The Efren Reyes 9 Ball Open High Roller Report. As seen through the eyes of one of our regular customers, Dennis Presiloski from Canada.
Efren Reyes had a relatively easy path through the early rounds of the knockout stage, but local players Elias and Maxim did more than just enjoy the show and got a few nice wins in to slow him down.
Scott Cooney got past Stuart Pettman, only to run into an in-form Roland Garcia next.
Scott and Roland had an epic safety battle, with neither willing to concede the first shot, but when Scott inadvertently sank the five he was forced to take on his own safety, leaving an open 1-ball for Roland, who then ran out, and continued on to take the match 9-5.
Pattaya’s own young gun, Elias, dropped a close match with Pipe, then had his hands full taking on Denis Grabe on the one-loss side. He stayed calm throughout and put up a valiant effort, but in the end it was Denis Grabe who moved one step closer on the 1-loss side.
And in a match that was closer than the score might indicate, Kevin Uzzell took advantage of the three foul rule to go on the hill against Rauiri, then finished strong with a 9-2 victory to advance.
The winners side was down to Efren, Pipe, Roland, and Kevin Uzzell, with both Efren and Roland advancing by scores of 9-5.
Efren and Roland went at it to determine who would be in the hot seat. The betting money was on Roland, with a bid of 16000 baht in the Calcutta auction, and the betting money was pleased to see Roland advance, where whoever emerged from the one loss side would have to beat him twice.
On the one loss side, Stuart Pettman had already dispatched of Estonian pro Denis Grabe with an impressive 9-3 score, but came up short against a charging Kevin Uzzell.
In a battle of Pattaya hotshots, Kevin drew Megabreak’s own Scott Cooney, who took full home court advantage to advance by 9-4.
Waiting for Scott was none other than Efren Reyes, who in between matches has been playing all comers at chess for 100 baht per game. I have yet to hear of someone winning the 100 baht.
Scott got off to a slow start, or in his own words, “was playing like shit,” as Efren pulled out to a 5-1 lead. Not one to go down without a fight, Scott rallied back to 7-7, but it was not to be, as Efren won it 9-7.
At long last, after more than 1200 games played, the final was set to be played between Roland and Efren. Start time 4:30AM.
• Since Roland had already beaten Efren
• Since Efren had been playing exhibitions non stop for the past three days
• Since Efren is 62 years old and it was already the wee hours of the night
Most expected Roland to make quick work of him. But most were wrong.
Roland got up 4-2 early on, but then “the magician” reached into his hat and pulled out, not a rabbit, but the magic he’s become famous for. Roland played great, but great is not good enough when one is dealing with magic. Efren won every game from there on to take it 9-4.
The structure of the competition was such that the player from the one-loss side would have to win twice. As if a dare in this case, posing the question, “Do you believe in magic?”
But once again, most were wrong. Efren Reyes was never headed as he pulled out another 9-6 win over Roland Garcia, to win the tournament that bears his name.
Deny magic at your own peril.
Other winners on the night include Abdullah from Qatar, who bet 10k on Efren to win and took home 40k.
There were also rewards for the best mid-handicapper (A+8/13) with Elias Lonnroth, Maxim, and Yut splitting 7500 baht.
As well as a reward for the best low-handicapper, for having the balls to swim with the sharks. Tong from Bangkok, Robert Schnabel, and Spencer Henderson divided 7500 amongst themselves.