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Lampaan takes two out of three over Dunne to capture debut event of National Billiard League

Levie Lampaan

Three locations post winners in first League qualifiers

National Billiard League (NBL) director Ed Liddawi promised people entertainment and on Sunday, January 10, beginning at 1 p.m., he delivered. A part of the interior of Liddawi’s pool room, Sandcastle Billiards in Edison, NJ, was turned into a stage, and with stage lighting, interior fireworks and live music, it became the focal point for the launching of Liddawi’s league. As host/MC, he used the stage to introduce the Facebook Live Stream commentators (Earl Strickland, Jennifer Baretta and Neight Mindham) and the 32 players who competed for the top prize of a free entry to the league’s Main Event (a $1,000-dollar value), free flight to the venue, hotel accommodations, a tour card and a league jersey. He also introduced performers Ciara Brooke, Telli MusicHead Stonemen, and 17-year-old Kellie-Anne, who sang the National Anthem. These introductions and the manner in which Liddawi stage-managed the entire process of launching the league, reflected his desire to elevate the experience of a garden-variety tournament into a grand event, complete with a half-time show. In addition to the grand event he hosted personally, the league held two other premiere Amateur 10-ball events in Texas and California.

In the signature event at Sandcastle Billiards, Levie Lampaan took home the coveted first place prize and became the first competitor in the newly-formed league to qualify for the one of league’s Main Events. These Main Events, as well as a number of the scheduled qualifiers have had to be rescheduled due to the pandemic. Liddawi has had to requalify rooms for the league’s events, because some of the original establishments that signed on have closed due to the pandemic, some of them permanently. This requalifying process has already altered the schedule that Liddawi had set for this league’s first year; eight qualifiers, in Jan/Feb, April/May, July/August and Oct./Nov, followed by four Main Events. With the pandemic still exacting its price from the pool community, Liddawi has had to scale the original eight qualifiers, down to six and the Main Events down to three, as he continues to complete the process of scheduling the rooms and dates for the year ahead.

At Big Tyme Billiards in Spring, TX, the NBL qualifier drew 15 entrants, and was won by Ernesto Bayaua, who defeated Blaine Barcus in the finals. Tommy Tokoph and Carl Honey finished third and fourth, respectively. In California, where The Rack Billiards in Fresno drew a full field of 32 entrants, Spencer Ladin took home the top prize. Al Moreno was runner-up. Daniel Campos finished third and Curtis Partch finished in fourth place.

“Overall,” said Liddawi on the league’s Facebook page, “things went very smoothly, especially for a first time. I give all credit to the incredible “A-Team” I assembled and am honored to have supporting me with their experience and distinguished professionalism.”

“All the players involved were excited and enjoyed their time, while being very patient and cooperative,” he added. “It was great to see a nice, clean organized event once again with the pandemic still going on.”

With the National Anthem signaling its start, the NBL got underway

As the table assignments were being handed out at Sandcastle Billiards, Neight Mindham and Earl Strickland were introducing themselves for the first time on the live stream. From their booth, they explained the event’s format; 10-ball, first round matches were races to five, while all other ‘A’ side matches were races to 9. All loss-side matches were races to 5.

“Sounds like the movie, Airplane, to me,” Strickland quipped. “Too complicated for me.”

And so it began.

Lampaan faced Jerry Dunne three times in the event; once in the hot seat and twice in the finals, when Dunne forced a second set in the event’s true double elimination final.

Lampaan had opened his march to the finish line by winning 14 of his first 16 games, downing Marco Danielle 5-1 and then, Keith Guenzel 9-1. Moving into the winners’ side quarterfinal, things tightened up a bit, as Lampaan battled to double hill versus Mark Nanashee before prevailing and advancing to a winners’ side semifinal against Paul Spaanstra.

Dunne, in the meantime, opened the same way Lampaan did, with a 5-1 victory, over Rick Massa. He then got by Steven Persaud 9-5 and Ed Woolley 9-3 to draw Jason Crowe in the other winners’ side semifinal.

Lampaan sent Spaanstra to the loss side 9-5 and was joined in the hot seat match by Dunne, who’d defeated Crowe 9-7. Lampaan took the first of his three against Dunne 9-4 to claim the hot seat.

On the loss side, Spaanstra picked up Rich Ng, who’d lost his second-round match to Nanashee and had won four on the loss side, including 5-3 wins over Ed Wooley and Jose Estevez. Crowe drew Sean Emmitt, who’d lost his opening match and was working on a five-match, loss-side streak that took him as far as the quarterfinals. He’d knocked Nanashee out of the tournament in the fourth loss-side round by defeating him in a double hill match. He’d most recently eliminated Joe Palone and shut out Brian Grube, Jr.

Emmitt and Ng handed Crowe and Spaanstra their second straight loss, by the same 5-2 score. Ng then ended Emmitt’s loss-side run with yet another 5-2 win. Dunne, though, in the semifinals, put up a stronger fight, and bringing the match to double hill, before prevailing for his second and third shot at Lampaan in the hot seat.

With that old, intangible ‘friend,’ momentum on his side, Dunne took the double elimination’s opening set 9-6. Now, with a single loss each, the race went down to 5. Lampaan re-caught his gear in the second set and gave up only a single rack to claim the NBL’s first title 5-1. 

“A very sincere ‘thank you’ goes out to everyone who played a part in the first of many National Billiards League qualifiers to come,” said Liddawi. “I’ve learned a lot of things that still have to be addressed for the next one, locally, as well as nationwide.”

Recorded matches from all tables, event brackets and photos are available through the league’s Web site – NBLUSA.com. The NBL Music Album is now available on Spotify.

Liddawi was generous in his appreciation of a vast list of people and entities which contributed to the planning and ultimately, the success of his league’s launch. He began with recognition and thanks to his own Sandcastle Billiards’ staff – Tom Bedard, Paul Lieb, Joel Kahn, Brian Cosme, Melissa Smith and the “special assistance” from Mike Knips. He thanked hostess, Jennifer Baretta, commentator Earl Strickland and the live stream’s special guest, Neight Mindham, as well as his tour directors (Jose Burgos and Elvis Rodriguez) and referees (Chrissy Martinez, Jeff Martinez, Anamarta Silva and Greg Restivo.

He thanked the people who helped create the entertainment of the stage opening of the proceedings and its half-time show – M2P Record LLC, KS & Owner Music Production: Kilroy Records, Steve Kolakowsy, Mick Jerzii Drone and Photography, as well as performers Kellie-Anne, Ciara Brooke and Telli Music Head Stonemen.

He gave a shout out to all of the players who competed and the event’s official providers – Outsville Pool and Billiards, Aramith Billiard Balls and Iwan Simonis Billiards.

Texas – Big Tyme Billiards in Spring, TX – 15 entrants – $1,100-added (10-ball, amateur)

1st Ernesto Bayaua $430
2nd Blaine Barcus $300
3rd Tommy Tokoph $220
4th Carl Honey $150

CA – Racks Billiards in Fresno, CA – 32 entrants – $1,200-added (10-ball, amateur)

1st Spencer Ladin
2nd Al Moreno $560
3rd Daniel Campos $320
4th Curtis Partch $150
5th Todd Speakman $85
Rodney Wynn

NJ – Sandcastle Billiards – Edison, NJ – 32 entrants – $2,800-added (10-ball, amateur)

1st Levie Lampaan $800
2nd Jerry Dunn $600
3rd Rich Ng $400
4th Sean Emmitt $300
5th Jason Crowe $200
Paul Spaanstra
7th Jose Estevez $150Brian Grube, Jr.

