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Shaw comes back from hot seat loss to win 11th Annual Empire State Championships

Pnoto by Erwin Dionisio (l to r): Jorge Rodriguez, Jayson Shaw, Frankie Hernandez, Raphael Dabreo

Fracasso-Verner goes undefeated to capture Amateur title
 
When Frankie Hernandez first appeared in our database, finishing 25th in the US Open 9-Ball Championships, won by Tommy Kennedy in 1992, Jayson Shaw was four years old. A year later, in the same event, Hernandez would share a 17th place finish with such luminaries as Allen Hopkins, Jim Rempe, Richie Richeson and Cliff Joyner. In Frankie’s best earnings year, to date (2001), Shaw had just become a teenager, as Frankie was busy finishing 49th at the US Open, but cashing in 21 events, including eight stops on the Joss Tour, two Turning Stone events (II & III), and geographic victories all over the map; Florida, Las Vegas and New England, et al.
 
At the $1,000-added, 11th Annual Empire State Championships (Open/Pro division), which drew 28 entrants to Raxx Billiards in West Hempstead, NY on the weekend of February 23-24, Hernandez advanced to the hot seat match, where he met and defeated Jayson Shaw in an exciting, back and forth, double hill match. Shaw returned from the semifinals to down Hernandez in the finals.
 
When Shaw first appeared in our database in 2006, Lukas Fracasso-Verner was four years old. They didn’t meet to play in this 11th Annual Empire State Championships, although it would have been fun to watch. Fracasso-Verner went undefeated through the $2,000-added Amateur event’s field of 140 to capture the Amateur title.
 
Both defending champions of this event were on-hand at this year’s championships, but both would end up in the tie for 13th in their respective divisions; Zion Zvi, the two-time defending champion of the Open/Pro division, and Jason Carandang, last year’s amateur winner.
 
Fracasso-Verner is fresh off his best earnings year to date (2018) and recent winner of a stop on the NE 9-Ball Series. He was last year’s winner in the Amateur division of the 8th Annual George “Ginky” Sansouci Memorial, at which he lost his opening match and won 11 on the loss side before downing Chuck Allie to claim the title. That said, he’s proved to be a bit of puzzle. Though his various accomplishments on regional tours and national events has been impressive (last year’s Ginky Memorial and this event as just a couple of relevant examples), he has come into this broad field of top-notch competition without benefit of a Junior National Championship under his belt, although he’s competed several times. He is also not on anyone’s short list to become a member of the USA’s junior team at this year’s upcoming Atlantic Cup Challenge. According to Roy Pastor, who’s taught Fracasso-Verner in the Connecticut Youth Billiards program and is a part of the BEF’s junior and world championship programs, Fracasso-Verner’s absence from this year’s Atlantic Cup Challenge team says less about his individual skills and talent, than it does about the overall strength of the youth programs leading up to the BEF Junior Nationals every year.
 
“The field (of junior competitors) is getting stronger every year,” said Pastor, “and there are a lot of Lukas Fracasso-Verners out there.”
 
Joey Tate, the teenager, from Raleigh, NC, for example, is younger than Fracasso-Verner and has already attained a 681 Fargo Rate. By comparison, Fracasso-Verner is currently at 645. And there are others, some of whom, over the years, have defeated Fracasso-Verner in Junior National competition.
 
“Lukas is a terrific player, though,” said Pastor, “and has the potential to be one of the greatest.”  
 
This time around, Fracasso-Verner opted out of the loss side route for this event, going undefeated through the Amateur field. He defeated Chris Ganley in the hot seat match and Matt Klein in the finals.
 
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Fracasso-Verner and Klein met first in a winners’ side semifinal, while Ganley and Paul Carpenter squared off in the other one. Fracasso-Verner got into the hot seat match with an 8-4 victory over Klein and was joined by Ganley, who’d sent Carpenter west 7-5. Fracasso-Verner downed Ganley, who started the match with 5 on the wire, 10-7 to claim the hot seat.
 
On the loss side, Klein picked up Xavier Romero and Carpenter drew Jim Gutierrez. Klein and Carpenter got right back to work, downing Romero and Gutierrez, both 7-3, to meet in the quarterfinals. Klein then eliminated Carpenter 7-5 and got a second shot at Fracasso-Verner with a 7-4 victory over Ganley in the semifinals. Fracasso-Verner claimed the Empire State title with an 8-5 victory over Klein.
 
Shaw comes back from hot seat loss to claim 10-Ball Open/Pro title
 
There had to be an inescapable air of inevitability about the 10-Ball Open/Pro event. With Jayson Shaw in the relatively short field, as the winners’ side whittled down further and further, who wouldn’t be bracket watching to see if they were next on the world-class player’s hit list. Frankie Hernandez, though, was one of the 28, who, having competed against his share of top-notch champions, would be unlikely to be intimidated. Cautious, maybe, respectful of Shaw’s obvious talent, but up to the challenge, which reached him in the hot seat match.
 
Shaw had faced and defeated another unlikely-to-be-intimidated competitor, Jorge Rodriguez 7-3 in a winners’ side semifinal (Rodriguez won this event in 2015). Hernandez, in the meantime, squared off against and eventually sent Rob Pole to the loss side 7-2. In a thrilling, double hill hot seat match, Hernandez sent Shaw off to the semifinals.
 
On the loss side, in the first money round, Rodriguez picked up Tenzin Jorden, who’d been the first of two to defeat defending champion, Zion Zvi, and a week earlier, had chalked up his first Predator Pro Am Amateur title. He’d defeated Jimmy Rivera 7-3 and survived a double hill match against Joey Korsiak to reach Rodriguez. Pole drew Raphael Dabreo, who’d most recently eliminated Jonathan Smith 7-4 and Mike Salerno (Smith, in the previous round, had knocked out Zion Zvi).
 
Rodriguez and DaBreo advanced to the quarterfinals, both 7-2, over Jorden and Pole. DaBreo took the quarterfinal 7-5 over Rodriguez. It was getting late, already into early Monday morning, when Shaw, seemingly impatient, gave up only a single rack to DaBreo in those semifinals to earn a second shot against Hernandez in the hot seat.
 
Things broke pretty evenly in the early going of the finals, which didn’t get underway until nearly 2 a.m. Shaw and Hernandez fought back and forth early, with no clear winner in sight. Near the middle of those finals, though, Shaw broke through to claim the title 9-4.
 
A Second Chance event drew a full field of 16 entrants. Julie Ha ($160) won four straight in the single elimination bracket to down Monika Callaghan ($100) 8-6 in the finals. Chulo Castro and Mark Antonetti finished in the tie for 3rd place ($30 each). A Third Chance event drew another full field of 16 and was won by Brian Tierney ($160), who downed Dave Callaghan ($100) 7-5 in the finals. Mike Callaghan and Shashi Hajaree each took home $39 for their third place tie.
 
Tony Robles thanked the ownership and staff at Raxx Billiards for their continuing support and hospitality at these annual Empire State Championships, as well as title sponsor Predator Cues, Ozone Billiards, NAPL, The DeVito Team, PoolontheNet.com, Billiards Digest, AZBilliards, Pool & Billiards Magazine and his entire staff, including his lovely wife, Gail. The next stop on the Predator Pro Am Tour, scheduled for the weekend of March 2-3 will be an Amateur event, hosted by The Spot in Nanuet, NY.

Champions Reignite at Space City Open VII

Josh Roberts (Photo courtesy of Chris Lue, Next Action Media)

James Davis, Jr., “Junior”, of Austin, Texas, went undefeated in a 128-player field, to win the Space City Open VII, open 9-ball title, becoming the second player to win it twice. Josh “The Beast” Roberts not only defended his one pocket title, but finished second in banks, and thirty-third in the 9-ball, earning himself the “All-Around” title, and a hefty $1,500 bonus. First-time competitor, Evan Lunda of Detroit, Michigan, cleaned up in the 32-player, 9-ball banks division, going hill-hill with only a single opponent. In the 32-player, ladies 9-ball, Ming “The Empress” Ng redeemed herself in the second set of the true, double elimination final, securing her second title, and becoming the first, two-time winner in this division. Nine junior players, including eight young men, and one young lady, traveled from across Texas to compete in their very own division. Lazaro “Little Laz” Martinez, III, of San Antonio, Texas, went undefeated in this category, earning the first win in this division debut.
 
