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Accu-Stats Announces June Premier Schedule

Accu-Stats Video Productions has announced their YouTube premiere schedule for June, and they are premiering matches from the 2022 Derby City Classic and 2015 Derby City Classic. Matches for June feature some of the best players in the world, including Efren Reyes, Shane Van Boening, Joshua Filler, Fedor Gorst, Alex Pagulayan, Jayson Shaw and many more. 

Accu-Stats premieres a new match from their immense archive of New and Historic content three times a week: Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday nights at 8pm EST. There is a lively chat during each premiere. Pat Fleming will host most nights in June. Viewers can find the Accu-Stats YouTube channel at

June Premiere Schedule

June 2nd – 2022 Derby City Classic Big Foot Challenge – Max Eberle vs Mika Immonen
June 5th – 2022 Derby City Classic 9-Ball – Darren Appleton vs Corey Deuel
June 7th – 2015 Derby City Classic Straight Pool Challenge – Ruslan Chinakhov vs Jayson Shaw
June 9th – 2022 Derby City Classic Big Foot Challenge – David Alcaide vs Alex Pagulayan
June 12th – 2022 Derby City Classic 9-Ball – Joshua Filler vs Mieszko Fortunski
June 14th – 2015 Derby City Classic One Pocket – Double Header
Alex Pagulayan vs Efren Reyes
Mike Dechaine vs Alex Pagulayan
June 16th – 2022 Derby City Classic Big Foot Challenge – Darren Appleton vs Fedor Gorst
June 19th – 2022 Derby City Classic 9-Ball – Fedor Gorst vs Shane Van Boening
June 21st – 2015 Derby City Classic Big Foot Challenge – Alex Pagulayan vs Shane Van Boening
June 26th – 2022 Derby City Classic 9-Ball – Roland Garcia Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz
June 28th – 2015 Derby City Classic One Pocket – Double Header
Shannon Daulton vs Shane Van Boening
Justin Hall vs Alex Pagulayan
June 30th – 2022 Derby City Classic Big Foot Challenge – Jayson Shaw vs Shane Van Boening

For over 30 years, Accu-Stats has been the leader in Professional Tournament Match Videos. The entire collection is available on DVD at

You can also watch more than 400 Accu-Stats matches from the 2018 and 2019 INTL 9-BALL OPEN; 2016-2022 Derby City Classic; 2015-2017 US Open 9-Ball Championships, as well as the Accu-Stats “Make It Happen” Invitationals via the Accu-Stats’ Vimeo Subscription service:

International Open Website:

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Bigfoot Challenge Highlights Derby City Classic Day One

Alex has focus and fire that says ‘maybe’

Diamond Derby City Classic XXII, January 24-Feb.2, 2020
Caesars Southern Indiana, Elizabeth, IN
David Thomson
Notice the new host name. Thanks to the 90 MILLION+ spent in refurbishment, major changes are afoot in Indiana. The Horseshoe is no longer because Caesars, the umbrella company that owns it, has decided to rebrand.
Relaxed Indiana gambling laws have allowed the casino to relocate from the boat on the Ohio River and land neatly next to the hotel. New laws, new rules: Now, no one under 21 can enter the casino or, the adjacent convention center which houses the sea of Diamond Pool Tables.
Current 19-year-old World 9-Ball champion Fedor Gorst was sideswiped as he had booked tickets and a berth in the BIG Foot 10-Ball Challenge. 20-year-old Albanian Eklent Kaci received a glancing blow. He will turn 21 on the day the DCC 9-Ball Championship begins. Will he compete? We’ll keep you posted
Lastly, to ensure that the new Casino regulations are respected, there is now an ID, bag, and cue case security check on the main hallway leading from the hotel to the casino/convention center.
Enough of the public service announcement, let’s get to the action.
The Diamond BIG Foot Challenge
LIVE from the Accu-Stats TV Arena
Format: Race to 11, single elimination, alternate break, 10-Ball, caroms and combos win.
Shane’s break is a nightmare…for his opponents. Compound that with his cool, calm demeanor and he’s a demon. Roberto Gomez, normally a fearsome contender, was sluggish. “I had to rush back to the Phillipines,” he countered. His father, sadly, had died suddenly. “I’m not making excuses but, I just arrived after 24-hours of traveling to get here plus, I haven’t had any practice time…and the jetlag! I wasn’t there today:” Sad days indeed. Our condolences to Roberto and his family.
In match two, Newly inducted BCA Hall of Famer Alex Pagulayan showed renewed focus and that fighting spirit that had seemed missing in recent rotation game encounters. Billy Thorpe couldn’t catch a cold as his struggling .812 TPA was stifled by Alex’s .913.
More Filipino action followed as DCC titlist Lee Vann Corteza pounced on the unusual faltering of last year’s 9-Ball runner-up, the promising James Aranas.
The evening was made complete with an inspired performance by wunderkint Joshua Filler. Konrad Juszczyszyn fell under  the young German’s courageous, attacking spell yet still managed to eke out 5, well played racks.
Friday’s results
1pm:Shane Van Boening def. Roberto Gomez 11-5
3:30: Alex Pagulayan def. Billy Thorpe 11-4
7pm: Lee Vann Corteza def. James Aranas 11-7
9:30: Joshua Filler vs. Conrad Juszczyszyn 11-5 
Play continues Saturday at the same times. Check the schedule at 
Chris Melling vs. John Morra
Jayson Shaw vs.Skyler Woodward
Mika Immonen vs. Francisco Bustamante
Corey Deuel vs. Dennis Orcollo
Short Rack. Race to 3.
Efren Reyes is in the house!  The 5-time DCC All Around Champion and 6 time One-Pocket Champion, is out of retirement. Why? Could it be that it’s because he’s never won the Bank Pool? Alex Pagulayan is the only competitor to have taken all three titles. Banks, One Pocket, and 9-Ball. Shane was one ball away from winning them all…in one year!
But that was then. This is now.
Reyes sailed thru his opening encounter and will wait for the daily redraws to see who’s his next victim.
DCC XXII can boast 451 hard-banging banksters. it’s not a record but what other tournament can attract such an elite number? There were 452 but, Shannon Daulton had to withdraw as an alluring business opportunity took precedence. 
A scary opener for crafty Corey Deuel as he got caught in the ringer with stringer Rob Hart. Down 2-0, Corey had to muster the gumption that secured his 2 prior DCC Bank Pool titles.
Then 2006 DCC All-Around Champion Jason Miller and 2018 DCC 9-Ball Champion Chris Melling were drawn into the pit. Melling soon realized that he, admittedly, had a lot to learn from the proponents of the discipline of choice in this here neck of the woods. “It’s so hard to play safe,” Chris considered. “So you gotta go for it. And if you miss, these guys run 3, 4, or 5 and out. I’m not going to buy-back.”
Good friend Jayson Shaw, overhearing Chris’ despair, jumped on him. “You have to buy-back. What if you do well in the One Pocket? And the 9-Ball–a title you’ve already proved you can win? Are you gonna blow the $20,000 All Around Champion bonus money. You don’t know who you’re gonna draw next, It’s only the 2nd round. You need those points.
Chris realizing the Scotsman’s logic was last seen busy at the buy-back booth.
Don’t miss a stroke at
Accu-Stats thanks its Arena Sponsors: Diamond Billiards, Simonis Cloth, Cyclop Balls, Cuetec Cues, Cue and Case, MEZZ Cues, McDermott Cues, National Billiard Academy.

