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Moore chalks up fourth APT win to maintain season-ending top tour ranking

Eric Moore and Shaun Wilkie

Going into the final event of the 2017 Action Pool Tour season, there was no catching Eric Moore's top spot in the tour rankings. Ahead by nearly 2,000 points, with three victories on the year (in Feb., June, and Nov.), Moore would have been the tour champion even if his closest competitor in the rankings, Brandon Shuff, had competed and defeated him in the finals of the event. Punctuating his finish at the top of the tour rankings, Moore went undefeated through a field of 35, on-hand for APT's season finale, hosted by Q Master Billiards in Virginia Beach, VA, on the weekend of December 10-11.
While there was no drama surrounding who'd be the 2017 tour champion, the season finale did offer two competitors the opportunity to vie for the runner-up position, which would earn that player entry into all three divisions of the 2017 US Bar Table Championships in Las Vegas, as well as hotel accommodations (the winner, Moore, received the same bonus prize, in addition to plane fare). With Shuff not in attendance, that runner-up slot would (no matter where they finished) go to either Shaun Wilkie, who entered the tournament in third place, or Kenny Miller, who entered the tournament in fourth place. They were separated by only 19 points.
In effect, that question was answered when they met in the third round of play. After an opening round bye, Wilkie opened his campaign with a shutout over Thomas Williams. Miller, also awarded an opening round bye, opened with a double hill win (9-8) over Christopher Wilburn, who ended up 6th in the tour rankings. Wilkie advanced 9-5 over Miller, who moved west, won a single match (against Nicole Fleming) and was then eliminated by Steve Fleming, who'd end up 5th in the tour rankings.
Wilkie and Moore, now securely in the #1 and #2 positions on the tour, advanced to face each other in a winners' side semifinal. Reymart Lim, making only his third appearance on the 2017 tour, and cousin Nilbert Lim, making his second, squared off in the other semifinal. In their first of two, Moore downed Wilkie 9-7, as Reymart Lim defeated Nilbert Lim 9-6. Moore claimed the hot seat 9-6 over Reymart, assuring Reymart another (minimum) third place finish to match his effort back in May, when he finished behind Wilkie and Shuff. 
On the loss side, Wilkie drew Greg Sabins, who'd defeated Steve Fleming, double hill (right after Fleming had eliminated Kenny Miller) and R.J. Carmona 7-3. Nilbert Lim picked up Pat Carosi, who'd gotten by Ray Reyna 7-5 and Christopher Wilburn 7-2 to reach him. Wilkie advanced to the quarterfinals 7-2 over Sabins, and was met by Carosi, who'd ended Nilbert Lim's weekend 7-5.
Wilkie made short work of Carosi, allowing him only a single rack in their quarterfinal match. Reymart Lim, looking to advance to his first final, put up a fight in the semifinals against Wilkie, but fell short 7-5.
And so it was, that the top two players on the 2017 Action Pool Tour, squared off in the finals of the tour's season finale. Moore laid further claim to his already secured top spot in the rankings with a commanding 11-4 victory over Wilkie. 
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Q Master Billiards for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Predator, Ozone Billiards, AZBilliards and Hammerbacher Instruction.

Foldes goes undefeated at 10th Annual Bob Stocks Memorial

Vilmos Foldes

On the weekend of October 8-9, Hungarian-born, California resident Vilmos Foldes appeared in his first Action Pool Tour (APT) stop at the First Break Cafe, in Sterling, VA – the 10th Annual Bob Stocks Memorial Tournament. He went undefeated through the field of 58, defeating the tour’s (at the time) #2-ranked player, Eric Moore, twice, to claim the event title. Foldes’ first victory on the tour doesn’t move him among the tour’s top-ranked players, because the ranking system is derived from accumulated points. Moore, on the other hand, who has appeared in six of the tour’s eight stops to date, earned enough points as this most recent event’s runner-up to move past the tour’s #1-ranked player, Brandon Shuff, who did not compete.

It was an impressive performance by Foldes, who arrived to compete in a winners’ side semifinal against Brian Deska, having given up only one rack in 29 games played. Foldes shut out his first three opponents, before giving up the single rack to Brian Dietzenbach in a winners’ side quarterfinal. Moore, in the meantime, arrived at his winners’ side semifinal matchup versus Bruce Choyce, having given up 10 racks in 38 games (4, 3, 2 and 1, though not in that order).

