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Matt Wilson goes undefeated to win Cuetec DFW 9-Ball Tour’s season finale

Doug Winnett, Matt Wilson and Miguel Hernandez

Daniel Herring claims tour’s 2022 Tour Champion title

Daniel Herring was going to be the Cuetec DFW 9-Ball Tour’s 2022 Tour Champion before the first rack was broken at the tour finale, held this past weekend (Nov. 19-20) at Rusty’s Billiards in Arlington, TX. Though he’d finish in the tie for 17th/24th competing in the finale, Herring was ahead by 350 points in the tour rankings going into it and effectively, couldn’t be caught. As it happened, his closest competitor for the tour champion title, Joshua Paredes, who finished in the tie for 9th/12th in the finale, was able to narrow the points gap down to 45 points (from 350 to 305) and remain in 2nd place in the rankings. Matt Wilson, who was in a tie for 9th place in the tour rankings going in and finished about 35 points behind Paredes for third place in the final rankings, went undefeated in the finale, claiming his second tour stop title. He’d defeated Herring in the finals of April’s stop. The $3,760-added tour finale drew 36 by-invitation-only entrants to Rusty’s.

After being awarded an opening round bye, Wilson’s path went through Curtis Caldwell and Fahad Alrawi (double hill), before running into Joshua Paredes in a winners’ side quarterfinal. He downed Paredes, double hill and faced Mark Lawson in a winners’ side semifinal. At the other end of the bracket, Doug Winnett opened with a 10-2 win over Jennifer Hooten and then locked up into two straight double hill battles against Robbie Smith and Tony Loeper. Winnett won them both to pick up Alberto Nieto Garcia in the other winners’ side semifinal. 

Wilson defeated Lawson 5-3 and was joined in the hot seat match by Winnett, who’d sent Garcia to the loss side 7-2. With Winnett racing to 8, Wilson claimed the hot seat 5-5 and waited on Miguel Hernandez, who’d lost a winners’ side quarterfinal to Lawson and was working on a five-match, loss-side winning streak that would take him all the way back to the finals.

On the loss side, Hernandez first ran into Curtis Caldwell, defeating him 6-6 (Caldwell racing to 8) and then, facing Don Baker, who’d arrived with Daniel Herring and Joshua Paredes as notches on his ‘gun belt,’ defeated him 6-3. Hernandez drew Garcia, coming over from the winners’ side semifinal. Lawson picked up Robert Reighter, who’d recently defeated Clint Palaci 7-5 and Tony Loeper 6-5 (Loeper racing to 8).

The two loss-side opponents in the 5th/6th matches advanced; Reighter defeating Lawson 5-3, while Hernandez dispatched Garcia 6-2. Hernandez and Reighter locked up in a double-hill, quarterfinal fight that continued Hernandez’ loss-side run and stopped Reighter’s. 

With Winnett racing to 7 in the semifinals, Hernandez took another step. He defeated Winnett 6-5 and got a shot at the event title versus Wilson, waiting for him in the hot seat.

In a straight-up race to 6, the ‘570’ (Fargo Rate, Hernandez) faced the ‘536’(Wilson), Hernandez needing to win two matches to claim the title. Wilson took the first and only set to complete his undefeated run and claim the Cuetec DFW 9-Ball Tour’s season finale title.

Tour directors thanked the ownership and staff at Rusty’s Billiards, as well as title sponsor Cuetec, and associate sponsor, Fort Worth Billiards Superstore. 

The Cuetec DFW 9-Ball Tour’s 2023 schedule is, at the moment, a work in progress. The schedule is expected to be posted ‘sometime in December,’ according to tour representatives.

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Moore adds to his best-earnings year with a single-loss run on Cuetec DFW 9-Ball Tour

Jesse Moore, Cameron Cummings and Joshua Paredes

In the absence of the top five competitors in the Cuetec DFW 9-Ball Tour’s standings, two somewhat unlikely candidates emerged to finish as winner and runner-up at the 9th stop on the 2022 tour. Jesse Moore, who last year returned to the regional tour tables after what appeared to be an 11-year absence, went undefeated to the hot seat this past weekend (Sept. 17-18). Though he would lose the first set of a true double elimination final to runner-up Joshua Paredes, Moore persevered to take the second set and claim the title. The $1,750-added event drew 49 entrants to Jeffro’s in Canton, TX.

Having cashed three times previously this year, twice on the DFW 9-Ball Tour (finishing 4th and 7th) and once (17th) at Pool Action TV’s 9th annual Big Tyme Classic in Spring, TX in May, Moore was already in the midst of his best earnings year, to date. He’s brought home more cash this year than in the other two years his name showed up on our payout lists, combined; twice last year and once (his first known cash finish) in 2010. The win elevated him from the tour standing’s 30s to 5th place.

Joshua Paredes, whose runner-up finish at Stop #5 on the tour, combined with six other appearances, brought him in to this latest stop on the tour at #9 in the standings, was elevated to #2, five standing-points ahead of the absent Tony Top. With two wins and two runner-up finishes on the 2022 tour, Daniel Herring is at the top of the tour standings and uncatchable for the tour champion title. If Herring were to take a house by the sea somewhere, not compete in the tour’s final two stops and Paredes were to win them both, Paredes would finish five points behind Herring. 

