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Efren Takes Senior One Pocket

James Davis Sr. and Efren Reyes

The Sixth Annual Senior One Pocket Championship was held this past weekend at Bogies in Houston, TX. & Bogies added $3000 to this double elimination event.

To qualify for this event, players had to turn 65 before the end of this year. They came from around the country and ponied up their $200 entry fees. Races were to four on the winners side and to three on the one loss side.
After the players meeting and a rousing players auction, play began.

First round saw Houston’s own James Christopher defeat Jim Tomassoni, 2019’s runner-up Ike Runnels beat the always tough Robert Newkirk and veteran Hall of Famers Nick Varner and Efren Reyes battled it out to a 4-3 finish – Reyes took the win.

Second round matches included Tom Wirth, author of One Pocket: A Game Of Controlled Aggression, eking out a 4-3 victory over defending champ James Davis Sr. and 2019’s third place finisher John Palmore sending Christopher to the west side.

Wirth squeaked out another 4-3 win over Palmore while Runnels sent Gabby Pouncey packing in the third round.

In fourth round action, Wirth’s luck ran out as Runnels sent him to the one loss side and Reyes mercilessly skunked Wayne Catledge. Both Runnels and Reyes advanced to the hot seat match.

Meanwhile, on the west side of the chart, Gabby and James Sr. were duking it out to see who would play the loser of the hot seat match. It was close but James Sr. prevailed 3-2.

The hot seat match saw Efren defeat Ike 4-2 sending him over to play James Sr. Both men fought hard to get into the finals but when it was all over, James Sr. had won 4-2.

Since this format was true double elimination, James Sr. would have to defeat Efren twice to claim the title. James Sr. rocketed out to a 3-0 lead & it looked like he would claim the first set. Efren, however, was having none of it and clawed his way back to tie it up at three apiece! It looked like the match was almost over and then Efren faltered on his out ball! James leaped out of his seat to win the final game and forced a second set.

Looking like he was a little hot under the collar after failing to lock up the title in the previous match, Efren took dead aim and BOOM!!! Eight and out for the first game, claimed the second game and finally won the last game, set and title!

Both players played exceptionally well and left us all wanting for more! Congratulations, Efren! Great job, James Sr.!

We’d like to thank our own Ray Hansen & his able assistant, Adam Cooper, for doing a great job keeping the tournament running smoothly. We’d also like to thank Cody Parrish and his staff for taking such good care of all the players and fans.

Also deserving praise were commentators Jeremy Jones, Larry Schwartz, Nick Varner, Tom Wirth and’s Steve Booth.

And, of course, we can’t forget to thank our fans and sponsors. They include Lomax Custom Cues, JB Cases, Hanshew Custom Cues, Aramith, Simonis, Durbin Custom Cues, Diamond Billiard Products, The Action Palace of Dayton, OH and Fort Worth Billiards Superstore of Fort Worth, TX.

Our next event is at Big Dog Billiards in Des Moines, IA for the Midwest Billiards & Cue Expo – dates are July 14th-18th! Hope to see you there!

McMinn goes undefeated through 128-entrant field to win 38th Midwest Bar Table Classic

