UPA Desert Shoot-Out Commences

10-Ball Desert Shoot-Out / Tempe, AZ
By Skip Maloney
Billiard players Mika Immonen, Johnny Archer, Tony Crosby, Corey Deuel, and Tony Robles were among the first-round winners on the opening day of the $25,000-added 10-Ball Desert Shoot-Out held at Kolby’s Korner Pocket Billiards in Tempe, AZ, April 24. The three-tiered event began with a qualifying tournament earlier in the week and will include a second-chance tournament slated for Saturday and Sunday.
The tournament drew 64 entrants to the Arizona desert and one of those entrants—Corey Deuel—traveled halfway around the world from another desert match in Dubai. Tournament officials granted Deuel a delayed start in his opening match against Dennis Hatch to accommodate his return from the Middle East tournament. Deuel defeated Hatch 9-3 and moved on to a tighter match-up against Ray Robles, which he won 9-7 to move on to Friday’s eight match-ups on the winners’ side.
In a heavily anticipated first-round match-up between Efren Reyes and Immonen, it was Immonen who advanced. Reyes went up 3-0 at the start, but Immonen rallied decisively to take a 5-3 lead. Reyes battled back to regain the lead. Up 7-6, Reyes gave himself a loose rack. Though he hit that rack hard enough on his break, two balls failed to move past the table’s side pockets, and thanks to a tournament rule requiring that two balls do so, Immonen was able to call a foul, tying the match at 7. Reyes hooked Immonen on the 2 ball in the subsequent rack. Immonen not only kicked two rails to hit that 2, but a subsequent carom knocked the 10 ball in and it was 8-7. Immonen ran the final rack to close it out.
Johnny Archer, fresh from a victory on the Great Southern Tour at his own club in Marietta, GA, defeated both Chuck Evans and Louis Ulrich to move into Friday’s winner’s side bracket. Neither Evans nor Ulrich won a single game in either of those match-ups. Like Archer, Tony Robles advanced on the winners’ side, not allowing either Randy Whitehead or Tref Cane to win a game.