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With the Beard
Deuel Dechaine Dominate
Gurel Neslihan Don’t Mess With Nes Mark Twain’s
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Beat People With a Stick Poking at Poking
Tricknology Pinball Wizard
Pro Pool Workout Avoiding Upsets
The Year of Pro Secrets Stroke Fixers
Banking With The Beard Z-Banging
Out-Deueling the Competition
Champions Crowned at Ozone Billiards U.S. Amateur Open
Second Verse, Same as the First Archer Defends Turning Stone Title
Neslihan Gurel: Don’t Mess With Nes
Thousands Flock to APA National Championships More than $1,000,000 in Prize Money Awarded in 30th Annual Team Championships
Fu is Queen of the World Wins WPA Women’s World 9-Ball Championship Crown
Pen and Cue: Mark Twain’s Life of Billiards
“Fireball” Strikes New York
2 InsidePOOL Magazine ◊ October 2010
On the Cover: The beautiful Neslihan Gurel moved across the world from Turkey to New York City to make her bid to become a top player in the game of pool. But she's not just a pretty face in additional to honing her billiard skills, she also plans on going to the Fashion Institute of Technology to master design. For the full story, please visit page 24.
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Instruction Poking at Poking free mini-lessons at the APA Nationals, I saw every Giving imaginable stroke style and an amazing array of flaws.
< by Tom Simpson
arm clenched up, it’s hard to do anything but poke. How do you move that rigid arm more than a couple of inches? Pokers have very little backswing, no pause at the back of the swing, and screech to a stop without going through the cue ball. They appear to be in a hurry.
The most prominent flaw, by far, was poking. It was everywhere, at every level. I was astonished. Sure, we cure the two or three pokers we get in most of my classes, but this was epidemic.
What to do about it: Lighten up. Try stroking (no ball) with a tight grip, and as you stroke, gradually soften your grip. You’ll find you can take a longer backswing and a longer, smoother hit stroke. Once you get this to work pretty well, increase your hit speed. Try to allow your arm to fold nicely at the elbow.
Since my Poking Enlightenment, I’ve been able to see more deeply into poking and develop some useful insights into curing the problem. Let’s start by getting on the same page with our terminology. A “poke” is a pool stroke that decelerates on the way to
Soften your grip hand. Strive to keep your grip hand soft, all the way through the shot. Start with slow speeds and work your way up.
“ Hitches cause glitches.” the cue ball, often stopping where the middle of the CB had been. Some players think of it as “jabbing,” “stabbing,” or “punching” the cue ball. Poking is bad. It makes speed control very difficult—and makes the player look like an easy target. “Stroke” is what we want. Strokes accelerate nicely through the cue ball. The stick, weighing three times what the ball weighs, does its job without interference, like a hammer driving a nail. Remember in baseball and tennis, when your coach kept saying, “Swing through the ball!”? Same idea. If you think you are hitting the cue ball, you will tend to poke. Hit your finish. Get your tip through that cue ball at least a few inches. Pokers can’t stop themselves from poking merely because they’ve come to understand they are doing it. It all happens too fast. Why players poke: Many players poke simply because when they were beginners, they didn’t get to see good pool. They did what they saw, and now it’s an unconscious habit. As players get better, though, they continue to poke, even after it’s been pointed out to them many times. Here we go deeper. I believe players poke because they do not trust their stroke. They don’t believe they can take a full stroke and stroke straight, so they take a very short, very jerky backswing. Because they doubt their ability to take a smooth, languid, straight stroke, they jab quickly at the cue ball. It’s all over before they know what happened. Pokers black out during the backswing. Pokers can’t catch themselves poking because they are not present—not fully there—in the shot. There’s nobody home, so they can’t even get to the back of the backswing. But of course, “You must be present to win!” How players poke: Pokers tend to be clenched up. Their stroke arm is tight. Much of that tightness comes from a grip that’s way too tight or one that grabs hard during the stroke. With the stroke 10 InsidePOOL Magazine ◊ October 2010
Hit off the spot. Practice hitting the cue ball off the spot. Use chalk or balls or paper donuts to mark a target on the cloth about 6 inches behind the cue ball and another 4 inches past it. Slow down. Try to see your tip come back to the back target and see your tip finish at the forward target. Start from the back. Pokers have trouble staying conscious at the back of the backswing. Still hitting off the spot, pull your tip back to that 6-inch target and start from there. Hang out at the back of the swing. Take your time, check your aim, and when you’re ready, accelerate your stick smoothly forward to your 4-inch finish target. Also, try some with your eyes gently closed during the hit stroke. Listen for the cue ball to fall in the corner pocket. Open your eyes and check your tip position. Enjoy your backswing. Now that you know you can stroke smoothly forward from the back of the swing, let’s get that stick back there nicely. Try to take a soft, languid, luxurious backswing. Be present and trust your backswing. Hitches cause glitches. Establish a cadence. Count out loud, 1-2-3, in an even cadence, as you take your hit stroke. Say “One” as you begin to pull your tip away from the back of the cue ball. Say “Two” at the back of the backswing, and say “Three” as you hit the ball. Pokers don’t stroke in an even beat like this. Slow down and force yourself to stroke in cadence at a speed that feels natural to you. Stop poking around. It may take an act of faith at first, but you’ll feel better about your stroke, get better results, and look better at the table.
Tom Simpson Tom Simpson is a Master Instructor in both the BCA and ACS Instructor Programs. He delivers his acclaimed 3-Day Weekend Intensive in 12 cities nationwide. As inventor of Elephant Practice Balls®, the Stroke Groover™, and the Ghostball Aim Trainer®, and authorized instructor for Secret Aiming Systems™, Tom’s innovations in training have helped thousands of players. Listen to an audio description of the Intensive, and read 35 instructional articles at www.NationalBilliardAcademy.com. Contact: Tom@PoolClinics.com.
< by Jason Lynch
pool, there are many shots that require trick I nshotartistic artists to carom off one or two balls like in a pinball game to pocket our intended ball to score. This month I have picked three shots that, if you master them, will make you a pinball wizard.
The inside scoop on this shot is to start by aiming at the first diamond on the end rail next to Pocket F and continue to adjust the cue ball in the direction of the arrow until the shot goes. Cue ball hit is dead top, no left or right.
The first shot is from the follow portion of the trick shot professional program. I like to call it “The Bump and Run.” The two ball is adjustable in the jaws of Pocket E. It can be as far as one ball’s width from the pocket cut. I usually place it about a chalk cube width out from the cut. The one ball is in the center of the table and on the first diamond line. The three ball is centered between the points of Pocket F. The cue ball is adjustable on the third diamond line.
The third shot is the toughest of the three pinball shots, and that is probably why I like it so much. I always like shots that challenge my stroke, and this is one of them. Set up the balls as diagrammed. I place the cue ball one ball’s width from the diamond line. The key to this shot is a 60% hit on the 1 ball with top left english. The cue ball will use the 1 ball as a rail, carom into Balls 2, 3, and 4 then follow into the 9 ball for the score. 4
Sometimes I place the 1 ball in such a way to allow me to use its number as a vertical line to aim at. I never adjust my stroke or aim on this shot, only the position of the cue. A
C 4 8
As with all pinball wizard shots, of course there is a twist: Besides making sure you set up the shots correctly, you must have a supple wrist. Oh come on, you didn’t think you were going to escape without a reference to that classic rock song, did you? 10
The next shot is a close cousin to the first. The instructions for the shot are almost identical, except that this is a draw shot that I like to call “The Pinball Draw Shot.” The two ball is adjustable in the jaws of Pocket E. It can be as far as one ball’s width from the pocket cut. I usually place it about a chalk cube width out from the cut. Ball 1 is in the center of the table and on the first diamond line. The three ball is centered between the points of Pocket D. The cue ball is adjustable on the third diamond line. The trick to this shot is to start by aiming at the first diamond on the end rail next to Pocket F and continue to adjust the cue ball toward Rail 3 until the shot goes. Cue ball hit is dead draw, although I have seen some players use left or right.
12 InsidePOOL Magazine ◊ October 2010
Jason Lynch Jason Lynch grew up playing pool in Michigan. In his early twenties he started playing in the VNEA and placed as high as 16th in 8-ball and 9-ball. In 2005, he won the Michigan VNEA speed pool contest. He has also pocketed 11,100 and 12,011 balls in 24 hours as fundraisers for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life. In 2007 he had his best finish to date, placing sixth at the Artistic Pool U.S. Open and winning the stroke category. Jason is ranked 14th in the world by the WPA. His sponsors are Shelti Pool Tables, Seybert’s Billiard Supply, McDermott Cue, and Leisure Elements. Visit his website at www.michigankid.com.
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Avoiding Upsets ability to stay mentally and emotionally comT he posed is absolutely essential for playing pool at a high level. In fact, failing to do so is often the cause of losing a game or even an entire match. Pool competition is a great teacher of composure, and as a player advances in the competitive arena, he will also develop his ability to keep his mind and emotions under control. Losing composure is similar to getting a flat tire. It doesn’t happen all by itself, but is the result of two different things coming into contact with each other. With the flat tire it’s the tire and some kind of foreign object, usually a nail. In losing composure, it is your inner world coming into contact with some kind of distraction or interference. It usually requires an external stimulus to bring about a loss of composure, but sometimes you can suffer an upset that is totally generated by yourself.
“Don’t let your opponent turn
the match into his personal show, no matter how famous he is or how much of a favorite he may be.”
In pool, the major “foreign object” you will come into contact with is your opponent. The times you are most likely to lose your composure are when you have to interact with him, even if it is just in passing. He is your adversary, and the more he attempts to project himself into your space, the bigger of a potential threat he can be to your composure. Whenever he approaches you, be on guard. There are points in a pool match when you are more vulnerable to the psychological impact of an opponent, and this occurs when you are most in contact with him. Racking the balls is one of the main areas of concern. Not only are you both at the table, but he even has the opportunity to question, admonish, and generally mess with you. You can minimize this impact by being prepared. Know the rules and decide ahead of time what you will accept and how you will act in response. When you’re at the table and your opponent is in the chair, it’s obvious when he does something to try and set you off. 14 InsidePOOL Magazine ◊ October 2010
< by Bob Henning
He’s not supposed to be interfering with your time at the table, and that makes it easy to see and defend against. When you are passing each other during a change of innings, however, it is not so easy to recognize. It is a common ploy at the end of an inning for an opponent to jump out of the chair and move forcefully to the table before you have left it. If you’re not paying attention, this can have a real impact on your composure and rhythm. The solution is to consciously direct your attention away from him and towards yourself. Just quietly move your focus inward. If his actions are so dramatic that you must address it, make sure to do so early. Remember: It’s your inning until the balls stop moving, even if the shot is missed. If he is jumping to the table and “pushing” you off your inning, remind him of the rules and ask him politely to stop. The beginning of a match and the periods between games are other places where contact with an opponent is intensified. It has been said by many knowledgeable players, in pool and other sports, that the winner is often determined in this period. It is ripe for psychological posturing and for projecting emotional and physical dominance. You can protect yourself by being clear about what constitutes your personal space and being prepared to stand up for it if necessary. This is the time to be a stand-up guy. This is the time to show heart. Don’t let your opponent turn the match into his personal show, no matter how famous he is or how much of a favorite he may be. It takes energy to maintain your equanimity, and when your energy is low it is a lot harder to do. You are more likely to snap back at your opponent when tired, and you are more likely to get sucked into psychological games when your resources are depleted. It’s hard to maintain your composure when you are running out of steam. The best strategy for avoiding upsets is to get a good night’s sleep and eat a proper diet. These two things can win you a lot of games. Good luck and good shootin’!
Bob Henning Bob Henning is the author of The Pro Book, widely considered to be the most advanced training resource for competitive pool players. It brings the latest techniques of the top coaches and trainers of all sports into pool. It is intended for those who wish to prepare physically, mentally, and psychologically for pool competition. Bob is also the author of “The Pro Book Video Series,” a complete, on-the-table training system, and he also released The Advanced Pro Book and The Stroke Zone: The Pool Player’s Guide to Dead Stroke. In addition, he has authored Cornbread Red, a biography of the colorful Billy Burge.
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< by Matt Sherman
you’ve heard pool and rifle shooting compared? With S urely guns you may learn to stroke the trigger correctly first, without aiming at any target. In billiards, however, stroke usually requires ongoing maintenance. This month’s tips and exercises will help your billiards stroke. How does the pro stroke feel? Fluid, as power, spin and accuracy come from a super-light stick clasp (see my April 2010 article). Grip just beyond dropping the cue stick. How does a pro stroke look? Even speedsters like “Machine Gun” Lou Butera and unorthodox strokers like Keith “Earthquake” McCready can be seen to be smooth, silky, flowing, graceful, and gentle. It helps to observe a pro’s stance and stroke in follow through instead of watching the balls in motion. Use my pure pendulum drill to reset your stroke grace and timing. Shoot Diagram 1 with a center-ball, medium stroke. A beginner shoots the 1 ball (intermediates shoot the 2 ball) five times or more to Pocket A. Strong players cut the 3 to B instead. Stroke your pendulum with a forearm hanging straight down from the elbow. A
A pendulum bob consumes the same time stroking through different arc lengths. You want a likewise equal rhythm, no matter the length of stroke, so don’t pause on the backstroke for this exercise but trust a one-two motion. Keep your shooting hand passive and don’t lunge or jab at the cue ball. Think: “My lower arm moves, then the ball sinks.” It’s hard to determine whether stroke or aim is off if your hand moves a lot on the stroke. A pure pendulum helps, therefore, to explore and correct aim when needed. Sharpen your stroke feel: I developed a different exercise to improve feel in minutes more than in months of regular play. Cut the 8 ball to Pocket C (Diagram 2) with a gentle, center-ball stroke. Keep shooting until you score several times in a row.
