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Mills goes undefeated to win Open event on Poison Tour

Jim Sandaler, Tony Crosby and Chris Daly

Donnie Mills and Tommy Kennedy renewed their long-standing rivalry during the Open event of the June 8-9 stop on the Poison Tour down in Florida. They met in the hot seat match, won by Mills, who went on to defeat Justin Hall in the finals, completing an undefeated run through a field of 45 entrants. The $1,000-added Open event was hosted by Stroker's in Palm Harbor, FL.
 
Chris Daly, in the $1,000-added Amateur event that drew 69 entrants, took the other route to the winners' circle. He won five on the loss side, took the opening set of a modified double elimination final, and won the single, 'sudden death' game to claim the top prize.
 
Mills and Kennedy won 14 of the 17 games played in the two winners' side semifinals in the Open event. Kennedy gave up only a single rack to James Roberts, while Mills allowed Travis Croft to move two beads on the wire. Mills, who has the overall better record in his rivalry with Kennedy, chalked up another against him 7-5, and sat in the hot seat, awaiting what turned out to be the return of Justin Hall.
 
Roberts and Frost moved to the loss side and faced Hall and Mike Delawder, who had both just survived double hill matches; Hall, 5-4 over Rich Schau, and Delawder, 5-4 against Chris Daly (who had already won the Amateur event). Hall and Delawder capitalized on their close calls by giving up one rack each to Roberts and Craft, and turning to face each other in the quarterfinals.
 
Hall gave up only two to Delawder in those quarterfinals and turned to face Kennedy, with a 20-8 record over his last four games. He made it 25-9 in five games with a 5-1 victory over Kennedy and got a shot at Mills in the hot seat.  Mills, though, stopped Hall's loss-side run with a 7-4 win to claim the event title.
 
In the Amateur event, Chris Daly chalked up an equally impressive loss-side run, and finished it off with an overall 8-3 win in the two-set final, including the 'sudden death' single game at the end. He'd been sent to the loss side by Justin Gilsinan 7-5 in a winners' side quarterfinal matchup.
 
Gilsinan moved on to face Jim Sandaler, while Jose Del Rio and Angel Rivera met in the other winners' side semifinal. Sandaler sent Gilsinan to an eventual quarterfinal rematch against Daly with a 7-5 win, and in the hot seat match, faced Del Rio, who'd sent Rivera to the losers' bracket 7-3. Sandaler won his final game, defeating Del Rio 7-3 and waited in the hot seat for Daly.
 
On the loss side, Daly would play 25 games over five matches, and lose only five of those games. He gave up three in his opening loss-side match against Rick Hefelfinger, and none at all to Bob Gonnelly, which set him up to face Rivera. Gilsinan, in the meantime, met up with Derek Santos, who'd survived a double hill match versus Mike Delawder and eliminated Mark Whatan 5-2.
 
Daly did his part to earn a rematch against Gilsinan by chalking up a second straight shutout, this one over Rivera. Gilsinan played his part, as well, downing Santos 5-1. Daly gave up only two games – one to Gilsinan in the quarterfinal rematch and one to Del Rio in the semifinals – to earn a shot against Sandaler in the hot seat.
 
Daly took the opening set 7-4, forcing the single, 'sudden death' game to determine the event victory. Daly won that last game to claim the event title.
 
Tour Director Tony Crosby thanked the ownership and staff at Stroker's for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Poison Cues, Stroke-It Wear, Aramis, Diamond Billiard Products, and Simonis Cloth. The next stop on the Poison Tour, to be hosted by Capone's in Spring Hill, FL, is set for June 21-22.

Kennedy wins Tiger SE Open 9-Ball stop, splits top prizes with Meglino

Tommy Kennedy

It was 3:30 in the morning when Tommy Kennedy, sitting in the hot seat, and Anthony Meglino opted out of a final match during the $500-added, November 30 stop on Kennedy's Tiger Southeast Open 9-Ball Tour, which drew 41 entrants to Cunningham's in Vero Beach, FL. As far as Kennedy was concerned, the default event title worked out just as well for him, because Meglino, he noted, coming off a nine-match, loss-side winning streak was shooting lights out as he got closer.

 
"He was shooting really well," said Kennedy, "so it did kind of work out for the best for me."
 
Kennedy had sent Meglino west in the second round, and Kennedy moved on, advancing, eventually to the winners' side final four, where he met up with Carlos Torres. Jim Sandaler, in the meantime, locked cues with Chris Gentile. A 7-4 win for Kennedy and a double hill win for Sandaler, put them into the hot seat match, where Kennedy prevailed 7-2.
 
With four matches behind him, Meglino defeated Devin Brown 6-1 and shut out Prescott Buckwold to draw Gentile, coming over from the winners' side semifinals. Torres drew Chris Daly, who'd gotten by Justin Hall 6-3 and Billy Burke 6-2.
 
Torres got successfully back on the winning track with a 6-4 victory over Daly, but Meglino handed Gentile his second straight loss, defeating him 6-1. Meglino advanced to the semifinals without lifting his cue, as Torres forfeited the quarterfinal match.
 
Meglino then eliminated Sandaler in the semifinals 6-3, which gave Kennedy, looking on, a glimpse of what he might be facing. They opted out of the final match, declaring Kennedy, in the hot seat, the event winner.
 
Kennedy thanked Chris Devila, owner of Cunningham's and his staff for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Tiger Products, J. Pechauer Custom Cues, Mueller Recreational Products, Chris Nitti Custom Cues, Chris Hightower of Cue Man Billiards, Daivd Adams of Byron, GA and Simonis Cloth.