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“Robocop” Robs Banks at Derby City Classic

Dennis Orcollo (Photo courtesy of Dave Thomson – Mediumpool.com)

Diamond Derby City Classic XXII, January 24-Feb.2, 2020
 
Caesars Southern Indiana, Elizabeth, IN
 
David Thomson
 
DIAMOND BANK POOL CHAMPIONSHIP
 
Short Rack. Race to 3.
 
451 began. At last accounting, 1.
 
 “Robocop” Robs Banks!
 
That’s all there is to say. Dennis Orcollo robbed everyone who dared approach his table. He was unbeaten through a field of 451. He never needed his buy-back option to secure his 2nd Diamond Derby City Classic Championship.
 
There were 3 left. Dennis, Billy, and that spunky kid form Detroit we introduced to you yesterday, Evan Lunda. We can also add humble and calm under pressure to his description.
 
These characteristics, perhaps, attributed to Evan having a helluva tourney. In closing the day, he had given Filler his first loss and thwarted last year’s runner-up Omar Al Shaheen’s aspirations.
 
It was Billy who had finally handed Evan his first loss.
 
Billy’s journey included eliminating three time Champion John Brumback, And Filler, Shaw, Shane and Alex, just to name few.
 
So there were 3. Evan drew the bye, therefore, Billy had to play Dennis. Dennis had a buy-back so, If Billy won, Dennis would use that option while Billy would play Evan. 
 
The winner of that match would then play Dennis for the title. That’s the long version, you know, the result which could keep the Accu-Stats’ video crew up ’til dawn.
 
The short version is, if Dennis would beat Billy, then Evan, he would take the title.
 
And, so it began, race to three for $16k!
 
Billy got an opening. He blasted 4, then nailed the elusive one to take the first rack. 1-0
 
Thorpe was not intimidated. He was in full throttle.
 
Dennis, in Robocop mode, broke and drilled 4, then 1, and it was 1-1
 
Game 3, in almost a repeat performance, Orcollo ran 4, and it was 2-1.
 
Game 4: Dennis ran 3. Billy ran 3 and pocketed a hanger that sent the cue ball, “safe,” near the top rail. Dennis jacked up, aimed, and speared in the re-spotted Cyclop off the short rail. His shape on his fifth required orb proved fatal for Billy. In 40 minutes, Dennis was in the Final.
 
Evan, as he has said, gets, “Fired up competing with the ‘heavy hitters.”  
 
But, this was a whole new ball-game. The environment was new to him: He was, now, on the big stage with the “heat” of Accu-Stats TV lights,  LIVE on a world-wide stream, and of course facing Dennis the Menace…in murder-mode.
 
Frankly, Orcollo wasn’t in quite the same form demonstrated against Billy. None-the-less, he didn’t miss much. Lunda, on the other hand, was off quite a bit. On his tight, short rail banks, he should have been calling triples. He didn’t manage a game. At 3-0, in 37 minutes, it was trophy time.
 
Dennis had obliterated their bank accounts so quickly that they were last seen in search of an ATM! That would be Diamond. Billy got $5,350 and Evan received $8,000 for 2nd. Dennis deposited $16,000 for first!
 
Play continues at NOON Wednesday. 9-Ball is in the mix, too.
 
See it LIVE from the Accu-Stats TV Arena on the DIAMOND 9’ Pro Am. 
 
Visit accu-stats.com
 
DIAMOND ONE POCKET CHAMPIONSHIP
 
365 entries, up 20 from last year!
 
Crafty, and very creative, Corey Deuel kicked off the Accu-Stats TV Arena productions of the Diamond One Pocket Championship by truly manifesting his craft in the craftiest of all pool disciplines, One Pocket.
 
The closing game in his 3-0 annihilation of Dennis Orcollo showed just how creative Corey is. No one knows what he is thinking. To see all the kisses and caroms he articulated, Accu-Stats director Pat Fleming commented, “We had to utilize so many instant replays just to see what he’d done.”
 
Dennis, now down 2-0, had attempted an always tricky carom, back-cut kind of-a-thing, into his pocket. Two balls got in the way of each other and the rack, which should have been his, was wide open.
 
Corey got 5 and, in an attempt at opening a few more balls, his shape was obstructed by an inconsiderate, roaming orb. End of run, no clear shot at his hole. Not for crafty Corey it wasn’t. He decided on caroming a ball off another–that was sitting 2 feet from the pocket! 
 
“He bet the game on that,” was announced from the commentary booth.
 
Never a doubt, he landed perfectly for his last two balls.
 
Deuel had decided that the odds were with him to make that carom, and that he would win the match from there. He was, wisely, all offense.
 
You can be sure we’ll get this DVD. “How’d he do-dat?” 
 
Danny Olson, left the Accu-Stats TV Arena 10 minutes after his one-sided defeat by daunting dualist, 2012 Diamond Southern Classic Banks and One Pocket Champion Justin Hall.
 
Danny was not having his best day. He then faced Jayson Shaw who was empowered by his BIG Foot title.
 
One-Pocket, isn’t Jayson’s game of choice tho,’ he is vastly improved. He doesn’t quite have the “moving” skills yet, but his pin-point position play, compounded by his fire power, compensate admirably.
 
Years ago, when Jayson first entered the DCC One Pocket event, Danny Diliberto had asked him, “Do you play One Pocket?”
 
“No. I’ll just run out,” he answered naively.
 
That’s exactly what he did, to Olson–3 times! In 16 minutes he was registering his win at the tournament desk.
 
Shaw’s self confessed secret is that he’s been working 8 hours a day on his game. Isn’t that a normal day’s work for a fair day’s pay?
 
In addition, he smashed Dee Adkins’, recently mentioned, fastest Bank’s match record by about 10 minutes.
 
Mika wasn’t having his best DCC day either. He’d traded strokes with Tyler Styer to end up at the buy-back booth.
 
Then, speaking of “I’ll just run out,” he got down 2-0 to Joshua Filler. “So I started to grind him, got even, and then made a simple position error to hand him the match!” He’s now practicing 9-Ball.
 
