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Evans Stays Perfect on AWBT

Susan Williams and Rae Evans

The Arizona Women’s Billiards Tour made their way up to Griff’s in Las Vegas, Nevada for their second stop of the year on March 5th and 6th, but even the change in scenery didn’t change anything at the top of the tour, as Rae Evans extended her undefeated streak and won her second (third, going back before Covid) straight tour stop. 

The field of thirty seven players held most of the usual Arizona suspects, along with some of the top female talent in Sin City. Two notable additions to the field this time were junior players Savannah Easton and Asia Gillespie. Easton caught a first round bye, while Gillespie won her first match against Ma Deterala 4-0. The second round saw both junior competitors drop their matches (Easton to eventual winner Evans) and then end up paired against each other on the one loss side. Easton got the best of her fellow junior warrior and stayed alive on the left side of the board all day on Saturday, finally succumbing to local champion Rebecca Wagner on Sunday. In her first AWBT tour stop, Easton made quite an impression. Evans commented on both young player, “Savannah does so much stuff better than me. She breaks better than most players and has better fundamentals. I could go on and on. The other junior in the tournament (Gillespie) played amazing too. They both are fierce”.

After the win over Easton, Evans had wins over Billie Jo Smith, the aforementioned Wagner, Mandy Beck and finally AWBT veteran Susan Williams for the hot-seat. Williams earned a hard fought victory over Pearl Ortiz in the semi-final match, to earn another shot at Evans in the finals. Evans had beaten Williams fairly handily for the hot-seat 7-1, but she had a fight on her hands in the extended final match. Both players were tied at 1-1 and 2-2 before Williams took the first two rack lead of the match at 4-2. That might have woke Evans up as she proceeded to win six straight racks to take the hill at 8-4. Williams dug back and won three in a row to get within one rack at 8-7, but a missed 8-ball by Williams in the sixteenth rack was her last trip to the table and Evans won the match 9-7. 

For Evans, it was her second straight undefeated win on the tour, but she still felt she got fortunate to get the win, commenting after the match about how everyone on the tour is playing so much better after the long Covid break. “I didn’t have an easy match all weekend. All of the ladies are putting in so much time practicing and getting better. I’ve seen tremendous leaps in some of their games”, she said. 

Tour director Tim Daniel thanked everyone for coming out to compete in the event, as well as Mark Griffin and his great staff at Griff’s. He also sent out thanks to all of tour’s sponsors, Constantin Alexander with Papa C Productions for their streaming coverage of the event all weekend and finally his partner on the tour, Justine Bishop for her continued support in making the AWBT a success.

The Arizona Women’s Billiard Tour will be back in action on June 4th-5th at Main Street Billiards, in Mesa, Arizona for 8-ball on the 7 foot Diamonds. 

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Dominguez goes undefeated to claim 26th Annual ‘Swanee’ Classic at Griff’s in Vegas

Oscar Dominguez, Tim Kovacs and Ruben Bautista

In the absence of the event’s defending champion and runner-up, Shane Van Boening and Corey Deuel, the 26th Annual Jay Swanson “Swanee” Memorial’s 2022 champion was Oscar Dominguez, who went undefeated through a field of 64. Advancing to the hot seat against him was the 2019 winner, Max Eberle, who was ousted in the semifinals by runner-up, Ruben Bautista. The $4,000-added event was hosted by Griff’s in Las Vegas.

As is always the case, the annual memorial to someone who is remembered in the pool community, leads to conversations about him. Jay “Swanee” Swanson, referred to as a ‘Gentle Giant,’ was, by all accounts, one of the best ‘money’ players of all time, before he passed in 1996. In June, 2008, a Forum thread was initiated on AZBilliards, entitled “Tell me about Jay Swanson.” If you weren’t at the tournament and/or know nothing about the man, use the opportunity and read that thread, in lieu of a moment of silence in his honor, to learn what many in the existing pool community already know. 

As it turned out, Oscar Dominguez’ undefeated seven-match march to the finish line of the “Swanee” Memorial was not the longest string of wins at the event. Jordan Holman also had a seven-match winning streak, in between his opening match loss and his final loss in the battles for 5th/6th. The ‘most wins in a row’ prize went to Ronnie Wiseman, who finished 4th, also sandwiching his eight wins between an opening round loss and his last match.

