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Chang Takes Advantage of Aranas Mistakes to Win Diamond Las Vegas Open

Chang Jung-Lin (Courtesy JP Parmentier – Cue Sport International)

Jung-Lin Chang stood at the table Saturday night, clinging to a 6-5 lead. His opponent, James Aranas of the Philippines, had won four of the last five racks to shave Chang’s lead down to a single game. With Chang controlling the break, he could either increase his lead or let Aranas all the way back into the match. 
 
“I didn’t think too much because it was my break,” Chang said. “After that, I had a chance to run out.” 
 
Chang took full advantage of the opportunity, as the powerful player from Chinese Taipei ran out and then used a handful of unforced errors by Aranas down the stretch to win the four of the final six games and claim the Diamond Las Vegas Open championship at Rio Hotel and Casino. Chang’s 9-5 victory in the finals avenged an earlier 7-4 loss to the previously unbeaten Aranas the finals on the winner’s side of the bracket.  
 
“(Aranas) made a lot of mistakes on some easy shots and that allowed me to get more points,” Chang said after the match. 
 
The Filipino opened the title match by using a victorious safety exchange to run out and take an early lead. Aranas appeared positioned to tack another rack onto his lead in the second game but misplayed position on the 9 ball, rolling the cue ball into the blocking 10 ball. He missed a kick shot on the object ball and Chang seized on the opportunity, using two breaks and runs along with an Aranas scratch on the break to build a 5-1 lead in a race to nine. 
 
“In the final I wasn’t comfortable,” Aranas said. 
 
The Filipino broke and ran in the seventh game to cut the deficit to three games and closed the gap even more when Chang missed a jump shot on the 4 ball in the following rack. Aranas appeared to be on the verge of slicing the lead down to one game but missed a makeable 8 ball in the corner pocket. 
 
“That was the chance for me to get closer,” said Aranas. “I was thinking about the shot clock and I was kind of like rushing and I missed it.” 
 
Chang cleared the table to push the lead to 6-3 but the Filipino continued to battle, taking advantage of a dry break by his opponent and adding a break-and-run to again narrow the gap to one game. Chang, who won the 2018 International Open, broke and ran in the 12th game, gutted out a win in the following game and closed out the match in the 14th rack when Aranas overran position on the 3 ball and ultimately overcut the shot. 
 
“The most important thing of all is mentality. You have to go through the pressure,” said Chang. “The last thing is the gods. The gods give you something, you take it.” 
 
The second-place finish is one of Aranas’s best in a 128-player tournament with an international field. The Filipino, who is reigning Super Billiards Expo 10 ball champion, opened the event with three consecutive 7-5 victories against Rory Hendrickson, Chris Melling and Maximillian Lechner. After defeating Ian Costello, 7-3, Aranas worked his way past Justin Bergman, 7-5, then jumped out to a 6-1 lead against Ralf Souquet only to see the German battle back and cut the lead to one. During a lengthy safety exchange with Souquet in the final game, the Filipino jumped in the 1 and 2 balls then ran out the rack to secure the match. 
 
“Ralf is such a great player, he’s a legend to me,” Aranas. “It’s hard to give him a chance to get back on the table.”  
 
Aranas then advanced to face Chang in their first matchup of the way, using two breaks and runs and a dry break from his opponent to jump out to an early 4-0 lead. After Chang used two breaks and runs and a scratch on the break by the Filipino to narrow the gap to 4-3, Aranas cleared the table in the eighth game then took advantage of two dry breaks by Chang to close out the match. 
 
“I’m proud of myself for what I’ve done,” said Aranas. “This is probably the first time I’ve come this close in an event like this. This was a big opportunity for me.”  
 