Now cut the 9 ball to Pocket C instead (Diagram 3). Placement of the cue ball isn’t critical so move up or down table some if you have trouble reaching the shot with your stance. Have a playing buddy reset the shot as you might need 20 to 30 tries to pocket the 9 several times in a row. Stroke gently enough to gauge any aim errors. 16 InsidePOOL Magazine ◊ October 2010
I let my students shoot 20 shots or more as I comment before recommending a helpful stroke technique. Aim thick but make the cue ball slide off line about an eighth of a ball to slice the 9. The cue ball curves to the right not long before impact to attack the 9 more steeply. It’s all in the stroke you put on the cue ball. Develop feel—elevate the cue stick slightly—to help produce the curve. I like to offset the cue tip a little to the right by bringing the butt a tiny amount left of the center ball aim line. You’ll certainly need a gentle touch through the stroke if you want to see the cue ball take a slight curve just before impact time. After you pocket the 9 (or at least get close) several times running with this “push cut” return to Diagram 2. Now it’s incredibly easy to pocket the 8 with your heightened awareness developed through curving the cue ball from the 9 ball work. Even fairly new players become near 100% on this 8 ball that stumped them before. Congratulations, you’ve developed a keener sense for throwing balls and adjusting angles. Ready to stroke on the wild side next by adjusting on the vertical plane? Begin your backstrokes by raising (or lowering) your shooting elbow a little. Assuming stance and aim are correct this moves the upper arm immediately (heresy!) but builds timing. Again, keep the hand passively responding to lower arm motion. You must learn to avoid conscious hand motion for most strokes, especially motion that twists the hand to one side. Shoot with the forearm rather than the hand or upper arm. After a few minutes of a “leading elbow” return to an improved regular stroke. And before you flame my technique did you know that Deuel, Bustamante, Varner, Archer, Reyes, and more often add a bit of loop to their stroke? Next issue: How Ensign Chekov might help your “pool enterprise.”
Matt Sherman Matt “Quick Draw” Sherman has appeared dozens of times in major print media and popular TV channels promoting billiards and entertainment. He has taught hundreds of students and has directed pool leagues, pool tournaments, pool fundraisers, and pool adult ed courses. Sherman directs the University of Florida’s leagues, which have produced six national champions, and is the Guide to Pool & Billiards at About.com, one of the world’s most popular websites. He is the author of Picture Yourself Shooting Pool, available at Amazon.com as a book/DVD combo and also as an electronic book.
< by Freddy Bentivegna
Z-Bang is when the second, third, or fourth rail of a bank A shot happens to be a non-complementary cushion. The Z-Bang name comes from the path of the bank shot describing a “Z” pattern. A non-complementary cushion effect occurs when the cue ball goes from a short rail to another short rail or a long rail to another long rail (i.e., cross-side twice or straight back up and down).
Both object balls are frozen to the cushion, but if these shots are hit slightly off center, or at a slight angle (as shown), you have a good chance of making the ball in your pocket or lagging it up near your ball for a strategic move. The alignment for these shots should be about a half-ball space away from the direction of the bank. Ronnie Allen Kick-Bank 1
The “complementary” aspect of the shot is that the cue ball will pick up “running english” off of every “complementary” cushion that it contacts. Running english is english that helps the cue ball spread at a wider angle off of the cushion. Conversely, when the cue ball goes from the same-type rail to same-type rail (short to short, long to long) it will not pick up any running english, and depending on the angle, it will instead pick up reverse english and shorten up the outgoing angle. If the incoming angle off of the first cushion is wide enough, or if the speed of the cue ball is such that the english that the cue ball picked up off of the first rail has worn off, then the cue ball can “break” and take a natural path and angle off of the second rail. Work off Diagrams 1 and 2 and utilize the described systems. You don’t really need to know the science to make the shots. Z-Bangers 8
5 4.5 4
One tip of right follow, easy speed 1
Another innovative one-pocket shot. Unfortunately it is also illegal in bank pool. You didn’t want to leave Ronnie Allen shots like this because most of the time he would kick-bank the 1 ball into his pocket, stop the cue ball for dead position on the 2 ball, and run the game out. If Allen happened to miss, his opponent faced a tough safety snookered behind the 2 ball.
Z-Banger Optimum Angles
C D No english, firm speed
No english, firm speed
Cushion 2 4 3.5
The key to making Z-Bangers is banking the object ball on the tracks shown here or parallel to them. It makes no difference whether the shot is a natural bank, a cut bank, or a passover bank. Any ball that can be played into the shaded area can be played on a Z-banger path by banking the ball parallel to these known shots instead of figuring a complicated formula. Double-Kiss Bank Opponent’s Pocket
A One tip to the left, easy speed A
Natural angle 2:1 banks can be successfully banked two rails using firm speed with no english at any point in the shaded areas. Just hit exactly on the 2:1 angle.
No english, firm speed
B Dead center, easy speed B
This is another bank in the same vein. Unusable in a bank game but very handy in playing a one-pocket. 18 InsidePOOL Magazine ◊ October 2010
Chicago-born Freddy “The Beard” Bentivegna has been in the mainstream and the underbelly of pool for over 50 years. In 2005 Freddy was elected on the first ballot into the Bank Pool Hall of Fame. He has written two books and two popular DVDs on his specialty, bank pool. He is widely regarded as one of the premier experts on the game and science of banks.
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? "Pneu Power Cues are more than just fun toys they are innovative teaching tools for students of all skill levels."Matt Sherman, InsidePOOL Magazine and About.com columnist
The Competition by Gerry Mayen
orey “The Prince of Pool” Deuel recovered from a late loss in the Seminole Pro Tour’s August 13-15 event to end up in the winner’s circle, defeating Rodney Morris in the finals. The $7,000-added tournament was hosted by Diamond Billiards in Cape Coral, FL, and featured a field of 47 of the region’s top shooters.
Corey Deuel Rodney Morris
Deuel started off the event with a match-up against Robb Saez. Deuel claimed an early lead, and despite Saez’s best efforts and some impressive shots, it was not enough to overcome Deuel as he took the match 7-3. Tony “The Sniper” Crosby recently suffered a broken hand during a boating accident, but that was not enough to deter him from this tournament. He drew Gem City Open tour stop winner Shane Van Boening for his opening match. Van Boening was ahead 6-4 and looked like he was going to put the match in the books, but Crosby still had some fight left in him as he went on a two-rack run to tie the match at 6. Crosby broke and had a clear run of the rack to win the match but hung the 5 ball. That was the opening Van Boening needed to finish the match with a 7-6 victory. Tommy Kennedy was one player who showed up this weekend with determination and skill to seek a tournament win. He went through the first day of the tournament with easy wins over Bob McCulley 7-3, Stevie Moore 7-2, and Neil Fujiwara 7-0. On his first match on day two, Kennedy continued his strong shooting by taking out Mike DeLawder 8-4. His next match was against Hollywood Billiards event winner Rodney Morris. Kennedy’s hot streak came to a halt when Morris defeated him 8-3. Kennedy moved to the left side of the bracket to face Deuel, who gave Kennedy his second loss to end his run on the brackets. “Iron Mike” Davis was another player who came focused and looking to make his mark on the brackets. Davis has played well at all the tour stops this year, but this weekend Davis had his best performance to date. Davis played an almost perfect first day. He bested Hans Berber 7-0, Kelly Lake 7-0, and Capone’s Billiards tour stop winner Donny Mills 7-2. Davis began Day Two with a tough win against Mike “Fireball” Dechaine hill-hill. Davis then faced Van Boening in a back-and-forth match. Davis was up 7-5, but Van Boening ran the last three racks to take the hill-hill match. Davis then went to the left side of the bracket to square up against Jerry Calderon, where he again, for the third straight match, went hill-hill. Davis won to advance to face Deuel. There Davis ’s hot streak ended, as Deuel had his stroke working and took an 8-1 victory. Van Boening has, for both tour stops he has played in this year, seemed unbeatable. He breezed through the field at the Gem City Open in Marietta , GA, and was on his way to doing the same this weekend. After his tough first match against Crosby, Van Boening bested Gordon Vanderveer 7-2 and Anthony Meglino 7-4 to end day one looking as dominant as ever. Day two began with a match against Deuel that saw each player reach the hill with some simply amazing shooting. “The South Dakota Kid” got the better of Deuel to advance to play Davis in a double-hill defeat with Van Boening coming out victorious.
20 InsidePOOL Magazine ◊ October 2010
Van Boening reached the hot seat match and met Morris there. The two former champions battled it out, and Morris came out on top 8-7. Van Boening then squared up against Deuel again. It was Van Boening’s fourth straight hill-hill battle, and Deuel got the better of him. The championship match had two former U.S. Open winners in Morris and Deuel in a repeat of the Hollywood Billiards championship match. In that match, Deuel had jumped to an early 5-0 lead just to see Morris come back and win the tournament. This time Deuel once again jumped to an early 5-1 lead and looked to run the sixth rack in a row but missed on a jump shot on the 8 ball, leaving the proverbial door open for Morris. Morris sank the 8 ball but scratched, and Deuel widened his lead to 6-1. Deuel continued his run on the next rack but missed a shot at the 2 ball early in the rack. Again Morris got his chance to make a comeback. Morris shot a safety but again scratched, giving Deuel the chance to sink the 10 ball on a 2-10 combination. In the following rack Deuel missed his first shot on the break, but Morris could not capitalize. Yet again as he missed the 1 ball, he left Deuel with ball in hand. Deuel could not finish the rack, missing the 7 ball. Morris was able to win the rack to move the score to 7-2. The next rack Morris was unable to run, leaving Deuel a chance to go on the hill. Deuel seemed like he was well on his way to a clean run after the Morris miss, but he rattled the 9 ball. Morris again had another opening and again scratched on the 9. Deuel sank the 10 to go up 8-2. “The Prince of Pool” ran out the final rack to claim first place and the $2,800 prize.
Shane Van Boening 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 7th 9th
Corey Deuel Rodney Morris Shane Van Boening Mike Davis Jerry Calderon Tommy Kennedy Dustin Morris Mario Cruz Mike Dechaine Mike DeLawder Stevie Moore Hunter Lombardo Anthony Meglino Donny Mills Neil Fujiwara Stephen Richmond
$2,800 $1,800 $1,250 $1,000 $850 $650 $450
at Ozone Billiards U.S. Amateur Open
by InsidePOOL Staff
he Fifth Annual Ozone Billiards U.S. Amateur Open crowned a new set of champions this year in its 8-ball and 9-ball divisions. A total of 155 entrants from Las Vegas to Tampa vied in all the events to capture their share of the $20,000 purse. The Dragon Promotions’ event coincided with the Poison DP Pro Classic and was hosted by Emerald Billiards, Louisiana’s biggest poolroom. Sponsors of the events included Poison Cues, Brunswick Billiards, Bonus Ball, Master Chalk, Simonis Cloth, APA Acadiana, and Aramith Billiard Balls.
ley decided he would redeem himself from his earlier runner-up finish and take home the gold as he defeated Florida’s Mike Delawder in two matches to become the U.S. Amateur 9-Ball Open champion. Kline maintained her dominance as she went undefeated once again to win the Women’s 9-Ball Open over Texas’ Rose Mcrory. Rene Romero defeated local Louisiana favorite Carlton Broussard for the Seniors’ Championship. Finally, the Texan team of Brent Thomas and Rose Mcrory won the Mixed Doubles 9-Ball Open.
In the open 8-ball division, Louisiana’s Keith Fremin went undefeated through the field, taking out Indiana’s Jeff Beckley in the winners’ side and then again in the finals. The ladies’ event was won in straight sets by undefeated Louisiana resident Ashley Kline. Joe McNamara won the senior division.
All the Ozone tournament players and fans enjoyed competing in the events and watching the world-class pros in the same building. A ton of autographs and pictures were taken with stars such as Johnny Archer, Mika Immonen, Shane Van Boening, Thorsten Hohmann, Shawn Putnam, Rodney Morris, and Charlie Williams.
