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Pinegar wins 2019 SBE Pro Am Bar Box Championship

Jonathan Pinegar (Photo courtesy Super Billiards Expo)

Davis tops largest SBE field of 1,024 to win Amateur Open
In its multi-discipline, varied-skill format that, with some overlap among 11 events, drew over 3,000 pool players to the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center at Oaks, PA over the weekend of March 28-31, the Super Billiard Expo’s Pro Am Bar Box Championships has always existed as something of a challenge. In 2018, they used the challenge in promoting the event, asking potential participants a simple question – How good do you really think you are?
Open to all levels of competitors, without restriction, its field is capped at 32 players, who play a ‘best of three set’ format with races to 6 in each set (all other Amateur events utilized the same format, although with races to 5 in each set). While encouraging and expecting a wide variety of players from the amateur to the pro, this year’s ProAm Bar Box Championships featured a field that was tipped somewhat toward the amateur end of things. Not completely, because it was won by 20-year veteran Jonathan Pinegar, who’s been winning and cashing in amateur and semi-pro events for nearly 20 years. Known throughout most of his career as “Hennessee from Tennessee,” Pinegar has, in recent years, been signing on to events with his given name. At this year’s SBE, he signed in as John Pinegar. This year’s runner-up was Demetrius Jelatis.
The posted brackets on the SBE Web site for all of the amateur events (including the ProAm Bar Box) do not indicate the scores of the individual sets, which masks the give and take of game-by-game scoring. Instead, each player is seen to have won their individual matches by only one of two possible outcomes; 2-0 or 2-1. There is no way of knowing, therefore, a given player’s game-winning percentage, only his or her set-winning percentage.
Pinegar won 10 of 12 sets he played over five matches. He opened with a 2-1 win over Alex Olinger, went 2-0 against Kevin West and allowed Scott Haas a single set in the third round, which brought him to a semifinal matchup against Justin Espinosa. Jelatis, in the meantime, won eight of the 12 sets he played over five matches. He opened with two straight 2-0 set victories over Shane Clayton and Alan Rolan, before giving up a set to Ryan McCreesh. This set him (Jelatis) up against Jorge Rodriguez in the other semifinal. Rodriguez is another one of those competitors who’s been competing at the semi-pro and pro-level for years.
Pinegar got into the finals with a 2-0 set victory over Espinosa. Jelatis joined him after a 2-1 set victory over Rodriguez. Pinegar completed his undefeated (in sets) run with a 2-0 victory over Jelatis.
Davis goes undefeated in his individual bracket, advances to win Amateur Open
In the largest field of the SBE, the Amateur Open, 1,024 entrants initially split up into 16 brackets of 64 players each. Each of those brackets delivered a single player to a Final 16 bracket. Phil Davis didn’t lose a single set (best of three sets in races to 5) in his initial bracket, going 2-0 against Chris Garrett, Matt Clatterbuck, Mark Alicea, Paul Swinson, Richard Anderson and in his bracket’s finals, Jason Balas. He gave up his first set in the opening round of the single-elimination final 16 bracket, going 2-1 against Joe Wright. He went back to his 2-0 pattern against Mark Nanashee in the second round, which moved him into the semifinals against Julio Burgos.
Raed Shabib, in the meantime, gave up his first set, in the opening round of his 64-player bracket, to Christopher Balderson. He didn’t give up another one until his bracket finals, having gone 2-0 against Abel Rosario, John Hoge, Bill Mason and Randy Tate. He took the bracket final 2-1 over James Adams. He opened the Final 16 portion of his run with a 2-1 victory over George Crawford and then downed Brett Stottlemeyer 2-0, to arrive at a semifinal against Chris Bruner.
Davis and Shabib advanced to the finals with identical 2-1 set victories over Burgos and Bruner, respectively. Davis completed his undefeated run with a 2-1 victory over Shabib in the finals.
Amateur highlights
The next highest attended Amateur tournament was the Open Seniors event (for 50+), which drew 384 entrants. Originally split into eight preliminary brackets, yielding a single winner, the event was won by Bobby Connor. He advanced through the Final 8 field with set wins over Oscar Bonilla and Dennis Spears, both 2-1. He was met in the finals by Efrain Morales, who’d defeated Joe Armeni 2-1 and Chuck Ross 2-0. Connor didn’t give up a set in claiming the Open Seniors title.
Next up, with 192 entrants, was the Super Seniors (65+), who started in four initial brackets, yielding a very short final field of four. Ed Matushoneck downed Tom Acciavatti 2-1 to claim his spot in the finals, and was joined by Ronny Park, who’d defeated Nelson Rivera 2-1. Matushoneck claimed the Super Seniors title with a 2-0 win over Park.
The Amateur Ladies drew 188, just four less than the Super Seniors. Combined, those two events would have yielded an enormously entertaining field with just four less than the Open Seniors event. As it was, the 188 ladies, like the Super Seniors, started with four initial 64-player brackets (with a number of opening round byes) and ended with a final field of 4. Rachel Lang and Michelle Jiang advanced to the finals without giving up a set to either Marie-France Blanchette and Stacey Tonkin. Lang downed Jiang in the finals two sets to one.
In the 12 and under Juniors event, which drew 56 entrants, Parker Jakubczak downed 2018 11 & under Junior National Champion Kyle Yi in the finals 2-1. In the 17 & under category, which drew 76 entrants, two-time 14 & under National Junior Champion Nathan Childress defeated Ivo Linkin in two straight sets.

