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Shuff goes undefeated to win Action Pool Tour stop

Brandon Shuff got by Brett Stottlemyer twice – once in the hot seat and again in the finals – to take first place in the Action Pool Tour stop on the weekend of March 17-18. The event, the seventh stop on the 2011/2012 tour, drew 54 entrants to First Break Cafe in Sterling, VA.

Though unblemished by defeat, Shuff’s seven-match journey to the winners’ circle wasn’t without its challenges. He chalked up 56 racks against his opponent’s 33; a 63% winning percentage, suggesting that he bent a little, but didn’t break. He survived a fourth-round, double hill challenge from R.J. Carmona, which put him among the winners’ side final four to face Paul Helms. Stottlemyer, in the meantime, was having a somewhat easier time of it. He was awarded a bye in the opening round, and defeated his first three opponents by an aggregate score of 24-6, at which point, he met up with Mike Davis in the other winners’ side semifinal. 

Shuff defeated Helms 8-3 and moved into his first of two against Stottlemyer, who’d sent Davis west 8-4. The hot seat match was Shuff’s second double hill battle, and Stottlemyer’s first. Shuff prevailed and sat in the hot seat waiting for Stottlemyer to get back.

Davis moved to the loss side and met up with Carmona, who’d started his loss-side work with a double hill win over tour director Ozzy Reynolds, and then downed Brian Deska 6-3. Helms picked up Rafael Reyes, who’d gotten by Abdulla Mohammed 6-3 and Sean Sporleder 6-4 to reach him. It was Davis and Helms who advanced to the quarterfinals; Davis with a 6-4 victory over Carmona and Helms, 6-2 over Reyes. 

Davis and Helms locked up in a double hill, quarterfinal struggle that eventually advanced Helms into the semifinals versus Stottlemyer. Stottlemyer earned his re-match versus Shuff with a 6-2 semifinal victory over Helms that sent him (Stottlemyer) to the finals with an overall 45-20 record; 69% percent, compared to Shuff’s record at that point, 48-29 for 62%. Shuff, though, completed his undefeated weekend with a second victory over Stottlemyer, 8-4, which left them both pretty much dead even in overall winning percentage (Shuff – 62.9%, Stottlemyer – 63.6%).

In a Sunday, Second Chance Tournament, which drew 11 entrants, Nilbert Lim came back from the loss-side, winning five in a row to double dip hot seat occupant Chuck Sampson. Sampson had defeated Cheryl Sporleder to get into the hot seat. Lim, with three, loss-side wins behind him, defeated Shanna Lewis 4-1 in the quarterfinals, shutout Sporleder in the semifinals, and defeated Sampson twice, both times 4-1, in the double elimination finals. 

Shanna Lewis was the recipient of a $100 prize as the top finishing female in the main event. Four women (Ann Reynolds, Daisy Blancaflor, and Cheryl Sporleder were the others) actually finished among the 16 players tied for 33rd place, but a random draw, four-person playoff resulted in Lewis’ victory. 

Tour Director Ozzy Reynolds thanked First Break Cafe owners, Anthony Luong and Michael Veve, and their staff for hosting the event, as well as sponsors Lambros Cues, Magic Ball Racks (CSI), AZBilliards, and Steve Lingafelter.