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Pool Under Isolation

As we sit around at a hypothetical AZBilliards Central and ponder how, in the absence of industry activity, especially tournaments, we should proceed, it’s easy to be reminded of Rick Blaine, played by Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca. Rick famously talked about the significance of his specific problems at the time by saying to one of them, Ilsa, “that I’m no good at being noble, but it doesn’t take much to see that the problems of three little people don’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world. Someday you’ll understand that.”
 
It’s obvious in what follows – interviews with a small handful of individuals, a fraction of the number of people associated with the sport of pool who are being affected – that we’re speaking to the pool world equivalent of Rick’s “three little people.” These select few may not “amount to a hill of beans in this crazy (corona virus) world,” but they reflect thoughts and actions that are likely common to the relatively small world of people who love and participate in the sport of pool.
 
“Vegas was a ghost town,” said Janene Phillips, tour director of Florida’s Sunshine State Pro Am Tour, who, along with co-director Bobby Garza, had travelled to Las Vegas to participate in the BCAPL World Championships and the Cue Sports International Expo, only to find themselves returning home early, when CSI cancelled the events’ final four days, ending it on Tuesday (March 17). She was speaking just outside her boarding gate at McCarran International Airport.
 
“They shut down the casinos and restaurants,” Phillips went on to say. “It was unreal. It only took us 20 minutes to get to our gate here at the airport and most of that time was walking to the gate.”
 
Phillips was sympathetic with the powers-that-be that opted to continue with plans to hold the event at all. 
 
“You couldn’t have predicted something like this,” she said, “and it would have meant that everybody would have been out thousands of dollars in plane flights.”
 
“The (venues) did the best with what they had to work with,” she added. “The hotels were sanitizing everything and there were hand-sanitizer stations everywhere.”
 
As she prepared to board her flight, headed home, she was also reflecting on what lay ahead for her. Tour directing the Sunshine State Pro Am Tour is her job, and there’s a great deal of uncertainty about what lies ahead, and not only just for her.
 
“This is impacting the whole world,” she said. “It’s going to mean a changed schedule for the Sunshine State Pro Am Tour. We’re still scheduled for a stop in April (25th), and as long as they’re (Brewlands in Tampa) back up and running, we’re still having it.”
 
The likelihood of that shifted dramatically in a matter of days and while we haven’t communicated with Brewlands directly, it’s probably a safe bet that the April 25 event will be cancelled.
 
[photo id=51646|align=right]“We’ve cancelled all Tri-State Tour stops through the end of March,” said tour representative Todd Fleitman, “and we’ll be letting people know as we hear of further developments. I wouldn’t be surprised if this didn’t go much further than that.”
 
“And there are lot of things that will probably have to be delayed,” he added, “like our June (end of 2019-2020 season) Invitational.”
 
Fleitman also noted that going forward, this crisis is likely to affect the industry overall, to include tour sponsors and companies that offer merchandise and prizes. It is also likely to impact Fleitman’s ability to earn money as an instructor.
 
“All lessons have ceased,” he noted. “People are just not playing.”
 
As a tournament director, he’s hearing from players from all sides of the political spectrum, regarding the virus and its impact on the community, including conspiracy theorists, and those, like Fleitman himself, who believe that it would be difficult for anyone in a position of authority to do well under these circumstances.
 
“I’ve spoken to some pool players who are stockpiling food for two months,” he said.
 
“We’re hanging in there,” said Monica Savedra, one of a group of people who tour-direct the DFW (Dallas-Fort Worth) 9-Ball Tour. “We had a tour stop scheduled in late March (28-29) in Frisco, TX that they closed on us and we found out by a Facebook post.
 
“We’re just going to have to regroup and rethink,” she added. “We had a ladies-only event, scheduled for April 11, that we’re probably going to have to cancel, as well. We’re just going to have to rethink the schedule. Dallas has announced shutdowns and the Dallas City Council has been meeting to extend the closure plan. 
 
Savedra has been fielding phone calls, text and Facebook messages – about two dozen a day – requesting information and in some cases, refunds of money already submitted for tour stop payments. Those calls and texts are likely to continue.
 
[photo id=51649|align=left]
Stephanie Mitchell’s Corner Pocket room in Largo, FL was still open last week, although she fully expected that a total shutdown was going to be mandated soon. A lot of her regular business emanates from pool league activity and a lot of that has already been shut down; cancelled, as of March 16. She’s making an effort to keep her employees working and is considering room renovations to do that.
 
“Just trying to keep us all afloat,” she said, “and figure that the place will be better when I do re-open.”
 
Mitchell is, of course, not alone in deriving a majority of her business from pool league activity and the American Poolplayers Association (APA) leagues are the largest. According to Jason Bowman, APA’s Marketing Manager, decisions about cancelling league activities are made at the local level. 
 
“Leagues are shut down across the board,” he said, “but the leagues themselves are franchise operations, so while we can advise, we can’t make the decision. They’re following the directives of local, state and federal officials.”
 
The APA issued a press release on Monday, March 16 (published on our site that day), announcing the postponement of its annual Poolplayer Championships, which were scheduled for April 29-May 3 at the Westgate Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. President Greg Fletcher indicated that he’s in communication with the Westgate and that information about a future date would be passed on to members as soon as that information is available.
 
In the meantime, said Bowman, the organization is reaching out to its franchises and alerting them to the plight of the venues in which the league’s teams operate. There is a financial and personal side to the equation. The bars and pool rooms will be in search of ways to keep their business operating, including, as an example, developing means of offering pick-up and delivery of food at establishments where such a thing is possible.
 
