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Saidawi comes back from hot seat loss to win his first Cuetec DFW 9-Ball Tour stop

Neil Sadawi, Daniel Herring and Greg Sandifer

At the start of the Cuetec DFW 9-Ball Tour’s 2022 season, Neil Saidawi was headed in the wrong direction, so to speak. In the season opener, he finished in the tie for 13th place. In February, he slipped down to 17th and in March, he finished in the tie for 33rd place. In April though, he changed direction, finishing in the tie for 9th place, still a long way in tour standings from Daniel Herring, who sat atop the leaderboard. Last weekend (June 18-19), Saidawi went toe-to-toe against Herring three times, taking the last two in a double elimination final to claim his first (recorded) event title anywhere. The $1,750-added event drew 75 entrants to Rusty’s Billiards in Arlington, TX.

Until Herring reached the hot seat match to face Saidawi for the first time, none of his six previous opponents had chalked up more than four racks against him, and that, only once, in his winners’ side semifinal match against Telly Shackelford. He’d given up an average of just over a  single rack per match to Cameron Cummings (0), Monica Anderson (2), Jennifer Cayot (1), Tony Ignomirello (1), Surmin Overovic (1) and finally, Shackelford (4). 

Saidawi, in contrast, had to battle right from the start. After a bye, he played five matches to get to the hot seat match, three of which went to double hill, including his opening match versus Frank Granados. He followed that with wins over Joshua Paredes 6-4, Isaac Ruiz and Travis Arredondo (both double hill) and in his winners’ side semifinal, Greg Sandifer 6-5 (Sandifer racing to 8). As he came into the battle for the hot seat, he was four matches away from claiming the title and two of those would go to double hill, as well.

One of those two double hill matches was his first encounter with Herring. Herring won it 8-4 (Saidawi to 5) to claim the hot seat.

On the loss side, Shackelford picked up Arredondo, who’d followed up his loss to Saidawi with victories over Robin Barbour 7-4 and Jesse Moore 6-3. Sandifer drew Juan Parra, who was working on a modest, four-match, loss-side winning streak that had recently eliminated Tony Top (#2 in tour standings) 7-2 and Surmin Omerovic 8-0.

Shackelford downed Arredondo 7-4, as Sandifer was stopping Parra’s loss-side streak 7-3. Sandifer defeated Shackelford 7-3 in the subsequent quarterfinals and walked right into a semifinal rematch against Saidawi, who chalked up his fifth and final double hill match of the event to earn his spot in the finals. 

Saidawi started both of the final two matches with three ‘beads on the wire’ in races to 8 against Herring. He didn’t need them. Saidawi took the opening set 5-2 and claimed the event title by winning the second set 5-3.

Though both Herring and Top, at the . . . top of the tour standings, remained there, advancing further in points, Saidawi’s victory advanced him among the tour’s top 10. And arguably put his fellow competitors in the top 10 on notice that with the 2022 Cuetec DFW 9-Ball Tour now past its midway point, he’s only half done.   

Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Rusty’s Billiards for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor Cuetec and Fort Worth Billiards Superstore. The next stop on the Cuetec DFW 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for the weekend of July 23-24, will be a $1,750-added event, hosted by Stixx & Stones in Lewisville, TX. 

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Max Sun goes undefeated to win his first regional tour event on Cuetec DFW 9-Ball Tour

Joshua Paredes, Max Sun and Mohammed Alrawi

Max Sun, a skill-level 4, a newcomer from Wylie, TX and new to the Cuetec DFW 9-Ball Tour, signed on to last weekend’s (May 21-22) $1,750-added event (Stop #5) and went undefeated through a field of 83 entrants to win his first (recorded) regional tour event at Snookered in Frisco, TX. Though he did not have to face the top two competitors in point standings on the tour (Daniel Herring and Tony Top), he did work his way through seven opponents, all of whom entered the tournament with higher Fargo Rates than his own (450). The average Fargo Rate of his opponents was 556, which, on average, from start to finish, gave him a little less than a 1 in 3 chance of winning each of his seven matches.

All of which begs the question, “How did that happen?” To which the only answer is a familiar one – “It happens.” 

According to tour director Monica Anderson, though engaged in giving the man the credit he was due for his accomplishment, Sun “capitalized on opponent’s mistakes, and had a few decent runs, and break and runs.”

“(That’s) easy to do if you get the rolls on a barbox table,” she said.

