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Gorst goes undefeated to claim 1st Annual Hannah Choi Memorial Title

Fedor Gorst, Shane Wolford, Kristina Tkach, Paul Oh and room owner Anthony Luong

There are times when words are insufficient to the task that they have been set out on a page to perform. So it is with reporting on the B & L Billiard Tournaments’ 1st Annual Hannah Choi Memorial, a $10,000-added event that drew 64 entrants to First Break Sports Bar in Sterling, VA last weekend (June 11-12). Spearheaded by a trio of Hannah Choi’s close friends – Paul Oh, Kristina Tkach and Fedor Gorst – the memorial was organized to commemorate Choi, who went missing from her home in early March and was discovered dead in a Maryland park weeks later. The person currently being sought in connection with her death, classified as murder, has still not been apprehended. 

Choi was an active player at Street Light Billiard Academy in Alexandria, VA, where Tkach, Gorst, Ruslan Chinakhov and other members of “Roy’s Basement,” along with players like Shane Van Boening, Efren Reyes and Nick Varner would gather along with Academy members, offering clinics, challenge matches and exhibitions.

“Hannah became Kristina’s handler, like a family member,” said Oh. “Hannah wasn’t like a professional player, although she was an APA 6, and she became close to Kristina. She was probably Kristina’s closest friend, lived with her whenever she was in-country.”

As a loosely-organized group engaged in the Virginia (and surrounding areas) pool community, the players would discuss any number of things around meals, table practice and tournaments. On more than one occasion, Choi had mentioned to the group the idea of organizing a Virginia-based ProAm tournament, which, for a variety of different reasons, had never really advanced beyond casual talk about it being a good idea.

“We’d had conversations about it,” said Oh, “wanting to hold a tournament in the area, so when Hannah passed, it was a no-brainer.”

Oh reached out to B&L Billiard Tournaments, in the persons of Brian Kilgore and Lai Li, within a matter of days after Choi’s passing. In less than three months, the circle of friends that had known Choi personally, organized the 1st Annual event that would bear her name.

“It meant a lot to Paul, Fedor and Kristina, who was her best friend,” said Kilgore. “Kristina talked to the players (at length) before the tournament began, telling them all of the things that Hannah Choi had done for her.”

Kilgore and the 64-entrant field were all on-hand to hear Tkach’s impassioned words. In retrospect, Kilgore regretted that the moments had not been recorded. Tkach did, though, write about Choi’s passing in an on-line post.

“I didn’t lose my best friend,” she wrote. “No…I lost so much more than that. I lost my soulmate, my partner, life mentor, my whole world.”

“But you didn’t leave me, right?” she went on to ask. “No, it just can’t be… you are somewhere here now, by my side, kindly looking at me, smiling, listening to me just like you always did.”

Tkach continued, eventually confronting the chasm of grief that lay before her; “the pain that doesn’t go away no matter what you do, eating you up from inside.

“But I can’t give up,” she added. “I have to keep grinding, growing and trying to be the best I can possibly be, because that’s what you would want me to do. I promise you will be proud of me.”

At the risk of presumption, one can only imagine that Hannah Choi would have accepted the need and impetus to discuss her passing and the memorial tournament arranged on her behalf, and then, expected all of us to proceed; “grinding, growing, trying to be the best that we can possibly be because that’s what (she) would want us to do.”

The 64-entrant, double elimination bracket that opened the proceedings had a proverbial ‘boat load’ of pool talent on board, including the very people responsible for the tournament’s existence; Paul Oh, Kristina Tkach and Fedor Gorst. Two of those three (Tkach and Gorst) would advance to the single elimination phase of the event and Gorst would win it. Things were set up through the event semifinals for Tkach and Gorst to square off in the final match, but Shane Wolford stepped in and left Tkach in the tie for 3rd place.

In one of the more entertaining matches of the event, Gorst opened up the double-elimination phase against junior competitor, Joey Tate. Live-streamed (as were selected matches throughout the weekend) by Omega Billiards, Tate encountered some early issues, arguably brought on by an initial concern that he might not make it to the event at all. He’d called Brian Kilgore to relate some ‘timing’ issues and assured him that though he was running late, he would be there in time. He made it on-time, by a matter of minutes and found himself facing Gorst in his opening round.

