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White, on his 19th birthday, wins his second straight 2019 Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour stop

 

Former junior competitor Hunter White is a single tour stop victory away from making 2019 his best earnings year to date. His previous best earnings year, 2016, featured three wins on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour. On the weekend of August 24-25, White chalked up his second win on the 2019 tour, backing up his win two weeks ago, when he came back from a loss in the hot seat to Billy Fowler and double-dipped him in the finals. At this most recent event, White and Fowler met in a winners’ side semifinal, but not again. Instead, Junior Gabriel, defeated in the third round of play, won seven on the loss side to challenge White in the finals; Gabriel took the opening set of the true double elimination final, but White came back to win the second and claim the title. The $1,000-added event drew 60 entrants to Break and Run Billiards in Chesnee, SC.
As noted, White and Fowler met for the first time since the weekend of August 10-11, squaring off in this event’s winners’ side semifinals. Mike Parkins, in the meantime, faced Rob Hart in the other one.
Parkins advanced to the hot seat match 5-5 (Hart racing to 7), while White downed Fowler 8-4. White then gave up just a single rack to Parkins and claimed the hot seat.
On the loss side, Gabriel chalked up wins #3 and #4 (the first two money rounds) against Aaron McClure (5-1) and Jason Evans, double hill, to draw Hart. Fowler picked up Jeff Abernathy, who’d eliminated Dale Stanley and Mackie Lowery, both 9-5.
With Hart racing to 7, Gabriel advanced to the quarterfinals over him 5-5. He was joined by Fowler, who’d defeated Abernathy 8-5. Gabriel spoiled Fowler’s hopes for a finals re-match against White with a 5-3 win over him in those quarterfinals.
By the same score, 5-3, Gabriel completed his loss-side run, downing Parkins in the semifinals and then, with White racing to 8 in the opening set of the finals, Gabriel took that opening set 5-5. Hunter came back to win the second set 8-2 to cap his birthday celebration with an event title.
Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked the ownership and staff at Break and Run Billiards, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues, Bar Pool Tables, Delta 13 Racks, AZ Billiards and Professor Q-Ball. The next stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for this weekend (August 31-Sept. 1), will be hosted by Speakeazy Billiards in Sandford, NC.

Rodriguez comes back to down Langford in finals of Sunshine State Pro Am

(l to r): Robbie Langford, Ricardo Rodriguez & Joselito Martinez

Ricardo Joel Rodriguez came back from a hot seat loss against Robbie Langford and downed him in the finals of the next-to-last stop on the Sunshine State Pro Am Tour, the 10-Ball Bar Box Amateur Championships, held on the weekend of November 17-18. It was Rodriguez’ second win of the season, having defeated top-rated Sunshine State Pro Am veteran Dale Stanley in the finals of an event back in March. This most recent, $2,000-added event drew 84 entrants – 67 men and 17 women & juniors –  to Rack’s Sports Bar & Billiards in Sanford, FL.
 
Rodriguez and Langford trod similar, though not identical paths to the winners’ side semifinals, facing challengers who chalked up about five racks against them, on average. Rodriguez drew Moe Fattah in his winners’ side semifinal match. Langford faced Chris Gentile.
 
Rodriguez improved his game winning average by shutting Fattah out, as Langford advanced to face him in the hot seat match with a 9-6 win over Gentile. Langford claimed the hot seat 9-5 and waited for Langford to get back from the semifinals.
 
Gentile ran into Joselito Martinez on the loss side, who’d been sent over by Langford in the fourth round and was in the midst of a six-match, loss-side winning streak that would take him as far as the semifinals. He’d most recently defeated Jason Sheerman 7-2 and Bobby Conner, Jr. 7-1. Fattah picked up Donny Branson, making his own five-match, loss-side mark that included recent wins over Eric Roberts 7-1 and Mike Griffin 7-4.
 
Fattah downed Branson, double hill, and in the quarterfinals, facEd Martinez, who’d eliminated Gentile 7-4. Martinez then defeated Fattah 7-4 and was a single match away from a re-match against Langford. Rodriguez spoiled his bid for that re-match, defeating him 10-6 in the semifinals to earn his own re-match.
 
Happy with his score in the semifinals, Rodriguez opted to repeat it in the finals. He defeated Langford 10-6 to earn his second 2018 Sunshine State Pro Am title and become the 2018 10-Ball Bar Box champion.
 
