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Reymart Lim comes back from hot seat loss to claim Action Pool Tour season opener

(l to r): Reymart Lim & Nathan Childress

It marked the second year in a row that Reymart Lim had won the Action Pool Tour’s (APT) season opener at Q Master Billiards in Virginia Beach, VA. Last year at this time, he went undefeated through a field of 49 to win his first of two APT events; the second came in March. This year, there was just a little hitch in his get-along, as he succumbed to Nathan Childress in the battle for the hot seat and had to come back from a semifinal versus 2019’s Tour Champion, Chris Bruner, for a second shot at Childress. He took that second shot and won the match to claim his first 2020 title. In the past four years, Lim has finished, in order, 29th, 13th, 5th and 4th in the APT’s final tour standings. If he’s looking to improve (and why wouldn’t he be?), this could be the year he secures that APT Tour Champion title. Winning this event that drew 53 entrants to Q Master Billiards on the weekend of January 18-19 was a good start.
 
Lim got a bye out of a preliminary round and started his march to the winners’ circle with an 8-1 victory over Graham Swinson. He then defeated Bill Duggan 8-4 and Johnathan Syphanthavong 8-3 to draw a winners’ side semifinal match against Scott Roberts, who finished two spots below him on last year’s tour standings list. Childress, in the meantime, who was the Billiards Education Foundation’s 14-and-under Junior National Champion two years in a row (’15 & ’16) and was looking to secure what would be (according to our records) his first major regional tour title, opened with an 8-5 victory over RJ Carmona, who finished one step above Lim last year. After Carmona, Childress sent Jason Trigo (double hill), Reggie Jackson (8-4) and another junior player, Shane Wolford (8-4) to the loss side to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal match against Bruner.
 
Childress sent Bruner west 8-6 and in the hot seat match, faced Lim, who’d defeated Roberts, double hill. Childress claimed the hot seat 8-4 and waited in it for Lim to get back from the semifinals.
 
On the loss side, Bruner picked up Nilbert Lim (no relation to Reymart, although a close friend), who’d lost a double hill match to Scott Roberts in the second winners’ side round and was in the midst of a six-match, loss-side winning streak that was about to end and had most recently included two victories in which he’d allowed his opponents only a single rack, combined; none to Syphanthavong and one to Mac Harrell. Roberts drew David Hunt (5th in the 2019 standings), who’d lost a winners’ side quarterfinal match to Bruner and gone on to defeat David Givens, double hill and Shane Wolford 7-4.
 
Roberts moved on to the quarterfinals with a 7-2 win over Hunt. Bruner, flexing his muscles a bit, shut Nilbert Lim out to join him. Bruner then defeated Roberts 7-5 in those quarterfinals.
 
Reymart Lim stepped into the semifinal ‘frame,’ flexing a few muscles of his own. He gave up only a single rack to Bruner, to earn himself a second shot at Childress.
 
Childress didn’t give up his shot at his first major ‘pro’ title easily. He fought tooth and nail to double hill before Lim sealed his first 2020 victory 10-9.
 
A Second Chance event drew eight entrants. It was won by Graham Swinson, who came back from a 5-2 hot seat loss to shut Johnathan Syphanthavong out 6-0.
 
Tour directors Kris Wylie and Tiger Baker thanked the ownership and staff at Q Master Billiards, as well as sponsors Predator Cues, Aramith Balls, Simonis Cloth. Viking Cues, Brown’s Mechanical LLC, Kamui, Diamond Billiard Products, Ozone Billiards, CSI, Grant Wylie Photography and George Hammerbacher, Advanced Pool Instructor. The next stop on the 2020 APT, scheduled for February 15-16, will be the VA State 10-Ball Championships, hosted by Diamond Billiards in Midlothian, VA.

Bruner goes undefeated to win Action Pool Tour season finale and finish as Tour Champion

Chris Bruner 2019 Action Pool Tour Champion

Chris Bruner competed in all but one of the 12 Action Pool Tour stops in 2019. He won four of them – June, July, October (VA State 8-Ball Championship) and the tour’s season finale this past weekend (December 7-8). He was runner-up in two others; to Mike Davis in May and Kristina Tkach in August. He tripled the number of appearances he made on the tour this year, which, factored into tournament results as the APT’s season concluded, gave Bruner the 2019 Tour Champion title. Last year’s champion, Steve Fleming competed in all but two of this year’s tour stops and finished as runner-up.
 
Bruner went undefeated through a field of 19 pre-qualified entrants, who signed on for the season finale – The Pineapple Morris Memorial Shootout on Saturday, December 7 at Q Master Billiards in Virginia Beach, VA. Named after Craig “Pineapple” Morris, a fixture as a teacher at Q Master Billiards and doorman at the annual US Open 9-Ball Championships for many years, the event was limited to the Top 16 men and three women in the tour’s point standings. Thanks to primary tour sponsors Predator Cues, Aramith and Simonis, every player who competed was paid.
 
