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Aranas and De Leon Highlight WPA Players Championship Qualifier Day One

The first Stage 1 Qualifier for the WPA Players Championship is complete and four of the 57 competitors have advanced to the $50,000 added Stage 2 Main Event. James Aranas of the Philippines, Kai Lun Hsu of Taiwan, Nick De Leon of USA and Duong Quoc of Vietnam each won four matches in a row to advance.
 
The WPA Players Championship is being staged at Griff’s Billiards in Las Vegas, April 12-19. The event, with $50,000 added prize money, is limited to 64 players. 48 players where chosen by the WPA rankings and member federations to begin in the Stage 2 Main Event. The remaining 16 spots are being filled by four Stage 1 qualifier tournaments, one per day, held at Griff’s Billiards April 12-15. The top four finishers from each qualifier receive a paid spot in the Stage 2 Main Event which begins April 16.
 
ONLINE BRACKETS
The online tournament brackets can be found at www.CTSonDemand.com.
 
WATCH LIVE
The entire event is being streamed live by CSI media, a division of CueSports International (CSI). The production, complete with full-time commentary led by former World 8-Ball Champion, Karl Boyes, begins each day at noon pacific time. To watch live, visit www.playcsipool.com/watch-live.
 
The World Pool-Billiard Association (WPA) is the international governing body for pocket billiards and is comprised of six member federations representing North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia.  The WPA is the world-recognized body for sanctioning World Championship events.  It is also one of the three member organizations of the World Confederation of Billiards Sports (WCBS), representing the billiard disciplines of pool, snooker and carom.  For more information about the WPA, visit www.wpapool.com.
 
CueSports International (CSI) is an international pool league and event leader and is currently comprised of three divisions: CSI leagues, CSI events and CSI media.  CSI leagues manages the BCA Pool Leagueand USA Pool League, CSI events produces numerous amateur and professional events around the globe and CSI media creates live streaming and digital content.  Through its vision and strategic alliances, CSI is “shaping the future of pool.”  For more information about CSI or any of its divisions, visit www.playcsipool.com or find CueSports International on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter.

Hard Work Pays Off For Barrera On Diamond Pool Tour

Joey Barrera (Photo courtesy of Rick Schmitz)

Sometimes the hard work that a player puts in for one event pays dividends in other events. That was the case for Joey Barrera as his preparation for this year’s Saguaro Cup helped him score an undefeated win at the Diamond Pool Tour’s 3rd stop of the season at Freezer’s Ice House on June 9th – 10th.

 

Barrera’s 604 rating saw him giving up spots to some players that sounded impossible on paper. His first match of the event saw him giving up five games in a race to eight to Brandon Jewell. To make matters worse, Jewell broke and ran the first rack. Barrera is not known for ever giving up though and he bore down to win eight of the next nine racks for a hill-hill victory. “That win definitely gave me motivation for the rest of the event” said Barrera.
Barrera went on to score wins over Ricky Teyechea, Eric Beaver, Jose Gonzalez, Tim Daniel and then Joe Guerra for the hot-seat.
 
The field of 73 players held a fair share of players competing in their first tour stop of the season, and that lead to a number of players enjoying their first tour cashes of the season including David Friedel, Bryan Bach, Scott Vogelsberg, Jose Gonzalez, Dave Mark, Bill Vander Weyst and Guerra.
 
Dave Mark dropped a match to Tim Daniel late on Saturday night, but bounced back with wins over Brian Long, Josh Murphy and Vander Weyst to earn another shot at Daniel on the one loss side. Mark would settle for 4th after dropping that match to Daniel 9-5. Daniel would then go on eliminate Guerra 9-5 to earn another shot at Barrera in the finals.
 
Daniel had lost to Barrera 7-3 on the winner’s side and knew the 9-7 race in the finals would be a tough one. Barrera came out quick and took a 2-0 lead, but Daniel came back to win the next five racks. The players traded the next six racks for a 8-5 Daniel lead but Daniel would get no farther as Barrera won the next two racks for the hill-hill win and first place.
 
Barrera’s #1 fan, Cheryl Timmonen, felt that all of the practice for Saguaro Cup had certainly helped Barrera bring his ‘A-Game’ on this weekend. “He has been putting in an average of 25 hours of practice a week, on top of a full-time job” she said.
 
Daniel’s second place finish (his second in two events) was more than enough to keep him in first place on the tour points list, and Barrera’s win moved him to second place. Stop 2 winner, AJ Jones, holds third place on the list with Nick De Leon and Tom Dilorenzo filling out the top five spots.
 
