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Turning Stone Classic XXXVI Day Three Underway

Naoyuki Oi

Day three dawns at the Turning Stone Classic XXXVI, with sixty four players still holding hopes of adding this event to their resume. 

Defending champion Jayson Shaw is still undefeated, and is joined by such notables as Fedor Gorst, Donny Mills, Skyler Woodward, Mika Immonen, Erik Hjorliefson, Vitaliy Patsura, Danny Hewitt, Billy Thorpe, Jeremy Sossei, Naoyuki Oi and Johnny Archer. 

Naoyuki Oi is earning a new set of fans here at Turning Stone, with his dominant play. Oi won his first two matches, over Ray Carey and Kristina Tkach, by a combined score of 18-0. Oi looked well on his way to keeping that record alive in this third match of the event, as he led John Morra 5-0 early in their match. Morra finally took advantage of an Oi miss and got back into the match, to eventually tie things at hill-hill before Oi pocketed the case ball for the 9-8 win. Oi will face the Ukraine’s Vitaliy Patsura at 2pm EST today. 

Johnny Archer ended his Friday play with a convincing 9-6 win over Poland’s Mieszko Fortunski to remain undefeated. Archer’s first action on Saturday will be a match with fellow American Skyler Woodward. 

Upstate Al is streaming selected matches on his Facebook page at Fans can follow all of the action online with our online brackets and real time scoring pages.

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Turning Stone Classic XXXVI Day One Complete

Vitaliy Patsura

Day one is complete at the Joss NE 9-Ball’s Turning Stone Classic XXXVI, and day one didn’t have much as far as major upsets. What it did have though, was a day of top 9-ball talent. 

One match that saw a fan favorite sent to the one loss side was the 9-5 loss that Brandon Shuff suffered at the hands of Vitaliy Patsura, from the Ukraine. Shuff is back at it early on Friday with his one-loss side match against Randy Laborite. Patsura will face Ray McNamara in the noon round of play. 

Other top players who advanced from day one undefeated were defending champion Jayson Shaw, Fedor Gorst, Skyler Woodward, Mika Immonen, Billy Thorpe, Bucky Souvanthong, Johnny Archer, Miesko Fortunski, Shane Wolford, John Morra, Thorsten Hohmann, Oscar Dominguez, Naoyuki Oi and Kristina Tkach. 

Oi and Tkach will face off on the main streaming table at noon EST, which is being streamed for free on Upstate Al’s Facebook page at Fans can follow all of the action online with our online brackets and real time scoring pages. 

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Turning Stone Classic XXXVI Underway

The Turning Stone Classic XXXVI kicks off today (January 5th) at the Turning Stone Resort & Casino in Verona, NY.

The event, once again, sees a full field of 128 players competing not only for $25,000 in added prize money, but also for valuable Nineball World Ranking Points.

The field includes such notables as defending champion Jayson Shaw, Fedor Gorst, Skyler Woodward, Billy Thorpe, Naoyuki Oi, John Morra, Oscar, Dominguez, Mika Immonen, Donny Mills, Johnny Archer, Mieszko Fortunski, Shane Wolford and Kristina Tkach.

Upstate Al will be streaming selected matches on his Facebook page at Fans can follow all of the action online with our online brackets and real time scoring pages.

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Turning Stone Classic XXXVI 9-Ball Open On Tap For January 5th-8th

Mike Zuglan‘s Joss Northeast 9-Ball Tour and Turning Stone Resort Casino are proud to present The $25,000 Added “Turning Stone Classic XXXVI 9-Ball Open” on January 5-8, 2023. Turning Stone has once again invited us to compete in their beautiful and spacious Event Center which is most definitely one of the best arenas in the world. There is not a bad seat in the house and multiple matches can be viewed comfortably from everywhere. The intimate layout in this world class arena allows you to mingle with your favorite players and lets you feel like you are a part of the action as well. Turning Stone Resort Casino is a full service resort with everything needed for a relaxing, fun filled and enjoyable experience. Check them out at

