14and1.com wraps up 2nd annual 14.1 League Nationals

room owner Ernie Arcaro - winner Luke Hubbard - runner-up Jim Manno - third Angelito Carpio

On May 29-31, 2009 14and1.com league players gathered at the beautiful Atlantic City Billiard Club in Egg Harbor Township, NJ for the 2nd annual 14.1 League National Championships. 14and1.com and all the players would like to once again thank Atlantic City Billiard Club owner Ernie Arcaro and his staff for their generousity and outstanding service throughout the 3 day event. Ernie made sure the players had everything they needed through the entire event.

Friday morning the 29th the doors opened at 10am for practice and saw league nationals qualified players walk through the door from all over the country in attempt to capture the title of 14and1.com 2009 National Champion. Players qualified through their local 14and1.com League by finishing in the top 2 in their local league. 14and1.com leagues are now running in 10 states throughout the USA.  We also saw a wide range of league handicaps among the players in attendence ranging from C+ rated to AA rated players in the 14and1.com handicap system. We took a few moments to meet one another and chat a bit, then league owner and director Kevin Vidal called the players meeting and draw at 11am. After the draw the smiles and humbling experience of meeting new friends and fellow 14.1 enthusiasts turned into game faces, and we were ready to rumble!

The format was double elimination with players using their league handicap. The winner of the loosers side must beat the last player standing on the winners side twice in the final with a true double elimination format. The top half of the winners side of the flow chart would see Luke Hubbard playing out of D&D Family Billiards in Thorndale, PA making his way steadily to the hot seat match on the winners side with escaping a couple close matches along the way. The bottom half of the winners side chart would see Angelito Carpio also playing out of D&D Family Billiards in Thorndale, PA making his way to the hot seat match with his steady shotmaking and a 47 ball run in his second match. This set up a hot seat match between the 2 stable mates that put an interesting twist on the hot seat match. Of course they were jokingly talking trash to each other all the way up to the match which made it fun and brought many laughs to all of us. But when the match came up Saturday night the game faces were on! Angelito (Gel) Carpio rated AA would have to give Luke Hubbard rated C+ a large spot in the battle to come. Angelito started off well to show Luke he could overcome the spot and put a 32 ball run together, Luke would not rattle though and stuck to his game plan of not getting nervous and just to try and play to the best of his ability, making the shots he could make and not try and make shots he knew he could not make. It appeared Angelito would catch the spot about half way through the match but then the grind of 14.1 for 2 days prior set in on Angelito and he made a few unforced errors and left the table wide open for Luke to shoot some balls in and get closer to the finish line. In the end Luke would prevail and send Angelito to the 1 loss side and wait for the 1 loss side to catch up, and to hopefully get back to Luke for a rematch in the finals.

The 1 loss side would see a trio of players from Minnesota battling after 1 loss to try and get a chance at the title, Matt Lind and Richard Barnier shooting out of Jimmy's Pro Billiards in Columbia Heights, MN and Joel Loverncevic shooting out of  Shooter's Billiard Club, Burnsville, MN all proved to be tough opponents but fell short of a chance in the finals in some close matches with Matt rated B+ finishing 7th Richard rated B finishing 5th and Joel rated C+ finishing 9th. Also putting together several wins on the loosers side after an early loss was Steve Hathaway rated B+ from Vermont, but at the end of the day Steve came 3 balls short in his final match against Jimmy Manno to finish out tied for 7th. Chris Smith rated A+ from Latham, NY was also putting in an outstanding effort on the 1 loss side after an early loss but he fell short as well finishing out tied for 9th.

On the top half of the 1 loss side we saw Joe Stern III rated A- on his game and and pilling up several wins and looked like he might play his way right into the semi-finals against Angelito Carpio. But Joe would run into Andy Walker from Fenton, MI before he could get a shot at Angelito. Andy rated A in the handicap system was playing strong from the opening with several 30+ ball runs in his matches, but was sent to the 1 loss side in the 4th round of the winners side by Angelito Carpio. This matchup between Joe and Andy went back and forth trading runs and strategic safeties, but in the end Andy prevailed by 1 ball when Joe had no shot, and needing only 1 ball Joe played a safe but tweeked a ball out out of the stack leaving Andy a shot for the remaining 3 balls he needed, which he calmly ran out for the win.

Remaining in Andy Walker's way of getting to the semi's and on the bottom half of the 1 loss side was Jimmy Manno rated A+. Jim had been playing steady as anyone throughout the tournament but had incurred a late winners side loss to be sent to the 1 loss side. In fact it was Andy Walker who had sent Jimmy there so the rematch was on! Jimmy opened up strong to put pressure on Andy, but Andy would battle to stay in the match and keep it within striking distance. But this time the battle went to Jimmy Manno in a hard fought match. Andy Walker would finish up in a hard fought respectable 4th place finish.

Now for Jimmy Manno A+ it was Angelito Carpio AA who had been waiting to try and get another shot at Luke Hubbard C+. We were down to 3 players and the excitement was in the air! We would soon have our 2nd 14and1.com National Champion! Jimmy and Angelito lagged to start the match Sunday afternnoon for a spot in the finals. Jimmy kept up his steady play and opened up early on in the match with a 30+ ball run, Angelito seemed to have gone a bit cold from sitting but managed to hang in the match with his outstanding shotmaking. In the end it was Jimmy Manno prevailing after getting out to an early lead. Congrats to Angelito (Gel) Carpio for a great tournament and hard fought 3rd place finish!

Sunday evening the stage was set, it would be Jimmy Manno rated A+ having to beat Luke Hubbard rated C+ twice in the true double elimination format to take home the National title. Luke was joking "I already got over being nervous...... I think". Two true gentleman and the railbirds could not favor either player. The crowd applauded both players throughout the match. Jimmy opened up once again with his steady trademark play, always being tough and keeping himself in a game. Luke looked like he might have actually been a bit nervous early on and made some errors he would not normally make at his skill level. The pace of the match would see Jimmy Manno creeping up on covering the spot and it looked like it might come down to either player being able to win it in the final few balls of the match. But about 3/4's way through the match Luke was able to take advantage of an error and step up to a wide open table, he was able to take many of those balls off the table and take a lead. Jimmy put in a great effort once he got another opening but in the end it was not to be today. Luke Hubbard kept his cool and made the balls he needed to win the 2nd annual 14and1.com National Championships. Congrats to Jim Manno for a great 2nd place and hard fought finish!

14and1.com would like to also thank all the league operators throughout the country that make this happen, without you guys it won't happen, our hats are off to you!

The new season for 14and1.com is already underway for qualifying to the 2010 Nationals, any room owners wishing to host a 14and 1.com sanctioned 14.1 league please send an inquiry from our contact page.