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Aicinena Takes Poison Lone Star San Antonio Open

Eric Aicinena, Rudy Sanchez and Manny Chau

Eric Aicinena proved he is the player to beat in San Antonio, going undefeated in a field of 57 competitors, overcoming Manny Chau in the finals, 6-5, to capture the inaugural Poison Lone Star Billiards Tour, San Antonio Open 9-Ball Event. 
Recently named the #1 Sports Bar by the San Antonio Express News, Fat Racks Sports Bar and Billiards hosted a stellar event this past weekend, July 8th-9th, featuring some of the best players Texas has to offer. Champions in attendance included Manny Chau, Ruben Bautista, David Guttierrez, and local favorites, Rudy Sanchez, Sam Manaole, and Frank Ferrer, Jr. Fat Racks added a generous $1,000 to the purse, and with 100% payback in the player auctions, the tournament paid an impressive $10,870. Thanks to the support of Fat Racks’ owners, Daniel and Alice Tarpley, title sponsor Poison by Predator Cues,, and sponsors Cyclop Pool Balls facebook@CyclopPoolBalls, Ozone Billiards, APA of North Harris County, facebook@APANorthHarrisCounty,, and Jimmy Jenkins Realty , the Poison Lone Star Billiards Tour posted one of its largest payouts to date. 
This special event featured one, open 9-ball division, as opposed to the two-division format (amateur and open), typical of Poison Lone Star Tour Events. On Saturday, players raced to six on both sides, and on Sunday, the one loss side was a race to five. San Antonio’s Eric Aicinena carved out wins over Cassidy Adams, 6-0, Fernando Colunga, 6-5, Joey Barajas, 6-1, and Candy Ramos, 6-1, while David Gutierrez “David G”, bested Jimmy Jenkins, 6-2, Daniel Tarpley, 6-0, Mickey Woinicki, 6-5, and Santiago Garza, 6-1. Sam Manaole logged wins over Clem Saenz, Justin Espinosa, 6-2, and Nuevo Laredo’s Felipe Yniguez, 6-3, while Manny Chau ousted Rudy Sanchez, 6-4, Albert Luna, 6-3, and Lynn Mascheck, 6-2. As the final four winners’ side took shape, one loss side matches were underway. Following a second round loss to Aicinena, 6-5, Colunga took out Chris Ramoz, 6-3, Neil Khan, 6-5, Martin Ramos, 5-2, Luna, 5-4, and Candy Ramos, 5-2. Following a third round loss to Garza, 6-4, Frank Ferrer, Jr. took out David Gonzalez, 6-5, Mark Canchola, 6-1, Joe Heinaman, 5-2, and Ariel Estrada, 5-1, before falling to Garza, once again, 5-2.  After suffering a second round loss to Chau, 6-4, Sanchez made an incredible comeback, securing eight wins, eliminating Ruben Bautista, 6-5, Jenkins, 6-0, Gail Eaton, 5-2, Sophia Lopez, 5-0, and Mascheck, 5-2. Newcomer Benje Piamonte eliminated Mingo Ybarra, 6-2, Espinosa, 6-2, and David Leal, 5-3, before falling to Mickey Woinicki, 5-4. In turn, Woinicki met his fate with Yniguez, 5-4. As the final four on the one loss side panned out, winners’ side action witnessed Chau defeat Manaole, 6-4, and Aicinena slide by Gutierrez, 6-5. Still alive on the one loss side, Colunga defeated Garza, 5-3, while Sanchez claimed his sixth win over Yniguez, 5-3. Manaole ended Colunga’s run, 5-2, while Sanchez overwhelmed Gutierrez, 5-2. Meanwhile, Chau and Aicinena teed off for the hot seat. Overwhelming play by Aicinena sent Chau to unfamiliar territory, 6-3. On the west side, Sanchez overcame Manaole, 5-2, but was stopped short by Chau, 5-1. Once again, Chau would face off with Aicinena, going head to head in the true, double elimination final. The crowd was silenced as Aicinena took the lead, 4-1, and Chau came back to tie it up, 4-4. Aicinena won the next game and Chau answered back. It was hill-hill and the tension was so thick, you could cut it with a knife. Following a series of forced and unforced errors in the second half of the rack, Aicinena caught a break, winning the final game, and his first win on the Poison Lone Star Billiards Tour.
There were six ladies competing in this event, including Gail Eaton, Sophia Lopez, Kawania Watson, Megan Hardin, Angela Garza, and Clem Saenz. Congratulations to Sophia Lopez who finished 13th-16th, taking home the “Last Lady Standing” award in this open 9-ball event.
On Thursday, July 6th, 2017, the Texas billiard community suffered a great loss with the sudden passing of a dear friend and fellow pool player, Helen Hayes (43 years-old). Upon hearing the news, Fat Racks organized a balloon release on Saturday, raffled off product, and accepted donations, all on behalf of the Hayes family. Over 100 balloons were released in Helen’s honor, and $1,100 was raised to assist with medical and funeral expenses. The tour would like to express its deepest condolences to Helen’s family and friends, and thank each and every person who came out on Saturday to support this impromptu remembrance and benefit.
There were a number of players at this event competing on tour for the first time.  The tour would like to thank all those players and invite them back at every opportunity. The tour would also like to thank Jimmy Jenkins for his assistance in running the event, and Jerry Olivier for performing cue repair throughout the weekend. Congratulations to one of our newest players, Eddie Martinez, on winning the Poison Armour Cue Case, and Charlie Elders and Chase Nevels on winning Poison VX Break Jump Cues, in the Poison Raffles. 
The tour would like to acknowledge and thank its “special supporters” of this event, Veteran Albert Cortez, “Nino”, Tito Fernandez, Pat Castro “Chicago”, and Zach Ballas. 
Serving pool players, pool rooms, and sponsors since 2009, the Poison Lone Star Billiards Tour celebrates its 10th Anniversary in 2018 as the longest-running billiards tour in the south. A special 10th Anniversary Event will be held for players who compete in at least two events between now, and January 1st, 2018. The tour strongly encourages all players to meet the eligibility requirements, in order to gain entrance into this one-of-a-kind tournament. The next tour stop will be held on August 26th-27th, 2017, at Bogies Billiards West in Houston, Texas. For more information, please visit

