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Foldes wins nine on the loss side, downs Vilmont to defend his Andy Mercer Memorial title

Vilmos Foldes and Chad Vilmont

With Jimmy Mataya in the broadcast booth alongside POVPool’s Daniel Busch during the double elimination finals of the 30th Annual Andy Mercer Memorial, held over this past weekend (Feb. 21-23), viewers and listeners were rewarded with a combination of table savvy and street humor that made the broadcast almost as entertaining as the matches themselves. Sounding like a cross between the late Howard Cosell and Paul Harvey, while bearing a bit of ‘don’t mess with me’ edge to his commentary, Mataya would likely tell you how it all went down this way.

“Let me tell you something right now,” he might say. “These two kids knew what they were doin’ out there and put on one hell of a show, OK?”

The ‘kids’ to whom he hypothetically referred were the winner, Hungary’s Vilmos Foldes, the event’s defending champion, who won nine on the loss side to meet and defeat USA’s Chad Vilmont, who finished as runner-up, after he’d defeated six opponents, including two former champions of this event, to claim the hot seat. The $3,700-added event drew 64 entrants to Rum Runners in Las Vegas, NV.

Five of the event’s 17 former champions competed, and three of them finished among the top four – Foldes, Orcollo (2016), who finished third, and Warren Kiamco, who won it twice, in 1995 and 23 years later in 2018, and finished 4th this year. Also competing were Brian Parks, who won it in 2008 and finished in the tie for 7th, and Ernesto Dominguez, who won it in 2010 and finished this year in the tie for 33rd. Shane Van Boening, who’s won it five times, including four in a row from 2011-2014, did not compete.

Foldes got one match under his belt, a 6-0 shutout over Tres Kane, before running into a double hill fight versus Orcollo, that he lost. Orcollo advanced to defeat Jack Rippel and Brian Parks to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal against Chris Robinson. Vilmont, in the meantime, had opened his trek to the hot seat with three straight shutouts, over James Harling, Randy Kukla, and Joseph Crugnale, before he gave up three racks to Warren Kiamco in a winners’ side quarterfinal win. He faced Edgie Geronimo in the other winners’ side semifinal.

Orcollo sent Chris Robinson to the loss side 6-3, as Vilmont was busy surviving a double hill fight versus Geronimo. Vilmont claimed the hot seat 6-2 and sent Orcollo to a fateful semifinal against Foldes.

Vilmont, who’s been at the tables for “around 30 years,” was a little surprised and at the same time, not all that surprised to be in the hot seat in this particular field of players. He was asked, right after defeating Orcollo, if he had any particular mental preparation he employed for matches against some of this field’s tougher opponents.

“I just play my game. It doesn’t matter who I’m playing,” he said. “These guys have a lot of tools, but it comes down to me.”

“I’m getting old,” he added with a laugh. “I’m just happy to make the balls.”

On the loss side, Foldes had picked up, more or less, where he’d left off. He followed his defeat at the hands of Orcollo with his second 6-0 shutout, this one over Joey Chin. Foldes went on to defeat Trick Sixty, Joseph Crugnale and Lance Salazar, before eliminating Mark Jarvis 6-3 and Brian Parks 6-1 to draw Geronimo, coming over from the winners’ side semifinal. Chris Robinson picked up Kiamco, who, after his defeat at the hands of Vilmont, had survived a double hill fight against Mitch Ellerman and defeated Tommy Baker 6-4.

Foldes defeated Geronimo 6-3. He was joined in the quarterfinals by Kiamco, who in a ‘wily veteran’ vs. ‘young gun’ matchup against Chris Robinson had sent the youngster home with a shutout to remember him by. Foldes went on to eliminated Kiamco 6-3 in those quarterfinals, for a second shot at Orcollo in the semifinals.

They locked up in their second double hill fight in those semifinals. This time, though, Foldes moved on and Orcollo did not, ending his brief four-event-in-a-row winning streak that had begun with his victory at a Midnight Madness event of the Music City Classic, followed with his 9-Ball Banks and Master of the Table win at Derby City and most recently, concluded with his victory at the Texas 10-Ball Open (at which he defeated Warren Kiamco in the finals).

