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

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

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

Roberto Gomez Double Dips to Claim CWO 8-Ball Title

Roberto Gomez

Held March 9-11, 2017 at Chinook Winds Casino Resort in Lincoln City, Oregon, this installment of the Men’s Chinook Winds Open 8-Ball Championships, the 4th Annual, featured some of the biggest names in professional men’s Billiards.  There were a couple of past champions — Skyler Woodward and Rodney Morris.  You might also recognize some of the other contenders — Shane Van Boening, Dennis Orcollo, Billy Thorpe, Warren Kiamco, Amar Kang and Josh Roberts — to name but a few.  There were also some notable newcomers — Roberto Gomez, Joey Gray, Johann Chua, Jeffrey DeLuna and Manny Perez.  Some Western BCA players made their presence known as well, including — Randy Camantigue, Stan Tourangeau, Randy Baker and crowd favorite, Richie Geiler.  In all, there were 108 entered in the Men’s Division and and 28 in the Women’s.  
As always, the party started with a Calcutta auction on Wednesday evening (March 10).  It was a spirited affair overseen by CWO TD Bill Henderson and WBCA President Darcy Williams.  The Men’s Division Calcutta total was $24550 with $9600 the first place payout and the Women’s was $2010 with $820 the first place payout.
Then came the Late Night 10-Ball Invitational, a new event aimed at the professionals.  The format was $1000 entry, 16 bracket limit, race to 13, single elimination, winner breaks with a first place prize of $8000.  The “Late Night” referred to when the matches were played, starting Wednesday after the Calcutta, the final four playing Thursday after CWO play was finished for the day and the final on Friday night, again after CWO play was finished for the day.  The bracket filled with all the upper echelon pros ponying up a grand each for the big payout at the end.  By the end of play Wednesday, Jeffrey DeLuna vs Dennis Orcollo and Josh Roberts vs Shane Van Boening were all that survived.  Everyone was looking forward to a Orcollo/SVB final but up jumped DeLuna who beat Dennis Orcollo to move into the final against Shane Van Boening.  The final score was 13-11/SVB and was basically a clinic, with nine break and runs (including the winning rack), one 1-10 combo in game 2 and all the rest runouts following three dry breaks and the very occasional mistake on the part of one player or the other.  Jeffrey collected $4000 for 2nd place and Dennis and Josh received $2000 each for getting to the semis.  Fun format + great shooting + a large and appreciative crowd = a successful event. Look for it to be on the menu next time.
Thursday the main event got underway with many great match-ups for the spectators to watch.  By the end of the night, many of the serious contenders were on the back side of the bracket (Roberto Gomez, SVB, Jeffrey DeLuna, Ramil Gallego, Johann Chua, Taylor Anderson, Dennis Orcollo, Warren Kiamco and Alex Olinger) and only one could fight his way to the final.  Tough bracket.   The marquis matches included Rodney Morris vs Dennis Orcollo (7-6 Rodney), Rich Geiler vs Jeffrey DeLuna (7-4 Rich) and SVB vs Marc Vidal (7-6 SVB just after Marc took out Johann Chua 7-4).
Friday was a new day and everyone, especially the back side dwellers, hoped it would be a good one for them but, unfortunately, many of the top guns would be up against each other before the end of the day with many eliminated.  Before the end of the day, Skyler Woodward, Amar Kang, Rodney Morris and Billy Thorpe would also find themselves on the back side, nearing extinction.  By the end of play, only 9 would be left in. 
