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Herring double dips Top, moves to the top of DFW 9-Ball Tour standings

Carl Bodeker, Daniel Herring & Tony Top

The logjam at the top of the Dallas-Ft. Worth 9-Ball Tour standings at the end of the second stop was broken up this past weekend, March 20-21. Going into the $1,500-added event that drew 78 entrants to Stixx & Stones Billiards in Lewisville, TX, there were three competitors at the top of the tour standings, all with 200 points – Jalal Alsarisi and Jeff Sullivan, winners of the 1st and 2nd stops on the tour, respectively and Robbie Cleland, who’d finished in the tie for 13th in the opening stop and 4th in February. Daniel Herring, though one of the five members among the top 10 on the tour to have, at this point, competed in all three events, had started slow, finishing in the tie for 25th the first time out in January and then, 4th last month. He jumped to the head of the line when he came from the loss side to double dip Tony Top in the finals of the third stop.

After being awarded an opening round bye, Herring’s path to the winners’ circle went through Dustin Hammock, Chris Gaither, Trevor Oullette, and Norman Small to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal match against Carl Bodecker. Top, in the meantime (also with an opening round bye), defeated Jimmy Fujimori, Donnie Gregory (double hill), Ruben Flores and Jorge Villareal to arrive at his winners’ side semifinal versus TJ Davis.

With Davis racing to 9 in their matchup, Top advanced to the hot seat match 8-7. Bodecker survived a double hill battle that sent Herring to the loss side and then followed him over, when Top claimed the hot seat 8-4.

On the loss side, Herring opened his campaign against Eric Smith, who was working on a four-match, loss-side winning streak that had recently included victories over Villareal 7-1 and a double hill win, in which he’d come from 8-0 down to defeat the higher-ranked James Davee 7-8. TJ Davis drew Greg Sandifer, who’d lost a winners’ side quarterfinal match to Bodecker and then downed Phillip Autieri 8-3 and Norman Small 8-5.

Davis downed Sandifer 9-3 and in the quarterfinals, faced Herring, who’d eliminated Smith 8-3. Herring came out strong against the one-point-higher-ranked Davis and allowed him only four racks to win it 8-4, which, in turn, gave Herring a rematch against Bodecker in the semifinals.

Though Herring was the one-point-higher-ranked competitor in that semifinal rematch, he came out just as strong, and allowed Bodecker only two racks to earn his spot in the finals 8-2. In the first set of the true double elimination in a straight-up race to 8, Herring chalked up another 8-2 win. Top got five in the second set, but it wasn’t enough, as Herring completed his run 8-5.

The event’s top finishing competitors at three ranking levels and three top finishing Ladies took home $60 prizes. Chouie Almora and Veronica Perez split the $60 as the last Level 4 competitors standing. Jorge Villareal was the last Level 5 and Darrell Smith was the last Level 6. Three women split the Ladies prize – Monica Anderson, Veronica Perez and Chouie Almora.

Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Stixx & Stones Billiards for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor CueTec and Associate title sponsor Fort Worth Billiards Superstore. The DFW 9-Ball Tour will be at Snookered Billiards and Bar in Frisco, Texas next month, for a $1,500-added event, scheduled for the weekend of April 17-18.

Sullivan comes from the loss side to double dip Cleland on Cuetec DFW 9-Ball Tour Stop #2

Jeff Sullivan, Robbie Cleland and Crispian Ng

The Cuetec DFW 9-Ball Tour dodged the winter storm/power outage ‘bullet’ or, as tour representative Monica Anderson put it, “a few icicles” last weekend (Feb. 20-21). The tour was able to successfully hold its $1,500-added second tour stop of the 2021 season at Snookered Billiards in Frisco, TX. 

“The thaw happened Friday afternoon,” said Anderson, “and nothing was stopping pool players from coming out.”

“We had to limit it to 80 players for Covid capacity rules,” she added, “and with the power outages, everyone wanted to play. We had a waiting list of 20+ that couldn’t play.”