Derby City Classic Day Six

John Schmidt (Photo courtesy of Dave Thomson –

Derby City Classic XXI, January 25 – February 2nd, 2019
LIVE from the Horseshoe Southern Indiana Casino, Elizabeth IN.
410 entrants are now reduced to 24.
One Pocket; Chess with Balls.
Just like chess, One-Pocket is about knowing the moves. It is, also, said that the “mover” will out-play the shotmaker. As shotmakers have the need to pocket balls, One-Pocket players, “Tie ‘em up, stick ‘em in the stack, leave ‘em stuck.”
This strategy, knowingly, exercises patience that, eventually, frustrates the fast and loose shooters into firing at will. Actually, as the trap has been set, it really is firing unwillingly.
If you are looking to reinforce the maxim “revenge is sweet,” just ask Skyler Woodward. With a 3 zip result, just like had been administered to him in Banks (twice), he eliminated Billy Thorpe from the One-Pocket division.
The result puts Skyler in position to threaten the Master of the Table, or All-Around Champion, $20,000 bonus prize money.
Not to worry, Billy is still deep in it, too.
The player with the most points accumulated from DCC’s 3 qualifying events, Banks, 1-Pocket, and 9-Ball, will earn the honor.
It’s way too early to tell, but, if Skyler, with his 3rd/4th finish in Banks, climbs to there or better in One Pocket, he will challenge Billy’s current dominance with his 120 point advantage for the Bank Pool title.
If you thought that must be the match of the day, think again.
Opening the action on the Accu-Stats TV table was young Filipino gun, James Aranas in contest with veteran John “MR 400” Schmidt.
What unfolded was a stunning come-from-behind performance.
They were tied 2-2. In the decider, Aranas took an intentional foul, -1. Not to be outdone, John took 5 intentional fouls!
Soon, James, having nabbed a few, was in the plus side with 3. John was still at -5.
For those of you in-the-know, John, “Mr 400,” has been vigorously involved playing 14.1. He’s intent on beating Willie Mosconi’s 60+ year record high-run of 526 balls.
With the added incentive of a sweet bonus from his sponsor, Easy Street Billiards, Schmidt set up his video camera and went to work. For around 2 weeks John shot century after century and, tho,’ he didn’t out-run Mosconi, he did beat his own recorded 403 record by 31 balls. John has now the highest run on camera with 434!
That 14.1 skillset came into play today. At -5, he needed to pocket 13 balls in the same hole to overthrow Aranas.
When his onslaught commenced, in around 3 innings, John completely reversed his position and had James on the ropes. Ahead at 5-3, one more turn at the table was all it took to secure the set.
John’s “cueball” was exemplary, both in defense and offense. His know-how, compounded with the will to win, has set the standard of the year’s championship.
“James played smarter than I thought he did,” John considered after his win. ”How come these young kids know so much about One-Pocket?” 
By watching you John; watching you.
Lee Vann Corteza wasn’t so much out-moved by  Shane Van Boening as he was out-shot. Referring to the aforementioned Shooter principal, Shane has always been the exception to the rule.
His confidence, compounded by experience, knows no bounds. He attacks balls that old school one-holers would consider suicidal. His touch and speed allowed the tight-cut pro pockets to accept balls that, if missed, would surely leave Vann Corteza victorious.
Instead, at 3-1, Van Boening moved forward. Lee was delivered to the buyback booth.
Francisco Bustamante’s 3-1 over Joshua Filler was, somewhat, expected but Bustey shouldn’t be too confident next year. Scroll down to see Filler’s 14.1 coverage.
Players are running more 8 balls and out’s this year than ever. Roberto Gomez, not exactly known as a one-holer from -2, ran 10. Then, another 8, 2-0. Jeremy Jones ran 8, 2-1. Then, they grind until the cold roll stopped Double J’s ball one quarter of a revolution from dropping in the hole. Gomez stole Jeremy’s shape, back-cut it straight in his hole, and it’s 3-1.
13 players are still undefeated including, Omar Al Shaheen. With his 100 points as runner-up in Banks, has his eye on the All-Around prize. There’s, also, Justin Bergman, Taiwan’s Kevin Cheng, Corey Deuel, Scott Frost, Thorsten Hohmann. Evan Lunda and,  Alex Pagulayan.
One Pocket matches will air on at NOON. EDT.
407 entrants; Another DCC attendance record broken!
Race to 9. 3 balls, minus those pocketed, must make the kitchen on the break.
Johnny Archer was in superlative form as he caught Canada’s John Morra napping. Down 6-0 is certainly a wake-up call but John was so deep in the hole that he couldn’t recover. Scrambling, he mustered a few but, the dominant Archer soon shot Morra beddy-bye. 9-3.
Jung-Lin Chang, still on a 10-Ball roll, thought he was on a bar-box. Alex, who’s 168 ball run just missed the 14.1 cut, was in better stroke and managed 7 games.
Much more to come.
The high-run contest is manned by 14.1 aficionados Dennis Walsh and Bill Maropulis. Bob Jewett, the event creator, continues to support and contribute to the event.
Our thanks to Rich Klein for his daily scoring updates.
it took only ’til the second day, for Scotsman Jayson Shaw’s 247, two year, DCC high-run reign to be overthrown by Chris Melling, an Englishman. 244 became the number to beat.
Fortunately, as the upset to took place on American soil, an international incident was averted.
As Wednesday was the closing day for the runs to be tabulated, by early afternoon Bill Maropulis considered, “Even although the standard of play has been exceptional this year. It will take something extraordinary for Chris’ run to be beaten.”
Along came Orcollo, a previous tournament winner. Bang, 260!
Meanwhile, newly crowned 2018 World 9-Ball Champion Joshua Filler entered the room. Being German, Josh is no stranger to Straight Pool. 14.1 is part of the pool education program. Bang, bang, bang, 285!
Now there are 5 runs over 200 in the final 8 who will been drawn for a single elimination play-off to determine the champion.
Here are the high-run finalists.
Joshua Filler, 285
Dennis Orcollo, 260 
Chris Melling, 244
John Schmidt, 216
Mika Immonen, 201
Shane Van Boening, 198
Lee Vann Corteza, 183
Niels Feijen, 179.
This Just In! Here’s a sneak peak at the draw:
Filler vs. Feijen
Schmidt vs. Immonen
Melling vs. Van Boening
Orcollo vs. Corteza
Wednesday, 30th, Jan. 6 pm.
Diamond Lounge; On the Boat at Horseshoe Southern Indiana Casino, Elizabeth IN., under the auspices of Steve Booth, inducted Frost and James Walden.
Interestingly, the 2 players honored this year had quite a history together.
Road players are always on the hunt for new talent to skulk around with in search of the cash.
Walden had observed Frost as a talented kid and was awed by his dedication to learn and his taste for adventure.
Away they went. Frost’s forte (still is) was One-Pocket. James excelled in 9-Ball.
Exercising rule number 1 of the road, neither exposed their true expertise. Until they lost. Then one would announce, “Try him some.”
That’s how it’s done.
Scott Frost is now a jubilant member of the the One Pocket Hall of Fame!
James Walden has the honorable mention of “Lifetime Pool in Action!”
One Pocket Hall of Famer Shannon Daulton emcee’d the evening’s festivities, while fellow members Nick Varner John Brumback and Jeremy Jones entertained the one-hole fans with personal encounters with the honorees.
Accu-Stats thanks its Arena Sponsors: Diamond Billiards, Simonis Cloth, Cyclop Balls, Cuetec Cues, Lucasi Custom, MEZZ Cues, McDermott Cues, National Billiard Academy, and Samsara Cues.

