Joyner Dominates In San Antonio!

Cliff Joyner, Tino Lopez (Tour Sponsor) and Gabe Owen

Cliff Joyner dominated the field at the fourth stop of the Fast Eddie's 9 Ball Tour in San Antonio on April 18-19, 2004. Ninety four players in two divisions arrived in Fiesta town to wage battle with the sticks and stones.

The talent in the field was off the charts. Top picks were Jeremy Jones (current US Open Champion), Gabe Owen, Ciff Joyner (2004 US 8 & 9 Ball Champion) Charlie “Hillbilly” Bryant, Steve “Lizard” Smith, David Henson, Sylver Ochoa, Brian Jones and Robert Almaraz.

Coming in 13-16th placements were James Davis Sr., Marty Rodriguez, Jeremy Owens and Charlie Bryant. Finishing in the 9-12th positions were James Davis Jr., Eduardo Ramirez, Robert Almaraz and Brian Jones. Great shooting to all!

With his fast and loose style, Rick Stanley of Austin and Lanny Herrin of Houston, with his laid back approach, both shared the 7-8th spots on the charts. These “giant killers” forced Jeremy Jones and Gabe Owen to the one loss side with hill-hill victories, respectively.

Scott Kephart of San Antonio and David Henson of Pflugerville are always in the money and shot “straight as Springfield rifles” to jump into the 5-6th positions.

Jeremy Jones started his quest with triumphs over Jimmy Martinez, Tony Hinojosa, only to lose his first match to Rick Stanley. On the one loss side Jeremy was pronounced “the hill-hill king” with wins over Bill Kester 7-1, James Davis Sr. 7-6, James Davis Jr. 7-6, Lanny Herrin 7-3, David Henson 7-6. All those crunch matches took their toll as Jeremy lost his final match to his good friend, Gabe Owen, for a commendable 4th place finish.

Sylver Ochoa of McAllen, the only player to win two events in succession earlier this year, looked like he was on his way again as he started his run with conquests over Steve Espinosa, Robert Almaraz, Martin Salinas, Brian Jones and David Henson, when he was derailed by Cliff Joyner in the finals of the winner's bracket. In the finals of the brutal bracket, Gabe Owen proved to much for Sylver as he was sent to the spectator's gallery with a score of 7-2 and a fine 3rd place finish.

Gabe Owen of Tulsa started with victories over Rick Larque and Steve Smith, when Lanny Herrin sent him to the other side, 9-8. Gabe proved what he is made of as he went to work with wins over Fred Sanchez, Jeremy Owens, Brian Jones, Rick Stanley, Scott Kephart, Jeremy Jones and Sylver Ochoa to reach the finals.

Cliff Joyner of Houston, considered one of the best one pocket players in the world, showed he can come with it in all games as he cruised to the hot seat with victories over Charlie Bryant, Mike Adair, Jeremy Owens, Lanny Herrin, Scott Kephart and Sylver Ochoa. With Gabe Owen coming off the one loss side, it was going to be a great final match.

With spectacular runs, jumps and safety play by both players, it's a shame someone had to lose, but Cliff ruled supreme as he won over Gabe in a very close match, 9-7. Congratulations to both these fine players as this match could be used as an instructional on how to really play 9 Ball!

A special thanks to Bob Hamilton (GM-Culebra), Courtney, and their staff for hosting this great event. Also, a Big Thanks to the new Tour sponsors, Ruben Barrera with Alamo Pest Control, Martin Salinas with Alamo Courier Service and Wayne Richards and Robert Almaraz with Quality Used Cars.

Don't forget about the Houston Open on April 24-25 at Legends in League City and the “Banana” Rodriguez Memorial One Pocket Tournament at Banana's Billiards in San Antonio on May 7-9. See you next month in McAllen on May 1-2!