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Vann Corteza Wins Derby 9-Ball, Orcollo Takes 3rd Master of the Table

Lee Vann Corteza (Photo courtesy of Dave Thomson – Mediumpool.com)

Diamond Derby City Classic XXII, January 24-Feb.2, 2020

Caesars Southern Indiana, Elizabeth, IN

David Thomson

This just in! The All Around Champion leaderboard finished with Dennis Orcollo squeaking by Billy Thorpe by 4.3 points to take the Master of the Table/All Around Champion title. Joshua Filler took 3rd.

Orcollo 210. $20.000
Thorpe 205.7. $3000
Filler 192. $2000

DIAMOND 9-BALL CHAMPIONSHIP

408 entrants. 9 on the spot, compliant break, Outsville Accu-Rack Template.

Lee Vann Corteza is the coolest under pressure of any player out there. He certainly was this week.

Why? He had the very intimidating Joshua Filler firing at him. And Lee Vann, with an unprecedented Accu-Stats’ TPA of .978, in a final, slowly took him apart.

Joshua had just reduced Orcollo to rubble at 9-4 and, earlier in the afternoon, blazed past the normally, formidable Shane Van Boening, 9-2, with an extraordinary .984…in 28 minutes. That .984 has to be the highest TPA in decades.

None of it meant anything to Corteza, That was then. This was now.

OK, Lee Vann could reminisce that, while Joshua was annihilating Dennis, he was out in the Diamond Arena demolishing James Aranas whose .952 had, previously, brutalized Justin Bergman, 9-1, in 43 minutes.

Then, to secure his seat in the final, displaced Van Boening with a very respectable, 9-4.

Yet again, that was then. This was now.

As both unbeaten warriors still had their buy-back, it was agreed that an extended race to 11 would determine the Champion.

Although, off to a slow opening that may have debilitated others, Lee Vann never faltered.

Neither did his focus and determination, especially in those frustrating opening racks, when he couldn’t make a ball on the break.

So, it was Filler who forged ahead until opportunity struck and Corteza got level at 3. Josh’s breaks weren’t leaving him close or, snookered, he had to duck. His safeties, no matter how tight, Corteza, mostly, managed to connect and get safe.

Finally, when Corteza earned his turn at bat, the orbs started dropping for him. He crept ahead.

Filler was faced with length of the table back-cuts that were going in the outer arena but, now under pressure, they would jaw and leave Lee Vann another rack.

Filler had relied on his fire power and it had failed him. He was soon down 8-4. Corteza’s non-compliant break allowed him back to the table.

A little frantic now, Filler fought is way through the rack until, he rolled long and hooked himself.

Jacked up, he kicked at the ball. It bolted into the side pocket. Unfortunately, so did the cue-ball. It had followed it in.

Filler’s pillar of support, his wife Pia, sitting ringside, was mouthing encouragement.

But to no avail. There was nothing that was going to distract Corteza. He was on a mission to secure his first DCC title.

His picture perfect position on the final run-out proved positive that today, he was not to be denied. 11-4.

Joshua candidly admitted that the further he got behind, the harder it was to overcome Corteza’s omnipotence. “The more I missed, the more I lost confidence.” And, the more Corteza capitalized on it.

Lee Vann, $16,000. Joshua, $8,000, Dennis and James Aranas, 3rd/4th, $4850 each.

The 9-Ball result had no relevance on the all Around Champion points process.

That was already secured by Dennis’ dependable come-from-behind win over German Can Salim.

Can was capable. He had already eliminated another favorite, Jayson Shaw. It was also erroneously stated, in yesterday’s report, the Salim had been eliminated by Filler, when in fact, the fellow German had handed Can his first loss.

Today, a Salim victory over Dennis would have, seriously, upset the points leaderboard and awarded the title to One Pocket Champion, Billy Thorpe.

Dennis was behind 8-6 when his undaunted, relentless pursuit of the $20,000 and his 3rd Master of the Table title allowed his goal to be realized.

It also should be mentioned that Diamond’s One-Pocket and Bank Pool prize funds of $92,600 and $79,750, respectively, were the highest ever distributed in their 22 year history.

As always, the Diamond DCC had attracted a truly cosmopolitan field with 3 Filipinos, 2 Germans, and American Justin Bergman in the Final 6, Shane Van Boening finished 7th.

Oh, just one more thing, our heartiest congratulations to Diamond Billiard Products founder Greg Sullivan on his induction into the BCA Hall of Fame and Meritorious Service Award.

Thanks to all who contributed to the daily DCC reports. You know who you are: the voice of the event, Bonnie Jones, hubby Ric, new team member Dwayne Payne, and of course, Diamond Paul!

accu-stats.com will have full HD DVDs and streamed Vimeo On Demand versions of all the TV table productions.

badboysbp.com will have alternate Diamond Arena matches available in the coming weeks.

Accu-Stats thanks its Arena Sponsors: Diamond Billiards, Simonis Cloth, Cyclop Balls, Cuetec Cues, Cue and Case, MEZZ Cues, McDermott Cues, National Billiard Academy.

Barretta and Thorpe Wins Highlight Derby City Day Eight

Jennifer Barretta (Photo courtesy of Dave Thomson – Mediumpool.com)

Diamond Derby City Classic XXII, January 24-Feb.2, 2020
 
Caesars Southern Indiana, Elizabeth, IN
 
This just in! The All Around Champion leaderboard has Billy Thorpe ahead of Orcollo by 4.2 points.
 
DIAMOND 9-BALL CHAMPIONSHIP
 
David Thomson
 
408 entrants. 9 on the spot, compliant break, Outsville Template Rack.
 
Jennifer Barretta vs. Joey Korsiak was the nail-biter of the day in the Accu-Stats Arena.
 
Jennifer proved fighting fit as she overcame a 4-1 deficit to tie the match at 7.
 
On the 8, which would have, put her on the hill, alas, she mis-cued. 
 
Joey, with only 2 balls to pocket, captured that spot and was soon breaking. Then, mid-rack, it was his turn to commit the unforgivable. He missed a makable ball in the side.
 