“We’re encouraging league operators to help rooms by curating that information,” said Bowman.
 
In addition, he noted, there is a social component to the weekly league nights and there is some concern about the members who will lose that interaction; for some, a more serious loss than others.
 
“A lot of people play in the APA,” Bowman noted, “and social distancing can mean social isolation. We’re encouraging people to reach out to each other, maybe not in the pool hall, but to stay in touch, while we try to provide some of that through social media.
 
“We’re trying to encourage league operators to be leaders in their community,” he added. 
 
[photo id=51648|align=right]Among others in the industry being keenly affected by this global issue are the professional players, like Thorsten Hohmann, who, when we reached him, was staying with friends in the Houston area, “until they throw me out on the street,” he said. The friend has a table in his home, so Thorsten will be able to practice, but the interruption of events has a long-range impact on his day-to-day livelihood. Like others at his level of professionalism in the field, making their money entails scheduling for world-wide events, well ahead of time to assure flights and accommodations.
 
“So many cancellations,” he said. “Flights, entry fees, hotels.”
 
“Some flights are easy to cancel and you can get an immediate refund,” he added, “but it’s really on a case by case basis. It’s just the way it is.”
 
Hohmann will spend part of his time, working on his new pool App, called CueLab (more on this in Mike Howerton’s interview with Hohmann, which can be found here.). The future, however, is a little cloudy.
 
“Everything has been cancelled,” he said, “so it doesn’t make sense to talk about the future events.”
 
“But other people are more affected,” he added. “It’s going to cost me actual money and moving forward, the ability to make more, but I just hope everybody stays safe. I have a Mom in Germany and I just hope everybody follows the rules and stays home.” 
 
They were personal and professional calls that we made to these people, prompted by a desire for comment, but more importantly, by relationships that had been established with these industry professionals, over many years. We wanted to know what was going on in their lives in regards to the corona virus, but we also just wanted to check in with these friends of long standing. Obviously, there are a lot of people we were unable to or just did not reach, all functioning under the same set of circumstances and likely experiencing the same set of concerns, differentiated by their particular industry perspective. 
 
Of the many things all of those interviewed and the multitude of US citizens not interviewed here have in common is an inability to predict the immediate future. Asked what the future holds for their individual personal and professional lives, they (we), at this stage, are forced to answer, “I don’t know.” It highlights something that all of us can agree upon, regardless of recently-apparent differences when it comes to the politics of the situation.
 
We are all in this together.
 
Stay safe and in touch.
 

Turning Stone Classic XXXII 9-Ball Open – August 22-25, 2019

Mike Zuglan's Joss Northeast 9-Ball Tour and Turning Stone Resort Casino are proud to present our 2018-2019 Season Finale, The $25,000 Added, "Turning Stone Classic XXXII 9-Ball Open". This event will once again take place in Turning Stone's beautiful & spacious Event Center which has become known worldwide as one of the best venues ever. There are no bad seats. Our layout allows you to mingle with all of your favorite players and friends, giving you the feeling of being part of the action yourself. If you have never been to Turning Stone, located in Verona NY, you simply don't know what you are missing. Check them out at www.turningstone.com
 
For the 32nd time, we will have a full field of 128 players with no shortage of past, present and future Champions. Shane Van Boening, Jayson Shaw, Johnny Archer, Earl Strickland, Mika Immonen, Billy Thorpe, Thorsten Hohmann, Jennifer Barretta & LoreeJon Hasson are just a few of the legends signed up for this event. But let's not count out our Joss Tour regulars like Matt Tetreault, Bruce Nagle Ron Casanzio & this season's tour point champ Jeremy Sossei, who just to name a few, all have a legitimate chance of making history. So look for anything to happen when the smoke clears on Sunday night. I am pleased to also announce that once again this a BCA ranking event for US players looking for invitations to many world events. The complete player list is on our site www.joss9balltour.com    
    
There will once again be a "Second Chance" tournament on Sunday August 25th at 10AM running continuously and concurrently with the main event until completed. This is an extra event for those Non Pro level players (I will decide) eliminated from the main event. The event format will be as follows: $60 Entry Fee – 32 Player Max – same rules as main event – Single Elimination – Races to 4, best 2 of 3 sets, with the deciding set being a single game sudden death. This means that if each player wins a race to 4, there will be a lag for the break and a 1 game playoff to determine the match winner. Entries will be taken for this tournament as players are eliminated from the main event and will be treated as first paid – first in until the event is full.
 
The equipment for our world class event will once again be 16, 9 foot Diamond Pro tables & lights covered with 860 Simonis ("The Cloth Of Champions") tournament blue cloth. We will be using the new Aramith Tournament TV Pro Cup balls. Thanks again to Ivan Lee for providing us with the world's best cloth and the world's best billiard balls! All of these items will be for sale in tournament used condition, and only seriously interested parties are urged to contact Mike Zuglan immediately at 518-356-7163 for info and pricing. 
 
Being a spectator at Turning Stone is an experience you won't find anywhere else. We always offer fans, Free Admission, Free collectible posters (while supplies last) and once again Turning Stone will be giving away $10 free/match plays to all players and fans (1 per person while supplies last). So you get Free admission, Free posters and Free bets!! No one else does it like Turning Stone and the Joss Northeast 9-Ball Tour! Included in the Event Center at Turning Stone is a full service, moderately priced, snack bar serving all of our favorite foods and adult beverages. There will be billiard product vendors and on site cue repairs available for all your needs. Mike Burton of www.josscues.com will have a wide range of Joss Cues and Joss Northeast 9-Ball Tour Shirts. CJ and Peggi Wilkinson of www.baltimorecitycues.com will be here with their extensive cue, case and supplies display. Dan Dishaw, www.dishawcues.com will be on hand with his cues and expert on site cue repairs. Feng Zhao of  www.lite-systems.com will be there with his custom LED billiard lighting and other billiard products. Victor Conte will be on hand promoting his new game as well. There is still time and room for new vendor or two at a mere fraction of what you would pay elsewhere. Interested parties should contact me at 518-356-7163 immediately.
 
