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Spain Brothers Are 2020 Joss Junior 9-Ball Champions

18 & under, Frank Spain III and 12 & Under D’Angelo Spain

Congratulations to our new 2020, Joss Junior 9-Ball Champions Frank Spain III in the 18 & under division and D’Angelo Spain in the 12 & under. Both players dominated their respective divisions to claim their titles. Also congratulations to our second place finishers, Amber Kolchew (18 & under) & Alena Hahn (12 & under). Both of these young ladies were very impressive players as well. Frank Spain III and his younger brother D’Aangelo both went undefeted to earn their championships. Our formats for both divisions this year were, round robin group play with the final four playing off in single elimination play to determine the champions. Once again Tim Berlin deserves much thanks for allowing us the use of his beautiful Sharp Shooters Billiards & Sposrt Pub in Amsterdam NY.

It was a fun day of pool watching these 32 talented youngsters compete with some as young as 8 years old. There were 18 in the 18 & under division and 14 in the 12 & under. Most were playing in their first tournament ever. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves even though they were very serious in trying to win. Some even made a long weekend out of it by having a pizza, wings & pool (swimming) party at their motel! All players were treated to a table full of donated items to choose from, plus free raffles for the larger items. Many thanks go out to the many people and companies that generously donated products and their time to help. Our generous sponsors are, in no particular order: Sharp Shooters Billiards & Sports Pub (Tim & Julie Berlin), Joss Cues (Debbie, Dan & Stephen Janes), James Sinclair (Rhythm Custom Cues), CJ & Peggi Wilkinson (Baltimore City Cues), Don Kerns, Iwan Simonis (Ivan Lee), Aramith (Ivan Lee), Phil Capelle (Billiards Press), Mark Kulungian, Andrea Duvall (Utica Billiards On The Boulevard), Matt Tetreault, Steven W. Smith, Dave Dreidel, Bill Cote, Josh Burbul, Don Kennedy & Steve Lillis. And thank you to anyone I may have missed and everyone else involved. Hopefully we will be doing this for years to come. I am now accepting donations for our 2021 Joss Junior 9-Ball Championships. Product and monetary donations can be made by contacting Mike Zuglan at 518-356-7163.
Here are the official results for both events:
18 & Under:
1st Frank Spain III (Joss Cue & case, trophy)
2nd Amber Kolchew (trophy & Rhythm Cue & case – raffle)
Also competed – in no particular order
Tim Svitak (Alex Kazakis autographed Pro Cup cue ball – raffle)
Dalton Johnson (Shane Van Boening autographed Pro Cup cue ball – raffle)
Samantha Given (Nick Varner cue & case – raffle)
Andrew Wolanske (Nick Varner cue & case – raffle)
Anthony Wolanske (Simonis Crest Banner autographed by top 8 at Turning Stone XXXIII event – raffle)
Michael Floyd (Shane Van Boening autographed Pro Cup cue ball – raffle)
Joey Berlin (Mizerak Cue & case – raffle)
Ulysses Taylor Jr. (Mizerak Cue & case – raffle)
Winter Dempsey (Simonis Crest Banner autographed by top 8 at Turning Stone XXXII event – raffle)
Hunter Hallock (Alex Kazakis autographed Pro Cup cue ball – raffle)
Adrianna Henderson
Ava Lucas
Kailey Bombard
Courtney Wood
Evan Sternquist
Jeffrie Martinez
12 & Under:
1st D’Angelo Spain (Joss Cue & case, trophy, plus Alex Kazakis autographed Pro Cup cue ball – raffle)
2nd Alena Hahn (trophy)
Also competed – in no particular order
Jacob Sternquist (Rhythm Cue & case – raffle)
Makayla Lettieri (Mizerak Cue & case – raffle)
Olivier Payne (Jayson Shaw autographed Pro Cup cue ball – raffle)
Dominick Henderson (Shane Van Boening autographed Pro Cup cue ball – raffle)
Alie Thompson (Earl Strickland autographed Pro Cup cue ball – raffle)
Blake Bombard (Mizerak Cue & case – raffle)
Erika Barbera
Daishawn Witchley
Colin Given
Jeremy Wolfe
Logan Bombard
Paul Hahn

Chinakhov shuts Pagulayan down to win American 14.1 Straight Pool Championships

Ruslan Chinahov

Alex Pagulayan moved into the finals of the American 14.1 Straight Pool Championships on Saturday night, October 26 at Q Master Billiards in Virginia Beach, VA, displaying his usual measure of confidence and humor. Assuming his victory, he made note of the height differential between himself and his opponent, Ruslan Chinakhov (who’s taller by about a foot), and during player introductions, let the assembled crowd know that he’d be giving the Russian a chance, later. 
 
“When we’re done,” said The Lion, “we’re going to play some basketball.”
 
Well, that hoop encounter never happened, because Chinakhov took advantage of two odd break mishaps by Pagulayan to defeat him 175 to -2 and capture the event title.
 
Pagalayun’s shaky start, from which he failed to recover, followed a semifinal match in which he took aim at a winning shot to pot his 150th ball, and though it dropped, he’d placed so much draw on the cue ball that it rolled back and dropped into a corner pocket, almost literally right under his nose. So instead of winning the semifinal match at the tail end of an 86-ball run, he dropped two points down to 148, as Marco Teutscher stepped up and started a serious run of his own. 
 
Teutscher went on a 79-ball run that gave Pagulayan a lot of nerve-wracking time to think and though Teutscher’s run ended at 127 and Pagulayan returned to the tables to drop the two he needed to advance to the finals, it may have given him pause as he entered the finals. Characteristic of him, as noted above, he showed no signs of it having affected him.
 
Chinakhov’s quarterfinal and semifinal path through to the finals demonstrated why he’s nicknamed The Siberian Express. In his quarterfinal match versus one of the three players who emerged undefeated from the tournament’s round robin phrase, Max Lechner, Lechner sunk 13 balls before Chinakhov stepped to the table and ran 150. Quickly.
 
In the semifinal round, against Albin Ouschan, who’d run out against his quarterfinal opponent, Thorsten Hohmann, Chinakhov emerged from early safety play to run 141. Albin stepped up and dropped 17 before Chinakhov returned and completed the run to 150.
 
The finals drew a crowd, although the table was isolated into a corner of Q Master Billiards’ Tournament Room and only about 15 or so of them were in the bleachers directly in front of the table. The crowd spilled out into the general area, or into an adjacent room, where they glanced through a glass wall to check out the action. Many of them missed the early drama of the opening shot by Pagulayan.
 
He made a legal break, but scratched. This meant that he started the game out at minus-one, and Chinakhov would begin with ball in hand behind the line. Chinakhov, though, asked for a re-break of the rack. Pagulayan expressed doubt that this was the prevailing rule. However, when tour founder, Peter Burrows, was asked, he affirmed it and Pagulayan broke a second time, again, failing to sink a ball, though leaving Chinakhov a shot, from which he launched a run. That run was interrupted once, during which Pagulayan fouled a second time, sinking to -2 on the scoreboard. Chinakhov came back to the table and completed the final run to 175 balls and claimed the event title.
 