Fleming was on-hand as well, with the opportunity to defend his tour championship title there for the taking. Fleming was one of six entrants who played a preliminary round for entrance into the event’s official 16-player, double elimination bracket. He and Larry Kressel locked up in a double hill fight that advanced Kressel and sent Fleming to the loss side, where he lasted three rounds.
 
Bruner’s path to the winners’ circle climbed a straight-up ladder that went through #12 Greg Sabins and #8 Bill Duggan, to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal against #4 Reymart Lim. Scott Roberts (#6), working in a pressure cooker of his own making, won two straight double hill matches against David Hunt (#5) and Jimmy Byrd (#18) to draw his winners’ side semifinal opponent, none other than the aforementioned Larry Kressel (#11).
 
Roberts won his third straight double hill match, downing Kressel to earn a spot in the hot seat match. Bruner joined him with a double hill win over Lim. Roberts recorded his first double hill loss, as Bruner chalked up his second straight double hill win to claim the hot seat.
 
On the loss side, Kressel picked up #3 RJ Carmona, who’d lost to #7 Scott Haas in the event’s first full opening round and was working on a four-match, loss-side winning streak that was about to end. He’d recently eliminated Bill Duggan 9-6 and David Hunt 9-5. Lim picked up Haas, who’d been sent over by Kressel in a winners’ side quarterfinal and then defeated Greg Sabins 9-5 and Jimmy Bird, double hill.
 
The possible Carmona/Haas rematch didn’t happen, as Kressel moved into the quarterfinals 9-7 over Carmona. Haas downed Lim 9-3, but in those quarterfinals, fell to Kressel 9-2.
 
The Roberts/Kressel semifinal came within a game of being the 5th double hill match among the event’s final 13 matches. Roberts prevailed 9-7 for a second shot at Bruner in the hot seat.
 
Bruner got out in front and claimed the event title and title of tour champion with an 11-7 victory over Roberts.
 
Tour directors Kris Wylie and Tiger Baker thanked the ownership and staff at Q Master Billiards, as well as sponsors Predator Cues, Aramith Balls, Simonis Cloth. Viking Cues, Brown’s Mechanical LLC, Kamui, Diamond Billiard Products, Ozone Billiards, CSI, Grant Wylie Photography and George Hammerbacher, Advanced Pool Instructor.

Mastermaker goes undefeated to win Action Pool Tour stop #11 in Midlothian

Danny Mastermaker & Larry Kressel

In 2013, Danny Mastermaker was everywhere and playing in his best earnings year since AZBilliards began recording his winnings in 2007. He won a stop on the Action Pool Tour and another on the Great Southern Billiard Tour, and cashed in 11 other events, including that year’s VA State 10-Ball Championship (3rd), the George “Ginky” Sansouci Memorial (7th), the Super Billiards Expo’s Amateur Championship (9th), the VA State 9-Ball Championship (9th), the US Open 9-Ball Championships (17th) and Turning Stone XXI (17th).

As he came into stop #11 on this year’s Action Pool Tour, he had only one cash winning to his 2019 credit; he finished 7th at the VA State 10-Ball Championship in February. Mastermaker went undefeated at the Saturday, November 16 10-Ball event to claim his first (recorded) event title since he won the VA State Bar Table 9-Ball tournament in Lynchburg, VA in July, 2014. Oddly enough, Mastermaker downed Larry Kressel in the finals of that bar table 9-ball tournament five years ago and at the Action Pool Tour event this past weekend that drew 30 players to Diamond Billiards in Midlothian, VA, he defeated Kressel in the finals again.

He got by Kressel twice, actually. Mastermaker got by Zach Gladfelder, Adnan Ahsan and John Wright to draw Kelly Farrar in one of the winners’ side semifinals, as Kressel sent Shane Buchanan, Jason Trigo and Dave Hunt to the loss side and picked up Scott Roberts in the other winners’ side semifinal. Mastermaker dominated his match versus Farrar and sent him to the loss side 8-1, as Kressel sent Roberts over 8-5. In their first of two, Mastermaker prevailed 8-3 over Kressel.

On the loss side, Farrar drew Shane Wolford, who’d lost his opening round match and was working on a seven-match, loss-side winning streak that would take him all the way to the semifinals. He’d most recently defeated Dave Hunt 7-3 and Chris Bruner 7-1 to arrive at Farrar. Roberts drew Jimmy Bird, the man who’d sent Farrar to the loss side in the opening round. Bird was on a five-match, loss-side streak that was about to come to an end. He’d most recently eliminated John Wright 7-4 and Josh Craig 7-5.

