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Cirilo downs veteran Richko in finals to win Sunshine State Pro Am Tour’s season opener

(l to r): Jason Richko, Nick Applebee & Obbie Cirilo

Rose, White and Mitchell announced as 2019 Player of the Year, Top Junior and Top Female
 
By all accounts, Obbie Cirilo doesn’t get out on the tables much. As of this past weekend, February 1-2, he’s chalked up exactly two cash finishes in his (recorded) pool career, which began, as far as we know in January, 2018. Both cash finishes were event victories and both, including this past weekend, were on the Sunshine State Pro Am Tour. His opponent in the hot seat and finals of this Sunshine State Pro Am season opener, Jason Richko, hasn’t been at the tables much recently either. He entered the tournament with only five cash finishes in the same amount of time; no event wins, but all on the Sunshine State Pro Am Tour. Richko, however, has a history that dates back 20 years to what’s been recorded in our database as his first cash finish anywhere; 13th at the Planet 9-Ball Intergalactic Open in Tampa that year (2000).
 
So. .  the newcomer and seasoned veteran battled twice in the $1,450-added event which drew 64 entrants to Stroker’s Billiards in Palm Harbor, FL. Richko won the first of the two, but Cirilo came back from a semifinal win to defeat him in the finals and claim the title.
 
Victories over Hayleigh Scarberry, Mark Nowicki, Joe Scarborough and Mitch Keiser brought Cirilo up to a winners’ side semifinal match against Nick Applebee. Richko, in the meantime, got by Gregory English, Marvin Llamas, Joselito Martinez and Raymond Linares to arrive at his winners’ side semifinal match versus Justin McNulty.
 
Cirilo downed Applebee 7-2 to earn his spot in the hot seat match. Richko earned his with a 7-1 victory over McNulty. In their first of two, Cirilo and Richko battled to double hill before Richko prevailed to claim the hot seat.
 
Applebee moved to the loss side and picked up Bobby Garza, who’d been sent over in the event’s second round and was in the midst of a six-match, loss-side winning streak that was about to end and had most recently included back-to-back, double hill victories over Linares and Llamas. McNulty drew Nicholle Cuellar, who’d been defeated in a winners’ side quarterfinal by Applebee and gone on to defeat Dave Stern 5-2 and Trenton White, double hill, in a match that featured the event’s top female finisher (Cuellar) and top junior (White).
 
McNulty downed Cuellar 6-3, and was joined in the quarterfinals by Applebee, who’d ended Garza’s streak 5-2. Applebee and McNulty locked up in a double hill fight that eventually did send Applebee to a semifinal matchup against Cirilo. Cirilo put a stop to Applebee’s short, loss-side run 5-3 and turned his attention to a rematch against Richko in the hot seat.
 
Cirilo was battling for his second victory on the Sunshine State Pro Am Tour, and only his second cash finish in two years. He completed the task, downing Richko 9-6 in the finals to claim the season opening title.
 
Tour awards 2019 Player of the Year, Top Junior and Top Female Player
 
[photo id=51590|align=right]The event also featured awards for the tour’s 2019 best players. Nathan Rose, who finished at the top of the 2019 tour standings was named Player of the Year. Trenton White, who finished second in the standings was the tour’s Top Junior player, while Stephanie Mitchell finished as the tour’s top female, 6th in the overall standings.
 
Tour directors Janene Phillips and Bobby Garza thanked Jose and Lyshia Del Rio and their Stroker’s Billiards staff for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor Predator Cues, who donated the cue, the raffle of which – won by Ethan Tinsley – added $450 to the prize fund, and $300 worth of gloves. They also thanked sponsors Stitch It To Me Embroidery, Central Florida USA Pool League, Diamond Products, Kamui, AZBilliards and Kodi Allen “for always helping to sell the tickets.”
 
The next stop on the Sunshine State Pro Am Tour, scheduled for the weekend of March 7-8 at Rack’s Billiards in Sanford, FL, will feature two non-point events. There will be an Open One Pocket event and a 9-Ball Amateur event for competitors with Fargo Rates of 600 or under.  

