Archive Page

Mike Davis, Jr. wins 5th NC State 9-Ball Championship on PremierBilliards TOP Tour

Mike Davis

After the 1st NC State 9-Ball Championships were won by Larry Nevel in 2013, Mike Davis, Jr. won the next three between 2014 and 2016 He skipped three years in which Shannon Fitch (’17), Reymart Lim (’18) and Keith Bennett (’19) won, before returning to the annual event in 2020, downing Justin Martin in the finals. BJ Ussery claimed the title in 2021 and Jesus Atencio won it last year. Mike Davis, Jr. chalked up his fifth NC State 9-Ball Championship title this past weekend (Feb. 25-26), going undefeated and downing Brian White twice; hot seat and finals. The $1,000-added event, held under the auspices of the TOP (The Open Players) Tour, drew 38 entrants to Breaktime Billiards in Winston-Salem, NC.

A previously-scheduled Ladies event did not occur when it drew only 5 women, including a pair of junior competitors, Hayleigh Marion and Skylar Hess. The women were offered the opportunity at a reduced entry to compete in the Open event and did so, comporting themselves quite well actually.

“Even when they lost,” said tour director, Herman Parker, “the fact that they’d won a few, collectively, against some strong (male) competition was pretty significant.”

Skylar Hess, a regular on the Junior International Championship circuit (JIC), defeated Jason Blackwell before losing to Barry Mashburn and Kirk Overcash. Hayleigh Marion won two on the winners’ side and one on the loss side before being knocked out by Q City 9-Ball veteran and multiple event winner, Reid Vance. Christy Norris, who plays on the tour regularly in mixed-gender events, came within of match of advancing to the first money round, before she forfeited a match against her significant other, Barry Mashburn (who promptly loss in the subsequent round, which led to some gentle ‘ribbing’ after the fact).

“I was super-impressed with the womens’ play this past weekend,” said Parker.

Davis and Brian White met first in the hot seat match after Davis had defeated Clint Clark 7-3 in one of the winners’ side semifinals and White had downed Don Lilly 7-1 in the other one. Davis claimed the hot seat 7-4 and waited on White’s return.

On the loss side, Davis actually had two “White”s to watch, because Hunter White was working his way through the bracket on the loss side as well. Hunter had eliminated Mark Bolton 7-3 and in the first money round, Barry Mashburn 7-4 to draw Lilly. Clark picked up Josh Padron, who’d recently defeated Kelly Farrar 7-3 and to enter that first money round too, survived a double hill battle versus Scott Howard to reach him.

Hunter White defeated Lily 7-3 and in the quarterfinals, met up with Clint Clark, who’d eliminated Padron 7-4. Hunter White then downed Clark 7-2 in those quarterfinals, leaving Davis (waiting in the hot seat) in the position of wondering which “White” to watch as the two of them squared off in the semifinals.

One “White” won as the other went down. Brian defeated Hunter 7-3 for a second crack at Davis in the finals. Davis and Brian White mirrored their hot seat match score, which gave Davis his fifth NC State 9-Ball Championship title.

Tour director Herman Parker thanked the ownership and staff at Breaktime Billiards for their hospitality (and sponsorship of the tour), as well as title sponsor,, Dirty South Grind Apparel Co., Realty One Group Results, Diamond Brat,, Federal Savings Bank Mortgage Division and TKO Custom Cues. 

The next stop on the TOP Tour, scheduled for the weekend of March 18-19 will be the 2023 West Virginia State 9-Ball Open, to be hosted by The League Room in Parkersburg, WV. The next stop on the Q City 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for this coming weekend (March 4-5), will be hosted by West End Billiards in Gastonia, NC.

Go to thread

DJ Brads sets Q City 9-Ball record, wins 12 straight to claim event title

There’s a reason that you don’t find evidence of pool players opting to forfeit their opening match so they can spend all of their tournament time on the loss side of a double elimination bracket, waiting for a metaphoric ‘sword’ over their heads to descend and cut them out of the competition. Roanoke, VA’s Damien “DJ” Brads, former US Marine, seems to have developed an affinity for the loss-side experience.

Brads has only been competing on the Q City 9-Ball Tour for about a year now, cashing in five events since last March. He’s won two of them (last March and this past weekend, Feb. 18-19). Both times, he lost his opening match and ended up winning the two sets of a double elimination final to claim the title. In March, 2022, at The Clubhouse in Lynchburg, VA, he won eight on the loss side to finish with 10 straight wins, matching a tour record set by Larry Nevel in 2014. At a $250-added event which drew 39 entrants to Mickey Milligan’s in New Bern, NC this past weekend, he broke that record by winning 10 on the loss side and the two sets of the final.

Brads battled to double hill in his opening match before Brian Blankenship sent him off to chalk up his record-setting 10-match, loss-side winning streak. In the meantime, the tour event was playing host to the return of JT Ringgold. Though he’d made limited appearances on the tour in the past two years (three cash finishes since 2021, including two in which he finished as runner-up), he was a long way from the days of 2018/2019, when he cashed in a total of 27 events (nine in events other than the Q City 9-Ball Tour) and won five of them. He returned with his ranking unaffected, needing in this most recent event to win 10 games every time he stepped to the table.

The eventual runner-up, Ringgold advanced through the field, as did Justin Knuckles, who’d lost to DJ Brads in the semifinals of Brads’ win last March. Ringgold and Knuckles squared off in one of the winners’ side semifinals this past weekend, while Jack Whitfield and Eddie Williams met in the other one.

