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Wilkie double dips Ussery in finals of Delaware State 10-Ball Bar Box Championships

Shaun Wilkie, Tarek Elmalla and BJ Ussery

Shaun Wilkie and BJ Ussery entered the AZBilliards database for the first time at the turn of the century. Wilkie’s first recorded payout finish came when he finished 9th at a stop on the Planet Pool Tour in June, 2000. Ussery’s came in September that year, when he finished in a tie for 65th place in the 25th annual US Open 9-Ball Championships; won for the fifth and last time by Earl Strickland. 

Together, Wilkie and Ussery are part of a core group of Mid-Atlantic elite players whose names have appeared consistently, registering victories and cash payout finishes for over two decades. Together, along with a number of other well-known, consistent performers among the Mid-Atlantic pool community (Brett Stottlemeyer, Steve Fleming and Chris Wilburn, among others) and a few from the further-North-Atlantic community (Raphael Dabreo and Miguel LaBoy, among others), they signed on to compete in the 1st Annual Delaware State 10-Ball Bar Box Championships, held last weekend (May 7-8). Together, they advanced to the hot seat match and later, played in the finals. Ussery claimed the hot seat before, together, they appeared in the finals, treating spectators and viewers on a live stream to a pair of double elimination matches that eventually earned Wilkie the event title. The event drew 57 entrants to Milford Billiards in Dover, DE.

Ussery’s path to the hot seat match went through five opponents, who, combined, chalked up only 10 racks against him; Henry Taylor (2), Nelson Tull (1), Steve Fleming (3), Miguel Laboy (3) and, in a winners’ side semifinal, Vinny Cimarelli (1). Wilkie’s opponents on his way to the hot seat match chalked up 14; Mike Saleh (1), Zachary Paitsel (3), Dave Barnes (3), Marty Ciccia (2) and, in the other winners’ side semifinal, Lukas Fracasso-Verner (5). 

The opponent racks-against tipped even further in Ussery’s direction, as he claimed the hot seat 7-4. Ussery was in the hot seat with a 42-14 record (a 75% game-winning average), as Wilkie headed off to the semifinals at 39-20 (66%). 

Neither of them, as it turned out, would have to face the one competitor who’d recorded the most racks against either of them, Fracassso-Verner. He moved to the loss side and picked up Raphael Dabreo, who’d lost his second-round match to Rick Miller and embarked on an eight-match, loss-side winning streak, which would end in the semifinals against Wilkie. Dabreo had just recently eliminated Miguel Laboy 7-4 and Russ Redhead 7-3. Cimarelli drew a re-match against Kirill Rutman Kenny, whom he’d defeated in a winners’ side third round match and had gone on five-match winning streak that had recently included the elimination of two of the aforementioned Mid-Atlantic elites;  Brett Stottlemeyer 7-5 and Steve Fleming 7-1.

Dabreo eliminated Fracasso-Verner 7-5, as Kenny extended his loss-side streak to six matches with a 7-4 win over Cimarelli. Kenny didn’t give up his streak easily, as he and Dabreo fought to double hill in the quarterfinals; the first of four straight double hill matches at the very end of the championship event. The second came in the semifinals, as Dabreo battled Wilkie to a single deciding game before Wilkie earned his rematch against Ussery. 

One can’t ask much more of a regional event final than to have two of its strongest competitors battling to double hill. Twice. And they did. By winning the hot seat match, Ussery had, in effect, extended Wilkie’s match count by one. Wilkie made him pay for that extra match he’d had to play, defeating him twice in what was described as “a very wonderful two sets of pool” that closed out the 1st Annual Delaware State’s 10-Ball Bar Box Championships with Wilkie in possession of the title.

Tour director Tarek Elmalla extended thanks to Leo and Sherrie Weigand and their Milford Billiards staff for their hospitality and to all of the players who came from near and far (New York, Virginia, Maryland, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and more) to compete. He also thanked the folks at https://www.amateursportsstream.com, including Ray Netta and to everyone who joined him in the booth for the live streaming, which, for feature matches, utilized three camera angles that heightened the experience for all of its viewers. And in the ‘keeping everything smooth’ department, Elmalla also acknowledged the assistance of Travis Parker, Ran Ji, Jennifer Benton Boxwell and Eric Probst.

