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Cardwell goes undefeated to claim Stop #4 on Cuetec DFW 9-Ball Tour

Steven Adkins, Curtis Cardwell and Mark Johnson

Johnson wins nine on the loss side to challenge him in the finals

When Curtis Cardwell won his first Cuetec DFW 9-Ball Tour stop last year, tour representative Monica Anderson made note of the fact that Caldwell had been a “long-time player, (who’s been with us since the tour began in 2017); very loyal, very dedicated, always a contender at every event and just a damn nice guy.”

“His first win (at 2023 Stop #7 last July),” she added, “has been a long time coming.”

As it turned out, 2023 became Cardwell’s best recorded earnings year since he brought home $50 finishing 13th on the Texas Am Tour back in 2011. His second DFW 9-Ball Tour win, this past weekend (April 20-21) – at the same location as his first win last year, at the VFW in Sherman, TX – didn’t take as long. He did it a little differently this year. Last July, he worked through five matches on the loss side and double-dipped another tour veteran, Jonathan Rawlins, in the final. This year, in his first appearance on the tour, he won seven straight, jumping from nowhere in the tour standings to among the tour’s top 10. The $1,500-added Stop #4 on the 2024 tour drew 51 entrants to the VFW in Sherman.

Cardwell got by Robbie Smith (2) in the opening round before facing last year’s tour champion and this year’s current 2nd place competitor in the standings, Gus Briseno. Cardwell allowed Briseno only a single rack, advancing to lock up in a double-hill fight and win versus Hector Guerrero. In his winners’ side quarterfinal, he faced the competitor that he’d double-dipped in the finals to earn his first win last year, Jon Rawlins. Cardwell defeated him 7-5 to draw Dan Bowman in one of the winners’ side semifinals. 

Meanwhile, Steven Adkins was working his way to meet Cardwell in the battle for the hot seat. He defeated Neil Sidawi, double hill, Joshua Paredes 6-1, and Max Sun 6-4 to pick up Mitch Owen in the other winners’ side semifinal.

Cardwell defeated Bowman 7-2, as Adkins and Owen fought a double-hill fight for advancement to the hot seat match. Adkins won it and put up an almost double-hill battle for the hot seat. Cardwell closed it out at 7-5 to claim it.

On the loss side, Bowman picked up Mark Johnson, whose third-place finish in last month’s stop on the tour brought him into this event as 4th overall in the tour standings. Johnson had lost his opening match to Joshua Paredes, double hill, and set out on a nine-match, loss-side streak that would take him all the way to the finals. He’d recently eliminated Doug Winnet (loss-side win #5) 7-4 and Robbie Smith 7-1. Mitch Owen drew Kirit Patel, who’d lost a winners’ side quarterfinal to Bowman, and on the loss side, downed Cody McComas 7-3 and eliminated Jon Rawlins, double hill.

Owen defeated Patel 6-5 (Patel racing to 7) and in the quarterfinals, faced Johnson, who’d eliminated Bowman 7-5. Johnson defeated Owen by the same 7-5 score and then, eliminated Adkins 7-3 in the semifinals. 

Johnson stepped into the finals to play his 11th and possibly, his 12th match (four, or five more matches than anyone else). If anyone had the right to expect a little assistance in the momentum department, it would have been him. By the same token, 10 matches do have a way of taking their toll. Curtis Cardwell completed his six-match, undefeated streak with a 7-4 victory over Johnson to claim his first 2024 title and his second Cuetec DFW 9-Ball Tour title.

Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at the VFW in Sherman for their hospitality, along with title sponsor Cuetec and Associate Sponsor Fort Worth Billiards Superstore. The next stop on the Cuetec DFW 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for Saturday, May 18, will be hosted by Rusty’s in Arlington, TX.

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McMinn double dips Espinosa to recapture Royce Bunnell Memorial 9-Ball title

Shane McMinn and Justin Espinosa

Clark wins One Pocket event, Smith goes undefeated in 8-ball

Though the 6th Annual Royce Bunnell Memorial, held this past weekend (Dec. 10-12) at Stixx and Stones Billiards in Lewisville, TX, did not crown a defending champion in any of its three events (9-Ball, 8-Ball & One Pocket), it did witness the crowning of a former champion. Shane McMinn, who won the 9-ball event in 2019, returned and came from the loss side to claim this year’s 64-entrant, $1,500-added 9-ball title. Last year’s winner, Clint Freeman, was on hand to defend his 2020 title, but finished in the tie for 7th/8th place with Joshua Keller.

