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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. PoolActionTV.com & 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 OnePocket.org’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!

Al Shaheen Wins Texas Open

Omar Al Shaheen and ladies champion Ming Ng (Pool Action TV)

Congratulations to Omar Alshaheen for winning the 45th Annual Texas Open 9-Ball Championships at Skinny Bob's Billiards in Round Rock, TX! It was also Omar's Birthday, Happy Birthday!
 
The main event kicked off Friday night with a 128 player full stellar field. When it was all said and done, the action boiled down to two determined players in the Finals match.
 
The match would be an epic true double elimination battle between Omar and The Iceberg Justin Bergman. First set in the finals ended with a hill hill thriller with Justin on the winning end 9-8. Second set Omar Cruised to an 8-5 lead with Justin winning one more game before the set was closed out 9-6. Excellent job guys, was a pleasure to watch and enjoy.
 
The Warrior Warren Kiamco earned a very respectable third place finish, he played really strong for the entire event. Jalal Yousef scored 4th place in this stellar field, great job everyone.
 
Congratulations are also in order to Ming Ng for winning the Ladies 9-ball! Jennifer Kraber earned a tough fought 2nd. Scoring a well earned third was Emily Duddy and fourth went to Tam Trinh for her good efforts. Great showing Ladies!
 
Kelly Isaac & Roberto Gomez won the Scotch Doubles Jack & Jill 9-Ball, with a close second by Jennifer Kraber & James Davis Sr, congrats! Claiming third prize was Gail Eaton & James Davis Jr. Fourth was earned by Kimberly Brown & Omar Alshaheen, Thanks to everyone who participated and helped make the scotch doubles a successful turnout.
 
Mr. Smooth John Morra earned First place in the Mini tournament Wednesday night with some fantastic left handed playing against the Young Gun Sky Woodward. Amazing job fellas.
 
Gratz to Manny Chau and Ian Bowling for winning the banks ring game on Thursday, they ended splitting the prize.
 
Special thanks to Skinny Bob's Billiards and staff for hosting this longest running prestigious event! Sincere thanks to Double J Jeremy Jones, for bringing his world class commentary for everyone to enjoy.
PoolActionTV.com would also like to thank our fans and sponsors for another great event! Our sponsors include Steve Lomax of Lomax Custom Cues, Aramith, John Barton of JB Cases, James Hanshew of Hanshew Custom Cues, Mike Durbin of Durbin Custom Cues, Kamui, Simonis, Champs Bar & Grill and Club Billiards of Wichita, KS.
 
Join us this weekend for The Houston Open, 7th-9th at Legend's Billiards in League City,TX. See you all then!

Morra and Casper Take Texas Open

John Morra (Photo courtesy of Poolaction.tv)

For several years now, Round Rock, TX has been the Labor Day Weekend destination of choice for pool players near and far. At this year’s Texas Open, hosted by Skinny Bob’s Billiards, players and fans were treated to four different events plus an opening night 9 ball mini-tournament. When the smoke cleared in the mini, it was the father-son duo of Ernesto and Oscar Dominguez who split the cash.
 
Next up was the 9 Ball Ring Game. Thirty two players entered the fray with Chip Compton and Edgie Geronimo being the last two standing. They duked it out with Chip taking down the $1140 first place money.
 
Eighteen teams were entered in this year’s Jack n’ Jill Scotch Doubles event. The final match saw James Davis Sr and Jennifer Kraber defeat Jay and Belinda Calhoun 7-2 to take this year’s title and $1820 cash prize.
 
The Women’s Division had a 32 player field. After many matches, Belinda Calhoun and Ricki Casper battled for the hot seat. Neck and neck all the way, Ricki emerged the victor 7-6 and claimed her spot in the finals. Belinda was sent to the west side to await the victor of the Helen Hayes-Chris Fields match. Leaving Helen in fourth place, Chris survived to play Belinda for the other berth in the finals.
 
This time it was all Chris as she defeated Belinda 7-1 to claim the spot. Advancing to the finals, Ricki defeated Chris 7-5 to pick up $2080 in cash and becoming this year’s Women’s Texas Open Champ!
 
