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Rose comes from the loss side to take Sunshine State Predator Pro Am Tour season opener

(l to r): Mike Delawder, Stroker’s owner Jose Del Rio & Nathan Rose

In the 17 years that Nathan Rose has been bringing home cash from mostly Florida-based pool tournaments, he’s had only two years of recorded earnings that were better than his last one, 2018. In 2015, his most productive year, he chalked up a win on the Shark Billiard Tour, was runner-up to Mike Davis at the Starcade Billiards Fall Classic and cashed in four events on the Florida Pool Tour. Eight years earlier, he had a win on the Southeast 9-Ball Tour and cashed in the Seminole Pro Tour, the Steve Mizerak Championship and the Bob Martin Memorial. Last year, he figured in the payouts of five stops on the Sunshine State Pro Am Tour, winning two of them, and taking a trip to the Super Billiards Expo, where he finished third behind Zoren James Aranas and Jorge Rodriguez in the Pro-Am Bar Box Championships. He’s opened his 2019 tournament schedule by winning the season opener on the now-named Sunshine State Predator Pro Am Tour. Mike Delawder defeated him in the hot seat match, but Rose returned from the semifinals to win a double hill final and claim the title. The $1,400-added event drew 69 entrants to Stroker’s Billiards in Palm Harbor, FL.
By the time Rose and Delawder met for the first time in the hot seat match, Delawder had won a single game more than Rose (36-35), but had lost eight more (28-36). Going into the winners’ side semifinals, Delawder had given up 17 racks to his opponents. Rose had given up only 10.
After his victory over Nikilin, Rose advanced to defeat Jarred Schlauch 7-4, Kelly Cavanaugh 7-3, and David Singleton 7-2 to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal match against George Saunders. Delawder got by Stephanie Mitchell 8-3, James Roberts 7-5, Kodi Allen 7-4 and Mitch Keiser 7-5 to pick up Bobby Garza (the tour’s 2018 top-ranked player) in the other winners’ side semifinal.
Rose shut out Saunders, as Delawder was busy downing Garza 7-3. They came into the hot seat match with a 13% difference in their win-percentage; Rose at 77% (thanks in no small part to the shutout over Saunders) and Delawder at 64%. Delawder claimed the hot seat 7-3, narrowing that winning-game gap to 4%; 69% for Rose and 65% for Delawder. As it turned out, that four-point winning-percentage gap would hold through to the end, though both would see their individual percentage drop. Delawder, in the meantime, waited in the hot seat to find that out.
On the loss side, Saunders picked up Mitch Keiser, who, following his defeat at the hands of Delawder, had defeated Carlton Johnson 7-4 and the eventual top junior in the tournament Trenton White 7-2. Garza drew Jarred Schlauch, who, following Delawder’s win over him, embarked on a seven-match, loss-side winning streak that would take him as far as the quarterfinals. He’d most recently eliminated room owner Jose Del Rio 7-4 and Kyle Bova, double hill.
Schlauch downed Garza 7-5 and in the quarterfinals, faced Keiser, who’d defeated Saunders 7-4. Keiser ended Schlauch’s loss-side trip 7-2 in those quarterfinals, and then was defeated himself 7-3 by Rose in the semifinals.
Nathan Rose’s double hill, 9-8, win over Delawder in the finals gave him the event title, though it lowered his win-percentage to 65%. The nine racks scored against Delawder lowered his win-percentage to 61%. If Delawder had dropped the 9-ball, Rose would still have won the winning-percentage contest, but only by a single percentage point (67-66).
In addition to cash prizes awarded to the top 16 finishers, two top-finishing women – Jenn Berzinski and Kelly Cavanaugh (tied) – and the event’s top-finishing junior, Trenton White, took home cash prizes, as well.
Tour directors Janene Phillips and Bobby Garza thanked Jose Del Rio and his Stroker’s staff for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor Predator Cues (to include their donation of promotional items given out at the event), Cyclop Balls, Diamond, AZBilliards and Kamui. The next stop on the Sunshine State Predator Pro Am Tour, scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 2, will be hosted by Brewlands in Tampa, FL. 

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.



Jaared “The Jazz Man” Arosemena joins Team Cyborg

Jaared Arosemena

Jaared Arosemena is no stranger to the music world.  With 5 internationally released albums to his name under the name "Jaared", Jaared has received numerous musical accolades.  With a "Best New Saxophonist Artist" nomination at the 2002 Smooth Jazz Awards, and also a five time pre-nominated Grammy Artist, Jaared caught the attention of not only millions of fans world wide, but also some of the industry's top artists.  Jaared has performed with such notable names as Stevie Wonder, Robin Thicke, Angela Bofill, Freeda Payne, FrEddie Jackson, Robbie Dupree, Junior Marvin, and Martha Reeves just to name a few.  Jaared has also had television experience when he was the leader of a band for the popular "8101 Talk Show", which interviewed many famous names such as Manheim Steamroller and Patti Austin.