This 36th Turning Stone Classic will once again have a full roster of 128 players competing for the title. The field will include a wide range of talent from our regular tour players to some of the best in the game. Currently, Jayson Shaw, Fedor Gorst, Mika Immonen, Skyler Woodward, Johnny Archer, Thorsten Hohmann, Darren Appleton, Johnny Morra, and Billy Thorpe are scheduled to compete. These are just a few to be in attendance along with many other notable and not so notable but great players nonetheless This promises to be yet another memorable event in our long running Turning Stone Classic series. If you would like to know if your favorite player will be here, please contact me directly at 518-356-7163.

Our $25,000 added “Turning Stone Classic XXXVII 9-Ball Open”, Season Finale is now being finalized and is scheduled for August 31-September 3, 2023. I will begin taking entries for that event in January at TS but not before. FYI, there is every reason to believe that the September 2023 Season Finale will fill to capacity many months prior to the event, so seriously interested players need to sign up early to avoid being shut out. Our complete schedule can be found at

Once again at Turning Stone there will be a second chance tournament on Sunday January 8th at 10AM. This is an event for those Non Pro level players (I will decide) eliminated from the main event. The event format will be as follows: $60 Entry Fee – 32 Player Max – same rules as main event – Single Elimination – Races to 4, best 2 of 3 sets, with the deciding set being a single game sudden death. This means that if each player wins a race to 4, there will be a lag for the break and a 1 game playoff to determine the match winner. Entries will be taken for this tournament as players are eliminated from the main event and will be treated as first paid – first in until the event is full.

The equipment for our world class event will once again be 16 Diamond Smart Tables covered with 860 Simonis (“The Cloth Of Champions”) tournament blue cloth. We be using the Aramith Tournament balls with the Diamond Tournament cue balls. Once again only the best equipment in the world will be used at our event!

As always, fans coming to Turning Stone for our event will be treated to Free Admission, Free collectible posters (while supplies last) and some of the best pool you will ever see. All of this is brought to you courtesy of Turning Stone Resort Casino and the Joss Northeast 9-Ball Tour!

Included in the Event Center at Turning Stone is a full service snack bar serving all of our favorite foods and adult beverages. There will be billiard product vendors and on site cue repairs available for all your needs. Mike Burton of will have a wide range of Joss Cues and Joss Northeast 9-Ball Tour Shirts. Andrea Duvall of Utica Billiards on The Boulevard will have her extensive cue, case and billiard supplies display. Mark Rosner will be on hand doing expert on site cue repairs. Feng Zhao of will be there with his custom LED billiard lighting and other billiard products. And Victor Conte will be on site promoting his new game 4T5 as well.

Dan, Debbie and Stephen Janes of Joss Cues, have once again upped the ante and provided us with two gorgeous, custom engraved Joss cues for raffle. These cues are valued at $1,900 Each and will be raffled off on Saturday just before the 8 PM matches, and the second will go on Sunday immediately prior to the final match at approximately 7 PM. Tickets for these beautiful cues will be on sale at TS throughout the event.

We invite everyone to come to Turning Stone Resort & Casino on January 5-8, 2023 for a great experience, and 4 full days of some of the best pool you will ever witness. If for some reason you are unable to make it, there will be free live scoring and a free live stream expertly provided by Alan Leon, aka Upstate Al and Mike Howerton at , The Joss Northeast 9-Ball Tour and Turning Stone Resort Casino. Match times are as follows: Thursday at 4,6,8 & 10pm. Friday at 10am, noon, 2,4,6,8 & 10pm. Saturday at 10am, noon, 2,4,6,8 & 10pm. Sunday at 11am, 1,3,5 & the final match at 7pm. The second chance tournament on Sunday will begin at 10am and run continuously until completed.

I would like to ask all of you to please publicize our event through social media etc. so more people may be informed about this great and free event. And, as always, I remind all of you how important it is to please frequent your local billiard parlors and promote and utilize the fine products of our most generous sponsors listed below. They are the backbone of our sport!