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 www.LoneStarBilliardsTour.com.
 
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 www.LoneStarBilliardsTour.com
 

 

Woodward wins 11 on the loss side, double dips Roberts in finals of 46th Annual Texas Open

Skyler Woodward (Erwin Dionisio)

There’s nothing that’ll let the air out of a competitive pool balloon faster than an early loss in a tournament with a lot of entrants. In a 128-entrant bracket, for example, a loss in the second round will almost double the number of matches you have to play to claim the event’s title. The winner and runner-up in such an event will have been there the same amount of time, but one of them will have played a lot more pool.
 
At the $4,000-added, Open 9-Ball Division of the 46th Annual Texas Open, held over Labor Day weekend (Aug. 28-Sept 2) that drew 128 entrants to Skinny Bob’s Billiards in Round Rock, TX, Josh Roberts played seven matches to claim the hot seat. He did not win the eighth match he needed to claim the title. Sky Woodward, though, patched up the ‘balloon’ that had burst in the second round, and ended up playing 15 matches; two on the winners’ side, 11 on the loss side and two in the true double elimination final that earned him the event title.
 
It was a very busy weekend in Round Rock. In addition to the Open 9-Ball Tournament, there was a 9-ball mini tournament (Wednesday night), a Jack ‘N Jill Scotch Doubles tournament that drew 16 teams (Thursday night), a Banks Ring Game (Friday night, in conjunction with the start of the Open 9-Ball), and a Women’s Open event (started Saturday night; separate story) that drew 32. It should be noted that the Jack N’ Jill Scotch Doubles title was shared by two teams; Co-tournament director James Davis, Sr. and long-time doubles partner Jennifer Kraber and a team made up of the Open winner (Woodward) and the Women’s event winner (Ming Ng).
 
Woodward’s winning campaign in the Open event opened on a promising note with a shutout over Donald Rock, but ran right into a double hill match against Alex Calderon, which shifted Woodward’s work to the loss side of the bracket. Roberts, in the meantime, worked his way through his first four opponents (Steven Butler, Jeremy Diggs, Tommy Vega and Ryan Hsu) by an aggregate score of 36-6. And then, like Woodward, Roberts ran into Alex Calderon, who battled Roberts to a deciding 17th game. Roberts dropped the final ball and advanced to a winners’ side semifinal against Justin Espinosa.
 
Meanwhile, John Gabriel, who’d defeated Kenneth Greer, Tommy Sanders, Al Mason and survived a double hill battle against Robb Saez, downed Ernesto Bayaua in a winners’ side quarterfinal to draw Kevin Guimond in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
Roberts got into the hot seat match with a 9-3 win over Espinosa. Gabriel joined him after sending Guimond to the loss side 9-6. Roberts chalked up what proved to be his last match win with a 9-3 victory over Gabriel and waited in the hot seat for Woodward to finish his 11-match, loss-side winning streak.
 
It was Justin Espinosa who drew Woodward on the loss side. At that point, Woodward had already won eight of his 11 loss-side matches, including, most recently, victories over Bayaua and Hsu, both 9-3. Kevin Guimond drew Sean Black, who was on a loss-side run comparable to  Woodward’s. Black had lost his opening round match and embarked on a nine-match winning streak that eventually earned him the second-most wins in the event. He’d most recently eliminated Steve Sheppard 9-5 and spoiled any hopes Woodward was entertaining about a rematch against Calderon, by defeating Calderon, double hill.
 
Black’s loss-side streak came to an end when Guimond eliminated him 9-6. Woodward’s continued with his third straight 9-3 win, this one over Espinosa to advance to the quarterfinals.
 
Woodward chalked up two more 9-3 wins to earn a shot at Roberts in the hot seat. He downed Guimond in the quarterfinals and Gabriel in the semifinals. He chalked up his 6th 9-3 win in the opening set of the true double elimination final. He broke the pattern and won the second set 9=7 to claim the event title.
 
Co-tour directors James Davis, Sr. and John Palmore thanked Sue and John Cielo and their Skinny Bob’s Billiards staff, as well as Sleep Inn, Mints Amusement, and James Hanshew. They also acknowledged Ray Hansen and his PoolActionTV crew for the live stream of the event throughout the long weekend.

Champions Reignite at Space City Open VII

Josh Roberts (Photo courtesy of Chris Lue, Next Action Media)

James Davis, Jr., “Junior”, of Austin, Texas, went undefeated in a 128-player field, to win the Space City Open VII, open 9-ball title, becoming the second player to win it twice. Josh “The Beast” Roberts not only defended his one pocket title, but finished second in banks, and thirty-third in the 9-ball, earning himself the “All-Around” title, and a hefty $1,500 bonus. First-time competitor, Evan Lunda of Detroit, Michigan, cleaned up in the 32-player, 9-ball banks division, going hill-hill with only a single opponent. In the 32-player, ladies 9-ball, Ming “The Empress” Ng redeemed herself in the second set of the true, double elimination final, securing her second title, and becoming the first, two-time winner in this division. Nine junior players, including eight young men, and one young lady, traveled from across Texas to compete in their very own division. Lazaro “Little Laz” Martinez, III, of San Antonio, Texas, went undefeated in this category, earning the first win in this division debut.
 
For years, Space City Open has featured top players from across America, and this year was no exception. Former Mosconi Cup players, contenders, and champions alike were in attendance, vying for a piece of the $53,415 payout. Space City Open superstars included Justin Hall, Josh Roberts, Danny Smith, Shane McMinn, John Morra, Charlie “Hillbilly” Bryant, Richie Richeson, Alex Calderone, Sylver Ochoa, Ernesto Bayaua, James Davis, Jr., Can Salim, Chris Robinson, Evan Lunda, Jamie Baraks, Manny Perez, Justin Espinosa, Tommy Tokoph, and Jesus Atencio.  
 
This year’s $7,500 added, Space City Open VII, was held December 6th-9th, 2018, and implemented a number of positive changes, including a $1,500 All-Around bonus, and a seventeen-and-under, juniors 9-ball division. In its seventh year, the “derby-like” event, now hosting five divisions over four days, was also held at a brand new venue. Big Tyme Billiards in Spring, Texas, stepped up to host, generously adding $4,000 to the purse, providing twenty Diamond bar tables and six nine foot tables, on which to compete. Twenty-six, brand new, Cyclop “Zeus” ball sets, and Accu-Racks by Outsville, were provided by Space City. The bar tables were a popular change from the eight foot tables used in previous years (for the open 9-ball division), and the format changes for one pocket and banks were also a huge hit. These divisions were still held on nine foot tables, but in a single elimination format as opposed to double, and the consensus was clear. Players loved the expediency, along with the added pressure and intensity of the “one-and-done” arrangement. For the first time, all divisions filled, with players on stand-by.
 
