Archive Page

Florian Kohler Player Interview

Florian Kohler

With the lack of events to report on at the moment, we are teaming with the Supr Charged Agency to feature interviews with various European and American players. Hopefully this will give all of the readers a chance to get to know these players better.

This time, we get to know “Venom” Florian Kohler
Name (and nickname): Florian ‘Venom’ Kohler
Birth year: 1988
City of residence and birth city:  Las Vegas, US  – Born in Mulhouse, France

We want to kick this off with how Florian began his career, so let’s start with the opening bio from his website.
Venom first picked up a pool cue and began “fooling around” at the age of 18, when he received a mini-pool table for his birthday. He learned his first trick shots from videos on the Internet, watching and imitating what he saw.

Not satisfied, Venom quickly moved on to inventing his own, modern version of old trick shots. Within two years, Venom was competing against trick shot pool pros that had been playing since before he was born. He hasn’t looked back since.

Who was your inspiration when you first started?
My first inspiration was a guy online named Ppooler. Then it was Semih Sayginer, followed by Mike Massey and Tom Rossman.

You are known as very creative and often come up with new and amazing shots. What is the process like when you work on a new shot? 
This is pretty hard to explain. I would say it is a little bit of everything. From watching other sports to literally coming up with it on the spot, it is very varied. Sometimes I have nothing, but then the next day, out of the blue, I’ll have 2 or 3 crazy new shots. I wish I could ‘control’ this better but it really is an artistic process and like artists, inspiration can come from very different things.

About how long does it take you, from the original idea stage, to have a shot “complete” and part of your show?
That also depends very much. Sometimes one shot can be integrated in the show in 15 minutes if it’s a new but easy one. But if it’s a hard one, I would say it takes me weeks to decide if it is worth it live or not.

How did you come up with the idea of bringing your Diamond table to the desert, Valley of Fire, for your latest video?
This was an old dream of mine. I always thought pool in the pool halls was very stereotyped, so I always wanted to get it out of the pool halls for my videos. On top of that, the landscape in my opinion adds an element of extreme sport that really matches my trick shots.

Your wife became a part of your videos a couple of years ago. How did that come together?
That was a very natural process. Part of the joy in pool is to teach your knowledge, so she learned a few tricks and really enjoyed it. After a while, it became obvious we had to do tandem videos. For the modeling part same as well. During practice, I often used her to ‘crash test’ some shots because she is actually fearless, so it really helped to determine which shot would be worth including in a full production. We really enjoy doing those together as a couple, lots of fun!

Are you a God-given talent, or is it a mix of talent and hard work?
I would say the creativity is definitely something I cannot explain, but the rest is just practice practice and practice!

Do you feel the pressure from up and coming artistic cueists?
I was recently talking about that with Mike Massey and to be honest, not really. I actually kind of miss it. There are a few players here and there that are technically very good and will win tournaments, but so far nobody has my creativity and to me copying something that already exists is very different than creating it.

What are your greatest accomplishments? Tell us about the feeling of achieving those.
It is hard to pick but I always thought my tournament accomplishments were never quite as important as the ones outside the pool industry. If I were to choose my first Guinness World Record, the 1 billion views I have online and reaching 1M subscribers on Facebook and soon youtube! No cueist ever reached that YouTube Gold Button, so that will be something truly special!

How often did you practice early on, and how often now?
I practice less and less now with all my other ventures, but when I started and for the next 7 years I was putting more hours in than I could count. I had no issue doing a week practicing 10 hours a day until my fingers were bleeding!

What should newcomers in this discipline practice most?
Definitely finding new shots and discovering their own style. I believe with the evolution of the cues, we can push the sport further and further.

You are also a great 9-ball player. How would you rate yourself in terms of the APA rating system?
Since I own the league in Vegas, I can tell you I would definitely be a 7-9 . I do have a high run of 73 in straight pool and 5 break and runs in 9 ball, all on 9 foot tables.

Do you ever get tempted to participate in local events?
I do very rarely. Not because I do not want to, but mainly because I am simply too busy. Trick shots are my job and normal pool is my hobby, so I am treating it like this, always trying to get shows on a weekend, rather than playing a tournament.

Is it true that you also hold a black belt in Judo, and do you still practice it? 
Yes that is correct. I unfortunately sort of stopped when my pool career started to take off in order, to avoid injuries.

How important is the equipment for an artistic cueist?
Very important! While you can do most shots with simple equipment, the key for us is for the cues to last and be solid/reliable. I can do 70% of my masses with a standard playing cue, however after 50 tries on that cue I would guarantee I would break the ferrule or something!

When did you realize that you could actually make a living from this?
It sort of happened gradually. I decided to really take a chance when my first viral video hit and had a few sponsors that would allow me to survive.

How many travel days do you have per year?
Not sure how many days, but I can tell you last year I took nearly 120 flights!

You have almost 1 million subscribers on YouTube. 
What, in your opinion, is required to be a great ambassador/sponsored player?
Love of the game first. You cannot just do it for the money or for the titles. This is a crazy game and as soon as you think you control it, something will happen. I just try to enjoy the game and truly love every kind of cue sport which naturally translates during my shows and other interactions.

What should the billiard industry do, in general, to get more recognition outside the industry? 
I think, break off the cliches, be more professional and consider ourselves as such. After all, pool is one of the most played sports in the world, so with the right structures, nothing should stop us from reaching our legitimate status!

Thoughts on Matchroom and their efforts to make pool great?
Fantastic! Any effort like this will be beneficial for everyone. Even for the players not selected, such an effort will ripple and enhance the professionalization of our beloved sport!
You were involved in the “Billiards 2024” project. Your goal was to get the sport accepted for the 2024 Olympic Games.
Were you surprised that the Olympic committee decided to not accept billiards, but chose breakdancing, skateboarding, surfing and climbing?

In my opinion this was the best effort billiard has made in a long time. Brands and disciplines working together, past their differences, all towards a common goal. Yes, the result didn’t reflect our efforts, but I truly believe something ‘clicked’ and in the future this will serve the industry greatly! As far as the other disciplines, to me it was simply a lobbying/marketing issue that unfortunately we could not do anything against…

What are your goals for 2020?
Hard to say at this point. My goal was to grow the pool league and go back to traveling a bit less for trick shots but really with the covid19, it’s hard to say what economical landscape we will all wake up to in a month…  I am still hoping to continue promoting the game through my shows and especially appeal to the younger generation!
Can we expect more world records from you in the next 2 years?
Absolutely. As a matter of fact I had an event planned for next month that unfortunately is cancelled due to the pandemic. I am thinking about potentially doing it live now but hard to say if we can meet Guinness requirements during those times… I will certainly keep everyone posted!!

Your thoughts on the Covid-19 situation and what should pool players do? 
These are going to be hard times for us, just when everything was starting to be better. Obviously, we cannot participate in tournaments and travel, so all we can do is share the love for the game online and practice as much as possible!!

APA Members Take Center Stage In Las Vegas

APA World 8-Ball Champions K-9 of Kansas City, MO

Nearly $1.3 Million Awarded at World’s Largest Pool Tournament

Vegas has long been a hot-bed for some of the most famous names in entertainment. Names like Sinatra, Elvis, Celine, Britney.