After an opening round bye, Moore’s path to the winners’ circle went through Fahad Alrawi, and Daniel Bowman before he ran into a double-hill struggle against David Franklin in a winners’ side quarterfinal. Franklin began the match with six ‘beads on the wire’ in a race to 10 and chalked up three of the four he needed to win. Moore had the final ‘say’ in the matter and advanced to a winners’ side semifinal against Ruben Juarez. Paredes worked his way through Monty Allbadi, Max Sun, Pasini Taloa and Clint Freeman to arrive at his winners’ side semifinal matchup versus Cameron Cummings.

Moore navigated his way through his second double-hill match, eventually downing Juarez and advancing to the hot seat match. Paredes joined him after defeating Cummings 5-4 (Cummings racing to 7). Paredes, racing to 4, forced Moore into his third straight double hill battle, but Moore closed it at 9-3 to claim the hot seat.

On the loss side, Cummings moved over and picked up Roger Prachyl, who’d recently defeated Michael Pickering, double hill (5-8; Pickering racing to 9) and David Franklin 6-1, was working on a four-match winning streak that was about to end. Juarez picked up Clint Freeman, who’d followed his winners’ side quarterfinal loss to Paredes with wins over Daniel Bowman 9-3 and, in a ‘Clint’ duel, Clint Palaci 7-4.

Freeman and Prachyl’s loss-side streaks came to an end with Juarez downing Freeman 5-4 (Freeman racing to 9) and Cummings defeating Prachyl 7-1. Cummings earned himself a rematch against Paredes with a 6-1 victory over Juarez in the quarterfinals, but Paredes defeated him 5-1 in the semifinals that followed.

Paredes began both sets of the true double-elimination final with four beads on the wire in a race to 9. They both chalked up five racks in the opening set, which, added to Paredes’ four, gave him the first-set win. Moore took the second set 9-2 to claim the event title.

Tour representatives thanked the owners and staff at Jeffro’s for their hospitality along with title sponsor Cuetec, Fort Worth Billiards Superstore. The next stop on the Cuetec DFW 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for the weekend of Oct. 23-24, will be hosted by Snookered in Frisco, TX. 

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Patsura & Muramatsu Take Texas Open 9 Ball

Vitaliy Patsura

Over the past weekend, the grand finale of the 49th Annual Texas Open 9 Ball Championships took place. Hosted by owners Kim and Tracy Sanders, Skinny Bob’s Billiards in Round Rock, TX was the place to be!

The $20,000 added 9 Ball Open had an entry fee of $200. The double elimination event was races to nine and winner breaks. Using a template rack, the nine was racked on the spot with three point rule in effect. 

After the players auction, the brackets were posted and play began.

Using eighteen Diamond tables, the 128 player field was whittled down by Sunday to the final 32. A second players auction was held and when it was over, the action resumed. 

Two players battled their way through the very tough field to the hot seat match – Ukraine’s Vitaliy Patsura and BCA Hall of Famer Alex Pagulayan. 

On his way to the hot seat match, Patsura thumped Raymond Linares 9-2 and Jay McGovern 9-1 and defeated Justin Espinosa 9-5, Nathan Wallace 9-7 and Jesus Atencio 9-6 before eking out a win over John Morra 9-8.

In the bottom portion of the bracket, Pagulayan defeated Clint Palaci 9-5, Brian Sanders 9-5, skunked Gordon Vanderveer 9-0, blistered fellow Filipino and day’s old Texas Open One Pocket champ Roberto Gomez 9-2 and Robert Frost 9-3. He then sent Josh Roberts to the one loss side with a score of 9-5.

In dead punch, the hot seat match saw Patsura claim his seat in the finals with a 9-5 victory over Pagulayan.  Alex headed to west to await an opponent. 

Over on the one loss side, Josh Roberts kept Jesus Atencio in his chair with a 9-4 win. John Morra eliminated the always tough Naoyuki Oi 9-5. Both Atencio and Oi finished 5th-6th.

Morra was ahead with a 5-3 lead until Roberts stepped on the gas. Tied at seven apiece, Josh won the last two games and took the win 9-7. John finished in fourth place. 

The Alex Pagulayan-Josh Roberts match began – each player looking to get into the finals. Alex leaped out to a 5-1 advantage but here came Josh! He tied it up at five games each!

Alex won the next three games to reach the hill 8-5. But then, here came Josh again to take the next two games! Alex decided to finish it right there and took the match 9-7. He moved on to the finals leaving Josh in third place. 

As this event was true double elimination, Pagulayan would have to defeat Patsura twice to win the tournament. 

Alex won the first game and Vitaliy won the next three. Then he started to really pull ahead – 5-2, 6-2, 7-3 and to the hill he went. Alex managed to win one more game and then Vitaliy ran out to claim the title!!!

While the main event was going on, Sky Woodward took the $500 added Banks Ring Game mini over Raed Shabib and Sakura Muramatsu defeated Jennifer Kraber to win the Ladies Ring 9 Ball Game! Congratulations to both!

Sakura Muramatsu

The $3,500 added Ladies 9 Ball Division had a full field of 32 players with races to seven. 

After several matches, room owner Kim Sanders and last year’s third place finisher Sakura Muramatsu battled for the hot seat. Sakura cruised to a 7-3 win to claim her spot in the finals. 

Kim was sent to the west side to await the victor of the Jennifer Kraber-Michelle Cortez match. Michelle prevailed 7-5 leaving Jennifer in fourth place.

Cooling her heels waiting for an opponent didn’t seem to faze Sanders any as she took the match over Cortez 7-4. Michelle finished in third place.

As this was also true double elimination, Sanders would have to defeat Muramatsu twice to win the tournament but it was not to be – Sakura won the final match 7-3. 