Jennifer, exercising perfect fundamentals, looked like she’d been coached at Mark Wilson’s pool school. With grace and poise, she, calmly, closed out the rack.
 
Barretta, now battle ready, broke the last rack. It was compliant. Composed and considerate, she negotiated the layout with extraordinary ease. Within moments, she was straight in on the 9. There was no chance of mishap now. Smiling and relaxed, she powered the remaining orb home. 9-8.
 
More action in the Accu-Stats TV Arena had Corey’s .887 Total Performance Average(TPA) over Mika’s .796 pretty much speak for itself. 9-5, 
 
Then, Skyler Woodward and Omar Al Shaheen had the audience’s attention.
 
Omar, empowered by his decent performance in Banks and One Pocket, was in his comfort zone and never wandered from the task.
 
Skyler, playing catch-up was about to tie the match at 7 when he hooked himself, missed the kick and Shaheen was on the hill and on his way upward. 9-6.
 
They would meet again in the evening’s Banks Ring game.
 
Shane Van Boening, Joshua Filler, Justin Bergman, LeeVann Corteza, Justin Bergman are all undefeated.
 
Efren Reyes was removed by John Demet and Mieszko Fortunski, who gave Melling his first loss as did Jayson Shaw to Konrad Juszczyszyn.
 
Konrad, having his best result ever, later eliminated Melling who had been sent to the booth by Jesus Atencio.
 
German Can Salim canned Jeff DeLuna, and Shaw, to be later eliminated by Filler.
 
Lee Vann Corteza exited Olinger, Immonen, and Bustamante. Dennis Orcollo got Gomez and Tyler Styer.
 
Chris Melling had sent Corey Deuel buying back.
 
Billy Thorpe, before being ejected by Japan’s Naoyuki Oi, had gotten Max Eberle who had sent Tim DeRuyter home.
 
Justin Bergman removed Marty Turpin and later handed Tyler Styer his 1st loss and much later, removed Omar.
 
Francisco Bustamante relieved Evan Lunda.
 
James Aranas got over Josh Roberts and, fellow countrymen be damned, killed Bustamante and Kiamko.
 
Last Chance for 9-Ball. It commences at noon, the Finals at night.
 
Check out the schedule at Accu-Stats.com.
 
FRIDAY NIGHT BANKS RING GAME
 
Featuring Skyler Woodward, Billy Thorpe, Jayson Shaw, Jonathan Demet, Justin Hall and Omar Al Shaheen.
 
Billy Thorpe strikes again. At $800 a ball, Skyler Woodward couldn’t contain him, but it took a while.
 
$1500 ante, Diamond added $3k, equals $12,000.
 
The difference this year, rather than the winner take all, they were paying $8k for first and $4k for second.
 
The last 2 standing played ’til one gutted the other and was declared the winner.
 
The action began at $50 a ball. Every 3 racks they would reshuffle the order and the $s would raise to 100, 200, 400, etc.
 
The shocker was that Shaw was the first to go, followed swiftly by Demet, then last year’s Banks semi-finalist Omar Al Shaheen. By $300 per orb, Hall was bankrupt. That left Skyler and Billy battling for the cash.
 
Woodward had $5700 and Billy had $3300. 3 racks later, The bank rolls were reversed and it was Sky $5700, Billy $3300.
 
That’s when the bloodbath began. at $700 a ball, Billy moved into slaughter mode. The sky was falling in on Woodward and with $2100 to Billy’s $6900, the action raised to $800.
 
Sky had 2 and a half bullets. Billy, smelling blood, upped it to smiling assassin mode and soon had the moolah!
 
Then it was all hugs and beers, back to good buddies and, “What time’s your 9-Ball match?”
 
Don’t miss a stroke at accu-stats.com
 
Accu-Stats thanks its Arena Sponsors: Diamond Billiards, Simonis Cloth, Cyclop Balls, Cuetec Cues, Cue and Case, MEZZ Cues, McDermott Cues, National Billiard Academy.

Pinegar wins second 2019 Bar Table title at Midwest Bar Table Classic in Indianapolis

Jonathan Pinegar

Orcollo takes top prize in 10-Ball Saturday Night Midnight Madness
 
In what has been something of a slow year for him, Jonathan Pinegar (the ‘artist’ formerly known as “Hennessee from Tennessee”) recently chalked up his second 2019 Bar Box title. In late March, Pinegar won the 32-entrant, Super Billiards Expo’s Pro Am Bar Box Championships and on the weekend of October 13-14, he went 7-1 through a field of 128 competing at the $7,500-added 39th annual Midwest Bar Table Classic, hosted by John Wayne’s Bar and Grill in Indianapolis, IN. He lost the opening set of a true double elimination final to runner-up Jason Klatt. Pinegar’s only other recorded earnings for the year stemmed from his participation in the 2019 Derby City Classic at which he finished in the money in three separate disciplines; 9-Ball (17th), One Pocket (21st) and 9-Ball Banks (91st).
 
As if a 128-player field wasn’t madness enough, the Midwest Bar Table Classic included a 10-Ball Saturday Night Midnight Madness tournament, which featured a single elimination ‘winner and runner-up take all’ format. It drew an extraordinarily short field of 10 entrants and lasted (no surprise) until 3 a.m., which might have had something to do with why the winner, Dennis Orcollo, finished in the eight-way tie for 17th place in the main event to take home $1,500. Tommy Stephenson was the $500 runner-up.
 
The main event saw a number of ‘marquee’ players eliminated earlier than anticipated (by themselves probably more than anybody). These included 2020 Mosconi Cup Team USA member, Billy Thorpe and the Midwest Bar Table Classic’s defending champion, Alex Olinger, both of whom shared in the four-way tie for 13th. Also out early (among others) were Dennis Hatch (25-32), Justin Bergman (17-24) and Shane McMinn (9/12).
 
