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Brothers double dips Morrow to win the Dynaspheres Cup 9-Ball Memorial Day Shootout

Josh Brothers

If it had been a horse race, the trio of Josh Brothers, Shayne Morrow and Russell Redhead would have yielded an outstanding trifecta payout. None favored, really, although Brothers, who won the Dynaspheres Cup 9-Ball Memorial Day Shootout this past weekend (May 28-29), was the third pick among those expressing an opinion. Ahead of him were Shaun Wilkie and Lucas Fracasso-Verner, who finished 24th and 17th, respectively, as Brothers came from the loss side to double dip Morrow, chalking up his first (recorded) event win in almost a decade; since he won a stop on the Mezz Pro Am Tour in February of 2013. The event, held under the auspices of and streamed by Billiard Sports Network (BSN Media), drew 55 entrants to Bank Shot Bar & Grill in Laurel, MD. 

“That was the great thing about this tournament,” commented BSN Media owner and event tour director, Jake Lawson. “You had two guys who were not favored on paper (finishing) 2nd and 3rd. And Shayne (Morrow; 3rd) won the hot seat.”

“So, pretty crazy weekend,” he added. “It’s why I love doing this.”

Neither of the two competitors favored in the event faced the winner. Wilkie didn’t make it out of the second winners’ side round or the third loss-side round. Fracasso-Verner won two on the winners’ side but only one on the loss side.

After an opening round bye, Brothers’ path to the hot seat match went through John Moody, Sr., Vietnam’s Tuan Chau (who would later, on the loss side, eliminate Wilkie), and eventual third-place finisher, Russell Redhead, arriving at a winners’ side semifinal against Scott Haas. Morrow, in the meantime, defeated Donald Painter, Justin Mast, Jimmy Varias and Curtis Branker to arrive at his winners’ side versus Jeff Jones, Jr.

Morrow fought a double hill battle before advancing to the hot seat match, as Brothers sent Haas to the loss side 7-2 and joined him. In his second straight double hill battle, Morrow, at 6-6, took a chance on an extraordinary, not to mention low-percentage, three-rail bank shot at the 9-ball that travelled back from what looked to be an impossible angle off the second rail to hit the 3rd rail and travel cross-table to drop into a side pocket. He was in the hot seat.

On the loss side, Jones drew Redhead, who’d followed his loss to Brothers with victories over Fred Crislip, Jr. 6-3 and a double hill win over Thomas Haas. Scott Haas picked up Eric Yoo, who was working on a four-match, loss-side streak that had recently eliminated Tuan Chau (fresh from his elimination of Wilkie) 6-4, John Newton 6-3 and Mike Miller (double hill).

Scott Haas put a stop to Yoo’s loss-side trip 6-4 and in the quarterfinals faced Redhead, who’d knocked Jones out 6-2. Redhead chalked up his last match victory eliminating Haas 6-3 in the quarterfinals.

Brothers stopped Redhead’s streak at three in the semifinals to earn himself a rematch against Morrow, waiting for him in the hot seat. Brothers took the opening set of the true double elimination final 7-4. He and Morrow battled back and forth to 5-5 and a single game for all of the proverbial marbles. Brothers won it.

Tour director Jake Lawson thanked the ownership and staff at Bank Shot Bar and Grill, as well as sponsors Dynaspheres, Championship Billiard Fabric, Lucid Ballsports (Predator Arena Light), JB Cases, Gina Cunningham (Keller Williams Integrity), East Coast Prime Meats, Integrity Cues, Break Out Apparel Co., AZBilliards, Premier Billiards, Cue Score, The League Room, American Billiard Covering, B&R Productions (Rich France & Bruce Carder), DFE Billiards Service/XLR. For information on BSN Media productions, including upcoming Dynaspheres Cup 8-Ball, 9-Ball and Juniors 9-Ball competition, visit their Web site at http://www.thebilliardsportsnetwork.com/. 

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Beltrami-Nester goes undefeated to claim MD State Open Amateur Women’s Championship title

Loye Bolyard, Nicole Beltrami-Nester, Tina Malm and Rick Scarlato, Jr.

