Archive Page

Tkach wins 88% of her games to win APT’s VA State Ladies 10-Ball Championship

Kristina Tkach and Lisa Cossette

Moore and Mastermaker battle twice; Moore takes 2021 VA State Open 10-Ball title

Russia’s Kristina Tkach, fresh off her win at the Michael Montgomery Memorial Tournament in Texas on the last weekend in January, backed that title up with an undefeated victory at the 2021 VA State Ladies 10-Ball Championships on the weekend of February 20-21. Tkach also signed on to the concurrently-run Open 10-Ball Championships, where she was defeated in the opening round and won three on the loss side before being eliminated. Held under the auspices of the Action Pool Tour (APT), the ladies event drew a short field of 11 entrants to Diamond Billiards in Midlothian, VA.

Eric Moore, in the meantime, the APT’s 2016 Tour Champion and the winner of this event that year, as well, was defeated in the battle for the Open 10-Ball hot seat by the event’s 2019 winner, Danny Mastermaker, but came back to down him in the finals. The Open event drew 61 entrants to Diamond Billiards.

Tkach played a total of five matches to claim the ladies’ title. She entered the third round of play without having given up a single rack. She shut out both Soo Emmett and Johnna McDaniel to face Kia Burwell in one winners’ side semifinal. The event’s defending champion, Liz Taylor, downed Shanna Lewis 6-3 in what was their first opening round and faced Lisa Cossette in the other winners’ side semifinal.

Tkach downed Burwell 6-1. Taylor joined her in the hot seat match with a 6-2 win over Cossette. Entering that hot seat match with a 95% game-winning percentage (18-1), Tkach gave up another one of the four racks her opponents chalked up against her and sent the defending champion, Taylor, to the semifinals.

On the loss side, Burwell picked up Shanna Lewis, who, after her defeat at the hands of Taylor had eliminated Soo Emmett, double hill, and Kristen Daniels 5-3. Cossette drew Jacki Duggan, who’d been sent to the loss side by Burwell and downed Amy Williams 5-1 and Johnna McDaniel 5-2 to reach Cossette.

Burwell shut out Lewis. Cossette spoiled the possible rematch between Burwell and Duggan by defeating Duggan 5-2. Cossette and Burwell battled to double hill before Cossette prevailed for a shot at the defending champ in the semifinals. Cossette, on a roll, gave up only a single rack to Taylor and turned to challenge Tkach in the hot seat. 

To her credit, Cossette chalked up more racks against Tkach than any of the young Russian’s previous opponents. In fact, Cossette chalked up as many as all of Tkach’s previous four opponents combined. Downing Cossette 6-2, Tkach claimed the 2021 Ladies 10-Ball title having won 30 of 34 games played, for an 88% game-winning percentage. 

Danny Mastermaker and Eric Moore

Moore and Mastermaker battle twice for Open title

Though Eric Moore did not have to face the Open event’s 2020 champion (BJ Ussery) or its runner-up (Reymart Lim), neither of whom competed for the 2021 title, Moore did face a familiar APT competitor in Danny Mastermaker, twice. Though luck of the bracket draw kept Moore out of the path of a number of previous tour champions and familiar APT faces like Mike Davis, Chris Bruner (2019 tour champion), Shane Wolford (last year’s de facto tour champion in an abbreviated-by-the-pandemic, two-event season) and Brian Dietzenbach, among others, Moore (who finished in 5th place last year) did have to get by Scott Roberts, who finished two slots ahead of him in last year’s two-event standings. 

Moore’s six-match march to the hot seat went through Brent Hensley 7-4, a shutout over Chris Pyle and another 7-4 win, over Mike McPherson, before pulling up to the aforementioned Scott Roberts, who challenged Moore to his first of only two double hill matches. Moore advanced to meet Bobby Chamberlain in one of the winners’ side semifinals.

Mastermaker, in the meantime, got by Kevin Williams and Michael Bumpass, both 7-2 and then gave up only one to Ed Culhane, before chalking up another 7-2, versus David Hunt. This set him up to draw Shane Wolford in the other winners’ side semifinal.

Moore downed Chamberlain 7-5 to get into the hot seat match, where he was joined by Mastermaker, who’d sent Wolford to the loss side 7-3. It was Mastermaker who locked Moore up in his second double hill fight, battling for the hot seat. Mastermaker prevailed and waited on Moore’s return.