The open 9-ball division presented a monstrous, challenging field, played on the great equalizer; the bar table. On the road to victory, James Davis, Jr. defeated Matt Williams, Charlie Bryant, 9-8, Evan Lunda, 9-8, and Shelby Green, 9-5, to reach the winners’ side final eight. Espinosa logged wins over Angelina Dean, 9-1, Marshal Ward, 9-2, Eric Aicinena, 9-4, and Victor Rojas, 9-7, while Danny Smith defeated Mike Landry, 9-2, Colton Berzins, 9-1, John Morra, 9-5, and Mike Alonzo, 9-8. Jamie Baraks made quick work of Beto Cavazos, 9-3, Rick Moreno, 9-3, David Thomas, 9-7, and Shane McMinn, 9-4. Houston’s Andy Jethwa passed Grady Cooper, 9-1, Mark Galicia, 9-5, Sylver Ochoa, 9-8, and Corey Flud, 9-6. Richie Richeson ousted Alan Myers, Jerry Miller, 9-8, David Chow, and Billy “Big Tyme” Sharp, 9-4, while Alex Calderone overcame Chase Wheeler, 9-2, Ricki Casper, 9-6, Aaron Springs, 9-7, and Germany’s Can Salim, 9-8. On the one loss side and in the money, Kenneth Price upset Chris Robinson, 7-5, and bested Flud, 7-7, while Morra topped Curt Sheldon, 7-3, and Shelby Green, 7-2. Bryant subdued Angel Mentzel, but fell to Sharp by the same score, 7-2. Galicia upended Aicinena, 7-4, but fell to Salim, 7-2, while Moreno won an impressive five matches, ousting Springs, 7-3, and Rojas, 7-4. Following a second round loss to Morra, Ernesto Bayaua made a phenomenal comeback, securing five matches, including wins over Derek Fontenot, 7-3, and Poon, 7-0. Jesus Atencio, on a similar mission, marked up five on the one loss side, among the ruins, Reginal Samples, 7-1, and Alonzo, 7-5. Jimmy Krone racked up five victories on the one loss side, but was stopped by Ochoa, 7-4. Ochoa was taken out by McMinn, 7-6, wrapping up top sixteen action. Back on the east side, Espinosa throttled Perez, 9-1, Baraks triumphed over Smith, 9-7, while Davis, Jr. snuck by Jethwa, 9-7, and Calderone inched by Richeson, 9-8. Espinosa squeaked by Baraks, 9-8, and Davis Jr. served it up cold to Calderone, 9-4. The hot seat match-up marked an Austin-area shoot-out, and a short-lived set for Espinosa, who sustained his first blow from Davis, Jr., 9-5. On the west side, Morra took a stand, ending Price, 7-3, and Perez, 7-2, while Salim took out heavy hitters  Sharp, 7-3, and Smith, 7-2. Bayaua recorded his seventh win on the one loss side, ending Moreno, 7-1, and Jethwa, 7-3. Ochoa finished off Atencio, 7-3, but fell to Richeson, 7-5. Salim went on to defeat Morra, 7-5, and Calderone, 7-3, while Bayaua buried Richeson and Baraks, 7-3. Bayaua registered his ninth win, but no more. Winning the case game against Bayaua, Salim secured his sixth win, and slid into third place. Espinosa was ready for Salim, but got off to a slow start. At a 6-3 deficit, Espinosa came back to win, 7-6, earning himself a second shot at Junior, and the title. Once again, Espinosa found himself in troubled waters, as Davis was in perfect rhythm with the table, and couldn’t be denied. Davis Jr. surged to a 9-3 win, and his second 9-ball title since the inception of Space City. 
 
In the one pocket division, Josh Roberts took no prisoners, eliminating Charlie Bryant, Jamie Baraks, and Chris Robinson, 4-3, while Alex Calderone defeated Greg Trent, Jim McCary, and Sylver Ochoa, 4-2. Local favorite, Richie Richeson, defeated Marc Garza and Manny Perez, by the same score, 4-1, and John Morra, 4-1. Ernesto Bayaua rounded out the final four, booking wins over Bobby Roland, Aaron Springs, 4-3, and Evan Lunda. In the final four round, Roberts shut-out Calderone, 4-0, and Richeson slid past Bayaua, 4-3. For the first time, Richeson found himself at the end of the board, facing the defending champion. The pressure was on, as both players were in close running for the All-Around bonus. In the final, numerous games came down to the case ball. The fans were treated to an offensive juggernaut; a display of maneuvers and banks, not soon forgotten, but even the creativity of the venerable Richeson, was not enough. With an accounting of two, eight-and-out runs, Roberts was up 3-2, with one ball remaining in game six. Following an unforced error by Richeson, Roberts took it home, along with his second, Space City Open one pocket title.
 
Evan Lunda was in charge of the banks. The Detroit product eliminated Jim Walker, 4-0, Danny Smith, 4-3, and Jose Barbosa, 4-1. His upcoming challenger, Shane McMinn, took out Mike Alonzo, Gail Eaton and James Davis, Jr. by the same score, 4-2. Josh Roberts overwhelmed Marc Garza, 4-1, Kent Berthelot, 4-0, and John Morra, 4-1, while Richie Richeson completed the final four, with wins over Bret Harlan, 4-0, Jamie Baraks, 4-2, and Justin Hall, 4-3. Lunda ended McMinn, 4-2, and Roberts robbed Richeson, 4-1. Lunda and Roberts found themselves in their first, banks final, vying for new milestones; Lunda, aiming for his first title, and Roberts, going for first-time champion of two different divisions. Lunda’s casual style showcased epic moves, and wowed spectators as he banked his way to victory. He shut out Roberts in the final of the single elimination schedule, 4-0, to win his first Space City Open title.
 
On Sunday morning, thirty-two women started battling it out in the ladies 9-ball division. The 2013 ladies 9-ball division champion, Ming “The Empress” Ng, began her trek with wins over Terri Resendez, 7-2, two-time ladies 9-ball champion, Gail “Virginia Slim” Eaton, 7-6, and Kim “Texas Heat” Pierce, 7-1, as Robyn Petrosino plowed through Ruth Paine, 7-0, Brittany Kromer, 7-3, and Teresa “Princess of Pool” Garland, 7-1. Yvonne “Casher” Asher made her way to the cash, defeating Karen Reilly, Tam “MZ Tam” Trinh, 7-3, and Jillian Nickerson, 7-6, while Ricky “The Ghost” Casper, drifted past Matty Sword, 7-1, Sara Bork, 7-3, and Hopey “Hurricane” Lawrence, 7-2. Ng went on to shut out Petrosino, 7-0, and Casper stopped Asher, 7-4. In the hot seat match, Ng emerged victorious over Casper, 7-4. On the one loss side and in the final eight, Pierce and Eaton shut out Garland and Nickerson, respectively, 5-0. Pierce derailed Asher, and Eaton eliminated Petrosino, moving into the final four. Eaton went on to eliminate Pierce, 5-0, and Casper, 5-4, to meet Ng in the finals. Ng, going for her second title, and Eaton, searching for her third, battled to the bitter end. In the first set, Ng simply couldn’t get it together, and Eaton was on fire, taking the first set, 7-1. Following a five minute break, the second set got underway. This time, Ng took her turn, beating Eaton 5-3, to win her second, Space City Open title. 
 
