Jose Parica Conquers The 4th Annual Corpus Christi Classic Open 9-Ball

David Gutierrez, Jose Parica and Harrison Todd
Jose Parica Conquers The 4th Annual Corpus Christi Classic Open 9-Ball

Jose Parica, "The Leader of the Philippino Invasion" Captured not only First Place but also the hearts of the fans that were fortunate to watch him play. His mild manner and willingness to play and hang-out with the locals made him the real favorite to win this event. And it wasn't like he wasn't challenged! In the Winners Bracket Finals against legendary David Gutierrez, Parica was caught off balance and down 8-3 in a race to 9. With alternating breaks David G. should have had mores chances, but his breaks suddenly came up empty and Parica did what he had to do. David G. did have two chances to put the match away. One was a 6 ball that found the side pocket point and in a later game a four ball that rattled in the corner. However, Parica remained determined and tied the match at 8-8. The crowd was quiet when David G. made a 4-6 combo but lost position on the 4. He narrowly missed a long rail bank and left the rest for Parica to sweep up.

The event drew 68 players fighting for the $8,000. that was added by Paradise Pool & Billiards in Corpus Christi, Texas, making this the largest added money tournament in Texas in several years. Lewis Jones and Paul Blank ran the auction and helped room owner Harrison Todd with the chart and overall event promotion. Bleachers were set-up allowing hundreds to have great seats, and there was 24 hour action on many of the Lehmacher flush pocket 9' tables. Parica even played "Golf" on the 12' snooker table and there were several 3-Cushion matches taking place during the tournament. All the tables had just been recovered with Simonis 860 and everyone was very pleased with the equipment. The bar and kitchen staff all received compliments and food was available until 2am and breakfast was served at 8am. Ron Geyer did the cue repair for the forth year in a row, and he was joined by Jerry Olivier Custom Cues and Mystick Cues in the vending area.

Dale Briones, a 22 year old local player had a great event that included wins over Mike Bernardi, Robert Perez, Shayne Waltrip, Bobby Hunter, Tom Wallace and Daniel Perez before finally losing to Jui-Lung Chen. Dale finished in 7th Place. Chen came in 2nd to Rodney Morris last year and has also won the Texas State Championship. His run this year was halted at 5th Place by Manny Chau, who played great and finished in 3rd Place. Chau had wins over Hector Benavidez, David Matlock, Tom Wallace, Jason Pearce, Jui-Lung Chen and Rick Castillo but lost twice to Gutierrez.

Everyone was thrilled to watch 18 year old Justin Bergman play. He is a Two Time BCA Junior National Champion and hails from St. Louis, where he has receiving coaching from Mark Wilson. Justin needs to learn some manners though. He was brought to the event by David Matlock (his second appearance) from Olathe, Kansas but he knocked Matlock out of the tournament! Justin really is a fine young fellow and a real straight shooter. He had wins over Shane Evans, Art Pena, Matlock, John Holsonback, Charlie Mora and Kenny Greer. In both of his losses he got to 7 games. His first loss was to fine local player Tom Wallace and finally to Rick Castillo. It is really a treat to watch such a young player execute with such confidence and no fear. His picture will be on the cover of many billiard magazines in the future!

Rick Castillo enjoyed his first visit to Paradise with wins over Candy Ramos, Dale Briones, Charlie Mora, and Cesar Garcia before losing to Parica 9-7. Rick then beat Bergman and then lost to Chau and finished in 4th Place. David G., a past Texas State Champion and South Padre Champion, tore into Manny Chau in the Semi-Finals 9-1 for another chance against Parica.

The Finals was a Single Race to 13 with Gutierrez wining game one with a 1-9 carom. Parica won the next two but played a poor safe on the 1 and Gutierrez made a great shot and tied up the match 2-2. Then it was 3-3. Gutierrez broke and ran out, followed by Parica, and then Gutierrez ran out again for his third and final lead in the match. Parica missed a tough 3 ball, but eventually ran out. David G. then snapped in the 9, only to scratch and Parica won and won again to lead 7-5. Gutierrez missed the 3 and partially hooked Parica, who shot a half masse and even got shape! When shooting a tough 8 he almost scratched in the side and got corner hooked. His masse missed and Gutierrez made a table length straight shot for the win. Parica missed the 5, and David G. cut it in but couldn't see the 6. He kicked and left it in the pocket jaws, leaving an easy out. After Gutierrez scratched on the break Jose ran out for a 10-7 lead, but his next break was dry. David G. made a comeback, running out, then making 3 on the break and running to an easy 9. He missed it! Instead of Parica leading 10-9 the score is 11-8! In game 20 there are many safes and an intentional foul, and Gutierrez finally wins the game. He breaks in the 1-ball in and plays safe, but Parica kicks and makes the 2-6 combo and gets to the hill. In the final game Gutierrez misses the 2 and Parica wins the finals 13-9. He goes undefeated! He Invaded, He Played, He Conquered!

T-shirts with Gabe Owen listed as the 2002 & 2003 Champion and Rodney Morris 2004 winner were sold and Parica's name will be added to next year's event T-shirt.

1st Jose Parica $4000
2nd David Gutierrez $2300
3rd Manny Chau $1600
4th Rick Castillo $1100
5th/6th Justin Bergman, Jui-Lung Chen $750
7th/8th Dale Briones, Sam Manaole $600
9th/12th Daniel Perez, Kenny Greer, Jason Pearce, Cesar Garcia $450
13th/16th Charlie Mora, Bobby Brown, Tom Wallace, James Davis, Jr. $325