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Maurer and Briseno Take G Cue Diamond Tour Opener

Gus Briseno

The first stop on the 2017 G Cue Billiard Diamond Pool Tour introduced a new player to the tour’s winners circle, and welcomed a long time member back. 
 
The new season introduced a new format to the tour stops, which are now divided into a Fargo 625 and below “amateur” event starting on Saturday, and an “open” event for anyone that starts on Sunday. The amateur event drew a field of 45 players to Bullshooters on May 27th, ranging from two players rated 401, all the way to a 621 rated player. With higher rated players giving up one game for every 25 points difference in ratings, the top players struggled in early matches against the lower rated players. Eight of thirteen first round matches were won by the lower rated player. 
 
One player garnering attention on day one was junior newcomer Esteban Duarte. This teenager from the Tucson area turned in an undefeated Saturday with wins over Adam Kroll, Nick Kline, Mike Hamman and Hopell Ampongan. Duarte was joined on the winner’s side at the end of the day by Max Maurer, Jesse Johnson and Randy Pelton. Joining those four players in Sunday action were Hamman, Ampongan, Oscar Avila and Bob Hillen
 
Sunday play saw Maurer beat Duarte 8-2, and Pelton beat Johnson 8-6. Maurer then went on to take the hot-seat with a 7-3 win over Pelton.
 
On the one loss side, Hillen eliminated Hamman and then went on to send Duarte back home in 5th place. The other half of the one loss side saw Ampongan defeat Avila 8-3, but then drop his next match to Johnson 8-7. Hillen then ended Johnson’s tourney in 4th place with a 4-3 scoreline. Hillen then joined Johnson in the seats, after Pelton handed him an 8-2 loss.
 
The finals were a rematch of the hot-seat match, but this one was pretty lopsided as Maurer ran away with a 7-0 win for first place.
 
Sunday’s “open” event drew 26 players, and once again the story was upper rated players trying to outrun the handicap. The first round of play saw early losses by Brian Begay, Bret Huth, George Teyechea, Bernie Pettipiece, Bobby Emmons and Pete Lhotka. 
 
As the field narrowed, the winner’s side came down to one top player and three amateurs with Gus Briseno joining Jeremy Vicente, Fernando Prats and Nick Kline as the only undefeated players. Where other players had struggled with giving up games to the weaker players, Briseno had no problems at all, as he went on to take the hot seat after a 9-0 win over Vicente and a 9-1 win over Prats. 
 
The one loss side came down to Prats and Pete Lhotka. Lhotka had found himself on the one loss side after one match, but put together an impressive winning streak that included wins over Joey Barrera, Chad Barber, Chris Adams, Martin Romero (revenge for his earlier loss), Vicente and Kline. Lhotka looked to be adding Prats to his list of victims when the late hour and back to back matches appeared to get the better of him. Lhotka faded and lost the match to Prats 5-6. 
 
The rematch offered Prats another shot at Briseno, and while he bettered his earlier score against Briseno, it was still to no avail. Briseno came out on fire and took an 8-0 lead before dropping two games to Prats. Briseno then regathered himself and put the match away 9-2 for first place.
 
The G Cue Diamond Pool Tour will hold their second stop of the season at Skip & Jan’s in Gilbert, Az on June 17th – 18th.

Bernie Pettipiece Wins Tucson Diamond Tour Stop

Bernie Pettipiece

Pockets Pool & Pub in Tucson, Arizona was the site of the Diamond Pool Tour’s first “B” player hot-seat winner back in May. The September 10-ball event at Pockets was the site of the tour’s first “B” player forcing an “A” player to a second set in the finals. It was also one rack away from a second “B” player in the hot-seat.
 
The event, held on September 19th – 20th, drew a field of 45 players with 16 “A” players and 29 “B” players.
 