(l to r): Chuck Thomas (owner, John Wayne’s Pub) & Shane McMinn

Ten years ago, when Shane McMinn was in the midst of what was his best (recorded) earnings year at the tables, he won three events; two stops on the Midwest 9-Ball Tour, including the 5th Annual Bobby Wells Memorial and the Oklahoma State 8-Ball Championships. He finished among the top four in 11 of the 13 tournaments in which he cashed that year. The bulk of his recorded earnings that year came from a runner-up finish in a Midwest 9-Ball Tour Ring Game.
Throughout most of his career, which began (according to records here at AZ) in 1999, the bulk of his winnings came as a member of the Midwest 9-Ball Tour, in which, since that time, he has cashed in over 35 events. Since 2015, though, he’s only cashed in one stop on the Midwest 9-Ball Tour (July, 2016; he finished in the tie for 5th), as his ‘reach’ has extended to events like (among others) the Texas Open 10-Ball Championship (runner-up in February last year), the Derby City and Music City Classics, the Space City Open, and the US Bar Box 9-Ball Championships in August, 2016, when he was runner-up to Justin Bergman.
McMinn and Bergman met up again this past weekend (March 31-April 1) in another final; this time, at the 38th Annual Midwest Bar Table Classic, where, in the end, McMinn survived to go undefeated and capture the event title. The $5,000-added event drew a full field of 128 entrants to John Wayne’s Pub in Indianapolis, IN.
McMinn and Bergman played twice in this one. They first met in a winners’ side semifinal, while Shane Winters and Louis Demarco met up in the other one. McMinn downed Bergman 9-7 and in the hot seat match, met up with Winters, who’d sent DeMarco to the loss side 9-5. McMinn grabbed the hot seat 9-6 over Winters, and waited for Bergman to complete his three-match, loss-side trek back to the finals.
On the loss side, a lot of familiar Midwest (and elsewhere) faces lurked for a shot at this title, including, but not restricted to competitors like Alex Olinger, Ike Runnels, Dave Grau, and Molly Bontrager. While each of those four cashed in the event, none of them made it past the four-way tie for 13th. Among the event’s final 12, however, were (among others) Dennis Hatch, Shannon Murphy, and Jason Klatt. Bergman came over from the winners’ side final four, and drew Hatch, who’d eliminated Murphy 7-4 and Klatt, double hill, to reach him. DeMarco picked up Josh Franklin, who’d just finished winning two straight double hill matches against Taylor Anderson and DaWayne Pearson.
By identical 7-5 scores, Bergman and DeMarco advanced to the quarterfinals over Hatch and Franklin. Bergman earned himself a second shot at McMinn with two more 7-5 victories; over DeMarco in the quarterfinals, and Winters, in the semifinals. McMinn, though, was not to be denied. He took the opening (and only) set of a true double elimination final to claim the event title. 
Tour director John Klotz thanked John Wayne’s Pub’s owner, Chuck Thomas and his staff for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Bob Meucci and Chris Lawson of Muecci Cues, Accu-Rack, Simonis Cloth, Diamond Tables, and

Derby City Classic Rolls Through Day Three

Carlo Biado

BIGFOOT Challenge Updates:

Skyler Woodward vs. Lee Vann Corteza kicked off the opening racks around 1pm. As every cue swinger of this calibre knows, that’s way too early for men of action. 1pm is about the appropriate time for a leisurely breakfast, followed by a nap: Pool players need their rest.

Sure enough, it took about 8 racks before the cobwebs were shaken off their strokes. Although Sky had his chances, by mid-match Lee Vann’s lead was comfortable enough to keep him from gaining any momentum. Woodward was held at 7.

Orcollo vs, Shaw. The railbirds had figured that the winner of this match was the favorite to win the tournament, although the upcoming contenders would have something to say about that! It took experimentation for Shaw’s signature playing-shape-on-the-one in the upper corner pocket to come into focus. Dennis was determined to show Shaw that his prior performance was yesterday, this was today. They battled back and forth until the business end of the set when Orcollo inexplicably hooked himself. Was it pressure, an aging lapse in concentration? Either way, a huge error. Instead of tying the match at 8, it was 9-7 Shaw.…and, breaking. His one ball, now tamed, was responding. He had total control of the table and Dennis’ future in the tournament. 11-7, Shaw!

BIG foot maybe a beast but Shaw is a monster. He’s fearless; brimming with confidence. His swagger around the table show’s that he feels invincible. No player, or shot, intimidates him. We’ll see how “Eagle Eye” holds up as he closes in on the $16K first prize.

Hohmann vs. Kazakis. Neither player (remember Alex had beaten Thorsten to take the Kremlin Cup) delivered the same fire power of their previous matches. Kazakis, still slow and deliberate, used more extension on the 40 second Accu-Stats’ shot clock than any other player in history. “I am not going to rush,” he explained. “If I have the time, I will use it. I want to know that I am going to make the shot before I shoot.” The quick fired, calorie burning Toasty wasn’t buying in to any “psychology” move from Kazakis, yet managed only 7 games. He later criticized, “I played like a donkey.”

Gorst vs. Biado: It looked like the young Russian gun was going to be held at around 4 when Biado, at 8, missed a makeable 9-Ball. That slip cost Carlo 4 racks as Fedor broke and ran the next rack and won their safety exchanges until they were tied at 8. It was then the fight for the finish caused the visible nervousness of both players to err. Biado reflected, “Playing on a 9 foot, I can think, I’ll make this ball 100% of the time. Playing on BIG Foot, maybe, it’s 50-60% of the time.” He did get to the hill first but Fedor wasn’t done yet. Showing a heart of cold emotionless, he summoned the courage to clamber back and they were soon tied at 10. Coincidently, so were their Accu-Stats’ TPAs; .821!

