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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!!!

Star Power at Space City Open IV

Dennis Orcollo (Photo courtesy of RE Visual Concepts)

World champion Dennis Orcullo went undefeated to capture his first Space City Open 9-Ball title, besting Ohio’s Shane Winters in the final set, 9-4. In the one pocket division, Chip Compton overcame Jeremy Jones, 3-1, 3-1, taking home his first title, and Jones captured his second, consecutive, 9-ball banks title, outlasting Orcullo in overtime, 3-2, 3-0. Wrapping up the event, Gail Eaton overcame Kia Sidbury in the ladies 9-ball finals, 7-4, 5-2. 
 
The 4-day, 4-division, Space City Open IV (SCO) was held at Bogies Billiards and Sports Bar in Houston, Texas, December 3rd-6th, 2016. In its fourth year, SCO continues to increase in talent and value, and professional players from across the U.S. flew in to take advantage of a payout exceeding $56,000. New blood included Dennis Orcullo, Shane Winters (OH), Shane McMinn (TN), Jerry Calderon (FL), Mike Massey, and Tony Chohan (MI), who along with more than 120 players, entertained a packed house and hundreds of at-home viewers tuned in to the HD live stream provided by OnSitePoolNetwork.com. 
 
Everyone in Texas knows the place to be during the first week of December is the Space City Open. The annual event has showcased some of the greatest billiard talent in the U.S., including U.S Open Champions, World Champions, and Mosconi Cup team players.  The SCO is a serious competition and players mean business, which makes for an intense, competitive environment, and great entertainment for the fans. Without a doubt, this was the toughest SCO 9-ball division to date, and simply losing the flip could cost a player the set, in this winner break, rack your own format. 
 
In the 101-player 9-ball field, the famed Dennis Orcullo won 8 consecutive matches on his way to the hot seat, defeating Robert Cruz, 9-1, Jonathon Romero, 9-0, Vu Pham, 9-3, Charlie Bryant, 9-4, Shane McMinn, 9-8, and Sylver Ochoa, 9-5. Jerry Calderon won his bid for the hot seat with wins over Cliff Joyner, 9-6, Alex Cardenas, 9-1, Richard Hughes, 9-1, Joey Gray, 9-1, Shane Winters, 9-3, and Tom Mooney, 9-5. After a 9-7 upset by Tom Mooney in the first round, Tony Chohan won an incredible 7 consecutive matches with wins over Ernesto Bayaua, 7-3, Jeremy Jones, 7-4, Gabe Owen, 7-6, and Abel Lara, 7-5. Other upsets included John Lassek over Jamie Baraks, 9-6, and Abel Lara over Mike Massey, 9-6. New Mexico’s Tommy Tokoph lost his first round to Winters, 9-6, but came back strong with 6 wins, along the way, eliminating two-time 9-ball champion, Charlie “Hillbilly” Bryant, 7-3. Winters ended Tokoph, 7-3, and made quick work of Ochoa, 7-1. After a fourth round loss to Winters, 9-8, Robb Saez ousted defending 9-ball champion James Davis, Jr. with a quick 7 pack, Baraks, 7-5, and McMinn, 7-2. Chip Compton, who suffered an earlier 9-5 loss at the hands of Ochoa, eliminated Jamie Farrell, 7-3, but fell to Saez, 7-6. Saez bested Mooney, 7-2, for a rematch with Winters. Once again, Winters advanced, 7-3. Back on the east side, the hot seat match commenced with Orcullo and Calderon. Orcullo played near flawless, and unforced errors on Calderon’s part sealed his fate. Orcullo closed the set out, 9-4. Winters anticipated a shot at redemption, and now it was here. This time, Calderon stepped up to the plate, only to be struck out by Winters, 7-5. In the final, both players came out of the gate running, but Orcullo proved too much for Winters, ending the race, 9-4. Congratulations to Dennis Orcullo on his first SCO 9-Ball title. 
 