After an opening round bye, the only competitor that Sun faced against whom he played a straight-up race (to 5) was his first against Jim Dixon. He defeated Dixon 5-2, after which he did not face an opponent below a skill level of 7 until he was in the finals against Joshua Paredes (6). After Dixon, Sun downed Carl Oswald (racing to 8) 4-5, Darrell Smith (to 7) 5-0, and Neil Sidawi (to 8) 4-6, arriving at a winners’ side semifinal against Michael Oman. In the meantime, Sun’s eventual hot seat opponent, Mohammed Alrawi, got by Andy Kiesling, Miguel Hernandez and Will Lovos to arrive at his winners’ side semifinal against Paredes.

Sun chalked up for his first hot seat match with a 4-4 victory over Oman (racing to 8). Alrawi joined him after sending Paredes to the loss side, double hill (7-4). Sun claimed his first hot seat with a double hill win (4-7) over Alrawi.

On the loss side, Oman picked up Rick Stanley, who’d lost a winners’ side quarterfinal to Paredes and went on to defeat Pete Stovall 9-1 and Will Lovos 10-3. Paredes drew Jimmy Fujimori, working on a modest four-match, loss-side streak that had recently eliminated, in straight-up races to 7, Neil Sidawi and Miguel Hernandez, both 7-4.

Stanley and Paredes advanced to their rematch in the quarterfinals; Paredes, double hill (6-7) over Fujimori and Stanley ousting Oman 9-1. Paredes won the rematch 4-3 (Stanley racing to 10) and denied Alrawi his rematch versus Sun with a 5-5 win in the semifinals (Alrawi racing to 7).

Sun began the finals with a single ‘bead on the wire’ in a race to 6. They battled to double hill before Sun closed out his first shot at a final and claimed his first event title.

Aaron Fleming and Blake Kamiab battled twice – hot seat and finals – in an 18-entrant Second Chance event. Fleming came out on top in both of them, downing Kamiab the first time, double hill (2-4) and the second time 2-3. Kamiab had come back from a shutout victory over Matt Delgarza in the semifinals.

Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Snookered, as well as title sponsor Cuetec and the Fort Worth Billiards Superstore. The Cuetec DFW 9-Ball Tour will return to Rusty’s Billiards in Arlington, TX, where the 2022 tour began this past January. The $1,750-added event is scheduled for the weekend of June 18-19. 

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Securing top spot in tour rankings, Herring goes back-to-back on Cuetec DFW 9-Ball Tour

Sharik Sayed, Daniel Herring and Don Baker

Previously on the Cuetec DFW 9 Ball Tour: In securing the top spot on the Cuetec DFW 9-Ball Tour’s rankings, Donald Weathersby went undefeated on the tour’s season opener in January, thwarting an 11-match, loss-side run by Tony Top in the finals. Daniel Herring, who’d sent Top on his loss-side run in the second round, joined him after falling to Weathersby in a winners’ side semifinal and then, running into Top a second time on the loss side, had his loss-side run stopped before it even got started to finish in the tie for 5th place. On the tour’s second stop last month, Tony Top became the designated, randomly bracket-chosen competitor to derail the efforts of one Aloysius Yapp (runner-up in the 2021 US Open 9-Ball Championships) which he did, twice, downing him in a winners’ side semifinal and later, the semifinals. Herring, however, downed Top twice (hot seat and finals) to claim his first 2022 Cuetec DFW 9-Ball Tour title. Top’s two runner-up finishes kept him atop the early-going of the tour rankings, ahead of Herring by 40, Weathersby (who did not compete in Stop #2) by 120, Clint Palaci by 165 and Yapp (who did not compete in the season opener) by 195 points. 

After a short commercial break for Cuetec cues and the Fort Worth Billiards Superstore, our story shifts to this past weekend (March 19-20), where last month’s top three finishers were once again prepared to do battle on Stop #3. Thanks, in part, to some handicap-matchup assistance provided to his opponents, Yapp only played twice, losing his opening match (to Paul Sifuentes, who would go on to finish 4th) and then, double hill, his first match on the loss side, to Doug Winnett. Palaci played six times, losing his third winners’ side match before being ousted by Miguel Hernandez in his third, loss-side matchup. With Weathersby, once again, absent from competition, Herring and Top were in position to battle for the top spot in the tournament and the tour rankings at the $1,750-added event that drew 79 entrants to Snookered Billiards in Frisco, TX.

Odds-makers, looking for a final matchup between Herring and Top, were disappointed early (as they no doubt were with the US Open 9-Ball runner-up finishing 25th). Top lost his opening match to Neil Saidawi 6-5 (Top racing to 8) and five on the loss side (including a forfeit) before finishing in the tie for 13th place. Herring, on the other hand, went on an undefeated, seven-match run to claim the title and, for now, the top spot in the tour’s rankings.