In other action, Tony Chohan didn’t escape Pagulayan’s prowess. Django got Cliff Joyner, who’s gone, and Lunda sent Olinger  to the booth at 3-1.
 
A funny thing happened with that match. Lunda had gotten distracted and was gazing at action on an adjacent table. Olinger was composing a sweet run-out when he ran afoul of an obscuring ball. Making a valiant attempt, he missed. That left 2 balls hanging in both their pockets.
 
Evan made a gallant effort at caroming on one of Alex’s balls while cross-banking the other to combo a ball in his pocket. His soft stroke was too soft and it hung in the lip.
 
“Why did you do that?” Alex questioned. “You were straight in on your ball.”
 
“I didn’t see it,”  laughed laid-back Lunda.
 
Olinger joked, “I thought I was gonna learn a new move.”
 
DIAMOND 9-BALL CHAMPIONSHIP
 
Players meeting was at noon, Wednesday. 
 
Don’t miss a stroke at accu-stats.com
 
Accu-Stats thanks its Arena Sponsors: Diamond Billiards, Simonis Cloth, Cyclop Balls, Cuetec Cues, Cue and Case, MEZZ Cues, McDermott Cues, National Billiard Academy.
 
 

Shaw comes back from hot seat loss to win 11th Annual Empire State Championships

Pnoto by Erwin Dionisio (l to r): Jorge Rodriguez, Jayson Shaw, Frankie Hernandez, Raphael Dabreo

Fracasso-Verner goes undefeated to capture Amateur title
 
When Frankie Hernandez first appeared in our database, finishing 25th in the US Open 9-Ball Championships, won by Tommy Kennedy in 1992, Jayson Shaw was four years old. A year later, in the same event, Hernandez would share a 17th place finish with such luminaries as Allen Hopkins, Jim Rempe, Richie Richeson and Cliff Joyner. In Frankie’s best earnings year, to date (2001), Shaw had just become a teenager, as Frankie was busy finishing 49th at the US Open, but cashing in 21 events, including eight stops on the Joss Tour, two Turning Stone events (II & III), and geographic victories all over the map; Florida, Las Vegas and New England, et al.
 
At the $1,000-added, 11th Annual Empire State Championships (Open/Pro division), which drew 28 entrants to Raxx Billiards in West Hempstead, NY on the weekend of February 23-24, Hernandez advanced to the hot seat match, where he met and defeated Jayson Shaw in an exciting, back and forth, double hill match. Shaw returned from the semifinals to down Hernandez in the finals.
 
When Shaw first appeared in our database in 2006, Lukas Fracasso-Verner was four years old. They didn’t meet to play in this 11th Annual Empire State Championships, although it would have been fun to watch. Fracasso-Verner went undefeated through the $2,000-added Amateur event’s field of 140 to capture the Amateur title.
 
Both defending champions of this event were on-hand at this year’s championships, but both would end up in the tie for 13th in their respective divisions; Zion Zvi, the two-time defending champion of the Open/Pro division, and Jason Carandang, last year’s amateur winner.
 
Fracasso-Verner is fresh off his best earnings year to date (2018) and recent winner of a stop on the NE 9-Ball Series. He was last year’s winner in the Amateur division of the 8th Annual George “Ginky” Sansouci Memorial, at which he lost his opening match and won 11 on the loss side before downing Chuck Allie to claim the title. That said, he’s proved to be a bit of puzzle. Though his various accomplishments on regional tours and national events has been impressive (last year’s Ginky Memorial and this event as just a couple of relevant examples), he has come into this broad field of top-notch competition without benefit of a Junior National Championship under his belt, although he’s competed several times. He is also not on anyone’s short list to become a member of the USA’s junior team at this year’s upcoming Atlantic Cup Challenge. According to Roy Pastor, who’s taught Fracasso-Verner in the Connecticut Youth Billiards program and is a part of the BEF’s junior and world championship programs, Fracasso-Verner’s absence from this year’s Atlantic Cup Challenge team says less about his individual skills and talent, than it does about the overall strength of the youth programs leading up to the BEF Junior Nationals every year.
 
“The field (of junior competitors) is getting stronger every year,” said Pastor, “and there are a lot of Lukas Fracasso-Verners out there.”
 
Joey Tate, the teenager, from Raleigh, NC, for example, is younger than Fracasso-Verner and has already attained a 681 Fargo Rate. By comparison, Fracasso-Verner is currently at 645. And there are others, some of whom, over the years, have defeated Fracasso-Verner in Junior National competition.
 
“Lukas is a terrific player, though,” said Pastor, “and has the potential to be one of the greatest.”  
 
This time around, Fracasso-Verner opted out of the loss side route for this event, going undefeated through the Amateur field. He defeated Chris Ganley in the hot seat match and Matt Klein in the finals.
 
[photo id=50742|align=right]
Fracasso-Verner and Klein met first in a winners’ side semifinal, while Ganley and Paul Carpenter squared off in the other one. Fracasso-Verner got into the hot seat match with an 8-4 victory over Klein and was joined by Ganley, who’d sent Carpenter west 7-5. Fracasso-Verner downed Ganley, who started the match with 5 on the wire, 10-7 to claim the hot seat.
 
On the loss side, Klein picked up Xavier Romero and Carpenter drew Jim Gutierrez. Klein and Carpenter got right back to work, downing Romero and Gutierrez, both 7-3, to meet in the quarterfinals. Klein then eliminated Carpenter 7-5 and got a second shot at Fracasso-Verner with a 7-4 victory over Ganley in the semifinals. Fracasso-Verner claimed the Empire State title with an 8-5 victory over Klein.
 
Shaw comes back from hot seat loss to claim 10-Ball Open/Pro title
 
There had to be an inescapable air of inevitability about the 10-Ball Open/Pro event. With Jayson Shaw in the relatively short field, as the winners’ side whittled down further and further, who wouldn’t be bracket watching to see if they were next on the world-class player’s hit list. Frankie Hernandez, though, was one of the 28, who, having competed against his share of top-notch champions, would be unlikely to be intimidated. Cautious, maybe, respectful of Shaw’s obvious talent, but up to the challenge, which reached him in the hot seat match.
 
