a beautiful TAR



I missed the first day of TAR 35 featuring Dennis Orcollo vs Shane Van Boening because I am, like many of you, A Working Stiff.

The tally for Day 1 stood thusly: Shane Van Boening 35, Dennis Orcollo WTF. (Okay, Dennis had 19.)

But, seriously — I did not expect the gap between Mr. Orcollo (considered by many to be the top money player in the world for 10-ball) and Mr. Van Boening to be an astounding sixteen games. It was true Mr. Van Boening had home-field advantage, but I did not think it would be worth sixteen games out of the first 35. Did you?



Well, at least I could watch Day 2. If there was ever a moment for a magnificent comeback, it would be now (so I could watch it in person, of course).

Prior to Day 2, I had discussed the situation with a friend of mine, someone who had excellent knowledge of pool, pool players, and betting. He, too, was suprised at the significant gap after Day 1. I asked him for his Day 2 prediction. His prediction: Mr. Orcollo would greatly reduce the gap (or close it completely) and go into Day 3 en fuego and en route to winning the whole thing.


Mr. Van Boening opened Day 2 with a two-pack.

6:11 PM, June 8th
#TAR35 // 45-25, Shane // Dennis miss safe on 2B Shane out, Shane wins next, Shane B&R, Shane B&R (made 5 balls on the break), Shane B&R
follow me & be entertained


Picture says it all.


Mr. Orcollo had his moments where we held our breaths wondering if some 12-pack run was imminent…

6:30 PM, June 8th
#TAR35 // 45-30, Shane // Dennis wins, Dennis wins, Dennis B&R (long bank caromed 1B off 10B with a bridge!), Dennis B&R, Dennis B&R
follow me & be entertained

…but ultimately, they did not come to pass, and Mr. Van Boening and was relentless throughout


I have never had the chance to watch Mr. Orcollo play a long set up close. I missed his all-around match (TAR29) with Mr. Van Boening last year, and prior to that, the only time I saw him play up close was this year’s Jay Swanson Memorial tournament final (in which he played very well on 4″ pockets). In the studio, I had the best chance to see how he played. He played well, but his scratches on the break and dry breaks threw monkey wrenches into the plans of any rack-stringing.

Once table control was relinquished to Mr. Van Boening, he was liable to win three, four, or five games before giving Mr. Orcollo another chance. Momentum was definitely on the side of Mr. Van Boening.
Even my phone’s predictive text eventually recognized Mr. Van Boening’s propensity to break and run.
This match was one of the very few TAR match where 99% of my updates focused solely on the games themselves. I had no need for witty filler. The match was just that good. When asked to describe the match, I said, “Ten-ball clinic.”

When the dust settled at 70-46, Mr. Van Boening had stretched his lead from 16 games the day before, to 24.

Uh, wow.

I did not expect this. At worst, I thought Mr. Orcollo would hold steady at a 16-game deficit.

Later on, I discussed the outcome of the match with my knowledgeable friend who was traveling through sketchy cell reception territory. He said Mr. Orcollo could wage a comeback on the third day–with divine intervention.



Mr. Orcollo went into Day 3 of TAR35 with the largest difference of games in TAR match history: 24 games. Mr. Van Boening needed 30 games while Mr. Orcollo needed 54. Mr. Orcollo would need to outscore Mr. Van Boening 2 to 1 to win.

Mr. Van Boening started the day off with a two-pack again and maintained his regular break-and-runs. For him, really, all he had to do was maintain a lead. A 24-game spot to a fellow professional is, well, tough to outrun.

5:25 PM, June 9th
#TAR35 // 73-48, Shane // D hook S on 1B miss 6B S out, Shane B&R, Shane B&R (4-10 combo), both miss 1B D out, Dennis B&R
follow me & be entertained


Is Mr. Van Boening bummed out here? I don’t know. A 23-game lead over one of the world’s best would make me pretty happy. But, I am a simple player made happy by simple things. Perhaps it was the scratch on the break — the ONLY one I remember from Mr. Van Boening.
6:13 PM, June 9th
#TAR35 // 77-54, Shane // Shane B&R, Shane B&R, S scratch break (OMG! WTF?) D out, Dennis wins, D hooks S on 1B gets BIH runs out
follow me & be entertained


This is Mr. Orcollo’s thinking pose when he has to consider a difficult situation.


Mr. Orcullo seemed to have better control of the break today, and broke and ran more often. He also made some amazing shots.

