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Korsiak comes from the loss side to win Dynaspheres Cup Series 8-Ball Championships

Joey Korsiak

Joe Korsiak chalked up his second major event victory in the state of Maryland in 2021 last weekend (June 5-6) with a come-from-the-loss-side win at the $3,000-added Dynaspheres Cup 8-Ball Championships ($1,500 from Billiard Sports Network and $1,500 from Championship Fabric, LLC) that drew 108 entrants to Center Pocket in Bowie, MD. Last month (May), he chalked up a win at the MD State 9-Ball Championships and earlier in the month had finished 3rd in the Dynaspheres Cup 10-Ball Championships, behind Shane Van Boening and Raphael Dabreo. He’s won more events midway through this year than he won all year in his best recorded earnings year at the tables (2005), when he cashed in 10 events, including the US Open 9-Ball Championships (33rd), the SBE Players Championship (5th), the 16th Ocean State 9-Ball Championship (17th) and five stops on the Joss NE 9-Ball Tour, at which he finished as runner-up, twice, to Mike Davis and Dennis Hatch.

The event was as notable for the competitors who weren’t around as it neared the end as it was for those who figured into its final matches. Some of the more prominent competitors who were on-hand included Shaun Wilkie, Bucky Souvanthong, “Pooky” Rasmechai, Brian Dietzenbach, Brandon Shuff, Matt Krah and the Mastermaker brothers, Joey and Danny, to name just a few. The event also featured a contingent of junior players, fresh off their competition in the series of On the Wire Creative Media’s Junior International Championships (JIC), the most recent of which was held in the same location as this event at the end of May.

Nathan Childress, 18, who, after four JIC events, is ranked at #1 in the “18 and under Boys” division, #2 in the ProAm division and has won the last two “18 and Under” tournaments opened his Dynaspheres Cup 8-Ball campaign with a shutout and won three more before being sent to the loss side by Mid-Atlantic veteran Steve Fleming. He was defeated by “Pooky” Rasmechai in his first loss-side match. Skylar Hess, 12, who is ranked #3 in the “13 and Under Girls” division and won the last JIC stop in that division was welcomed to the world of ‘big folk’ pool with two straight losses. D’Angelo “Jaws” Spain, 9, who is ranked at #5 in his own “13 and Under Boys” division, #17 in the “18 and Under Boys” and #45 in the ProAm division went two and out, but congratulations are certainly in order, for “Jaws” and all of the juniors, for getting out onto the tables and competing. They’ll continue to do so on the JIC tour and will get a second chance on the Dynaspheres Cup circuit at the second Junior Championship event (the first was in February), set for the weekend of September 25-26.

Korsiak’s path to the winners’ circle in this Dynaspheres Cup 8-Ball Championships opened smoothly enough with a 6-1 victory over David Stanley and was followed by four straight 6-4 wins over Redgie Cutler, Joey Mastermaker, Kevin West and Robert Pole, Jr. He arrived at his winners’ side semifinal match against Scott Haas with a 64% game-winning percentage. Del Sim got by Kamrin Kohr 6-3 in his opener, before downing William Miller 6-1, Richard Winpigler 6-2, Thomas Haas 6-4, and Jake Lebon 6-3 to arrive at his winners’ side semifinal match with a slightly better game-winning average than Korsiak (70%) as he prepared to face off against Dennis Spears.

Korsiak got into the hot seat match with a 6-3 win over Haas. Sim, in the meantime, was struggling with Spears in a double hill match that eventually did send Sim into the hot seat match against Korsiak. Sim prevailed 6-3 to claim the hot seat.

On the loss side, Haas picked up “Pooky” Rasmechai, who’d lost his opening match to Dennis Spears and was in the midst of a nine-match, loss-side winning streak that featured two double hill wins, had most recently eliminated junior competitor Nathan Childress 5-3 and Shaun Wilkie 5-1 and was about to come to an end. Dennis Spears drew Steve Fleming, who’d been defeated by Childress in the 4th winners’ side round and on the loss side, had defeated Matthew Rezendes 5-2, both Tony Long and Mike Saleh 5-3 and Thomas Haas 5-2.

