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2018 US Open 10-Ball Championship Matches Released on YouTube

CSI is pleased to announce that recorded matches from the 2018 US Open 10-Ball Championship have been released on the CSI YouTube Channel. Seventeen (17) videos featuring many of the world's best players such as Shane Van Boening, Alex Pagulayan, Skyler Woodward, Thorsten Hohmann, Billy Thorpe, Dennis Orcollo, Eklent Kaci and more can be viewed in their entirety at for free.
The 2018 US Open 10-Ball Championship was held July 18-21 at Griff's Billiards in Las Vegas, NV and was made possible by the following sponsors:
​CueSports International (CSI):
Griff's Bar & Billiards:
​Simonis Cloth:
Cyclop Balls:
Match 1: Shaun Wilkie (USA) vs Matt Edwards (New Zealand)
Match 2: Shane Van Boening (USA) vs Donny Mills (USA)
Match 3: Eklent Kaci (Albania) vs Omar Al-Shaheen (Kuwait)
Match 4: Ernesto Dominguez (Mexico) vs Warren Kiamco (Philippines)
Match 5: Max Eberle (USA) vs Ronnie Alcano (Philippines)
Match 6: Chip Compton (USA) vs Jeffrey De Luna (Philippines)
Match 7: Billy Thorpe (USA) vs Tommy Najar (USA)
Match 8: Chip Compton (USA) vs Max Eberle (USA)
Match 9: Tyler Styer (USA) vs Skyler Woodward (USA)
Match 10: Oscar Dominguez (USA) vs Alex Pagulayan (Canada)
Match 11: Dennis Orcollo (Philippines) vs Thorsten Hohmann (Germany)
​Match 12: Shane Van Boening (USA) vs Thorsten Hohmann (Germany)
Match 13: Mitch Ellerman (USA) vs Dennis Hatch (USA)
Match 14: Shane Van Boening (USA) vs Eklent Kaci (Albania) 
Match 15: Alex Pagulayan (Canada) vs Mitch Ellerman (USA) HOT SEAT MATCH
Match 16: Shane Van Boening (USA) vs Mitch Ellerman (USA) SEMI-FINAL MATCH
Match 17: Alex Pagulayan (Canada) vs Shane Van Boening (USA) FINAL MATCH
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CueSports International (CSI) is an international pool league and event leader and is currently comprised of three divisions: CSI leagues, CSI events and CSI media.  CSI leagues manages the BCA Pool League and USA Pool League, CSI events produces numerous amateur and professional events around the globe and CSI media creates live streaming and digital content.  Through its vision and strategic alliances, CSI is “shaping the future of pool.”  For more information about CSI or any of its divisions, visit or find CueSports International on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter.

Van Boening Wins 2 More Andy Cloth Wyoming Open Titles: Thompson & Pacheco Win First WY Titles