Jeff Sullivan, who, at the last minute, made 2020 his best (recorded) year at the tables by winning the Royce Bunnell Memorial One Pocket Event and placing 7th in that same event’s 9-Ball Tournament in December, started 2021 off with a bang, wending his way through the 80-entrant field, recording five loss-side wins and double-dipping hot seat occupant Robbie Cleland to claim the event title. As it turned out Cleland’s runner-up finish put him and Sullivan in a tie for first place in the early tour standings with 200 points each. Sullivan did not compete in the season opener and Cleland finished in the tie for 13th. Cleland’s finish in this second event, added 160 points to the 40 he’d earned finishing in that tie.

Sullivan, after an opening round bye and victories over Juan Parra, Leo Washington and Greg Sandifer, moved west at the conclusion of one of the winners’ side quarterfinal matches in which he fell to Valon Gashi 7-5. Gashi moved on to face Crispian Ng in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Cleland, who’d gotten by Joshua Paredes, Fahad Alwari, and Sam Abusalem faced Tony Matthew in the other winners’ side semifinal.

Cleland and Matthew locked up in a double hill fight that eventually put Cleland into the hot seat match. Ng joined him after downing Gashi 8-5. Cleland defeated Ng 8-2, claiming the hot seat, and assuring himself at least a tie in the tour standings with whoever came back at him from the semifinals. 

Over on the loss side, Sullivan began his trek back to the finals with a 7-1 win over Clint Palaci and followed it with a 7-2 win over Blake Kamiab, to draw Matthew. Gashi picked up a rematch versus Daniel Herring, who’d begun his loss-side work with an 8-6 victory over Juan Parra, an 8-3 win over Sam Abusalem, and an 8-6 win over Donnie Gregory to pick up his rematch versus Gashi.

The two who’d been sent to the loss side by Gashi handed their opponents their second straight loss. Sullivan and Matthew fought to double hill, before Sullivan advanced to the quarterfinals. Herring wreaked his vengeance on Gashi, winning the rematch 8-3. Sullivan stopped Herring’s run in those quarterfinals 7-5.

Sullivan then defeated Ng 7-4 in the semifinals and turned to what would have to be two wins over Cleland, waiting for him in the hot seat. Sullivan took the opening set 7-6 (Cleland racing to 8) and used the momentum to help him to a 7-4, title-claiming victory in the second set.

A Second Chance event drew 13 entrants and saw James Davee down Monica Anderson in the finals. Curtis Caldwell finished in 3rd place.

Tour representatives thanked Craig and Jana Lucas and their staff at Snookered Billiards for just being open after one of the worst weeks in the state of Texas in remembered history, as well as their general hospitality. They also thanked title sponsor Cuetec, and associate sponsor Fort Worth Billiard Superstore. This coming weekend, Saturday, Feb. 27, the DFW 9-Ball Ladies Tour will hold an event at Rusty’s in Arlington, TX. Stop #3 on the Cuetec DFW 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for the weekend of March 20-21, will be a $1,500-added event, hosted by Stixx and Stones in Lewisville, 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.

Perez goes undefeated, downing Herring twice to win his first Predator DFW 9-Ball Tour stop

(l to r): Gerardo Perez, Daniel Herring & Kevin Guimond (photo:Jesse Garcia, Bound by Imagination)

While the top point leaders in the Predator DFW 9-Ball Tour’s standings list (#1 through #5) were languishing on the loss side of the Oct. 19-20 bracket of the tour’s 10th stop – only two of them finished in the money (#1 Tim Larson, tied for 7th and #5 Jay Ryda, tied for 17th) – #42 (Gerardo Perez) and #63 (Daniel Herring) advanced through the 88-entrant field and battled twice to claim the event title. Perez was the undefeated winner of the $1,500-added event, hosted by the Billiard Den in Richardson, TX.
 
