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Bova and Linares win Big Dawg Scotch Doubles event on Sunshine State Pro Am Tour

(l to r): Bobby Garza, Mike Griffin, Kyle Bova and Raymond Linares

Event donates goods and money to Hurricane Relief effort for Bahamas
It was a previously scheduled event on the Sunshine State Pro Am calendar, which became an opportunity for the Del Rios, owners of Strokers Billiards in Palm Harbor, FL to contribute to the relief efforts organized for the victims of Hurricane Dorian’s wrath in the Bahamas. The $500-added Big Dawg Battle of the Billiards Scotch Doubles event, held on the weekend of September 7-8 drew 29 teams of two to Strokers.
“We had players from all over the state attend,” said co-tour director Janene Phillips. “From Miami to Jacksonville.”
Represented at the event were Stroker’s Bar & Grill, Boulevard Billiards, Uncle Waldo’s, Fat Cats, Rack’s Billiards and Sports Bar, Brewlands and Park Ave Billiards, among others. All responded to a campaign organized by Lyshia Westbrook-Del Rio. A flyer was produced that announced a “Hurricane Dorian Bahamas Disaster Relief” effort, soliciting a variety of non-perishable items, like canned goods, pre-packaged dry goods, toiletries, batteries and flashlights to name just a few. Donations were accepted for a week, and all those who donated were offered a free drink.
“We just happened to have a stop during her crusade,” Phillips explained, “so we wanted to be a part of it.”
“Between the 50/50 and player auction, we were able to donate $321,” she added, “plus all the donations that everyone brought in.”
There was, of course, a pool tournament that went along with all of this activity and it was won by the team of Kyle Bova and Raymond Linares, who went undefeated through the field. They advanced to the hot seat match, defeating Justin McNulty and Rolando Aravena 7 -3.
McNulty and Aravena had sent Bobby Garza and “Iron” Mike Griffin to the loss side in the third round of this event. Garza and Griffin won five on the loss side, that included wins over Sam Kantar and Dave Kennedy, as well as Trey Jankowski and Steve Knoll, both 5-1. They also had a successful 5-3 rematch against McNulty and Aravena in the semifinals that gave them a shot at Bova and Linares in the hot seat.
Bova and Linares, though, completed their undefeated run. They downed Garza and Griffin 7-2 to claim the Big Dawg Battle of the Billiards Scotch Doubles event and contributed to relief efforts for the Bahamas.
Tour directors Janene Phillips and Bobby Garza thanked the Del Rios “for their continuous support and generosity, not only for the pool scene, but for the community, as well.” They also thanked sponsors Predator Cues, Diamond Billiard Products, Kamui, Stitch it to Me Embroidery and Cyclop Pool Balls. The next stop on the Sunshine State Pro Am Tour, scheduled for October 5-6, will be a $1,000-added Amateur event, hosted by Brewlands North in Lakeland, FL.