Nine players, seventeen and under, competed in the inaugural, juniors 9-ball division. Lazaro Martinez, III, aka “Little Laz”, outplayed April Gonzales, 5-2, and Alex Fonseca bested Jonathan Cortez, 5-1. Jacob Gonzales beat John Benavides, but fell to Kyle Yi, while Gabriel Martinez passed Nathan Garay, 5-1. Martinez, III logged a third win against Fonseca, 5-2, and G. Martinez ousted Yi, for a brother versus brother, hot seat match-up. G. Martinez denied his brother, and awaited his final opponent. On the one loss side, and in the final six, Fonseca eliminated Garay, and Yi overcame Benavides. Yi eliminated Fonseca, but fell to Martinez, III. Once again, “Little Laz” faced off with brother, Gabriel, in the final. The final told a different story, as Little Laz overwhelmed Gabriel, 5-2, 5-3, to win his first Space City Open title.
 
Space City Open VII goes down in the record books as the most successful one to date. “I have no words for the outpouring of support from the Texas pool community. Even with the last minute venue and format changes, the event over-filled. Billy Sharp and Deborah Sharp of Big Tyme Billiards came through for all of us” commented Kim Newsome, Space City Open Founder and Director. Space City Open extends a heartfelt “thank you” to everyone involved in the production of this event; John Newsome and Johnny Gonzales of Eagle Plumbing who sponsored the $1,500, All-Around bonus; staff members Kim Newsome, John Newsome, Erica Hanlon, and Chuck Adams who managed every facet of the event; Ceferina Ramirez and Ruth Paine for their contributions; Mike Fabacher with Southern Streaming who provided a free, four-day live stream; Chris Lue of Next Action Media, whose photographs captured the essence of the event; sponsors Roger Schuett with the APA of North Harris County, Mike McDonald of VaporKnightsUSA.com, Poison by Predator Cues, Cyclop Pool Balls, Chris Renfro with Outsville Billiards, Charlie and Heather Bryant of Brutal Game Gear, and David Taylor and Teresa Garland with Houston Best of Billiards; vendors Jerry Olivier Cue Repair, Joe Salazar Connoisseur of Custom Cues, Arthur Politte with Qxtender.com, Darrold Stiehl with Champions Cues, and Brutal Game Gear. 
 
Finally, Space City would like to extend its deepest gratitude to the players who support this event, year in and year out. Without the players, none of this would be possible.
 
Space City Open is one of the biggest billiard events in Texas, and is held annually, the first week in December. For more information, visit www.SpaceCityOpen.com
 

Bourgeois and Bayaua Blitz Poison Lone Star 10th Anniversary Event

Manny Chau, Joey Torres, Aaron Springs and Ernsto Bayaua

Joey Bourgeois, Jr., of Baytown, Texas, tore through a field of 75 amateur division players, while Houston’s Ernesto Bayaua blazed through the 64-player, open division, in the epic Poison Lone Star Billiards Tour 10th Anniversary Event, held on July 7th-8th, at Bogies Billiards and Sports Bar in Houston, Texas. In the amateur division final, Bourgeois, Jr. beat out number two ranked, Steve Lenz, to claim his first-ever win on the Poison Lone Star Tour, while Bayaua bested number two ranked, Joey Torres, to maintain his number one spot in the open division rankings. Both players went undefeated!
 
The sixth stop on the Poison Lone Star Billiards Tour was the “10th Anniversary 10-Ball Event” which marked ten years of Tour tournaments in the Lone Star State. The Tour gave away cash and products totaling $1,500 to its loyal constituents, while new players at this event were entered into a cash drawing. The Tour provided lunch for all the players, including twenty-nine, Gulf Coast Tour ladies. Thanks to host room, Bogies Billiards, title sponsor, Poison by Predator Cues PoisonBilliards.com, and sponsors Cyclop Pool Balls Facebook@CyclopPoolBalls, APA of North Harris County Facebook@APANorthHarrisCounty, OutsvilleBilliards.com, www.VaporKnightsUSA.com, and Southern Streaming, this event amassed 85 Poison Lone Star players, and a $12,330 payout.     
 
In the amateur division, Joey Bourgeois, Jr. made his way to the final four on the winners’ side with victories over Jose De LaCruz, Joel Acevedo, 5-4, Jance “L.J.” Johnson, 5-1, and Dallas’ Clint Palaci, 5-3, while Steve Lenz made his bid, securing wins over Jamie Cantrel, John Braud, David Williams, 5-3, Chris Young, 5-3, and Aaron Springs, 5-2. Resident player, Chuck Adams, denied Sonny Bosshamer, C.J. Escalera, Adam Cooper, 5-4, Bob Guzik, 5-4, and Chad Reece, 5-4, while Randy Nickerson ousted Todd Hinson, Bob DeTuncq, 5-4, Jack Cavalier, 5-0, Dale Briones, 5-3, and recent event winner, Michael Pickering, 5-1. On the west side, following a first round loss to Dallas’ Shane Hvamstad, Cesar Arechiga racked up seven wins to reach the final sixteen on the one loss side. Bosshamer benched Beaumont’s Carl Honey, 4-0, but fell short to Chris Young, 4-3. Hinson also took a first round hit, but came back to win six matches, positioning himself in the final sixteen, while Bret Harlan reached the final twenty-four, and in the money, but was denied by Marshal Ward, 4-2. Tony Scott squeezed into the first money round, but fell to Hvamstad, 4-3, while Laredo’s David Leal won five, including a win over Guzik, 4-3. Newcomer, Brandon Stewart, booked four wins on the one loss side, including a victory over Briones, 4-3, while Josh Pruiett paved his way to the final twenty-four, but lost to Kevin Frauenberger, 4-1. While the final eight took shape on the west side, on the east side, Nickerson made quick work of Adams, 5-1, while Bourgeois, Jr. powered through Lenz, 5-1. Back on the one loss side, Arechiga bested Young, 4-2, and Reece, 4-3, while Hinson took care of Ward, 4-3, and Pickering, 4-0. Leal slid by Hvamstad and Springs by the same score, 4-3, while Stewart defeated Frauenberger, 4-1, but was ousted by Palaci, 4-1. Hinson overwhelmed Arechiga, 4-0, and Palaci moved past Leal, 4-3. In the hot seat match, Bourgeois, Jr. took down Nickerson, 5-2, securing his first-ever, hot seat win. Seeking redemption, Adams eliminated Palaci, 4-3, and Lenz ended Hinson’s run, 4-2. Lenz overcame Adams, 4-1, and Nickerson, 4-2, to reach a final reckoning with Bourgeois, Jr. Once again, Lenz proved no match for Bourgeois, Jr., who cruised to his first Poison Lone Star Billiards Tour victory, 5-1.
 