Wolford shut Farrar out, as Roberts ended Bird’s streak 7-3. Wolford then defeated Roberts 7-5 in the quarterfinals.

Kressel put a stop to Wolford’s run in the semifinals by allowing him only a single rack in a race to 7. Kressel earned his second shot at Mastermaker in the hot seat.

Mastermaker had to chalk up one more rack than he had in the hot seat match in the finals’ race to 9. Kressel duplicated his effort in the hot seat match and Mastermaker claimed the event title 9-3.

Tour directors Kim Wylie and Tiger Baker thanked the ownership and staff at Diamond Billiards, as well as sponsors Predator Cues, Viking Cues, Simonis Cloth, Aramith Balls, Brown’s Mechanical LLC, Kamui, Diamond Billiard Products, Ozone Billiards, CSI, Grant Wylie Photography and George Hammerbacher, Advanced Pool Instructor. The next stop on the Action Pool Tour, scheduled for the weekend of December 7-8, will be the Pineapple Morris Memorial Shootout at Q Master Billiards in Virginia Beach, VA.

Bruner still on top of Action Pool Tour standings, claims VA State 8-Ball Championships

(l to r): Chris Bruner & RJ Carmona

Liz Taylor goes undefeated through Ladies field
 
Chris Bruner came into the October 12-13 VA State 8-Ball Championships as the Action Pool Tour’s top player. He went undefeated through a field of 37 at Q Master Billiards in Virginia Beach, VA to claim the event title and maintain his position as #1 on the tour’s player standings list. Eight of the players on the tour’s Top Ten list competed in this year’s event, but so did, among others, Shaun Wilkie (#14) and last year’s runner-up, Mike Davis (#30). Defending champion, Warren Kiamco, did not compete this year. Bruner sent #2, Steve Fleming, to the loss side, and faced #3, RJ Carmona, twice to claim the title.
 
The Ladies event drew a short field of 13 and was won by Liz Taylor, who, along with Jacki Duggan, who finished in 4th place, are the only women among the tour’s Top 20 in player standings. Like Bruner, Taylor went undefeated through the field and had to face the same opponent (Cheryl Pritchard) in both the hot seat and finals.
 
Bruner’s seven-match march to the finish line went through Jose Vega-Hernandez, Travis Southard, Jamie Bess and Fleming to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal match against Eric Moore, who would normally be among the tour’s top players, but was making here only his second appearance on the 2019 tour. Bruner arrived at the winners’ side semifinal, having given up only five total racks (two to Southard and three to Fleming).
 
Carmona got by Kenny Miller (#11), Jason Trigo (#17) and survived a double hill bout versus JT Ringgold (#21) to arrive at his winners’ side semifinal match against Reymart Lim (#5). Three of the four competitors in the winners’ side semifinals had won previous stops on the 2019 tour; Bruner and Lim with two each and Carmona with one.
 
Moore chalked up more racks against Bruner than all of his previous opponents combined. They fought to double hill before Bruner prevailed and advanced to the hot seat match. He was joined by Carmona, who’d sent Lim west 7-3. In their first of two, Bruner claimed the hot seat 7-4 over Carmona.
 
On the loss side, Lim picked up Scott Haas, who’d been defeated by Eric Moore 7-5 in a winners’ side quarterfinal match and gone on to defeat Shaun Wilkie 6-4 and Steve Fleming 6-2. Moore drew Ringgold, who, following his double hill loss to Bruner in a winners’ side quarterfinal, had defeated Tony Montalvo 6-2 and Kenny Miller 6-1.
 
Ringgold downed Moore 6-3 and in the quarterfinals, faced Lim, who’d defeated Haas 6-2. Lim took the quarterfinal match 6-3 over Ringgold.
 
In the semifinals that followed, Carmona gave up only a single rack to Lim and earned himself a second shot against Bruner. In their second meeting, the Bruner and Carmona battled to double hill before Bruner prevailed to deny Carmona his second 2019 tour victory and chalk up his own third win.
 
Taylor downs Pritchard twice to capture Ladies 8-Ball Title
 
Last year’s Ladies’ winner – Bethany Sykes – was ‘in the house’ for this event, though she was sent to the loss side 6-4 in the second round by the eventual winner, Liz Taylor. Sykes then won four on the loss side, before falling to the event’s runner-up, Cheryl Pritchard, in the semifinals.
 
It took Liz Taylor five matches to claim the title. She got by Maria Beckner 6-1 before sending the event’s defending champion, Bethany Sykes to the loss side 6-4. This set Taylor up in a winners’ side semifinal versus Kim Whitman. Awarded a preliminary round bye, Pritchard defeated Kelly Cox 6-3 to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal match against Lisa Uilani Vita.
 
