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Foldes wins his third straight Andy Mercer Memorial Tournament at Rum Runner in Vegas

Run Runner Owner Geno Hill and Vilmos Foldes

About eight years ago, when Hungary’s Vilmos Foldes shifted his pool-competition activity to these United States, settling in Las Vegas, he started to make appearances on the Mezz West Tour, chalking up two wins in four cash-payout performances on that tour in 2014. The following year, he cashed in 11 appearances on that tour, including one victory. He also began a string of appearances on the Jay “Swanee” Swanson Memorial Tournament, finishing as runner-up to Rodrigo Geronimo that year. He has cashed in every “Swanee” Memorial since then, winning it finally in 2019.

In 2016, Foldes appeared in six memorial tournaments, winning the Chuck Markulis and Bob Stocks Memorial, and cashing in the “Swanee” (4th), the Don Coates (9th), the Cole Dickson (5th), and in his first cash finish on the Las Vegas-based Andy Mercer Memorial, he finished 7th. 

In 2017, Foldes added attendance at the Cole Dickson and Brendan Crockett Memorials, at which he finished as runner-up to Beau Runningen. In the same year that he chalked up his first, and so far, his only win on the “Swanee,” Foldes won his first of three straight titles at the Andy Mercer Memorial Tournament, downing Shane Van Boening in the finals. In 2020, he defended that title, winning nine on the loss side to down Chad Vilmont in the finals, leaving such pool luminaries as Dennis Orcollo, Warren Kiamco and Van Boening in the dust, so to speak.

In all, since 2015, he’s cashed in 17 memorial tournaments, winning six of them. He won the 6th this past weekend (March 18-20), going undefeated at the $3,750-added, 31st Annual Andy Mercer Memorial, hosted by Rum Runner in Las Vegas, NV. He may not be the only person to have appeared in all of the mentioned memorial tournaments (the actual number of them, being hard to determine), but he is certainly doing his part to keep the memories of eight esteemed members of the US pool community alive. 

Foldes’ path to the winners’ circle that saw him win 24 of the first 34 games he played, went through Goran Mladenovic, Sal Butera, Donnie Branson and Max Eberle to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal versus Sam Cordova. Dave Datillo, in the meantime got by Gary Onomura, Tommy Baker, Jeff Gray and, in a winners’ side quarterfinal, Gary Lutman, who’d return to challenge Foldes in the finals. This set Datillo up to face Blake Baker in the other winners’ side semifinal.

Datillo moved into the hot seat match with a double hill win over Baker. Foldes downed Cordova 6-1 to join him. Foldes checked in with another 6-1 victory, this time over Datillo, to claim the hot seat, sporting a ‘three out of every four,’ game-winning percentage (75%).

On the loss side, Baker picked up Ian Costello, who’d lost a winners’ side quarterfinal to Cordova and then defeated John Farris 6-3 and Max Eberle 6-4. Cordova ran into Lutman, who’d followed his loss to Datillo with a double hill win over Mladenovic and a shutout over Donnie Branson, who’d just knocked Shane Van Boening out of the tournament 6-4.

Lutman chalked up his second loss-side double hill win, against Cordova and advanced to the quarterfinals. Baker joined him after knocking Costello out 6-4.

In his third double hill match of four played on the loss side, Lutman downed Baker in those quarterfinals and then, gave up only one to Datillo in the semifinals. Foldes completed his undefeated run with a 6-4 victory over Lutman in the finals to claim his third straight Andy Mercer Memorial title.

Tournament director Jack Murray thanked Geno Hill and his Rum Runner staff for their hospitality, as well as all of the players who have in the past and did, this year, gather to pay homage to Andy Mercer, who passed away in 1990.

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August Billiards Buzz Released

AzBilliards has proudly released the August issue of the Billiards Buzz online publication. 
Read our coverage of the World Cup of Pool, Cole Dickson Memorial and the 2019 inductees to the BCA Hall of Fame. Also look for updates on the US Open 9-Ball Championship and Mosconi Cup. 
Don't forget the regular stable of columnists. Anthony Beeler talks about when to shoot and when to play safe, Dr Chris Stankovich writes about rhythm in the game and Jerry Briesath talks about aiming. 
This issue, as well as every other issue, can be found online at

Robinson comes back from semifinal to claim 7th Annual Cole Dickson Memorial

Chris Robinson (Emilyn Callado)

