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Foldes wins his third straight Andy Mercer Memorial Tournament at Rum Runner in Vegas

Run Runner Owner Geno Hill and Vilmos Foldes

About eight years ago, when Hungary’s Vilmos Foldes shifted his pool-competition activity to these United States, settling in Las Vegas, he started to make appearances on the Mezz West Tour, chalking up two wins in four cash-payout performances on that tour in 2014. The following year, he cashed in 11 appearances on that tour, including one victory. He also began a string of appearances on the Jay “Swanee” Swanson Memorial Tournament, finishing as runner-up to Rodrigo Geronimo that year. He has cashed in every “Swanee” Memorial since then, winning it finally in 2019.

In 2016, Foldes appeared in six memorial tournaments, winning the Chuck Markulis and Bob Stocks Memorial, and cashing in the “Swanee” (4th), the Don Coates (9th), the Cole Dickson (5th), and in his first cash finish on the Las Vegas-based Andy Mercer Memorial, he finished 7th. 

In 2017, Foldes added attendance at the Cole Dickson and Brendan Crockett Memorials, at which he finished as runner-up to Beau Runningen. In the same year that he chalked up his first, and so far, his only win on the “Swanee,” Foldes won his first of three straight titles at the Andy Mercer Memorial Tournament, downing Shane Van Boening in the finals. In 2020, he defended that title, winning nine on the loss side to down Chad Vilmont in the finals, leaving such pool luminaries as Dennis Orcollo, Warren Kiamco and Van Boening in the dust, so to speak.

In all, since 2015, he’s cashed in 17 memorial tournaments, winning six of them. He won the 6th this past weekend (March 18-20), going undefeated at the $3,750-added, 31st Annual Andy Mercer Memorial, hosted by Rum Runner in Las Vegas, NV. He may not be the only person to have appeared in all of the mentioned memorial tournaments (the actual number of them, being hard to determine), but he is certainly doing his part to keep the memories of eight esteemed members of the US pool community alive. 

Foldes’ path to the winners’ circle that saw him win 24 of the first 34 games he played, went through Goran Mladenovic, Sal Butera, Donnie Branson and Max Eberle to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal versus Sam Cordova. Dave Datillo, in the meantime got by Gary Onomura, Tommy Baker, Jeff Gray and, in a winners’ side quarterfinal, Gary Lutman, who’d return to challenge Foldes in the finals. This set Datillo up to face Blake Baker in the other winners’ side semifinal.

Datillo moved into the hot seat match with a double hill win over Baker. Foldes downed Cordova 6-1 to join him. Foldes checked in with another 6-1 victory, this time over Datillo, to claim the hot seat, sporting a ‘three out of every four,’ game-winning percentage (75%).

On the loss side, Baker picked up Ian Costello, who’d lost a winners’ side quarterfinal to Cordova and then defeated John Farris 6-3 and Max Eberle 6-4. Cordova ran into Lutman, who’d followed his loss to Datillo with a double hill win over Mladenovic and a shutout over Donnie Branson, who’d just knocked Shane Van Boening out of the tournament 6-4.

Lutman chalked up his second loss-side double hill win, against Cordova and advanced to the quarterfinals. Baker joined him after knocking Costello out 6-4.

In his third double hill match of four played on the loss side, Lutman downed Baker in those quarterfinals and then, gave up only one to Datillo in the semifinals. Foldes completed his undefeated run with a 6-4 victory over Lutman in the finals to claim his third straight Andy Mercer Memorial title.

Tournament director Jack Murray thanked Geno Hill and his Rum Runner staff for their hospitality, as well as all of the players who have in the past and did, this year, gather to pay homage to Andy Mercer, who passed away in 1990.

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New Champions Launch at Space City Open IX

Roberto Gomez

Gomez, Bayaua, Compton, Almaraz, and Martinez, III Earn Titles

Roberto “Superman” Gomez captured the Space City Open IX, 128-player 9-ball division, defeating John “Mr. Smooth” Morra in the finals, 9-2, 7-5, taking home his first 9-ball division title. Gomez earned a well-deserved, $1,500 bonus, and new “All-Around” title, for his stellar play across all three divisions. Taking home first titles, Houston’s Ernesto Bayaua showed off his skills, defeating Alex Calderone in the one pocket division final, 4-3, while Oklahoma’s Chip Compton ousted Las Vegas’ Gary Lutman in the 9-ball banks division final, 4-3. In the ladies open 9-ball division, Mille Almaraz went undefeated, besting Ming “The Empress” Ng in the finals, 7-4. Finally, in the junior 9-ball division, Lazaro “Little Laz” Martinez, III, defended his 2019 title, marking up three consecutive title wins in his division. 

