Archive Page

Gomez, Gabriel, Saez, Martinez and Casper/Larson Take Space City Open

Roberto Gomez

Last week, players made their way to the $8,000 added Space City Open X. Held at Big Tyme Billiards in Spring, TX – a suburb of Houston – owners Billy Sharp, Jim Henry, Mark Avery and Matthew McFarren and their staff laid out the red carpet for both players and fans.

The tournament kicked off on Thursday night with the $1,000 added 9 Ball Banks event. This single elimination race to four event saw a full field of 32 players post their $100 entry fees. After the players auction, meeting & draw, the action began.

After being scarce on the tournament trail since the birth of his daughter two years ago, Robb Saez made up for lost time as he rocketed through the bracket taking down Alan Poisel 4-1, JC Torres 4-0, Mark Nanashee 4-2 and Ernesto Bayaua 4-0. In the bottom portion of the chart, Alex Calderon squeaked by Jeff Sullivan 4-3 and then dusted off Leon Contreras 4-1 and Raed Shabib 4-0 before running into Roberto Gomez. The match was a good one but Alex prevailed 4-2. 

That win put Calderon into the finals against the red hot Saez. Alex went down 4-1 – guess baby needed a new pair of shoes! Congratulations, Robb! Good job, Alex!

Starting on Friday night was the main event – the $3,500 added Open 9 Ball. Drawing a full field of 128 players, this double elimination event had a $75 entry fee and was played on seven foot tables. Races were to 9/7 with winner breaks.

Bogies was getting their money’s worth with their house pro and defending champ, Roberto Gomez, as he marched through the field. He was never seriously threatened as he defeated Timothy Lapointe 4-0, Richard Hughes 9-4, John Weeks 9-2, Javier Alienes 9-4, Ernesto Bayaua 9-1 and Blaine Barcus 9-3 to arrive at the hot seat match.

Another man slicing through the field was Oklahoma’s John Gabriel. He started with wins over Pedro Oviolo 9-2 and Calvin Chappell 9-3 before a tough one with young gun Lazaro Martinez. John barely survived that one 9-8 and then coasted past Cesar Arechiga 9-0. Next were Joey Torres and Ryan Robinson – they went down 9-6 and 9-3 and John also arrived at the hot seat match.

The hot seat match was all Roberto as he spanked John 9-3 and locked up his seat in the finals. John headed west to play Bayaua who had eliminated Saez 7-4. Robb finished in fourth place. Then, it was John who beat Ernesto by the same score – 7-4. He finished in third place.

Knowing he had to defeat Roberto twice to take the title, John put up a tough fight but when it was all over, Gomez had gotten his revenge for John knocking him out of the one pocket event and defended his title! He won the match 9-6. Congratulations, Roberto! Good event, John!

Lazaro Martinez III

Sunday was the start for both the $500 added Ladies 9 Ball and the $500 added Junior 9 Ball events. The players auction, meeting and draw for the juniors was first followed by the same for the ladies.

Twenty three boys and girls paid a $35 entry fee to play in the double elimination event played on the seven foot Diamonds. They raced to 7/5 with winner breaks.

Former BEF Junior National champ and defending champion Lazaro Martinez defeated Carlos Jinez 7-5, Mary Grigsby 7-1, Vania Davila 7-0 and Kailye Stevens 7-2 to arrive at the hot seat match.

Kyle Yi was the victor over Oscar Ruiz 7-2, Hunter Jackson 7-0, Tyler Miller 7-0 and Larissa Almendarez 7-5 to claim the other seat in the hot seat match.

Kyle then defeated Lazaro 7-3 to go on to the finals. Lazaro headed to the one loss side to face Carlos Jinez who had beaten Kailye Stevens 5-3. Kailye finished in fourth place. 

Looking to get back into the finals, Lazaro made short work of Carlos 5-1 leaving him in third place.

Needing to defeat Kyle twice to both defend and claim the title, Lazaro won the first set 7-4. The final set was a battle but it was Lazaro that took the title 5-3. Congratulations, Lazaro! Good event, Kyle!

Thirty two ladies filled the field posting their $45 entry fees. They also raced to 7/5 with winner breaks on the seven footers.

April Larson made her trek to the hot seat by defeating Vivian Christopher and Bridget Parker by the same score – 7-1. She then beat Crystal Cisneros 7-4, the always tough Ming Ng 7-3 and awaited her opponent in the hot seat match.

Making her way through the bottom of the bracket was Ricki Casper. She defeated Michelle Abernathy 7-1 and Robyn Petrosino 7-3 before going to the wire with Michelle Yim 7-6 and then winning over Tam Trinh 7-5. 

Ricki Casper

The hot seat match began and both players fought hard but in the end, Ricki had edged out April 7-6! April headed west.

Waiting for her was Ming. She had just beaten Robyn – she finished in fourth place. The match began to see who’d be in the final match. April came out on top 5-3 leaving Ming in third place.

Due to the late hour, the ladies decided to split the honors. Congratulations to both players!

The $1,000 added One Pocket event also started on Friday night. Having a full field of 32 who paid $100 to enter, the format was again single elimination with races to four. Following the players auction, meeting & draw, the matches began.

Still on fire from his runner-up finish in the banks event, Alex Calderon tore through the top half of the bracket skunking both Sonny Bosshamer and Raed Shabib but had rougher matches against Ernesto Bayaua and Marvin Diaz. He won both matches 4-2 and landed in the finals.

