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White and Joey Tate go undefeated to win Pro Am/18 & Under Boys division at Stop #2 of JIC

Joey Tate, Trenton White and Nathan Childress

Bethany Tate, Hess and Leinen take 18 & Under Girls, 13 & Under Girls and Boys titles

“And they’re off!!” says a voice emanating from some mythical PA system, followed, seconds later, by “Rounding the first turn, it’s ‘GoGetEm’ in the lead . . .”

If you think of competition in each of the five divisions comprising the Junior International Championships (JIC), sponsored by Viking Cues, as a series of eight horse races, Stop #2 in the 2022 series is like a snapshot of the junior competitors, just after they’ve broken out of the gate and are headed into the first turn of a mile-long race. Not a lot of useful information in that snapshot in terms of how it will all play out as they round the final turn and head for home in the fall, but it’s compelling to watch as they jockey for position. 

The five divisional events drew a total of 112 entrants to Diamond Billiards in Cape Coral, FL, with a great deal of crossover, including in the ProAm division, which saw nine girls from both age groups make up just over 22% of the 40-entrant Pro Am field. As intended by JIC tournament director and On the Wire Creative Media’s Ra Hanna, this group of young competitors do not flinch at playing above their normal ‘pay grade,’ whether that be defined by age or gender. The ferocity of competition, even as viewed in the snapshot of the series’ ‘first turn,’ is fierce. None of the five winners from Stop #1 repeated as winners in Stop #2. Some of the Stop #2 winners had not chalked up a win in the first season.

Sofia Mast, Skylar Hess and Gianna Fiore

Some of the ‘ponies’ in their separate divisional races are hot on each other’s trail. In the 13 & Under Girls race, Sophia Mast and Skylar Hess are running neck and neck. They met twice in the season opener; in their opening match, won by Hess, and again, in the finals, won by Mast. They met twice last weekend, too, and once again, in their opening matches of the 10-entrant event. They fought to double hill before Mast prevailed, moving on to a winners’ side semifinal against Asia Gillespie, and from there, to the hot seat match, which she won, downing Gianna “Mini Banks” Fiore 7-5. Hess came back through five matches on the loss side, including a 7-5 win over Savannah Easton in the quarterfinals and a 7-1 victory over Fiore in the semifinals. In the finals, this time Hess prevailed 9-5. Hess was also the top finishing young woman (9-12) in the 40-entrant ProAm division (the largest field at Stop #2).

The winner and runner-up in Stop #1 of Season Two in the ProAm division (Landon Hollingsworth and Joey Tate, who were also winner and runner-up in Season 1’s 18 & Under Boys division championship) become runner-up (Tate) and among the eight competitors who tied for 17th (Hollingsworth). Trenton White, who had yet to win an event in the series (either season) went undefeated to claim the Stop #2 ProAm title. He got by five opponents, including a double hill win over Justin Toye and a winners’ side semifinal, 7-5 win over Kashton Keeton to give Joey Tate a shot at him in the hot seat match. White won their first of two ‘rounds’ 7-5.

On the loss side, two veterans of the JIC series, Riley Adkins and Nathan Childress, faced each other in the quarterfinals. Childress, who’d entered last season’s 18 & Under Championships as the #1-ranked player in the division, downed Adkins 7-4 and then fell to Tate by the same score in the semifinals. White took Tate down a second time, in the finals 9-6, to claim Stop #2’s Pro Am title.

White fared well in the 18 & Under Boys division, as well, finishing in the tie for 5th/6th, but Tate went undefeated in that event and never faced White, which, from Tate’s perspective, was probably just as well. Tate advanced through to the hot seat match, where he defeated Ivo Lemon 7-5. White was eliminated in the 5th/6th matches by Hollingsworth 7-5, who went on to defeat Dustin Muir 7-3 in the quarterfinals. He was eliminated 7-4 by Lemon in the semifinals, which, again from Tate’s perspective, worked out just fine. Tate claimed the 18 & Under Boys title, downing Lemon a second time, 9-5.

Sofia Mast, Bethany Tate and April Gonzaez

‘Favorites’ in the 18 & Under Girls race fall to a (medium) ‘longshot’

With Sofia Mast, Skylar Hess and Kennedy Meyman (winner of this division last month) in the 16-entrant, 18 & Under Girls division, they’d have shown up on a ‘toteboard’ as a group of three ‘favorites’ in Stop #2’s race. And at the end of four rounds of match play (around the final turn and headed for home), Sophia Mast was in the lead. . uhh, hot seat. She’d not faced Hess, which, from her perspective, was probably just as well, but she had sent Meyman to the loss side in the opening round, survived a winners’ side semifinal, double hill fight against Bethany Tate, and shut out April Gonzalez in the hot seat match.

