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Buckley wins seven on the loss side to take Pro division title on Sunshine State Pro Am tour

Jason Sheerman, Donny Branson & Benji Buckley

Adams goes undefeated in Amateur event
 
Stop # 9 on the Sunshine State Pro Am Tour featured separate tournaments held on the weekend of November 18-19. A $1,000-added Open 10-Ball event drew 57 entrants, and saw Benji Buckley win seven on the loss side to meet and defeat hot seat occupant Donny Branson in the finals. On the Amateur side, in a $500-added, 9-ball event, James Adams went undefeated through a field of 43. Both events were hosted by Capone’s in Spring Hill, FL.
 
Buckley’s trip to the finals was moving along on the winners’ side of the bracket, commencing with a victory over the Amateur event winner, James Adams, and then, through James Sandaler, before coming up against Rodney Morris. Morris sent Buckley to the loss side 7-3, before following him over on the heels of a 6-4 win by Jason Sheerman in a winners’ side quarterfinal. Sheerman moved on to a winners’ side semifinal against Jerry Sullivan, while Branson faced Murbarak Sulaiman.
 
Sheerman and Branson advanced to the hot seat match without giving up a single rack to either Sullivan or Sulaiman. Branson then defeated Sheerman 7-3 and sat in the hot seat, waiting for Buckley to complete his loss-side campaign.
 
Buckley began his loss-side work battling in one of the matches that determined the eight-way tie for 17th place. He got by Travis Croft, Mark Wathen, Nathan Rose, and Donny Mills to draw Sullivan. Sulaiman drew Anthony Meglino, who’d been defeated in the second winners’ side round by Sheerman (double hill) and set out on his own seven-match, loss-side winning streak that included wins over Joseph Remos, Jason Richko, Bill Bloom, Tommy Kennedy, Jessica Human and Rodney Morris, before drawing Sulaiman.
 
Buckley advanced to the quarterfinals 7-3 over Sullivan, as Sulaiman ended Meglino’s loss-side streak the way his winners’ side streak had been ended by Sheerman, in a double hill match. Buckley then defeated Sulaiman 7-2 in the quarterfinals, and got his shot at Branson in the hot seat with a 7-4 win over Sheerman in the semifinals.
 
Buckley and Branson battled back and forth through the finals. Buckley edged ahead at the end to claim the event title 11-9.
 
Adams goes undefeated in Amateur event
 
James Adams faced separate opponents in the hot seat and finals of the Amateur event. He advanced to a winners’ side semifinal against Moe Fattah, as Estel Walton faced Ricardo Rodriguez in the other one. Adams downed Fattah 7-5, and in the hot seat match, faced Walton, who’d sent Rodriguez west 7-4. Adams claimed the hot seat 7-5 over Walton and waited on what turned out to be the return of Adams.
 
On the loss side, Rodriguez and Fattah got right back to winning. Rodriguez defeated Sam Kantar 5-1, as Fattah advanced to meet him in the quarterfinals with a double hill win over Jeremy Bell.
 
Rodriguez defeated Fattah in the quarterfinals 5-2, and then shut out Walton in the semifinals. Adams put an end to Rodriguez’ short, loss-side winning streak 9-7 in the finals to claim the event title.
 
In addition to the prize money awarded to the finishers in each tournament, the Amateur event awarded $20 each to the top Junior finisher – Kodi Allen – and top female finisher – Kelly Cavanaugh. The Open event awarded $40 to the top female finisher, Jessica Human.
 
Tour director Janene Phillips offered special thanks to Rocky McElroy, owner of Capone’s, and his staff, as well as McDermott Cues for donating a cue for an event raffle. The next stop on the Sunshine State Pro Am Tour, scheduled for December 16-17, will be the tour’s Season Finale, which will be hosted by Park Avenue Billiards in Orange Park, FL.
 