Quietly making his way through the bottom portion of the bracket was Oklahoma’s John Gabriel. He won his first match over Joey Barnes 4-2 and continued with wins over Ryan Baselman and Ryan Robinson – both 4-1. Down went Superman as John defeated Roberto Gomez 4-2 to get to the finals.

The final match started late and went long into the early morning hours and at the end, it was John taking top honors 4-2. Great tournament, John! Good showing, Alex! 

John Gabriel

Congratulations to this year’s champions and to Roberto Gomez for taking down the $1,500 All Around Bonus!

PoolActionTV.com would again like to thank owners Billy Sharp, Jim Henry, Mark Avery and Matthew McFarren and their staff as well the event sponsors. They are Outsville, Diamond Billiard Products, Brutal Game Gear, Poison by Predator, Jerry Olivier Custom Cues, Simonis, Aramith, Predator, Immediate Smiles Dentures & Dentistry of Spring, TX, Alamo Billiards of Houston, TX, and Fort Worth Billliards Superstore of Fort Worth, TX.

We’d also like to thank Tournament Director Teresa Garland and her assistant, Jason Hill, for juggling all the various events.

In addition, thanks to Larry Schwartz and Ray Hansen for their excellent commentary.

PoolActionTV.com would also like to thank our fans and sponsors. Our sponsors include JB Cases, Hanshew Jump Cues, Diamond Billiard Products, Durbin Custom Cues, Savage Billiard Apparel, Immediate Smiles Dentures & Dentistry of Spring, TX, Action Palace of Dayton, OH and Fort Worth Billiards Superstore of Fort Worth, TX. 

Our next event is the 35th Annual Music City Open Nine Ball Championships at JOB Billiard Club in Madison, TN – a suburb of Nashville. Dates are January 11th-15th – hope to see you there!

And, here’s wishing everyone happy holidays and a healthy and prosperous new year!

Go to thread

Kraber wins two-match battle against the Grinder to win OTB Ladies Tour finale

April Larson, Kim Sanders, Jennifer Kraber and Rhio Anne Flores

There’s a lot of it going around these days. A younger generation of pool players going head to head against an older generation of players who were around before they were born. In Puerto Rico recently, the phenomenon featured WPBA top pro Kelly Fisher doing battle against 12-year-old Savannah Easton and in the early going, the 12-year-old was ahead 3-2, albeit not for long. That sort, though not precisely that sort of generational ‘combat’ was on display this past weekend at the On the Ball Ladies Tour in the finale of the tour’s season. Veteran Texas competitor, Jennifer Kraber, whose recorded-to-us career got its start when she finished 17th on the Hunter Tour back in 2000, and former five-time BEF Junior National Champion (2012-2016) and current WPBA competitor April Larson (aka The Grinder) squared off twice in the hot seat and finals of the $3,000-added ($2,000, On the Ball Co., $1,000, Skinny Bob’s) season finale, that drew 28 entrants to Skinny Bob’s in Round Rock, TX. 

Kraber went undefeated at the event to claim the title, while Larson ended the tour’s season as its tour champion, beating out Ming Ng by a mere five points. In all, the tour handed out over $1,000 in awards and giveaways over the weekend. Its Most Improved Player award went to Chris Fields, who was also credited with the Most Break & Runs award. Natalie Mans was acknowledged as the tour’s top competitor at making the Most 9’s on the Snap, while Natalie Rocha received the tour’s Best Sportmanship award.

Kraber’s path to the winners’ circle in the tour’s season finale went through Rhio Anne (“Annie”) Flores, Kim Pierce and Gail Roles to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal matchup against Kim Sanders. The Grinder, in the meantime, got by Erica Hanlon, Molly McWhorter and Zoe Lozano to reach her winners’ side semifinal opponent, Michelle Cortez.

Kraber downed Sander 7-3, as Larson was dispatching Cortez to the loss side 7-2. The two generations battled to double hill in the hot seat match before Kraber won it and sat in the seat, awaiting Larson’s return. 

On the loss side, Sanders picked up Ming Ng, who’d lost her third winners’ side match to Cortez, double hill and then defeated tour director Teresa Garland 7-5, and Chris Fields, double hill to face Sanders. Cortez, in the meantime, drew “Annie” Flores, who’d followed her opening round loss to Kraber with four loss-side wins, giving up only three total racks to Brenda Viola (1), Brittany Kromer (1), Carmel Luttrell (1) and Nicole McDaniel (0). 

Flores made it five in a row, eliminating Cortez 7-4. Sanders and Ng locked up in a double hill fight that eventually put Sanders into the quarterfinals against Flores.

Another double hill battle ensued, this one eventually sent Sanders to the semifinals against Larson. Larson got a second shot at Kraber, waiting for her in the hot seat with a 7-4 win over Sanders in those semifinals.

The finals came within a game of double hill. Kraber, though, edged out in front near the end and won it 7-5, claiming the OTB Tour’s season finale title.

Tour director Teresa Garland thanked the ownership and staff at Skinny Bob’s for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor On the Ball Co., and Backwards Billiards for the free live streaming on YouTube. The On the Ball Ladies Tour for 2023 will be coming soon and available on the tour’s page here at AZBilliards.

