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Gomez, Gabriel, Saez, Martinez and Casper/Larson Take Space City Open

Roberto Gomez

Last week, players made their way to the $8,000 added Space City Open X. Held at Big Tyme Billiards in Spring, TX – a suburb of Houston – owners Billy Sharp, Jim Henry, Mark Avery and Matthew McFarren and their staff laid out the red carpet for both players and fans.

The tournament kicked off on Thursday night with the $1,000 added 9 Ball Banks event. This single elimination race to four event saw a full field of 32 players post their $100 entry fees. After the players auction, meeting & draw, the action began.

After being scarce on the tournament trail since the birth of his daughter two years ago, Robb Saez made up for lost time as he rocketed through the bracket taking down Alan Poisel 4-1, JC Torres 4-0, Mark Nanashee 4-2 and Ernesto Bayaua 4-0. In the bottom portion of the chart, Alex Calderon squeaked by Jeff Sullivan 4-3 and then dusted off Leon Contreras 4-1 and Raed Shabib 4-0 before running into Roberto Gomez. The match was a good one but Alex prevailed 4-2. 

That win put Calderon into the finals against the red hot Saez. Alex went down 4-1 – guess baby needed a new pair of shoes! Congratulations, Robb! Good job, Alex!

Starting on Friday night was the main event – the $3,500 added Open 9 Ball. Drawing a full field of 128 players, this double elimination event had a $75 entry fee and was played on seven foot tables. Races were to 9/7 with winner breaks.

Bogies was getting their money’s worth with their house pro and defending champ, Roberto Gomez, as he marched through the field. He was never seriously threatened as he defeated Timothy Lapointe 4-0, Richard Hughes 9-4, John Weeks 9-2, Javier Alienes 9-4, Ernesto Bayaua 9-1 and Blaine Barcus 9-3 to arrive at the hot seat match.

Another man slicing through the field was Oklahoma’s John Gabriel. He started with wins over Pedro Oviolo 9-2 and Calvin Chappell 9-3 before a tough one with young gun Lazaro Martinez. John barely survived that one 9-8 and then coasted past Cesar Arechiga 9-0. Next were Joey Torres and Ryan Robinson – they went down 9-6 and 9-3 and John also arrived at the hot seat match.

The hot seat match was all Roberto as he spanked John 9-3 and locked up his seat in the finals. John headed west to play Bayaua who had eliminated Saez 7-4. Robb finished in fourth place. Then, it was John who beat Ernesto by the same score – 7-4. He finished in third place.

Knowing he had to defeat Roberto twice to take the title, John put up a tough fight but when it was all over, Gomez had gotten his revenge for John knocking him out of the one pocket event and defended his title! He won the match 9-6. Congratulations, Roberto! Good event, John!

Lazaro Martinez III

Sunday was the start for both the $500 added Ladies 9 Ball and the $500 added Junior 9 Ball events. The players auction, meeting and draw for the juniors was first followed by the same for the ladies.

Twenty three boys and girls paid a $35 entry fee to play in the double elimination event played on the seven foot Diamonds. They raced to 7/5 with winner breaks.

Former BEF Junior National champ and defending champion Lazaro Martinez defeated Carlos Jinez 7-5, Mary Grigsby 7-1, Vania Davila 7-0 and Kailye Stevens 7-2 to arrive at the hot seat match.

Kyle Yi was the victor over Oscar Ruiz 7-2, Hunter Jackson 7-0, Tyler Miller 7-0 and Larissa Almendarez 7-5 to claim the other seat in the hot seat match.

Kyle then defeated Lazaro 7-3 to go on to the finals. Lazaro headed to the one loss side to face Carlos Jinez who had beaten Kailye Stevens 5-3. Kailye finished in fourth place. 

Looking to get back into the finals, Lazaro made short work of Carlos 5-1 leaving him in third place.

Needing to defeat Kyle twice to both defend and claim the title, Lazaro won the first set 7-4. The final set was a battle but it was Lazaro that took the title 5-3. Congratulations, Lazaro! Good event, Kyle!

Thirty two ladies filled the field posting their $45 entry fees. They also raced to 7/5 with winner breaks on the seven footers.

April Larson made her trek to the hot seat by defeating Vivian Christopher and Bridget Parker by the same score – 7-1. She then beat Crystal Cisneros 7-4, the always tough Ming Ng 7-3 and awaited her opponent in the hot seat match.

