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Diaz and Gestwicki split top prizes at AllOut Pool Tour season finale

(l to r): Jimmy Gestwicki & Francisco Diaz

‘Tis the season. . . for tour finales, and while the Florida-based AllOut Pool Tour wasn’t exactly sporting traditional holiday weather for theirs (it was in the mid-80s on Saturday, Dec. 8), they did gather and revel in the final tour stop of the season. The $1,000-added event drew 34 entrants to K & K Billiards in Miami, FL. Francisco Diaz ended up going undefeated in the event, although he and runner-up Jimmy Gestwicki opted out of a final match.
They did meet each other, in a winners’ side quarterfinal, that, after battling to double hill, sent Gestwicki to the loss side and Diaz on to a winners’ side semifinal match against Carl Kahn. Two long-time Florida competitors, very familiar with each other – Tommy Kennedy and Anthony Meglino – faced off in the other winners’ side semifinal.
Diaz downed Kahn 8-2 and in the hot seat match, met Meglino, who, in a straight-up race to 7 against Kennedy, sent him to the loss side 7-2. Diaz claimed the hot seat 6-7 over Meglino (racing to 9), which, for all intents and purposes, ended Diaz’ day at the tables.
On the loss side, Khan picked up Cary Cass, who’d lost his opening round match to Ed Acosta, and was in the midst of a six-match, loss-side winning streak that had most recently eliminated Sunny Nassif, double hill and Jeremy Fournier 8-3. Kennedy drew Gestwicki, who, following his defeat at the hands of Diaz, had defeated Mario Posada 8-4 and Randy Eperson, double hill.
Gestwicki eliminated Kennedy, who was racing to 9, 6-3. He was joined in the quarterfinals by Cass, who added another notch to his loss-side winning streak belt with a double hill elimination of Khan. Gestwicki ended Cass’ streak 8-5 in the quarterfinals, and then, with Meglino racing to 9, as well, eliminated him, double hill (6-8) in the semifinals.
It was nearing 2 a.m. when Diaz and Gestwicki called it quits and opted to split the event’s top two prizes. Tour director Peter Ghostine thanked Kostia Berrios and his K & K staff, as well as sponsors Dennis Searing Precision Tip, RYO racks, Billiard Bill’s Custom Cue and Repairs, Billiard Engineering and Boynton Billiards. The AllOut Pool Tour’s 2019 season opener, scheduled for February 16-17, will consist of an all-around GSB (gold, silver, bronze), 16-player Open-Pro event ($2,000-added) on 9 ft. Diamonds and a 32-player 10-Ball Amateur event ($500-added), played on 7 ft. Diamonds. It will be hosted by Shooter’s Billiards.

Burgos wins nine on the loss side to meet and defeat Meglino in finals of AllOutPool Tour

Julio Burgos and Anthony Meglino

When you think of top-notch players in various regions all across the country, the name Julio Burgos just doesn’t jump to the front of anyone’s list. According to Peter Ghostine, tour director of the AllOutPool Tour, that is likely to change. And soon. Burgos’ skills have been recognized, most recently on Saturday, June 16 at the 5th stop on the AllOutPool Tour, when he won nine on the loss side to defeat John Ditoro in the semifinals, and Anthony Meglino, double hill, in the finals to win his first-ever major tournament. The event drew 46 players to Beyond Billiards in Davie, FL.
“He’s new,” said Ghostine. “He’s very young, in his 20s, and he’s just coming out of his shell.”
Even in that metaphoric shell, Burgos’ skills have been noted. Though the only recorded instances of his appearance on anyone’s payout list occurred this year, when he finished 65th at the Derby City Classic’s One Pocket event in January and 17th at the 4th Texas 10-Ball Championships a month later, he entered Saturday’s handicapped tournament bearing the same handicap as the much more readily-recognized Anthony Meglino. The finals between them was a straight-up race to 11.
“We’ve been tracking his (progress) on the road, so we pretty much know his potential,” said Ghostine. “The data’s not there yet, but we’ve seen enough to know that he’s ranked that high.
“He’s capable,” he added, “of beating anybody.”
And he did, on Saturday. He beat 11 ‘anybodys;’ one in his opening round (Jason Sheerman, 8-6) and after a loss to Cristobal DeBarros (9-7), nine more on the loss side, and then, the final.
As Burgos toiled away on the loss side, his final two opponents advanced to the winners’ side semifinals. Meglino faced John Foster, as DiToro squared off against Tony Kolbe. Identical 8-4 victories sent Meglino and DiToro to the hot seat match, and eventually, in that hot seat match, DiToro to the semifinals.
With four loss-side wins to his credit (over Chad Scarborough, Michelle Ceglarek, Sandy Cheng, and TD Peter Ghostine), Burgos defeated Scott Franck 9-1, and Erick Poveda 9-3 to draw Kolbe, coming over from the winners’ side semifinal. John Foster picked up Sam Kantar, who’d been shut out by DiToro in a winners’ side quarterfinal and then defeated Laz Figueroa 7-3, and William Rubin 7-4.
Burgos advanced to the quarterfinals, 9-2 over Kolbe (all scores are indicated with appropriate on-the-wire figures already added). Foster joined him by eliminating Kantar 8-2. Burgos then defeated Foster, double hill (8-7), in those quarterfinals and completed his loss-side run with a victory over (not just anybody, but wily veteran) John DiToro 8-5 in the semifinals.
At 9-9 in the race-to-11 finals, Meglino was on the verge of reaching the hill first, but miscued, affording Burgos the opportunity, which he took. Meglino did tie it up to force the deciding game, but the final rack went to Burgos, who chalked up his first victory on the AllOutPool Tour, or anywhere else, for that matter. It will likely not be his last.
In addition to the regular payouts, Janis Sessions picked up $50 as the event’s top female finisher. Tony Vierra won the event’s Made-in-USA RYO Rack raffle, valued at $200. Tour director Peter Ghostine thanked the ownership and staff at Beyond Billiards, as well as sponsors Dennis Searing, Billiard Engineering and RYO Racks. The next stop on the AllOutPool Tour, scheduled for the weekend of July 21-22, will be hosted by Shooter’s Billiards in Port St. Lucie, FL.

Super Mario captures Florida State 9-Ball Championship

Charlie Williams may have been named 2001 Player of the Year on the Florida Pro Tour but it was Super Mario that took the title of 2001 Florida State 9-Ball Champion this weekend at Shootersville in Del Ray Beach, Florida.
The two day event, the finale of the Florida Pro Tour, started with Charlie Williams being official named the Player of the Year and being presented with a very nice personalized cue case from Jack Justis as well as a glass trophy. With the formalities out of the way, the tournament began and Charlie was immediately able to put his new case to use as he was sent home after losing his first two matches to Larry Walthall and John Ditoro.
On the other side of the tournament, Mario Cruz was in cruise control and he went undefeated through the event including a 13-7 win over Dennis Searing in the finals. The win was Mario's second of the year and earned him $2500 in prize money while Searing settled for $1500 for second. Luis Viera and Will Bilbrey filled out the top 4 spots.

Viera wins in Seminole

It was all Luis Viera at this weekends stop on the Florida Pro Open Tour. Viera went undefeated into the final match where he dispatched Sammy Monday by the score of 13-6. Viera had previously sent Monday to the one loss side with a 9-4 victory. Viera won $1500 for first and Monday settled for $1100 in second place prize money. Bob Osborne and Tour Director Dennis Searing filled out the top 4 spots.
The tour finale will be held in 2 weeks at Shootersville Billiards in Del Ray Beach, Florida.