Saturday began with Roberto Gomez sending Amar Kang home as he began his single-minded quest for the final.  He went on to eliminate Josh Roberts, Rodney Morris, and crushed Billy Thorpe’s hopes for a rematch with Joey Gray after losing the hot seat to Gray 7-6.  Shane Van Boening looked to be on his way to a shot at another big pay day until he ran into Rodney Morris, who had another plan, winning 7-5.  Dennis Orcollo seemed to be on a collision course for SVB but he was derailed by former Champ Skyler Woodward 7-6.  As we already know, Roberto Gomez would not be stopped on his way to the final with Joey Gray, taking out his final two obstacles (Morris and Thorpe).  The Gray/Gomez final was on, but before we get to that, it should be said that the hot seat match was one of the best of the event, with Joey and Billy trading break and runs and run outs all the way to the decider.  Joey broke dry and Billy marched through the rack until leaving himself a delicate shot on the 4-Ball to get on the 8.  He missed the 8 and walked away from an open table and gave the game and the match to Joey.  So close yet so far.
In the first set of the final (yes, a possible double dip materialized), Roberto was warmed up and ready to go.  Joey was a little cold and never really got into the match, winning only two games.  Roberto, with four break and runs plus three runouts following a Gray dry break, a missed shot and a foul on the break took the first set 7-2.  Joey doubled his win tally in the second set but there was no stopping Roberto.  His near flawless play continued as he closed out the match and claimed the title with his 8th break and run of the two set match. 
Roberto collected $10,000 for his performance over the three days of the CWO and Joey Gray went home with a respectable $6400 for his efforts.  Complete results and payouts follow.
All the while the men were in action, there was also a small Women’s Division (28 entrants) playing for a first place prize of $4000.  Former champion Nicole Keeney was on hand with a few other notable out of towners (Brittany Bryant, Emily Duddy, Kelly Isaac and Bernie Store among them) as well as some of Western BCA’s finest (Liz Cole, Kim Jones and Cindy Sliva).  Brittany Bryant and Bernie Store made it through the front side undefeated to the point match, with Bernie winning 5-4 to get to the final.  Cindy Sliva, after taking out both Keeney and Duddy, met up with Bryant in the back side point match.  There Cindy met up with a determined Brittany and was shut out and finished in 3rd place.  Brittany went on to the final and another shot at Bernie.  Brittany had to beat Bernie twice and she got off to a great start, shutting Bernie out 5-0 and the double dip was on.  Often the first set is just warm up for the winner of the hot seat and this proved to be the case here.  Bernie played much better the 2nd time around.  The ladies traded games until the got to the hill-hill decider.  Bernie had won the lag, so she had the break.  It was a good break until the cue ball found a pocket.  The table was wide open and Brittany never looked back as she ran out to claim the title.  Complete results and payouts follow.
There were 2nd chance tournaments for both the men and women, with 28 men and 6 women not ready to call it quits.  Lake MacKay beat out Danny Smith for first and $1400 in the Men’s and Kathie MacDonald prevailed over Myra Cables for first and $450.
That brought the festivities to a close.  None of the spectators went away in any way disappointed.  The pros put on quite a display of prowess on the table and were very approachable.  We cannot thank enough our great sponsors — Chinook Winds Casino Resort, Western BCA and Bud Light.  The Western BCA staff — TDs Mike Jensen and Bill Henderson, Tournament Registrar Darcy Williams, Referees Darryl Farley and Dwayne Payne, Graphic Design/Advertising/Photographer Robbin Iredale, Podium Manager Pam Carraway and Payout Supervisor Cathy Dunford — all worked long hours to make these events a success.  Lenny Marshall of OnTheRailTV streamed and recorded many great matches that will soon be available for viewing (a link will be provided on  Many thanks to Bad Boys Billiards Production who provided the 7-foot Diamond tables and bracketing.  Chinook Winds again provided a great and welcoming venue for all the players and spectators.  Mother Nature was the only negative, causing interruption of internet service, but that’s March on the Coast, nothing to be done about that.  
If you came to play, we thank you and hope you come back next time.
If you came to watch, we’ll try to put on an even better show next time.

