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Eberle comes from the loss side to win 24th Annual Jay Swanson “Swanee” Memorial

Max Eberle, Ben Sutherland, Tom Kovacs and Chris Robinson

The first evidence AZBilliards documented about Max Eberle was his 9th-place finish in the ESPN Ultimate Challenge (Men’s Division) in February, 1999. The single-elimination event was won by Efren Reyes, with Dennis Hatch as the runner-up. Eberle shared his 9th place finish with Allen Hopkins, Alex Pagulayan, and Johnny Archer, among others. Moving into his 21st year as a cash-earning entrant in the AZBilliards database, Max Eberle began 2020 with a bit of a bang,  working his way through to a winners’ side semifinal and then, three matches on the loss side to meet and defeat ‘young gun’ Chris Robinson-Reinhold in the finals of the 24th Annual Jay Swanson “Swanee” Memorial on the weekend of January 18-19. The $3,000-added event drew 64 entrants to Griff’s in Las Vegas, NV.
 
The field included the event’s current champion, Vilmos Foldes, but did not include last year’s runner-up, Oscar Dominguez. Alex Pagulayan, two-time winner of the event in ’11 and ’12 was registered, but forfeited his first two matches. The ‘old school’ versus ’new school’ meeting in the finals had its origins in the event’s winners’ side semifinals, when Eberle, after victories over Avelino Arciaga (8-1), Mike Hutcheson (8-5), Chris McDaniel (Forfeit) and Mitch Ellerman (8-6), faced Alfonso Moreno, Jr. (it was Ellerman who’d  sent Foldes to the loss side). Robinson-Reinhold, in the meantime, got by Victor Cucuzza (8-4), Ronnie Wiseman (8-3), Ian Costello (8-6) and Anthony Ortega (8-6) to face Tuan Tran in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
Eberle and Moreno, Jr. locked up in a double hill fight that eventually sent Moreno to the hot seat match and Eberle off on his three-match, loss-side trip back. Robinson-Reinhold and Tran came within a game of having their match go to double hill, as well, but Robinson-Reinhold pulled ahead near the end and won it 8-6 to join Moreno, Jr. in the battle for the hot seat. Robinson-Reinhold won that fight, decisively, 8-2 and waited in the hot seat for the return of Eberle.
 
On the loss side, as the event moved into its first money rounds (13-16), Foldes, having won his first loss-side match 7-1 to KC Massey, continued to lurk. He’d win two more; to Chris McDaniel 7-5 and Tom Smith 7-3 before falling to Brian Begay 7-5. Begay would move on to face Eberle, coming over from his winners’ side semifinal fight. Tuan Tran picked up Ellerman, who, after his winners’ side quarterfinal defeat at the hands of Eberle had eliminated James Cabal 7-2 and Ian Costello 7-3.
 
Ellerman advanced to the quarterfinals with a 7-4 win over Tran. Eberle earned the rematch with a 7-2 victory over Begay. Eberle downed Ellerman a second time, 7-5, in those quarterfinals and then, downed Moreno, Jr. 7-3 in the semifinals.
 
Eberle chalked up his first (recorded) major victory since he won the Derby City’s 14:1 Challenge in 2013. ‘Old School’ downed ‘New School’ (in the person of Chris Robinson-Reinhold) with a 10-6 victory in the finals.

Orcollo wins second WCS event, going undefeated in Freezer’s Ice House One Pocket Challenge

Dennis Orcollo

Thanks to a combination of Tony ‘T-Rex’ Chohan and Shane Van Boening, Dennis Orcollo finished third in the West Coast Swing’s One Pocket Challenge in Fremont, CA on the extended weekend of July 4-7. On that same weekend, Orcollo won the WCS 10-Ball challenge, coming back from a hot seat loss to down Ruslan Chinakhov in the finals. Orcollo packed up and moved on to Tempe, AZ, where, three days later (July 11), he joined a field of 50 entrants in the $3,000-added Freezer’s Ice House One Pocket Challenge. Orcollo went undefeated through the field, downing Josh Roberts twice to claim the title.

Orcollo’s path to the hot seat match was relatively unremarkable, allowing his first three opponents (Chris McDaniel, Jose Gonzalez and Eric Young) only two games total in the races to 3. Then he ran in to Scott Frost, who forced a fifth, deciding match, which sent Orcollo to a winners’ side semifinal against The Lion – Alex Pagulayan. Josh Roberts, in the meantime, though he’d opened his campaign with a shutout over Mike Traher, had to contend with two double hill matches to arrive at his winners’ side semifinal against Ian Costello. He’d defeated Chris Adams double hill, given up a single game to Brandon Shuff and won a double hill fight over Tony Chohan (who’d won the WCS One Pocket Challenge in Fremont), to draw Costello.