 
But in August, it was APA members, from all walks of life, taking center stage in Sin City. An estimated 18,000 people from across the globe came to Las Vegas to compete on amateur pool’s biggest stage at the APA World Pool Championships.  This year’s poolplaying-paradise offered nearly $1.3 Million in cash to top finishers.
 
Finalists battled their hearts out in six different championship events that were live streamed in a completely redesigned PoolDawg Championship Arena.
 
In addition to 10 days of nearly round-the-clock tournament excitement, APA members had the chance to rub elbows with the likes of “The Black Widow” Jeanette Lee, Internet Trick Shot Sensation Florian “Venom” Kohler and billiard Hall of Famer “Dr. Cue” Tom Rossman.  Other pro players spotted at the APA World Championships included Mosconi Cup MVP Skyler Woodward and Team USA teammates Shane Van Boening, Billy Thorpe and Corey Deuel.
 
Competitors capped off the experience of a lifetime with APA’s always epic poolside bash at the Westgate Pool overlooking the Vegas strip.
 
In the 720-team 8-Ball World Championship, K-9 of Kansas City, Mo., defeated No Excuses of Hickory, N.C., in a nail-biter to take home $25,000 in cash and the championship title.  As Runners-Up, No Excuses received $15,000 in prize money.  The 8-Ball World Championship can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_xH1d5OwD1E.
 
Teams in the 8-Ball Championship squared-off in a modified single-elimination format that ensured each team played at least twice before elimination. All 8-Ball Division teams automatically received $350 in national qualifier money, and the top 8 teams won at least $5,000. The 8-Ball Division began play on Aug. 8 and concluded on Aug. 13.
 
In the 520-team 9-Ball World Championship, it was Seven and a Timmaaay of Hiram, Ga., defeating Burn It Down of Joilet, Ill., in the finals.  Seven and a Timmaaay took home $15,000 in 1st Place prize money. As Runners-Up, Burn It Down received $7,000 in cash.  The 9-Ball World Championship can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jvXcr1LGKcQ.
 
The 9-Ball Championship was held Aug. 13-17, with each team competing in a modified single-elimination format that ensured each team played at least twice before elimination. All national qualifiers received a minimum of $350, with the top 8 teams winning at least $2,000.
 
After winning their divisions in weekly APA 8-Ball and 9-Ball League play and then placing in World Qualifiers throughout the United States, Canada and Japan, teams consisting of five to eight players qualified to compete in the 2019 APA World Championships.
 
In the Team Captains Championship that included 375 teams, Suspect & Bad Decisions of Shreveport, La., defeated Make It Happen Cap’N of Fort Worth, Texas to take home $10,000 in prize money.  As Runners-up, Make It Happen Cap’N took home $5,000.  The Team Captains Championship can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PplUtpyup44.
 
The finals of the Masters Championship featured reigning champions Hugh & the Hustlers of Wallingford, Conn., successfully defending their title against Who’s Who of Saginaw, Mich.  Hugh & the Hustlers took home $10,000 in 1st Place prize money, while Who’s Who received $5,000 as Runner-Up in the 256-team event.  The Masters Championship can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPFyuXmKHjo.
 
In the finals of the 256-team Ladies 8-Ball Championship, it was Apocalypsticks of Chicago, Ill., defeating Femmes Fatales of Commack, N.Y., to win $10,000 in 1st Place prize money.  As Runners-Up, Femmes Fatales received $5,000 in cash.  The Ladies 8-Ball Championship can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5g9TK0W5r0o.
 
In the Jack & Jill Doubles Championship, which also included 256 teams, it was Double Trouble of Poconos, Penn., winning $3,500 in the finals with a victory over Lucky Slice of Miami, Fla. Lucky Slice received $2,300 as Runner-Up.  The finals of the Jack & Jill Doubles Championship can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LZfoRbvScA0.
 
In addition, the APA conducted nearly round-the-clock MiniMania tournaments, which took place daily and were open to all APA members. The MiniMania tournaments offered multiple formats with 100% prize money payback that awarded nearly $260,000.
 
The APA, based in Lake Saint Louis, Mo., sanctions the world’s largest amateur pool league, with leagues throughout the United States, Canada and Japan.  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 four major tournaments each year—the APA World Pool Championships, the APA Poolplayer Championships, the APA Junior Championships and the U.S. Amateur Championship—that, together, pay out nearly $2 Million in cash and prizes annually with an additional $20+ million awarded locally in travel, prizes, player benefits and cash!
 
The APA and its championships are sponsored by Aramith, Action Cues, PoolDawg and Valley-Dynamo.
 
For more information on the APA World Pool Championships, visit the official APA website at www.poolplayers.com.

APA World Championships Enjoy Record Participation

The Anigons of Osaka, Japan

Attendance at World’s Largest Pool Tournament Continues to Soar

Back in August 2010, the APA National Team Championships set a Guinness World Record for the “World’s Largest Pool Tournament.”  It might be time to get the folks from Guinness on the phone again.

 
This year’s event, rebranded two years ago as the APA World Pool Championships to better reflect the global field, set a new record for participation with a whopping 2,361 teams, nearly 400 more than last year.  The championships were APA’s second major Vegas event following the Poolplayer Championships in April.
 
The more than 15,000 folks in attendance were treated to far more than they anticipated when they won their free trip to the championships during the World Qualifiers.
 
In addition to nearly round-the-clock tournament action for 10 straight days, APA members had the chance to rub elbows with the likes of “The Black Widow” Jeanette Lee, Internet Trick Shot Sensation Florian “Venom” Kohler and billiard Hall of Famer “Dr. Cue” Tom Rossman.  Other pro players spotted at the APA World Championships included Francisco Bustamante, Ewa Laurance, Corey Deuel, Vivian Villarreal and Mike Massey, just to name a few.
 
Competitors capped off the experience of a lifetime with APA’s always epic poolside bash at the Westgate pool overlooking the Vegas strip.
 
Throw in more than $1.2 Million in cash and it all added up to a party unlike any other.
 
In the 713-team 8-Ball World Championship, Sharktank of Owen Sound, Ont., defeated Biggelbach’s of Portland, Ore., in a nail-biter to take home $25,000 in cash and the championship title.  As Runners-Up, Biggelbach’s received $15,000 in prize money.  The 8-Ball World Championship can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dzCkInvuiaY.
 
Teams in the 8-Ball Championship squared-off in a modified single-elimination format that ensured each team played at least twice before elimination. All 8-Ball Division teams automatically received $350 in national qualifier money, and the top 8 teams won at least $5,000. The 8-Ball Division began play on Aug. 13 and concluded on Aug. 18.
 
In the 500-team 9-Ball World Championship, it was Anigons of Osaka, Japan, defeating Racks on the Rocks of Peoria, Ill., in the finals.  Anigons became the first team from Japan to secure a title at the APA World Championships since they began sending representatives in 2007. Anigons took home $15,000 in 1st Place prize money. As Runners-Up, Racks on the Rocks received $7,000 in cash.  The 9-Ball World Championship can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FIt5tuf6y6U.
 
The 9-Ball Championship was held Aug. 9-13, with each team competing in a modified single-elimination format that ensured each team played at least twice before elimination. All national qualifiers received a minimum of $350, with the top 8 teams winning at least $2,000.
 