Taylor Anderson upsets Van Boening at US Open 8-Ball Championship

Taylor Anderson (Photo courtesy of JP Parmentier)

The US Open 8-Ball Championship kicked off on July 23rd with a field of 63 players at the Rio All Suites Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.
As is always the case in a big event like this, there is at least one major upset on day one, and on this day, that upset was Kansas’ Taylor Anderson’s 9-7 win over Shane Van Boening. Van Boening never led in the match, and a missed ball late in the match by Van Boening was the difference. “I’m glad I played him in the first match”, Anderson said. “It got me in stroke and I feel like I played a perfect set against him”. Van Boening bounced back from the loss and won two matches on the one loss side to remain in the hunt for the title. 
Another upset on day one saw New Zealand’s Matt Edwards hand Mosconi Cup hopeful Oscar Dominguez a 9-3 loss. Dominguez was operating on very little sleep, after driving his Dad, Ernesto Dominguez, back to Sylmar California in between the US Open 10-Ball Championship and this event. “Dad was dealing with some health issues, and I had to take him home. I halfway want to stay here and win this tournament, and I halfway just want to go home and take care of my Dad”, the younger Dominguez said. (Dominguez will have another day to ponder that decision, as he faces Justin Bergman Sunday morning. )
Predator is the official cue of the US Open 8-Ball Championship. They are joined by Kamui (the official tip), Cyclop (the official balls), Omega Billiards (the official online store) and Diamond (the official table) as major sponsors of this event. 

Saez goes undefeated to take Open event on the Midwest 9-Ball Tour

Robb Saez chalked up his first (recorded) major win in two years with an undefeated run on the Midwest Open 9-Ball Tour's Open event on the weekend of July 8-10. Though far from inactive over the last two years, cashing in 23 events, Saez' last two major event victories were in the 2014 Texas Tornado Open and in the Music City Classic's Open Division. The $3,300-added Midwest 9-Ball Tour event, run concurrently with a One Pocket and Ladies event (separate stories), drew 118 entrants to Shooter's in Olathe, KS.
The event drew a prestigious list of not only the Midwest's most recognizable competitors, but strong players from around the country. Among those who didn't make the final 12 cut were Justin Bergman, Chip Compton, and John Gabriel. Among those who did were Saez, Sky Woodward, Jason Klatt, Shane McMinn, Dustin Gunia, Tommy Tokoph, Joey Gray, Sergio Rivas and 'young gun' Taylor Anderson
Saez advanced to a winners' side semifinal versus Rivas, while Woodward took on Klatt. Saez sent Rivas to the west bracket 9-6, while Woodward downed Klatt 9-3. Saez claimed the hot seat in a double hill battle over Woodward, and waited on what turned out to be Klatt's return.
Over on the loss side, Rivas picked up Gunia, who'd survived two straight double hill matches against Devin Poteet and Anderson to reach him. Klatt drew Shane McMinn, who'd eliminated Lloyd Moreland 9-5 and Tokoph 9-6. Klatt and McMinn locked up in a double hill fight that eventually sent Klatt to the quarterfinals. He was joined by Gunia, who'd defeated Rivas 9-5.
Klatt took the quarterfinal match 9-4 over Gunia to earn himself a re-match versus Woodward in the semifinals. Woodward put up a double hill fight against him, but Klatt prevailed to face Saez in the finals. Saez claimed the event title with a 9-5 victory over Klatt in those finals.

Hogue avoids second ‘nightmare’ to go undefeated on Midwest 9-Ball Tour

Johnson takes two against Subelka to go undefeated in short-field Ladies event.
One week ago, on the weekend of April 9-10, Greg Hogue made it to the hot seat during a stop on the Midwest 9-Ball Tour, only to have the person he'd defeated in that match (Chip Compton) come back from the semifinals and defeat him twice in a double elimination final. The scenario was described here as a hot seat occupant's "worst nightmare."
On the weekend of April 16-17, Hogue, at a $2,000-added event that drew 34 entrants to Astros in Lawrence, KS, found himself in the hot seat for the second week in a row, re-living the 'nightmare,' as it were. This time, Hogue sent Dustin Gunia to the semifinals, but this time, Hogue woke up. Although Gunia would force him to play a deciding 17th game in the opening set of a potential double elimination final, Hogue won that deciding game, and after (one presumes) an enormous sigh of relief, claimed the event title.
In a concurrently-run, $500-added Ladies event that drew only 7 entrants, Kerri Johnson defeated Morgan Subelka twice to claim that title. Johnson defeated Subelka in the hot seat match 7-5. On the loss side, Deb McWhirk came off a quarterfinal victory over Jacelyn Booher to challenge Subelka in the semifinals. Subelka earned a second shot against Johnson with a 7-3 victory over McWhirk. Johnson completed her four-match, undefeated run with a 7-4 victory over Subelka in the finals. 
The first match between Hogue and Gunia in the Open event, vying for the hot seat, followed a 9-1 victory by Hogue over Steven Wyatt, and a 9-3 victory by Gunia over Mike Goscha. Hogue claimed the hot seat, double hill, and waited, as (no doubt) thoughts of a week ago played out in his head.
On the loss side, Wyatt picked up Dave Matlock, who'd gotten by Rafael Munoz 9-4 and Toby Noll 9-6 to reach him. Goscha drew Sharik Sayed, who'd eliminated Lance Schofield 9-7 and Taylor Anderson 9-6. Matlock and Sayed handed Wyatt and Goscha their second straight losses – Matlock 9-6 over Wyatt and Sayed 9-1 over Goscha – and advanced to the quarterfinals.
Sayed gave up only two racks to Matlock, and advanced to the semifinals against Gunia. Gunia shut Sayed out in those semifinals, which almost certainly gave Hogue something to think about as he prepared for the opening set of the true double elimination final. Though Gunia would once again force a deciding 17th game, Hogue won it to claim the title.