For years, Space City Open has featured top players from across America, and this year was no exception. Former Mosconi Cup players, contenders, and champions alike were in attendance, vying for a piece of the $53,415 payout. Space City Open superstars included Justin Hall, Josh Roberts, Danny Smith, Shane McMinn, John Morra, Charlie “Hillbilly” Bryant, Richie Richeson, Alex Calderone, Sylver Ochoa, Ernesto Bayaua, James Davis, Jr., Can Salim, Chris Robinson, Evan Lunda, Jamie Baraks, Manny Perez, Justin Espinosa, Tommy Tokoph, and Jesus Atencio.  
 
This year’s $7,500 added, Space City Open VII, was held December 6th-9th, 2018, and implemented a number of positive changes, including a $1,500 All-Around bonus, and a seventeen-and-under, juniors 9-ball division. In its seventh year, the “derby-like” event, now hosting five divisions over four days, was also held at a brand new venue. Big Tyme Billiards in Spring, Texas, stepped up to host, generously adding $4,000 to the purse, providing twenty Diamond bar tables and six nine foot tables, on which to compete. Twenty-six, brand new, Cyclop “Zeus” ball sets, and Accu-Racks by Outsville, were provided by Space City. The bar tables were a popular change from the eight foot tables used in previous years (for the open 9-ball division), and the format changes for one pocket and banks were also a huge hit. These divisions were still held on nine foot tables, but in a single elimination format as opposed to double, and the consensus was clear. Players loved the expediency, along with the added pressure and intensity of the “one-and-done” arrangement. For the first time, all divisions filled, with players on stand-by.
 
The open 9-ball division presented a monstrous, challenging field, played on the great equalizer; the bar table. On the road to victory, James Davis, Jr. defeated Matt Williams, Charlie Bryant, 9-8, Evan Lunda, 9-8, and Shelby Green, 9-5, to reach the winners’ side final eight. Espinosa logged wins over Angelina Dean, 9-1, Marshal Ward, 9-2, Eric Aicinena, 9-4, and Victor Rojas, 9-7, while Danny Smith defeated Mike Landry, 9-2, Colton Berzins, 9-1, John Morra, 9-5, and Mike Alonzo, 9-8. Jamie Baraks made quick work of Beto Cavazos, 9-3, Rick Moreno, 9-3, David Thomas, 9-7, and Shane McMinn, 9-4. Houston’s Andy Jethwa passed Grady Cooper, 9-1, Mark Galicia, 9-5, Sylver Ochoa, 9-8, and Corey Flud, 9-6. Richie Richeson ousted Alan Myers, Jerry Miller, 9-8, David Chow, and Billy “Big Tyme” Sharp, 9-4, while Alex Calderone overcame Chase Wheeler, 9-2, Ricki Casper, 9-6, Aaron Springs, 9-7, and Germany’s Can Salim, 9-8. On the one loss side and in the money, Kenneth Price upset Chris Robinson, 7-5, and bested Flud, 7-7, while Morra topped Curt Sheldon, 7-3, and Shelby Green, 7-2. Bryant subdued Angel Mentzel, but fell to Sharp by the same score, 7-2. Galicia upended Aicinena, 7-4, but fell to Salim, 7-2, while Moreno won an impressive five matches, ousting Springs, 7-3, and Rojas, 7-4. Following a second round loss to Morra, Ernesto Bayaua made a phenomenal comeback, securing five matches, including wins over Derek Fontenot, 7-3, and Poon, 7-0. Jesus Atencio, on a similar mission, marked up five on the one loss side, among the ruins, Reginal Samples, 7-1, and Alonzo, 7-5. Jimmy Krone racked up five victories on the one loss side, but was stopped by Ochoa, 7-4. Ochoa was taken out by McMinn, 7-6, wrapping up top sixteen action. Back on the east side, Espinosa throttled Perez, 9-1, Baraks triumphed over Smith, 9-7, while Davis, Jr. snuck by Jethwa, 9-7, and Calderone inched by Richeson, 9-8. Espinosa squeaked by Baraks, 9-8, and Davis Jr. served it up cold to Calderone, 9-4. The hot seat match-up marked an Austin-area shoot-out, and a short-lived set for Espinosa, who sustained his first blow from Davis, Jr., 9-5. On the west side, Morra took a stand, ending Price, 7-3, and Perez, 7-2, while Salim took out heavy hitters  Sharp, 7-3, and Smith, 7-2. Bayaua recorded his seventh win on the one loss side, ending Moreno, 7-1, and Jethwa, 7-3. Ochoa finished off Atencio, 7-3, but fell to Richeson, 7-5. Salim went on to defeat Morra, 7-5, and Calderone, 7-3, while Bayaua buried Richeson and Baraks, 7-3. Bayaua registered his ninth win, but no more. Winning the case game against Bayaua, Salim secured his sixth win, and slid into third place. Espinosa was ready for Salim, but got off to a slow start. At a 6-3 deficit, Espinosa came back to win, 7-6, earning himself a second shot at Junior, and the title. Once again, Espinosa found himself in troubled waters, as Davis was in perfect rhythm with the table, and couldn’t be denied. Davis Jr. surged to a 9-3 win, and his second 9-ball title since the inception of Space City. 
 
In the one pocket division, Josh Roberts took no prisoners, eliminating Charlie Bryant, Jamie Baraks, and Chris Robinson, 4-3, while Alex Calderone defeated Greg Trent, Jim McCary, and Sylver Ochoa, 4-2. Local favorite, Richie Richeson, defeated Marc Garza and Manny Perez, by the same score, 4-1, and John Morra, 4-1. Ernesto Bayaua rounded out the final four, booking wins over Bobby Roland, Aaron Springs, 4-3, and Evan Lunda. In the final four round, Roberts shut-out Calderone, 4-0, and Richeson slid past Bayaua, 4-3. For the first time, Richeson found himself at the end of the board, facing the defending champion. The pressure was on, as both players were in close running for the All-Around bonus. In the final, numerous games came down to the case ball. The fans were treated to an offensive juggernaut; a display of maneuvers and banks, not soon forgotten, but even the creativity of the venerable Richeson, was not enough. With an accounting of two, eight-and-out runs, Roberts was up 3-2, with one ball remaining in game six. Following an unforced error by Richeson, Roberts took it home, along with his second, Space City Open one pocket title.
 
Evan Lunda was in charge of the banks. The Detroit product eliminated Jim Walker, 4-0, Danny Smith, 4-3, and Jose Barbosa, 4-1. His upcoming challenger, Shane McMinn, took out Mike Alonzo, Gail Eaton and James Davis, Jr. by the same score, 4-2. Josh Roberts overwhelmed Marc Garza, 4-1, Kent Berthelot, 4-0, and John Morra, 4-1, while Richie Richeson completed the final four, with wins over Bret Harlan, 4-0, Jamie Baraks, 4-2, and Justin Hall, 4-3. Lunda ended McMinn, 4-2, and Roberts robbed Richeson, 4-1. Lunda and Roberts found themselves in their first, banks final, vying for new milestones; Lunda, aiming for his first title, and Roberts, going for first-time champion of two different divisions. Lunda’s casual style showcased epic moves, and wowed spectators as he banked his way to victory. He shut out Roberts in the final of the single elimination schedule, 4-0, to win his first Space City Open title.
 
On Sunday morning, thirty-two women started battling it out in the ladies 9-ball division. The 2013 ladies 9-ball division champion, Ming “The Empress” Ng, began her trek with wins over Terri Resendez, 7-2, two-time ladies 9-ball champion, Gail “Virginia Slim” Eaton, 7-6, and Kim “Texas Heat” Pierce, 7-1, as Robyn Petrosino plowed through Ruth Paine, 7-0, Brittany Kromer, 7-3, and Teresa “Princess of Pool” Garland, 7-1. Yvonne “Casher” Asher made her way to the cash, defeating Karen Reilly, Tam “MZ Tam” Trinh, 7-3, and Jillian Nickerson, 7-6, while Ricky “The Ghost” Casper, drifted past Matty Sword, 7-1, Sara Bork, 7-3, and Hopey “Hurricane” Lawrence, 7-2. Ng went on to shut out Petrosino, 7-0, and Casper stopped Asher, 7-4. In the hot seat match, Ng emerged victorious over Casper, 7-4. On the one loss side and in the final eight, Pierce and Eaton shut out Garland and Nickerson, respectively, 5-0. Pierce derailed Asher, and Eaton eliminated Petrosino, moving into the final four. Eaton went on to eliminate Pierce, 5-0, and Casper, 5-4, to meet Ng in the finals. Ng, going for her second title, and Eaton, searching for her third, battled to the bitter end. In the first set, Ng simply couldn’t get it together, and Eaton was on fire, taking the first set, 7-1. Following a five minute break, the second set got underway. This time, Ng took her turn, beating Eaton 5-3, to win her second, Space City Open title. 
 
