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Carlo Biado Starts US Open Defense In Style

Carlo Biado (Taka G Wu/Matchroom Multi Sport)

Carlo Biado got the defense of his US Open Pool Championship title off to the best of starts as he won two from two on the opening day of play at Harrah’s Resort, Atlantic City to reach Winners’ Qualification.

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The Filipino cueist followed in the footsteps of the great Efren ‘Bata’ Reyes to clinch last year’s title against Aloysius Yapp and a routine 9-1 over Dalibor Nikolin of Serbia meant he avoided an early banana skin before overcoming the returning Kristina Tkach by the same scoreline to be only one match away from the single elimination stage when he faces Joven Bustamante in Winners’ Qualification on Wednesday.

Pool’s most historic major returned for a second year to New Jersey as fans poured in to see the world’s best in the 256-player field competing for a slice of the $300,000 prize fund and they were not disappointed as number eight seed Alexander Kazakis got pushed to the Losers’ side at the hands of Jesus Atencio

Two-time Matchroom event winner this season Joshua Filler booked his place in Winners’ Qualification after wins over Jeffrey Kennedy and Sharik Sayed whilst Fedor Gorst‘s return to the Nineball Arena was convincing with victories against Coen Bell and Aleksa Pecelj with the latter making him sweat 9-7.

Elsewhere, former champion Jayson Shaw made lightwork of Vincent Beaurivage and Joshua Roberts to be one away from the Last 64 whilst it was a similar story for fellow Brit Chris Melling who overcame Samuel Disse running five racks along the way 9-1, and Billy Thorpe 9-3.

Subscribers on Matchroom Pool socials got to see one of the rounds of the first round so far to end the day as Skyler Woodward and Jeff De Luna were at loggerheads for the distance as the former ran out on top in the final rack with a 4-9 combo to seal a passage to Winners Qualification.

Badar Alawadhi, Imran Majid, and Dimitri Jungo are among some of the names who will have to fight through the losers bracket to make their way into the Last 64 after defeats on day one whilst 38 players went home after back-to-back defeats.

Acton returns from 10 am ET tomorrow morning with Eklent Kaçi and Long Nguyen before World Champion Shane Van Boening gets his campaign underway to secure a sixth US Open crown underway against Joey Tate live on the Matchroom Pool Facebook Page at 11:30 am ET. Table 2 begins with Johann Chua against Brandon Shuff before Wiktor Zielinski takes on Tyrel Blowers.

From Monday, 10 October to Thursday, 13 October fans will be able to enjoy the action globally on the Matchroom Pool Facebook and YouTube pages as well as Matchroom.Live with two tables streamed. Fans in China can enjoy all the action on our Weibo page.

The final two days will be live on Sky Sports in the UK, DAZN in the USA, Canada, Brazil, Spain, and Italy as well as Viaplay in Scandinavia, the Baltics and Poland, and other broadcasters worldwide which can be found here including on Matchroom.Live in countries without a broadcaster.

A range of ticket packages are available including an event pass giving you access to all six days of action for only $155, a saving of up to $55. A premium event pass gives you reserved front two seats for the single-elimination stage at $205. Limited seats are available for the final day.

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Fans can also take advantage of our exclusive room rate. Stay side-by-side with the stars of pool at Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City.

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All tickets are subject to booking and processing fees.

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Draw Made For 2022 US Open Pool Championship

The draw for the 2022 US Open Pool Championship has been made ahead of action getting underway at Harrah’s Resort, Atlantic City from October 10-15 with defending champion Carlo Biado set to meet Dalibor Nikolin in the opening match of the tournament.

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Nineball World No.1 Shane Van Boening will start his quest for a sixth US Open title against rising star Joey Tate whilst 2019 Champion Joshua Filler will take on Canada’s Jeffrey Kennedy to start his week.

This year’s US Open sees the return of some of Asia’s top talent with Ko Pin Yi meeting Ben Crawley and brother Ping Chung taking on Robert Blackiston. 2013 World Cup of Pool champion Lee Van Corteza will return against Andrew Finnigan. Great Britain’s Jayson Shaw will go on the hunt for a second US Open crown against Vincent Beaurivage first up.