Miss Wyoming Autumn Olson awards the 2 champion’s trophies to Shane Van Boening

South Dakota's young gunslinger Shane Van Boening took the lion's share of the pro dough once more as he won back to back WY Open titles in Saratoga  and 8-Ball. He defeated Corey Deuel in the Saratoga finals, and Mike Massey in the 8-Ball finals. The full field of 32 pro class and semi-pro class players competed in a single elimination format which were to be the first of 3 pro open events. In it's 9th straight year, the 2016 Wyoming Open is a 3 day Rocky Mountain pool extravaganza taking place on April 1-3, 2016.  The event is sponsored by widely popular Andy Cloth with local partners include Duke's Bar & Grill, the Hotel Wolf & Restaurant, and the Riviera Lodge with all events coordinated by Shively Hardware. In addition, the livestream table will be Rasson Billiards premiere in the Rocky Mountains and streaming by .
In the Saratoga Masters, a game that combines 8-Ball and 9-Ball together, it was Corey Deuel who once again whizzed through to the finals with big wins over Van Boening (SD), Marc Vidal (SPN), Hundal (IND) to stay ready in the finals. Not a huge surprise that he would re-match with Shane after SVB sliced through the 1 loss bracket over Rodney Morris, Chris McDaniel, Johnny Archer, Marc Vidal, Raj Hundal. SVB would not be denied as he regulated Deuel to his 4th second place finish in 2 years with a 7-3 finals score.
"I should be promoted as the last loser trophy", said Deuel good naturedly. Deuel has finished runner-up 4 times now at the Wyoming Open events.
In the Masters 8-Ball, Van Boening cruised to the finals with wins over  New Mexico's Tommy Najar, Wisconsin 14.1 ace Ron Dobosenski, and a thrilling semi-finals hill-hill 6-5 win over fellow multi-Wyoming Open winner Rodney Morris (CA) where many people said was the best match of the tournament. Morris actually led 5-4 on the hill first, before Van Boening made his move to win the next 2 games. On the other side of the bracket, 8x World Trickshot Champion Mike Massey the "Tennessee Tarzan" had a flashback with wins over Mike Curby (WY), Raj Hundal (IND), Adam King (CO), and then an exciting win over fellow Hall of Famer Johnny Archer (GA) in the semi-finals. In the finals, it was all Van Boening as he jumped to an early lead and never looked back in a 6-2 finale. Still a great performance from the 69 year old Massey, his first finals in an open pro field in a decade.
"Have to admit it felt really good to beat Raj and Johnny. 8-Ball on a barbox has always been one of my best games", said Massey.
The action stayed hot as well on the amateur side with Derrick Pacheco and Seth Krafczik playing a very high level break and run finals of the Expert Division. Seth was undefeated putting Derrick on the losers side, but a re-match in the finals told a different story with Pacheco winning both sets to claim the Wyoming Open title in that division. 
The first ever Wyoming Open Women's division took place and saw women from Colorado, Florida, Texas, South Dakota, and Wyoming come to take the title. Anita Smith took the hot seat with a win over local favorite Jana Thompson. Jana eliminated Lora Jimenez of Cheyenne who settled for 3rd, while Jana and Anita made for an all Wyoming finals. Thompson was on her game as she won the first set 3-0 in the 8-ball event, and forced a second set. Jana took the second set 3-1 to become the first woman to ever hold a Wyoming Open title and the coveted metal trophy.
The Wyoming Open State Junior Championships saw 32 juniors come from all over the region. The winners receive a spot into the USA nationals held by the Billiard Education Foundation. Results will be on their site soon. 
"It's great to see all the fields including the Master's divisions all filled. I'm most pleased with the Expert division that we started 2 years ago doubling in size now. That division didn't exist before, but now we created a successful model for the players that are very advanced and getting ready for the move to the Masters", said Mayor Ed Glode who has organized the event for 9 straight years. 
Results of all the divisions are below:
Saratoga Masters:
1st Shane Van Boening (SD) $1870
2nd Corey Deuel (CA) $1000
3rd  $750 Raj HUndal
4th $500 Marc Vidal 
8-Ball Masters:
1st Shane Van Boening (SD)  $1620
2nd Mike Massey (TN) $900
3rd-4th: Rodney Morris (CA) $400
Johnny Archer (GA) $400
10-Ball Masters:
1st  Rodney Morris (CA) $1300
2nd Corey Deuel (CA) $780
3rd-4th: Johnny Vasquez (CO) $300
Ron Dobosenski (WI)  $300
Women's Division:
1st Jana Thompson (WY) $420 
2nd Anita Smith (WY) $250
3rd Lora Jiminez (WY) $180
4th Phyllis Tysner (WY)  $110
Expert Division:
1st Derrick Pacheco $2200
2nd Seth Krafczik $1500
3rd Jason Secor $1000
4th Josh McCloskey  $800
Classic Division:
1st Keith Pulley $1205
2nd Leonard Martinez $850
3rd Mark Osborne $650
4th Chuck Wise $475
Sportsman Division:
1st Taylor Ruzicka $450
2nd Scott Lambert $250
3rd Pat Copp $150
4th Heather Cline $100
Hardluck Tourny:
1st Louis adams $500. 
2nd Jeff vanderSchaf $300. 
3rd Alan lemaster , 
4th Scott adams $150.
Past champions of the event include some stellar names. Visit to see the complete list.  
The event is majorly supported by the town's own businesses which include : Hotel Wolf, Duke's Bar & Grill, Riviera Lodge, Red Sage Spa, Pik Ranch, Carbon County, Bella's Bistro, Lollypops, and Shively Hardware