The Open Division had a full 128 player field. The field was whittled down to 32 players when a second auction and redraw were held. Canadian champ John Morra and defending champ Sky Woodward were the finalists for the hot seat match. John led for most of the match until Sky closed it out 9-5 and again, claiming his spot in the finals.
 
John went west to await the outcome of the Manny ChauBrandon Shuff match. Brandon squeaked out a victory leaving Manny with a very respectable fourth place finish. John, living up to his nickname, Mr Smooth, played solid pool and defeated Brandon – forcing him to settle for a third place finish.
 
Since the Texas Open is true double elimination, John would have to defeat Sky twice to win the tournament. The first set was all John as he played nearly perfectly and led 7-0. Finally, Sky slid a bead over to his side and then it was all Sky as the match progressed to 7-4 when the players took a break. The following game was taken by John – putting him on the hill. Sky won the next but scratched on the break, leaving John with a fairly simple runout & forcing a second set. Final score – 9-5.
 
The second set began with each player notching wins until the middle of the match. After a pair of uncharacteristic errors by Sky, John pulled away until he reached the hill 8-5. Needing one game to win the tournament, he made a ball on the break and methodically ran the balls to claim his first Texas Open title and $20,600 cash!
 
Congratulations to John Morra and Ricki Casper for becoming the 2016 Texas Open Champs! Great tournament, Sky & Chris!
 
And, thanks again to everyone at Skinny Bob’s for, as usual, a first class event! And, as always, PoolActionTV would like to thank our sponsors! Our main sponsors include Hanshew Custom Cues, Sanders Roofing, Kamui, Club Billiards in Wichita, KS and Kamikaze Tips. Special mention goes out to Lomax Custom Cues, Aramith, Simonis, Durbin Custom Cues and GoPlayPool.com.
 
Thanks to Terry Hanna and all our fans! Next, we’ll be heading to the Four Bears 8 Ball Classic in New Town, ND – September 15-18th. Hope to see you there!!!

Maxifantasincredulous action at 41st Annual Texas Open 9-ball Championship

Great 9-ball pool action finished Tuesday morning September 2nd as 128 elite players from around the US and Texas competed for over $10,000 in Open Division prizes at the longest running 9-ball tournament in US history in Round Rock, TX.

 

No one was falling asleep this time as the action kept the spectators on the edge of their chair all evening.

 

The big story was the super play of the newcomers and local players. After 16 years, James Davis Jr.(Austin) had his best finish losing to Sean King (Oklahoma City) in the quarter-finals to grab 4th place. The match went back and forth, but Sean got the break he needed to face professional pool player Rob Saez in the Semi-finals. Sean is a Desert-storm vet making his first Texas Open appearance.

 

Rob and Sean were wearing the same shade of red shirt and it was difficult to tell them apart from a distance. Fortunately, every seat in the house at Skinny Bob’s billiards was a great seat and many people were standing on the bleachers watching the finals from the other side. Rob was wearing the latest edition championship pocket polo shirt that was sold in 6 colors this year.

 

Sean never trailed the entire match, but broke dry Hill-7. Rob was hooked on the 1 ball and had to jump to make the 1 ball and drew it back perfectly for shape on the 2 ball, then made perfect shots back to back, including a 3 ball bank to side pocket to tie the match 8-8. Rob made the 1 ball on the break and ran to the 8 but the cue ball ran a little too long. After cutting the 8 ball thin to the corner, the cue ball hit the edge of the side pocket preventing perfect shape on the 9 which is unusual for Rob as his 9 ball shots are usually perfect. Rob had missed a 9 when it was tied 5-5 with similar shape, but this time he made it. The crowd erupted in appreciation for both players who played their hearts out for the respectful crowd of about 150 patrons.

