Day One Of US Open One Pocket in the Books

Day One Of US Open One Pocket in the Books

Sixty-four top one-holers began their clash in Vegas on Wednesday at the CSI-produced US Open One Pocket Championship at the Rio Hotel and Casino.

The competition is a race to four games on the winner’s side and a race to three for the one-loss bracket. This can be a very frustrating discipline for players unaccustomed to the deliberate pace this game incurs. When the rapid-fire Earl Strickland had to endure a match with Bernie Pettipiece that went for over three hours only to lose 4-3 he reacted and had words for slow play that were anything but praiseworthy. Strickland had been put off of his game by the pace and in the hill-hill match missed a cut that he would normally own and that missed shot cost him the  match.

Strickland was not the only giant to fall in the first round. World number one Darren Appleton found himself on the wrong end of a 4-2 scoreline with Justin Hall and moved left early. No huge surprise there, however, as Justin Hall seems to find friendship with the rails on any table. He is a superb banker and his cue ball control is nothing short of amazing.

Jeremy Jones did not have a good day. After disagreeing with two decisions in the game by the tournament directors he unscrewed his stick and left the arena. He felt the decisions favored his opponent, Shane Van Boening, and left the arena saying that this was the “Shane Van Boening” tournament. Sometimes calls go your way, sometimes they do not.

Scott Frost is reveling in this, his favorite medium. He completely dominated Ronnie Wiseman 4-1 in the opening round, a match that should have been tough, and then wiped out Junior Tolentino 4-0. Frost must face Francisco Bustamante in the first round on Thursday. Carlo Biado, who just won the Hard Times event last week, is enjoying his week thus far. He destroyed young gun Brandon Shuff 4-1 and looks as comfortable at One Pocket as he does in the rotation games.

Mika Immonen does not offer himself up as a One Pocket champion. His specialties are the rotation games as well, but he was looking sharp as his shot-making skills can allow him to prevail over most, whether he knows the ‘moves’ or not. But all that changed when he faced Ike Runnels, a One Pocket veteran. Ike took him down 4-2 and today faces another toughie in the form of Corey Deuel.

Charlie Williams arrived at the Rio only moments before his first match but the rush did not seem to bother him. He calmly destroyed two opponents by the identical scores of 4-1 and never appeared uncomfortable at the tables. Thursday will find him against Bernie Pettipiece who, after his defeat of Strickland, has no fear of taking on the giants.

Play continues today and you can follow all of the action on the AZB live scoring page and you can watch all of the headline match-ups on TAR.

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