Ringgold advanced to the hot seat match with a 10-1 win over Knuckles. Whitfield and Williams battled to double hill before Whitfield prevailed. Ringgold and Whitfield battled to double hill as well, before Ringgold grabbed the hot seat 10-6 (Whitfield racing to 7).

On the loss side, Brads had won five when he eliminated Joshua Shultz, double hill and Michael Yamuni 6-2 to draw Eddie Williams. Knuckles picked up Tracy Hardie, who had her own loss-side story to tell. Racing to 4 throughout, she’d won two on the winners’ side before she ran into JT Ringgold, whom she battled to double hill before he prevailed, sending her west in the bracket toward a quarterfinal matchup against Brads. She’d eliminated Donna Sellman 4-2 and survived a double hill battle against Chris Gehrki to meet Knuckles.

With Knuckles racing to 7, Hardie advanced to the quarterfinals 4-3. Brads downed Williams 6-2 to join her. It was clear that both competitors had a lot at stake in the quarterfinals, which was reflected in the double hill match that ensued and eventually (6-3) sent Brads to the semifinals against Jack Whitfield.

By the same 6-3 score, Brads defeated Whitfield (racing to 7) and advanced to the double elimination finals against Ringgold. There was a lot at stake for both competitors in this pair of matches, too. And like the quarterfinals, it was reflected in the double-hill, first-set match score of 6-9 that forced a second set. The first set seemed to have a way of taking the wind out of Ringgold’s metaphoric sails. Brad won the second set 6-3 to set the tour’s longest-run-to-the-winner’-circle record.

Tour director Herman Parker thanked the ownership and staff at Mickey Milligan’s, as well as title sponsor, Breaktime Billiards (Winston-Salem, NC),, Dirty South Grind Apparel Co., Realty One Group Results, Diamond Brat,, Federal Savings Bank Mortgage Division and TKO Custom Cues. 

This weekend, Feb. 25-26, Breaktime Billiards in Winston-Salem, NC will play host to the 11th Annual NC State 9-Ball Open. The Q City 9-Ball weekend will feature a $1,000-added Open tournament and a $250-added 3rd Annual Ladies event. 

Go to thread

Wisconsin Billiards Hall of Fame Welcomes Classes of 2020 and 2021

Class of 2020 – Craig Powers, Gene Albrecht Sr. Pamela Kelly and Claudio Parrone Sr.

After a year off due to Covid, the Wisconsin Billiards Hall of Fame was back with a spectacular weekend of events in Oshkosh, Wisconsin Oct 1st-3rd.

Friday evening’s induction ceremony and banquet featured recognition of the Class of 2020 (Gene Albrecht, Pamela Kelly, Claudio Parrone Sr and Craig Powers). Also inducted were the Class of 2021 (Jim Fitzpatrick, James McDermott, Larry Nevel and Mark Wilson).

Speeches were genuine, tearful, and filled with stories highlighting the talents and dedication these individuals have made over decades to the sport of billiards.

Friday evening through Sunday featured member-only tournaments with over 120 players competing in banks, one-pocket, three-cushion and 10-ball. WIBHOF weekend is an opportunity to form relationships and friendships outside of the competitive arena.

Class of 2021 – Jim Fitzpatrick, Jesse McDermott (Son of James), Larry Nevel, Phyllis McDermott (daughter of James) and Mark Wilson

To date, WIBHOF has donated over $8,000 back to players in need for medical care and travel to junior competitions. Wisconsin is proud to offer such a prestigious event to preserve history and honor pool players to have made a profound impact on the sport we all love!