Pinegar faced separate opponents in the hot seat and finals; one of them, having sent the other to the loss side. Josh Roberts sent Jason Klatt to the loss side in a winners’ side quarterfinal from where Klatt would launch a five-match winning streak that would earn him a shot against Pinegar in the finals. Roberts advanced to a winners’ side semifinal against Jordan Davis, as Pinegar squared off against Chris Szuter in the other one.
 
Pinegar downed Szuter 9-6, as Roberts was busy sending Davis to the loss side 9-5. Pinegar claimed the hot seat 9-5 over Roberts and waited on Klatt’s return.
 
Klatt opened his loss-side campaign with a victory over Can Salim, who’d been responsible for sending Dennis Orcollo to the loss side (Kevin Hall would eliminate Orcollo). Klatt then went on something of a ‘tear’ as he shut out his next two opponents; Robert Frost and (fresh from his loss to Pinegar) Szuter. Davis picked up and defeated John Morra 7-5; Morra having been responsible for eliminating Shane McMinn and Jeremy Seaman.
 
Klatt took the quarterfinal match over Davis 7-2 and then, in a match that came within a game of double hill, downed Roberts 7-5 in the semifinal.
 
Klatt and his sidekick, Momentum took the opening set of the true double elimination final 9-6. Pinegar came back to win the second set 7-4 and claim the Midwest Bar Table Classic title.
 
Event directors John Klotz and Miranda Babcock thanked John Wayne’s Bar & Grill owner Chuck Thomas and his staff for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Meucci Cues, Simonis Cloth and for the live streaming, BilliardNet.TV. The next Midwest Bar Table Classic has been scheduled for April 3-5, 2020.

Champions Reignite at Space City Open VII

Josh Roberts (Photo courtesy of Chris Lue, Next Action Media)

James Davis, Jr., “Junior”, of Austin, Texas, went undefeated in a 128-player field, to win the Space City Open VII, open 9-ball title, becoming the second player to win it twice. Josh “The Beast” Roberts not only defended his one pocket title, but finished second in banks, and thirty-third in the 9-ball, earning himself the “All-Around” title, and a hefty $1,500 bonus. First-time competitor, Evan Lunda of Detroit, Michigan, cleaned up in the 32-player, 9-ball banks division, going hill-hill with only a single opponent. In the 32-player, ladies 9-ball, Ming “The Empress” Ng redeemed herself in the second set of the true, double elimination final, securing her second title, and becoming the first, two-time winner in this division. Nine junior players, including eight young men, and one young lady, traveled from across Texas to compete in their very own division. Lazaro “Little Laz” Martinez, III, of San Antonio, Texas, went undefeated in this category, earning the first win in this division debut.
 
For years, Space City Open has featured top players from across America, and this year was no exception. Former Mosconi Cup players, contenders, and champions alike were in attendance, vying for a piece of the $53,415 payout. Space City Open superstars included Justin Hall, Josh Roberts, Danny Smith, Shane McMinn, John Morra, Charlie “Hillbilly” Bryant, Richie Richeson, Alex Calderone, Sylver Ochoa, Ernesto Bayaua, James Davis, Jr., Can Salim, Chris Robinson, Evan Lunda, Jamie Baraks, Manny Perez, Justin Espinosa, Tommy Tokoph, and Jesus Atencio.  
 
This year’s $7,500 added, Space City Open VII, was held December 6th-9th, 2018, and implemented a number of positive changes, including a $1,500 All-Around bonus, and a seventeen-and-under, juniors 9-ball division. In its seventh year, the “derby-like” event, now hosting five divisions over four days, was also held at a brand new venue. Big Tyme Billiards in Spring, Texas, stepped up to host, generously adding $4,000 to the purse, providing twenty Diamond bar tables and six nine foot tables, on which to compete. Twenty-six, brand new, Cyclop “Zeus” ball sets, and Accu-Racks by Outsville, were provided by Space City. The bar tables were a popular change from the eight foot tables used in previous years (for the open 9-ball division), and the format changes for one pocket and banks were also a huge hit. These divisions were still held on nine foot tables, but in a single elimination format as opposed to double, and the consensus was clear. Players loved the expediency, along with the added pressure and intensity of the “one-and-done” arrangement. For the first time, all divisions filled, with players on stand-by.
 
The open 9-ball division presented a monstrous, challenging field, played on the great equalizer; the bar table. On the road to victory, James Davis, Jr. defeated Matt Williams, Charlie Bryant, 9-8, Evan Lunda, 9-8, and Shelby Green, 9-5, to reach the winners’ side final eight. Espinosa logged wins over Angelina Dean, 9-1, Marshal Ward, 9-2, Eric Aicinena, 9-4, and Victor Rojas, 9-7, while Danny Smith defeated Mike Landry, 9-2, Colton Berzins, 9-1, John Morra, 9-5, and Mike Alonzo, 9-8. Jamie Baraks made quick work of Beto Cavazos, 9-3, Rick Moreno, 9-3, David Thomas, 9-7, and Shane McMinn, 9-4. Houston’s Andy Jethwa passed Grady Cooper, 9-1, Mark Galicia, 9-5, Sylver Ochoa, 9-8, and Corey Flud, 9-6. Richie Richeson ousted Alan Myers, Jerry Miller, 9-8, David Chow, and Billy “Big Tyme” Sharp, 9-4, while Alex Calderone overcame Chase Wheeler, 9-2, Ricki Casper, 9-6, Aaron Springs, 9-7, and Germany’s Can Salim, 9-8. On the one loss side and in the money, Kenneth Price upset Chris Robinson, 7-5, and bested Flud, 7-7, while Morra topped Curt Sheldon, 7-3, and Shelby Green, 7-2. Bryant subdued Angel Mentzel, but fell to Sharp by the same score, 7-2. Galicia upended Aicinena, 7-4, but fell to Salim, 7-2, while Moreno won an impressive five matches, ousting Springs, 7-3, and Rojas, 7-4. Following a second round loss to Morra, Ernesto Bayaua made a phenomenal comeback, securing five matches, including wins over Derek Fontenot, 7-3, and Poon, 7-0. Jesus Atencio, on a similar mission, marked up five on the one loss side, among the ruins, Reginal Samples, 7-1, and Alonzo, 7-5. Jimmy Krone racked up five victories on the one loss side, but was stopped by Ochoa, 7-4. Ochoa was taken out by McMinn, 7-6, wrapping up top sixteen action. Back on the east side, Espinosa throttled Perez, 9-1, Baraks triumphed over Smith, 9-7, while Davis, Jr. snuck by Jethwa, 9-7, and Calderone inched by Richeson, 9-8. Espinosa squeaked by Baraks, 9-8, and Davis Jr. served it up cold to Calderone, 9-4. The hot seat match-up marked an Austin-area shoot-out, and a short-lived set for Espinosa, who sustained his first blow from Davis, Jr., 9-5. On the west side, Morra took a stand, ending Price, 7-3, and Perez, 7-2, while Salim took out heavy hitters  Sharp, 7-3, and Smith, 7-2. Bayaua recorded his seventh win on the one loss side, ending Moreno, 7-1, and Jethwa, 7-3. Ochoa finished off Atencio, 7-3, but fell to Richeson, 7-5. Salim went on to defeat Morra, 7-5, and Calderone, 7-3, while Bayaua buried Richeson and Baraks, 7-3. Bayaua registered his ninth win, but no more. Winning the case game against Bayaua, Salim secured his sixth win, and slid into third place. Espinosa was ready for Salim, but got off to a slow start. At a 6-3 deficit, Espinosa came back to win, 7-6, earning himself a second shot at Junior, and the title. Once again, Espinosa found himself in troubled waters, as Davis was in perfect rhythm with the table, and couldn’t be denied. Davis Jr. surged to a 9-3 win, and his second 9-ball title since the inception of Space City. 
 