What you may not know about Jaared is that he is also an Open Pro Pool Player.  Jaared's love for the sport of pocket billiards started at the age of 8 thanks largely in part to his grandfather who is still to this day, a very talented One Pocket player at the young age of 91.  Jaared recalls seeing Steve Mizerak in a Miller Light Beer commercial back in the late 70's.  He loved that Steve was "just showing off" in the commercial, and from that point, became a huge Steve Mizerak fan.  It was following his pool playing idol that changed his pool life forever, when in 1983, he saw an ESPN televised 9 ball event at Caesar's Lake Tahoe, pitting his idol against a pool player he'd never heard of…a 22 year old player named Earl "Little Earl" Strickland.  Jaared recalls, "I had NEVER seen pool played that beautifully"…however, he wasn't talking about "The Miz"!   From that day in 1983, to this very day, Jaared has been Earl "The Pearl" Strickland's #1 dedicated fan.  But it wasn't until 30 years later, and after a very successful musical career, that Jaared had the opportunity to meet his longtime idol  at the 2013 US Open.  Jaared met Earl's friend Larry Ross and struck up a conversation. "The conversation", Jaared explains, "was simply to meet Earl Strickland".  Jaared, whimsically says to Mr. Ross, "I wish I could learn the sport from Earl", to which Mr. Ross said, "You can!  Earl gives lessons out of Steinway Billiards in Astoria Queens, NY.".  That was the day that changed Jaared's pool playing life forever.  Jaared immediately started taking monthly lessons from "The Pearl", and he hasn't looked back!  Jaared is also a huge supporter of this great sport.  Because of that, Jaared has had the opportunity to meet a majority of his pool playing pro favorites and commentators, and has performed and co-commentated at the 2015 US Open, and has co-commentated with his good friend UpState Al at the 2016 Super Billiards Expo.  It was UpState Al who gave Jaared his pool moniker "The Jazz Man".   Because of The Jazz Man's continued support of the sport, Jaared caught the eye of Joel Garrison on Facebook.  Jaared was explaining to a forum member about the qualities of a Low Deflection Shaft, when Mr. Garrison reached out to him.  Ever since that fateful night, Jaared and Joel have worked together to help spread the word about ON Tips Cyborg.  However, it has only been recently that The Jazz Man's strong game has been noticed.  With the teaming of Jaared "The Jazz Man" Arosemena  and #TeamCyborg, this team is sure to hit the right notes together

Oliver Ortmann and Charles Ursitti Earn Enshrinement in Billiard Congress of America Hall of Fame

Oliver Ortmann and Charles Ursitti

Two trailblazers in the pool world have earned election into the Billiard Congress of America Hall of Fame in 2015. Former world champion Oliver Ortmann of Germany and pool promoter/historian Charles Ursitti will be inducted as the 65th and 66th members of the sport's hall of fame, the United States Billiard Media Association announced today.
Ortmann, 48, of Hamburg, will enter the Greatest Players wing of the BCA Hall of Fame, while Ursitti, 68, who was born in New York City and now resides in Florida, will be honored for Meritorious Service. Both will be formally inducted during ceremonies on Oct. 29, 2015, at the Sheraton Norfolk Waterside in Norfolk, Va.
One of the most decorated players in Europe, Ortmann led the way for European players in the United States by scoring a shocking win over pool legend Steve Mizerak in the final of the 1989 BCA U.S. Open 14.1 Championship in Chicago. Ortmann went on to win the 1993 BCA U.S. Open, as well as three World Pool-Billiard Association world titles – the 1993 WPA World 9-Ball Championship and the WPA World 14.1 Championship in 2007 and 2010. The fiery Ortmann twice won the International Challenge of Champions (1997 and 2000), and captained Team EUROPE's winning Mosconi Cup squad in 2002. He also holds 14 European Pool Championship gold medals, 13 Euro Tour titles and was three-time European Player of the Year.
"This is a great surprise to me," Ortmann said, after being notified of his election. "It's great news. To be honest, I had stopped thinking about the hall of fame. Many years ago I thought it was possible, but after years went by, I thought my time had passed."
Ursitti's career in billiard promotions began when he teamed with boxing promoter Big Fights, Inc., to produce the first-ever meeting of pool legends Willie Mosconi and "Minnesota Fats" in the "Great Pool Shootout." The 1978 ABC-TV Wide World of Sports production drew more than 10 million television viewers, and remains the most watched pool match ever aired in the U.S. Ursitti went on to promote televised matches between Fats and Mosconi, eventually introducing modern day players like Allen Hopkins and Steve Mizerak into the productions. A seven-year run with CBS Sports Spectacular created opportunities to add more pro players, as well as female stars Jean Balukas and Loree Jon Ogonowski (Hasson). Ursitti was responsible for pool's initial forays onto cable giant ESPN, where he promoted the "King of the Hill" series and the "Legends of Pocket Billiards" series.
In addition to being a promoter, Ursitti researched and created a database documenting the history of competitive pool and three-cushion billiards in the U.S., chronicling the sport from 1878 to present day. The database is available online for free at
"Needless to say, I'm thrilled to be elected into the BCA Hall of Fame," Ursitti said. "When I was first introduced to pocket billiards in 1976, I never dreamed of someday joining the greatest of the great. I consider myself really lucky with all of my promotions, and was honored to work with the legends of the sport, from Willie and Fats, Irving Crane and Jimmy Caras, to Mizerak, Hopkins, Mike Sigel, Jimmy Rempe and the rest. It has been a great trip, and I will cherish that forever."
Voting for the 2015 BCA Hall of Fame was conducted by the USBMA Hall of Fame Board, which consists of USBMA members, elected At-Large members and living members of the BCA Hall of Fame. Induction into the Greatest Players category is awarded to the player named on the most ballots. To be eligible for consideration in the Greatest Players category, a player a) must be 40 years old by Jan. 1 of the year of their induction; b) must have a professional playing career of at least 10 years; and c) must have recorded significant achievements in U.S.-based events.
A special Meritorious Service Committee recommends a person for consideration by the Hall of Fame Board. Induction into the Meritorious Service category is achieved if more than 50 percent of the Hall of Fame Board votes in favor of the candidate.
Ortmann, in his eighth year of eligibility, was named on 60 percent of the ballots, edging out fellow pros Gerda Hofstatter (44 percent) and Kim Davenport (37 percent). Belinda Calhoun, Shannon Daulton, Mary Kenniston, Rodney Morris and Vivian Villarreal each received votes on fewer than 25 percent of the ballots.