In the open 9-ball division, Ernesto Bayaua was on role, dominating Kelly Kilgore, 6-2, Justin Pena, 6-0, Adam Cooper, 6-0, and Steve Lenz, 6-3, while Manny Chau cut through Mike Wilson, Chase Rudder, 6-0, Chuck Adams, 6-2, and Cesar Arechiga, 6-0. Aaron Springs stopped David Ramos, Sonny Bosshamer, 6-2, Seth Gonzales, 6-2, and upset Alex Calderone, 6-5. Joey Torres , Joey Bourgeois, Jr., 6-2, Carl Honey, 6-3, and Joel Acevedo, 6-3. As the winners’ side final four took shape, the one loss side was winding down. Kevin Frauenberger took out Hvamstad, 5-2, but fell to Calderone, 5-1, while Bob Guzik ended Sonny Bosshamer, 5-3, and Acevedo, 5-2. Chase Rudder ousted Tommy Tokoph, 5-4, but was upset by Steve Lenz, 5-0. Pena edged out Bobby Perez, but fell to Arechiga, 5-3. It was down to the final eight. On the east side, Bayaua bested Chau, 6-4, and Torres tore down Springs, 6-2. The hot seat pitted two, successful Houston players, witnessing Bayaua handily win the hot seat, 6-2. On the west side, Calderone ejected Guzik, 5-0, but lost to Chau, 5-1, while Arechiga slid by Lenz, 5-4, only to be ousted by Springs. While Springs upset Chau, 5-4, Torres took him out, earning himself another shot at Bayaua. In the final match, Torres came on strong, but Bayaua was on point, pulling ahead to win his fourth open division title this year, 6-4. 
 
The Tour would like to thank Monique Ferguson and John Newsome who assisted with running the boards, and recognize Jimmy Weeks of Lufkin, Texas, and Mike Pawloski of Willis, Texas, for being top contributors to the player auctions. Finally, the Tour would like to congratulate all of the free giveaway recipients. Mike Wilson of Corpus Christie won the Poison AR3-2 playing cue, Laredo’s Gerardo Alvarez took home a Poison VX jump cue, and Houston’s Rudy Sanchez won the Poison break/jump cue. Tommy Tokoph and Todd Hinson won Cyclop Pool Ball Sets (Zeus), and Doug Gray, C.J. Escalera, Roy Alonzo, and Richard Stuart snagged Outsville Accu-Racks. Carl Honey collected $50 in Brutal Game Gear, and Thomas Madison took home the Superbowl gear.
 
The next event will be 9-ball on 9’ tables, to be held August 4th-5th, 2018, at Skinny Bob’s Billiards, located at 300 Hester’s Crossing, in Round Rock, Texas. This same weekend, there will be a Women’s Gulf Coast Tour 9-Ball Event, two days, on open bar tables, beginning Saturday, August 4th, at 11:00am. The women’s event is non-smoking. For more information, visit www.GulfCoastWomensTour.com. 
 
For more information, or sponsorship opportunities, please visit www.LoneStarBilliardsTour.com.

APA Members Cash In at Poolplayer Championships

World’s Largest Pool League Awards More Than $650,000

LAKE SAINT LOUIS, MO (May 16, 2016) — New venue.  New event name.  More prize money than ever before.  It all added up to another spectacular event for the American Poolplayers Association in Las Vegas.  Thousands of APA members made their way to the Westgate Resort & Casino to compete for more than $650,000 in cash and prizes at the recently renamed APA Poolplayer Championships, formerly known as the National Singles Championships.  The Poolplayer Championships consisted of both the 8-Ball Classic and 9-Ball Shootout Championship events, as well as Showdown Series events that included the 8-Ball and 9-Ball Doubles Championships and the Wheelchair Championship events.

[photo id=44710|align=left]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, Michael Ritch of Fort Walton Beach, Fla., defeated Ron Ekman of Port Hueneme, Calif.
 

 

[photo id=44711|align=right]In the White Tier, Paul Schinkel of Pickering, Ont., defeated Hannah Martin of Spring, Texas.

[photo id=44703|align=left]In the Black Tier, Brian Parks of Bakersfield, Calif., defeated Kale Bourque of Breaux Bridge, La. Mathew Barber of Newburg, N.Y., won the Sportsmanship Award in the 9-Ball Shootout.

Each of the three Champions received a cash and prize package worth $10,000.  Runners-Up in each tier took home a cash and prize package worth $5,000.  More than 4,000 poolplayers made it to the Regional Level of the 9-Ball Shootout before the field was whittled down to the 320 who advanced to Las Vegas.

Nearly 6,000 players throughout North America qualified for Regional competition in the 8-Ball Classic, with 510 of them advancing to the championships.

[photo id=44709|align=left]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, Alexandra Marx-Simoncic of New York City defeated Julie Buckley of Orlando, Fla.

[photo id=44708|align=right]In the Yellow Tier, Juan Diaz of Silver Spring, Md., defeated David Brown of Stayner, Ont.

[photo id=44712|align=left]In the Red Tier, Roberto Valanzuela of Silver Spring, Md., defeated Shannon Theriot of Breaux Bridge, La.

[photo id=44707|align=right]In the Orange Tier, Howard Depascal of Pasadena, Md., defeated Gary Smith of Arlington, Texas.

[photo id=44713|align=left]In the Purple Tier, Robert Hall of Huntsville, Ala., defeated William Gallagher Jr. of Atco, N.J.  Kevin Demoss of Youngsville, La., won the Sportsmanship Award in the 8-Ball Classic.

First Place winners received cash and prizes worth $15,000.  Each Runner-Up received cash and prizes worth $9,000.

[photo id=44706|align=right]In the 8-Ball Doubles Championship, Pete and Repeat – Trey Funderburg and Jim Mullins – of Monroe, La., defeated Bank Shot Flyers – Roland Newkirk and Jeremy Brown – of Odenton, Md.  The victory earned them a $5,000 payday.  As Runners-Up, Bank Shot Flyers took home $3,000.

[photo id=44705|align=left]In the 9-Ball Doubles Championship, Ladies Please – Dereth Tahkofper and Carol Wagoner – of Lawton, Okla., defeated Terrible D’s – Robert Detuncq and Monica Detuncq – of Spring, Texas.  The victory earned them a $3,500 payday.  As Runners-Up, Terrible D’s took home $2,300.

[photo id=44704|align=right]In the finals of the Wheelchair Championship, Charlie Hans of Cincinnati, Ohio, defeated Jason Herrill of Ventura, Calif., to take home $1,600 in prize money.  Herrill received $800 as the Runner-Up.

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 World Pool Championships, the APA Poolplayer Championships and the U.S. Amateur Championship—that, together, pay out more than $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, visitwww.poolplayers.com.
 

Mendiola and Bayaua in Beast Mode on Poison Lone Star Tour

Manny Chau and Ernesto Bayaua

Houston’s David Mendiola tore through a field of 55 competitors in the amateur 9-ball division, beating Steve Lenz in the finals, 5-2, 5-3, to win his first, Poison Lone Star Billiards Tour title. Ernesto Bayaua went undefeated in the 50-player, open 9-ball division, defeating Manny Chau in the finals, 7-1, securing his second, consecutive win of 2018. 
 
