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Woodward, Chohan & Kibaroglu Take Big Tyme Classic

Skyler Woodward

Owners Billy Sharp, Mark Avery and Jim Henry and their staff welcomed players to their 11th Annual Big Tyme Classic. Held in Spring, TX, a suburb of Houston, this $14,000 added event featured three divisions – Open 9-Ball, One Pocket and Ladies 9-Ball.

Local sponsors included attorney Joseph J. Long, Brutal Game Gear, Star City Amusements, Diamond Billiard Products, Simonis, Aramith, Savage Billiards, Jim Stinson of AM Inc. and the Fort Worth Billiards Superstore as well as Big Tyme Billiards and

Kicking off on Wednesday evening was the $5,000 added One Pocket Championship. Sixteen players put up a $300 entry fee to play in this double elimination event. The format was alternate breaks and races to 4/3 with the finals being one extended race to five. After the players auction, meeting and draw, the matches began.

Hot off his victory over Tony Chohan in last week’s Champions Challenge One Pocket match and the reigning Bayou State Classic One Pocket champ, Billy Thorpe blistered Ryan Braselman 4-0. Defending champion Roberto Gomez showed no mercy against Tulsa’s Greg Hogue – also 4-0. Runner-up at this year’s Skinny Bob’s One Pocket Championship, Raed Shabib, edged out Baton Rouge’s Jeff Padilla 4-3. Current Midwest Billiards One Pocket champ, Sky Woodward, survived a 4-3 scare over Wayne Berry – also from Baton Rouge. This year’s Rack One Pocket champ, Tony Chohan, defeated Houston’s Nick Schipon 4-1.

Hometown favorites Alex Calderon spanked Filipino Jeffrey de Luna 4-1, Tommy Tokoph smoked fellow Texan John Braud 4-0 and Ernesto Bayaua scored a win over Gallup, NM’s Eric Aicinena.

Second round action saw Chohan over Calderon and Woodward over Shabib – both scores 4-0. Bayaua defeated Tokoph 4-1 and Gomez sent Thorpe west with a 4-2 win.

In a hard fought match to get to the hot seat match was Bayaua and Gomez – Ernesto won 4-3. In the lower portion of the chart, Woodward defeated Chohan 4-2.

The hot seat match winner was Woodward over Bayaua 4-2. Ernesto headed west to await an opponent.

On the one loss side and after losing his second match, Calderon defeated Hogue 3-1, Shabib also 3-1 and Gomez 3-2 until he faced Chohan. On the one loss side, Tony had scored revenge against Thorpe 3-0 and eliminated Alex 3-1. Chohan was now in high gear and even though he had played well the entire event, Bayaua was no match for Tony and lost 3-0. Ernesto finished with a well-deserved third place finish.

As mentioned previously, the finals were an extended race to five. Neck and neck all the way and tied at four apiece, Sky missed a tough bank and Tony ran out for the game and title. What a match!

Tony Chohan

The $8,000 added Open 9-Ball division began on Friday evening. Played on Diamond bar boxes, the format for this double elimination tournament was alternate breaks and races to 9/7 with the three foul rule in effect. Using the Magic Rack with the nine on the spot, players broke from the box. Nine on the break didn’t count in the racking corners.

Paying an $80 entry fee, 119 players were auctioned off and play began after a players meeting and draw.

To no one’s surprise, it was Jeffrey de Luna, Sky Woodward, Roberto Gomez and Johnathan Pinegar (“Hennessee”) who marched to the final four on the winners side.

In the upper portion of the bracket, De Luna had wins over Kyle Lowry 9-0, Mike Jones 9-2, Jeff Lovelace 9-1, Shahram Changezl 9-6 and Raed Shabib 9-1.

Woodward defeated Chuck Willie 9-2, Sherman Sylestine 9-1, Pablo Trinidad 9-3, James Davis Jr.9-5 and JC Torres 9-3.

Woodward faced off against de Luna and won 9-7. Sky moved into the hot seat match.