Varias goes undefeated to win concurrently-run Open Drop-In Tournament

As it turned out, the ‘undercard’ in Maryland this past weekend (Feb. 12-13) drew more entrants than the main event. On the Hill productions held the Maryland State Open Amateur Women’s Championships 9-Ball event, for competitors with a Fargo Rate of 625 and under, at Brews and Cues on the Boulevard in Glen Burnie, MD and as something of a bonus event, decided to run an Open ‘Drop-in’ Tournament at the same time. The Open Drop-in tournament drew 33 entrants, which required a single preliminary match, while the Ladies Championship, which drew 30, awarded a bye to two of its first-round competitors.

Both winners – Nicole Beltrami-Nester in the Ladies event and Jimmy Varias in the ‘Drop-in’ – became occupants of their respective hot seats and had to contend with strong and long loss-side bids by competitors who challenged them in the finals. Tina Malm lost her second winners’ side match and won seven on the loss side to meet Beltrami-Nester in the Ladies final. Branden Williams lost his opening match and won eight on the loss side to meet up with Varias in the ‘Drop-in’ event.

Eugenia Gyftopoulos

Nicole Nester entered the MD State Ladies 9-Ball Championship after a strong previous year. Her recorded earnings in 2021 were her second-best since she started showing up on the payout lists of the J. Pechauer Northeast Women’s Tour in 2011. She cashed in a single event that year, finishing 5th at a stop in November. Her best year was 2013, when she cashed in six JPNEWT events and was 5th in that year’s MD State Women’s Championship. Safe to say, she’s off to a real good start in 2022.

She won three out of every four games she played through her first three matches, downing Dawn Stickler (1), Judie Wilson (3) and June Prescop (2) to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal against Kelly Daniel. Eugenia Gyftopoulos, in the meantime, got by Rachel Walters (4), Debra Pavan Peterman (2) and Jane Im (2) to arrive at her winners’ side semifinal versus KanKan Yu.

Beltrami-Nester downed Daniel 6-1, while Gyftopoulos sent Yu to the loss side 6-2. Beltrami-Nester claimed the hot seat 6-1 (upping her game-winning percentage by three points) and waited for Malm to finish her long haul on the loss side.

On that loss side, Yu picked up a rematch against Colleen Knauff-Shoop, whom she’d sent to the loss side, double hill, in the winners’ side second round. Knauff-Shoop was working on a five-match, loss-side winning streak that had recently eliminated June Prescop 6-4 and Christina Madrigale 5-2. It was Daniel who drew Malm, four matches into her loss-side winning streak with wins #3 and #4 against Jane Im, by forfeit, and Theresa Tascarella 7-4.

Colleen Knauff-Shoop

Knauff-Shoop won her rematch against Yu 6-3 and in the quarterfinals, faced Malm, who’d defeated Daniel 7-3. Malm stopped Knauff-Shoop’s loss-side run at five, with a 7-3 win in those quarterfinals and then gave up just a single rack to Gyftopoulos in the semifinals. Beltrami-Nester completed her undefeated run with a shutout over Malm in the finals and claimed the event title.

Varias opens 2022 campaign with an undefeated run

Like Beltrami-Nester, Jimmy Varias was coming off a strong year; his best-ever since he started recording cash payouts in 2013. Two 2021 runner-up finishes, in the Dynaspheres Cup 10-Ball event in August (losing to Jayson Shaw in the finals) and the MD State Bar Table 8-Ball Championships in September (losing to Dylan Spohr in the finals), led the pack of cash finishes last year. Also like Beltrami-Nester, it’s safe to say that he’s off to a real good start in 2022.

His path to the winners’ circle started with a shutout over Clint Clayton, an 8-2 win over Justin Pelech and an 8-6 win over Joseph Wright, Jr., which brought him to a winners’ side semifinal against Bryan Jones. Steve Fleming, a strong, veteran Mid-Atlantic competitor, got by Andres Kinones 7-2, Paul Krimes 7-5 and shutout Greg Schuler to arrive at his winners’ side semifinal against Rick Winpigler. 

Fleming advanced to the hot seat match 7-2 over Winpigler and was joined by Varias, who’d defeated Jones 8-2. Varias claimed the hot seat 8-3 over Fleming and like Beltrami-Nester, waited for an opponent (Branden Williams, in his case) to complete a lengthy trip on the loss side of the bracket.

Five matches into his loss-side trip, including another shutout over Schuler and a 7-2 win over John Moody, Sr. brought Williams to Jones. Winpigler picked up Glenn Loveland, who’d lost a winners’ side quarterfinal to Jones and then, defeated Paul Krimes 6-6 (Krimes racing to 7) and Joseph Wright, Jr. by shutout.