On February 10th-11th, 2018, the Poison Lone Star Billiards Tour held its second stop of the season at Bogies Billiards West in Houston, Texas. The tournament amassed 94 players from cities throughout Texas and Louisiana, with a payout in excess of $7,000. The Tour would like to thank Bogies West and staff, title sponsor Poison by Predator Cues PoisonBilliards.com, and sponsors Cyclop Pool Balls Facebook@CyclopPoolBalls, Ozone Billiards OzoneBilliards.com, APA of North Harris County Facebook@APANorthHarrisCounty, OutsvilleBilliards.com, and www.VaporKnightsUSA.com for facilitating another successful event for the Poison Lone Star Tour players.
 
In the amateur division, David Mendiola made his way to the final four with wins over Kenneth Espina, 5-2, Bob Valliere, 5-4, Steve Williams, 5-0, and Rudy Sanchez, 5-0, while Steve Lenz took care of Jim Shipman, 5-0, Burak Temel, 5-4, and Dallas’ Joe Pelayo, 5-1.  Beaumont’s Carl Honey bested San Antonio’s Scott Spiegel, Richard “The Black Diamond” Stuart, Louisiana’s Shane LeBlanc, 5-3, and Bill Fuller, 5-3, while Brian Rosenbaum tagged Ron Wrobleski, Jong Yoo, 5-4, Angelo Martin, 5-1, and John Braud. On the one loss side, Yoo eliminated Fuller, 5-1, while Joey Bourgeois ended Braud, 5-3. Following five match wins, Chris Rogers went on to eliminate Sanchez, 5-2, while Pelayo slid by Felder, 5-4. Cruising to the hot seat, Lenz dealt Mendiola a blow, 5-2, while Rosenbaum denied Honey, 5-4. Lenz dusted off Rosenbaum for the hot seat, 5-3, seemingly on the road to a second, amateur division victory. On the west side, rounding out the final eight, Fuller fell to Bourgeois, and Pelayo denied Rogers, 5-2. Mendiola eliminated Bourgeois, 5-4, and Honey curbed Pelayo, 5-2. Mendiola forged ahead, edging out Honey, 5-4, and Rosenbaum, 5-4, earning himself a rematch with Lenz. In the finals, a collected Lenz attempted to fend off a relentless Mendiola, and it was a fight to the finish. Mendiola latched on, claiming the first set, 5-2. In the second set, Lenz tried to turn it around, but Mendiola’s momentum was too strong. The Houston player closed out the second set, 5-3, to win his first-ever, Poison Lone Star Tour title. 
 
In the open 9-ball division, Ernesto Bayaua was unstoppable. He secured wins over Dallas’ Vic Sorto, 7-1, Brian Rosenbaum, 7-2, Robert Wendel, 7-2, and New York’s Dale Briones, 7-2, while Denis Strickland overwhelmed Richie Richeson, 7-5, Joe Pelayo, 7-2, and Jong Yoo, 7-0. Young gun, Joey Torres, overcame Ronjan Mathur, Manny Chau, 7-5, and Bob Valliere, 7-1, while Lufkin’s Chad Reece bested Shane LeBlanc, 7-2, Joey Bourgeois, 7-4, and Chris Rogers, 7-5. Bayaua squeezed by Strickland, 7-6, while Torres tamed Reece, 7-5, pitting two Houston locals for the hot seat match. Bayaua made quick work of Torres, 7-1, which marked his twelfth, consecutive match win in the first two events. On the one loss side, following a third round upset by Chris Rogers, Tommy Tokoph took out Jong Yoo, while Chau overcame Briones, 5-3. LeBlanc took out Valliere, 5-1, and Felder extinguished Rogers, 5-2. Chau powered through Tokoph, 5-0, and Reece, 5-1, while LeBlanc finished off Felder, 5-2, but fell to Strickland, 5-0. Chau, the 2017 Tour Champion, sent home Strickland, 5-3, and Torres, 5-2, for a final match up against 2016 Tour Champion, Bayaua. With an incredible seven match wins to his credit, Chau headed into the finals with an undefeated Bayaua. In the final set, Bayaua set the pace, took the lead, and never looked back. Bayaua defeated Chau, 7-1, winning his second Tour event, and marking his thirteenth, straight match win this year. 
 
Special “congratulations” to Joe Pelayo of Dallas, Texas, on securing his highest, Poison Lone Star Tour finish to date! The Tour would also like to recognize Ruth Paine of San Antonio, Texas, for her assistance with the production of this event. Match recordings on the live stream table were facilitated by www.SouthernStreaming.com, and are now available for viewing in their online library. 
 
The next event will be held March 10th-11th, 2018, at Fat Rack’s Sports Bar and Billiards in San Antonio, Texas. For more information, please visit www.LoneStarBilliardsTour.com. 

Woodward Makes It Four in Shreveport

Alex Calderon and Skyler Woodward (Photo courtesy of PoolAction.tv)

One hundred twenty eight players made the trek to Shreveport, LA to play in this year’s Sidepocket Open Nine Ball Championship. A full field of 128 players including well-known names like three-time and defending champ Skyler Woodward, Roberto Gomez, Robb Saez, Texas Open 10 Ball runner-up Kenny Loftis, Alex Calderon, Gary Abood, Devin Poteet, Ernesto Bayaua and Kevin Guimond put up their $75 entry fee to play in the race to 7, alternate break bar box event.
 
The event kicked off on Friday with the players meeting and draw followed by a players auction. After that, twenty players put up their hundred bucks for a ring 9 ball game. When the smoke cleared, there were two men standing – Roberto Gomez and Sky Woodward. Sky took it down…
 
Owner Roger Lites, along with tournament sponsors OB Digicue, Ballistic Billiards and Steve Wells of Action/27, treated both players and fans to a great event. Tournament Director Jeff Sullivan (“Sully”) and his able assistant, Ileana Ford, kept things running smoothly.
 
After plenty of action, Sunday night whittled down to fourth place finisher Robb Saez while Kevin Guimond came in third. Kelly Isaac took down last lady money.
 
Woodward, looking to claim his fourth Sidepocket Open title, needed to beat the undefeated Alex Calderon twice. Sky won the first set in a squeaker, 7-6. The second set started out neck and neck until Sky pulled away away and reached the hill first – 6-4. Alex was not about to give up easily as he went on to tie it at six apiece. One game for it all & Alex was breaking!
 
Alex made two balls on the break but was faced with no easy shot on the one with a two-nine combination along the side rail. He attempted to bank the one but sold out leaving Sky with a medium-tough shot on the one and a medium-tough shot on the combo. The fans sure got their money’s worth as Sky pocketed the case nine to claim his fourth consecutive title! Congratulations, Sky! Good tournament, Alex!
 
PoolActionTV.com would like to thank our sponsors and fans for another fantastic event! Our sponsors include Diamond Billiard Tables, Lomax Custom Cues, Kamui, John Barton of JB Cases, GoPlayPool.com, Durbin Custom Cues, Aramith, Hanshew Custom Cues, Simonis and Club Billiards of Wichita, KS. Thanks for your support!
 
Our next event is the much anticipated Durbin Cup to be held on March 3rd in Sullivan, IL. Hope to see you there!!!

