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Abbasi wins two-match battle to claim B & L’s 2nd event of 10-Ball Mini-Series

Omer Abbasi

Among the many events produced by MD’s B & L Billiards Tournaments, the organization has set up a series of 12 events, with competitors earning points toward becoming one of 16 to be invited to an end-of-season championship. It’s B & L’s 10-Ball Mini-Series, which, this past weekend (Feb. 11-12) held its second qualifying tournament at the Series’ home, Bank Shot Bar & Grill in Laurel, MD. There are no dues associated with participation in the series, only entry fees. The end-of-season invitational event will not require an entry fee. B & L will be fund-raising throughout the series to create a prize fund that will be distributed at the Series’ championship event, scheduled for Dec. 2. That prize fund will be distributed between a main event for the invited top 16 players, a first and second-place prize for the top finishers in a single-elimination event, featuring the players who finished 17th through 32nd in the series’ standings at the end of the year and prizes for the top three finishers in the series’ standings.

It’s a little early to start considering who’s in or out in the competition for this year-long series and its end-of-season finale. The first two events had different winners. Derek Crothers won the season opener in January. This past weekend, Feb. 11-12, at an event that drew 39 entrants to Bank Shot Bar & Grill, Omer Abbasi and Obed Rosario battled twice, in their second round and in the finals. Abbasi went undefeated to the hot seat and waited for Rosario to complete a seven-match, loss-side winning streak. Abbasi lost the opening round of a true double-elimination final, but rallied in the second set to claim the title.

Abbasi opened with a 6-1 victory over Lucas Kilgore, as Rosario was busy surviving a double hill battle versus Rich Livering. They battled in that second round to double hill. With two beads on the wire in a race to 6, Rosario found himself in his second straight double hill match. This one ended up with him heading to the loss side, as Abbasi advanced to down Rick Molineiro 6-1 and pick up the winner of the first event of the series, Derek Crothers, in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Justin Greber, in the meantime, advanced through Anthony Garcia, Aaron Surguy, Thaddeus Patrice and Joe Orla to arrive at his winners’ side semifinal match against Mike Denbow.

Greber earned his spot in the hot seat match with a 6-3 win over Denbow. Abbasi joined him after sending Crothers to the loss side 6-4. Over the next 12 games, Greber only chalked up a single win, beginning with the shutout that put Abbasi in the hot seat.

On the loss side, Rosario embarked on his seven-match winning streak that had recently eliminated Joe Orla 5-1 and Linh Nguyen 5-2 to pick up Crothers. Denbow picked up Molineiro, who’d followed his loss to Abbasi with two straight double hill wins over Thaddeus Patrice and David Sund.

In a third straight double hill battle, Molineiro downed the racing-to-4 Denbow 7-3.  Rosario spoiled any hope Crothers may have been entertaining of a second win in the 10-Ball Mini Series by eliminating him 4-3 (Crothers racing to 6). 

Rosario stopped Molineiro’s loss-side streak at three, defeating him 4-5 in those quarterfinals (Molineiro racing to 7). He then eliminated Greber 5-1 in the semifinals for a second shot at Abbasi, waiting for him in the hot seat.

With Abbasi racing to 6, Rosario took the first set of the true double elimination final 4-2. If the time lag between hot seat and finals had taken an edge off of Abbasi’s game, that first set sharpened it again. He gave up only a single rack to Rosario in the second set, claiming the event title 6-1.

The next stop on the B & L 10-Ball Mini Series is scheduled for March 12 at Bank Shot Bar & Grill. 

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Owen re-emerges to win Midwest 9-Ball Tour One Pocket event

