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APA National Singles Championships Close Riviera Out in Style

World’s Largest Pool League Awards Nearly $650,000


After hosting more billiard tournaments than perhaps any other venue in the world, it was only fitting that the 2015 APA National Singles Championships were the last event, of any kind, ever held at the iconic Riviera Hotel and Casino. Thousands of APA members made their way to the classic Vegas property in early May to say their final farewells while competing for nearly $650,000 in cash and prizes.  

The National Singles Championships consisted of both the 8-Ball Classic and 9-Ball Shootout Singles Championships, 8-Ball and 9-Ball Doubles Championships and the Wheelchair Challenge.
The final round of the 9-Ball Shootout featured three championship matches, one for each Skill Level Tier, with two shooters in each competing for $10,000 in cash and prizes. 
In the Green Tier, Kristi Spohn of Mary Esther, Fla., defeated Kennedy Cummings of Deltona, Fla. 
In the White Tier, James Turner of Florence, S.C., defeated Larry Atkinson of Garden City, Mo.
In the Black Tier, James Adams of Brooksville, Fla., defeated Stefan Dehoze of Harper’s Ferry, W.V.
Each of the three Champions received a prize package worth $10,000.  Runners-Up in each tier took home a prize package worth $5,000.
Carolyn Burgduff of Keizer, Ore., was awarded the Sportsmanship Award in the 9-Ball Shootout. More than 3,600 poolplayers made it to the Regional Level of the 9-Ball Shootout before the field was whittled down to 303 who advanced to Las Vegas. 
Nearly 5,600 players throughout North America qualified for Regional competition in the 8-Ball Classic, with 472 of them advancing to the championships.  In the finals of the 8-Ball Classic, five champions each took home a prize package worth $15,000 for their performances.
In the Blue Tier, Brady Ward of Little Rock, Ark., defeated Heather Kidney-Butler of St. John’s, Newfoundland.
In the Yellow Tier, Inessa Gelman of New York City defeated Michaela DeLaCruz-Negrete of Sacramento, Calif.
In the Red Tier, Ryan Garcia of Lake Jackson, Texas, defeated Diana Wolfe of Oklahoma City, Okla.
In the Orange Tier, Ken Geragosian of O’Fallon, Ill., defeated Terry Claiborne of Bakersfield, Calif.
In the Purple Tier, Ernesto Bayaua of Tomball, Texas, defeated Ken Frauenburger of Daisetta, Texas.
First Place winners received cash and prizes worth $15,000.  Each Runner-Up received cash and prizes worth $9,000.
Paul Langley of San Diego, Calif., was awarded the Sportsmanship Award in the 8-Ball Classic.
In the 8-Ball Doubles Championship, South GA Hustlers – Roderick Rentz and Stephanie Rentz – of Hazelhurst, Ga., defeated Hard Luck – Bradley Miller and Bruce Bare – of Winder, Ga.  The victory earned them a $5,000 payday.  As Runners-Up, Hard Luck took home $3,000.
In the 9-Ball Doubles Championship, Age Before Beauty – Billy Petty and John McCloud– of Portland, Tenn., defeated Gypsy’s Too – Mary Kester and Bill Palmer – of Niles, Ohio.  The victory earned them a $3,500 payday.  As Runners-Up, Gypsy’s Too took home $2,300.
In the finals of the Wheelchair Challenge, Ron Bates of Coldwater, Mich., defeated Joel Fini of Des Moines, Iowa, to take home $1,600 in prize money.  Fini received $800 as the Runner-Up.
Hundreds of members were still on-hand at the hotel at Noon on Monday, May 4 as the Riviera closed its doors forever.  The APA National Championships will relocate to the recently remodeled Westgate Resort & Casino (formerly the Las Vegas Hilton) for the National Team Championships in August.
The APA, based in Lake Saint Louis, Mo., sanctions the world’s largest amateur pool league, known as the APA Pool League throughout the United States, and as the Canadian Pool League in Canada.  Nearly 250,000 members compete in weekly 8-Ball and 9‑Ball League play.  The APA is generally recognized as the Governing Body of Amateur Pool, having established the official rules, championships, formats and handicap systems for the sport of amateur billiards.
The APA produces three major tournaments each year—the APA National Team Championships, the APA National Singles Championships and the U.S. Amateur Championship—that, together, pay out nearly $1.5 Million in cash and prizes annually!
The APA and its championships are sponsored by Aramith, Action Cues and PoolDawg.
For more information on the American Poolplayers Association, visit

