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Jay Swanson Memorial Brackets Drawn

Brackets are drawn for the 2014 Jay Swanson Memorial. The field is 182 players strong, with ten spots open for last minute entries on Saturday morning.


Dennis Orcollo will be looking to repeat his victory from last year, but former champions Mitch Ellerman, Santos Sambajob, Ernesto Dominguez and Tang Hoa will be looking to keep him from that accomplishment. Other top players in the field include Carlo Biado, Oscar Dominguez, Mika Immonen, John Morra, Brandon Shuff, Louis Ulrich and Hunter Lombardo.


Follow along with our online brackets, and watch selected matches online with streaming courtesy of

First Round WPBL Playoffs: Scorpions Upset The Wave

Ernesto and Oscar Dominguez

The World Professional Billiard League’s 2013-2014 Playoffs began today.  First round action saw the #5 seed Los Angeles Wave vs. the #12 seed Atlanta Scorpions at the WPBL Arena in Las Vegas.  
Johnny Archer’s Atlanta Scorpions upset Oscar Dominquez’ Los Angeles Wave 8-2, capturing a victory in the first ever playoff match in the history of the WPBL. The Scorpions capitalized on several uncharacteristic Los Angeles mistakes, and picked up a pair of one point shoot-out wins in the first two games of the match. Dennis Hatch and Shannon Daulton knocked off Ernesto Dominguez and Louis Ulrich 30-6 in doubles, giving Atlanta their first regulation win of the match, lifting their lead to 4-0.
Archer and Daulton picked up another regulation doubles win just before intermission bringing Atlanta's lead to 6-0.  Archer all but sealed the match as he easily handled Oscar Dominguez 30-1 in the first singles game of the match, for an 8-0 Atlanta lead.
Los Angeles' lone win of the night came in the second singles game of the match, when Ernesto Dominguez defeated Hatch 30-12. Fresh off his stellar play at DCC, Shannon Daulton clinched the match for Atlanta by scoring a single point to start the next game against Ulrich.
Trick-shot artist and Internet sensation Florian “Venom” Kohler performed at halftime wowing the crowd with not only his amazing artistry but also with his quick wit. He will perform again for WPBL fans on February 9th in-between the double-header featuring Scot Frost’s #4 seed Phoenix Fire vs. the Atlanta Scorpions (1pm PT) and Rodney Morris’ #3 seed Chicago Rockets against the winner of the Toronto Blue Sharks vs. the Pittsburgh Poison match (6:30pm PT). 
Fans in the Las Vegas area can attend all WPBL Playoff matches for free at the WPBL Arena located at 6745 Surrey St. Las Vegas, NV. Seating is not reserved, therefore early arrival is suggested.
To purchase the WPBL All Star Charity Billiards Challenge or the entire Championship Package please visit Please follow the WPBL as the playoffs continue, additional announcements and updates will be made frequently. For a complete listing of broadcast matches, standings, merchandise and more visit the WPBL website. 

Hard Times 10-Ball Open Underway with Strongest Field Ever

Orcollo Still Standing

Hard Times Billiards, who celebrate their 25th Anniversary this month, added yet another $5,000 from their main sponsor Crooks & Castles to the prize money of their Hard Times 10 ball Open. This event now in its fourth year, saw a field of champions show up to try and get their hands on the $10,000 added prize money.

What with the Bonus Ball players and the other pros from all over the world that will be in Las Vegas for the CSI 10 Ball Championship next week, this event has drawn a who’s who of champions that would have any promoter drooling at such a talented field.

Alphabetically the stars were as follows:

Alex Pagulayan, Carlos Biado (Phi), Chris Melling (Eng), Corey Harper (USA), Dennis Hatch (USA), Dennis Orcollo (Phi), Ernesto Dominguez (Mex), Oscar Dominguez (USA), Francisco Bustamante (Phi), Ike Runnels (USA), Jayson Shaw (Eng), John Morra (Can), Johnny Archer (USA), Louis Ulrich (USA), Manny Chau (Peru), Max Eberle (USA), Mike Davis (USA), Nikos Ekonomopoulos (Greece), Raj Hundal (Eng), Ralf Souquet (Ger), Rodney Morris (USA), Santos Sambajon Jr (Phi), Shane Van Boening (USA), Shawn Putnam (USA), Stevie Moore (USA), Thorsten Hohmann (Ger), Wang Can (Chi) and Warren Kiamco (Phi).