Go to thread

The Grinder (aka April Larson) wins third On the Ball Ladies Tour stop in Houston, TX

Robyn Petrosino, April Larson, Michelle Cortez and Michelle Yim

Combined with her second straight and third overall win on the 2022 On The Ball (OTB) Ladies Tour in Texas this past weekend (Sat., Oct. 15), April Larson has won six of the 10 events in which she has cashed this year. She had previously won in May (Stop #3) and in September (Stop #5), adding to wins at the Scotty Townsend Memorial and the Midwest Open, both in March. Her victory over Melissa Helland in a 9-Ball Challenge Match in April rounds out the six event victories for her, while her two 2nd and 3rd place finishes completes the list of 10 in which she’s cashed.

The Grinder made it to the hot seat undefeated, downing Robyn Petrosino in the winners’ side final. She lost the first set of a true double elimination final to Michelle Cortez, who’d won five on the loss side to challenge her, and then, in a double hill fight, won the second set to claim the title. The event drew a short field of 12 entrants to R House Bar & Grill in Houston, TX.

Larson made it to the hot seat with an aggregate score of 28-7 (80%). Three of the seven game losses came as a result of her opening match versus veteran Ming Ng. Larson advanced from that match to down Christy Grigsby (1) and draw Terry Petrosino in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Robyn Petrosino, in the meantime, got by Michelle Yim 7-4 and tour director Teresa Garland 7-5 to arrive at her winners’ side semifinal against Chris Fields.

Larson defeated Terry Petrosino 7-1 as Robyn Petrosino sent Chris Fields to the loss side 7-4. Larson claimed the hot seat 7-2 over Robyn and waited for Cortez to complete her loss-side run.

Following her 7-1, opening-round loss to Natalie Mans, Cortez advanced on the loss side through Garland 7-3 and Ming Ng 7-1 to draw Terry Petrosino. Fields picked up Michelle Yim, who’d survived a double hill match versus Natalie Mans and then downed Vania Davila 7-3 to reach her.

Cortez defeated Terry Petrosino 7-2, as Yim stayed busy and eventually won a double hill fight against Fields. Cortez won the quarterfinals that followed 7-5 over Yim and completed her loss-side trip 7-3 over Robyn Petrosino in the semifinals.

In winning the opening set of the true double elimination final, Cortez chalked up as many racks as all of Larson’s previous opponents combined. The 7-4 Cortez win forced a second set that went double hill before Larson prevailed to claim the event title.

Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at R House Bar & Grill for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor On the Ball Co. for their continuing support of the tour. They also gave a “shout out” to Lonnie Best and Lisa Bailey with Backward Billiards “for jumping on board to do the live streaming.”

The On the Ball Ladies Tour’s season finale, scheduled for the weekend of November 19-20, will be a $3,000-added event, hosted by Skinny Bob’s Billiards in Round Rock, TX. The tour will crown its 2022 Champion at the event. 

Go to thread

The Grinder ‘shows up’ to go undefeated on OTB Ladies Tour

Ming Ng and April Larson

Though it’s been said in a lot of different ways, it was Woody Allen who said it the simplest way – 90% of life is just showing up. It’s a statement that resonates in the pool world, where cumulative earnings in a given year can often be a matter of how many times you competed, rather than how many event victories you’ve chalked up. Case in point: The Grinder (aka April Larson), whose best earnings year, to date, was 2018, a year in which she cashed (as far as we know) in six events and didn’t win any of them.

Now, in 2022, Larson has cashed (again, as far as we know) in nine events and won four of them, bringing her, as of this past weekend, within about 30% of her 2018 totals. She chalked up her latest on Saturday, Sept. 24, going undefeated on the On the Ball (OTB) Ladies Tour in Texas. The $2,000-added event drew 23 entrants Big Tyme Billiards in Spring, TX. 

Larson and her eventual opponent in the hot seat and finals, veteran Ming Ng, recorded exactly the same aggregate score, defeating their opponents by exactly the same individual scores (though not in the same order) to face each other in the hot seat. Larson gave up a single rack to Darcy Durham, none at all to Natalie Mans, two to Terry Petrosino and in a winners’ side semifinal, three to Carmel Luttrell for an aggregate score of 28-6 (82%). Ng’s 28-6 (82%) path went through Cheyenne Valdez (2), Eva Grigsby (1), Michelle Abernathy (0) and in the other winners’ side semifinal, Angie Payne (3). Surprising no one, The Grinder and The Empress locked up in a double hill battle for the hot seat. The Grinder prevailed, claiming the hot seat and waiting in it for Ng’s return.

Both of the opponents Luttrell and Payne faced when they arrived on the loss-side of the bracket had lost their opening match and were working on a five-match winning streak that would come to an end for one of them in the quarterfinals. Luttrell picked up Larissa Almandariz, who’d recently eliminated Michelle Abernathy and tour TD Teresa Garland, both 7-3. Payne drew Chris Fields, who’d benefited from a forfeit by Terry Petrosino and survived a double hill battle versus Natalie Rocha to reach her. 

Almandariz defeated Luttrell 7-4, while Fields was busy eliminating Payne 7-5. Fields ended Almandariz’ loss-side streak 7-4 in the quarterfinals that followed. Fields’ streak came to an end when she was defeated by Ng in the semifinals 7-1. 

Expectations of a second double hill battle between Larson and Ng, battling for the title, had to have been high. Didn’t happen, though. The Grinder got out in front early and went on to a 7-2 win in the finals to claim her second 2022 OTB title, and her fourth event victory on the year.

Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Big Tyme Billiards for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor On the Ball Company and Accu-rack. The next stop on the OTB Ladies Tour, scheduled for the weekend of Oct. 15-16, will be a $2,000-added event hosted by R House Bar & Grill in Houston, TX.

Go to thread

Ming Ng Double Dips Sanders for On The Ball Tour Stop Win

Ming Ng

Ming Ng has been in more than enough winner’s circles to not let something like a hot-seat loss stop her for long, and that was the case again over the July 23rd – 24th weekend at Stop 4 on the On The Ball Ladies Tour at Betsy’s Billiards in Austin, Texas. 

Ng had notables wins over Stop 2 Champion Chris Fields and tour regular Kim Pierce on her way to the hot-seat match. Her opponent, another tour regular Kim Sanders, had notable wins over Michelle Cortez and Angie Payne on her way to the hot-seat match. 

Both of the players in the hot-seat match were looking for their first wins of the season, with Ng last winning a tour stop last year and Sanders last winning a tour stop in 2019. Sanders would get one step closer to that goal with her 7-6 win over Ng for the hot-seat. 

Michelle Cortez was on a roll on the left side of the board, with four straight wins after her loss to Sanders on the winners side. She would not get another shot at Sanders in the finals though, as Ng won the semi-final match 7-3.

The finals might have been where that experience kicked in for Ng, as she double dipped Sanders 7-3 and 7-4 for the tournament win. 

The On The Ball Ladies Tour will take a few weeks off and return on September 24th – 25th at Big Tyme Billiards in Spring, Texas for another $2000 added event. 

Go to thread

Frost, Baraks & Tkach Take Big Tyme Classic

Kristina Tkach, April Larson, Sofia Mast and Ming Ng

The Ninth Annual $14,000 added Big Tyme Classic was held over the last few days in Spring, TX – a suburb of Houston. Players and fans were treated to topnotch one pocket in addition to the open nine ball and ladies nine ball events.

Hosted by owners Billy Sharp, Mark Avery and Jim Henry, the local sponsors were Star City Amusements and Jim Stinson of AM, Inc.

The festivities kicked off on Thursday with the One Pocket Championship. Thirty players put up a $250 entry fee to play in this double elimination event. The format was races to 4/3 with the finals to be one extended race to five.

After the players auction, a players meeting was held, the brackets were posted and the matches started. 

With only two byes, the field had some of the best one pocket players anywhere. Newly crowned US Open One Pocket champ Tony Chohan was joined by last year’s runner-up Josh Roberts in addition to Fedor Gorst, Chip Compton and Warren Kiamco. Local champs Alex Calderon, Charlie Bryant, Tommy Tokoph and Ernesto Bayaua were there as well as other notables including Robert Frost and James Baraks.

First round saw two of the heavyweights score knockouts! Robert Frost was defeated by Chip Compton while Alex Calderon fell victim to Fedor Gorst.

Tony Chohan and Josh Roberts met in the second round – Josh prevailed. Compton advanced after a battle with Charlie Bryant as did Gorst over Tommy Tokoph.

Compton then mowed down both Ernesto Bayaua and Roberts while Gorst continued his winning ways over Warren Kiamco and Ray Lopez.

Finally meeting in the hot seat match, Fedor locked up his seat in the finals and sent Chip west to await an opponent.

After losing their first round matches, Calderon and Frost were dismantling their opponents left and right! Alex defeated Bernard Walker, Kenny Price, Charlie Bryant, James Baraks, Warren Kiamco and Josh Roberts until he met up with Frost. In the lower portion of the chart, Robert defeated Darryl Amos, John Infante, Tommy Tokoph, Jake Weaver, Raed Shabib and Ray Lopez.

Locked in battle, Alex and Robert both fought hard but it was Frost who took it down leaving Calderon in fourth place. 

In dead punch and playing great, Robert’s next victim was Chip Compton. Chip finished with a third place finish.

As previously mentioned, the finals were one extended race to five. Robert won the first game and the second game went down to the case ball. Robert won that one and then the third game. Then the unexpected happened! Since both Fedor and Robert were still in the Nine Ball, they had to halt the finals and go play their matches! 

After several hours, play resumed and Fedor finally won a game – score 3-1. Gorst’s hopes to tighten up the match faded as Frost took the fifth game to make it 4-1. Not rolling over yet, Gorst clawed his way back to take the next two games! Score now 4-3! And then, 4-4! WOW! One game for it all!

Robert moved out to a 5-1 lead in the case game. Soon, the balls were all moved up table. Fedor banked a shot and left it deep in his hole. Robert gave him the ball making it 5-2. Two shots later, he made one for himself and then banked in another. Frost was on the hill – 7-2! With no reasonable safety options, Fedor was forced to bank towards his hole and left Robert a semi-tough shot at his pocket. Swish! Nothing but net! Robert Frost takes down his first major one pocket title leaving Fedor Gorst with a well-deserved runner-up finish!!! 

What a match!!! After losing his first match, Robert won nine in a row to win the tournament! Congratulations, Robert!

The Open Nine Ball had started on Friday night with 136 players paying an $80 entry fee. Using a Magic Rack with the nine racked on the spot, players broke from the box. Played on seven foot Diamonds, the format was double elimination, races to 10/8, alternate breaks, three foul rule in effect – the nine didn’t count in the bottom two pockets. 