Congratulations to Vitaliy and Sakura for becoming the 2022 Texas Open 9 Ball Champions! Great tournament, Alex and Kim! 

And, thanks again to everyone at Skinny Bob’s for a first class event! Big thanks to the local sponsors – they included Diamond Billiard Products, GAF, Hanshew Custom Cues, Sanders Roofing & Exteriors, ABC Supply, Sionis, Aramith and Mints Amusements.

Thanks to Tournament Director Jason Hill for an exemplary job juggling multiple events. 

We’d also like to thank Scott Rabon, Larry Schwartz, Raymond Linares and Ray Hansen for their excellent commentary.

And, as always, PoolActionTV would like to thank our fans and sponsors! They include JB Cases, Hanshew Jump Cues, EnviroAssessments, Lomax Custom Cues, Aramith, Simonis, Diveney Cues, Diamond Billiard Products, Durbin Custom Cues, the Action Palace of Dayton, OH and the Fort Worth Billiards Superstore of Fort Worth, TX. 

 

Our next event is the Ten Ball Champions Challenge featuring Roberto Gomez and John Morra! Held at Railyard Billiards & Sports Pub in Louisville, KY, this is going to be great! Dates are September 9th-11th! Hope to see you there!!!

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Matt Wilson downs Cuetec DFW 9-Ball Tour’s top-ranked Herring twice to claim event title

Daniel Herring, Paul Villanueva and Matt Wilson

He shot up from the ‘cellar’ of the Cuetec DFW 9-Ball Tour’s standings, where he’d landed after the first tour stop back in January. He then finished in the tie for 5th/6th twice, in February and March; his highest (recorded) finish in any event, anywhere. This past weekend (April 23-24), Matt Wilson made a quantum leap, closer to the top of the tour standings, reaching the hot seat for the first (known) time and then, downing the tour’s current standings leader, Daniel Herring, twice in a true double elimination final. The $1,750-added event drew 93 entrants to Rusty’s Billiards in Fort Worth, TX.

In all three of his matches against Herring, Wilson started out with six ‘beads on the wire’ in races to 10. Even with that six-rack head start, FargoRate calculated his chances of victory at 35.8%. It’s likely that before very long, Wilson will be looking in the rearview at his current FargoRate of 517.

His FargoRate advantage came into play in almost every match Wilson played. He faced only one opponent with a lower rate, tour director Monica Anderson (454), giving her one ‘bead on the wire’ in a race to six and sending her to the loss side 6-3. He advanced through the field to face Paul Villanueva (606) in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Herring (689), in the meantime, was handing out racks to his opponents all day long. The closest FargoRate he faced was in his winners’ side quarterfinal against Robbie Cleland, to whom he gave a single rack in a race to 7. That match went double hill and advanced Herring to a winners’ side semifinal match against Jimmy Davis.

Wilson downed Villanueva 6-5 (Villanueva racing to 8) as Herring sent Davis to the loss side 8-1. In their first of three, Herring allowed Wilson only two of the four he needed, claiming the hot seat 10-2.

On the loss side, Villanueva picked up Cleland, who, after his double hill defeat at the hands of Herring, downed Roman Bayda 7-5 and Clint Palaci 7-1. Davis drew Jessie Moore, who’d lost his opening match to Steven Thorne and then won eight on the loss side, including recent victories over Nico Arriola and TJ Thetford, both 7-4.

Moore made it nine in a loss-side row, downing Davis 7-1. In a straight-up race to 7, Villanueva joined him in the quarterfinals after handing Cleland his second straight loss 7-5. In another straight-up race to 7, Villanueva stopped Moore’s loss side streak 7-4 in the quarterfinals, before having his two-match, loss-side run stopped by Wilson, who allowed him two less racks in the event semifinals than he’d given up in their winners’ side semifinal. 

Herring was looking for his third straight tour victory, having won stops #2 & #3 in February and March. Given his 64.2% chance of winning just a single match, even if he hadn’t known that specifically, one would assume that going into the finals, his confidence level would have been high. But so, apparently, was Wilson’s. Both of the true double elimination sets in the final went exactly the same way. With six on the wire, racing to 10, Wilson won each set, having given up only two racks to Herring, claiming the title 4-2, 4-2.

Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Rusty’s Billiards, as well as title sponsor Cuetec and the Fort Worth Billiards Superstore. The next stop on the Cuetec DFW 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for May 21-22, will be a $1,750-added event, hosted by Snookered in Frisco, TX. 

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Securing top spot in tour rankings, Herring goes back-to-back on Cuetec DFW 9-Ball Tour

Sharik Sayed, Daniel Herring and Don Baker

Previously on the Cuetec DFW 9 Ball Tour: In securing the top spot on the Cuetec DFW 9-Ball Tour’s rankings, Donald Weathersby went undefeated on the tour’s season opener in January, thwarting an 11-match, loss-side run by Tony Top in the finals. Daniel Herring, who’d sent Top on his loss-side run in the second round, joined him after falling to Weathersby in a winners’ side semifinal and then, running into Top a second time on the loss side, had his loss-side run stopped before it even got started to finish in the tie for 5th place. On the tour’s second stop last month, Tony Top became the designated, randomly bracket-chosen competitor to derail the efforts of one Aloysius Yapp (runner-up in the 2021 US Open 9-Ball Championships) which he did, twice, downing him in a winners’ side semifinal and later, the semifinals. Herring, however, downed Top twice (hot seat and finals) to claim his first 2022 Cuetec DFW 9-Ball Tour title. Top’s two runner-up finishes kept him atop the early-going of the tour rankings, ahead of Herring by 40, Weathersby (who did not compete in Stop #2) by 120, Clint Palaci by 165 and Yapp (who did not compete in the season opener) by 195 points. 

