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APA National Singles Championships Close Riviera Out in Style

World’s Largest Pool League Awards Nearly $650,000


After hosting more billiard tournaments than perhaps any other venue in the world, it was only fitting that the 2015 APA National Singles Championships were the last event, of any kind, ever held at the iconic Riviera Hotel and Casino. Thousands of APA members made their way to the classic Vegas property in early May to say their final farewells while competing for nearly $650,000 in cash and prizes.  

The National Singles Championships consisted of both the 8-Ball Classic and 9-Ball Shootout Singles Championships, 8-Ball and 9-Ball Doubles Championships and the Wheelchair Challenge.
The final round of the 9-Ball Shootout featured three championship matches, one for each Skill Level Tier, with two shooters in each competing for $10,000 in cash and prizes. 
In the Green Tier, Kristi Spohn of Mary Esther, Fla., defeated Kennedy Cummings of Deltona, Fla. 
In the White Tier, James Turner of Florence, S.C., defeated Larry Atkinson of Garden City, Mo.
In the Black Tier, James Adams of Brooksville, Fla., defeated Stefan Dehoze of Harper’s Ferry, W.V.
Each of the three Champions received a prize package worth $10,000.  Runners-Up in each tier took home a prize package worth $5,000.
Carolyn Burgduff of Keizer, Ore., was awarded the Sportsmanship Award in the 9-Ball Shootout. More than 3,600 poolplayers made it to the Regional Level of the 9-Ball Shootout before the field was whittled down to 303 who advanced to Las Vegas. 
Nearly 5,600 players throughout North America qualified for Regional competition in the 8-Ball Classic, with 472 of them advancing to the championships.  In the finals of the 8-Ball Classic, five champions each took home a prize package worth $15,000 for their performances.
In the Blue Tier, Brady Ward of Little Rock, Ark., defeated Heather Kidney-Butler of St. John’s, Newfoundland.
In the Yellow Tier, Inessa Gelman of New York City defeated Michaela DeLaCruz-Negrete of Sacramento, Calif.
In the Red Tier, Ryan Garcia of Lake Jackson, Texas, defeated Diana Wolfe of Oklahoma City, Okla.
In the Orange Tier, Ken Geragosian of O’Fallon, Ill., defeated Terry Claiborne of Bakersfield, Calif.
In the Purple Tier, Ernesto Bayaua of Tomball, Texas, defeated Ken Frauenburger of Daisetta, Texas.
First Place winners received cash and prizes worth $15,000.  Each Runner-Up received cash and prizes worth $9,000.
Paul Langley of San Diego, Calif., was awarded the Sportsmanship Award in the 8-Ball Classic.
In the 8-Ball Doubles Championship, South GA Hustlers – Roderick Rentz and Stephanie Rentz – of Hazelhurst, Ga., defeated Hard Luck – Bradley Miller and Bruce Bare – of Winder, Ga.  The victory earned them a $5,000 payday.  As Runners-Up, Hard Luck took home $3,000.
In the 9-Ball Doubles Championship, Age Before Beauty – Billy Petty and John McCloud– of Portland, Tenn., defeated Gypsy’s Too – Mary Kester and Bill Palmer – of Niles, Ohio.  The victory earned them a $3,500 payday.  As Runners-Up, Gypsy’s Too took home $2,300.
In the finals of the Wheelchair Challenge, Ron Bates of Coldwater, Mich., defeated Joel Fini of Des Moines, Iowa, to take home $1,600 in prize money.  Fini received $800 as the Runner-Up.
Hundreds of members were still on-hand at the hotel at Noon on Monday, May 4 as the Riviera closed its doors forever.  The APA National Championships will relocate to the recently remodeled Westgate Resort & Casino (formerly the Las Vegas Hilton) for the National Team Championships in August.
The APA, based in Lake Saint Louis, Mo., sanctions the world’s largest amateur pool league, known as the APA Pool League throughout the United States, and as the Canadian Pool League in Canada.  Nearly 250,000 members compete in weekly 8-Ball and 9‑Ball League play.  The APA is generally recognized as the Governing Body of Amateur Pool, having established the official rules, championships, formats and handicap systems for the sport of amateur billiards.
The APA produces three major tournaments each year—the APA National Team Championships, the APA National Singles Championships and the U.S. Amateur Championship—that, together, pay out nearly $1.5 Million in cash and prizes annually!
The APA and its championships are sponsored by Aramith, Action Cues and PoolDawg.
For more information on the American Poolplayers Association, visit

Compton goes undefeated to take final 2014 stop on the Midwest 9-Ball Tour

Chip Compton, Mike Durbin-sponsor and Joey Gray

Kent goes undefeated to capture Ladies' title
By Evelyn Dysart's calculations, Chip Compton and Joey Gray have, over a number of years, battled in the finals of a Midwest 9-Ball Tour event a minimum of 10 times.
"Probably more," she said. "They've been doing it ever since I've been running this tour, and it goes either way. It's not like either one of them has dominated the (series) of matches."
They met in the finals again, during the December 13-14 stop on the tour. They battled, first, for the hot seat and then, at the end, with Compton chalking up the win in both. The $1,900-added Open event drew 40 entrants to Jamaica Joe's in Midwest City, OK. A concurrently-run, $600-added Ladies event drew 13, and was won by Wendy Kent, who took two out of three over runner-up Debbi Aldridge.
After participating in the Open event and finishing just out of the money in the tie for ninth place, Mike Massey conducted a 30-minute, impromptu trick shot exhibition for participants and spectators. 
In the Open event, once Gray had shut out James Walden and Compton had sent Coy Lee Nicholson west 9-7, they met in the battle for the hot seat (which has presumably happened as many times as their meetings in the finals). Compton took that hot seat match 9-4 and waited on Gray's return.
Over on the loss side, Walden picked up K.C. Massey, who'd been responsible for eliminating Mike Massey (not related), and Moe Ali 9-8. Nicholson drew Jacob McMichael, fresh off his 9-5 victory over Marlon Isbell.
Walden and Nicholson got right back to work; Walden surviving a double hill battle against Massey, Nicholson downing McMichael 9-4. Walden took the quarterfinal match 9-7 over Nicholson before himself being eliminated 9-6 by Gray in the semifinals.
Compton and Gray duplicated their hot seat match. Compton chalked up the only set necessary in the finals 9-4 to claim the event title.
In the Ladies event, Wendy Kent's run went through Debbi Aldridge three times; once in the hot seat (7-2) and twice, in the double elimination finals. Aldridge moved to the loss side for a semifinal match against Diana Wolfe, who'd just eliminated Jessica Westbrook 7-5. Aldridge got her second shot at Kent with a 7-3 win over Wolfe, and then won the opening set of the finals, double hill. Kent didn't allow the second set to get that close, completing her title run 7-3.
The next stop on the Midwest 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for February 19, will be a triple tournament – One Pocket, 9-Ball and Ladies 9-Ball – hosted by Shooter's in Olathe, KS.