Appleton Looks Primed to Defend: Hohmann & Van Boening Collision Course at World 14.1

Corey Deuel eliminated last year’s semi-finalist Eberle in three innings. (Photo – Eli Ceballos)

New York City, NY –  Only the best of the best are left. Day 4 & 5 saw many champions laid to the wayside as the cream is quickly rising to the top at the Andy Cloth World Tournament of 14.1 . Van Boening crushed Danny Harriman while Appleton proved to Immonen his 14.1 prowess. A who's who of world class players are in attendance to etch their name into history's elite of the father of all pool games. Darren Appleton, Thorsten Hohmann, Stephan Cohen, Shane Van Boening, Johnny Archer, Earl Strickland, Mika Immonen, Tony Robles and many, many more. The main event will take place once more in New York City. As usual, a star studded field is expected this year at Steinway Billiards Cafe, who is once more hosting this world class event. The World Tournament Official Equipment include Viking Cue with all matches played on Andy Cloth. Event partners include Mr.Tom Gleich, Dr. Gregory Diehl, Mr. Greg Hunt of Amsterdam Billiards, & Mr. Jim Gottier of Greenleaf's Pool Room. Patron sponsors include Mr. Harold Siegel of Excelsior Graphics, Dr. James Heller, Mr. Charles Eames of Charles Eames Photography, Frank Scharbach of Frank's Billard Cafe, Focused Apparel and the National Amateur Pool League. 
The World Tournament will be live streamed on AZBTV , order by going to . Official media partners are , Pool & Billiard Magazine, & tech support by Gotham City Technologies. 
Complete group schedule at for all matches. Tickets to watch live in person sold on site.
Dennis Orcullo looked like the Asian to beat after his 152 & out high run record against Roberto Gomez in the final 32. And though Hohmann had struggled in the event with already one loss and a couple close calls, he looked more like himself in this match as he manhandled Orcullo 200-105. Harriman had done well in the event especially with a strong win over Cohen of France, but he was helpless against Van Boening after SVB took over with another 100+ ball run.
Shaun Wilkie was trying to shake off his series of 9th place finishes but a poor match from him and Wirsbitzki ended with Reiner on top 200-133 and Shaun having to wait another year. Strickland demolished Archer in the legends battle 200-43 after Earl ran a 126. Deuel gave Eberle no chances in a 200-31 rout which saw Deuel run 100 balls and 90 to win the match in 3 innings.
Kiamco played his weakest match thus far giving Lombardo chances that he couldn't take over. Kiamco wins 200-104 but a first time top 16 finish for Lombardo is encouraging. Filler of Germany destroyed Shaw of Scotland 200-80 in the battle of the young guns. Shaw had defeated Filler early in the event round robin. 
In the final marquee match, two world champions faced each other for the upteenth time. Mika took a lead early in the match with a 80 ball run, but it was not enough as Appleton came back with a 96 ball &out win. 
Kiamco makes his second quarters appearance while Hohmann makes his 5th.
Appleton will make his 4th consecutive quarter-finals appearance looking to be the first player to defend the World 14.1 crown since Steve Mizerak in the 1980's. 

Jeanette Lee to Play 14.1 in the ANDY CLOTH World Tournament

Jeanette Lee

The most recognized billiards player in the world will be heading to the streets of New York City to participate in the  ANDY CLOTH 74th World Tournament of 14.1 ! Jeanette Lee, aka "The Black Widow", will appear at Steinway Billiards Cafe starting on August 4th against a field of 47 men professionals where she will be the sole female competitor. Jeanette will play some of the best players the game has to offer and her entrance will just make the competition even tougher. Some of her opponents will include France's Stephan Cohen, World 14.1 Champion John Schmidt, Filipino champ Warren Kiamco and many more. World renown ANDY CLOTH is now the title sponsor as well as the Official Cloth of the straight pool extravaganza.  The ANDY CLOTH World Tournament takes place on August 4th-9th and is sponsored by Andy Cloth, Kamui Brands, OB Cues, Amsterdam Billiard Club,, Pool & Billiard Magazine , and George Beckman Kinetic Sculptures. Official patron 14.1 aficionados are Stu Mattana, Tom Gleich, Harold Siegel, and Dr. Greg Diehl Plastic Surgery. The World Tournament of 14.1 is presented by Dr. Michael Fedak and produced by Dragon Promotions.  
“Straight pool is definitely my favorite game to play. It has a good balance of ball pocketing, strategy and artistry. I love it!” says Lee. Known for her sex appeal and 
deadly accuracy with a pool cue, Jeanette will undoubtedly be able to hold her own. Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Jeanette is quite fond of the city she grew up in. Lee confessed that she was lucky to have fallen in love with the sport in the city she loves. Jeanette acknowledged that “being from New York I had access to great players and great competition. There was also some sort of tournament every day of the week that I could compete in.” 
When asked how it feels to play in the world's oldest, most traditional championship in billiards, The Black Widow joyously expressed her excitement. “It has been years since I’ve played in the World 14.1. I know there’s going be a tough field, but I'm going to enjoy the experience and hopefully finish well in the tournament. It will also be nice catching up with my old friends and family"
Unlike most sports, billiards can be played in multiple fashions. The ANDY CLOTH World Tournament is a straight pool tournament where most of the competitors will be men. However, the Black Widow is no dummy when it comes to " breaking balls" and never shies away from hard-nosed challenges.
"It's thrilling for Andy Cloth to elevate our sponsorship to spearhead the World Tournament name. And knowing that the Black Widow is going to be playing against all the biggest male names in pool just makes this all even more exciting!", said Ed J. Glode, President of Andy Cloth USA.
Pool fans are also invited to have dinner with the world's greatest players at the 4th Annual 14.1 Straight Pool Hall of Fame Banquet on August 6th. The Straight Pool Hall of Fame Induction videos will be produced by Jerry Tarantola of and Ron Mason of .  The Hall of Fame ceremonies will be streamed online for free on Ustream by Upstate Al of AZBtv. 
Jeanette Lee is truly a living icon in her respected sport. Last year the Black Widow became a bonafide legend when she was inducted into both the Women’s Professional Billiards Association (WPBA) and the BCA Hall of Fame. Jeanette’s name will forever be written in the stars along side other pioneers of the game such as Willie Mosconi, Minnesota Fats, and Steve Mizerak. She is also actively trying to grow the sport with her new initiatives. She explains, “I am having a Black Widow Juniors Camp next year where the top billiard players mentor the top junior players both on and off the pool table. Our goal is to teach vital life lessons that they can use outside of playing pool, develop their game, and create a bond between our youth and our world champions.”
Lee totally redefines the term “play like a girl” . A world champion and Hall of Famer,  Jeanette is a fierce competitor wearing many hats. But the biggest name in billiards still makes times to cook dinner and tuck her kids in for bedtime.
To get the latest news and pictures of what Jeanette is up to make sure you follow and  &  &
Fans can buy tickets at the door, and tickets for the Hall of fame 14.1 Banquet in advance for $55 by going to  . The dinner includes a 5 course meal and beverages as well as seating next to the stars of billiards. For $141 you can also join the Elite Members of the 141 Club on the same link.
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The 4th Annual 14.1 Straight Pool Hall of Fame