This tournament also sees Fedor Gorst, Kristina Tkach, and Margarita Fefilova all make their comebacks in the Nineball Arena and they will meet Coen Bell, Henrik Larsson, and Stephen Folan respectively. Two-time Mosconi Cup MVP Skyler Woodward will take on Nicholas Yale and five-time US Open champion Earl Strickland will clash with Liu Ri Teng.

The top 128 players in the field were seeded based on the combination of the 2022 Nineball World Ranking and Live Nineball World Ranking.

Live rack-by-rack scoring will be available throughout the event at www.matchroompool.com

From Monday, 10 October to Thursday, 13 October fans will be able to enjoy the action globally on the Matchroom Pool Facebook and YouTube pages as well as Matchroom.Live with two tables streamed.

The final two days will be live on Sky Sports in the UK, DAZN in the USA, Canada, Brazil, Spain, and Italy as well as Viaplay in Scandinavia, the Baltics, Poland, and other broadcasters worldwide which can be found here including on Matchroom.Live in countries without a broadcaster.


A range of ticket packages are available including an event pass giving you access to all six days of action for only $155, a saving of up to $55. A premium event pass gives you reserved front two seats for the single-elimination stage at $205. Limited seats are available for the final day.

Ticket Types – BUY TICKETS HERE

Fans can also take advantage of our exclusive room rate. Stay side-by-side with the stars of pool at Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City.

BOOK YOUR EXCLUSIVE ROOM RATE HERE

All tickets are subject to booking and processing fees.

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Wilkie goes undefeated to claim inaugural B & L 2022 Open 10-Ball Championship

Brian Kilgore, Shaun Wilkie and Lai Li

Inaugural events in the pool world, can be fraught with any number of issues. It takes a clear idea of what needs to be done and an extraordinary amount of perseverance and assistance to assure that it does. It requires the patience of a saint and the temperament of a seasoned psychiatrist, especially when the inaugural event draws a long list of Atlantic coast pool veterans, as the inaugural $5,000-added B & L Open 10-Ball Championships did this past weekend (Feb. 19-20), drawing 106 entrants to Center Pocket Café and Billiards in Bowie, MD.

“I think they did a great job,” said the event’s winner, Shaun Wilkie, who went undefeated to claim the title, downing runner-up, Raphael DaBreo twice; in the fourth round and again, in the finals.

Wilkie noted that while the inaugural B & L Open 10-Ball Championships weren’t Kilgore and Li’s ‘first rodeo,’ from his perspective, their previous tournament experience tended towards smaller venues and decidedly smaller crowds. The Center Pocket Café and Billiards venue helped, too, in that with 29 tables, they were able to keep matches moving throughout the two-day event.

“Those extra tables can get you more players, moving through the bracket,” said Wilkie. “Speeds it up.”

“Sometimes, too, you get pool rooms wanting their tables back (for use by the general public),” he added, “but the room made sure that all of the tables were available. We had tables available for the whole first day.”

Runner-up Raphael DaBreo, who has, as he put it, “dabbled’ in the experience of running tournaments himself, noted that the B & L organization was “very punctual and professional the way they ran it.”  

“From the player meetings right on through getting everyone playing by noon,” he said. “They were super transparent, too, and if they keep going in the direction of their inaugural event, they have a bright future ahead of them, in my opinion.”

DaBreo also noted that the ongoing proliferation of tournaments and operators is likely a reaction to what players in these tournaments perceive about them; that they’re not done well, and that they, personally, could do a better job.

“I’ve always felt that you wouldn’t have so many tournaments and operators, if someone was doing it right,” he said. “But sometimes you run into situations where it’s not being done well; funds are disappearing or there are discrepancies with skill levels or with local tournaments, maybe someone hasn’t paid. There always seems to be something that comes up.”

“They did it right,” he added of B & L’s inaugural efforts at a much larger event.

They join a wealth of tournament organizations, promoters and tournament directors who get it right, as well, more often than not. Once established, though, the good ones rarely get the credit they deserve. Their efforts can be taken for granted in tournament narratives that focus on the players, so here and now, at B & L’s inaugural ‘big’ event, credit where credit’s due. 