After winning their divisions in weekly APA 8-Ball and 9-Ball League play and then placing in World Qualifiers throughout the United States, Canada and Japan, teams consisting of five to eight players, qualified to compete in the 2018 APA World Championships.
 
In the inaugural Team Captains Championship that included 380 teams, Q-Bert 222 of San Diego, Calif., defeated the Mizfits of Snohomish, Wash., to take home $10,000 in prize money.  As Runners-up, the Mizfits took home $5,000.  The Team Captains Championship can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uTZwejy6XZI.
 
The finals of the Masters Championship featurEd Hugh & the Hustlers of Wallingford, Conn., defeating Not MMMMMMKay of Houston, Texas.  Hugh & the Hustlers took home $10,000 in 1st Place prize money, while Not MMMMMMKay received $5,000 as Runner-Up in the 256-team event.  The Masters Championship can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dbgmw8yh-fg.
 
In the finals of the 256-team Ladies 8-Ball Championship, it was Chicks Ahoy of Newport News, Va., defeating Manny’s Angels of Edison, N.J., to win $10,000 in 1st Place prize money.  As Runners-Up, Manny’s Angels received $5,000 in cash.  The Ladies 8-Ball Championship can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=ofVcSFe6RTI.
 
In the Jack & Jill Doubles Championship, which also included 256 teams, it was Stumble Inn J&J of Godly, Ill., winning $3,500 in the finals with a victory over Last Minute of Fall River, Mass. Last Minute received $2,300 as Runner-Up.  The finals of the Jack & Jill Doubles Championship can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kOdowbsJ9tk.
 
Championship match coverage was provided free online courtesy of www.PoolDawg.com.
 
In addition, the APA conducted nearly round-the-clock MiniMania tournaments, which took place daily and were open to all APA members. The MiniMania tournaments offered multiple formats with 100% prize money payback that awarded nearly $260,000.
 
The APA, based in Lake Saint Louis, Mo., sanctions the world’s largest amateur pool league, with leagues throughout the United States, Canada and Japan.  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 four major tournaments each year—the APA World Pool Championships, the APA Poolplayer Championships, the APA Junior Championships and the U.S. Amateur Championship—that, together, pay out nearly $2 Million in cash and prizes annually!
 
The APA and its championships are sponsored by Aramith, Action Cues and PoolDawg.
 
For more information on the APA World Pool Championships, visit the official APA website at www.poolplayers.com.

29th Annual BEF Junior Nationals Rolls Ahead in Las Vegas

The most respected, skilled and academically brilliant minded junior cueists from across the United States were just in Vegas competing in an action packed week of billiards. A few miles south of the Vegas strip the Billiard Education Foundation (BEF) had presented and concluded the 29th Annual Junior National 9-Ball Championships. This challenging co-event was held Wednesday-
 
Saturday August 2nd- 5th, 2017, having returned to the family friendly South Point Hotel, Casino & Spa in Las Vegas, Nevada. Showcased at one end of the Billiard Congress of America (BCA) Billiard & Home Leisure Expo was the BEF junior national’s arena. The competition area boasted 20 professional 9-foot Diamond tables. This junior event is the only opportunity for U.S. billiard student-athletes to qualify to compete at the World Pool-Billiard Association (WPA) World Junior 9-Ball Championships being held this year Oct 31st – Nov. 5th, 2017 in Moscow, Russia.
 
On Tuesday, the registration process was in full motion with the noise and bustle of last minute preparations for the tournament and expo grand openings. There, the junior players received BEF sponsor gifts and a 2017 tournament memorabilia shirt. The junior events kicked off that evening with the highly anticipated and popular annual Adult-Youth Scotch Doubles tournament, which gave parents and juniors the chance to showcase their skills for a doubles fun-filled night and prizes. Even the pros were actively seeking to be recruited to fill in and play. BEF Tournament director Earl Munson remarked, “Big grins everywhere. The pros were playing like kids and the kids were playing like pros!” BCA Hall of Famers and multi world champions Nick Varner & Loree Jon Hasson along with Mosconi Team USA and doubles silver medalist in World Cup of Pool, Skyler Woodward & Shane Van Boening joined with the junior players. Former 2002 junior national champion Beau Runningen was eagerly paired and proved he still had game, and fellow 2017 Team USA member Manny Perez matched up as well. Parent’s skill levels ranged in doubles competition from yikes (Where is the instructor quick?), to wow (Did you see that parent play?!). Eventually the fun night ended with all the pros/junior teams converging to the semi-finals. 1st Place was Skyler Woodward & Trenton White, 2nd Place Nick Varner & Justin Toye, 3rd Place Loree Jon Hasson & Xavier Hultze, 4th Place Beau Runningen & Spencer Ladin.
 
Wednesday, the players meeting and group photo opened the 3 pm start of the first five rounds of the 2017 BEF Junior National 9-Ball tournament. This year’s tournament format incorporated the WPA World Junior style of preliminary double elimination brackets qualifying to a seeded single elimination finals bracket. The format also allows for the larger fields sizes, table and time constraints. This year’s field represented: 167 players, ranging from 7 to 18 years of age, from over 30 qualifying events, more than 25 states and including the U.S. Virgin Islands. There were four participating divisions included 18 & Under Boys (18UB), 18 & Under Girls (18UG), 14 & Under Boys (14UB) and 14 & Under Girls (14UG). The divisions played in 64, 64, 32 and 32 double elimination brackets respectively. The top 25% of players from each division then moved to single elimination brackets with the winners seeded and the one-loss players listed by a blind draw. Without a doubt match play all week was exciting and intense as all players vied to make it to their respective finals single-elimination brackets.
 
On Friday night before the finals, the packed banquet night was held. The banquet comfortably seated all juniors, family members, pros, sponsors, and BEF staff and volunteers to enjoy a great meal, laughs, heartfelt speeches, recognitions, remembrance, awards and honors.
 
Each year players are nominated by their peers at the junior nationals to recognize sportsmanship on and off the table. This special award is in remembrance and recognition of one of BEF’s alumni’s, Brendan Crockett, who was more than just a talented young player taken early from life. Brendan grew from an eager teen-ager to an intelligent, charming gentleman with true character and humility. His humor, willingness to work hard and ability to lead have been an important part of our programs. The 2017 Brendan Crockett Character Award Recipients were: Eric Roberts from Crossville, Tennessee and Eliana Rodriguez from Brooklyn, New York.
 
The Special Guest Speaker at the banquet this year was “The Colonel”, Nick Varner. He humorously recounted his junior moments in the game and he jokingly had some great advice to share. “If you bet twice as much, you will learn twice as fast.” Varner has long been an enthusiastic supporter of the juniors and also stated, “This event is amazing and a great showcase of our (nations) top junior players”.
 
Newly inducted 2017 BCA Hall of Famer Tom “Dr. Cue” Rossman also made his 24th appearance at the junior nationals. Dr. Cue, presented the 2017 Artistic Pool awards to this year’s champions, Timmy Bly (Bettendorf, IA), Michelle Jiang (Harvard, MA), Joey Tate Raleigh, NC) and Lana Keith (Dyersburg, TN).
 
