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Chohan & Frost Nab US Open Titles – Biado Takes All-Around

Tony Chohan

After Fedor Gorst and Carlo Biado snapped off the US Open 10 Ball and 8 Ball Championships, the US Open One Pocket and Bank Pool Championship rounded out the action packed series at Griff’s in Las Vegas, NV.

The US Open One Pocket Championship opened with 44 players – the format was alternate break with races to four. After the players auction, players meeting and draw, play commenced.

Opening round action saw Roberto Gomez defeat fellow countryman Edgie Geronimo 4-1 as did Josh Roberts over legendary John Hennigan (“Cornflakes”). Evan Lunda battled it out with recently crowned US Open 8 Ball champ Carlo Biado – Carlo escaped with a 4-3 win. Coming out of retirement, veteran BCA and One Pocket Hall of Famer, Jose Parica, pounded the always tough Tres Kane 4-1.

Next round had Biado sending One Pocket Hall of Famer Scott Frost west 4-2, Ian Costello beating Jim Tomassoni 4-1, Josh Roberts blitzing James Davee 4-0 and Tony Chohan defeating Warren Kiamco 4-2 as did Lee Vann Corteza over Robert Frost by the same score. Roland Garcia smoked young gun Kash Keaton 4-0 and newly minted US Open 10 Ball champ Fedor Gorst sent Gomez packing 4-2.

In the top half of the chart, favorite Justin Hall quietly made his way through the bracket smoking all in his way – Alex Montpelier 4-1, Bart Czapia 4-0 and Lee Vann Corteza, Ronnie Wiseman and Roland Garcia – all 4-1.

After winning his first two matches easily, Roberts breezed past Danny Olson 4-0 and followed that by beating Las Vegas’s own Ian Costello 4-2 and Bob Herchik 4-1.

While Justin & Josh were taking care of business up north, Garcia was destroying the southern part of the chart.

After rolling over his first two matches, Roland tore through Gorst 4-0 and then Chohan 4-2. Garcia finally met his demise at the hands of Hall 4-1.

This set up the hot seat match between Hall and Roberts with Josh easily taking the match 4-1. Justin headed west to await an opponent.

After losing to Garcia earlier in the tournament, Chohan won four in a row on his march towards his match with Hall. He defeated Danny Olson and Tim De Ruyter – both 4-2. Getting stronger as he went, Herchik was next – 4-1 but battled down to the wire with Biado. Tony prevailed 4-3 leaving Carlo in fourth place.

Nothing stopping him now, Hall was next! Down he went 4-2 – Justin finished third. 

The undefeated Josh Roberts was waiting for Tony in the one set extended finals. There was no stopping the Chohan train as he steamed to a 5-0 victory! Good tournament, Josh! And congratulations to Tony for his third consecutive one pocket championship and his second US Open One Pocket Championship!

Scott Frost

And finally, the last event of the US Open Championship Series – the US Open Bank Pool Championship! Featuring 48 players, the format was alternate break with races to 5/4. As usual, after a players auction, players meeting and draw, play began.

After drawing a coveted bye, Roberto Gomez shot out of the gate with victories over Kash Keaton 5-0, Fedor Gorst 5-4, Tony Chohan 5-3 and Scott Frost 5-2 to reach the hot seat match.

Fellow Filipino Carlo Biado was doing the same in the bottom half of the chart. He escaped a close one with Caleb Schumacher 5-4 but then defeated Tony Bloom 5-0. He then edged out Chris Lulek, Robert Frost and Stephen Holem – all with 5-4 scores!

Now in dead punch, he smashed Roberto 5-1 to lock up his seat in the finals! Gomez went to the one loss side to await an opponent.

After losing their earlier matches, Stephen Holem and Scott Frost were working their way through the fray and finally bumped heads. Scott put an end to Stephen’s march 4-2 – Holem finished fourth.

Frost then thumped Gomez 4-1 and advanced to the finals! Roberts finished in third place.

Again, the finals were to be one set – an extended race to six.

Facing the undefeated Carlo Biado, Frost had his hands full. Neck and neck until four game apiece, Scott took the lead 5-4 and then won the final game to win this year’s US Open Bank Pool Championship! Congratulations to Scott! Good tournament, Carlo!

And, finally, Carlo Biado was the points leader of all four events so became the All-Around champ for 2022! Congratulations!!!

PoolActionTV.com would like to thank Griff’s owner, Mark Griffin, and his staff for going the extra mile to make both players and fans feel at home during this grueling US Open Championship Series. We’d like to thank Tournament Director Jason Hill and his assistant, Eric Kintzer, for doing such a great job running things!

Promoted by Cue & A Promotions, we’d once again like to thank the sponsors for the US Open Championship Series. They were OB Cues, Griff’s Billiards, Simonis, Aramith, Diamond Billiard Products, JB Cases, Keller Billiard Products and Fort Worth Billiards Superstore of Fort Worth, TX.

We’d like to thank Mary Kenniston, Robert LeBlanc, Larry Schwartz, John Henderson, Jeremy Jones, Josh Roberts, Mike DeLawder and Ray Hansen for their topnotch commentary.

And, last but not least, PoolActionTV would like to thank our fans and sponsors. They include JB Cases, Lomax Custom Cues, Keller Billiard Products, Durbin Custom Cues, StraightPoolEye, Hanshew Jump Cues, Simonis, Aramith, Diamond Billiard Products, the Action Palace of Dayton, OH and Fort Worth Billiards Superstore of Fort Worth, TX.

Our next stop is the Action Palace in Dayton, OH for the $50,000 Champion’s Challenge featuring Chris Reinhold and Shane McMinn! It’s ten ball – race to 100 on nine foot Diamonds! Hope to see you there!

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Gorst & Biado New US Open 10 & 8 Ball Champs!!!

Carlo Biado (Pool Action TV)

Las Vegas, NV was pool player central for the last couple weeks! Starting this past Sunday and immediately following the CSI Nationals, the WPA World 10 Ball Championship and the CSI/Predator US Pro Billiard Series’ Alfa Women’s Las Vegas Open, OB Cues presented the $45,000 added US Open Championship Series. 

Hosted by Griff’s owner, Mark Griffin, the US Open Championship Series was comprised of four events – Ten Ball, Eight Ball, One Pocket and Bank Pool. $10,000 was added to each event plus $5,000 for the All-Around. Players paid a $330 entry for each event. 

Players included BCA and One Pocket Hall of Famer Jose Parica who was joined by fellow countrymen Roberto Gomez, Carlo Biado, Lee Vann Corteza, Edgie Geronimo, Roland Garcia, Warren Kiamco and Joven Bustamante. Current Andy Mercer Memorial Champ Vilmos Foldes and One Pocket Hall of Famer Scott Frost were joined by Tony Chohan, Justin Hall, Josh Roberts, Ronnie Wiseman, Bob Herchik, Tres Kane, Jim Tomassoni, John Hennigan, Evan Lunda, Ian Costello, Robert Frost, Shane Winters, Danny Olson, Donny Branson, Redgie Cutler and James Davee. Young guns Jesus Atencio, Sergio Rivas, Kash Keaton and Justin Espinosa joined the fray as well as Canada’s Stephen Holem and Joe Spence, Russia’s Fedor Gorst and Kristina Tkach and Australia’s Justin Sajich. WOW!!! 