Herring got by Matt Dickson, Robbie Cleland, Brandon Clark (double hill) and Matt Devance (shutout) to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal against Joel Nabia. In the meantime, Don Baker, who, prior to this past weekend, had only recorded one previous payout to the AZBilliards’ database, five years ago (9th at a stop on the Omega Tour), went on a six-match tear to the hot seat match, getting by Eric Hammond, Chance Willis, Joshua Paredes, Pedro Mungia and in a winners’ side quarterfinal, Sharik Sayed. With Sayed racing to 10, Baker downed him 4-7 (Sayed racing to 10) and advanced to his winners’ side semifinal against Paul Sifuentes.

Baker got into his first (known) hot seat match with a 6-3 win over Sifuentes and was joined by Herring, who’d defeated Nabia 8-4. Baker got three of the five he needed to claim his first hot seat, but Herring got all nine he needed first to claim it.

On the loss side, Nabia ran into Sayed, who’d followed his loss to Baker with victories over Samuel Escalona 10-3 (Escalona had previously eliminated Top), and Jesus Sorto 9-5. Sifuentes picked up Matt Devance, who’d moved on from his loss to Herring to eliminate Doug Winnett, double hill, and Nando Benavides 8-3.

Sifuentes advanced to the quarterfinals 6-4 over Devance. With Nabia racing to 5, Sayed narrowly defeated him 9-4.

Apparently, impatient with all of this. . . back and forth, Sayed went on a rampage to the finals. He shut out both Sifuentes in the quarterfinals and Baker in their semifinal rematch. Herring didn’t get the ‘rampage’ memo and downed Sayed 6-3 in the finals to claim his second straight Cuetec DFW 9-Ball Tour title in a row and the top spot in the tour rankings.

Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Snookered Billiards, as well as title sponsor Cuetec and the Fort Worth Billiards Superstore. Next time on the Cuetec DFW 9-Ball Tour: A $1,750-added event, scheduled for April 23-24, to be hosted by Rusty’s Billiards in Arlington, TX.

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Herring goes undefeated at Stop #2 on the Cuetec DFW 9-Ball Tour

Aloysius Yapp, Daniel Herring and Tony Top

As a competitor on a regional tour, when the runner-up of the 2021 US Open 9-Ball Championships, who also finished third at last year’s World 10-Ball Championships and won an event on the CSI Predator US Pro Billiards Series back in September, shows up on the tour’s entrant roster, you have a tendency to pay attention. Pool is all about being in the moment at the tables and avoiding distractions related to who you might or might not have to face somewhere down the line, but when such a competitor pops up on your radar, you do scan the brackets every once in a while. And when you discover that this formidable opponent has only given up five racks through his first 54 games (winning almost nine out of every 10), your focus on the tables may be all well and good, but you do start wondering whether you might be one of the players designated to stop him. 

That said, if you enter a tournament as one of three players at the top of a regional tour’s rankings, you might actually look forward to the challenge. It was Tony Top, who entered last weekend’s event as the number #2 competitor in the tour’s rankings, who met the challenge and stopped one Aloysius Yapp, from what might well have been an undefeated run to the title. Twice, in fact. It was, however, Daniel Herring, the tour’s 2021 Tour Champion, who entered the tournament ranked #5 (5th/6th in the season opener) and finished it in the #1 spot, ahead of Top by just two points. He did that by going undefeated through the field. He didn’t have to face Yapp, but he did down Top twice, in the hot seat and finals. The $1,750-added, Stop# 2 on the Cuetec DFW 9-Ball Tour drew 80 entrants to Stixx & Stones in Lewisville, TX.

Yapp’s ‘take no prisoners’ run through his first five opponents, as he was racing to 10, included two shutouts (Tina Soto and Miguel Hernandez), two matches in which he gave up two racks (his opening match vs. Jeffrey Cho and later, against Fahad Alrawi) and a single match that allowed Crispian Ng a single rack. All of which put him against Top for the first time, in a winners’ side semifinal. Top, with an opening round bye in his pocket, had gotten by his first four opponents – Jim Dixon, Robbie Cleland, Clint Palaci and Tony Loeper – by an aggregate score of 32-14 (70% game-winning average).

Herring, in the meantime, started his journey to the winners’ circle with wins over Chase Laferney (2), Darrell Smith (4), Matt Dixon (3), Sharik Sayed (5) and TJ Davis (4) and came to his winners’ side semifinal match against Juan Parra, sporting a game-winning average a single percentage point lower than Top’s at 69%. 

