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Chohan, Thorpe & Woodward Take Buffalo’s

All year long, one pocket aficionados look forward to the biggest tournament of the year!

Held in Jefferson, LA, a suburb of New Orleans, players and fans streamed into James Leone’s Buffalo’s on Bloomfield for the Seventh Annual Buffalo’s Pro Classic. Local sponsors for this year’s event – Buffalo’s, PoolActionTV, Lomax Custom Cues, Joseph P. Long, Aramith, ART CO, Diamond Billiards and Fort Worth Billiards – added a total of $26,000! $20,000 was added to the Pro One Pocket, $5,000 to the Open Nine Ball and $1,000 to the One Ball One Pocket.

Some of the best one pocket players came to play including Buffalo’s house pro, defending champ and current US Open One Pocket and Midwest Open One Pocket champ Tony Chohan.  He was joined by current Scotty Townsend Memorial One Pocket champ Alex Pagulayan, current Iron City One Pocket champ Josh Roberts, this year’s Derby City One Pocket and Master of the Table Fedor Gorst, last week’s Big Tyme Classic One Pocket Champ Robert Frost and last year’s One Ball One Pocket king John Morra. 

Billy Thorpe and Robbie Langford

Wednesday night kicked off with the 32 player One Ball One Pocket tournament. Posting a $200 entry fee, the format was single elimination with races to four. Including the players auction, there was a total purse of $21,430! 

Two-time Derby City Classic One Pocket champion, Billy Thorpe, plowed through the field on his way to the finals leaving Shane Winters, Hunter White, Josh Roberts and John Morra in his wake. The always tough Robbie Langford beat Kenny Nguyen, Mike DeLawder, Ike Runnels and Evan Lunda to get there. The final match was all Billy as he smoked Robbie 4-0 to claim the title. Congratulations, Billy! Good tournament, Robbie! 

The following evening, the $2,000 entry fee double elimination one pocket event began with a rousing player auction and was followed by the players meeting and draw. Twenty eight players racing to five and competing for a record $228,600 total purse! WOW!!!

Play began with Corey Deuel edging out Justin Hall 5-4 while Fedor Gorst skunked Sky Woodward 5-0. Ike Runnels had Danny Smith down 4-0 but ended up losing the match 5-4! Josh Roberts outmoved Roberto Gomez 5-1 and Billy Thorpe escaped with a 5-4 win over Robert Frost as did Scott Frost over Alex Calderon by the same score. Chip Compton got off to a great start as he defeated Warren Kiamco 5-1. 

Gorst won over Deuel 5-4, Evan Lunda spanked Earl Strickland 5-0 and Chohan beat Smith 5-3. Jeremy Seaman skunked Omar Al Shaheen 5-0 and Thorpe dusted Compton 5-2. Frost had Alex Pagulayan 3-0 and watched his opponent win five in a row to claim the match.

Fedor and Evan went down to the wire with Gorst claiming the win while Tony breezed past Jeremy 5-0. Billy started out strong against the Lion but he went down 5-2.

Down to four on the winners side, Chohan battled Gorst to a 5-3 win while Roberts kept Pagulayan off the board with a 5-0 score. Tony and Josh moved to the hot seat match where Chohan sent Roberts west to await an opponent – score 5-1.

After losing to Gorst in the third round, Lunda defeated Mike DeLawder 5-1 and Compton 5-3. Moving into his match with Pagulayan, he hung tough but Alex pulled out the win 5-4. 

Calderon had a tougher road. After losing his first match, he beat Deuel 5-1, Strickland 5-2, Hunter White 5-4 and Thorpe 5-3. He went down to the case game with Gorst but was eliminated 5-4.

This set up the match between Fedor and Alex Pagulayan. A man on a mission, he defeated Gorst 5-1 and then Josh Roberts 5-2. And to the finals he went!!!

Since this was true double elimination, Alex would have to beat Tony Chohan both sets to claim the title. With tens of thousands of dollars on the line, both players put their heads down and played their hearts out. 

Alex won the first two games and then Tony won three in a row. Tied again at 4-4, you could’ve heard a pin drop in the arena. Nerves got them both as they both missed makeable balls but this one is finally in the books! Tony Chohan successfully defended his title!

Alex Pagulayan and Tony Chohan

Congratulations, Tony! Great tournament, Alex! 

While the Pro One Pocket was in progress, 115 players filled the house on Saturday night to play in the Open Nine Ball event. Familiar faces such as defending champ Warren Kiamco, Sky Woodward, Roberto Gomez, Corey Deuel, Omar Al Shaheen, Justin Hall, Chip Compton, Charlie Bryant, Chris Reinhold, James Baraks, Richie Richeson, Robb Saez, Shane Winters, Jeremy Seaman, Sergio Rivas, Mike DeLawder, Justin Espinosa, Joey Aguzin, Derek Fontenet, Robert Frost and Kristina Tkach joined the fray.

Played on seven foot Diamonds, players paid $100 to play in this double elimination portion of the event. The format was rack your own, alternate breaks with races to seven until down to the final sixteen players. At that point, it was single elimination – races to nine. 

Omar Al Shaheen and Jeremy Seaman tied for third place. James Baraks moved into the finals to face Sky Woodward. 