The “A” bracket saw Bernie Pettipiece grinding out one close win after another. Pettipiece started out with a 7-4 win over Gus Briseno and the matches just got tighter after that. Pettipiece’s last three matches – Nick De Leon, Bret Huth and Brian Reich – were won by a total margin of four games.  Another player who stepped up in the “A” bracket at this event was Tres Kane. Kane had wins over Rudy Alameda and Jerry Stuckart, before dropping a hill-hill match to Reich. Kane would bounce right back with one loss side wins over Alameda, Bret Huth and Reich to earn his spot on the final bracket.
 
Tournament staff were warned ahead of time that the “B” players in Tucson played very strong. Those were not empty warnings. Tucson’s Ronnie Kidd III and Rick Galloway cruised through the winner’s side with only Kidd allowing one opponent more than four games against either of them. Kidd would take the hot-seat with a 7-2 win over Galloway, but Galloway would also qualify for the final bracket after a 7-2 win over Tonee Allin (Tuley).
 
The field of players boasted four female competitors, with Bernie Store quickly distancing herself from the others. Store’s 9th place finish earned her the Greenmail.com Top Lady Bonus of $100.
 
The two brackets came together on Sunday with Ronnie Kidd III taking Pettipiece to hill-hill in a tough match. Kidd stayed with Pettipiece til the end, before Pettipiece won the case game. On the one loss side, Rick Galloway showed that he had no fear of any of the “A” players as he dispatched Kane in 4th place 7-5. Galloway would ride the momentum from that win to a hill-hill win over Kidd in the semi-finals. 
 
The final match was an intriguing one with both players more known for their one pocket games than their rotation games. As the match went on, both players were noticeably tired and opted for safeties instead of run-outs when faced with decisions at the table.  Galloway would score a hill-hill win over Pettipiece in the first set of the finals, but Pettipiece would take control late in the second match and score a 7-4 win for his first Diamond Pool Tour win.
 
The Neil’s Garage Cabinets Second Chance Tournament on Sunday came down to two Tucson players as Mike Hamman defeated Aaron Purdy 3-1 for the hot-seat and 3-1 again in the finals.
 
Presenting Sponsor, Casino Del Sol Resort, provided vouchers for a two-for-one buffet to all players at the event. 
 
With his fifth place finish, Brian Reich moves within 10 points of Bobby Emmons on the “A” player points list. Joey Barrera remains on top of the “B” players points list, but he can certainly hear the sounds of Nick Kline and Oscar Avila gaining ground on him. Nick Kline is having no such problems on the Junior Points List, as he is far in front of the rest of the competition.
 
Tour organizers thanked Curtis and his great staff for putting up with us for the weekend. Lenny Marshall put together another great stream and was assisted by “The Voice of the Diamond Pool Tour” George Teyechea on commentary. Rick Schmitz was also in attendance and provided the tour and players with more great pictures.
 
Due to delays in Skip & Jan’s reopening, the tour has postponed the stop that was scheduled for Skip & Jan’s until November. The Bullshooters stop that was scheduled for November has been moved up to October and will take place on Oct 3rd and 4th. The event will be 9-ball on the 9 foot tables.
 
The Diamond Pool Tour is proudly sponsored by:
Diamond Billiard Products – http://diamondbilliards.com/
Casino Del Sol Resort – http://www.casinodelsolresort.com/
Neil’s Garage Cabinets – http://www.neilsgaragecabinets.com/
Greenmail Internet Marketing – http://www.greenmailinc.com/
QB Custom Cues – http://qbcustomcues.com/
Volturi Custom Cases – http://volturicases.com/
Cue Sport International – http://www.playcsipool.com/
The Arizona BCA, TAP and APA league systems.

 

Runningen Wins Arizona Mezz West State Tour Stop

Beau Runningen

On the weekend of July 11th and 12th, a very talented group of 79 pool players escaped the blistering heat of Phoenix, Arizona to compete in the Mezz West State Tour's 5th event of their 17 stop season. Room owners of Bull Shooters, Mike and Julie Bates have one of the premier pool rooms in the nation boasting a huge array of tables, full kitchen, and full bar catering to both the recreational and serious pool fan. This is the second time the tour has visited Bull Shooters and the players thoroughly enjoy the venue. 
 