Thorpe Wins Derby Banks on Day Five

Omar Al Shaheen: Under the radar no more! (Photo courtesy of Dave Thomson – Medium Pool)

Derby City Classic XXI, January 25 – February 2nd, 2019
LIVE from the Horseshoe Southern Indiana Casino, Elizabeth IN.
Race to 3, 9-Ball–Short Rack, $10,000 first place prize: $4,000 for second, $2,200, 3rd/4th, etc.
From a record-setting 505 entrants, there is only one man left standing.
Billy Thorpe, undefeated in 14 arduous rounds, became the undisputed Diamond Derby City Classic Bank Champion by eliminating Kuwait’s Omar Al Shaheen, 3-2.
En route to the Accu-Stats TV table, Billy had won games without his opponent being allowed to approach the table. In round 13, he had given Skyler Woodward, a DCC Banks Ring Game winner, his first loss at 3-0. The demolition included two games with 5 balls-and-out.
Today, they met again. The punishment was repeated: 3-0.
Al Shaheen had earned his berth by terminating the talented Josh Roberts 3-0 earlier in the day. In passing, he had also beaten back-to-back BIG Foot 10-Ball titlist Jayson Shaw and 3-time DCC Banks Champ John Brumback, just to name a few who are still in shock.
Previously, Omar had competed in DCC’s 9-Ball and Banks events but, had slipped under the slate as he had never gotten past the last 16.
Thorpe, throttle wide open, had been walloping the balls. There is no baby in Billy. He’s a pounder. He also had home field advantage having experienced the “heat” of the Accu-Stats’ lights.
Omar, on the other hand, had been conditioned in the expanse of the main arena where the playing field is a much more anonymous. Now, thanks to the Accu-Stats’ stream, he was under the lens for all the world to glare. 
Billy knew that feeling. Two years ago when, as an underdog, Thorpe pounced on Alex Pagulayan and stole the DCC One Pocket title. 
After the trouncing, respected Accu-Stats’ commentator Bill Incardona declared Billy the best banker in the world. Today, Thorpe had the opportunity to ratify that statement.
That title also contributed to Thorpe’s thrust into the limelight which led to being invited to compete with Team USA in the Mosconi Cup. Having experienced that pressure only made one feel impregnable.
In the opening game, we were made aware of the aggressive (defense, what defense?) strategy that had gotten Omar to the finals. Firing at everything, and making a lot of them, maybe threatened Thorpe a little, especially, when Omar secured the first game.
“Guys who compete wide open are dangerous,” Billy later stated, “Especially, in a short-rack, race to 3.” 
It’s, also, always interesting playing an unknown entity. There’s usually less pressure when competing against a familiar opponent, even when they’re more formidable than the unknown one.
Game 2, it’s all Billy and nothing but net. 1-1
Game 3. Omar bangs in 4 while Billy has only 2, Wise defense came to his rescue and bingo, Billy stole it and, it’s 2-1.
Game 4. Thorpe opens with 3. Al Shaheen makes one and scratches on the second. Billy slams the respotted orb. He’s one ball from the title.
Omar responds with 3, then 1. It’s a hill-hill–again! Billy leaves him long from the rail. Omar nails it. The boisterous crowd is screaming their appreciation. Sure, they want their homeboy to win but, Omar’s a humble guy. They like him, too. And, of course, the drama, we all love the drama.
It’s 2-2…and Omar is at bat. He makes 2 on the break. Then, runs 3.
“Oh no,” Billy a little bit twitchy. “How did it come to this? I’m starving, I should have eaten.” the thoughts are racing through his mind. He doesn’t want to think about the buy-back booth. “It’s OK, I’m undefeated, he has to beat me twice. Forget that! I’m closing this out NOW!”
He’s driven. He’s desperate.
Omar’s shaky. He shares out loud with the standing room only crowd, “The stress, the stress.” Yet, inside, he knows he can win this. Look how far he’s gotten. Why stop now?
Each having chipped away at the rack, until, again, they’re tied at 4.
