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House Champions Justin Espinosa and Kim Sanders Takes 3rd Stop 2022 Arcadia Centex Pool Tour

Skinny Bob’s Billiards in Round Rock, Texas was a buzz on the weekend of April 30th 2022 as the Predator Arcadia CenTex Pool Tour made its debut in the Austin-Round Rock area with its third stop at the wildly popular venue featuring 18 9-foot Diamond tables.

In the Open Division, 67 local and traveling players competed in the $1500 added 9-ball tournament with a $40 entry. The double-elimination event featured the Predator Arcos II ball set and Accu-Rack template racks with races to 7/5, alternative breaks, and 3-foul and 3-point rules in effect.  This event attracted Diveney-sponsored touring professional, Chip Compton, Predator professionals Ruben Bautista from Mexico and Daniel Schneider, and Predator Junior Pro, Lazaro ‘Lil Laz’ Martinez III. A handful of local Austin heavy hitters joined in their ranks: pro Justin Espinosa, up-and-coming Noah Contreras and the seasoned champs Kevin Guimond and James Davis Jr. Several favorites from across Texas also made their way for this stop: Albert Luna, Matthew Shoemaker and Jon Giles from San Antonio, Andy Jethwa from Houston, Robert Perez from Corpus Christi and Sky Massingill and Curtis Tidmore from Odessa.

The opening rounds proved safe for the higher ranked competitors with exceptions for Kevin Guimond, who lost his first match to Lil Laz 4-7, and for James Davis Jr, who also suffered a first-round 4-7 loss by local player, John Wright. Sky Massingill from Odessa, Texas squared off against the formidable Chip Compton in his second match and was sent to the one-loss side after a 4-7 defeat.  Jon Giles also found his way to the one-loss side in his second round by local player Kenney Nguyen 2-7.

In the concluding rounds, Chip Compton, fresh from his victory against Sky, secured his position on the winner’s bracket by defeating Daniel Schneider 7-3 on the streaming table. Albert Luna and Andy Jethwa also squared off in the fourth round where Albert capitalized on Andy’s shortcomings, sending Andy to the one-loss side with a 7-4 victory.  Justin Espinosa overcame Matthew Shoemaker with a dominating 7-2 win. As the day drew to a close, Laz Martinez, Curtis Tidmore, Noah Contreras and John Wright completed their rounds unscathed to move onto the next day’s proceedings.

Meanwhile, in the one-loss side, Jon Giles prevailed into the second day by edging Kevin Guimond and Daniel Schneider in back-to-back hill-hill battles. Andy Jethwa, after his loss to Albert Luna, eliminated James Davis Jr.5-0 and Patrick Perez, after his loss to Ruben Bautista, defeated Michael Taylor 5-1.  Sky Massingill barely skated by Robert Sopha 5-4 in the third round and proceeded to conclude his day by eliminating Robert Perez 5-2 and Bill Regalis 5-1.

16 players returned for second day in the Open Division with 8 players scheduled to face-off in the winner’s bracket: Albert Luna vs Curtis Tidmore, Noah Contreras vs John Wright, Chip Compton vs Ruben Bautista and Justin Espinosa vs Lazaro Martinez, and another 8 players in the one-loss side: Jon Giles vs Patrick Perez, Matthew Shoemaker vs Cody Simko, Andy Jethwa vs Joe Cannata and Eduardo Ramirez vs Sky Massingill.  Jon Giles, Cody Simko, Joe Cannata and Eduardo Ramirez’s run drew to a close in the 7th round of the one-loss side by the hands of their opponents and placing 13th- 16th.  The remaining top 12 players were guaranteed a payout.

Albert Luna advanced into the 6th round of the winner’s bracket against Noah Contreras when Curtis Tidmore’s attempt to take the match to hill-hill with Albert was unsuccessful.  However, Noah swiftly encapsulated his victory over Albert 7-1 to earn Noah his place in the hotseat match. Fresh to the one-loss side and in the 8th and 9th round, Curtis eliminated Patrick Perez 5-0  and Matthew Shoemaker 5-3.

Chip Compton and Ruben Bautista’s match quickly drew to a close as Chip overwhelmed Ruben with a 7-3 victory, allowing Chip to observe his next opponent between Justin Espinosa vs Laz Martinez. In Justin and Laz’s hill-hill match, attendants watched Laz Martinez execute a beautiful close-proximity jump shot, only to overcut the 6-ball and enable Justin to claim victory and advance to the next match against Chip.  Laz Martinez was unrecoverable and was swiftly eliminated by Sky Massingill in a stunning 0-5 loss, placing Laz 9th-12th.  Ruben also unceremoniously ended his run for the top, placing 9th-12th, when he was eliminated by Andy Jethwa.  Meanwhile, Justin and Chip’s exciting battle for the hotseat match took a surprising turn as streaming viewers witnessed Justin, down 3-6 with Chip on the hill, fought his way to victory.  Good friends, Noah and Justin fought a friendly but fierce match for the hotseat with Justin claiming the spot 7-4.

In the 10th round of the one-loss side for 5th-6th place, both remaining Odessa players were eliminated from competition as Chip briskly defeated Curtis Tidmore 5-0 while Albert Luna edged by in a hill-hill win against Sky Massingill 5-4.  In a swift match for 4th place, San Antonio’s ‘GOAT’ Albert Luna escaped a hill-hill match against Chip 5-3 to face Noah once more.  Afterward and in a tighter match between Albert and Noah for 3rd, Noah overcame Albert on the hill 5-4, and the Open Division tournament concluded with Noah and Justin splitting top place.