In the one pocket division, Josh Roberts took no prisoners, eliminating Charlie Bryant, Jamie Baraks, and Chris Robinson, 4-3, while Alex Calderone defeated Greg Trent, Jim McCary, and Sylver Ochoa, 4-2. Local favorite, Richie Richeson, defeated Marc Garza and Manny Perez, by the same score, 4-1, and John Morra, 4-1. Ernesto Bayaua rounded out the final four, booking wins over Bobby Roland, Aaron Springs, 4-3, and Evan Lunda. In the final four round, Roberts shut-out Calderone, 4-0, and Richeson slid past Bayaua, 4-3. For the first time, Richeson found himself at the end of the board, facing the defending champion. The pressure was on, as both players were in close running for the All-Around bonus. In the final, numerous games came down to the case ball. The fans were treated to an offensive juggernaut; a display of maneuvers and banks, not soon forgotten, but even the creativity of the venerable Richeson, was not enough. With an accounting of two, eight-and-out runs, Roberts was up 3-2, with one ball remaining in game six. Following an unforced error by Richeson, Roberts took it home, along with his second, Space City Open one pocket title.
 
Evan Lunda was in charge of the banks. The Detroit product eliminated Jim Walker, 4-0, Danny Smith, 4-3, and Jose Barbosa, 4-1. His upcoming challenger, Shane McMinn, took out Mike Alonzo, Gail Eaton and James Davis, Jr. by the same score, 4-2. Josh Roberts overwhelmed Marc Garza, 4-1, Kent Berthelot, 4-0, and John Morra, 4-1, while Richie Richeson completed the final four, with wins over Bret Harlan, 4-0, Jamie Baraks, 4-2, and Justin Hall, 4-3. Lunda ended McMinn, 4-2, and Roberts robbed Richeson, 4-1. Lunda and Roberts found themselves in their first, banks final, vying for new milestones; Lunda, aiming for his first title, and Roberts, going for first-time champion of two different divisions. Lunda’s casual style showcased epic moves, and wowed spectators as he banked his way to victory. He shut out Roberts in the final of the single elimination schedule, 4-0, to win his first Space City Open title.
 
On Sunday morning, thirty-two women started battling it out in the ladies 9-ball division. The 2013 ladies 9-ball division champion, Ming “The Empress” Ng, began her trek with wins over Terri Resendez, 7-2, two-time ladies 9-ball champion, Gail “Virginia Slim” Eaton, 7-6, and Kim “Texas Heat” Pierce, 7-1, as Robyn Petrosino plowed through Ruth Paine, 7-0, Brittany Kromer, 7-3, and Teresa “Princess of Pool” Garland, 7-1. Yvonne “Casher” Asher made her way to the cash, defeating Karen Reilly, Tam “MZ Tam” Trinh, 7-3, and Jillian Nickerson, 7-6, while Ricky “The Ghost” Casper, drifted past Matty Sword, 7-1, Sara Bork, 7-3, and Hopey “Hurricane” Lawrence, 7-2. Ng went on to shut out Petrosino, 7-0, and Casper stopped Asher, 7-4. In the hot seat match, Ng emerged victorious over Casper, 7-4. On the one loss side and in the final eight, Pierce and Eaton shut out Garland and Nickerson, respectively, 5-0. Pierce derailed Asher, and Eaton eliminated Petrosino, moving into the final four. Eaton went on to eliminate Pierce, 5-0, and Casper, 5-4, to meet Ng in the finals. Ng, going for her second title, and Eaton, searching for her third, battled to the bitter end. In the first set, Ng simply couldn’t get it together, and Eaton was on fire, taking the first set, 7-1. Following a five minute break, the second set got underway. This time, Ng took her turn, beating Eaton 5-3, to win her second, Space City Open title. 
 
Nine players, seventeen and under, competed in the inaugural, juniors 9-ball division. Lazaro Martinez, III, aka “Little Laz”, outplayed April Gonzales, 5-2, and Alex Fonseca bested Jonathan Cortez, 5-1. Jacob Gonzales beat John Benavides, but fell to Kyle Yi, while Gabriel Martinez passed Nathan Garay, 5-1. Martinez, III logged a third win against Fonseca, 5-2, and G. Martinez ousted Yi, for a brother versus brother, hot seat match-up. G. Martinez denied his brother, and awaited his final opponent. On the one loss side, and in the final six, Fonseca eliminated Garay, and Yi overcame Benavides. Yi eliminated Fonseca, but fell to Martinez, III. Once again, “Little Laz” faced off with brother, Gabriel, in the final. The final told a different story, as Little Laz overwhelmed Gabriel, 5-2, 5-3, to win his first Space City Open title.
 