Fleming leapfrogged into the quarterfinals when Spears forfeited. He was joined by Scott Haas, who’d survived a double hill fight versus Rasmechai. Haas was not as fortunate in what proved to be his second straight double hill match. Fleming defeated him, only to be eliminated 5-3 by Korsiak in the semifinals.

Among any number of scenarios that one might have predicted for the true double elimination final that followed, what happened would not likely have been one of them. In the initial, race-to-6 opening set, Korsiak gave up only a single rack. In the race-to-5 second set, he didn’t give up any at all and claimed the event title.

Held under the auspices of the Billiard Sports Network, The Dynaspheres Cup 8-Ball Championships were streamed live throughout the weekend. Tournament director Tina Malm and Billiard Sports Network’s Jake Lawson and Josh Setterfield extended thanks to the ownership and staff at Center Pocket 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 by Marriott (Bowie, MD), Hampton Inn by Hilton (Bowie, MD), Luke Thompson Photography, MB Cues/Mike Burton, Integrity Cues, Break Out Billiards Apparel, AZBilliards, Premier Billiards,, The League Room, Championship Fabric, LLC, S&T Billiards, DFE Billiards Cue Repair, American Billiard Covering  and JB Cases.

The next stop on the Dynaspheres Cup series, scheduled for the weekend of July 31-August 1will be a Double 8-Ball Championship, once again to be hosted by Center Pocket in Bowie, MD. The event will be followed by a second Junior Championship on the weekend of Sept. 25-26 and the series finale, scheduled for Nov. 6-7, the Dynaspheres Cup 9-Ball Championships.

Wending his way south, Korsiak goes undefeated at MD State 9-Ball Championships

Loye Bolyard, Nathan Childress, Joey Korsiak and Rick Scarlato

Though known to travel wherever necessary to compete, Joey Korsiak, whose residence is listed as Ronkonkoma, NY (about 50 miles east of Manhattan on Long Island) is known primarily for haunting pool tables in the Northeast corridor. In what was his best year at the tables (2005), when he cracked the top 100 on our AZB Money Leaderboard, five of the 10 events in which he cashed that year were on the NY-based Joss Tour and two others were in Pennsylvania (SBE Players Championship; 5th) and Rhode Island (16th Ocean State 9-Ball Championship; 17th). The other three were Derby City’s 9-Ball Division (Louisville, KY; 38th), the BCA Open (Las Vegas; 13th) and the US Open 9-Ball Championships (Virginia Beach, VA; 33rd). 

He began his 2021 campaign with a single event in Connecticut in February and then has embarked on a southern journey, which took him to Maryland earlier this month (May 1-2), where he competed at the Dynaspheres Cup 10-Ball Championships and finished 3rd behind Van Boening and Raphael Dabreo. Then, onward, south, to Gastonia, NC (about 30 miles west of Charlotte), where he competed in the 1st Annual Ron Park Memorial Tournament, won by Jesus Atencio, in which he finished in the tie for 9th. This past weekend (May 15-16), he headed back north to Maryland, where he went undefeated to chalk up his first victory of the year at the 3rd Annual Maryland State 9-Ball Championships. The event, which would have been the ‘4th Annual,’ but did not occur during the year-that-wasn’t, was held under the auspices of On the Hill Productions and drew 90 entrants to Champion Billiards in Frederick, MD.

Along the way, Korsiak defeated the event’s 2019 champion, Brandon Shuff, and later, much later, in the finals, had to contend with one of the country’s hot ‘young guns,’ two-time Billiard Education Foundation champion, Nathan Childress (‘15/’16, 14 & under boys). As might have been expected, these MD State championships were packed with some of the top competitors in the Mid-Atlantic region, including, though not limited to Shuff, Shaun Wilkie, Paul Oh, Steve Fleming, Brett Stottlemeyer, Matt Krah and the Mastermaker brothers, Danny and Joey. We’d be remiss if we didn’t include Loye Bolyard and Rick Scarlato, Jr. from On the Hill Productions in that crowd (Done!).

