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Wisconsin Billiards Hall of Fame Inducts Inaugural Class

Jerry Briesath, Bruce Venzke, Willie Munson and Connie O’Heron

The Wisconsin Billiards Hall of Fame held their Inaugural Hall of Fame Weekend at the Mad Apple Billiards in Appleton, WI on October 12-14th, 2018.  
On Friday evening there were 135 people in attendance for the induction ceremony and dinner.  The inaugural Hall of Fame class of inductees were Jerry Briesath, Willie Munson, Connie O’Heron and Bruce Venzke.  Guest speakers included Jeanette Lee, Mark Wilson, Randy Goettlicher and others chosen by the Hall of Famers to introduce them.
This first class event was truly a remarkable one, exceeding the expectations of most in attendance.  The entire weekend was restricted to members only, who in addition to being able to attend the banquet, also receive voting rights on the ballot each year, are entered into monthly prize give-a-ways, and can play in the Hall of Fame Tournaments.
Following the banquet, ten of the best bank pool players in the state were part of the Invitational Ring Banks Chip Tournament.  Playing for chips for every bank made, the crowd watched on as Pete Heard from Milwaukee took down Mosconi Cup Team USA hopeful Tyler Styer in the finals.
Saturday and Sunday kicked off the main events with 128 players coming to the Mad Apple for an Upper 10-Ball and Lower 9-Ball tournament.  After two days of stiff competition, Sergio Rivas defeated Duncan Kaufman to claim the 10-Ball title, and Dakota Knutson took down Cody Wedig for the 9-Ball crown.
Each year, the Wisconsin Billiards Hall of Fame Weekend will take place at a new venue, and during the banquet it was announced that 2019 will move to Dave Cole’s Carom Room in Beloit the second weekend of October.  The tournament formats will also change year after year.
WIBHOF was formed on October 1st, 2017 as a non-profit organization that operates both as a Hall of Fame, but also as a foundation of support for pool players in need.  The board of directors, comprised of Jon Kramer, Gregg Andler and Kyle Boers and four other volunteers, have grown the company rapidly in its first year.  Currently with 11 sponsors and over 500 paid members, Kramer, the President of the organization said “The amount of support we have seen from the Wisconsin billiards community in our first year has been overwhelming.”  The website also hosts tournament flyers for the state, a large image gallery of historical Wisconsin billiard photos, game rules and more.  In the voting period of November 1st – January 31st members are also able to log into the site and cast their votes for next year’s Hall of Fame class.  In its first year, has been viewed over 50,000 times by more than 2,000 people across the country and even international viewers from 60 different countries.

Rivas, 15, goes undefeated to capture Cole’s Carom Room 10-Ball Spring Classic

Gary Lutman, Dave Cole (Coles’ Carom Room owner), Sergio Rivas (Photo courtesy of Ricky Bryant)

You'd have thought the game assignments would be reversed. As the 'big boys' were duking it out  playing 8-ball, though,  twice as many lower-tier players were battling in 10-ball at the Coles' Carom Room Spring Classic on the weekend of April 24-26.  Sergio Rivas, presumably a sophomore in high school, went undefeated through a field of 32, on-hand for the $1,000-added 10-Ball event at Coles' Carom Room in Beloit, WI.
Rivas and Gary Lutman met twice to decide it, and both times, played to double hill. Lutman had sent Gene Albrecht to the losers' side in one winners' side semifinal, while Rivas sent Kyle Boers over in the other.  Rivas took the first of two against Lutman 11-10, and sat in the hot seat.
On the loss side, Albrecht picked up Chad Elston, who'd defeated Gil Hernandez and Duncan Kaufman. Boers drew Scott Cohen, recent winner over Adam Behnke and Jamie Welch. Albrecht and Boers got right back to work, handing Elston and Cohen their second losses, and facing each other in the quarterfinals.
Boers advanced over Albrecht and then had his two-game, loss-side effort halted by Lutman in the semifinals. It could have gone two, but it went only one. Rivas and Lutman battled to a second double hill match, before Rivas won it to claim the title.

Kotnik wins All American Tour Stop

Duncan Kaufman, John Kotnik and Terry “Ziggy” Zagar

The 2011-2012 Lucasi Hybrid Cues All American Tour – presented by the American CueSports Alliance (ACS) – conducted its twenty-sixth (26) stop at Dale’s Weston Lanes in Wausau, WI, March 10.  Thirty-one (31) players sparred at the host site in a $500-added scratch 8-ball tournament.  The A-side semifinals highlighted Sheboygan WI road partners John Kotnik and Terry “Ziggy” Zagar stamping their ticket to the A-side finals via respective wins over Jim Abt (Wausau, WI) 5-1 and Chris Jefferson (Crandon, WI) 5-2 in the semifinals.  In the A-side finals, Kotnik clipped Zagar for the hot seat, 5-4.

On the B-side Rodney Coad (Stevens Point, WI) and Jim Abt (Wausau, WI) respectively relegated John Lewis (Suamico, WI) 5-4 and Jim Morris (Marathon, WI) 5-2 to 7th place.  In the next round in turn, Coad and Abt tied for 5th place, falling to the respective hands of Chris Jefferson 5-2 and Duncan Kaufman (Sauk City, WI) 5-2.  Kaufman then dispatched Jefferson to 4th place via a forfeit.  In the B-side finals Kaufman fell to Terry Zagar by a 5-3 margin, setting up a rematch for the title between Kotnik and Zagar.  Kotnik took the first set by a 5-4 margin for the tourney win!

By virtue of Jim Morris being the highest-finishing ACS member in the event, he qualified for a free 9-Ball singles entry into the 2012 Lucasi Hybrid ACS Nationals at the Tropicana Las Vegas – courtesy of the ACS.  The ACS wishes to thank sponsors Lucasi Hybrid Cues, Championship Billiard Fabric and Nick Varner Signature Cases for their support in donating “Value-In-Kind” product for this and all stops on the Lucasi Hybrid All American Tour. Sponsorship opportunities and tour stop openings are still available for the 2011/2012 All American Tour by contacting the ACS.
The Tour showcases two stops on Saturday, March 24: 1). a $1,000-added scratch 8-Ball tourney at Greenfields Pool & Sports Bar in Lakewood, WI (contact Charles Williamson at 303-989-9820); and 2). a $500-added handicapped 8-Ball tourney at Sharky’s Billiards in Davenport, IA (contact Terry Stevens at 563-359-7225).  Further information, entry details and schedules for the 2011/2012 Lucasi Hybrid All American Tour are available at