Justin Bergman is adamant that he didn’t play well during the event. Whatever game he did have was good enough for third place, as the young man from Illinois gutted his way past opponents until fatigue took its toll.
After a 7-4 decision against Kengo Suzuki in the opening round, Bergman took down John Morra, 7-5; Ta-Li Lin, 7-1 and Ko Pin-Yi, 7-5. After falling to Aranas 7-5 late early Saturday morning around 2 a,m., Bergman grabbed about an hour of sleep and was back at the table Saturday morning at 10 a.m. He gutted out back-to-back hill-hill matches against Corey Deuel and Poland’s Karol Skowerski before taking down Chris Robinson, 7-4. Now playing in the quarterfinals on the one-loss side, Bergman split the first six games with Souquet before a missed 5 ball by the German in the seventh game opened the floodgates. 
 
“I changed my mind right before the shot,” said Souquet. “That basically threw me off completely afterwards. It wasn’t a tough runout, I just needed good shape on the 6 ball and, for whatever reason, I changed my mind.”
Bergman cleared the table to take a 4-3 lead, then took advantage of a couple additional missed shots by Souquet to close out the match, 7-3. His luck – and energy – would run out in the next round against Chang as he failed to pocket a ball on the break in his first three attempts. Chang built a commanding 6-0 then held off a late rally by his opponent, ultimately winning 7-3. 
 
“I wasn’t comfortable and he’s such a great player, you have to do everything perfect to beat him,” Bergman said. 
 
It was a turn-back-the-clock weekend for the 51-year-old Souquet, who used his first trip to American soil in 2020 to land a fourth-place finish. After an opening round forfeit by his opponent, the German rattled off four straight wins to reach the final four on the winner’s side before falling to Aranas. Souquet then defeated Ko Pin-Yi on the one-loss side of the bracket before falling to Bergman. 
 
The Diamond Las Vegas Open is a presentation of Cue Sports International and sponsored by Diamond Billiard Products, an industry leader in pocket billiard table manufacturing. The event is being hosted by the Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino and broadcast live on YouTube by CSI Media, a subsidiary of Cue Sports International. For more information, visit www.world10ball.com 
 
CueSports International (CSI) is an international billiards organization which produces the United States Open 8-ball, 10-ball, one pocket, bank pool and straight pool championships. CSI, which also operates national amateur pool leagues, has three divisions: CSI leagues, CSI events and CSI media. CSI leagues manages the BCA Pool League and USA Pool League, the events division produces numerous amateur and professional events and the media department creates live video billiards content. For more information about CSI, visit www.playcsipool.com or find CueSports International on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter.
 
The Diamond Las Vegas Open is sponsored by: Predator Group, Omega billiard supplies and Kamui cue tips. 

Eberle comes from the loss side to win 24th Annual Jay Swanson “Swanee” Memorial

Max Eberle, Ben Sutherland, Tom Kovacs and Chris Robinson

The first evidence AZBilliards documented about Max Eberle was his 9th-place finish in the ESPN Ultimate Challenge (Men’s Division) in February, 1999. The single-elimination event was won by Efren Reyes, with Dennis Hatch as the runner-up. Eberle shared his 9th place finish with Allen Hopkins, Alex Pagulayan, and Johnny Archer, among others. Moving into his 21st year as a cash-earning entrant in the AZBilliards database, Max Eberle began 2020 with a bit of a bang,  working his way through to a winners’ side semifinal and then, three matches on the loss side to meet and defeat ‘young gun’ Chris Robinson-Reinhold in the finals of the 24th Annual Jay Swanson “Swanee” Memorial on the weekend of January 18-19. The $3,000-added event drew 64 entrants to Griff’s in Las Vegas, NV.
 