The finals were neck and neck until the very end! Sky won the match 9-8!!! Congratulations, Sky!! Good tournament, James!

It was a helluva week! Great pool everywhere you looked! Once again, PoolActionTV would like to thank James Leone and his staff for going the extra mile as they took care of all the players and fans. 

We’d like to thank Tournament Director Jason Hill for doing a great job running the show – always with a smile on his face!

We’d also like to thank our expert commentators – Larry Schwartz, Jeremy Jones, Billy Incardona, John Henderson, Josh Roberts and Ray Hansen! Can’t get any better than this crew!

Last but not least, we’d like to thank our fans and sponsors. They include ART CO, JB Cases, CR’s Sports Bar, Hanshew Jump Cues, EnviroAssessments, Lomax Custom Cues, StraightPoolEye, Durbin Custom Cues, Aramith, Simonis, Diamond Billiard Products and the Fort Worth Billiards Superstore.

Our next stop is Leisure Time Billiards & Sports Bar in East Moline, IL for the $16,000 added Bar Box Classic featuring three divisions – Ten Ball, Eight Ball and One Pocket. Dates are June 1st-5th – hope to see you there!

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Frost, Baraks & Tkach Take Big Tyme Classic

Kristina Tkach, April Larson, Sofia Mast and Ming Ng

The Ninth Annual $14,000 added Big Tyme Classic was held over the last few days in Spring, TX – a suburb of Houston. Players and fans were treated to topnotch one pocket in addition to the open nine ball and ladies nine ball events.

Hosted by owners Billy Sharp, Mark Avery and Jim Henry, the local sponsors were Star City Amusements and Jim Stinson of AM, Inc.

The festivities kicked off on Thursday with the One Pocket Championship. Thirty players put up a $250 entry fee to play in this double elimination event. The format was races to 4/3 with the finals to be one extended race to five.

After the players auction, a players meeting was held, the brackets were posted and the matches started. 

With only two byes, the field had some of the best one pocket players anywhere. Newly crowned US Open One Pocket champ Tony Chohan was joined by last year’s runner-up Josh Roberts in addition to Fedor Gorst, Chip Compton and Warren Kiamco. Local champs Alex Calderon, Charlie Bryant, Tommy Tokoph and Ernesto Bayaua were there as well as other notables including Robert Frost and James Baraks.

First round saw two of the heavyweights score knockouts! Robert Frost was defeated by Chip Compton while Alex Calderon fell victim to Fedor Gorst.

Tony Chohan and Josh Roberts met in the second round – Josh prevailed. Compton advanced after a battle with Charlie Bryant as did Gorst over Tommy Tokoph.

Compton then mowed down both Ernesto Bayaua and Roberts while Gorst continued his winning ways over Warren Kiamco and Ray Lopez.

Finally meeting in the hot seat match, Fedor locked up his seat in the finals and sent Chip west to await an opponent.

After losing their first round matches, Calderon and Frost were dismantling their opponents left and right! Alex defeated Bernard Walker, Kenny Price, Charlie Bryant, James Baraks, Warren Kiamco and Josh Roberts until he met up with Frost. In the lower portion of the chart, Robert defeated Darryl Amos, John Infante, Tommy Tokoph, Jake Weaver, Raed Shabib and Ray Lopez.

Locked in battle, Alex and Robert both fought hard but it was Frost who took it down leaving Calderon in fourth place. 

In dead punch and playing great, Robert’s next victim was Chip Compton. Chip finished with a third place finish.

As previously mentioned, the finals were one extended race to five. Robert won the first game and the second game went down to the case ball. Robert won that one and then the third game. Then the unexpected happened! Since both Fedor and Robert were still in the Nine Ball, they had to halt the finals and go play their matches! 

After several hours, play resumed and Fedor finally won a game – score 3-1. Gorst’s hopes to tighten up the match faded as Frost took the fifth game to make it 4-1. Not rolling over yet, Gorst clawed his way back to take the next two games! Score now 4-3! And then, 4-4! WOW! One game for it all!

Robert moved out to a 5-1 lead in the case game. Soon, the balls were all moved up table. Fedor banked a shot and left it deep in his hole. Robert gave him the ball making it 5-2. Two shots later, he made one for himself and then banked in another. Frost was on the hill – 7-2! With no reasonable safety options, Fedor was forced to bank towards his hole and left Robert a semi-tough shot at his pocket. Swish! Nothing but net! Robert Frost takes down his first major one pocket title leaving Fedor Gorst with a well-deserved runner-up finish!!! 

What a match!!! After losing his first match, Robert won nine in a row to win the tournament! Congratulations, Robert!

The Open Nine Ball had started on Friday night with 136 players paying an $80 entry fee. Using a Magic Rack with the nine racked on the spot, players broke from the box. Played on seven foot Diamonds, the format was double elimination, races to 10/8, alternate breaks, three foul rule in effect – the nine didn’t count in the bottom two pockets. 

In addition to the previously mentioned players, this event had some of the best rotation players around including Andy Jethwa, Victor Rojas, Justin Espinosa, Sergio Rivas, John Hennessee & Kristina Tkach. 

