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Deuel goes undefeated to take The Break Room’s 2nd Annual 8-Ball Classic

Corey Deuel

Loree Jon Hasson and Justin Bergman win opening night Challenge Matches


As almost anyone familiar with the sport will tell you, when the game is bar table 8-ball, almost anything can happen. And usually does. What happened at The Break Room's 2nd Annual 8-Ball Classic (presented by Dennis Hatch and On the Wire Creative Media) this past weekend (June 1-4) was that Corey Deuel got himself into a 'break' rhythm that, try though they might (and did), his opponents had no answer for. Deuel went undefeated through the field of 14 to capture the $6,000-added event title, hosted by The Break Room in Duluth, MN.

With the winner breaking, Deuel won 75 of the 103 games he played over five rounds (73%). With all matches being races to 15, he gave up an average of just over five racks per match. If it hadn't been for Jason Klatt's 11-rack performance in the finals, that average would have been just over four racks per match.
In addition to finalists Deuel and Klatt, the event featured the likes of Dennis Hatch (doing double duty as promoter and player), Billy Thorpe, Earl Strickland, Johnny Archer and the runner-up of the 1st Annual 8-Ball Classic, Shane Van Boening  (Dennis Orcollo defeated him in the finals),  whose break worked against him in this event. At one point, after failing to make a ball on one of his breaks, Van Boening conceded an entire table to his opponent. His hot seat match opponent, Deuel, said in a post-match interview that he'd "never seen anybody break balls that solidly and not make anything."
The weekend in Duluth began with two Challenge matches on Thursday night, offering $500 to the winner. Both of the Challenge matches went double hill. Up first were two female opponents, representing opposite ends of the experience spectrum; the veteran, eight-time World Champion Loree Jon Hasson squared off against the five-time Junior Champion April Larson (both of whom would play in the main event, as well). The assembled spectators got to choose the game, which they decided would be 10-ball, and they decided, as well, on a race to 7. Hasson and Larson fought back and forth to a deciding game, before the veteran sunk the final ball to win it. At the conclusion of the match, Hasson, in an interview, spoke to her fellow female professionals.
"WPBA Ladies," she said. "Watch out! April is the real deal."
Later in the evening, Justin Bergman and Billy Thorpe went at it. The crowd selected 10-ball again, but in this case, opted for a race to 11. Like Hasson and Larson before them, the two fought back and forth to double hill, before Bergman closed it out.
Though 16 were scheduled to play in the main event, two had to drop out at that last minute, leaving a field of 14. Deuel got by Scott Tollefson 15-4, and then downed April Larson 15-5, which set him up in a winners' side semifinal against Thorpe. Shane Van Boening, in the meantime, following victories over Justin Bergman 15-13, and Johnny Archer 15-7, squared off against Michael Perron, Jr., who'd just sent Jason Klatt to the loss side.
Deuel defeated Thorpe 15-1, as Van Boening downed Perron, Jr. 15-4. Deuel, whose break at this point was setting up almost constant break-and-run opportunities, chalked up the hot seat win, 15-7, over Van Boening.
On the loss side, Thorpe picked up Klatt, who, following his defeat at the hands of Perron, Jr. went on to defeat Dustin Morris 15-8 and Johnny Archer 15-11. Perron, Jr. drew Earl "The Pearl" Strickland, who'd been defeated by Thorpe in the second round, and then, locked up in an epic, double hill fight against Hatch. Strickland won it and then won a second straight double hill match against Justin Bergman, to pick up Perron, Jr. 
Klatt and Strickland advanced to the quarterfinals (the first, $2,000 money round); Klatt 15-3 over Thorpe, and Strickland 15-8 over Perron, Jr. Klatt ended Strickland's run in those quarterfinals 15-10, and then downed an increasingly frustrated Van Boening 15-11 in the semifinals, for a shot at Deuel in the hot seat.
Midway through the opening set of the true double elimination final, Deuel and Klatt were tied. Shortly thereafter, though, Deuel, still dropping balls with consistency on his break started to pull ahead. He got out in front by three to reach the hill first, and then closed it out.
"I felt like I played OK," said Deuel, humbly, after the match. "I've been working on my fundamentals for the past couple of years. I try to play as many different games as I can and maybe it helped me in this tournament."
"He outbroke me, pretty much," was Klatt's assessment of that final match.
Hatch, and OnTheWire Media representatives Beau Runningen and Ra Hanna (responsible for the live-on-Facebook stream throughout the weekend and all promotional material related to the event) thanked the ownership (Tom and Dan Witzman) and staff for their hospitality, as well as a long list of sponsors that made this now-firmly-established annual event possible; Fairfield Marriott Inn, Dan Summers Agency, Arrowhead Printing, Heritage Window and Door, Duluth Dodge, AllStar Service and Accessories, Diamond, Twin Ports Paper & Supply, Bernicks Food & Beverage Services, St. Louis County Title Company, Midwest Coin Concepts, Northstar Ford, Pabst Blue Ribbon, BAM Style, Superior Beverage, Uncle Loui's Cafe, Andrew Lesly, Duluth Sheraton, Viele Contracting, TNT Billiard Products,, Fitger's, Voyageur Lake Walk Inn, ReMax Prodigy, and Harley Davidson Sport Center. 

