Predator Florida Open Turns To 10-Ball

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The 6th Annual Predator Florida Open began on May 25 at the Hyatt Regency in Jacksonville, bringing in 73 players, a third of which were non-Americans.

The first round saw several big names drop to the one-loss side, including Earl Strickland, Johnny Archer, Gabe Owen, Ralf Souquet and Rodney Morris.

Strickland was ahead in the entire match against Go Takami, but he turned on the afterburners at the end, pulling ahead to win 9-8. Archer trailed the whole match against the speedy Sparky Ferrell, who won 9-7. Owen also lost a 9-7 match to local favorite Butch Croft.

Souquet, who just won the Enjoypool.com 9-Ball Championship the weekend before, lost to Dennis Hatch, 9-7, who is also in the midst of a hot streak. Morris lost a close 9-7 match to Rodolfo Luat. Jeremy Jones made it to round two, defeating Rocky McElroy, 9-3, but couldn’t rally against an 8-4 deficit against Thomas Engert.

The Florida Open, sponsored by Predator, has changed its format for the first time in its six-year lifespan, to 10-ball, race-to-9, with alternating breaks. One significant modification has been established, however, so that If the 10 ball is made on the break in the two closest corner pockets to the rack, it will not count as a win. It will count only as a pocketed ball and the player will continue his inning.

“All pro events should move to 10-ball. It should just be automatic,” said Owen. “Now strategy, cue ball control, kicks, banks, and even shotmaking becomes more into play. Any good player that thinks he can compete with the pros should push for playing 10-ball.”

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