2015 Make It Happen One Pocket

Match-by-match recap by Phil Capelle with photos by Karl Kantrowitz

MATCH #16 – The FINALS – Efren Reyes 3, Danny Smith 1

Reyes avenged his only loss of the tournament to Smith last night, winning the finals 3 to 1, and finishing with a record of 5-1. Danny Smith ended with a record of 4-2. Going into the finals there was that age old question – who would have the advantage? The player who was coming off of a victory and was riding on a high, or was he worn out – going against a player who was well rested?

GAME 1 – Reyes 8, Smith 7 (Innings: 15)
Smith broke strongly but Reyes responded with a good move, knocking balls towards his pocket, and the battle was on. In the second inning Reyes left a shot and Smith made only one ball before missing. The score stood at 1-0 until Smith missed in the seventh inning and left Reyes with a shot. Reyes ran four, but missed an easy shot and Smith responded with three in his pocket before he missed. The score was now tied at 4 each, He had left Reyes with an easy shot and Efren ran three and then scratched when the cue ball hit a piece of chalk, turned to the right, gained speed, and went in the pocket! Smith took ball-in-hand and ran three before missing a long shot. He now led, 7-6. The players traded safeties and missed banks until the 15th inning when Smith left Reyes with another bank. Reyes deposited it in his pocket, got excellent position, and sank the gamewinner.

GAME 2 – Reyes 8, Smith 1 (Innings: 4)
Reye broke poorly but Smith sold out. Efren promptly made four balls before he missed position, played a kick, and left Smith with a shot. But Smith could only make one ball, and left the table trailing 4-1. On his third turn Smith again left Reyes with a shot, but Reyes could only make one before missing shape. But he played a carom shot off the pack, made two more to close out the game. He took a commanding 2-0 lead in this race to 3.

GAME 3 – Smith 8, Reyes 0 (Innings: 19)
Smith broke well but Reyes replied with a double carom safety and the defensive struggle was underway. Reyes did score a ball in his third inning, but he gave it back in the sixth thanks to the only shot clock violation of the tournament, so after seven complete innings the score was 0 to 0. On his eighth turn Smith took advantage of Reyes’ miss on a 2-rail bank, running 4 before missing a combo. He now led, 4-0, at which point an uptable game commenced. The players traded safeties until the 16th inning when Reyes left a shot, and Smith made one to extend his lead to 5 to 0. On his 18th turn Reyes missed, and Smith made two balls, then fired in the game winning bank. He now trailed in the match, 2 games to 1.

GAME 4 – Reyes 8, Smith 0 (Innings: 7)
Reyes broke well, but Smith came back with a great kick safety and the players went to work on defense. Reyes did get lucky not to sell out on a long kick on his third turn, but other than that is was a routine safety battle until his sixth turn when Smith left Reyes with an easy shot. Reyes showed why he is the best ball runner in the history of One-Pocket as he smoothly ran 8 and out to win the match and become the 2015 Accu-Stats Make It Happen One-Pocket champion. Smith did extremely well in finishing second, and is splitting two matches with The Magician.

Efren Reyes, 2015 Make-It-Happen One Pocket champion
Karl Kantrowitz photo

MATCH #15 – Efren Reyes 3, Shane Van Boening 2

The 15th match of the round robin phase of this event was like a semi-finals of a double elimination event – the loser would finish third, and the winner would advance to the finals to face Danny Smith, who finished his five round robin matches with a record of 4-1.

GAME 1 – Van Boening 8, Reyes 0 (Innings: 3)
Reyes broke and the two traded a couple of safeties before Reyes left Van Boening with a thin cut. He fanned it in and showed that he can execute the strongest move in One-Pocket, running 8 and out to claim the first game of this titanic duel.

GAME 2 – Reyes 8, Van Boening 3 (Innings: 8)
Van Boening kicked in a ball that was no hanger, made two more, and played safe. He led 3 to 0. A series of safeties and missed banks followed until the seventh inning when Van Boening missed a bank, which possibly had skidded. Reyes took advantage of his good fortune, making a bank and running 5 more to take the lead, 6 to 3. He then missed a thin cut and left Van Boening with a combo, but Shane missed. Reyes then sank a combo and banked in the final ball to tie the match at one game apiece.

GAME 3 – Van Boening 8, Reyes 6 (Innings: 26)
Reyes broke poorly, but Van Boening missed a makeable bank and left Reyes with a shot. Efren opened with a combo, played a super jacked up draw shot, and made one more ball before missing a bank. He now led, 3 to 0, and was lucky that his miss had not left Van Boening with a shot. The second through seventh innings were comprised totally of safeties, and an uptable game would now be played.