New York City – Pool fans are invited to have dinner with the world's greatest players at the 4th Annual 14.1 Straight Pool Hall of Fame Banquet. The special event takes place at 7:30pm on August 6th, 2014 at Steinway Billiards Cafe during the 74th World Tournament of 14.1. It will be a star studded gala with billiard super stars such as Mika Immonen, Shane Van Boening, John Schmidt, Stephan Cohen, Johnny Archer, Darren Appleton & many more with Charlie Williams as the event MC. The World Tournament takes place on August 4th-9th and is sponsored by Andy Cloth, Kamui Brands, OB Cues, Amsterdam Billiard Club,, and Pool & Billiard Magazine. Official patron 14.1 aficionados are Stu Mattana, Tom Gleich, Harold Siegel. The 14.1 Hall of Fame Banquet is presented by Dr. Michael Fedak and produced by Dragon Promotions.
"Every year the Straight Pool Hall of Fame sells out with over a hundred people attending. It's a classy, entertaining, and emotional celebration of the greats of the sport", says Cindy Lee, CEO of Dragon Promotions. 
The Straight Pool Hall of Fame Induction videos will be produced by and .  The Hall of Fame ceremonies will be streamed online for free on Ustream by Upstate Al of AZBtv. 
Past inductees include live inductions of Ray Martin, Jerome Keough, Jack Colavita, Danny Diliberto, Oliver Ortmann, Gene Nagy. Group inductions by decades include 14.1 Hall of Famer legends Ralph Greenleaf, Frank Taberski, Erwin Rudolph, Jimmy Caras, Andrew Ponzi, Thomas Hueston, Alfredo de Oro. 
To vote, please send in your choice at . This year's nominees on the ballot include: 
Jim Rempe, -Born in 1947, in Scranton, Pennsylvania, US)- Rempe began playing pool at the age of 6. he turned pro at the age of 22, winning over 100 major championships, and taking 11 world titles, including the World Straight Pool Championship, WPA World Nine-ball Championship, the World One-pocket Championship, All-Around World Championship and, later, the Mizerak Senior Tour. Rempe won 3 US 14.1 Masters Championships, 1973 NY State 14.1, the US Open 9-Ball, and 4 World 9-Ball titles. He accumulated 23 tournament wins between 1972 and 1978, more than any other pool player in the world, thus acquiring the nickname "King James"
Allen Hopkins- Born in 1951, Elizabeth, New Jersey) He promotes multiple annual pool events and still competes as a professional contender. Known for playing all games on a world class level, World Open 14.1 Champion, 1977 ,US Open Nine-ball Champion, 1977, PPPA World Nine-ball Champion, 1977, PPPA World Nine-ball Champion, 1979. 
Hopkins created and still produces the Super Billiards Expo for the past 20+ years.
Lou Butera- (born 1937 in Pittston, Pennsylvania) , Butera won the 1973 World 14.1 Championship defeating legendary Irving Crane, as well as runner-up in the World 14.1 in 1972. His nickname, "Machine Gun Lou", derives from his stunning the crowd and fellow competitors by running 150-and-out in straight pool in 21 minutes against Allen Hopkins in 1973. He gained exposure to the masses in 1981 and 1982 when he appeared in network trick shot competitions on CBS and ABC.
Nick Varner – Born 1948 n May 15, in Owensboro, Kentucky – Varner gained notoriety on the professional pool scene after he won two ACU-I Intercollegiate Championships while attending Purdue University. A cliché given to Varner was "Speak softly and carry a big stick" because of the way he conducted himself as well as his competitive endeavors. In 1989, Varner became only the second man to earn over $100,000 in prize winnings accumulating 16 major nine-ball events and was "Player of the Year" in 1980 and 1989. 
Frank "Sailor" Stellman – From Racine, Wisconsin born in 1927. Legend in the midwest, taught and influenced many 14.1 players and groomed over a dozen 100 ball runners. Organized Wisconsin's first state 9-Ball tournaments for men and women; He was the technical host for a weekly TV pool show. He has given numerous pool seminars usually free of charge. Frank's second year on the 14.1 HOF ballot
Tom Jennings,- A mathematics professor, Jennings was still able to find time to play pro calibre pool and in 1976 and 1977, he won back-to-back US Open 14.1 Pocket Billiards Championships, being the first player since Steve Mizerak to win consecutive championships. He won both titles while also a full-time mathematics professor at Middlesex County College in New Jersey.
Fans can buy tickets in advance for $55 by going to  . The dinner includes a 5 course meal and beverages as well as seating next to the stars of billiards. For $141 you can also join the Elite Members of the 141 Club on the same link.
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Oliver Ortmann Inducted into the Straight Pool Hall of Fame: Gene Nagy Honorary Induction

