Archive Page

Brothers goes undefeated to claim 1st Annual DE State Bar Box 8-Ball title

Kevin West and Josh Brothers

Delaware’s Josh Brothers and Kevin West made their first appearances in the AZBilliards database about three months apart, 22 years ago. They were both playing on the Planet Pool Tour at the time and while West beat Brothers to the database by those three months by finishing in the tie for 9th on the tour’s first stop in 2000, Brothers joined at Stop #5 in April, finishing in the tie for 13th place. West finished in the tie for 7th that weekend, one of a dozen times that he chalked up a cash finish on the tour that year. This past weekend, June 25-26, they went head-to-head twice at the 1st Annual Delaware State Bar Box 8-Ball Championships. Brothers, with a Fargo Rate one point higher than West (701/700) won both matches to claim title to the event that drew 45 entrants to Milford Billiards in Milford, DE.

Brothers got by Tom Kozloski, Chris Jenkins and Joe Scott by an aggregate score of 18-6 to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal against Maryland State’s 2022 8-Ball Champion Steve Johnson. West, in the meantime, played one more match than Brothers to arrive at his winners’ side semifinal, opening up with an 18-2 run against Donnie Keith, Orlando Huertas (2) and Sean Mason. He then faced his first serious challenge – a double hill battle versus Eric Brobst – which he won to pick up Dave Barnes in the other winners’ side semifinal.

Brothers sent Johnson to the loss side 6-2, as West was doing likewise to Barnes 6-1. Brothers took their first match 6-3 to claim the hot seat.

On the loss side, Shaun Wilkie, among the top vote-getters to win this event, had, after being sent over by Barnes in a double-hill, third-round match, defeated four opponents by an aggregate score of 20-4, recently eliminating Don Painter (3) and Joey Bean (1) in the process. He picked up his no-doubt sought for rematch against Barnes, with Brothers in the hot seat, hearing his footsteps. Johnson drew Joe Stem, who’d lost his opening round match, double hill to Chris Jenkins and embarked on a seven-match, loss-side winning streak that would take him as far as the quarterfinals. He’d recently eliminated tour director Tarek Elmalla 5-3 and survived a double hill battle against Rick Winpigler.

Wilkie won his rematch against Barnes 5-1 and in the quarterfinals, drew Stem who’d shut out Johnson. Wilkie then stopped Stem’s loss-side streak at seven with a 5-2 win in those quarterfinals.

Now there were only two pairs of footsteps left, neither one of them calculated to provide Brothers with any sort of comfort. Wilkie and West battled to double hill before West prevailed to earn his rematch against Brothers. In a repeat of their hot seat match, Brothers claimed the event title 6-3.

Tour director Elmalla thanked Leo and Sherrie Weigand and their Milford Billiards staff for their ongoing support and hospitality, along with Travis Parker for the stream and commentary, Ray Netta for remote support, Tuff Cuts, Ran Ji for “being on top of the bracket,” Andrea Thomas and Joe Norton.

Go to thread

Beltrami-Nester goes undefeated to claim MD State Open Amateur Women’s Championship title

Loye Bolyard, Nicole Beltrami-Nester, Tina Malm and Rick Scarlato, Jr.

Varias goes undefeated to win concurrently-run Open Drop-In Tournament

As it turned out, the ‘undercard’ in Maryland this past weekend (Feb. 12-13) drew more entrants than the main event. On the Hill productions held the Maryland State Open Amateur Women’s Championships 9-Ball event, for competitors with a Fargo Rate of 625 and under, at Brews and Cues on the Boulevard in Glen Burnie, MD and as something of a bonus event, decided to run an Open ‘Drop-in’ Tournament at the same time. The Open Drop-in tournament drew 33 entrants, which required a single preliminary match, while the Ladies Championship, which drew 30, awarded a bye to two of its first-round competitors.

Both winners – Nicole Beltrami-Nester in the Ladies event and Jimmy Varias in the ‘Drop-in’ – became occupants of their respective hot seats and had to contend with strong and long loss-side bids by competitors who challenged them in the finals. Tina Malm lost her second winners’ side match and won seven on the loss side to meet Beltrami-Nester in the Ladies final. Branden Williams lost his opening match and won eight on the loss side to meet up with Varias in the ‘Drop-in’ event.

Eugenia Gyftopoulos

Nicole Nester entered the MD State Ladies 9-Ball Championship after a strong previous year. Her recorded earnings in 2021 were her second-best since she started showing up on the payout lists of the J. Pechauer Northeast Women’s Tour in 2011. She cashed in a single event that year, finishing 5th at a stop in November. Her best year was 2013, when she cashed in six JPNEWT events and was 5th in that year’s MD State Women’s Championship. Safe to say, she’s off to a real good start in 2022.