The next item on the Delaware State Championship agenda will entail a switch to 8-Ball, when the 1st Annual DE State 8-Ball Bar Box Championships, scheduled for the weekend of June 25-26, opens the doors, once again, at Milford Billiards in Dover, DE.

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West comes from the loss side to win his second Bob Stocks Memorial title

Kevin West (Grant Wylie Photography)

The annual Bob Stocks Memorial Tournament, held under the auspices of the Action Pool Tour, has developed something of a reputation for crowning new winners every year. Until this most recent, 13th annual tournament, only one competitor, Shaun Wilkie, had ever won it twice. On the weekend of April 13-14, Kevin West became the second. Having won this event in 2017, and after skipping the following year, which saw Zoren James Aranas and Dennis Orcollo battle in the finals, West returned to give it another shot. He was sent to the loss side by Brian Bryant in a winners’ side semifinal and came back after winning three to challenge and defeat Bryant in the finals. The event drew 31 entrants to First Break Café in Sterling, VA.
 
West was challenged early in this one; his first match, a double hill affair that eventually sent Paul Helms to the loss side. West moved on to defeat former Bob Stock Memorial Champion Brandon Shuff and Scott Roberts, both 9-5, to draw Bryant in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Bryant had defeated Alvin Thomas 9-6, Alex Parker, 9-3 and Paul Swinson 9-4 to meet West. Scott Haas, in the meantime, defeated Ali Gee 9-1, Andrew Manning 9-7 and Graham Swinson 9-3 to draw Chris Bruner in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
Bryant sent West west 9-7 and in the hot seat match, faced Haas, who’d defeated Bruner 9-7. Bryant claimed the hot seat 9-5 Haas, and waited on the return of West.
 
On the loss side, West drew Steve Fleming, the tour’s #4-ranked player on the tour coming into the event, who, after being defeated by Chris Bruner 9-6 in a winners’ side quarterfinal, had defeated Bruce Choyce 7-1 and Brandon Shuff 7-5 to meet West. Bruner picked up Scott Roberts, who’d survived a double hill battle versus Mark Nanashee and eliminated Kirill Rutman to face Bruner.
 
West and Roberts advanced to the quarterfinals; West, 7-3 over Fleming and Roberts, 7-4 over Bruner, denying West a second shot at him. West took the quarterfinal match 7-5 over Roberts and then, downed Haas 7-4 in the semifinals.
 
The tightly contested final match between West and Bryant featured the maximum number of games possible in a race-to-11; 21, also known as double hill, but recognized, as well, as a lot of games to play to decide a winner. West dropped the final 9-Ball to claim his second Bob Stocks Memorial title.
 
Tour directors Kris Wylie and Tiger Baker thanked the ownership and staff at First Break Café, as well as sponsors East Coast Landscaping, Inc., Cue Sports International (CSI), Chix Cabinets Direct, Grant Wylie (professional photographer), Brown’s Mechanical, LLC, and George Hammerbacher Advanced Pool Instructor. The next stop on the APT, will take players “Back to the Beach,” at an event scheduled for the weekend of May 18-19 at Q Master Billiards in Virginia Beach, VA.

Chinakhov goes undefeated to win 2018 VA State 10-Ball Championships

(l to r): Warren Kiamco, TD Raymond Walters & Ruslan Chinakhov

Atwell goes undefeated to reclaim Ladies title she won in 2016
 
Most players will spend a few hours, sometimes quite a few, practicing at their local pool room before venturing out to compete in a major tournament. Russia’s Ruslan Chinakhov spent two days on the West Coast in what’s been described as a “grueling” one-on-one 10-ball challenge (which he won) against Oscar Dominguez, before showing up 3,000 or so miles away, three days later, to compete in the 2018 VA State 10-Ball Championships, held under the auspices of the Action Pool Tour on the weekend of February 10-11. Chinakhov went undefeated through the field of 64 entrants in the Open portion of the Championships, which were hosted by Diamond Billiards in Midlothian, VA. A concurrently-run Ladies tournament was won by Janet Atwell, who went undefeated through a field of 16 entrants to reclaim the title she’d last won in 2016.
 
