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Tokoph Takes White Diamonds

Jason Evans and Tommy Tokoph (Photo courtesy of

Tournament action in the southeast this weekend was in Lafayette, LA – Chris Miller’s 9 Ball Extravaganza – held at White Diamond Billiards.
The action kicked off with on Friday night with a 9 ball mini – $20 entry, race to 3. Fifty seven players threw in their double sawbucks and several hours later it was down to the final four. Bubba Brock was fourth, Billy Pinion got third while finalists Josh Roberts & Danny Smith battled it out for top honors. Josh prevailed with Danny settling for second spot.
Showing up bright and early Saturday morning, 103 players paid a $40 entry for the race to seven, alternate break, double elimination bar box event. After the draw, a players meeting was held. Always a well-attended feature of this event, The Chris Miller Show, saw Danny Smith emerge as blind bid in the Calcutta.
Well-known names included John Morra, Danny Smith, Josh Roberts, Alex Calderon, Tony Chohan, Tommy Tokoph, Cliff Joyner and Robb Saez. Regional favorites included Daniel McKinney, Tommy Sanders, Joey Aguzin, Jason Evans, Zack Sanderson and Denis Strickland.
First round action saw Saez send Morra west for the long trek back to the winner’s circle. Second round saw Chris Miller do the same to Roberts and little by little, the field narrowed.
Hot seat action saw Chohan duke it out with Tokoph. Tommy’s been playing very steady the last few events and this time it finally paid off as he sent Tony to wait for an opponent on the one loss side.
Jason Evans defeated Jason LaFleur leaving him in fourth place while Chohan had to settle for third place as Jason Evans moved on to face Tommy in the finals.
The final match was close but when the smoke cleared, it was Tokoph in the winners circle. Congratulations, Tommy!!! Great event, Jason!!!
Many thanks to owner Chris Miller and his staff for pulling out all the stops to make everyone feel at home while Tournament Director Ashley Klein kept things running smoothly. Tournament sponsors included Gem Cues, and Richard (“Pelican”) Lowell of Rick’s Gun & Pawn of Foley and Loxley, AL. Thank you to all for another great event. would like to thank our sponsors and fans for another fantastic event! Our sponsors include Lomax Custom Cues, Kamui, John Barton of JB Cases,, Durbin Custom Cues, Aramith, Hanshew Custom Cues, Simonis and Club Billiards of Wichita, KS. Thanks for your support!
Our next stop is Arena Billiards in West Monroe, LA for the Scotty Townsend Memorial Tournament. The event is this coming up soon – March16th-23rd. Hope to see you there!!!

Smith chalks up double dip, double hill victories to win White Diamond Super 9-Ball

Danny Smith (Photo courtesy of Karl Kantrowitz)

In a nail-biting, double elimination final, Danny Smith put a cap on a nine-match, loss-side winning streak by defeating hot seat occupant Justin Hall, twice, double hill, to win the $1,000-added, 18th semi-annual White Diamond 9-Ball Open, held on the weekend of April 1-3. The event drew 128 entrants to White Diamond Billiards in Lafayette, LA. 
Smith was cruising along on the winners' side, defeating his first two opponents – Tom Mooney and Corey Borque – by an aggregate score of 14-2 (Mooney chalked up the two). Then he ran into Alex Pagulayun, who sent him on his nine-match, loss-side trek back to the finals. Pagulayan then ran into Justin Hall, who sent him to the loss side 7-4, from which The Lion would not return.
Pagulayan wasn't alone. Included among the top competitors who never made it as far as the event's final 12 were Ronnie Wiseman, Josh Roberts, Robb Saez, James Davis, Jr. and Alex Olinger.
Hall advanced past Pagulayan to shut out Chip Compton, and face Kevin Guimond in a winners' side semifinal. Jimmy Majors, in the meantime, having sent (among others) Robb Saez to the loss side, and boasting an aggregate score of 35-9, faced Shane Winters. Hall sent Guimond to the loss side 7-2, and in the hot seat match, faced Majors, who'd sent Winters over 7-4. Hall took the winners' side final 7-4 over Majors, and waited on Danny Smith.
On the loss side, Smith launched his campaign to get back to the finals with victories over Mike Delawder, Ryan Robinson, Chris Miller and Evan Lunda, by an aggregate score of 28-9. He then defeated Ernesto Bayaua 7-2 and Chip Compton 7-5, to draw Winters. Guimond picked up Jason Klatt, who, having lost a double hill match to Winters, survived a double hill match versus Shane McMinn, and eliminated Kevin Cheng 7-3.
Smith and Klatt advanced to the quarterfinals; Smith, 7-4 over Winters, and Klatt, 7-3 over Guimond. Smith then shut Klatt out to advance to the semifinals against Majors. He downed Majors 7-4 for a shot at Hall in the hot seat. They played two straight, neck and neck matches to double hill. Smith won them both to claim the title.