After a short commercial break for Cuetec cues and the Fort Worth Billiards Superstore, our story shifts to this past weekend (March 19-20), where last month’s top three finishers were once again prepared to do battle on Stop #3. Thanks, in part, to some handicap-matchup assistance provided to his opponents, Yapp only played twice, losing his opening match (to Paul Sifuentes, who would go on to finish 4th) and then, double hill, his first match on the loss side, to Doug Winnett. Palaci played six times, losing his third winners’ side match before being ousted by Miguel Hernandez in his third, loss-side matchup. With Weathersby, once again, absent from competition, Herring and Top were in position to battle for the top spot in the tournament and the tour rankings at the $1,750-added event that drew 79 entrants to Snookered Billiards in Frisco, TX.

Odds-makers, looking for a final matchup between Herring and Top, were disappointed early (as they no doubt were with the US Open 9-Ball runner-up finishing 25th). Top lost his opening match to Neil Saidawi 6-5 (Top racing to 8) and five on the loss side (including a forfeit) before finishing in the tie for 13th place. Herring, on the other hand, went on an undefeated, seven-match run to claim the title and, for now, the top spot in the tour’s rankings.

Herring got by Matt Dickson, Robbie Cleland, Brandon Clark (double hill) and Matt Devance (shutout) to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal against Joel Nabia. In the meantime, Don Baker, who, prior to this past weekend, had only recorded one previous payout to the AZBilliards’ database, five years ago (9th at a stop on the Omega Tour), went on a six-match tear to the hot seat match, getting by Eric Hammond, Chance Willis, Joshua Paredes, Pedro Mungia and in a winners’ side quarterfinal, Sharik Sayed. With Sayed racing to 10, Baker downed him 4-7 (Sayed racing to 10) and advanced to his winners’ side semifinal against Paul Sifuentes.

Baker got into his first (known) hot seat match with a 6-3 win over Sifuentes and was joined by Herring, who’d defeated Nabia 8-4. Baker got three of the five he needed to claim his first hot seat, but Herring got all nine he needed first to claim it.

On the loss side, Nabia ran into Sayed, who’d followed his loss to Baker with victories over Samuel Escalona 10-3 (Escalona had previously eliminated Top), and Jesus Sorto 9-5. Sifuentes picked up Matt Devance, who’d moved on from his loss to Herring to eliminate Doug Winnett, double hill, and Nando Benavides 8-3.

Sifuentes advanced to the quarterfinals 6-4 over Devance. With Nabia racing to 5, Sayed narrowly defeated him 9-4.

Apparently, impatient with all of this. . . back and forth, Sayed went on a rampage to the finals. He shut out both Sifuentes in the quarterfinals and Baker in their semifinal rematch. Herring didn’t get the ‘rampage’ memo and downed Sayed 6-3 in the finals to claim his second straight Cuetec DFW 9-Ball Tour title in a row and the top spot in the tour rankings.

Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Snookered Billiards, as well as title sponsor Cuetec and the Fort Worth Billiards Superstore. Next time on the Cuetec DFW 9-Ball Tour: A $1,750-added event, scheduled for April 23-24, to be hosted by Rusty’s Billiards in Arlington, TX.

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Herring goes undefeated at Stop #2 on the Cuetec DFW 9-Ball Tour

Aloysius Yapp, Daniel Herring and Tony Top

As a competitor on a regional tour, when the runner-up of the 2021 US Open 9-Ball Championships, who also finished third at last year’s World 10-Ball Championships and won an event on the CSI Predator US Pro Billiards Series back in September, shows up on the tour’s entrant roster, you have a tendency to pay attention. Pool is all about being in the moment at the tables and avoiding distractions related to who you might or might not have to face somewhere down the line, but when such a competitor pops up on your radar, you do scan the brackets every once in a while. And when you discover that this formidable opponent has only given up five racks through his first 54 games (winning almost nine out of every 10), your focus on the tables may be all well and good, but you do start wondering whether you might be one of the players designated to stop him. 

That said, if you enter a tournament as one of three players at the top of a regional tour’s rankings, you might actually look forward to the challenge. It was Tony Top, who entered last weekend’s event as the number #2 competitor in the tour’s rankings, who met the challenge and stopped one Aloysius Yapp, from what might well have been an undefeated run to the title. Twice, in fact. It was, however, Daniel Herring, the tour’s 2021 Tour Champion, who entered the tournament ranked #5 (5th/6th in the season opener) and finished it in the #1 spot, ahead of Top by just two points. He did that by going undefeated through the field. He didn’t have to face Yapp, but he did down Top twice, in the hot seat and finals. The $1,750-added, Stop# 2 on the Cuetec DFW 9-Ball Tour drew 80 entrants to Stixx & Stones in Lewisville, TX.

Yapp’s ‘take no prisoners’ run through his first five opponents, as he was racing to 10, included two shutouts (Tina Soto and Miguel Hernandez), two matches in which he gave up two racks (his opening match vs. Jeffrey Cho and later, against Fahad Alrawi) and a single match that allowed Crispian Ng a single rack. All of which put him against Top for the first time, in a winners’ side semifinal. Top, with an opening round bye in his pocket, had gotten by his first four opponents – Jim Dixon, Robbie Cleland, Clint Palaci and Tony Loeper – by an aggregate score of 32-14 (70% game-winning average).

