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Midwest Open II In The Books

Fedor Gorst (Pool Action TV)

Some of the best players in the world were at Michael’s Billiards in Fairfield, OH this past week for the Midwest Open Billiard Championship II. 

Everywhere you looked there were recognizable faces! Milling around the spacious room was recent Scotty Townsend Memorial champ Alex Pagulayan, Music City Open champ Shane Wolford, Iron City Open 9 Ball Champ Tony Chohan, Derby City Open Ring Game champ Billy Thorpe as well as this year’s Derby City Open One Pocket Champ & Master of the Table Fedor Gorst! And then there was Roberto Gomez, John Morra, Omar Al shaheen, Sanjin Pehlivanovic, Louis Demarco, Jesus Atencio, Shane Winters, Mike DeLawder, Dee Adkins, Robert Frost, Shannon Murphy, Jason Miller and Manny Chau in addition to ladies stars Kristina Tkach and April Larson – way too many to mention! This year’s pool extravaganza was modeled after the legendary Derby City Classic and featured 9 Ball Banks, One Pocket & Ten Ball divisions with an All Around Champion Award. A Bank Ring Game, Ladies 8 Ball Tournament and a Pro Ten Ball Invitational were held as well. There was something for everyone! 

Sponsors for this $19,000 added event included Joseph Long Attorney At Law, Greg Sullivan, Aramith, Simonis, Meyer Custom Cues, Ryan Meyer Cues,, Diamond Billiard Products, Fort Worth Billiards Superstore, and Michael’s Billiards. 

Things kicked off on Tuesday evening with a 66 player field for the $3,000 added Bank Pool event. The format was double elimination, race to three with alternate breaks. 

Tuesday evening also featured a Banks Ring Game. The two finalists were Billy Thorpe and Mike DeLawder – Billy took top honors! Now back to the banks event! 

After many rounds of play, the field was pared down on the winner’s side to Tony Chohan and Louis Demarco. The hot seat match was all Tony as he sent Louis west with a 3-1 score. 

After being defeated in the fourth round by young gun Jesus Atencio 3-1, Fedor Gorst had methodically picked his way through the field to face John Morra on the one loss side – John had been upset by Chicago’s Michael Eck 3-2. 

After he got past John, Fedor then defeated Louis Demarco 3-1 leaving him in third place. Fedor then moved into the finals but with his eyes firmly affixed on the prize, the match was again all Tony as he blitzed Fedor 3-0 to claim the first event! 

Wednesday was a busy day at the Midwest Open! It was the start of the One Pocket, the Pro Ten Ball Invitational as well as the Ladies 8 Ball events! 

Tony Chohan (Pool Action TV)

The $10,000 added One Pocket event had 47 players vying for the title. As in the Banks event, the format was double elimination with a race to three and alternate breaks. Red hot Tony Chohan tore through the field leaving Jesus Atencio, Jeff Lawrence, Cody Myers, Dee Adkins and Jason Shearer in his wake. 

On the bottom half of the chart, Alex Pagulayan opened with a bye and then defeated Leo Kincannon, Jeremiah Stanfield and Can Salim before edging out the always tough Fedor Gorst to reach the hot seat match. 

And again, Tony was a man on a mission as he spanked Alex 3-1 to claim his spot in the finals. Alex headed west to await an opponent. 

In a battle of the young guns, Shane Wolford took down Gorst 3-1 to face Alex for a spot in the finals. Alex, however, was having none of it as he put Shane on ice and won the match 3-0! Fedor finished in fourth place while Shane finished third. 

The finals began between the two giants of the one pocket world. Alex won the first set 3-1 forcing a second for the title. The final set saw both players grinding it out to a 2-2 tie. However, it was again Chohan as he claimed his second title at the Midwest Open! 

April Larson (Pool Action TV)

The $500 added Ladies 8 Ball Championship had 29 players – double elimination format with races to 4/3 and alternate breaks. Angela Mears swept through the field undefeated to face April Larson in the finals. April prevailed leaving Angela with a runner-up finish and Danielle Lunsford in third place. 

