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Meglino and Hall split top prizes at Capone’s One Pocket event

Sandeep Swain, Anthony Meglino and Justin Hall

Anthony Meglino and Justin Hall played a single set of a true double elimination final at Capone’s $2,000-added One Pocket Tournament this past weekend (Dec. 17-19). Hall won that first set, double hill, at which point, they opted out of a second set and split the top two prizes. As occupant of the hot seat at the time, Meglino became the official winner of the event that drew 29 entrants to Capone’s.

Meglino started out with 3-1 victories over Tim Parasian and Nathan Rose, before Mike Davis, Jr. put up a double hill fight that did eventually send Meglino to a winners’ side semifinal against Josh Roberts. Sam Swain, in the meantime, was awarded an opening round bye before surviving two straight double hill matches, versus Stephanie Mitchell and Bruce Choyce, to arrive at his winners’ side semifinal match against Kyle Bova, who had just sent Justin Hall to the loss side.

Meglino shut Josh Roberts out and advanced to the hot seat match. He was joined by Swain, who’d sent Bova to the loss side 3-1. Meglino chalked up his second straight shutout, downing Bova and claiming the hot seat with an aggregate game score of 15-4; winning (percentage-wise) well over three out of every four games he played (.789).

On the loss side, Bova picked up James Adams, who’d been shut out in a winners’ side quarterfinal by Roberts and then, downed Tim Parasian, double hill and John Ditoro 3-1. Roberts drew Hall, who’d followed his winners’ side quarterfinal loss to Bova with victories over Alec Saputo and Ed Porter, both 3-1.

The Bova/Hall quarterfinal rematch came about when Bova downed Adams 3-1 and Hall shut Roberts out 3-0. Hall won the rematch, chalking up his second shutout, and then, chalked up his third shutout in his semifinal match against Swain. 

Hall came into the true double elimination final against Meglino with a better five-match, loss-side aggregate score (15-2) than Meglino had recorded in his five-match, winners’ side trip to the hot seat (15-4). Hall used that momentum to score more racks in the first set of the true double elimination than any of Meglino’s previous five opponents. Hall battled him to double hill before winning the match and then, by mutual agreement, split the top two prizes, which, no matter how it was sliced, likely made for an early Merry Christmas for the both of them.

Tournament director Carrie Vetrono thanked Rocco “Rocky” McElroy and Capone’s staff for its continuing support of the sport, as well as John Ditoro for his assistance, as well.

Meglino comes from loss side, downs Delawder in Sunshine State Predator Pro Am Tour finals

Anthony Meglino, Kyle Bova and Mike Delawder

If you’re a pool player in Florida and happen to notice as you sign in to compete at a tournament that the entrant list includes Anthony Meglino, Mike Delawder, Kyle Bova and Ray Linares, you pretty much know before you’ve finished writing your name that you’re more than likely to have to face one of them, if not all of them, before the weekend is done. Initially, it’s as true for them, of course, as it is for everybody else, up to and including a fifth name, Tommy Kennedy. And after any sort of a trip on the loss side, seeing those four names in the winners’ side final four matches and knowing that two of them are about to be on their way to your side of the ‘street’ has to put something of a furrow in your competitive brow.

They finished this past weekend’s (Oct. 9-10) stop #9 on the Sunshine State Predator Pro Am Tour in the order listed above. The $1,000-added event drew 60 entrants to Brewlands North in Lakeland, FL.

Meglino got himself to the winners’ side final four with an aggregate game score of 28-9, sending Jeff Brown (2), Jay Winters (2), Alec Saputo (4) and Francisco Serrano (1) to the loss side to pick up Delawder. Delawder was the only one who had to face Tommy Kennedy, which he did after downing Ted Westlake (2) and Trenton White (5). He sent Kennedy west 7-3, survived a double hill, winners’ side quarterfinal against Todd Moir and with a 28-16 aggregate score, drew Meglino.

Bova got a forfeit-pass in his opening round and then downed Robert Batson (3) before getting into a double hill fight versus co-tour director Bobby Garza. Bova advanced to defeat Jimmy Antonietta 7-3, completing an aggregate trip to the winners’ side final four at 21-12 to pick up Linares. Linares got by Carlos Gomes (2), James Sandaler (double hill), Wesley Davis (1) and Lee Heuwagen (4) to finish his aggregate scoring at 28-13. face draw Bova.

So, in order, the four of them came to their winners’ side final four matches with game-winning averages that put Meglino first, Linares second and Delawder/Bova in a dead heat for third and fourth. 

That order and those game-winning averages changed as Delawder advanced to the hot seat match 7-2 over Meglino and Bova sent Linares over 7-4 to join him. The battle for the hot seat went, as might have been predicted, to double hill before Delawder claimed it.