Dominguez’ seven-match march to the finish line started out with a shutout and until the hot seat match, no one chalked up more than four racks against him in the races to 8. Tom Whitten was the opponent he shut out before he gave up three each to Richard Burns and Vilmos Foldes. It was Ernie Rivas who managed the four, which brought Dominguez to a winners’ side semifinal against Ian Costello. 

Eberle, in the meantime, opened with back-to-back 8-2 victories over Charles Joseph Jacques and Scott Bush, before James Davee threw a one-game-away-from-double-hill scare into him with six racks. The ‘scare’ appeared to inspire him, as he shut out his next opponent, Matt Hardwick, and moved on to a winners’ side semifinal against Ruben Bautista.

Dominguez got into the hot seat match with an 8-1 victory over Costello. Eberle joined him after downing Bautista 8-5 and sending him to the loss side from which he would return to challenge Eberle again, in the semifinals, and Dominguez in the finals. 

On the loss side, Bautista picked up Jordan Holman, who’d lost to Jeff Gray in the opening, winners’ side round and was six matches into his loss-side run, that had included recent victories over Ernie Rivas 7-2 and a shutout win over Tim Daniel. Costello drew Ronnie Wiseman, who was six matches into his eight-in-a-row, loss-side run. He’d eliminated Jeff Gray (for Holman), had recently handed Matt Hardwick his second straight shutout and sent Bret Huth home 6-2.

Bautista ended Holman’s loss-side streak, though not before Holman had forced a 13th deciding game. Wiseman, in the meantime, extended his streak to its eighth win, downing Costello 7-2. Bautista left Wiseman in the 4th place dust (7-2) and then, in a rematch, defeated Eberle 7-4 in the semifinals. 

Entering the finals, Oscar Dominguez was sporting a 73% game-winning average through six matches (48-17). Bautista stepped to the table with a 66% average through eight matches (58-29); his loss to Eberle and his first loss-side, double hill match versus Holman had dropped that percentage down from the 78% it had been before he’d run into Eberle. Dominguez won the game-winning percentage in the finals by a fair amount (66%). Bautista’s game-winning average in the finals was dramatically low at 38%, much more dramatic than the actual score. Dominguez completed his undefeated run with an 11-7 win over Bautista to claim the 26th Annual “Swanee” Memorial title.

Tournament director Tim Kovacs thanked Mark Griffin (“for adding the $4,000 and for all (he) does for pool) and his “always awesome” Griff’s Staff for their hospitality. He thanked Daniel Krupinski, as well, for filling in on short notice and doing a good job running the free stream. Kovacs also thanked Mike Moyer for helping things run smoothly ‘on the board.’ He broadened the scope of general thanks, to include any and all who’d supported the event.

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Provencio Double Dips for Diamond Tour Win

Mickey Provencio (Photo courtesy of Rick Schmitz)

The Pechauer Cues Diamond Pool Tour was back at Bullshooters in Phoenix on August 11th and 12th, with 51 competitors playing 10-Ball on the 9’ tables.


Az Fans were excited to see Arizona’s Mosconi Cup hopeful Mitch Ellerman in attendance in this one and he looked unstoppable early in the event, until a tough 5-7 loss to Fernando Diaz late on Saturday,
With the top two points list players (Tim Daniel and Joey Barrera) unable to get out of the second round of the winner’s side, fans in attendance were looking forward to some new faces in the final rounds of the event. Those fans would not be disappointed as the final four undefeated players including two players in their first events of the season (Junior Flores and New Mexico’s Mickey Provencio). Those two players were joined by 59th ranked Peter Horton and 81st ranked Diaz.
Horton had been crushing opponents for the entire event, with wins over Vincent Sbelgio, Rob James and James Stacy. He would continue player at that pace with a 7-2 win over Diaz on Sunday. On the other half of the winner’s side, Provencio sent a hot shooting Junior Flores to the one loss side 8-2. Horton would then go on to take the hot-seat with a 6-5 win over Provencio.
On the one loss side, Adam Kroll and Mitch Ellerman were heading for a showdown. Kroll had wins over Brad Johnson, Rick Schmitz and Diaz, while Ellerman eliminated Brian Long, Manny Luevano and Flores. With Ellerman giving up 10-3 against Kroll, he knew he couldn’t afford a let down of any kind and he turned his play up a notch for a 10-0 win. Unfortunately for Ellerman, Provencio was ready for him in the semi-final match and sent Ellerman back to Las Vegas with a 6-4 loss.
The finals then got underway between Horton and Provencio and it looked like the wait in the hot-seat teamed up with the tight table in the pit to get the better of Horton. Where he was running racks earlier in the event, the pockets just seemed to close up on him in the finals. Before he knew what hit him, Provencio had won the first set 8-3. Things went from bad to worse for Horton, as the first set loss did away with any confidence he had built up and Provencio cruised to another 8-3 win for first place. Provencio was understandably elated with the win, his first on the Diamond Pool Tour.
The Diamond Pool Tour will take it’s annual pilgrimage to Las Vegas in September, playing it’s 5th stop of the season at Griffs on September 8th and 9th.
The Diamond Pool Tour is sponsored by …
Diamond Billiard Products 
J Pechauer Custom Cues
Arizona Natural Selections
Casino Del Sol
Discount Mattress Barn
JB Cases