Winpigler downed Loveland 7-4, and in the quarterfinals, faced a rematch versus Williams, who’d eliminated Jones 7-1. In those quarterfinals, Williams redeemed his earlier double hill loss to Winpigler and defeated him 7-4.

Williams completed his loss-side-of-the-bracket trip with a 7-5 victory over Fleming. Varias handed Williams his second loss in the finals 8-3 to claim the ‘Drop-in’ portion of the weekend events.

Tour directors Loye Bolyard and Rick Scarlato, Jr. thanked the ownership and staff at Brews & Cues for their hospitality, as well as sponsors AlleyKat Cue Sports, AZBilliards, Aramith Balls, Simonis Cloth, TAP Chesapeake Bay Region, Safe Harbor Retirement Planners, Whyte Carbon Fiber Cue Shafts and MB Cues.

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Dylan Spohr goes undefeated at MD State Bar Table 8-Ball Championship to make 2021 best earnings year

Loye Bolyard with Ryleigh Ann Bolyard, Dylan Spohr, Jimmy Varias and Rick Scarlato Jr.

Going into the Maryland State Bar Table 8-Ball Championships this past weekend (Sept. 25-26), Dylan Spohr was $115 short of making 2021 his best recorded earnings year since he began showing up in our player database in 2018. He hit that target and more when he went undefeated to claim the MD State 8-Ball title. The event drew 61 entrants to Brews & Cues on the Boulevard in Glen Burnie, MD. 

Spohr’s path to the winners’ circle gained in momentum once he got past his opening 7-3 win over Steve Johnson. He followed that with victories over Jeff Ball (2), Steve Fleming (0) and Kyle Dilly (1) to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal versus Bryan Jones. Jimmy Varias, on his way to the runner-up prize, was doing the same thing; chalking up his best recorded earnings year, dating back to 2013, and gaining (only slightly less) momentum. Varias opened with a 6-1 win over Christie Hurdel, followed with wins over Eric Lyons (2), Joey Korsiak (4) and Thomas Haas (0), to arrive at his winners’ side semifinal against Mid-Atlantic veteran, Brett Stottlemyer.

Spohr downed Bryan Jones 6-1 and moved into the hot seat match with a 31-7 game record (82%). Varias joined him after sending Stottlemyer to the loss side 6-1, as well, and arriving at the hot seat match with a 78% game-winning average; one behind in the loss column, 30-8. Spohr claimed the hot seat 6-2 over Varias and waited on his return.

On the loss side, Jones picked up co-tour director, Loye Bolyard, who’d lost his second round, winners’ side match to Stottlemyer and was working on a six-match, loss-side winning streak. The run would lead him to his best (recorded) finish anywhere, since he shared a 5th place finish with Matt Krah at a stop on the old Blaze Tour back in March of 2007. Along the way, he’d eliminated Steve Fleming 6-1, survived a double hill match versus Thomas Haas and defeated Rick Miller to reach Jones.

Stottlemyer drew Max Schlothauer, who’d lost his second round, winners’ side match to Bryan Jones and was also on a six-match, loss-side winning streak that included victories over New York City’s Joey Korsiak and a double hill victory over Shaun Wilkie that put him up against Stottlemyer.

Jones stopped Loye Bolyard’s run 6-2. Schlothauer eliminated Stottlemyer 6-3 to earn a rematch against Jones in the quarterfinals. That match went double hill before Jones prevailed a second time to earn a shot against Varias in the semifinals.

Varias made short work of Jones, allowing him only a single rack in those semifinals and turning his attention to a rematch against Spohr in the finals. Though Varias got closer to Spohr in their final match than any of Spohr’s previous opponents, six racks were not enough. Spohr completed his undefeated run 9-6 to claim the MD State 8-Ball Championships.

On the Hill Productions, in the persons of Loye Bolyard and Rick Scarlato, Jr. thanked the ownership and staff at Brews & Cues on the Boulevard for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Mezz Cues & Turtle Racks, AlleyKat Cue Sports, AZBilliards.com, Aramith Balls, Lucid Ballsports (Predator Arena Light), Simonis Cloth, TAP Chesapeake Bay Region and Safe Harbor Retirement Planners. The next On The Hills Productions’ event, scheduled for Oct. 16-17, will be a $1,000-added Amateur 9-Ball event, hosted by Choptank Billiards and Bowling in Cambridge, MD.

