Gabe Owen “double dips” the Corpus Christi Classic Open 9-Ball

Gabe Owen “double dips” the Corpus Christi Classic Open 9-Ball

It's déjà vu all over again as Gabe Owen from Tulsa Oklahoma was also the defending Champion wining in 2002 and now in 2003. He was undefeated last year but this year he had an early loss to Leroy Mathis, from Waco Texas.

Leroy had a great tournament and proved to be a "giant" killer. He had already taken on David Trevino, Robert Newkirk and Daniel Perez. After pushing Gabe to the left side, he tackled U.S. Open Champion Jeremy Jones and also sent him sideways. Leroy was in a great gear as he beat both James Davis Jr. from Austin and Sylver Ochoa from McAllen, to become the only undefeated player in this star-studded event.

Jeremy started the event with a double hill win over former World Champion Bob Hunter from Carson City Nevada. It looked like Bobby had control of the last rack, but following a tricky shot on the 6, Hunter pushed the 7 into a side pocket point and Jeremy then cleaned up. A reporter and photographer from the Houston Chronicle were covering Jeremy and the event. Considering what a good year Jeremy has had, it's worthwhile recognition for a deserving gentleman. Jeremy Jones moved through Javier Franco and Charlie “Hillbilly” Bryant on the one loss side only to finally lose to Tony Chohan from Sacramento California. Tony was our 2nd place finisher last year.

Tony had previously defeated “Hillbilly” and David Henson from Austin, but lost to Sylver. Then Tony came back to life and sent Jeremy packing but then lost his next match to Gabe.

Sylver defeated Mike Bernardi, Tony Oliva, Joe Fritcher, Doug Young and Tony Chohan. In the Winners Bracket Sylver lost to Leroy and then suffered his next loss to Gabe. Sylver is only 18 and one of the nations top junior players. He played a great tournament and finished in third place.

Once Gabe was on the west side of the chart, he defeated Dempsey Bailey, James Davis Sr., then young friends Doug Young and James Davis Jr. He had a rematch of last year's finals with Tony Chohan and then beat young superstar Sylver Ochoa to reach the finals. The true double elimination event went to two sets in the finals, with Gabe winning 9-5 and 9-6. Gabe played two late matches Saturday night and in every time slot on Sunday as he went through the one loss side of the chart. He was very tired but held on to defend his title.

Paradise Pool & Billiards added $6,000. and 83 players paid $100 entry fees. Most matches were on the 9' Lemacher flush pocket tables with 860 Simonis cloth. Matches were races to 9 on both sides and the room was packed with spectators enjoying the fine level of play. The final 3 matches were filmed using 4 camera angles and had crowd noise and expert commentary from Bill Mykleby.

Harrison Todd, the room owner and the tournament director, and his dedicated staff provided a great experience for all. Denis Strickland, who also helped promote the event, conducted the player auction that netted over $12,000. The room was open 24 hours for three days with the kitchen opening at 8 for breakfast.

Event T-shirts with Gabe listed as the 2002 Defending Champion were sold and Gabe has “promised” to return next year for a chance at a “three-peat”.

1st Place $4,000. Gabe Owen
2nd Place $2,500. Leroy Mathis
3rd Place $1,500. Sylver Ochoa
4th Place $1,000. Tony Chohan
5th Place $700. Jeremy Jones
6th Place $700. James Davis, Jr.
7th Place $500. Charlie “Hillbilly” Bryant
8th Place $500. David Henson
9th Place $300. Al Mason
10th Place $300. Doug Young.
11th Place $300. Javier Franco
12th Place $300. David Grossman
13th Place $120. Bob Hunter
14th Place $120. Shane McMinn
15th Place $120. James Davis, Sr.
16th Place $120. Tom Mooney

Trisha Strickland and Bill Fuller ran a Ladies Division with $500. Added to the $40. Entry Fees. However, many top ladies played in the last Hunter Classic Tour Event in Alvin Texas and as a result there were only 5 entries. After a Round Robin in which Kim Pierce won all of her matches, the payout was as follows:

1st Place $320. Kim Pierce
2nd Place $190. Teresa Bordelon
3rd Place $120. Trisha Strickland
4th Place $40. Sophavy Gunterman
5th Place $40. Trisha Strickland

The ladies were very happy, relaxed and had a fun event. They were thankful to Bill Fuller who created the round robin chart and scored the event.