Marlon Manalo Wins 2005 Texas Hold ‘Em Billiards

December 12, 2005 - Poway, CA: "This tournament takes the sport to a whole new level," said an elated Marlon Manalo moments after capturing the 2005 TEXAS HOLD 'EM BILLIARDS CHAMPIONSHIP. The pressure packed $100,000 winner-take-all event was held at the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, MA on December 10, 2005. Manalo, from the Philippines, defeated Johnny Archer of the USA for all the money in the final match and was crowned the "Texas Hold 'Em Billiards Champion." The two semifinals and the Championship match were taped by ESPN for telecast beginning in February.

"The pressure is just incredible," said Manalo. "There's no margin for error from start to finish. One shot missed and you can lose $100,000! Your nerves are off the wall during the entire tournament."

Indeed, of the eight champions in the event, Manalo battled his way to the title. He overpowered 2004 Sands Open Champion Rodney Morris, 2004 Sudden Death 7-Ball Champion Corey Deuel and 2004 Pro Tour Champion Robb Saez in the first semifinal.

The semifinal and final matches pit four players in a format similar to Texas Hold 'Em Poker, with chip totals of $500,000 at stake in each semifinal and $1,000,000 at stake in the Championship match. The four players in a match start with equal amounts of chips and are required to make ever-increasing wagers through four rounds of play. The two top money winners from each semifinal advance to the Championship match.

Manalo and Morris advanced from the first semifinal with earnings of $335,000 and $165,000 respectively. In the other semifinal, Player of the Decade Johnny Archer and 2004 U.S. Open Champion Gabe Owen eliminated 2005 Planet 9-Ball Champion Charlie Williams and 2004 Canadian Champion Luc Salvas. Archer advanced to the finals with $310,000 and Owen carried forward $190,000 in winnings. In the Championship match, Owen was eliminated in game 10 and Morris was out in game 13. Archer was forced to go "All In" three games in a row before Manalo claimed the million in chips.

Texas Hold 'Em Billiards duplicates the format of Texas Hold' Em Poker with players required to make huge bets and often forced to go "All-In!" The game is a mirror image of poker and the format requires the competitors to put it all on the line. A match consists of 16 games, with 4 games to a round, and game values increase every round. Each player must 'ante" that amount and the winner of the game receives that amount from the other 3 players in his bracket A player with less than or equal to the dollar amount required for a game must go "All-In" and if he does not win that game, he is eliminated Only one man is left standing in the $100,000 Winner-Take-All Championship match!

Marlon Manalo was the one man left standing and the crowd gave him a rousing ovation when he won the final match. He raised his arms in victory and then accepted the highest single winner-take-all purse of $100,000. The trophy and the check were presented by Springfield civic leader Bob Turin and Olhausen Billiards, and Viking Cues presented a one-of-a-kind cue inscribed "2005 Texas Hold 'Em Billiards Champion." The presentation brought another round of cheers from the audience.

In addition to the fine tournament site at the Basketball Hall of Fame, the event was sponsored by Olhausen Billiards, Viking Cues, Aramith Super Pro Balls, Simonis Cloth, Mueller Recreational Products, Liguria International, Original Italian Slate, Ozone Billiards, Silver Cup Chalk, Hilton Garden Inn, Springfield Business Improvement District and Massachusetts' Pioneer Valley. The event was produced by Matt Braun and Bettiane Braun of Billiards International, Ltd. in association with Allen Hopkins.

Olhausen Billiards, located in Poway, California, is known for their beautifully hand-crafted pool tables and fine line of matching game room accessories. The Olhausen Authorized Dealer Network extends throughout the United States and the world. Olhausen products are proudly made in the USA and are available in Oak, Maple, Cherry, and a variety of exotic hardwoods, which can be custom-finished to match your d?cor. Olhausen Billiard Manufacturing, Inc. is celebrating over 30 years in the business and has consistently pursued a tradition of dedication to Quality, Service, Selection, and Value. These attributes have earned the company the title of "The Best in Billiards."

For more information about Olhausen or its products, call 1-800-866-4606 or log on to Olhausen's World Wide Web Site at