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Francisco Salas Wins 11th Annual Snookers Amateur 9-Ball Classic

Francisco Salas and Bob Madenjian (Mike DeMarco – Ship The Cash)

The highly anticipated 11th Annual Snookers Amateur 9 Ball Classic returned in 2021 with a bang, boasting it’s notable $5000 guaranteed first place prize! After 7 weeks and 21 qualifying tournaments in total, the stage was set for the New England Pool community to explode with excitement! Both qualifiers and the main event were hosted by Ship The Cash’s Mike DeMarco, dictating the brackets and delivering a professional live broadcast.

This year’s returning champion from 2019 was Brian Chase of New Bedford, Massachusetts. In addition to Chase, the event had three other past champions competing for another title. Ray McNamara (2011 & 2015), Francisco ‘5K’ Cabral (2016), and Jared DeMalia (2017). With all of these previous winners, the odds were looking to their favor. Standing in their way were some new talented players and familiar top amateur competitors.

Saturday’s day one brought remarkable entertainment to arrive at the final 12 players. The action would come to a halt though, as a potential direct hit from a hurricane caused many local businesses including Snookers to close on Sunday, August 22, 2021. The event would eventually continue on Saturday, September 11, to finalize the competition and declare a champion.

2019 Runner-up Robert Piersa representing Wallingford Connecticut’s Yale Billiards was a promising contender for the title. He came out strong, but after a day one loss to this year’s second place finisher Bob “Doctor Bob” Madenjian (10-9) and a day two loss from Massachusetts’ Derek Cunningham (9-8), Piersa would end in 7/8th and take home $350. The local scene also had their eyes on another top competitor from Lynn Massachusetts, Francisco Salas. Salas had been pummeling opponents this year cashing and even winning numerous times at events like Snookers’ WNA Tournament, his home room Amazin Billiards’ 10 Ball events, and even a runner-up finish in the prestigious Ocean State 9-ball Championship.

The final 4 undefeated players brought us two great opening matches to kick things off. On table one, Jared DeMalia (MA) took his first loss of the event (10-8) from Bob Madenjian (CT). On table two we saw Snookersë own Ray McNamara (RI) take his first loss (10-8) from the soon to be crowned Francisco Salas (MA).

Madenjian would lose to Salas in the hot seat match (10-8), but Doctor Bob wasn’t finished fighting! Madenjian would eliminate Ray McNamara (10-6) in the semi finals for another swing at the hot shooting Salas. With the pressure building and the cash and title hanging in the balance, Salas would show some humility. As the finals continued, Salas would clearly struggle with the break and miss some routine run-outs leaving the door open for Madenjian to surge ahead and win the set (10-8).

Fortunately for Salas, the true double elimination format of the event would give him one more chance to close the deal. The second set of the finals began in a similar tone as the previous round with Doctor Bob leading until 5-4 up. That’s when it all changed.

Madenjian took a swing at a difficult 1 ball shot after a dry break from Salas, and would allow the match to tie at 5-5. It was at this point in the match where Salas would seem to say “that’s it”! and the momentum would swing in his favor and never return to the Doc. Salas would win all of the remaining games ending the match 10-5, claiming the $5000 prize and the title. “El Rey” is crowned.

Appleton goes undefeated to take 10th Annual American Straight Pool Championship

Kevin Clark, Karen Corr, Darren Appleton and Jason Klatt

If the barrier separating men and women on the felt fields of pool is ever going to be permanently removed, Karen Corr is as likely a candidate as any to be the movement's poster child. Corr joined 39 men competing for the 10th Annual American Straight Pool Championship over the weekend of September 12-14, and came within a single match of winning the whole thing. She was defeated, soundly, one might add, by Darren Appleton in those finals. The $13,000-added event (originally the Maryland 14:1 Open) was hosted by Diamond Billiards in Midlothian, VA.
 
The event began with eight, round robin flights, consisting of four matches for each of five players in races to 100. At the end of those flights, 24 of the 40 players were seeded into a single elimination bracket, with the top eight seeds receiving byes in the opening round. The players were seeded by virtue of their total match victories and point differentials in the four matches they had played.
 
