Gokhul Takes Aruba 10-Ball Classic
by Roland Acosta
Thirty-two players from eight countries competed in the Caribbean Mercantile Bank Aruba 10-Ball Classic the weekend of August 30-31. The Caribbean Billiards Union event, sanctioned by CPB, was also a qualifier to the next year’s 2009 Predator International 10-Ball Championships to be held in Las Vegas, NV. Well-known pro players such as Leo Campos from Peru, South America, and Ike Runnels, both living in Chicago, were among the early favorites to win the event, but Danny Gokhul had other plans in mind.
Representing Guyana but residing in the UK, Gokhul and local Aruban hero Allan Van Aanholt were to dispute the finals. “Zero Thunder” Van Aanholt went undefeated throughout the tournament, besting Ike Runnels in the third round and then sending “Danny” Gokhul to the one-loss side during the semifinals. But Gokhul had other plans and worked his way to the final spot to match once again with Van Aanholt.
Gokhul came out with a big 10-3 win against Van Aanholt and the with the cash prize of $3,000 USD. Allan got $1,500 USD for his runner-up effort, with Victor Cuccuza from Venezuela making it to the third spot and collecting $750 USD. In fourth place and from Aruba, Ransley “Psycho” Tromp cashed $500 with an unexpected surprise knock-out of Runnels for the title run. Tromp had sent a message to all present on Saturday night when he eliminated three-time CPB Panamerican 9-Ball runner-up Luis Miguel Sanchez from Venezuela.
Runnels and Anthony Wever from Curacao were awarded $350 for finishing in fifth place. Wever, who was just crowned CPB Panamerican 9-Ball junior champion in Nicaragua last week, surprised 2002 Panamerican champion Roland Acosta in the one-loss rounds with a great come-from-behind win.
Seventh place paid $275 each to Ryan Rampersaud and Acosta, who took out Leo Campos after Campos was sent to the one-loss round by Runnels.
Out of the money but in respectable ninth-place finishes were Roberto Martinez from Peru, Leo Campos (USA), Bryan Farah (Curacao), and Johnny Hellmund, also from Curacao.
A total of $7,000 USD were shared between the top eight finishers. Sixteen players from Uruguay, Peru, Venezuela, Guadeloupe, Curacao, the USA, and the UK traveled to face off against sixteen local Aruban players. They all had a great time and are looking forward to next year’s event in the beautiful Caribbean Island of Aruba.
Special thanks to Caribbean Mercantile Bank, Classic Billiards, Iwan Simonis, and Poison Cues, the Official Tournament Cue of the Aruba 10-Ball Classic.
For more information about the tournament, please visit www.poolinaruba.com.