Ochoa Nails Two In A Row!

Robert Newkirk and Sylver Ochoa

Sylver Ochoa of McAllen won his second event in a row on The Fast Eddie's 9 Ball Tour 2004. Ninety five combatants in two divisions showed February 21-22 in San Antonio at the Fast Eddie's Embassy location to do battle on the green rectangle.

Top picks of the field in the open division were Jeremy Jones (current US Open Champion and winner of the 2003 Season Finale), James "Bastrop" Davis Sr., Shane Harvey, David Henson, Javier Franco, Danny Watson, Sylver Ochoa and Robert Almaraz.

Finishing in the 13-16th positions were Eduardo Ramirez, Tony Hinojosa, Aaron Salinas and Shane Harvey. In the 9-12th positions were David Henson, Javier Franco, Chico Colon and Bill Fuller. Two very close matches settled the 7-8th placements with James Davis Sr. being defeated 7-5, and Jeremy Jones capitulating 7-6. Good showing, guys!

The 5-6th were filled by two gentlemen who are always in the money, Scott Kephart and Robert Almaraz. Nice to see them back on the tournament trail again.

Charles Swisher of Austin was a new face on the Tour who really opened some eyes. He proved pressure was no problem as he played very steady with victories over Chance Kirkpatrick, Danny Watson, Alfred Navaez and Robert Almaraz before falling to Robert Newkirk in the semifinals. In "the run out or get out" bracket, Charles vanquished Scott Kephart only to lose the next round to Jesse Mata to end his run in the commendable fourth position.

Jesse Mata of San Antonio showed his old form by defeating Bill Derryberry, Martin Salinas, Aaron Salinas, James Davis Sr. before yielding to Sylver Ochoa. He went to work on the one loss side with triumphs over Robert Almaraz and Charles Swisher before being sent to the gallery by Robert Newkirk to land in the third place position.

When Robert Newkirk is in the building, everyone knows it because of his infectious laughter, sense of humor and tenacious energy. Being a independent businessman, it makes one wonder how he finds time to play on the level he does. Robert started his quest with wins over Scott Rister, Rigo Pena, Tracy Sanders, Jeremy Jones and Charles Swisher. In the finals of the winner's bracket, he went hill-hill with Sylver Ochoa, only to lose the case game. In the finals in the brutal bracket, he defeated Jesse Mata to, once more, meet Sylver in the finals.

Sylver Ochoa, the young lion from McAllen, is cementing his name in the Texas billiard archives by, first, coming in second in last year's Tour Season Finale, second, winning the Tour's first event last month in Austin and, third, by going undefeated in this event. Sylver took the short road to the finals with conquests over Bill Fuller, King Drake, Candy Ramos, Scott Kephart, Jesse Mata and Robert Newkirk. The finals was all Sylver as he defeated Robert Newkirk, 9-4. Congratulations to Danny Watson on winning the Second Chance tournament on Sunday.

A big THANK YOU to Mark "Big Lew" Lewis, Summer Bowen, Michael and their staff for hosting the event! Also, thanks to the players and spectators along with the vendor's Ron Geyer of The Custom Cue Connection, Jack Kompan of Mystick Cues, Joe Salazar of The Connoisseur of Custom Cues, Terry "Bubba" Ragan of Schuler Cues, Anne Mayes of Annie O's Cues, Tino Lopez of Teodor's Tacos and Richard Sauer of The Billiard Factory of San Antonio. Thanks again because it just doesn't happen without you! See you next month in Houston!

Complete Payouts:
1st Sylver Ochoa $1300
2nd Robert Newkirk $900
3rd Jesse Mata $650
4th Charles Swisher $460
5-6 Robert Almaraz, Scott Kephart $300
7-8 Jeremy Jones, James Davis Sr. $200
9-12 David Henson, Bill Fuller, Javier Franco, Chico Colon $130
13-16 Tony Hinojosa, Eduardo Ramirez, Aaron Salinas, Shane Harvey $80