A safety battle ensued. With Biado getting the better of it, the usually fast paced competitor consciously slowed down his stroke and his breathing. Who knows what his  his heartbeat was doing. Facing a very missable, long, down the length of the rail 10-Ball, he deliberately walked to his chair to take a deep drag on his water bottle. Cooled, calm, and very collected, he casually strolled back to the table and delivered the case 10-Ball snugly into the tight, pro-cut pocket. Jubilant, he jumped in the air, like he’d won the tournament. Relieved, He later related, “That ball earned me 4 thousand dollars. If I missed it, it cost me a thousand!” Onward to the semi’s. Money is a great motivator. Maybe, he’ll make more.

Play continues LIVE from the Accu-Stats Arena:

1:30pm: Lee Vann Corteza vs. Jayson Shaw
4pm: Alex Kazakis vs Carlo Biado
9-PM: The Finals

Don’t miss a stroke at

The DCC Bank Pool Championships

With 22 players in heated rivalry, Dennis Hatch, Warren Kiamko, Chris Melling, Larry Nevel, “Piggy banks” Rogers, Ike Runnels, and Billy Thorpe are still undefeated. Tony Chohan eliminated Scott Frost, Shannon Murphy sent Shannon Daulton to concentrate on 1-Pocket and, as did Ike Runnels with Danny Smith.

Bank Pool continues at 5:30 pm

Don’t forget there’s more disciplines to come:

The DCC One Pocket Championships is underway with 347 players.

The George Fels Memorial Straight Pool Challenge is streaming at

Dennis Orcollo got the annual event off to a rocketing start with the high-run of the day of 198. Shaw is fast on his heels with a 168, Taiwan’s Li Wen Lo: 138, Johann Chua: 115; Thorsten Hohmann, 112; Lee Vann Corteza, 105; John Schmidt, 98; Alex Pagulayan, 91. The 14.1 event runs thru the week as the 8 with the highest runs face off in single elimination. If scheduling permits, Accu-Stats will stream, at least, the finals.

The DCC 9-Ball Championships commences Wednesday.

BANKS RING GAME, on the Accu-Stats screen on Friday the 27th, will have the winner-take-all battle for the cash as, typically, the last 2 are usually banking for near a thousand a ball.

Don’t miss a stroke at

Accu-Stats thanks its Arena Sponsors: Diamond Billiards, Simonis Cloth, Cyclop Balls, Cue and Case, MEZZ Cues, McDermott Cues, National Billiard Academy, OB Cues, and Samsara Cues.