Like Thorsten Hohmann, who was eliminated in the quarterfinals, Ruslan Chinakhov had come to Virginia Beach on the heels of two straight tournaments at Steinway Billiards in Queens, NY – The 7th Steinway Classic, a 10-Ball event and the subsequent Grand Masters Division of the NYC 8-Ball Championships. Both of those events were won by Hohmann. Chinakhov figured strongly in the 8-ball event. Defeated by Hohmann in an early round, Chinakhov won seven on the loss side to challenge him a second time in the finals. Unsuccessfully, as it turned out, but the runner-up finish had a way of encouraging the Russian as he made his way south to Virginia.
 
Straight pool is not, he noted, his favorite game, but he was in a ‘good place’ when he arrived.
 
“I like straight pool,” he said, as he decompressed at Q Master’s bar after claiming the straight pool title, “but I don’t like it as a tournament game. I like it as a practice game, because I actually don’t like to sit on a chair for an hour to watch my opponent while he’s on a run.”
 
He is reminded that his time at this year’s 14.1 Straight Pool Championships was not spent that way; that, in fact, it was his opponents who spent their time sitting.
 
“Yeah,” he said, “this time, not, but it’s not always like this.”
 
He’ll be competing at the International 9-Ball Open, about 20 miles west of Q Master Billiards at the Norfolk Waterside Hotel in Norfolk, VA beginning (with a players’ meeting) tomorrow (Sunday, Oct. 27) and continuing until next Saturday. 
 
“I’m in good shape right now,” he said of his aspirations for the upcoming 9-ball tournament. “Finally, during this week, I feel like I found my game. Maybe not even ‘mine,’ maybe even better than mine.”
 
Event founder and Chairman Peter Burrows thanked Q Master owners’ Barry Behrman’s son Brady and daughter Shannon Paschall, as well as general manager Gary Ornoff for their hospitality, as well as director Andy Lincoln, Vice Chairman Michael Frank, and the assistance of Kristine Jagdeo. The list of sponsors took up an entire page of the event program and included Bob Jewett, Billiards Digest and Mike Panozzo, the Derby City Classic’s Straight Pool Challenge, Nick Varner Cues and Cases, J. Pechauer Custom Cues, Predator Cues. Simonis Cloth and Aramith Billiard Balls.
 

Derby City Classic Day Six

John Schmidt (Photo courtesy of Dave Thomson – Mediumpool.com)

Derby City Classic XXI, January 25 – February 2nd, 2019
 
LIVE from the Horseshoe Southern Indiana Casino, Elizabeth IN.
 
DIAMOND DCC ONE POCKET CHAMPIONSHIP
 
410 entrants are now reduced to 24.
 
One Pocket; Chess with Balls.
 
Just like chess, One-Pocket is about knowing the moves. It is, also, said that the “mover” will out-play the shotmaker. As shotmakers have the need to pocket balls, One-Pocket players, “Tie ‘em up, stick ‘em in the stack, leave ‘em stuck.”
 
This strategy, knowingly, exercises patience that, eventually, frustrates the fast and loose shooters into firing at will. Actually, as the trap has been set, it really is firing unwillingly.
 
If you are looking to reinforce the maxim “revenge is sweet,” just ask Skyler Woodward. With a 3 zip result, just like had been administered to him in Banks (twice), he eliminated Billy Thorpe from the One-Pocket division.
 
The result puts Skyler in position to threaten the Master of the Table, or All-Around Champion, $20,000 bonus prize money.
 
Not to worry, Billy is still deep in it, too.
 
The player with the most points accumulated from DCC’s 3 qualifying events, Banks, 1-Pocket, and 9-Ball, will earn the honor.
 
It’s way too early to tell, but, if Skyler, with his 3rd/4th finish in Banks, climbs to there or better in One Pocket, he will challenge Billy’s current dominance with his 120 point advantage for the Bank Pool title.
 
If you thought that must be the match of the day, think again.
 
Opening the action on the Accu-Stats TV table was young Filipino gun, James Aranas in contest with veteran John “MR 400” Schmidt.
 
What unfolded was a stunning come-from-behind performance.
 
They were tied 2-2. In the decider, Aranas took an intentional foul, -1. Not to be outdone, John took 5 intentional fouls!
 
Soon, James, having nabbed a few, was in the plus side with 3. John was still at -5.
 
For those of you in-the-know, John, “Mr 400,” has been vigorously involved playing 14.1. He’s intent on beating Willie Mosconi’s 60+ year record high-run of 526 balls.
 
With the added incentive of a sweet bonus from his sponsor, Easy Street Billiards, Schmidt set up his video camera and went to work. For around 2 weeks John shot century after century and, tho,’ he didn’t out-run Mosconi, he did beat his own recorded 403 record by 31 balls. John has now the highest run on camera with 434!
 
That 14.1 skillset came into play today. At -5, he needed to pocket 13 balls in the same hole to overthrow Aranas.
 
When his onslaught commenced, in around 3 innings, John completely reversed his position and had James on the ropes. Ahead at 5-3, one more turn at the table was all it took to secure the set.
 
John’s “cueball” was exemplary, both in defense and offense. His know-how, compounded with the will to win, has set the standard of the year’s championship.
 
“James played smarter than I thought he did,” John considered after his win. ”How come these young kids know so much about One-Pocket?” 
 
By watching you John; watching you.
 
Lee Vann Corteza wasn’t so much out-moved by  Shane Van Boening as he was out-shot. Referring to the aforementioned Shooter principal, Shane has always been the exception to the rule.
 
His confidence, compounded by experience, knows no bounds. He attacks balls that old school one-holers would consider suicidal. His touch and speed allowed the tight-cut pro pockets to accept balls that, if missed, would surely leave Vann Corteza victorious.
 
Instead, at 3-1, Van Boening moved forward. Lee was delivered to the buyback booth.
 
Francisco Bustamante’s 3-1 over Joshua Filler was, somewhat, expected but Bustey shouldn’t be too confident next year. Scroll down to see Filler’s 14.1 coverage.
 
Players are running more 8 balls and out’s this year than ever. Roberto Gomez, not exactly known as a one-holer from -2, ran 10. Then, another 8, 2-0. Jeremy Jones ran 8, 2-1. Then, they grind until the cold roll stopped Double J’s ball one quarter of a revolution from dropping in the hole. Gomez stole Jeremy’s shape, back-cut it straight in his hole, and it’s 3-1.
 
13 players are still undefeated including, Omar Al Shaheen. With his 100 points as runner-up in Banks, has his eye on the All-Around prize. There’s, also, Justin Bergman, Taiwan’s Kevin Cheng, Corey Deuel, Scott Frost, Thorsten Hohmann. Evan Lunda and,  Alex Pagulayan.
 
One Pocket matches will air on accu-stats.com at NOON. EDT.
 
DIAMOND DCC 9-BALL CHAMPIONSHIP
  
407 entrants; Another DCC attendance record broken!
 
Race to 9. 3 balls, minus those pocketed, must make the kitchen on the break.
 