Wow what a line up!!!!

Not surprisingly we saw top players fighting it out in the very first round, as witnessed by the first match-up on the “" Free Live Stream match on table one, which showcased the games of Jayson Shaw and Thorsten Hohmann. This match saw Jayson Shaw switching over to the losers side after he missed a 3/10 combo at hill-hill.


Louis Ulrich V Arturo Rivera – Chris Fangre V Wang Can – John Morra V Dennis Orcollo – Stevie Moore V Thorsten Hohmann – Dennis Hatch V Francisco Bustamante – Johnny Kang V Raj Hundal – Corey Harper V Carlos Biado – Ruben Escalera V Rodney Morris


Alex Pagulayan V Manny Chau – Mike Davis V Nikos Economopoulos – Santos Sambajon Jr V Ernesto Dominguez – Warren Kiamco V Jayson Shaw – Max Eberle V Ramin Bakhtiari – Ralf Souquet V Beau Runningen – Johnny Archer V Shane Van Boening – Kevin May V Chris Melling

This writer thinks you should not be surprised if the winner of this event, now in its fourth year, has PHI behind his name, as the first three events were won by the following players:

2010 Lee Van Corteza

2011 Alex Pagulayan

2012 Dennis Orcollo

2013 ?

HARD TIMES BILLIARDS first emerged on the pool scene back in 1988, and apparently got its name due to the fact that you would probably end up on hard times if you tried to win there. The room over the years has had a reputation of always having a stable of giant killers in house, and that it would be very hard for a visitor to walk out with a pot of gold!

HARD TIMES is situated at the following address:

Hard Times
17450 Bellflower Blvd
Bellflower, CA 90706

Hard Times is a very event oriented room, as witnessed by this event, plus the 17-year old Jay Swanson Memorial and the TAD CUP in its fourth year. The Tad Cup is an event solely for the Amateur, and is sponsored by TAD Cues and will be played on the 3rd & 4th of August 2013.

We will be covering this event on a daily basis, so stay tuned! Streaming of this event may be found at

