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Morra & Van Boening Win It All In Minnesota

Jerry Johnson with John Morra and Roberto Gomez

CR’s Sports Bar in Coon Rapids, MN – a suburb of Minneapolis – was the place to be this past weekend! Owner Jerry Johnson and his staff laid out the red carpet for all the players and fans for the inaugural HEX.COM Pro/Am.

A total of $26,000 was added to this event. Featuring four divisions, there was the $8,000 added Open 10 Ball Championship, a $3,000 added Skills Challenge event, a $5,000 added Amateur 8 Ball Championship and a $10,000 added Open 8 Ball Championship.

Looking around the room, there were recognizable faces everywhere! Shane Van Boening, Alex Pagulayan, Fedor Gorst, Tyler Styer, John Morra, Roberto Gomez, Sergio Rivas, Jesse Engel and Gene Albrecht milled around the room.

After the players auction and the draw, play in the Open 10 Ball Championship began. The $300 entry fee format was winner breaks with races to nine. After they battled it out, there were four men undefeated. John Morra defeated Joven Bustamante 9-6 to move in the hot seat match as did Roberto Gomez over Vitaliy Patsura – also 9-6.

After losing to Patsura in the first round 9-6, Alex Pagulayan had another shot at him but to no avail. He was spanked 9-2. Bustamante defeated Robert Mattson 9-5 to move into the match with Patsura. Both Alex and Robert finished in 5th-6th place. Joven made short work of Patsura 9-3 leaving him in fourth place. Bustamante then cooled his heels while awaiting the results of the hot seat match.

The hot seat match was pretty much all Morra as he sent Gomez west after a 9-2 crushing. Roberto then survived his match with Joven 9-5 to move into the finals against Morra. Bustamante finished in third place.

As this was true double elimination, Roberto would have to defeat John twice to claim the title. Morra was having none of that as he trounced Gomez again 9-4 to take the title! Congratulations, John! Good effort, Roberto!

Both 8 Ball events began on Friday night after the players auction and draw. The Amateur 8 Ball event was open to players with a 675 and under Fargo rating. Players paid a $100 entry fee and played with BCA rules and a format of races to five with winner breaks. When the smoke cleared, it was Cornell McLean taking top honors and Sam Henderson finished second. Congratulations to both players!

And, congratulations to Jesse Engel for winning the nine foot Table Brains Skills Challenge and to Kevin McGrath for taking down the Table Brains Skills Challenge on the seven footer!

Shane Van Boening, Jerry Johnson and Roberto Gomez

Again, after the players auction and draw, the 8 Ball Open began. Players paid a $300 entry fee – format was races to nine winner breaks and take what you make.

After many hours of play, four players remained undefeated. The red-hot pair of John Morra and Roberto Gomez played for a berth in the hot seat match. This time, it was Roberto who took the match with a 9-6 score. Shane Van Boening locked up the other seat with a 9-5 victory over the always tough Alex Pagulayan.

On the west side of the chart, waiting for Morra was Russia’s Fedor Gorst. They battled down to the wire – Gorst was eliminated 9-8. Pagulayan was ousted by young gun Sergio Rivas 9-3. Both Alex and Fedor finished in 5th-6th place. Rivas then went on to eke out a 9-8 win over Morra leaving John with a fourth-place finish. Sergio then waited for an opponent from the hot seat match.

The hot seat match was as close as ever but a determined Gomez sent Van Boening packing with a 9-7 score. Shane head over to play Sergio to see who would return to the finals. Van Boening took dead aim as he dashed Rivas’s hopes 9-4. Sergio finished in third place.

Again, as this was true double elimination, Shane would have to defeat Roberto twice to win the tournament. And he did! He dispatched Gomez 9-2 and  9-3 to take it down! Congratulations, Shane! Good effort, Roberto! would like to again thank HEX.COM for sponsoring this event as well as Jerry Johnson and his staff for taking such good care of all the players and fans. We’d also like to thank Tournament Director Scott Norberg for doing such a great job running the various events.

Thanks to our commentators Larry Schwarz, Jerry Johnson and Ray Hansen for a great job.

We’d also like to than our fans and sponsors for making this all possible. Our sponsors include JB Cases, Lomax Custom Cues, CR’s Sports Bar, Diveney Cues, EnviroAssessments, Hanshew Jump Cues, Diamond Billiard Products, Durbin Custom Cues, Simonis, Aramith and Fort Worth Billiard Superstore of Fort Worth, TX.