Promoted by Cue & A Promotions, the sponsors for the US Open Championship Series were OB Cues, Griff’s Billiards, Simonis, Aramith, Diamond Billiard Products, JB Cases, Keller Billiard Products and Fort Worth Billiards Superstore of Fort Worth, TX. 

The US Open 10 Ball started on Sunday afternoon with 51 players entering this double elimination, race to nine, alternate break event. PoolActionTV’s Ray Hansen conducted the players auction which was followed by a players meeting and the draw. 

Superstar-in-the-making Jesus Atencio charged out of the gate with wins over veterans Ronnie Wiseman 9-1, Warren Kiamco 9-3. Tony Chohan 9-2 and young Canadian Joe Spence 9-3 until he ran head on into another young star-in-the-making, Canada’s Stephen Holem. Holem had just defeated recent back-to-back Andy Mercer Memorial champ, Vilmos Foldes 9-5, and sent Jesus packing 9-4. 

Meanwhile, another young champ was methodically dismantling everyone in his path until he ran into the always tough Roberto Gomez. They duked it out and Roberto was finally toppled 9-7. However, Fedor was sent west by Roberto’s fellow Filipino, Lee Vann Corteza, by the same score – 9-7. 

After starting out with that coveted bye, Corteza had much tougher opponents to get to his match with Fedor but he blistered both Evan Lunda 9-2 and Sergio Rivas 9-1. Shane Winters gave him a harder time but Lee Vann prevailed 9-6 and went on to vanquish Gorst 9-7. 

Corteza and Holem made it to the hot seat match. Stephen shot out to a 2-0 lead and then 4-2 until Lee Vann caught a gear. He took off from there to win his spot in the finals 9-4. Stephen headed over to the one loss side to await an opponent. 

After losing his third round match to Joe Spence 9-6, Roland Garcia was tearing the west side apart with wins over Lunda 9-4, Frost 9-0, Gomez 9-4, Winters 9-5 and Atencio 9-4 until he ran into that buzz saw named Gorst. Fedor put an end to the hopes of Roland 9-4 leaving him in fourth place and squashed young Holem’s title dreams 9-0. Stephen finished in a well-earned third place and Fedor marched into familiar territory – the finals. 

The final match was one extended race to thirteen. Although close, Corteza lead for most of the match until Gorst pulled away in the second half to win the match 13-8! Great event, Lee Vann! And, congratulations to Fedor as he wins once more – his first US Open Ten Ball title!!! 

The US Open Eight Ball Championship started on Wednesday following the players auction, players meeting and draw. 48 players paid their entries into this double elimination, race to eight, alternate break tournament. 

Carlo Biado began his march to the hot seat with victories over Jonny Siraphong 8-2, Tony Chohan 8-6, Redgie Cutler 8-0, Roberto Gomez 8-4 and Jesus Atencio 8-6. Justin Sajich began his run with wins over Eric Vargas 8-2, squeaked by Edgie Geronimo 8-7, Evan Lunda 8-6, Danny Olson 8-4 and smoked Josh Roberts 8-2. 

The hot seat match was a battle with Sajich getting to the hill first – 7-6. Running out for the win, he hooked himself on the last ball before the eight! Biado jumped out of his chair to tie it up & escaped with an 8-7 win! A disappointed Sajich headed west to await an opponent. 

Roland Garcia emerged from the pack to face Justin – the winner of this match would advance to the finals. Garcia came out of the gate strong and was just too much for Justin to overcome. He rallied a bit at the end and got close but Roland was just too strong – final score 8-6. Justin finished in third place. 

The finals were an extended race to eleven and everyone expected it to be a real dogfight but it was just the opposite. Carlo cruised to an easy 11-3 victory! Great tournament, Roland, and congratulations to Carlo on his first US Open Eight Ball title! 

There’s more great pool coming so stay tuned for the US Open One Pocket and the US Open Bank Pool Championships! If you haven’t already, get your pass at PoolActionTV.com!!!

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Midwest Open II In The Books

Fedor Gorst (Pool Action TV)

Some of the best players in the world were at Michael’s Billiards in Fairfield, OH this past week for the Midwest Open Billiard Championship II. 

Everywhere you looked there were recognizable faces! Milling around the spacious room was recent Scotty Townsend Memorial champ Alex Pagulayan, Music City Open champ Shane Wolford, Iron City Open 9 Ball Champ Tony Chohan, Derby City Open Ring Game champ Billy Thorpe as well as this year’s Derby City Open One Pocket Champ & Master of the Table Fedor Gorst! And then there was Roberto Gomez, John Morra, Omar Alshaheen, Sanjin Pehlivanovic, Louis Demarco, Jesus Atencio, Shane Winters, Mike DeLawder, Dee Adkins, Robert Frost, Shannon Murphy, Jason Miller and Manny Chau in addition to ladies stars Kristina Tkach and April Larson – way too many to mention! This year’s pool extravaganza was modeled after the legendary Derby City Classic and featured 9 Ball Banks, One Pocket & Ten Ball divisions with an All Around Champion Award. A Bank Ring Game, Ladies 8 Ball Tournament and a Pro Ten Ball Invitational were held as well. There was something for everyone! 

Sponsors for this $19,000 added event included Joseph Long Attorney At Law, Greg Sullivan, Aramith, Simonis, Meyer Custom Cues, Ryan Meyer Cues, Seyberts.com, Diamond Billiard Products, Fort Worth Billiards Superstore, PoolActionTV.com and Michael’s Billiards. 

Things kicked off on Tuesday evening with a 66 player field for the $3,000 added Bank Pool event. The format was double elimination, race to three with alternate breaks. 

Tuesday evening also featured a Banks Ring Game. The two finalists were Billy Thorpe and Mike DeLawder – Billy took top honors! Now back to the banks event! 

After many rounds of play, the field was pared down on the winner’s side to Tony Chohan and Louis Demarco. The hot seat match was all Tony as he sent Louis west with a 3-1 score. 

After being defeated in the fourth round by young gun Jesus Atencio 3-1, Fedor Gorst had methodically picked his way through the field to face John Morra on the one loss side – John had been upset by Chicago’s Michael Eck 3-2. 

After he got past John, Fedor then defeated Louis Demarco 3-1 leaving him in third place. Fedor then moved into the finals but with his eyes firmly affixed on the prize, the match was again all Tony as he blitzed Fedor 3-0 to claim the first event! 

Wednesday was a busy day at the Midwest Open! It was the start of the One Pocket, the Pro Ten Ball Invitational as well as the Ladies 8 Ball events! 