On the loss side, Chamberlain picked up the tour’s 2019 champion, Chris Bruner, who’d been sent over by Wolford and was working on an eight-match, loss-side winning streak that would take him as far as the semifinals and had most recently included wins (#5 & #6) over David Hunt 6-4 and Bruce Campbell 6-1 (Campbell, three rounds earlier, had been responsible for eliminating Kristina Tkach). Wolford drew Mike Davis, who’d been defeated by Bobby Chamberlain and was in the midst of a six-match winning streak that was about to end and had recently included wins over Scott Roberts 6-1 and Mark Nanashee 6-2.

Bruner continued his winning streak with a double hill victory over Chamberlain. He was joined in the quarterfinals by Wolford, who’d stopped Davis’ streak 6-4. Another double hill fight ensued in those quarterfinals and eventually advanced Bruner over Wolford into the semifinals. 

Eric Moore put a punctuation mark into ending Bruner’s streak, allowing him only a single rack to earn a second shot at Mastermaker, waiting for him in the hot seat. Eric completed his 2021 10-Ball Championship campaign with a final 8-5 victory over Mastermaker. 

Tour directors Kris Wylie and Tiger Baker thanked the ownership and staff at Diamond Billiards, as well as this event’s sponsors, Haselman & Hunt, D.D.S., P.C. Family Dentistry (www.Haselman & Hunt.com). The schedule for upcoming events on the Action Pool Tour, like so much else at this time, is being curtailed by restrictions associated with individual communities and venues. Wylie and Baker are monitoring the situation as best they can and while they hope that they will be able to announce other APT stops in the future, the only one that is known for sure as of this writing is an event scheduled for July 17-18, which will be hosted by Wolfe’s Den Billiards in Roanoke,VA.  

Mastermaker goes undefeated to win Action Pool Tour stop #11 in Midlothian

Danny Mastermaker & Larry Kressel

In 2013, Danny Mastermaker was everywhere and playing in his best earnings year since AZBilliards began recording his winnings in 2007. He won a stop on the Action Pool Tour and another on the Great Southern Billiard Tour, and cashed in 11 other events, including that year’s VA State 10-Ball Championship (3rd), the George “Ginky” Sansouci Memorial (7th), the Super Billiards Expo’s Amateur Championship (9th), the VA State 9-Ball Championship (9th), the US Open 9-Ball Championships (17th) and Turning Stone XXI (17th).

As he came into stop #11 on this year’s Action Pool Tour, he had only one cash winning to his 2019 credit; he finished 7th at the VA State 10-Ball Championship in February. Mastermaker went undefeated at the Saturday, November 16 10-Ball event to claim his first (recorded) event title since he won the VA State Bar Table 9-Ball tournament in Lynchburg, VA in July, 2014. Oddly enough, Mastermaker downed Larry Kressel in the finals of that bar table 9-ball tournament five years ago and at the Action Pool Tour event this past weekend that drew 30 players to Diamond Billiards in Midlothian, VA, he defeated Kressel in the finals again.

He got by Kressel twice, actually. Mastermaker got by Zach Gladfelder, Adnan Ahsan and John Wright to draw Kelly Farrar in one of the winners’ side semifinals, as Kressel sent Shane Buchanan, Jason Trigo and Dave Hunt to the loss side and picked up Scott Roberts in the other winners’ side semifinal. Mastermaker dominated his match versus Farrar and sent him to the loss side 8-1, as Kressel sent Roberts over 8-5. In their first of two, Mastermaker prevailed 8-3 over Kressel.

On the loss side, Farrar drew Shane Wolford, who’d lost his opening round match and was working on a seven-match, loss-side winning streak that would take him all the way to the semifinals. He’d most recently defeated Dave Hunt 7-3 and Chris Bruner 7-1 to arrive at Farrar. Roberts drew Jimmy Bird, the man who’d sent Farrar to the loss side in the opening round. Bird was on a five-match, loss-side streak that was about to come to an end. He’d most recently eliminated John Wright 7-4 and Josh Craig 7-5.

Wolford shut Farrar out, as Roberts ended Bird’s streak 7-3. Wolford then defeated Roberts 7-5 in the quarterfinals.

Kressel put a stop to Wolford’s run in the semifinals by allowing him only a single rack in a race to 7. Kressel earned his second shot at Mastermaker in the hot seat.

Mastermaker had to chalk up one more rack than he had in the hot seat match in the finals’ race to 9. Kressel duplicated his effort in the hot seat match and Mastermaker claimed the event title 9-3.

