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McMinn goes undefeated to win 4th Annual Royce Bunnell Memorial Tournament

Gary Abood, Shane McMinn and Randy Staggs

As it turned out, both finalists in the 4th Annual Royce Bunnell Memorial Tournament, held over the long weekend of December 13-15, were looking to boost their 2019 resume; one, by chalking up only his second (recorded) victory of the year and the other, with a first (recorded) cash finish anywhere in over two years. Given the date, it was likely to be their last 2019 tour/event victory and/or cash finish. Shane McMinn, who went undefeated to claim the title, had won the DFW 9-Ball Tour’s season opener back in January. For runner-up Gary Abood, the Bunnell Memorial became his first (recorded) cash finish in any event since he finished 4th at the inaugural Scotty Townsend Memorial 9-Ball Tournament in March of 2017. The $2,000-added Bunnell Memorial, organized and sponsored by OB Cues, drew 68 entrants to the Billiard Den in Richardson, TX.
 
Shane McMinn’s path to the winners’ circle opened with a bye and three straight matches in which he allowed his opponent – in order, Greg Sandifer, Noel Villalobos and Isaac Wooten – only a single rack. McMinn advanced to down Ryan Robinson 7-3 and draw his first match against Abood in a winners’ side semifinal. Abood had arrived after chalking up one 7-2 victory over Alberto Nieto and three, 7-3 wins over Jason Judd, Billy Pinion and Corey Flud. Randy Staggs, in the meantime, squared off against Steve Raynes in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
Staggs got into the hot seat match with a 7-4 win over Raynes. Abood chalked up twice as many racks against McMinn in the winners’ side semifinal than all of McMinn’s previous opponents combined, necessitating a 13th deciding rack. McMinn dropped the last 9-ball and moved on to the hot seat match. McMinn returned to form, allowing Staggs only a single rack as he claimed the hot seat.
 
On the loss side, Raynes picked up Gerardo Perez, who’d lost his opening match to TJ Davis and was in the midst of an eight-match, loss-side winning streak that would take him as far as the quarterfinals and had most recently included victories over Ryan Robinson 7-5 and, in a successful rematch, TJ Davis, 7-4. Abood drew Juan Parra, who was in the midst of a seven-match, loss-side winning streak that was about to end and had included recent victories over Jeff Sullivan 7-3 and Walter Huenerfuerst 7-2.
 
Abood and Perez advanced to the quarterfinals with identical 7-5 victories over Parra and Raynes, respectively. Abood then ended Perez’ loss-side winning streak 7-4 in those quarterfinals and earned a second shot against McMinn with a 7-4 victory over Staggs in the semifinals. 
 
Unlike their double hill, winners’ side semifinal match, the finals saw McMinn return, once again, to the form that ultimately earned him the event title. He gave up two racks to Abood in the 7-2 finals, ending with an aggregate score of 35-15; a 70% winning percentage. To Abood’s credit, his runner-up finish came as the result of having won just over half of the racks that McMinn had lost. 
 
McMinn and Abood figured prominently in two other events that were part of the 9-Ball Royce Bunnell Memorial. The weekend began with a 32-entrant, 8-Ball Mini Tournament, which was won by Gary Abood with OB Cues President Jesse Garcia as the event’s runner-up. There was also a Banks Ring (Chip style) Tournament, won by McMinn, with Jeff Sullivan finishing as runner-up and Chris “Woody” Smith in 3rd place. 
 
David “Doc” Reyes, Customer Service Manager for OB Cues, who’s been the main promoter and ‘head of the spear’ in the organization of this annual memorial event, along with the President of OB Cues, Jesse Garcia and CEO Mark Griffin (both of whom competed) thanked Marci Rothberg and her Billiard Den staff for their hospitality, as well as sponsors (representatives), OB Cues, Fort Worth Billiards Superstore (Albert Trujillo), John Eagle Honda Dallas (JP Kinman, GM), Outville Racks (Chris Renfro), Granite Guyz and Dallas 8-Ball League. Reyes and Jennifer Hooten directed the event, while RackemTV sponsored the stream with commentary by Billy Guy and Marc Gonzalez as commentators. 

