The elimination rounds rolled relentlessly through the Diamond Open 10-Ball Professional Players Championship field Friday afternoon, leaving only 16 players remaining on the one-loss side. The event began Thursday with 46 players and is being hosted by the Valley Forge Convention Center in King of Prussia, PA.
Shaun Wilkie, who was runner-up at this event last year to Shane Van Boening, had a tough run of luck at this year’s event and has already been ousted. In Thursday night’s round, he met Van Boening in the winners’ bracket. This match went hill-hill, but Van Boening broke and ran the final rack, and Wilkie never had a chance. Then, in the next round, Wilkie found himself playing 2008 InsidePOOL Player of the Year, Mika Immonen, in another epic hill-hill bout. On the final 10-ball, though, Wilkie faltered, and Immonen took the win.
Steve “The Blade” Moore was another surprise early exit from the event. Moore matched up with Matt Krah in the first round and, after a hill-hill battle, was sent to the west side of the chart. There he received a second-round bye only to face off against Kim Davenport in the third. It was another close call, but Davenport prevailed 10-8.
Yet another shocking elimination was that of Darren Appleton, the reigning 10-ball world champ. Appleton has already won one title this year at the U.S. Bar Table Championships and was looking to add another to his resume. However, he lost to Charlie “Hillbilly” Bryant Thursday evening 10-8 after making an impressive comeback to 8-all from being down 6-1. On the one-loss side he was faced with “Rocket” Rodney Morris. Morris had been practicing his break for a couple of hours, and it worked for him. Morris hung up a 6 ball at 8-4 in his favor, and Appleton again came back, this time to 8-7, but Morris was able to close it out 10-7.
Spheragon will be streaming the event using Ustream:
FREE LIVE Streaming of Players Championship
The event also will be accessible via Inside POOL Magazine and Spheragon
In other professional player news, Saturday night will see the start of the Women’s Invitational 10-Ball Pro Players Shootout. This single-elimination, eight-player event will pay out six places. Allison Fisher, Jennifer Barretta, Yu Ram Cha, Angel Paglia, Joanne Ashton, Megan Smith (nee Minerich), Caroline Pao, and Kim Shaw will be competing for the $2,000 first-place prize.