Hunt Dominates Planet Pool 8-Ball and Friend Gets First 2005 Win

David Hunt and Ceci Strain

David Hunt proved that his current number one ranking on the new Planet Pool 8-Ball Amateur Tour is no fluke by winning his second out of three tour stops this weekend at Champion Billiards Cafe, Shirlington, VA. This is his third consecutive final and he showed the same kind of consistency that landed him the title of the Inaugural Planet Pool 8-Ball champion earlier this year.

Overcoming a second-round hill-hill scare by Alex Papanicolas and another two rounds later against Mark Andrews, the Richmond native and dentist by day displayed some fine left-handed skill to carve his way to the finals undefeated. Ken Mason, who went two-and-out in the first 8-Ball stop on Sterling in February set the record straight this time around by producing a solid showing, only to narrowly get bumped into the one-loss side by Shirlington local Pat Carosi. Mason got his revenge in the semi-finals by beating Carosi 3-2 to set up his attempt at knocking Dave Hunt from his throne. But Hunt showed no kink in the armor in the finals, effortlessly taking first place as if it were a foregone conclusion.

In the Ladies' Division, 16 players got up an hour early to beat daylight savings time, and right out of the gate it was Kathy Friend that seemed to have had the best rest the night before. With 4-0 wins over Ceci Strain, Paula Brown, and Chanta Kli, she set up a winners' bracket final against Ohio's Tina Meraglio. Friend took the hot seat in a match that went down to the wire, and sent Meraglio over to the one-loss side to face 21 year-old "Action" Ellen Yu. That race-to-two match barely teetered in Meraglio's favor, which gave her another shot at Friend. The final see-sawed for six games, but then Friend scored two in a row to give her her first tournament win on the tour this year.

Open Division Results & Payouts:
1st - David Hunt - $440
2nd - Ken Mason - $290
3rd - Pat Carosi - $200
4th - Wayne Edwards - $120
5th - Steve Luskey - $90
5th - Freddy Dominguez - $85

Women's Division Results & Payouts:
1st - Kathy Friend - $180
2nd - Tina Meraglio - $125
3rd - Ellen Yu - $85

The next Planet Pool stop is at Breaktime Sports Grill & Pub in Salsbury, MD on Apr 16-17, and will feature a $2,000 added 9 Ball event and a $500 added 8-Ball event. Please see for details.