Rodriguez goes undefeated to win his first 2019 Sunshine State Pro Am title

Bill Bloom, Shannon Fitch and Ricardo Joel Rodriguez

Looking to better his 2018 earnings, the year in which he tallied a win on the Sunshine State Pro Am Tour in March and won the Florida 10-Ball Bar Box Championships in November, Ricardo Joel Rodriguez went undefeated through a field of 64 entrants to win the October 5-6 stop (#8) on the 2019 Sunshine State Pro Am Tour’s $1,500-added event ($1,000 by Brewlands and $500 from Predator Cues) at Brewlands Bar & Billiards in North Lakeland, FL . He stopped a seven-match, loss-side winning streak by Bill Bloom, defeating him in the finals to claim the title. Rodriguez’ $1,000 first-place prize doesn’t put his 2019 earnings over his 2018 threshold, but does put him a step closer with a full two months-plus to go.
 
In addition to the event itself, the Sunshine State Pro Am Tour held a mystery auction to raise money for junior competitors Kodi Allen and Trenton White (who was the main event’s top-finishing (9th place) junior) to help offset their expenses for an upcoming trip to Cypress in November, when they will represent the USA in the Jr. World Championships. In addition to the money raised by the auction ($600), the tour donated 5% of the player’s auction to the junior players ($215). An additional $215 was raised by a $50 challenge donation from Jen Radkte, bringing the total to $1,030. Each of the junior competitors will receive half of that total. In addition to the support provided by the tour itself, tour directors Janene Phillips and Bobby Garza gave a ‘shout out’ to the sponsors of this mystery auction event – Michael Zingale of Zingale’s Billiards, Carl Watt of Park Ave. Billiards, Pedro Botta of Racks Billiards, Larry Walthal of the host Brewlands, The Central Florida USA Pool League, Don and Jennifer Berzinski of the People’s Tournament, Stitch it to Me Embroidery, Cyclop Balls, Predator Products and Jeannette Lee with the Tampa APA.
 
Congratulations were extended to the Scarberry family as winners of the mystery auction. Some of the items in the bags included a Sneaky Pete rage cue, a signed-by-Jeanette Lee cue and cue ball, free entries to an event at Zingales and on the Sunshine State Pro Am Tour, gift cards (including Dunkin’), scratch-off lottery tickets, Predator glove and chalk, Cyclops cue ball, Tip tool, T-Shirts, Polos, UFC backpack with ‘extras,’ Tiger Chalk, and if that weren’t enough, two bottles of tequila.
 
The main event tournament saw Ricardo Joel Rodriguez start out with a ‘shutout’ bang over Michael McGuire and then settle into victories over Nataniel Acosta, George McLanahan and Jeremy Bell to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal match versus Jordan Burden. Shannon Fitch, in the meantime, downed Anthony Fisher, Thomas White, Francisco Diaz and Justin McNulty (who’d just sent Bill Bloom to the loss side) to face Robert Batson in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
Rodriguez’ trip to the winners’ circle was almost rerouted as he and Burden went double hill before Rodriguez prevailed. Fitch joined him in the hot seat match with a 7-4 win over Batson. Rodriguez gave up only a single rack to Fitch and sat in the hot seat, waiting for Bloom to conclude his loss-side run.
 
It was Batson who picked up Bloom, four matches into his loss-side streak, that had included recent wins over Jeremy Bell, double hill and, Anthony Cruz. Burden drew Justin McNulty, who’d defeated Trenton White 5-3 and Jeff Brown 5-1 to reach him.
 
Bloom survived a double hill fight against Batson to advance to the quarterfinals, where he was joined by Burden, who’d spoiled any hopes of a Bloom/McNulty rematch by eliminating McNulty 5-1. Bloom and Burden battled to double hill in those quarterfinals, before Bloom advanced.
 
Bloom downed Shannon Fitch in the subsequent semifinals and got a shot at Rodriguez in the finals. With Bloom racing to 8 and Rodriguez to 9, the two battled to a double hill final game, won by Rodriguez, who claimed the title.
 