Taylor and Whitman fought to double hill before Taylor prevailed 6-5 and sent Whitman west. Pritchard gave up only a single rack to Vita and joined Taylor in what would be their first of two, battling for the hot seat. Taylor took that first of two 6-3 and waited in the hot seat for Pritchard’s return.
 
On the loss side, Whitman drew Jacki Duggan, who’d lost an earlier battle to Vita and on the loss side, had eliminated Soo Emmett 5-1 and Maria Beckner 5-3. Vita picked up Sykes, who, following her defeat at the hands of Taylor, had defeated Kelly Wyatt 5-3 and Kim McKenna 5-1.
 
Duggan and Sykes advanced to the quarterfinals with 5-3 victories over Whitman and Vita. Sykes followed that with another 5-3 victory, over Duggan, in the quarterfinals.
 
Pritchard ended Sykes’ bid for a second year in the 8-Ball Championship finals with a 5-2 win in the semifinals. Taylor then ended Pritchard’s bid for the event title by shutting her out in the finals.
 
A Second Chance tournament drew 12 entrants and saw Steve Fleming come from the loss side to down hot seat occupant Justin Clark 6-1 in the finals. James Blackburn finished third, with Jimmy Bird in fourth place.
 
Tour directors Kim Wylie and Tiger Baker thanked the ownership and staff at Q Master Billiards, as well as sponsors as well as sponsors Predator Cues, Viking Cues, Simonis Cloth, Aramith Balls, Brown’s Mechanical LLC, Kamui, Diamond Billiard Products, Ozone Billiards, CSI, Grant Wylie Photography and George Hammerbacher, Advanced Pool Instructor. The next stop on the Action Pool Tour, scheduled for the weekend of November 16-17, will be hosted by Diamond Billiards in Midlothian, VA.

Wilkie chalks up his first 2019 win on the Action Pool Tour

Shaun Wilkie

Though he’s in the midst of a fairly good year at the tables – runner-up in Maryland’s 9-Ball Bar Table and State 9-Ball Tournaments, 3rd in that state’s 8-Ball Championships and cash payouts in six other events, including Turning Stone XXXII (9th), the SBE Pro Players Championship (13th) and the US Open 9-Ball Championship (49th) – Shaun Wilkie had yet to record a 2019 win. Until this past weekend, when he went undefeated on the Action Pool Tour; according to our records, his first win on the tour in just over a year. Wilkie came back from a hot seat loss to RJ Carmona to meet and defeat him in the finals. The 10-ball event drew 44 entrants to Breakers Sky Lounge in Herndon, VA on the weekend of September 14-15.
 
It was Wilkie’s third appearance on APT’s 2019 tour; he finished third at a stop in August and just out of the money at a stop in June. On this weekend, he got by Jim Davis 7-2, shut out Carlton Pelzer, downed Scott Roberts 7-4 and defeated the tour’s #2-ranked competitor, Steve Fleming 7-1 to draw Scott Haas in one of the winners’ side semifinals. RJ Carmona, in the meantime, whose runner-up finish would propel him into third place among the tour’s players, defeated Reymart Lim 7-4, Alex Parker 7-2, Tuan Chau 7-1 and Dave Hunt 7-5 to arrive at his winners’ side semifinal match against Kenny Miller.
 
Carmona defeated Miller 7-2, while Wilkie was moving into the hot seat match with a shutout over Scott Haas. Carmona claimed the hot seat 7-4 over Wilkie and waited on his return.
 
Miller moved to the loss side and picked up Larry Kressel, who’d been defeated by Dave Hunt in the second round and was in the midst of a six-match, loss-side winning streak that had included recent wins over the tour’s #1 and #5 competitors, Chris Bruner and Reymart Lim, both 6-3. Haas drew Nilbert Lim, in the midst of a five-match, loss-side winning streak that was about to end.
 
Haas ended Lim’s streak 6-3, as Kressel extended his with a 6-2 win over Miller. In the quarterfinals that followed, Haas downed Kressel 6-2 for a second shot against Wilkie. It proved to be Kressel’s best finish on the 2019 APT. Wilkie ended Haas’ short loss-side trip 6-2 in the semifinals.
 
Wilkie completed his first 2019 win on the tour with a 9-7 victory over Carmona in the finals. The victory moved Wilkie up on the APT rankings ladder from outside the top 25 to #14. It elevated Carmona from just outside the top 10 to #3.
 
A Second Chance event drew 10 players and saw Steve Fleming down Greg Sabins twice 5-4, 6-2 (hot seat and finals) to claim the $100 first-place prize.
 