Kiamco comes from the loss side to win final WCS 10-Ball Challenge at Freezer’s Ice House

Warren Kiamco (Photo courtesy of Erwin Dionisio)

There was, at the end of it all, a celebratory feel to the thing. There are times when the end of a pool tournament can feel like a funeral, as the winner and runner-up in a given tournament try their best to set aside the exhaustion and lingering sense of the grim-faced competition they’ve been a part of, and smile (sort of) for a camera. At the very end of the West State Billiards/POVPool’s 2018 West Coast Swing (WCS), which came to its conclusion at Freezer’s Ice House in Tempe, AZ on Sunday, July 15, Scott Frost, gripping two microphones, tried to conduct a post-finals interview with the winner (Warren Kiamco) and runner-up (Omar Al-Shaheen) in the $10,000-added 10-Ball Challenge, which had drawn 96 entrants to the closing event of the 2018 WCS.
Frost tried. He really did. But his interview efforts were stymied by the unexpected appearance of Dennis Orcollo, carrying his over-sized check for $3,000 (earned by winning the One Pocket event the day before) into the camera shot, and hugging Frost like a teddy bear he’d decided he wanted to take home with him. Orcollo had finished 4th in the 10-Ball Challenge (defeated in the quarterfinals by Kiamco) and had apparently spent a good deal of time between the quarterfinals and end of the finals match, at the bar. Beyond its humor value, the attempted interview and its interruption were emblematic of one aspect of the 2018 West Coast Swing that had nothing to do with the pool games that were played or the money they’d all earned.
It was, according to POVPool’s Daniel Busch, “the overwhelming response from professional players” which stood out in his mind as the most memorable thing about the 2018 West Coast Swing that had begun with the 6th Annual Cole Dickson Memorial, as June turned into July, and culminated with a goofy interview, two weeks later, at the conclusion of the last WCS event. Busch and his broadcast crew at POVPool streamed free, selected matches at all of the venues.
“They really appreciated the string of events,” said Busch. “There was an amazing amount of friendship, a feeling of family, and an overwhelming display of camaraderie.”
This, he went on to say, was the result of what he called the ‘theme’ of the West Coast Swing; to “awaken the road player within.”
“The West Coast Swing has set the stage for these guys,” said Busch. “(Given them) the opportunity to travel the West Coast for a couple of weeks and make appearances at some of the country’s best venues.”
The one thing that Scott Frost did manage to get out of Warren Kiamco, when he asked him for comment on his victory (prior to Orcollo’s good-natured interruption), was a glowing endorsement from Kiamco about Freezer’s Ice House, which Kiamco called “the best pool room in the country.”
Kiamco had won last year’s WCS 9-Ball Challenge, losing to Thorsten Hohmann in the hot seat match, but returning to double-dip him in the finals. He opted for the loss-side route in this year’s 10-Ball Challenge, as well. Following an 8-2 victory over John Hall to launch what would prove to be his winning campaign, Kiamco shut Aaron Morgan out, and then, in order, downed Alex Pagulayan 8-3, Corey Deuel 8-6, and Orcollo 8-4 to draw Al-Shaheen in one of the winners’ side semifinals. With a slightly less problematic series of draws, Shane McMinn got by Chris Baginski, George Teyechea, Abie Padilla, Tim Daniel and Bobby Emmons to reach Ruslan Chinakhov in the other winners’ side semifinal.