In the top portion of the bracket, Justin Espinosa and Alex Calderon met in the third round with Alex sending Justin packing. Tony Chohan and Andy Jethwa collided in the fourth round – Andy was defeated and headed west. Warren Kiamco tore through his first four opponents until Calderon cut him off at the pass. 

At the bottom of the bracket, Tommy Tokoph and Robert Frost defeated their first three opponents. They met in the fourth round with Frost notching the win. James Baraks and Kristina Tkach also won their first three matches – James put an end to Kristina’s march and sent her to the one loss side. Baraks and Frost duked it out in the next round – James prevailed. Meanwhile, Sergio Rivas and Charlie Bryant won their first four matches. Charlie beat Sergio when they also met in the fifth round.

Now down to four on the winners side, Calderon defeated Kiamco and Baraks took care of Bryant. Playing for the hot seat, James defeated Calderon and locked up his seat in the finals. Alex headed west to await an opponent.

Over on the one loss side, Rivas knocked Bryant out of the tournament leaving Charlie in fourth place. Next up for Sergio was the always tough Alex Calderon. Alex proved to be too tough for Sergio this time – Alex moved on to the finals leaving Sergio in third place.

Due to the very late hour, James & Alex decided to split with James claiming the title. Congratulations to both!

Last, but not least, was the Ladies Nine Ball Championship. This double elimination event had 44 ladies posting a $55 entry fee. Also played on seven foot Diamonds and using the Magic Rack, the format was alternate break with races to seven on both sides.

Well known names like Kristina Tkach, April Larson, Ming Ng and Veronica Perez as well as young gun Sofia Mast joined the fray.

After defeating the always tough Ming Ng in the first round, Sofia Mast won five matches in a row to meet Russian star Kristina Tkach for the hot seat match. Kristina won the match sending junior champ to the one loss side to await an opponent.

After losing her first match, Ming fought her way through until she met April Larson. April had also lost her second match to Sofia. Both players played hard for another shot at her and when the dust had settled, it was April who won the match. Ming finished in fourth place.

Looking to make it into the finals, it was another hard fought match. Sofia survived the match leaving April in third place.

Kristina had smoked Sofia in the hot seat match 7-0. Sofia remarked on her Facebook page after the finals that her only goal when she made it back to the finals was to at least win one game. She won four! What a great attitude!

And, congratulations to Kristina for claiming the title! Great tournament, Sofia!

Once again, PoolActionTV.com would like to thank the owners of Big Tyme and their staff for taking such good care of all the players and fans. We’d like to thank Tournament Director Teresa Garland for doing an exemplary job running three events at the same time!

We’d also like to thank Larry Schwartz, John Henderson, Mary Kenniston and Ray Hansen for their topnotch commentary. 

In addition, we’d like to thank our fans and sponsors for their support! Our sponsors include JB Cases, Hanshew Jump Cues, Lomax Custom Cues, StraightPoolEye, Durbin Custom Cues, Aramith, Diamond Billiard Products, Fort Worth Billiards Superstore of Fort Worth, TX and the Action Palace of Dayton, OH.  

Our next stop is the Seventh Annual Buffalo’s Pro Classic in Jefferson, LA (New Orleans). Featuring $1,000 added One Ball One Pocket, $5,000 added Open Nine Ball and the main event – the $20,000 Pro One Pocket! Dates are May 25th-29th! Hope to see you there!

Once again, PoolActionTV.com would like to thank the owners of Big Tyme and their staff for taking such good care of all the players and fans. We’d like to thank Tournament Director Teresa Garland for doing an exemplary job running three events at the same time!

We’d also like to thank Larry Schwartz, John Henderson, Mary Kenniston and Ray Hansen for their topnotch commentary. 

In addition, we’d like to thank our fans and sponsors for their support! Our sponsors include JB Cases, Hanshew Jump Cues, Lomax Custom Cues, StraightPoolEye, Durbin Custom Cues, Aramith, Diamond Billiard Products, Fort Worth Billiards Superstore of Fort Worth, TX and the Action Palace of Dayton, OH.  

Our next stop is the Seventh Annual Buffalo’s Pro Classic in Jefferson, LA (New Orleans). Featuring $1,000 added One Ball One Pocket, $5,000 added Open Nine Ball and the main event – the $20,000 Pro One Pocket! Dates are May 25th-29th! Hope to see you there!

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New Champions Launch at Space City Open IX

Roberto Gomez

Gomez, Bayaua, Compton, Almaraz, and Martinez, III Earn Titles

Roberto “Superman” Gomez captured the Space City Open IX, 128-player 9-ball division, defeating John “Mr. Smooth” Morra in the finals, 9-2, 7-5, taking home his first 9-ball division title. Gomez earned a well-deserved, $1,500 bonus, and new “All-Around” title, for his stellar play across all three divisions. Taking home first titles, Houston’s Ernesto Bayaua showed off his skills, defeating Alex Calderone in the one pocket division final, 4-3, while Oklahoma’s Chip Compton ousted Las Vegas’ Gary Lutman in the 9-ball banks division final, 4-3. In the ladies open 9-ball division, Mille Almaraz went undefeated, besting Ming “The Empress” Ng in the finals, 7-4. Finally, in the junior 9-ball division, Lazaro “Little Laz” Martinez, III, defended his 2019 title, marking up three consecutive title wins in his division. 

