The Pacman Cup singles event is in the books and the new champion is none other than the legend Efren Bata Reyes. After defeating Canadian John Morra in the the 16 place bracket he went on to win the event playing Demosthenes Pulpul in the final and coming out ahead in a thrilling double hill match. To watch the entire final click on the video below.
The story should be that Reyes who is now 60 years old has won his first big rotation tournament in sometime. As he has been getting older most of his success has been in the game of one pocket and not as much in games like 9 and 10 ball, which are widely believed to be a “young mans” game. However here he is winning what I understand to be $13,000 US according to the announcement made at the end of the final.
Unfortunately for Reyes this has been overshadowed by what happened in the semi-final match between Demosthenes Pulpul and Carlo Biado. It was bad enough in my opinion what happened to Shane Van Boening vs Ronnie Alacano, when at 5-3 down SVB shot a straight in 10 ball into the corner but failed to call it and lost the game. Because it is widely accepted that in this format of rules one does not have to call “obvious” shots, SVB quit in protest as this is a flimsy rule that has been loosely enforced throughout the tournament.
What happened in the Biado/Pulpul match was even more gut wrenching. If you fast forward to the the final rack in the video below as this was a double hill match, you will see Biado make what he believes to be a match winning run-out to make it into the final of the Pacman Cup. This time the 10 ball lay literally inches away from the side pocket and Biado played straight in shape. It is such an automatic shot that he celebrates his guaranteed win as the cue ball comes to a stop. Then he bends down and makes the simple shot. Pulpul jumped out of his chair and motioned towards the referee that Biado failed to call the 10 ball. The referee confirms Pulpul’s reaction with a shoulder shrug and nodding his head.
Pulpul then began jumping around like he won the lottery. One has to ask themselves, has our sport lost any sense of sportsmanship or professionalism when you see this reaction?Understandably so, there is money at stake and in general money is hard to come by in the sport. However it looks like the game has become so cutthroat that even pro players have lost sight of the bigger picture.
There is no argument that can be made to suggest to me that what we saw here is nothing but detrimental to the sport. Let it be made clear this “call shot” rule is in place so that balls cannot be made or a game won on a “fluke” shot. It is not however in place to cheaply steal a game or in this case a very significant match. All this does in my opinion is further push our sport into obscurity by adding even more confusion to the common fan who wants to watch great shot making and skill, and not see a match of “technicalities”.
Feel free to join our Facebook Page to join in on the debate, as this rule has brought forth a lot of discussion in recent days. Also check back with us at Cue Sport Nation as we will also have the results from the upcoming Pacman Cup doubles event.