Bergman takes two out of three over Van Boening to win Upper Midwest Pro Am 8-Ball event

Justin Bergman

Styer comes from the loss side to capture 10-Ball title
Three competitors split $14,000 in prize money in the Upper Midwest Pro Am 8-Ball Tournament; a $6,000-added Pro event, restricted to eight players, each of whom paid a $1,000-entry fee. Played out on 7-ft. Diamond tables, the event, held under the auspices of the Midwest Poolplayers Association, and hosted by CR's Sports Bar in Coon Rapids, MN, ended up in a three-match contest between Justin Bergman and Shane Van Boening. Bergman took two out of the three to claim the event title, and first-place prize of $9,000.
In a concurrently-run, $2,000-added 10-ball event that drew 47 entrants to the same location, Tyler Styer took two out of three against Michael Perron, Jr. Styer came back from a shutout in the hot seat match to double dip Perron, Jr. in the finals.
The Pro event, in races to 15, saw Bergman and Van Boening advance through a single match to face opponents in a winners' side semifinal; Bergman versus Lee Heuwagen and Van Boening squaring off against Corey Deuel. Bergman got into the hot seat match 15-11 over Heuwagen, as Van Boening downed Deuel 15-13. Bergman took the first of three over Van Boening 15-12 and sat in the hot seat, awaiting his return.
On the short-list loss side, Heuwagen picked up Jesse Engel, who'd eliminated Brandon Shuff 15-7 to reach him. Deuel drew Larry Nevel, who'd defeated Ryan Solleveld 15-7. Engel ended Heuwagen's bid for a share of the event's $14,000 with a 15-9 win, as Deuel was busy eliminating Nevel 15-3.
Deuel then dropped Engel in the quarterfinals 15-11 and squared off against his former Mosconi Cup teammate, Van Boening, in the first money round ($1,000), the semifinals. Van Boening took the match against Deuel 15-12 to earn a second, and as it turned out, third shot against Bergman.
Down 7-1, and later, 11-3, Van Boening fought back in the opening set to tie and eventually pull off a double hill win that forced a second set. Bergman won the second set 15-10 to claim the event title.
Styer double dips Perron, Jr.
Tyler Styer returned from a loss in the hot seat match to Michael Perron, Jr. to double dip him in the finals and claim the top prize in the weekend's 10-ball event. Styer, after being awarded an opening round bye, advanced through three matches to face Mark Weaver in one of the winners' side semifinals. Perron, in the meantime, advanced through four matches, including an opening round double hill fight, to face T.J. Steinhaus in the other winners' side semifinal.
Styer downed Weaver 9-4, as Perron was sending Steinhaus to the loss side in his second double hill match. Perron claimed the hot seat 9-5 over Styer and waited for what proved to be his fateful return.
On the loss side, Steinhaus picked up Tony Zierman, who'd defeated Dustin Morris 7-5 and Tony Hilla 7-4 to reach him. Weaver drew Tim Tonjum, who'd defeated Dan Voller 7-1 and Rory Hendrickson 7-5. Zierman handed Steinhaus his second straight loss 7-3, and in the quarterfinals, faced Tonjum, who fought to double hill and then handed Weaver his second loss.
It would be hard to know who watched the quarterfinals with more interest; Perron in the hot seat, or Styer, waiting to play the winner in the semifinals. Both watched as Tonjum shut Zierman out. Styer was up first, and eliminated Tonjum 7-4 in those semifinals.
Styer and Perron battled in the opening set, with Styer pulling out in front to win it 9-5. In the second set, Styer took a page out of Tonjum's book, and shut Perron out to claim the event title.

APA Members Take Home More Than $500,000 in Cash and Prizes at National Singles Championships