We will once again be raffling off 2 gorgeous, custom, engraved Joss Cues on Saturday at 8pm and Sunday immediately prior to the final match and you Do Not have to be present to win. These cues have a retail value of $1,500 each and are generously provided by Danny Janes of Joss Cues Ltd. Thanks again to Danny, Debbie & Stephen Janes for all they do for us!! We will also choose a winning ticket to receive the Pro Cup cue ball used in the final match autographed by the winner.
            
So come to Turning Stone Resort Casino August 22-25 for a great experience and 4 full days of some of the best pool you will ever witness. If for some reason you are unable to make it, there will be a Free live stream and live scoring expertly provided by Mike Howerton, Jerry Forsyth & Upstate Al Leon of  www.azbilliards.com  & The Joss Northeast 9-Ball Tour and Turning Stone Resort Casino. Match times are Thursday 4, 6, 8, & 10 pm. Friday 10 am, noon, 2, 4, 6, 8, & 10 pm. Saturday 10 am, noon, 2, 4, 6, 8, & 10 pm. Sunday 11 am, 1, 3, 5, and the final match at 7 pm.   
 
Our upcoming 2019-2020 season, complete with 15 regular billiard parlor plus 2 Turning Stone events, will begin on Sept 21 & 22 at TJ's Classic Billiards in Waterville ME. The new season will also include our 4th"Joss Junior 9-Ball Championship" on Jan. 25, 2020 at Sharp Shooters in Amsterdam NY. If you would like to donate items to be given to the future generation of our great sport, please contact me at 518-356-7163. Also be advised that our next Turning Stone Classic XXXIII 9-Ball Open is scheduled for January 9-12, 2020. I will begin taking entries for that event at this event in August. For more information and a complete schedule of events, go to www.joss9balltour.com         

Joss Northeast 9-Ball Tour, Turning Stone Classic XXXI 9-Ball Open, January 10-13, 2019

Mike Zuglan's Joss Northeast 9-Ball Tour and Turning Stone Resort Casino are proud to present The $25,000 Added "Turning Stone Classic XXXI 9-Ball Open" on January 10-13, 2019. Turning Stone has once again invited us to compete in their beautiful and spacious Event Center which is most definitely one of the best arenas in the world. There is not a bad seat in the house and multiple matches can be viewed comfortably from everywhere. The intimate layout in this world class arena allows you to mingle with your favorite players and lets you feel like you are a part of the action as well. Turning Stone Resort Casino is a full service resort with everything needed for a relaxing, fun filled and enjoyable experience. Check them out at www.turningstone.com
 
Our 31st Turning Stone Classic will once again have a full roster of 128 players competing for the title. The field will include a wide range of talent from our regular tour players to some of the best in the game. Previous winners, Shane Van Boening, Jayson Shaw, Johnny Archer, Mika Immonen, Billy Thorpe and Thorsten Hohmann will all be in attendance along with many other notable and not so notable but great players nonetheless. The complete player list can be found on our site, www.joss9balltour.com . This promises to be yet another memorable event in our long running Turning Stone Classic series. Our next event will be our 3rd Joss Junior 9-Ball Championship on Jan. 26 & 27 at Sharp Shooters Billiards & Sports Pub in Amsterdam NY. This year our junior event has teamed up with the BCA and BEF (Billiard Education Foundation) to make it a qualifier for the BEF Junior Nationals in Las Vegas July 23-27. Please call 518-356-7163 for more information. Sharp Shooters will also be the host of our next regular season event (stop # 8) on Feb. 16 & 17, and our regular season will continue on from there until June. Then our $25,000 added "Turning Stone Classic XXXII 9-Ball Open", Season Finale, will be August 22-25, 2019. I will begin taking entries for that event at this event in January and not before. FYI, there is every reason to believe that the August 2018 Season Finale will fill to capacity many months prior to the event, so seriously interested players need to sign up early to avoid being shut out. Our complete schedule can be found at www.joss9balltour.com 
 
Once again at Turning Stone there will be a "second chance" tournament on Sunday January 13th at 10AM. This is an event for those Non Pro level players (I will decide) eliminated from the main event. The event format will be as follows: $60 Entry Fee – 32 Player Max – same rules as main event – Single Elimination – Races to 4, best 2 of 3 sets, with the deciding set being a single game sudden death. This means that if each player wins a race to 4, there will be a lag for the break and a 1 game playoff to determine the match winner. Entries will be taken for this tournament as players are eliminated from the main event and will be treated as first paid – first in until the event is full.
 
The equipment for our world class event will once again be 16 Diamond Pro tables covered with 860 Simonis ("The Cloth Of Champions") tournament blue cloth. We will again be using the Aramith TV Tournament balls with Pro Cup cue balls. And please thank Aramith and specifically Ivan Lee for generously providing us with the best balls on the planet! All items, including tables and balls, are for sale in tournament used condition, and only seriously interested parties are urged to contact Mike Zuglan immediately at 518-356-7163 for info and pricing. 
 