In the absence of its last three champions (Jeffrey DeLuna last year and Dennis Orcollo, the two years before that), the 7th Annual Cole Dickson Memorial field of 104 entrants was, in a manner of speaking, wide open. In the midst of his best earnings year to date (according to our records), three-time state champion and the 2015 Billiard Education Foundation’s national junior 9-ball champion, California’s Chris Robinson came back from a loss in the hot seat match to win the $3,500-added event hosted by Family Billiards in San Francisco, CA on the weekend of June 29-30.
Robinson had to get by Rodrigo Geronimo twice, in the more or less traditional place for such double meetings; hot seat and finals. Robinson got into the hot seat match after a winners’ side quarterfinal victory over Shaun Kougioulis and a winners’ side semifinal win over Andrew McCloskey, both 8-6. Geronimo’s path went through Spencer Ladin (winners’ side quarterfinal) 8-3 and Jason Williams (winners’ side semifinal) 8-2. Geronimo claimed the hot seat 8-6 over Robinson and waited on his return.
On the loss side, Kevin Scheper, Harold Cajucom, Allen Lalic and Doug Whaley became the first cash winners in the event, falling to (respectively) Neal Vichiensaen (who finished 4th last year), Sargon Isaac, Bryce Avila and Ed Sinchai in the battles for 13th-16th place. Vichiensaen, Isaac, Avila and Sinchai advanced through the next round, in their battles against the recently-arrived competitors from the winners’ side quarterfinals. Isaac downed Spencer Ladin double hill, Avila defeated Kougioulis 6-2, Sinchai got by Robert Yulo 6-4 and Vichiensaen survived a double hill fight against Ernesto Dominguez.
Isaac then downed Vichiensaen 6-4 to pick up McCloskey, coming over from the winners’ side semifinal. Avila eliminated Sinchai 6-3 to draw Williams, who was looking to improve on his 5th/6th place finish last year (he’d won six on the loss side before being eliminated).
Isaac moved into the quarterfinals with a 6-2 win over McCloskey. Williams improved on his performance last year with a 6-4 victory over Avila that put him into the quarterfinals with Isaac. Williams’ run was ended by Isaac in the quarterfinals 6-3 (Williams would later chuckle at the notion that at his current pace, he’ll win the 10th Annual Cole Dickson Memorial in 2022).
Chris Robinson was having no part of a semifinal scenario that didn’t conclude with him facing Geronimo a second time. He allowed Isaac only a single rack in those semifinals and earned that second shot. He took full advantage of the opportunity, downing Geronimo 11-9 to win the 7th Annual Cole Dickson Memorial.
Tour representatives thanked Delbert Wong – a long-time personal friend of Cole Dickson and 32-year-owner of Family Billiards – and his staff for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Simonis Cloth, JB Cases, Jam Up Apparel, Joey Chin Custom Cues and West State Billiards. The event was streamed live and free on YouTube through the facilities of POVPool and Daniel Busch.

Burgos goes undefeated to take J. Pechauer Southeast Open 9-Ball Tour stop

(l to r): Julio Burgos, Tommy Kennedy, Steve Voucher & Raymond Linares

According to our records, Julio Burgos hasn’t been around for long, but he’s certainly been around a lot. In his first and only year (2018) in our database of active and cash-earning competitors, he won a stop on Florida’s AllOutPool Tour, and cashed in events in California (the 6th Annual Cole Dickson Memorial), Texas (Texas 10-Ball Championship) and Indiana (Derby City Classic’s One Pocket Division). He opened his 2019 efforts on the weekend of January 19-20, when he added a victory on the J. Pechauer Southeast Open 9-Ball Tour, going undefeated, and downing Florida and Seminole Tour veteran, Raymond Linares, twice. The $1,000-added event drew 62 entrants to Rack’s Billiards in Sanford, FL.
Burgos and Linares advanced to the final four on the winners’ side of the bracket and faced Steve Voucher (for Burgos) and Bobby Garza, co-tour director of the Sunshine State Pro Am Tour (for Linares). On Sunday, Burgos downed Voucher 9-6, as Linares was busy sending Garza over 9-7. Burgos claimed the hot seat 9-7 over Linares and waited on his return.
On the loss side, Voucher picked up the tour’s director, Tommy Kennedy, who’d defeated Bee Hyzinga 7-4 (on Saturday) and Joselito Martinez 9-6 (on Sunday). Garza drew Cristobal D. Barrows, who’d eliminated Dennis Brown, double hill, and Rhyan Hunter 9-5.
Voucher and Garza got right back to work, handing Kennedy and Barrows their second loss; Voucher over Kennedy 9-2 and Garza over Barrows 9-6. Voucher took the quarterfinal match over Garza 9-4, and put up a double hill fight against Linares in the semifinals. Linares dropped the last 9-ball, though, and advanced to a rematch against Burgos in the finals.
Burgos and Linares played the same number of games in the race-to-11 final that they’d played in the hot seat match. Burgos won 56% of the games he won in that hot seat match (9-7), but 69% of the games he won in the final (11-5), completing his undefeated run to claim his first 2019 event title.
Tour director Tommy Kennedy thanked the ownership and staff at Rack’s Billiards, as well as title sponsor J. Pechauer Custom Cues, Simonis Cloth and Mueller Recreational Products. He also extended a thanks to Janene Phillips, co-tour director with Bobby Garza of the Sunshine State Pro Am Tour, who ably assisted him with the event. The next stop on the J. Pechauer Southeast Open 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for March 2, will be hosted by Doodles Billiards in Hinesville, GA. 