Gray double dips McMinn to win stop on the Midwest 9-Ball Tour

(l to r): Joey Gray & Magoo’s Mgr. Shad McMinn

Dodd goes undefeated to take Ladies title
 
Trying to figure out how many times Joey Gray has defeated Shane McMinn in the finals of a regional tour event is like looking for two needles in a haystack. To make matters worse, it seems likely that a lot of needles, representing the number of times that it’s happened, have been left out of that haystack, not reported for any number of reasons. We were able to find one event – The 3rd Summer Heat 9-Ball Classic Open Division in Midwest City, OK in 2014 – at which Gray went undefeated, downing McMinn in the hot seat and finals. We found a few instances in which McMinn had bested Gray in the finals, all dating back to 2008. These two, along with another Midwest notable, Chip Compton, have been pounding the pool pavement for over a dozen years now, and they’ve probably traded picking up first-place cash at least that many times, but again, hard to know really. There’s nothing quite like history to make a rivalry, any rivalry, compelling to hear about, and if you’ve been lucky enough, to watch.
 
On the weekend of March 30-31 at Magoo’s Bar & Grill in Tulsa, OK, Gray and McMinn went at it again at a stop on the Midwest 9-Ball Tour, where, it’s relatively safe to say, this long-standing rivalry has occurred the most and arguably, most times not in the finals of a given event on the tour. This time around, Gray chalked up his second (known) victory over McMinn in the finals. They met three times; once in the hot seat and twice in the finals. Gray took two of the three, double-dipping McMinn in a double elimination final. The $1,550-added event drew 56 entrants.
 
In a $450-added Ladies event that drew 17 entrants, Alisha Dodd downed Jenny Shaffer twice and undefeated, claimed the Ladies title (more on this later).
 
Gray and McMinn got into their first match, battling for the hot seat, after two, 7-6 double hill matches in their respective winners’ side semifinals. Gray sent Jackie Melton to the loss side, while McMinn sent Cody Pratt over. McMinn sent Gray to the semifinals in a match that fell a single game short of double hill (7-5) and left McMinn in the hot seat.
 
On the loss side, Melton drew Ryan Robinson, who’d eliminated John Gabriel and Jonathan Kitchen. Pratt picked up Marshal Roney, who’d defeated Neil Drews and Tony Vue. Pratt and Robinson downed Roney and Melton and advanced to the quarterfinals.
 
Robinson then defeated Pratt 5-3 in those quarterfinals, before having his loss-side run terminated by Gray 5-3 in the semifinals. Gray took the opener of the double elimination final 7-5, and then shut McMinn out 5-0 in the second set to claim the event title.
 
In what might be considered a mega-event, within the tournament itself, AMC’s Remodeling in Mullinville, KS sponsored a ‘bounty hunt.’ Spectators at the event selected a competing candidate as the individual most likely to win the actual event. Any player who sent that individual to the loss side earned himself $50. If a player eliminated that player from competition, he’d earn $100. Shane McMinn was the player selected as the likely winner of the event, so when Joey Gray sent him to the loss side by winning the first set of the double elimination final, he earned himself $50. When Grey defeated him the second time, thus eliminating him, he earned the other $100.
 
Dodd goes undefeated to claim title, runner-up Shaffer collects bounty on Brittany Maynard
 
Alisha Dodd went undefeated through the 17 entrants in the Ladies event, downing Jenny Shaffer twice in the hot seat and finals. Shaffer, however, was the player who sent the spectator-selected Brittany Maynard to the loss side, earning herself $25, and then, in the semifinals, when she defeated Maynard a second time, she picked up an additional $25.
 
Dodd and Shaffer met first in the hot seat, once Dodd had sent Jessica Westbrook to the loss side and Shaffer had sent Kat Snelling over. Dodd claimed the hot seat 5-3 over Shaffer and waited on her return.
 