Photography Courtesy of David Thomson,


Banks and Bigfoot Progress at DCC

Fedor Gorst

Derby City Classic XIX, January 20-28, 2017

Diamond BIG Foot Challenge

As has been mentioned in the past, BIG Foot is a beast. Especially, if you’ve had only a few hours prior practice time on it. Or the Diamond Pro Cut pockets that were once forgiving are now tightening up as the Simonis 860 cloth gets broken in. There were more balls jawed today than yesterday which certainly affected player confidence and how soon they could warm to the conditions which, ultimately, could lower their Accu-Stats TPA score.
In Thorsten Hohmann’s opening bout with 2015 US Open finalist Karl Boyes, “Toasty” certainly acclimatized quicker then Karl who was playing catch up from the get go. Neither player had competed on BIG Foot before tho,’ within a few games Hohmann was running out like he would on a 9 foot. His highest TPA was a very respectable .943. It lowered a little to .931 before Karl succumbed at 11-6.
Up next was Alex Pagulayan against the second half of the Greek contingent, the somewhat unknown Alex Kazakis.
Altho,’ slow and deliberate, Kazakis showed considerable promise as he broke and ran before getting out of line on the 9. The Lion was left an uncomfortably long opening shot on the 10. The Cyclop orb bit into the jaw and was spat out to leave the Greek a one – nil lead. Kazakis then broke and ran the next 4 racks!
Alex P was unusually quiet. He got a look at a ball but, as position was difficult, his inning didn’t last long. 6-0. Kazakis then ran two more racks: 8-0 with a TPA of .949. His pace began to quicken yet, was still nowhere near Alex’s normal speed. A back and forth rack gave Alex a look at a hook, Tho,’ cold, not just from sitting but also from the powerful a/c blowing on his back, he kicked it so well, the ball sped to the pocket to allow him  his first rack; 8-1. Kazakis was soon back at the table: 9-1, and a dry break.
The closer Kazakis got the finish line, the harder it got to close. Alex mustered 5 more wins before Kazakis got on the hill. Then, in true championship style, he broke and ran the last rack. Neither Alex, nor the audience, knew what just hit them. This unknown quantity had shown up on these shores and taken total control of the match from its onset. Was this pulverizing of Pagulayan an upset? After closer inquiry, not quite.
Kazakis, hailing from Athens, was 25. He’d gotten 2nd on a couple of Euro Tour events when falling to Mosconi Cup teammates Niels Feijen and Mark Gray. He was a both a recent European 10-Ball Champion and the winner of Moscow’s Kremlin Cup. There he beat Thorsten Hohmann.
Here, he also avenged Shaw’s pounding of Ekonomoupoulis.
Next, in the line of fire, was a 16 year old. Fedor Gorst, an amiable, Russian teenage prodigy who has taken pool very seriously. He was smitten so severely, by 10, he’d asked his parents to pay for a personal coach. He wanted to know more.
Since then, he’s achievements include taking two European Junior Championship titles, one in 14.1 and one in 10-Ball. He won his first Pro event at the Lamia Open 9-Ball Championship in Greece last year.
Now, he’s in the twilight world of Derby City BIG Foot, with an hours practice on it, and his opponent is Darren Appleton. Fade that with the additional pressure of the worldwide Accu-Stats audience.
Appleton opened quite well and soon attained a comfortable 4-1 lead before the young Muscovite made his move. Ahead 7-4 Darren got stuck. Seeing Appleton falter, Fedor lunged and led for most of the remainder of the match.
Physically, and emotionally, Darren was visibly cold. He had donned another top to beat the chill of the arena’s over-amped a/c. He was offered opportunity at 9-10. Appleton applied himself and got to the hill. Again, he had control of the table, and the match, but it wasn’t to be. He just couldn’t muster the fire, or will, power to complete the deal. The youngster pounced and ran an admirable closing rack to add another notch to his belt.
Ironically, the player he’d beaten, to get to the quarters, in Lamia was Appleton.
Maybe, it was the temperature of the arena as neither Biado nor Chinahov could find the heat of their A game, either.
Carlo is a merciless Filipino easily capable of an 8 pack in 9-Ball who revels in high stakes action. Ruslan is a dedicated Russian devotee of the game who thrives on competition in any discipline. Remember that he had also beaten Jayson Shaw in the George Fels 14.1 Finals in 2015.
When Biado got ahead 9-5, death looked imminent for Ruslan. But, Carlo couldn’t close. In a last ditch effort, Chinahov managed to clamber to 8 before Biado put the match to bed.
The good news is that Ruslan won’t have to play Fedor, his fellow Russian friend. Biado will.
Matches continue on Sunday:
1pm: Skyler Woodward meets Lee Vann Corteza
3:30: Dennis Orcollo vs. Jayson Shaw
7pm: Thorsten Hohmann vs. Alex Kazakis
9:30: Fedor Gorst vs Carlo Biado
It’s all LIVE from the Accu-Stats Arena. Don’t miss a stroke at
The DCC Bank Pool Championships
In search of his 4th title, 2016 DCC Bank Pool Champion, John Brumback, drew DCC 2013, #3, Shannon Murphy in reputedly one of the best banks matches ever played. As the word spread, about 150 spectators huddled along the rail sweating it along with them.
In the race to 3, each player had missed only one ball. Brumback had the lead at 2-1 when Shannon tied it at 2…and broke the deciding rack, dry. John ran 5 and out!
He later reported, “I was so deep in the zone that I didn’t even know I’d won. I was walking to shoot the next ball when Shannon stood up and took my hand. That’s when It sank in.” Now that, for those of you who strive for it, is playing in the zone.
Shane Van Boening had an interesting encounter with Taiwan’s Li Wen Lo. Tied at 2, Shane was in search of one last ball. Li Wen would have none of it. He had the remaining 5 balls on the table tied up so tight that Shane, rarely a safety player, was showing signs of frustration as they nudged balls, safe, into the shelf of the pocket. Shane doesn’t like not pocketing balls. At last, Lo let one leak. Van Boening closed the door with a very tasty 4 railer. Even Lo had to smile.
Those 435 entrants are now down to 92–How quickly they crumble.
Carlo Biado was shaken when 73 year old banking veteran Jim Fulcher showed him the door. Also eliminated, Corey Deuel by Tony Chohan, Pagulayan by Shannon Daulton, Efren by the dynamic Billy Thorpe. Nemesis Cliff Joyner had previously sent Efren to buy back tho,’ sadly, he is, reportedly, under the weather. 
Appleton, Bergman, Bustamante, Chinahov, Hatch, Kiamko, Murphy, Larry Nevel, Glenn “Piggy Banks” Rogers, Ike Runnels, Rob Saez, Shaw, Danny Smith, to name some of the better known players, are safely into round 7.
Don’t forget there’s more disciplines to come:
The DCC One Pocket Championships commences Sunday afternoon.
The George Fels Memorial Straight Pool Challenge begins streaming on Sunday at
The 14.1 event runs thru the week as the 8 with the highest runs face off in single elimination. If scheduling permits, Accu-Stats will stream, at least, the finals.
The DCC 9-Ball Championships commences Wednesday.
BANKS RING GAME, on the Accu-Stats screen on Friday the 27th, will have the winner-take-all battle for the cash as, typically, the last 2 are usually banking for near a thousand a ball.
Don’t miss a stroke at
Accu-Stats thanks its Arena Sponsors: Diamond Billiards, Simonis Cloth, Cyclop Balls, Cue and Case, MEZZ Cues, McDermott Cues, National Billiard Academy, OB Cues, and Samsara Cues.

