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Pinegar wins 2019 SBE Pro Am Bar Box Championship

Jonathan Pinegar (Photo courtesy Super Billiards Expo)

Davis tops largest SBE field of 1,024 to win Amateur Open
In its multi-discipline, varied-skill format that, with some overlap among 11 events, drew over 3,000 pool players to the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center at Oaks, PA over the weekend of March 28-31, the Super Billiard Expo’s Pro Am Bar Box Championships has always existed as something of a challenge. In 2018, they used the challenge in promoting the event, asking potential participants a simple question – How good do you really think you are?
Open to all levels of competitors, without restriction, its field is capped at 32 players, who play a ‘best of three set’ format with races to 6 in each set (all other Amateur events utilized the same format, although with races to 5 in each set). While encouraging and expecting a wide variety of players from the amateur to the pro, this year’s ProAm Bar Box Championships featured a field that was tipped somewhat toward the amateur end of things. Not completely, because it was won by 20-year veteran Jonathan Pinegar, who’s been winning and cashing in amateur and semi-pro events for nearly 20 years. Known throughout most of his career as “Hennessee from Tennessee,” Pinegar has, in recent years, been signing on to events with his given name. At this year’s SBE, he signed in as John Pinegar. This year’s runner-up was Demetrius Jelatis.
The posted brackets on the SBE Web site for all of the amateur events (including the ProAm Bar Box) do not indicate the scores of the individual sets, which masks the give and take of game-by-game scoring. Instead, each player is seen to have won their individual matches by only one of two possible outcomes; 2-0 or 2-1. There is no way of knowing, therefore, a given player’s game-winning percentage, only his or her set-winning percentage.
Pinegar won 10 of 12 sets he played over five matches. He opened with a 2-1 win over Alex Olinger, went 2-0 against Kevin West and allowed Scott Haas a single set in the third round, which brought him to a semifinal matchup against Justin Espinosa. Jelatis, in the meantime, won eight of the 12 sets he played over five matches. He opened with two straight 2-0 set victories over Shane Clayton and Alan Rolan, before giving up a set to Ryan McCreesh. This set him (Jelatis) up against Jorge Rodriguez in the other semifinal. Rodriguez is another one of those competitors who’s been competing at the semi-pro and pro-level for years.
Pinegar got into the finals with a 2-0 set victory over Espinosa. Jelatis joined him after a 2-1 set victory over Rodriguez. Pinegar completed his undefeated (in sets) run with a 2-0 victory over Jelatis.
Davis goes undefeated in his individual bracket, advances to win Amateur Open
In the largest field of the SBE, the Amateur Open, 1,024 entrants initially split up into 16 brackets of 64 players each. Each of those brackets delivered a single player to a Final 16 bracket. Phil Davis didn’t lose a single set (best of three sets in races to 5) in his initial bracket, going 2-0 against Chris Garrett, Matt Clatterbuck, Mark Alicea, Paul Swinson, Richard Anderson and in his bracket’s finals, Jason Balas. He gave up his first set in the opening round of the single-elimination final 16 bracket, going 2-1 against Joe Wright. He went back to his 2-0 pattern against Mark Nanashee in the second round, which moved him into the semifinals against Julio Burgos.
Raed Shabib, in the meantime, gave up his first set, in the opening round of his 64-player bracket, to Christopher Balderson. He didn’t give up another one until his bracket finals, having gone 2-0 against Abel Rosario, John Hoge, Bill Mason and Randy Tate. He took the bracket final 2-1 over James Adams. He opened the Final 16 portion of his run with a 2-1 victory over George Crawford and then downed Brett Stottlemeyer 2-0, to arrive at a semifinal against Chris Bruner.
Davis and Shabib advanced to the finals with identical 2-1 set victories over Burgos and Bruner, respectively. Davis completed his undefeated run with a 2-1 victory over Shabib in the finals.
Amateur highlights
The next highest attended Amateur tournament was the Open Seniors event (for 50+), which drew 384 entrants. Originally split into eight preliminary brackets, yielding a single winner, the event was won by Bobby Connor. He advanced through the Final 8 field with set wins over Oscar Bonilla and Dennis Spears, both 2-1. He was met in the finals by Efrain Morales, who’d defeated Joe Armeni 2-1 and Chuck Ross 2-0. Connor didn’t give up a set in claiming the Open Seniors title.
Next up, with 192 entrants, was the Super Seniors (65+), who started in four initial brackets, yielding a very short final field of four. Ed Matushoneck downed Tom Acciavatti 2-1 to claim his spot in the finals, and was joined by Ronny Park, who’d defeated Nelson Rivera 2-1. Matushoneck claimed the Super Seniors title with a 2-0 win over Park.
The Amateur Ladies drew 188, just four less than the Super Seniors. Combined, those two events would have yielded an enormously entertaining field with just four less than the Open Seniors event. As it was, the 188 ladies, like the Super Seniors, started with four initial 64-player brackets (with a number of opening round byes) and ended with a final field of 4. Rachel Lang and Michelle Jiang advanced to the finals without giving up a set to either Marie-France Blanchette and Stacey Tonkin. Lang downed Jiang in the finals two sets to one.
In the 12 and under Juniors event, which drew 56 entrants, Parker Jakubczak downed 2018 11 & under Junior National Champion Kyle Yi in the finals 2-1. In the 17 & under category, which drew 76 entrants, two-time 14 & under National Junior Champion Nathan Childress defeated Ivo Linkin in two straight sets.