Kiamco comes from the loss side to win final WCS 10-Ball Challenge at Freezer’s Ice House

Warren Kiamco (Photo courtesy of Erwin Dionisio)

There was, at the end of it all, a celebratory feel to the thing. There are times when the end of a pool tournament can feel like a funeral, as the winner and runner-up in a given tournament try their best to set aside the exhaustion and lingering sense of the grim-faced competition they’ve been a part of, and smile (sort of) for a camera. At the very end of the West State Billiards/POVPool’s 2018 West Coast Swing (WCS), which came to its conclusion at Freezer’s Ice House in Tempe, AZ on Sunday, July 15, Scott Frost, gripping two microphones, tried to conduct a post-finals interview with the winner (Warren Kiamco) and runner-up (Omar Al-Shaheen) in the $10,000-added 10-Ball Challenge, which had drawn 96 entrants to the closing event of the 2018 WCS.
Frost tried. He really did. But his interview efforts were stymied by the unexpected appearance of Dennis Orcollo, carrying his over-sized check for $3,000 (earned by winning the One Pocket event the day before) into the camera shot, and hugging Frost like a teddy bear he’d decided he wanted to take home with him. Orcollo had finished 4th in the 10-Ball Challenge (defeated in the quarterfinals by Kiamco) and had apparently spent a good deal of time between the quarterfinals and end of the finals match, at the bar. Beyond its humor value, the attempted interview and its interruption were emblematic of one aspect of the 2018 West Coast Swing that had nothing to do with the pool games that were played or the money they’d all earned.
It was, according to POVPool’s Daniel Busch, “the overwhelming response from professional players” which stood out in his mind as the most memorable thing about the 2018 West Coast Swing that had begun with the 6th Annual Cole Dickson Memorial, as June turned into July, and culminated with a goofy interview, two weeks later, at the conclusion of the last WCS event. Busch and his broadcast crew at POVPool streamed free, selected matches at all of the venues.
“They really appreciated the string of events,” said Busch. “There was an amazing amount of friendship, a feeling of family, and an overwhelming display of camaraderie.”
This, he went on to say, was the result of what he called the ‘theme’ of the West Coast Swing; to “awaken the road player within.”
“The West Coast Swing has set the stage for these guys,” said Busch. “(Given them) the opportunity to travel the West Coast for a couple of weeks and make appearances at some of the country’s best venues.”
The one thing that Scott Frost did manage to get out of Warren Kiamco, when he asked him for comment on his victory (prior to Orcollo’s good-natured interruption), was a glowing endorsement from Kiamco about Freezer’s Ice House, which Kiamco called “the best pool room in the country.”
Kiamco had won last year’s WCS 9-Ball Challenge, losing to Thorsten Hohmann in the hot seat match, but returning to double-dip him in the finals. He opted for the loss-side route in this year’s 10-Ball Challenge, as well. Following an 8-2 victory over John Hall to launch what would prove to be his winning campaign, Kiamco shut Aaron Morgan out, and then, in order, downed Alex Pagulayan 8-3, Corey Deuel 8-6, and Orcollo 8-4 to draw Al-Shaheen in one of the winners’ side semifinals. With a slightly less problematic series of draws, Shane McMinn got by Chris Baginski, George Teyechea, Abie Padilla, Tim Daniel and Bobby Emmons to reach Ruslan Chinakhov in the other winners’ side semifinal.