Johnny Archer was in superlative form as he caught Canada’s John Morra napping. Down 6-0 is certainly a wake-up call but John was so deep in the hole that he couldn’t recover. Scrambling, he mustered a few but, the dominant Archer soon shot Morra beddy-bye. 9-3.
 
Jung-Lin Chang, still on a 10-Ball roll, thought he was on a bar-box. Alex, who’s 168 ball run just missed the 14.1 cut, was in better stroke and managed 7 games.
 
Much more to come.
 
THE DIAMOND STRAIGHT POOL CHALLENGE is streaming at billiardnet.tv!
 
The high-run contest is manned by 14.1 aficionados Dennis Walsh and Bill Maropulis. Bob Jewett, the event creator, continues to support and contribute to the event.
 
Our thanks to Rich Klein for his daily scoring updates.
 
it took only ’til the second day, for Scotsman Jayson Shaw’s 247, two year, DCC high-run reign to be overthrown by Chris Melling, an Englishman. 244 became the number to beat.
 
Fortunately, as the upset to took place on American soil, an international incident was averted.
 
As Wednesday was the closing day for the runs to be tabulated, by early afternoon Bill Maropulis considered, “Even although the standard of play has been exceptional this year. It will take something extraordinary for Chris’ run to be beaten.”
 
Along came Orcollo, a previous tournament winner. Bang, 260!
 
Meanwhile, newly crowned 2018 World 9-Ball Champion Joshua Filler entered the room. Being German, Josh is no stranger to Straight Pool. 14.1 is part of the pool education program. Bang, bang, bang, 285!
 
Now there are 5 runs over 200 in the final 8 who will been drawn for a single elimination play-off to determine the champion.
 
Here are the high-run finalists.
 
Joshua Filler, 285
Dennis Orcollo, 260 
Chris Melling, 244
John Schmidt, 216
Mika Immonen, 201
Shane Van Boening, 198
Lee Vann Corteza, 183
Niels Feijen, 179.
 
This Just In! Here’s a sneak peak at the draw:
 
Filler vs. Feijen
Schmidt vs. Immonen
Melling vs. Van Boening
Orcollo vs. Corteza
 
ONE POCKET HALL OF FAME DINNER
 
Wednesday, 30th, Jan. 6 pm.
 
Diamond Lounge; On the Boat at Horseshoe Southern Indiana Casino, Elizabeth IN.
 
Onepocket.org, under the auspices of Steve Booth, inducted Frost and James Walden.
 
Interestingly, the 2 players honored this year had quite a history together.
 
Road players are always on the hunt for new talent to skulk around with in search of the cash.
 
Walden had observed Frost as a talented kid and was awed by his dedication to learn and his taste for adventure.
 
Away they went. Frost’s forte (still is) was One-Pocket. James excelled in 9-Ball.
 
Exercising rule number 1 of the road, neither exposed their true expertise. Until they lost. Then one would announce, “Try him some.”
 
That’s how it’s done.
 
Scott Frost is now a jubilant member of the the One Pocket Hall of Fame!
 
James Walden has the honorable mention of “Lifetime Pool in Action!”
 
One Pocket Hall of Famer Shannon Daulton emcee’d the evening’s festivities, while fellow members Nick Varner John Brumback and Jeremy Jones entertained the one-hole fans with personal encounters with the honorees.
 
Accu-Stats thanks its Arena Sponsors: Diamond Billiards, Simonis Cloth, Cyclop Balls, Cuetec Cues, Lucasi Custom, MEZZ Cues, McDermott Cues, National Billiard Academy, and Samsara Cues.
 

Dechaine, from the loss side, and Fracasso-Verner split NE 9-Ball Players’ Championships

(l to r): Anthony Petruzelli, Mike Dechaine & Lukas Fracasso-Verner

In the end, it was a battle of generations. Though Mike Dechaine hasn’t got enough years on his resume to be considered a member of any ‘older’ generation (in the vein of Earl Strickland, Nick Varner, or Shannon Daulton, as examples), he has certainly earned the title of veteran player. At 16, Lukas Fracasso-Verner is still young enough to be considered a ‘Junior,’ although he’s been competing against fellow juniors, veterans and the Pros for over three years now.
 
The two met in the finals of the $2,000-added New England 9-Ball Series Players’ Championships. Held on the weekend of March 17-18, the event drew 56 entrants to Yale Billiards in Wallingford, CT. To the surprise of many, although not, apparently, to Dechaine himself, Mike lost his opening match to Lance Lisciotti. This launched a 10-match, loss-side winning streak for Dechaine that allowed him to challenge Fracasso-Verner in the finals. Dechaine took the opening set of the true double elimination final, before he (with a three-hour drive ahead of him) and Fracasso-Verner (more or less in his own backyard), both at that stage with a single loss, opted out of a final match and split the top two prizes.
 
Dechaine’s opening round loss was a 5-6 victory for Lisciotti (as a Pro player, Dechaine was racing to 10). Asked if the loss came as a bit of surprise to him, Dechaine said that it hadn’t.
 
“No,” he said. “Lisciotti is capable of playing well, and he played well.”
 
Later in the tournament, Dechaine had the opportunity for a re-match, and the results were quite different. It should also be noted that in Dechaine’s 10-match, loss-side run, he won just over 89% of the games he played, with an aggregate score of 110-13.
 
As Dechaine began work on the loss side, Fracasso-Verner (an A player) and Anthony Petruzelli (C+) were advancing through their respective upper- and lower-bracket fields for a meetup in the hot seat match. Verner won four to meet Ryan Urso (a B Player) in one winners’ side semifinal, while Petruzelli won his four to face fellow C+ player, Jimmy Gonzalez in the other one. Fracasso-Verner and Petruzelli gave up only two racks between them (one each, to Urso and Gonzalez) to move into the hot seat match. Fracasso-Verner was even stingier in the winners’ side final, giving up none at all to sit in the hot seat.
 
Meanwhile, back at the (loss-side) ranch, Dechaine was mowin’ ‘em down, one by one. Opening loss-side wins of 10-1, 11-1, and 11-3 brought him into the money rounds, where he defeated Bobby Hilton by shutting him out and then, in his re-match against Lisciotti, sent him home 10-2. This set him up to face Urso, coming over from the winners’ side semifinal. Gonzalez’ first opponent on the loss side was Jack Cooper, who’d shut out Ralph Caton in the first money round, and then survived a double hill fight against Darryl Helm (5-5; Helm, as a C+, racing to 6) to reach Gonzalez.
 
Dechaine and Cooper handed Urso and Gonzalez their second straight loss. With Urso racing to 4, Dechaine eliminated him 11-1. Cooper gave up only one to Gonzalez in a 5-1 victory (Gonzalez racing to 6). Dechaine took the quarterfinal match 13-1 over Cooper, and completed his loss-side run with a 12-2 victory over Petruzelli in the semifinals.
The final match actually dropped Dechaine’s winning-game percentage down a notch, from its 89.4% after the semifinals to 88% at the end of the first double-elimination set. Dechaine won it 10-2, and then, in consultation with Fracasso-Verner, opted out of trying to make it two in a row.
 