Morra and Casper Take Texas Open

John Morra (Photo courtesy of

For several years now, Round Rock, TX has been the Labor Day Weekend destination of choice for pool players near and far. At this year’s Texas Open, hosted by Skinny Bob’s Billiards, players and fans were treated to four different events plus an opening night 9 ball mini-tournament. When the smoke cleared in the mini, it was the father-son duo of Ernesto and Oscar Dominguez who split the cash.
Next up was the 9 Ball Ring Game. Thirty two players entered the fray with Chip Compton and Edgie Geronimo being the last two standing. They duked it out with Chip taking down the $1140 first place money.
Eighteen teams were entered in this year’s Jack n’ Jill Scotch Doubles event. The final match saw James Davis Sr and Jennifer Kraber defeat Jay and Belinda Calhoun 7-2 to take this year’s title and $1820 cash prize.
The Women’s Division had a 32 player field. After many matches, Belinda Calhoun and Ricki Casper battled for the hot seat. Neck and neck all the way, Ricki emerged the victor 7-6 and claimed her spot in the finals. Belinda was sent to the west side to await the victor of the Helen Hayes-Chris Fields match. Leaving Helen in fourth place, Chris survived to play Belinda for the other berth in the finals.
This time it was all Chris as she defeated Belinda 7-1 to claim the spot. Advancing to the finals, Ricki defeated Chris 7-5 to pick up $2080 in cash and becoming this year’s Women’s Texas Open Champ!
The Open Division had a full 128 player field. The field was whittled down to 32 players when a second auction and redraw were held. Canadian champ John Morra and defending champ Sky Woodward were the finalists for the hot seat match. John led for most of the match until Sky closed it out 9-5 and again, claiming his spot in the finals.
John went west to await the outcome of the Manny ChauBrandon Shuff match. Brandon squeaked out a victory leaving Manny with a very respectable fourth place finish. John, living up to his nickname, Mr Smooth, played solid pool and defeated Brandon – forcing him to settle for a third place finish.
Since the Texas Open is true double elimination, John would have to defeat Sky twice to win the tournament. The first set was all John as he played nearly perfectly and led 7-0. Finally, Sky slid a bead over to his side and then it was all Sky as the match progressed to 7-4 when the players took a break. The following game was taken by John – putting him on the hill. Sky won the next but scratched on the break, leaving John with a fairly simple runout & forcing a second set. Final score – 9-5.
The second set began with each player notching wins until the middle of the match. After a pair of uncharacteristic errors by Sky, John pulled away until he reached the hill 8-5. Needing one game to win the tournament, he made a ball on the break and methodically ran the balls to claim his first Texas Open title and $20,600 cash!
Congratulations to John Morra and Ricki Casper for becoming the 2016 Texas Open Champs! Great tournament, Sky & Chris!
And, thanks again to everyone at Skinny Bob’s for, as usual, a first class event! And, as always, PoolActionTV would like to thank our sponsors! Our main sponsors include Hanshew Custom Cues, Sanders Roofing, Kamui, Club Billiards in Wichita, KS and Kamikaze Tips. Special mention goes out to Lomax Custom Cues, Aramith, Simonis, Durbin Custom Cues and
Thanks to Terry Hanna and all our fans! Next, we’ll be heading to the Four Bears 8 Ball Classic in New Town, ND – September 15-18th. Hope to see you there!!!