Oliver Ortmann

New York City, New York-  One of the most decorated European players in the history of pocket billiards will finally be inducted into a Hall of Fame this year. Germany's Oliver Ortmann will be inducted to the Straight Pool Hall of Fame along with New York City's legendary Gene Nagy. The banquet will be held at Steinway Billiards on August 21, 2013 in the middle portion of the 73rd Olhausen World Tournament. The world's oldest pool tournament, the Olhausen 73rd World Tournament of 14.1 is produced by Dragon Promotions and Dr. Michael Fedak which will bring another globally star studded field at this year's show in New York on August 19th-24th,2013.  Through additional support from such sponsors such as Olhausen Tables, Championship Cloth, Aramith Balls, Amsterdam Billiards, Pool & Billiard Magazine, Master Chalk, and FURY Cues, the absolute best pool players from around the world will arrive on the birth country of 14.1 once more to attend this prestigious event. All to vie for the coveted title of greatest straight pool player in the world.

Ortmann received over 50% of the votes in the Greatest Player Category while Nagy edged out Frank Stellman and George SanSouci for the Unsung Hero Category.
Oliver Ortmann burst onto the international pool scene at the tender age of 22 when he defeated heavily favored Steve Mizerak in the finals of the US Open 14.1 in 1989. He became the first European to ever win a major title on US soil. He would repeat this feat again in the 1993 US Open 14.1.  In 1995, showing his versatility, Ortmann won the World 9-Ball Championship. He would go on to win numerous major 8-Ball and 9-Ball titles. Then in 2002, he was named the Captain of the European Team for Mosconi Cup and he led them to victory, stopping a major losing drought for Europe against the USA. In 2007, Ortmann gained prominence again as he was crowned the greatest straight pool player in the world when he won the World Tournament. In 2010 he again won the World Tournament, establishing himself as the only European to win 3 World Championship titles.
"Mosconi played great, but he would not have been able to withstand Oliver Ortmann", said Danny Diliberto, celebrated 14.1 commentator and Hall of Famer himself.
"It would be a great honor for me to be one day inducted into the Straight Pool Hall of Fame with the greatest players in straight pool", said Ortmann in 2011. Now his wish has come true.
Fans can attend the 14.1 Hall of Fame Banquet and buy tickets at Steinway Billiards for $55 per person. This includes a Mediterranean style dinner, dessert, and all you can drink alcohol and refreshments. Video presentations will be by Jerry Tarantola and
Guest speakers will include John Schmidt, Thorsten Hohmann, Tony Robles, and MC by Charlie Williams


Eugene "Gene" Nagy was born in 1946, and became a avid student of 14.1. Though never rising to huge prominence in the pool world, he was revered as a legend of 14.1 in New York City. He was a straight pool phenom who holds a personal record of running 430 consecutive balls, and has run 200 balls over 20 times in his life. He has run 150 and out on Irving Crane at the World Tournament, and has battled with many of the greats in the game. Nagy never strayed far from his home in Queens, NY, but as a renowned instructor players flocked to him for his knowledge. Notable students included Jeanette Lee, Tony Robles, and NYCGrind's Jerry Tarantola. Nagy passed away in 2006. 
"Gene was also a very good archer, kite flyer, and played trumpet at Julliard School of Music. In straight pool he was a phenomenal shotmaker and played pristine position. He was constantly experimenting, and some of his ideas were pretty unorthodox. But I saw him on occasion pick up a house cue and run 200 balls. A player could learn a whole lot from him. I certainly learned alot just by watching him." said Danny Barouty, renown 14.1 player and a quarter-finalist at the World Tournament.
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Vendor spaces are also available, for more information on player registration, sponsorship, or if you would like to submit a comment, please email or contact Dragon Promotions at 1-407-782-4978. Full event info is at
Join the 141 Club ! Limited to the first 141 members. Visit  Tickets will be sold at the door during the event. Sponsors and private contributors can still join this year's event. Final added money and fundraising for the 3rd Annual Straight Pool Hall of Fame are still being generated. To help be a part of this treasured event, please contact Dragon Promotions and join the 141 Club.


Danny Diliberto and Jack Colavito Into Straight Pool Hall of Fame

Queens, New York –  Former World All Around Champion and straight pool legend Danny Diliberto and 5x New Jersey State 14.1 Champion “Gentleman Jack” Jack Colavita will be inducted into this year’s Straight Pool Hall of Fame . Both players have had a long fruitful career in 14.1 accomplishments and both became huge influences on the promotions of the game as well. The 77 year old Diliberto will be dusting off his pool cue and participating in the 72nd Predator World Tournament of 14.1 as the honorary inductee , while Colavita will be honored throughout the week as well posthumously. World Champions from 1912 on through the earlier decades of 14.1 history will also be included and recognized as a group. The induction dinner ceremony will take place August 1st ,2012 at 5pm at Linden Place Banquet Hall adjacent to Carom Cafe which is hosting the Predator World Tournament. Special 14.1 Hall of Fame video presentations will be presented by’s founder Jerry Tarantola. The World Tournament will pause for a long dinner break in honor of the ceremony during the fourth day of competition so all the players and fans can join.  

Fans will be in for a rare treat as they watch pool’s favorite 14.1 commentator play in his first World 14.1 in 30 years! The last big straight pool tourney Danny Diliberto played was in 1989 in Chicago only 23 years ago. “I’ll never forget that tournament. They had a $3500 bonus for running 150 & out, and I was playing Varner and ran a 95 and I knew I was going to get that money, then a ball skidded on me!”

Diliberto has become a staple for Accu-Stats, the premiere pool video company in the industry. Danny’s expert commentary and insight has influenced thousands of players worldwide. Diliberto was on the ballot where fans voted along with other top nominees that included Oliver Ortmann, Dallas West, Lou Butera, and Gene Nagy.

