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Chohan & Frost Nab US Open Titles – Biado Takes All-Around

Tony Chohan

After Fedor Gorst and Carlo Biado snapped off the US Open 10 Ball and 8 Ball Championships, the US Open One Pocket and Bank Pool Championship rounded out the action packed series at Griff’s in Las Vegas, NV.

The US Open One Pocket Championship opened with 44 players – the format was alternate break with races to four. After the players auction, players meeting and draw, play commenced.

Opening round action saw Roberto Gomez defeat fellow countryman Edgie Geronimo 4-1 as did Josh Roberts over legendary John Hennigan (“Cornflakes”). Evan Lunda battled it out with recently crowned US Open 8 Ball champ Carlo Biado – Carlo escaped with a 4-3 win. Coming out of retirement, veteran BCA and One Pocket Hall of Famer, Jose Parica, pounded the always tough Tres Kane 4-1.

Next round had Biado sending One Pocket Hall of Famer Scott Frost west 4-2, Ian Costello beating Jim Tomassoni 4-1, Josh Roberts blitzing James Davee 4-0 and Tony Chohan defeating Warren Kiamco 4-2 as did Lee Vann Corteza over Robert Frost by the same score. Roland Garcia smoked young gun Kash Keaton 4-0 and newly minted US Open 10 Ball champ Fedor Gorst sent Gomez packing 4-2.

In the top half of the chart, favorite Justin Hall quietly made his way through the bracket smoking all in his way – Alex Montpelier 4-1, Bart Czapia 4-0 and Lee Vann Corteza, Ronnie Wiseman and Roland Garcia – all 4-1.

After winning his first two matches easily, Roberts breezed past Danny Olson 4-0 and followed that by beating Las Vegas’s own Ian Costello 4-2 and Bob Herchik 4-1.

While Justin & Josh were taking care of business up north, Garcia was destroying the southern part of the chart.

After rolling over his first two matches, Roland tore through Gorst 4-0 and then Chohan 4-2. Garcia finally met his demise at the hands of Hall 4-1.

This set up the hot seat match between Hall and Roberts with Josh easily taking the match 4-1. Justin headed west to await an opponent.

After losing to Garcia earlier in the tournament, Chohan won four in a row on his march towards his match with Hall. He defeated Danny Olson and Tim De Ruyter – both 4-2. Getting stronger as he went, Herchik was next – 4-1 but battled down to the wire with Biado. Tony prevailed 4-3 leaving Carlo in fourth place.

Nothing stopping him now, Hall was next! Down he went 4-2 – Justin finished third. 

The undefeated Josh Roberts was waiting for Tony in the one set extended finals. There was no stopping the Chohan train as he steamed to a 5-0 victory! Good tournament, Josh! And congratulations to Tony for his third consecutive one pocket championship and his second US Open One Pocket Championship!

Scott Frost

And finally, the last event of the US Open Championship Series – the US Open Bank Pool Championship! Featuring 48 players, the format was alternate break with races to 5/4. As usual, after a players auction, players meeting and draw, play began.

After drawing a coveted bye, Roberto Gomez shot out of the gate with victories over Kash Keaton 5-0, Fedor Gorst 5-4, Tony Chohan 5-3 and Scott Frost 5-2 to reach the hot seat match.

Fellow Filipino Carlo Biado was doing the same in the bottom half of the chart. He escaped a close one with Caleb Schumacher 5-4 but then defeated Tony Bloom 5-0. He then edged out Chris Lulek, Robert Frost and Stephen Holem – all with 5-4 scores!

Now in dead punch, he smashed Roberto 5-1 to lock up his seat in the finals! Gomez went to the one loss side to await an opponent.

After losing their earlier matches, Stephen Holem and Scott Frost were working their way through the fray and finally bumped heads. Scott put an end to Stephen’s march 4-2 – Holem finished fourth.

Frost then thumped Gomez 4-1 and advanced to the finals! Roberts finished in third place.

Again, the finals were to be one set – an extended race to six.

Facing the undefeated Carlo Biado, Frost had his hands full. Neck and neck until four game apiece, Scott took the lead 5-4 and then won the final game to win this year’s US Open Bank Pool Championship! Congratulations to Scott! Good tournament, Carlo!

And, finally, Carlo Biado was the points leader of all four events so became the All-Around champ for 2022! Congratulations!!!

PoolActionTV.com would like to thank Griff’s owner, Mark Griffin, and his staff for going the extra mile to make both players and fans feel at home during this grueling US Open Championship Series. We’d like to thank Tournament Director Jason Hill and his assistant, Eric Kintzer, for doing such a great job running things!

Promoted by Cue & A Promotions, we’d once again like to thank the sponsors for the US Open Championship Series. They were OB Cues, Griff’s Billiards, Simonis, Aramith, Diamond Billiard Products, JB Cases, Keller Billiard Products and Fort Worth Billiards Superstore of Fort Worth, TX.