In the early going, Tate missed some ‘9’s and ‘10’s and found himself in a 3-1 hole after four. But he fought back to be within a single game at 6-5. Gorst prevailed and Tate would go on to lose his first loss-side match. 

Gorst advanced and ran into an immediate double hill battle against Atlantic Coast veteran Steve Fleming. He survived that battle as well, and then shut out Kevin West to become one of the eight winners’ side competitors advancing to single elimination. He was joined by fellow ‘winners’ side’ competitors Warren Kiamco, Greg McAndrews, Manny Chau, Roberto Gomez, Shane Wolford, Brandon Shuff and Chris Hansen. From the loss side, Rafael Reyes, Danny Mastermaker, Deo Alpajora, Kevin West, Dylan Spohr, BJ Ussery, Jr., Mhet Vergara and Kristina Tkach advanced to the final 16. Tkach, sent to the loss side by Manny Chau, had worked her way through William Moon, Lukas Fracasso-Verner and Roger Halder to join the loss-side’s group in the final 16.

Tkach got by Roberto Gomez in the opening round of single elimination and in the quarterfinals, drew Kevin West, who’d eliminated Chris Hansen. Gorst defeated Mhet Vergara and picked up Manny Chau, who’d sent Greg McAndrews home. Wolford, in the meantime, had knocked out Brandon Shuff and faced BJ Ussery, who’d defeated Rafael Reyes to reach him. Kiamco got by Deo Alpajora in the single-elimination opening round and squared off against Dylan Spohr, who’d ended Danny Mastermaker’s run.

Tkach downed West 9-7 and in the semifinals, drew Wolford, who’d defeated Ussery 9-7. Gorst eliminated Chau 9-4 and picked up Kiamco, who’d defeated Spohr 9-4. 

Wolford put an end to speculation and hopes for two of Hanna Choi’s best friends to meet in the finals with a 9-6 win over Tkach. Gorst downed Kiamco 9-5. In the extended race-to-9, Gorst and Wolford came within a game of double hill. Gorst pulled out in front in the end to win by two, 11-9. 

The 1st Annual Hannah Choi Memorial was in the books, with Gorst and Tkach proud to have played their part in making it a success. Paul Oh, though less than pleased with his finish ‘out of the money,’ as it were, was pleased at how well the entire affair had been arranged and executed, as was Brian Kilgore.

“It’s amazing to me how it turned out,” said Oh, noting that it was a combined effort on the part of the group of friends around Hannah Choi, who, over the years, “had eaten together, travelled together and worked together,” to include Anthony Milanesi (who’d donated a cue that he’d made for one of the raffles that helped bring money to the event), Ken Tranh and his wife, Linda, Joonick Jun and of course, the central trio of Tkach, Oh and Fedor Gorst. 

That core group along with Brian Kilgore and Lai Li thanked Anthony Luong and his First Break staff for their hospitality and a portion of the added money, as well as Cuetec Cues. They applauded the efforts of all 64 players who’d made Hannah Choi’s first memorial a memorable occasion. As something of an extended tour-promotion unit, they are already looking forward to the 2nd Annual Hannah Choi Memorial. While it’s a bit too early to determine how that will shape up, there is consideration being given to another Open event, as well as a Women’s tournament.

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Gorst goes undefeated in delayed 14th Bob Stocks Memorial

Fedor Gorst and Shane Wolford (TTMD)

There were a lot of events going on this past Easter weekend, particularly on the East Coast and the multiplicity of them led to a few crossover competitors, reducing the numbers here, increasing them there. This past weekend’s 14th Bob Stocks Memorial (April 16), usually held on an annual basis, came two years after the last one in 2019. Formerly held under the auspices of the Action Pool Tour, ThinkTechMD picked up the reins for this year’s edition. Initially capping the field at 64, that number fell to 52 for a variety of different reasons, and when it began, there were only 30.

Fedor Gorst went undefeated through the field, advancing first on the winners’ side of a double elimination bracket and then, winning four matches in a single elimination bracket to claim the title. Gorst and junior competitor Shane Wolford advanced through the winners’ side of the double elimination bracket and were one of the eight chosen from that side of the bracket to compete in the single elimination phase of the event. Had the double elimination bracket continued, they would have faced off in a winners’ side quarterfinal. As it turned out, after the redraw to single elimination, they showed up at opposite ends of the single elimination bracket and met, for the first and last time, in the event final. The $1,500-added event drew its 30 entrants to First Break Sports Bar in Sterling, VA.