Robert Clark won the 16-entrant, $1,000-added One Pocket event, which was added to the event lineup for the first time last year. Last year’s winner, Jeff Sullivan, did not compete. Tom Smith picked up the top prize in the 32-entrant, $500-added 8-Ball event. He was the only winner among the three to go undefeated. Last year’s winner of the 8-Ball event, Jim Ryan, finished out of the money this year.

McMinn’s trip through the 9-ball field, which would eventually take a loss-side detour, thanks to Justin Espinosa, began with a three-match, aggregate score of 21-5 as he downed Eric Hammond (1), Noel Villalobos (2) and Duane Payne (2). At that point, he ran into a winners’ side quarterfinal match versus Eric Aicinena, who chalked up as many racks against him as his previous three opponents combined. McMinn survived that challenge, only to encounter another; a winners’ side semifinal against Espinosa, who’d been battling right from the start with wins over Daniel Gilmore (5), Roman Bayda (4) and a relatively easy one over Jack Lynch (1) in their winners’ side quarterfinal match. Sky Massingill, in the meantime, had gotten by Darrell Smith (3), Mohammad Alrawi (2), Chad Burgess (1) and Shane Hvamstad (5), to arrive at his winners’ side semifinal versus Shane Manole. 

Espinosa sent McMinn off on a three-match, loss-side trip 7-5 and was joined in the hot seat match by Massingill, who’d survived a double hill match against Manole. Espinosa claimed the hot seat 7-2.

On the loss side, McMinn picked up Alwari, who was working on a six-match, loss-side winning streak that had recently eliminated Jeff Franklin 7-5 and Joshua Keller 7-4. Manole drew Aicinena, who’d followed his loss to McMinn with victories over TJ Davis and the event’s defending champion, Clint Freeman, both 7-3.

Aicinena did what he had to do to initiate a quarterfinal rematch against McMinn, downing Manole 7-2. McMinn obliged by putting a stop to Alwari’s loss-side run by the same 7-2 score. Aicinena put up a double hill fight against McMinn in that quarterfinal rematch, but fell short. 

McMinn eliminated Massingill in the semifinals 7-2 and headed into his own, necessary two-match battle versus Espinosa in the finals. McMinn took the opener 7-5 over Espinosa and improved on that score by a rack in the second set, 7-4, to reclaim the Royce Bunnell Memorial 9-Ball title.

Smith endures some strong challenges in his undefeated battle for the 8-ball title

Tom Smith may have been the only competitor to go undefeated on the Royce Bunnell Memorial weekend, but it was no walk in the park. Three of the four (race to 3) matches he played getting to the hot seat went double hill. He got by Jeff Franklin that way, for openers, and then took a breath to shut out Chad Burgess. Joe Pelayo and then, Greg Sandifer, in a winners’ side semifinal, also forced a 5th deciding game in their matches. Smith’s opponent in the hot seat match was JP Kinman, who, by contrast, had played just one double hill match (vs. Blake Kamiab). He’d shut out Jason Judd in his opener, before giving up the two racks to Kamiab, and then, gave up one each to Chris Gaither and (in the other winners’ side semifinal) Doug Winnett.

Smith must have come as a bit of a shock to Kinman in that hot seat battle. Smith turned the tables on him and shut him out. He did not return.

There were only two ways to win loss-side matches; shutout or double hill (2-1). Sandifer tried them both, going the shutout route versus Clint Freeman and, in the quarterfinals, versus Sky Massingill (who’d eliminated Willett 2-0). Apparently bored with shutouts, Sandifer gave up the single rack in the semifinals to Kinman, who ended up tallying only a single game over his final six. 

There were only three ways to win an 8-ball match at this event; shutout, 3-1, or double hill and to complete his undefeated run, Tom Smith had tried all three. He finished with the first two, shutting out Kinman in the hot seat match and giving up a single rack to Sandifer in the only set necessary in the true double elimination final to claim the Royce Bunnell Memorial 8-Ball title.

Gus Briseno, Robert Clark and Daniel Herring

Clark takes two out of three versus Briseno to claim One Pocket title

Somewhat like the 8-ball matches, there were only three ways to win one in the 16-entrant One Pocket event. Matches were races to 3 on both sides of the bracket.

Robert Clark shutout both Joshua Keller and Crispian Ng to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal vs. Daniel Herring. Gus Briseno, in the meantime, shut out JP Kinman and Clint Freeman to arrive at his winners’ side semifinal against Roman Bayda. Clark added a third shutout, over Herring, while Briseno had to battle to double hill versus Bayda, before joining Clark in the hot seat match. Clark went the 3-1 route to claim the hot seat.