All but one of the top five on the standings list – #4 Amos Bush – had competed in all nine of the tour’s events, and Bush had only missed one. It was Gerardo Perez’ sixth appearance on the 2019 tour and his best finish had been in a tie for 9th place last month. Herring had competed in only three of the tour’s stops, with a best finish of a tie for 13th place in August (He’d won a stop on the tour just over a year ago). They both battled players higher in the points list during their trek to the finals, but neither of them faced any one of the top five, though as it turned out, it was not for lack of trying. Greg Sandifer (#2) was on the loss side at the end of the opening round. Larson, Davis, Bush and Ryda all moved over after the third round.
 
Just goes to show that on any given Sunday. . . .
 
After an opening round bye, Perez advanced through Chase LaFerney, Jesus Sorto, Noel Villalobos and Crispian Ng (#10, highest he faced) to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal against Barry Emerson. Herring, also with an opening round bye, sent Corey Flud, Walt Anderson, Kenny Rowell and Chris Rickman to the loss side and squared off against Donny Gregory (#12, Herring’s ‘highest on the list’ opponent) in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
Herring and Gregory battled to double hill before Herring prevailed and advanced to the hot seat match. He was joined by Perez, who’d defeated Emerson 7-4 (Emerson racing to 8). With Herring racing to 8, as well, Perez claimed the hot seat 7-5 and waited on Herring’s return.
 
Over on the loss side, Sandifer and Bush had been knocked out before the first money round (33rd-48th). TJ Davis made it to that first money round (17th-24th), but went home with just the $160. Tim Larson, who’d been sent to the loss side by Emerson, was in the midst of a very brief winning streak that had started in the first money round and after three wins, including a 9-1 victory over Chris Rickman, had ended with a defeat at the hands of Jersey Jack Lynch, who advanced to pick up Emerson. Gregory drew Kevin Guimond, who, after losing to Larson in the third round, was in the midst of an eight-match, loss-side winning streak that would take him as far as the semifinals. He’d recently eliminated Crispian Ng 9-6 and Walter Heunerfuerst 9-5 to draw Gregory.
 
Emerson downed Lynch 8-1. Guimond joined him in the quarterfinals after a 9-3 win over Gregory. In the semifinals, with Guimond racing to 9, he and Herring battled to a double hill standstill before Herring ended it for a second shot against Perez in the hot seat.
 
With Herring racing to 8, he and Perez fought to 6-7, double hill, before Perez ended it to claim his first event title.
 
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at the Billiard Den, as well as title sponsor Predator Cues and main event sponsors Ft. Worth Billiards Superstore, JB Cases, Accu-Rack, CSI, Granite Guyz, Dallas 8-Ball League, BCAPL, RackEm TV (streaming sponsor), FargoRate, and IMS (Internet Marketing Solutions). The next stop on the DFW 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for the weekend of November 16-17, will be the tour’s Season Finale at Rusty’s in Arlington, TX.

“Ryda” goes undefeated on DFW 9-Ball Tour Stop #6 to chalk up his first major event victory

(l to r): Juan Parra, Jr., Tim Larson & Jay Murillo

A regular competitor on the Omega Tour and once, according to our records, (six years ago, cashing) on the Lone Star Billiard Tour, Jay "Ryda" Murillo had yet to chalk up a major regional tour win until the weekend of June 22-23. He broke through at Stop #6 on the DFW 9-Ball Tour, going undefeated at the $1,500-added event that drew 82 entrants to Click’s Billiards in Arlington, TX and in the finals, downing the tour’s current #1 player, Tim Larson, who won Stop #5 in May.
 
Murillo’s path to the winners’ circle went through John Washington, Chase Wheeler, Daniel Herring and Mike Nagaki to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal match against Yousif Ahmed. Juan Parra, in the meantime, got by Tommy Ulbik, Randy Darville, Jason Dutchover (a double hill win) and was responsible for sending Larson to the loss side in a winners’ side quarterfinal that also went double hill. Parra’s 7-8 victory over Larson (racing to 9) set Parra up to meet Amos Bush in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
In a straight up race to 7, Parra got into the hot seat match over Bush 7-5. He was joined by “Ryda,” who’d sent Ahmed to the loss side 6-3. Parra ended up on the wrong side of this third straight double hill match, falling to Murillo 6-6 (Parra racing to 7).
 
