Briseno comes from deep on the loss side to win Cuetec DFW 9-Ball Tour’s Stop #5

Gus Briseno, Gavin Mathew and Friday Abismo

It’s rare that the winner of a pool tournament ends up being the individual who has played the most number of matches in a given event. The winners’ side path to an event victory is a pool manifestation of the known fact that the shortest distance between two points is a straight (winners’ side) line, so generally the person who’s won the most matches is the person who’s spent the most amount of time on the loss side of a double-elimination bracket. At this past weekend’s (May 18-19) Stop #5 on the Cuetec DFW 9-Ball Tour, Gus Briseno lost his winners’ side quarterfinal match, double hill, to Gavin Ray Mathew, won four on the loss side and double-dipped Mathew in their finals rematch to claim the event title and become that ‘most matches played’ guy.

Greg Sandifer, who lost his first and last (quarterfinal) match of the nine that he played, to Briseno, ended up being 2nd in the ‘most matches played’ department. Mathew and Friday Abismo, who lost the hot seat match, shared third place in the same department. The $1,000-added event drew 41 entrants to Rusty’s in Arlington, TX. 

Mathew had defeated John Askew, double hill, and Clint Freeman 6-4 before sending Briseno to the loss side, double hill. He advanced to a winners’ side semifinal versus Mark Johnson. Meanwhile, from the other end of the bracket, Abismo got by Randy Staggs 8-3, shut out Jim Dixon, defeated Joe Pelayo 8-2 and got by Carlos Jinez 8-5 to draw Jeff Skinner in the other winners’ side semifinal.

Mathew got into the hot seat with a 6-2 win over Johnson. Abismo joined him after shutting Skinner out. Mathew claimed the hot seat 6-5 over Abismo (racing to 8).

On the loss side, Johnson drew Sandifer, who’d followed his loss to Briseno with six in a row, including recent victories over Roger Shaffer and Clint Freeman, both 8-2. It was Skinner who picked up Briseno, who’d followed his loss to Mathew by defeating TJ Davis 9-3 and then, leapfrogging over a forfeit by Rudy Sanchez to reach Skinner.

Briseno advanced to the quarterfinals 9-3 over Skinner and was joined by Sandifer who dispatched Johnson 8-2. Sandifer posed Briseno’s toughest loss-side challenge, racking up six against him in those quarterfinals, but Briseno prevailed to face Abismo in the semifinals.

Briseno gave up just a single rack to Abismo and turned his attention to the necessity of winning two against the man in the hot seat waiting for him. Mathew’s best shot to claim the title came in the first set of the true double-elimination final when he battled Briseno to double hill. Briseno closed it out though, at 9-5 (Mathew racing to 6), and then defeated Mathew a second time, 9-4, to claim the event title.

It should be noted here, along with the fact that the information was deliberately withheld until this point, that the runner-up, Gavin Ray Mathew, is 10 years old. Briseno, whom he defeated initially and then lost to, twice, has been one of many mentors that have brought this youngster’s game to the level seen at this event. In addition to his 2nd place prize money, Mathew was able to bring home an extra $60 as the last ‘6’ rated player in the event. Also earning $60 was the last ‘5’ in the event (Brian Dluge), the last ‘4’ (Henry Huynh) and the last woman (a split between Monica Anderson and Tina Soto).

 Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Rusty’s for their hospitality, along with title sponsor Cuetec, Fort Worth Billiards Super Store, “plus many more.” The next stop on the Cuetec DFW 9-Ball Tour (#6), scheduled for the weekend of June 22-23, will be hosted by Bearded Monkey in Forney, TX. 

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