Archive Page

Champions Reignite at Space City Open VII

Josh Roberts (Photo courtesy of Chris Lue, Next Action Media)

James Davis, Jr., “Junior”, of Austin, Texas, went undefeated in a 128-player field, to win the Space City Open VII, open 9-ball title, becoming the second player to win it twice. Josh “The Beast” Roberts not only defended his one pocket title, but finished second in banks, and thirty-third in the 9-ball, earning himself the “All-Around” title, and a hefty $1,500 bonus. First-time competitor, Evan Lunda of Detroit, Michigan, cleaned up in the 32-player, 9-ball banks division, going hill-hill with only a single opponent. In the 32-player, ladies 9-ball, Ming “The Empress” Ng redeemed herself in the second set of the true, double elimination final, securing her second title, and becoming the first, two-time winner in this division. Nine junior players, including eight young men, and one young lady, traveled from across Texas to compete in their very own division. Lazaro “Little Laz” Martinez, III, of San Antonio, Texas, went undefeated in this category, earning the first win in this division debut.
 
For years, Space City Open has featured top players from across America, and this year was no exception. Former Mosconi Cup players, contenders, and champions alike were in attendance, vying for a piece of the $53,415 payout. Space City Open superstars included Justin Hall, Josh Roberts, Danny Smith, Shane McMinn, John Morra, Charlie “Hillbilly” Bryant, Richie Richeson, Alex Calderone, Sylver Ochoa, Ernesto Bayaua, James Davis, Jr., Can Salim, Chris Robinson, Evan Lunda, Jamie Baraks, Manny Perez, Justin Espinosa, Tommy Tokoph, and Jesus Atencio.  
 
This year’s $7,500 added, Space City Open VII, was held December 6th-9th, 2018, and implemented a number of positive changes, including a $1,500 All-Around bonus, and a seventeen-and-under, juniors 9-ball division. In its seventh year, the “derby-like” event, now hosting five divisions over four days, was also held at a brand new venue. Big Tyme Billiards in Spring, Texas, stepped up to host, generously adding $4,000 to the purse, providing twenty Diamond bar tables and six nine foot tables, on which to compete. Twenty-six, brand new, Cyclop “Zeus” ball sets, and Accu-Racks by Outsville, were provided by Space City. The bar tables were a popular change from the eight foot tables used in previous years (for the open 9-ball division), and the format changes for one pocket and banks were also a huge hit. These divisions were still held on nine foot tables, but in a single elimination format as opposed to double, and the consensus was clear. Players loved the expediency, along with the added pressure and intensity of the “one-and-done” arrangement. For the first time, all divisions filled, with players on stand-by.
 
The open 9-ball division presented a monstrous, challenging field, played on the great equalizer; the bar table. On the road to victory, James Davis, Jr. defeated Matt Williams, Charlie Bryant, 9-8, Evan Lunda, 9-8, and Shelby Green, 9-5, to reach the winners’ side final eight. Espinosa logged wins over Angelina Dean, 9-1, Marshal Ward, 9-2, Eric Aicinena, 9-4, and Victor Rojas, 9-7, while Danny Smith defeated Mike Landry, 9-2, Colton Berzins, 9-1, John Morra, 9-5, and Mike Alonzo, 9-8. Jamie Baraks made quick work of Beto Cavazos, 9-3, Rick Moreno, 9-3, David Thomas, 9-7, and Shane McMinn, 9-4. Houston’s Andy Jethwa passed Grady Cooper, 9-1, Mark Galicia, 9-5, Sylver Ochoa, 9-8, and Corey Flud, 9-6. Richie Richeson ousted Alan Myers, Jerry Miller, 9-8, David Chow, and Billy “Big Tyme” Sharp, 9-4, while Alex Calderone overcame Chase Wheeler, 9-2, Ricki Casper, 9-6, Aaron Springs, 9-7, and Germany’s Can Salim, 9-8. On the one loss side and in the money, Kenneth Price upset Chris Robinson, 7-5, and bested Flud, 7-7, while Morra topped Curt Sheldon, 7-3, and Shelby Green, 7-2. Bryant subdued Angel Mentzel, but fell to Sharp by the same score, 7-2. Galicia upended Aicinena, 7-4, but fell to Salim, 7-2, while Moreno won an impressive five matches, ousting Springs, 7-3, and Rojas, 7-4. Following a second round loss to Morra, Ernesto Bayaua made a phenomenal comeback, securing five matches, including wins over Derek Fontenot, 7-3, and Poon, 7-0. Jesus Atencio, on a similar mission, marked up five on the one loss side, among the ruins, Reginal Samples, 7-1, and Alonzo, 7-5. Jimmy Krone racked up five victories on the one loss side, but was stopped by Ochoa, 7-4. Ochoa was taken out by McMinn, 7-6, wrapping up top sixteen action. Back on the east side, Espinosa throttled Perez, 9-1, Baraks triumphed over Smith, 9-7, while Davis, Jr. snuck by Jethwa, 9-7, and Calderone inched by Richeson, 9-8. Espinosa squeaked by Baraks, 9-8, and Davis Jr. served it up cold to Calderone, 9-4. The hot seat match-up marked an Austin-area shoot-out, and a short-lived set for Espinosa, who sustained his first blow from Davis, Jr., 9-5. On the west side, Morra took a stand, ending Price, 7-3, and Perez, 7-2, while Salim took out heavy hitters  Sharp, 7-3, and Smith, 7-2. Bayaua recorded his seventh win on the one loss side, ending Moreno, 7-1, and Jethwa, 7-3. Ochoa finished off Atencio, 7-3, but fell to Richeson, 7-5. Salim went on to defeat Morra, 7-5, and Calderone, 7-3, while Bayaua buried Richeson and Baraks, 7-3. Bayaua registered his ninth win, but no more. Winning the case game against Bayaua, Salim secured his sixth win, and slid into third place. Espinosa was ready for Salim, but got off to a slow start. At a 6-3 deficit, Espinosa came back to win, 7-6, earning himself a second shot at Junior, and the title. Once again, Espinosa found himself in troubled waters, as Davis was in perfect rhythm with the table, and couldn’t be denied. Davis Jr. surged to a 9-3 win, and his second 9-ball title since the inception of Space City. 
 
In the one pocket division, Josh Roberts took no prisoners, eliminating Charlie Bryant, Jamie Baraks, and Chris Robinson, 4-3, while Alex Calderone defeated Greg Trent, Jim McCary, and Sylver Ochoa, 4-2. Local favorite, Richie Richeson, defeated Marc Garza and Manny Perez, by the same score, 4-1, and John Morra, 4-1. Ernesto Bayaua rounded out the final four, booking wins over Bobby Roland, Aaron Springs, 4-3, and Evan Lunda. In the final four round, Roberts shut-out Calderone, 4-0, and Richeson slid past Bayaua, 4-3. For the first time, Richeson found himself at the end of the board, facing the defending champion. The pressure was on, as both players were in close running for the All-Around bonus. In the final, numerous games came down to the case ball. The fans were treated to an offensive juggernaut; a display of maneuvers and banks, not soon forgotten, but even the creativity of the venerable Richeson, was not enough. With an accounting of two, eight-and-out runs, Roberts was up 3-2, with one ball remaining in game six. Following an unforced error by Richeson, Roberts took it home, along with his second, Space City Open one pocket title.
 
