Frideres Outshines All at ACS Nationals

During the week of June 7-16, battles on all sorts of green felt abounded at the Riviera in Las Vegas at the American CueSports Alliance (ACS) Nationals. 9-Ball, 8-Ball, snooker, wheelchair, artistic, speed pool, carrom, amateur, professional – the Nationals showcased it all. And no player had a better run through the various divisions than did Jessica Frideres of Ft. Dodge, Iowa. Jessica hauled in the hardware in no fewer than six (!) divisions of play – Women's 9-Ball Singles [2nd], Women's Masters 8-Ball Singles [1st], Master Scotch Doubles [1st], Women's Open 9-Ball Team [2nd], Women's Master 8-Ball Team [2nd] and Women's Speed Pool [1st].

Bar whiz Jesse Bowman (E. Moline, IL) rebounded from lackluster 2006 singles results to claim the Men's 9-Ball Singles title, but again placed out of the money in the Men's Masters 8-Ball Singles – won by newcomer Shannon Ducharme of Winnipeg, Canada. Katrina Dennis (Ridgefield, WA) scored the Women's 9-Ball Singles crown, and claimed a strong 3rd place in the Women's Open 8-Ball Singles as well. Injuring her leg in transit to Las Vegas, Jean Bartholomew (Portland, OR) continued to add on to her impressive resume in the Senior Women's 8-Ball Singles by claiming yet another national title.

Blake Byrket (Muscatine, IA) took down the Men's Standard 8-Ball Singles title, while his seventeen year old daughter, Rachel, took 4th in the Women's Open 8-Ball Singles and 1st on the winning Leisure Time Bratz team in the Women's Master 8-Ball Teams. The FCB Willis team from Omaha, Nebraska claimed both the Men's Open 9-Ball and Men's Open 8-Ball team titles, while Canadian teams continued their dominance in the Men's Standard 8-Ball Team division - Mad Dogs of Calgary, Alberta, being the latest hoisters of the crown.

In other events, Brad Rautio (New Westminster, BC) surprised the field in the NWPA-sanctioned “Las Vegas Open” wheelchair event to take the crown, while 13-year old Austin Murphy (who placed 9th in the pro 9-ball event) outlasted all challengers for the ACS National Artistic Pool Championship, sponsored by Tom “Dr. Cue” Rossman. In the 2nd Annual “Can-Am Snooker Challenge,” Team USA avenged its 2006 defeat by Team Canada on the beautiful 12-foot green baize to claim the challenge trophy by a 12-8 margin over Team Canada. Canada regained some sense of satisfaction when its 2-man team of Alain Robidoux and Don Chomiski took down the $500 winner-take-all “UPA vs. Canada” snooker challenge over pro 9-ball and former pro snooker players Tony Crosby (UK) and Lee Chenman (Hong Kong). Former World 9-Ball Champion, Alex Pagulayan (Canada), outlasted Shane Van Boening (Rapid City, SD) 7-5 in the ESPN-televised $25,000 added “World Summit of Pool” for the pro 9-ball championship. Kudos to Dragon Promotions on promoting a very successful event.

The 2008 ACS Nationals will again return to the Riviera, June 7-14, and will include a few changes: 1). no Master team divisions; 2). 4-person women's teams; 3). Scotch doubles play in 8-ball only; and 4). 9-ball team divisions and 8-ball team divisions scheduled on the same dates (different times), so that teams can play to their heart's content in two separate team divisions! The ACS inspires as much play as possible at the Nationals in many divisions, so that a player has the time of his/her life; that is, if they are not allergic to green baize!ACS