Foldes had that intangible ‘momentum’ working for him as he stepped into the true double elimination final against Vilmont and opened up a quick 4-1 lead in the opening set. Vilmont sandwiched a rack right in the middle of Foldes’ four. Vilmont, though, let everyone who was there know that it wasn’t over yet. He ran a three-pack to tie things at 4. They traded racks to the double hill 5-5 tie, before Foldes sealed the deal to force a second set.

Though Foldes would win the opening rack of the second set, Vilmont would record another three pack, before Foldes won two to tie; to include a 5-9 combination in the tying game. They traded racks to a 4-4 tie, before Vilmont reached the hill first, after Foldes scratched in the 9th rack. Vilmos came back to tie it to force a second double hill finish. Foldes finished it early with a 2-9 combination to successfully defend the Andy Mercer Memorial title.

Rum Runner owner Gino Hill and his brother, Gordie, along with their assistant, Mike Ganz thanked their staff and official event referee Jim Blakeman for their work, as well as Daniel Busch and his POVPool staff for their streaming of select matches throughout the weekend. Busch added thanks for POVPool sponsors JB Cases, Tiger Products, Luxe Electric Car and West State Billiards.

2018 US Open Bank Pool Matches Released on YouTube

CSI is pleased to announce that recorded matches from the 2018 US Open Bank Pool Championship have been released on the CSI YouTube Channel.  Twelve (12) matches featuring notable players such as Shane Van Boening, Ronnie Alcano, and Warren Kiamco can be viewed in their entirety – absolutely free!
 
The 2018 US Open Bank Pool Championship was held March 20-22 at Griff's Bar & Billiards in Las Vegas, NV and was made possible by the following sponsors:
 
​Griff's Bar & Billiards: www.griffslv.com
CueSports International (CSI): www.playcsipool.com
Simonis Cloth: www.simoniscloth.com
Cyclop Balls: www.diamondpooltables.com/Cyclop-Ball-Sets
Tiger Products: www.tigerproducts.com
OB Cues: www.obcues.com
 
RECORDED MATCHES
Match 1: Warren Kiamco vs Bob Herchik
Match 2: Gary Lutman vs Bill Thompson
Match 3: Shane Van Boening vs Tres Kane
Match 4: Brandon Shuff vs Gary Lutman
Match 5: Shane Van Boening vs Ronnie Alcano
Match 6: Manny Perez vs Steve Lingelbach
Match 7: Brandon Shuff vs Steve Lingelbach
Match 8: Shane Van Boening vs Dee Atkins
Match 9: Chris Lulek vs Neal Jacobs
Match 10: Shane Van Boening vs Neal Jacobs (Hot Seat Match)
Match 11: Neal Jacobs vs Gary Lutman (Semi-Final Match)
Match 12: Shane Van Boening vs Neal Jacobs (Finals)
 
Please SUBSCRIBE to the CSI YouTube Channel to be notified whenever we upload new content.

Van Boening pockets US Open Bank Pool Championship

Shane Van Boening with Mark Griffin

Shane Van Boening proved once again why he is the number one player in the U.S. as he went undefeated to win the US Open Bank Pool Championship.
 
The US Open Bank Pool Championship started Mar. 20 at Griff’s in Las Vegas, with a field of 20 players from across the country. It concluded Mar. 22.
 
Van Boening’s path to the finals included wins over: John Plunkett, 4-1; Tres Kane, 4-0; Ronnie Alcano, 4-0; Dee Adkins, 4-1. He then met Neal Jacobs of Chicago, Ill. for the hot seat match. Jacobs, an animated and aggressive player jumped out to an early 2-1 lead. But Van Boening played with patience to win the match by a score of 4-3 and send Jacobs to the loser’s bracket.
 
Jacobs scored wins over: Harry Platis, 4-0; Chris Lulek, 4-2; and Gary Lutman, 4-2, before losing the hot seat match to Van Boening.
In the finals, which were a single race-to-five format, Van Boening came out strong and determined not to leave Jacobs any open balls. Van Boening won the match 5-0, adding another US Open title to his resume.
 
