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Diaz and Gestwicki split top prizes at AllOut Pool Tour season finale

(l to r): Jimmy Gestwicki & Francisco Diaz

‘Tis the season. . . for tour finales, and while the Florida-based AllOut Pool Tour wasn’t exactly sporting traditional holiday weather for theirs (it was in the mid-80s on Saturday, Dec. 8), they did gather and revel in the final tour stop of the season. The $1,000-added event drew 34 entrants to K & K Billiards in Miami, FL. Francisco Diaz ended up going undefeated in the event, although he and runner-up Jimmy Gestwicki opted out of a final match.
They did meet each other, in a winners’ side quarterfinal, that, after battling to double hill, sent Gestwicki to the loss side and Diaz on to a winners’ side semifinal match against Carl Kahn. Two long-time Florida competitors, very familiar with each other – Tommy Kennedy and Anthony Meglino – faced off in the other winners’ side semifinal.
Diaz downed Kahn 8-2 and in the hot seat match, met Meglino, who, in a straight-up race to 7 against Kennedy, sent him to the loss side 7-2. Diaz claimed the hot seat 6-7 over Meglino (racing to 9), which, for all intents and purposes, ended Diaz’ day at the tables.
On the loss side, Khan picked up Cary Cass, who’d lost his opening round match to Ed Acosta, and was in the midst of a six-match, loss-side winning streak that had most recently eliminated Sunny Nassif, double hill and Jeremy Fournier 8-3. Kennedy drew Gestwicki, who, following his defeat at the hands of Diaz, had defeated Mario Posada 8-4 and Randy Eperson, double hill.
Gestwicki eliminated Kennedy, who was racing to 9, 6-3. He was joined in the quarterfinals by Cass, who added another notch to his loss-side winning streak belt with a double hill elimination of Khan. Gestwicki ended Cass’ streak 8-5 in the quarterfinals, and then, with Meglino racing to 9, as well, eliminated him, double hill (6-8) in the semifinals.
It was nearing 2 a.m. when Diaz and Gestwicki called it quits and opted to split the event’s top two prizes. Tour director Peter Ghostine thanked Kostia Berrios and his K & K staff, as well as sponsors Dennis Searing Precision Tip, RYO racks, Billiard Bill’s Custom Cue and Repairs, Billiard Engineering and Boynton Billiards. The AllOut Pool Tour’s 2019 season opener, scheduled for February 16-17, will consist of an all-around GSB (gold, silver, bronze), 16-player Open-Pro event ($2,000-added) on 9 ft. Diamonds and a 32-player 10-Ball Amateur event ($500-added), played on 7 ft. Diamonds. It will be hosted by Shooter’s Billiards.

Burgos wins nine on the loss side to meet and defeat Meglino in finals of AllOutPool Tour

Julio Burgos and Anthony Meglino

When you think of top-notch players in various regions all across the country, the name Julio Burgos just doesn’t jump to the front of anyone’s list. According to Peter Ghostine, tour director of the AllOutPool Tour, that is likely to change. And soon. Burgos’ skills have been recognized, most recently on Saturday, June 16 at the 5th stop on the AllOutPool Tour, when he won nine on the loss side to defeat John Ditoro in the semifinals, and Anthony Meglino, double hill, in the finals to win his first-ever major tournament. The event drew 46 players to Beyond Billiards in Davie, FL.
“He’s new,” said Ghostine. “He’s very young, in his 20s, and he’s just coming out of his shell.”
Even in that metaphoric shell, Burgos’ skills have been noted. Though the only recorded instances of his appearance on anyone’s payout list occurred this year, when he finished 65th at the Derby City Classic’s One Pocket event in January and 17th at the 4th Texas 10-Ball Championships a month later, he entered Saturday’s handicapped tournament bearing the same handicap as the much more readily-recognized Anthony Meglino. The finals between them was a straight-up race to 11.
“We’ve been tracking his (progress) on the road, so we pretty much know his potential,” said Ghostine. “The data’s not there yet, but we’ve seen enough to know that he’s ranked that high.
“He’s capable,” he added, “of beating anybody.”
And he did, on Saturday. He beat 11 ‘anybodys;’ one in his opening round (Jason Sheerman, 8-6) and after a loss to Cristobal DeBarros (9-7), nine more on the loss side, and then, the final.
As Burgos toiled away on the loss side, his final two opponents advanced to the winners’ side semifinals. Meglino faced John Foster, as DiToro squared off against Tony Kolbe. Identical 8-4 victories sent Meglino and DiToro to the hot seat match, and eventually, in that hot seat match, DiToro to the semifinals.
With four loss-side wins to his credit (over Chad Scarborough, Michelle Ceglarek, Sandy Cheng, and TD Peter Ghostine), Burgos defeated Scott Franck 9-1, and Erick Poveda 9-3 to draw Kolbe, coming over from the winners’ side semifinal. John Foster picked up Sam Kantar, who’d been shut out by DiToro in a winners’ side quarterfinal and then defeated Laz Figueroa 7-3, and William Rubin 7-4.
Burgos advanced to the quarterfinals, 9-2 over Kolbe (all scores are indicated with appropriate on-the-wire figures already added). Foster joined him by eliminating Kantar 8-2. Burgos then defeated Foster, double hill (8-7), in those quarterfinals and completed his loss-side run with a victory over (not just anybody, but wily veteran) John DiToro 8-5 in the semifinals.
At 9-9 in the race-to-11 finals, Meglino was on the verge of reaching the hill first, but miscued, affording Burgos the opportunity, which he took. Meglino did tie it up to force the deciding game, but the final rack went to Burgos, who chalked up his first victory on the AllOutPool Tour, or anywhere else, for that matter. It will likely not be his last.
In addition to the regular payouts, Janis Sessions picked up $50 as the event’s top female finisher. Tony Vierra won the event’s Made-in-USA RYO Rack raffle, valued at $200. Tour director Peter Ghostine thanked the ownership and staff at Beyond Billiards, as well as sponsors Dennis Searing, Billiard Engineering and RYO Racks. The next stop on the AllOutPool Tour, scheduled for the weekend of July 21-22, will be hosted by Shooter’s Billiards in Port St. Lucie, FL.