Kennedy goes undefeated, splits top prize on Sunshine State Pro/Am with Meglino

Anthony Meglino & Tommy Kennedy


Tommy Kennedy and Anthony Meglino have been banging heads on Florida-based (and elsewhere) tours for years. They came together again during the sixth stop on the Sunshine State Pro Am Tour, a $400-added event which drew 35 entrants to CM’s Place Billiards in Seminole, FL on Saturday, June 2. Their one and only match came in the battle for the hot seat, which Kennedy won to complete what turned out to be an undefeated run. They opted out of a final match, when Meglino came back from a win in the semifinals.
Kennedy, after an opening round bye (one of 28), opened his undefeated campaign with a shutout over Michael Esposito, and was then challenged, double hill, by Steve Knoll. Kennedy prevailed, advancing to defeat Trenton White 7-5 and faced another of his long-time opponents, Donnie Mills, in a winners’ side semifinal. Like Kennedy, Meglino was awarded an opening round bye and then shut out his first opponent (Jason Bowen). Meglino, though gave up only two racks over his next two matches (one each to Phillip Trader and Bobby Garza) to draw Mitch Keiser in the other winners’ side semifinal.
Kennedy downed Mills 7-4 and advanced to the hot seat match, where he was joined by Meglino, who’d sent Keiser to the loss side 7-3. Kennedy won what would prove to be their only matchup 7-3 and sat in the hot seat, awaiting the ‘split’ compromise they’d reach later.
On the loss side, Mills picked up Knoll, who, following his defeat at the hands of Kennedy, was in the midst of a four-match streak that included recent wins over Garza and Dale Stanley, both 5-2. Keiser drew James Roberts, who’d been defeated originally by Garza, and was in the midst of his own four-match streak that included wins over Trenton White 6-4 and Nathan Rose 5-3.
Mills and Knoll locked up in a double hill fight that eventually advanced Mills to the quarterfinals. He was joined by Keiser, who’d defeated Roberts 5-3. Mills then defeated Keiser 5-2. Meglino, playing what proved to be the last match of the weekend, downed Mills 5-3. He and Kennedy agreed to the split (with smiles; see photo), leaving the undefeated Kennedy as the event’s official winner.
In addition to payouts for the top eight finishers, Trenton White took home $40 as the event’s top finishing junior player. White finished just out of the money in the tie for 9th place.
Tour directors Janene Phillips and Bobby Garza thanked Jesse Tetrault and his staff at CM’s Place, as well as Johnny Archer, who stopped by to say ‘hello.’ They also thanked sponsors Play The Games Clothing Co., Jacksonville Roofing USA, AZBilliards, and Kamui Tips. The next stop on the Sunshine State Pro Am Tour (#7), scheduled for June 23-24, will be hosted by Boulevard Billiards in Ocala, FL.

Kennedy, Cirilo win 10-Ball Invitational/9-Ball Open events on Sunshine State Pro Am Tour

Mubarak Sulaiman, Obbie Cirilo & Steve Knoll

Tommy Kennedy and Obbie Cirilo claimed respective titles in a two-event weekend – January 13-14 – on the Sunshine State Pro Am Tour. Kennedy won five matches on the loss side to meet and defeat host location owner, Jose Del Rio in Sunday’s 10-Ball Invitational, while Cirilo, who went undefeated, and Mubarak Sulaiman split the top two prizes in Saturday’s 9-Ball Open to avoid a final match that would have commenced in the vicinity of 3 a.m., Sunday morning. The $1,000-added 9-Ball Open event drew 57 entrants, while the $300-added 10-Ball Invitational drew 17 entrants to Stroker’s Bar and Grill in Palm Harbor, FL.


Cirilo and Sulaiman would have met twice in the 9-Ball Open, had they both not opted out of playing a second, final match. Cirilo opened his undefeated run by giving up only two racks over his first two matches; one each to Bill Bloom and Kyle Bova, before Tommy Kennedy put up a fight in a winners’ side quarterfinal. Cirilo won that match 7-5 and drew Bobby Garza in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Sulaiman won his first three matches by an average score of 7-5, which included a double hill win over Donny Mills in the third round, and advanced to a winners’ side semifinal against Steve Knoll.


Sulaiman downed Knoll 7-5, and in the hot seat match, faced Cirilo, who’d sent Garza to the loss side 7-4. Cirilo chalked up what proved to be his last win (7-5) over Sulaiman, and sat in the hot seat, essentially waiting for the decision to opt out of a final match.


On the loss side, Knoll picked up Kennedy, while Garza drew Robert Batson, who’d lost a double hill fight against Knoll in the second round, and was in the midst of a six-match, loss-side winning streak that was about to come to an end.


Knoll eliminated Kennedy 5-3, as Garza ended Batson’s loss-side streak 5-2. Knoll downed Garza 5-3 in the quarterfinals, and then, by the same score, was eliminated by Sulaiman in the semifinals. That, as the saying goes, was all she wrote, as Cirilo and Sulaiman agreed to a split of the top two prizes.


Trenton White and Kodi Allen split $40 as the top two junior finishers in the 9-Ball Open event.


[photo id=48644|align=right]Kennedy wins five on the loss side to meet and defeat DelRio in 10-Ball Invitational finals


Tommy Kennedy played two more matches on the loss side of the 10-Ball Invitational than he had in the previous day’s 9-Ball Open. Those extra two matches put him into the finals, where he downed Jose Del Rio to claim the event title.