Bayaua and Bosshamer Blitz on Poison Lone Star Tour

Brian Rosenbaum, Ernesto Bayaua, Joey Torres and Robert Crane

Ernesto Bayaua went undefeated to capture the 39-player, open 8-ball division, while Sonny Bosshamer ran through a 47-player field, to secure the amateur 8-ball division, at the first stop on the 2018 Poison Lone Star Billiards Tour. Bayaua overwhelmed Brian Rosenbaum in the final, 3-0, while Bosshamer denied Lufkin’s Chad Reece in both sets of the true double elimination final, 3-2, 3-2.
 
Lake Jackson, Freeport, Stafford, Lufkin, Victoria, and San Antonio, were just a handful of cities represented by players competing in the Poison Lone Star Billiards Tour 8-ball event, held on January 13th-14th, 2018, at Bogies Billiards and Sports Bar in Houston, Texas. The Tour would like to acknowledge and thank all the new players who attended their first Tour event, some hailing from Houston’s North Harris County APA and Houston Best of Billiards leagues. Props go out to Ruth Paine, Alamo City 8-Ball Association operator, who was the lone, female competitor in the event. Many thanks to Mike Fabacher who provided the free, two-day live stream, and Michael Presley for his assistance in the booth. Once again, Tour title sponsor Poison by Predator Cues PoisonBilliards.com, and sponsors Cyclop Pool Balls facebook@CyclopPoolBalls,  Ozone Billiards OzoneBilliards.com, APA of North Harris County facebook@APANorthHarrisCounty,  OutsvilleBilliards.com, and VaporKnightsUSA.com, facilitated another successful  event that paid out over $4,500 in prize money, to the top twelve finishers in each division. 
 
In the open division, former Poison Lone Star Tour Champion and APA National Champion, Ernesto Bayaua, ran through Jake Jurgens, 3-1, Sonny Bosshamer, 3-1, and Kevin Frauenberger, 3-1, while Canada’s Robert Crane bested Lance Johnson, Steve Williams, 3-2, and Joey Torres, 3-1. Former Tour Champion, Brian Rosenbaum, overcame “Mikey Boy” Martinez, 3-1, Sylver Ochoa, 3-1, and Mark Cardenas, 3-1, while Doug Gray ousted Brian Humphrey, 3-2, Dave Ramirez, 3-1, Michael Presley, 3-0, and Chris Thompson, 3-2. On the west side, in the final twelve and in the money, Frauenberger slid by Curt Sheldon, 3-2, and Torres eliminated Ochoa, 3-2, while Cardenas cancelled Williams, 3-0, and Bosshamer terminated Thompson. On the winners’ side, Rosenbaum stopped Gray, 3-2, while Bayaua closed out Crane, 3-0. In the hot seat match, Bayaua made quick work of Rosenbaum, 3-0. On the flip side, Torres was on a tear, eliminating Frauenberger, 3-2, and Gray, 3-0, while Bosshamer overcame Cardenas, but fell to Crane. In turn, Torres eliminated Crane, but lost the next round to Rosenbaum, 3-1. With that win, Rosenbaum earned a rematch with Bayaua. In the finals, Bayaua won the flip and never looked back, running three racks against Rosenbaum, and going undefeated to win his first event of 2018.
 
In the amateur division, newcomer Shane Aguinaga of Freeport, Texas, made his way to the winners’ side final four, booking wins over Shelby Green, Chuck Adams, 3-2, Eboo Alali, 3-2, and Bill Fain, 3-1, while Sonny Bosshamer sliced through Brandon Anderson, 3-0, Brian Humphrey, 3-0, Robert Crane, 3-0, and Mark Cardenas, 3-1. Lufkin’s Chad Reece took charge, logging wins over Chris Gutierrez, Michael Presley, 3-0, Steve Siarski, 3-1, and Eric Hsu, 3-2, while Tony Scott took down John Frye, 3-0, Jake Jurgens, Lance Johnson, 3-0, and Will Felder, 3-1. On the west side, in the final twelve and in the money, Hsu fell to Frauenberger, 3-1, and Felder foiled Alali, 3-1, while Fain bested Williams, 3-1, and Siarski ousted Cardenas, 3-2. Winners’ side final four action witnessed Bosshamer defeat Aguinaga, 3-2, and Reece derail Scott, 3-1. Reece went on to end Bosshamer’s run, 3-1, winning his first hot-seat match, on Tour. Staying alive on the one loss side, Felder dusted off Frauenberger, 3-2, and Aguinaga, 3-0, while Fain ended Siarski, 3-1, only to fall short against Scott, 3-2. Felder slipped by Scott, and into the final four, but was denied by Bosshamer, 3-1. Once again, Bosshamer met up with Reece, in a battle to the bitter end. Reece faltered the first set, 3-2, sending the finals into overtime. In the second set, Bosshamer edged out Reece, 3-2, to win his first event of 2018.
 
Serving pool players, pool rooms, and sponsors, since 2009, the Poison Lone Star Billiards Tour celebrates its 10th Anniversary this year as the longest-running billiards tour in the south. A special 10th Anniversary Event will be held for players who compete in at least two events between now, and July 7th, 2018. Players are strongly encouraged to meet the eligibility requirements, in order to gain entrance into this event. The next tour stop will be open and amateur 9-ball, held on February 10th-11th, at Bogies West, 9638 Jones Road, Houston, Texas. For more information, including access to the free live stream, visit www.LoneStarBilliardsTour.com. 

Smith Lights Up Space City Open VI

Danny Smith

Danny “The Shredder” Smith captured his first-ever Space City Open 9-Ball title, plowing through an 83-player field, undefeated, besting Roberto “Superman” Gomez in the first set of the true double elimination final, 9-3. Josh Roberts went undefeated in the 40-player, one pocket division, ousting John Morra in the first set, 3-2, taking home his first Space City Open One Pocket title. Jeremy “Double J” Jones went undefeated in the 9-ball banks division, taking down Tommy Tokoph in the first set, 3-2, earning himself a whopping fourth, banks division title. Wrapping up four long days of match play, the ladies 9-ball concluded on Sunday, with Gail “Virginia Slim” Eaton defeating Ming “The Empress” Ng, to capture her second, Space City Open title. 
 
In its sixth year, the four-day, four-division, $6,000 added Space City Open VI (SCO) was held at Bogies Billiards and Sports Bar in Houston, Texas, November 30th – December 3rd, 2017, featuring top players from across America. This year’s line-up featured a cast of new talent, including Danny Smith, Roberto Gomez, John Morra, Jason Brown, and Kelly Isaac, along with numerous others. Admission was free, and fans enjoyed four days of top-notch pool, provided by world-class players.
 