The Derby-like, Space City Open IX, was held December 2nd-5th, 2021, at Big Tyme Billiards in Spring, Texas, with four days of free live streaming provided by Southern Streaming. The event featured 178 players, competing in five divisions, over four days. The event drew players from Oklahoma, New Mexico, Nevada, and even Canada. Roberto Gomez returned to defend his 2019 one pocket title, along with champions John Morra, Chip Compton, Tommy Tokoph, Ernesto Bayaua, Manny Chau, Alex Calderone, Charlie Bryant, and WPBA Touring Professional, Loreejon Jones, all vying for a piece of the $56,195 payout and $1,500 “All-Around” bonus. 

Space City would like to thank those who were instrumental in the production of this event; John Newsome, Kim Newsome, Ruth Paine, Chuck Adams, Mike Fabacher with Southern Streaming, owners and staff at Big Tyme Billiards, Mike McDonald and Alamo Billiards, Poison by Predator Cues, Predator Cues, Outsville Billiards, Jerry Olivier, and Brutal Game Gear. Vendors for this event included Jerry Olivier Cues and Cue Repair, Joe Salazar Connoisseur of Custom Cues, and Brutal Game Gear. Special “thanks” to Jerry Olivier Custom Cues and Cue Repair and Brutal Game Gear who added an additional $500 to this year’s junior division. 

The open, ladies, and junior 9-ball divisions were played on twenty-four, Diamond bar tables. The one pocket and banks were played on six, nine foot tables. Predator Arcos II ball sets and Accu-Racks were used on all tables, supplied by event sponsors Predator Cues and Outsville Billiards, respectively. Big Tyme Billiards provided a smoke-free environment, and some of the best playing equipment Texas has to offer, for the billiard extravaganza.

Roberto Gomez (Chris Castaneda)

The true double elimination, 128-player open 9-ball division kicked off Saturday morning at 10am, and concluded on Sunday evening. In the final sixteen on the winners’ side, Ernesto Bayaua sent Manny Chau west, 9-2, Eric Aicinena overwhelmed Felipe Yniguez, 9-4, and John Morra overpowered Joey Bourgeois, Jr., 9-3. Las Vegas’ Scott Kitto slid by Andy Jethwa, 9-7, Roberto Gomez denied Kenneth Price, 9-5, and Austin’s Justin Espinosa eased past Steve Lenz, 9-8. Derek Fontenot beat Eric Cantrell, 9-4, and San Antonio’s Rick Moreno outplayed Jessie Moore, 9-4. The next round witnessed Aicinena oust Bayaua, 9-4, Morra deny Kitto, 9-3, and Gomez detour Espinosa, 9-3. Rounding out the final four, Fontenot bested Moreno, 9-3. 

Advancing to the hot seat, Morra thwarted Aicinena, 9-2, while Fontenot upset Gomez, 9-4. Morra defeated Fontenot in the hot seat match, 9-6. On the one-loss side, Steve Lenz fought his way into the final eight with wins over Charlie “Hillbilly” Bryant, 7-3, Price, 7-3, and Bayaua, 7-2. Blaine Barcus eliminated eight players, including Cantrell, 7-3, Moore, 7-2, and Kitto, 7-4. Chau dusted off New Mexico’s Donivan Pedroncelli, 7-3, Cesar Arrechiga, 7-2, and Espinosa, 7-2, while Moreno ended Bourgeois, Jr., 7-3. Barcus maintained momentum, ousting Lenz, 7-4, but falling to Gomez by the same score. Chau handily beat Moreno, 7-2,  and Aicinena, 7-4. Gomez defeated Chau, 7-2, and Fontenot, 7-1, to meet Morra in the finals. In the first set, Morra could not gain ground, while Gomez had the break down cold. Gomez dominated the first set, 9-2. In the second set, Morra seemed to regroup, but Gomez inched ahead to capture the second set, 7-5, and his first, Space City, open 9-ball division title.

Ernesto Bayaua

In the single elimination, 38-player one pocket division, teeing off in the final eight, Alex Calderone defeated Roberto Gomez, 4-2, while Kenneth Price made quick work of J.C. Torres, 4-1. Ernesto Bayaua slid past John Morra, 4-3, and John Gabriel overwhelmed Mark Nanashee, 4-1. Final four action witnessed Calderone eliminate Price, 4-1, and Bayaua escape Gabriel, 4-3. In the final match, it was a fight to the finish for Calderone and Bayaua. Players traded safeties and games, for hours, until a determined Bayaua pulled ahead to close out the set, 4-3, earning his first Space City, one pocket division title.

In the single elimination, 36-player 9-ball banks division, final eight action witnessed Chip Compton defeat Alex Calderone, 4-1, and John Morra shut out Kenneth Price, 4-0. Local favorite, Tommy Tokoph, curbed Mark Nanashee, 4-1, and Gary Lutman sent Gabriel packing, 4-1. Down to the final four, Compton struck a blow against Morra, 4-2, and Lutman upset Tokoph, 4-3.  In the final match, Compton edged out Lutman, 4-3, to win his first, Space City, 9-ball banks division title.