Kantar goes undefeated, splits top prize with Regan on AllOut Pool Tour

Sam Kantar and Pat Regan opted out of a final match at the end of Stop #4 on the AllOut Pool Tour, on Saturday, May 12. Kantar, in the hot seat at the time, was the event’s official winner and split the top two cash prizes with Regan. The event drew 30 players to Premier Billiards in Coral Springs, FL.

Following an opening round 7-3 win over Danny Ramirez and two 7-2 wins over Josh Carmusin and Randy Eperson, Kantar advanced to a winners’ side semifinal against David Jacobs. Regan, in the meantime, following victories over Julio Burgos 7-4, Jeremy Brooks 7-5 and Ed Acosta 7-4, faced Joe Beyer in the other winners’ side semifinal.
Kantar got into the hot seat match with a 7-3 win over Jacobs, but Regan fell to Beyer 7-2 and embarked on a loss-side campaign to get back to the finals. Kantar played what proved to be his final match and claimed the hot seat 7-5 over Beyer.
On the loss side, Regan opened his three-match trip back to the finals with a re-match against Jeremy Brooks, whom he’d sent to the loss side in the event’s second round. Brooks had won four on the loss side already, including a 6-4 win over Peter Ghostine and a shutout over Carlton Johnson to earn the re-match. Jacobs picked up Raul Alvarez, who, like Brooks, had lost in an early round (the first, in Alvarez’ case) and was in the midst of a five-match, loss-side run that would take him as far as the quarterfinals, and almost to the semifinals. He’d most recently eliminaTed Elias Nassif 6-1 and Andrew Yoder, double hill, to draw Jacobs.
Regan advanced to the quarterfinals with a 6-3 win over Brooks. Alvarez advanced to join him with a 6-1 win over Jacobs. Regan and Alvarez fought to double hill in those quarterfinals, but Regan ended Alvarez’ loss-side streak and moved on to a re-match against Beyer.
Regan won the semifinal re-match 6-4 for the right to face Kantar in the finals. They opted out of the final match, and, undefeated in the hot seat, Kantar claimed the event title.
The next stop on the AllOut Pool Tour, scheduled for the weekend of June 16-17, will be hosted by Beyond Billiards in Davie, FL.

Meglino and Davis split top prizes in AllOutPool Tour’s One Pocket event

Mike Davis and Anthony Meglino

Say what you will about the game of One Pocket. Though generally played as races to three, the games, matches and tournaments do have a way of dragging on. It’s the attraction for many; the strategizing, the careful shot selections, the combination of skill and tactics, which stretch a single game out into something of an ordeal. For others (spectators included), it can be agonizing, and way too time consuming.
On the weekend of March 17-18, the AllOutPool Tour held its second stop; a $625-added One Pocket event, which, in spite of competition from the Scotty Townsend Memorial, some 10 hours due west in West Monroe, LA, drew 20 entrants to Park Avenue Billiards in Orange Park, FL. Many of the 20 players drove distances that exceeded match times; from Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and South Florida, some of them.
By the time Mike Davis had wrapped up his semifinal match against Brian White at around 2:30 a.m. on Sunday morning, his potential opponent in the finals, hot seat occupant Anthony Meglino, had been on the road, headed home, for about five hours. He’d agreed to split the top prizes before he left, and as the undefeated competitor, Meglino went into the books as the winner.
Meglino made it through five rounds. He won a preliminary round against Jimmy Hightower 3-0, then downed Jay Widerman 3-1, and Bobby Garza 3-0, to draw David Grossman in a winners’ side semifinal. Davis, in the meantime, had gotten by Chuck Loeffler 3-1, William Carver 3-1 and Clint Nichols 3-0 to pick up tour director Peter Ghostine.
Davis defeated Ghostine 3-0, while Meglino sent Grossman to the loss side 3-1, setting up the hot seat match that would, in effect, define the event. Of the 19 winners’ side matches, it was only the second that went double hill (Ghostine had downed Randy Flakes, double hill, in a preliminary round). Meglino won it to claim the hot seat, in what proved to be his last match.
On the loss side, Grossman picked up Clint Nichols, who, following his defeat at the hands of Davis, had defeated Randy Flakes 3-0, and Stu Fox 3-1, to draw Grossman. Ghostine drew Brian White, who’d been defeated on the winners’ side by Grossman, and on the loss side, downed Jesse Kent 3-0 and Bobby Garza, double hill (one of six, double hill matches out of 18 on that side of the bracket).
White battled Ghostine to double hill before advancing to the quarterfinals. He was joined by Nichols, who’d eliminated Grossman 3-1. White came out on top in his second straight double hill win, versus Nichols, in the quarterfinals. Davis defeated White 3-1 in the ensuing semifinals, and it was over.
Tour director Peter Ghostine thanked the ownership and staff at Park Avenue Billiards for their hospitality. He took time, as well, to extend thanks to all 20 of the players, who traveled the distance that they did, and played for the hours that they did to compete.