One ball and Billy has another DCC championship belt. One more for Omar and he’ll secure a second set.
Defensive now, Omar leaves Billy long, very long. His dark eyes focused intently on the contact point, he pulls back his cue and, mustering all his power, he pummels the object ball…CRACK! The Cyclop almost busted the back of the pocket.
You can still hear his rebel yell ringing around the arena.
Omar is grateful, sure, a little bit deflated, but yet elated to have gotten so far. “What’s better than this in the sport we all love so much?” And, let’s not forget, he’ll go home a hero.
Billy has added another Diamond event to his resume. Plus, that’s 120 points towards the Master of the Table title. He’s still unbeaten in One-Pocket, plus, with the 9-Ball experience he gained as a winning Mosconi Cup team member two months ago, who knows what the future holds for the rising pool star.
410 entrants are now reduced to 116
Scott Frost handily defeated Dennis Orcollo 3-1 on the Accu-Stats TV table. Off to a blazing start the Freezer dismantled Robocop’s defenses. 
The closing rack offered endgame strategy. With Scott needing one, it was a lesson in moving both the cue and object ball into positions impossible. Scott came with 3 railer that no one expected, especially Dennis.
Niels Feijen ran into an upset with an unknown invader. John Brumback was bounced by Ruslan Chinakhov who was then handed a loss by Roberto Gomez.
One Pocket matches will air on at NOON. EDT.
The high-run contest is manned by 14.1 aficionados Dennis Walsh and Bill Maropulis. Bob Jewett, the event creator, has generously supplied healthy refreshments. Pool players sometimes forget to eat.
The 8 highest runs will compete in a single elimination play-off to determine the champion.
Here are the high-runs, so far:
Chris Melling, 244
John Schmidt, 216
Mika Immonen, 201
Joshua Filler, 198
Shane Van Boening, 198
Dennis Orcollo, 190 
Niels Feijen, 179
Jayson Shaw, 168
Wednesday, 30th, Jan. 6 pm.
Smoke and Rye Bar and Restaurant, near the main lobby by the Derby City Classic pool tournament arena., under the auspices of Steve Booth, will induct Scott Frost and James Walden.
A hearty congratulations to Scott Frost who will go into the One Pocket Hall of Fame!
In addition, James Walden will be honored for “Lifetime Pool in Action!”
One Pocket Hall of Famer Shannon Daulton, and friends, will entertain the one-hole fans with personal encounters with the honorees as he anchors the evening’s festivities.
The format is VIP dinner and drinks starting at 6 PM. Then about 7:15 PM the doors open for inexpensive appetizers and cash bar and the induction presentations.
You are invited to help us celebrate their achievements and to experience a piece of One-Pocket history.
Accu-Stats thanks its Arena Sponsors: Diamond Billiards, Simonis Cloth, Cyclop Balls, Cuetec Cues, Lucasi Custom, MEZZ Cues, McDermott Cues, National Billiard Academy, and Samsara Cues.

September Billiards Buzz Released

AzBilliards has proudly released the September issue of the Billiards Buzz online publication. 
Read our coverage of the World 10-Ball Championship, WPBA, NAPT, BEF Junior Nationals and EPBF Veldhoven Open.
Melinda Bailey is back with a great interview of Steve Lipsky, and she is once again joined by Jerry Briesath, Anthony Beeler and Dr. Chris Stankovich. 
This issue, as well as every other issue, can be found online at

Carroll downs Poste twice to go undefeated on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour

Billy Carroll

Though Billy Carroll and JR Poste share the headline for the story emerging out of the August 11-12 stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour, it should be noted that the player who finished third has more than earned his spot in the story’s opening sentence. While it may be a little early to declare that BJ Ussery is ‘back’ from something of an extended leave of absence from high level pool competition, his performance at this most recent event is, at least, a sure sign that he’s still a force to be reckoned with.