On the loss side, Westbrook picked up and defeated Laura McDermott. Snelling drew Maynard, who defeated her. Maynard shut Westbrook out 4-0 in the quarterfinals and then fell to Shaffer 4-2 in the semifinals. In a repeat of the hot seat match, Dodd defeated Shaffer in the finals 5-3 to claim the event title, while Shaffer collected her bounty for her two victories over Maynard.

Smith chalks up double dip, double hill victories to win White Diamond Super 9-Ball

Danny Smith (Photo courtesy of Karl Kantrowitz)

In a nail-biting, double elimination final, Danny Smith put a cap on a nine-match, loss-side winning streak by defeating hot seat occupant Justin Hall, twice, double hill, to win the $1,000-added, 18th semi-annual White Diamond 9-Ball Open, held on the weekend of April 1-3. The event drew 128 entrants to White Diamond Billiards in Lafayette, LA. 
 
Smith was cruising along on the winners' side, defeating his first two opponents – Tom Mooney and Corey Borque – by an aggregate score of 14-2 (Mooney chalked up the two). Then he ran into Alex Pagulayun, who sent him on his nine-match, loss-side trek back to the finals. Pagulayan then ran into Justin Hall, who sent him to the loss side 7-4, from which The Lion would not return.
 
Pagulayan wasn't alone. Included among the top competitors who never made it as far as the event's final 12 were Ronnie Wiseman, Josh Roberts, Robb Saez, James Davis, Jr. and Alex Olinger.
 
Hall advanced past Pagulayan to shut out Chip Compton, and face Kevin Guimond in a winners' side semifinal. Jimmy Majors, in the meantime, having sent (among others) Robb Saez to the loss side, and boasting an aggregate score of 35-9, faced Shane Winters. Hall sent Guimond to the loss side 7-2, and in the hot seat match, faced Majors, who'd sent Winters over 7-4. Hall took the winners' side final 7-4 over Majors, and waited on Danny Smith.
 
On the loss side, Smith launched his campaign to get back to the finals with victories over Mike Delawder, Ryan Robinson, Chris Miller and Evan Lunda, by an aggregate score of 28-9. He then defeated Ernesto Bayaua 7-2 and Chip Compton 7-5, to draw Winters. Guimond picked up Jason Klatt, who, having lost a double hill match to Winters, survived a double hill match versus Shane McMinn, and eliminated Kevin Cheng 7-3.
 
Smith and Klatt advanced to the quarterfinals; Smith, 7-4 over Winters, and Klatt, 7-3 over Guimond. Smith then shut Klatt out to advance to the semifinals against Majors. He downed Majors 7-4 for a shot at Hall in the hot seat. They played two straight, neck and neck matches to double hill. Smith won them both to claim the title.

Gomez stops loss-side run by McMinn to go undefeated at Arkansas 9-Ball Open

Roberto Gomez

Last month, Roberto Gomez was in Round Rock, TX, mounting a loss-side run in the 2nd Annual Texas State 10-Ball Championships at Skinny Bob's Billiards. He got by Robb Saez and CJ Wiley to face Skyler Woodward in the event semifinals. He took that semifinal match to a case game, before Woodward advanced to double dip Dennis Orcollo in the finals. On the weekend of March 12-13, Gomez found himself in the hot seat at the Arkansas Open 9-Ball Championships, watching Shane McMinn mount an 11-win, loss-side campaign that took him into the finals. Gomez prevailed in a single-set final to win his first 2016 title. The $3,000-added event drew 128 entrants to Krome Billiards in North Little Rock, AR.
 
With his eventual challenger, McMinn, at work on the loss side, after a loss to Robb Saez, Gomez advanced to a winners' side semifinal versus Jeff Sullivan. Jon Demet and Joey Gray squared off in the other semifinal. Gomez got into the hot seat match with a 7-3 win over Sullivan and was joined by Demet, who'd sent Gray over 7-5. Staking his claim decisively, Gomez shut Demet out in the hot seat match and waited on McMinn.
 