Gorst played two matches on the winners’ side of the double elimination bracket, downing Rafael Reyes (1) and Matt Krah (0) by an aggregate score of 14-1. Wolford advanced through Lenny Valley (4) and Thang Nguyen (3) to arrive at the same winners’ side spot. Joining the eventual finalists in the single elimination phase were, from the winners’ side, Chris Hansen and Nathan Childress, Derick Daya and Manny Chau, as well as Kristina Tkach and Scott Haas.

The last eight left standing on the losers’ side and advancing to single elimination were Thomas Haas, Eric Heiland, Dylan Spohr, Rafael Reyes, Matt Krah, Brandon Shuff, Bart Czapla and John Moody, Sr.

Heiland and Spohr advanced to the event’s final eight after defeating Daya and Childress, respectively. Gorst got by Reyes and was joined in the final eight by Chau, who’d defeated Thomas Haas. Moody, Sr. and Shuff advanced as well, eliminating Scott Haas and Kristina Tkach. Wolford downed Matt Krah, and was joined among the final eight by Chris Hansen, who’d defeated Czapla.

The winners in the four, quarterfinal matches advanced by an aggregate score of 48-16. Shuff and Wolford downed Moody, Sr. and Hansen by the same 11-5 score. Gorst eliminated Chau 11-4 and Spohr gave up only two racks versus Heiland.

The semifinal matches pitted Gorst against Spohr and Shuff against Wolford. Gorst eliminated Spohr 11-5. Shuff gave Wolford a run for his money, coming within a game of forcing a twenty-first deciding game, but in the end, Wolford pulled out in front, advancing to the final against Gorst 11-9.

The final match was an extended race-to-13. Though similar in age (early 20s), the combatants were quite different in how far each had come to this point in their pool careers; Wolford, more or less just starting out and Gorst, already a recognized world-class professional player. Though Wolford would chalk up twice as many racks against Gorst as any of his previous challengers (Reyes and Spohr had managed five against him in races to 11), Gorst got out ahead of Wolford and closed the 14th Bob Stocks Memorial with a 13-10 victory to claim the title. 

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Deska comes from deep on the loss side to down Shuff in APT stop #3

Brian Deska, Shanna Lewis, Raymond Walters and Brandon Shuff

Brandon Shuff, looking to capitalize on his position as the 2015 Action Pool Tour champion, opened the tour's season with a victory in January, though not before being shuttled to the loss side in a winners' side semifinal, winning three and then defeating Rafael Reyes, twice, double hill in the finals. A month later, looking to win the VA State 10-Ball Championships, Shuff had to win four double hill matches to reach a winners' side semifinal, where once again, this time by Eric Moore, double hill, he moved to the loss side. He played his sixth double hill match on that side, and then faced Moore in the finals. Moore defeated him in his seventh double hill match (of eight played) to claim that title.
 
On the weekend of March 19-20, Shuff was back at it, looking for his second tour win, at APT's stop #3. This time, for the first time this season, he advanced to the hot seat. Trouble, though, was brewing on the horizon. In his opening round, Shuff had sent long-time rival, Brian Deska to the loss side, 7-4, in the opening round of play. Deska embarked on a nine-match, loss-side winning streak that included two shutouts, a 6-4 win over Shaun Wilkie, and a double hill win over the VA State 10-Ball Champion Eric Moore, who battled him to double hill in the quarterfinals. He went on to defeat Matt Krah in the semifinals, and then deny Shuff his second APT win, 9-7 in the finals. The event drew 56 entrants Breakers Sky Lounge in Herndon, VA.
 
Shuff's path to the hot seat went (after the opener over Deska) through Brad Moore, Thomas Park, and Greg Sabins, prior to a winners' side semifinal match against Wilkie. At this point, Shuff was shooting almost dead even with Deska's work on the loss side at about 71%. In the other winners' side semifinal, Matt Krah was facing Alan Duty. Shuff got into the hot seat match 7-5 over Wilkie, as Krah was busy downing Duty 7-3. Shuff then claimed his first APT hot seat 7-3 over Krah, and watched the Deska storm cloud gathering.
 