Saunders and Ross claim titles at Boulevard in Ocala, FL

Rita Kail, Dave Ross and Tony Crosby

By looking at him, you wouldn’t think Dave Ross could mix it up with the young guns here in the south, but Dave had some ideas of his own this weekend. At 79 years old (just might be a Guinness World Record) Ross put on a clinic for everyone to see. Brilliant shots, perfect execution and the steel of a hardened road player made up the formula that worked for Ross. All the while he was as classy and nice as can be. Florida Pool Tour hosted it’s 5th stop this season at Boulevard Billiards in Ocala, FL drawing 42 entrants this weekend in the Amateur 9-Ball event and 32 players in the Open 10-ball event. On Saturday players present were some of the best talent in the region. Jim Sandaler, Raymond Linares, Nathan Rose, George Saunders, Stephen Richmond were just a few of the names to watch for as the event progressed. In the Open Event, heavy hitters Tommy Kennedy, Tony Crosby, Anthony Meglino, Adam Wheeler and company were motivated to play.
 
Saunders would make a charge through Dave Ross and secure an early win against Mike Delawder 7-2. Quiet, strong shooter Mitch Breedlove would fall to Saunders as well 7-4, setting up a match with local player John Wayne (no not the cowboy). Again Saunders would put together a solid set 7-3. Next Saunders would put a stop to Daniel Plumber’s campaign hill-hill. If one hill/hill match wasn’t enough to please the railbirds, Saunders plays Jim Sandaler for the hotseat, down to the wire and then snaps a 9-ball off the break in the top left corner pocket to put a stamp on it and call the hotseat his.
 
Sandaler working out an attack on the field would start with a bye first round and rest up to play Robert Batson, dispatching him 7-4. Next would be a hill/hill thriller with Moe Fattah, Sandaler escaping to press on. Local player Darrin Wasiewicz would have a nice showing for 3 rounds and tough action losing to Jim in the 4th round 7-1. Jim would go on to play against Nathan Rose with him (Rose) giving up 1 rack for this event. A well matched battled settles at 7-5 in Sandaler’s favor. Sandaler back on the east side would square up with Saunders. The two would trade racks leaveing it all on the table going 6-4. Then Sandaler found a groove to put the set away, forcing the Sudden Death 1 Rack Shootout. A couple of early misses by both would setup a formidable runout pattern for Saunders, ultimately cleaning up the rack to claim his title as Amateur 9-ball Champion.
 
On to the Open 10-ball event with quite a few great match ups to start the first round. A couple of notable matches were, Mike Lear sneaking by James Adams 6-5 with a set of tough safety play. Nathan Rose would fall to Anthony Meglino and Tony Crosby took Adam Wheeler to the cleaners 6-1. The Final Four on the winners side would be Meglino, Sandaler, Ross, and DeLawder. Anthony Meglino put up back to back wins at 6-1 over John Hucheson and Mike Lear. Sandaler sent Tommy Kennedy out west to look for movitation. Boulevard room owner Don Kreischer would look to make a name for himself putting up wins over Jessica Barnes and Robert Batson. Dave Ross let everyone know he came to play this time. At 79 years old he marches right over Marcie Wheeler, Bill Stroup, Don Kreischer, before reeling in a comeback set against Mike DeLawder. DeLawder up 5-2 just couldnt stop Ross. Ross would pick up Sandaler and play for the hotseat, Sandaler pulling out a 6-3 win over Ross would capture the hotseat here this time.
 
On the one-loss side Meglino who lost prior to Sandaler, would post a win over Don Kreischer, setting up a shot at Tommy Kennedy, taking the match down to the wire, Kennedy misses a tight safe to let Meglino out with a chance at the one-loss side final. Tommy Kennedy marched on a winning streak of 6 in a row. Dispatching Chris Lucas 5-0, Robert Batson 5-3, Travis Croft 5-0, Mike Lear 5-0, Nathan Rose 5-3, Mike DeLawder 5-3 and finally losing to Meglino hill/hill.
 
Meglino would get to Dave Ross and take that to a hill/hill thriller with Ross capitalizing on mistakes by Meglino, who appeared to have gotten inside of his own head.
 
Jumping back over to the winner side, it was Ross vs Sandaler. If Ross could win the first set he would force a Sudden Death 1 Rack Shootout. Ross did just that, taking advantage yet again of mistakes by his opponent. Winning the lag, Sandaler broke strong and got hooked on the 1-ball. Attemped a thin cut to play safe and missed. Ross stepped up to a pretty tough 1/10 combo into the side pocket and put it away. Cheers abound and nothing but happiness over took the entire room. 79 years old, besting some of the best talent in the country. Who does that? Dave Ross does, with class.
 