Shaw had faced and defeated another unlikely-to-be-intimidated competitor, Jorge Rodriguez 7-3 in a winners’ side semifinal (Rodriguez won this event in 2015). Hernandez, in the meantime, squared off against and eventually sent Rob Pole to the loss side 7-2. In a thrilling, double hill hot seat match, Hernandez sent Shaw off to the semifinals.
 
On the loss side, in the first money round, Rodriguez picked up Tenzin Jorden, who’d been the first of two to defeat defending champion, Zion Zvi, and a week earlier, had chalked up his first Predator Pro Am Amateur title. He’d defeated Jimmy Rivera 7-3 and survived a double hill match against Joey Korsiak to reach Rodriguez. Pole drew Raphael Dabreo, who’d most recently eliminated Jonathan Smith 7-4 and Mike Salerno (Smith, in the previous round, had knocked out Zion Zvi).
 
Rodriguez and DaBreo advanced to the quarterfinals, both 7-2, over Jorden and Pole. DaBreo took the quarterfinal 7-5 over Rodriguez. It was getting late, already into early Monday morning, when Shaw, seemingly impatient, gave up only a single rack to DaBreo in those semifinals to earn a second shot against Hernandez in the hot seat.
 
Things broke pretty evenly in the early going of the finals, which didn’t get underway until nearly 2 a.m. Shaw and Hernandez fought back and forth early, with no clear winner in sight. Near the middle of those finals, though, Shaw broke through to claim the title 9-4.
 
A Second Chance event drew a full field of 16 entrants. Julie Ha ($160) won four straight in the single elimination bracket to down Monika Callaghan ($100) 8-6 in the finals. Chulo Castro and Mark Antonetti finished in the tie for 3rd place ($30 each). A Third Chance event drew another full field of 16 and was won by Brian Tierney ($160), who downed Dave Callaghan ($100) 7-5 in the finals. Mike Callaghan and Shashi Hajaree each took home $39 for their third place tie.
 
Tony Robles thanked the ownership and staff at Raxx Billiards for their continuing support and hospitality at these annual Empire State Championships, as well as title sponsor Predator Cues, Ozone Billiards, NAPL, The DeVito Team, PoolontheNet.com, Billiards Digest, AZBilliards, Pool & Billiards Magazine and his entire staff, including his lovely wife, Gail. The next stop on the Predator Pro Am Tour, scheduled for the weekend of March 2-3 will be an Amateur event, hosted by The Spot in Nanuet, NY.

Tokoph Takes White Diamonds

Jason Evans and Tommy Tokoph (Photo courtesy of Poolaction.tv)

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, Enviroassessments.com and Richard (“Pelican”) Lowell of Rick’s Gun & Pawn of Foley and Loxley, AL. Thank you to all for another great event.
 
PoolActionTV.com would like to thank our sponsors and fans for another fantastic event! Our sponsors include Lomax Custom Cues, Kamui, John Barton of JB Cases, GoPlayPool.com, 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!!!

Derby City Day Five – Corey Wins Banks, One Pocket Field Dwindles and Dennis Runs 227

Corey Deuel keeps his eye on the ball – Photo courtesy of Dave Thomson – Mediumpool.com

Derby City Classic XX, January 19-27, 2018
 
LIVE from the Horseshoe Southern Indiana Casino, Elizabeth, IN
 
BANK POOL CHAMPIONSHIP
 
471 players vie for $10,000. Race to 3, 9-Ball–Short Rack
 
Today, there were 8:
 
Corey Deuel proved invincible! Unbeaten, he strolled thru the Banks brackets in indomitable style. As 2013 DCC Banks Champion, he desperately wanted another title. “I feel that Bank Pool has always eluded me. In the last five years, my best finish was 7th.”
 
He’d worked hard to improve. Humbly, he’d asked other players about their technique. He admitted, he’d learned a lot. After all, he’d just dueled 14 rounds that had included contending with past Champions John Brumback and Francisco Bustamante. His confidence continuing to grow, he had beaten them back to back. “That’s when I felt I had a chance to win it.”
 
Corey had begun the day by bruising Brumback by sending him to the buy-back booth.
 
John’s morning had been a marred by bad preparation. “I hadn’t eaten properly.” he confessed, “My hands were shakin’ so bad. Saltines just don’t cut it!” 
 
Shaw opened his day by sending Shane to buy back but it was short-lived as Brumback, then fighting for his life, administered Van Boening’s death blow.
 
Justin Bergman, who was originally given his first loss by Fedor Gorst, drew him again. “That guy can really play.” Justin asserted. “I wish I shot that good when I was 17.”
 
Bergman had managed the first game in their match. In game 2, they both needed one ball. Bergman continued, “And I hung it. He won that one then broke and ran out and, I’m down 1-2.” In their 4th game, the consensus was that better banking skills can beat superior strategy. “I got cautious and lost my aggressive attitude. I decided to out-move him–that, I know I can do. But, he just banks so good.”
 
Later, interestingly, it was Troy Jones who delivered Fedor’s final loss: He was last seen stalking the one-pocket matches. That, he admitted, is where he also needs to gain some strategy.
 
Troy then ran afoul of Shaw, Bustey, who had ousted Woodward earlier, couldn’t catch the cagey and consistent Corey. He, too, was sent to concentrate on one pocket.
 
And then, there were 3. In the Accu-Stats’ TV Arena, Corey was first pitted against 2017 finalist Jayson Shaw. Brumback had drawn the bye.
 
Corey was not intimidated. His quiet confidence reinforced by those big, aforementioned, wins over Brumback, a 3-time DCC Bank Pool Champion and 2017 title holder Fransisco Bustamante.
 
He won the first game 5 balls-2. At 4-4 in the 2nd game, Shaw, shockingly, scratched. With ball in hand in the kitchen, Corey, calmly, rolled it off the short rail and into the corner. 2-0.
 
Game 3 opened with Corey breaking and running a couple and Jayson firing a few right back at him.
 
Deuel didn’t falter even when, seemingly, safely stuck up behind the 6, rolled it off the long rail to drop gently into the corner.
 
One ball later, he had earned the right to do battle with Brumback. Up 2-1, Corey had to fade John’s four ball onslaught which tied the match, 2-2.
 