Shaw Conquers Bigfoot on Derby Day Four

Jayson Shaw (Courtesy David Thomson –

Diamond Derby City Classic XXII, January 24-Feb.2, 2020
Caesars Southern Indiana, Elizabeth, IN
David Thomson
LIVE from the Accu-Stats TV Arena
Format: Race to 11, single elimination, alternate break, all balls count, except the 10 on the break. It’s respotted.
Results: Monday.
Jayson Shaw, hailing from Glasgow – no, not Kentucky – Scotland, with a devastating 11–5 demolition of Filipino Lee Vann Corteza, became a 3 time Diamond BIG Foot Champion. He stuffed the $16,000 winner’s check into his pocket and, exhausted, headed for bed. “What’s in Your Wallet?”
But, we’re getting ahead of ourselves, let’s find out how they got there.
The battles began in the Accu-Stats TV Arena with Filipino Alex Pagulayan pitted against fellow countryman Lee Vann Corteza.
Alex wasn’t exactly prepared as he had to borrow a spectators’ spectacles to inspect and rough-up his tip.
That’s the bad news about turning 40, you can need reading glasses. The good news is you become the most recent inductee to the BCA Hall of Fame.
Perhaps Lee Vann should have borrowed the tip-shaper too as, due to a miscue, he was soon behind 3-0. Then, down 3-5, he did it again. This time, the mis-hit caused the 5-ball to jaw and sit deep on the shelf of the Diamond pro-cut pocket.
Alex, having to swerve slightly, missed and with Corteza having ball-in-hand, he was 4-5 and breaking. They were then back on serve at 5-5. As the momentum was with Corteza, he leapt ahead 8-7, 9-7, 10-7.
Enter Alex the Lionheart. His dry breaks were gone. His tiptop position was back, therefore, he didn’t have to use his butt extension as often. And he was on the hill, with the break.
It was dry! And, they were open like an umbrella. The Cyclop orbs were spread everywhere…with whitey on the one.
Corteza, courageous, cool, calm, and reflective, quietly stroked his way through the rack. Never did he stray from the required position or the task. 
Experience was his guide until Alex, smiling, was out of his seat offering a graciously received high five.
Corteza later commented when asked, “How did you hold it together after Alex’s comeback to tie with you on the hill?” Still beaming from ear to ear, he replied, “We’ve been in battle many, many times before.” Experience indeed.
Onward to Semi’s #2: Eagle Eye vs. Django.
Jayson Shaw loves BIG Foot, he wishes all tourneys were held on it. It’s expanse may be familiar; he pocketed balls on a 6’ x 12’ snooker table when he was wee.
Francisco Bustamante doesn’t care what table he’s on, as long as he’s competing. At 55, he’s got a bigger break than guys half his age. Bring it on Big Foot.
And he did, but not until the end.
With alternate break, it’s important to make choices that can steal the opponent’s serve. So, after Bustey’s opening dry break, Shaw was offered less than a pocket width for the one. Even with his eagle eye he, wisely, chose to play safe. And, he was off and running.
His spurt continued but Bustey was soon sniffing close to his heels before Shaw, tired of it, kicked it into high gear.
At around 7-3, Bustey held on tight and stayed with him, rack for rack, for 4 or 5 games.
Bustey’s finally found himself needing 4 with Shaw on the hill.
But, beware, there is no quit in any Filipino. it’s not in their DNA.
With the finals in his sight, Shaw’s break dried up again.
Bustey was at bat. Midway, he got stalled to give Jayson an opportunity for the match. He got straight-in on the 8 on the long rail. It jawed and sat up for Bustey to rise to 10-8.
Shaw was a little shaky in the next rack. He later confessed that he hadn’t eaten since breakfast. “It wasn’t nerves,” he commented. “the shakes were more physical than mental.” Bustey took the next 2 games and we had another hill match with him breaking.
What followed cannot be described here. Words would not do it justice. It must be seen to be believed. It seemed that there were at least 10 snookers, 10 safeties that led to snookers, even Bustey announced, “Exciting match, bro.”
“I knew something was going on back there.” said Bonnie at the tournament desk. ”I heard all the oohs and ahs.”
After the safety exchanges, Bustey, finally, got a shot. All he had to do was remain calm and maintain composure as he had done when given earlier opportunities. That strategy got him on the hill.
He stayed steady being aware that, as the 9 was near the upper end of long rail, he needed enough natural angle to get to the 10 sitting below the spot.
He landed a little thin. Rather than cinch the 9 and take a longer shot on the 10, he decided to dig into it with low english and get “undoggable,” as Danny D would say, position on the 10.
The english over-cut the 9 to leave it dangling in the jaws for Jayson. He jumped from his seat in disbelief. And the result? Rather than an all Filipino final, the Scot was in the mix.
The Finals: Lee Vann Corteza vs, Jayson Shaw
Dry breaks were the cause of Corteza’s loss. Shaw capitalized on most of them and sped ahead, 8-3.
There is no quit in Corteza. He will shoot the right shot regardless of the consequences.
Shaw stumbled at 8-3 and allowed Corteza one, 8-4. Corteza broke dry. 9-4. Shaw broke dry. Corteza got to the 3 and had to leave Shaw long.
Jayson shoots with such authority; no babying the ball. No one told him these shots were difficult.
He speared it in, only to scratch in the side. 9-5.
It’s a miracle! Corteza made a ball on the break! Unfortunately, with no shot on the one, he left a safe which got him back to the table only to hang the 5 in the tight Diamond pro-cut pocket.
Jayson was on the hill…and breaking.
Bingo, a ball was pocketed and he had an open shot. 
There was no holding back now. Enough of this nonsense of letting Lee Vann back at the table.
What followed was a clinic displaying such precision to get on the two or 3 key balls that would have stymied a lesser man. There was no nervous energy, no doubt, no drama. Jayson knew this title was his.
He later commented on his need for food after the match with Bustamante.” I had to go and play my Bank Pool match with Orcollo. I couldn’t make a ball. I needed meat! So, I went to Binion’s and had a nice steak before the finals.” Nice plug for Caesars on-site steak house!
Semis # 1: Lee Vann Corteza .857 def. Alex Pagulayan .865 11-10
Semis # 1: Jayson Shaw .851 def. Francisco Bustamante .822 11-10
FINALS: Jayson Shaw .894 def. Lee Vann Corteza .807 11-5
The good news is that, thanks to, you can see it all on their Video On Demand streaming service or, for the “Old School” crowd, DVD!
Short Rack. Race to 3.
451 began. At last accounting, there were about 10.
Billy Thorpe was delivered his first loss by the spunky kid form Detroit, Evan Lunda, who had also filled Filler’s buy-back card. Neither player was allowed a game! Lunda admitted, “I love playing heavy hitters. It truly fires me up.”
Filler had exited an exhausted Bustamante. 3-1, then continued to meet last year’s runner up, Omar Al Shaheen who had eliminated Konrad J.
Lee Vann ousted Josh Roberts, Orcollo laid the first loss to Tim DeRuyter, Shane killed Kiamko, Brumback sent Alex buying back, Corey routed Chris Robinson after handing Frost his walking papers as he had been beaten earlier by Shaw.
Shaw, after the 10-Ball bout with Bustey, was so underfed, admitted he couldn’t make a ball against Orcollo. Shaw, previously, had sent Bustey to buy back.
Again, more accolades to the invincible, well almost, Larry Nevel who battled with last year’s champion Billy Thorpe before falling off the hill on the last ball!
Play continues at NOON Tuesday.
See it LIVE from the Accu-Stats TV Arena on the DIAMOND 9’ Pro Am.
365 entries, up 20 from last year!
Not many upsets. Check in tomorrow for a complete update.
Banks and One Pocket continue at NOON.
Don’t miss a stroke at
Accu-Stats thanks its Arena Sponsors: Diamond Billiards, Simonis Cloth, Cyclop Balls, Cuetec Cues, Cue and Case, MEZZ Cues, McDermott Cues, National Billiard Academy.