Korsiak’s path went through Harshit Kedia, Dylan Spohr, and Robert Calton before he ran into the defending champion, Brandon Shuff. Shuff chalked up just one less rack against him than all three of his previous opponents combined (6-5), but Korsiak prevailed and advanced to a winners’ side semifinal against Mike Saleh. Jose Mendez, in the meantime, who’d defeated Daniel Sharlow, James Ward, and Danny Mastermaker, drew Shaun Wilkie in a winners’ side quarterfinal. A 7-4 win set Mendez up to meet Nathan Childress in the other winners’ side semifinal.

Korsiak got into the hot seat match on the heels of a 7-2 victory over Saleh and was joined by Mendez, who’d sent Childress to the loss side 7-5. The hot seat match was Mendez’ second double hill challenge and Korsiak’s first. Korsiak won it and sat in the hot seat, awaiting what turned out to be the return of Childress.

On the loss side, Saleh picked up Jason Kochenour, who was working on a six-match, loss-side winning streak that had recently eliminated Jimmy Acosta 7-3 and narrowly, the aforementioned Rick Scarlato, Jr. Childress drew Danny Mastermaker, who’d defeated Christopher Funk 7-5 and then downed another, ‘young gun,’ more recently out of his teens than Childress, Lukas Fracasso-Verner 7-3.

Saleh and Kochenour locked up in a double hill battle that eventually sent Saleh to the quarterfinals. Childress and Mastermaker almost had themselves a double hill match, but Childress pulled out ahead at the end and won it by two 7-5. 

Childress downed Saleh 7-4 to earn his rematch against Mendez in what turned out to be a double hill semifinal. Childress closed it out for a shot at Korsiak in the hot seat. Korsiak shut Childress down early and claimed the event title with a 7-2 win in those finals.

On the Hill Productions, in the persons of Rick Scarlato, Jr. and Loye Bolyard thanked the ownership and staff at Champion Billiards, as well as sponsors AlleyKat Cue Sports, AZBilliards, Aramith Balls, Lucid Ballsports (Predator Arena Light), Mezz Cues, Turtle Racks, Simonis Cloth, TAP Chesapeake Bay Region and Safe Harbor Investments. The next event on the On the Hill Productions’ schedule will be the 2021 9-Ball Summer Slam, to be held on the weekend of June 12-13 and hosted by Brews & Cues on the Boulevard in Glen Burnie, MD.

Ronny Park Benefit Memorial – Joey Korsiak vs Dustin Lackey


Van Boening goes undefeated to take Dynaspheres Cup 10-Ball Championships

Shane Van Boening (Luke Thompson)

The $5,000-added Dynaspheres Cup 10-Ball Championships, held under the auspices of the Maryland-based Billiard Sports Network this past weekend (May 1-2) at Center Pocket in Bowie, MD had a little bit of everything going for it. The most prominent thing it had going for it was Shane Van Boening, who went undefeated through a field of 128 to claim the event title. Though it was a fairly diverse group, geographically, it featured a list of prominent Northeast, mid-Atlantic and Florida-based players, a few women from the J. Pechauer Northeast Women’s Tour (JPNEWT) and a small contingent of junior players. 

Although predominantly made up of US Players (92%), the field also featured two players each from Puerto Rico and India, as well as one player each from Ecuador, South Korea, the Philippines, Egypt, Scotland and England. By the time the field had whittled down to 12; four on the winners’ side of the bracket and eight on the loss side, it was all US of A. The final four  standing were two guys from the New York City area and a pair of Shanes; one a wily veteran from South Dakota and the other, a recently-graduated-from-juniors player from Virginia.

It’s tough to beat a guy who, through eight matches, racing to 9, is winning just about four out of every five games he plays, while giving up an average of only 3.6 racks per match (63-24/79% game-winning average). And so went Shane Van Boening’s tournament, commencing with victories over Jeffrey Pry, Sr., Ryan McCreesh, Bryan Jones, Clint Palaci and Matt Krah, to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal matchup versus Derick Daya. 

NYC’s Joey Korsiak, in the meantime, who’d end up winning just over half of his games and giving up 6.36 racks per match, on average, got by Larry Richards, Jimmy Conn, Shayne Morrow, Scott Haas (double hill) and Kevin West, to arrive at his winners’ side matchup against fellow NYC competitor, Raphael Dabreo.