In addition to the previously mentioned players, this event had some of the best rotation players around including Andy Jethwa, Victor Rojas, Justin Espinosa, Sergio Rivas, John Hennessee & Kristina Tkach. 

In the top portion of the bracket, Justin Espinosa and Alex Calderon met in the third round with Alex sending Justin packing. Tony Chohan and Andy Jethwa collided in the fourth round – Andy was defeated and headed west. Warren Kiamco tore through his first four opponents until Calderon cut him off at the pass. 

At the bottom of the bracket, Tommy Tokoph and Robert Frost defeated their first three opponents. They met in the fourth round with Frost notching the win. James Baraks and Kristina Tkach also won their first three matches – James put an end to Kristina’s march and sent her to the one loss side. Baraks and Frost duked it out in the next round – James prevailed. Meanwhile, Sergio Rivas and Charlie Bryant won their first four matches. Charlie beat Sergio when they also met in the fifth round.

Now down to four on the winners side, Calderon defeated Kiamco and Baraks took care of Bryant. Playing for the hot seat, James defeated Calderon and locked up his seat in the finals. Alex headed west to await an opponent.

Over on the one loss side, Rivas knocked Bryant out of the tournament leaving Charlie in fourth place. Next up for Sergio was the always tough Alex Calderon. Alex proved to be too tough for Sergio this time – Alex moved on to the finals leaving Sergio in third place.

Due to the very late hour, James & Alex decided to split with James claiming the title. Congratulations to both!

Last, but not least, was the Ladies Nine Ball Championship. This double elimination event had 44 ladies posting a $55 entry fee. Also played on seven foot Diamonds and using the Magic Rack, the format was alternate break with races to seven on both sides.

Well known names like Kristina Tkach, April Larson, Ming Ng and Veronica Perez as well as young gun Sofia Mast joined the fray.

After defeating the always tough Ming Ng in the first round, Sofia Mast won five matches in a row to meet Russian star Kristina Tkach for the hot seat match. Kristina won the match sending junior champ to the one loss side to await an opponent.

After losing her first match, Ming fought her way through until she met April Larson. April had also lost her second match to Sofia. Both players played hard for another shot at her and when the dust had settled, it was April who won the match. Ming finished in fourth place.

Looking to make it into the finals, it was another hard fought match. Sofia survived the match leaving April in third place.

Kristina had smoked Sofia in the hot seat match 7-0. Sofia remarked on her Facebook page after the finals that her only goal when she made it back to the finals was to at least win one game. She won four! What a great attitude!

And, congratulations to Kristina for claiming the title! Great tournament, Sofia!

Once again, PoolActionTV.com would like to thank the owners of Big Tyme and their staff for taking such good care of all the players and fans. We’d like to thank Tournament Director Teresa Garland for doing an exemplary job running three events at the same time!

We’d also like to thank Larry Schwartz, John Henderson, Mary Kenniston and Ray Hansen for their topnotch commentary. 

In addition, we’d like to thank our fans and sponsors for their support! Our sponsors include JB Cases, Hanshew Jump Cues, Lomax Custom Cues, StraightPoolEye, Durbin Custom Cues, Aramith, Diamond Billiard Products, Fort Worth Billiards Superstore of Fort Worth, TX and the Action Palace of Dayton, OH.  

Our next stop is the Seventh Annual Buffalo’s Pro Classic in Jefferson, LA (New Orleans). Featuring $1,000 added One Ball One Pocket, $5,000 added Open Nine Ball and the main event – the $20,000 Pro One Pocket! Dates are May 25th-29th! Hope to see you there!

Once again, PoolActionTV.com would like to thank the owners of Big Tyme and their staff for taking such good care of all the players and fans. We’d like to thank Tournament Director Teresa Garland for doing an exemplary job running three events at the same time!

We’d also like to thank Larry Schwartz, John Henderson, Mary Kenniston and Ray Hansen for their topnotch commentary. 

In addition, we’d like to thank our fans and sponsors for their support! Our sponsors include JB Cases, Hanshew Jump Cues, Lomax Custom Cues, StraightPoolEye, Durbin Custom Cues, Aramith, Diamond Billiard Products, Fort Worth Billiards Superstore of Fort Worth, TX and the Action Palace of Dayton, OH.  

Our next stop is the Seventh Annual Buffalo’s Pro Classic in Jefferson, LA (New Orleans). Featuring $1,000 added One Ball One Pocket, $5,000 added Open Nine Ball and the main event – the $20,000 Pro One Pocket! Dates are May 25th-29th! Hope to see you there!

Go to thread

The Grinder goes undefeated to take Stop #3 of On The Ball Ladies Tour in Texas

April Larson

April Larson, aka The Grinder, has come a long way from winning her first pro event, back in August of 2016. She’d represented the USA that year in the Atlantic Cup Challenge, a Mosconi Cup-type event for junior competitors, and won her fifth BEF Junior Nationals title earlier that summer. The victory on the North American Pool Tour’s Summer 10-Ball Classic rendered her literally speechless, when she was handed the winning check. She’d actually been fascinated by the trophy and when she’d collected that, had completely forgotten about the money that went along with it, presented to her sometime later by NAPT’s Adrianne Beach.