Making her way through the bottom of the bracket was Ricki Casper. She defeated Michelle Abernathy 7-1 and Robyn Petrosino 7-3 before going to the wire with Michelle Yim 7-6 and then winning over Tam Trinh 7-5. 

Ricki Casper

The hot seat match began and both players fought hard but in the end, Ricki had edged out April 7-6! April headed west.

Waiting for her was Ming. She had just beaten Robyn – she finished in fourth place. The match began to see who’d be in the final match. April came out on top 5-3 leaving Ming in third place.

Due to the late hour, the ladies decided to split the honors. Congratulations to both players!

The $1,000 added One Pocket event also started on Friday night. Having a full field of 32 who paid $100 to enter, the format was again single elimination with races to four. Following the players auction, meeting & draw, the matches began.

Still on fire from his runner-up finish in the banks event, Alex Calderon tore through the top half of the bracket skunking both Sonny Bosshamer and Raed Shabib but had rougher matches against Ernesto Bayaua and Marvin Diaz. He won both matches 4-2 and landed in the finals.

Quietly making his way through the bottom portion of the bracket was Oklahoma’s John Gabriel. He won his first match over Joey Barnes 4-2 and continued with wins over Ryan Baselman and Ryan Robinson – both 4-1. Down went Superman as John defeated Roberto Gomez 4-2 to get to the finals.

The final match started late and went long into the early morning hours and at the end, it was John taking top honors 4-2. Great tournament, John! Good showing, Alex! 

John Gabriel

Congratulations to this year’s champions and to Roberto Gomez for taking down the $1,500 All Around Bonus!

PoolActionTV.com would again like to thank owners Billy Sharp, Jim Henry, Mark Avery and Matthew McFarren and their staff as well the event sponsors. They are Outsville, Diamond Billiard Products, Brutal Game Gear, Poison by Predator, Jerry Olivier Custom Cues, Simonis, Aramith, Predator, Immediate Smiles Dentures & Dentistry of Spring, TX, Alamo Billiards of Houston, TX, and Fort Worth Billliards Superstore of Fort Worth, TX.

We’d also like to thank Tournament Director Teresa Garland and her assistant, Jason Hill, for juggling all the various events.

In addition, thanks to Larry Schwartz and Ray Hansen for their excellent commentary.

PoolActionTV.com would also like to thank our fans and sponsors. Our sponsors include JB Cases, Hanshew Jump Cues, Diamond Billiard Products, Durbin Custom Cues, Savage Billiard Apparel, Immediate Smiles Dentures & Dentistry of Spring, TX, Action Palace of Dayton, OH and Fort Worth Billiards Superstore of Fort Worth, TX. 

Our next event is the 35th Annual Music City Open Nine Ball Championships at JOB Billiard Club in Madison, TN – a suburb of Nashville. Dates are January 11th-15th – hope to see you there!

And, here’s wishing everyone happy holidays and a healthy and prosperous new year!

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Wise Guy Snaps Off Senior One Pocket

Ronnie Wiseman, Ray Hansen, Bogies Owner Cody Parish and Nick Varner

Thirty one players came from all over the country to Bogies Billiards & Sports Bar in Houston, TX for the 7th Annual Senior One Pocket Championship.

My favorite tournament of the year, I couldn’t wait to see my longtime friends. “Tall Jeff” Sparks stopped by on the first day as well as Keith Thompson, the 1970 Johnston City All-Around champ. Texas legend, Jerry Prado, was supposed to play in the tournament but had car trouble – he showed up for the last two days to see everyone anyway. 

My friends Linda Martin, Samm Rubin, LoreeJon Ogonowski-Brown, Julie Mason-Comitini, Chris Fields, Kelly Isaac were there as well as Phil Windham, Carl Honey, Big Tyme’s Jim Henry, Todd Comitini, Bogie’s House Pro Roberto Gomez and Alex Calderon. The Taiwan contingent including Cheng Yu-hsuan (“Kevin Cheng”) and Chang Jung-lin was also in town making a pit stop before heading to Atlantic City for the US Open Pool Championship. There was even a little ten ball action between Roberto and Alex and a couple of the Taiwanese players after the finals on Sunday night. 

Presented by PoolActionTV, Bogies Billiards, Aramith, Simonis, Diamond Billiard Products and the Fort Worth Billiards Superstore, owner Cody Parish & Manager John Rizzo welcomed players such as BCA and One Pocket Hall of Famer Nick Varner, James Christopher (“The Sniper”), Moises Pouncey (“Gabby”), Scott Kitto, Ronnie Wiseman (“Wise Guy”), “Jumpin’ Sammy Jones, Erman Bullard, “Tyler Bob” Valliere, Joey Aguzin (“Joey A”) and Robert Newkirk (“Newk”) to the fray.