In the Women’s Division, seventeen bright and talented ladies competed in the 2-day double-elimination 9-ball event at the third stop of Predator Arcadia CenTex Tour that ran concurrently with the Open Division.  The event was played on Skinny Bob’s Billiards’s 9-foot Diamond tables using Predator Arcos II ball set and Accu-Rack template racks. Rules consisted of races 5/4, alternative breaks and 3-foul rule in effect with a 100% payout to the top 6 players accumulated from the $25 player entries and additional $500 added to the event.

12 of the 17 competitors were first-time attendants to the Predator Arcadia CenTex Pool Tour, including formidable Skinny Bob co-owner, Kim Sanders, alongside her fellow local Austin frontrunners: Jennifer Kraber, Michelle Cortez, Nicole Mcdaniel and Kim Pierce. Travelling contenders included Houston favorite, Natalie Rocha, and challengers Crystal Jones and Jamie Wilson from Odessa, Texas and Mary Mikita from Corpus Christi.

In the beginning rounds, Nicole Mcdaniel suffered an early loss from the redoubtable Michelle Cortez 1-5 and fought her way into the second day by eliminating  Kim Pierce 4-0, Zoe Lozano 4-0 and Michelle Abernathy 4-2 from the one-loss side. Michelle Cortez, fresh from her win against Nicole in the first round, also sent accomplished Jennifer Kraber to the one-loss side with a 5-3 victory to conclude Michelle’s matches for the first day. Crystal Jones from Odessa, Texas impressively defeated Kim Pierce 5-0 and her traveling companion, Jamie Wilson 5-3 before being sent to the one-loss side herself from her defeat to Kim Sanders 3-5.  Angela Miles remained undefeated at the conclusion of the first day with her victories against Rachel Hurst 5-3 and Natalie Rocha 5-4. Joining Angela, Michelle and Kim in the winner’s side, Mary Mikita defeated San Antonians, Zoe Lisa Bailey 5-3 and Zoe Lozano 5-1. Jennifer Kraber successfully persisted through the first day by eliminating Makenna Sanders 4-1 and Houston’s Natalie Rocha 4-3 from the one-loss side.

Six competitors returned for the event’s second day with a guaranteed pay-out for all places. On the winner’s side: Kim Sanders battled Mary Mikita on the streaming table and on the table adjacent, Angela Miles faced off against Michelle Cortez while Nicole Mcdaniel and Jennifer Kraber waited in the one-loss side.  Skinny Bob’s Billiards’ locals Kim Sanders 5-1 and Michelle Cortez 5-3 defeated their out-of-town opponents to battle it out in the hotseat match.  In the proceeding matches in the one-loss side, Nicole eliminated Angela Miles 4-3 and Mary Mikita ended Jennifer Kraber’s run for the top 4-1, placing Angela and Jennifer in 5th/6th place.  In the 4th place match, Mary Mikita swiftly defeated Nicole Mcdaniel 4-0 to face-off against Michelle Cortez after Michelle’s hotseat match loss to Kim Sanders 2-5.  The strategic 3rd place match between Mary and Michelle reached hill-hill with numerous back-and-forth safety plays where Michelle Cortez edged for the win and ended Mary’s first participation in the CenTex tours in 3rd place.  Good friends Michelle Cortez and Kim Sanders fought an intense battle in the finale where, for the second time, Kim proclaimed victory over Michelle with an outstanding 5-3 win and was crowned winner of the Women’s Division 3rd stop and Michelle as runner-up.

The next stop for Predator Arcadia CenTex Pool Tour 2022 is scheduled for the weekend of June 11th-12th, 2022 as a $2000-added Jack-and-Jill Scotch Doubles 9-ball Tournament hosted by Banana’s Billiards in San Antonio, Texas.

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New Champions Launch at Space City Open IX

Roberto Gomez

Gomez, Bayaua, Compton, Almaraz, and Martinez, III Earn Titles

Roberto “Superman” Gomez captured the Space City Open IX, 128-player 9-ball division, defeating John “Mr. Smooth” Morra in the finals, 9-2, 7-5, taking home his first 9-ball division title. Gomez earned a well-deserved, $1,500 bonus, and new “All-Around” title, for his stellar play across all three divisions. Taking home first titles, Houston’s Ernesto Bayaua showed off his skills, defeating Alex Calderone in the one pocket division final, 4-3, while Oklahoma’s Chip Compton ousted Las Vegas’ Gary Lutman in the 9-ball banks division final, 4-3. In the ladies open 9-ball division, Mille Almaraz went undefeated, besting Ming “The Empress” Ng in the finals, 7-4. Finally, in the junior 9-ball division, Lazaro “Little Laz” Martinez, III, defended his 2019 title, marking up three consecutive title wins in his division. 

The Derby-like, Space City Open IX, was held December 2nd-5th, 2021, at Big Tyme Billiards in Spring, Texas, with four days of free live streaming provided by Southern Streaming. The event featured 178 players, competing in five divisions, over four days. The event drew players from Oklahoma, New Mexico, Nevada, and even Canada. Roberto Gomez returned to defend his 2019 one pocket title, along with champions John Morra, Chip Compton, Tommy Tokoph, Ernesto Bayaua, Manny Chau, Alex Calderone, Charlie Bryant, and WPBA Touring Professional, Loreejon Jones, all vying for a piece of the $56,195 payout and $1,500 “All-Around” bonus. 

Space City would like to thank those who were instrumental in the production of this event; John Newsome, Kim Newsome, Ruth Paine, Chuck Adams, Mike Fabacher with Southern Streaming, owners and staff at Big Tyme Billiards, Mike McDonald and Alamo Billiards, Poison by Predator Cues, Predator Cues, Outsville Billiards, Jerry Olivier, and Brutal Game Gear. Vendors for this event included Jerry Olivier Cues and Cue Repair, Joe Salazar Connoisseur of Custom Cues, and Brutal Game Gear. Special “thanks” to Jerry Olivier Custom Cues and Cue Repair and Brutal Game Gear who added an additional $500 to this year’s junior division. 