Several of the tour "regulars" were in attendance who came from California and Nevada to compete against the top players from the Arizona area including Bernie Pettipiece, Tim Daniel, Bobby Emmons, Tres Kane among others. Leading the top half of the tournament board was co founder of the MWST, Oscar Dominguez with wins over Mike Massey, James Main, Nick De Leon, Bobby Emmons, Tim Daniel, and Beau Runningen setting up for the hot seat match.
 
The bottom half of the bracket was lead by one pocket specialist Bernie Pettipiece with wins over Marshall Anonby, Michael Langarica, John Ritonya, George Tehachea, and Mark Whitehead to face Dominguez for the hotseat.
 
Meanwhile on the one loss side, early tounament favorites such as Sal Butera, Dave Hemmah, Rodney Morris, Vilmos Foldes, Brian Parks, and Ernesto Dominguez all faced early defeats making the one loss side littered with top players and amateurs. Once the dust settled, it was former Junior National Champion Beau Runningen clawing his way through the B bracket with wins over Bobby Emmons, 17 year old sharpshooter Chris Robinson, and Bernie Pettipiece to set up an all Southern California finals between Dominguez and Runningen for the title in the single extended race finals. After a few critical mistakes by Oscar, Beau capitalized with solid safety play and firepower to take tour stop #5 and first prize.
 
The top female bonus was awarded to Melissa Herndon and we would like to thank all our sponsors and players for their continued support.
 
The Mezz West State Tour would like to thank all their sponsors: Mezz Cues (Miki-Mezz.com), West State Billiard Supply (WestStateBilliards.com), Zan Tips (Zan-Tip.com), Taom Break/Jump Tips (TaomTips.com), Andy Cloth (AndyCloth.com), Ozzy Reynolds and CSI (PlayCSIPool.com), PiUs Company, So Cal Tap, Kurzweil Country Meats, fast&loose desgins (fastnloosedesigns.com), Contact Point Media, Turtle Rack, NYC Grind (NYCGrind.com) and AZ Billiards (AZBilliards.com). 
 
We would also like to thank Mike and Julie Bates, along with their two daughters and the entire Bull Shooters staff for hosting the event. We would also like to thank all the players for coming out and supporting the tour. 
 

Jason Brown gets by Deuel twice to capture SBE One-Pocket title

When the designated 32-player field for the 23rd Annual Super Billiards Expo's One-Pocket event was filled about two weeks ahead of schedule, event representatives expanded the field to 48. Jason Brown went undefeated through that field to win the $2,200-added event, held on the weekend of April 16-19, and hosted by the Greater Philadelphia Center in Oaks, PA. The One-Pocket tournament was one of three main events and four Amateur events held on the weekend (see separate story about 10-Ball Players Championship and results of Women's Tournament).
 
The One-Pocket event featured a double elimination format until a final eight players, four from the winners' side and four from the loss side, advanced to a single elimination format. All four of the  players who qualified from the loss side for the final eight (Phillip Wines, Adam Kielar, Sean Morgan and Corey Deuel) had been defeated in the second round of play and won five (or three) on the loss side to advance. Corey Deuel, who'd advance to challenge Brown in the finals, had been awarded a bye in the opening round and had to face only three loss-side opponents.
 
Brown's path to the finals opened (after being awarded a Bye) with a victory over Kielar, advanced with a win over Deuel, and qualified for the single elimination phase with a victory over Bernie Pettipiece. Deuel was awarded an opening round bye, and defeated Dennis Barouty, before being sent to the loss side by Brown. He then defeated Michael Huffman, Bill Hendrixson, and like Brown, used a victory over Pettitpiece to advance to the final eight.
 
