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Morris wins Mezz West State Tour Stop 2

Rodney Morris

The Mezz West State Tour held its second stop in beautiful Northridge, CA over the weekend of May 9th and 10th. This 9 ball event attracted 90 players, including Mika Immonen, Oscar Dominguez, Rodney Morris and Vilmos Foldes. This event was held at Plush Pocket Billiards, which is an old school style pool room which has 17 nine foot tables and 3 Diamond bar tables. 
The event started with a heavy hitter top and bottom bracket. The top bracket held big gun players; Brian Parks, Fach Garcia, Oscar Dominguez, Mika Immonen and Johnny Kang. Making their way through the top half of the upper bracket was Fach Garcia who had wins over Justin Marks, Jaden Brock, Al Moreno and Attile Corsba. He was met in the final four winners by Oscar Dominguez who had wins over James Harris, Laurie Butera, Sal Butera, and Mika Immonen. Garcia was up early leading 7-2. But in true Dominguez style Oscar grinded back to eventually win 9-7 sending him to the hot seat match. 
The lower bracket was even tougher with heavy hitters like Rodney Morris, Melissa Herndon, Vilmos Foldes, Danny Gohkul, Dave Hemmah and Ernesto Dominguez. Melissa Herndon showed her dominance with wins over Dave Hemmah, Shaun Smallwood, Manny Herrea, Henry Bodt and Aaron Estrada. She was met in the final four winners by “Rocket” Rodney Morris who had wins over Dave Martineau, Jeremy Long, Danny Gohkul and Vilmos Foldes. This was tight match with it tied at 3, 4 and 5. Eventually the “Rocket” took off, winning 9-6.  
Meanwhile on the losers side, Beau Runningen, Billy Dyke, Brian Parks, Jerry Lin, Johnny Kang, Ernesto Dominguez and Dave Hemmah were all duking it out. Beau Runningen made a tough fight winning four matches on the losers side before being beaten by Attila Corsba, forcing him to settle for 9th-12th. Attila then moved on to face “Iceman” Mika Immonen who was on fire and ran through him 9-3.  Mika would continue his streak by beating Melissa Herndon and then Dave Hemmah. Dave Hemmah had a great run with wins over Fach Garcia, Aaron Estrada, Vilmos Foldes, Johnny Kang, Sal Butera, Lawerence Rocheda and Mark Anthony. His loss to Immonen forced him to settle for 4th place. 
The hot seat match between Rodney Morris and Oscar Dominguez was a nail biter, with several break and runs, along with phenomenal safety play. The match went hill-hill, with Rodney Morris coming away with the win. This sent Dominguez to the 3rd place match to face Immonen. This match was heavily one sided and we did not see Immonen in his best performance, allowing Dominguez to win 9-2 and sending him to a rematch with Morris in the finals. 
The finals are an extended race to eleven and both Dominguez and Morris both breaking and running almost every rack. Both players played what could have been a 900 Accu- Stats. The match was tied the entire time at 7-7, 8-8,  9-9 and 10-10 (hill-hill). In the hill-hill game Dominguez was breaking. Dominguez broke in 2 balls, but had a tough opening shot on the two. He opted to play safe, but Morris played a great safe back. Dominguez executed an incredible kick-safe. Morris then kicked but accidentally made the two ball and was hooked on the three ball. Morris made an incredible kick and left Dominguez a tough cut on the three down the rail. Instead of trying to fire the shot, Dominguez played a creative safety. Morris made a good hit and left Dominguez still in a tough spot. Dominguez made the three, the four and played safe on the five. Morris then jumped in the five and ran out, winning the hill-hill set. 
The Mezz West State Tour would like to thank all their sponsors: Mezz Cues (, West State Billiard Supply (, Zan Tips (, Taom Break/Jump Tips (, Andy Cloth (, PiUs Company, So Cal Tap, Kurzweil Country Meats, fast&loose desgins (, Contact Point Media, Turtle Rack, NYC Grind ( and AZ Billiards ( 
We would also like to thank owner Steve, along with the entire Plush Pocket Billiards staff for hosting the event. We would also like to thank all the players for coming out and supporting the tour. 

Foldes Wins West State Tour Stop 3

Vilmos Foldes

The third stop of the Mezz West State Tour kicked off at Diamond Billiards in beautiful, Fresno, California. A total of 83 players braved the scorching California heat to compete in what became the largest event to ever happen in the Fresno area according to room owner, Sheri Dadian. Players from San Diego, San Francisco, Mexico, Philippines, and even a few special guests from Hungary, the field was littered with high caliber players.

This was the first 9 ball stop of the season and the action was fast paced and not many matches took long. Day 1 consisted of several upsets including San Diego local player Jaden Brock over Filipino ace, Rodrigo Geronimo and Lance Johnson over Oscar Dominguez. The two games to 9 the pros give to “open” players gives that boost to create a more level playing field thus giving amateurs an incentive and motivation to test their skills against the pro caliber players.
Day 2 brought back 24 players of the original 83 with former junior world champion, Vilmos Foldes demonstrating his ultra aggressive style of pool winning the top half of the bracket. Meanwhile, former BCA junior national champion, Beau Runningen came from the lower half to meet the Hungarian for the hotseat. Demonstrating a cool, calm, and collective approach, Vilmos grabbed the hot seat and sent Beau west.
The B side of the chart was filled with top players such as Ruben Bautista, Tang Hoa, Rodrigo Geronimo, Oscar and Ernesto Dominguez among others. This blood bath of players was whittled down to Bautista playing Runningen for a shot at Vilmos back into the finals. Beau made quick work of the young Mexican to avenge his loss earlier in the evening. In the finals, true double elimination is implemented and Vilmos cruised to a 9-4 victory bringing the $1500 top prize to the Hungarian champion. Beau settled for second prize money of $950.
A special thanks goes to Sheri Dadian and her mother Jean for hosting the Mezz West State Tour stop #3. They went above and beyond to accomodate the 83 players and fans with excellent service and a smile. Also, our sponsors who make this all possible: Mezz Cues, West State Billiard Supply, ZAN tips, POV Pool, AZBilliards, NYC Grind, Fast&Loose Designs and the TURTLE rack. Stop #4 brings the MWST to Plush Pocket in Northridge, CA. We hope to see you there!