Tour director Marc Dionne thanked the ownership and staff at Yale Billiards, as well as sponsors Ozone Billiards, Molinari, Bert Kinister, AZBilliards, Inside English, Professor Q-Ball’s National and 3-Cushion News, Delta 13 Racks, MJS Construction, Bob Campbell, Championship Cloth, and OTLVISE Billiard Mechanics of America. The next stop on the New England 9-Ball Series (#20), scheduled for the weekend of March 24-25, will be a $500-added, 8-Ball event, to be hosted by Legends Billiards, in Auburn, ME.

29th Annual BEF Junior Nationals Rolls Ahead in Las Vegas

The most respected, skilled and academically brilliant minded junior cueists from across the United States were just in Vegas competing in an action packed week of billiards. A few miles south of the Vegas strip the Billiard Education Foundation (BEF) had presented and concluded the 29th Annual Junior National 9-Ball Championships. This challenging co-event was held Wednesday-
 
Saturday August 2nd- 5th, 2017, having returned to the family friendly South Point Hotel, Casino & Spa in Las Vegas, Nevada. Showcased at one end of the Billiard Congress of America (BCA) Billiard & Home Leisure Expo was the BEF junior national’s arena. The competition area boasted 20 professional 9-foot Diamond tables. This junior event is the only opportunity for U.S. billiard student-athletes to qualify to compete at the World Pool-Billiard Association (WPA) World Junior 9-Ball Championships being held this year Oct 31st – Nov. 5th, 2017 in Moscow, Russia.
 
On Tuesday, the registration process was in full motion with the noise and bustle of last minute preparations for the tournament and expo grand openings. There, the junior players received BEF sponsor gifts and a 2017 tournament memorabilia shirt. The junior events kicked off that evening with the highly anticipated and popular annual Adult-Youth Scotch Doubles tournament, which gave parents and juniors the chance to showcase their skills for a doubles fun-filled night and prizes. Even the pros were actively seeking to be recruited to fill in and play. BEF Tournament director Earl Munson remarked, “Big grins everywhere. The pros were playing like kids and the kids were playing like pros!” BCA Hall of Famers and multi world champions Nick Varner & Loree Jon Hasson along with Mosconi Team USA and doubles silver medalist in World Cup of Pool, Skyler Woodward & Shane Van Boening joined with the junior players. Former 2002 junior national champion Beau Runningen was eagerly paired and proved he still had game, and fellow 2017 Team USA member Manny Perez matched up as well. Parent’s skill levels ranged in doubles competition from yikes (Where is the instructor quick?), to wow (Did you see that parent play?!). Eventually the fun night ended with all the pros/junior teams converging to the semi-finals. 1st Place was Skyler Woodward & Trenton White, 2nd Place Nick Varner & Justin Toye, 3rd Place Loree Jon Hasson & Xavier Hultze, 4th Place Beau Runningen & Spencer Ladin.
 
Wednesday, the players meeting and group photo opened the 3 pm start of the first five rounds of the 2017 BEF Junior National 9-Ball tournament. This year’s tournament format incorporated the WPA World Junior style of preliminary double elimination brackets qualifying to a seeded single elimination finals bracket. The format also allows for the larger fields sizes, table and time constraints. This year’s field represented: 167 players, ranging from 7 to 18 years of age, from over 30 qualifying events, more than 25 states and including the U.S. Virgin Islands. There were four participating divisions included 18 & Under Boys (18UB), 18 & Under Girls (18UG), 14 & Under Boys (14UB) and 14 & Under Girls (14UG). The divisions played in 64, 64, 32 and 32 double elimination brackets respectively. The top 25% of players from each division then moved to single elimination brackets with the winners seeded and the one-loss players listed by a blind draw. Without a doubt match play all week was exciting and intense as all players vied to make it to their respective finals single-elimination brackets.
 
On Friday night before the finals, the packed banquet night was held. The banquet comfortably seated all juniors, family members, pros, sponsors, and BEF staff and volunteers to enjoy a great meal, laughs, heartfelt speeches, recognitions, remembrance, awards and honors.
 
Each year players are nominated by their peers at the junior nationals to recognize sportsmanship on and off the table. This special award is in remembrance and recognition of one of BEF’s alumni’s, Brendan Crockett, who was more than just a talented young player taken early from life. Brendan grew from an eager teen-ager to an intelligent, charming gentleman with true character and humility. His humor, willingness to work hard and ability to lead have been an important part of our programs. The 2017 Brendan Crockett Character Award Recipients were: Eric Roberts from Crossville, Tennessee and Eliana Rodriguez from Brooklyn, New York.
 
The Special Guest Speaker at the banquet this year was “The Colonel”, Nick Varner. He humorously recounted his junior moments in the game and he jokingly had some great advice to share. “If you bet twice as much, you will learn twice as fast.” Varner has long been an enthusiastic supporter of the juniors and also stated, “This event is amazing and a great showcase of our (nations) top junior players”.
 
Newly inducted 2017 BCA Hall of Famer Tom “Dr. Cue” Rossman also made his 24th appearance at the junior nationals. Dr. Cue, presented the 2017 Artistic Pool awards to this year’s champions, Timmy Bly (Bettendorf, IA), Michelle Jiang (Harvard, MA), Joey Tate Raleigh, NC) and Lana Keith (Dyersburg, TN).
 
The banquet night again amassed much of the junior field with the coveted title of “Academic All American” (AAA) when awards were presented. Of the entire 167 player field, an incredible 45% of this year’s participants (75 players!) earned school GPA’s of 3.5 and 31.6% of the AAA field earned 4.0 GPA’s, to receive recognition! The sport of billiards is definitely attracting, developing, and maintaining academic excellence! The banquet concluded with words of optimism and change from longtime BEF Trustee Tom Riccobene, “Each of us can take home what we have learned here this week and share with the people we love and meet. You’re all champions and we are honored to learn from you”, Riccobene said.
 
The finals play for all divisions was held on Saturday Aug. 5th. In an effort to stay more aligned with the WPA World event, the BEF awarded Gold, Silver and Bronze medals to the top four finishers of each division.
 
All medalists in the 18UB & 18UG divisions along with the gold and silver medalists from the 14UG & 14UB divisions have been nominated for the 2017 WPA World Junior 9-Ball Championships October 31st to November 5th in Moscow, Russia.
 
This junior national was a year of competitive upsets. A trio of past back-to-back champions made up of Nathan Childress (14UB from North Chesterfield, VA), April “The Grinder” Larson (18UG from Bloomington, MN), and Ashley Fullerton (14UG from Lake Park, MN) all sought to become three-peat champions but fell short and all new gold medalists emerged.
 
Larson drew a bye sliding her to the winner side where she then matched up and defeated Katelin Ballou and then Abigail Reese to move her to the 18UG finals 8 bracket. In the semifinals match April was determined to move on but rival Michelle Jiang from Harvard, MA ended her bid to claim her 3rd straight 18UG’s title earning Larson a bronze medal instead for her effort. Gracie Davis from Decatur, IL with her great play also joined Larson for the bronze. Jiang battled it out in the 18UG finals match against Alex Booth from Mount Ayr, IA with Jiang excitedly getting her first 18UG gold medal win with Booth taking the very respectable silver. Jiang has been playing very strong the last few months with her now qualifying for her 4th Junior Worlds. Jiang will head to Moscow, Russia with her fellow Team USA members on Oct 31st, 2017.
 