In the 9-ball division, Danny Smith obliterated the field with wins over Marlin Griffith, 9-4, J.C. Torres, 9-3, Jeremy Jones, 9-7, and Alex Calderone, 9-4, while Jason “Jaybird” Brown took down Taylor Hobbs, 9-8, Curt Sheldon, Josh Roberts, 9-8, and James Davis, Jr., 9-2. Two-time Space City Open 9-Ball Champion, Charlie “Hillbilly” Bryant, made his way to the final four with victories over Mike Wilson, 9-2, David Twitty, 9-6, Kevin Guimond, 9-0, and Cesar Arechiga, 9-2, while Roberto “Superman” Gomez overcame Kenneth Price, 9-6, Randy Nickerson, 9-3, Chase Rudder, 9-5, and John Morra, 9-2. On the one loss side, Tommy Tokoph took out Roberts, 7-3, and Jones eliminated former pro C.J. Wiley, 7-1, while Yovani Salvia ousted Rudder, 7-4, and Jeff Chauncey destroyed Guimond, 7-1. Back on the east side, Gomez bested Bryant, 9-6, while Smith overwhelmed Brown, 9-4. Smith ran away with the hot seat match, defeating Gomez, 9-2. The one loss side witnessed Morra overpower Tokoph, 7-1, and Jones handily defeat Arechiga, 7-0. Davis, Jr. ended Rudder, 7-6, while Guimond dusted off Calderone, 7-4. Morra went on to eliminate Jones, 7-4, and Brown, 7-1, while Guimond overcame Davis, Jr., 7-3. Bryant squeezed by Guimond, 7-6, rounding out the final four players in the division. Morra was on a role, taking out Bryant, 7-2, to win his fourth match on the one loss side. He was stopped short by Gomez, 7-1, finishing in a respectable, third place. Gomez earned himself a rematch with Smith, and “The Shredder” was ready. With his spot-on break, it was a short-lived set for Gomez, much like the first. Smith shot out of the gate and never looked back, capturing the first set, 9-3, and his first, Space City Open 9-Ball title.
 
[photo id=48363|align=right]Last year, Josh Roberts finished runner-up in the one pocket division, but this year he came out on top.  Roberts ran through a 40-player field, undefeated, booking wins over Jim McCary, Adam Cooper, and Ted Reeves, 3-1, while John Morra overcame Gabe Owen, Marvin Diaz, 3-0, and Sylver Ochoa, 3-1. Houston’s Ernesto Bayaua made his way to the final four with wins over Cliff Joyner, Dallas’ Gerardo Perez, 3-0, and Roberto Gomez, 3-1, while Justin Whitehead overwhelmed Curt Sheldon, 3-0, Corey Flud, 3-0, and Kent Berthelot, 3-1. On the one loss side, Davis, Jr. eliminated Ochoa, 3-1, Brown defeated Reeves, 3-0, and Diaz ended Berthelot, 3-1. Following an early hit at the hands of Roberts, Jeremy Jones won four matches, including victories over Jeff Bramblet, 3-0, Jeff Chauncey, 3-1, and Gomez, 3-1. As the final eight took shape, winners’ side matches witnessed Roberts edge out Morra, 3-2, and Whitehead dust off Bayaua, 3-1. Roberts wasted little time with Whitehead, capturing the hot seat, 3-0. Back on the west side, Brown denied Ochoa, 3-0, and Bayaua, 3-2, while Jones squeezed by Diaz, 3-2, falling in turn to Morra, by the same score.  Morra made quick work of Whitehead, 3-0, moving on to Roberts, and the finals. In the first set, players were neck and neck. Tied at two a piece, an unforced error by Morra sealed his fate, and Roberts ended the set to secure his first, Space City Open One Pocket title.
 
Kicking off the four-day, billiard extravaganza, was the 26-player, 9-ball banks division, witnessing former Mosconi Cup MVP and former U.S. Open Champion, Jeremy Jones, capture his fourth Space City Open Banks title. Jones blazed a path through Kent Berthelot, 3-0, Gail Eaton, 3-0, and Roberto Gomez, 3-1, while Tommy Tokoph handled Ricki Casper, 3-0, former U.S. Open runner-up, Tan Hoa, 3-2,  and Scotty Evans, 3-1. Former U.S. Open Champion, Gabe Owen, checked off Alfred Flores, 3-0, Richie Richeson, 3-0, and Jason “Jaybird” Brown, 3-1, while Cliff Joyner overwhelmed Beaumont’s Carl Honey, 3-0, Will Felder, 3-1, and Alan Myers, 3-1. On the one loss side, John Morra took out Berthelot, while Roberto Gomez ousted James Davis, Jr., 3-1. Canadian Alex Olinger ended Alan Myers, 3-2, while Josh Roberts handled Jason Brown, 3-1. Down to the final eight, on the east side, Jones defeated Tokoph, 3-1, and Owen slid by Joyner, 3-1. In a speedy, hot seat match, Jones crushed Owen, 3-0. Back on the west side, Gomez eliminated Morra, but fell to Joyner, 3-1, while Roberts took out Myers, 3-0, falling to Tokoph in the next round, 3-0. Tokoph was on the war path, sending home Joyner, 3-2, and Owen, 3-2, reaching Jones, and the finals. Players teed off, both keeping pace as the set progressed. Tied at two a piece, Jones inched ahead in the final game, closing out the set to defend his 2016 title and secure his fourth banks title.
 
[photo id=48362|align=right]Wrapping up Space City, 24 women battled it out on Sunday for over $2,400 in cash in the ladies 9-ball division. Gail “Virginia Slim” Eaton came out firing, ousting Terry “The Terrorizer” Petrosino, Calaia Jackson, 7-1, and Toledo’s Kelly Isaac, 7-6, whiLe Ming “The Empress” Ng made her way to the final four with wins over Cindy Ferry, Nayla Hoak, and Joyce Davis. Angleton’s Brandi Booth came out firing, securing victories over Ricki Casper, 7-3, and Robyn Petrosino, 7-6, while Teresa “The Princess of Pool” Garland took down Alicia Huff, 7-5, and Yvonne Asher, 7-1. On the west side, Isaac eliminated Denton’s Amy Jones, 5-2, and T. Petrosino reined in Davis, 5-3.  Natalie Mans squeezed by Asher, 5-4, and R. Petrosino extinguished Yvonne Ramirez, 5-2. Down to the final eight, east side action saw Isaac eliminate T. Petrosino, 5-3, and Garland, 5-4, while Mans dusted off R. Petrosino, 5-1, in turn, falling  to Ng, by the same score. Ng went on to eliminate Isaac, 5-4, and Booth, 5-1, earning herself a rematch with Eaton. In the first set of the true, double elimination final, Ng served Eaton her first loss, 7-6, and the finals ventured into overtime. Players displayed poise and composure in the late hour, but only one player could wear the crown. Players fought for every game, but it was Eaton who pulled ahead to end the second set, 5-3, capturing her second, Space City Open 9-ball title. 
 
The Space City Open extends a heartfelt “thank you” to everyone who supported this event; Bogies Billiards and Sports Bar, along with owners David and Shannon Richardson, the entire Bogies’ staff, assistant tournament director, John Newsome, Simplified Electronics, APA of North Harris County, Gulf War Veteran Mike McDonald, Ozone Billiards, and Outsville Billiards. “Special Supporters” of this event included Mark Stubbs, Glen Benton, Ted Reeves, Adam Cooper, Richard Holstein, Richard “Black Diamond” Stuart, and Art Politte. This year’s event featured booths by Jerry Olivier Cues and Cue Repair, Joe Salazar Connoisseur of Custom Cues, Champions Cues, Bryant Billiards, and Q-Xtender.com.
 
Space City Open VII is set for December 6th-9th, 2018. For sponsorship information, please contact Kim Newsome at 713.825.1411, or email lonestartour@gmail.com.