Wilkie and DaBreo ran through a gauntlet of the aforementioned Atlantic coast’s best to reach the finals. The five competitors Wilkie defeated on his journey to the hot seat match could have been the final five in any number of Atlantic coast tournaments over the past decade. Wilkie opened against Brian Dietzenbach and Joey Mastermaker, defeating them both 7-2, before running into DaBreo, whom he sent to the loss side 7-4. And as if that wasn’t enough, he drew BJ Ussery in a winners’ side quarterfinal. Ussery got to within a game of double hill, but Wilkie finished it at 7-5 to draw Thomas Haas in one of the winners’ side semifinals. 

Kang Lee, in the meantime, got off to a shaky start, with Josh Thiele battling him to double hill. Lee prevailed to send Coen Bell, Henry Cha and John Moody, Sr. to the loss side and face Thomas Zippler in the other winners’ side semifinal.

Wilkie downed Haas 7-4, as Lee dispatched Zippler 7-5. Wilkie gave up just a single rack in the battle for the hot seat and waited in it for DaBreo’s return.

On the loss side, the two Thomases (Haas and Zippler) ran right into their second straight loss. Haas had the relative misfortune of running into DaBreo, who was four matches into his loss-side streak, that had most recently included the elimination of John Moody, Sr. 6-2 and Derek Benavides. 6-3. Zippler picked up a re-match against Paul Krimes, who’d sent him to the loss side in a match that kept Krimes out of the winners’ side quarterfinals. Krimes won five straight to get to the rematch, including victories over Justin Muller 6-4 and to the surprise of many (likely, his opponent among them), BJ Ussery 6-4.

DaBreo downed Haas 6-1, while Krimes was wreaking his 6-1 vengeance on Zippler for the earlier defeat. Krimes’ satisfaction with the results of his rematch was short-lived, as DaBreo didn’t grant him a rack in the quarterfinals that followed.

The semifinals weren’t really the ‘pre-party’ to the finals that DaBreo was hoping for. Lee battled tooth and nail to double hill before DaBreo prevailed for his second shot against Wilkie, waiting for him in the hot seat. 

The finals weren’t too much of a ‘party’ for DaBreo, either. Wilkie completed his undefeated run with a 7- 2 win over DaBreo to claim the inaugural B + L 10-Ball Championship title.

It was Wilkie’s first win since he won the MD State Bar Table 10-Ball Championship this past November. A tumultuous couple of months followed that saw him place 25th in Turning Stone XXXIV last month (Jan. 6-9). On January 25, the man who’d started him playing pool, his grandfather, passed away. He’d been spending a lot of time, before and especially after, with his grandmother, and in a way, brought his grandfather with him to the tournament.

“I had him in my heart the whole time,” he said, “and I was really happy to pull it off, for me and him.”

Brian Kilgore and Lai Li thanked the ownership and staff at Center Pocket for their hospitality, as well as all of the players who signed on to make their inaugural B & L 10-Ball Championship a success. 

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Bruner comes from the loss side (again) to win second straight Action Pool Tour event

Chris Bruner

Last month (June 15-16), Chris Bruner won seven on the loss side of the Action Pool Tour’s Brown’s Mechanical 9-Ball Open (Stop #6 on the tour) to chalk up his first 2019 win. In so doing, he climbed two rungs on the tour’s ranking ladder (from 5th to 3rd). At the Action Pool Tour’s Bar Box 10-Ball Open (Stop #7), which drew 32 entrants to Peninsula Billiards in Newport News, VA this past weekend (July 13-14), Bruner won his second straight APT event, coming back from a defeat in the hot seat to claim the event title in a final match against JT Ringgold. This time, and once again, in the absence of some of the tour’s top-ranked competitors at this event (Steve Fleming, RJ Carmona and Reymart Lim, among others), Bruner took three steps up the ranking ladder to become the APT’s top-ranked competitor.
 