Evan Lunda was in charge of the banks. The Detroit product eliminated Jim Walker, 4-0, Danny Smith, 4-3, and Jose Barbosa, 4-1. His upcoming challenger, Shane McMinn, took out Mike Alonzo, Gail Eaton and James Davis, Jr. by the same score, 4-2. Josh Roberts overwhelmed Marc Garza, 4-1, Kent Berthelot, 4-0, and John Morra, 4-1, while Richie Richeson completed the final four, with wins over Bret Harlan, 4-0, Jamie Baraks, 4-2, and Justin Hall, 4-3. Lunda ended McMinn, 4-2, and Roberts robbed Richeson, 4-1. Lunda and Roberts found themselves in their first, banks final, vying for new milestones; Lunda, aiming for his first title, and Roberts, going for first-time champion of two different divisions. Lunda’s casual style showcased epic moves, and wowed spectators as he banked his way to victory. He shut out Roberts in the final of the single elimination schedule, 4-0, to win his first Space City Open title.
 
On Sunday morning, thirty-two women started battling it out in the ladies 9-ball division. The 2013 ladies 9-ball division champion, Ming “The Empress” Ng, began her trek with wins over Terri Resendez, 7-2, two-time ladies 9-ball champion, Gail “Virginia Slim” Eaton, 7-6, and Kim “Texas Heat” Pierce, 7-1, as Robyn Petrosino plowed through Ruth Paine, 7-0, Brittany Kromer, 7-3, and Teresa “Princess of Pool” Garland, 7-1. Yvonne “Casher” Asher made her way to the cash, defeating Karen Reilly, Tam “MZ Tam” Trinh, 7-3, and Jillian Nickerson, 7-6, while Ricky “The Ghost” Casper, drifted past Matty Sword, 7-1, Sara Bork, 7-3, and Hopey “Hurricane” Lawrence, 7-2. Ng went on to shut out Petrosino, 7-0, and Casper stopped Asher, 7-4. In the hot seat match, Ng emerged victorious over Casper, 7-4. On the one loss side and in the final eight, Pierce and Eaton shut out Garland and Nickerson, respectively, 5-0. Pierce derailed Asher, and Eaton eliminated Petrosino, moving into the final four. Eaton went on to eliminate Pierce, 5-0, and Casper, 5-4, to meet Ng in the finals. Ng, going for her second title, and Eaton, searching for her third, battled to the bitter end. In the first set, Ng simply couldn’t get it together, and Eaton was on fire, taking the first set, 7-1. Following a five minute break, the second set got underway. This time, Ng took her turn, beating Eaton 5-3, to win her second, Space City Open title. 
 
Nine players, seventeen and under, competed in the inaugural, juniors 9-ball division. Lazaro Martinez, III, aka “Little Laz”, outplayed April Gonzales, 5-2, and Alex Fonseca bested Jonathan Cortez, 5-1. Jacob Gonzales beat John Benavides, but fell to Kyle Yi, while Gabriel Martinez passed Nathan Garay, 5-1. Martinez, III logged a third win against Fonseca, 5-2, and G. Martinez ousted Yi, for a brother versus brother, hot seat match-up. G. Martinez denied his brother, and awaited his final opponent. On the one loss side, and in the final six, Fonseca eliminated Garay, and Yi overcame Benavides. Yi eliminated Fonseca, but fell to Martinez, III. Once again, “Little Laz” faced off with brother, Gabriel, in the final. The final told a different story, as Little Laz overwhelmed Gabriel, 5-2, 5-3, to win his first Space City Open title.
 
Space City Open VII goes down in the record books as the most successful one to date. “I have no words for the outpouring of support from the Texas pool community. Even with the last minute venue and format changes, the event over-filled. Billy Sharp and Deborah Sharp of Big Tyme Billiards came through for all of us” commented Kim Newsome, Space City Open Founder and Director. Space City Open extends a heartfelt “thank you” to everyone involved in the production of this event; John Newsome and Johnny Gonzales of Eagle Plumbing who sponsored the $1,500, All-Around bonus; staff members Kim Newsome, John Newsome, Erica Hanlon, and Chuck Adams who managed every facet of the event; Ceferina Ramirez and Ruth Paine for their contributions; Mike Fabacher with Southern Streaming who provided a free, four-day live stream; Chris Lue of Next Action Media, whose photographs captured the essence of the event; sponsors Roger Schuett with the APA of North Harris County, Mike McDonald of VaporKnightsUSA.com, Poison by Predator Cues, Cyclop Pool Balls, Chris Renfro with Outsville Billiards, Charlie and Heather Bryant of Brutal Game Gear, and David Taylor and Teresa Garland with Houston Best of Billiards; vendors Jerry Olivier Cue Repair, Joe Salazar Connoisseur of Custom Cues, Arthur Politte with Qxtender.com, Darrold Stiehl with Champions Cues, and Brutal Game Gear. 
 
Finally, Space City would like to extend its deepest gratitude to the players who support this event, year in and year out. Without the players, none of this would be possible.
 
Space City Open is one of the biggest billiard events in Texas, and is held annually, the first week in December. For more information, visit www.SpaceCityOpen.com
 

Space City Open Moves To Big Tyme Billiards

Houston Pool Tournament Changes Venues

This year's Space City Open VII ("SCO") has been moved to Big Tyme Billiards, and will be held on its regularly scheduled days, December 6th-9th, 2018. Big Tyme Billiards is located at 100 Cypresswood Dr., Spring, Texas 77388, right off I-45 @ Cypresswood Drive, only a few miles from the former venue.

 
The Space City Open is pleased to announce a new partnership with a pool room, whose unrivaled vision in the billiards industry has put them on the map. Space City Open's "big" move to Big Tyme Billiards comes on the heels of promoters John Newsome, and WPBA Pro, Kim Newsome, and their desire to hold the Space City Open in a more "player friendly" environment, with owners who understand the industry, and what it takes to succeed.  Big Tyme's General Manager and accomplished pool player, Billy Sharp, had this to say. “We believe this change of venue is a positive move for the event, and more importantly, the players. We look forward to hosting our first Space City Open!” Kim Newsome couldn’t be more pleased with the direction of the Space City Open, now in its seventh year, and headed to its new host location in just five, short weeks. “The Space City Open has long needed a host venue that focused on the growth of pool in Texas. Now, with the inclusion of Big Tyme Billiards, our vision has become a reality. I don’t know of anyone I’d rather work alongside, than those I grew up with, in the Houston pool community. This is going to be fun”, says Newsome.
 
The amenities at Big Tyme Billiards are never-ending. Their twenty-four, Diamond bar tables with tournament blue, Simonis cloth, will more than accommodate the SCO 9-ball division, and the tables will be open for the event. The one pocket and 9-ball banks divisions will still boast 32-player fields, and will be played on 9' tables, but in a single elimination format. In order to offset this change, races in these two divisions will be lengthened to races to four on the winners' side, and races to four on the one-loss side. The ladies 9-ball division will also be played on open, Diamond bar tables. All tables at Big Tyme Billiards, including six, 4 ½ x 9 professional tables, are covered in Simonis cloth, and players will also enjoy using Accu-Racks by Outsville Billiards, and Cyclop Pool Balls. The only new rules implemented for the event, state that the 9-ball will be racked on the spot, and players must break from the "box". All other rules, including winner breaks, and rack your own, will remain the same. 
 
New this year, a $1,500 "All-Around" bonus will be awarded to the player accumulating the most points for finishes in the open 9-ball, one-pocket, and banks divisions. The brand new, seventeen-and-under Juniors 9-ball division, will kick off on Sunday, played on open, Diamond bar tables.
 
A four-day, live stream will be provided by Southern Streaming. Sponsors for this event are Poison by Predator Cues, Cyclop Pool Balls, APA of North Harris County, Vapor Knights USA, and Outsville Billiards. Vendors for this event are Jerry Olivier Cue Repair, Joe Salazar Connoisseur of Custom Cues, Champions Cues, Brutal Game Gear, and Qxtender. For more information, visit http://www.spacecityopen.com.
 