As always, fans coming to Turning Stone for our event will be treated to Free Admission, Free collectible posters, (while supplies last & can be viewed now at www.joss9balltour.com and on Face Book at Mike Zuglan's Joss Northeast 9-Ball Tour page), $10 casino Free Plays to players and fans, and some of the best pool you will ever see. All of this is brought to you courtesy of Turning Stone Resort Casino and the Joss Northeast 9-Ball Tour! 
 
Included in the Event Center at Turning Stone is a full service snack bar serving all of our favorite foods and adult beverages. There will be billiard product vendors and on site cue repairs available for all your needs. Mike Burton of www.josscues.com will have a wide range of Joss Cues and Joss Northeast 9-Ball Tour Shirts. CJ and Peggi Wilkinson of www.baltimorecitycues.com will be here with their extensive cue, case and supplies display. Dan Dishaw, www.dishawcues.com will be on hand with his cues and expert on site cue repairs. And Feng Zhao of  www.lite-systems.com will be there with his custom LED billiard lighting and other billiard products. There is still time and room for new vendor or two at a mere fraction of what you would pay elsewhere. Interested parties should contact me at 518-356-7163 immediately. 
 
Dan, Debbie and Stephen Janes of Joss Cues, have once again upped the ante and provided us with two gorgeous, custom engraved Joss cues for raffle. These cues are valued at $1,500 each and will be raffled off on Saturday just before the 8 PM matches, and the second will go on Sunday immediately prior to the final match at approximately 7 PM. These beautiful cues can be viewed here: https://josscues.com/joss-tour-2018-19-cue/
In addition to the cues, I will once again give away the Aramith Pro Cup cue ball used in the final match, autographed by the winner, to some lucky fan by combining all of the Saturday and Sunday cue raffle tickets and picking the winner from them.
 
We invite everyone to come to Turning Stone Resort & Casino January 10-13, 2019 for a great experience and 4 full days of some of the best pool you will ever witness. If for some reason you are unable to make it, there will be free live scoring and a free live stream expertly provided by Alan Leon, aka Upstate Al and Mike Howerton at  www.azbilliards.com , The Joss Northeast 9-Ball Tour and Turning Stone Resort Casino. Match times are as follows: Thursday at 4,6,8 & 10pm. Friday at 10am, noon, 2,4,6,8 & 10pm. Saturday at 10am, noon, 2,4,6,8 & 10pm. Sunday at 11am, 1,3,5 & the final match at 7pm. The second chance tournament on Sunday will begin at 10am and run continuously until completed. 
 
I would like to ask all of you to please publicize our event through social media etc. so more people may be informed about this great and free event. And, as always, I remind all of you how important it is to please frequent your local billiard parlors and promote and utilize the fine products of our most generous sponsors listed below. They are the backbone of our sport!
 
I hope to see all of you at Turning Stone
 
Happy Holidays,
 
Mike Zuglan
 
The Joss Northeast 9-Ball Tour Is Proudly Sponsored By;
 
Joss Cues – http://www.josscues.com
Turning Stone Resort Casino – http://www.turningstone.com 
Simonis Cloth – http://www.simoniscloth.com
Poolonthenet.com – http://www.poolonthenet.com
AzBilliards.com – http://www.azbilliards.com
Aramith – http://www.aramith.com
Billiards Press – http://www.billiardspress.com                 
World Class Cue Care – http://www.jnj-industries.com
FargoRate – http://www.fargorate.com

 

Kazakis Wins Player Relief Open

Alex Kazakis (Photo courtesy of Erwin Dionisio)

With the last minute cancellation of the 2018 Tornado Open, a large number of top players who were in the states for the event found themselves with in search of a place to play and an event to play in. It would have been easy for anyone to just shake their head and think that it was another bad roll for the players. Sandcastle Billiards’ owner Ed Liddawi isn’t just anyone though. 
 
On short notice, Liddawi put together the Player Relief Open 9-Ball Tournament at Sandcastle on November 8th and drew a talented field of international players. “I felt real bad about the tragic situation with the cancellation of the Tornado Open not only for Vivian Villarreal but for all the struggling traveling players that spent so much money on flights and hotels just to get to New Jersey. Not only were they out money but they also had no competition to enjoy or try to make up for their losses.”, Liddawi said. “Being a premier pool room in NJ dedicated to the serious player, I just HAD to do something while all the top players from around the World were already in the same state.”
 
The field of players was a who’s who of top talent including such notables as Alex Kazakis, Casper Matikainen, James Aranas, Johann Chua, John Morra, Konrad Juszczyszyn, Kristina Tkach, Maksim Dudanets, Ruslan Chinakhov and Mieszko Fortunski
 
The two players who were able to navigate this field of tough players without a loss were James Aranas and Casper Matikainen. Aranas had wins over 14 year old Ivo Linkin, Juszczyszyn and Chinakhov, while Matikainen had wins over Chua, Morra, Eric Bayhon and Fortunski. Aranas then took the hot-seat with a 7-4 win over Matikainen. 
 
Alex Kazakis had lost his second match of the day to Fortunski 7-5, but was cruising through the left side of the board. To get to the semi-final match against Matikainen, Kazakis had wins over Tkach, Joey Korsiak, Chinakhov and Dudanets. He then scored a 7-4 win over Matikainen to earn his spot in the finals. 
 
With the momentum of his one loss side winning streak, Kazakis defeated Aranas 7-3 in the first set of the finals and then again hill-hill in the second set to earn first place and $1,200 in prize money. 
 