Mille Almaraz

The 34-player, ladies open 9-ball division, featured defending champion, Ming Ng, returning champion, Natalie Rocha, Indiana’s Toni Tucker, and Canadian, WPBA Touring Professional, Suzanne Peters. Making their way to the winners’ side, final four, La Le overcame Mary “Princess” Avina, 7-6, Michelle Yim, 7-4, and Suzanne Peters, 7-2, while Ming “The Empress” Ng passed Michelle Abernathy, 7-3, Toni Tucker, 7-4, and Christy Grigsby, 7-4. Mille Almaraz detoured Ruth Paine, 7-3, Yvonne “The Casher” Asher, 7-1, and Natalie Rocha, 7-6. Laurie Clouette came on strong, with wins over Sara Bork, 7-4, Brandi Scott, 7-5, Loretta Miller, 7-2, and Teresa “Princess of Pool” Garland, 7-6. On the west side, reaching the final eight, Tucker shut out Rocha, 5-0, while Garland took out McHaney, 5-3. Peters overwhelmed Pierce, 5-2, and Petrosino sent Grigsby home, 5-3. On the winners’ side, Ng bested Le, 7-2, and it was Almaraz over Clouette, 7-2. In her hot seat match debut, Almaraz took down the defending champ, 7-5, further securing her position in a very tough field. Back on the one-loss side, Tucker took out Garland, 5-2, and Le, 5-3, while Petrosino ended Peters, 5-3, and Clouette, 5-0. Tucker claimed five matches before Petrosino stopped her run, 5-3. This was Petrosino’s eighth, match win, an incredible run to reach the final three, after losing her very first match to Melissa Smith, 7-5. Petrosino was forced to settle for third place, after suffering a 5-3 loss at the hands of Ng. The rematch between Almaraz and Ng was set in motion. A confident Almaraz took control of the first set, and did not look back. She defeated Ng, 7-4, to capture her first, Space City, women’s open 9-ball division title.

Lazaro Martinez III

The junior 9-ball division commenced on Sunday, featuring 13 competitors from across Texas. On their way to the winners’ side, final four, Gabriel Martinez defeated Aniyah Maldonado, 7-2, and Ace Smith, 7-2, while Lazaro “Little Laz” Martinez, III, bested Vania Davila, 7-0, and Jayden Holt, 7-1. Mary Grigsby outran Makenzlee Cameron, 7-4, and Cameron King, 7-4, while Kevin Gallegos slid past Nathan Garay, 7-6, and Eva Grigsby, 7-4. On the one-loss side, after suffering a first round loss to Holt, Tyler Miller was on a mission, eliminating Davila, 5-2, King, 5-0, and Maldonado, 5-3. Holt dusted off Cameron, 5-1, while Smith ended Garay, 5-2. Smith vanquished Holt, 5-2, and along with Miller, reached the final six, and the money. On the east side, the Martinez brothers faced off in the final four, with Gabriel advancing, 7-1, while M. Grigsby lost her bid for the hot seat to Gallegos, 7-2. G. Martinez made quick work of Gallegos, 7-0, to capture the hot seat. On the west side, Laz ousted Miller, 5-2, and M. Grigsby defeated Ace, 5-3. Laz went on to eliminate Grigsby and Gallegos, to meet brother Gabriel in the finals. Gabriel gave it his best shot, but was outmatched by Laz, suffering a two-set defeat. With this victory, Laz secured his third, consecutive, Space City, junior 9-ball division title.

The Space City Open is the largest pool tournament in Texas, featuring five divisions, and is held annually, the first week in December. For more information, visit www.SpaceCityOpen.com. 

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
 

Bingham double dips Vance to win his first Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour stop

Ricky Bingham

Fourteen years ago, Ricky Bingham finished in the tie for 33rd place at the 29th Annual US Open 9-Ball Championships, sharing the spot with (among others) Charlie Bryant, Mike Davis, Keith Bennett and Ryan McCreesh. A year later, he showed up on one payout list (Stop #4 on the Viking Tour; 13th) and then, for all intents and pool purposes, he dropped out of sight for a dozen years. Last year he joined a growing list of veteran players (like Davis, like Bennett, like BJ Ussery) who’ve been stepping back up to the tables and signing on to the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour. He finished 5th at a 2017 Q City 9-Ball Tour stop at Janet Atwell’s place, Borderline Billiards, in Bristol, TN. In July of this year, back again at Borderline Billiards, he chalked up another 5th place finish on the tour. On the weekend of September 8-9, at (you guessed it) Borderline Billiards, Bingham joined the ranks of Q City 9-Ball winners, coming from the loss side and double dipping Reid Vance to capture the event title. The event drew 41 entrants to Borderline Billiards.
 
Bingham and Vance played three matches in this event. The first was a winners’ side semifinal, while Steve Dye and Zac Leonard faced off in the other one. Vance sent Bingham to the loss side 5-2 and in the hot seat match, faced Dye, who’d sent Leonard over in a double hill match. Vance claimed the hot seat 5-1 over Dye and waited for the veteran to get back from a three-match, loss-side run.
 
