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Derby City Wrap Up – Melling Wins 9-Ball, Busty is Master of the Table

Chris Melling

Derby City Classic XX, January 19-27, 2018
LIVE from the Horseshoe Southern Indiana Casino, Elizabeth, IN
Francisco Bustamante’s win in the DCC One Pocket Championship, compounded with his 4th in Banks and 12th in 9-Ball totaled 198.5 points and secured his 3rd All-Around Champion and Master of the Table title.
Justin Bergman, with 153.3, got $3,000 for second and, for a first in the history of DCC, two players tied for 3rd and shared the $2,000. Corey Deuel and Shane Van Boening accumulated 141.0 points each.
Race to 9, Winner Break.
What a Final! We were graced with genius. In the wee, small hours, the hill-hill thriller was truly worth waiting up for. What would happen next, kept us on the edge of our seats until 3:30 am.
The 363 entries vying for the $16,000 first place prize money had all come down to two: England’s Chris Melling and Canada’s John Morra.
With snooker tour experience, the wise and wily Melling always employed his motto, “When in trouble, stick ’em!”  He certainly utilized it in play today,
Back in the semi’s, Dennis Orcullo got off to an expected lead, At 4-1, his tactics slowed the pace of Melling’s fast and loose shooting style to a standstill. Orcullo was taking more time to rack the racks than he was to run them.
Unintimidated, Chris patiently clawed to get ahead to 8-7. With nothing to shoot at, a snooker exchange ensued.
Ducking and dodging are where Melling excels. Being truly outmaneuvered, Dennis saw his quest for another DCC finals quickly slip away as Chris quietly closed the set, 9-7.
Morro, in semis #2, was up against his nemesis, Shane Van Boening. And, John had a score to settle. Shane had beaten him repeatedly in past encounters, including the DCC 9-Ball Finals in 2014.
Today, John got off to comfortable 3-0 lead. “And the next thing I knew, I was behind 3-5. I thought, I am not going to hand it to him.”
John summoned the Morra mustard and never lost another game: At 9-5, he regained his berth in the Accu-Stats Arena to face Chris.
Chris had begun the day in round 10 by administering a 9-5 battering of Joshua Filler. Morra had drawn a bye.
Melling’s buy-back still intact, he was leading Donny Mills 8-5. Needing only 1, it looked like it was going to stay that way. 
Chris was not familiar with ringer Donny Mills.
Donny has a history of finishing in the money, He fears no one, he revels in devouring champions, which was exactly what he did to Melling, he devoured him.
Chris never did capture that final rack, Donny did. 
Coincidently, with the DCC redraw process, he drew Morra. Donny managed 7.
Morra knew what to expect from Chris’s game plan. The emphasis would be on “when in doubt duck,” lots of hiding whitey, ballbuster shot-making, few misses and, elegant run outs.
And that’s just how the finals started until Chris, with a chance to move ahead at 4-2, missed! John closed out that rack and empowered…ran a six-pack!
Breaking at 8-3, all Morra needed was one more rack. He made a ball! And, missing within an inch of perfect position, he allowed Melling back at the table.
It was like he hadn’t left. From the start he attacked. Ball after ball fell in the hole. 4-8, 5-8, 6-8…
You could see the demons arise in Morra’s demeanor as Melling pummeled away. 
At 7-8 Melling, John got a look at a ball. He wisely, laid a snooker only to have Chris connect and leave him safe. 8-8!
Chris, capitalizing on the final opportunity, and calmly ran the winning rack. Relieved, and probably exhausted, his head fell forward as he took a moment’s rest and let it all sink in: What a deficit he had overcome.
The crowd applauded and yelled, you could tell that they felt empathy for the mild-mannered Canadian with the smooth stroke and impeccable composure.
John sincerely congratulated Chris, “Well played.”
For Melling, who was, incidentally, celebrating his 39th birthday, this was indeed a memorable moment. Not only had he captured one of pool’s most prestigious titles, he had survived 9-days of pool’s most grueling arena. 
Happy birthday to Chris, he earned it. He’ll never forget his performance today, neither will John.
“Somedays, it’s just not to be.” he later commented, philosophically.
Melling, clutching his new crystal obelisk award, has contributed to DCC ’s history, There is a feeling of agelessness when winning a championship, He might honor Jack Benny and remain 39 forever.
Accu-Stats thanks its Arena Sponsors: Diamond Billiards, Simonis Cloth,  Cyclop Balls, Lucasi Custom, MEZZ Cues, McDermott Cues, National Billiard Academy, and Samsara Cues.
Congratulations Greg and Chad at Diamond Billiards for 20 memorable years of DCC! And, thanks to their tournament crew for their contributions to these reports! That’s you, Brett Baker, Bill Stock, Paul Smith, Bonnie and Ric–the used to be Bad Boys of DCC; They’ve been demoted to naughty!
BTW: BadBoys captured alternative matches, featuring the top pros, which will be uploaded next week at for your viewing pleasure.
AND, let’s not forget Accu-Stats. Their DCC Vimeo On Demand Series featuring ALL the TV Table matches will be uploaded, soon.
You can also take advantage of their all-new On-Line Subscription service. 
Visit for more info.
Tell ‘em you read about it on AZB!
It took 2 grand to enter and the man Billy Incardona called, “The greatest bank pool player in the world, Billy Thorpe, outlasted them all.
At $600 a ball, Shawn Murphy was the last man to get massacred.
Jeremy Jones and Corey Deuel hung in there, while past winners, Skyler Woodward and Shannon Daulton, were the first to exit.

