Stottlemeyer stops loss-side challenge by Saez to win Action Pool Tour stop

Brett Stottlemeyer stopped a determined, loss-side challenge by Robb Saez to win the August 11-12 stop on the Action Pool Tour. Saez won three double hill matches (and two others) on the loss side for the right to face Stottlemeyer, and won the opening set of the true double elimination final. Stottlemeyer fought back in the second set to chalk up the "W." The event drew 63 entrants to VIP Billiards in Catonsville, MD.

Stottlemeyer gave up only four racks in his first two matches, and survived a double hill battle against Larry Kressel in the third round. He faced Mike Davis in one of the winners' side semifinals. Tour points leader, Brian Deska, in the meantime, who had just survived a double hill battle against Saez, squared off against Shaun Wilkie. Stottlemeyer sent Davis west 8-5, as Deska downed Wilkie 8-6. Stottlemeyer got into the hot seat with an 8-4 victory over Deska, which sent him (Deska) to a semifinal re-match against Saez.

Saez, in the meantime, began his five-match journey back to the finals with his first of three double hill victories; over Brandon Shuff. He moved on to defeat Rich Glasscock 6-2, and picked up Davis, coming over from the winners' side final four. Wilkie picked up Joe Cataldi, who'd defeated Larry Kressel and Shawn Toni, both 6-3.

Saez chalked up his second double hill win, this time over Davis, and in the quarterfinals faced Wilkie, who'd ended Cataldi's day with a 6-1 victory. Wilkie came within a rack of forcing Saez into his third double hill match on the loss side, but Saez closed the match out at 6-4 and turned for a re-match against Deska in the semifinals.

For the third and final time, Saez locked up in a double hill match. The semifinal, 6-5 victory over Deska gave him a shot at Stottlemeyer in the hot seat. He took advantage of momentum to take the first set of the true double elimination final 8-6. Stottlemeyer, though, fought back in the second set, and won it 6-4 to secure the event title.

With only one point-bearing event to go on the Action Pool Tour's season (the finale, set for September 8-9 at Big Daddy's Billiards in Glen Burnie, MD), Stottlemeyer's victory edged him closer to the top of the tour rankings. He remained behind the leaders, Brian Deska, Brandon Shuff and tour director Ozzy Reynolds, but pulled within striking distance of Reynolds. Deska, in the meantime, finishing third, solidified his top tour ranking, making him almost (but not quite) uncatchable (by Brandon Shuff in second place) as the season finale approaches.