On the loss side, Meglino picked up Lee Heuwagen, who’d recently defeated Brett Agler, double hill, and Alec Saputo 7-2 to reach him. Linares drew Wesley Davis, who was on a five-match, loss-side winning streak that had just eliminated Todd Moir 7-3 and Julio Estevez, double hill. Meglino moved on to the quarterfinals with a 7-3 victory over Heuwagen. Linares joined him after stopping Davis’ loss-side streak 7-1.

So the Floridian Final Four was set, with only three question marks left to determine the order of finish. The first was answered when Meglino downed Linares 7-3 in the quarterfinals. The second came in the semifinals when Meglino and Bova came within a game of double hill to eventually advance Meglino to a rematch against Delawder in the finals. Meglino completed his three-match, loss-side winning streak with a 9-5 victory over Delawder in those finals to claim the event title.

Tour directors Janene Phillips and Bobby Garza thanked Brewlands’ owner, Larry Wathal and his staff for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor Predator Cues, Kamui, Stitch-It-To-Me Embroidery, Central Florida USA Pool League, Skills for Rent & AZ Billiards. They added a ‘shout out’ to Benjie Estor and Niki Cuellar for their assistance in running the event, as well as Jimmy Antonietta and Mike Delawder for their commentating contributions to the live stream.

The next stop on the Sunshine State Predator Pro Am Tour, scheduled for the weekend of Nov. 13-14, will be the $2,500-added Amateur 9-Ball Bar Box Championships, to be hosted by Racks in Sanford, FL.

Linares goes undefeated to win Sunshine State Predator Pro Am Tour’s third stop at Stroker’s

Jason Richko, Raymond Linares and Kyle Bova

The top three finishers in last weekend’s (July 31-August 1) stop on the Sunshine State Predator Pro Am Tour, their third to be hosted by Stroker’s in Palm Harbor, FL, could be on the front cover, or at least mentioned in the first chapter of a book entitled Florida State’s Top Pool Competitors. Ray Linares topped the list in the winners’ circle, after navigating his way through a hot seat match versus Kyle Bova and a final against Jason Richko to claim his first (recorded) title since he won the tour’s Bar Box Championship back in November of 2020. This past weekend’s $1,000-added event drew 57 entrants to Stroker’s.

Linares didn’t have a rack chalked up against him until the third round of this event when he met and defeated T. Smoke 7-4. A 7-3 victory over room owner, Jose Del Rio followed, which put Linares into a winners’ side semifinal against Robert Hammock. Bova, in the meantime, had defeated Randall McLuckie, Evan Huynh, Casey Silvers, and Ke Wu to arrive at his winners’ side semifinal matchup against Edward Porter. Jason Richko, who’d won two matches on the winners’ side, versus Bill Tincher and Joe Klein, was sent to the loss side by junior player Julio Estevez 7-5. Estevez, who would end the tournament as the top junior, followed him over in the next round.

Bova got into the hot seat match 7-4 over Porter and was joined by Linares, who’d defeated Hammock 7-3. Linares claimed the hot seat 7-4 over Bova and waited on the return of Richko.

It was Hammock who picked up Richko on the loss side. At the time, Richko was in the midst of the seven-match, loss-side winning streak that would put him into the finals. He had most recently eliminated Ke Wu 5-3 and Robert Batson 7-2. Porter drew Julio Estevez, who was likely looking at the possibility of a rematch versus Richko. He’d lost a winners’ side quarterfinal match to Hammock and on the loss side, shut out Casey Silvers and defeated Joselito Martinez 6-3.

Richko downed Hammock 7-2 to earn his rematch. Estevez did his part, downing Porter 7-4. Richko wreaked his vengeance on Estevez by allowing him only a single rack in the quarterfinals that followed.

Richko then downed Bova 6-4 in the semifinals for a shot at Linares, waiting for him in the hot seat. Linares completed his undefeated run with a 9-3 win in the finals.

Sonja Chbeeb was the event’s top female finisher (17-24th). 

Tour directors Janene Phillips and Bobby Garza thanked Jose Del Rio and his staff for their “awesome hospitality and hosting the tour, year after year,” as well as title sponsor Predator, kamui, Diamond Products,  Safety Harbor Resort and Spa, Stitch it to me Embroidery, Central Florida USA Pool League, AZ Billiards & Skills for Rent. The next stop on the Sunshine State Predator Pro Am Tour, a $1,000-added Amateur 9-Ball event, scheduled for Saturday, August 21, will be hosted Q-Ball in Jacksonville, FL.

In celebration of its 5th anniversary, Sunshine State Predator Pro Am Tour hosts double events

Randall McLuckie, Che Mvros and Kyle Bova

Bova goes undefeated in Amateur 9-Ball and is runner-up in Open 10-Ball, won by Meglino 

By any measure, the last five years have been tumultuous, no matter what your politics or job or your Fargo rate as a pool player. Five years ago, apparently not engaged enough with a full-time job as an office manager for a dentist and having run the USA Pool League franchise in Central Florida for about four years, Janene Phillips established the Sunshine State Pro/Am Pool Tour.