The banquet night again amassed much of the junior field with the coveted title of “Academic All American” (AAA) when awards were presented. Of the entire 167 player field, an incredible 45% of this year’s participants (75 players!) earned school GPA’s of 3.5 and 31.6% of the AAA field earned 4.0 GPA’s, to receive recognition! The sport of billiards is definitely attracting, developing, and maintaining academic excellence! The banquet concluded with words of optimism and change from longtime BEF Trustee Tom Riccobene, “Each of us can take home what we have learned here this week and share with the people we love and meet. You’re all champions and we are honored to learn from you”, Riccobene said.
 
The finals play for all divisions was held on Saturday Aug. 5th. In an effort to stay more aligned with the WPA World event, the BEF awarded Gold, Silver and Bronze medals to the top four finishers of each division.
 
All medalists in the 18UB & 18UG divisions along with the gold and silver medalists from the 14UG & 14UB divisions have been nominated for the 2017 WPA World Junior 9-Ball Championships October 31st to November 5th in Moscow, Russia.
 
This junior national was a year of competitive upsets. A trio of past back-to-back champions made up of Nathan Childress (14UB from North Chesterfield, VA), April “The Grinder” Larson (18UG from Bloomington, MN), and Ashley Fullerton (14UG from Lake Park, MN) all sought to become three-peat champions but fell short and all new gold medalists emerged.
 
Larson drew a bye sliding her to the winner side where she then matched up and defeated Katelin Ballou and then Abigail Reese to move her to the 18UG finals 8 bracket. In the semifinals match April was determined to move on but rival Michelle Jiang from Harvard, MA ended her bid to claim her 3rd straight 18UG’s title earning Larson a bronze medal instead for her effort. Gracie Davis from Decatur, IL with her great play also joined Larson for the bronze. Jiang battled it out in the 18UG finals match against Alex Booth from Mount Ayr, IA with Jiang excitedly getting her first 18UG gold medal win with Booth taking the very respectable silver. Jiang has been playing very strong the last few months with her now qualifying for her 4th Junior Worlds. Jiang will head to Moscow, Russia with her fellow Team USA members on Oct 31st, 2017.
 
In the 14UG division it was also a battle to maintain the championship reign, as the 2016 14UG Champion Fullerton from Lake Park, MN tried but failed to make the 14UG’s final bracket losing her first match to Tatum Cutting from Diamond, OH and her second to Vivian Liu from Harvard, MA. Liu and Cutting would eventually become opponents in the bronze medal round where Liu moved on leaving Cutting with the bronze. Gracie Davis from Decatur, IL matched up with Savanna Wolford from Troutville, VA in the other half of the semis with Davis also getting the bronze and earning Wolford a match up with Liu in the finals. The 14UG finals match played at 11am on Saturday spotlighted the two young quiet and upcoming players in Liu and Wolford. Both played well with Liu edging out the win with her first gold medal and Wolford proudly taking home the silver.
 
The title of 18UB champion was newly earned this year by Austin Summers from Metropolis, IL. Summers started out strong winning his first two matches only to come up short against Graham Swinson to earn a spot on the final 16 bracket winner seeded position. Needing only a single match win on the one loss side gave Summer’s his spot on the Final 16 single elimination 18UB bracket. Taking down Lukas Fracasso-Verner in a rescheduled reprieve match due to a disqualification sent Summer’s to play Ricky Evans in the semifinals. Evans from St. Peters, MO was last year’s 18UB champion but Evans struggled to keep Summer’s from finally advancing to gold earning Evans the bronze medal this year. Summers traded wins with Kaiden Hunkins from Waukesha, WI until the match was over with Austin Summers winning gold and Hunkins taking the silver medal for being runner-up in this year’s 18UB division. Thomas Haas from Lancaster, PA also took the bronze medal losing in the semifinals to Hunkins.
 
As always the 14UB’s is a very competitive division with high levels of play even for that age. As in the 18UG and 14UG, defending national champion Nathan Childress from North Chesterfield, VA was chasing his third consecutive championship. But Childress ran into a wall this year from a veteran BEF tournament player from Crossville, TN named Eric Roberts. Roberts knocked the defending champion, in a resounding statement of 6-0, to the one loss side where they would again meet up on the blind draw of the 14UB finals bracket. Again Roberts took Childress out this time for good with another convincing 6-2 win. Roberts would go on to win again in the quarterfinals against Jayden Liu from Harvard, MA only to eventually lose to Joey Tate from Lake Villa, IL in the semifinals earning Roberts his first medal ever with the Bronze. The very skilled Gabriel Martinez from New Braunfels, TX also earned a bronze medal after Joshua Shultz from Stedman, NC defeated him. Shultz earned a finals match with Joey Tate. Tate with 2X Junior Worlds experience under his belt was at an advantage in the high- pressure match for the gold with Shultz. After the last 9-ball was pocketed for the match wins the entire five-players strong Tate family, applauded with joy as their brother was crowned the BEF 2017 14UB Gold Medal Champion and Shultz as runner-up Silver Medalist.
 
The future is very bright for our BEF junior program members as there are now more than ever before, so many high level competitive opportunities at the local, state, national, and international level.
 
Gold Medals:
 
18UB Austin Summers, (Metropolis, IL)
 
18UG Michelle Jiang, (Harvard, MA)
 
14UB Joey Tate, (Lake Villa, IL)
 
14UG Vivian Liu, (Harvard, MA)
 
Silver Medals:
 
18UB Kaiden Hunkins, (Waukesha, WI)
 
18UG Alex Booth, (Mount Ayr, IA)
 
14UB Joshua Shultz, (Stedman, NC)
 
14UG Savanna Wolford, (Troutville, VA)
 
Bronze Medals:
 
18UB Thomas Haas, (Lancaster, PA) and Ricky Evans, (St Peters, MO)
 
18UG Hailey Fullerton, (Lake Park, MN) and April Larson, (Bloomington, MN)
 
14UB Eric Roberts, (Crossville, TN) and Gabriel Martinez, (New Braunfels, TX)
 
14UG Tatum Cutting, (Diamond, OH) and Gracie Davis, (Decatur, IL)
 
The Billiard Education Foundation proudly recognizes the industry leaders who helped make this year’s event possible.
 
Event Sponsors: Billiard Congress of America. Diamond Billiard Products, TLP Billiards, Simonis, Aramith, Ultimate Team Gear, Jacoby Cues, On the Wire Creative Media, Pechaur Cue, ACS, Champion, Valley, Dynamo, Connelly, FCI Billiards, McDermott, Predator, OB Cues, DigiCue, Presidential Billiards, West State Billiards, OGB Millwork, Professional Billiards Instructor Association, Master Chalk, Tiger, Presidential Billiards Pool & Billiard Magazine, Professor Q Ball, Billiards Digest, AzBilliards.com, Dr. Cue, Billiard University, Dave Alciatore, Bob Jewett, Brett Lewis, Jay Helfert, Jeremiah Gage and Tom Riccobene.
 
