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Mills and Meglino take turns as Winner/Runner-up at double tournament on Florida Pool Tour

Donny Mills

Two, two, two ‘ments in one.

For those too young to remember, Doublemint Gun used to run TV commercials with a jingle that described their product as having “two, two, two mints” in one. Thus, the reference above, describing this past weekend’s (March 19-20) activities on the Florida Pool Tour; the Stroker’s Spring Classic, featuring a $1,000-added 9-Ball ‘ment on Saturday and a $500-added 10-Ball ‘ment on Sunday, hosted by Stroker’s Billiards in Palm Harbor, FL. 

Donnie Mills went undefeated in the 64-entrant, Saturday 9-Ball event, downing Anthony Meglino in the finals. Meglino lost the hot seat match to Mills and came back to defeat him in the 16-entrant, Sunday 10-Ball event. Gerson Martinez Boza was third in the former and Scott Tollefson finished third in the latter.

Mills downed Ed Medina 8-1 in the opening round of Saturday action, went on to defeat Justin Jenkins, by the same score, and Jesse Fonda by shutout, before defeating Meglino for the first time in a winners’ side quarterfinal 7-2. Mills advanced to meet Stroker’s owner, Jose Del Rio in a winners’ side semifinal. Gerson Martinez Boza, in the meantime, had gotten by James Allen and Scott Tollefson, before shutting out Trevor Braymore in a winners’ side quarterfinal to meet up with Justin Hall in the other winners’ side semifinal.

Mills and Boza advanced by the same 8-1 score to the hot seat match, over Del Rio and Hall, respectively. Mills grabbed the hot seat, defeating Boza 7-5.

On the loss side, Hall and Del Rio ran right into their second loss, sending Meglino and Tony Crosby to the quarterfinals. Meglino then dropped Crosby into fourth place and got a second shot at Mills, waiting for him in the hot seat, by defeating Boza 5-3. Mills completed his undefeated run with a second victory over Meglino to claim the Stroker’s Spring Classic 9-Ball title.

Meglino loses hot seat match to Mills, comes back from semifinals to claim 10-Ball title

Mills downed Jason Richko 7-5 in the opening round of Sunday’s 10-ball action, and then sent Tommy Kennedy to the loss side, drawing Travis Croft in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Meglino, in the meantime, defeated Ray Linares in his opening round, and after sending Mike Lear to the loss side, picked up Tony Crosby in the other winners’ side semifinal.

Crosby fought Meglino to double hill before Meglino prevailed, advancing to the hot seat match. Mills joined him after defeating Croft 7-4. Mills took the first of the day’s two against Meglino 7-5 and sat in the hot seat, waiting for him to get back from the semifinals.

On the loss side, Crosby picked up a rematch against Scott Tollefson, whom he’d defeated in the opening winners’ side round and was working on a four-match, loss-side streak that would take him as far as the semifinals, He’d recently eliminated 14-year-old Sofia Mast 7-2 and Tommy Kennedy 7-3. Croft drew Justin Stock, who’d also been sent to the loss side by Crosby and defeated Marcos Yalan 7-3 and Jason Richko 7-5 to reach Croft.

Croft advanced to the quarterfinals 7-3 over Stock. Tollefson joined him after sending Crosby home 7-3. Tollefson then took the quarterfinals 7-5 over Croft, before Meglino finished his loss-side trip 7-2 in the semifinals. Meglino spoiled Mills’ chance of winning both events with a 9-3 win in the finals.

Tour representatives thanked Jose Del Rio and his Stroker’s staff for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Aramith, Outsville, Simonis Cloth, salottopro, DigitalPool, FargoRate, Crosby’s Billiards and Darts Supply, Straight Shooter Gear, patchlab.com, Sniper, and XL Express Co. The next stop on the Florida Pool Tour, scheduled for the weekend of May 21-22, will be the $1,500-added Capone’s Super 32 10-Ball Championship, hosted by Capone’s in Spring Hill, FL.  

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Gilsinan and Burden come from deep on the loss side to win FL State Amateur 9-Ball events

Tony Crosby, Jerry Arvelaez, Michael Zingale, Justin Gilsinan and Mike Lear

Between the Main and Second Chance events on the Florida Pool Tour’s $5,000-added Florida State Amateur 9-Ball Championships this past weekend (Jan. 15-16), 183 players (with duplication) came to Zingale’s in Tallahassee to play some 9-ball. It had to be the most heavily-attended event in the state in the last two years. And both events featured winners who’d lost early matches and came back on the loss side to claim a title.