In the 14UG division it was also a battle to maintain the championship reign, as the 2016 14UG Champion Fullerton from Lake Park, MN tried but failed to make the 14UG’s final bracket losing her first match to Tatum Cutting from Diamond, OH and her second to Vivian Liu from Harvard, MA. Liu and Cutting would eventually become opponents in the bronze medal round where Liu moved on leaving Cutting with the bronze. Gracie Davis from Decatur, IL matched up with Savanna Wolford from Troutville, VA in the other half of the semis with Davis also getting the bronze and earning Wolford a match up with Liu in the finals. The 14UG finals match played at 11am on Saturday spotlighted the two young quiet and upcoming players in Liu and Wolford. Both played well with Liu edging out the win with her first gold medal and Wolford proudly taking home the silver.
 
The title of 18UB champion was newly earned this year by Austin Summers from Metropolis, IL. Summers started out strong winning his first two matches only to come up short against Graham Swinson to earn a spot on the final 16 bracket winner seeded position. Needing only a single match win on the one loss side gave Summer’s his spot on the Final 16 single elimination 18UB bracket. Taking down Lukas Fracasso-Verner in a rescheduled reprieve match due to a disqualification sent Summer’s to play Ricky Evans in the semifinals. Evans from St. Peters, MO was last year’s 18UB champion but Evans struggled to keep Summer’s from finally advancing to gold earning Evans the bronze medal this year. Summers traded wins with Kaiden Hunkins from Waukesha, WI until the match was over with Austin Summers winning gold and Hunkins taking the silver medal for being runner-up in this year’s 18UB division. Thomas Haas from Lancaster, PA also took the bronze medal losing in the semifinals to Hunkins.
 
As always the 14UB’s is a very competitive division with high levels of play even for that age. As in the 18UG and 14UG, defending national champion Nathan Childress from North Chesterfield, VA was chasing his third consecutive championship. But Childress ran into a wall this year from a veteran BEF tournament player from Crossville, TN named Eric Roberts. Roberts knocked the defending champion, in a resounding statement of 6-0, to the one loss side where they would again meet up on the blind draw of the 14UB finals bracket. Again Roberts took Childress out this time for good with another convincing 6-2 win. Roberts would go on to win again in the quarterfinals against Jayden Liu from Harvard, MA only to eventually lose to Joey Tate from Lake Villa, IL in the semifinals earning Roberts his first medal ever with the Bronze. The very skilled Gabriel Martinez from New Braunfels, TX also earned a bronze medal after Joshua Shultz from Stedman, NC defeated him. Shultz earned a finals match with Joey Tate. Tate with 2X Junior Worlds experience under his belt was at an advantage in the high- pressure match for the gold with Shultz. After the last 9-ball was pocketed for the match wins the entire five-players strong Tate family, applauded with joy as their brother was crowned the BEF 2017 14UB Gold Medal Champion and Shultz as runner-up Silver Medalist.
 
The future is very bright for our BEF junior program members as there are now more than ever before, so many high level competitive opportunities at the local, state, national, and international level.
 
Gold Medals:
 
18UB Austin Summers, (Metropolis, IL)
 
18UG Michelle Jiang, (Harvard, MA)
 
14UB Joey Tate, (Lake Villa, IL)
 
14UG Vivian Liu, (Harvard, MA)
 
Silver Medals:
 
18UB Kaiden Hunkins, (Waukesha, WI)
 
18UG Alex Booth, (Mount Ayr, IA)
 
14UB Joshua Shultz, (Stedman, NC)
 
14UG Savanna Wolford, (Troutville, VA)
 
Bronze Medals:
 
18UB Thomas Haas, (Lancaster, PA) and Ricky Evans, (St Peters, MO)
 
18UG Hailey Fullerton, (Lake Park, MN) and April Larson, (Bloomington, MN)
 
14UB Eric Roberts, (Crossville, TN) and Gabriel Martinez, (New Braunfels, TX)
 
14UG Tatum Cutting, (Diamond, OH) and Gracie Davis, (Decatur, IL)
 
The Billiard Education Foundation proudly recognizes the industry leaders who helped make this year’s event possible.
 
Event Sponsors: Billiard Congress of America. Diamond Billiard Products, TLP Billiards, Simonis, Aramith, Ultimate Team Gear, Jacoby Cues, On the Wire Creative Media, Pechaur Cue, ACS, Champion, Valley, Dynamo, Connelly, FCI Billiards, McDermott, Predator, OB Cues, DigiCue, Presidential Billiards, West State Billiards, OGB Millwork, Professional Billiards Instructor Association, Master Chalk, Tiger, Presidential Billiards Pool & Billiard Magazine, Professor Q Ball, Billiards Digest, AzBilliards.com, Dr. Cue, Billiard University, Dave Alciatore, Bob Jewett, Brett Lewis, Jay Helfert, Jeremiah Gage and Tom Riccobene.
 
The BEF gives special thanks to all the individuals who gave countless hours throughout the year to help make this event possible: Samm Diep-Vidal, Tom Riccobene (BEF Treasurer), Jeremiah Gage (BEF Secretary), Shari Stauch (BEF President), Tammy Jo Leonard (BEF Assistant National Director), Earl Munson (BEF Tournament Director) received the 2017 BCA Presidents Award, Rick Doner (BEF Head Referee), Justin Ballou (Assistant Head Referee), Ed Smith (Referee), Ed Stephens (Referee), Angela Williams (Referee), Dennis & Doris Stotler (Referees), Jim Ladin (Volunteer/Donor), Corey and Trena Wolford, Stephanie Shaw (Volunteer), Steve Strange(volunteer), congratulations to the new 2017 BCA Hall-of-Famer “Dr. Cue” Tom Rossman (Junior Artistic Pool Championship Director), Nick Varner (Pro Guest Speaker), Ra Hanna & Beau Runningen for providing live streaming/scoring/brackets through On The Wire Creative Media and pro commentary by Loree Jon Hasson and Max Eberle, Brian Glasgow and his professional team, all the staff at South Point and a huge thanks to BCA’s Rob Johnson, Chance Pack, and Shane Tyree for all their help and support, and to all the parents and juniors who are so dedicated to the sport we give a hearty thank you and we will see you next year in New Orleans.

8-Ball Takes Center Stage With The World Pool Series

Darren Appleton

Jayson Shaw is the hot favorite as the sport’s newest pool tour gets ready to kick off in New York City.

 

(New York City)–It’s common at big international pool tournaments wherever the greats of the game come together, that a buzz of anticipation courses through the hotel lobby or the arena where the players gather the day before at the players meeting. But at Steinway Billiards in the Astoria, Queens section of New York City on Friday night, that buzz had some noticeable extra juice to it.

 
That’s because the newly formed World Pool Series, a four event tour that begins Saturday and will play out over the course of 2017, seems to have all the ingredients to finally offer long suffering professional pool players something they haven’t had in a long time; a player centric tour with a solid plan for growth. The fact that it’s all been put together by one of the game’s greatest and most respected players, England’s Darren Appleton, has surely boosted players’ belief that this tour will be a major part of their future as players.
 