Kennedy was defeated 7-2 by Stephen Richmond in the second round of the 10-Ball event, which advanced Richmond to a winners’ side semifinal against Jason Richko. Del Rio drew Dale Stanley in the other winners’ side semifinal. Del Rio survived a double hill battle against Stanley to advance to the hot seat match. He was joined by Richko, who’d sent Richmond west 7-4. Del Rio and Richko battled to a 13th deciding game before Del Rio claimed the hot seat, and waited on the return of Kennedy.

On the loss side, Kennedy opened his trek back to the finals with victories over Tim Parisian and Onur Berber, which set him up to face Stanley. Richmond drew 9-Ball Open winner, Mubarak Sulaiman, who’d gotten by one of the event’s three top-finishing juniors/women (who split $90), Kodi Allen and Donny Mills to reach him.


Kennedy shut Stanley out and in the quarterfinals, faced Sulaiman, who’d eliminated Richmond 6-2. Kennedy then spoiled Sulaiman’s bid for a second runner-up (and possibly more) finish with a 6-4 win in those quarterfinals.


Kennedy gave up only a single rack to Richko in the semifinals and then, with momentum wind at his back, had the audacity to down his host – Stroker’s owner Del Rio – 9-2 in the finals to claim the 10-Ball event title.


Tour directors Janene Phillips and Bobby Garza awarded $90 (total) to the two junior and single female top finisher in the 10-Ball Invitational (Carrie Vetrono, the female, and for the second time, Kodi Allen and Trenton White as the juniors). They thanked Del Rio and his Stroker’s staff for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Kamui, Jacksonville Roofing USA,, AZBilliards and Play the Game Clothing Co. The next stop on the Sunshine State Pro Am Tour, scheduled for the February 10, will be hosted by Waldo’s Billiards in Daytona Beach, FL.

Mills comes back from the loss side to win third stop on the Sunshine State Pro Am Tour

(l to r): Anthony Meglino, Donny Mills, Steve Richmond


Donny Mills and Mike Delawder have faced each other a number of times down in the Sunshine State of Florida, though, pool statistics being what they are, it's hard to know how many exactly. They met again on the weekend of June 24-25 at the third stop on the Sunshine State Pro Am Tour, a $1,000-added event that drew 74 entrants to Stroker's Sports Bar & Grill in Palm Harbor, FL. They met twice, once early and once late, with Delawder winning the first meeting and Mills, after winning nine matches on the loss side, winning the second in the event finals.
Mills and Delawder were both awarded opening round byes and won their first matches; Mills, 7-1 over Jimmy Neutron and Delawder surviving a double hill match against Billy Burke. They met for the first time in the event's third, but their personal second round. Delawder defeated Mills 7-3, downed Kodi Allen 7-2, and defeated Tim Barron 7-4 to draw a winners' side semifinal match versus Anthony Meglino. Steve Richmond, in the meantime, squared off against Nathan Rose in the other winners' side semifinal.
Meglino sent Delawder to the loss side 7-3, and in the hot seat match, faced Richmond, who'd survived a double hill match against Rose. Meglino and Richmond then battled to double hill, before Richmond claimed the hot seat, in what turned out to be his last win of the weekend.
Mills opened his nine-match, loss-side run with a win over Raymond Linares and then downed co-tour director Bobby Garza. He entered the money rounds with a victory over Stephanie Mitchell. He then downed Steve Knoll 7-3 and Tim Barron 7-4 to draw Rose. Delawder drew David Grossman, who'd survived a double hill match versus Han Berber, and eliminated Kyle Bova 7-4.
Delawder downed Grossman 7-3, as Mills was busy eliminating Rose 7-2. For Mills, the long-awaited rematch was at hand. He successfully wreaked his vengeance on Delawder in the quarterfinals 7-3, and then gave up only a single rack defeating Meglino in the semifinals. In an extended race to 11, Mills snatched the title from Richmond in the hot seat 11-5.

