Davis wins inaugural Gambler Pro Tour Open event in FL

Mike Davis

Mike Davis became the first winner of the newly inaugurated Gambler Pro Tour, which had its first stop - The Sharkbite Classic - on the weekend of May 15-16 at Hammerheads in Holiday, FL. Created by Dan Dennis of Gambler Clothing, in partnership with McDermott Cues, the tour's first stop drew 16 competitors to an Open event, 26 to an amateur tournament and five to a ladies event.  Trevor Braymore took home the first-place prize in the amateur event, one step ahead of Stephanie Mitchell, who would go on to win the ladies event.  All three of the tournaments ended with double hill battles. 

In the Open event, Davis had to survive a hill-hill battle versus Julio Aquino to get into the hot seat match. He was joined by Mike Staubes, who'd sent Jerry Troisi west 7-5. Davis gained the hot seat with a strong 7-2 win and waited, for what turned out to be the return of Adam Wheeler

Wheeler, who'd been sent west by Aquino in a second round, hill-hill battle, was on a collision course to the quarterfinals where he and Aquino would meet again.  Wheeler got by John Aguilar 7-2 and Tour Director Dan Dennis in a hill-hill match that set him up, first, to face Troisi. Bobby Livrago, in the meantime, was moving past Dave Ross 7-4 and Mark Wathen 7-1 to pick up Aquino.  Aquino survived a hill-hill battle over Livrago to get into the quarterfinals, as Wheeler was busy shutting out Troisi. Wheeler held on to some of his shutout momentum and collected his revenge dues, dropping Aquino into fourth place 7-3.  

Staubes was next in the semifinals. Wheeler allowed him two more racks than he'd given up to Aquino, but hung on to win and turned to face Davis. Davis opened up the race-to-nine finals with three straight racks, but Wheeler doubled that effort to take a 6-3 lead. Mike fought back with five of his own to reach the hill first, but Wheeler wasn't done. He tied it at 8-8, forcing the final game, which went to Davis to complete an undefeated trip through this inaugural event. 

In the handicapped amateur event, Trevor Braymore, an A++ player, faced Stephanie Mitchell, a B player, in the finals. With four games in hand, Mitchell needed to win five, before Braymore won nine. Mitchell won four of the five she needed, but Braymore won the deciding match to capture the Amateur title.  Jerry Troisi finished in third place. Mitchell went on to another hill-hill match in the finals of the ladies event.  She got by Michell Monk to take home the ladies title. Nicki Rasmussen finished third. 

The Gambler Pro Tour will continue with a stop at Mr. Cues II in Atlanta, GA. The Peach State Open at that facility will take place on the weekend of June 26-27.