Al-Shaheen sent Kiamco to the loss side 8-3 and in the hot seat match, faced the somewhat improbable McMinn, who’d dispatched Chinakhov to the loss side 8-5. McMinn and Al-Shaheen fought a double hill hot seat match, which eventually sent McMinn to the semifinals and left Al-Shaheen in the hot seat.
On the loss side, this (and other) country’s best players still lurked going into the money rounds (17th through 24th), including (among others) Orcollo, Jeffrey De Luna, Eklent Kaci, Tony Chohan, Hohmann, Chip Compton, Brandon Shuff, Josh Roberts, Corey Deuel, and Zoren James Aranas, representing an average Fargo rating of 777 (Orcollo at the top with 805, and Shuff at the bottom, with 735). Joining this crowd at a point in time when only one of them (Orcollo)  had advanced to the 5th/6th matchups, Kiamco (791) drew Max Eberle (739), who was on a six-match, loss-side winning streak that had most recently eliminated T-Rex (Chohan) 8-5 and Bobby Emmons 8-4. It was Chinakhov drawing Orcollo, who, following his defeat at the hands of Kiamco in a winners’ side quarterfinal, had defeated Compton (who’d just eliminated Josh Roberts) and De Luna, both 8-5.
Ranking high in the probability department, Kiamco and Orcollo advanced to a quarterfinal re-match; Kiamco 8-5 over Eberle and Orcollo 8-3 over Chinakhov. Kiamco and Orcollo came within a game of double hill in those quarterfinals, but Kiamco just did edge out in front to win it 8-6. He then finished a terrific run by McMinn, defeating him in the semifinals 8-5.
Kiamco took command of the final, single race to 13, early and often. He completed his run with a 13-5 victory over Al-Shaheen (who, as yet, has failed to secure a Fargo rating) that secured the West Coast Swing’s 10-Ball Challenge title.
This final event of the 2018 West Coast Swing featured nine of the 14 US players who have been named to the initial Mosconi Cup team. Five of them (Josh Roberts, Corey Deuel, Chris Robinson, Brandon Shuff and Chip Compton) made it into the money rounds (Billy Thorpe, Tyler Styer, Oscar Dominguez and Mitch Ellerman did not). Chip Compton finished in the tie for 9th place. The 2018 West Coast Swing clearly attracted the best (minus five, and a few more) US talents to the tables over the past two weeks; a circumstance that POVPool’s Busch hopes to duplicate as plans begin to coalesce around the 2019 West Coast Swing.
“It’s two weeks of brutal hard work, with 11 months of planning and promotion behind it,” said Busch, adding that this year’s event might not have been as successful as it was, were it not for the cooperation of the rooms that hosted the events – Family Billiards in San Francisco, California Billiards in Fremont, CA, and Freezer’s Ice House in Tempe, AZ.
“You don’t normally get that kind of cooperation between rooms,” Busch noted, “but (in this case) they all worked at helping to promote each other’s events in the Swing.”
Busch thanked the ownership and staff at all of the venues, in addition to title sponsor West State Billiards,  Cohen Cues, Big Time Threads, KD Cues, Ariel Carmeli (AC) Cues, Tiger Products and JB Cases. The four cue representatives were all a part of the West Coast Swing's Cuemakers’ Showcase, held at two of the venues (California Billiards and Freezer’s Ice House), which garnered a “better than expected” interest and response from the players.  Busch expects to announce plans for the 2019 West Coast, sometime in January.