The open, ladies, and junior 9-ball divisions were played on twenty-four, Diamond bar tables. The one pocket and banks were played on six, nine foot tables. Predator Arcos II ball sets and Accu-Racks were used on all tables, supplied by event sponsors Predator Cues and Outsville Billiards, respectively. Big Tyme Billiards provided a smoke-free environment, and some of the best playing equipment Texas has to offer, for the billiard extravaganza.

Roberto Gomez (Chris Castaneda)

The true double elimination, 128-player open 9-ball division kicked off Saturday morning at 10am, and concluded on Sunday evening. In the final sixteen on the winners’ side, Ernesto Bayaua sent Manny Chau west, 9-2, Eric Aicinena overwhelmed Felipe Yniguez, 9-4, and John Morra overpowered Joey Bourgeois, Jr., 9-3. Las Vegas’ Scott Kitto slid by Andy Jethwa, 9-7, Roberto Gomez denied Kenneth Price, 9-5, and Austin’s Justin Espinosa eased past Steve Lenz, 9-8. Derek Fontenot beat Eric Cantrell, 9-4, and San Antonio’s Rick Moreno outplayed Jessie Moore, 9-4. The next round witnessed Aicinena oust Bayaua, 9-4, Morra deny Kitto, 9-3, and Gomez detour Espinosa, 9-3. Rounding out the final four, Fontenot bested Moreno, 9-3. 

Advancing to the hot seat, Morra thwarted Aicinena, 9-2, while Fontenot upset Gomez, 9-4. Morra defeated Fontenot in the hot seat match, 9-6. On the one-loss side, Steve Lenz fought his way into the final eight with wins over Charlie “Hillbilly” Bryant, 7-3, Price, 7-3, and Bayaua, 7-2. Blaine Barcus eliminated eight players, including Cantrell, 7-3, Moore, 7-2, and Kitto, 7-4. Chau dusted off New Mexico’s Donivan Pedroncelli, 7-3, Cesar Arrechiga, 7-2, and Espinosa, 7-2, while Moreno ended Bourgeois, Jr., 7-3. Barcus maintained momentum, ousting Lenz, 7-4, but falling to Gomez by the same score. Chau handily beat Moreno, 7-2,  and Aicinena, 7-4. Gomez defeated Chau, 7-2, and Fontenot, 7-1, to meet Morra in the finals. In the first set, Morra could not gain ground, while Gomez had the break down cold. Gomez dominated the first set, 9-2. In the second set, Morra seemed to regroup, but Gomez inched ahead to capture the second set, 7-5, and his first, Space City, open 9-ball division title.

Ernesto Bayaua

In the single elimination, 38-player one pocket division, teeing off in the final eight, Alex Calderone defeated Roberto Gomez, 4-2, while Kenneth Price made quick work of J.C. Torres, 4-1. Ernesto Bayaua slid past John Morra, 4-3, and John Gabriel overwhelmed Mark Nanashee, 4-1. Final four action witnessed Calderone eliminate Price, 4-1, and Bayaua escape Gabriel, 4-3. In the final match, it was a fight to the finish for Calderone and Bayaua. Players traded safeties and games, for hours, until a determined Bayaua pulled ahead to close out the set, 4-3, earning his first Space City, one pocket division title.

In the single elimination, 36-player 9-ball banks division, final eight action witnessed Chip Compton defeat Alex Calderone, 4-1, and John Morra shut out Kenneth Price, 4-0. Local favorite, Tommy Tokoph, curbed Mark Nanashee, 4-1, and Gary Lutman sent Gabriel packing, 4-1. Down to the final four, Compton struck a blow against Morra, 4-2, and Lutman upset Tokoph, 4-3.  In the final match, Compton edged out Lutman, 4-3, to win his first, Space City, 9-ball banks division title.

Mille Almaraz

The 34-player, ladies open 9-ball division, featured defending champion, Ming Ng, returning champion, Natalie Rocha, Indiana’s Toni Tucker, and Canadian, WPBA Touring Professional, Suzanne Peters. Making their way to the winners’ side, final four, La Le overcame Mary “Princess” Avina, 7-6, Michelle Yim, 7-4, and Suzanne Peters, 7-2, while Ming “The Empress” Ng passed Michelle Abernathy, 7-3, Toni Tucker, 7-4, and Christy Grigsby, 7-4. Mille Almaraz detoured Ruth Paine, 7-3, Yvonne “The Casher” Asher, 7-1, and Natalie Rocha, 7-6. Laurie Clouette came on strong, with wins over Sara Bork, 7-4, Brandi Scott, 7-5, Loretta Miller, 7-2, and Teresa “Princess of Pool” Garland, 7-6. On the west side, reaching the final eight, Tucker shut out Rocha, 5-0, while Garland took out McHaney, 5-3. Peters overwhelmed Pierce, 5-2, and Petrosino sent Grigsby home, 5-3. On the winners’ side, Ng bested Le, 7-2, and it was Almaraz over Clouette, 7-2. In her hot seat match debut, Almaraz took down the defending champ, 7-5, further securing her position in a very tough field. Back on the one-loss side, Tucker took out Garland, 5-2, and Le, 5-3, while Petrosino ended Peters, 5-3, and Clouette, 5-0. Tucker claimed five matches before Petrosino stopped her run, 5-3. This was Petrosino’s eighth, match win, an incredible run to reach the final three, after losing her very first match to Melissa Smith, 7-5. Petrosino was forced to settle for third place, after suffering a 5-3 loss at the hands of Ng. The rematch between Almaraz and Ng was set in motion. A confident Almaraz took control of the first set, and did not look back. She defeated Ng, 7-4, to capture her first, Space City, women’s open 9-ball division title.