The field included the event’s current champion, Vilmos Foldes, but did not include last year’s runner-up, Oscar Dominguez. Alex Pagulayan, two-time winner of the event in ’11 and ’12 was registered, but forfeited his first two matches. The ‘old school’ versus ’new school’ meeting in the finals had its origins in the event’s winners’ side semifinals, when Eberle, after victories over Avelino Arciaga (8-1), Mike Hutcheson (8-5), Chris McDaniel (Forfeit) and Mitch Ellerman (8-6), faced Alfonso Moreno, Jr. (it was Ellerman who’d  sent Foldes to the loss side). Robinson-Reinhold, in the meantime, got by Victor Cucuzza (8-4), Ronnie Wiseman (8-3), Ian Costello (8-6) and Anthony Ortega (8-6) to face Tuan Tran in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
Eberle and Moreno, Jr. locked up in a double hill fight that eventually sent Moreno to the hot seat match and Eberle off on his three-match, loss-side trip back. Robinson-Reinhold and Tran came within a game of having their match go to double hill, as well, but Robinson-Reinhold pulled ahead near the end and won it 8-6 to join Moreno, Jr. in the battle for the hot seat. Robinson-Reinhold won that fight, decisively, 8-2 and waited in the hot seat for the return of Eberle.
 
On the loss side, as the event moved into its first money rounds (13-16), Foldes, having won his first loss-side match 7-1 to KC Massey, continued to lurk. He’d win two more; to Chris McDaniel 7-5 and Tom Smith 7-3 before falling to Brian Begay 7-5. Begay would move on to face Eberle, coming over from his winners’ side semifinal fight. Tuan Tran picked up Ellerman, who, after his winners’ side quarterfinal defeat at the hands of Eberle had eliminated James Cabal 7-2 and Ian Costello 7-3.
 
Ellerman advanced to the quarterfinals with a 7-4 win over Tran. Eberle earned the rematch with a 7-2 victory over Begay. Eberle downed Ellerman a second time, 7-5, in those quarterfinals and then, downed Moreno, Jr. 7-3 in the semifinals.
 
Eberle chalked up his first (recorded) major victory since he won the Derby City’s 14:1 Challenge in 2013. ‘Old School’ downed ‘New School’ (in the person of Chris Robinson-Reinhold) with a 10-6 victory in the finals.

2019 US Open Bank Pool Championship Matches Released on YouTube

CueSports International (CSI) is pleased to announce that recorded matches from the 2019 US Open Bank Pool Championship have been released on the CSI YouTube Channel. Thirteen (13) matches featuring some of the world's best bank pool players such as Shane Van Boening, John Morra, Billy Thorpe, Warren Kiamco and more can be viewed in their entirety – absolutely free!
 
The event was held May 24-26 at Griff's Billiards in Las Vegas. The format was double elimination with each match being a race to four (4) except the final match which was a race to five (5).
 
 
RECORDED MATCHES
 
Match 1: John Morra (Canada) vs John Philips (USA)
Match 2: Billy Thorpe (USA) vs Mitch Ellerman (USA)
Match 3: Ian Costello (USA) vs Bill Thompson (USA)
Match 4: Warren Kiamco (Philippines) vs Marc Vidal Claramunt (USA)
Match 5: Chris Adams (USA) vs Michael Dunn (USA)
Match 6: John Morra (Canada) vs Warren Kiamco (Philippines)
Match 7: Shane Van Boening (USA) vs Billy Thorpe (USA)
Match 8: Mitch Ellerman (USA) vs John Philips (USA)
Match 9: Marc Vidal Claramunt (USA) vs Gary Lutman (USA)
Match 10 HOT SEAT: Billy Thorpe (USA) vs John Morra (Canada)
Match 11: Shane Van Boening (USA) vs Warren Kiamco (Philippines)
Match 12 SEMI-FINAL: Shane Van Boening (USA) vs John Morra (Canada)
Match 13 FINAL: Shane Van Boening (USA) vs Billy Thorpe (USA)
 
Please SUBSCRIBE to the CSI YouTube Channel to be notified whenever we upload new content.
 
CueSports International (CSI) is an international pool league and event leader and is currently comprised of three divisions: CSI leagues, CSI events and CSI media. CSI leagues manages the BCA Pool League and USA Pool League, CSI events produces numerous amateur and professional events around the globe and CSI media creates live streaming and digital content. Through its vision and strategic alliances, CSI is “shaping the future of pool.”  For more information about CSI or any of its divisions, visit www.playcsipool.com or find CueSports International on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter.