Tara Williams Sets New Record at OB Cues Ladies Tour

Top 3 Finishers: (L-R) Terry Petrosino, Tara Williams, and Ricki Casper

Fifty-two players set a season high attendance the weekend September 19-20th at Slick Willie’s Family Pool Hall in Austin, TX to support the OB Cues Ladies Tour and remember the loss of a local Austin OB player, Emma Stewart-Davis.  This was the second year for Slick Willie’s to host the ladies event and we were very happy to be back at their excellent establishment.  A very big thanks goes out to Rob Mercado for accommodating the OB Ladies again on this weekend of pool and remembrance.

Sunday rounds were scheduled to start late to allow players time to attend the memorial celebration for Emma Stewart-Davis in Elgin that morning.  Emma began playing on the OB Cues Ladies 9-Ball in 2013 and quickly became a positive force on the women’s tour.  Her kind words of encouragement and laid back attitude helped players feel at ease.  Though she played just a few short years on the tour, she was so open and warm, that she made a mark that will last for years.  Her mother said it best about Emma, “She was beautiful when she opened her mouth” – her beauty was both external and internal in the loving way she treated everyone she met.  She will be deeply missed by all the players and spectators of the events.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to her husband, James Davis, Jr, her son, James Davis III, her family, and all of those whose life she touched during this difficult time.

After a late run on Saturday night, fifty-two players were reduced to eight ladies returning on Sunday afternoon. The final two remaining in the winner’s bracket were Ricki Casper and Tara Williams.  The six ladies returning on the one loss side were Amanda Lampert vs Terry Petrosino, with Sheri Palma-Jones awaiting the winner and Kim Sanders vs. Kawania Watson, with Jennifer Kraber awaiting the winner.  Placing in the money, but not returning to Sunday, were the 9-12th finishers: Marilina Nieves (San Antonio), Tam Trinh (Austin), Kari Grant (Austin), and Natalie Mans (League City).  

Eliminated first round Sunday morning at the 7/8th positions were Kawania Watson of San Antonio and Amanda Lampert of Frisco.  Kim Sanders of Leander and Sheri Palma-Jones of San Antonio finished in the respective 5/6th positons.  Jennifer Kraber of Austin took the 4th place position.

Ricki Casper of Houston made her way through Saturday with wins over Rachel Hurst (7-3), Kim Sanders (7-4), Amanda Lampert (7-4), Kari Grant (7-2), and Sheri Palma-Jones (7-4).  On the other side of the winner’s bracket, Tara Williams of Fort Worth was making her way through her Saturday matches.  She posted wins over Michelle Cortez (7-4), Darcy Durham (7-3), Barbara Wisdom (7-3), Tam Trinh (7-6) and Jennifer Kraber (7-3).   In the hot seat match on Sunday, Tara got ahead early in the match against Ricki and didn’t look back.  Tara showed solid play in the match with several run-outs, finishing the match with a score of 7-1.

For the 3rd place match, Terry made her way through six matches in the one-loss side before facing Ricki, to see who would come out ahead to face Tara in the finals.  Just like in the last tour event for this round, Terry was an unstoppable force in this match.  She kept control of the match the entire time and was able to secure her spot in the finals with a 7-2 win over Ricki.  Congratulations to Ricki for her great play all weekend and for her highest finish to date on the tour!  

Terry Petrosino of Houston secured her second spot in the finals in two events and was poised to take on Tara Williams.  Just like the last event, she was coming through the one-loss side and needed to win two sets against the current tour champion to win the event and the $770 first place prize.  She once again jumped in the lead to get ahead 4-1, but Tara worked to close the gap at 4-3.  A few missed opportunities allowed Terry to once again pull ahead again in the match. Tara continued to fight her way to keep it close, but Terry was determined to close the first set out and managed to grab the first set with a final score of 7-5.  Both players regrouped and came back to the table ready to have one set determine the winner.  This time, Tara controlled the match, getting ahead quickly, but this time it was Terry clawing her way back into the match.  Tara once again dug deep to gain a firm lead and was able to close out the final set with a score of 7-4 and take the win.  Congratulations to both ladies for another great tournament!  With this fifth tour stop win of 2015, Tara Williams breaks another OB Ladies Tour record by becoming the only player to win five stops within a calendar year.  She also secured her 2015 Tour Championship with this event, becoming the fourth player in tour history to win the Tour Champion award in consecutive years.

Special recognition and thanks to OB Cues our main tournament sponsor. If you want to get serious about your game, check out OB Cues at

Also many thanks and love to all our families, fans, supporters—we greatly appreciate each and every one of you. Also to the many, many ladies/ players/friends who traveled from near and far; we loved seeing you all again and greatly appreciate you making the journey to play on the OB Cues Ladies Tour. We look forward to seeing everyone once again at Stop #7 and the tour championship stop at Rusty’s Billiards in Arlington, Texas, November 7-8th weekend.