Nine players, seventeen and under, competed in the inaugural, juniors 9-ball division. Lazaro Martinez, III, aka “Little Laz”, outplayed April Gonzales, 5-2, and Alex Fonseca bested Jonathan Cortez, 5-1. Jacob Gonzales beat John Benavides, but fell to Kyle Yi, while Gabriel Martinez passed Nathan Garay, 5-1. Martinez, III logged a third win against Fonseca, 5-2, and G. Martinez ousted Yi, for a brother versus brother, hot seat match-up. G. Martinez denied his brother, and awaited his final opponent. On the one loss side, and in the final six, Fonseca eliminated Garay, and Yi overcame Benavides. Yi eliminated Fonseca, but fell to Martinez, III. Once again, “Little Laz” faced off with brother, Gabriel, in the final. The final told a different story, as Little Laz overwhelmed Gabriel, 5-2, 5-3, to win his first Space City Open title.
 
Space City Open VII goes down in the record books as the most successful one to date. “I have no words for the outpouring of support from the Texas pool community. Even with the last minute venue and format changes, the event over-filled. Billy Sharp and Deborah Sharp of Big Tyme Billiards came through for all of us” commented Kim Newsome, Space City Open Founder and Director. Space City Open extends a heartfelt “thank you” to everyone involved in the production of this event; John Newsome and Johnny Gonzales of Eagle Plumbing who sponsored the $1,500, All-Around bonus; staff members Kim Newsome, John Newsome, Erica Hanlon, and Chuck Adams who managed every facet of the event; Ceferina Ramirez and Ruth Paine for their contributions; Mike Fabacher with Southern Streaming who provided a free, four-day live stream; Chris Lue of Next Action Media, whose photographs captured the essence of the event; sponsors Roger Schuett with the APA of North Harris County, Mike McDonald of VaporKnightsUSA.com, Poison by Predator Cues, Cyclop Pool Balls, Chris Renfro with Outsville Billiards, Charlie and Heather Bryant of Brutal Game Gear, and David Taylor and Teresa Garland with Houston Best of Billiards; vendors Jerry Olivier Cue Repair, Joe Salazar Connoisseur of Custom Cues, Arthur Politte with Qxtender.com, Darrold Stiehl with Champions Cues, and Brutal Game Gear. 
 
Finally, Space City would like to extend its deepest gratitude to the players who support this event, year in and year out. Without the players, none of this would be possible.
 
Space City Open is one of the biggest billiard events in Texas, and is held annually, the first week in December. For more information, visit www.SpaceCityOpen.com
 

Mendiola and Bayaua in Beast Mode on Poison Lone Star Tour

Manny Chau and Ernesto Bayaua

Houston’s David Mendiola tore through a field of 55 competitors in the amateur 9-ball division, beating Steve Lenz in the finals, 5-2, 5-3, to win his first, Poison Lone Star Billiards Tour title. Ernesto Bayaua went undefeated in the 50-player, open 9-ball division, defeating Manny Chau in the finals, 7-1, securing his second, consecutive win of 2018. 
 
On February 10th-11th, 2018, the Poison Lone Star Billiards Tour held its second stop of the season at Bogies Billiards West in Houston, Texas. The tournament amassed 94 players from cities throughout Texas and Louisiana, with a payout in excess of $7,000. The Tour would like to thank Bogies West and staff, title sponsor Poison by Predator Cues PoisonBilliards.com, and sponsors Cyclop Pool Balls Facebook@CyclopPoolBalls, Ozone Billiards OzoneBilliards.com, APA of North Harris County Facebook@APANorthHarrisCounty, OutsvilleBilliards.com, and www.VaporKnightsUSA.com for facilitating another successful event for the Poison Lone Star Tour players.
 
In the amateur division, David Mendiola made his way to the final four with wins over Kenneth Espina, 5-2, Bob Valliere, 5-4, Steve Williams, 5-0, and Rudy Sanchez, 5-0, while Steve Lenz took care of Jim Shipman, 5-0, Burak Temel, 5-4, and Dallas’ Joe Pelayo, 5-1.  Beaumont’s Carl Honey bested San Antonio’s Scott Spiegel, Richard “The Black Diamond” Stuart, Louisiana’s Shane LeBlanc, 5-3, and Bill Fuller, 5-3, while Brian Rosenbaum tagged Ron Wrobleski, Jong Yoo, 5-4, Angelo Martin, 5-1, and John Braud. On the one loss side, Yoo eliminated Fuller, 5-1, while Joey Bourgeois ended Braud, 5-3. Following five match wins, Chris Rogers went on to eliminate Sanchez, 5-2, while Pelayo slid by Felder, 5-4. Cruising to the hot seat, Lenz dealt Mendiola a blow, 5-2, while Rosenbaum denied Honey, 5-4. Lenz dusted off Rosenbaum for the hot seat, 5-3, seemingly on the road to a second, amateur division victory. On the west side, rounding out the final eight, Fuller fell to Bourgeois, and Pelayo denied Rogers, 5-2. Mendiola eliminated Bourgeois, 5-4, and Honey curbed Pelayo, 5-2. Mendiola forged ahead, edging out Honey, 5-4, and Rosenbaum, 5-4, earning himself a rematch with Lenz. In the finals, a collected Lenz attempted to fend off a relentless Mendiola, and it was a fight to the finish. Mendiola latched on, claiming the first set, 5-2. In the second set, Lenz tried to turn it around, but Mendiola’s momentum was too strong. The Houston player closed out the second set, 5-3, to win his first-ever, Poison Lone Star Tour title. 
 
In the open 9-ball division, Ernesto Bayaua was unstoppable. He secured wins over Dallas’ Vic Sorto, 7-1, Brian Rosenbaum, 7-2, Robert Wendel, 7-2, and New York’s Dale Briones, 7-2, while Denis Strickland overwhelmed Richie Richeson, 7-5, Joe Pelayo, 7-2, and Jong Yoo, 7-0. Young gun, Joey Torres, overcame Ronjan Mathur, Manny Chau, 7-5, and Bob Valliere, 7-1, while Lufkin’s Chad Reece bested Shane LeBlanc, 7-2, Joey Bourgeois, 7-4, and Chris Rogers, 7-5. Bayaua squeezed by Strickland, 7-6, while Torres tamed Reece, 7-5, pitting two Houston locals for the hot seat match. Bayaua made quick work of Torres, 7-1, which marked his twelfth, consecutive match win in the first two events. On the one loss side, following a third round upset by Chris Rogers, Tommy Tokoph took out Jong Yoo, while Chau overcame Briones, 5-3. LeBlanc took out Valliere, 5-1, and Felder extinguished Rogers, 5-2. Chau powered through Tokoph, 5-0, and Reece, 5-1, while LeBlanc finished off Felder, 5-2, but fell to Strickland, 5-0. Chau, the 2017 Tour Champion, sent home Strickland, 5-3, and Torres, 5-2, for a final match up against 2016 Tour Champion, Bayaua. With an incredible seven match wins to his credit, Chau headed into the finals with an undefeated Bayaua. In the final set, Bayaua set the pace, took the lead, and never looked back. Bayaua defeated Chau, 7-1, winning his second Tour event, and marking his thirteenth, straight match win this year. 
 
Special “congratulations” to Joe Pelayo of Dallas, Texas, on securing his highest, Poison Lone Star Tour finish to date! The Tour would also like to recognize Ruth Paine of San Antonio, Texas, for her assistance with the production of this event. Match recordings on the live stream table were facilitated by www.SouthernStreaming.com, and are now available for viewing in their online library. 
 
The next event will be held March 10th-11th, 2018, at Fat Rack’s Sports Bar and Billiards in San Antonio, Texas. For more information, please visit www.LoneStarBilliardsTour.com. 

Smith Lights Up Space City Open VI

Danny Smith

Danny “The Shredder” Smith captured his first-ever Space City Open 9-Ball title, plowing through an 83-player field, undefeated, besting Roberto “Superman” Gomez in the first set of the true double elimination final, 9-3. Josh Roberts went undefeated in the 40-player, one pocket division, ousting John Morra in the first set, 3-2, taking home his first Space City Open One Pocket title. Jeremy “Double J” Jones went undefeated in the 9-ball banks division, taking down Tommy Tokoph in the first set, 3-2, earning himself a whopping fourth, banks division title. Wrapping up four long days of match play, the ladies 9-ball concluded on Sunday, with Gail “Virginia Slim” Eaton defeating Ming “The Empress” Ng, to capture her second, Space City Open title. 
 