Tony Chohan (Pool Action TV)

The $10,000 added One Pocket event had 47 players vying for the title. As in the Banks event, the format was double elimination with a race to three and alternate breaks. Red hot Tony Chohan tore through the field leaving Jesus Atencio, Jeff Lawrence, Cody Myers, Dee Adkins and Jason Shearer in his wake. 

On the bottom half of the chart, Alex Pagulayan opened with a bye and then defeated Leo Kincannon, Jeremiah Stanfield and Can Salim before edging out the always tough Fedor Gorst to reach the hot seat match. 

And again, Tony was a man on a mission as he spanked Alex 3-1 to claim his spot in the finals. Alex headed west to await an opponent. 

In a battle of the young guns, Shane Wolford took down Gorst 3-1 to face Alex for a spot in the finals. Alex, however, was having none of it as he put Shane on ice and won the match 3-0! Fedor finished in fourth place while Shane finished third. 

The finals began between the two giants of the one pocket world. Alex won the first set 3-1 forcing a second for the title. The final set saw both players grinding it out to a 2-2 tie. However, it was again Chohan as he claimed his second title at the Midwest Open! 

April Larson (Pool Action TV)

The $500 added Ladies 8 Ball Championship had 29 players – double elimination format with races to 4/3 and alternate breaks. Angela Mears swept through the field undefeated to face April Larson in the finals. April prevailed leaving Angela with a runner-up finish and Danielle Lunsford in third place. 

The $1,000 added 10 Ball Invitational had ten players – the format was single elimination with races to thirteen and alternate breaks. Fedor Gorst and Jesus Atencio advanced to the finals. It was a close match all the way but Fedor closed it out to claim the title with a 15-12 score. Tony Chohan and Kashton Keeton tied for third place. 

And finally, Event #3 – the $3,000 Ten Ball! Featuring 106 players and played on seven foot Diamonds, the format was double elimination, races to 9/7 with alternate breaks. 

In contention with Tony Chohan for the Master of the Table crown, a determined Fedor Gorst plowed through the field and notched out wins over Todd Michael, Steve Anderson, edged out Shane Wolford, then Willie Butler, Mike DeLawder & finally Billy Thorpe to arrive at the hot seat match. 

Meanwhile, in the lower portion of the bracket, Sanjin Pehlivanovic also made his mark as he defeated Clay Carman, Tommy Stephenson, Koka Davladze, reigning Midwest Billiards bar box champ Kristina Tkach, Dee Adkins and Louis Demarco. 

Fedor and Sanjin battled it out in the hot seat match but it was Gorst who locked up his seat in the finals 9-6. 

After losing her match to Sanjin in the third round, Kristina Tkach survived her matches with Jerry Arvalaez, Can Salim, Matthew Carman, Mike DeLawder and Louis Demarco before she finally succumbed to Alex Pagulayan 7-6! Don’t think this lady can’t play! She finished in a hard earned fourth place. 

Alex and Sanjin then battled to the end before the Lion was slayed 7-6. He finished in third place as Pehlivanovic moved on to the finals. 

Always in the lead, Fedor went on to take Sanjin down 9-4 and claimed not only the Ten Ball title but also Master of the Table! 

Congratulations to this year’s champs – Fedor Gorst, Tony Chohan, Billy Thorpe and April Larson!!! And again, congratulations to Fedor for taking his second Master of the Table crown of the year! 

Thanks go out to owner Michael Medley and his staff for going the extra mile to make both players and fans welcome. We’d also like to thank Tournament Director Jason Hill and his assistants Robert Frost and Cody Myers for ably running the many events. 

PoolActionTV.com would like to thank Jeremy Jones, Larry Schwartz, Mary Kenniston, Alex Pagulayan, Dee Adkins and Ray Hansen for their excellent commentary. 

We’d also like to thank our fans and sponsors for another fantastic event. Our sponsors include JB Cases, Hanshew Jump Cues, Simonis, Aramith, Lomax Custom Cues, StraightPoolEye, Durbin Custom Cues, Diamond Billiard Products, the Action Palace of Dayton, OH and Fort Worth Billiards Superstore of Fort Worth, TX. 

Our next stop is Griff’s in Las Vegas, NV for the US Open 10 Ball, US Open 8 Ball, US Open One Pocket and the US Open Bank Pool Championships! Dates are April 3rd-14th! Sure hope to see you there!!!

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Thorpe Downs Hall for Derby One Pocket Title

Billy Thorpe (Photo courtesy of Dave Thomson – Mediumpool.com)

Diamond Derby City Classic XXII, January 24-Feb.2, 2020
 
Caesars Southern Indiana, Elizabeth, IN
 
David Thomson
 
DIAMOND ONE POCKET CHAMPIONSHIP
 
Race to 3, 365 entries, 1 man standing.
 
Billy Thorpe and Justin Hall put on a competitive one-pocket display that will be praised for decades. It can truly be said that it was unfortunate that there was only one winner. They both played their hearts out.
 
There were no signs of the weakness that being in a final can sometimes induce. No unnecessary tension created by considering the outcome. These free-stroking athletes were celebrating their mastery in the moment!
 
The two gallant young guns, aggressive from the get-go, could not be contained. In the opening racks, they both ran 8.
 
Yet, it was the intrepid Billy “Torpedo” Thorpe, now a 2 time DCC One Pocket Champion, who prevailed.
 
And, like a torpedo, he attacked from the depths to undermine the one-pocket skillset that Justin employed to tie the match at 2.
 
Hall also had the benefit of the break. The break is huge in one pocket. It’s like the power of the opening move in chess, You have to defend. Billy became the underdog.
 
Hall spread the balls well as they rippled toward his pocket.
 
Billy leapt to the table. It appeared that one may have leaked out.
 
This was no time for doubt. His Cuetec carbon fiber shaft powered the Cyclop across the ice blue Simonis. The audience gasped at his spunk.
 
Justin was first to observe as the ball sped, unobstructed,  into the back of the tight, Diamond pro-cut pocket.
 
What Billy proceeded to achieve is a rack for the ages. 
 
Justin’s strategy couldn’t be faulted. One millimeter of a roll and he was rendered powerless as he experienced Billy’s superlative ability in action, Only moments ago, Justin was in the vanquishing seat. Now, he saw his hopes vanish, one ball at a time.
 
8 and out. 3-2. Billy’s dream accomplished; Justin’s nightmare corroborated. 
 
Justin’s road to the finals included an encounter with Joshua Filler in the Accu-Stats TV Arena. Joshua’s Straight Pool pattern play, bank power, and shotmaking were in fine form. And, his “moving” improving. This match would be the test. 
 
Justin “Hollywood” Hall, 2012 Southern Classic Bank Pool and One-Pocket Champion, unblemished, still had his buy-back. The reason being he had obliterated everyone in his path.
 
He can, obviously, bank, he’s aggressive and will attack with calculated risk, as long as there is an exit plan. It’s “moving” where he excels.
 
That’s what got him to 2.1, and ahead 7 balls to 6 in the 3rd.
 