I hope to see all of you at Turning Stone

Happy Holidays,
Mike Zuglan

The Joss Northeast 9-Ball Tour Is Proudly Sponsored By;

Joss Cues –
Turning Stone Resort Casino – 
Simonis Cloth – – –
Aramith –
Billiards Press –
World Class Cue Care –

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Turning Stone Classic XXXIV – Johnny Archer vs Tyler Styer

Turning Stone Classic XXXIV Day Three Underway

Tyler Styer

Day three is underway at the Turning Stone Classic XXXIV at the Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, NY.

A couple early favorites are on the wrong side of the tournament bracket as both six time champion Johnny Archer and recent NBL 10-Ball Champion John Morra suffered losses on Friday. Archer dropped a 9-5 match to Tyler Styer and Morra lost a 9-4 match to Joss Tour Points leader Bucky Souvanthong. Souvanthong and Styer will face off this afternoon on the winner’s side of the tournament.

Other winner’s side matches include Mika Immonen vs Joey Dupuis, Frankie Hernandez vs Abdullah Al Youssef and Fedor Gorst vs Demetrius Jelatis.

Upstate Al is streaming the event for free on his Facebook page and we are running online brackets and scoring using

Johnny Archer Opens New Room in Georgia

Johnny Archer

Johnny Archer’s new pool room is now open in Cartersville, GA, just a stone’s throw north of Atlanta off of I-75. “Archer’s” is equipped with 6 new Brunswick bar tables and three of the new Gold Crown VI 9-footers. It features a full-service bar and a kitchen serving up all the good eats you could want. 

Archer’s is located at 138 South Tennessee Street in Cartersville. It is in the middle of a shopping center with lots of parking so there is no issue with parking. When we spoke to Johnny he was still waiting on some refinements like more TV’s for the walls but those have now arrived and the kitchen opens on October 28.

We first asked Johnny why he was getting back into the room business. He told us: “I have always wanted a room like this. It is not as large as the old Marietta Billiard Club and is just a lot easier to handle. Plus, this size of room is a lot more intimate and the bar is the kind of place where friendships are made and nurtured. Plus, I am really tired of the road. I have been traveling for so much of my life and I am ready to set down some roots. Having Rodney Morris here with me is another big incentive. You know Rodney, he is just a lot of fun to be around and I am simply tickled to be here with this opportunity. I have been planning this for a few years now and, while Covid slowed us down a bit, the day is finally here to open the doors and we are all excited to get going.”

Cartersville was once an Atlanta outlier but Atlanta has spread out so much that it is now one of the fastest-growing bedroom communities in the area. Johnny said: “This town is really growing fast. We expect the business to start well and grow as the town grows, so we really feel that this is a ground-floor opportunity here and we are fortunate to have this open when it has. As you know, I am a man of faith and I just feel that the good Lord has guided me to this point in my life.

From October 28th on, the hours of Archer’s will be from 11 AM until 2 AM, at least on the weekends. They will adjust their weekday hours as the business demands. They are installing a huge 24-tap beer keg system so no one gets thirsty and are looking forward to satisfying everyones hunger as well.

Archer’s is more than just pool tables. They have a beautiful shuffleboard setup and video games are lined up near the bar. These are called Georgia skill redemption games, run by the Georgia state lottery commission, so those with a gaming bent can enjoy their favorite pastime. They also have a Pacman machine, which will require getting Johnny off of it before any customers can play, and a Golden Tee golf machine as well. 

Music will be well taken care of. The juke box is loaded and Johnny is looking forward to having local musicians perform as well. And Rodney has convinced Johnny to at least try a Karaoke night. Johny has promised not to sing.

There is also a private room with a Gold Crown VI that is to be called “The Scorpion Pit”. Johnny is still coming up with things to do in there but it is great for private parties and instruction. And it will be a great place for challenge matches and exhibitions when friends like Earl Strickland come to town.

Want to play a few racks and have a great time? Archer’s is waiting for you!