Space City Open VII goes down in the record books as the most successful one to date. “I have no words for the outpouring of support from the Texas pool community. Even with the last minute venue and format changes, the event over-filled. Billy Sharp and Deborah Sharp of Big Tyme Billiards came through for all of us” commented Kim Newsome, Space City Open Founder and Director. Space City Open extends a heartfelt “thank you” to everyone involved in the production of this event; John Newsome and Johnny Gonzales of Eagle Plumbing who sponsored the $1,500, All-Around bonus; staff members Kim Newsome, John Newsome, Erica Hanlon, and Chuck Adams who managed every facet of the event; Ceferina Ramirez and Ruth Paine for their contributions; Mike Fabacher with Southern Streaming who provided a free, four-day live stream; Chris Lue of Next Action Media, whose photographs captured the essence of the event; sponsors Roger Schuett with the APA of North Harris County, Mike McDonald of VaporKnightsUSA.com, Poison by Predator Cues, Cyclop Pool Balls, Chris Renfro with Outsville Billiards, Charlie and Heather Bryant of Brutal Game Gear, and David Taylor and Teresa Garland with Houston Best of Billiards; vendors Jerry Olivier Cue Repair, Joe Salazar Connoisseur of Custom Cues, Arthur Politte with Qxtender.com, Darrold Stiehl with Champions Cues, and Brutal Game Gear. 
 
Finally, Space City would like to extend its deepest gratitude to the players who support this event, year in and year out. Without the players, none of this would be possible.
 
Space City Open is one of the biggest billiard events in Texas, and is held annually, the first week in December. For more information, visit www.SpaceCityOpen.com
 

Pagulayan takes two at the 5th Annual Sparkle City Shootout in Spartanburg, SC

Alex Pagulayan (Photo courtesy of Erwin Dionisio)

In the $8,000-added 10-Ball event of the 5th Annual Sparkle City Shootout, Alex Pagulayan went undefeated through a field of 96, including final back-to-back victories over Warren Kiamco, Dennis Orcollo and Carlos Biado to claim the title. In the $2,000-added, single elimination One Pocket event with 12 players, he downed Jonathan (Hennessee from Tennessee) Pinegar, Francisco Bustamante and Danny Smith to claim that event title. Held on the very long weekend of Oct. 30-Nov. 4, both events were hosted by Steakhorse Restaurant & Billiards in Spartanburg, SC.
 
The strength of the pool-star-studded 10-ball field of 96 could be found in a couple of the players who were eliminated in the first money round (13th-16th); Tony Chohan and JT Ringgold. In the following round (9th-12th), Loree Jon Hasson, Zoren James Aranas, Skyler Woodward and a local player Chase Smith were eliminated.
 
Meanwhile, Pagulayan had worked his way through the field to a winners’ side semifinal match against Kiamco, while Orcollo squared off against Biado. Pagulayan advanced to the hot seat match and downed Orcollo to claim it.
 
On the loss side, Kiamco drew Francisco Bustamante, who’d eliminated Woodward and “The Scorpion” Johnny Archer to reach him. Biado picked up Mark Bosch, who’d eliminated Hasson and defeated Robb Saez.
 
Biado and Bustamante advanced to the quarterfinals, where Biado prevailed. He went on to down Orcollo in the semifinals, but couldn’t unseat Pagulayan from the hot seat.
 
Pagulayan wins first of two with three-win march in One Pocket event
 
Once Kiamco, John Morra, Can Salim and J Bird were eliminated from the opening round of One Pocket play (Danny Smith, Josh Roberts, Pagulayan and Tony Chohan were awarded byes), the event moved immediately into its quarterfinal matches.
 
Orcollo and Smith matched up, as did Roberts and Brandon Shuff. Pinegar and Pagulayan squared off, with Bustamante and Chohan rounding out the field of quarterfinalists. Moving into the semifinals, Smith defeated Orcollo, Roberts eliminated Shuff, Pagulayan downed Pinegar and Bustamante knocked out Chohan.
 
Smith moved into the finals with a victory over Roberts. Pagulayan joined him after eliminating Bustamante. Pagulayan claimed the first of his two weekend undefeated titles with a victory over Smith in the finals.
 

The “Kid” chalks up another one, going undefeated at the 3rd Annual 8-Ball Classic in Duluth

Efren Reyes – Photo courtesy of On The Wire Media

 

Efren Reyes, in the midst of a ‘retirement tour,’ scheduled to conclude this August, chalked up the latest in an incredibly long list of US and world championship titles with an undefeated run on the 3rd Annual 8-Ball Classic, held on the weekend of June 2-3. The event drew 16 of the world’s best talents at the table to The Break Room in Duluth, MN.
 
He’s known as “Bata,” which translates into “Kid,” because when he was younger, there was another player with the same name. As the younger of the two, he was designated “Bata” to distinguish him from the other player. The need to make that distinction disappeared a long time ago, as year after year, the “Kid” morphed into “the man” at the tables. In spite of eye surgery in 2005 and his own admission that he’s been ‘slowing down,’ the only difference between the younger and older versions of “Bata” Reyes can be found in his motion as he moves around the table. He’s never been a speedball at the table strolls, when he’s assessing the lay of the balls and choosing his target, but he’s a little slower and deliberate now. What hasn’t changed is what has often been described as his ‘genius’ in making shots, which has earned him a secondary nickname as “The Magician.’ To many of us otherwise normal human beings, some of these magical shots can seem downright impossible. He made more than just a few of his signature ‘genius’ shots at this 8-Ball Classic, including some in his second and finals match against Dennis Hatch. His pre-shot routine doesn’t vary much, and motionless beyond the movement of his right arm in the practice strokes, he’s the same as he ever was, up to and including a monster break.
 