The moment that swung the match was when Filler’s fine execution of a formidable bank incurred a truly freaky scratch. Instead of 2-2, Hall had ball-in-hand anywhere behind the headstring. And, a spot shot! He hasn’t missed one of those since the Clinton era. 3-1. 
 
Filler should be commended for garnering such a high finish in this field of landmines. With some expert guidance, like Melling and Shaw, he could be a one-pocket contender.
 
Meanwhile, out in the Diamond Arena, The rumors that the, aforementioned, Melling’s prowess is improving were rumbling thru the hallways. Just ask the baffled 2013 Southern Classic One-Pocket Champion Justin Bergman who had just shaved a few whiskers from Al Shaheen. And, Gomez, who outblasted Jayson Shaw’s ambitions.
 
Hall had also routed the personable Robert Frost who had waxed poetic to the final 6.
 
And, what about this 21-year-old, Jesus Atencio who had swum so far upstream in his first ever DCC 1-Pocket event? It had taken Billy to tame the fearless Latino invader.
 
Then, there were 4. 
 
Melling and Gomez found each other again on the Accu-Stats TV table while Thorpe and the unbeaten Hall were designated in the Diamond Arena.
 
Both Melling and Gomez had rallied on their excellent safety, banking, and shotmaking skills. But, now that they were alone, Without the guidance of a “mover,” you could see they were fish out of water. They were first to admit, in some instances, they had no idea what to do.
 
It was Melling who committed the ultimate one-pocket cardinal sin. With ball-in-hand, he pocketed a ball in his opponent’s pocket while playing shape on another which left a perfect bank for Gomez. Those 2 balls, cost him that game and any further advancement.
 
You can be sure that they will enter, again, next year.  Success is addicting.
 
And then there were 3, Billy, Justin, and Roberto.
 
Billy’s 3-1 defeat of Justin demanded that he buy back.
 
Billy drew the bye. Justin derailed Roberto’s route at 3-0…in 37 minutes. They were playing real one-pocket now.
 
And, that’s how Thorpe and Hall rode to the hottest seat in Caesars Southern Indiana.
 
The All Around Champion points are adding up with Billy’s One-Pocket and Orcollo’s Banks results bounding up the leaderboard.
 
DIAMOND 9-BALL CHAMPIONSHIP
 
Efren got handed his first loss in the 2nd round by John Demet who also had a decent finish in the Banks event. Efren laughed, “He played good. I no lucky.”
 
Jeffrey DeLuna moved Maksim Dudanets to the one loss side, ditto with Tyler Styer and Michael Delawder.
 
The ladies are competing in the cosmopolitan field including: Kristina Tkach, Pia Filler, and, our very own, Jennifer Barretta.
 
We’ll have plenty more tomorrow.
 
9-Ball commences at noon. Check out the schedule at Accu-Stats.com
 
FRIDAY NIGHT BANKS RING GAME
 
Derby’s most casual cutthroat assembly clash in the murderer’s row of bankers in the, no safeties allowed, winner-take-all bloodfest.
 
Not to be missed!
 
Featuring Skyler Woodward, Billy Thorpe, Jayson Shaw, Jonathan Demet, Justin Hall, Omar Al Shaheen.
 
Don’t miss a stroke at accu-stats.com
 
Accu-Stats thanks its Arena Sponsors: Diamond Billiards, Simonis Cloth, Cyclop Balls, Cuetec Cues, Cue and Case, MEZZ Cues, McDermott Cues, National Billiard Academy.
 
 
 

Pinegar wins second 2019 Bar Table title at Midwest Bar Table Classic in Indianapolis

Jonathan Pinegar

Orcollo takes top prize in 10-Ball Saturday Night Midnight Madness
 
In what has been something of a slow year for him, Jonathan Pinegar (the ‘artist’ formerly known as “Hennessee from Tennessee”) recently chalked up his second 2019 Bar Box title. In late March, Pinegar won the 32-entrant, Super Billiards Expo’s Pro Am Bar Box Championships and on the weekend of October 13-14, he went 7-1 through a field of 128 competing at the $7,500-added 39th annual Midwest Bar Table Classic, hosted by John Wayne’s Bar and Grill in Indianapolis, IN. He lost the opening set of a true double elimination final to runner-up Jason Klatt. Pinegar’s only other recorded earnings for the year stemmed from his participation in the 2019 Derby City Classic at which he finished in the money in three separate disciplines; 9-Ball (17th), One Pocket (21st) and 9-Ball Banks (91st).
 
As if a 128-player field wasn’t madness enough, the Midwest Bar Table Classic included a 10-Ball Saturday Night Midnight Madness tournament, which featured a single elimination ‘winner and runner-up take all’ format. It drew an extraordinarily short field of 10 entrants and lasted (no surprise) until 3 a.m., which might have had something to do with why the winner, Dennis Orcollo, finished in the eight-way tie for 17th place in the main event to take home $1,500. Tommy Stephenson was the $500 runner-up.
 
The main event saw a number of ‘marquee’ players eliminated earlier than anticipated (by themselves probably more than anybody). These included 2020 Mosconi Cup Team USA member, Billy Thorpe and the Midwest Bar Table Classic’s defending champion, Alex Olinger, both of whom shared in the four-way tie for 13th. Also out early (among others) were Dennis Hatch (25-32), Justin Bergman (17-24) and Shane McMinn (9/12).
 
Pinegar faced separate opponents in the hot seat and finals; one of them, having sent the other to the loss side. Josh Roberts sent Jason Klatt to the loss side in a winners’ side quarterfinal from where Klatt would launch a five-match winning streak that would earn him a shot against Pinegar in the finals. Roberts advanced to a winners’ side semifinal against Jordan Davis, as Pinegar squared off against Chris Szuter in the other one.
 
Pinegar downed Szuter 9-6, as Roberts was busy sending Davis to the loss side 9-5. Pinegar claimed the hot seat 9-5 over Roberts and waited on Klatt’s return.
 
Klatt opened his loss-side campaign with a victory over Can Salim, who’d been responsible for sending Dennis Orcollo to the loss side (Kevin Hall would eliminate Orcollo). Klatt then went on something of a ‘tear’ as he shut out his next two opponents; Robert Frost and (fresh from his loss to Pinegar) Szuter. Davis picked up and defeated John Morra 7-5; Morra having been responsible for eliminating Shane McMinn and Jeremy Seaman.
 
Klatt took the quarterfinal match over Davis 7-2 and then, in a match that came within a game of double hill, downed Roberts 7-5 in the semifinal.
 
Klatt and his sidekick, Momentum took the opening set of the true double elimination final 9-6. Pinegar came back to win the second set 7-4 and claim the Midwest Bar Table Classic title.
 
Event directors John Klotz and Miranda Babcock thanked John Wayne’s Bar & Grill owner Chuck Thomas and his staff for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Meucci Cues, Simonis Cloth and for the live streaming, BilliardNet.TV. The next Midwest Bar Table Classic has been scheduled for April 3-5, 2020.