Tour directors Kim Wylie and Tiger Baker thanked the ownership and staff at Diamond Billiards, as well as sponsors Predator Cues, Viking Cues, Simonis Cloth, Aramith Balls, Brown’s Mechanical LLC, Kamui, Diamond Billiard Products, Ozone Billiards, CSI, Grant Wylie Photography and George Hammerbacher, Advanced Pool Instructor. The next stop on the Action Pool Tour, scheduled for the weekend of December 7-8, will be the Pineapple Morris Memorial Shootout at Q Master Billiards in Virginia Beach, VA.

Carmona comes back from semifinals to win 7th Annual VA State 10-Ball Championships

(l to r): TD Tiger Baker, Scott Haas & RJ Carmona

Atwell comes back from semifinals to claim her 5th VA State 10-Ball title
 
In the seven-year history of the Virginia State 10-Ball Championships, there have been seven different winners in the event’s Open Division. The most recent winner at the 7th Annual event was RJ Carmona. In that same time frame, there have only been three women who have claimed the title – Tracie Majors (2014), Meredith Lynch (2017) and Janet Atwell, who won the inaugural event in 2013, and claimed the title in successive years, twice; 2015, 2016, 2018, and this past weekend, February 16-17, 2019. Both competitors at this year’s championships, held under the auspices of the Action Pool Tour and hosted by Diamond Billiards in Midlothian, VA, made it to their respective hot seat matches, and lost. They both came back to meet and defeat their hot seat opponent and claim the event title.
 
The Open division of the annual event drew 48 entrants, and only one former champion (Eric Moore, 2016). The Women’s Championship drew 15 entrants, including four-time and defending champion, Atwell. The Open event drew 9 of the top 10 finishers from the APT season opener in January, including that event’s winner (Reymart Lim).
 
Carmona opened his bid for the 2019 title with a shutout over Christopher Wilburn and then, battled to double hill against Del Sim before advancing. He downed Reymart Lim 8-6 and met up with Scott Roberts in a winners’ side semifinal. Carmona’s hot seat and finals opponent, Scott Haas, got by Danny Mastermaker, double hill, in the opening round and went on to defeat Shane Buchanan 8-5, before getting locked up in a second double hill battle against David Hairfield. Haas won that one to advance to a winners’ side semifinal against Brian Bryant.
 
Haas got into the hot seat match with an 8-4 win over Bryant. Carmona joined him after sending Roberts to the loss side 8-2. Haas claimed the hot seat 8-5 over Carmona and waited on his return.
 
On the loss side, Bryant picked up APT veteran/pro player Brandon Shuff, who’d lost a second- round match to Reymart Lim (double hill) and was in the midst of a seven-match, loss-side winning streak that would take him as far as the quarterfinals. He’d most recently eliminated Shorty Davis 7-3 and winner of the APT season opener, Reymart Lim 7-2. Scott Roberts drew Chris Bruner, who’d lost his second-round match to John Newton, and like Shuff, was on an extended loss-side streak (eight matches) that would take him to the seminfinals. He’d most recently defeated David Hairfield 7-5 and Danny Mastermaker 7-4.
 
Shuff and Bruner advanced to the quarterfinals with seven loss-side wins each, once Shuff had eliminated Bryant 7-5 and Bruner had defeated Roberts 7-3. Bruner broke the loss-side match tie with a 7-5 win over Shuff and with some momentum on his side, battled to double hill against Carmona in the semifinals. Carmona, though, finished it for a second shot at Haas in the hot seat.
 
Whatever happened in the Carmona/Haas finals, Reymart Lim was going to retain his top spot on the tour’s (two event) points-leader board, and RJ Carmona would hold on to his #2 spot. Haas, competing in his first 2019 APT stop, would enter the points-leader board at either #18, if he won, or #20, if he lost. Carmona completed his 2019 VA State 10-Ball Championship run with a 10-8 victory over Haas.
 
Atwell goes 3-1 to claim her fifth VA State 10-Ball Ladies title
 
It’s never easy, but short fields make for short runs to event titles. Janet Atwell played four matches and won three of them to claim her fifth VA State 10-Ball title. It was her first appearance on the APT in 2019 and her victory allowed her to enter the tour’s points-leader board at #83 (points are awarded based on a player’s finish and a formula related to the total number of entrants).
 
Atwell was awarded an opening round bye and then defeated Buffy Jolie 7-4 to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal against Marianne Merrill. Liz Taylor, in the meantime, got by Cheryl Pritchard 7-2 and Tina Castillo 7-4 to arrive at her winners’ side semifinal match against Linda Shea (tour director of the J. Pechauer Northeast Women’s Tour).
 