Herring, in the meantime, started his journey to the winners’ circle with wins over Chase Laferney (2), Darrell Smith (4), Matt Dixon (3), Sharik Sayed (5) and TJ Davis (4) and came to his winners’ side semifinal match against Juan Parra, sporting a game-winning average a single percentage point lower than Top’s at 69%. 

Top began his first match against Yapp with five ‘beads on the wire’ in a race to 9 and came within a single game of chalking up as many (actual) racks against him in the single match than all five of his previous opponents combined. He sent Yapp to the loss side 4-7. Herring joined him in the hot seat match after downing Parra 7-2. In a straight-up race to 7, Herring claimed the hot seat 7-5 over Top.

On the loss side, Yapp and Parra picked up Matt Wilson and Sharik Sayed, respectively. Wilson was likely not thinking a lot about Aloysius Yapp when he began his eight-match, loss-side winning streak, initiated by Tony Loeper in the second winners’ side round. Like most people who lose an opening round in a large, double-elimination bracket, he was more likely to be focused on surviving the matches right in front of him. If he was bracket-watching at all, he might have noted that the guy who’d sent him to the loss side, Loeper, was progressing as well, and there was a chance, the way the bracket was working out, that he could get an opportunity for a rematch in the quarterfinal. That didn’t happen, because Loeper fell into the 7/8 slot. Wilson chalked up wins #7 & #8 against TJ Davis, double hill, and Denny Sneed 5-6 (Sneed racing to 9) before falling to Yapp 10-2.

Sayed was working on a modest, five-match, loss-side winning streak that had recently eliminated Crispian Ng 8-4 and Loeper 9-3. He joined Yapp in the quarterfinals after eliminating Parra 8-4.

Yapp ended Sayed’s brief loss-side streak 8-4 in the quarterfinals to set up a rematch against Top in the semifinals. Top started this match, as well, with five ‘beads on the wire’ in a race to 9. He added four for a second time to end Yapp’s prior-to-him romp through the Cuetec DFW 9-Ball field.

Top now had to turn his attention to winning two matches in a row over Herring, waiting for him in the hot seat. He failed to chalk up two racks against him in what proved to be the only set necessary.  Herring completed his undefeated run 7-1 to claim the event title.

Tour director Monica Anderson thanked the ownership and staff at Stixx & Stones for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor Cuetec and associate sponsor Fort Worth Billiards Superstore. The next stop #3 on the Cuetec DFW 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for the weekend of March 19-20, will be hosted by Snookered in Frisco, TX. 

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Gerson Martinez & Mary Rakin Tam Crowned Texas Open 10 Ball Champs

Gerson Martinez (Pool Action TV)

Skinny Bob’s Billiards & Sports Bar in Round Rock, TX was the venue for the 7th Annual Texas Open 10 Ball Championships. 

Produced by Cue & A Promotions, this event featured three divisions – the $2,000 added Scotch Doubles, the $2,000 added Ladies 10 Ball and the 10,000 added 10 Ball Open. A total of $15,750 was added to the prize fund.

Local sponsors included Mints Amusements, Hanshew Jump Cues, Austin Pro Siding, Windows & Roofing, GAF, DigitalPool.com and ABC Supply Co., Inc.

The tournament began on Wednesday night with a $500 added 10 Ball mini tournament. This $25 entry single elimination race to three event had a full field of 64 players. Hailing from Sarajevo, Bosnia, Sanjin Pehlivanovic took the cheese. Defending US Open Pool champ Carlo Biado took second while Lima, Peru’s Gerson Martinez and Roland Garcia each tied for third place.

Following a players meeting and auction, play commenced on Thursday afternoon in the Jack & Jill Scotch Doubles 10 Ball Championship. Twenty three teams posted $125 entry fees to play in this double elimination, race to seven event. 

Continuing his hot streak, Carlo Biado and his partner, Mary Rakin Tam took first place over Alex Pagulayan and April Larson.

Thursday evening also featured the $500 added Banks Ring Game. At the end, Denmark’s Mickey Krause, John Morra and Manny Chau did a three-way chop of the cash.

Carlo Biado and Mary Rakin Tam (Pool Action TV)

Friday began with both a $500 added Open Ring Game and a $250 added Ladies Ring Game. John Morra won the Open Ring Game and the Ladies was won by Jenna Bishoff.

Later that evening, a players meeting and auction kicked off the main event. 125 players paid their $150 entry fees into this double elimination, race to seven with alternate break format. Play began the following day.

Meeting in the first round, Roland Garcia edged out Josh Roberts 7-6 and Alex Pagulayan defeated Evan Lunda 7-3.

Second round action saw Lee Vann Corteza spank John Gabriel 7-2 as Gerson Martinez squeaked by Sergio Rivas 7-6. Robbie Capito eked out a 7-6 win over recent Music City Open champ Shane Wolford, Singapore’s Sarik Sayed trounced local favorite Justin Espinosa 7-2 while Pagulayan toughed out his match with Pehlivanovic 7-5. 

In the third round, straight shooting veteran Tommy Sanders shot down Blaine Barcus 7-3 as did Biado over Krause with an identical score. Gerson Martinez sent Lee Vann west 7-4 while Sean Black upset the legendary David Matlock 7-5.  John Morra blistered Shane McMinn 7-2 while Manny Chau sent Michael Yednak packing 7-3. Fellow Houstonians Roberto Gomez and Tommy Tokoph duked it out with Tommy emerging the victor 7-3 and Sayed lost to Pagulayan 7-4.