Always aggressive, never denying the opportunity to bank rather than duck, they both needed a couple. Corey was on the hill first and fired cross side. It hit the knuckle. Brumback sighed in relief. With 3 balls lined up on the spot, he attempted a cross side. It landed long and left opportunity.
 
Corey’s nerve held steadfast as he fired in the final orb.
 
Interestingly, in 2013 his jubilation had him jumping thru the roof. Today his knees gave way as he sank to rest on the table,
 
His face filled with joy as he announced, “It feels really satisfying to win, again, today.” He’s also $10,000 richer!
 
ONE POCKET CHAMPIONSHIP
 
393 entrants have now been depleted to 68.
 
Some big-name upsets of note: Sky Woodward was gone by the third round. “I’ve been firing ‘em in all weekend and now I’m slow rolling balls, choking up on my stroke, switching back and forth ‘cause I’m still in the Banks.”
 
Interestingly enough, he was originally enrolled in the BIG Foot and withdrew to concentrate on his bank game figuring that it would also help in the One Pocket.
 
Immonen is now gone, eliminated by Dee Adkins and Robb Saez.
 
Oklahoma’s big-money, action player Chip Compton ran afoul of Daulton in the 4th round and Brumback in the 5th.
 
Cliff Joyner was taken to the buy-back booth by Tommy Tokoph and, later on, eliminated in the match of the day with Scott Frost.
 
At 2-2, Joyner was ahead 7 balls-1. Jacked up on the rail Scott, aggressive as ever, fired in a combo the length of the table…and ran out! Cliff fell off the hill!
 
In his match with Joshua Filler, it looked like Gorst was applying his knowledgable 14.1. pattern play. He strung multiple ball runs together, so quickly, that the match was over in 30 minutes. Now Josh had the time to hone in on some one-pocket.
 
The record of Gorst’s 30 minute annihilation didn’t last long. Later, John Schmidt devoured an opponent in 22!
 
Allan Hopkins, altho.’ having one loss, is still alive as he sent Bill Meacham home.
 
Tied 2-2 with young-gun Evan Lunda, Shane’s cue ball was hindered by the newly broken rack. Jacked up by using 2 bridges stacked on top of each other, he slow-rolled the finest cut into the corner. With six balls loose, he had total control of the table. He made only two of them. Lunda continued the execution. Buy back Shane.
 
Matches begin at noon on Accu-Stats.com
 
Accu-Stats thanks its Arena Sponsors: Diamond Billiards, Simonis Cloth, Cyclop Balls, Lucasi Custom, MEZZ Cues, McDermott Cues, National Billiard Academy, and Samsara Cues
 
The George Fels Memorial Straight Pool Challenge is streaming at billiardnet.tv, today!
 
The players with the 8 highest runs, tallied from the total entrants, face off in single elimination. If scheduling permits, Accu-Stats will stream, at least, the finals.
 
Shot of the Day:
 
Dennis Orcollo has tied Jayson Shaw’s still unbeaten 227, historical, tournament high run.
 
Little did he know, had he beaten it, he would be $1000 richer. Instead, his wealth, by capturing the high run of the day, increased by only $300.
 
At 225, and the balls burst wide open, there were audience asides: “He needs three more to beat it.” At 226, “He needs two more….” Dennis wasn’t quite aware of what they were talking about.
 
So, at 227, focused and confident as always, rather than cinch an easier ball, he unnecessarily attempted to draw a close to the rail cue ball into position. With the additional encumbrance, he jacked up, stroked back and forth a few times…and missed!
 
The good news? He’s definitely qualified for the final 8. 
 
Orcollo, Dennis 227
Chinakhov, Ruslan 182
Fortunski, Miesko 125
Shaw, Jayson 110
Corteza, LeeVan 102
Poteet, Devin 94
DeLuna Jeffery 84
Melling, Chris 84
Archer, Johnny 81
 

Smith Lights Up Space City Open VI

Danny Smith

Danny “The Shredder” Smith captured his first-ever Space City Open 9-Ball title, plowing through an 83-player field, undefeated, besting Roberto “Superman” Gomez in the first set of the true double elimination final, 9-3. Josh Roberts went undefeated in the 40-player, one pocket division, ousting John Morra in the first set, 3-2, taking home his first Space City Open One Pocket title. Jeremy “Double J” Jones went undefeated in the 9-ball banks division, taking down Tommy Tokoph in the first set, 3-2, earning himself a whopping fourth, banks division title. Wrapping up four long days of match play, the ladies 9-ball concluded on Sunday, with Gail “Virginia Slim” Eaton defeating Ming “The Empress” Ng, to capture her second, Space City Open title. 
 
In its sixth year, the four-day, four-division, $6,000 added Space City Open VI (SCO) was held at Bogies Billiards and Sports Bar in Houston, Texas, November 30th – December 3rd, 2017, featuring top players from across America. This year’s line-up featured a cast of new talent, including Danny Smith, Roberto Gomez, John Morra, Jason Brown, and Kelly Isaac, along with numerous others. Admission was free, and fans enjoyed four days of top-notch pool, provided by world-class players.
 