Lilly wins second Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball stop in a row

Don Lilly

When you get a wily veteran into the hot seat of a handicapped tournament, it’s hard to envision him (or sometimes, her) relinquishing it by losing two in a row in a double elimination final. That, however, is exactly what happened during the February 3-4 stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour. Mark Tademy, who’s been around long enough (and more) to have been a part of the ‘noble experiment’ known as the International Pool Tour (IPT) just over a dozen years ago, joined a roster of 42 entrants at the Gate City Billiards Club in Greensboro, NC, and advanced through the field to the hot seat. In the double elimination finals, however, he ran into Don Lilly, winner of the January 27-28 stop on the tour (and something of a wily veteran himself), who’d been sent to the loss side in the event’s third round and battled through seven, loss-side matches to reach the finals, double-dip Tademy and claim the event title.
Lilly, it should be noted, ended up in more or less the same position, as his finals opponent in the January 27-28 stop; Jason Rogers won nine on the loss side to face Lilly in the finals of that one, only to be defeated in the opening set of the true double elimination final. With Lilly at work on the loss side, Tademy (racing to 10 throughout the tournament) faced Dalton Messer in one winners’ side semifinal, as Alex Valencia squared off against Steve Reece (the tour’s 2017 Tour Champion) in the other one.
Tademy downed Messer 10-4 (double hill), as Valencia sent Reece to the loss side 6-4. Tademy gave up only a single rack to Valencia in the hot seat match, and appeared poised to chalk up an undefeated run.
With two notches on his loss-side belt, Lilly defeated Zac Leonard 6-2, and NYC-area visitor, Oscar Bonilla 6-6 (Bonilla, like Tademy, racing to 10). This set Lilly up to face Reece. Messer drew Steve Hughes, who’d sent Lilly to the loss side, and after joining him, defeated Shyne Barnes and Cody Jones, both 7-3.
Lilly and Hughes advanced to a re-match in the quarterfinals; Lilly, 6-1 over Reece and Hughes, 7-3 over Messer. Lilly successfully wreaked vengeance on Hughes in those quarterfinals against Hughes, defeating him 6-2 and advancing to face Valencia in the semifinals. A double match ensued there, eventually advancing Lilly to the finals against Tademy.
The opening set of the true double elimination final came within a game of double hill, but Lilly closed it out at 6-8 and they moved to the second set. Tademy failed to chalk up a single rack in the second set, and according to tour director Herman Parker, was reluctant, at first, to claim his runner-up prize money. He did, eventually, as did Lilly, who claimed his second Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball title in a row.
Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked the ownership and staff at the Gate City Billiards Club, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues, Delta 13 Racks, AZBilliards and Professor Q Ball. The next stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for the weekend of February 10-11, will be hosted by Brass Tap in Raleigh, NC.

Bonilla stops loss-side run by Shaw to take Predator title; Sookhai wins Amateur event

Two years ago, Oscar Bonilla was chalking up Northeast wins all over the place. He won a Predator Tour stop, a couple of Sandcastle Billiards weekly Gauntlet events, and two second chance tournaments on the Joss Tour. He finished first, second or third in nine of the 11 events in which he cashed that year. Last year, he finished fourth in a Predator event and that was about it. This year, until the weekend of November 30-December 1, nothing, and then, he signed on to a short-field Open Predator event, and ran the table, defeating Jayson Shaw in the finals. The $500-added event drew 11 entrants.