Tour directors Kris Wylie and Tiger Baker thanked the ownership and staff at Breakers Sky Lounge for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Predator Cues, Viking Cues, Simonis Cloth, Aramith Balls, Brown’s Mechanical LLC, Kamui, Diamond Billiard Products, Ozone Billiards, CSI, Grant Wylie Photography and George Hammerbacher, Advanced Pool Instructor. The next stop on the Action Pool Tour, scheduled for the weekend of October 12-13, will be the VA State 8-Ball Championships. A Double Point event, it will be hosted by Q Master Billiards in Virginia Beach, VA.

Tkach follows WPBA win with an undefeated run on the mixed gender Action Pool Tour

Kristina Tkach

Kristina Tkach has been a busy young woman. Since March, she’s chalked up three major titles, commencing with her win at the 2019 Super Billiards Expo’s Women’s 9-Ball Championship, followed by a May victory in a European tour event and just last week (Aug. 8-11), a WPBA victory at the Sondheim Diamond Invitational in Iowa. She had no sooner made it back home to Virginia (Roy’s Basement), when she signed on to the August 17-18 stop on the Action Pool Tour, where she went undefeated to claim that event title. The event drew 41 entrants to Champion Billiards Sports Bar in Frederick, MD.
 
Not only did Tkach work through a field dominated by men (36 of the 41), she defeated the top-ranked player in the Action Pool Tour’s standings and winner of the last two stops on the tour, Chris Bruner. Twice.
 
Tkach embarked on her trip to the winners’ circle with an 8-1 victory over Skylar Hess and then, defeated the 2018 runner-up in the tour’s rankings, Jason Trigo 8-3 (this was only Trigo’s third appearance on the 2019 tour). Tkach then defeated Elva Abernathy 8-4 to draw Brian Bryant in one of the winners’ side semifinals.
 
Bruner, in the meantime, downed Thomas Haas 8-4, Bill Duggan 8-2, Jerry Gruber 8-1 and Daniel Jarquin 8-3 to draw the always-threat of Shaun Wilkie in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
Bruner got into the hot seat match with an 8-2 victory over Wilkie. Tkach joined him after defeating Bryant 8-4. Tkach then claimed her first of two over Bruner 8-6 and waited in the hot seat for him to get back from the semifinals.
 
On the loss side, Wilkie picked up Scott Roberts, who’d been sent to the loss side by Brian Bryant (8-5) and then defeated Scott Haas, double hill, and then, Thomas Haas 7-1. Bryant drew Matt Krah, who’d been sent to the loss side by Wilkie, shut out Chuck Sampson and defeated Chris Funk 7-5.
 
Wilkie and Krah advanced to the quarterfinals, both 7-4, over Roberts and Bryant. Wilkie gave up only a single rack to Krah in those quarterfinals to earn his rematch against Bruner.
 
Bruner and Wilkie battled to within a game of double hill, but Bruner edged out in front near the end to win it 7-5. With the intangible of momentum presumably on his side, Bruner turned his attention to the young woman waiting for him in the hot seat (and how many times, one wonders, has that happened?)
 
Tkach and Bruner did battle it out to a 19th and deciding game in the finals. Tkach, though, had the last ‘word,’ as it were, and dropped the final 9-Ball to claim the event title.
 
A Second Chance event drew eight entrants. Don Steele and Alavaro Valle battled twice (hot seat and finals) for it. Steele took them both, taking home $100 after a 5-2 win in the hot seat and shutting Valle out in the finals. Valle took home the $75 second-place prize.
 
Tour directors Kris Wylie and Tiger Baker thanked the ownership and staff at Champion Billiards Sports Bar, as well as sponsors CSI, Viking Cues, Predator Cues, Diamond Billiard Products, Ozone Billiards, Simonis Cloth, Aramith Balls, Kamui, Chix Cabinets, and George Hammerbacher (Advanced Pool Instructor). The next stop on the Action Pool Tour (#9), scheduled for the weekend of Sept. 14-15, will be a Double Points event, hosted by Breakers Sky Lounge in Herndon, VA.

Bruner comes from the loss side (again) to win second straight Action Pool Tour event

Chris Bruner

Last month (June 15-16), Chris Bruner won seven on the loss side of the Action Pool Tour’s Brown’s Mechanical 9-Ball Open (Stop #6 on the tour) to chalk up his first 2019 win. In so doing, he climbed two rungs on the tour’s ranking ladder (from 5th to 3rd). At the Action Pool Tour’s Bar Box 10-Ball Open (Stop #7), which drew 32 entrants to Peninsula Billiards in Newport News, VA this past weekend (July 13-14), Bruner won his second straight APT event, coming back from a defeat in the hot seat to claim the event title in a final match against JT Ringgold. This time, and once again, in the absence of some of the tour’s top-ranked competitors at this event (Steve Fleming, RJ Carmona and Reymart Lim, among others), Bruner took three steps up the ranking ladder to become the APT’s top-ranked competitor.
 
