Allen Hopkins, Shane Van Boening, & referee Frank Del Pizzo (Photo by Don Hettiaratchy)


SUPER BILLIARDS EXPO SATURDAY NIGHT PRO ACTION

By NYC Grind Contributor, Geoff Conway - Pool Junkie

Saturday evening saw the last four players standing on the winner’s side. The players left standing were John Pinegar against Shane Van Boening, and Thorsten Hohmann up against Corey Deuel, to find who would play for the hot seat.

Waiting on the one-loss side was Dennis Hatch after his win against Mike Davis, which he won with a score line of 9-7, and Shawn Putnam, who ended Rodney Morris’s chances of taking down the title.

Johnathan Pinegar came out the winner in a close game with Shane, and continued his fine shooting to deposit Shane into the waiting arms of Dennis Hatch. This match was always fairly close, with Shane being down 5-3 three in the earlier stages of the match, only to turn it around to 7-5 in his favor at one point. However, Mr. Pinegar never got the memo that Shane should get the win at this point. He dug in and took every game from this point on to end up the winner at 9-7.

I have been impressed with not only the skills of Mr. Pinegar all week, but his coolness at the table. No matter how hard the shot he always kept his composure, and came up with the correct solution. This now put Pinegar in the hot seat on the winner’s side, to wait for his finals match on Sunday afternoon at 3:30 pm.



Johnathan Pinegar (Photo by NYC Grind contributing photographer, Don Hettiaratchy)


In the next match up, we had Corey against Thorsten, which on paper looked as though it would probably be a close match. Even though Thorsten got of to a good start in this match with a score of 2-1 in his favor, it did not take Corey long to establish his authority in this match, and soon had the score to 6-3. From this point on, he coasted to a convincing win with the final score at 9-5.

On the one-loss side, the next match up was Dennis Hatch against Shane Van Boening. Well, what can I say about this one. Shane played flawless pool, and Dennis just could never seem to catch a break, the odd scratch and Shane laying good safes on him led to a final score of, yes, 9-0!

I am sure that Dennis did not want to end his impressive run this way, but it seems he had no choice in the matter. Ironically, Dennis ended the run of Earl the Pearl on Friday night with a score line of 9-1, so if he needs counseling, he knows who to call.

Next up in the one-loss bracket were Shawn Putnam and Thorsten Hohmann. Thorsten was always in charge in this match, with the score line 4-1 in his favor right away, although he allowed Shawn to get it back to 8-6, before closing the match out 9-7.

This now put Thorsten Hohmann against Shane Van Boening to play on Sunday morning at 11:30 am, to see who would who would meet Corey Deuel, 2009 runner-up, in the semifinal. The winner of that match would play Johnathan Pinegar in the final at 3:30 pm.

Corey Deuel (Photo by Don Hettiaratchy)


FINAL DAY MATCHES

11:30 am Sunday morning we saw the first match up between Shane Van Boening (The winner in 2008) and Thorsten Hohmann,. This match was close throughout, and although Shane was ahead at 6-5, Thorsten went in front at 8-6 to put himself on the hill. However, Shane kept the pressure on and would not allow his opponent to put another game on the wire, running out the winner at 9-8.

This match was appreciated by the knowledgeable fans, who witnessed the phenomenal skills that Shane demonstrated in his brilliant run outs. We all get to see why practice makes perfect.

Next up was the 1:30 pm match between Corey Deuel and Shane Van Boening in the semifinal, with the winner getting the chance to play Johnathan Pinegar, who was waiting in the wings for the afternoon final.

Shane Van Boening has looked like a man on a mission throughout this event, and even though he was dealt a loss from Johnathan Pinegar last night, I still think he is looking to take down his second Super Billiards Expo event.

This match turned into a lopsided affair, with the game staying close at 3-2 to Shane, but soon got away from Corey, who only managed to get another two games, before being closed out 9-4 by another display of almost perfect pool from Shane.

Shane Van Boening (Photo by Don Hettiaratchy)


We now had the final match up at 3:30 pm between previous winner Shane Van Boening and an outsider in the winner’s circle, Mr. Johnathan Pinegar from Alabama.
We had great expectations from this match, with Johnathan already having beaten Shane 9-7 on Friday evening. However, Shane had shown us nothing but impeccable pool all week and there was no need to think that he would not be firing on all cylinders.

The final match, which was one race to 13 games, did not live up to such expectations. Shane left Johnathan no room to breathe, absolutely dominating the match with his stellar play. Johnathan had some concern early in the match over the racking of the balls, as this event implemented a different racking system, and I think that he may have let this distract him from the job at hand.* Shane just played awesome pool rack after rack, and soon closed out Mr Pinegar 13-5.

This was a very disappointing performance from Johnathan, who never showed us the qualities of his game that got him through to the final. Nonetheless, he did put his name in the final of a major pro event, but unfortunately had to settle for second place.

To sum up Shane’s performance both on and off the table, we saw another fine display of all that is good in pool. He has shown fans that he is a sportsman, a great ambassador for the sport, and a worthy champion. This marks Shane’s second win at this event, following his win in 2008, where he beat Shaun Wilkie in the final.

Now Shane has set a standard of*a two year gap between his wins at Valley Forge, I look forward to seeing him back on the podium in 2012.

I am still suffering from jet lag or some other lag from this event, but I promise that I will be following up with a complete overview of the pro event in the next couple days.

Geoff Conway - Pool Junkie

The NYC Grind Team: founder Jerry T, editor Alison Fischer, & contributor Geoff Conway (Photo by Don Hettiaratchy)


NYC Grind would like to thank all the players and fans who came out to watch this awesome event at Valley Forge, and would also like to thank you for staying on “The Grind” for the latest news and updates on the Expo.* Keep tuned in for more news, photos, and VIDEOS to come!

NYC Grind’s coverage of the Super Billiards Expo is sponsored by Poison Billiards and Simonis Cloth.

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