Kiamco wins Houston Open; Little wins third straight in Ladies event

Warren Kiamco


Warren Kiamco went undefeated through a field of 128 entrants to win the $5,000-added Houston Open on the weekend of September 28-30. Shortly after Kiamco had concluded his undefeated run on Sunday night (morning) by defeating Danny Lee a second time, Melissa Little finished up the $500-added, 26-entrant ladies event, defeating Amanda Lampert in the finals for the second year in a row, to win her third straight Houston Open Ladies title. Both events were hosted by Legends Billiards in League City, TX, and were streamed live via UStream and the Big Truck Show.

Kiamco and Lee both survived double hill battles to advance among the winners' side final four; Kiamco having downed James Davis, Sr., as Lee was sending Manny Chau west. Kiamco picked up David Hensen, as Lee squared off against Sean King. Kiamco sent Hensen to the loss side 9-6, as Lee was busy defeating King 9-5. In their first of two, Kiamco prevailed 9-5 and sat in the hot seat.

Over on the loss side, Hensen picked up Sylver Ochoa, who was on a loss-side streak that would propel him to the semifinals. He got by Rafael Martinez 7-1 and Joey Barnes (last year's Houston Open winner), also 7-1. King drew Cliff Joyner, who'd defeated Davis, Sr. and Ernesto Bayaua, both 7-4. 

Ochoa and Joyner advanced to the quarterfinals, both with 7-4 victories over Hensen and King. Ochoa then eliminated Joyner by the same 7-4 score, and turned to face Lee in the semifinals. Ochoa, however, was out of gas. He managed only a single rack in the semifinal match that sent Lee back for a double elimination final against Kiamco.

Kiamco and Lee traded racks to an early 2-2 tie, to which Kiamco added two for a slim 4-2 lead. Lee responded with three straight of his own, which gave him an even slimmer 5-4 lead. They traded racks back and forth to a 6-6 tie. Kiamco took the 13th rack, and at a critical juncture in the 14th, Lee attempted a long bank shot late in the game that failed. Kiamco cleaned up and was on the first-set-race-to-9 hill. Lee scratched on the subsequent break, and Kiamco closed it out to win the event title.

In the Ladies event, it was the second year in a row that Melissa Little and Amanda Lampert had met in the finals. Little was looking for her third straight win at the event. This year, though, it was Lampert in the hot seat, waiting for Little, whom she'd sent to the semifinals with a 7-5 win in the hot seat match.

Little moved over and survived a double hill semifinal against Kim Sanders, who'd defeated Courtney Peters in the quarterfinal match. Little took the opening set of the true double elimination final 7-5. In the shortened race-to-5 second set, Little won 5-2 to complete her third straight victory at the Houston Open.