WCCC Wednesday Night, presented by Route 1 Vapors, featured the last Switcholio of 2023 to take place at The Winner’s Circle, and a strong field of 56 came out to do battle.
The finals featured the reigning WCCC Player of the Month Brian Johnson teamed with Eric Kenney to take on Jermaine King, appearing in his third straight finals, and Matt LaCava, making his 2023 WCCC debut.
Johnson & Kenney flew out of the blocks quickly in Game 1, a Kenney 7 capping a 13-0 blitz over the first three rounds. LaCava slowed things down with a deuce, and a wash in the next round was a hopeful omen for King & LaCava, but Johnson sandwiched a 5 and a 4 around a wash to end Game 1 in a 22-2 blowout after eight rounds.
Game 2 started out hot, but this time in King & LaCava’s favor, as King scored 8 while LaCava held to give their side an 8-0 lead after three. Johnson swiftly struck back with one whole hand of his own, but King responded with half a dozen to give them a 14-5 lead after five. King & LaCava looked poised to roll to victory and force a Game 3, but this was their high water mark of the finals, as a pair of 3s and then a six-pack turned that 14-5 lead to a 17-14 deficit in three quick rounds. A wash was the last bit of calm, as Johnson ground out a greasy 4-2 round for a deuce, and then Kenney closed the show emphatically, a fourbagger with only 1 in return making for an 11 point round and the sweep with a 30-14 Game 2 victory after eleven rounds.
The third place game featured Kevin Gallagher & Mike Pigatti vs Ryan Burke & Jesob Rockwell. The explosive scoring that was found in the finals did not make their way over to the other court, as this was more like Chinese water torture. Burke & Rockwell started brightly, building a 6-0 lead over five rounds, before a Pigatti 5 made it 6-5. The next four rounds? Wash, wash, wash…and wash. After that scintillating stretch, we got a single from Gallagher to make it 6-6 after eleven rounds, which is how long the longer game of the finals lasted. A pair of deuces by Burke & Ferguson looked to see them pull away, but another Pigatti 5 gave his team a 11-10 lead. A six-pack for Rockwell pulled them out to a 16-11 lead, but their opponents chipped away, a pair of deuces of their own and a Pigatti single leveled the scores at 16-all an amazing eighteen rounds in. Another was led to a Burke 4 to put his side on the brink, but Gallagher made a shove shot with his last bag to save the game with another wash. Pigatti then mirrored the final, closing the show with a fourbagger while his opponent could only muster a 5 to put Gallagher & Pigatti on the last step of the podium with an epic 23-20 victory over TWENTY-TWO rounds, three rounds more than both games of the finals combined.
In the consolation tier, Mike McNamara Sr & WCCC newcomer Paul Downey defeated Katy Singlar & Anna Sorensen 22-15.
The finals produced all of the top PPRs, with Eric Kenney’s 8.34 followed by Jermaine King’s 8.15 and Brian Johnson’s 8.13. Johnson led the way with 8 fourbaggers.
For the first time in just over 5 months, the airmail failed to reach $1000, with $898 on offer. Ryan Burke, who had been drawn the previous week and hit a bag, got a chance to go back-to-back, but did not seriously threaten the hole, rolling over the entire amount.
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We’ll see you next week!