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Atencio’s Win Over Kiamco Highlights Diamond Las Vegas Open Day One

Jesus Atencio

Day one of the Diamond Las Vegas Open finished up with very few notable upsets. 

One of the big matches of the day on Wednesday saw Jesus Atencio trailing Warren Kiamco in the second set, after having already lost the first set to the Filipino legend. Atencio dug deep though, and forced a “spot shot shoot out” that he won, to send Kiamco to the one loss side early. Atencio’s reward for that win was a match against Chris Reinhold on Thursday evening. 

Clay Belvoir’s win over Danny Olson was one upset that took place on Wednesday. Belvoir will face Taipei’s Kun Lin Wu in the second round on Thursday. 

With the event scheduled right before the Predator World 10-Ball Championship, it is no surprise that the field is full of top talent, and Thursday will bring any number of marquee matches for the fans to follow. A sampling of those matches includes Fedor Gorst vs David Alcaide, Corey Deuel vs Billy Thorpe, Skyler Woodward vs Darren Appleton, Johann Chau vs Denis Grabe and Tony Chohan vs Jung-Lin Chang.

Fans can follow this event online with online brackets at and free streaming coverage of select matches at

Aranas wins two-stage, $10k-added 10-Ball Championships in Virginia

James Aranas

One of a personally-gathered group of professionals, semi-professionals and amateur pool players brought together by one Wayne Everhart, owner of TTMD (ThinkTechMD) Billiards Streaming of Maryland, to compete in a $10,000-added, two-phase 10-Ball Championship in Front Royal, VA this past weekend (June 25-27), James Aranas went undefeated through a field of 64 entrants, including Alex Pagulayan in the finals, to claim the event title.

It was a strong field that took to the 9-ft Blue Diamond Tables at On Cue Sports Bar & Grill in Front Royal over the weekend. Earl Strickland competed. So did Rodney Morris, Hunter Lombardo, Brandon Shuff, Brett Stottlemeyer, Joey Korsiak, Warren Kiamco, Tyler Styer and recent-junior player, Shane Wolford, just to mention about 15% of the field. It began as a straight double elimination tournament, which worked its way down to eight players on the winners’ side (winners’ side quarterfinals) and eight on the loss side (playing for the 13-16 slots). They redrew those 16 players into a single elimination field that eventually came down to Aranas and Pagulayan.

Aranas opened up with a victory over Tuan Chau and then, defeated Brian Brekke and Josh Burbul to secure his place among the winners’ side’s final eight. Pagulayan downed Warren Kiamco, Manny Chau, and Tyler Styer to secure his spot. Joining them were Brandon Shuff and Hunter Lombardo, Kyle Dilly (who would have faced Aranas in a winners’ side quarterfinal), Logan Harrington, Joey Korsiak and Rodney Morris (who would have played Pagulayan in a winners’ side quarterfinal).

From the loss side, Rick Scarlato and Jeremy Sossei had eliminated, between them, Scott Roberts, Manny Chau and five others to join the final eight on the loss side. Demetrius Jelatis and Jesse Engel joined the loss side group; Engel having played only a single opponent on the loss side. Jesus Atencio and Tyler Styer were scheduled for a 13/16 match, when they joined the loss-side’s final eight. Both had played only a single match on the loss side; Atencio eliminating Stottlemeyer and Styer defeating Brian Bekke. Warren Kiamco had defeated Scott and Thomas Haas, as well as Mark Nanashee and was poised to face Shane Wolford, who’d put an end to Earl Strickland’s time at the tables, when they both joined the loss-side final eight.

The single elimination matchups went like this: Joey Korsiak faced Demetrius Jelatis, Hunter Lombard vs. Jeremy Sossei, Logan Harrington and Shane Wolford, Pagulayan and Kiamco, Morris and Engel, Brandon Shuff and Jesus Atencio, Kyle Dilly and Rick Scarlato, and at the bottom of the single elimination bracket, Aranas squared off against Tyler Styer.