Al-Shaheen sent Kiamco to the loss side 8-3 and in the hot seat match, faced the somewhat improbable McMinn, who’d dispatched Chinakhov to the loss side 8-5. McMinn and Al-Shaheen fought a double hill hot seat match, which eventually sent McMinn to the semifinals and left Al-Shaheen in the hot seat.
On the loss side, this (and other) country’s best players still lurked going into the money rounds (17th through 24th), including (among others) Orcollo, Jeffrey De Luna, Eklent Kaci, Tony Chohan, Hohmann, Chip Compton, Brandon Shuff, Josh Roberts, Corey Deuel, and Zoren James Aranas, representing an average Fargo rating of 777 (Orcollo at the top with 805, and Shuff at the bottom, with 735). Joining this crowd at a point in time when only one of them (Orcollo)  had advanced to the 5th/6th matchups, Kiamco (791) drew Max Eberle (739), who was on a six-match, loss-side winning streak that had most recently eliminated T-Rex (Chohan) 8-5 and Bobby Emmons 8-4. It was Chinakhov drawing Orcollo, who, following his defeat at the hands of Kiamco in a winners’ side quarterfinal, had defeated Compton (who’d just eliminated Josh Roberts) and De Luna, both 8-5.
Ranking high in the probability department, Kiamco and Orcollo advanced to a quarterfinal re-match; Kiamco 8-5 over Eberle and Orcollo 8-3 over Chinakhov. Kiamco and Orcollo came within a game of double hill in those quarterfinals, but Kiamco just did edge out in front to win it 8-6. He then finished a terrific run by McMinn, defeating him in the semifinals 8-5.
Kiamco took command of the final, single race to 13, early and often. He completed his run with a 13-5 victory over Al-Shaheen (who, as yet, has failed to secure a Fargo rating) that secured the West Coast Swing’s 10-Ball Challenge title.
This final event of the 2018 West Coast Swing featured nine of the 14 US players who have been named to the initial Mosconi Cup team. Five of them (Josh Roberts, Corey Deuel, Chris Robinson, Brandon Shuff and Chip Compton) made it into the money rounds (Billy Thorpe, Tyler Styer, Oscar Dominguez and Mitch Ellerman did not). Chip Compton finished in the tie for 9th place. The 2018 West Coast Swing clearly attracted the best (minus five, and a few more) US talents to the tables over the past two weeks; a circumstance that POVPool’s Busch hopes to duplicate as plans begin to coalesce around the 2019 West Coast Swing.
“It’s two weeks of brutal hard work, with 11 months of planning and promotion behind it,” said Busch, adding that this year’s event might not have been as successful as it was, were it not for the cooperation of the rooms that hosted the events – Family Billiards in San Francisco, California Billiards in Fremont, CA, and Freezer’s Ice House in Tempe, AZ.
“You don’t normally get that kind of cooperation between rooms,” Busch noted, “but (in this case) they all worked at helping to promote each other’s events in the Swing.”
Busch thanked the ownership and staff at all of the venues, in addition to title sponsor West State Billiards,  Cohen Cues, Big Time Threads, KD Cues, Ariel Carmeli (AC) Cues, Tiger Products and JB Cases. The four cue representatives were all a part of the West Coast Swing's Cuemakers’ Showcase, held at two of the venues (California Billiards and Freezer’s Ice House), which garnered a “better than expected” interest and response from the players.  Busch expects to announce plans for the 2019 West Coast, sometime in January.

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

Dennis Orcollo

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Orcollo comes back from hot seat defeat to down Ruslan Chinakhov and win WCS 10-Ball Open

Dennis Orcollo (Photo courtesy of Erwin Dionisio)