The $1,000 added 10 Ball Invitational had ten players – the format was single elimination with races to thirteen and alternate breaks. Fedor Gorst and Jesus Atencio advanced to the finals. It was a close match all the way but Fedor closed it out to claim the title with a 15-12 score. Tony Chohan and Kashton Keeton tied for third place. 

And finally, Event #3 – the $3,000 Ten Ball! Featuring 106 players and played on seven foot Diamonds, the format was double elimination, races to 9/7 with alternate breaks. 

In contention with Tony Chohan for the Master of the Table crown, a determined Fedor Gorst plowed through the field and notched out wins over Todd Michael, Steve Anderson, edged out Shane Wolford, then Willie Butler, Mike DeLawder & finally Billy Thorpe to arrive at the hot seat match. 

Meanwhile, in the lower portion of the bracket, Sanjin Pehlivanovic also made his mark as he defeated Clay Carman, Tommy Stephenson, Koka Davladze, reigning Midwest Billiards bar box champ Kristina Tkach, Dee Adkins and Louis Demarco. 

Fedor and Sanjin battled it out in the hot seat match but it was Gorst who locked up his seat in the finals 9-6. 

After losing her match to Sanjin in the third round, Kristina Tkach survived her matches with Jerry Arvalaez, Can Salim, Matthew Carman, Mike DeLawder and Louis Demarco before she finally succumbed to Alex Pagulayan 7-6! Don’t think this lady can’t play! She finished in a hard earned fourth place. 

Alex and Sanjin then battled to the end before the Lion was slayed 7-6. He finished in third place as Pehlivanovic moved on to the finals. 

Always in the lead, Fedor went on to take Sanjin down 9-4 and claimed not only the Ten Ball title but also Master of the Table! 

Congratulations to this year’s champs – Fedor Gorst, Tony Chohan, Billy Thorpe and April Larson!!! And again, congratulations to Fedor for taking his second Master of the Table crown of the year! 

Thanks go out to owner Michael Medley and his staff for going the extra mile to make both players and fans welcome. We’d also like to thank Tournament Director Jason Hill and his assistants Robert Frost and Cody Myers for ably running the many events. would like to thank Jeremy Jones, Larry Schwartz, Mary Kenniston, Alex Pagulayan, Dee Adkins and Ray Hansen for their excellent commentary. 

We’d also like to thank our fans and sponsors for another fantastic event. Our sponsors include JB Cases, Hanshew Jump Cues, Simonis, Aramith, Lomax Custom Cues, StraightPoolEye, Durbin Custom Cues, Diamond Billiard Products, the Action Palace of Dayton, OH and Fort Worth Billiards Superstore of Fort Worth, TX. 

Our next stop is Griff’s in Las Vegas, NV for the US Open 10 Ball, US Open 8 Ball, US Open One Pocket and the US Open Bank Pool Championships! Dates are April 3rd-14th! Sure hope to see you there!!!

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2022 Derby City Classic One Pocket – Tony Chohan vs Louis DeMarco

Gorst is Banks Champion at Derby

Fedor Gorst (David Thomson – Medium Pool)

Diamond Derby City Classic XXIII, January 21-29, 2022

Caesars Southern Indiana, Elizabeth, IN

David Thomson

LIVE from the Accu-Stats TV Arena


Format: Race to 3, short rack, single-elimination, alternate break, foul on all balls. Mosconi Cup captains Jeremy Jones and Mark Wilson are in the Accu-Stats’ commentary booth: Enjoy and learn.

From 457 to 4

It has to be confessed, we were subjected to fake news in yesterday’s report; Fedor Gorst still had the comfort of a buy-back.

Ok, Now to Tuesday’s action.

Two Americans were left in the fray: Tony Chohan and Evan Lunda. 

Unfortunately, for Evan, they drew each other.

Fedor, still with a buy-back, sent Poland’s Mieszko Fortunski packing.

Lithuanian Pijus Labutis’ tour was canceled by Canada’s John Morra.

John then fell to Shaw, who’s display of firepower left Morra compelled to compliment.