Foldes goes undefeated, downing Dominguez twice, to win 23rd Annual ‘Swanee’ Memorial

Vilmos Foldes, TD Tim Kovacs and Oscar Dominguez

The annual Jay Swanson (‘Swanee’) Memorial has a way of drawing the country’s top pool talent to the West Coast, or thereabouts. Not that players need much of an incentive to play out there, but the list of previous winners includes players who are recognizable by their last or just a single name; Orcollo (2013, 2014), The Lion (2011, 2012), Parica (2010), and Archer (2008), for example. Last year (2018), Canada’s Erik Hjorliefson grabbed the title, though he did not compete this year. This year’s finalists, Hungarian Vilmos Foldes and West Coast native and West Coast Tour director Oscar Dominguez played in last year’s quarterfinals, won by Dominguez. This year, Foldes and Dominguez met twice, in the hot seat and finals, with Foldes winning both. The $3,000-added, 23rd Annual Jay Swanson Memorial, held on the weekend of February 23-24, drew 64 entrants to Griff’s Bar & Billiards in Las Vegas, NV.
 
Foldes’ path to the winners’ circle went through Butch Barba, Brian Begay, Peter Horton and Fach Garcia before arriving at a winners’ side semifinal matchup against Bret Huth. The younger Dominguez (Oscar, with his father, Ernesto, moving in his general direction on the winners’ side) got by Jay Mulimbayan, Marshall Jung, Robin Figueroa and Ian Costello to arrive at his winners’ side semifinal matchup against ‘young gun’ Christopher Robinson-Reinhold, who’d just spoiled Oscar’s opportunity to play his father by defeating him 8-6 in a winners’ side quarterfinal (father and son would not have played, they never do; Ernesto always forfeiting matches in which he’s pitted against his son).
 
Foldes got into the hot seat match 8-4 over Huth. Oscar Dominguez joined him after an 8-2 victory over Robinson-Reinhold. Foldes took the first of his two against Dominguez 8-5 and claimed the hot seat.
 
Over on the loss side, Robinson-Reinhold picked up Nick DeLeon, who, after his defeat at the hands of Bret Huth in a winners’ side quarterfinal, had eliminated Tuan Tran 7-3 and Fach Garcia 7-1 to reach him. Huth, in the meantime, drew Mitch Ellerman, who was in the midst of a six-match, loss-side winning streak that included the elimination of Ernesto Dominguez and Ian Costello, both 7-2.
 
Huth ended Ellerman’s run 7-5 and in the quarterfinals, faced Robinson-Reinhold, who’d defeated DeLeon 7-5, as well. Robinson-Reinhold took one more step, shutting Huth out in those quarterfinals.
 
Oscar Dominguez, no doubt eager for a second shot at Foldes in the hot seat, got his chance with a 7-4 win over Robinson-Reinhold in the semifinals. Foldes, though, in a final race to 11, claimed the 23rd Annual Swanee Memorial title 11-8 over Dominguez.
 
Event representatives thanked Mark Griffin and his staff for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Predator Cues, JB Cases, Simonis Cloth and Discount Custom Apparel. 

Van Boening captures third consecutive US Open 10-Ball Championship

Shane Van Boening (Courtesy of JP Parmentier)

After being knocked to the loser’s bracket in the third round, Shane Van Boening plowed his way through eight more matches to collect his third consecutive US Open 10-Ball Championship title. 
 
The 2018 US Open 10-Ball Championship started Wednesday at Griff’s in Las Vegas, NV with a field of 45, which included many of the best pool players in the world. 
 