Kiamco Wins Derby 9-Ball; Pagulayan Master of the Table

Warren Kiamco (Photo courtesy of David Thomson –

LIVE from the Horseshoe Southern Indiana Resort and Casino, Elizabeth, IN
Diamond Derby City Classic XVII: 9-Ball Division: FINALS
Alex Pagulayan will go down in the annals of history as the first player to have won all 3 DCC disciplines and Master of the Table honors. A true career DCC Grand Slam.
Alex had won the One Pocket Championship, got close in Banks and even closer–to the finals no less–in 9-Ball. For his efforts he was awarded pool's biggest payday, $44,650, courtesy of Diamond Billiards Products, the promotor of this, the 17th annual Derby City Classic.
"If I won, I promised my kids I'd go see them in Hawaii." His eyes were off in the distance. You could see he was imagining being with them.
Then he switched gears; he was back in the moment. "Gad, I got so close." he sighed. The 120 pound, little ball of firepower had wanted it all.
After losing to Mika Immonen in the first round, Alex had battled back, with only one life–no more buy-back–to arrive at the Finals with the unbeaten Warren Kiamco, The way Alex performed, under pressure, he looked like he could have had it all. Warren felt it too.
When Alex was at the table, you could see the intensity in his eyes as, after every break, he searched the table for the one-ball.
Alex handily won the first set with Warren, 9-4, closing it out with a 3-pack.
Warren went buy-back. The mid 40's Filipino hadn't gotten to the finals since Galveston in 2009. He wanted this one badly. The crowd knew he was capable. He had just gone 13 rounds, unbeaten, with wins that included Efren and Carlo Biado…both champions.
Re-entering the Arena, Warren, usually stoic, had a fierce look of determination. He won the lag and reciprocated by opening the second set with a 3-pack of his own.
Alex got 2 more–it should have been 3 but he miscued. Warren punished him with another 2. 
Soon, Warren was on the hill and, with only 4 games, it looked like Alex, the little engine that could, finally, couldn't.
After 9-days of the most gruelling competition in cuesports, Alex, it seemed, had run out of steam. We could feel his dismay when he missed even a difficult shot that he felt he should have made. Despondent, he would walk wearily to his seat.
Running out the case game, and the title so close, Kiamco succumbed to an obvious scratch. 
Alex was out of his seat. The fire was back in his eyes. He ran the remainder of the rack: 8-5. Snap! 8-6. He ran another one: 8-7. Darn it! Dry break.
Warren, with even more pressure on him now, got out of line and left a ball hanging in the hole: Alex couldn't believe it, another chance. He couldn't believe it; he'd hooked himself.
Back and forth, they countered, until Kiamco, unwittingly, had left himself a 7-9 combo, The balls weren't so far apart but, he had to use the Filipino least favorite weapon of choice, the bridge. They'd rather stretch the length of the table than use it.
Warily, Warren took to the table. Cautiously, stroking back and forth, he let the arrow loose. Slowly, the 9 rolled into the pocket.
Kiamco collapsed on the table. It was over. Warren was sprawled there for what seemed an eternity. Alex ran over to genuinely congratulate his fellow Filipino friend, "Just checking that he hadn't fainted," he joked later.
Warren was ecstatic, even uncharacteristically effusive. "Have you any idea how difficult Derby City is to win? Over 300 players, and never knowing exactly when, or who, you are going to play until you see the draw," he related, his voice full of excitement. "I'm so happy to have survived."
After 9 days of brutal combat, there are others who deserve mention here, too.
Jeremy Sossei, a very capable Connecticut 9-Ball player, had sneaked quietly through the ranks all the way to meet Alex Lely in a bout to see who would face Kiamco, Both Sossei and the World Pool Master and EuroTour 8 & 9-Ball Champion had only one life. One of them had to go.
Alex, these days, is more of a coach than a competitor. As the current instructor to the Nederlands' team, some of  whom were in attendance, he outlasted all of them. And, to his credit, "walked the talk" as he dismissed Van Boening allowing him only to 5.
Jeremy wasn't intimidated at all. Still pumped up from his recent runner-up finish at Turning Stone and, incidentally, he also had had a 4th in DCC 2010, he attacked the table allowing Lely little opportunity. "After the break, everything just went my way," he reported, humbly."