Lazaro Martinez III

The junior 9-ball division commenced on Sunday, featuring 13 competitors from across Texas. On their way to the winners’ side, final four, Gabriel Martinez defeated Aniyah Maldonado, 7-2, and Ace Smith, 7-2, while Lazaro “Little Laz” Martinez, III, bested Vania Davila, 7-0, and Jayden Holt, 7-1. Mary Grigsby outran Makenzlee Cameron, 7-4, and Cameron King, 7-4, while Kevin Gallegos slid past Nathan Garay, 7-6, and Eva Grigsby, 7-4. On the one-loss side, after suffering a first round loss to Holt, Tyler Miller was on a mission, eliminating Davila, 5-2, King, 5-0, and Maldonado, 5-3. Holt dusted off Cameron, 5-1, while Smith ended Garay, 5-2. Smith vanquished Holt, 5-2, and along with Miller, reached the final six, and the money. On the east side, the Martinez brothers faced off in the final four, with Gabriel advancing, 7-1, while M. Grigsby lost her bid for the hot seat to Gallegos, 7-2. G. Martinez made quick work of Gallegos, 7-0, to capture the hot seat. On the west side, Laz ousted Miller, 5-2, and M. Grigsby defeated Ace, 5-3. Laz went on to eliminate Grigsby and Gallegos, to meet brother Gabriel in the finals. Gabriel gave it his best shot, but was outmatched by Laz, suffering a two-set defeat. With this victory, Laz secured his third, consecutive, Space City, junior 9-ball division title.

The Space City Open is the largest pool tournament in Texas, featuring five divisions, and is held annually, the first week in December. For more information, visit www.SpaceCityOpen.com. 

Ng Takes Gulf Coast Tour Season Opener

Kim Reiner, Teresa Garland, Ming Ng, Natalie Rocha and Ellen Robinson

Ming Ng fought through a field of twenty-two, tough, female competitors, escaping Natalie Rocha in the second set of the true, double elimination final, to claim the first stop on the 2020 Gulf Coast Women’s Regional Billiards Tour.  
 
On January 4th, 2020, sponsors Cyclop Pool Balls, Poison by Predator Cues, APA of North Harris County, Alamo Billiards, Outsville Billiards, and the Tour’s newest sponsor, Team Straight Pool Eye, facilitated a successful event for the Gulf Coast Women’s Regional Billiards Tour, paying out $940 in prize money, for the one-day, $500 added, women’s 9-ball event. The tournament was held at the legendary Slick Willies Family Pool Hall, located at 5913 Westheimer, in Houston’s upscale, Galleria area. The Gulf Coast Tour would like to thank Slick Willies’ Director of Operations, David Kimmey, for signing on to another season of events for women pool players. “We are proud to be back at Slick Willies for a second year, and thank them for their continued support” said Kim Newsome, Gulf Coast Tour Founder and Director. Slick Willies will host four events in Houston, and one in San Antonio, during the 2020 season. The next event will be held at Diamond Sports Bar and Billiards in Port Arthur, Texas, on February 8th-9th. 
 
Ming “The Empress” Ng made her way to the winners’ side final four with wins over Brittany Kromer, 7-3, and Michelle Yim, 7-4, while Teresa “Princess of Pool” Garland defeated Sandra Melo, 7-2, and Kim Reiner, 7-5. Ellen Robinson bested newcomer, Louisiana Le, 7-6, and Verda Jones, 7-1, while Natalie Rocha ousted first-timer, Brenda Gunter, 7-1, Carmel Luttrell, 7-2, and Courtney Peters, 7-5. On the one-loss side, Sherry Hildebrand ended Sandra Melo, 5-3, but was eliminated in turn by Vada Selsor. Michelle Abernathy overcame Ginger Abadilla, 5-3, while Kromer handled Gunter, 5-2. Luttrell passed Matty Sword, 5-2, Stacy Berry dismissed Terri Resendez, 5-3, and Le denied Kim Woodworth, 5-1. Rounding out the final four on the one-loss side, Selsor defended against Hildebrand, but fell to Peters, 5-2, while Kromer took out Abernathy, 5-1, and Jones, 5-3. Berry sent home Luttrell, 5-2, but lost to Reiner, 5-4, while D’Andrea McQuirter derailed Le, 5-4, only to be taken out by Yim, 5-4. It was down to the final eight players, and the action was heating up on the east side. Vying for the hot seat, Rocha dealt Robinson her first blow, while Ng shut-out Garland, pitting two of the finest, Houston players, in a hot seat showdown. Rocha was determined to change the narrative, but Ng resisted, and forged ahead to win the hot seat, 7-4. On the west side, Peters plowed through Kromer, 5-1, but was stopped by Garland, 5-4, as Reiner finished off Abernathy, 5-4, but fell to Robinson, 5-3. Final four tournament action witnessed Robinson conquer Garland, 5-2, but failing to advance further, losing to Rocha, 5-2. Rocha earned a rematch with Ng, along with a shot at redemption, and the title. In the first set, Rocha came on strong, defeating the current Tour champion, 7-5. In overtime, Ng shifted gears, defeating Rocha, 5-2, to win the Gulf Coast Tour, 2020 Season Opener.
 