Van Boening, of South Dakota, had wins against Chip Compton, 9-4, and Donny Mills, 9-0, before being sent to the B-side of the bracket by Mosconi Cup hopeful Mitch Ellerman. But it doesn’t matter where Van Boening sits in a bracket, or his competition ahead, don’t count him out. Van Boening plowed through the loser’s bracket to meet Alex Pagulayan in the finals. He posted wins against: Josh Roberts, 9-6; Warren Kiamco, 9-8; Ian Costello, 9-3; Thorsten Hohmann, 9-7; Dennis Hatch, 9-2; and Eklent Kaci, 9-6. Van Boening met Ellerman again in the semi-finals and cast his revenge, winning 9-3, to meet Alex Pagulayan in the finals. 
 
Pagulayan’s path to the hot seat included wins over: Bret Huth, 9-3; Max Adams, 9-1; Oscar Dominguez, 9-7; Ian Costello, 9-4; and Dennis Orcollo, 9-6. 
 
But Van Boening’s determination to win that third consecutive US Open 10-Ball title proved to be too much Saturday for Pagulayan, who fell, 11-2 in the single-race final. 
 
Ellerman, of Las Vegas, made the most of his home-field advantage to make his way through the winner’s side of the bracket, beating Kurt Kobayashi, 9-2; Billy Thorpe, 9-8; Shane Van Boening, 9-7; Corey Deuel, 9-6; and Dennis Hatch, 9-6, before losing to Pagulayan in the hot seat match, 7-9. Ellerman was unable to repeat the win over Van Boening in the semi-finals, losing 9-3, for a very respectable third place finish. 
 
2018 US Open 10-Ball Championships results: 
 
1 Shane Van Boening, South Dakota
2 Alex Pagulayan, Canada
3 Mitch Ellerman, Nevada
4 Eklent Kaci, Albania
5 Dennis Orcollo, Philippines
5 Dennis Hatch, Indiana
7 James Aranas, Philippines
7 Thorsten Hohmann, Germany
9 Omar Alshaheen, Kuwait
9 Ian Costello, California
9 Corey Deuel, California
9 Ernesto Dominguez, California
 
The US Open 8-Ball Championships started Saturday at 5 p.m. and continues through Tuesday at Griff’s in Las Vegas. For live stream of the event, go to http://www.playcsipool.com/live-streaming.html.
 
For more information, photos, contact Mary Coffman, CSI Marketing Manager at 509-308-9814 (cell); or by email at maryc@playcsipool.com. 

Orcollo wins second WCS event, going undefeated in Freezer’s Ice House One Pocket Challenge

Dennis Orcollo

Thanks to a combination of Tony ‘T-Rex’ Chohan and Shane Van Boening, Dennis Orcollo finished third in the West Coast Swing’s One Pocket Challenge in Fremont, CA on the extended weekend of July 4-7. On that same weekend, Orcollo won the WCS 10-Ball challenge, coming back from a hot seat loss to down Ruslan Chinakhov in the finals. Orcollo packed up and moved on to Tempe, AZ, where, three days later (July 11), he joined a field of 50 entrants in the $3,000-added Freezer’s Ice House One Pocket Challenge. Orcollo went undefeated through the field, downing Josh Roberts twice to claim the title.

Orcollo’s path to the hot seat match was relatively unremarkable, allowing his first three opponents (Chris McDaniel, Jose Gonzalez and Eric Young) only two games total in the races to 3. Then he ran in to Scott Frost, who forced a fifth, deciding match, which sent Orcollo to a winners’ side semifinal against The Lion – Alex Pagulayan. Josh Roberts, in the meantime, though he’d opened his campaign with a shutout over Mike Traher, had to contend with two double hill matches to arrive at his winners’ side semifinal against Ian Costello. He’d defeated Chris Adams double hill, given up a single game to Brandon Shuff and won a double hill fight over Tony Chohan (who’d won the WCS One Pocket Challenge in Fremont), to draw Costello.

Orcollo got into the hot seat match with a 3-1 victory over Pagulayan, as Roberts locked up in his third double hill fight, which he eventually won, against Costello. In his fourth double hill match, battling for the hot seat, Roberts ended up moving west to the semifinals, leaving Orcollo in the hot seat, awaiting his return.