The Sky is the Limit at The 2nd Annual Big Tyme Classic

Skyler Woodward

The Big Tyme Classic held its 2nd Annual Event on March 20th – 23rd. It was a $10,000 added event in all. The event drew players from all over the United States and a few from foreign soil. There was 6 events held total and 5 of the 6 were full fields, the ladies event fell 2 players short of being full. The main event filled up last year and although it filled up again this year it was bigger and better then the last one. You know what they say everything is bigger and better in Texas.
 
The $1,500 Added One Pocket kicked everything off at Noon sharp on March 20th. It was a 32 player single elimination field to be completed in one day. The races were to 4 and there was plenty of stellar play along the way, by some great players.  It paid out 8 spots. The players finishing 5th thru 8th for $300 each were Sylver Ochoa, Justin Hall, Skyler Woodward, and Robb Saez. Finishing in a tie for 3rd and $600 each was Richie Richeson and Jeremy Jones. The two finalists Josh Roberts and Justin Bergman chopped up first and second for a total of $1800 each, as the event was to pay $2,400 for first and $1,200 for second.
 
Also on Thursday night there was a 16 man mini tourney on the diamond bar tables. The entry fee was $50 and it was a race to 9, it was slated for winner take all ($800). The event drew the likes of Brandon Shuff, Warren Kiamco, Skyler Woodward and plenty of other heavy hitters. At the end of the night the last two players left standing was Joey Barnes and Manny Chau, it was late and they decided to split it up and get some rest before the next event at noon, the 9-ball banks event.
 
Friday, the busy day has arrived. We kicked it off at Noon with the $1,500 Added 9-Ball Banks and a full field of 32. This was a single elimination race to 5 to be completed in one day as well. Besides John Brumback this event was loaded with heavy hitting bank pool players. The list included Justin Hall, Skyler Woodward, Jeremy Jones, Manny Chau, Richie Richeson, Brandon Shuff, Cliff Joyner, and a slew of others. The event paid out the top 8 spots. Those finishing 5th thru 8th for $300 each were Joey Barnes, Jeremy Jones, Skyler Woodward, and Justin Bergman. Finishing in a tie for 3rd and $600 each were Ronnie Wiseman and Manny Chau. The two finalists Justin Hall and Warren Kiamco decided to chop up the top 2 spots and they both received $1,800 each. This event paid out the exact same as the one pocket event.
 
Also on Friday night the $5,000 Added 9-Ball Main Event kicked off at 7:00 with the players auction. The players auction lasted about three and a half hours and drew in slightly over $45,000. This topped last years event and we look to top this again next year, hoping to get up to the 60k mark, I think we would have hit that number this year if not for some last minute defections of a few upper echelon players. Nonetheless this was a super number and bigger then most anywhere except the one right down the road at White Diamonds. The players auction had two blind picks, the first one was Yu Usuan Cheng from Taiwan as he sold for $3,500. The second blind pick sold for $3,600 and was Warren Kiamco from the Philippines. This event was loaded with super star talent, besides the two I just named  as the blind picks others in attendance was Team High Pockets (Justin Bergman, Robb Saez, Skyler Woodward, and Robert Frost), Cliff Joyner, Manny Chau, Jeremy Jones, Ronnie Wiseman, Justin Hall, Richie Richeson (Derby City Action Award Winner of 2014), BCA National Champion Mike Alonzo, U.S. Amateur Champion Ernesto Bayaua, Brandon Shuff, Josh Roberts, Rene Rendon, James Davis Jr. Sam Gilmer, Lil D Daniel McKenney, Sylver Ochoa, two WPBA touring pros in Vivian Villarreal and Brittany Bryant and a slew of others to fill the 128 player field. It was tough as nails.
 
The Main Event. Play started on the 16 Diamond Bar Tables after the Auction was over. We played 32 matches on Friday Night, and play started back up at 10:00a.m on Saturday morning and played down to the final 32 players. Matches were set up on a time schedule and the last round was started at roughly 8:00p.m. on Saturday night. There was some great matches and if you missed them you can find the streamed ones on poolactiontv.com. After we hit the final 32 players the second auction was held Saturday night and it drew in about 7.5k. The first auction paid 12 spots.  Payouts were 9-12th $915 each, 7-8th paid $1,500 each, 5/6th paid $2,500 each, 4th paid $4,000, 3rd paid $5,000, 2nd paid $7,500, and the winner took home a hefty $15,000. The second auction paid 4 spots and paid out as follows. 4th paid $735, 3rd paid $1,100, 2nd paid $2,100, and the winners share paid $3,100.
 
The Main Events eventual winner was Skyler Woodward the young gun from Kentucky. This kids games is way beyond his years. He is well seasoned in all games and has a very bright future in this game of billiards. Congrats to you Sky and we look forward to seeing you back to defend your title next year as well. And yes your name will be on the shirt for The 3rd Annual Bigtyme Classic.
 
Sunday. The wild day with three events running at the same time. There was the final 32 of the main event starting at 1:00, the Ladies had a $1,000 added 9-Ball Event that drew 30 players and the Seniors had a $1,000 added 9-Ball Event that drew a full field of 32 players.
 
The Ladies Event drew 30 players and had some heavy hitters in it led by the Defending Champion the Texas Tornado Vivian Villarreal. Also there was three other WPBA touring players Brittany Bryant, Nicole Keeney, and Kim Pierce . This event was a one day event with races to 7 on the winners side and 5 on the one loss side. When the dust settled it was the defending champ repeating again, congrats to Vivian. This event paid out 8 spots. Finishing in a tie for 7/8th and $70 was Ricki Casper and Belinda Lee. Tied for 5/6th and $130 was Michelle Yim, and Mandy Hood. The 4th place finisher was Natalie Mans for $220. Third place and $330 went to Brittany Bryant. The top two that battled it out for the lions share was Nicole Keeney and Vivian Villarreal. Nicole ended up 2nd with $500 and Vivian took home first and $750.
 
The Seniors Event drew a full field of 32 players. Last year it was chopped between Jose Parica and Lanny Herrin. Jose was not back but Lanny was and trying to defend his share of the crown. This event is always the easiest going event of all, as all the players seem to really love the game of billiards and have played it for along time. The event paid out 8 spots. Finishing in a tie for 7/8th and $70 were C.W. Smith and John Turner. Tied for 5/6th and $140 were Charles Smith and defending champ Lanny Herrin. The 4th place finisher was Bob Guzik for $220. Third place and #340 went to Bob McFerren(Co-Owner of Big Tyme Billiards). The top two that battled it out in a dogfight till the end was Sonny Bosshamer and the man known around the world for his high stakes gambling action, Ronnie Wiseman. Sonny took home $525 and Ronnie got $775.
 
This event was filled with action for the 4 days as the room stayed open 24 hours. We saw $500 a game one pocket, we saw $1,000 a game one pocket played. We also saw sets of 10 ball for $1,000, $3,000, $5,000 and $10,000 and lots of other action going on. This is an event everyone should be trying to attend next year as they like to gamble it up in this area, so if you think you got what it takes come get your fill next March. We will be waiting.
 