Tour directors Phillips and Garza thanked Larry Walthal of Brewlands for hosting the event as well as sponsors Predator Cues, Central Florida USA Pool League, Stitch it to me Embroidery, Cyclops, Kamui and AZBilliards. The next stop on the Sunshine State Pro Am Tour, scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 16, will be a $1,500-added event, hosted by Rack’s Billiards in Sanford, FL. 

Let The Kids Play – 1st Junior Invitational 9-Ball Partners with International 9-Ball Open

Pat Fleming and Ra Hanna (Erwin Dionisio)

Pat Fleming (Accu-Stats Productions) and Ra Hanna (On The Wire Creative) are thrilled to announce the first Junior Invitational 9-Ball Championship (JIC), to be held in conjunction with the International 9-Ball Open, Nov. 1-2, 2019, at the Sheraton Norfolk Waterside Hotel in Norfolk, Va. The four-player event will take place in the Simonis-Aramith Arena and will be livestreamed.
 
“We are excited to showcase the Junior Invitational during the International,” said Fleming, owner and producer of the major pro 9-ball championship. “There is nothing quite like giving these young adults much-needed exposure and a chance to compete and have a great time. These young players bring a level of commitment, comradery and talent that we can all be proud of.”
 
“I’m so proud of our junior players, it’s about giving them the platform they need to succeed,” said Hanna, who will co-produce the junior event with Fleming. “The JIC was born out of one mission: to provide a high-level platform for young cueists to learn how to navigate the high pressures of competitive cue sports.”
 
The JIC will feature 2019 Billiard Education Foundation Junior National Champions Kaiden Hunkins (18-Under Boys) of Waukesha, Wis., and Kodi Allen (16-Under Boys) of Tampa, Fla., as well as Junior National runners-up Lukas Francasso-Verner (18-Under Boys) of Wallingford, Conn., and Matthew Wiseley (16-Under Boys) of Poplar Bluff, Mo.
 
“We hope to grow this event every year, and we are looking forward to expanding every year,” added Hanna.
 
For more information about the event and sponsorship opportunities, contact:
 
Ra Hanna     Email: Ra@Otwpromotions.com  Phone: (818) 809-4316
Pat Fleming Email: patscue@yahoo.com          Phone: (973) 838-7089
 

31st Annual BEF Junior National 9-Ball Championships Presented by Iwan Simonis Crowns 2019 Champions

Winners (Kaiden Hunkins, Kodi Allen, Lazaro Martinez III, Skyler Hess, Vivian Liu, Tatum Cutting)

The Billiard Education Foundation recently held its 31st annual Junior National 9-Ball Championships, presented by Iwan Simonis, Tuesday, July 23 to Saturday, July 27. The event attracted more than 170 of the top junior pool players in the country.
 
During the event the Billiard Education Foundation recognized more than 100 players as Academic All Americans, as they all had a great point average of 3.0 or better. Along with the Academic All Americans, the BEF also recognized Joey Tate and Patricia Huber as the recipients of this year's Brenden Crocket Sportsman Award for exemplifying the ideals of sportsmanship while at the table with ethical behavior, fair play, and integrity throughout the event.
 
During the week long tournament BCA Hall of Famer Tom "Dr. Cue" Rossman also made his 26th consecutive appearance and held his annual artistic pool competition. Dr. Cue, presented the 2019 Artistic Pool awards to this year's champions: Jack Boldt (U18 boys division), Duncan Weiss (U16 boys division), Jayden Liu (U14 boys division), Vivian Liu (U18 girls division), Brianna LaRatta (U16 girls division), and Patricia Huber (U14 division).
 
On Saturday July 27th the Junior National Championships concluded with the final matches in each category. In an effort to stay more aligned with the WPA World event, the BEF awarded Gold, Silver and Bronze medals to the top three finishers of each division. The finalist of this year's BEF Junior National 9-Ball Championships presented by Iwan Simonis are:
 
Gold Medalists:
 
Silver Medalists:
 
Bronze Medalists:
 
Sponsors for this year's event included:  
 
About Billiard Education Foundation
 
The Billiard Education Foundation (BEF) was formed in 1993 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charity committed to promoting a love of pool and building the next generation of players through youth programs and academic scholarships. The BEF is managed by the Billiard Congress of America. For more information about the BEF or to learn how you can support the foundation please visit BilliardEducation.org.

