Georgia Billiard Academy Hosts Second Ultimate Amateur Aces Showdown

Mike Byars, Chris Niksch and John Salter

After a grueling two day 8-ball and 9-ball mixed format tournament held at Marietta Billiard Club this past weekend, Mike Byars and John Salter emerged as Co-Champions, splitting the $1000  1st place and $400 2nd place prize. The 64-player field was a good mix of beginning competitors and veterans to the game. This is the second tournament hosted by the Georgia Billiard Academy that is unlike most tournaments.

The event was a great success with the field filled a week prior to the event and the general consensus among the players was how smoothly and well run the event went. Betty Sessions Lea complimented owner Chris Niksch stating it was “one of the most organized and well run tournaments” she had ever played in. The final few rounds resulted in some intense battles that resulted in a lot of hill-hill matches, making it a very exciting and unpredictable event to watch.

Betty finished in the top 16 after being defeated by the top finishing female player, Dana Aft, in the 3rd round and then finally getting knocked out by 5th/6th finisher Byron Baker, who was defeated by 4th place finisher Tommy Najar. Byron was knocked out of the winner's bracket by Tommy in the second round, having to face him again in the final 8, after Tommy was taken out of the winner's bracket by Mark Floyd. Tommy and Mark played again after Mark was taken out of the winners' bracket by Mike Byars in a match that went hill-hill. Dustin Byrd, the champion of the last event, finished in the top 24 after being defeated by Byron Baker as well. Dana Aft finished 5th/6th by a match that went hill-hill with 3rd place finisher Mark Floyd.

Mike Byars and John Salter faced off for the hot seat in the quarter-finals with Mike Byars defeating John Salter 4-8. John then played Mark Floyd in a hill-hill match with John winning the match to face Mike again in the final round. After a long second day of competition, both competitors decided to split the 1st and 2nd place prize and declared themselves co-champions.

The Georgia Billiard Academy has expanded with some new programs and events. They plan to have more tournaments in the future, and the next one will be October 7-9 at Cue's Billiards in Marietta, GA, but their primary focus will remain with their members and the training programs. The next 6-week training program, called the Ultimate Billiards Bootcamp (, will be held October 3 – November 19 and will be held at various host facilities around the greater Atlanta area. The scheduling is flexible and locations are convenient. Promoting the sport to the youth has also always been a primary focus for GBA so proceeds from the programs will go back to supporting the kids.

More information about programs and future events can be found at their website at, their facebook page at, or by calling 678-354-7400.