Woodward double dips Anderson to win Chinook Winds Open 8-Ball Championships

Skyler Woodward

In many ways, athletes are defined by their opponents. Quality opponents bring out the best in a given player's skills. Skyler Woodward came back from a defeat at the hands of Dennis Orcollo to win three loss-side matches against Shaun Wilkie, Mike Dechaine, and in a re-match, Orcollo. He then double dipped hot seat occupant Taylor Anderson to win the $12,000-added Men's Chinook Winds Open, part of the Western BCA 8-Ball Championships, on the weekend of March 11-13. The event drew 128 entrants to the Chinook Winds Casino Resort in Lincoln City, Oregon.
In the $5,000-added Women's event (separate story), Nicole Keeney successfully thwarted a strong challenge by Mary Coffman to win that title. The women's tournament drew 37 entrants.
In the Open event, Skyler Woodward worked his way through a preliminary bracket, defeating his first four opponents by an aggregate score of 28-8. This advanced him to the winners' side of a final, 16-player bracket. Joining him from the winners' side of the two preliminary brackets were Steve Knoll, Hunter Lombardo, Orcollo, Dechaine, Chris Byers, Anderson and Wilkie. Advancing to the final bracket from the loss side, were Rodney Morris, Rene Rendon, Richard Geiler, John Schmidt, Eddie Carrido, Billy Thorpe, Ernesto Dominguez and last year's champion, Corey Deuel.
In the event's winners' side quarterfinals, Woodward downed Steve Knoll 7-3 and faced Orcollo in a winners' side semifinal. Dechaine and Anderson met in the other semifinal. Orcollo sent Woodward to the loss side 7-3, and in the hot seat match, faced Anderson, who'd defeated Dechaine 7-3. Anderson, who was playing his best against quality opponents, and like Woodward, had defeated Wilkie and Dechaine, went on to defeat Orcollo, as well, 7-5 to claim the hot seat.
On the loss side, Woodward picked up Wilkie, who'd defeated Schmidt 7-2 and Rendon 7-3. Dechaine drew Billy Thorpe, who'd eliminated Knoll 7-2 and survived a double hill match that ousted the defending champ, Deuel. Thorpe came out on the losing side of his second straight double hill match, sending Dechaine to the quarterfinals. Woodward joined him after a 7-5 win over Wilkie.
Woodward took the quarterfinal match over Dechaine 7-5 to earn a semifinal rematch against Orcollo. He defeated Orcollo 7-2 and turned to a double elimination final against Anderson. Woodward forced a case game in the opening set against Anderson, and won it. He took the second set 7-4 to claim the title.

2015 US Bar Table Championships 8-Ball Matches Released on YouTube

CSI is pleased to announce that the 2015 US Bar Table Championships 8-Ball Division matches have been released on the CSI YouTube channel.  Twenty-One (21) matches featuring some of the best players in the world can be viewed in their entirety absolutely free!
The 2015 US Bar Table Championships were held February 16-22, 2015 at the Grand Sierra Resort & Casino in Reno, NV.  The matches were recorded in “The Kamui Arena” with high definition equipment and full-time commentary by Ken Shuman and other special guests. CSI would like to extend a huge THANK YOU to our primary sponsors:
Kamui: “The Official Tip of the 22nd US Bar Table Championships!”
OB: “The Official Cue of the 22nd US Bar Table Championships!”
Below are the matches on this YouTube playlist:
Match 1: Alex Olinger vs Josh Roberts
Match 2: Dan Louie vs Jeremy Sossei
Match 3: Jayson Shaw vs Robb Saez
Match 4: Mark Tadd vs Justin Bergman
Match 5: Rory Hendrickson vs Jeffrey Ignacio
Match 6: Danny Olson vs Tristan Hansen
Match 7: Taylor Hansen vs Liz Lovely
Match 8: Oscar Dominguez vs Tim Baron
Match 9: David Gomez vs Mike Massey
Match 10: Nick Kruger vs Derek Pogirski
Match 11: Justin Bergman vs Josh Roberts
Match 12: Jayson Shaw vs Jeffrey Ignacio
Match 13: Skyler Woodward vs Joven Bustamante
Match 14: Jason Shaw vs Joven Bustamante
Match 15: Scott Frost vs Justin Bergman
Match 16: Shane Van Boening vs Corey Deuel
Match 17: Corey Deuel vs Steve Knoll
Match 18: Jeffrey Ignacio vs Sean McKay (Hot Seat Match)
Match 19: Justin Bergman vs Sean McKay (Semi-Final)
Match 20: Jessica Frideres vs Liz Lovely (Women’s Final)
Match 21: Justin Bergman vs Jeffrey Ignacio (Men’s Final)
2015 US Bar Table Championships 8-Ball Division Playlist: 
CSI YouTube Channel:
Don’t forget to “Subscribe” to the CSI YouTube channel to be notified when we add new content.