Rose goes undefeated to win his second 2019 Sunshine State Predator Pro Am Tour stop

Trenton White, Nathan Rose & Jason Richko

Nathan Rose took a major step toward making 2019 his best recorded earnings year ever by winning his second straight Sunshine State Predator Pro Am Tour stop on the weekend of January 2-3. In a month, he’s earned half of what he earned in all of his best earnings year to date, 2015. Rose went undefeated through a field of 64, on hand for the $1,500-added event, hosted by Brewlands Bar & Billiards in Tampa, FL.
 
Rose opened his undefeated run with a 7-4 victory over Eric Haggard, followed it with a 7-5 win over David Singleton, and then went on a run of four straight 7-2 wins that ended with him in the hot seat. He defeated Rollie Dixon and Ed Peterson to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal against Bill Bloom. Jason Richko, in the meantime, got by Rhyan Hunter, Kodi Allen, Brian Sudney and junior competitor, Trenton White (who’d come back to haunt Richko later) to arrive at the other winners’ side semifinal against Mitch Keiser.
 
Richko got into the hot seat match 7-5 over Keiser, as Rose was busy chalking up his third straight 7-2 win over Bloom. Rose won his fourth straight 7-2 match, over Richko, which left him in the hot seat, waiting on what turned out to be the return of Trenton White.
 
On the loss side, Bloom ran into White, who, following his defeat at the hands of Richko, had defeated Joseph Hughes 5-1 and Rollie Dixon 5-3. Keiser drew Kyle Bova, who was working on a four-match, loss-side winning streak that had most recently included wins over Ed Peterson 6-1 and Casey Spahr 6-3. White advanced to the quarterfinals 5-2 over Bloom and was met by Keiser, who’d survived a double hill battle against Bova.
 
White and Keiser locked up in a double hill quarterfinal, which eventually advanced White to a rematch versus Richko in the semifinals. White gave up only a single rack to Richko in those semifinals, advancing 5-1 to the finals against Rose.
 
Rose completed his undefeated run with a 9-5 victory over White, who, in addition to his 2nd place payout was awarded the ‘top-finishing junior’ title. Jeannie Seaver and Stephanie Mitchell finished in a tie for the top female finisher. 
 
Tour directors Janene Phillips and Bobby Garza thanked Larry Walthall and his Brewlands staff for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor Predator Cues, Cyclop Balls, Diamond, Kamui, Central Florida USA Pool League, Stitch it to Me Embrodiery and AZBilliards. Streaming was by Cue Sports Studios. The next stop on the Sunshine State Predator Pro Am Tour, scheduled for March 9, will be hosted by Boulevard Billiards in Ocala, FL.

Rose comes from the loss side to take Sunshine State Predator Pro Am Tour season opener

(l to r): Mike Delawder, Stroker’s owner Jose Del Rio & Nathan Rose

In the 17 years that Nathan Rose has been bringing home cash from mostly Florida-based pool tournaments, he’s had only two years of recorded earnings that were better than his last one, 2018. In 2015, his most productive year, he chalked up a win on the Shark Billiard Tour, was runner-up to Mike Davis at the Starcade Billiards Fall Classic and cashed in four events on the Florida Pool Tour. Eight years earlier, he had a win on the Southeast 9-Ball Tour and cashed in the Seminole Pro Tour, the Steve Mizerak Championship and the Bob Martin Memorial. Last year, he figured in the payouts of five stops on the Sunshine State Pro Am Tour, winning two of them, and taking a trip to the Super Billiards Expo, where he finished third behind Zoren James Aranas and Jorge Rodriguez in the Pro-Am Bar Box Championships. He’s opened his 2019 tournament schedule by winning the season opener on the now-named Sunshine State Predator Pro Am Tour. Mike Delawder defeated him in the hot seat match, but Rose returned from the semifinals to win a double hill final and claim the title. The $1,400-added event drew 69 entrants to Stroker’s Billiards in Palm Harbor, FL.
 