“It’s really an honor to be elected in with greats like Ray Martin and Jack Colavita. I’m really looking forward to the event and also playing. I haven’t played straight pool in years, but I’m going to be hitting balls before the World Tournament. Don’t worry I still know how to play!”  said Diliberto. Danny was the prestigious World All Around Champion of the legendary Johnston City events back in 1972 and runner-up to the late Steve Mizerak at the 1982 World 14.1 Championship. Diliberto was also the recipient of the BCA Hall of Fame last year.
“I’m really happy for Jack Colavita and his family. He was a great player, but above that he was a great person. I miss him.”

New Jersey’s Jack Colavita received the lead votes to be elected into the unsung heroes part of the 14.1 Hall of Fame. Colavita was a stone cold legend in the Northeast and was one of the dominant forces of 14.1 in New Jersey during the days of giants such as Steve Mizerak, Ray Martin, and many other notables. Jack won the New Jersey State 14.1 Championships 5 times and the New York State 14.1 Championship 3 times. He also got 3rd at the US 14.1 Open. Later in life, he was a big proponent and helper of the revived New Jersey State 14.1 Championship, before passing away at age 73.

“Jack was one of the greats because he really played the game the right way. He was also a strong 9-Ball player and was super at roll out 9-Ball because he was a great shotmaker. Back in those days, we sometimes played 1000 point matches in blocks over a few days. I remember one of those times Jack ran four consecutive 100 ball runs on me. He was just raining in 100’s ! When he was on, he was a machine and no one played it prettier. He was phenomenal”, said Allen Hopkins, World and US Open Champion in 9-Ball and 14.1.

“Colavita used to win the New Jersey 14.1 Championships back when the field was the same as a World Championship”, said NYC great Danny Barouty.

“It was incredible because Jack didn’t even play on the tour. He had a full time job 5 days a week and a family”, said Pat Fleming, Founder of Accu-Stats.

“There were many factors on why we decided to start the Straight Pool Hall of Fame. We wanted to honor not only obvious choices, but to remember great players that are still alive and remind them that they are not forgotten. They are living treasures of the sport. Also, we wanted to recognize those who may not receive recognition elsewhere, but were huge parts of 14.1 history”, said Charlie Williams, Founder of Dragon Promotions.
“Last year’s Straight Pool Hall of Fame was sold-out with over 100 people and we couldn’t believe the terrific response. My own staff had to stand and give up our seats to some desperate fans that wanted to get in to watch. Luckily we still managed to find some dinner!” said Cindy Lee, CEO of Dragon Promotions.

Fans can buy tickets in advance by going to  

Guest speakers at the dinner banquet on August 1st  will include several speakers including former World Champions Stephan Cohen, Allen Hopkins, and of course Danny Diliberto . The 14.1 Hall of Fame events will also include video presentations by’s Jerry Tarantola. Charlie Williams will MC the evening’s festivities.
Danny Diliberto still plays pool and continues to teach players today. The renowned instructor and many times champion can be reached for lessons or appearances at 1-(954)- 665- 5978
Good luck to Danny Diliberto going for the World Tournament title at the prime age of 77!

Venue and Hotel: Host location: Carom Café – 3402 Linden Place – Flushing NY 11354 (718) 358-5467
Sheraton LaGuardia East Hotel 135-20 39th Ave, Flushing New York 11354 (718)460-6666
Group Code: Dragon Promotions Group Rate $169

The 2012 Predator World Tournament is proudly co-sponsored by Championship Cloth, Olhausen Tables, Amsterdam Billiards, Aramith Balls, Pool & Billiard Magazine, Kamui Brand, and straight pool aficionados Dr.Louis Pannullo of NYC, Stu Mattana of NYC, Ralph Rubin of MD, and Tom Gleich of NC. Co-contributors Dr.James Heller and Charles Eames. For more information on player registration, sponsorship, or if you would like to submit a comment, please email or contact Dragon Promotions at 1-407-782-4978.
Full event info is now at and more info on

Conrad Burkman – The Man Who Has Seen It All

Conrad working hard at the 2004 Glass City Open

With his seventieth birthday recently eclipsed, Conrad Burkman has cemented his place as the elder statesman of pool. The long-time publisher of The National Billiard News has been deeply involved in the pocket table games for well over forty years and his memories over that time are priceless.

We recently had a conversation with Mr. Burkman that point out the sources of his expertise and highlight the depth of his experience. Our first question was a query as to how he had first become immersed in the game.

"My first involvement with the game was back in the early sixties when I began playing in a local pool league. I played out of Cushion and Cue in Livonia in a league owned by Ray Abrams. One of the drills with this league was that you were required to help referee his yearly pro tournament, The Motor City Open. Ray owned three poolrooms at the time, Livonia, Oak Park and Allen Park.

"Our league played Straight Pool and the Motor City Open was a Straight Pool tournament, so it was kind of a natural and easy thing for us to do. I did my bit there and there was a fellow watching named Joe Farhat from Lansing and he owned a room called The Velvet Rail. Joe thought I was a pretty good referee so he asked me for my help with the State tournament. It seemed like a pretty good gig so I said, 'Sure, I'll come up'.

"The next year the US Open (Straight Pool) was going to be in Lansing. I agreed to referee there and the very first match I drew was between Irving Crane and Joe Balsis. I was scared to death. Here were two of the legends of the game and I had to go make calls on them. But after the match was over Crane walked over to Bob Freshley (Tournament Director) and said: "I want that fellow to referee all of my matches. He's the best referee I've seen in years".

