Hunt And Lawless Win Planet Pool Inaugural 8 Ball Event

David Hunt

A total field of 57 players made it to the first ever Planet Pool Amateur 8 Ball Tour event at First Break Cafe in Sterling, VA this weekend. In the absence of the handful of pros who frequent the regular 9 Ball Tour, it was anybody's tournament in the Open Division, especially with the short-race format, which was adopted to favor the amateur league players who the 8 Ball Tour is aimed at.

Joe Pasko looked to be the man to beat after he disposed of Chris Comstock in the fourth round, but in the other half of the draw, Richmond, VA's David Hunt was unstoppable, dropping only 3 games in 5 race-to-five matches. He continued his rampage by taking the hot seat in a 5-1 decision over Pasko. On the one loss side, it was local boy, Brandon Shuff who fought his way back from a first round defeat against Ed Deska on Saturday. He took revenge in a Sunday morning rematch, ousting Deska 5 to zip. Shuff then beat tour sponsor, Todd Elkins from Parrot Cue who had earlier lost to Hunt in the winners' bracket quarter-finals, as well as 9 Ball Tour regular Peter Ghostine to make him a new threat to Hunt's run. Shuff took care of Pasko in a tight hill-hill match in the elimination bracket finals to make it a loval favorite versus the out-of-towner final. But Hunt played impeccably, taking an early 6-1 lead before giving Shuff a chance to steal two games. In the end, it was all Hunt, winning the $400 first prize with a 7-3 victory.

The ladies' division saw 14 players gather to fight it out. Cleveland, OH's Tina Meraglio and two-time 9 Ball Tour event winner and 2004 WPBA qualifier Amanda Pasko (it runs in the family!) both put in strong performances to get to meet in the winners' bracket final. Pasko took the hot seat with a decisive 4-2 win, while Meraglio waited on the one-loss side for Kathleen Lawless, who finished 2nd to Sueyen Rhee two weeks ago at the Planet Pool 2005 Season Opener. Lawless, who dropped her first match to Jinhee Park, seemed determined to make her second final in two weeks. A 3-0 win over Meraglio in the semi-finals gave her a shot at Pasko in the final. Lawless played fiercely and never dropped a single game to give her her first ever win on the Planet Pool Tour.

Open Division Results & Payouts:

1st - David Hunt - $400
2nd - Brandon Shuff - $260
3rd - Joe Pasko - $170
4th - Peter Ghostine - $120
5th - Todd Elkins - $85
5th - Fred Scott - $85

Women's Division Results & Payouts:

1st - Kathleen Lawless - $170
2nd - Amanda Pasko - $110
3rd - Tina Meraglio - $70
4th - Janet Keith - $50

The next Planet Pool stop is at Bill & Billies in Arnold, MD on Feb 26-27, $2,500 added 9 Ball. The next 8 Ball Tour event will be at Breaktime Sports Grill & Pub in Salisbury, MD.