Shaw comes back from a hot seat loss to down Varias and win Dynaspheres Cup 10-Ball Open

Josh Setterfield: Owner at BSN, Jayson Shaw: Champion, Jake Lawson: Owner at BSN (Shaun Wilkie – Get Some Photography)

Evidence that pool can be a tricky game can be found in a variety of circumstances, up to and including whether a given player, at a given location, competing against a given set of opponents is having a good or bad day. It was by no means a ‘sure bet’ that Jayson Shaw, surely one of the better pool players on the planet at the moment, was going to win the Dynaspheres Cup 10-Ball Open, held this past weekend (Aug. 14-15) at Bank Shot Bar & Grill in Laurel, MD. 

A good bet, mind you, but the notion that it was a ‘sure bet’ got a jolt from a well-known pool-reality button when Shaw lost the event’s hot seat match to a mid-Atlantic competitor, who, though he’s cashed in many events over the past eight years, has never actually won a major tournament (recorded by us here at AZBilliards). A regular on the Action Pool Tour, Jimmy Varias has been runner-up at two stops on that tour, five and seven years ago; both times, taking the same path of claiming the hot seat and then being defeated in the finals, by Shaun Wilkie in 2014 and Brian Deska in 2016. 

All things considered, the competition in this $1,500-added event that drew 48 entrants seemed to underperform. None of the event’s final four competitors managed to tally a game-winning average above 68%. Combined, their game-winning average was only 64%. That said, the final four played most of their games on the winners’ side of the bracket. Altogether, the four of them played only seven matches on the loss side. On both sides of the bracket, the final four recorded only three shutouts (third-place finisher Grai “Pookie” Rasmechai was involved in two of them, a win and a loss) and were involved in only two double hill matches.

It should be noted, as well, that there were junior competitors on hand, fresh from competition at the BEF Junior Nationals. Silver Medalist Skylar Hess (14 and Under Girls) lost her first match in this event, won her first match on the loss side and then fought mid-Atlantic veteran competitor Steve Fleming to double hill before being eliminated. The Vaughan brothers, Garret and Grayson were also on-hand, each winning two winners’ side matches. Elder brother Garrett won a loss-side match before being eliminated in a double hill fight.

After being awarded an opening round bye, Shaw went through Kevin West, Erick Toledo and Robert Cord to arrive at his winners’ side semifinal matchup versus Grai “Pooky” Rasmechai. Varias, in the meantime, without a bye, defeated Curtis Branker, Sunny Nassif, Del Sim and Eric Lyons to arrive at his winners’ side semifinal matchup against Shaun Wilkie.

In one of the two shutouts in which he was involved, Rasmechai was sent to the loss side by Shaw (“Pooky” had earlier shutout Billiard Sports Network’s Josh Setterfield). Varias and Wilkie battled to double hill before Varias prevailed to face Shaw in the battle for the hot seat. Varias won it in a match that fell a game short of double hill at 7-5.

On the loss side, Wilkie picked up fellow mid-Atlantic competitor, Kevin West, who’d won his opening match over Rob Hess, only to run into Shaw playing his opening match. West was the beneficiary of a loss-side forfeit by Tim Metter before embarking on a six-match, loss-side winning streak that had recently eliminated Del Sim 6-4 and Robert Cord 6-3. “Pookie” drew Erick Toledo, who was working on a modest four-match, loss-side streak that had just eliminated Eric Lyons 6-3 and Roger Haldar 6-1.

“Pooky” advanced to the quarterfinals on the heels of a 6-2 win over Toledo. Wilkie joined him after downing Hess 6-1.

“Pooky” took the quarterfinal match 6-4 over Wilkie, at which point, more than just a few were wondering whether Shaw’s hot-seat loss was just a fluke and whether a “Pooky”/Jimmy Varias was possible. It was, of course, but it didn’t happen. Shaw defeated “Pooky” 6-3 and turned his full attention to the finals.

Shaw had to win twice in the finals and won the opening set 7-3. As had happened in their hot seat match, they battled back and forth to a single game shy of double hill in the second set. Unlike the hot seat match, it was Shaw who edged out in front to win the second set and claim the event title 6-4. 