Good Pool, Good Friends, Good Times – we are the OB Cues Ladies Tour!!!!!
Check us out at or stay up to date with instant news by adding us on Facebook/obcuestour

Tournament Results & Payouts: $2000 monies added – 52 players
1st – Tara Williams – $770
2nd – Terry Petrosino – $600
3rd – Ricki Casper – $465
4th – Jennifer Kraber – $345
5th/6th – Kim Sanders, Sheri Palma-Jones – $205
7th/8th – Kawania Watson, Amanda Lampert – $125
9-12th – Marilina Nieves, Tam Trinh, Kari Grant, and Natalie Mans – $90

Best of the Rest Tournament Results & Payouts: $100 monies added – 18 players
1st – Michelle Cortez – $120
2nd – Angie Payne – $85
3rd – Monica Anderson – $50
4th – Helen Hayes – $25

Goody-Giveaway Winners:
$50 Shell Gift Cards (5) – Erin Mickle, Helen Hayes, Julie Stephenson, Darcy Durham, Amanda Lampert
WPBA T-Shirt – Annette Saunders
$30 Tough Luck Draw for drawing the reigning Tour Champ first round – Michelle Cortez

Terry Petrosino Scores the Win at OB Cues Ladies 9-Ball Tour Stop #5

Sophia Lopez, Terry Petrosino, Tara Williams and Michelle Cortez

Twenty-eight players showed up ready for pool action August 15-16th weekend at P.O.E.T.S. Billiards in College Station, TX.  This was the first time the tour was at P.O.E.T.S Billiards.  Special thanks to John Wine and his staff for taking care of all the ladies, fan and supporters.  They were gracious in their service and hospitality.  The equipment was great and lots of room to feel at ease for this two day event.  Extra special thanks to longtime tour player Gail Roles for all her assistance in securing this site and making us all feel welcome in her hometown.  P.O.E.T.S. added $2K to this event and everyone was certainly appreciative of the warm welcome!
By day’s end on Saturday, six ladies would be returning to continue their winning ways in the Main Event on Sunday morning.  The two undefeated players in the winner’s bracket were Michelle Cortez (Austin) and Terry Petrosino (Houston).  The four ladies returning on the one loss side were Sophia Lopez (San Antonio) vs. Julie Stephenson (Keller) and Jennifer Kraber (Austin) vs. Tara Williams (Ft. Worth).  Placing in the money, but not returning to Sunday, were the 7/8th finishers Angie Payne (Austin) and Kawania Watson (San Antonio).  
Eliminated in the first round Sunday morning at the 5th-6th position was Julie Stephenson (Keller) and Jennifer Kraber (Austin).  For the second tournament in a row, Sophia Lopez (San Antonio) took 4th place and showed she will be a consistent top finisher on the tour.  Good tournament to one and all!
Terry made her way through Saturday with wins over Shayla Neris (7-5), Michelle Yim (7-6), Amanda Lampert (7-4), and Tara Williams (7-6), besting the tour champion in her first match loss since the first match of the first tour event of 2015.  On the other side of the winner’s bracket, Michelle was making her way through her Saturday matches with her steadily consistent play.  She posted wins over Helen Hayes (7-6), Julie Stephenson (7-5), Leslie Anne Rogers (7-6), and Sophia Lopez (7-5).   In the hot seat match, it was a slow and steady race to the finish line.  Both players displayed their superior skills at the table, but a few missed opportunities by both ladies, kept the match close throughout.  Michelle ended up on top in the match 7-4 and got to wait to see who would be coming through the one-loss side to meet her in the finals.
For the 3rd place match, Terry once again met up with Tara.  Just like when they met in the winner’s side on Saturday, Terry jumped ahead quickly in the match and never looked back.  With solid play and some great kick-shots, she shut down the tour champion’s winning streak, leaving Tara to settle for a 3rd place finish by a final score of 7-4.
At this event, Terry showed us why she was so successful on the tour in the past.  Her last event to win on the OB Cues Ladies Tour was in 2011.  In early 2012, she decided to take a break and did not participate on the tour in the last two years, but she decided that this was the year to come back and try her hand again at being competitive in women’s events.   We are glad she did as it was a pleasure to watch the finals match between Michelle and Terry.  In this true double elimination format, Terry would need to beat Michelle twice to take the win and she intended on just doing that.  She quickly got up early 4-0 in the match during the first set, but Michelle was down, but not out.  Michelle focused on getting control in the match and came back to close the gap 4-3.  On the next game, it looked like Michelle would tie the score up, but a missed opportunity on an 8-ball allowed Terry to gain another game.  After that, they traded racks back and forth, with Terry coming out ahead in the first set 7-5 and forcing one final set for the title.  In the second set, Terry once again dominated the match early with her solid play and run-outs.  This time, she did not allow Michelle to come back in the match and finished out the final set with a score of 7-4.  Congratulations to both ladies for a great tournament!  
Special recognition and thanks to OB Cues our main tournament sponsor.  Don Owen, Royce Bunnell, we couldn’t have all our fun and excitement without you. OB Cues makes the best low defection shaft in the market.  They also have a fine line of cues with special Infinity inlay features.  Corporate office and factory based in Plano, TX and all products made in the USA.   If you want to get serious about your game, check out OB Cues at  
Thanks again to P.O.E.T.S. Billiards.  If you happen to be in the neighborhood, be sure to check them out.  Also grateful to our other sponsors:  Ozone Billiards, Mz Tam Trinh at for all your personalized and custom pool cases, chalkers, many more goodies.  And the one and only Carter Nakashima, our mentor, our photographer, our #1 fan and mainly our forever friend!  We love you, Carter.  We love you one and all.
Also many thanks and love to all our families, fans, supporters—we greatly appreciate each and every one of you. Also to the many, many ladies/ players/friends who traveled from near and far; we loved seeing you all again and greatly appreciate you making the journey to play on the OB Cues Ladies Tour. We look forward to seeing everyone once again at Stop #6 – Slick Willie’s Billiards in Austin, Texas, September 19-20th weekend. 
Good Pool, Good Friends, Good Times – we are the OB Cues Ladies Tour!!!!!
Check us out at or stay up to date with instant news by adding us on Facebook/obcuestour

