Eberle Wins Battle of Los Angeles

Max Eberle (photo courtesy Mediumpool.com)

Eight top West Coast professional players showed up at Hard Times in Bellflower, CA on July 12th and 13th to vie for the official title “The Best in the West!”  This event was winner-take-all, with each man having posted up a $500 entry fee, and a 1st prize of $4,000.  The format started with a round-robin (race to 11, 9-Ball); in which all eight players competed against one another in a total of seven matches.  The top four players, determined by best win records, advanced into a “final-four” single elimination series to determine one ultimate winner.
After the first round matches were over it seemed that the man to beat was Rafael Martinez.  In his first match Martinez played against Ismael “Morro” Paez, and he did not make any mistakes until the 9th rack, taking a quick 8-0 lead and winning the match 11-2.  Another memorable bout was the father versus son match up of Ernesto and Oscar Dominguez.  Oscar had started out with a lead over his father, but had started to make mistakes and Ernesto tied the score up.  Towards the end of their match neither seemed to be on top of their game, but then again it would be hard to have that competitive edge over your father or son.  The match ended up going hill-hill with Ernesto scratching and Oscar sinking in a 9-ball combination with ball in hand.  When the round robin was over the standings were Max Eberle in first place being undefeated, Dave Hemmah in second with two losses, Louis Ulrich in third, and Rafael Martinez in fourth place.

The single elimination round was in effect with Dave Hemmah vs. Louis Ulrich and Max Eberle vs. Rafael Martinez.  Louis Ulrich was on top of his game and did not leave many chances for Hemmah.  Ulrich was the first to finish his semi-final match and patiently waited for the winner of the Eberle vs. Martinez match.  The last semi-final match was a very close one.  Neither player really seemed to get their break working, which lead into many safety battles, but at the end Max Eberle came out on top with an 11-9 win giving him a shot at Louis Ulrich in the final.

The final match was everything it was meant to be, a blood thirsty “Battle!”  Eberle had taken a quick 2-0 lead, but with bad position on the 8 ball in the third rack left Eberle hanging the 8 ball in the corner pocket and allowed Ulrich to tie the match up.  The match seemed to go back and forth but always with Ulrich taking the lead and Eberle playing catch up every time to tie up the score.  Ulrich had reached the hill, but came up dry on the break.  Eberle had taken this opportunity to run out by sinking in a tough nine ball to get to the hill.  At hill-hill Eberle had made a ball on the break leaving him an open layout.  Eberle cleared the rack and finished the event with an undefeated run and taking home the $4,000 winner-take-all prize!!!

Thanks to our sponsors: www.theactionreport.com, www.tigerproducts.com, www.hardtimesbellflower.com, www.extremefocus.net, and www.milliondollar9ball.com.

And a huge thanks to the Staff of Hard Times Billiards: Eddie, Elias, Jennifer, and the gang; as well our all Volunteer Tournament Staff: “Crown City Corey” Harper (Organizer/Producer), Frank “DaBarber” Almanza (Tournament Director), Eddie “Zirroe” Cohen (Chief Assistant), Kent “KD Cues” Davis (Assistant Director), and Chris “Run the Century” (Co-Assistant Director).

Note: Our apologies to Allen Hopkins Production, as this event was intended to be a ten man $500 entry ($5,000 total) qualifier into the upcoming “$1,000,000 9-Ball Shootout,” being held in Valley Forge, Pa Aug 6-10, 2008; however due to a couple of last minute player withdrawals, the qualifier aspect of the event had to be negated.