Gorst then drew the charismatic–until he opposed you on a pool table–Tony Chohan.

Fedor had no fear. He soon found his rhythm and rode to a 2 game, 4 ball to zero, lead. Then, belted the potentially winning orb into the rail.

Remember we mentioned Fedor’s buyback? He was going to need it.

Tony, awake now, ran that rack…and the next one; 2-2.  Alive now, Chohan took total control and closed it out at 3-2.

A deflated, and saddened Fedor visited the buy-back booth. The good news; as there were now 3 competitors remaining, he was in the finals.

Tony was pumped; What a comeback.

He was having a great day, He’d taken out Louis Demarco earlier in 12 minutes. He’d won a One-Pocket match tn 14 minutes.

And, he was in the semis with Jayson Shaw.

After the dinner break, Tony was ready.

The swashbuckling Scot swaggered into the arena.

It took them both a few balls to get the feel of the table. 

Shaw found it first and was off to a 2 zip lead.

He was on fire. It looked over for Tony. But you know Tony, it’s never over. In fact, he soon tied it at two.

In the fifth and deciding game, resourcing some of the most dynamic short rail accuracy, and defense, Shaw pulled ahead needing one ball. Tony needed 3.

Too late, Jayson bounced one off the rail and, nothing but net, he was in the Finals.


Gorst looked very composed: Jayson, maybe, a little lackluster.

Fedor had the first clean kill. His banks were finding the gaping jaws of the pocket.

Jayson was jamming them in there only to have the balls block the pocket. A safety game ensued.

A slower pace favors Fedor. He took his time and found that rhythm that he has related is his most important asset.

That led to him being first to score.

Jayson seemed lulled into submission. Motivation evaded him. He wouldn’t win a game.

Fedor was jubilant. Any Derby Championship is an accolade worth celebrating. 

He wished that his girlfriend, Kristina Tkach, was with him to share in the joy. 

The Banks’ title is when the All-Around Championship points start adding up.

Tho’, his second in BIG Foot doesn’t count as only the Banks, One-Pocket and, 9-Ball finishes are eligible, he’s well on his way.

Jayson, too.

Don’t miss a stroke at Accu-Stats PPV On Demand: Visit Enjoy and learn.


Race to 3.

370 specialists compete in pool’s most cerebral discipline: Chess with balls.

Today, upsets abound.

The most surprising, altho’ no disrespect to Mr. Oi, was his win over back-to-back, ’15 and ’16, DCC One Pocket Champion Alex Pagulayan.

Then, Estonian Denis Grabe gave Evan Lunda a rude awakening. ”I spent too much time catching up with sleep last night: Not good for me. Anyway, who can play pool this time of day?” he mused at the buy-back booth.

Austria’s Mario He continued the onslaught and gave Billy Thorpe, the 2019 Bank Pool winner, a thumping.

Bad Boys” player rep Mike Deitchman dealt the death blow to Latvian Pijus Labutis.

The question is, how have these newbies, to pool’s most secret and protected discipline, picked it up so quickly? It must be the FREE Accu-Stats YouTube Channel.

Hopefully, this loss is the motivation needed to get Alex, Billy, and Evan better prepared for the grind that lies ahead.

9-Ball starts tomorrow.

Diamond Derby City Classic ONE-POCKET Championship: Sun Jan. 23 -Wed. Jan. 26. Semis and Finals  in the Accu-Stats TV Arena, Thursday evening, Jan 27.

Diamond Derby City Classic 9-BALL Championship: Wed. Jan 26 – Sat. 29.

Accu-Stats PPV OnDemand service

The cream of the match-ups is presented via the Accu-Stats Pay-Per-View OnDemand, 4-camera HD production.Fedor 45, 2

Approximately, 60 action-packed hours of pro-pool are projected, PLUS reruns. After each match concludes, it is uploaded and available to you.

With PPV OnDemand, you choose when you view, no matter what your timezone.

