Appleton and Moore for the Hot Seat
Diamond Open 10-Ball Professional Players Championship / Oaks, PA
Only four players remain at this year’s Diamond Open 10-Ball Professional Players Championship at Allen Hopkins’ Super Billiards Expo. Fighting for the hot seat will be reigning U.S. Open champion Darren Appleton and Stevie Moore, while Shane Van Boening will face Raj Hundal in the quarterfinal match. The winner of the event will walk away with $20,000.
There were only two winners’ side rounds Saturday. At 1 p.m. Louis Ulrich faced off against Finland’s Mika Immonen, who scraped by with a 10-9 victory, while Stevie Moore routed Michigan’s Craig McPartlin 10-2. “Dynamite” Darren Appleton whizzed through his match with Dennis Hatch, another former winner of this event, 10-3, and Ryan McCreesh sent John Schmidt packing 10-8.
In the second round, there was no contest between Appleton and McCreesh, as the Brit raced to a 10-0 whitewash. However, the match between Immonen and Moore was a knockdown, drag-out fight as the two seesawed to 8-all. In the next game, Moore came up empty on the break, but Immonen ended up fouling on a jump shot, and Moore took the hill. But Immonen countered with a break and run-out in the next to restore parity. When Moore broke the last rack and dropped two balls on the break, Immonen could only shake his head as Moore cleared up for the 10-9 win.
Van Boening, who won this event two years ago, lost his second match to Brian Brekke 10-8 and has fought his way back to the final four through the west side of the chart. Saturday saw him methodically eliminate Klaus Zobrekis 10-2, Mike Dechaine 10-5, Louis Ulrich 10-3, and Mike Davis 10-3 to reach his last opponent for the evening, McCreesh.
Formerly of Maryland, McCreesh has recently moved to New York and has given up playing for a living. He played very well to reach the final six, but against Van Boening he crumpled as “The South Dakota Kid” put on a clinic and won the match 10-2. “The Genie Man” took home fifth place.
Tying with McCreesh was Immonen, who, after his exhausting match with Moore, went on to face Hundal. “Hitman” had lost his third match to Ulrich 10-6 and had a long trek through the left side of the bracket, ousting Jeremy Sossei 10-7, Corey Deuel 10-8, John Schmidt 10-5, and Hatch 10-6 to reach Immonen.
“Iceman” appeared rather fried after his loss to Moore and had a difficult time putting together a game plan at the start, as Hundal took an early lead. However, he began chipping away and got within a game at 7-6 Hundal. A combo on the 10 ball and then a break and run for Hundal put him on the hill, but he missed the 8 ball in the side in the next, and Immonen took another game. But a foul in the last rack did Immonen in, and Hundal claimed the match 10-8.
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