Bustamante over Deuel Highlights Derby Day Three

Francisco Bustamante (Dave Thomson –

Diamond Derby City Classic XXII, January 24-Feb.2, 2020
Caesars Southern Indiana, Elizabeth, IN
David Thomson
LIVE from the Accu-Stats TV Arena
Format: Race to 11, single elimination, alternate break, all balls count, except the 10 on the break. It’s respotted..
Saturday’s Results
Alex and Shane had the arena in silence. You could hear a ball drop. And, there were lots of them. Neither player got ahead by far, as they capitalized on most opportunities to win their inning, Alex’s position was pin point. Shane’s break and shot making had tied the score at around 9-9.
Then their breaks dried up. Alex was on the hill. His break didn’t respond. Shane took control and got a little funny on the 8 and left a cross-side bank and perfect shape on the 10. The problem was, he missed the bank! a few safeties later, Alex had a long, almost straight, 10 into the corner. Calm and focused, he let his cue run free. “Oh yeah,” he exclaimed.
Alex awaited either Filler or Vann Corteza. You can guess who his choice was.
Filler and Corteza was another neck-and-neck match that could have gone either way–until Lee Vann was behind 7-6.
A crazy Corteza miss sent balls squirming, and the 10 into the hole. His luck wasn’t done yet. Kicking at a Filler snooker, the 6 kissed the 10 into the side. Within minutes, he was ahead 8-7. 
Then, it was Filler’s time to get a little luck. On his break, whitey was speeding towards scratching. Within inches of doom, the 8 caromed off of it into pocket. Filler held his serve. They both held their nerve until, at 10-9, Corteza had a decision to make. He had no pocket for the 3, which was about 8 feet away, nestled near a cluster by the 10.
You could hear his mind’s wheels grinding, “Should I stay or should I go?” Caramba, luck won’t fail me now! The 10 slammed into the back of the pocket! He was in the semi’s. Josh was in shock.
Morra’s calm may have had a hypnotic effect on Shaw. Seemingly subdued from his usually aggressive, “go get ‘em” approach, he trailed 3-7 before John lost a little focus. Plus, this game of millimeters, began to curse him.
Shaw, took a time out. “I left the arena, cleared my head, and returned with the attitude of starting all over again.”
He won the next 4 games. Morra was being punished for his lapse. Luck favors the brave. Jayson, did slop in a ball yet, he had truly found his firepower while John had lost just enough of his finesse. He garnered only one more game.
Shaw, comfortably, closed out the match 11-8.
On a note of honorable mention, the normally emotionless Morra never lost his sense of humor.
Understandably, the DCC audience is really spoiled. They expect excellence. Shaw pulled a 3 rail, table-length long draw shot to land in perfect position. There was not a whisper or applause. “You didn’t like that,” Jayson joked aloud? 
“Tough room.” commented Morra, smiling from his seat.
The consequences of loss, perhaps, had Corey and Django off to a cautious start. It seems, when we compound caution with misses, it hurts our confidence. “When I saw Corey missing, too, it helped my confidence,” considered Bustamante. “I thought, he must be nervous, too.”
Bustey strode ahead and led the throughout the match. Corey, still smooth stroking, was playing catch-up. Even when down 5-10, Corey made a valiant effort at a comeback but, to no avail.
He later admitted that earlier in the match, “One ball. That swing cost me six racks.” That’s the nature of our sport when competing with the best.
Results: Sunday
Alex Pagulayan .937 def. Shane Van Boening  .910 11-9
Lee Vann Corteza .915 def. Joshua Filler .913 11-9
Jayson Shaw def. John Morra .864 11-8
Francisco Bustamante .861 def. Corey Deuel .805
BIG Foot 10-ball Semis and finals on Monday.
2pm: Alex Pagulayan vs. Lee Vann Corteza
4pm: Jayson Shaw vs. Francisco Bustamante
9pm: Finals
Don’t miss a stroke at
Short Rack. Race to 3.
451 began. At last accounting, there were about 30.
7 are unbeaten: Brumback, Bustey, Filler, Evan Lunda, Orcollo, Pagulayan, and Thorpe
Efren is gone. Fresh from finding out that he will receive the honorable Philippine Sportswriters Association Lifetime Achievement Award, always humble, he stumbled into his first defeat: Beaten 3-2 by local hero James Flood.
As a Kentucky native, you know James can bank. ”I’ve been waiting my whole life to get a shot at Efren.” Worth the wait, we’re sure. Not everyone can say they sent Efren Reyes to the buy-back booth.
Next round, still reeling, Efren had a close encounter with Ryan Hollingsworth. In the deciding game, Ryan needed 2 balls, Reyes required 1. He made a respectable effort at a 4 railer. Then, when he got a shot at a short rail bank–Nothing but net.
Reyes let out a real rebel yell when that winning ball dropped. At 65, his passion is alive and well. 
The yell was short lived. Next on his hit list was not quite unknown Nederlander Tim DeRuyter. Talk about unsuspecting, his wiki page doesn’t even mention 1-Pocket.
His dream, much like James Flood’s, was to get a shot at the Master. “I have waited my whole life to play Efren. When I heard he’d retired, I thought I’d missed my chance.”
Efren, shrugging it all off, was last seen in search of his One-Pocket opponent.
Remember Chris Melling being talked into buying back after his despondence after his first round loss to 2004 Bank Pool Champion Jason Miller?
It was Tony Chohan who, finally, handed Melling his marching papers…in the 7th round! Wait ’til he sees those All-Around bonus points.
Jayson Shaw takes no prisoners. Whom did he eliminate? Skyler Woodward.
Mika, too, as he delivered Shane his first loss. 
Lastly, it’s Larry Nevel who deserves serious credit. From his wheelchair, he battered Bergman to earn a berth with last year’s Bank Champion, the currently undefeated Billy Thorpe.
365 entries, up 20 from last year!
Alex, confidently refreshed by his 10-Ball bout with Van Boening, he ran into Josh Roberts in the opening round of the One Pocket. Josh was not happy at the buy back booth. “I didn’t have a chance. Alex played perfect. He even broke and ran 8-and-out in the last rack!”
There’s more where that came from. Check in tomorrow.
Accu-Stats thanks its Arena Sponsors: Diamond Billiards, Simonis Cloth, Cyclop Balls, Cuetec Cues, Cue and Case, MEZZ Cues, McDermott Cues, National Billiard Academy.

