Liu wins 10 on the loss side to meet and defeat Applebee in finals of Sunshine Pro Am stop
Skip Maloney
May 6, 2018
(l to r): Qi Liu & Nick Applebee
(l to r): Qi Liu & Nick Applebee

 

Nick Applebee chalked up six wins to get into the hot seat of the April 28-29 stop on the Sunshine ProAm Tour. Qi Liu, his opponent in the finals, lost his opening match, and then won 10 on the loss side to meet and defeat him in those finals to claim the event title. The $500-added event drew a full field of 64 entrants to Corner Pocket Billiards in Largo, FL.
 
In races to 7, Applebee’s opponents in his six-match trip to the hot seat recorded an average of three racks against him. He got by Dominick Dunn (4), Sameer Mohamad (2), Bill Stroup (5), and the man who’d sent Liu to the loss side in the opening round, Thomas White (1), to draw Angel Martinez in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Robert Batson, in the meantime, defeated John Dandurand (5), Ed Peterson (3), George Saunders (5), and shut out Randy Ervin to draw Mitchell Keiser in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
By identical 7-1 scores, Applebee and Batson advanced to the hot seat match over Martinez and Keiser. For only the second time, in what would prove to be his last match win of the weekend, Applebee allowed an opponent to score five racks against him and claimed the hot seat over Batson.
 
On the loss side, Liu had put five match wins behind him, before downing Randy Ervin 5-1 and surviving a double hill fight against Che Mrvos, to draw Martinez, coming over from the winners’ side semifinal. Keiser picked up George Saunders, who’d defeated co-tour director Bobby Garza, double hill, and then spoiled any thoughts Liu might have been entertaining about a re-match against White, by shutting White out.
 
Liu downEd Martinez 5-3 and in the quarterfinals, faced Keiser, who’d ended Saunders’ four-match, loss-side winning streak, double hill. Liu then ended Keiser’s weekend 5-3 in those quarterfinals, and punctuated his long, loss-side journey with a shutout over Batson in the semifinals.
 
If Applebee had any doubts that he was going to face a strong challenge in the finals, they were probably put to rest watching Liu down Batson, who’d put up an almost-double hill fight against him in the hot seat match. They were definitely put to rest when Liu ended his long, loss-side trip with a 9-6 win in the finals that gave him the event title.
 
Tour directors Janene Phillips and Bobby Garza thanked Stephanie Mitchell (owner of Corner Pocket Billiards, who competed and finished in the tie for 25th place) and her staff, as well as sponsors Play the Game Clothing Co., Kamui Tips, AZBilliards, and Jacksonville Roofing USA. The next stop on the Sunshine State ProAm Tour, scheduled for the weekend of June 2-3, will be hosted by CM’s Place in Seminole, FL.