The Diamond Pool Tour is sponsored by …
Diamond Billiard Products 
J Pechauer Custom Cues
Arizona Natural Selections
Casino Del Sol
Discount Mattress Barn
JB Cases
Aramith
Simonis
 

De Leon Kicks Off New Diamond Tour Season With Win

Nick De Leon (Photo courtesy of Rick Schmitz)

The fourth season of the Diamond Pool Tour kicked off with new sponsors and a new format. The tournaments are now one big bracket with full Fargo races based on the higher rated player’s rating. 

 
As expected, this led to top players being forced to bring their “A Game” each and every match as they were giving up huge spots to lower rated players. Even with those spots, the tournament came down to some of the top Fargo rated players in the event.
 
A prime example of the spot in this event was Nick De Leon’s first match against Joshua Murphy, 171 Fargo points led to De Leon giving up six games for a 10-4 race. He would be pushed to the hill by Murphy before scoring the 10-3 win. De Leon’s journey through the winner’s side didn’t get any easier with wins over “The voice of the Diamond Pool Tour” George Teyechea, Nick Cipiti, Gil Franco and Rick Armbrust to get to the hot-seat match.
 
De Leon’s hot-seat opponent also had a tough path to the hot-seat match, as Tom Dilorenzo (who still doesn’t think his game is better than 75% of his current speed) scored notable wins over Scott Chadwick, James Main, Todd Dilley and Kurt Siebels.
 
The hot-seat match saw De Leon forced to give DiLorenzo three racks for a 10-7 race. DiLorenzo has probably been playing pool longer than his opponent has been alive, and he gave De Leon all he could handle before De Leon came out on top of the match 10-6.
 
In the past six months, After dropping the match to De Leon on the winner’s side, Rick Armbrust had wins on the left side of the board over Bret Huth and Jason Sweet (with neither win taking advantage of any handicap). Armbrust finally fell to DiLorenzo 9-6 in the semi-final match.
 
After their hill-hill battle for the hot-seat, fans in attendance were expecting another great match, and they weren’t disappointed as the two players battled to another hill-hill score before De Leon pocketed the final 9-ball for first place.
 
The Diamond Pool Tour is sponsored by …
J Pechauer Custom Cues
Arizona Natural Selections
Casino Del Sol
JB Cases
Aramith
Simonis

Bernie Pettipiece Wins Tucson Diamond Tour Stop

Bernie Pettipiece

Pockets Pool & Pub in Tucson, Arizona was the site of the Diamond Pool Tour’s first “B” player hot-seat winner back in May. The September 10-ball event at Pockets was the site of the tour’s first “B” player forcing an “A” player to a second set in the finals. It was also one rack away from a second “B” player in the hot-seat.
 
The event, held on September 19th – 20th, drew a field of 45 players with 16 “A” players and 29 “B” players.
 
The “A” bracket saw Bernie Pettipiece grinding out one close win after another. Pettipiece started out with a 7-4 win over Gus Briseno and the matches just got tighter after that. Pettipiece’s last three matches – Nick De Leon, Bret Huth and Brian Reich – were won by a total margin of four games.  Another player who stepped up in the “A” bracket at this event was Tres Kane. Kane had wins over Rudy Alameda and Jerry Stuckart, before dropping a hill-hill match to Reich. Kane would bounce right back with one loss side wins over Alameda, Bret Huth and Reich to earn his spot on the final bracket.
 
Tournament staff were warned ahead of time that the “B” players in Tucson played very strong. Those were not empty warnings. Tucson’s Ronnie Kidd III and Rick Galloway cruised through the winner’s side with only Kidd allowing one opponent more than four games against either of them. Kidd would take the hot-seat with a 7-2 win over Galloway, but Galloway would also qualify for the final bracket after a 7-2 win over Tonee Allin (Tuley).
 
The field of players boasted four female competitors, with Bernie Store quickly distancing herself from the others. Store’s 9th place finish earned her the Greenmail.com Top Lady Bonus of $100.
 
The two brackets came together on Sunday with Ronnie Kidd III taking Pettipiece to hill-hill in a tough match. Kidd stayed with Pettipiece til the end, before Pettipiece won the case game. On the one loss side, Rick Galloway showed that he had no fear of any of the “A” players as he dispatched Kane in 4th place 7-5. Galloway would ride the momentum from that win to a hill-hill win over Kidd in the semi-finals. 
 
The final match was an intriguing one with both players more known for their one pocket games than their rotation games. As the match went on, both players were noticeably tired and opted for safeties instead of run-outs when faced with decisions at the table.  Galloway would score a hill-hill win over Pettipiece in the first set of the finals, but Pettipiece would take control late in the second match and score a 7-4 win for his first Diamond Pool Tour win.
 