"As it turned out, Balsis and Crane met again in the finals. The finals were televised on local TV and that was my first time to ref a televised match. The next year the US Open was held in Las Vegas at the Sahara and ABC's Wide World of Sports was televising it nationally. They were looking around for someone with TV experience to do the refereeing. I volunteered that I had that experience, left out the little bit about it being local, and got chosen to be the TV ref. From there the refereeing just snowballed and before I knew it I was the BCA Head Referee.

We asked Conrad what matches he had officiated over the years that really stood out in his memory. He mentioned three. "One was between Jim Rempe and Joe Balsis. Rempe was playing masterfully, running out, and he got to where he only needed one more ball to win the match. He chose the nine ball in the side pocket and played some draw on the ball to leave Balsis safe in case the shot missed. He did miss the shot and Balsis wasn't left safe enough. Joe ran 47 and out on him to win 150-149! Jimmy didn't recover from that loss for years.

"Another interesting match was one between Joe Balsis and Steve Mizerak. Again, this was in the finals and ABC's Wide World of Sports was televising the match. Keith Jackson was the sportscaster and Willie Mosconi was his color man. Mizerak had a shot where he was jacked up over a ball to try a really tough shot into the corner pocket. He made the shot, but the cue ball backed up and hit the ferrule of his cue. I called the foul while the crowd was still shouting and applauding the shot. I had to yell 'foul' three times before Mizerak could hear me over the noise. Of course, Balsis had seen the foul as well and he was already halfway to the table before the ball ever fell. Steve knew he had fouled and never argued a bit, just went over to his chair and sat down.

"Mosconi, on the air, says: "Oh, that is so unfortunate. That referee has just cost Mizerak the match." As it turned out, Mosconi was twice wrong. First, Mizerak wound up winning anyway. And right after the match concluded Keith Jackson came running out and said he wanted to interview me on the 'controversial' call. And I said "What? I didn't make any controversial calls." Which is when Jackson told me that Mosconi had told the world that I had made a bad call on a perfectly legal shot!

"My first reply was: "Well maybe that's why he's sitting back there and not playing anymore." I mean, this got me hot. I knew the call was good and so did the players. So we went back into the TV booth and they began showing the shot on replay. They had to slow it down to where it was nearly stop-frame, but the foul showed up clearly. The cue ball crawled nearly half an inch up the ferrule and you could see it. Keith Jackson apologized to me, but Willy never did."

But the crowning story from Conrad has to be the one that involved a wild-west style of gunfight. Conrad had agreed to direct a tournament in Joe Burn's poolroom, Forest Park Billiards, in Dayton, Ohio. The room was under a shopping center, in the solid concrete basement of the center. Conrad picks up the tale: "I didn't want to work the tournament so I tried to price my way out of it. When Burns, who co-promoted the tournament with Billy Stroud, contacted me to hire me I told him I needed three grand to do the tournament. This was a three-week affair but I knew that figure would keep me out of it. Burns looked at me and said: "OK, You got it."

"Which sprung a trap on me I tried to elude by quickly adding: "Wait, I'm not done yet. I also need all my expenses like food and hotel covered and I want to go home every Sunday night and come back on Monday night." I was sure this would put Burns off. When he said: "OK, it's yours." I was trapped for sure.

"At the end of the tournament Buddy Hall was playing Youngblood Brown for the All-Around title. Buddy and Youngblood had to play three disciplines: Nine Ball, One-Pocket and Bank Pool. Of course, Nine Ball was Buddy's game while One Pocket and Banks were both realms claimed by Youngblood. Buddy got to choose which game to start with and he surprised everyone by choosing Banks. A great move. They played the Banks and Buddy just beat Youngblood's brains in. He murdered him.

"A fellow named Bill Steigel was the referee. I was sitting on the sidelines in one of those tall spectator chairs. The players took a break after that first match and they both took turns going to the restroom. When they came back to the table Youngblood was almost out of it. He was hanging on to the table and he was walking real shaky. Anyway, this really big guy sitting behind me reached over and tapped me on the shoulder. "What's wrong with our boy out there?" he asked me. And I said: "Y'know I don't know. But he looks kinda funny doesn't he?" And this real big guy says: "Well, find out!"

"So I walked over to Steigel and asked what was up with Youngblood and Steigal said he thought Youngblood took something in the restroom. He had screwed up his chemicals. Steigal wanted to know if he should stop the match and I told him "Hell, no. He took the stuff, let him live with it!" And I walked back to my chair and sat down. And the big guy goes: "Well? What is it?" And I told him we thought maybe Youngblood had taken something in the restroom.

"This apparently caused the big guy great consternation. He growled: "Stop the match!" And I said: "I'm not stopping the match!" and as I said that I turned around to look at him and he said: "Look at this, white boy!" and he pulled open his coat and showed me this big ol' .45 stuck in his belt. And he told me: "You either stop this match or I blow your brains all the way across this damn pool hall." This put me to sweating pretty good.


"Just then in came promoter Joe Burns. He walked right up to me and said: "How's it going?" Now Burns was facing me and the gunman was right behind me so I said: "The guy right behind me wants me to stop the match or he's gonna blow my brains out." And Burns replied: "Well good for him!" and walked off.

"Which put me resuming the question of whether to save my dignity or my life. So a few minutes later the time had come to tell the players to get ready to resume play and that decision was yet to be made. I became aware that four or five guys had entered the room but I had not diverted my attention from the matters at hand to really notice them. Suddenly Joe Burns was in front of me again, this time wearing a deerskin coat, the kind you see in the old west movies with fringe coming down off the sleeves.

"And he asked: "Which guy is gonna shoot ya?" And I indicated the big guy behind me and Joe looked at him and asked: "You got a piece?" And the big guy opened his coat and showed the gun. In reply Burns opened up his coat and he had two pearl-handled revolvers stuck in his belt: "Well, go for it motherfucker!" And he pulled out those two revolvers and shot them into the ceiling and plaster fell everywhere and you can't imagine the noise of twin .44's going off in a concrete bunker.