Atwell and Taylor advanced to the hot seat match with identical 7-4 victories over Merrill and Shea. Taylor claimed the hot seat in a double hill win.
 
On the loss side, Shea picked up Lisa Cossette, who’d defeated Kim McKenna and Nicole King, both 6-4, to reach her. Merrill drew Cheryl Sporleder, who’d defeated Dorothy Strater 6-1 and Bethany Sykes 6-4. Shea and Sporleder advanced to the quarterfinals, having given up only three racks between them in 15 games; Shea gave up two to Cossette and Sporleder gave up one to Merrill.
 
Shea gave up none at all to Sporleder in those quarterfinals, only to get locked up in what was most likely a predictable double hill fight between her and Atwell in the semifinals. Atwell prevailed and then in the finals rematch, downed Taylor 8-2 to claim the VA State 10-Ball Ladies title.
 
A Second Chance tournament drew 18 entrants. Greg Sabins and Robert Farmer worked their way through the field and battled in both the hot seat and finals. Farmer claimed the hot seat in a double hill fight, but Sabins came back from a shutout over Graham Swinson in the semifinals to shut Farmer out in the finals and claim the Second Chance top prize of $160. Farmer took home $100 as runner-up. Swinson finished third ($75), Cheryl Sporleder finished in fourth place ($50). Jamie Bess and Andrew Stephan each took home $30 for the 5th place tie.
 
Tour directors Kris Wylie and Tiger Baker thanked the ownership and staff at Diamond Billiards, as well as sponsors Diamond Billiard Products, Viking Cues, Predator, Tiger, Kamui Tips, Ozone Billiards, Simonis Cloth, and George Hammerbacher Advanced Pool Instructor. The next stop on the 2019 Action Pool Tour, scheduled for March 23-24, will be the East Coast Landscaping Bar Box Bash and will be hosted by Peninsula Billiards in Newport News, VA.

Moore comes back from semifinals to win VA State 8-Ball Championships

Reams comes from loss side to win short-field Women's event

Eric Moore solidified his hold on the top position in the Action Pool Tour rankings with a come-from-the-loss-side victory at the VA State 8-Ball Championships, held under the auspices of the Action Pool Tour on the weekend of November 12-13. Sierra Reams, after a loss in one of the winners' side semifinals, came back to claim the VA Women's 8-Ball Championship title. The Open event drew 56 entrants to Diamond Billiards in Midlothian, VA. The women drew an extraordinarily short field of six to the same location.

 
 
Female competitors living in the vicinity of the Northeast Corridor, extending along a two and half hour section of Route 95 from Midlothian, VA to Elkridge, MD (along with others who may have traveled from other areas), had two choices over the weekend. They could attend the VA State Women's 8-Ball Championships in Midlothian, or the season finale of the J. Pechauer Northeast Women's Tour in Elkridge. Combined, the two events drew 26 women, six of whom opted for the APT event in Midlothian. 
 
 
Sierra Reams' trek to the victory in the VA State 8-ball event was extended by two matches, when she was defeated, double hill, in a winners' side semifinal by Kim Whitman. Jacki Duggan joined Whitman in the hot seat match, following a 6-4 victory over Terri Stovall. Duggan claimed the hot seat 6-4 over Whitman.
 
 
On the loss side, Reams downed Vivian Nguyen 5-1 to advance to the quarterfinals. Bethany Sykes downed Stovall, double hill, to join her. Reams took the quarterfinal match over Sykes 5-2, and then locked up in a double hill fight against Whitman in their semifinals re-match. Reams won it for a shot at Duggan in the finals. Reams defeated Duggan 8-6 to claim the title.
 
 
In the Open event, All 10 of the Action Pool Tour's top 10 competitors were on hand to battle for the 8-ball title, all vying (with one event to go) for the top two slots on the season-end ranking list, which will earn those top two players free entry into all three divisions of the 2017 US Bar Table Championships in Las Vegas, and a shared free hotel room during the event. The #1-ranked player, which, with only the one event to go, would appear to be Moore, will earn plane fare to the event, as well.
 
 
Moore's primary nemesis in this event proved to be Max Schlothauer, making a rare appearance on the tour; his first this year (he defeated TD Ozzy Reynolds in the finals of an event a few years ago). Moore and Schlothauer came to the first of their two meetings, in the hot seat match, on the heels of two distinctly different paths. Moore faced four opponents before Schlothauer and gave up an average of 3.5 racks to each of them; overall, 28-14. Schlothauer faced just as many and gave up an average of only one rack to each of his opponents; overall, 28-4.
 