1. Shane Van Boening, $3,000
2. Neal Jacobs, $1,500
3. Gary Lutman, $1,000
4. Brandon Shuff, $500
5. Dee Adkins, $250
6. Ronnie Alcano, $250
 
The US Open One Pocket Championship got underway Mar. 23, also at Griff’s in Las Vegas. The 29-player field has been whittled down to 16. Bracket is available at ctsondemand.com and free live stream at www.facebook.com/playCSI/.
 
For more information, contact Mary Coffman, CSI Marketing Manager, at 702-719-7665 or by email at mary@playcsipool.com.

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

Brian Begay

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

Wagner Wins AWBT Tour Stop

Rebecca Wagner (Photo courtesy of Nick De Leon)

Rebecca Wagner made it a perfect “two for two” with her second win in as many appearances on the Arizona Woman’s Billiard Tour in 2015. 
 
After a shaky 7-5 start over Claudia Justus, Wagner was untouchable as she won her next two matches by a combined score of 14-2 to advance to Sunday play on the right side of the board. Matching Wagner match for match, was Fort Worth’s Tara Williams. Williams had wins over Marcy Thomas, Bernie Store and Sara Miller on Saturday to remain undefeated. 
 
Joining Wagner and Williams on the winner’s side after one day of play were Nina Tagley and Susan Williams.
 
On the one loss side, Store was mowing down the competition with her sights set on Sunday play. Wins over Sandi Wilson, Claudia Justus and Amanda Pulley were enough to get her there. Sara Miller, Jaye Succo and Justine Bishop would also make it to Sunday play on the one loss side.
 
Sunday matches saw Wagner and Tara Williams keep pace with each other as Williams beat Nina Tagley 7-5 and Wagner beat Susan Williams 7-2. Wagner and Tara Williams would face each other for the hot-seat, which was won by Wagner 7-4.
 
Sunday play on the one loss side saw Sara Miller eliminate Jaye Succo in 7th place, and then Susan Wiliams in 5th place. Meanwhile Bernie Store eliminated Justine Bishop in 7th place and then Nina Tagley in 5th place.
 
The rivalry continued between Miller and Store, with Store pulling out a 7-5 win this time. Miller had a chance to tie the score at 6-6, but missed a 9-ball that gifted the match to Store. 
 
The semi-final match, between Store and Tara Williams, looked to be on its way to a quick finish with Williams cruising to a 5-0 lead. That was when things took a bad turn for Williams. Williams missed a couple of balls that she would have made early in the match and all of a sudden her “can’t miss” confidence was shaken. Store was more than happy to take advantage of the opportunities and the match was eventually tied at 6-6. Both players struggled in the final game, but a miss on the 7-ball was all that Williams could take as she unscrewed her cue and congratulated Store for the win.
 
The extended final match started out close. Store took an early 2-0 lead, but Wagner came back to a tie at 3-3. The score would be tied again at 4-4 and 5-5 before Wagner took control and climbed to the hill at 8-5. A great 6-9 combo by Store brought her back within two racks at 8-6, but it was just delaying the finish as Wagner broke and ran the next rack for the 9-6 win.
 
The second chance tournament on Sunday saw Amanda Pulley bounce back from a loss in her first match to run the one loss side with five match wins and then defeat Tami Hathcock in the finals for first place.
 
The Arizona Women’s Billiard Tour will be back in action on October 17th and 18th at Pockets Pool & Pub in Tucson.
 
Assistant Tour director Tres Kane gave his thanks to Mike and Julie Bates, and the staff of Bullshooters for hosting and adding $300 to the main event and $100 to the second chance event, Jose Gonzales of Las Glorias Grille for adding $100 to the main event and his partner Kristie Ortega for running another fine event.

Bernie Pettipiece Wins Tucson Diamond Tour Stop

Bernie Pettipiece

Pockets Pool & Pub in Tucson, Arizona was the site of the Diamond Pool Tour’s first “B” player hot-seat winner back in May. The September 10-ball event at Pockets was the site of the tour’s first “B” player forcing an “A” player to a second set in the finals. It was also one rack away from a second “B” player in the hot-seat.
 
The event, held on September 19th – 20th, drew a field of 45 players with 16 “A” players and 29 “B” players.
 
