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“Jawz” Joins Team Break Out

BreakOut Apparel would like to welcome our newest member to the family, D’Angelo “Jawz” Spain! We can’t say enough about this young man. At only 9 years old, he is an absolute beast on the table. He not only competes against other juniors but adults as well. He learned how to play pool at the young age of 4 years old. He is currently coached by his father, Frank Spain, and we are excited to see what the young man can do. He’s poised, confident, respectful, and a fierce competitor on the table. Check out his list of accomplishments at only 9 years old.

2020 – Brews and Cues 9 Ball Tournament (Glen Burnie, MD)
• 1st Place
2020- TAP Short Stack 8 Ball Tournament (Glen Burnie, MD)
• 1st Place
2020 – Joss North East 9 Ball Juniors Event (Amsterdam, NY)
• 1st Place 12 & Under
2019 – APA Junior Nationals Tournament Skill Level 5’s (St. Louis, MO)
• 49th place out of 101 players
2019 – Summer Classic Scotch Doubles Tournament (Baltimore, MD)
• 1st Place
2019 – APA Juniors National Qualifier (Laurel, MD)
• 1st place – Advanced to Nationals in St. Louis in July
2019 – Maryland State Juniors BEF 9ball Tournament 12&U (Laurel, MD)
• 3rd Place
2019 – Billiards Education Foundation Nationals Qualifier (Greenville, SC)
• 5th Place

His other SPONSORS include:
• Jacoby Custom Cues • Risky Shotz Billiards

Please welcome “Jawz” to the #BreakOutFamily. Jawz is the second junior player to join the Break Out Family, joining Skylar Hess. The complete roster of Break Out players is Allison Fisher, Loree Jon Hasson, James Aranas, Shaun Wilkie, Del Sim, James Blackburn, Ashley Burrows, Manny Perez, Clint Palaci, Steve Fleming, Tina Malm, Chuck Sampson, Dylan Spohr, Shanna Lewis, Skylar Hess and D’Angelo Spain.

We have more exciting news in the works, so stay tuned to your news feed!

You can follow Jawz on Facebook & Instagram:

World Champion Kelly Fisher Elected to Billiard Congress of America Hall of Fame

Kelly Fisher (Alison Chang)

The Billiard Congress of America (BCA) Hall of Fame will welcome the most dominant woman player of the last 15 years to the class of 2020. The United States Billiard Media Association (USBMA) today announced that England’s Kelly Fisher has earned induction into the sport’s most prestigious club.

Fisher, 41, who in her first year of eligibility in 2019 was edged out by Canadian Alex Pagulayan in a special run-off ballot, coasted to election in 2020. Fisher will enter the Greatest Players wing of the BCA Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony is tentatively scheduled for Friday, Oct. 30, at the Norfolk Sheraton Waterside in Norfolk, Va., although travel restrictions and health concerns may force the ceremony to be held in 2021.

Born in West Yorkshire, England, Fisher got her start in cue sports playing ladies professional snooker, much like fellow BCA Hall of Famers Allison Fisher (no relation) and Karen Corr. She captured six world titles between 1998 and 2003. In 2004, Fisher moved to the U.S. to join the Women’s Professional Billiard Association Classic Tour. Her aggressive style was well-suited to American 9-ball, and Fisher quickly ascended to the WPBA top-10 rankings. Fisher captured her first WPBA title in 2005 and won five more events over the next two years. In 2008, Fisher reached the No. 1 ranking, winning three more WPBA titles over the next two years. She captured her first World Pool-Billiard Association (WPA) world title in 2011, when she won the World 10-Ball Championship. A year later, Fisher claimed the World 9-Ball Championship. A regular in large tournaments in Asia, Fisher won the China Open in 2012 and the Amway Cup in 2013. She also earned four International Tournament of Champions titles, winning in 2009, 2010, 2013 and 2014.