On the loss side, Herring leapfrogged over a forfeit by Joshua Keller into the quarterfinals. He was joined by Bayda, who’d defeated Paul Villanueva 3-1. Herring and Bayda battled to double hill, before Herring advanced to meet Briseno in the semifinals. Herring and Briseno opted for double hill, too, but it was Briseno who earned the right to a rematch against Clark, waiting for him in the hot seat.

It took both sets, both of which went double hill. Briseno took the opener to even their ‘loss’ score. Clark took the second set to become the 6th Annual Royce Bunnell Memorial One Pocket champion.

Tour director David “Doc” Reyes thanked the ownership and staff at Stixx & Stones for their hospitality, as well as DFW Pool TV for streaming services. He also extended thanks to sponsors OB Cues, Fort Worth Billiards Superstore, Granite Guyz, Outsville Accu-Rack, Digital Pool, Cavalli, Eric and Becky Smith, Dallas 8-ball and John Eagle Honda.

Dutchover signs on to second Cuetec DFW 9-Ball Tour stop, halts Bayda loss-side run to win Stop #4

Roman Bayda, Jason Dutchover, Robert Clark and Gus Briseno

Jason Dutchover’s victory on the Cuetec DFW 9-Ball Tour this past weekend (April 17-18), only his second appearance on the 2021 tour, rocketed him from tour-ranking obscurity among the 18 tour competitors who share #116 on the points list to #5 on the tour’s list (a three-way tie with Erik Smith and Jeff Sullivan). Had it not been for the 20 points Dutchover chalked up for his appearance in the season opener, this most recent victory would have tied him with the late Jalil Al Sarisi, who won the tour’s season opener back in January, before losing his battle to COVID on April 12. Al Sarisi was awarded a moment of silence at this event and an impromptu collection was taken up for his family.

Dutchover and Roman Bayda, who won seven on the loss side to meet him, fought to double hill twice in the finals of this event. Dutchover won the second set to claim the event title. The $1,500-added event drew 96 entrants to Snookered Billiards, Bar & Restaurant in Frisco, TX.

Dutchover’s path went through Jason Dixon, Calaia Jackson, Charlie Smith, Darrell Smith and Robin Barbour to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal match versus Chris Gaither. Dutchover had chalked up an aggregate score over those five matches of 45-14, or, having won three out of every four games he played. In the meantime, Gus Briseno had gotten by Jordan Gartenberg, Casey Dawson and Don Baker before sending eventual-finalist Roman Bayda to the loss side. Briseno advanced to defeat James Davis, Jr. in a winners’ side quarterfinal (aggregate score now at 45-17; 73%) to draw Harold “Woody” Paine in their winners’ side semifinal match .

Dutchover downed Gaither 9-6, while Briseno was busy shutting out Paine. Dutchover claimed the hot seat 9-5 over Briseno and waited on the return of Bayda.

On the loss side, Gaither picked up Robert Clark, who’d lost to Bayda in the opening round and was working on a nine-match, loss-side winning streak that had recently eliminated Clint Palaci 8-6 and, double hill, James Davis, Jr. “Woody” Paine drew Bayda, who was four matches into his loss-side run and had recently defeated Crispian Ng 8-6 and Tony Loeper 8-1.

Bayda got into the quarterfinals with an 8-2 win over Paine. Clark eliminated Gaither 8-6 to earn himself a rematch against Bayda. Bayda, though, stopped Clark’s run and defeated him a second time, this time 8-6. 

He’d come a long way and Bayda’s final hurdle had to leap over the competitor who’d increased the number of matches he’d had to win, considerably. The Bayda/Briseno rematch went Bayda’s way 8-3, as did the opening set of the true double-elimination final versus Dutchover, which went double hill (8-8). Now both with a single loss, they went into a second double hill match, won by Dutchover to claim the event title.

In addition to the ‘finish’ payouts, $60 went to the last player standing at Skill Levels 4 (Phoebe Simon), 5 (Matt Wilson, Dennis Hall), 6 (Carson Jeffrey, Darrell Smith) and Last Lady (Phoebe Simon, Tina Soto). A $100-added Second Chance tournament drew 20 entrants and was won by Sean King ($200). Jerry Yang was runner-up ($140), with Nayan Tamrakar in 3rd place ($80), Blake Kamiab in 4th ($40) and Phoebe Simon and Ruben Flores in the tie for 5th ($20).

Tour representatives thanked Craig and Jana Lucas and the Snookered Billiards staff for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor Cuetec and Associate Title sponsor Fort Worth Billiards Superstore. The next stop on the Cuetec DFW 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for May 22-23, will be hosted by Rusty’s in Arlington, TX.