The “A” bracket saw Bernie Pettipiece grinding out one close win after another. Pettipiece started out with a 7-4 win over Gus Briseno and the matches just got tighter after that. Pettipiece’s last three matches – Nick De Leon, Bret Huth and Brian Reich – were won by a total margin of four games.  Another player who stepped up in the “A” bracket at this event was Tres Kane. Kane had wins over Rudy Alameda and Jerry Stuckart, before dropping a hill-hill match to Reich. Kane would bounce right back with one loss side wins over Alameda, Bret Huth and Reich to earn his spot on the final bracket.
 
Tournament staff were warned ahead of time that the “B” players in Tucson played very strong. Those were not empty warnings. Tucson’s Ronnie Kidd III and Rick Galloway cruised through the winner’s side with only Kidd allowing one opponent more than four games against either of them. Kidd would take the hot-seat with a 7-2 win over Galloway, but Galloway would also qualify for the final bracket after a 7-2 win over Tonee Allin (Tuley).
 
The field of players boasted four female competitors, with Bernie Store quickly distancing herself from the others. Store’s 9th place finish earned her the Greenmail.com Top Lady Bonus of $100.
 
The two brackets came together on Sunday with Ronnie Kidd III taking Pettipiece to hill-hill in a tough match. Kidd stayed with Pettipiece til the end, before Pettipiece won the case game. On the one loss side, Rick Galloway showed that he had no fear of any of the “A” players as he dispatched Kane in 4th place 7-5. Galloway would ride the momentum from that win to a hill-hill win over Kidd in the semi-finals. 
 
The final match was an intriguing one with both players more known for their one pocket games than their rotation games. As the match went on, both players were noticeably tired and opted for safeties instead of run-outs when faced with decisions at the table.  Galloway would score a hill-hill win over Pettipiece in the first set of the finals, but Pettipiece would take control late in the second match and score a 7-4 win for his first Diamond Pool Tour win.
 
The Neil’s Garage Cabinets Second Chance Tournament on Sunday came down to two Tucson players as Mike Hamman defeated Aaron Purdy 3-1 for the hot-seat and 3-1 again in the finals.
 
Presenting Sponsor, Casino Del Sol Resort, provided vouchers for a two-for-one buffet to all players at the event. 
 
With his fifth place finish, Brian Reich moves within 10 points of Bobby Emmons on the “A” player points list. Joey Barrera remains on top of the “B” players points list, but he can certainly hear the sounds of Nick Kline and Oscar Avila gaining ground on him. Nick Kline is having no such problems on the Junior Points List, as he is far in front of the rest of the competition.
 
Tour organizers thanked Curtis and his great staff for putting up with us for the weekend. Lenny Marshall put together another great stream and was assisted by “The Voice of the Diamond Pool Tour” George Teyechea on commentary. Rick Schmitz was also in attendance and provided the tour and players with more great pictures.
 
Due to delays in Skip & Jan’s reopening, the tour has postponed the stop that was scheduled for Skip & Jan’s until November. The Bullshooters stop that was scheduled for November has been moved up to October and will take place on Oct 3rd and 4th. The event will be 9-ball on the 9 foot tables.
 
The Diamond Pool Tour is proudly sponsored by:
Diamond Billiard Products – http://diamondbilliards.com/
Casino Del Sol Resort – http://www.casinodelsolresort.com/
Neil’s Garage Cabinets – http://www.neilsgaragecabinets.com/
Greenmail Internet Marketing – http://www.greenmailinc.com/
QB Custom Cues – http://qbcustomcues.com/
Volturi Custom Cases – http://volturicases.com/
Cue Sport International – http://www.playcsipool.com/
The Arizona BCA, TAP and APA league systems.

 

Runningen Wins Arizona Mezz West State Tour Stop

Beau Runningen

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

Amanda Pulley Wins AWBT Tour Stop

Amanda Pulley

The Arizona Women’s Billiard Tour drew a field of twenty four ladies to Stingers on May 22nd – 23rd for their annual Bar Table 8-Ball event, where Amanda Pulley put together an undefeated run for her second career AWBT tournament win.
 
The field was filled with the usual group of top Arizona ladies talent, including previous event winners Pulley. Bernie Store, Susan Williams, Sara Miller and Jaye Succo.
 