Eric Roberts took home some cash as the event’s top finishing junior. Nikki Cuellar and Jessica Barnes did, as well, as they shared rewards in a tie for top finishing female.
 
Tour directors Janene Phillips and Bobby Garza thanked Rack’s owners Pedro Botta and Anthony Digiacomo and their staff, as well as Seminole Harley Davidson, Cyclop Balls, Diamond, Kamui, Jacksonville Roofing, Inc., Play the Game Clothing Co., Bill Katchusky Photography, Alvin Nelson and Inside Pool. The next stop on the Sunshine State Pro Am Tour, scheduled for December 1-2, will be the tour’s season finale, hosted by Park Ave. Billiards in Orange Park, FL.

Sunshine State Pro Am holds inaugural Scotch Doubles event – Battle of the Billiards

(l to r): Joe Zinkhan, Tim Baron, Joselito Martinez & Marcos Burgos

Martinez and Burgos down Baron and Zinkhan to claim inaugural title
 
Looking to create a little friendly competition among the multiplicity of pool rooms in Florida, Sunshine State Pro Am Tour directors Janene Phillips and Bobby Garza launched an inaugural event called Battle of the Billiards Big Dawg Scotch Doubles on the weekend of Oct. 27-28 at Stroker’s Billiards in Palm Harbor, FL. While 19 two-player teams participated in the $500-added, Scotch Doubles event, not all were sponsored by pool rooms. It is Phillips’ and Garza’s hope that as the event progresses in its annual schedule, more and more rooms will opt to send players to compete.
 
This first year’s winners (Joselito Martinez and Marcos Burgos) and runner-ups (Tim Baron and Joe Zinkhan) were independent teams. The two teams played three times, vying for the title. Baron and Zinkhan got into the hot seat, but Martinez and Burgos came back from the semifinals to defeat them in a true double elimination final.
 
Their first match, battling for the hot seat, followEd Martinez and Burgos’ 7-4 victory over the team of Les Duffy and Anthony Fisher, sponsored by Don Kreischer’s Boulevard Billiards. Baron and Zinkhan, meanwhile, faced off against Larry Wathal’s team from Brewlands (Dale Stanley and Mubarak Suleiman) and defeated them 7-5. Baron and Zinkhan claimed the hot seat 7-5 over Martinez and Burgos and waited on their return from the semifinals.
 
On the loss side, Duffy and Fisher picked up Sam Kantar and David Jacobs from Boynton Billiards, as Stanley and Mubarak drew the team of Trey Jankowski and Mitch Nelson. Both matches finished at 5-3, advancing Kantar/Jacobs and Jankowski/Nelson to the quarterfinals.
 
Kantar and Jacobs won the quarterfinal match by the same 5-3 score and then, in the semifinals, were defeated by that same score by Martinez and Burgos, who earned themselves a second, and as it turned out, third shot at Baron and Zinkhan in the hot seat.
 
Martinez and Burgos took the opening set of the true double elimination final 7-4. In a shortened race to 5 in the second set, Martinez and Burgos won again 5-3 to claim the inaugural Battle of the Billiards Big Dawg Scotch Doubles title.
 
Tour directors Phillips and Garza thanked Jose Del Rio and his staff at Stroker’s Billiards for hosting the event, as well as the owners of all of the venues who sponsored teams, including Stroker’s (which sponsored two teams), Capone’s, Trick Shots (Orlando, FL), Park Avenue Billiards, and the rest of the teams mentioned in the narrative above. They also thanked sponsors Cyclops Balls, Diamond, and AZBilliards.
 
The next regular stop on the Sunshine State Pro Am Tour, scheduled for the weekend of Nov. 17-18, will be the amateur-only, $1,000-added Sunshine State Pro Am 10-Ball Bar Box Championships, to be hosted by Rack’s Billiards in Sanford, FL. 