Lely was happy with his fourth place finish. "When Jeremy had me in the seat for so long, that's when I realized how exhausted I really was." Welcome to Derby City.
Jeremy had earned that berth in the formidable Accu-Stats Arena. The bright lights posed additional intimidation for his encounter with the unbeaten legend, Kiamco.
Sossei got to 5. "My safety play let me down but, you can be assured that I'll be back next year. I really think I can pull a win out of here. Besides, I want my picture on the winner's wall along with my buddy Ginky," he laughed. The late George "Ginky" SanSouci won the DCC 9-Ball in its second outing in 1999.
By mid-afternoon, Efren, thanks to Kiamco, was done and Brumback was gone, too.
It was then apparent that Pagulayan's lead in All Around Champion points was insurmountable. 
You might think that Alex would relax, feeling secure with his additional $20,000 in cash. It was then that he drew Orcollo: Onward to the Accu-Stats Arena.
As this was not a full TV production match. It was available only to the arena and Internet Pay-per-View audience. Jim Fredricks, owner Pat Fleming's right-hand man, would handle the camera switching, remotely, back at Accu-Stats' world headquarters.
The reason being, how many hours do you think the Accu-crew can log? Or, should that be slog?
Down to three players; Alex, Jeremy, and Warren Kiamco–still with a buy-back, means that there are, potentially, four more matches. The crew had to conserve energy incase they had to pull an all-nighter.
'Tis a pity that there won't be a DVD on this one. Alex and Dennis really had the room on a hook. Back and forth the score mounted until Alex, again, coming from behind, clawed to hill-hill: Another dry break. 
Dennis faced an awkward one-ball and, compounded by difficult position for the 2, it jawed. Alex, never a doubt running out, had escaped another one. With his hill-hill loss, Dennis exited the building.
Pagulayan drew a bye and awaited the previously reported winner from the Sossei/Kiamco encounter.
What an event. There is nothing like it anywhere in the world. History was made, money was made, and it's memories are forever.
Founder Greg Sullivan's dream, of pool evolving from a game to a sport, has truly become a reality: The DCC is a staple embedded in Pro Pool consciousness, forever. He candidly deserves his coveted, Pool In Action Award, received earlier in the week from the One-Pocket Hall of Fame.
Diamond VP, Chad Scharlow, is also worthy of honorable mention. In their busiest weeks of the year, Chad still has to handle the day-to-day running of Diamond compounded with the logistics of coordinating 9 days of Murphy's Law. And, you can bet your bottom dollar that, on Sunday, he'll be out their with a drill, dismantling tables along with the crew.
The Master of the Table awarded 2nd highest point winner Efren Reyes, $3,000, and John Brumback, $2,000 for 3rd.
Shannon Daulton:  $10,000, Banks winner.
Warren Kiamco, $16,000, 9-Ball.
Shane Van Boening: $16,000, Diamond BIG Foot Challenge.
The Derby City Classic continues to gain prestigious, worldwide respect as pool's most arduous and punishing competitive arena. Where else can you guarantee an encounter with BIG Foot and Cyclop?
Kudo's to the Russia's for creating a DCC qualifier event. The winner is awarded a free trip plus, entry into the Bank, 1-Pocket, and 9-ball divisions. Diamond congratulates this year's entrant, 16 year old, Maxim Dudanets. What an education he got!
But wait, there's more: The Dutch have a copy-cat, tribute event in Deurne City, Nederlands; The DC Classic. It doesn't quite last 9-days, only a long weekend. It will.
AZ would, sincerely, like to extend it's thanks to those you don't see: BADBOYS (and girl) Bonnie and Ric, Tourney officials Bret Baker and Bill Stock, and last but not least, Diamond Mike Smith. Without y'alls help, this editorial series would be severely lacking "Juice."
The George Fels Memorial Straight Pool Challenge: Semi Finals
1st: Ruslan Chinakhov – 125, $4000,
2nd: Jayson Shaw – 50, $2,500 (plus $1000 for his 227 high run bonus.
Diamond Billiards Products thanks Dennis Walsh, Bill Maropulis, and the scorekeepers that contributed to the success of the event. (The entrants doubled this year!)
Greg Sullivan acknowledged, "These guys worked as hard as anyone this week, and without them, there would be no 14.1 event."
They're will be a more complete report by AZ's own Jerry Forsyth in the days to come.
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.

