Aquino’s Done it Again

Fifty players made their way to Baron's Billiards in Bradenton for the sixth Fury Central Florida tour. Things were intense as it came down to the wire for the top two points leaders in a battle over the number one spot.

Many top picks were making their way towards the top of the field including Julio Aquino, Nomar Paula, Bruce Choyce, Adam Wheeler, Tim Daniel and Justin Hall. Nomar Paula, a tour veteran and past points leader, made his way to the hot seat match with strong matches including wins over Wheeler and Hall. Aquino, current points leader, made an undefeated run to the hot seat, passing by Daniel and Choyce on his way.

The hot seat match was thick with tension as the tour's points lead was at stake. Aquino has led the whole year thus far, but Paula was only 3 points behind, making the results of this tournament key. Both players had exhibited fairly flawless play throughout the day, but the pressure seemed to provoke a few extra errors from both players. Paula was the one to keep his cool and prevail in the match 7-4, sending Aquino into the B side semi finals.

On the left side, it was Daniel versus Choyce and Wheeler versus Hall to determine who would advance and who would have to settle for 5th/6th. Choyce, former Amateur Nationals champ, has been moving up the ranks with steady play on the tour; his opponent, Daniel, has secured third on the points list with consistent finishes. Choyce got the better of the match with a hill-hill victory, leaving Daniel in 5th/6th. Meanwhile, Wheeler, who is always at top pick, matched up with Justin Hall, also always in the running. Both Wheeler and Hall have fast and loose styles, making for an exciting match. This time, Wheeler capitalized and closed out the match 5-2, advancing on to play Choyce. Choyce gained another hill-hill win, leaving Wheeler in 4th.

Aquino, after his loss in the hot seat, had no doubts in the semifinal against Choyce. With a run out including three banks and two combos to boot, Aquino made it a 5-0 closeout, securing another shot at Paula in the finals.

The tension returned for the final rematch between Paula and Aquino, with only three points between them, the outcome would determine who had the edge. Paula had a lot to gain, with a chance to reestablish himself as #1, while Aquino was in danger of losing his title as double points leader on the Central and North FL tours. The match promised to be an intense battle and a test of endurance as both players entered their 14th hour of play after a long day. Things started off with each player going game for game in the alternate break format until things were tied at three apiece. Aquino then took off for the home stretch with strong run outs to jump the score to 7-3. Paula wasn't done though and came back with tight safety play until he only trailed by two at 7-5. The tides turned again though as Paula broke dry and Aquino ran out to gain a stride at 8-5. Aquino then broke but didn't make a ball, leaving a tough layout for Paula. Paula ran out but missed the six, leaving Aquino a 6-7 combo. Aquino pocketed the combo and finished off the rack to win the set 9-5. Aquino has now posted six trips to the finals and five wins between the North and Central FL divisions and remains the points leader in both.

1st Julio Aquino $510
2nd Nomar Paula $280
3rd Bruce Choyce $180
4th Adam Wheeler $100
5th/6th Tim Daniel, Justin Hall $75
7th/8th Eric David, Bill Bloom $60
9th-12th Jose DelRio, Bill Eisenhard, Robert Noon, Wesley Whitfield $40