Deuel Double-Dips Fuller
Seminole Pro Tour / Goldsboro, NC
by Raymond Linares
After conquering a tough field the month prior, Corey Deuel is a frontrunner in the points race on the Seminole Pro Tour with his July 18-19 victory over Mike Fuller. The 36-player field was hosted by Fast Eddie’s Billiards in Goldsboro, NC.
“The Prince of Pool” put on some serious displays of shot-making and safety play. His overall table management was representative of his world-class status. The first half of the tournament, Deuel went straight through his opponents like a hot knife through butter, demolishing all comers, including Earl Strickland 7-2 and Mike Davis 8-3, until North Carolina’s Mike Fuller stopped him dead in his tracks.
Fuller showed a really impressive game this weekend. Playing in his first Seminole Pro Tour event, Fuller had no shortage of opportunities to prove himself against the tour’s established players. The Roxborough native had strong wins against Han Berber 7-4, John DiToro 7-2, and Steve Moore 8-4. Next on his hit list was none other than Deuel. Fuller really showed some nerve in this match. Deuel seemed to struggle on the break, and Fuller really punished him for it. Bringing his big break into play, Fuller overcame Deuel in a hill-hill thriller.
Next up for Fuller was the hot seat match against Manny Chau. Both players played tight all the way down to the end. However, after Chau missed a tough blind back-cut on the 7 into the side pocket, Fuller took a critical lead at 7-6, going on to win the next game as well and capture the hot seat.
On the one-loss side, Chau had to square off against Deuel, who had just steamrolled Keith Bennett 8-1 and Ronnie Wiseman 8-3. Chau showed why he was in the final three. and refused to let Deuel out of his sights. Displaying his top notch shot-making ability, Chau took Deuel to his second hill-hill match of the tournament. After a dry break by Chau, Deuel came with a long cut on the 1 ball, only to end up nearly frozen on the 2. Deuel proceeded to nail the game-winning safety. Chau’s failed attempt yielded a dead 2-10 combination that Deuel pocketed, securing his spot in the finals.
This rematch between Deuel and Fuller did not go as planned for the North Carolina native. Although the match was close toward the beginning, the tides turned when Fuller made an unexpected error, allowing Deuel to take the lead 5-4. After that, Deuel turned on the jets. He seemed to make two balls on the break every time, and simply ran out. Perfect pattern play coupled with some special “come with-it” shots propelled Deuel to the hill. “How are these balls rolling!” exclaimed Deuel at the latter stages of the match. He finished off Fuller by winning the last four games in a row and claiming the title of champion with a score of 9-4.
1st Corey Deuel $3,000
2nd Mike Fuller $2,000
3rd Manny Chau $1,400
4th Ronnie Wiseman $1,000
5th Ron Park $750
7th Earl Strickland $500
9th Mike Davis $300