Mills and Meglino split top prizes in Open division of Sunshine State Pro Am

(l to r): Justin Hall, Anthony Meglino & Donny Mills

Rose comes from the loss side to down Adams and capture Amateur title
 
It’s impossible to know how many times Donny Mills and Anthony Meglino have faced each other on Florida-based and other regional tours, but having spent over a decade as part of a ‘Florida Gang’ of top-tier competitors (along with, among many others, Tommy Kennedy, Mike Delawder and Tony Crosby), we can safely call it ‘a lot.’ This past June, they met in the semifinals of a stop on the Sunshine State Pro Am Tour (Meglino 5-3 over Mills). On the weekend of Oct. 6-7, they would have met twice during Stop #11 on the Sunshine State Pro Am Tour, had they not opted out of a final match. Mills, as the undefeated occupant of the hot seat at the time, claimed the $1,000-added 10-Ball Open event title, which drew 40 entrants to Capone’s in Spring Hill, FL.
 
In a concurrently-run, $300-added, 9-Ball Amateur event, Nathan Rose won five on the loss side to eventually meet and defeat hot seat occupant James Adams to claim that title. The Amateur event drew 45 entrants to the same location.
 
Following an opening round bye in the Open event, Donny Mills downed Anthony Fisher, Robert Batson (both 7-2), and Tommy Kennedy 7-4 to draw Justin Hall in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Meglino, with an opening round bye as well, got by Ed Peterson 7-3, Bill Stroup 7-1 and Marcus Murillo 7-2 to face Nathan Rose (winner of the Amateur event) in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
Mills defeated Hall 7-5, as Meglino was busy downing Rose 7-4. Mills claimed the hot seat, and, as it turned out, the event title with a 7-4 win over Meglino.
 
On the loss side, Rose picked up Kennedy, who, following his defeat by Mills, downed Trenton White (the event’s top junior player in both events) 6-4, and shut out Stroup. Hall drew Justin Gilsinan, who’d shut out Joe Vetrono and eliminated Joselito Martinez 5-2. Kennedy and Rose locked up in a double hill fight that eventually advanced Kennedy to the quarterfinals against Hall, who’d defeated Gilsinan 5-2.
 
Hall ended Kennedy’s modest, three-match, loss-side winning streak 5-2 in those quarterfinals, and then fell to Meglino 5-3 in the semifinals. Meglino and Mills opted out of the final and the event title went to Mills.
 
Rose wins five on the loss side to meet and defeat Adams
 
Nathan Rose, who was the official winner of Stop #8 on the tour back in July (he split with Jason Sheerman), got sent to the loss side in a winners’ side quarterfinal match of the Amateur event and won five on the loss side before meeting and defeating hot seat occupant James Adams in the finals. Rose had downed Derek Laprairie, Trenton White (top junior in this event, as well), and Justin Gilsinan before running into Ameet Kukadia in a winners’ side quarterfinal.
 
Kukadia sent Rose to the loss side, double hill, and advanced to face Alec Saputo in one of the winners’ side semifinals. James Adams, in the meantime, following victories over Lisa Perez, Rhyan Hunter, and Dale Stanley met up with Justin McNulty in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
Saputo chalked up a double hill win over Kukadia and in the hot seat match, faced Adams, who’d shut out McNulty. Adams claimed the hot seat 7-4 over Saputo and waited on the return of Rose.
 
Rose opened his loss-side trip to the finals with a 6-3 win over Hunter and eliminated Trenton White 6-4 to draw McNulty. Kukadia picked up Stanley, who’d defeated Gilsinan and Jai Smith, both 6-2. By identical scores of 6-3, Stanley (over Kukadia) and Rose (over McNulty) advanced to the quarterfinals, where Rose prevailed, double hill, over Stanley.
 
Rose downed Saputo 6-4 in the semifinals, and then defeated Adams 9-5 in the finals to claim the Amateur event title.
 
Tour directors Janene Phillips and Bobby Garza thanked the ownership and staff at Capone’s, as well as sponsors Cyclop Balls, Diamond, Kamui Tips, Play the Game Clothing Co., Jacksonville Roofing USA, Inc., and AZ Billiards. The next stop on the Sunshine State Pro Am Tour (due to cancellation of a stop in November) will be the tour’s Season Finale, scheduled for December 1-2 at Park Ave. Billiards in Orange Park, FL. 

Rose and Sheerman split top prizes at Stop #8 on Sunshine State Pro Am Tour

(l to r): Jason Sheerman & Nathan Rose

In spite of working to win 10 loss-side matches for the right to face hot seat occupant Nathan Rose at Stop # 8 on the Sunshine State Pro Am Tour, Jason Sheerman (and Rose) opted out of a final match and split the top two prizes, leaving Rose, as the event’s official winner.  The $1,000-added event, held on Saturday, July 14, drew 64 entrants to Strokers Sports Bar & Grill in Palm Harbor, FL.
 