 

Charlie Bryant, professional pool player/instructor at American Pool Players Association, was competing with a new custom-made James Hanshew cue stick during the tournament. Rob was kicked to the elimination side by Charlie Bryant (Houston) in the hot-seat match and had to win twice if he was to claim the championship a second time in 4 years. Charlie Bryant was down 5-7 when Bryant breaks dry (nothing falls). Rob cuts the 1 thin to the corner, and cue ball runs too far for good shape on 2. The 2 and 7 were tied up on the side rail, and he plays a carom to pocket the 7 ball. He kicks the 2 ball two rails for side pocket and it falls but the 3 ball is hooked, and he kicks it safe leaving cue ball hidden behind the 8 and the 3 is near the 9 ball. Bryant is hooked on the 3 ball after the classic Rob Saez safety he had been making successfully all weekend. Bryant made a seemingly impossible jump-carom 3-9 ball combination across the length of the table to pocket the 9 in the corner pocket! The crowd goes wild! And yes he did plan it; it was not luck. Holy 9-ball combination batman! Maxifantasincredulous! Really, there ain’t enough superlatives in the Texas book to describe how great that shot was, y’all. 😉

 

The finals game-1 match was nearing the 2-hour mark and Bryant was down 7-8 when Rob breaks and makes the 7. Rob runs to the 9 and cue ball runs long of perfect shape. He makes the 9 in the corner but the cue ball spins off the side rail and falls in the top right-hand corner pocket for a foul and loss of game.   And yes Bryant did yell “Hillbilly-on-the-hill after all” in a modest kind of drawl realizing that he might have had to fight it out another 2-hours if Rob had made that shot.

 

Hill-Hill. Bryant breaks and makes the 5 but the 1 ball appears to be hooked because the 6 and 7 are tied up with the cue ball. Bryant cuts the 1 ball thin enough to make it in the corner, but the cue ball kisses the 4 ball near the side pocket on its way to the 2 ball and almost scratches. His shape comes up short, but he cuts the 2 ball that was frozen against the side rail down the rail to the corner with perfect speed and angle, and makes the 6-7 combo, then has perfect position on the 8 ball. He makes a fist pump after making the 6-ball and points to the sky to thank the heavens for his good fortune after the 9 ball falls. He was presented with the beautiful Bob Vanover Trophy by Skinny Bob’s John Cielo at 2:20am Tuesday morning and smiling under that huge hillbilly beard. All competitors deserve a tremendous amount of applause for fantastic action all weekend, the 41st year of the annual championship.

 

2012/2013 Women’s Classic champion Vivian “The Texas Tornado” Villarreal (San Antonio, TX) faced a rematch of the hot-seat match against Julie Comitini in their race-to-7 final game 1. Vivian won the 1st meeting 7-4, and had to sit waiting for the elimination side final to finish. That game went Hill-Hill with Belinda Calhoun getting an early lead, but Julie kept her head down and stayed focused to come from behind. Comitini couldn’t get enough height on a jump shot in the Hill-1 game after an amazing safety by Vivian. Vivian had to break up a 7/8/9 tie-up to get shape and run out that last game to win 7-1 and claim her third Women’s championship in a row! Popular local ladies Nichole McDaniel G.t 4th place and Michelle Cortez and Emma Stewart-Davis got 5-6 place prizes.

 

Another big story that had everybody talking was popular young-gun player Junior Jueco (Austin, TX) who beat favorite 2012 champion Chip Compton (Oklahoma City) in a late Sunday winner-side match after being down 0-7. He won 9 in a row and will be an instant classic match on the PoolactionTV.com replays. Jueco lost to Sean King and received the 7-8 place prizes. Jueco looks like he has so much fun when he plays week after week, no wonder he’s so popular .

 

Congratulations to all!

 

Again this year they provided players with the Magic Ball Rack which is a diamond-shaped, thin vinyl template that has holes where you place the Aramith Belgium tournament billiard balls and get a perfect rack every time. The table has 2 spots marked on the felt where you align the top and the bottom hole, then just place the ball on a hole, and it self-centers itself to perfect spot. On TV, they have a surrogate racking specialist, but here the loser racks for the winner. It is important to have the head ball (one) touching the two balls directly behind it to get a good solid break. It is required to drive 4 balls to a rail on the break, else it is a foul.

 

Thursday night, the warm-up tournament was held and it was won by Tommy Tokoph (Albuquerque, NM) .  Tommy was working on running his second rack in a row and missed a 9-ball in the 3rd game that would have won the match, but let his competitor James Davis Sr. (Austin, TX) to the table for a safety and Tommy fouled and conceded the game. In the 5th game, tied 2-2, Davis runs to the 6b and missed a tough rail shot to let Tokoph back to the table, who then made the 6b on a tough cut to the corner pocket and used 3 rails to get shape on the 7 ball and ran out to make a great comeback victory 3-2 in the single-elimination race-to-3 format.