2013 Junior National Champions Crowned: Hampton, Miller, Rivas, and Larson

August 8, 2013 (Englewood, CO): The Billiard Education Foundation (BEF) concluded its 25th Annual Junior National 9-Ball Championships July 25-28, 2013. 131 billiard student-athletes represented 29 states at the Convention Center of the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada for this special anniversary event. After the four day junior billiard extravaganza, four champions were crowned from each division and awarded trophies, gift bags full of sponsored prizes, custom engraved Delta-13 Select racks, academic scholarships, and entry into the 2013 WPA World Junior 9-Ball Championships.
18 & Under Boys Division
Of the 38 player field, taking top honors in the 18 & Under Boys Division is the reigning 2012 – 14 & Under Boys champion, Zachary Hampton. In his first year competing in the 18 & under division, Hampton lost his second match to last year’s top finisher, Chad Behnke, returning later to eliminate Behnke, along with two other familiar 18-year-olds, Brendan Crockett and Tyler Styer.
18 & Under Girls Division
In the 18 & Under Girls Division, 17-year-old Briana Miller set BEF history by going undefeated to claim her seventh consecutive win as Junior National Champion of her division. Since she was 11 years old, Miller has been dominating the girls divisions, medaled at the World event, and has won more in academic scholarships than any other participant, totaling over $6,000. Taylor Reynolds put up a strong fight in the finals but would have to wait until next year to claim the thrown. Newcomer Sierra Reams impressed the stands, proving she can have both academic and billiard accomplishments.
14 & Under Boys Division
This year’s 14 & Under Boys Division saw the largest field of 51 players qualifying from all over the country. 14-year-old Sergio Rivas went undefeated to claim the title proving he’s ready to play against the 18-year-olds next year. Rivas took third last year and defeated Texas State Junior Champion, Joey Bourgeois, in the finals with a convincing score of 9-2. Michael Evans and Nathan Diederich also had impressive finishes.
14 & Under Girls Division
The first round of the 14 & Under Girls Division saw a rematch from last year’s finals match. Karsyn Terry delivered reigning champion April Larson her first loss but the 4.0 student did not give up. Larson, known to her hometown as “The Shark”, fought her way back, overcoming two hill-hill matches to defend her title and represent her country again at the upcoming Junior World Championships. Larson defeated Terry and Emily Herpel, before facing Alex Booth in the finals; giving up only two games over the three matches.
Online brackets were provided courtesy of Bad Boys Billiard Productions and available at HD quality streaming of the finals matches was made possible courtesy of
Great appreciation go to the event staff and volunteers who have made this a first class event for years, and many more to come: tournament director Earl Munson for his 8th year of support, tournament assistants & mini-tournament coordinators Mel & Tammy Jo Leonard, National Head Referee Rick Doner for his 10th year of support.
HUGE THANKS goes to those who also volunteered their time to support the event and our fundraising efforts: Kathy Coffee, Marc & Kimberly Griffiths, Travis & Tarasa Escoubas, Taren Stewart, Josh Bustos, Cody Escoubas, Katie Bustos-Barnhill, Winfield Hong, John Leyman, Bill Stock, Buddy Eick, Dave Merrill, Darryl Farley, David High, Mike Johnson, Gibbi Tkatch, Dwayne Payne, James Hester, Janet Okamoto, Phil Eickhorn, Doug Garn. Scott Manuel, Larry Noel, and Judie Peters.
Special Thanks also go to the amazing staff at Ric & Bonnie Jones, Rich Parkeson and all of the staff at Bad Boys Billiard Productions, crew (Justin Collett, Andy Chen, and Tim Wampler), Ken Shuman, David & Linda Vandenberghe, Mark & Sunny Griffin, Mark Estes, Aric Pfeifer, the CSI staff, and Steve Schoenfelder of Pechauer Sales & Repair. We cannot thank you enough for all your support and many of your generous donations.
We’d also like to thank our guest speakers Jennifer Barretta and “The Dragon” Tim Chin for their inspirational presentations during the annual event banquet which hosted over 300 attendees (including players, family members, sponsors and supporters). Both players also participated in the popular annual adult-youth scotch doubles tournament. Barretta relentlessly helped to raise funds throughout the week through her movie sales, challenge matches, and exhibitions.
Please be sure to support all our amazing sponsors/underwriters and product donors who helped make the event possible: (this year’s Academic All-American Award sponsor, as well as generous supporter), Simonis, Aramith, Dr. Dave Alciatore, Tom & Janie Riccobene, Pechauer Custom Cues, CueSports International, Sterling Gaming, Delta-13,, Walgreens, The Drill Instructor, Tiger Products, Kamui, Texas Bumps, Red Robin, and RT9 Designs.
The following businesses also contributed to our fundraising efforts: McDermott Cues, Play the Game Clothing, PoolAHolic, OB Cues, Focused Apparel, Blackburn Cue Repair, Meuller, Las Vegas Photo & Video, Predator Cues, Omega Billiards, Universal Cues, Bodie Mechanics,, Castillo Leather Goods, and Frank’s Center.
Thanks also to the Mark Wilson, Lauren Nystrom, and the Lindenwood University staff who were present, actively recruiting budding young student-athletes for a chance to further their education while pursuing their billiard dreams. As always, we recognize our loyal media sponsors:, Billiards Digest, InsidePool, Pool&Billiard, Cue Times Billiard News, and On The Break News.
Any young players interested in participating in next year’s BEF Junior National 9-Ball Championship or State Championships should visit the BEF website at or call the office at (303) 926-1039.
Two more boys will be joining the top finishers at the upcoming junior world event. To be announced at a later date.


2013 WPA World Artistic Pool Championship a Resounding Success

The 12th WPA World Artistic Pool Championship finished after 4 days of exciting competition from July 18 – 21, 2013 at the luxurious Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. This event was held during the 37th BCAPL National Championships under the sponsored venue umbrella of CSI (Cue Sports International). There were 31 Artistic Pool Playing Artists from around the world competing for 9 separate world titles (1 overall + 8 discipline champions).

Thirteen competitive sessions were conducted over the 4-day period with the final session showcasing the top 6 scoring players (after the 1st 6 disciplines). Andy Segal, Nick Nikolaidis, and Sebastian Giumelli were neck and neck on the final few challenges, but Andy displayed great poise and burning focus to capture the “overall” title, posting a very impressive score of 254 points out of 320 points possible for the 40 shots / challenges done. Nick and Sebastian were tied at 245 points each, but Nick finished in 2nd place based on more 1st attempt makes. Congratulations, Andy for a great championship victory!!


Artistic Pool focuses on specific cueing challenges skillfully attempted under 8 discipline categories as follows (title winners are listed after each category): 1) Trick / Fancy Shots – Nick Nikolaidis (perfect score), 2) Special Arts – Florian Kohler (perfect score), 3) Draw Shots – Nick Nikolaidis (perfect score), 4) Follow Shots – Gabi Visoiu, 5) Bank / Kick Shots – Javier Gomez, 6) Stroke Shots – Jamey Gray, 7) jump Shots – Abram Diaz, and 8) Masse Shots – Steve Markle. Congratulations to each discipline champion!


