Archive Page

Brandon Shuff Seals the Deal at Maryland State 9-Ball Championship

Brandon Shuff, Loye Bolyard, Shaun Wilkie, Jake Lawson, Kenny Ruttman and Rick Scarlato

In yet another action-packed weekend of competitive pool, Brandon Shuff emerged as the winner of the Maryland State 9-Ball Championship. The event, which is owned and managed by On The Hill Productions, was held at the Champion Billiards Sports Bar in Frederick, MD during the weekend of May 4th-5th. This has been a successful year so far for Brandon. He recently finished 4th in the Barry Behrman Memorial in April and the VA State 10-Ball in February. In this tournament, he sailed through the field and dropped only one set to Shaun Wilkie, who came back from the B-side to try and claim the title. Brandon held firm and was able to lift the trophy in victory.
The 82-player field was customarily strong, loaded with such powerhouses as Shaun Wilkie, Kevin West, Brett Stottlemyer, Chip Klein, Del Sim, David Hennessy, Kenny Rutman, Matt Krah, Steve Fleming, Thomas Zippler and Scott Haas to name a few. The ladies were represented by local favorites Bethany Sykes, Eugenia Gyftopoulos, Gwen Townsend, Lai Li, Stefanie Manning and newcomer to the tournament scene, Jenny Mohammed.
Not to be left out, the young guns also made their presence felt. Tournament-regulars Dylan Spohr and Coen Bell were there to stir the pot, but the young man who stood head and shoulders above the rest was Justin Martin from Wilmington, NC. He had a very strong finish of fourth place and impressed everyone with his display of fundamentals, technique, and poise. Don't be surprised if he snaps off one of these big events very soon! 
The recent champion of the MD State 9-Ball Bar Table Championship, Brandon Sluzalis was also there, but his efforts to repeat were cut short first by Kenny Rutman, then by the straight-shooting Bobby Pacheco. He had to settle for 9th. place.
Congratulations to all who finished in the top 24 places this weekend. 
This event owes its success to the following sponsors:
McDermott Cues
Billiard Sports Network
Lights Out Billiard Apparel
Phillippi Custom Cues
TAP Pool League – Chesapeake Region
Many thanks to the owner Gary Allen & staff at Champion Billiards for hosting another successful event. The high-quality free stream was provided by Jake Lawson and Josh Setterfield of Billiard Sports Network. Tour directors Rick Scarlato Jr. and Loye Bolyard continue to provide great tournaments with the utmost professionalism and quality.

Krah fends off a Davis, loss-side challenge to win Action Pool Tour

Deska takes over #1 spot in tour rankings

With the top-ranked player on the Action Pool Tour, Brandon Shuff, competing in the First Annual Southern Classic in Tunica, MS on the weekend of July 21-22, a field of 75 showed up for the 11th stop on the Action Pool Tour to see if they could gain some ground. Matt Krah, who entered the tournament at #38 in the rankings, jumped 20 places on the list with his first-place finish, defeating Mike Davis (who jumped 11 places to #4) in the second set of a true double elimination final. The event drew 75 entrants to Breakers Sky Lounge in Herndon, VA.

In addition to Krah, three other Action Pool Tour regulars advanced to the winners’ side final four, looking to cut into Shuff’s lead in the rankings. Krah squared off against Brian Deska, who entered the tournament ranked at #2, and with his advancement to the winners’ side final eight, had already passed Shuff. Even if he’d lost among the final eight winners, and subsequently been defeated in the matches that determined the four-way tie for 9th place, Deska would have chalked up 750 points (10 points for the 9-12 finish, times the number of players, 75), which would have moved him ahead of Shuff by 139 points. 

The other winners’ side semifinalists were R.J. Carmona, ranked # 11, who’d just sent Davis to the loss side, and Larry Kressel (# 54). Krah sent Deska west 9-7, and Kressel sent Carmona after him 9-6. Krah got into the hot seat with a 9-3 victory over Kressel, and awaited the return of Davis.

On the loss side, Davis began his five-match march back to the finals with a 7-4 victory over Rafael Reyes, and a 7-2 win over Dave Hunt, which set him up to face Deska. Carmona picked up Chip Klein, who defeated Matt Shilinski and Paul Helms, both 7-3. Davis finished Deska’s day with a 7-1 victory, and was denied a re-match versus Carmona, when Klein defeated him 7-3. Deska’s fifth place finish put him 289 points ahead of Shuff in the rankings. In the quarterfinals that followed, Davis defeated Klein 7-2, and then defeated Kressel in the semifinals 7-4. 

In the opening set of the true double elimination finals (a race to 9), Davis took an early lead and reached the hill first. Though Krah would close the gap to within three, Davis hung on to win, forcing a second set. In that second set (a race to 7), it was Krah with the early lead; out in front by five before Davis had won a rack. Davis got on the board in the sixth rack, but Krah took the seventh rack to reach the hill first. Davis made a run, winning the next three, but Krah closed it out in rack eleven to secure the event title.

With two more stops on the tour – Aug. 11-12 at VIP Billiards in Catonsville, MD, and the season finale, Sept. 8-9 at Big Daddy’s Billiards in Glen Burnie, MD – the top four players are within striking distance of each other; Deska on top of the tour, with Brandon Shuff behind him. Tour director Ozzy Reynolds, who finished in the tie for 13th place, remained in third place, while Mike Davis moved into fourth place.

Weimer takes two out of three versus McClain to take Western New York Tour stop

Butch Weimer and Mike McClain met in the hot seat and finals of the Saturday, April 21 stop on the Western New York tour, with Weimer taking two of the three to capture the event title. The $100-added event drew 13 entrants to Breaker’s Billiards in Pittsburgh, PA.

They met first in the battle for the hot seat, once Weimer had sent tour director Nick Brucato west 6-1 and McClain had defeated Chip Klein 6-4. They battled to double hill in the first of their three before Weimer prevailed to sit in the hot seat.

Brucato moved to the loss side and picked up Ronnie Beard, who’d defeated Brock Watson 6-3, and Nick St. James in a double hill fight. Klein drew Tim McCue, who’d shut out Stephen Holton and defeated Andy Shaw 6-4. Beard survived a double hill battle versus Brucato, as Klein was downing McCue 6-2.

It was Beard prevailing in the quarterfinals, 6-2, over Klein, and getting a shot at McClain in the semifinals. McClain, though, ended Beard’s four-win, loss-side streak with a 6-4 victory that got him a second, and, as it turned out, third shot versus Weimer.

McClain took the first set of the true double elimination final 6-4, but Weimer came back to chalk up the same score in the second set and secure the event title.

Next stop on the Western New York Tour is set for Saturday, April 28, at Premium Billiards in Syracuse, NY.