After being awarded an opening-round bye (along with 122 others in the 256-player bracket), Justin Gilsinan lost his third winners’ side match (double hill to Nick Applebee) and then won 10 in a row to claim the $4,000-added, 134-entrant Main Event. Jordan Burden lost his opening match (5-1 to Stacy Harrell) in the $1,000-added, 49-entrant Second Chance event and also won 10 straight to claim that title.

The events were designed to accommodate players at a certain handicap ranking and below. While Fargo Rate was employed to determine a lot of the handicaps (699 and under), co-tour directors Tony Crosby and Mike Lear used that and personal knowledge of players to determine eligibility.

With the eventual winner already at work on the loss side in the main event, it was Jerry Arvelaez and Trenton White who, in races to 7, advanced through the 9-ball field to reach the hot seat match. Arvelaez started his trip with a double hill win over Jason Richko and then advanced through Frankie Bourgeois (3), Josh Hillard (0), Desi Derado (5) and Ben Smith (4) to arrive at his winners’ side semifinal match against White. White had sent Billy Pelkey (5), Lincoln Seiffert (0), Bobby Moore (3), Aidan Rigsby (1) and Jesse Middlebrooks (5) to the loss side to arrive at his winners’ side semifinal against Kelvin Holliman.

Arvelaez and Applebee battled to double hill before Arvelaez prevailed, advancing to the hot seat match. White joined him after sending Holliman over 7-2. Arvelaez and White came within a game of double hill, before Arvelaez edged out in front to claim the hot seat 7-5.

On the loss side, Applebee picked up Roderick Rentz, who’d lost a winners’ side quarterfinal match, double hill, to Holliman and then, given up just a single rack to Joselito Martinez and none at all to Desi Derado to reach Rentz. Holliman had the misfortune of drawing Gilsinan, who was six matches into his loss-side trip, which had consisted of three matches that came within of game of double hill (5-3), two straight double hill wins and a shutout of Josh Hillard.

Rentz chalked up his second straight shutout, downing Applebee and advancing to the quarterfinals, with the possibility of a rematch against Holliman ahead of him. Gilsinan joined Rentz, spoiling the rematch, with a 5-3 win over Holliman. 

Gilsinan put an end to Rentz’ loss-side run 5-1 in the quarterfinals and chalked up loss-side win #9 in the semifinals, eliminating White 5-3. Gilsinan completed his improbable loss-side run in the finals. He downed Arvelaez 8-5 to claim the Florida State Amateur 9-Ball Championship.

Burden comes back from opening-round loss to win Second Chance tournament

The only thing missing from Jordan Burden’s equally improbable, 10-loss-side-win performance to claim the Second Chance victory was what would, no doubt, have been a satisfying ‘So there!’ rematch against Stacy Harrell. It didn’t happen.

It was Jason Jones and Chris Campos who worked their way through the 39-entrant, Second Chance field to square off in the hot seat match. Jones claimed the hot seat 5-2, unaware that his six-match run through the winners’ side was about to come to an end.

On the loss side, Burden’s sixth win came at the expense of Billy Burke, who’d lost his winners’ side semifinal match against Jason Jones. Burden defeated Burke 5-3, advancing to the quarterfinals, where he eventually shut out David Uwate. 

The last piece of Burden’s loss-side puzzle was Campos in the semifinals. A 3-1 victory over him put Burden into the finals, where he defeated Jason Jones 5-3 to claim the Second Chance title. 

Tour directors Tony Crosby and Mike Lear thanked the ownership and staff at Zingale’s, as well as sponsors Aramith Billiard Balls, Outsville, Simonis Cloth, Salotto Pro, Digital Pool, Fargo Rate, Crosby’s Billiards and Darts Supply, Straight Shooter Gear, Patchlab.com, Sniper and XL Press Co. The Florida Pool Tour will return to Zingale’s next month for the $5,000-added Florida State Open 10-Ball Championships, scheduled for the weekend of Feb. 26-27.

Linares goes undefeated to win Sunshine State Predator Pro Am Tour’s third stop at Stroker’s

Jason Richko, Raymond Linares and Kyle Bova

The top three finishers in last weekend’s (July 31-August 1) stop on the Sunshine State Predator Pro Am Tour, their third to be hosted by Stroker’s in Palm Harbor, FL, could be on the front cover, or at least mentioned in the first chapter of a book entitled Florida State’s Top Pool Competitors. Ray Linares topped the list in the winners’ circle, after navigating his way through a hot seat match versus Kyle Bova and a final against Jason Richko to claim his first (recorded) title since he won the tour’s Bar Box Championship back in November of 2020. This past weekend’s $1,000-added event drew 57 entrants to Stroker’s.