The first event of the new 8-ball tour, The Molinari Players Championship, kicks off at Steinway Billiards in New York City on January 14 and concludes on Jan. 17.  119 players from 35 countries will be slugging it out in 8-ball for over $100,000 in prize money. The winner will collect $20,000.
 
The next three events, The Aramith Masters Championship, The RYO Rack Classic Championship, and the Predator World Series Championship, tentatively also scheduled to be held at Steinway, will be held in April, July and September respectively, with the final event being billed as the Grand Finale. The total prize fund for the four events will be around $425,000 with $85,000 of that being added money.
 
The WPS is organized as a tour, with rankings points from earlier events carrying over to later events and determining entrants and seeding’s, and even who qualifies for the following year’s tour.
 
It’s no surprise that the betting favorite coming into the Molinari Players Championship is Scotland’s Jayson Shaw. Shaw lit up the pool world in 2016 and began 2017 right where he left off by taking the Turning Stone Classic last week.  Shaw lives only one hour away from New York in Connecticut and is brimming with confidence. The fact that English 8-ball is the Scotsman’s original cue game should serve notice to the rest of the field.
 
With its offensive nature, 8-ball can be highly unpredictable, however, especially at the pro level. A look at the talent gathered today at Steinway represented a who’s who of pool’s greats. Amongst the sea of players were world champions Ralf Souquet, Johnny Archer, Earl Strickland, Thorsten Hohmann, Mika Immonen, Karl Boyes, Alex Pagulayan, Francisco Bustamante and Dennis Orcollo.  A sizeable contingent came all the way from Australia. All of the big names from Europe made the trek, as did a handful of the always tough Filipinos.
 
The tournament will be played in a single elimination format with rounds 1 to 3 being race to 13 alternate break. The quarters and semis will be race to 15, winner breaks, while the final will be race to 16, winner breaks.
 
No matter what happens over the next four days at Steinway, everyone in attendance today was in agreement that this was just the beginning of something very positive for the sport, a tour that can grow and provide regular playing and earning opportunities for the game’s long suffering players. And there was one man everyone wanted to talk about.
 
“Darren is doing this for the players,” Shaw said.” He’s a player himself, so he knows what the players need and the players want, and how to get good sponsors and good prize money in there. He also listens to what the players want, the rules, the right game. I think it’s a good step forward and it’s going to put pool in the right direction.”
 
Hall of famer and pool legend Nick Varner, who will be doing commentary for the live stream of the WPS, believes one of the tour’s strength’s is the tours commitment to showcase  8-ball. And, of course, the fact that Appleton has been the main man pushing the tour forward.
 
“For most people, when you say 8-ball, that means pool,” Varner said. “There’s a lot of strength in that. The public can relate to 8-ball. In the United States you have leagues across the country. You’ve hundreds of thousands, if not millions playing in their local locations every week in an organized league and they mostly play 8-ball.
 
“I’m really excited about this event and tour. Darren is the driving force. I think from his travels around the world and his performances he can get a lot of people’s attention. He does have a great personality and people like him. That opens a lot of doors for him.
 
“Darren has worked really hard and it looks like he’s put together strong sponsorship.  And that’s what it’s going to take. That’s the bridge we’ve never been able to cross in pool, corporate sponsorship. We’re always limited. The purses are mostly made up of player entry fees. We are limited on how high the prize money can really get. And we rely so much on sponsorship from our industry and they can only do so much. We’ve got to get sponsors that the other sports get. If he can be successful in these four events, he can have a good platform to build from.”
 
Manny Stamatakis, the owner of Steinway and a partner of Appleton’s in the WPS, concurred with Varner.
 
“I’m very excited to be working with Darren,” Stamatakis said. “What he understands is that you have to throw money out of the window, in order for it to come back in. That’s what we’re doing. We are not here to make a profit. One day we will, but as of now, it’s all for the love of the game and try to build something beautiful.
 
The sponsors like the vision of it, that it’s four events and it’s just going to grow. It builds, there’s qualifiers. It’s something that is ongoing all year long. These things are what makes this tournament great. There’s not that many events out there that you can play for $20,000 first prize. And that’s just a start.
 
“If it wasn’t for Darren it never would have happened. His reputation is amazing. He’s probably the most loved player in the game. The guy is pure class. The players are going to love it, and that’s the bottom line.
 
*The first event of the World Pool Series, The Molinari Players Championship, takes place at Steinway Billiards in Astoria, Queens, New York City from January 14-17, 2017. The World Pool Series is sponsored by Molinari, Predator, Cheqio, RYO Rack, Aramith, Iwan Simonis, Kamui, Billiards Digest, Ultimate Team Gear, and High Rock.
 
For more information on the live stream, please visit the official website of the World Pool Series at http://www.worldpoolseries.com/
 
Complete online brackets and live scoring can be found here:  https://cuescore.com/tournament/WPS+1st+series+-+Molinari+Players+Championship/1286018
 
The World Pool Series is on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/worldpoolseries/

Jayson Shaw Takes Ownership of Turning Stone

Jayson Shaw

Jayson Shaw has just won the Turning Stone Classic for the fifth time in the last six attempts. We call that domination. And we call Jayson Shaw a player. Rarely do fans get to witness a player who is so hot. We saw it in Greenleaf and Mosconi back in their day, and more recently we saw it with Mike Sigel, Nick Varner, Johnny Archer and  Earl Strickland and most recently with Shane Van Boening (whose streak is coincident to Shaw’s.)  All of these players went through stages where they seemed to win everything they entered. And now we are seeing it with Jayson Shaw. The only question that remains is for how long he will be able to maintain this high level. Some burn out on it, others prosper in the heat.

Shaw defeated Rodney Morris in the finals of Turning Stone13-6. Rodney made a late comeback after trailing 7-1 but this one was in Shaw’s control the whole way. and with the exception of Shaw, Rodney Morris had a very good week. He defeated the likes of Dennis Hatch (9-7)  and Amar Kang (9-4). He then lost the hot seat match to Shaw (9-3) and that sent him way left to take down Dennis Hatch with a convincing 9-3.  

Then he had to go face Shaw again in the finals and that just didn’t work out well at all. Shaw jumped out to a large early lead and while Rodney fought back gallantly he just had too much road to get there by darkness and Shaw seated him in second place 13-6.

See more detailed coverage of this event in the upcoming Billiards Buzz.

Archer Survives Klatt to Take Chattanooga 8-Ball

Johnny Archer

Johnny Archer has won the inaugural Tennessee State 8-Ball Open held at Phil Windham’s Chattanooga Billiard Club. This was a true double-elimination final TD’d by Steve McDonald and Archer had a tough and determined Jason Klatt to overcome in an effort that required both available sets in the finals.

When the last eight players came in to work on Sunday the winner’s side of the charts was still populated by Johnny Archer, Robb Saez, Jeremy Jones, and Jason Klatt. The four representatives from the one-loss side were Ramil Gallego, Antonio Lining, Eric Durbin and Nick Varner.