The Rocket takes down The Lion in Mosconi Cup-qualifying Don Coates Memorial

Rodney Morris

In one of the most star-studded events of the year, "Rocket" Rodney Morris came from the loss side to meet and defeat Alex "The Lion" Pagulayan in the finals of the 1st Don Coates Memorial, held on the weekend of April 8-10 in Raleigh, NC. Held in conjunction with a $2,000-added One Pocket event, which finished up on Friday, April 8 (see separate story), the Mosconi Cup-qualifying, $8,000-added 9-Ball event drew 128 of the country's top competitors to Brass Tap Billiards in Raleigh.
By the time Morris and Pagulayan met in the finals, somewhere in the vicinity of 4 a.m, on Monday, April 11, a lot of names that one might have considered to be favorites in the field had already been eliminated, including three former US Open 9-Ball Champions. Gone were Shane Van Boening, Johnny Archer, Stevie Moore, and Mike Delawder, all finishing in the tie for the 17th place. Joining them were Taylor Anderson, Brad Shearer, Keith Bennett, and cue-maker Daniel Heidrich. The tie for 13th place was shared by Tommy Kennedy, Josh Roberts, Jason Brown and Shannon Fitch. Another measure of the event's field strength could be found in the players who failed to 'cash' in the event, including, though not necessarily limited to, Jeremy Sossei, Brandon Shuff, Shaun Wilkie, Hunter Lombardo, Tony Chohan and Robb Saez.
Meanwhile, Pagulayan advanced to a winners' side semifinal against Mike Dechaine. In the other winners' side semifinal, Shane McMinn faced Justin Bergman, who had just sent Morris on his loss-side journey. Pagulayan sent Dechaine over 9-3, while McMinn was busy sending Bergman to the left bracket 9-4, no doubt prompting fans of players in the Midwest to cheer for one of their own. Pagulayan silenced that crowd with a 9-3 victory over McMinn that left Pagulayan in the hot seat.
On the loss side, Dechaine picked up Morris, two matches into his loss-side journey, that saw him defeat Jason Klatt 9-6 and Mike Davis 9-5. Bergman drew Corey Deuel, who'd sent Norris Brady (9-5) and John Morra (9-4) home. It could be argued that any of the matches played at this juncture and beyond featured potential finalists in the event. As it turned out, Morris downed Dechaine 9-6 to earn a quarterfinal matchup versus Deuel, who'd eliminated Bergman 9-3.
Morris downed Deuel 9-5 in those quarterfinals and finished up his loss-side campaign with a commanding 9-2 win over McMinn in the semifinals. The race-to-13 final match was a predictable close battle that came within a game of double hill. Morris closed it out at 13-11 to claim the Don Coates Memorial title.
The event's tour director, David Brown, thanked Brass Tap and Billiards' owner, Tony Coates (son to Don Coates, who passed away last fall and in whose name the event was held). Brown also acknowledged sponsor Beasley Custom Cues, Ray Hansen's PoolActionTV crew for their live-streaming efforts, and Joe Blackburn, for his on-site cue repair work.
As with the previous report on the One Pocket event, this report was compiled thanks to the assistance of Herman Parker, tour director of the Q City 9-Ball Tour, and his wife, Angela, both of whom competed in the event; Angela was the One Pocket tournament's only female.