‘Heavy hitters’ come out to play on DFW 9-Ball Tour Finale, Briseno goes undefeated

Greg Sandifer, Gus Briseno & Robert Clark

Restricted to competitors who had played in at least one event throughout the year, the $2,500-added 2020 DFW 9-Ball Tour Finale drew 60 of the tour’s ‘heavy hitters’ to Rusty’s Billiards in Arlington, TX this past weekend (Nov. 14-15). A heavy hitter rated at ‘9’ (one of only two ‘9’s that competed) took on a heavy hitter with an ‘8’ rating in the hot seat match and finals. The ‘9’ (Gus Briseno) prevailed in both, going undefeated to claim the title. Greg Sandifer (8) took runner-up honors into the winners’ circle. 

The event paid out to 12 spots and also awarded cash prizes to the top-finishing SL4 players – TD Monica Anderson & Jennifer Hooten – who also won and split the last female standing cash award. Matthew Kindley and Ryan Schmidt split the cash prize for the last SL5 standing and Miguel Hernandez won the prize as the last SL6 standing.

In addition to the cash prizes associated with the main event, the tour also awarded its top three 2020 players with CueTec Cues; Tony Top (8, 3rd place) received a CueTec Jumping Cue, Donnie Gregory (8, 2nd place), got a CueTec Break Cue, and the tour’s top player, Clint Palaci (7), was awarded a CueTec Playing Cue and will receive free entry to every 2021 tour stop. 

Briseno’s path to the win went through Joshua Perez, Chris Ferguson, Neil Nabil Saidawi and Daniel Herring (with an aggregate score of 36-7) to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal match against John Carlo Tuazon. Greg Sandifer was awarded an opening round bye and then got stuck chalking up 8-3 wins over Brendan Fuller, Chris Gaither and Clint Palaci (24-9), before running into Robert Clark in the other winners’ side semifinal.

In a straight-up race to 8, Clark knocked Sandifer out of his 8-3 rut with a double hill match, but Sandifer finished it, advancing to the hot seat match. Briseno joined him, after sending Tuazon to the loss side 9-5. Briseno then grabbed the hot seat, with emphasis, 9-1.

On the loss side, Clark drew Tony Top, who’d followed his 7-4 loss to Tuazon in a winners’ side quarterfinal with wins over Miguel Hernandez 8-4 and Juan Parra 8-6. Tuazon picked up Clint Palaci, who’d followed his 8-3 winners’ side quarterfinal loss to Sandifer with victories over Robbie Smith 7-3 and a shutout versus Roman Bayda.

Clark locked up in a second straight double hill match, only this time, against Top, he advanced to the quarterfinals. Palaci joined him after eliminating Tuazon 7-1. Any momentum Palaci had earned in his decisive win over Tuazon got lost in his subsequent 8-1 loss to Clark in the quarterfinals. 

The ‘momentum loss’ scenario spilled over into the semifinals, as Clark followed his decisive 8-1 victory over Tuazon with an 8-2 loss at the hands of Sandifer, who turned back for a second shot at Briseno in the hot seat.

Sandifer began the final match with a single ‘bead on the wire’ in his race to 9 against Briseno. They battled back and forth and came within a game of double hill, as Sandifer added 6 to his one ‘on the wire,’ which eventually forced a 15th and final game. Briseno closed it out to finish his undefeated run and claim the Season Finale title.

Tour representative Monica Anderson thanked Jeff Pitts and his Rusty’s Billiards staff for their hospitality, as well as title sponsors Cuetec (which provided two cues for a raffle) and Fort Worth Billiards Superstore. According to Anderson, the tour’s 2021 tour schedule will be out in the middle of December. They are securing host venues with plans (Covid permitting) for 11 stops, and five ladies-only stops, as well. 

Franklin returns to the tables, ‘guns a’ blazin,’ to go undefeated on Cuetec DFW 9-Ball Tour

Robert Clark, Jeff Franklin and Gus Briseno

It’s been a while since Jeff Franklin has made an appearance in our AZBilliards database that records all cash payouts for listed players; a little over five years ago, to be precise, when he finished in the tie for 13th place at the 1st Texas 10-Ball Championships at Skinny Bob’s in Austin, TX. His record in our database dates back 15 years to his first entry, finishing third at the 2005 Houston Open. He updated that database resume last weekend (Sept. 19-20) when he went undefeated to win a stop on the CueTec DFW 9-Ball Tour. The $1,000-added event drew 68 entrants to Snookered Billiards & Bar in Frisco, TX.

