Dave Daya and Briana Miller Come Out On Top at the Valley Forge Bar Box 8-Ball Championships

Dave Daya (1st), Allen Hopkins, & Mike Miller (2nd)

On the weekend of June 19-21, 2009, Allen Hopkins presented his first ever Valley Forge Bar Box 8-Ball Championships at the familiar Valley Forge Convention Center, where he has regularly been hosting the Super Billiards Expo every March.

This tremendous event had divisions for men, women, and juniors–19 and under as well as 14 and under players competing in separate divisions.  With many of the leagues holding their year-end national tournaments in Las Vegas, this tournament gave East Coast players the chance to play 8-ball a bit closer to home.

In the open division, 184 players competed in a single-elimination format tournament, race to 8 for a grand prize of $1,500.  Some of the top names in attendance included Matt Krah, Shaun Wilkie, Joey Testa, Josh Brothers, and Mike Miller.  

However, on the top half of the bracket, Dave Daya was cleaning house with wins over Rich Musser, Jim Coleman, Mark Stanley, and Joseph Sauro, before he beat Joey Testa 8-4, which landed him in the finals.  

On the bottom half of the bracket, Mike Miller was the man to beat, and he sailed through his matches until he met with Horace Aughtry in the semifinals in a match that would turn into a hill-hill battle.  Miller would come up on top to make his way to the finals.

In the final match, both Dave Daya and Mike Miller were firing on all cylinders in the beginning, exchanging table runs, until Miller and Daya were a game apart, with Miller leading 4-3.  Both players started to make some errors at this point, at times safeing themselves behind balls.  However, Miller's errors caught up with him, and with Daya on the hill (7-5) he missed a crucial shot to let Daya win the match.

Open Division Final Results:

1st: Dave Daya $1,500

2nd: Mike Miller $800

3rd-4th: Horace Aughtry, Joey Testa $500

5th-8th: Greg Black Joseph Sauro, Randy Clepper, Larry Szwaczkowski $350

9th-16th: Bruce Nagle, Bill Kirschner, Paul Smith, Mark Stanley, Randy Schwager, Daniel Gonzalez, Mike Cumberledge, Rich Nace  $250

In the ladies division, 13-year-old phenom Briana Miller (former Junior World Champion) cleared out a field of 28 ladies to win a grand prize of $700.  In the final match, she faced off against Kim Smith, who had prior wins over Christine Phelps, Jackie Lenker, and Kim Myer.  However, the finals did not go so well for Ms. Smith, who took a 5-2 loss to the young Briana Miller.

Ladies' Results:

1st Briana Miller $700

2nd Kim Smith $400

3rd Kim Myer, Kim McKenna $200

5th Jackie Lenker, Alex Calabrese, Cheryl Pritchard, Stacy Lantz  $125

Not only did Briana champion the women's open field, but she also landed in the finals of the 14-and-under division, with wins over Daulton Nace, Tyler Levins, and Jacob Humphreys.  On the other side of the bracket, Jonathan Castillo dominated, with wins over Sam Martini, Luke Wanamaker, and Kyle Koskovich.  Castillo would go on to win the event by default, as Briana would be playing in the finals of the women's division at the same time.  The juniors divisions were both awarded trophies and prizes.

Juniors' 14-and-Under Results:

1st Jonathan Castillo

2nd Briana Miller

3rd Kyle Koskovitch, Jacob Humphreys

In the 19-and-under division, 14 players came out to Valley Forge to compete for this title.  Justin Crosco had a run through Shane Miller, Christian Giambuzzi, and Vincent Messalina to make it to the finals.  Ironically, the finals of the 19-and-under division also featured a young lady player, Taylor Christie, who defeated Danny Swayze, Matthew Hummel, and Chad Rarick to meet Crosco in the finals.  In the short race to 4, Crosco would defeat Christie 4-2 to win the event.

Juniors' 19-and-Under Results:

1st Justin Crosco

2nd Taylor Christie

3rd Chad Rarick, Vincent Messina

(This article originally appeared on www.nycgrind.com and is used with their permission.)