2nd Annual ACS National 9-Ball Championships Shows Big Increase

Vying for a $15,000 added prize purse mostly funded by the Rhythm City Casino and Isle of Capri, members of the American CueSports Alliance convened at the River Center in Davenport, Iowa, November 9-13, to compete in the 2nd annual ACS National 9-Ball Championships. Sporting a 50% increase in participation numbers over the 2004 event in Reno, Nevada, the predominantly Midwest entry list favored a greater winner's list from the region.

Jesse Bowman continued to add to his "bar-table phenom" legend by adding another national title to his extensive resume. But it was not an easy march to the Men's Master Singles title. Bowman lost to Bettendorf, Iowa's Josh Johnson in the winner's bracket finals 9-11, after barely clipping some other "phenoms": Derek McMaster (Richfield, MN) 11-10, Jeff Sergent (Joliet, IL) 11-9 and Tommy Hernandez (E. Moline, IL) 11-8. Bowman recovered to eliminate Chad Vilmont (Clinton, IA) in the loser's bracket finals 11-3. Previous to his win over Bowman, Josh Johnson outshined Dwaine Bowman (E. Moline, IL) 11-7, Gordy Vanderveer (Carrollton, TX) 11-9 and Chad Vilmont (Clinton, IA) 11-6. Familiar with national title hunting, Bowman pulled out all the stops against Josh Johnson in the finals to claim the crown by 11-7, 11-9 margins!

A round-robin preliminary qualified four top women's stars for the Women's Master Singles finals board. Jessica Frideres (Ft. Dodge, IA) avenged her only loss in the prelims by turning back Megan Blair (Lake Station, IN) 9-6. Frideres then claimed the hot seat by clipping former pro, Debbie Wilson (Moline, IL) 9-8. Wilson recovered in the loser's bracket finals to oust Amy Latzko (Oak Forest, IL) 9-6. The finals was a one-set runaway, as Frideres left no doubt of her championship timbre, taking the crown by a 9-2 margin!

The 118-player Men's Open Singles division showcased a rising star and a tested veteran - Wesley Nemmers (Clive, IA) and Terry Porter (Muscatine, IA). On the road to the finals, Nemmers eclipsed Jared Kelley (E. Moline, IL) 9-5, Ryan Behnke (Farley, IA) 9-7, Mike Burke (Andalusia, IL) 9-6, James LaFavre (Rock Falls, IL) 9-8 and Toney Bringman (Victor, IA) 9-3. Nemmers fell short against Porter in the winner's bracket finals 6-9, but amended his lot by setting Bringman in 3rd place with a loser's bracket finals win - 9-6. Porter, also eligible for the Senior-aged side pot of $1500, always controlled his destiny by outpointing Ron O'Meara Sr. (Silvis, IL) 9-3, Gary Norman (Davenport, IA) 9-4, Mike Brubaker (Freeport, IL) 9-5, Jon Kent (Wausau, WI) 9-6, Chris Dykes (LeClaire, IA) 9-4 and the subsequent win over Nemmers. With another chance at Porter in the finals, Nemmers again fell short by a 9-6 margin to afford Porter the crown in both the Men's Open and Men's Senior Singles divisions!

Jacqui Herrera (Bartlett, IL) was the class of the Women's Open Singles field, outpacing Sandra Jensen (Lone Jack, MO) 7-5, Kerri Morrison (Edgerton, KS) 7-3 and Kristie Turner (Moline, IL) 7-6 before being upended by Vickie Martin (Kansas City, MO) 7-6 in the winner's bracket finals. Herrera dispatched Kristie Turner again (7-4) in the loser's bracket finals to earn another crack at Vickie Martin, who had earlier defeated Karri Barsema (Fulton, IL) 7-3, Robin Wellman (Minnetonka, MN) 7-5, Mary Costello (Oak Forest, IL) 7-4, and Herrera. The finals was all Herrera, as she double-dipped Martin for the crown by 7-5, 7-2 margins!