McMinn goes undefeated through 128-entrant field to win 38th Midwest Bar Table Classic

(l to r): Chuck Thomas (owner, John Wayne’s Pub) & Shane McMinn

Ten years ago, when Shane McMinn was in the midst of what was his best (recorded) earnings year at the tables, he won three events; two stops on the Midwest 9-Ball Tour, including the 5th Annual Bobby Wells Memorial and the Oklahoma State 8-Ball Championships. He finished among the top four in 11 of the 13 tournaments in which he cashed that year. The bulk of his recorded earnings that year came from a runner-up finish in a Midwest 9-Ball Tour Ring Game.
Throughout most of his career, which began (according to records here at AZ) in 1999, the bulk of his winnings came as a member of the Midwest 9-Ball Tour, in which, since that time, he has cashed in over 35 events. Since 2015, though, he’s only cashed in one stop on the Midwest 9-Ball Tour (July, 2016; he finished in the tie for 5th), as his ‘reach’ has extended to events like (among others) the Texas Open 10-Ball Championship (runner-up in February last year), the Derby City and Music City Classics, the Space City Open, and the US Bar Box 9-Ball Championships in August, 2016, when he was runner-up to Justin Bergman.
McMinn and Bergman met up again this past weekend (March 31-April 1) in another final; this time, at the 38th Annual Midwest Bar Table Classic, where, in the end, McMinn survived to go undefeated and capture the event title. The $5,000-added event drew a full field of 128 entrants to John Wayne’s Pub in Indianapolis, IN.
McMinn and Bergman played twice in this one. They first met in a winners’ side semifinal, while Shane Winters and Louis Demarco met up in the other one. McMinn downed Bergman 9-7 and in the hot seat match, met up with Winters, who’d sent DeMarco to the loss side 9-5. McMinn grabbed the hot seat 9-6 over Winters, and waited for Bergman to complete his three-match, loss-side trek back to the finals.
On the loss side, a lot of familiar Midwest (and elsewhere) faces lurked for a shot at this title, including, but not restricted to competitors like Alex Olinger, Ike Runnels, Dave Grau, and Molly Bontrager. While each of those four cashed in the event, none of them made it past the four-way tie for 13th. Among the event’s final 12, however, were (among others) Dennis Hatch, Shannon Murphy, and Jason Klatt. Bergman came over from the winners’ side final four, and drew Hatch, who’d eliminated Murphy 7-4 and Klatt, double hill, to reach him. DeMarco picked up Josh Franklin, who’d just finished winning two straight double hill matches against Taylor Anderson and DaWayne Pearson.
By identical 7-5 scores, Bergman and DeMarco advanced to the quarterfinals over Hatch and Franklin. Bergman earned himself a second shot at McMinn with two more 7-5 victories; over DeMarco in the quarterfinals, and Winters, in the semifinals. McMinn, though, was not to be denied. He took the opening (and only) set of a true double elimination final to claim the event title. 
Tour director John Klotz thanked John Wayne’s Pub’s owner, Chuck Thomas and his staff for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Bob Meucci and Chris Lawson of Muecci Cues, Accu-Rack, Simonis Cloth, Diamond Tables, and