The BEF gives special thanks to all the individuals who gave countless hours throughout the year to help make this event possible: Samm Diep-Vidal, Tom Riccobene (BEF Treasurer), Jeremiah Gage (BEF Secretary), Shari Stauch (BEF President), Tammy Jo Leonard (BEF Assistant National Director), Earl Munson (BEF Tournament Director) received the 2017 BCA Presidents Award, Rick Doner (BEF Head Referee), Justin Ballou (Assistant Head Referee), Ed Smith (Referee), Ed Stephens (Referee), Angela Williams (Referee), Dennis & Doris Stotler (Referees), Jim Ladin (Volunteer/Donor), Corey and Trena Wolford, Stephanie Shaw (Volunteer), Steve Strange(volunteer), congratulations to the new 2017 BCA Hall-of-Famer “Dr. Cue” Tom Rossman (Junior Artistic Pool Championship Director), Nick Varner (Pro Guest Speaker), Ra Hanna & Beau Runningen for providing live streaming/scoring/brackets through On The Wire Creative Media and pro commentary by Loree Jon Hasson and Max Eberle, Brian Glasgow and his professional team, all the staff at South Point and a huge thanks to BCA’s Rob Johnson, Chance Pack, and Shane Tyree for all their help and support, and to all the parents and juniors who are so dedicated to the sport we give a hearty thank you and we will see you next year in New Orleans.

Appleton, Rossman Elected to Billiard Congress of America Hall of Fame

Tom Rossman & Darren Appleton

The Billiard Congress of America Hall of Fame welcomes a transplanted English 8-Ball star and one of the sport's most enthusiastic ambassadors to the class of 2017. The United States Billiard Media Association today announced that three-time World Champion Darren Appleton and "Dr. Cue" Tom Rossman have earned induction as the 69th and 70th members of the sport's most prestigious hall of fame.
 
Appleton, 41, will enter the Greatest Players wing of the BCA Hall of Fame, while Rossman, 69, will be honored in the Meritorious Service category. Both will be formally inducted during ceremonies later in the year.
 
Born in Yorkshire in northern England, Appleton split his childhood between English 8-Ball, soccer and boxing. He compiled a 12-4 record as an amateur fighter and won the junior national English 8-ball championship in 1996, at 16. Four years later, Appleton decided to devote full time to his cue career, and over the next decade he was the top-ranked player in the world seven times.
 
In 2006, Appleton left the English game and traveled to the United States to participate in the short-lived International Pool Tour. Appleton's American Pool career took off after his surprising win over Jiaqing Wu in the final of the World 10-Ball Championship in the Philippines. He followed that win with the World Pool Masters title in 2009.
 
Appleton won the first of his two consecutive U.S. Open 9-Ball Championships in 2010, and captured his second WPA world title in 2012 when he beat Hewen Li of China in the final of the World 9-Ball Championship. Showing a propensity for winning in back-to-back years, Appleton won the Challenge of Champions in 2011 and 2012, and the World Tournament of 14.1 in 2013 and 2014. Appleton's 2013 straight pool win included a run of 200 and out against Francisco Bustamante, the highest recorded run in a major straight pool tournament.
 
He also scored one his great personal triumphs in 2013 when he edged Taiwan's Jung-Lin Chang, 11-10, to win the gold medal at the World Games in Cali, Colombia. Appleton added the World Cup of Pool title to his resume in 2014, teaming with Karl Boyes. And in 2015, Appleton won his third world crown, this time capturing a world 8-ball title by besting World Snooker Champion Mark Selby in the final of the Chinese Pool World Championship.
 
"It's really amazing to know I'm in the BCA Hall of Fame," said Appleton from Yorkshire, where he was visiting his ailing parents. "I can't really put it into words. To be playing American pool full time for only 11 years and achieve this recognition is incredible. There is no bigger honor for a pool player. This is the pinnacle. It's been a difficult year for me personally, so this is the kind of news I really needed. I'm very thankful."
 
Rossman was born in Minonk, Ill., and studied business management at Eastern Illinois University. But pool was always Rossman's true passion and he has parlayed that love into a 40-plus year career as a competitor, promoter, innovator, teacher and ambassador in the sport.
 
Rossman is credited with being the founding father of the modern day "Artistic Pool" movement. Rossman developed and promoted numerous events through the 1990s and was asked by then-World Pool-Billiard Association president Jorgen Sandman to help develop professional artistic pool competitions within the association's worldwide federation and have the discipline formally recognized by the world organization. Rossman served as president of the WPA Artistic Pool Division for more than a decade. The WPA World Artistic Pool Championship was first staged in 2000, and has been held every year since. Rossman won the title in 2006, and was runner-up on three occasions.
 
Rossman's efforts in organizing trick shots as a competitive discipline was also instrumental in the development of the ESPN Trick Shot Magic shows, produced by Billiards International. Trick Shot Magic continues to draw the highest ratings of any televised billiard programming in the U.S.
 
Rossman is a master teacher as well, certified as an Advanced Instructor by the Professional Billiard Instructors Association and the American CueSports Alliance. He continues to travel the country promoting the sport, reaching thousands of junior players and enthusiasts.
 
"I am humbled and honored to be elected into the BCA Hall of Fame," Rossman said upon hearing the news. "Starting out as a rack boy at the age of 10 provided an initial foundation for my billiard journey. My wife and business partner, Marty, and I share the joy of the roll with players, fans and students of the game around the world. We have been actively involved with all facets of the billiard industry at the junior, amateur and professional levels for a long time.
 
"The Hall of Fame designation is extra special in so many ways. When a person connects with his or her dreams, visions, blessings and passions in a heartfelt manner, he or she may truly rack up a victory in the game and, more importantly, in life." 
 
Voting for the 2017 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 Hall of Fame. 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 inclusion on the ballot; b) must have a professional playing career of at least 10 years; and c) must have recorded significant achievements in U.S.-based and international events.
 
Appleton easily outdistanced Women's Professional Billiards Association champion Gerda Hofstatter in voting. Appleton was named on 88 percent of the ballots, while Hofstatter was named on 45 percent. Vivian Villarreal, Shannon Daulton and Jeremy Jones were named on less than 20 percent of the ballots.
 
Rossman's nomination was recommended by the Meritorious Service Committee, which also recommended George and Paul Jansco of Johnston City fame for consideration. USBMA members voted to included Rossman on the final ballot, where he was approved by the Hall of Fame Board.
 
About United States Billiard Media Assocation
Founded in 2007, the United States Billiard Media Association is a non-profit association dedicated to elevating the visibility and status of billiards in the media at large. The USBMA consists of professional print, radio, TV, public relations and Internet media persons who cover cue sports. One of the association's main functions is electing of billiard media members to the Billiard Congress of America's Hall of Fame Board for the purpose of nominating and electing players and notable figures to the Billiard Congress of America Hall of Fame.
 
About Billiard Congress of America
Founded in 1948, the Billiard Congress of America is a non-profit trade organization dedicated to growing a united, prosperous and highly regarded billiard industry through Billiard Congress of America leadership.  The Billiard Congress of America seeks to enhance the success of its members and promote the game of billiards though educational, marketing and promotional efforts, annual industry trade shows and other programs designed to encourage billiards as a lifestyle and make pool everybody's game. For more information, visit bca-pool.com or call 303.243.5070.