Reyes opened strong with a 15-7 victory over Danny Olson, allowed Vince Chambers to get a little closer, but advanced with a 15-13 victory over him to face fellow countryman, “The Lion” – Alex Pagulayan – in a winners’ side semifinal. Hatch, in the meantime, after downing Sergio Rivas 15-11, defeated Shane Van Boening 15-12 to draw Corey Deuel in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
By identical 15-11 scores, Reyes and Hatch sent Paguyalan and Deuel to the loss side. By a third 15-11 score, Reyes claimed the hot seat over Hatch, and waited for his return.
 
On the loss side, “The Lion” drew Can Salim, who’d been defeated on the winners’ side by Deuel and then eliminated Danny Olson 15-9 and Billy Thorpe 15-11. Deuel drew a re-match against Jason Klatt, whom he’d defeated in the event’s opening round, and was in the midst of a five-match, loss-side streak that would take him as far as the semifinals. He eliminated Michael Perron, Jr. 15-10, Vince Chambers 15-9 and Roberto Gomez 15-13 to earn a re-match against Deuel.
 
Klatt wreaked his vengeance on Deuel for the earlier loss with a 15-13 win that sent him to the quarterfinals against Pagulayan, who’d sent Salim home 15-8. Klatt then downed Pagulayan 15-13 and squared off against Hatch in the semifinals.
 
Hatch, who was instrumental in the production of this event, stopped Klatt’s loss-side run 15-11 in those semifinals, and then turned to face the “Kid” a second, and if he wanted to take home the title, a third time in the double elimination finals.
 
The two started out with a typical trading of racks through the opening rounds, until Reyes began to pull out in front, eventually to a 9-4 lead. Hatch mounted a comeback, slowly but surely, to draw within two at 11-9. Reyes, though, re-widened that lead and reached the hill, five racks ahead (14-9). Hatch closed that gap with four in a row to draw within one at 14-13. Hatch broke what proved to be the final rack but came up dry. Reyes, significantly sunk his first high ball, and broke a solid ball away from the 8-ball, which had, until that moment, presented him with his toughest challenge of the layout.
 
Reyes proceeded to run the table to claim the event title. He concluded with a fist-pumping, smile-enhanced little dance around the table before stepping to Hatch for a handshake.
 
It is a final match worth watching and thanks to On the Wire Media, and its owners/commentators Ra Hanna and Beau Runningen, who streamed selected matches of the event throughout the weekend, can be found on On the Wire Media’s Facebook page.
 
Last summer., Reyes interrupted the early stages of his own retirement tour to return to the Philippines, citing fatigue. In an interview/article with a Filipino television station last summer, the author (Dominic Renor) noted that “Father Time has caught up with him; that his eyesight isn’t as dependable as it used to be, making long-range shots more difficult to convert. His wrist isn’t as steady as before.” That said, Reyes was back in form for this 3rd Annual 8-Ball Classic and looks to add a few more master strokes to his already considerable legacy as his retirement tour continues.
 

Lion Roars To A Repeat in Beloit

Tony Chohan, Dave Coles and Alex Pagulayan

It was pool heaven Sept 20th – 24th at Dave Cole’s Carom Room in Beloit, WI. This year’s Fall Classic had three events – a sixteen player one pocket tournament, a sixteen player Saturday Night 10 Ball and the main event – the Fall Classic 10 Ball Championship. No jump cues were allowed in any of the three events.
 
The one pocket event was filled with top notch talent and sponsored by Durbin Custom Cues, Kamui, Simonis and Aramith. It had a $500 entry fee and was single elimination – race to five. First round surprises included a couple of 5-0 thrashings – Jayson Shaw over Joey Gray and Tony Chohan over Skyler Woodward. Second round saw Chip Compton and Jayson Shaw advance to a chance for a finals slot as well as Larry Nevel and Jeremy Jones.
 
Jayson defeated Chip 5-3 to lock up his seat in the finals and Jeremy defeated Larry in a 5-4 nailbiter to capture the other berth.
 
The finals was all Jeremy as he took it down with a score of 5-2 over Jayson. Congratulations to JJ for a great finish!!! Good tournament, Jayson! And, thanks again to our sponsors!
 
Play started that evening in the main event. A full field of 96 players put up their $150 entry fees in the main event. It was bar box 10 ball, race to 9 with alternate breaks. The tournament chart was filled with names that any pool aficionado would recognize.
 
First round action saw red hot John Morra defeating Chip Compton and Charlie Bryant over Shane McMinn with 25% of the field receiving first rounds byes. Second round saw it tightening up a bit with Skyler Woodward taking down fellow young gun Tyler Styer, Joey Gray over Brian Groce, Jeremy Jones over foreign phenom Can Salim and Jason Klatt sending Houston Open runner-up Devin Poteet west.
 
Notable matches in the third round had Jones beating Klatt and saw two Wisconsin straight shooting legends battle it out – Jeff Carter took down Jayme Goodwin in a close match.
 
Fourth round pitted Jayson Shaw over Carter with Shaw prevailing. Sharik Sayed sent Morra to the one loss side while Justin Bergman did the same to Alex Olinger.
 
It wasn’t getting any easier in the fifth round. Jones and Bergman duked it out with Bergman taking the win. Other matches included Tony Chohan over Chad Elston, Shaw defeating Sayed and Jesse Bowman taking care of Alex Pagulayan.
 
Saturday night, while the main event was in progress, saw sixteen players vying for the cheese in a $500 entry, race to seven, winner break bar box 10 ball event. When the smoke cleared, there were two players remaining – Sky Woodward and Justin Bergman.
 
Fans anticipated a real showdown between the two young guns. However, showing why he is widely considered to be the best bar box player in the country, Sky never gave Justin any air and cruised to a 7-0 victory. Congratulations to Sky for a well-played event! Good job, Justin!
 