Two awards were also presented for special recognition. A Sportsmanship Recipient voted on by the players was awarded to Michael “Sergio” Andrusko. A new award this year called the Rising Star Recipient Award was presented to Steve “The Steve” Murphy as the highest scoring player based on designated factors of eligibility. This award idea and medal / ribbon was sponsored by Tim Chin to recognize “up and coming” players in our sport. The APD would like to thank Tim for this special sponsorship effort and congratulate Sergio and Steve for their special recognitions / achievements.


We would like to thank: CSI (Mark Griffin, David Vandenberghe, Bill Stock, and staff) for their hard work and sponsorship in organizing this great event at such a fantastic venue; all of the players that participated / helped to make this a very memorable event; Dr. Cue for directing the Championship; the APD committee members for their administrative help; players, fans, and special guests that performed various duties; plus each performer entertaining a large audience during the Saturday night media / fan / sponsor appreciation experience!!


We extend a special “thank you” to all of our valued Artistic Pool monetary / product / service sponsors – WPA, CSI, Badboys Billiard Productions, Dr. Cue Promotions, Robertson Custom Cues, Dr. Popper Jump Cues, Diamond Tables, Cyclop (Phenolic Billiards), Aramith (TV Pro Cup Cue Balls), Executive Billiards (Delta Racks), Simonis Cloth, McDermott Cues, Jason Lynch for his professional streaming and electronic scoring services; and Brenda Lee’s Mobile Entertainment (special photography / CD / video services).


On behalf of the WPA APD committee board, the 2013 WPA World Artistic Pool Championship was a highly successful event sanctioned under the WPA umbrella for the growing sport of Artistic Pool. Look for future Artistic Pool information at:

U.S. Open 9-Ball News from Barry & Shannon

We hope that everyone is doing well as Shannon and I are looking forward to October 21-27,2012. Many wonderful changes are happening this year, including a new venue, which you will thoroughly love staying in, priced just right. If you have not already, check out the website for more information.

After months of going back and forth about paying for past champion entry fees, I decided to end that tradition that I started in 1979. It was not an easy decision by any means, trust me, I had many sleepless nights. All of my life I have followed my gut on most occasions and I realized it was time for a change for the best future of the U.S. Open. We will continue to pay the entry for our defending champion and provide his hotel accommodations for the week.

With the economy the way that it is these days, we are very blessed to have had a full field in 2010 and 251 players last year from over 20 countries, as well as our very loyal fan base attending. We are blessed that for many of them the week of the U.S. Open is their vacation time.

The World Tennis Association and the Professional Golf Association both have a long list of world wide ranked players from first place through several hundred. Pool also has a list of almost 500 players through the W.P.A., in addition to the lists of ranked players that the B.C.A. and A.B.P have accumulated. After discussing seeding players, I decided it was time to take a combined list to determine the first 64 best possible players. We will likely have another field of 256 players from all over the world again and 64 true seeds is the proper thing to do. No other major pool tournament attracts 256 players from all over the world so, again, we will be seeding the top 64 players this year.

This change will attract more players from all over the globe than ever before. I have discussed the seeds to our directors, Ken Shuman, Jay Helfert, and Bill Stock, who all feel the same way about increasing the seeds to 64 world wide players. After all, following the World Tennis Association and the Professional Golf Associations’ guidelines is a great thing to follow.

We will have two boards of 128 players and space out all ranked players. With that in mind, and due to so many world wide players coming to the open, we wanted to pay homage to those that deserve to be seeded. For corporate America and pool industry leaders, this becomes even more attractive. This will also assure a full field and more sponsorship dollars, which will increase the prize fund and the added money to this years added total of $72.000.00. We have to think bigger and outside the industry rather than focusing on what the industry has done in the past. We know we can have the bar raised to extreme heights and very soon.

Pepsi is back as a sponsor this year and we will be announcing either Budweiser or Miller that want to be involved also. Many other outside sponsors want to come aboard as well as those within our industry, we all need each other. This is the beginning of the betterment of the game of pool and the U.S. Open 9-Ball Championships. One of my goals is to receive more sponsorship dollars and raise the bar on the prize fund. Last years $180,000.00 prize fund is now $200,000.00 this year and it will be increasing to $250,000.00 and more in the very near future.

Before I pass the torch on to my beautiful, smart, and caring daughter, Shannon, I would like to see the U.S. Open grow each year with more added money leaving it a full field at 256 players and hopefully get the total prize fund to $300,000.00 and more. I know through hard work and dedication that goal is right around the corner. Who knows how far we can take it as we seek more sponsorships each year. I would absolutely love to see it become $500,000.00 with our champion receiving $100,000.00. This is not an impossible goal to achieve. After all, again, the U.S Open 9-Ball Championships is the only major event in our sport that attracts 256 players paying $500.00 to get in. Also, Pat Fleming, ACCU-STATS, and David Thomson have received more additional T.V. coverage for this years event with more coming soon.

Shannon and I appreciate all of our loyal players, die hard fans, and sponsors each and every year. This is our 37th annual U.S. Open 9-Ball Championships and we look forward to seeing you all in October. For detailed information on the 2012 U.S. Open 9-Ball Championships please visit our website: much appreciation,Barry Behrman & Shannon Behrman Paschall

Van Boening Takes Down US Open One Pocket Championship

Shane Van Boening (Photo courtesy of J.P. Parmentier)

Sunday play at the CSI US Open One Pocket Championship saw the last changing of the guard as the permutations of who would make it to the 10 pm final unfolded.