Deska, who, back in March, won nine on the loss side to meet and defeat Shuff and claim his first APT title of the year, and then, a month later, won his second APT title, was defeated by Foldes 7-2. Moore, meanwhile, downed Choyce 7-2 to meet Foldes in the hot seat match.  Foldes claimed the hot seat 7-3 over Moore, and waited in the hot seat, with his 89% win total, for Moore to return.

On the loss side, Deska picked up Bobby Stovall, who’d fallen to Choyce in a winners’ side quarterfinal and then defeated Christopher Wilburn 6-2 and Kenny Miller 6-1. Choyce drew Dietzenbach, who, following his defeat at the hands of Foldes, shut out Pat Carosi and downed Brett Stottlemyer 6-1.

Almost predictably, two double hill battles ensued, for the right to advance to the quarterfinals. The winners’ side semifinalists (Deska and Choyce) were eliminated by the winners’ side quarterfinalists, Stovall and Dietzenbach. Dietzenbach then stopped Stovall’s run with a shutout in the quarterfinals.

Moore, though, stopped Dietzenbach’s four-match, loss-side streak, which had included two shutouts. Moore earned himself a second shot at Foldes with a 6-3 win over Dietzenbach in the semifinals.

Moore put up a fight in the finals that saw him chalk up as many racks, as all of Foldes’ previous opponents’ combined. Foldes claimed his first APT title with a 9-6 win.

With three events to go, including next month’s VA State 8-Ball Championships (Nov. 12-13 at Diamond Billiards in Midlothian, VA), and airfare to the US Bar Table Championships in Las Vegas at stake (both the top and second-ranked player receive entry to all three divisions of that event, and hotel accommodations), Moore is currently in the top-ranked driver’s seat, with Brandon Shuff right there beside him.

Deska goes undefeated to spoil eight-game winning streak of Shuff and Wilkie

In his first appearance on the 2015 Action Pool Tour, Brian Deska went undefeated through a field of 51 entrants. In so doing, he defeated the tour's top-ranked player, Shaun Wilkie, once, and the second-ranked player, Brandon Shuff, twice. Between them, Wilkie and Shuff had won the last eight stops on the tour. Wilkie had won the final four events in 2014 and the first two in 2015. Shuff had won the last two stops on the tour, defeating Wilkie twice to do it. The May 9-10 event was hosted by First Break Cafe in Sterling, VA.
Deska beat Shuff and Wilkie, one right after the other, on the winners' side of the bracket and then, in the finals, defeated Shuff a second time. Deska had something of an up and down path through the winners' bracket, opening with a shutout over Bill Woods, and following that with an 8-6 win over Paul Helms. He gave up just a single rack to Trevor Dentz before he ran into Shuff for the first time and survived a double hill fight. This put him into a winners' side semifinal against Wilkie, while Jimmy Varias and Steve Fleming squared off in the other.
Deska and Varias chalked up 8-4 victories over Wilkie and Fleming and faced each other in the hot seat. Deska prevailed in another 8-4 win, and waited on the return of Shuff.
Shuff, who'd gotten by Chris Pyle, Garrett Waechter and Will Moon on the winners' side, before running into Deska, opened his loss-side run with a shutout over Pat Carosi, and followed that with a 6-4 win over Marlone Alcaraz. This put him up against Fleming in the matches that would determine 5th/6th place. Wilkie picked up Mike Davis (sitting in the #4 spot on the tour's rankings), who, after being sent to the loss side by Varias, had shut out Trevor Dentz, and defeated Nilbert Lim 6-2.
Shuff gave up just a single rack to Fleming, while Wilkie and Davis locked up in a double hill match that eventually sent Wilkie to the quarterfinals. Wilkie and Shuff, hot seat and finals opponents in the last two stops on the tour, were at it again, and once again, Shuff eliminated Wilkie; this time, 6-3.
Shuff dropped Varias 6-4 in the semifinals, and got a second shot at Deska. In somewhat less dramatic fashion, Deska won their second meeting 10-4 to claim his first APT title of the year, and advance to #48 in the tour's rankings.
The event left Wilkie at the top of the tour rankings, about 1,000 points ahead of Brandon Shuff. Matt Krah, who didn't compete in this latest stop, remained in third place, with Mike Davis and Jimmy Varias a few hundred points away in fourth and fifth. Steve Fleming sits in the sixth spot, in a virtual tie with Varias.
Tour director Ozzy Reynolds thanked Andy Luong and his staff at First Break Cafe, along with sponsors Cue Sports International, George Hammerbacher, Ozone Billiards, and

Shuff, from the loss side, wins 8th Annual Maryland State 9-Ball Bar Table Championship

Brandon Shuff and Danny Green

Brandon Shuff followed up two straight recent wins on the Action Pool Tour with a come-from-the-loss-side victory in the 8th Annual Maryland State 9-Ball Bar Table Championships. Though it was Danny Green advancing to the hot seat and being defeated by Shuff in the finals, the event featured two matches between the Action Pool Tour’s prime competitors, Shuff and Shaun Wilkie. The $1,000-added 9-ball, bar table event drew 82 entrants to Great Slates in Cambridge, MD.

