Joyner Sweeps U.S. Bar Table Championships

Joyner Sweeps U.S. Bar Table Championships

Cliff Joyner swept both divisions of the U.S. Bar Table Championships at the Sands Regency Casino in Reno, Nevada. It was a triumphant return to the Sands for the Houston based Joyner who only last December had a disappointing third place finish in the Sands Open. So complete was his dominance that Joyner also won a 32 player mini before the main events got underway. The $20 mini tourney paid the taciturn Joyner $260 (he defeated Ron Wiseman in the finals) and got his week off with a bang. He proceeded to go undefeated in both the 9-Ball and Eight Ball tournaments, winning a remarkable SEVENTEEN matches in a row! Twenty two in a row counting the mini tournament! Now that's Dominance. There has never been a performance even remotely close to this in the ten previous U. S. Bar Table Championships. And all this from a player who claims to not like playing on the small tables.

In the 9-Ball division 108 players teed it up on Thursday March 4. All but 32 were eliminated the first day and the remaining players were "in the money". With eight players left on the winner's side of the board Joyner beat former New Jersey and California champion Paul "Doc" Brienza 9-4. Next up was the always tough Jose Parica and down he went 9-5. This was followed by a 9-5 'hot seat' victory over Ernesto Dominguez. Ernesto earned a return shot at Joyner by defeating Parica 9-6. To no avail as the Joyner turned on the jets to coast to a 9-6 win and gain the title and the 5K to go with it.

Next up was Eight Ball and a huge 151 player field got underway on Friday. In the round of eight, Joyner got his first real scare, falling behind Rick Raymundo 4-0 in the race to five. With the alternate break format things looked bleak for quiet Cliff, but somehow he pulled it off taking the next five games in a row. He then bounced Len Swisher and Edwin Montal by identical 5-2 scores to reach the hot seat. Edwin took the loser's side defeating another strong Canadian, Steve Cherewyk in a 5-4 thriller. One more match for Joyner and he had to beat Montal who was shooting great pool. The final match of this tournament may have been the best as both players played excellently. At 4-3 Joyner, Montal pulled off an amazing run-out making one brilliant shot after another. In the case game, Joyner showed he would not be denied, breaking and running out a very difficult rack. It was Joyner's week and he earned every penny of the $11,260 he made at the Sands. Next year's U.S. Bar Table Championship is scheduled for March 2-6, 2005. See you there!


1. CLIFF JOYNER $5,000
2. Ernesto Dominguez $3,000
3. Jose Parica $2,000
4. Santos Sambajon $1,000
5-6. Josh Smith & Danny Petralba $800
7-8. Jeff Heath & Edwin Montal $600
9-12. Shannon Daulton, Ian Costello, Frank Almanza & Paul Brienza $400
13-16. Nate Green, Steve McQueen, George Michaels & Chris MacDonald $300
17-24. Jon Balan, Steve Knoll, Jason Marcoulier, Danny Medina, Richard Burns, Ron Wiseman, Ace Brown & Don Wirtaman $200
25-32. Bob Halloran, Dane Elmstedt, John Widen, Marty Biegler, Dave Dattilo, Nelson Silva, Chad Bisconer & Gerardo Jamito $120.


1. CLIFF JOYNER $5,000
2. Edwin Montal $3,000
3. Steve Cherewyk $2,000
4. Tony Chohan $1,250
5-6. Joey Gebron & Len Swisher $1,000
7-8. Rick Raymundo & Kings Santy $750
9-12. Danny Medina, Jody Thornton, Darold Crain, Shannon Daulton $550
13-16. Dave Dattilo, Steve Knoll, Frank Almanza, Ron Wiseman $400
17-24. Will Nowicki, Ace Brown, Jeff Heath, Roger Hovden, Jason Marcoulier, Ernesto Dominguez, Bob Halloran & Bee Davison $250
25-32. Gerardo Jamito, Nick Hewko, Don McClelland, Don Wirtaman, Santos Sambajon, Matt Bryan, Don Hlousek, Dan Petralba $150