Bruner came into this most recent event, having already surpassed his reported 2018 earnings at the tables. When it was over, and he’d claimed the event title, he’d turned 2019 into his best earnings year, to date. Just a little over halfway through the year, he’d surpassed his best earnings year, to date (2014) by a couple of hundred dollars. Though Ringgold has already earned over twice what Bruner has earned in 2018/2019 (so far), he is a little behind schedule in his quest to match his best earnings year to date, which was 2018. At this time last year, Ringgold had earned about 39% of the total he’d earn by the end of the year. With his 2018 earnings as a hypothetical target, he’s at 32% now, and having now appeared in three of the APT’s 2019 events, he’s moved himself up in the tour’s rankings from #17 to approximately 7th or 8th, depending on how the math played out for some of the players above him who competed in this event. He and Bruner have each chalked up a victory in 2019; this most recent victory for Bruner and a stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour for Ringgold. The APT’s Bar Box 10-Ball Open drew 32 entrants to Peninsula Billiards in Newport News, VA.
 
Bruner’s path to the hot seat match went through Bethany Sykes 8-2, Bill Duggan in a double hill match and a shutout over Thomas Spivey to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal against Dave Hunt. Ringgold got by Donnie Huet 8-4, Johnny Syphanthavong 8-2, and Nilbert Lim 8-6 to pick up Mike Davis in his winners’ side semifinal. Bruner and Ringgold got into the hot seat match by chalking up identical 8-6 scores over Hunt and Davis. Somewhat predictably, the battle for the hot seat was decided by a single, 15th game in the match. Ringgold won that deciding game and waited in the hot seat for Bruner to come back from the semifinals.
 
Mike Davis showed up on the loss side and faced Christopher Wilburn, who’d lost an opening round, double hill match to Dave Hunt and set out on a five-match winning streak that almost, but not quite, earned him a rematch against Hunt. He’d most recently defeated Thomas Spivey and Scott Roberts, both 7-3, to draw Davis. Hunt, in the meantime, picked up Bill Duggan, who’d gone on from his early-round loss to Bruner, to win four on the loss side, including a 7-4 win over Coen Bell and a 7-3 victory over Nilbert Lim.
 
Hunt got by Duggan 7-2, while Davis and Wilburn locked up in a double hill fight that eventually sent Davis to the quarterfinals with Hunt. Davis took command of those quarterfinals quickly, downing Hunt 7-1 for a shot against Bruner in the semifinals.
 
It would prove to be Bruner’s second straight double hill match. The first had sent him to the semifinals. The second was the semifinals and the double hill win over Davis sent him on to a rematch against Ringgold in the hot seat. Bruner completed his second straight win on the APT with a 10-8 victory in the finals.
 
A Second Chance event drew eight entrants. Johnny Syphanthavong and Josh Harget battled twice in the hot seat and finals to win the top $115 first-place prize. Syphanthavong won them both, 6-2, 6-3.
 
Tour directors Kim Wylie and Tiger Baker thanked the ownership and staff at Peninsula Billiards, as well as sponsors CSI, Viking Cues, Predator Cues, Diamond Billiard Products, Ozone Billiards, Simonis Cloth, Aramith Balls, Kamui, Chix Cabinets, and George Hammerbacher (Advanced Pool Instructor). The next stop on the Action Pool Tour (#8), scheduled for the weekend of August 17-18, will be hosted by Champion Billiards Sports Bar in Frederick, MD.
 

Bruner wins seven on the loss side to down Shuff and take Brown’s Mechanical 9-Ball Open

Chris Bruner

At the mid-point of the Action Pool Tour’s 2019 season on the weekend of June 15-16, there was a little shuffling among the tour’s top players, spearheaded by a strong, come-from-the-loss-side performance by Chris Bruner, who backed up his runner-up performance in Stop #5 with a victory over Brandon Shuff in the finals of Stop #6 – The Brown’s Mechanical 9-Ball Open, which drew 38 entrants to Diamond Billiards in Midlothian, VA.
 
A player’s position in the tour rankings is based on a formula which assigns specific points to a player’s finish in an event (20 points for 1st, 19 for 2nd, 18 for 3rd, etc.) times the number of entrants in a given tournament. In addition to the points assigned at an individual event, a player’s position on the list is also affected by the number of times he/she competes on the tour.
 
