Archive Page

Shaw wins final battle versus Appleton in Open NineBall Pro Players Championship

Jayson Shaw

Nearly 2,000 entrants, with some event crossovers, compete in Amateur events

As of March 31, three weeks before the Super Billiards Expo opened its doors, the Diamond Open NineBall Professional Players Championship was designated as an Official Nineball World Ranking event, and while it did not literally draw its entrance field from everywhere, there was a very evident sense of international competition. The final 16 featured representation from the US (five) and 11 competitors from seven foreign countries – Austria, Germany (2), Russia, the UK (2), Canada (2), the Philippines and Hong Kong (2). The international ‘feel’ of the event was most evident in what was easily among (if not “the”) most anticipated matchup of the four-day event, between the UK’s Jayson Shaw and Russia’s Fedor Gorst. The matchup, which occurred in the single-elimination quarterfinals, lived up to its billing, as the two battled to double hill before Shaw advanced. More on this later, along with the final matchup between Shaw and Darren Appleton, which waited until the 17th of its potential 21 games before Shaw pulled away to win the next two and claim the title. 

There were quite a few “wish I coulda been there” matches throughout the event’s four days, up to and including matches among the final 16, which were, for obvious reasons, witnessed by the SBE’s largest crowds in the Pro arena. Pre-single-elimination, there was the double hill battle between Shaw and Billy Thorpe, which moved Shaw into the final 16, the Fedor Gorst and Ralf Souquet (new school/old school) match that sent Gorst to the final 16, and Appleton’s two straight double hill matches; one win (Jeff Beckley) and one loss (Mhet Vergara), which sent “Dynamite” to the loss side, where a single win, over Bucky Souvanthong, sent him (Appleton) to the final 16. And, as always, any match featuring Earl Strickland as a competitor is always entertaining, whether because of exuberant antics or just plain rock-solid shooting.

The Shaw/Gorst match followed a Shaw “Sweet 16” victory over John Morra 11-6 and a Gorst win over Thorsten Hohmann 11-8. Gorst opened with two straight racks and kept that as a minimum lead until rack #17. By the 12th rack, Gorst was leading by four. Two straight racks that featured Shaw dropping a combination shot that dropped the 9-ball cut that lead in half. Gorst went three-up at 9-6, but Shaw came right back with a break and run that reduced it to two again.

Off a Gorst break, Shaw narrowed the lead to one until that 17th rack, when Shaw came within one. Shaw broke the 18th, but turned the table over briefly, before, with a second chance, he dropped a 3-9 combination that yielded the match’s first tie. Gorst dropped two balls on his break, but Shaw came through to get on the hill with his first lead of the match. Gorst, with a scratch-on-the-break assist from Shaw, made it interesting by winning the 20th, double hill rack.

Gorst broke dry in the deciding rack, but Shaw turned the table back over to Gorst, who promptly scratched shooting at the 2-ball. Shaw ran to the 8-ball and Gorst conceded the game and match. 

Moving into the semifinals, Shaw drew Mario He, who’d earlier defeated Jonathan Pinegar 11-7 and Oscar Dominguez 11-9. Appleton’s path to the finals from the final 16 started out against Earl Strickland. He got by him 11-6 and then downed Joseph Spence 11-3. In the semifinals, Appleton drew Billy Thorpe, who’d recently eliminated Robbie Capito 11-9 and Souquet 11-8. 

Shaw downed He 11-7, as Appleton was busy dispatching Thorpe 11-4. The all-UK battle was on.

In the early going of the finals, it appeared as though neither of them was going to win a rack off their own break. Appleton won the lag, broke dry and Shaw ran the table to take a 1-0 lead. Shaw broke, dropping two balls and scratching. Appleton set up a 1-9 combination to tie it up. They went back and forth like this, winning the other’s break to a single game lead for Shaw at 4-3.