Rivas comes from the loss side to win NAPT’s inaugural 10-Ball Invitational

Sergio Rivas

Former Junior National Champion Sergio Rivas (2013; 14 and under Boys) navigated his way through a series of round robin matches and came from the loss side of a subsequent double elimination bracket to win the North American Pool Tour’s inaugural Open Pro 10-Ball Invitational Tournament, held on the long weekend of September 27-30. Rivas downed five-time Canadian Champion and US Bar Table Champion (2013), Jason Klatt twice in a double elimination final to claim the title. The $6,000-added event drew 14 entrants to Shooter’s Sports Bar & Billiards in Grayslake, IL.
The North American Pool Tour was initially conceived and launched two years ago to offer female players further opportunities to compete. It was, however, right from the start, designed to eventually encompass events for all players, men included.
“We’re trying to get six (events) for ladies and two for men next year,” said co-founder and current NAPT President Adrianne Beach in an interview with Billiards Digest in 2016. “It’s about building a tour system, moving players from the amateur to the professional, like a lot of other sports do.”
They didn’t get to the ‘Open’ (men included) part of the plan until this year, and while they knew that it wasn’t going to be an easy transition, they expected more participation than they got. But, noted Beach afterwards, this first Open Pro event, accomplished what it set out to do.
“The turnout was less than expected, but we still happily added the guaranteed money,” she said. “Our goal in this first event was to show the Open players what we’re all about. While we didn’t get to show that to as many players as we hoped, the ones who were there definitely appeared to love the event and what we’re doing.
“With that in mind,” she added, “we consider the event to have been a success.”
The 14 entrants were initially split into two groups of seven for the round robin phase of the tournament. Each group played seven rounds, each player facing an opponent in their group once, with one ‘bye’ in the mix. The matches were a race to a combined total of 13 games. At the end of the seven rounds, the top eight players, selected by total games won, were advanced to a double elimination bracket.
Jason Klatt emerged from the round robin phase as the only undefeated player (6-0) in either group and topped the total winning-game tally with 66. Max Eberle (with 61 wins), Neil Vichlensaen (with 51) and Thomas Karabatsos (with 46) all finished with 5-1 records. Rivas and Larry Nevel joined the double elimination bracket with 4-2 records; Rivas with a winning-game total of 50 and Nevel with 46. Rounding out the field of advancing competitors were Neal Jacobs and Marvin Guss, both with 3-3 records. Jacobs had chalked up 44 wins, while Guss recorded 38.
Eliminated in the round robin phase were the tournament’s three women – Marian Poole, Darlene Dantes and Adrianne Beach – along with Mason Koch, Paul Scott, and Alex Shapshevich.
As the event moved into its double elimination (all money rounds) phase, Neil Vichlensaen matched up with Neal Jacobs, Max Eberle faced Marvin Guss, Jason Klatt squared off against Larry Nevel and the eventual winner, Sergio Rivas met up with Thomas Karabatsos. Jacobs moved into a winners’ side semifinal match against Eberle with a 9-5 win over Vichlensaen. Eberle had defeated Guss 9-3. Klatt earned his winners’ side semifinal spot against Rivas with a 9-4 win over Nevel. Rivas had sent Karabatsos to the loss side 9-3.
Klatt advanced to the hot seat match with a 9-7 victory over Rivas, and was met by Eberle, who’d sent Jacobs over 9-4. Klatt then defeated Eberle 9-5, and with a 9-0 record, sat in the hot seat awaiting the return of Rivas.
On the loss side, Rivas picked up Guss, who’d defeated Vichlensaen 9-5 to reach him. Jacobs drew Nevel, who’d eliminated Karabatsos 9-3. Rivas defeated Guss 9-4 and in the quarterfinals, met up with Nevel, who’d given up only a single rack to Jacobs.
Rivas then defeated Nevel 9-3 and in the semifinals, Eberle 9-7 to earn a shot against Klatt in the hot seat. Rivas took the opening set 7-5 and then duplicated that effort in the second set to claim the first NAPT Open Pro 10-Ball Invitational.