The first matches of the day took place at 10 am, as we saw the last four players on the losers side fighting it out. On the top of the draw we saw Alex Pagulayan matched up against Santos Sambajon with Alex coming out the winner to move into the next round to meet Francisco Bustamante.

At the bottom of the draw we had Charlie Bryant matched up against Ike Runnels with Ike moving to the next round to meet Sylver Ochoa.

In the hot seat match we had the much improved Darren “Dynamite” Appleton dueling it out with this years Derby City Classic One Pocket Champion Shane Van Boening. Unfortunately Shane just made one too many scratches in this match and allowed Darren to come out the winner with a 4-3 score line. This match went with the break, and always had Darren ahead in the match. The last game was exciting for the fans that witnessed some great shot making by both players. Shane would then have to wait for the 7 pm match to see if he could get another stab at Mr. Appleton.

Next we had Alex Pagulayan playing Francisco Bustamante to get to the last two players standing on the losers side of the bracket. Francisco – not surprisingly –  carried on his winning ways and came through in this match.

The other pairing was Ike Runnels up against Sylver Ochoa, in a match that Sylver had control of throughout, and came out the winner at 3-1.

The final pairing on the losers side of the bracket saw Francisco Bustamante scrapping it out with Sylver Ochoa. Sylver put a stop to Francisco’s winning ways and came out the winner with a score of 3-2.

Next Mr. Ochoa had to meet the waiting Shane Van Boening, who once again was poised to find his way back to the winning circle. It was no surprise that Shane put a stop to Sylver’s great play in this event, with Shane winning with a 3-1 score line.

They say that the cream always rises to the top. Well, here we had a final with two great young guns of the One Pocket game rising to the occasion. Darren was on top of his game immediately taking the score line to 3-2 in his favor. In the sixth game, by his own admission, Appleton missed an easy run out to allow Shane to level the match at 3-3.

Darren then had another relatively easy run out to win the next game, but missed an easy ball to once again allow Shane to win the game and take the lead at 4-3. In game eight Darren played a great combo but once again dogged the bank, and that was all she wrote as Shane was left an easy run out to take down the title with a 5-3 score line.

Once again Shane Van Boening has not only proved himself worthy of yet another highly prized One Pocket title, but has shown the pool world just what a talent he has in so many disciplines of the game. He really is a true champion that should be at the top of his games for many years to come. Well done Shane!!!

It must also be noted that CSI once again put on another very slick event, that went without a hitch, and not without the hard work put in by the great team of tournament directors Bill Stock, Ken Shuman and John Lehman.

One must also not forget the “The Action Report” team that put out their live stream broadcasts covering all of the matches throughout the weeks play.

It was also great to see ONE POCKET once again being presented in such a high profile way by CSI, giving the discipline its rightful place in the pool calendar.

Tiger Icebreaker Cue Tip Ruled BCAPL Legal

It is with great pleasure to announce the news about the Icebreaker break/jump tip becoming legal again for all BCAPL member players. After years of tests and comparisons with many of the other phenolic tips in the industry it was proven that the Icebreaker tip having the all-natural leather core in the center, will not damage the cue ball, therefore it will be considered the only one if it’s kind to become the legal tip of BCA Pool League. Bill Stock of BCAPL emailed us on Thursday April 4th, 2012 “After doing several hardness tests on numerous tips including the Icebreaker, I am going to deem the Icebreaker legal at our BCAPL Nationals”.

The U.S. Open 9-Ball Championships makes some great changes for 2012 and beyond

Hello everyone, we hope all is well. We have some news for everyone along with some exciting changes that we have made.
We regret to inform our past champions that they will no longer be receiving paid entry fees into the U.S. Open 9-Ball Championships. We have deep admiration and respect for our champions and will continue to express our appreciation to them with our yearly traditions such as the parade of champions, which takes place every five years, as well as during additional traditions that we all enjoy. Only the defending champion will receive a paid entry fee each year, in addition to a free hotel room.
We have made many wonderful changes for the 37th Annual U.S. Open and feel that this is a step in the right direction. With these changes, the total purse has been raised to $200,000.00 instead of $178,000.00. We will be adding $72,000.00 with a full field of 256 players, which we know will be full every year now since we have structured the prize fund breakdown extremely well, paying the champion $30,000.00 and now 65th-96th place receiving $1,000.00 each. 

Here is the full breakdown:

1st $30,000.00
2nd $15,000.00
3rd $8,000.00
4th $6,000.00
5th-6th $4,500.00 each
7th-8th $3,500.00 each
9th-12th $2,500.00 each
13th-16th $2,250.00 each
17th-24th $2,000.00 each
25th-32nd $1,750.00 each
33rd-48th $1,500.00 each
49th-64th $1,250.00 each
65th-96th $1,000.00 each