Following victories over Yuta Morooka, Chris Pyle, Chris Bruner, and Danny Mastermaker, Moore squared off against Jamey Mellott in one of the winners' side semifinals. Schlothauer got by Luther Pickeral, Ernie Allen, Alan Duty, and Reggie Jackson to draw Kenny Miller in the other winners' side semifinal. Between them, Moore and Schlothauer gave up only a single rack in the two winner's side semifinals. Moore allowed Mellott one, while Schlothauer advanced to the hot seat match after a shutout over Miller. Moore chalked up as many racks against Schlothauer in the hot seat match, as all five of Schlothauer's previous opponents combined. Schlothauer claimed the hot seat 7-4 and waited on Moore's return.
 
 
On the loss side, Mellott picked up Bruner, who, following his loss to Moore on the winners' side, got by Wai Cho Yee, Bobby Stovall, Reggie Jackson and Yuta Morooka. Miller drew Mastermaker, who'd gotten by Duty, double hill, and Rick Glasscock 6-4 (Glasscock had previously eliminated the tour's #3-player, Shaun Wilkie). Mastermaker downed Miller 6-1, advancing to the quarterfinals against Bruner, who'd eliminated Mellott 6-4.
 
 
It was Bruner who advanced to meet Moore in the semifinals, following a 6-3 win over Mastermaker in the quarterfinals. Moore ended Bruner's six-match, loss-side streak with a 6-4 win in the semifinals. In a reversal of fortunes, Moore was able to chalk up as many racks against Schlothauer in the finals as had been chalked up against him to that point (8). Schlothauer managed only three in those finals. Moore was able to record his third APT victory on the year, and claim the VA State 8-Ball Championship title, to go along with his previous VA State 10-Ball Championship title that he earned back in February.

Karen Corr becomes first woman to win a stop on the Action Pool Tour

Karen Corr

As the Action Pool Tour's seventh stop advanced to its winners' side semifinals, it became possible that not only could a woman emerge as the event champion, there might be two of them in the finals. Only one, Karen Corr, made it, returning from a loss in the hot seat, meeting and defeating Brett Stottlemyer in the finals and becoming the first woman to win a stop on the Action Pool Tour. The event, held on the weekend of September 10-11, drew 66 entrants to Breakers Sky Lounge in Herndon, VA.
 
Corr's seven-match march to the winners' circle was no walk in the park. Though she'd win her first three by an aggregate score of 21-6, defeating Bryan Proctor (3), Jimmy Coleman (2) and Steve Fleming (1), she won her next two 14-9 against Alan Duty (4) and in a winners' side semifinal, Shaun Wilkie (5), both among the tour's top 10 players. In comparison, Stottlemyer's six-match path to the hot seat began with a double hill scare versus Greg Sabins. Things smoothed out a bit, as Stottlemyer went on to defeat Bruce Gardner (3), Eric Moore (2), Amit Kumar (4), and in the other winners' side semifinal, the other woman in the hunt for a first APT championship, Tina Malm (3). As the hot seat match between Stottlemyer and Corr got underway, it was "Advantage Miss Corr" – 35-15 over Stottlemyer 35-18. That changed to "Advantage Mr. Stottlemyer" as he took the hot seat match 7-5 and waited on Corr's return.
 
On the loss side, Malm had the misfortune of opening her bid to become part of an all-woman final against Corr by running into the Action Pool Tour's #1-ranked player, Brandon Shuff, looking for his fourth trip to an APT final and second win of the season. Shuff had been defeated by Eric Moore (the #3-ranked player on the tour) 7-4 in his opening round, and was in the midst of an eight-match, loss-side winning streak that would take him as far as the quarterfinals. Two of the eight went double hill. Wins #5 and #6 came at the expense of Alan Duty and a successful re-match against Moore, both 6-4 wins. Wilkie, in the meantime, the tour's #2-ranked player, picked up Kenny Miller (who'd end up at the conclusion of this stop as the #4-ranked player on the tour). Miller had been sent to the loss side by Malm in a winners' side quarterfinal, and defeated Will Moon and Danny Mastermaker, both 6-4.
 
Shuff chalked up his last win over Malm 6-2, as Wilkie, by the same score, was eliminated by Miller. Miller advanced one more step, defeating Shuff in the quarterfinals 6-4, before running into the apparently determined Corr in the semifinals. She earned her second shot against Stottlemyer, waiting for her in the hot seat, with a 6-3 win over Miller in those semifinals.
 