We would like to thank all the sponsors of this event, Ace Roofing (Tracy and Kim Sanders), Star City Amusements (Roddy Lucio), APA of North Harris County (Roger Shuett), Omega Billiards (Michael Hoang), and Universe Clothing (Nick Bashizi), everything you did for the event is greatly appreciated.
 
Also a big thanks to the staff of Big Tyme Billiards for doing a great job on a very very busy 4 day event. The owners of Big Tyme Billiards deserves a big thanks as well for putting on this event each year, Bob McFerren, Mark Avery, Debbie Sharp, and Jim Henry.
 

McMinn double dips Woodward to take Midwest 9-Ball event; Miller takes Ladies title

Shane McMinn took two out of three against Skyler Woodward to capture the Midwest 9-Ball Tour's Bar Table event, held on the weekend of March 8-9. Briana Miller went undefeated to claim the Ladies title. Hosted by Break Billiards in Cahokia, IL, the $2,300-added main event drew 74 entrants, while the $100-added ladies tournament drew 16.
 
McMinn and Woodward met first in the winners' side final. McMinn had survived a double hill match against Chuck Raulston, while Woodward was busy downing Gary Lutman 9-5. Woodward then took the first of his three against McMinn 9-5 and sat in the hot seat to await his return.
 
Raulston and Lutman got right back to work on the loss side. Raulston drew Robert Frost, who'd defeated Anthony Fanning and John Gabriel, both 9-6. Lutman got Brian Daniels, who'd survived a double hill match versus Mike Bergere, and an almost-double-hill match (9-7) against Rich Sager.
 
Raulston defeated Frost 9-6, as Lutman was eliminating Daniels 9-4. Raulston then squeaked by Lutman in the quarterfinals 9-8, before McMinn took him down in the semifinals 9-2. McMinn forced a second set in the finals against Woodward with a 9-6 opening set, and though Woodward would force the second set to a single, deciding game, McMinn hung on to win it.
 
Briana Miller and Julia Gabriel faced each other twice in the ladies event. Miller took the hot seat match 7-3, sending Gabriel to the semifinals and a match against Denise Grady, who'd just survived a double hill battle against Angela Vallair in the quarterfinals.  Gabriel won the semifinal matchup against Grady 7-5 and got a second chance against Miller. Miller let Gabriel get two games closer in the finals, one game away from double hill, but she hung in to win it 7-5.

Shane Wins Bigfoot Challenge; Derby Day Four

Shane Van Boening

Derby City Classic XVI, Jan 24-Feb 1, 2014
 
Horseshoe Southern Indiana
Elizabeth, Indiana.
 
Sponsored by Diamond SMART TABLE, True Blue Simonis 860 Cloth, and Cyclop Pool Balls.
 
Day 4: Diamond BIG Foot 10-Ball Challenge
 
Semi's #1
Niels Feijen showed no fear of BIG Foot as he devoured the first rack with such intimidating force that even his opponent, Ralf Souquet, was impressed.
 
A month ago they were conquering Mosconi Cup teammates, today they were mortal enemies, at least, on the table.
 
Niels speared in the Cyclops the length of the table with such incredible accuracy not even the Simonis rippled. The tight Pro-Cut Diamond pockets accepted the balls as if lubricated.
 
Was Big Foot vulnerable? Had Niels tamed the Beast? Whatever the table dictated, Niels could deliver.
 
Not so for Ralf Soquet. His tempo showed signs of fatigue. He got through a frame or two and then missed to gift wrap the rack.
 
Nothing fatigued about Feijen. A force to be reckoned with, he gratefully accepted the donations–all the way to the hill.
 
At 10-3 Feijen showed the first sign of slowing. He ran a little short on shape on the ten and over cut it.
 
Is this an omen of things to come?
 
Ralf quietly sank the dangling ten, broke and ran to fall a little iffy on the 5 to get to the six. He stabbed it straight into the cut of the pocket to have it pop back at him on the table.
 
Feijen, not letting his chance fly by, ran the remaining rack and sealed the match at 11-4. Niels had also shot a new high Total Point Average(TPA) of .896. Pretty impressive.
 
Semi's #2
Now it was time for Van Boening to meet Bustamante, his bogey man.
 
Shane has always maintained that the toughest guy he'd played for the cash was Bustey. "But I know I can beat him on the 10 foot. There are shots that he just can't make. I'm taller than he is. He has to use the bridge more,"
 
Shane was right. Using that bridge, Bustey miscued twice. And, they'd cost him; He was soon down 4-8.
 
Yet, he wasn't the only one falling foul. A multitude of scratches, missed kicks, jumped balls that scraped the top of the snookering ball; There was a plague on both their houses yet, Bustey snags another couple of racks and it's 6-8.
 
Shane grinds to 9-6. His shape runs too long or too short. He commits the ultimate sin, he flubs a 10-Ball. It's 9-7.
 
Bustey breaks. Nothing. Shane steals and runs to leave a long thin cut on the 10. He has to use the bridge. Remarkably, it slides into the pocket. He's on the hill.
 
He breaks dry. Bustey's back at the table, but not for long.
 
It's 10-8. Bustey knows he has to come with it. "How many chances am I going to get?"
 
Shane, nerves wreaking havoc, sweats in his chair. Not again, I can't lose to him, again, not on BIG Foot.
 
Bustamante manages a couple of balls and gets into trouble.
 
Shane, acknowledging the simplicity of the table, knows that he has to do it now, or, its never; he's history, he's BIG Foot meat.
 
Shane defaults to champion mode. Now cool, calm, and collected,–not even breathing heavily–he quietly rendered the remaining balls harmless. it was 11-8.
 
But, is he ready for Niels?
 
Finals
 
Although had had just shot a respectable .862, Shane knew that he had escaped. He had 30 minutes to shake it off, push the reset button, and step up.
 
He had heard tale of Feijen's intimidating performance against Ralf. He had observed him deservedly attain MVP status at the Mosconi Cup last month. He knew Niels wasn't here to play, he was hear to win.
 
Niels got off to a fine start. Down 2 zip, Shane stepped to the table. After a couple of safes to shoot at, the next thing Niels knew was that Shane was ahead 6-2, which included putting together a 2 pack, twice.
 
Shane has found his sweet spot. His big break is back and balls were going in.
 
No problem, Niels, composed, got the next rack and, down 6-3, inconceivably, missed a straight in 10. Shane was left a long bank, using the bridge, off the short rail: Nothing but net: 7-3.
 
Shane over runs shape on the 9 and has to pound three rails to end inches from the 10. No problem; it's very makable.
 
He misses it!
 
It leaves a thin cut for Niels. He misses it. 
 
The Beast is back.
 
Shane makes it: 9-3. Breaks, makes one, leaves none, pushes out. Niels, announces, "Time out." Smart.
 
Returning, accepting the push out, he fails to leave safe: 10-3.
 