In its sixth year, the four-day, four-division, $6,000 added Space City Open VI (SCO) was held at Bogies Billiards and Sports Bar in Houston, Texas, November 30th – December 3rd, 2017, featuring top players from across America. This year’s line-up featured a cast of new talent, including Danny Smith, Roberto Gomez, John Morra, Jason Brown, and Kelly Isaac, along with numerous others. Admission was free, and fans enjoyed four days of top-notch pool, provided by world-class players.
 
In the 9-ball division, Danny Smith obliterated the field with wins over Marlin Griffith, 9-4, J.C. Torres, 9-3, Jeremy Jones, 9-7, and Alex Calderone, 9-4, while Jason “Jaybird” Brown took down Taylor Hobbs, 9-8, Curt Sheldon, Josh Roberts, 9-8, and James Davis, Jr., 9-2. Two-time Space City Open 9-Ball Champion, Charlie “Hillbilly” Bryant, made his way to the final four with victories over Mike Wilson, 9-2, David Twitty, 9-6, Kevin Guimond, 9-0, and Cesar Arechiga, 9-2, while Roberto “Superman” Gomez overcame Kenneth Price, 9-6, Randy Nickerson, 9-3, Chase Rudder, 9-5, and John Morra, 9-2. On the one loss side, Tommy Tokoph took out Roberts, 7-3, and Jones eliminated former pro C.J. Wiley, 7-1, while Yovani Salvia ousted Rudder, 7-4, and Jeff Chauncey destroyed Guimond, 7-1. Back on the east side, Gomez bested Bryant, 9-6, while Smith overwhelmed Brown, 9-4. Smith ran away with the hot seat match, defeating Gomez, 9-2. The one loss side witnessed Morra overpower Tokoph, 7-1, and Jones handily defeat Arechiga, 7-0. Davis, Jr. ended Rudder, 7-6, while Guimond dusted off Calderone, 7-4. Morra went on to eliminate Jones, 7-4, and Brown, 7-1, while Guimond overcame Davis, Jr., 7-3. Bryant squeezed by Guimond, 7-6, rounding out the final four players in the division. Morra was on a role, taking out Bryant, 7-2, to win his fourth match on the one loss side. He was stopped short by Gomez, 7-1, finishing in a respectable, third place. Gomez earned himself a rematch with Smith, and “The Shredder” was ready. With his spot-on break, it was a short-lived set for Gomez, much like the first. Smith shot out of the gate and never looked back, capturing the first set, 9-3, and his first, Space City Open 9-Ball title.
 
[photo id=48363|align=right]Last year, Josh Roberts finished runner-up in the one pocket division, but this year he came out on top.  Roberts ran through a 40-player field, undefeated, booking wins over Jim McCary, Adam Cooper, and Ted Reeves, 3-1, while John Morra overcame Gabe Owen, Marvin Diaz, 3-0, and Sylver Ochoa, 3-1. Houston’s Ernesto Bayaua made his way to the final four with wins over Cliff Joyner, Dallas’ Gerardo Perez, 3-0, and Roberto Gomez, 3-1, while Justin Whitehead overwhelmed Curt Sheldon, 3-0, Corey Flud, 3-0, and Kent Berthelot, 3-1. On the one loss side, Davis, Jr. eliminated Ochoa, 3-1, Brown defeated Reeves, 3-0, and Diaz ended Berthelot, 3-1. Following an early hit at the hands of Roberts, Jeremy Jones won four matches, including victories over Jeff Bramblet, 3-0, Jeff Chauncey, 3-1, and Gomez, 3-1. As the final eight took shape, winners’ side matches witnessed Roberts edge out Morra, 3-2, and Whitehead dust off Bayaua, 3-1. Roberts wasted little time with Whitehead, capturing the hot seat, 3-0. Back on the west side, Brown denied Ochoa, 3-0, and Bayaua, 3-2, while Jones squeezed by Diaz, 3-2, falling in turn to Morra, by the same score.  Morra made quick work of Whitehead, 3-0, moving on to Roberts, and the finals. In the first set, players were neck and neck. Tied at two a piece, an unforced error by Morra sealed his fate, and Roberts ended the set to secure his first, Space City Open One Pocket title.
 
Kicking off the four-day, billiard extravaganza, was the 26-player, 9-ball banks division, witnessing former Mosconi Cup MVP and former U.S. Open Champion, Jeremy Jones, capture his fourth Space City Open Banks title. Jones blazed a path through Kent Berthelot, 3-0, Gail Eaton, 3-0, and Roberto Gomez, 3-1, while Tommy Tokoph handled Ricki Casper, 3-0, former U.S. Open runner-up, Tan Hoa, 3-2,  and Scotty Evans, 3-1. Former U.S. Open Champion, Gabe Owen, checked off Alfred Flores, 3-0, Richie Richeson, 3-0, and Jason “Jaybird” Brown, 3-1, while Cliff Joyner overwhelmed Beaumont’s Carl Honey, 3-0, Will Felder, 3-1, and Alan Myers, 3-1. On the one loss side, John Morra took out Berthelot, while Roberto Gomez ousted James Davis, Jr., 3-1. Canadian Alex Olinger ended Alan Myers, 3-2, while Josh Roberts handled Jason Brown, 3-1. Down to the final eight, on the east side, Jones defeated Tokoph, 3-1, and Owen slid by Joyner, 3-1. In a speedy, hot seat match, Jones crushed Owen, 3-0. Back on the west side, Gomez eliminated Morra, but fell to Joyner, 3-1, while Roberts took out Myers, 3-0, falling to Tokoph in the next round, 3-0. Tokoph was on the war path, sending home Joyner, 3-2, and Owen, 3-2, reaching Jones, and the finals. Players teed off, both keeping pace as the set progressed. Tied at two a piece, Jones inched ahead in the final game, closing out the set to defend his 2016 title and secure his fourth banks title.
 
[photo id=48362|align=right]Wrapping up Space City, 24 women battled it out on Sunday for over $2,400 in cash in the ladies 9-ball division. Gail “Virginia Slim” Eaton came out firing, ousting Terry “The Terrorizer” Petrosino, Calaia Jackson, 7-1, and Toledo’s Kelly Isaac, 7-6, whiLe Ming “The Empress” Ng made her way to the final four with wins over Cindy Ferry, Nayla Hoak, and Joyce Davis. Angleton’s Brandi Booth came out firing, securing victories over Ricki Casper, 7-3, and Robyn Petrosino, 7-6, while Teresa “The Princess of Pool” Garland took down Alicia Huff, 7-5, and Yvonne Asher, 7-1. On the west side, Isaac eliminated Denton’s Amy Jones, 5-2, and T. Petrosino reined in Davis, 5-3.  Natalie Mans squeezed by Asher, 5-4, and R. Petrosino extinguished Yvonne Ramirez, 5-2. Down to the final eight, east side action saw Isaac eliminate T. Petrosino, 5-3, and Garland, 5-4, while Mans dusted off R. Petrosino, 5-1, in turn, falling  to Ng, by the same score. Ng went on to eliminate Isaac, 5-4, and Booth, 5-1, earning herself a rematch with Eaton. In the first set of the true, double elimination final, Ng served Eaton her first loss, 7-6, and the finals ventured into overtime. Players displayed poise and composure in the late hour, but only one player could wear the crown. Players fought for every game, but it was Eaton who pulled ahead to end the second set, 5-3, capturing her second, Space City Open 9-ball title. 
 
The Space City Open extends a heartfelt “thank you” to everyone who supported this event; Bogies Billiards and Sports Bar, along with owners David and Shannon Richardson, the entire Bogies’ staff, assistant tournament director, John Newsome, Simplified Electronics, APA of North Harris County, Gulf War Veteran Mike McDonald, Ozone Billiards, and Outsville Billiards. “Special Supporters” of this event included Mark Stubbs, Glen Benton, Ted Reeves, Adam Cooper, Richard Holstein, Richard “Black Diamond” Stuart, and Art Politte. This year’s event featured booths by Jerry Olivier Cues and Cue Repair, Joe Salazar Connoisseur of Custom Cues, Champions Cues, Bryant Billiards, and Q-Xtender.com.
 