Olinger goes undefeated, downs roommate Thorpe in finals of White Diamond’s 9-Ball Open

Alex Olinger (Photo courtesy of Alex Olinger)

Roommates Alex Olinger and Billy Thorpe weren't favored to face each other in the finals of the White Diamond Billiards 9-Ball Open on the weekend of November 15-16. Among those who were favored to be the last two standing were (in order) Skyler Woodward, Chip Compton, Joey Gray, and Robb Saez. Also in the 'favored' mix were former champions of the event Jamie Baracks and Shane McMinn, along with Manny Chau, Cliff Joyner, and former US Open Champion Tommy Kennedy. But Olinger and Thorpe it was; Olinger completing an undefeated run with a victory over Thorpe in those finals. The $1,000-added bar box event drew 128 entrants to White Diamond Billiards in Lafayette, Louisiana.
"We'd played in the finals of a few smaller tournaments," said Olinger of his regular touring partnership with Thorpe, "but this was the biggest one we'd ever been in that we made it to the finals."
"It was a tough field," he said of his victory, "but I played well all weekend."
He started early, defeating Dalton Riley 7-3, before running into the top-favored player on the list, Skyler Woodward. He downed Woodward 7-4, which sent the youngster on a seven-match, loss-side winning streak that ended in the tie for 7th/8th. Olinger went on to defeat Cheddy Brown, Eric Brown and Chip Compton, before running into Thorpe for the first time in a winners' side semifinal. Baracks and Matt Armstrong squared off in the other. Olinger downed Thorpe in a double hill battle, and in the hot seat match, faced Baracks, who'd sent Armstrong west 7-3. Olinger got into the hot seat 7-5 and waited on Thorpe's return.
On the loss side, Thorpe picked up Josh Roberts, who'd defeated Robb Saez 7-4 and ended Woodward's run 7-5. Armstrong drew Robert Dennies, who'd eliminated a couple of favorites; Jonathan Pinegar 7-4 and Chip Compton, double hill. Thorpe and Armstrong advanced to the quarterfinals; Thorpe 7-2 over Roberts and Armstrong 7-3 over Dennies.
Thorpe defeated Armstrong 7-4, and then earned his second shot at Olinger with a 7-5 victory over Baracks in the semifinals. Olinger stopped Thorpe's three-match, loss-side run with a 7-4 win in the opening set of the true double elimination final.
The event was the work of Ashley and Chris Miller, owners of White Diamond Billiards. Selected matches were broadcast throughout the weekend by PoolAction TV, with commentary by Ray Hansen.