Mike Davis Wins Series VII American Rotation Championship

Mike Davis

Yet another final match with the Touring Pro vs. the Working Joe. Mike Davis vs. Kevin West might have played the best final match we’ve seen yet, certainly the most dramatic with a final score of 138-140.
22 Players across the country as far away as Lee Ladouceur in Vermont to Max Adams in Alaska qualified for 2016 Derby City Finals. Play began one day prior to the 9 Ball Banks event with every player playing four 120 point round robin matches on Thursday to determine our top 8 on Friday. 
Shannon Fitch of Gate City Billiards Greensboro NC coming back to the game after more than a 10 year layoff had everyone saying “Who the hell is that guy?” topped Mike Davis & Johnny Archer for the #1 seed with a 4-0 record and point differential of +193, defeating his opponents by the average score of 48 points in a race to 120 points, very impressive.
Making the top 8 Single Elimination stage was:
1 Shannon Fitch NC 4-0 +193
2 Mike Davis NC 4-0 +152
3 Johnny Archer GA 4-0 +139
4 Kevin West MD 3-1 +146
5 Rob Hall AL 3-1 +141
6 Chris McDaniel CO 3-1 +119
7 Cleiton Rocha MA 3-1 +75
8 Jody McLaughlin IA 3-1 +14 
Just missing the cut at 3 wins 1 loss and a -21 ball count was Brady Norris also of Gate City Billiards. 
Players finishing with 2&2 records were;
Tom Zippler Magic 8 Cue Club Baltimore MD
Tom D’Alfonso Snookers Providence RI
Scott Rohleder Park Avenue Billiards Jacksonville FL
Tommy Najar Marietta Billiard Club Marietta GA
Tanner Nickels Teacher’s Billiard St Louise MO
Quarter final matches on Friday 
Jody McLaughlin (Runner up at last year’s Derby Finals) 140-123 over #1 Seed Shannon Fitch
Kevin West (Sponsored by Black Boar Custom Cues) 140-90 over #5 Seed Rob Hall Bumpers AL
Mike Davis 140-108 over Cleiton Rocha (Sponsored by J Pechauer Custom Cues)
Johnny Archer Marietta Billiard Club & Player of TWO Decades 140-106 over another player who had many wondering who the heck he was, #6 Seed Chris McDaniel Denver CO.
Semi Final matches guaranteed that would see a working man vs touring pro finals; 
Kevin West Great Slates Billiards MD vs Jody McLaughin Big Dog Billiards IA
Johnny Archer Marietta Billiard Club vs Mike Davis Brass Tap, Bucks & Brown’s NC!
While Kevin and Jody battled back and forth Mike Davis got the jump on Johnny and held it throughout the entire match. 
The final match was not looking good for our working man who also happens to be a Type 1 Diabetic. Mike started strong taking a 64-16 lead in a race to 140. American Rotation is a very tough game to come back in so we actually started to lose some spectators as they believed Mike would continue on as he did in his earlier match with Johnny. Many would soon return when somehow Kevin came back strong to make the match 90-90 & 102-98. From there both players scored exactly 20 points to make the score 118 Kevin 122 Mike with Kevin’s turn to break. He did what we all hope to do in that position, broke the 15 balls and ran them all perfectly in rotation to score 20 points making the score 138-122 and now Mike’s break. Who would rather be? The player needing just 2 points sitting in the chair or the player needing 18 but has break ball in hand? Mike broke a table that looked very difficult from the 5 ball on out. He ran 1-4 and played position for a preplanned safety on the 5. It worked as Kevin missed an off angle kick that required just the right amount of spin. Even with ball in hand on the 5 Mike still has his work cut out for him. The 6-7 were tucked under the 14 ball and would require Mike to shoot the 5 ball six feet up the left side rail while moving the cue ball forward and across a position zone about 6 inches wide and 5 ft away. The entire room was pressure packed and wondering what he was going to do and would he succeed or not. Iron Mike did no disappoint. After rebridging several times he struck it perfectly and fell on the only spot on the table where the 6 could be pocketed. From there on out we simply held our breath the see if Mike could run the rest of the table to nab the Series 7 title. Iron Mike came through with a 140-138 victory! 
All 22 players received travel money for attending and our top 8 earned additional money
$2,500 & Series VII Champion Mike Davis
$1,500 & a Great performance Kevin West
$1,000 each of 3rd 4th Johnny Archer & Jody McLaughlin
$500 each Shannon Fitch, Rob Hall, Cleiton Rocha, Chris McDaniel 
Series VII Finals was an awesome experience for all of us. The American Billiard Club helped put $25,000 in the pockets of some aspiring players and some pro players while they attended what is probably the greatest pool show of the year, The Derby City Classic. 
We thank all the players there and all the players at home who competed in their local 10 week Series. We thank Diamond Billiards for allowing us to come in one day early, the use of the tables, for making us feel welcome and for putting on such a great event. 
We thank BadBoy Billiard Productions for working with us on Friday while juggling our finals with the 9 Ball Banks Tournament, which had a record 385 players. 
We thank TVMike for doing a live free stream with picture in picture video allowing fans to watch 2 tables simultaneously. You really do have to watch these last 3 racks of the finals, the best finish to date. Final match is located on our Vimeo page here; Finals Mike Davis Kevin West 
Semi Finals Jody McLaughlin vs Shannon Fitch has been speed edited Semi Finals 
Semi Finals Johnny Archer Mike Davis coming soon.
As tour coordinator I can tell you, it’s a pretty nice feeling living up to the American Billiard Club’s mission of helping tour pros cover expenses while also helping aspiring players get to national events like Derby City for the very first time!  We absolutely love seeing these players who EARNED their way to these events.
The plan for 2016 is to allow just 32 clubs to qualify 2 players each (March-June & Aug-Nov) so we can have a 64 player Series VIII Championship at the 2017 Derby City Classic. Please email Joe Tucker at to support a fantastic format and to secure your clubs spot as we are shutting it down to just 32 clubs, some of which will be coming from different countries 😉