Top began his first match against Yapp with five ‘beads on the wire’ in a race to 9 and came within a single game of chalking up as many (actual) racks against him in the single match than all five of his previous opponents combined. He sent Yapp to the loss side 4-7. Herring joined him in the hot seat match after downing Parra 7-2. In a straight-up race to 7, Herring claimed the hot seat 7-5 over Top.

On the loss side, Yapp and Parra picked up Matt Wilson and Sharik Sayed, respectively. Wilson was likely not thinking a lot about Aloysius Yapp when he began his eight-match, loss-side winning streak, initiated by Tony Loeper in the second winners’ side round. Like most people who lose an opening round in a large, double-elimination bracket, he was more likely to be focused on surviving the matches right in front of him. If he was bracket-watching at all, he might have noted that the guy who’d sent him to the loss side, Loeper, was progressing as well, and there was a chance, the way the bracket was working out, that he could get an opportunity for a rematch in the quarterfinal. That didn’t happen, because Loeper fell into the 7/8 slot. Wilson chalked up wins #7 & #8 against TJ Davis, double hill, and Denny Sneed 5-6 (Sneed racing to 9) before falling to Yapp 10-2.

Sayed was working on a modest, five-match, loss-side winning streak that had recently eliminated Crispian Ng 8-4 and Loeper 9-3. He joined Yapp in the quarterfinals after eliminating Parra 8-4.

Yapp ended Sayed’s brief loss-side streak 8-4 in the quarterfinals to set up a rematch against Top in the semifinals. Top started this match, as well, with five ‘beads on the wire’ in a race to 9. He added four for a second time to end Yapp’s prior-to-him romp through the Cuetec DFW 9-Ball field.

Top now had to turn his attention to winning two matches in a row over Herring, waiting for him in the hot seat. He failed to chalk up two racks against him in what proved to be the only set necessary.  Herring completed his undefeated run 7-1 to claim the event title.

Tour director Monica Anderson thanked the ownership and staff at Stixx & Stones for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor Cuetec and associate sponsor Fort Worth Billiards Superstore. The next stop #3 on the Cuetec DFW 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for the weekend of March 19-20, will be hosted by Snookered in Frisco, TX. 

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Franklin goes undefeated, downs Cuetec DFW 9-Ball Tour Champion Daniel Herring twice

Jeff Franklin, Robert Clark and Daniel Herring

Before the 10th stop on the Cuetec DFW 9-Ball Tour was over on Sunday, Oct. 24, tour representatives announced to all those in attendance that Daniel Herring, by virtue of how far he had already advanced in the $1,500-added, ongoing event that drew 84 players to Snookered in Frisco, TX, was the 2021 Tour Champion. It might have provided Jeff Franklin with a touch of motivation, because Franklin subsequently downed Herring twice, in the hot seat and finals, to go undefeated and claim the second-to-last 2021 tour title.

Though he started strong after a bye, downing Zeke Moore 8-3 and Quy Dao 8-1, Franklin would finish, having given up an average of five racks to his six opponents in seven matches (Herring twice). From his second match, he never gave up less than five the rest of the way. He downed Alberto Nieto Garcia (5) and Tony Top (6) to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal matchup against Robert Clark.

Herring, in the meantime, after a bye, started out 8-2 (Domingo Lazaro) and 8-4 (Steve Raynes),   and even after his two late losses to Franklin, finished having given up an average of just under four racks to his eight opponents (Franklin twice). After Raynes, Herring downed Jim Calderon 8-2 and then, shut out Miguel Hernandez to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal versus Clint Freeman. 

Franklin sent Clark to the loss side 8-6, as Herring was sending Freeman over 8-3. In their first of two, Franklin and Herring battled to double hill before Franklin prevailed and claimed the hot seat.

On the loss side, Clark picked up Miguel Hernandez, who’d followed his winners’ side quarterfinal loss to Herring with wins over Prashant Srivastava 6-2 and Jeff Georges 6-4. Freeman drew Tony Top, who’d followed his winners’ side quarterfinal loss to Franklin with victories over Mark Nanashee 8-5 and Chris “Woody” Smith 8-4.

Top downed Freeman 8-3. Clark joined him in the quarterfinals with an 8-5 win over Hernandez. Clark advanced one more step, defeating Top in those quarterfinals 8-5, before being stopped by Herring in the semifinals 8-4.

The finals looked as though it was going to be another double hill battle, but it fell short by a single game. Franklin sealed the deal and claimed the event title 8-6.