 

Bob also raffled a handmade “41st Annual Texas Open Championship” cue from James Hanshew of Hanshew Custom Cues. The lucky winner was Jeremy Jones.  This cue will be part of the Open history and Charlie Bryant donated a new jump cue to the raffle making it doubly special. 

 

Trivia question: Who made the Texas Open famous by running out 11 racks in a row in the championship bracket without missing a shot? The Texas Open trophy is named after him: The Bob Vanover trophy.

 

 

What’s Hot at 41st Annual Texas Open 9-Ball Championship

What does a pistol dream? To be Smoking HOT! I know some pool players that are looking for their chance to prove how hot they can be at this year’s Texas Open 9-ball championship. It is going to be fun and there are some changes this year I think I am going to like.
 
 
I am heading out to Skinny Bob’s Billiards in Round Rock to watch my friends in great 9-ball pool action Saturday August 30th  thru Monday September the 1st, 128 elite players from around the US and Texas will be competing for over $10,000 in Open Division prizes at the longest running 9-ball tournament in US history. This year, they have added a $25 9-ball race-to-three tournament on Thursday 8PM that is open to anyone. Saturday night, the ladies’ 9-ball event begins. Expanded to a 48-player field for the first time this year so more hot players likeAmanda Lampert and Jennifer Kraber will compete against other marquee ladies. More on that later.
 
 
Returning 2013 finals match players are champion Warren Kiamco(Phillipines) and runner-up Charlie “Hillbilly” Bryant  (Houston, TX). Kiamco had knocked Bryant to the one-loss side. Bryant defeated Chip Compton in an elimination match to get his re-match as the crowd goes wild. Compton had to come-from behind facing Sylver Ochoa in their elimination match to face Bryant, but Ochoa lost ball-in-hand and the match after Chip broke and got a successful safe on a fortunate 9-ball kiss after a tough 3-ball kick shot in the hill-hill game.
 
 
In 2012, some of the most exciting moments included 80 year old Bob Vanover (8-time winner of Texas Open) thrilled the crowd with terrific ball control to put his opponent Gerald Jimenez in the loser’s bracket. Vanover played some astounding safety’s which induced about 6 Ball-in-Hand run-outs to win 9-7.
 
 
And I will never forget when 59-year old Gene Albrecht playing with broken ribs came up to me after winning his big day-2 2012 match against Chris Sharier 9-1 to make the final-32 players. Re-cap: Gene breaks up 8-1.  GA makes the 1 on the break and has no shot on the 2 on the other side of the table. He pushes out by kissing the 9 ball closer to the corner pocket as he is looking for the 3-9 combo later. CS makes him shoot the push-out shot and he plays a successful safety on the 2, gets ball-in-hand and makes the 3-9 combo to win and be part of the final 32 players. I was the only one who applauded and Gene came by and looks at me and right out of the “Color of Money” movie, he says “I’m Back!” Yes, you were Gene, he got tied for 9th.
 
 
The format is double-elimination, winner-breaks and every seat is a great seat. SkinnyBob says the secret is to sit on the top of the bleachers so that you can watch both sides and place bar orders easily.  I like being up-close and personal to the early round action on the Gold-Crown III 9’ tables with new blue Simonis 860 HR tournament cloth.
 
 
IMHO, the Texas Open is a better bargain than X-games, Formula1, and ACL fest for the thrill of being up-close to the extreme action and I don’t want to miss any of it. They have a new web-site this year that will allow keep track of the scheduled matches.
 
 
People from all over the Texas come to get out of the heat. Bob installs extra cooling, stadium seats inside for spectators and hire extra wait staff. Don’t forget the snack bar.  AZBilliards publishes the tournament brackets during play and has daily news about the world billiards scene. AZ also has columns by professional writers and publishes their own world rankings and money list.
 