On the loss side, following his winners’ side quarterfinal defeat by Roberts, Chohan got right back to work, downing Chip Compton, double hill, and Billy Thorpe 3-1, to draw Pagulayan. Costello picked up Warren Kiamco, who’d been sent to the loss side by Chohan (double hill) and was in the midst of a five-match, loss-side winning streak that had most recently included a shutout over Andy Kachur and the double hill elimination of Jeffrey De Luna (who’d won the 2018 Cole Dickson Memorial that had launched this year’s West Coast Swing).

Chohan and Kiamco gave up only a single game between them in advancing to the quarterfinals; Kiamco shut Costello out, while Chohan gave up the single to Pagulayan. Chohan and Kiamco battled to double hill in those quarterfinals, before Chohan advanced to a semifinal rematch against Roberts. As they had done previously in their winners’ side quarterfinal, Chohan and Roberts battled to double hill, before Roberts downed Chohan a second time, and turned for a second shot against Orcollo.

In a single race to 5, Orcollo completed his undefeated run with a commanding 5-1 victory over Roberts in the finals. For the second year in a row, Orcollo had chalked up two wins on the West Coast Swing. A third victory on the WCS was denied him when Kiamco eliminated him in the quarterfinals of the Freezer’s Ice House 10-Ball Challenge and then went on to win the event (separate story).

Representatives of POVPool (Daniel Busch) and West State Billiards thanked the ownership and staff at Freezer’s Ice House for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Cohen Cues, Big Time Threads, WestStateBilliards.com, KD Cues, Ariel Carmeli (AC) Cues, Tiger Products, and JB Cases.

T-Rex Chohan goes undefeated to claim West Coast Challenge One Pocket title

Tony Chohan (Photo courtesy of Erwin Dionisio)

There are times when the game of One Pocket, played by top professionals, can be riveting to watch. To the point, sometimes, where the end result is less significant than the matches themselves; the journey, more important than the destination. Such was the case in the final match of the West Coast Swing’s (WCS) second tournament, the $5,000-added West Coast Challenge One Pocket, which drew 51 entrants to California Billiards in Fremont, CA. Three days after finishing as runner-up to Jeffrey De Luna in the 6th Annual Cole Dickson Memorial (Stop #1 on the WCS), Tony Chohan (aka T-Rex) stepped up to the tables and went undefeated to grab the One Pocket title of the WCS. He was challenged in the hot seat match by the event’s defending champion, Dennis Orcollo, and, in the finals, by Shane Van Boening, whom he’d sent to the loss side in the event’s third round. Their final match was a grind that, in spite of the game’s tendency to create long periods of relative inactivity as the players jockey for table position, proved to be about as riveting as any One Pocket match can be to watch (available via POVPool’s archives on You Tube).
 
Chohan opened his undefeated bid with victories over Jay Helfert and Ed Neves, both 4-1, before running into Van Boening the first time. He defeated Van Boening 4-2, and then sent Ian Costello (4-1) to the loss side, drawing Warren Kiamco in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Orcollo, in the meantime, having defeated Jeff Sullivan 4-0, Robert Ohashi 4-1. Jeff Gregory 4-2 and arguably one of the planet’s best overall players, Jayson Shaw 4-2, picked up Alex Pagulayan in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
Chohan advanced to the hot seat match 4-2 over Kiamco, as Orcollo was busy sending Pagulayan to the loss side in a double hill win. Chohan shut Orcollo out to claim the hot seat, sending him off to a semifinal match against Van Boening.  
 
On the loss side, Pagulayan picked up Chris McDaniel, who’d given up just a single game in two matches against Omar Alshaheen (0) and Ian Costello (1) to reach him. Kiamco drew Van Boening, who, following his defeat at the hands of Chohan, had won four matches, including recent victories in which he’d eliminated Shaw and Brandon Shuff, both 3-1.
 