On the loss side, Bush met up with Mike Nagaki, who, following his defeat at the hands of Murillo, shut out Alberto Nieto Garcia and eliminated Billy Pinion 7-6 (Pinion racing to 9). Ahmed drew Larson, who, sent over by Parra, defeated TJ Davis 9-5 and Sajal Ghimire 9-2.
 
Larson moved on to the quarterfinals with a 9-3 victory over Ahmed and was joined by Bush, who eliminated Nagaki 7-4. Larson then survived two straight double hill matches for a shot at Murillo in the hot seat. He won a double hill quarterfinal match against Bush 9-6 (Bush racing to 7), and downed Parra in the semifinals by the same score, with Parra, as well, racing to 7.
 
Larson’s campaign to wrest the title from Murillo in the potential double elimination final never quite got off the ground. Murillo had chalked up his required six racks, with Larson four racks away from his handicap goal of 9.
 
A Second Chance event drew 10 entrants and was won by Billy Guy. The runner-up was Marc Gonzales with Casey Dawson finishing third.
 
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Click’s, as well as sponsors Predator Cues, Fort Worth Billiards, Granite Guyz, Dallas 8-Ball, FargoRate, BCA Pool League, Internet Marketing Solutions (IMS), CSI, Accu-Rack and JB Custom Cue Cases. The next stop on the DFW 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for July 13-14, will be hosted by The Hideaway in Dallas, TX.

Herring goes undefeated through field of 89 to win his first stop on DFW 9-Ball Tour

(l to r): Juan Parra, Jr., Daniel Herring & Tony Top

 

Daniel Herring has been at the Texas tables for about a decade now, chalking up his first recorded appearance on a payout list at a stop on the Fast Eddie’s Tour in January, 2008. He started appearing on the payout lists of Melinda Bailey’s Omega Tour a few years after that and in February, 2015, he broke through to win a stop on that tour; his first, and until this weekend (Sept. 8-9), his only recorded victory on a tour. At stop #9 on the DFW 9-Ball Tour (which grew out of the Omega Tour), he went undefeated through a field of 89 entrants, on-hand for the $1,500-added event, hosted by Clicks in Arlington, TX.
 
Herring started strong, giving up only two racks over his first 19 games, and seven over his next 23 (four of those to his eventual finals’ opponent, Juan Parra) to arrive at what proved to be his first double hill challenge in a winners’ side semifinal against Angelo Inness. Tony Top, in the meantime, who played an extra match in a preliminary round to get the field to a 32-match opening round, gave up 12 racks in the 52 games that it took him to reach the other winners’ side semifinal against Philip Palmer.
 
Herring survived the double hill battle over Inness and advanced to the hot seat match and a battle against Top, who’d sent Palmer to the loss side 8-5. Herring claimed the hot seat 8-6, and waited on the return of Parra.
 
On the loss side, Palmer picked up Parra, who, following his defeat at the hands of Herring, had eliminated Tommy Ulbik 7-3 and the tour’s #2-ranked competitor, CJ Wiley, double hill (in the absence at this event of the tour’s #1-ranked player, Chase Rudder, Wiley’s finish in the 7/8 slot moved him into the #1 ranking spot). Inness had the misfortune of running into Tim Larson, who, following a defeat in the event’s opening round (to Josh Keller) was in the midst of a nine-match, loss-side winning streak that would take him as far as the quarterfinals.
 
Parra and Palmer locked up in a double hill fight that eventually sent Parra to the quarterfinals. Larson chalked up what proved to be his last victory 8-4 over Inness and joined him. Parra ended Larson’s loss-side run 7-4 in those quarterfinals, and then, double hill, stopped Top’s short-lived, loss-side run in the semifinals.
 
Herring completed his undefeated run with an 8-4 victory over Parra in the finals to claim the event title.
 
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Click’s for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor Predator Cues, Ft. Worth Billiard Superstore, JB Custom Cue Cases, Solutions, Granite Guyz, BCAPL, CSI, Dallas 8-Ball, Accu-Rack and Fargo Rate. The next stop on the DFW 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for Oct. 20-21, will be a $1,500-added event, hosted by Billiard Den in Richardson, TX.
 