By virtue of their finishes in the Men's Open Singles divisions, Iowa's Terry Porter (1st), Iowa's Joe Vallalpando (2nd) and Illinois's Charles Wentz/ Loyal Wright (tied-3rd) claimed their shares of the $1500 added men's senior-aged side pot. Missouri's Sandra Jensen, having defeated New York's Jessie Etzel 7-1 in a Women's Singles match, took home the majority of the $500 added women's senior-aged side pot.

In doubles play, Megan Blair/Brad Engle (IN) took a two-set finals over Simone Huskey/Ron O'Meara Sr. (IL) 5-3, 5-2 for the Open Scotch Doubles title, while Barb Hamilton/Dwaine Bowman (IL) outpointed Jessica James/Chad Vilmont (IA) for the Masters Scotch Doubles laurels. In the Open Doubles division, the undefeated brother duo of Adam and Ryan Behnke (IA) eliminated Dan Taylor/Bob Romano (IL) 5-3 for the top award!

The 4-person Men's/Mixed Teams and 3-person Women's Teams provided their share of fireworks to the weekend's atmosphere. With requirements of only one Master-caliber player per team, Jesse Bowman still selected a quality line-up named "Can't Win" (IL). In the second round of play, Can't Win upset the defending champions, Brass Bell Bob (VA) 17-10. Continuing their undefeated march to the hot seat, Can't Win eclipsed Came To Play (IL) 17-5, Windy City Open (IL) 17-15 and Can't Win II (IL) 17-12. Previous to their loss to Can't Win, Windy City Open had outpaced Iowa City Table Rats (IA) 17-4, Masters & Monsters (IN) 17-10 and Backstroke Boyz (IA) 17-14. To gain a finals shot at Can't Win, Windy City Open (anchored by a national singles champ, Jeff Sergent) eliminated 4 Rotten Eggs (IL) 17-16 in sudden-death, Rock Island Eagles (IL) 17-9 and Can't Win II (IL) 17-8. Despite brilliant play from their roster, Windy City Open fell short in the first finals set against Can't Win 11-17 to give Can't Win a national title.

Missouri's Shooters Hooters displayed veteran poise in claiming the hot seat in the Women's Team division by virtue of wins over Billiard Wholesalers (IL) 10-6, Cue-T's (IL) 10-3, Main Inn (IL) 10-5 and Newtowne Naturals (VA) 10-4. Their finals opponent was Main Inn, which had previously defeated Miller Time Ladies (IA) 10-4, Alibis Dragons (VA) 10-4, lost to Shooters Hooters, and eliminated Avenue Tap (IL) 10-6, Ya Ya's (MN) 11-10 in sudden death, and Newtowne Naturals (VA) 10-1. Shooters Hooters continued their domination in the finals by upending Main Inn 10-6 for the title.

Davenport's River Center convention center proved an ideal venue for these Championships. Tony Zierman and his staff from Quality Table Service (Minneapolis, MN) provided excellent tournament direction while universal appreciation was voiced for the support of the event by Hawley's Billiardstore.com, Jacoby Custom Cues, Diveney Cues and Jerrod Frideres's Speed Break Contest. The event was ably officiated by ACS national referees Cecil Messer, Dan Taylor, Ray Lambotte, Pat McMullan and Bill Powell. Excitement is already building for the 2006 ACS National 8-Ball Championships to be held June 10-17, at the ever-popular Riviera Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. Players can make their lowest-rate reservations by calling 1-800-634-6753 and using group code "EIGHT 06."