Shortly after returning to the United Kingdom in 2013, Fisher was forced to undergo heart surgery. A year later she underwent a double mastectomy. Fisher’s recoveries from the surgeries was astonishing, as she managed to win women’s pro events in 2016, 2017 and 2018. In 2019, Fisher completed her amazing comeback by winning the Women’s World 9-Ball Championship for the second time.

“I’m chuffed to bits,” Fisher exclaimed from the home in Dumfries, Scotland, when informed of her election into the BCA Hall of Fame. “It is the ultimate reward. You don’t think about it while playing in competition, but it becomes a dream along the way. I remember seeing players get into the Hall of Fame. They’d been playing for many years and won so many titles. I wondered whether I could get to that level. As I got older, the thought of getting into the Hall of Fame become more meaningful.”

Reflecting, Fisher recalled the career highlights that paved the way for her eventual election.

“I landed in the U.S. in 2004,” she said. “My first win, San Diego in 2005, was very memorable. And then the U.S. Open, followed, of course, by my first two world titles. But winning the World 9-Ball Championship last year meant so much to me. It came out of the blue. I knew I was still capable, but I was over 40 and the quality of play is so high. I remember being very nervous before the final and that surprised me. I had been in many finals, but at that stage you just don’t know how many more chances you’re going to have.”

Despite being joined on the 2020 ballot by men’s stars Dennis Orcullo, Thorsten Hohman (both in their first year of eligibility), Niels Feijen and Corey Deuel, Fisher earned election by a comfortable margin. She was named on 70 percent of the ballots. Orcullo and Hohmann were both named on more than 50 percent of the ballots, receiving 23 votes from the 46 completed ballots. Deuel and Feijen were both named on more than 20 percent of the ballots. Shannon Daulton, Jeremy Jones, Stefano Pellinga, John Schmidt, Vivial Villarreal and Charlie Williams completed the 2020 ballot.

Voting for the 2020 BCA Hall of Fame was conducted by the USBMA Hall of Fame Board, which consists of USBMA members, elected At-Large members and living members of the Hall of Fame. To be eligible for consideration in the Greatest Players category, a player a) must be 40 years old by Jan. 1 of the year of their inclusion on the ballot; b) must have a professional playing career of at least 10 years; and c) must have recorded significant achievements in U.S.-based and international events recognized by the BCA.

About United States Billiard Media Association

Founded in 2007, the United States Billiard Media Association (USBMA) is a non-profit association dedicated to elevating the visibility and status of billiards in the media at large. The USBMA consists of professional print, radio, TV, public relations and Internet media persons who cover cue sports. One of the association’s main functions is electing of billiard media members to the Billiard Congress of America’s Hall of Fame Board for the purpose of nominating and electing players and notable figures to the Billiard Congress of America Hall of Fame.

About Billiard Congress of America

Founded in 1948, the Billiard Congress of America is a non-profit trade organization dedicated to growing a united, prosperous and highly regarded billiard industry through Billiard Congress of America leadership. The Billiard Congress of America seeks to enhance the success of its members and promote the game of billiards though educational, marketing and promotional efforts, annual industry trade shows and other programs designed to encourage billiards as a lifestyle and make pool everybody’s game. For more information, visit or call 303.243.5070. 

Accu-Stats to Feature Tommy Kennedy US Open Win Online

As part of Accu-Stats’ Tuesday Treasures matches on YouTube, they will be featuring the online premiere of the 1992 US Open 9-Ball Championship finals between Tommy Kennedy and Johnny Archer. This was the proverbial “David vs Goliath” match and Tommy put on a display of talent in this match that shocked many railbirds.

Tommy Kennedy is in the hearts of pool fans everywhere as he has been struggling with his health lately. A gofundme account has been setup to help cover his medical costs and can be found online at

In addition to the Archer/Kennedy match, Accu-Stats will also show the 19th Sands Regency Open finals between CJ Wiley and Tony Ellin with commentary from Jimmy Mataya immediately following the Archer/Kennedy match.

