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Epperson wins* Florida tournament at Beyond Billiards, but the Silent Assassin gets the trophy

Randy Epperson

There are any number of reasons why two competitors opt out of playing a final match in a pool tournament; it’s late, one of the players has to get to work, another has a long drive, this one just doesn’t want to be bothered, etc., etc., etc. As a rule, we don’t often write about the reasons, because in a lot of cases, we don’t know. The negotiations are initiated by the players themselves and their reasons are often unknown to even the tour director who dispenses the cash in any way the two players dictate. We also don’t generally know exactly how the cash was split, because often, even the tour directors who distribute the cash don’t know. On Super Bowl weekend, however, we were apprised of a ‘top prizes’ split between the last two standing in a $200-added Super 9 Bowl Open, hosted by Beyond Billiards in Davie, FL.

We know about the split, because while the venue and tournament itself were relatively unknown, one of the competitors was Tony “Silent Assassin” Robles, who, with his wife Gail and son, Antonio, moved down to Florida over the winter. They left behind them the Predator Pro Am Tour, Tony’s operation of the National Pool League, a lot of Tony’s students and a boatload of friends, acquaintances and pool players in the tri-state area pool community. Not to mention, for a while, Tony’s pool game.

“I don’t regret any of the time I spent with the (Predator Pro Am) tour or the league, or any of my students or corporate events,” he said from his Miami-area home earlier this week. “I enjoyed it while it lasted and there weren’t any plans to stop, but the pandemic didn’t give us much choice.”

It took a little while for them to settle in, but it wasn’t very long before he found a local venue and on Super Bowl weekend, February 2021, Robles joined 31 other competitors (including, by the way, the Iceman, Mika Immonen) in the Super 9 Bowl tournament at Beyond Billiards. He worked his way through the field and arrived at the hot seat match, where he suffered his first defeat, at the hands of Randy Epperson. He came back from the semifinals and was approached by Epperson, who proposed that they opt out of the final match and split the cash. As the undefeated occupant of the hot seat at the time, Epperson would be the event’s official winner, but Robles didn’t really care about that. He’d fallen in love with the event trophy (pictured at left with Robles) and suggested to Epperson that he’d agree to a split if he could get the trophy.

Tony Robles

He got the trophy. And part of the $950 in cash (how much was not revealed) that represented the first two cash prizes.

“The first match,” Robles said of his return to the tables, “I was shaking like a leaf. In my second match, I was feeling really good and by the third match, I felt like I was back in stroke.”

He won the first match, versus Nikolin Dalibor, 7-2 and survived a double hill challenge from Sam Kantar in the second match.  He downed Jason Sheerman 7-5 and advanced to a winners’ side semifinal match against Raul Alvarez.

In the meantime, Epperson and The Iceman set out on a collision course to the other winners’ side semifinal. Epperson defeated Carl Kahn 7-2, Gabe Messa 7-1 and Pierre Palmieri 7-4, as Immonen shut out Ignacio Meindl and Felix Lunda, to either side of a 7-2 win over Eric Poveda.

Now, ‘in stroke,’ reportedly, Robles advanced to the hot seat match 7-1 over Raul Alvarez. Having lost only two of his first 23 games, Immonen found himself fighting for his winners’ side life against Epperson. And losing, double hill. Epperson claimed the hot seat 7-5 over Tony and waited on his return.

“He played phenomenally well,” said Robles of the hot seat match. “I had a few opportunities to win that match. He made a few simple errors that gave me ball-in-hand.”

“There are very few times,” he added, “when I’m losing that I find myself enjoying the match, but I was really enjoying that match.”

On the loss side, Mika Immonen picked up Florida powerhouse Anthony Meglino, Beyond Billiards’ house pro and tournament director for this event, who was fresh off a runner-up finish in an independent event in Port St. Lucie last week and a 4th place finish in something of a leftover 2020 event on the Predator Sunshine State Pro Am Tour the week before that. Meglino had lost his opening match, double hill, to Yusan Alvarez and was in the midst of a five-match, loss-side winning streak that was about to come to an end. 

Alvarez drew Pierre Palmieri, who, after his winners’ side quarterfinal defeat by Epperson, had defeated Karen Freire 5-1 and shut out Yusan Alvarez before Meglino could get a loss-side shot at him. 

