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OBCLT 2016 Tour Comes to a Close with Williams Taking the Final Stop Win and Tour Champion Title

OB Cues Ladies 9-Ball Tour held their 6th and final tour stop December 3 & 4th at Rusty’s Billiards in Arlington, Texas.  Thirty-three players were on-hand to close out the 2016 tour year and see who would take top honors for the annual awards.  The owner and manager, Jeff Pitts and the entire bar and wait staff did a wonderful job taking care of all the ladies as always.  Rusty’s is a great room to visit and play at, so be sure to hit them up whenever you can!

 

At the players meeting, board member Monica Anderson announced yearly awards.  The Best Sportswomanship Award went to Teresa Garland of Houston, for her positive attitude both on and off the table, regardless of the match outcome.  The Most Improved Player was Corina Campbell of Carrollton.  Corina had a banner year on the OB tour, finishing 6th in the ranking and posting a second place in one tour stop, earning her well-deserved title of Most Improved for 2016.   For the 3rd year running, Tara Williams of Fort Worth secured her first place ranking on the tour by winning four tour stops and finishing 4th in the remaining two, securing the title as 2016 OB Cues Ladies Tour Champion.

 

Three additional awards are drawn at the tour finale, based on attendance and performance at the tour stops throughout the year.  For the Perfect Attendance award, seven players were eligible to be drawn for the $200 cash award.  Tara Williams, Orietta Strickland, Jennifer Yo, Natalie Mans, Shayla Neris, Monica Anderson, and Julie Enzensperger were at every event in 2016 and one of them would receive $200 cash even before the tournament started.  OB Cues Customer Service Manager, David “Doc” Reyes officiated the draw and Shayla Neris was the lucky recipient of the extra $200.  At every tour stop, when a player gets a 9-on-the-snap award or a break and run, they receive a scratch-off.  At the end of the year, each player who earned a scratch off also received an entry for a drawing for a $20 scratch-off and that winner was Marilina Nieves from San Antonio.  Same rules apply for a break and run and the lucky player whose name was drawn for the $50 scratch-off was Jeannie Kim of Dallas. 

 

On Saturday, the top eight ladies returned to continue in the Main Event on Sunday morning. The final four remaining in the winner’s bracket were Tara Williams (Ft. Worth) vs. Jeannie Kim (Dallas) and Natalie Mans (League City) vs. Orietta Strickland (Dallas).  The four ladies returning on the one loss side were Melinda Bailey (Ft. Worth) vs. Tracie Voelkering (Ft. Worth) and Chris Fields (Weatherford) vs. Brittany Williams (Longview).   

 

Eliminated first round Sunday morning at the 7th-8th position was Chris Fields and board member Tracie Voelkering.  In the winner’s side matches, Tara defeated Jeannie and Orietta defeated Natalie to set the hot seat match.  Moving over to the one-loss side for the 5/6th place matches, Brittany was eliminated by Natalie and Melinda came out the winner over Jeannie.  For the next match, Melinda once again persevered, leaving Natalie to settle for the 4th place spot.

 

Tara made her way through Saturday with wins in a first round tournament matchup over Melinda Bailey (7-3), Shirley Fields (7-1), Jennifer Yo (7-2) and Snowy Belt (7-0).  On the other side of the winner’s bracket, Orietta was making her way through her Saturday matches with her speedy, yet consistent play.  She posted wins over Tina Soto (7-1), Chris Fields (7-4), and Tracie Voelkering (7-2).   In the hot seat match, Tara ended up on top in the match 7-3 and waited to see who would be coming through the one-loss side to meet her in the finals.

 

For the 3rd place match, Melinda was blazing trails and steadily fighting all through the tournament after her 1st match loss against Tara.  She had a successful run through the B-side eliminating Orietta to move to the finals against Tara and a rematch for revenge.  Congratulations to Orietta for a great tournament!

 

With Melinda and Tara in the finals, Melinda had quite a run to make it back to the finals surviving three hill-hill matches on her path to the finals.  However, in the finals, Tara got out to a quick lead and didn’t look back.  Melinda put forth her best effort to try and stop the tour champion’s effort, but came up short, with Tara winning the match with a final score of 7-2.  Congratulations to both ladies for an exciting finals match and great tournament finish! 