Chinakhov faced separate opponents in the hot seat and finals of this event. He met the Action Pool Tour’s top-ranked player, Reymart Lim in the hot seat match, and in the finals, Warren Kiamco, whom he’d defeated earlier in a winners’ side quarterfinal. Following victories over Joseph Sellechia, Steve Fleming and Donnie Haynes, Chinakhov downed Kiamco 8-5 and moved on to a winners’ side semifinal against John Newton. Lim, in the meantime, who’d won the APT’s season opener, downed Matty Arcuri, Chris Pyle, David Stanley, and Mike Davis to draw Kirill Rutman in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
Rutman battled Lim to double hill, but it was Lim who advanced to the hot seat match. Chinakhov joined him after sending Newton to the loss side 8-1. Chinakhov claimed the hot seat with an 8-3 win over Lim and waited on the return of Kiamco.
 
Though this year’s VA State 10-Ball Championships did not include last year’s winner, Dennis Orcollo, it did feature last year’s runner-up (Shaun Wilkie), third place (Larry Kressel), fourth place (Lim), and both 5th place finishers (Newton and Davis). Newton, coming over from the winners’ side semifinal this year drew Davis, who’d survived a double hill battle against Chris Bruner and defeated Kenny Miller 8-1 to reach him. Rutman picked up Kiamco, who, following his defeat at the hands of Chinakhov, stopped Shaun Wilkie’s four-match, loss-side winning streak 8-4, and then eliminated this event’s 2016 champion, Eric Moore 8-1.
 
Kiamco advanced to the quarterfinals 8-2 over Rutman, while Davis was downing Newton 8-2 to join him. Kiamco sent Davis home 8-4 in those quarterfinals; one spot higher than he’d reached last year. Kiamco then downed Lim 8-6 in the semifinals, sending him home one spot higher than he’d finished last year.
 
Chinakhov completed his undefeated run with a commanding 10-3 victory over Kiamco in the finals.
 
Atwell returns to chalk up her third VA State 10-Ball Ladies Championships
 
[photo id=48695|align=right]For two years in a row – 2015/2016 – Janet Atwell and Jacki Duggan were winner and runner-up, respectively, in the Ladies edition of the VA State 10-Ball Championships. Atwell did not compete in 2017, although Duggan did, finishing in the tie for 7th place. Duggan was on hand this year, as well, although she would be shut out by Atwell in the second round, and for the second year in a row, end up in the tie for 7th place. Last year’s champion, Meredith Lynch, showed up to defend her title and finished fourth, just behind Lisa Cossette, who would win three on the loss side before falling to the undefeated Atwell in the finals.
 
Atwell’s path to the winners’ circle proved a little shaky at the outset, as she survived an opening round, double hill match against Falon Newton. Atwell went on to shut out Duggan and then, faced Lynch in a winners’ side semfinal. Nicole King, in the meantime, got by Sierra Reams, and Soo Emmett to face Cossette in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
Atwell sent last year’s winner to the loss side 6-1, and was joined in the hot seat match by King, who’d defeated Cossette 6-4. Atwell claimed the hot seat 6-2 over King and waited on Cossette’s return.
 
On the loss side, Cossette picked up Duggan, who’d defeated Judie Wilson and Bethany Sykes, both 6-3, to reach her. Lynch drew Buffy Jolie, who’d shut out two straight opponents – Eugenia Gyftopoulos and Falon Newton – to reach her.
 
The two battles for the right to advance to the quarterfinals went double hill; Cossette downing Duggan, and Lynch eliminating Jolie. So did the quarterfinals, with Cossette eventually moving on to face King. Cossette, who was likely a little tired of the double hill route, gave up only a single rack to King in the semifinals and turned to face Atwell in the finals. Atwell gave up only two to Cossette in the finals to claim her third VA State 10-Ball Ladies Championship.
 
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Diamond BIlliards, as well as sponsors Kamui, Tiger Products, Predator, Viking Cues, Diamond Billiard Products, Aramith, SImonis, Ozone Billiards and George Hammerbacher. The next stop on the Action Pool Tour, scheduled for March 17-18 will be a Bar Box Bash, hosted by Peninsula Billiards in Newport News, VA.