When the dust settled at the end of the first, single elimination round, only Jelatis/Sossei, Wolford/Pagulayan, Atencio/Engel and Dilly/Aranas remained. Sossei and Jelatis battled to double hill before Sossei advanced to the semifinals. Pagulayan defeated Wolford 11-4 to join him in their semifinal match. Atencio eliminated Engel 11-4, as Aranas ended Dilly’s day 11-7.

Pagulayan got into the finals with an 11-4 win over Sossei. Meanwhile, Atencio and Aranas were engaged in a double hill fight that eventually did send Aranas into the finals against The Lion.

Aranas completed his undefeated run with a 13-6 victory over Pagulayan to claim the TTMD Billiard Streaming 10-Ball Championships.

Event organizer Wayne Everhart thanked the ownership and staff at On Cue Sports Bar & Grill for their hospitality, as well as sponsors THINKTECHMD, On Cue Sports Bar and Grill, The New Green Room Billiards, On the Hill Productions, Queens of the Green, Military Family Relief Fund Mid Atlantic, WEBROOT + CARBONITE, Gina Cunningham, Big Money Billiards, Lambros Cues, Element Risk Management, Baltimore City Cues, Charlie’s Pro Shop, American Billiard Covering and H & H Landscaping.

Though presently scheduled only to conduct next spring’s Bob Stock’s Memorial ahead of the annual Super Billiards Expo, TTMD Billiards Streaming is looking to expand its reach to any number of venues and is in the process of trying to “bring in dollars from the technology sector to inject cash into the sport (and in so doing), find a way to make an income for the players who sign on.” It has a familiar ring to it because Everhart and his company are not the first entity to attempt a means by which to grow and develop the sport. His plans are extensive and if his recent efforts with the TTMD Billiards Streaming $10,000-added 10-Ball Championships are any indication, we will likely be hearing from him and his organization real soon.

Early favorite, Atencio goes undefeated at 1st Annual Ronny Park Memorial Tournament

Jesus Atencio

On March 23, the pool community lost one of its dearest, true-blue friends, Ronny Park, who passed away, having contracted COVID when he was also battling a variety of pre-existing conditions. He was not what you’d call a household name, but within the community, there are very few places where he wasn’t known, beginning with his early days in Connecticut, and very few players who didn’t know of him. Some of you reading this may remember when Tommy Kennedy passed out at a tournament a few months ago and as he and his family began to deal with what proved to be a very slow but successful recovery, arrangements began almost immediately to raise money for Kennedy and his family. 

It was Ronny Park who set that financial assistance into motion. Kennedy joined 95 other players, including Park’s roommate for the last eight years, Kevin Shaw, along with Johnny Archer, BJ Ussery and the eventual undefeated winner of this first, though certain not to be the last memorial in Park’s honor, Jesus Atencio. In addition to a couple of days of top-notch competition, the $500-added event, held under the auspices of the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour, also raised over $10,000 to help defer the costs associated with Park’s funeral.

As the flyer promoting the event noted, the event was designed to be a celebration of Park’s life, and at Josh Newman’s West End Billiards in Gastonia, NC, where Park spent a lot of time, that celebration was marked by the people who knew him gathering primarily outside the facility, because the facility itself, almost every inch of its available space, was occupied, as Park would likely have preferred, with pool tables and players. At the center of the event was Herman Parker, tour director of the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour, who roomed with Park, early in their respective careers and room owner, Josh Newman, who offered food to those who gathered, both on Friday night as the players began to arrive and during both Saturday and Sunday while they played; the grill was going outside pretty much throughout the event.

In addition to being there for the family who’d done so much to help him personally, Kennedy donated some cues as raffle prizes, as did cue maker Daniel Heidrich, who, in addition to donating a cue valued at $2k, became the event runner-up after challenging Atencio twice. Herman Parker donated a Viking cue for raffle. One of the tour’s sponsors, Diamond Brat, purveyor of pool jewelry and giftware (including some terrific, acrylic designs for pocket markers) donated a portion of their proceeds to the benefit. Others took advantage of on-line ways to donate. 

“And,” Parker noted, “the cue that Ron used to shoot with was raffled off. It was a Shawn Putnam cue, in fact.”