Three In A Row For Tara Williams On OB Tour

Michelle Yim, Tina Malm, Helen Hayes, and Tara Williams

Forty players showed up the weekend of May 2 & 3rd at Clicks Billiards in San Antonio, TX to play in the third stop of 2015 on the OB Cues Ladies Tour.  Top players from throughout the Texas area and one player from San Diego were vying for the $775 first place prize in this event.  
On Saturday, forty players were reduced to twelve ladies that would be returning on returning on Sunday morning. The final four in the winners bracket returning were Sophia Lopez vs Tara Williams and Belinda Lee vs Tina Malm.  The eight ladies returning on the one loss side were Jennifer Kraber vs Barbara Wisdom, Helen Hayes vs Tracie Voelkering, Natalie Mans vs Gail Roles, and Kim Pierce vs Michelle Yim
9th-12th finishers were Barbara Wisdom, Tracie Voelkering, Natalie Mans, and Kim Pierce. 7th-8th place went to Jennifer Kraber and Gail Roles (her highest finish to date!); 5th-6th places went to Sophia Lopez and Belinda Lee. 4th place went to Helen Hayes and 3rd place went to Michelle Yim. 
Tara Williams made her way through Saturday with wins over Krystal West (7-6), Terry Petrosino (7-2), and Michelle Yim (7-1).  On Sunday, she continued her undefeated run and to earn a spot at the hot seat with another win over Sophia Lopez (7-4).  On the other side of the winner’s bracket, Tina Malm was making her way through her Saturday matches without much opposition.  She posted wins over Angela Garza (7-1), Monica Anderson (7-0), Natalie Mans (7-1) and Tracie Voelkering (7-3).  On Sunday morning, she continued her run besting Belinda Lee (7-2) for her spot in the hot seat match.   In the hot seat match, both players showed the reason that they made it through their brackets with the tough field that was in attendance this May weekend.  After trading racks until tied a four games apiece, a missed safety by Tina after the break allowed Tara a run out to pull ahead 5-4.  With the alternate break format, Tara broke and ran the next rack to reach the hill, and then Tina answered back with her own break and run to set the score at 6-5.  On the final rack, Tara once again broke and ran to take the hot seat and wait for her opponent.
For the 3rd place match, Tina quickly got a lead over Michelle Yim and didn’t look back, earning a spot in the finals with a 7-1 win.  In the finals, in the true double elimination format, Tina would need to beat Tara twice in order to win the event.  It was not to be though; both players struggled early on to find the level of play that had allowed them to make their finals appearance.  After a few back and forth racks, there nerves settled down, but Tina was already down 4 games by the time she was able to make it on the board.  Tara was able to finish out a few racks when up 5-2 to win the event in one set with a final score of 7-2.  Congratulations to both ladies for a great tournament!  With this third win in 2015 for Tara, she makes only the third player to ever win three consecutive events; Lisa Marr was the first player to complete this feat in 2002 and Leslie Anne Rogers completed this feat in 2004.  Congratulations on an awesome accomplishment Tara!
Special recognition and thanks to OB Cues our main tournament sponsor. If you want to get serious about your game, check out OB Cues at
Also many thanks and love to all our families, fans, supporters—we greatly appreciate each and every one of you. Also to the many, many ladies/ players/friends who traveled from near and far; we loved seeing you all again and greatly appreciate you making the journey to play on the OB Cues Ladies Tour. We look forward to seeing everyone once again at Stop #4 – Legends Billiards in League City, Texas, June 20-21st weekend. 
Good Pool, Good Friends, Good Times – we are the OB Cues Ladies Tour!!!!!
Check us out at or Facebook/obcuestour
Tournament Results & Payouts: $2000 monies added – 40 players
1st – Tara Williams – $775
2nd – Tina Malm – $600
3rd – Michelle Yim – $450
4th – Helen Hayes – $340
5th/6th –Sophia Lopez, Belinda Lee – $170
7th/8th – Jennifer Kraber, Gail Roles – $100
9th/12th – Barbara Wisdom, Tracie Voelkering, Natalie Mans, and Kim Pierce – $55
Second Chance Tournament Results & Payouts: $100 monies added – 16 players
1st – Kawania Watson – $100
2nd – Amanda Lampert – $75
3rd – Yvette Cox – $55
4th – Yvette Reyes – $30
Goody-Giveaway Winners:
$50 Shell Gift Cards (8) – Marilina Nieves, Tara Williams, Corina Campbell, Helen Hayes, Linda Garza, Jennifer Yo, Kim Margeneau, Ricki Lee Casper
MZ Tam Custom Chalk: Yvette Reyes
$30 Tough Luck Draw for drawing the reigning Tour Champ first round – Krystal West
OB Cues Raffle Winners:  Tracie Voelkering and Albert Silva


