Nick The Stick Wins Junior Tour Opener

Nick Tafoya

The first event of the Junior Billiards Tour was held on Saturday January 29th, 2005 at Dukes Billiards in Orlando Florida.

Using the exciting new 10 Ball Diamond Ring Game format, 13 year old Nick "The Stick" Tafoya from Albuquerque, NM came out on top to take first place and claim the $200 Nick Varner cue. Tafoya also qualifies for the first spot in the six person Diamond Ring Game Championship Final to be held at the Orlando Open at Disney World in August 2005.

Eleven junior players from around the country gathered in Orlando to compete in the three-tier event including 10 Ball and 9 Ball.

Under the 10 Ball Ring Game format, the field was randomly drawn into two individual 10 Ball Ring Games. Each player starts off with 3000 points. Each game is worth 300 points with the game value increasing after each five games. Each player shoots in order which is redrawn after each five games. Play continues until a player is out of points and only six players remain. The remaining six players are combined into one final six-person ring game. Players are eliminated when they are out of points and the game is won when only one player remains.

In the Ring Game Finals, 12 year old Matthew Menes from Tampa, FL led the field going into the finals before losing an "All-In" game to Tafoya. Menes received a copy of "Byrne's Complete Book of Pool Shots" for 2nd place.

The 2nd Chance 9 Ball Event for the Ring Game players who did not make the final six was won by Justin Gilsinan of Port St Lucie, FL. Gilsinan defeated 15 year old Mitchell Menes from Tampa FL for 1st place and the $100 Nick Varner cue.

17 year old Wayne Hutter from Mimms, FL showed his poise and focus by defeating Ring Game winner, Nick "The Stick" Tafoya in the 9 Ball Top Gun competition. Hutter fought his way up through the tough field in the loser's bracket to meet Tafoya in the finals. Hutter played flawlessly to pull off the double win and take the 9 Ball title. Hutter received a $100 Nick Varner cue for 1st Place.

The 2nd event of the Junior Billiards Tour will be held Saturday, March 5th, 2005 at Dukes Billiards in Orlando. For more information, visit the website at

Event Finishes:
Nick "The Stick" Tafoya 1st Place $200 Nick Varner Cue
Matthew Menes 2nd Place Byrnes Book
Wayne Hutter 3rd Place
Trey Jankowski 4th Place
Mark Dunlap 5th/6th Place
Amber Jankowski 5th/6th Place

2nd Chance 9 Ball DBL Elim Race to 5 W / Race to 3 L
Justin Gilsinan 1st Place $100 Nick Varner Cue
Mitchell Menes 2nd Place
Payton Crosby 3rd Place
Roger Aleong Jr. 4th Place
Flavio Farias 5th Place

9 Ball Top Gun Shootout DBL Elim Race to 5 W / Race to 3 L
Wayne Hutter 1st Place $100 Nick Varner Cue
Nick Tafoya 2nd Place
Matthew Menes 3rd Place
Mark Dunlap 4th Place
Trey Jankowski 5th/6th
Amber Jankowski 5th/6th


*1. Matthew Menes 12 Tampa, FL
*2. Mitchell Menes 15 Tampa, FL
*3. Charles "Payton" Crosby 16 North Port FL
*4. Roger C. Aleong Jr. 12 Palm Bay, FL
*5. Nick "The Stick" Tafoya (Nicholas) 13 Albuquerque , NM
*6. Justin Gilsinan 17 Port St Lucie, FL
*7. Trey Jankowski 18 North Port, FL
*8. Marcus Dunlap 18 Albuqurque, NM
*9. Flavio Farias 15 Orlando, FL
*10. Amber Jankowski (female) 13 North Port, FL
*11. Wayne Hutter 17 Mimms, FL