Bruner came into this most recent event, having already surpassed his reported 2018 earnings at the tables. When it was over, and he’d claimed the event title, he’d turned 2019 into his best earnings year, to date. Just a little over halfway through the year, he’d surpassed his best earnings year, to date (2014) by a couple of hundred dollars. Though Ringgold has already earned over twice what Bruner has earned in 2018/2019 (so far), he is a little behind schedule in his quest to match his best earnings year to date, which was 2018. At this time last year, Ringgold had earned about 39% of the total he’d earn by the end of the year. With his 2018 earnings as a hypothetical target, he’s at 32% now, and having now appeared in three of the APT’s 2019 events, he’s moved himself up in the tour’s rankings from #17 to approximately 7th or 8th, depending on how the math played out for some of the players above him who competed in this event. He and Bruner have each chalked up a victory in 2019; this most recent victory for Bruner and a stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour for Ringgold. The APT’s Bar Box 10-Ball Open drew 32 entrants to Peninsula Billiards in Newport News, VA.
 
Bruner’s path to the hot seat match went through Bethany Sykes 8-2, Bill Duggan in a double hill match and a shutout over Thomas Spivey to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal against Dave Hunt. Ringgold got by Donnie Huet 8-4, Johnny Syphanthavong 8-2, and Nilbert Lim 8-6 to pick up Mike Davis in his winners’ side semifinal. Bruner and Ringgold got into the hot seat match by chalking up identical 8-6 scores over Hunt and Davis. Somewhat predictably, the battle for the hot seat was decided by a single, 15th game in the match. Ringgold won that deciding game and waited in the hot seat for Bruner to come back from the semifinals.
 
Mike Davis showed up on the loss side and faced Christopher Wilburn, who’d lost an opening round, double hill match to Dave Hunt and set out on a five-match winning streak that almost, but not quite, earned him a rematch against Hunt. He’d most recently defeated Thomas Spivey and Scott Roberts, both 7-3, to draw Davis. Hunt, in the meantime, picked up Bill Duggan, who’d gone on from his early-round loss to Bruner, to win four on the loss side, including a 7-4 win over Coen Bell and a 7-3 victory over Nilbert Lim.
 
Hunt got by Duggan 7-2, while Davis and Wilburn locked up in a double hill fight that eventually sent Davis to the quarterfinals with Hunt. Davis took command of those quarterfinals quickly, downing Hunt 7-1 for a shot against Bruner in the semifinals.
 
It would prove to be Bruner’s second straight double hill match. The first had sent him to the semifinals. The second was the semifinals and the double hill win over Davis sent him on to a rematch against Ringgold in the hot seat. Bruner completed his second straight win on the APT with a 10-8 victory in the finals.
 
A Second Chance event drew eight entrants. Johnny Syphanthavong and Josh Harget battled twice in the hot seat and finals to win the top $115 first-place prize. Syphanthavong won them both, 6-2, 6-3.
 
Tour directors Kim Wylie and Tiger Baker thanked the ownership and staff at Peninsula Billiards, as well as sponsors CSI, Viking Cues, Predator Cues, Diamond Billiard Products, Ozone Billiards, Simonis Cloth, Aramith Balls, Kamui, Chix Cabinets, and George Hammerbacher (Advanced Pool Instructor). The next stop on the Action Pool Tour (#8), scheduled for the weekend of August 17-18, will be hosted by Champion Billiards Sports Bar in Frederick, MD.
 

Brandon Shuff Seals the Deal at Maryland State 9-Ball Championship

Brandon Shuff, Loye Bolyard, Shaun Wilkie, Jake Lawson, Kenny Ruttman and Rick Scarlato

In yet another action-packed weekend of competitive pool, Brandon Shuff emerged as the winner of the Maryland State 9-Ball Championship. The event, which is owned and managed by On The Hill Productions, was held at the Champion Billiards Sports Bar in Frederick, MD during the weekend of May 4th-5th. This has been a successful year so far for Brandon. He recently finished 4th in the Barry Behrman Memorial in April and the VA State 10-Ball in February. In this tournament, he sailed through the field and dropped only one set to Shaun Wilkie, who came back from the B-side to try and claim the title. Brandon held firm and was able to lift the trophy in victory.
 
The 82-player field was customarily strong, loaded with such powerhouses as Shaun Wilkie, Kevin West, Brett Stottlemyer, Chip Klein, Del Sim, David Hennessy, Kenny Rutman, Matt Krah, Steve Fleming, Thomas Zippler and Scott Haas to name a few. The ladies were represented by local favorites Bethany Sykes, Eugenia Gyftopoulos, Gwen Townsend, Lai Li, Stefanie Manning and newcomer to the tournament scene, Jenny Mohammed.
 