Combined, Corr and Stottlemyer had been a part of the seven-stop, APT season only three times. Corr was making her first appearance, while Stottlemyer was making his second (he placed fourth in the opening stop). Corr became the first victorious female on the APT tour with a commanding 9-4 win over Stottlemyer in the finals.

Hancock goes undefeated to take Q City 9-Ball stop

Mike Hancock had the good fortune to run into a forfeit victory in the finals of the February 20-21 stop on the Q City 9-Ball Tour. His potential opponent, Brian Bryant, had been defeated in the second round of play, and won nine straight matches on the loss side for the right to meet Hancock, but a family situation forced Bryant to leave and forfeit the final match. The event drew 48 entrants to Clubhouse Billiards in Lynchburg, VA.
 
With Bryant, long at work on the loss side, Hancock advanced to a winners' side semifinal match against Collin Hall. Matt Fiple, in the meantime, met up with Zach Hampton. Hancock defeated Hall 6-5, and in the hot seat match, faced Fiple, who'd sent Hampton to the west bracket 7-4. Hancock claimed the hot seat 6-4 over Fiple, in what would prove to be his last match.
 
Over on the loss side, Bryant was mowing 'em down, one by one. With four notches on his loss-side belt, he defeated Chuckie Brown 9-4 and Scott Largen 9-5 to draw Hall. Hampton picked up Danny Mastermaker, who'd downed his brother, Joey, 10-5 and defeated Beuford Lusk 10-4.
 
Bryant moved on to the quarterfinals with a 9-4 win over Hall. He was joined by Hampton, who'd ended Mastermaker's weekend 9-7. Bryant eliminated Hampton 9-6, and won what proved to be his last match 9-4, over Matt Fiple in the semifinals. His subsequent forfeit left the event title in Hancock's hands.

The 2015 Action Pool Tour Champion – Brandon Shuff – wins 2016 season opener

Things were running fairly smoothly for the 2015 Action Pool Tour Champion, Brandon Shuff, during the tour's 2016 season opener on the weekend of January 16-17. Until, that is, Shuff ran into Danny Mastermaker in a winners' side semifinal. Shuff had to shuffle on over to the loss side, where he chalked up three wins (including a rematch versus Mastermaker), and came back to defeat hot seat occupant, Rafael Reyes in the finals. The event drew 54 entrants to Magic 8 Cue Club in Cockeysville, MD.
 
Over his first four games, each of Shuff's opponents added two racks to the number scored against him in the previous round. An opening round shutout over Alan Duty was followed by a 7-2 win over Chris Pyle, which was followed by a 7-4 win over Kenny Miller, which was followed by a double hill, 7-6 win over Brett Stottlemyer. This set him up in a winners' side semifinal against Mastermaker, as Reyes and Shaun Wilkie squared off in the other one.
 
Mastermaker sent Shuff to the loss side 7-2, while Reyes (who, by the way, started out with a double hill win and followed it with a shutout and two 7-4 wins) defeated Wilkie 7-3. Reyes claimed the hot seat in one of those 'almost double hill,' 7-5 battles and waited on the return of Shuff.
 
On the loss side, Shuff picked up Steve Fleming, who'd been sent to the loss side by Wilkie and after shutting out Will Moon, had defeated Randy Thomas 7-2. Wilkie, in the meantime, drew Stottlemyer, who, following his defeat at the hands of Shuff, had defeated Jimmy Varias and Trevor Dentz, both 6-2.
 
Stottlemyer and Shuff advanced to a somewhat familiar quarterfinal matchup, once Stottlemyer had eliminated Wilkie 6-2, and Shuff had downed Fleming 6-4. Shuff then took care of business with Stottlemyer, retiring him 6-4 in the quarterfinals, and turning for a re-match against Mastermaker. 
 
Shuff gave up only a single rack to Mastermaker in the semifinals, and turned to face Reyes in the hot seat. A double hill battle ensued, eventually won by Shuff 9-8 to claim the APT's season opener; step one in a quest to repeat as tour champion.

Wilkie wins nine on the loss side and finals against Futrell to stay atop APT Rankings

Shaun Wilkie

Shaun Wilkie started his November 8-9 weekend on the Action Pool Tour against two women. He did well against the first one, Kia Sidbury, giving up just a single rack in their race to seven. Then he ran into Karen Corr, who, in defeating him 7-5, sent him on a ten-match winning streak that culminated in a finals victory over Chris Futrell. Stop # on the Action Pool Tour drew 59 entrants to Diamond Billiards in Midlothian, VA.
 
