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Scarlato wins first Action Pool Tour stop under new management

(l to r): Rick Scarlato & APT co-owner Tiger Baker


Ozzy Reynolds, former owner/tour director of the Action Pool Tour and current CEO of Cue Sports International traveled to Newport News, VA on the weekend of Oct. 13-14 to pass the Action Pool Tour ownership baton to its new owners, Kris Wylie and Tiger Baker. The idea was to assist the new owners with the logistics of their first tour stop at the APT helm. When the $270-added event, hosted by Peninsula Billiards in Newport News, drew a modest field of 20 entrants, Wylie and Baker asked Reynolds to join the field of entrants and compete. Without too much arm-twisting, Reynolds agreed and damn near won the thing.
As it turned out, Rick Scarlato, who’d been sent to the loss side by Reynolds and won five on that side of the bracket, earned himself a rematch against Reynolds, who’d advanced to the hot seat. But Reynolds was already gone, having agreed, due to the lateness of the hour and the impending closing time of the venue, to accept second place. This left Scarlato to face Greg Sabins, who’d been defeated by Reynolds in the hot seat match. With the venue set to close, the two agreed to a single-game final. Scarlato won that game to claim the first title under the auspices of the APT’s new management team.
Nothing like a smooth, standard first-time experience for new management. The event started out normally enough. Reynolds won a preliminary round over RAndy Davis, before meeting up with Scarlato and sending him on what proved to be his loss-side journey back to the finals. Reynolds moved on to defeat Jaime Gonzalez 8-2 to earn a winners’ side semifinal matchup against Tim Collins. Sabins, in the meantime, got by Jason Trigo (#2 on the APT’s Ranking List) 8-3 and James Miller 8-2 to draw Steve Fleming (#1 on the APT list) in the other winners’ side semifinal.
Reynolds downed Collins 8-2 as Sabins was busy sending Fleming to the loss side 8-5. Reynolds won his last match 8-5 over Sabins to claim the hot seat.
On the loss side, Scarlato got by Larry Phlegar 8-2, James Miller 8-6 and Jose Vega Hernandez 8-4 to draw Collins. Fleming picked up Jaime Gonzalez, who, after being sent to the loss side by Reynolds, had eliminated Trigo 8-4 and Randy Davis 8-3.
Scarlato advanced to the quarterfinals with an 8-4 victory over Collins and was joined by Fleming, who’d survived a double hill match against Gonzalez. Reynolds’ exit from the field turned the quarterfinals into the semifinals and Scarlato downed Fleming 8-5 to move into the single-game final. Scarlato won the single game over Sabins and claimed the title.
APT owners and tour directors Wylie and Baker thanked the ownership and staff at Peninsula Billiards for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Viking Cues, Predator Cues, Tiger Products, Diamond Billiard Products, Inc., Ozone Billiards, Simonis Cloth, Aramith Balls and George Hammerbacher Pool Instructor. The next stop on the Action Pool Tour, scheduled for the weekend of November 10-11, will be the VA State 8-Ball Championships, hosted by Diamond Billiards in Midlothian, VA.

Wilkie goes undefeated to claim third stop on Action Pool Tour

Scott Haas, Raymond Walters (TD) & Shaun Wilkie

One of the more intriguing additions to the 2018 Action Pool Tour (APT) is its emphasis on an end-of-year, $10,000 prize fund event for the tour’s top 64 members in the points race. In previous years, the top players on the tour’s ranking list at the end of a given year would receive some combination of entry fees, flight and hotel accommodations to a major event in the following year. This had a way of discouraging members, who, by mid-season, found themselves so far removed from the tour’s top-ranked players, that there was virtually no incentive to compete for those top, prize-winning spots. The new feature, relevant to members only (one year membership), gives them an opportunity to participate in an end-of-year event even if, mid-season, they’re below the entry threshold in points for the “$10,000 Top 64 Invitational.” Successful outcomes in just a couple of the tour’s events (or multiple modest outcomes over more events) could elevate them to invitation status, and eligible for the guaranteed $500 payout for anyone finishing among the top 16 in the year-end event, and the top $2,500 prize for the event’s winner.
It’s early in the 2018 APT season, but Shaun Wilkie joined the ranks of the tour’s top contenders for position among the top 64 at the end of the year, with an undefeated run on the weekend of March 10-11. At a “Bar Box Bash,” 8-ball event, offering double points, and hosted by Peninsula Billiards in Newport News, VA, Wilkie, who was the tour’s 2017 champion, moved up to #6 in the tour rankings, behind Eric Moore, Kenny Miller, Reymart Lim, Steve Fleming and Jason Trigo. His run through the field of 44 was accomplished by allowing only one opponent to chalk up more than three racks against him in races to 6.
Following victories over Paul Swinson (3), Charles Rankin (2) and Kenny Daughtrey (1), Scott Roberts gave Wilkie a double-hill run for his money. Wilkie prevailed and moved into a winners’ side semifinal against Steve Fleming. James Blackburn, in the meantime, who’d started his campaign off with a 6-4 victory over rankings leader, Eric Moore, squared off against Scott Haas in the other one. Wilkie defeated Fleming 6-2, as Blackburn sent Haas (Wilkie’s eventual opponent in the finals) to the loss side 6-3. Wilkie downed Blackburn in the hot seat match, and waited on the return of Haas.
On the loss side, Fleming and Haas walked right into double hill challenges. Fleming drew Dave White, who, defeated in his opening round, double hill by Scott Haas, was in the midst of a seven-match, loss-side winning streak that would take him as far as the quarterfinals (against Scott Haas, as it turned out). He’d most recently defeated Thomas Haas 5-3 and Jim Montgue 5-2 to reach Fleming. Scott Haas drew Rick Scarleto, who’d defeated Tim Collins 5-2 and Kenny Miller 5-1.
Scott Haas and White advanced to their rematch in the quarterfinals with their double hill wins over Scarleto and Fleming, respectively. Haas then downed White a second time, this time 5-3, and gave up only a single rack to Blackburn in the semifinals. Wilkie completed his undefeated run with an 8-4 victory over Haas in the finals and claimed his first 2018 APT title.
A Second Chance Tournament drew 11 entrants. Randy Davis chalked up double hill wins in the hot seat match and finals (over Lee O’Neal and Clint Clayton, respectively) to claim the Second Chance title.
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Peninsula Billiards, as well as sponsors Kamui, Diamond Billiard Products, Viking Cues, Predator Cues, Tiger Products, Ozone Billiards, Simonis, and George Hammerbacher Advanced Pool Instructor. The next stop on the Action Pool Tour, scheduled for April 7-8, will be the Bob Stocks Memorial Tournament, hosted by First Break Café in Sterling, VA.