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The Viking Tames The Lion

Fedor Gorst

From February 2nd – 4th, Aiken, SC was the site of some world class rotation!!! Owner Michael Newsome welcomed the players and fans to his Rack & Grill III for the Ten Ball Champions Challenge.

Sponsored by Diamond Billiard Products, Simonis Cloth, Aramith and the Fort Worth Billiards Superstore, the event was to be played over the course of three days on a nine foot Diamond using a wooden triangle rack with the winner of each game breaking.

Fresh off his Derby City Classic Nine Ball Banks and One Pocket championships, newly crowned Master of the Table Fedor Gorst faced BCA and One Pocket Hall of Famer Alex Pagulayan in what was originally to be a race to 75 with $50,000 on the line – race to 25 each day.

So, on Thursday evening, the Lion roared out to an early lead but the Viking fought back to tie it up at six games each. From there, Gorst forged ahead – winning over two games to one over Pagulayan – to take Day One with a score 25-15.

Then, the match appeared to be over as the players had a disagreement over the use of the wooden rack. The dispute was resolved by Alex agreeing to pay off the ten game difference in their scores ($6,000) and to play a fresh match to fifty games using a template to rack the balls – $30,000 in the middle.

The following day with the new set, the players traded games with Alex maintaining a small lead until the last third of the match. However, like the night before, Fedor pulled away to end the day with a 25-20 score.

The final day began with a new twist – Gorst was up five games but Pagulayan caught up. Fedor pulled a few games ahead several times but again and again, Alex evened the match.

Nearing the end of the match, Fedor tightened the screws and surged ahead a few games. Having lost to Alex twice previously and inching toward the finish line, it looked like the third time was going to be the charm – and it was. Gorst closed out the match 50-45. would like to again thank owner Michael Newsome, his General Manager Tiffany Smith and their staff for rolling out the red carpet for the players and fans.

We’d like to thank our commentators Jeremy Jones, Scott Rabon and Ray Hansen for another fine job.

And, we’d also like to thank our fans and sponsors! Our sponsors include JB Cases, Lomax Custom Cues, StraightPoolEye, Durbin Custom Cues, Aramith, Simonis, Diamond Billiard Products, the Action Palace of Dayton, OH and the Fort Worth Billiards Superstore of Fort Worth, TX.

Our next event is the 7th Annual Texas Open 10 Ball Championships held at Skinny Bob’s in Round Rock, TX. Dates are February 16th-21st – hope to see you there!!!