Van Boening missed a bank in the eighth inning and Reyes made a spin cut, then missed. He now led, 4 to 0. In the 10th inning Reyes’ safety hit the point of the side pocket and he sold out. Van Boeing ran three, then missed, and now trailed, 4 to 3. Reyes came back with a cross table cut shot and a bank to lead, 6 to 3. He then suffered an acute mental lapse when he turned and shot towards Van Boening’s pocket! He did miss, but he Shane with left a long shot. Van Boening made it and one more, playing a spectacular power follow shot up and down the length of the table. But he missed the next shot, and now trailed Reyes, 6 to 5, after 11 innings of play.

Van Boening scored a ball after Reyes missed a thin cut, and Reyes made a crossover bank two turns later. So, after 14 innings, Reyes led, 7-6. Ten innings later Van Boening hung a 3-rail bank. Reyes shot a bank, missed, and scratched. Van Boening made his hanger and left another ball in front of his pocket. At this point two balls were on the table, one in front of each player’s pocket. Reyes inexplicably shot in Van Boening’s hanger and tried to make his on the same shot! This mental lapse handed game three to Van Boening, and he now led, 2 games to 1.

GAME 4 – Reyes 8, Van Boening 3 (Innings: 17)
After his tenth turn Van Boening lead this defensive contest, 1 to -1. But he had missed, and Reyes made a soft carom shot, another ball, and then a difficult bank to take a 2 to 1 lead after 10 full innings. Van Boeing pocketed a long cut in the 14th inning and hung his next shot. Reyes made it for Van Boening, so after 14 innings, Van Boening now held a slim 3 to 2 lead. A few safeties followed before Van Boening missed a long shot and left Reyes with a thin cut. Efren made it, and then a combo and three more balls before completing his run of 6 and out with a dead ball. The players had arrived at double hill, and would end up playing the longest game of the tournament to determine who would face Danny Smith in the finals.

GAME 5 – Reyes 8, Van Boening 4 (Innings: 48)
Reyes left Van Boening with a shot, but he could only make one ball because of some bad luck. He laid down a trap and Reyes was forced to make a ball for Shane. So, after seven innings, Van Boening led, 2 to 0. In his twelfth turn Van Boening’s bank resulted in a double kiss, and Reyes ran 2 balls, then made a third but committed a position play blunder and was forced to play safe, He how led, 3 to 2. An uptable game broke out – and you know what that means! After numerous safety exchanges Reyes barely missed a bank and Van Boeing completed the job for Reyes. Reyes again hung a bank and Van Boening again was forced to pocket it, so after 21 innings Reyes now led, 5 to 2. Missed banks and safeties by both players followed until his 26th inning when Van Boening made a long shot to close the gap to 5 to 3. The score remained unchanged until the 39th inning when Reyes again left a bank in the jaws – and Van Boening again had no choice but to make a ball – for his opponent! To recap, Reyes’s last three balls were made by Van Boening! The score: Reyes 6, Van Boening 3.

Van Boening made a spectacular 3-rail bank – the cue ball barely missed a kiss – and the score narrowed to 6 to 4 in Reyes’ favor after 42 innings of “action.” Van Boening left a ball in front of his pocket in the 44th inning and Reyes took it out. On his 47th turn Van Boening missed a 3-railer and Reyes made a bank, then rolled home a 2-cushion bank to win the game, 8 to 4, and the match.

Danny Smith, who finished 2nd to Reyes
Karl Kantrowitz photo

MATCH #14 – Justin Hall 3, Danny Smith 2

GAME 1 – Smith 8, Hall -1 (Innings: 16)
A liberal dose of safeties and fouls led to a slim -2 to -3 lead for Smith after the first seven innings. Hall had fouled, so Smith took ball-in-hand and ran four, then payed safe. In his thirteenth turn Smith ran three and made a hanger for Hall, so the score was now 5 to -1 in Smith’s favor. He made a long shot in his fourteenth inning, the fired home a 2-rail bank and made one more shot to close out the first game.

GAME 2 – Hall 8, Smith 1 (Innings: 8)
Following Hall’s break, Smith made a ball for Hall and then left him a shot. Hall ran three, fired in two banks, and then went to his chair leading 6-0. Smith managed to make a ball when Hall left him a shot. After a poor safety by Smith, Hall made a carom shot and one more ball to win game two and tie the match at 1-1.

GAME 3 – Hall -8, Smith 4 (Innings: 27)
Hall scored early with a billiard and another in the sixth inning on a long shot. Smith answered with a ball in his eighth inning, and Hall made a ball for Smith in the next, so the score was tied at 2-2 after eight innings. In the ninth Smith made a thin cut and one more ball to lead, 4-2, and it stayed that way until Hall score a ball in the twelfth inning. But Smith fouled in the thirteenth, so the score was tied at 3-3, and it would remain that way until Hall made a ball for Smith in the 21st inning. Smith made a ball in the 24th inning, then fouled, giving Hall ball-in-hand. He ran two a finally pulled ahead, 5-4. In the 27th inning Smith sold out, and Hall ran the final three to win game 3.

