Franco Hits Gold in Houston!

Gabe Owen, Mike Owens and Javier Franco

Javier Franco led the pack to win the seventh stop of the Fast Eddie's 9 Ball Tour on August 15-17 at the Fast Eddie's on the Gulf Freeway in Houston, Texas. Seventy five players in two divisions showed to face off on the mean green with fourteen returning Sunday to play in the Second Chance tournament. With the alternating break format, we have still not seen a repeat winner on this year's Tour.

The talent came out of the woodwork as the top picks were Jeremy Jones, Gabe Owen, David Guttierrez, Cliff Joyner, Gilbert Martinez , David Henson and James Davis Sr.

We saw a lot of new faces make the money rounds this time. Good show goes to Chad Hensen, James Davis Jr., James Davis Sr. and Jay Calhoun for finishing in the 13 - 16th spots.

The top dogs better keep a eye out for these young pups moving up! They are getting a taste of the money and they like it and want to stay here. Candy Ramos, Ismael Ramirez, Gilbert Martinez and Chase Rudder ended their runs in the 9 - 12th positions.

Congratulations to Mark Garza and Tommy Milburn for a fine 7-8th finish as both played very hard through the weekend.

Jeremy Jones started his run with a win over Chase Rudder, 9-2, only to receive his first loss to Rigo Pena, 9-6. Vanquished to the one loss side, Jeremy had wins over Rick Vargas, Corey Dordek, England's Richard Murray, Chad Hensen, Candy Ramos and Mark Garza before sucumbing to Cliff Joyner in a close match 7-5, to finish in the 5-6th posting.

Norm Small started his move up the ladder with triumphs over Charles McKinley, David Parker, Rick Stanley and Candy Ramos before being knocked down a rung by Rigo Pena in a very tight match 9-7. Norm met Gabe Owen for his final loss at 7-3 to finish in 5-6th place.

Cliff Joyner started his march with victories over Beau Udelias, Ben Vascellaro, Chad Hensen and Gabe Owen when he was defeated by Javier Franco in the semi's on the winner's side, 9-3, which set up a match in the brutal bracket with Jeremy Jones in which Cliff won 7-5 before being defeated in a rematch with Gabe Owen, 7-3. A very nice 4th place finish for Cliff.

Rigo Pena came out like a man on a mission, playing very hard with victories over Eduardo Castillo, Jeremy Jones, Tommy Milburn, Mark Garza and Norm Small to meet Javier Franco in the finals of the winner's bracket where he lost in a well fought match, 9-7. Rigo met Gabe Owen in the finals of the one loss side where he finished in a commendable 3rd place.

The unflappable Gabe Owen of Tulsa, Oklahoma came to play and showed it with triumphs over Bill Hyde, Lanny Herrin and Richard Murray before being sent to the one loss side by Cliff Joyner, 9-2. Gabe went to work with wins over Chase Rudder, Tommy Milburn, Norm Small, Cliff Joyner and Rigo Pena for a chance to play Javier Franco in the finals.

Homeland Security should have been called the way Javier Franco terrorized the field. He played very thoughtful and smooth. Javier's march to the hot seat started with wins over Jim Kuykendall, Erman Bullard, James Davis Jr., Gilbert Matinez, Cliff Joyner and Rigo Pena.

The finals, with the score tied at 8-8 came down to a race to one, Javier won the deciding game to secure his first Tour victory. Congratulations to both these fine players!

Big thanks to Big Lew, Mike Owen, Adam and their staff at Fast Eddie's for hosting a great event! See you next month in San Antonio!

Complete Payouts:
1st Javier Franco $3970
2nd Gabe Owen $2865
3rd Rigo Pena $2010
4th Cliff Joyner $1290
5th-6th Norm Small, Jeremy Jones $750
7th-8th Mark Garza, Tommy Millburn $425
9th-12th Chase Rudder, Gilbert Martinez, Ismael Ramirez, Candy Ramos $110
13th-16th Chad Hensen, James Davis Jr., James Davis Sr., Jay Calhoun $75

Prize money includes auction.