Photography Courtesy of David Thomson,

Bergman double dips Runnels to win 34th Brickyard Classic

Justin Bergman

Justin Bergman came from the loss side to double dip Ike Runnels in the finals of the 34th Brickyard Classic, otherwise known as the Midwest Bar Table Classic, held on the weekend of March 19-20. Run since 1981, and to the best of our knowledge, the second oldest major event in the sport (next to the US Open 9-Ball Championships), the Brickyard Classic did not celebrate 35 years, because they missed a year. The event drew 64 entrants to Brickyard Billiards in Indianapolis, IN.
Bergman's path to the winners' circle, which, given his recent history, one might have assumed would go undefeated, ran into a speed bump in a winners' side semifinal against Alex Olinger, who sent him to the loss side 9-7. Olinger moved on to face Runnels in the hot seat match; Runnels, having sent Dennis Hatch over, 9-4. Runnels claimed the hot seat rather handily, defeating Olinger 9-1 and waited on Bergman's return.
On the loss side, Bergman picked up Billy Thorpe, who'd gotten by Mark Hanson 7-2 and Roger Wall 7-4. Hatch drew Shane Winters, who'd defeated Jason Klatt 7-5 and eliminated Drake Niepotter 7-1. From the point at which Bergman and Hatch arrived on the loss side, every match, leading to the finals, was won by a 7-5 score. 
Bergman and Winters defeated Thorpe and Hatch, respectively, and advanced to the quarterfinals. Bergman then eliminated Winters, and in the re-match, wreaked his vengeance on Olinger in the semifinals.
Bergman completed his title run in a double elimination final. He won the opening set 9-4 and gave up only a single rack in the second set, winning it 7-1.