More than $500,000 in cash and prizes were awarded to APA members at the APA National Singles Championships held April 25 – 28 in Las Vegas at the Riviera Hotel & Casino.  The National Singles Championships consisted of both the 8-Ball Classic and 9-Ball Shootout Singles Championships and the Jack & Jill Doubles Championship.
The final round of the 9-Ball Shootout featured three championship matches, one for each Skill Level Tier, with two shooters in each match competing for $10,000 in cash and prizes. 
In the Green Tier, James Rockwell of Columbus, N.J., defeated Kevin Hazlip of Orange Park, Fla.  Rockwell advanced to the finals after a semifinal round victory over Sophina Placencia of Waianae, Hawaii.  Hazlip advanced to the finals after defeating Courtney McIntosh of Round Rock, Texas.  Placencia and McIntosh tied for 3rd Place. 
In the White Tier, Mike Sousa of Norton, Mass., defeated Mike Hernandez of San Antonio, Texas.  Sousa defeated Christopher Garza of Brownsville, Texas, in the semifinal round to advance to the finals.  Hernandez advanced to the finals by defeating Sandra Ante of Florence, Ky.  Garza and Ante tied for 3rd Place.
In the Black Tier, Dustin Morris of Minneapolis, Minn., defeated Levent Ertoz of Mountain View, Calif.  Morris advanced to the finals after defeating James Key of Southaven, Miss., in the semifinals.  Ertoz advanced to the final round match after a victory over John Torockio of Derry, Pa., in the semifinal match.  Key and Torockio tied for 3rd Place.
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.  Third Place finishers each received $3,000.
More than 3,600 poolplayers made it to the regional level of the 9-Ball Shootout before the field was whittled down to 292 men and women competing for 9-Ball crowns in each of three skill level tiers.
Nearly 6,300 APA members advanced to regional competition of the 8-Ball Classic, and 469 of those players advanced to the championship in Las Vegas.
In the finals of the 8-Ball Classic, four champions each took home a prize package worth $15,000 for their performances.
In the Blue Tier, Connie Kraft of East Peoria, Ill., defeated Ryan Raftery of Toledo, Ohio.  Kraft defeated Stefanie Macaluso of New Port Richey, Fla., in the semifinals to advance, while Raftery defeated Ruth Chappell of Coats, N.C.  Macaluso and Chappell tied for 3rd Place.

In the Yellow Tier, Patrick Porter of Burlington, N.J., defeated Kenneth Suttles of Kodak, Tenn.  Porter advanced to the finals by defeating Joshua Rose of Summit, Miss., earlier in the day in the semifinal round.  Suttles defeated Bradley Lancaster of Bakersfield, Calif., in the semifinals.  Rose and Lancaster tied for 3rd Place.
In the Red Tier, Joseph Magsaysay of Jackson, Mo., defeated Gabriel Valdez of San Diego, Calif.  Magsaysay defeated Travis Fehlauer of Fayetteville, N.C., in the semifinals to advance, while Valdez defeated Josh Norris of Oklahoma City, Okla.  Fehlauer and Norris tied for 3rd Place.
In the Purple Tier, Cary Cass of Miami, Fla., defeated Armando Leal of San Antonio, Texas.  Cass defeated Marc Horsting of Hanover Park, Ill., in the semifinal round.  Leal advanced after defeating Joseph Coleman of Joelton, Tenn. Horsting and Coleman tied for 3rd Place.
First place winners received cash and prizes worth $15,000.  Each Runner-Up received cash and prizes worth $9,000.  Third Place finishers each received $4,000.
In the annual Jack & Jill Doubles Championship, held in the MiniMania Room during the Singles Championships, Jason Fortun and Kim Nguyen of Terrytown, La., defeated Sean Higgins and Line Thibeault of Lewiston, Maine.  Fortun and Nguyen took home $5,000, while Higgins and Thibeault received $3,000 as Runners-Up.
Sportsmanship Awards were presented to Jina Watterworth of Lapeer, Mich., and Mike Tucci of Fresno, Calif., for outstanding conduct throughout their matches in the 9-Ball Shootout and 8-Ball Classic, respectively.
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 270,000 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

Van Boening wins Turning Stone Classic XVIII

Shane Van Boening

Shane Van Boening added another entry to his already impressive resume, with a win at the last major event of the year; the Joss NE 9-Ball Tour’s Turning Stone Classic XVIII at the Turning Stone Casino & Resort in Verona, NY.

Van Boening took an early trip to the one loss side in this event, as he dropped a fourth round match to Shawn Putnam 9-8. Putnam would then lose his next match to Rodney Morris 9-5 and join Van Boening on the one loss side.

Morris would continue through the winners side, until he lost to Raj Hundal 9-4 in a lackluster hot seat match.

Hundal was having a great tournament with notable wins over John Morra, young gun Dustin Morris and Ralf Souquet on his way to the hot-seat match with Morris.

Meanwhile, Van Boening was running through a very tough one loss side. Van Boening notched left side wins against Larry Nevel, Joss Tour points leader Bucky Souvanthong, Earl Strickland, Dennis Hatch, Mike Dechaine and Ralf Souquet before eliminating Rodney Morris to set up the match with Hundal in the extended single set finals.

The final race to 13 match between Hundal and Van Boening went back and forth, with neither player able to capture a significant lead. With the score tied at 8-8, Van Boening started to take control of the match. Hundal would only manage one more rack as Van Boening won the match 13-9.