Amidst One-Loss Paydays at the Open, Tradition and Tragedy Transpire
Title defense ends against local standout, past champions persevere on one-loss side

by Paul Berg, InsidePOOL Magazine Staff
At a buffet during the dinner break this evening for fans to mingle with past U.S. Open champions, 2006 winner John Schmidt was obliged to say his first words as one of the club. Despite an explosive start against top Virginia Beach billiard player Eric Moore, Schmidt fell 11-7, shortly before Dan Louie literally collapsed with an opening 2-0 lead in his one-loss match. The legendary player in the Pacific Northwest and restaurateur out of Seattle, Louie fell to the floor in the Chesapeake Conference Center, and while the nature of his ailment is unknown at this time, Louie was quickly attended to and maintained coherence throughout the wait for medical assistance.
In the mixed atmosphere of reverence and concern, the grueling Open grinds forward. In early morning play today, Gabe Owen advanced through Rob Pole Jr. to reach Steve Moore, both guaranteed their entry fees back with the loser tying at the edge of the payout in 64th/96th place. Recent buzz in the backroom Mike Dechaine eliminated Italian champion Fabio Petroni 11-5, and the mighty Alex Pagulayan stands next in his path.
In later matches, some have already punched the clock for their five hundred bucks. David Hunt fell 11-3 in a second-match victory of the day for Owen’s old friend Jeremy Jones. A few good players won their first of the day only to run into a loss, Hunter Lombardo able to eliminate local junior national champion Chris Futrell before being bumrushed 11-7 by Brandon Shuff. The UK’s Daryl Peach kept Charlie Williams out of the money earlier today but promptly made the trip to the pay window in an 11-4 loss to Chris Bartram.
Columbia, SC’s, Scott Rabon has posted two 11-8 victories over Canadian Brady Golan and New Zealander Ceri Worts to stay alive. Bouncing back from tough losses last night on the A-side, pre-tournament favorites Niels Feijen and Robb Saez are back in business. Feijen led Shawn Wilkie 10-4 at the time of Louie’s unfortunate difficulty, and playing at the nearest table, Feijen waited the longest of any of the stopped tables to resume play. He closed the set 11-4, having stared on in concern for Louie with the rest of the assembled pool family. Saez was far away from the commotion on the Billiard Club Network television table, overcoming a steady deficit to Mike Gulyassy in an 11-8 victory.
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The biggest news of the day was, of course, the ousting of Schmidt. A pair of Q-Master Billiards II employees were amongst Moore’s acquaintances in the crowd and recounted a swift three-piece that Schmidt put down to take a 4-1 lead. Moore was undaunted, and utilizing some break and runs of his own, as well as a persistent defensive game that always left Schmidt tough long looks and nearly cost him a game to three consecutive fouls, took momentum back on his way to the 11-7 shocker. Moore’s next opponent will be Rabon during a tough set of 7 PM matches determining 49th/64th place, including Shuff against Shawn Putnam and Jones against Raj Hundal. For those who have followed Moore each year when the Open comes to his town, he never disappoints, two years ago ousting Corey Deuel to uproarious crowd response.
US Open Tournament Bracket A1
US Open Tournament Bracket A2
US Open Tournament Bracket B1
US Open Tournament Bracket B2
Deuel will play in the Chalk Off Arena at 11 PM tonight against Shannon Daulton. It will be the only undefeated action during that time slot, as the rest of the 32 remaining players without a loss will fill in the 7 and 9 PM action alongside further one-loss play. Featured matches played tonight on billiardclubnet.com courtesy of the BCN and Accu-Stats crews are Jose Parica facing Francisco Bustamante at 7 PM, and Efren Reyes against Ronato Alcano at 9 PM. Stay tuned to InsidePOOLmag.com for the latest from the 32nd U.S. Open, where the finest 9-ballers in the world will need their best tonight.