After the tournament, Liddawi expressed his gratitude to Iwan Simonis, Aramith Billiard Balls, Outsville Inc., Accu-Stats Video Productions, Erwin Dionisio, Ivan Lee, Roy's Basement Ariel Roy Francisco, Jerry Forsyth, Mike Howerton, Billiards Digest, Michael Panozzo, GoPlayPool.com, Ramin Bakhtiari, Patrick Fleming, Jim Fredericks,  Jose Burgos, Paul Lieb, Michael Sasso, Alyssa Solt, Saliba Liddawi, Nawal Liddawi, Alex Liddawi and Anastasia Beaverhausen. 
 
With all of those thanks, he forgot the most important thanks. That was a thanks to Liddawi himself for coming through for the players like he did. It’s room owners like Liddawi that keep this game alive. 

Turning Stone Classic XXX 9-Ball Open – August 23-26, 2018

Mike Zuglan's Joss Northeast 9-Ball Tour and Turning Stone Resort Casino are proud to present our 2017-2018 Season Finale, The $25,000 Added, "Turning Stone Classic XXX 9-Ball Open". This event will take place in Turning Stone's beautiful & spacious Event Center which has become known worldwide as one of the best venues ever. There are no bad seats, and the layout allows you to mingle with all of your favorite players and friends, giving you the feeling of being part of the action yourself. If you have never been to Turning Stone, located in Verona NY, you simply don't know what you are missing. Check them out at www.turningstone.com 
 
For an unprecedented 30th time, we will have a full field of 128 players with no shortage of past, present and future Champions. Shane Van Boening, Jayson Shaw, Johnny Archer, Earl Strickland, Mika Immonen, Karen Corr & for the first time LoreeJon Hasson are just a few of the legends signed up for this event. But let's not count out our Joss Tour regulars like Matt Tetreault, Nelson Oliveira, Bucky Souvanthong, Ron Casanzio & this season's tour point champ Bruce Nagle, who just to name a few, all have a legitimate chance of making history. So look for anything to happen when the smoke clears on Sunday night. I am pleased to also announce that once again this a BCA ranking event for US players looking for invitations to many world events. The complete player list is on our site www.joss9balltour.com    
    
There will once again be a "Second Chance" tournament on Sunday August 26th at 10AM running continuously and concurrently with the main event until completed. This is an extra event for those Non Pro level players (I will decide) eliminated from the main event. The event format will be as follows: $60 Entry Fee – 32 Player Max – same rules as main event – Single Elimination – Races to 4, best 2 of 3 sets, with the deciding set being a single game sudden death. This means that if each player wins a race to 4, there will be a lag for the break and a 1 game playoff to determine the match winner. Entries will be taken for this tournament as players are eliminated from the main event and will be treated as first paid – first in until the event is full.
 
The equipment for our world class event will once again be 16, 9 foot Diamond Pro tables & lights covered with 860 Simonis ("The Cloth Of Champions") tournament blue cloth. We will be using the new Aramith Tournament TV Pro Cup balls. Thanks again to Ivan Lee for providing us with the world's best cloth and the world's best billiard balls! All of these items will be for sale in tournament used condition, and only seriously interested parties are urged to contact Mike Zuglan immediately at 518-356-7163 for info and pricing. 
 
Being a spectator at Turning Stone is an experience you won't find anywhere else. We always offer fans, Free Admission, Free collectible posters (while supplies last) and once again Turning Stone will be giving away $10 free/match plays to all players and fans (1 per person while supplies last). So you get Free admission, Free posters and Free bets!! No one else does it like Turning Stone and the Joss Northeast 9-Ball Tour! Included in the Event Center at Turning Stone is a full service snack bar serving all of our favorite foods and adult beverages. There will be billiard product vendors and on site cue repairs available for all your needs. We will also be raffling off 2 gorgeous, custom, engraved Joss Cues on Saturday at 8pm and Sunday immediately prior to the final match and you Do Not have to be present to win. These cues have a retail value of $1,200 each and are generously provided by Danny Janes of Joss Cues Ltd. Thanks again to Danny, Debbie & Stephen Janes for all they do for us!! We will also choose a winning ticket to receive the Pro Cup cue ball used in the final match autographed by the winner. 
            
So come to Turning Stone Resort Casino August 23-26 for a great experience and 4 full days of some of the best pool you will ever witness. If for some reason you are unable to make it, there will be a Free live stream and live scoring expertly provided by Mike Howerton, Jerry Forsythe & Upstate Al Leon of  www.azbilliards.com  & The Joss Northeast 9-Ball Tour and Turning Stone Resort Casino. Match times are Thursday 4, 6, 8, & 10 pm. Friday 10 am, noon, 2, 4, 6, 8, & 10 pm. Saturday 10 am, noon, 2, 4, 6, 8, & 10 pm. Sunday 11 am, 1, 3, 5, and the final match at 7 pm.   
 
Our upcoming 2018-2019 season, complete with 16 regular billiard parlor plus 2 Turning Stone events, will begin on Sept 22 & 23 at TJ's Classic Billiards in Waterville ME. The new season will also include our 3rd "Joss Junior 9-Ball Championship" on Jan. 26 & 27, 2019 at Sharp Shooters in Amsterdam NY. If you would like to donate items to be given to the future generation of our great sport, please contact me at 518-356-7163. Also be advised that our next Turning Stone Classic XXXI 9-Ball Open is scheduled for January 3-6, 2019. I will begin taking entries for that event at this event in August. For more information and a complete schedule of events, go to www.joss9balltour.com    
 
The Joss Northeast 9-Ball Tour Is Proudly Sponsored By;
 
Joss Cues – http://www.josscues.com
Turning Stone Resort Casino – http://www.turningstone.com 
Simonis Cloth – http://www.simoniscloth.com
Poolonthenet.com – http://www.poolonthenet.com
AzBilliards.com – http://www.azbilliards.com
Aramith – http://www.aramith.com
Billiards Press – http://www.billiardspress.com                 
World Class Cue Care – http://www.jnj-industries.com
FargoRate – http://www.fargorate.com          

NAPT Debuts its Open Division I Pro Tour with the Inaugural 10-Ball Invitational

After three successful seasons managing Women’s Division I Pro Events, The North American Pool Tour (NAPT) is proud to announce their expansion into the men’s pool world by debuting NAPT Open Divisions!   
 
