Lining goes undefeated to win inaugural stop on Taom Tips Tour at Michael's in Fairfield, OH
Skip Maloney - AzB Staff
Nov. 11, 2016
Being a player himself, Tony Chohan had a unique perspective on the conduct of pool tournaments, up to and including the 15 in which he had participated this year (2016) alone. He's not the first player to attempt the organization of a pool tour (Shannon Daulton, Tony Robles, Mike Zuglan, Linda Shea, Adrianne Beach, and quite a few others come immediately to mind), but he may be the first to have guaranteed $5,000-added to each and every one of the six proposed stops on his proposed Taom Tips Tour. 
 
 
That tour got underway on the weekend of November 4-6 at Michael's Billiards in Fairfield, OH, and though he didn't get some of the players he'd been expecting to attend (Joey Gray, Chip Compton, Sky Woodward and Justin Bergman, for example), the $5,000-added event did draw 51 entrants to Michael's Billiards, and did feature some of the 'name' players he'd hoped would support his tour ambitions; Billy Thorpe, Dennis Hatch, Robb Saez, Shane Winters, Shane McMinn, and the finalists, Antonio Lining and Ramil Gallego from the Philippines (among others). Lining went undefeated to win it, while Gallego won five on the loss side to challenge him a second time in the finals.
 
 
It was Lining and Thorpe who ended up facing each other in the hot seat of this one. Thorpe had shut out Martin Zavala in one winners' side semifinal, while Lining downed Louis Demarco 8-3 in the other one. Lining claimed the hot seat 8-6 over Thorpe and waited on the return of Gallego, whom he'd defeated in a winners' side quarterfinal.
 
 
Gallego opened his five-match trek back to a rematch against Lining with an 8-6 victory over Tommy Stephenson. He followed that with an 8-3 win over Shane McMinn (who'd just eliminated Robb Saez), which set him (Gallego) up to face Zavala, coming over from the winners' side semifinal. DeMarco picked up Shane Winters, who'd eliminated Brandon Hallett 8-6, and Hatch 8-2.
 
 
The two loss-side combatants, Gallego and Winters, advanced to the quarterfinals; Gallego 8-2 over Zavala, and Winters 8-4 over DeMarco. Gallego took the quarterfinal match 8-3 over Winters, and then denied Thorpe his shot at the event title with an 8-6 victory in the semifinals.
 
 
It was to be a true double elimination final. Lining finished it in a single set, defeating Gallego 8-4 to claim the event title.
 
 
The next $5,000-added stop on the six-event Taom Tips Tour was scheduled for this weekend (Nov. 11-13), and was to be hosted by High Pockets in Memphis, TN. The following stop, scheduled for Dec. 16-18, will be hosted by the Carom Room in Beloit, WI.