With Wilkie, the tour's top-ranked player, at work on the loss side, some of the lower-ranked players, with fewer appearances on this year's tour, were able to advance. RJ Carmona (#72), Mike Davis (#140), Chris Futrell (#200) and Karen Corr (#100), for example, who advanced to to play in the winners' side semfinals; Carmona against Davis, Futrell against Corr. Davis defeated Carmona 7-3, while Futrell fought and prevailed in a double hill match over Corr, who hadn't given up more than three racks since defeating Wilkie in the second round. Futrell, no doubt feeling real good, sent Davis to the semifinals 7-4 and sat in the hot seat, waiting on Wilkie.
 
On the loss side, Wilkie started his nine-match trek to the finals with four wins in which he gave up only six racks (26 games). This put him into the first money round (9/12). He then defeated Joey Mastermaker 5-3 and Nilbert Lim 5-1 to pick up Carmona, coming over from the winners' side semifinal. Corr, in the meantime, was facing Danny Mastermaker, who'd gotten by Larry Kressel 5-2 and Dave Hunt 5-3.
 
Wilkie eliminated Carmona 5-3 and in the quarterfinals, faced Corr, who'd defeated Mastermaker 5-1. It was not only a re-match with the woman who'd sent him to the loss side, it would also be Wilkie's fifth match, out of 10 total, against a female. He was taking no chances, apparently. He allowed Corr only a single rack and advanced to the semifinals against Davis, who put up more of a fight, a double hill fight, in fact, but to no avail. Wilkie prevailed, and got his shot against Futrell. Futrell put up a fight, too, and came within a game of forcing Wilkie into his second straight double hill match, but Wilkie finished it at 9-7 to claim the event title.

WOW Matches All Day at Simonis/Aramith U.S. Open

Mike Dechaine

Thursday brought us another host of excellent matches at the 39th Simonis/Aramith U.S. Open 9-Ball Championships at the Marriott Hotel in Chesapeake, Virginia. With a field this strong we have many big names storming through the one-loss bracket. All of these are perform or go home matches and experience under pressure is proving its value here.

World number one Niels Feijen was behind in most of his match with Jin Hu Dang but came back from a two-game deficit to win the match 11-9. Johnny Archer had to face young sharpshooter Skyler Woodward but his composure and confidence won the day as he overcame the up and comer 11-5. Feijen next faces Jonathan Pinegar and he better be ready as Pinegar eliminated Johnny Archer (11-6) in his final match of the night. Upcoming Hall of Famer Jose Parica had his exit ticket punched today in a double-hiller with Le Quang Trun of Viet Nam and Imran Majid gave Oscar Dominguez a pass to the stands 11-7.

Justin Bergman doesn't ever seem to consider the possibility that he could miss. He plays with a solid and sure pace and just had his way today with a tough Danny Mastermaker. Mastermaker just could not stay up with the firepower of Bergman. Begman then went on to take out Brad Shearer (11-3). He ran a four pack against Shearer and that is the most racks anyone has been able to manage consecutively this week as the new racking rule of the 9 on the spot has really put a halt to long runs. The games are more about strategy this year and Bergman's main strategy is to smother opponents with firepower until they cannot lift their heads.

Chris Bruner had a match today he can put in the proud section of his memory banks. He showed no apprehension at all in his match against Russian great Konstantin Stepanov. He played what the table offered and ducked effectively when that was the proper option. The match was close but Bruner never showed any nerves as he took the bout 11-9.

Alex Pagulayan is the first to admit that his record against Ralf Souquet is less than stellar. But he must have forgotten about that in their match today. Pagulayan looked truly solid as he ended the run of Souquet 11-7. In the next round, however, Pagulayan ran into prospective Mosconi Cupper Justin Hall and Hall played well beyond his years as he dismembered Pagulayan 11-4. Whatever magic dust coach Mark Wilson is using on his charges seems to be working very well this week. Wilson has to pick five of the eight prospects to make the team and they are not making his choice easy.

Jeremy Sossei had a real hill to climb. He was matched up against Max Eberle and Max had already beaten the aforementioned World number one Niels Feijen earlier in the week. Eberle is in total control of the mental side of the game now and when you couple that with his considerable table skills you have a guy you just don't really want to play. But Sossei gets better every time we see him and he stayed calmly within himself throughout the match and took it down 11-9. The new table habits Sossei has picked up of late are certainly working for him. After the Eberle match he went on to take down Albin Ouschan (11-8) and Friday must face his fellow Mosconi Cup prospect Justin Hall. It will be curious to find which of these players will be afraid of making the first big mistake and which will put all that away and play aggressive 9-Ball.