Jordan goes undefeated to take stop on the Tiger SE Open 9-Ball Tour

Jeff Jordan worked his way undefeated through a field of 37 entrants, on-hand for the May 10-11 stop on the Tiger SE Open 9-Ball Tour. In so doing, he stopped a strong challenge by Timothy Orange, who won seven on the loss side to face him in the finals. The $1,000-added event was hosted by Mr. Cues 2, in Atlanta, GA.
Jordan advanced to a winners' side semifinal against James Bannister, as Bucky Suouvanthong squared off against Tommy Najar. Identical 7-4 scores against Souvanthong and Bannister put Najar and Jordan into the hot seat match, where Jordan prevailed 7-5.
Over on the loss side, Orange was working on his seven-match, loss-side streak that would propel him to the finals. In his third and fourth victories, he defeated John Visotsky and Hadi Lee, both 7-4, which set him up to face Bannister, coming over from the winners' side semifinal. Souvanthong drew Esteban Hernandez, who'd defeated Duane Davis 7-5 and spoiled a re-match for Orange by defeating Randy Jordan, double hill. 
Hernandez and Orange handed Souvanthong and Bannister their second straight defeat, both 7-4, and faced each other in the quarterfinals, where Orange prevailed in a double hill battle. Orange then took down Tommy Najar 7-3 in the semifinals, and got a shot at Jeff Jordan in the hot seat. Jordan and Orange fought back and forth to an 8-8 tie, before Jordan completed his undefeated run to claim the event title.
Tour director thanked Ricky, Mandy and Susan Sweet, owners of Mr. Cues 2, as well as sponsors Chris Nitti Cues, J. Pechauer Custom Cues, David Adams, Mike Dempsey, B. R. Tatum, Simonis Cloth, and Mueller Recreational Products.

US Open 10-Ball Shocks The Stars

Strickland faces Souquet Today

The matches on Saturday produced some surprising fatalities. Done for the week already are Donny Mills, Lee Brett, Phil Burford, Matt Krah, Manny Chau, Robb Saez, Tommy Najar, Max Eberle, Jesse EngelIvica Putnik, Ernesto Dominguez, Marc Vidal, Brandon Shuff,  and Larry Nevel.

Th empower of this field is so strong that the One-Loss side is populated by names that are not usually found there. Already down to one bullet are Jayson Shaw who lost to Charlie Williams, Thorsten Hohmann who lost a squeaker 9-8 to Rodney Morris, Chris Melling who fell before John Morra and Dennis Orcollo who lost his very first match to Chris Melling 9-7.

The list continues. Also on the desperate side are Nikos Ekonomopoulos who fell to Santos Sambajon and Shaun Wilkie who lost to Wu Jia Qing. Superstars will face sudden death this morning when Daryl Peach faces Shane Van Boening and Earl Strickland faces Ralf Souquet. The Strickland/Souquet match will be live on TAR at 10 AM.

Other stars on the one-loss side include John Schmidt, Hunter Lombardo, Darren Appleton, Stevie Moore, Rafael Martinez, Francisco Bustamante, Oscar Dominguez, Scott Frost, Warren Kiamco and Jason Klatt. Needless to say, some powerful blood will find the floor today.

On the winner's side of the chart Ko Pin Yi will face Mika Immonen at 12:30 on the TAR stream. For a complete listing of matches today you may check the AZB live brackets. Live scoring is also available there so you can follow unstreamed matches rack by rack.