Crawford goes undefeated in ‘lights out’ stop on Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour

George Crawford

They were all set to get underway on the August 4-5 stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour at Buck’s Billiards in Raleigh, NC when the lights went out. With no chance of restoring power in the immediate future, tour directors Herman and Angela Parker scrambled to find someplace where the event’s 25 entrants could go to shoot some pool. They found one about 11 miles/15 minutes away and shifted operations to Shotmakers Sports Bar and Billiards in Garner, NC. They settled into the event which was won by George Crawford, who went undefeated through the field, and twice, downed the tour’s most prolific competitor, JT Ringgold.
They met first in a winners’ side quarterfinal. With Crawford racing to 8, and Ringgold to 10, Crawford sent Ringgold to the loss side 8-8, advancing to meet Ricky Dickson in a winners’ side semifinal. Junior Avery and Bobby Glen squared off in the other one.
Crawford downed Dickson 8-2, as Avery got by Glenn 6-1. Crawford claimed the hot seat 8-4 over Avery and waited for Ringgold to get back to him from his five-match, loss-side run.
That loss-side run would encompass a total of 63 games, 50 of which Ringgold won to challenge Crawford a second time. He opened the trek back to the finals with back-to-back 10-1 victories over Casey Cork and Daniel Adams, which set him up to face Glenn. Dickson drew Anthony Mabe, who’d eliminated Chris Roades 7-5 and Lauren Kauffman 7-3 to reach him.
Ringgold and Mabe handed Glenn and Dickson their second straight losses; Ringgold advancing to the quarterfinals 10-3 over Glenn and Mabe, joining him after a double hill win (7-4) over Dickson. Ringgold then stopped Mabe’s run 10-3 in the quarterfinals, and stopped Avery’s single-game, loss-side bid 10-5 in the semifinals.
Ringgold put up a fight in those finals, chalking up one more rack against Crawford than he had in the winners’ side quarterfinal match that had sent him to the loss side. But it wasn’t enough. Crawford persevered in a double hill battle (8-9) that earned him his first Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball title.
Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked the ownership and staff of both Buck’s Billiards and Shotmakers Sports Bar and Billiards for their cooperation and assistance with the ‘lights out’ change of venue, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues, Delta 13 Racks, AZ Billiards and Professor Q-Ball. The next stop on the tour, scheduled for this weekend (August 11-12), will be a $250-added event, hosted by Mickey Milligan’s in New Bern, NC. 

Roberts goes undefeated to chalk up his third 2017 Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball stop

Scott Roberts


Scott Roberts is having a year. . . well, call it two, calendar years, since last October. Now, as of this past weekend (August 12), he's got three wins on the Viking Cues' Q City 9-Ball Tour, and a couple of runner-up showings on his 2016/2017 resume. On Saturday, August 12, the tour went to The Clubhouse in Lynchburg, VA, where Roberts joined 27 other entrants and defeated four of them (one of them, Lee O'Neal, twice) to record his third 2017 tour win.
Roberts advanced to a winners' side semifinal against up-and-coming teenager Peter Abatangelo, while Roberts' hot seat and finals opponent, O'Neal, faced Doug Carter. Roberts sent Abatangelo to the loss side 9-3, while O'Neal dispatched Carter 6-4. Roberts claimed the hot seat (9-4 over O'Neal) for the third time since April.
On the loss side, Abatangelo and Carter walked into two double hill fights for advancement to the quarterfinals and won both of them;  Carter downing Jonathan Ailstock, who'd defeated Robbie Johnson 7-4,  and Wes Enoch 7-5 to reach him, while Abatangelo erased George Crawford, who'd gotten by Colin Hall 9-5, and Robert Cuneo 9-2 to reach him.
Abatangelo grabbed the quarterfinal match 6-2 over Carter, but fell to O'Neal in the semifinal match 3-6. Roberts put the hammer down in the rematch finals that followed, allowing O'Neal only half of the racks he'd chalked up battling for the hot seat match, winning it 9-2 to claim his third Viking Cues' Q City 9-Ball title this year.
Tour director Herman Parker thanked the ownership and staff at The Clubhouse, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues, Delta 13 Racks, AZBilliards and Professor Q Ball. The next stop on the Viking Cues' Q City 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for Saturday, August 19, will be hosted by Buck's Billiards in Raleigh, NC.