US Open 8-Ball Final Six Players

Mike Dechaine

Play began bright and early at 10:00 AM at the US Open 8-Ball Championship, with forty eight players still harboring hopes of earning the $11,000 available in first place prize money. Thirty nine players had already been eliminated here at the Rio in Las Vegas, with another sixteen players fated to join them after the first round of the day. 
Erik Hjorliefson led Corey Deuel 2-1 before the wheels fell off and Deuel won eight straight games for the 9-2 win, sending Erik back to Canada in 33rd place.
Filipino Raymond Faraon had a longer trip home after his 9-4 loss to Johnny Archer on the TV table. Faraon failed to get out twice after making a ball on the break in this match, and that was two times too many against a veteran the likes of Archer.
Other players who were eliminated in the first round of the day included Tony Chohan, Jeremy Sossei, Justin Bergman and Amar Kang.
Noon play saw the winner’s side in action, and there was no shortage of marquee matches. Mike Dechaine rebounded from an early 0-2 deficit and defeated Oscar Dominguez 9-5. 
Warren Kiamco won what was most likely the match of the day with his hill-hill win over Darren Appleton. Neither player could take any control in this match, and neither player managed a lead of more than one rack. It finally came down to Kiamco, who had won the opening lag, breaking and running the rack to send Appleton to the one loss side.
Other noon winners were Craig Riley over Jason Klatt, Shane Van Boening over Tony Robles and Jeffrey Ignacio over Rafael Martinez on the winners side. The one loss side saw the eliminations of Johnny Archer, Alex Pagulayan, Dennis Hatch and Scott Frost. Frost came up short in a comeback attempt against Danny Olson. Olson led the match 6-2, but Frost came back to tie it at 6-6 before losing to Olson 9-7.
The 2pm round did see a successful comeback by Jayson Shaw as he clawed back from a 4-0 deficit to defeat Tony Robles 9-8. Darren Appleton couldn’t find his game after the heartbreaking loss to Kiamco and went on to lose to Skyler Woodward 9-6 in the 2pm round. Oscar Dominguez’s campaign also came to and end at the cue of Thorsten Hohmann in another hill-hill match.
The 4pm round saw action on both sides of the brackets with Shane Van Boening showing the remaining players that he isn’t letting up in his quest for another tournament win. He ran over Jeffrey Ignacio 9-3 in a match that wasn’t even that close. Other 4pm winners were Mike Dechaine over Warren Kiamco 9-5, John Morra over Ike Runnels 9-4 and Rodney Morris over Craig Riley 9-3.
By the 6pm rounds, the long hours under heat were finally starting to get to the players. John Morra took on Rodney Morris on the TV table in one of the winners side final four matches, and it was definitely a match that Morra will want to forget. Morra missed balls in the first two racks and it was all downhill from there as Morris showed no mercy in a 9-2 final scoreline. The other final four winners side match saw Mike Dechaine taking on reigning US Open 8-Ball Champion Shane Van Boening. Shane led this match 4-1 before Dechaine won five straight games to take a 6-4 lead. Shane would fight back, but not be able to overcome the two rack deficit as Dechaine won the match 9-7.
The final round of the day contained two matches on the one loss side with Rafael Martinez facing Skyler Woodward and Jason Klatt taking on Dennis Orcollo. Woodward came out strong early against Martinez, but faded down the stretch as Martinez came back for the 9-7 win. The Orcollo/Klatt match was slightly less competitive as Klatt seemed lost at the table and lost to Orcollo 9-1.
This leaves six players with hopes of winning the event. Mike Dechaine will face Rodney Morris for the hot-seat, while Shane Van Boening takes on Rafael Martinez and John Morra plays Dennis Orcollo on the one loss side.
To follow the tournament in real time please visit where you can find links to the live streaming and to the constantly updated brackets.

Freezer keeps his hopes alive for a second US Open 1-Pocket title

Scott Frost

The penultimate day of the US Open One Pocket Championships by CSI found some heavy timber crashing to the ground. John Schmidt found no grace from Jeremy Jones and was eliminated 3-0. Brandon Shuff found the same fate at the hands of Jose Parica. Charlie Williams was tossed aside 3-0 by Warren Kiamco. Jeremy Jones, after handling Schmidt so easily, was cast out 3-2 by Ike Runnels.

Darren Appleton was defatted and sent home by Shane Van boning 3-1 and in the very next round Van Boening was eliminated 3-2 by Scott Frost. Frost, who is try shooting some remarkable One Pocket, then defeated Larry Nevel 3-0 and did so in less than thirty minutes.  Frost, who won this event in 2005, is the only previous winner of the event who is still in contention. Frost had been sent left by Franciso Bustamante 4-3 after Bustamante ran out the final rack in most impressive fashion. Twice in the rack Bustamante gutted it up and took very risky and courageous shots, once avoiding what would have been a game-ending collision by a hairs breadth. Frost could not complain about being beaten by that brave style.

Jose Parica was eliminated 3-2 by Justin Hall. Hall continued his winning ways against Joey Gray 3-2 and is very quietly moving to the ends of the bracket.

The early One-Loss matches today feature Carlo Biado against Justin Hall and Scott Frost versus Ike Runnels. Chris Bartram and Franciso Bustamante will take on the winners of those matches.

Over on the winner's side, where the sun is still shining brightly, there are only two smiling faces left. Corey Deuel will face Dennis Orcollo for the hot seat. Deuel and Orcollo have a common trait. Neither of them ever seems overly concerned about any of the myriad of situations that come up on a One Pocket table. Very calmly they survey the table and then, when they take action, it is always the correct one. This match is one worth watching and it will be on the TAR live stream Friday at 6 PM PST. The semi-finals and finals will also be streamed on Saturday beginning at 2 PM.

