Sailola Wins 1st Annual Hawaii State Open Title

Raymond Tendo and Glen Sailola

Hawaiian Brian's was the scene of the 1st Annual Hawaii State Open 9-Ball Championship. A field of thirty players competed in the two-day, double-elimination, race-to-seven tournament format.

After the first day's matches, eight players remained. As some had predicted, the winners side "hot seat" match featured Glen "Aku" Sailola and "Hawaiian Brian" Hashimoto. The two competitors have won the last three scratch 9-ball tournaments held at Hawaiian Brian's Billiards.

The "hot seat" match featured some great run-outs and solid safety play by both players and ended fittingly in a "hill-hill" game. After an exchange of safety play, "Aku" studied a long-railed bank shot on the one-ball to pocket the nine-ball, which sat at the opposite side of the table near the corner pocket. Executing the shot with a fairly soft stroke, he risked leaving the table exposed for a good run-out opportunity if the shot was missed. But the banked shot was hit perfectly and the nine-ball split the pocket for the win.

From the loser's bracket emerged Maui's Raymond Tendo, rising like the legendary Phoenix from the ashes of his loss in his first match. He rose up from the loser's bracket beating all challengers to secure a spot in the championship finals match. Ray exhibited exceptionally solid play in playing his way into the finals, beating two of the best players in successive matches, Duy Ho and "Hawaiian Brian".

Beating "Aku" in successive matches to win the championship seemed a daunting task, but Ray's performance in his previous matches seemed to indicate he was up to the task. But alas, the "Pool Gods" would play a part in deciding the winner. Ray again exhibited stellar play, but Aku played solidly as well and was helped along to victory with two nine-balls on the break, winning the first race 7-to-4.

Hawaiian Brian's congratulates Glen "Aku" Sailola on his stellar play, going undefeated to win the 1st Annual Hawaii State Open 9-Ball Championship.