Chau and Eaton go undefeated to take Open/Ladies events at Clicks Billiards 9-Ball Open

Manny Chau

The Texas Tornado (Vivian Villareal), and Clicks Billiards in San Antonio combined to present a dual event on the weekend of November 1-2, that was billed as both the Texas Tornado Tournament and as Clicks 9-Ball Open. A $3,000-added Open event, won by Manny Chau, drew 64 entrants, while the $1,500-added Ladies event, won by Gail Eaton, drew 32. Villareal, herself, figured in both events. She challenged Eaton twice in the ladies event to claim the runner-up title, and finished in the tie for fifth place in the Open event. The Ladies event ran a little late, offering Villareal and Eaton the opportunity to see the sunrise over San Antonio on Monday morning.
Both events featured the same players battling in both the hot seat and finals. In the Open event, it was Manny Chau and Greg Hogue. In the Ladies tournament, it was Villareal and Eaton. 
In the Open event, Chau had sent Jeff Franklin to the losers' bracket 7-2 in one winners' side semifinal, while Hogue was busy sending Villareal over, 7-1, in the other. Chau claimed the hot seat 7-4 over Hogue and waited on his return.
Villareal picked up her second straight loss, 7-4, against C.J. Wiley, who'd survived a double hill fight versus Eric Aicenina and defeated Daniel Coffman 7-2 to reach her. Franklin drew "Hillbilly" (Charlie Bryant), who'd eliminated Chris Jowers and Ricardo Nixon, both 7-2, before Franklin eliminated him 7-5. 
Wiley gave up only a single rack in his quarterfinal victory over Franklin, and then fought tooth and nail against Hogue, who eventually prevailed in the semifinals. Chau allowed Hogue only a single rack in the opening set of the true double elimination final, claiming the event's Open title.
 In the Ladies' event, the hot seat match followed Villareal's 7-1 victory over Tricia Moses, and Eaton's 7-5 win over Sophie Lopez. Eaton took the hot seat 7-5 over Villareal and waited (a long, long time) for her return.
Lopez and Moses moved to the loss side and picked up their second straight loss immediately; Lopez falling to Ming Ng 7-2 and Moses being eliminated by Helen Hayes 7-5. Ng took the quarterfinal match against Hayes 7-2, and was then narrowly defeated, double hill, by Villareal in the semifinals. Eaton took the opening and only set needed in the finals 7-4 to claim the title.

Nicole Keeney Grabs 1st Place at OB Cues Ladies Tour Stop #6 at Slick Willie’s Austin

