Gomez goes undefeated to take sixth stop on the Action Pool Tour
Skip Maloney
Jun. 18, 2018
(l to r): Roberto Gomez, Raymond Walters (TD) & Chris Bruner
(l to r): Roberto Gomez, Raymond Walters (TD) & Chris Bruner
As fellow Filipino pool players competed in tournaments from Raleigh, NC (at the Doug Beasley Custom Cues 9-Ball Open) and Dallas/Ft. Worth (at the DFW 9-Ball Tour), Roberto Gomez landed in Midlothian, VA for the sixth stop on the Action Pool Tour. Gomez went undefeated through a field of 38 at the June 16-17 event, hosted by Diamond Billiards in Midlothian.
 
Gomez is on track to have his best recorded earnings year, ever. To date, according to our records, his best earnings year was 11 years ago, in which, though he didn’t win an event, he did finish as runner-up in the WPA World Championships in the Philippines, sandwiched between winner Daryl Peach and third-place finisher, Vilmos Foldes. The runner-up finish earned him $40,000, $5,700 short of his total that year, and more than any single year’s earnings since he entered the AZBilliards database 13 years ago.
 
In addition to going undefeated, Gomez ended the weekend with a 73% winning game average, just shy of three out of every four games he played. The percentage was bolstered by a shutout against his hot seat opponent; a rarity at almost any level of the sport.
 
Gomez opened with what turned out to be one of his strongest challenges in the event; a 9-5 win over Soo Emmett. He followed that with a 9-2 win over Bethany Sykes, and a 9-4 win against Greg Sabins, which set him up to face Cameron Lawhorne in one of the winners’ side semifinals. In the meantime, Gomez’ separate opponents in the hot seat and finals - Scott Roberts and Chris Bruner - advanced to face each other in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
Gomez sent Lawhorne to the loss side 9-3 and was joined in the hot seat match by Roberts, who’d defeated Bruner 9-5. Then came the hot seat shutout, which sent Roberts to the semifinals against Bruner and left Gomez in the hot seat.
 
On the loss side, Bruner started his brief trip to the finals against Sabins, who, following his defeat at the hands of Gomez, had downed Tuan Chau 9-7 and Cary Dunn 9-5. Lawhorne picked up Larry Kressel, who was in the midst of a six-match, loss-side winning streak that would take him as far as the quarterfinals. Kressel had, most recently, eliminated one of the APT’s strongest players, Shaun Wilkie 9-3, and Mat LeMire 9-2.
 
Bruner downed Sabins 9-6, as Kressel was eliminating Lawhorne 9-2. Bruner then ended Kressel’s loss-side run (and weekend) with a 9-3 victory in the quarterfinals. Bruner completed his loss-side run with a 9-4 victory over Roberts in the semifinals.
 
Though Bruner would chalk up seven racks in the race-to-11 finals, making him Gomez’ toughest challenge, Gomez prevailed 11-7 to claim the APT title.
Steve Fleming, the APT’s current points leader, won the Second Chance event, which drew a short field of eight entrants. Fleming lost his opening round, and then, four on the loss side to challenge hot seat occupant Cameron Lawhorne. He defeated Lawhorne 6-2 to claim the Second Chance title.
 
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Diamond Billiards in Midlothian, as well as sponsors Kamui, Diamond Billiard Products, Viking Cues, Predator Cues, Tiger Products, Ozone Billiards, Aramith Balls, Simonis Cloth and George Hammerbacher Advanced Pool Instructor. The next stop on the Action Pool Tour, scheduled for July 14-15, will be hosted by Champion Billiards Sports Bar in Frederick, MD.