A Brief History of the Derby City Classic

Dennis Orcollo danced through the field last year (Photo courtesy of Dave Thomson –

In celebration of The Derby City Classic’s 20th anniversary, we thought that you avid pool fans might be interested in a few tidbits of its unique history, statistics, and hear what the sone of the past champions have to say about it all.
The “Derby” was sired by Diamond Billiards’ Greg Sullivan in 1999. 200 plus entrants vying for titles in three disciplines; Bank Pool, One Pocket, and 9-Ball graced Louisville KY’s Executive Inn. Due to DCC’s irrepressible growth, by 2009, the action was upgraded to the grander Horseshoe Southern Indiana Casino, just across the border, in Elizabeth, IN.
Today, more than double that original amount are expected to participate. That stat makes it the most successful, competitively attended pro pool tournament in the world.
Greg’s ambition grew from experiencing the Johnson City hustler’s convention at the tender age of 16. He was immediately smitten, in fact, he still has his original entry ticket!
It was that passion for pool that eventually drove him to create the Diamond pool table to his exacting, standardized specifications that would catapult pool from a game to a sport.
The table’s success allowed Greg, with Chad in the background managing the numbers, to create a pool tournament which would attract the full gamut of cuemen. He wanted those who were funded by gambling on themselves and those who excelled in the immediacy of tournament action.
Sullivan beamed as he stated without the glimmer of a boast, ”The most satisfying compliment I’ve ever received is that DCC is like Johnson City…on steroids.”
2001 All Around Champion (also know as the Master of the Table) Shannon Daulton concurs. “Once a year, everyone from World Champions to the toughest money players on the earth come together for nine days of torture to see who comes out on top.”
Five time All Around Champion Efren Reyes dubs the Derby  his favorite tournament, ever. ”I got to spend time with my friends, now icons, like Earl and Nick (Varner). And, more recently, new friends I’ve made in all the events. It’s always been a gathering of the best players in the world.”
Another attraction; the moolah. Where else can one pool player, in one tournament, get the opportunity to cash $76,000? And that doesn’t include the extra curricular activities; nudge, nudge.
If he, or she, were to win the Bank Pool: $10,000, and the One Pocket; $12,000, then the 9-Ball; $16,000. All those points awarded for each win earn an additional $20,000 as the aforementioned Master of the Table.
Plus, let’s not forget DCC’s auxiliary enticements: The Diamond BIG Foot Challenge: $16,000, and the George Fels Memorial 14.1/Straight Pool, instigated by Billiards Digest columnist Bob Jewett and currently hosted by Dennis Walsh and Bill Maropulos: $8,000.
It all adds up to $76,000. That’s not a bad week’s wages.
In its evolution over the decades, as if the 9 days of dawn to dawn dueling weren’t murderous enough, more entertainment was added.
The Action and Entertainment" (A&E) commemorates the legendary “St.Louis” Louis Robert respected for his mesmerizing ability and high-roller attitude. As a matter of interest, in 2010, the entrancing Jeanette Lee robbed ‘em!
The event that is dearly missed was Steve Booth’s One Pocket and Bank Pool Hall of Fame Dinner. It was perhaps the most fun-filled night in Pool–never mind the Derby!
To hear the inductees be introduced by pool’s spellbinding raconteurs like the late Grady Mathews and Freddy “The Beard” Bentivegna was known to reduce some of these bad boys to tears.
The good news is that–it’s back! Jeremy Jones and the late Eugene 'Clem' Metz will be honored for One Pocket. And truly precocious Keith McCready for the “Lifetime Pool in Action Award! 
Wednesday, 24th, Jan. Doors open ar 6pm
It was in 2010 that the always entertaining Banks Ring Game was introduced.
In 2014, in celebration of the Diamond’s new 10’ table, the BIG Foot 10-ball Challenge was inaugurated. Always looking for innovation, Greg’s methodology was that the challenge of negotiating a 50 sq. ft. playing surface with the standard tight, pro-cut pockets would determine, indisputably, the best player.
The Derby City Classic All Around Champion is also the most bad-ass title to hold. Taking it means that you kick ass, not just in one of the disciplines, but at least 2, and arguably, all three. Hence, the All Around Champion is also recognized as Master of the Table, that’s why both titles are inscribed on the newly created, very elegant, crystal obelisk being presented to the 2018 points winner. Smaller obelisks will go to the winners of all 5 events.
Another interesting feature is that DCC is the only pool tournament where it costs more to enter the bleachers than it does to enter the arena. So, if you intend to attend the greatest pool show on earth and stand in awe of the international field of competitors, it will behoove you to play; It will certainly improve your speed plus, generate a tale or two for your grandchildren–especially, if you’re lucky enough to draw a champion!
In DCC’s first ever incarnation in 1999, Efren won the inaugural All Around event. The turn of the century, Dee Adkins had the honor, It took Shannon Daulton until 2001 to create his most treasured memory, in 2002 Jose Parica took the praise until Larry Nevel reveled in it in 2003. In 2004: The Return of Reyes: in the 4 years thru 2007, Efren was the “Master” three times: He “repeated” ’04 and ’05 and titled again in 2007. Incidentally, he won the One Pocket in all 4 of those years. Jason Miller interrupted in 2006.  2008 had fellow Filipino Francisco Bustamante, 2009, the brutal banker, John Brumback. In, 2010, guess who? Yup, Efren again! 2011 announced Shane Van Boening coming in to his own. He back-to backed thru ’12, The Filipino invasion was resuscitated as Francisco Bustamante titled again in ’13, Dennis Orcollo dominated 2014 then, Alex Pagulayan  paralyzed everyone, even Efren, in 2015 and ’16. Dennis danced thru the field again in 2017.
Alex reminisced, “Without a doubt, my best memory was winning the One Pocket in 2015. What I like about the DCC is that I really get to play some pool, I mean lots of pool, and in all those different discipline.”
John Brumback concurred, “I’ve had no greater feeling than when they announced my first win in Banks, then, the second I heard that I was the All Around Champion, wow, nothin’ better.”
So, in conclusion, who is the Master of the Table? Well, the stats don’t lie. As was once stated, “You can have your own opinion but, you can’t have your own facts!”
When you add up Efren’s attendance record, consider that he competed in only 11 years of the Derby and was the All Around Champion in 5 of them.That seems like an almost impossible statistic to repeat. Even in 2017, in his 60s, he was still pounding an Accu-Stats’ 9-Ball Total Performance Average (TPA) in the 890s and 900s.
We’ll see what future generations will accomplish as we are sure of one thing, DCC will be there for decades to come. DCC XXX will create some interesting search results.
Maybe Shannon said it best, “We really have to thank Greg Sullivan for taking such a chance 20 years ago. To this day, in my opinion, it’s our Greatest Show on Earth.”
Experience it for yourself: Get there, there is still time. Or view on

