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Old 05-06-2019, 01:11 AM
vapros vapros is online now
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Default Efren and Billy

Exciting news this week, and even I am excited. We are told that in the second week of June, Efren Reyes and Billy Thorpe will tie up in a major money match in the city of West Monroe, Louisiana. Neither of these guys has appeared before in any of the recent streamed encounters. Scheduled for a max of five days, they will play races to ten until one of them has won three. Talk about a contrast in styles – more, I believe, than T-Rex and the Robocop. I feel certain that Bata will be a strong sentimental favorite, whether the other bettors see him that way or not. He is still the Magician and in the later years of a fabulous career on the table.

Thorpe, or course, is a gunner and one of the premier shot-makers of today, but he has proven that he can play one-pocket, also, with a DCC title a few years ago. No one has played the game better than Reyes, or as long, but down in the Islands the kids are giving him weight in the rotation games. I’m not sure what that means but it is an indication of something that must be considered.

YouTube (yeah, YouTube) has a series of four videos, all made in a single evening, from 2014, when he played Bobby Emmons in California – maybe at Hard Times? Bobby and his backers came in from Arizona and lost a race to five and a race to seven and then a race to ten games. With stakes and side action I’m sure they dropped more than ten G that night. I rate Bobby Emmons equal to any other shooters I have seen, and I think his plan was to shoot his way out, but Efren is a shooter, too. But Bobby was not a one-pocket player and was forced to shoot up-hill all the way. When he got a shot he could run out, but he seldom got a shot. Efren and Jojo gave the younger man no air. The only thing he had going for him was the 9-6 game and it wasn’t nearly enough. When it was over he explained that he had played ‘horrible’ and was speaking of a possible rematch in Las Vegas. I don’t think he knew just what a bad game he was in, but he was a warrior and never shed a tear.

I have to look back at that match – and I did this week – to get some sort of outlook for the coming game. Without a doubt Reyes will out-move Thorpe and we will find out how long Billy can wait for his opportunities. If he ever starts shooting up in the air it might be fatal. Efren could be over-aggressive and Thorpe will punish him for his shooting errors. Different strengths for certain.

I was mighty impressed with Bata’s performance against Emmons, but that was five years ago – a helluva long time at his time of life. I really hope he will show his teeth in West Monroe. A mere finger of speech, of course.

I watched a little German named Josh Filler win a singles title at the DCC, as his opponent suffered a disastrous foul call that proved fatal. Jacked up over a ball, he touched the wrong ball with his cue tip, even though he did not move it. Then I saw Filler run 285 balls in the 14.1 competition. I know the fans of the rotation games have been aware of him for several years but I had never seen him before. He’s a cool player at the table with no visible weaknesses. We are indebted to the RailBird people for lots of entertaining videos from the DCC.

Watching the 9 ball matches, using the mandatory AccuRack, I could not help noticing how immobile the money ball was on nearly every break. If nothing rebounded from a cushion to move it, it remained right where it was racked. The MagicRack illustrated the same thing, if not quite as consistently. Geometrically I suppose the 9 ball is not supposed to leave the rack, as the force is diverted away from it on both sides, but that’s not the way it is in the traditional racks. But why can’t human hands achieve an equally perfect arrangement? Must be a reason why it usually joins the rest of the pack in touring the table.

I saw Chris Melling go seven rails for position – a pretty unusual tactic. Chris is a fine player who has lost quite a few pounds in the last year or so, and an entertaining guy to watch. His kick shots are carefully calculated and sometimes produce dramatic results. Using his cue as a ruler, he can plot the path of even two or three railers, but he’s no Filipino. His failures can be epic, as well.

That’s about it. If you get a chance, tune in a little Russian girl about so high, who plays out of Roy’s Basement. Christina Tkach is her name and pool is her game. If you get to play her, don’t bet too much. Also, I can recommend Match #27 from the recent US Open 9 Ball Championship. Alex Pagulayan played Aloysius Yapp in a hill-hill thriller. Yapp is a pudgy Asian – from Hong Kong maybe? – who plays a lot better than you might expect when you first see him. Enjoy.
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