Bethany Tate (15) had entered her winners’ side semifinal match against Mast, looking at the distinct possibility that she could face her 11-year-old sister, Noelle, in the hot seat match. It failed to materialize when Mast sent Bethany to the loss side and April Gonalez sent Noelle over. The sisters arrived on the loss side of the bracket at the same time, again looking at the distinct possibility of facing each other, this time in the quarterfinals. Bethany did her part, eliminating Courtney Hairfield 7-5. Noelle was eliminated by Precilia Kinsley, though not before she’d forced a 13th single game, for all of the proverbial marbles.

In the quarterfinals that followed, Bethany and Kinsley also battled to double hill, before Bethany prevailed, advancing to eliminate the competitor who’d sent her sister to the loss side, April Gonzalez (7-5) in the semifinals. It doesn’t take much of an imagination to see Noelle rooting for her sister to cross the finish line first, as Bethany and Sofia Mast stepped to the table for the finals. And it worked. Bethany and Mast came to within a game of double hill, but Bethany chalked up her first JIC win 9-7.

D’ Angelo Spain, Hank Leinen and Roman Boone

Absent last month’s winner and runner-up in the 13 & Under Boys division, Hank Leinen stepped up to go undefeated and become yet another junior competitor to win a first division-event title. D’Angelo “Jaws” Spain finished as runner-up. They met first in a winners’ side semifinal, won by Leinen 7-3.

Meeting up with Leinen in the hot seat match was Roman Boone, who’d sent Gaige Wells to the loss side 7-4 in the other winners’ side semifinal. Leinen claimed the hot seat 7-2 and waited on Spain’s return from the semifinals.

On the loss side, Spain, after eliminating Landon Dunlap 7-2, advanced to a quarterfinal versus Jayce Little, who’d defeated Wells 7-1. Spain and Little locked up in a double hill fight that eventually advanced Spain to a semifinal win over Boone 7-3. The 13 & Under Boys final pitting Spain against Leinen came within a game of double hill, but in the end, Leinen edged out in front to claim the division title 9-7

Ra Hanna and all of his support ‘crew’ thanked the owners and staff at Diamond Billiards, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues. The next stop on the Junior International Championships (#3), which will see the competitors stretch their ‘legs’ through the long straightaway on the far side of the track (stops #3 through #7), is scheduled for March 25-27 and will be hosted by The Rack and Grill III in Aiken, SC.

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Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour launches series of seasonal Open events

Lisa Cossette

Martin and Cossette take Open and Ladies events at inaugural Winter Classic

In the future, there’ll be a Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall Classic on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour. They are a component of a larger plan that tour director Herman Parker is initiating to feature more Open (non-handicapped) events on the tour schedule. In the inaugural Winter Classic, held this past weekend (Feb. 5-6), Justin Martin and Lisa Cossette went undefeated through the Open and Ladies fields to claim the two titles. 

“I want to attract the culture of people who want to play in Open events, rather than handicapped events,” he said, following the completion of the Winter Classic. “I’m planning on 10-12 this year and my goal, down the road is to have it be 50-50; that’d be ideal.”

“I don’t know if it’ll get there,” he added, “but this year, I want to do, on average, about one (Open event) a month.”

The inaugural Winter Classic, featuring its Open tournament and a Ladies event, which, according to Parker, is a side of the tour that he is trying to grow. Three women who competed in the Ladies tournament, also competed in the Open event. The $1,500-added events ($1,000 in the Open and $500 in the Ladies) drew 52 and 18 entrants, respectively, to Break Time Billiards and Sports Bar in Winston-Salem, NC. The 18 women were the largest number of female entrants to ever compete in an Open event on the tour. One of them, 11-year-old Noelle Tate, who finished 4th, became the youngest competitor of either gender to cash in a Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball event in the nine years of its existence.

So, we’ll start there and focus on the 11-year-old for a moment. Noelle Tate is just one member of a family of competitors who are making a name for themselves at the pool tables. Noelle is a younger sister to Bethany and Joey Tate. They were all competitors during last year’s nation-wide series of events, known as the Junior International Championships (JIC), which began its second season just last month. JIC founder, tour director and something of a ‘parental unit’ at JIC events, Ra Hanna, had announced, prior to the start of the JIC’s second season, that part of the second-year plan was to move the junior competitors into the arena of regional tours and Open events. Noelle Tate and (in the Open event) Landon Hollingsworth are manifestations of that plan. Tate came into the event and lost her second-round match to Marianne Merrill. She went on to win four on the loss side, including a 5-2 win over the woman who was favored to win the tournament, Christy Norris. She was eliminated in the quarterfinals by Katie Bischoff 5-3.

The eventual winner, Lisa Cossette, advanced through the field to a winners’ side semifinal against Norris, as Shannon Johnson and Amanda Mann squared off in the other one. Cossette and Johnson, following victories over Norris (double hill) and Mann (7-4), advanced to the hot seat match, at which Cossette prevailed 7-3.