We’d like to thank Mary Kenniston, Robert LeBlanc, Larry Schwartz, John Henderson, Jeremy Jones, Josh Roberts, Mike DeLawder and Ray Hansen for their topnotch commentary.

And, last but not least, PoolActionTV would like to thank our fans and sponsors. They include JB Cases, Lomax Custom Cues, Keller Billiard Products, Durbin Custom Cues, StraightPoolEye, Hanshew Jump Cues, Simonis, Aramith, Diamond Billiard Products, the Action Palace of Dayton, OH and Fort Worth Billiards Superstore of Fort Worth, TX.

Our next stop is the Action Palace in Dayton, OH for the $50,000 Champion’s Challenge featuring Chris Reinhold and Shane McMinn! It’s ten ball – race to 100 on nine foot Diamonds! Hope to see you there!

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Gorst & Biado New US Open 10 & 8 Ball Champs!!!

Carlo Biado (Pool Action TV)

Las Vegas, NV was pool player central for the last couple weeks! Starting this past Sunday and immediately following the CSI Nationals, the WPA World 10 Ball Championship and the CSI/Predator US Pro Billiard Series’ Alfa Women’s Las Vegas Open, OB Cues presented the $45,000 added US Open Championship Series. 

Hosted by Griff’s owner, Mark Griffin, the US Open Championship Series was comprised of four events – Ten Ball, Eight Ball, One Pocket and Bank Pool. $10,000 was added to each event plus $5,000 for the All-Around. Players paid a $330 entry for each event. 

Players included BCA and One Pocket Hall of Famer Jose Parica who was joined by fellow countrymen Roberto Gomez, Carlo Biado, Lee Vann Corteza, Edgie Geronimo, Roland Garcia, Warren Kiamco and Joven Bustamante. Current Andy Mercer Memorial Champ Vilmos Foldes and One Pocket Hall of Famer Scott Frost were joined by Tony Chohan, Justin Hall, Josh Roberts, Ronnie Wiseman, Bob Herchik, Tres Kane, Jim Tomassoni, John Hennigan, Evan Lunda, Ian Costello, Robert Frost, Shane Winters, Danny Olson, Donny Branson, Redgie Cutler and James Davee. Young guns Jesus Atencio, Sergio Rivas, Kash Keaton and Justin Espinosa joined the fray as well as Canada’s Stephen Holem and Joe Spence, Russia’s Fedor Gorst and Kristina Tkach and Australia’s Justin Sajich. WOW!!! 

Promoted by Cue & A Promotions, the sponsors for the US Open Championship Series were OB Cues, Griff’s Billiards, Simonis, Aramith, Diamond Billiard Products, JB Cases, Keller Billiard Products and Fort Worth Billiards Superstore of Fort Worth, TX. 

The US Open 10 Ball started on Sunday afternoon with 51 players entering this double elimination, race to nine, alternate break event. PoolActionTV’s Ray Hansen conducted the players auction which was followed by a players meeting and the draw. 

Superstar-in-the-making Jesus Atencio charged out of the gate with wins over veterans Ronnie Wiseman 9-1, Warren Kiamco 9-3. Tony Chohan 9-2 and young Canadian Joe Spence 9-3 until he ran head on into another young star-in-the-making, Canada’s Stephen Holem. Holem had just defeated recent back-to-back Andy Mercer Memorial champ, Vilmos Foldes 9-5, and sent Jesus packing 9-4. 

Meanwhile, another young champ was methodically dismantling everyone in his path until he ran into the always tough Roberto Gomez. They duked it out and Roberto was finally toppled 9-7. However, Fedor was sent west by Roberto’s fellow Filipino, Lee Vann Corteza, by the same score – 9-7. 

After starting out with that coveted bye, Corteza had much tougher opponents to get to his match with Fedor but he blistered both Evan Lunda 9-2 and Sergio Rivas 9-1. Shane Winters gave him a harder time but Lee Vann prevailed 9-6 and went on to vanquish Gorst 9-7. 

Corteza and Holem made it to the hot seat match. Stephen shot out to a 2-0 lead and then 4-2 until Lee Vann caught a gear. He took off from there to win his spot in the finals 9-4. Stephen headed over to the one loss side to await an opponent. 

After losing his third round match to Joe Spence 9-6, Roland Garcia was tearing the west side apart with wins over Lunda 9-4, Frost 9-0, Gomez 9-4, Winters 9-5 and Atencio 9-4 until he ran into that buzz saw named Gorst. Fedor put an end to the hopes of Roland 9-4 leaving him in fourth place and squashed young Holem’s title dreams 9-0. Stephen finished in a well-earned third place and Fedor marched into familiar territory – the finals. 