Gabe Owen, who was ranked #10 on our Money Leaderboard in 2008, came to the Midwest 9-Ball Tour's three events on the weekend of February 20-23, ranked at #362 (at the end of 2013). He chalked up his first major victory since winning the Houston Open in 2010 with a come-from-the-loss-side victory in the $1,000-added One Pocket event, run in conjunction with a 9-ball Open and 9-Ball Ladies tournament (separate story), which drew 31 entrants to Shooter's in Olathe, KS.
Owen was among the winners' side final four in the event, when he ran into John Gabriel. Bruce Bellington squared off against Joey Gray in the other winners' side semifinal. Gabriel sent Owen to the losers' bracket, as Bellington sent Gray over; both 3-2. Gabriel got into the hot seat 3-2, as well.
On the loss side, Owen's three-match trip back to the finals began with Mark Haddad, who'd gotten by Shane McMinn 3-2, and Anthony Garcia 3-1. Gray drew Mark Jarvis, who'd defeated L.V. Abernathy and Tommy Tokoph, both 3-1. Owen defeated Haddad 3-2, as Gray was shutting out Jarvis. 
Owen took the quarterfinal match 3-2 over Gray and then shut out Bruce Bellington for a shot at Gabriel in the hot seat. Owen reversed the results of his previous two matches by shutting Gabriel out in the opening set of the finals. Gabriel fought back to double hill in the second set, but Owen prevailed to claim the One-Pocket title.

Scott Hargens Wins All American Tour Stop

The fifteenth stop on the 2013-2014 Pure X Cues All American Tour stop – presented by the American CueSports Alliance (ACS) was showcased in Cedar Rapids, IA at 2nd Avenue Corner Pocket – on Saturday, January 11.  The $500-added, handicapped 8-ball tourney on 7-foot bar boxes drew thirty-two players. 
The A-side action finished with Shawn Gelo (Iowa City, IA) [rated a “6” on a regional rating system used] taking down his semifinals match over Kent Zirtzman (Iowa City, IA) [5], while Scott Hargens (Cedar Rapids, IA) [6] outpointed John Gorsch Sr. (Cedar Rapids, IA) [5] in the other bracket.  In the A-side finals Hargens defeated Gelo 6-4.  In the B-side money rounds, Anthony Garcia (Cedar Rapids, IA) [6] eliminated Tony Le (Iowa City, IA) [5] 6-2 at 7th place, where Shane Miller (North Liberty, IA) [5] tied Tony at the hands of Eric Erwin (Iowa City, IA) [5] 5-4.  In the next elimination round at 5th place, Garcia ousted Kent Zirtzman 6-2, while Erwin’s day was ended by John Gorsch Sr. 5-3.  Anthony Garcia next whitewashed Gorsch at 4th place by a 6-0 margin.  In the B-side finals, Shawn Gelo took out Anthony Garcia at 3rd place 6-2.  The tourney finals then featured undefeatEd Scott Hargens versus once-defeated Shawn Gelo, and the first set proved to be the deciding set, as Hargens clipped Gelo 6-5 for the title! 
By virtue of Scott Hargens also being the highest-finishing ACS member in the event, he qualified for a free 9-Ball singles entry into the 2014 Universal Cues ACS Nationals at the Tropicana Las Vegas – courtesy of the ACS. The ACS wishes to thank sponsors Pure X Cues, Championship Billiard Fabric and Nick Varner Signature Cases for their support in donating “Value-In-Kind” product for this and all stops on the Pure X All American Tour. Sponsorship opportunities and tour stop openings are still available for the 2013/2014 All American Tour by contacting the ACS.
The Tour stays in Iowa with a $500-added 10-Ball stop at Sharky’s Billiards in Davenport, IA on Saturday, January 25 (contact Terry Stevens at 563-359-7225).  Further information, entry details and schedules for the 2013/2014 Pure X Cues All American Tour are available at

Gabriel tops field of 150 at Midwest 9-Ball event; Little takes Ladies title

John Gabriel went undefeated on the Midwest 9-Ball Tour’s $3,500-added 9-ball event on the weekend of February 23-26, working his way through a field of 150 entrants at Shooter’s in Olathe, KS. Melissa Little also went undefeated in the $500-added Ladies event, which had attracted 20 entrants.

From among the winners’ side final four, Gabriel sent Chuck Raulston west 9-5, as Dustin Gunia was busy sending Mike Banks, Jr. over 9-4. Gabriel then took the hot seat match over Gunia 9-5, and waited for his return.

First up for Banks, Jr. on the loss-side was the winner of the concurrently-run One-Pocket event, Mark Haddad, who’d defeated James Baraks 9-6, and Anthony Garcia 9-3 to reach him. Chuck Raulston, in the meantime, squared off against Joey Gray (second in the One-Pocket event), who’d downed Gary Lutman 9-3, and Gordy Vanderveer 9-6. Haddad defeated Banks, Jr. 9-4, but a re-match of the One-Pocket semifinals was avoided when Raulston dropped Gray into the tie for fifth place 9-5.

