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Headstring News
Parica fills out Skins Semifinals
Oct 22, 2005, 12:22 AM

Jose Parica snared the final spot in the semifinal round of the Skins Billiards Championship late on Friday night and, in doing so, narrowly averted a playoff with at least two other opponents to reach the big-money rounds of the $130,000 tournament.

Parica will be joined in the semis - where $42,000 will be up for grabs - by Johnny Archer, Luc Salvas, Rodney Morris, Santos Sambajon, Ralf Souquet, Cory Deuel and Danny Basavich. The four players then advancing to the finals will play for an additional $54,000.

The Skins opening round kicked off Friday afternoon at the Resorts hotel and casino in Atlantic City, N.J., with 16 players divided into four brackets, playing for $500 per game. Each bracket consisted of 16 games, thus allowing a total of $8,000 in prize money per bracket. The eight players with the highest prize totals at the end of the round would advance to the semis.

By the end of play in the third bracket, it became clear that a player would need at least $2,000 to have a shot at the semis. When Basavich reached $3,000 late in the fourth bracket, all the pieces fell into place. If Parica could win one more game and reach $2,500, the final eight would be set. If he finished with just $2,000, he and at least two other players with $2,000 would have to duke it out in a playoff for the eighth spot

It came down to the 15th game, when the shooting order allowed Parica one final turn to break.

Charlie Williams and Mika Immonen, both with $2,000 from previous rounds, huddled in the back of the cavernous Superstar Theatre, rooting for Basavich to win the deciding game. But even on the ropes, Parica was too clever for his foe. Stymied by a safety, Parica decided to foul intentionally and sabotage Basavich's runout by nestling the 5 next to the 8. Sure enough, Basavich's runout stalled at the 5, and Parica nailed a tough cross-side bank on the 5 to take control of the table and eventually win the game.

"I'm more experienced than anybody," the plucky Filipino said. "I think. I make the smart play."
The Skins action will finish up Saturday evening. Check back for the final results.

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