Norris moved to the loss side and ran into Tate, who’d recently eliminated Casey Cork, double hill and Beth Allen 5-2. Mann picked up Katie Bischoff, who’d downed Marianne Merrill and Allie Tilley, both 5-2, to reach her. Tate defeated Norris 5-2 and was joined in the quarterfinals by Bischoff, who’d shut Mann out.

Bischoff eliminated Tate in that quarterfinal (5-3), but not soon enough to keep the 11-year-old out of the money in what was the first money round. Bischoff moved on to defeat Johnson in the semifinals 5-3. An appropriate double hill fight ensued in the single-match finals with Cossette claiming the title over Bischoff 7-6.

Justin Martin

Martin and Ussery battle twice to claim first Winter Classic title

Nine times out of 10, the winner and runner-up of an event, if they’ve competed against each other twice, have done so in the hot seat match and finals. Not so, this time around. Justin Martin and BJ Ussery, both heavily favored as potential winners of the event, met first in the third round. Martin sent Ussery to the loss side 7-1, where he began a seven-match, loss-side winning streak that would offer him a second shot against Martin in the finals.

Martin advanced to a winners’ side semifinal against Graham Swinson, as Corey Sykes and Jeff Abernathy squared off in the other one. Martin shut out Swinson and was joined in the hot seat match by Sykes, who’d sent Abernathy west 7-1. Martin claimed the hot seat in a double hill fight over Sykes.

On the loss side, Swinson drew Ussery, three matches into his loss-side streak, which had recently eliminated Thomas Sansone 7-5 and Josh Padron 7-1. Abernathy picked up junior competitor Landon Hollingsworth, who’d defeated Niko Konkel and Barry Mashburn, both 7-1. Mashburn had been afforded the opportunity to face Hollingsworth when, in the previous round, Christy Norris, one of the three women who competed in the Open event, along with Allie Tilley and Beth Allen, forfeited her match to Mashburn.

Ussery downed Swinson 7-2 and was joined in the quarterfinals by Abernathy, who’d defeated Hollingsworth 7-3. Ussery then eliminated Abernathy 7-2 and in the semifinals, Sykes in a double hill match. Martin defeated Ussery a second time in the finals, this time 7-2 to claim the inaugural Winter Classic.

Tour director Herman Parker thanked the ownership and staff at Break Time Billiards, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues, BarPoolTables.net, Dirty South Grind Apparel Co., Realty One Group Results, Diamond Brat, AZBilliards.com, and Federal Savings Bank Mortgage Division. The next stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for this weekend (Feb. 12-13) will be hosted by Gate City Billiards Club in Greensboro, NC.

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Lights, Camera, We Got Action! On The Wire Media Announces Junior International 9-Ball Championship

On The Wire Creative Media (OTW) AND Diamond Billiard Products, the nation’s #1 pool table manufacturer, today announced an agreement that will enable Diamond to continue to support Junior billiards competition. 

The OTW Junior International 9-Ball Championship (JIC), to be held in Jan. 7-9, 2021, at Wolfs Den Billiards Roanoke, Va.

The Wolfs Den, owned and operated by the Wolford family have graciously offered their fantastic billiards room for this prestigious event.

This 110-player coed event, will take place in the (TBA) Arena and will be adhering to all Covid regulations.

The tourney will be livestreamed on OTW’s media channels along with Accu-Stats Video Promotions social channels.

$3000.00 IN GUARANTEED MONEY REGARDLESS OF ATTENDANCE!

THERE WILL BE MULTIPLE CASH AND PRIZES AWARDED FOR EACH DIVISION!!!!

2 Junior Divisions – 100 SPOTS AVAILABLE

18 and under Men and Women 

ENTRY FEE $60.00

13 and under Men and Women

2 Pro Am Divisions – 10 SPOTS AVAILABLE

*18 – 20 Men and Women

ENTRY FEE $125.00

*Participants can only play in one division!

“DIAMOND supports the young pool players of today!  As the youth of today advance in the great sport of billiards, they learn that dedication, fortitude, and hard work improve their game and better prepares them to become successful adults”.  DIAMOND wishes all of the players great success at the upcoming 2020 9-Ball Junior International Championships! “ said Chad Scharlow, VP, Diamond Billiard Products Inc.

“I’m glad to be working with such a trusted brand as Diamond”, says Ra Hanna, Owner, OTW “This partnership will be focused on continuing to invest and support the junior players in all facets of their billiard careers.”

Diamonds Greg Sullivan has expressed his extreme remorse about the fact that no one under the age of 21 will be allowed in the Casino at the Derby City Classic.

This was not a decision made by Diamond, but by the Indiana Gaming Commission.