Wiley double dips Guernsey to win premiere stop on the new DFW 9-Ball Tour

CJ Wiley, Paul Guernsey & Isaac Leyendecker

If attendance at a premiere tour stop is any indication, the newly-established DFW 9-Ball Tour is off to a good start. Formed after the retirement of Melinda Bailey’s Omega Billiards Tour, and losing very little time in transition, the DFW (Dallas/Fort Worth) 9-Ball Tour opened its already-solidified schedule of 12 events with a $1,700-added stop at Rusty’s Billiards in Arlington, TX, on the weekend of January 13-14. The venue played host to an opening field of 93 players, out of which emerged CJ Wiley, who was defeated in the hot seat battle by Paul Guernsey, and returned from the semifinals to win both sets of a true double elimination final and claim the tour’s first title.
 
Wiley, racing to 9, and Guernsey, racing to 8, advanced to the winners’ side semifinals having given up an identical average of racks per opponent (3), earned in different ways. Wiley opened his campaign with two 9-3 wins over Juan Batista and a 9-1 victory over Steve Raynes. He then gave up two racks to Jessie Wilcoxson before Tony Sulsar chalked up six against him in a winners’ side quarterfinal that advanced Wiley to a winners’ side semifinal against Jersey Jack Lynch.
 
Guernsey’s track to the winners’ side semifinals would see him give up three racks to Garrett Dalton and one to Monica Anderson before he shut out Scott Forgason. An 8-4, winners’ side quarterfinal win over Steve Horne was followed by a narrow, double hill win over TJ Davis, which set Guernsey up to face Isaac Leyendecker in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
Guernsey sent Leyendecker to the loss side 8-2, as Wiley was busy sending Lynch west 9-1. Guernsey claimed the hot seat (and his last match win of the event) 8-6 over Wiley, and waited on his return.
 
On the loss side, Leyendecker drew Sulsar, who, following his loss to Wiley, had shutout Peter Villatoro and eliminated Curtis Caldwell 8-5. Lynch picked up Robin Barbour, who’d gotten by Wilcoxson and Daniel Herring, both 7-3.
 
With Leyendecker racing to 6, and Sulsar racing to 8, the two locked up in a double hill battle that eventually (6-7) sent Leyendecker to the quarterfinals. He was joined by Lynch, who’d defeated Barbour 7-2. Leyendecker advanced one more step, defeating Lynch 6-4, before having his run stopped by Wiley 9-2 in the semifinals.
 
Wiley and Guernsey pretty much left it all out on the table in the opening set of the true double elimination final. They battled to double hill (Wiley ahead 8-7), before Wiley finished it to force the second set. Wiley edged out ahead in that second set and stayed there, completing his single-loss run with a 9-5 win that earned him the DFW 9-Ball Tour’s first event title.
 
Tour representatives awarded $50 to the event’s top finishing female, Ricki Casper. They also thanked the ownership and staff at Rusty’s Billiards, as well as title sponsor Predator Cues, JB Cases, Dallas Eightball League, Outsville (AccuRack), Fargo Rate, BCAPL/CSI, and Internet Marketing Solutions. The next stop on the DFW 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for February 17-18, will be hosted by Billiard Den in Richardson, TX.
 

Abismo wins double elimination final to stop Gutierrez and go undefeated on Omega Billiard Tour

Daniel Herring, Denny Sneed, Friday Abismo and David Gutierrez

Back in June, after a somewhat protracted absence from the pool scene, Houston’s David Gutierrez returned to the fold, so to speak, to win the sixth stop on the Omega Billiard Tour, going undefeated through a field of 85. Two and a half months later, on the weekend of September 9-10, at the ninth stop on the tour, Gutierrez rebounded from a loss on the winners’ side to challenge Friday Abismo in a true double elimination final. They battled to double hill, twice, with Gutierrez winning the first set and Abismo winning the second to claim the event title. The $1,700-added event drew 92 entrants to Speed’s Billiards & Games in Arlington, TX.
 