The event officially got underway, late afternoon on Saturday, and at around 6 p.m., room owner Josh Newman and Johnny Archer squared off in a challenge match. Archer won the match 9-4.

One of the surprises that emerged late in the tournament was 16-year-old Landon Hollingsworth, who began his Saturday work with two victories, before running into Josh Newman. Newman sent him to the loss side, where Hollingsworth embarked on an eight-match, loss-side winning streak that would take him as far as the semifinals. Tour director Herman Parker, though reluctant to indicate that the teenager had “played way above his head,” not just because of the loss-side streak, but the quality of the opponents he faced and defeated down the stretch, described Hollingsworth’s loss-side run as a “ridiculous tear to third place.”

With Hollingsworth at work on the loss side, Jesus Atencio and Danny Heidrich advanced to the winners’ side semifinals. Atencio faced Hunter White, as Heidrich squared off against Chuck Ritchie. Heidrich defeated Ritchie 7-5 and in the hot seat match, faced Atencio, who’d sent White to the loss side 7-4. In their first of two, Atencio sent Heidrich to the semifinals 7-2 and sat in the hot seat, awaiting his return.

On the loss side, it was Hunter White, not long from being a junior player himself, who drew the teenager, Hollingsworth, six matches into his loss-side streak. Hollingsworth had already defeated last week’s winner on the tour, Sammy Manley, and a few other tour veterans like Bruce Campbell, Josh Heeter and David Anderson, before eliminating Joey Fox 5-2 and then, at the end of his match versus Tommy Kennedy, shot what Herman Parker described as “a ridiculous jump shot on the 8-ball and ran out” to defeat Kennedy 5-2, as well. Chuck Ritchie drew The Scorpion, Johnny Archer, who’d defeated Mike Bumgarner, double hill and BJ Ussery 5-3 to reach him.

Archer got by Ritchie 5-1, as Hollingsworth was at work shutting Hunter White out. The teenager couldn’t have picked a better opponent to chalk up what would prove to be his last win at the event than Johnny Archer. He did so in the quarterfinals 5-2.

Heidrich turned the tables on Hollingsworth, ending the young man’s impressive loss-side streak 5-2 and turning for a second shot against Atencio, waiting for him in the hot seat. Atencio hadn’t lost his edge waiting.

The final, an extended race to 9, took 26 minutes. With alternating breaks, Heidrich broke four times and failed to make a ball on any of them. Atencio ran each of those racks, and on his breaks, broke and ran all five times to shut Heidrich out. 

Much to the chagrin of Upstate AL, who ran a live stream on Saturday and most of Sunday, the streaming operation ran into what proved to be an insurmountable technical glitch that for all intents and purposes, shut the stream down on Sunday afternoon. The best matches of the tournament, which from all appearances, occurred near the end, with the teenager’s streak, the final matches of Kennedy & Archer, and the 26-minute final could not be seen. The problem was not with the streaming operation itself, but with the on-line infrastructure of the facility, which learned, late on Sunday, that a ‘fix,’ requiring a major overhaul of the room’s systems, wasn’t possible. “There was,” explained AL, “nothing we could do.”

Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked Newman and his staff for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues,, Dirty South Grind Apparel Co., AZBilliards, Federal Savings Bank mortgage division and Diamond Brat. They also thanked the numerous individuals and groups that donated to the success of this 1st memorial in honor of their friend, Ronny Park, including Danny Heidrich and Tommy Kennedy for their cue donations for the raffles.

The next stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour will be a three-day affair, getting under way this Friday, May 14 and continuing through until Sunday, May 16. The $3,000-added event will be hosted by Stroker’s Billiards, in Sumter, SC.

Ronny Park Benefit Memorial – Jesus Atencio vs Cory Morphew


Ronny Park Benefit Memorial – BJ Ussery vs Jesus Atencio


Atencio and Garcia Go Undefeated in Poison Lone Star ’21 Comeback Event

Jesus Atencio and Cesar Garcia

Jesus “Golden Boy” Atencio and Cesar Garcia racked up first-time wins at the Poison Lone Star Billiards Tour 2021 “Comeback” Event, held March 27th-28th at Big Tyme Billiards in Spring, Texas. Atencio went undefeated in the 64-player, open 9-ball division, shutting out Wesley Escobar in the final, 7-0, while Cesar Garcia also went unmatched in the 64-player, amateur 9-ball division, conquering Victor “Champion” Rojas in the final, 5-1.