The Derby-like, Space City Open IX, was held December 2nd-5th, 2021, at Big Tyme Billiards in Spring, Texas, with four days of free live streaming provided by Southern Streaming. The event featured 178 players, competing in five divisions, over four days. The event drew players from Oklahoma, New Mexico, Nevada, and even Canada. Roberto Gomez returned to defend his 2019 one pocket title, along with champions John Morra, Chip Compton, Tommy Tokoph, Ernesto Bayaua, Manny Chau, Alex Calderone, Charlie Bryant, and WPBA Touring Professional, Loreejon Jones, all vying for a piece of the $56,195 payout and $1,500 “All-Around” bonus. 

Space City would like to thank those who were instrumental in the production of this event; John Newsome, Kim Newsome, Ruth Paine, Chuck Adams, Mike Fabacher with Southern Streaming, owners and staff at Big Tyme Billiards, Mike McDonald and Alamo Billiards, Poison by Predator Cues, Predator Cues, Outsville Billiards, Jerry Olivier, and Brutal Game Gear. Vendors for this event included Jerry Olivier Cues and Cue Repair, Joe Salazar Connoisseur of Custom Cues, and Brutal Game Gear. Special “thanks” to Jerry Olivier Custom Cues and Cue Repair and Brutal Game Gear who added an additional $500 to this year’s junior division. 

The open, ladies, and junior 9-ball divisions were played on twenty-four, Diamond bar tables. The one pocket and banks were played on six, nine foot tables. Predator Arcos II ball sets and Accu-Racks were used on all tables, supplied by event sponsors Predator Cues and Outsville Billiards, respectively. Big Tyme Billiards provided a smoke-free environment, and some of the best playing equipment Texas has to offer, for the billiard extravaganza.

Roberto Gomez (Chris Castaneda)

The true double elimination, 128-player open 9-ball division kicked off Saturday morning at 10am, and concluded on Sunday evening. In the final sixteen on the winners’ side, Ernesto Bayaua sent Manny Chau west, 9-2, Eric Aicinena overwhelmed Felipe Yniguez, 9-4, and John Morra overpowered Joey Bourgeois, Jr., 9-3. Las Vegas’ Scott Kitto slid by Andy Jethwa, 9-7, Roberto Gomez denied Kenneth Price, 9-5, and Austin’s Justin Espinosa eased past Steve Lenz, 9-8. Derek Fontenot beat Eric Cantrell, 9-4, and San Antonio’s Rick Moreno outplayed Jessie Moore, 9-4. The next round witnessed Aicinena oust Bayaua, 9-4, Morra deny Kitto, 9-3, and Gomez detour Espinosa, 9-3. Rounding out the final four, Fontenot bested Moreno, 9-3. 

Advancing to the hot seat, Morra thwarted Aicinena, 9-2, while Fontenot upset Gomez, 9-4. Morra defeated Fontenot in the hot seat match, 9-6. On the one-loss side, Steve Lenz fought his way into the final eight with wins over Charlie “Hillbilly” Bryant, 7-3, Price, 7-3, and Bayaua, 7-2. Blaine Barcus eliminated eight players, including Cantrell, 7-3, Moore, 7-2, and Kitto, 7-4. Chau dusted off New Mexico’s Donivan Pedroncelli, 7-3, Cesar Arrechiga, 7-2, and Espinosa, 7-2, while Moreno ended Bourgeois, Jr., 7-3. Barcus maintained momentum, ousting Lenz, 7-4, but falling to Gomez by the same score. Chau handily beat Moreno, 7-2,  and Aicinena, 7-4. Gomez defeated Chau, 7-2, and Fontenot, 7-1, to meet Morra in the finals. In the first set, Morra could not gain ground, while Gomez had the break down cold. Gomez dominated the first set, 9-2. In the second set, Morra seemed to regroup, but Gomez inched ahead to capture the second set, 7-5, and his first, Space City, open 9-ball division title.