GAME 4 – Smith 8, Hall 7 (Innings: 9)
Hall executed a strong break, Smith left him a shot, and Hall ran 6 balls before missing a bank. Smith countered with a run of three, but a poor cluster break led to a missed bank, and he left the table trailing 6 to 3. After Hall missed a long rail bank in his third inning Smith made a super long shot and ran three more to retake the lead with 7 balls to 6 for Hall. The score remained that way until the ninth inning when Hall made a ball and then played what appeared to be a decent safety. But with the scored tied at 7-7, Smith fired in a 2-rail bank to tie the match at 2-2.

GAME 5 – Hall 8, Smith -1 (Innings: 7)
Smith committed a foul in his second inning and left Hall with a shot. Hall made a ball, but his break shot failed, so he played a combo/carom, made it, and ran three more, then pocketed two banks – his specialty – before missing one on game ball. Both players took turns banking at balls until the seventh inning when Smith missed a long shot and conceded match ball to Hall. Hall finished the event at 2-3 while Smith’s record fell to 4-1. But, as a consolation prize, he has a date with the winner of the Reyes vs. Van Boening match.

Scott Frost, who finished the round-robin with 2 wins and 3 losses
Karl Kantrowitz photo

MATCH #13 – Scott Frost 3, Alex Pagulayan 2

GAME 1 – Frost 8, Pagulayan 5 (Innings: 6)
On is second turn Frost banked into the stack and made a bank/combo/carom! He made another ball, the tried to break the cluster and failed – so he played safe with a 3-0 lead. On his next inning Frost hung a bank and left Pagulayan with a shot. Alex made a ball for himself and Frost’s hanger and ran five more to grab a 6-4 advantage. He had, however double kissed a bank attempt and left Frost with a hanger, and Scott made it and two more before jawing the game ball. After Pagulayan followed it in, the score was 7-5 in Frost’s favor. In the fifth inning Pagulayan played a poor take out shot and conceded the game ball to Frost.

GAME 2 – Pagulayan 8, Frost 1 (Innings: 4)
Pagulayan raced to a 4-1 lead in the second, opening his run with a bank, then making another. He also made a ball for Frost. After a few safeties Frost left Pagulayan with an easy shot and he ran 4 and out to capture the second game.

GAME 3 – Pagulayan 8, Frost 0 (Innings: 12)
After much safety play and several intentional fouls the score was Frost -1, Pagulayan -2 with 10 innings in the books. Then the game broke in Pagulayan’s favor. Frost hung a ball and Pagulayan caromed it in and made a bank for himself. He then ran three more before missing a bank. He now led, 2 to 0. Frost went for a bank, missed, and Pagulayan ran four more to take a 6-0 lead. After Frost missed another bank, Pagulayan made a long cross table cut from up table and got perfect on the game ball. He now led in the match, 2 games to 1.

GAME 4 – Frost 8, Pagulayan 7 (Innings: 22)
Frost banked into the pack an slopped in a ball, the made two more before missing. Pagulayan, who had hung up a bank on his previous turn, pocketed the hanger and ran four more and he made a ball for Frost, so the score was now Pagulayan 5, Frost 4. After many safeties and intentional fouls the score had retreated to 3-3 after 12 innings of play. An interesting mix of good shots and missed opportunities resulted in a 5-5 tie after 15 innings. Then, in the 18th inning Frost made two fine cut shots, but missed his game ball and now led, 7-5. Pagulayan made two balls in his 20th inning to reach double hill at 7-7. After an assortment of errors by both players, including a scratch on game ball by Frost, Pagulayan attempted a double bank with both balls on head string, but he missed and Frost made a crossover bank and a long cut to win the game, 8-7.

GAME 5 – Frost 8. Pagulayan 7 (Innings: 22)
Pagulayan took a 3-1 lead in the seventh inning an added another ball on his next turn to go ahead , 4-1. After he missed a bank in the eleventh inning, Frost ran three balls to tie the score at 4-4. Pagulayan went ahead 7-5 in the fifteenth inning. After many rounds of safety play Pagulayan played a soft kick shot and left Frost with a bank combo. He made it and two more balls to win the game, 8-7, and the match. Frost ended the event at 2-3 while Pagulayan was 0-5.

Billy Incardona called match #12 between Reyes & Smith the best he ever watched
Karl Kantrowitz photo

MATCH #12 – Danny Smith 3, Efren Reyes 2

After the fourth game of this five game match had been played Billy Incardona called it “the best One-Pocket match that I have ever watched.” And that was before the super dramatic double hill game had even been played! You are about to find out why. I might add that in all of my years of listening to the Voice of Accu-Stats, I don’t think I’ve ever heard Billy be more on his announcing game than he’s been during this event!