With four notches on his loss-side belt already, McMinn defeated long-time rival Chip Compton 7-1 and Mike Delawder 7-2 to pick up Sullivan. Gray drew Saez, who'd eliminated Ryan Robinson 7-4 and Greg Hogue 7-2. McMinn and Saez advanced to a quarterfinal rematch; McMinn, 7-5 over Sullivan and Saez, 7-2 over Gray.
 
McMinn successfully wreaked his vengeance on Saez 7-3, and then downed Demet 7-5 in the semifinals. His 11-match winning streak came to an end in the finals, as Gomez chalked up a 7-5 win that earned him the Arkansas Open title.

BCAPL & USAPL National Championship Matches Released on YouTube

CSI is pleased to announce that the recorded matches from the 2015 BCAPL & USAPL National Championships have been released on the CSI YouTube channel.  Twenty-two (22) matches including nine finals and three semi-finals can be viewed in their entirety – absolutely free!
 
The 2015 BCAPL & USAPL National Championships were held July 22 – August 1 at the beautiful Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, NV.  The matches were recorded in “The Predator Arena” with high definition equipment and a full production crew. CSI would like to extend a huge THANK YOU to our primary sponsors:
 
Viking Cues: “The Official Cue of the 2015 BCAPL & USAPL National Championships!”
Omega Billiards: “The Official Store of the 2015 BCAPL & USAPL National Championships!”
 
Below are the matches on this YouTube playlist:
 
Match 1: Junior 9-Ball Challenge – Oscar Lopez Jr. vs Daniel Sardoncillo
Match 2: Junior 9-Ball Challenge – Ricky Evans vs Vincent Evans
Match 3: Junior 9-Ball Challenge – Ricky Evans vs Shane Wolford (Semi-Final)
Match 4: Junior 9-Ball Challenge – Lazaro Martinez vs Ricky Evans (Final)
Match 5: Men’s Advanced Singles – Chris McDaniel vs Nathan Rose (Hot Seat Match)
Match 6: Men’s Advanced Singles – Nathan Rose vs Chris McDaniel (Final)
Match 7: Men’s Open Singles – Ryan Robinson vs Tyler Fleishman
Match 8: Men’s Open Singles – Lance Schofield vs Jon Brown (Final)
Match 9: Men's Master Singles – Chad Vilmont vs Jason Williams (Final)
Match 10: USAPL Singles – Sandro Enriquez vs Jeff Himes
Match 11: 9-Ball Men's Open Singles – Cory Livermore vs Chris Stanfield
Match 12: 9-Ball Men's Open Singles – JR Burkhart vs Mike Stevens
Match 13: 9-Ball Men's Open Singles – Steve Goodman vs Dave Gardner
Match 14: 9-Ball Men's Open Singles – Ryan Robinson vs Rob Metz Jr
Match 15: 9-Ball Women's Open Singles – Taylor Hansen vs Christina Jeff (Final)
Match 16: Women's Advanced Singles – Nicole Hellmer vs Bev Ashton (Hot Seat Match)
Match 17: Women's Open Teams – AmazeBalls vs Owls (Semi-Final)
Match 18: Women's Open Teams – AmazeBalls vs Vegas Bombs (Final – Set 1)
Match 19: Women's Open Teams – AmazeBalls vs Vegas Bombs (Final – Set 2)
Match 20: Men's Adv/Master Teams – Unfinished Business vs The Abusement Park (Final)
Match 21: Men's Open Teams – LOL@Chisage#McRyamo vs Big Tymers (Semi-Final)
Match 22: Men's Open Teams – G.N. Hitmen vs Big Tymers (Final)
 
2015 BCAPL & USAPL National Championships Playlist:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLdCfnbGD70QUa5KW9bQ91WVSlnWPAbvO1 
 
CSI YouTube Channel:
http://www.youtube.com/user/csipool?sub_confirmation=1
 
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