Nathan Rose navigated his way through the full field, downing Jack Remsen 7-3, and everybody else – Jason Richko, Angel Martinez, and Matt Menes – 7-2, to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal against Bobby Garza (ranked #2 on the tour). Chris Gentile, in the meantime, got by Chris Piper-Wang, Will Smith, Mike Delawder (double hill), and the event’s top female finisher, Stephanie Mitchell, to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal to face Sam Kantar.
 
Rose got by Garza 7-2, and in the hot seat match, faced Chris Gentile, who’d sent Kantar to the loss side 7-3. Rose played what proved to be his last match and claimed the hot seat 7-5 over Gentile.
 
On the loss side, it was Kantar who picked up Sheerman, seven matches in to his loss-side streak; a streak that began when he faced and shut out his wife, Julia. Sheerman had most recently eliminated Kim Dyer 7-4 and Matt Menes 7-5. Garza drew Dale Stanley, who’d been sent to the loss side, double hill, by Kantar in a winners’ side quarterfinal. Stanley defeated Alec Saputo 7-3 and shut out Stephanie Mitchell to reach Garza. Sheerman chalked up loss-side win #8, defeating Kantar 7-3, as the tour’s #3 player (Stanley) downed #2 (Garza) 7-3.
 
Sheerman, who, to date, has not been ranked on the 2018 tour, downed Stanley 7-4 in the quarterfinals, and then gave up only a single rack in defeating Gentile in the semifinals. Sheerman and Rose opted out of the final match, allowing Rose, as the official winner, to chalk up 150 tour ranking points and move up from 9th place to a 4th place tie with Tommy Kennedy. Sheerman jumped from tour obscurity to join 16 other players with 100 points and settle into the 56th through 71st slot on the tour rankings.
 
Tour directors Janene Phillips and Bobby Garza thanked Jose Del Rio and his staff at Stroker’s for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Play The Game Clothing Co., Jacksonville Roofing, USA Kamui Tips, AZBilliards and Alvin Nelson with Inside Pool TV. Stop #9 on the Sunshine State Pro Am Tour, scheduled for August 4-5, will be a double event, featuring a $175-added Amateur event and a $1,000-added Pro event. Both will be hosted by Park Avenue Billiards in Orange Park, FL.

Kennedy goes undefeated, splits top prize on Sunshine State Pro/Am with Meglino

Anthony Meglino & Tommy Kennedy

 

Tommy Kennedy and Anthony Meglino have been banging heads on Florida-based (and elsewhere) tours for years. They came together again during the sixth stop on the Sunshine State Pro Am Tour, a $400-added event which drew 35 entrants to CM’s Place Billiards in Seminole, FL on Saturday, June 2. Their one and only match came in the battle for the hot seat, which Kennedy won to complete what turned out to be an undefeated run. They opted out of a final match, when Meglino came back from a win in the semifinals.
 
Kennedy, after an opening round bye (one of 28), opened his undefeated campaign with a shutout over Michael Esposito, and was then challenged, double hill, by Steve Knoll. Kennedy prevailed, advancing to defeat Trenton White 7-5 and faced another of his long-time opponents, Donnie Mills, in a winners’ side semifinal. Like Kennedy, Meglino was awarded an opening round bye and then shut out his first opponent (Jason Bowen). Meglino, though gave up only two racks over his next two matches (one each to Phillip Trader and Bobby Garza) to draw Mitch Keiser in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
Kennedy downed Mills 7-4 and advanced to the hot seat match, where he was joined by Meglino, who’d sent Keiser to the loss side 7-3. Kennedy won what would prove to be their only matchup 7-3 and sat in the hot seat, awaiting the ‘split’ compromise they’d reach later.
 
On the loss side, Mills picked up Knoll, who, following his defeat at the hands of Kennedy, was in the midst of a four-match streak that included recent wins over Garza and Dale Stanley, both 5-2. Keiser drew James Roberts, who’d been defeated originally by Garza, and was in the midst of his own four-match streak that included wins over Trenton White 6-4 and Nathan Rose 5-3.
 