Space City Open VII is set for December 6th-9th, 2018. For sponsorship information, please contact Kim Newsome at 713.825.1411, or email lonestartour@gmail.com. 

Felder and Chau Storm Poison Lone Star Tour

Brian Rosenbaum and Will Felder

Will Felder took down the Poison Lone Star Billiard Tour’s amateur 9-ball division, winning his first amateur title since 2013, while Manny Chau secured his third open division win this year. Felder faced off with Brian Rosenbaum, losing the first set of the true, double elimination final, 5-4. Following a first round loss, Rosenbaum came back to win an astounding eight matches to meet Felder in the finals. In the second set, Felder overcame Rosenbaum, ending his streak, and clenching the division, 5-4. In the open 9-ball division, Manny Chau took a third round hit, and won eight in a row to meet hot seat winner, Chase Rudder, in the finals. Chau overcome Rudder in both sets, by the same score, 7-2.
 
On Saturday, August 26th, 2017, Hurricane Harvey’s torrential downpours inundated the Houston area. Due to the potential for flooding, this Poison Lone Star Billiards Tour event was concluded in one day, instead of its customary two days, to ensure players would not have to brave flood waters on Sunday. Bogies West in Houston, Texas, hosted another first-rate event, along with tour title sponsor Poison by Predator Cues PoisonBilliards.com, and sponsors Cyclop Pool Balls facebook@CyclopPoolBalls, Ozone Billiards OzoneBilliards.com, APA of North Harris County facebook@APANorthHarrisCounty, OutsvilleBilliards.com, and Realtor Jimmy Jenkins.  
 
As the winds kicked up on Saturday, the amateur and open 9-ball divisions kicked-off. In the amateur 9-ball division, Felder fended off Brian Humphrey, Pablo Trinidad, 5-1, and newcomer Foots Ferguson, 5-1, while Lake Jackson’s Jason Galetka ousted Randy King, C.J. Escalera, 5-1, and Chuck Adams, 5-4. Sonny Bosshamer bested James Costello, Jerry Cook, 5-4, and David Chow, while J.C. Torres sought to defend his title, blazing through Shelby Green, Viet Do, 5-3, and Alan Myers, 5-3. As the final four on the winners’ side took shape, the one loss side was full steam ahead. Brian Rosenbaum took a first round hit, and came back to win eight matches, securing wins over Cook, 5-1, Alan Martin, 5-0, and Ferguson, 5-0. Myers eliminated James Costello, 5-2, Green overcame Chow, and Rivera eliminated Adams, rounding out the final four players on the one loss side. On the winners’ side, Torres made quick work of Bosshamer, 5-1, while Felder slid by Galetka, 5-4. On the west side, Rosenbaum booked his third 5-0 victory over Rivera, then ended Bosshamer, 5-4. Myers defeated Green, 5-3, but fell to Galetka, 5-4. East side action witnessed Felder secure the hot seat over Torres, 5-3. Rosenbaum made his way to the finish line, eliminating Galetka and Torres, by the same score, 5-4. Felder prepared for what he knew was going to be a tough battle. Rosenbaum added an eighth notch to his tournament belt, besting Felder in the first set, 5-4. A resilient Felder stepped back up to the plate, and came with it, ending Rosenbaum’s run, 5-4. Congratulations to Will Felder on another long-awaited title!
 
In the open 9-ball division, Chase Rudder was on his way, logging wins over Will Felder, 7-2, and J.C. Torres, 7-0, while Waco’s Doug Young overwhelmed Jason Galetka, 7-2, and Foots Ferguson, 7-1. Brian Rosenbaum defeated Brian Humphrey and David Chow by the same score, 7-5, while Ernesto Bayaua hit Erik Renteria, 7-2, Manny Chau, and Alan Myers, 7-4, finalizing the final four on the winners’ side. Following a second round blow at the hands of Bayaua, Chau came back to win a total of eight matches, including wins over Viet Do, 7-1, and J.C. Torres, 7-1. After a first round upset at the hands of J.C. Torres, Richie Richeson came back to win three in a row, eliminating Shelby Green, 7-6, Humphrey, 7-2, and Ferguson, 7-3. Felder made a run, taking out Marcus Flores, 7-6, and Alan Myers, 7-6, while Tom Rehm powered through Erik Renteria, C.J. Escalera, 7-4, and David Chow. Down to the final eight, on the winners’ side, it was Rudder over Young, 7-3, and Bayaua over Rosenbaum, 7-4. Rudder went on to defeat Bayaua for the hot seat, 7-2. On the one loss side, Chau rolled over Richeson, 7-0, and Rosenbaum, 7-1. Felder ended Rehm, 7-6, but fell to Young, 7-5. Chau overcame Young, and Bayaua, 7-0, to meet Rudder in the finals. Needless to say, Chau was on fire, blasting through Rudder the first set, 7-2. In the second set, Chau soared to the finish line, 7-2. Congratulations to Manny Chau on his win, and third open division title of 2017.
 
The tour would like to recognize its 2017 sponsors and venues: Poison by Predator Cues, Cyclop Pool Balls, Ozone Billiards, APA of North Harris County, Outsville Billiards, and Realtor Jimmy Jenkins. This year, the tour welcomes back Texas venues Bogies Billiards and Sports Bar (Houston), Bogies West (Houston), Skinny Bob’s Billiards (Round Rock), and brand new venues, Fat Racks Sports Bar and Billiards (San Antonio), and CK Billiards (Dallas). 
 
Without the nearly 300 players who attend Poison Lone Star Tour events, annually, production of this tour would not be possible. The tour would like to thank each and every player for their participation, whether it’s one event, or every event year round. It is because of your patronage, that the Poison Lone Star Billiards Tour celebrates its 9th birthday this year, serving players across Texas and in surrounding states. The tour welcomes everyone back for the next event, to be held on September 30th-October 1st, at Bogies Billiards, 3040 FM 1960 E., in Houston, Texas. The full 2017 schedule is published at www.LoneStarBilliardsTour.com. The Poison Lone Star Billiards Tour encourages everyone who loves to play pool and compete in a friendly atmosphere, to attend an event. “Like” us on Facebook @LoneStarTour and “Follow” us on Twitter @LoneStarTour09.  

Calderone Defends at Topwater Memorial

Alex Calderone

Alex Calderone went undefeated at the 2nd Annual Topwater Memorial One Pocket Event, ousting Arkansas’s Devin Poteet in the finals, 3-2, to defend his 2016 title. The annual one pocket event honoring pool player personality, Jerald “Topwater” Jackson, was held at Bogies Billiards and Sports Bar in Houston, Texas, July 14th-16th, 2017, featuring 32 players competing for over $8,000 in prize money. The star-studded field included Manny Chau, Cliff Joyner, Devin Poteet, Richie Richeson, James Davis, Jr., along with two female competitors, Kim Newsome and Ricki Casper.
 
Following the Friday afternoon player auction, one round played out on Friday night, with matches resuming Saturday at 12pm. Calderone began his quest to repeat, booking wins over James Davis, Jr., 3-1, Manny Chau, 3-1, and Arkansas’ Craig Sebastian, 3-2. Tyler Partin made his way to the final four on the winners’ side, defeating Phil Mecum, 3-1, Robert Valliere, 3-2, and Scott Proud, 3-1. Dallas’ Corey Flud came on strong, defeating David Kurjan, 3-1, Richie Richeson, 3-0, and hometown favorite, Sylver Ochoa, 3-2. Rounding out the winners’ side final four, young gun J.C. Torres defeated Kim Newsome, 3-1, Rene Martinez, 3-1, and Wes Read, 3-2. On the west side, after losing his first match to Richeson, 3-2, Austin’s Jason Harkrider ended Kurjan, 3-1, Bobby Roland, 3-2, and John Newsome, 3-0. Harkrider was stopped by Read, 3-2, falling just shy of the final eight. Following his loss to Calderone, Chau eliminated James Bulice, 3-0, Rick Moreno, 3-0, and Ochoa, 3-1. Davis Jr. was on the war path, taking out John Nevin, 3-1, Rene Martinez, 3-0, Joyner, 3-0, and Proud, 3-0. On the one loss side, Poteet wouldn’t be denied, eliminating Robert Turner, 3-0, Mississippi’s Bille “Colonel” Miller, 3-0, and Sebastian, 3-1. Back on the east side, Flud made quick work of Torres, and Calderone overwhelmed Partin, both by the same score, 3-0. In the hot seat match, Flud fell to Calderone, 3-0. On the one loss side, Chau eliminated Read, 3-2, and Partin, 3-0, while Poteet exhausted Davis Jr., 3-2, and Torres, 3-0. At this point, Chau and Poteet had each logged five match wins and three games lost, meeting each other in a duel for third place. Poteet was on fire and Chau couldn’t fade the heat. The 20-year ended Chau, 3-1, and blew past Flud, 3-0, for a shot against Calderone, and the title. The final match between Calderone and Poteet had spectators on the edge of their seats. Calderone took the first game, and Poteet answered back. Both players exhibited control and calculation, executing brilliant defense, which produced a neck-and-neck ball count. Poteet edged out the third game, and Calderone responded, winning the fourth. On the hill, it came down to the last few balls. In the end, Calderone pulled ahead, defending his title, and becoming the 2017 Topwater Memorial Champion.
 