It was Wilkie who drew Deska on the loss side. Deska had picked up loss-side wins # 5 and # 6 against Tom Zippler (6-3) and Loye Bolyard (double hill) to reach him. Duty picked up Eric Moore, fresh off two straight double hill wins over Joey Mastermaker and Eric Varias. Deska advanced to the quarterfinals, downing Wilkie 6-4. Moore joined him, eliminating Duty 6-1.
 
Moore put up a fight in those quarterfinals, looking for his second APT win, but Deska prevailed, double hill for a shot at Krah in the semifinals. He gave up only a single rack to Krah and after nine long matches on the loss side, got a shot at his first 2016 APT title, against the man who'd sent him there, Shuff. When it was over, the two of them had played a combined total of 153 games; Shuff, 61 and Deska, 92. Shuff had finished with a slight winning edge, percentage-wise (.6885 % –  .6847%). They came within a game of double hill, but in the end, Deska pulled out in front to claim the title, 9-7.

Moore uses two, double hill wins over Shuff to claim VA State 10-Ball title

Eric Moore and Brandon Shuff

What a difference a year makes. Last year at this time, we were reporting on Shaun Wilkie‘s sixth straight win on the Action Pool Tour at the 2015 VA State Open 10-Ball Championships, in which he defeated Matt Krah in the finals to claim the title. A year later, two competitors who weren’t even involved in last year’s championship, emerged from the pack to battle twice for the 2016 title; Eric Moore and Brandon Shuff. And in what could only be termed a surprise ending, it was Moore who bested Shuff, twice, double hill, to claim the title. The 2016 VA State Open 10-Ball Championships drew 59 entrants to Diamond Billiards in Midlothian, VA. A concurrently-run Women’s event (separate story), drew 18, and saw Janet Atwell defend her title, with, for the second year in a row, Jacki Duggan as the runner-up.

In the Open event, four of the five matches that Brandon Shuff played on the winners’ side went double hill, including his first two versus Shane Wolford and Rich Glasscock. Shuff got by APT Tour Director Ozzy Reynolds 7-2, before engaging in his fourth and fifth double hill battles. He won the fourth over Bill Duggan before running into Moore in a winners’ side semifinal. Moore had some early trouble against Sean Sporleder in his opening round, but advanced 7-5 to defeat three straight opponents (Rick Senter, Nilbert Lim and Rick Scarleto) 7-2. He capped this with the double hill win that sent Shuff to the loss side. Chris Futrell and RJ Carmona, in the meantime, squared off in the other winners’ side semifinal, won by Futrell 7-3. Moore claimed the hot seat over Futrell 7-3 and waited on Shuff’s return.
On the loss side, Shuff walked right into his sixth double hill match; this one, against Reymart Lim, who’d defeated Christopher Wilburn and Adam Kielar, both 6-4, to reach him. Carmona picked up Scarleto, who, following his winners’ side defeat at the hands of Moore, had defeated Rafael Reyes 6-4 and eliminated last year’s champion, Shaun Wilkie, in a double hill match.
Shuff won his sixth double hill match (over Lim), as Scarleto eliminated Carmona 6-2. Perhaps in preparation for what was to come, Shuff bore down and took the quarterfinal match over Scarleto and the semifinal match against Futrell, both 6-3.
In the finals, Shuff and Moore locked up in what was Shuff’s seventh double hill match, out of eight played. Moore prevailed to claim the 2016 VA State 10-Ball Championships.

The 2015 Action Pool Tour Champion – Brandon Shuff – wins 2016 season opener

Things were running fairly smoothly for the 2015 Action Pool Tour Champion, Brandon Shuff, during the tour's 2016 season opener on the weekend of January 16-17. Until, that is, Shuff ran into Danny Mastermaker in a winners' side semifinal. Shuff had to shuffle on over to the loss side, where he chalked up three wins (including a rematch versus Mastermaker), and came back to defeat hot seat occupant, Rafael Reyes in the finals. The event drew 54 entrants to Magic 8 Cue Club in Cockeysville, MD.
 
Over his first four games, each of Shuff's opponents added two racks to the number scored against him in the previous round. An opening round shutout over Alan Duty was followed by a 7-2 win over Chris Pyle, which was followed by a 7-4 win over Kenny Miller, which was followed by a double hill, 7-6 win over Brett Stottlemyer. This set him up in a winners' side semifinal against Mastermaker, as Reyes and Shaun Wilkie squared off in the other one.
 
