Calderone Defends at Topwater Memorial
Kim White-Newsome
Jul. 23, 2017
Alex Calderone
Alex Calderone
Alex Calderone went undefeated at the 2nd Annual Topwater Memorial One Pocket Event, ousting Arkansas’s Devin Poteet in the finals, 3-2, to defend his 2016 title. The annual one pocket event honoring pool player personality, Jerald “Topwater” Jackson, was held at Bogies Billiards and Sports Bar in Houston, Texas, July 14th-16th, 2017, featuring 32 players competing for over $8,000 in prize money. The star-studded field included Manny Chau, Cliff Joyner, Devin Poteet, Richie Richeson, James Davis, Jr., along with two female competitors, Kim Newsome and Ricki Casper.
 
Following the Friday afternoon player auction, one round played out on Friday night, with matches resuming Saturday at 12pm. Calderone began his quest to repeat, booking wins over James Davis, Jr., 3-1, Manny Chau, 3-1, and Arkansas’ Craig Sebastian, 3-2. Tyler Partin made his way to the final four on the winners’ side, defeating Phil Mecum, 3-1, Robert Valliere, 3-2, and Scott Proud, 3-1. Dallas’ Corey Flud came on strong, defeating David Kurjan, 3-1, Richie Richeson, 3-0, and hometown favorite, Sylver Ochoa, 3-2. Rounding out the winners’ side final four, young gun J.C. Torres defeated Kim Newsome, 3-1, Rene Martinez, 3-1, and Wes Read, 3-2. On the west side, after losing his first match to Richeson, 3-2, Austin’s Jason Harkrider ended Kurjan, 3-1, Bobby Roland, 3-2, and John Newsome, 3-0. Harkrider was stopped by Read, 3-2, falling just shy of the final eight. Following his loss to Calderone, Chau eliminated James Bulice, 3-0, Rick Moreno, 3-0, and Ochoa, 3-1. Davis Jr. was on the war path, taking out John Nevin, 3-1, Rene Martinez, 3-0, Joyner, 3-0, and Proud, 3-0. On the one loss side, Poteet wouldn’t be denied, eliminating Robert Turner, 3-0, Mississippi’s Bille “Colonel” Miller, 3-0, and Sebastian, 3-1. Back on the east side, Flud made quick work of Torres, and Calderone overwhelmed Partin, both by the same score, 3-0. In the hot seat match, Flud fell to Calderone, 3-0. On the one loss side, Chau eliminated Read, 3-2, and Partin, 3-0, while Poteet exhausted Davis Jr., 3-2, and Torres, 3-0. At this point, Chau and Poteet had each logged five match wins and three games lost, meeting each other in a duel for third place. Poteet was on fire and Chau couldn’t fade the heat. The 20-year ended Chau, 3-1, and blew past Flud, 3-0, for a shot against Calderone, and the title. The final match between Calderone and Poteet had spectators on the edge of their seats. Calderone took the first game, and Poteet answered back. Both players exhibited control and calculation, executing brilliant defense, which produced a neck-and-neck ball count. Poteet edged out the third game, and Calderone responded, winning the fourth. On the hill, it came down to the last few balls. In the end, Calderone pulled ahead, defending his title, and becoming the 2017 Topwater Memorial Champion.
 
Jerald “Topwater” Jackson was a big part Houston’s pool community for more than 30 years. Jackson was well known for his big gamble, never-say-die attitude, and his insatiable thirst for action. One pocket was his favorite game. Jackson’s heart gave out on October 30th, 2014. He was 53.
 
Many thanks to David and Shannon Richardson, owners of Bogies Billiards and Sports Bar (1960) and Bogies West (Jones Road), who graciously added $2,000 to this event. The professional live stream was produced by Ray Hansen and www.PoolActionTV.com, and Darrold Stiehl of Champion Cues provided cue repair throughout the weekend. Organizers would like to extend their deepest gratitude to those who traveled from so far away, to participate in this event. Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi, were well-represented. Lastly, congratulations to Bryan Bump from Little Rock, Arkansas, who won a Poison VX Break Jump Cue in the weekend cue raffle!
 
The next big event in Houston, Texas will be the Space City Open VI, November 30th-December 3rd, to be held at Bogies Billiards and Sports Bar. This annual event features Open 9-Ball, One Pocket, 9-Ball Banks, and Ladies 9-Ball. For more information, visit www.SpaceCityOpen.com.