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Davis, Jr. comes from loss side & behind in finals to win Sunshine State Pro Am One Pocket

Montas wins concurrently-run, 600-and-under Fargo Rate 9-ball event 

(l to r): Mike Davis, Mike Delawder, Anthony Meglino & Pedro Botta

Fresh off his fourth victory at the 7th Annual NC State Open 9-Ball Championships (March 1-2) in Hickory, NC, Mike Davis, Jr. traveled about 555 miles southwest, to sign on to the Sunshine State Pro Am Tour’s second 2020 stop; the $500-added One Pocket part of it, that drew 16 entrants to Racks Billiards in Sanford, FL. Sent to the loss side in a winners’ side semifinal, Davis returned to meet the man who’d sent him over (Mike Delawder) and defeat him in an exciting, double hill final match.

In a concurrently-run, $1,000-added ($500 from Racks Billiards & $500 from Predator Cues) event for Fargo Rates of 600 and below that drew 56 entrants, Manuel Montas went undefeated to claim that title.

It was a four-match march to the One Pocket hot seat for Delawder and a seven-match march to the title for Davis. Delawder got by Justin Gilsinan and Pedro Botta, before sending Davis to the loss side 3-1 in a winners’ side semifinal. Anthony Meglino, in the meantime, downed George Saunders and Adam Wheeler to face Kyle Bova in the other winners’ side semifinal.

Delawder beat Davis 3-1 and in the hot seat match, faced Meglino, who’d shut Bova out. Delawder claimed the hot seat by shutout and waited for Davis to finish his three-match, loss-side trip.

Davis began his trip back to the finals with a shutout over James Sandaler, who’d eliminated Bobby Garza and Adam Wheeler to reach him. Bova was defeated double hill by Pedro Botta, who’d previously eliminated George Saunders and Nathan Rose.

Davis dropped Botta into 4th place with a 3-1 quarterfinal victory and got his second shot at Delawder, following a shutout over Meglino in the semifinals.

The race was extended to 4 in the finals and early on, things weren’t looking to good for Davis, Jr. Delawder reached the hill at 3-0 before Davis was able to respond, but when he did, he came back strong, winning four in a row to claim game, set and match.

Montas and Kukadia split top prizes, with undefeated Montas claiming 9-ball title 

Ameet Kukadia, Manuel Montas and Cody Ingle

With a Fargo Rate differential of two points, Manuel Montas (596) and Ameet Kukadia (598) played against each other once in a straight-up race to 7 in the 9-ball tournament. Montas won that single matchup and as the undefeated occupant of the hot seat claimed the event title, when he and Kukudia agreed to a split of the top two prizes.

Montas’ path to the hot seat went through Muhammand Ali, Jeffrey McDonald, Francisco Gika and Brent Mireles to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal versus Guy Skehan Jackson; a 596 (Montas)/531 (Jackson) matchup. Three of the four matches that Kukudia (598) played to arrive at his winners’ side semifinal against Cody Ingle (546) went double hill and the fourth one was an ‘almost.’ He won his second round match against Lenny Reid 7-5, but he had to play a 13th deciding match against Evan Huynh, Katie Bowse and Kristian Dimitrov to reach Ingle.

Montas and Jackson battled to double hill before Montas advanced to the hot seat match. Kukadia gave up only a single rack to Ingle and joined Montas in what would prove to be the title match, battling for the hot seat. Montas won it 7-3.

On the loss side, Jackson picked up Stan Delonjay, who was working on a seven-match, loss-side winning streak that was about to end and had included recent wins over Kristian Dimitrov 5-1 and Vernet Lasrado 5-3. Ingle drew Evan Huynh, who, after his double hill defeat at the hands of Kukadia, was working on a six-match, loss-side streak that was also about to end and had recently included victories over Larry English 5-2 and Brent Mireles 5-1.

Jackson and Ingle ended the loss-side streaks of their respective opponents by the same 5-2 score; Jackson over Delonjay and Ingle over Huynh. Jackson and Ingle then battled to double hill in the quarterfinals. Ingle prevailed and had his modest, loss-side streak ended by Kukadia 5-2 in the semifinals.

The decision to split the cash involved with the top two prizes was negotiated and reached. As the undefeated occupant of the hot seat, Montas became the official winner.

Tour directors Janene Phillips and Bobby Garza thanked the ownership and staff at Racks Billiards, as well as title sponsor Predator Cues, Diamond Products, Kamui, Central Florida USA Pool League, Stitch it To Me Embroidery, AZBilliards, and the live streaming of the events by Xtreme Pool. The next stop on the Sunshine State Pro Am Tour, scheduled for April 25-26, will be hosted by Brewlands in Tampa, FL.