Not to be left out, the young guns also made their presence felt. Tournament-regulars Dylan Spohr and Coen Bell were there to stir the pot, but the young man who stood head and shoulders above the rest was Justin Martin from Wilmington, NC. He had a very strong finish of fourth place and impressed everyone with his display of fundamentals, technique, and poise. Don't be surprised if he snaps off one of these big events very soon! 
 
The recent champion of the MD State 9-Ball Bar Table Championship, Brandon Sluzalis was also there, but his efforts to repeat were cut short first by Kenny Rutman, then by the straight-shooting Bobby Pacheco. He had to settle for 9th. place.
 
Congratulations to all who finished in the top 24 places this weekend. 
This event owes its success to the following sponsors:
McDermott Cues
Billiard Sports Network
Lights Out Billiard Apparel
Phillippi Custom Cues
TAP Pool League – Chesapeake Region
 
Many thanks to the owner Gary Allen & staff at Champion Billiards for hosting another successful event. The high-quality free stream was provided by Jake Lawson and Josh Setterfield of Billiard Sports Network. Tour directors Rick Scarlato Jr. and Loye Bolyard continue to provide great tournaments with the utmost professionalism and quality.

Brandon Sluzalis sweeps the field at the first Maryland State Bar Table 9-Ball Championship

It was another successful weekend of pool for “On The Hill” Productions. Tour owners Rick Scarlato Jr. and Loye Bolyard decided to have the first event of 2019 at Brews & Cues on The Blvd in Glen Burnie, Maryland. Due to minor size constraints the field was decreased from 128 players to 104, but that did not prevent the world-class players from showing up to steal the show.
 
The event consisted of such top-flight players as James Aranas (PHI), Kristina Tkach (RUS), Del Sim (SCO) and local champions Shaun Wilkie and Brett Stottlemyer to name a few. Little did they know that Brandon Sluzalis, a top-regional player from Bethlehem, PA would be waiting for them. There was also a generous helping of young talent, which is always encouraging for the future of the game. Hailing from Lancaster, PA and Hazleton PA respectively, seventeen-year-old Thomas Haas has been lighting up the tables in almost every event. Eighteen-year-old Dylan Spohr has proven to be a constant threat. Coen Bell from Cambridge, MD is only fourteen, but his game has been improving steadily for the past two years. Not to be outdone, Skylar Hess has been making her opponents nervous at the ripe old age of ten!
 
As with any major event, there was no shortage of surprises. Russian sensation Kristina Tkach finished out of the top 24 places. Delaware champion Kevin West only won his first match before falling first to Shaun Wilkie and then Derick Daya. The usually reliable Tim Tanana went 0-2, which was very unusual for him, and tour director Rick Scarlato Jr. had a surprising finish out of the money. Other top players who did not cash were Rick Molineiro, Scott Haas, John Moody Sr. and Matt Krah. Young Travis Manning, for whom pool is his second passion (bowling is his first) surprised everyone by finishing in the top 24! Travis held his composure and shot well all weekend. Despite having to face the world-class talent of James Aranas (PHI) in the first round (on the Stream Table no less!), Travis bore down and mowed through the field to get in the money.
 
The story of the day, however, belonged to Brandon Sluzalis. A well-known tour grinder, Brandon smoothly played his way into the Hot Seat, defeating Shaun Wilkie, Brett Stottlemyer and James Aranas on the way. The first-round bye had no effect on his demeanor or his momentum, and he calmly dismantled everyone who crossed his path. It was as though he knew the championship was his from the start, and everyone else was simply in his way.
 
Congratulations to all who finished in the top 24 places this weekend. The Maryland State Events have been consistently providing extremely tough competition for modest entry fees with excellent payouts.
 
Many thanks to Anthony Manning and the staff at Brews & Cues for outstanding accommodations, which included the installation of an extra table for the live stream. Thanks as well to the owners of Billiard Sports Network, Jake Lawson and Josh Setterfield for the free high-quality streaming all weekend, with commentary.
 