In the 9-ball division, Danny Smith obliterated the field with wins over Marlin Griffith, 9-4, J.C. Torres, 9-3, Jeremy Jones, 9-7, and Alex Calderone, 9-4, while Jason “Jaybird” Brown took down Taylor Hobbs, 9-8, Curt Sheldon, Josh Roberts, 9-8, and James Davis, Jr., 9-2. Two-time Space City Open 9-Ball Champion, Charlie “Hillbilly” Bryant, made his way to the final four with victories over Mike Wilson, 9-2, David Twitty, 9-6, Kevin Guimond, 9-0, and Cesar Arechiga, 9-2, while Roberto “Superman” Gomez overcame Kenneth Price, 9-6, Randy Nickerson, 9-3, Chase Rudder, 9-5, and John Morra, 9-2. On the one loss side, Tommy Tokoph took out Roberts, 7-3, and Jones eliminated former pro C.J. Wiley, 7-1, while Yovani Salvia ousted Rudder, 7-4, and Jeff Chauncey destroyed Guimond, 7-1. Back on the east side, Gomez bested Bryant, 9-6, while Smith overwhelmed Brown, 9-4. Smith ran away with the hot seat match, defeating Gomez, 9-2. The one loss side witnessed Morra overpower Tokoph, 7-1, and Jones handily defeat Arechiga, 7-0. Davis, Jr. ended Rudder, 7-6, while Guimond dusted off Calderone, 7-4. Morra went on to eliminate Jones, 7-4, and Brown, 7-1, while Guimond overcame Davis, Jr., 7-3. Bryant squeezed by Guimond, 7-6, rounding out the final four players in the division. Morra was on a role, taking out Bryant, 7-2, to win his fourth match on the one loss side. He was stopped short by Gomez, 7-1, finishing in a respectable, third place. Gomez earned himself a rematch with Smith, and “The Shredder” was ready. With his spot-on break, it was a short-lived set for Gomez, much like the first. Smith shot out of the gate and never looked back, capturing the first set, 9-3, and his first, Space City Open 9-Ball title.
 
[photo id=48363|align=right]Last year, Josh Roberts finished runner-up in the one pocket division, but this year he came out on top.  Roberts ran through a 40-player field, undefeated, booking wins over Jim McCary, Adam Cooper, and Ted Reeves, 3-1, while John Morra overcame Gabe Owen, Marvin Diaz, 3-0, and Sylver Ochoa, 3-1. Houston’s Ernesto Bayaua made his way to the final four with wins over Cliff Joyner, Dallas’ Gerardo Perez, 3-0, and Roberto Gomez, 3-1, while Justin Whitehead overwhelmed Curt Sheldon, 3-0, Corey Flud, 3-0, and Kent Berthelot, 3-1. On the one loss side, Davis, Jr. eliminated Ochoa, 3-1, Brown defeated Reeves, 3-0, and Diaz ended Berthelot, 3-1. Following an early hit at the hands of Roberts, Jeremy Jones won four matches, including victories over Jeff Bramblet, 3-0, Jeff Chauncey, 3-1, and Gomez, 3-1. As the final eight took shape, winners’ side matches witnessed Roberts edge out Morra, 3-2, and Whitehead dust off Bayaua, 3-1. Roberts wasted little time with Whitehead, capturing the hot seat, 3-0. Back on the west side, Brown denied Ochoa, 3-0, and Bayaua, 3-2, while Jones squeezed by Diaz, 3-2, falling in turn to Morra, by the same score.  Morra made quick work of Whitehead, 3-0, moving on to Roberts, and the finals. In the first set, players were neck and neck. Tied at two a piece, an unforced error by Morra sealed his fate, and Roberts ended the set to secure his first, Space City Open One Pocket title.
 
Kicking off the four-day, billiard extravaganza, was the 26-player, 9-ball banks division, witnessing former Mosconi Cup MVP and former U.S. Open Champion, Jeremy Jones, capture his fourth Space City Open Banks title. Jones blazed a path through Kent Berthelot, 3-0, Gail Eaton, 3-0, and Roberto Gomez, 3-1, while Tommy Tokoph handled Ricki Casper, 3-0, former U.S. Open runner-up, Tan Hoa, 3-2,  and Scotty Evans, 3-1. Former U.S. Open Champion, Gabe Owen, checked off Alfred Flores, 3-0, Richie Richeson, 3-0, and Jason “Jaybird” Brown, 3-1, while Cliff Joyner overwhelmed Beaumont’s Carl Honey, 3-0, Will Felder, 3-1, and Alan Myers, 3-1. On the one loss side, John Morra took out Berthelot, while Roberto Gomez ousted James Davis, Jr., 3-1. Canadian Alex Olinger ended Alan Myers, 3-2, while Josh Roberts handled Jason Brown, 3-1. Down to the final eight, on the east side, Jones defeated Tokoph, 3-1, and Owen slid by Joyner, 3-1. In a speedy, hot seat match, Jones crushed Owen, 3-0. Back on the west side, Gomez eliminated Morra, but fell to Joyner, 3-1, while Roberts took out Myers, 3-0, falling to Tokoph in the next round, 3-0. Tokoph was on the war path, sending home Joyner, 3-2, and Owen, 3-2, reaching Jones, and the finals. Players teed off, both keeping pace as the set progressed. Tied at two a piece, Jones inched ahead in the final game, closing out the set to defend his 2016 title and secure his fourth banks title.
 
[photo id=48362|align=right]Wrapping up Space City, 24 women battled it out on Sunday for over $2,400 in cash in the ladies 9-ball division. Gail “Virginia Slim” Eaton came out firing, ousting Terry “The Terrorizer” Petrosino, Calaia Jackson, 7-1, and Toledo’s Kelly Isaac, 7-6, whiLe Ming “The Empress” Ng made her way to the final four with wins over Cindy Ferry, Nayla Hoak, and Joyce Davis. Angleton’s Brandi Booth came out firing, securing victories over Ricki Casper, 7-3, and Robyn Petrosino, 7-6, while Teresa “The Princess of Pool” Garland took down Alicia Huff, 7-5, and Yvonne Asher, 7-1. On the west side, Isaac eliminated Denton’s Amy Jones, 5-2, and T. Petrosino reined in Davis, 5-3.  Natalie Mans squeezed by Asher, 5-4, and R. Petrosino extinguished Yvonne Ramirez, 5-2. Down to the final eight, east side action saw Isaac eliminate T. Petrosino, 5-3, and Garland, 5-4, while Mans dusted off R. Petrosino, 5-1, in turn, falling  to Ng, by the same score. Ng went on to eliminate Isaac, 5-4, and Booth, 5-1, earning herself a rematch with Eaton. In the first set of the true, double elimination final, Ng served Eaton her first loss, 7-6, and the finals ventured into overtime. Players displayed poise and composure in the late hour, but only one player could wear the crown. Players fought for every game, but it was Eaton who pulled ahead to end the second set, 5-3, capturing her second, Space City Open 9-ball title. 
 