Among several first time players were Perfect Pocketz’ Mark Gregory (“Mags”) and “Colonel Bille” Miller as well as the returning northern California contingent – Bob Beaulieu, Ed Neves, Lee Wallick and Al Markasky. Warren Ruth, Tad Sowa, Larry Landsman, Mark Dimmick, Jim McCary, Ronn Rutan, Gary Urinowski, Kent Berthelot, Bob Hayes, Wayne Catledge, Mike Hoyt, James Christensen and Louis Vickio rounded out the field.

Dealing with health issues and sorely missed were former champs Billy Incardona, Jerry Matchin, John Henderson and James Davis Sr. It just wasn’t the same without you guys! Sure hope to see you next year!

The $3,000 added double elimination event had a $200 entry fee with races to 4/3 and alternate breaks. The player auction was pretty healthy with Wiseman going as the first blind bid and Varner the second. The auction was followed by the players meeting, the draw and one round of play. 

Shaking off the rust and slicing through the top part of the bracket was Perfect Pocketz’ Mark Gregory. “Mags” is better known today for his beautiful restorations of the classic Brunswick Centennial and Anniversary tables as well as perhaps the best table mechanic on the planet. Mark sent both Al Markasky and Ronn Rutan west with identical 4-1 scores and skunked Warren Ruth 4-0. 

Plowing through the other part of the bracket was Iowa native Scott Kitto – also known as “911.” Along with Mark Wilson and Jeff Carter, the trio dominated pool in the Midwest in the eighties. Scott blitzed both Gary Urinoski and Larry Landsman 4-zip and “Joey A” 4-2 before running into Gregory. Gregory made short work of Kitto – score 4-1. Scott headed for the scenic route while Mark locked up his seat in the hot seat match.

On a collision course in the upper part of the bottom bracket was the “Kentucky Colonel,” Nick Varner and Ronnie Wiseman. Player of the Year in 1980, 1982, 1989, 1994 and 1999, Nick is one of the best all-around players of all time with over one hundred career titles beginning with ACUI Collegiate National Championships (representing Purdue University) in 1969 and 1970, as well as back to back US Open Nine Ball titles. Nick has also won world titles in nine ball, eight ball, straight pool, one pocket and bank pool and has represented Team USA eight times at the Mosconi Cup – four times as the team captain. 

Originally from Windsor, ON, Ronnie Wiseman made his debut at this event. Although Ronnie played in tournaments here and there – even winning a few including the 2005 Reno Open, the “Wise Guy” is considered to be one of the smartest – if not THE smartest – action guys in the pool biz.

Nick blitzed both Ed Neves and Sammy Jones 4-0 while Ronnie toasted “J-Tom Pilot” 4-1 and skunked “Colonel Bille” 4-0. In a match that was closer than the score indicated, Ronnie sent Nick west 4-2. His next match was Moises Pouncey – the legendary player with a silky stroke. He was tagged “Gabby” early in his career for standing like a statue – never saying a word. Gabby mowed down “Newk” 4-0 and edged out Mark Dimmick 4-3. His next match was Jim McCary – score 4-2. Ronnie then made short work of Gabby 4-1 and met Gregory in the hot seat match.

Mark took the first two games over Ronnie and was on his way to winning game three when he picked out two different shots out of the stack, fired them in and ended up frozen to another ball in both cases with no shot. Ronnie clawed his way back and won four in a row over his frustrated opponent and locked up his seat in the finals. Mark headed to the one loss side to await an opponent.

After losing his second match, Sammy Jones battled his former running mate, James Christopher, and escaped with a 3-2 win. He then ran through both Warren Ruth and Mark Dimmick 3-0 before running into Gabby. That one went down to the wire also and Gabby survived with a 3-2 win. Varner spanked both Ronn Rutan and Jim Tomassoni 3-0 and then outlasted Kitto in an eight hour marathon 3-2. 

Returning the following day at noon, Nick ground out a 3-1 victory over Gabby. He finished in fourth place. Next up was Mark Gregory – he went down with a 3-0 pounding. Mark finished in third place.

