But then, just two days ago, the same publication reported that Reyes is dropping out completely from Derby City. The famous Woodstock of Pool begins next week, on Jan. 21st. Reyes consistently has dominated it, having been declared Master of the Table in 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007 and last year -- more than any man living.
The legendary "Bata" cites chronic back pain and his failing eye sight for his decision to skip this year's DCC. He also said he's "losing his touch." When asked if the DCC decision also meant he was retiring, Reyes replied: "Hindi pa naman I think kaya pa." As near as I can figure, that enigmatic combination of Tagalog and English means "not yet, I still think so."
I'm guessing that what Bata is suggesting here is that he feels like he still has some gas left in the tank. And I would certainly agree. After all, he won last year's Derby City 8-ball division, won the Fatboy Challenge, and placed second in the banks division. He also won the Spanish Open in 2010 and the Predator International 10-ball event. According to AZbilliards, only Darren Appleton collected more in in prize money.
It's incredible to me that Reyes is even contemplating retirement. I understand that he's just a few years shy of his 60th birthday, but for my money he's still the greatest one-pocket player alive. It will be a sad day when the Magician finally hangs up his cue.
-- R.A. Dyer