Orcollo got into the hot seat match with a 3-1 victory over Pagulayan, as Roberts locked up in his third double hill fight, which he eventually won, against Costello. In his fourth double hill match, battling for the hot seat, Roberts ended up moving west to the semifinals, leaving Orcollo in the hot seat, awaiting his return.

On the loss side, following his winners’ side quarterfinal defeat by Roberts, Chohan got right back to work, downing Chip Compton, double hill, and Billy Thorpe 3-1, to draw Pagulayan. Costello picked up Warren Kiamco, who’d been sent to the loss side by Chohan (double hill) and was in the midst of a five-match, loss-side winning streak that had most recently included a shutout over Andy Kachur and the double hill elimination of Jeffrey De Luna (who’d won the 2018 Cole Dickson Memorial that had launched this year’s West Coast Swing).

Chohan and Kiamco gave up only a single game between them in advancing to the quarterfinals; Kiamco shut Costello out, while Chohan gave up the single to Pagulayan. Chohan and Kiamco battled to double hill in those quarterfinals, before Chohan advanced to a semifinal rematch against Roberts. As they had done previously in their winners’ side quarterfinal, Chohan and Roberts battled to double hill, before Roberts downed Chohan a second time, and turned for a second shot against Orcollo.

In a single race to 5, Orcollo completed his undefeated run with a commanding 5-1 victory over Roberts in the finals. For the second year in a row, Orcollo had chalked up two wins on the West Coast Swing. A third victory on the WCS was denied him when Kiamco eliminated him in the quarterfinals of the Freezer’s Ice House 10-Ball Challenge and then went on to win the event (separate story).

Representatives of POVPool (Daniel Busch) and West State Billiards thanked the ownership and staff at Freezer’s Ice House for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Cohen Cues, Big Time Threads, WestStateBilliards.com, KD Cues, Ariel Carmeli (AC) Cues, Tiger Products, and JB Cases.

T-Rex Chohan goes undefeated to claim West Coast Challenge One Pocket title

Tony Chohan (Photo courtesy of Erwin Dionisio)

There are times when the game of One Pocket, played by top professionals, can be riveting to watch. To the point, sometimes, where the end result is less significant than the matches themselves; the journey, more important than the destination. Such was the case in the final match of the West Coast Swing’s (WCS) second tournament, the $5,000-added West Coast Challenge One Pocket, which drew 51 entrants to California Billiards in Fremont, CA. Three days after finishing as runner-up to Jeffrey De Luna in the 6th Annual Cole Dickson Memorial (Stop #1 on the WCS), Tony Chohan (aka T-Rex) stepped up to the tables and went undefeated to grab the One Pocket title of the WCS. He was challenged in the hot seat match by the event’s defending champion, Dennis Orcollo, and, in the finals, by Shane Van Boening, whom he’d sent to the loss side in the event’s third round. Their final match was a grind that, in spite of the game’s tendency to create long periods of relative inactivity as the players jockey for table position, proved to be about as riveting as any One Pocket match can be to watch (available via POVPool’s archives on You Tube).
 
Chohan opened his undefeated bid with victories over Jay Helfert and Ed Neves, both 4-1, before running into Van Boening the first time. He defeated Van Boening 4-2, and then sent Ian Costello (4-1) to the loss side, drawing Warren Kiamco in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Orcollo, in the meantime, having defeated Jeff Sullivan 4-0, Robert Ohashi 4-1. Jeff Gregory 4-2 and arguably one of the planet’s best overall players, Jayson Shaw 4-2, picked up Alex Pagulayan in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
Chohan advanced to the hot seat match 4-2 over Kiamco, as Orcollo was busy sending Pagulayan to the loss side in a double hill win. Chohan shut Orcollo out to claim the hot seat, sending him off to a semifinal match against Van Boening.  
 
On the loss side, Pagulayan picked up Chris McDaniel, who’d given up just a single game in two matches against Omar Alshaheen (0) and Ian Costello (1) to reach him. Kiamco drew Van Boening, who, following his defeat at the hands of Chohan, had won four matches, including recent victories in which he’d eliminated Shaw and Brandon Shuff, both 3-1.
 
Pagulayan and Van Boening advanced to the quarterfinals; Pagulayan 3-1 over McDaniel, and Van Boening 3-1 over Kiamco. Van Boening and The Lion locked up in a double hill fight in those quarterfinals, eventually won by Van Boening. He then defeated Orcollo 3-1 in the semifinals to earn himself a second shot at Chohan.
 
As one might expect from a battle between a T-Rex and a ‘kid’ from South Dakota, the beast won it. They battled back and forth to a 2-2 tie in their race to 5, after which Chohan took over and won the next and final three to claim the event title.
 