Derby City Day Three – Bigfoot Final Four and Banks Final 22

Fedor Gorst – Photo courtesy of Dave Thomson (

Derby City Classic XX, January 19-27, 2018
LIVE from the Horseshoe Southern Indiana Casino, Elizabeth, IN
Diamond BIG Foot Challenge
Format: Race to 11, single elimination, alternate break, all balls count.
Day 3: Our opening encounter was the talk of the casino. How would 20 year old Austrian “wunderkind”  Joshua “Killer” Filler’s firepower compare to the guts and glory of Filipino Roberto Gomez?
Well, it didn’t. The fast and loose shooting style caught up with him quickly today as his early carelessness gave Gomez the opportunity to leap into an insurmountable lead.
Filler’s TPA dipped into the 700s. That is low for a pro. Gomez showing no mercy, and kept twisting the knife as he shot Joshua into submission.
This, welcome to the real world Mr. Filler, will surely be a wake-up call and allow him to realize that occasional conservative play wins matches, too.
Mika and Shane then entered the Accu-Stats Arena.
It was a true battle of two of the best shot makers in the game.
In the beginning it was all Immonen–until, by missing shape on an 8, he also missed the opportunity to take a 5-1 lead. He blinked and Shane had shaved the short-lived, Immonen advantage to tie the match at 4.
The $4000 encounter continued as they went back and forth defending their break until Mika erred by, mistakingly, picking up the 9 thinking that it was the cue ball. Luckily, for him, Van Boening over-cut an easy 8 and  instead of moving 2 games ahead, they were tied at 7.
Van Boening seems to be in bit of a rut. His proverbial cue ball-on-a-string has abandoned him. He’s been struggling and his frustration is visible. He sighs a lot as he’s forced to exit his innings early.
Now, at 10-8, Immonen’s only 2 game lead since early in their encounter, he overconfidently, one-stroked the 5 and his first opportunity to win was gone. 10-9.
He got a second one and, this time, overcut a difficult 2 to leave it in the jaws. 10-10…we thought! Shane overshot the 8 to scratch in the corner opposite the hanging 9. Shape on the 10, sitting near the spot, was impossible to miss.
“Come on!” Mika yelled as the final orb dropped into the pocket. His exclamation manifested his joy of overcoming a demon; It has been a while since he’d beaten Van Boening.
An interesting stat: Shane’s TPA was 36 points higher than Mika’s…and he lost! A more impressive one: Mika: break and runouts – 5, Shane, 2.
Our after dinner encounter was similar to the afternoon one of young, conservative fire power facing Filipino gung-ho gusto: The cobra versus the bull.
Jeffrey ‘The Bull” DeLuna has one of the most powerful, effortless strokes out there. BIG Foot does not intimidate him. He plays like he’s on a Diamond bar box.
The 17 year old Russian also wields great power. Compound that with the most enviable attribute, patience. Add one more important ingredient to the proven recipe for success, a superior mental game. Now, you have an invincible combination…when applied.
So far, Fedor had brought all of the above to the table.
Jeffrey’s performance, so far, has been impressive, too. Once the Bull gets stomping’ around the arena, when the dust settles, the score shows who’s been doing the skewering.
Gorst had the first opportunity to manifest his ability. A few faltering steps from Jeffrey and Fedor was quickly ahead 7-3. And once ahead, there was no way he was giving up that lead. 
Maybe the Bull had too much stroke as he overran position on elementary outs. Had he gotten hypnotized by the cobra’s slow, deliberate movements? He’s still feeling the sting.
Regardless, he was allowed one more game before Gorst closed it out at 11-4.
Now, to the last event in the quarters: Morra and Chinakhov.
Chinakhov won the first game. Morra rallied with 5!
When down 7-2 and fighting back ’til 8-9, it looked like Ruslan was going to repeat last night’s performance when he overturned a huge deficit and stole the match from Corey Deuel.
His confidence now rising as, for he first time in the match, his TPA inched ahead of Morra’s to .866.
Just as swiftly as his comeback, the same shot missed twice, cost Ruslan the match. It also allowed us to see Morra’s unshakeable composure as, on the hill, and left with a long, blind back-cut into the corner, he smoothly stroked it in to leave perfect position and secure his berth in the semi’s.
Roberto Gomez .845,  def. Joshua Filler .782 , 11-6
Mika Immonen ..846  def. Shane Van Boening .881, 11-9
Fedor Gorst .886 def. Jeffrey De Luna .719, 11-4
John Morra .867 def. Ruslan Chinakhov .843, 11-8
Semi Finals:
2 pm: Gomez vs. Immonen
4:30 pm: Gorst vs. Morra
The losers are guaranteed $4,000.
9 pm: The FINALS!
Winner is guaranteed $16,000: Runner up, $8,000
Total prize fund; $32,000!
Play continues today: View on
Semi Finals:
2 pm: Gomez vs. Immonen
4:30 pm: Gorst vs. Morra
9 pm: The FINALS!
471 players vie for $10,000. Race to 3, 9-Ball–Short Rack
Now 22 left going into Round 9:
The undefeated are Justin Bergman, John Brumback, Shane Van Boening, Corey Deuel, Skyler Woodward and, from the United Arab Emirates, Jalal Yousif. All still have a buy-back.
Main names still in contention are: Shaw, given his one loss by Louis Demarco; Bustey, bounced to the booth by Frost; Daulton by Woodward, and Nevel is never out of it, too.
There has been a collision of casualties as Gorst, then Morra. put Pagulayan to rest; Billy Thorpe was vanquished by Lee Vann Corteza and Bergman; Brumback froze out Frost; Jalal ejected Danny Smith, and Tony Chohan felt the challenge from Filipinos Alcano and Bustamante.
Bank of the day: When Frost and Bustey were tied 2-2 and 4 balls apiece, one thing was inevitable, one of them was going bye, bye to the booth.
Needless to say, exceptional safety play was the order of the day. And, they were both masterfully leaving the ball in seemingly impossible bankable positions…until Frost, fearless, stepped to the table and announced,”Four (rails) in the corner.”
The spinning orb sped around the angles. All the body english that Scott could employ didn’t make the ball nudge the inch it needed to find the hole.
Bustey, back at the table, made a valiant effort at a two railer, again, with the emphasis on safety. Didn’t he see how close Scott had just gotten? That’s not “safe.”
Again Scott declared, ”Four in the corner.” He fired it off the first rail. The sweaters twitching now. Bingo; No body english required. Buy, buy Bustey.
The George Fels Memorial Straight Pool Challenge is streaming at, today!
29 Straight Pool posted there C note for 12 attempts at a century ball run or more.
Jayson Shaw complied; 112.
That score will surely double as the 8 highest runs will face off in single elimination. If scheduling permits, Accu-Stats will stream, at least, the finals.
Don’t miss a stroke at
Accu-Stats thanks its Arena Sponsors: Diamond Billiards, Simonis Cloth, Cyclop Balls, Lucasi Custom, MEZZ Cues, McDermott Cues, National Billiard Academy, and Samsara Cues.