Gulf Coast welcomes all of its new members, and returning members, to the 2020 Tour! The Tour offers a number of member perks, including free, 15-minute pool clinics on tournament weekends, hosted by WPBA Exempt Professional, Kim Newsome, and renowned players, Ming Ng, and Kim Pierce. Clinics are aimed at helping women improve their overall game and mindset. For more information about Tour benefits, please visit www.GulfCoastWomensTour.com.
 
Board Members Ming Ng and D’Andrea McQuirter, along with Ellen Robinson and Teresa Garland, ran a seamless event, while Ginger Abadilla photographed the players in action. The Tour would like to thank these wonderful women for a job well done.
 
The next event is February 8th-9th, 2020 at Diamond Sports Bar and Billiards in Port Arthur, Texas.  This event is played on open bar tables. For more information, visit www.GulfCoastWomensTour.com. 

 

Ng goes undefeated to win Women’s Open Division of 46th Annual Texas Open

Ming Ng (Photo courtesy Jerry Olivier Pool Tour)

The two finalists at the $1,000-added Women’s Open Division of the 46th Annual Texas Open were coming off recent victories. Ming Ng had chalked up a win on the Gulf Coast Women’s Regional Tour in June, while her finals opponent, Taylor Hansen had won a Division I Pro event on the North American Pool Tour (NAPT) in mid-August. It was the second time in a little over two weeks that 20-year-old Taylor Hansen squared off against an opponent who’d been competing as long as she’d been alive. In August, Hansen defeated Eleanor Callado in the finals of the NAPT’s 4th Summer Classic. This time, though, the veteran prevailed. Ming Ng went undefeated through the field of 32, meeting and defeating Hansen in the finals to claim the event title.
 
Though Ng had a pair of relatively easy opening matches in this event, downing Nicole McDaniel and Tracie Voelkering, both 7-1, things tightened up pretty quickly. Robyn Petrosino managed more racks against her than Ng’s first two opponents combined (three), as Ng advanced to a winners’ side semifinal against Chris Fields. Ellen Robinson, in the meantime, who’d been challenged, double hill, by Courtney Peters in the opening round, shut out Michelle Abernathy in the second and sent Teresa Garland to the loss side 7-3 in the third, faced Taylor Hansen in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
Both matches for advancement to the hot seat match went double hill, as did the hot seat match. It was Ng and Robinson who advanced as Hansen and Fields moved to the loss side. Ng claimed the hot seat, double hill, over Robinson and waited on Hansen’s return.
 
On the loss side, Chris Fields picked up Liz Galvan, who’d been defeated by Julia Rapp in the event’s opening round of play and was in the midst of a five-match, loss-side winning streak that was about to end, and had most recently included victories over Teresa Garland, double hill, and Kim Pierce 7-5. Taylor Hansen drew Jennifer Kraber, whom she’d faced at the end of the Texas Open’s Women's 10-Ball ring game. Kraber and Hansen ended up splitting 1st and 2nd in that event.  In the Women’s event, Kraber had been sent to the loss side by Chris Fields, double hill, in a winners’ side quarterfinal and then eliminated Nicole McDaniel 7-3 and Robyn Petrosino, double hill, to draw Hansen.
 
Fields advanced to the quarterfinals 7-2 over Galvan and was joined by Hansen, who’d defeated Kraber 7-5. Hansen then shut Fields out, advancing to a rematch against Robinson in the semifinals.
 
Hansen defeated Robinson 7-3 and came within a game of forcing a deciding match in the finals against Ng. Ng, though, edged out in front and won it 7-5 to claim the 46th Annual Texas Open Women’s title.
 
Co-tour directors James Davis, Sr. and John Palmore thanked Sue and John Cielo and their Skinny Bob’s Billiards staff, as well as Sleep Inn, Mints Amusement, and James Hanshew. They also acknowledged Ray Hansen and his PoolActionTV crew for the live stream of the event throughout the long weekend.

Ng Ignites on Gulf Coast Tour

Robyn Petrosino, Ming Ng and Samantha Laws (A8 Photography)

Ming “The Empress” Ng went undefeated to capture the fifth stop on the 2019 Gulf Coast Women’s Regional Billiards Tour. Ng overcame Robyn Petrosino in the first set of the true, double elimination final, 7-3, earning her third title this season. On Sunday, Natalie Rocha crossed the finish line, unscathed, winning her first, second chance event, with new member, Verda Jones, claiming runner-up. 
 
On June 1st-2nd, 2019, sponsors Cyclop Pool Balls, Poison by Predator Cues, APA of North Harris County, Vapor Fiend, and Outsville Billiards, facilitated another successful event for the Gulf Coast Women’s Regional Billiards Tour, paying out $1,540 in prize money, for the two-day, $1,000 added women’s 9-ball event. This marked the Tour’s third and final event of the 2019 season, at the famous Slick Willies Family Pool Hall, located at 5913 Westheimer, in Houston’s upscale, Galleria area. The Gulf Coast Tour would like to thank the Slick Willies Corporation, and Director of Operations, David Kimmey, for hosting this season. The sixth stop on Tour will be held July 6th-7th, at Big Tyme Billiards, located at 100 Cypresswood Drive, Suite G, Spring, Texas, 77388. 
 