GAME 1 – Smith 8, Reyes 1 (Innings: 5)
Smith entered this contest with a record of 3-0, just like Reyes. Still, some must have wondered if he belonged with such elite company, and he had yet to pass the Reyes Test, one that so many have failed.
Smith won the lag and broke well. Reyes responded with a good move, but Smith then laid down a super safety and Reyes, after much deliberation, left a shot. Game on. Smith opened with a tricky shot with the bridge, made a ball, and then one for himself and Reyes. He followed this with a bank, a thin cut, and two more balls before being forced to play safe, leading 7-1. After a couple more safeties Reyes missed a bank and left Smith with a long shot, which he confidently pocketed to take the first game of this epic set.

GAME 2 – Reyes 8, Smith -2 (Innings: 20)
Game 2 was the first of three lengthy battles in the match. They each took intentional fouls in the fourth inning. Reyes sank a ball and played safe, so he led, 0 to -1. In the sixth inning Reyes sold out, but Smith missing hung an easy shot in the jaws and Reyes made it, tying the score at 0-0. An exchange of safeties took place, which included fouls by Smith in the ninth and sixteenth innings (this one being a precise long distance kick), at which point Reyes led, 0 to -2. On his seventeenth turn Smith left Reyes with a long combo and he fired it in, then made a combo and another ball on top of it, added two more balls, and headed for his chair leading 5 to –2. In his nineteenth trip to the table Smith missed a bank, sold out, and Reyes ran out to win the game and tie the score at 1-1.

GAME 3 – Reyes 8, Smith 6 (Innings: 17)
This one game is reason enough to buy this set of DVDs! In the fourth inning Reyes left Smith with a bank, which he made. He then hung another ball and Reyes softly kicked it in, so after four innings Smith led, 2-0. In inning number eight Reyes left another bank, which Smith deposited in his pocket along with two more balls before playing a safety. Reyes fouled in two of his next three turns and so, after 11 innings, Smith led, 5 to -2.

In the thirteenth inning Reyes played a carom, missed, and left a shot. Smith made it and played safe, extending his lead to eight balls at 6 to -2. Surely he would win this game. But on his next turn Smith missed a difficult shot and Reyes made a combo and three more balls before missing a bank. He now trailed, 6 to 2, but had turned the tide. After a couple of safeties Smith overcut a shot, but left the ball just above his pocket and an inch or so off the rail. Then the fireworks exploded! Reyes made a difficult bank and sent the cue ball four rails around the table and to the foot rail for position on the ball Smith had missed!! This was easily the Shot of the Tournament. The Magician opened a cluster, made two more balls, and then finished a run of 6 and out with a cross table cut. He now led in the match, 2-1.

GAME 4 – Smith 8, Reyes 4 (Innings: 2)
Reyes followed his spectacular win with a super break. Smith attempted to take a ball out of Reyes’ pocket on his first inning, but left Reyes with a shot. Reyes ran four balls and played a safety, but left Smith with a shot. Smith opened his Big Explosion with a bank and a super carom shot! He ran to the game ball and played superb position on a ball near the side rail on the other side of the table, then sank the gamewinner to tie the score at 2-2.

GAME 5 – Smith 8, Reyes 5 (Innings: 24)
The grand finale lasted for 40 minutes and 24 innings. Smith broke well, and then laid down a strong move in his second inning, forcing Reyes to take an intentional foul. Smith kicked, fouled, and left Reyes with a shot, which he made before hanging his next shot in the jaws, leaving Smith with an offensive opportunity. Smith ran four and went into a cluster but came up with nothing, pocketed Reyes’ hanger, and took a 3-1 lead. In his fourth inning Reyes rolled a ball in front of his pocket, trapping Smith. When his take out failed, Reyes made the hanger and three more before missing a bank. He now led, 5-3. A long series of safeties followed, so when Reyes took an intentional foul in the thirteenth inning, his lead was now 4-3. In the fifteenth inning Smith executed a super bank take out move. Reyes sold out on a kick shot and Smith ran three to take a 6-4 lead.

In the nineteenth inning Smith went for a bank, missed, and Reyes made a cross over bank to close to within a ball at 6-5. But he left Smith with a long rail bank and Danny rifled it home, then hung the match winning ball in the jaws. Reyes played a take out for the ages, banking off the end rail into the ball, removing it, and sending the cue ball around the table and back to the foot rail, leaving Smith without a shot! The end was fast approaching, and the suspense was electric. After two safety exchanges Smith hung a bank, Reyes missed a long shot, and Smith was given the hanger, ending this titanic struggle between the Old Master (Reyes at 60) and the Rising Star (Smith, 28). With his win, Smith earned a place in Sunday night’s finals. He will play the winner of Sunday’s match between Reyes and Shane Van Boening.