Groce chalks up his fifth title at Midwest Bar Table Classic in Indianapolis

(l to r): Brandon Thomas & Brian Groce

The hot seat match of the 37th Annual Midwest Bar Table Classic, held on the weekend of October 21-22, featured two former winners of the event; one, Brian Groce, from 14 years ago (2003) and the other, Steve Oaks, from 34 years ago (1983).
“It was the best match of the whole tournament,” said event director, John Klotz, of the double hill battle that eventually put Groce in the hot seat. “There were one or two mistakes in the first couple of games, but from there to the end, it was just beautiful pool.”
The quality of the hot seat match led to hopes for a re-match in the finals, which did not materialize. Instead, a relative upstart, Brandon Thomas, who finished fifth in the 2015 Classic, downed Oaks (who’d sent him to the loss side) in the semifinals. Groce survived a first-set loss in the double elimination finals to win the second set and capture his fifth Midwest Classic title; his previous four coming in 2003, 2002, 2001, & 1998.
Previously hosted by Brickyard Billiards in Indianapolis, the $2,000-added, 37th Annual Midwest Bar Table Classic drew a full field of 64 entrants to a new location – John Wayne’s Pub, also in Indianapolis. While a host of familiar names and faces appeared on the brackets, the two-time defending champion of the event, Billy Thorpe, was not among them. Thorpe was making plans for attendance at the US Open 9-Ball Championships and gearing up for his first-ever appearance as a member of the USA Mosconi Cup team this coming December.
Following victories over Korey Harris, Mike France, Jayme Goodwin, and Ronnie Solgot, Groce stepped into a winners’ side semifinal against Jeremy Edwards, in what would prove to be the first of two-straight double hill matches that would put Groce in the hot seat. Oaks, in the meantime, having gotten by Dathan Schmidt, Chuck Thurnall, Alan Pham and Trent Vaught, faced Brandon Thomas in the other winners’ side semifinal.
Groce chalked up his first double hill win in a row, over Edwards, as Oaks sent Thomas to the loss side 9-6. The ‘best match of the tournament’ was on. When the dust settled, Groce was in the hot seat, and Oaks was on his way to a fateful match against Thomas in the semifinals.
On the loss side, Thomas began his trek back to the finals against Clay Carmen, who’d moved into the money rounds with wins over Dave Grau, a double hill win over Brian Winters, and then, eliminated Molly Bontrager, double hill, as well. Edwards picked up Alex Olinger, who was in the midst of a seven-match, loss-side winning streak that was about to end and had included money-round victories over Louis Demarco 7-4, a double hill win over Martin Zayala, Jr. and another double hill win, over Trent Vaught.
Thomas defeated Carmen 7-2, and was joined in the quarterfinal match by Edwards, who’d eliminated Olinger 7-4. Thomas took the quarterfinal match over Edwards 7-5, and then spoiled any hopes for a Groce/Oaks re-match with a 7-5 victory over Oaks in the semifinals.
Thomas used his momentum to take the opening set of the true double elimination final against Groce 7-3. Groce, though, caught a literal second wind and defeated Thomas by the same 7-3 score in the second set to secure the title to his fifth Midwest Bar Table Classic.
Event director John Klotz thanked Chuck Thomas, owner of John Wayne’s Pub for his debut hospitality, hosting the event, as well as sponsors Accu-Rack and Diamond Billiard Tables.