Producing only two events in 2020, the Poison Lone Star Billiards Tour ceased tournament production in March 2020 and resumed business on March 27th, 2021, a little over one year later. Tour title sponsor, Poison by Predator Cues, sponsors Predator Cues, APA of North Harris County, Alamo Billiards, Outsville Billiards, Team StraightPool Eye, Southern Streaming, and flagship host venue, Big Tyme Billiards, helped facilitate a phenomenal “comeback” event for players all across Texas and Louisiana. There were 74 competitors, along with 52 women who participated in the Gulf Coast Tour women’s event, who couldn’t wait to get back to the business of playing competitive pool. The event garnered 126 players in all, and paid out nearly $15,000 in prize money.  The tournament was played on twenty-three Diamond Bar Tables, with brand new Predator Arcos II Pool Balls, and Accu-Racks by Outsville Billiards. As always, Big Tyme provided a non-smoking atmosphere, impeccable equipment, and an attentive staff. All of these amenities made for a very enjoyable, tournament-going experience, and everyone was ecstatic to be back.

In the open 9-ball division, on his way to the winners’ side, final four, Jesus Atencio bested Gary Gunter, Steve Williams, 7-1, Stacy Benoit, 7-2, and Steve Lenz, 7-6, while Ernesto Bayaua blazed through Bobby Perez, Charlie Jenkins, 7-5, J.C. Torres, 7-0, and Derek Fontenot, 7-0. Wesley Escobar powered past Javier Alienes, 7-5, Justin Richard, 7-4, Theo Hoang, 7-3, and David “DG” Gonzales, 7-4. John Weeks of Lufkin, Texas tackled John Braud, 7-2, Kevin Frauenberger, 7-6, Brian Murphy, 7-2, and Victor Rojas, 7-3. In the final twelve, battling through the one-loss side, newcomer Dylan Chambers curbed Fontenot, 5-4, while Cesar Garcia dusted off Lenz, 5-3. It was Benoit over Gonzalez, 5-2, and Rojas toppling Coffman, 5-4. On the east side, Escobar took down Weeks, 7-2, while Atencio shut-out Bayaua, 7-0. In the hot seat match, Atencio was full steam ahead, derailing Escobar, 7-4. Back on the one-loss side, Garcia ended Chambers, 5-2, but fell to Weeks, 5-4. Rojas defeated Benoit, 5-1, and Bayaua, 5-4, but failed the test against Weeks, 5-4.

Waiting in the wings, Escobar overcame Weeks, 5-1, earning himself a rematch with Atencio. In the final set, Atencio showed no mercy, dominating Escobar, 7-0. Congratulations to Jesus Atencio on his first, Poison Lone Star Billiards Tour win.

In the amateur 9-ball division, on his way to the winners’ side, final four, Cesar Garcia bested Brian Murphy, Tracy Lacy, 5-4, Steve Lenz, 5-4, and Bill Fuller, 5-1. Justin Richard never let his guard down, defeating Rodolfo Rodriguez, Jr., 5-2, Bret Harlan, 5-3, Sonny Bosshamer, 5-3, and finally, Stacy Benoit, 5-4. Dennis Hadley took down Justin Hubacek, David Guerra, 5-1, Bart Bowman, 5-1, and lastly, Ray Porter, 5-2. Rounding out the final four, Victor Rojas overwhelmed Beau Courts, 5-0, Chuck Adams, 5-3, Jay Winters, 5-4, and Kevin Frauenberger, 5-2. As the east side, final four took shape, the west side went into elimination mode.  Down to the final twelve, Lenz took out Porter, 5-4, and Frauenberger eliminated Robert Perez, 5-2. It was Coffman over Stacy Benoit, 5-3, and Fuller sliding by J.C. Torres, 5-4. On the winners’ side, Garcia secured his fifth win against Richard, 5-2, while Hadley fell to Rojas, 5-4. In the hot seat match, Garcia slid by Rojas to claim the victory, 5-4.

