Gus Briseno takes the US Open 10 Ball Qualifier in the Desert

Dennis Orender and Gus Briseno


On February 6-7, the 1st stop of the Arizona Desert Classic Tour (DCT) rolled into Bullshooter’s in Phoenix, Arizona.  The tourney drew 56 players for this US OPEN 10 Ball Qualifier event.  Many players came from out of state with one thing in mind and that was to claim first place and the free entry into the US OPEN 10 Ball event in May. 

Gus Briseno wasted no time in picking up where he left off in 2009.  Gus was the DCT point’s leader in 2009, with multiple first place finishes on the tour.  He started off the 2010 season in the same fashion. 

On Saturday, Gus worked his way through the top half of the winner’s side with victories over Randy Thompson, Angel Paglia, George Ramirez, and Ron Skrez.  At the same time, Nick Deleon was tearing up the bottom half of the winner’s bracket with victories over Steve Wilson, Danny Davis, Ramon Rodriguez, and Sammy Martinez.  It was obvious that these two players were the ones to beat when Saturday came to a close. 

By Super Bowl Sunday, the field had been narrowed to 8 players.  Gus Briseno, Nick Deleon, Pete Lhotka, and Joe Cuellar were left on the winner’s side, while Randy Pelton, Sammy Martinez, Dennis Orender, and Paul Grande were battling it out on the one-loss side. 

Pete Lhotka defeated Nick Deleon in a nail biting hill/hill match, while Gus Briseno cruised to a 7/0 victory over Joe Cuellar.  This would set up the hot seat match between Gus and Pete.  On the one-loss side, Randy Pelton advanced over Sammy Martinez, while Dennis Orender topped Paul Grande. 

Later in the day, Gus would advance to the hot seat over Pete.  Pete’s opponent on the on-loss side would be none other than Nick Deleon, the same player he had defeated earlier in the tourney.  Nick was able to surpass Dennis Orender and Joe Cuellar for a rematch with Pete, as well as a shot at the finals.  This time, however; there would be a different outcome.  A few good rolls and Nick cruised to a 6/0 victory and advanced into the finals to face Gus. 

Gus brought his A-game to the finals, just as he had been doing all weekend.  He jumped out to an early 3/0 lead and never looked back.  He dissected rack after rack, picking off ball after ball and cruised to a dominating 9/0 victory in the finals.  His display of flawless 10 ball earned him the top spot on the DCT points list, the same place he held throughout the 2009 season, as well as a free entry into the US OPEN 10 Ball event in Las Vegas in May 2010.  Congratulations on a great tournament! 

The DCT would like to thank all of the players who came out to support the DCT, as well as CueSports International (CSI).  A special thanks to Mike Bates, owner of Bullshooter’s.  He and his staff always provide a great atmosphere and their support for the pool community continues to provide an outstanding venue for pool tourneys.   
Many thanks to all of the DCT sponsors:  Wild Horse Pass Hotel/Casino (title sponsor), OnQcases, Ozone Billiards, Teague Custom Cues, Brian Mordt Custom Cues, Billiard and Dart News, Jeff Pranke Leather Wraps,, G-Cue Billiards Store, Rixx Pixx, Breakball Promotions, Nick Deleon Photos, and Billiards Digest. 

The next event (stop 2) will be a bar table 8 ball event at Stinger’s on March 6-7.  Sign ups will be at 11 am, tourney draw is at noon (Arizona time).  Information about the Desert Classic Tour (DCT), as well as previous live stream videos can be seen at

Payouts from Bullshooter’s (includes sidepots) 

1. Gus Briseno $385 + US OPEN Qualifier spot ($550 value)
2. Nick Deleon $605
3.  Pete Lhotka $375
4.  Joe Cuellar $250
5/6 Randy Pelton $150
5/6 Dennis Orender $150
7/8 Sammy Martinez $100
7/8  Paul Grande $100
9/12 Terry Osborne $75
9/12 Evan Beeson $75
9/12 Mike Williams $75
9/12 Ron Skrez $75 

B/C Sidepot 
1. Evan Beeson $110
2. Mike Hamman $70