Ernesto Bayaua

In the single elimination, 38-player one pocket division, teeing off in the final eight, Alex Calderone defeated Roberto Gomez, 4-2, while Kenneth Price made quick work of J.C. Torres, 4-1. Ernesto Bayaua slid past John Morra, 4-3, and John Gabriel overwhelmed Mark Nanashee, 4-1. Final four action witnessed Calderone eliminate Price, 4-1, and Bayaua escape Gabriel, 4-3. In the final match, it was a fight to the finish for Calderone and Bayaua. Players traded safeties and games, for hours, until a determined Bayaua pulled ahead to close out the set, 4-3, earning his first Space City, one pocket division title.

In the single elimination, 36-player 9-ball banks division, final eight action witnessed Chip Compton defeat Alex Calderone, 4-1, and John Morra shut out Kenneth Price, 4-0. Local favorite, Tommy Tokoph, curbed Mark Nanashee, 4-1, and Gary Lutman sent Gabriel packing, 4-1. Down to the final four, Compton struck a blow against Morra, 4-2, and Lutman upset Tokoph, 4-3.  In the final match, Compton edged out Lutman, 4-3, to win his first, Space City, 9-ball banks division title.

Mille Almaraz

The 34-player, ladies open 9-ball division, featured defending champion, Ming Ng, returning champion, Natalie Rocha, Indiana’s Toni Tucker, and Canadian, WPBA Touring Professional, Suzanne Peters. Making their way to the winners’ side, final four, La Le overcame Mary “Princess” Avina, 7-6, Michelle Yim, 7-4, and Suzanne Peters, 7-2, while Ming “The Empress” Ng passed Michelle Abernathy, 7-3, Toni Tucker, 7-4, and Christy Grigsby, 7-4. Mille Almaraz detoured Ruth Paine, 7-3, Yvonne “The Casher” Asher, 7-1, and Natalie Rocha, 7-6. Laurie Clouette came on strong, with wins over Sara Bork, 7-4, Brandi Scott, 7-5, Loretta Miller, 7-2, and Teresa “Princess of Pool” Garland, 7-6. On the west side, reaching the final eight, Tucker shut out Rocha, 5-0, while Garland took out McHaney, 5-3. Peters overwhelmed Pierce, 5-2, and Petrosino sent Grigsby home, 5-3. On the winners’ side, Ng bested Le, 7-2, and it was Almaraz over Clouette, 7-2. In her hot seat match debut, Almaraz took down the defending champ, 7-5, further securing her position in a very tough field. Back on the one-loss side, Tucker took out Garland, 5-2, and Le, 5-3, while Petrosino ended Peters, 5-3, and Clouette, 5-0. Tucker claimed five matches before Petrosino stopped her run, 5-3. This was Petrosino’s eighth, match win, an incredible run to reach the final three, after losing her very first match to Melissa Smith, 7-5. Petrosino was forced to settle for third place, after suffering a 5-3 loss at the hands of Ng. The rematch between Almaraz and Ng was set in motion. A confident Almaraz took control of the first set, and did not look back. She defeated Ng, 7-4, to capture her first, Space City, women’s open 9-ball division title.

Lazaro Martinez III

The junior 9-ball division commenced on Sunday, featuring 13 competitors from across Texas. On their way to the winners’ side, final four, Gabriel Martinez defeated Aniyah Maldonado, 7-2, and Ace Smith, 7-2, while Lazaro “Little Laz” Martinez, III, bested Vania Davila, 7-0, and Jayden Holt, 7-1. Mary Grigsby outran Makenzlee Cameron, 7-4, and Cameron King, 7-4, while Kevin Gallegos slid past Nathan Garay, 7-6, and Eva Grigsby, 7-4. On the one-loss side, after suffering a first round loss to Holt, Tyler Miller was on a mission, eliminating Davila, 5-2, King, 5-0, and Maldonado, 5-3. Holt dusted off Cameron, 5-1, while Smith ended Garay, 5-2. Smith vanquished Holt, 5-2, and along with Miller, reached the final six, and the money. On the east side, the Martinez brothers faced off in the final four, with Gabriel advancing, 7-1, while M. Grigsby lost her bid for the hot seat to Gallegos, 7-2. G. Martinez made quick work of Gallegos, 7-0, to capture the hot seat. On the west side, Laz ousted Miller, 5-2, and M. Grigsby defeated Ace, 5-3. Laz went on to eliminate Grigsby and Gallegos, to meet brother Gabriel in the finals. Gabriel gave it his best shot, but was outmatched by Laz, suffering a two-set defeat. With this victory, Laz secured his third, consecutive, Space City, junior 9-ball division title.