Burgos goes undefeated to take Sunshine State Pro Am Tour stop

(l to r): Anthony Meglino, Jose Baez & Julio Burgos

On the weekend of July 13-14, Julio Burgos added a sixth cash payout to his page in the AZBilliards database, dating back to January, 2018. It was his third entry as a tournament winner, having won a stop on the AllOutPool Tour in June of last year, and a stop on the J. Pechauer Southeast Open 9-Ball Tour in January of this year. His third tournament win, an undefeated run through a field of 64 entrants at the $1,300-added, 8-ball Bar Box Open on the Sunshine State Pro Am Tour, was hosted by Racks Billiards and Sports Bar in Sanford, FL.
 
Burgos launched his run to a third tournament win against Mike Delawder, downing him 6-4. He then defeated George Saunders 6-2, Bobby Garza 6-1 and Anthony Meglino 6-3 to draw Nathan Rose in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Jose Guerra Baez, in the meantime, searching for his first tour win took a path to the hot seat that went through Julio Delpozo 6-2, Ameet Kukadia 6-4, and two straight double hill wins, over Milton Strack and David Singleton, to arrive at his winners’ side semifinal match against Ricardo Joel Rodriguez.
 
Burgos and Baez advanced to the hot seat match on the heels of two, double hill matches that sent Rose and Rodriguez to the loss side. It was Burgos’ double hill match of the tournament. It was Baez’ third straight double hill win. Burgos claimed the hot seat with a 6-2 win over Baez and waited on his return.
 
Over on the loss side, Rose picked up Chris Gentile, who’d defeated Chad Rhodes and Bobby Garza, both 4-2, to reach him. Rodriguez drew Meglino, who, following his defeat at the hands of Burgos, had shut out Serafin Serrano and eliminated Kim Dyer, double hill (4-3).
 
Rose and Gentile locked up in a double hill fight that eventually sent Gentile home and Rose to the quarterfinals. Meglino, in the meantime, gave up only a single rack to Rodriguez and joined Rose in the quarterfinals. Meglino took the quarterfinal match 4-2 over Rose, and then had his four-match, loss-side winning streak snapped by Baez 4-1 in the semifinals.
 
With Burgos looking to chalk up his third win of six cash payouts and Baez already at his best finish, to date, and looking for his first major tour win, the finals had a lot at stake for both of them. Burgos completed his undefeated run, downing Baez 8-5 to claim the event title.
 
Tour director Janene Phillips thanked Racks’ owners Anthony Digiacomo and Pedro Botta, as well as Predator Cues, Kamui, Cyclop Balls, USA Pool League, Diamond Products, Stitch It To Me Embroidery, AZ Billiards and Cue Sports Studios (for the event’s live stream). The next stop on the Sunshine State Pro Am Tour, scheduled for the weekend of Sept. 7-8, will be the 2nd Annual Battle of the Billiards Scotch Doubles Tournament, to be hosted by Strokers in Palm Harbor, FL.

Rose comes from the loss side to take Sunshine State Predator Pro Am Tour season opener

(l to r): Mike Delawder, Stroker’s owner Jose Del Rio & Nathan Rose

In the 17 years that Nathan Rose has been bringing home cash from mostly Florida-based pool tournaments, he’s had only two years of recorded earnings that were better than his last one, 2018. In 2015, his most productive year, he chalked up a win on the Shark Billiard Tour, was runner-up to Mike Davis at the Starcade Billiards Fall Classic and cashed in four events on the Florida Pool Tour. Eight years earlier, he had a win on the Southeast 9-Ball Tour and cashed in the Seminole Pro Tour, the Steve Mizerak Championship and the Bob Martin Memorial. Last year, he figured in the payouts of five stops on the Sunshine State Pro Am Tour, winning two of them, and taking a trip to the Super Billiards Expo, where he finished third behind Zoren James Aranas and Jorge Rodriguez in the Pro-Am Bar Box Championships. He’s opened his 2019 tournament schedule by winning the season opener on the now-named Sunshine State Predator Pro Am Tour. Mike Delawder defeated him in the hot seat match, but Rose returned from the semifinals to win a double hill final and claim the title. The $1,400-added event drew 69 entrants to Stroker’s Billiards in Palm Harbor, FL.
 
By the time Rose and Delawder met for the first time in the hot seat match, Delawder had won a single game more than Rose (36-35), but had lost eight more (28-36). Going into the winners’ side semifinals, Delawder had given up 17 racks to his opponents. Rose had given up only 10.
 
After his victory over Nikilin, Rose advanced to defeat Jarred Schlauch 7-4, Kelly Cavanaugh 7-3, and David Singleton 7-2 to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal match against George Saunders. Delawder got by Stephanie Mitchell 8-3, James Roberts 7-5, Kodi Allen 7-4 and Mitch Keiser 7-5 to pick up Bobby Garza (the tour’s 2018 top-ranked player) in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
Rose shut out Saunders, as Delawder was busy downing Garza 7-3. They came into the hot seat match with a 13% difference in their win-percentage; Rose at 77% (thanks in no small part to the shutout over Saunders) and Delawder at 64%. Delawder claimed the hot seat 7-3, narrowing that winning-game gap to 4%; 69% for Rose and 65% for Delawder. As it turned out, that four-point winning-percentage gap would hold through to the end, though both would see their individual percentage drop. Delawder, in the meantime, waited in the hot seat to find that out.
 
