The ‘Tarantula’ pounces at Starcade’s Annual Fall 9 Ball

Pablo Matheu

With 69 players in attendance at the Emerald Coast venue this past weekend, many top players from the southeast showed up to take a shot at the $5000 purse. While some players were absent in lieu of the Florida State Championship, there were some who decided Starcade Billiards in Fort Walton Beach, Florida was the place to be for lots of action, friendly service and great food!

On the way to the hot seat, 'The Tarantula' seized wins over Robert Rice, Tracie Hines, Robert Lozano and Joey Tucker. Josh Hillard conquered the tournament favorite, Jonathan Hennessee, and Wayne Thompson on the way to the winner's side final, as well. Hillard came out on top with a 9-6 score over Matheu. Meanwhile, Scotty Townsend was terrorizing the one loss side with victories over Stoney Stone, Howie Gordon and Wayne Thompson, just to name a few!

After disposing of Howie Gordon, who seemed to get stronger as the tournament progressed, Scotty matched up with Pablo on the one-loss side finals to see who would get a shot at Josh Hillard and the top prize. This would prove to be the match to stop Scotty and for 'The Tarantula' to get another shot at the top local player by scoring a 9-5 victory.

The stage was set for a great final match. With both opponents having played well throughout the weekend, spectators were in for a treat. The battle remained anyone's victory at 9-9 until Josh made a fatal error by pocketing the 5 and the 7 balls at once, but only to follow the 7 into the hole and now trail the match 9-10. This would be Hillard's last trip to the table as 'The Tarantula' broke and ran the last 2 games to win 12-9 and take home the $1650 top prize!

1st Pablo Matheu $1650
2nd Josh Hillard $950
3rd Scotty Townsend $600
4th Howie Gordon $400
5th/6th Wayne Thompson, Joey Tucker $250
7th/8th Jake Cox, Stoney Stone $150
9th/12th Tracie Hines, Mike Wilson, Denny Fox, Chad Royal $90
13/16th Lee Paul, Robert Lozano, Ryan Lockridge, Jonathan Hennessee $60

File photo courtesy of Diana Hoppe - Pool Pics by Hoppe