Artistic Pool Pros Demand Changes

In almost any arena, when one stands alone in this day and age, creating any sort of change or impact can be a tough nut to crack. In the recent weeks, a small amount of artistic pool players have decided to take a stand against the World Pool Association’s, Artistic Pool Division (WPA-APD).  On September 9th, 2015 a somewhat brash demand letter went out to Mark Dimick, President of the WPA-APD, and all the other board members (Jim Sommer, Javier Gomez, Arkadiy Loshakov, Dan Hosier, Tim Chin, Jamie Moody, Buddy Eick, Stefano Pelinga, Jeremiah Owens, Curtis Robertson) stating that there were issues that a majority of the top players in the world (13 total) would like to see change for the better of the sport.  These terms came with a two-week deadline for response, or else a boycott on future events would take place.

 

Seeking change for the betterment of artistic pool, as a sport, was what Nick Nikolaidis and his ‘Player's Board’ were seeking.  In the midst of the recent World Championships that took place in Atlanta, Georgia, many issues within the industry were magnified and several players decided it was time to change the status-quo.  Instead of having a continual gripe session, Nikolaidis, helped to fascilitate an impromptu meeting.  Among his constituents, were top ranked, Andy Segal, world champion Gabi Visoiu, viral sensation, Florian Kohler, Dave Nangle, Abram Diaz, Steve Markle, Gordon Hedges, Adam Nickels, Jim Glanville, Jamey Gray and Sebastian Giumelli.  In this initial meeting, they decided it would be an open discussion of all issues, and these issues would be taken to a vote and would be presented to the WPA-APD.  

 

It seems that with the manifestation of such a notice of demands, the communication gap between the artistic players and it’s governing body has existed for quite some time. The players have felt that there were problems with the format of events, money allocation, and WPA-APD board elections, among other issues.  In this recent letter to the WPA-APD, the ‘Player's Board’, as they call themselves, itemized this letter into seven categories, with included subcategories.  The first category is “Player Quality.”  Because there was a live-stream of the World Championship, the player quality was on spotlight when it came to how artistic pool was portrayed.  This being the case there were five players that scored under 100 points out of a possible 320 points.  There were two players that scored 20 points or less.  As a professional world championship, the playing field is expected to be of a high caliber, especially those playing on the stream table.  This essentially affects how the tournament is set up with regards to which players are in which flights, which is also addressed within the letter.  Upon interviewing Nick Nikolaidis, Abram Diaz and Gabi Visoiu, they all discussed that they wanted Artistic Pool to be represented in the best fashion with the highest ranked and skilled players showcased, especially on a broadcast.  Not for themselves, but for the presentation for the world to see.

 

Click on here to download and read the letter to the WPA-APD:  Dear WPA

 

The second category brought up within the letter to the WPA-APD is a topic most often brought up in pool and billiard tournaments: the pay-outs and purse.  The first issue brought up was paying out the entire field, which essentially means the tournament is simply reimbursing all players for part of the entry fee.  In a recent interview with current World Champion, Gabi Visoiu, he stated, “it is simply a lowered entry fee.”  Unless it is an invitational event, it is quite unheard of to pay out the entire field.  Visoiu also has a unique perspective as an international player, wiring his entry is an additional cost, as well as cashing a check from the Bank of Oklahoma in Transylvania, Romania becomes a bit of a challenge.  For Sebastian Giumelli, cashing a check in Argentina is even more of a problem.  Although, the demand for cashier's checks for international winners was in the letter, upon realizing that there was a problem for Visoiu this year, the WPA-APD did tell Visoiu they would switch to an international bank for future events.  Among other points was how much to pay or not pay the tournament director and referees.

 

Tournament format, the shot program itself, and the awards ceremony is addressed in categories three, four and five.  It has been three years that the World Championships and other tournaments have not been played with a play-off format.  For the players and perhaps even the presentation of broadcast, it would be beneficial to reinstate the play-off format for the top qualifying players in the tournament going into the final day.  In regards to the shot program, the Player's Board is seeking that they get to at least review the shot program to identify any mistakes that may be apart of it.  Finally, the awards ceremony is discussed in the letter, as these players have shown disapproval in the time and manner in which it is conducted.  This once again, addresses the issue of the best representation of the artistic pool in the mainstream media.

 

The sixth category within the letter from the Player's Board, discusses ranking and the ranking system. This is a smaller category, but can be the most impactful to the other categories because the rankings will affect those that play in world or national tournaments in the future.  The ranking system that is proposed, states the players would like to have a minimum number of events for a player to be ranked.  Also the Player's board is asking that only overall finishes be counted towards ranking points and not highest individual discipline finishers.  

 

The final category addressed is the general changes that the Player's Board would like to see with the WPA-APD.  These changes include financial records to be opened up for players to see, Tom Rossman no longer being an influential part of the process, no religious material at events, board elections opened up to players and finally, the player's voice to be heard, instead of silence through the code of conduct.  

 

What began as thirteen players, who wanted change, has now become an eighteen-player coalition, with a small board to represent everyone.  Nick Nikolaidis was elected as intern President by his fellow rebels, with Andy Segal nominated as intern Vice President of the ‘Player's Union’.  Like any union dispute, when demands are not met or even compromised there is a strike.  These rebelling players are now on strike, from a simple response memo from the WPA-APD as, “Thank you for your feedback… Attached, please find the latest entry form for our next event”.  In an interview with Player's Board Member, Abram Diaz, he stated that, “although fearful of possibly not having another opportunity to capture a world title,” he would still boycott the next event. The next event being the Master's Artistic Pool Championship being held in December at Jamaica Joe's in Oklahoma.  What then becomes of the WPA-APD if a majority of the top ranked players in the world decides not to play in future events?  Nick Nikolaidis stated that if need be they would notify the World Pool Association and start their own division.  

 

Although, the Player's Board sent a demand letter, Abram Diaz commented that they were “ready and willing to negotiate all terms.”  This being said, the WPA-APD might be under the impression that the Player's Board was all or nothing.  Stefano Pelinga, current board member of the WPA-APD, was contacted for an interview, but in his most professional manner, declined to make a statement, as he thought he was not the appropriate person to speak on behalf of the WPA-APD board, but that Mark Dimick, the president and spokesman, should if they decide to.  Unfortunately, we at Point Of View Pool Media were unable to reach Mark Dimick for a statement prior to publishing this article.  In defense of the WPA-APD, they are volunteered, unpaid board members ranging from different parts of the country, so gathering together to discuss all these topics in their spare time might be a bit difficult.  

 

Hopefully, for all of those involved, the sport of artistic billiards still has a bright future. It seems that with or without the WPA-APD some of these top players are willing to risk it all for the advancement of competition and its presentation in the mainstream media. We know that, without some of its founding members and veteran players the advancement artistic pool might be non-existent in our minds today. However, it seems that there is a new generation of talent knocking loudly at the door wanting their voices to be heard. 

Robinson, Larson, Childress & Fullerton Crowned 2015 BEF Junior National 9-Ball Champions

The Billiard Education Foundation (BEF) presented its 27th Annual Junior National 9-Ball Championships August 4-7, 2015. 130 billiard student-athletes represented 31 states at the South Point Hotel & Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada for this year’s event which took place in conjunction with the 2015 BCA Billiard & Home Leisure Expo.
 