2015 PartyPoker Mosconi Cup – Shane and Bergman maintain top spots

Following The Super Billiards Expo 10 Ball Championship which concluded at the weekend, Shane Van Boening maintained his lead at the top of the 2015 PartyPoker USA Mosconi Cup ranking.
Van Boening was the highest placed American, finishing in fourth spot and has now opened up a 23 point lead over his nearest rival, Justin Bergman who kept his second spot with a 17th place finish. Scott Frost, who has yet to compete in a Mosconi Cup, edged his way into the shake-up as he leap-frogged both Jeremy Sossei and Skyler Woodward to claim a tie for second.
The event was won by Dennis Orcollo who beat Scotland's Jayson Shaw in a close run final. Shaw's high finish is another result which boosts his chances of a Team EUROPE wild card when both teams are finalised in October.
With five events now completed, there are four more to be played – the US Open 8 Ball and 10 Ball in Las Vegas in July; Turning Stone in August and the 40th annual US Open in October.
Players who finish in the top 32 in the qualifying events will receive ranking points and there are three categories of tournaments with differing amounts of points awarded accordingly. 
The PartyPoker Mosconi Cup takes place from 7th to 10th December this year at the New Tropicana Las Vegas. Ranking lists will be published on as well as the Facebook and Instagram pages as well as the Twitter feed of the Mosconi Cup.
Tickets for the PartyPoker Mosconi Cup are available exclusively through The New Tropicana Las Vegas. Visit , call 800.829.9034 or purchase in person at the Show Tickets desk.
There is a single session on each day's play and tickets are priced at $43.45 per session plus commission. The popular season tickets covering all four sessions are available for $154 plus commission. All prices include LET.
The Ranking
1 –       Shane Van Boening (SD) – 53
T2 –     Justin Bergman (IL) – 30
T2 –     Scott Frost (AZ) – 30
4 –      Jeremy Sossei (CT) – 29
5 –      Skyler Woodward (KY) – 25
6 –       Corey Deuel (CA) – 24
7 –       Oscar Dominguez (CA) – 19
8 –       Brian Deska (WA) – 15
T9 –     Danny Olson (SD) – 14
T9 –     Steve Knoll (FL) – 14

Nathan Rose Wins Valentines Day Massacre 8-Ball Event

Nathan Rose and Bill Eisenberg

The nineteenth stop on the 2013-2014 Pure X Cues All American Tour stop – presented by the AmericanCueSports Alliance (ACS) – was showcased in the Valentine Day Massacre 8-Ball #5- at Q’s Sports Bar & Girl in Port Charlotte, FL – on Saturday, February 15.  The $500-added, handicapped [Masters racing to 6/ Open racing to 4/Women racing to 3] 8-ball tourney on 7-foot Valley bar boxes drew 37 players from all over southwest Florida. 
The winners-side quarter finals found Steve Knoll [6] (North Port, FL) pitted against Bill Eisenberg [4] of Sarasota, FL.  Eisenberg sent Master Knoll to the one-loss side with a 4-4 victory. Jerry Johnson [4] of Fort Myers, FL was sent to the one loss-side by Master Nathan Rose [6] of Tampa, FL, 6-2.
The one loss side found Knoll against Angel Martinez [6] of Sarasota, FL. Both master players pounded one another with Knoll sending Martinez back north with a 6-4 win. Tim Barron [4] of Sarasota, FL, laid in wait for Jerry Johnson and handled the match with a 4-0 win. This resulted in Barron and Master Steve Knoll fighting for the third place. Barron sent Knoll north to North Port with a tough hill match win of 4-5.
Back on the winners-side finals, Bill Eisenberg was barely overcome by Master Nathan Rose, who won the Rocking Chair position with a 6-3 victory!  The one-loss side pitted Barron and Eisenberg who came south from Sarasota together, concluding with a 4-2 win for Eisenberg.  The finals had undefeated Master Nathan Rose against Bill Eisenberg in the late night battle. Rose demonstrated why he was the Master with a 6-2 finish for the tournament win!  The Purex Cue raffled was won by "Mac”.
By virtue of Nathan Rose also being the highest-finishing ACS member in the event, he qualified for a free 8-Ball singles entry into the 2014 Universal Cues ACS Nationals at the Tropicana Las Vegas – courtesy of the ACS.   The Pure X Cue and Nick Varner case were won by James Hamilton of Port Charlotte, FL.  The ACS wishes to thank sponsors Pure X Cues, Championship Billiard Fabric and Nick Varner Signature Cases for their support in donating “Value-In-Kind” product for this and all stops on the Pure X All American Tour. Sponsorship opportunities and tour stop openings are still available for the 2013/2014 All American Tour by contacting the ACS.
The Tour moves west to Langley OK on the weekend of February 22-23 for a $300-added 8-Ball stop at Rigg’s Saloon (contact Rigg’s at 918-782-2775).  Further information, entry details and schedules for the 2013/2014 Pure X Cues All American Tour are available at 

