Dennis Orcollo wins US One-Pocket title

The Philippines' consensus Number One Pool player added yet another prestigious title to his glittering resume last Monday.

Dennis Orcollo claimed the US One Pocket championship with a 5-3 finals victory over American Corey Deuel. The final win capped a glorious unbeaten run in the Rio All-Suite Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada for the former world 8 Ball champ.

It was a sweet day also for another Filipino as Carlio Biado bagged third place. The La Union-born shooter from Quezon City had the distinction of eliminating former champ Scott “The Freezer” Frost deep in the Loser's Bracket.

Orcollo wins US$7,500 for his week's work. Biado takes home US$3,300 while another Pinoy, Francisco Bustamante, banked US$1,500.

Two other Pinoys, Warren Kiamco and Amang Parica, also finished in the money, as did Filipino-born American Santos Sambajon.

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One Pocket is a game using all fifteen balls that, as the name suggests, only allows players one pocket, (either of the corner pockets near the foot spot) to pot balls. The first player to pot eight balls wins the rack. It can be a highly tactical game with lots of safety exchanges but oftentimes the best players in the world, once given an opening, can make the eight balls vanish in mere minutes.

The discipline is considered to be a fine test of strategic thinking, safety, and pocketing as well. Efren Reyes is generally considered to be one of the top One Pocket players in the world; although he was not in Vegas for this event.

Orcollo, managed by Perry Mariano's Bugsy's Promotions, brushed away Michael Reddick in his first match, 4-1 before sending another American, Danny Smith, to the Loser's Bracket, 4-2.

The Surigaonon then blanked L.C. Carter 4-0 before facing his first name player, Larry Nevel. Nevel also fell by the wayside via a 4-2 scoreline. Another American, Chris Bartram, was Orcollo's next victim by the same score.

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In the “Hot Seat” final between the only two unbeatens in the field, Orcollo dominated Deuel 4-0 to reach the final. Deuel's trip to the One-Loss side was short as he dealt Biado his second loss of the tournament, knocking him out via a 3-2 scoreline. That result propelled the Ohioan to the final.

Because One Pocket matches, even short races, can last for hours, the one-loss matches were shorter race-to-threes. In fact the Deuel-Biado match took five hours to complete.

In the race-to-five final the Filipino jumped to a 2-0 lead as the play, unsurprisingly, was very defensive. Deuel fought back to level at 2-2 before Orcollo got his nose in front again 3-2. The American and former U.S. Open 9 Ball champ battled back to level again.

Deuel blundered in rack seven on his break return, allowing Orcollo to take a quick rack and reach the hill at 4-3.

Deuel was taking the early initiative in rack eight, building up a 7-2 ball count lead, with only one ball remaining to force a final rack decider.

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The American Mosconi Cupper passed on several tough shots but made a mistake with a loose safety. Orcollo pounced on the error, ran out the last six balls, and thrust his arms in the air in delight, knowing he had won the title.

Deuel had to console himself with the runner-up's prize of US$4,800.

Orcollo had little time to savor the victory because the US 10 Ball Championship was already underway in the same venue.

Many big names in Pool are in Vegas for both events, including the top Pinoys and luminaries like Earl Strickland, Shane Van Boening, Darren Appleton and Charlie Williams.

Info on the 10 Ball event is available on

Follow Bob on Twitter @bhobg333.