Representatives of POVPool (Daniel Busch) and West State Billiards thanked the ownership and staff at California Billiards, as well as sponsors  Cohen Cues, Big Time Threads, WestStateBilliards.com, KD Cues, Ariel Carmeli (AC) Cues, Tiger Products, and JB Cases. The West Coast Swing is on-going with the $15,000-added, West Coast Challenge 10-Ball event, already underway (as of yesterday, Friday, July 6) and expected to conclude by Sunday night, July 8. Three days later, beginning on July 11th, the same group of players will (presumably) move on to Tempe, AZ for the $3,000-added, Freezer’s Icehouse One Pocket and $10,000-added 10-Ball Challenges.
 
Busch and his POVPool crew will be streaming these events throughout the next week, as well as offering archived matches to those who will, for whatever reason, miss them as they’re happening.
 

Van Boening to meet Orcollo for hot seat of US Open 8-Ball

Dennis Orcollo

Shane Van Boening of South Dakota will meet Dennis Orcollo of the Philippines for the hot seat match of the US Open 8-Ball Championship at 1 p.m. PST July 31.  
 
Van Boening, who won the 2016 US Open 8-Ball & 10-Ball Championships, is hoping to repeat last year’s double dip. His path to the hot seat included wins over Sina Valizadeh, 8-2; Manny Perez, 8-5; Josh Roberts, 8-3; and Lee Vann Corteza, 8-6. 
 
Orcollo beat Chris McDaniel, 8-1; Danny Olson, 8-3; and Nick Malaj, 8-3; before sending Alex Pagulayan to the loser’s bracket in a tight hill-hill match. 
 
Corteza and Pagulayan join four others in the loser’s bracket, all hoping to grab a place in the finals.  
 
Vinnie Calabrese of Australia has been an impressive talent throughout the tournament. Calabrese posted wins over Hunter Lombardo, 8-7 and Kim Laaksonen, 8-5 before losing to Corteza, 6-8. On the B side of the bracket, he beat: Danny Stone, 8-7; Justin Bergman, 8-6; and Nick Malaj, 8-7. Calabrese will play Denis Grabe of Estonia at 9 a.m.
 
Grabe has also put a lot of great talent out of the tournament, with wins over: Michael Yednak, 8-7; Francisco Bustamante, 8-7 and Thorsten Hohmann, 8-2, before losing to Alex Pagulayan, 3-8. In the loser’s bracket, he bested Dennis Hatch, 8-6 and now faces Calabrese in the morning. The loser of that match is eliminated and places 5th/6th. 
 
Hohmann “The Hitman” of Germany is also fighting his way through the loser’s bracket. He beat Jesse Bowman, 8-4 in the first round and then was sent to the B side by Grabe, 2-8. Hohmann then beat Oscar Domiguez, 8-7; Kim Laaksonen, 8-4; and Josh Roberts, 8-4. He faces Rodney “The Rocket” Morris at 9 a.m. PST. 
 
Morris, always a crowd favorite, beat Chris Melling, 8-3 and Justin Bergman, 8-6, before losing to Lee Vann Corteza, then he beat Danny Olson to guarantee himself at least 5th/6th and a chance to continue through to the finals. 
 
The 2017 US Open 8-Ball is being held at Griff’s in Las Vegas in conjunction with the 41st BCAPL National Championships, July 19-29 at The Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino. The event featured more than 5,000 amateur players representing 47 states, nine Canadian provinces and 11 countries, competing in approximately 40 divisions, on 300 Diamond pool tables. The annual tournament also includes about 50 exhibitors. Sponsors include Viking, Kamui, Omega Billiards, Cyclop, Diamond, Simonis, and Predator. 
 

Haddad Crowned Colorado 8-Ball Open Champion

The inaugural Colorado 8-Ball Open wrapped up at Felt Billiards in Englewood, Colorado June 18. The two day event drew 40 players from across Colorado and Wyoming, even a couple from Texas. The handicapped entry free attracted a mix of players of all skill levels. Players were categorized into Gold, Silver and Bronze level players based on Fargo Ratings and known ability. Youth players age 17 & Under played for free. 
 
Stapleton Billiards presented this event and raised $1,650 in added prize money through community support from local small businesses. The first giveaway of the day went to a very grateful Tapan Lakdawala of Thornton, Colorado. He scored a brand new set of Super Aramith Pro balls for his home table, courtesy of Aramith. Each time he shared the event on Facebook with the hashtag #thankyouaramith he was automatically entered to win. 
 
$1,250 went into the Main Event which was held on 9’ Diamond and Gold Crown tables. Each round was redrawn with (1) buy-back option per player immediately following a loss. After 4 rounds of play, 12 players remained to return on Father’s Day Sunday for the final single-elimination bracket. The holiday weekend did keep some dads away but another 20 showed up for the Sports Optical Sunday Challenge on the barboxes, where no Gold players were allowed. 
 
The Sunday Main Event matches started a little slow with the extended race to 8 games, winner-break format. With it now being single-elimination for everyone, the heat was on. The last match to wrap up from the first round of the day was between Johnny “One-Time” Vasquez and Chris McDaniel. The 2.5 hour hill-hill match resulted in McDaniel advancing to the next round. 
 