Back to the main event, it was now down to the final twelve players with Shaw vs. Bowman and Chohan vs. Bergman being the final four on the winners side. Jayson motored out to a 6-2 lead until Bowman found his gear and took it down 9-7. Tony then defeated Justin 9-6 in the other quarter-final match. This set up the hot seat match with Tony defeating Jesse 9-5 and arriving undefeated to the hot seat. Jesse moved west to see who emerged from the pack for the semi-final.
 
In the end, it came down to Alex and Jayson being the two remaining players on the one loss side of the chart. Alex was taking no prisoners as he knocked Jayson out of the running with a 9-5 score. This left Jayson with a well-deserved fourth place finish.
 
The match for the other finals spot was a barnburner! Both Jesse and Alex wanted it badly and it finally climaxed at an 8-8 score. Alex secured the win leaving a very disappointed Jesse having to settle for a hard fought third place.
 
Since this event was true double elimination, defending champion Alex would have to defeat Tony twice to claim the title. While both players made very few errors, Alex won the first set 9-5 forcing a second set.
A determined Tony Chohan notched game after game and by what appeared to be the end of the match, led by a score of 8-3. Finally leaving his opponent a little daylight, Alex began grinding it out. Slowly and methodically, he tied it up at 8-8! One game for it all and it was Tony’s break! He smashed the balls but came up empty and the Lion roared to claim the title!
 
What a finish!!! Tony played a great event while a determined Alex showed once again why he is a future Hall of Famer! Good tournament, Tony! And, congratulations to Alex for defending his Carom Room Fall Classic title!
As usual, Dave Coles and his staff went out of their way to provide a first class event for the players and fans. We want to thank them for their hospitality and also thank the event sponsors: Allied Games, Behnke Enterprises, Jacoby Cues, Valley Door and Diveney Cues. Thank you, all!!!
 
PoolActionTV.com, as always, would like to thank our fans and sponsors for another top-notch stream with excellent commentary by Jeremy Jones and Larry Schwartz. Our sponsors include Steve Lomax of Lomax Custom Cues, John Barton of JB Cases, James Hanshew of Hanshew Custom Cues, Mike Durbin of Durbin Custom Cues, Simonis, Aramith, GoPlayPool.com, Kamui and Club Billiards of Wichita, KS.
 
Our next stop is the 2nd Annual John Guffey Memorial to be held September 28th through Oct 1st at Club Billiards in Wichita, KS. Hope to see you there!!!

Young Guns Dominate Winner’s Bracket in Opening Day of US Bar Table Championships

Billy Thorpe

The opening day of the 23rd Annual US Bar Table Championships began with a field of 74 players at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino. And by the time the first day’s matches concluded, just three remained on the winner’s side of the bracket: Sky Woodward, Justin Bergman and Billy Thorpe — all among a growing group of strong, young players.  
 
Woodward and Bergman will face off at Noon Tuesday and the winner of the match will play Thorpe for the hot seat.
Thorpe posted wins Monday over Can Salim, 7-4; Mike Massey, 7-1; Randy Hatten, 7-2; Larry Nevel Jr., 7-5; and Shane Van Boening, 7-4.
Bergman also play strong all day, with sound wins over Miguel Batista, 7-6; Jason Klatt, 7-1; Jesse Piercey, 7-4; Dale Stanley, 7-2; and Vilmos Foldes.
Woodward’s path had victories over Manny Perez, 7-5; Mo Salamah, 7-4; Bret Huth, 7-0; and Chris McDaniel, 7-2.
 
But there are plenty of solid players on the B-side of the bracket hoping to take home the $3,800 first prize, including Manny Perez, who plays Rodrigo Geronimo at 9 a.m. and Mike Massey, who plays Dale Stanley. Others still on the one-loss side include Van Boening, Sal Butera, Bret Huth, James Adams, Jamie Bruce, Salim, Shane McMinn, Foldes, Piercey, Hattan, McDaniel, Belobradie, Nevel and Josh Roberts.
 
In the Women’s Division, Rebecca Wagner will play Jessica Frideres in the hot seat match at Noon Tuesday. Wagner posted wins against Trihn Lu , 5-3; Kimberly Whitman, 5-4 and Mary Coffman, 5-0. Frideres’ path included victories over Grace Nakamura, 5-1; Heather Cortez, 5-3; and Adina Pelletier, 5-0.
 
On the one-loss side, Nakamura takes on Whitney at 9 a.m. and Kimberly Kirk plays Deb Aarens, also at 9 a.m. The winners of those matches play Pelletier and Coffman.
 
The US Bar Table Championships take play through Aug. 28 and offer 8-ball, 9-ball and 10-ball divisions, as well as a Master of the Table bonus for both the open and women’s divisions.
In addition, players who place in the top 32 of each open division receive Mosconi Cup USA Team points on a sliding scale. The top three American players with the most points at the end of the year will be selected for the USA Mosconi Cup Team.
 
Sponsors include: OB Cues, the Official Cue; Kamui, the Official Tip; Diamond Billiard Products, Cyclop Balls, Simonis Cloth, BadBoys Billiard Productions, FargoRate, Magic Ball Rack and Matchroom Sport.
 
 
 
10-Ball Divisions Aug. 22-24
Open 10-Ball: Race to 7/$5,000 added
Women’s 10-Ball; Race to 5/ $1,000 added
 
9-Ball Divisions: Aug. 24-26
Open 9-Ball: Race to 9/$5,000 added
Women’s 9-Ball; Race to 7/ $1,000 added
 
8-ball Divisions: Aug. 26-28
Open 10-Ball: Race to 5/$5,000 added
Women’s 10-Ball; Race to 4/ $1,000 added
 
Master of the Table Bonuses*
Open Divisions: $1,500/Women’s Divisions: $500  
*Players must compete in all three divisions to be eligible for the bonus.

Ekonomopoulos Through To Eurotour Last 16 With a Stellar Performance

Nikos Ekonomopoulos

Nikos Ekonomopoulos (GRE) is through to the stage of the final 16 players single elimination at the Dynamic Billard Italian Open in Treviso. With an outstanding performance so far today, he defeated  Daniel Maciol (POL) 9:5, then Mario He (AUT) in a 9:8 thriller and finally "Fabulous" Fabio Petroni (ITA) 9:5 in the single elimination rounds. Ekonomopoulos seems to be on fire these days and he will face Marc Bijsterbosch (NED).
 