Abismo navigated his way through five winners’ side matches against Jesse Wilcoxson, Kiengchay Phoutthavong, Mark Szabo, Viet My and Steve Raynes to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal match against Daniel Herring. Gutierrez, in the meantime, won three winners’ side matches, against James Thorpe, Robin Barbour and Tony Top before being sent to the loss side 5-5 by Charley Elders (Gutierrez racing to 9). Elders followed him over when he was defeated by Juan Parra, who moved into the other winners’ side semifinal against Denny Sneed.
 
Abismo defeated Herring 7-2, as Sneed sent Parra west 7-1. Abismo claimed the hot seat 7-4 over Sneed and waited for Gutierrez to complete the seven-match, loss-side winning streak that would put him into the finals against Abismo.
 
On the loss side, it was Parra who drew Gutierrez, four matches into his sloss-side streak, having most recently downed Jersey Jack Lynch 9-5 and Oscar Araujo 9-3. Herring picked up Carl Bodeker, who’d been sent to the loss side by Sneed in a winners’ side quarterfinal and defeated Viet My 7-5 and Tony Sulsar 7-4.
 
Gutierrez defeated Parra  9-4, and in the quarterfinals met up with Herring, who’d eliminated Bodeker 8-5. Gutierrez was gaining momentum at this juncture, and took the quarterfinal match 9-3 over Herring. He got his shot at Abismo in the hot seat with a 9-2 win over Sneed in the semifinals.
 
Abismo was granted two games on the wire in each of the two matches against Gutierrez in races to 9 for the double elimination final. Both matches went double hill, with Gutierrez winning the opener 9-8. Abismo kept battling and took the second set 9-8 to claim the event title.
 
Tour director Melinda Bailey thanked the ownership and staff at Speed’s for their hospitality, along with sponsors Michael Hoang of OMEGA Billiards Supply, FargoRate.com and OB Cues. The next stop on the Omega Billiard Tour, scheduled for October 14-15, will be a $1,700-added event, hosted by The Hideaway in Dallas, TX.
 
 

Al-Howri Claims First Poison Lone Star Title

James Davis Sr., Ernesto Bayaua and Hanni Al Howri

Hanni Al-Howri, originally from Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates, now resides in Houston, Texas, and came close to achieving something only one amateur division pool player in the history of the Poison Lone Star Billiards Tour has ever achieved; winning both divisions at the same event. After several attempts, Al-Howri finally broke the ice in Round Rock, Texas, with his first-ever tournament win, going undefeated in the 71-player, amateur 9-ball division, and finishing second in the open 9-ball division. Resident tour player Ernesto Bayaua went unscathed in the 64-player, open 9-ball division, defeating Al-Howri in the final, at an event which drew a total of 123 players, and paid out over $9,000 in prize money.  
 
This year marks the 7th year that the Poison Lone Star Billiards Tour has hosted the annual “Texas Open Warm-Up” event at the famed Skinny Bob’s Billiards in Round Rock, Texas, amassing the highest attendance in the event’s history, besting its own record of 120 players in 2012. Home of the prestigious and longest-running billiard event in Texas, the “Texas Open”, Skinny Bob’s Billiards, along with title sponsor Poison by Predator Cues www.poisonbilliards.com, and sponsors Delta-13 Rack www.delta-13.com, Ozone Billiards www.ozonebilliards.com, APA of North Harris County www.facebook.com/apanorthharriscounty, and Cyclop Billiard Balls, facilitated another monster event for players across Texas and beyond. Room owners John and Sue Cielo added a very generous $1,000 to the Poison Lone Star Event, and $485 to the Gulf Coast Women’s Regional Tour 9-Ball Event. The tour would like to thank Skinny Bob’s Billiards and their wonderful staff for hosting another first-rate, tournament. 
 
