Bryant Double-Dips Van Boening to Take Houston Classic
Houston 9-Ball Classic III / Houston, TX
by Skip Maloney
Charlie “Hillbilly” Bryant didn’t take too kindly to being defeated in the hot seat match of the Houston 9-Ball Classic by Shane Van Boening. He expressed his dissatisfaction with two wins in a double-elimination final that earned him top honors in the $1,000-added event on the weekend of April 25-26. The event drew 63 entrants to Bogie’s Billiards & Games in Houston, TX.
From among the winners’ side final four, Bryant advanced to the hot seat match with a 9-3 win over James Christopher, as Van Boening struggled in a hill-hill match that eventually sent Shawn Putnam west. Van Boening quietly sent Bryant over 9-5 and patiently waited for his return.
Sylver Ochoa and John Lopez, on the one-loss side, were waiting for Putnam and Christopher. It was Putnam and Christopher advancing to the quarterfinals, with Putnam defeating Ochoa 7-4 and Christopher besting Lopez 7-5. Christopher got into the semifinals against Bryant with a 7-5 victory over Putnam, but his day ended right there, as Bryant got his second chance at Van Boening with a 7-5 win of his own.
In the early going of the opening set of the true double-elimination final, Van Boening looked to be in command, as he took a 2-0 lead. Bryant, though, came right back to tie it at 2-2 and was looking at a good set-up to go ahead 3-2 when he snookered himself on the 5 ball. Van Boening took advantage and moved ahead. Bryant came right back to tie it at 3-3 and take his first lead in the next rack. Bryant won three more in a row before a well-played safety resulted in ball in hand that allowed Van Boening to pull within three at 7-4. Bryant reached the hill and allowed Van Boening one more game before he closed it out, forcing a second set.
With momentum on his side, it was Bryant taking the early lead, going up 3-0 before Van Boening responded. At 3-1, the two traded racks to 5-2, which ended Van Boening’s night. Bryant won the next two, capping his double-dip win with a rebel yell.
1st Charlie Bryant $1,250
2nd Shane Van Boening $550
3rd James Christopher $275
4th Shawn Putnam $175
5th Sylver Ochoa $80
7th Sparky Ferrell $60
9th Nash Peterson $50