Immonen ended Meglino’s loss-side run 5-2 and was joined in the quarterfinals by Raul Alvarez, who’d eliminated Palmieri by the same 5-2 score. Alvarez and Immonen locked up in a double hill fight, which bore the extra weight of a potential Immonen/Robles matchup in the semifinals. It was not to be. Alvarez defeated Immonen, setting up his re-match versus Robles. 

In what proved to be the final match of the night, Robles earned himself a second shot at Epperson with a 5-1 victory over Alvarez in those semifinals. Epperson and Robles launched their negotiations over who’d get what and how much and called it a night, relatively early.

Robles was happy with his overall performance in what was his first, somewhat official return to the tables; not counting the one in his home. He posited a theory as to why he did as well as he did this first time out.

“I’m pretty sure it’s because I’m not in charge of a tour anymore,” he said. “I’m at peace.”

“All I’m doing in Florida is teaching and competing,” he added, “so all I’m thinking about when I come to the table is the game. It’s like night and day.”

While as he noted earlier, he left the tri-state New York area without a lot of regrets, he reflected on the more positive notes his departure and resettlement struck.

“I wanted to watch my son grow,” he said. “I realized when I was up there that I was away over  30 weekends a year between the tour, the NAPL, lessons and corporate parties.”

“When I stopped doing the tour, the world opened up,” he added. “It’s been awesome. I am really, truly enjoying life.”

You might be seeing more of him at tournaments being scheduled by Eduardo Gomez, originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina and as of October, the new owner of Beyond Billiards. Prior to his arrival, he said, the site didn’t hold tournaments, but once he’d arrived and like Tony Robles, settled in a little, he began to organize them; a couple in January, including New Year’s Day. Then, of course, this most recent Super 9 Bowl tournament, to be followed by another one, for intermediate players, this weekend. A comprehensive and ongoing schedule is in the works. For further information, call Beyond Billiards at 954-434-3487 or check out their Web site –

Kennedy comes from the loss side to win second straight J. Pechauer SE Open 9-Ball stop

(l to r) Amateur winners Bill Bloom, Miscue Lounge Owner Ricky Martin & Che Mvros

Boom goes undefeated to capture Amateur title
On Saturday, August 19, Tommy Kennedy, tour director of the J. Pechauer Southeast Open 9-Ball Tour, chalked up his second straight victory on the tour. Following his victory a week earlier at Uncle Waldo's Billiards in Daytona Beach, in which he followed a hot seat loss with a finals victory, Kennedy and the tour visited the Miscue Lounge in Fort Myers and repeated that process in the Bob and Brad Martin Memorial Tournament. Stephen Richmond sent him to the semifinals in this most recent, $600-added event that drew a short field of 14 entrants, but Kennedy came back to win a decisive victory in the finals.
In a $400-added Amateur event that drew 34 entrants on Sunday, August 20, Bill Bloom downed separate opponents in the hot seat (Antti Matilla) and finals (Che Mrvos) to claim the amateur title.
Kennedy's path in the Open event went through Randy Epperson in a winners' side semifinal, as Richmond battled Keith Lennox. Kennedy got into the hot seat match with a 9-4 win over Epperson and was joined by Richmond, who'd sent Lennox over 9-5. Richmond claimed the hot seat and his last win of the event 9-4 over Kennedy and waited on his return.
On the loss side, Epperson picked up Antti Matilla, who'd gotten by Anthony G. and John Deek to reach him. Lennox drew Glenn Olson, who'd defeated James R. and Jimmy Clay. Lennox locked up in a double hill fight that he eventually won against Olson, and in the quarterfinals, met up with Epperson, who'd eliminated Matilla 7-2.
Epperson downed Lennox 7-3 in those quarterfinals, but was defeated, same score, by Kennedy in the semifinals. Kennedy got his second shot at Richmond and took full advantage, downing him 11-4 in the finals to claim his second straight SE Open 9-Ball title.
In the Amateur event, Bill Bloom advanced to the hot seat match with a double hill win over Chris Hall in one winners' side semifinal, while Antti Matilla defeated Billy McBride 6-4 to join him. Bloom claimed the hot seat 6-4.
On the loss side, Hall picked up Trey Jankowski, who'd just defeated Eddie Green 4-1 in the event's first money round. McBride drew Che Mrvos, who'd eliminated Eric Huddleston 4-1.
Jankowski and Mrvos advanced to the quarterfinals over Hall and McBride, by the same 4-1 score. A double hill battle in those quarterfinals advanced Mrvos to the semifinals, where he defeated Matilla 4-1 for a shot at Bloom in the hot seat. Bloom completed his undefeated run with a 9-5 victory over Mrvos in the finals.
Kennedy, as tour director, thanked the ownership and staff at Miscue Lounge, as well as title sponsor  J. Pechauer Custom Cues, Mueller Recreational Products, Simonis Cloth, Billiard Buzz, and Chris and Israel Hightower (Cue Man Billiard Products).