"Quick as a snake he had one of the guns under the big guys nose. All of this before the bug guy could even get halfway to his gun. And Burns goes: "Gimme your gun and get out and never come back!" And the guy leans down to me on his way out and tells me I'll never leave town alive. Burns said: "Nah, Conrad, you'll be fine." That night Burns sent two armed men with me to the hotel. One stayed out in the parking lot all night and the other was stationed just outside my door. They had two cars and the next morning they sandwiched me in between them and escorted m all the way to the Michigan state line.

We wanted to know how Conrad had morphed from being a referee into being a sought-after Tournament Director. "Well, mostly I was a Straight Pool ref. I only did a couple of Nine Ball matches. And refereeing paid lousy. I could have ref'ed every day of the year if I would do it for free, but Tournament Directors got paid, sometimes pretty well. So I branched out into tournament direction where I would also ref the final match.

"Soon I got to direct some pretty big tournaments. The Miller Lite tournament was four to five thousand players, the BCA tournaments were big, and the Valley Tournament. This all got curtailed when my mother fell gravely ill and I needed to cut back my travel. That's really how I fell out of it. I had train Ed Scott Smith and he had taken over the show real well and by the time I could have restarted that gig I had pretty much lost interest in it. It is much harder work than most folks realize.

The years of experience that Conrad has logged give him a grand overview of the famous names. We asked him how he would compare the last series of great players like Greenleaf, Mosconi, Lassiter and Balsis to today's crop of stars. He told us first that it really isn't a fair comparison. "They play different games. On different equipment. Probably the best of the earlier players was Greenleaf. He set many of his accomplishments on ten-foot tables, quite a bit different from the nine-footers employed by players since the fifties and sixties.

"Willie was a great player, but he never played anything but Straight Pool until late in his career when he could make a lot of money playing Fats on TV. Luther played everything. Now he didn't get the recognition that Mosconi did because Luther was a hustler and didn't even start playing tournaments until later in his life. But I think Luther has to rank right under Greenleaf because he was more imaginative than Mosconi. I mean, the drawback to all those old great players was they only played Straight Pool except for Wimpy.

"Today's players play many different games. Earl in his prime played absolutely the best Nine Ball under pressure that I've ever seen. Reyes is the best all-around player I've ever seen. Boston Shorty was probably the next best all-around player. Shorty played tournament-caliber Nine Ball, Eight Ball, Ten Ball, Straight Pool, Banks, One Pocket, Carom Billiards, he played it all. So does Reyes.

We also wanted to know about Conrad's history with the National Billiard News. As publisher of the oldest billiard publication we knew the road could not have always been smooth. "Two friends of mine, Ray Abrams and Bob Mullins, bought the National Billiard News and got into a bit of a hole right from the get-go. After only three issues they needed another partner to buy in to supply the money to keep it going.

"So I thought about it and told them that I would come on board if I could have say in how the money was spent and the advertising and the subscriptions. They agreed and I've been here ever since. When I came on we had only 300 subscribers and maybe 200 of those were freebies. We righted the ship and eventually Ray and I bought everyone else out. Ray continues his presence on the masthead but hasn't visited the office in a number of years, so I have control of the publication.

The National Billiard News continues today as the only national newspaper on the game. Conrad and Editor John Cash gather the news of the game every month and they fill the paper with photos of the stars of the game and tournament results and news from around the country as well as the international news of note.

Their have been some, well, interesting, times for the NBN. Conrad remembers the first color cover that wasn't. They had spent over $800 for color separations to do the cover and someone dropped the ball and never got the seps to the printer. Not long after that an editor, who had been storing all the file photos at his apartment, had an apartment fire. Everyone breathed a sigh of relief when it was learned that the photos had escaped the blaze. But there was another fire the very next night and that one ate all the pictures.

Conrad still very much enjoys his role in the game. "There are travel benefits to this job. You get to go to some neat places and I still really enjoy watching the matches. Plus, I have made some really great friends over the years."

One of the memories that really sticks out for Conrad is his presence at a couple of the Johnston City tournaments. "That really was something else. That was the first time I ever saw Luther play. He was playing Harold Worst from Grand Rapids in Nine Ball. Luther was driving Worst nuts by quoting Bible passages. Luther would get bored in the hotel rooms at night and the only reading material there was the Gideon Bible, and so he read the Bible all the time. Worst scratched on the eight ball in one game and sat down. Tugboat Whaley was sitting in the stands at the foot of the table and was a famous referee of the day so Luther called out to him: "Boat, spot that ball, will'ya?" And Tugboat got up, put aside the hot dog he was eating and spotted the ball. Luther got down and fired that spot shot in and the eight ball made a sound like a flat tire, whomp, whomp, whomp, all the way into the pocket. And it left tracks. Yellow tracks. Tugboat had gotten mustard from his hot dog all over that ball and it stained the table so bad they couldn't get it out all week. Luther couldn't believe it. He just looked at him and said: "Jeez, Boat!"

Conrad continued: "Looking back on it now Johnston City was just the greatest experience. You got to see so many greats all in one place. Weenie Beanie, Fats, Shorty, all the hustlers and their backers like Titanic Thompson and it was just a terrific tournament. It was laid out with a pit for the games to be played in, a pit recessed three feet into the floor with three tables in it and padded bleachers arranged around three sides of it. The flow chart covered the whole back wall. There were even padded bleachers out back in the Cue Club, where all the hustling went on.

The memories and the stories could go on forever. If you haven't made the acquaintance of this icon of our game you can easily do so. Go to a pro tournament. He's the guy sitting in the front row snapping photos with his Nikon. And if you never get the pleasure then at least get his paper. Call the NBN at 248-348-0053 and sign up. You just might learn a few things.

All photos courtesy of Diana Hoppe – Pool Pics by Hoppe