The 40-player one pocket field (limited to 40) featured an all-star cast with phenomenal talent going head to head in a test of wills and stamina. Oklahoma’s Chip Compton made his way through the winners’ side with wins over Joe Pelayo, 3-0, Jon Demet, 3-0, Shane McMinn, 3-0, and James Davis, Jr., 3-1, while Jeremy Jones bested Tony Chohan, 3-1, Robb Saez, 3-2, Denis Strickland, 3-0, and Joey Gray, 3-1. On the one-loss side, Chau took out Saez, 3-1, but fell to Joey Gray, 3-1. Again, Chohan was on a roll with 6 consecutive wins, including victories over Tommy Tokoph, 3-1, Ernesto Bayaua, 3-1, Chase Rudder, 3-2, Gabe Owen, 3-0, and James Davis, Jr., 3-0. On the east side, Compton defeated Jones for the hot seat, 3-1, while Gray ended Chohan’s run, 3-0. Gray fell to Jones, 3-1, pitting a rematch between Jones and Compton. A focused Jones stepped up to the final table with the intent of taking back what he had lost. Compton knew he couldn’t let this one get away, but as the first set came to a close, it was Jones who came out ahead, 3-1. In the second set, Compton remained composed, his mind on the task at hand. Compton defeated Jones in the final set, 3-1, to capture his first SCO One Pocket title.
 
Kicking off Space City Open IV was Thursday’s 29-player, 9-ball banks division. Again, it was Orcullo, attempting to go undefeated with wins over Richie Richeson, 3-0, Luke Sutliffe, 3-0, Tommy Tokoph, 3-1, and Shane Winters, 3-1. Gabe Owen took down Chase Rudder, 3-1, Sylver Ochoa, 3-0, Shane McMinn, 3-2, and Manny Chau, 3-2. Following a loss to Winters, 3-1, Cliff Joyner eliminated Tom Mooney, 3-0, James Davis, Jr., 3-2, and McMinn, 3-1. After suffering a loss to Winters, 3-0, Robb Saez eliminated Jamie Farrell, 3-1, but fell to Jeremy Jones, 3-1. Jones eliminated Chau, 3-1, earning himself another shot at Chohan, the player who had sent him to the one-loss side by a score of 3-1. Jones wasted little time exacting his revenge, taking out Chohan, 3-1. On the east side, Orcullo and Owen teed off for the hot seat, Owen coming up short, 3-1, and again with Jones, 3-1. Jones captured the first set of the true double elimination final, 3-1, finishing Orcullo off the second set, 3-0, earning his second, consecutive banks title. Due to a hand injury, it was uncertain if Jones would compete in this year’s SCO. However, Jones competed in all three divisions, with a very swollen hand to show for it. Congratulations to Jeremy Jones on successfully defending his banks title!
 
Rounding out the event, 22 women battled it out on Sunday for almost $2,300 in cash in the ladies 9-ball division. WPBA player Kia “Primetime” Sidbury (MD) made her way to the hot seat, defeating Veronica “Pistol” Perez, 7-0, Terry Petrosino, 7-1, and Robyn Petrosino, 7-4. Natalie Rocha made an impressive run, ousting Erica Nicole Walker, 7-1, Gail “Virginia Slim” Eaton, 7-5, Linda Garza, 7-1, and Marie Rodriguez, 7-0. On the one-loss side, Eaton ran through D’Andrea McQuirter, 5-1, Ginger Abadilla, 5-2, Terry Petrosino, 5-1, Belinda Lee, 5-0, and Rodriguez, 5-3. After a second round loss to R. Petrosino, 7-4, 2015 Gulf Coast Tour Champion, Ricki Casper, made an impressive run on the one-loss side with wins over Yvonne Asher, 5-3, Teresa Garland, 5-1, Garza, 5-2, and R. Petrosino, 5-3. On the east side, Sidbury overcame Rocha for the hot seat win, 7-5, while Eaton ended Casper’s run, 5-3. Former WPBA pro Eaton made quick work of Rocha, 5-2, and moved on to the finals. The two seasoned players dug in, and fought to the finish. Eaton captured the first set, 7-4, and although Sidbury attempted to recover in overtime, lost the final set, 5-2. Congratulations to Gail Eaton on her first SCO Ladies 9-Ball title!
 