In the concurrently-run, $500-added Amateur event that drew 32 entrants, Basdeo Sookhai took the title. He'd been defeated in the battle for the hot seat, and came back from the semifinals to take down Billy Santiago.
In the short-field (16-player bracket) Open event, Bonilla got into a winners' side semifinal matchup with Tour Director Tony Robles, as Shaw squared off against Travis McKinney in the other one. Bonilla hung on to win his double hill match against Robles, while McKinney downed Shaw 7-4. Bonilla took the hot seat match 7-4, and waited on what turned out to be Shaw's return.
Shaw moved over and picked up Chris Derewonski, who, not satisfied with a second place finish on the Tri-State Tour the day before, had been sent to the loss side by Robles, and defeated Raphael Dabreo 7-5 and Liam Monk 7-1. Robles drew Mhet Vergara, who'd gotten by Scott Murphy and Chad Bowling, both 7-3.
Shaw dropped Derewonski into the tie for fifth place 7-3, and by the same score, Robles ended Vergara's day. Shaw then finished Robles bid, with a 7-3 win in the quarterfinals, and went on to a re-match against McKinney. Another 7-3 win, and Shaw got a shot at Bonilla. Bonilla, though, gave up only a single rack completing his undefeated run through the short field.
In the Amateur event, Sookhai and Santiago met first in the hot seat match, once Sookhai had sent Gail Robles west 7-5 and Santiago had survived a double hill battle against Darren Defilips. It was Santiago in double hill, survival mode in the hot seat match, moving Santiago to the semifinals.
On the loss side, Stuart Warnock was at work on a four-match run to the semifinals. He'd been sent over by Defilips and defeated Chad Bowling 7-4 and Keith Adamik, double hill, to pick up Robles. Defilips drew Scott Murphy, who'd defeated Meshak Daniel 7-4 and Eric Grasman 7-6.
Warnock and Defilips advanced to the quarterfinals; Warnock, 8-5 over Robles and Defilips, double hill over Murphy.
Warnock's loss-side winning streak ended with a double hill win over Defilips in those quarterfinals. Sookhai defeated him in the semifinals 7-2, and then went on to defeat Santiago 9-7 to claim the event title.

Robles comes from the loss-side to capture Open/Pro event on Predator Tour

Tony Robles

Sent to the loss side from among the winners’ side final eight, Tony Robles battled back through five matches to defeat Frankie Hernandez in the finals of the Open/Pro event of the Predator Tour stop on the weekend of February 11-12. The $500-added Open/Pro event drew 15 entrants to The Cue Bar in Bayside, NY.

Once he’d sent Robles west with an 8-6 victory, Geovani Hosang moved among the winners’ side final four to face Coco Davladze. Hernandez, in the meantime, squared off against Jennifer Baretta. Hosang downed Davladze 8-6 and in the battle for the hot seat, faced Hernandez, who’d defeated Baretta 8-5. Hernandez got into the hot seat with an 8-3 victory over Hosang and waited for the return of “The Silent Assassin.”

Said ‘assassin’ got to work on the loss side with a 7-3 victory over Oscar Bonilla and then defeated Jorge Rodriguez 7-4 to pick up Baretta. Davladze drew Juan Guzman, who’d defeated Alex Borukhovich 7-2 and Mhet Vergara, double hill, to reach him. Robles downed Baretta 7-5, and was joined in the quarterfinals by Guzman, who’d survived a double hill match against Davladze. 

Robles gave up only a single rack to Guzman in those quarterfinals, earning himself a re-match against the man who’d sent him west earlier, Hosang. Robles gave up only three racks in a 7-3 semifinal victory that gave him a shot versus Hernandez. Had Hernandez reached seven games first, it would have been over, but it was Robles hitting that mark, and extending the race to nine games. They battled, eventually, to double hill before Robles prevailed to capture his own event title.

As tour representative, Robles thanked Sam An and the staff at the Cue Bar for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Predator Cues, The National Amateur Pool League, Delta-13 racks, Poison Cues,, and NYCGrind.

Immonen over Moore for Joss Tour Win

Mika Immonen

With Dennis Hatch relinquishing his stranglehold on the Joss NE 9-Ball Tour, more and more players are coming out to take their shot at continuing the new tradition of a different winner every week. This week, it was Mika Immonen and Stevie Moore setting themselves as the players to beat in the field of 38 players at Raxx Billiards in West Hempstead.

While the meeting between Immonen and Moore could have easily been for the hot-seat, the tournament board fated them to meet up first thing on Sunday morning where Immonen scored a 9-2 win to send Moore to the left side of the board. Immonen followed that win up with a 9-5 win over Holden Chin for the hot-seat.

Moore bounced back from his loss to Immonen with three wins on the left side of the board. 9-6 over Jorge Rodriguez, 9-5 over Yesid Garibello and hill-hill over Holden Chin. Those three wins setup the rematch between Immonen and Moore in the finals.

If two matches between these two competitors was good, then three would be even better as Moore defeated Immonen 9-4 in the first set of the double elimination finals. The second set of the finals was close, but Immonen won it 9-6 for first place and $1100 in prize money. 

The second chance event on Sunday saw Oscar Bonilla go undefeated with a 3-1 win over Steve Wright for the hot-seat and a 3-2 win over Paul Rozonewski in the finals. Bonilla pocketed $300 for the win.

As usual, players who are interested in playing at the upcoming Turning Stone Classic XVIII are urged to contact Mike Zuglan as quickly as possible. This event always fills up and there is always a waiting list.

Open Event Results | Second Chance Results