 
The Open players’ meeting is Friday night. The ladies player’s meeting is planned for 6PM Saturday evening. This year, they are planning to do the draw early Friday night and announce the 9am and 10:30am Saturday matches so that players who have those 1st set of matches don’t have to hang around until 1am to find out their match is just a few hours away. Another great change for this year is a Friday 3PM $100 9-ball Ring-game, a game with lots of fast action.
 
 
I will take my wooden cue-stick shafts in to be conditioned by Ron Geyer of The Custom Cue Connection. It is always nice to play with a like-new shaft and Ron is known for his craft of using a lathe to hone the shaft perfectly smooth; There is usually a long line at his booth in the back.
 
 
The Skinny Bob’s Open T-shirt looks great this year and comes in 4 colors in Men’s and Women’s sizes with all the Open winner’s names on the back. They ran out last year so I will be getting mine early this year.
 
 
Again this year they are providing players with the Magic Ball Rackwhich is a diamond-shaped, thin vinyl template that has holes where you place the Aramith Belgium tournament billiard balls and get a perfect rack every time. The table has 2 spots marked on the felt where you align the top and the bottom hole, then just place the ball on a hole, and it self-centers itself to perfect spot. In 2010, they used a metal triangle rack called the Delta-13. Players have always complained about the racking process – it takes too much time and players can tilt the rack for an advantage. On TV, they have a surrogate racking specialist, but here the loser racks for the winner. It is important to have the head ball (one) touching the two balls directly behind it to get a good solid break. It is required to drive 4 balls to a rail on the break, else it is a foul.  We always play Texas Express Rules where the winner breaks, so I had to do a lot of racking. No more splinters.
 
There is a strategy to racking the balls called the 2-ball strategy. You want to place the 2-ball on the opposite side of the diamond from where the player breaks to increase the probability that the 2 will be far from the 1 after the break and make it harder for a run out. My daddy always told me, “Son, never run out of balls to shoot at too early”. But I think that only applies to 8-ball.
 
Bob is raffling a handmade “41st Annual Texas Open Championship” cue from James Hanshew of Hanshew Custom Cues. The lucky winner will be announced during the weekend. This cue will be part of the Open history, so I will buy my share of the raffle tickets this year. I have my lucky rock in my pocket, it could bring me luck this year. I wish I had one of those Hanshew jump-cues, they are sweet!
 
 
Trivia question: Who made the Texas Open famous by breaking and running out 11 racks in a row in the championship bracket without missing a shot? The Texas Open trophy is named after him: The Bob Vanover trophy. It would be fun to see if he can win a record 9th time!
 
The 2013 Women’s Classic finals was a re-match of the 2012 finals; Vivian “Texas Tornado” Villareal (San Antonio, TX), WPBA Touring Professional for over 10-years (19+ career titles) versus veteran WPBA Touring Professional Melissa “The Viper” Little (Westminister, Co). Watching Little come back from the one-loss side last year in the 1st final’s match looked like she was going to over-take 2012 champion Villareal, but it is so hard to beat “The Texas Tornado”  two times in a row with both players making masterful shots was amazing. I can see why Villareal got her nickname, she was shooting so fast I could hardly keep up. San Antonio is hot right now, just look at their pro-basketball team.
 
 
Kraber has been hot lately  – She is ranked 1st in the ladies OBCUEs Pool Tour rankings and won the Legends tour stop June 24th in League City over Lambert in a hill-hill match.  
 
 
In 2007, I bought Professional pool player and blogger Melinda Bailey“Mel” in the Calcutta and she won 3rd place in the ladies division.  That was fun winning on her. Bailey is the director of the Omega Billards Tour in D/FW area.
 
 
Local ladies Nicole McDaniel and Julia Rapp may see action against top players Bailey, Little, Villarreal, Belinda Calhoun, Veronica "Pistol" Perez, Emma Stewart, Kim Sanders, Amanda Lampert, Helen Hayes and Kim Pierce.
 
 
For Info :
 
Call/text/email Tournament Directors :
 
 James “Strop” Davis Sr 512-797-8947 Slowdeath53@yahoo.com
 
John Palmore 512-971-1889 John.palmore@gmail.com  
 
 Veronica “Pistol” Perez 512-721-8229 V7Perez74@yahoo.com
 
or call
 
 Skinny Bob’s 512-733-1111 Http://skinnybobs.com/texas-open/
 
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