The Space City Open is the largest pool tournament in Texas, featuring five divisions, and is held annually, the first week in December. For more information, visit www.SpaceCityOpen.com. 

2019 US Open Bank Pool Championship Matches Released on YouTube

CueSports International (CSI) is pleased to announce that recorded matches from the 2019 US Open Bank Pool Championship have been released on the CSI YouTube Channel. Thirteen (13) matches featuring some of the world's best bank pool players such as Shane Van Boening, John Morra, Billy Thorpe, Warren Kiamco and more can be viewed in their entirety – absolutely free!
 
The event was held May 24-26 at Griff's Billiards in Las Vegas. The format was double elimination with each match being a race to four (4) except the final match which was a race to five (5).
 
 
RECORDED MATCHES
 
Match 1: John Morra (Canada) vs John Philips (USA)
Match 2: Billy Thorpe (USA) vs Mitch Ellerman (USA)
Match 3: Ian Costello (USA) vs Bill Thompson (USA)
Match 4: Warren Kiamco (Philippines) vs Marc Vidal Claramunt (USA)
Match 5: Chris Adams (USA) vs Michael Dunn (USA)
Match 6: John Morra (Canada) vs Warren Kiamco (Philippines)
Match 7: Shane Van Boening (USA) vs Billy Thorpe (USA)
Match 8: Mitch Ellerman (USA) vs John Philips (USA)
Match 9: Marc Vidal Claramunt (USA) vs Gary Lutman (USA)
Match 10 HOT SEAT: Billy Thorpe (USA) vs John Morra (Canada)
Match 11: Shane Van Boening (USA) vs Warren Kiamco (Philippines)
Match 12 SEMI-FINAL: Shane Van Boening (USA) vs John Morra (Canada)
Match 13 FINAL: Shane Van Boening (USA) vs Billy Thorpe (USA)
 
Please SUBSCRIBE to the CSI YouTube Channel to be notified whenever we upload new content.
 
CueSports International (CSI) is an international pool league and event leader and is currently comprised of three divisions: CSI leagues, CSI events and CSI media. CSI leagues manages the BCA Pool League and USA Pool League, CSI events produces numerous amateur and professional events around the globe and CSI media creates live streaming and digital content. Through its vision and strategic alliances, CSI is “shaping the future of pool.”  For more information about CSI or any of its divisions, visit www.playcsipool.com or find CueSports International on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter.

2018 US Open Bank Pool Matches Released on YouTube

CSI is pleased to announce that recorded matches from the 2018 US Open Bank Pool Championship have been released on the CSI YouTube Channel.  Twelve (12) matches featuring notable players such as Shane Van Boening, Ronnie Alcano, and Warren Kiamco can be viewed in their entirety – absolutely free!
 
The 2018 US Open Bank Pool Championship was held March 20-22 at Griff's Bar & Billiards in Las Vegas, NV and was made possible by the following sponsors:
 
​Griff's Bar & Billiards: www.griffslv.com
CueSports International (CSI): www.playcsipool.com
Simonis Cloth: www.simoniscloth.com
Cyclop Balls: www.diamondpooltables.com/Cyclop-Ball-Sets
Tiger Products: www.tigerproducts.com
OB Cues: www.obcues.com
 
RECORDED MATCHES
Match 1: Warren Kiamco vs Bob Herchik
Match 2: Gary Lutman vs Bill Thompson
Match 3: Shane Van Boening vs Tres Kane
Match 4: Brandon Shuff vs Gary Lutman
Match 5: Shane Van Boening vs Ronnie Alcano
Match 6: Manny Perez vs Steve Lingelbach
Match 7: Brandon Shuff vs Steve Lingelbach
Match 8: Shane Van Boening vs Dee Atkins
Match 9: Chris Lulek vs Neal Jacobs
Match 10: Shane Van Boening vs Neal Jacobs (Hot Seat Match)
Match 11: Neal Jacobs vs Gary Lutman (Semi-Final Match)
Match 12: Shane Van Boening vs Neal Jacobs (Finals)
 
Please SUBSCRIBE to the CSI YouTube Channel to be notified whenever we upload new content.