All four tables were gong at once and two of the players from the one-loss side would be eliminated in this round. Both of these matches were close. Ramil Gallego defeated traveling partner Antonio Lining on the hill at 6-5. Then Eric Durbin ended the run of Nick Varner as he controlled the later stage of the match to win 6-4.

Our winner’s side matches found Johnny Archer besting Robb Saez 6-4 and Jeremy Jones missing nothing as he beat a newly more deliberate Jason Klatt 6-3. Klatt has noticeably slowed his pace but one cannot argue with the results he is getting. He is shooting extremely well as his finish here this week demonstrates.

Our 2:30 round featured the two one-loss matches that would drop our field to only four players. Robb Saez maintained both his table skills and his composure as he cooly won the case game to send Gallego home 6-5. Jason Klatt gave Eric Durbin little air or wiggle room and sent Durbin to the stands with a 6-2.

On the winner’s side we still had both Jeremy Jones and Johnny Archer. In this match Archer found a sure-fire way to beat Jeremy Jones – don’t let him to the table. Archer dominated with run outs and total control so complete that he beat his good friend 6-1 to claim the Hot Seat.

Now only Jones and Klatt were left to threaten Archer. They did battle in our Semi-Finals and gave us yet another epic hill-hill match. Klatt came out on top 6-5 and Jones was resigned to third place.

As mentioned, the finals between Archer and Klatt were true double-elimination. Klatt would have to beat Archer twice in order to win.  The first set saw Klatt go out to a two rack lead at 2-0 only to have Archer win the next two to tie us up. The real difference in this set was the break. Klatt was making balls and shooting while suffering only a single dry break in the entire match while Archer was dry on three of his first four attempts, turning the table over each time. Klatt played cautiously and made no fatal errors. He forced a second set with a double-hill 6-5 win over Archer.

The final set found better breaks from Archer with the exception of a single scratch in rack four. Klatt won the first rack but then Archer won four games in a row. Klatt was unfazed. He just replied by winning the next four racks to take the lead in the match 5-4 and stand on the hill. Archer never flinched. He just went to work, won the next two racks and claimed the Championship.

See more details in the upcoming Billiards Buzz.
 

And the Ball Stopped Here

Tom “Dr. Cue” Rossman (ten time WPA World Champion in the “sport gift” of Artistic Pool and five time ESPN Trick Shot Champion) combined talents with Steve Lillis (former world ranked professional pool player, accomplished trick shot artist, and President / Founder of Gospel Trick Shot Ministries, Inc.) to journey to Quebec, Canada through upstate New York July 20th to August 6th. The Gospel Trick Shot portable pool table invented by Fred and Devra Robledo, who own and operate Wildlife and Wood in Anaheim, California (a top producer of pool table legs for major pool table manufacturers in the USA) accompanied them in their travels.

 

Our journey starts with a Gospel Trick Shot Show at a Christian youth camp in the Albany, New York area for about one hundred and fifty underprivileged inner city New York / New Jersey junior high school youths and ends 16 days later with a Gospel Trick Shot Show for another one hundred and fifty 9th and 10th grade high school youth from Newfoundland, Canada attending a summer French training program on a college campus in Quebec City, Canada. Tom and Steve have journeyed to 21 countries over the last 15 years to minister on pool tables with trick shots and instruction with a Christian message of hope and encouragement. Here is our story entitled “And the Ball Stops Here”!

 

To set the stage, we need to back up about two weeks to Illinois to a training site where Tom “Dr. Cue” Rossman teamed up with BCA Hall of Famers and superstars of American pool Nick Varner, Johnny Archer, and Jeanette Lee to work with the Billiard Education Foundation (BEF) in training young American pool players for the upcoming Atlantic Cup Challenge. Tom’s responsibility was to work on the mental, mathematical, and emotional side of the game. Back in February of this year he published a training manual, which also included the spiritual component of the game and came away from that event with a burning desire to touch the lives of more young people. It just “so happens” that Steve Lillis was attending a Christian youth camp at the same time with his 8 year old grandson Jayden, who had just performed his first Gospel Trick Shot with “Pop Pop” on the Gospel Trick Shot portable pool table the week before at an outreach to underprivileged inner city young people in Paterson, NJ.

 

Now let’s get back to that first Gospel Trick Shot Show with Tom and Steve at the Christian camp in the upstate Albany New York area on July 20th. This show was scheduled by Steve many months before with Steve totally unaware of the sequence of events that would follow. Additionally Gospel Trick Shot Ministries, Inc. (GTS) had donated a slate top pool table to that same camp two years before that! Steve picked up Tom from the Newark Airport on the afternoon of July 20th. They needed to head north to do a Gospel Trick Shot Show that same night, which included the setup of the GTS portable pool table. Running late they arrived 30 minutes before one hundred and fifty young people would file into the building. Because of steps, the terrain, and other obstacles there was no time to back in the truck and trailer, unload the portable pool table, and roll it into place. Normally the table sets up and is ready to go in 20 minutes. Tom took a look at the GTS donated slate top 1,000-pound pool table in the other room of the building. Based on his years of experience of owning a retail billiard store and billiard room back in the 1970’s and 80’s declared that we could move the table on rollers in a matter of minutes. Rollers were provided and setup was completed with 10 minutes to spare to warm up for the show. As the over amped group of one hundred fifty junior high campers filed into the building Tom and Steve wondered what they would say during the show. Yes, the trick shots would be routine with a combined many thousands of shows under their belts, but what do you say to young people who hear gun shots almost every night back home with gang violence all around them and with maybe one parent or grandparent to care for them.

 

Tom usually leads off with his vast array of rapid-fire shots tempered with witty phases and instruction while sharing the joy of the roll combined with stories of hope and faith. Early in the show a ball “accidentally” fell out of a pocket and began to roll on the hard wood floor. Tom declared to the young people: “wait, watch where it stops” and, in unison, the entire group of one hundred fifty young people rose to their feet and watched every turn of the ball until it stopped some 10 feet away from the table. Then Tom prophetically said “and the ball stopped here”! Tom began to explain that in the expanse of God’s creation the ball stopped there and similarly each person in the room, at that moment, had stopped exactly where they were at an appointed place in time and space. The young people got it, as they realized that it was no accident that they were there.

 

Every one of them had been given scholarships by a multitude of people who wanted them to get out of the city for one week to experience God, peace, and joy in the woods of Upstate New York. This set the stage for Steve to be the closer with his thought provoking array of trick shots, which are, illustrated messages using position, colors, numbers, and direction of the billiard balls to reveal life lessons with Christian application of hope and encouragement. Steve felt led that night to share the story of Ella with the pool balls. Ella was Steve’s 2 ½ year old granddaughter who died tragically in a shuttle bus accident over two years ago. This story had moved the hearts of many before and tonight these one hundred and fifty young people where touched to the core of their inner being! For Steve Lillis and his family the passing of Ella was a representation of: “and the ball stopped here”. What do you do when “life happens” to you like that? This amazing story gave hope and encouragement that night, as many of the young people looked to Jesus for hope and encouragement because of their desperate situations back home. This night became the pattern for a sequence of amazing events over the next two plus weeks.

