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Espinosa and Jueco Win Poison Lone Star Season Opener

Justin Espinosa, Bobby Perez, Kevin Gray, Ruben Bautista, Jesus Alcocer and Roberto Gomez

Justin Espinosa went undefeated in the 55-player, open 9-ball division, defeating Ruben Bautista, 6-4, to win his first Poison Lone Star Billiards Tour, open division title. In the 64-player, amateur 9-ball division, Junior Jueco was unmatched, beating Felipe Yniguez, 5-4, to earn his first, amateur division, Tour title.
On January 4th-5th, 2020, the Poison Lone Star Billiards Tour Season Opener went off like a rocket at Slick Willies Family Pool Hall, located at 5913 Westheimer, in Houston’s upscale Galleria area. Slick Willies will host four stops on the 2020 Poison Lone Star Tour, including an event in San Antonio. Tour title sponsor, Poison by Predator Cues, sponsors Cyclop Pool Balls, APA of North Harris County, Alamo Billiards, and Outsville Billiards facilitated a successful event that drew notables Justin Espinosa, Ruben Bautista, Jesus Alcocer, Ernesto Bayaua, and Andy Jethwa, and paid out $8,485 in prize money. The next event is February 8th-9th, at Diamond Sports Bar and Billiards in Port Arthur, Texas.  For more information about the Poison Lone Star Tour, visit
In the open 9-ball division, Austin’s Justin Espinosa fought his way to the winners’ side final four with victories over Michael Lui, Louie Vickio, 6-1, Kenneth Price, 6-4, and Will Felder, 6-0, while Jesus Alcocer denied Ronjan Mathur, Bobby Dominguez, Junior Jueco, 6-4, and J.C. Torres, 6-5. Brand new to the Tour, Kevin Gray bested 2019 Tour Champion, Ernesto Bayaua, 6-5, Joseph Corona, 6-5, and Victor Belmares, 6-5, and Roberto “Superman” Gomez powered through Eric Gauthier, 6-5, Aaron Springs, 7-2, and Ruben Bautista, 6-0. Down to the final sixteen, on the one-loss side, Bobby Perez eliminated Corona, 6-5, and J.C. Torres, 6-5, while David Leal took out Springs, 6-3, and Felder, 6-0. Bayaua sent home Price, 6-3, but succumbed to Bautista, 6-2, while Jueco fell to Andy Jethwa, 6-4, who in turn lost to Belmares, 6-5. On the winners’ side, Gomez dealt Gray his first loss, 6-3, and Espinosa overwhelmed Alcocer, 6-3.  Gomez and Espinosa were set to battle in their first, hot seat match up.  Fresh off a big win against Alcocer, Espinosa dominated Gomez, claiming the set, 6-3. On the consolation side, Perez plowed through Leal, 6-4, and Gray, 6-3, as Bautista derailed Belmares, 6-4, and ended Alcocer, 6-0. Bautista’s momentum seemed impenetrable, racking up five matches, including wins over Perez and Gomez, by the same score, 6-4. Bautista earned himself a shot at Espinosa, and the title. In the final set, Espinosa overpowered Bautista, 6-3, marking his first, open division win. Justin Won his first amateur division title in 2015, followed by two wins in 2017. In 2018, the Austin player was moved into the Tour’s “open only” division, and earned “runner-up” at the 2018 Space City Open. The Tour would like to congratulate him on his dedication to improving his game, over the last five years. 
In the amateur 9-ball division, Jueco made his way to the winners’ side final four with wins over Ray Porter, Terry Washington, Jesus Alcocer, 5-2, and Johnny Hendrix, 5-4, while Bill Fuller defeated Jeremy Owen, Jeremy Lauer, 5-1, Carl Honey, 5-1, and Bobby Perez. Joshua Garcia was on fire, ousting newcomer Doug Grams, David Williams, 5-3, Darryl Amos, 5-1, and Kenneth Price, 5-3. Rounding out the final four, Felipe Yniguez denied junior player, Kaleb Gray, Tim Jerkins, Fadi Barah, 5-3, and Brandon Tang, 5-3. On the west side, in the final sixteen, Javier Alienas eliminated Robert “Phaminator” Pham, 5-1, and Hendrix, 5-3, while Amos terminated Chris Hogan, 5-2, and Perez, 5-3. Springs bestEd Porter, 5-4, and Price, 5-4, while Victor Belmares overcame Pete Charles, 5-2, falling to Brandon Tang by the same score. On the east side, final four action witnessed Yniguez detour Garcia, 5-2, and Jueco derail Fuller, 5-3. Playing in their first-ever, hot seat match, the players kept it close, but in the end, Jueco edged out Yniguez, 5-4, to conquer the winners’ side.  On the one-loss side, Amos defeated Alienas, 5-4, only to be stopped by Garcia, 5-3. Following a third round blow by Perez, Springs wrapped up six wins, toppling Fuller, 5-4, and Garcia, 5-0, but was cut short by Yniguez, 5-4. Once more, Yniguez and Jueco faced-off, but this time, it was for the title. Yniguez had to beat Jueco two sets in the true, double elimination format, and he was prepared to do just that. Jueco was prepared to go all the way, but it was déjà vu for Yniguez, as Jueco closed out the opening set, 5-4, to win his first, Poison Lone Star Billiards Tour title. 
First-time players, Kevin Gray (finished 5th-6th in the open), and his son, Kaleb, brought the entire family out to enjoy a weekend of pool.  PLSBT would like to welcome all the new players who attended this event, and invite them back at every opportunity.
Congratulations to Joseph Corona who took home a new, Poison Arsenic3-2 playing cue, and Brian Rosenbaum who scored a Poison VX Break/Jump cue, in the weekend raffles. 
Tournament director, John Newsome, Chuck Adams, and David Kimmy worked tirelessly on the production of this event, and their efforts are greatly appreciated.
The next event is February 8th-9th, at Diamond Sports Bar and Billiards in Port Arthur, Texas.  For more information about the Poison Lone Star Tour, visit