In an effort to better accommodate the large number of players competing in the annual Poison Lone Star Texas Open Warm-Up Event, beginning in 2017, the ladies’ event will be staged at “Skinny Bob's II”, a smoke-free pool room, adjoining the main room, which houses eight new Diamond bar tables. “This event has presented some challenges over the years, with well over 100 players competing, and only two days in which to finish, on a limited number of tables. I’m confident that utilizing this additional space will provide a smoother tournament experience for all of the players,” says Tour Director, Kim Newsome.  
 
In the amateur 9-ball division, due to the overwhelming number of participants, Saturday’s races were set at 5 and 4, and on Sunday, 4 and 3. Hanni Al-Howri logged wins over Tony Thompson, David Castillo, Brandon Tang, 5-1, John Demet, 5-1, and John Wright, 4-1. Also vying for the winners’ side final four, Daniel Herring overcame Gabriel Romo, Casey Crews, Elijah Hughes, 5-1, Rudy Sanchez, 5-4, and Ryan Lane, 4-2. Jose Ybarra took down Paul Jobe, John Eagle, David Ray, and Joe Garza, 4-1, while Justin Pena took out Paul Alderete, Jacob Watson, 5-3, Mark Wicker, 5-2, and Jimmy Krone, 4-3. On the one-loss side, David Escobedo took out Chad Henson, 3-1, Daniel Baker eliminated John Eagle, 3-1, Felder overcome Ray, 3-2, and Robert Stewart ousted Robert Smith, 3-1. After losing his second round match to Lane, Escobedo came alive on the one loss side, securing his sixth, match win over Joe Garza, 3-2. Baker went on to eliminate Jimmy Krone, 3-2, Wright ended Felder, 3-2, and Stewart eliminated Lane, 3-2. Down to the final eight, players were tightening up their games, and grinding it out. Back on the winners’ side, Pena slid by Ybarra, 4-3, and Al-Howri defeated Herring, 4-2.  On the west side, Herring ended Escobedo’s run, 3-2, and Wright sent Stewart packing, 3-1. While Herring and Ybarra faced off on the one-loss side, the hot seat match teed off with Pena and Al-Howri. Determined to win his first event, Al-Howri was steadfast, and played with pocket-speed-precision. Although equally determined, and vying for his first tour win, Pena came up short, 4-2. On the one-loss side, Herring wasted no time making his way back to Al-Howri, dusting off Pena, 3-0, earning himself another shot at the title. In the final, Al-Howri came out of the gate, and never broke stride. Proving too much for Herring this day and time, Al-Howri took him out in the first set, 4-0, to win his first-ever, Poison Lone Star Tour amateur title.
 
In the open 9-ball division, Saturday’s races were set at 6 and 5, and on Sunday, 5 and 4.  Ernesto Bayaua made his way through the 64-player field, unscathed, securing wins over Michelle Abernathy, 6-1, David Neumann, 6-5, John Demet, 6-5, and Rudy Sanchez, 5-4, while Junior Jueco decimated John Palmore, Keith Keithley, 6-1, and Jason Roessler, 5-1. David Henson also made his way to the final four winners’ side, with wins over David Escobedo, Matt Bickers, Matt Wong, 6-0, and Hanni Al-Howri, 5-0, while James Davis, Sr., took down Paul Jobe, Kim Sanders, 6-1, Robert Stewart, 6-5, and Jim Miller, 5-2. On the one-loss side, Stewart ousted Sanchez, 4-1, and it was Massingill over Roessler, 4-2.  Al-Howri eliminated powerhouse Tommy Tokoph, 4-2, who had sustained an early hit from Robert Stewart, 6-0, and former junior phenom, Jacob Watson, took out Jim Miller, 4-2. Back on the east side, Henson overcame Davis, Sr., 4-3, and Bayaua bested Jueco, 4-3. Bayaua went on to secure the hot seat over Davis, Sr., 4-2. Action on the one loss witnessed Massingill defeat Stewart, 4-2, and Al-Howri eliminate Watson, 4-3. Henson made quick work of Massingill, 4-1, but fell to Al-Howri 4-2. Al-Howri went on to eliminate Davis, Sr., 4-3, for a total of 5 straight, match wins to meet Bayau in the final. Bayaua ended Al-Howri’s winning streak, taking the first and final set, 5-4, earning his second Poison Lone Star Tour tournament win of 2016.
 