On the loss side, Saunders picked up Mitch Keiser, who, following his defeat at the hands of Delawder, had defeated Carlton Johnson 7-4 and the eventual top junior in the tournament Trenton White 7-2. Garza drew Jarred Schlauch, who, following Delawder’s win over him, embarked on a seven-match, loss-side winning streak that would take him as far as the quarterfinals. He’d most recently eliminated room owner Jose Del Rio 7-4 and Kyle Bova, double hill.
 
Schlauch downed Garza 7-5 and in the quarterfinals, faced Keiser, who’d defeated Saunders 7-4. Keiser ended Schlauch’s loss-side trip 7-2 in those quarterfinals, and then was defeated himself 7-3 by Rose in the semifinals.
 
Nathan Rose’s double hill, 9-8, win over Delawder in the finals gave him the event title, though it lowered his win-percentage to 65%. The nine racks scored against Delawder lowered his win-percentage to 61%. If Delawder had dropped the 9-ball, Rose would still have won the winning-percentage contest, but only by a single percentage point (67-66).
 
In addition to cash prizes awarded to the top 16 finishers, two top-finishing women – Jenn Berzinski and Kelly Cavanaugh (tied) – and the event’s top-finishing junior, Trenton White, took home cash prizes, as well.
 
Tour directors Janene Phillips and Bobby Garza thanked Jose Del Rio and his Stroker’s staff for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor Predator Cues (to include their donation of promotional items given out at the event), Cyclop Balls, Diamond, AZBilliards and Kamui. The next stop on the Sunshine State Predator Pro Am Tour, scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 2, will be hosted by Brewlands in Tampa, FL. 

Liu wins 10 on the loss side to meet and defeat Applebee in finals of Sunshine Pro Am stop

(l to r): Qi Liu & Nick Applebee

 

Nick Applebee chalked up six wins to get into the hot seat of the April 28-29 stop on the Sunshine ProAm Tour. Qi Liu, his opponent in the finals, lost his opening match, and then won 10 on the loss side to meet and defeat him in those finals to claim the event title. The $500-added event drew a full field of 64 entrants to Corner Pocket Billiards in Largo, FL.
 
In races to 7, Applebee’s opponents in his six-match trip to the hot seat recorded an average of three racks against him. He got by Dominick Dunn (4), Sameer Mohamad (2), Bill Stroup (5), and the man who’d sent Liu to the loss side in the opening round, Thomas White (1), to draw Angel Martinez in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Robert Batson, in the meantime, defeated John Dandurand (5), Ed Peterson (3), George Saunders (5), and shut out Randy Ervin to draw Mitchell Keiser in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
By identical 7-1 scores, Applebee and Batson advanced to the hot seat match over Martinez and Keiser. For only the second time, in what would prove to be his last match win of the weekend, Applebee allowed an opponent to score five racks against him and claimed the hot seat over Batson.
 
On the loss side, Liu had put five match wins behind him, before downing Randy Ervin 5-1 and surviving a double hill fight against Che Mrvos, to draw Martinez, coming over from the winners’ side semifinal. Keiser picked up George Saunders, who’d defeated co-tour director Bobby Garza, double hill, and then spoiled any thoughts Liu might have been entertaining about a re-match against White, by shutting White out.
 
Liu downEd Martinez 5-3 and in the quarterfinals, faced Keiser, who’d ended Saunders’ four-match, loss-side winning streak, double hill. Liu then ended Keiser’s weekend 5-3 in those quarterfinals, and punctuated his long, loss-side journey with a shutout over Batson in the semifinals.
 
If Applebee had any doubts that he was going to face a strong challenge in the finals, they were probably put to rest watching Liu down Batson, who’d put up an almost-double hill fight against him in the hot seat match. They were definitely put to rest when Liu ended his long, loss-side trip with a 9-6 win in the finals that gave him the event title.
 
Tour directors Janene Phillips and Bobby Garza thanked Stephanie Mitchell (owner of Corner Pocket Billiards, who competed and finished in the tie for 25th place) and her staff, as well as sponsors Play the Game Clothing Co., Kamui Tips, AZBilliards, and Jacksonville Roofing USA. The next stop on the Sunshine State ProAm Tour, scheduled for the weekend of June 2-3, will be hosted by CM’s Place in Seminole, FL.
 