Linares didn’t have a rack chalked up against him until the third round of this event when he met and defeated T. Smoke 7-4. A 7-3 victory over room owner, Jose Del Rio followed, which put Linares into a winners’ side semifinal against Robert Hammock. Bova, in the meantime, had defeated Randall McLuckie, Evan Huynh, Casey Silvers, and Ke Wu to arrive at his winners’ side semifinal matchup against Edward Porter. Jason Richko, who’d won two matches on the winners’ side, versus Bill Tincher and Joe Klein, was sent to the loss side by junior player Julio Estevez 7-5. Estevez, who would end the tournament as the top junior, followed him over in the next round.

Bova got into the hot seat match 7-4 over Porter and was joined by Linares, who’d defeated Hammock 7-3. Linares claimed the hot seat 7-4 over Bova and waited on the return of Richko.

It was Hammock who picked up Richko on the loss side. At the time, Richko was in the midst of the seven-match, loss-side winning streak that would put him into the finals. He had most recently eliminated Ke Wu 5-3 and Robert Batson 7-2. Porter drew Julio Estevez, who was likely looking at the possibility of a rematch versus Richko. He’d lost a winners’ side quarterfinal match to Hammock and on the loss side, shut out Casey Silvers and defeated Joselito Martinez 6-3.

Richko downed Hammock 7-2 to earn his rematch. Estevez did his part, downing Porter 7-4. Richko wreaked his vengeance on Estevez by allowing him only a single rack in the quarterfinals that followed.

Richko then downed Bova 6-4 in the semifinals for a shot at Linares, waiting for him in the hot seat. Linares completed his undefeated run with a 9-3 win in the finals.

Sonja Chbeeb was the event’s top female finisher (17-24th). 

Tour directors Janene Phillips and Bobby Garza thanked Jose Del Rio and his staff for their “awesome hospitality and hosting the tour, year after year,” as well as title sponsor Predator, kamui, Diamond Products,  Safety Harbor Resort and Spa, Stitch it to me Embroidery, Central Florida USA Pool League, AZ Billiards & Skills for Rent. The next stop on the Sunshine State Predator Pro Am Tour, a $1,000-added Amateur 9-Ball event, scheduled for Saturday, August 21, will be hosted Q-Ball in Jacksonville, FL.

Richko goes undefeated in Predator Sunshine State Pro Am Tour season opener

Jose Del Rio, Kyle Bova, Jason Richko and Joselito Martinez

Cirilo, Cuellar and White awarded Player of the Year honors and prizes

Before this past weekend, the last (reported) time that Jason Richko cashed in a pool tournament was almost exactly one year ago. It was the 2020 season opener for the Predator Sunshine State Pro Am Tour on the weekend of February 1-2 and though he would go undefeated to the hot seat, he was defeated in the finals by the competitor who would go on to become the tour’s 2020 Player of the Year, Obbie Cirilo. On Super Bowl weekend (Feb. 6-7), Richko joined 59 competitors for the tour’s 2021 season opener and once again, he made it to the hot seat. This time, though, he did not get to compete against Cirilo, who lost his second round match and chalked up two on the loss side before being eliminated. Instead, Richko squared off against separate opponents in the hot seat (Kyle Bova) and finals (Joselito Martinez) and finished undefeated. The $1,500-added event drew its 60 entrants to Stroker’s in Palm Harbor, FL.

In addition to the scheduled tournament, the Predator Sunshine State Pro Am Tour took time out to celebrate its annual Players of the Year. As noted above, Cirilo took home the Player of the Year honor, which earned him $300, a plaque, Predator jacket and a variety of Kamui products (bridge, chalk, etc.). As the tour’s top Lady of the Year, Nicolle Cuellar got the same package, except for her cash prize of $75. For the second year in a row, Trenton White picked up cash as the tour’s top Junior Player.

“We want to thank Predator and Kamui for their product donations to our players of the year,” said tour directors Janene Phillips and Bobby Garza.

Jason Richko’s path to the title had its share of ups and downs, but among the ‘ups’ were three shutouts out of seven total matches; his opener versus Nick Lewis, and two in a row that put him in the hot seat. After Lewis, he gave up one rack to Derrick Santos and three to Anthony Rotenberry before facing what proved to be his toughest opponent all weekend, Majkell Pacuka, who chalked up more racks against him than all three of his previous opponents combined (5). The victory put Richko into a winners’ side semifinal match against Derrek Laprarie. Kyle Bova, in the meantime, arrived at his winners’ side semifinal match against Alec Saputo, having recorded an equally impressive set of four matches. He had an aggregate score over those four matches of 28-6, including a shutout over Randall McLuckie. 

