Aicinena Takes Poison Lone Star San Antonio Open
Kim White-Newsome
Jul. 14, 2017
Eric Aicinena, Rudy Sanchez and Manny Chau
Eric Aicinena, Rudy Sanchez and Manny Chau
Eric Aicinena proved he is the player to beat in San Antonio, going undefeated in a field of 57 competitors, overcoming Manny Chau in the finals, 6-5, to capture the inaugural Poison Lone Star Billiards Tour, San Antonio Open 9-Ball Event. 
 
Recently named the #1 Sports Bar by the San Antonio Express News, Fat Racks Sports Bar and Billiards hosted a stellar event this past weekend, July 8th-9th, featuring some of the best players Texas has to offer. Champions in attendance included Manny Chau, Ruben Bautista, David Guttierrez, and local favorites, Rudy Sanchez, Sam Manaole, and Frank Ferrer, Jr. Fat Racks added a generous $1,000 to the purse, and with 100% payback in the player auctions, the tournament paid an impressive $10,870. Thanks to the support of Fat Racks’ owners, Daniel and Alice Tarpley, title sponsor Poison by Predator Cues, PoisonBilliards.com, and sponsors Cyclop Pool Balls facebook@CyclopPoolBalls, Ozone Billiards OzoneBilliards.com, APA of North Harris County, facebook@APANorthHarrisCounty,  OutsvilleBilliards.com, and Jimmy Jenkins Realty , the Poison Lone Star Billiards Tour posted one of its largest payouts to date. 
 
This special event featured one, open 9-ball division, as opposed to the two-division format (amateur and open), typical of Poison Lone Star Tour Events. On Saturday, players raced to six on both sides, and on Sunday, the one loss side was a race to five. San Antonio’s Eric Aicinena carved out wins over Cassidy Adams, 6-0, Fernando Colunga, 6-5, Joey Barajas, 6-1, and Candy Ramos, 6-1, while David Gutierrez “David G”, bested Jimmy Jenkins, 6-2, Daniel Tarpley, 6-0, Mickey Woinicki, 6-5, and Santiago Garza, 6-1. Sam Manaole logged wins over Clem Saenz, Justin Espinosa, 6-2, and Nuevo Laredo’s Felipe Yniguez, 6-3, while Manny Chau ousted Rudy Sanchez, 6-4, Albert Luna, 6-3, and Lynn Mascheck, 6-2. As the final four winners’ side took shape, one loss side matches were underway. Following a second round loss to Aicinena, 6-5, Colunga took out Chris Ramoz, 6-3, Neil Khan, 6-5, Martin Ramos, 5-2, Luna, 5-4, and Candy Ramos, 5-2. Following a third round loss to Garza, 6-4, Frank Ferrer, Jr. took out David Gonzalez, 6-5, Mark Canchola, 6-1, Joe Heinaman, 5-2, and Ariel Estrada, 5-1, before falling to Garza, once again, 5-2.  After suffering a second round loss to Chau, 6-4, Sanchez made an incredible comeback, securing eight wins, eliminating Ruben Bautista, 6-5, Jenkins, 6-0, Gail Eaton, 5-2, Sophia Lopez, 5-0, and Mascheck, 5-2. Newcomer Benje Piamonte eliminated Mingo Ybarra, 6-2, Espinosa, 6-2, and David Leal, 5-3, before falling to Mickey Woinicki, 5-4. In turn, Woinicki met his fate with Yniguez, 5-4. As the final four on the one loss side panned out, winners’ side action witnessed Chau defeat Manaole, 6-4, and Aicinena slide by Gutierrez, 6-5. Still alive on the one loss side, Colunga defeated Garza, 5-3, while Sanchez claimed his sixth win over Yniguez, 5-3. Manaole ended Colunga’s run, 5-2, while Sanchez overwhelmed Gutierrez, 5-2. Meanwhile, Chau and Aicinena teed off for the hot seat. Overwhelming play by Aicinena sent Chau to unfamiliar territory, 6-3. On the west side, Sanchez overcame Manaole, 5-2, but was stopped short by Chau, 5-1. Once again, Chau would face off with Aicinena, going head to head in the true, double elimination final. The crowd was silenced as Aicinena took the lead, 4-1, and Chau came back to tie it up, 4-4. Aicinena won the next game and Chau answered back. It was hill-hill and the tension was so thick, you could cut it with a knife. Following a series of forced and unforced errors in the second half of the rack, Aicinena caught a break, winning the final game, and his first win on the Poison Lone Star Billiards Tour.
 
There were six ladies competing in this event, including Gail Eaton, Sophia Lopez, Kawania Watson, Megan Hardin, Angela Garza, and Clem Saenz. Congratulations to Sophia Lopez who finished 13th-16th, taking home the “Last Lady Standing” award in this open 9-ball event.
 
On Thursday, July 6th, 2017, the Texas billiard community suffered a great loss with the sudden passing of a dear friend and fellow pool player, Helen Hayes (43 years-old). Upon hearing the news, Fat Racks organized a balloon release on Saturday, raffled off product, and accepted donations, all on behalf of the Hayes family. Over 100 balloons were released in Helen’s honor, and $1,100 was raised to assist with medical and funeral expenses. The tour would like to express its deepest condolences to Helen’s family and friends, and thank each and every person who came out on Saturday to support this impromptu remembrance and benefit.
 
There were a number of players at this event competing on tour for the first time.  The tour would like to thank all those players and invite them back at every opportunity. The tour would also like to thank Jimmy Jenkins for his assistance in running the event, and Jerry Olivier for performing cue repair throughout the weekend. Congratulations to one of our newest players, Eddie Martinez, on winning the Poison Armour Cue Case, and Charlie Elders and Chase Nevels on winning Poison VX Break Jump Cues, in the Poison Raffles. 
 
The tour would like to acknowledge and thank its “special supporters” of this event, Veteran Albert Cortez, “Nino”, Tito Fernandez, Pat Castro “Chicago”, and Zach Ballas. 
 
Serving pool players, pool rooms, and sponsors since 2009, the Poison Lone Star Billiards Tour celebrates its 10th Anniversary in 2018 as the longest-running billiards tour in the south. A special 10th Anniversary Event will be held for players who compete in at least two events between now, and January 1st, 2018. The tour strongly encourages all players to meet the eligibility requirements, in order to gain entrance into this one-of-a-kind tournament. The next tour stop will be held on August 26th-27th, 2017, at Bogies Billiards West in Houston, Texas. For more information, please visit www.LoneStarBilliardsTour.com