Ultimate Billiards Hosts 2012 Sunshine State ACS Championships

Ladies Team Power Pak

Ft. Pierce, FL (July 29, 2012) – Thursday evening 16 Scotch Double teams kicked off the 2012 Sunshine State ACS 8-Ball Championship events held at Ultimate Billiards in Ft. Pierce, FL.  Jennifer Page and Zeno Rawley of Stuart, Florida, made it to the hot seat.  The team of Colleen Russell & Steve Rolls of Port St. Lucie, Florida, played the Miami team of Kelly Coyle & Jaran Hilton. Although it was a battle, the Miami team bested the Port St. Lucie team to make it to the finals.  However, Page and Rawley proved to be too much for team Miami to handle.  Page and Rawley finished with an undefeated series to capture the Scotch Doubles Division Title. 

As the finals of the Scotch Doubles finished, the Men’s and Women’s Singles got underway. With a field of 29 men and 15 women the draw was completed and play began. Throughout the day many a hill-hill match was played. There would be no clear victor to these two tournaments until the last eight ball was pocketed. Cue maker Danny Green not only knows how to make cues but he knows how to use one as well. Green settled for fourth place after knocking out Jerry Sotelo who finished 5th and 6th along with  Rich Johnson.  On Saturday morning in the men’s division three players returned to battle it out for the title of Men’s Sunshine State ACS 8-Ball Champion.  Randy Epperson of Miami held the hot seat. Justin Gilsinan of Port St. Lucie finished third as Johnny Aguillera moved on to meet Epperson in the finals. This being a true double elimination tournament Aguillera needed two sets for the win. The first set went much the course of the entire tournament with Johnny getting by with a hill-hill victory to set the scene for the final match.  The final game and final eight ball came down to yet another hill-hill game. The deciding eight ball went to Johnny Aguillera along with the title Sunshine State ACS 8-Ball Champion Men’s Singles Division.

Jeannie Seaver won the Women’s Sunshine State ACS 8-Ball Champion Division.  Cheryl Perez finished second, third place went to Jamie Toennies, with Cassidy Mulligan fourth, and fifth/sixth went to Janice Sessions and Janet Smith. 

On the Women’s team side Power Pak, including Jeannie Seaver along with, sister Vanessa Seaver, Cassidy Mulligan, Tracy McCreary, and Kira Brown, took home the Women’s Sunshine State ACS 8-Ball Team Championship title.  After Eight finished second, and the St. Pete Girls finished third. 

The Men’s final three teams returned Sunday with a Palm Beach County ACS League in the hot seat and another in the semi-finals.  Chalk’s Cheap held the hot seat from Saturday night while Smoke Signals and No Butts squared off to decide who would go home in third place. When the smoke cleared, No Butts got theirs handed to them settling for third. 

As a spectator of these tournaments I have to say that when speaking to No Butts, the third place team finishers, they told me they expected to go two and out.  I believe because these guys not only came as a team they ARE a team all year long and with that, their game was up by a good 30 percent above the individual’s ability. No Butts proved that with the right support group great things are accomplished.
Although Smoke Signals moved forward to face Chalk’s Cheap in the finals, Smoke Signals couldn’t get the fire lit and Chalk’s Cheap was crowned the 2012 Florida Sunshine State ACS 8-Ball Team Champion.  