The Space City Open extends a heartfelt “thank you” to everyone who supported this event; Bogies Billiards and Sports Bar, along with owners David and Shannon Richardson, the entire Bogies’ staff, assistant tournament director, John Newsome, Simplified Electronics, APA of North Harris County, Gulf War Veteran Mike McDonald, Ozone Billiards, and Outsville Billiards. “Special Supporters” of this event included Mark Stubbs, Glen Benton, Ted Reeves, Adam Cooper, Richard Holstein, Richard “Black Diamond” Stuart, and Art Politte. This year’s event featured booths by Jerry Olivier Cues and Cue Repair, Joe Salazar Connoisseur of Custom Cues, Champions Cues, Bryant Billiards, and Q-Xtender.com.
 
Space City Open VII is set for December 6th-9th, 2018. For sponsorship information, please contact Kim Newsome at 713.825.1411, or email lonestartour@gmail.com. 

Lenz and Rudder Regulate on Poison Lone Star Tour

Chase Rudder, Jason Breland, Yousef Jalal and Manny Chau

Steve Lenz of Orange, Texas, went undefeated to capture the 45-player, amateur 9-ball division, while Chase Rudder ran through an elite, 42-player field, securing the open 9-ball division, at the ninth stop on the 2017 Poison Lone Star Billiards Tour. Lenz conquered Austin’s Floyd Smith in the final, 5-1, and Rudder came from behind, winning nine matches, and defeating Yousef Jalal (VEN) in the finals, 7-2, 7-4.  
 
Cliff Joyner, Josh Roberts, and Tommy Tokoph, were among the 79 competing on September 30th-October 1st, 2017, at Bogies Billiards and Sports Bar in Houston, Texas. Tour title sponsor Poison by Predator Cues PoisonBilliards.com, and sponsors Cyclop Pool Balls facebook@CyclopPoolBalls,  Ozone Billiards OzoneBilliards.com, APA of North Harris County facebook@APANorthHarrisCounty,  OutsvilleBilliards.com, and Jimmy Jenkins Realty , facilitated another successful  event that paid out over $6,500 in prize money, to the top eight finishers in each division.
 
In the amateur 9-ball division, Ricky Hughes ousted Lee Clark, Robyn Haak, 5-4, Danny Schauer, 5-0, and Pete Charles, 5-2, while Steve Lenz powered through Brian Rosenbaum, 5-1, newcomer Jose Marroquin, 5-1, and Chuck Adams, 5-1. J.C. Torres handled Carlos Sanchez, 5-2, Jonathan Poon, 5-4, C.J. Escalera, 5-1, and Floyd Smith, 5-3, while Jeff Chauncey overcame Jason Breland, 5-2, Matt Cash, 5-1, and Kevin Frauenberger, 5-2. On the one loss side, Breland won five matches, eliminating Karol Hughes, 5-4, Brian Humphrey, 5-4, Nick Chavira, 5-1, Bob Guzik, 5-3, and Frauenberger, 5-0. Poon eliminated Tyler Partin, 5-1, but fell to Smith, 5-2. Cash finished off Sanchez, 5-4, Mark Smith, 5-4, and Adams, 5-1. Paul Alderete secured wins over Charles Williams, 5-2, Haak, 5-3, Escalera, 5-3, and Chris Ramoz, 5-0, until he was stopped short by Charles.  On the winners’ side, Lenz squeaked by Hughes, 5-4, while Torres bested Chauncey, 5-3. Lenz made quick work of Torres in the hot seat match, 5-2. On the one loss side, Smith overcame Breland, 5-2, and Hughes, 5-3, while Charles defeated Cash and Chauncey, by the same score, 5-1. Smith was on a roll, besting Charles and Torres, by the same score, 5-4, capturing five matches to meet Lenz in the finals. Lenz was ready, and came out firing. Smith was overpowered, and fell to Lenz in the first set, 5-1. Congratulations to Steve Lenz on his new, amateur division title.
 
In the open 9-ball division, Tommy Tokoph began his trek to the final four on the winners’ side with victories over Paul Alderete, 7-3, Bob Guzik, 7-3, and Cliff Joyner, 7-1. Yousef Jalal made his tour debut, ousting Will Felder, 7-5, Daniel Forster, 7-4, and Mark Smith, 7-5. Jason “Jaybird” Breland defeated J.C. Torres, 7-6, Nick Chavira, 7-5, and Kevin Frauenberger, 7-1, while Josh Roberts overwhelmed Brian Humphrey, 7-1, Karol Hughes, 7-2, Ernesto Bayaua, 7-0, and Steve Lenz, 7-5. The east-side, final four was set, and the one loss side was underway. Manny Chau was upset in the second round by Jeff Chauncey, 7-6, and came back to win 5 matches, eliminating tour newcomer Sam Abusalem, 7-2, Mark Smith, 7-1, and Lenz, 7-2. Joyner made his way, eliminating Chris Ramoz, 7-3, Floyd Smith, 7-2, and Frauenberger, 7-4. Following an early loss to Lenz, 7-3, Rudder ousted Adam Cooper, Bayaua, 7-4, and Chauncey, 7-5. Jeremy Byrd lost his first match to Rudder, 7-1, and plowed through the one loss side with wins over Chuck Adams, 7-4, Nick Chavira, 7-4, Bob Guzik, 7-0, and Danny Schauer, Jr., 7-1, before falling to Ricky Hughes, 7-3. The final eight players returned on Sunday, in the money. On the winners’ side, Tokoph fell to Jalal, 7-5, while Breland overcame Roberts, 7-3. On the west side, Chau dusted off Joyner, 7-2, and Tokoph, 7-3, while Rudder endEd Hughes and Roberts by the same score, 7-3. Meanwhile, two, first-time tour players, teed off for the open division hot seat. Jalal pulled ahead of Breland, securing the set, 7-4. On the west side, Rudder eliminated Chau, then Breland, by the same score, 7-1. After 7 match wins, it was undeniable; Rudder was on fire. In the first set against Jalal, Rudder was down, 2-1, then broke and ran six racks, ending the set, 7-2. In overtime, Jalal made a valiant effort to salvage the title, but it was too little too late. Rudder took the second set, 7-4. Congratulations to Chase Rudder on a well-deserved victory. 
 