Bingham’s loss-side trip back began against Dustin Coe, who’d defeated Alex Boles 6-1 and Mike Staubes, double hill (7-8; Staubes to 9) to reach him. Leonard drew Ikey Maynard, who’d eliminated room owner and pool veteran Janet Atwell and (heeeere’s) Johnny Carson, both 7-2.
 
Leonard downed Maynard 7-3, while Bingham was busy eliminating Coe 5-3. Leonard and Bingham battled to double hill in the quarterfinals that followed, before Bingham advanced to down Dye, double hill as well, in the semifinals.
 
In straight-up races to 5, Bingham took the double elimination opening set over Vance 5-3. He got even stingier in the second set, allowing Vance only a single rack to claim the event title; his first on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour.
 
Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked Janet Atwell and her Borderline Billiards staff, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues, Bar Pool Tables, Delta 13 Racks, AZ Billiards and Professor Q-Ball. The next stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for this weekend (Sept. 15-16), will be hosted by 21 Poolroom in Charleston, WV.  

Harrell goes almost-undefeated and wins Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour stop in Spartanburg

Brown goes undefeated to win following week’s stop in Garner, NC
 
Viking Cues’ Q-City 9-Ball Tour director Herman Parker had nothing but the highest praise for his newest venue – The Steakhorse Restaurant and Billiards in Spartanburg, SC – which hosted a recent stop on the tour. Parker spent a good deal of time in the restaurant over the weekend and described it as the best pool room’s restaurant he’s ever eaten in. Owner Dayne Miller, a player in his own right, who won a stop on the tour this past January, added $1,500 to the event that drew 84 entrants (70 men/14 women & junior players) to the site on the weekend of June 2-3. According to Parker, arrangements are already in progress to have the site host his annual Tour Championships in the fall.
 
Jonathan “Hennessee from Tennessee” Pinegar, who’d won seven on the loss side took the opening set of the true double elimination final over hot seat occupant, Matt Harrell. Harrell, though, rallied to take the second set and claim the first-ever event title at The Steakhorse.
 
With Pinegar already at work on the loss side, following a defeat (by Derek Pierce) in the fourth winners’ side round, Harrell advanced to a winners’ side semifinal against Mackie Lowery. Brian Bagwell squared off against Mike Bumgarner in the other winners’ side semifinal. Harrell downed Lowery 6-5 (Lowery racing to 7) and in the hot seat match, faced Bagwell, who sent Bumgarner west 7-5. Harrell claimed the hot seat with a double hill win (6-6) over Bagwell.
 
On the loss side, with two notches on his loss-side belt, Pinegar ran into Don Lilly, winner of three straight Q-City 9-Ball stops earlier this year (one in late January and two in February). Pinegar eliminated him 12-5, and then defeated Rob Hart 12-3 to pick up Bumgarner. Lowery drew Derek Pierce, who’d defeated Collin Hall double hill (5-5) and Daniel Adams 5-2 to reach him. A re-match between Pinegar and Pierce was two matches away.
 
Pinegar did his part, defeating Bumgarner 12-6 to advance to the quarterfinals. Pierce, though was defeated by Lowery 7-4. Pinegar leapfrogged over the quarterfinal match when Lowery forfeited due to a work commitment.
 
The semifinal match wasn’t as easy. Bagwell came to the table with five games on the wire, racing to 12. Pinegar was on the hill at 11, but Bagwell had chalked up six to force a deciding match. Pinegar closed it out and turned to face Harrell in the hot seat.
 
Harrell entered the double elimination final with six on the wire, racing to 12. Both sets went double hill with Pinegar defeating Harrell in the first, 12-5, and Harrell, in the second, defeating him 6-11.
 
Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked Dayne Miller and his Steakhorse staff for their hospitality and added money, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues, Delta 13 Racks, AZBilliards and Professor Q Ball.
 
The following week, on Saturday, June 9, the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour made a stop in Garner, NC and held an event which drew 20 entrants to Shotmaker’s Billiards. David Brown went undefeated in this event, downing Collin Hall 8-4 in the hot seat match, and Scott Roberts, double hill, in the only set necessary in the finals. The Parkers thanked their hosts and the same sponsors of this event.
 
The Parkers also noted that beginning this Wednesday (June 13-19), they will be directing a tournament not affiliated with (though sponsored in part by) their Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour. They have been asked to run the Doug Beasley Custom Cues Open (Formerly the Don Coates Memorial), a $10,000-added event that has already drawn a number of the country’s top-notch players, with more expected to come over the next couple of days. Among those already scheduled to compete are Johnny Archer, Rodney Morris, Neils Feijen, Ronnie Alcano, Charlie Bryant, Justin Bergman, Sky Woodward, and Tony Chohan, to name just a few. Also competing in the event will be the two finalists in this past Memorial Day weekend’s George “Ginky” Sansouci Memorial Tournament in New York – winner Klenti Kaci and runner-up Dennis Orcollo – as well as the competitor who downed Klaci shortly afterwards to win the recent Maryland State 9-Ball Championship, Zoren James Aranas. The event will feature a number of mini-tournaments, and a live stream by LiveActionMedia and AZBTv, with perennial host UpstateAl. The stream will offer daily ‘chat room’ prize giveaways. The event is being hosted by Brass Tap Billiards in Raleigh, NC.