“Once again, this event has shown a significant increase in numbers and visibility, across the board. Growth is our primary focus, and it takes the support and dedication of the players, fans, sponsors, and pool room, to make an event like this work, and thrive. That’s what gets the job done”, says Kim Newsome, SCO founder and tournament director.  Support staff for this event included a number of dedicated individuals including John Newsome, Teresa Garland and Chuck Adams
 
The Space City Open extends a heartfelt “thank you” to sponsors, vendors, and supporters; Bogies Billiards and Games’ owners David and Shannon Richardson, and their entire staff, Simplified Electronics, APA of North Harris County, Vapor Knights, Ozone Billiards, Zach Goldsmith and “Lucky Luke” Sutliffe with OnSitePoolNetwork.com, Bobby Garcia with RE Visual Concepts, and vendors, Mike McDonald with Vapor Knights, Ron Geyer Cue Repair, Joe Salazar Connoisseur of Custom Cues, and Sean King with King Billiards. Special supporters of this event included Charlie Brown, Mark Stubbs, Chase Rudder, Maurice LeBlanc, Kelly Plunkett, Tom Welch, Doug Stone, Jason Watson, David Taylor, Carlos Sanchez, Willie Duran, Dave Ford, David Hardee, Dennis Perry, Adam Cooper, Fabian Gardin, and Erica Nicole Walker.
 
Space City Open V will take place December 1st-4th, 2016. For more information about the Space City Open, visit www.SpaceCityOpen.com  or email spacecityevent@gmail.com. 

Space City Open IV Comes to Houston

James Davis Jr. (Photo courtesy of Michael Moon Photography)

Defending Space City Open 9-Ball Champion, James Davis, Jr., and One Pocket Champion, Manny Chau, are already confirmed for this year’s Space City Open IV. For the fourth, consecutive year, the prestigious Space City Open will be hosted by Bogies Billiards and Sports Bar in Houston, Texas, on December 3rd-6th, 2015. Boasting former division champions Sky Woodward, Justin Hall, Jeremy Jones, and Charlie Bryant, this year’s event is certain to showcase another all-star line-up!
 
Brought to you by Simplified Electronics, APA of North Harris County, Ozone Billiards, On Site Pool Network, and RE Visual Concepts, the “SCO” is currently $5,500 added and includes One Pocket, Open 9-Ball, Open 9-Ball Banks, and Ladies Open 9-Ball divisions. Paying out over $45,000 in 2014, this four-day, billiard extravaganza, showcases some of greatest pool talent in the country, features vending by Ron Geyer Cue Repair and Joe Salazar Connoisseur of Custom Cues, and always offers free admission to the public! Space City has become an annual, pool-playing tradition and attraction for billiard enthusiasts, across the country!
 
What’s new this year? Prior to the event, all thirty-one tables will be recovered in brand new, tournament blue Simonis cloth. By popular demand, for the first time, the ladies open 9-ball will be played on 8’ tables, and tournament action will be broadcasted LIVE in HD on the new Space City Open website, www.SpaceCityOpen.com.  Updates will be posted on the new SCO Twitter page at Twitter.com/SpaceCityOpen  and the SCO Facebook page at Facebook.com/SpaceCityOpen.
 
Space City kicks off December 3rd with the 9-ball banks players’ meeting, beginning at 7pm, with matches to follow. Paying an entry online is easy. Just visit PayPal.com and “Send Money” to lonestartour@gmail.com. Add $5 per entry when paying online; 9-ball $80/One Pocket $105/9-Ball Banks $105/Ladies 9-Ball $45. Players will receive a confirmation email. SCO divisions are limited and will fill up. Therefore, players are strongly encouraged to secure their desired division spot(s), online, as soon as possible. Entries may also be dropped off or mailed to the host location: Bogies Billiards, 3040 FM 1960 E., Ste. 101, Houston, Texas, 77073. SCO coordinator, Kimberly Newsome, will be addressing all inquiries regarding the event, including retail and advertising opportunities. Please contact Mrs. Newsome at 713.825.1411 or email spacecityopenevent@gmail.com. 
 