Avila Wins DCT B/C Stop

Oscar Avila – Photo courtesy of Rick Schmitz

Oscar Avila has long been one of the top B/C players in the valley, but until October he had never won a DCT event. He can now mark that accomplishment off of his to-do list as Avila forged an undefeated run through the field at Bullshooters on October 4th and 5th.
In order to win any tournament, the eventual victor has to defeat the second place finisher. Most of the time, the event winner will have also beaten the third place finished. Avila pulled off the trifecta accomplishment of defeating the 2nd, 3rd and 4th place event finishers.
In the second round of play, Avila defeated eventual second place finisher Chris Miller 6-0. Next up was eventual fourth place finisher Evan Beeson, and Avila sent him packing to the one loss side too.
The hot-seat came down to Avila and “C Player” Dwayne Beagle. Beagle held the hill at 4-2, but Avila came back to win the match. “I needed a miracle and got four in a row” said Avila after the tournament.
On the one loss side, Miller was taking the scenic route to the finals. Chris won five straight matches, including eliminating Beagle in the semi-finals to earn his rematch with Avila in the finals.
Unfortunately for Miller, he would come up just short in the finals as Avila scored a hill-hill win for his first DCT title.
Days after pocketing the final ball, Avila still couldn’t really explain how he had put it all together for the win. “Being a participant in the DCT for years now, I have never had the feeling I had that night. Everything looked effortless (Mitch style) and I made safety decisions like (Jon Smith). When you believe in yourself, the sky is the limit.” 
The Desert Classic Tour will be at Stingers on November 1st and 2nd for their next event – 9-ball on the bar tables.

Nick Cipiti captures final B/C event for 2013

Nick Cipiti and Junior Jiron

On October 5, the Desert Classic Tour rolled into Stingers Sports Bar for a bar table 10 ball event.  24 players arrived on Saturday morning to play in the final B/C event of the year.  Many notable regulars were on hand including previous BC winners Rick Armbrust, Mike Hamman, and Jude Espinosa.  The tour also welcomed some new players in Ken Cottrell, Joe Avila, Jimmy Brewer and Nick Cipiti.
As the tourney quickly moved through on Saturday, it was decided that a one-day
event was possible.  Many of the players agreed with finishing it out late Saturday evening.  As the sun set and evening approached, two players began to separate themselves from the rest of the field.  Nick Cipiti was mowing down players in the top half of the bracket by scoring wins over Joe Avila, Reid McKinley, and Paul Feltman.  After a bye in the first round, these victories would place Nick in the hot seat match on Saturday night.
While Nick was clipping off players in the top of the bracket, a well known Flagstaff player, Junior Jiron, was finishing off the bottom half of the bracket. He too, would receive a bye in the first round and proceed to rattle off wins over Adam Kroll, Chris Miller and Rick Armbrust. His wins would pit him against Nick in the hot seat match.
Meanwhile, over on the B side of the bracket, previous winner Mike Hamman was making quick work of his opponents.  After losing his first match of the tourney to 
Rick Armbrust, he would roll through Jerry Hartnett, Jude Espinosa, Joe Masi and Sara Miller.  This would setup a rematch with Rick Armbrust.  Unfortunately for Mike, Rick played as solid as he has all year on the tour and walked away with the victory.  Mike would settle for a 5/6 finish.  
As the B side progressed, Nick made quick work of Junior in the hot seat match.  Nick would cruise to an easy 7-3 victory and await the winner of Rick and Junior.  As easily as he lost the hot seat match , Junior would rebound and score a dominant 7-2 victory over Rick, leaving him with a 3rd place finish. 
During the finals, both players would make some uncharacteristic mistakes.  At 4-4 in the straight race to 7, it was obvious we were in for a close finish.  Nick would take the lead at 5-4, only to see Junior win the next two games and reach the hill at 6-5.  Nick would quickly tie the match at 6-6.  After a scratch on the break in the case game, Junior was faced with a tough out, despite having ball in hand.  After 12 games, the players were tied at 6 games a piece.  Junior would attempt a 1-10 bank combo only to come up a little short.  Faced with a tough out of his own, Nick studied the table and attempted a 1-10 cross side combo bank of his own. Nick would nail the shot to take home the win!  
Thank you to Dale and the staff at Stingers for hosting another successful tourney.  The DCT would like to thank the 2013 sponsors (On Q Cases, Black Heart Billiard Tips,, Billiard and Dart News, Rixx Images,, Jeff Pranke Leather Wraps), and room owners (Pockets, Bullshooters, Kolbys, Skip and Jan’s, Stingers, River City) who continue to support the DCT.  The next tour stop is November 2-3, at Bullshooters.  This will be the final regular season event before the finale in December.  Please visit for details.