Shaw broke the 8th rack, dropped one, and after giving the table back to Appleton briefly, won the rack, his first off his own break, to take the game’s first two-game lead. He made it a three-game lead (his first of two), before Appleton chalked up two in a row to make it 6-5. Shaw used a terrific jump shot at the 2-ball to maintain his run of rack #12. On Appleton’s break of rack #13, he dropped one ball, but almost immediately gave the table to Shaw, who missed hitting the 1-ball, completely. Shaw saw an obvious 1-9 combination awaiting Appleton’s arrival at the table, so, gentleman that he was, he picked up the cue ball and placed it in the position it needed to be for Appleton to make the combination. He did so without handling the cue ball Shaw had set for him.

Shaw dropped two balls on the break of rack #14 and used another terrific jump shot to jumpstart his third win off his own break and then, off Darren’s break, established his second three-rack lead at 9-6. Appleton fought right back, winning the next two and including his own terrific jump shot at the 1-ball that started his 8th game win.

Ahead by a single rack at 9-8, Shaw broke and ran the 18th (his fourth win off his own break) to reach the hill first. Darren broke the 19th rack, sinking one ball, but couldn’t see the 1-ball. He pushed (the one and only time that happened all match) and Shaw finished the game to claim the event title. 

Amateur events draw 35 shy of 2,000 entrants

Not including the two junior events for ages 17/Under and 12/under, the total entrants for which were not recorded, the nine amateur events of the 2022 SBE drew a total of 1,965 entrants (with some crossover between events). This brought the total number of participating pool players to 2,101. The two Pro events (73 Open and 63 Women) thus represented just 6% of the total number of players who competed this year. Trying to detail 9 events, especially the 996-entrant Open Amateur would be unwieldy, so we offer some information about and congratulations to the 94% percent who were the largest participating contingent of pool players at the 2022 SBE.

6-Ball Amateur Players Championship (200) – 1st Danny Mastermaker, 2nd Fred Goodman III, 3rd Jared Demalia/Daniel Dagotdot

Early Bird Super Seniors (58) – 1st Ike Runnels, 2nd Martin Ciccia, 3rd Al Muccilli/Flaco Rodriguez

Open Amateur (996) – 1st Chris Bruner, 2nd Pat McNally, 3rd Jomax Garcia/Derick Daya

Senior Amateur (364) – 1st Raymond McNamara, 2nd Chris Sutzer, 3rd Javier Perez/Efrain Morales

Super Seniors (149) – 1st Gene Rossi, 2nd Ed Matushonek, 3rd Frank Sorriento/Ace Aughty

Women’s Amateur (166) – 1st Tina Malm, 2nd Ashley Benoit, 3rd Nicole Nester/Bethany Tate

Junior (12 & Under) – 1st Jim Powell, 2nd D’Angelo (“Jaws”) Spain, 3rd Noah Majersky, 4th Evan Demelo

Junior (18 & Under) – 1st Brent Worth, 2nd Payne McBride, 3rd Landon Hollingsworth, 4th Yan Pena

ProAm BarBox (32) – 1st Joe Dupuis, 2nd Alan Rolan Rosado, 3rd Bart Czapla/Joey Tate

Go to thread

Dennis “Spears” It 3 Years in a Row for ANDY CLOTH World Tournament of 14.1

 For their third consecutive year, Sandcastle Billiards hosted a qualifier event for the World Tournament of 14.1 Continuous Straight Pool. Only one slot remained available in the 16 man double-elimination qualifier tournament. The top 2 finishers were to be awarded a seat in the prestigious main event being held this year in New York from August 4th. A very talented and bloodthirsty field came out from various neighboring states to compete on this 12th with players by Noon time as they began practicing till the first round was called at 1pm. 
 