Bova sent Saputo to the loss side 7-4, as Richko was busy recording his second shutout, over Laprarie. Richko then added a third shutout, over Bova, and claimed the hot seat.

On the loss side, Laprarie picked up Monthep Hongsyok, who’d been responsible, earlier, for knocking out the tour’s Player of the Year (Obbie Cirilo) and had most recently eliminated Michael Xiarhos 7-2 and survived a double hill battle versus the 2020/2021 Junior of the Year, Trenton White. Saputo had the misfortune of drawing the event’s eventual runner up, Joselito Martinez, who’d been sent over by Xiarhos and was in the midst of a seven-match, loss-side winning streak that would take him all the way to the finals. He’d most recently defeated Majkell Pacuka and co-tour director Bobby Garza, both 7-4.

Laprarie and Hongsyok locked up in a double hill fight that did, eventually, send Laprarie to the quarterfinals. He was joined by Martinez, who gave up only a single rack in sending Saputo to the figurative ‘showers.’ 

Both of his next two opponents put up double hill fights against him – first, Laprarie in the quarterfinals and then, Bova in the semifinals – but Martinez proved equal to the task and got by them both for a shot at Richko in the hot seat.

Richko, though, proved equal to the undefeated task he needed to complete. He took the final 9-3 over Martinez to claim the season opening title.

Tour directors Janene Phillips and Bobby Garza thanked Jose and Lyshia Del Rio and their Strokers’ staff for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor Predator Group, Kamui, Diamond Products, USA Pool League, Stitch it to me Embroidery and AZ Billiards. They also added a shout out to Jimmy Antonietta and Rob McLaren for their help on Saturday. The next stop on the Predator Sunshine State Pro Am Tour, scheduled for the weekend of Feb. 27-28, will feature a 9-Ball Open event and Ladies Open 9-Ball event. Both will be hosted by Brewlands in North Lakeland, FL.

Cirilo downs veteran Richko in finals to win Sunshine State Pro Am Tour’s season opener

(l to r): Jason Richko, Nick Applebee & Obbie Cirilo

Rose, White and Mitchell announced as 2019 Player of the Year, Top Junior and Top Female
 
By all accounts, Obbie Cirilo doesn’t get out on the tables much. As of this past weekend, February 1-2, he’s chalked up exactly two cash finishes in his (recorded) pool career, which began, as far as we know in January, 2018. Both cash finishes were event victories and both, including this past weekend, were on the Sunshine State Pro Am Tour. His opponent in the hot seat and finals of this Sunshine State Pro Am season opener, Jason Richko, hasn’t been at the tables much recently either. He entered the tournament with only five cash finishes in the same amount of time; no event wins, but all on the Sunshine State Pro Am Tour. Richko, however, has a history that dates back 20 years to what’s been recorded in our database as his first cash finish anywhere; 13th at the Planet 9-Ball Intergalactic Open in Tampa that year (2000).
 
So. .  the newcomer and seasoned veteran battled twice in the $1,450-added event which drew 64 entrants to Stroker’s Billiards in Palm Harbor, FL. Richko won the first of the two, but Cirilo came back from a semifinal win to defeat him in the finals and claim the title.
 
Victories over Hayleigh Scarberry, Mark Nowicki, Joe Scarborough and Mitch Keiser brought Cirilo up to a winners’ side semifinal match against Nick Applebee. Richko, in the meantime, got by Gregory English, Marvin Llamas, Joselito Martinez and Raymond Linares to arrive at his winners’ side semifinal match versus Justin McNulty.
 
Cirilo downed Applebee 7-2 to earn his spot in the hot seat match. Richko earned his with a 7-1 victory over McNulty. In their first of two, Cirilo and Richko battled to double hill before Richko prevailed to claim the hot seat.
 
Applebee moved to the loss side and picked up Bobby Garza, who’d been sent over in the event’s second round and was in the midst of a six-match, loss-side winning streak that was about to end and had most recently included back-to-back, double hill victories over Linares and Llamas. McNulty drew Nicholle Cuellar, who’d been defeated in a winners’ side quarterfinal by Applebee and gone on to defeat Dave Stern 5-2 and Trenton White, double hill, in a match that featured the event’s top female finisher (Cuellar) and top junior (White).
 