WPBL Week #5 Match Recap

Miami’s Hunter Lombardo, Jose Parica and Corey Deuel

Seven teams competed this weekend during the World Professional Billiard League’s fifth week of match play at the WPBL Arena in Las Vegas, NV.  At weeks end, the Minnesota Outlaws are the only WPBL team to have won every match this season. 
Minnesota scored a season high 13 match points in their win against the Philadelphia Aces.  Raising their points-per-match average to 10 and improving their match record to 5-0 after Sunday's match, the Outlaws are now atop the North Division just ahead of the Toronto Blue Sharks.  
The doubles duo of Thorsten Hohmann and Ralf Souquet blew open the Sunday match with a 30-0 shutout of Brandon Shuff and Stevie Moore to take a 7-1 match lead.  The lead swelled to 9-1 after Hohmann knocked off Shuff in singles 30-6.  The win over Philadelphia came two days after Minnesota defeated the Las Vegas Dice 9-5, with Hohmann's 30-1 singles win over John Schmidt helping claim the victory.
Las Vegas bounced back Saturday to gain ground on the second place Los Angeles Wave in the South Division, with a 10-5 win over the Wave.  The match was tied at 5-5 going into the final game, but the team of Charlie Williams, Mike Davis, and Schmidt defeated Los Angeles 30-1 in the finale.  
The Dice and the rest of the South Division caught another break Sunday when Los Angeles was defeated by Miami 12-4 for their second straight loss.  With the Wave down just 6-4 heading into the final singles game of the night, Corey Deuel outlasted Louis Ulrich in a shoot-out 28-20, giving Miami a 7-4 advantage with only one game left in the match. 
Miami also moved out of last place in the South this weekend, getting help from their Saturday win over Pittsburgh 11-4.  Lombardo and Deuel handed Shawn Putnam and Daryl Peach a shutout in doubles, giving Miami their first match win of the season.  Heading into week six, the Cruise now have 6.8 points-per-match, a point and a half better than Atlanta.
The Chicago Rockets also made a move out of last in the North by defeating the Pittsburgh Poison Thursday night 12-6 for their second straight win over the Poison in four days.  The match-clincher was Raj Hundal's 30-6 victory over Adam Smith in the final singles game of the night. 
In individual standings, veteran Tommy Kennedy of the Phoenix Fire is now the top rated player in the league, percentage points ahead of Johnny Archer of the Atlanta Scorpions who is in second.  Philadelphia Aces Captain, Darren Appleton who previously held the top spot, struggled Sunday and has slipped to third.  The Wave’s Louis Ulrich was ranked 6th coming into the weekend matches, but fell to 30th after a disappointing weekend individually in his team's two losses.  
The Phoenix Fire will open week six of the WPBL’s season Friday July 5th when they take on the Toronto Blue Sharks, as no matches will be played Thursday July 4th.  Phoenix is literally on “fire” as all three members are ranked amongst the top seven individually, while the team sits in first overall.  The match can be seen online free of charge at 6 pm PST at
All matches will be broadcast to a live studio audience at the WPBL Arena and at  For a complete listing of this weekend’s schedule, standings, merchandise and more visit the WPBL website.  Please continue to follow the WPBL for additional updates:  
WPBL Week Schedule
Friday, July 5th: Phoenix vs. Toronto 6pm PST
Saturday, July 6th: Miami vs. Atlanta 12pm PST
                                    Toronto vs. Los Angeles 3:30pm PST
Houston vs. Phoenix 7pm PST
Sunday, July 7th:     Los Angeles vs. Miami 12 pm PST
                                    Atlanta vs. Houston 4 pm PST    

WPBL Week #5 Match-Up Preview

Adam Smith – Photo courtesy of Mike Brown/WPBL

The World Professional Billiard League’s fifth week of action will feature four teams from the North Division and three teams from the South Division. All matches are played at the WPBL Arena in Las Vegas, NV.  The week’s first match, Thursday June 27th, can be seen live for free at   
Thursday features a re-match of the Chicago Rockets facing off against division rivals the Pittsburgh Poison. The Rockets only winning match this season came last Sunday against the Poison 11-7 based largely off of their individual games.  Chicago needs to play strong in order to move up past Pittsburgh in their division.  The Poison are 1.4 average match points ahead of the Rockets in the North.  Neither team has a player amongst the top ten; while the highest ranked player on either team is Adam Smith, who is in 15th.  
Daryl Peach, the 2007 WPA World Nine Ball Champion will see his first action in the WPBL as he substitutes for Poison member Sylver Ochoa.  Pittsburgh will play two matches this weekend, then not have another for nearly a month.  The Poison have played more matches than any other team this season (7), and will follow Thursday’s match with another against the Miami Cruise on Saturday.  The team does not compete again until July 28th.
Friday’s match will showcase the Minnesota Outlaws taking on the Las Vegas Dice.  The Outlaws who are tied with the New York Pride for fourth, sit slightly in front of the Dice who are in sixth in the overall standings.   Minnesota has won all three matches this season, although are tied for second place with New York in the North Division.  The Las Vegas members have recorded a perfect game this season in team play; however, the Outlaws Hohmann is the highest ranked individual player on either team in 10th place with a player rating of 54.0.
The Miami Cruise who have yet to win a match this season, will play twice this weekend. Corey Deuel’s Cruise will take on the Pittsburgh Poison Saturday and the Los Angeles Wave on Sunday.  Miami has struggled during their three prior matches, and as a result sit in 12th place in the league. 
Second in the overall standings as well as in the South Division, the Los Angeles Wave has started the season with both consistent team and individual play.  Winning both of the matches they have played this season, the Wave have their eye on league and division leaders the Phoenix Fire.  Both Louis Ulrich (6th) and Ernesto Dominguez (9th) rank among the league’s top ten players in the individual standings, while the team’s captain Oscar Dominguez is ranked 13th.    
The Philadelphia Aces play one match against division adversary the Minnesota Outlaws on Sunday.  Philadelphia finds themselves in seventh place overall and right behind Minnesota in their division.  Aces captain Darren Appleton is the highest rated individual player in the league with a 76.8 player rating, 4.4 points ahead of the second ranked player Tommy Kennedy of the Phoenix Fire.   A strong win in this match-up by either team, could determine the division leader at weeks end.   
All matches will be broadcast to a live studio audience at the WPBL Arena and at  For a complete listing of this weekend’s schedule, standings, merchandise and more visit the WPBL website.  Please continue to follow the WPBL for additional updates:  
WPBL Week 5 Schedule
Thursday, June 27th: Pittsburgh vs. Chicago 6 pm PST* 
Friday, June 28th: Minnesota vs. Las Vegas 6 pm PST
Saturday, June 29th: Miami vs. Pittsburgh 12 pm PST
                                    Los Angeles vs. Las Vegas 4 pm PST
Sunday, June 30th:     Miami vs. Los Angeles 12 pm PST
                                    Minnesota vs. Philadelphia 4 pm PST