The top seed for the single elimination bracket was Tom Walter, who went undefeated, with a point differential of 319 (an average score of 100-20 in those opening rounds). Jason Klatt, playing in his fist straight pool tournament was the # 2 seed, also undefeated with a point differential of 305. In order, the other players receiving byes were Darren Appleton (290 point differential), Brandon Shuff (264), Kevin Clark (256), Johnny Archer (231), Mika Immonen (220), and Mike Dechaine (205). Corr was seeded at #9, having dropped one of her four matches (to Kevin Clark), though her point differential was stronger than Archer's at 252.
 
The top names in the event were spread out over the eight round robin flights, so that Appleton, Dechaine, Archer, Immonen, and Corr (as examples) did not compete in the early rounds of play. Each of those five faced strong players in their respective round robin matches. 
 
The point differentials tightened immediately in the opening round of single elimination, with races to 125. On average, the point differential in the eight matches was decimal points over 56, with Robert Madenjian chalking up the largest difference (125-40 over Jeff Crawford) and Mike Davis battling in the tightest race (125-20). The top nine seeds in round robin play had averaged point differentials of just over 65.
 
In the second round, the top eight seeds joined in and increased the differential point average by about 13; from 56 in the opening rounds to 69 in the second. Contributing to this increase was Karen Corr, who not only eliminated Mike Dechaine in this second round, but did so by a score of 125 to minus 2. The closest race in this round was won Huidji See, who eliminated Johnny Archer 125-110. Corr had collected $100 by recording the highest run over Friday and Saturday of the event (83), which bested Dechaine's run over the same period by a single ball. In effect, she stomped on him twice.
 
Gone with Archer and Dechaine were Mike Davis, Shaun Wilkie, Danny Mastermaker and Holden Chin, who fell to Appleton 125-21; 32 down and eight to go. Corr battled Tom Walter. Shuff faced Kevin Clark (the only person at this stage to have defeated Corr), The Iceman (Mika Immonen) squared off against Jason Klatt and Appleton took on Huidji See.
 
The point differential in this quarterfinal round, with races to 150, averaged out at just over 63 balls, with Corr defeating Walter 150-122, Clark besting Shuff 150-75, Klatt getting by Immonen 150-88, and Appleton checking in with the largest differential, eliminating See 150-62.
Klatt would now face Appleton, as Corr turned to do battle against the only opponent who'd defeated her to that point, Kevin Clark.
 
The somewhat insignificant differential in the event semifinals was just over 50. It was brought about by Appleton's 150-50 victory over Jason Klatt, and the tightest race of the entire event that saw Corr advance to the finals by a single ball over Kevin Clark – 150-149. It was followed by the largest point differential recorded in the entire tournament; a gap of 122 balls, as Appleton claimed the event title with a 150-28 victory over Corr.
 
Peter Burrows, chairman of the American Straight Pool Championship, said that the 11th annual event is "likely" to be back at Diamond Billiards, and is being scheduled to precede the US Open 9-Ball Championships in 2015, so that players in attendance for the straight pool event can travel just a few miles to begin play in the US Open.
 
According to Burrows, a difficult time identifying a room willing to hold the 10th Annual 14:1 Maryland Open led to the search beyond the state of Maryland and into Virginia, where Diamond Billiards agreed to host. 
 
Tour director Megan Fort thanked Thomas Dorsey and his staff at Diamond Billiards, Iwan Lee with Simonis Cloth and Aramis Balls, Nathan Sulinski, Pete Burrows, Michael Frank, Shaun Wilkie, Andy Lincoln, QPod (who donated raffle cues, as well as the cue presented to Appleton as the winner), Brian Russell of Focus Apparel (designer of the logo for the new American Straight Pool Championships), Lucasi Cues (Jamie and Wes Bond), John Berton and Kamui Tips.

Dennis “Spears” It 3 Years in a Row for ANDY CLOTH World Tournament of 14.1

 For their third consecutive year, Sandcastle Billiards hosted a qualifier event for the World Tournament of 14.1 Continuous Straight Pool. Only one slot remained available in the 16 man double-elimination qualifier tournament. The top 2 finishers were to be awarded a seat in the prestigious main event being held this year in New York from August 4th. A very talented and bloodthirsty field came out from various neighboring states to compete on this 12th with players by Noon time as they began practicing till the first round was called at 1pm. 
 