James Beckemeyer received one of the four first-round BYEs but came up short against Mark Haddad on the Stapleton Billiards live stream table. Haddad went on to defeat McDaniel on the same table before meeting up with Jose Cruz in the finals. McDaniel and Fernando Corona played off for 3rd/4th place alongside the finals match. Haddad and Cruz gave the packed house exactly what they came for. Haddad jumped to a quick 3-0 lead and remained ahead for most of the match until Cruz tied it up at the end. An unfortunate foul by Cruz ultimate led to a ball-in-hand backdoor out for Haddad. 
 
$400 of the total $1,650 added went into the bar table event. 6 new players arrived Sunday to buy into the bar table event which was a free entry for all players who competed on Saturday. With 20 players total, everyone drew a random opponent in the first round with 10 players advancing to a single elimination bracket. 
 
Chris Honeman tore through the field taking down top bar table players, Jason Secor and Chisolm Woodson. She ultimately met her match against Garrette Rogers. Greg Kingsbury, owner of Mile High Billiards in Arvada, also made an appearance and went undefeated to split in the finals with Rogers. Honeman also chopped her winnings with Eddie Borrego
 
Marc Vidal was the highest finisher who opted in for the spot to represent Colorado at the upcoming World Pool Series (WPS) RYO Classic professional event which will take place July 12 in New York.  
 
Special Thanks to Chris Honeman, Rudy Kaluza, photographer Russ Green, Nate Sellis, Audra Wasson Tama Fujita, and the rest of the Felt staff for all their efforts this weekend!
 
HUGE THANKS to the businesses who helped make the event possible: Stapleton Billiards, Felt, Molinari cues, Damy McDaniel State Farm Agent, Sports Optical, B&E Services, Inc., LorBen Properties, LLC, The Wellness Center, Aramith, Billiard University and ZenSports. 

 

Shaw Repeats as Bigfoot Champ

Shaw Keeps Going!

Horsehoe Casino of Southern Indianna: Big Foot’s getting meaner yet, you gotta love it. It really tests the most experienced players. Distance is not the only challenge. Balls hit just slightly inaccurately will rock back and forth between the knuckles of the pocket to rest, all perked up, deep in the shelf of the slate. Many racks are stolen due to those misguided, uncooperative Cyclop orbs. So, beware.

Meanwhile, during Shaw’s one pocket match, upstairs overlooking the Accu-Stats Arena, he observed Corteza practicing for their semi’s scheduled next on BIG Foot. Jayson, later entering the arena asked casually, “Lee Vann, how long have you been here?”  Lee, in that harmless yet, quintessential pool player understatement, responded, “About 10 minutes.” Jayson smiled wryly. And, that’s the way their match began. Jayson in one pocket stroke and Corteza all warmed up on BIG Foot. But, isn’t this the true challenge of the Derby? How quickly competitors can switch disciplines and how much stamina they possess as the week progresses? So, not so surprisingly, Cortesa got swiftly into the lead while Shaw was still looking for his fast and loose BIG Foot stroke.

It didn’t take long. Shaw couldn’t string much together as his break was plagued by scratches. Corteza capitalized at every opportunity. At around 6, Jayson got a game ahead but, not for long. Corteza summoned his Big Foot experience, rallied to 10-8 where he had a marginally higher Accu-Stats’ TPA, .859 to Shaw’s .826: Not exactly record breaking yet substantial. Then, he faltered. He allowed Jayson another point on the scoreboard. Again, Jayson’s break proved unproductive. Pressure building while running out a 10-9, Lee Vann faced the 8 with the 9 and 10 pretty much hangers.

It was over. The audience knew it was over, Jayson, low in his seat, jaw hanging on his chest, knew it was over. Lee Vann’s Filipino brethren were already counting the cash. Corteza, stroking cautiously, yet with authority, coaxed it into the jaws of the pocket. It rattled a little yet everyone knew it was destined to fall. Suddenly, the rattling stopped. The ball hadn’t dropped. The deep shelf had held the 8 on the tabletop. Jayson jumped out his chair and stared at the black orb in disbelief. Careful not to breathe too heavily as his inhale might have sucked it into the pocket, he quickly approached the table. The remaining 3 balls were sunk with ease: It’s hill-hill. Emotions in check, careful not to get too big on the break, Shaw ran faultlessly to the finish line. There, he allowed himself relief. Elated, he let loose to run screaming into the Finals.