Since this tournament was double elimination, Nick had to defeat Ronnie twice to win the event. This title has eluded Varner for the past few years and he wanted it badly but it was not to be. Wiseman moved out quickly winning the first two games. Back to the grind, Nick managed to take the next two and tie it up.  2-2! Bearing down, Ronnie won the next and was on the hill. Methodically making one ball at a time, Nick stayed in the game – keeping it close. It looked like he was going to tie it up and then he scratched! Wiseman, needing one, leaped out of his chair and got down on the spot shot. He stood up and then got back down and rifled it in! Boom! And we had a new champion!

Congratulations to Ronnie for snapping off the title on his first attempt with his beautiful Steve Lomax custom cue! Great effort, Nick!

Once again, PoolActionTV.com would like to thank Bogies owner Cody Parish, Manager John Rizzo and their staff for making all of us feel so welcome.

We’d like to thank our commentators for a fine job. They included One Pocket Hall of Famer Cliff Joyner, Mary Kenniston, Jeff Sparks, Joey Aguzin, Ronn Rutan and Ray Hansen.

We’d also like to thank our great fans and sponsors. Our sponsors include JB Cases, Aramith, Hanshew Jump Cues, Bogies Billiards, Lomax Custom Cues, Simonis, Diveney Cues, Diamond Billiard Products, Durbin Custom Cues, the Action Palace of Dayton, OH and Fort Worth Billiards Superstore of Fort Worth, TX.

Our next event is the One Pocket Champion Challenge featuring Tony Chohan and Alex Pagulayan with $100,000 plus in the middle! Hosted by Buffalo’s Billiards in Jefferson, LA, the dates are October 19th-22nd. Hope to see you there! 

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Frost, Baraks & Tkach Take Big Tyme Classic

Kristina Tkach, April Larson, Sofia Mast and Ming Ng

The Ninth Annual $14,000 added Big Tyme Classic was held over the last few days in Spring, TX – a suburb of Houston. Players and fans were treated to topnotch one pocket in addition to the open nine ball and ladies nine ball events.

Hosted by owners Billy Sharp, Mark Avery and Jim Henry, the local sponsors were Star City Amusements and Jim Stinson of AM, Inc.

The festivities kicked off on Thursday with the One Pocket Championship. Thirty players put up a $250 entry fee to play in this double elimination event. The format was races to 4/3 with the finals to be one extended race to five.

After the players auction, a players meeting was held, the brackets were posted and the matches started. 

With only two byes, the field had some of the best one pocket players anywhere. Newly crowned US Open One Pocket champ Tony Chohan was joined by last year’s runner-up Josh Roberts in addition to Fedor Gorst, Chip Compton and Warren Kiamco. Local champs Alex Calderon, Charlie Bryant, Tommy Tokoph and Ernesto Bayaua were there as well as other notables including Robert Frost and James Baraks.

First round saw two of the heavyweights score knockouts! Robert Frost was defeated by Chip Compton while Alex Calderon fell victim to Fedor Gorst.

Tony Chohan and Josh Roberts met in the second round – Josh prevailed. Compton advanced after a battle with Charlie Bryant as did Gorst over Tommy Tokoph.

Compton then mowed down both Ernesto Bayaua and Roberts while Gorst continued his winning ways over Warren Kiamco and Ray Lopez.

Finally meeting in the hot seat match, Fedor locked up his seat in the finals and sent Chip west to await an opponent.

After losing their first round matches, Calderon and Frost were dismantling their opponents left and right! Alex defeated Bernard Walker, Kenny Price, Charlie Bryant, James Baraks, Warren Kiamco and Josh Roberts until he met up with Frost. In the lower portion of the chart, Robert defeated Darryl Amos, John Infante, Tommy Tokoph, Jake Weaver, Raed Shabib and Ray Lopez.

Locked in battle, Alex and Robert both fought hard but it was Frost who took it down leaving Calderon in fourth place. 

In dead punch and playing great, Robert’s next victim was Chip Compton. Chip finished with a third place finish.

As previously mentioned, the finals were one extended race to five. Robert won the first game and the second game went down to the case ball. Robert won that one and then the third game. Then the unexpected happened! Since both Fedor and Robert were still in the Nine Ball, they had to halt the finals and go play their matches! 

After several hours, play resumed and Fedor finally won a game – score 3-1. Gorst’s hopes to tighten up the match faded as Frost took the fifth game to make it 4-1. Not rolling over yet, Gorst clawed his way back to take the next two games! Score now 4-3! And then, 4-4! WOW! One game for it all!