Shaw, Nevel and Clay Win at the 4th Annual Richard Sweet Memorial

Jayson Shaw, Rick Sweet and Phil Miles Burford

Mr. Cues II in Atlanta played host to the Simonis Cloth's 4th Annual Richard Sweet Memorial over the July 4th weekend which is a memorial event and a celebration of his life and contributions to our sport, featuring four separate events; two, single-elimination, 'King of the Hill' format (one $500 1st prize)  tournaments, a Thursday 8-Ball  tournament and a Friday 9-ball tournament , a 1-day $1,000-guaranteed prize fund 9-Ball race to 4 double elimination tournament on Sunday, and a $3,000-guaranteed prize fund main event in 10-Ball which ran Saturday and Sunday. Jayson Shaw won two of them, and almost won a third. He opened the weekend's proceedings with a finals victory over John Maikke in the first of the single elimination tournaments(8-Ball) on Independence Day that drew 86 entrants. The following day, in the second of the single elimination tournaments (this one, with 79 players and 9-Ball), Shaw made it to the finals again, only to be denied his second win, by Michael Clay, who shut him out in the finals.
In the Saturday, main event, the 10-Ball Competition, Jayson Shaw squared off the event's defending champion, Phil Burford, twice; once in the hot seat match, and again, in the finals. Shaw had sent Jeff Hooks to the loss side 7-3 among the winners' side final four, as Burford was busy doing likewise to Randy Jordan 7-2. Shaw got into the hot seat with a 7-5 win over Burford and waited for him to get back. It wasn't long.
Jordan and Hooks moved to the loss side, where they were picked up by J. R. Rossman and Tim Orange. Rossman had gotten by Matt Bulfin 7-2 and John Maikke 7-4. Orange had defeated Dustin Byrd (The Parakeet) 7-5 and John Jones 7-3. Jordan advanced to the quarterfinals, double hill, over Rossman. Orange handed Hooks his second straight loss 7-5 to join him.
Jordan took the quarterfinal match over Orange 7-5 and earned himself a re-match against Burford, who'd sent him west among the winners' side final four. Burford, anxious for his own rematch against Shaw in the hot seat, downed Jordan 7-5. Shaw, though, hunkered down and gave up only a single rack in the opening set of the potential two-set final to claim the event title.
Events shifted to double elimination with commencement of the races-to-4 9-Ball Tournament on Sunday, which drew 59 entrants. Larry Nevel (who'd won both single elimination tournaments at last year's Sweet Memorial) started out by dropping his opening round match to Danny Cash, but rallied on the loss side to win nine straight, and then, two more in the finals against Bernardo Estevan
Estevan had advanced to the hot seat with a winners' side final four victory over Tommy Najar 4-2, while the winner of the second single elimination 8-ball tournament, Michael Clay, advanced to meet him with a 4-1 victory over Pat Cooper. Estevan shut Clay out in the battle for the hot seat and waited on the return of Nevel.
Meanwhile, on the loss side, The Truth was mowin' 'em down, one by one. With four down and five to go, he defeated Tony Riley 4-1, and survived a double hill battle against Jason Lyons, to pick up Majar. Cooper drew Andy Stewart, who'd squeaked by Horace Goodwin 4-3 and defeated Dana Aft 4-1. Nevel and Stewart handed Najar and Cooper their second straight defeats; Stewart shutting out Cooper and Nevel advancing to the quarterfinals 4-2 over Najar.
Nevel gave up only two racks over his next 14 games. He shut out Stewart in the quarterfinals, and gave up a single rack to Clay in the semifinals. Moving into the opening set of the finals against Estevan, he gave up one that forced a second set. Estevan battled him to double hill in that second set, but Nevel prevailed to claim the title.
Full payouts for the main 10-Ball event are as follows:
1.    Jayson Shaw = $1,850
2.    Phil Burford = $1,050
3.    Randy Jorday = $650
4.    Tim Orange = $400
5/6    Jeff Hooks, JR Rossman = $200 each
7/8    John Jones, John Maikke = $130 each
9-12     Bucky Souventhong, Jeff Jordan, Matt Bulfin, Dustin Byrd = $60 each
13-16    Jeff Crawford, Larry Nevel, Ken Hall, Jared McGee = $40 each
17-24     Andrew Stewart, Billy Tyler, Justin Kaleb, Nick Varner, Lane Simons, Ramone Rodriguez, Tommy Najar, Bill Huffman = $20 each
25-32 = Carlos Murillo, Michael Clay, Horace Godwin, Travis Barber, Tony Riley, Tim Hart, Bruce Nagle = $10 each
Payouts for the Sunday 9-Ball event are as follows:
1.    Larry Nevel = $400
2.    Bernardo Estevan = $300
3.    Michael Clay = $200
4.    Andy Stewart = $100

Laha downs Rentz twice to win GSBT stop

Shannon Daulton, Duke Laha, Rod Rentz, & Melanie Archer (owner of Marietta Billiard Club)

The Great Southern Billiard Tour settled in to Johnny Archer‘s Marietta Billiards Club, in Marietta, GA on the weekend of August 11-12. The $1,500-added stop on the tour drew 64 entrants to the club, through which Duke Laha worked to attain the event title, defeating Rod Rentz two out of three times; once in the battle for the hot seat, and again, in the second set of a true double elimination final.

The two winners’ side semifinals featured three A-rated players, and Toppy Athakhanh, a B player. Laha faced Athakhanh, as Rentz squared off against Tommy Najar. Laha moved into the hot seat match with a 9-2 victory over Athakhanh, and faced Rentz, who’d sent Najar west 9-3. In their first of three, Laha prevailed 9-3 and sat in the hot seat, awaiting rounds two and three versus Rentz.

Athakhanh moved over and picked up double-A Josh Roberts, who’d defeated Jeff Hooks 11-5 and Dylan Letchworth 11-1 to reach him. Najar drew Clay Fisher, who’d gotten by Mark Rochester in a double hill match and Mike Langley 7-2. Najar got back to winning with a shutout over Fisher, as Roberts was busy ending Athakhanh’s day with an 11-5 victory.

In the quarterfinals that followed, Najar defeated Roberts 9-6, and moved into a semifinal rematch versus Rentz. Najar managed a single rack more than he’d chalked up in their first meeting among the winners’ side final four, but Rentz prevailed a second time for his own re-match against Laha. In the opening set of the true double elimination final, a straight-up race to 9, the two battled to double hill, before Rentz forced a second set with the final rack win. Laha roared back in the second set, taking nine out of the 13 games, to secure the event title.

Tour directors Shannon and Marge Daulton thanked Archer and his staff at Marietta Billiards for their 20,000 square foot hospitality and Scorpion room, details of which can be found at The Daultons also thanked sponsors Nick Varner Cues and Cases, Andy Gilbert Custom Cues, Tiger Products and Delat-13 racks.