Even more players showed up by the weekend to compete in the 9-ball open events. Beck-
Ashley Kline, Rene Romero
The pros pose with APA Acadiana owners Preston and Lisa Granger October 2010 ◊ InsidePOOLmag.com 21
Second Verse, Same as the First Defends
by InsidePOOL Staff
ohnny “The Scorpion” Archer successfully defended his Turning Stone title at the fifteenth installment of the event, held August 19-22 at Turning Stone Resort and Casino in Verona, NY, defeating Rodney Morris 13-8 in the final match. Interestingly, it was Morris who Archer bested in the finals of the Turning Stone XIV after coming through the one-loss side, but this time Archer went the undefeated route. Archer began the day as one of the final four undefeated players of the initial 128 who started Thursday. He had already delivered losses to William Oney 9-5, Tony Robles 9-6, Mike Davis 9-2, Jeff Kennedy 9-3, and Shaun Wilkie 9-6. In his first match of the day he faced off against Jeremy Sossei and easily was able to dispatch him to the west side of the chart 9-3 to reach the hot seat match. Meeting him there was Morris, who had scored victories over Jay Plonski 9-4, Kevin Clark 9-5, Danny Normandin 9-7, and Marc Vidal 9-1. Player of the Year Mika Immonen awaited the Hawaiian in the next round, and though they fought tooth and nail, Morris was the one who advanced 9-8. It did not get any easier from there, as his next opponent was Dennis Hatch, who has long been seeking a Turning Stone title. It was another close call, for Hatch held a 7-5 lead and was heading for the finish line, but Morris kept his cool and ended up the 9-7 victor. On the west side of the chart, Thorsten Hohmann was in the lead against Mike Dechaine, 22 InsidePOOL Magazine ◊ October 2010
but he faltered, and Dechaine claimed the hillhill victory. But his next opponent was Hatch, who was burning with a desire to reach the finals and the elusive title. The two players traded the lead, and it looked as if Dechaine might pull through when he was up 7-5, but Hatch regrouped and carried off a 9-7 victory.
Results: 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th
In the quarterfinals, Hatch found himself 7th matched up against Immonen, who had fought off Jeff Kennedy 9-2, Ralf Souquet 9-5, and Sos- 9th sei 9-4 since his defeat at the hands of Morris. With the momentum from the previous win over Dechaine, Hatch propelled himself to another victory, eliminating the Finn 9-3. 13th Hatch advanced to the semifinals, where he was faced with Morris again. Archer had vanquished Morris 9-5 to remain unchallenged, so Morris was sent west to attempt a return to the 17th finals. At Turning Stone XIV, held in December 2009, Hatch was defeated by Morris in the hot seat match hill-hill and then was ousted by Archer in the semifinals 9-1, while Archer went on to best Morris in the finals 13-11. Oddly, Hatch lost this semifinal match by the same score—91—but to Morris instead of Archer. This final match featured the same players as the previous event—Morris and Archer. “The Scorpion” never experienced a moment of self-doubt, as he overpowered Morris in the extended race to 13 with the even wider margin of 13-8.
Johnny Archer Rodney Morris Dennis Hatch Mika Immonen Mike Dechaine Jeremy Sossei Thorsten Hohmann Ralf Souquet Shaun Wilkie Joe DiPietro Jeff Kennedy Ernesto Dominguez Shawn Putnam Liz Ford Manny Chau Shane Van Boening Charlie Williams Marc Vidal Kevin Guimond Brian Holmes Tim Perry Ron Casanzio Erik Hjorliefson Guy Bedard Ray McNamara Trevor Braymore Chris Szuter Oscar Bonilla Spencer Auigbelle Dave Fernandez Jeff Smolen Dave Daya
$8,000 $5,000 $3,600 $2,600 $2,000 $1,600 $1,200
by Lea Andrews
Photos courtesy of Carlos Luna
n 2001, a 16-year-old Neslihan Gurel walked into her lunch period hangout, a pool room near her school in Ankara, Turkey, in quite a different state of mind from the many other times she’d been in there—the formerly carefree teenager had just lost her father. “I’m always afraid of telling the truth, of people thinking I’m being too dramatic,” she confided before explaining, “When my father passed away, I was, like, psycho, because I didn’t understand what was going on.” After her father’s death, a heartbroken Gurel, who’d never lost anyone close before, went through her life in a daze—a part of her was waiting for her father to return. All the activities that used to fill her time—swimming, squash, and ice skating among them— stopped completely. Gurel’s mother allowed her daughter to grieve in her own way for two months before suggesting she see a psychiatrist, who then made her own suggestion: find a new hobby. “One day [at the poolroom], I just got the balls and started hitting them so hard,” said Gurel. And when she told her psychiatrist that pool gave her energy, that she was feeling better, the doctor prescribed more pool.
For a year, Gurel played without instruction, simply using the pool balls like others use stress balls, taking all her emotion out on them, and though she wasn’t working on her game, it nevertheless caught the eye of an elderly regular. “He told me, ‘You’re playing good, so let’s play together.’ Because before that, I was always playing alone,” Gurel recalled, adding with a laugh, “I was just beating myself.” The first thing her new mentor taught her was to shoot more slowly, and then he worked on her technique. As the two worked closely together, it was clear that Gurel’s natural athleticism lent itself well to her pool playing. “One day he said, ‘You are ready.’ I said, ‘Ready for what?’ He said, ‘Ready to play the Turkish Championship.’ I said, ‘Are you crazy?’” Despite her protests that she was “just a beginner,” Gurel played the Turkish Championship, which is not a single event, but rather a professional circuit. “Luckily … I finished in third place. In my first tournament.” Her mentor had an explanation for her: “You are so talented, and you are great at this game. Most players try to beat their opponents, but you are trying to beat yourself.” In fact, she began hearing over and over how talented she was, and she began playing as a professional. “I stopped everything else,” she said. While she was still a rookie, though, she found that making a living as a pro player in Turkey was next to impossible, despite TV appearances and even her role as a high school pool teacher. But an exhibition in Korea in December 2008, the second annual “Showdown in Seoul,” opened the door to another possibility.
Welcome to The Big Apple
During the event, which pitted two three-lady teams—Team Korea and Team World—against each other in singles and team 8-ball, 9-ball, and three-cushion matches, Gurel found herself matched up with Jeanette Lee in a game of three-cushion. “The problem was, it was my first time playing three-cushion. But in that match, I don’t know how it happened, I played awesome. In two innings, I finished five to zero.” And it wasn’t her only impressive performance. In a 9-ball match against Yu Ram Cha, whose reputation at the time hadn’t reached Gurel’s circle, Gurel got out to a strong lead. “I was playing really so comfortable, so I could run out, and I was up three to zero, then she came back. I didn’t stand up. She ran out, she’d break and run, break and run.” Even though Gurel didn’t win the set, she achieved a personal goal, which was playing up to her potential. And when she met Cha’s coach, pro player Charlie Williams, he helped her see a path to her goal of making a living playing pool. Williams suggested that if she wanted to improve her game, she should move to Asia or the United States. The idea of living in the U.S. appealed to Gurel, and she set her sights on Orlando, where a number of people she knew, including Williams and Cha, were living. When it came time to move, though, a problem with her flight to Orlando landed her in New York City for three weeks. “Then when I stayed here, I changed my mind,” Gurel laughed. “I needed to move to New York, not Orlando.” October 2010 ◊ InsidePOOLmag.com 25
I just have to be more comfortable. I’m sure that in a year, I will be a really good player ... I will be. I’m sure.
26 InsidePOOL Magazine ◊ October 2010
Play Play Video Video
Play Play Video Video
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... when she told her psychiatrist that pool gave her energy, that she was feeling better, the doctor prescribed more pool. Gurel began her quest for a U.S. pro-level game by becoming an active participant on Tony Robles’ Predator 9-Ball Tour, where she could compete against the top male and female players in the area. “When they call my match, they say, ‘Your opponent is ‘Don’t Mess With Nes,’ so it’s kind of funny,” she said. Her opponents weren’t always getting the same Gurel, though. “I can play against a man very well,” she remarked, “but against women, I don’t know … it’s all mental. I [feel like] they’re a woman, so they’ll miss anyway … but I know that a man will usually not give me that chance. They’re running out easily. It leads me to play tougher against a man.” Gurel cited as an example a match she played against New York City pro George “Ginky” SanSouci. “I would break and run, he’d break and run, and it was three-three. I was running out and he was running out all the time. I didn’t miss any balls, [but] he didn’t miss any, [either]. He didn’t give me a chance. He finished five to three, just break and run, break and run. He didn’t care if I was a woman or a man. He played his own game.” That kind of gender-blind playing is what Gurel is currently striving for and what she’s achieved only sporadically. When she ran into seasoned New England player Liz Bernier-Taylor on the winners’ side of a J. Pechauer Northeast Women’s Tour (JPNEWT) event in April, she found herself falling short of her ability. “I missed easy balls, really so easy,” she recalled. “[She] said after the match, ‘You only have one more chance. Please don’t put pressure on yourself. I know your game. You’re overthinking too much. Just play your game.’” 28 InsidePOOL Magazine ◊ October 2010
Octobler 2010 â—Š InsidePOOLmag.com 29
30 InsidePOOL Magazine â—Š October 2010
S Taylor’s pep talk gave Gurel the push she needed, and when she met pro player Liz Ford on the one-loss side, she was able to follow the advice. Ford took a break after getting out to a 3-1 lead, but the break refueled Gurel, who didn’t allow Ford another game. “My achievement was not beating Liz Ford,” explained Gurel, “my achievement was … I played my game, and I beat her like that.”
Beyond the Poolroom
Gurel finished fourth at that event (Taylor went on to win), and it was just one of a string of high finishes she’s tucked under her belt since her arrival in New York, including an undefeated Tri-State Tour victory in June and a first-place finish in the women’s 8-ball division of the Ozone Billiards U.S. Amateur Open in 2009, and she’s currently ranked an impressive fifth on JPNEWT. While her record would seem to indicate a rigorous practice schedule, the reality is quite different. “Unfortunately, right now I’m not practicing. I’m just playing the tournaments,” admits Gurel, who’s currently without a coach, though New York pros Mika Immonen and Tony Robles have both offered to help her in an unofficial capacity if she wants. For now, though, what she wants is a little one-on-one time—between her and the table— before she brings a coach into the mix.
But pool isn’t the only thing taking up her time. Besides the myriad of pool rooms and players decorating the city of New York, the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) was a big draw for Gurel, who looks forward to one day marketing her own shoe designs. “I’m just drawing, and I’m just buying,” said Gurel, who thoroughly enjoys researching her field by adding to her shoe collection. “I thought I couldn’t go to FIT, I thought it was impossible, but then I learned that it’s not impossible. It’s just that you need to know good English, that’s all.” Her time is also taken up by a particular frequent houseguest: her mother. “Because of her job, she cannot move here [from Turkey], but she tries to be here every month. Sometimes she calls me and says, ‘I’m coming tomorrow,’” shared Gurel with a laugh. “I say, ‘Are you serious? Tomorrow? It’s an eleven-hour flight! Are you crazy?’ But she loves it. She loves to see me, New York, everything. She loves it.”
finds comfort in having one of her best friends by her side (“I go everywhere with my dog,” she confessed), she often finds herself missing the human friends she left behind. “Here, I have lots of friends, too, but I cannot call them every time I want to see them, because they’re working … so they don’t have time all the time to hang out or to go somewhere,” she explained. “But in Turkey it’s different. If your friend is working, after work, if he’s tired, it doesn’t matter. He will come to you … If you’re going home at night, no one will let you go alone. They’ll always drive you there, but here it’s not important.” Gurel went on, “I mean, I know that I’m a newcomer, so I will meet really nice people, and I know that lots of friends here will get closer. They’ll try to know me and I’ll try to know them.”
Looking to the Future
Gurel’s education will allow her to stay in the country on a student visa, but she’s already looking past that to getting the visa reserved for those talented in arts and sports. “I spoke to my lawyer and he told me that I can get that visa, and if I get it, I can apply for my green card three years later.” The one key to securing that visa is to show that she’s earning money in her sport, so besides keeping up her strong performances in tournaments, it wouldn’t hurt to pick up a sponsor or two, and luckily for her, she has the two main ingredients most companies are looking for: beauty and talent. And as more and more companies look to rising stars for endorsements, she’s sure to attract attention, especially as she gets more time in the spotlight. In October, she’ll be playing in the U.S. Open 9-Ball Championships in Chesapeake, VA, where women will be allowed in the field for the first time in history, and while she’ll most likely be going up against her favorite opponents—men—she’s going to try to be ready for anyone that crosses her path at the Open and beyond. “Always in the match, this is my problem: I try to show my game, because I don’t know people really well … so I just try to show my game all the time. But when you try to show your game, it leads to less concentration, and I can’t play very well. I just have to be more comfortable. I’m sure that in a year, I will be a really good player.” After a pause, she vowed, “I will be. I’m sure.”