But first, Carroll and Poste, who met twice in the $250-added event, which drew 23 entrants to Mickey Milligan’s in New Bern, NC. With Ussery already at work on the loss side, Carroll advanced through the field to face Robert Perez in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Poste drew Travis Guerra in the other one.


Carroll downed Perez 7-4 and in the hot seat match, faced Poste, who’d sent Guerra to the loss side 6-3. Carroll claimed the hot seat 7-5 over Poste, and waited on his return, or, possibly, if he had any sense of pool history, the return of Ussery.


On the loss side, it was Guerra who drew Ussery, four matches into his six-match, loss-side winning streak that had most recently included wins over Zac Leonard 11-5 and a shutout of Kameron Johnson. Perez drew Larry Pierce, who’d eliminated Jordan Oak 6-2 and Greg Smith 6-5 (it was Smith who’d sent Ussery to the loss side in the event’s second round).


In the first money round, Pierce downed Perez 6-3, as Ussery was busy allowing Guerra only a single rack in an 11-1 victory. In the quarterfinals that followed, Ussery defeated Pierce 11-4.


In what was essentially a handicapped race to 11, Poste began the semifinals with ‘five on the wire.’ He and Ussery both chalked up six racks, but the handicapped advantage gave Poste the victory he needed for a second shot at Carroll in the hot seat. Carroll completed his undefeated run with a 7-5 victory in the finals and his third win on the tour.


Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked the ownership and staff at Mickey Milligan’s, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues, Delta 13 Racks, AZ Billiards and Professor Q-Ball. The next stop on the tour, scheduled for this weekend (August 18-19), will be hosted by the Gate City Billiards Club in Greensboro, NC.


Postscript – Eighteen years ago, BJ Ussery finished in the 32-player tie for 65th place at the 25th Annual US Open 9-Ball Championships. More remarkable than the feat itself is the evidence it provides of the caliber of player Ussery was keeping company with at the time. Sharing that tie for 65th place were (among others) Mike Davis, Shannon Daulton, Grady Matthews, Mike Zuglan, Allen Hopkins, Mika Immonen, and Steve Mizerak. It was also the year that Earl Strickland chalked up his fifth and what proved to be his last US Open 9-Ball title. In the years after that event, Ussery settled into a variety of Southern-based pool tours, regularly winning stops on the Southeast Open 9-Ball Tour, the Viking Tour, the Great Southern Billiard Tour, and The Jacoby Custom Cues Carolina Tour (to name just a few). Though he’s been away from the tables for a while now, he’s kept his hand in, so to speak. In 2014, he cashed in all three US Bar Box Championship events; 8-ball, 9-ball and 10-ball, and just last year, he finished fifth at the North Carolina State 10-Ball Open (held under the auspices of the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour), falling to long-time nemesis Mike Davis. Is BJ back? Inquiring minds would like to know.



Hofstatter, Davenport Elected to Billiard Congress of America Hall of Fame

Gerda Hofstatter (File photo courtesy of Diana Hoppe)

The Billiard Congress of America Hall of Fame welcomes two of the game's top players of the '90s to the class of 2018. The United States Billiard Media Association today announced that Austrian import Gerda Hofstatter Gregerson and "California Kim" Davenport have earned induction as the 71st and 72nd members of the sport's most prestigious club.
Hofstatter Gregerson, 47, will enter the Greatest Players wing of the BCA Hall of Fame, while Davenport, 62, will be honored in the Veteran Players category. Both will be formally inducted during ceremonies on Oct. 26, 2018, at the Norfolk Sheraton Waterside in Norfolk, Va.
A native of Friesach, Austria, Hofstatter Gregerson was an accomplished athlete, competing in tennis and skiing, and winning a national junior fencing title before committing herself to pool. Hofsttater Gregerson won her first European Championship (and the first ever for Austria) at 18, and has collected 10 European Championship gold medals. In 1993, she relocated to the U.S. to join the new Women's Professional Billiard Association Classic Tour and promptly won the very first event. Over the next seven years, Hofstatter Gregerson added seven more Classic Tour titles, as well as the 1995 WPA World 9-Ball Championship, the 1997 WPBA National Championship and the 2000 BCA Open 9-Ball Championship. She added her ninth Classic Tour title in 2010 at the San Diego Classic.
Hofstatter Gregerson currently resides Charlotte with her husband Dan and daughters Sophie and Madison. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Business from New York University, and has a pilot's license.
After finishing second in voting in each of the last three years, Hofstatter Gregerson was named on more than 70 percent of the ballots in 2018, far outpacing first-time nominees Niels Feijen and Corey Deuel, each of whom were named on 36 percent of the ballots. Shannon Daulton, Jeremy Jones, Stefano Pellinga, Vivian Villarreal and Charlie Williams received votes on fewer than 25 percent of the ballots.
"My first reaction is, 'What am I doing in there with all those great players?'," Hofstatter Gregerson. "Honestly, I never expected to get in. Everyone who has gotten in is so deserving, I was just honored to be on the ballot. But I am excited, humbled and honored to be in such great company.
"It's a great thing for my kids," she continued. "They'll be so proud. And it's nice to know that you will be remembered in the history books."
[photo id=22317|align=right]
Born in Oklahoma, Davenport relocated to Modesto, Calif., in the early '80s. By mid-decade, Davenport was making a name for himself on the pro tour, winning events like the Bowling Green Open and Tar Heel Classic. He broke through in 1988, winning the highly regarded Japan Cup and Eastern States 9-Ball Championship. After adding three more titles in 1989, Davenport put in a Player of the Year performance in 1990, winning the Brunswick Challenge Cup in Sweden, the Sands Regency Open and the B.C. Open – all major tour titles. Davenport added eight more pro tour titles, before an injury to his left eye for all practical purposes ended his pool-playing career.
Davenport, who resides in Acworth, Ga., had been recommended for consideration by the Hall of Fame Veteran Players Committee after failing to garner enough votes for election on the general ballot prior to turning 60.
"That's really good news," said Davenport upon being informed of his election. "I had started to wonder if it would ever happen, so it's hard to explain how I feel right now. To be honest, I thought my record was good enough to get in before now, but better late than never.
"In the end, this is what 40 years of playing pool comes down to," he added. "And 100 years from now, people will see my name next to Mosconi's, which is not a bad thing."
About United States Billiard Media Assocation
Founded in 2007, the United States Billiard Media Association is a non-profit association dedicated to elevating the visibility and status of billiards in the media at large. The USBMA consists of professional print, radio, TV, public relations and Internet media persons who cover cue sports. One of the association's main functions is electing of billiard media members to the Billiard Congress of America's Hall of Fame Board for the purpose of nominating and electing players and notable figures to the Billiard Congress of America Hall of Fame.
About Billiard Congress of America
Founded in 1948, the Billiard Congress of America is a non-profit trade organization dedicated to growing a united, prosperous and highly regarded billiard industry through Billiard Congress of America leadership.  The Billiard Congress of America seeks to enhance the success of its members and promote the game of billiards though educational, marketing and promotional efforts, annual industry trade shows and other programs designed to encourage billiards as a lifestyle and make pool everybody's game. For more information, visit or call 303.243.5070.