On the one-loss side, Frauenberger ousted Richard, while Hadley eased by Fuller, 5-4. Down to the final four, Hadley made his move against Frauenberger, 5-3, but was stopped by Rojas, 5-4. Once again, Rojas rose to meet Garcia, but was knocked once more, 5-1. Congratulations to Cesar Garcia on winning his first tournament, on the Poison Lone Star Billiards Tour.

The Tour would like to welcome all the new players who attended from cities across Texas and Louisiana. Congratulations to Michael Presley and Debra Leger, who each won a set of Predator Arcos II Pool Balls. Tiffany Johnson scored, winning three Poison playing cues, along with Brittany Kromer, David Trevino, and Brian Murphy, who took home Poison Cues as well.

The next event will be April 24th-25th, 2021, at Slick Willies Family Pool Hall, located at 9315 Westheimer, in Houston, Texas. For more information about the Poison Lone Star Billiards Tour, visit

Gorst Takes Augusta

Jesus Atencio and Fedor Gorst

For big table aficionados, all the action this weekend was at the Rack N Grill II in Augusta, GA for their 9 Ball Shootout. The format for this $4000 added event was true double elimination, winner breaks, rack your own with the nine on the spot & two in the back with the three ball break rule – races to 15 on the winners side & races to 11 on the one loss side.

Forty eight players ponied up their $200 entry fees including Russian stars Fedor Gorst & Evgeny Stalev, Josh Roberts, Roberto Gomez , Jeffrey de Luna, Brandon Shuff, Robb Saez, Johnathan Hennessee, Julio Burgos, BJ Ussery, Mike DeLawder, Scott Rabon, Mark Gregory, rising star Jesus Atencio and local straight shooter Mike Wise.

A players auction was held – between the tournament & auction payouts, the total purse was $40,000! Following that, the draw was done & the tournament began with one round on Friday night.

After starting at noon on Saturday & Sunday, the field was finally pared down to just four players – Gorst & Atencio on the winners side with Roberts & de Luna on the one loss side.

The hot seat was claimed by Gorst as he dispatched Atencio to await the results of the Roberts-de Luna match. Jeffrey defeated Josh leaving him in fourth place.

Atencio advanced to the finals after winning a nailbiter over de Luna leaving him with a third place finish.

Since this event was true double elimination, Jesus would have to defeat Fedor twice to win the tournament.

He shot out to a 3-0 over Fedor but before you knew it, he trailed 4-3. From there, it was neck & neck until Jesus pulled away to take the first set 15-10!

After a short break, the final race to eleven began.

Jesus again went several games ahead but towards the end of the match, Fedor had whittled that lead down to where he was only trailing by one game – 8-7. He then tied it up at eight apiece! And then again, 9-9! The pressure was on! Who would get on the hill first?!!!

Fedor broke & scratched – Jesus ran out! 10-9!

Jesus broke, made three balls on the break, ran a couple & hung up the five! Fedor knocked the remaining balls into the pockets.

One game for it all!

Fedor broke for the final game & methodically ran out the remaining balls for the win!!!

What a match!

Congratulations to Fedor for taking the title! This has to be a heartbreaker for Jesus – great tournament, young man!

Thanks to the Rack N Grill II’s owner Mike Newsome and his staff who went all out to treat players and fans to a fantastic weekend. Mike also tells us he’s opening a third location soon in Aiken, SC!

We’d also like to thank our commentators – Mary Kenniston, Larry Schwartz, Jeremy Jones, Scott Rabon & Eddie Brown! Great job, as usual!

And, last but not least, would also like to thank our sponsors and fans for another fantastic event! We couldn’t do this without your support! Tour sponsors include Lomax Custom Cues, Hanshew Jump Cues, Durbin Custom Cues, Diamond Billiard Products, StraightPoolEye, Aramith, Simonis & Fort Worth Billiard Superstore of Fort Worth, TX.