Gurel’s Golden Retriever, Ma Cherie (which means “My Darling” in French), did make the trek from Turkey with her, and though she
October 2010 ◊ InsidePOOLmag.com 31
Thousands Flock to
Chumba’s All Stars
More than $1,000,000 in Prize Money Awarded
in 30th Annual Team Championships by InsidePOOL Staff
he American Poolplayers Association’s (APA) 30th Annual National Team Championships saw a record number of teams compete in the newly expanded ten-day extravaganza. Nearly 2,000 8-ball, 9-ball, doubles, and masters teams made the trek to Sin City to compete August 19-28 for more than $1 million in prize money. Because of record participation, the event had to be extended an extra day.
Don’t Need a Man
In the 8-ball open division, “Chumba’s All Stars” of Topeka, KS, defeated “Bad Elements” of Black Mountain, NC, 3-1 in the finals to take home $25,000 in cash and the championship title. As runners-up, Bad Elements received $15,000 in prize money. Finishing in third place were “Deep Pockets” of Osawatomie, KS, and “That’s How We Roll” of Baton Rouge, LA. Each received $7,500 in prize money. In a four-way tie for fifth place were “The Legends” of Kirksville, MO; “Dream Busters” of Fairfield, OH; “Ice Breakers” of East Peoria, IL; and “Mack’s 8-Ballers” of Louisville, KY. Each team received $5,500 for finishing tied for fifth place.
Fight Like a Girl
The Fort 32 InsidePOOL Magazine ◊ October 2010
Carolina Express In the finals of the ladies’ 8-ball division, it was “Don’t Need a Man” of Clover, SC, defeating “Fight Like a Girl” of Hixson, TN, 3-2 to win $10,000 in first-place prize money. As runnersup, Fight Like a Girl received $5,000 in cash. Don’t Need a Man advanced to the finals with a victory over defending champions “Let It Ride” of Bakersfield, CA, in the semifinals. Fight Like a Girl defeated “All Or Nothin” of West Monroe, LA, in the semifinals to advance. Both Let It Ride and All Or Nothin each took home $2,500 for their third-place finishes. In a tie for fifth place were “Hustlers” of Gretna, LA; “I’m Just Saying” of South Park, PA; “Chicks with Sticks” of Jackson, MS; and “Pink 8’s” of Lafayette, LA. Each fifth-place team received $1,000 in prize money. All teams in the 8-ball championships squared off in a modified single-elimination format that ensured each team played at least twice before elimination. All 8-ball open division teams automatically received $350 in national qualifier money, and the top eight teams won at least $5,000. In the 8-ball ladies’ division, all teams automatically earned $350 national qualifier money, with the top eight teams winning at least $1,000. The open division began play August 22 and concluded August 28. The ladies’ division of the tournament started August 19 and ended August 22. In open 9-ball national championship action, it was “The Fort” of Baltimore, MD, defeating “Ryders” of Meriden, CT, 52-48 in the finals. The Fort took home $15,000 of the more than $200,000 guaranteed purse. As runners-up, the Ryders received $7,000 in cash. Two teams tied for third place in the open 9-ball division: “9-On-The-Run” of Woonsocket, RI, and “Land Sharks” of Garner, NC. Each team took home $3,500 in prize money. Finishing in fifth place were “Bad Attitudes” of Memphis, TN, and “Good Fellas” of Mississauga, Ontario. Each fifth-place team received $2,000 in prize money. The Open 9-Ball National Championship was held August 19-23, with each team competing in
Melissa and Joseph
a modified single-elimination format that ensured each team played at least twice before elimination. All national qualifiers received a minimum of $350, with the top six teams winning at least $2,000. After winning their divisions in weekly APA 8-ball and 9-ball league play and then placing in local team championships throughout the United States and Canada, 723 open 8-ball, 399 open 9-ball, and 57 ladies’ 8-ball teams, all consisting of five to eight players, qualified to compete in the 2010 National Team Championships. In the open 8-ball doubles division, it was “Carolina Express” of Dunn, NC, winning $6,500 in the finals with a victory over “Melissa and Joseph” of Madison, TN. Melissa and Joseph received $4,000 as runners-up in the 384-team event. The finals of the masters’ championship event featured “Triple Fish” of Montgomery, AL, defeating “Zack Attack” of Portland, OR. Triple Fish took home $7,800 in first-place prize money, while Zack Attack received $3,600 as runners-up in the 192-team event. In the open 9-ball doubles championship, “Kool Katz” of Stoneham, MA, defeated “Yeaa Buddy” of Lake Worth, FL. Kool Katz took home a first-place prize of $5,000 and the championship trophy, while Yeaa Buddy walked away with $3,000 in prize money. Dale Fitch of Federal Way, WA, defeated Andrew Niebrugge of Decatur, IL, for $2,400 in the finals of the wheelchair challenge. Niebrugge took home $1,000 as runner-up. In addition, the APA conducted nearly round-the-clock MiniMania tournaments, which took place daily and were open to all APA members. The MiniMania tournaments offered multiple formats with 100% prize money payback that awarded nearly $200,000. The APA and its championships are sponsored by Aramith, Action Cues, and PoolDawg.
October 2010 ◊ InsidePOOLmag.com 33
Wins WPA Women’s World 9-Ball Championship Crown
Queen World by InsidePOOL Staff
Photos courtesy of Michael Neumann
he 2010 WPA Women’s World 9-Ball Championships saw Xiaofang Fu of China crowned the new victor when she bested Allison Fisher in the finals. This grueling, week-long event was held in Shenyang, China, and saw a total of 128 of the world’s best female 9-ball players compete for the prestigious title. The tournament began with a double-elimination phase that yielded several surprise eliminations. One of those was the twoand-out exit of Yu Ram Cha, a promising young player on the Women’s Professional Billiards Association (WPBA) from Korea. Cha’s first-round match saw her go up against Taipei’s Ho Yun Tan, who delivered Cha to the one-loss side of the chart 7-3. There she met Japan’s Kawahara Chihiro, who had just been edged out of a hillhill match against fellow countrywoman Keiko Yukawa 7-6. Cha put up a good fight against Chihiro but fell 7-5. Xiaoting Pan, ranked fourth on the WPBA and a strong presence at almost every one of their events, also made an early exit. She was sent to the west side after her first-round loss to Pei Chen Tsai 7-5. There she rallied, routing Line Kjorsvik 7-1. But in the last double-elimination round, she went double-hill with Yun Mi Lim of Korea and fell 7-6. The most unforeseen elimination, though, was that of Karen Corr, ranked number three on the WPBA. Corr fought to the hill against Chieh-Yu Chouh of Taipei in her first-round match but was sent to the one-loss side 7-6. There she handled Kynthia Orfandis of the Netherlands 7-4 to stay alive, but in her next match, she went up against Hui Shan Lai of Taipei. It was another close call, but ultimately Corr was eliminated 7-5. Fu went undefeated through the double-elimination phase of the event. In her first round, she overthrew Hsaio Chi Lin of Taipei 7-3, and then she bested Hui Shan Lai, also of Taipei, 7-5 in the second round. Because of the redraw, Fu also faced Lai in the first round of the single-elimination phase. She 34 InsidePOOL Magazine ◊ October 2010
bested her again, this time 9-3, and went on to oust easily Ho Yun Tan 9-2. Finally, a tight 9-7 battle saw Fu advance to the semifinal matches. Her opponent was the defending champion, fellow countrywoman 17-year-old Shasha Liu. Earlier in the event Liu had eliminated Miso Lin of Taipei, Kelly Fisher of Great Britain, and Siming Chen of China. Liu was unable to hold on to her title, though, and had to content herself with a third-place finish as Fu advanced to the final 9-6. Allison Fisher, a four-time winner of this coveted crown, was waiting for her. Fisher had faced down Xioachun Zheng of China, Angelina Paglia of the U.S., and Xiaofang Fu the WPBA’s number-one-ranked player, Ga Young Kim, to make it to the semifinals. There she had to go up against Shu-Man Chang, who had eliminated Yun Mi Lim of Korea, Monica Webb of the U.S., and Yuan Chun Lin of Taipei. Hoping to take a fifth title, Fisher pressed on to victory and defeated Chang in an epic hill-hill struggle. But another victory was not in the cards for Fisher this time. The extended race to 9 was a hotly contested battle, but in the end it was Xiaofang Fu who took top honors with a 9-7 final score.
Results: 1st 2nd 3rd 5th
Allison Fisher 9th
Xiaofang Fu Allison Fisher Shasha Liu Shu-Man Chang Yuan Chun Lin Ga Young Kim Siming Chen Chieh-Yu Chou Shin-Mei Liu Ho Yun Tan Brittany Bryant Kelly Fisher Angelina Paglia Doudou Zhou Monica Webb
Mark Twain in NYC in 1908.
ark Twain passed away 100 years ago this year.
And Americaâ€™s greatest author
not only could spin a tale but also
shoot a cue.
What began as a hobby blossomed into a lifelong passion.
36 InsidePOOL Magazine â—Š October 2010
Mark Twain's Life of Billiards Life on the Mississippi River in the 1850s and 1860s bustled with steamboat traffic. A young Samuel Clemens (his own pen name chosen from the term used to announce the river’s depth for safe passage: mark twain) entered this world as an apprentice pilot in the late 1850s. And moving from town to town, billiards occupied more and more of his leisure time. by Sean Chaffin photos courtesy of The Hartford Museum
A Good Time
Mark Twain was no stranger to male companionship. He was a regular poker player, and billiards offered a means to smoke a stogie, have a nice drink and a few chuckles, and rack up a nice game. He took up the game in his 20s and his love of the challenge, competition, and camaraderie continued throughout his lifetime, including stops in Nevada and at his longtime home in Hartford, Connecticut. “A deeply social man like Sam Clemens loved the heady male companionship of the game—whether savoring the wild ruckus of the mining camp games in Nevada or aiming cues with the citizens of Hartford, Connecticut,” said Steve Courtney, publications editor at The Mark Twain House and Museum in Hartford. “In the elaborate house where he lived happily (mainly) and creatively there from 1874-91, his billiards companions were newspapermen, lawyers, and bankers.” But billiards offered more than just a chance to shoot and chat with friends. Courtney believes Twain was attracted to the game for other more nuanced reasons. “What I think, too, attracted him to the game—and this is pure guesswork—is that he loved the precision of the game,” he speculated. “This is a man who said the difference between the right word and the wrong word was the difference between the lightning and the lightning bug. He might have said the same about a good shot and a bad shot.”
Like many Americans, Twain headed west in the nineteenth century to try and strike it rich. While he may have come up empty, the sport became an obsession in his Nevada prospecting days in the
Mark Twain playing pool with Louisa Paine. Taken in 1909 at his last home, Stormfield, in Redding, CT. October 2010 ◊ InsidePOOLmag.com 37
I wonder why a man should prefer a good billiard-table to a poor one; and why he should prefer straight cues to crooked ones; and why he should prefer round balls to chipped ones; and why he should prefer a level table to one that slants; and why he should prefer responsive cushions to the dull and unresponsive kind. I wonder at these things, because when we examine the matter we find that the essentials involved in billiards are as competently and exhaustively furnished by a bad billiard outfit as they are by the best one. One of the essentials is amusement. Very well, if there is any more amusement to be gotten out of the one outfit than out of the other, the facts are in favor of the bad outfit. The bad outfit will always furnish thirty per cent. More fun for the players and for the spectators than will the good outfit. Another essential of the game is that the outfit shall give the players full opportunity to exercise their best skill, and display it in a way to compel the admiration of the spectators. Very well, the bad outfit is nothing behind the good one in this regard. It is a difficult matter to estimate correctly the eccentricities of chipped balls and a slanting table, and make the right allowance for them and secure a count; the finest kind of skill is required to accomplish the satisfactory result. Another essential of the game is that it shall add to the interest of the game by furnishing opportunities to bet. Very well, in this regard no good outfit can claim any advantage over a bad one. I know, by experience, that a bad outfit is as valuable as the best one; that an outfit that couldn't be sold at auction for seven dollars is just as valuable for all the essentials of the game as an outfit that is worth a thousand ... Last winter, here in New York, I saw Hoppe and Schaefer and Sutton and the three or four other billiard champions of world-wide fame contend against each other, and certainly the art and science displayed were a wonder to see; yet I saw nothing there in the way of science and art that was more wonderful than shots which I had seen Texas Tom make on the wavy surface of that poor old wreck in the perishing saloon at Jackass Gulch forty years before. November 1907
early 1860s. Twain ultimately failed as a miner, but his adventures inspired the book Roughing It, in which he tells how his and a pal’s fantasies of gold even extended to billiards. “One of his fantasies about the wealth they’d enjoy included a house with a billiard room on the top floor. When he and his wife Livy built their Hartford house in 1874, they put the billiard room right there,” reported Courtney.
In the same book, the author describes a shot made on “the wavy surface of that poor old wreck” of a table in Jackass Gulch, Nevada. Throughout his life, billiards was one of his consuming pastimes, even on his travels around the world. In The Innocents Abroad, his European travel book, he and his fellow tourists frequently try out the tables. He also describes elaborate games in detail in his autobiography. Twain’s typical flair for humor is also apparent in his writings about the game. One short sketch, “The Facts Concerning the Recent Resignation,” grew out of his short career in Washington, D.C., in 1867. He details his reasoning for giving up a clerkship of the Senate Committee on Conchology (the study of mollusk shells): because they wouldn’t give him a secretary to match at the billiards table. Quite a conundrum indeed!