On her way to the winners' side final four, Ming Ng defeated newcomer Verda Jones, 7-2, Pamela Chavez, 7-4, and Natalie Rocha, 7-3. Stacie Putnam was on her way, with wins over Kim "Texas Heat" Pierce, 7-2, Hopey "Hurricane" Lawrence, 7-1, and Gail "Thunder" Roles, 7-6. New player, Samantha Laws, bested Michelle Abernathy, 7-6, and Tanyia Chuites, 7-3, while Robyn Petrosino ousted first-timer, Heather Taylor, 7-1, Ellen Robinson, 7-3, and Loretta "The Gem" Lindgren, 7-1. On the west side, vying for the final eight, Lawrence extinguished Lindgren, and Chuites slid by newcomer Veronica Buentello, 5-4. Roles dusted off Robinson, 5-2, and Rocha eliminated Abernathy, 5-1. Winners' side, final four witnessed Laws edge out Petrosino, 7-6, and Ng shut out Putnam, 7-0. In her Tour debut, Laws graduated to her first hot seat, but was cut short by Tour veteran Ng, 7-2. On the one-loss side, all making the final eight cut, Lawrence finished off Chuites, 5-3, and Putnam, 5-0. Roles upset Rocha, 5-2, but fell to Petrosino. Petrosino blew past Lawrence, 5-1, and Laws, 5-0, to meet Ng in the true, double elimination final. Coming off three strong wins, a determined Petrosino faced off with the veteran player. Ng hit the ground running, and Petrosino failed to keep pace, faltering the first set, 7-3. 
 
Natalie Rocha captured her first, second chance 9-ball event, with newcomer, Verda Jones, finishing second, and Ruth Paine, third. Also new to the Tour, Samantha Laws, finished third in her very first event. The Tour would like to congratulate all the top finishers, and those who reached a milestone during this competition. 
 
The Tour welcomes its newest, 2019 members; Verda Jones, Heather Taylor, Racheal Martin, Samantha Laws, Tanyia Chuites, Hopey Lawrence, Veronica Buentello, and Christina Morra. The Tour also extends its deepest appreciation to the Tour Committee members who directed this tournament. Ruth Paine performed a flawless job, along with Kim Pierce, Julie Acevedo, and Ming Ng, who assisted throughout the event.
 
The first annual, Gulf Coast Tour Invitational, $5,000 added event, will be held October 31st-November 3rd, 2019, at Skinny Bob’s Billiards in Round Rock, Texas. This is an “invitation only” event. Players who participate on the Gulf Coast Tour, will be eligible for invites, along with a number of other regional tours in the U.S., which will be extended a number of promotional spots, for their players. For more information, please email Kim Newsome at lonestartour@gmail.com. This event is presented by Vapor Fiend, www.onlinevapestore.com, and Cyclop Pool Balls, www.Cyclop-Billiards.com. Sponsors include Poison by Predator Cues, www.poisonbilliards.com, Outsville Billiards, www.Outsville.com, and the APA of North Harris County. 
 
The sixth stop of the 2019 season is July 6th-7th, at Big Tyme Billiards, located at 100 Cypresswood Drive,  Suite G, Spring, Texas, 77388. For more information, visit www.GulfCoastWomensTour.com. 
 

Jones goes undefeated to take third stop on the Jerry Olivier Ladies Tour

(l to r): Kim Pierce & Kelly Jones

Kelly Jones became the third winner on the 2019 Jerry Olivier Ladies Tour, going undefeated through a field of 27 entrants. Jones had to face the winner of the tour’s season opener (Terry Petrosino) once and the runner-up in the second tour stop (Kim Pierce) twice to claim the title. The $2,000-added event was hosted by Diamond Sports Bar and Grill in Port Arthur, TX.
 
Jones ran into Pierce first in a winners’ side semifinal, as Petrosino squared off against Courtney Peters. Jones sent Pierce to the loss side 7-3 and in the hot seat match, faced Petrosino, who’d survived a double hill match versus Peters. Jones claimed the hot seat 7-5 and waited on the return of Pierce.
 
On the loss side, Pierce picked up Hien Tong, who’d recently defeated Michelle Abernathy 7-5. Peters drew Michelle Yim, who’d eliminated Margaret Fox 7-2 to reach her.
 
Pierce gave up only a single rack to Tong and advanced to the quarterfinals. She was joined by Peters, who’d battled to double hill before eliminating Yim. Pierce gave up another single rack to Peters in those quarterfinals and advanced for a two-month delayed rematch against Petrosino in the semifinals; they’d met in a winners’ side semifinal in February’s season opener.
 
As noted by, among others, Don Corleone in The Godfather and Kahn Singh in a Star Trek movie, “revenge is a dish best served cold” and Pierce feasted on this one, downing Petrosino 7-4 in those semifinals, for a second shot at Jones in the finals.
 
The ‘dish’ didn’t get served in the finals. Though the match came within a game of going double hill, Jones edged out in front at the end to win 7-5 and claim the event title.
 
Tour representatives thanked Tony Nguyen and his staff at Diamond Sports Bar and Grill for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor Jerry Olivier Cues and MzTam.com. The next stop on the Jerry Olivier Ladies Tour, scheduled for June 8-9, will be hosted by JR Pockets in Denton, TX. 

Morra brings home second straight Texas Open title, Villareal wins Ladies event

John Morra (Photo courtesy of Poolactiontv.com)

You can’t be everywhere at once, so candidates vying to be among the top 10 players in the running for selection as a member of the 2017 Mosconi Cup team, had to choose where they’d spend this past Labor Day weekend; at Turning Stone XXVIII in Verona, NY or Round Rock, TX at the 44th Annual Texas Open, both of which were awarding a range of Mosconi Cup points to competitors.
 
 
Sitting atop the current list of contenders for selection to the US team, Shane Van Boening picked Turning Stone XXVIII to attend (separate story), and stayed on top of that list by defeating Jayson Shaw in the finals of that event (Shaw is a likely member of the European Mosconi Cup team). At the $8,000-added, 44th Annual Texas Open, the defending champion, Canadian John Morra, with no known interest in the acquisition of Mosconi Cup points, went undefeated through a full field of 128 to claim the title a second straight time. Morra became the first person to go back-to-back at this tournament since Jeremy Jones accomplished the feat in 2002/2003. Morra faced Devin Poteet twice in this one, in the hot seat and finals. Like Morra, Poteet had no ‘dog in the hunt’ for Mosconi Cup points.
 