Bova wins seven on the loss side to meet and defeat Willis in finals of Sunshine State Pro/Am

(l to r): Dale Stanley, Kenny Willis, Kyle Bova

Kyle Bova, who used to ply his trade on the Western New York Tour, and for the past three years or so, has switched his base of operations to Florida, came from deep on the loss side to win the August 5-6 stop (#5) on the Sunshine State Pro-Am Tour. He challenged Kenny Willis, aka Jimmy Neutron, in the finals and defeated him to claim the $400-added event that drew 45 entrants (nine women and 36 men) to Stephanie  Mitchell's pool room, Corner Pocket in Largo, FL.

 

Bova was awarded an opening round bye, and downEd Martin Mora 7-2, before being sent to the loss side by Justin McNulty 7-3. McNulty followed him over in the next round, when he was defeated by Dale Stanley 7-2. Stanley advanced to face Mike Delawder in one of the winners' side semifinals. Neutron, in the meantime, following victories over Todd Moir, Nikki Cuellar, and a double hill win over Michael DeStefano, faced George Saunders in the other winners' side semifinal.

 

Neutron sent Saunders to the loss side 7-3, and in the hot seat match faced Stanley, who'd defeated Delawder 7-5. Neutron claimed the hot seat 7-4 over Stanley and waited for what turned out to be the return of Bova.

 

Over on the loss side, Bova opened his campaign with three straight 6-3 wins, over Kelly Cavanaugh, Mark Wathan, and DeStefano, before downing Angel Martinez 6-4 and drawing Delawder. Saunders picked up Mubarak Sulaiman, who'd defeated Ron Hollifield 5-3 and denied Bova a second shot at McNulty by defeating him 5-2.

 

Bova shut Delawder out and in the quarterfinal match, faced Saunders, who'd eliminated Sulaiman 5-3. Bova chalked up his fourth 6-3 win against Saunders, and then, his fifth 6-3 win against Stanley in the semifinals.

 

Bova's five 6-3 wins on the loss side seemed to indicate a preference for winning 66% of the games he played. That dropped a little in the longer-race-to-11 final against Neutron, when he chalked up only 61% of the 18 games played, for an 11-7 final that earned Bova the event title.

 

Tour directors Janene Phillips and Frank Garza thanked Corner Pocket owner Stephanie Mitchell (who, along with Kaylee McIntosh, shared $40 in a tie for the top-finishing female) and her staff for their hospitality, as well as sponsors JQ Images Cues, Billiard Buzz, and AZBilliards. The next stop on the Sunshine State Pro Am Tour, scheduled for Aug. 26-27, will be hosted by Brewlands Bar & Billiards in Tampa.

 

(Administrative note: Though Kenny Willis has been consistent with his usage of  'Jimmy Neutron' as his preferred pool name, and we're willing to go along with references to him as 'Jimmy Neutron' in reports of his appearances on tours, we will be equally consistent in using his real name (Kenny Willis) when assigning information about him in our database. He does bear a passing resemblance to the cartoon Neutron character, minus the hairdo, which on that cartoon character looks like the tip of a chocolate ice cream cone from Dairy Queen, but opening the database door to the usage of 'fake names' would inevitably lead to the inclusion of no-doubt creative names, as pool players looked to cement their reputation with suggestive name alternatives like 'Run 'em Out Ron, Pool Stud Pat, or who knows what else. We'll use "The Scorpion" nickname in a story, too, and include that nickname in his page on the site, but he goes into our database as 'Johnny Archer.'

 

McKenny comes back from semifinals to down Buckley and claim Florida State 10-Ball title

Tony Crosby, Daniel McKinney, Benji Buckey and room owner Mike Zingale

With competitors like Mosconi Cup team member Sky Woodward, former US Open Champion Tommy Kennedy, Robb Saez and Shane McMinn (among others) on the entrant list, one might have been forgiven for expecting a series of marquee matchups in the final hours of the Florida State 10-Ball Open, held on the weekend of January 7-8. Instead, in what must surely have been a surprise to Calcutta participants, you had Daniel McKenny and Benji Buckley battling twice – hot seat and finals – with Buckley, who was the 2016 champion, taking the first and McKenny claiming the title by winning the last. The $4,000-added event drew 77 entrants to Zingale's Billiards and Sports Bar in Tallahassee, FL.
 
With the aforementioned marquee players at work on the loss side (none of whom would make it out of the 7/8 slots), McKenny and Buckley advanced to the winners' side semifinals; McKenny taking on Butch Croft, Buckley meeting Stoney Stone. McKenny moved into the hot seat match with a 7-1 victory over Croft, while Buckley downed Stone 7-4. For the second year in a row, Buckley claimed the hot seat, this time 7-2 and waited for McKenny to get back from the semifinals.
 
On the loss side, the 'marquee four' found themselves battling in the second (9/12) money round. Saez eliminated Woodward 7-5, McMinn took care of Clint Nichols 7-1, and Denny Singletary finished Tommy Kennedy's weekend 7-5. Manny Perez knocked tour director Tony Crosby out of the running 7-4. McMinn and Saez were eliminated next; McMinn by Singletary, double hill, and Saez by Perez 7-3.
 