Semi’s #2: Phillipines vs Greece, round 2: Carlo Biado and Alex Kazakis. First timers on BIG Foot and in the semi’s? Both players were overjoyed to have accomplished so much. Biado was wary of Kazakis as he’d seen what he’d done to Pagulayan. His “A” game hadn’t shown up. In fact, truth be told, he hadn’t approached his potential all tournament. Kazakis seemed to play off of Biado’s “B” game rather than his reach for his own capability. That, we’d gotten a glimpse of against Pagulayan. As they struggled, Carlo managed to get atop the hill two games ahead of Alex. There, his real struggle began. He couldn’t complete the deal. The pressure he put on himself was palpable. The weaker his performance got, the more the Kazakis killer instinct kicked in. Before long, Biado had allowed Alex to join him on the hill.

Even though both competitors were emotionally wrecked, Biado’s fate was sealed. Kazikis, when dropping the winning 10-Ball was so relieved that we first saw a sign of his relief as he fist-pumped his way to face Shaw in the finals. The good news for Biado? His salary had doubled from $4K to 8. Now, Kazakis had 2 hours to regroup…and prepare for the biggest payday of his life: $16 thousand, The runner up would garner 8.

Shaw was well ready. His year was off to a flying start. He was AZ Billiard’s 2016 Player of the Year and he won his 5th Turning Stone title out of 6. Plus, he had the emotional cushion of knowing that he’d beaten, arguably, the sport’s greatest rotation player, Shane Van Boening, in last year’s BIG Foot final. A formidable opponent indeed. In this match’s final encounter, Shaw was a little surprised: Kazakis had come to compete. He’d picked up on the two-stroking Scot’s pace and, pretty much, held serve until they were tied at 7. Then, his momentous bombshell exploded. He, inexplicably, fumbled ball-in-hand. Kazakis later confessed, “I was feeling so good, so confident, that I lost focus. I, still, can’t believe I missed that 5 ball.”

Shaw could. He’d seen it with his own eyes. He then, mercilessly, ran out the set! 35 balls disappeared in about 10 minutes. And, he was the back-to-back BIG Foot Challenge Champion. It had looked dark for a moment. Only Corteza had challenged Shaw’s prowess. His Final’s .911 TPA wasn’t only an enviable accomplishment, it was also a distress call for the upcoming 9-Ball field.

BTW: Jayson went immediately upstairs to the George Fels Memorial Straight Pool Challenge and ran 98 balls in about 21 minutes. The 9 foot, Diamond Pro AM looked like a bar box.

The DCC Bank Pool Championships

10 players remain: The rumor in the arena is that Billy Thorpe is the one to watch. Piggy Bank’s last words on being beaten by him were, “Billy’s not guessing. His banks are going straight into the middle of the pocket.” Billy is the first to admit he’s playing well. “My goal is to win undefeated.”  He’s not bragging here as he might just do that: In ten rounds, he’s lost only 3 games: Out of 30 racks! In the past, players have been known to run 15 balls and out on opponents but, to lose only 10% of one’s games in 10 rounds, that’s unheard of! How long do you have to be in stroke to maintain that statistic? We’ll see tomorrow.

Here’s the latest: Billy and Warren Kiamco, still undefeated, have buy-backs. Billy eliminated Orcollo, Brumback is no longer in contention as he was first defeated by nemesis Jason Miller then, Evan Lunda; Chris Melling sent Piggy Banks packing, as did Kiamco to Shane Van Boening. Earlier, Olinger got Shaw, Frost got Juniors’ Champion, and Skyler’s road partner, Manny Perez. The Finals will air Tuesday night from the Accu-Stats Arena: Time, TBD.

Check Accu-Stats.com.

Don’t forget there’s more disciplines to come:

At noon, LIVE from the Accu-Stats Arena: The American 15 Ball Rotation Championship Series VIII. James Blackburn of Gate City Billiards, Greensboro NC VS. Chris McDaniel of Felt Billiards, Denver CO Best of 3 sets, race to 60 points each set.

The DCC One Pocket Championships is underway with 347 players. No known favorites have lost their matches. Stay tuned. Many will crash and burn tomorrow.

The George Fels Memorial Straight Pool Challenge is streaming at billiardnet.tv Dennis Orcollo’s 198 still stands as does Shaw’s 168, Mika Immonen entered the fray with 146 while England’s Chris Melling sported a competitive 143.Taiwan’s Li Wen Lo’s 138 is still good and John Schmidt upped his 98 before running out of gas at 125. Johann Chua’s 115 and Thorsten Hohmann’s 112 round out the top 8. Mika, Chris, and John won $300, $200, and $100, respectively, for Monday’s high runs. The 14.1 event runs thru the week until the 8 highest run holders face off in single elimination for a prize fund of $22,000. If scheduling permits, Accu-Stats will stream, at least, the finals.

The DCC 9-Ball Championships commences Wednesday.

BANKS RING GAME, on the Accu-Stats screen on Friday the 27th, will have the winner-take-all battle for the cash as, typically, the last 2 are usually banking for near a thousand a ball.