Dechaine, from the loss side, and Fracasso-Verner split NE 9-Ball Players’ Championships

(l to r): Anthony Petruzelli, Mike Dechaine & Lukas Fracasso-Verner

In the end, it was a battle of generations. Though Mike Dechaine hasn’t got enough years on his resume to be considered a member of any ‘older’ generation (in the vein of Earl Strickland, Nick Varner, or Shannon Daulton, as examples), he has certainly earned the title of veteran player. At 16, Lukas Fracasso-Verner is still young enough to be considered a ‘Junior,’ although he’s been competing against fellow juniors, veterans and the Pros for over three years now.
The two met in the finals of the $2,000-added New England 9-Ball Series Players’ Championships. Held on the weekend of March 17-18, the event drew 56 entrants to Yale Billiards in Wallingford, CT. To the surprise of many, although not, apparently, to Dechaine himself, Mike lost his opening match to Lance Lisciotti. This launched a 10-match, loss-side winning streak for Dechaine that allowed him to challenge Fracasso-Verner in the finals. Dechaine took the opening set of the true double elimination final, before he (with a three-hour drive ahead of him) and Fracasso-Verner (more or less in his own backyard), both at that stage with a single loss, opted out of a final match and split the top two prizes.
Dechaine’s opening round loss was a 5-6 victory for Lisciotti (as a Pro player, Dechaine was racing to 10). Asked if the loss came as a bit of surprise to him, Dechaine said that it hadn’t.
“No,” he said. “Lisciotti is capable of playing well, and he played well.”
Later in the tournament, Dechaine had the opportunity for a re-match, and the results were quite different. It should also be noted that in Dechaine’s 10-match, loss-side run, he won just over 89% of the games he played, with an aggregate score of 110-13.
As Dechaine began work on the loss side, Fracasso-Verner (an A player) and Anthony Petruzelli (C+) were advancing through their respective upper- and lower-bracket fields for a meetup in the hot seat match. Verner won four to meet Ryan Urso (a B Player) in one winners’ side semifinal, while Petruzelli won his four to face fellow C+ player, Jimmy Gonzalez in the other one. Fracasso-Verner and Petruzelli gave up only two racks between them (one each, to Urso and Gonzalez) to move into the hot seat match. Fracasso-Verner was even stingier in the winners’ side final, giving up none at all to sit in the hot seat.
Meanwhile, back at the (loss-side) ranch, Dechaine was mowin’ ‘em down, one by one. Opening loss-side wins of 10-1, 11-1, and 11-3 brought him into the money rounds, where he defeated Bobby Hilton by shutting him out and then, in his re-match against Lisciotti, sent him home 10-2. This set him up to face Urso, coming over from the winners’ side semifinal. Gonzalez’ first opponent on the loss side was Jack Cooper, who’d shut out Ralph Caton in the first money round, and then survived a double hill fight against Darryl Helm (5-5; Helm, as a C+, racing to 6) to reach Gonzalez.
Dechaine and Cooper handed Urso and Gonzalez their second straight loss. With Urso racing to 4, Dechaine eliminated him 11-1. Cooper gave up only one to Gonzalez in a 5-1 victory (Gonzalez racing to 6). Dechaine took the quarterfinal match 13-1 over Cooper, and completed his loss-side run with a 12-2 victory over Petruzelli in the semifinals.
The final match actually dropped Dechaine’s winning-game percentage down a notch, from its 89.4% after the semifinals to 88% at the end of the first double-elimination set. Dechaine won it 10-2, and then, in consultation with Fracasso-Verner, opted out of trying to make it two in a row.
Tour director Marc Dionne thanked the ownership and staff at Yale Billiards, as well as sponsors Ozone Billiards, Molinari, Bert Kinister, AZBilliards, Inside English, Professor Q-Ball’s National and 3-Cushion News, Delta 13 Racks, MJS Construction, Bob Campbell, Championship Cloth, and OTLVISE Billiard Mechanics of America. The next stop on the New England 9-Ball Series (#20), scheduled for the weekend of March 24-25, will be a $500-added, 8-Ball event, to be hosted by Legends Billiards, in Auburn, ME.