Mills and Knoll locked up in a double hill fight that eventually advanced Mills to the quarterfinals. He was joined by Keiser, who’d defeated Roberts 5-3. Mills then defeated Keiser 5-2. Meglino, playing what proved to be the last match of the weekend, downed Mills 5-3. He and Kennedy agreed to the split (with smiles; see photo), leaving the undefeated Kennedy as the event’s official winner.
 
In addition to payouts for the top eight finishers, Trenton White took home $40 as the event’s top finishing junior player. White finished just out of the money in the tie for 9th place.
 
Tour directors Janene Phillips and Bobby Garza thanked Jesse Tetrault and his staff at CM’s Place, as well as Johnny Archer, who stopped by to say ‘hello.’ They also thanked sponsors Play The Games Clothing Co., Jacksonville Roofing USA, AZBilliards, and Kamui Tips. The next stop on the Sunshine State Pro Am Tour (#7), scheduled for June 23-24, will be hosted by Boulevard Billiards in Ocala, FL.
 

Rodriguez wins three double hill matches and goes undefeated on Sunshine State Pro Am

Dale Stanley (l) & Ricardo Joel Rodriguez

Ricardo Joel Rodriguez played seven matches, and went undefeated through all of them to capture the March 10-11 title on the Sunshine State Pro Am Tour. Of those seven matches, three of them went double hill, including two, back to back in the second and third round of play. The third double hill win put Rodriguez in the hot seat. The $1,000-added event drew 60 entrants to Brewlands Bar & Billiards in Tampa, FL.
 
Following an almost-double hill win (7-5) in his opening round, Rodriguez went back to back (7-6) against Jack Cartlidge and Mike Burke. He got a bit of a break in the following round, giving up only a single rack to Michael Barr, which set him (Rodriguez) up in a winners’ side semifinal against Che Mvros. Dale Stanley and Robert Batson, in the meantime, squared off in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
Rodriguez sent Mvros to the loss side 7-4, and in the hot seat match, faced Batson, who’d defeated Stanley 7-4. Rodriguez claimed the hot seat over Batson, in what would prove to be his last double hill match, and waited on the return of Stanley.
 
On the loss side, Stanley began his trek back to the finals against Casey Spahr, who’d been defeated in the event’s opening round and was in the midst of a seven-match, loss-side winning streak that was about to end. Spahr had survived one double hill match and won three straight 7-5 matches on the loss side, most recently against Michael Barr and Matt Menes. Mvros picked up Kyle Bova, who, after falling to Stanley, in a winners’ side quarterfinal, had given up only one rack through 15 games; shutting out Tom Roche, and giving up the one to Bobby Garza.
 
Stanley got by Spahr 7-3, and advanced to the quarterfinals. Mvros spoiled Bova’s hopes for a rematch against Stanley, with a double hill win that let him join Stanley in the quarterfinals. Stanley then downed Mvros 7-5 in those quarterfinals, and got a shot against Rodriguez in the hot seat with a 7-4 victory over Batson in the semifinals. Stanley’s victory in those semifinals raised his position in the tour standings to a single slot below Batson.
 
Rodriguez, though, will enter the tour standings for the first time. He defeated Stanley in the finals 9-7 to complete his undefeated run.
 
The top junior player, Trenton White, finished in the tie for 13th place.
 
Tour directors Janene Phillips and Bobby Garza gave a “big shout out” to Larry Wathal, owner of Brewlands and his staff for their hospitality, noting that “the large, smoke-free room with its 25 tables” was a great location, and they can’t wait to go back. They also thanked sponsors Play the Game Clothing Co., Kamui, Jacksonville Roofing USA, AZBilliards and Insidepool.TV.

Kennedy and Grossman split top prizes in short-field stop on the SE Open 9-Ball Tour

(l to r): Billy Burke, David Grossman and Tommy Kennedy

Competitors who think that there aren’t enough tournaments in which to compete might want to consider a conversation with a few tour directors, who deal with short fields of entrants at their events, when there are more competitive area tournaments on a given weekend, than there are players to compete in them. Case in point: the Sunday, January 20 stop on Tommy Kennedy’s Southeast Open 9-Ball Tour. Normally, tours communicate with each other about dates, but on occasion (like this one), events get stacked up, leading to, in this case, a field of 12 entrants. The $500-added event was hosted by Park Ave. Billiards in Orange Park, FL.
 