Singletary drew Stone, coming off his defeat in the winners' side semifinal, and Perez picked up Croft, coming off his. Singletary and Croft got right back into the swing of things and advanced to the quarterfinals; Singletary 7-3 over Stone, Croft surviving a double hill fight against Perez.
 
The quarterfinals were, at minimum, a $300 contest (the payout difference between 3rd and 4th place) and went double hill. Croft denied Stone a second shot against Buckley with the double hill win that gave him a shot. The semifinals were a $500 minimum battle (the difference between 2nd and 3rd place) and it almost went double hill. At the end, though, McKenny edged ahead by two 7-5 to get his second shot (an absolute $1,000 contest) against the reigning event champion, Buckley.
 
McKenny pulled it off. For the second match in a row, he was able to get ahead by two at the end to win it (9-7) and snatch the Florida State 10-Ball title away from Buckley.
 
A $1,000-added Second Chance event, which drew 50 entrants, saw Jamie Baraks go undefeated to claim the title. Baraks and Matt Bulfin, after shutting out their opponents (Jessie Middlebrooks and George Saunders, respectively) in the two winners' side semifinals, squared off in the hot seat match, won by Baraks 4-1. Bulfin downed Rod Rentz, double hill, in the semifinals, before Baraks defeated him a second time 5-3 in the finals. 
 
Tour director Tony Crosby thanked Mike Zingale and his staff for their hospitality and contribution to the prize money.  Crosby also noted that anyone interested in sponsoring the Florida Pool Tour should visit the tour Web site (http://www.floridapooltour.com) for contact information.

Sheerman and Kennedy knock down heavy opposition in Palm Harbor

Stroker’s Billiards and Sports Bar welcomed the Florida Pool Tour on it’s first stop of the season this weekend. Saturday’s Amateur 9-Ball event drew 71 entrants while Sunday’s Super 16 10-Ball event was pre-booked with a full field. 
 
The Amateur 9-Ball event was stacked with talented pool players and lots of auction action. A recipe for excellent pool all weekend long. Quite a few new faces had breakout results during this event. Naples player Francisco Diaz, Top FL Lady Player Chris Fields, and Tampa local Mitchell Keiser.
 
In it’s new format, the Super 16 10-Ball Event would host a complete field to some of the best talent in the country. After placing 2nd in the Amateur, James Adams would look strong and hungry to snap off this event. 
 
Top 8 Breakdown
 
James Adams after recently taking 3rd place in the Florida State Amateur 9-Ball Championships showed up to play this weekend. Posting wins over Amine Ouahbi 7-2, Javier Chirino “The Trophy Maker” 7-4, local player Dave Stem 7-4, a hill-hill thriller with Dan Marchini, and finally 7-4 over Rich Johnson would find himself battling Mitchell Keiser for the hotseat. Showing up to that match primed and hungry, Adams would put the set away at 7-3. 
 
Mitchell Keiser would find a way to grind out wins over Mark Wathen 7-4, Michael Stack 7-2, before capturing a $25 bounty on Mike DeLawder besting him 7-5, survived a hill-hill thriller with Miami area player Felix Luna and find a groove against Naples, FL native Francisco Diaz all before falling to James Adams 7-3 allowing James to have the hotseat and awaiting Jason Sheerman on the westside of the chart. 
 
Rich Johnson would have an impressive 5 rounds deep into the winner side. Winning over Jason Richko 7-3, David Uwate 7-5, Daniel Grider 7-4, and Jim Sandaler, all before falling to James Adams. Johnson would not complete another match as the winnder. Jason Sheerman would beat him in a hill-hill match and complete Rich’s weekend. 
 
Upstart player from Naples, FL Francisco Diaz would show some promise and post wins over Lisa McElroy 7-2, Justin Gilsinan 7-4, Finnish player Antti Mattilla 7-4 before falling to Lady Player Chris Fields in a hill/hill thriller. Then falling to Mitchell Keiser7-5. Diaz would then choose to forfeit out of the tournament for unknown reasons. 
Dan Marchini would win against Tony Rowells 7-2, Lee Holland 7-4, Allen Ellison 7-3, Dave Ross 7-3, before falling to James Adams in a hill/hill thriller. On the westside he would pick up George Saunders, but would not take the set, letting Saunders pass with a 5-0, securing 8th place. 
 
George Saunders would put a string of wins together after losing to Dave Stem 7-1. On the one-loss side he would beat Luke Sutliffe 5-4, Mike Lear 5-2, Jim Sandaler 5-3, Dan Marchini 5-0, Francisco Diaz 5-0, before falling to Jason Sheerman 5-2, securing 4th place. 
 
