table mechanic Ernesto Dominguez, who sent Shane Van Boening to the left side of the chart Wednesday, is still going strong, besting Jeremy “Double J” Jones. When Dominguez was on the hill, Jones tried to play safe on the 8 ball by leaving it on the side rail. Unfazed, Dominguez banked in the 8 but left himself a long shot on the 9 ball, which he rattled. Jones, however, missed the 9, and Dominguez sank the last two to win 10-7.
Speed demon Tony Drago whizzed through his match with Canada’s Tyler Edey. With Drago on the hill 9-6, Edey fouled on the 3 ball and handed Drago an open table with ball in hand, which he cleared. Lee Van Corteza, winner of the Turning Stone Classic a few months back, won 10-5 over Dan Louie of Seattle.
Reigning world 9-ball champion Daryl Peach bested Marcus Chamat 10-6, while Niels Feijen of The Netherlands delivered a loss to event promoter Charlie Williams 10-3. And John “Mr. 403” Schmidt is still undefeated, having won 10-3 over fellow U.S. player Gabe Owen.
Earlier in the day, on the one-loss side, there were some dramatic eliminations, but perhaps none was as dramatic as the 7:30 p.m. match between Tony Robles and Filipino player Ramil Gallego. Having dug himself into a 6-0 deficit, “The Silent Assassin” crept slowly back into the match and ultimately made it a hill-hill battle to the cheers of his fans.
He came up empty on the final break, and after Gallego played a jam-up safe on the 4 ball behind the 10, parking the cue behind the 8 up table, Robles was forced to kick at the 4. He made contact but left Gallego an out. Delicately picking through the cluster of remaining balls with pocket speed, Gallego won 10-9.
Spain’s David Alcaide ousted Southern California’s Tang Hoa, only to be eliminated himself in a televised match with Allison Fisher, which went hill-hill. Gerda Hofstatter was sent packing by Stéphan Cohen 10-3 earlier, which means Fisher is the lone woman standing in this event.
Corey Deuel was sent home early by Manual Gama of Portugal 10-7, who was then ousted by Alex Pagulayan in a quick 10-4 match. Johnny Archer eliminated recent Korean Open winner Mike Davis 10-6, while Dennis Hatch delivered Oscar Dominguez’s walking papers to him in a hill-hill bout. In another all-British match, recent World Pool Masters competitor Imran Majid matched up with Karl Boyes, but Boyes was too strong and won 10-4.
View the Predator 10-Ball Chmapionship image gallery (/gallery2/v/Pool+Tournaments/Predator-10-ball-championship/)
The eight undefeated players returning Friday evening are: Ernesto Dominguez, Lee Van Corteza, Daryl Peach, Tony Drago, John Schmidt, Raj Hundal, Niels Feijen, and Francisco Bustamante. The 24 left in the one-loss side will play in the morning and early afternoon rounds down to 8. At that point, tournament director Scott Smith will redraw the last 16 names and the format will change to single elimination. Only four will return Saturday to play for the $17,000 first-place prize.
For live coverage of the 8th Annual Predator 10-Ball Championship, please visit Predator10ball.com, Kozoom.com, and InsidePOOLmag.com.