Also advancing from the winners' side were Warren Kiamco, who'd defeated Omar Santiago, Jamie Ruff, Gilbert Ballet, and Brandon Harland. Justin Hall advanced among the winners with victories over Joe Dupuis, Martin Ciccia, Jeff Abernathy and Bob Jewett. Skyler Woodward, who had suffered back-to-back defeats in the 10-Ball Championship at the hands of Rodney Morris and Earl Strickland, defeated Josh Keller, Paul Kim Helms, and Raphael Dabreo to make the cut in the One Pocket event. 
 
After defeating Ben Crocker in the opening round, Phillip Wines was sent to the loss side by Raphael DaBreo. He then handed Dennis Orcollo (winner of the 10-Ball Players Championship) his second straight loss, and defeated Rory Hendrickson, Len Gianfrante, Jeff Abernathy and Bob Jewett to qualify for the final eight. Kielar opened with a victory over Sean Morgan, and was then, like Deuel, sent to the loss side by Brown. He then got by Stephen Todd, Dan Barouty, Paul Spaanstra, Joe Dupuis, and Brandon Harland to qualify for the final eight. Sean Morgan's path went through Kielar, who in the opening round, sent him to the loss side, where he defeated Kevin Bauccio, Chris England, Michael Rinella, Paul Kim Helms, and Raphael DaBreo to qualify for the single elimination phase.
 
In the single elimination phase, winners met winners, and one-loss players faced one-loss players; Kiamco faced Hall, while Brown squared off against Woodward. Kielar and Wines met, as did Deuel and Morgan. Kiamco shut Hall out, while Brown survived a double hill encounter against Woodward. Wines and Deuel defeated Kielar and Morgan, respectively, both 4-2.
 
For the semifinals and finals, the race was expanded to five. Brown faced Kiamco, while Deuel and Wines met. Both semifinals went double hill with Brown and Deuel advancing in search of the $2,000 first prize. Brown prevailed for the second time against Deuel, 5-3, to claim the event title.
 

Derby Day Six: One Pocket Nearing Conclusion

Alex Pagulayan (Photo courtesy of David Thomson mediumpool.com)

LIVE from the Horseshoe Southern Indiana Resort and Casino, Elizabeth, IN
 
Diamond Derby City Classic XVII: One Pocket Division
 
Orcollo's out 
 
The action began,  bright and early, with Shane and Efren in the Accu-Stats Arena. By 11am, with Reyes up 2 games to zip, it was hard for Van Boening to fade against arguably, one-pocket's greatest mover.
 
Still unbeaten, Shane has been running 8's and out with elegant ease. So, it's safe to say, he's at his most dangerous when there are more balls on the table.
 
As Shannon observed after his loss to him on Tuesday, "After playing on BIG Foot, it's like he's playing on a bar box."
 
Shane is aggressive and very confident. He, understandably, relies on his shotmaking, even against Efren. His demise was, with balls all over Reyes' pocket, he attempted to pound one in the length of the table when employing his safety mechanisms would have served him better.
 
Now, he and Efren (In the 2nd round to Jim Milazoo) have one loss.
 
So, has Scott Frost, to good buddy Brumback, no less, John was still in stroke from the Bank Pool Finals. He froze Frost at zero.
 
Francisco "Django" Bustamante vs. Jonathan "Tennessee" Pinegar was interesting. With Busty ahead 2-0 in the 3rd game, we've never seen such defense. Django had 8 fouls. The ref ran out of pennies to score them all. Winning 8 to minus 7 gave Tennessee new found stamina and Busty was on his way to the buy-back booth.
 
Skyler Woodward and Brandon Shuff got into a marathon, 3 hour thriller that came to a quick climax.
 
At 2-2, Woodward was 5 balls ahead while Shuff was -2, he ran 9 and out.
 
Jeremy "JJ" Jones was seen slipping quietly though the ranks. He snuck up on Frost with a 3-1. Scott was last seen practicing 9-Ball.
 