 

Thanks again to Rusty’s for our first and last tournament this year, and to all our board members who do a fantastic job all year around.  A special year-end thank you to the man behind the tour, always supporting the ladies and feeding us bananas, chocolate and other energizing food and goodies, such a great friend and wonderful person, Carter, we love you. 

 

Special recognition and thanks to OB Cues our main tournament sponsor. If you want to get serious about your game, check out OB Cues at www.obcues.com.  The new Digicue is available so be sure to get you one.

 

Also many thanks and love to all our families, fans, supporters—we greatly appreciate each and every one of you.  Also to the many, many ladies/ players/friends who traveled from near and far; we loved seeing you all again and greatly appreciate you making the journey to play on the OB Cues Ladies Tour. We look forward to seeing everyone once again in 2017.  Our first stop of the 2017 season will at Rusty’s Billiards in Arlington, Texas, February 4th-5th weekend.

 

Good Pool, Good Friends, Good Times – we are the OB Cues Ladies Tour!!!!!

Check us out at www.obcuestour.com or stay up to date with instant news by adding us on Facebook/obcuestour

 

Tournament Results & Payouts: $2000 monies added – 33 players

1st – Tara Williams – $800

2nd – Melinda Bailey – $640

3rd – Orietta Strickland – $465

4th – Natalie Mans – $340

5th/6th – Jeannie Kim, Brittany Williams – $160

7th/8th – Chris Fields, Tracie Voelkering – $80

 

Best of the Rest Tournament Results & Payouts: $100 monies added – 15 players

1st – Monica Anderson – $100

2nd – Snowy Belt – $75

3rd – Jennifer Yo – $40

4th – Tina Williams – $25

 

Goody-Giveaway Winners:

$50 Shell Gift Cards (5) – Aryana Lynch, Jeannie Kim, Tracie Voelkering, Lee Anne Barham, Jessica DeMello

$30 Tough Luck Draw for drawing the reigning Tour Champ first round – Melinda Bailey

OB Cues Raffle Winner:  Chris Beach and Joey Barnes

 

 

Danny Williams Nabs Omega Billiards Tour Title at Speeds Billiards

Danny Williams

On the weekend of September 17-18, the Omega Billiards Tour was hosted by Speed’s Billiards in Arlington, Texas.   The staff and owners treated the players well with great service and an amazing atmosphere.  Fourteen tables allowed us to open the field up to 89 players!  
 
Rick Stanley, a tough player with a great attitude, made his way to the hotseat match with wins over Larry Land 8-1, Stephen Hansen 8-3, Mike Rountree 8-2, Robert Kempf 8-2, and Walt Anderson 8-2.  Local pro CJ Wiley had wins over Vincent Tovar 9-3, Crispian Ng 9-6, Phillip Palmer 9-1 , JD Wordlaw 9-1 and Joey Barnes hill-hill to meet Rick Stanley in the hotseat match.
 
The always-tough Danny Williams had wins over Gale Gladden 7-0, Viet My 7-6, and Mike Nagaki 7-6 before losing to Robbie Cleland 6-7.  Danny then made his way through the one-loss side with wins over Vincent Tovar 7-1, Cory Anderson 7-2, Brandon Sizemore 7-4, Doug Winnett 7-3, Joey Barnes 7-6 and Walt Anderson 7-3.
 
In the hostseat match it was anyone’s game between top players Rick Stanley and CJ Wiley, and Rick Stanley came out on top with a close score of 8-7.  
 
Then CJ Wiley played Danny Williams in the semi-final match and it was another close score with great play for the fans and Danny edged the win 6-7.  
 
The finals match was then set between Rick Stanley and Danny Williams.  The fans were really enjoying the great runs and safeties by the players.  Danny Williams would win the first set in this true-double elimination tournament 7-5 which forced a second set.  The second set went hill-hill!  And then Danny Williams would win the last game of the tournament to capture first place and the Omega Tour title!
 
Big congrats to Danny Williams for his 1st place finish!  Congrats to Rick Stanley for a hard-fought 2nd place and also to CJ Wiley for his great 3rd place finish.  Shout-out to 78-year-old Walt Anderson for placing 4th!  Wow!
 
5th/6th places were filled by Joey Barnes and Steve Sheppard, and 7th/8th places were filled by Paul Guernsey and Doug Winnett.  
 
Congrats to ALL the players and fans and sponsors for another great event!
 