The Space City Open was created in 2012, by WPBA Touring Professional, Kim Newsome. Since its inception, the event has been highly successful, garnering well over one hundred players from across the U.S., to compete in the 4-day billiard event. This pool tournament is held annually, in Texas, the first week in December, and is the only one of its kind. The Space City Open is one of the biggest, annual pool events in Texas, boasting Open 9-Ball, Open 9-Ball Banks, Open One Pocket, Open Ladies 9-Ball, and a Juniors 9-Ball division. 
 

Smith Lights Up Space City Open VI

Danny Smith

Danny “The Shredder” Smith captured his first-ever Space City Open 9-Ball title, plowing through an 83-player field, undefeated, besting Roberto “Superman” Gomez in the first set of the true double elimination final, 9-3. Josh Roberts went undefeated in the 40-player, one pocket division, ousting John Morra in the first set, 3-2, taking home his first Space City Open One Pocket title. Jeremy “Double J” Jones went undefeated in the 9-ball banks division, taking down Tommy Tokoph in the first set, 3-2, earning himself a whopping fourth, banks division title. Wrapping up four long days of match play, the ladies 9-ball concluded on Sunday, with Gail “Virginia Slim” Eaton defeating Ming “The Empress” Ng, to capture her second, Space City Open title. 
 
In its sixth year, the four-day, four-division, $6,000 added Space City Open VI (SCO) was held at Bogies Billiards and Sports Bar in Houston, Texas, November 30th – December 3rd, 2017, featuring top players from across America. This year’s line-up featured a cast of new talent, including Danny Smith, Roberto Gomez, John Morra, Jason Brown, and Kelly Isaac, along with numerous others. Admission was free, and fans enjoyed four days of top-notch pool, provided by world-class players.
 
In the 9-ball division, Danny Smith obliterated the field with wins over Marlin Griffith, 9-4, J.C. Torres, 9-3, Jeremy Jones, 9-7, and Alex Calderone, 9-4, while Jason “Jaybird” Brown took down Taylor Hobbs, 9-8, Curt Sheldon, Josh Roberts, 9-8, and James Davis, Jr., 9-2. Two-time Space City Open 9-Ball Champion, Charlie “Hillbilly” Bryant, made his way to the final four with victories over Mike Wilson, 9-2, David Twitty, 9-6, Kevin Guimond, 9-0, and Cesar Arechiga, 9-2, while Roberto “Superman” Gomez overcame Kenneth Price, 9-6, Randy Nickerson, 9-3, Chase Rudder, 9-5, and John Morra, 9-2. On the one loss side, Tommy Tokoph took out Roberts, 7-3, and Jones eliminated former pro C.J. Wiley, 7-1, while Yovani Salvia ousted Rudder, 7-4, and Jeff Chauncey destroyed Guimond, 7-1. Back on the east side, Gomez bested Bryant, 9-6, while Smith overwhelmed Brown, 9-4. Smith ran away with the hot seat match, defeating Gomez, 9-2. The one loss side witnessed Morra overpower Tokoph, 7-1, and Jones handily defeat Arechiga, 7-0. Davis, Jr. ended Rudder, 7-6, while Guimond dusted off Calderone, 7-4. Morra went on to eliminate Jones, 7-4, and Brown, 7-1, while Guimond overcame Davis, Jr., 7-3. Bryant squeezed by Guimond, 7-6, rounding out the final four players in the division. Morra was on a role, taking out Bryant, 7-2, to win his fourth match on the one loss side. He was stopped short by Gomez, 7-1, finishing in a respectable, third place. Gomez earned himself a rematch with Smith, and “The Shredder” was ready. With his spot-on break, it was a short-lived set for Gomez, much like the first. Smith shot out of the gate and never looked back, capturing the first set, 9-3, and his first, Space City Open 9-Ball title.
 
[photo id=48363|align=right]Last year, Josh Roberts finished runner-up in the one pocket division, but this year he came out on top.  Roberts ran through a 40-player field, undefeated, booking wins over Jim McCary, Adam Cooper, and Ted Reeves, 3-1, while John Morra overcame Gabe Owen, Marvin Diaz, 3-0, and Sylver Ochoa, 3-1. Houston’s Ernesto Bayaua made his way to the final four with wins over Cliff Joyner, Dallas’ Gerardo Perez, 3-0, and Roberto Gomez, 3-1, while Justin Whitehead overwhelmed Curt Sheldon, 3-0, Corey Flud, 3-0, and Kent Berthelot, 3-1. On the one loss side, Davis, Jr. eliminated Ochoa, 3-1, Brown defeated Reeves, 3-0, and Diaz ended Berthelot, 3-1. Following an early hit at the hands of Roberts, Jeremy Jones won four matches, including victories over Jeff Bramblet, 3-0, Jeff Chauncey, 3-1, and Gomez, 3-1. As the final eight took shape, winners’ side matches witnessed Roberts edge out Morra, 3-2, and Whitehead dust off Bayaua, 3-1. Roberts wasted little time with Whitehead, capturing the hot seat, 3-0. Back on the west side, Brown denied Ochoa, 3-0, and Bayaua, 3-2, while Jones squeezed by Diaz, 3-2, falling in turn to Morra, by the same score.  Morra made quick work of Whitehead, 3-0, moving on to Roberts, and the finals. In the first set, players were neck and neck. Tied at two a piece, an unforced error by Morra sealed his fate, and Roberts ended the set to secure his first, Space City Open One Pocket title.
 
Kicking off the four-day, billiard extravaganza, was the 26-player, 9-ball banks division, witnessing former Mosconi Cup MVP and former U.S. Open Champion, Jeremy Jones, capture his fourth Space City Open Banks title. Jones blazed a path through Kent Berthelot, 3-0, Gail Eaton, 3-0, and Roberto Gomez, 3-1, while Tommy Tokoph handled Ricki Casper, 3-0, former U.S. Open runner-up, Tan Hoa, 3-2,  and Scotty Evans, 3-1. Former U.S. Open Champion, Gabe Owen, checked off Alfred Flores, 3-0, Richie Richeson, 3-0, and Jason “Jaybird” Brown, 3-1, while Cliff Joyner overwhelmed Beaumont’s Carl Honey, 3-0, Will Felder, 3-1, and Alan Myers, 3-1. On the one loss side, John Morra took out Berthelot, while Roberto Gomez ousted James Davis, Jr., 3-1. Canadian Alex Olinger ended Alan Myers, 3-2, while Josh Roberts handled Jason Brown, 3-1. Down to the final eight, on the east side, Jones defeated Tokoph, 3-1, and Owen slid by Joyner, 3-1. In a speedy, hot seat match, Jones crushed Owen, 3-0. Back on the west side, Gomez eliminated Morra, but fell to Joyner, 3-1, while Roberts took out Myers, 3-0, falling to Tokoph in the next round, 3-0. Tokoph was on the war path, sending home Joyner, 3-2, and Owen, 3-2, reaching Jones, and the finals. Players teed off, both keeping pace as the set progressed. Tied at two a piece, Jones inched ahead in the final game, closing out the set to defend his 2016 title and secure his fourth banks title.
 