Kennedy and David Grossman opted out of a final match in this one and split the top two prizes. Kennedy, as hot seat occupant, claimed the official event title.
 
Kennedy faced Jim Sandaler in one winners’ side semifinal, as Grossman met up with Jordan Burden in another. Kennedy downed Sandaler 7-2, as Grossman navigated his way through a double hill fight against Burden that eventually put him in the hot seat match with Kennedy. Kennedy shut Grossman out to claim the hot seat.
 
On the loss side, Burden picked up David Williams, who’d defeated Ash Chewcoskie and Kevin Arvin to reach him. Sandaler picked up Billy Burke, who’d lost to Kennedy earlier, and eliminated Bobby Garza, and Dale Stanley.
 
Burden got through a double hill match versus Williams to advance to the quarterfinals. Burke joined him with an almost-double-hill (7-5) win over Sandaler. Burke took the quarterfinal match against Burden 7-4, and survived the semifinal (though final) match of the event 7-6. Kennedy and Grossman opted out of the final to split the top two prizes.
 
Kennedy thanked the ownership and staff at Park Ave. Billiards, as well as sponsors J. Pechauer Custom Cues, Mueller Recreational Products, BilliardBuzz.com, and David Adams. The next stop on the Southeast Open 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for Saturday, January 27, will be hosted by Waldo’s Billiards in Daytona Beach, FL.
 

Kennedy, Cirilo win 10-Ball Invitational/9-Ball Open events on Sunshine State Pro Am Tour

Mubarak Sulaiman, Obbie Cirilo & Steve Knoll

Tommy Kennedy and Obbie Cirilo claimed respective titles in a two-event weekend – January 13-14 – on the Sunshine State Pro Am Tour. Kennedy won five matches on the loss side to meet and defeat host location owner, Jose Del Rio in Sunday’s 10-Ball Invitational, while Cirilo, who went undefeated, and Mubarak Sulaiman split the top two prizes in Saturday’s 9-Ball Open to avoid a final match that would have commenced in the vicinity of 3 a.m., Sunday morning. The $1,000-added 9-Ball Open event drew 57 entrants, while the $300-added 10-Ball Invitational drew 17 entrants to Stroker’s Bar and Grill in Palm Harbor, FL.

 

Cirilo and Sulaiman would have met twice in the 9-Ball Open, had they both not opted out of playing a second, final match. Cirilo opened his undefeated run by giving up only two racks over his first two matches; one each to Bill Bloom and Kyle Bova, before Tommy Kennedy put up a fight in a winners’ side quarterfinal. Cirilo won that match 7-5 and drew Bobby Garza in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Sulaiman won his first three matches by an average score of 7-5, which included a double hill win over Donny Mills in the third round, and advanced to a winners’ side semifinal against Steve Knoll.

 

Sulaiman downed Knoll 7-5, and in the hot seat match, faced Cirilo, who’d sent Garza to the loss side 7-4. Cirilo chalked up what proved to be his last win (7-5) over Sulaiman, and sat in the hot seat, essentially waiting for the decision to opt out of a final match.

 

On the loss side, Knoll picked up Kennedy, while Garza drew Robert Batson, who’d lost a double hill fight against Knoll in the second round, and was in the midst of a six-match, loss-side winning streak that was about to come to an end.

 

Knoll eliminated Kennedy 5-3, as Garza ended Batson’s loss-side streak 5-2. Knoll downed Garza 5-3 in the quarterfinals, and then, by the same score, was eliminated by Sulaiman in the semifinals. That, as the saying goes, was all she wrote, as Cirilo and Sulaiman agreed to a split of the top two prizes.

 

Trenton White and Kodi Allen split $40 as the top two junior finishers in the 9-Ball Open event.

 

[photo id=48644|align=right]Kennedy wins five on the loss side to meet and defeat DelRio in 10-Ball Invitational finals

 

Tommy Kennedy played two more matches on the loss side of the 10-Ball Invitational than he had in the previous day’s 9-Ball Open. Those extra two matches put him into the finals, where he downed Jose Del Rio to claim the event title.