McNulty downed Cuellar 6-3, and was joined in the quarterfinals by Applebee, who’d ended Garza’s streak 5-2. Applebee and McNulty locked up in a double hill fight that eventually did send Applebee to a semifinal matchup against Cirilo. Cirilo put a stop to Applebee’s short, loss-side run 5-3 and turned his attention to a rematch against Richko in the hot seat.
 
Cirilo was battling for his second victory on the Sunshine State Pro Am Tour, and only his second cash finish in two years. He completed the task, downing Richko 9-6 in the finals to claim the season opening title.
 
Tour awards 2019 Player of the Year, Top Junior and Top Female Player
 
[photo id=51590|align=right]The event also featured awards for the tour’s 2019 best players. Nathan Rose, who finished at the top of the 2019 tour standings was named Player of the Year. Trenton White, who finished second in the standings was the tour’s Top Junior player, while Stephanie Mitchell finished as the tour’s top female, 6th in the overall standings.
 
Tour directors Janene Phillips and Bobby Garza thanked Jose and Lyshia Del Rio and their Stroker’s Billiards staff for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor Predator Cues, who donated the cue, the raffle of which – won by Ethan Tinsley – added $450 to the prize fund, and $300 worth of gloves. They also thanked sponsors Stitch It To Me Embroidery, Central Florida USA Pool League, Diamond Products, Kamui, AZBilliards and Kodi Allen “for always helping to sell the tickets.”
 
The next stop on the Sunshine State Pro Am Tour, scheduled for the weekend of March 7-8 at Rack’s Billiards in Sanford, FL, will feature two non-point events. There will be an Open One Pocket event and a 9-Ball Amateur event for competitors with Fargo Rates of 600 or under.  

Rose goes undefeated to win his second 2019 Sunshine State Predator Pro Am Tour stop

Trenton White, Nathan Rose & Jason Richko

Nathan Rose took a major step toward making 2019 his best recorded earnings year ever by winning his second straight Sunshine State Predator Pro Am Tour stop on the weekend of January 2-3. In a month, he’s earned half of what he earned in all of his best earnings year to date, 2015. Rose went undefeated through a field of 64, on hand for the $1,500-added event, hosted by Brewlands Bar & Billiards in Tampa, FL.
 
Rose opened his undefeated run with a 7-4 victory over Eric Haggard, followed it with a 7-5 win over David Singleton, and then went on a run of four straight 7-2 wins that ended with him in the hot seat. He defeated Rollie Dixon and Ed Peterson to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal against Bill Bloom. Jason Richko, in the meantime, got by Rhyan Hunter, Kodi Allen, Brian Sudney and junior competitor, Trenton White (who’d come back to haunt Richko later) to arrive at the other winners’ side semifinal against Mitch Keiser.
 
Richko got into the hot seat match 7-5 over Keiser, as Rose was busy chalking up his third straight 7-2 win over Bloom. Rose won his fourth straight 7-2 match, over Richko, which left him in the hot seat, waiting on what turned out to be the return of Trenton White.
 
On the loss side, Bloom ran into White, who, following his defeat at the hands of Richko, had defeated Joseph Hughes 5-1 and Rollie Dixon 5-3. Keiser drew Kyle Bova, who was working on a four-match, loss-side winning streak that had most recently included wins over Ed Peterson 6-1 and Casey Spahr 6-3. White advanced to the quarterfinals 5-2 over Bloom and was met by Keiser, who’d survived a double hill battle against Bova.
 
White and Keiser locked up in a double hill quarterfinal, which eventually advanced White to a rematch versus Richko in the semifinals. White gave up only a single rack to Richko in those semifinals, advancing 5-1 to the finals against Rose.
 
Rose completed his undefeated run with a 9-5 victory over White, who, in addition to his 2nd place payout was awarded the ‘top-finishing junior’ title. Jeannie Seaver and Stephanie Mitchell finished in a tie for the top female finisher. 
 
Tour directors Janene Phillips and Bobby Garza thanked Larry Walthall and his Brewlands staff for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor Predator Cues, Cyclop Balls, Diamond, Kamui, Central Florida USA Pool League, Stitch it to Me Embrodiery and AZBilliards. Streaming was by Cue Sports Studios. The next stop on the Sunshine State Predator Pro Am Tour, scheduled for March 9, will be hosted by Boulevard Billiards in Ocala, FL.