Tournament director Billiard Sports Network’s Jake Lawson extended thanks to the ownership and staff at The Bank Shot Bar & Grill for their ongoing hospitality throughout the Dynaspheres series of events, as well as title sponsor Dynaspheres Balls, Lucid Ballsports (Predator Arena Light), Gina Cunningham (Keller Williams Integrity), East Coast Prime Meats, Courtyard Marriott, Fort Meade, MD, Rachel Moran and Shaun Wilkie (Photography), Integrity Cues, Break Out Billiards Apparel, AZBilliards, Premier Billiards, CueScore.com, The League Room,  JB Cases, American Billiard Covering, DFE Billiards Cue Repair and Run Out Renegades. The event was live-streamed throughout the weekend by Billiard Sports Network. The next event in the Dynasphere’s Cup Series, back at the Bank Shot Bar and Grill, scheduled for Oct. 2-3, will be the Dynasphere’s Juniors 9-Ball Open. 

Bruner wins two-match battle with Haas to claim On the Hill Productions’ Summer Slam

Loye Bolyard, Scott Haas, Chris Bruner and Rick Scarlato, Jr

As with most pool players, not to mention good folks everywhere, 2020 was a bit of an ‘off’ year for Chris Bruner. Having recorded his best earnings year in 2019 (of 14 years on record), when, in eight of the 10 tournaments in which he cashed, he finished among the top five and won four of those eight, he finished ‘in the money’ only twice in 2020; 3rd and 13th in stops on the Action Pool Tour. Before last Saturday’s (June 12) Summer Slam, held under the auspices of On the Hill Productions at Brews & Cues on the Boulevard in Glen Burnie, MD, he’d already cashed in two events, finishing 3rd at the VA 10-Ball Championships in February and 4th at a stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour a couple of weeks ago (May 29-30). Scott Haas sent Bruner to the semifinals in the Summer Slam, but Bruner came back to down him in the finals to claim the title. The event drew 39 entrants to Brews & Cues. 

Bruner won his first three matches, versus Rick Wilson, Garrett Vaughan and fellow ‘2020-was- an-off-year’ competitor, Steve Fleming by an aggregate score of 21-4. This set him up to face Jimmy Varias in a winners’ side semifinal. Scott Haas, in the meantime, ran into some tough competition in his opening three. He opened against Brett Stottlemyer and after sending him to the loss side 7-4, ran into co-tour director Rick Scarlato, Jr., who gave him a double-hill run for his money, before joining Stottlemyer on the loss side. Haas then defeated Joshua McCauley 7-3 to draw Dylan Spohr in the other winners’ side semifinal.

Two double hill matches determined the competitors for the hot seat match; Bruner over Varias and Haas over Spohr. A third double hill battle left Haas in the hot seat and Bruner on his way to the semifinals.

On the loss side, Spohr picked up a by-now very determined Brett Stottlemyer, who’d followed his loss against Scott Haas with six straight loss-side victories that included wins over Scott Haas’ son, Thomas and the other co-tour director, Loye Bolyard. Stottlemyer had more recently eliminated Bryan Jones 7-4 and in the only double-hill match he played, Russ Redhead. Spohr, in the meantime, picked up Steve Fleming, who’d been sent to the loss side by Bruner in a winners’ side quarterfinal and then, defeated Scarlato, Jr. 7-4 and Trey Frank 7-2.

Spohr sent Fleming home 7-4. He was joined in the quarterfinals by Varias, who’d ended Stottlemyer’s loss-side run 7-5. Spohr then ended Varias’ day 7-4.

Spohr had his brief, loss-side run stopped at two by Bruner, who defeated him 7-3 in the semifinals for a second shot at Scott Haas in the hot seat, waiting for him. They almost repeated their double hill hot seat match, but in the end, Bruner pulled out ahead to win it by two 7-5.

Tour directors Loye Bolyard and Rick Scarlato, Jr. of On the Hill Productions thanked the ownership and staff at Brews & Cues for their hospitality, as well as sponsors AlleyKat Cue Sports, AZBilliards.com, Aramith Balls, Lucid Ballsports (Predator Arena Light), Mezz Cues, Turtle Racks, Simonis Cloth, TAP Chesapeake Bay Region and Safe Harbor Retirement Planners. The next On the Hill Productions event, scheduled for July 24-25, will be the MD State 8-Ball Championships, to be hosted by Champion Billiards in Frederick, MD. 