Van Boening pockets US Open Bank Pool Championship

Shane Van Boening with Mark Griffin

Shane Van Boening proved once again why he is the number one player in the U.S. as he went undefeated to win the US Open Bank Pool Championship.
 
The US Open Bank Pool Championship started Mar. 20 at Griff’s in Las Vegas, with a field of 20 players from across the country. It concluded Mar. 22.
 
Van Boening’s path to the finals included wins over: John Plunkett, 4-1; Tres Kane, 4-0; Ronnie Alcano, 4-0; Dee Adkins, 4-1. He then met Neal Jacobs of Chicago, Ill. for the hot seat match. Jacobs, an animated and aggressive player jumped out to an early 2-1 lead. But Van Boening played with patience to win the match by a score of 4-3 and send Jacobs to the loser’s bracket.
 
Jacobs scored wins over: Harry Platis, 4-0; Chris Lulek, 4-2; and Gary Lutman, 4-2, before losing the hot seat match to Van Boening.
In the finals, which were a single race-to-five format, Van Boening came out strong and determined not to leave Jacobs any open balls. Van Boening won the match 5-0, adding another US Open title to his resume.
 
1. Shane Van Boening, $3,000
2. Neal Jacobs, $1,500
3. Gary Lutman, $1,000
4. Brandon Shuff, $500
5. Dee Adkins, $250
6. Ronnie Alcano, $250
 
The US Open One Pocket Championship got underway Mar. 23, also at Griff’s in Las Vegas. The 29-player field has been whittled down to 16. Bracket is available at ctsondemand.com and free live stream at www.facebook.com/playCSI/.
 
For more information, contact Mary Coffman, CSI Marketing Manager, at 702-719-7665 or by email at mary@playcsipool.com.

Kiamco double dips Van Boening in finals to win 28th Annual Andy Mercer Memorial

Warren Kiamco (File photo courtesy of Erwin Dionisio)

The 28th Annual Andy Mercer Memorial, held on the weekend of March 16-18, at the Rum Runner in Las Vegas, NV, saw two former event champions square off three times to claim the title. Though Shane Van Boening was in search of his sixth win, including four in a row from 2011-2014, it was Warren Kiamco, who’d won his first and only Andy Mercer Memorial 23 years ago, who claimed the 2018 title. The event drew a full field of 64 entrants to the Rum Runner, and was broadcast on YouTube through the services of POVPool.
 
Through his first four matches, which included his first of three against Kiamco, Van Boening gave up only four racks in 28 games. One of those four was chalked up against him by Kiamco in a winners’ side quarterfinal, which advanced Van Boening to a winners’ side semifinal against another Andy Mercer Memorial Tournament winner, Brian Parks (2008). Mitch Ellerman, in the meantime, squared off against Dave Datillo in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
Van Boening gave up the one rack to Parks and moved into the hot seat match against Ellerman, who’d defeated Datillo 6-3. Van Boening claimed the hot seat 6-3 and was a single match away from winning his sixth Andy Mercer title.
 
Kiamco had other thoughts. He’d already defeated the event’s reigning champion, Oscar Dominguez on the winners’ side, and in his first loss-side match, drew Oscar’s father, Ernesto, who’d won the event in 2010. Kiamco defeated the elder Dominguez 6-1 and then shut out Gary Onomura, to draw Datillo. Prior to his defeat by Kiamco, Onomura had handed the younger Dominguez his second loss. Parks, in the meantime, in his first loss-side match, picked up Lance Salazar, who, after being defeated by Ellerman in a winners’ side quarterfinal, had defeated Ian Costello 6-2, and Gary Lutman 6-4.
 
Kiamco moved on to the quarterfinals with a 6-1 victory over Datillo, as Parks was busy ending Salazar’s loss-side run 6-4. Kiamco then shut out Parks for a shot at Ellerman in the semifinals. To this point in Kiamco’s loss-side run, he’d given up only two racks in 28 games (he’d given up 12 racks in 31 winners’ side games, six of them in the losing effort against Van Boening). Ellerman chalked up twice as many racks (plus one) in the semifinals, than all of Kiamco’s loss-side opponents combined, but it wasn’t enough. They battled to double hill, but it was Kiamco who got a second shot at Van Boening in the hot seat.
 