Rose and Sheerman split top prizes at Stop #8 on Sunshine State Pro Am Tour

(l to r): Jason Sheerman & Nathan Rose

In spite of working to win 10 loss-side matches for the right to face hot seat occupant Nathan Rose at Stop # 8 on the Sunshine State Pro Am Tour, Jason Sheerman (and Rose) opted out of a final match and split the top two prizes, leaving Rose, as the event’s official winner.  The $1,000-added event, held on Saturday, July 14, drew 64 entrants to Strokers Sports Bar & Grill in Palm Harbor, FL.
 
Nathan Rose navigated his way through the full field, downing Jack Remsen 7-3, and everybody else – Jason Richko, Angel Martinez, and Matt Menes – 7-2, to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal against Bobby Garza (ranked #2 on the tour). Chris Gentile, in the meantime, got by Chris Piper-Wang, Will Smith, Mike Delawder (double hill), and the event’s top female finisher, Stephanie Mitchell, to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal to face Sam Kantar.
 
Rose got by Garza 7-2, and in the hot seat match, faced Chris Gentile, who’d sent Kantar to the loss side 7-3. Rose played what proved to be his last match and claimed the hot seat 7-5 over Gentile.
 
On the loss side, it was Kantar who picked up Sheerman, seven matches in to his loss-side streak; a streak that began when he faced and shut out his wife, Julia. Sheerman had most recently eliminated Kim Dyer 7-4 and Matt Menes 7-5. Garza drew Dale Stanley, who’d been sent to the loss side, double hill, by Kantar in a winners’ side quarterfinal. Stanley defeated Alec Saputo 7-3 and shut out Stephanie Mitchell to reach Garza. Sheerman chalked up loss-side win #8, defeating Kantar 7-3, as the tour’s #3 player (Stanley) downed #2 (Garza) 7-3.
 
Sheerman, who, to date, has not been ranked on the 2018 tour, downed Stanley 7-4 in the quarterfinals, and then gave up only a single rack in defeating Gentile in the semifinals. Sheerman and Rose opted out of the final match, allowing Rose, as the official winner, to chalk up 150 tour ranking points and move up from 9th place to a 4th place tie with Tommy Kennedy. Sheerman jumped from tour obscurity to join 16 other players with 100 points and settle into the 56th through 71st slot on the tour rankings.
 
Tour directors Janene Phillips and Bobby Garza thanked Jose Del Rio and his staff at Stroker’s for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Play The Game Clothing Co., Jacksonville Roofing, USA Kamui Tips, AZBilliards and Alvin Nelson with Inside Pool TV. Stop #9 on the Sunshine State Pro Am Tour, scheduled for August 4-5, will be a double event, featuring a $175-added Amateur event and a $1,000-added Pro event. Both will be hosted by Park Avenue Billiards in Orange Park, FL.

De Luna comes back from hot seat loss to down Alcano in finals of Sunshine State Pro Am

Ronnie Alcano, Les Duffy and Jeff DeLuna

Countrymen Jeffrey (The Bull) De Luna and Ronnie Alcano from the Philippines, fresh from their appearances at the first Doug Beasley Custom Cues Open 9-Ball in Raleigh, NC traveled from the Tar Heel State to the Sunshine State on the weekend of June 23-24 to compete in the 7th stop on the Sunshine State Pro Am Tour. They advanced through the field of 46, on-hand for the $500-added event at Boulevard Billiards in Ocala, FL and met twice; once in the hot seat and again, in the finals. Alcano took the first match, and De Luna won the second to claim the event title.
 
De Luna’s path to the final two matches went through a bye, and then, Don Kreischer, Joe Scarborough, and Gary Orefice to meet up, in a winners’ side semifinal, with Trenton White, a teenager who is currently 5th in the tour’s point standings and on his way to the Junior Nationals in New Orleans in July. Like De Luna, Alcano was awarded a bye in his opening round, and then went on to defeat Wayne Kelly, and Kody Kelly, to draw Les Duffy in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
By identical 7-3 scores, De Luna and Alcano advanced to the hot seat match over White and Duffy. Alcano took the first of two against De Luna 7-5 and waited in the hot seat for his return from the semifinals.
 
On the loss side, Trenton White picked up Nathan Rose, who’d eliminated Jason Richko, double hill. Duffy drew Tommy Kennedy, who, after an opening round bye, had been sent to the loss side in his second round by Rose, and won three straight double hill victories (over Moe Fattah, Kreischer, and Thomas White) and a 5-3 victory over Orefice to draw Duffy.
 
Rose knocked out Trenton White 6-4, as Duffy got by Kennedy 5-3. Duffy and Rose locked up in a double hill quarterfinal that eventually sent Duffy to the semifinals against De Luna.
 