Robert moved out to a 5-1 lead in the case game. Soon, the balls were all moved up table. Fedor banked a shot and left it deep in his hole. Robert gave him the ball making it 5-2. Two shots later, he made one for himself and then banked in another. Frost was on the hill – 7-2! With no reasonable safety options, Fedor was forced to bank towards his hole and left Robert a semi-tough shot at his pocket. Swish! Nothing but net! Robert Frost takes down his first major one pocket title leaving Fedor Gorst with a well-deserved runner-up finish!!! 

What a match!!! After losing his first match, Robert won nine in a row to win the tournament! Congratulations, Robert!

The Open Nine Ball had started on Friday night with 136 players paying an $80 entry fee. Using a Magic Rack with the nine racked on the spot, players broke from the box. Played on seven foot Diamonds, the format was double elimination, races to 10/8, alternate breaks, three foul rule in effect – the nine didn’t count in the bottom two pockets. 

In addition to the previously mentioned players, this event had some of the best rotation players around including Andy Jethwa, Victor Rojas, Justin Espinosa, Sergio Rivas, John Hennessee & Kristina Tkach. 

In the top portion of the bracket, Justin Espinosa and Alex Calderon met in the third round with Alex sending Justin packing. Tony Chohan and Andy Jethwa collided in the fourth round – Andy was defeated and headed west. Warren Kiamco tore through his first four opponents until Calderon cut him off at the pass. 

At the bottom of the bracket, Tommy Tokoph and Robert Frost defeated their first three opponents. They met in the fourth round with Frost notching the win. James Baraks and Kristina Tkach also won their first three matches – James put an end to Kristina’s march and sent her to the one loss side. Baraks and Frost duked it out in the next round – James prevailed. Meanwhile, Sergio Rivas and Charlie Bryant won their first four matches. Charlie beat Sergio when they also met in the fifth round.

Now down to four on the winners side, Calderon defeated Kiamco and Baraks took care of Bryant. Playing for the hot seat, James defeated Calderon and locked up his seat in the finals. Alex headed west to await an opponent.

Over on the one loss side, Rivas knocked Bryant out of the tournament leaving Charlie in fourth place. Next up for Sergio was the always tough Alex Calderon. Alex proved to be too tough for Sergio this time – Alex moved on to the finals leaving Sergio in third place.

Due to the very late hour, James & Alex decided to split with James claiming the title. Congratulations to both!

Last, but not least, was the Ladies Nine Ball Championship. This double elimination event had 44 ladies posting a $55 entry fee. Also played on seven foot Diamonds and using the Magic Rack, the format was alternate break with races to seven on both sides.

Well known names like Kristina Tkach, April Larson, Ming Ng and Veronica Perez as well as young gun Sofia Mast joined the fray.

After defeating the always tough Ming Ng in the first round, Sofia Mast won five matches in a row to meet Russian star Kristina Tkach for the hot seat match. Kristina won the match sending junior champ to the one loss side to await an opponent.

After losing her first match, Ming fought her way through until she met April Larson. April had also lost her second match to Sofia. Both players played hard for another shot at her and when the dust had settled, it was April who won the match. Ming finished in fourth place.

Looking to make it into the finals, it was another hard fought match. Sofia survived the match leaving April in third place.

Kristina had smoked Sofia in the hot seat match 7-0. Sofia remarked on her Facebook page after the finals that her only goal when she made it back to the finals was to at least win one game. She won four! What a great attitude!

And, congratulations to Kristina for claiming the title! Great tournament, Sofia!

Once again, PoolActionTV.com would like to thank the owners of Big Tyme and their staff for taking such good care of all the players and fans. We’d like to thank Tournament Director Teresa Garland for doing an exemplary job running three events at the same time!

We’d also like to thank Larry Schwartz, John Henderson, Mary Kenniston and Ray Hansen for their topnotch commentary. 

In addition, we’d like to thank our fans and sponsors for their support! Our sponsors include JB Cases, Hanshew Jump Cues, Lomax Custom Cues, StraightPoolEye, Durbin Custom Cues, Aramith, Diamond Billiard Products, Fort Worth Billiards Superstore of Fort Worth, TX and the Action Palace of Dayton, OH.  

Our next stop is the Seventh Annual Buffalo’s Pro Classic in Jefferson, LA (New Orleans). Featuring $1,000 added One Ball One Pocket, $5,000 added Open Nine Ball and the main event – the $20,000 Pro One Pocket! Dates are May 25th-29th! Hope to see you there!