Lining goes undefeated to win inaugural stop on Taom Tips Tour at Michael’s in Fairfield, OH

Being a player himself, Tony Chohan had a unique perspective on the conduct of pool tournaments, up to and including the 15 in which he had participated this year (2016) alone. He's not the first player to attempt the organization of a pool tour (Shannon Daulton, Tony Robles, Mike Zuglan, Linda Shea, Adrianne Beach, and quite a few others come immediately to mind), but he may be the first to have guaranteed $5,000-added to each and every one of the six proposed stops on his proposed Taom Tips Tour. 
That tour got underway on the weekend of November 4-6 at Michael's Billiards in Fairfield, OH, and though he didn't get some of the players he'd been expecting to attend (Joey Gray, Chip Compton, Sky Woodward and Justin Bergman, for example), the $5,000-added event did draw 51 entrants to Michael's Billiards, and did feature some of the 'name' players he'd hoped would support his tour ambitions; Billy Thorpe, Dennis Hatch, Robb Saez, Shane Winters, Shane McMinn, and the finalists, Antonio Lining and Ramil Gallego from the Philippines (among others). Lining went undefeated to win it, while Gallego won five on the loss side to challenge him a second time in the finals.
It was Lining and Thorpe who ended up facing each other in the hot seat of this one. Thorpe had shut out Martin Zavala in one winners' side semifinal, while Lining downed Louis Demarco 8-3 in the other one. Lining claimed the hot seat 8-6 over Thorpe and waited on the return of Gallego, whom he'd defeated in a winners' side quarterfinal.
Gallego opened his five-match trek back to a rematch against Lining with an 8-6 victory over Tommy Stephenson. He followed that with an 8-3 win over Shane McMinn (who'd just eliminated Robb Saez), which set him (Gallego) up to face Zavala, coming over from the winners' side semifinal. DeMarco picked up Shane Winters, who'd eliminated Brandon Hallett 8-6, and Hatch 8-2.
The two loss-side combatants, Gallego and Winters, advanced to the quarterfinals; Gallego 8-2 over Zavala, and Winters 8-4 over DeMarco. Gallego took the quarterfinal match 8-3 over Winters, and then denied Thorpe his shot at the event title with an 8-6 victory in the semifinals.
It was to be a true double elimination final. Lining finished it in a single set, defeating Gallego 8-4 to claim the event title.
The next $5,000-added stop on the six-event Taom Tips Tour was scheduled for this weekend (Nov. 11-13), and was to be hosted by High Pockets in Memphis, TN. The following stop, scheduled for Dec. 16-18, will be hosted by the Carom Room in Beloit, WI.