Hall And Gomez Take New Orleans

Justin Hall (Photo courtesy of

Billed as the second stop on the Efren Reyes Retirement Tour, sixteen of the top one pocket players on the planet and over a hundred nine-ball players stampeded to Buffalo’s Billiards in Jefferson, LA for their Fourth Annual Pro Classic. There were two divisions: the $10,000 added Pro One Pocket event and the $2000 added Open Nine-Ball.
The double elimination one pocket event had a $2000 entry fee with all races to five. Play began on Thursday night and everywhere you looked, there was world class one pocket. Tony Chohan and Corey Deuel marched through the field undefeated and met in the hot seat match. As with the previous matches, top-notch one pocket skills were displayed by both players and Chohan edged out the match 5-4 to claim his spot in the finals.
On the other side of the chart, Justin Hall defeated Dennis Orcollo in another close one, 5-4. Dennis finished in fourth place. By a score of 5-2, Corey had earlier sent Justin to the one loss side so Hall was looking for revenge. After a five hour match, it was Justin who emerged the victor leaving Corey in third place.
The finals began with Tony Chohan rocketing out to a 3-0 lead and it looked like victory was imminent. However, Justin Won the next three games to tie it up at 3-3 and then 4-4! Justin won the final game forcing a second set in the true double elimination format.
This time, it was Justin who leaped out to a 2-0 lead. Tony fought back and tied it up at two games each but then Justin forged ahead to take the hill first with a score of 4-2.
Tony fought back to make it 4-3 but Justin made short work of the last game as he took down the title – final score 5-3. Congratulations to Justin for a well-earned victory! Good job, Tony!
Saturday was opening day for the $40 entry 9 ball event. The format was double elimination, all races to seven with alternate breaks. When the smoke cleared on Sunday afternoon, Efren Reyes was the last man standing after defeating Roberto Gomez in the hot seat match and awaiting an opponent for the final match.
On the one loss side, Jeremy Jones and Billy Thorpe duked it out for a shot at Roberto – Jeremy prevailed leaving Billy with a fourth place finish. Gomez was determined to get another shot at Efren and he got his wish. Jeremy had to settle for third…
To win the tournament, Roberto would have to defeat Efren two sets. The first set was all Roberto as he raced to a 5-0 lead and an eventual 7-2 victory. The final set was much closer. Mid-set it was 5-4 Gomez and then hill-hill! One game for all the marbles! Doesn’t get much better than this, sports fans!!!
The crowd held their breath as Roberto broke and ran the final rack to take the title. Congratulations to Roberto for a well-played event! Good job, Efren! Looks like he has plenty of firepower left and is still a formidable threat! would like to thank James Leone, owner of Buffalo’s Billiards, and his staff for going the extra mile to show players and fans the Big Easy spirit. Tournament Director Steve McDonald had another well run event – thank you, Steve! Thanks to sponsors Attorney Joseph Long, Benwah Law Firm, Laguna Beach Daquiris, Bayou Billiards, Sound Advice USA, Lucky Coin Amusement and, of course, Buffalo’s Billiards, for their support.
We’d also like to thank Scott Rabon, Larry Schwartz, Jeremy Jones, Josh Roberts and Billy Incardona for their expert commentary.
Thanks to cuemaker Steve Lomax of Lomax Cues for donating a beautiful $2000 cue!
And, last but not least, thanks to all our fans and sponsors for another great event. Our sponsors include Steve Lomax of Lomax Custom Cues, Aramith, John Barton of JB Cases, James Hanshew of Hanshew Custom Cues,, Mike Durbin of Durbin Custom Cues, Kamui, Simonis and Club Billiards of Wichita, KS.
Our next event is the first stop of the WPBA Signature Tour. It will be held at Emerald Billiards in New Iberia, LA – the dates are June 21st – 24th. It will be live streamed free of charge on Facebook and YouTube. Hope to see you there!

Bergman hangs on to win 2nd Annual Memphis 10-Ball Open; Loftis takes Pro-Am 9-Ball