NAPT has held seven Women’s Division I Pro events, awarding over $100,000 in prize money. Although NAPT has concentrated primarily on women’s fields to date, the intention has always been to expand into men’s (open) fields, offering opportunity to ALL players across North America.   
 
NAPT’s Inaugural 10-Ball Invitational Division I Open Pro event will be held at Shooters Sports Bar and Billiards, Grayslake, Illinois on September 27–30, 2018. This exciting event will feature a guaranteed $6,000 in ADDED prize money (compliments of Shooters Sports Bar and Billiards) with an entry fee of $275, creating a total prize purse of over $30,000 (based on full field of 96 players). As with all NAPT events, free streaming will be available for fans online (visit www.playnapt.com during event to find links to brackets and live stream). Additional Division I Open events are being planned for later in 2018.   
 
Shooter’s Sports Bar & Billiards (http://shooters-sports-bar-billiards.business.site) is conveniently located just Northwest of Chicago in cozy, Grayslake, IL. With 15, 9ft & 8, 7 ft Diamond tables, Shooter’s has positioned themselves as a premier billiards destination. Shooter’s has been a long-time supporter of NAPT, hosting several Division I Women’s events and is very excited to host the Open players!  
 
The only ways for players to earn entry into these events is through NAPT personal invitation, or by competing in a Division II Regional tour. Visit www.playnapt.com to find a regional tour map and a regional tour near you.  
 
If you are a player, tour director or sponsor looking for more information on the NAPT Open Division, feel free to contact mikehowerton@playnapt.com for additional details or to answer any questions you might have.  
 
In our effort to continue to provide quality opportunities to promote our sport, as well as provide national exposure for businesses, NAPT is actively considering sponsorship bids for individual tour stops and annual tour title sponsorships for both the Women’s and Open Divisions. With many options available, we can accommodate every budget. We welcome representation from all industries. Please contact, Adrianne Beach (adriannebeach@playnapt.com) or Mike Howerton (mikehowerton@playnapt.com) to discuss detailed partnership options. 
 
The North American Pool Tour (NAPT) was formed in early 2016 to provide an additional opportunity for semi-professional and professional players to participate in highly competitive billiard events across North America.  For more information, contact: Adrianne Beach 206-755-3847 adriannebeach@playnapt.com, PO Box 170637, Austin, Texas 78717. Or visit: www.playnapt.com

NAPT Announces New and Returning Board Members for 2018

North American Pool Tour (NAPT) is proud to be run by a group of committed volunteer board members who bring decades of experience and passion for the sport we all love. Board members bring a wide range of experience and perspectives, representing every part of North America and each new member is a valuable addition to the current NAPT board. With the completion of 2018 board elections, NAPT would like to welcome its newly elected board members:
 
Rick Doner has been a major force in the billiard world since 1982. With certifications from UMB International, VNEA, BCA, and CSI, he currently serves as Director of Billiards Education Foundation and we welcome his vast experience and knowledge to NAPT.
 
Denise Belanger has been tour director for the Canadian Women's Pool Tour, and with her experience as a rated WPBA Pro, she is a valued addition to NAPT.
 
As Owner / Operator of AzBilliards since 1997, Mike Howerton brings vast media advice and experience to the NAPT Board.
 
Business owner Tam Trinh provides unique custom pool accessories and apparel through her company, Creative Pool Solutions (MzTam.com). NAPT welcomes her entrepreneurial spirit, work ethic, and merchandizing expertise.
 
Some founding board members have graciously agreed to continue their work with NAPT. The board members re-elected to their second term are; Kevin Yi (Founding Board member. Current Board Director Runs TWCWT tournaments. Compiles stats), Tamre' Geene'-Rogers (Founding Board Member, Current Board Director), and Sharon O'Hanlon (Founding Board Member, Current Board Director, Secretary of NAPT 2016 & 2017, Co-Director JPNEWT). Thank you all for your continued support!
 
On behalf of the remainder of NAPT Board Members, NAPT Board of Directors, Division II Tour Directors, rooms and venues supporting NAPT, and all the players, we welcome our new board members and look forward to working with them to offer many years of quality events and competitive opportunities for players all over North America.
 

Turning Stone Classic XXIX 9-Ball Open January 4-7, 2018

Mike Zuglan's Joss Northeast 9-Ball Tour and Turning Stone Resort Casino are proud to present The $25,000 Added "Turning Stone Classic XXIX 9-Ball Open" on January 4-7, 2018. Turning Stone has once again most generously invited us to compete in their beautiful and spacious Event Center which is one of the best arenas in the world. There is not a bad seat in the house and multiple matches can be viewed comfortably from everywhere. The intimate layout in this world class arena allows you to mingle with your favorite players and lets you feel like you are a part of the action as well. Turning Stone Resort Casino is a full service resort with everything needed for a relaxing, fun filled and enjoyable experience. Check them out at www.turningstone.com
 
Our 29th Turning Stone Classic will once again be a full roster of 128 players competing for the title. The field will include a wide range of talent from our regular tour players to some of the best in the game. Previous winners like Jayson Shaw, Johnny Archer, Rodney Morris, Mika Immonen will all be in attendance along with many other notable and not so notable great players. The complete player list can be found on our site, www.joss9balltour.com . This promises to be yet another memorable event in our Turning Stone Classic series. Our next regular season event will be stop # 7 at the brand new Brickhouse Billiards in Syracuse NY on Jan 13 & 14, 2018, and our regular season will continue on from there until June. Then our $25,000 added "Turning Stone Classic XXX 9-Ball Open", Season Finale, will be August 23-26, 2018. I will begin taking entries for that event at this event in January and not before. FYI, there is every reason to believe that the August 2018 Season Finale will fill to capacity many months prior to the event, so seriously interested players need to sign up early to avoid being shut out. 
 