[photo id=48362|align=right]Wrapping up Space City, 24 women battled it out on Sunday for over $2,400 in cash in the ladies 9-ball division. Gail “Virginia Slim” Eaton came out firing, ousting Terry “The Terrorizer” Petrosino, Calaia Jackson, 7-1, and Toledo’s Kelly Isaac, 7-6, whiLe Ming “The Empress” Ng made her way to the final four with wins over Cindy Ferry, Nayla Hoak, and Joyce Davis. Angleton’s Brandi Booth came out firing, securing victories over Ricki Casper, 7-3, and Robyn Petrosino, 7-6, while Teresa “The Princess of Pool” Garland took down Alicia Huff, 7-5, and Yvonne Asher, 7-1. On the west side, Isaac eliminated Denton’s Amy Jones, 5-2, and T. Petrosino reined in Davis, 5-3.  Natalie Mans squeezed by Asher, 5-4, and R. Petrosino extinguished Yvonne Ramirez, 5-2. Down to the final eight, east side action saw Isaac eliminate T. Petrosino, 5-3, and Garland, 5-4, while Mans dusted off R. Petrosino, 5-1, in turn, falling  to Ng, by the same score. Ng went on to eliminate Isaac, 5-4, and Booth, 5-1, earning herself a rematch with Eaton. In the first set of the true, double elimination final, Ng served Eaton her first loss, 7-6, and the finals ventured into overtime. Players displayed poise and composure in the late hour, but only one player could wear the crown. Players fought for every game, but it was Eaton who pulled ahead to end the second set, 5-3, capturing her second, Space City Open 9-ball title. 
 
The Space City Open extends a heartfelt “thank you” to everyone who supported this event; Bogies Billiards and Sports Bar, along with owners David and Shannon Richardson, the entire Bogies’ staff, assistant tournament director, John Newsome, Simplified Electronics, APA of North Harris County, Gulf War Veteran Mike McDonald, Ozone Billiards, and Outsville Billiards. “Special Supporters” of this event included Mark Stubbs, Glen Benton, Ted Reeves, Adam Cooper, Richard Holstein, Richard “Black Diamond” Stuart, and Art Politte. This year’s event featured booths by Jerry Olivier Cues and Cue Repair, Joe Salazar Connoisseur of Custom Cues, Champions Cues, Bryant Billiards, and Q-Xtender.com.
 
Space City Open VII is set for December 6th-9th, 2018. For sponsorship information, please contact Kim Newsome at 713.825.1411, or email lonestartour@gmail.com. 

McMinn Emerges at Space City Open V

Shane McMinn

Shane “Doomsday” McMinn captured his first-ever Space City Open 9-ball title, plowing through an 87-player field, besting Alex Calderone in the second set of the true double elimination final, 7-2. Justin Hall went unscathed in the 32-player one pocket division, ousting the famed Josh Roberts in the final set, 4-2, taking home his second Space City Open one pocket title. Jeremy “Double J” Jones went undefeated in the 9-ball banks division, taking down Manny Chau in the final set, 3-1, earning himself a third 9-ball banks title. Wrapping up four long days of match play, the ladies 9-ball concluded on Sunday afternoon, with hot seat winner Natalie Rocha defeating Ricki Casper in the second set, 5-0, capturing her very first Space City Open 9-ball title.
 
The 4-day, 4-division, $6,000 added Space City Open V (SCO) was held at Bogies Billiards and Sports Bar in Houston, Texas, December 1st-4th, 2016. In its fifth year, SCO continues to increase in talent and value, and professional players from across the U.S. flew in to take advantage of this annual event. This year’s line-up featured an all-star cast of phenomenal talent going head to head in a test of wills and stamina. New on the scene, Arizona’s Scott Frost and South Carolina’s Josh Roberts, along with resident players Jeremy “Double J” Jones (TX), Justin Hall (FL), Shane “Doomsday” McMinn (TN), Alex Calderone (FL), Sylver Ochoa (TX), Robb Saez (TN ), Manny Chau (Peru), Richie Richeson (MI), and many others, entertained a packed house and hundreds of at-home viewers who tuned in to the live stream provided by PoolActionTV.com. 
 
In the 87-player 9-ball field, McMinn took an early hit from Jeremy Jones in the fourth round, 9-4, but came back swinging. While McMinn made his way through the one-loss side, Alex Calderone was doing some damage of his own, taking down Ed Ambros, Tony Barrington, 9-8, and Josh Roberts, 9-6, to reach the winners’ side final four. Jeremy “Double J” Jones ousted Jason Klatt, Blaine Barcus, 9-1, McMinn, 9-4, and Justin Espinosa, 9-8, to reach Calderone. Manny Chau had an impressive run, defeating Scott Frost in the first round, 9-4, Jason Chance, 9-4, Ruben Bautista, 9-5, Ernesto Bayaua, 9-8, and Sylver Ochoa, 9-5. Playing out to meet Chau, Tommy Tokoph took down Lee Clark, 9-1, Bill Blanda, Kenneth Price, and Bob Eaton, 9-6. On the one-loss side, upsets included Jacob Watson with a stunning victory over Justin Hall, 7-4, and Bob “The Pittsburgh Kid” Guzik, eliminating Bautista, 7-6. Finding himself in unfamiliar territory, Frost secured five consecutive matches on the one-loss side, with wins over Klatt, 7-0, Sergio Rivas, 7-2, Blanda, 7-6, and Barrington, 7-3. Frost fell to Jethwa, 7-3, while McMinn took out Robb Saez, 7-6. Bayaua defeated Watson, and Joey Torres took out Kenneth Price, by the same score, 7-4. As the final eight took shape on the one-loss side, the winners’ side final four was on fire, with Calderone defeating Jones, 9-6, and Chau sliding by Tokoph, 9-8. Back on the west side, Roberts ousted Bayaua, 7-2, and Torres eliminated Espinosa, 7-6, while Ochoa overcame Jethwa, 7-5, and McMinn bested Eaton, 7-0. Roberts went on to win sets against Torres, 7-5, and Tokoph, 7-2, while McMinn took down Ochoa, 7-0, and Jones, 7-4. The hot seat match witnessed an undefeated Calderone make quick work of Chau, 9-4. McMinn dusted off Roberts, 7-6, then Chau, 7-1, for a shot at the title. Both Calderone and McMinn were hungry for their first Space City Open win, leading up to a battle for the finish line. The first set commenced, and it appeared to be anyone’s ball game. McMinn settled in, and pulled ahead to win the first set, 9-7. In overtime, there was little Calderone could do from the sidelines, as  McMinn had the break down cold, coasting to a 7-2 win over Calderone, and securing his first-ever, SCO 9-ball title.
 
Former Mosconi Cup Player and Southern Classic all-around Champion, Justin Hall, went through the 32-player one pocket division like a hot knife through butter. Hall blazed through Sonny Bosshamer, 4-2, Jeremy Jones, 4-3, Marvin Diaz, 4-1, and Sylver Ochoa, 4-1, while Josh Roberts took out Scott Frost, 4-0, Aaron Springs, 4-0, Jason Chance, 4-1, and Richie Richeson, 4-0. On the one-loss side, Jones won an incredible five consecutive matches, besting Adam Cooper, 3-0, James Davis, Jr., Tommy Tokoph, 3-0, Chance, 3-1, and Ochoa, 3-2. Following a third round loss to Hall, 4-1, Diaz came back to defeat Jeff Sparks, 3-0, Sergio Rivas, and Richie Richeson, 3-2, to meet Jones. Back on the east side, after a long, drawn-out battle, Hall secured the hot seat, 4-3. Back on the one-loss side, in a surprising upset, Diaz defeated Jones, 3-0, to meet Roberts. Fresh off a hot seat loss, Roberts did what any champion would do, and that’s fight back. He made quick work of Diaz, 3-0, earning himself a rematch with Hall. In the final set, Hall was bit more subdued, but determined to not to let this one slip away. Once again, a seasoned Hall overcame Roberts in the first set, 4-2, going undefeated to win his second SCO one pocket title, becoming the only player to win two titles in this division.
 