Van Boening downed Daya 9-4, while Korsiak was sending Dabreo to the loss side 9-6. Van Boening sent Korsiak to the loss side, claiming the hot seat 9-6.

On the loss side, DaBreo ran into Matt Krah, who, after his winners’ side quarterfinal defeat at the hands of Van Boening, had defeated one of the junior players, Landon Hollingsworth and Mark Nanashee, both 9-2. Daya picked up Shane Wolford, who followed his winners’ side quarterfinal defeat at the hands of Dabreo with victories over Chip Klein, double hill, and Kevin West 9-7. 

The circle had closed, so to speak. The final six competitors were either still on the winners’ side (Korsiak and Van Boening), or had only seen action, at most, in two matches on the loss side Dabreo & Krah, Daya & Wolford). Wolford advanced to the quarterfinals 9-1 over Daya. Dabreo eliminated Krah 9-5 and joined him for their rematch.

Dabreo and Wolford put on a hell of show in those quarterfinals. Old school vs. new generation stuff. It came within a game of double hill, but in the end Dabreo advanced for another rematch, against Korsiak in the semifinals. It seemed as though the hot seat match had taken somethinout of Korsiak that he couldn’t get back. That, or Dabreo was just on a determined roll for a shot against Van Boening. Either way, Dabreo advanced to the finals 9-4.

There was an element of dominance in that final match, but Dabreo didn’t just lie down, either. Van Boening’s overall 79% game-winning average was only 64% in the final. He did, though, complete his undefeated run with a 9-5 victory. 

Tournament director Steve Fleming and Billiard Sports Network’s Jake Lawson and Josh Setterfield extended thanks to the ownership and staff at Center Pocket 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 by Marriott (Bowie, MD), Hampton Inn by Hilton (Bowie, MD), Luke Thompson Photography, MB Cues/Mike Burton, Integrity Cues, Break Out Billiards Apparel, WhoDem Billiards Apparel, AZBilliards, Premier Billiards,, The League Room, Championship Fabric, LLC, Jacoby Custom Cues, Vyc’s Cue Repair, S&T Billiards and JB Cases.

The next event in the Dynaspheres’ series, scheduled for the weekend of June 4-6, will be the $1,500-added Dynaspheres Cup 8-Ball Championship, to be hosted by Center Pocket in Bowie, MD. This Open/Pro event, limited to the first 128 entrants, will feature races to 7 on both sides of the bracket, and be played on the room’s 7 ft. Diamond tables. 

US 1 Billiards February Pro Am – Joey Korsiak vs Jalal Al Saresi

US 1 Billiards February Pro Am – Joey Korsiak vs Jesus Atencio

2020 Derby City Classic 9-Ball – Jennifer Barretta Vs. Joey Korsiak

Sossei goes undefeated, downing Korsiak twice to claim Eastern States Championships