Rack It Up
From 1869-70, Twain and his wife lived in Buffalo, New York, and later moved to Hartford, where they built a home that still stands as the Mark Twain House and Museum. One of the rooms constructed was indeed that billiards room he dreamed of Nevada. In his room today sits a Brunswick-Balke-Collender table, one of the finest tables of the time known for its simplicity of design and gracefulness of outline.
Mark with his beloved cat on his billiards table. 38 InsidePOOL Magazine ◊ October 2010
The billiards room featured two carved marble windows depicting images associated with the general spirit of “Sam’s Billiard Room”: crossed cue sticks, billiard balls, pipes, cigars, wine glasses, and a beer stein. Several of the images also appear on the ceiling stenciling, and the museum today displays some of his original pool
The game of billiards has destroyed my naturally sweet disposition.
balls, racks, and several cues. The author was known to host games for long hours deep into the night, even occasionally letting his cats walk on the table to distract his opponent. He wasn’t above playing “mental games” with his adversary. Beyond billiards, the Hartford room gave the world a lasting impression—some of his greatest works. Originally his Hartford home was merely a retreat, but later it became his workspace. He once wrote to a friend about his preference for working in his beloved billiards room: “Where do I write? In the billiard room, the very most satisfactory study that ever was. Open fire, register, and plenty of light.” During his 17 years in Hartford (1874-91), Twain wrote many of his best-known works: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876), The Prince and the Pauper (1881), Life on the Mississippi (1883), Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884), and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court (1889). One might think his schedule included plenty of time at the typewriter during the day—and chalking up the cue at night.
A Lifelong Love
Twain’s love of billiards continued well beyond his home. He attended professional matches and even once introduced French billiards champion Maurice Vignaux as part of a New York City exhibition in Madison Square Hall in 1883. In 1888, Twain became a founding member of The Players social club, where he was a regular at the club table. His pool cue is displayed in the club’s bar over his portrait. And Twain’s game of choice? Carom billiards, which is played on a table without pockets and involves bouncing the ball before hitting an opponent’s ball. After leaving Hartford, Twain’s play decreased until a friend gave him a new table as an early Christmas gift in 1906. His passion was renewed. “After her generous gift he resumed his old habit and played incessantly,” said Hartford Twain House and Museum Assistant Mallory Howard. “One of Twain’s only requirements for his last home in Redding, Connecticut, was that it have a large billiard room.” America’s treasured author made too many references to his favorite game to mention. The game stoked his competitive fire and
catered to his longing to associate with his many friends. In the last decade of his life, shooting pool stoked a youthful outlook on life. “In no other human being have I ever seen such physical endurance,” Twain’s biographer Albert Bigelow Paine recalled of their many matches. “Many a time, far in the night, when I was ready to drop with exhaustion, he was still as fresh and buoyant and eager for the game as at the moment of beginning. He smoked and smoked continually, and followed the endless track around the billiard table with the light step of youth.” Twain himself agreed with this assessment, noting to a friend, “The billiard table is better than the doctors. It is driving out the heartburn in a most promising way. I have a billiardist on the premises, and I walk not less than ten miles every day with the cue in my hand. The games begin right after luncheon, daily and continue until midnight, with two hours intermission for dinner and music. And so it is nine hours exercise per day, and ten or twelve for Sunday.” A brilliant writer, biting satirist, and one of billiards’ greatest admirers, Mark Twain has a much-deserved place in billiards history. His pen proved mightier than his cue, but his hours at the felt may have been just a bit of inspiration to help pen his many great adventures. October 2010 ◊ InsidePOOLmag.com 39
Fireball Strikes New York
by Gerry Mayen
he Seminole Pro Tour, in conjunction with the Ozone Predator 9-Ball Tour, rolled into West Hempstead, NY, for its seventh tour stop at Raxx Pool Room. There was a full field of 64 exceptional players—one of the strongest fields to date on the tour, with several players from the greater New York region and the entire Northeast. Mike “Fireball” Dechaine shot through the field, scorching everyone he encountered, to take the title undefeated.
seem to roll in the favor of Chau at all. He struggled with some straight shots and seemed to not have his usual fine touch. Hatch went on to have a shut-out win 7-0. Chau then faced his next opponent, Joe Panzerella. Chau was still not able to find his groove and lost again, this time 7-6. Just like that, last year’s runner-up was out of the tournament with two straight devastating losses.
One excellent match in the first round was last year’s Empire State defending champion, Dennis Hatch, facing the same player whom he defeated for the title, Manny Chau. The balls did not
The big story of this tour stop featured former world champion Mike “The Mouth” Sigel, who made a spectacular debut on the 2010 Seminole Pro Tour by doing something few players have been able to pull off. He began the day by besting Ray Romanski 7-0 and then squared off against Mike Wong and defeated him 7-0. Sigel’s next opponent was Shaun Wilkie, who finished in the money at the Seminole Pro Tour Gem City Open in Marietta, GA, earlier this year in a field that has been arguably the toughest on tour this year. Sigel cruised past Wilkie 7-0 to finish a perfect run.
40 InsidePOOL Magazine ◊ October 2010
“Iron Mike” Davis had an impressive run at Diamond Billiards, running 18 racks in a row, but it was Sigel who was able to complete a perfect first day. Sigel started Day Two against Minnesota’s Dustin Morris, who finished the Diamond Billiard’s tour stop in seventh place and has been shooting extremely well as of late on tour. Morris fell victim to the “Sigel streak” with a loss of 8-0. Sigel, so far, had won 29 straight racks. Next Sigel faced Mike “Fireball” Dechaine. Sigel won the first rack, running the streak to 30 straight. Taking the “Sigel streak” as a personal challenge, Dechaine ended it for Sigel by winning the next rack. Dechaine continued to shoot extremely well, not only ending the streak at 30 but ending Sigel’s run on the winners’ side of the bracket, besting Sigel 8-6. Sigel went on to face “Iron Mike” Davis on the one-loss side. Davis was on a roll and eliminated Sigel 8-5. Corey Deuel, the current leader in the Player of the Year standings, came into this tournament playing the best he has all season. Winning the last tour stop at Diamond Billiards in Cape Coral, FL, placed Deuel on top of the standings for the time being. With Stevie Moore right at his heels, only five points behind, Deuel had to have a great finish in this tournament to create some space in the standings. Deuel finished Day One on the winners’ side of the bracket after dominating wins over pro tour regular Bill Dunsmore 7-1, Rafael DaBreo 7-4, and Mike Miller 7-3.
Deuel caught a fortunate break at the beginning of Day Two. He was scheduled to play Earl Herring, who was shooting strong on Saturday but did not show up to play on Sunday because of prior work obligations. This placed Deuel one match away from the hot seat match. To get there Deuel had to face a tough Jeremy Sossei, whom he narrowly got by 8-6 to advance to play Dechaine in the hot seat match.
Deuel visited the one-loss side to meet Josh Brothers for a chance to play Dechaine for the championship. Brothers, who had also been sent to the west side by Dechaine 8-6, wanted to reach the finals and earn revenge against Dechaine. But Deuel was the one to get his opportunity for revenge as he defeated Brothers 8-5. The championship match between Dechaine and Deuel was similar to their first match-up. Dechaine jumped out to an early lead, placing Deuel in a tight spot to attempt a comeback. Dechaine missed a few easy shots that rattled him, but through it all Dechaine kept focused and came away as the new Seminole Pro Tour / Empire State Championship / Predator Tour Stop 2010 champion.London Bridge Ad.pdf 1 8/19/10 4:13 PM
Gerry Mayen, Mike Dechaine, Corey Deuel, Josh Brothers, Tony Robles
Mike Dechaine was no doubt playing the best he has all season on the tour. With the all the spectators buzzing over Dechaine ending the streak by Mike Sigel, Dechaine took this opportunity to make a bigger statement. He began the match against Deuel on fire, taking an early 4-1 lead. Dechaine miscued while hitting the 5 ball, sending the cue right into the commentatorsâ€™ booth. That could have been a turning point in the match that would allow Deuel to post a comeback. Deuel did win the next two racks to bring the score to 4-3, but Dechaine kept his composure and finished off Deuel 8-4 to become the king of the hill.
1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 7th 9th
Mike Dechaine Corey Deuel Josh Brothers Mike Davis 5th Mike Sigel Jeremy Sossei Tony Robles George SanSouci Dustin Morris Scott Freeman Earl Herring Dennis Hatch Stevie Moore Matt Krah Joey Korsiak Mustafa Diliitas
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Ryan Theewen A Stop in the Cue-Building Road O
ne of the common methods of learning how to build cues mentioned by many cue makers is through cue repair. The ability to study broken cues while being paid to put them back together is invaluable in terms of education. If the industry can point to one cue maker with the highest volume of repair work, Ryan Theewen of Mueller Recreational Products is possibly the trade leader. Born in Nebraska in 1974, Ryan Theewen attended the University of Nebraska as a biochemistry major. Although he enjoyed the study, eventually he burned out from the heavy scholastic load. In 1996, needing a job, Theewen started working at Mueller in their shipping department. “At the time, the job was just a stop in the road,” recalled Theewen. He had played pool most of his life at a local bar as well as the youth center, so a connection to the pool world already existed. As soon as he was tall enough to reach over the rails, Ryan played. Additionally, Ryan grew up in and around a garage shop, as both his father and grandfather were mechanics. Ryan
42 InsidePOOL Magazine ◊ October 2010
by Fred Agnir
had a basic knowledge and respect already for shop machinery, including lathe and mill work. Cue maker Troy Downey worked as the main repairman at Mueller while building a few custom cues. When Troy’s helper planned to leave the company, Mueller offered Ryan the opportunity to work with Troy. Given his background, the switch to working on cues made sense for Theewen. While Troy focused on cue repair, Ryan concentrated on making the catalog Hustler Professional cues, as well as performing tip and ferrule work.
Taking to Repairs
As Troy Downey Custom Cues gained more popularity, Ryan started doing more of the advanced and complex repair work. The team continued to gather more equipment as more repair orders came in growing their work area from a little corner in the building to a 50- by 100-foot work shop. When Troy decided to put more concentration into building his custom cues, Ryan was left to shoulder most of the repair work on his own. He started slowly getting into it, leaning on Troy’s experience. In addition to Downey, Theewen also acknowledges the help from Joe Porper and Jeff Prather in his development. He took on many projects that he may have not have known how to do but knew he needed to learn. Ryan did a lot of experimenting while learning to use the available equipment they had. “We are a little isolated in Nebraska,” he said, commenting that common repairs today—like installing leather wraps, for example— weren’t as popular then. He had to learn how
to do them on his own, unlike now, where there is much more information and specialty equipment accessible because of the Internet and the emergence of more billiard-related trade and expo shows. Yet even today, Ryan still puts effort into learning repair methods on his own. “I have to learn the wrong ways, if that makes sense,” he said. “I need to figure things out for myself.” In that way, he feels that he truly knows how to execute his methods if he knows what works, as well as what doesn’t work. His working at Mueller is no longer just a stop in the road for him. Repairing and building cues are what he wants to do. More importantly, he simply enjoys coming into the shop. Ryan works solely for Mueller Recreational Products. At any given time, he is working on 20 to 30 customers’ cues. Everything is on a schedule. Though he concedes that one can only do so much in a given amount of time, his technical and organized nature had made him efficient in scheduling to get the work finished. Arguably, more cues come through the Mueller shop for cue repair than anywhere else in the country. Although he gets some high-dollar and collectible/antique cues into his shop, his core business is the everyday players’ cues with the need for every imaginable repair, from adding a tip to full restoration. He remains one of the very few cue mechanics who players from anywhere around the world are willing to send cues for repair without hesitation.
To Build or Not to Build
In 1998 he was inspired to build a cue after seeing a Southwest cue that sold for $800. He thought he could make something similar. His standard catalog cues still are reminiscent of that inspiration. However, he realized after his experience in repair that it’s not just the Southwest look that made that cue worth $800. “The more cues that I see the inside of, I start to learn how things are built and why they are built that way,” shared Theewen.
His standard cues are the RAT Cues™ in the Mueller catalog. RAT Cues™ are relatively simple looking with subtle decoration in the Merry Widow style. He tries to highlight these cues with his choices of wood and simple ring work. These are finely crafted artisan cues that Ryan has built to high standards. “Having my cues in a catalog offers different challenges,” he reported. “People might think they are mass production cues. The catalog doesn’t show the story behind me or the cues.” Ryan does about 25 purely custom cues a year in addition to about 100 catalog cues, which may come as a surprise to many potential customers. He builds his own half-splice forearms and clearly is an expert at every faction of cue building gained from his repair experience. The issue he has is that there isn’t enough time to do both cue repair and custom cue building full time. He has toyed with the idea of only building custom one-of-a-kind cues, but then he’d have to give up the cue repair work, and he still enjoys the specific challenge that the repair work gives him. “I welcome the winter time when the repair work increases, and the summer when the repairs decrease,” he said.
