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White, Daly split top prizes on Eastern Billiards/Andy Cloth/Corner Pocket Premier 9-Ball Tour

Trenton White

It wasn’t actually the first and isn’t likely to be the last.

This past weekend (May 14-15), Eastern Billiards, Andy Cloth, Stephanie Mitchell’s The Corner Pocket pool room in Largo, FL and Jamison Daniels presented something of an official start to a series of Premier 9-Ball Tour events. Back in April, the first three of those sponsors held what they called a Shootout, that drew 32 entrants to The Corner Pocket. Won by Kyle Bova, the Shootout acted as something of a ‘proof of concept’ demonstration that led to the scheduling and eventual $2,000-added event that drew 53 entrants to the Corner Pocket this past weekend.

According to Mitchell, the endeavor is being designed as a series of independent events and though it bears the moniker of a traditional ‘tour,’ it will not be subject to traditional tour fees or any overall player-specific format; neither specifically handicapped (although the most recent event was handicapped) or Pro or Ladies events, as examples. The next planned stop on the tour, scheduled for July, at a to-be-determined specific date is being planned as a Ladies event.

Trenton White and Chris Daly, who was looking for his first recorded victory since winning a stop on the Poison Tour eight years ago, split the event’s top two prizes after the event semifinal between Daly and Kyle Bova. As occupant of the hot seat at the time, White became the event’s official winner. 

White opened his trip to the hot seat with two straight shutouts, against Wanda Crews and Cory Wilcox, before giving up his first rack (two of them, actually) to Nathan Rose and four more of them to Mike Lear. He drew Joseph Dyer in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Daly, in the meantime, went through Tom Mittnight, John Cohmer, Frank Costantino and Carlos Gomes before running into Kyle Bova in the other winners’ side semifinal. 

Bova diverted Daly’s ‘trip to the finals’ train to the loss-side tracks 6-2 and advanced to the hot seat match. White joined him after sending Dyer west 6-4. White began the race-to-6 hot seat match with a single ‘bead on the wire’ that he didn’t need. He chalked up the five racks he needed before Bova had dropped a single 9-ball.

On the loss side, Daly picked up Mike Lear, who’d followed his loss to White with victories over Costantino and Penera Mota, both 5-1. Dyer drew Rose, who’d been another victim to White’s winners’ side exploits and then, got by Scott Tollefson, before winning back-to-back matches against Carlos Gomes and Raymond Linares, both double hill.

Daly and Lear battled to double hill, before Daly advanced to the quarterfinals. He was joined by Dyer, who’d eliminated Rose 5-3. Daly earned his rematch against Bova with a 5-3 victory over Dyer in those quarterfinals. 

Though Daly began what would prove to be the last match of the event, the semifinal race-to-5, with one ‘bead on the wire,’ Bova’s chances of winning the match (as calculated by Fargo Rate)  were just over 50%; 52.5 to Daly’s 47.5. So, statistically, almost even. Daly gave up just a single rack as he chalked up the five he needed for a shot against White, waiting for him in the hot seat. A shot, as it happened, that did not materialize, as White and Daly negotiated a split of the top two prizes.

Tour director Chad Kosier thanked Eastern Billiards’ Gary and Ruth Lucchesi for their “opportunity to keep great tournaments alive,” along with Andy Cloth, Jamison Daniels,  Stephanie Mitchell and her Corner Pocket staff for their hospitality and Rob Charles for “priceless help.” He also extended thanks to Allen Ellison of Billiard Livestream for his effort at bringing the event to members of its remote audience.

As noted above, the next event on the Eastern Billiards/Andy Cloth/The Corner Pocket Premier 9-Ball Tour is likely to be a Ladies event, scheduled for a date-to-be-determined in July. For further information, you can keep an eye on Stephanie Mitchell’s (The Corner Pocket) Facebook page and initiate a Friend request, along with any specific inquiries. 

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Mills and Meglino take turns as Winner/Runner-up at double tournament on Florida Pool Tour

Donny Mills

Two, two, two ‘ments in one.