Matches in the fourth round saw Sanders bow to Krause 7-4 and Chris Reinhold lose to Gerson Martinez by the same score. Morra toasted Sean Black as did Chip Compton versus Nicholas De Leon – both matches were 7-3. Sending another Houstonian to the one loss side, Tokoph bested Chau 7-5 – Capito went down to Pagulayan 7-4.

Round five had Gerson Martinez mowing down Krause 7-4 and Tokoph easing past Christopher Teves 7-3. With identical 7-1 scores, Pagulayan bested Souto as did Tokoph over Christopher Tevez.

Now down to four players on the winners side, Gerson Martinez defeated Morra 7-5 while Pagulayan beat Tokoph 7-3. Both Alex and Gerson moved into the hot seat match as their opponents headed west.

Saturday evening saw the players meeting and auction for the Ladies 10 Ball event. A full field of 32 players posted a $100 entry – same format as the Open 10 Ball.

Notable first round matches included perennial favorite Ming Ng’s victory over Kelly Durbin 7-5 with both Kim Sanders edging out Mary Avina and Margaret Fox over Tam Trinh 7-6. 

Second round action saw Jenna Bishoff eke out a win over Jennifer Kraber 7-6 as Mary Rakin Tam defeated Ng by the same score. Sanders defeated Emily Sumrall 7-3 and Melissa Rushton took care of Fox 7-4.

After skunking her two previous opponents, April Larson had a bit of a tougher time with Kim Pierce – April won 7-3. Tam sent Bishoff packing 7-5, Chris Fields pummeled Rachel Hurst 7-1 and Rushton notched another win over Sanders 7-5.

Down to four on the winners side, Tam sneaked past Larson 7-5 and Fields beat Rushton 7-4. Both Tam and Fields advanced to the hot seat match. Mary handily beat Chris 7-2 and claimed her seat in the finals. Chris headed west to await an opponent.

On the one loss side, Bishoff defeated Rushton 7-4 while Larson eliminated Trinh 7-5. Larson won her match with Bishoff 7-4 leaving Jenna in fourth place. April then defeated Chris 7-2 to move into the finals. Chris finished with a third place finish.

Since this was true double elimination, April would have to defeat Mary twice to claim the title. However, it was not to be as April was relegated to a well-deserved second place finish and Mary went undefeated to claim her first Texas Open 10 Ball title!!! 

Meanwhile, the Open 10 Ball was winding down to its last few players! In the hot seat match, Gerson Martinez mowed down his last opponent to lock up his berth in the finals. Pagulayan lost 7-4 and headed to the other side of the chart to await an opponent.

Lee Vann Corteza ended Tommy Tokoph’s hopes for the title 7-3 as John Morra did the same to Jonas Souto 7-3. Lee Vann and John locked horns and battled it out to a 7-6 result. Leaving Lee Vann in fourth place, Morra’s next opponent was fellow Canadian, Alex Pagulayan. Also a tough one, John emerged to take on Gerson for the title. Alex finished in third place.

Again, as this was true double elimination, Morra would have to defeat Martinez twice to win the title. The match started out close until John pulled away to close out the first set 7-4. The final set was also close but this time, Gerson pulled away to put him one game away from the title – 6-4. John clawed back to win another game but that was it. Gerson won the final game & the title leaving John with a well deserved runner-up finish!  

Congratulations to both Gerson Martinez and Mary Rakin Tam – this year’s Texas Open 10 Ball champions!!!

PoolActionTV.com would like to thank owners Kim and Tracy Sanders as well as their General Manager, Shayla Neris, and their staff for rolling out the red carpet for all of the players and fans.

Thank you to Tournament Director Jason Hill for doing an exemplary job juggling all the various events.  

We’d like to thank Blake Kamiab, Clint Palaci and David (“Doc”) Reyes for running the DFW Tour setup broadcasting the ladies event on our free channel. 

We’d also like to thank Larry Schwartz, Michael Yednak, Alex Pagulayan, Mary Kenniston and Ray Hansen for their expert commentary.

And, last but not least, we’d like to thank our sponsors and fans. Our sponsors include JB Cases, Hanshew Jump Cues, StraightPoolEye, Lomax Custom Cues, Diamond Billiard Products, Aramith, Simonis, Durbin Custom Cues, the Action Palace of Dayton, OH and the Fort Worth Billiards Superstore of Fort Worth, TX. 

Our next event is the 5th Annual Scotty Townsend Memorial in West Monroe, LA featuring three divisions – Pro One Pocket, Open 9 Ball and Women’s 9 Ball. The dates are March 1st-6th. Hope to see you there!!!

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‘Heavy hitters’ come out to play on DFW 9-Ball Tour Finale, Briseno goes undefeated

Greg Sandifer, Gus Briseno & Robert Clark

Restricted to competitors who had played in at least one event throughout the year, the $2,500-added 2020 DFW 9-Ball Tour Finale drew 60 of the tour’s ‘heavy hitters’ to Rusty’s Billiards in Arlington, TX this past weekend (Nov. 14-15). A heavy hitter rated at ‘9’ (one of only two ‘9’s that competed) took on a heavy hitter with an ‘8’ rating in the hot seat match and finals. The ‘9’ (Gus Briseno) prevailed in both, going undefeated to claim the title. Greg Sandifer (8) took runner-up honors into the winners’ circle. 