The final match was one extended race to thirteen. Although close, Corteza lead for most of the match until Gorst pulled away in the second half to win the match 13-8! Great event, Lee Vann! And, congratulations to Fedor as he wins once more – his first US Open Ten Ball title!!! 

The US Open Eight Ball Championship started on Wednesday following the players auction, players meeting and draw. 48 players paid their entries into this double elimination, race to eight, alternate break tournament. 

Carlo Biado began his march to the hot seat with victories over Jonny Siraphong 8-2, Tony Chohan 8-6, Redgie Cutler 8-0, Roberto Gomez 8-4 and Jesus Atencio 8-6. Justin Sajich began his run with wins over Eric Vargas 8-2, squeaked by Edgie Geronimo 8-7, Evan Lunda 8-6, Danny Olson 8-4 and smoked Josh Roberts 8-2. 

The hot seat match was a battle with Sajich getting to the hill first – 7-6. Running out for the win, he hooked himself on the last ball before the eight! Biado jumped out of his chair to tie it up & escaped with an 8-7 win! A disappointed Sajich headed west to await an opponent. 

Roland Garcia emerged from the pack to face Justin – the winner of this match would advance to the finals. Garcia came out of the gate strong and was just too much for Justin to overcome. He rallied a bit at the end and got close but Roland was just too strong – final score 8-6. Justin finished in third place. 

The finals were an extended race to eleven and everyone expected it to be a real dogfight but it was just the opposite. Carlo cruised to an easy 11-3 victory! Great tournament, Roland, and congratulations to Carlo on his first US Open Eight Ball title! 

There’s more great pool coming so stay tuned for the US Open One Pocket and the US Open Bank Pool Championships! If you haven’t already, get your pass at PoolActionTV.com!!!

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Evans Stays Perfect on AWBT

Susan Williams and Rae Evans

The Arizona Women’s Billiards Tour made their way up to Griff’s in Las Vegas, Nevada for their second stop of the year on March 5th and 6th, but even the change in scenery didn’t change anything at the top of the tour, as Rae Evans extended her undefeated streak and won her second (third, going back before Covid) straight tour stop. 

The field of thirty seven players held most of the usual Arizona suspects, along with some of the top female talent in Sin City. Two notable additions to the field this time were junior players Savannah Easton and Asia Gillespie. Easton caught a first round bye, while Gillespie won her first match against Ma Deterala 4-0. The second round saw both junior competitors drop their matches (Easton to eventual winner Evans) and then end up paired against each other on the one loss side. Easton got the best of her fellow junior warrior and stayed alive on the left side of the board all day on Saturday, finally succumbing to local champion Rebecca Wagner on Sunday. In her first AWBT tour stop, Easton made quite an impression. Evans commented on both young player, “Savannah does so much stuff better than me. She breaks better than most players and has better fundamentals. I could go on and on. The other junior in the tournament (Gillespie) played amazing too. They both are fierce”.

After the win over Easton, Evans had wins over Billie Jo Smith, the aforementioned Wagner, Mandy Beck and finally AWBT veteran Susan Williams for the hot-seat. Williams earned a hard fought victory over Pearl Ortiz in the semi-final match, to earn another shot at Evans in the finals. Evans had beaten Williams fairly handily for the hot-seat 7-1, but she had a fight on her hands in the extended final match. Both players were tied at 1-1 and 2-2 before Williams took the first two rack lead of the match at 4-2. That might have woke Evans up as she proceeded to win six straight racks to take the hill at 8-4. Williams dug back and won three in a row to get within one rack at 8-7, but a missed 8-ball by Williams in the sixteenth rack was her last trip to the table and Evans won the match 9-7. 

For Evans, it was her second straight undefeated win on the tour, but she still felt she got fortunate to get the win, commenting after the match about how everyone on the tour is playing so much better after the long Covid break. “I didn’t have an easy match all weekend. All of the ladies are putting in so much time practicing and getting better. I’ve seen tremendous leaps in some of their games”, she said. 

Tour director Tim Daniel thanked everyone for coming out to compete in the event, as well as Mark Griffin and his great staff at Griff’s. He also sent out thanks to all of tour’s sponsors, Constantin Alexander with Papa C Productions for their streaming coverage of the event all weekend and finally his partner on the tour, Justine Bishop for her continued support in making the AWBT a success.

The Arizona Women’s Billiard Tour will be back in action on June 4th-5th at Main Street Billiards, in Mesa, Arizona for 8-ball on the 7 foot Diamonds. 