Kicking off Space City Open V was the 20-player, 9-ball banks division, witnessing former Mosconi Cup MVP and former U.S. Open Champion, Jeremy Jones, capture his third Space City Open banks title. It was a long row to hoe for Jones, as he took down a list of worthy competitors, including Chris Thompson, Jason Chance, 3-0, Anthony Shea, 3-0, and Denis Strickland, 3-2. Also making his way through the field, Manny Chau defeated Viet Do, 3-1, Gail Eaton, 3-0, and Norman Small, 3-0, to face Jones for the hot seat. On the one-loss side, after suffering a first round loss to Do, James Davis, Jr. came back to win six consecutive matches, eliminating Scott Frost, Jim McCarry, Richie Richeson, Aaron Springs, 3-0, and Strickland, 3-0. Sergio Rivas was dealt a first round loss by Strickland, and also came back to win sex consecutive matches, booking wins over C.J. Escalera, Do, 3-2, Shea, 3-1, Thompson, 3-0, and Small, 3-1. On the east side, Jones took the hot seat wheel, defeating Chau, 3-0.  Back on the west side, Davis ended Rivas, 3-0, but fell to Chau, 3-0. The rematch between Jones and Chau ended all-too quickly for Chau, as Jones pulled ahead, winning the first set, 3-1. Jones crushed it, losing a total of three games throughout the 9-ball banks event, defending his 2015 title, while securing his third SCO banks title.
 
Wrapping up the event, 20 women battled it out on Sunday for over $2,200 in cash, in the ladies 9-ball division. Natalie Rocha came out firing, ousting Brandi Humber, 7-1, Gail Roles, 7-3, and Marie Clark, 7-3, while Ming Ng defeated Monica DeTuncq, 7-0, and Kim Pierce, 7-6. Ricki Casper made her way to the winners’ side final four with wins over Gail Eaton, 7-6, and Alicia Huff, 7-1, while Teresa Garland bested Lois Morgado, 7-3, and Nicole King, 7-6. Ng fell to Rocha, 7-3, and Casper defeated Garland, 7-4.  Rocha went on to secure the hot seat, over Casper, 7-4. On the one-loss side, Eaton dusted off Clark, 5-1, and Garland, 5-2, while Roles ousted DeTuncq, 5-4, only to be eliminated by Ng. Eaton ended  Ng, 5-4, but fell to Casper, 5-4. Casper earned herself a rematch with Rocha, and she intended to use it for all it was worth. As the first set commenced, the players fought relentlessly, each vying for their first Space City Open title. Rocha and Casper traded game for game, until Casper inched ahead to win the first set, 7-6. The second set was a different story, as Rocha came out of the gate running, and never slowed down. Rocha closed out the final set, 5-0, winning her first Space City Open 9-ball title. 
 
The Space City Open extends a heartfelt “thank you” to the venue, staff, sponsors, supporters, and vendors for this event; Bogies Billiards and Sports Bar, along with owners David and Shannon Richardson, the entire Bogies’ staff, assistant tournament director, John Newsome, Mike Fabacher, Ray Hansen and Justin Schwarz with PoolActionTV.com, Simplified Electronics, APA of North Harris County, Vapor Knights, Ozone Billiards, Outsville Billiards who supplied Accu-Racks for this event, Crazy Erica, and RE Visual Concepts. Special supporters included Marc McClure, Jeff Kay, David Taylor, Willie Duran, and Floyd Smith, and this year’s vendors, Ron Geyer and Jerry Olivier (cues) with the Custom Cue Connection, Joe Salazar Connoisseur of Custom Cues, and Darrold Stiehl of Champions Cues.
 
Space City Open VI will take place November 30th-December 3rd, 2017. For more information, visit SpaceCityOpen.com and Facebook @SpaceCityOpen.

Star Power at Space City Open IV

Dennis Orcollo (Photo courtesy of RE Visual Concepts)

World champion Dennis Orcullo went undefeated to capture his first Space City Open 9-Ball title, besting Ohio’s Shane Winters in the final set, 9-4. In the one pocket division, Chip Compton overcame Jeremy Jones, 3-1, 3-1, taking home his first title, and Jones captured his second, consecutive, 9-ball banks title, outlasting Orcullo in overtime, 3-2, 3-0. Wrapping up the event, Gail Eaton overcame Kia Sidbury in the ladies 9-ball finals, 7-4, 5-2. 
 
The 4-day, 4-division, Space City Open IV (SCO) was held at Bogies Billiards and Sports Bar in Houston, Texas, December 3rd-6th, 2016. In its fourth year, SCO continues to increase in talent and value, and professional players from across the U.S. flew in to take advantage of a payout exceeding $56,000. New blood included Dennis Orcullo, Shane Winters (OH), Shane McMinn (TN), Jerry Calderon (FL), Mike Massey, and Tony Chohan (MI), who along with more than 120 players, entertained a packed house and hundreds of at-home viewers tuned in to the HD live stream provided by OnSitePoolNetwork.com. 
 
Everyone in Texas knows the place to be during the first week of December is the Space City Open. The annual event has showcased some of the greatest billiard talent in the U.S., including U.S Open Champions, World Champions, and Mosconi Cup team players.  The SCO is a serious competition and players mean business, which makes for an intense, competitive environment, and great entertainment for the fans. Without a doubt, this was the toughest SCO 9-ball division to date, and simply losing the flip could cost a player the set, in this winner break, rack your own format. 
 
In the 101-player 9-ball field, the famed Dennis Orcullo won 8 consecutive matches on his way to the hot seat, defeating Robert Cruz, 9-1, Jonathon Romero, 9-0, Vu Pham, 9-3, Charlie Bryant, 9-4, Shane McMinn, 9-8, and Sylver Ochoa, 9-5. Jerry Calderon won his bid for the hot seat with wins over Cliff Joyner, 9-6, Alex Cardenas, 9-1, Richard Hughes, 9-1, Joey Gray, 9-1, Shane Winters, 9-3, and Tom Mooney, 9-5. After a 9-7 upset by Tom Mooney in the first round, Tony Chohan won an incredible 7 consecutive matches with wins over Ernesto Bayaua, 7-3, Jeremy Jones, 7-4, Gabe Owen, 7-6, and Abel Lara, 7-5. Other upsets included John Lassek over Jamie Baraks, 9-6, and Abel Lara over Mike Massey, 9-6. New Mexico’s Tommy Tokoph lost his first round to Winters, 9-6, but came back strong with 6 wins, along the way, eliminating two-time 9-ball champion, Charlie “Hillbilly” Bryant, 7-3. Winters ended Tokoph, 7-3, and made quick work of Ochoa, 7-1. After a fourth round loss to Winters, 9-8, Robb Saez ousted defending 9-ball champion James Davis, Jr. with a quick 7 pack, Baraks, 7-5, and McMinn, 7-2. Chip Compton, who suffered an earlier 9-5 loss at the hands of Ochoa, eliminated Jamie Farrell, 7-3, but fell to Saez, 7-6. Saez bested Mooney, 7-2, for a rematch with Winters. Once again, Winters advanced, 7-3. Back on the east side, the hot seat match commenced with Orcullo and Calderon. Orcullo played near flawless, and unforced errors on Calderon’s part sealed his fate. Orcullo closed the set out, 9-4. Winters anticipated a shot at redemption, and now it was here. This time, Calderon stepped up to the plate, only to be struck out by Winters, 7-5. In the final, both players came out of the gate running, but Orcullo proved too much for Winters, ending the race, 9-4. Congratulations to Dennis Orcullo on his first SCO 9-Ball title. 
 