This event would not have been possible without the work and contributions of the following sponsors:
McDermott Cues
Billiard Sports Network
Lights Out Billiard Apparel
Phillippi Custom Cues
TAP Pool League – Chesapeake Region
 
Tour owners Rick Scarlato Jr. and Loye Bolyard, along with Theresa Scarlato and Beverlee Longstreet-Dillow, worked tirelessly to ensure a smooth, efficient event, with little to no hiccups. The Maryland State Events have cemented their place on the East Coast as one of the premier events to enjoy.

Reymart Lim goes undefeated to win Action Pool Tour’s 2019 season opener

(l to r): APT Director Tiger Baker & Reymart Lim

Sykes wins short-field Ladies opener
 
The opening rounds of the Action Pool Tour’s (APT) 2019 season opener on the weekend of January 19-20 featured a match between the winner of the 2018 APT Season Finale a little over a month ago (JT Ringgold) and the eventual winner of the opener, Reymart Lim. Between the preliminary round, and the second winners’ side round, seven of the APT’s top 2018 players participated, including the 2018 Tour Champion, Steve Fleming, runner-up Jason Trigo, and Reymart Lim, who finished 2018 in fifth place on the tour rankings. Lim went undefeated through the field, downing separate opponents in the hot seat (Kenny Miller) and finals (Ty Laha). The $200-added event drew 49 entrants to Q Master Billiards in Virginia Beach, VA.
 
When enough women had signed on to the opening event, APT’s tour directors opted to hold a Ladies’ season opener, as well. Seven women signed on to compete in the $150-added ladies event, including the 2018 VA State 8-Ball Ladies Champion, Bethany Sykes. Sykes went undefeated through the short field, playing two of her three matches against Liz Taylor, whom she faced in the hot seat match and finals (6-2, 7-1). Both Sykes and Taylor competed in the Open event, with Taylor cashing in both.
 
As noted above, the season opener’s main event began with a match between Reymart Lim and JT Ringgold. The two battled to double hill before Lim prevailed 7-6. Ringgold moved to the loss side and began a six-match, loss-side winning streak that would take him as far as the matches to determine the tie for 5th place. Lim, in the meantime, moved on to continue his seven-match, winner’s side streak that would eventually earn him the event title. Four matches in, he met his eventual opponent in the finals, Ty Laha, in a winners’ side semifinal. Kenny Miller, in the meantime, squared off against Bill Duggan in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
Lim sent Laha to the loss side 7-3, where he ran in to an immediate match against Ringgold. Miller downed Duggan 7-2 and met up with Lim in the hot seat match. Lim won 7-2 and waited on the return of Laha.
 
On the loss side, Laha drew Ringgold, who’d recently chalked up loss-side wins #5 and #6, defeating Danny Bell 6-3 and Dave Hunt 6-2. Duggan picked up Mac Harrell, who’d just eliminated RJ Carmona 6-3 and Coen Bell 6-2.
 
Laha ended Ringgold’s run 6-4 and in the quarterfinals, faced Harrell, who’d defeated Duggan 6-1. Laha and Harrell fought back and forth to double hill in those quarterfinals before Laha prevailed 6-5. Laha’s subsequent match, the semifinals against Miller, wasn’t as obviously difficult. Laha defeated Miller 6-1 to earn a rematch against Lim in the finals.
 
Lim was on the verge of starting 2019 the same way he’d started 2018, as the winner of the APT season opener. He won two on the APT last year, won the NC State 9-Ball Championships in March and was runner-up in the state’s 10-Ball Open. He completed his 2019 season-opening run with a 9-2 victory over Ty Laha in the finals.
 
Eight players signed on to a second chance event. It was won by Derek Davis, who the APT’s 2018 Player Champion Steve Fleming in the finals.
 
Tour directors Kris Wylie and Tiger Baker thanked the ownership and staff at Q Master Billiards, as well as sponsors Diamond Billiard Products, Viking Cues, Predator, Tiger, Kamui Tips, Ozone Billiards, Simonis Cloth, and George Hammerbacher Advanced Pool Instructor. The next stop on the 2019 Action Pool Tour, scheduled for February 16-17, will be hosted by Diamond Billiards in Midlothian, VA.