October 2010 ◊ InsidePOOLmag.com 43
Where the Road Ends
“I enjoy the stories that come with the repairing cues,” Theewen commented. “Most pool players claim they never did [the damage] themselves!” He also gets unique requests for customizations, such as adding secret compartments, filling areas with odd material, or transforming an otherwise inexpensive department store cue into a more worthy playing cue. He also enjoys reconstructing older cues by taking the glue joints apart and realigning them. Knowing what kinds of machines they had in those days, he remains impressed with what the older masters could accomplish. After “Everybody has different tastes, which is why there are so many cue makers,” he stated. He points out that people are still building the Hoppe and Balabushka style, for example. Also, while ultra-fancy cues have become more popular recently, the simple tastes in cues are still in demand. Ryan Theewen is a unique story in the cue-building industry. A student who found his way into the cue repair world, he is regarded as one of the top cue mechanics in the world while working for Mueller Recreational Products. He has put all the experience gained over the years of repair to great use in building his own custom cues. He builds cues so people like him can afford them and will play with them. He believes that every cue builder has his own niche, and he likes the niche he’s in. He very much enjoys what he’s doing in the industry and doesn’t see an end to his “stop on the road” any time soon.
44 InsidePOOL Magazine ◊ October 2010
Name: Robby Pare Hometown: Winslow, ME Birthday: October 1973 Q. How did you get started playing pool? A. I started playing pool at 15 with friends after school, I was instantly hooked. I won my first tournament at TJâ€™s Classic Billiards in Waterville, ME, at the age of 20. It was a 9-ball tournament, my favorite game. Now I look forward to teaching my son Dominic how to play. Q. What do you like about BilliardCommunity.com? A. BilliardCommunity.com is a great place to meet and talk to other people that enjoy pool. I challenge anyone to beat my score at Lightning Pool on BilliardCommunity.com.
Send Robby a friend request today at BilliardCommunity.com
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On Board With the BCA Billiard Congress of America Launches BankShot Entertainment
a brutal economy on the billiard industry these past I t’sfewbeen years. During this time, I know many—if not all—of you have asked the question, “What is the Billiard Congress of America doing for me?” It’s a fair question. We are aware of the need to improve our list of services to the industry to remain relevant. As a matter of fact, for the better part of three years, we’ve been putting tremendous effort into identifying ways in which the Billiard Congress of America can best support our industry. During this process, we discovered an initiative in the bowling industry called Strike 10 Entertainment. Since its inception more than 13 years ago, Strike 10 Entertainment has created a network of more than 2,100 Bowling Proprietors Association of America bowling centers that take advantage of national account pricing, product discounts and rebates, and national promotional programs. Companies that have aligned with Strike 10 Entertainment include Anheuser-Busch, Tony’s Pizza, Pepsi, Sysco Foodservices, and First Data, among many others.
a worldwide brand “Having as powerful as Coca-Cola partnering with the Billiard Congress of America and the billiard industry to support our game is exactly the shot of caffeine this industry needs.
As we researched this initiative, we became more and more excited that we could create our own version of Strike 10 Entertainment for the billiard industry. After months of meetings, planning, and strategy sessions we have created BankShot Entertainment, the new marketing and activation division of the Billiard Congress of America. BankShot Entertainment, like Strike 10 Entertainment, will become a powerful marketing arm of the industry that will deliver bottom line savings to our members and create never-beforeseen promotional and marketing opportunities for our industry. I am also excited to announce that we are in the final stages of completing an agreement with Coca-Cola. As the “Official Soft Drink of Billiards,” Coca-Cola is going to offer Billiard Congress of America room operator members national account product pricing, free state-of-the-art equipment, and free national promotions. Having a worldwide brand as powerful as Coca-Cola partnering with the Billiard Congress of America and the billiard industry to support our game is exactly the shot of caffeine this industry needs. 46 InsidePOOL Magazine ◊ October 2010
In addition to a relationship with Coca-Cola, I am pleased to announce a new program with First Data, the global leader in electronic commerce and credit card processing. Room operator members committing to the First Data program not only receive great rates (cost plus 5 cents) for credit card processing, they also enjoy no initial set-up fees, monthly services fees, or minimums and will receive free supplies and signage. Members can use their current equipment or upgrade to the latest state-of-the-art terminals priced exclusively for members. We are confident all room operators will save money by joining this program. Billiard Congress of America room operator members will also be able to take advantage of Sysco Foodservices rebates. Member room operators who purchase designated products through Sysco Foodservices are now eligible to receive quarterly rebate checks from the manufacturer. BankShot Entertainment has also created a web services membership benefit. For a low annual fee, Billiard Congress of America room operator members will get a new, customizable, and userfriendly website template and yearly hosting. Our mission is to enhance the success of our members and promote the game of billiards. I believe BankShot Entertainment allows us to fulfill this mission. We will have members that directly realize cost savings as a result of this initiative, while others will benefit by the added industry marketing arising out of the partnerships this program is going to create.
pool on tv All times are Eastern Standard Time 1993 World 9-Ball Championship 2010 WPBA U.S. Open 2010 WPBA U.S. Open 2010 WPBA U.S. Open 2010 WPBA U.S. Open 1993 Pro Tour Championship Finals 1994 WPA World 9-Ball Championship 2004 Skins Billiards Championship 2005 Trick Shot Challenge 2005 Skins Billiards Championship 2005 Texas Hold ‘Em Billiards Championship 2007 Texas Hold ‘Em Billiards Championship 2003 Trick Shot Magic 2004 Trick Shot Challenge 2004 Trick Shot Magic 1996 International Challenge of Champions
Lone Star Billiards Tour Great Southern Billiard Tour Lone Star Billiards Tour Great Southern Billiard Tour Great Southern Billiard Tour Lone Star Billiards Tour
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Give Me a Break < by month I’ll be directing the 35th U.S. Open 9-Ball T his Championships in Chesapeake, VA. The field will be jammed with male and female stars and world champions representing more than 20 different countries. It has truly become an international event. With such a diverse group, it is my job to make sure everyone understands the rules. Some of the players do not speak English. Some have never played in the USA before. Some European and Asian players are used to playing by their billiard organizations’ rules, which can differ from what we do here. And there are still many American players who aren’t clear about certain rules. One rule in particular that seems to be more misunderstood than you’d think is the time-out rule. Taking a break during your match would seem to be simple enough to understand. At the Open it’s a race to 11 games on both sides until the finals, which is a single race to 13. Barry Behrman, the event organizer, allows each player one 5-minute break per match. A player can call time out only when it is his or her inning, either during a game or between racks. So what’s the problem? To help illustrate the potential for confusion, let’s examine the provisions of the time-out rule appearing on page 26 of the 2011 edition of the World Standardized Rules (WSR). That rule states, in part: “Unless specified otherwise by the tournament organizer, each player is allowed to take one time out of five minutes during matches played over nine (for eight ball) and 13 (for nine ball) games. If matches are shorter there is no time out.” Note that the provision to call time out is dependent not only on the length of the match, but also the specific game being played. If this rule was enforced at the U.S. Open, nobody could even go to the bathroom. That’s why organizers are permitted to modify the time-out rule. With the exception of short race TV matches, I can’t recall any event where players were not allowed to take a break. The rule continues to read: “The opponent must remain seated as during normal play; should he involve himself in an action other than standard matchplaying activities it will be considered exercising his time out and no further time out will be allowed. The time out at eight ball and nine ball is taken between racks and play is suspended.” The rule says the opponent must remain seated during the time out. Does this mean the opponent cannot leave? No, but because leaving would be considered “an action other than standard match-playing activities,” that player would be charged with using their time out. However, the rule is vague as to who may call a time out. It simply specifies that each player is allowed one time out and the
48 InsidePOOL Magazine ◊ October 2010
opponent must remain seated. Since both players are opponents, it would seem that the non-shooting player could call a time out when it is their opponent’s turn to break the rack. The player who is breaking the next rack would not be allowed to play until their opponent returned. But now look at that provision of the rule as it applies to straight pool: “At 14.1, the time out begins between racks; and the player at the table may continue his inning should the opponent decide to take his time out. If the non-shooter takes a time out, he must make sure there is a referee to supervise the table during his absence; otherwise he has no right to protest against any misplay by the player at the table.”
rule in particular “One that seems to be more
misunderstood than you’d think is the time-out rule.
Here it clearly states that the non-shooter may call a time out between racks, and the player at the table may continue provided a referee observes. Why is this allowed in 14.1 but not in 8- or 9-ball? Perhaps the straight pool player is on a long run or just doesn’t want to interrupt their rhythm. But we can make the same argument for the 9-ball player who has run the last five racks. Why does the rule treat them differently? I can’t answer that question, but it does make you think. You can see how even the most basic of our rules can be easily confused. Please make sure you know the rules that apply to your event, and don’t assume they’ll be the same as they were in your previous tournament.
Ken Shuman Ken Shuman of Sacramento, CA, is one of the country’s premier tournament directors. He is an accomplished professional referee and is considered an expert on the rules of play. Ken has officiated at World Championship events in the USA and the Philippines. He directs some of the major tournaments, including the Derby City Classic, the U.S. Bar Table Championship, CSI’s National Championship Series, the U.S. Open 9-Ball Championship, and the U.S. Open 10-Ball Championship. Contact Ken at email@example.com.
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APA Player of the Month Sergeant (Tsgt) Annee Milewski from Scotia, NY, has been in the New York T echnical National Guard since 1999. She’s been an APA member since 2002, starting out with
8-ball and then adding 9-ball in 2005. She’s currently an E6 (Tsgt), 7-level aviation structural mechanic (sheet metal and corrosion control) with Stratton Air National Guard Base, in Scotia, NY. Annee has annual deployments to Antarctica in the winter and Greenland in the summer. They’re the only unit in the world with a fleet of ski-equipped C-130 Hercules planes, capable of landing on snow and/or ice in temperatures as low as -55 degrees Fahrenheit. Prior to that, she was in the U.S. Coast Guard in the late 80s to early 90s, stationed in Hawaii and Boston. While there’s no pool table at her New York base, there is in both Greenland and Antarctica. Annee spends much of her off-duty time practicing. She started playing pool when her brother taught her the basics at the age of 7. But she really began playing seriously while stationed in Hawaii. She’s made many friends from all walks of life and continues to keep in touch with several of them. In Greenland, pool’s allowed her to get to know a lot more members from her base who work in different sections. “Pool helps me to relax when I’m deployed. We put in very long days in Antarctica, with twelve-hour shifts, in often extreme conditions, with an additional hour or more of travel (each way) between the ice runway and McMurdo Station,” Annee said. “Shooting pool helps me to wind down at the end of the day, plus it’s given me the opportunity to meet many of the civilians that work down there who also play pool.” Annee first got involved with the APA when some friends who were playing in the league asked her to join their team. In August, her 8-ball open team competed in the National Team Championships for the third year in a row. “I love the camaraderie!” Annee said. “Even though the competition is pretty steep in my current league, we all still manage to have a lot of fun, with the teams conversing and joking back and forth. It’s kind of like a second family, and although everyone would LIKE to win, I’ve yet to meet any poor losers.”
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Replaces Existing Linen or Leather Wrap Uniquely Designed Handcrafted Pyrographed Artwork FREE INSTALLATION for a Limited Time
From our network of players, League Operators and National Office staff, congratulations Terry Bell and Larry Hubbart on your induction into the
BILLIARD CONGRESS OF AMERICA HALL OF FAME
Congratulations Terry and Larry
APA Founders Larry Hubbart and Terry Bell
In 1979, Bell and Hubbart, longtime road players and accomplished professionals, decided to reach out to the grassroots players through an amateur pool league they called the American Poolplayers Association (APA). They developed a handicapping system to allow players of all skill levels to compete against each other. The APA grew from 1,000 to nearly 270,000 members and more than 270 franchisees today. In recognition of their contributions to the sport, the Meritorious Service Committee named them as their official nominee and they will be inducted into the Billiard Congress of Americaâ€™s Hall of Fame this fall.