According to tour director, Monica Anderson, the event drew a lot of Texan ‘heavy hitters,’ which, in spite of his protracted absence, Franklin took down with relative ease; “slaying the masses,” as Anderson described it. He advanced through the double elimination bracket to down Daniel Herring 8-6 in a winners’ side quarterfinal to pick up Alex Acosta in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Gus Briseno, in the meantime, sent Juan Parra to the loss side 9-2 in his winners’ side quarterfinal to draw Robert Clark in the other winners’ side semifinal.

Franklin defeated Acosta 8-1, as Briseno sent Clark west 9-4. On a bit of a ‘roll,’ Franklin gave up only a single rack to Briseno in the hot seat match, to claim the seat and wait for Briseno’s eventual return.

On the loss side, Acosta drew Greg Sandifer, who’d recently defeated Jesus Sorto and Alberto Nieto Garcia by an aggregate score of 16-3; giving up two to Sorto and only one to Garcia. Clark picked up Herring, who, following his defeat at the hands of Franklin, had eliminated Curtis Cardwell 8-3 and Mohammed Alrawi 8-2. 

Sandifer leapfrogged into the quarterfinals, when Acosta forfeited. He was joined by Clark, who’d sent Herring home 8-5. By the same score, Clark then sent Sandifer home in those quarterfinals.

Briseno put a stop to Clark’s brief sojourn on the loss side, downing him 9-5 for a second shot at Franklin in the hot seat. It was the second time in a row that Clark finished in 3rd place, having done so at the last stop in August.

The ‘second verse’ of the Franklin/Briseno competitive ‘song’ was nothing like the first. With Briseno racing to 9, Clark forced a deciding final game at 7-8, to win it 8-8 and claim his first-time-in-a-long-time event title.

In addition to the cash winnings they earned for their finish positions in the event, Mohammed Alrawi, who finished 7th, and Jennifer Hooten, who finished in the tie for 13th place, picked up some extra cash. Alrawi added $60 for being the last-standing Skill Level 6 in the event. Hooten picked up $60 cash twice, for finishing as the event’s last-standing lady and its last-standing Skill Level 4.

Tour director Monica Anderson thanked Craig and Jana Lucas and their Snookered staff for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor CueTec and Fort Worth Billiards Store. The next stop on the CueTec DFW 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for the weekend of October 17-18, will be hosted by The Billiard Den in Richardson, TX.  

Van Boening grabs US Open One Pocket title

Shane Van Boening

Shane Van Boening captured another US Open title, making an undefeated run to win the US Open One Pocket Championship on Sunday in Las Vegas.
The US Open One Pocket Championship started Mar. 23-25 at Griff’s in Las Vegas. CueSports International added $5,000 to the One Pocket Championship and $2,500 to the Bank Pool Championship, which Van Boening also won earlier in the week.
Van Boening swept through the 29-player field, giving up only three games during the entire tournament. His path included wins over: Jay Helfert, 4-0; Nick Beretanos, 4-1; Dee Adkins, 4-0; Ronnie Alcano, 4-0; before beating Oscar Dominguez, 4-1, to capture the hot seat.
Alcano, of the Philippines, would meet Van Boening in the final. Alcano bested: Jimmy Moore, 4-0; Wayne Pullen, 4-1; and Gus Briseno, 4-3, before Van Boening put in him the loser’s bracket, 4-0. On the B-side of the bracket, Alcano beat: Warren Kiamco, 3-2; Brandon Shuff, 3-1; and Dominguez, 3-1, to captured a spot in the finals.
During the finals, Van Boening played nearly perfect, keeping tight control of the table. Alcano won just one game in the single-race-to-five finals format.
Shane Van Boening, $6,000
Ronnie Alcano, $3,000
Oscar Dominguez, $2,000
Brandon Shuff, $1,000
Dee Adkins, $500
Warren Kiamco, $500
Bob Herchik, $350
Ian Costello, $350
Tournament organizer Mark Griffin, who also owns Griff’s in Las Vegas, said the US Open Bank Pool Championship and US Open One Pocket Championship will be held at Griff’s again in 2019, although dates have not been set yet. Both events will be $5,000 added, Griffin said.
“Jay Helfert has offered to add $2,500 to the Bank Pool Championship next year,” Griffin said. “It’s very generous of him and will help us draw a larger field in the future.”
For more information, contact Mary Coffman, CSI Marketing Manager, at 702-719-7665 or by email at 