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Dominguez goes undefeated to claim 26th Annual ‘Swanee’ Classic at Griff’s in Vegas

Oscar Dominguez, Tim Kovacs and Ruben Bautista

In the absence of the event’s defending champion and runner-up, Shane Van Boening and Corey Deuel, the 26th Annual Jay Swanson “Swanee” Memorial’s 2022 champion was Oscar Dominguez, who went undefeated through a field of 64. Advancing to the hot seat against him was the 2019 winner, Max Eberle, who was ousted in the semifinals by runner-up, Ruben Bautista. The $4,000-added event was hosted by Griff’s in Las Vegas.

As is always the case, the annual memorial to someone who is remembered in the pool community, leads to conversations about him. Jay “Swanee” Swanson, referred to as a ‘Gentle Giant,’ was, by all accounts, one of the best ‘money’ players of all time, before he passed in 1996. In June, 2008, a Forum thread was initiated on AZBilliards, entitled “Tell me about Jay Swanson.” If you weren’t at the tournament and/or know nothing about the man, use the opportunity and read that thread, in lieu of a moment of silence in his honor, to learn what many in the existing pool community already know. 

As it turned out, Oscar Dominguez’ undefeated seven-match march to the finish line of the “Swanee” Memorial was not the longest string of wins at the event. Jordan Holman also had a seven-match winning streak, in between his opening match loss and his final loss in the battles for 5th/6th. The ‘most wins in a row’ prize went to Ronnie Wiseman, who finished 4th, also sandwiching his eight wins between an opening round loss and his last match.

Dominguez’ seven-match march to the finish line started out with a shutout and until the hot seat match, no one chalked up more than four racks against him in the races to 8. Tom Whitten was the opponent he shut out before he gave up three each to Richard Burns and Vilmos Foldes. It was Ernie Rivas who managed the four, which brought Dominguez to a winners’ side semifinal against Ian Costello. 

Eberle, in the meantime, opened with back-to-back 8-2 victories over Charles Joseph Jacques and Scott Bush, before James Davee threw a one-game-away-from-double-hill scare into him with six racks. The ‘scare’ appeared to inspire him, as he shut out his next opponent, Matt Hardwick, and moved on to a winners’ side semifinal against Ruben Bautista.

Dominguez got into the hot seat match with an 8-1 victory over Costello. Eberle joined him after downing Bautista 8-5 and sending him to the loss side from which he would return to challenge Eberle again, in the semifinals, and Dominguez in the finals. 

On the loss side, Bautista picked up Jordan Holman, who’d lost to Jeff Gray in the opening, winners’ side round and was six matches into his loss-side run, that had included recent victories over Ernie Rivas 7-2 and a shutout win over Tim Daniel. Costello drew Ronnie Wiseman, who was six matches into his eight-in-a-row, loss-side run. He’d eliminated Jeff Gray (for Holman), had recently handed Matt Hardwick his second straight shutout and sent Bret Huth home 6-2.

Bautista ended Holman’s loss-side streak, though not before Holman had forced a 13th deciding game. Wiseman, in the meantime, extended his streak to its eighth win, downing Costello 7-2. Bautista left Wiseman in the 4th place dust (7-2) and then, in a rematch, defeated Eberle 7-4 in the semifinals. 

Entering the finals, Oscar Dominguez was sporting a 73% game-winning average through six matches (48-17). Bautista stepped to the table with a 66% average through eight matches (58-29); his loss to Eberle and his first loss-side, double hill match versus Holman had dropped that percentage down from the 78% it had been before he’d run into Eberle. Dominguez won the game-winning percentage in the finals by a fair amount (66%). Bautista’s game-winning average in the finals was dramatically low at 38%, much more dramatic than the actual score. Dominguez completed his undefeated run with an 11-7 win over Bautista to claim the 26th Annual “Swanee” Memorial title.

Tournament director Tim Kovacs thanked Mark Griffin (“for adding the $4,000 and for all (he) does for pool) and his “always awesome” Griff’s Staff for their hospitality. He thanked Daniel Krupinski, as well, for filling in on short notice and doing a good job running the free stream. Kovacs also thanked Mike Moyer for helping things run smoothly ‘on the board.’ He broadened the scope of general thanks, to include any and all who’d supported the event.

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McMinn goes undefeated to win 4th Annual Royce Bunnell Memorial Tournament

Gary Abood, Shane McMinn and Randy Staggs

As it turned out, both finalists in the 4th Annual Royce Bunnell Memorial Tournament, held over the long weekend of December 13-15, were looking to boost their 2019 resume; one, by chalking up only his second (recorded) victory of the year and the other, with a first (recorded) cash finish anywhere in over two years. Given the date, it was likely to be their last 2019 tour/event victory and/or cash finish. Shane McMinn, who went undefeated to claim the title, had won the DFW 9-Ball Tour’s season opener back in January. For runner-up Gary Abood, the Bunnell Memorial became his first (recorded) cash finish in any event since he finished 4th at the inaugural Scotty Townsend Memorial 9-Ball Tournament in March of 2017. The $2,000-added Bunnell Memorial, organized and sponsored by OB Cues, drew 68 entrants to the Billiard Den in Richardson, TX.
 