Initially designed for Amateur 8-Ball events and restricted to Central Florida, the tour organized six stops in its 2016 debut year. There were 10 stops in 2017 and they’d picked up some sponsors. There were 12 stops in 2018, by which time the tour was playing host to 300 different pro and amateur players. By 2019, they’d found themselves a title sponsor, became the Sunshine State Predator Pro Am Pool Tour and were able to offer incentives for Player, Junior and Lady of the Year awards.

And then . . . well, we all know how 2020 went, pretty much for everybody. . . the year that wasn’t, so to speak.

“We survived COVID,” wrote Phillips on the tour’s Web site, “and our tour managed to have seven stops, including a One Pocket event and a Ladies Only Open event.”

This year, its fifth, they’ve got 14 events scheduled, and along the way, have begun dual events in places that can accommodate them, as well as special, ‘no tour-point’ events like their “575 and under Fargo rate” events, which, according to Phillips, “sell out within 48 hours.”

So, overall, while it’s been as tumultuous for the Sunshine State Predator Pro Am Pool Tour as it has been for the general populace, Phillips and her tour partner, Bobby Garza are not complaining. Garza joined the tour in its first season, is responsible for providing the streaming services that the tour utilizes and was instrumental in attaining the title sponsorship of Predator Cues (and, one would be remiss in failing to add, is a good pool player, too).

“Honestly,” said Phillips, “I’m happy with the position we’re in.”

“We’ve had goals since the beginning,” she added, “and the only one we haven’t hit was to have a large, added-money Pro event. I still have it on the list, though.”

This past weekend, at Brewlands Carrollwood in Tampa, FL, the tour celebrated its 5th anniversary by holding one of its ‘dual events.’ They held a $1,000-added ($500 from Brewlands and $500 from a Predator raffle) Amateur 9-Ball event that drew 64 entrants and an $800-added ($400 from Brewlands and $400 from the Central Florida USA Pool League) Open 10-Ball event that drew 32 entrants. The two winners – Kyle Bova in the 9-Ball event and Anthony Meglino in the 10-Ball event – went undefeated to claim the tour’s 5th anniversary title.

Kyle Bova, who came into the Amateur 9-Ball event, having already finished as the runner-up in the concurrently-run 10-Ball Open event, went undefeated through the 64-entrant field. His opponents chalked up an average, few-percentage-points-above three racks against him throughout the tournament. With four notches on his match-belt, of the six he needed to win, he faced Joselito Martinez in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Randall McLuckie and Che Mvros, who’d end up being Bova’s last two opponents, squared off in the other one.

Bova downed Martinez 7-4, as McLuckie was busy surviving a double fight against Mvros. Bova claimed the hot seat 7-2 over McLuckie and awaited the return of McLuckie.

On the loss side, Mvros picked up Jomax Garcia, who eliminated Dale Stanley and Jerry Arvelaez to reach him. Martinez drew Desi Derado, who was in the midst of a four-match, loss-side streak which had recently knocked out Edward Porter and Serafin Serrano. By the same 7-3 score, Mvros defeated Garcia and Martinez downed Derado.

Mvros took the quarterfinal over Martinez 6-3 and, in his rematch versus McLuckie in the semifinals, wreaked his vengeance 7-4 for a place in the finals. Bova, though, completed his undefeated run with a 9-4 victory over Mvros. 

Donny Mills, Anthony Meglino and Kyle Bova

Meglino chalks up second Open win on the tour, Bova is runner-up

Back in April, Anthony Meglino came from winning a single, semifinal match on the loss side to defeat Bobby Emmons in the final of one of the tour’s Open event, held in conjunction with one of its “Fargo-rate-defined” events; in that case, it was 600 and under. This time, the Open 10-Ball event which drew Meglino was in conjunction with the Amateur event detailed above and this time, Meglino went undefeated to claim the title. Kyle Bova, finished as runner-up, and went on to win the 9-ball event. 

Meglino faced separate opponents in the hot seat and finals of this one; Donny Mills in the hot seat match and in their second match, Bova in the finals. Meglino, whose opponents averaged between two and three racks against him throughout the tournament, advanced to a winners’ side semifinal versus Bova, as Mills was battling Tommy Kennedy.

Mills downed Kennedy 7-4. Meglino sent Bova to the loss side 7-2. Meglino gave up only a single rack to claim the hot seat and wait in it for Bova’s return.

On the loss side, Bova picked up Mike Delawder, who’d been defeated in a winners’ side quarterfinal by Tommy Kennedy and subsequently defeated Carlos Gomez 5-2 and Alec Saputo 7-2. Kennedy drew Joselito Martinez, who was working on a four-match, loss-side winning streak that had recently eliminated Derrick Santos, double hill, and Anthony Fisher 7-2. 