Now, she’s the house pro at Stixx and Stones Billiards in Lewisville, TX and is in the midst of trying to duplicate her best earnings year (2018) since that first win, six years ago. She’s just a little more than half-way to her 2018 earnings at the table, having won three events so far this year, and it’s only May. In February, she was runner-up to Mary Rakin in the 7th Annual Texas Open’s Ladies 10-Ball event, before winning both the Ladies Division of the Scotty Townsend Memorial and the 2022 Midwest Ladies Open in March. In April, she chalked up a 9-ball challenge victory over Melissa Helland.

This past weekend (May 14-15), Larson signed on to the On the Ball Ladies Tour for its third stop of the year and went undefeated through a field of 29 entrants to claim the title. The $2,000-added event was hosted by Skinny Bob’s in Round Rock, TX.

Larson’s trip to the winners’ circle was almost derailed, or to be more accurate, sidetracked early. She defeated Edwidge Cavanna 7-2 in the opening round before having to battle through two straight double hill matches, against Nicole McDaniel and Michelle Yim, which set her up for a winners’ side semifinal against Kim Sanders. Chris Fields, in the meantime, who’d face Larson twice before all was said and done, opened with a 7-2 win, as well, against Ruth Paine and advanced to down Ximena Duarte 7-4 and Ming Ng, double hill, to arrive at her winners’ side semifinal against Jennifer Kraber.

Larson, apparently having had quite enough of double hill matches for the day, shut Sanders out and advanced to the hot seat match. She was joined by Fields, who sent Kraber to the loss side 7-2. Larson gave up only a single rack to Fields and claimed the hot seat.

On the loss side, Kraber picked up Jenna Bishoff, who’d lost her opening round match to McDaniel and went on a five-match, loss-side winning streak that had recently eliminated Mille Almarez 7-5 and Michelle Yim 7-3. Sanders drew a rematch against Cristina Schneider, whom she’d sent to the loss side in the second round and was in the midst of a four-match, loss-side run that included most recent wins over Ming Ng 7-3 and Angie Payne 7-2.

Bishoff and Schneider had their loss-side winning streaks ended by Kraber and Sanders, in completely different ways. In advancing to the quarterfinals, Sanders gave up only a single rack to Schneider. Bishoff fought Kraber to a 13th deciding game before Kraber prevailed to join Sanders in those quarterfinals.

Sanders then defeated Kraber 7-4, only to be downed by Fields in the semifinals 7-2. Though Fields would do considerably better against Larson in the finals than she had in the hot seat match, Larson edged out in front near the end of the final match, claiming the event title 7-5.

As may be noted in the accompanying photo, Larson remembered her check this time.

The next stop (#4) on the On the Ball Ladies Tour is scheduled for the weekend of July 24-25 and will be hosted by Betsy’s Billiards in Austin, TX. 

Go to thread

Fields comes from the loss side to double dip Ng in finals of OTB Ladies Tour

Ming Ng and Chris Fields

Chris Fields, no stranger to the felt since she first started recording payouts on Florida’s Flamingo and Bay Area Amateur tours 12 years ago, chalked up her first win in just over two years when she came from the loss side to meet and defeat Ming Ng in the finals of a stop on the Texas-based (as is Fields) On The Ball Ladies Tour this past weekend (March 12-13). Her last (recorded) win came on the DFW 9-Ball Tour’s Women’s Finale in October, 2020, when, through six matches, she chalked up an aggregate score of 36-6. At this recent event, Fields had that many racks, plus one, scored against her in her second round of play, which sent her to the loss side for more; more ‘for’ than ‘against’ as it turned out on that side of the bracket. The $2,000-added event drew 34 entrants to Betsy’s Billiards in Austin, TX.

Fields got by her opening match okay, shutting out Leigh Constant, but ran into Kim Sanders in the second round, who fought her to double hill, before she (Sanders) prevailed, launching Fields into a seven-match, loss-side winning streak that eventually led her back to hot seat occupant Ming Ng.

Ng, part of a hot-seat-match pair of what might be aptly described as ‘heavy hitters’ on the Texas Ladies Pool scene, had opened her bid for the title with a double hill win over Angie Payne and went on to defeat Cheyenne Valdez and Natalie Rocha before facing Kim Pierce in one of the winners’ side semifinals. The other member of the ‘heavy hitters’ pair was Jennifer Kraber, who’d gotten by Margaret Fox, Nicole McDaniel, and shut out Michelle Cortez in a winners’ side quarterfinal to face Michelle Yim in the other winners’ side semifinal.

Kraber downed Yim 7-2 and in the hot seat match, faced Ng, who’d sent Pierce to the loss side 7-5. Ng sent Kraber off to what would prove to be a fateful matchup in the semifinals, claiming the hot seat 7-4.

On the loss side, Yim drew Kim Sanders, who, following her loss to Pierce had defeated Angie Payne and Natalie Rocha, both 7-5. Pierce picked up Fields, four matches into her loss-side streak, which had recently eliminated Carmel Luttrell and Stephanie Reyes, both 7-1.

Fields advanced to the quarterfinals 7-5 over Pierce and was met by Yim, who’d survived a double hill fight versus Sanders, and was thus able to avoid a rematch against Fields. Fields eliminated Yim 7-4 in those quarterfinals and then, Kraber in the semifinals 7-3.

It was a true double elimination final, forcing Fields to win twice to claim the title. A predictable double hill battle characterized the opening set, won by Fields. Fields chalked up the second set 7-4 and claimed the event title.

A $100-added Best of the Rest event drew 10 entrants. Angie Payne took home the top prize, with Zoe Lozano as runner-up. 

Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Betsy’s Billiards, as well as title sponsor On the Ball Co., which also provided streaming services for the event. The next stop (#3) of the On the Ball Ladies Tour, scheduled for the weekend of May 14-15, will be a $2,000-added event, hosted by Skinny Bob’s Billiards in Round Rock, TX. 

Go to thread

Gerson Martinez & Mary Rakin Tam Crowned Texas Open 10 Ball Champs

Gerson Martinez (Pool Action TV)

Skinny Bob’s Billiards & Sports Bar in Round Rock, TX was the venue for the 7th Annual Texas Open 10 Ball Championships. 

Produced by Cue & A Promotions, this event featured three divisions – the $2,000 added Scotch Doubles, the $2,000 added Ladies 10 Ball and the 10,000 added 10 Ball Open. A total of $15,750 was added to the prize fund.

Local sponsors included Mints Amusements, Hanshew Jump Cues, Austin Pro Siding, Windows & Roofing, GAF, DigitalPool.com and ABC Supply Co., Inc.

The tournament began on Wednesday night with a $500 added 10 Ball mini tournament. This $25 entry single elimination race to three event had a full field of 64 players. Hailing from Sarajevo, Bosnia, Sanjin Pehlivanovic took the cheese. Defending US Open Pool champ Carlo Biado took second while Lima, Peru’s Gerson Martinez and Roland Garcia each tied for third place.

Following a players meeting and auction, play commenced on Thursday afternoon in the Jack & Jill Scotch Doubles 10 Ball Championship. Twenty three teams posted $125 entry fees to play in this double elimination, race to seven event. 

Continuing his hot streak, Carlo Biado and his partner, Mary Rakin Tam took first place over Alex Pagulayan and April Larson.

Thursday evening also featured the $500 added Banks Ring Game. At the end, Denmark’s Mickey Krause, John Morra and Manny Chau did a three-way chop of the cash.

Carlo Biado and Mary Rakin Tam (Pool Action TV)

Friday began with both a $500 added Open Ring Game and a $250 added Ladies Ring Game. John Morra won the Open Ring Game and the Ladies was won by Jenna Bishoff.

Later that evening, a players meeting and auction kicked off the main event. 125 players paid their $150 entry fees into this double elimination, race to seven with alternate break format. Play began the following day.

Meeting in the first round, Roland Garcia edged out Josh Roberts 7-6 and Alex Pagulayan defeated Evan Lunda 7-3.

Second round action saw Lee Vann Corteza spank John Gabriel 7-2 as Gerson Martinez squeaked by Sergio Rivas 7-6. Robbie Capito eked out a 7-6 win over recent Music City Open champ Shane Wolford, Singapore’s Sarik Sayed trounced local favorite Justin Espinosa 7-2 while Pagulayan toughed out his match with Pehlivanovic 7-5. 

In the third round, straight shooting veteran Tommy Sanders shot down Blaine Barcus 7-3 as did Biado over Krause with an identical score. Gerson Martinez sent Lee Vann west 7-4 while Sean Black upset the legendary David Matlock 7-5.  John Morra blistered Shane McMinn 7-2 while Manny Chau sent Michael Yednak packing 7-3. Fellow Houstonians Roberto Gomez and Tommy Tokoph duked it out with Tommy emerging the victor 7-3 and Sayed lost to Pagulayan 7-4.

Matches in the fourth round saw Sanders bow to Krause 7-4 and Chris Reinhold lose to Gerson Martinez by the same score. Morra toasted Sean Black as did Chip Compton versus Nicholas De Leon – both matches were 7-3. Sending another Houstonian to the one loss side, Tokoph bested Chau 7-5 – Capito went down to Pagulayan 7-4.

Round five had Gerson Martinez mowing down Krause 7-4 and Tokoph easing past Christopher Teves 7-3. With identical 7-1 scores, Pagulayan bested Souto as did Tokoph over Christopher Tevez.

Now down to four players on the winners side, Gerson Martinez defeated Morra 7-5 while Pagulayan beat Tokoph 7-3. Both Alex and Gerson moved into the hot seat match as their opponents headed west.

Saturday evening saw the players meeting and auction for the Ladies 10 Ball event. A full field of 32 players posted a $100 entry – same format as the Open 10 Ball.

Notable first round matches included perennial favorite Ming Ng’s victory over Kelly Durbin 7-5 with both Kim Sanders edging out Mary Avina and Margaret Fox over Tam Trinh 7-6. 

Second round action saw Jenna Bishoff eke out a win over Jennifer Kraber 7-6 as Mary Rakin Tam defeated Ng by the same score. Sanders defeated Emily Sumrall 7-3 and Melissa Rushton took care of Fox 7-4.

After skunking her two previous opponents, April Larson had a bit of a tougher time with Kim Pierce – April won 7-3. Tam sent Bishoff packing 7-5, Chris Fields pummeled Rachel Hurst 7-1 and Rushton notched another win over Sanders 7-5.

Down to four on the winners side, Tam sneaked past Larson 7-5 and Fields beat Rushton 7-4. Both Tam and Fields advanced to the hot seat match. Mary handily beat Chris 7-2 and claimed her seat in the finals. Chris headed west to await an opponent.

On the one loss side, Bishoff defeated Rushton 7-4 while Larson eliminated Trinh 7-5. Larson won her match with Bishoff 7-4 leaving Jenna in fourth place. April then defeated Chris 7-2 to move into the finals. Chris finished with a third place finish.