By the time Rose and Delawder met for the first time in the hot seat match, Delawder had won a single game more than Rose (36-35), but had lost eight more (28-36). Going into the winners’ side semifinals, Delawder had given up 17 racks to his opponents. Rose had given up only 10.
 
After his victory over Nikilin, Rose advanced to defeat Jarred Schlauch 7-4, Kelly Cavanaugh 7-3, and David Singleton 7-2 to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal match against George Saunders. Delawder got by Stephanie Mitchell 8-3, James Roberts 7-5, Kodi Allen 7-4 and Mitch Keiser 7-5 to pick up Bobby Garza (the tour’s 2018 top-ranked player) in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
Rose shut out Saunders, as Delawder was busy downing Garza 7-3. They came into the hot seat match with a 13% difference in their win-percentage; Rose at 77% (thanks in no small part to the shutout over Saunders) and Delawder at 64%. Delawder claimed the hot seat 7-3, narrowing that winning-game gap to 4%; 69% for Rose and 65% for Delawder. As it turned out, that four-point winning-percentage gap would hold through to the end, though both would see their individual percentage drop. Delawder, in the meantime, waited in the hot seat to find that out.
 
On the loss side, Saunders picked up Mitch Keiser, who, following his defeat at the hands of Delawder, had defeated Carlton Johnson 7-4 and the eventual top junior in the tournament Trenton White 7-2. Garza drew Jarred Schlauch, who, following Delawder’s win over him, embarked on a seven-match, loss-side winning streak that would take him as far as the quarterfinals. He’d most recently eliminated room owner Jose Del Rio 7-4 and Kyle Bova, double hill.
 
Schlauch downed Garza 7-5 and in the quarterfinals, faced Keiser, who’d defeated Saunders 7-4. Keiser ended Schlauch’s loss-side trip 7-2 in those quarterfinals, and then was defeated himself 7-3 by Rose in the semifinals.
 
Nathan Rose’s double hill, 9-8, win over Delawder in the finals gave him the event title, though it lowered his win-percentage to 65%. The nine racks scored against Delawder lowered his win-percentage to 61%. If Delawder had dropped the 9-ball, Rose would still have won the winning-percentage contest, but only by a single percentage point (67-66).
 
In addition to cash prizes awarded to the top 16 finishers, two top-finishing women – Jenn Berzinski and Kelly Cavanaugh (tied) – and the event’s top-finishing junior, Trenton White, took home cash prizes, as well.
 
Tour directors Janene Phillips and Bobby Garza thanked Jose Del Rio and his Stroker’s staff for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor Predator Cues (to include their donation of promotional items given out at the event), Cyclop Balls, Diamond, AZBilliards and Kamui. The next stop on the Sunshine State Predator Pro Am Tour, scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 2, will be hosted by Brewlands in Tampa, FL. 

Young Champs Take Center Stage at APA Junior Championships

Beck Matthews

More Than 500 Kids Compete in St. Louis

 

A record number of aspiring young APA members from across North America made their way to St. Louis, Mo., in late-June for the APA Junior Championships.

 
After four-days of having fun, making new friends from across the country and playing their hearts out on the pool table, four new champions were crowned in each tier of the Junior Championships.
 
In the finals of the Green Tier (skill levels 1-2), Giovanni Gambone of Gloucester City, N.J., defeated Robert Randall of Red Bud, Ill. Evan Sneed of Eligin, Okla. and Rayshard Buwalda of Des Moines, Iowa, tied for 3rd Place in the Green Tier which featured the largest number of competitors in this year’s event with 225 participants.
 
In the Red Tier (skill level 3), Zachary Hemendinger of Esperance, N.Y., defeated Ava Lucas of Syracuse, N.Y. The Red Tier featured 140 players.  Blaine Gilmore of Walker, La., and Philip Albert of Barrie, Ontario tied for 3rd Place in the Red Tier.
 