The stream starts at 8pm est and the Kennedy/Archer match will be the first match streamed at that time. Fans can watch the stream on the Accu-Stats YouTube page at

Accu-Stats Tuesday Treasures are a great opportunity to see some of these classic matches that BCA Hall of Famer Pat Fleming has in his immense Accu-Stats archive. Fleming is in the chat for each match and is alwaus asking for suggesting for future Tuesday Treasures matches.

McDermott and Okinawa Slim Celebrate Anniversary

Nathaniel “Okinawa Slim” Bryant

MENOMONEE FALLS, WI (June 26, 2020) – McDermott Cue and Nathaniel “Okinawa Slim” Bryant are proud to celebrate 38 years of promoting the sport of pool together.

In June, 1982, after meeting Okinawa Slim at the Miller Lite Beer World Series of Tavern Pool Tournament in Las Vegas, Jim McDermott agreed to sponsor Bryant in his pool career. Since that Handshake, McDermott Cue has been Bryant’s sole cue sponsor and the provider of his main playing cue.
Born in Sanford, Florida, Nathaniel learned to play pool at the age of seven (7) from his Father who was the owner of a pool hall and restaurant. He gained notoriety, and his nickname, while stationed at the U.S. military base in Okinawa, Japan as a United States Marine during the late 1970s. There he began entering competitions, winning sixteen consecutive tournaments and appearing in newspaper and television interviews.
Bryant has gone on to win countless tournaments, receive multiple awards, head the World Pool Billiard Association’s Artistic Pool Division, mentor hundreds of young players, and much, much more.
“The contribution Okinawa Slim has provided for the sport over his life is commendable. It’s important to me that we stand behind individuals whose commitment and loyalty to the sport is such a good match for the commitment we have to the quality of our cues,” said Greg Knight, owner of McDermott.
About McDermott Cue
Since its founding in 1975 by the legendary cuemaker Jim McDermott, McDermott Pool Cues has consistently produced handcrafted cues that look as good as they play. Produced in a state of the art manufacturing facility located in the United States, McDermott cues combine groundbreaking technologies with high-quality materials and exquisite artwork. They have become a favorite of players the world over. The company also produces cues under the Star Cues, Lucky Cues, Sledgehammer Break Cues, and Stinger Jump/Break Cues brands.
For more information about McDermott Cue, contact Andrew Bullis at or call (262) 345-6503.

Thorsten Hohmann talks about gambling

Florian Kohler Player Interview

Florian Kohler

With the lack of events to report on at the moment, we are teaming with the Supr Charged Agency to feature interviews with various European and American players. Hopefully this will give all of the readers a chance to get to know these players better.

This time, we get to know “Venom” Florian Kohler
Name (and nickname): Florian ‘Venom’ Kohler
Birth year: 1988
City of residence and birth city:  Las Vegas, US  – Born in Mulhouse, France

We want to kick this off with how Florian began his career, so let’s start with the opening bio from his website.
Venom first picked up a pool cue and began “fooling around” at the age of 18, when he received a mini-pool table for his birthday. He learned his first trick shots from videos on the Internet, watching and imitating what he saw.

Not satisfied, Venom quickly moved on to inventing his own, modern version of old trick shots. Within two years, Venom was competing against trick shot pool pros that had been playing since before he was born. He hasn’t looked back since.

Who was your inspiration when you first started?
My first inspiration was a guy online named Ppooler. Then it was Semih Sayginer, followed by Mike Massey and Tom Rossman.

You are known as very creative and often come up with new and amazing shots. What is the process like when you work on a new shot? 
This is pretty hard to explain. I would say it is a little bit of everything. From watching other sports to literally coming up with it on the spot, it is very varied. Sometimes I have nothing, but then the next day, out of the blue, I’ll have 2 or 3 crazy new shots. I wish I could ‘control’ this better but it really is an artistic process and like artists, inspiration can come from very different things.

About how long does it take you, from the original idea stage, to have a shot “complete” and part of your show?
That also depends very much. Sometimes one shot can be integrated in the show in 15 minutes if it’s a new but easy one. But if it’s a hard one, I would say it takes me weeks to decide if it is worth it live or not.