Justin Bergman

The stars came out to play on the weekend of July 11-12, as High Pockets in Memphis, TN played host to the $4,500-added Memphis Open, featuring a $4,000-added Pro 10-Ball event with races to 15 (11 on the loss side) and a $500-added Pro-Am 9-Ball tournament (races to 7 on both sides). Ray Hansen, with guest commentary from many of the Open-Pro players, was on site, throughout the weekend, streaming the event on PoolActionTV. 
Both winners went undefeated through their fields. Justin Bergman spoiled a six-match, loss-side bid by Shane McMinn in the Pro 10-Ball event that drew 16 entrants, including last year's winner, Jason Klatt, as well as McMinn, Johnny Archer, Dennis Hatch, Larry Nevel and Skyler Woodward (among others). Like Bergman, Kenny Loftis survived a loss-side bid (by Scott Rabon; seven on the loss side) to go undefeated in the Pro-Am 9-Ball tournament that drew 64 entrants.
Bergman's undefeated run was almost sidetracked by Johnny Archer in one of the winners' side semifinals. Archer battled to double hill before giving way to Bergman. John Morra, in the meantime, sent Larry Nevel to the loss side 15-7. Bergman claimed the hot seat 15-11 over Morra and waited for Shane McMinn to finish his loss-side run.
On the loss side, McMinn, who'd been defeated earlier by Skyler Woodward, had eliminated Drake Neipotter 11-4, and last year's winner, Klatt, 11-7, to draw Archer. Nevel faced Dennis Hatch, who'd defeated Danny Olson 11-4 and Jeremy Jones 11-7 (Jones had previously eliminated Woodward 11-8). McMinn handed Archer his second straight, double hill loss, while Nevel advanced to the quarterfinals 11-6 over Hatch.
McMinn then won two straight 11-7 matches; over Nevel in the quarterfinals, and Morra in the semifinals, setting up what proved to be an epic race to 15 against Bergman that went to 28 games. The larger, more deliberate McMinn took an early, slim lead, 4-2, before the rail-thin, highly-energized Bergman settled in to win four in a row. The two battled back and forth with Bergman never extending that two-game lead, though not for lack of trying. They were tied at 13-13, when Bergman won two straight to claim the event title.
In the Amateur 9-Ball tourney, Loftis and Nick Evans advanced to the hot seat match; Loftis, having sent Mark Cavalier to the loss side 7-4, while Evans sent Greg Mitchell over 7-5. Loftis moved into the hot seat with a 7-4 win over Evans, and waited for the return of Scott Rabon.
Rabon had been sent to the loss side by Greg Mitchell, and was Mitchell's first loss-side opponent. Rabon, with two loss-side wins to his credit, had eliminated Brian Woodward 7-4 and Kevin Hutson 7-3 to reach Mitchell. Cavalier picked up Dale Neipotter, who'd defeated Paul Dodge, double hill, and Johnny Box 7-4. By identical 7-5 scores, Cavalier and Rabon defeated Neipotter and Mitchell and turned to face each other in the quarterfinals.
Rabon downed Cavalier 7-4 and earned his shot at Loftis in the hot seat with a 7-5 win over Evans in the semifinals. Loftis ended Rabon's seven-match, loss-side winning streak with a 7-5 victory in the finals.

Bergman stops loss side run by Woodward to go undefeated in Carom Room Classic

They've been dancing around each other all year; the two young guns, Justin Bergman and Skyler Woodward. Woodward won the 2014 Big Tyme Classic Main event in March in Texas, in which Bergman finished in the tie for fifth. Bergman won the Smokin' Aces Bar Box Open back in April, in which Woodward took fifth. Woodward won last week's Smokin' Aces Bar Box 9-Ball Open, in which Bergman had bowed out in the tie for 9th place. They've been in the money at numerous events together throughout this year, and are currently ranked #7 (Woodward) and #8 (Bergman) on our Money Leaderboard. They met for the first time in an event final, during the $7,000-added Carom Room Classic in Beloit, WI on the weekend of August 23-24. In a highly dramatic developing scenario, Bergman occupied the hot seat as Woodward worked through six matches on the loss side to meet him in the finals. Bergman, though, took the wind out of the Woodward sails with a single set victory to claim the event title that had drawn 96 entrants to Coles' Carom Room.
Won by Jesse Bowman in 2013, the 2014 Carom Room Classic featured an array of pros who had not been part of the previous year's field; Shane Van Boening, Larry Nevel, Robb Saez, Corey Deuel, Warren Kiamco, Dennis Hatch, and significantly, Bergman among them. Van Boening was gone, relatively early, defeated by Hatch and then, Nevel, who one match later, fell to Woodward. Kiamco was gone by the 7/8 matches, a victim of Saez. The defending champ Bowman, had bowed out in the tie for 13th.
It was Bergman and Deuel (a repeat of the April Smokin' Aces final), who squared off in the hot seat match, each having sent a returning competitor (from last year's event) to the loss side; Chads Elston and Lund, respectively. Bergman defeated Deuel 9-5 and due to a little delay in the loss side proceedings got to watch Skyler Woodward battling through an array of opponents to reach him.
On the loss side, it was Chad Elston who had the misfortune of running into Woodward, who, having been sent to the loss side by Chuck Raulston, finished Shane Winters and Larry Nevel to reach him (three down, three to go). Lund picked up Robb Saez, who'd eliminated Stan Tourangeau and Kiamco (who'd spoiled Woodward's chance at a rematch by defeating Raulston). Saez and Woodward advanced to the quarterfinals; Saez 9-4 over Lund and Woodward 9-3 over Elston.
Displaying a high degree of confidence that has become something of a trademark for him, Woodward downed Saez in the quarterfinals 9-6, and then got way out in front to defeat Deuel in the semifinals 9-2. The true double elimination, 'young gun' battle was on.
Bergman came out on top. He took the opening set 9-4 to claim the event title.
The event was produced by Pool Action TV, under the direction of Ray Hansen. The event was streamed on Pool Action TV throughout the weekend, with primary commentating from Hanson and Scott Rabon. Hansen thanked Carom Room owner, Dave Coles, Jr. and his staff, as well as sponsors Pat DeViveney Cues, Mitchell Thomas Cues, Jumpin Jax Cues, Lemons Coin Machines, Roger Alford Heating and Cooling, Faries Construction, and Manny Perez of