Other remarkable results from today include Abdullah Al-Youssef (KUW) eliminating favored Mika Immonen (FIN) with 9:8 in loser’s round 3. Immonen had also been defeated by your Dutch player Tim De Ruyter (NED) in the round before. Al-Youssef then went on and encountered Jakub Sawicki (POL) who he also eliminated with 9:2. In the next round, the loser’s qualification round, Al-Youssef lost to Mieszko Fortunski (POL) 5:9.
 
The Nr.1 ranked player, Niels Feijen (NED) is also still on track with his mission to remain Nr.1 in the European rankings. Today, he won matches against Christian Sparrenloev-Fischer (SWE) and Wojciech Szewczyk (POL) to book his seat among the final 16 players of the Dynamic Billard Italian Open.
 
Up and rising German star player Can Salim-Giasar (GER) is also among the last 16 men standing. He took down Kamil Szaszor (POL), then lost to Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz (ESP) but fought his way back with victories over Manuel Gama (POR) and Woytek Trajdos (POL).
 
Mark Gray (GBR) is also among the elite group of the last 16 players. He made his way with victories over Omran-Saleem Abdullah (KUW), his roommate Daryl Peach (GBR) and Jani Siekkinen (FIN).
 
The event will continue tomorrow morning with the round of the last 16 players single elimination. Also, the Women’s tournament will start tomorrow morning at 9:00 CET with the first round matches. The tournament is played on 20 tables of which 12 will be in a livestream. In order to be able to follow all the action LIVE, premium membership can be purchased at www.kozoom.com. Once a premium membership is held, all events for the respective period of time can be viewed LIVE. Additionally, a huge video gallery is contained in the website.
 
The event is hosted by the European Governing Body for Pool, the European Pocket Billiard Federation (EPBF) and organized by International Billiard Promotion (IBP). For further information and reference please go to the federation website eurotouronline.com, visit us on Facebook or check out our youtube channel for regular news clips or contact our press office.

Babica Trounced Drago at Dynamic Billard Open

Radoslaw Babica

Radoslaw Babica from Poland ousted "The Tornado" Tony Drago (MLT) from the Dynamic Billard Treviso Open Euro-Tour event with a narrow 9:8 victory.

 

One great and thrilling match happened today in the loser’s qualification round when Radoslaw Babica (POL) faced Tony Drago (MLT). The match went along very leveled and after 10 racks, the scoreboard displayed a tie at 5:5. Then, Babica went on the hill first and got an 8:6 advantage over Drago. But the "Tornado" struck back, winning two straight racks in order to make the match 8:8. Then, Drago was at the table with all balls in the open for him. However, he missed an easy 5-ball and allowed Babica back into the table. The Polish could not run-out but he turned the final rack into a safety exchange. Drago tried a risky bank shot when he had the option of either playing a safety or going for a bank. He missed it and allowed Babica to run the rack and win the match with 9:8.

 

Another interesting match was the clash between Michal Turkowski (POL) and Marcus Chamat (SWE). After five racks, Turkowski was leading 4:1 over Chamat. But the Swede did not even think about giving up. He fought back and got into the match, turning the scoreboard to 8:7 after 15 racks. Then Turkowski played up to his best and made the match another hill-hill thriller. In the final and decisive 17th rack, a safety battle occurred. Both players tried not to leave a shot for the opponent. Then Chamat left a shot for Turkowski which the Polish had to jump. He flunked the ball in over three rails but it could not be considered to be a lucky shot since he hooked himself again on the next ball. While he attempted to hit that object ball, Turkowski committed a foul shot and gave ball in hand to Chamat who capitalized from it and ran the rack to win the match by a hair’s breadth with 9:8. In the next round, the loser’s qualification round, Chamat fell to Ivica Putnik (CRO) with 5:9.

 

The results of the last 32 players single elimination are as follows:

Niels Feijen v Konrad Juszczyszyn 9:7

Oliver Ortmann v Manuel Gama 9:2

Serge DasFrancisco Diaz-Pizarro 3:9

John Tanttu v Marc Bijsterbosch 9:8

Mario Stahl v Alexander Kazakis 3:9

Radosław Babica v Mateusz Sniegocki 9:8

Tomasz Kaplan v Eklent Kaci 9:8

Konstantin StepanovAlbin Ouschan 7:9

Nick Van Den Berg v Mariusz Skoneczny 9:8

Ivica Putnik v Imran Majid 9:8

Mats Schjetne v Kasper Kristoffersen 9:4

Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz v Petri Makkonen 9:6

Mieszko FortunskiCan Salim-Giasar 5:9

Piotr KudlikRalf Souquet 3:9

Denis Grabe v Damianos Giallourakis 9:5

Roman HyblerMark Gray 4:9

 

That provides us with the following line-up for the round of the last 16 players:

Niels Feijen v Oliver Ortmann

Francisco Diaz-Pizarro v John Tanttu

Alexander Kazakis v Radoslaw Babica

Tomasz Kaplan v Albin Ouschan

Nick van den Berg v Ivica Putnik

Mats Schjetne v Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz

Can Salim-Giasar v Ralf Souquet

Denis Grabe v Mark Gray

 

Action continues tomorrow morning at 10:00 local time with matches of the round of the last 16 players. At 09:00, the women’s tournament will start with matches of the first round.

 

The tournament is played on 16 tables of which 12 are in a livestream. In order to be able to follow all the action LIVE, premium membership can be purchased at www.kozoom.com. Once a premium membership is held, all events for the respective period of time can be viewed LIVE. Additionally, a huge video gallery is contained in the website.

 

The event is hosted by the European Governing Body for Pool, the European Pocket Billiard Federation (EPBF) and organized by International Billiard Promotion (IBP). For further information and reference please go to the federation website eurotouronline.com , or contact our press office.