Jennifer Barretta Named as WPBL Alternate

Jennifer Barretta

The World Professional Billiard League has announced that top female pro Jennifer Barretta has signed to play for the Los Angeles Wave as an alternate.  Barretta who has been playing professionally for 10 years, will be the first woman to compete amongst the league’s current roster, consisting of 59 of the world’s top male players. 

Jennifer takes the final spot on the Wave, joining teammates Oscar Dominguez, Ernesto Dominguez, Louis Ulrich, and Josh Ulrich. Regarding her selection to play in this historic league Barretta said “I think this is an exciting opportunity and I’m honored to be the first woman chosen by the WPBL. The league is great for the sport, and I believe it is here to stay.”  League President Larry Chiborak stated “it is a privilege to have her as part of the WPBL; not just because she is a woman, but because she is a great player!” 
A mother, business owner and a professional pool player, Barretta began playing cue sports because she lost a leisure game of pool in a bar.  Compelled to improve her game, she took private lessons.  Her instructor said she had natural ability, and with hard work and practice she could become a pro. 15 years later, Jennifer is currently ranked 7th by the WPBA (Women’s Professional Billiard Association), the highest of her professional career.   Traditionally a 9 ball player, she is eager to learn the game of Bonus ball and compete against the men of the league.
Barretta has not only received notoriety for her pool playing but also her beauty.  Voted as one of the Sexiest Female Athletes by ESPN as well as and featured in numerous magazines including FHM and Playboy, she is one of the most recognizable and talented females competing today.  
The WPBL kicks off its inaugural season Thursday May 30th at the all new WPBL Arena located in Las Vegas.  Please continue to follow the league for additional updates:

Orcullo wins seven on the one loss side to take Hard Times 10-Ball away from Van Boening

Dennis Orcollo

In a star-studded, Hard Times 10-Ball tournament, held on the weekend of May 4-6, Dennis Orcullo won seven matches on the loss-side and dominated Shane Van Boening in the finals to become the third Filipino champion of this annual tournament. Lee Van Corteza (2010) and Alex Pagalayun (2011) were the previous champions. The $5,000-added event drew 64 entrants, including Rodney Morris, Mike Davis, Mitch Ellerman, Francisco Bustamante, Oscar Dominguez, Scott Frost, Raj Hundal and Brandon Shuff to Hard Times in Bellflower, CA.

