Woodward wins 11 on the loss side, double dips Roberts in finals of 46th Annual Texas Open
Skip Maloney
Sep. 4, 2019
Skyler Woodward (Erwin Dionisio)
Skyler Woodward (Erwin Dionisio)
There’s nothing that’ll let the air out of a competitive pool balloon faster than an early loss in a tournament with a lot of entrants. In a 128-entrant bracket, for example, a loss in the second round will almost double the number of matches you have to play to claim the event’s title. The winner and runner-up in such an event will have been there the same amount of time, but one of them will have played a lot more pool.
 
At the $4,000-added, Open 9-Ball Division of the 46th Annual Texas Open, held over Labor Day weekend (Aug. 28-Sept 2) that drew 128 entrants to Skinny Bob’s Billiards in Round Rock, TX, Josh Roberts played seven matches to claim the hot seat. He did not win the eighth match he needed to claim the title. Sky Woodward, though, patched up the ‘balloon’ that had burst in the second round, and ended up playing 15 matches; two on the winners’ side, 11 on the loss side and two in the true double elimination final that earned him the event title.
 
It was a very busy weekend in Round Rock. In addition to the Open 9-Ball Tournament, there was a 9-ball mini tournament (Wednesday night), a Jack ‘N Jill Scotch Doubles tournament that drew 16 teams (Thursday night), a Banks Ring Game (Friday night, in conjunction with the start of the Open 9-Ball), and a Women’s Open event (started Saturday night; separate story) that drew 32. It should be noted that the Jack N’ Jill Scotch Doubles title was shared by two teams; Co-tournament director James Davis, Sr. and long-time doubles partner Jennifer Kraber and a team made up of the Open winner (Woodward) and the Women’s event winner (Ming Ng).
 
Woodward’s winning campaign in the Open event opened on a promising note with a shutout over Donald Rock, but ran right into a double hill match against Alex Calderon, which shifted Woodward’s work to the loss side of the bracket. Roberts, in the meantime, worked his way through his first four opponents (Steven Butler, Jeremy Diggs, Tommy Vega and Ryan Hsu) by an aggregate score of 36-6. And then, like Woodward, Roberts ran into Alex Calderon, who battled Roberts to a deciding 17th game. Roberts dropped the final ball and advanced to a winners’ side semifinal against Justin Espinosa.
 
Meanwhile, John Gabriel, who’d defeated Kenneth Greer, Tommy Sanders, Al Mason and survived a double hill battle against Robb Saez, downed Ernesto Bayaua in a winners’ side quarterfinal to draw Kevin Guimond in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
Roberts got into the hot seat match with a 9-3 win over Espinosa. Gabriel joined him after sending Guimond to the loss side 9-6. Roberts chalked up what proved to be his last match win with a 9-3 victory over Gabriel and waited in the hot seat for Woodward to finish his 11-match, loss-side winning streak.
 
It was Justin Espinosa who drew Woodward on the loss side. At that point, Woodward had already won eight of his 11 loss-side matches, including, most recently, victories over Bayaua and Hsu, both 9-3. Kevin Guimond drew Sean Black, who was on a loss-side run comparable to  Woodward’s. Black had lost his opening round match and embarked on a nine-match winning streak that eventually earned him the second-most wins in the event. He’d most recently eliminated Steve Sheppard 9-5 and spoiled any hopes Woodward was entertaining about a rematch against Calderon, by defeating Calderon, double hill.
 
Black’s loss-side streak came to an end when Guimond eliminated him 9-6. Woodward’s continued with his third straight 9-3 win, this one over Espinosa to advance to the quarterfinals.
 
Woodward chalked up two more 9-3 wins to earn a shot at Roberts in the hot seat. He downed Guimond in the quarterfinals and Gabriel in the semifinals. He chalked up his 6th 9-3 win in the opening set of the true double elimination final. He broke the pattern and won the second set 9=7 to claim the event title.
 
Co-tour directors James Davis, Sr. and John Palmore thanked Sue and John Cielo and their Skinny Bob’s Billiards staff, as well as Sleep Inn, Mints Amusement, and James Hanshew. They also acknowledged Ray Hansen and his PoolActionTV crew for the live stream of the event throughout the long weekend.