Roberts and Jordan win Pro/Amateur events to close out Sunshine State Pro Am 2018 season

(l to r): Josh Roberts & Randy Jordan

This was almost a story about two brothers, Randy and Jeff Jordan, winning the Pro and Amateur divisions of the season finale stop on the Sunshine State Pro Am Tour on the weekend of December 16-17. Instead, thanks to Josh Roberts, it’s about two brothers finishing first (Jeff) and second (Randy) in the Amateur and Pro division tournaments, respectively. And then, there’s an asterisk next to Jeff Jordan’s victory in the Amateur event, because with the two brothers needing to drive back to Georgia on Sunday night, Jeff and Josh Williams mutually agreed to split the top two prizes and not play a final match, leaving Jeff, in the hot seat, as the event’s official winner.
The $2,000-added Pro event, held over the two days, drew 58 entrants, while the $340-added Amateur event, which began and ended on Sunday, December 17, drew 31 entrants. Both events were hosted by Park Avenue Billiards in Orange Park, FL.
The two Jordan brothers ended up in the hot seat in their respective tournaments. Josh Roberts came back from a loss in the Pro hot seat match to defeat the elder Jordan brother, Randy, in the finals of the Pro event, and as noted, Jeff was declared the official winner of the Amateur event when he and Williams opted out of a final match.
Randy Jordan had defeated Mike Delawder 7-5 in one of the Pro event’s winners’ side semifinals to get into the hot seat match. He was joined by Roberts, who’d sent Obbie Cirilo west 7-4. Randy claimed the hot seat 7-3 over Roberts and waited for him to get back from the semifinals.
On the loss side, competition was fierce, as five of the 10 matches between the 9/12 contests and the semifinals went double hill. Cirilo joined the loss-side crowd in the 5/6 matches and picked up the ever-dangerous Anthony Meglino. Delawder drew Bobby Garza. Meglino advanced to the quarterfinals 7-5 over Cirilo, while Delawder and Garza battled to double hill, before Delawder moved on.
Meglino then downed Delawder in a double hill quarterfinal, before himself falling victim to Josh Roberts in a double hill semifinal. Josh Roberts then spoiled the potential brother-party on the soon-to-be ride home to Georgia by defeating the elder Jordan 11-6 in the finals.
An award of $60 was earned by the event’s top-finishing Junior player. It was won by 17-year-old Jordan Burden.
[photo id=48397|align=right]Younger Jordan takes home the Amateur title
In the Amateur event, Jeff Jordan got himself into the hot seat match with a 7-2 win over Trenton White in one winners’ side semifinal, while Josh Williams downed Ted Kershey 7-3 in the other one. Jeff Jordan claimed the hot seat, winning what proved to be his last match of the event, with a 7-2 win over Williams.
On the loss side, on arrival, Kershey and White walked into their second straight loss; Kershey falling to David Grossman 5-2 and White, to Peter Ghostine 5-1 (the 13-year-old White, as the Amateur event’s top-finishing junior, pocketed an extra $20, in addition to the $115 he earned for finishing in the tie for 5th place). Ghostine won the quarterfinal match that followed, double hill, and then fell victim to Williams 5-2 in the semifinals. Jordan and Williams then opted out of the final match, and the Jordan brothers went home with a good (just not as terrific as it might have been) story to tell.
Tour directors Janene Phillips and Bobby Garza thanked Carl Watt and his Park Avenue Billiards staff for their hospitality, as well as sponsors McDermott Cues, Kamui, AZBilliards,, Jacksonville Roofing USA, Inside Pool Magazine, and Seagram’s 7. The next stop on the Sunshine State Pro Am Tour will be the 2018 season opener. Scheduled for the weekend of January 13-14, 2018, the event will be hosted by Stroker’s in Palm Harbor, FL and feature a 10-ball invitational tournament, open to the winner and runner-up of each of the tour’s 2017 stops (10 of them), along with one junior competitor and two ladies. The 2018 tour has already scheduled 14 stops, from Miami to Jacksonville, FL.