Special thanks to Robbie Morito, President of the Sunshine State ACS Association, ACS Executive Director John Lewis, who flew in from Green Bay, Wisconsin to referee the matches. Also our thanks to Ted Harris and Danny Green of Ted Harris Custom Cues, who were on hand for re-tipping and conditioning the cues. Visit e-mail or call 754-246-6366.

Our next event is the women’s Flamingo Billiards Tour Stop #4.  August 25, 2012. For more information visit  Also, look for END OF SUMMER SIZZLER with $1000-added 9-Ball event Labor Day Weekend sponsored by 

Meglino wraps up second win at FBT Open at Slate Billiards

Boynton Beach, Fla. (Dec. 3, 2011) – Amazing grace, great talent and good cheer made for an exciting day of competition at the Flamingo Billiards Tour Holiday Open 9-Ball Event on Saturday at Slate Billiards in Boynton Beach, FL.  At the end of it all, Anthony Meglino edged out David Broxson for his second Flamingo Billiards Tour Open 9-Ball victory.

Competition abounded with notable pro players “TK” Tommy Kennedy and “Iron” Mike Davis in town.  Filling Slate’s holiday décor of familiar South Florida competitors was Meglino, Broxson, John Foster, Randy Epperson, and Javier Chirino.  Topping it all off was the revered, feared, and respected Toby Sweet.   

In one of the day’s great matchups, Meglino went toe-to-toe with Sweet to stay on the winner’ side.  Like a master testing his young grasshopper, Sweet, down 5-1, gave Meglino a few lessons in the art of billiards.  Sweet came back to win the next four racks and just when it looked like Sweet would tie the match, Sweet got a bad roll as the cue ball froze up on the five, leaving Sweet with no shot and a difficult safe that cost Sweet the match.  Meglino continued on, outshooting Randy Epperson only to be stopped by David Broxson, who shot strong through to the hot seat.  

Broxson came up through the winner’s side finishing off another exciting and nail-biting hill-hill match with Tommy Kennedy.  After that, Broxson sent veteran player John Foster west.  Foster later matched up with Meglino in yet another exciting and hotly contested double hill match attempting to make it back to the finals. However, Foster would have to settle for third.

In the final race to 11, Meglino got off to a late start, trailing Broxson 4-0.  Meglino finally got on the score board and Broxson responded equally, giving himself a 5-1 lead.  In game seven, Meglino was faced with a jump shot, and in true form Meglino not only jumped but amazingly jump-banked the one and ran the rest of the rack, score 6-2.  What may have been the turning point in the match, before long Meglino was up 8-7.  Broxson then missed a key five-ball shot in rack 16, giving Meglino a 9-7 lead.  Broxson was left with a kick shot in the next rack which he barely missed, leaving Meglino out and on the hill, 10-7.  However, Broxson wasn’t going to be stopped easily, as he broke and ran the next rack, score 10-8.  Meglino broke next but came up dry.  However, he got back to the table and proceeded to run out, but uncharacteristically overcut the six leaving Broxson a tough long rail shot which he made along with the remaining rack, score 10-9.  It was Broxson’s turn to break and it looked like he would tie the match, as an easy 4-9 combo was begging for attention.  But he didn’t get shape on the three, and left himself with a difficult rail shot because the cue ball stopped just in front of the eight-ball, forcing Broxson to shoot over the eight.  Broxson shot the three and got shape for the combo, but the three bobbled in the corner and refused to drop.  Meglino pocketed the three and proceeded to make the 4-9 combo match-winning shot.

Other notable matches included Mike Davis’ loss to John Foster.  Davis was favored to win the event.  Another upset included Tommy Kennedy’s double-hill loss to Broxson and then being knocked out of the event by Davis.

Some of the event matches can be viewed at and

The FBT, a WPBA-Recognized Regional Tour, is the stepping stone to the WPBA for women in Florida who want to qualify for Women’s Professional Billiard Association events.  The 2011 Winter Open was the second 9-Ball event open to both male and female players.

Many thanks to everyone who came out to play, to room owners Mike Bradford and Joe Sistarelli, (, for being great hosts and to Boynton Billiards ( for their support of the Flamingo Billiards Tour.