De Luna ended Duffy’s brief loss-side run 5-1 in their re-match semifinals and turned to his re-match against Alcano. De Luna completed his single match, loss-side run with a 9-5 victory over Alcano in the finals to claim the event title.
 
Tour directors Janene Phillips and Bobby Garza thanked the ownership and staff of Boulevard Billiards for their hospitality, describing their hosting of the event as “awesome” and looking forward to returning to the venue in 2019. They also thanked sponsors Play The Game Clothing Co., Jacksonville Roofing, USA, Kamui Tips and AZBilliards. The next stop on the Sunshine State Pro Am (Stop #8), scheduled for July 14-15, will be hosted Strokers in Palm Harbor, FL.

Kennedy, Cirilo win 10-Ball Invitational/9-Ball Open events on Sunshine State Pro Am Tour

Mubarak Sulaiman, Obbie Cirilo & Steve Knoll

Tommy Kennedy and Obbie Cirilo claimed respective titles in a two-event weekend – January 13-14 – on the Sunshine State Pro Am Tour. Kennedy won five matches on the loss side to meet and defeat host location owner, Jose Del Rio in Sunday’s 10-Ball Invitational, while Cirilo, who went undefeated, and Mubarak Sulaiman split the top two prizes in Saturday’s 9-Ball Open to avoid a final match that would have commenced in the vicinity of 3 a.m., Sunday morning. The $1,000-added 9-Ball Open event drew 57 entrants, while the $300-added 10-Ball Invitational drew 17 entrants to Stroker’s Bar and Grill in Palm Harbor, FL.

 

Cirilo and Sulaiman would have met twice in the 9-Ball Open, had they both not opted out of playing a second, final match. Cirilo opened his undefeated run by giving up only two racks over his first two matches; one each to Bill Bloom and Kyle Bova, before Tommy Kennedy put up a fight in a winners’ side quarterfinal. Cirilo won that match 7-5 and drew Bobby Garza in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Sulaiman won his first three matches by an average score of 7-5, which included a double hill win over Donny Mills in the third round, and advanced to a winners’ side semifinal against Steve Knoll.

 

Sulaiman downed Knoll 7-5, and in the hot seat match, faced Cirilo, who’d sent Garza to the loss side 7-4. Cirilo chalked up what proved to be his last win (7-5) over Sulaiman, and sat in the hot seat, essentially waiting for the decision to opt out of a final match.

 

On the loss side, Knoll picked up Kennedy, while Garza drew Robert Batson, who’d lost a double hill fight against Knoll in the second round, and was in the midst of a six-match, loss-side winning streak that was about to come to an end.

 

Knoll eliminated Kennedy 5-3, as Garza ended Batson’s loss-side streak 5-2. Knoll downed Garza 5-3 in the quarterfinals, and then, by the same score, was eliminated by Sulaiman in the semifinals. That, as the saying goes, was all she wrote, as Cirilo and Sulaiman agreed to a split of the top two prizes.

 

Trenton White and Kodi Allen split $40 as the top two junior finishers in the 9-Ball Open event.

 

[photo id=48644|align=right]Kennedy wins five on the loss side to meet and defeat DelRio in 10-Ball Invitational finals

 

Tommy Kennedy played two more matches on the loss side of the 10-Ball Invitational than he had in the previous day’s 9-Ball Open. Those extra two matches put him into the finals, where he downed Jose Del Rio to claim the event title.

 

Kennedy was defeated 7-2 by Stephen Richmond in the second round of the 10-Ball event, which advanced Richmond to a winners’ side semifinal against Jason Richko. Del Rio drew Dale Stanley in the other winners’ side semifinal. Del Rio survived a double hill battle against Stanley to advance to the hot seat match. He was joined by Richko, who’d sent Richmond west 7-4. Del Rio and Richko battled to a 13th deciding game before Del Rio claimed the hot seat, and waited on the return of Kennedy.

On the loss side, Kennedy opened his trek back to the finals with victories over Tim Parisian and Onur Berber, which set him up to face Stanley. Richmond drew 9-Ball Open winner, Mubarak Sulaiman, who’d gotten by one of the event’s three top-finishing juniors/women (who split $90), Kodi Allen and Donny Mills to reach him.

 

Kennedy shut Stanley out and in the quarterfinals, faced Sulaiman, who’d eliminated Richmond 6-2. Kennedy then spoiled Sulaiman’s bid for a second runner-up (and possibly more) finish with a 6-4 win in those quarterfinals.