A HUGE thank you goes out to our sponsors Omega Billiards Supply, OB Cues, and BCAPL/CSI.  We would also like to give a big thanks to our additional sponsors, Irving Ink and Thread, AZBilliards.com, Pool School, and BilliardsPress.com.
 
This year OB Cues is our Ranking sponsor and will be donating OB Cues to the top ranked 3 players at the end of the year!  BCAPL/CSI has joined again and will be giving away 5 BCAPL free entry fees the 2017 BCAPL Nationals.  After 8 stops, Tony Sulsar leads the Rankings with 665 points, CJ Wiley moved up to second place with 635 points, and Crispian Ng is third with 560 points.  Only one more stop to go for ranking points before the Finale!
 
Tournament Director Melinda Bailey would like to thank Speeds owners and staff for their awesome hospitality all weekend!  She would also like to thank co-Director Heather Farr – couldn’t have done this without you!    
 
A big thank you also goes out to Michael Hoang, main sponsor of the Tour and owner of Omega Billiards Supply in Hurst, TX.  Michael and Omega Billiards Supply are well known for the huge booths at many large tournaments across the country. 
 
The next stop will be held October 15-16 at Clicks in Arlington, Texas.   $1,500 added and already full with 85 players.  We have ten stops total in 2016.  Pool is alive and thriving in Texas!   
 
Check out the website for more details:   http://www.omegabilliardstour.com/
 
And follow the brackets live online at:  http://omegatour.challonge.com/8speeds17

Orcollo outduels Archer to win Sidepocket’s Open 9-Ball in Shreveport

Dennis Orcollo

Dennis Orcollo battled Johnny Archer twice to win the late February edition of the Sidepocket's Open 9-Ball tournament (held three times a year, at the end of February, October and June). In a pair of equally intriguing matchups, Archer and Orcollo both got by Skyler Woodward, which set up their initial hot seat match and the finals. The $2,000-added event drew 126 entrants to Sidepocket Billiards in Shreveport, LA.
 
In the two winners' side semifinals, Orcollo got into the hot seat match by defeating Woodward 7-5, as Archer was busy downing Ryan Lane, double hill. In their first of two, Orcollo sent Archer to the semifinals 7-4 and sat in the hot seat, awaiting his return.
 
On the loss side, Woodward picked up Roberto Gomez, who'd gotten by Jeff Sorrell 7-4, and Joey Barnes 7-3. Lane drew Warren Kiamco, who'd eliminated Karl McClendon and Gary Abood, both 7-3. Woodward advanced to the quarterfinals 7-4 over Gomez and was joined by Kiamco, who'd ended Lane's weekend 7-3.
 
It was time for three straight marquee matchups, beginning with Woodward and Kiamco in the quarterfinals. Woodward prevailed 7-4 to draw Archer in the semifinals. Archer eliminated him 7-3 to earn a second shot at Orcollo. In a nail-biter, back and forth match, Orcollo eventually pulled out in front and claimed the event title in a single set, 7-5, over Archer.

Jones and Kraber win Open/Ladies events at 25th Houston Open

Jeremy Jones

After eight years, Jeremy Jones returned to the winners' circle of the Houston Open on the weekend of September 26-27. He won the event's 17th annual occurrence in 2007, and on this past weekend, claimed the 25th title (the event was held more than once a year in its earlier days). The $7,500-added Open division of the event drew 128 entrants to Legends Billiards in League City, TX. 
 
In a concurrently-run, $500-added Ladies event, Jennifer Kraber stepped out of a runner-up shadow that's seen her fall just short in four events since January, including the Texas Open, three weeks ago, when Vivian Villareal successfully defended that Ladies' title for the third straight time.  Tara Williams, who did not compete in this event, claimed title over Kramer in the other three events. Kraber went undefeated through a field of 27 entrants.
 
Though you'd be hard pressed to find anybody who'd be surprised by Jeremy Jones chalking up another title, the 25th Annual Houston Open had its share of competitors who fell by the wayside early; a relative term, of course, in a field of 128. Gone by the time the tournament had whittled down to 12 players were Skyler Woodward (13th), Robb Saez, Shane McMinn, PoolActionTV host, Ray Hansen and Joey Barnes (17th). Charlie Bryant, Tommy Tokoph, James Davis, Sr., and Danny Smith (25th) were gone, as well.
 
Left, were winners' side semifinalists Jones and Tony Chohan, along with Alex Pagulayan and Shane Winters. Lurking on the loss side were Jerry Calderon, Richie Richeson, Ruben Bautista, Dennis Orcullo, Josh Roberts, Jundel Mazon, Robert Gomez and James Davis, Jr.
 