Rodriguez and Paradowski earn DPT Wins

Chris Paradowski

The G Cue Billiard Store Diamond Pool Tour made its only trip to Tucson this season, with a stop at Pockets on July 15th – 16th. Once again, two new champions were crowned at these events, with El Paso’s Ramon Rodriguez winning the amateur event, and Tucson’s Chris Paradowski winning a marathon final match to capture the open division crown.
Things got underway on Saturday, with 25 players competing in the amateur division. By the luck of the draw, Tucson’s Mike Hamman drew his wife Tracie in the first round of play. Mike won that match going away, but it would be far from the last time fans in attendance would hear from the fairer of the Hammans. Mike Hamman’s trek through the winner’s side included a hill-hill nail biter over Tommy Dilorenzo and wins over Chris Campbell and John Alteri.
Hamman’s opponent for the hot-seat was Ramon Rodriguez. This was Rodriguez’s first DCT tour stop, and he had to play at the top of the Fargo scale, meaning he was giving weight to almost every opponent all weekend long. Rodriguez’s run through the right side of the board consisted of wins over James Bentley, Dakota Conroy, Joe Guerra and Johnny Dearmore.
It appeared that Rodriguez saved his best for last, as he sent Hamman to the one loss side by a convincing 9-3 margin.
On the one loss side, Mike Hamman found a familiar opponent in the form of wife Tracie. After the first round loss to Mike, Tracie put together a 6 match winning streak to challenge Mike in the semi-finals. Unfortunately for Tracie, the rematch with Mike was similar to their first match, with Mike winning 9-1.
The semi-final wasn’t the only rematch with a similar outcome, as Rodriguez scored another 9-3 win over Mike Hamman in the first and only round of the finals.
Sunday’s open division drew a field made up of 16 top players. Stop 1 winner, Gus Briseno, found himself in unfamiliar territory after a first round hill-hill loss to Bret Huth, but he would be back again.
Huth dropped his next match to AJ Jones, who then went on to challenge Chris Paradowski for the hot-seat. That match was fairly lopsided, with Paradowski scoring a 10-3 win.
Meanwhile, Briseno was putting on a 9-ball clinic on the one loss side of the board. Briseno notched wins over Ben Hrabina, Tonee Allin, Tim Christopher and Ruben Silva, by a combined score of 44-9. Briseno then took advantage of a forfeit by Rudy Alameda and then continued his winning ways with an 11-3 win over Jones in the semi-finals.
The finals saw Briseno facing Paradowski in an 11-9 race. The late hour meant nothing to these players as they battled to hill-hill in the first set before Briseno pocketed the final 9-ball. That meant a second set would have to be played to determine the final winner. Again, the match went to hill-hill, but this time it was Paradowski pocketing the final 9-ball and earning the tournament win.
The G Cue Billiard Store Diamond Pool Tour will travel to Las Vegas next month for a stop at Griff’s on August 5th – 6th.
The G Cue Billiard Store Diamond Pool Tour is proudly sponsored by…
G Cue Billiard Store
Diamond Billiards
Casino Del Sol
Aramith Billiard Balls
Iwan Simonis Cloth
JB Cases
Hanshew Custom Cues
Kamui Billiard Products
Slikster Apparel
Your Way Logistics
Big Time Threads

Emmons and Armbrust Take G Cue Diamond Pool Tour Wins

Bobby Emmons

The G Cue Billiard Store Diamond Pool Tour held their second stop of the season at Skip & Jan’s in Gilbert on June 17th – 18th, where they once again crowned a new winner in the amateur division, and a returning champion in the open division. 
The amateur division kicked off on Saturday with 36 players and a new group of favorites at the top of the list. With tour stop one winner Max Maurer over the 625 Fargo limit, early favorites in this  event included Rick Armbrust (619), Lee Brown (619), Ken Laney (618) and Mike Hamman (616). As a testament to the handicapped format of the event, only Armbrust would finish in the money.
Saturday play whittled the field down to the final eight players in the money, with Bob Mizer set to face Scott Vogelsburg (looking for his second big win in as many weeks) and Rick Armbrust set to face Nick Cipiti. The one loss side came down to Steve Stowers vs Wes Sowers and Randy Reid vs Jesse Johnson
As play began on Sunday, Vogelsberg beat Mizer 8-2 in an even 8-8 race, and Armbrust beat Cipiti 9-6 in a 9-8 race. 
On the left side of the board, Steve Stowers eliminated Wes Sowers 8-5 in an 8-7 race, while Randy Reid upset Jesse Johnson 6-2 in a 6-8 race. Stowers would then eliminate Mizer in a hill-hill match 8-6, and Cipiti bounced back from his earlier loss to send Reid to the seats with an 8-2 scoreline. Cipiti would soon be joining Reid in the seats, as Stowers scored a hill-hill win to eliminate Cipiti in 4th place. Due to the Father’s Day holiday, Vogelsberg forfeited his semi-final match against Stowers and the race to 9 final match was underway. 
The final match came down to hill-hill, before Armbrust dropped the final 9-ball for the 9-8 win and first place. 
Sunday’s Open event drew a talented field of 25 players that included Hungary’s Vilmos Foldes, Mitch Ellerman, Stop 1 winner Gus Briseno, Bobby Emmons and New Mexico’s Tommy Tokoph to name just a few. 
On one side of the winner’s bracket, Foldes was on a tear. He defeated Carl Stewart, Ben Hrabina and Brian Long by a combined score of 30-2. On the other side of the winner’s bracket, it was Bobby Emmons making noise. Emmons defeated Tracie Hamman, Eric Young and then Mitch Ellerman in a hill-hill match.
Ellerman took the trip to the one loss side, where he then dropped a hill-hill match to Eric Young to finish in 4th place. 
Back on the winner’s side, Emmons was playing like he didn’t have a care in the world and sent Foldes to the one loss side 7-3 (in a 7-10 match).
Foldes was ready for round two with Emmons though, as he then eliminated Young in a hill-hill 10-4 match. 
Just to prove that the first time was no fluke, Emmons defeated Foldes in the first set of the finals by the same 7-3 scoreline. 
The tour will next head out to Tucson on the 15th and 16th of July for two events on the 9’ tables at Pockets.
The G Cue Billiard Store Diamond Pool Tour is proudly sponsored by…
G Cue Billiard Store
Diamond Billiards
Casino Del Sol
Aramith Billiard Balls
Iwan Simonis Cloth
JB Cases
Hanshew Custom Cues
Kumui Billiard Products
Slikster Apparel
Your Way Logistics
Big Time Threads