 

Kennedy gave up only a single rack to Richko in the semifinals and then, with momentum wind at his back, had the audacity to down his host – Stroker’s owner Del Rio – 9-2 in the finals to claim the 10-Ball event title.

 

Tour directors Janene Phillips and Bobby Garza awarded $90 (total) to the two junior and single female top finisher in the 10-Ball Invitational (Carrie Vetrono, the female, and for the second time, Kodi Allen and Trenton White as the juniors). They thanked Del Rio and his Stroker’s staff for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Kamui, Jacksonville Roofing USA, InsidePool.tv, AZBilliards and Play the Game Clothing Co. The next stop on the Sunshine State Pro Am Tour, scheduled for the February 10, will be hosted by Waldo’s Billiards in Daytona Beach, FL.

Buckley wins seven on the loss side to take Pro division title on Sunshine State Pro Am tour

Jason Sheerman, Donny Branson & Benji Buckley

Adams goes undefeated in Amateur event
 
Stop # 9 on the Sunshine State Pro Am Tour featured separate tournaments held on the weekend of November 18-19. A $1,000-added Open 10-Ball event drew 57 entrants, and saw Benji Buckley win seven on the loss side to meet and defeat hot seat occupant Donny Branson in the finals. On the Amateur side, in a $500-added, 9-ball event, James Adams went undefeated through a field of 43. Both events were hosted by Capone’s in Spring Hill, FL.
 
Buckley’s trip to the finals was moving along on the winners’ side of the bracket, commencing with a victory over the Amateur event winner, James Adams, and then, through James Sandaler, before coming up against Rodney Morris. Morris sent Buckley to the loss side 7-3, before following him over on the heels of a 6-4 win by Jason Sheerman in a winners’ side quarterfinal. Sheerman moved on to a winners’ side semifinal against Jerry Sullivan, while Branson faced Murbarak Sulaiman.
 
Sheerman and Branson advanced to the hot seat match without giving up a single rack to either Sullivan or Sulaiman. Branson then defeated Sheerman 7-3 and sat in the hot seat, waiting for Buckley to complete his loss-side campaign.
 
Buckley began his loss-side work battling in one of the matches that determined the eight-way tie for 17th place. He got by Travis Croft, Mark Wathen, Nathan Rose, and Donny Mills to draw Sullivan. Sulaiman drew Anthony Meglino, who’d been defeated in the second winners’ side round by Sheerman (double hill) and set out on his own seven-match, loss-side winning streak that included wins over Joseph Remos, Jason Richko, Bill Bloom, Tommy Kennedy, Jessica Human and Rodney Morris, before drawing Sulaiman.
 
Buckley advanced to the quarterfinals 7-3 over Sullivan, as Sulaiman ended Meglino’s loss-side streak the way his winners’ side streak had been ended by Sheerman, in a double hill match. Buckley then defeated Sulaiman 7-2 in the quarterfinals, and got his shot at Branson in the hot seat with a 7-4 win over Sheerman in the semifinals.
 
Buckley and Branson battled back and forth through the finals. Buckley edged ahead at the end to claim the event title 11-9.
 
Adams goes undefeated in Amateur event
 
James Adams faced separate opponents in the hot seat and finals of the Amateur event. He advanced to a winners’ side semifinal against Moe Fattah, as Estel Walton faced Ricardo Rodriguez in the other one. Adams downed Fattah 7-5, and in the hot seat match, faced Walton, who’d sent Rodriguez west 7-4. Adams claimed the hot seat 7-5 over Walton and waited on what turned out to be the return of Adams.
 
On the loss side, Rodriguez and Fattah got right back to winning. Rodriguez defeated Sam Kantar 5-1, as Fattah advanced to meet him in the quarterfinals with a double hill win over Jeremy Bell.
 
Rodriguez defeated Fattah in the quarterfinals 5-2, and then shut out Walton in the semifinals. Adams put an end to Rodriguez’ short, loss-side winning streak 9-7 in the finals to claim the event title.
 
In addition to the prize money awarded to the finishers in each tournament, the Amateur event awarded $20 each to the top Junior finisher – Kodi Allen – and top female finisher – Kelly Cavanaugh. The Open event awarded $40 to the top female finisher, Jessica Human.
 
Tour director Janene Phillips offered special thanks to Rocky McElroy, owner of Capone’s, and his staff, as well as McDermott Cues for donating a cue for an event raffle. The next stop on the Sunshine State Pro Am Tour, scheduled for December 16-17, will be the tour’s Season Finale, which will be hosted by Park Avenue Billiards in Orange Park, FL.