Werren and Knoll take Amateur and Open events on Poison Pool Tour

Patrick Werren, Tony Crosby and Steve Knoll

Strokers in Palm Harbor, FL welcomed the Poison Pool Tour on June 30-July 2, along with a whole lot of lightning and rain. The amateur event drew 34 players and the Open even drew 19. Patrick Werren posed a threat to both tournaments by winning the Amateur event and taking 2nd in the Open event. Steve Knoll, Florida’s hard courier, decided to put his bricks down for one day and pick up his cue, just to let the young guys like Werren know that he still has what it takes. He won the Open event, defeating Werren in the finals.
In the Amateur event, Werren breezed through the winners' side like it was his job. Taking a first round bye, he posted wins over Rich Johnson 7-4, Chris Gentile (2011 FL State Amateur 9 Ball Champ) 7-4, Gary Gilsinan 7-4, and Marcus Shenandoah 7-2, before meeting Mark Wathen in the hot seat match. Wathen, looking like his usual, strong-playing self, started with a first round bye and then posted wins over Jason Bowen 7-6, Kyle Bova 7-5, Jose Del Rio 7-0, and JD 7-1. The two fought a double hill, hot seat thriller, in which Wathen prevailed
The battle for the west side hot seat was waged between Brett Lykins and Jarred Schlauch. Schlauch, losing to Tim Baron in the 3rd round, took that as motivation to post wins over Bowen 6-5, Jason Richko 6-3, Justin Gilsinian 6-1, Jose Del Rio 6-3, and Rich Johnson 6-4. Lykins took a loss to Johnson in the 2nd round and then fired off wins over Zoran Vidic 6-0, Dave Stem 6-4, Kyle Bova 6-4, Chris Gentile 6-4, Tim Baron 6-4, and JD 6-2.
Schlauch bested Brett Lykins in the quarterfinals 6-4, but had his five-match, loss-side streak snapped by Werren in the semifinals. Werren then took the opening set of the finals, forcing a single rack shootout to determine the Amateur event champion. Werren completed the double dip over Wathen to claim his first Poison Pool Tour Amateur 9-Ball title.
On Sunday, Werren's fortunes were reversed as he advanced to the hot seat, only to be taken down by Steve Knoll in the single-set/single rack finals. Following wins over Jose Del Rio 7-3 and Jon Wing 7-4, Werren met Knoll among the winners' side final eight, and sent him to the loss side, 7-5. In the battle for the hot seat, Werren faced Jason Richko, who arrived having defeated Donny Mills, double hill, Kyle Bova 7-5 and Tim Baron 7-3. Werren gained the hot seat with a 7-3 win over Richko and waited for the return of and rematch against Knoll.
On the west side, Knoll would pick up Kyle Bova who'd put up wins over Tony Crosby 6-5 and Chris Gentile 6-0. Knoll prevailed 6-1 over Bova to meet Paul Mullins in the quarterfinals. Mullins, who took a third round loss to Knoll, had put up wins over Michael Lear 6-2, Jarred Schlauch 6-3 and Tim Baron 6-3 to earn the quarterfinal re-match.
Knoll took that re-match 6-2 for a shot at the waiting Richko in the semifinals. As if trying to say that he doesn't mind not carrying bricks for a day. Knoll took Richko down 6-1 for a chance to deny Werren two straight event wins on the same tour stop.
Werren and Knoll fought to double hill in the opening set of the finals, but Knoll prevailed to force the second set, single-rack shootout. Knoll took a look at an early, but irresistible 2/10 combination, won the rack and claimed his first Poison Pool Tour Open 10-Ball title.
We would like to thank Strokers' room owner, Jose Del Rio, for the great venue and even better hospitality. The staff at the room were exceptional and the food. . . well, it is always something to talk about. Strokers in Palm Harbor will be the feature room for the U.S. Amateur Championship qualifiers and championship rounds.Thank you to Poison Billiards, for whom without this would not be possible. They work hard at improving billiards through technology and style.
Our next event will be held on the weekend of July 27-28 at Hammerheads in Holiday, FL, featuring Diamond tables. To keep in tune with our events go here  – – to join our mailing list and 'Like' us on Facebook to get first-hand updates on the tour.

