Larson goes undefeated to win his first DFW 9-Ball Tour stop in four years

Gus Briseno, Shane McMinn and Tim Larson

He’s been away for a while, not recorded a payout win since 2019, his best recorded earnings year, when he won two stops on the Cuetec DFW 9-Ball Tour and cashed in six others for a total average finish of 4th place that year. In 2023, Tim Larson of Frisco, TX has cashed in three of the tour’s events so far and this past weekend (May 20-21), went undefeated at Stop #5, downing Shane McMinn twice (hot seat and finals) to claim his first DFW title since September, 2019. The $2,000-added event, hosted by Rusty’s in Arlington, TX drew 59 entrants, a figure apparently known in Texas as a low turnout.

Runner-up Shane McMinn, from Oklahoma, was also looking for his first win on the tour since a while ago. Sooner than Larson, though. McMinn chalked up a DFW 9-Ball Tour win back in September, 2021, downing long-time rival Joey Gray in the finals of a stop at Jeffro’s Billiards in Canton, TX, which also featured a Texas-low-turnout of 60.

McMinn, as the highest rated competitor in the field, was racing to 10 in every match. Larson, along with CJ Wiley, TJ Davis and Gus Briseno, who would end up finishing third, were racing to 9.

Larson and McMinn each gave up a total of only 11 racks through their first four matches; McMinn doing so in 40 games, Larson in 36. Larson got by Brian Dluge (3), Randy Staggs (3), Shawn (Nurse) Morris (1) and Paul Sifuentes (4) to arrive at his winners’ side semifinal matchup against Neil Saidawi. McMinn, in the meantime, was sending Jennifer Hooten (1), Pasini Taloa (4), Fahad Alrawi (3) and Daniel Bowman (3) to the loss side, setting himself up to face Briseno in the other winners’ side semifinal.

Larson added only one to his racks-against total, sending Saidawi to the loss side 9-1. McMinn added four, defeating Briseno 10-4. Larson had to add six more racks-against battling for the hot seat. But McMinn had to add nine, as Larson claimed that hot seat 9-6.

Greg Sandifer, who’d lost his third-round match to Curtis Cardwell 7-3, was working on a four-match, loss-side winning streak which had recently eliminated Albert Pedraza 8-2 and TJ Davis 8-5, which set him up against Saidawi. Briseno picked up Roman Bayda, who might have had to face McMinn on the winners’ side, had he not run into and eventually lost a double hill match to Daniel Bowman. Bayda was working on a four-match, loss-side streak as well, having recently sent Paul Sifuentes 8-3 and Friday Abismo 8-4 to the proverbial ‘showers.’ 

Briseno and Saidawi put an end to both loss-side winning streaks; Briseno eliminating Bayda 9-7 and Saidawi ending Sandifer’s run 7-5. Briseno then put a stop to Saidawi’s single-match, loss-side streak 9-5 in the quarterfinals.

Shane McMinn then ended Briseno’s two-match winning streak 10-5 in the semifinals. Larson and McMinn repeated their hot seat match performance; same score (9-6) with the same result, a win for Larson that allowed him to chalk up his first DFW 9-Ball Tour title in four years.

Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Rusty’s for their hospitality, along with title sponsor Cuetec and Fort Worth Billiards Superstore. The next stop on the Cuetec DFW 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for the weekend of June 24-25, will be hosted by Stixx & Stones in Lewisville, TX. 

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