Sunshine State Pro Am holds inaugural Scotch Doubles event - Battle of the Billiards
Skip Maloney
Oct. 29, 2018
(l to r): Joe Zinkhan, Tim Baron, Joselito Martinez & Marcos Burgos
(l to r): Joe Zinkhan, Tim Baron, Joselito Martinez & Marcos Burgos
Martinez and Burgos down Baron and Zinkhan to claim inaugural title
 
Looking to create a little friendly competition among the multiplicity of pool rooms in Florida, Sunshine State Pro Am Tour directors Janene Phillips and Bobby Garza launched an inaugural event called Battle of the Billiards Big Dawg Scotch Doubles on the weekend of Oct. 27-28 at Stroker’s Billiards in Palm Harbor, FL. While 19 two-player teams participated in the $500-added, Scotch Doubles event, not all were sponsored by pool rooms. It is Phillips’ and Garza’s hope that as the event progresses in its annual schedule, more and more rooms will opt to send players to compete.
 
This first year’s winners (Joselito Martinez and Marcos Burgos) and runner-ups (Tim Baron and Joe Zinkhan) were independent teams. The two teams played three times, vying for the title. Baron and Zinkhan got into the hot seat, but Martinez and Burgos came back from the semifinals to defeat them in a true double elimination final.
 
Their first match, battling for the hot seat, followEd Martinez and Burgos’ 7-4 victory over the team of Les Duffy and Anthony Fisher, sponsored by Don Kreischer’s Boulevard Billiards. Baron and Zinkhan, meanwhile, faced off against Larry Wathal’s team from Brewlands (Dale Stanley and Mubarak Suleiman) and defeated them 7-5. Baron and Zinkhan claimed the hot seat 7-5 over Martinez and Burgos and waited on their return from the semifinals.
 
On the loss side, Duffy and Fisher picked up Sam Kantar and David Jacobs from Boynton Billiards, as Stanley and Mubarak drew the team of Trey Jankowski and Mitch Nelson. Both matches finished at 5-3, advancing Kantar/Jacobs and Jankowski/Nelson to the quarterfinals.
 
Kantar and Jacobs won the quarterfinal match by the same 5-3 score and then, in the semifinals, were defeated by that same score by Martinez and Burgos, who earned themselves a second, and as it turned out, third shot at Baron and Zinkhan in the hot seat.
 
Martinez and Burgos took the opening set of the true double elimination final 7-4. In a shortened race to 5 in the second set, Martinez and Burgos won again 5-3 to claim the inaugural Battle of the Billiards Big Dawg Scotch Doubles title.
 
Tour directors Phillips and Garza thanked Jose Del Rio and his staff at Stroker’s Billiards for hosting the event, as well as the owners of all of the venues who sponsored teams, including Stroker’s (which sponsored two teams), Capone’s, Trick Shots (Orlando, FL), Park Avenue Billiards, and the rest of the teams mentioned in the narrative above. They also thanked sponsors Cyclops Balls, Diamond, and AZBilliards.
 
The next regular stop on the Sunshine State Pro Am Tour, scheduled for the weekend of Nov. 17-18, will be the amateur-only, $1,000-added Sunshine State Pro Am 10-Ball Bar Box Championships, to be hosted by Rack’s Billiards in Sanford, FL.