Pagulayan and Van Boening advanced to the quarterfinals; Pagulayan 3-1 over McDaniel, and Van Boening 3-1 over Kiamco. Van Boening and The Lion locked up in a double hill fight in those quarterfinals, eventually won by Van Boening. He then defeated Orcollo 3-1 in the semifinals to earn himself a second shot at Chohan.
 
As one might expect from a battle between a T-Rex and a ‘kid’ from South Dakota, the beast won it. They battled back and forth to a 2-2 tie in their race to 5, after which Chohan took over and won the next and final three to claim the event title.
 
Representatives of POVPool (Daniel Busch) and West State Billiards thanked the ownership and staff at California Billiards, as well as sponsors  Cohen Cues, Big Time Threads, WestStateBilliards.com, KD Cues, Ariel Carmeli (AC) Cues, Tiger Products, and JB Cases. The West Coast Swing is on-going with the $15,000-added, West Coast Challenge 10-Ball event, already underway (as of yesterday, Friday, July 6) and expected to conclude by Sunday night, July 8. Three days later, beginning on July 11th, the same group of players will (presumably) move on to Tempe, AZ for the $3,000-added, Freezer’s Icehouse One Pocket and $10,000-added 10-Ball Challenges.
 
Busch and his POVPool crew will be streaming these events throughout the next week, as well as offering archived matches to those who will, for whatever reason, miss them as they’re happening.
 

De Luna goes undefeated, downing Chohan twice to win 6th Annual Cole Dickson Memorial

Jeff De Luna (Erwin Dionisio)

All things considered, the Philippines’ Jeffrey De Luna and the US of A’s Tony Chohan are pretty evenly matched. Their Fargo ratings are 36 points apart, with De Luna ahead (795-759). In races to 8, the odds are with De Luna at (approximately) 69% to 31%. Chohan has been at it longer, though not by much, and he certainly has a physical size advantage. They met twice – hot seat and finals – in the 6th Annual Cole Dickson Memorial Tournament, held on the weekend of June 30-July 1 at Family Billiards in San Francisco, CA, and De Luna won both matches to claim the event title. The event’s two-time defending champion, Dennis Orcollo, did not compete. The $3,000-added event, produced by West State Billiards and POVPool, drew 75 entrants, and was the first in a series of events (continuing on July 4th), collectively known as The West Coast Swing. The events were streamed live via the services of POVPool, with Daniel Busch and a variety of guest commentators throughout the weekend.
 
De Luna drew a bye in the opening round, and then defeated Von Ryan Mendoza, Jason Williams, Bonnie Og, and Yoli Handoko to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal match against Ian Costello. Chohan, also awarded an opening round bye, got by Tommy Soria, Kevin Schiefer, Aldrin Geminano, and Ronnie Alcano to face Neil Vichiensaen in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
De Luna downed Costello 8-4, as Chohan sent Vichiensaen west 8-3. In their first of two, battling for the hot seat, De Luna came out on top 8-6.
 
On the loss side, Vichiensaen picked up Jason Williams, who was in the midst of a six-match, loss-side winning streak that had included most recent wins over Julio Burgos, double hill, and Geminano 6-2. Costello drew Lance Salazar, who was in the midst of an eight-match, loss-side winning streak that had most recently seen him eliminate Alcano and Gerald Bustos.
 
Salazar got by Costello 6-3, as Vichiensaen was busy shutting out Williams. Salazar took his impressive loss-side run one step further by eliminating Vichiensaen 6-3 in the quarterfinals.
 
Though he would fight Chohan tooth and nail to a deciding 11th game in their race to 6, Salazar was defeated by Chohan, who turned for a second shot at De Luna in the hot seat. The ‘second verse,’ was as same as the first. De Luna completed his undefeated run 8-6 to claim the 6th Annual Cole Dickson Memorial Title.
 