“You must be 21 and over to attend the event.  The move from a riverboat casino to a land-based casino has turned all meeting space over to the jurisdiction of the Indiana Gaming Commission.  The laws in Indiana dictate that everyone must be 21 years or older to attend any function within the designated space and that includes the Derby City Classic”

“As demand for pool grows in a post-pandemic world, we will see new participants on home tables in the coming months, and we want to support them in any way we can. Part of that is unlocking more livestream programming and making the experience that much more enjoyable,” said Ra Hanna, OTW. “Diamond is a great partner to continue to help us reach a broader array of viewers.”

For more information

SPONSORSHIP/MEDIA INQUIRIES

Ra Hanna

On The Wire Creative Media

otwpromos@gmail.com

DIAMOND BILLIARD PRODUCTS INC.

Chad Scharlow

Vice President

www.diamondbilliards.com

ACCU-STATS

Pat Fleming

patscue@yahoo.com

Phone: (973) 838-7089

HOTEL INFORMATION

RESERVATION LINKS: 79 DOLLARS A NIGHT

Comfort Inn Valley View:

5070 Valley View Blvd NW, Roanoke, VA 24012

https://www.choicehotels.com/reservations/groups/MI14W5

Call direct at 540-527-2020 Option 2 (Must choose option 2 to get hotel direct)

Best Western Plus:

5050 Valley View Blvd NW, Roanoke, VA 24012

https://www.bestwestern.com/en_US/book/hotel-rooms.47094.html?groupId=B97UB5N9

Call Direct 540-362-2400

RESERVATION LINK: 89 DOLLARS A NIGHT

 

Courtyard Roanoke Airport

3301 Ordway Dr NW, Roanoke, VA 24017

Book your group rate for Jr. International Championship

Call Direct 540-563-5002

The 2020 International Open Is Open For Business

The INTERNATIONAL is BACK with NINE days of pure pool from October 23rd through October 31st, 2020. With two successful years under its belt, the INTL, as it is recognized, has quickly become one of the top tournaments in the world. Over the last two years, the INTL has brought over 200 players from over 23 countries together to play under one roof. The players will be playing on the “triple gold standard” of professional pool: Diamond tables, Simonis cloth, and Aramith balls, and they will be playing in the same Sheraton Waterside Hotel ballroom as the past two Internationals, as well as its predecessor, the US Open. To say the least, familiarity will be their only solace, for the competition will be fierce. As the 1st tournament of the Mosconi Points 2021 Calendar, the 2020 INTL places itself in a unique position in the professional players mind – get ahead early in the points! The winner of the 2020 INTL leads the Mosconi Point standings right away! Also, being sanctioned by the WPA, the INTL is one of the last stops on the WPA 2020 tour and the last chances at the coveted points is sure to make for some heated play! With past winners such as 2018’s Chang Jung-Lin and 2019’s Jayson Shaw, the players will definitely be charging out of the gate!
 
Needless to say, with successful freshman and sophomore events, Pat Fleming, the producer of the 2020 INTL, is not content with sitting on his laurels. This year, Pat has made some significant improvements to his third International 9-Ball Open. So, you ask, what has changed? With $50,000 added, the INTL now has an expanded field AND lower entry fee – 160 player field and $500 entry fee – and first place is still $30,000! This year, the INTL joins all other International Pro events by shifting to single elimination for the final 32 players. This is going to ratchet up the competition immensely! But that’s only the start.
 
For 2020, while 9-ball is the centerpiece, Pat is grooming the INTL into something more than “just a 9-ball tournament”. In addition to the 160 player 9-Ball Open, the International will be showcasing the inaugural 32-player 2020 INTERNATIONAL ONE-POCKET OPEN. The One-Pocket Open takes place the first Friday and Saturday of the 2020 INTL, prior to the start of the 9-Ball Open, extending the INTL two extra days. With $5000 added, an entry fee of $300, and a $4500 first prize, this is going to be filled fast – and fast paced – with the world’s best one pocket players! It is double elimination until the final 8 players. Then watch the sparks fly! It is sure to be the start of yet another great yearly INTL event.
 
Not content with two pro tournaments going on at one event, Pat Fleming, in partnership with Ra Hanna of On the Wire, is bringing back the junior’s event. Better than ever, the 2020 Junior Invitational Championship will have both a Junior Men’s AND a Junior Women’s division. Eight Junior Men and four Junior Women, decided through qualifying events leading up the 2020 INTL, will compete in their divisions to be the 2020 Junior Invitational Championship Men’s and Women’s 9-Ball Champions! We are very proud to support the next generation of professional players and very happy to give them the opportunity to play at the 2020 International.
 