Shane was back on the TV table and ahead with Larry Nevel who attempting a case game 4 railer. It fell short and sank in the side. Shane's shot making came to the rescue again as, from deep in the kitchen, he back-cut the re-spotted ball into his pocket.
 
Van Boening then ran into Mancurian transplant Bernie Pettipiece. Manchester, England, is not exactly known for it's one-pocket. So Bernie's speed, and twang, tell that he's been Stateside for a while.
 
With a 3-2 win, Bernie quieted Shane's One Pocket title aspirations and he, too, was seen practicing his 9-Ball.
 
Busty stayed alive by sending Alex Pagulayan  to buy-back.
 
Huge shotmaker Mike Dechaine's one-pocket  moving has caught many off-guard. He's in the last 12, along with JJ, undefeated.
 
Bank Pool runner-up John Brumback commented that, "I just saw the worst skid I've ever seen." He was 2-2 with France's Stephan Cohen, on the case ball , when the World Straight Pool Champion's misfortune struck. Somewhat relieved, John, always, composed, closed out the match.
 
Reyes has opportunity to win an, unprecedented, 7th One Pocket title. The importance of doing well downstairs, rather than in action upstairs, is apparent as he too has been early to bed, early to rise. Stamina at 60 is harder to muster.
 
The Derby City Classic "Master of the Table" title is a most prestigious crown and preparation is not to be taken lightly.
 
The points, from wins in the 3 divisions, are accruing. At this time, there are too many competitors to count yet, you can rest assured that Shannon Daulton, like Efren, is still sticking to a more healthful regimen. Brumback, Bustamante, and Justin Hall are MoT hopefuls too..
 
Pagulayan and Dechaine also have eyes on the coveted accolade. With an additional $20,000 in prize money, that too always inspires motivation. 2nd gets $3,000 and 3rd, $2,000.
 
Brandon Shuff, Richie Richeson, Cliff Joyner, Josh Roberts, Danny Olsen, Joshua Oneal close out the last 12 in the event.
 
The Internet streaming continues at accu-stats.com
 
Diamond Derby City Classic XVII: 9-Ball Division
 
No real upsets yet, We'll keep you posted.
 
The George Fels Memorial Straight Pool Challenge
 
Johnny Archer, Shawn Wilkie, Mike Davis, all very capable straight pool aficionados, were burning the midnight oil in a last ditch effort to capture a spot in the last 8.
 
As was mentioned, a lowly 100 might get you in there. John Schmidt, and last year's runner-up Constantine Stepanov, were sweating the above's efforts yet, managed to prevail.
 
the highest runs and final 8 are:
 
Shaw; 227
Mika; 224
Orcollo; 197
Van den Berg; 149
Kiamco; 145
Chinakhov; 100
Stepanov; 99
Schmidt; 99.
 
Jayson looks good for the $1,000 bonus money for the tourney's high run.
 
See the drawing and action live at www.tvmike.tv
 
Diamond thanks its sponsors: The Horseshoe Southern Indiana, Cyclop Balls, Simonis Cloth, BCA Pool League, and BadBoys Billiard Productions.
 
Accu-Stats thanks its Arena Sponsors: Simonis Cloth, Cyclop Balls, OB Cues, Cue and Case, MEZZ Cues, Samsara Cues, and National Billiard Academy.

Jon Smith Wins DCT Season Finale

Jon Smith and Tres Kane

Jon Smith reaffirmed his dominance on the Diamond 7’ tables with an undefeated run through a field of thirty five other players at the Desert Classic Tour’s 2013 Season Finale at Skip & Jan’s in Tempe.
 
As is always the case on the Desert Classic Tour, Saturday play saw many marquee matches and top players finding themselves scraping to stay alive on the one loss side. Tour points leader Mitch Ellerman had notable wins over Max Maurer, Doc Rice and Brett Huth before dropping a match to Tres Kane. Ellerman watched Kane race to a hill-0 lead before winning seven straight games against Kane to completely change the dynamic of the match. Ellerman would not get past seven though, as Kane put the match away 8-7. Ellerman scored wins over Pete Lhotka and Mike Sandoval late Saturday to earn his ticket to Sunday play. 
 