In the lower portion of the bracket, Gomez beat Hiep Hong 9-0, Greg Hogue 9-4, Derek Fontenot 9-6, Billy Sharp 9-0 and Jeff Sullivan 9-5.

Hennessee squeaked past Joyme Vicente 9-8 and then went on to beat Jesse Moore 9-2, Joey Bourgeois 9-3, Soledad Ayala 9-6 and Tony Chohan 9-7.

Playing to get into the hot seat match, Gomez claimed victory over Hennessee 9-6.

The hot seat match was all Woodward as he locked up his seat in the finals over Gomez 9-4.

Over on the one loss side, Hennessee eliminated Alex Calderon 7-1, de Luna 7-6 and then Gomez 7-5 to claim the remaining berth in the finals.

Since this was true double elimination, Hennessee would have to defeat Woodward twice to win the tournament.

Hennessee won the first game and Sky tied it up. He then led most of the match with Hennessee mostly playing catch-up until Sky finally pulled away at five apiece and won three in a row to reach the hill. Woodward closed out the last game, winning 9-5, to take the title!

Eylul Kibaroglu

The $1,000 Ladies 9-Ball division began on Saturday night with a players auction, meeting and draw. Thirty nine players paid a $55 entry to play in this double eliimination event. Also played on Diamond bar boxes and using the Magic Rack, the format was races to 7/7 with alternate breaks. Play began the following morning.

From Turkey and now living in Houston, current Skinny Bob’s Ladies Nine Ball Classic and champ, Eylul Kibaroglu, San Antonio’s Mille Alvaraz, Houston’s Robyn Petrosino and Skinny Bob’s co-owner Kim Sanders rounded out the final four on the winner’s side.

After drawing a first round bye, Petrosino cut her way through the field with wins over Tuyen Nguyen 7-5, Jillian Nickerson 7-1 and Sara Bork 7-5.

Kibaroglu defeated Terri Resendez 7-3, Marle Clark 7-1, Trerenee Simpson 7-2 and Annie Swelgin 7-2 before meeting Robyn and beating her 7-3. Eylul moved into the hot seat match.

In the bottom of the bracket, Almaraz also drew a first round bye and followed that with wins over Eva Grigsby 7-1, Jaiden Barbour 7-2 and the always tough Kelly Isaac 7-4.

After another first round bye, Sanders defeated Cheyenne Valdez 7-3, Camille Campbell 7-1 and edged out Larissa Almendarez 7-6 before losing to Mille Almaraz 7-5. Mille then moved into the hot seat match where she was defeated by Eylul 7-2.

Waiting for Almaraz was Petrosino. Robyn went down 5-1 and Mille was in the finals!

Again, since this was true double elimination, Almarez would have to win two sets to claim the title, however, it was not to be. The finals were closer than the hot seat match but when the smoke cleared, it was Eylul who won the match 7-5 and took down the tournament! would like to thank Big Tyme’s owners Billy Sharp, Mark Avery and Jim Henry and their staff for doing, as always, a great job taking care of all the players and fans!

We’d also like to thank Tournament Director Teresa Garland for doing a great job running the various events.

In addition, thanks go out to Larry Schwartz, Brian Butler and Ray Hansen for their excellent commentary.

And finally, would like to thank our fans and sponsors. Our sponsors included attorney Joseph J. Long, JB Cases, Aramith, Simonis, Lomax Custom Cues, Diamond Billiard Products, Hanshew Jump Cues, Savage Billiards, Durbin Custom Cues, Bull Carbon, the Action Palace of Dayton, OH and the Fort Worth Billiards Superstore of Fort Worth, TX.

Our next event is the 7th Annual Scotty Townsend Memorial held at Arena Billiards in West Monroe, LA. The dates are May 3rd-5th! Hope to see you there!

