Patsura & Muramatsu Take Texas Open 9 Ball

Vitaliy Patsura

Over the past weekend, the grand finale of the 49th Annual Texas Open 9 Ball Championships took place. Hosted by owners Kim and Tracy Sanders, Skinny Bob’s Billiards in Round Rock, TX was the place to be!

The $20,000 added 9 Ball Open had an entry fee of $200. The double elimination event was races to nine and winner breaks. Using a template rack, the nine was racked on the spot with three point rule in effect. 

After the players auction, the brackets were posted and play began.

Using eighteen Diamond tables, the 128 player field was whittled down by Sunday to the final 32. A second players auction was held and when it was over, the action resumed. 

Two players battled their way through the very tough field to the hot seat match – Ukraine’s Vitaliy Patsura and BCA Hall of Famer Alex Pagulayan. 

On his way to the hot seat match, Patsura thumped Raymond Linares 9-2 and Jay McGovern 9-1 and defeated Justin Espinosa 9-5, Nathan Wallace 9-7 and Jesus Atencio 9-6 before eking out a win over John Morra 9-8.

In the bottom portion of the bracket, Pagulayan defeated Clint Palaci 9-5, Brian Sanders 9-5, skunked Gordon Vanderveer 9-0, blistered fellow Filipino and day’s old Texas Open One Pocket champ Roberto Gomez 9-2 and Robert Frost 9-3. He then sent Josh Roberts to the one loss side with a score of 9-5.

In dead punch, the hot seat match saw Patsura claim his seat in the finals with a 9-5 victory over Pagulayan.  Alex headed to west to await an opponent. 

Over on the one loss side, Josh Roberts kept Jesus Atencio in his chair with a 9-4 win. John Morra eliminated the always tough Naoyuki Oi 9-5. Both Atencio and Oi finished 5th-6th.

Morra was ahead with a 5-3 lead until Roberts stepped on the gas. Tied at seven apiece, Josh won the last two games and took the win 9-7. John finished in fourth place. 

The Alex Pagulayan-Josh Roberts match began – each player looking to get into the finals. Alex leaped out to a 5-1 advantage but here came Josh! He tied it up at five games each!

Alex won the next three games to reach the hill 8-5. But then, here came Josh again to take the next two games! Alex decided to finish it right there and took the match 9-7. He moved on to the finals leaving Josh in third place. 

As this event was true double elimination, Pagulayan would have to defeat Patsura twice to win the tournament. 

Alex won the first game and Vitaliy won the next three. Then he started to really pull ahead – 5-2, 6-2, 7-3 and to the hill he went. Alex managed to win one more game and then Vitaliy ran out to claim the title!!!

While the main event was going on, Sky Woodward took the $500 added Banks Ring Game mini over Raed Shabib and Sakura Muramatsu defeated Jennifer Kraber to win the Ladies Ring 9 Ball Game! Congratulations to both!

Sakura Muramatsu

The $3,500 added Ladies 9 Ball Division had a full field of 32 players with races to seven. 

After several matches, room owner Kim Sanders and last year’s third place finisher Sakura Muramatsu battled for the hot seat. Sakura cruised to a 7-3 win to claim her spot in the finals. 

Kim was sent to the west side to await the victor of the Jennifer Kraber-Michelle Cortez match. Michelle prevailed 7-5 leaving Jennifer in fourth place.

Cooling her heels waiting for an opponent didn’t seem to faze Sanders any as she took the match over Cortez 7-4. Michelle finished in third place.

As this was also true double elimination, Sanders would have to defeat Muramatsu twice to win the tournament but it was not to be – Sakura won the final match 7-3. 

Congratulations to Vitaliy and Sakura for becoming the 2022 Texas Open 9 Ball Champions! Great tournament, Alex and Kim! 

And, thanks again to everyone at Skinny Bob’s for a first class event! Big thanks to the local sponsors – they included Diamond Billiard Products, GAF, Hanshew Custom Cues, Sanders Roofing & Exteriors, ABC Supply, Sionis, Aramith and Mints Amusements.

Thanks to Tournament Director Jason Hill for an exemplary job juggling multiple events. 

We’d also like to thank Scott Rabon, Larry Schwartz, Raymond Linares and Ray Hansen for their excellent commentary.

And, as always, PoolActionTV would like to thank our fans and sponsors! They include JB Cases, Hanshew Jump Cues, EnviroAssessments, Lomax Custom Cues, Aramith, Simonis, Diveney Cues, Diamond Billiard Products, Durbin Custom Cues, the Action Palace of Dayton, OH and the Fort Worth Billiards Superstore of Fort Worth, TX. 

 

Our next event is the Ten Ball Champions Challenge featuring Roberto Gomez and John Morra! Held at Railyard Billiards & Sports Pub in Louisville, KY, this is going to be great! Dates are September 9th-11th! Hope to see you there!!!

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