The Simonis-Aramith Arena will, once again, be center stage for the all of the 2020 INTL disciplines. Three levels of reserved seating will be available: TV Arena Table side seating, Tier 1 seating and Tier 2 seating, as well as general admission for the whole event. Day and evening sessions, full day passes, and Multiple day packages will be available. Tickets will go on sale Monday, April 6th, 2020 online through Tix.com: TICKETS HERE
 
Since the 2020 INTL has been extended to include two full weekends, it is expected to draw larger crowds for our vendors to cater to throughout the 9-day event. Interested vendors can sign up for vendor space here: VENDORS HERE
 
Accu-Stats Video Productions will be providing recording and live-streaming of the 2020 INTL, both through their Pay-Per-View and free streaming via their Facebook and YouTube channels. Suffice to say, Accu-stats is looking to have a few tricks up their sleeve regarding production and access. Stay tuned for more information as it becomes available.
https://www.accu-stats.com
https://www.facebook.com/accustats/
https://www.youtube.com/c/AccuStatsVideoProductionsTV
 
For more up to date information on the 2020 INTL, visit both the INTL website and Facebook page.
https://www.international9ballopen.com
https://www.facebook.com/theinternational9ballopen/
 
– The 2020 International is now accepting entry fees for One-Pocket and 9-Ball Player Entries.
 
– Spectator Tickets for Reserved and General Admission Seating will go on sale Monday April 6, 2020.
 
See the details below for more information on all of these events.
        
Quick International Open Details
• Play Dates: October 23-31, 2020
• Site: Sheraton Norfolk Waterside Hotel, Norfolk, Virginia, USA
• Discounted Hotel Room Rate: $115.00 plus tax for a single or double
• Diamond Pool Tables, Simonis Cloth, and Aramith Balls
• TV Arena Seat Reservations available
• Pay-Per-View by Accu-Stats
• Live Scoring by AZ Billiards
• Websites:
o https://www.international9ballopen.com
o https://www.accu-stats.com
 
9-Ball Division
• Play Dates: October 25-31, 2020 (Sunday thru Saturday: 7 days)
• Entry fee: $500
• Size of Field: 160 players
• Added Money: $50,000 guaranteed regardless of number of players.
• First Prize: $30,000
• Prize Fund Breakdown with 160 entry fees:
    1st: $30,000
    2nd: $20,000
    3-4th: $10,000
    5-8th: $5,000
    9-16th: $2,500
    17-32nd: $1,250
• Format: Double Elimination, Race to 10
• Alternate break and neutral rackers
• Official rack is the Outsville Accu-Rack 9-Ball Rack template
• Single Elimination for final 32 players
• Sanctioned by: World Pool Association (WPA)
• Mosconi Points awarded
 
One-Pocket Division
• Play Dates: October 23-24, 2020 (Friday and Saturday: 2 days)
• Entry Fee: $300
• Size of Field: 32
• Added Money: $5,000 guaranteed regardless of number of players.
• Prize Fund Breakdown with 32 players:
1st: $4,500
2nd: $3,100
3-4th: $1,900
5-8th: $800
 
• Format: Double Elimination, Race to 3
• Single Elimination for final 8 players
 
Junior Division
• Play Dates: October 30-31, 2020
• Size of Junior Men’s Field: eight
• Size of Junior Women’s Field: four
• Format: Double Elimination, Race to 9, Alternate Breaks
• More details to follow.
 
ENTER AS A CONTESTANT NOW:
There are several ways to pay your entry fee.
• Pay online with a debit/credit card or PayPal: ENTRY FEES
• Mail check or money order payable to:
“International 9-Ball Open”
Addressed to:
International 9-Ball Open, PO Box 299, Bloomingdale, NJ 07403.
• Pay on site with money order or cash (only if the field is not full).
• OR, for the 9-Ball Open only, you may pay a non-refundable $250 deposit,
online or via mail, with the balance of $250 to be paid by October 1, 2020.
 
RESERVE YOUR HOTEL ROOM NOW ($115 Discount Rate, single/double):
RESERVATIONS
 
BUY SPECTATOR TICKETS HERE – Tickets go on sale Monday, April 6, 2020:
TICKETS
 
Any Questions? Contact: Pat Fleming International 9-Ball Open
PO Box 299
Bloomingdale, NJ 07403
973-838-7089 pat.fleming@international9ballopen.com

Let The Kids Play – 1st Junior Invitational 9-Ball Partners with International 9-Ball Open

Pat Fleming and Ra Hanna (Erwin Dionisio)

Pat Fleming (Accu-Stats Productions) and Ra Hanna (On The Wire Creative) are thrilled to announce the first Junior Invitational 9-Ball Championship (JIC), to be held in conjunction with the International 9-Ball Open, Nov. 1-2, 2019, at the Sheraton Norfolk Waterside Hotel in Norfolk, Va. The four-player event will take place in the Simonis-Aramith Arena and will be livestreamed.
 
“We are excited to showcase the Junior Invitational during the International,” said Fleming, owner and producer of the major pro 9-ball championship. “There is nothing quite like giving these young adults much-needed exposure and a chance to compete and have a great time. These young players bring a level of commitment, comradery and talent that we can all be proud of.”
 
“I’m so proud of our junior players, it’s about giving them the platform they need to succeed,” said Hanna, who will co-produce the junior event with Fleming. “The JIC was born out of one mission: to provide a high-level platform for young cueists to learn how to navigate the high pressures of competitive cue sports.”
 