You may follow all the action at the AZB Live Scoring page as well as on the AZB brackets page

Day One of US Open One Pocket is in the Books

Earl Strickland

Sixty-four top one-holers began their clash in Vegas on Wednesday at the CSI-produced US Open One Pocket Championship at the Rio Hotel and Casino.

The competition is a race to four games on the winner's side and a race to three for the one-loss bracket. This can be a very frustrating discipline for players unaccustomed to the deliberate pace this game incurs. When the rapid-fire Earl Strickland had to endure a match with Bernie Pettipiece that went for over three hours only to lose 4-3 he reacted and had words for slow play that were anything but praiseworthy. Strickland had been put off of his game by the pace and in the hill-hill match missed a cut that he would normally own and that missed shot cost him the  match.

Strickland was not the only giant to fall in the first round. World number one Darren Appleton found himself on the wrong end of a 4-2 scoreline with Justin Hall and moved left early. No huge surprise there, however, as Justin Hall seems to find friendship with the rails on any table. He is a superb banker and his cue ball control is nothing short of amazing.

Jeremy Jones did not have a good day. After disagreeing with two decisions in the game by the tournament directors he unscrewed his stick and left the arena. He felt the decisions favored his opponent, Shane Van Boening, and left the arena saying that this was the "Shane Van Boening" tournament. Sometimes calls go your way, sometimes they do not.

Scott Frost is reveling in this, his favorite medium. He completely dominated Ronnie Wiseman 4-1 in the opening round, a match that should have been tough, and then wiped out Junior Tolentino 4-0. Frost must face Francisco Bustamante in the first round on Thursday. Carlo Biado, who just won the Hard Times event last week, is enjoying his week thus far. He destroyed young gun Brandon Shuff 4-1 and looks as comfortable at One Pocket as he does in the rotation games.

Mika Immonen does not offer himself up as a One Pocket champion. His specialties are the rotation games as well, but he was looking sharp as his shot-making skills can allow him to prevail over most, whether he knows the 'moves' or not. But all that changed when he faced Ike Runnels, a One Pocket veteran. Ike took him down 4-2 and today faces another toughie in the form of Corey Deuel.

Charlie Williams arrived at the Rio only moments before his first match but the rush did not seem to bother him. He calmly destroyed two opponents by the identical scores of 4-1 and never appeared uncomfortable at the tables. Thursday will find him against Bernie Pettipiece who, after his defeat of Strickland, has no fear of taking on the giants.

Play continues today and you can follow all of the action on the AZB live scoring page and you can watch all of the headline match-ups on TAR.

Hard Times 10-Ball Open Underway with Strongest Field Ever

Orcollo Still Standing

Hard Times Billiards, who celebrate their 25th Anniversary this month, added yet another $5,000 from their main sponsor Crooks & Castles to the prize money of their Hard Times 10 ball Open. This event now in its fourth year, saw a field of champions show up to try and get their hands on the $10,000 added prize money.

What with the Bonus Ball players and the other pros from all over the world that will be in Las Vegas for the CSI 10 Ball Championship next week, this event has drawn a who’s who of champions that would have any promoter drooling at such a talented field.

Alphabetically the stars were as follows:

Alex Pagulayan, Carlos Biado (Phi), Chris Melling (Eng), Corey Harper (USA), Dennis Hatch (USA), Dennis Orcollo (Phi), Ernesto Dominguez (Mex), Oscar Dominguez (USA), Francisco Bustamante (Phi), Ike Runnels (USA), Jayson Shaw (Eng), John Morra (Can), Johnny Archer (USA), Louis Ulrich (USA), Manny Chau (Peru), Max Eberle (USA), Mike Davis (USA), Nikos Ekonomopoulos (Greece), Raj Hundal (Eng), Ralf Souquet (Ger), Rodney Morris (USA), Santos Sambajon Jr (Phi), Shane Van Boening (USA), Shawn Putnam (USA), Stevie Moore (USA), Thorsten Hohmann (Ger), Wang Can (Chi) and Warren Kiamco (Phi).

Wow what a line up!!!!

Not surprisingly we saw top players fighting it out in the very first round, as witnessed by the first match-up on the “" Free Live Stream match on table one, which showcased the games of Jayson Shaw and Thorsten Hohmann. This match saw Jayson Shaw switching over to the losers side after he missed a 3/10 combo at hill-hill.