Serving pool players, pool rooms, and sponsors since 2009, the Poison Lone Star Billiards Tour celebrates its 10th Anniversary in 2018 as the longest-running billiards tour in the south. A special 10th Anniversary Event will be held for players who compete in at least two events between now, and January 1st, 2018. There are only two events remaining this year, and players are strongly encouraged to meet the eligibility requirements, in order to gain entrance into this one-of-a-kind tournament. The next tour stop will be held on October 14th-15th, at Bogies West, 9638 Jones Road, Houston, Texas. This will be the last stop in Houston for the 2017 season. The final stop will be October 28th-29th, at CK Billiards in Dallas, Texas. For more information, please visit www.LoneStarBilliardsTour.com. 

Calderone Defends at Topwater Memorial

Alex Calderone

Alex Calderone went undefeated at the 2nd Annual Topwater Memorial One Pocket Event, ousting Arkansas’s Devin Poteet in the finals, 3-2, to defend his 2016 title. The annual one pocket event honoring pool player personality, Jerald “Topwater” Jackson, was held at Bogies Billiards and Sports Bar in Houston, Texas, July 14th-16th, 2017, featuring 32 players competing for over $8,000 in prize money. The star-studded field included Manny Chau, Cliff Joyner, Devin Poteet, Richie Richeson, James Davis, Jr., along with two female competitors, Kim Newsome and Ricki Casper.
 
Following the Friday afternoon player auction, one round played out on Friday night, with matches resuming Saturday at 12pm. Calderone began his quest to repeat, booking wins over James Davis, Jr., 3-1, Manny Chau, 3-1, and Arkansas’ Craig Sebastian, 3-2. Tyler Partin made his way to the final four on the winners’ side, defeating Phil Mecum, 3-1, Robert Valliere, 3-2, and Scott Proud, 3-1. Dallas’ Corey Flud came on strong, defeating David Kurjan, 3-1, Richie Richeson, 3-0, and hometown favorite, Sylver Ochoa, 3-2. Rounding out the winners’ side final four, young gun J.C. Torres defeated Kim Newsome, 3-1, Rene Martinez, 3-1, and Wes Read, 3-2. On the west side, after losing his first match to Richeson, 3-2, Austin’s Jason Harkrider ended Kurjan, 3-1, Bobby Roland, 3-2, and John Newsome, 3-0. Harkrider was stopped by Read, 3-2, falling just shy of the final eight. Following his loss to Calderone, Chau eliminated James Bulice, 3-0, Rick Moreno, 3-0, and Ochoa, 3-1. Davis Jr. was on the war path, taking out John Nevin, 3-1, Rene Martinez, 3-0, Joyner, 3-0, and Proud, 3-0. On the one loss side, Poteet wouldn’t be denied, eliminating Robert Turner, 3-0, Mississippi’s Bille “Colonel” Miller, 3-0, and Sebastian, 3-1. Back on the east side, Flud made quick work of Torres, and Calderone overwhelmed Partin, both by the same score, 3-0. In the hot seat match, Flud fell to Calderone, 3-0. On the one loss side, Chau eliminated Read, 3-2, and Partin, 3-0, while Poteet exhausted Davis Jr., 3-2, and Torres, 3-0. At this point, Chau and Poteet had each logged five match wins and three games lost, meeting each other in a duel for third place. Poteet was on fire and Chau couldn’t fade the heat. The 20-year ended Chau, 3-1, and blew past Flud, 3-0, for a shot against Calderone, and the title. The final match between Calderone and Poteet had spectators on the edge of their seats. Calderone took the first game, and Poteet answered back. Both players exhibited control and calculation, executing brilliant defense, which produced a neck-and-neck ball count. Poteet edged out the third game, and Calderone responded, winning the fourth. On the hill, it came down to the last few balls. In the end, Calderone pulled ahead, defending his title, and becoming the 2017 Topwater Memorial Champion.
 
Jerald “Topwater” Jackson was a big part Houston’s pool community for more than 30 years. Jackson was well known for his big gamble, never-say-die attitude, and his insatiable thirst for action. One pocket was his favorite game. Jackson’s heart gave out on October 30th, 2014. He was 53.
 
Many thanks to David and Shannon Richardson, owners of Bogies Billiards and Sports Bar (1960) and Bogies West (Jones Road), who graciously added $2,000 to this event. The professional live stream was produced by Ray Hansen and www.PoolActionTV.com, and Darrold Stiehl of Champion Cues provided cue repair throughout the weekend. Organizers would like to extend their deepest gratitude to those who traveled from so far away, to participate in this event. Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi, were well-represented. Lastly, congratulations to Bryan Bump from Little Rock, Arkansas, who won a Poison VX Break Jump Cue in the weekend cue raffle!
 
The next big event in Houston, Texas will be the Space City Open VI, November 30th-December 3rd, to be held at Bogies Billiards and Sports Bar. This annual event features Open 9-Ball, One Pocket, 9-Ball Banks, and Ladies 9-Ball. For more information, visit www.SpaceCityOpen.com. 

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!

Banks and Bigfoot Progress at DCC

Fedor Gorst

Derby City Classic XIX, January 20-28, 2017

Diamond BIG Foot Challenge
 

As has been mentioned in the past, BIG Foot is a beast. Especially, if you’ve had only a few hours prior practice time on it. Or the Diamond Pro Cut pockets that were once forgiving are now tightening up as the Simonis 860 cloth gets broken in. There were more balls jawed today than yesterday which certainly affected player confidence and how soon they could warm to the conditions which, ultimately, could lower their Accu-Stats TPA score.
 
In Thorsten Hohmann’s opening bout with 2015 US Open finalist Karl Boyes, “Toasty” certainly acclimatized quicker then Karl who was playing catch up from the get go. Neither player had competed on BIG Foot before tho,’ within a few games Hohmann was running out like he would on a 9 foot. His highest TPA was a very respectable .943. It lowered a little to .931 before Karl succumbed at 11-6.
 
Up next was Alex Pagulayan against the second half of the Greek contingent, the somewhat unknown Alex Kazakis.
 