Last month’s winner, Mickey Provencio, was two and out with losses to Chuck Evans and Pete Lhotka. #6 ranked Bernie Pettipiece didn’t fare any better with early losses to Todd Dilley and Joe Watson
 
Sunday play saw four undefeated players joined by two players on the left side of the board come back to determine a final winner. Tres Kane kept his winning streak alive with an 8-5 win over Chuck Evans, and Jon Smith sent #2 ranked Dennis Orender to the one loss side in an 8-6 match,
 
On the one loss side, Brian Reich and Mitch Ellerman were waiting for opponents. Reich had lost to Bobby Emmons in the first round on Saturday, but scored nine straight wins to keep his hopes of scoring his first DCT win alive. Brian would run over Chuck Evans 8-1 while Ellerman dropped an 8-8 decision to Dennis Orender.
 
Next up, Reich would eliminate Orender in fourth place with an 8-4 scoreline. 
 
Back on the winners side, Jon Smith was scoring an 8-4 win of his own, over Tres Kane.
 
The semi-final match between Reich and Kane couldn’t have been much closer, with the score tied four times before Tres finally won the final two games for the 8-6 win and a rematch against Jon Smith in the finals.
 
The finals saw Smith take an early 2-0 lead and never look back. Kane did his best to stay with Smith, but just didn’t have the firepower to ever catch up as Smith extended his lead and took the first and only set of the finals 8-4 for first place.

Provencio Undefeated At DCT Tour Stop

Mickey Provencio and Mike Williams

New Mexico’s Mickey Provencio completed a hard fought undefeated run through the field of forty eight players to win the Desert Classic Tour’s November tourstop at Bull Shooters on November 2nd and 3rd.
 
It was an impressive run that included a win over tour points leader Mitch Ellerman on Saturday and a win over #3 ranked Dennis Orender on Sunday. Ellerman bounced back from the loss to Provencio with a win over Mike Sandoval to earn his place in Sunday’s matches.
 
A top player who did not make Sunday play was #4 ranked Nick De Leon, who started things off with a win over Prescott’s Bob Soto, but then lost back to back matches to Sammy Martinez and Mike Sandoval.
 
Sunday play on the winners side saw Chuck Evans defeat Mike Williams 8-4 and Provencio defeat Orender 8-7.
 
On the west side of the board, Ellerman ran over Pete Lhotka 10-4 and Bernie Pettipiece earned a tough 8-7 win over Tres Kane.
 
Mike Williams then eliminated Ellerman in a hill-hill 8-9 victory, and Pettipiece sent Orender to the rail 8-3.
 
The hot-seat match was another close one, with Provencio handing Evans his first loss 8-7.
 
After Williams eliminated Pettipiece, the semi final match between Williams and Evans got underway. Mike had started his day with an 8-4 loss to Evans, and he was determined to avenge that loss. Williams cruised to an early 4-0 lead and scored an 8-4 win of his own to eliminate Evans and earn Williams a shot against Provencio in the finals.
 
The final match saw both players go on runs, as Provencio took a 3-0 lead, only to see Williams come back to tie things at 4-4. Another Provencio run saw him take a 6-4 lead and Williams again come back to tie things at 6-6. Finally, it was Provencio’s turn for another run as he won the final two games to win the first and only set of the finals 8-6.
 
The Desert Classic Tour will bring their 2013 Season Finale to Skip and Jan’s on December 6th – 8th. That event is expected to be at least a $2,000 added event.