Maurer and Briseno Take G Cue Diamond Tour Opener

Gus Briseno

The first stop on the 2017 G Cue Billiard Diamond Pool Tour introduced a new player to the tour’s winners circle, and welcomed a long time member back. 
The new season introduced a new format to the tour stops, which are now divided into a Fargo 625 and below “amateur” event starting on Saturday, and an “open” event for anyone that starts on Sunday. The amateur event drew a field of 45 players to Bullshooters on May 27th, ranging from two players rated 401, all the way to a 621 rated player. With higher rated players giving up one game for every 25 points difference in ratings, the top players struggled in early matches against the lower rated players. Eight of thirteen first round matches were won by the lower rated player. 
One player garnering attention on day one was junior newcomer Esteban Duarte. This teenager from the Tucson area turned in an undefeated Saturday with wins over Adam Kroll, Nick Kline, Mike Hamman and Hopell Ampongan. Duarte was joined on the winner’s side at the end of the day by Max Maurer, Jesse Johnson and Randy Pelton. Joining those four players in Sunday action were Hamman, Ampongan, Oscar Avila and Bob Hillen
Sunday play saw Maurer beat Duarte 8-2, and Pelton beat Johnson 8-6. Maurer then went on to take the hot-seat with a 7-3 win over Pelton.
On the one loss side, Hillen eliminated Hamman and then went on to send Duarte back home in 5th place. The other half of the one loss side saw Ampongan defeat Avila 8-3, but then drop his next match to Johnson 8-7. Hillen then ended Johnson’s tourney in 4th place with a 4-3 scoreline. Hillen then joined Johnson in the seats, after Pelton handed him an 8-2 loss.
The finals were a rematch of the hot-seat match, but this one was pretty lopsided as Maurer ran away with a 7-0 win for first place.
Sunday’s “open” event drew 26 players, and once again the story was upper rated players trying to outrun the handicap. The first round of play saw early losses by Brian Begay, Bret Huth, George Teyechea, Bernie Pettipiece, Bobby Emmons and Pete Lhotka. 
As the field narrowed, the winner’s side came down to one top player and three amateurs with Gus Briseno joining Jeremy Vicente, Fernando Prats and Nick Kline as the only undefeated players. Where other players had struggled with giving up games to the weaker players, Briseno had no problems at all, as he went on to take the hot seat after a 9-0 win over Vicente and a 9-1 win over Prats. 
The one loss side came down to Prats and Pete Lhotka. Lhotka had found himself on the one loss side after one match, but put together an impressive winning streak that included wins over Joey Barrera, Chad Barber, Chris Adams, Martin Romero (revenge for his earlier loss), Vicente and Kline. Lhotka looked to be adding Prats to his list of victims when the late hour and back to back matches appeared to get the better of him. Lhotka faded and lost the match to Prats 5-6. 
The rematch offered Prats another shot at Briseno, and while he bettered his earlier score against Briseno, it was still to no avail. Briseno came out on fire and took an 8-0 lead before dropping two games to Prats. Briseno then regathered himself and put the match away 9-2 for first place.
The G Cue Diamond Pool Tour will hold their second stop of the season at Skip & Jan’s in Gilbert, Az on June 17th – 18th.