Tour director Monica Anderson thanked Craig and Jana Lucas and their Snookered staff, as well as title sponsor Cuetec and associate sponsor Fort Worth Billiards Superstore (Albert Trujillo and team). The Cuetec DFW 9-Ball Tour’s finale, scheduled for the weekend of Nov. 20-21, will be hosted by Rusty’s Billiards in Arlington, TX.

Herring double dips Top, moves to the top of DFW 9-Ball Tour standings

Carl Bodeker, Daniel Herring & Tony Top

The logjam at the top of the Dallas-Ft. Worth 9-Ball Tour standings at the end of the second stop was broken up this past weekend, March 20-21. Going into the $1,500-added event that drew 78 entrants to Stixx & Stones Billiards in Lewisville, TX, there were three competitors at the top of the tour standings, all with 200 points – Jalal Alsarisi and Jeff Sullivan, winners of the 1st and 2nd stops on the tour, respectively and Robbie Cleland, who’d finished in the tie for 13th in the opening stop and 4th in February. Daniel Herring, though one of the five members among the top 10 on the tour to have, at this point, competed in all three events, had started slow, finishing in the tie for 25th the first time out in January and then, 4th last month. He jumped to the head of the line when he came from the loss side to double dip Tony Top in the finals of the third stop.

After being awarded an opening round bye, Herring’s path to the winners’ circle went through Dustin Hammock, Chris Gaither, Trevor Oullette, and Norman Small to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal match against Carl Bodecker. Top, in the meantime (also with an opening round bye), defeated Jimmy Fujimori, Donnie Gregory (double hill), Ruben Flores and Jorge Villareal to arrive at his winners’ side semifinal versus TJ Davis.

With Davis racing to 9 in their matchup, Top advanced to the hot seat match 8-7. Bodecker survived a double hill battle that sent Herring to the loss side and then followed him over, when Top claimed the hot seat 8-4.

On the loss side, Herring opened his campaign against Eric Smith, who was working on a four-match, loss-side winning streak that had recently included victories over Villareal 7-1 and a double hill win, in which he’d come from 8-0 down to defeat the higher-ranked James Davee 7-8. TJ Davis drew Greg Sandifer, who’d lost a winners’ side quarterfinal match to Bodecker and then downed Phillip Autieri 8-3 and Norman Small 8-5.

Davis downed Sandifer 9-3 and in the quarterfinals, faced Herring, who’d eliminated Smith 8-3. Herring came out strong against the one-point-higher-ranked Davis and allowed him only four racks to win it 8-4, which, in turn, gave Herring a rematch against Bodecker in the semifinals.

Though Herring was the one-point-higher-ranked competitor in that semifinal rematch, he came out just as strong, and allowed Bodecker only two racks to earn his spot in the finals 8-2. In the first set of the true double elimination in a straight-up race to 8, Herring chalked up another 8-2 win. Top got five in the second set, but it wasn’t enough, as Herring completed his run 8-5.

The event’s top finishing competitors at three ranking levels and three top finishing Ladies took home $60 prizes. Chouie Almora and Veronica Perez split the $60 as the last Level 4 competitors standing. Jorge Villareal was the last Level 5 and Darrell Smith was the last Level 6. Three women split the Ladies prize – Monica Anderson, Veronica Perez and Chouie Almora.

Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Stixx & Stones Billiards for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor CueTec and Associate title sponsor Fort Worth Billiards Superstore. The DFW 9-Ball Tour will be at Snookered Billiards and Bar in Frisco, Texas next month, for a $1,500-added event, scheduled for the weekend of April 17-18.

Gregory takes two out of three over Palaci to win CueTec DFW 9-Ball Tournament

Clint Palaci, Donnie Gregory & Juan Parra

With his victory this past weekend (Oct. 17-18) on the CueTec Dallas-Fort Worth 9-Ball Tour, Donnie Gregory turned an otherwise (for most people) disastrous 2020 into his best recorded earnings year to date. It took him five events to record what was his previous best earnings a year ago in 2019. It’s taken him only three 2020 events to surpass his 2019 earnings. This, of course, does not include money he may have earned by collecting additional monies outside the realm of official tour payouts or in tournaments not recorded with us for posterity.

Gregory had to earn this latest win, too. He made it to the hot seat, but the competitor he sent to the semifinals – Clint Palaci – came back to haunt him in the opening set of a true double elimination final. Gregory hung on to win the second set and claim the event title. The $1,500-added event drew 73 entrants to The Billiards Den in Richardson, TX.