Van Boening’s path to the winners’ side final four went through Justin Logan, Mitch Ellerman, Mike Davis and among the final eight, Francisco Bustamante. He faced Manny Chau in the winners’ side semifinals, as Max Eberle faced Corey Harper. Van Boening got into the hot seat match with a 9-3 victory over Chau, and faced Eberle, who’d sent Harper west 9-4. Van Boening downed Eberle in the battle for the hot seat 9-4 and waited for the fateful return of Orcullo.

Orcullo, who’d opened his tournament bid with victories over Branch Talley and Scott White,  moved to the loss side on the heels of 9-5 victory by Louis Ulrich in the third round of play. His seven-match march back to the finals began with victories over Ernesto Dominguez and Ramin Bakhtiari. He then downed Bustamante 9-7, and Morris 9-6 to pick up Harper. Chau drew Scott Frost, who’d defeated Ulrich 9-3 (spoiling any re-match possibility for Orcullo), and Kenichi Uchigaki 9-5. 

It was Orcullo and Frost advancing to the quarterfinals; Orcullo with a 9-4 win over Harper, and Frost 9-7 against Chau. Orcullo dropped Frost into fourth place 9-3 and completed his seven-match, loss-side winning streak with a 9-3 victory over Eberle in the semifinals.

Orcullo came out smoking in the single, race-to-11 finals, jumping out to a lead and giving up only three racks to Van Boening. At the conclusion of the match, Orcullo stepped to the end of the table and began preparations for a 15th rack. He had to be informed that the match was over, and began accepting congratulations. And for the third year in a row, Max Eberle placed third.