Felix Luna would risk a loss with a hill/hill thriller against Junior Player Trenton White, Jason Bowen 7-5, falling to Nathan Rose 7-4. On the one-loss side Luna would pick up Gary Gilsinan and squeak that one out, only to fall next to Jason Sheerman again hill/hill. 
 
Jason Sheerman had a design that was all his own this weekend. He would lose to Nathan Rose in the second round and then went on to grind out 10 matches in a row to reach the one-loss side final against Mitchell Keiser. Sheerman would go on to beat Keiser and secure his first Amateur 9-Ball title in 5 years, and it just so happens it was at Stroker’s Palm Harbor that he claimed his first victory. Sweet homecoming for Sheerman indeed. 
 
Super 16 Recap
 
James Adams had one thing on his mind this weekend and it showed, it was winning. James had a great run into the finals of the Amateur 9-Ball event and then proceeded to build a charge in the first Super 16 event. 
 
For starters we have Adam Wheeler winning against Donny Mills in a hill/hill thriller. Then he would meet up with Raymond Linares who dispatched Mitch Breedlove 8-3. James Adams would have a hill/hill thriller with Mike DeLawder and wait for Han Berber who had just finished a winning set over Tony Crosby 8-6, an upset since Tony was on a 5-1 deficit. Would not have enough to complete the charge. Jason Richko would best Eddie Sharp 8-4 and wait for Tommy Kennedy to steamed rolled Tim Parisian 8-1. James Roberts would send room owner Jose Del Rio down the hard path 8-4 and wait for Nathan Rose who bested Jason Sheerman 8-6. 
 
Now on the westside, we have Mills and Breedlove, with Donny winning 7-5. DeLawder would then win the set against Crosby 7-4. Tim Parisian would best Sharp 7-2 and Jose Del Rio would march on past Sheerman in a hill/hill thriller. 
 
Back on the eastside, James Adams and Raymond Linares would square off for a chance at the hotseat. Linares would take his first loss in a hill/hill thriller. Adams would be in the second hotseat match in 2 days. On the lower half, Tommy Kennedy and James Roberts would battle for the hotseat, if you call it a battle. Kennedy runs away with the set 8-2.
 
Back on the one-loss side, DeLawder picks up Linares and Linares pushes through 7-5. Jose Del Rio picks up James Roberts and this time puts him away. Del Rio and Linares would fight for a chance to play and jump back over to the eastside. 
 
Back on the winners side, Kennedy and Adams would square off in a close one. Adams wouldnt have enought to stop TK and would go west to meet up with the winner of the one-loss side hotseat. That would be Raymond Linares.
 
After some super slow play, Linares and Adams actually get put on the shot clock and turns would trade. With the pressure of the shot clock, uncharacteristic misses and nerve controlling runouts would put Linares and Adams hill/hill. In the middle of what would seem a routine runout, the sound of a miscue coming from Linares’ cue would resonate throughout the pool room as he left a 4 ball runout to Adams with ball in hand. Adams would finish the set and prepare to take on Kennedy in the final. This would be 2 tournaments in 2 days and 2 finals for Adams. 
 
Now in the finals, Kennedy and Adams trade a couple of racks, with Kennedy expressing his creative side of the game. Creating angles and playing combos, this would put Kennedy up 4-1. Adams would fight back with pressured safeties and consistent shot making. At 6-6 Kennedy would pull away. In the early hours of Monday morning, 2 days of super solid play would seem to weigh heavy on Adams shoulders. Taking advantage of one too many mistakes by Adams, Kennedy would secure his first Super 16 Title of 2015 just before daybreak on the horizon.
 
 
The Florida Pool Tour would like to thank Jose Del Rio and the staff at Stroker’s Palm Harbor for the wonderful hospitality all weekend long. Combined with amazing restaurant quality food, you cannot find a place that can beat that. Stroker’s Palm Harbor has been an anchor stop on the Florida Pool Tour for years as well as the host location for the US Amateur Championships for the last 5 years. Give Jose and the family there a visit and see for yourself why this is perhaps one of the best pool rooms in the country. 
 
Xtreme Pool Challenge came through with another amazing weekend of LIVE HD quality streaming. We want to thank Gary Patrick and crew for producing one of the best streams available and the best prices around. $5 for an entire weekend of fantastic HD coverage is by far a steal in this industry. By supporting Gary and XPC you are supporting the future of pool and the future of this pool tour. 

Saunders and Ross claim titles at Boulevard in Ocala, FL

Rita Kail, Dave Ross and Tony Crosby

By looking at him, you wouldn’t think Dave Ross could mix it up with the young guns here in the south, but Dave had some ideas of his own this weekend. At 79 years old (just might be a Guinness World Record) Ross put on a clinic for everyone to see. Brilliant shots, perfect execution and the steel of a hardened road player made up the formula that worked for Ross. All the while he was as classy and nice as can be. Florida Pool Tour hosted it’s 5th stop this season at Boulevard Billiards in Ocala, FL drawing 42 entrants this weekend in the Amateur 9-Ball event and 32 players in the Open 10-ball event. On Saturday players present were some of the best talent in the region. Jim Sandaler, Raymond Linares, Nathan Rose, George Saunders, Stephen Richmond were just a few of the names to watch for as the event progressed. In the Open Event, heavy hitters Tommy Kennedy, Tony Crosby, Anthony Meglino, Adam Wheeler and company were motivated to play.
 