Bova downed Delawder 7-5, as Martinez dropped Kennedy 7-3. Bova ended Martinez’ streak in the subsequent quarterfinals 7-4. Bova defeated Mills in the semifinals 7-4 for a shot at Meglino, waiting for him in the hot seat. Meglino completed his undefeated run with a 9-5 victory over Bova in the 10-Ball Open finals.

The thanks of Janene Phillips and Bobby Garza extended this past weekend to include all who had come within their sphere of influence over the past five years. As usual, they thanked the ownership (Larry Wathal) and staff at this weekend’s venue, Brewlands Carrollwood, for their hospitality and noted the title sponsorship of Predator Cues. They also thanked sponsors Kamui, AZBilliards, Diamond Products, Stitch It To Me Embroidery, and the Central Florida USA Pool League. Phillips thanked Bobby Garza for his since-the-beginning support and for this past weekend’s stream with fellow commentator Jimmy Antonietta. They gave further thanks to Nicolle Cuellar for her assistance and to Dain Cirilo, and Nick and Gia Fiore for their assistance with the raffles.

“Most of all,” they said (together, in two-part harmony, with feeling), “we want to send our love and appreciation out to all of the players and spectators for coming out and supporting our tour and celebrating 5 years with us!!”

The next stop on the Sunshine State Predator Pro Am Pool Tour, scheduled for the weekend of July 31-August 1, will be hosted by Stroker’s in Palm Harbor, FL.

Richko goes undefeated in Predator Sunshine State Pro Am Tour season opener

Jose Del Rio, Kyle Bova, Jason Richko and Joselito Martinez

Cirilo, Cuellar and White awarded Player of the Year honors and prizes

Before this past weekend, the last (reported) time that Jason Richko cashed in a pool tournament was almost exactly one year ago. It was the 2020 season opener for the Predator Sunshine State Pro Am Tour on the weekend of February 1-2 and though he would go undefeated to the hot seat, he was defeated in the finals by the competitor who would go on to become the tour’s 2020 Player of the Year, Obbie Cirilo. On Super Bowl weekend (Feb. 6-7), Richko joined 59 competitors for the tour’s 2021 season opener and once again, he made it to the hot seat. This time, though, he did not get to compete against Cirilo, who lost his second round match and chalked up two on the loss side before being eliminated. Instead, Richko squared off against separate opponents in the hot seat (Kyle Bova) and finals (Joselito Martinez) and finished undefeated. The $1,500-added event drew its 60 entrants to Stroker’s in Palm Harbor, FL.

In addition to the scheduled tournament, the Predator Sunshine State Pro Am Tour took time out to celebrate its annual Players of the Year. As noted above, Cirilo took home the Player of the Year honor, which earned him $300, a plaque, Predator jacket and a variety of Kamui products (bridge, chalk, etc.). As the tour’s top Lady of the Year, Nicolle Cuellar got the same package, except for her cash prize of $75. For the second year in a row, Trenton White picked up cash as the tour’s top Junior Player.

“We want to thank Predator and Kamui for their product donations to our players of the year,” said tour directors Janene Phillips and Bobby Garza.

Jason Richko’s path to the title had its share of ups and downs, but among the ‘ups’ were three shutouts out of seven total matches; his opener versus Nick Lewis, and two in a row that put him in the hot seat. After Lewis, he gave up one rack to Derrick Santos and three to Anthony Rotenberry before facing what proved to be his toughest opponent all weekend, Majkell Pacuka, who chalked up more racks against him than all three of his previous opponents combined (5). The victory put Richko into a winners’ side semifinal match against Derrek Laprarie. Kyle Bova, in the meantime, arrived at his winners’ side semifinal match against Alec Saputo, having recorded an equally impressive set of four matches. He had an aggregate score over those four matches of 28-6, including a shutout over Randall McLuckie. 

Bova sent Saputo to the loss side 7-4, as Richko was busy recording his second shutout, over Laprarie. Richko then added a third shutout, over Bova, and claimed the hot seat.

On the loss side, Laprarie picked up Monthep Hongsyok, who’d been responsible, earlier, for knocking out the tour’s Player of the Year (Obbie Cirilo) and had most recently eliminated Michael Xiarhos 7-2 and survived a double hill battle versus the 2020/2021 Junior of the Year, Trenton White. Saputo had the misfortune of drawing the event’s eventual runner up, Joselito Martinez, who’d been sent over by Xiarhos and was in the midst of a seven-match, loss-side winning streak that would take him all the way to the finals. He’d most recently defeated Majkell Pacuka and co-tour director Bobby Garza, both 7-4.

Laprarie and Hongsyok locked up in a double hill fight that did, eventually, send Laprarie to the quarterfinals. He was joined by Martinez, who gave up only a single rack in sending Saputo to the figurative ‘showers.’ 

Both of his next two opponents put up double hill fights against him – first, Laprarie in the quarterfinals and then, Bova in the semifinals – but Martinez proved equal to the task and got by them both for a shot at Richko in the hot seat.

Richko, though, proved equal to the undefeated task he needed to complete. He took the final 9-3 over Martinez to claim the season opening title.