The 40-player one pocket field (limited to 40) featured an all-star cast with phenomenal talent going head to head in a test of wills and stamina. Oklahoma’s Chip Compton made his way through the winners’ side with wins over Joe Pelayo, 3-0, Jon Demet, 3-0, Shane McMinn, 3-0, and James Davis, Jr., 3-1, while Jeremy Jones bested Tony Chohan, 3-1, Robb Saez, 3-2, Denis Strickland, 3-0, and Joey Gray, 3-1. On the one-loss side, Chau took out Saez, 3-1, but fell to Joey Gray, 3-1. Again, Chohan was on a roll with 6 consecutive wins, including victories over Tommy Tokoph, 3-1, Ernesto Bayaua, 3-1, Chase Rudder, 3-2, Gabe Owen, 3-0, and James Davis, Jr., 3-0. On the east side, Compton defeated Jones for the hot seat, 3-1, while Gray ended Chohan’s run, 3-0. Gray fell to Jones, 3-1, pitting a rematch between Jones and Compton. A focused Jones stepped up to the final table with the intent of taking back what he had lost. Compton knew he couldn’t let this one get away, but as the first set came to a close, it was Jones who came out ahead, 3-1. In the second set, Compton remained composed, his mind on the task at hand. Compton defeated Jones in the final set, 3-1, to capture his first SCO One Pocket title.
 
Kicking off Space City Open IV was Thursday’s 29-player, 9-ball banks division. Again, it was Orcullo, attempting to go undefeated with wins over Richie Richeson, 3-0, Luke Sutliffe, 3-0, Tommy Tokoph, 3-1, and Shane Winters, 3-1. Gabe Owen took down Chase Rudder, 3-1, Sylver Ochoa, 3-0, Shane McMinn, 3-2, and Manny Chau, 3-2. Following a loss to Winters, 3-1, Cliff Joyner eliminated Tom Mooney, 3-0, James Davis, Jr., 3-2, and McMinn, 3-1. After suffering a loss to Winters, 3-0, Robb Saez eliminated Jamie Farrell, 3-1, but fell to Jeremy Jones, 3-1. Jones eliminated Chau, 3-1, earning himself another shot at Chohan, the player who had sent him to the one-loss side by a score of 3-1. Jones wasted little time exacting his revenge, taking out Chohan, 3-1. On the east side, Orcullo and Owen teed off for the hot seat, Owen coming up short, 3-1, and again with Jones, 3-1. Jones captured the first set of the true double elimination final, 3-1, finishing Orcullo off the second set, 3-0, earning his second, consecutive banks title. Due to a hand injury, it was uncertain if Jones would compete in this year’s SCO. However, Jones competed in all three divisions, with a very swollen hand to show for it. Congratulations to Jeremy Jones on successfully defending his banks title!
 
Rounding out the event, 22 women battled it out on Sunday for almost $2,300 in cash in the ladies 9-ball division. WPBA player Kia “Primetime” Sidbury (MD) made her way to the hot seat, defeating Veronica “Pistol” Perez, 7-0, Terry Petrosino, 7-1, and Robyn Petrosino, 7-4. Natalie Rocha made an impressive run, ousting Erica Nicole Walker, 7-1, Gail “Virginia Slim” Eaton, 7-5, Linda Garza, 7-1, and Marie Rodriguez, 7-0. On the one-loss side, Eaton ran through D’Andrea McQuirter, 5-1, Ginger Abadilla, 5-2, Terry Petrosino, 5-1, Belinda Lee, 5-0, and Rodriguez, 5-3. After a second round loss to R. Petrosino, 7-4, 2015 Gulf Coast Tour Champion, Ricki Casper, made an impressive run on the one-loss side with wins over Yvonne Asher, 5-3, Teresa Garland, 5-1, Garza, 5-2, and R. Petrosino, 5-3. On the east side, Sidbury overcame Rocha for the hot seat win, 7-5, while Eaton ended Casper’s run, 5-3. Former WPBA pro Eaton made quick work of Rocha, 5-2, and moved on to the finals. The two seasoned players dug in, and fought to the finish. Eaton captured the first set, 7-4, and although Sidbury attempted to recover in overtime, lost the final set, 5-2. Congratulations to Gail Eaton on her first SCO Ladies 9-Ball title!
 
“Once again, this event has shown a significant increase in numbers and visibility, across the board. Growth is our primary focus, and it takes the support and dedication of the players, fans, sponsors, and pool room, to make an event like this work, and thrive. That’s what gets the job done”, says Kim Newsome, SCO founder and tournament director.  Support staff for this event included a number of dedicated individuals including John Newsome, Teresa Garland and Chuck Adams
 
The Space City Open extends a heartfelt “thank you” to sponsors, vendors, and supporters; Bogies Billiards and Games’ owners David and Shannon Richardson, and their entire staff, Simplified Electronics, APA of North Harris County, Vapor Knights, Ozone Billiards, Zach Goldsmith and “Lucky Luke” Sutliffe with OnSitePoolNetwork.com, Bobby Garcia with RE Visual Concepts, and vendors, Mike McDonald with Vapor Knights, Ron Geyer Cue Repair, Joe Salazar Connoisseur of Custom Cues, and Sean King with King Billiards. Special supporters of this event included Charlie Brown, Mark Stubbs, Chase Rudder, Maurice LeBlanc, Kelly Plunkett, Tom Welch, Doug Stone, Jason Watson, David Taylor, Carlos Sanchez, Willie Duran, Dave Ford, David Hardee, Dennis Perry, Adam Cooper, Fabian Gardin, and Erica Nicole Walker.
 
Space City Open V will take place December 1st-4th, 2016. For more information about the Space City Open, visit www.SpaceCityOpen.com  or email spacecityevent@gmail.com. 

Space City Open IV Comes to Houston

James Davis Jr. (Photo courtesy of Michael Moon Photography)

Defending Space City Open 9-Ball Champion, James Davis, Jr., and One Pocket Champion, Manny Chau, are already confirmed for this year’s Space City Open IV. For the fourth, consecutive year, the prestigious Space City Open will be hosted by Bogies Billiards and Sports Bar in Houston, Texas, on December 3rd-6th, 2015. Boasting former division champions Sky Woodward, Justin Hall, Jeremy Jones, and Charlie Bryant, this year’s event is certain to showcase another all-star line-up!
 
Brought to you by Simplified Electronics, APA of North Harris County, Ozone Billiards, On Site Pool Network, and RE Visual Concepts, the “SCO” is currently $5,500 added and includes One Pocket, Open 9-Ball, Open 9-Ball Banks, and Ladies Open 9-Ball divisions. Paying out over $45,000 in 2014, this four-day, billiard extravaganza, showcases some of greatest pool talent in the country, features vending by Ron Geyer Cue Repair and Joe Salazar Connoisseur of Custom Cues, and always offers free admission to the public! Space City has become an annual, pool-playing tradition and attraction for billiard enthusiasts, across the country!
 
What’s new this year? Prior to the event, all thirty-one tables will be recovered in brand new, tournament blue Simonis cloth. By popular demand, for the first time, the ladies open 9-ball will be played on 8’ tables, and tournament action will be broadcasted LIVE in HD on the new Space City Open website, www.SpaceCityOpen.com.  Updates will be posted on the new SCO Twitter page at Twitter.com/SpaceCityOpen  and the SCO Facebook page at Facebook.com/SpaceCityOpen.
 
Space City kicks off December 3rd with the 9-ball banks players’ meeting, beginning at 7pm, with matches to follow. Paying an entry online is easy. Just visit PayPal.com and “Send Money” to lonestartour@gmail.com. Add $5 per entry when paying online; 9-ball $80/One Pocket $105/9-Ball Banks $105/Ladies 9-Ball $45. Players will receive a confirmation email. SCO divisions are limited and will fill up. Therefore, players are strongly encouraged to secure their desired division spot(s), online, as soon as possible. Entries may also be dropped off or mailed to the host location: Bogies Billiards, 3040 FM 1960 E., Ste. 101, Houston, Texas, 77073. SCO coordinator, Kimberly Newsome, will be addressing all inquiries regarding the event, including retail and advertising opportunities. Please contact Mrs. Newsome at 713.825.1411 or email spacecityopenevent@gmail.com. 
 

