Arnold Hamlet Defeats Brandon Pureza for Jacoby Tour Win

Doug Ennis, tournament director; Arnold Hamlet, 1st place; Brandon Pureza, 2nd place; Billy Wood, room owner

On The Snap Billiards in Fuquay Varina, North Carolina hosted the 5th stop on the Jacoby Custom Cues Carolina Tour January 19-90. A field of 42 players braved the cold weather and threat of snow for the $1000 guaranteed added Main Event. Arnold Hamlet held off a much younger Brandon Pureza in the final match, earning $1000 for first place plus entry into the 2008 Carolina Open, courtesy of Fast Eddie's of Goldsboro, NC.

To kick things off, an Early Bird Tournament was held on Friday night. Brandon Pureza defeated Craig Wolfe 7-2 in the final match. Results for this event were: 1st Brandon Pureza $150; 2nd Craig Wolfe $100; 3rd Dale Ding $60; 4th Miguel Castillo $40; 5th-6th Cary Dunn and Rodney Strickland, $25 each.

In the Junior Tournament on Sunday, Jackson Jeffries defeated Andrew Coley 9-5 in the final match. Junior players score points which accumulate for the first 10 events on the tour. The top point winners in each division will qualify for the 2008 Junior Nationals.

Also on Sunday, a Second Chance Tournament was won by Robert Ray. Ray managed a 7-6 win over Chris Vollmar. Final results: 1st Robert Ray $110; 2nd Chris Vollmar $50.

In the Main Event, Hamlet drew a bye but then had his work cut out for him. He managed wins over Shane Winters (7-5), Paul Scarboro (7-3) and Jeff Pruitt (7-5) before losing to Rodney Strickland (7-4). On the one-loss side Hamlet defeated Johnny Griffin (7-6) and Mike Davis (7-6) to set up a rematch with Strickland, this time finishing on the positive side (7-1).

Meanwhile, Pureza ran through his first five opponents with little difficulty, defeating Deamon Dawson (7-2), Mae Beale (7-1), Anthony Barrington (7-3), Johnny Griffin (7-3) and Michael Fuller (7-3). Then, in the hotseat match, Rodney Strickland took Pureza to the hill before falling (7-6).

The final match – a single race to 9 – started with both Hamlet and Pureza missing mid-rack and leaving the other player an easy out. With the score tied at one game apiece, Hamlet accepted Pureza's pushout and left Pureza snookered. After a bad hit by Pureza, Hamlet took ball-in-hand and sank the 1 and 2, followed by a 3/9 combination.

The fourth rack was a defensive battle which Hamlet seemed destined to win. It took him two chances with ball-in-hand, but Hamlet finally saw daylight and went ahead 3-1. He followed that with a break-and-run plus another game to stretch his lead to 5-1.

Pureza finally got a break – an empty one for Hamlet. Pureza ran the rack and was poised for a comeback. Midway through the eighth rack, however, Pureza missed a crucial 5-ball and Hamlet cleaned the table. Pureza then locked up a 2-ball in the ninth rack to give Hamlet a 7-2 lead.

In the tenth and eleventh racks, Pureza pulled to within three games by taking advantage of Hamlets' misses, which included a 9-ball left in the jaws of a corner pocket. Down 7-4, Pureza didn't make anything on the break and Hamlet ran out.

In the thirteenth rack, Hamlet snookered himself and fouled in his attempt to hit the 2-ball. Pureza took ball-in-hand and ran out. Hamlet took the fourteenth and final rack, however, winning the match by the score of 9-5.

Congratulations to Allen Tripp who was the lucky winner of a $550 cue raffle from Jacoby Custom Cues.

Special thanks to the staff of On The Snap Billiards as well as owner Billy Wood for supporting the Jacoby Tour. With ten beautiful Diamond tables covered in blue cloth set in a spacious environment, On The Snap provided a great atmosphere for players and spectators alike. Rock City Promotions wishes Billy and his partners the best of luck in the success of their new pool room.

The next stop on the Jacoby Custom Cues Carolina Tour will be February 9-10 at Sharks-N-Shooters in Rocky Mount, NC. The event will guarantee $1000 added with $1000 for 1st place plus entry into the 2008 Carolina Open, courtesy of Fast Eddie's.