Shuff Defends Virginia State Title
Virginia State 9-Ball Championships / Midlothian, VA
Brandon Shuff successfully defended his Virginia State Championships title, going undefeated through the 64-player field undefeated. The event was hosted by Diamond Billiards in Midlothian, VA, the weekend of July 17-18.
The quarterfinal match was a lopsided one between Larry Kressel and John “Jordan” Newton. Kressel took a quick 3-0 lead before Newton got on the board, which he did after Kressel scratched on his next break. Newton won the following rack as well, but then Kressel stepped forward again, reaching the hill 8-3 with a couple of break and runs. Newton was on his way out in the next rack but was forced to play safe on the 9 ball, and Kressel hit it but left a shot for Newton, who pocketed it to make the score 8-4. One more rack went to Newton after Kressel missed the 9 ball and then scratched. But Kressel capitalized on a safety in the final game, and when Newton left him a shot on the 3 ball, he cleared the remaining balls to win 9-5.
Another one-sided match ensued when Kressel moved on to face David Hunt in the semifinals. Though it began evenly enough, with each player taking a game at the start, Hunt took a two-game lead by winning the next two racks thanks to a missed 6 ball by Kressel and a break and run of his own. Kressel evened the score at 3 apiece, and from there he dominated the match completely. In every rack Hunt had at least a chance to take control of the match but never capitalized. Hunt miscued on the 8 ball to allow Kressel to make it 7-3, and then he scratched on the 8 ball in the next rack to hand Kressel the hill. Each player had a couple of innings in the final rack, but when Hunt missed the 8 ball, Kressel was there to sink it and then the 9 ball to win the match 9-3 and move on to the finals against Shuff.
Shuff started off strong in the finals, which was an extended single race to 11, reaching a 3-0 lead before Kressel got on the board. The constant play and lateness of the hour may have taken its toll on both players, but they fought down to the finish. Kressel drew within a game at 5-4 when Shuff missed a 5 ball, but Shuff pulled away to a 7-4 lead after that. However, Kressel brought the score even when Shuff scratched in two successive racks and then miscued in the next. An empty break by Kressel saw Shuff pull ahead by a game, and then two more errors in the next two games put Shuff on the hill. Kressel opted to play safe on the 2 ball, and Shuff jumped it in. A couple of shots later and he was looking at a 6-9 combo, which he made with ease to defend his title and win the championship event 11-7. Both Shuff and Kressel earned paid entries into the 2010 U.S. Open 9-Ball Championships.
Congratulations go to Ticket #7 holder, Amy at Buffalo Billiards in Washington DC, the Winner of the McDermott Cue M72A in the Inside Pool Magazine and Propool.com promotion held at the Virginia State 9-Ball Championships. See for more special promos at ProPool.com.
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