Our next stop is Skinny Bob’s n Round Rock, TX for the 49th Annual $40,000 added Texas Open. Dates are August 27th– September 5th! Hope to see you there.

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The Bar Box Classic is in the Books

Robert Frost and Roberto Gomez

Dwaine Bowman’s Leisure Time Billiards & Sports Bar in East Moline, IL hosted its 2nd Annual Bar Box Classic over the past several days.  Featuring three divisions – Eight Ball, One Pocket and Ten Ball – a total of $16,000 was added by local sponsors. They included Jacoby Cues, Behnke Trailers, Bull Carbon, Diveney Cues, Andy Billiard Cloth, Comfort Inn, and Anytime Billiards of Clive, IA.

Plenty of recognizable faces and names roamed the building! They included BCA and One Pocket Hall of Famer Alex Pagulayan, current International Open One Pocket champ Roberto Gomez, current US Open 10 Ball champ Fedor Gorst, current Big Tyme Classic One Pocket champ Robert Frost, current Midwest Billiards Nine Ball champ Kristina Tkach, Wisconsin Billiards Hall of Famers Jeff Carter and Gene Albrecht and former speed pool champ Bobby McGrath. Jesse Bowman, Warren Kiamco, Brian Groce, Ricky Evans, Chris Lawson, Houston Rodriguez, Whitey Walker, Benny Conway Jr as well as young guns Joey Tate and Kash Keaton were among the other players.

The $4,000 added Eight Ball division began on Wednesday evening with a players auction followed by players meeting and the draw. Forty eight players paid a $300 entry – the format was double elimination, winner breaks and races to nine.

Last year’s third place finisher, Jesse Bowman, shot straight out of the chute after drawing a bye and sent Benny Conway Jr, Gordy Vanderveer Fedor Gorst and Alex Pagulayan to the one loss side before arriving at the hot seat match.

Brian Groce also went undefeated in his march to the hot seat. After drawing a first round bye, his victims included Will Thomsen, Gene Albrecht and Blake Baker before he went  to the wire with Corey Deuel. After surviving that match, Brian beat Jesse Bowman and locked up his berth in the finals. Jesse headed west to await an opponent.

Roberto Gomez won his first two matches over Tony Ehlers and Chris Lawson before being felled by compadre Alex Pagulayan. Once on the one loss side, he defeated Marty Heldenbrand, Ray Skendore, Blake Baker, Brandon Heldenbrand and exacted his revenge on Alex 9-8. He then defeated Gene Albrecht to finally play Jesse Bowman for the remaining spot in the finals. 

It was a battle but Roberto eked out a win – 9-8. Jesse, again, finished in third place.

As this was true double elimination, Gomez had to defeat Groce twice to claim the title. In dead punch after winning seven matches in a row to arrive at the finals, Roberto won the first set 9-6 and then the second 9-3. Congratulations, Roberto for a hard fought win! Good tournament, Brian!

The $2,000 added One Pocket Division began on Thursday evening after the players auction, meeting & draw. Played on nine footers, twelve players paid a $500 entry fee into this single elimination, race to four, winner break event.

With his one pocket game on the improve, Fedor Gorst arrived at the finals after defeating Randy Jordan, Robert Frost and Alex Pagulayan. His opponent, Jesse Bowman drew a first round bye and then beat Roberto Gomez and Corey Deuel. Due to time constraints, Jesse and Fedor decided to split the purse. Congratulations to both players!

The $10,000 added Ten Ball Division began on Friday night. Ninety six players paid a $150 entry fee into this double elimination event. Racing to nine with alternate breaks, there were no jump cues allowed. This old schooler really enjoyed watching the safety battles!

Following the players auction, meeting and draw, the matches began.

 Houston Rodriguez began his journey to the final four on the winner’s side with victories over Bob Smith, Donny Thompson, Ricky Evans, Alex Pagulayan and Gene Albrecht.

Roberto Gomez caught a bye and then worked his way past Jeff Berger, David Kelly, Warren Kiamco and Benny Conway Jr. He then defeated Rodriguez and advanced to the hot seat match.

In the lower portion of the bracket, Robert Frost defeated Kash Keaton, Greg Pitts, Tom Tan, Bobby McGrath and Mike Banks Jr to arrive in the final four.

Home court hero Jesse Bowman also drew a first round bye and then sent Joey Dyer, Adam Thomas, Ryan Ponton and Jimmy Nosavan west before he was defeated by Frost who moved into the other spot in the hot seat match. 

Frost was then defeated by Gomez 9-6 and was sent to the one loss side while Gomez cooled his heels awaiting an opponent for the final match.