Culhane Crushes Tri-State Competition Tri-State Tour / Queens, NY
Regional Roundup Hatch Hammers Final Joss Event of the Season Joss Northeast 9-Ball Tour / Amsterdam, NY by InsidePOOL Staff
Dennis Hatch may not have won all of the Joss Northeast 9-Ball Tour’s events in the 2009-2010 season, but he came very close. In the tour’s season finale, “The Hatchetman” bested Lyn Wechsler to take yet another title. Main Street Billiards in Amsterdam, NY, hosted the $1,500added event and the 33 players who took part in it. Hatch went undefeated through the event, defeating Dwight Dixon in the Dennis Hatch winners’ side final four easily 9-4. He went on to face Wechsler for the first time in the hot seat after Wechsler advanced because of a forfeit by Spencer Auigbelle. The hot seat match was neck and neck until Hatch finally pulled away to win by a Results: narrow 9-7 margin. 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 7th
Dennis Hatch Lyn Wechsler Spencer Auigbelle Dwight Dixon Ron Casanzio Jeremy Sossei Kevin Guimond Geoff Montgomery
$100 $700 $550 $400 $250
Once on the one-loss side of the chart, Auigbelle returned to defeat Jeremy Sossei and send him home in a fifth-place tie 9-6. Tied with Sossei $100 was Ron Casanzio, who was eliminated by Dixon 9-3. The ensuing quarter- Second Chance Results: final match saw Auigbelle 1st Kevin Ketz $340 matched up with Dixon, 2nd Jeff Smullen $220 with Auigbelle sweep3rd Brent Boemmels $140 ing aside his opponent 4th Bruce Carroll $100 9-4. The semifinal match 5th Tim Parisian $50 was a lopsided affair, with Walter Szydlowski Wechsler routing Auigbelle 9-2 to earn another chance at Hatch. But Hatch took the lead in the final match and kept it all the way, and though Wechsler put six racks under his belt, it wasn’t enough to keep “The Hatchetman” from yet another Joss Tour title. In the $500-added second chance event for non-pro-rated players, 20 players participated to try to earn their share of the $900 total prize purse. The event’s format was double elimination and a race to 3. Kevin Ketz went smoothly through the field unchallenged to earn first place over Jeff Smullen in the finals 3-2.
by InsidePOOL Staff
Ed Culhane went undefeated through the 25-player field the Tri-State Tour’s August 14 stop mustered, besting Daniel Dagotdot in the finals. The event was hosted Geoffrey Bauer, Ed Culhane, Daniel Dagotdot by Master Billiards in Queens, NY, and featured a $750-added purse. A 7-4 defeat of Trevor Heal in the winners’ side final four put Culhane into the hot seat match. His opponent was Geoffrey Bauer, who had just delivered Dagotdot to the one-loss side of the chart 7-4. Bauer put up a fight in the hot seat match, but Culhane prevailed 7-4. Once on the west side, Dagotdot bounced back, eliminating Mike Harrington 7-5, as Heal fell to Andrew Kane 7-2. Dagotdot and Kane moved on to the quarterfinal match, where they fought tooth and nail for the right to advance. Dagotdot edged out Kane 7-6 and went on to face Bauer in the Results: semifinals. Bauer didn’t 1st Ed Culhane $500 put up much of a fight, 2nd Daniel Dagotdot $270 and Dagotdot was able 3rd Geoffrey Bauer $180 to move past him 7-2. In 4th Andrew Kane $100 the final match, it was all 5th Trevor Heal $50 Culhane, as he pushed Mike Harrington past Dagotdot 7-3 to win the title.
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52 InsidePOOL Magazine ◊ October 2010
Safba Breaks Through at Predator Tour Ozone Billiards Predator 9-Ball Tour / Lindenhurst, NY by Alison M. Fischer, NYCgrind.com
Zee Shan Sabfa came through the one-loss side of the chart to win first place at the August Zee Shan Safba, Charlie Lentini, Scott Murphy 14-15 installment of the Ozone Billiards Predator 9-Ball Tour. Hosted by Mr. Cue Billiards in Lindenhurst, NY, the $1,000-added event was worth double points and drew a 52-player field. Sabfa fought through the C-D bracket with wins over Linda Cheung 7-4, Pat Dibuono 7-6, Al Frances 7-3, and ultimately Rene Villalobos. This run set up a hot seat match against Mr. Cue house player Charlie Lentini, which ended in Sabfa’s favor 7-4. Several C-D players were also putting together impressive performances on the one-loss side, including Diana Rojas, Anthony Zoccolillo, Al Frances, and Bob Schlott. After losing to Safba on the winners’ side, Villalobos squeaked out a close 7-6 win over Schlott, lining up the quarterfinal match against room owner Scott MurResults: phy, who was grinding 1st Zee Shan Safba $1,000 through the A-B west 2nd Scott Murphy $600 side of the bracket. 3rd Charlie Lentini $450 4th Rene Villalobos $300 Murphy, rated a B, 5th Bob Schlott $225 lost his first round to Jerry Tarantola one of the favorites, 7th Stewart Warnock $150 John Alicea, hill-hill and Anthony Zoccolillo then began an impres9th Diana Rojas $100 sive comeback, winning Frankie Cologne eight matches in a row Scott Simonetti to reach Villalobos. Af Al Frances ter eliminating him 7-3, he went on to face Lentini. In the semifinal match between the two house players, Murphy emerged victorious 7-3. The final match was then set between Murphy and Safba. When the dust settled, it was Safba who edged out a hill-hill, 9-8 victory, breaking through for his first Predator Tour win. This stop on the Predator Tour also featured a $300-added second day, single-elimination event. Ten players participated, and rising to the top of the bracket were Tony Sinacore and Scott Murphy, who split in the final, each taking $180. Coming in tied for third place were Shawn Sookhai and Geoff Conway, winning $60.
Miller Double-Dips Chau for Mezz Win Mezz Pro-Am Tour / Frazer, PA by Jose Burgos
A small but strong field came out to participate in the August 15 event of the Mezz Pro-Am Tour, and Mike Miller walked Manny Chau, Mike Miller away the winner after defeating Manny Chau twice in the finals. The $1,000-added tournament was hosted by Main Line Billiards in Frazer, PA.
Tony “The Silent Assassin” Robles led the hope half of the bracket, notching wins over Shaun Dobson 7-3, Randy Schwager 7-4, and Nick Brucato 7-5. Leading the bottom half of the bracket was Chau, with wins over Charlie Marshall 7-3, Matt Krah 7-3, Josh Brothers 7-6, and Chip Klein 7-5. When Chau and Robles clashed, the hot seat match went double-hill, but it was Chau who came away with the 7-6 victory.
Making his move on the one-loss side, Miller scored wins over Charlie Marshall 7-6, Jay Brotherton7-3, Derek Schwager 7-2, Mike Sigel 7-6, Brucato 7-6, and Krah 7-5. He met Robles in the semifinals and was so determined, he didn’t allow Robles one single rack before winning their match 7-0. In the finals Miller had to best Chau twice to win the event. The players gave the match their Results: all. The first set went Mike Miller $935 hill-hill, with Miller ek- 1st Manny Chau $475 ing out a 7-6 victory. In 2nd Toney Robles $250 the second set, Miller 3rd 4th Matt Krah $150 allowed one rack less 5th Chip Klein $75 to Chau and won 7-5 to Nick Brucato take the title.
Dagotdot Earns Revenge on Tri-State Tour Tri-State Tour / Edison, NJ by InsidePOOL Staff
Daniel Dagotdot survived a late loss in the August 21 TriState Tour event to come back and take the title from Allen Wong in the finals. The $750-added 9-ball event was Allen Wong, Daniel Dagotdot, Dan Cintron hosted by Sandcastle Billiards in Edison, NJ, and featured 36 players. Dagotdot made it to the final four undefeated players without a hitch and faced off against Gary Murgia, whom he defeated 7-5 to reach the hot seat match. There he went up against Wong for the first time during the event. Wong, just off a 7-5 win of his own over Richard Ng, went double-hill with Dagotdot and eked out a 7-6 victory to claim the hot seat. Once on the one-loss side of the chart, Murgia suffered his second loss to Dan Cintron 7-4, but Ng rebounded and was able to deal a hill-hill defeat to George Osipovitch 6-5. Cintron went on to face Ng in the quarterfinal match and eliminated him 9-7. Fresh from the winners’ side of the brackets, Dagotdot was Cintron’s next opponent, but Dagotdot Results: Daniel Dagotdot $600 wanted revenge and 1st Allen Wong $390 showed it with his 7-3 2nd Dan Cintron $240 victory over Cintron to 3rd reach Wong again. In 4th Richard Ng $150 the finals, Wong took 5th Gary Murgia $90 an early lead, but soon George Osipovitch Dagotdot overtook 7th Rajesh Vannala $70 him and kept the lead Nick Verducci throughout to claim a 9-7 victory.
October 2010 ◊ InsidePOOLmag.com 53
Egeln Excels in Brooklyn Tri-State Tour / Brooklyn, NY by InsidePOOL Staff
Nicholas Chan, Ken DeCuire, Jason Egeln
But the final match was all Egeln, as he took a 4-0 lead before DeCuire got his foot in the door. The players traded a few racks, but when DeCuire had 3, Egeln reached the finish line and won the match 6-3.
1st Jason Egeln $500 An undefeated run 2nd Ken DeCuire $270 through the Tri-State 3rd Nicholas Chan $180 Tour’s August 28 field 4th John Egeln $110 saw Jason Egeln stand5th Ryan McCarthy $60 ing in the winner’s cir Andrew Cleary cle at the tournament’s end. The $750-added event was hosted by Gotham City Billiards in Brooklyn, NY, and Stevie Moore Repeats as the NYC 9-Ball Champion drew a field of 25 to Mezz Pro-Am Tour / Brooklyn, NY vie for the title. by Jerry Tarantola, NYCgrind.com
After his 7-4 defeat of Ryan McCarthy in the winners’ side final four, Egeln moved on to the hot seat match. There he faced off against Ken DeCuire, who had just delivered Andrew Cleary to the one-loss side of the chart 7-3. Egeln had little trouble sending DeCuire to follow Cleary, defeating him 7-4 and claiming the hot seat.
The Mezz Pro-Am Tour took the F train to Skyline Billiards in Brooklyn, NY, which hosted the Fifth Annual NYC 9-Ball ChamStevie Moore, Sammy Wu, Tony Robles pionships August 2829. The $3,000-added, two-day event drew a field of 43 players, of which Stevie Moore successfully defended his championship to retain the title.
Cleary ran into trouble in the form of Nicholas Chan on the west side, and their match went hill-hill but saw Chan advance 7-6 to the quarterfinals. Meeting him there was John Egeln, who had quickly finished his previous match against McCarthy 6-2. Egeln was then felled by Chan, who took charge of their match Reigning champion Moore went through the field undefeatand ousted Egeln 6-2. In turn, Chan was then eliminated by DeCuire in the semifinals, as DeCuire was eager for a rematch with ed with wins over Eddie Vasquez 9-1, Michael Wong 9-6, Manny Chau 9-6, and Brett Stottlemeyer 9-1, setting up the feature Egeln. match. Meeting Moore in the match for the hot seat, Tony Robles had impressive wins over Rob Merklein 9-0, George SanSouci 9-3, and “Iron Mike” Davis 9-4. In the match for the hot seat, Moore was determined to repeat as champion and notched a dominant 9-4 win over Robles, earning an undefeated spot in the finals. Rising star pro Mike Dechaine was also strong in the winners’ bracket, scoring wins over Jerry Tarantola 9-5, Marc “Spain” Vidal 9-7, and Jorge Rodriguez 9-5 before being defeated by Moore 9-3 and Mike Davis 9-7 and ending the event in fifth place. Tied with Dechaine for fifth, Brett Stottlemyer edged out SanSouci hill-hill but was eventually ousted from the tournament hill-hill by Josh Brothers.
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54 InsidePOOL Magazine ◊ October 2010
Brothers went on to eliminate Davis in fourth place after an epic hill-hill battle 9-8, going on to face Robles in the semifinals. Robles had knocked Brothers into the one-loss side earlier in the event, and Brothers was eager to wreak revenge. He kept Robles in his seat for the first three games, but Robles came from behind and won the nail-biting Results: set hill-hill. 1st Stevie Moore $2,300 In the double-elimi2nd Tony Robles $1,400 nation finals, Moore held 3rd Josh Brothers $800 the lead in the first set 4th Mike Davis $600 throughout, but at 7-6 5th Mike Dechaine $400 Robles was able to grind Brett Stottlemyer back to and win the next 7th Barry Banks $300 three games to take the George SanSouci set 9-6. Despite that, 9th Marc Vidal $200 Moore stayed dominant Jeremy Sossei in the second set and Ronnie Wiseman closed out a 9-4 win to de Jorge Rodriguez fend his title as NYC 9-ball champion.
Bauer Bests Simonetti in NYC Tri-State Tour / New York City, NY by InsidePOOL Staff
Greturned from the one-loss side to double-dip Scott Simonetti in the finals to take the Tri-State Tour title September 4. The A-D, $1,000-added event drew 28 players Geoffrey Bauer, Scott Simonetti to try out the new format at Amsterdam Billiards and Bar in New York City, NY. Simonetti cruised through the winners’ side of the chart, besting Christian Smith 7-6 to reach the hot seat match against Ryan McCarthy, who had just sent Ramilo Tanglao to the one-loss side 6-4. The battle for the king seat was a hotly contested one, but Simonetti ultimately edged aside McCarthy 8-6.