Louis Ulrich V Arturo Rivera – Chris Fangre V Wang Can – John Morra V Dennis Orcollo – Stevie Moore V Thorsten Hohmann – Dennis Hatch V Francisco Bustamante – Johnny Kang V Raj Hundal – Corey Harper V Carlos Biado – Ruben Escalera V Rodney Morris


Alex Pagulayan V Manny Chau – Mike Davis V Nikos Economopoulos – Santos Sambajon Jr V Ernesto Dominguez – Warren Kiamco V Jayson Shaw – Max Eberle V Ramin Bakhtiari – Ralf Souquet V Beau Runningen – Johnny Archer V Shane Van Boening – Kevin May V Chris Melling

This writer thinks you should not be surprised if the winner of this event, now in its fourth year, has PHI behind his name, as the first three events were won by the following players:

2010 Lee Van Corteza

2011 Alex Pagulayan

2012 Dennis Orcollo

2013 ?

HARD TIMES BILLIARDS first emerged on the pool scene back in 1988, and apparently got its name due to the fact that you would probably end up on hard times if you tried to win there. The room over the years has had a reputation of always having a stable of giant killers in house, and that it would be very hard for a visitor to walk out with a pot of gold!

HARD TIMES is situated at the following address:

Hard Times
17450 Bellflower Blvd
Bellflower, CA 90706

Hard Times is a very event oriented room, as witnessed by this event, plus the 17-year old Jay Swanson Memorial and the TAD CUP in its fourth year. The Tad Cup is an event solely for the Amateur, and is sponsored by TAD Cues and will be played on the 3rd & 4th of August 2013.

We will be covering this event on a daily basis, so stay tuned! Streaming of this event may be found at

Kang goes undefeated at 1st Annual Cole Dickson Memorial Tournament

By the time the 1st Annual Cole Dickson Memorial Tournament was drawing to a close on Sunday night, June 30, most of the drama was playing out on the loss side, where six of the final 10 matches went to double hill, including the final four. Amar Kang, in the meantime, was sitting in the hot seat, waiting for an opponent, who turned out to be Mark Tiu. Kang completed an undefeated run with a victory over Tiu in the finals to claim the $4,000-added event title that had drawn 104 entrants to Family Billiards in San Francisco, CA.
According to Daniel Busch, whose POVPool crew live-streamed selected matches for free throughout  the weekend, this Cole Dickson Memorial Tournament has been added to the front end of what's been known for the last four years as the West Coast Swing, a series of tournaments which starts in Northern California and ends up in Las Vegas with the BCA Nationals, during which the CSI One-Pocket, 8-Ball and 10-Ball Championships are held. The tournament's namesake, Cole Dickson, a legendary hustler who headed out on the road with Grady Matthews when he was 15, died of cancer at the age of 62 in April. 
Kang's uninterrupted path through the field of 104 concluded with four matches in which he gave up only nine racks, total, over 37 games. He defeated two brothers (of three playing) in a row; Jason Williams, among the winners' side final eight, and Marshall Williams, among the winners' side final four, both 7-2. He was met in the battle for the hot seat by Danny Gokhul, who'd sent  Tiu west, double hill.  Kang sent Gokhul to the semifinals and sat in the hot seat, awaiting his return.
On the loss side, Marshall Williams and Tiu ran right into the series of four, loss-side matches that would conclude events on that side of the bracket. Williams drew Deo Alpajora, who'd been defeated by Mary Rakin in the second round of play, and was in the midst of a nine-match winning streak that would take him to the quarterfinals. He'd defeated Chris MacDonald 6-3, and survived a double hill match against Ike Runnels to chalk up wins # 6 and # 7. Tiu picked up Jason Williams, who'd been sent west by Kang and then defeated his other brother, Jared, 6-4 and Tommy Lipps 6-3.
Tiu won all three of his loss-side matches, double hill. The first against Jason Williams, set him up for a quarterfinal match against Alpajora, whose double hill win over Marshall Williams left the last Williams brothers standing, Marshall and Jason, in the tie for 5th place. Tiu then stopped Alpajora's loss-side winning streak, double hill, in the quarterfinals, and then, in a re-match from the winners' side final four, eliminated Gokhul, double hill, in the semifinals. Kang wasn't having any of this, and secured the event title with a 7-2 finals win over Tiu.