Chau goes undefeated to win inaugural Texas Open 10-Ball

Mike Alonzo and Manny Chau (Photo courtesy of poolactiontv)

Peru's Manny Chau added another major victory to a list that's been growing for over a decade by going undefeated to claim the inaugural Texas Open 10-Ball Tournament, held on the weekend of February 28-March 1. The $2,938-added event drew 110 entrants to Skinny Bob's Billiards in Austin, Texas and was streamed live by Ray "Big Truck" Hansen's PoolActionTV.
 
The field featured an expected list of both Southwest and nationwide competitors, including Chau, the Davises (James, Sr. and Jr.), Charlie Bryant, Jeremy Jones, Shane McMinn, Robb Saez, Dave Henson, and Mike Alonzo, to name just a few of the 110 entrants who cashed in the event. The winners' side semifinals featured Jones versus Alonzo and Chau versus McMinn. Jones sent Alonzo west 7-5, as Chau was busy defeating McMinn 7-4. Chau claimed the hot seat 7-5 over Jones and waited on what turned out to be the return of Alonzo.
 
On the loss side, David Henson, following a double hill victory over Brian Sanders and a 7-2 win over Robb Saez, faced McMinn. Alonzo drew James Davis, Sr., who'd defeated Drew McCoy and Frank Ferrer, Jr., both 7-4, to reach him. James Davis, Jr. had bowed out in the matches that decided the six-way tie for 13th ($170). Henson eliminated McMinn 7-4 and in the quarterfinals, faced Alonzo, who'd ended Davis, Sr.'s tournament bid 7-5.
 
Alonzo and Henson battled to double hill in the quarterfinals before Alonzo finished it and advanced to the semifinals against Jones. Alonzo completed his three-match, loss-side winning streak with a 7-5 win over Jones. Chau, though, finished Alonzo 7-3 in the finals to claim the first-ever Texas Open 10-Ball Championship title. 
 
Tour Director John Palmore thanked John Cielo and the staff at Skinny Bob's for their hospitality, as well as sponsors James Hanshew Custom Cues, Joe Salazar, Ray Hanson and PoolActionTV, and Ron Guyer. He also noted volunteer contributions by Kaye Watson and Emma Davis, without which, he said, the event could not have been done.

New Heights for Space City Open

Charlie Bryant (Photo courtesy of Michael Moon Photography)

In only its second run, the Space City Open proved even more successful this year drawing twice the players and nearly doubling its inaugural purse, paying out right at $40,000. The amount of talent that encompassed this four-day billiard event was unsurpassed, a breathtaking demonstration of ability, enthralling countless fans and at-home viewers tuned in to the live, internet broadcast. To that point, in a display of astounding skill and reserve, Charlie “Hillbilly” Bryant defended his open 9-ball title against Jeremy “JJ” Jones, blitzing Jones from the one-loss side 9-0, 7-0. Renowned player Justin Hall took no prisoners on his path to winning the elite, One Pocket division with a final win over counterpart Joey Gray, 4-3. Former U.S. Open Champion Jeremy Jones went undefeated in the new, 9-ball banks division conquering famed Richie “Richie Rich” Richeson in the final, 3-1, to clench his first-ever 9-Ball banks title. Ming Ng rebounded from the one loss side in the ladies 9-ball division, cresting Kim Pierce, 7-4, 5-1, in the final, to join an illustrious group of Space City Open title holders. 
 
On December 5th-8th, 2013, Space City Open followers braved unseasonably cold temperatures due to a powerful, slow-moving storm that brought ice, snow, and bitter cold to North Texas, the same system prompting 1,650 U.S. flight cancellations and leaving tens of thousands of people without power. The weather deterred very few, if any, from attending the annual event held at host and sponsor room, Bogies Billiards and Sports Bar in Houston, Texas. Other businesses behind the brawn of this year’s Space City Open included OnSitePool.com, APA of North Harris County, and GreatAmericanCues.com. Zachary Goldsmith of OnSitePool.com provided the impeccable 4-day live stream and professional event photos were captured by Michael Moon Photography. This year the Space City Open embraced its newest sponsors, HanshewCustomCues.com and OzoneBilliards.com. Ron Geyer Cue Repair, Joe Salazar Connoisseur of Custom Cues, and Great American Cues, were on-site, along with officiating referee, Derrell Montgomery of Conroe, Texas. 
 
The 9-ball division drew 90 players competing over two days for almost $20,000 in purse money.  
Winners’ side action saw Joey Gray defeat Danny Bennett, 9-7, Justin Whitehead, 9-5, and surprise contender Bob Guzik, 9-5, while Jeremy Jones sent Charlie Bryant to the one-loss side, 9-7, along with Kentucky’s Skyler Woodward, 9-5, and Richie Richeson, 9-4. Robb Saez tore through the winners’ side annihilating a plethora of talent including Ernesto Bayaua, 9-4, Billy Sharp, 9-3, Dalton Riley, 9-3, and Blaine Barcus, 9-1, while Sylver Ochoa took down Mike Alonzo, 9-8, Cielo Velasquez, 9-6, and James Davis Jr., 9-8. In the final four, Jones went on to defeat Gray, 9-4, and Saez bested Ochoa, 9-5, pitting a hot seat match between two of the most seasoned professionals in the field. 
 
Tournament upsets included Justin Whitehead over Justin Hall, 9-5, Bob Guzik over Gabe Owen, 9-6, and Danny Roland over Cliff Joyner, 9-7. Joyner went on to eliminate Hall, John Lentini, 7-3, and Chase Rudder, 7-5, before being discharged by Bryant, 7-4. Bennett bested Port Arthur’s Randy Davidson, 7-4, and in turn was ousted by Richeson, 7-1. Joey Barnes won an impressive 7 straight matches including wins over Whitehead, 7-6, and Owen, 7-5, after losing his second round to Woodward, 9-7. Kentucky’s Robert “The Snowman” Frost won 6 in a row after losing his first round to James Davis Jr., 9-4. Frost suffered a final loss at the hands of Woodward, 7-1, who went on to eliminate James Davis Jr., 7-5, Joey Barnes, and Joey Gray, 7-2, while Bryant claimed Guzik, 7-1, Richeson,7-2, and Ochoa, 7-4, earning himself a face to face with Woodward.
 
The caliber of play in the open 9-ball division easily rivaled that of any top, men’s event where one mistake can cost you the set. Players strung numerous racks, closing out sets, and sometimes shutting out their opponents. The final four players were no exception. On the east side, Jones and Saez made their way through their respective brackets with impressive numbers. Although both players seemed at the top of their game, the resident Jones pulled ahead of Saez resulting in a final score of 9-5. On the flip side, Bryant appeared unstoppable as he teed off for his eighth, straight match against a young, impressive, Woodward. In the first game, a missed opportunity by Woodward remanded him to his seat for the remainder of the set. These turn of events staged an all too familiar scene between Texas players Jones and Bryant. The crowd zeroed in on the two, pool powerhouses and watched intensely as Bryant jumped to a 4-0 lead. Following a brief, safety exchange, Bryant secured the fifth game. From that point on, Jones never made it back to the table. In the second set, Jones reached the table only once, in the third game. Bryant played flawlessly, stringing the first two racks and closing with the last four.
 