The event paid out to 12 spots and also awarded cash prizes to the top-finishing SL4 players – TD Monica Anderson & Jennifer Hooten – who also won and split the last female standing cash award. Matthew Kindley and Ryan Schmidt split the cash prize for the last SL5 standing and Miguel Hernandez won the prize as the last SL6 standing.

In addition to the cash prizes associated with the main event, the tour also awarded its top three 2020 players with CueTec Cues; Tony Top (8, 3rd place) received a CueTec Jumping Cue, Donnie Gregory (8, 2nd place), got a CueTec Break Cue, and the tour’s top player, Clint Palaci (7), was awarded a CueTec Playing Cue and will receive free entry to every 2021 tour stop. 

Briseno’s path to the win went through Joshua Perez, Chris Ferguson, Neil Nabil Saidawi and Daniel Herring (with an aggregate score of 36-7) to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal match against John Carlo Tuazon. Greg Sandifer was awarded an opening round bye and then got stuck chalking up 8-3 wins over Brendan Fuller, Chris Gaither and Clint Palaci (24-9), before running into Robert Clark in the other winners’ side semifinal.

In a straight-up race to 8, Clark knocked Sandifer out of his 8-3 rut with a double hill match, but Sandifer finished it, advancing to the hot seat match. Briseno joined him, after sending Tuazon to the loss side 9-5. Briseno then grabbed the hot seat, with emphasis, 9-1.

On the loss side, Clark drew Tony Top, who’d followed his 7-4 loss to Tuazon in a winners’ side quarterfinal with wins over Miguel Hernandez 8-4 and Juan Parra 8-6. Tuazon picked up Clint Palaci, who’d followed his 8-3 winners’ side quarterfinal loss to Sandifer with victories over Robbie Smith 7-3 and a shutout versus Roman Bayda.

Clark locked up in a second straight double hill match, only this time, against Top, he advanced to the quarterfinals. Palaci joined him after eliminating Tuazon 7-1. Any momentum Palaci had earned in his decisive win over Tuazon got lost in his subsequent 8-1 loss to Clark in the quarterfinals. 

The ‘momentum loss’ scenario spilled over into the semifinals, as Clark followed his decisive 8-1 victory over Tuazon with an 8-2 loss at the hands of Sandifer, who turned back for a second shot at Briseno in the hot seat.

Sandifer began the final match with a single ‘bead on the wire’ in his race to 9 against Briseno. They battled back and forth and came within a game of double hill, as Sandifer added 6 to his one ‘on the wire,’ which eventually forced a 15th and final game. Briseno closed it out to finish his undefeated run and claim the Season Finale title.

Tour representative Monica Anderson thanked Jeff Pitts and his Rusty’s Billiards staff for their hospitality, as well as title sponsors Cuetec (which provided two cues for a raffle) and Fort Worth Billiards Superstore. According to Anderson, the tour’s 2021 tour schedule will be out in the middle of December. They are securing host venues with plans (Covid permitting) for 11 stops, and five ladies-only stops, as well. 

Gregory takes two out of three over Palaci to win CueTec DFW 9-Ball Tournament

Clint Palaci, Donnie Gregory & Juan Parra

With his victory this past weekend (Oct. 17-18) on the CueTec Dallas-Fort Worth 9-Ball Tour, Donnie Gregory turned an otherwise (for most people) disastrous 2020 into his best recorded earnings year to date. It took him five events to record what was his previous best earnings a year ago in 2019. It’s taken him only three 2020 events to surpass his 2019 earnings. This, of course, does not include money he may have earned by collecting additional monies outside the realm of official tour payouts or in tournaments not recorded with us for posterity.

Gregory had to earn this latest win, too. He made it to the hot seat, but the competitor he sent to the semifinals – Clint Palaci – came back to haunt him in the opening set of a true double elimination final. Gregory hung on to win the second set and claim the event title. The $1,500-added event drew 73 entrants to The Billiards Den in Richardson, TX.

Gregory was battling for advancement right from the start of this one. Awarded an opening round bye, he won his first four matches (all but one were straight up races to 7) by an average score of 7-5, including two double hill wins over Steve Raynes and Brian Cady. In between, in his second round, he defeated Walter Huenerfuerst (racing to 8). He then defeated Curtis Cardwell 7-4 in a winners’ side quarterfinal to face Jerry Yang in one of the winners’ side semifinals. 

Palaci, in the meantime, had a slightly less harrowing run to the winners’ side final four, averaging 7-4 wins against his four opponents; Keith Atkins (4), Doug Winnett (double hill), Brendan Fuller (1), and Aaron Ramijio (6), to arrive at his winners’ side semifinal against Moe Harbaji.

Gregory got into the hot seat match with his ‘easiest’ victory to that point, a 7-2 win over Yang. Palaci joined him after sending Harbaji to the loss side 7-4. Gregory enjoyed his ‘easy’ 7-2 win over Yang so much that he repeated it to claim the hot seat over Palaci.

On the loss side, Yang and Harbaji walked right into their second straight loss. Yang had picked up Tony Top, who’d been defeated in the event’s opening round and was on an eight-match, loss-side winning streak, which had recently included victories over Robin Barbour 8-6 and Aaron Ramijio 8-4. Harbaji drew Juan Parra, who was working on a much more modest two-match, loss-side streak that started when he’d been defeated by Yang in one of the winners’ side quarterfinals. He’d opened on the loss side with victories over Jamie Cummings and Curtis Caldwell, both 7-5.

Top and Parra advanced to the quarterfinals; Top, stretching his loss-side streak to nine matches with an 8-6 win over Yang and Parra, downing Harbaji 7-4. Parra then stopped Top’s streak with a 7-4 win in those quarterfinals.