Raulston took it a step further, dropping Haddad into fourth place 9-5, and turning to face Gunia in the semifinals. Gunia ended Raulston’s bid 9-2 for a second chance versus Gabriel in a potential, true double elimination final. Gabriel took the first and only set 9-5 to secure the event title.

Melissa Little and Nicole Keeney battled twice to crown the Ladies champion. They met first in the hot seat match, and fought back and forth to double hill before Little prevailed. Keeney moved over to the semifinals to face Kathleen Morast, who’d just defeated Carrie Williams in the quarterfinals 7-5. Keeney then shut out Morast for her second chance against Little. Little, though, came out strong in the opening set of what would have been a true double elimination final, and defeated Keeney a second time 7-2.

1st John Gabriel $2,400
2nd Dustin Gunia $1,750
3rd Chuck Raulston $1,000
4th Mark Haddad $750
5th Joey Gray $500
Mike Banks, Jr.
7th Gordon Vanderveer $350
Anthony Garcia
9th Jordan Davis $250
Gary Lutman
James Baraks
Brad Bent
13th Shane McMinn $200
Manny Chau
Greg Hogue
Taylor Anderson
17th Tom Jarboe $125
Patrick Brown
Bobby McGrath
John Bussey
Chip Compton
Glenn Atwell
Jeff Nelson
Anthony Asher
25th Dave Hathman $75
Jacob White
Dusty Meyer
Andy Craig
Mike Banks, Sr.
Dan Angstead
Robert Frost
K. C. Massey


1st Melissa Little $500
2nd Nicole Keeney $300
3rd Kathleen Morast $160
4th Carrie Williams $100
5th Angela Vallair $70
Julia Gabriel

Vilmont wins All American Tour Stop

Josh Johnson and Anthony Garcia

The 2011-2012 Lucasi Hybrid Cues All American Tour – presented by the American CueSports Alliance (ACS) – conducted its fifteenth stop at Sharky’s Billiards in Davenport, IA, Saturday, December 17.  The $500-added 8-ball handicapped tourney on 7-foot Valley bar boxes drew 26 players.  Despite the handicapping, the “heavyweights” dominated on this day.  On the A-side Chad Vilmont (Clinton, IA) [rated a “7” on a regional handicap system used] and Anthony Garcia [6] (Cedar Rapids, IA) won their semi-finals matches over Josh Johnson [7] (Bettendorf, IA) 7-4 and Ronnie Martin [6] (E. Moline, IL) 6-5 respectively. Vilmont then took the hot seat by dispatching Garcia 7-4.
On the B-side Ronnie Martin and Rich Bideaux [6] (Moline, IL) were relegated to 5th place at the hands of Jesse Bowman [8] (E. Moline, IL) 4-8 and Josh Johnson 5-7 respectively.  Johnson then eliminated Bowman at 4th place by a 7-4 margin.  The B-side finals turned in favor of Anthony Garcia, as he turned back Josh Johnson 6-5.  The tourney finals went to the hill, but undefeated Chad Vilmont prevailed in the first set to claim the title by a 6-5 margin!
By virtue of Anthony Garcia being the highest-finishing ACS member in the event, he qualified for a free 9-Ball singles entry into the 2012 Lucasi Hybrid ACS Nationals at the Tropicana Las Vegas – courtesy of the ACS.  The ACS wishes to thank sponsors Lucasi Hybrid Cues, Championship Billiard Fabric and Nick Varner Signature Cases for their support in donating “Value-In-Kind” product for this and all stops on the Lucasi Hybrid All American Tour. Sponsorship opportunities and tour stop openings are still available for the 2011/2012 All American Tour by contacting the ACS.
The Tour takes a break over the holidays and resumes on Saturday, January 14, with two events: 1). a $1,000 added 9-Ball Tourney at Inland Reef in Virginia Beach, VA (contact Mike Wilson at 757-647-3421) and  2). a  $500 added 8-Ball Tourney at 2nd Avenue Corner Pocket in Cedar Rapids, IA (contact Dennis Wolrab at 319-366-0979).  Further information, entry details and schedules for the 2011/2012 Lucasi Hybrid All American Tour are available at