Once again, PoolActionTV.com would like to thank the owners of Big Tyme and their staff for taking such good care of all the players and fans. We’d like to thank Tournament Director Teresa Garland for doing an exemplary job running three events at the same time!

We’d also like to thank Larry Schwartz, John Henderson, Mary Kenniston and Ray Hansen for their topnotch commentary. 

In addition, we’d like to thank our fans and sponsors for their support! Our sponsors include JB Cases, Hanshew Jump Cues, Lomax Custom Cues, StraightPoolEye, Durbin Custom Cues, Aramith, Diamond Billiard Products, Fort Worth Billiards Superstore of Fort Worth, TX and the Action Palace of Dayton, OH.  

Our next stop is the Seventh Annual Buffalo’s Pro Classic in Jefferson, LA (New Orleans). Featuring $1,000 added One Ball One Pocket, $5,000 added Open Nine Ball and the main event – the $20,000 Pro One Pocket! Dates are May 25th-29th! Hope to see you there!

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The Sky is the Limit at The 2nd Annual Big Tyme Classic

Skyler Woodward

The Big Tyme Classic held its 2nd Annual Event on March 20th – 23rd. It was a $10,000 added event in all. The event drew players from all over the United States and a few from foreign soil. There was 6 events held total and 5 of the 6 were full fields, the ladies event fell 2 players short of being full. The main event filled up last year and although it filled up again this year it was bigger and better then the last one. You know what they say everything is bigger and better in Texas.
 
The $1,500 Added One Pocket kicked everything off at Noon sharp on March 20th. It was a 32 player single elimination field to be completed in one day. The races were to 4 and there was plenty of stellar play along the way, by some great players.  It paid out 8 spots. The players finishing 5th thru 8th for $300 each were Sylver Ochoa, Justin Hall, Skyler Woodward, and Robb Saez. Finishing in a tie for 3rd and $600 each was Richie Richeson and Jeremy Jones. The two finalists Josh Roberts and Justin Bergman chopped up first and second for a total of $1800 each, as the event was to pay $2,400 for first and $1,200 for second.
 
Also on Thursday night there was a 16 man mini tourney on the diamond bar tables. The entry fee was $50 and it was a race to 9, it was slated for winner take all ($800). The event drew the likes of Brandon Shuff, Warren Kiamco, Skyler Woodward and plenty of other heavy hitters. At the end of the night the last two players left standing was Joey Barnes and Manny Chau, it was late and they decided to split it up and get some rest before the next event at noon, the 9-ball banks event.
 
Friday, the busy day has arrived. We kicked it off at Noon with the $1,500 Added 9-Ball Banks and a full field of 32. This was a single elimination race to 5 to be completed in one day as well. Besides John Brumback this event was loaded with heavy hitting bank pool players. The list included Justin Hall, Skyler Woodward, Jeremy Jones, Manny Chau, Richie Richeson, Brandon Shuff, Cliff Joyner, and a slew of others. The event paid out the top 8 spots. Those finishing 5th thru 8th for $300 each were Joey Barnes, Jeremy Jones, Skyler Woodward, and Justin Bergman. Finishing in a tie for 3rd and $600 each were Ronnie Wiseman and Manny Chau. The two finalists Justin Hall and Warren Kiamco decided to chop up the top 2 spots and they both received $1,800 each. This event paid out the exact same as the one pocket event.
 
Also on Friday night the $5,000 Added 9-Ball Main Event kicked off at 7:00 with the players auction. The players auction lasted about three and a half hours and drew in slightly over $45,000. This topped last years event and we look to top this again next year, hoping to get up to the 60k mark, I think we would have hit that number this year if not for some last minute defections of a few upper echelon players. Nonetheless this was a super number and bigger then most anywhere except the one right down the road at White Diamonds. The players auction had two blind picks, the first one was Yu Usuan Cheng from Taiwan as he sold for $3,500. The second blind pick sold for $3,600 and was Warren Kiamco from the Philippines. This event was loaded with super star talent, besides the two I just named  as the blind picks others in attendance was Team High Pockets (Justin Bergman, Robb Saez, Skyler Woodward, and Robert Frost), Cliff Joyner, Manny Chau, Jeremy Jones, Ronnie Wiseman, Justin Hall, Richie Richeson (Derby City Action Award Winner of 2014), BCA National Champion Mike Alonzo, U.S. Amateur Champion Ernesto Bayaua, Brandon Shuff, Josh Roberts, Rene Rendon, James Davis Jr. Sam Gilmer, Lil D Daniel McKenney, Sylver Ochoa, two WPBA touring pros in Vivian Villarreal and Brittany Bryant and a slew of others to fill the 128 player field. It was tough as nails.
 
