Deleon wins Pechauer Season Opener

Dave Hemmah, Jay Helfert and Lorry Deleon

Jay's Billiards hosted the season kick off of the 2003-04 Pechauer Tour Stop with a generous $2000 guaranteed added 9-ball event the weekend of October 18th and 19th. Located inside the enormous Hollywood Park Casino in Inglewood (LA), CA, Jay's boasts 16 Gold Crown tables, snacks, beer and wine, and a pro shop.

A few of the local studs like Max Eberle, Ernesto Dominguez, and Ismael Paez were out of town, but that didn't stop the rest of them from showing for their piece of the action! Frank "The Barber" Almanza, Bill Houck, Fach Garcia (still recovering from a kidney transplant), Bernardo Chavez, Wayne Pullen, Tang Hoa, Dave Hemmah, Lorry Deleon, and Gerardo Jamito all showed up ready to get a jump start over the other competitors, as well as the first stop title which was to come with an $1100 payday!

Saturday ran smooth as silk and play finished up around 9:00 pm with the top 12 returning Sunday afternoon. Sunday's drama started at noon with the loser's side matches running first. In a horrible upset, Gerardo Jamito stole the set from Bernardo "King Cong" Chavez when Chavez just barely scratched on a nine ball that would have finished the set at 9-6. This left the door open for Jamito to come back on Chavez, which he was able to do, despite the fact that he never really looked all the comfortable at the table. Fach Garcia put a stop to Jamito's run in the very next round after Jamito shot out to a four game lead. Tough table number 10 ended up haunting more than just Jamito on Sunday, but it got him spooked in the middle of the match and he was unable to recover. Garcia won 9-6. Over on the winner's side, Dave Hemmah played solid on table number 10 where he overtook Tang Hoa 9-5. This set up a hot seat match between Hemmah and Marshall Jung. Hemmah was not as comfortable on table 10 after a break and although he was still playing solid, a couple rattled balls also rattled his nerves. He breathed a sigh of relief after he finally sank the 9-ball when the score was tied hill-hill after he almost let the match slip away when he rattled an 8-ball on the hill when Jung was several games behind him.

Back in the loser's bracket, Lorry DeLeon had one goal ­ to start the year off as tour champion. He marched through Fach Garcia, 9-7, and then Marshall Jung 9-6 to meet Dave Hemmah in the one race to 13 finals. Hemmah had out played the other competitors throughout the tournament and he started out his match with DeLeon in much the same fashion. But table 10 started throwing Hemmah curve balls! DeLeon started taking a lead on Hemmah, one game after another until he was on the hill and Hemmah was stuck at 4! Joking around with Dave in between games, I commented that we wanted to see him keep playing so that we could all enjoy seeing him undergo maximum torture! Wouldn't you know that is just what he did too! Hemmah rallied back one game at a time until it was a hill-hill thriller! Hemmah and DeLeon are faces that we expect to see much more of this year in the tour, so a lead for either out of the gate may prove to be an advantage later down the road. In the final game, each player jockeyed back and forth, with Lorry DeLeon winning the jockeying match this time!