Once again at Turning Stone there will be a "second chance" tournament on Sunday January 7th at 10AM. This is an event for those Non Pro level players (I will decide) eliminated from the main event. The event format will be as follows: $60 Entry Fee – 32 Player Max – same rules as main event – Single Elimination – Races to 4, best 2 of 3 sets, with the deciding set being a single game sudden death. This means that if each player wins a race to 4, there will be a lag for the break and a 1 game playoff to determine the match winner. Entries will be taken for this tournament as players are eliminated from the main event and will be treated as first paid – first in until the event is full.
 
The equipment for our world class event will once again be 16 Diamond Pro tables covered with 860 Simonis ("The Cloth Of Champions") tournament blue cloth. We will again be using the Aramith TV Tournament balls with Pro Cup cue balls. And please thank Aramith and specifically Ivan Lee for stepping in to most generously provide us with the best balls on the planet! All items, including tables and balls, are for sale in tournament used condition, and only seriously interested parties are urged to contact Mike Zuglan immediately at 518-356-7163 for info and pricing. 
 
As always, fans coming to Turning Stone for our event will be treated to Free Admission, Free collectible posters, which have all the previous winners listed (while supplies last & can be viewed now at www.joss9balltour.com and on Face Book at Mike Zuglan's Joss Northeast 9-Ball Tour page), $10 casino Free Plays to players and fans, and some of the best pool you will ever see. All of this is brought to you courtesy of Turning Stone Resort Casino and the Joss Northeast 9-Ball Tour! 
 
Included in the Event Center at Turning Stone is a full service snack bar serving all of our favorite foods and adult beverages. There will be billiard product vendors and on site cue repairs available for all your needs. Mike Burton of www.josscues.com will have a wide range of Joss Cues and Joss Northeast 9-Ball Tour Shirts. CJ and Peggi Wilkinson of www.baltimorecitycues.com will be here with their extensive cue, case and supplies display. Dan Dishaw, www.dishawcues.com will be on hand with his cues and expert on site cue repairs. And Feng Zhao of  www.lite-systems.com will be there with his custom LED billiard lighting and other billiard products. There is still time and room for new vendor or two at a mere fraction of what you would pay elsewhere. Interested parties should contact me at 518-356-7163 immediately. 
 
Dan, Debbie and Stephen Janes of Joss Cues, have once again upped the ante and provided us with two gorgeous, custom engraved Joss cues for raffle. The cues are valued at $1,200 each and will be raffled off on Saturday just before the 8 PM matches, and the second will go on Sunday immediately prior to the final match at approximately 7 PM. These beautiful cues can be viewed here:  https://josscues.com/cues/custom/joss-custom-26/
In addition to the cues, I will once again give away the Aramith Pro Cup cue ball used in the final match, autographed by the winner, to some lucky fan by combining all of the Saturday and Sunday raffle tickets and picking the winner from them.
 
We invite everyone to come to Turning Stone Resort & Casino January 4-7, 2018 for a great experience and 4 full days of some of the best pool you will ever witness. If for some reason you are unable to make it, there will be free live scoring and a free live stream expertly provided by Alan Leon, aka Upstate Al and Mike Howerton at  www.azbilliards.com , The Joss Northeast 9-Ball Tour and Turning Stone Resort Casino. Match times are as follows: Thursday at 4,6,8 & 10pm. Friday at 10am, noon, 2,4,6,8 & 10pm. Saturday at 10am, noon, 2,4,6,8 & 10pm. Sunday at 11am, 1,3,5 & the final match at 7pm. The second chance tournament on Sunday will begin at 10am and run continuously until completed. 
 
I would like to ask all of you to please publicize our event through social media etc. so more people may be informed about this great and free event. And, as always, I remind all of you how important it is to please frequent your local billiard parlors and promote and utilize the fine products of our most generous sponsors listed below. They are the backbone of our sport!
 
I hope to see all of you at Turning Stone
 
Mike Zuglan
 
The Joss Northeast 9-Ball Tour Is Proudly Sponsored By;
 
Joss Cues – http://www.josscues.com
Turning Stone Resort Casino – http://www.turningstone.com 
Simonis Cloth – http://www.simoniscloth.com
Poolonthenet.com – http://www.poolonthenet.com
AzBilliards.com – http://www.azbilliards.com
Aramith – http://www.aramith.com
Billiards Press – http://www.billiardspress.com                 
World Class Cue Care – http://www.jnj-industries.com

 

November Billiards Buzz Released

AzBilliards has relased the October issue of the Billiards Buzz online publication.
 
Read our coverage of the International 9-Ball Open, EPBF Klagenfurt Open, Steinway Classic, NAPT Desert Challenge, Maryland State 10-Ball Chempionship and all of the Mosconi Cup updates.
 
Melinda Bailey has a great interview with Dan Louie and is once again joined by Jerry Briesath, Anthony Beeler and Dr. Chris Stankovich. We also have a new contribution from Steve Lillis and his Gospel Trick Shots. 
 