Padron goes undefeated to win youth-full Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour Championships

Joshua Padron

In spite of an initial cancellation and a number of competing events (like Derby City), the Viking Cues' Q City 9-Ball Tour set a participant record during its 2016 Tour Championships, held on the weekend of January 21-22. Hosted by The Brass Tap in Raleigh, NC, the $1,000-added event drew 82 entrants, breaking a previous entrant record by 13. The roster of competitors included two junior players, who finished among the event's final four. Emerging from the field, undefeated, was Joshua Padron, who downed one of those juniors, 16-year-old Hunter White, twice, to claim the event title.
Originally scheduled for the weekend of January 7-8, the event was canceled and re-scheduled when the Raleigh area went under a state of emergency, related to expected ice and snow storms. It was an unavoidable cancellation, which didn't prevent a list of potential participants, who'd had to travel some distance, from complaining about that cancellation in the pool world blog-o-sphere. 
"In spite of the cancellation, it was a tremendous field," said tour director Herman Parker. "If it hadn't been for Derby City, we'd have had 128."
In the year ahead, the tour will hold two tour championships, one in September and another at the end of the year, each catering to participation on different sized tables. One will play out on 'bar box' tables and the other, on standard 9-ft. tables.
Padron's victory and young Hunter White's standout performance in the runner-up category had a way of overshadowing a strong showing by Greg Burke. He and White traveled together to the championships from the Greenville/Spartanburg area. Burke lost his opening round match, and chalked up 11 matches (one bye) on the loss side of the bracket before meeting his traveling companion in the semifinals.
Padron advanced to a winners' side semifinal against Travis Guerra (runner-up on the preceding tour stop – January 14), while Hunter White squared off against Barry Mashburn. Padron downed Guerra 6-4, and in the hot seat match, faced, in their first of two, White, who'd downed Mashburn 8-4. Padron claimed the hot seat and waited for White to get back from the semifinals, against Burke, as it turned out.
On the loss side, the event's other notable junior, Peter Abatangelo (15), defeated Earl Davis 5-2, and in a meeting between pool student (Abatangelo) and teacher (George Crawford), Abatangelo prevailed, 5-1, to draw Guerra, fresh off his defeat at the hands of Padron. Mashburn had the misfortune of drawing Burke, who, by this time, had chalked up eight victories on the loss side, including David Brown 7-4 and Blade Best 7-2. 
Abatangelo advanced to the quarterfinals 5-3 over Geurra, as Burke was downing loss-side opponent # 8 (Mashburn) 7-3, to join him. Burke was now poised to face two junior players in a row. He took care of the first one, Abatangelo, 7-2 in the quarterfinals, but then ran into his traveling companion, Hunter White. The two battled to double hill, before White chalked up the final game and advanced to the finals, presumably with his ride home not in jeopardy.
With White racing to 8, and Padron to 6, White had to win twice to claim the title. He didn't. Padron took the opening and only set 6-4 to become the Viking Cues' Q City 9-Ball Tour's 2016 Champion.
Tour director Herman Parker thanked the ownership and staff at The Brass Tap for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues, Delta 13 Racks, Ruthless Billiards,, AZBilliards and Professor Q Ball. The next stop on the Viking Cues' Q City 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for January 28-29, will be hosted by Gate City Billiards in Greensboro, NC.