Of the 54 competitors, this year’s title of 18 & Under Boys Champion went to California Jr. State 9-Ball Champion Chris Robinson of Ventura, CA. The arena exploded as he pocketed the winning 9 ball in the finals against Atlantic Challenge Cup U.S. team member Josh Franklin from Creve Coeur, IL. Robinson came from the one-loss side after losing his third match against former World Junior U.S. team member, Manny Perez from Kansas. Newcomers Nick Kline from Prescott Valley, AZ and Zach Gurganus of Marietta, GA both made a huge splash and all four boys will be representing the U.S. at the upcoming WPA World Junior 9-Ball Championships.
 
In the 18 & Under Girls division, 15-year-old April Larson went undefeated to continue her reign as girls champion. Minnesota’s star won 9-6 in a single-set finals against 15-year-old Emily Herpel from Freehold, NY. Third and fourth place went to junior nationals first-timers Amber Jackson of South Carolina and Hannah Hohn of South Dakota. All four ladies will be invited to represent the U.S. at the upcoming world championships.
 
From the field of 46 14 & Under Boys, 12-year-old Nathan Childress of North Chesterfield, VA returned with his sights set high after last year’s third place finish. With proud mom and coach present, the VA junior state champion played a near perfect set against IL & PA junior state champion, 13-year-old Kaiden Hunkins of Waukesha, WI. Both boys will also be invited to be a part of team U.S. at the upcoming world championships. Connecticut’s Lukas Fracasso-Verner and Daniel Sardoncillo of Washington both had notable third and fourth place finishes.
 
The 14 & Under Girls division went to 12-year-old Ashley Fullerton of Lake Park, MN but not without a fight. 12-year-old Tatum Cutting from Diamond, OH was down 8-1 in the finals ultimately losing the set 9-6 but she never gave up. Massachusetts’ players Vivian Liu (first-timer) and Keila Perez finished third and fourth respectively. Fullerton will be representing the U.S. at the upcoming world junior championships. 
 
Interestingly, all the finals finished with a score of 9-6. 
 
18 & Under Boys Division
 
 

1st Place

* Chris Robinson, 17 (Ventura, CA)

Engraved Metal Cup Trophy

$1,000 Academic Scholarship 

Custom Engraved Delta-13 Rack

Poison player equipment package

Illustrated Principles of Pool & Billiards book

Bullseye Billiard Set

Collectible Johnny Archer bobble-head doll

First Chess Set

Extendable Bridge Heads

“Nina” the 9 Ball

2nd Place

* Josh Franklin, 17 (Creve Coeur, IL)

Engraved Metal Cup Trophy

Illustrated Principles Video Encyclopedia

Bullseye Billiard Set

Extendable Bridge Heads

“Nina” the 9 Ball

3rd Place

* Nick Kline, 17 (Prescott Valley, AZ)

Engraved Metal Cup Trophy

Illustrated Principles Video Encyclopedia

Bullseye Billiard Set

“Nina” the 9 Ball

4th Place

* Zach Gurganus, 17 (Marietta, GA)

Engraved Metal Cup Trophy

Illustrated Principles Video Encyclopedia

Bullseye Billiard Set

“Nina” the 9 Ball

 

18 & Under Girls Division

 

 

1st Place

* April Larson, 15 (Bloomington, MN)

Engraved Metal Cup Trophy

$1,000 Academic Scholarship 

Custom Engraved Delta-13 Rack

Poison player equipment package

Illustrated Principles of Pool & Billiards book

Bullseye Billiard Set

Collectible Johnny Archer bobble-head doll

First Chess Set

Extendable Bridge Heads

“Nina” the 9 Ball

2nd Place

* Emily Herpel, 15 (Freehold, NY)

Engraved Metal Cup Trophy

Illustrated Principles Video Encyclopedia

Bullseye Billiard Set

Extendable Bridge Heads

“Nina” the 9 Ball

3rd Place

* Amber Jackson, 15 (Clover, SC)

Engraved Metal Cup Trophy

Illustrated Principles Video Encyclopedia

Bullseye Billiard Set

“Nina” the 9 Ball

4th Place

* Hannah Hohn, 16 (Ethan, SD)

Engraved Metal Cup Trophy

Illustrated Principles Video Encyclopedia

Bullseye Billiard Set

“Nina” the 9 Ball

 

14 & Under Boys Division

 

 

1st Place

* Nathan Childress, 12 (North Chesterfield, VA)

Engraved Metal Cup Trophy

$500 Academic Scholarship 

Custom Engraved Delta-13 Rack

Poison player equipment package

Illustrated Principles of Pool & Billiards book

Bullseye Billiard Set

Collectible Johnny Archer bobble-head doll

First Chess Set

Extendable Bridge Heads

“Nina” the 9 Ball

2nd Place

* Kaiden Hunkins, 13 (Waukesha, WI)

Engraved Metal Cup Trophy

Illustrated Principles Video Encyclopedia

Bullseye Billiard Set

Extendable Bridge Heads

“Nina” the 9 Ball

3rd Place

Lukas Fracasso-Verner, 13 (Wallingford, CT)

Engraved Metal Cup Trophy

Illustrated Principles Video Encyclopedia

Bullseye Billiard Set

“Nina” the 9 Ball

4th Place

Daniel Sardoncillo, 14 (Puyallup, WA)

Engraved Metal Cup Trophy

Illustrated Principles Video Encyclopedia

Bullseye Billiard Set

“Nina” the 9 Ball

 

14 & Under Girls Division

1st Place

* Ashley Fullerton, 12 (Lake Park, MN)

Engraved Metal Cup Trophy

$500 Academic Scholarship 

Custom Engraved Delta-13 Rack

Poison player equipment package

Illustrated Principles of Pool & Billiards book

Bullseye Billiard Set

Collectible Johnny Archer bobble-head doll

First Chess Set

Extendable Bridge Heads

“Nina” the 9 Ball

2nd Place

Tatum Cutting, 12 (Diamond, OH)

Engraved Metal Cup Trophy

Illustrated Principles Video Encyclopedia

Bullseye Billiard Set

Extendable Bridge Heads

“Nina” the 9 Ball

3rd Place

Vivian Liu, 12 (Harvard, MA)

Engraved Metal Cup Trophy

Illustrated Principles Video Encyclopedia

Bullseye Billiard Set

“Nina” the 9 Ball

4th Place

Keila Perez, 14 (Waltham, MA)

Engraved Metal Cup Trophy

Illustrated Principles Video Encyclopedia

Bullseye Billiard Set

“Nina” the 9 Ball

 

* Earned entry into 2015 WPA World Junior 9-Ball Championships
 
Newly implemented this year was the Sportsmanship Award presented by Lindenwood University. Players, spectators and staff all voted for players they believed showed remarkable sportsmanship during their matches. This year’s recipients were: 
 

18 & Under Boys Division

Nick Kline, 17 (Prescott Valley, AZ)

18 & Under Girls Division

Serena Black, 17 (Warrensburg, IL)

14 & Under Boys Division

Nathan Childress, 12 (North Chesterfield, VA)

14 & Under Girls Division

April Czarnecki, 14 (Urbandale, IA)

 

The winners from each of the four age divisions (18 & Under Boys, 18 & Under Girls, 14 & Under Boys and 14 & Under Girls) received academic scholarships, custom engraved trophies and sponsored prize packages valued at nearly $2,000. Along with their victories, they also earned an opportunity to represent Team U.S.A. at the upcoming 2015  WPA World Junior 9-Ball Championships in Shanghai, China in November. The top four finishers also received trophies and prize packages.
 