The Tour would like to encourage everyone who loves to play pool and compete in a friendly atmosphere, to attend a Poison Lone Star Tour event. The final stop of this year is October 8th-9th, at Bogies Billiards and Sports Bar (3040 FM 1960 E.) in Houston, Texas, and hosts a Gulf Coast Tour ladies’ 9-ball event on Saturday, October 8th.  On November 12th-13th, the Gulf Coast Tour will host a $1,000 added, stand-alone women’s 9-ball event and WPBA Masters Qualifier, at Fat Racks Sports Bar and Billiards and Lounge, in San Antonio Texas. The famed Space City Open V will be held December 1st-4th, 2016, at Bogies Billiards and Sports Bar (3040 FM 1960 E.) in Houston, Texas. For more information on these events, and how to become a tour or event sponsor, please email Kim Newsome at lonestartour@gmail.com. Find out more about the Poison Lone Star Tour at LoneStarBilliardsTour.com. 

Compton takes (last) two out of three against Hogue to win Midwest 9-Ball Tour stop

Chip Compton and Greg Hogue

It is, of course, a hot seat occupant's worst nightmare. After all the effort, time, energy, and sometimes a lot of waiting to arrive at 'last winner' status, a loss-side opponent (more often than not, someone already defeated previously) steps up to the plate in the finals and negates (at least, psychologically) all that work by snatching an event title away. On the weekend of April 9-10, at a stop on the Midwest 9-Ball Tour, Greg Hogue was the hot seat occupant and Chip Compton was the nightmare. Compton took two out of three against Hogue to win the $1,900-added event that drew 51 entrants to Jamaica Joe's in Midwest City, OK.
 
On the Ladies' side, Tara Williams avoided the 'nightmare' by downing Brittany Maynard twice to go undefeated and claim that title. The $600-added Ladies tournament drew 16 entrants.
 
Compton and Hogue met first in the hot seat match. They'd both defeated opponents 9-6 to get there; Compton, defeating KC Massey and Hogue, downing Jacob McMichael. Seemingly hooked on the 9-6 idea, Hogue defeated Compton to claim the hot seat and waited on his return from the semifinals.
 
On the loss side, Massey picked up Daniel Herring, who'd defeated Lawrence Sanders 9-4 and Bobby Coston 9-5 to reach him. McMichael drew Joey Gray, who'd been sent to the loss side 9-1 by Compton in a winners' side quarterfinal, and defeated Jeff Williams 9-5 and Norman Small 9-4. By identical 9-7 scores, Massey and Gray advanced to the quarterfinals over Herring and McMichael.
 
Gray downed Massey 9-3 in those quarterfinals to earn himself a re-match versus Compton in the semifinals. Gray put up more of a fight the second time around, chalking up six racks, but Compton prevailed for his own second and then, deciding match against Hogue in the hot seat.
 
Compton took the first of the two, double elimination matches 9-3. Hogue fought back in the second set, but a single game away from a double hill game, Compton finished it at 9-7.
 
Tara Williams' path to the winners' circle in the Ladies' event went through Brittany Maynard twice. She downed her in the hot seat match 7-4. On the loss side, Renee Young defeated Rachel Peterson 7-1 in a quarterfinal match that set her up to face Maynard in the semifinals. Maynard prevailed 7-5 for a second, and potentially third shot against Williams in the hot seat. Williams rendered the second set point moot with a shutout over Maynard in the finals.
 
The next stop on the Midwest 9-Ball Tour, a $2,500-added event, scheduled for this coming weekend (April 16-17), will be hosted by a new-to-the-tour room – Astros, in Lawrence, KS. On the long weekend of June 2-5, the Midwest 9-Ball Tour will play host to another Mosconi Cup qualifying event, the latest of which, in Raleigh, NC, drew 128 entrants and featured the sport's top opponents. The event will feature a One Pocket tournament, and, as the Mosconi Cup qualifying event, a 9-Ball tournament.