Shane McMinn’s path to the winners’ circle opened with a bye and three straight matches in which he allowed his opponent – in order, Greg Sandifer, Noel Villalobos and Isaac Wooten – only a single rack. McMinn advanced to down Ryan Robinson 7-3 and draw his first match against Abood in a winners’ side semifinal. Abood had arrived after chalking up one 7-2 victory over Alberto Nieto and three, 7-3 wins over Jason Judd, Billy Pinion and Corey Flud. Randy Staggs, in the meantime, squared off against Steve Raynes in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
Staggs got into the hot seat match with a 7-4 win over Raynes. Abood chalked up twice as many racks against McMinn in the winners’ side semifinal than all of McMinn’s previous opponents combined, necessitating a 13th deciding rack. McMinn dropped the last 9-ball and moved on to the hot seat match. McMinn returned to form, allowing Staggs only a single rack as he claimed the hot seat.
 
On the loss side, Raynes picked up Gerardo Perez, who’d lost his opening match to TJ Davis and was in the midst of an eight-match, loss-side winning streak that would take him as far as the quarterfinals and had most recently included victories over Ryan Robinson 7-5 and, in a successful rematch, TJ Davis, 7-4. Abood drew Juan Parra, who was in the midst of a seven-match, loss-side winning streak that was about to end and had included recent victories over Jeff Sullivan 7-3 and Walter Huenerfuerst 7-2.
 
Abood and Perez advanced to the quarterfinals with identical 7-5 victories over Parra and Raynes, respectively. Abood then ended Perez’ loss-side winning streak 7-4 in those quarterfinals and earned a second shot against McMinn with a 7-4 victory over Staggs in the semifinals. 
 
Unlike their double hill, winners’ side semifinal match, the finals saw McMinn return, once again, to the form that ultimately earned him the event title. He gave up two racks to Abood in the 7-2 finals, ending with an aggregate score of 35-15; a 70% winning percentage. To Abood’s credit, his runner-up finish came as the result of having won just over half of the racks that McMinn had lost. 
 
McMinn and Abood figured prominently in two other events that were part of the 9-Ball Royce Bunnell Memorial. The weekend began with a 32-entrant, 8-Ball Mini Tournament, which was won by Gary Abood with OB Cues President Jesse Garcia as the event’s runner-up. There was also a Banks Ring (Chip style) Tournament, won by McMinn, with Jeff Sullivan finishing as runner-up and Chris “Woody” Smith in 3rd place. 
 
David “Doc” Reyes, Customer Service Manager for OB Cues, who’s been the main promoter and ‘head of the spear’ in the organization of this annual memorial event, along with the President of OB Cues, Jesse Garcia and CEO Mark Griffin (both of whom competed) thanked Marci Rothberg and her Billiard Den staff for their hospitality, as well as sponsors (representatives), OB Cues, Fort Worth Billiards Superstore (Albert Trujillo), John Eagle Honda Dallas (JP Kinman, GM), Outville Racks (Chris Renfro), Granite Guyz and Dallas 8-Ball League. Reyes and Jennifer Hooten directed the event, while RackemTV sponsored the stream with commentary by Billy Guy and Marc Gonzalez as commentators. 

Callado wins four to capture NAPT Desert Challenge in Las Vegas

(l to r): Tara Williams, Gigi Callejas, Veronique Menard & Eleanor Callado

In a short field of 23 entrants, some of whom competed last year at the same event, Eleanor Callado won four straight matches to capture the North American Pool Tour’s (NAPT) 4th Desert Challenge title on the weekend of September 19-22 at Griff’s in Las Vegas, NV. Callado faced separate challengers in the hot seat and finals of this 10-ball competition – Gigi Callejas (hot seat) and Canada’s Veronique Menard (finals) – to complete her undefeated run.
 
Granted an opening round bye, as eight of the event’s 12 competitors squared off in a play-in round, Callado drew Kim Pierce off that play-in round and defeated her 7-5 to open her four-match march to the winners’ circle. She then faced Melissa Herndon in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Gigi Callejas, in the meantime, who’d defeated Christina Gonzalez 7-5 in the play-in round, went on to get by Tara Williams 7-5 and draw Veronique Menard in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
Callado and Callejas advanced to the hot seat match with identical 7-4 wins over Herndon and Menard, respectively. Callado grabbed the hot seat with a 7-2 win over Callejas and waited on the return of Menard.
 
Over on the loss side, Menard picked up Nicole King, who’d defeated Laura Bendikas 7-3 and Kim Pierce 7-5 to reach her. Herndon drew Tara Williams, who’d eliminated Debra Aarens 7-3 and shut out Bernie Store.
 