Wilkie and Malm come from the loss side to chalk up their third win on The Action Pool Tour

Shaun Wilkie

Tina Malm had to come a little further on the loss side than Shaun Wilkie did, but when the Open and Ladies events' of the Action Pool Tour's (APT) seventh stop concluded on the weekend of July 8-9, they'd both come back to challenge their respective hot seat opponents, and chalked up their third victory on the tour. The Open event drew 71 entrants, while the Ladies' event drew 13 to Champion Billiards in Frederick, MD.
 
It could be argued that it would have been Wilkie's fourth win on the tour, had it not been for the presence of Dennis Orcollo at the VA State 10-Ball Championships back in February. That said, though, Wilkie did defeat Orcollo in a winners' side semifinal in those championships, and advanced to the hot seat, only to fall in the finals. This time around, Wilkie had to contend with Karen Corr. Following victories over BRyan Jones, Alan Duty, the winner of the Ladies' event, Tina Malm and TJ Moore, Wilkie drew Corr in a winners' side semifinal. Scott Haas, in the meantime, squared off against Jordan Grubb. Corr took Wilkie right to the brink before Wilkie finished the double hill win that put him in the hot seat against Haas, who'd defeated Grubb 7-4. Wilkie took Haas to the brink in that hot seat match, before Haas finished it, consigning Wilkie to a semifinal re-match against Corr.
 
On the loss side, Corr picked up Bruce Nagle, who'd eliminated Malm via shutout and Dave Hunt 6-4 to reach her. Grubb drew veteran APT competitor Brandon Shuff, who'd been sent to the loss side by Haas in the third round and was in the midst of a five-match, loss-side winning streak that included two double hill wins (over Duty and Matt Krah), before chalking up a shutout over Paul Oh and a 6-4 win over Jimmy Varias that set him up against Grubb.
 
Corr got into the quarterfinals 6-3 over Nagle, and was joined by Shuff, who'd eliminated Grubb 6-4. Corr and Shuff went double hill before Corr advanced to a re-match against Wilkie in the semifinals. Wilkie defeated Corr 6-4 and got his own re-match, versus Haas in the finals. In the extended race to 9, Wilkie defeated Haas 9-4 to claim his third APT title.
 
Malm loses opener, wins five on the loss side to meet and defeat Lampert in Ladies final
 
Things did not start out well for Tina Malm, who entered the ladies event of the APT's 7th stop in the #2 position in the ladies rankings (behind Judie Wilson, who's appeared in all seven stops on the tour). In the opening round, Malm faced Tina Castillo, who was appearing on the tour for the first time this year. Castillo won that opener 6-4, and after a 6-1 victory over Peggi Wilkinson, faced Anita Sowers in a winners' side semifinal. Amanda Lampert, in the meantime, faced Terri Stovall, who'd defeated Judie Wilson 6-2 and Jennifer Tully 6-3 to reach her.
 
Lampert and Sowers advanced to the hot seat match; Lampert 6-4 over Stovall and Sowers 6-3 over Castillo. Lampert claimed the hot seat over Sowers 6-1 and waited on Malm.
 
Castillo's move to the loss side put her in an immediate re-match against Malm, who'd defeated Tully 5-1, and Gwen Townsend 6-4 to reach her. Stovall drew Kia Sidbury, who, after an opening round loss to Townsend, had defeated Melissa Mason (double hill), Nicole King and shut out Judie Wilson to reach her. Stovall and Sidbury battled to double hill before Stovall advanced to the quarterfinals to meet Malm, who'd successfully wreaked her vengeance on Castillo 5-3.
 
With two more, back-to-back 5-3 wins – against Stovall in the quarterfinals and Sowers in the semifinals, Malm got a shot at Lampert, waiting for her in the hot seat. The two battled to double hill before Malm dropped the final ball and chalked up her third APT victory of the 2017 season.
 
A Second Chance tournament, which drew 23 entrants, saw Steve Fleming come back from a hot seat loss to Josh McCauley to defeat him 6-2 in the finals.