Early favorite, Atencio goes undefeated at 1st Annual Ronny Park Memorial Tournament

Jesus Atencio

On March 23, the pool community lost one of its dearest, true-blue friends, Ronny Park, who passed away, having contracted COVID when he was also battling a variety of pre-existing conditions. He was not what you’d call a household name, but within the community, there are very few places where he wasn’t known, beginning with his early days in Connecticut, and very few players who didn’t know of him. Some of you reading this may remember when Tommy Kennedy passed out at a tournament a few months ago and as he and his family began to deal with what proved to be a very slow but successful recovery, arrangements began almost immediately to raise money for Kennedy and his family. 

It was Ronny Park who set that financial assistance into motion. Kennedy joined 95 other players, including Park’s roommate for the last eight years, Kevin Shaw, along with Johnny Archer, BJ Ussery and the eventual undefeated winner of this first, though certain not to be the last memorial in Park’s honor, Jesus Atencio. In addition to a couple of days of top-notch competition, the $500-added event, held under the auspices of the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour, also raised over $10,000 to help defer the costs associated with Park’s funeral.

As the flyer promoting the event noted, the event was designed to be a celebration of Park’s life, and at Josh Newman’s West End Billiards in Gastonia, NC, where Park spent a lot of time, that celebration was marked by the people who knew him gathering primarily outside the facility, because the facility itself, almost every inch of its available space, was occupied, as Park would likely have preferred, with pool tables and players. At the center of the event was Herman Parker, tour director of the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour, who roomed with Park, early in their respective careers and room owner, Josh Newman, who offered food to those who gathered, both on Friday night as the players began to arrive and during both Saturday and Sunday while they played; the grill was going outside pretty much throughout the event.

In addition to being there for the family who’d done so much to help him personally, Kennedy donated some cues as raffle prizes, as did cue maker Daniel Heidrich, who, in addition to donating a cue valued at $2k, became the event runner-up after challenging Atencio twice. Herman Parker donated a Viking cue for raffle. One of the tour’s sponsors, Diamond Brat, purveyor of pool jewelry and giftware (including some terrific, acrylic designs for pocket markers) donated a portion of their proceeds to the benefit. Others took advantage of on-line ways to donate. 

“And,” Parker noted, “the cue that Ron used to shoot with was raffled off. It was a Shawn Putnam cue, in fact.”

The event officially got underway, late afternoon on Saturday, and at around 6 p.m., room owner Josh Newman and Johnny Archer squared off in a challenge match. Archer won the match 9-4.

One of the surprises that emerged late in the tournament was 16-year-old Landon Hollingsworth, who began his Saturday work with two victories, before running into Josh Newman. Newman sent him to the loss side, where Hollingsworth embarked on an eight-match, loss-side winning streak that would take him as far as the semifinals. Tour director Herman Parker, though reluctant to indicate that the teenager had “played way above his head,” not just because of the loss-side streak, but the quality of the opponents he faced and defeated down the stretch, described Hollingsworth’s loss-side run as a “ridiculous tear to third place.”

With Hollingsworth at work on the loss side, Jesus Atencio and Danny Heidrich advanced to the winners’ side semifinals. Atencio faced Hunter White, as Heidrich squared off against Chuck Ritchie. Heidrich defeated Ritchie 7-5 and in the hot seat match, faced Atencio, who’d sent White to the loss side 7-4. In their first of two, Atencio sent Heidrich to the semifinals 7-2 and sat in the hot seat, awaiting his return.

On the loss side, it was Hunter White, not long from being a junior player himself, who drew the teenager, Hollingsworth, six matches into his loss-side streak. Hollingsworth had already defeated last week’s winner on the tour, Sammy Manley, and a few other tour veterans like Bruce Campbell, Josh Heeter and David Anderson, before eliminating Joey Fox 5-2 and then, at the end of his match versus Tommy Kennedy, shot what Herman Parker described as “a ridiculous jump shot on the 8-ball and ran out” to defeat Kennedy 5-2, as well. Chuck Ritchie drew The Scorpion, Johnny Archer, who’d defeated Mike Bumgarner, double hill and BJ Ussery 5-3 to reach him.