Altho,’ slow and deliberate, Kazakis showed considerable promise as he broke and ran before getting out of line on the 9. The Lion was left an uncomfortably long opening shot on the 10. The Cyclop orb bit into the jaw and was spat out to leave the Greek a one – nil lead. Kazakis then broke and ran the next 4 racks!
 
Alex P was unusually quiet. He got a look at a ball but, as position was difficult, his inning didn’t last long. 6-0. Kazakis then ran two more racks: 8-0 with a TPA of .949. His pace began to quicken yet, was still nowhere near Alex’s normal speed. A back and forth rack gave Alex a look at a hook, Tho,’ cold, not just from sitting but also from the powerful a/c blowing on his back, he kicked it so well, the ball sped to the pocket to allow him  his first rack; 8-1. Kazakis was soon back at the table: 9-1, and a dry break.
 
The closer Kazakis got the finish line, the harder it got to close. Alex mustered 5 more wins before Kazakis got on the hill. Then, in true championship style, he broke and ran the last rack. Neither Alex, nor the audience, knew what just hit them. This unknown quantity had shown up on these shores and taken total control of the match from its onset. Was this pulverizing of Pagulayan an upset? After closer inquiry, not quite.
 
Kazakis, hailing from Athens, was 25. He’d gotten 2nd on a couple of Euro Tour events when falling to Mosconi Cup teammates Niels Feijen and Mark Gray. He was a both a recent European 10-Ball Champion and the winner of Moscow’s Kremlin Cup. There he beat Thorsten Hohmann.
 
Here, he also avenged Shaw’s pounding of Ekonomoupoulis.
 
Next, in the line of fire, was a 16 year old. Fedor Gorst, an amiable, Russian teenage prodigy who has taken pool very seriously. He was smitten so severely, by 10, he’d asked his parents to pay for a personal coach. He wanted to know more.
 
Since then, he’s achievements include taking two European Junior Championship titles, one in 14.1 and one in 10-Ball. He won his first Pro event at the Lamia Open 9-Ball Championship in Greece last year.
 
Now, he’s in the twilight world of Derby City BIG Foot, with an hours practice on it, and his opponent is Darren Appleton. Fade that with the additional pressure of the worldwide Accu-Stats audience.
 
Appleton opened quite well and soon attained a comfortable 4-1 lead before the young Muscovite made his move. Ahead 7-4 Darren got stuck. Seeing Appleton falter, Fedor lunged and led for most of the remainder of the match.
 
Physically, and emotionally, Darren was visibly cold. He had donned another top to beat the chill of the arena’s over-amped a/c. He was offered opportunity at 9-10. Appleton applied himself and got to the hill. Again, he had control of the table, and the match, but it wasn’t to be. He just couldn’t muster the fire, or will, power to complete the deal. The youngster pounced and ran an admirable closing rack to add another notch to his belt.
 
Ironically, the player he’d beaten, to get to the quarters, in Lamia was Appleton.
 
Maybe, it was the temperature of the arena as neither Biado nor Chinahov could find the heat of their A game, either.
 
Carlo is a merciless Filipino easily capable of an 8 pack in 9-Ball who revels in high stakes action. Ruslan is a dedicated Russian devotee of the game who thrives on competition in any discipline. Remember that he had also beaten Jayson Shaw in the George Fels 14.1 Finals in 2015.
 
When Biado got ahead 9-5, death looked imminent for Ruslan. But, Carlo couldn’t close. In a last ditch effort, Chinahov managed to clamber to 8 before Biado put the match to bed.
 
The good news is that Ruslan won’t have to play Fedor, his fellow Russian friend. Biado will.
 
Matches continue on Sunday:
 
1pm: Skyler Woodward meets Lee Vann Corteza
3:30: Dennis Orcollo vs. Jayson Shaw
7pm: Thorsten Hohmann vs. Alex Kazakis
9:30: Fedor Gorst vs Carlo Biado
 
It’s all LIVE from the Accu-Stats Arena. Don’t miss a stroke at accu-stats.com.
 
The DCC Bank Pool Championships
 
In search of his 4th title, 2016 DCC Bank Pool Champion, John Brumback, drew DCC 2013, #3, Shannon Murphy in reputedly one of the best banks matches ever played. As the word spread, about 150 spectators huddled along the rail sweating it along with them.
 
In the race to 3, each player had missed only one ball. Brumback had the lead at 2-1 when Shannon tied it at 2…and broke the deciding rack, dry. John ran 5 and out!
 
He later reported, “I was so deep in the zone that I didn’t even know I’d won. I was walking to shoot the next ball when Shannon stood up and took my hand. That’s when It sank in.” Now that, for those of you who strive for it, is playing in the zone.
 
Shane Van Boening had an interesting encounter with Taiwan’s Li Wen Lo. Tied at 2, Shane was in search of one last ball. Li Wen would have none of it. He had the remaining 5 balls on the table tied up so tight that Shane, rarely a safety player, was showing signs of frustration as they nudged balls, safe, into the shelf of the pocket. Shane doesn’t like not pocketing balls. At last, Lo let one leak. Van Boening closed the door with a very tasty 4 railer. Even Lo had to smile.
 
Those 435 entrants are now down to 92–How quickly they crumble.
 
Carlo Biado was shaken when 73 year old banking veteran Jim Fulcher showed him the door. Also eliminated, Corey Deuel by Tony Chohan, Pagulayan by Shannon Daulton, Efren by the dynamic Billy Thorpe. Nemesis Cliff Joyner had previously sent Efren to buy back tho,’ sadly, he is, reportedly, under the weather. 
 
Appleton, Bergman, Bustamante, Chinahov, Hatch, Kiamko, Murphy, Larry Nevel, Glenn “Piggy Banks” Rogers, Ike Runnels, Rob Saez, Shaw, Danny Smith, to name some of the better known players, are safely into round 7.
 
Don’t forget there’s more disciplines to come:
 
The DCC One Pocket Championships commences Sunday afternoon.
 
The George Fels Memorial Straight Pool Challenge begins streaming on Sunday at billiardsnet.tv
 
The 14.1 event runs thru the week as the 8 with the highest runs face off in single elimination. 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

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.