Shane breaks dry. Niels composes a 2 pack! 10-5.
 
Breaks dry. Shane makes 2 balls and hooks himself. Niels nails it: 10-6. 
 
Niels breaks. Shane's hooked–in jail, Rather than kick, he rearranges the furniture. Niels, showing signs of his bad self, breaks Shane's cluster and it's 10-7.
 
The Beast turns cold; Niels gets the kiss from hell–and scratches.
 
Shane never looked back. Without hesitation, it was over; 11-7 and another prestigious accolade in his pocket. "Show me the money!"
 
Shane had just shot a .908: The highest Accu-Stats TPA of the event, a truly impressive performance.
 
After this event, surely, he'd be remembered as the best 10-Ball player ever, at least, to date. 9-foot, 10-foot, it didn't matter, he's the most consistent 10-Ball competitor. He'd overcome so much adversity, so much pressure–mostly self inflicted–the pressure that only true champions survive.
 
He'd tamed the Beast.
 
Who else can compare?
 
He finished 11th in the Banks. Now, he can concentrate on the One Pocket.
 
Derby City Classic Bank Pool Division:
 
Earl Strickland defeated David Grossman.
Dennis Orcollo defeated Justin Bergman
Francisco Bustamante defeated Shannon Murphy.
 
Semis #1
 
Dennis vs. Bustey (Dennis is undefeated and can buy-back)
 
Earl got the bye.
 
Watch it LIVE Tuesday, FEB. 28, 7pm; accu-stats.com
 
Derby City Classic One-Pocket Championship.
 
Mon. 25th. JAN, 2104. highlights:
 
Darren Appleton d. Warren Kiamco
Oscar Dominguez d. Wang Can
Corey deuel d. Robert Frost
John Schmidt d. Bobby Hunter
Lee Vann Corteza d. Mike Massey
Efren Reyes d. Mark Haddad
Niels feijen d. Huidji See
Shane Van Boening d. Joey Grey.
 
Watch LIVE: Noon TUES, FEB 28:  Wang Can vs. Scott Frost
 
accu-stats.com
 
2014 George Fels Memorial Straight Pool Challenge:
High runs Monday, 27th.
Ralf Souquet: 178
Darren Appleton: 122
John Schmidt: 103
Nick van der Berg: 100
Jayson Shaw: 95
Huiji See: 93
Alex lely: 88
Wang Can: 85
 
Watch Straight Pool LIVE: TUES, FEB 28:  insidepoolmag.com
 
 The American Rotation Challenge: 12pm Mon. JAN 27th.
 
Joe Tucker hosted with Biil Biggs on accu-stats.com
 
Thorsten Hohmann d John Morra.

New Heights for Space City Open

Charlie Bryant (Photo courtesy of Michael Moon Photography)

In only its second run, the Space City Open proved even more successful this year drawing twice the players and nearly doubling its inaugural purse, paying out right at $40,000. The amount of talent that encompassed this four-day billiard event was unsurpassed, a breathtaking demonstration of ability, enthralling countless fans and at-home viewers tuned in to the live, internet broadcast. To that point, in a display of astounding skill and reserve, Charlie “Hillbilly” Bryant defended his open 9-ball title against Jeremy “JJ” Jones, blitzing Jones from the one-loss side 9-0, 7-0. Renowned player Justin Hall took no prisoners on his path to winning the elite, One Pocket division with a final win over counterpart Joey Gray, 4-3. Former U.S. Open Champion Jeremy Jones went undefeated in the new, 9-ball banks division conquering famed Richie “Richie Rich” Richeson in the final, 3-1, to clench his first-ever 9-Ball banks title. Ming Ng rebounded from the one loss side in the ladies 9-ball division, cresting Kim Pierce, 7-4, 5-1, in the final, to join an illustrious group of Space City Open title holders. 
 
On December 5th-8th, 2013, Space City Open followers braved unseasonably cold temperatures due to a powerful, slow-moving storm that brought ice, snow, and bitter cold to North Texas, the same system prompting 1,650 U.S. flight cancellations and leaving tens of thousands of people without power. The weather deterred very few, if any, from attending the annual event held at host and sponsor room, Bogies Billiards and Sports Bar in Houston, Texas. Other businesses behind the brawn of this year’s Space City Open included OnSitePool.com, APA of North Harris County, and GreatAmericanCues.com. Zachary Goldsmith of OnSitePool.com provided the impeccable 4-day live stream and professional event photos were captured by Michael Moon Photography. This year the Space City Open embraced its newest sponsors, HanshewCustomCues.com and OzoneBilliards.com. Ron Geyer Cue Repair, Joe Salazar Connoisseur of Custom Cues, and Great American Cues, were on-site, along with officiating referee, Derrell Montgomery of Conroe, Texas. 
 
The 9-ball division drew 90 players competing over two days for almost $20,000 in purse money.  
Winners’ side action saw Joey Gray defeat Danny Bennett, 9-7, Justin Whitehead, 9-5, and surprise contender Bob Guzik, 9-5, while Jeremy Jones sent Charlie Bryant to the one-loss side, 9-7, along with Kentucky’s Skyler Woodward, 9-5, and Richie Richeson, 9-4. Robb Saez tore through the winners’ side annihilating a plethora of talent including Ernesto Bayaua, 9-4, Billy Sharp, 9-3, Dalton Riley, 9-3, and Blaine Barcus, 9-1, while Sylver Ochoa took down Mike Alonzo, 9-8, Cielo Velasquez, 9-6, and James Davis Jr., 9-8. In the final four, Jones went on to defeat Gray, 9-4, and Saez bested Ochoa, 9-5, pitting a hot seat match between two of the most seasoned professionals in the field. 
 
Tournament upsets included Justin Whitehead over Justin Hall, 9-5, Bob Guzik over Gabe Owen, 9-6, and Danny Roland over Cliff Joyner, 9-7. Joyner went on to eliminate Hall, John Lentini, 7-3, and Chase Rudder, 7-5, before being discharged by Bryant, 7-4. Bennett bested Port Arthur’s Randy Davidson, 7-4, and in turn was ousted by Richeson, 7-1. Joey Barnes won an impressive 7 straight matches including wins over Whitehead, 7-6, and Owen, 7-5, after losing his second round to Woodward, 9-7. Kentucky’s Robert “The Snowman” Frost won 6 in a row after losing his first round to James Davis Jr., 9-4. Frost suffered a final loss at the hands of Woodward, 7-1, who went on to eliminate James Davis Jr., 7-5, Joey Barnes, and Joey Gray, 7-2, while Bryant claimed Guzik, 7-1, Richeson,7-2, and Ochoa, 7-4, earning himself a face to face with Woodward.
 