The Neil’s Garage Cabinets Second Chance Tournament on Sunday came down to two Tucson players as Mike Hamman defeated Aaron Purdy 3-1 for the hot-seat and 3-1 again in the finals.
 
Presenting Sponsor, Casino Del Sol Resort, provided vouchers for a two-for-one buffet to all players at the event. 
 
With his fifth place finish, Brian Reich moves within 10 points of Bobby Emmons on the “A” player points list. Joey Barrera remains on top of the “B” players points list, but he can certainly hear the sounds of Nick Kline and Oscar Avila gaining ground on him. Nick Kline is having no such problems on the Junior Points List, as he is far in front of the rest of the competition.
 
Tour organizers thanked Curtis and his great staff for putting up with us for the weekend. Lenny Marshall put together another great stream and was assisted by “The Voice of the Diamond Pool Tour” George Teyechea on commentary. Rick Schmitz was also in attendance and provided the tour and players with more great pictures.
 
Due to delays in Skip & Jan’s reopening, the tour has postponed the stop that was scheduled for Skip & Jan’s until November. The Bullshooters stop that was scheduled for November has been moved up to October and will take place on Oct 3rd and 4th. The event will be 9-ball on the 9 foot tables.
 
The Diamond Pool Tour is proudly sponsored by:
Diamond Billiard Products – http://diamondbilliards.com/
Casino Del Sol Resort – http://www.casinodelsolresort.com/
Neil’s Garage Cabinets – http://www.neilsgaragecabinets.com/
Greenmail Internet Marketing – http://www.greenmailinc.com/
QB Custom Cues – http://qbcustomcues.com/
Volturi Custom Cases – http://volturicases.com/
Cue Sport International – http://www.playcsipool.com/
The Arizona BCA, TAP and APA league systems.

 

Runningen Wins Arizona Mezz West State Tour Stop

Beau Runningen

On the weekend of July 11th and 12th, a very talented group of 79 pool players escaped the blistering heat of Phoenix, Arizona to compete in the Mezz West State Tour's 5th event of their 17 stop season. Room owners of Bull Shooters, Mike and Julie Bates have one of the premier pool rooms in the nation boasting a huge array of tables, full kitchen, and full bar catering to both the recreational and serious pool fan. This is the second time the tour has visited Bull Shooters and the players thoroughly enjoy the venue. 
 
Several of the tour "regulars" were in attendance who came from California and Nevada to compete against the top players from the Arizona area including Bernie Pettipiece, Tim Daniel, Bobby Emmons, Tres Kane among others. Leading the top half of the tournament board was co founder of the MWST, Oscar Dominguez with wins over Mike Massey, James Main, Nick De Leon, Bobby Emmons, Tim Daniel, and Beau Runningen setting up for the hot seat match.
 
The bottom half of the bracket was lead by one pocket specialist Bernie Pettipiece with wins over Marshall Anonby, Michael Langarica, John Ritonya, George Tehachea, and Mark Whitehead to face Dominguez for the hotseat.
 
Meanwhile on the one loss side, early tounament favorites such as Sal Butera, Dave Hemmah, Rodney Morris, Vilmos Foldes, Brian Parks, and Ernesto Dominguez all faced early defeats making the one loss side littered with top players and amateurs. Once the dust settled, it was former Junior National Champion Beau Runningen clawing his way through the B bracket with wins over Bobby Emmons, 17 year old sharpshooter Chris Robinson, and Bernie Pettipiece to set up an all Southern California finals between Dominguez and Runningen for the title in the single extended race finals. After a few critical mistakes by Oscar, Beau capitalized with solid safety play and firepower to take tour stop #5 and first prize.
 
The top female bonus was awarded to Melissa Herndon and we would like to thank all our sponsors and players for their continued support.
 
The Mezz West State Tour would like to thank all their sponsors: Mezz Cues (Miki-Mezz.com), West State Billiard Supply (WestStateBilliards.com), Zan Tips (Zan-Tip.com), Taom Break/Jump Tips (TaomTips.com), Andy Cloth (AndyCloth.com), Ozzy Reynolds and CSI (PlayCSIPool.com), PiUs Company, So Cal Tap, Kurzweil Country Meats, fast&loose desgins (fastnloosedesigns.com), Contact Point Media, Turtle Rack, NYC Grind (NYCGrind.com) and AZ Billiards (AZBilliards.com). 
 
We would also like to thank Mike and Julie Bates, along with their two daughters and the entire Bull Shooters staff for hosting the event. We would also like to thank all the players for coming out and supporting the tour. 
 