The JIC will feature 2019 Billiard Education Foundation Junior National Champions Kaiden Hunkins (18-Under Boys) of Waukesha, Wis., and Kodi Allen (16-Under Boys) of Tampa, Fla., as well as Junior National runners-up Lukas Francasso-Verner (18-Under Boys) of Wallingford, Conn., and Matthew Wiseley (16-Under Boys) of Poplar Bluff, Mo.
 
“We hope to grow this event every year, and we are looking forward to expanding every year,” added Hanna.
 
For more information about the event and sponsorship opportunities, contact:
 
Ra Hanna     Email: Ra@Otwpromotions.com  Phone: (818) 809-4316
Pat Fleming Email: patscue@yahoo.com          Phone: (973) 838-7089
 

The “Kid” chalks up another one, going undefeated at the 3rd Annual 8-Ball Classic in Duluth

Efren Reyes – Photo courtesy of On The Wire Media

 

Efren Reyes, in the midst of a ‘retirement tour,’ scheduled to conclude this August, chalked up the latest in an incredibly long list of US and world championship titles with an undefeated run on the 3rd Annual 8-Ball Classic, held on the weekend of June 2-3. The event drew 16 of the world’s best talents at the table to The Break Room in Duluth, MN.
 
He’s known as “Bata,” which translates into “Kid,” because when he was younger, there was another player with the same name. As the younger of the two, he was designated “Bata” to distinguish him from the other player. The need to make that distinction disappeared a long time ago, as year after year, the “Kid” morphed into “the man” at the tables. In spite of eye surgery in 2005 and his own admission that he’s been ‘slowing down,’ the only difference between the younger and older versions of “Bata” Reyes can be found in his motion as he moves around the table. He’s never been a speedball at the table strolls, when he’s assessing the lay of the balls and choosing his target, but he’s a little slower and deliberate now. What hasn’t changed is what has often been described as his ‘genius’ in making shots, which has earned him a secondary nickname as “The Magician.’ To many of us otherwise normal human beings, some of these magical shots can seem downright impossible. He made more than just a few of his signature ‘genius’ shots at this 8-Ball Classic, including some in his second and finals match against Dennis Hatch. His pre-shot routine doesn’t vary much, and motionless beyond the movement of his right arm in the practice strokes, he’s the same as he ever was, up to and including a monster break.
 
Reyes opened strong with a 15-7 victory over Danny Olson, allowed Vince Chambers to get a little closer, but advanced with a 15-13 victory over him to face fellow countryman, “The Lion” – Alex Pagulayan – in a winners’ side semifinal. Hatch, in the meantime, after downing Sergio Rivas 15-11, defeated Shane Van Boening 15-12 to draw Corey Deuel in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
By identical 15-11 scores, Reyes and Hatch sent Paguyalan and Deuel to the loss side. By a third 15-11 score, Reyes claimed the hot seat over Hatch, and waited for his return.
 
On the loss side, “The Lion” drew Can Salim, who’d been defeated on the winners’ side by Deuel and then eliminated Danny Olson 15-9 and Billy Thorpe 15-11. Deuel drew a re-match against Jason Klatt, whom he’d defeated in the event’s opening round, and was in the midst of a five-match, loss-side streak that would take him as far as the semifinals. He eliminated Michael Perron, Jr. 15-10, Vince Chambers 15-9 and Roberto Gomez 15-13 to earn a re-match against Deuel.
 
Klatt wreaked his vengeance on Deuel for the earlier loss with a 15-13 win that sent him to the quarterfinals against Pagulayan, who’d sent Salim home 15-8. Klatt then downed Pagulayan 15-13 and squared off against Hatch in the semifinals.
 
Hatch, who was instrumental in the production of this event, stopped Klatt’s loss-side run 15-11 in those semifinals, and then turned to face the “Kid” a second, and if he wanted to take home the title, a third time in the double elimination finals.
 
The two started out with a typical trading of racks through the opening rounds, until Reyes began to pull out in front, eventually to a 9-4 lead. Hatch mounted a comeback, slowly but surely, to draw within two at 11-9. Reyes, though, re-widened that lead and reached the hill, five racks ahead (14-9). Hatch closed that gap with four in a row to draw within one at 14-13. Hatch broke what proved to be the final rack but came up dry. Reyes, significantly sunk his first high ball, and broke a solid ball away from the 8-ball, which had, until that moment, presented him with his toughest challenge of the layout.
 
Reyes proceeded to run the table to claim the event title. He concluded with a fist-pumping, smile-enhanced little dance around the table before stepping to Hatch for a handshake.
 
It is a final match worth watching and thanks to On the Wire Media, and its owners/commentators Ra Hanna and Beau Runningen, who streamed selected matches of the event throughout the weekend, can be found on On the Wire Media’s Facebook page.
 
