Saturday afternoon, Dennis Orcollo felt fortunate to gut out a sudden death victory against John Morra in the quarterfinals of the Aramith 9-Ball Players Championship. He stated after the match at Astoria’s Steinway Billiards that he was having issues with his vision as well as his hand.
The Filipino wouldn’t be as fortunate in Sunday’s semifinals. Plagued with missed shots and some unfortunate rolls, Orcollo was defeated 13-8 by Denis Grabe.
“The last two days I didn’t play good. I was missing the ball many times,” Orcollo said. “It’s okay. A lot of times in tournaments you start playing great and finish playing not-so-great.”
“Dennis missed a couple of shots and that gave me the chance to play my game which I successfully did,” Grabe said after the match.
Orcollo got off to a quick start, breaking and running out the first two games and winning three of the first four. After the Filipino missed a jump shot on the 3-ball in the fifth game, Grabe proceeded to win six of the next seven racks. Grabe had a chance to double his lead to 8-4 but pocketed the 8-ball with a bit too much force, sending the cue ball down table where it practically stuck to the 9-ball.
Grabe said he was shaky from the start over the shot and should have sent the ball to the opposite side of the table instead of trying to hold the ball on the same side.
“I played it too hard and it was a silly mistake but I was lucky to get back into the match and was able to win,” Grabe said.
Orcollo was able to mount a rally off of Grabe’s miscue, winning that game and the next two to tie the match at seven games each. It would be the last time Orcollo challenged for the lead. He missed the 3-ball after breaking in the 15th game and watched as Grabe ran out and then won the next five games, building a 12-7 lead. Even Grabe’s misses turned into hits. Facing a difficult angle on the 3-ball in the 18th game he attempted to play safe and watched as the ball disappeared into the side pocket. Left with a sharp angle on the 4-ball, Grabe was able to pocket the ball and finish off the rack.
“I got a couple of rolls, but you need that in pool,” Grabe said. “Overall, I played great.”
After Orcollo pulled to within 12-8 with a 2-9 combination shot Grabe ran out to win the match after Orcollo broke dry.
The Estonian will now face the winner of the second semifinal match between Chris Melling and Alex Kazakis. Melling cruised by Fedor Gorst of Russia, 13-7 while Kazakis needed a sudden death shootout to narrowly escape Jason Klatt of Canada in the quarterfinals.
The Aramith 9-Ball Players Championship is the first event of the 2018 World Pool Series. This event is being held at Steinway Billiards in Astoria, Queens, New York City from April 19th to 22nd, 2018. The World Pool Series is sponsored by Aramith, Rasson, Predator, Iwan Simonis, Tiger, and Kamui. Our suppliers and partners are Billiards Digest, CueScore, Let’s Go Print, On The Wire, Outsville, UpState Al, and the WPA.