Frost Notches Second Diamond Pool Tour Stop

Scott Frost (File photo courtesy of Rick Schmitz)

Scott Frost knew he would have to defeat the best that Arizona pool has to offer in order to win his second Diamond Pool Tour of the season at Stingers on June 6th – 7th; what he wasn’t expecting was that he would also have to beat a couple of the best players that France and Spain have to offer.
 
The field of seventy one players was split with twenty six “A” players and forty five “B” players in attendance. Fans were treated by the play of French National Champion Nicolas Kalb and top Spanish player Daniel Jimenez, who took a break from visiting friends in Las Vegas to come out to Arizona and see how they fared against the players on the Diamond Tour. Kalb would score wins over JR Burhart and Gus Briseno before dropping a 5-3 match to Frost. Jimenez would score wins over JR Jiron and Nick De Leon before falling to James Lester 5-4. Frost would go on to take the “A bracket” hot-seat with a 5-2 win over Lester.
 
Play was extremely competitive in the “B bracket” with Ed Scott and Joey Barrera distancing themselves from the pack. Barrera had notable wins over Brian Poore, Oscar Avila and Sara Miller before beating Scott for the “B Bracket” hot-seat.
 
With a 7th place finish in the event, Sara Miller easily won the Greenmail top lady bonus, as well as the ladies side pot. 
 
While Bobby Emmons finished out of the money, he did earn the $50 Greenmail bounty on last month’s winner Spike Aiardo. Aiardo turned in an uncharacteristic “2 and out” performance, with losses to Mike Sandoval and Emmons.
 
When the two brackets came together on Sunday, it was Frost scoring a 5-2 win over Barrera on the winner’s side, and Spain’s Jimenez defeating Tony Page 5-3 on the one loss side. Jimenez went on to defeat Barrera by the same 5-3 score, but could only manage two racks in the lone set of the finals as Frost won 5-2.
 
The Neil’s Garage Cabinets Second Chance tournament saw JR Burkhart defeat a field of seventeen players for first place. Burkhart defeated Jamie Cole 3-2 for the hot-seat and then blanked Todd Rowitz 3-0 in the first set of the finals.
 
Presenting Sponsor, Casino Del Sol Resort, provided vouchers for all of the players in attendance. Each voucher was good for a $60 credit at the Casino’s amphitheater. 
 
There was no movement at the top of either points list with Frost and Nick Kline leading their respective lists. Aiardo still clings to second place on the “A Player” list, while Barrera and Rick Schmitz are tied for second place on the “B Player” list.
 
Tour organizers expressed their thanks to Dale and his staff for putting up with us pool players for two long days. Lenny Marshall put in overtime at this event as he manned the streaming camera and commentary all weekend. Rick Schmitz was also on hand, providing the tour with more great photos. The tour just wouldn’t be the same without the help of everyone involved.
 
The Diamond Pool Tour will take July off, for a well deserved summer break, but will be back in action on August 15th and 16th for the Arizona State One Pocket Championship at Kolby’s Corner Pocket in Tempe.
 
The Diamond Pool Tour is proudly sponsored by:
Diamond Billiard Products – http://diamondbilliards.com/
Casino Del Sol Resort – http://www.casinodelsolresort.com/
Neil’s Garage Cabinets – http://www.neilsgaragecabinets.com/
Greenmail Internet Marketing – http://www.greenmailinc.com/
QB Custom Cues – http://qbcustomcues.com/
Volturi Custom Cases – http://volturicases.com/
Cue Sport International – http://www.playcsipool.com/
The Arizona BCA, TAP and APA league systems. 

 

 

Joven Bustamante undefeated at Diamond Pool Tour Stop

Joven Bustamante

Joven Bustamante scored back to back wins over Scott Frost to top off an undefeated run through the field at the Diamond Pool Tour’s third stop of the year at Stinger’s Sports Bar & Grill in Glendale, AZ on April 11th and  12th.
 
The event drew a field of 80 players, with 25 “A” players and 55 “B” players. The “A” bracket saw surprise early losses by points leader Bobby Emmons and Nick De Leon. Neither player would qualify for Sunday play, much to the crowd’s surprise. Bustamante, who had not fared well in last month’s event, had wins over Tucson’s George Teyechea, Jason Polk and Spike Aiardo, before facing off against Frost for the “A” bracket hot-seat. Frost looked unstoppable all day with wins over Rick Armbrust, Mickey Provencio and Tyson Cole. Frost did not allow an opponent past three games, and entered the hot-seat match with a combined 27-5 rack record. Even as strong as Frost was playing, he would drop the hot-seat match to Bustamante 9-7.
 