In the finals of the White Tier (skill levels 4-5), Wyatt Neeley of Dalton, Ga., defeated Jaden Bolyard of Decatur, Ill. Benjamin Gonzales of Normal, Ill., and Jaden Oglesby of Harrisburg, Ill., tied for 3rd Place in the White Tier which had 101 participants.
 
In the Black Tier (skill levels 6-9), Beck Matthews of Louisville, Ky., defeated Kodi Allen of Tampa, Fla. The Black Tier featured 40 players.  Tying for 3rd Place in the Black Tier were Alice Adams of Eau Claire, Wisc., and Travis Criblez of Mantua, Ohio.
 
This year’s APA Junior Championships was held June 27-June 30 at the Renaissance St. Louis Airport Hotel. The four-day event also included recognition for Outstanding Academic Achievements and a special exhibition and autograph signing by “The Black Widow” Jeanette Lee.
 
Nationwide Insurance was the Presenting Sponsor of this year’s APA Junior Championships.
 
The APA, based in Lake Saint Louis, Mo., sanctions the world’s largest amateur pool league, known as the APA Pool League throughout the United States, and as the Canadian Pool League in Canada.  Nearly 250,000 members compete in weekly 8-Ball and 9‑Ball League play.  The APA is generally recognized as the Governing Body of Amateur Pool, having established the official rules, championships, formats and handicap systems for the sport of amateur billiards.
 
The APA produces four major tournaments each year—the APA World Pool Championships, the APA Poolplayer Championships, the APA Junior Championships and the U.S. Amateur Championship—that, together, pay out nearly $2 Million in cash and prizes annually!
 
The APA and its championships are sponsored by Aramith, Action Cues, PoolDawg and Valley-Dynamo.
 
For more information on the American Poolplayers Association, visit www.poolplayers.com.

Kennedy, Cirilo win 10-Ball Invitational/9-Ball Open events on Sunshine State Pro Am Tour

Mubarak Sulaiman, Obbie Cirilo & Steve Knoll

Tommy Kennedy and Obbie Cirilo claimed respective titles in a two-event weekend – January 13-14 – on the Sunshine State Pro Am Tour. Kennedy won five matches on the loss side to meet and defeat host location owner, Jose Del Rio in Sunday’s 10-Ball Invitational, while Cirilo, who went undefeated, and Mubarak Sulaiman split the top two prizes in Saturday’s 9-Ball Open to avoid a final match that would have commenced in the vicinity of 3 a.m., Sunday morning. The $1,000-added 9-Ball Open event drew 57 entrants, while the $300-added 10-Ball Invitational drew 17 entrants to Stroker’s Bar and Grill in Palm Harbor, FL.

 

Cirilo and Sulaiman would have met twice in the 9-Ball Open, had they both not opted out of playing a second, final match. Cirilo opened his undefeated run by giving up only two racks over his first two matches; one each to Bill Bloom and Kyle Bova, before Tommy Kennedy put up a fight in a winners’ side quarterfinal. Cirilo won that match 7-5 and drew Bobby Garza in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Sulaiman won his first three matches by an average score of 7-5, which included a double hill win over Donny Mills in the third round, and advanced to a winners’ side semifinal against Steve Knoll.

 

Sulaiman downed Knoll 7-5, and in the hot seat match, faced Cirilo, who’d sent Garza to the loss side 7-4. Cirilo chalked up what proved to be his last win (7-5) over Sulaiman, and sat in the hot seat, essentially waiting for the decision to opt out of a final match.

 

On the loss side, Knoll picked up Kennedy, while Garza drew Robert Batson, who’d lost a double hill fight against Knoll in the second round, and was in the midst of a six-match, loss-side winning streak that was about to come to an end.

 

Knoll eliminated Kennedy 5-3, as Garza ended Batson’s loss-side streak 5-2. Knoll downed Garza 5-3 in the quarterfinals, and then, by the same score, was eliminated by Sulaiman in the semifinals. That, as the saying goes, was all she wrote, as Cirilo and Sulaiman agreed to a split of the top two prizes.

 

Trenton White and Kodi Allen split $40 as the top two junior finishers in the 9-Ball Open event.

