Mario Cruz wins Planet 9-Ball Pro Open

Mario Cruz wins Planet 9-Ball Pro Open

The Florida Men's Pro Tour held their third event of the season, The Planet 9-ball Pro Open, at Planet 9-Ball in Tampa, FL this weekend.

Buddy Hall remained undefeated going into the Sunday matches, where he defeated Richie Richeson, Claude Marrie and then Mario Cruz for the hot-seat. Cruz made short work of Grossman with a 9-3 victory on the one-loss side to set up the rematch with Hall in the finals.

The finals were another classic match, with Buddy jumping out to a 10-5 lead. Cruz won the next two games to get back to 10-7, before Hall won the next game for an 11-7 lead. Cruz won the next two games and then broke and ran three racks to take a 12-11 lead. Hall won the next game with some great shot-making to tie the score at hill-hill, but Cruz ran out the last rack for the 13-12 win.

All three Florida Men's Pro Tour events have now been won by the player coming from the one-loss side, and the last two events have been won at hill-hill.

Tour director John Ditoro expressed his thanks to Planet 9-Ball owner Ken Miller for hosting this great event. Ken Miller is a noted Wheelchair player, and Planet 9-Ball will be hosting the International Wheelchair 9-Ball Championship September 23rd and 24th. The finals of this event will be taped for broadcast on ESPN.

Cruz won $3000 for first place, while Hall settled for $1700. Grossman and Ed Porter filled out the top four positions. The Florida Men's Pro Tours next event will be the Fall Roundup at Pro Billiards in Orlando, FL on September 27th - 28th.

Complete Payouts:
1st Mario Cruz $3000
2nd Buddy Hall $1700
3rd David Grossman $1300
4th Ed Porter $1000
5th/6th Andre Koukiadakis, Claude Marrie $770
7th/8th Ben Conway Jr., Glen Olson $550
9th/12th Richie Richeson, Paul Song, Tony Crosby, Tom Wallace $380
13th/16th Troy Frank, Ray Martin, Alan Kiehle, Steve Knoll $270