Shively is Better and Best

Shively is Better and Best
9-Ball Tournament / Campbellsville, KY

by Tom Fryer

Chris Shively lead the field at the Rack & Cue Monthly 9-Ball event.

Chris Shively lead the field at the Rack & Cue Monthly 9-Ball event.

No one was more pleased to see David and Stephanie Whitlock resume their monthly 9-ball event at Rack & Cue in Campbellsville, KY, than local long shot Chris Shively. The event will be repeated on the first Saturday of the each month until summer featuring $25 entry races to 7 on both sides and winner break with the 3 foul rule in effect for a guaranteed prize fund of $1000. 27 players turned out for this edition and the field was very dangerous as upsets abounded from round one.

The winners’-side semifinals saw Chris Shively establish himself by holding off a very game Mike Baldwin of Lexington, KY, by a 7-4 count. Also securing a spot in the hot seat match was Lex’s Eddie Miller, who came back from a 6-2 hole against a strong David Rice. The winners’ finals might have swung either way as Shively held off Miller 7-5.

The one-loss side quarterfinals featured a finals quality match with Russ Edwards ambushing Duke Laha 7-2. The other match saw Kyle Helm lead 6-2 over 14-year-old wunderkind Landon Shuffett, who was able to win the last five. The semis pitted Edwards against Rice, who prevailed after a funny angle on Russ’ last 7 ball stymied him. Rice won 7-6.

Certainly energized by his escape against Helm, Landon really got to work. He ended Mike Baldwin’s strong bid at 7-4 and then steamed Rice 7-2. Eddie Miller was next, and Shuffett kept on rolling at 7-4 to set up a true double-elimination final. The young Shuffett was coming off a recent $1,000 first prize in a big event in Ohio and seemed poised for more. No matter what was to come, he had already pulled off the shot of the weekend when facing elimination on the hill against Louis Demarco. He faced a table-length 30-degree cut while being jacked up over the rail and another ball. Just cutting it in was not enough—he needed to attack the shot for position. Despite being barely tall enough to reach the cue ball, he executed it perfectly a power stroke.

In the finals, Shuffett continued his run with a solid 7-4 win to force the deciding set. But Shively was not through yet. Earlier, the 30-year-old Shively was asked if he felt his play had gotten better in the last year. He replied, “Not better, but more consistent.” Chris’ better turned out to be the best as he jumped out 6-2 in the last set and ousted Shuffett for a 7-4 championship and the $500 first prize.

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