Hard Work Pays Off For Barrera On Diamond Pool Tour

Joey Barrera (Photo courtesy of Rick Schmitz)

Sometimes the hard work that a player puts in for one event pays dividends in other events. That was the case for Joey Barrera as his preparation for this year’s Saguaro Cup helped him score an undefeated win at the Diamond Pool Tour’s 3rd stop of the season at Freezer’s Ice House on June 9th – 10th.


Barrera’s 604 rating saw him giving up spots to some players that sounded impossible on paper. His first match of the event saw him giving up five games in a race to eight to Brandon Jewell. To make matters worse, Jewell broke and ran the first rack. Barrera is not known for ever giving up though and he bore down to win eight of the next nine racks for a hill-hill victory. “That win definitely gave me motivation for the rest of the event” said Barrera.
Barrera went on to score wins over Ricky Teyechea, Eric Beaver, Jose Gonzalez, Tim Daniel and then Joe Guerra for the hot-seat.
The field of 73 players held a fair share of players competing in their first tour stop of the season, and that lead to a number of players enjoying their first tour cashes of the season including David Friedel, Bryan Bach, Scott Vogelsberg, Jose Gonzalez, Dave Mark, Bill Vander Weyst and Guerra.
Dave Mark dropped a match to Tim Daniel late on Saturday night, but bounced back with wins over Brian Long, Josh Murphy and Vander Weyst to earn another shot at Daniel on the one loss side. Mark would settle for 4th after dropping that match to Daniel 9-5. Daniel would then go on eliminate Guerra 9-5 to earn another shot at Barrera in the finals.
Daniel had lost to Barrera 7-3 on the winner’s side and knew the 9-7 race in the finals would be a tough one. Barrera came out quick and took a 2-0 lead, but Daniel came back to win the next five racks. The players traded the next six racks for a 8-5 Daniel lead but Daniel would get no farther as Barrera won the next two racks for the hill-hill win and first place.
Barrera’s #1 fan, Cheryl Timmonen, felt that all of the practice for Saguaro Cup had certainly helped Barrera bring his ‘A-Game’ on this weekend. “He has been putting in an average of 25 hours of practice a week, on top of a full-time job” she said.
Daniel’s second place finish (his second in two events) was more than enough to keep him in first place on the tour points list, and Barrera’s win moved him to second place. Stop 2 winner, AJ Jones, holds third place on the list with Nick De Leon and Tom Dilorenzo filling out the top five spots.
The Diamond Pool Tour is sponsored by …
Diamond Billiard Products 
J Pechauer Custom Cues
Arizona Natural Selections
Casino Del Sol
Discount Mattress Barn
JB Cases

AJ Jones Wins First Diamond Pool Tour Stop Win

AJ Jones (Photo courtesy of Rick Schmitz)

The players appear to like the new format for the Diamond Pool Tour, as a field of 54 players made their way to Pockets Pool and Pub in Tucson, Arizona for stop #2 on the tour. Even with that size of a field, it was still local Tucson players dominating the final stages of the event.


As is always the case, Saturday held it’s fair share of early upsets with Ruben Silva dropping matches to Brian McIntyre and Hugo Villanueva for a “two and out” finish. Another early round upset saw Derek Kawamura drop matches to Terri Adams and Carl Stewart for an early exit.
Saturday play on the winner’s side saw Tucson’s AJ Jones (sans headphones) scoring wins over Marcus Teufel, Brian Long and Ed Scott to remain undefeated. Jones would be joined by Kevin Nguyen, Max Maurer, and Tim Daniel as the final four undefeated players.
The final eight on the one loss side included a handful of lower rated players with Vincent Sbelgio, Steve Adams and Tony Whiting all guaranteed cash finishes. McIntyre and Ricky Teyechea finished one spot out of the money on Saturday night.
Winner’s side action on Sunday saw Jones and Daniel scoring lopsided wins over Nguyen and Maurer to find themselves in the hot-seat match. That match would be a real battle with Jones coming out on top of a hill-hill match.
The story on the one loss side was (Fargo 444 rated) Steve Adams. Adams had remained undefeated almost all day Saturday, finally dropping an 8-1 match to Kevin Nguyen in his final match on Saturday. Adams picked up on Sunday where he left off on Saturday, with wins over Tony Whiting, Ed Scott and Max Maurer. Adams next faced off against Nguyen again, and apparently Nguyen is the only one who knows Adams’ weakness as he defeated Adams 8-0 in the rematch. Adams was so happy with his 4th place finish that he promptly stepped up to become a tour sponsor with his business, Discount Mattress Barn in Tucson.
Nguyen then dropped the semi-final match to Tim Daniel 10-4, setting up a Daniel/Jones rematch in the finals. The players traded racks on the other’s breaks early in the match until AJ Jones finally won rack seven on his own break for a 4-3 lead. That was all the momentum that Jones needed, as he then ran out to a 7-3 lead. Jones would reach the hill first at 9-4 and finally win the match 10-5 for first place.
The Diamond Pool Tour will brave the cold at Freezer’s Ice House on June 9th – 10th for the third stop of the season.
The Diamond Pool Tour is sponsored by …
J Pechauer Custom Cues
Casino Del Sol
Arizona Natural Selections
Discount Mattress Barn
JB Cases

Ellerman Three-Peats on Diamond Tour

Mitch Ellerman (Photo courtesy of Rick Schmitz)