For those too young to remember, Doublemint Gun used to run TV commercials with a jingle that described their product as having “two, two, two mints” in one. Thus, the reference above, describing this past weekend’s (March 19-20) activities on the Florida Pool Tour; the Stroker’s Spring Classic, featuring a $1,000-added 9-Ball ‘ment on Saturday and a $500-added 10-Ball ‘ment on Sunday, hosted by Stroker’s Billiards in Palm Harbor, FL. 

Donnie Mills went undefeated in the 64-entrant, Saturday 9-Ball event, downing Anthony Meglino in the finals. Meglino lost the hot seat match to Mills and came back to defeat him in the 16-entrant, Sunday 10-Ball event. Gerson Martinez Boza was third in the former and Scott Tollefson finished third in the latter.

Mills downed Ed Medina 8-1 in the opening round of Saturday action, went on to defeat Justin Jenkins, by the same score, and Jesse Fonda by shutout, before defeating Meglino for the first time in a winners’ side quarterfinal 7-2. Mills advanced to meet Stroker’s owner, Jose Del Rio in a winners’ side semifinal. Gerson Martinez Boza, in the meantime, had gotten by James Allen and Scott Tollefson, before shutting out Trevor Braymore in a winners’ side quarterfinal to meet up with Justin Hall in the other winners’ side semifinal.

Mills and Boza advanced by the same 8-1 score to the hot seat match, over Del Rio and Hall, respectively. Mills grabbed the hot seat, defeating Boza 7-5.

On the loss side, Hall and Del Rio ran right into their second loss, sending Meglino and Tony Crosby to the quarterfinals. Meglino then dropped Crosby into fourth place and got a second shot at Mills, waiting for him in the hot seat, by defeating Boza 5-3. Mills completed his undefeated run with a second victory over Meglino to claim the Stroker’s Spring Classic 9-Ball title.

Meglino loses hot seat match to Mills, comes back from semifinals to claim 10-Ball title

Mills downed Jason Richko 7-5 in the opening round of Sunday’s 10-ball action, and then sent Tommy Kennedy to the loss side, drawing Travis Croft in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Meglino, in the meantime, defeated Ray Linares in his opening round, and after sending Mike Lear to the loss side, picked up Tony Crosby in the other winners’ side semifinal.

Crosby fought Meglino to double hill before Meglino prevailed, advancing to the hot seat match. Mills joined him after defeating Croft 7-4. Mills took the first of the day’s two against Meglino 7-5 and sat in the hot seat, waiting for him to get back from the semifinals.

On the loss side, Crosby picked up a rematch against Scott Tollefson, whom he’d defeated in the opening winners’ side round and was working on a four-match, loss-side streak that would take him as far as the semifinals, He’d recently eliminated 14-year-old Sofia Mast 7-2 and Tommy Kennedy 7-3. Croft drew Justin Stock, who’d also been sent to the loss side by Crosby and defeated Marcos Yalan 7-3 and Jason Richko 7-5 to reach Croft.

Croft advanced to the quarterfinals 7-3 over Stock. Tollefson joined him after sending Crosby home 7-3. Tollefson then took the quarterfinals 7-5 over Croft, before Meglino finished his loss-side trip 7-2 in the semifinals. Meglino spoiled Mills’ chance of winning both events with a 9-3 win in the finals.

Tour representatives thanked Jose Del Rio and his Stroker’s staff for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Aramith, Outsville, Simonis Cloth, salottopro, DigitalPool, FargoRate, Crosby’s Billiards and Darts Supply, Straight Shooter Gear, patchlab.com, Sniper, and XL Express Co. The next stop on the Florida Pool Tour, scheduled for the weekend of May 21-22, will be the $1,500-added Capone’s Super 32 10-Ball Championship, hosted by Capone’s in Spring Hill, FL.  