Deska comes back from semifinals to win second straight Action Pool Tour stop

With a couple of significant 'cats' away, a few fairly formidable 'mice' came out to play at the Action Pool Tour's fourth stop of the year. One of the 'cats' who stayed behind for the April 9-10 stop was Brian Deska, who came back from a hot seat defeat to challenge Jimmy Varias and win his second straight Action Pool Tour stop. The event, missing regular APT 'cats' Brandon Shuff and Shaun Wilkie, who were competing in the Don Coates Memorial in Raleigh, NC, drew 41 entrants to First Break Cafe in Sterling, VA.
 
Sporting remarkably similar won/loss records, featuring only three kinds of scores (8-5, 8-2 and each recording a shutout), Deska (32-9) and Varias (32-12) advanced to a winners' side semifinal against an opponent named Paul; Deska versus Paul Helms and Varias against Paul Cogle. Deska chalked up his second 8-5 score, defeating Helms, while Varias won his first 8-3 match, sending Cogle to the loss side. Varias won his second 8-3 match, defeating Deska to claim the hot seat.
 
On the loss side, Helms picked up Alan Duty, who was in the midst of a five-match, loss-side winning streak that would take him as far as the quarterfinals. He won his third and fourth loss-side matches against Derek Crothers 7-2 and Chris Hansen 7-3. Cogle drew Will Moon, who'd been sent to the loss side by Deska in a winners' side quarterfinal and was on his own, somewhat shorter loss-side streak that would advance him to the semifinals. Moon had defeated Trevor Dentz 7-1 and Paul Oh 7-4 to draw Cogle.
 
Duty downed Helms 7-4 and in the quarterfinals, met up with Moon, who'd eliminated Cogle 7-5. Moon ended Duty's loss-side run with a 7-5 victory in those quarterfinals, to earn himself a re-match against Deska. Deska, though, obviously determined, defeated Moon a second time, but not before Moon had forced a final, deciding 15th game. 
 
Deska's second shot at Varias came within a game of coming to double hill. In the end, though, Deska pulled out in front to win it 10-8 and claim his second straight APT title of the year. The victory movEd Deska up on the tour's ranking list, from outside of the top 10 to within three of the leader, the absent-for-this-stop Shuff and the VA State 10-Ball Champion, Eric Moore.

The 2015 Action Pool Tour Champion – Brandon Shuff – wins 2016 season opener

Things were running fairly smoothly for the 2015 Action Pool Tour Champion, Brandon Shuff, during the tour's 2016 season opener on the weekend of January 16-17. Until, that is, Shuff ran into Danny Mastermaker in a winners' side semifinal. Shuff had to shuffle on over to the loss side, where he chalked up three wins (including a rematch versus Mastermaker), and came back to defeat hot seat occupant, Rafael Reyes in the finals. The event drew 54 entrants to Magic 8 Cue Club in Cockeysville, MD.
 
Over his first four games, each of Shuff's opponents added two racks to the number scored against him in the previous round. An opening round shutout over Alan Duty was followed by a 7-2 win over Chris Pyle, which was followed by a 7-4 win over Kenny Miller, which was followed by a double hill, 7-6 win over Brett Stottlemyer. This set him up in a winners' side semifinal against Mastermaker, as Reyes and Shaun Wilkie squared off in the other one.
 
Mastermaker sent Shuff to the loss side 7-2, while Reyes (who, by the way, started out with a double hill win and followed it with a shutout and two 7-4 wins) defeated Wilkie 7-3. Reyes claimed the hot seat in one of those 'almost double hill,' 7-5 battles and waited on the return of Shuff.
 
On the loss side, Shuff picked up Steve Fleming, who'd been sent to the loss side by Wilkie and after shutting out Will Moon, had defeated Randy Thomas 7-2. Wilkie, in the meantime, drew Stottlemyer, who, following his defeat at the hands of Shuff, had defeated Jimmy Varias and Trevor Dentz, both 6-2.
 
Stottlemyer and Shuff advanced to a somewhat familiar quarterfinal matchup, once Stottlemyer had eliminated Wilkie 6-2, and Shuff had downed Fleming 6-4. Shuff then took care of business with Stottlemyer, retiring him 6-4 in the quarterfinals, and turning for a re-match against Mastermaker. 
 
Shuff gave up only a single rack to Mastermaker in the semifinals, and turned to face Reyes in the hot seat. A double hill battle ensued, eventually won by Shuff 9-8 to claim the APT's season opener; step one in a quest to repeat as tour champion.