Archer got by Ritchie 5-1, as Hollingsworth was at work shutting Hunter White out. The teenager couldn’t have picked a better opponent to chalk up what would prove to be his last win at the event than Johnny Archer. He did so in the quarterfinals 5-2.

Heidrich turned the tables on Hollingsworth, ending the young man’s impressive loss-side streak 5-2 and turning for a second shot against Atencio, waiting for him in the hot seat. Atencio hadn’t lost his edge waiting.

The final, an extended race to 9, took 26 minutes. With alternating breaks, Heidrich broke four times and failed to make a ball on any of them. Atencio ran each of those racks, and on his breaks, broke and ran all five times to shut Heidrich out. 

Much to the chagrin of Upstate AL, who ran a live stream on Saturday and most of Sunday, the streaming operation ran into what proved to be an insurmountable technical glitch that for all intents and purposes, shut the stream down on Sunday afternoon. The best matches of the tournament, which from all appearances, occurred near the end, with the teenager’s streak, the final matches of Kennedy & Archer, and the 26-minute final could not be seen. The problem was not with the streaming operation itself, but with the on-line infrastructure of the facility, which learned, late on Sunday, that a ‘fix,’ requiring a major overhaul of the room’s systems, wasn’t possible. “There was,” explained AL, “nothing we could do.”

Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked Newman and his staff for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues,, Dirty South Grind Apparel Co., AZBilliards, Federal Savings Bank mortgage division and Diamond Brat. They also thanked the numerous individuals and groups that donated to the success of this 1st memorial in honor of their friend, Ronny Park, including Danny Heidrich and Tommy Kennedy for their cue donations for the raffles.

The next stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour will be a three-day affair, getting under way this Friday, May 14 and continuing through until Sunday, May 16. The $3,000-added event will be hosted by Stroker’s Billiards, in Sumter, SC.

Ronny Park Benefit Memorial – Johnny Archer vs Justin Clark


Kiamco wins 5th Behrman Memorial that brought past US Open 9-Ball competitors back home

Dexter Real, Warren Kiamco, Q Masters Manager Gary Ornoff and Manny Chau

At times, it felt like a high school Homecoming weekend. The $5,000-added, 5th Annual Barry Behrman Memorial Tournament, held this past weekend (April 24-25) at his former pool hall, Q Master Billiards in Virginia Beach, VA offered free entry to Past US Open 9-Ball Championship winners. Though it was a bit of a surprise that only three past champions took advantage of this $200 courtesy – Rodney Morris (’96), Johnny Archer (’99) and Mika Immonen (’08 & ’09) – it was not as much of a surprise that two of them ended up among the event’s final four standing. Immonen and Archer finished 3rd and 4th, respectively (Morris was eliminated by Shaun Wilkie, ending just out of the money in the tie for 17th).

What helped create the homecoming atmosphere was exemplified by the competitor who went undefeated to claim the event title, Warren Kiamco. He was among the 56 entrants at this event and one of a number of competitors who had, over the years, made appearances at the US Open, but didn’t win. Since he first finished in 5th place at the 1998 US Open, Kiamco has cashed in 11 of them, including his best finish, 3rd in 2008. According to records, runner-up, Manny Chau, who lost his first match to the Iceman, Mika Immonen and then won nine on the loss side for a shot at Kiamco in the hot seat, has only cashed in two US Opens (’09 & ‘10). It’s likely that he, like so many others at this event, competed in many others and they all contributed to the ‘coming home’ kind of feeling, including, but not limited to Brandon Shuff, Jeremy Sossei, Matt Krah, Mhet Vergara, Shaun Wilkie, Daniel Dagotdot, Reymart Lim, Tommy Tokoph, Eric Moore and Jeffrey De Luna.