Menard downed King 7-5 and in the quarterfinals, faced Williams, who’d survived a double hill battle versus Herndon. Menard took the quarterfinal match 7-5 over Williams to earn a rematch against Callejas in the semifinals.
 
Menard earned her slot in the finals with a 7-3 rematch win over Callejas in the semifinals. Callado, though, punctuated her brief, but successful run on the Desert Challenge by giving up only a single rack to Menard in the event finals.
 
NAPT President Adrienne Beach thanked Mark Griffin and his staff for their hospitality, as well as Rail2Rail Productions for their live streaming of selected matches throughout the weekend. The next NAPT event, scheduled for October 24-27 will be the Division I Pro Coupe Du Quebec, hosted by Dooly’s in Quebec, Canada.

Foldes goes undefeated, downing Dominguez twice, to win 23rd Annual ‘Swanee’ Memorial

Vilmos Foldes, TD Tim Kovacs and Oscar Dominguez

The annual Jay Swanson (‘Swanee’) Memorial has a way of drawing the country’s top pool talent to the West Coast, or thereabouts. Not that players need much of an incentive to play out there, but the list of previous winners includes players who are recognizable by their last or just a single name; Orcollo (2013, 2014), The Lion (2011, 2012), Parica (2010), and Archer (2008), for example. Last year (2018), Canada’s Erik Hjorliefson grabbed the title, though he did not compete this year. This year’s finalists, Hungarian Vilmos Foldes and West Coast native and West Coast Tour director Oscar Dominguez played in last year’s quarterfinals, won by Dominguez. This year, Foldes and Dominguez met twice, in the hot seat and finals, with Foldes winning both. The $3,000-added, 23rd Annual Jay Swanson Memorial, held on the weekend of February 23-24, drew 64 entrants to Griff’s Bar & Billiards in Las Vegas, NV.

Foldes’ path to the winners’ circle went through Butch Barba, Brian Begay, Peter Horton and Fach Garcia before arriving at a winners’ side semifinal matchup against Bret Huth. The younger Dominguez (Oscar, with his father, Ernesto, moving in his general direction on the winners’ side) got by Jay Mulimbayan, Marshall Jung, Robin Figueroa and Ian Costello to arrive at his winners’ side semifinal matchup against ‘young gun’ Christopher Robinson-Reinhold, who’d just spoiled Oscar’s opportunity to play his father by defeating him 8-6 in a winners’ side quarterfinal (father and son would not have played, they never do; Ernesto always forfeiting matches in which he’s pitted against his son).
Foldes got into the hot seat match 8-4 over Huth. Oscar Dominguez joined him after an 8-2 victory over Robinson-Reinhold. Foldes took the first of his two against Dominguez 8-5 and claimed the hot seat.
Over on the loss side, Robinson-Reinhold picked up Nick DeLeon, who, after his defeat at the hands of Bret Huth in a winners’ side quarterfinal, had eliminated Tuan Tran 7-3 and Fach Garcia 7-1 to reach him. Huth, in the meantime, drew Mitch Ellerman, who was in the midst of a six-match, loss-side winning streak that included the elimination of Ernesto Dominguez and Ian Costello, both 7-2.
Huth ended Ellerman’s run 7-5 and in the quarterfinals, faced Robinson-Reinhold, who’d defeated DeLeon 7-5, as well. Robinson-Reinhold took one more step, shutting Huth out in those quarterfinals.
Oscar Dominguez, no doubt eager for a second shot at Foldes in the hot seat, got his chance with a 7-4 win over Robinson-Reinhold in the semifinals. Foldes, though, in a final race to 11, claimed the 23rd Annual Swanee Memorial title 11-8 over Dominguez.
Event representatives thanked Mark Griffin and his staff for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Predator Cues, JB Cases, Simonis Cloth and Discount Custom Apparel.

The WPA and CSI to Produce the 2019 WPA Players Championship in Las Vegas

The World Pool-Billiard Association (WPA) and CueSports International (CSI) are excited to announce a collaboration to produce the 2019 WPA Players Championship.  The event will be staged at Griff’s Billiards in Las Vegas, April 16-19, ahead of the US Open 9-Ball Championship, which will be held April 21-26 at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas.  This WPA Category 3 Ranking event, with $50,000 added prize money, will provide players, especially those competing in the US Open 9-Ball Championship, even more opportunity in Las Vegas.
 
WPA President, Ian Anderson said, “The WPA is delighted to be staging its own ranking event in the legendary hub of pool, Las Vegas.  Our goal is for this event to be the first of more to follow.”
 
