Wiley wins DFW 9-Ball Tour finale and Tour Champion title
Skip Maloney
Nov. 12, 2018
(l to r): Jeremy Jones, CJ Wiley and & TJ Davis
(l to r): Jeremy Jones, CJ Wiley and & TJ Davis
Going into the DFW 9-Ball Tour finale, held on the weekend of Nov. 10-11, the 2018 Tour Championship title was still very much in play. CJ Wiley stood atop the 10-stop point standings, poised to win it all, though Paul Guernsey and TJ Davis were a hair-width 40 and 80 points away (680-640-600). Had Guernsey won the final tour stop, with Wiley as runner-up, they’d have tied for first place. If Davis had won with Guernsey as runner-up, they’d have tied for first place. Had Wiley faltered in his quest for the event win and Tour Champion title, there were numerous ways it might have turned out.
 
But he didn’t falter. He faced seven opponents, including Jeremy Jones twice (early and late), played 84 games, winning (on average) three out of every four of them and finished undefeated to claim both the season finale and 2018 Tour Championship titles. The $5,000-added event drew 64 entrants to Rusty’s Billiards in Arlington, TX.
 
As it turned out, Wiley and Davis faced each other in the hot seat match. Wiley had gotten by Neil Nabil Saidawi and Douglas Pitts before running into Jeremy Jones for the first time. In races to 9, handicapped with Fargo Ratings, Jones chalked up more racks against Wiley (6) in their third-round meeting than any other opponent Wiley faced all weekend, including Jones in their later meeting in the finals. Wiley then advanced to meet and defeat Phil Auteri, which set him up to face Jordan Gartenberg in one of the winners’ side semifinals.
 
Davis, meanwhile, had defeated Michael Montgomery, Cody Wright, Brian Horvath and Greg Sandifer to draw Jersey Jack Lynch in the other winner’s side semifinal. Davis sent Lynch to the loss side 8-2, as Wiley shut Gartenberg out to join him. Wiley assured himself a minimum second place finish by defeating Davis 9-2. Davis moved to the semifinals, having secured a minimum third place finish.
 
On the loss side, Jones was at work on the seven-match, loss-side winning streak that would earn him a re-match against Wiley in the finals. A victory over Denny Sneed put Jones into the first money round (13th-16th) where he defeated Oscar Araujo 9-4. He advanced to eliminate Greg Sandifer and Tim Larson, both 9-5, to draw Gartenberg, coming over from the winners’ side semifinal. Jersey Jack Lynch drew Corey Flud, who’d been sent to the loss side by Jones in the second round and was on his own seven-match, loss-side quest for a re-match, against Jones. Flud eliminated Billy Guy, Douglas Pitts, Suliman Abu Salem and Steve Raynes, before defeating Clint Palaci, double hill, and Phil Auteri 7-3 to draw Jersey Jack.
 
Flud earned his quarterfinal re-match against Jones with a 7-5 victory over Lynch. Jones did his part with a 9-2 victory over Gartenberg. Flud started the quarterfinal with two on the wire in a race to 9. Jones defeated him a second time 9-4, and then moved on to give up only a single rack in a semifinal win over Davis.
 
Their Fargo Rates are 37 points apart with Jones given the edge over Wiley, 749-712. Wiley defied the FargoRate Match odds, giving him a roughly 30% chance of winning (29.6% to be precise). Jones chalked up the second-highest number of racks against him in the tournament, but Wiley took the match 9-5 to claim both the event and Tour Champion title.
 
Wiley finished the event as he’d started it, at the top of the tour rankings. TJ Davis and Paul Guernsey (who finished the event in the tie for 25th) switched places; Davis, finishing second and Guernsey finishing third. In addition to awarding the Tour Championship to Wiley, the tour gave a Best Sportsman Award to Billy Guy.
 
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Rusty's Billiards, as well as title sponsor Predator Cues, Fort Worth Super Billiards Store JB Cases, Outsville (Accu-Rack), Granite Guyz, BCAPL/CSI and Dallas Eight-Ball League.