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Franklin goes undefeated to win Stop #5 on Cuetec DFW 9-Ball Tour

Robert Newkirk, Jeff Franklin, Ryan Braselman, Blake Kamiab

Challenged twice by previously unknown competitor, Ryan Braselman

It happens, but it’s rare. While an unknown player might surprise a few players in a bar or pool hall with a good performance in a game or a match, instances of relative unknowns enduring the rigors of a lengthy tournament and challenging more established players in the hot seat and finals of such an event are few and far between. And there are generally rules in place to avoid some random entrant from sneaking up on a tour’s regulars and ‘stealing’ a tournament by understating his or her skill level.

“If we don’t know you, you don’t have a Fargo rating, can’t find any history on your skill levels and no one can vouch for you that you have one,” said Cuetec DFW 9-Ball Tour representative, Monica Anderson, “we start you out as a ‘7,’ for guys, mainly.”

And so it was, for Ryan Braselman, new to Texas and the Cuetec DFW 9-Ball Tour, having migrated recently from Louisiana. He made it all the way into the hot seat of the tour’s 5th stop, defeating tour veteran Jeff Franklin, whose history (in AZBilliards’ database, at least) dates back 16 years to his 3rd place finish in the Texas 10-Ball Championships in 2005. Franklin came back from the semifinals to double dip the newcomer and claim the event title. The $1,500-added event drew 108 entrants to Rusty’s in Arlington, TX.

“As you can see with Braselman’s finish,” said Anderson, “he is indeed a skill level 7.”

Both Franklin and Braselman began the tournament with a bye. Franklin opened with a shutout victory over Jacky Halper, who was the lowest skill level player (4) that he would face the rest of the way. Franklin then defeated Bobby Diggs, Jeff Georges and TJ Davis (#9 on the tour standings list) to draw Blake Kamiab in one of the winners’ side semifinals. After his ‘bye,’ Braselman opened against a skill level 7, Friday Abismo, and after sending him to the loss side 7-3, chalked up his shutout over Casey Dawson. Victories over Clint Palaci and Jim Tuley put Braselman in the other winners’ side semifinal against Tony Loeper.

Franklin defeated Kamiab 8-3, not knowing that he’d be facing him a second time, later. Braselman joined Franklin in the hot seat match after sending Loeper to the loss side 7-5. Given their respective records at the table, it’s hard to figure who was the more surprised when the ‘new kid on the block’ defeated Jeff Franklin 7-5 to claim the hot seat.

Six of the top 10 players in the tour standings competed in this event. Two made it to the fourth winners’ side round, two made it to the third round, and two played only a single match on the winners’ side. Of those six, only three took home any cash. TJ Davis (in a two-way tie for the 8th spot in tour standings) made it as far as the first money round and finished there in the tie for 17th. Robbie Cleland (#3) finished in the tie for 7th, while Daniel Herring (#1) got as far as the tie for 5th.

Moving over from the winners’ side final four, Loeper drew a rematch against Robert Newkirk, whom he’d sent to the loss side in a double hill, fourth round fight. Newkirk downed four on the west side, including Roman Bayda 7-3 and TJ Davis, double hill, to reach Loeper. Blake Kamiab picked up Daniel Herring, who’d also been sent over by Loeper, double hill, in a winners’ side quarterfinal immediately after Loeper had defeated Newkirk. Herring eliminated Miguel Hernandez 8-1 and Donnie Gregory, double hill, to face Kamiab.

Newkirk wreaked his vengeance on Loeper 7-3, leaving him in the tie for 5th place. Kamiab joined Newkirk in the quarterfinals after eliminating Herring 7-4.

Kamiab stopped Newkirk’s loss-side streak at five, with a 7-3 win in those quarterfinals, earning himself a rematch against Franklin in the semifinals. Franklin stopped Kamiab’s streak at two matches with an 8-4 win in the semifinals.

The true double elimination format required Franklin to defeat Braselman twice in the finals. He beat him in the opening set 8-3 and being satisfied with that result, did it again, defeating him a second time to claim the event title.

Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Rusty’s for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor CueTec and Associate Title sponsor Fort Worth Billiards Superstore. The CueTec DFW 9-Ball Tour will return to Snookered in Frisco, TX for stop # 6, scheduled for June 19-20.