The event will be limited to 64 players in a single elimination format with a 32-player consolation event for those eliminated in the first round.  The main event will be a race to seven with the semi-final and final being a race to nine.  The consolation event will be a race to five with the semi-final and final being a race to seven.  48 of the 64 players in the main event will be chosen by the WPA rankings and WPA member federations.  A single $250 entry fee will cover the main event and the consolation tournament.
 
The remaining 16 spots will be filled by four qualifier tournaments, one per day, held at Griff’s Billiards April 12-15.  The top four finishers from each qualifier will receive a paid spot in the main event.  A single *$250 qualifier entry fee allows players to compete in all four qualifiers and will also gain free entry into the main event for those who qualify.  Qualifiers will be single elimination, race to five and open to anyone not already entered in the main event.  The field is limited to 96 players each day on a first come basis.  Details will be available soon on how and where to enter.
(*a daily entry of $100 is an option)
 
“We are honored to assist the WPA in producing this event,” said CSI CEO, Ozzy Reynolds.  “Professional pool is experiencing a resurgence in the U.S. and we are glad to be part of it.  This is great for the players and the entire industry."
 
​Prize funds are guaranteed by the WPA, and the payouts for the main event and consolation tournament will be as follows.
 
WPA Players Championship Payouts
1 – $10,000
2 – $7,000
3/4 – $5,000 ea.
5/8 – $3,000 ea.
9/16 – $1,500 ea.
17/32 – $400 ea.
 
Consolation Tournament Payouts
1 – $1,500
2 – $1,000
3/4 – $500 ea.
5/8 – $250 ea.
9/16 – $150 ea.
 
Mark Griffin, owner of Griff’s Billiards, said, “We are thrilled that the WPA chose Griff’s as the host location for this event and we are excited to be part of the continued growth of professional pool.”
 
All other details will be released in the coming weeks at https://wpapool.com/wpa-players-championship/.
 
The World Pool-Billiard Association (WPA) is the international governing body for pocket billiards and is comprised of six member federations representing North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia.  The WPA is the world-recognized body for sanctioning World Championship events.  It is also one of the three member organizations of the World Confederation of Billiards Sports (WCBS), representing the billiard disciplines of pool, snooker and carom.  For more information about the WPA, visit www.wpapool.com.
 
CueSports International (CSI) is an international pool league and event leader and is currently comprised of three divisions: CSI leagues, CSI events and CSI media.  CSI leagues manages the BCA Pool League and USA Pool League, CSI events produces numerous amateur and professional events around the globe and CSI media creates live streaming and digital content.  Through its vision and strategic alliances, CSI is “shaping the future of pool.”  For more information about CSI or any of its divisions, visit www.playcsipool.com or find CueSports International on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter.

Ozzy Reynolds Becomes CEO of CueSports International

Ozzy Reynolds

CueSports International (CSI) is excited to announce that effective August 1, 2018, Ozzy Reynolds will become the new owner and CEO of CSI.  This is part of a planned succession that was put into place in 2014 when Reynolds joined the company as General Manager.
 
Reynolds has a wealth of billiards experience as both a player and promoter.  He began playing at just eight years old and has competed in various leagues, regional tours and pro tournaments.  A native of Virginia, Ozzy is the founder of The Action Pool Tour, VA State-10-Ball Championships and VA State 8-Ball Championships.
 
Along with his billiards acumen, he also has impressive education and experience.  He worked as a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Design Lead for ten years, a Construction Manager for NASA infrastructure projects for three years, a Project Manager for NASA facility projects for four years, and CSI General Manager for four years.  He has also served on the Billiards Congress of America (BCA) Board of Directors since 2016.  In 2009, he earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Business Administration (BSBA) from Old Dominion University with a minor in Civil Engineering Technology.  In 2012, he earned a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from the prestigious College of William & Mary.  He also holds official certifications as a Marine Designer and a Project Management Professional (PMP®).
 
Reynolds is eager to begin this new chapter and lead CSI to realize its full potential.  When asked about his new role, Reynolds said, "I am extremely honored and humbled to be at the helm of such an incredible organization.  For me, this is the culmination of many years of education, hard work and passion.  For CSI, it is a new chapter.  We will continue to operate with the passion, commitment and principles of our founder, Mark Griffin.  The future of CSI is very bright."
 
Ozzy Reynolds
Owner / CEO
ozzy@playcsipool.com | 702-719-POOL (7665)
 
 
Taking over for Reynolds as General Manager is current CSI Office Manager, Amy Kane.  A native of Las Vegas, Kane has owned and operated several businesses and has served as CSI Office Manager since 2015.
She was first introduced to pool in 2006 and her passion for the game quickly grew.  She and a business partner launched VegasBilliardsBuzz.com in 2009 which galvanized the Vegas pool community.  Based upon its success, they then launched the Vegas Billiards Tour which operated successfully for seven years.
"The experience Amy has gained over the years as a league player, team captain, league operator, tournament director and CSI Office Manager, coupled with her business intelligence, makes her the perfect candidate for General Manager," explained Reynolds.
Kane looks forward to her new position and said, “I’m honored to take on this role.  I have always been dedicated to the betterment of the game and this capacity will give me a greater ability to do just that.  We have an exceptional team that strives for that every single day.”
 