The 32 player One Pocket field featured an all-star cast with phenomenal talent going head to head in a test of wills and stamina. On the final four winners’ side, Joey Gray and Joey Barnes crossed paths while Robb Saez went head to head with Justin Hall. Gray’s wake of destruction included Cliff Joyner, David Parker, and Sylver Ochoa, as Hall defeated Richie Richeson, defending champion Jeremy Jones, and Skyler Woodward, none of which made it past 2 games. Upsets included Robert Frost over Gabe Owen, 4-1, and Roy Payton over Billy Sharp, 3-2. Owen eliminated Payton, and in turn, was sent home by Joyner. Barnes dealt Charlie Bryant a third round blow, 4-3, who then vanquished Joyner from the one loss side, 3-1. Ochoa overcame Jones, 3-2, and followed with Bryant, 3-0. After his first round loss, Richeson came back with 5 straight matches including wins over Frost and Woodward. Back on the east side, Gray dismissed Barnes, 4-3, and Hall reigned over Saez, 4-2, yielding a television worthy, hot seat match-up. On the one loss side, final four action saw Ochoa eliminate Saez, 3-2, and Richeson win his sixth, consecutive match against Barnes, 3-2. During the hot seat match, with two, true professionals at the helm, the moves were tight and controlled. Relentless in his pursuit, a disciplined Hall derailed Gray, 4-2.  On the one loss side, Ochoa stopped Richeson in his tracks, 3-1, only to be eliminated by a resilient Gray, 3-0. During the final match, Gray appeared eager to take control, but Hall was persistent. Tied at 3, it was down to the wire with both players fighting for every, last ball. In similar fashion, Hall overcame Gray, 4-3, winning his first Space City Open One Pocket title.
 
The new, 9-ball banks division (originally limited to 16) drew 25 entrants on Thursday afternoon, kicking off Space City Open. Jeremy Jones made his way to the hot seat with wins over Joey Barnes, 3-1, and Cliff Joyner, 3-1, while Tom Mooney defeated James Davis Jr., 3-2, and Chase Rudder, 3-0. After a third round loss to Rudder, Robert Frost terminated Joey Gray, 3-0, and Joyner, 3-0, while Richie Richeson was on a roll, again, winning 4 consecutive matches after a first round loss to Justin Whitehead, 3-1. Frost made number 6 on Richeson’s hit list. The hot seat match saw Jones defeat Mooney, 3-2, who was subsequently eliminated by Richeson, 3-1. Richeson’s raid lasted 7 straight matches, but no more. Jones commanded the final set, besting Richeson, 3-1.
 
Rounding out the event, 21 women battled it out on Sunday for the ladies 9-ball title. After decimating the field, players Teresa Garland and Kim Pierce overwhelmed Heather Bryant and Ricki Casper, 7-3, 7-4, respectively, to face-off for the ladies hot seat. Ming Ng took a first round hit from Belinda Lee, 7-6, who in turn lost the following round to Bryant, 7-6. Framing up the one loss side final four was Nayla Hoak who took an early 7-3 hit from Garland, and Lorna McEwan, bested by Bryant in the same round, 7-2. Ng went on to defeat Lee, 5-1, and Bryant, 5-3, culminating 5 straight match wins. Hoak beat McEwan, 5-3, but fell to Casper, 5-4. The seemingly indomitable Pierce defeated Garland for the hot seat, 7-3, while Ng made Casper her sixth victim, 5-4. Ng eliminated Garland, 5-3, staging a premier match between two of the division’s finest players. You could cut the tension with a knife as both players traded innings, and racks. Ng dealt Pierce a blow, winning the first set, 7-4. Finding it difficult to regroup, Pierce lost the second set, 5-1.
 
The 2014 Space City Open is already scheduled for December 4th-7th.  Venue owner David Richardson, who recovered all 29 tables prior to the event, vows to make each year better than the last. Tournament directors John and Kim Newsome were ecstatic over player turnout and payouts, sharing this final sentiment. “For those who came out to the Space City Open, especially those who drove a long way to support the event, thanks for making the tournament a huge success. For those who missed it, we hope to see you next year!”

TAP Concludes 2011 Nationals in Las Vegas

TAP, LLC returns from another roll of the dice, in Las Vegas NV !

Little River, SC. Nov. 23rd, 2011 –  The TAP Players came from all over the USA and Canada. The best of the best from each TAP territory won their trips to the TAP Nationals event held in Las Vegas, NV  November 9th through the 14th.

Bally’s once again played host to this exciting event. The TAP Players look forward to this event each and every year. This time they were placing their bets to see which would be the TAP National Champions for 2011.  

The kickoff party started off the event on Wednesday evening with fabulous food and beverages provided by Tap corporate. Upon registering, each player received a gift bag also provided by the TAP corporate offices. So they were winners when they arrived.

The Predator Group once again provided their support to the event. Other vendors at the event were D & D Cue Repair, Speed Break, Pool A Holic Apparel, Hustlin, SharkNU Apparel, and Joe Salazar from Connoisseur Cues.
             
During the event, in observance of Veterans Day, all play was stopped for a moment of silence. A few words were delivered by head referee Adrian Trochta followed by a huge and touching ovation. At this time all the veterans were asked to come forward for a picture. The picture will be available on the TAP facebook as well as the corporate website.

BCA Hall of Fame Inductees and World Champions Robin Dodson and Allen Hopkins both attended TAP’s National event this year.  Robin provided instruction on jumping and Allen held exhibitions throughout the entire event.  Players and Licensees alike enjoyed the opportunity to interact with them both and vice versa.  

This year a lot was at stake.  Championships for the TAP 8 Ball National Team Event and 9 Ball National Team Event were held in conjunction to the  popular Rally Dream Team Event, slated as Rally at Bally’s for the second year. The Singles Championships were conducted each evening as well producing  eight additional  National Champions.

So, who were the Winners?

8 Ball National Team Champions – A Town Express
Runner Up – Bounty Hunters

9 Ball National Team Champions – TAP Dat Again
Runner Up – Here Comes The Pain

Rally at Bally’s Team Champions – A Town
Runner Up – Anytime Billiards

2/3 Handicap 8 Ball Singles National Champion – Matt Wheeler
4 Handicap 8 Ball Singles National Champion –  Jesse Hornbeck
5 Handicap 8 Ball Singles National Champion – Cecil Edwards
6 Handicap 8 Ball Singles National Champion – Eric Smartnick
7 Handicap 8 Ball Singles National ChampionKevin Clark

2/3 Handicap 9 Ball Singles National Champion – Eddie Rivera
4/5 Handicap 9 Ball Singles National Champion – Dan Lewis
6/7 Handicap 9 Ball Singles National ChampionTommy Najar

We at TAP congratulate all the these Champions for their outstanding accomplishment.

TAP, LLC Pools Amateur Tour Facebook page has posted several pictures and videos of this event posted on our wall. If you have any you would like to add let us know.

What else was new at the event.
TAP’s phone application was released for review at the event.  This new TAP feature product will be available soon for use by some selected areas. The new application will be going out to all TAP Players and Territories in 2012.  The phone application will allow players to keep score on their smart phones and submit via their phones, but that’s only the beginning.  In 2012 TAP will be introducing it into the TAP National  Events.  

TheTAP Nationals will be going to Charleston,SC in 2012 and in 2013 to Pheasant Run, near the windy city of Chicago, Illinois.  TAP’s traveling Nationals has been quite successful. These events are a chance to bring  TAP and its players to locations they may  never had been.

The next TAP Event, TAP’s “Rally in the Valley”, held in conjunction with the Allen Hopkin’s Super Billiards Expo, is expected to be our largest event to date. This years event will be held in its new  home, the Philadelphia Expo Center at the Oaks, in PA.  This new location will give the event a great opportunity to grow and to add new events as well. Don’t miss the excitement of TAP and it’s new releases of upcoming events and formats.

Don’t have TAP where you are?  Interested in starting your own league?  Call 1-800-984-7665 Ext. 2 to reach Sam Rullo, TAP’s Sales Director and he will be more than happy to help you.  

Want more information about TAP?  Check out our website, www.tapleague.com; Facebook Page  – TAP, LLC Pools Amateur Tour and / or contact us, through our corporate office, at the Live Help desk, via email or IM.  Join the countless others that have been checking us out.

We look forward to hearing from you !   TAP ON !