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Haddad Crowned Colorado 8-Ball Open Champion

The inaugural Colorado 8-Ball Open wrapped up at Felt Billiards in Englewood, Colorado June 18. The two day event drew 40 players from across Colorado and Wyoming, even a couple from Texas. The handicapped entry free attracted a mix of players of all skill levels. Players were categorized into Gold, Silver and Bronze level players based on Fargo Ratings and known ability. Youth players age 17 & Under played for free. 
Stapleton Billiards presented this event and raised $1,650 in added prize money through community support from local small businesses. The first giveaway of the day went to a very grateful Tapan Lakdawala of Thornton, Colorado. He scored a brand new set of Super Aramith Pro balls for his home table, courtesy of Aramith. Each time he shared the event on Facebook with the hashtag #thankyouaramith he was automatically entered to win. 
$1,250 went into the Main Event which was held on 9’ Diamond and Gold Crown tables. Each round was redrawn with (1) buy-back option per player immediately following a loss. After 4 rounds of play, 12 players remained to return on Father’s Day Sunday for the final single-elimination bracket. The holiday weekend did keep some dads away but another 20 showed up for the Sports Optical Sunday Challenge on the barboxes, where no Gold players were allowed. 
The Sunday Main Event matches started a little slow with the extended race to 8 games, winner-break format. With it now being single-elimination for everyone, the heat was on. The last match to wrap up from the first round of the day was between Johnny “One-Time” Vasquez and Chris McDaniel. The 2.5 hour hill-hill match resulted in McDaniel advancing to the next round. 
James Beckemeyer received one of the four first-round BYEs but came up short against Mark Haddad on the Stapleton Billiards live stream table. Haddad went on to defeat McDaniel on the same table before meeting up with Jose Cruz in the finals. McDaniel and Fernando Corona played off for 3rd/4th place alongside the finals match. Haddad and Cruz gave the packed house exactly what they came for. Haddad jumped to a quick 3-0 lead and remained ahead for most of the match until Cruz tied it up at the end. An unfortunate foul by Cruz ultimate led to a ball-in-hand backdoor out for Haddad. 
$400 of the total $1,650 added went into the bar table event. 6 new players arrived Sunday to buy into the bar table event which was a free entry for all players who competed on Saturday. With 20 players total, everyone drew a random opponent in the first round with 10 players advancing to a single elimination bracket. 
Chris Honeman tore through the field taking down top bar table players, Jason Secor and Chisolm Woodson. She ultimately met her match against Garrette Rogers. Greg Kingsbury, owner of Mile High Billiards in Arvada, also made an appearance and went undefeated to split in the finals with Rogers. Honeman also chopped her winnings with Eddie Borrego
Marc Vidal was the highest finisher who opted in for the spot to represent Colorado at the upcoming World Pool Series (WPS) RYO Classic professional event which will take place July 12 in New York.  
Special Thanks to Chris Honeman, Rudy Kaluza, photographer Russ Green, Nate Sellis, Audra Wasson Tama Fujita, and the rest of the Felt staff for all their efforts this weekend!
HUGE THANKS to the businesses who helped make the event possible: Stapleton Billiards, Felt, Molinari cues, Damy McDaniel State Farm Agent, Sports Optical, B&E Services, Inc., LorBen Properties, LLC, The Wellness Center, Aramith, Billiard University and ZenSports.