Tour directors Janene Phillips and Bobby Garza thanked Jose and Lyshia Del Rio and their Strokers’ staff for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor Predator Group, Kamui, Diamond Products, USA Pool League, Stitch it to me Embroidery and AZ Billiards. They also added a shout out to Jimmy Antonietta and Rob McLaren for their help on Saturday. The next stop on the Predator Sunshine State Pro Am Tour, scheduled for the weekend of Feb. 27-28, will feature a 9-Ball Open event and Ladies Open 9-Ball event. Both will be hosted by Brewlands in North Lakeland, FL.

Mills/Saputo win 3rd Annual Battle of the Billiards Big Dawg Scotch Doubles

Alec Saputo, Donny Mills, Kyle Bova and Raymond Linares

The ‘bait’ with this Battle of the Billiards Big Dawg Scotch Doubles event, held under the auspices of the Predator Sunshine State Pro Am Tour every year, is that a number of the two-player teams are representing a Florida pool room. It is something like a localized Mosconi Cup event, with multiple teams vying to bring the title to their ‘home’ rooms, literally.

“The great thing about this annual tournament,” said Predator Sunshine State Pro Am Tour co-director Janene Phillips, “is that when pool rooms send players, if those players win, the tournament is held at their location the following year.

“For three years in a row now,” she added, “It’s been Stroker’s (in Palm Harbor, FL).”

This year’s list of competing pool rooms included Racks (Sanford), Mikey’s Place (Plant City), Uncle Waldo’s (Daytona Beach), Grover’s Billiards (West Palm Beach), Brewlands (Tampa), Boulevard Billiards (Ocala) and Backwoods Billiards (Okeechobee). If an independent team (not representing a particular pool room) wins, the site for the following year’s event defaults to Stroker’s. The $500-added 3rd Annual Battle of the Billiards Big Dawg Scotch Doubles Tournament drew 22 teams (44 entrants) to Stroker’s Billiards. 

The event’s defending champions – Kyle Bova and Raymond Linares – who competed independently, went undefeated in 2019, were on hand to defend their title this year and did so, right up until the event’s final two matches. They were defeated in those final two matches by the team of Donny Mills and Alec Saputo (representing Stroker’s), who were the ones who went undefeated this year to claim the event title.

There was a blend of Florida veterans and seasoned pros this year. Local player Saputo picked up the seasoned pro Donny Mills and as a result, chalked up his first title ever. Another local amateur, Ronald Machado out of Orlando picked up Predator-sponsored pro Jesus Atencio and together, playing as an independent team, they finished fourth. Stroker’s owner, Jose Del Rio teamed up with Jason Richko.

Saputo and Mills worked their way through the field, winning their first three matches to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal against Joey Herron and Jon Gore. The defending champs, in the meantime (Bova/Linares), were awarded an opening round bye and won their first two to arrive at the other winners’ side semifinal, against Machado and Atencio. 

Bova/Linares downed Machado/Atencio 7-5 and were joined in the hot seat match by Saputo/Mills, who’d sent Herron/Gore to the loss side 7-3. In their first of two, Saputo and Mills allowed Bova and Linares only a single rack in claiming the hot seat 7-1.

On the loss side, Herron/Gore picked up the father/son team of Thomas and Trenton White, who were working on a six-match, loss-side winning streak that would take them as far as the semifinals. They’d recently shut out Juan Lopez/Casey Grove and survived a double hill battle versus Han Berber and Dee Meadows. Machado/Atencio drew co-tour director Bobby Garza, who was teamed up with Obbie Cirilo. They were working on a five-match, loss-side winning streak which had recently eliminated room owner Jose Del Rio and Jason Richko 6-3, and the team of Marcos Bielostozky and Jerry Arvelaez, double hill.

The father/son White team downed Herron/Gore 6-3 and in the quarterfinals, faced Machado/Atencio, who’d defeated Garza/Cirilo 6-3. The Whites advanced one more step with a 6-4 win over Machado/Atencio.

Anxious to defend their title, Bova and Linares cleared their only loss-side hurdle in the semifinals. They ended the White’s bid to hold next year’s tournament at their place – Mikey’s Place in Plant City, FL – by ending their loss-side streak at six with a 6-4 win. 

Bova/Linares put up a bit more of a fight than they had in the hot seat match, but it wasn’t enough. Saputo and Mills edged out near the end and claimed the 3rd Annual Battle of the Billiards Big Dawg Scotch Doubles title with a 7-5 victory.

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 Group, Kamui, Diamond Products, Stitch It To Me Embroidery, Central Florida USA Pool League and AZBilliards. The Predator Sunshine State Pro Am Tour will open its 2021 season back at Stroker’s Billiards on the weekend of February 6-7. 