 Fans and players can attend the once a year special event August 4th-9th, 2014 at Steinway Billiards Cafe or watch online at www.worldstraightpool.com . $50 All Event Pay Per View special for the ANDY CLOTH World Tournament of 14.1 !! Price goes up on Aug 2. It will be a star studded gala with billiard super stars such as Mika Immonen, Shane Van Boening, John Schmidt, Stephan Cohen, Johnny Archer, Darren Appleton & many more with Charlie Williams as the event MC. The ANDY CLOTH World Tournament of 14.1 is  sponsored by ANDY CLOTH, Kamui Brands, OB Cues, Amsterdam Billiard Club, Realrealcool.com, Pool & Billiard Magazine , Aramith Balls, and George Beckman Kinetic Sculptures. Official patron 14.1 aficionados are Stu Mattana, Tom Gleich, Harold Siegel, and Dr. Greg Diehl Plastic Surgery.  Dragon Promotions and Dr. Michael Fedak are pleased to also bring the 4th Annual Straight Pool Hall of Fame inducting "King" James Rempe and Frank "Sailor" Stellman. Since 1912, this will be the 74th production of the oldest billiard event in the world.
 
The pills had been drawn at random and the first round matchups were as follows;
Holden Chin vs. Sean Leinen
Sean “Alaska” Morgan vs. Gene Ok
Gerard Soriano vs. Flaco Rodriguez
Don Montalvo vs. Robert Madenjian
Dominic Noe vs. Jeff Crawford
Jim Heller vs. Eddie Culhane
 Geovani Hosang vs. Dennis Spears
 
Although any one of these competitors were very capable of winning this event, only two of these cue proficient warriors would be awarded the honors to advance and compete in the 74th World Tournament of Straight Pool.
 
The first to receive those honors by ripping through the field undefeated for the 3rd in a row was Sandcastle’s very own house player, Dennis Spears aka “Spider”. With victories over NJ local player, Geovani Hosang 100-19, then 100-32 over Eddie Culhane also from NJ, then a close one over a very impressive Dominic Noe 100-87 and finally over World Tournament veteran and solid player Bob Madenjian 100-39, Spears once again defended his home turf and rightfully claimed the 1st spot. 
 
The other valiant contender took a very scenic route with a first round loss. After getting sent to the one-loss side of the charts by Dominic Noe, Jeff Crawford originally from Elkhart, Indiana and currently residing in Parkesberg, Pennsylvania clawed his way through a gauntlet of skillful and commendable opponents. 
 
Crawford’s first round loss to Noe was followed by a 2nd battle began. First taking down the fierce Sean “Alaska” Morgan of NY with a score of 100-60, then Sandcastle’s own Gerard Soriano 100-41, he went on to defeat Raxx Pool Room owner, Holden Chin 100-45, then the well revered NY player, Flaco Rodriguez 100-34 and finally being victorious over the unyielding Bob Madenjian, Crawford claimed the 2nd year slot into the main event.
 
Special recognition goes out to Sean Morgan and Holden Chin as they had a nail biting final score of 100-95 in their match. Congrats to Michael Franzyshen, Sandcastle In-House 14.1 handicapped league 3 –Time Champion for stepping up to the big leagues and also squeaking out a 100-95 victory over Sean Leinen. Acknowledge Gerard Soriano, long overdue for getting his feet wet. It’s not the last time you’ll see his name for sure. Thank you Sean Leinen and Bob Madenjian for making those long trips out to compete once again, Don Montalvo for doing what it took to make it possible to come out, Geovani Hosang and Jim Heller for your continued support and improved games as you entered the battlegrounds, the well respected Flaco Rodriguez, always a pleasure to have, Gene Ok and Dominic Noe, such a pleasure meeting you. I hope to see you all at the main event.
 
Sandcastle Billiards would like to thank all those who came out to compete this year and all of its loyal regular patrons that continue to work to improve their game and share the same passion for the game enjoying the beauty of its complexity, poetry, high demand for focus and freedom of individual expression and style of play. “We’re not here just to make a dollar- we’re here to make a difference!” Good luck and play well.