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Deuel goes undefeated to take The Break Room’s 2nd Annual 8-Ball Classic

Corey Deuel

Loree Jon Hasson and Justin Bergman win opening night Challenge Matches

 

As almost anyone familiar with the sport will tell you, when the game is bar table 8-ball, almost anything can happen. And usually does. What happened at The Break Room's 2nd Annual 8-Ball Classic (presented by Dennis Hatch and On the Wire Creative Media) this past weekend (June 1-4) was that Corey Deuel got himself into a 'break' rhythm that, try though they might (and did), his opponents had no answer for. Deuel went undefeated through the field of 14 to capture the $6,000-added event title, hosted by The Break Room in Duluth, MN.

 
With the winner breaking, Deuel won 75 of the 103 games he played over five rounds (73%). With all matches being races to 15, he gave up an average of just over five racks per match. If it hadn't been for Jason Klatt's 11-rack performance in the finals, that average would have been just over four racks per match.
 
In addition to finalists Deuel and Klatt, the event featured the likes of Dennis Hatch (doing double duty as promoter and player), Billy Thorpe, Earl Strickland, Johnny Archer and the runner-up of the 1st Annual 8-Ball Classic, Shane Van Boening  (Dennis Orcollo defeated him in the finals),  whose break worked against him in this event. At one point, after failing to make a ball on one of his breaks, Van Boening conceded an entire table to his opponent. His hot seat match opponent, Deuel, said in a post-match interview that he'd "never seen anybody break balls that solidly and not make anything."
 
The weekend in Duluth began with two Challenge matches on Thursday night, offering $500 to the winner. Both of the Challenge matches went double hill. Up first were two female opponents, representing opposite ends of the experience spectrum; the veteran, eight-time World Champion Loree Jon Hasson squared off against the five-time Junior Champion April Larson (both of whom would play in the main event, as well). The assembled spectators got to choose the game, which they decided would be 10-ball, and they decided, as well, on a race to 7. Hasson and Larson fought back and forth to a deciding game, before the veteran sunk the final ball to win it. At the conclusion of the match, Hasson, in an interview, spoke to her fellow female professionals.
 
"WPBA Ladies," she said. "Watch out! April is the real deal."
 
Later in the evening, Justin Bergman and Billy Thorpe went at it. The crowd selected 10-ball again, but in this case, opted for a race to 11. Like Hasson and Larson before them, the two fought back and forth to double hill, before Bergman closed it out.
 
Though 16 were scheduled to play in the main event, two had to drop out at that last minute, leaving a field of 14. Deuel got by Scott Tollefson 15-4, and then downed April Larson 15-5, which set him up in a winners' side semifinal against Thorpe. Shane Van Boening, in the meantime, following victories over Justin Bergman 15-13, and Johnny Archer 15-7, squared off against Michael Perron, Jr., who'd just sent Jason Klatt to the loss side.
 
Deuel defeated Thorpe 15-1, as Van Boening downed Perron, Jr. 15-4. Deuel, whose break at this point was setting up almost constant break-and-run opportunities, chalked up the hot seat win, 15-7, over Van Boening.
 
On the loss side, Thorpe picked up Klatt, who, following his defeat at the hands of Perron, Jr. went on to defeat Dustin Morris 15-8 and Johnny Archer 15-11. Perron, Jr. drew Earl "The Pearl" Strickland, who'd been defeated by Thorpe in the second round, and then, locked up in an epic, double hill fight against Hatch. Strickland won it and then won a second straight double hill match against Justin Bergman, to pick up Perron, Jr. 
 
Klatt and Strickland advanced to the quarterfinals (the first, $2,000 money round); Klatt 15-3 over Thorpe, and Strickland 15-8 over Perron, Jr. Klatt ended Strickland's run in those quarterfinals 15-10, and then downed an increasingly frustrated Van Boening 15-11 in the semifinals, for a shot at Deuel in the hot seat.
 
Midway through the opening set of the true double elimination final, Deuel and Klatt were tied. Shortly thereafter, though, Deuel, still dropping balls with consistency on his break started to pull ahead. He got out in front by three to reach the hill first, and then closed it out.
 
"I felt like I played OK," said Deuel, humbly, after the match. "I've been working on my fundamentals for the past couple of years. I try to play as many different games as I can and maybe it helped me in this tournament."
 
"He outbroke me, pretty much," was Klatt's assessment of that final match.
 
Hatch, and OnTheWire Media representatives Beau Runningen and Ra Hanna (responsible for the live-on-Facebook stream throughout the weekend and all promotional material related to the event) thanked the ownership (Tom and Dan Witzman) and staff for their hospitality, as well as a long list of sponsors that made this now-firmly-established annual event possible; Fairfield Marriott Inn, Dan Summers Agency, Arrowhead Printing, Heritage Window and Door, Duluth Dodge, AllStar Service and Accessories, Diamond, Twin Ports Paper & Supply, Bernicks Food & Beverage Services, St. Louis County Title Company, Midwest Coin Concepts, Northstar Ford, Pabst Blue Ribbon, BAM Style, Superior Beverage, Uncle Loui's Cafe, Andrew Lesly, Duluth Sheraton, Viele Contracting, TNT Billiard Products, TwinPortsNightlife.com, Fitger's, Voyageur Lake Walk Inn, ReMax Prodigy, and Harley Davidson Sport Center. 
 

Beardy, Tollefson and Bouvette win 13th Annual Northern Lights Shootout

Felix Beardy, Scott Tollefson and Jeri Bouvette won the 8-ball, 9-ball and Ladies tournaments, respectively, of the 13th Annual Northern Lights Shootout, held from December 1-4 at the Rugby Armory in Rugby, ND. All three winners were forced into the second set of true double elimination finals by their respective opponents. The $3,750-added main 8-ball event drew 74 entrants. The $300-added 9-ball event drew 32, while 10 women competed in the $725-added Ladies event. 

In his first visit to this Northern Lights Shootout, Tollefson, playing in the 9-ball event, advanced to the hot seat, by sending his eventual finals opponent, Sean Monkman, to the semifinals. There, Monkman ran into Jarrod Spence, who’d been sent to the loss-side in the second round of play, and worked himself all the way back to finish in third place. Monkman returned and in the opening set of the finals, forced a final, double hill game, which he won. In the second set, Tollefson took command to complete the 9-ball event with a 7-3 win.

In the Ladies event, Jeri Bouvette defended the title she had won last year with a second set victory over Rachael Nadeau. Sam Matuska finished third and Joan Jacobs finished fourth. 

In the main 8-ball event, it was Jesse Engel, who forced hot seat occupant Felix Beardy into a second set in the finals. Both had been among the winners’ side final four, but Engel was moved west by Dean Flanders 6-3, as Beardy moved into the hot seat match with a 6-2 victory over Kenny Azure. Beardy downed Flanders 6-4 to gain the hot seat, and awaited Engel’s return.

Engel moved over to pick up Danny Olson, who’d gotten by Dusty Geller, and then benefited from a forfeit by his own father, David Olson, who allowed the son to advance. Azure picked up Jeff Claire, who’d defeated Tyler Perry and Tom Kaminski. It was Engel and Claire advancing to the quarterfinals; Engel with a 6-2 victory over Olson, and Claire, 6-3 over Azure. 

Engel then survived a double hill battle versus Azure in those quarterfinals, and faced Flanders in the semifinals. Flanders took an early 4-0 lead, but Engel came back to win six in a row for a crack at Beardy. Engel took the opening set of the double elimination final 6-2, but managed only a single rack in the second set, won by Beardy to claim the event title.

A $745-added, 8-ball Hard Luck (or, Second Chance) tournament drew 44 entrants and was won, officially, by Fabian Louison. Louison and his potential finals opponent, Blair Lawson, opted out of a final matchup, and agreed to split the first and second place prize. Kevin LaLonde finished third, and Jeff Nadeau finished fourth.