The Diamond Pool Tour returned to Pockets Billiards in Tucson on October 1st – 2nd, for stop #7, with a field of 43 players playing 9-Ball on the 9’ tables. Although the top Tucson players put up a fight, it was Mitch Ellerman turning in his third straight tour stop win. 
The “A” bracket only held 14 players, and it was Ellerman and Tucson’s Chris Paradowski making their way through the winner’s bracket to meet up for the “A” bracket hot-seat. That match would go to Ellerman 9-6. Tim Daniel had lost his first match of the event, but scored an impressive run through the one loss side with dominating wins over AJ Jones, Tonee Allin, Jeff Webb and George Teyechea to face off with Paradowski in the semi-final match. Paradowski did the Tucson fans proud though, with a 9-6 win over Daniel. 
The “B” bracket consisted of 29 players with the Tucson players showing that they were more than ready to take on Phoenix’s best. The “B” bracket hot-seat came down to two Tucsonians with Eric Beeler defeating John Polaski in a hard fought 9-7 match. On the one loss side, Manny Luevano was proving that his 9-2 loss to Jack Murray in the first round was just a fluke. Luevano then went on a seven match winning streak that included notable wins over Rick Schmitz, 2015 “B” player of the year Joey Barrera, 2016 “B” Player of the year candidate Oscar Avila Sr. and Polaski in the semi final match. 
The 7th place finish by Avila was made possible by the come-back match of the weekend on Saturday night. Trailing Tim Christopher 8-2, Avila then proceeded to win seven straight games for the 9-8 win to earn him his spot in the Sunday bracket. 
When the brackets came together, Ellerman made quick work of Beeler for the overall hot-seat 9-3. On the one loss side though, Luevano was having fun defeating Tucson players and he kept the string going with a 9-7 win over Paradowski. Luevano wasn’t even done then, as he went on to eliminate Beeler in third place 9-4. That left Luevano with the unenviable task of having to beat Ellerman twice in the finals. He put up a fight, but it was Ellerman winning the first set 9-5 for first place and his third straight win. 
With the tournament win, Ellerman locked down the “A” player points list, with an insurmountable lead over Scott Frost. The “B” player points list sees Avila at the top, with a 115 point lead over Karloz Chavez. It would take a very high finish in the final stop of the year for Chavez to catch Avila on the list. 
Tour staff expressed their thanks to Curtis Johnson and his staff for taking care of the players all weekend. Rick Schmitz once again proved why he is the best billiards photographer in Arizona, with a selection of great player shots. 
The Diamond Pool Tour wasn’t done for the month though, as they held their final regular tour stop of the season three weeks later at Skip and Jan’s in Gilbert. 

The Diamond Pool Tour is proudly sponsored by:
Diamond Billiard Products –
Casino Del Sol Resort –
Neil’s Garage Cabinets –
Greenmail Internet Marketing –
QB Custom Cues –
Volturi Custom Cases –
Cue Sport International –
Aramith Billiard Balls –

Simonis Cloth –
Kamui Tips & Chalk –
Hanshaw Custom Cues –
G-Cue Billiards –
Billiards Press –
Cheqio –