Lion Roars To A Repeat in Beloit

Tony Chohan, Dave Coles and Alex Pagulayan

It was pool heaven Sept 20th – 24th at Dave Cole’s Carom Room in Beloit, WI. This year’s Fall Classic had three events – a sixteen player one pocket tournament, a sixteen player Saturday Night 10 Ball and the main event – the Fall Classic 10 Ball Championship. No jump cues were allowed in any of the three events.
The one pocket event was filled with top notch talent and sponsored by Durbin Custom Cues, Kamui, Simonis and Aramith. It had a $500 entry fee and was single elimination – race to five. First round surprises included a couple of 5-0 thrashings – Jayson Shaw over Joey Gray and Tony Chohan over Skyler Woodward. Second round saw Chip Compton and Jayson Shaw advance to a chance for a finals slot as well as Larry Nevel and Jeremy Jones.
Jayson defeated Chip 5-3 to lock up his seat in the finals and Jeremy defeated Larry in a 5-4 nailbiter to capture the other berth.
The finals was all Jeremy as he took it down with a score of 5-2 over Jayson. Congratulations to JJ for a great finish!!! Good tournament, Jayson! And, thanks again to our sponsors!
Play started that evening in the main event. A full field of 96 players put up their $150 entry fees in the main event. It was bar box 10 ball, race to 9 with alternate breaks. The tournament chart was filled with names that any pool aficionado would recognize.
First round action saw red hot John Morra defeating Chip Compton and Charlie Bryant over Shane McMinn with 25% of the field receiving first rounds byes. Second round saw it tightening up a bit with Skyler Woodward taking down fellow young gun Tyler Styer, Joey Gray over Brian Groce, Jeremy Jones over foreign phenom Can Salim and Jason Klatt sending Houston Open runner-up Devin Poteet west.
Notable matches in the third round had Jones beating Klatt and saw two Wisconsin straight shooting legends battle it out – Jeff Carter took down Jayme Goodwin in a close match.
Fourth round pitted Jayson Shaw over Carter with Shaw prevailing. Sharik Sayed sent Morra to the one loss side while Justin Bergman did the same to Alex Olinger.
It wasn’t getting any easier in the fifth round. Jones and Bergman duked it out with Bergman taking the win. Other matches included Tony Chohan over Chad Elston, Shaw defeating Sayed and Jesse Bowman taking care of Alex Pagulayan.
Saturday night, while the main event was in progress, saw sixteen players vying for the cheese in a $500 entry, race to seven, winner break bar box 10 ball event. When the smoke cleared, there were two players remaining – Sky Woodward and Justin Bergman.
Fans anticipated a real showdown between the two young guns. However, showing why he is widely considered to be the best bar box player in the country, Sky never gave Justin any air and cruised to a 7-0 victory. Congratulations to Sky for a well-played event! Good job, Justin!
Back to the main event, it was now down to the final twelve players with Shaw vs. Bowman and Chohan vs. Bergman being the final four on the winners side. Jayson motored out to a 6-2 lead until Bowman found his gear and took it down 9-7. Tony then defeated Justin 9-6 in the other quarter-final match. This set up the hot seat match with Tony defeating Jesse 9-5 and arriving undefeated to the hot seat. Jesse moved west to see who emerged from the pack for the semi-final.
In the end, it came down to Alex and Jayson being the two remaining players on the one loss side of the chart. Alex was taking no prisoners as he knocked Jayson out of the running with a 9-5 score. This left Jayson with a well-deserved fourth place finish.
The match for the other finals spot was a barnburner! Both Jesse and Alex wanted it badly and it finally climaxed at an 8-8 score. Alex secured the win leaving a very disappointed Jesse having to settle for a hard fought third place.
Since this event was true double elimination, defending champion Alex would have to defeat Tony twice to claim the title. While both players made very few errors, Alex won the first set 9-5 forcing a second set.
A determined Tony Chohan notched game after game and by what appeared to be the end of the match, led by a score of 8-3. Finally leaving his opponent a little daylight, Alex began grinding it out. Slowly and methodically, he tied it up at 8-8! One game for it all and it was Tony’s break! He smashed the balls but came up empty and the Lion roared to claim the title!
What a finish!!! Tony played a great event while a determined Alex showed once again why he is a future Hall of Famer! Good tournament, Tony! And, congratulations to Alex for defending his Carom Room Fall Classic title!
As usual, Dave Coles and his staff went out of their way to provide a first class event for the players and fans. We want to thank them for their hospitality and also thank the event sponsors: Allied Games, Behnke Enterprises, Jacoby Cues, Valley Door and Diveney Cues. Thank you, all!!!, as always, would like to thank our fans and sponsors for another top-notch stream with excellent commentary by Jeremy Jones and Larry Schwartz. Our sponsors include Steve Lomax of Lomax Custom Cues, John Barton of JB Cases, James Hanshew of Hanshew Custom Cues, Mike Durbin of Durbin Custom Cues, Simonis, Aramith,, Kamui and Club Billiards of Wichita, KS.
Our next stop is the 2nd Annual John Guffey Memorial to be held September 28th through Oct 1st at Club Billiards in Wichita, KS. Hope to see you there!!!