Final Results:

Men's Master Singles
1st Jesse Bowman (E. Moline, IL) $2,000
2nd Joshua Johnson (Bettendorf, IA) $1,000
3rd Chad Vilmont (Clinton, IA) $700
4th Tommy Hernandez (E. Moline, IL) $500
5-6th Frank DeCaster (Moline, IL) $380
Daniel Voeller (Apple Valley, IL)

Women's Master Singles
1st Jessica Frideres (Ft. Dodge, IA) $1,200
2nd Deborah Wilson (Moline, IL) $800
3rd Amy Latzko (Oak Forest, IL) $500
4th Megan Blair (Lake Station, IN) $340

Men's Open Singles
1st Terry Porter (Muscatine, IA) $2,000
2nd Wesley Nemmers (Clive, IA) $1,500
3rd Toney Bringman (Victor, IA) $1,000
4th Freddie Frederick (Cedar Rapids, IA) $750
5-6th Chris Dykes (LeClaire, IA) $610
Ricardo Pena (Davenport, IA)
7-8th James LaFavre (Rock Falls, IL) $475
Joe Vallalpando (Davenport, IA)
9-12th Ernest Ellis (Sugar Grove, IL) $350
Keith Helfrich (Dixon, IL)
Jon Kent (Wausau, WI)
Bill Springer (Gary, IN)
13-16th Jack Davis (Virginia Beach, VA) $250
Shane Johnson (Rock Island, IL)
Richard Mager (Earlville, IL)
James Hanne (Moline, IL)
17-24th Mike Brubaker (Freeport, IL) $200
Charles Wentz (East Moline, IL)
Loyal Wright (Rock Falls, IL)
Matt Van Kampen (Clinton, IA)
Martin Hook (Minnetonka, MN)
Bradley Engle (Portage, IN)
Tim Bringman (North English, IA)
Mike Burke (Andalusia, IL)
25-32nd Bob Willoughby (Virginia Beach, VA) $150
Mat Strong (Lily, WI)
Ryan Behnke (Farley, IA)
Dale Chilton (S. St. Paul, MN)
Richard Anderson (Inver Grove, Heights, MN)
Adam Behnke (Farley, IA)
Oscar Perales (Muscatine, IA)
Steve Lange (Davenport, IA)

Women's Open Singles
1st Jacqui Herrera (Bartlett, IL) $1,200
2nd Vickie Martin (Kansas City, MO) $850
3rd Kristine Turner (Moline, IL) $550
4th Simone Huskey (Silvis, IL) $310
5-6th Stacy Livermore (Davenport, IA) $200
Mary Costello (Oak Forest, IL)
7-8th Jessica James (Ames, IA) $150
Kerri Morrison (Edgerton, KS)

Men's Senior Singles
1st Terry Porter (Muscatine, IA) $750
2nd Joe Vallalpando (Davenport, IA) $500
3rd Charles Wentz (E. Moline, IL) $125 (tie)
4th Loyal Wright (Rock Falls, IL) $125 (tie)

Women's Senior Singles
1st Sandra Jensen (Lone Jack, MO) $325
2nd Jessie Etzel (Wantaugh, NY) $175

Men's/Mixed Teams
1st. Can't Win (IL) $2,500
2nd Windy City Open (IL) $1,500
3rd Can't Win II (IL) $1,000
4th Rock Island Eagles (IL) $700
5-6th. Killer B's (IA) $430
4 Rotten Eggs (IL)
7-8th. A Rack-A-Phobia (IL) $300
Came To Play (IL)

Women's Teams
1st Shooters Hooters (KS/MO) $1,500
2nd Main Inn (IL) $900
3rd Newtowne Naturals (VA) $600
4th The Ya Ya's (MN) $400
5-6th Avenue Tap (IL) $200
Nice Rack (IL)

Master Scotch Doubles
1st Barb Hamilton/ Dwaine Bowman (IL) $120
2nd Jessica James/ Chad Vilmont (IA) $60

Scotch Doubles
1st Megan Blair/ Brad Engle (IL) $190
2nd Simone Huskey/ Ron O'Meara Sr. (IL) $140
3rd Dawn Spencer/ Fred Frederick (IA) $100
4th Toni Barnes/ Tommy Sullivan (VA/NC) $50

1st Adam Behnke/Ryan Behnke (IA) $190
2nd Bob Romano/ Dan Taylor (IL) $140
3rd Steve Gehler/ Jose Cruz (NY) $100
4th Ernie Ellis/ Jim Minnecke (IL) $50