 

I could go on and on and share about the three billiard room shows with one televised to the people of Canada. I could detail the outdoor shows on the GTS portable pool table by the St. Laurence Seaway and in old downtown Quebec City in the city center square. I could talk about the park shows on the GTS portable pool table in and around Quebec, but I will end with the last show for the one hundred and fifty youth on the campus where we stayed with one hundred and twenty outreach international team members, who were there to also give hope and encouragement to the people of Quebec. On that last day in the parking lot, outside the cafeteria, we set up the portable pool table and students filed out and circled the pool table to see the show. Tom and Steve had a special quest Gospel Trick Shot Artist traveling with them named Chuck Dutcher from Salem, New York. Chuck had performed with Tom and Steve the prior two weeks and was in training to hone his skills. So when Steve set up a six ball trick shot representing his family of six, Chuck approached the table with confidence, having made that particular shot perfectly many time before. Chuck got down and stroked the cue ball, and only one ball went in, disappearing from the table surface. Chuck was perplexed and tried to grab the balls to make a second attempt, but Steve yelled: “stop” with a follow up declaration: “and the ball stopped here”. You see, that was a “perfect” illustration that Ella is gone and the other five family members remain and there is hope for those remaining. Not one of those young people in the audience that day in the parking lot outside the cafeteria moved as they held their position in time and space to hear the eternal message of hope and faith through Jesus Christ!

Allen Hopkins, Danny Barouty & Willie Mosconi to be Inducted into the 2015 Straight Pool Hall of Fame

New York City, NY –  The votes are in, and Allen Hopkins, Danny Barouty, and Willie Mosconi will all be inducted this year during the Andy Cloth World Tournament of 14.1 . The 5th Annual 14.1 Hall of Fame takes place Wednesday July 15th 8pm with a dinner banquet at Steinway Cafe-Billiards. Tickets are $55 includes amazing dinner, wine, drinks, special video presentation by Jerry Tarantola, & numerous star speakers! PayPal can be paid to DPevent@gmail.com to reserve. We have a sellout crowd every year.  The nomination selection process came from the World 141 Club  with votes tallied from e-mails,polls  and social media. This year's ballot included World Champions Allen Hopkins, Nick Varner, and Bobby Hunter in the Greatest Player Category. Mike Eufemia, Danny Barouty, and Tom Jennings are nominated in the Unsung Hero Category. Finally, 19-times World 14.1 winner Willie Mosconi will be honored posthumously in coordination with the The World Tournament of 14.1. The main event will take place once more in New York City.  As usual, a star studded field is expected this year at Steinway Billiards Cafe, who is once more hosting this world class event. The World Tournament Official Equipment include Viking Cue with all matches played on Andy Cloth. Event partners include Mr.Tom Gleich, Dr. Gregory Diehl, Mr. Greg Hunt of Amsterdam Billiards, & Mr. Jim Gottier of Greenleaf's Pool Room. Patron sponsors include Mr. Harold Siegel of Excelsior Graphics, Dr. James Heller, Mr. Charles Eames of Charles Eames Photography, Frank Scharbach of Frank's Billard Cafe, and the National Amateur Pool League. 
 
The World Tournament will be live streamed on AZBTV , order by going to www.worldstraightpool.com . Official media partners are www.NYCGrind.com , Pool & Billiard Magazine, & tech support by Gotham City Technologies. 
 
Willie Mosconi would be 102 years old if he was alive today. He was born in 1913, just one year after the very first World 14.1 Championship.  During nearly 2 decades, Mosconi won the World 14.1 seven times and defended the title an unmatched 12-times. It's no wonder till this day, the name Mosconi is synonymous with straight pool.
 
"The 14.1 Hall of Fame Banquet is an awesome event. The players are all dressed up and enjoying themselves. Dragon Promotions really does it right", said John Schmidt, 2012 World Tournament of 14.1 Champion.
 
Allen Hopkins was nominated by the World 141 Club members and afterwards won 60% of the votes submitted by fans via social media, polls, and e-mails. Hopkins was born in 1951 in Elizabeth, New Jersey at started playing pool at the age of 7, and ran his first 100 balls by age 12. He joined the pro tour by age 17, and quickly established himself as a force when at 19 years old he defeated the mighty Luther Lassiter in a 1000 point money match with Lassiter stating, "That was the greatest straight pool I've ever seen". In 1977, Hopkins started his prime winning the US Open 9-Ball, World 9-Ball, and the World 14.1 all in the same year. Hopkins would remain a force on the pro scene for the next 2 decades, and since then has become a major promoter with the highly successful Super Billiards Expo. "I was fortunate to grow up around so many great players. Straight pool has always been my best game. Straight pool separates all players."
 
"Allen and I not only used to battle back and forth in countless matches, but we used to also go in partnership with each other when playing other great players. He played super solid for big money and was dependable under huge pressure. I had so much mutual respect for his abilities. He was the most fierce competitor I ever met," said Pete Margo, a former top pro player during the 1970's era. Margo has been nominated for next year's 14.1 HOF personally by Hopkins himself.
 
Danny Barouty won 50% of the votes in the Unsung Hero category with a huge fan following in the New York tri-state area. Born in 1956, the Queens, NY native started playing pool at age 7, with 14.1 being his first game. This led to a lifelong passion for straight pool which has carried on till today as Barouty has been the cause of many players becoming 14.1 addicts through his passion and knowledge of the game. Barouty has also taken down some of the biggest names in pool such as Hohmann, Ortmann, Cohen, Parica and carries a 287 ball high run. His legacy will be his straight pool leagues in NY and now California, which still thrive today. "I never looked at myself as a promoter of straight pool. I just like the game. No hidden agenda. And I suppose everything comes from that." 
 
"It's truly an honor to be inducted into this group of legends", said Oliver Ortmann, who was inducted into the 14.1 HOF in 2013.
 
A special video presentation of each inductee will be produced and presented by www.NYCGrind.com's Jerry Tarantola. 
 
"The Straight Pool Hall of Fame banquet always ends up being an extraordinary evening. The food is delicious and the camaraderie fills the air with nostalgia and goodwill", said Cindy Lee, CEO of Dragon Promotions who has overseen the World Tournament for a decade now.
 
Support straight pool and the 14.1 Hall of Fame by joining the World 141 Club & for a very inexpensive sponsorship, become one of the 141 special people joining the 141 Club which will fund this year's events. The list of benefits & gifts are huge. Goto http://worldstraightpool.com/tickets.html . Tickets will be sold at the door during the event. Sponsors and private contributors can still join this year's event. Final added money and fundraising for the 5th Annual Straight Pool Hall of Fame are still being generated. To help be a part of this treasured event, please contact Dragon Promotions and join the World 141 Club.
Get the latest news and complete results of all years at www.worldstraightpool.com and daily year round updates on  www.facebook.com/Worldstraightpool  . Follow Dragon Promotions news at  www.twitter.com/Dragonpromoter
 
Vendor spaces are also available, for more information on player registration, sponsorship, or if you would like to submit a comment, please email worldstraightpoolchampionships@gmail.com or contact Dragon Promotions at 1-407-782-4978. Full event info is atwww.dragonpromotions.com