Saunders would make a charge through Dave Ross and secure an early win against Mike Delawder 7-2. Quiet, strong shooter Mitch Breedlove would fall to Saunders as well 7-4, setting up a match with local player John Wayne (no not the cowboy). Again Saunders would put together a solid set 7-3. Next Saunders would put a stop to Daniel Plumber’s campaign hill-hill. If one hill/hill match wasn’t enough to please the railbirds, Saunders plays Jim Sandaler for the hotseat, down to the wire and then snaps a 9-ball off the break in the top left corner pocket to put a stamp on it and call the hotseat his.
 
Sandaler working out an attack on the field would start with a bye first round and rest up to play Robert Batson, dispatching him 7-4. Next would be a hill/hill thriller with Moe Fattah, Sandaler escaping to press on. Local player Darrin Wasiewicz would have a nice showing for 3 rounds and tough action losing to Jim in the 4th round 7-1. Jim would go on to play against Nathan Rose with him (Rose) giving up 1 rack for this event. A well matched battled settles at 7-5 in Sandaler’s favor. Sandaler back on the east side would square up with Saunders. The two would trade racks leaveing it all on the table going 6-4. Then Sandaler found a groove to put the set away, forcing the Sudden Death 1 Rack Shootout. A couple of early misses by both would setup a formidable runout pattern for Saunders, ultimately cleaning up the rack to claim his title as Amateur 9-ball Champion.
 
On to the Open 10-ball event with quite a few great match ups to start the first round. A couple of notable matches were, Mike Lear sneaking by James Adams 6-5 with a set of tough safety play. Nathan Rose would fall to Anthony Meglino and Tony Crosby took Adam Wheeler to the cleaners 6-1. The Final Four on the winners side would be Meglino, Sandaler, Ross, and DeLawder. Anthony Meglino put up back to back wins at 6-1 over John Hucheson and Mike Lear. Sandaler sent Tommy Kennedy out west to look for movitation. Boulevard room owner Don Kreischer would look to make a name for himself putting up wins over Jessica Barnes and Robert Batson. Dave Ross let everyone know he came to play this time. At 79 years old he marches right over Marcie Wheeler, Bill Stroup, Don Kreischer, before reeling in a comeback set against Mike DeLawder. DeLawder up 5-2 just couldnt stop Ross. Ross would pick up Sandaler and play for the hotseat, Sandaler pulling out a 6-3 win over Ross would capture the hotseat here this time.
 
On the one-loss side Meglino who lost prior to Sandaler, would post a win over Don Kreischer, setting up a shot at Tommy Kennedy, taking the match down to the wire, Kennedy misses a tight safe to let Meglino out with a chance at the one-loss side final. Tommy Kennedy marched on a winning streak of 6 in a row. Dispatching Chris Lucas 5-0, Robert Batson 5-3, Travis Croft 5-0, Mike Lear 5-0, Nathan Rose 5-3, Mike DeLawder 5-3 and finally losing to Meglino hill/hill.
 
Meglino would get to Dave Ross and take that to a hill/hill thriller with Ross capitalizing on mistakes by Meglino, who appeared to have gotten inside of his own head.
 
Jumping back over to the winner side, it was Ross vs Sandaler. If Ross could win the first set he would force a Sudden Death 1 Rack Shootout. Ross did just that, taking advantage yet again of mistakes by his opponent. Winning the lag, Sandaler broke strong and got hooked on the 1-ball. Attemped a thin cut to play safe and missed. Ross stepped up to a pretty tough 1/10 combo into the side pocket and put it away. Cheers abound and nothing but happiness over took the entire room. 79 years old, besting some of the best talent in the country. Who does that? Dave Ross does, with class.
 
Our next event is the Florida State Amateur 9-Ball Championship hosted by Zingales in Tallahassee, FL. With 100+ players in the draw year over year, this is bound to be a fantastic event. Click HERE for more information.
 
Florida Pool Tour would like to thank XPC: Xtreme Pool Challenge www.xtremepoolchallenge.com for the amazing effort and superb quality stream for the entire event. Boulevard Billiards for stepping up to give these players a chance and for being excellent hosts. The staff and food service was impeccable. Most of all we thank you the players, for without your support we wouldn’t be the best regional tour around.

