by Paul Berg

If you missed the live Inside POOL free live HD stream, free lessons aren’t your thing. However, if you were at Binion’s Horseshoe Casino for Friday and Saturday’s action at the 14th Annual Derby City Classic, you missed the chance for many more. Some odd threats of weather conditions made it tough to get from Louisville, KY to Elizabeth, IN at the outset, yet all the animals in the zoo of the wild pocket billiards world are represented, and the hospitality couldn’t be sweeter.

Whether it was the pink 4 ball from the Accustats crew’s view of the Diamond under the hot lights of table one, or an Aramith purple scattered across two luxurious floors with 34 more tournament tables and plenty of legendary signs leading to more secret sections of the jungle, the start to the grueling grind set the cold night on fire in the 9-Ball Banks division. Straight pool has a magical 14.1 brew fermenting, while the firmaments will open to the beasts of One Pocket and rotation’s little brother 9-Ball soon enough. While the sprawling first round of the three jeweled crown of the main events carried on it’s first round on the players’ first barrel of a buy-back structure that allows two chances in each discipline, the great ring game tradition caught the galleries attention.

Scott Frost was the big winner out of six capable bank pool players, and your egotistical narrator mustered up an interview earlier in the night to encapsulate what he was unable to witness first hand. The rail was buzzing after sunrise about their favorite ousting some local sons, as “The Freezer” let go of his defensive mindset after a tough start to the tournament. I caught up to him after a victory on his rebuy that was as impressive to me against the noise as the big dollar score was to the crowd the night before.

scott frost wins derby one pocket Early Results at Derby City Classic Delivers the Goods

Frost was the big winner out of six capable bank players, and your egotistical narrator mustered up an interview earlier in the night to encapsulate what he was unable to witness first hand.

“I was jet-lagged; played my first match against Dennis Orcollo. He beat me 3-0. I had plenty of shots, but that table …” Frost didn’t trail off as we discussed the battle with his manager Larry Schwartz, but the conditions can be explained quickly. The lights for television cause a drying process on the cloth and sweat for birds, dogs and cats of any kind. The pressure is amplified in many ways in a world where the camera is pervasive and the level of scrutiny is intense. “Larry talked me into playing the ring game. I’m late for the ring game, don’t even want to play.” Confidence is a must in this shooting game, but with an opening 2 ball cross side, you get some bang for your buck. “After that everything changed.”

A rock rolling down a mountain with a snow covered ease comes over Frost often. “A locomotive,” Schwartz declared him, describing how easy shots and positions sometimes materialize in a game where defense is often a liability to execution. Another of Schwartz’s promising whipper-snappers is “poker player” Chris Gentile, while the Kentucky captain John Brumback, one of its native sons Shannon “The Cannon” Daulton, and “under-rated” Troy Jones were in the field as well. Once Jones got down to man to man battle with Frost, fan support and dominance carried him to the winner take-all prize.

The morning brought education in many forms. While it’s easy to get a game with Efren “Bata” Reyes cheaply as Columbia, SC’s Kevin Brown found out to great amusement, what was going on in the New Orleans room was a stronger dose of medicine. Grady Mathews and Danny Diliberto taught new wave thought on old defensive ideas without a break shot in straight pool, followed by Brumback (with a little help from Freddie Bentivegna, who wears great names like Bugs and Taylor on his sleeves and heart) recreating an outstanding video lesson on secrets of banking without spin, as many of the Filipino masters have seeped those arts out of the game. Over in front of the IP’s live stream from the Harrison room, things happen faster but with less credit to forefathers. A mingling of the two can result in young pool devotees like little five month old Gibson having an easy time entering a man’s game. Clyde Ellis Read more ...