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!!!

Thorpe Heads Up Big Tyme Classic Winners

Billy Thorpe (Photo courtesy of PoolActiontv.com)

The Fifth Annual Big Tyme Classic held April 13th-16th, 2017 in Spring, Texas paid out over $23,000
 
Thursday, April 13th kicked off with a single elimination, $1,000 added, 31-player, One Pocket Tournament. Joey Gray come out with the win over Danny Smith. To get to the finals, Joey ousted Kevin Chang, Tommy Tokoph, Josh Roberts and Tony Chohan.  Danny Smith made his way to meet Joey in the finals with wins over Evan Lunda, Jim McCarry and Sky Woodward. 
 
1st place $2,000 Joey Gray
2nd place $1,050 Danny Smith
3rd/4th $550 Tony Chohan, Sky Woodward
5th/8th $300 Jeremy Jones, Josh Roberts, Cliff Joyner and Jim McCarry
 
Friday, April 14th, 25 players entered the $1.000 added, single elimination Banks Tournament. Chip Compton took it down over Sky Woodward in the final match up. Chip had notable wins over Richie Richeson, Lynn Smith, Tony Chohan, and Justin Hall. Sky made his way through the bracket with wins over Billy Thorpe, Jeff Deluna, Danny Smith, and Alex Olinger before falling short to Chip in the finals.
 
1st $1.600 Chip Compton,
2nd $900 Sky Woodward
3rd/4th $500 Alex Olinger, Justin Hall
5th/8th $250 Kevin Chang, Danny Smith, Jamie Ferrell, and Tony Chohan
 
The Main Event $5,000 added, 9 Ball Open, commenced Friday evening.  The Diamond bar table event, streamed live by PoolActiontv, drew 128 players.  Billy Thorpe would go undefeated to take home the title and big payday.  Billy barreled through the bracket with wins over Philip Tieu, James Davis Jr., Ronnie Wiseman, Cody Martin, Sky Woodward, Shane McMinn and Jeffrey Deluna, securing his spot in the finals.  Jeff had a nice run with wins over Paul Alderete, Andy Lerma, Johnny Griffin, Robb Saez, Charlie Bryant, Eklent Kaci.  After losing the hot seat match, he faced Sky Woodward in the semi-finals.   Jeff came out victorious to meet Billy in the final match up.  Jeff had his work cut out for him as Billy was determined to not let it go to two sets.  
 
1st Billy Thorpe $4,000/$15,460
2nd Jeff Deluna $2,000/$7,600
3rd Sky Woodward $1,400/$5,660
4th Shane McMinn $1,000/$4,000
5th/6th Jeremy Jones and Eklent Kaci $700/$2,180 each
7th/8th Sylver Ochoa and Charlie Bryant $400/$1,280 each
9th-12th Alex Olinger, Kevin Chang, Manny Chau, and Danny Smith $200/$640 each
 
Sunday kicked off with the one-day, $500 added Seniors Division. Ronnie Wiseman takes the title through a tough field of 23 players.  Wiseman would win the hot seat match over Jamie Farrell. The loss sent him to the B side to face Cliff Joyner. Farrell ousted Joyner to get back to the finals against Wiseman but fell short, leaving Ronnie Wiseman the Champion.
 
1st Ronnie Wiseman $520
2nd Jamie Farrell $390
3rd Cliff Joyner $260
4th Manuel Ayala $130
5th/6th Mark Avery and Joe Espindola $60 each
 
The final event of the Big Tyme Classic was the Ladies Division.  20 talented ladies competed for the title in the $500 added event.  Kim Pierce secured the hot seat with a win over Robyn Petrosino.  Petrosino would face Teresa Garland on the B side.  Taking the win here, she would face Pierce once again in the final match up.  The “TexasHeat” fought hard and came out victorious to take the title.
 
1st Kim Pierce $500/$510
2nd Robyn Petrosino $360/$250
3rd Teresa Garland $240/$170
4th Alicia Huff $120
5th/6th Ricki Casper and Yvonne Asher $60 each
 
Big Tyme Billiards would like to thank the players, spectators, fans and staff for another successful event.  Special thanks to Teresa Garland and Marshal Ward, Tournament Directors.  We also extend our gratitude to the sponsors of this event, PoolActionTV, Star City Amusement, and APA of North Harris County.  We truly appreciate the vendors who attended as well, Jerry Olivier and Bryant Billiards.  We look forward to the 2018 6th Annual Big Tyme Classic!

Chau wins his second of three Texas Open 10-Ball Championships

Manny Chau (Photo courtesy of PoolActiontv.com)

It's been something of a sandwich, the three Texas Open 10-Ball Championships that have occurred since 2015. It's been two slices of Manny Chau bread, with a slab of Skyler Woodward in the middle. Chau went undefeated through the 95-entrant Open field at the Third Annual Texas Open 10-Ball Championships, held on the weekend of February 16-19 at Skinny Bob Billiards in Round Rock, TX. Chau faced the defending champion (Woodward) in a winners' side semifinal and separate opponents in the battle for the hot seat (John Gabriel) and finals (Shane McMinn). In a concurrently-held, $500-added inaugural Ladies Tournament, Ricki Casper went undefeated through a field of 37 (separate story). Gail Eaton, who finished third in that event, picked up an extra $500 for being the top female finisher in the Open portion of the tournament.
 