Dunbar chalks up his first regional tour event, winning Stop #3 on NE 9-Ball Series

(l to r): Cody Porter, Tyler Dunbar & Jeff Yerxa

As Tyler Dunbar entered the Bangor Bash, Stop #3 on the New England 9-Ball Series’ 2019-2020 tour, held on the weekend of October 12-13, he was looking to collect what he hoped would be his third cash prize in a regional tour event. According to our records, he’d collected his first cash prize in January, when he finished in the tie for 9th place at the 10th stop on the NE 9-Ball Series’ 2018-2019 season. Two months later, he finished third at a Joss NE Tour stop in Portland, ME. Working from the lower (Fargo Rate) bracket, Dunbar went undefeated through to the hot seat, before giving up the opening set of a true double elimination final to Jeff Yerxa. Dunbar won the second set to claim his third cash prize as he won his first major title. The $2,000-added event drew 43 entrants to Rack City in Bangor, ME.
Following lower bracket victories over Becca Ellis, Kasandra Lam, Kyle King and Ben White by an aggregate game score of 26-9, Dunbar arrived at a winners’ side semifinal against Phil Walton. Cody Porter, in the meantime, who’d finished 7th in the Joss NE Tour stop in which Dunbar had finished third and like Dunbar, was looking for his third cash win in a regional tournament, faced Ross Webster in the other one. Webster had just sent Jeff Yerxa to the loss side 7-4.
Dunbar advanced to the hot seat match with a shutout over Walton. Porter and Webster battled to double hill before Porter prevailed to join Dunbar. With the higher-ratEd Porter (583) racing to 8, Dunbar (481) claimed the hot seat 5-3.
Over on the loss side, Yerxa opened his run to the finals with a 6-2 victory over Joash Neault and followed with a 6-3 win over Michael Levitt, to draw Webster, coming over from the winners’ side semifinal. Walton drew a rematch versus Jason Seavey, whom he’d sent to the loss side in a winners’ side quarterfinal and who’d won two straight double hill matches against Mark Pulsifer and Ben White to earn the rematch.
Yerxa advanced to the quarterfinals 6-4 over Webster. He was joined by Seavey, who’d wreaked his rematch vengeance on Walton 5-2.
Yerxa then chalked up two straight, double hill wins (7-4) against Seavey in the quarterfinals and Porter in the semifinals (both racing to 5) for a shot at Dunbar in the hot seat. With a 119-point differential in their Fargo Rates, Dunbar (481) started the first set of the true double elimination final against Yerxa (600) with four on the wire in a race to 9. Dunbar added three to that four, but Yerxa chalked up the nine he needed to claim the first set.
The race was reduced in the second set, with Dunbar awarded three on the wire in a race to seven. Dunbar chalked up the four racks he needed to claim the event title, while allowing Yerxa only two racks in his quest for 7.
Tour director Marc Dionne thanked the ownership and staff at Rack City, as well as sponsors Predator Cues, USAPL New England, BCA Pool League, Fargo Rate, Bert Kinister, AZBilliards, Inside English, Professor Q-ball’s National Pool and 3-Cushion News, Delta 13 Racks, MJS Construction, Bob Campbell with Lease Fundings, Master Billiards and OTLVISE Billiard Mechanics of America. The next stop on the NE 9-Ball Series (#4), scheduled for this Saturday, Oct. 19, will be a $500-added event, hosted by Yale Billiards in Wallingford, CT.