Don’t miss a stroke at accu-stats.com

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

Photography courtesy of David thomson, MediumPool.com

 

Woodward goes undefeated to win Men’s Open Chinook Winds 10-Ball Championships

Skyler Woodward

Skyler Woodward added 28 points to his Mosconi Cup ranking total on the weekend of October 7-10, with an undefeated run in the Men's Division of the 4th Annual Chinook Winds 10-Ball Championships. Woodward is 77 points behind the Mosconi Cup rankings leader, Shane Van Boening, and 32 points ahead of Rodney Morris, who finished in the tie for 5th. The $10,000-added event drew 100 entrants to the Chinook Winds Resort & Casino in Lincoln, OR. A $4,000-added Ladies Open event (still ongoing as of this writing) was run concurrently, and drew 29 entrants.
 
Woodward also won the Friday night "Warm Up" event, which drew 73 entrants, and featured three matches between Woodward and Morris; the hot seat match, won by Woodward, and the finals, which they split, with Woodward winning the decisive last match.
 
In the main event, two preliminary brackets yielded 16 competitors advancing to a final bracket of 32, 16 on each side. With memories of Friday night's "Warm Up" in place, Woodward and Morris were still in play to battle it out for the title (and Mosconi Cup points), though Morris, originally defeated, double hill, by Dan Louie in one of the preliminary brackets, was on the loss side.
 
In a winners' side quarterfinal, Woodward downed Todd Marsh 7-3 and advanced to face Chris McDaniel. Filipino Antonio Lining, in the meantime, survived a double hill battle versus Max Eberle to face Amar Kang in the other winners' side semifinal. Kang got by Lining 7-4 and in the hot seat match, faced Woodward, who'd sent McDaniel to the loss side 7-3.Woodward defeated Kang 7-4 and waited in the hot seat for what turned out to be Lining.
 
On the loss side (final bracket, after winning three in the preliminary bracket), Morris had gotten by Ruben Silva 7-5, Chris Byers 7-1 and Ramil Gallego 7-5 to draw Lining. McDaniel drew Chris Eberle, who'd defeated Christ "Spike" Airdo 7-3, and Jason Williams, double hill, to reach him.
 
The potential for a Woodward/Morris matchup in the finals was thwarted by a double hill win for Lining, who advanced to the quarterfinals. He was met by McDaniel, who defeated Eberle 7-2.
 
Lining gave up only a single rack to McDaniel in those quarterfinals, and turned for a re-match against Kang in the semifinals. He eliminated Kang ??-?? to earn a shot against Woodward. To no avail, as it turned out. Woodward made it a single set final with a double hill win to claim the event title.

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

Billy Thorpe

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

Van Boening Wins 2 More Andy Cloth Wyoming Open Titles: Thompson & Pacheco Win First WY Titles

Miss Wyoming Autumn Olson awards the 2 champion’s trophies to Shane Van Boening

South Dakota's young gunslinger Shane Van Boening took the lion's share of the pro dough once more as he won back to back WY Open titles in Saratoga  and 8-Ball. He defeated Corey Deuel in the Saratoga finals, and Mike Massey in the 8-Ball finals. The full field of 32 pro class and semi-pro class players competed in a single elimination format which were to be the first of 3 pro open events. In it's 9th straight year, the 2016 www.AndyClothUSA.com Wyoming Open is a 3 day Rocky Mountain pool extravaganza taking place on April 1-3, 2016.  The event is sponsored by widely popular Andy Cloth with local partners include Duke's Bar & Grill, the Hotel Wolf & Restaurant, and the Riviera Lodge with all events coordinated by Shively Hardware. In addition, the livestream table will be Rasson Billiards premiere in the Rocky Mountains and streaming by www.OntheRailTV.com .
 
In the Saratoga Masters, a game that combines 8-Ball and 9-Ball together, it was Corey Deuel who once again whizzed through to the finals with big wins over Van Boening (SD), Marc Vidal (SPN), Hundal (IND) to stay ready in the finals. Not a huge surprise that he would re-match with Shane after SVB sliced through the 1 loss bracket over Rodney Morris, Chris McDaniel, Johnny Archer, Marc Vidal, Raj Hundal. SVB would not be denied as he regulated Deuel to his 4th second place finish in 2 years with a 7-3 finals score.
 
"I should be promoted as the last loser trophy", said Deuel good naturedly. Deuel has finished runner-up 4 times now at the Wyoming Open events.
 
In the Masters 8-Ball, Van Boening cruised to the finals with wins over  New Mexico's Tommy Najar, Wisconsin 14.1 ace Ron Dobosenski, and a thrilling semi-finals hill-hill 6-5 win over fellow multi-Wyoming Open winner Rodney Morris (CA) where many people said was the best match of the tournament. Morris actually led 5-4 on the hill first, before Van Boening made his move to win the next 2 games. On the other side of the bracket, 8x World Trickshot Champion Mike Massey the "Tennessee Tarzan" had a flashback with wins over Mike Curby (WY), Raj Hundal (IND), Adam King (CO), and then an exciting win over fellow Hall of Famer Johnny Archer (GA) in the semi-finals. In the finals, it was all Van Boening as he jumped to an early lead and never looked back in a 6-2 finale. Still a great performance from the 69 year old Massey, his first finals in an open pro field in a decade.
 