How did you come up with the idea of bringing your Diamond table to the desert, Valley of Fire, for your latest video?
This was an old dream of mine. I always thought pool in the pool halls was very stereotyped, so I always wanted to get it out of the pool halls for my videos. On top of that, the landscape in my opinion adds an element of extreme sport that really matches my trick shots.

Your wife became a part of your videos a couple of years ago. How did that come together?
That was a very natural process. Part of the joy in pool is to teach your knowledge, so she learned a few tricks and really enjoyed it. After a while, it became obvious we had to do tandem videos. For the modeling part same as well. During practice, I often used her to ‘crash test’ some shots because she is actually fearless, so it really helped to determine which shot would be worth including in a full production. We really enjoy doing those together as a couple, lots of fun!

Are you a God-given talent, or is it a mix of talent and hard work?
I would say the creativity is definitely something I cannot explain, but the rest is just practice practice and practice!

Do you feel the pressure from up and coming artistic cueists?
I was recently talking about that with Mike Massey and to be honest, not really. I actually kind of miss it. There are a few players here and there that are technically very good and will win tournaments, but so far nobody has my creativity and to me copying something that already exists is very different than creating it.

What are your greatest accomplishments? Tell us about the feeling of achieving those.
It is hard to pick but I always thought my tournament accomplishments were never quite as important as the ones outside the pool industry. If I were to choose my first Guinness World Record, the 1 billion views I have online and reaching 1M subscribers on Facebook and soon youtube! No cueist ever reached that YouTube Gold Button, so that will be something truly special!

How often did you practice early on, and how often now?
I practice less and less now with all my other ventures, but when I started and for the next 7 years I was putting more hours in than I could count. I had no issue doing a week practicing 10 hours a day until my fingers were bleeding!

What should newcomers in this discipline practice most?
Definitely finding new shots and discovering their own style. I believe with the evolution of the cues, we can push the sport further and further.

You are also a great 9-ball player. How would you rate yourself in terms of the APA rating system?
Since I own the league in Vegas, I can tell you I would definitely be a 7-9 . I do have a high run of 73 in straight pool and 5 break and runs in 9 ball, all on 9 foot tables.

Do you ever get tempted to participate in local events?
I do very rarely. Not because I do not want to, but mainly because I am simply too busy. Trick shots are my job and normal pool is my hobby, so I am treating it like this, always trying to get shows on a weekend, rather than playing a tournament.

Is it true that you also hold a black belt in Judo, and do you still practice it? 
Yes that is correct. I unfortunately sort of stopped when my pool career started to take off in order, to avoid injuries.

How important is the equipment for an artistic cueist?
Very important! While you can do most shots with simple equipment, the key for us is for the cues to last and be solid/reliable. I can do 70% of my masses with a standard playing cue, however after 50 tries on that cue I would guarantee I would break the ferrule or something!

When did you realize that you could actually make a living from this?
It sort of happened gradually. I decided to really take a chance when my first viral video hit and had a few sponsors that would allow me to survive.

How many travel days do you have per year?
Not sure how many days, but I can tell you last year I took nearly 120 flights!

You have almost 1 million subscribers on YouTube. 
What, in your opinion, is required to be a great ambassador/sponsored player?
Love of the game first. You cannot just do it for the money or for the titles. This is a crazy game and as soon as you think you control it, something will happen. I just try to enjoy the game and truly love every kind of cue sport which naturally translates during my shows and other interactions.

What should the billiard industry do, in general, to get more recognition outside the industry? 
I think, break off the cliches, be more professional and consider ourselves as such. After all, pool is one of the most played sports in the world, so with the right structures, nothing should stop us from reaching our legitimate status!

Thoughts on Matchroom and their efforts to make pool great?
Fantastic! Any effort like this will be beneficial for everyone. Even for the players not selected, such an effort will ripple and enhance the professionalization of our beloved sport!
You were involved in the “Billiards 2024” project. Your goal was to get the sport accepted for the 2024 Olympic Games.
Were you surprised that the Olympic committee decided to not accept billiards, but chose breakdancing, skateboarding, surfing and climbing?