In the absence of three of the tour’s top five players at this most recent event (#1 RJ Carmona, #3 Reymart Lim and #4 Liz Taylor), Bruner, who entered the tournament in the fifth spot on the tour rankings advanced two spots to #3, while Steve Fleming, who entered the tournament as the #2-ranked player (having appeared in all six of the tour’s stops) was able to advance ahead of RJ Carmona to take the top spot. With only 1360 points separating 1st place from 5th place, these positions are likely to change in the second half of the 2019 APT season.
 
With Carmona, Lim and Taylor absent, the door was open for Fleming to advance to the top spot from the beginning, but he was sent to the loss side 8-6 in the second round by Brandon Shuff. Shuff advanced to shut out Jared Pitts and face Shorty Davis in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Two rounds earlier, Davis, appearing in his second event on the tour, was responsible for sending Bruner to the loss side 8-3, and then, sending perennial favorite and perennially competitive Shaun Wilkie over 8-6. James Blackburn, in the meantime, got by Hai Chi, Dave Hunt and David Hairfield to face Shane Buchanan in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
Shuff downed Davis 8-2 and was joined in the hot seat match by Blackburn, who’d defeated Buchanan 8-5. Shuff, making his third appearance on this year’s tour, got into the hot seat and guaranteed himself a major jump in the tour rankings (from #24 to #9) with an 8-6 victory over Blackburn.
 
On the loss side, Shorty Davis ran into an immediate re-match against Bruner, who was four matches into his seven-match, loss-side winning streak, which had included, most recently, victories over Graham Swinson 7-1 and John Jordan 7-2. Buchanan picked up Larry Kressel, who was five matches into his own loss-side winning streak, which had begun with an opening round loss to Jared Pitts. He’d most recently eliminated Shaun Wilkie 7-5 and Dave Hunt 7-1. In the previous round, Hunt had spoiled a potential Kressel/Pitts re-match by defeating Pitts 7-1.
 
Bruner had a successful rematch against Davis, downing him 7-4. He was joined in the quarterfinals by Kressel, who’d eliminated Buchanan 7-2. With Bruner looking for his sixth straight loss-side win, and Kressel looking for his seventh, the quarterfinal was a somewhat predictable double hill match. Bruner ended Kressel’s run with the win and earned himself a shot at Shuff in the hot seat with a 7-2 victory over Blackburn in the semifinals.
 
As it turned out, Shuff was going to move into the 9th spot in the tour rankings, regardless of the result of the final match. Bruner, as well, would advance to 3rd place, regardless of the outcome. They battled to within a game of double hill, before Bruner edged out in front near the end of the final to win it 10-8.
 
A Second Chance event drew six entrants, which elicited more of a highly competitive tournament than one might normally expect from such a small field. Brian Sewell and Graham Swinson met in the second winners’ side round, with Swinson shutting Sewell out. Swinson moved on to occupy the hot seat. Sewell played and won two loss-side matches for a second shot at him and took full advantage, downing Swinson, double hill, to claim the Second Chance title.
 
Tour directors Kris Wylie and Tiger Baker thanked the ownership and staff at Diamond Billiards for their hospitality, as well as the event’s title sponsor Brown’s Mechanical LLC, CSI, Viking Cues, Predator Cues, Diamond Billiard Products, Ozone Billiards, Simonis Cloth, Aramith Balls, Kamui, Chix Cabinets, and George Hammerbacher (Advanced Pool Instructor). The next stop on the Action Pool Tour (#7), scheduled for the weekend of July 13-14, will be the APT Bar Box 10-Ball Open, hosted by Peninsula Billiards in Newport News, VA.

Davis undefeated on Action Pool Tour’s ‘Back to the Beach’ 10-Ball event

(l to r): Mike Davis & Chris Bruner

While it conjures images of pool tables lined up along a sandy beach somewhere, with players in bathing suits, the Action Pool Tour’s 5th stop on the 2019 tour referenced the town’s name, not the beaches that are admittedly nearby. The tour stop, held on the weekend of May 18-19, drew 31 entrants to Q Master Billiards in Virginia Beach, VA. Mike Davis, making his first appearance on the 2019 tour, went undefeated to claim the title, but not before being challenged in the finals by Chris Bruner, who’d been sent to the loss side in the second round of play and won seven in a row for the right to face Davis.
 
As the event progressed from its opening rounds, Davis’ opponents kept getting closer and closer. Davis opened with an 8-1 victory over Anthony Vigliotti, an 8-3 win over Jimmy Bird, and an 8-5 win over Scott Haas to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal against Bernard Andico. Nilbert Lim, in the meantime, got by Ron Zampko 8-3, Keith Bennett 8-5 and survived a double hill match against Mark Lacson to arrive at his winners’ side semifinal match against Kelly Farrar. Farrar, on her way to the matchup against Lim, was responsible for sending Chris Bruner to the loss side, and had also defeated the tour’s #3-ranked player, Steve Fleming.
 
