Tuesday, December 06, 2005

King Of The Hill


December 4, 2005 4:34 p.m

Magician is King of the Hill

It turns out it was harder for Efren Reyes to get to the final contest of the IPT King of the Hill International 8-Ball Shoot Out than it was earn the $200,000 match up with fellow Hall of Famer and defending King of the Hill Mike Sigel. Reyes defeated Sigel 8-0, 8-5 before a standing-room only crowd in Orlando today. Runner up Sigel takes $100,000 of the $1 million purse.

Reyes got into the fray after 30 IPT players played two days of round robin 8-ball to advance to the Hall of Fame round. On Friday, the six tour players who made it through joined 12 Hall of Fame members and were drawn into three groups. Reyes came out of that day’s competition tied 3-2 with two other players for a chance to advance to the final day. It was his 4.20 GLI that kept him alive.

On Saturday, six players were left standing, including newcomer Marlon Manalo, who was undefeated until the final day of competition. Although he faltered a little on the first day, dropping two matches, Reyes lost only to his countryman Francisco Bustamante in the finals round. Bustamante also took care of knocking off Manalo, who won all but his last to pairings on the week. Reyes then beat Manalo in the last round of the day, nailing a 4-1 record and leaving Manalo at 3-2. That was good enough to earn a shot at Sigel today for the big money.

Climbing Up the Hill

In the first set today, Reyes won the lag and went out to a 1-0 lead. Sigel couldn’t get to the table and when he did, he struggled. “I can’t make one ball in a row,” he told the crowd. “How’s the GLI lookin’ now?”

Reyes broke and ran two games and let Sigel back a few more times, but the score was 8-0 before anyone knew what happened.

In the second go-round, Reyes went out ahead 4-0 before an open table in the fifth game gave Sigel an opening. Sigel ran the table then broke and ran two more. In the eighth game, a Sigel scratch gave Reyes the chance to run out. In the ninth game, a Reyes ball went in the wrong pocket and Sigel got the table back to run out.

Sigel was able to put together a few games when he ran out the ninth and then broke and ran game 10. Game 11 was a comedy of errors with both players missing several tries, but Reyes got back on track and broke and ran the final set to win it all. Reyes let out a yell and shook his cue in the air, grinning ear to ear.

Sigel, who never stopped talking during the match, had a few more words for the crowd. “I think I’ll just go home and sulk while I put this $100,000 in the bank,” he said. “This is the best loss I’ve ever had.”

Reyes, mobbed by TV cameras, answered questions right and left. “I was under so much pressure, that’s why the mistakes. My heart was pounding. Sigel is a great player; I had a lot of pressure.”

Armed guards had deposited $200,000 cash on the table next to the trophy, and a beaming Reyes leaned over and wrapped his arms around the stack of cash as cameras flashed.


Blogger AL said...

Hmm...I wish I had a portion of that 200 000! Hahha!

2:47 AM  

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