Woodward takes down Van Boening twice to win Smokin’ Aces Bar Box 9-Ball Open

Warren Kiamco, Skyler Woodward, Corey Deuel and Shane Van Boening (Photo courtesy of Ray Hansen)

Skyler Woodward further cemented a developing reputation as one of the country's premier 9-ball players with a solid, undefeated performance in the Smokin' Aces Bar Box 9-Ball Tournament, held on the weekend of August 16-17.  With a $2,000 entry fee, a $20,000 first-place prize, and races to 21, Woodward joined an A-list of 16-only entrants that included Johnny Archer, Warren Kiamco, Rodney Morris, Corey Deuel, John Morra, Robb Saez, Alex Olinger, and Shane Van Boening, who had two shots at Woodward, and failed to stop him.
As Van Boening was working his way through Morris and Saez to arrive at a winners' side semifinal against Morra, Woodward was busy with Jonathan Pinegar and Kiamco, which set him up to face Shane Winters. Van Boening dominated his match against Morra, defeating him 21-2. Woodward, in the meantime, defeated Shane Winters 21-9. Woodward took his first of two against Van Boening 21-18 and sat in the hot seat, waiting for him to get back from the semifinals.
Deuel and Kiamco were waiting for Winters and Morra, respectively. Deuel had defeated Eric Durbin 21-10, and Saez 21-16. Kiamco had ended Justin Bergman's run and eliminated Chad Vilmont, both 21-16.  Deuel and Kiamco advanced to the quarterfinals; Deuel 21-12 over Winters and Kiamco surviving a long, grueling, double hill match against Morra, only one of two over the weekend (the other was Van Boening over Saez, second round, winners' side).
Kiamco had a much easier time with Deuel in the quarterfinals, defeating him 21-5, but he never did get a second chance against Woodward, who'd defeated him in the second round. Van Boening saw to that, downing Kiamco 21-11 in the semifinals.
Both Woodward and Van Boening had their chances in the finals, with each edging out to two- and three-point leads before the other fought back to tie things. Woodward's 19th game win, coming off the 18-18 tie was critical. Showing a lot of confidence, he dropped a three-pack on Van Boening to complete his undefeated run and claim the Smokin' Aces Bar Box 9-Ball Open title.
The event was produced by Pool Action TV, under the direction of Ray Hansen, in collaboration with Mike McKuin, owner of Smokin' Aces Barbeque and Billiards, and winner of the 2012 World Poker Open. The event was streamed on Pool Action TV throughout the weekend, with primary commentating from Hanson and Scott Rabon. Hansen thanked McKuin and his staff, as well as sponsors Pat DeViveney Cues, Mitchell Thomas Cues, Jumpin Jax Cues, Lemons Coin Machines, Roger Alford Heating and Cooling, Faries Construction, and Manny Perez of