 

[photo id=48644|align=right]Kennedy wins five on the loss side to meet and defeat DelRio in 10-Ball Invitational finals

 

Tommy Kennedy played two more matches on the loss side of the 10-Ball Invitational than he had in the previous day’s 9-Ball Open. Those extra two matches put him into the finals, where he downed Jose Del Rio to claim the event title.

 

Kennedy was defeated 7-2 by Stephen Richmond in the second round of the 10-Ball event, which advanced Richmond to a winners’ side semifinal against Jason Richko. Del Rio drew Dale Stanley in the other winners’ side semifinal. Del Rio survived a double hill battle against Stanley to advance to the hot seat match. He was joined by Richko, who’d sent Richmond west 7-4. Del Rio and Richko battled to a 13th deciding game before Del Rio claimed the hot seat, and waited on the return of Kennedy.

On the loss side, Kennedy opened his trek back to the finals with victories over Tim Parisian and Onur Berber, which set him up to face Stanley. Richmond drew 9-Ball Open winner, Mubarak Sulaiman, who’d gotten by one of the event’s three top-finishing juniors/women (who split $90), Kodi Allen and Donny Mills to reach him.

 

Kennedy shut Stanley out and in the quarterfinals, faced Sulaiman, who’d eliminated Richmond 6-2. Kennedy then spoiled Sulaiman’s bid for a second runner-up (and possibly more) finish with a 6-4 win in those quarterfinals.

 

Kennedy gave up only a single rack to Richko in the semifinals and then, with momentum wind at his back, had the audacity to down his host – Stroker’s owner Del Rio – 9-2 in the finals to claim the 10-Ball event title.

 

Tour directors Janene Phillips and Bobby Garza awarded $90 (total) to the two junior and single female top finisher in the 10-Ball Invitational (Carrie Vetrono, the female, and for the second time, Kodi Allen and Trenton White as the juniors). They thanked Del Rio and his Stroker’s staff for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Kamui, Jacksonville Roofing USA, InsidePool.tv, AZBilliards and Play the Game Clothing Co. The next stop on the Sunshine State Pro Am Tour, scheduled for the February 10, will be hosted by Waldo’s Billiards in Daytona Beach, FL.

Buckley wins seven on the loss side to take Pro division title on Sunshine State Pro Am tour

Jason Sheerman, Donny Branson & Benji Buckley

Adams goes undefeated in Amateur event
 
Stop # 9 on the Sunshine State Pro Am Tour featured separate tournaments held on the weekend of November 18-19. A $1,000-added Open 10-Ball event drew 57 entrants, and saw Benji Buckley win seven on the loss side to meet and defeat hot seat occupant Donny Branson in the finals. On the Amateur side, in a $500-added, 9-ball event, James Adams went undefeated through a field of 43. Both events were hosted by Capone’s in Spring Hill, FL.
 
Buckley’s trip to the finals was moving along on the winners’ side of the bracket, commencing with a victory over the Amateur event winner, James Adams, and then, through James Sandaler, before coming up against Rodney Morris. Morris sent Buckley to the loss side 7-3, before following him over on the heels of a 6-4 win by Jason Sheerman in a winners’ side quarterfinal. Sheerman moved on to a winners’ side semifinal against Jerry Sullivan, while Branson faced Murbarak Sulaiman.
 
Sheerman and Branson advanced to the hot seat match without giving up a single rack to either Sullivan or Sulaiman. Branson then defeated Sheerman 7-3 and sat in the hot seat, waiting for Buckley to complete his loss-side campaign.
 
Buckley began his loss-side work battling in one of the matches that determined the eight-way tie for 17th place. He got by Travis Croft, Mark Wathen, Nathan Rose, and Donny Mills to draw Sullivan. Sulaiman drew Anthony Meglino, who’d been defeated in the second winners’ side round by Sheerman (double hill) and set out on his own seven-match, loss-side winning streak that included wins over Joseph Remos, Jason Richko, Bill Bloom, Tommy Kennedy, Jessica Human and Rodney Morris, before drawing Sulaiman.
 