Begay, Avila take top honors in open tourneys at 2016 Southwest Regionals

Brian Begay

Brian Begay of Shiprock, N.M. won the Mixed Gold Division and Joe Avila of Avondale, Ariz. finished first in the Mixed Silver Division at the 2016 Southwest Regional 8-Ball Tournament at We-Ko-Pa Resort & Conference near Scottsdale, Ariz. on Friday.
The Gold Division had 54 players, with Fargo ratings spanning from 519 to 697 and the Silver Division also had 54 players, with Fargo ratings ranging from 367 to 510. The races were handicapped with the lower-rated player receiving game spots based on the difference between the player’s Fargo ratings.
Begay’s path to the finals against Michael Allen of Salt Lake City, Utah, included wins over Tres Kane III, 6-4; Pete Barnes, 6-2; James Main, 6-2; Tim Daniel, 6-4; Ricardo Ritchie, 6-3 and Allen, 6-1.
Allen had a long string of wins before buckling to Begay. He beat Bill Truitt, 5-2; Tenadore Lee, 5-2; Wayne Cagle, 5-4; Bryan Wilson, 5-1; and Navin Talreja, 5-4, before losing to Begay. In the loser’s bracket, Allen beat LeRoy Banks, 5-1, giving him the opportunity to play Begay again in the finals.
Allen jumped out of the gate determined not to let Begay get the best of him, and beat Begay to force a second set in the true double-elimination formant.
But Begay was able to ward Allen off for the second set, beating the Salt Lake City-basEd Allen by a score of 6-3 in the finals to win the division, earning $1,000 and a plaque.
[photo id=45235|align=left]In the Silver division, Joe Avila started his day with a forfeit and then went undefeated to the finals, with wins over Lee Schnieders, 5-0; Mike Sauer, 5-4; Bryson Hunter Sr., 5-4; Anthony Laudadio, 5-4; and Todd Rodgers, 5-2, to take the hot seat.
Adam Payan, who would meet Avila in the finals, beat Guy Martinez Sr., 5-4; John Hardy, 5-0; and Willie Horton, 5-2, before falling to Todd Rodgers. Then Payan moved through the loser’s side of the bracket, with wins over Vince Villalva, 5-1 and Anthony Laudadio, 5-1, before getting revenge against Rodgers, 5-1.
But Payan couldn’t stop Avila’s winning streak and lost in the finals by a score of 5-2. Avila collected $800 for the win.
The women’s divisions, scotch doubles divisions, and the team divisions are still underway.
The 2016 Southwest Regional tournament is sponsored by CueSports International, Diamond Billiard Products Inc., Cyclop, and Simonis.
The 2016 Southwest Regional Tournament is produced by CueSports International, the parent company of the BCAPL and USAPL. CSI also produces independent events, such as the US Open 10-Ball Championship, the US Open 8-Ball Championship and much more. For more information, visit or call 702-719-POOL.
Gold Division
1. Brian Begay, Shiprock, N.M.                       $1,000
2. Michael Allen, Salt Lake City, Utah           $700
3. Leroy Banks, Mesa, AZ                               $450
4. Carlos Avalos, La Mesa, Calif.                     $300
5. Navin Talreja, Chandler, AZ                       $200
6. Ricardo Ritchie, Avondale, AZ                    $200
7. Bryan Wilson, Prescott Valley, AZ             $125
8. Drew McCoy, Austin, TX                             $125
9. Oscar Avila, Sr., Phoenix, AZ                      $100
10. Fernando Prats, Tempe, AZ                      $100
11. Tim Daniel, Mesa, AZ                               $100
12. Luke Wilkom, Mesa, AZ                            $100
13. Jeremy Gibbs, Phoenix, AZ                       $75
14. Larry Randle, Prescott Valley, AZ            $75
15. Bill Vander Weyst, Gilbert, AZ                 $75
16. Pete Lhotka, Dewey, AZ                           $75
Silver Division
1. Joe Avila, Avondale, AZ                             $800
2. Adam Payan, Glendale, AZ                         $575
3. Todd Rodgers, San Tan Valley, AZ             $375
4. Anthony Laudadio, Austin, TX                    $250
5. Vince Villalva, Austin, TX                           $150
6. Chuck Bower Jr., Gilbert, AZ                      $150
7. Michael Chapa, Beeville, TX                       $100
8. Brian Almond, San Gabriel, CA                   $100
9. Bryson Hunter Sr., Peach Springs, AZ        $85
10. Arnel Ferry, Glendale, CA                        $85
11. Jesse Perez, Gilbert, AZ                            $85
12. James Diaz, Phoeniz, AZ                           $85
13. Garnet Snow, Maricopa, AZ                     $75
14. Jose Torres, W. Hollywood, CA                $75
15. Spencer Brinkley, Mesa, AZ                     $75
16. Lynda Niichel, Queen Creek, AZ               $75

Scott Frost Notches Second Diamond Pool Tour Stop

Scott Frost celebrates his birthday (Photo courtesy of Rick Schmitz)