 

Kennedy was defeated 7-2 by Stephen Richmond in the second round of the 10-Ball event, which advanced Richmond to a winners’ side semifinal against Jason Richko. Del Rio drew Dale Stanley in the other winners’ side semifinal. Del Rio survived a double hill battle against Stanley to advance to the hot seat match. He was joined by Richko, who’d sent Richmond west 7-4. Del Rio and Richko battled to a 13th deciding game before Del Rio claimed the hot seat, and waited on the return of Kennedy.

On the loss side, Kennedy opened his trek back to the finals with victories over Tim Parisian and Onur Berber, which set him up to face Stanley. Richmond drew 9-Ball Open winner, Mubarak Sulaiman, who’d gotten by one of the event’s three top-finishing juniors/women (who split $90), Kodi Allen and Donny Mills to reach him.

 

Kennedy shut Stanley out and in the quarterfinals, faced Sulaiman, who’d eliminated Richmond 6-2. Kennedy then spoiled Sulaiman’s bid for a second runner-up (and possibly more) finish with a 6-4 win in those quarterfinals.

 

Kennedy gave up only a single rack to Richko in the semifinals and then, with momentum wind at his back, had the audacity to down his host – Stroker’s owner Del Rio – 9-2 in the finals to claim the 10-Ball event title.

 

Tour directors Janene Phillips and Bobby Garza awarded $90 (total) to the two junior and single female top finisher in the 10-Ball Invitational (Carrie Vetrono, the female, and for the second time, Kodi Allen and Trenton White as the juniors). They thanked Del Rio and his Stroker’s staff for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Kamui, Jacksonville Roofing USA, InsidePool.tv, AZBilliards and Play the Game Clothing Co. The next stop on the Sunshine State Pro Am Tour, scheduled for the February 10, will be hosted by Waldo’s Billiards in Daytona Beach, FL.

Hall goes undefeated to take Sunshine State Pro Am Tour stop

(l to r): Bobby Garza, Janene Phillips, Jeannette Lee and Justin Hall

It's been five years since Justin Hall chalked up wins in both the One Pocket and Banks divisions of the Southern Classic in Tunica, MS; defeating Ryan Stone in the One Pocket final and Alex Pagulayan in the Banks final. The two wins earned him Master of the Table honors at the event, ahead of both Pagulayan and Warren Kiamco. It was, according to our records, Hall's best earnings year of his (to date) 12-year career at the tables. Five years later, he dropped in on the Sunshine State Pro Am Tour on Saturday, August 26 and demonstrated that he's still a force to be reckoned with. He went undefeated through a field of 34, on hand for the $600-added event, hosted by Brewlands Bar & Billiards in Tampa, FL. Also on-hand for the event was Jeannette Lee, operator of an area APA franchise, who stopped by to say hello and pose for a picture with the two finalists, Hall and Bobby Garza, and Tour Director Janene Phillips.
 
Hall had to contend with Garza twice in this event; the first time, in a winners' side quarterfinal, and again, in the finals. Following his win over Garza, Hall moved into a winners' side semifinal match against Gary Hale, while Kyle Bova squared off against Dale Stanley. Hall was picking up speed and downed Hale 7-2, while Bova sent Stanley west 7-5. Hall claimed the hot seat 7-2 over Bova, and waited for Garza to complete his five-match, loss-side run back to the finals.
 
Garza opened his loss-side campaign with a 7-3 win over Tony Vicari, and then eliminated Carrie Vetrono 7-1 (Vetrono was the highest female finisher, which earned her an extra $50). Garza advanced to pick up Stanley. Hale drew Anthony Meglino, who'd defeated Joe Scarborough 7-5 and Justin McNulty 7-4 to reach him.
 
The loss-side competitors in the two matches that determined the tie for 5th place advanced; Garza 7-2 over Stanley and Meglino with a shutout over Hale. Garza took the quarterfinal match over Meglino 7-4, and then allowed Bova only a single rack in the semifinals, to earn himself a second shot against Hall.
 
Though Garza put up a fight in those finals, he couldn't stop Hall from chalking up the win. They came within a game of double hill, but Hall closed it out at 9-7 to claim the event title.
 
Tour director Janene Phillips thanked the ownership and staff at Brewlands Bar & Billiards, and Jeannette Lee for her unexpected visit. The next stop on the Sunshine State Pro Am Tour, scheduled for September 23-24, will be an Open 8-Ball event, hosted by Park Ave. Billiards in Orange Park, FL.