After an opening round bye, Chau got by Jimmy Krone 7-2, and then defeated, in order, Robb Saez 7-4, Charlie Bryant 7-2, and Jon Demet 7-3 to face defending champion Skyler Woodward in one of the winners' side semifinals. John Gabriel, in the meantime, had worked his way through Jason Harkrider, Jeff West, Blaine Barcus, and Billy Thorpe to face the tournament's eventual runner-up, Shane McMinn, in the other winners' side semifinal.
 
Gabriel got into the hot seat match with a 7-2 win over McMinn. Chau had his hands full with Woodward, who fought him to double hill before moving to the loss bracket. Chau claimed the hot seat 7-3 over Gabriel and waited on the return of McMinn.
 
Lurking on the loss side was the recent VA State 9-Ball Champion, and third-ranked player in the world, Dennis Orcollo, who, after being awarded an opening round bye, had been defeated in his first match by Roberto Gomez 7-1. As the defeated players in the winners' side semifinal moved over, Orcollo was in the midst of a nine-match, loss-side winning streak that would take him as far as the quarterfinals. He'd gotten by Shane Manaole and Josh Roberts, both 7-3, to draw Woodward, which was as clear a case of 'out of the frying pan into the fire' as you're going to find anywhere in the world of pool. McMinn, in the meantime, drew Jeffery DeLuna, who'd defeated Jon Demet 7-3, and shut out Jason Klatt to reach him.
 
Orcollo ended Woodward's bid to defend his title 7-3, and in the quarterfinals, faced McMinn, who'd eliminated DeLuna 7-5. A predictable double hill fight ensued, eventually won by McMinn, who moved on to meet Gabriel in the semifinals. McMinn gave up only a single rack to Gabriel and got a shot at Chau in the hot seat. Chau, though, dashed any hopes McMinn was entertaining to be the third different winner of the Texas Open 10-Ball Championships with a 7-5 win in the finals.
 
The entire event was streamed live over the weekend by Ray Hansen and his PoolActionTV crew.

Jones and Kraber go undefeated to defend their titles at 26th Annual Houston Open

Jeremy Jones (Photo courtesy of PoolAction.tv)

Legends Billiards of League City, TX was the destination. 138 players in two divisions competed on the nine footers to see who would be this year’s Houston 9-Ball Open champions.
 
Thirty women entered the Ladies Division trying for a piece of the $1,900 purse plus $1,460 in Calcutta action. Playing down to the semi-final match were well-known Texas players Jennifer Kraber and Amanda Lampert. Jennifer won the match 5-2 and Amanda went west to await the results of the Natalie RochaKim Pierce match. Natalie defeated Kim leaving her in fourth place with $190 in prize money plus another $145 in Calcutta cash. Natalie was unstoppable as she defeated Amanda to move into the finals. Amanda received $285 in prize money and $220 in Calcutta cash for third place.
 
Natalie was on a tear but Jennifer was having none of it as she defeated her 7-4. Natalie cashed $385 prize money plus $365 Calcutta for her second place finish. As the 2016 Houston Open champ, Jennifer received $570 plus $510 from the Calcutta for her efforts.
 
The Open Division drew 108 players fighting for a piece of the $16,630 purse plus another $13,690 from the player auction. When the music stopped, it was last year’s Houston Open champ Jeremy Jones and Cesar Garcia Jr in the hot seat. Looking to repeat, JJ made quick work of Cesar 7-2. Meanwhile, Kevin Cheng and former Houston Open champ, Charlie Bryant, were duking it out. Hillbilly prevailed 7-4 and moved on to play Cesar for the other berth in the finals. Taking fourth place, Kevin received $1,170 in prize money plus $1,230 Calcutta.
 
After defeating Cesar and leaving him in third place, Charlie moved on to the finals. Cesar cashed $1,610 in prize money plus another $1,780 from the Calcutta.
 
Jeremy was a man on a mission – it was JJ all the way. He defeated Hillbilly 9-3 to repeat as the 2016 Houston Open champion. Charlie received $2,340 in prize money in addition to another $2,400 from the Calcutta. Jeremy received $3,520 for first place plus $3,770 in Calcutta cash.
 
Congratulations to both Jennifer and Jeremy – our defending Houston Open champions!
 
PoolActionTV would like to thank Craig and Mindy Cohen as well as their great staff for their hospitality. They always do a fabulous job! We’d like to thank the Houston Open’s main sponsor, Jerry Olivier Custom Cues, for their support. We’d also like to thank John Barton of JB Cases, Club Billiards, Hanshew Custom Cues, Aramith, Simonis, Lomax Custom Cues, GoPlayPool.com, Kamui and Durbin Custom Cues for their support.
 
Thanks to Justin Schwartz for doing such a great job running the show as well as Terry Hanna and Jason “Helpdesk” Walton for keeping the ride smooth.
 
PoolActionTV’s next stop is the Tennessee State 8-Ball Championships and the Southern Cue & Case Show at the Chattanooga Billiards Club. Hope to see you there!!!