The Diamond Pool Tour bought their first event to Main Street Billiards in Mesa, Az for their fourth event of the 2016 season with 47 players playing 8-ball on the 16 beautiful Diamond 7’ tables. This stop saw the return of Scott Frost to the winner’s circle, as he won his second event of the season. 
The “A” player bracket came down to Frost and Bret Huth. Frost had wins over Navin Talreja, Art St. Germaine and Tim Daniel on his way to the hot-seat match, while Huth had wins over Jason Sweet, Mike Sandoval and Bobby Emmons. Huth was looking for his second “A” bracket hot-seat of the season, but Frost had other plans as he froze Huth out with a 7-1 victory. Huth would make quick work of Ben Sutherland on the one loss side 7-1, to earn his place in the final four. 
The “B” player bracket saw 8-Ball specialist Ed Scott using his soft break to full advantage as he raced to the hot-seat match. His opponent would be the tour’s official photographer Rick Schmitz, who was showed his bar table prowess all weekend. Schmitz had problems dealing with Scott’s break though, and Scott took the hot-seat with a 7-0 win. On the one loss side, Schmitz would have his hands full with Karloz Chavez. Chavez had lost to Junior Flores late on Saturday, but won hill-hill matches over Brian Poore and Joey Barrera to qualify for Sunday play. Chavez eliminated Heather Cortez and Flores on Sunday, before sending Schmitz back behind the camera with a 7-2 win.
The final bracket saw Frost show that Scott’s soft break was not a problem, as he won the final hot-seat 7-3. On the one loss side, Chavez fought to hill-hill before losing to Huth in fourth place. Huth then won another close match, as he eliminated Scott in third 7-5. The rematch between Frost and Huth was a quick one, with Frost scoring a 7-2 win in one set for his second tournament win of the season.
The win moves Frost into 3rd place on the “A” player points list, just 20 points behind Huth and Mitch Ellerman. The “B” player points list sees Chavez in first place, with a 25 point lead over Schmitz. Joey Barrera (the top “B” player from last season) is waiting in the weeds in third place on the list, waiting for his opportunity to make a move on the players above him. 
Tour organizers thanked Thor Skogan for bringing the tour to Main Street this season. He and his staff took great care of the players all weekend long, and the tour can’t wait to come back in the future. As usual, “Fast” Lenny Marshall kept the online stream going all weekend, and Rick Schmitz defended his title as the best pool photographer in the state, providing the tour with more great shots. 
The Diamond Pool Tour will move back to the big tables at their next event, as they play 9’ 8-Ball at Kolbys Corner Pocket in Tempe, on August 6th-7th. 

The Diamond Pool Tour is proudly sponsored by:
Diamond Billiard Products –
Casino Del Sol Resort –
Neil’s Garage Cabinets –
Greenmail Internet Marketing –
QB Custom Cues –
Volturi Custom Cases –
Cue Sport International –
Aramith Billiard Balls –

Simonis Cloth –
Kamui Tips & Chalk –
Hanshaw Custom Cues –
G-Cue Billiards –
Billiards Press –
Cheqio –

Runningen Wins Arizona Mezz West State Tour Stop

Beau Runningen

On the weekend of July 11th and 12th, a very talented group of 79 pool players escaped the blistering heat of Phoenix, Arizona to compete in the Mezz West State Tour's 5th event of their 17 stop season. Room owners of Bull Shooters, Mike and Julie Bates have one of the premier pool rooms in the nation boasting a huge array of tables, full kitchen, and full bar catering to both the recreational and serious pool fan. This is the second time the tour has visited Bull Shooters and the players thoroughly enjoy the venue. 
Several of the tour "regulars" were in attendance who came from California and Nevada to compete against the top players from the Arizona area including Bernie Pettipiece, Tim Daniel, Bobby Emmons, Tres Kane among others. Leading the top half of the tournament board was co founder of the MWST, Oscar Dominguez with wins over Mike Massey, James Main, Nick De Leon, Bobby Emmons, Tim Daniel, and Beau Runningen setting up for the hot seat match.
The bottom half of the bracket was lead by one pocket specialist Bernie Pettipiece with wins over Marshall Anonby, Michael Langarica, John Ritonya, George Tehachea, and Mark Whitehead to face Dominguez for the hotseat.
Meanwhile on the one loss side, early tounament favorites such as Sal Butera, Dave Hemmah, Rodney Morris, Vilmos Foldes, Brian Parks, and Ernesto Dominguez all faced early defeats making the one loss side littered with top players and amateurs. Once the dust settled, it was former Junior National Champion Beau Runningen clawing his way through the B bracket with wins over Bobby Emmons, 17 year old sharpshooter Chris Robinson, and Bernie Pettipiece to set up an all Southern California finals between Dominguez and Runningen for the title in the single extended race finals. After a few critical mistakes by Oscar, Beau capitalized with solid safety play and firepower to take tour stop #5 and first prize.
The top female bonus was awarded to Melissa Herndon and we would like to thank all our sponsors and players for their continued support.
The Mezz West State Tour would like to thank all their sponsors: Mezz Cues (, West State Billiard Supply (, Zan Tips (, Taom Break/Jump Tips (, Andy Cloth (, Ozzy Reynolds and CSI (, PiUs Company, So Cal Tap, Kurzweil Country Meats, fast&loose desgins (, Contact Point Media, Turtle Rack, NYC Grind ( and AZ Billiards ( 
We would also like to thank Mike and Julie Bates, along with their two daughters and the entire Bull Shooters staff for hosting the event. We would also like to thank all the players for coming out and supporting the tour.