Buckley advanced to the quarterfinals 7-3 over Sullivan, as Sulaiman ended Meglino’s loss-side streak the way his winners’ side streak had been ended by Sheerman, in a double hill match. Buckley then defeated Sulaiman 7-2 in the quarterfinals, and got his shot at Branson in the hot seat with a 7-4 win over Sheerman in the semifinals.
 
Buckley and Branson battled back and forth through the finals. Buckley edged ahead at the end to claim the event title 11-9.
 
Adams goes undefeated in Amateur event
 
James Adams faced separate opponents in the hot seat and finals of the Amateur event. He advanced to a winners’ side semifinal against Moe Fattah, as Estel Walton faced Ricardo Rodriguez in the other one. Adams downed Fattah 7-5, and in the hot seat match, faced Walton, who’d sent Rodriguez west 7-4. Adams claimed the hot seat 7-5 over Walton and waited on what turned out to be the return of Adams.
 
On the loss side, Rodriguez and Fattah got right back to winning. Rodriguez defeated Sam Kantar 5-1, as Fattah advanced to meet him in the quarterfinals with a double hill win over Jeremy Bell.
 
Rodriguez defeated Fattah in the quarterfinals 5-2, and then shut out Walton in the semifinals. Adams put an end to Rodriguez’ short, loss-side winning streak 9-7 in the finals to claim the event title.
 
In addition to the prize money awarded to the finishers in each tournament, the Amateur event awarded $20 each to the top Junior finisher – Kodi Allen – and top female finisher – Kelly Cavanaugh. The Open event awarded $40 to the top female finisher, Jessica Human.
 
Tour director Janene Phillips offered special thanks to Rocky McElroy, owner of Capone’s, and his staff, as well as McDermott Cues for donating a cue for an event raffle. The next stop on the Sunshine State Pro Am Tour, scheduled for December 16-17, will be the tour’s Season Finale, which will be hosted by Park Avenue Billiards in Orange Park, FL.
 

Mills comes back from the loss side to win third stop on the Sunshine State Pro Am Tour

(l to r): Anthony Meglino, Donny Mills, Steve Richmond

 

Donny Mills and Mike Delawder have faced each other a number of times down in the Sunshine State of Florida, though, pool statistics being what they are, it's hard to know how many exactly. They met again on the weekend of June 24-25 at the third stop on the Sunshine State Pro Am Tour, a $1,000-added event that drew 74 entrants to Stroker's Sports Bar & Grill in Palm Harbor, FL. They met twice, once early and once late, with Delawder winning the first meeting and Mills, after winning nine matches on the loss side, winning the second in the event finals.
 
Mills and Delawder were both awarded opening round byes and won their first matches; Mills, 7-1 over Jimmy Neutron and Delawder surviving a double hill match against Billy Burke. They met for the first time in the event's third, but their personal second round. Delawder defeated Mills 7-3, downed Kodi Allen 7-2, and defeated Tim Barron 7-4 to draw a winners' side semifinal match versus Anthony Meglino. Steve Richmond, in the meantime, squared off against Nathan Rose in the other winners' side semifinal.
 
Meglino sent Delawder to the loss side 7-3, and in the hot seat match, faced Richmond, who'd survived a double hill match against Rose. Meglino and Richmond then battled to double hill, before Richmond claimed the hot seat, in what turned out to be his last win of the weekend.
 
Mills opened his nine-match, loss-side run with a win over Raymond Linares and then downed co-tour director Bobby Garza. He entered the money rounds with a victory over Stephanie Mitchell. He then downed Steve Knoll 7-3 and Tim Barron 7-4 to draw Rose. Delawder drew David Grossman, who'd survived a double hill match versus Han Berber, and eliminated Kyle Bova 7-4.
 
Delawder downed Grossman 7-3, as Mills was busy eliminating Rose 7-2. For Mills, the long-awaited rematch was at hand. He successfully wreaked his vengeance on Delawder in the quarterfinals 7-3, and then gave up only a single rack defeating Meglino in the semifinals. In an extended race to 11, Mills snatched the title from Richmond in the hot seat 11-5.