Mastermaker sent Shuff to the loss side 7-2, while Reyes (who, by the way, started out with a double hill win and followed it with a shutout and two 7-4 wins) defeated Wilkie 7-3. Reyes claimed the hot seat in one of those 'almost double hill,' 7-5 battles and waited on the return of Shuff.
 
On the loss side, Shuff picked up Steve Fleming, who'd been sent to the loss side by Wilkie and after shutting out Will Moon, had defeated Randy Thomas 7-2. Wilkie, in the meantime, drew Stottlemyer, who, following his defeat at the hands of Shuff, had defeated Jimmy Varias and Trevor Dentz, both 6-2.
 
Stottlemyer and Shuff advanced to a somewhat familiar quarterfinal matchup, once Stottlemyer had eliminated Wilkie 6-2, and Shuff had downed Fleming 6-4. Shuff then took care of business with Stottlemyer, retiring him 6-4 in the quarterfinals, and turning for a re-match against Mastermaker. 
 
Shuff gave up only a single rack to Mastermaker in the semifinals, and turned to face Reyes in the hot seat. A double hill battle ensued, eventually won by Shuff 9-8 to claim the APT's season opener; step one in a quest to repeat as tour champion.

Shuff goes undefeated to capture APT’s Bob Stocks Memorial Tournament

Brandon Shuff

While a list of the 'usual suspects' competed for the 9th Bob Stocks Memorial Tournament title on the weekend of October 10-11, the meta-game of tour rankings on the Action Pool Tour continued. Brandon Shuff went undefeated through a field of 52 , on-hand at the First Break Cafe in Sterling, VA to claim the 2015 title,  defeating defending champion Shaun Wilkie on the way. The tour rankings remained the same, with Wilkie on top and Shuff in second place. The Bob Stocks Memorial Tournament was instituted by First Break Cafe in 2006, and since 2011, has been held under the auspices of the Action Pool Tour.
 
Following an opening round bye and victories over Steve Ball, Wilkie, and Rick Glasscock, Shuff moved into a winners' side semifinal versus another perennial Action Pool Tour competitor, Brian Deska, currently at #17 on the tour rankings. Dannys Green and Mastermaker competed in the other winners' side semifinal. Shuff and Mastermaker sent Deska and Green to the loss side, both by 8-4 scores, and met in the hot seat match, won by Shuff  8-5.
 
On the loss side, Wilkie loomed; loss-side campaigns not being unheard of in his itinerary. After a double hill win over Paul Oh, a 7-4 victory over Steve Fleming, another double hill win over Rafael Reyes, and another 7-4 win over Joey Mastermaker, Wilkie met up with Deska, coming over from the winners' side semifinal. Green, also coming over, met up with Jimmy Varias, who'd defeated Kenny Miller 7-3 and shut out Glasscock.
 
Green won a double hill battle versus Varias to advance to the quarterfinals. Deska joined him after completing a double hill win over Wilkie. Deska then downed Green 7-2, before being eliminated by Mastermaker in the semifinals 7-3.
 
While Wilkie's finish in the tie for 5th place assured him that his top spot in the rankings would remain, Shuff was looking to edge closer. He did so with a 10-5 victory in the finals over Mastermaker, securing the Bob Stocks Memorial title, and a firm grip on the tour's # 2 position.
 

Mazon goes undefeated to take Action Pool Tour stop

Jundel Mazon, from the Philippines, who was in Round Rock, TX over the Labor Day weekend, and was eventually ousted from the 128-entrant Texas Open by Justin Bergman, traveled east on the weekend of September 12-13 to try his hand at the Action Pool Tour. He went undefeated through a field of 64 to capture his first title, since (as far as we've been able to determine) his victory at the Guinness World Series of Pool in Jakarta in 2010; a tournament that saw Darren Appleton finish third, and Shane Van Boening finish in the eight-way tie for 17th. This time out, at the event hosted by Breakers Sky Lounge in Herndon, VA, Mazon left a few familiar names in the dust; like current tour rankings leader Shaun Wilkie (who he did not actually play), and # 2  in those rankings, Brandon Shuff, who he did play, twice, including the finals.
 