Davis successfully defends NC State 8-Ball title

Mike Davis

Though by any kind of figuring, Mike Davis was the odds-on favorite to win the 2nd Annual North Carolina State 8-Ball Championships, held on the weekend of November 5-6, and did, in fact, win it, successfully defending his title, it wasn’t without its moments of drama. He had to survive a double hill hot seat match, during which his opponent – Shannon Fitch, the current NC State 10-Ball champion – was able to take aim at the 8-ball in the deciding game. Later, Davis had to face a surging Chris Gentile, who’d won three on the loss side to face him in the finals. Davis weathered both storms to win the $400-added event on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour that drew 28 entrants to Breaktime Billiards in Cary, NC.
In a winners’ side semifinal, Davis defeated Mike Gulyassy 9-5 to get into the hot seat match, while Fitch downed Gentile 9-6 to join him. A tight hot seat match led to the circumstance of Fitch taking aim at the 8-ball in the deciding double hill last game. Though reportedly not a particularly easy shot, it was high up in the probability percentages. Fitch missed it, and Davis was in the hot seat.
Meanwhile, on the loss side, Gentile had picked up James Blackburn, who’d gotten by Dan Heidrich 7-3 (ending a five-match, loss-side streak by Heidrich), and shut out Jake Spataro. Gulyassy drew George Crawford, who’d lost his opening match and was on his own five-match, loss-side streak, having eliminated Steve Page 7-1 and Michael Robertson, double hill, to reach Gulyassy.
Gentile advanced to the quarterfinals 7-4 over Blackburn, and was joined by Crawford, who benefited from a forfeit by Gulyassy. Gentile then chalked up two straight double hill matches; versus Crawford in the quarterfinals, and Fitch, in the semifinals. 
Given the double hill drama of the three matches that preceded the final, the final itself was a little anticlimactic. Davis defeated Gentile 11-5 to retain his NC State 8-Ball Championship title.
Tour director Herman Parker thanked the ownership and staff at Breaktime Billiards, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues, Delta-13 racks and Ruthless Billiards. The next stop on the Viking Cues' Q City 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for the weekend of November 12-13, will be hosted by Corner Pockets in Fayetteville, NC. 

Fitch and Plummer split top prizes on Q City 9-Ball Tour

Opting out of a finals match for less than obvious reasons (illness, family emergency, work responsibilities, the odd hurricane or two) is generally frowned upon. It's not something that tour directors like to see happen because it has a way of reflecting poorly on the tour. By the same token, most tour directors who've been on their feet running an event all weekend, have a tendency to sympathize with players who, at 2 a.m., just want to call it a day. 
Shannon Fitch and Bryan Plummer, playing on the Q City 9-Ball Tour on Saturday, May 14,  elected to exercise this option, when, as the bell tolled 2, they were to have played a final match. Fitch, as the undefeated occupant of the hot seat, was declared the official winner of the event that had drawn 33 entrants to Buck's Billiards in Raleigh, NC.
It's hard to know who was most affected by the decision; the undefeated opponent in the hot seat (Fitch), or, in this particular case, the opponent who'd won seven on the loss side for a chance at winning the tournament (Plummer)?
With Plummer already at work on the loss side, Fitch advanced to a winners' side semifinal versus Frank Owens. Steve Page and Junior Avery squared off in the other one. Fitch downed Owens 11-2, and in the hot seat match, faced Page, who'd sent Avery over 10-3. Fitch claimed the hot seat over Page 11-7 and for all intents and purposes, his night was over.
On the loss side, Owens picked up JT Ringgold, who'd eliminated Austin Coble and Andy Bowden, both 9-3. It was Avery who drew Plummer, four matches into his seven-match, loss-side winning streak that had most recently included a double hill victory over Richard Howerton, and a 6-4 win over George Crawford.
Plummer moved into the quarterfinals on the heels of a 6-2 win over Avery. Owens joined him by defeating Ringgold 5-7 (Ringgold racing to 9). Plummer took the quarterfinal match over Owens 6-2, and earned himself a shot at the title with a 6-4 victory over Page in the semifinals. 
Plummer and Fitch opted out of the final. Fitch was declared the official title winner.
The next stop on the Q City 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for May 21-22, at the Gate City Billiards Club in Greensboro, NC, will be an 8-ball event that will serve as a qualifier for the North Carolina 8-Ball State Championships. 

Tickle and Blackburn split top prizes in a Q City 9-Ball stop

David Tickle and James Blackburn allowed the single match that they played against each other to stand as the result of a Q City 9-Ball Tour stop, on November 14. The two opted out of playing a final, leaving Tickle, in the hot seat, as the winner of the event that drew 38 entrants to the Gate City Billiard Club in Raleigh, NC.
Tickle had sent Dylan Letchworth to the loss side 8-2 in a winners' side semifinal, while Blackburn was busy sending 13-year-old Peter Abantangelo over 8-3. Tickle claimed the hot seat 8-4 over Blackburn.
On the loss side, Letchworth picked up George Crawford, who'd gotten by Colin Hall 8-3 and Bobby Clinton 8-1. Abantangelo drew Jay Calhoun (husband to Belinda Calhoun), who'd defeated Zach Leonard 6-5 and Josh Williams 6-2. Crawford and Calhoun handed Letchworth and Abatangelo their second straight loss. Letchworth forfeited his match, while Calhoun downed Abantangelo 6-3.
With Crawford racing to 8, Calhoun took the quarterfinal 6-5. Blackburn ended Calhoun's run 8-4 in the semifinals. At this juncture, Tickle and Blackburn opted out of the final match and split the top two prizes.
The next stop on the Q City 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for Saturday, November 21, will be hosted by Buck's Billiards in Raleigh, NC.