The Main Event. Play started on the 16 Diamond Bar Tables after the Auction was over. We played 32 matches on Friday Night, and play started back up at 10:00a.m on Saturday morning and played down to the final 32 players. Matches were set up on a time schedule and the last round was started at roughly 8:00p.m. on Saturday night. There was some great matches and if you missed them you can find the streamed ones on poolactiontv.com. After we hit the final 32 players the second auction was held Saturday night and it drew in about 7.5k. The first auction paid 12 spots.  Payouts were 9-12th $915 each, 7-8th paid $1,500 each, 5/6th paid $2,500 each, 4th paid $4,000, 3rd paid $5,000, 2nd paid $7,500, and the winner took home a hefty $15,000. The second auction paid 4 spots and paid out as follows. 4th paid $735, 3rd paid $1,100, 2nd paid $2,100, and the winners share paid $3,100.
 
The Main Events eventual winner was Skyler Woodward the young gun from Kentucky. This kids games is way beyond his years. He is well seasoned in all games and has a very bright future in this game of billiards. Congrats to you Sky and we look forward to seeing you back to defend your title next year as well. And yes your name will be on the shirt for The 3rd Annual Bigtyme Classic.
 
Sunday. The wild day with three events running at the same time. There was the final 32 of the main event starting at 1:00, the Ladies had a $1,000 added 9-Ball Event that drew 30 players and the Seniors had a $1,000 added 9-Ball Event that drew a full field of 32 players.
 
The Ladies Event drew 30 players and had some heavy hitters in it led by the Defending Champion the Texas Tornado Vivian Villarreal. Also there was three other WPBA touring players Brittany Bryant, Nicole Keeney, and Kim Pierce . This event was a one day event with races to 7 on the winners side and 5 on the one loss side. When the dust settled it was the defending champ repeating again, congrats to Vivian. This event paid out 8 spots. Finishing in a tie for 7/8th and $70 was Ricki Casper and Belinda Lee. Tied for 5/6th and $130 was Michelle Yim, and Mandy Hood. The 4th place finisher was Natalie Mans for $220. Third place and $330 went to Brittany Bryant. The top two that battled it out for the lions share was Nicole Keeney and Vivian Villarreal. Nicole ended up 2nd with $500 and Vivian took home first and $750.
 
The Seniors Event drew a full field of 32 players. Last year it was chopped between Jose Parica and Lanny Herrin. Jose was not back but Lanny was and trying to defend his share of the crown. This event is always the easiest going event of all, as all the players seem to really love the game of billiards and have played it for along time. The event paid out 8 spots. Finishing in a tie for 7/8th and $70 were C.W. Smith and John Turner. Tied for 5/6th and $140 were Charles Smith and defending champ Lanny Herrin. The 4th place finisher was Bob Guzik for $220. Third place and #340 went to Bob McFerren(Co-Owner of Big Tyme Billiards). The top two that battled it out in a dogfight till the end was Sonny Bosshamer and the man known around the world for his high stakes gambling action, Ronnie Wiseman. Sonny took home $525 and Ronnie got $775.
 
This event was filled with action for the 4 days as the room stayed open 24 hours. We saw $500 a game one pocket, we saw $1,000 a game one pocket played. We also saw sets of 10 ball for $1,000, $3,000, $5,000 and $10,000 and lots of other action going on. This is an event everyone should be trying to attend next year as they like to gamble it up in this area, so if you think you got what it takes come get your fill next March. We will be waiting.
 
We would like to thank all the sponsors of this event, Ace Roofing (Tracy and Kim Sanders), Star City Amusements (Roddy Lucio), APA of North Harris County (Roger Shuett), Omega Billiards (Michael Hoang), and Universe Clothing (Nick Bashizi), everything you did for the event is greatly appreciated.
 
Also a big thanks to the staff of Big Tyme Billiards for doing a great job on a very very busy 4 day event. The owners of Big Tyme Billiards deserves a big thanks as well for putting on this event each year, Bob McFerren, Mark Avery, Debbie Sharp, and Jim Henry.
 