Boudreau wins NE 9-Ball Series Tour Championship with lowest Fargo rate among final 12

(l to r): Kyle Pepin, Tyler Boudreau & Kevin Bauccio

Pepin wins 11 on the loss side to meet him in the finals
Tyler Boudreau picked the 2019 New England 9-Ball Series Tour Championships to chalk up his first singles win on the tour. On any tour, according to our records. He and Tom D’Alfonso shared first-place honors during the tour’s 20th stop in May, a partners tournament and placed 4th in another partners event in August. Boudreau finished in 3rd place, behind Cullen Ryan and Lukas Fracasso-Verner at the tour’s Players’ Championship in March. Boudreau finished in 9th place in what was his only cash-earning appearance on the 2018 tour. He went undefeated at the $10,000-added event that drew 112 entrants to Bo’s Billiards in Warwick, RI on the weekend of September 7-8.
Boudreau, who, Fargo rated at 445, was the lowest ranked competitor among the event’s final 12, faced a total of eight opponents, with an average Fargo Rate of 522 (+). He faced a lower Fargo rated player only once; Don Roy (435) in the opening round of play. He faced separate much higher-rated opponents in the hot seat and finals – Kevin Bauccio (607) and Kyle Pepin (655).
Boudreau got by Don Roy, Josh Edmonds, James Stonkus, Josh Staples and Casey Olivieri to draw Justin Myers in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Kevin Bauccio, in the meantime, after victories over Rick Gatta, Tom D’Alfonso, Ricardo Diaz, Joe Dupuis (last year’s Tour Champion), and Ross Webster faced Cody Porter in the other winners’ side semifinal. Kyle Pepin, who’d opened his campaign with a 7-3 win over Rich Senna, fell to Mike Nicoloro 6-4 I the second round and embarked on an 11-match, loss-side winning streak that would take him into the finals against Boudreau.
In a straight-up race to 7, Bauccio defeatEd Porter 7-4. He was joined in the battle for the hot seat by Boudreau, who, in a straight-up race to 6, had defeated  Myers 6-3. With Bauccio racing to 9 in the hot seat match, Boudreau gave up only three racks to him and claimed the hot seat 4-3.
Over on the loss side, Pepin was working his way through the field. He was six matches into his winning streak that had included two double hill wins (over Tom D’Alfonso and Chad Bazinet) when he ran into his third double hill win (over Gene Hunt) and then, eliminated Lukas Fracasso-Verner 6-4 to draw Cody Porter. Justin Myers picked up James Stonkus, who’d eliminated Casey Olivieri 5-2 and Josh Caesar 5-3.
Pepin advanced to the quarterfinals, chalking up his fourth double hill win over Porter. He was joined by Myers, who’d defeated Stonkus 5-2.
Pepin’s fifth and final double hill win of 11 loss-side matches came in those quarterfinals as he eliminated Myers. He then defeated Bauccio 7-4 for a shot at Boudreau in the hot seat.
With Pepin racing to 10, Boudreau completed his undefeated run with a first set 4-4 victory that earned him his first major regional tour win.
Tour director Marc Dionne thanked the ownership and staff at Bo’s Billiards, as well as sponsors Predator Cues, USAPL New England, BCA Pool League, Fargo Rate, Bert Kinister, AZBilliards, Inside English, Professor Q-Ball’s National Pool and 3-Cushion News, Delta 13 racks, MJS Construction, Bob Campbell with Lease Fundings, Master Billiards and OTLVISE Billiard Mechanics of America. The 2019-2020 season of the New England 9-Ball Series (Stop #1) will commence on Sunday, Sept. 22 and will be hosted by Crow’s Nest in Plaistow, NH.