As Jones was busy earning his spot in the hot seat match with a 9-6 win over Chohan, Winters locked up in a double hill battle he eventually won over Pagulayan. Jones claimed the hot seat 9-3 over Winters.
 
On the loss side, Chohan drew Jerry Calderon, who'd eliminated Richeson, double hill, and Bautista 7-5. Paguylan picked up Roberts, who'd defeated Mazon 7-5 and Gomez 7-3. Emphasizing the strength of the loss-side field, the average score over the loss side's final 10 matches was 7-4.6 (three double hill and four 7-5 matches). Unwilling to relinquish their shot at the title, Chohan survived a double hill fight against Calderon, as Pagulayan defeated Roberts 7-3.
 
Chohan played a steady quarterfinal that saw "The Lion" stay close until the end. Chohan won it it for a shot at Winters in the semifinals. Winters ended Chohan's bid 7-4 in those semifinals for a second shot at Jones. Winters doubled his rack total from the hot seat match, but Jones completed his undefeated run 9-6 to claim the title.
In the Ladies event, Kraber won both the hot seat match and finals by the same 7-5 (read "tight") score. Against different opponents. Kraber defeated Natalie Rocha 7-4 in a winners' side semifinal, as Belinda Lee was busy surviving a double hill fight against Terry Petrosino. Kraber sent Lee to the semifinals 7-5.
 
On the loss side, Ming Ng, who'd been sent over by Kraber in a winners' side quarterfinal, was on a five-match run that would give her a second shot against Kraber in the finals. She drew Petrosino, who'd defeated Rebecca Arcangeli 5-3. Rocha picked up Sybil Barron, who'd defeated Lorna McEwen 5-3. Ng eliminated Petrosino 5-3, as Rocha downed Barron 5-1. Ng then dropped Rocha into fourth place 5-3 and gave up only a single rack to Lee in the semifinals. Apparently not interested in a fifth, second-place finish, Kraber downed Ng a second time 7-5 and completed her undefeated run to claim the title. 
 
The entire event was streamed live under the auspice of Ray "Big Truck" Hansen's PoolActionTV.
 

Barnes goes undefeated to claim his third Side Pocket Open 9-Ball Championship

Joey Barnes and Devin Poteet

He's played in all of them, since 2008. He won the first Side Pocket Open 9-Ball Championship that year, and again, in 2010. On the weekend of March 6-8, Joey Barnes laid claim to his third  championship title at the 8th Annual Side Pocket Open 9-Ball Championship, going undefeated to do it. Last year's winner, Johnny Archer, didn't compete, nor did two-time winner, Jeremy Jones. The $2,000-added event drew 102 entrants to Side Pockets Billiards in Shreveport, LA.
 
Barnes advanced to a winners' side semifinal against Manny Chau, who'd won the inaugural Texas Open 10-Ball Championship the week before. Devin Poteet, in the meantime, squared off against Joey Gray. Identical 7-4 scores put Barnes and Poteet into the hot seat match, where Barnes prevailed 7-3.
 
On the loss side, Chau picked up Cliff Joyner, who'd defeated Shahn Hunter 7-5 and C.J. Wiley 7-3 to reach him. Gray drew Skyler Woodward, who'd eliminated tour director Jeff "Sully" Sullivan 7-3 and Gary Abood 7-1. Chau shut Joyner out, and in the quarterfinals, faced Gray, who'd knocked Woodward out of contention 7-4.
 
Chau defeated Gray 7-4, and was a single step away from his second finals in a week. That step, though, involved Devin Poteet, who got his second crack at Barnes with a 7-2 victory over Chau in the semifinals. Barnes completed his undefeated run with an opening set 7-3 win over Poteet to claim the event title.
 
A Ring Game on Friday saw Manny Chau claim the first place prize of $1,400. Glenn Huff took the $700 second-place prize, while Skyler Woodward pocketed $200 for his third-place finish.

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

Skyler Woodward

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

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!”