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.

Jones and Brisbon Win U.S. Amateur Championship Titles

Kenneth Brisbon

The U.S. Amateur Championship returned to the tropical climate of the Tampa Bay area in early November.  For five straight days, the nation’s top players battled it out at Stroker’s – Palm Harbor, Fla., for their place in U.S. Amateur Championship history. More than 2,400 players attempted to qualify for this year’s event, with 32 women and 128 men advancing to the championship round.  The tournament field included a strong mix of U.S Amateur Championship veterans and a talented pool of newcomers vying for amateur pool’s most prestigious title.
In the finals of the Women’s Division, Tammie Jones of Muncie, Ind., defeated Asia Cycak of Raleigh, N.C., 9-4 in a rematch of the 2012 finals.
The encore finale opened in the 8-Ball set at Jones choosing after Cycak won the lag and took the break. Cycak took an early lead winning the first game, but Jones marched right back taking the next three to open a 3-1 advantage.  Cycak narrowed the gap by taking the fifth game, but again, Jones bounced back with a win of her own and a 4-2 lead heading into the 9-Ball set.
Things unraveled quickly in the 9-Ball set for Cycak, as Jones quickly reeled off four straight wins and an insurmountable 8-2 lead.  Cycak staved off elimination the next two games, thanks in part to Jones rattling the 9-ball in and out of the pocket while on-the-hill, but could only postpone the inevitable for so long.
Jones earned her second U.S. Amateur Championship title in three years, while Cycak matched her 2012 Runner-Up performance. The victory earns Jones the coveted U.S. Amateur Championship trophy, and travel, lodging and entry into a 2015 pro event.
Stacie Bourbeau of Orange, Mass., finished in 3rd Place.
In the finals of the Men’s Division, Kenneth Brisbon of Oxford, Mich., defeated Jeff Abernathy of Hickory, N.C., 11-10 in the final.  With the victory, Brisbon avenged his only loss of the tournament, suffered earlier in the day at the hands of Abernathy.
Early on, the match looked anything like the hill-hill nail biter it turned out to be. Brisbon looked like he’d make quick work of Abernathy opening up a 5-0 lead.  But Abernathy capitalized on a miscue on the 8-ball by Brisbon in the sixth game, and took the final three games of the 8-Ball set. 
Before anyone could update their mental scorecards, Abernathy had pulled within a game with an opening win in the 9-Ball set.  Brisbon took the next two games to push his lead to 7-4.  Abernathy was tenacious though, winning four of the next five games and tying the match at 8-8.  Brisbon took the ninth game of the 9-Ball set to regain the lead, but Abernathy battled back again, winning the next two games and taking his first lead of the match.
As a stunned crowd looked on, and needing only one more game for a victory, it appeared Abernathy would complete the comeback. But it was Brisbon who would mount a comeback of his own, tying the match at hill-hill.
In the 21st and final game overall, it was Brisbon coming up clutch with an impressive break-and-run to secure his place in U.S. Amateur Championship history. 
After the match, Brisbon was presented with the first-ever Larry Hubbart Trophy by APA Founder Terry Bell and Hubbart’s widow Nancy Hubbart. 
Brisbon moves on to compete in the 2015 U.S. Open, while Abernathy settled for Runner-up, his highest finish in U.S. Amateur Championship competition.
Taylor Anderson of Bonner Springs, Kan., took 3rd Place, while defending champion Brian Parks of Bakersfield, Calif., finished 4th.  Tom Acciavatti of Latham, N.Y., and Clint Clark of Hickory, N.C., tied for 5th Place.
The 2014 U.S. Amateur Championship was conducted by the APA, and is the only tournament produced by the APA open to both members and non-members.  Preliminary qualifying rounds were held throughout the country in mid-September.
As Champions, both Jones and Brisbon will return next year to defend their coveted titles.
The U.S. Amateur Championship is a double elimination tournament that offers the nation’s top amateur players the opportunity to showcase their skills through a combination of 8-Ball and 9-Ball matches, in the only APA event that does not use The Equalizer® handicap system.
The APA, based in Lake Saint Louis, Mo., sanctions the world’s largest amateur pool league, known as the APA Pool League throughout the United States, and as the Canadian Pool League in Canada.  Nearly 250,000 members compete in weekly 8-Ball and 9‑Ball league play.  The APA is generally recognized as the Governing Body of Amateur Pool, having established the official rules, championships, formats and handicap systems for the sport of amateur billiards.
The APA produces three major tournaments each year—the APA National Team Championships, the APA National Singles Championships and the U.S. Amateur Championship—that, together, pay out nearly $1.5 Million in cash and prizes annually!  In 2010, the APA National Team Championships were recognized by Guinness World Records as the “world’s largest pool tournament.”
The APA and its championships are sponsored by Aramith, Action Cues and Pool Dawg.
For complete coverage of the U.S. Amateur Championship visit