Bernie Pettipiece wins 2013 Az. State 14.1 Championship

Bernie Pettipiece

The Desert Classic Tour arrived at Pockets Pool and Pub on September 21st for the 6th stop of the 2013 season.  This was a $1000 added event and would serve as the 2013 Az. State 14.1 Championship.  29 players would arrive on Saturday in hopes of taking the crown.  The tourney saw some of the regular heavy hitters from Phoenix, such as Mitch Ellerman, Bobby Emmons, Nick DeLeon, Mike and Susan Williams, Bret Huth, Tres Kane, Dennis Orender and Brian Reich.  Tucson also brought its fair share of top players in George Teyechea, Rick Galloway, Tom Neil, and Mike Hamman.  2011 Az. State 14.1 Champion Pete Lhotka was also on hand to defend his  2011 title.
 
As the tourney got started, it was evident Mitch Ellerman was the man to beat.  He started his first match with a run of 61 against Dennis Orender to win 100-14.  Curious to see how far he could get, he continued his run to 101.  Two more wins on Saturday against Larry Channenson and George Teyechea would provide Mitch a final 4 winner’s side match on Sunday.  His opponent would be Brian Reich.  Brian rattled off 3 straight wins against Mike Hamman, John Rehm and Rick Armbrust to reach his shot at Mitch on Sunday.  
 
At the bottom of the bracket, Bobby Emmons would upend 2011 runner up, Bernie Pettipiece, while Nick DeLeon sent 2011 champion, Pete Lhotka, to the one loss side.  This would set up a showdown with the sharpshooting Emmons against the conservative DeLeon on Sunday.  By close on Saturday, only 8 players remained.
 
The tourney got off to an early start on Sunday and once again, Mitch was hot out of the gate. He dispatched Brian Reich 100-0, while Nick DeLeon grinded out a 100-73 victory over Bobby Emmons.  Mitch would cruise into the hot seat with a 100-14 win over Nick.
 
While Mitch was making quick work of his opponents on the winner’s side, a rematch of the 2011 finals was on course between Bernie and Pete.  Pete had defeated Bernie in the finals of the 2011 Az. State 14.1 Championship and Bernie now had his chance to avenge the loss.  He would come away with a 75-41 victory and continue his run of wins against Brian Reich (75-25), Bobby Emmons (75-61), and Nick Deleon (75-65).  His meticulous and patient play led him to the finals, where he is quite familiar in straight pool championship matches.  
 
The finals would be one race to 125.  Many spectators believed Mitch’s hot hand would lead to a quick finals; however, Bernie had other plans.  As Bernie picked at balls and continued his conservative style of play, he was able to keep Mitch in his chair for most of the match.  A couple of errors on Mitch’s part put Bernie in the driver’s seat, where he ran several racks to finish the match at 125-71 and claim his 3rd Az. State 14.1 title. 
 
Thank you to Lenny and the staff at Pockets for hosting another successful state championship!  The DCT would like to thank the 2013 sponsors (On Q Cases, Black Heart Billiard Tips, AzBilliards.com, Billiard and Dart News, Rixx Images, AzPoolscene.com, Jeff Pranke Leather Wraps), and room owners (Pockets, Bullshooters, Kolbys, Skip and Jan’s, Stingers, River City) who continue to support the DCT.  The next tour stop is October 5-6.  Please visit DesertClassicTour.com for details.

Day One of US Open One Pocket is in the Books

Earl Strickland

Sixty-four top one-holers began their clash in Vegas on Wednesday at the CSI-produced US Open One Pocket Championship at the Rio Hotel and Casino.

The competition is a race to four games on the winner's side and a race to three for the one-loss bracket. This can be a very frustrating discipline for players unaccustomed to the deliberate pace this game incurs. When the rapid-fire Earl Strickland had to endure a match with Bernie Pettipiece that went for over three hours only to lose 4-3 he reacted and had words for slow play that were anything but praiseworthy. Strickland had been put off of his game by the pace and in the hill-hill match missed a cut that he would normally own and that missed shot cost him the  match.

Strickland was not the only giant to fall in the first round. World number one Darren Appleton found himself on the wrong end of a 4-2 scoreline with Justin Hall and moved left early. No huge surprise there, however, as Justin Hall seems to find friendship with the rails on any table. He is a superb banker and his cue ball control is nothing short of amazing.