Lim sent Farrar to the loss side and an immediate rematch against Bruner with an 8-3 win, as Davis sent Andico over 8-5. In the battle for the hot seat, Lim was able to chalk up more racks against him than any of his previous opponents, Davis prevailed to claim the hot seat 8-6.
 
On the loss side, Farrar ran into Bruner, four matches into his seven-match, loss-side streak, which had most recently resulted in the elimination of JR Avery 7-3 and Scott Haas 7-5. Andico picked up the tour’s #2-ranked competitor RJ Carmona, who, like Bruner had been defeated in the second round of play (by Scott Haas) and was in the midst of his own five-match, loss-side winning streak. Bruner and Carmona were about to meet in the quarterfinals.
 
Carmona got there with a 7-2 win over Andico and was joined by Bruner, who’d ended Farrar’s weekend 7-4. Bruner then ended Carmona’s loss-side streak 7-5 in that quarterfinal match.
 
Bruner completed his loss-side run with a 7-3 win over Lim in the semifinals. Davis completed his undefeated run with a 10-5 victory over Bruner in the finals.
 
A Second Chance drew eight entrants. It was won by Kelly Cox, who defeated Steve Fleming in the finals 7-5.
 
Tour directors Kris Wylie and Tiger Baker thanked the ownership and staff at Q Master Billiards, as well as sponsors Predator Cues, Viking Cues, Simonis, Aramith, Kamui, Diamond Billiard Products, Cue Sports International (CSI), Chix Cabinets Direct, Grant Wylie (professional photographer), Brown’s Mechanical, LLC, and George Hammerbacher Advanced Pool Instructor. The next stop on the APT, scheduled for the weekend of June 15-16, will be the Brown’s Mechanical 9-Ball Open, hosted by Diamond Billiards in Midlothian, VA.

West comes from the loss side to win his second Bob Stocks Memorial title

Kevin West (Grant Wylie Photography)

The annual Bob Stocks Memorial Tournament, held under the auspices of the Action Pool Tour, has developed something of a reputation for crowning new winners every year. Until this most recent, 13th annual tournament, only one competitor, Shaun Wilkie, had ever won it twice. On the weekend of April 13-14, Kevin West became the second. Having won this event in 2017, and after skipping the following year, which saw Zoren James Aranas and Dennis Orcollo battle in the finals, West returned to give it another shot. He was sent to the loss side by Brian Bryant in a winners’ side semifinal and came back after winning three to challenge and defeat Bryant in the finals. The event drew 31 entrants to First Break Café in Sterling, VA.
 
West was challenged early in this one; his first match, a double hill affair that eventually sent Paul Helms to the loss side. West moved on to defeat former Bob Stock Memorial Champion Brandon Shuff and Scott Roberts, both 9-5, to draw Bryant in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Bryant had defeated Alvin Thomas 9-6, Alex Parker, 9-3 and Paul Swinson 9-4 to meet West. Scott Haas, in the meantime, defeated Ali Gee 9-1, Andrew Manning 9-7 and Graham Swinson 9-3 to draw Chris Bruner in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
Bryant sent West west 9-7 and in the hot seat match, faced Haas, who’d defeated Bruner 9-7. Bryant claimed the hot seat 9-5 Haas, and waited on the return of West.
 
On the loss side, West drew Steve Fleming, the tour’s #4-ranked player on the tour coming into the event, who, after being defeated by Chris Bruner 9-6 in a winners’ side quarterfinal, had defeated Bruce Choyce 7-1 and Brandon Shuff 7-5 to meet West. Bruner picked up Scott Roberts, who’d survived a double hill battle versus Mark Nanashee and eliminated Kirill Rutman to face Bruner.
 
West and Roberts advanced to the quarterfinals; West, 7-3 over Fleming and Roberts, 7-4 over Bruner, denying West a second shot at him. West took the quarterfinal match 7-5 over Roberts and then, downed Haas 7-4 in the semifinals.
 
The tightly contested final match between West and Bryant featured the maximum number of games possible in a race-to-11; 21, also known as double hill, but recognized, as well, as a lot of games to play to decide a winner. West dropped the final 9-Ball to claim his second Bob Stocks Memorial title.
 
Tour directors Kris Wylie and Tiger Baker thanked the ownership and staff at First Break Café, as well as sponsors East Coast Landscaping, Inc., Cue Sports International (CSI), Chix Cabinets Direct, Grant Wylie (professional photographer), Brown’s Mechanical, LLC, and George Hammerbacher Advanced Pool Instructor. The next stop on the APT, will take players “Back to the Beach,” at an event scheduled for the weekend of May 18-19 at Q Master Billiards in Virginia Beach, VA.