Polo shirt sponsors: CueStix International & Presidential Billiards
 
Good bag sponsors: Kamui, Billiards Digest, Pool & Billiard, Professor Q-Ball, Tweeten Fibre, Aramith, OB Cues, Pechauer Custom Cues, PoolDawg.com, Simonis, CSI, Specialty Incentives, Downtown LV Visitors Center and LV Visitor’s Authority
 
Winners’ Prize Sponsors include: Predator Group, Worldwise Imports, Dr. Dave, Bullseye Billiards, Ricky Bryant & Omega Billiards, Pool Hall Plushies and Championship
 
Premier Sponsors of the 2015 Junior National 9-Ball Championships: Iwan Simonis, Inc, Billiard Congress of America, Diamond Billiard Products and Aramith
 
Official Media Sponsors: AzBilliards.com, Billiards Digest, InsidePool, Pool&Billiard, Professor Q-Ball and, NYCGrind.com
 
Links to online brackets can be found at http://billiardeducation.org/2015-jnc-updates/ courtesy of Bad Boys Billiard Productions. Live stream (courtesy of Rail2Rail.tv) and live scoring (courtesy of ScoreSaloon.com) were also available at that link.
 
40 billiard student-athletes with GPAs of 3.5 or higher were recognized at the event’s banquet as this year’s BEF Academic All-Americans. Banquet guests were also treated with special guest speakers “Dr. Cue” Tom Rossman and Hall-of-Famer Allison Fisher
 
Also new this year was the new Kamui Quest for Excellence award given to eight recipients this year with a 4.0 GPA. These outstanding student athletes were each presented with a custom Kamui award along with a sponsorship package from Kamui. This year’s recipients were: Serena Black, Joey Bourgeois, Jr., Michelle Jiang, April Larson, Vivian Liu, Andy Poutry, Katlin Schilling and Evan Swett.
 
Great appreciation go to the event staff and volunteers who have made this a first class event year after year: longtime tournament director Earl Munson, tournament & event assistant Tammy Jo Leonard and her husband Mel, longtime National Head Referee Rick Doner and National Referee John Taylor, Gina Sinlao, Irene Bautista, “Dr. Cue” Tom Rossman, Allison Fisher, Marc Vidal, and Jerry Tarantola for creating the special banquet video. Special Thanks also goes to Jason Secor and Ross Smith. And and extra SPECIAL THANKS goes to Tim Chin for all his amazing support before and during the entire event. 
 
Any young players interested in participating in next year’s BEF Junior National 9-Ball Championships or State Championships should visit the BEF website at BilliardEducation.org or call the office at (303) 926-1039.

“Dr. Cue” Tom Rossman Supports the BEF Juniors at the Wynkoop

 Despite the biggest snowstorm of the season, the legendary team of “Dr. Cue” Tom Rossman and “Ms. Cue” Marty Rossman put on a special exhibition for the intimate crowd of BEF supporters who braved the weather.
 
Not only did the great Dr. still put on a world class show, but he practically gave a private clinic for all attendees. Afterwards, he took challenge matches and organized the lag contest to help raise funds for the foundation.
 
Jeremiah Gage was the winner of the Lag Contest and lucky recipient of the $25 PoolDawg.com gift certificate! 11-year-old Amanda Campbell was also treated to some one-on-one time with Dr. Cue.
 
“The Billiard Education Foundation (BEF) is so honored for Tom & Marty’s generosity! They even made a personal donation of $100 before the day was over. We could not be more grateful all that they do,” said Executive Director, Samm Diep-Vidal.
 
Another Exhibition/Fundraiser event is scheduled when they return in April:
 
Felt Billiards (101 W. Floyd Ave, Englewood, CO 80110)
Tuesday, April 28, 2015 from 6-10PM
 
·         FREE to Attend!
·         Artistic Pool Show
·         Open to the Public (as seen on ESPN)
·         $10 Challenge Matches w/ Dr. Cue
·         First 50 Challengers receive a FREE PoolDawg pin valued at $12.95 & a signed photo with Dr. Cue!
·         Lag Contest, Door Prizes, & Other Great Giveaways
 
All funds raised from challenge matches and contests go to benefit the Billiard Education Foundation (a 501(c)3 charity dedicated to building the next generation of student-athletes through youth billiard programs, events, and scholarships.)
 
Special Thanks to “Dr. Cue” Tom Rossman and “Ms. Cue” Marty Rossman for their generous contributions to the foundation and the sport. Thanks also to PoolDawg.com for the prize donations, and to the Wynkoop Brewery for hosting the event.

A Fun Day in Denver with “Dr. Cue” Tom Rossman

The Billiard Education Foundation (BEF) along with Dr. Cue Promotions is proud to announce a special "FUN"draiser event at the Wynkoop! America’s Favorite Artistic Pool Entertainer & World Artistic Pool Champion “Dr. Cue” Tom Rossman brings his show to Denver to support the future of our sport!
 
One Day Only! Come Meet Dr. Cue himself!
 
Wynkoop Brewing Co. (1634 18th St, Denver, CO 80202)
Sunday, Feb 22, 2015
 
Noon-2PM
Artistic Pool Show
FREE to Attend!
Open to the Public
(as seen on ESPN)
 
2PM-4PM
$10 Challenge Matches w/ Dr. Cue
First 50 Challengers receive a FREE PoolDawg pin valued at $12.95 & a signed photo with Dr. Cue!
 
$5 Contests
Lag Contest, Door Prizes, & Other Great Giveaways
Giving away TWO $25 PoolDawg Gift Certificates!
 
All funds raised from challenge matches and contests go to benefit the Billiard Education Foundation (a 501(c)3 charity dedicated to building the next generation of student-athletes through youth billiard programs, events, and scholarships.)

CSI Instructional Series with Tom Rossman “Dr. Cue”

CSI is proud to present The CSI Instructional Series with Tom Rossman “Dr. Cue.”  CSI recently filmed 36 video segments with Rossman that cover various topics from fundamentals to trick shots.  Each clip is available on the CSI YouTube channel absolutely free!  The following is an outline of the video segments:
 
SEGMENT CATEGORY VIDEO SEGMENTS
Introduction 1
Fundamentals 6
Essential Mechanics 5
Advanced Techniques 4
Mental Tips 4
Kicking & Banking 11
Trick Shots 4
Final Thoughts 2
 
CSI Instructional Series with Tom Rossman Complete Playlist:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLdCfnbGD70QXr28bs6NnEYglN5Qf-bPzf
 
CSI YouTube Channel:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtBRGZemSuj6k30FMQf4nJw
 
CSI is dedicated to creating more choices for all players.  In the past 9 years CSI has directly paid out $9,000,000 to players.  CSI is the parent company of the BCA Pool League and the USA Pool League.  CSI also produces independent events such as the US Bar Table Championships, the Jay Swanson Memorial, the US Open One Pocket Championship, the US Open 8-Ball Championship and the US Open 10-Ball Championship. Visit www.playcsipool.com, www.playbca.com, and www.playusapool.com for more information about CSI and its divisions.