Last summer., Reyes interrupted the early stages of his own retirement tour to return to the Philippines, citing fatigue. In an interview/article with a Filipino television station last summer, the author (Dominic Renor) noted that “Father Time has caught up with him; that his eyesight isn’t as dependable as it used to be, making long-range shots more difficult to convert. His wrist isn’t as steady as before.” That said, Reyes was back in form for this 3rd Annual 8-Ball Classic and looks to add a few more master strokes to his already considerable legacy as his retirement tour continues.
 

World Pool Series Announces Media Coverage

The World Pool Series is happy to be able to announce the full details of our media coverage for the 9-Ball Players Championship.
 
For 2018, the WPS has decided to return to pay-per-view in co-operation with UpState Al to ensure that the fans get the best coverage possible with the production being focused on the feature table with some selected matches available via Facebook Live. UpState Al is well known already all over the world for the live streams he provides and the WPS is looking forward to adding his knowledge to the media team
 
Daily passes for the PPV are now available to be purchased for $8,95 a day or $24,95 for full access over four days from April 19 until the 22nd.
 
The WPS will also be offering more live updates via our social media pages in co-operation with On The Wire Creative Media. Ra Hanna and Beau Runningen have been added to the WPS Team for our events in 2018. OTW is based in Los Angeles, CA. and they have been making quite a splash in the pool world over the last few years, predominately due to their viral on the spot reporting, live stream videos, and tournament promotions. OTW has become a highly sought-after choice of professional pool in America as they have a laser sharp focus on two elementary things: Relationships and Results.
 
“We consider OTW an extension of our clients’ organization, working hard to establish a professional but personal collaborative relationship.” says Ra Hanna. We are looking forward to teaming up with the WPS to continue our vision of exposing the exciting world of professional cue sports to the masses.”
 
Darren Appleton (Founder) & Shirley Ang (General Manager): “We will be providing more articles on our own site, more videos on YouTube, and more updates on all of our social media channels. We hope that the decisions we have taken for the WPS for this season will be supported by our fans and the players. We understand that there have been a lot of changes but we believe that they are for the better of the future of the WPS. But we need all players and fans to stand behind us while we go through these changes to be able to offer everyone the best tournaments in the world one day!”
 
Fans are invited to come and watch the best players in the world compete against each other at Steinway Billiards. Tickets can be bought online for $10 a day or $30 for all four days. Fans can also choose to buy VIP access for $15 a day or $45 for the whole event, which will give better seating, waitress service, and a goodie bag!

On The Wire Creative Media Partners With The Billiard Education Foundation

Beau Runningen and Ra Hanna

On The Wire Creative Media (OTW) is proud to announce a partnership agreement with The Billiard Education Foundation (BEF). As the marketing manager for the BEF in 2018, OTW’s charge will be to engage members, capture new followers and grow the number of supporters worldwide, goals which will be achieved by distributing interviews, free live streams and upcoming BEF events thru Facebook, Instagram and the BEF website.

Both the BEF and OTW are invested in supporting the kids through billiards education and instruction; promoting billiards as a positive way to learn life skills, developing and facilitating billiard programs and competition at all levels and providing academic scholarships.
“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with On The Wire Creative Media,” said BEF President Tom Riccobene. “Beau and Ra are committed to all the BEF stands for and this partnership will help us to do what we do to help these great kids. Each and every one of our juniors deserves to be recognized for their individual work and achievements. Working with OTW is a blessing to the BEF.”
“The BEF is where billiards begins, I love this organization,” said Beau Runningen of OTW.
“Surround yourself with the right people and great things will happen. This partnership is from our hearts,” added OTW’s Ra Hanna. “We are very excited about our relationship with the BEF, the BEF is close to our hearts.”
On The Wire Creative, based in Pasadena, Calif., has been making quite a splash in the pool world over the last few years, predominantly due to their viral on the spot reporting, live stream videos and tournament promotions. OTW has become a highly sought after choice of professional pool in America and were the official live streamers of the 2017 Mosconi Cup held in Las Vegas.
The Billiard Education Foundation was established to ensure that all juniors in the United States have opportunities to play and compete. The BEF’s mission is to develop a lifelong love of billiard sports in junior players by supporting billiard education and instruction, promoting billiards as a positive way to learn life skills, developing and facilitating billiard programs and competition at all levels and providing academic scholarships.

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.

Deuel goes undefeated to take The Break Room’s 2nd Annual 8-Ball Classic

Corey Deuel

Loree Jon Hasson and Justin Bergman win opening night Challenge Matches

 

As almost anyone familiar with the sport will tell you, when the game is bar table 8-ball, almost anything can happen. And usually does. What happened at The Break Room's 2nd Annual 8-Ball Classic (presented by Dennis Hatch and On the Wire Creative Media) this past weekend (June 1-4) was that Corey Deuel got himself into a 'break' rhythm that, try though they might (and did), his opponents had no answer for. Deuel went undefeated through the field of 14 to capture the $6,000-added event title, hosted by The Break Room in Duluth, MN.

