Corey Deuel (23) may be the best player on the planet coming off wins
at the BCA Pro 9-Ball Open in May and the Reno Open in June. Deuel
is riding high.
He has also won the ESPN/Time Warner 9-Ball Open (1999); the Warner 9-Ball Open (1999); the 1997 Viking Tour Champion; second in the Sands Regency Reno Open (2000) and the Lexington All-Star 9-Ball Championships (2001); third in the World Pool Championships in Cardiff, Wales (2000) and the Derby City Classic One-Pocket (2001); and fourth in the Music City Classic (2001). Cory was selected Rookie of the Year by Billiards Digest and was part of the American Mosconi Cup team (2000). Quite an impressive resume for only two years on the pro tour.
Cory began playing pool at the age of 14 at Drexline Billiards in a suburb on the westside of Philadelphia, where he grew up. Nowadays he can be found practicing and taking on all comers at Cornfed Red's Billiards Cafe or Sportsmen's Billiard Caft both in Columbus, Ohio. Deuel had come a long way from his early days and had learned a lot along the way. Ray Barretta, was his first teacher, a regular at Drexline, and one of the room better players. Even world champion Jimmy Caras taught Deuel the art of shooting softly. He recognized his natural talent and taught him how to use position and patterns. Corey is now working on perfecting his game. He may only practice a couple of hours a day but he is always playing, calculating and improving on his stroke. Why is he so good? According to Corey, "I'm mot making any stupid errors. I'm not really missing. Before I was missing easy balls, now I'm not missing easy balls. I pocket the balls better now."
Corey admits that he is an aggressive player and has learned a lot. When asked why he thought he was missing the easy shots he replied, "I was playing too good a position. Before I was playing good position so all my shots were easy. And it was hurting my stroke. Now I'm practicing the harder shots more each match. I've been trying to rifle a few balls here and there to open my stroke up. You rifle a few balls before your match, it opens your stroke up. That's what I've been doing in my practice - hitting my balls a little harder." Corey is a very confident player. He does not have any doubts in his mind before he takes a shot. The decision has been made and he has come to trust his stroke. There are so many players that run out the balls good. It's just the decision stuff, when to push out, where to push out to." Corey says he looks at things differently than other players. He doesn't really learn from other players anymore. "I'm just trying to figure my own game out through trial and error." Corey weighs the odds of what he thinks his opponent will do and takes it from there. He is fearless taking on all players.
The next tournament we'll see Corey at is the 2001 World Pool Championships in Cardiff, Wales, July 14 - 22. He likes the format for the tournament "Race to 5, round robin, eight players to start out with and then single elimination from then on out. If I play good out there I should do good. I did pretty good in it last year but any tournament could go any way."
Corey is sponsored by Viking and uses their cue. He has accomplished a high run of 4 racks in rotation and has run 120 balls in straight pool. When asked what was his favorite game he responded "8 ball or rotation." And as to what Corey thought he played best, the answer was a confident, "Any one of three - 8 ball, 9 ball or rotation."
Akita Japan will not see Corey for the World Games this August 16 -26. Players were chosen based on their BCA rankings last year. He admits "There was a few tournaments there I didn't do any good in." He's content ot "just stay here and work on my game." Corey still has his critics because of a little hustle in his game. In my opinion, that's part of being a champion! You must use all of your arsenal when playing with the Big Boys.