Saturday matches were not kind to the points list leaders, as both Store and Williams were not able to earn spots in Sunday’s matches. #1 ranked Bernie Store turned in a “three and out” performance, with losses to Pulley and Susan Williams. Williams didn’t fair much better, with losses to Sara Miller and Justine Bishop, for a 9th place finish.
 
After a 5-3 win over Succo early Sunday, Pulley faced off against tournament surprise Sarah Geoghan. Geoghan turned in her best AWBT performance yet, with four wins on the winner side and a combined games record of 20-5. Unfortunately, she had no answer for Pulley in a 5-1 loss for the hot-seat.
 
Geoghan was one game away from a rematch with Pulley in the finals, as she led Succo 3-2 in the semi-final match, but found herself unable to put the former event winner away. Succo came back to win that match 4-3 to set up a rematch between her and Pulley in the finals.
 
The final race to seven, between Pulley and Succo, couldn’t have been much closer as neither player was able to take any control in the match. Succo held multiple small leads, but could never put any distance between her and Pulley. A 5-4 lead by Succo would be her last, as Pulley dug down to win three straight games for a 7-5 victory and first place.
 
The second chance tournament on Sunday saw Sophia Morquecho, who was unable to compete in the main event, go undefeated for the win. Morquecho defeated Jamie Goodwin twice, for the hot-seat, and in the finals.
 
Assistant Tour director Tres Kane gave his thanks to Dale Hanson, and the staff of Stingers for hosting and adding $300 to the main event and $50 to the second chance event, Jose Gonzales of Las Glorias Grille for adding $100 to the main event, “friends of the AWBT” for adding $200 to the main event, and his partner Kristie Ortega for running another fine event.

Wagner Wins AWBT Stop #2

Rebecca Wagner (Photo courtesy of Nick De Leon)

Rebecca Wagner wasn’t even planning on making the trip from Vegas to Phoenix for the AWBT’s second tour stop at Bullshooters on April 25th and 26th. It was only when she was able to get the weekend off work, that she agreed to accompany road partner Ashea Erdahl to the event. Wagner would end up mowing down a field of twenty eight players to earn first place in her first event of the new season.
 
Wagner would not have an easy path to the win however. Matches against Cynthia Haeffner and Tracie Hamman on Saturday were followed by equally tough matches against Jaye Succo and Bernie Store on Sunday. Wagner did not allow an opponent to the hill against her, and won two of those four matches 7-1. 
 
Wagner’s opponent for the hot-seat, Store, would not have a path any easier. Store scored wins over Alicia De Leon, Jodie Villegas, Susan Williams and Erdahl before dropping the hot-seat to Wagner 7-4.
 
The one loss side on Sunday was a “who’s who” of top female talent, including Williams, Amanda Pulley, Justine Bishop and Susan Mello. After Susan and Susan scored wins over Pulley and Bishop, they were joined on the left side of the board by Erdahl and Succo. Susan Williams would keep her winning ways going, with a 7-2 win over Succo, but Mello would drop a hill-hill decision to Erdahl.
 
Things were not looking good for Williams in her next match, against Erdahl, as she trailed 5-2 in the race to seven. Williams had been in that position before though, and she drew on that experience to mount a great comeback for the hill-hill win.
 
The semi-finals between Williams and Store started out well for Williams, as she took an early 2-0 lead, but then it was time for Store to mount a comeback and she won seven of the next nine games for the 7-4 win and a rematch with Wagner in the finals.
 
The single race to nine extended final was closer than their earlier battle, but it ended in the same result, as Wagner defeated Store 9-6 for first place. 
 
The win moves Wagner to second place on the AWBT points list, with Store still holding a comfortable lead over the rest of the list in first place. Williams, Haeffner and Barbara Lee fill out the top five positions on the list.
 
Although this event worked out well for Wagner, she still doesn’t see herself able to compete in many events this season due to work conflicts. 
 
The AWBT has been forced to change their schedule, and the upcoming Stinger’s event has been moved to May 23rd and 24th. 
 
The second chance event on Sunday saw Cynthia Haeffner beat Diana Leon for the hot-seat and then beat Tami Hathcock in the finals for an undefeated victory.
 
Assistant Tour director Tres Kane gave his thanks to Mike and Julie Bates, and the staff of Bullshooters for hosting and adding $300 to the main event and $100 to the second chance event, Jose Gonzales of Las Glorias Grille for adding $100 to the main event and his partner Kristie Ortega for running another fine event.