Event representatives thanked Delbert Wong and his Family Billiards staff for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Cohen Cues, Deflection Apparel, WestStateBilliards.com, KD Cues, Ariel Carmeli (AC) Cues, Tiger Products, and JB Cases. The West Coast Swing will continue, beginning on the 4th of July with a $5,000-added West Coast Challenge One Pocket event, and two days later (with some overlap), a $15,000-added West Coast Challenge 10-Ball event, both to be hosted by California Billiards in Fremont, CA. A week later, beginning on July 11, events on the West Coast Swing will shift to Tempe, AZ, where Freezer’s Ice House will host the $3,000-added 2018 Icehouse 1-Pocket Challenge and two days later (July 13, with again, some overlap), the $10,000-added, 2018 Icehouse 10-Ball Challenge.

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 mary@playcsipool.com. 
 

Kiamco double dips Van Boening in finals to win 28th Annual Andy Mercer Memorial

Warren Kiamco (File photo courtesy of Erwin Dionisio)

The 28th Annual Andy Mercer Memorial, held on the weekend of March 16-18, at the Rum Runner in Las Vegas, NV, saw two former event champions square off three times to claim the title. Though Shane Van Boening was in search of his sixth win, including four in a row from 2011-2014, it was Warren Kiamco, who’d won his first and only Andy Mercer Memorial 23 years ago, who claimed the 2018 title. The event drew a full field of 64 entrants to the Rum Runner, and was broadcast on YouTube through the services of POVPool.
 
Through his first four matches, which included his first of three against Kiamco, Van Boening gave up only four racks in 28 games. One of those four was chalked up against him by Kiamco in a winners’ side quarterfinal, which advanced Van Boening to a winners’ side semifinal against another Andy Mercer Memorial Tournament winner, Brian Parks (2008). Mitch Ellerman, in the meantime, squared off against Dave Datillo in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
Van Boening gave up the one rack to Parks and moved into the hot seat match against Ellerman, who’d defeated Datillo 6-3. Van Boening claimed the hot seat 6-3 and was a single match away from winning his sixth Andy Mercer title.
 
Kiamco had other thoughts. He’d already defeated the event’s reigning champion, Oscar Dominguez on the winners’ side, and in his first loss-side match, drew Oscar’s father, Ernesto, who’d won the event in 2010. Kiamco defeated the elder Dominguez 6-1 and then shut out Gary Onomura, to draw Datillo. Prior to his defeat by Kiamco, Onomura had handed the younger Dominguez his second loss. Parks, in the meantime, in his first loss-side match, picked up Lance Salazar, who, after being defeated by Ellerman in a winners’ side quarterfinal, had defeated Ian Costello 6-2, and Gary Lutman 6-4.
 
Kiamco moved on to the quarterfinals with a 6-1 victory over Datillo, as Parks was busy ending Salazar’s loss-side run 6-4. Kiamco then shut out Parks for a shot at Ellerman in the semifinals. To this point in Kiamco’s loss-side run, he’d given up only two racks in 28 games (he’d given up 12 racks in 31 winners’ side games, six of them in the losing effort against Van Boening). Ellerman chalked up twice as many racks (plus one) in the semifinals, than all of Kiamco’s loss-side opponents combined, but it wasn’t enough. They battled to double hill, but it was Kiamco who got a second shot at Van Boening in the hot seat.
 
The live-stream, POVPool broadcast of the true double elimination final featured commentary by POVPool’s Daniel Busch, Mary Kenniston, and Jimmy Mataya. In addition to comments about strategy and shot selection, Mataya offered a variety of comments about everything from the Magic Rack to the coach of the USA’s Mosconi Cup team. Often spicy and irreverent, Mataya’s commentary was as entertaining as the two final matches themselves. Kiamco took the opening set 6-3, and as the second set progressed to a 5-2 lead (Kiamco on the hill), Mataya opined that (given the chance) he’d not be picking Van Boening for a Mosconi Cup team any time soon. Van Boening chalked up two more racks before Kiamco closed it out to win the 28th Annual Andy Mercer Memorial.