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McKenny comes back from semifinals to down Buckley and claim Florida State 10-Ball title

Tony Crosby, Daniel McKinney, Benji Buckey and room owner Mike Zingale

With competitors like Mosconi Cup team member Sky Woodward, former US Open Champion Tommy Kennedy, Robb Saez and Shane McMinn (among others) on the entrant list, one might have been forgiven for expecting a series of marquee matchups in the final hours of the Florida State 10-Ball Open, held on the weekend of January 7-8. Instead, in what must surely have been a surprise to Calcutta participants, you had Daniel McKenny and Benji Buckley battling twice – hot seat and finals – with Buckley, who was the 2016 champion, taking the first and McKenny claiming the title by winning the last. The $4,000-added event drew 77 entrants to Zingale's Billiards and Sports Bar in Tallahassee, FL.
With the aforementioned marquee players at work on the loss side (none of whom would make it out of the 7/8 slots), McKenny and Buckley advanced to the winners' side semifinals; McKenny taking on Butch Croft, Buckley meeting Stoney Stone. McKenny moved into the hot seat match with a 7-1 victory over Croft, while Buckley downed Stone 7-4. For the second year in a row, Buckley claimed the hot seat, this time 7-2 and waited for McKenny to get back from the semifinals.
On the loss side, the 'marquee four' found themselves battling in the second (9/12) money round. Saez eliminated Woodward 7-5, McMinn took care of Clint Nichols 7-1, and Denny Singletary finished Tommy Kennedy's weekend 7-5. Manny Perez knocked tour director Tony Crosby out of the running 7-4. McMinn and Saez were eliminated next; McMinn by Singletary, double hill, and Saez by Perez 7-3.
Singletary drew Stone, coming off his defeat in the winners' side semifinal, and Perez picked up Croft, coming off his. Singletary and Croft got right back into the swing of things and advanced to the quarterfinals; Singletary 7-3 over Stone, Croft surviving a double hill fight against Perez.
The quarterfinals were, at minimum, a $300 contest (the payout difference between 3rd and 4th place) and went double hill. Croft denied Stone a second shot against Buckley with the double hill win that gave him a shot. The semifinals were a $500 minimum battle (the difference between 2nd and 3rd place) and it almost went double hill. At the end, though, McKenny edged ahead by two 7-5 to get his second shot (an absolute $1,000 contest) against the reigning event champion, Buckley.
McKenny pulled it off. For the second match in a row, he was able to get ahead by two at the end to win it (9-7) and snatch the Florida State 10-Ball title away from Buckley.
A $1,000-added Second Chance event, which drew 50 entrants, saw Jamie Baraks go undefeated to claim the title. Baraks and Matt Bulfin, after shutting out their opponents (Jessie Middlebrooks and George Saunders, respectively) in the two winners' side semifinals, squared off in the hot seat match, won by Baraks 4-1. Bulfin downed Rod Rentz, double hill, in the semifinals, before Baraks defeated him a second time 5-3 in the finals. 
Tour director Tony Crosby thanked Mike Zingale and his staff for their hospitality and contribution to the prize money.  Crosby also noted that anyone interested in sponsoring the Florida Pool Tour should visit the tour Web site ( for contact information.

Tony Crosby Crowned Florida State Open Champion

Tony Crosby and Rick Schau

Hammerheads Billiards Lounge, Holiday Florida hosted the Poison Cues Fl State Open Championships. The  $2000 added Open championships would draw out some of the big guns;  Mike Davis, Butch Croft, Justin Hall, James Roberts, Richard Broumpton, Adam Wheeler and Louis Altese to mention a few. 

One man looking very strong on the winners side would be Rick Schau after a tough 9-8 win over Louis Altese in the 2nd round he would go onto beat Jim Dolan 9-2, James Roberts 9-2 and then another strong win over Jason Richko 9-5 to put himself in the winners side final. In the winner side final he would face Tony Crosby who had made his way there with wins over Ke Wu 9-5, Betina Chase 9-1, Prescott Buckwold 9-4 and then a strong win over Richard Broumpton 9-1 to book his winner side final with Schau.

The winners side final would kick off with Crosby coming out strong and taking a commanding 6-2 lead, Schau would win the next two racks to pull the deficit to 6-4, Crosby would then have his chance only to miscue on the 1 balls and this would be his last shot of the match, Schau would run this rack out and leave Crosby sat in his seat as he broke and ran the last 4 racks to take the match 9-6 with a superb performance.

Mike Davis  would then  navigate his way back through the one loss side with wins over Ke Wu  7-4, Mike Delawder  7-0, ( where he broke and ran the last 5 racks) Jason Richko 9-6 and finally Richard Broumpton 9-5 to meet Tony Crosby in a semi finals match up. The semi final was looking like one way traffic as Crosby would take advantage of some unforced errors to take a 6-0 lead, a bathroom break from Davis turned the match and would claw his way back from 6-0 to 7-3 and then from 8-5 down would find himself tied at 8-8 breaking for the match. The last rack would see him make a ball on the break to leave a very tough 1 ball; he decided to play safe and leave Crosby hooked on the one, Crosby would kick at the 1 ball with speed making contact and fluking a ball in at the same time which would be enough to see him run the balls out and escape into the final.

The final would be a race to 10 with a possible one rack sudden death shootout if Crosby were to win the first set. The first rack would prove critical in this match as Crosby would break and run to the 8 ball, miss and give Schau the opportunity to take the first rack, but he would also miss the 8 which would prove very costly, as Crosby would win this rack and then go onto win the next 9 racks in a row playing strong pool.  This would force the one rack sudden death shoot out.  Crosby would win the lag and then go onto break and run the last and final rack to be crowned Florida State Champion.

The Poison tour would like to thank Pete Shabo, Hammerheads room owner and his staff for hosting another great event. The tours title Sponsor Poison by Predator cues,  Billiardscoop, Delta 13 racks and also all the media Azbilliards, Insidepool, MxmBilliards,  StrokeMagazine, Pool and Billiards, Billiards Digest for their great tour coverage. 

The Poison Tour will kick off the new season January 28th, 29th, 2012 at Strokers Billiards in Palm Harbor Florida, dates in February and March will also be posted. We would also like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and happy holidays.