This issue, as well as every other issue, can be found online at http://www.azbilliards.com/buzz/

Turning Stone Classic XXVIII 9-Ball Open – August 31-September 3

Mike Zuglan's Joss Northeast 9-Ball Tour and Turning Stone Resort Casino are proud to present our 2016-2017 Season Finale, The $25,000 Added, "Turning Stone Classic XXVIII 9-Ball Open". This event will take place in Turning Stone's beautiful & spacious Event Center which is known worldwide as one of the best venues ever. There are no bad seats, and the layout allows you to mingle with all of your favorite players and friends, giving you the feeling of being part of the action yourself. There is an aura of intimacy that seems to surround you at these events. If you have never been to Turning Stone, located in Verona NY, you simply don't know what you are missing. Check them out at www.turningstone.com 
 
For an unprecedented 28th time, we will have a full field of players with no shortage of past, present and future Champions. Defending champion Jayson Shaw & Johnny Archer who both have 6 Turning Stone Classic wins each, will both be there to try to break the tie for the most wins. However with players like 2017 BCA Hall Of Fame inductee Darren Appleton, Shane Van Boening, Rodney Morris, Earl Strickland, Dennis Hatch, Billy Thorpe, Oscar and Ernesto Dominguez, Mika Immonen, Karen Corr & many others, winning could be a tall task. And let's not count out our Joss Tour regulars like Nelson Oliveira, Bucky Souvanthong, Ron Casanzio & Jeremy Sossei that have a legitimate chance of making history. So look for anything to happen when the smoke clears on Sunday night. I am pleased to also announce that once again in addition to being a BCA event, this will be a Grade One Mosconi Cup ranking event for 2017! The complete player list (subject to change) can be found on our site www.joss9balltour.com 
    
There will once again be a "Second Chance" tournament on Sunday September 3rd at 10AM running continuously and concurrently with the main event until completed. This is an event for those Non Pro level players (I will decide) eliminated from the main event. The event format will be as follows: $60 Entry Fee – 32 Player Max – same rules as main event – Single Elimination – Races to 4, best 2 of 3 sets, with the deciding set a single game sudden death. This means that if each player wins a race to 4, there will be a lag for the break and a 1 game playoff to determine the match winner. Entries will be taken for this tournament as players are eliminated from the main event and will be treated as first paid – first in until the event is full.
 
The equipment for our world class event will once again be 16, 9 foot Diamond Pro tables & lights covered with 860 Simonis ("The Cloth Of Champions") tournament blue cloth. We will be using the new Aramith Tournament TV Pro Cup balls. Thanks again to Ivan Lee for providing us with the world's best cloth and the world's best billiard balls! All of these items will be for sale in tournament used condition, and only seriously interested parties are urged to contact Mike Zuglan immediately at 518-356-7163 for info and pricing. 
 
Being a spectator at Turning Stone is an experience you won't find anywhere else. We always offer fans, Free Admission, Free collectible posters (while supplies last) and once again Turning Stone will be giving away a $10 free play to all players and fans. So you get Free admission, Free posters and Free bets!! No one else does it like Turning Stone and the Joss Northeast 9-Ball Tour! Included in the Event Center at Turning Stone is a full service snack bar serving all of our favorite foods and adult beverages. There will be billiard product vendors and on site cue repairs available for all your needs. We will also be raffling off 2 gorgeous, custom, engraved Joss Cues on Saturday at 8pm and Sunday immediately prior to the final match and you Do Not have to be present to win. These cues have a retail value of $1,500 and $1,200 and are generously provided by Danny Janes of Joss Cues Ltd. Thanks again to Danny, Debbie & Stephen Janes for all they do for us!! We will also choose a winning ticket to receive the Pro Cup cue ball used in the final match autugraphed by the winner. 
            
So come to Turning Stone Resort Casino August 28-September 3 for a great experience and 4 full days of some of the best pool you will ever witness. If for some reason you are unable to make it, there will be a Free live stream and live scoring expertly provided by Mike Howerton & Jerry Forsyth  www.azbilliards.com  Upstate Al Leon, The Joss Northeast 9-Ball Tour and Turning Stone Resort Casino. Match times are Thursday 4, 6, 8, & 10 pm. Friday 10 am, noon, 2, 4, 6, 8, & 10 pm. Saturday 10 am, noon, 2, 4, 6, 8, & 10 pm. Sunday 11 am, 1, 3, 5, and the final match at 7 pm.   
 
As a reminder, our new 2017-2018 season will begin on Sept 23 & 24 at TJ's in Waterville ME. The new season will also include our second "Joss Junior 9-Ball Championship" on Oct 21 & 22 at Sharp Shooters in Amsterdam NY. If you would like to donate items to be given to the future generation of our great sport, please contact me at 518-356-7163. Also be advised that our next Turning Stone Classic XXIX 9-Ball Open is scheduled for January 4-7, 2018. I will begin taking entries for that event at this event in August. For more information and a complete schedule of events, go to www.joss9balltour.com                  
 

The Joss Northeast 9-Ball Tour Is Proudly Sponsored By;

Joss Cues – http://www.josscues.com 
Turning Stone Resort Casino – http://www.turningstone.com 
Simonis Cloth – http://www.simoniscloth.com 
Poolonthenet.com – http://www.poolonthenet.com 
AzBilliards.com – http://www.azbilliards.com
Aramith – http://www.aramith.com
Billiards Press – http://www.billiardspress.com     
Heidrich Custom Cues – http://www.heidrichcustomcues.com             
World Class Cue Care – http://www.jnj-industries.com