Our next event is the Florida State Amateur 9-Ball Championship hosted by Zingales in Tallahassee, FL. With 100+ players in the draw year over year, this is bound to be a fantastic event. Click HERE for more information.
 
Florida Pool Tour would like to thank XPC: Xtreme Pool Challenge www.xtremepoolchallenge.com for the amazing effort and superb quality stream for the entire event. Boulevard Billiards for stepping up to give these players a chance and for being excellent hosts. The staff and food service was impeccable. Most of all we thank you the players, for without your support we wouldn’t be the best regional tour around.

 

Mills goes undefeated to win Open event on Poison Tour

Jim Sandaler, Tony Crosby and Chris Daly

Donnie Mills and Tommy Kennedy renewed their long-standing rivalry during the Open event of the June 8-9 stop on the Poison Tour down in Florida. They met in the hot seat match, won by Mills, who went on to defeat Justin Hall in the finals, completing an undefeated run through a field of 45 entrants. The $1,000-added Open event was hosted by Stroker's in Palm Harbor, FL.
 
Chris Daly, in the $1,000-added Amateur event that drew 69 entrants, took the other route to the winners' circle. He won five on the loss side, took the opening set of a modified double elimination final, and won the single, 'sudden death' game to claim the top prize.
 
Mills and Kennedy won 14 of the 17 games played in the two winners' side semifinals in the Open event. Kennedy gave up only a single rack to James Roberts, while Mills allowed Travis Croft to move two beads on the wire. Mills, who has the overall better record in his rivalry with Kennedy, chalked up another against him 7-5, and sat in the hot seat, awaiting what turned out to be the return of Justin Hall.
 
Roberts and Frost moved to the loss side and faced Hall and Mike Delawder, who had both just survived double hill matches; Hall, 5-4 over Rich Schau, and Delawder, 5-4 against Chris Daly (who had already won the Amateur event). Hall and Delawder capitalized on their close calls by giving up one rack each to Roberts and Craft, and turning to face each other in the quarterfinals.
 
Hall gave up only two to Delawder in those quarterfinals and turned to face Kennedy, with a 20-8 record over his last four games. He made it 25-9 in five games with a 5-1 victory over Kennedy and got a shot at Mills in the hot seat.  Mills, though, stopped Hall's loss-side run with a 7-4 win to claim the event title.
 
In the Amateur event, Chris Daly chalked up an equally impressive loss-side run, and finished it off with an overall 8-3 win in the two-set final, including the 'sudden death' single game at the end. He'd been sent to the loss side by Justin Gilsinan 7-5 in a winners' side quarterfinal matchup.
 
Gilsinan moved on to face Jim Sandaler, while Jose Del Rio and Angel Rivera met in the other winners' side semifinal. Sandaler sent Gilsinan to an eventual quarterfinal rematch against Daly with a 7-5 win, and in the hot seat match, faced Del Rio, who'd sent Rivera to the losers' bracket 7-3. Sandaler won his final game, defeating Del Rio 7-3 and waited in the hot seat for Daly.
 
On the loss side, Daly would play 25 games over five matches, and lose only five of those games. He gave up three in his opening loss-side match against Rick Hefelfinger, and none at all to Bob Gonnelly, which set him up to face Rivera. Gilsinan, in the meantime, met up with Derek Santos, who'd survived a double hill match versus Mike Delawder and eliminated Mark Whatan 5-2.
 
Daly did his part to earn a rematch against Gilsinan by chalking up a second straight shutout, this one over Rivera. Gilsinan played his part, as well, downing Santos 5-1. Daly gave up only two games – one to Gilsinan in the quarterfinal rematch and one to Del Rio in the semifinals – to earn a shot against Sandaler in the hot seat.
 
Daly took the opening set 7-4, forcing the single, 'sudden death' game to determine the event victory. Daly won that last game to claim the event title.
 
Tour Director Tony Crosby thanked the ownership and staff at Stroker's for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Poison Cues, Stroke-It Wear, Aramis, Diamond Billiard Products, and Simonis Cloth. The next stop on the Poison Tour, to be hosted by Capone's in Spring Hill, FL, is set for June 21-22.