Romero, Kwon, Laban and Morrison win four of the five events at NYC 8-Ball Championships

The NYC 8-Ball Championships, sponsored by CSI, and the first event of Tony Robles' Silent Assassin Productions, featured every possible type of individual victory.  Held on the weekend of June 6-8, and hosted by Steinway Billiards in Astoria, NY, the $2,000-added events featured three undefeated performances, one victor from the loss side who won both sets of a double elimination final, and one hot seat occupant, who was defeated in the opening set of the finals and came back to win the second.
Jayson Shaw went undefeated in the Men's Grand Masters event (see complete story among Headlines), as did Chickie Romero in the most heavily attended event, the Mixed Open, with 23 entrants. July Laban, playing in the Women's Leisure event, with 16 entrants, completed the roster of undefeated titleists. It was Adam Kwon, playing in the 13-entrant Mixed Advanced event, who came back from the loss side to defeat Chumreon Sutcharitakul twice in the finals. John Morrison gave up the opening set in the finals of the 15-entrant Men's Leisure event, but came back to win the second set.
Romero's undefeated performance in the Mixed Open event was almost derailed in his winners' side semifinal, double hill match against Izac Horne. Horne, shooting at the 8-ball in the deciding game, sunk it, only to watch, horrified, as the cue ball caromed off a few rails and dropped into a pocket to advance Romero to the hot seat match. Nick Meyer, who'd defeated Todd Trent 6-4 in the other winners' side semifinal joined Romero in the winners' side final. Romero won it 6-1 and waited for Meyer to return, which he did. Trent and Horne battled it out in the quarterfinals, and when Trent prevailed 6-2, he got a second shot at Meyer in the semifinals. Meyer defeated him a second time, 6-4, only to have Romero defeat him a second time 6-2, to claim the title.
July Laban's undefeated run through the field of 16 in the Women's Leisure event was almost derailed by the six-win, loss-side run of Akiko Taniyama, who'd been defeated by Laban in the opening round. As Taniyama was at work on the loss side, Laban and Inessa Gelman met up in the hot seat match. Laban had defeated Carolina Kwak 5-3, as Gelman was sending May Ng over by the same score. Laban downed Gelman 5-2 and waited on Taniyama. It was Taniyama and Ng who met up in the quarterfinals, and it probably didn't do Laban's waiting experience in the hot seat any good, to see Taniyama advance to the semifinals with a shutout over Ng. Nor, for that matter, did Taniyama's 5-1 victory over Gelman. Laban had given up only a single rack to Taniyama in their first meeting, and while Taniyama came within a game of forcing a double hill deciding match, Laban completed her undefeated run 5-3, and claimed the Women's Leisure title.
Adam Kwon and Chumreon Sutcharitakul ended up playing three matches that eventually decided the 13-entrant Mixed Advanced event. The first of the three came in a winners' side semifinal, when Sutcharitakul  sent Kwon to the losers' bracket 7-5. In the hot seat match, Sutcharitakul faced Glenn Ramsey, who'd defeated Noah Vogelman in the other winners' side semifinal. Sutcharitakul defeated Ramsey in a double hill fight that proved to be his last win. Kwon moved over and took down Dennis Lake 7-2, and both Vogelman in the quarterfinals and Ramsey in the semifinals 7-5. Kwon then won the opening set of the finals 7-3, and followed with a 7-2 win in the second set that gave him the Mixed Advanced title.
Like Kwon and Sutcharitakul, Greg Matos and John Morrison played three times to decide the 15-entrant Men's Leisure event. Their first, following Matos' 5-3 win over Joe DeVito and Morrison's 5-2 win over Jim Gutierrez, came in the hot seat match, won by Morrison, double hill.  DeVito moved to the loss side and after defeating Robert Scarmozzino 5-3 and Gutierrez in the quarterfinals 5-2, was eliminated by Matos 5-2 in the semifinals. Matos took the opening set of the finals, double hill, but Morrison came back to win the second set 5-3 and claim the Mixed Advanced title.
Promising "bigger and better events in the future," Robles and his Silent Assassin Productions team, which included John Leyman as tour director and referee for the event(s), thanked Steinway Billiards' owner, Manny Stamatakis and his staff, as well as sponsors Cue Sports International, Delta-13 Racks, Predator Cues, National Amateur Pool League (, Gotham City Technologies, NYC Grind (Jerry and Alison Fischer), AZBilliards, Upstate AL, Joey Leon, and Bob Cmbwsu.