Steve Knoll Takes The Predator Tour By Storm at Castle Billiards while Jeremy Sossei Takes the Last Open/Pro Stop of the Season

Steve Knoll, Michael Toohig and Rene Villalobos

The Predator Pro-Am Tour’s $1,000 added last stop of the regular 2011 season took place at Castle Billiards in East Rutherford, NJ on November 5-6.

“Castle”, as most players in the area call it, is known for their famous sizzling steak and friendly atmosphere, as well as catering to some of the best pool players in New Jersey.

Forty-five players from around the tri-state area came out to compete in the Amateur 9-ball Event, all looking to end the season on a positive note… and potentially raise their standing in the tour’s end of the year rankings.

Notable amateur players in this event included Noel Bensurto, Lionel Rivera, Gary Murgia, Jack Smith, Daniel Dagotdot, Ariel Rivera, Carl Yusef Khan, John Ortiz, Ed Culhane, and Steve Knoll of Sarasota, FL.

Several players played strong throughout the two-day tournament, but one player showed the most dominance overall. Florida player Steve Knoll is known as being a top amateur player, and proved to be too strong for the competition throughout this weekend.

Steve’s road through the winner’s bracket included wins over Guy Ignonicello 7-5, Christian Smith 7-6, Ed Culhane 7-2, Mike Hertz 8-7, Jack Smith 7-4, Rene Villalobos 10-8 to take the hot seat, and Michael Toohig 10-5 in the finals.

A number of other players also showed a lot of grit in this event, including Jack Smith, Rhio Anne Flores, Gary Murgia, and Rene Villalobos… who were all playing good enough to win, and left it all on the table during their late-event losses.

Michael Toohig was also playing with more swagger and more confidence that I have seen to date on tour. It was a pleasure to watch him dig deep, and come with several wins en route to his strong second place finish.

Amateur Division Final Results:

1st: Steve Knoll – $850
2nd: Michael Toohig – $550
3rd: Rene Villalobos – $400
4th: Gary Murgia – $300
5th/6th: Rhio Ann Flores, Jack Smith – $200
7th/8th: Kapriel Delimelkonoglu, Mike Hertz – $125
9th-12th: Phil Davis, Christian Cabera, Mike Harrington, Tony Ignomirello – $85
The Open/Pro 10-Ball Division featured pro division points leader and Tour Owner Tony Robles and Jeremy Sossei, as well as several up-and-coming players.

New York player Raphael Dabreo, who was ranked #3 in the B+ Class standings prior to this event, was impressive in making a statement with a solid 3rd place finish… but one player was head and shoulders above the rest.

Connecticut pro Jeremy “The Giant Killer” Sossei played superb all day en route to an undefeated win. Jeremy defeated Brian Tierney 8-2, Joe Landi 8-4, Tony Robles 8-1, Raphael DaBreo 8-6 for the hot seat, and Tony Robles 9-8 in the finals.

Both Amateur and Open/Pro tour players will be looking forward to the Predator Tour’s 2011 Finale, which will take place at Raxx Pool Room, Bar & Grill on December 10-11.

Pro Division Final Results:

1st: Jeremy Sossei – $550
2nd: Tony Robles – $350
3rd: Raphael DaBreo – $200