The caliber of play in the open 9-ball division easily rivaled that of any top, men’s event where one mistake can cost you the set. Players strung numerous racks, closing out sets, and sometimes shutting out their opponents. The final four players were no exception. On the east side, Jones and Saez made their way through their respective brackets with impressive numbers. Although both players seemed at the top of their game, the resident Jones pulled ahead of Saez resulting in a final score of 9-5. On the flip side, Bryant appeared unstoppable as he teed off for his eighth, straight match against a young, impressive, Woodward. In the first game, a missed opportunity by Woodward remanded him to his seat for the remainder of the set. These turn of events staged an all too familiar scene between Texas players Jones and Bryant. The crowd zeroed in on the two, pool powerhouses and watched intensely as Bryant jumped to a 4-0 lead. Following a brief, safety exchange, Bryant secured the fifth game. From that point on, Jones never made it back to the table. In the second set, Jones reached the table only once, in the third game. Bryant played flawlessly, stringing the first two racks and closing with the last four.
 
The 32 player One Pocket field featured an all-star cast with phenomenal talent going head to head in a test of wills and stamina. On the final four winners’ side, Joey Gray and Joey Barnes crossed paths while Robb Saez went head to head with Justin Hall. Gray’s wake of destruction included Cliff Joyner, David Parker, and Sylver Ochoa, as Hall defeated Richie Richeson, defending champion Jeremy Jones, and Skyler Woodward, none of which made it past 2 games. Upsets included Robert Frost over Gabe Owen, 4-1, and Roy Payton over Billy Sharp, 3-2. Owen eliminated Payton, and in turn, was sent home by Joyner. Barnes dealt Charlie Bryant a third round blow, 4-3, who then vanquished Joyner from the one loss side, 3-1. Ochoa overcame Jones, 3-2, and followed with Bryant, 3-0. After his first round loss, Richeson came back with 5 straight matches including wins over Frost and Woodward. Back on the east side, Gray dismissed Barnes, 4-3, and Hall reigned over Saez, 4-2, yielding a television worthy, hot seat match-up. On the one loss side, final four action saw Ochoa eliminate Saez, 3-2, and Richeson win his sixth, consecutive match against Barnes, 3-2. During the hot seat match, with two, true professionals at the helm, the moves were tight and controlled. Relentless in his pursuit, a disciplined Hall derailed Gray, 4-2.  On the one loss side, Ochoa stopped Richeson in his tracks, 3-1, only to be eliminated by a resilient Gray, 3-0. During the final match, Gray appeared eager to take control, but Hall was persistent. Tied at 3, it was down to the wire with both players fighting for every, last ball. In similar fashion, Hall overcame Gray, 4-3, winning his first Space City Open One Pocket title.
 
The new, 9-ball banks division (originally limited to 16) drew 25 entrants on Thursday afternoon, kicking off Space City Open. Jeremy Jones made his way to the hot seat with wins over Joey Barnes, 3-1, and Cliff Joyner, 3-1, while Tom Mooney defeated James Davis Jr., 3-2, and Chase Rudder, 3-0. After a third round loss to Rudder, Robert Frost terminated Joey Gray, 3-0, and Joyner, 3-0, while Richie Richeson was on a roll, again, winning 4 consecutive matches after a first round loss to Justin Whitehead, 3-1. Frost made number 6 on Richeson’s hit list. The hot seat match saw Jones defeat Mooney, 3-2, who was subsequently eliminated by Richeson, 3-1. Richeson’s raid lasted 7 straight matches, but no more. Jones commanded the final set, besting Richeson, 3-1.
 
Rounding out the event, 21 women battled it out on Sunday for the ladies 9-ball title. After decimating the field, players Teresa Garland and Kim Pierce overwhelmed Heather Bryant and Ricki Casper, 7-3, 7-4, respectively, to face-off for the ladies hot seat. Ming Ng took a first round hit from Belinda Lee, 7-6, who in turn lost the following round to Bryant, 7-6. Framing up the one loss side final four was Nayla Hoak who took an early 7-3 hit from Garland, and Lorna McEwan, bested by Bryant in the same round, 7-2. Ng went on to defeat Lee, 5-1, and Bryant, 5-3, culminating 5 straight match wins. Hoak beat McEwan, 5-3, but fell to Casper, 5-4. The seemingly indomitable Pierce defeated Garland for the hot seat, 7-3, while Ng made Casper her sixth victim, 5-4. Ng eliminated Garland, 5-3, staging a premier match between two of the division’s finest players. You could cut the tension with a knife as both players traded innings, and racks. Ng dealt Pierce a blow, winning the first set, 7-4. Finding it difficult to regroup, Pierce lost the second set, 5-1.
 
The 2014 Space City Open is already scheduled for December 4th-7th.  Venue owner David Richardson, who recovered all 29 tables prior to the event, vows to make each year better than the last. Tournament directors John and Kim Newsome were ecstatic over player turnout and payouts, sharing this final sentiment. “For those who came out to the Space City Open, especially those who drove a long way to support the event, thanks for making the tournament a huge success. For those who missed it, we hope to see you next year!”

Bergman hangs on to win Third Annual Big Muddy Freeroll Tournament in Louisiana

Justin Bergman

Justin Bergman took the second set of a true double elimination final against Bruce Luttrell to win the 3rd Annual Big Muddy Freeroll Tournament, held on the weekend of September 14-15. The $2,500-added, handicapped event, which did not require an entry fee, drew 107 entrants to The Billiard Center in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.
 
With players racing to their handicap number, from 4 to 14, Bergman was one of a handful playing at the top end of the system. He faced Bruce Luttrell, racing to 8, three times; once in the hot seat match, and twice in the finals, winning two double hill matches of those three.
 
From among the winners' side final four, Bergman met up with Robert Frost (12), as Luttrell was facing Jimmy Lang (10). Bergman sent Frost to the left bracket 14-10, as Luttrell was downing Lang, 8-5. In their first of two straight double hill matches Bergman prevailed 14-7, and sat in the hot seat, waiting for Luttrell to return from the semifinals.
 
Lang moved over and met up with Skyler Woodward (one of three, among the event's final 12, racing to 14), who'd defeated Drake Niepoetter 14-5 and Shane McMinn (another player racing to 14) 14-7. Frost drew Brady Behrman, who'd defeated Devin Poteet 10-7, and Dustin Roach 10-5. Roach, having previously defeated Drake Niepoetter's father, Dale, was, in effect, instrumental in seeing to it that father and son got to leave the tournament together, at the same time.
 
Frost downed Behrman 12-6, as Woodward handed Lang his second straight loss 14-6. A double hill fight ensued in the quarterfinals with Woodward prevailing over Frost to meet Luttrell, who at this point, racing to 8, was looking at three straight matches against two players racing to 14, in order to win the thing. He jumped the first hurdle with a 7-8 victory over Woodward in the semifinals, to earn his second, and hopefully, third shot against Bergman.
 
Luttrell took full advantage, winning the opening set of the true double elimination final 7-7. Bergman rallied, though, and took the second set 14-5 to claim the event title.
 
In addition to the standard payouts, the tournament paid $200 each to the top "B" and "C" finishers in the tournament. Andy Auer took home the $200, "B" prize, while 12-year-old Matt Wisely captured the "C" money.