Dennis Orcollo, who won two of the events of the 2017 West Coast Swing (the One Pocket and 9-Ball Challenge), won his first title of the 2018 WCS, coming back from a hot seat loss in the $15,000-added 10-Ball Challenge to defeat hot seat occupant Ruslan Chinakhov. The event drew 128 entrants to California Billiards in Fremont, CA.
Orcollo and Chinakhov’s paths to the final went through decidedly different draws. Chinakhov got by Joe Hartnett, Teymour Ansari, Ronnie Alcano and Amar Kang to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal against Omar Alshaheen. Orcollo shut out CJ Robinson in his opening match, and then, in order, defeated Rodney Morris 9-7, Jayson Shaw 9-4 and Shane Van Boening 9-5 to face Roberto Gomez in the other winners’ side semifinal.
Chinakhov and Orcollo advanced to the hot seat match with identical 9-2 victories over Alshaheen and Gomez. After what he’d been through to get there, one would have to imagine that Orcollo (more than anybody) was surprised by Chinakhov’s 9-7 victory in the hot seat match, though undaunted, he moved to the loss side and a semifinal match against Zoren James Aranas, from which he would return for a second (and successful) shot against Chinakhov.
One might also imagine an ‘out of the frying pan, into the fire’ scenario for Alshaheen and Gomez, who arrived from a winners’ side semifinal ‘frying pan’ to face the ‘fire’ of Van Boening (for Alshaheen) and Aranas (for Gomez). Van Boening, following his defeat by Orcollo, got by Thorsten Hohmann, double hill, and Warren Kiamco 9-4 to draw Alshaheen. Aranas, who’d initially been defeated by the winner of the 6th Annual Cole Dickson Memorial, Jeff De Luna, had then eliminated Corey Deuel 9-7, and Jayson Shaw 9-3 to pick up Gomez.
Van Boening and Aranas advanced to the quarterfinals. Van Boening downed Alshaheen 9-5, while Aranas was busy eliminating Gomez 9-7. Van Boening entered the event and the quarterfinals, with a Fargo Rating (819), that was 13 points higher than Aranas’, putting the Fargo ‘winning odds’ in Van Boening’s favor. Aranas, though, won the match 9-7 and turned to face Orcollo.
Leaving little doubt about his determination for a second chance against Chinakhov, Orcollo gave up only two racks to Aranas in the semifinals, and got that second chance. He completed his run with a 15-9 victory in the finals.
Representatives from POVPool (Daniel Busch) and West State Billiards thanked the ownership and staff at California Billiards, as well as sponsors Cohen Cues, Big Time Threads,, KD Cues, Ariel Carmeli (AC) Cues, Tiger Products and JB Cases. The West Coast Swing will shift operations to Tempe, AZ, where, beginning on Wednesday (July 11), Freezer's Ice House will host a $3,000-added One Pocket Challenge and two days later (July 13, with some entrant overalp), a $10,000-added 10-Ball Challenge.

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

Tony Chohan (Photo courtesy of Erwin Dionisio)

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

De Luna goes undefeated, downing Chohan twice to win 6th Annual Cole Dickson Memorial

Jeff De Luna (Erwin Dionisio)

All things considered, the Philippines’ Jeffrey De Luna and the US of A’s Tony Chohan are pretty evenly matched. Their Fargo ratings are 36 points apart, with De Luna ahead (795-759). In races to 8, the odds are with De Luna at (approximately) 69% to 31%. Chohan has been at it longer, though not by much, and he certainly has a physical size advantage. They met twice – hot seat and finals – in the 6th Annual Cole Dickson Memorial Tournament, held on the weekend of June 30-July 1 at Family Billiards in San Francisco, CA, and De Luna won both matches to claim the event title. The event’s two-time defending champion, Dennis Orcollo, did not compete. The $3,000-added event, produced by West State Billiards and POVPool, drew 75 entrants, and was the first in a series of events (continuing on July 4th), collectively known as The West Coast Swing. The events were streamed live via the services of POVPool, with Daniel Busch and a variety of guest commentators throughout the weekend.
De Luna drew a bye in the opening round, and then defeated Von Ryan Mendoza, Jason Williams, Bonnie Og, and Yoli Handoko to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal match against Ian Costello. Chohan, also awarded an opening round bye, got by Tommy Soria, Kevin Schiefer, Aldrin Geminano, and Ronnie Alcano to face Neil Vichiensaen in the other winners’ side semifinal.
De Luna downed Costello 8-4, as Chohan sent Vichiensaen west 8-3. In their first of two, battling for the hot seat, De Luna came out on top 8-6.
On the loss side, Vichiensaen picked up Jason Williams, who was in the midst of a six-match, loss-side winning streak that had included most recent wins over Julio Burgos, double hill, and Geminano 6-2. Costello drew Lance Salazar, who was in the midst of an eight-match, loss-side winning streak that had most recently seen him eliminate Alcano and Gerald Bustos.
Salazar got by Costello 6-3, as Vichiensaen was busy shutting out Williams. Salazar took his impressive loss-side run one step further by eliminating Vichiensaen 6-3 in the quarterfinals.
Though he would fight Chohan tooth and nail to a deciding 11th game in their race to 6, Salazar was defeated by Chohan, who turned for a second shot at De Luna in the hot seat. The ‘second verse,’ was as same as the first. De Luna completed his undefeated run 8-6 to claim the 6th Annual Cole Dickson Memorial Title.
Event representatives thanked Delbert Wong and his Family Billiards staff for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Cohen Cues, Deflection Apparel,, KD Cues, Ariel Carmeli (AC) Cues, Tiger Products, and JB Cases. The West Coast Swing will continue, beginning on the 4th of July with a $5,000-added West Coast Challenge One Pocket event, and two days later (with some overlap), a $15,000-added West Coast Challenge 10-Ball event, both to be hosted by California Billiards in Fremont, CA. A week later, beginning on July 11, events on the West Coast Swing will shift to Tempe, AZ, where Freezer’s Ice House will host the $3,000-added 2018 Icehouse 1-Pocket Challenge and two days later (July 13, with again, some overlap), the $10,000-added, 2018 Icehouse 10-Ball Challenge.