Since we have discontinued the past champion entries, we have still included the $10,000-$12,000 additional to get to the 72,000 added.  Unfortunately, there will also no longer be any discounts on entry fees this year since we are adding more. The entry fee will remain at $500.00 and will be collected by the BCA just like last year. You may begin sending in entry fees Tuesday, April 2nd, to The BCA. Details will be on our website, We would like to thank Rob Johnson, President of the BCA. We are very happy to see the BCA become even more involved with American Professional Pool.
In addition, we have decided to seed the top players from around the world and America. We believe that it only makes sense to provide true seeds to the players from each continent, as they have genuinely earned a seed. This will assure that even more foreign players will be coming and the U.S. Open is the only professional tournament that has 256 players. This is a wonderful opportunity and with the help of Ken Shuman, Jay Helfert, and Bill Stock, we will work together to decide to have 32, 48, or 64 seeded players. The seeding will come from the WPA, BCA, ABP, as well as 4 promoter’s discretion seeds from Barry and Shannon.  In addition, we will gladly seed players from the WPBA which will be determined by the number of participants.
Along with the added purse and seeding, the U.S. Open will be held at a new location. Our new venue, the Holiday Inn, is located just three blocks away from Q-Master Billiards. The Holiday Inn had a $14,000.000.00 remodel and everything is beautiful. Visit to check it out. The U.S. Open rates for single or double rooms are only $79.99, use the code USO. We believe strongly that everyone is going to love the new location and layouts for the tournament. Shannon and I will have the exact ballroom layouts very soon.  Our ticket prices and VIP ticket prices will remain the same as they have been for the past 20 years and will stay that way for quite some time.
We feel so blessed to have wonderful sponsors that are so giving each year and we hope in the near future to raise the added money more and more. These days professional pool players need all the help they can get and we want to help more and hopefully others will as well. Professional pool in America is not in very good shape and we cannot fix it alone. Our advice is for promoters to reach out more to the industry leaders.  After all, we are all working hard to put on wonderful events and industry leaders should take advantage of the opportunity and the exposure they would receive due to our efforts. We are all in this together.
We thank you all for taking the time to read our letter and we hope to have your support at the 37th Annual U.S. Open 9-Ball Championships!
We thank you all, with love and respect,

Barry Behrman & Shannon Behrman Paschall

Hunter Roberts Wins WorldPPA Reno Shootout

Hunter Roberts

The first WorldPPA’s Reno Shootout event was a huge success! Well known SF Bay Area Tournament Director/Commentator, Gene Miller, says:  ” WOW! LET’S DO THIS EVERY YEAR! That’s the concensus of Bob Beaulieu and virutally everybody else who was at the 19th US BAR TABLE CHAMPIONSHIPS at Reno’s Grand Sierra Resort February 13-19. Nothing against the Sands-Regency intended (we went there 46 times), but there’s a world of difference between the two locations. While the Sands was nice, the Grand Sierra is magnificent. Spacious, luxurious, numerous restaurants, entertainment, and gambling. The $25,250-added open events, 8-ball, 9-ball and 10-ball, attracted a huge crowd and should bring many more next year. Check out the “Tournaments” forum at for the latest facts and interesting gossip. All events were double elimination played on forty Diamond bar boxes. Ten additional Diamond 9-footers were brought in to accommodate 80 WorldPPA players in their first big 9-ball handicap championship. Imagine the coordination this event demanded — many of these players were enrolled in three tournaments simultaneously! The crew at Cue Sports International really knows how to handle a crowd. It was Mark Griffin (CSI) and Bob Beaulieu (WorldPPA) who got together and made this event such a success, even though Bob prefers to put himself way in the background, insisting that “It was the players who really made this event happen.” Bill Stock and his BCA crew contributed tremendously to the success of the event, and all fifty Diamond tables were set up by Bad Boys. It was also a coming-out party for Frank Nordmann Jr‘s new line of pool garb, “Play The Game.” (I have my event T-shirt and my hoodie is on order.) There were numerous vendors of pool clothing, cuemakers and everything else related to our game. As with so many recent events, a MAGIC RACK was at every table.”

Congratulations to Hunter Roberts (A+), a long time California Billiard Club player for taking 1st Place  and winning $1,000.00 cash.  Hunter’s list of opponents include races to 8 matches played with Linda Miyoshi (C+) 8/7;  Carolyn Koo (C) 8/7; Louis Altes (A+) 8/6; Scott Mattingly (A-) 8/4; Chris McCreary (A) 8/4; then a Loss to Mike Kushlan (A) 4/8; and a win against George Pagulayan (A) 8/7 bringing him back to the Final table where he needed to beat Mike Kushlan twice – which he did; first 8/5 to put Mike Kushlan on the one-loss side then again 8/6 for the championship and 1st Place.  Congratulations to Mike Kushlan Jr. for 2nd Place and winning $760.00. 

Below is a list of the Top 24 winners with payouts:

1st – Hunter Roberts (A+) $1000.00
2nd – Mike Kushian (A) $760.00
3rd – George Pagulayan (A) $450.00
4th – Chris McCreary (A) $350.00
5th-6th – Riwan Khalil (B-) Mark Anthony Tiu (A+) $300.00 each
7th-8th – Gannon Buss (B+) Shan Damani (A-) $250.00 each
9th-12th – Scott Mattingly (A-) Mike Langarica (A-) Victor Valseca (A+) Brian Thurston (B+) $185.00 each
13th-16th – Kenny Maeda (A-) Randy Cady (A+) Scott Sholes (B-) Kevin Lombard (A-) $150.00 each
17th-24th – Patty West (B-) Carolyn Koo (C) Louis Altes (A+) Martin Masters (B+) Robert Young (B) Khanh Ngo (B-) $75.00 each
25th-32nd – $50.00 each
33rd-48th – $35.00 each
48th-78th – $25.00 each

Total Payout was $7,335.00 including $1,485.00 added by the WorldPPA.