In my opinion this was the best effort billiard has made in a long time. Brands and disciplines working together, past their differences, all towards a common goal. Yes, the result didn’t reflect our efforts, but I truly believe something ‘clicked’ and in the future this will serve the industry greatly! As far as the other disciplines, to me it was simply a lobbying/marketing issue that unfortunately we could not do anything against…

What are your goals for 2020?
Hard to say at this point. My goal was to grow the pool league and go back to traveling a bit less for trick shots but really with the covid19, it’s hard to say what economical landscape we will all wake up to in a month…  I am still hoping to continue promoting the game through my shows and especially appeal to the younger generation!
Can we expect more world records from you in the next 2 years?
Absolutely. As a matter of fact I had an event planned for next month that unfortunately is cancelled due to the pandemic. I am thinking about potentially doing it live now but hard to say if we can meet Guinness requirements during those times… I will certainly keep everyone posted!!

Your thoughts on the Covid-19 situation and what should pool players do? 
These are going to be hard times for us, just when everything was starting to be better. Obviously, we cannot participate in tournaments and travel, so all we can do is share the love for the game online and practice as much as possible!!

Pagulayan, Sullivan, Janscos Elected to Billiard Congress of America Hall of Fame

Alex Pagulayan

The Billiard Congress of America Hall of Fame will welcome a lion, an innovator and a pair of pioneering brothers to the class of 2019. The United States Billiard Media Association today announced that Filipino-Canadian Alex “The Lion” Pagulayan, table manufacturer and promoter Greg Sullivan and Johnston City Hustlers Jamboree promoters George and Paulie Jansco have earned induction into the sport’s most prestigious club.

Pagulayan, 41, earned election in a run-off against England’s Kelly Fisher, after the two had tied on the initial ballot. He will enter the Greatest Players wing of the BCA Hall of Fame, while Sullivan, 70, and the late Jansco brothers will be honored in the Meritorious Service category. All will be formally inducted during ceremonies on Friday, Nov. 1, at the Norfolk Sheraton Waterside in Norfolk, Va.

Born in the Philippines but raised in Toronto, Pagulayan is one of the game’s most expressive and entertaining players. But his reputation as a comic cut-up is second to his reputation as one of the game’s best all-around players. Pagulayan burst onto the scene as a 24-year-old in 2002 when he advanced to the title match of the U.S. Open 9-Ball Championships, where he lost to Germany’s Ralf Souquet, 13-11. A year later, the impish Pagulayan, who is also known as “The Killer Pixie,” reached the final of the World Pool Championship, losing this time to Germany’s Thorsten Hohmann. In 2004, a 26-year-old Pagulayan broke through, winning the World Pool Championship in Taipei, defeating Taiwan’s Pei-Wei Chang, 17-13, for the title. In 2005, Pagulayan returned to the U.S. Open 9-Ball Championships title match, this time claiming the crown. He has gone on win numerous major pro titles, including the World Summit of Pool, the World Pool Masters and is the only player to have won titles in all three main divisions of the annual Derby City Classic — One-Pocket, 9-Ball and Banks. He becomes the fourth Philippines- born player to be inducted into the BCA Hall of Fame.

“I don’t know what to say,” Pagulayan said after being informed of his election. “For a pool player, this is the ultimate accomplishment. And I’m happy to become the first Canadian in the BCA Hall of Fame.

“Being in the Hall of Fame never crossed my mind as a player until I started going to the annual banquet,” he added. “I started to wonder if my accomplishments were enough. Now, in some ways, this makes me feel old!”

Sullivan has made a lasting impact on pool as both an innovator and a promoter. The Indiana native is known as a friend to the players and as a man consumed with elevating pool to true sport status. As a poolroom owner, Sullivan used input from top players to help construct top- level tournament tables, thus launching Diamond Billiard Products. Sullivan is credited with introducing optical sensors to coin-operated tables so that standard cue balls could be used, putting professional-level equipment into the hands of casual and aspiring players. In the 1990s, Sullivan contracted the Pantone company to research the optimum color for pool cloth, resulting in the Tournament Blue prevalent in professional tournaments. As a lifelong fan of the Johnston City Hustler’s Jamborees of the 1960s and ’70s, Sullivan launched a similar multi- discipline event, the Derby City Classic, in 1998. The annual event has drawn thousands of professional and regional players to Southern Indiana for 21 years.

