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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.

Deska becomes first to win three straight on Action Pool Tour, claiming #1 ranking

In the absence of Shaun Wilkie, Brian Deska took command of the Action Pool Tour rankings with a third straight win on the tour. He became the first in the tour's history to accomplish the feat, during the 6th stop on the tour; June 7-8, in a field of 54, hosted by Breakers Sky Lounge in Herndon, VA.
Though he would go undefeated, Deska did not go unchallenged. He gave up an average of five racks per match; 30 over six matches and 48 games, prior to the finals. Kim Whitman challenged him with six in the opening round and Tuan Chau battled him to double hill in a winners' side semifinal. In the hot seat match, challenged by Troy Miller, who'd defeated Paul Oh 8-6, Deska gave up his match average, but there he sat, in the hot seat, on the brink of three straight.
Tuan Chau moved over and picked up Alan Duty, who'd gotten by Rocky Guell 7-4 and Jimmy Endara 7-5, to reach him. Oh drew Pooky Rasmeloungon, who'd shut out Jeremy Perkins and defeated Rich Glasscock 7-3. Chau defeated Duty 7-4, as Rasmeloungon eliminated Oh 7-3. Chau survived a double hill quarterfinal against Rasmeloungon, and then had his four-match, loss-side winning streak ended by Miller, 7-5, in the semifinals.
Deska brought his 61% winning average into the finals and completed his undefeated run by winning 71% (10) of the final 14 games. Runner-up Troy Miller, from Virginia Beach, finished with an overall winning average of 56% percent, winning 48 of the 86 games he played.
Shaun Wilkie (former #1), Larry Kressel (#9) and Raymond Walters (#10) were not on-hand for this event, while Alan Duty (#5) and Paul Oh (#7) finished in the tie for 5th place. Rick Glasscock (#8) finished in the tie for 7th place. Dan Madden (#3) and Steve Fleming (#4) finished out of the money, among the four tied for 13th place, while Pat Carosi (#6) also finished out of the money in the tie for 33rd place.
Stop #7 on the Action Pool Tour will again be hosted by Breakers Sky Lounge in Herndon, VA. The 10-ball event is scheduled for September 6-7. 

Stottlemeyer stops loss-side challenge by Saez to win Action Pool Tour stop

Brett Stottlemeyer stopped a determined, loss-side challenge by Robb Saez to win the August 11-12 stop on the Action Pool Tour. Saez won three double hill matches (and two others) on the loss side for the right to face Stottlemeyer, and won the opening set of the true double elimination final. Stottlemeyer fought back in the second set to chalk up the “W.” The event drew 63 entrants to VIP Billiards in Catonsville, MD.

Stottlemeyer gave up only four racks in his first two matches, and survived a double hill battle against Larry Kressel in the third round. He faced Mike Davis in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Tour points leader, Brian Deska, in the meantime, who had just survived a double hill battle against Saez, squared off against Shaun Wilkie. Stottlemeyer sent Davis west 8-5, as Deska downed Wilkie 8-6. Stottlemeyer got into the hot seat with an 8-4 victory over Deska, which sent him (Deska) to a semifinal re-match against Saez.

Saez, in the meantime, began his five-match journey back to the finals with his first of three double hill victories; over Brandon Shuff. He moved on to defeat Rich Glasscock 6-2, and picked up Davis, coming over from the winners’ side final four. Wilkie picked up Joe Cataldi, who’d defeated Larry Kressel and Shawn Toni, both 6-3.

Saez chalked up his second double hill win, this time over Davis, and in the quarterfinals faced Wilkie, who’d ended Cataldi’s day with a 6-1 victory. Wilkie came within a rack of forcing Saez into his third double hill match on the loss side, but Saez closed the match out at 6-4 and turned for a re-match against Deska in the semifinals.

For the third and final time, Saez locked up in a double hill match. The semifinal, 6-5 victory over Deska gave him a shot at Stottlemeyer in the hot seat. He took advantage of momentum to take the first set of the true double elimination final 8-6. Stottlemeyer, though, fought back in the second set, and won it 6-4 to secure the event title.

With only one point-bearing event to go on the Action Pool Tour’s season (the finale, set for September 8-9 at Big Daddy’s Billiards in Glen Burnie, MD), Stottlemeyer’s victory edged him closer to the top of the tour rankings. He remained behind the leaders, Brian Deska, Brandon Shuff and tour director Ozzy Reynolds, but pulled within striking distance of Reynolds. Deska, in the meantime, finishing third, solidified his top tour ranking, making him almost (but not quite) uncatchable (by Brandon Shuff in second place) as the season finale approaches.