Jones and Kraber win Open/Ladies events at 25th Houston Open

Jeremy Jones

After eight years, Jeremy Jones returned to the winners' circle of the Houston Open on the weekend of September 26-27. He won the event's 17th annual occurrence in 2007, and on this past weekend, claimed the 25th title (the event was held more than once a year in its earlier days). The $7,500-added Open division of the event drew 128 entrants to Legends Billiards in League City, TX. 
 
In a concurrently-run, $500-added Ladies event, Jennifer Kraber stepped out of a runner-up shadow that's seen her fall just short in four events since January, including the Texas Open, three weeks ago, when Vivian Villareal successfully defended that Ladies' title for the third straight time.  Tara Williams, who did not compete in this event, claimed title over Kramer in the other three events. Kraber went undefeated through a field of 27 entrants.
 
Though you'd be hard pressed to find anybody who'd be surprised by Jeremy Jones chalking up another title, the 25th Annual Houston Open had its share of competitors who fell by the wayside early; a relative term, of course, in a field of 128. Gone by the time the tournament had whittled down to 12 players were Skyler Woodward (13th), Robb Saez, Shane McMinn, PoolActionTV host, Ray Hansen and Joey Barnes (17th). Charlie Bryant, Tommy Tokoph, James Davis, Sr., and Danny Smith (25th) were gone, as well.
 
Left, were winners' side semifinalists Jones and Tony Chohan, along with Alex Pagulayan and Shane Winters. Lurking on the loss side were Jerry Calderon, Richie Richeson, Ruben Bautista, Dennis Orcullo, Josh Roberts, Jundel Mazon, Robert Gomez and James Davis, Jr.
 
As Jones was busy earning his spot in the hot seat match with a 9-6 win over Chohan, Winters locked up in a double hill battle he eventually won over Pagulayan. Jones claimed the hot seat 9-3 over Winters.
 
On the loss side, Chohan drew Jerry Calderon, who'd eliminated Richeson, double hill, and Bautista 7-5. Paguylan picked up Roberts, who'd defeated Mazon 7-5 and Gomez 7-3. Emphasizing the strength of the loss-side field, the average score over the loss side's final 10 matches was 7-4.6 (three double hill and four 7-5 matches). Unwilling to relinquish their shot at the title, Chohan survived a double hill fight against Calderon, as Pagulayan defeated Roberts 7-3.
 
Chohan played a steady quarterfinal that saw "The Lion" stay close until the end. Chohan won it it for a shot at Winters in the semifinals. Winters ended Chohan's bid 7-4 in those semifinals for a second shot at Jones. Winters doubled his rack total from the hot seat match, but Jones completed his undefeated run 9-6 to claim the title.
In the Ladies event, Kraber won both the hot seat match and finals by the same 7-5 (read "tight") score. Against different opponents. Kraber defeated Natalie Rocha 7-4 in a winners' side semifinal, as Belinda Lee was busy surviving a double hill fight against Terry Petrosino. Kraber sent Lee to the semifinals 7-5.
 
On the loss side, Ming Ng, who'd been sent over by Kraber in a winners' side quarterfinal, was on a five-match run that would give her a second shot against Kraber in the finals. She drew Petrosino, who'd defeated Rebecca Arcangeli 5-3. Rocha picked up Sybil Barron, who'd defeated Lorna McEwen 5-3. Ng eliminated Petrosino 5-3, as Rocha downed Barron 5-1. Ng then dropped Rocha into fourth place 5-3 and gave up only a single rack to Lee in the semifinals. Apparently not interested in a fifth, second-place finish, Kraber downed Ng a second time 7-5 and completed her undefeated run to claim the title. 
 
The entire event was streamed live under the auspice of Ray "Big Truck" Hansen's PoolActionTV.