Mills downs Crosby twice to win Open event of 3rd Annual Labor Day Classic at Capone’s

Tony Crosby, Donny Mills and Kyle Bova

Fisher and Jankowski split top prizes in Amateur event

Joining the ranks of Jason Richko and Tommy Kennedy, who won the event in 2018 and 2019, respectively, another Florida pool-playing veteran, Donny Mills went undefeated to claim Capone’s 2020 Labor Day Classic, held on the weekend of September 5-6. Mills had to get by Tony Crosby twice, in the hot seat and finals, to complete his run at the $400-added Open 10-Ball event of the Classic, that drew 24 entrants to Capone’s in Spring Hill, FL.

In the $200-added Amateur 9-Ball event, Anthony Fisher and Trey Jankowski split the top two prizes after opting out of a final match. Sitting in the hot seat at the time, Fisher claimed the official event title, joining Thomas Fioranelli, the event’s defending champion and James McNulty, who won the inaugural event in 2018. The $200-added Amateur event drew a full field of 64 entrants with Fargo Rates 640 or below. 

Donny Mills was awarded an opening round bye in the Open event and then defeated Mike Steven 7-2 and Anthony Meglino 7-5 to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal against Junior competitor Trenton White. Mills’ opponent in the hot seat and finals, Tony Crosby, opened with a 7-1 victory over Derek Greenwood, and then dispatched Kyle Bova 7-5 and Rhyan Hunter 7-2 to enter his winners’ side semifinal match against Rich Broumpton.

Mills gave up only a single rack to White and advanced to the hot seat match. Crosby joined him after Broumpton broke down his cue when he got behind 0-4. Mills claimed the hot seat with his first of two over Crosby 7-5.

On the loss side, White picked up Nathan Rose, who was working on a four-match, loss-side winning streak that was about to end. He’d most recently eliminated Ray Linares, double hill and James Adams 6-3. Broumpton drew Kyle Bova, who was working on a six-match, loss-side winning streak that was destined to advance a little more.

White advanced to the quarterfinals with a 6-2 victory over Rose and was joined by Bova, who’d defeated Broumpton 6-2. Bova and White battled to double hill before Bova advanced to the semifinals against Crosby. 

Crosby and Bova battled to double hill, as well, before Crosby prevailed for his second shot against Mills. Mills claimed the Open title with a second victory over Crosby 7-4.

Trey Jankowski and Anthony Fisher

Fisher and Jankowski agree to split, so Fisher can continue competing in the Open

It was, reportedly, Trey Jankowski who offered to split the top two prizes in the Amateur event. Sitting in the hot seat, Anthony Fisher would have had to be defeated twice for Jankowski to have won and those two matches would likely have caused Fisher to drop out of his participation in the Open event. Fisher agreed to the split and went on to finish in the tie for 9th in the Open event.

Fisher’s path to the shared winners’ circle went through Todd Wyrick, Cris Baumgart and Bobby Jones, before arriving at a winners’ side quarterfinal match against Jankowski. Fisher won that match 7-2 to face Carlos Gomes in a winners’ side semifinal. Jeremy Sloan, in the meantime, opened his march to the hot seat match by surviving a double hill fight against Lonnie Garcia, and then downing Robbie Cartrette, TJ Fioranelli, and Louie Smith to arrive at his winners’ side semifinal vs. Mike Burke.

Sloan got into the hot seat match with a 7-5 victory over Burke and was joined by Fisher, who’d sent Gomes to the loss side by the same score. Fisher sent Sloan to the semifinals 7-3 and sat in the hot seat waiting, as it turned out, for Jankowski.

On the loss side, Gomes picked up Moe Fattah, who’d recently eliminated Cartrette and Mike Kandy, both 5-2. Burke drew Jankowski, who, following his defeat at the hands of Fisher, had eliminated Trenton White 5-1 and Derrick Santos 5-2. 

Jankowski and Fattah advanced to the quarterfinals; Jankowksi 5-3 over Burke and Fattah 5-2 over Gomes. Jankowski took the subsequent quarterfinals 5-2 over Fattah and then dropped Sloan in the semifinals 5-3. The decision to split was made and Fisher, with the official victory in his pocket, returned to pursue what turned out to be his tie-for-ninth-place finish in the Open event.

In addition to the regular payouts for the top 16 players in the Amateur event. Two women ended up splitting $40 for being the highest finishing females in the event. Margie Soash and Jessica Human both finished in the eight-way tie for 17th place.

Event coordinator Carrie Vetrono thanked Rocco ‘Rocky’ McElroy and his Capone’s staff, as well as all of the players for “making the event enjoyable.” The next event at Capone’s, scheduled for the weekend of October 10-11, will be one of three venue qualifiers for a December 19 finale. The $300-added ($400 with 40+ entrants) 9-ball event is an Open Handicapped event with varied entry fees, dependent on a player’s handicap, from Open/Pro down to C players. For further information, you can reach Vetrono at Capone’s.  