 

Crosby wins Open event on Predator Tour; Palmieri takes Amateur title

Pierre Palmieri, Tony Crosby and Chris Gentile

Tony Crosby went undefeated during the $1,000-added Open portion of the June 21-22 stop on his own Poison Tour. The event drew 32 entrants to Capone’s in Spring Hill, FL. Pierre Palmieri went undefeated in a concurrently-run, $1,000-added Amateur event, which drew 64 entrants, and featured a number of players who participated in the Open.

Crosby, in fact, faced the Amateur winner, Palmieri in a winners’ side semifinal in the Open event. Palmieri reached the hill in that match without Crosby having chalked up a single rack. Crosby came back to win six straight and advance to the hot seat match against Albert Baker, who’d defeated Mike Delawder 6-1 (Delawder would finish third in both events). Crosby went on to defeat Baker 6-3 to gain the Open hot seat.

On the loss side in the Open, Delawder met up with Ray Linares, who’d gotten by Mike Lear and Justin Gilsinan, both 5-1. Palmieri drew Donnie Mills, who’d defeated George Saunders 5-4 and Chris Gentile 5-1 (Gentile, who was runner-up in the Amateur event, had sent Mills to the loss side in the opening round of play). Delawder defeated Linares 5-1 and in the quarterfinals, met up with Mills, who’d eliminated the winner of the Amateur event, Palmieri 5-3.

Delawder survived a double hill fight over Mills in the quarterfinals, but fell to Baker 5-3 in the semifinals. Crosby completed his undefeated run in the Open event with a 7-5 win over Baker to capture the event title.

In the Amateur event, it was Palmieri and Delawder who battled for the hot seat. Palmieri had sent Jason Richko west 6-4, as Delawder was busy sending Jose Del Rio over 6-5. Palmieri got into the hot seat 6-2 over Delawder and waited on what turned out to be the return of Chris Gentile.

On the loss side, Richko ran into Stephen Richmond, who’d survived a double hill battle versus Justin Gilsinan, and eliminated Ray Linares 5-1. It was Del Rio who had the misfortune of running into Gentile, who’d been sent to the losers’ bracket by Linares, and had already chalked up six wins on the loss side, including, most recently, Mark Wathen 6-4, and Albert Baker (runner-up in the Open) 5-3.

Gentile got by Del Rio 5-4 and in the quarterfinal match, faced Richko, who’d defeated Rchmond 5-2. Gentile then gave Delawder his second, third place finish of the weekend, with a 5-2 win in the semifinals. Palmieri, though, hung on to win the final match 6-5 over Gentile.

Garza Brothers Win 3rd Annual Billiard Factory Pool Tournaments

George Saunders, Will Schoonmaker, Erica Gordon, Erik Decious, Amanda Brisson, Bobby & Jimmy Garza

The Billiard Factory hosted its third annual pool festival at its Jacksonville, Florida store. Four events took place which included the Andy Cloth Mixed Doubles 9-Ball Open, the Billiard Factory Junior 8-Ball Open,  the Pure X Cues 10-Ball Amateur Open and the Kamui Free Pro Clinic with Charlie Williams. The big story was about two local Jacksonville brothers named Jimmy Garza and Bobby Garza who split up in events and both won their respective divisions. There was a little something for everyone that came. The Billiard Factory events were all produced by Dragon Promotions.

 

The events drew over 50 players from Georgia and Florida as well as numerous fans who came just to watch and enjoy the fresh grilled barbecue. Players competed from the ages of 7 years old up to 70. In the Andy Cloth Mixed Doubles 9-Ball, early favorites included the teams of Rachel Manning (last year's runner-up) & Asher Le, Shanelle Loraine & George Saunders, and Bobby Garza and Amanda Brisson. Manning and Le made an early upset against Loraine & Saunders but later were in turn upset by Erica Gordon and Will Schoonmaker in the semi-finals. But in the end, Brisson & Garza defeated Gordon & Schoonmaker 4-2 for the title. 
 
In the Pure X Open 10-Ball, 30 players narrowed down to the clash between the event's two best players. George Saunders of Orlando was the early favorite, but Jacksonville's Jimmy Garza had been on a hot streak in the Southeast winning back to back amateur events. Garza took a loss against Saunders in his first match, but came all the way back to meet him in the finals. Saunders had escaped a thrilling hill hill match with Scott Rohleder, but Garza came out strong and in a high quality match, he came out with a 5-3 win over Saunders for the title. 
 
“ We've been keeping an eye on our Billiard Factory location in Florida, and we are really excited to see the fan interest grow. Pro-active events create more loyalty, which is essential to building any business. Our managing partner Erik Decious has been with Billiard Factory for 17 years and his enthusiasm for the billiard industry is something we can all use today," says Tony Stick, Vice-President of Billiard Factory which has 12 locations throughout the nation. Billiard Factory is the largest billiard retail store in the United States.
 
"The events this year were an even bigger success than last year. And we have something special planned with Dragon Promotions this October to commemorate the 18th anniversary of our Florida Billiard Factory location", said Erik Decious, Managing Partner for Billiard Factory.