Jerald “Topwater” Jackson was a big part Houston’s pool community for more than 30 years. Jackson was well known for his big gamble, never-say-die attitude, and his insatiable thirst for action. One pocket was his favorite game. Jackson’s heart gave out on October 30th, 2014. He was 53.
 
Many thanks to David and Shannon Richardson, owners of Bogies Billiards and Sports Bar (1960) and Bogies West (Jones Road), who graciously added $2,000 to this event. The professional live stream was produced by Ray Hansen and www.PoolActionTV.com, and Darrold Stiehl of Champion Cues provided cue repair throughout the weekend. Organizers would like to extend their deepest gratitude to those who traveled from so far away, to participate in this event. Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi, were well-represented. Lastly, congratulations to Bryan Bump from Little Rock, Arkansas, who won a Poison VX Break Jump Cue in the weekend cue raffle!
 
The next big event in Houston, Texas will be the Space City Open VI, November 30th-December 3rd, to be held at Bogies Billiards and Sports Bar. This annual event features Open 9-Ball, One Pocket, 9-Ball Banks, and Ladies 9-Ball. For more information, visit www.SpaceCityOpen.com. 

Espinosa and Chau Repeat on Poison Lone Star Tour

Manny Chau

Round Rock’s Justin Espinosa clenched his third, consecutive amateur 9-ball division title on the Poison Lone Star Billiards Tour, defeating Hiro Nakahara in the second set of the true, double elimination final, 5-0. Espinosa now joins an elite list of fellow tour players whose game has drastically improved on tour, and have graduated to the tour’s prominent “Open Division Player List”. In the open 9-ball division, an undefeated Manny Chau racked up his second win of the year, overcoming Chase Rudder in the final set, 7-2.
 
On June 10th-11th, 2017, Bogies Billiards and Sports Bar in Houston, Texas,  along with tour title sponsor Poison by Predator Cues PoisonBilliards.com, and sponsors Cyclop Pool Balls facebook@CyclopPoolBalls,  Ozone Billiards OzoneBilliards.com, APA of North Harris County facebook@APANorthHarrisCounty,  OutsvilleBilliards.com, and Jimmy Jenkins Realty , facilitated another successful  event for Poison Lone Star Billiards Tour players. The tour would like to thank room owners David and Shannon Richardson, and their entire staff, for hosting another first-rate event.
 
In the 41-player, amateur 9-ball division, Justin Espinosa made his way to the final four winners’ side with wins over Tom Rehm, 5-1, Cody Smoke, 5-1, Robbie Salinas, 5-0, and Steve Williams, 5-2, while Jeff Chauncey ousted Will Felder, 5-3, Bill Fuller, 5-2, and Bob “Pittsburgh Flash” Guzik. Doug Gray ousted Gerald Holland, 5-4, Sonny Bosshamer, 5-2, and Robert Cooper, 5-0, while Hiro Nakahara overcame Dave DeVaney, Johnny Cope, 5-0, Robyn Haak, 5-0, and Jim McCary, 5-4.  After losing  his second round match to Bosshamer, 5-3, Pete Charles came back to win eight matches on the one loss side, including wins over Kevin Johnson, 5-4, Holland, 5-3, Joe Fagan, 5-3, Salinas, 5-0, and Robert Cooper.  Bill Fuller terminated Vic Sorto, 5-0, and Richard Hernandez, 5-3, before falling to Jim McCary, 5-3. In similar fashion, Felder sent home Brian Rosenbaum, 5-1, newcomer Red Hutch, 5-0, and Chris Ramoz, 5-3, only to be stopped short by Guzik, 5-3. Bosshamer made his play, ending DeVaney, Chris Rocha, 5-0, and Steve Williams, rounding out the final four on the one loss side. Winners’ side action witnessed Gray fall to Nakahara, 5-1, and Espinosa surge past Chauncey, 5-3. Espinosa was on a roll, and went on to secure the hot seat over Nakahara, 5-1. Back on the west side, it was Guzik over Bosshamer, 5-3, and Charles over McCary, 5-1. Following his seventh win, Charles slid by Guzik, 5-4, but fell to Nakahara, 5-3. This turn of events pitted a rematch for Nakahara, whose only hope to win this event, was to beat Espinosa two sets. Hungry for his first tour win, Nakahara overwhelmed Espinosa the first set, 5-1. Espinosa collected himself, bearing down and winning the second set, 5-0. Congratulations to Justin Espinosa on his third, amateur division title.
 
In the 39-player, open 9-ball division, Manny Chau began his trek with wins over Kevin Johnson, 7-6, Robyn Haak, 7-2, and Brian Rosenbaum, 7-2, while Waco’s Doug Young bested Robbie Salinas, 7-2, Hiro Nakahara, 7-2, and Jim McCary, 7-5. Chase Rudder defeated Paul Alderete, 7-3, Bill Fuller, 7-1, Justin Espinosa, 7-2, and Joey Torres, 7-3, while Sonny Bosshamer took care of Adam Gomez, 7-3, Jamie Polk, 7-5, and Richard Hernandez. Following a 7-2 upset at the hands of Hernandez, Ernesto Bayaua took charge, eliminating Chris Ramoz, 7-1, Tom Rehm, and Jim McCary, 7-4. Other one loss side action witnessed Espinosa take out Cody Smoke, 7-2, David Chow, 7-0, and Brian Rosenbaum, 7-1. Nakahara was on the comeback trail, blazing through Mike Robles, 7-2, Will Felder, and Hernandez. Guzik made his bid for the final four on the one loss side, logging wins over Fuller, 7-6, Haak, and Richie Richeson, 7-3, until he was halted by Torres, 7-2. Back on the east side, Rudder overcame Bosshamer, 7-5, and Chau made quick work of Young, 7-2. Thirsty for his second tour victory of the year and anxious to regain his number one ranking, Chau overcame Rudder for the hot seat, 7-5. Back on the west side, Espinosa took out Bayaua, 7-0, and Bosshamer, 7-0. Torres tamed Nakahara, 7-6, but fell to Young, 7-6. Young went on to defeat Espinosa, 7-5, only to be put out of commission by Rudder, 7-2. It was a hot seat rematch for the two, heavy hitters. Rudder, vying for his first title of the season, faced off with Chau, who was anxious to repossess his place in the rankings. Chau was focused, and his determination bled through to the table. Rudder was controlled and concise, but couldn’t keep up. Chau closed out the first set, 7-2, taking home his second victory, and enough points to regain his throne in the open division rankings.
 
Hopey Carter from Shreveport, LA, won the Poison Cue Raffle, taking home a VX Stroke Playing Cue, valued at $239. 
 
Serving pool players, pool rooms, and sponsors since 2009, the Poison Lone Star Billiards Tour celebrates its 10th Anniversary in 2018 as the longest-running billiards tour in the south. A special 10th Anniversary Event will be held for players who compete in at least two events between now, and January 1st, 2018. The tour strongly encourages all players to meet the eligibility requirements, in order to gain entrance into this one-of-a-kind tournament. The next tour stop will be held on July 7th-8th, 2017, at Fat Racks Billiards in San Antonio, Texas. This event will feature one, open 9-ball division, open to all players (limited to 64), with the option to pre-pay, online. For more information, please visit www.LoneStarBilliardsTour.com. 