(l to r): Jeremy Sossei, Joey Korsiak, Tony Robles and Jonathan Smith

They’re familiar rivals, Jeremy Sossei and Joey Korsiak. Joey’s been around a little longer; his recorded exploits dating back 20 years. Jeremy’s on record (here) back to 2007. They’re both veterans of the Joss Northeast 9-Ball and Predator Pro Am Tours and have met on numerous (sometimes unrecorded) occasions. When Jeremy arrived at the 2019 Eastern States Championships at Steinway Billiards this past Labor Day Weekend (August 31-Sept. 2), he’d already chalked up five wins on the 2019 Joss Tour, four of them in a row from April to June. Joey entered the tournament with only two ‘cash’ appearances on his 2019 resume. He finished 28th at the Derby City Classic 9-Ball event and was runner-up to Frankie Hernandez at a Predator stop in March. He was among the top five finishers in six events last year and downed Zion Zvi in the finals of a Predator stop last June.
As far as we know, the only time they met in a final before this past weekend was in February 2011, when Joey defeated Jeremy in the finals of a Predator Pro Am event. Joey finished as runner-up in another Predator event in April of that year, with Sossei finishing in fourth place.
They met twice in this year’s $1,500-added, 10-Ball Open/Pro division of the Eastern States Championships, which, held under the auspices of the Predator Pro Am Tour, drew 19 entrants to Steinway Billiards over the weekend. There was, arguably, a lot more at stake for Korsiak than there was for Sossei as they squared off in the finals of this one. For Sossei, it was going to be just a 6th notch on his 2019 victory belt. For Korsiak, on the other hand, a victory over Sossei would have been his first major victory since last June and only his third since he defeated Sossei eight years ago. It made for some high drama in the finals on Monday night.
A concurrent, $1,500-added Amateur event (separate story) drew 83 entrants to Steinway. Gary Bozigian went undefeated to claim that title, downing Matt Klein in the finals.
Sossei and Korsiak met first in the winners’ side semifinals of the Open/Pro event. Jonathan Smith and Michael Yednak squared off in the other one. Sossei sent Korsiak to the loss side 9-4 and advanced to the hot seat match against Smith, who’d defeated Yednak 9-6. Sossei claimed the hot seat and waited for Korsiak to finish his three-match march back to the finals.
On the loss side, Korsiak picked up Del Sim, who’d eliminated Duc Lam 9-6 and Zion Zvi, double hill, to reach him. Yednak drew Predator Pro Am Tour director Tony Robles. Yednak had sent him to the loss side in an earlier round and Robles had recently defeated Vinko Rumora 9-1 and survived a double hill match versus Jorge Rodriguez to earn the re-match.
Robles won the rematch against Yednak and Korsiak downed Sim by the same 9-5 score. Korsiak then eliminated Robles 9-5 in the quarterfinals.
Korsiak’s interest in a rematch against Sossei in the hot seat was evident in the gritty double hill victory he chalked up against Smith in the semifinals. As Labor Day drew to a close, Korsiak and Sossei went to work.
Sossei opened things with a break and run that was followed immediately by a tight safety match in which they both took about a half dozen shots at the 1-ball before Sossei broke out of it and went up 2-0. Sossei broke dry on the third rack and though Korsiak ran to the 6-ball, he got a little out of position shooting at the 7-ball, missed it and watched Sossei make it 3-0.
Korsiak got on the board with rack #4 and drew within one by winning rack #5, as well. They traded racks to 5-4, when Sossei jumped out by two to regain the three-rack lead he owned at the start. Korsiak reduced it back down to two (7-5) with a rack #12 win.
Rack #13 proved to be about as unlucky as it gets. Korsiak played a terrific safe shot that forced Sossei to make a soft-shot, multi-rail kick at the 3-ball. He touched it successfully, but it barely moved in the jaws of a corner pocket and Korsiak made the assumption that nothing had hit the rail after contact. Sossei tried to tell him that he’d made a good hit, but Korsiak reached out and touched the cue ball, committing a foul that in essence, took the wind out of his sails.
Sossei took the ball in hand and closed out the rack to reach the hill first; 8-5 in the extended-race-to-11 format (if Korsiak reached 9 first, the race would extend to 11).  Rack #14 featured a couple of unforced errors by both of them; Sossei dropped a ball that he had called safe, Korsiak missed a relatively easy shot that was a gateway to the 14th rack finish line, and Sossei scratched shooting at the 8-ball. Korsiak made another unforced error but managed to leave Sossei a difficult shot. Sossei made the shot he had to make and closed it out 9-5 to capture the 2019 Championship title.
Tony Robles thanked Manny Stamatakis and his Steinway Billiards staff for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Predator Cues, Ozone Billiards,, The DeVito Team,, Capelle (, AZBilliards, Pool & Billiard Magazine, Billiards Digest and his entire Predator Pro Am staff, to include his lovely wife, Gail. Robles also acknowledged the efforts of UpstateAl and his AZBTv staff for their streaming of selected matches throughout the weekend.

Burford wins Inaugural Steinway Billiards Classic in New York

In putting together the $2,000-added Inaugural Steinway Billiards Classic, held on the weekend of August 4-5 at Steinway Billiards in Astoria, NY, organizers of the New York-based Predator Tour (including tour director Tony Robles) reasoned that with the World Straight Pool Championships taking place from July 29-August 8 in nearby Flushing, NY, they’d get some crossover talent to sign on. They were right.