Brett and Gicoso set new Behind The Rock Tour Records

Lee Brett

Lee “Lightning” Brett and Jing Gicoso set new tour records last month.  Lee Brett posted a new tour record for Behind the Rock Tour for high score previously set by Tommy Najar back in September of 2011.  

Najar’s record was a solid 139 with 5 Snap games, 2 consecutive Snap games, 1 COE and 1 Cut game.  Brett crushed Najar’s match statistics with 7 Snap games and 1 COE for a score of 154.  If you’ve never played the game 211 before let me tell you these scores are a feat to be reckoned with.  

Jing Gicoso set a new record for highest points scored in one game of 21 points and tied the record for the most consecutive snap games of 3.  These two scores put Gicoso in for tour title holder for the second and third time in the tour title page.  He also has tied the tour record for 3 consecutive Cut games.  You can view all the tour records on the website  What does all this mean?

This is just an example of what happened last month and the excitement with Behind the Rock Tour (BTRT).  BTRT is a weekly national tournament held from any poolroom.  BTRT just celebrated its two year anniversary in May and is excited about the national growth over the past 4 months.  The tour is currently being played in the states of OR, WA, TX, GA, ID, MD, FL and NY with more rooms getting ready to come on board.  Any pool room with 9 foot tables is qualified to be a host location.  Players, this is a weekly tournament not league.  Players are not required to play each week or they can post as many matches as they’d like to pay and play for.  We are currently running 5 divisions with our Advanced and Advanced Scratch divisions just opening up the end of June.

The founder of Behind the Rock Tour (BTRT), Deby Welfringer was inspired to do something for the pool industry after years of watching great players come and go and very little in the industry changing.  We (the pool industry) keep doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.  We need a change.  Ms. Welfringer has been a competitive player all her life including co-founding a women’s amateur tour in the northwest, participating in the women’s regional tours, local and regional open tournaments and the WPBA.  Pool is truly a difficult sport that can take a life time to learn.  So the question was asked, how do we bring the complete package to the players and spectators?  The answer has two parts.

Part 1 is spectators and pool players need to be educated to take them to the next level.  This doesn’t mean educate only the player, but we need to educate the spectators to a level that they understand and appreciate this great sport.  League is a great way to get new players interested in the sport and it’s a great recreational tool for competition, but pool isn’t about win/loss.  Pool is about skill combined with creativity and that’s why we all love the sport.  In addition to players that want an avenue to up their skills at the game we have a whole group of players that are stuck somewhere between league and professional caliber.  This tour was designed as a grooming ladder for players to climb as their skills improve.  This tour was built for the players that want something more from their game.  Maybe a player plays at a high level, but has a job and a family and can’t afford to take a week off work 6-8 times a year to play pool.  Now they can compete with players their caliber without having to go far from home or spend days away from the job or family.  Players can compete in a larger tournament which only takes 1-1/2 hours a night to play and get home in time to go to work the next day.

Part 2 the answer is technology.  With technology and the resources now available to us she has taken advantage of those tools and combined them with our great sport.  We now have a virtual tournament utilizing technology to enhance our industry and this is how it’s done.  We have a robust website that handles everything.  Remote pool rooms upload weekly matches to the website and all tournament results, handicaps and player’s rankings are calculated right on the website.  BTRT is currently only in the USA, but this format allows us the capacity to hold world wide events.  This could be weekly, monthly or annually.  Can you image a weekly world wide event?  With this format it is possible.  Here’s where the tour is today.

BTRT is a weekly national (USA) competition run out of local pool rooms.  The intent of the tour is to support the rooms with 9 foot tables to keep the game where it belongs and educate the players about the sport.  Each week pool rooms run their events and players play their matches.  By midnight Saturday participating locations upload matches to and the tournament is closed.  Every Sunday that week’s tournament is calculated, winners are posted and payouts are done every Monday.  Every division pays a third of the field and is paid out every week.  This allows rooms to have a smaller group of players, but combined with the rest of the national locations each week it turns into a larger event that is competitive according to skill level and very exciting.  Just imagine if we had 3 rooms in each state, with only 10 players in each room the weekly payout would grow to be $12,000/week.  That’s something the pool world has to look forward to.

Behind The Rock Tour (BTRT) is designed to inspire players to improve their games, provides an educational avenue for players that want to grow and a format that supports the purpose.  The format forces players to take a real look at their skill level.  Since players do not have an opponent all excuses are removed, bad rolls no longer exist and it’s only up to the player to perform.  This format helps to identify problem skills, highlight personal great performances and so many other things that we didn’t expect for example:  a shift in mind set, importance of the break in any game, commendatory between the players, player interaction and competition dynamics.

