2021 US Pro Billiard Series, Diamond Las Vegas Open 10 Ball Tournament, Part 3
(Including the Predator World 10 Ball Championship) -- by Patrick Sampey
Saturday,Sep 11, 2021-- On this day, let us never forget the fallen...I vaguely remember the tragic morning of September 11th, 2001, twenty years ago today -- but I do remember getting up that morning and watching as it happened live on the TV, the horror complete as the Airplanes crashed into both the North and South Towers of the World Trade Center, both within less than twenty minutes of each other, an act of terrorism unlike any in US history.
I was in business computer programming classes at Lively Technical College at the time, currently attending the C++ portion of the 2yr curriculum -- and classes were cancelled as a result of the attack, was with my ex wife Suzi back then, staying in some apartments across from the Florida State College campus, had only been a skill level 7 in the APA (American Poolplayers Association) for maybe 2 years tops back then -- knew so little about the game or players -- being just out of the US Army, having served from 1992-97, all that military jargon still swimming in my young 29 year old mind then. Now, how fast it seems 20 years can slip past, and now I think of how vast my billiards world has changed, but also how large and small the world is. Back in 2001 Corey Deuel also won the US Open 9 ball tournament 11-0 against Mika Immonen. I still have newspapers the day after 9/11/01, and it still feels like some kind of nightmare, just like it did then on that day, but we all came together as a nation, and that is the American, indomitable spirit. Perhaps we can get back to more of that, working together, coming together for a common goal: freedom and liberty to all.
Let us each take a moment to remember those lives lost that day…
So, I wrote two other articles following the 2021 US Pro Billiard Series, Diamond Las Vegas Open 10 Ball tournament, but they then had the Predator World 10 Ball Championship right after that, which is great for the players, but as a fan, it is also great in ways, but also very hard to follow. You have to be a die-hard, grind-it-out fan to follow, pool matches take time to watch -- that’s a lot of pool to cover, and they have other tournaments going on simultaneously to all this.
Let’s review the brackets for both these monster events:
“Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino Pro Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada September 01 2021 to September 04 2021” -- https://ctsondemand.com/TournamentHome.aspx?TournamentID=721986a1-45ae-4b96-ba07-3e9b2042e0b4
The Diamond Open 10 ball tournament was held September first through the fourth, ending with Omar Alshaheen taking second place and a nine thousand dollar pay day, and Kun-Lin Wu taking the first place trophy and $15K.
But leading up to the finale were heated matches Wiktor Zielinski vs Omar Alshaheen, Alshaheen vs Shane Van Boening, Kun-Lin Wu vs Roland Garcia, Denis Grabe vs Kun-Lin Wu.
Wu Kun-Lin hails from Taiwan and is just 26 years old, and indicative of the asian invasion on this event and others worldwide -- so many excellent, diverse players showing up for the event out in Vegas, wrapping up today I believe.
Then they’ve had the Predator World 10 Ball Championship after the Diamond 10 Ball open. I know, it’s a billiards bonanza!
Coming down the final stretch of the Predator World 10 Ball Championship was a star-studded cast of players -- still standing were: Shane Van Boening, Bader Alawadhi, Johann Chua, Alex Pagulayan, Marco Teutscher, Naoyuki Oi, Cristopher Tevez Ocamp, Billy Thorpe, Konrad Juszczyszyn, Omar Alshaheen, Eklent Kaci, Aloysius Yapp, Oscar Dominguez, Jayson Shaw, and Gerson Martinez Boza.
Eklent Kaci, from Albania won the event, making hard shots appear routine, with runner-up Naoyuki Oi making some minor errors, but Kaci just appeared to be firing on all cylinders, as he seemed to be in control the entire finals match that I watched earlier today -- Oi appearing frustrated with his own play at points, but even so, he did take down a twenty-two thousand dollar payday, with Kaci winning $35K for first.
All in all a top notch event hosted by Predator, CSI, and Diamond.