Earl Strickland showed up. So, among others, did Mika Immonen, Corey Deuel, Mike Dechaine, Jeremy Sossei, and Phil Burford, all of whom advanced to be among the final 12 in the 44-entrant field. Burford, fresh off a 22nd place finish in the Southern Classic One-Ball Tournament and a June victory on the Joss NE Tour, defeated Corey Deuel twice to lay claim to the first Steinway Billiards Classic title.

Burford faced Deuel for the first time among the winners’ side final eight, defeating him and moving on to face Joey Korsiak. Mika Immonen, in the meantime, faced Max Eberle in the other winners’ side semfinal. Burford got into the hot seat match with an 8-3 victory over Korsiak, and was joined by the “Iceman,” who’d survived a double hill battle versus Eberle. Mika sent Burford to a re-match against Deuel in the semifinals 8-6 and waited in the hot seat for his return.

Eberle was the one who picked up Deuel on the loss side. Deuel had defeated Mhet Vergara 8-6 and benefited from a forfeit by Sossei to reach him. Korsiak, in the meantime, drew Earl “The Pearl” Strickland, who’d gotten by Dechaine and Wilkie, both 8-5. 

Korsiak and Eberle had a single-match, loss-side run, as Strickland downed Korsiak 8-4 and Deuel came out on the right side of a double hill match against Eberle. This led to something of a ‘dream’ quarterfinal, pitting Deuel against Strickland; the kind of match that draws crowds (and it did). Deuel came out on top 8-5 for a second crack at Burford.

The second verse proved to be the same as the first. Burford ended Deuel’s day 8-6 in the semifinals and moved on to an extended race-to-11 re-match final against Immonen. The two battled back and forth in a tight game that at rack 16 was tied. Burford won the extension game, and then added two more to claim the event title.

With the highly competitive field that showed up to play in this inaugural event, plans are already underway for a Second Annual Steinway Billiards Classic, already boasting $5,000 in added money. Organizers have yet to solidify the date, but it will be set, once again, to coincide with the World Tournament in 2013. Organizers expressed their gratitude and appreciation to the owners of Steinway Billiards for their support of this soon-to-be annual event.

Ted Garrahan beats Karen Corr in Finals

Garrahan got his second win of the season

Mike Zuglan's Joss Northeast 9-Ball Tour visited Rack'n'Roll Billiards in Stamford,Ct. This past weekend and the field was a strong one. Players like Ginky, Robles, Saez, Altomare, Hernandez and Zuglan were joined by local nine ballers and two women. Competing for the over $5K in prizes made for some incredible matches. On Saturday we had players like Zuglan and Altomare sent home early without cashing and matches that were pretty intense. Joe Korsiak had Karen Corr 8-4 in the race to nine. The Irish super player held her composure and took advantage of two crucial misses by Joey "K", got it to hill hill and then won the set 9-8 to remain undefeated for the day. Joining Karen with no losses was, Robbie Saez, Frank Hernandez and Ted Garrahan. On the one loss side we had George Sansouci, Scott Richardson, Tony Robles and Joe Korsiak.

Sunday saw Corr beating Saez, Garrahan win over Hernandez, Ginky got Richardson and Joey "K" winning a hill hill match with Robles. Garrahan beat Corr 9-7 to take the hot seat. On the one loss side we saw Sansouci and Hernandez settle for 5/6 as Corr determined to get to the finals won her match with Robb Saez to get there. The Final set between Garrahan and Corr was a great one. Back and forth with great safe play and shot making, The "Magic Man" was playing lights out as was Corr. When Karen played a great safety at 7-7, Teddy actually kicked two rail and made a carom to enable him to get out. At 8-7 he broke and got out to seal the victory. Garrahan went the two days without a loss and simply played great.
Not enough nice things can be said about Mike Flemming and his staff at Rock'n'Roll Billiards. Completely remodeled and great equipment made this a really fun weekend. Next week the tour goes to the Golden Cue in Albany,NY. This is where Mike Zuglan got his start as a pool player and the field should be great with the $2000 added to the kitty.