Deska and Davis win at Action Pool Tour season finale

Mike Davis


Brian Deska and Mike Davis took home top honors in separate events of the Action Pool Tour's season finale on the weekend of September 29-30, at VIP Billiards in Catonsville, MD. Deska, who finished the tour's season as the #1-ranked player, won the invitation-only Lambros Cue Round Robin tournament that featured the tour's top 10 players. Davis won the 51-entrant, 10-ball Open tournament that closed out the weekend. In addition to prize money in the 10-ball tournament, trophies went to the tour's top 10 players, and awards were handed out in a variety of categories.

As the #1-ranked player on the 2011-2012 tour, Deska won a Lambros Custom Cue, valued at $2,000, and earned a free entry to the US Open 9-Ball Championships. Ann Reynolds won an award as the top female on the tour, while Guy Yates earned honors for Best Sportsmanship. Steve Lingafelter was recognized as the tour's Top Individual Contributor for his "voluntary, unsolicited contributions to the tour since its inception." Lambros Cues was named Best Sponsor, while season finale host - VIP Billiards - was named Best Room. Steve Wigglesworth, as one of two players who attended every event in the 2011-2012 season (Jeremy Perkins was the other), won the two-player raffle and took home a Lambros Cue, valued at between $1,200-$1,500.

As it turned out, the top three finishers in the Lambros Cue Round Robin Tournament, featuring nine rounds of play in 8-ball, 9-ball and 10-ball (three each), were the top three finishers in the 2011-2012 tour rankings; in order, Deska, Brandon Shuff and tour director, Ozzy Reynolds. Deska went undefeated through the nine rounds of play, and didn't give up a rack through the first two rounds. He shut out Mike Davis in an opening round of 9-ball, and then shut out Sean Sporleder in 10-Ball. He ended up winning 72% of his games (36-14), including the two shutouts.

It was only luck of the round robin draw that pitted the event's only two undefeated players (Deska and Shuff) in what turned out to be the event finals; one of the five matches in the ninth round of play. Shuff actually ended up with a higher winning percentage; 75%, shutting out five of his eight opponents before running into Deska, who prevailed 4-2 in the 8-ball finals. Reynolds won 64% of his matches, including two shutouts. He was shut out himself in a fourth round, 9-ball match by Shuff. 

In spite of a challenging start that saw him survive double hill matches in his first two rounds of play, Davis went undefeated through the field of 51, on hand for the 10-ball Open tournament. After an opening round bye, he defeated Alvin Thomas and Corey Fogle, double hill. He then downed Brandon Shuff 8-4, to move among the winners' side final four and a match versus tour director, Ozzy Reynolds. Brett Stottlemyer, in the meantime, had defeated Curtis Branker, Will Moon and Rafael Reyes to earn a winners' side final four matchup versus Brian Deska.

Stottlemyer sent the tour's # 1-ranked player (Deska) west 8-4, as Davis was busy surviving his third double hill match, that sent Reynolds over. Davis got into the hot seat 8-4 over Stottlemyer, and waited for him to get back. 

Deska moved over for something of a rematch against his Round Robin finals opponent, Brandon Shuff, who'd defeated Robb Metz 6-2, and Joe Cataldi 6-3 to reach him. Reynolds drew Rafael Reyes, who'd gotten by Alan Duty, double hill, and Shawn Toni 6-3. Deska downed Shuff (again) 6-4, as Reynolds was busy surviving a double hill match against Reyes. With signs of being a 'man on a (two-event) mission,' Deska eliminated Reynolds 6-1 in the quarterfinals, and turned to face Stottlemyer in the semifinals.

Deska's 'mission' ended with a 6-4 Stottlemyer victory. In the only set necessary in what might have been a true double elimination final, Davis downed Stottlemyer 8-6 to capture the event title.

Tour director Ozzy Reynolds thanked the ownership and staff at VIP Billiards, as well as sponsors Lambros Cues, us here at AZBilliards, and Magic Ball Racks. The 2012-2013 Action Pool Tour schedule will get underway on the weekend of October 19-20, with a US Open 9-Ball Warm-Up Event, at Diamond Billiards in Midlothian, VA.