Derby City Wrap Up – Melling Wins 9-Ball, Busty is Master of the Table

Chris Melling

Derby City Classic XX, January 19-27, 2018
LIVE from the Horseshoe Southern Indiana Casino, Elizabeth, IN
Francisco Bustamante’s win in the DCC One Pocket Championship, compounded with his 4th in Banks and 12th in 9-Ball totaled 198.5 points and secured his 3rd All-Around Champion and Master of the Table title.
Justin Bergman, with 153.3, got $3,000 for second and, for a first in the history of DCC, two players tied for 3rd and shared the $2,000. Corey Deuel and Shane Van Boening accumulated 141.0 points each.
Race to 9, Winner Break.
What a Final! We were graced with genius. In the wee, small hours, the hill-hill thriller was truly worth waiting up for. What would happen next, kept us on the edge of our seats until 3:30 am.
The 363 entries vying for the $16,000 first place prize money had all come down to two: England’s Chris Melling and Canada’s John Morra.
With snooker tour experience, the wise and wily Melling always employed his motto, “When in trouble, stick ’em!”  He certainly utilized it in play today,
Back in the semi’s, Dennis Orcullo got off to an expected lead, At 4-1, his tactics slowed the pace of Melling’s fast and loose shooting style to a standstill. Orcullo was taking more time to rack the racks than he was to run them.
Unintimidated, Chris patiently clawed to get ahead to 8-7. With nothing to shoot at, a snooker exchange ensued.
Ducking and dodging are where Melling excels. Being truly outmaneuvered, Dennis saw his quest for another DCC finals quickly slip away as Chris quietly closed the set, 9-7.
Morro, in semis #2, was up against his nemesis, Shane Van Boening. And, John had a score to settle. Shane had beaten him repeatedly in past encounters, including the DCC 9-Ball Finals in 2014.
Today, John got off to comfortable 3-0 lead. “And the next thing I knew, I was behind 3-5. I thought, I am not going to hand it to him.”
John summoned the Morra mustard and never lost another game: At 9-5, he regained his berth in the Accu-Stats Arena to face Chris.
Chris had begun the day in round 10 by administering a 9-5 battering of Joshua Filler. Morra had drawn a bye.
Melling’s buy-back still intact, he was leading Donny Mills 8-5. Needing only 1, it looked like it was going to stay that way. 
Chris was not familiar with ringer Donny Mills.
Donny has a history of finishing in the money, He fears no one, he revels in devouring champions, which was exactly what he did to Melling, he devoured him.
Chris never did capture that final rack, Donny did. 
Coincidently, with the DCC redraw process, he drew Morra. Donny managed 7.
Morra knew what to expect from Chris’s game plan. The emphasis would be on “when in doubt duck,” lots of hiding whitey, ballbuster shot-making, few misses and, elegant run outs.
And that’s just how the finals started until Chris, with a chance to move ahead at 4-2, missed! John closed out that rack and empowered…ran a six-pack!
Breaking at 8-3, all Morra needed was one more rack. He made a ball! And, missing within an inch of perfect position, he allowed Melling back at the table.
It was like he hadn’t left. From the start he attacked. Ball after ball fell in the hole. 4-8, 5-8, 6-8…
You could see the demons arise in Morra’s demeanor as Melling pummeled away. 
At 7-8 Melling, John got a look at a ball. He wisely, laid a snooker only to have Chris connect and leave him safe. 8-8!
Chris, capitalizing on the final opportunity, and calmly ran the winning rack. Relieved, and probably exhausted, his head fell forward as he took a moment’s rest and let it all sink in: What a deficit he had overcome.
The crowd applauded and yelled, you could tell that they felt empathy for the mild-mannered Canadian with the smooth stroke and impeccable composure.
John sincerely congratulated Chris, “Well played.”
For Melling, who was, incidentally, celebrating his 39th birthday, this was indeed a memorable moment. Not only had he captured one of pool’s most prestigious titles, he had survived 9-days of pool’s most grueling arena. 
Happy birthday to Chris, he earned it. He’ll never forget his performance today, neither will John.
“Somedays, it’s just not to be.” he later commented, philosophically.
Melling, clutching his new crystal obelisk award, has contributed to DCC ’s history, There is a feeling of agelessness when winning a championship, He might honor Jack Benny and remain 39 forever.
Accu-Stats thanks its Arena Sponsors: Diamond Billiards, Simonis Cloth,  Cyclop Balls, Lucasi Custom, MEZZ Cues, McDermott Cues, National Billiard Academy, and Samsara Cues.
Congratulations Greg and Chad at Diamond Billiards for 20 memorable years of DCC! And, thanks to their tournament crew for their contributions to these reports! That’s you, Brett Baker, Bill Stock, Paul Smith, Bonnie and Ric–the used to be Bad Boys of DCC; They’ve been demoted to naughty!
BTW: BadBoys captured alternative matches, featuring the top pros, which will be uploaded next week at for your viewing pleasure.
AND, let’s not forget Accu-Stats. Their DCC Vimeo On Demand Series featuring ALL the TV Table matches will be uploaded, soon.
You can also take advantage of their all-new On-Line Subscription service. 
Visit for more info.
Tell ‘em you read about it on AZB!
It took 2 grand to enter and the man Billy Incardona called, “The greatest bank pool player in the world, Billy Thorpe, outlasted them all.
At $600 a ball, Shawn Murphy was the last man to get massacred.
Jeremy Jones and Corey Deuel hung in there, while past winners, Skyler Woodward and Shannon Daulton, were the first to exit.