6:36 PM, June 9th
#TAR35 // 79-57, Shane // Dennis B&R, S safe D on 4B D kick sell out S runs out, Shane wins, S miss safe on 1B D runs out, Dennis B&R
follow me & be entertained
6:50 PM, June 9th
#TAR35 // 80-58, Shane // D miss 2B safe S run out, S rattle 1B D jumps in 1B 3-rail banks 2B (for reals!) run out // S needs 20, D needs 42
follow me & be entertained
7:14 PM, June 9th
#TAR35 // 80-63, Shane // Dennis B&R, D misplay 7-9 play safe on 7B S miss kick D out, D break dry S miss 6B D out, Dennis B&R, Dennis B&R
follow me & be entertained

I felt like I saw more safety play today and some of the safes were just eye-opening to a hack like me.


I believe this match did not allow jump cues.

Mr. Orcollo is one of the best I have ever seen when it comes to jumping with a full cue.


At halftime, Mr. Van Boening’s lead had “reduced” to a still considerable 16 games.


The two of them obviously impatient to continue during the halftime break.

Mr. Orcollo played stronger on the third day, outscoring Mr. Van Boening 35-30 in total games won.


In the end, Mr. Van Boening prevailed with a score of 100-81, a difference of 19 games. Mr. Orcollo, with absolutely no cushion, needed to play almost perfect to win. Unfortunately, dry breaks, scratch breaks, and the hook here and there (sometimes self-inflicted) had too big of an effect and Mr. Van Boening, despite looking rather melancholy at times, won with a comfortable margin, his final rack being — of course — a break and run.



Well, sh#t.

I’m not going to tell you anything you don’t already know, or suspect, but here goes.

By the way, absolutely fantastic stats on this match may be found at Pool-Trax.net. Do take a look. Numbers tell a great story. The crux of it all: Shane Van Boening broke and ran 41% of the time while Dennis Orcollo broke and ran 25.9% of the time.

I think Mr. Van Boening is well-nigh unbeatable on TAR’s table. His break–which must be programmed into the very air he breathes at this point–is his greatest asset in 10-ball. We have seen his break lead him to victory over Alex “The Lion” Pagulayan back in TAR21 (2011) when the pockets were just 4-1/8″. Now at 4-1/2″, the pockets make Mr. Van Boening’s 10-ball game seem like 7-ball every time. The Magic Ball Rack is also a contributor as standardization allows for exploitation of consistency, and you can see Mr. Van Boening exploit that sh#t to the hilt.

This is the same old song I have been singing off-key for sometime now. But, that’s cool. This match was one of the best TAR matches I have ever seen. While Mr. Van Boening’s break is… Mr. Van Boening’s break, I found that I learned a great deal watching how Mr. Orcollo played position.

I am curious to see how this match would play out again NOT on TAR’s table.

And yes, they both wore the same shirt all three days of the match.

I will buy this match when it becomes available through TAR On Demand and I highly recommend you do the same.

I have heard rumblings Mr. Van Boening may play one or more of the young Taiwanese champions who will soon be visiting the United States for the BCAPL events in July. I really hope that happens. I have my tent, bonfire supplies, marshmallows, and a 55-gallon drum of RedBull (which I hate) ready.



t h a n k s once in a while I chill the f#ck out
EMCA | Justin Collett & The Action Report | CueSports International | Mark & Sunny Griffin
first time hello & hello again
str8shooter | Matt | Amy (congrats!!)


according to the grapevine, Ko Pin-Yi could be next...

5 Replies to “a beautiful TAR”

  1. I watched the match. Even with Dennis getting blown out it was a great match and it’s always awesome to watch Shane play at full bore.

    The pictures you got of Dennis’ jump shot are amazing. Great write up as well!!!

    1. Yes! I had to tell people just because the score was lopsided did not mean it was not a good match.

      1. Yeah I agree. Plus Dennis ‘winning’ day 3 made it even more exciting because then you got to see Dennis off. I think I heard them say they are trying to get this up on Video On Demand rather soon. I hope that is true because I’m gonna be buying this one.

  2. Awesome write up as always… wish I could have been there to watch. Maybe one of these days my schedule will match with a good TAR match, until then please continue these awesome blogs so we can live the action through your eyes!!

    1. Glad you enjoyed the write up! I don’t know what else they have on the horizon but the buzz makes me think things could get interesting. 🙂

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