Gregory was battling for advancement right from the start of this one. Awarded an opening round bye, he won his first four matches (all but one were straight up races to 7) by an average score of 7-5, including two double hill wins over Steve Raynes and Brian Cady. In between, in his second round, he defeated Walter Huenerfuerst (racing to 8). He then defeated Curtis Cardwell 7-4 in a winners’ side quarterfinal to face Jerry Yang in one of the winners’ side semifinals. 

Palaci, in the meantime, had a slightly less harrowing run to the winners’ side final four, averaging 7-4 wins against his four opponents; Keith Atkins (4), Doug Winnett (double hill), Brendan Fuller (1), and Aaron Ramijio (6), to arrive at his winners’ side semifinal against Moe Harbaji.

Gregory got into the hot seat match with his ‘easiest’ victory to that point, a 7-2 win over Yang. Palaci joined him after sending Harbaji to the loss side 7-4. Gregory enjoyed his ‘easy’ 7-2 win over Yang so much that he repeated it to claim the hot seat over Palaci.

On the loss side, Yang and Harbaji walked right into their second straight loss. Yang had picked up Tony Top, who’d been defeated in the event’s opening round and was on an eight-match, loss-side winning streak, which had recently included victories over Robin Barbour 8-6 and Aaron Ramijio 8-4. Harbaji drew Juan Parra, who was working on a much more modest two-match, loss-side streak that started when he’d been defeated by Yang in one of the winners’ side quarterfinals. He’d opened on the loss side with victories over Jamie Cummings and Curtis Caldwell, both 7-5.

Top and Parra advanced to the quarterfinals; Top, stretching his loss-side streak to nine matches with an 8-6 win over Yang and Parra, downing Harbaji 7-4. Parra then stopped Top’s streak with a 7-4 win in those quarterfinals.

Clint Palaci, in turn, ended Parra’s short, loss-side journey 7-5 in the semifinals. 

Momentum may have been the reason that someone came up with the idea of a true double elimination final. As the hot seat occupant is relaxing somewhere, or even just practicing, he/she is not engaged in actual competition and it can arguably take an edge off the ‘knife’ that is his/her competitiveness. Thus, a single win by the designated semifinalist seemed . . . unfair somehow, so someone came up with the idea of an extra match with both competitors having chalked up one loss.

Palaci took the opening set of this true double elimination final 7-4. In their straight-up race to 7, they battled to within a game of double hill in the second set, before Gregory pulled out to win it 7-5, claim the event title and go $600 over his previous best recorded-earnings year.

In addition to the 16 straight payout winners, cash was disseminated to the ‘last standing’ competitor in three different skill levels (SL). Tour director Monica Anderson and Joey Salazar tied for the privilege among SL4s. Dennis Hall took home the SL5 cash and Moe Harbaji grabbed the SL6 money. Anderson picked up extra cash as the ‘last standing’ female. 

Anderson thanked Marcy Rothberg and her Billiards Den staff for hosting the event, as well as title sponsor CueTec Cues and Associate Title Sponsor Fort Worth Billiards Superstore. The next stop on the DFW 9-Ball Tour will be the tour finale, scheduled for November 14-15 at Rusty’s Billiards in Arlington, TX.

Ryan takes two out of three over Gregory to win 1st return stop on Cuetec DFW 9-Ball Tour

Robert Clark, Donnie Gregory and Jim Ryan

Pool came back to Texas in the form of the Cuetec DFW 9-Ball Tour’s first stop since the weekend of February 22-23. Unwittingly, the tour paid homage to that last stop on the tour by repeating the final circumstances, albeit with different players. In the earlier event, Brian Cady took two out of three matches over Louie Pacheco, claiming the hot seat and the second set against him in the finals. On this past weekend (Aug. 22-23), it was Jim Ryan taking the same two out of three over Donnie Gregory to claim the event title. Both competitors were looking for their first tour win. Ryan, who was a member of the BCAPL’s 2017 National Championship Team (Top Shelf) was looking for his first cash finish on the tour. The $1,000-added event drew 63 entrants to Snookered Billiards, Bar and Restaurant in Frisco, TX.

Ryan’s path to his first appearance in the winners’ circle was no luck-of-the-draw walk in the park. After a shutout over Brendan Fuller in the opening round, Ryan survived his first of three double hill matches against JP Kinman. He then sent Texas veteran Greg Sandifer to the loss side 7-4 and Jersey Jack Lynch 7-1 to draw Doug Winnett in a winners’ side semifinal.

Gregory, in the meantime, had defeated Jim Tallman 7-3 and survived his first of three double hill matches versus Daniel Herring. He advanced to down Sabrina Henson 7-2 and his second double hill match versus Hector Guerrero to draw Robert Clark in the other winners’ side semifinal.