USBTC wraps up with Jeff Beckley winning the 8-Ball Division

USBTC 8-Ball Champion, Jeff Beckley, at work in the TAR arena

CSI’s 19th Annual US Bar Table Championships concluded Sunday, with Jeff Beckley going undefeated in the 8-Ball Division.   The first year for the USTBC at the Grand Sierra Resort and Casino was a rousing success.  It’s been a fantastic week of championship caliber pool, with outstanding performances in all three divisions: 10-Ball, 9-Ball and 8-Ball.

The 8-Ball Division kicked off on Friday, with 189 entries in the Men’s Division and 46 entries in the Women’s Division.  All tables were in play, as there were three tournaments being contested simultaneously, the Men’s and Women’s USTBC 8-Ball, and a WorldPPA handicapped 9-Ball Tournament.

Jeff Beckley, who hails from Indiana, had an impressive tournament run.  Jeff  finished undefeated, and notched wins over notable players such as Jose Parica, Larry Nevel, Francisco Bustamante and Robb Saez.  His win/loss totals were an impressive 45-18.

Jeff started out the final day, with a hotseat match with Francisco Bustamante.  Jeff played solid and capitalized on a few uncharacteristic mistakes from Francisco.  Francisco was a favorite going in, as he had a very impressive run on Saturday.  Jeff sent Francisco to the losers bracket with a 5-3 win and then went back to his room to relax until his 7:00 match.
Meanwhile, Robb Saez was all business on Sunday.  His eyes were set on Jeff Beckley, but he would have to beat a host of champions to get there.   Robb started off by knocking out Rodney Morris 5-2, then sent Larry Nevel packing with a 5-0 win.  Next up for Robb was Oscar Dominguez, who was having a great tournament himself.

Oscar was sent to the losers side late Saturday night by Francisco Bustamante, in a match where Oscar would get only two shots.  Francisco broke and ran the first game.  When Oscar broke the next game, the cue ball got kicked in and Francisco ran out.  Then, Francisco broke and ran out.  When Oscar broke the next game, the cue ball was kicked in again, and Francisco ran out.  Francisco then broke and ran the final game, for a 5-0 win.  In all, Oscar had only two shots in the match, both break shots.
Oscar would give Robb all he could handle though on Sunday, and they went hill-hill with Robb needing to bank his last solid cross side and draw his cueball into the 8-ball, which was tied up on another ball.  It was a do or die shot, where any part of the shot going wrong would result in an easy out and a win for Oscar.  Undaunted, Robb drilled the bank and drew softly into the 8-ball, freeing it up for an easy shot to win the set.
Up next for Robb, was Francisco Bustamante.  Robb had everything rolling for him though at this point, and great play and a few rolls allowed him to move on to the finals with a 5-4 victory over “Django.”
The finals got underway at 7:00 pm with Robb Saez needing to beat Jeff Beckley twice.  Up until this point, it seemed destiny was on Robb’s side, but Jeff was not going to be denied.  First Jeff got an early lead at 3-0, then Robb crept back with a  couple of  games.   Jeff got to the hill first, and had a few opportunities to close out the match, but couldn’t cash in on them.  Jeff would need to keep his composure and put his missed opportunities behind him, if he wanted to end this in one set.  Jeff would keep it together, and with a straight in 8-ball down the rail, he won his first  USBTC 8-Ball Title.

Congratulations to Jeff Beckley with his 1st place finish and Robb Saez for finishing 2nd.  Francisco Bustamante finished 3rd and Oscar Dominguez came in 4th.  First paid $5700, 2nd paid $3300, 3rd paid $2000 and 4th paid 1200.
On the Women’s side, Stacy Allsup went undefeated and matched up with Melissa Little in the finals.  Melissa would need to beat Stacy two sets to come out on top, but fell short, losing the first set 4-2.  Congratulations to Stacy Allsup on her 1st place finish pocketing $875, and Melissa Little on her 2nd place finish and a $550 prize.
In the All Around Bonus, there was a three way tie for 1st place, between Shane Van Boening, Glenn Atwell and Jeff Beckley.  They split $3500 in added Bonus money provided by CSI.  On the Women’s side, Rebecca Wagner took home an additional $500 for 1st place and Stacy Allsup took home $250.
CSI would like to thank the Grand Sierra Resort and Casino for providing a perfect venue for the USBTC Championship.   Thanks to Ric, Bonnie and Ken Jones with Bad Boys Billiard Productions for all they do in setting up and running this great event.  Bad Boys would like to thank Bret Baker and Janet Okomoto for volunteering their time to assist them.   CSI would like to thank Bill Stock for assisting Bad Boys on the Tournament Directors staff and the long hours he’s had this year at DCC, Swanee and USBTC.

CSI would like to recognize Justin Collett and TAR for providing daily live streaming of the event with the high quality production we all have come to expect from them.

TAR would like to thank OB Cues for sponsoring the live streaming and Kamui Tips and AZBilliards for their additional support.  Also, Ken Shuman for his professional commentating all week on the live stream.  Special thanks to Andy Chen & Greg Koch (“CaliRed”) for their long hours running cameras for the live stream.
Most of all, CSI would like to thank the players, the fans, and the pool community for making this event a success.  CSI would especially like to thank their own CSI family at the home office, who put in all the hard work behind the scenes, that are required to put together these large tournaments.  On behalf of Mark Griffin and the entire CSI Staff, thanks to all of you for another successful and entertaining event.