Tiger Planet Pool 9 Ball Tour 2005 year-end finale won by Larry Nevel and Amanda Pasko

Larry Nevel

The tour wrapped up the 2005 season for the 9 ball divisions at Orange Ball Billiards in Rockville, MD on December 3/4th. This was a record breaking event for the Tiger Planet Pool 9 Ball Tour with a whopping $8000 added to the purse from the host room, the tour sponsors and from money set aside by the tour throughout the year. Tour regulars received a nice discount off the entry fee with a special free entry to Kevin West, Walter Koch and Brandon Shuff who attended every event this year. A strong field of 101 players filled out the Open Division chart with 20 ladies playing in the Sunday only event.

A points list is kept all year long and the top 32 ranked players earned a seeded spot on the chart. This was certainly a nice honor considering that 333 players competed this year. The final points' standings were still up in the air as #1 ranked Kevin West held a slim lead over #2 ranked touring pro Mike Davis. There were also several tough players from out of town that came in to shoot at the cash. Larry Nevel from South Carolina made the trip and found himself placed on the bracket near Davis. After warming up on Mike Wilson 9-2, Nevel continued to roll through Davis with an impressive 9-1 score in just a few innings at the table.

Kevin West won his first three matches comfortably. Jerry Slivka had a couple of strong performances defeating Jim Henson 9-2 and Tony Ruberto 9-3. Joining Nevel, West and Slivka in the elite 8 winner-side were BJ Ussery, Shaun Wilkie, Eric Moore, Eddie Abraham and Joe DiPietro. This was one of the strongest line-ups on the winner side for quite some time. All 8 of these players have won multiple regional tour titles with 6 of them being previous winners right here on the Tiger Planet Pool Tour.

The action began Sunday with 16 players in the elimination bracket fighting to stay on the chart and the four winner side matches playing in the feature area with brand new Simonis covering the Brunswick Gold Crowns. The raised viewing area was lined with spectators anxious to see the battles below. Larry Nevel continued to cruise with his multiple run-outs advancing over DiPietro and then trouncing Moore 9-0. Ussery took down West 9-4 followed by a tense 9-8 decision against Slivka. The hot seat match started out with Nevel establishing a 4-1 lead. Ussery fought back but fell 9-6 in the end.

North Carolinian Jeff Abernathy had a nice run in the elimination bracket coming back against Davis, defeating West, squeaking out a win over Shaun Wilkie and downing Eric Moore. Slivka put an end to Abernathy's run and then gained revenge over Ussery 7-4. A sizeable crowd gathered to take in the final single set race to 11 between Nevel and Slivka. This match was close with Nevel maintaining a moderate lead most of the way. Slivka closed in near the end but it was Nevel taking an 11-9 win for a sweet $3000 1st place prize. Slivka earned $2000 for 2nd.

The top 4 women were seeded for the Sunday ladies event but it did not seem to matter. In two close matches, Jin Hee Park overcame #1 Pamela Treadway 7-6 and Cheryl Squire took down #2 Malea Haacke 7-5. Amanda Pasko defeated Jin Hee Park 7-4 but then fell to new international star Tina Meraglio 7-3. Squire came out of the bottom of the bracket but could not overcome Meraglio's sharpened game losing 7-4.

Orange Ball favorite Ellen Yu and Treadway each won 3 matches in the elimination bracket before meeting up. Yu came away with this one 5-3. Pasko regained her focus defeating Yu, My-Hanh Lac and Squire to reach the final. The single set race to 9 started out with Pasko in control 5-2 ahead of Meraglio. She maintained the lead winning 9-5 to earn a nice $900 payday. Meraglio took home $600 for 2nd.

This was a great weekend for tour sponsors as well. Markus Funk of Eurowest Cues came all the way from Germany and sold several of his beautiful cues. He also donated a cue for the cue raffle which had the highest ticket sales this year and made one pool fan's holidays a lot brighter. Parrot Cue maker Todd Elkins was kept busy with cue repairs while playing and cashing in the event.

The final 2005 9 ball points' lists did not change at the top as Kevin West and Pamela Treadway protected their leads. Year-end prizes will be awarded at the 2006 season opener.