James goes undefeated to capture his first win at 9th Annual Bobby Wells Memorial

Most of the time, Jesse James works in Dewey, Oklahoma, as the principal of their middle school. He's played on the Midwest 9-Ball Tour, off and on, for about seven years (according to available data on the number of times he's finished in the money). On the weekend of June 15-16, with his son in attendance on Sunday, Father's Day, James broke through and went undefeated to claim his first Midwest 9-Ball Tour title in the 9th Annual Bobby Wells Memorial Tournament. The Open portion of the $2,300-added event drew 36 entrants to Side Pockets in Wichita, KS. A $200-added Ladies event drew a (very) short field of three entrants, and was won by Stephanie Winkler, who defeated Jenny Shafer, double hill, in the finals. 

From among the winners' side final four, James faced a multi-winner, Midwest 9-Ball veteran in Shane McMinn. Terry Young, in the meantime, squared off against Sam Cole in the other winners' side semifinal. James sent McMinn west 9-6, and in the battle for the hot seat, faced Young, who'd defeated Cole by the same score. James pretty much dominated the hot seat match, winning 9-3, and waited for Young to get back from the semifinals.
McMinn moved over and met up with Glen Atwell, who'd given up only three racks total in his previous two matches against Dave Witten (2) and Jason Sisler (1). Cole came up against Joey Gray, who, after falling to McMinn among the winners' side final eight, had defeated Taylor Anderson 9-6 and Brad Hussman 9-7.
Gray downed Cole 9-7, earning himself a re-match against McMinn, who'd eliminated Atwell 9-3. Gray took the quarterfinal match 9-4 over McMinn, and then had his four-match, loss-side streak ended in a double hill semifinal match, won by Young. James, though, with his son looking on, completed his undefeated run with a commanding 9-1 victory in the opening set of what could have been, but wasn't, a double elimination final.

Haddad goes undefeated on Midwest 9-Ball One-Pocket Event

Mark Haddad withstood a loss-side challenge from Joey Gray in the finals to go undefeated in the One-Pocket event of the Midwest 9-Ball Tour stop on the weekend of February 23-26. The $500-added, One-Pocket event drew 55 entrants to Shooters in Olathe, KS. Still ongoing, as of early Sunday evening, were a 9-ball and ladies event.

From among the winners’ side final four, Haddad sent Taylor Anderson west 3-1, as Shane McMinn was downing Gary Lutman 3-1. Lutman had just sent Gray over 3-1. Haddad got into the hot seat with a double hill win over McMinn and waited on Gray.

Following victories over Justin Richardson and John Gabriel, both double hill, Gray met up with Anderson. Lutman drew Chip Compton, who’d shut out James Baraks and defeated Dale Pence 3-1. A quarterfinal Lutman/Gray re-match was avoided when Gray chalked up his third straight double hill win, against Anderson, but Compton eliminated Lutman 3-1. Gray then recorded his fourth straight double hill win with a quarterfinal victory over Compton.

Gray, seemingly tired of dodging ‘double hill’ bullets, shut McMinn out in the semifinals. Haddad, though, turned the tables on him, shutting Gray out in the opening set of the finals, to complete his undefeated run.