King Reigns on Lone Star Tour

Sean King, Cindy Cole (TD), Daniel Johnson and Walter Hawley (Owner)

Oklahoma City’s Sean King took Dallas, Texas by storm venturing into uncharted territory, becoming the first player on the Lone Star Tour to win both the Amateur and Open 9-Ball divisions in a single event. It was a long and winding road to victory, fending off Dallas’ T.J. Davis in the Open final and Daniel Johnson in the Amateur final. King bested 35 Open and 53 Amateur players at the $1,000 added Lone Star Billiards Tour 9-Ball Event, held July 6th-7th, 2013, at Hawley’s Billiards in Dallas, Texas. The Open division included Texas notables Joey Barnes from Arlington, David Gutierrez from Austin, Tony Barrington from Lewisville, Eric Brown from Killeen, Greg Sandifer from Fort Worth, Lance Sullivan from Dallas, and local favorite T.J. Davis who returned to defend his 2012 LSBT Open 9-Ball title. 
 
From the plethora of Open division talent, it was hard to discern a winner. Hometown player and defending champion T.J. Davis came on strong, besting Eric Brown, 9-7, and Sean King, 9-7, on his road to the hot seat. As King was fighting through the one-loss side, Tony Barrington was making his way through the winners’ side with wins over Greg Sandifer, 9-5, and Nick Conner, 9-8. Upsets included Joey Barnes who suffered an early hit at the hands of Conner, 9-8. Barnes went on to capture 4 consecutive wins until King ended his role, 7-6. Texas Open Champion David Gutierrez was dealt a second round blow by Doug Pitts, 9-8, but rose again with 6 consecutive match wins until Brown sealed his fate, 7-5. Brown went on to eliminate Raynes and Conner, 7-6 respectively, but was also stopped short by King, 7-4. On the east side, hot seat action saw Barrington fall to Davis, 9-2, staging a Barrington v. King semi-final. Paving his road to payback, the Oklahoma kid made quick work of Barrington, 7-3, the final obstacle between him and Davis. 
 
The intensity of the players made for a suspenseful final. In the first set, Davis and King exchanged blow for blow until King pulled ahead 4-2. Davis was not deterred, but failed to keep pace, losing the set, 9-6. After regrouping, Davis came out firing the second set.  The same story unfolded as players exchanged games until it was 6-6 with King breaking. With ease and control, King broke the balls superbly, pocketing a ball. Staying true to form, he ran the final rack to capture his first Lone Star Tour 9-Ball title, 7-6.
 
King was far from finished.  On his trek to clenching the Amateur division title, he bested Ken Jennings, 7-2, Steve Raynes, 7-6, and Lance Sullivan, 7-2. Jonathan Davis was creating havoc of his own with wins over Walt Anderson, 7-4, Greg Sandifer, 7-4, and Zack Shapiro, 7-2, to face King for the hot seat. After a final 8 winners’ side hit from Sullivan, Daniel Johnson began to plow his way through the one-loss side. In the same fashion, after a second round loss to Johnson, Crispian Ng won an incredible 9 consecutive matches to meet his nemesis, Johnson. Ng lost his fight for third, terminated by Johnson, 5-1. King secured the hot seat over Davis, 7-4, who then suffered an elimination blow from Johnson, 5-4. In the final, King wasted little time defeating Johnson, 7-4, becoming the first player to win both divisions in a single Lone Star Tour event.
 
The Lone Star Tour would like to thank Cindy Cole and Lance Sullivan for directing the Dallas event, Hawley’s Billiards for hosting another successful Lone Star Tour stop, and Jerry Moore for providing an entire weekend of cue repair for the Lone Star players. Last but certainly not least, congratulations to Jennifer Pavlovick for her efforts in the Amateur division, earning “Top Lady” finisher.
 
The Lone Star Billiards Tour is sponsored by Poison by Predator Cues, www.poisonbilliards.com, Delta-13 Rack, www.delta-13.com, and APA of North Harris County, www.facebook.com/apaofnorthharris
 
The next event will be the annual Lone Star Billiards Tour Texas Open Warm-Up 9-Ball Event, August 10th-11th, 2013, at Skinny Bob’s Billiards in Round Rock, TX.  Visit us on facebook.com/lonestartour.

Ochoa Breaks the Ice

Manny Chau, Sylver Ochoa and Raul Escobedo

This past weekend the Lone Star Event hosted its second 9-ball stop of the year at Bogies Billiards and Sports Bar in Houston, Texas with 73 Amateur players and 52 Open players in attendance. Participants came from all over including Tyler, Temple, San Antonio, and Austin to take the Lone Star plunge. Open side notables included Joey Barnes, James Baraks, Manny Chau, and Sylver Ochoa. Amateurs included Calvin Trimont, Robert Hitchcock, Rocky Esquivel, Robert Odom, Steve Espinosa and many more. 