Shuff and Wilkie had locked up in the finals of the last two Action Pool Tour (APT) events. In the first – Stop # 3 on the tour in March – Shuff had put an end to an unprecedented six-event winning streak by Wilkie, dating back to the 2014 season. A month later, Stop #4 on the APT tour, Shuff did it again.
They met for the first time in this most recent event in a winners’ side semifinal, as Green squared off against Darryl Riley. In their first of two, Shuff was on the hill at 6-1, before Wilkie battled back to tie and then win it. Green sent Riley to the loss side 7-1, and then, in the hot seat match, sent Wilkie to a second meeting versus Shuff with a double hill fight that left him in the hot seat.
On the loss side, Shuff ran into Jeff Crawford, who’d defeated John Moody 7-5 and Evan Ford 7-3 to reach him. Riley ran into another perennial favorite on the Action Pool Tour, Mike Davis, who’d gotten by Pat Carosi 7-2 and Joe Wright 7-1 (Wilkie, Davis and Shuff, respectively, are currently ranked #1, #3 and #4 on the APT). Shuff downed Crawford 7-3, and in the quarterfinal match, hooked up with Davis, who’d sent Riley packing 7-1.
Shuff downed Davis 7-1 and got a much-anticipated second shot at Wilkie in the semifinals. He took advantage. The match came within a game of being a second double hill contest, but Shuff pulled ahead, to win by two at 7-5. Shuff and Green battled to double hill in the finals, before Shuff completed his loss-side run to claim the event title.

Deska becomes first to win three straight on Action Pool Tour, claiming #1 ranking

In the absence of Shaun Wilkie, Brian Deska took command of the Action Pool Tour rankings with a third straight win on the tour. He became the first in the tour's history to accomplish the feat, during the 6th stop on the tour; June 7-8, in a field of 54, hosted by Breakers Sky Lounge in Herndon, VA.
Though he would go undefeated, Deska did not go unchallenged. He gave up an average of five racks per match; 30 over six matches and 48 games, prior to the finals. Kim Whitman challenged him with six in the opening round and Tuan Chau battled him to double hill in a winners' side semifinal. In the hot seat match, challenged by Troy Miller, who'd defeated Paul Oh 8-6, Deska gave up his match average, but there he sat, in the hot seat, on the brink of three straight.
Tuan Chau moved over and picked up Alan Duty, who'd gotten by Rocky Guell 7-4 and Jimmy Endara 7-5, to reach him. Oh drew Pooky Rasmeloungon, who'd shut out Jeremy Perkins and defeated Rich Glasscock 7-3. Chau defeated Duty 7-4, as Rasmeloungon eliminated Oh 7-3. Chau survived a double hill quarterfinal against Rasmeloungon, and then had his four-match, loss-side winning streak ended by Miller, 7-5, in the semifinals.
Deska brought his 61% winning average into the finals and completed his undefeated run by winning 71% (10) of the final 14 games. Runner-up Troy Miller, from Virginia Beach, finished with an overall winning average of 56% percent, winning 48 of the 86 games he played.
Shaun Wilkie (former #1), Larry Kressel (#9) and Raymond Walters (#10) were not on-hand for this event, while Alan Duty (#5) and Paul Oh (#7) finished in the tie for 5th place. Rick Glasscock (#8) finished in the tie for 7th place. Dan Madden (#3) and Steve Fleming (#4) finished out of the money, among the four tied for 13th place, while Pat Carosi (#6) also finished out of the money in the tie for 33rd place.
Stop #7 on the Action Pool Tour will again be hosted by Breakers Sky Lounge in Herndon, VA. The 10-ball event is scheduled for September 6-7. 