Vilmos Foldes Wins Second Diamond Pool Tour Stop

Vilmos Foldes

Vilmos Foldes added the second stop of the Diamond Pool Tour (presented by Casino Del Sol Resort) to his resume with an absolute clinic on top level big table 9-ball at Bullshooters on March 14th – 15th. 
 
With the field of 93 players split between “A” and “B” players, Foldes found himself in a bracket with 25 other “A” players. Foldes started out with tough wins over Ben Sutherland, George Teyechea and Bret Huth, before Bobby Emmons sent him to the left side of the board with a 9-7 scoreline. Emmons would go on to compete for the “A bracket” hot-seat, where he lost to Brian Reich in a tough 9-6 match.
 
The “B Bracket” was filled with 67 players, with a number of surprise results. Players, who might not have been known for their big table games, showed the fans that they can run out with the best of them, no matter what size the table is. Oscar Avila, Brian McGee and Timber Bridgewater all turned in terrific performances, which surprised a number of opponents along the way.
 
 
Avila would face off against Tucson’s Rick Schmitz (who was working double duty as tour photographer and competitor) for the “B Bracket” hot-seat. Avila would win with a hard earned 9-7 scoreline.
 
The Junior players were well represented at this event with ten players taking advantage of the tour’s “free entry for juniors” policy. Current junior points leader Nick Kline was once again the top junior finisher, with notable wins over Trevor Long and Chris Carpenter before falling to Paul Feltman Sr.
 
The Greenmail top lady bonus money was split between former Junior standout Heather Cortez and Tina Hess
 
The Greenmail bounty on last month’s winner Scott Frost, was collected by Ben Sutherland, who ended Frost’s tournament in 17th place.
 
When the “A” and “B” brackets finally met on Sunday, Reich scored a 9-4 win over Avila, to take the event hot-seat. 
 
Foldes started Sunday play with a very tough 7-6 win over Tres Kane, which must have forced the Hungarian champion to find his “A game”, as he defined the word “domination” for the rest of the day.  
 
Next up for Foldes was Bret Huth, with that match going to Foldes 7-0. A rematch with Bobby Emmons would end with Foldes scoring a 7-1 win. Tucson’s Mike Hamman was the next victim of a 7-1 scoreline and Foldes has turned in a 21-2 record over three straight alternating break matches. Foldes stretched that record to 28-2 with a 7-0 win over Avila in the semifinal match.
 
 
The final match would go two sets with Foldes continuing to show the fans in attendance what top level 9-ball looks like. Reich was able to notch two games in the first set, but ultimately fell 9-2. Foldes would see the finish line in the second set and he pushed on for a convincing 7-0 victory and a combined 44-4 record over his last seven matches.
 
 
The Neil’s Garage Cabinets second chance tournament on Sunday drew 20 players, with last month’s runner up Steve Blackburn going undefeated for first place. Blackburn scored back to back wins over Paul Feltman Jr, first for the hot-seat and then in the finals, for the win.
 
 
With his 5th place finish combined with second place in February, Bobby Emmons has taken a 40 point lead on the “A” player points list. Oscar Avila’s 3rd place finish in this event helped him take a slim 20 point lead over Guyle Fielder on the “B” player points list.
 
The next event on the Diamond Pool Tour is 9-ball on the 7 foot Diamond Smart Tables at Stingers in Phoenix on April 11th – 12th.
 
Event organizers expressed their thanks to Mike & Julie Bates, as well as all of the great staff at Bullshooters, for hosting this crowd of players. Thanks also go out to Rick Schmitz for another batch of excellent photos and a great 5th place performance.
 
The Diamond Pool Tour is proudly sponsored by:
Diamond Billiard Products – http://diamondbilliards.com/
Casino Del Sol Resort – http://www.casinodelsolresort.com/
Neil’s Garage Cabinets – http://www.neilsgaragecabinets.com/
Greenmail Internet Marketing – http://www.greenmailinc.com/
QB Custom Cues – http://qbcustomcues.com/
Volturi Custom Cases – http://volturicases.com/
Cue Sport International – http://www.playcsipool.com/
The Arizona BCA, TAP and APA league systems.