Ryan won his second double hill match versus Winnett and advanced to the hot seat. Gregory downed Clark 7-4 to join him. Ryan chalked up his third double hill fight, against Gregory, and claimed the hot seat.

On the loss side, Winnett picked up Tony Top, who, after being defeated in the opening round by Fahad Alrawi, set out on an eight-match, loss-side winning streak that would take him as far as the quarterfinals. He’d recently eliminated Jamie Cummings 8-4 and Greg Sandifer 8-6. Robert Clark picked up Jersey Jack Lynch, who, following his defeat at the hands of Ryan on the winners’ side, had defeated JP Kinman 7-6 (Kinman racing to 8) and Chris Ferguson 7-3.

Clark downed Jersey Jack 8-2 and was joined in the quarterfinals by Top, who’d survived a double hill fight versus Winnett. In a straight-up race to 8, Clark then ended Top’s winning streak 8-5 in those quarterfinals.

In the semifinals that followed, Gregory faced his third double hill challenge, which almost turned out in favor of Clark. In the flurry of shots in the final moments of the deciding game, after Gregory had snookered himself shooting at the 8-ball, Clark, with the table and the win staring at him, hit a ball too hard and ended up turning the table back over to Gregory, who proceeded to win his third double hill challenge.

The momentum from that semifinal, double hill win sent Gregory into the finals on a bit of a roll. He won the opening set of the true double elimination final 7-2. Ryan, though, collected his thoughts in time to challenge strongly in the second set. It came within a game of becoming, for each of them, their fourth double hill challenge. Ryan pulled out in front near the end and claimed the title with a second-set 7-5 win.

Nestled among the four players who shared the tie for 13th place in this event was Sabrina Henson, who, in addition to the $80 she earned for finishing in that spot, proved to be the event’s top female finisher and the best finisher at Skill Level 5. Each of those accomplishments earned her an extra $60, making her take-home at this event an even $200.

Tour director Monica Anderson thanked Craig and Janna Lucas for being the “hosts with the most,” along with title sponsor CueTec and the Fort Worth Billiards Store. The next stop on the CueTec DFW 9-Ball Tour is scheduled for the weekend of September 19-20, although the site for the event is yet to be determined. Local ordinances related to the Covid-19 epidemic could affect the choice. Visit the tour’s Facebook page or their Web site at http://www.dfw9bt.com.

Freeman double dips Palaci to win DFW 9-Ball Tour’s season opener

(l to r): Clint Palaci, Clint Freeman & Tony Top

Though he played more games and eventually, after winning five on the loss side of the double elimination bracket, met and defeated hot seat occupant, Clint Palaci, to claim the Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) 9-Ball Tour’s season opener on the weekend of January 18-19, Clint Freeman did not end up with the highest game-winning percentage of the 106 entrants, who signed on to the $1,500-added tournament, hosted by Rusty’s Billiards in Arlington, TX. That interior-event ‘title’ went to Walter Huenerfuerst, who, though he finished in the tie for 13th place, won 57 of the 80 games he played over the weekend (71%).
 
Event winner Freeman, at 65% (85-46), wasn’t even in second place for the game-winning percentage ‘title,’ though he did end up in third place. Second place went to a competitor who was the odds-on favorite to win the tournament; seven-time participant and 2019 Vice Captain of the USA Mosconi Cup team, and winner of the 1998 US Open One Pocket and 2003 US Open 9-Ball titles, Jeremy Jones. Jones, though he finished in the tie for 9th place, won 64 of the 96 games he played (67%).
 
That strange little ‘factoid’ emanates from a disparity of games-played and racks-given-up that doesn’t always figure into the bottom line of winning or losing a given tournament. If you play 10 games of pool in a tournament, all races to 8, and win them all, you win the tournament. But if each of your eight games goes double hill (8-7), you’re going to finish the tournament with a 53% game-winning percentage. Huenerfuerst lost his opening match, faced seven opponents on the loss side, and gave up an average of just under three racks per match to his opponents to win the game-winning percentage battle. Jones, who moved to the loss side after the fourth round, faced a total of only six opponents and gave up just over five racks per match. Event winner Freeman played 11 matches, to include the double elimination final and gave up just over four games per match.
 
Freeman’s path to the winners’ circle went through Jeff Williams (8-5), Paul Villa (8-2), and Shane Hvamsted 8-3, before running into Donnie Gregory for the first time. Gregory sent him to the loss side 7-5. Gregory then advanced to a winners’ side semifinal matchup against Clint Palaci. Meanwhile, Tony Top, who’d recently battled to double hill versus Jeremy Jones and sent him to the loss side, advanced to the other winners’ side semifinal against Harold “Woody” Paine.
 