 
In addition to the Open event, the Ladies had a tournament, as well; a $2,000-added event that commenced on Saturday, September 2, drew 32 entrants and was won by Vivian Villareal. Other features of this long-Labor Day weekend event included a Jack and Jill Scotch Doubles tournament (won by the veteran team of James Davis, Sr. and Jennifer Kraber), a race-to-three 9-ball event, and a Ring Game on Friday night.
 
 
Sky Woodward and Justin Bergman were the two Mosconi Cup contenders in attendance who were hoping to add points to their total. Woodward (who won this event in 2015) entered the Texas Open in fourth place among the Mosconi Cup contenders, while Bergman entered at a distant 15th place. They were both sent to the loss side in the early going of this event; Woodward, by Ryan Lane in the fourth round of play, and Bergman, by Morra, in the third round. They ran into each other in the sixth, loss-side round and fought a predictable double hill fight that eventually advanced Woodward to meet Shane McMinn. McMinn defeated him to end his run. Woodward did add 14 points to his Mosconi Cup total with his finish in the tie for 9th place. Bergman’s finish in the tie for 13th awarded him 10 points.
 
Morra and Poteet, in the meantime, advanced to winners’ side semifinal matches against James Davis, Sr. and Ryan Lane, respectively. Morra downed Davis 9-6, advancing to the hot seat match, where he was joined by Poteet, who’d survived a double hill match against Lane. The hot seat match was a battle of the former ‘young gun’ (Morra, who’s now 28) and the up and coming ‘young gun’ (Poteet, who’s 20). It went double hill before Morra was sent to the semifinals.
 
 
On the loss side, Davis, Sr. picked up Sharik Sayed, who'd defeated Justin Espinoza 9-7 and Jeff Melton 9-5 to reach him. Lane had what proved to be the misfortune of drawing long-time Texas adversary and two-time winner of this tournament, Jeremy Jones, who was in the midst of a seven-match, loss-side winning streak, to include recent wins over
Manny Chau and Shane McMinn, both 9-5.
 
Davis, Sr. moved into the quarterfinals after a 9-6 win over Sayed. Jones joined him after shutting out Lane. Davis stopped Jones’ run 9-6 in those quarterfinals, and then had his run stopped 9-1 by Morra in the semifinals (“Not bad for an old guy,” said the 65-year-old Davis of his third place finish).
 
Morra and Poteet had fought to double hill in the hot seat match, but neither of the two, true double elimination matches came close to that. Morra took the opening set 9-3, and went one better (9-2) in the second set to complete his run and claim the 44th Annual Texas Open title for the second year in a row.
 
Villareal goes undefeated to claim Ladies title
 
 
Vivian Villareal did not compete in the 2016 Texas Open, which, some would argue, left the door open for Ricki Casper to claim the 2016 title. The Texas Tornado signed on to the 2017 Texas Open and competed in both the Open event and the Ladies event, which she won, undefeated. She chalked up three wins in the Open event, before the eventual winner, John Morra, sent her to the loss side. She won a single match there, against Jon Demet, before Alex Calderon eliminated her in the 7th losers’ side round.
 
She advanced through the 32-entrant Ladies field to meet Jennifer Kraber (winner, with  Davis, Sr. of the Scotch Doubles tournament) in a winners’ side semifinal. Jennifer Yo and Michelle Abernathy met in the other winners’ side semifinal. Villareal got into the hot seat 7-3 over Kraber. Yo joined her in the hot seat match after sending Abernathy west 7-5. Villareal gave up only a single rack to Yo, claiming the hot seat 7-1.
 
On the loss side, Kraber picked up defending champion Ricki Casper, while Abernathy drew Autumn Duncan. Kraber and Duncan advanced to the quarterfinals; Kraber, double hill over Casper, and Duncan 7-4 over Abernathy.
 
Two double hill matches followed. The first, in the quarterfinals, went to Duncan over Kraber. The second, in the semifinals, left Duncan in third place and sent Yo back for a second shot at Villareal in the hot seat. Villareal completed her undefeated run in a single set, duplicating her 7-1 hot seat match effort against Yo.

Al-Howri Claims First Poison Lone Star Title

James Davis Sr., Ernesto Bayaua and Hanni Al Howri

Hanni Al-Howri, originally from Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates, now resides in Houston, Texas, and came close to achieving something only one amateur division pool player in the history of the Poison Lone Star Billiards Tour has ever achieved; winning both divisions at the same event. After several attempts, Al-Howri finally broke the ice in Round Rock, Texas, with his first-ever tournament win, going undefeated in the 71-player, amateur 9-ball division, and finishing second in the open 9-ball division. Resident tour player Ernesto Bayaua went unscathed in the 64-player, open 9-ball division, defeating Al-Howri in the final, at an event which drew a total of 123 players, and paid out over $9,000 in prize money.  
 
This year marks the 7th year that the Poison Lone Star Billiards Tour has hosted the annual “Texas Open Warm-Up” event at the famed Skinny Bob’s Billiards in Round Rock, Texas, amassing the highest attendance in the event’s history, besting its own record of 120 players in 2012. Home of the prestigious and longest-running billiard event in Texas, the “Texas Open”, Skinny Bob’s Billiards, along with title sponsor Poison by Predator Cues www.poisonbilliards.com, and sponsors Delta-13 Rack www.delta-13.com, Ozone Billiards www.ozonebilliards.com, APA of North Harris County www.facebook.com/apanorthharriscounty, and Cyclop Billiard Balls, facilitated another monster event for players across Texas and beyond. Room owners John and Sue Cielo added a very generous $1,000 to the Poison Lone Star Event, and $485 to the Gulf Coast Women’s Regional Tour 9-Ball Event. The tour would like to thank Skinny Bob’s Billiards and their wonderful staff for hosting another first-rate, tournament. 
 