Bergman takes two out of three over Van Boening to win Upper Midwest Pro Am 8-Ball event

Justin Bergman

Styer comes from the loss side to capture 10-Ball title
Three competitors split $14,000 in prize money in the Upper Midwest Pro Am 8-Ball Tournament; a $6,000-added Pro event, restricted to eight players, each of whom paid a $1,000-entry fee. Played out on 7-ft. Diamond tables, the event, held under the auspices of the Midwest Poolplayers Association, and hosted by CR's Sports Bar in Coon Rapids, MN, ended up in a three-match contest between Justin Bergman and Shane Van Boening. Bergman took two out of the three to claim the event title, and first-place prize of $9,000.
In a concurrently-run, $2,000-added 10-ball event that drew 47 entrants to the same location, Tyler Styer took two out of three against Michael Perron, Jr. Styer came back from a shutout in the hot seat match to double dip Perron, Jr. in the finals.
The Pro event, in races to 15, saw Bergman and Van Boening advance through a single match to face opponents in a winners' side semifinal; Bergman versus Lee Heuwagen and Van Boening squaring off against Corey Deuel. Bergman got into the hot seat match 15-11 over Heuwagen, as Van Boening downed Deuel 15-13. Bergman took the first of three over Van Boening 15-12 and sat in the hot seat, awaiting his return.
On the short-list loss side, Heuwagen picked up Jesse Engel, who'd eliminated Brandon Shuff 15-7 to reach him. Deuel drew Larry Nevel, who'd defeated Ryan Solleveld 15-7. Engel ended Heuwagen's bid for a share of the event's $14,000 with a 15-9 win, as Deuel was busy eliminating Nevel 15-3.
Deuel then dropped Engel in the quarterfinals 15-11 and squared off against his former Mosconi Cup teammate, Van Boening, in the first money round ($1,000), the semifinals. Van Boening took the match against Deuel 15-12 to earn a second, and as it turned out, third shot against Bergman.
Down 7-1, and later, 11-3, Van Boening fought back in the opening set to tie and eventually pull off a double hill win that forced a second set. Bergman won the second set 15-10 to claim the event title.
Styer double dips Perron, Jr.
Tyler Styer returned from a loss in the hot seat match to Michael Perron, Jr. to double dip him in the finals and claim the top prize in the weekend's 10-ball event. Styer, after being awarded an opening round bye, advanced through three matches to face Mark Weaver in one of the winners' side semifinals. Perron, in the meantime, advanced through four matches, including an opening round double hill fight, to face T.J. Steinhaus in the other winners' side semifinal.
Styer downed Weaver 9-4, as Perron was sending Steinhaus to the loss side in his second double hill match. Perron claimed the hot seat 9-5 over Styer and waited for what proved to be his fateful return.
On the loss side, Steinhaus picked up Tony Zierman, who'd defeated Dustin Morris 7-5 and Tony Hilla 7-4 to reach him. Weaver drew Tim Tonjum, who'd defeated Dan Voller 7-1 and Rory Hendrickson 7-5. Zierman handed Steinhaus his second straight loss 7-3, and in the quarterfinals, faced Tonjum, who fought to double hill and then handed Weaver his second loss.
It would be hard to know who watched the quarterfinals with more interest; Perron in the hot seat, or Styer, waiting to play the winner in the semifinals. Both watched as Tonjum shut Zierman out. Styer was up first, and eliminated Tonjum 7-4 in those semifinals.
Styer and Perron battled in the opening set, with Styer pulling out in front to win it 9-5. In the second set, Styer took a page out of Tonjum's book, and shut Perron out to claim the event title.

2017 Derby City Classic Banks Division Finals – Francisco Bustamante vs Larry Nevel