Shuff goes undefeated to capture APT’s Bob Stocks Memorial Tournament

Brandon Shuff

While a list of the 'usual suspects' competed for the 9th Bob Stocks Memorial Tournament title on the weekend of October 10-11, the meta-game of tour rankings on the Action Pool Tour continued. Brandon Shuff went undefeated through a field of 52 , on-hand at the First Break Cafe in Sterling, VA to claim the 2015 title,  defeating defending champion Shaun Wilkie on the way. The tour rankings remained the same, with Wilkie on top and Shuff in second place. The Bob Stocks Memorial Tournament was instituted by First Break Cafe in 2006, and since 2011, has been held under the auspices of the Action Pool Tour.
 
Following an opening round bye and victories over Steve Ball, Wilkie, and Rick Glasscock, Shuff moved into a winners' side semifinal versus another perennial Action Pool Tour competitor, Brian Deska, currently at #17 on the tour rankings. Dannys Green and Mastermaker competed in the other winners' side semifinal. Shuff and Mastermaker sent Deska and Green to the loss side, both by 8-4 scores, and met in the hot seat match, won by Shuff  8-5.
 
On the loss side, Wilkie loomed; loss-side campaigns not being unheard of in his itinerary. After a double hill win over Paul Oh, a 7-4 victory over Steve Fleming, another double hill win over Rafael Reyes, and another 7-4 win over Joey Mastermaker, Wilkie met up with Deska, coming over from the winners' side semifinal. Green, also coming over, met up with Jimmy Varias, who'd defeated Kenny Miller 7-3 and shut out Glasscock.
 
Green won a double hill battle versus Varias to advance to the quarterfinals. Deska joined him after completing a double hill win over Wilkie. Deska then downed Green 7-2, before being eliminated by Mastermaker in the semifinals 7-3.
 
While Wilkie's finish in the tie for 5th place assured him that his top spot in the rankings would remain, Shuff was looking to edge closer. He did so with a 10-5 victory in the finals over Mastermaker, securing the Bob Stocks Memorial title, and a firm grip on the tour's # 2 position.
 

Mazon goes undefeated to take Action Pool Tour stop

Jundel Mazon, from the Philippines, who was in Round Rock, TX over the Labor Day weekend, and was eventually ousted from the 128-entrant Texas Open by Justin Bergman, traveled east on the weekend of September 12-13 to try his hand at the Action Pool Tour. He went undefeated through a field of 64 to capture his first title, since (as far as we've been able to determine) his victory at the Guinness World Series of Pool in Jakarta in 2010; a tournament that saw Darren Appleton finish third, and Shane Van Boening finish in the eight-way tie for 17th. This time out, at the event hosted by Breakers Sky Lounge in Herndon, VA, Mazon left a few familiar names in the dust; like current tour rankings leader Shaun Wilkie (who he did not actually play), and # 2  in those rankings, Brandon Shuff, who he did play, twice, including the finals.
 
After opening his run with an 8-3 victory over Kevin Bailey, Mazon faced Karen Corr, who hasn't been defeated on the J. Pechauer Northeast Women's Tour in 18 months. He defeated Corr 8-4 and went on to defeat Daniel Jarquin, and Matt Krah (# 5 on ATP rankings), which set him up for his first go-round with Shuff, who had just sent Wilkie to the loss side. Joe Wright and Dan Madden met up in the other winners' side semifinal. Mazon sent Shuff to the loss side 8-5, and in the hot seat match, met up with Madden, who'd dispatched Wright 8-4. Mazon claimed the hot seat 8-3, and waited on Shuff's return.
 
Shuff had moved over to meet Steve Fleming, who was in the midst of a seven-match, loss-side winning streak that included recent victories over Jordan Scanlan and Jimmy Varias, both 6-1. Wright drew Matt Krah, who, after being sent over by Mazon, had defeated Rafael Reyes 6-2, and Greg Sabins 6-3. To reach Krah, Sabins had eliminated, in order, Corr and Wilkie.
 
Krah downed Wright 6-4, while Shuff was beating up on Fleming 6-1. He did the same thing, same score, to Krah in the quarterfinals. Madden slowed Shuff down a little in the semifinals, but Shuff emerged on the winners' side of their double hill semifinal match.
 
Mazon completed his undefeated run through the field with a 10-2 win in the finals. The win still left Wilkie at the top of the APT rankings, with Shuff right on his heels. Fleming, Varias, and Krah round out the tour's current top five players.