After opening his run with an 8-3 victory over Kevin Bailey, Mazon faced Karen Corr, who hasn't been defeated on the J. Pechauer Northeast Women's Tour in 18 months. He defeated Corr 8-4 and went on to defeat Daniel Jarquin, and Matt Krah (# 5 on ATP rankings), which set him up for his first go-round with Shuff, who had just sent Wilkie to the loss side. Joe Wright and Dan Madden met up in the other winners' side semifinal. Mazon sent Shuff to the loss side 8-5, and in the hot seat match, met up with Madden, who'd dispatched Wright 8-4. Mazon claimed the hot seat 8-3, and waited on Shuff's return.
 
Shuff had moved over to meet Steve Fleming, who was in the midst of a seven-match, loss-side winning streak that included recent victories over Jordan Scanlan and Jimmy Varias, both 6-1. Wright drew Matt Krah, who, after being sent over by Mazon, had defeated Rafael Reyes 6-2, and Greg Sabins 6-3. To reach Krah, Sabins had eliminated, in order, Corr and Wilkie.
 
Krah downed Wright 6-4, while Shuff was beating up on Fleming 6-1. He did the same thing, same score, to Krah in the quarterfinals. Madden slowed Shuff down a little in the semifinals, but Shuff emerged on the winners' side of their double hill semifinal match.
 
Mazon completed his undefeated run through the field with a 10-2 win in the finals. The win still left Wilkie at the top of the APT rankings, with Shuff right on his heels. Fleming, Varias, and Krah round out the tour's current top five players. 

Hall double dips Mazon to win Q City 9-Ball stop in Herndon, VA

Collin Hall chalked up a win on the Q City 9-Ball Tour on the weekend of August 1-2, and double dipped world-class pool player Jundel Mazon from the Philippines. Mazon, winner of the Guiness World Series of Pool tournament in Indonesia five years ago and more recently (February) shared the tie for 17th place at the WPA World 10-Ball Championship with the likes of Darren Appleton,  had to win 13 games in his matches versus Hall, who raced to 5. The tour stop drew 25 entrants to Breaker's Sky Lounge in Herndon, VA.
 
To no one's surprise, Mazon advanced to the hot seat in this one. He defeated Shanna Lewis (owner of Breaker's Sky Lounge) 13-2 in a winners' side semifinal (the first time in four matches that he'd given up a single rack), while Hall sent Brian Thacker to the loss side 5-4 in the other (Thacker, racing to 7). Mazon took the hot seat match 13-2 over Hall, and spectators might have been forgiven if they thought, for all intents and purposes, that it was over. Until it wasn't.
 
Lewis and Thacker moved to the loss side, picking up Joey Mastermaker and Daniel "Papa John" Adams, respectively. Mastermaker had gotten by Ethan Carson and Shane Goodrich, both 8-3, to reach Lewis. Adams had downed Rafael Reyes 7-5 and Asia Cycak 8-4 to draw Thacker. Lewis and Thacker picked up their second straight loss; Lewis falling Mastermaker 8-3, Thacker, to Adams 8-4.
 
Mastermaker took the quarterfinal match against Adams 8-4 and then had his run ended by Hall 5-3 in the semifinals. Mazon got close in the opening set of the true double elimination finals, winning 11 of the 13 games he needed to win. Hall, though, chalked up his five to force a second set. Hall claimed the event title with a 5-3 win in the second set.

Deska goes undefeated through a field of 79 to win stop # 4 on the Action Pool Tour

Brian Deska turned in a dominating performance during his undefeated run through a field of 79 entrants, on hand for the April 12-13 stop on the Action Pool Tour. Deska finished with a 36-9 overall record (80%), and didn't give up a rack in either of his first two matches. The event, the fourth of the Action Pool Tour season, was hosted by the First Break Cafe in Sterling, VA.
 
Once past shutouts over Scarlett Forsman and Will Moon, Deska loosened up a bit to give up a total of four racks, combined, to Steve Fleming and Tom Zippler, which put him into a winners' side semifinal against Matt Krah, who had also been skimpy in winning 24 of the 32 games he'd played (against George Hammerbacher, Steve Luskey, TJ Moore and Shaun Wilkie).
 