Thorpe Heads Up Big Tyme Classic Winners

Billy Thorpe (Photo courtesy of PoolActiontv.com)

The Fifth Annual Big Tyme Classic held April 13th-16th, 2017 in Spring, Texas paid out over $23,000
 
Thursday, April 13th kicked off with a single elimination, $1,000 added, 31-player, One Pocket Tournament. Joey Gray come out with the win over Danny Smith. To get to the finals, Joey ousted Kevin Chang, Tommy Tokoph, Josh Roberts and Tony Chohan.  Danny Smith made his way to meet Joey in the finals with wins over Evan Lunda, Jim McCarry and Sky Woodward. 
 
1st place $2,000 Joey Gray
2nd place $1,050 Danny Smith
3rd/4th $550 Tony Chohan, Sky Woodward
5th/8th $300 Jeremy Jones, Josh Roberts, Cliff Joyner and Jim McCarry
 
Friday, April 14th, 25 players entered the $1.000 added, single elimination Banks Tournament. Chip Compton took it down over Sky Woodward in the final match up. Chip had notable wins over Richie Richeson, Lynn Smith, Tony Chohan, and Justin Hall. Sky made his way through the bracket with wins over Billy Thorpe, Jeff Deluna, Danny Smith, and Alex Olinger before falling short to Chip in the finals.
 
1st $1.600 Chip Compton,
2nd $900 Sky Woodward
3rd/4th $500 Alex Olinger, Justin Hall
5th/8th $250 Kevin Chang, Danny Smith, Jamie Ferrell, and Tony Chohan
 
The Main Event $5,000 added, 9 Ball Open, commenced Friday evening.  The Diamond bar table event, streamed live by PoolActiontv, drew 128 players.  Billy Thorpe would go undefeated to take home the title and big payday.  Billy barreled through the bracket with wins over Philip Tieu, James Davis Jr., Ronnie Wiseman, Cody Martin, Sky Woodward, Shane McMinn and Jeffrey Deluna, securing his spot in the finals.  Jeff had a nice run with wins over Paul Alderete, Andy Lerma, Johnny Griffin, Robb Saez, Charlie Bryant, Eklent Kaci.  After losing the hot seat match, he faced Sky Woodward in the semi-finals.   Jeff came out victorious to meet Billy in the final match up.  Jeff had his work cut out for him as Billy was determined to not let it go to two sets.  
 
1st Billy Thorpe $4,000/$15,460
2nd Jeff Deluna $2,000/$7,600
3rd Sky Woodward $1,400/$5,660
4th Shane McMinn $1,000/$4,000
5th/6th Jeremy Jones and Eklent Kaci $700/$2,180 each
7th/8th Sylver Ochoa and Charlie Bryant $400/$1,280 each
9th-12th Alex Olinger, Kevin Chang, Manny Chau, and Danny Smith $200/$640 each
 
Sunday kicked off with the one-day, $500 added Seniors Division. Ronnie Wiseman takes the title through a tough field of 23 players.  Wiseman would win the hot seat match over Jamie Farrell. The loss sent him to the B side to face Cliff Joyner. Farrell ousted Joyner to get back to the finals against Wiseman but fell short, leaving Ronnie Wiseman the Champion.
 
1st Ronnie Wiseman $520
2nd Jamie Farrell $390
3rd Cliff Joyner $260
4th Manuel Ayala $130
5th/6th Mark Avery and Joe Espindola $60 each
 
The final event of the Big Tyme Classic was the Ladies Division.  20 talented ladies competed for the title in the $500 added event.  Kim Pierce secured the hot seat with a win over Robyn Petrosino.  Petrosino would face Teresa Garland on the B side.  Taking the win here, she would face Pierce once again in the final match up.  The “TexasHeat” fought hard and came out victorious to take the title.
 
1st Kim Pierce $500/$510
2nd Robyn Petrosino $360/$250
3rd Teresa Garland $240/$170
4th Alicia Huff $120
5th/6th Ricki Casper and Yvonne Asher $60 each
 
Big Tyme Billiards would like to thank the players, spectators, fans and staff for another successful event.  Special thanks to Teresa Garland and Marshal Ward, Tournament Directors.  We also extend our gratitude to the sponsors of this event, PoolActionTV, Star City Amusement, and APA of North Harris County.  We truly appreciate the vendors who attended as well, Jerry Olivier and Bryant Billiards.  We look forward to the 2018 6th Annual Big Tyme Classic!

Watson and Charlton Win Big on Poison Lone Star Tour

Eric Charlton, Pete Charles, Jacob Watson and Aaron Springs

Former Junior World Championship contender, Jacob Watson, came from behind to claim the 35-player open 9-ball division, his first-ever open division win on the Poison Lone Star Billiards Tour. After losing the hot seat match to Eric Charlton, 7-6, Watson fought his way back, ousting Charlton in the finals, 7-0, 7-5. Watson reached yet another milestone in his short, but successful playing career, winning his first open division title which accompanies two amateur division wins, this year.  New on the scene, Eric Charlton mad a big splash in both divisions, taking home his first title in the 31-player, amateur 9-ball division, coming from behind to defeat Pete Charles in the finals, 5-4, 5-2. Charlton also finished second in the open, and took home $1,630 for his $80 investment!
 
On March 18th-19th, 2017, Bogies Billiards and Sports Bar (Houston, Texas), along with tour title sponsor Poison by Predator Cues PoisonBilliards.com, and sponsors Cyclop Pool Balls facebook@CyclopPoolBalls,  Ozone Billiards OzoneBilliards.com, APA of North Harris County facebook@APANorthHarrisCounty,  OutsvilleBilliards.com, and Realtor, Jimmy Jenkins , facilitated another successful  event for Poison Lone Star Billiards Tour players. The tour would like to thank room owners David and Shannon Richardson, and their entire staff, for hosting another first-rate event.
 
In the open 9-ball division, Watson made his way to the final four winners’ side with victories over L.J. Johnson, Duane Bryant, 7-6, and Jerry Cook, 7-4,while Richie Richeson overcame Johnny Lawson, Doug Young, 7-5, and Will Felder, 7-3. Tour newcomer, Eric Charlton, bested Justin Pena, Doug Gray, 7-6, and Aaron Springs, 7-4, while Brian Rosenbaum defeated Ruben Montelongo, Mike Palowski, 7-5, and Steve Williams, 7-3. On the one-loss side, after a first round loss at the hands of Bryant, Pete Charles won six consecutive matches, including wins over Palowski, 7-1, Thomas Madison, 7-6, and Cook, 7-4. After a first round loss to Jake Polendo, Yoko Joe went on to eliminate Damion Manning, 7-1, Duane Bryant, 7-3, Robbie Salinas, and Steve Williams, 7-2. Charles overcame McCary, 7-3, while Springs ended Joe’s run, 7-6. On the east side, Watson sent Richeson west, 7-5, while Charlton made quick work of Rosenbaum, 7-4. Hot seat action witnessed an intense, showdown for the books, as Watson and Charlton met up once again, this time in the amateur 9-ball division. The set went hill-hill, and in the final game, Watson scratched on the 9-ball, losing 7-6. Back on the one-loss side, Charles eliminated Rosenbaum, while Springs sent Richeson packing, 7-2. Watson took out Springs, 7-5, for a shot at redemption. These two players developed quite a history in just one event. Each competing in both divisions, the score on total sets against one another, coming into this final, was Charlton with (2) two sets, and Jacob, with (1) one set. Watson’s drive was at maximum speed, and his intensity made for great spectating. He dominated Charlton in the first set, 7-0. In overtime, Charlton found his stride, but it was too little, too late. Watson secured the second set, 7-5, winning his third Poison Lone Star Billiards Tour title of 2017. Congratulations to Jacob Watson, who has now earned the right to become an open division player, exclusively.
 
In the amateur 9-ball division, Jacob Watson took no prisoners on his way to the final four winners’ side, defeating Brian Rosenbaum, 5-2, Yoko Joe, 5-0, and Eric Charlton, 5-0, while Justin Pena bested Tom Rehm, Aaron Springs, 5-3, and L.J. Johnson, 5-1. Richard Hernandez was on a roll, securing wins over Gerald Holland, Steve Williams, 5-2, and Mike Palowski, 5-2, while Pete Charles ousted Joey Hatch, 5-1, Doug Gray, 5-3, and Bobby Garcia, 5-2. On the west side, after losing his first match to Aaron Springs, Tony Scott won six consecutive matches, eliminating Jim McCary, 5-2, Hatch, Joe, 5-2, Will Felder, 5-1, Garcia, 5-1, and Palowski, 5-1. Charlton eliminated Chuck Adams, 5-2, and L.J. Johnson, to reach the final six. Back on the east side, it was Pena over Watson, 5-1, and Charles over Hernandez, 5-3. On the one-loss side, Watson took out Scott, 5-2, while Charlton eliminated Hernandez, 5-1. Once again, Watson and Charlton found themselves face to face. This time, the saga played out a bit different, with Charlton dominating Watson, 5-1. In the hot seat match, Charles overcame Pena, 5-0, who was in turn eliminated by Charlton, 5-0. After securing five back-to-back wins, no doubt, Charlton was pumped for the finals. In the first set, a back and forth battle between Charles and Charlton ended in a 5-4 loss for the undefeated Charles. In the second set, Charlton came on strong, dealing Charles his final blow, 5-2. Congratulations to Eric Charlton on his first-ever win on the Poison Lone Star Billiards Tour.
 