In an effort to better accommodate the large number of players competing in the annual Poison Lone Star Texas Open Warm-Up Event, beginning in 2017, the ladies’ event will be staged at “Skinny Bob's II”, a smoke-free pool room, adjoining the main room, which houses eight new Diamond bar tables. “This event has presented some challenges over the years, with well over 100 players competing, and only two days in which to finish, on a limited number of tables. I’m confident that utilizing this additional space will provide a smoother tournament experience for all of the players,” says Tour Director, Kim Newsome.  
 
In the amateur 9-ball division, due to the overwhelming number of participants, Saturday’s races were set at 5 and 4, and on Sunday, 4 and 3. Hanni Al-Howri logged wins over Tony Thompson, David Castillo, Brandon Tang, 5-1, John Demet, 5-1, and John Wright, 4-1. Also vying for the winners’ side final four, Daniel Herring overcame Gabriel Romo, Casey Crews, Elijah Hughes, 5-1, Rudy Sanchez, 5-4, and Ryan Lane, 4-2. Jose Ybarra took down Paul Jobe, John Eagle, David Ray, and Joe Garza, 4-1, while Justin Pena took out Paul Alderete, Jacob Watson, 5-3, Mark Wicker, 5-2, and Jimmy Krone, 4-3. On the one-loss side, David Escobedo took out Chad Henson, 3-1, Daniel Baker eliminated John Eagle, 3-1, Felder overcome Ray, 3-2, and Robert Stewart ousted Robert Smith, 3-1. After losing his second round match to Lane, Escobedo came alive on the one loss side, securing his sixth, match win over Joe Garza, 3-2. Baker went on to eliminate Jimmy Krone, 3-2, Wright ended Felder, 3-2, and Stewart eliminated Lane, 3-2. Down to the final eight, players were tightening up their games, and grinding it out. Back on the winners’ side, Pena slid by Ybarra, 4-3, and Al-Howri defeated Herring, 4-2.  On the west side, Herring ended Escobedo’s run, 3-2, and Wright sent Stewart packing, 3-1. While Herring and Ybarra faced off on the one-loss side, the hot seat match teed off with Pena and Al-Howri. Determined to win his first event, Al-Howri was steadfast, and played with pocket-speed-precision. Although equally determined, and vying for his first tour win, Pena came up short, 4-2. On the one-loss side, Herring wasted no time making his way back to Al-Howri, dusting off Pena, 3-0, earning himself another shot at the title. In the final, Al-Howri came out of the gate, and never broke stride. Proving too much for Herring this day and time, Al-Howri took him out in the first set, 4-0, to win his first-ever, Poison Lone Star Tour amateur title.
 
In the open 9-ball division, Saturday’s races were set at 6 and 5, and on Sunday, 5 and 4.  Ernesto Bayaua made his way through the 64-player field, unscathed, securing wins over Michelle Abernathy, 6-1, David Neumann, 6-5, John Demet, 6-5, and Rudy Sanchez, 5-4, while Junior Jueco decimated John Palmore, Keith Keithley, 6-1, and Jason Roessler, 5-1. David Henson also made his way to the final four winners’ side, with wins over David Escobedo, Matt Bickers, Matt Wong, 6-0, and Hanni Al-Howri, 5-0, while James Davis, Sr., took down Paul Jobe, Kim Sanders, 6-1, Robert Stewart, 6-5, and Jim Miller, 5-2. On the one-loss side, Stewart ousted Sanchez, 4-1, and it was Massingill over Roessler, 4-2.  Al-Howri eliminated powerhouse Tommy Tokoph, 4-2, who had sustained an early hit from Robert Stewart, 6-0, and former junior phenom, Jacob Watson, took out Jim Miller, 4-2. Back on the east side, Henson overcame Davis, Sr., 4-3, and Bayaua bested Jueco, 4-3. Bayaua went on to secure the hot seat over Davis, Sr., 4-2. Action on the one loss witnessed Massingill defeat Stewart, 4-2, and Al-Howri eliminate Watson, 4-3. Henson made quick work of Massingill, 4-1, but fell to Al-Howri 4-2. Al-Howri went on to eliminate Davis, Sr., 4-3, for a total of 5 straight, match wins to meet Bayau in the final. Bayaua ended Al-Howri’s winning streak, taking the first and final set, 5-4, earning his second Poison Lone Star Tour tournament win of 2016.
 
The Tour would like to encourage everyone who loves to play pool and compete in a friendly atmosphere, to attend a Poison Lone Star Tour event. The final stop of this year is October 8th-9th, at Bogies Billiards and Sports Bar (3040 FM 1960 E.) in Houston, Texas, and hosts a Gulf Coast Tour ladies’ 9-ball event on Saturday, October 8th.  On November 12th-13th, the Gulf Coast Tour will host a $1,000 added, stand-alone women’s 9-ball event and WPBA Masters Qualifier, at Fat Racks Sports Bar and Billiards and Lounge, in San Antonio Texas. The famed Space City Open V will be held December 1st-4th, 2016, at Bogies Billiards and Sports Bar (3040 FM 1960 E.) in Houston, Texas. For more information on these events, and how to become a tour or event sponsor, please email Kim Newsome at lonestartour@gmail.com. Find out more about the Poison Lone Star Tour at LoneStarBilliardsTour.com.