2018 “West Coast Swing!” of Pool: Dates and Venues Announced

In association with Family Billiards, California Billiards, Freezer’s Ice House and Point of View Pool Media, the highly anticipated, ‘West Coast Swing’ of pool tournaments and action are confirmed with dates and added monies. Now in its 6th year, ‘The West Coast Swing’ events are a coordinated effort between POV Pool Media the west coast’s most popular billiard venues with a mission to promote the best that cue-sports have to offer.
The West Coast Swing events and tournaments are regarded as a series of stepping stones for professional pool players and top amateurs, seeking the high-level competition and generous payouts whilst on the road to Las Vegas to play the CSI U.S. Open 10-ball and 8-ball Championship events, held annually at ‘Griffs’ Bar and Billiards. Each year, the West Coast Swing events follow the same rules of thumb: high-powered, multi-format pool tournaments featuring, top-level competition at the best venues in the western United States with the most respected tournament staff available.
This year’s ‘West Coast Swing’ events are sure to pack a punch with the addition of Freezer’s Ice House to the 2018 schedule, so we urge anyone with talent to ‘save the dates’!
Entry Forms for each event are also available here:
2018, ‘West Coast Swing’ Dates and Venues:
JUNE 30-JULY 1 / $3,000 Added / Cole Dickson 9-Ball @ Family Billiards, SAN FRANCISCO, CA
JULY 4TH-6TH / $5,000 Added / West Coast Challenge 1-POCKET @ California Billiards – FREMONT, CA
JULY 6TH-8TH / $15,000 Added / West Coast Challenge 10-BALL @ California Billiards – FREMONT, CA
JULY 11TH-13TH / $3,000 Added / The Ice House 1-POCKET CHALLENGE @ Freezer’s Ice House – TEMPE, AZ
JULY 13TH-15TH • $10,000 Added / The Ice House 10-BALL CHALLENGE @ Freezer’s Ice House – TEMPE, AZ
Download your entry form/s here: 
The 6th Annual Cole Dickson 9-Ball
The 2018 West Coast Challenge 1-Pocket / 10-Ball
The 2018 Ice House Challenge 1-Pocket / 10-Ball
The CSI US Open 8-Ball / 10-Ball
Also, introducing: The 2018 West Coast Cue-Maker’s Showcase!
And, if you thought the action was enough, we’ve also added more: with the support of several talented and respected cue-maker’s on our beautiful west coast, California Billiards will also be hosting the ‘West Coast Cuemaker’s Showcase’ featuring, Ariel Carmeli (, Eddie Cohen (, Kent Davis ( and Tiger Billiard Products (  We invite everyone to visit with us at California Billiards between July 6th-8th for a chance to see the ‘best of the west’ of cues and billiards products from these remarkable brands. 
The West Coast Swing are the “Stepping Stones” to Las Vegas!
The 2018 West Coast Swing tournaments and action will precede the CSI, U.S. Open 8-ball and 10-ball events at Griff’s Bar and Billiards in Las Vegas. We highly recommend that, if you plan to play the ‘West Coast Swing’ events that, you also compete in the CSI U.S. Open Championship events in Las Vegas. For more information on CSI’s U.S. Open events, visit: – for formats, entry fees and other criteria or visit CSI’s ‘contact page’ at: 
Sponsored By: West State Billiards, JB Cases, Carmeli Cues, Cohen Cues and KD Cues
For information at each venue:
Family Billiards, San Francisco, CA – PH: 415-931-1115
California Billiards, Fremont, CA – PH: 510-668-1670
Freezer’s Ice-House, Tempe, AZ – PH: 480-653-3053
Sponsorship Inquiries: