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Van Boening comes from the loss side to win his first major event since Turning Stone XXXIII

Mike Hoang of Omega Billiards and Shane Van Boening

He has reportedly enjoyed his time off and has used a lot of that time fishing.

But on the last weekend of January 2021, Shane Van Boening was back at the tables for three of the four events of the 1st Annual Michael Montgomery Memorial Tournament at Snookered Billiards in Frisco, TX. He and Dennis Orcollo emerged as symbiotic winners in those three events. Orcollo won the $2,000-added, 16-entrant 10-Ball mini and Van Boening was the runner-up. They switched place finishes in the other two; Orcollo won the $5,000-added, 12-entrant One Pocket event in which Van Boening finished tied for 5th/6th. In the weekend’s Main Event, the $7,500-added, 128-entrant 9-Ball tournament, Van Boening came from the loss side to claim is his first event title since he won Turning Stone XXXIII in January, 2020. It was Dennis Orcollo, after winning eight on the loss side, who finished in the tie for 5th/6th in this event. 

Russia’s Kristina Tkach, who traveled with Fedor Gorst to Texas, won the $1,500-added, 32-entrant Ladies event. Detailed reports of that event, along with the One Pocket and 10-Ball event can be found elsewhere in our News section.  

Van Boening got through his first four rounds of the 9-ball event with an aggregate score of 28-6 and half of those ‘6’ were chalked up against him in his fourth-round match against Robb Saez. Van Boening then got by James Davis, Jr. 7-4 in a winners’ side quarterfinal before being defeated by Fedor Gorst 7-5 in one of the winners’ side semifinals. 

Gorst, who appeared to be headed for a similar, ‘easy’ path through his first four matches with his opening round shutout over Jessi Kohl, encountered a series of increasing challenges shortly thereafter. Ruben Flores chalked up four against him, Roberto Gomez got five, and Daniel Schneider got four, before Manny Chau brought him to double hill and almost became the man who faced Van Boening in the winners’ side semifinal. Not to be, though. Gorst advanced to down Van Boening and moved into the hot seat match against Sky Woodward.

Woodward’s path to the hot seat threw some obstacles in his path. He opened his campaign with a workman-like 7-2 win against Dean Williams before four straight opponents (tough ones, to say the least; Thomas Haas, Jalal Alsarisi, Jesus Atencio and Evan Lunda) chalked up five against him. He advanced to his winners’ side semifinal against Shane Winters and defeated him 7-3 to face Gorst in the hot seat match. Woodward claimed the hot seat 7-4 in what would prove to be his last win of the event. 

Lurking among the loss side’s final eight going into the 9/12 matchups were Dennis Orcollo (about to play in his seventh loss-side match), Billy Thorpe, Jalal Alsarisi and James Aranas, who would play (respectively) Manny Chau, James Davis, Jr., Evan Lunda and Chris Byers. Of the four who had just arrived on the loss side from the winners’ side quarterfinal (Chau, Davis, Jr., Lunda and Aranas), only Aranas would advance. He went on to win two straight double hill matches, against Chris Byers and Alsarisi, to pick up Van Boening. 

Orcollo, in the meantime, chalked up wins #7 & #8, eliminating Chau 6-3 and Thorpe 6-4. He advanced to face Shane Winters.

Fargo Rate would have placed the odds of Winters winning the match that followed at less than 18%, or put another way, if he and Orcollo played a race to 6, 10 times, Winters might win twice. He won this one, though, eliminating Orcollo 6-4. Van Boening downed Aranas by the same score to join Winters in the quarterfinals.

Of the 10 matches played on the loss side from the 9/12 slots, seven of them ended up with a 6-4 score. That included the quarterfinals; Van Boening versus Winters and the semifinal rematch between Van Boening and Gorst. Van Boening advanced through them both for what turned out to be a double shot against former Mosconi Cup teammate, Sky Woodward, waiting for him in the hot seat. 

The wait did not appear to serve Woodward well, while the intangible benefit of momentum did serve Van Boening, who gave up only a single rack in the opening set of the true double elimination final. With each, now sporting a single loss, the second set was a race to 6. Woodward chalked up a second rack in that second set, but that was it, as Van Boening finished his 11-match run to claim the 9-ball title of the first Michael Montgomery Memorial. 

Tournament representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Snookered Billiards and Bar for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Omega, Predator, Simonis, ACME, Doc’s Billiards Office, LBS Championship Pool, Staggs Plumbing, Clutch Shot Billiards Apparel, John Eagle Honda of Dallas, Molina Mike, Dunski Dungeon, 1st Choice Appliance Repair, D Real Pool Promotions, Outsville, Hanshew Jump Cues, PDQ, Rackem Live Stream, Diamond, Off the Rail and OB Cues.

McMinn goes undefeated through 128-entrant field to win 38th Midwest Bar Table Classic

(l to r): Chuck Thomas (owner, John Wayne’s Pub) & Shane McMinn

Ten years ago, when Shane McMinn was in the midst of what was his best (recorded) earnings year at the tables, he won three events; two stops on the Midwest 9-Ball Tour, including the 5th Annual Bobby Wells Memorial and the Oklahoma State 8-Ball Championships. He finished among the top four in 11 of the 13 tournaments in which he cashed that year. The bulk of his recorded earnings that year came from a runner-up finish in a Midwest 9-Ball Tour Ring Game.
 
Throughout most of his career, which began (according to records here at AZ) in 1999, the bulk of his winnings came as a member of the Midwest 9-Ball Tour, in which, since that time, he has cashed in over 35 events. Since 2015, though, he’s only cashed in one stop on the Midwest 9-Ball Tour (July, 2016; he finished in the tie for 5th), as his ‘reach’ has extended to events like (among others) the Texas Open 10-Ball Championship (runner-up in February last year), the Derby City and Music City Classics, the Space City Open, and the US Bar Box 9-Ball Championships in August, 2016, when he was runner-up to Justin Bergman.
 
McMinn and Bergman met up again this past weekend (March 31-April 1) in another final; this time, at the 38th Annual Midwest Bar Table Classic, where, in the end, McMinn survived to go undefeated and capture the event title. The $5,000-added event drew a full field of 128 entrants to John Wayne’s Pub in Indianapolis, IN.
 
McMinn and Bergman played twice in this one. They first met in a winners’ side semifinal, while Shane Winters and Louis Demarco met up in the other one. McMinn downed Bergman 9-7 and in the hot seat match, met up with Winters, who’d sent DeMarco to the loss side 9-5. McMinn grabbed the hot seat 9-6 over Winters, and waited for Bergman to complete his three-match, loss-side trek back to the finals.
 
On the loss side, a lot of familiar Midwest (and elsewhere) faces lurked for a shot at this title, including, but not restricted to competitors like Alex Olinger, Ike Runnels, Dave Grau, and Molly Bontrager. While each of those four cashed in the event, none of them made it past the four-way tie for 13th. Among the event’s final 12, however, were (among others) Dennis Hatch, Shannon Murphy, and Jason Klatt. Bergman came over from the winners’ side final four, and drew Hatch, who’d eliminated Murphy 7-4 and Klatt, double hill, to reach him. DeMarco picked up Josh Franklin, who’d just finished winning two straight double hill matches against Taylor Anderson and DaWayne Pearson.
 
By identical 7-5 scores, Bergman and DeMarco advanced to the quarterfinals over Hatch and Franklin. Bergman earned himself a second shot at McMinn with two more 7-5 victories; over DeMarco in the quarterfinals, and Winters, in the semifinals. McMinn, though, was not to be denied. He took the opening (and only) set of a true double elimination final to claim the event title. 
Tour director John Klotz thanked John Wayne’s Pub’s owner, Chuck Thomas and his staff for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Bob Meucci and Chris Lawson of Muecci Cues, Accu-Rack, Simonis Cloth, Diamond Tables, and CueStix.com.

Casanzio goes undefeated to capture his first Al Conte Memorial title

(l to r): Andrea Duvall (owner of Hippo’s), John McConnell, Ron Casanzio, & Matt Tetreault

Ron Casanzio has had several shots at the Joss Northeast 9-Ball Tour’s Al Conte Memorial over the years. He’s cashed in seven of the nine, to date. He was runner-up to Dennis Hatch in the first one (2009) and Shaun Wilkie in the fifth (2013). On the weekend of November 4-5, he became the event’s seventh winner, following in the footsteps of (in order) Hatch, Shane Winters, Mike Davis, Jeremy Sossei (three-time winner; ’12, ’14 and ‘15), Wilkie and Nelson Oliveira. The $1,500-added, 9th Annual Al Conte Memorial, the fourth stop on the 2017-2018 Joss NE 9-Ball Tour, drew 33 entrants to Hippo’s House of Billiards in Yorkville, NY.
 
Casanzio was one of three competitors at this event, along with Bucky Souvanthong and Angelo Hilton, who cashed in the first Al Conte Memorial. He became the only one of the three to do so in this one. Match by match, until the finals, Casanzio’s opponents steadily closed the margin of victory against him. He got by Bruce Nagle in the opening round 9-1, then Aaron Greenwood 9-3, and Marko Clarke 9-4 to join Matt Tetreault in one of the winners’ side semifinals. John McConnell, in the meantime, who’d sent Frank Cartani (9-4), Jerry Crowe (9-3), and Dwight Dixon (9-4) to the loss side, squared off against Mike Donnelly in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
Casanzio got into the hot seat match with a continuation of the ‘reduced margin of victory’ phenomenon, downing Tetreault 9-5. McConnell joined him with a 9-5 victory over Donnelly. Casanzio claimed the hot seat 9-7 over McConnell and waited on his return.
 
On the loss side, Tetreault picked up Joe Darigis, who’d been sent over by Donnelly in a winners’ side quarterfinal and then defeated Nick Brucato 9-4 and Dwight Dixon 9-6. Donnelly drew Jose Mendez, who was on a modest four-match, loss-side winning streak that was about to end and had included recent wins over Norm Vernon 9-3 and Marko Clarke 9-5.
 
Tetreault advanced to the quarterfinals with a 9-6 win over Darigis, and was joined by Mendez, who’d handed Donnelly his second straight loss 9-7. Tetreault eliminated Mendez in that quarterfinal 9-3, but had his hopes for a re-match against Casanzio eliminated when McConnell defeated him 9-5 in the semifinals.
 
In their second of two, Casanzio broke the ‘margin of victory’ chain. He defeated McConnell 9-5 to claim his first Al Conte Memorial title.
 
A $500-added Second Chance tournament saw Willie Oney finish in the top spot, downing Mark Creamer in the finals. Aaron Greenwood finished third and Bruce Carroll took the fourth spot. Pete Khudc took home a $1,200 Joss Cue in the event’s raffle.  
 
The fifth stop on the Joss NE 9-Ball Tour will be the 29th Ocean State 9-Ball Championship. Scheduled for the weekend of November 11-12, the $5,000-added event will be hosted by Snooker’s Billiards, Bar and Grill in Providence, RI.

Hennessee Makes It Four

Jonathan Hennessee and Skyler Woodward

JOB’s Billiards – Madison, TN. The 30th Annual Music City Open. Barbox 9 ball – winner breaks, true double elimination. Sure doesn’t get much better than this!!!
 
The event kicked off on Wednesday night with a 64-player mini tournament. When the smoke had cleared, Nick Hickerson had taken it down after defeating Sean King in the finals.
 
The women’s division started on Friday night with 41 players. In the end, it came down to Allison Hardwick winning a hill-hill thriller with a break and run on the final rack. Congratulations, Allison! Jessica Mollinet took the well-deserved runner-up position with Lisa Porter in third and Robin Parker in fourth place.
 
The Midnight Madness Mini kicked off Saturday night – eight players putting up $500 apiece to play – winner take all. Sky Woodward took the cheese over a strong Roberto Gomez in the finals.
 
The main event had a full field of 128 players. After a raucous player auction on Thursday evening, play began. By Sunday night, the field had whittled down to an undefeated Sky Woodward and Johnathan Pinegar. The smart money was on Sky to take the title as he had played phenomenally throughout the entire event – including two 10-packs.
 
Hennessee had to defeat Sky twice and won the first set convincingly 11-5. A determined Sky rocketed out to an 8-1 lead in the second set but but never won another game. Henny slowly but surely won game after game to tie the match at 8. From there, he went on ahead to close out the set 11-8, adding a fourth Music City Open title to his resume and leaving a disappointed Sky Woodward in second place. Congratulations to Hennessee for a great tournament!!! Solid performances in a super tough field were turned in by Roberto Gomez for third and Shane Winters for fourth place.
 
As always, PoolActionTV.com would like to thank JOB’s Billiards and their staff for doing all they could to make everyone feel welcome. Owner Ricky Gamble and Tournament Director Steve McDonald went above and beyond to make sure everything ran smoothly and make us feel at home.
 
We’d also like to thank our sponsors – Lomax Custom Cues, EnviroAssessments.com, Durbin Custom Cues, Aramith, Hanshew Custom Cues, Simonis, Diveney Custom Cues, GoPlayPool.com, Kamui, Outsville, Diamond Billiard Tables and Club Billiards of Wichita, KS. Thank you all for your continued support.
 
Our next stop is the Derby City Classic at the Horseshoe Casino in Elizabeth, IN!!! Come on by and sweat the action in our Aramith Action Room!!! Dates are January 20-28th!!! Hope to see you there!!!

Roberts double dips Olinger to take second stop on the Taom Tips Tour

Josh Roberts, Tony Chohan and Alex Olinger

Though the first two events of Tony Chohan's Taom Tips Tour didn't draw the number of entrants he'd been expecting, the inaugural and second stop on the tour certainly made up in quality what he thought it lacked in quantity. The first event, held on the weekend of Nov. 5-6, drew 51 entrants, while the second stop, held this past weekend (Nov. 12-13) drew 31. The first one was won by Antonio Lining, and the second was won by Josh Roberts, who double dipped Alex Olinger in the finals to claim the title. Both events, and all future stops on the tour, added $5,000 to the purse. This most recent event was hosted by High Pockets in Memphis, TN.
 
 
The final 12 in this most recent event featured a recognizable list of the Midwest's (and arguably, the country's) best players, including Roberts and Olinger. Chohan himself, played, as did Jeremy Jones, Ronnie Wiseman, Shane McMinn, Justin Hall, Danny Smith and a host of others. 
 
 
The winners' side semifinals saw Roberts square off against last week's winner, Antonio Lining, and Olinger taking on Jones. Roberts kept Lining out of what would have been his second straight hot seat match on the tour with an 8-5 victory, while Olinger downed Jones double hill to join Roberts. Olinger claimed the hot seat 8-7 and waited on Roberts' return.
 
 
Over on the loss side, Shane Winters was making a strong bid to get back  to the finals. He'd been sent to the loss side by Lining and was in the midst of a six-match, loss-side streak that would take him as far as the semifinals. He eliminated Bill Thorpe and Justin Hall, both 8-5 to earn himself a re-match against Lining. Jones picked up McMinn, who'd defeated Derek Garner 8-2 and Chohan 8-6 to reach him.
 
 
Jones moved into the quarterfinals on the heels of a double hill win over McMinn. Winters joined him after a successful 8-6 rematch against Lining. Winters completed his loss-side winning streak 8-6 over Jones, and had that streak snapped by Roberts in the semifinals 8-3.
 
 
Roberts took the opening set of the true double elimination final 8-5. He backed that up with a second win, 8-3 to claim the event title.
 
 
The next stop on the Taom Tips Tour, scheduled for Dec.16-18, will be another $5,000-added event, hosted by The Carom Room in Beloit, WI. 

Lining goes undefeated to win inaugural stop on Taom Tips Tour at Michael’s in Fairfield, OH

Being a player himself, Tony Chohan had a unique perspective on the conduct of pool tournaments, up to and including the 15 in which he had participated this year (2016) alone. He's not the first player to attempt the organization of a pool tour (Shannon Daulton, Tony Robles, Mike Zuglan, Linda Shea, Adrianne Beach, and quite a few others come immediately to mind), but he may be the first to have guaranteed $5,000-added to each and every one of the six proposed stops on his proposed Taom Tips Tour. 
 
 
That tour got underway on the weekend of November 4-6 at Michael's Billiards in Fairfield, OH, and though he didn't get some of the players he'd been expecting to attend (Joey Gray, Chip Compton, Sky Woodward and Justin Bergman, for example), the $5,000-added event did draw 51 entrants to Michael's Billiards, and did feature some of the 'name' players he'd hoped would support his tour ambitions; Billy Thorpe, Dennis Hatch, Robb Saez, Shane Winters, Shane McMinn, and the finalists, Antonio Lining and Ramil Gallego from the Philippines (among others). Lining went undefeated to win it, while Gallego won five on the loss side to challenge him a second time in the finals.
 
 
It was Lining and Thorpe who ended up facing each other in the hot seat of this one. Thorpe had shut out Martin Zavala in one winners' side semifinal, while Lining downed Louis Demarco 8-3 in the other one. Lining claimed the hot seat 8-6 over Thorpe and waited on the return of Gallego, whom he'd defeated in a winners' side quarterfinal.
 
 
Gallego opened his five-match trek back to a rematch against Lining with an 8-6 victory over Tommy Stephenson. He followed that with an 8-3 win over Shane McMinn (who'd just eliminated Robb Saez), which set him (Gallego) up to face Zavala, coming over from the winners' side semifinal. DeMarco picked up Shane Winters, who'd eliminated Brandon Hallett 8-6, and Hatch 8-2.
 
 
The two loss-side combatants, Gallego and Winters, advanced to the quarterfinals; Gallego 8-2 over Zavala, and Winters 8-4 over DeMarco. Gallego took the quarterfinal match 8-3 over Winters, and then denied Thorpe his shot at the event title with an 8-6 victory in the semifinals.
 
 
It was to be a true double elimination final. Lining finished it in a single set, defeating Gallego 8-4 to claim the event title.
 
 
The next $5,000-added stop on the six-event Taom Tips Tour was scheduled for this weekend (Nov. 11-13), and was to be hosted by High Pockets in Memphis, TN. The following stop, scheduled for Dec. 16-18, will be hosted by the Carom Room in Beloit, WI.

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.

5 Events – 5 Undefeated Winners at Big Tyme Classic

The 4th Annual Big Tyme Classic $8,000 added, held March 24-27 in Spring, Texas, just North of Houston, paid out over $86,000!
 
The five- event Extravaganza started Thursday with 32 players in a single elimination One Pocket Event.  Danny Smith battled it out for a victory over Joey Gray in the finals.  With a full field of star studded players there were numerous upsets along the way! Smith started his run with wins over Jon Demet, Chase Rudder, Justin Hall, and Jeremy Jones to get to the finals.  Gray made his way through the top of the bracket with wins over Shane Winters, Chip Compton, Jeff Chauncey, and Robb Saez.  
 
Pay-outs:
1st Danny Smith $2,000
2nd Joey Gray $1,100
3rd /4th  Robb Saez and Jeremy Jones $600 ea
5th / 8th Scott Proud, Jeff Chauncey, Arron Goodwin, and Justin Hall $300 ea
 
9 Ball Banks kicked off the second day, Friday, with 26 players, in a single elimination format.  Tony Chohan prevailed over Chip Compton for the big win.  
Pay-outs:
1st Tony Chohan $1,700
2nd Chip Compton $900
3rd / 4th Shane Winters and Alex Olinger $500 ea.
5th / 8th Justin Hall, Alex Calderone, J.C. Torres, and Robb Saez $250 ea
 
The Main Event 9 Ball Open, presented by OB Cues, commenced Friday evening.  The Diamond® bar table event, streamed live by Ray “Big Truck” Hansen and his crew at PoolAction.tv, drew 128 players.  Shane Winters would go undefeated to win the event and big payday, archiving wins over Josh Hughes, 7-3, Jamie Farrell, 7-4, Chase Rudder, 7-4, Jeremy Jones, 7-5, Ricky Hughes, 7-1, Evan Lunda, 7-5, and Jason Klatt, 7-4, which secured his spot in the finals.  Jason Klatt had a phenomenal run with wins over Jeff Sullivan, Tim Baron,7-1, Hani Alhouri, 7-5, Blaine Barcus, 7-4, Dennis Orcollo, 7-2, and Justin Hall, 7-2, before meeting Winters for the hot seat match.  With the loss, Klatt found himself on the receiving end losing to Orcollo, 7-3.  In true double elimination format, Orcollo would have to beat Winters two sets.  Winters narrowly escaped Orcollo in the first set, 7-6.
 
Pay-outs:
1st Shane Winters $4000/$24,500
2nd Dennis Orcollo $2,000/$12,000
3rd Jason Klatt $1,400/$8,900
4th Justin Hall $1,00/$6,100
5th / 6th Mike Davis Jr and Evan Lunda $700/$3,000 each
7th / 8th Josh Roberts and Danny Smith $400/$2,000 each
9th / 12th Ernesto Bayaua, James Davis Jr, Ricky Hughes, and Alex Calderone $200/$1,000 each
 
Sunday kicked off with the Seniors Division.  Barry Strickland fought his way through an elite field of 27 players.  Strickland took the hot seat with a 7-4 win against Ronnie Wiseman.  The loss forced Wiseman to the “B” side to face Buddy Hall.  Ronnie ousted Hall to get back to the finals against Strickland but fell short 7-2, leaving Barry the undefeated winner.
 
Pay-outs:
1st Barry Strickland $550
2nd Ronnie Wiseman $350
3rd Buddy Hall $240
4th James Christopher $160
5th / 6th Pete Charles and Sam Daita $80 ea
7th /8th Sonny Bosshammer and Mark Avery $60 ea
 
The 5th and final event of the Big Tyme Classic, was the Ladies Division,  27 awesome ladies vying for the title.  Natalie Rocha secured the hot seat with a 7-6 win over Kim Pierce.  Pierce would face Ricki Casper for a chance in the finals but Casper took the match 7-2.  Ricki lost her first match of the day to Robyn Petrosino, 7-3, and made an impressive run to meet Rocha in the finals.  Casper came up short to Rocha, 7-6, leaving Rocha undefeated for the win.
 
Pay-outs:
1st Natalie Rocha $550
2nd Ricki Casper $350
3rd Kim Pierce $240
4th Amanda Lampart $160
5th / 6th Teresa Garland and Karol Hughes $80 ea
7th /8th Michelle Yim and Robyn Petrosino $60 ea
 
Big Tyme Billiards, Teresa Garland and Marshal Ward, Tournament Directors, would like to thank the players, spectators, fans, and staff for a successful event.  A very special thanks to our sponsors, OB Cues, APA of North Harris County (Roger Schuett), Star City Amusement (Roddy Lucio), and the vendors.  We look forward to next year’s Big Tyme Classic!

Bergman double dips Runnels to win 34th Brickyard Classic

Justin Bergman

Justin Bergman came from the loss side to double dip Ike Runnels in the finals of the 34th Brickyard Classic, otherwise known as the Midwest Bar Table Classic, held on the weekend of March 19-20. Run since 1981, and to the best of our knowledge, the second oldest major event in the sport (next to the US Open 9-Ball Championships), the Brickyard Classic did not celebrate 35 years, because they missed a year. The event drew 64 entrants to Brickyard Billiards in Indianapolis, IN.
 
Bergman's path to the winners' circle, which, given his recent history, one might have assumed would go undefeated, ran into a speed bump in a winners' side semifinal against Alex Olinger, who sent him to the loss side 9-7. Olinger moved on to face Runnels in the hot seat match; Runnels, having sent Dennis Hatch over, 9-4. Runnels claimed the hot seat rather handily, defeating Olinger 9-1 and waited on Bergman's return.
 
On the loss side, Bergman picked up Billy Thorpe, who'd gotten by Mark Hanson 7-2 and Roger Wall 7-4. Hatch drew Shane Winters, who'd defeated Jason Klatt 7-5 and eliminated Drake Niepotter 7-1. From the point at which Bergman and Hatch arrived on the loss side, every match, leading to the finals, was won by a 7-5 score. 
 
Bergman and Winters defeated Thorpe and Hatch, respectively, and advanced to the quarterfinals. Bergman then eliminated Winters, and in the re-match, wreaked his vengeance on Olinger in the semifinals.
 
Bergman completed his title run in a double elimination final. He won the opening set 9-4 and gave up only a single rack in the second set, winning it 7-1.

Woodward and Bryant chalk up 29th Annual Music City titles

Skyler Woodward and Shane McMinn (Photo courtesy of Pool Action TV)

Skyler Woodward took the loss-side route to meet and defeat Shane McMinn in the finals of the 29th Annual Music City Open, held on the weekend of January 13-17. Brittany Bryant picked the undefeated option in capturing the Ladies title, defeating Liz Lovely in the finals. The $6,000-added Open drew 128 entrants, while the $1,000-added Ladies event drew 64 to JOB Billiard Club in Madison, TN. Selected matches were streamed throughout the weekend via the services of PoolActionTV and its host, Ray Hansen. The booth saw Buddy Hall take a turn at the microphone.
 
Shane McMinn, who, in a field that included competitors like Woodward, Justin Bergman, Johnny Archer, Robb Saez, and Jeremy Jones (among others), might have been perceived as something of a dark horse at the beginning of the Open event. He was raising a few eyebrows as he moved into his winners' side semifinal match against Woodward. Jeremy Jones, in the meantime, squared off against Richie Richeson. Jones sent Richeson to the loss side 11-2, as McMinn raised a few more eyebrows with an 11-5 victory over Mosconi Cup competitor, Woodward. McMinn went on to claim the hot seat 11-7 over Jones.
 
On the loss side, the casualty list was growing, and it included Archer, Bergman, Josh Roberts, Alex Olinger, and Jason Klatt (again, among others). By the time Woodward and Richeson showed up, the loss-side list was down to Shane Winters, and geographically appropriate Jonathan "Hennessee from Tennessee" Pinegar. Winters drew Richeson and defeated him 11-1. Woodward got Pinegar and took him out 11-4.
 
Woodward ended Winters' weekend with an 11-9 victory in the quarterfinals and then eliminated Jones 11-7 in the semifinals. Early in the re-match, double elimination finals, it looked as though it was going to be a grind. Woodward and McMinn fought back and forth to a 7-7 tie in the opening set, before Woodward caught a gear and closed it out with four straight. McMinn had dropped his last 9-ball. Woodward shut him out 11-0 in the second set to claim the title.
 
In the Ladies' tournament, it was the eventual winner, Brittany Bryant and Stacie Bourbeau in the hot seat match. Bryant had sent Stephanie Goins to the loss side 7-1, as Bourbeau was defeating Liz Lovely 7-5. Bryant claimed the hot seat 7-2 and waited on the return of Lovely.
 
On the loss side, Goins and Lovely picked up Samantha Patton and Julie Cone, respectively. Lovely and Patton prevailed to face each other in the quarterfinals, won by Lovely. Lovely took advantage of her re-match versus Bourbeau in the semifinals, winning for a shot at Bryant in the hot seat.  Bryant closed it out in the finals to take the Music City Ladies title.
 
In two brackets (A & B) of a Midnight Madness tournament, Justin Bergman went home with the top prize in the A bracket, with Danny Smith in the runner-up slot. Shane Winters took home the top prize in the B bracket, with Josh Roberts in second place.