Since this was true double elimination, April would have to defeat Mary twice to claim the title. However, it was not to be as April was relegated to a well-deserved second place finish and Mary went undefeated to claim her first Texas Open 10 Ball title!!! 

Meanwhile, the Open 10 Ball was winding down to its last few players! In the hot seat match, Gerson Martinez mowed down his last opponent to lock up his berth in the finals. Pagulayan lost 7-4 and headed to the other side of the chart to await an opponent.

Lee Vann Corteza ended Tommy Tokoph’s hopes for the title 7-3 as John Morra did the same to Jonas Souto 7-3. Lee Vann and John locked horns and battled it out to a 7-6 result. Leaving Lee Vann in fourth place, Morra’s next opponent was fellow Canadian, Alex Pagulayan. Also a tough one, John emerged to take on Gerson for the title. Alex finished in third place.

Again, as this was true double elimination, Morra would have to defeat Martinez twice to win the title. The match started out close until John pulled away to close out the first set 7-4. The final set was also close but this time, Gerson pulled away to put him one game away from the title – 6-4. John clawed back to win another game but that was it. Gerson won the final game & the title leaving John with a well deserved runner-up finish!  

Congratulations to both Gerson Martinez and Mary Rakin Tam – this year’s Texas Open 10 Ball champions!!!

PoolActionTV.com would like to thank owners Kim and Tracy Sanders as well as their General Manager, Shayla Neris, and their staff for rolling out the red carpet for all of the players and fans.

Thank you to Tournament Director Jason Hill for doing an exemplary job juggling all the various events.  

We’d like to thank Blake Kamiab, Clint Palaci and David (“Doc”) Reyes for running the DFW Tour setup broadcasting the ladies event on our free channel. 

We’d also like to thank Larry Schwartz, Michael Yednak, Alex Pagulayan, Mary Kenniston and Ray Hansen for their expert commentary.

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

Our next event is the 5th Annual Scotty Townsend Memorial in West Monroe, LA featuring three divisions – Pro One Pocket, Open 9 Ball and Women’s 9 Ball. The dates are March 1st-6th. Hope to see you there!!!

Go to thread

Peters goes undefeated to take season opener of On the Ball Ladies Tour

Courtney Peters

The winner and runner-up at the On the Ball Ladies Tour’s season opener brought almost 30 years of combined (recorded) experience to the tables. Courtney Peters, who went undefeated in the $2,000-added event that drew 32 entrants to Big Tyme Billiards in Spring, TX this past weekend (Jan. 29-30), has data going back as far as 2005. Runner-up and tour representative Teresa Garland’s profile on our site identifies 2010 as the first year in which she brought home a cash payout. The same records that tell us about Peters’ progress through the years, also tells us that 2021 was a breakout year for her. She reportedly took home more cash last year than in all of the previous 17 years combined. 

Peters and Garland met first in the hot seat match. Peters began her journey to the winners’ circle with a 7-2 win over another Texas tours and WPBA veteran, Ming Ng, who brought 24 years of experience to the tables and also had herself a lucrative 2021, cashing in a total of 10 events that included a win at the very first stop of the On the Ball Ladies Tour in October. Peters continued her advance through a gallery of tour, Texas and WPBA veterans, including Kim Pierce (22 recorded years at the tables), and Natalie Rocha to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal versus another 22-year veteran, Jennifer Kraber. Kraber had won the last stop on the tour, double-dipping Peters in the finals. 

Garland opened her bid with a 7-3 win over Terry Petrosino, who was not only Garland’s first win, but as it turned out, her last, as well. Garland then sent Yvonne Asher and Yvette Cox to the loss side to pick up Michelle Cortez in the other winners’ side semifinal.

Garland and Cortez battled to double hill, before Garland advanced to the hot seat match. Peters joined her after sending Kraber over 7-2. Peters and Garland came within a game of double hill, but Peters pulled out in front at the end to claim the hot seat 7-5.

Terry Petrosino, Courtney Peters, Teresa Garland and Michelle Cortez

On the loss side, Cortez drew Angie Payne, who’d lost a winners’ side quarterfinal to Kraber and then defeated two Natalies in a row; first, Natalie Mans 7-5 (Mans had just eliminated Ming Ng) and then, Natalie Rocha 7-4. Kraber ran into a determined Terry Petrosino, who’d followed her loss to Garland in the opening round with five straight wins, the most recent of which had eliminated Carmel Luttrell 7-3 and Shayla Neris 7-5.

Petrosino chalked up her sixth loss-side win 7-3 over Kraber, as Cortez defeated Payne 7-3. Petrosino dropped Cortez 7-5 in the subsequent quarterfinals before her loss-side streak came to an end the way it had begun, with a loss to Teresa Garland 7-4 in the semifinals.

Though one might have anticipated a tight, potentially double hill fight in the finals rematch that followed, it didn’t happen. Peters took command of the final match, allowing Garland only two racks and claimed the title 7-2.

A $100-added Best of the Rest tournament was won by Yvette Cox, who defeated Kim Pierce in the finals.

Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Big Tyme Billiards, as well as title sponsor On the Ball Co., and Draw Nation Streaming for providing the live stream. The next stop (#2) of the On the Ball Ladies Tour, scheduled for the weekend of March 12-13, will be hosted by Betsy’s Billiards in Austin, TX.