Top got into the hot seat match with an 8-6 victory over Paine. He was joined by Palaci, who’d defeated Gregory 7-2. Palaci gave up only a single rack to Top and grabbed the hot seat.
 
On the loss side, Freeman began his loss-side campaign with his hands full, so to speak, by drawing Jeremy Jones, who’d just won his first loss-side match 10-6 over Daniel Herring. Freeman put an end to an extraordinarily brief loss-side run by Jones with an 8-5 win. Freeman moved on to a double hill battle that he eventually won over JP Kinman, that set him (Freeman) up to face “Woody” Paine. Gregory picked up Jud Hunter, who’d recently eliminated Billy Guy and John Doughty, both 7-5.
 
Freeman advanced to the quarterfinals with an 8-4 win over Paine, earning himself a rematch against Gregory, who’d defeated Hunter 7-5. Freeman went at the quarterfinal rematch with a vengeance, and allowed Gregory only a single rack in his 8-1 victory. Freeman completed his loss-side run with an 8-2 victory over Top in the semifinals.
 
Hot seat occupant, Clint Palaci began the double elimination finals against Clint Freeeman with one ‘bead on the wire’ in a race to 8. The two Clints battled to double hill in the opening set, before Clint finished it, forcing a second set. Freeman took the second set 8-4 to claim the DFW 9-Ball Tour’s season opener and for about a month, sit at the top of the DFW’s standings.
 
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Rusty’s Billiards for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor Anchor Predator Cues, Business Sponsor Ft. Worth Billiards Superstore and Associate Business Sponsors Aramith Balls, Outsville Racks, Rasson Billiards and JB Cases. The next stop on the DFW 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for Feb. 22-23, will be hosted by Billiard Den in Richardson, TX.

Herring goes undefeated through field of 89 to win his first stop on DFW 9-Ball Tour

(l to r): Juan Parra, Jr., Daniel Herring & Tony Top

 

Daniel Herring has been at the Texas tables for about a decade now, chalking up his first recorded appearance on a payout list at a stop on the Fast Eddie’s Tour in January, 2008. He started appearing on the payout lists of Melinda Bailey’s Omega Tour a few years after that and in February, 2015, he broke through to win a stop on that tour; his first, and until this weekend (Sept. 8-9), his only recorded victory on a tour. At stop #9 on the DFW 9-Ball Tour (which grew out of the Omega Tour), he went undefeated through a field of 89 entrants, on-hand for the $1,500-added event, hosted by Clicks in Arlington, TX.
 
Herring started strong, giving up only two racks over his first 19 games, and seven over his next 23 (four of those to his eventual finals’ opponent, Juan Parra) to arrive at what proved to be his first double hill challenge in a winners’ side semifinal against Angelo Inness. Tony Top, in the meantime, who played an extra match in a preliminary round to get the field to a 32-match opening round, gave up 12 racks in the 52 games that it took him to reach the other winners’ side semifinal against Philip Palmer.
 
Herring survived the double hill battle over Inness and advanced to the hot seat match and a battle against Top, who’d sent Palmer to the loss side 8-5. Herring claimed the hot seat 8-6, and waited on the return of Parra.
 
On the loss side, Palmer picked up Parra, who, following his defeat at the hands of Herring, had eliminated Tommy Ulbik 7-3 and the tour’s #2-ranked competitor, CJ Wiley, double hill (in the absence at this event of the tour’s #1-ranked player, Chase Rudder, Wiley’s finish in the 7/8 slot moved him into the #1 ranking spot). Inness had the misfortune of running into Tim Larson, who, following a defeat in the event’s opening round (to Josh Keller) was in the midst of a nine-match, loss-side winning streak that would take him as far as the quarterfinals.
 
Parra and Palmer locked up in a double hill fight that eventually sent Parra to the quarterfinals. Larson chalked up what proved to be his last victory 8-4 over Inness and joined him. Parra ended Larson’s loss-side run 7-4 in those quarterfinals, and then, double hill, stopped Top’s short-lived, loss-side run in the semifinals.
 
Herring completed his undefeated run with an 8-4 victory over Parra in the finals to claim the event title.
 
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Click’s for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor Predator Cues, Ft. Worth Billiard Superstore, JB Custom Cue Cases, Solutions, Granite Guyz, BCAPL, CSI, Dallas 8-Ball, Accu-Rack and Fargo Rate. The next stop on the DFW 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for Oct. 20-21, will be a $1,500-added event, hosted by Billiard Den in Richardson, TX.