The live-stream, POVPool broadcast of the true double elimination final featured commentary by POVPool’s Daniel Busch, Mary Kenniston, and Jimmy Mataya. In addition to comments about strategy and shot selection, Mataya offered a variety of comments about everything from the Magic Rack to the coach of the USA’s Mosconi Cup team. Often spicy and irreverent, Mataya’s commentary was as entertaining as the two final matches themselves. Kiamco took the opening set 6-3, and as the second set progressed to a 5-2 lead (Kiamco on the hill), Mataya opined that (given the chance) he’d not be picking Van Boening for a Mosconi Cup team any time soon. Van Boening chalked up two more racks before Kiamco closed it out to win the 28th Annual Andy Mercer Memorial.

Woodward steals 10-Ball hot seat from Van Boening at 2017 US Bar Table Championships

Skyler Woodward – File photo courtesy of Karl Kantrowitz

Skyler Woodward came back from a 6-4 deficit to steal the hot seat by a score of 7-6 of the 10-Ball Division at the 2017 US Bar Table Championships from Mosconi Cup teammate Shane Van Boening Monday evening.
 
The 24th US Bar Table Championships kicked off Sunday at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino. The 10-Ball Division wraps up today, as the 9-Ball Division begins. The 9-Ball Division concludes Thursday and the 8-Ball is scheduled for Thursday through Saturday, Dec. 16.
 
Woodward’s path to the hot seat match included wins over: Ian Costello, 7-3; BJ Fox, 7-1; Mark Wissman, 7-5; Mark Tademy, 7-2; and Vinnie Calabrese, 7-5.
 
Van Boening also had a solid day, beating: Donald Weathersby II, 7-2; Robert Doral, 7-2; Amar Kang, 7-6; Jesse Engel, 7-3; and Mitch Ellerman, 7-2; before losing the hot seat to Woodward.
 
At 1 p.m., Van Boening will face Calabrese, an Australian with a snooker background who has only been playing American-style pool for about a year.
 
Calabrese posted wins over: Shane Longest, forfeit; Gary Lutman, 7-6; Donny Branson, 7-4; and Jason Klatt, 7-5; before Woodward sent him to the loser’s side of the bracket, 5-7. Then Calabrese tossed Shaun Wilkie (7-5) and Klatt (7-3) out of the tournament, to secure himself a spot in the semi-finals.
 
The women’s 10-Ball Division concluded on Monday, a day earlier than normal. First place went to Heather Cortez, $800; second, Rae Evans, $400; third, Trinh Lu, $250.
 
Live streaming of the US Bar Table Championships continues today at 1 p.m. with Van Boening vs. Calabrese in the semifinals of the 10-Ball Division. The winner of that match will play Woodward at 2:30 p.m. in the finals. If the true double-elimination finals goes to a second match, that will be streamed at 4 p.m.
 
Selected matches from the 9-Ball Division will be streamed at approximately 5:30 p.m., 7 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. PST. To access live streaming, visit www.playcsipool.com/watch-live.html.
 
For more information, contact Mary Coffman, CSI Marketing Manager, at 702-719-7665 or by email at mary@playcsipool.com. 

First Champions emerge at 2017 BCAPL National Championships

 The first champions have been crowned at the 2017 BCAPL National Championships! The 41st BCAPL National Championships started Wednesday at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. More than 5,000 players are participating in this year’s event, which has more than 40 divisions.
 
Alex “The Lion” Pagulayan snapped off the 9-Ball Challenge, an event open to anyone. The 92-player field was heavily peppered with top players from across the globe, many of whom had just played in the US Open 10-Ball Championships. But Pagulayan easily cut through the field, beating: Alex Olinger, 7-4; Sam Wu, 7-4; Jerremy Sossei, 7-4; Ahmed Aldulaimi, 7-2; and Jason Klatt, 7-4 before capturing the hot seat by sending fellow Pinoy Lee Vann Corteza to the loser’s bracket. Corteza returned to play in the finals by beating Alex Kazakis of Greece, 7-3. But Pagulayan kept control of the game during the finals and beat Corteza 7-4 to capture the win.
 
Veteran professional player Loree Jon Hasson of Greenville, S.C. won the Women’s 9-Ball Singles Platinum Division. Michelle Jiang of Harvard, Mass., who was the 2016 BCAPL Women’s 8-Ball Gold Division Champion, took second. Ashea Erdahl, of Las Vegas, Nev. placed third.
 
