Seminole Pro Tour / Jacksonville, FL
by Raymond Linares
The “Prince of Pool” finally regained his place as tournament champion on the Seminole Pro Tour after this victorious showing at their June 19-21 event. Not since the 2008 season has Deuel seen the winners’ circle. But Bankshot Billiards has proven to be a hospitable location for the former U.S. Open champion, as he’s played at the level that has won him so many tournaments in the past.
Coming out of a heavy top half of the bracket, Deuel survived several champions including Mike Davis, Thorsten Hohmann, and Johnny Archer just to have a chance to face Tony Crosby first thing Sunday. Crosby started out the match very roughly and found himself facing a three-game deficit. He made a charge by running a solid three pack to tie the match at 4-4. However, Deuel proved to be too much, as his experience and skill was enough to take down “The Sniper” and move one step closer to the title.
The second winners’ side match-up saw Charlie Williams battle against road player Chris Bartram. Bartram really put the pressure on Williams throughout the whole match, combining a strong break with great cue ball control. The two components were enough to outlast Williams 8-6 and move on to the hot seat match against Deuel.
This match was the match of the tournament. Bartram and Deuel exchanged body blows back and forth, pushing each other to the limit. The war between the two would see its ultimate limit as one game would decide who would move on to the finals. Bartram seemed to have everything under control as he bested Deuel to the first shot. However, after running the balls down to the 8, Bartram found himself dead frozen on the rail. Without the ability to draw the cue ball down for position, Bartram was forced to lay up and take an awkward angle cut on the 9 ball. Unfortunately for Bartram, he over-cut the 9 and set the stage for an amazing end to this match. Deuel, with nothing to do but come with a nine-foot table-length bank, did just that and split the pocket, caroming the 10 to hold for position and capturing the match hill-hill.
The B-side of the bracket was equally as intense. Williams, who was defeated earlier in the tournament by Bartram, had a chance at revenge. First he had to conquer last month’s champion, Crosby. This was a true grinder of a match ended with Williams sending “The Sniper” home with his second top four-finish in as many months.
Williams claimed one more victim as he exacted his revenge on Bartram and eliminated him 8-6. Bartram, who hasn’t visited the Seminole Tour very often, claimed his first top three-finish as well as $1,500 for his efforts.
The finals saw two former Mosconi Cup team members, Williams and Deuel, play one race to 9 for the title of champion. Deuel used his smooth and consistent stroke to take control of the match. His powerful shot-making was more than enough to take down Williams as Deuel came with two impressive run-outs to close it out 9-6.