Klatt Crowned New NYC 9-Ball Champion at Skyline Billiards

Robb Saez (that dude) and Jason Klatt

On March 19-20, the sixth annual NYC 9-Ball Championship was held at Skyline Billiard Club in Brooklyn, NY. Skyline graciously adds $3,000 each year to this event. The format was a race to 9/7 with an affordable entry fee of $150 to draw players of all levels. Hot homemade entrees were brought in on Saturday for players, catered by co-owner Rob Pole's own mom.

“This tournament used to be held the weekend before the world straight pool tournament,” said tournament director, Jose Burgos. This event has always boasted an impressive attendance record, most notably Francisco Bustamante's win in 2008 with Mika Immonen, Mike Davis, and Johnny Archer among the field and, Neils Feijen's victory in 2007 when the Filipino contingency of Dennis Orcollo, Ronnie Alcano, Lee Van Corteza, and Jose Parica all made appearances.

This year was no different. A tough field of 39 players showed up, including reigning U.S. Open 9-Ball Champion Darren Appleton, as well as Mike Davis, Jason Klatt, and John Morra. Two-time reigning champion, Stevie Moore's hope of bringing home a third title was shattered when he got the one-two k.o. from Appleton. Moore was defeated 9-7 in a first round match deemed worthy of the finals. He was later eliminated by Appleton 7-1 in 30 minutes flat and settled for 7th place.

Appleton received his first loss by Klatt when he missed a 3 ball at hill-hill. A few rounds later, he found himself down 5-2 against Morra who's only mistake was breaking dry. Appleton closed the gap before hanging a 5 ball. Morra pocketed the 5 and hooked himself on the 6. His jumping skills failed him this time, allowing Appleton control of the game and match. Appleton dished another convincing win of 7-1 over local player Joey Kong before getting handed a 7-1 loss from Rob Saez. Saez was ahead 6-0 before Appleton won his first game. The Brit had several uncharacteristic misses on the 9 ball and received a third place finish for his efforts.

Klatt defeated Saez 9-6 to enter the finals, while leading the entire match. The confident Saez, who finished runner-up to Ralf Souquet last weekend at the Super Billiards Expo, was out for blood. His strong victory over Appleton gave him the chance for a rematch against Klatt. Without hesitation, Saez claimed the first set 9-7. Both players took a quick break before starting the second set. Klatt got his mistakes out of the way early in the match when he missed a 4 ball to go up 1-0. Before Saez knew it, Klatt caught a gear and jumped ahead 6-1 before missing the same 4 ball in the side. Saez took that game and the next two but his comeback was short lived. Klatt ran the final rack  to win 7-3.

Complete online brackets here.