Briseno Wins DPT Season Finale

Gus Briseno (Photo courtesy of Rick Schmitz)

The Diamond Pool Tour wrapped up their 2016 with a four-day season finale at Casino Del Sol Resort and Casino in Tucson on November 17th – 20th. 
Day one of the event was about tour prizes and the “Big Dog” 9-Ball event. Casino Del Sol provided a great dinner for all of the players in attendance as Mitch Ellerman and Oscar Avila Sr. were presented with their tour point list prizes from tour sponsors Volturi Cases and Hanshew Custom Cues. Both players will also receive custom cues from tour sponsor QB Custom Cues. The drawing was also held for the pool table from tour sponsor Diamond Billiard Products. Players had earned entries in the drawing by playing in each event during the season. Proving that maybe he should be buying lottery tickets, Tucson’s Mike Hamman won the table drawing for the second straight year. Congrats to Mike, and good luck finding room for those tables. 
Thursday night also saw eight players toss $100 into the ring to compete in a single elimination 10-ball mini tourney. Proving they had no fears about stepping up against the big boys, last year’s top junior Nick Kline and up and coming young gun Sam Lenschow both competed in this event. While neither won a match, it would be far from the last that the players would see of Lenschow at this event. The tourney came down to New Mexico’s Brian Begay and Gus Briseno. Briseno held an 8-6 lead in the final match, but Begay came back to score a 9-8 win for first place. Begay earned $800 for first, while Briseno settled for $400. 
The main event kicked off early Friday evening with 48 players all playing at least one match across both “A” and “B” divisions. 
Nineteen players made up the “A” bracket with the biggest Friday upset Mitch Ellerman’s early trip to the one loss side, courtesy of Brian Begay. 
The “B” bracket saw twenty-nine players in action. The biggest surprise on day one wasn’t a result, as much as a score as JR Ascension scored a dominating 9-2 win over Junior Flores.
Saturday play saw each bracket whittled down to eight players each. The “A” bracket saw Scott Frost, Gus Briseno and Bret Huth joined by Tucson’s Kevin Peterson on the right side of the board. The one loss side was a dogfight all day, with Ellerman scoring wins over George Teyechea and Tom Dilorenzo to keep his tournament hopes alive. Begay bounced back from a 9-2 beatdown from Frost to eliminate Tonee Allin and qualify for the final day. Ellerman and Begay were joined by Mickey Provencio and Steve Peterman on the one loss side. 
The “B” bracket saw Casino Del Sol’s own Paul Feltman Jr. cruise through the winner's side to stay undefeated. Feltman was joined on the winner’s side by Oscar Avila Sr., Todd Rowitz and Al Terpstra. The one loss side saw Sam Lenschow put on a show. Lenschow eked by Kent Bybee 9-8, but then defeated Mike Howerton 9-5 and Eric Beeler 9-6. Lenschow would be joined by JR Ascension, Adam Kroll and Steve Stowers
Sunday play saw tournament favorite Scott Frost shown to the one loss side, courtesy of Brian Begay, 9-6. Peterson sent Bret Huth to the left side of the board by the same 9-6 score. Briseno would then go on to take the “A” bracket hot-seat with a 9-4 win over Peterson. Ellerman would be unstoppable on the left side with wins over Provencio, Frost, Huth and Peterson. 
The “B” bracket hot-seat was taken by Feltman Jr. with wins over Avila and Rowitz. Lenschow would keep knocking down players on the left side of the board with wins over Terpstra and Stowers. He would finally fall to Todd Rowitz 9-5 and settle for a very impressive 5th place finish. 
When the brackets came together, the “A” players did their jobs with Briseno sending Feltman to the left side 9-6, and Ellerman eliminating Rowitz 9-3. With the finish line in sight, Ellerman then sent Feltman Jr. back to his office with a 9-1 scoreline. 
The final match would only go one set, with Briseno displaying his “A” game and grinding out a hill-hill win over Ellerman in the first set. 
With the second season in the books, plans are underway for season three with changes already being planned. Stay tuned in early 2017 for announcements regarding those changes. 

The Diamond Pool Tour is proudly sponsored by:
Diamond Billiard Products –
Casino Del Sol Resort –
Neil’s Garage Cabinets –
Greenmail Internet Marketing –
QB Custom Cues –
Volturi Custom Cases –
Cue Sport International –
Aramith Billiard Balls –

Simonis Cloth –
Kamui Tips & Chalk –
Hanshaw Custom Cues –
G-Cue Billiards –
Billiards Press –
Cheqio –