Reynolds, Shuff, and Stottlemyer take top prizes in season-ending Action Pool Tour stops

Brandon Shuff

The Action Pool Tour's Lambros Cues Round Robin Tournament is an annual invitation-only event for the tour's top 10 players to compete for a $2,000 Lambros Cue. In conjunction with this annual event, tour director Ozzy Reynolds conducts an Open 9-Ball Tournament and an awards ceremony, highlighting the season's best performances.
This year's event, held on the weekend of September 28-29 at First Break Cafe in Sterling, VA, recognized Brett Stottlemyer as the tour's 2012-2013 #1-ranked player, earning him free entry to October's US Open 9-Ball Championship. Reynolds took first place in the Round Robin tournament, while Brandon Shuff took home the top prize in the Open 9-Ball tournament that drew 32 entrants. 
Reynolds changed things up a bit in the Round Robin Tournament this year. Previously, the 10 invited players would compete in a series of matches, culminating in a winner, based on the best overall performance (Brian Deska won this last year). This,  however, led to circumstances in which players who were statistically out of the running for the top, Lambros Cue prize, would stop playing. This year, Reynolds created a four-player, single elimination set of matches (semifinals and finals), based on the Round Robin's top four players at the end of the matches.
"It worked really well," said Reynolds, "and added some intensity to the event."
The round robin matches, nine of them, used three different games. In short races to three, the first two games played were 9-ball, the second two were 10-ball games, while a double hill game (if necessary) was an 8-ball contest. The absence of Larry Kressel (#7), and Mike Davis (#5) allowed Brandon Shuff (#11) to move up and join the invited 10. It also advanced Shaun Wilkie (#12), but in his absence, Paul Oh (#13) became the 10th competitor. 
Stottlemyer, and Dan Madden (#4) started strong with back to back shutouts, but over the course of the next seven matches, they were overtaken by Shuff, Reynolds (#4), Dominic Noe (#2) and Dave Hunt (#6). Noe chalked up an 8-1 record, which included two shutouts and four, double hill wins. Shuff finished with a 7-2 record, which included four shutouts. His two defeats, both double hill, came in matches against Reynolds and Noe. Reynolds finished 8-1, having given up his only match to Noe in a shutout. The last of the semifinalists was Hunt, who started out slowly, losing three of his first four, but edged Stottlemyer for the last semifinal spot by a single game (Stottlemyer had given up 17 racks, Hunt gave up 16). 
The pairings for the semifinal matches pitted Reynolds against Hunt, while Shuff faced Noe. Reynolds defeated Hunt 3-1, while Noe battled Shuff to double hill before prevailing to enter the finals against Reynolds. Reynolds completed his 10-1 day with a 3-1 victory over Noe that earned him the Lambros Cue, valued at $2,000.
In the Open 9-Ball event, Brandon Shuff came back from a defeat in the hot seat match to double dip Danny Green in the event finals. Green, who'd only been able to attend two of the tour's 13 stops and thus, entered the 9-Ball Tournament ranked #41 on the tour, went through the tour's top ranked players to get into the hot seat. Following a bye, he took out Danny Mastermaker (#8), Dave Hunt, Dan Madden, and in a winners' side semifinal, Brian Deska, to get into the hot seat match against Shuff. Shuff, on the other hand, faced only one, top-ranked player – Ozzy Reynolds – whom he defeated 5-2 for a spot in the other winners' side semifinal versus Brian Dietzenbach. Shuff downed Dietzenbach 7-1 to face Green in the battle for the hot seat.
Green took that hot seat match 7-5, and waited on Shuff's return. Deska, in the meantime, had moved west to meet up with Dominic Noe, who'd defeated Reynolds 5-2, and Chris Bruner 7-2 to meet him. Dietzenbach picked up Danny Mastermaker, who'd shut out Pat Carosi, and downed Dan Madden 7-3. 
It was Mastermaker and Deska in the quarterfinals; Mastermaker, having defeated Dietzenbach 7-5, as Deska was busy overcoming Noe by the same score. Deska took command of that quarterfinal match to win it 7-2, and though he put up a fight in the semifinals, Shuff prevailed 7-5 for a second shot at Green.
Shuff took the opening set of the double elimination final 7-4, and completed his 6-1 day with a 7-3 victory in the second set. 
The Action Pool Tour also awarded another Lambros Cue, this one valued at $1,200, to Dan Madden who came out on top of a season-long competition in participation points. Madden had acquired a winning participation-point total of 167 points, based on attendance at 12 of the tour's 13 events in the 2012-2013 season. In addition, Debbie Davis was recognized as the tour's top female performer, having finished at #23 in the overall rankings, from participation in nine of the 13 tour stops.