Slow -N- Low Takes Down The Tiger Tours Huge Season Opener

Billy Sharp, Bobby Gonzales and Richard Rodriguez

The Tiger Tour Texas formely the Tiger Amateur Tour last season kicked off its new season January 21-22nd at Big Tyme Billiards in Spring,Tx. This event is now open to all players, but with a handicapped format and it drew 96 players to the main event and another 20 in the Second Chance Event for a total of 116 entrants and the total prize pool of $12,170. The handicaps range from C, C+, B, B+, A, A+, AA, AAA.

The event kicked off Saturday with 96 and was played down to 24 players whom all made the cash. We had 16 come back on the one-loss side and 8 on the winners side. The winners side matches went like this: Rodney Stewart(B+) over John Conkin(B+), Richard Rodriguez(B) over Wendell Moser(B), David Chow(B) over Sonny Demetro(A), and Bobby Gonzales(A) over Yoko Joe(B+). This left 4 on the winners side and Richard got by Rodney in one semi-final and in the other semi-final Bobby snuck by David. This pitted Bobby against Richard for the hot seat match and it came down to hill hill with Bobby going to 9 and Richard to 7, in the end Richard got the nod.

So to the one loss side round of 17/24. Current U.S. Open Amateur Champion Ernesto Bayaua(A+) was shot down by Cesar Arechiga(B), Ronnie Felder(B+) got by Derek Fontenot(A+), J.C. Torres(B+) shot Blaine Barcus(A) full of holes, Jerald Jackson(A) bested Robert Hitchcock(B), Belinda Lee(B) sent Jimbo Buller(B+) packin, Brian Rosenbaum(A) got by last seasons tour champ Sonny Bosshamer(A), Leon Contreras(A) nudged Arnel Abola(B) out, and Ty Few(A) destroyed the only (AAA) player in the event James Baraks.

So now the round of 13/16. Cesar got by Ronnie F., Jerald sent young gun J.C. Packin, Brian ended the run of Top Woman Belinda, and Ty in his usual form squeaked by Leon.

The 9/12 round saw these matches. Cesar ousted Yoko, Sonny D. blasted Jerald, Brian squeaked by Wendell, and Ty won a hill hill thriller against John C.

The 7/8 round matches were Cesar(B) kept rollin and got by Sonny D(A)., and Brian(A) got by Ty(A).

Next was the 5/6th round matches and Cesar Arechigas(B) strong run came to a crazy hill hill close as Houdini got the miracle win here, and yes it was a miracle. On the other side Brian(A) ended a deep run by David Chow(B). Good job Cesar and David.

The 4th place match was a rather quick one as Brian Rosenbaum(A) wasted no time in sending Rodney “Houdini” Stewart home. Great run Rodney.

This left the final 2 on the one loss side and it was two (A) players about to do battle in the race to 9 to see who would get to the finals. In the end it was a tight match but Slow N Low Bobby Gonzales got the nod and the chance at a rematch with the guy whom defeated him earlier.

The finals: Richard Rodriguez(B) the winner of the hot seat would have to play the man he defeated earlier hill hill Bobby Gonzales(A), and at the end of the first set it was another thrilling hill hill match and Bobby got the nod. These two decided to split the money at stake and flip for the title and points, Bobby got the nod and was the season opener champion. Congrats to both players, they both played great.

The Second Chance Event drew 20 players with $250 added, and it paid 4 spots. At the end of this eevnt it saw sharp shooter and hose pro (AA)Billy Sharp take it down, second went to Blaine Barcus(A), third was Victor Rojas(A) and fourth was WPBA player Nicole Keeney(B+). The payouts were as follows for this event. 1st- $275, 2nd- $200, 3rd- $140, 4th- $75.

We would like to thank Big Tyme Billiards for hosting the event, Big Tyme is the newest pool room in the greater Houston area, this was the weekend of their 1 year anniversary. Owners Mark Avery, Jim Henry, Bob McFerren and Deb Sharp do a wonderful job.

We would also like to send out a special thanks to all of our sponsors:
Tiger Products – www.TigerProducts.com
Mueller Recreational Products – www.muellers.com
Omega Billiards – www.omegabilliards.com
Jay Helfert – www.JayHelfert.com
CSI/BCA/Magic Rack – www.csipool.com
Mike Gulyassy – www.BabysProShop.com
Htownbilliards – www.htownbilliards.com

The next event of the season will be held February 18-19 at Slick Willies (Dairy Ashford & Westheimer). We look forward to a big turnout at this venue as always.

For more information you can visit the website address at www.TigerAmateurTour.com