"Have to admit it felt really good to beat Raj and Johnny. 8-Ball on a barbox has always been one of my best games", said Massey.
 
The action stayed hot as well on the amateur side with Derrick Pacheco and Seth Krafczik playing a very high level break and run finals of the Expert Division. Seth was undefeated putting Derrick on the losers side, but a re-match in the finals told a different story with Pacheco winning both sets to claim the Wyoming Open title in that division. 
 
The first ever Wyoming Open Women's division took place and saw women from Colorado, Florida, Texas, South Dakota, and Wyoming come to take the title. Anita Smith took the hot seat with a win over local favorite Jana Thompson. Jana eliminated Lora Jimenez of Cheyenne who settled for 3rd, while Jana and Anita made for an all Wyoming finals. Thompson was on her game as she won the first set 3-0 in the 8-ball event, and forced a second set. Jana took the second set 3-1 to become the first woman to ever hold a Wyoming Open title and the coveted metal trophy.
 
The Wyoming Open State Junior Championships saw 32 juniors come from all over the region. The winners receive a spot into the USA nationals held by the Billiard Education Foundation. Results will be on their site soon. 
 
"It's great to see all the fields including the Master's divisions all filled. I'm most pleased with the Expert division that we started 2 years ago doubling in size now. That division didn't exist before, but now we created a successful model for the players that are very advanced and getting ready for the move to the Masters", said Mayor Ed Glode who has organized the event for 9 straight years. 
 
Results of all the divisions are below:
 
Saratoga Masters:
 
1st Shane Van Boening (SD) $1870
2nd Corey Deuel (CA) $1000
3rd  $750 Raj HUndal
4th $500 Marc Vidal 
 
8-Ball Masters:
 
1st Shane Van Boening (SD)  $1620
2nd Mike Massey (TN) $900
3rd-4th: Rodney Morris (CA) $400
Johnny Archer (GA) $400
 
10-Ball Masters:
 
1st  Rodney Morris (CA) $1300
2nd Corey Deuel (CA) $780
3rd-4th: Johnny Vasquez (CO) $300
Ron Dobosenski (WI)  $300
 
Women's Division:
 
1st Jana Thompson (WY) $420 
2nd Anita Smith (WY) $250
3rd Lora Jiminez (WY) $180
4th Phyllis Tysner (WY)  $110
 
Expert Division:
 
1st Derrick Pacheco $2200
2nd Seth Krafczik $1500
3rd Jason Secor $1000
4th Josh McCloskey  $800
 
Classic Division:
 
1st Keith Pulley $1205
2nd Leonard Martinez $850
3rd Mark Osborne $650
4th Chuck Wise $475
 
Sportsman Division:
 
1st Taylor Ruzicka $450
2nd Scott Lambert $250
3rd Pat Copp $150
4th Heather Cline $100
 
Hardluck Tourny:
 
1st Louis adams $500. 
2nd Jeff vanderSchaf $300. 
3rd Alan lemaster , 
4th Scott adams $150.
 
Past champions of the event include some stellar names. Visit wyomingopen.com to see the complete list.  
 
The event is majorly supported by the town's own businesses which include : Hotel Wolf, Duke's Bar & Grill, Riviera Lodge, Red Sage Spa, Pik Ranch, Carbon County, Bella's Bistro, Lollypops, and Shively Hardware

 

Mike Davis Wins Series VII American Rotation Championship

Mike Davis

Yet another final match with the Touring Pro vs. the Working Joe. Mike Davis vs. Kevin West might have played the best final match we’ve seen yet, certainly the most dramatic with a final score of 138-140.
 
22 Players across the country as far away as Lee Ladouceur in Vermont to Max Adams in Alaska qualified for 2016 Derby City Finals. Play began one day prior to the 9 Ball Banks event with every player playing four 120 point round robin matches on Thursday to determine our top 8 on Friday. 
 
Shannon Fitch of Gate City Billiards Greensboro NC coming back to the game after more than a 10 year layoff had everyone saying “Who the hell is that guy?” topped Mike Davis & Johnny Archer for the #1 seed with a 4-0 record and point differential of +193, defeating his opponents by the average score of 48 points in a race to 120 points, very impressive.
 