Clint Palaci, in turn, ended Parra’s short, loss-side journey 7-5 in the semifinals. 

Momentum may have been the reason that someone came up with the idea of a true double elimination final. As the hot seat occupant is relaxing somewhere, or even just practicing, he/she is not engaged in actual competition and it can arguably take an edge off the ‘knife’ that is his/her competitiveness. Thus, a single win by the designated semifinalist seemed . . . unfair somehow, so someone came up with the idea of an extra match with both competitors having chalked up one loss.

Palaci took the opening set of this true double elimination final 7-4. In their straight-up race to 7, they battled to within a game of double hill in the second set, before Gregory pulled out to win it 7-5, claim the event title and go $600 over his previous best recorded-earnings year.

In addition to the 16 straight payout winners, cash was disseminated to the ‘last standing’ competitor in three different skill levels (SL). Tour director Monica Anderson and Joey Salazar tied for the privilege among SL4s. Dennis Hall took home the SL5 cash and Moe Harbaji grabbed the SL6 money. Anderson picked up extra cash as the ‘last standing’ female. 

Anderson thanked Marcy Rothberg and her Billiards Den staff for hosting the event, as well as title sponsor CueTec Cues and Associate Title Sponsor Fort Worth Billiards Superstore. The next stop on the DFW 9-Ball Tour will be the tour finale, scheduled for November 14-15 at Rusty’s Billiards in Arlington, TX.

Freeman double dips Palaci to win DFW 9-Ball Tour’s season opener

(l to r): Clint Palaci, Clint Freeman & Tony Top

Though he played more games and eventually, after winning five on the loss side of the double elimination bracket, met and defeated hot seat occupant, Clint Palaci, to claim the Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) 9-Ball Tour’s season opener on the weekend of January 18-19, Clint Freeman did not end up with the highest game-winning percentage of the 106 entrants, who signed on to the $1,500-added tournament, hosted by Rusty’s Billiards in Arlington, TX. That interior-event ‘title’ went to Walter Huenerfuerst, who, though he finished in the tie for 13th place, won 57 of the 80 games he played over the weekend (71%).
 
Event winner Freeman, at 65% (85-46), wasn’t even in second place for the game-winning percentage ‘title,’ though he did end up in third place. Second place went to a competitor who was the odds-on favorite to win the tournament; seven-time participant and 2019 Vice Captain of the USA Mosconi Cup team, and winner of the 1998 US Open One Pocket and 2003 US Open 9-Ball titles, Jeremy Jones. Jones, though he finished in the tie for 9th place, won 64 of the 96 games he played (67%).
 
That strange little ‘factoid’ emanates from a disparity of games-played and racks-given-up that doesn’t always figure into the bottom line of winning or losing a given tournament. If you play 10 games of pool in a tournament, all races to 8, and win them all, you win the tournament. But if each of your eight games goes double hill (8-7), you’re going to finish the tournament with a 53% game-winning percentage. Huenerfuerst lost his opening match, faced seven opponents on the loss side, and gave up an average of just under three racks per match to his opponents to win the game-winning percentage battle. Jones, who moved to the loss side after the fourth round, faced a total of only six opponents and gave up just over five racks per match. Event winner Freeman played 11 matches, to include the double elimination final and gave up just over four games per match.
 
Freeman’s path to the winners’ circle went through Jeff Williams (8-5), Paul Villa (8-2), and Shane Hvamsted 8-3, before running into Donnie Gregory for the first time. Gregory sent him to the loss side 7-5. Gregory then advanced to a winners’ side semifinal matchup against Clint Palaci. Meanwhile, Tony Top, who’d recently battled to double hill versus Jeremy Jones and sent him to the loss side, advanced to the other winners’ side semifinal against Harold “Woody” Paine.
 
Top got into the hot seat match with an 8-6 victory over Paine. He was joined by Palaci, who’d defeated Gregory 7-2. Palaci gave up only a single rack to Top and grabbed the hot seat.
 
On the loss side, Freeman began his loss-side campaign with his hands full, so to speak, by drawing Jeremy Jones, who’d just won his first loss-side match 10-6 over Daniel Herring. Freeman put an end to an extraordinarily brief loss-side run by Jones with an 8-5 win. Freeman moved on to a double hill battle that he eventually won over JP Kinman, that set him (Freeman) up to face “Woody” Paine. Gregory picked up Jud Hunter, who’d recently eliminated Billy Guy and John Doughty, both 7-5.
 
Freeman advanced to the quarterfinals with an 8-4 win over Paine, earning himself a rematch against Gregory, who’d defeated Hunter 7-5. Freeman went at the quarterfinal rematch with a vengeance, and allowed Gregory only a single rack in his 8-1 victory. Freeman completed his loss-side run with an 8-2 victory over Top in the semifinals.
 
Hot seat occupant, Clint Palaci began the double elimination finals against Clint Freeeman with one ‘bead on the wire’ in a race to 8. The two Clints battled to double hill in the opening set, before Clint finished it, forcing a second set. Freeman took the second set 8-4 to claim the DFW 9-Ball Tour’s season opener and for about a month, sit at the top of the DFW’s standings.
 
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Rusty’s Billiards for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor Anchor Predator Cues, Business Sponsor Ft. Worth Billiards Superstore and Associate Business Sponsors Aramith Balls, Outsville Racks, Rasson Billiards and JB Cases. The next stop on the DFW 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for Feb. 22-23, will be hosted by Billiard Den in Richardson, TX.