Louis Ulrich Claims Chet Itow Memorial

February 24th & 25th, 2012; there was certainly something for everyone in Mountain View, CA., thanks to the infamous California Billiard Club, its owner Chris Swart who hosted the 3rd Annual Chet Itow Memorial 9-Ball Tournament.  Nuclear engineer “Chet” who created and built this great venue was honored in the grand style, which was indicative of the great efforts that he put into the creation of the hall. The true “double elimination” event kicked off at noon on Saturday, February 25th with a race to 8 on both sides, and a winner break format.
Any one of the over 4,000 pool enthusiasts who tuned in this last weekend to Point Of View (POV) Pool’s free live internet coverage of this event, were treated to a multitude of not only legendary player match-ups, but also to a host of the unusual and dramatic antics that are ever present amongst these individuals.
Thanks to hall owner Chris Swart, a “$3000 Added” incentive packed the house and drew in 101 participants including many of the billiard worlds’ most elite players.  Locals as well as those who tuned into the live internet stream got their pool fixes watching the likes of Rodney “The Rocket” Morris, Jose Parica, Louis Ulrich, Santos Sambajon, Rafael Martinez, House Pro Dave Hemmah of Hard Times – Bellflower, “Team Mexico” – Oscar and Ernesto Dominguez, Amar Kang, and last but not least, world renowned champion and two time consecutive winner of the infamous “Swanee” – Alex “The Lion” Pagulayan.
Walk in patrons and attendees alike were packed in all weekend long, taking advantage of the 3000 sq ft plus “viewing” area, ordering from a fantastic full menu, and topping it all off with a trip to the fully stocked bar complete with an efficient and friendly staff.  In short, it was a setting for a pool player’s “Paradise”!
Early upsets in the event included last year’s winner, Santos Sambajon and runner up Oscar Dominguez. Also knocked were Alex Pagulayan, and long time veteran Jose Parica was pushed early to the one loss side by “Combination” Jason Williams, who eventually shot his way up to 4th place in the event! Jason Williams put on quite a show during the weekend and was motivated by an eagerness to play and win over Rodney “The Rocket” Morris. Those who remained to stroke their way up the chain included Rodney Morris, Ernesto Dominguez, Kevin May, Amar Kang, Rafael Martinez, Ed Ramos, and eventual winner, Louis Ulrich.
Antics were abound during the course of the tourney with Amar Kang giving Alex Pagulayan a mini Golf swing lesson before their match, and quite a commentary stint on POV Pool’s live stream with local Emilyn Callado.  And of course all were treated to the usual short riff of Alex’s legendary karaoke.  Guest commentators joining Daniel Busch, owner of POV Pool and co-commentator Barbara Lee, included Jeff Gregory, local “Women Power” stars Mary Rakin, Emilyn Callado and OMGWTF’s – Melinda Huang.  Additional commentators included, pool veteran – John Henderson of The Cue Sports Journal (Soon to re-launch), Scott White, Bucktooth (Who’s claim to fame is “beating everybody”), and Oscar Dominguez who stated “Well now everyone pretty much knows my life story”!
Unfortunate news during the event was for Jun Almoite, who had to forfeit on Saturday to attend to “The Princess of Pool” – Mary Avina, who fell ill enough for hospitalization due to a high fever associated with a bout of the flu.  The good news is, all is well and Mary is home and recovering.  Whew!
Wrapping up the event late Sunday night were semi final match-ups between Rodney Morris and Jason Williams, Kevin May and Amar Kang, and culminated with Louis Ulrich versus Ernesto Dominguez.  A shocking display of “doesn’t ANYONE want this 7 ball?” commenced between Amar and Alex, which lasted several innings before Amar finally got the pesky maroon into a pocket.
In another match between Louis Ulrich and Hillary Morse, Louis slammed in the 9 a stunning 4 times during the break-shot, which unfortunately was re-spotted due to the rule associated with the rack your own format for this event.  This proved to be a running theme on the “stream” table for many players during the break-shot, with the 9 ball usually en-route to the bottom left-hand corner and the 1-ball almost always hitting the rail below the left middle pocket and landing either into or very close to the top right-hand corner pocket. As a result, the best break show, which highlighted this phenomenon, was between Jason Williams and Rodney Morris, with a barrage of early 9 ball combinations and caroms that seriously shortened the length of the match. And in contrast was John Henderson vs. Arturo Rivera in a nip and tuck session, which literally lasted 16 games, and without either player having more than a 1-game lead.
Rounding up the finale was Louis Ulrich versus Ernesto Dominguez who would have had to win two races to 8 for the win due to the true double elimination format.  Ernesto took an early 3-0 lead over an obviously tired Louis and it looked like a double set was shaping up. Louis however managed to come back to tie it up, and then rally back and forth to create a hill-hill thriller. The nail biting final game found Ernesto running down to the perfectly lined up 9 with precision play, that is until he fails to close; missing an almost straight 9-ball and leaving a medium difficulty cut for Louis. After the stunned railbirds exhaled, Louis got up and with nary a thought, and sliced the 9-ball effortlessly for the win over a disappointed but ever gracious Ernesto.
The top final 8 payouts were Louis Ulrich, $3,000, Ernesto $1700, Rodney Morris $900, Jason Williams $550, Kevin May and Amar Kang at $250, and Rafael Martinez and Ed Ramos at $150.
POV Pools live Internet coverage and archived matches can be viewed by going to
Payouts for the 3rd Annual Chet Itow Memorial 9-Ball Tournament
1st – Louis Ulrich / $3,000
2nd – Ernesto Dominguez / $1,700
3rd – Rodney Morris / $900
4th – Jason Williams / $550
5th/6th – Kevin May / $250
5th/6th – Amar Kang / $250
7th/8th – Rafael Martinez / $150
7th/8th – Ed Ramos / $150
9th/12th – George Michaels / $100
9th/12th – Craig Oden / $100
9th/12th – Bryce Avila / $100
9th/12th – Dale Alpajora / $100
13th/16th – John Henderson / $75
13th/16th – Santos Sambajon / $75
13th/16th – Jose Parica / $75
13th/16th – Jeremy King / $75
17th/24th – Mark Tiu / $50
17th/24th – Mary Rakin / $50
17th/24th – Mike Tucci / $50
17th/24th – Alex Pagulayan / $50
17th/24th – George Pagulayan / $50
17th/24th – Jeff Padjan / $50
17th/24th – Ernesto Reyes / $50