After losing his third round match to Ryan Ponton, Fedor Gorst clawed his way past Josh Ray, Kristina Tkach, Warren Kiamco, Kash Keaton, Mike Banks Jr, Randy Jordan, Houston Rodriguez and Jesse Bowman before encountering Robert Frost. 

Fighting for the remaining seat in the finals, the match was neck and neck until Robert pulled away at the end. Final score 9-6. Fedor finished in third place.

Moving into the finals, Frost had to defeat  Gomez twice to claim the title. An early miss by Frost resulted in Gomez claiming an early four game lead – score 5-1. They traded games with Robert closing the gap – now 6-4. Roberto dug in and reached the hill – 8-5. He made a ball on the break and ran out for the win! 

Congratulations to Roberto for not only snapping off this one but also the Eight Ball! Good tournament, Robert! would like to thank Dwaine Bowman and his fantastic staff for taking such good care of all the players and fans. We’d also like to thank Tournament Director Eric Gardner for doing a great job. 

We’d like to thank Larry Schwartz, Corey Deuel, Alex Pagulayan, Mary Kenniston, Jerry Johnson and Ray Hansen for their topnotch commentary.

And, last not but least, we’d like to thank our sponsors and fans. Our sponsors include JB Cases, Diveney Cues, Aramith, Hanshew Jump Cues, EnviroAssessments, Lomax Custom Cues, Simonis, Durbin Custom Cues, Diamond Billiard Products, Fort Worth Billiards Superstore and CR’s Sports Bar of Minneapolis, MN.

Our next stop is Big Dog Billiards in Des Moines, IA for the 7th Annual $18,000 added Midwest Billiards & Cue Expo. The dates are July 13th-17th – hope to see you there!

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Nathan Rose Wins Valentines Day Massacre 8-Ball Event

Nathan Rose and Bill Eisenberg

The nineteenth stop on the 2013-2014 Pure X Cues All American Tour stop – presented by the AmericanCueSports Alliance (ACS) – was showcased in the Valentine Day Massacre 8-Ball #5- at Q’s Sports Bar & Girl in Port Charlotte, FL – on Saturday, February 15.  The $500-added, handicapped [Masters racing to 6/ Open racing to 4/Women racing to 3] 8-ball tourney on 7-foot Valley bar boxes drew 37 players from all over southwest Florida. 
The winners-side quarter finals found Steve Knoll [6] (North Port, FL) pitted against Bill Eisenberg [4] of Sarasota, FL.  Eisenberg sent Master Knoll to the one-loss side with a 4-4 victory. Jerry Johnson [4] of Fort Myers, FL was sent to the one loss-side by Master Nathan Rose [6] of Tampa, FL, 6-2.
The one loss side found Knoll against Angel Martinez [6] of Sarasota, FL. Both master players pounded one another with Knoll sending Martinez back north with a 6-4 win. Tim Barron [4] of Sarasota, FL, laid in wait for Jerry Johnson and handled the match with a 4-0 win. This resulted in Barron and Master Steve Knoll fighting for the third place. Barron sent Knoll north to North Port with a tough hill match win of 4-5.
Back on the winners-side finals, Bill Eisenberg was barely overcome by Master Nathan Rose, who won the Rocking Chair position with a 6-3 victory!  The one-loss side pitted Barron and Eisenberg who came south from Sarasota together, concluding with a 4-2 win for Eisenberg.  The finals had undefeated Master Nathan Rose against Bill Eisenberg in the late night battle. Rose demonstrated why he was the Master with a 6-2 finish for the tournament win!  The Purex Cue raffled was won by "Mac”.
By virtue of Nathan Rose also being the highest-finishing ACS member in the event, he qualified for a free 8-Ball singles entry into the 2014 Universal Cues ACS Nationals at the Tropicana Las Vegas – courtesy of the ACS.   The Pure X Cue and Nick Varner case were won by James Hamilton of Port Charlotte, FL.  The ACS wishes to thank sponsors Pure X Cues, Championship Billiard Fabric and Nick Varner Signature Cases for their support in donating “Value-In-Kind” product for this and all stops on the Pure X All American Tour. Sponsorship opportunities and tour stop openings are still available for the 2013/2014 All American Tour by contacting the ACS.
The Tour moves west to Langley OK on the weekend of February 22-23 for a $300-added 8-Ball stop at Rigg’s Saloon (contact Rigg’s at 918-782-2775).  Further information, entry details and schedules for the 2013/2014 Pure X Cues All American Tour are available at