 
With the winner breaking, Deuel won 75 of the 103 games he played over five rounds (73%). With all matches being races to 15, he gave up an average of just over five racks per match. If it hadn't been for Jason Klatt's 11-rack performance in the finals, that average would have been just over four racks per match.
 
In addition to finalists Deuel and Klatt, the event featured the likes of Dennis Hatch (doing double duty as promoter and player), Billy Thorpe, Earl Strickland, Johnny Archer and the runner-up of the 1st Annual 8-Ball Classic, Shane Van Boening  (Dennis Orcollo defeated him in the finals),  whose break worked against him in this event. At one point, after failing to make a ball on one of his breaks, Van Boening conceded an entire table to his opponent. His hot seat match opponent, Deuel, said in a post-match interview that he'd "never seen anybody break balls that solidly and not make anything."
 
The weekend in Duluth began with two Challenge matches on Thursday night, offering $500 to the winner. Both of the Challenge matches went double hill. Up first were two female opponents, representing opposite ends of the experience spectrum; the veteran, eight-time World Champion Loree Jon Hasson squared off against the five-time Junior Champion April Larson (both of whom would play in the main event, as well). The assembled spectators got to choose the game, which they decided would be 10-ball, and they decided, as well, on a race to 7. Hasson and Larson fought back and forth to a deciding game, before the veteran sunk the final ball to win it. At the conclusion of the match, Hasson, in an interview, spoke to her fellow female professionals.
 
"WPBA Ladies," she said. "Watch out! April is the real deal."
 
Later in the evening, Justin Bergman and Billy Thorpe went at it. The crowd selected 10-ball again, but in this case, opted for a race to 11. Like Hasson and Larson before them, the two fought back and forth to double hill, before Bergman closed it out.
 
Though 16 were scheduled to play in the main event, two had to drop out at that last minute, leaving a field of 14. Deuel got by Scott Tollefson 15-4, and then downed April Larson 15-5, which set him up in a winners' side semifinal against Thorpe. Shane Van Boening, in the meantime, following victories over Justin Bergman 15-13, and Johnny Archer 15-7, squared off against Michael Perron, Jr., who'd just sent Jason Klatt to the loss side.
 
Deuel defeated Thorpe 15-1, as Van Boening downed Perron, Jr. 15-4. Deuel, whose break at this point was setting up almost constant break-and-run opportunities, chalked up the hot seat win, 15-7, over Van Boening.
 
On the loss side, Thorpe picked up Klatt, who, following his defeat at the hands of Perron, Jr. went on to defeat Dustin Morris 15-8 and Johnny Archer 15-11. Perron, Jr. drew Earl "The Pearl" Strickland, who'd been defeated by Thorpe in the second round, and then, locked up in an epic, double hill fight against Hatch. Strickland won it and then won a second straight double hill match against Justin Bergman, to pick up Perron, Jr. 
 
Klatt and Strickland advanced to the quarterfinals (the first, $2,000 money round); Klatt 15-3 over Thorpe, and Strickland 15-8 over Perron, Jr. Klatt ended Strickland's run in those quarterfinals 15-10, and then downed an increasingly frustrated Van Boening 15-11 in the semifinals, for a shot at Deuel in the hot seat.
 
Midway through the opening set of the true double elimination final, Deuel and Klatt were tied. Shortly thereafter, though, Deuel, still dropping balls with consistency on his break started to pull ahead. He got out in front by three to reach the hill first, and then closed it out.
 
"I felt like I played OK," said Deuel, humbly, after the match. "I've been working on my fundamentals for the past couple of years. I try to play as many different games as I can and maybe it helped me in this tournament."
 
"He outbroke me, pretty much," was Klatt's assessment of that final match.
 
Hatch, and OnTheWire Media representatives Beau Runningen and Ra Hanna (responsible for the live-on-Facebook stream throughout the weekend and all promotional material related to the event) thanked the ownership (Tom and Dan Witzman) and staff for their hospitality, as well as a long list of sponsors that made this now-firmly-established annual event possible; Fairfield Marriott Inn, Dan Summers Agency, Arrowhead Printing, Heritage Window and Door, Duluth Dodge, AllStar Service and Accessories, Diamond, Twin Ports Paper & Supply, Bernicks Food & Beverage Services, St. Louis County Title Company, Midwest Coin Concepts, Northstar Ford, Pabst Blue Ribbon, BAM Style, Superior Beverage, Uncle Loui's Cafe, Andrew Lesly, Duluth Sheraton, Viele Contracting, TNT Billiard Products, TwinPortsNightlife.com, Fitger's, Voyageur Lake Walk Inn, ReMax Prodigy, and Harley Davidson Sport Center.