Making the top 8 Single Elimination stage was:
1 Shannon Fitch NC 4-0 +193
2 Mike Davis NC 4-0 +152
3 Johnny Archer GA 4-0 +139
4 Kevin West MD 3-1 +146
5 Rob Hall AL 3-1 +141
6 Chris McDaniel CO 3-1 +119
7 Cleiton Rocha MA 3-1 +75
8 Jody McLaughlin IA 3-1 +14 
 
Just missing the cut at 3 wins 1 loss and a -21 ball count was Brady Norris also of Gate City Billiards. 
Players finishing with 2&2 records were;
Tom Zippler Magic 8 Cue Club Baltimore MD
Tom D’Alfonso Snookers Providence RI
Scott Rohleder Park Avenue Billiards Jacksonville FL
Tommy Najar Marietta Billiard Club Marietta GA
Tanner Nickels Teacher’s Billiard St Louise MO
 
Quarter final matches on Friday 
Jody McLaughlin (Runner up at last year’s Derby Finals) 140-123 over #1 Seed Shannon Fitch
Kevin West (Sponsored by Black Boar Custom Cues) 140-90 over #5 Seed Rob Hall Bumpers AL
Mike Davis 140-108 over Cleiton Rocha (Sponsored by J Pechauer Custom Cues)
Johnny Archer Marietta Billiard Club & Player of TWO Decades 140-106 over another player who had many wondering who the heck he was, #6 Seed Chris McDaniel Denver CO.
 
Semi Final matches guaranteed that would see a working man vs touring pro finals; 
Kevin West Great Slates Billiards MD vs Jody McLaughin Big Dog Billiards IA
Johnny Archer Marietta Billiard Club vs Mike Davis Brass Tap, Bucks & Brown’s NC!
While Kevin and Jody battled back and forth Mike Davis got the jump on Johnny and held it throughout the entire match. 
 
The final match was not looking good for our working man who also happens to be a Type 1 Diabetic. Mike started strong taking a 64-16 lead in a race to 140. American Rotation is a very tough game to come back in so we actually started to lose some spectators as they believed Mike would continue on as he did in his earlier match with Johnny. Many would soon return when somehow Kevin came back strong to make the match 90-90 & 102-98. From there both players scored exactly 20 points to make the score 118 Kevin 122 Mike with Kevin’s turn to break. He did what we all hope to do in that position, broke the 15 balls and ran them all perfectly in rotation to score 20 points making the score 138-122 and now Mike’s break. Who would rather be? The player needing just 2 points sitting in the chair or the player needing 18 but has break ball in hand? Mike broke a table that looked very difficult from the 5 ball on out. He ran 1-4 and played position for a preplanned safety on the 5. It worked as Kevin missed an off angle kick that required just the right amount of spin. Even with ball in hand on the 5 Mike still has his work cut out for him. The 6-7 were tucked under the 14 ball and would require Mike to shoot the 5 ball six feet up the left side rail while moving the cue ball forward and across a position zone about 6 inches wide and 5 ft away. The entire room was pressure packed and wondering what he was going to do and would he succeed or not. Iron Mike did no disappoint. After rebridging several times he struck it perfectly and fell on the only spot on the table where the 6 could be pocketed. From there on out we simply held our breath the see if Mike could run the rest of the table to nab the Series 7 title. Iron Mike came through with a 140-138 victory! 
 
All 22 players received travel money for attending and our top 8 earned additional money
$2,500 & Series VII Champion Mike Davis
$1,500 & a Great performance Kevin West
$1,000 each of 3rd 4th Johnny Archer & Jody McLaughlin
$500 each Shannon Fitch, Rob Hall, Cleiton Rocha, Chris McDaniel 
 
Series VII Finals was an awesome experience for all of us. The American Billiard Club helped put $25,000 in the pockets of some aspiring players and some pro players while they attended what is probably the greatest pool show of the year, The Derby City Classic. 
 
We thank all the players there and all the players at home who competed in their local 10 week Series. We thank Diamond Billiards for allowing us to come in one day early, the use of the tables, for making us feel welcome and for putting on such a great event. 
 
We thank BadBoy Billiard Productions for working with us on Friday while juggling our finals with the 9 Ball Banks Tournament, which had a record 385 players. 
 
We thank TVMike for doing a live free stream with picture in picture video allowing fans to watch 2 tables simultaneously. You really do have to watch these last 3 racks of the finals, the best finish to date. Final match is located on our Vimeo page here; Finals Mike Davis Kevin West 
 
Semi Finals Jody McLaughlin vs Shannon Fitch has been speed edited Semi Finals 
 
Semi Finals Johnny Archer Mike Davis coming soon.
 
As tour coordinator I can tell you, it’s a pretty nice feeling living up to the American Billiard Club’s mission of helping tour pros cover expenses while also helping aspiring players get to national events like Derby City for the very first time!  We absolutely love seeing these players who EARNED their way to these events.
 
The plan for 2016 is to allow just 32 clubs to qualify 2 players each (March-June & Aug-Nov) so we can have a 64 player Series VIII Championship at the 2017 Derby City Classic. Please email Joe Tucker at JTtenball@gmail.com to support a fantastic format and to secure your clubs spot as we are shutting it down to just 32 clubs, some of which will be coming from different countries 😉