First time host Slick Willie’s, Austin, Texas has joined the OB Cues Ladies Tour as a new host site and they had their inaugural event September 13-14 weekend.  The pool room has 34 tables and more than enough space to handle the astounding 67 players that came out for the fun and good times.  
In an effort to inject new faces to the tour, we ran a campaign to waive annual membership dues to APA players Skill Level 2 and 3.  We wanted to sell them on the experience and 23 new tour members came for the experience and 6 players were SL 2/3.  Welcome to all the new members and thank you for joining our OB Cues Ladies Tour family.  Here’s a little glimpse of the calm before the storm.  
Before we get to the tournament details we would like to extend special thanks to our title sponsor–OB Cues.  We are honored that your continued support and interest in the tour keeps us alive and kicking.  OB Cues offers a plethora of shafts, playing cues, jump cues, break cues, and everything is made in the USA.  Be sure to check them out at
So now–let the games begin!
Marquee players in attendance were Jennifer Kraber (Austin), Tara Williams (Ft. Worth), Nicole Keeney (Colorado), Heather Pulford (formerly Austin, now San Francisco area) and Orietta Strickland (Dallas).    As the day winded down, 16 players were still in the Main Event and needed to continue their winning ways on Sunday.  Winner side matches included Giselle Miller (Austin, TX)  vs. Stephanie Reyes (both of Austin, TX); Michelle Cortez (Austin, TX) vs. Liz Mitchell  (Katy, TX); Nicole Kenney (Denver, CO) vs. Natalie Mans (Katy, TX); and Heather Pulford (San Francisco, CA) vs. Jennifer Kraber (Austin, TX).  B-side matches included:  Helen Hayes (San Antonio, TX) vs. Shannyn Brumbaugh (Austin, TX); Sara Bork (Katy, TX) vs. Tara Williams (Ft. Worth, TX); Robyn Petrosino (Houston, TX) vs. Kim Pierce (Austin, TX); Emma Davis (Austin, TX) vs. Shayla Neris (Austin, TX).  With a strong contingent of local representation, fans and supporters were hoping for a local player to climb through the top ranks.  As Sunday matches continued with strong shooting and awesome match play by all, 2 players remain undefeated out of 67 players.  Local Austinite Michelle Cortez tried her best to secure the hot seat but Nicole Kenney was stronger than ever and was sitting pretty waiting for an opponent in the finals.  Nicole beat Michelle with a score of 7-5.
Fighting tooth and nail and strong to the finish it would be Tara Williams to match up against Nicole in the finals.  But it was not without a few scares as Tara, behind in her match with Heather Pulford 2-6, made an unfortunate miss on a long straight-in 9-ball by Heather which changed the whole momentum of the match.  Tara feeling very lucky and happy to get back into the match as she came back and won 7-6.  Next up for her though was another tough challenge from another champion and current point’s leader Jennifer Kraber.  The Kraber/Williams match was rather topsy turvy as both players were struggling throughout the duration of their match.  Lo and behold–the score was hill-hill and Jennifer was at the table with the break.  Jennifer was set on a break and run but as she pocketed the 9-ball in the upper corner pocket, the cue ball came off the rail and scratched in the opposite corner giving the match win to Tara.  
Next up for Tara was yet another Austin opponent Michelle Cortez.  Never let it be said that Austin doesn’t groom strong players because there were plenty of local ladies whose games are sometimes too tough to handle.  After the close matches that Tara previously played, she was well in stroke and defeated Michelle 7-2.  Congratulations to Michelle for attaining one of her highest finishes ever playing on the tour!
The finals match was all it was expected to be.  Both ladies very strong and skilled players and both familiar with handling the pressure–so no trouble there.  In a true double elimination format, Tara would need to defeat Nicole twice to take the prize and at first it looked like she was on her way.  Tara took the 1st set 7-6 and was gunning to win the second set until an unfortunate error occurred wherein she hooked herself on an 8-ball to miss the second hill-hill match.  Nicole finished out the game and the match with a score of 7-5 and the $750 1st place prize money.  Congratulations Nicole on your awesome win!