BTRT is designed for all skill levels using a 90% true handicapping system.  This handicapping system has never been applied to pool until now.  This system lets players that have a personal high performance and shined that week to push up into the money because they are competing against players their own skill level.  This means no matter the player’s skill level they could be next week’s winner based on personal performance.  BTRT just opened the Advanced and Advanced Scratch division which makes 5 divisions for players to play from:  2 scratch divisions for players just getting started and establishing their averages, Intermediate – 0-30 points (less than three balls per game), the Open division is 30-70 points (players will run an average of 3-7 balls per game or maybe slip in a Snap or Cut game along the way), the Advanced division are players who score over 70 points.  The advanced division players are typically players who consistently break and run more than 3 racks out of 11 games.  All players start in a scratch division for 6 matches to establish an average and then are moved to a division according to skill level and assigned a true 90% handicap (similar to what works in golf or bowling).

Tri-annual events run every 4 months with a higher entry fee and money added.  The next event is scheduled for Aug. 4-5.  All rooms will play simultaneously starting at 10:00am PDT.  Two rounds are played and matches are uploaded to the website  Winners of round 1 are calculated and the top 75% of the field move to the Sudden death round.  Sudden death is one match.  Matches are uploaded and the top one third of the field goes to the finals on Sunday for 2 matches.  This is a very exciting event.  Some rooms live stream their matches so other rooms can watch their opponents play and/or they provide a live screen to watch as new matches are completed and posted across the nation.  As matches are completed they are uploaded to the website.  Players on the west coast can view scores that are coming in on the east coast (and vice/versa).  To qualify for the tri-annual events, players need to have played 11 matches during the previous 4 months.  Since the Advanced division is new, Advanced players will need 6 matches to qualify for this next tri-annual even Aug. 4.  

In “211” player’s play 11 games of 10 ball vs. The Ghost which means players break, take ball-in-hand and run balls in rotation until they foul, miss or run-out.  Every ball pocketed scores one point.  A Snap, Cut and COE defines they type of run-out a player had.  A Snap simply means at least one ball was made on the break and the player ran out.  A Cut means the player did not make a ball on the break, took ball-in-hand and ran out, and a COE means in the game following the Cut game he/she did not take ball-in-hand after the break.  Brett had a total of 8 break and run games out of 12 games (if you break and run in your 11th game you shoot a 12th game to finish scoring the 11th game).  This extraordinary performance by Lee Brett should inspire all players, pro’s and amateurs alike to give the tour a shot.

We encourage all players to join the tour and put your skills to the test.  We will be at the Southern Classic Event in Tunica July 20-27th running mini-tournaments if you’d like to come by and take the format for a test drive.  Pool rooms we encourage you to provide this format for the players to inspire players to practice, work on their game and support your room.  Players if you’re looking for something different and a challenge, this is for you.

If you’d like to play, talk to your local pool room owner and contact us at 253-226-3594 or and let’s get you playing.

Congratulations Lee Brett  and Jing Gicoso on your new World Records in the Behind the Rock Tour 211 Tournament!

16th Rally In The Valley Dream Team and Single Event Is Another Success

The first day of the TAP agenda was a National Meeting with an impressive attendance of licensees, as it was standing room only. This meeting was conducted by Founder, President and CEO Loyd Schonter, covering all details of the present and the future drive for TAP. It is very understandable that most discussions in this room were confidential and for only the TAP family however I am sure the Billiard Industry will be more than impressed with where he is leading the TAP Organization.  TAP proudly announced a new relationship at this meeting with McDermott Cues which was attended by their Representatives Larry Liebl Executive Vice President and Jayme Cernika Customer Service and Special Events Manager. They introduced their impressive line to the TAP family. McDermott also contributed $10,000.00 in cues and other McDermott products to the Rally in the Valley events in addition to this they had their Instructor nearby demonstrating the abilities of their cue line.

While the National meeting was coming to an end the TAP Singles event was kicking off with record breaking registrations in all brackets.  7 handicap singles had 36 players, 6 singles with 64 players, 5 singles with 80 players, 4 singles with 77 players and the 2 and 3 singles had 42 players.  At 8 am on Friday March 9th, the 8-ball and for the first time the 9-Ball “Dream Team Events” kicked off totaling 176 eight person teams. This was another record breaking event for team counts.  As always at TAP events keeping you warmed up is a must, so the minis ran in the evening of each day to make sure your game stayed in tune. Then Sunday March 11th brought the final rounds only to close up another historical event leaving the TAP player with memories and conversation that will be with them for years to come.  A room once filled with players from across the United States and Canada is left with only the footprints of the TAP Pool Player. And as each year goes by that foot print is getting bigger and bigger.

For the first time in many years, TAP also had another presence at the expo with a TAP sales and information booth. This also saw heavy activity throughout the entire weekend. People interested in TAP got to see firsthand the new innovations that TAP has done to their handicapping system known as Pool-Net and all of the features that no other league can provide to their members. Prospective TAP licensees were amazed at what they saw and how user friendly the system is. Many times during the weekend people were often heard saying, “That’s cool or Talk about Tech Savvy”.

On behalf of all of us here at TAP, we would like to congratulate Allen Hopkins on a job well done and as is customary here at TAP when a licensee does well….Allen, you and your staff get a huge “Atta Boy” from TAP!!