She won three out of every four games she played through her first three matches, downing Dawn Stickler (1), Judie Wilson (3) and June Prescop (2) to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal against Kelly Daniel. Eugenia Gyftopoulos, in the meantime, got by Rachel Walters (4), Debra Pavan Peterman (2) and Jane Im (2) to arrive at her winners’ side semifinal versus KanKan Yu.

Beltrami-Nester downed Daniel 6-1, while Gyftopoulos sent Yu to the loss side 6-2. Beltrami-Nester claimed the hot seat 6-1 (upping her game-winning percentage by three points) and waited for Malm to finish her long haul on the loss side.

On that loss side, Yu picked up a rematch against Colleen Knauff-Shoop, whom she’d sent to the loss side, double hill, in the winners’ side second round. Knauff-Shoop was working on a five-match, loss-side winning streak that had recently eliminated June Prescop 6-4 and Christina Madrigale 5-2. It was Daniel who drew Malm, four matches into her loss-side winning streak with wins #3 and #4 against Jane Im, by forfeit, and Theresa Tascarella 7-4.

Colleen Knauff-Shoop

Knauff-Shoop won her rematch against Yu 6-3 and in the quarterfinals, faced Malm, who’d defeated Daniel 7-3. Malm stopped Knauff-Shoop’s loss-side run at five, with a 7-3 win in those quarterfinals and then gave up just a single rack to Gyftopoulos in the semifinals. Beltrami-Nester completed her undefeated run with a shutout over Malm in the finals and claimed the event title.

Varias opens 2022 campaign with an undefeated run

Like Beltrami-Nester, Jimmy Varias was coming off a strong year; his best-ever since he started recording cash payouts in 2013. Two 2021 runner-up finishes, in the Dynaspheres Cup 10-Ball event in August (losing to Jayson Shaw in the finals) and the MD State Bar Table 8-Ball Championships in September (losing to Dylan Spohr in the finals), led the pack of cash finishes last year. Also like Beltrami-Nester, it’s safe to say that he’s off to a real good start in 2022.

His path to the winners’ circle started with a shutout over Clint Clayton, an 8-2 win over Justin Pelech and an 8-6 win over Joseph Wright, Jr., which brought him to a winners’ side semifinal against Bryan Jones. Steve Fleming, a strong, veteran Mid-Atlantic competitor, got by Andres Kinones 7-2, Paul Krimes 7-5 and shutout Greg Schuler to arrive at his winners’ side semifinal against Rick Winpigler. 

Fleming advanced to the hot seat match 7-2 over Winpigler and was joined by Varias, who’d defeated Jones 8-2. Varias claimed the hot seat 8-3 over Fleming and like Beltrami-Nester, waited for an opponent (Branden Williams, in his case) to complete a lengthy trip on the loss side of the bracket.

Five matches into his loss-side trip, including another shutout over Schuler and a 7-2 win over John Moody, Sr. brought Williams to Jones. Winpigler picked up Glenn Loveland, who’d lost a winners’ side quarterfinal to Jones and then, defeated Paul Krimes 6-6 (Krimes racing to 7) and Joseph Wright, Jr. by shutout.

Winpigler downed Loveland 7-4, and in the quarterfinals, faced a rematch versus Williams, who’d eliminated Jones 7-1. In those quarterfinals, Williams redeemed his earlier double hill loss to Winpigler and defeated him 7-4.

Williams completed his loss-side-of-the-bracket trip with a 7-5 victory over Fleming. Varias handed Williams his second loss in the finals 8-3 to claim the ‘Drop-in’ portion of the weekend events.

Tour directors Loye Bolyard and Rick Scarlato, Jr. thanked the ownership and staff at Brews & Cues for their hospitality, as well as sponsors AlleyKat Cue Sports, AZBilliards, Aramith Balls, Simonis Cloth, TAP Chesapeake Bay Region, Safe Harbor Retirement Planners, Whyte Carbon Fiber Cue Shafts and MB Cues.

Go to thread

Sluzalis goes back-to-back in MD State Bar Table Championships

(l to r): Tom Zippler & Brandon Sluzalis

While the 2019 Maryland State 8-Ball Bar Table Championships didn’t get quite the ‘name draw’ of its predecessor, the 2019 Maryland State 9-Ball Bar Table Championships, the two did share a winner. Back in March at Brews & Cues in Glen Burnie, MD, Brandon Sluzalis went undefeated through a field of 104 to claim the first MD State 9-Ball Bar Table title. On the weekend of July 27-28, at the same location, Sluzalis got into the hot seat of the 8-Ball Bar Table Championships, and in the end, won it, though not before he was challenged and defeated once, by Tom Zippler, who’d won five on the loss side to reach him for a true double elimination final. The event drew 100 entrants to Brews & Cues.
 