“I have to say, I’m in shock,” Sullivan said when informed. “My whole life has been about pool, just trying to turn it from a game to a sport. It’s all I’ve ever done.”

That George and Paulie Jansco should join Sullivan in the same Hall of Fame class is appropriate, since the Southern Illinois club owners founded the famed Johnston City Hustlers Jamboree and All-Around Pool Championship in the 1960s. The Janscos contributed to the pool’s romanticized image as a gunslinger’s activity. Their promotion of the gambling aspect of the sport contributed to its rise in popularity with the public, with their tournaments drawing media coverage from major television networks and national magazines like “Sports Illustrated.” So popular were the Johnston City events that the Jansco’s launched a second event, the Stardust Open in Las Vegas. The Janscos could also be credited with moving 9-ball and one-pocket into the game’s forefront during a time in which straight pool was considered the only professional game. They were also among the first promoters to welcome integrated fields, paving the way for players like African-American Cicero Murphy to compete for world titles. George Jansco passed away in 1969. Paul Jansco died in 1997.

About United States Billiard Media Association
Founded in 2007, the United States Billiard Media Association (USBMA) is a non-profit association dedicated to elevating the visibility and status of billiards in the media at large. The USBMA consists of professional print, radio, TV, public relations and Internet media persons who cover cue sports. One of the association’s main functions is electing of billiard media
members to the Billiard Congress of America’s Hall of Fame Board for the purpose of nominating and electing players and notable figures to the Billiard Congress of America Hall of Fame.

About Billiard Congress of America
Founded in 1948, the Billiard Congress of America is a non-profit trade organization dedicated to growing a united, prosperous and highly regarded billiard industry through Billiard Congress of America leadership. The Billiard Congress of America seeks to enhance the success of its members and promote the game of billiards though educational, marketing and promotional efforts, annual industry trade shows and other programs designed to encourage billiards as a lifestyle and make pool everybody’s game. For more information, visit or call 303.243.5070.

Schmidt Breaks Longstanding Mosconi Record

Mr. 400 is now Mr. 600

John Schmidt

For 65 years billiard professionals around the globe never came close to matching the run of 526 balls set by legendary player, Willie Mosconi! Not only did Hesperia, Calif., resident and professional billiard player John Schmidt match that longstanding record – he surpassed it by 100. Schmidt broke the record on Memorial Day 2019 at Easy Street Billiards in Monterey, Calif. Schmidt’s 626 ball run in straight pool, or 14.1 continuous, is a monumental effort in mental toughness and perseverance.

To understand the magnitude of this feat is to compare it to some of sports most legendary records: imagine surpassing Cal Ripken, Jr., in the most consecutive games played. How about  besting more than 28 of Michael Phelps’ Olympic medals, or topping Bobby Fischer’s longest winning streak in chess.

Schmidt, 46, achieved the record in just under four hours, and “caught lightning in a bottle.”

“Maybe my forte is I can stay loose, play extremely fast and maintain a very high level of concentration,” Schmidt said. “Then fail and start over.”

Schmidt’s team captured the record-breaking run on video for verification. Mosconi, the undisputed legend, set the 1954 record in an exhibition match. Schmidt devoted much of 2018 preparing to break the record. He’d already been known in circles as “Mr. 400” for his eight runs over 400. His resume also boasts winning the 2006 US Open 9 Ball Championship, a member of Team USA, winning the 2009 Players 9 Ball Championship and 2012’s World Straight Pool Championship.

“This is something that makes me feel so proud,” Schmidt, who’s been playing pool since he was 18, said. “I’ve committed myself to be the best pool player I can – I’ve sacrificed a lot, and this is just really special.”