The “B” bracket was taken to school by Junior Point Leader Nick Kline. Kline had knocked on the door of making it to Sunday play in tour stops one and two, but he was a force to be reckoned with in the “B” bracket all weekend. Kline’s aggressive play led to wins over Trevor Long, Claudia Justus and Joe Chyzy on Saturday. Kline came back Sunday, and picked up where he left off on Saturday, with wins over Rick Schmitz and Jamie Cole to take the “B” bracket hot-seat.
 
The Greenmail top lady bonus was split again this month, with Heather Cortez and Sophia Morquecho both earning $50. Morquecho was also the winner of the random drawing for a two night stay at The Casino Del Sol Resort in Tucson, the presenting sponsor for the tour.  
 
There was no Greenmail bounty awarded since last month’s winner, Vilmos Foldes, was not in attendance at this event. 
 
The “A” and “B” brackets came together late Sunday with Bustamante, Frost, Kline and Cole fighting it out. Frost eliminated Cole in fourth place, while Bustamante was sending Kline left to face Frost in the semi-final match. The match between Frost and Kline was close, with Kline representing himself well, before dropping the match 7-4. This led to the rematch between Bustamante and Frost in the double elimination finals. Both players showed the fans in attendance what run-out 9-ball looks like on a 7’ Diamond Smart Table, but in the end it was Bustamante who scored the 9-6 win in the first set of the finals.
 
The Neil’s Garage Cabinets Second Chance tournament on Sunday drew 14 players, with last month’s winner, Steve Blackburn, settling for second place after a 3-0 / 3-0 double dipping at the hand of Daric Craft. Todd Dilley turned in a third place finish.
 
The Diamond Pool Tour will head to Pockets Pool & Pub in Tucson on May 2nd and 3rd, for their fourth stop of the season.
 
Tour organizers thanked Dale and his great wait staff for hosting two days of pool players, as well as Lenny Marshall from On The Rail TV for the live streaming coverage all weekend. Thanks also went out to George Teyechea and Jerry Briesath for their help commentating matches, and to Rick Schmitz for all the great photos from the event. 
 
The Diamond Pool Tour is proudly sponsored by:
Diamond Billiard Products – http://diamondbilliards.com/
Casino Del Sol Resort – http://www.casinodelsolresort.com/
Neil’s Garage Cabinets – http://www.neilsgaragecabinets.com/
Greenmail Internet Marketing – http://www.greenmailinc.com/
QB Custom Cues – http://qbcustomcues.com/
Volturi Custom Cases – http://volturicases.com/
Cue Sport International – http://www.playcsipool.com/
The Arizona BCA, TAP and APA league systems. 

 

Provencio Undefeated At DCT Tour Stop

Mickey Provencio and Mike Williams

New Mexico’s Mickey Provencio completed a hard fought undefeated run through the field of forty eight players to win the Desert Classic Tour’s November tourstop at Bull Shooters on November 2nd and 3rd.
 
It was an impressive run that included a win over tour points leader Mitch Ellerman on Saturday and a win over #3 ranked Dennis Orender on Sunday. Ellerman bounced back from the loss to Provencio with a win over Mike Sandoval to earn his place in Sunday’s matches.
 
A top player who did not make Sunday play was #4 ranked Nick De Leon, who started things off with a win over Prescott’s Bob Soto, but then lost back to back matches to Sammy Martinez and Mike Sandoval.
 
Sunday play on the winners side saw Chuck Evans defeat Mike Williams 8-4 and Provencio defeat Orender 8-7.
 
On the west side of the board, Ellerman ran over Pete Lhotka 10-4 and Bernie Pettipiece earned a tough 8-7 win over Tres Kane.
 
Mike Williams then eliminated Ellerman in a hill-hill 8-9 victory, and Pettipiece sent Orender to the rail 8-3.
 
The hot-seat match was another close one, with Provencio handing Evans his first loss 8-7.
 
After Williams eliminated Pettipiece, the semi final match between Williams and Evans got underway. Mike had started his day with an 8-4 loss to Evans, and he was determined to avenge that loss. Williams cruised to an early 4-0 lead and scored an 8-4 win of his own to eliminate Evans and earn Williams a shot against Provencio in the finals.
 
The final match saw both players go on runs, as Provencio took a 3-0 lead, only to see Williams come back to tie things at 4-4. Another Provencio run saw him take a 6-4 lead and Williams again come back to tie things at 6-6. Finally, it was Provencio’s turn for another run as he won the final two games to win the first and only set of the finals 8-6.
 
The Desert Classic Tour will bring their 2013 Season Finale to Skip and Jan’s on December 6th – 8th. That event is expected to be at least a $2,000 added event.