Top billiards player Dennis Orcollo denied entry, deported from US

FILIPINO BILLIARD ACE Dennis Orcollo hs US visa issues GAB vows help

LOS ANGELES – Top Filipino cue artist Dennis Orcollo has been denied entry to the United States and was deported reportedly due to visa infraction.
Orcollo, who is considered the Philippine billiards’ “money-game king” having won numerous US tournaments, including the 2016 US Open Straight Pool title, and the US Open 8-Ball Championship, arrived at the Los Angeles International Airport on January 2 but was held for 31 hours and refused entry for overstaying and sent back to the Philippines the following day.
It was gathered that with the infraction, Orcollo would not be allowed entry to US in five years, prompting him to hire a lawyer in his bid to fix his visa issues.

“For sure I (will) miss a lot of events in the US. At this moment, I have no idea when will I be able to come back,” ABS-CBN quoted him in a report.

He said he will seek legal advice to secure an athlete’s visa which might allow him to compete in the US again.
Reports from the US indicated that it was the second offense of overstaying by Orcollo.
The Games and Amusements Board (GAB) immediately offered help to Orcollo.
“The GAB is very sorry to hear that our top professional billiard player and world champion has been detained in US for overstaying beyond his visa expiration,” GAB chairman Abraham “Baham” Mitra said in a statement.

“We cannot blame Dennis Orcullo if he stayed much longer in US due to luck of tournaments in the country,” said Mitra.

He said the agency is open to lend Orcollo legal help to secure an athlete’s visa which may allow him to compete in the US, despite his trouble with immigration.

“GAB is more than willing to assist him in renewing his Professional Billiard Player License and make the endorsement to US Embassy,” said Mitra.

“We in the GAB are ready to lend a helping hand. Kung ano ang puwede naming maitulong, susuporta kami. Hopefully, after na makapagpahinga puwede niyang makausap ang aming legal team,” Mitra told ABS-CBN.

“I have been blessed with wonderful fans and a successful career, and being able to travel to the United States has been a big part of that. I do not take that for granted. It has been my honor to represent the Philippines in the United States,” Orcollo said later in a statement in a GMA News report.

“I have deep respect for the laws of the United States and was very surprised when I was recently refused entry into the United States because I really did not understand the officer’s decision,” he said.

Orcollo is back in the Philippines and is currently working to fix his visa issues in order for him to continue competing in the United States.

“Through my wonderful supporters in the United States, I have now hired legal counsel who has explained to me why the officer may have had the impression that I was doing something wrong,” he said.

Orcollo is a decorated professional pool player.

The 42-year-old athlete boasts four gold medals and one bronze in singles division of the Southeast Asian Games while he copped one gold and one bronze in doubles.

He also has one Asian Games gold plum after ruling the 2010 singles edition.

Recently, Orcollo reached the semifinal round of the 2021 US OPen Pool Championship but ultimately fell to Aloysius Yapp of Singapore. Yapp was then defeated by another Philippine bet Carlo Biado, who went on to win the title.

“I am fortunate to have much support in the United States and in the Philippines, and with that support, we are actively working on a solution to fix this misunderstanding, so that something like this will not happen again in the future,” Orcollo added.

“Again, I thank you all for your support and good wishes. I wish everyone a happy and successful New Year and look forward to continuing to compete for the Philippines worldwide once my U.S. visa situation has been resolved,” he said.