What’s Hot at 41st Annual Texas Open 9-Ball Championship

What does a pistol dream? To be Smoking HOT! I know some pool players that are looking for their chance to prove how hot they can be at this year’s Texas Open 9-ball championship. It is going to be fun and there are some changes this year I think I am going to like.
I am heading out to Skinny Bob’s Billiards in Round Rock to watch my friends in great 9-ball pool action Saturday August 30th  thru Monday September the 1st, 128 elite players from around the US and Texas will be competing for over $10,000 in Open Division prizes at the longest running 9-ball tournament in US history. This year, they have added a $25 9-ball race-to-three tournament on Thursday 8PM that is open to anyone. Saturday night, the ladies’ 9-ball event begins. Expanded to a 48-player field for the first time this year so more hot players likeAmanda Lampert and Jennifer Kraber will compete against other marquee ladies. More on that later.
Returning 2013 finals match players are champion Warren Kiamco(Phillipines) and runner-up Charlie “Hillbilly” Bryant  (Houston, TX). Kiamco had knocked Bryant to the one-loss side. Bryant defeated Chip Compton in an elimination match to get his re-match as the crowd goes wild. Compton had to come-from behind facing Sylver Ochoa in their elimination match to face Bryant, but Ochoa lost ball-in-hand and the match after Chip broke and got a successful safe on a fortunate 9-ball kiss after a tough 3-ball kick shot in the hill-hill game.
In 2012, some of the most exciting moments included 80 year old Bob Vanover (8-time winner of Texas Open) thrilled the crowd with terrific ball control to put his opponent Gerald Jimenez in the loser’s bracket. Vanover played some astounding safety’s which induced about 6 Ball-in-Hand run-outs to win 9-7.
And I will never forget when 59-year old Gene Albrecht playing with broken ribs came up to me after winning his big day-2 2012 match against Chris Sharier 9-1 to make the final-32 players. Re-cap: Gene breaks up 8-1.  GA makes the 1 on the break and has no shot on the 2 on the other side of the table. He pushes out by kissing the 9 ball closer to the corner pocket as he is looking for the 3-9 combo later. CS makes him shoot the push-out shot and he plays a successful safety on the 2, gets ball-in-hand and makes the 3-9 combo to win and be part of the final 32 players. I was the only one who applauded and Gene came by and looks at me and right out of the “Color of Money” movie, he says “I’m Back!” Yes, you were Gene, he got tied for 9th.
The format is double-elimination, winner-breaks and every seat is a great seat. SkinnyBob says the secret is to sit on the top of the bleachers so that you can watch both sides and place bar orders easily.  I like being up-close and personal to the early round action on the Gold-Crown III 9’ tables with new blue Simonis 860 HR tournament cloth.
IMHO, the Texas Open is a better bargain than X-games, Formula1, and ACL fest for the thrill of being up-close to the extreme action and I don’t want to miss any of it. They have a new web-site this year that will allow keep track of the scheduled matches.
People from all over the Texas come to get out of the heat. Bob installs extra cooling, stadium seats inside for spectators and hire extra wait staff. Don’t forget the snack bar.  AZBilliards publishes the tournament brackets during play and has daily news about the world billiards scene. AZ also has columns by professional writers and publishes their own world rankings and money list.
The Open players’ meeting is Friday night. The ladies player’s meeting is planned for 6PM Saturday evening. This year, they are planning to do the draw early Friday night and announce the 9am and 10:30am Saturday matches so that players who have those 1st set of matches don’t have to hang around until 1am to find out their match is just a few hours away. Another great change for this year is a Friday 3PM $100 9-ball Ring-game, a game with lots of fast action.
I will take my wooden cue-stick shafts in to be conditioned by Ron Geyer of The Custom Cue Connection. It is always nice to play with a like-new shaft and Ron is known for his craft of using a lathe to hone the shaft perfectly smooth; There is usually a long line at his booth in the back.
The Skinny Bob’s Open T-shirt looks great this year and comes in 4 colors in Men’s and Women’s sizes with all the Open winner’s names on the back. They ran out last year so I will be getting mine early this year.
Again this year they are providing players with the Magic Ball Rackwhich is a diamond-shaped, thin vinyl template that has holes where you place the Aramith Belgium tournament billiard balls and get a perfect rack every time. The table has 2 spots marked on the felt where you align the top and the bottom hole, then just place the ball on a hole, and it self-centers itself to perfect spot. In 2010, they used a metal triangle rack called the Delta-13. Players have always complained about the racking process – it takes too much time and players can tilt the rack for an advantage. On TV, they have a surrogate racking specialist, but here the loser racks for the winner. It is important to have the head ball (one) touching the two balls directly behind it to get a good solid break. It is required to drive 4 balls to a rail on the break, else it is a foul.  We always play Texas Express Rules where the winner breaks, so I had to do a lot of racking. No more splinters.
There is a strategy to racking the balls called the 2-ball strategy. You want to place the 2-ball on the opposite side of the diamond from where the player breaks to increase the probability that the 2 will be far from the 1 after the break and make it harder for a run out. My daddy always told me, “Son, never run out of balls to shoot at too early”. But I think that only applies to 8-ball.
Bob is raffling a handmade “41st Annual Texas Open Championship” cue from James Hanshew of Hanshew Custom Cues. The lucky winner will be announced during the weekend. This cue will be part of the Open history, so I will buy my share of the raffle tickets this year. I have my lucky rock in my pocket, it could bring me luck this year. I wish I had one of those Hanshew jump-cues, they are sweet!
Trivia question: Who made the Texas Open famous by breaking and running out 11 racks in a row in the championship bracket without missing a shot? The Texas Open trophy is named after him: The Bob Vanover trophy. It would be fun to see if he can win a record 9th time!
The 2013 Women’s Classic finals was a re-match of the 2012 finals; Vivian “Texas Tornado” Villareal (San Antonio, TX), WPBA Touring Professional for over 10-years (19+ career titles) versus veteran WPBA Touring Professional Melissa “The Viper” Little (Westminister, Co). Watching Little come back from the one-loss side last year in the 1st final’s match looked like she was going to over-take 2012 champion Villareal, but it is so hard to beat “The Texas Tornado”  two times in a row with both players making masterful shots was amazing. I can see why Villareal got her nickname, she was shooting so fast I could hardly keep up. San Antonio is hot right now, just look at their pro-basketball team.
Kraber has been hot lately  – She is ranked 1st in the ladies OBCUEs Pool Tour rankings and won the Legends tour stop June 24th in League City over Lambert in a hill-hill match.  
In 2007, I bought Professional pool player and blogger Melinda Bailey“Mel” in the Calcutta and she won 3rd place in the ladies division.  That was fun winning on her. Bailey is the director of the Omega Billards Tour in D/FW area.
Local ladies Nicole McDaniel and Julia Rapp may see action against top players Bailey, Little, Villarreal, Belinda Calhoun, Veronica "Pistol" Perez, Emma Stewart, Kim Sanders, Amanda Lampert, Helen Hayes and Kim Pierce.
For Info :
Call/text/email Tournament Directors :
 James “Strop” Davis Sr 512-797-8947
John Palmore 512-971-1889  
 Veronica “Pistol” Perez 512-721-8229
or call
 Skinny Bob’s 512-733-1111 Http://
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