Van Boening Strikes Twice and Rousey Rocks at the 21st Annual Music City 9-Ball Open

Shane Van Boening

The 21st Annual Music City 9-Ball Open at JOB Billiards Club in Nashville, Tennessee, ended up bringing in the who's who of the pool world during the weekend of January 17-20, 2008. With Nashville being just a hop, skip, and a jump away from the Derby City Classic attended by players and enthusiasts alike, it was no surprise that players would stop in for their piece of the pie on their route home. Some of those in attendance were Shane Van Boening, Alex Pagulayan, John Schmidt, Cliff Joyner, Ronnie Wiseman, Shannon Daulton, Johnny Archer, Gabe Owen, Jonathan Hennessee, Sparky Ferrell, Louis Ulrich, and Jose Parica.

The $6000 added open division started out with 104 entrants on Thursday evening and continued to include tons of action throughout the weekend. With so many titans in one room, the match-ups most definitely kept spectators begging for more. Some of the knockouts throughout the weekend included Johnny Archer's demise at the hands of local Josh O'Neal 11-4 and ultimately a fall to Jonathan Hennessee 11-8 on the one-loss side; fans caught another glimpse at Shane Van Boening's talent when he was matched up against Cliff Joyner as he jumped out to a nice 5-0 lead before Joyner punched back by taking the win in the end; and defending champ Gabe Owen ended his race to the finals with losses to Johnny Archer and Mike Jones.

To start off Sunday, the winners side pitted Jose Parica v. Josh O'Neal; Cliff Joyner v. Ronnie Wiseman; Jeremy Hart v. Chris Bartrum; and Shannon Daulton v. Tommy D'Alfonso. Parica, Wiseman, D'Alfonso, and Hart moved on in those matches. While, the one-loss side saw battles of its own: Tony Fargo v. Gabe Apollos; Alex Pagulayan v. Brian Jones; Jonathan Hennessee v. Sparky Ferrell; and Shane Van Boening v. Rafael Martinez. Fargo, Pagulayan, Hennessee, and Van Boening bested their opponents to continue their march.

But when the chalk cleared, only four remained, the winners side held Ronnie Wiseman and Tommy D'Alfonso matching up for the hot seat and a guaranteed spot in the final round, and the one-loss side saw Shane Van Boening and Alex Pagulayan toughing it out. Van Boening had his hands full with Pagulayan, but managed to scrape by with a double hill win (11-10). Waiting in the wings was Ronnie Wiseman, whom had just lost the hot seat match to Tommy D'Alfonso with the same score 11-10. In the semis, Van Boening was a scrappy fella to catch as he moved past Wiseman quite easily by a score of 11-0 – Wiseman was able to make it to the table only once during his set before having to settle for third place.

With a little breathing room, D'Alfonso waited for his chance at the Music City title. Van Boening came from the one-loss side victorious and was required to beat D'Alfonso twice for the first place prize, and he did just that. Both sets were extremely close, but Van Boening kept the heat on D'Alfonso and took him down eventually 11-9, 11-8 for top honors, a beautiful Gibson guitar, and $3000 in prize money.

On a separate note, there were two other divisions being played throughout the weekend. On Friday, the $1000 added women's division brought out 27 players which continued play through to Sunday. Sarah Rousey and Grace Nakamura were headed straight to the top of the race with big finishes over the other women. But in the finals, the winners side hot seat victor, Sarah Rousey was too much for Nakamura to handle as she was unable to push the second set of the true double elimination event – Rousey defeated Nakamura in the first set 7-1.

An entertaining plus to the weekend was the Saturday-Midnight Madness tournament. This $500 entry, winner takes all division limited its entries to eight players, races to eleven, single elimination. The attendees included Johnny Archer, Gabe Owen, Jonathan Hennessee, Shane Van Boening, Alex Pagulayan, Bobby Pickle, and Chad Vilmont. The final two players ended up being current U.S. Open Champion Shane Van Boening and Johnny Archer. Van Boening made sure that Archer was on his toes immediately as he jumped out on the board with an eight pack and eventually took the $4000 prize with a final score of 11-5.

Special thanks to Tournament Director Steve McDonald for all of his hard work throughout the weekend and to the sponsors that helped to make this event possible including Nick Varner Cues & Cases, Iwan Simonis, Budweiser, Diamond Billiard Products, Inc., and Alex Brick Cues. To learn more about JOB Billiard Club, check out their website at

Photo courtesy of Diana Hoppe