Jeremy Jones did not have a good day. After disagreeing with two decisions in the game by the tournament directors he unscrewed his stick and left the arena. He felt the decisions favored his opponent, Shane Van Boening, and left the arena saying that this was the "Shane Van Boening" tournament. Sometimes calls go your way, sometimes they do not.

Scott Frost is reveling in this, his favorite medium. He completely dominated Ronnie Wiseman 4-1 in the opening round, a match that should have been tough, and then wiped out Junior Tolentino 4-0. Frost must face Francisco Bustamante in the first round on Thursday. Carlo Biado, who just won the Hard Times event last week, is enjoying his week thus far. He destroyed young gun Brandon Shuff 4-1 and looks as comfortable at One Pocket as he does in the rotation games.

Mika Immonen does not offer himself up as a One Pocket champion. His specialties are the rotation games as well, but he was looking sharp as his shot-making skills can allow him to prevail over most, whether he knows the 'moves' or not. But all that changed when he faced Ike Runnels, a One Pocket veteran. Ike took him down 4-2 and today faces another toughie in the form of Corey Deuel.

Charlie Williams arrived at the Rio only moments before his first match but the rush did not seem to bother him. He calmly destroyed two opponents by the identical scores of 4-1 and never appeared uncomfortable at the tables. Thursday will find him against Bernie Pettipiece who, after his defeat of Strickland, has no fear of taking on the giants.

Play continues today and you can follow all of the action on the AZB live scoring page and you can watch all of the headline match-ups on TAR.
 

Frost over Chau for Az State One Pocket Championship

Scott Frost (File photo courtesy of Rick Schmitz)

Scott Frost beat his Bonus Ball teammate Manny Chau twice as part of an undefeated run through a field of thirty four players to win the Desert Classic Tour's Arizona State One Pocket Championship at Kolby's Corner Pocket on May 18th and 19th.

 
While Frost's one pocket ability has never been questioned, some might have been surprised to see Chau playing deeply into a one pocket event against the best that Arizona has to offer. Chau's success at the event on this weekend came down to his ball-making ability. Chau may not have the tactical experience that others have in one pocket, but when given an opening at the table, Chau does not miss.
 
Chau went through his Saturday matches with wins over Pete Lhotka, Dennis Orender and Lenny Marshall;  and started off Sunday play with a win over Bernie Pettipiece. While that match was happening, Frost was sending Tres Kane to the one loss side to earn his place against Chau for the hot-seat.
 
On the one loss side, eight players were trying to keep their tournament hopes alive on Sunday. Mike Pankoff eliminated Jim Galati, Eric Young beat Lenny Marshall, Dennis Orender defeated Brian Reich and Bobby Emmons took advantage of a forfeit against California's Kenny Thomason.
 
Young then beat Pankoff and Orender ended Emmons' tournament.
 
Young kept his hopes alive by eliminating Tres Kane in 5th place. Joining Tres in 5th place was Dennis Orender, after a loss to Bernie on the left side of the board.
 
Back on the right side of the board, Frost made quick work of Chau 3-0 and took his place in the hot-seat.
 
Bernie would face off against Chau on the one loss side after eliminating Eric Young in 4th place.
 
Bernie seemed to have no answer for Chau's ball-making in their semi-final match as Manny scored three quick 8-0 game wins to eliminate Bernie in 3rd place.
 
Frost took early control of the final race to five and held a 4-1 lead. Considering he had beaten Chau in seven of their last eight games, Frost might have taken his foot off the gas a little bit and Chau quickly won two games to get back within one at 4-3. Chau's two game winning streak seemed to get Frost's attention as he re-focused on the task at hand and won the next game for the 5-3 win and yet another Arizona State One Pocket Championship for the Freezer.
 
The Desert Classic Tour will be back in action on June 1st and 2nd on the 7' Diamond tables at Stingers in Phoenix.