Davis, Jr. comes from loss side & behind in finals to win Sunshine State Pro Am One Pocket

Montas wins concurrently-run, 600-and-under Fargo Rate 9-ball event 

(l to r): Mike Davis, Mike Delawder, Anthony Meglino & Pedro Botta

Fresh off his fourth victory at the 7th Annual NC State Open 9-Ball Championships (March 1-2) in Hickory, NC, Mike Davis, Jr. traveled about 555 miles southwest, to sign on to the Sunshine State Pro Am Tour’s second 2020 stop; the $500-added One Pocket part of it, that drew 16 entrants to Racks Billiards in Sanford, FL. Sent to the loss side in a winners’ side semifinal, Davis returned to meet the man who’d sent him over (Mike Delawder) and defeat him in an exciting, double hill final match.

In a concurrently-run, $1,000-added ($500 from Racks Billiards & $500 from Predator Cues) event for Fargo Rates of 600 and below that drew 56 entrants, Manuel Montas went undefeated to claim that title.

It was a four-match march to the One Pocket hot seat for Delawder and a seven-match march to the title for Davis. Delawder got by Justin Gilsinan and Pedro Botta, before sending Davis to the loss side 3-1 in a winners’ side semifinal. Anthony Meglino, in the meantime, downed George Saunders and Adam Wheeler to face Kyle Bova in the other winners’ side semifinal.

Delawder beat Davis 3-1 and in the hot seat match, faced Meglino, who’d shut Bova out. Delawder claimed the hot seat by shutout and waited for Davis to finish his three-match, loss-side trip.

Davis began his trip back to the finals with a shutout over James Sandaler, who’d eliminated Bobby Garza and Adam Wheeler to reach him. Bova was defeated double hill by Pedro Botta, who’d previously eliminated George Saunders and Nathan Rose.

Davis dropped Botta into 4th place with a 3-1 quarterfinal victory and got his second shot at Delawder, following a shutout over Meglino in the semifinals.

The race was extended to 4 in the finals and early on, things weren’t looking to good for Davis, Jr. Delawder reached the hill at 3-0 before Davis was able to respond, but when he did, he came back strong, winning four in a row to claim game, set and match.

Montas and Kukadia split top prizes, with undefeated Montas claiming 9-ball title 

Ameet Kukadia, Manuel Montas and Cody Ingle

With a Fargo Rate differential of two points, Manuel Montas (596) and Ameet Kukadia (598) played against each other once in a straight-up race to 7 in the 9-ball tournament. Montas won that single matchup and as the undefeated occupant of the hot seat claimed the event title, when he and Kukudia agreed to a split of the top two prizes.

Montas’ path to the hot seat went through Muhammand Ali, Jeffrey McDonald, Francisco Gika and Brent Mireles to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal versus Guy Skehan Jackson; a 596 (Montas)/531 (Jackson) matchup. Three of the four matches that Kukudia (598) played to arrive at his winners’ side semifinal against Cody Ingle (546) went double hill and the fourth one was an ‘almost.’ He won his second round match against Lenny Reid 7-5, but he had to play a 13th deciding match against Evan Huynh, Katie Bowse and Kristian Dimitrov to reach Ingle.

Montas and Jackson battled to double hill before Montas advanced to the hot seat match. Kukadia gave up only a single rack to Ingle and joined Montas in what would prove to be the title match, battling for the hot seat. Montas won it 7-3.

On the loss side, Jackson picked up Stan Delonjay, who was working on a seven-match, loss-side winning streak that was about to end and had included recent wins over Kristian Dimitrov 5-1 and Vernet Lasrado 5-3. Ingle drew Evan Huynh, who, after his double hill defeat at the hands of Kukadia, was working on a six-match, loss-side streak that was also about to end and had recently included victories over Larry English 5-2 and Brent Mireles 5-1.

Jackson and Ingle ended the loss-side streaks of their respective opponents by the same 5-2 score; Jackson over Delonjay and Ingle over Huynh. Jackson and Ingle then battled to double hill in the quarterfinals. Ingle prevailed and had his modest, loss-side streak ended by Kukadia 5-2 in the semifinals.

The decision to split the cash involved with the top two prizes was negotiated and reached. As the undefeated occupant of the hot seat, Montas became the official winner.

Tour directors Janene Phillips and Bobby Garza thanked the ownership and staff at Racks Billiards, as well as title sponsor Predator Cues, Diamond Products, Kamui, Central Florida USA Pool League, Stitch it To Me Embroidery, AZBilliards, and the live streaming of the events by Xtreme Pool. The next stop on the Sunshine State Pro Am Tour, scheduled for April 25-26, will be hosted by Brewlands in Tampa, FL.

Bova and Linares win Big Dawg Scotch Doubles event on Sunshine State Pro Am Tour

(l to r): Bobby Garza, Mike Griffin, Kyle Bova and Raymond Linares

Event donates goods and money to Hurricane Relief effort for Bahamas
 
It was a previously scheduled event on the Sunshine State Pro Am calendar, which became an opportunity for the Del Rios, owners of Strokers Billiards in Palm Harbor, FL to contribute to the relief efforts organized for the victims of Hurricane Dorian’s wrath in the Bahamas. The $500-added Big Dawg Battle of the Billiards Scotch Doubles event, held on the weekend of September 7-8 drew 29 teams of two to Strokers.
 