Rick Glassock and Paul Oh squared off in the other winners' side semifinal; Glasscock coming in on the heels of three straight double hill fights (against Brian Dietzenbach, Shanna Lewis and Steve Wigglesworth) and a single shutout over Rafael Reyes, which put him among the final four winners with a 24-15 record. Oh was the only one of the four who'd not received a bye in the opening round, and joined the final four winners with a 30-12 overall record against five opponents; (in order) Leo McDaniel, Matt LeMire, Matthew Siple, David Zecena and Kim Whiteman.
 
Deska's toughest match all weekend was against Krah, whom he sent to the losers' bracket 6-3, while Glasscock was busy chalking up his second straight shutout, over Oh. In their first of two meetings, Deska defeated Glasscock 6-2 and waited in the hot seat for their second.
 
On the loss side, Krah moved over and picked up Rafael Reyes, who, after being shut out by Glasscock had defeated Alan Duty and Tuan Chau, both 5-3. Oh drew Paul Helms, who'd been sent to the losers' bracket by Kim Whitman and was in the midst of a five-match, loss-side run that would take him to the quarterfinals. Krah downed Reyes 5-1, as Helms was busy handing Oh his second straight shutout. 
 
Krah went one step further, defeating Helms in the quarterfinals 5-1, and then locking up in a double hill battle against Glasscock in the semifinals. Glasscock hung on to win it for a second chance against Deska. 
 
Deska would give up more racks (4) in the finals than he'd given up to any opponent all weekend, though given the fact that the final match was a race to 9, instead of 6, his winning percentage in the finals (69%) was an actual improvement over his toughest match; the 6-3 (66%) win over Krah in one of the winners' side semifinals.
 
The event victory movEd Deska up a notch in the Action Pool Tour rankings, from third to second place. Shaun Wilkie, who finished in the tie for 7th place, maintained his top ranking, while Dan Madden, who finished 45th, slipped into third place. The next stop on the Action Pool Tour, scheduled for May 10-11, will be held at Diamond Billiards in Midlothian, VA.

Bruner wins three-match battle over Stottlemyer on the Action Pool Tour

On the weekend of July 13-14, sitting atop the leader board on the Action Pool Tour, Brett Stottlemyer was looking to solidify that position with his second victory on the (thus far) 11-stop season, dating back to October. Though there are others on the tour who've won more events (Mike Davis and Brandon Shuff, for example), Stottlemyer has participated in all 11 events, and it's his 'Participation Points' and relatively high finishes in each of those stops that has him at the top of the rankings, just ahead of tour director, Ozzy Reynolds, who has, for obvious reasons, also been in attendance at all 11 stops. Stottlemyer's search for a second victory was derailed by Chris Bruner, who entered the tournament at # 36 in the tour rankings, on the basis of attendance at five of the events. Bruner took two out of three matches against Stottlemyer to claim title to Event # 11, which drew 60 entrants to Breakers Sky Lounge, in Herndon, VA.
 
They met first among the winners' side final eight. Bruner sent Stottlemyer west 7-4 and advanced among the winners' side final four for a match against Rafael Reyes. Danny Mastermaker, in the meantime, who'd won Stop # 8 in April and from his # 11 spot, was looking to step inside the Top 10 in rankings, met up with Dan Madden. Mastermaker dominated his match against Madden, winning 7-1 and advancing to the hot seat match against Bruner, who'd downed Reyes 7-4. Bruner then survived a double hill match against Mastermaker to claim the hot seat.
 
Stottlemyer, in the meantime, began his work on the loss side with a 6-1 victory over Danny Mastermaker's brother, Joey, and then defeated the #2-ranked Ozzie Reynolds 6-2, to meet up with Madden. Reyes drew Shaun Wilkie, who'd gotten by Daniel Jarquin 6-1 and #3-ranked Dominic Noe. It was Stottlemyer and Wilkie, advancing to the quarterfinals; Stottlemyer 6-2 over Madden and Wilkie 6-3 over Reyes.
 
Stottlemyer and Wilkie battled to double hill in those quarterfinals, with Stottlemyer prevailing to pick up Danny Mastermaker. Stottlemyer earned a second shot against Bruner with a 6-3 victory over Mastermaker in the semifinals, and then, took the opening set of the finals 7-3. Bruner, though, rallied to take the second set 6-4 and claim the event title. Though denied the event victory, Stottlemyer's second place finish did, in fact, solidify his top spot in the tour rankings, still ahead of Reynolds and Noe.