Derby City Day Eight – Bustamante Wins One Pocket and Takes Master of the Table Lead

Francisco Bustamante – Photo courtesy of Dave Thomson –

Derby City Classic XX, January 19-27, 2018
LIVE from the Horseshoe Southern Indiana Casino, Elizabeth, IN
Let’s be frank and say it like it is. Francisco Bustamante’s One Pocket game has gotten better. Where has it improved? “I’m more aggressive,” he asserted. “To win, you must put pressure on your opponent.” 
In the opening game of the Final’s, Justin Bergman had made 6 and left the green Cyclop hanging in his pocket. Rather than just give it to him and leave the cue ball snuggled in Bergman’s pocket, the 54-year-old Filipino took on a three rail flier that would either make him or break him.
A stop shot would leave the cue ball in perfect position and allow the opportunity to get at least 4 more, but if he missed, with that dangling orb, Justin was surely out.
The three-railer took off the long rail and swept effortlessly into his pocket. He ran 6 to miss abruptly and they both needing 2.
He actually lost that game but that wasn’t the point. He feels that if he has an opportunity like that and doesn’t take it, that sends a message to the opponent that transfers the power to him. “If I’m gonna win, I win, if I’m gonna lose, I lose.”
Getting so close, also, gave Bustey the impetus to stick with the game plan; Keep applying the pressure.
He never looked back. His run outs were absolutely spectacular, his banking, superb, his defense–when it was the only option–so exceptional that he didn’t lose another game. And, most importantly, it catapulted the two-time Master of the Table into contention for a 3rd with an All-Around point total score of 198.5. 
Obviously disappointed, Bergman had had his best DCC finish yet. Today, he’d beaten past champion, Shannon Daulton, twice! He’d been bounced in and out of the Accu-Stats TV Table to play 9-Ball in the main arena where an additional 20 Diamond Tables were shimmering in a sea of Simonis Blue.
As the One Pocket runner-up and his high finish in Banks plus, his remaining buy-back in 9-Ball, he was looking strong in second place with an All-Around point total of 153.3. 
A quick recap of how we got to the finals would read: Tony Chohan was not intimidated by Kiamko’s earlier, stellar 17 ball run that, incidentally, initiated Bustey’s buy-back. Warren’s buy-back remains intact in the 9-Ball.
Bustey gave DeLuna his marching orders which allowed him to meet Tony in the semi’s #2 which had an interesting incident.
With tight, nip and duck strategy they were a tied at 2, In the deciding rack, Bustamante, aggressive as ever, led 7 balls to 1. Chohan, obviously pressured, needed all of them. Around the 4th ball, he lost his cue ball which headed off the short rail destined for the side pocket.
Sensing a scratch, Bustey, prematurely, sprang out of his seat. With ball-in-hand in the kitchen, he knew that he was surely out and into the finals.
“Oh yeah, Oh yeah,” he yelled, jumping up and down, hands in the air. But wait, whitey swerved slightly and rattled around the rim to settle table-top and leave Tony helpless.
363 entries vying for the $16,000 first place prize money.
The beauty, and blessing, of competing in any event at the Derby City Classic is that even though there are near 4-500 entries in any given division, the odds are that you are not going to draw a champion.
Virtually half the field is composed of B+ players who, by definition, occasionally break and run a rack of 9-Ball. if you can run two, odds are, you’re gonna go far, maybe, get close to the money, Then, if you do lose to a better class of opponent, it becomes mandatory that you use your buy-back privilege to protect your investment.
That’s the blessing, the beauty is that you can draw a Champion, either way, you leave with a tale to tell. Either way, you win.
“That’s the way of the Derby City Classic experience,” said Diamond’s Greg Sullivan, “I want everyone to leave with a story.”
Around 250 9-Ball players have been eliminated and 16 of the remaining 100, or so, are undefeated.
From Kuwait, Omar Al Shaheen, Justin Bergman, Marc Bijsterbosch, Gary Browning, John Brumback, Ruslan Chinakhov, Lee Vann Corteza, Josh Filler. Warren Kiamko, Chris Melling, John Morra, Dennis Orcullo, Alex Pagulayan, Jayson Shaw, and Shane Van Boening.
In summation, a truly International field of pool superstars and those are just the unbeaten. BIG Foot Gomez, Bank Champ Corey Deuel, Mika Immonen, Jeff DeLuna, Shannon Daulton, Jalal Yousif, Rob Saez, Fedor Gorst, John Schmidt, Justin Hall, Brandon Shuff, Ronnie Alcano…the list goes on.
In his match with Oklahoman Chip Compton, England’s Chris Melling put on a snooker clinic. “I didn’t get a look at a ball,” commented Compton.”Chris played great.”
The ladies, including Karen Corr and Loree Jon Hasson, are gone. Karen ran into Evan Lunda and Joey Gray.
What was of note with Loree Jon was that she had drawn Lee Vann Corteza. She was about to tie the match at 7 when she missed the 7. It could have cost her the match
Had she made it, Lee Vann confessed that it would have added serious pressure, “…as I had just came from 2-8 behind to escape the buy-back booth. When I saw how confident Loree Jon was, I started to get shaky. Lucky for me she missed.”
LIVE 9-Ball Play continues at
Accu-Stats thanks its Arena Sponsors: Diamond Billiards, Simonis Cloth, Cyclop Balls, Lucasi Custom, MEZZ Cues, McDermott Cues, National Billiard Academy, and Samsara Cues
The action packed 10-Ball Bank entertainment was in full swing at press time.
Bustamante had entered but, due to his exhausting day, decided to get some sleep and concentrate on his early morning 9-Ball match. He also, wants to protect those All-Around points.
Corey Deuel, Shannon Daulton, Jeremy Jones, Shawn Murphy, Billy Thorpe and Skyler Woodward are “all-in,” 
The 10-Ball Bank Ring Game, hosted by banking living legend, Truman Hogue began at $50 a ball. You can bet that it will be 10 times that by game’s end. We’ll keep you posted on the results, tomorrow,