Sluzalis, who’d faced and defeated the likes of James Aranas, Shaun Wilkie and Brett Stottlemeyer in the March 9-Ball event, did not run into them playing 8-ball in Glen Burnie. Stottlemeyer and Wilkie did compete, just not against Sluzalis. It took him five matches to get into the hot seat, downing Rusty Hamilton 6-1, and Tony Conn 6-4, before picking up a forfeit win over Marko Stanley. He advanced to defeat Dwayne Laub 6-3 and picked up Gary Kline as an opponent in a winners’ side semifinal.
 
Zippler, in the meantime, had defeated Lance Fessler 6-1, Mark Ford 6-4 and Derick Daya 6-1 before being sent to the loss side by Rick Molineiro 6-3. Molineiro advanced and drew Steve Fleming in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
By identical 6-1 scores, Sluzalis and Molineiro sent Kline and Fleming to the loss side, and squared off against each other in the hot seat match. Sluzalis sent Molineiro to the semifinals 6-2 and waited for Zippler to finish his loss-side run.
 
On the loss side, Kline drew Zippler, who’d defeated Brian Dietzenbach and Rick Winpigler, both 6-4, to reach him. Fleming picked up co-event director Rick Scarlato, Jr., who’d defeated his fellow event director Loye Bolyard 6-4 and Matt Haines, double hill.
 
A pair of 6-2 victories sent Fleming and Zippler to the quarterfinals, eliminating Scarlato and Kline. A third 6-2 win sent Zippler to the semifinals and a rematch against Molineiro, who’d added a few matches to Zippler’s weekend.
 
Zippler exacted his revenge on Molineiro 6-4 and turned to face Sluzalis in a true double elimination final.  A single race to 10 would have yielded the same result as the two races to 6 did. Zippler, on the wings of that intangible ‘momentum’ took the opening set 6-4. Sluzalis came back in the second set to win it and the 8-ball Championship 6-3. The hypothetical ‘race to 10’ would have gone double hill with Sluzalis winning it 10-9.
 
Event directors Rick Scarlato, Jr., and Loye Bolyard thanked the ownership and staff at Brews & Cues for their hospitality, as well as sponsors McDermott Cues, Billiard Sports Network, Lights Out Billiards Apparel, Phillippi Custom Cues and TAP Pool League (Chesapeake Region). 

Wilkie comes back from semifinals to down Krah in finals of Labor Day 9-Ball Shootout

Shaun Wilkie

The last time Shaun Wilkie and Matt Krah met in the finals of an event was back in February during the VA State 10-Ball Championships, held under the auspices of the Action Pool Tour (APT). They had met, as well, in the hot seat match of that tournament. Wilkie shut Krah out to grab the hot seat, and survived a double hill battle in the finals to complete his sixth straight win on the APT. At the 4th Annual Labor Weekend 9-Ball Shootout in Cambridge, MD, the two clashed in the hot seat match and finals again. This time, though, Krah survived a double hill hot seat match, only to have Wilkie come back from the semifinals to defeat him in the finals. The $500-added event drew 58 entrants to Great Slates Billiard Cafe in Cambridge.
 
Wilkie ended up playing 10 more games than Krah, 83 to Krah's 73, and prior to the finals, Krah had the better winning percentage – 72.4% over Wilkie's 70.5%. When it was over, those percentages had shifted (obviously). The addition of six game losses dropped Wilkie's percentage down by two points to 68.6%, but with the addition of nine losses, Krah's dropped by about seven points, down to 65.7%. Together, they recorded a total of five shutouts in 15 matches; two by Wilkie and three by Krah.
 
Wins over Will Johnson, Coen Bell, Steve Cahal, Jr. and Joe Stem put Wilkie in a winners' side semifinal against Kevin West. Krah had defeated Rick Winpigler, Brandon Welch, John Moody, Sr. (back-to-back shutouts), and Jason Kochenour to meet up with Josh Brothers in the other winners' side semifinal. Wilkie sent West west 7-4, while Krah was sending Brothers over 7-5. The hot seat battle went double hill, eventually sending Wilkie to the semifinals.
 
Over on the loss side, Joe Wright, having been sent there by Brothers in a winners' side quarterfinal, was working his way back to a re-match in the event quarterfinals. Wright got by  , TJ Moore and Kochenour, both 7-4, and picked up West. Brothers drew Rick Winpigler, who'd defeated Joe Stem and Danny Greene, both 7-5. Wright and Brothers advanced to their re-match; Wright 7-5 over West, and Brothers in a shutout over Greene.
 
Brothers downed Wright a second time in the quarterfinals, by the same score he'd chalked up on the winners' side 7-5. By that same score, Wilkie stopped Brothers' run in the semifinals. Wilkie then claimed the event title with the single race 9-6 victory in the finals.