Kiamco opened his nine-match winning campaign with a 9-2 victory over Tom Czaplicki and then ran right into a double hill battle against The Scorpion, Johnny Archer. Kiamco sent Archer on the seven-match, loss-side trip that would end in the quarterfinals, as he advanced to down Daniel Sardoncillo 9-3 and then, in a second double hill fight, Jeffrey De Luna. This put Kiamco in a winners’ side semifinal match against Reymart Lim. 

The Iceman, in the meantime, downed Joe Blackburn 9-1 and sent Manny Chau to the loss side, where he’d win nine in a row against some of the event’s toughest opponents and battle Kiamco in the finals. Iceman advanced to defeat James Davee, double hill, and Brandon Shuff (winner of the debut Barry Behrman Memorial in 2017) 9-4, to draw Jeremy Sossei in the other winners’ side semifinal.

Kiamco defeated Lim 9-4 and in the hot seat match faced Immonen, who’d sent Sossei off 9-3 to an immediate match against the streaking Johnny Archer. A double hill battle for possession of the hot seat followed. In the deciding 17th game, the Iceman had the final two balls in sight, neither of them, nor the positioning necessary to win the match were challenging, except to the extent that all shots are challenges. The 8-ball rattled in a corner pocket and rattled him, as well. It was the first of two straight losses that would leave him in third place. Kiamco was one match and a few hours away from claiming the title.

Archer, in the meantime, working on the loss side, had defeated Bill Mason, Jared Pitts, shut out Garret Vaughn, and eliminated Mhet Vergara, Jimmy Bird and Jeffrey De Luna, to draw Sossei. Chau had navigated his loss-side way through Dylan Carr, Don Perryman, Tommy Tokoph, Eric Moore, ‘young gun’ Shane Wolford, and fought a tough, double hill battle versus Brandon Shuff, to draw Reymart Lim.

Archer and Sossei battled back and forth to a 5-5 tie before Archer began a four-rack streak that would advance him, looking strong, precise and very Scorpion-like, into the quarterfinals. He was joined by Chau, who’d (alliteratively) eliminated Lim 9-5. Chat room commentary and support was split between the two veterans, Archer and Chau. Chau, though, pulled ahead to win it 9-6 and advanced to his re-match against Immonen. Displaying varied levels of frustration that only increased as his semifinal rematch against Chau moved on, Immonen was unable to overcome the steady and competent play of Chau, who won 9-5, earning a shot against Kiamco in the finals.

Though Kiamco and Chau have been around the proverbial block a few times, competing in any number of hot seat matches, loss-side runs and semifinal wins and losses over the years, one might have assumed that the gritty play and consistent time-at-table as Kiamco waited, would have given Chau a bit of an edge in the finals that followed. Kiamco dusted off whatever ‘cobwebs’ that might have formed during his multi-hour wait and opened those finals with three straight racks; a lead that would never really be challenged.

Chau won the 4th rack, but Kiamco came back to increase his lead by four of them at 5-1. Chau chalked up another one, but Kiamco came right back to run four more. Even as Kiamco moved ahead by seven at 9-2 in the race to 11, chat room and stream commentary by Ra Hanna (and others) kept predicting a run by Chau that would close the gap. It came in rack 12, when Kiamco scratched and Chau ran the table to make it 9-3. 

Chau won two more, setting the chat-o-sphere buzzing, before Kiamco responded with the rack that put him on the hill. In what proved to be the final rack, Kiamco cleared the table and lined up a straight-on shot at the 9-ball. Chau conceded at that point. Kiamco stood up when Chau gestured his concession, acknowledged the courtesy and got back down to aim. He changed his mind about the straight-on shot and in a sort of punctuation move, hit the 9-ball hard and watched it travel three rails and fall into a side pocket.

Tournament director Dexter Real thanked the ownership and staff at Q Master Billiards, as well as Virginia Novelty, Holt, MW Designs Fences and Decks, National Billiard Academy, Nick Varner Cues, Diamond Billiard Products, team straight pool eye and Littman lights. He also thanked Ra Hanna and his On the Wire Creative Media crew for an excellently commentated stream throughout the weekend.