Amy Kane
General Manager
amy@playcsipool.com | 702-719-POOL (7665)
 
 
This comes on the heels of CSI founder and international businessman, Mark Griffin, deciding that it was time to turn CSI over to the next generation.  Griffin founded CSI in 2004 and quickly propelled it to become one of the most well-known and respected billiards companies in the world.  It began as the parent company of the BCA Pool League but Griffin quickly added to its portfolio with the creation of the USA Pool League and numerous amateur and professional events including the US Open 10-Ball, US Open 8-Ball, US Open Straight Pool, US Open One Pocket, US Open Bank Pool, US Bar Table Championships, Jay Swanson Memorial, and many more.
 
Although Griffin's vast experience and accomplishments are too numerous to list here, he has been a master level player, billiard instructor, proprietor of pool rooms in three states since 1969, table mechanic, cue and memorabilia collector, league operator, table manufacturer, BCA Board Director and a partner or supporter of various billiards ventures and initiatives such as The Action Report (TAR), American Rotation, FargoRate and many others.
 
In 2015, Griffin underwent a successful double lung transplant at the age of 68.  He quickly recovered and got right back to work.  In addition to his duties as CEO of CSI, in 2016 he opened what has quickly become one of the most acclaimed pool rooms in the country which bears his name – Griff's Bar & Billiards.  "Mark Griffin is an amazing person.  He bounced back from a double lung transplant as if it were a scrape on his elbow and jumped right back into work.  Then he began the long and arduous process of building and opening Griff's.  All I could do was watch in amazement as he ran circles around all of us," says Reynolds.
 
When asked about this transition, Griffin said, “This plan of succession has been in place for more than four years and I decided that it was now time to hand over the reins of CSI to the next generation.  I am proud of what CSI has accomplished and confident that it will continue to be a leader in the industry.”  When asked what’s next for him, Griffin said, “Since my health is good and I feel great, I’d like to spend more time focusing on Griff’s and traveling.”
 
Although Griffin is officially "retiring" from CSI, he will continue to be a trusted advisor and will be given the title of CEO Emeritus to denote his perpetual status as founder, honor his distinguished service and recognize his continued council.  Reynolds added, "Mark Griffin isn't disappearing.  His knowledge and experience is an asset and we will continue to utilize it as much as possible."

Van Boening grabs US Open One Pocket title

Shane Van Boening

Shane Van Boening captured another US Open title, making an undefeated run to win the US Open One Pocket Championship on Sunday in Las Vegas.
 
The US Open One Pocket Championship started Mar. 23-25 at Griff’s in Las Vegas. CueSports International added $5,000 to the One Pocket Championship and $2,500 to the Bank Pool Championship, which Van Boening also won earlier in the week.
 
Van Boening swept through the 29-player field, giving up only three games during the entire tournament. His path included wins over: Jay Helfert, 4-0; Nick Beretanos, 4-1; Dee Adkins, 4-0; Ronnie Alcano, 4-0; before beating Oscar Dominguez, 4-1, to capture the hot seat.
 
Alcano, of the Philippines, would meet Van Boening in the final. Alcano bested: Jimmy Moore, 4-0; Wayne Pullen, 4-1; and Gus Briseno, 4-3, before Van Boening put in him the loser’s bracket, 4-0. On the B-side of the bracket, Alcano beat: Warren Kiamco, 3-2; Brandon Shuff, 3-1; and Dominguez, 3-1, to captured a spot in the finals.
 
During the finals, Van Boening played nearly perfect, keeping tight control of the table. Alcano won just one game in the single-race-to-five finals format.
 
Shane Van Boening, $6,000
Ronnie Alcano, $3,000
Oscar Dominguez, $2,000
Brandon Shuff, $1,000
Dee Adkins, $500
Warren Kiamco, $500
Bob Herchik, $350
Ian Costello, $350
 
Tournament organizer Mark Griffin, who also owns Griff’s in Las Vegas, said the US Open Bank Pool Championship and US Open One Pocket Championship will be held at Griff’s again in 2019, although dates have not been set yet. Both events will be $5,000 added, Griffin said.
 
“Jay Helfert has offered to add $2,500 to the Bank Pool Championship next year,” Griffin said. “It’s very generous of him and will help us draw a larger field in the future.”
 
For more information, contact Mary Coffman, CSI Marketing Manager, at 702-719-7665 or by email at mary@playcsipool.com.