We would also like to Thank All of our Staff and Volunteers for once again making this TAP Event a huge success. Thus showing “One Team, One Goal” truly is our Family motto.

Let us not forget McDermott Cues, we are looking forward to our new relationship and happy to have them as a part of the TAP Family.

Over $107,000 was paid out with the singles events paid back at 100%. 
Results of all events are as follows:
Dream Team event (8 ball)






2/3 HANDICAP…Amanda Karrip – Saginaw, MI
4 HANDICAP….Jamie Spiker – Frostburg MD.
5 HANDICAP….Kevin Karas – Pittsburgh PA
6 HANDICAP….Elias Nassif – Plantation FL 
7 HANDICAP….Tommy Najar – Kennesaw GA

TAP Concludes 2011 Nationals in Las Vegas

TAP, LLC returns from another roll of the dice, in Las Vegas NV !

Little River, SC. Nov. 23rd, 2011 –  The TAP Players came from all over the USA and Canada. The best of the best from each TAP territory won their trips to the TAP Nationals event held in Las Vegas, NV  November 9th through the 14th.

Bally’s once again played host to this exciting event. The TAP Players look forward to this event each and every year. This time they were placing their bets to see which would be the TAP National Champions for 2011.  

The kickoff party started off the event on Wednesday evening with fabulous food and beverages provided by Tap corporate. Upon registering, each player received a gift bag also provided by the TAP corporate offices. So they were winners when they arrived.

The Predator Group once again provided their support to the event. Other vendors at the event were D & D Cue Repair, Speed Break, Pool A Holic Apparel, Hustlin, SharkNU Apparel, and Joe Salazar from Connoisseur Cues.
During the event, in observance of Veterans Day, all play was stopped for a moment of silence. A few words were delivered by head referee Adrian Trochta followed by a huge and touching ovation. At this time all the veterans were asked to come forward for a picture. The picture will be available on the TAP facebook as well as the corporate website.

BCA Hall of Fame Inductees and World Champions Robin Dodson and Allen Hopkins both attended TAP’s National event this year.  Robin provided instruction on jumping and Allen held exhibitions throughout the entire event.  Players and Licensees alike enjoyed the opportunity to interact with them both and vice versa.  

This year a lot was at stake.  Championships for the TAP 8 Ball National Team Event and 9 Ball National Team Event were held in conjunction to the  popular Rally Dream Team Event, slated as Rally at Bally’s for the second year. The Singles Championships were conducted each evening as well producing  eight additional  National Champions.

So, who were the Winners?

8 Ball National Team Champions – A Town Express
Runner Up – Bounty Hunters

9 Ball National Team Champions – TAP Dat Again
Runner Up – Here Comes The Pain

Rally at Bally’s Team Champions – A Town
Runner Up – Anytime Billiards

2/3 Handicap 8 Ball Singles National Champion – Matt Wheeler
4 Handicap 8 Ball Singles National Champion –  Jesse Hornbeck
5 Handicap 8 Ball Singles National Champion – Cecil Edwards
6 Handicap 8 Ball Singles National Champion – Eric Smartnick
7 Handicap 8 Ball Singles National ChampionKevin Clark

2/3 Handicap 9 Ball Singles National Champion – Eddie Rivera
4/5 Handicap 9 Ball Singles National Champion – Dan Lewis
6/7 Handicap 9 Ball Singles National ChampionTommy Najar

We at TAP congratulate all the these Champions for their outstanding accomplishment.

TAP, LLC Pools Amateur Tour Facebook page has posted several pictures and videos of this event posted on our wall. If you have any you would like to add let us know.

What else was new at the event.
TAP’s phone application was released for review at the event.  This new TAP feature product will be available soon for use by some selected areas. The new application will be going out to all TAP Players and Territories in 2012.  The phone application will allow players to keep score on their smart phones and submit via their phones, but that’s only the beginning.  In 2012 TAP will be introducing it into the TAP National  Events.  

TheTAP Nationals will be going to Charleston,SC in 2012 and in 2013 to Pheasant Run, near the windy city of Chicago, Illinois.  TAP’s traveling Nationals has been quite successful. These events are a chance to bring  TAP and its players to locations they may  never had been.

The next TAP Event, TAP’s “Rally in the Valley”, held in conjunction with the Allen Hopkin’s Super Billiards Expo, is expected to be our largest event to date. This years event will be held in its new  home, the Philadelphia Expo Center at the Oaks, in PA.  This new location will give the event a great opportunity to grow and to add new events as well. Don’t miss the excitement of TAP and it’s new releases of upcoming events and formats.

Don’t have TAP where you are?  Interested in starting your own league?  Call 1-800-984-7665 Ext. 2 to reach Sam Rullo, TAP’s Sales Director and he will be more than happy to help you.  

Want more information about TAP?  Check out our website,; Facebook Page  – TAP, LLC Pools Amateur Tour and / or contact us, through our corporate office, at the Live Help desk, via email or IM.  Join the countless others that have been checking us out.

We look forward to hearing from you !   TAP ON !