 Fans and players can attend the once a year special event August 4th-9th, 2014 at Steinway Billiards Cafe or watch online at www.worldstraightpool.com . $50 All Event Pay Per View special for the ANDY CLOTH World Tournament of 14.1 !! Price goes up on Aug 2. It will be a star studded gala with billiard super stars such as Mika Immonen, Shane Van Boening, John Schmidt, Stephan Cohen, Johnny Archer, Darren Appleton & many more with Charlie Williams as the event MC. The ANDY CLOTH World Tournament of 14.1 is  sponsored by ANDY CLOTH, Kamui Brands, OB Cues, Amsterdam Billiard Club, Realrealcool.com, Pool & Billiard Magazine , Aramith Balls, and George Beckman Kinetic Sculptures. Official patron 14.1 aficionados are Stu Mattana, Tom Gleich, Harold Siegel, and Dr. Greg Diehl Plastic Surgery.  Dragon Promotions and Dr. Michael Fedak are pleased to also bring the 4th Annual Straight Pool Hall of Fame inducting "King" James Rempe and Frank "Sailor" Stellman. Since 1912, this will be the 74th production of the oldest billiard event in the world.
 
The pills had been drawn at random and the first round matchups were as follows;
Holden Chin vs. Sean Leinen
Sean “Alaska” Morgan vs. Gene Ok
Gerard Soriano vs. Flaco Rodriguez
Don Montalvo vs. Robert Madenjian
Dominic Noe vs. Jeff Crawford
Jim Heller vs. Eddie Culhane
 Geovani Hosang vs. Dennis Spears
 
Although any one of these competitors were very capable of winning this event, only two of these cue proficient warriors would be awarded the honors to advance and compete in the 74th World Tournament of Straight Pool.
 
The first to receive those honors by ripping through the field undefeated for the 3rd in a row was Sandcastle’s very own house player, Dennis Spears aka “Spider”. With victories over NJ local player, Geovani Hosang 100-19, then 100-32 over Eddie Culhane also from NJ, then a close one over a very impressive Dominic Noe 100-87 and finally over World Tournament veteran and solid player Bob Madenjian 100-39, Spears once again defended his home turf and rightfully claimed the 1st spot. 
 
The other valiant contender took a very scenic route with a first round loss. After getting sent to the one-loss side of the charts by Dominic Noe, Jeff Crawford originally from Elkhart, Indiana and currently residing in Parkesberg, Pennsylvania clawed his way through a gauntlet of skillful and commendable opponents. 
 
Crawford’s first round loss to Noe was followed by a 2nd battle began. First taking down the fierce Sean “Alaska” Morgan of NY with a score of 100-60, then Sandcastle’s own Gerard Soriano 100-41, he went on to defeat Raxx Pool Room owner, Holden Chin 100-45, then the well revered NY player, Flaco Rodriguez 100-34 and finally being victorious over the unyielding Bob Madenjian, Crawford claimed the 2nd year slot into the main event.
 
Special recognition goes out to Sean Morgan and Holden Chin as they had a nail biting final score of 100-95 in their match. Congrats to Michael Franzyshen, Sandcastle In-House 14.1 handicapped league 3 –Time Champion for stepping up to the big leagues and also squeaking out a 100-95 victory over Sean Leinen. Acknowledge Gerard Soriano, long overdue for getting his feet wet. It’s not the last time you’ll see his name for sure. Thank you Sean Leinen and Bob Madenjian for making those long trips out to compete once again, Don Montalvo for doing what it took to make it possible to come out, Geovani Hosang and Jim Heller for your continued support and improved games as you entered the battlegrounds, the well respected Flaco Rodriguez, always a pleasure to have, Gene Ok and Dominic Noe, such a pleasure meeting you. I hope to see you all at the main event.
 
Sandcastle Billiards would like to thank all those who came out to compete this year and all of its loyal regular patrons that continue to work to improve their game and share the same passion for the game enjoying the beauty of its complexity, poetry, high demand for focus and freedom of individual expression and style of play. “We’re not here just to make a dollar- we’re here to make a difference!” Good luck and play well.