“We had players from all over the state attend,” said co-tour director Janene Phillips. “From Miami to Jacksonville.”
 
Represented at the event were Stroker’s Bar & Grill, Boulevard Billiards, Uncle Waldo’s, Fat Cats, Rack’s Billiards and Sports Bar, Brewlands and Park Ave Billiards, among others. All responded to a campaign organized by Lyshia Westbrook-Del Rio. A flyer was produced that announced a “Hurricane Dorian Bahamas Disaster Relief” effort, soliciting a variety of non-perishable items, like canned goods, pre-packaged dry goods, toiletries, batteries and flashlights to name just a few. Donations were accepted for a week, and all those who donated were offered a free drink.
 
“We just happened to have a stop during her crusade,” Phillips explained, “so we wanted to be a part of it.”
 
“Between the 50/50 and player auction, we were able to donate $321,” she added, “plus all the donations that everyone brought in.”
 
There was, of course, a pool tournament that went along with all of this activity and it was won by the team of Kyle Bova and Raymond Linares, who went undefeated through the field. They advanced to the hot seat match, defeating Justin McNulty and Rolando Aravena 7 -3.
 
McNulty and Aravena had sent Bobby Garza and “Iron” Mike Griffin to the loss side in the third round of this event. Garza and Griffin won five on the loss side, that included wins over Sam Kantar and Dave Kennedy, as well as Trey Jankowski and Steve Knoll, both 5-1. They also had a successful 5-3 rematch against McNulty and Aravena in the semifinals that gave them a shot at Bova and Linares in the hot seat.
 
Bova and Linares, though, completed their undefeated run. They downed Garza and Griffin 7-2 to claim the Big Dawg Battle of the Billiards Scotch Doubles event and contributed to relief efforts for the Bahamas.
 
Tour directors Janene Phillips and Bobby Garza thanked the Del Rios “for their continuous support and generosity, not only for the pool scene, but for the community, as well.” They also thanked sponsors Predator Cues, Diamond Billiard Products, Kamui, Stitch it to Me Embroidery and Cyclop Pool Balls. The next stop on the Sunshine State Pro Am Tour, scheduled for October 5-6, will be a $1,000-added Amateur event, hosted by Brewlands North in Lakeland, FL.

Bova and Kennedy split top prizes on J. Pechauer Southeast Open 9-Ball Tour

Kyle Bova and Tommy Kennedy

Proving that you can never count wily veterans out, Tommy Kennedy won 10 matches on the loss side during the Saturday, August 3 stop on the J. Pechauer Southeast Open 9-Ball Tour and earned the right to challenge hot seat occupant Kyle Bova for the event title. The final match never happened, as Kennedy and Bova opted out of a final match and split the top two prizes. In another ‘veteran’ note, the event itself offered Vietnam veterans free entry and in the end, awarded two Vietnam veterans – Ronny Park and Joe Scarborough – $50, which they split. The $1,000-added event drew 40 entrants to Brewland’s Billiards in North Lakeland, FL.
 
With Kennedy at work on the loss side, having been defeated by Felix Luna in the opening round of play, Bova settled in, advancing to a winners’ side semifinal match against Ashley Chewcaskie. Rhyan Hunter and Jeremy Bell squared off in the other one.
 
Bova downed Chewcaskie 7-1 and in the hot seat match, faced Hunter, who’d survived a double hill match versus Bell and sent him off to an immediate match against Kennedy. Bova shut Hunter out to claim the hot seat in what proved to be his final match.
 
On the loss side, Bell drew the ‘wily veteran,’ Kennedy, seven matches into his 10-match, loss-side winning streak that had most recently included victories over one of the Vietnam veterans, Joe Scarborough, 6-4 and Dennis Brown 6-2. Chewcaskie picked up Nathan Rose, who’d recently eliminated the other Vietnam veteran, Ronny Park 6-3 and Steve Wiggam 6-2.
 
Kennedy and Rose advanced to the quarterfinals; Kennedy, 6-3 over Bell and Rose, 6-2 over Wiggam. It was eight down and two to go for Kennedy, as he chalked up loss-side victory # 9 against Rose. Not, as it turned out, without a fight, though. They battle back and forth to a deciding 11th game, won by Kennedy.
 
In what was the last match of the event, Kennedy completed his loss-side run with a 6-3 win over Hunter in the semifinals. Kennedy and Bova decided on the split, awarded Bova the official event title, snapped their picture and away they went.
 
Kennedy thanked the ownership and staff at Brewland’s for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor J. Pechauer Custom Cues, Simonis Cloth, Mueller Recreational Products and Tournamentsnearme.com.