There were a number of players at this event competing on tour for the first time.  The tour would like to thank all those players and invite them back at every opportunity. Also, congratulations to Jason Harris who won a Poison VX Break/Jump Cue, and J.C. Torres who took home a Poison VX Jump Cue, in the regular event raffle, and free raffle, over the weekend. 
 
The tour would like to recognize its 2017 sponsors and venues: Poison by Predator Cues, Cyclop Pool Balls, Ozone Billiards, APA of North Harris County, Outsville Billiards, and Realtor, Jimmy Jenkins. This year, the tour welcomes back Texas venues Bogies Billiards and Sports Bar (Houston), Bogies West (Houston), Skinny Bob’s Billiards (Round Rock), and our brand new venues, Fat Racks Sports Bar and Billiards (San Antonio), and CK Billiards (Dallas). 
 
Without the nearly 300 players who attend Poison Lone Star Billiards Tour events, annually, production of this tour would not be possible. The tour would like to thank each and every player for their participation, whether it’s one event, or every event year round. It is because of your patronage, that the Poison Lone Star Billiards Tour celebrates its 9th birthday this year, serving players across Texas and in surrounding states.  The tour welcomes everyone back for the next event, to be held on April 1st-2nd, 2017, at Bogies West, located at 9638 Jones Road, in Houston, Texas. The full 2017 schedule is published at www.LoneStarBilliardsTour.com. The Poison Lone Star Billiards Tour encourages everyone who loves to play pool and compete in a friendly atmosphere, to attend an event. “Like” us on Facebook @LoneStarTour and “Follow” us on Twitter @LoneStarTour09.  

Watson and Chau Win Poison Lone Star Tour Spring 9-Ball Event

Manny Chau

Once again, former Junior World Championship contender, Jacob Watson, took the 59-player, Poison Lone Star Billiards Tour amateur 9-ball division by storm, defeating Elias Garza in the finals, 5-2.  Watson went undefeated to win his second, consecutive amateur 9-ball division title. Manny Chau came from behind to claim the 53-player, Poison Lone Star Billiards Tour open 9-ball division, after losing his third round match to Justin Whitehead, 7-6. Chau came back to win, besting Whitehead in the finals, 7-1, 7-2.
 
On February 11th-12th, 2017, Bogies West (Houston, Texas), along with tour title sponsor Poison by Predator Cues PoisonBilliards.com, and sponsors Cyclop Pool Balls facebook@CyclopPoolBalls,  Ozone Billiards OzoneBilliards.com, APA of North Harris County facebook@APANorthHarrisCounty, OutsvilleBilliards.com, and newest sponsor Jimmy Jenkins with the Gibson Realty Group, facilitated another successful  Poison Lone Star Billiards Tour event, procuring a generous $1,000 in added money, and a near $7,000 prize fund. 
 
In the amateur 9-ball division, Watson took no prisoners on his way to the final four winners’ side, defeating Barbara Parker, Michael Pickering, 5-4, Bob Guzik, 5-4, and Mark Cardenas, 5-1, while Elias Garza took down Ruben Montelongo, Chase Wheeler, Hiro Nakahara, 5-4, and Floyd Smith, 5-3. Justin Pena defeated Robyn Haak, Brian Rosenbaum, 5-3, Bobby Perez, 5-2, and Ricky Hughes, 5-3, while T.J. Ortiz ousted Gerald Holland, Matt Cash, 5-4, Robbie Salinas, 5-1, and Steve Lenz, 5-1. Powering through the one loss side, Lenz eliminated Bosshamer, 5-2, Alan Myers fell to Hughes, 5-3, Cardenas took out Boelk, 5-4, while Smith overcame Wheeler, 5-1. Back on the east side, Watson bested Garza, 5-3, and Ortiz made quick work of Pena, 5-1. On the west side, Lenz fell to Hughes, 5-2, and Cardenas was ousted by Smith, 5-1. In turn, Garza sent Hughes packing, 5-2, and Pena ended Smith’s run, 5-1. The hot seat match witnessed a focused Watson overcome Ortiz, 5-3, while Garza plowed through the one loss side. Garza took out Pena, 5-4, and Ortiz, 5-2, for a rematch with the player who sent him to the west side. Watson’s momentum went unmatched, and Garza suffered a final loss at the hands of Watson, 5-2. Watson went undefeated to win his second straight division title on the Poison Lone Star Tour!
 
The race to the final four on the winners' side of the open 9-ball division witnessed Nick Hood defeat Adam Cooper 7-2, Yoko Joe, 7-5, and Marvin Diaz, 7-3, while Justin Whitehead defeated Clay Cates, Lance Johnson, Manny Chau, 7-6, and Bobby Perez, 7–1.  Richie Richeson defeated Denis Strickland, 7-4, Bobby Dominguez, 7–1, Ernesto Bayaua, 7–1, and Jacob Watson, 7–5, while Andy Jethwa ousted Alan Myers, 7-3, Ricky Hughes, 7-1, and Brian Rosenbaum, 7-1. Following a first round loss to Tim Boelk, Chase Wheeler won five consecutive matches, eliminating Johnny Lawson, 7-1, Aldo Rosso, 7-6, Tom Rehm, 7-4, Matt Cash, 7-2, and Patrick Perez, 7-2. Rosenbaum ended Wheeler, 7-4, while Chau made his way through the one loss side with wins over Chase Rudder, 7-1, Steve Lenz, 7-1, and Jacob Watson. Elias Garza won four straight matches on the one loss side, but it wasn’t enough. Perez eliminated Garza, while Marvin Diaz took down Ricky Hughes, 7-4. As the final four on the one loss side took shape, back east, Whitehead overcame Hood, 7-2, and Jethwa sent Richeson west, 7-2. The hot seat witnessed Whitehead defeat Jethwa, 7-2, while Chau made his way through the one loss side. Chau was on fire, dusting off Rosenbaum, 7-3, and Hood, 7-1, while Diaz disabled Perez, 7-1, and Richeson, 7-5. At this point, Chau was unstoppable, taking out Diaz and Jethwa, by the same score, 7-2. After nine, straight match wins, Chau earned himself a rematch with Whitehead.  The finals witnessed a merciless Chau dole out some harsh punishment, as he defeated Whitehead in both sets of the true, double elimination final, 7-2, 7-1. Chau made an incredible comeback to secure his first open division title of 2017!
 
The tour would like to recognize its 2017 sponsors and venues: Poison by Predator Cues, Cyclop Pool Balls, Ozone Billiards, APA of North Harris County, Outsville Billiards, and newest sponsor, Jim Jenkins with Gibson Realty. This year, the tour welcomes back Texas venues Bogies Billiards and Sports Bar (Houston), Bogies West (Houston), Skinny Bob’s Billiards (Round Rock), and brand new venues, Fat Racks Sports Bar and Billiards (San Antonio), and CK Billiards (Dallas). This year the tour offer s cue repair by Roger Allen, James Hanshew, and Jerry Olivier, offered at each and every event.
 
Without the nearly 300 players who attend Poison Lone Star Tour events, annually, production of this tour would not be possible. The tour would like to thank each and every player for their participation, whether it’s one event, or every event year round. It is because of your patronage, that the Poison Lone Star Billiards Tour celebrates its 9th birthday this year, serving players across Texas and in surrounding states.  The tour welcomes everyone back for the next event, to be held on March 18th-19th, 2017, at Bogies Billiards, located at 3040 FM 1960 East, in Houston, Texas. The full 2017 schedule is published at www.LoneStarBilliardsTour.com. The Poison Lone Star Billiards Tour encourages everyone who loves to play pool and compete in a friendly atmosphere, to attend an event. “Like” us on Facebook @LoneStarTour and “Follow” us on Twitter @LoneStarTour09.