On the winner's side Ernesto Dominguez just keeps setting them up and knocking them down. He beat Ralf Souquet earlier in the week 11-7 and today never gave Chris Futrell a chance as he rolled over him 11-5. His next opponent is Francisco Bustamante. Bustamante manhandled a clearly not on his game Thorsten Hohmann. Both men had a lot of trouble with the break shot and we witnessed six scratches on the break shot during the match as Bustamante managed Hohmann 11-5.

Former Mosconi Cup member Nikos Ekonomopoulos is threatening the field this week. He has already tromped Dennis Grabe 11-3 and Mario He 11-4 and today he showed his endurance as he never tired in his 11-10 win over another former Mosconi Cup member, Corey Deuel.

Nick Van Den Berg is here on a mission and he is getting there. Every match he has had has been against a champion and he just continued to prevail until Warren Kiamco put him over to the left side 11-9. Prior to that he had won over Stevie Moore (11-6), Matt Haines (11-5), and Mika Immonen (11-2).

Late evening matches of interest included a match between Shane Van Boening and Do Huang Quan where the pool gods showed their undying love for Van Boening. Quan had him in the vise twice and let him out. Quong was running out when he led the match 10-8 but dogged an easy 5 ball and then dogged another golden opportunity in the hill match to ran the victory to Van Boening 11-10.

Karl Boyes is a study in contrasts. Off the table he is gregarious and a lot of fun to be around. He has one of those personalities that easily charms and wins friends and he can be the life of the party. But when he gets on a pool table he flips the switch and focuses internally and does a fine job of living inside the rails. He showed off his true power Thursday night as he crushed none other than Darren Appleton 11-1. With that kind of performance on his record he will bring out the cautious side of his opponents and that advantage alone is worth a couple of racks.

There are now only eight undefeated players and they are going to provide us with a marvelous show today as Shane Van Boening must face Karl Boyes, Mike Dechaine takes on Dennis Orcollo, Nikos Ekonomopoulos challenges Warren Kiamco and Ernesto Dominguez does battle with Francisco Bustamante. Watch the best of the action on Accu-Stats and follow all of the action here on AZB.

 

Wilkie comes from the loss side to become first-ever, two-time winner of Bob Stocks Memorial

Shaun Wilkie

Currently held under the auspices of the Action Pool Tour (APT), the Bob Stocks Memorial was originally an independent event, run by Sterling, VA's First Break Cafe. In the years since it began in 2006, it's crowned Adam Smith, Dennis Hatch, Ryan McCreesh, Mike Sigel, Mike Davis and Brian Deska as champions (the event was not held in 2013). On the weekend of October 4-5, the event crowned its first-ever, two-time champion, Shaun Wilkie, who won it in its independent days in 2008, three years before the APT took over in 2011. This year's event drew 65 entrants to First Break Cafe.
 
Wilkie's victory moved him to the top of APT's current rankings, ahead of Brian Deska, who finished in the two-way tie for fifth place. They're separated by a mere 127 points, with two events to go in the APT season. 
 
Wilkie had to win five on the loss side to chalk this one up. He was defeated by Dan Madden 7-3 in a winners' side quarterfinal. Madden moved on to face Danny Mastermaker in one winners' side semifinal, as Deska and Brandon Shuff met up in the other (of note at this juncture was Deska's just-completed, 7-2 victory over Karen Corr). Shuff sent Deska to the loss side 7-4, and in the hot seat match, met up with Mastermaker, who'd given up only a single rack to Madden. Shuff just did get by Mastermaker 7-6 to claim the hot seat, and, unbeknowst to him, chalk up his last victory.
 
Deska moved over and picked up Wilkie, who'd started his march back to the finals with a double hill win over Jimmy Varias and a subsequent victory over Steve Fleming 7-4. Madden drew Karen Corr, who'd gotten by Jason Kochenour 6-2 and Will Moon 6-1. Madden dropped Corr into the tie for fifth place 6-2. No one could have predicted that the battle between the tour's top two ranked players would end up in a shutout, but it did; Wilkie advanced, leaving Deska in the tie for fifth with Corr.
 
Wilkie now had his second shot against Madden, and took advantage of the opportunity, defeating him 6-2 to draw Mastermaker in the semifinals. Another double hill match ensued, which eventually advanced Wilkie to a finals showdown against Shuff. With the final match extended to nine games, Wilkie and Shuff battled it back and forth to within a game of double hill. Wilkie, though, surged ahead by two at the end to take it 9-7.