Marian Poole of Seattle, WA, won the Women’s 9-Ball Singles Gold Division, with Natalie Stanton of Ewa Beach, HI taking second and Christina Maher of Atlanta, GA placing third.
 
Las Vegas players Gary Lutman and Donny Branson made the most of their home field advantage. Lutman took first in the Mixed 9-Ball Singles Platinum Division and Branson placed second. Kelii Chuberko of Honolulu, Hawaii took third.
 
Another Hawaiian player, Mike Madamba, of Hilo, HI, was crowned champion of the 297-player Mixed 9-Ball Singles Gold Division. The runner-up was Evan Edwards, of Cathedral City, CA. John Halter of Mesa, AZ was third.
 
Bill Larson, of Ft. Atkinson, WI became champion of the inaugural 9-Ball Singles Wheelchair Division, with Daniel Henson of Charlottesville, IN placing second.
 
Daniel Sardoncillo of Puyallup, WA, who was the runner-up in the Junior 9-Ball Division in 2016, captured the title this year, beating Aryana Lynch of Dallas, TX.
 
The USAPL National Championships run concurrently with the BCAPL National Championships. John Hemphill of Albuquerque, N.M. won the 8-Ball Singles Gold Division on Thursday, with Rob Pole Jr., of Brooklyn, NY, placing second and Dave Pittelkow of Leesburg, FL placing third.
 
The 9-Ball Challenge, which features professional players from across the globe matching up with amateurs, will conclude today, as well as the Junior 9-Ball Singles.
 
Free live streams of the event are available by going to www.playcsipool.com/live-streaming and at badboys.tv.
 
The 41st BCAPL National Championships continues through July 29 at The Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino. The event features more than 5,000 amateur players representing 47 states, nine Canadian provinces and 11 countries, competing in approximately 40 divisions, on nearly 300 Diamond pool tables. Sponsors are Viking Cues, Predator, Omega Billiards, Cyclop, Diamond, the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino, Kamui, and Simonis.

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

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

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

Roberts goes undefeated on Midwest 9-Ball Tour, claiming third One Pocket title since March

Josh Roberts, Mike Durbin, Pat Diveney and Skyler Woodward

Josh Roberts has been on something of a One Pocket tear since March, when he defeated Justin Bergman in the finals of the Big Tyme Classic One Pocket Tournament in Spring, TX. One week before entering the 44-entrant, $1,000-added Midwest 9-Ball Tour's One Pocket event at Shooter's in Olathe, KS (June 26-29), he defeated Justin Bergman again, in the finals of the Big Dog One Pocket Championship in Des Moines, IA (June 20-22). In Kansas, his finals nemesis was Skyler Woodward, who finished 5th/6th in the 92-entrant Open event (Roberts finished 9-12; story elsewhere). Woodward chalked up an eight-match, loss-side winning streak to face him in the One Pocket finals; to no avail, as it turned out.
 
With (typical) races to three, there are only three possible scores to One Pocket matches. Eight of the Midwest 9-Ball Tour's One Pocket event's last 14 games ended in double hill, 3-2 scores, including the hot seat match and finals. There were four shutouts, including one in the semifinals, and two 3-1 scores. In the interest of not being overly repetitive, we'll adopt a won or lost attitude in reporting the details.
 
It was something of a star-studded field as the One Pocket event entered its Final 12 stages. In the winners' side semifinals, Roberts faced Robb Saez, while John Gabriel met Joey Gray. On the loss side, the eight players vying to advance to the first money round, were Cliff Joyner vs. Chip Compton, Danny Smith vs. Mike Hopkins, Skyler Woodward vs. Gary Lutman and James Walden vs. Darren Everett.
 
On the winners' side, Gabriel defeated Gray and moved into the hot seat match versus Roberts, who'd defeated Saez. Roberts took the hot seat, double hill, and waited on Woodward.
 
With three down and five to go on his loss-side scoresheet, Woodward defeated Lutman and Walden to pick up Saez. Gray drew Danny Smith, who'd downed Hopkins and Joyner (giving up only a single game in the process; to Joyner). Gray got by Smith, double hill, as Woodward eliminated Saez with a shutout.
 
Woodward chalked up the second-to-last double hill win against Gray in the quarterfinals, and recorded the last shutout, against Gabriel, in the semifinals. Woodward and Roberts locked up in an appropriate double hill match in the finals, won by Roberts to claim the event title.