Our next event is the Midwest Open Billiards Championship at Michael’s Billiards in Fairfield, OH – March 16th-21st! Hope to see you there!

Jayson Shaw Pulls Double Duty at US 1 Billiards Pro Am

Jayson Shaw at the pre event player’s meeting

Ask any instructor what they suggest as a method to play your best during a big tournament and you will get answers reminding you to focus 100% on each match you are playing and maybe try to get away from the tables in between matches so you can spend some quality time clearing your mind from any distractions. 

As the owner of US 1 Billiards in West Haven Connecticut, where the US 1 Billiards February Pro Am was held on February 6th – 7th, Jayson Shaw had a few other things to worry about. Shaw found himself busy with a whole list of responsibilities including running the tournament, cooking, serving customers, cleaning up, shoveling snow, stopping mid match to take pictures with fans and even dealing with unexpected interruptions like his wife Ara announcing over the loudspeaker “Jayson, Shaw, I need you at the front desk … NOW”. Somehow, he was able to focus through all of this and win the $1,500 added event. 

Looking back on the weekend, Shaw admitted to how tough it was. “I was not really 100% in on playing the event as I knew it was going be a packed house and I needed to help out. I played well in parts, but my head was completely on winning the event. I was happy go deep but I have not played pool since Mosconi I think that’s the second time I had my cue out my case”.

Shaw ran through his first three matches with a combined score of 27-1, sending Kyle Manuel, Joey Korsiak and Sam Traygis to the one loss side. He had his first real challenge in the 4th round where he defeated recent DFW Tour Stop Co-Winner Jalal Al Saresi 9-5. The first real hiccup of the day was in round five when Shaw ran into a buzz-saw named Mike Dechaine. Dechaine took a quick 2-0 lead before Shaw won a rack to get back to 2-1 down. From there, it was all Dechaine as he won the next seven racks for a 9-1 win, sending Shaw to the one loss side. 

The win over Shaw sent Dechaine to the hot-seat match to face a hobbled Kevin West. West was noticeably limping all day on Sunday as he had fallen early in the day. Had it not been for the snow on the ground in Connecticut, West might have not stuck around for the hot-seat match. “I did consider forfeiting, but I couldn’t go anywhere because of the snow storm, so I just decided to keep going” said West. Even with what would turn out to be a fractured foot, West maintained the high level of play he had been displaying all weekend and held a 5-2 lead over Dechaine midway through the hot-seat match. Dechaine fought back to within one rack multiple times, but West held on and defeated Dechaine 9-7. 

To no one’s surprise, it was Shaw and Dechaine facing off in the semi-final match. While it was Dechaine with the dominating win over Shaw earlier in the day, this time it was Shaw getting his revenge with an 8-3 win, sending Dechaine home in 3rd place. 

The final race to 13 match went back and forth early, with a tie score at 1-1, 2-2, 3-3, 4-4 and 5-5 before Shaw took control for an 8-5 lead. Shaw stretched that lead to 12-7 and looked to be out in the 20th rack before finally succumbing to a distraction on the final two balls. West took full advantage and clawed back to a one rack deficit at 12-11. West had a chance to tie the match at hill-hill but a jawed 2-ball was his last trip to the table as Shaw ran out from there for the 13-11 win. 

For West, even with the fractured foot, the tournament was a great example of the level of play he is capable of and a testament to a recent equipment change he had made. “My friend John Moody Jr. let me try his Cuetec carbon shaft 14 months ago and I was very impressed. I ordered one immediately and haven’t looked back” said West. Pairing the new shaft with his Anthony Milanesi butt made a lot of difference in his game. “I had to make a couple minute adjustments but carbon is much more consistent than wood and that’s why I switched. Everything seems easier for me now.” 

For Shaw, the win didn’t mean he had a chance to relax and celebrate. It meant that he had more work to do. He quickly led the last group of rail birds to the door, so he could get to work cleaning the pool room and getting ready for another day as a pool room owner on Monday. 

US 1 Billiards February Pro Am – Mike Dechaine vs Jesus Atencio

US 1 Billiards February Pro Am – Jayson Shaw vs Jesus Atencio