Match play commenced at approximately 3pm on Saturday after 125 players were auctioned off. The Amateur division winners' side final 8 saw Jason Pearce defeat Steve Lindgren 7-1, Raul Escobedo oust Calvin Trimont 7-4, Victor Rojas best Sonny Bosshamer 7-1, and Karl McClendon defeat Rocky Esquivel 7-2. On the one-loss side it was Bobby Perez making a great comeback with 6 straight wins after a second round loss to Steve Lindgren. His end came at the hands of Will Felder 5-3. It was Mikey Frost over Charlie Buckner 5-3 and David Massie over Eric Olivo which moved them into 9th -12th position on the one-loss side along with Felder and Perez. It was Felder and Rojas who dueled for 3rd after Rojas was dealt a blow by MCclendon 7-5 on the winners' side. Pearce sent Escobedo west 7-4 and earned himself a first-time hot seat match up with McClendon. Pearce secured his place 7-3 while Rojas defeated Felder 5-3. McClendon overcame Rojas but fell to Pearce in the final.

The Open division winners' side final 8 saw Andy Jethwa skim by Manny Chau 9-8, Raul Escobedo best Bill Fuller 9-3, Sylver Ochoa defeat Brent Thomas, and James Baraks glide by Brian Rosenbaum. On the west side, Danny Lee defeated Thomas, Joey Barnes bested Brian Rosenbaum, Chau sent home McClendon, and Mike Alonzo eliminated Fuller. Upsets included Barnes and Chau who suffered winners' side blows from Jethwa by the same score of 9-8, but when the smoke cleared it was Ochoa over Escobedo for the hot seat 9-6. On the one-loss side, Barnes and Escobedo were stopped short by Chau 7-4, 7-2, respectively. Ochoa made quick work of Chau and finished the event undefeated by a final score of 9-2.

Other winners included Courtney Peters and Loretta Lindgren who split the $100 Top Lady prize awarded in the Amateur division. Nick Calderaro, Houston's hottest young up-and-comer took home first for his efforts in the Junior division held on Sunday. Rocky Esquivel, Steve Espinosa, and Brittany McCombs all took home a Poison Cue from the Poison Cue Raffles. Congratulations!

The Lone Star Tour would like to thank its sponsors, www.PoisonBilliards.com, www.PredatorCues.com, www.Delta-13.com, www.PoolWebsites.com, the APA of North Harris County, Roger Allen Cue Repair, Gulf Coast Billiards, www.Pool-Trax.net, and James Walker who donated two T-Shirts to our Junior event winners. Our tour referee, Derrell Montgomery, did an outstanding job of keeping the event running smoothly as well as John Newsome who took over the tournament command post on Sunday. 

The next Lone Star Event is April 14th-15th at Bogies Billiards and Sports Bar. We would love for you to join us! Here is another chance to qualify for the Poison by Predator Tour!

For information on how to become a Lone Star Tour Sponsor, host an event, or general information, please call Kim White-Newsome at 713.825-1411.

Open
1st Sylver Ochoa $600/$1000
2nd Manny Chau $420/$700
3rd Raul Escobedo $280/$500
4th Joey Barnes $120/$200
5th-6th Andy Jethwa, James Baraks $70
7th-8th Danny Lee, Mike Alonzo $50
9th-12th Brent Thomas, Brian Rosenbaum, Karl McClendon, Bill Fuller $35

Amateur
1st Jason Pearce $570/$750
2nd Karl McClendon $400/$500
3rd Victor Rojas $250/$300
4th Will Felder $100/$115
5th-6th Mikey Frost, Raul Escobedo $70/$50
7th-8th Calvin Trimont, Bobby Perez $50/$30
9th-12th Steve Lindgren, David Massie, Sonny Bosshamer, Rocky Esquivel $35
13th-16th Charlie Buckner, Eric Olivo, Dee Davis, Brent Thomas $25
17th-24th John Doty, Pedro Medina, Joe Rodriguez, Jay Russell, Danny Lee, Robert Bell, Grady Cooper, Jason Watson $10

Top Ladies
Courtney Peters $50
Loretta Lindgren $50

Juniors
1st Nick Calderaro $50 + Shirt
2nd Ron Esman $25 + Shirt