< Once on the west side, Smith ran into a determined Bauer, who eliminated him at fifth place 7-2. Tying with Smith was Nicholas Chan, who was ousted by Tanglao 6-2. Bauer and Tanglao went on to face each other in the quarterfinals, which went hill-hill, and it was Bauer who moved on 8-7. McCarthy next felt Bauer’s sting, as Bauer sent him home in third place 7-5. Bauer really caught a groove in the double-elimination finals, though. In the first set he did not allow Simonetti a single rack, defeating him 7-0. In the Results: second set, Simonetti re1st Geoffrey Bauer $770 covered and took Bauer to the hill, but still it was 2nd Scott Simonetti $490 Bauer who prevailed 7-6. 3rd Ryan McCarthy $290 4th Ramilo Tanglao $150 5th Christian Smith $100 Nicholas Chan 7th Carl Yusuf Khan $80 Yomaylin Feliz
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Regional Roundup Page Pushes Through for GSBT Victory Great Southern Billiard Tour / Sanford, NC by Lea Andrews
After a thirdround loss to Cary Dunn, Steven Page took the long way to Jimmie Bullis, Steven Page, Shannon Daulton, ultimate victory at Glenn Russell the Great Southern Billiard Tour’s August 14-15 stop, which drew 56 players to Speakeazy Billiards in Sanford, NC. The $1,500-added event was sponsored by Nick Varner Cues and Cases, as well as Andy Gilbert Custom Cues, for which tour director Shannon “The Cannon” Daulton is now a player representative. While Page was pounding his way through the left side of the bracket, tour regular Glenn Russell was making his way through the right side, getting past fellow A-player Dana Hallett 9-7 to arrive in the hot seat match against Hope Gladden. A-ranked Gladden had just held Dunn to four games, but he managed just seven against Russell, who claimed the hot seat as his own while Gladden moved over to the semifinals. On the one-loss side, A-ranked Chris Adams, who’d taken a first-round 11-1 hit from AA-ranked Jeff Abernathy, ousted Branked James Blackburn 9-6 and A-ranked David King 9-5 to face Hallett. Meanwhile, Page was taking down B players Asia Cycak 9-3 and Lay Thammajong 9-3 to meet back up with Dunn. He got his vengeance with his 9-7 victory, plus a spot in the quarterfinals against Adams, who’d put Hallett in fifth 9-5. It was the end of the road for Adams, though, as he finished in fourth 9-6. In the semifinals, Gladden was looking for a rematch with Russell, but Page had his eye on the finals, and he got there by keeping Gladden two racks shy of his goal—Page moved on 9-7. In the first set of the true double-elimination final match, Page and Russell fought to hill-hill, but when Russell scratched on the 8 ball, the set went Results: to Page. The second set Steven Page $1,000 was a virtual replica of 1st Glenn Russell $500 the first, stretching out 2nd 3rd Hope Gladden $250 once again to hill-hill, 4th Chris Adams $170 when another error on Dana Hallett $125 the 8 ball cost Russell 5th Cary Dunn the game, set, match, David King $75 and tournament. Vic- 7th Lay Thammajong tory belonged to Page James Blackburn $45 9-8, his first on the Great 9th Chris Vollmar Southern Billiard Tour. Larry Faulk Asia Cycak
56 InsidePOOL Magazine ◊ October 2010
16-Year-Old Satinoff New Florida State Champ Florida State Amateur Championships / Fort Pierce, FL by InsidePOOL Staff
Sixty-one players attempted to become the next Florida State amateur champion the weekend of August 14-15, but it was 16year-old Danny Satinoff Gary Gilsinan,Natalie Crosby, Justin Gilsinan, who prevailed, taking Tony Crosby, Danny Satinoff, Bill Mallen the title at the Florida State Amateur Championships. This $1,500-added event was hosted by Ultimate Billiards in Fort Pierce, FL, and held in conjunction with the Poison U.S. 9-Ball Tour. Satinoff scored victories over Wesley White 7-5, Eddie Cabrera 7-4, Danny Ramirez 7-6, Floyd Reasons 7-6, and then Justin Gilsinan 7-5 to reach the hot seat match. Hans Berber notched wins over Dan Lettau 7-6, Brad Watters 7-3, Johnny Aguilar 7-3, Fred Kenney 7-6, and yet another hill-hill win over Jarred Schlauch to reach Satinoff. The ensuing match was a lopsided 7-0 affair that saw Satinoff remain undefeated while Berber went to the oneloss side of the chart. After eliminating Meglino in fifth place, Gilsanan had to face last year’s winner, David Uwate. Uwate’s five-match winning streak came to an end as Results: Gilsanan recorded a 6-2 Danny Satinoff $1000 win. Gilsanan went on to 1st Justin Gilsinan $600 face Berber in the semifi- 2nd Hans Berber $400 nals and looked good at 3rd David Uwate $350 the beginning, holding a 4th Anthony Meglino $250 5-2 lead, only for Berber 5th Jarred Schlauch to fight his way back to Jim Sandaler $150 5-all before Gilsanan took 7th Chip Dickerson the last rack to reach the Fred Kenney $100 finals. But Satinoff proved 9th Daniel Mosey to be too strong for Gil- Floyd Reasons sanan and took control of Tito Solari the match early, finishing $60 it off with a comfortable 13th Ob Cirillo Prescott Buckwold 8-3 win. Chrs Gentile Mark Wathen
Dukich Defeats Mitchell on Tiger Amateur Tour Tiger Bay Area Amateur Tour / St. Pete Beach, FL by InsidePOOL Staff
Stephanie Mitchell, Valerie Dukich
Valerie Dukich went undefeated to win her first Tiger Bay Area Amateur Tour (BAAT) tournament at Stix Billiards in St. Pete Beach, FL, August 21. Dukich topped the field of 21 players in the $420-added event.
On the one-loss side, Melissa Morlan matched up against Lana Loomis, who had arrived on the one-loss side thanks to a defeat by Sabra MacArthur Beahn. The opponents traded groups of three wins, with Loomis edging out Morlan 4-6. The other match of the round was between Stephanie Mitchell and Christine Brenner. The score see-sawed to a 7-4 win for Mitchell. Mitchell kicked into gear against Loomis in the quarterfinals, reaching the hill easily. Loomis won the next game and was launching a comeback, but Mitchell was on a roll and foiled her attempts, winning the match 8-1. The semifinal match featured Mitchell and Beahn, who was sent left on the chart with a 5-2 defeat by Dukich. Beahn started off the match by winning the first game of 9-ball. That was the last time she saw daylight, as Mitchell delivered her a 5-1 blow. Dukich was sitting in the hot seat waiting for Mitchell. The match started with 9-ball, and Dukich took a 2-0 lead from the start. Mitchell won the next rack but missed the 9 ball in the following two games, Results: bringing the score to $325 4-1 Dukich. Mitchell 1st Valerie Dukich $225 took one more rack but 2nd Stephanie Mitchell Dukich took the final 3rd Sabra MacArthur Beahn $150 $100 game when Mitchell 4th Lana Loomis $60 scratched on the 8 ball, 5th Christine Brenner Melissa Morlan winning 5-2.
with his comprehensive wins over Altes 7-2, Justin Hall 7-6, and then 7-5 win over Tommy Kennedy, who was looking to take his seventh straight win on the Poison Tour. But Jacksonville’s Croft proved to be too strong for Stemen and booked himself a winners’ side final with Saez after a hard fought 8-6 win. Calderon wreaked havoc on the one-loss side after a second-round loss to Saez, eliminating Dave Ross, Richard Knight, Tony Crosby, Hall, Raul Alverez, Jarred Schlauch, Steman, and then Meglino to put himself in the semifinals. The hot seat match was a tight affair, with both players matching each other shot for shot to Robb Saez take it to the wire. At 7-7 Saez held his nerve and captured the hot seat 8-7. Croft then had to deal with Calderon, and he did so convincingly with a 7-1 victory.
Results: 1st Robb Saez 2nd Butch Croft 3rd Jerry Calderon 4th Anthony Meglino 5th-6th Tommy Kennedy Jason Steman 7th John Foster Jarred Schlauch 9th Chris Gentile Raul Alverez Jeff Beckley Julio Aquino
One of the surprise players of the day was relatively unknown player Jason Steman from Atlanta. Steman had people talking,
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Robb Saez earned the Florida State 9-ball title August 21 when he bested Butch Croft in the finals of the Florida State Open 9-Ball Championships. This $2,000-added event drew 47 players to Ultimate Billiards in Fort Pierce, FL. There were some marquee match-ups right out of the gate with Louis Altes turning a 5-1 deficit against Jeff Beckley into 7-6 win. Saez, playing an improving Jerry Calderon, looked strong and won the match 7-2. He followed that up with wins over Todd Anderson 7-4 and Jarred Schlauch 7-3 and then notched an 8-5 victory over Anthony Meglino to reach the winners’ side final.
Having played solid pool all weekend, Saez continued to do so in the final match. Croft never got out of second gear as Saez raced to a 9-5 win to take the $1,000 in firstplace prize money and the title, plus the entry into the Seminole Pro Tour’s Steve Mizerak Championship.
$1,000 $600 $500 $400 $300
Saez Crowned Florida State Champ Florida State 9-Ball Championships / Fort Pierce, FL by InsidePOOL Staff
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Courtesy of Sandy Brown Visit www.InsidePOOLmag.com for the answers to this puzzle. October 2010 ◊ InsidePOOLmag.com 57
Tatum Takes Down GSBT Field Great Southern Billiard Tour / Conyers, GA by Lea Andrews
A determined John Maikee delivered a late hit to BR Tatum at the August 22-23 Great Southern Billiard Tour Shannon Daulton, BR Tatum, John stop, but it wasn’t enough Maikee, Robert to take the veteran player’s eyes off the top prize. Tatum and Maikee were among the field of 30 that gathered at Classic Billiards in Conyers, GA, for the $1,500added event, which was sponsored by Nick Varner Cues and Cases and Andy Gilbert Custom Cues. B-ranked Tatum got past A-ranked Jordan Grubb 7-7 to reach the hot seat match against AA-ranked Clint McCullough, who’d breezed past B-ranked Jack Fernandez 10-1. Tatum held his own against McCullough, reaching his goal of seven games, while McCullough came up two racks shy of his own goal of ten. On the one-loss side, past winner Horace “Groundhog” Goodwin, who’d fallen earlier to fellow winner Grubb, squeaked past B-ranked Jamie Lowery 9-6 to face James Bryson, who’d ousted junior player Dylan Letchworth 7-2. Bryson got that score flipped on him, though, and he landed in seventh 9-2. Meanwhile, Maikee, who’d been on the left side since his first-round loss to Chris Chamberlain, edged out fellow A-player Jeff Hooks 9-8 to meet up with B-ranked Dave Shadden, who’d taken care of A-ranked Casey Joiner 7-2. Shadden managed just two games against Maikee to land in fifth, though, while Maikee moved on to Fernadez. After taking care of Fernandez 9-6, Maikee advanced to the quarterfinals against Goodwin, who’d exacted his revenge on Grubb 9-8. Taking control of the match, Maikee put Goodwin in fourth 9-7 to move on to the semifinals against McCullough, and a tight 9-8 victory put him into the finals against Tatum.
The one-loss side saw several players on collision courses. Fred Kenney and “Dirty Bob” both lost their first-round matches and went on to have five wins each before meeting each other, with Kenney coming out with a 4-3 win. Kenney went on to be eliminated by Floyd Reasons 4-0. Zeno Rawley was another player navigating his way through the west side. After four straight wins he ran into John Foster, who took him down 4-1. Foster then bested Reasons to set up a semifinal match with Blacker. The semifinals saw a rejuvenated Blacker take control of the match, ousting Foster 4-1 Walter Blacker to set up a revenge meeting with Ditoro. The race-to-5 finals had everything: run-outs, safeties, kicking, and banter. Ditoro looked like he would make short work of Blacker when he led 4-2, but the mistakes started to creep in and slowly Blacker pegged his way back to 4-4 and took the ninth game to set up a onerack shoot-out. Blacker Results: took the final rack after 1st Walter Blacker $450 a long safety battle and 2nd John Ditoro $300 a failed kick by DiToro on 3rd John Foster $200 the 8 ball. Blacker held 4th Floyd Reasons $100 his nerve to take the title 5th Fred Kenney $60 of Florida State senior Zeno Rawley champion.
In the true double-elimination final match, Maikee, who was looking for his first Great Southern Billiard Tour victory, blew through the first set 9-2 Results: to push the second set. BR Tatum $1,000 But there, a steady-shoot- 1st John Maikee $500 ing Tatum pushed the 2nd Clint McCullough $250 match hill-hill, marking 3rd up the final game to earn 4th Horace Goodwin $150 his first tour win 7-8. 5th Jack Fernandez $75 Jordan Grubb
Blacker Becomes Florida Champ Florida Senior 8-Ball Championships / Fort Pierce, FL by InsidePOOL Staff
Walter Blacker earned the Florida Senior 8-Ball Championships title the weekend of August 28-29 when he returned from the one-loss side to defeat John DiToro in the finals. The $500added event attracted 23 players to Ultimate Billiards in Fort Pierce, FL, and was co-sponsored by the Universal Pool League. DiToro proved right away why he was a big favorite, making his way to the hot seat match with wins over Todd Anderson, Tony Ferreira 5-1, Danny Consillio 5-4, and John Foster 5-4 to put him in the winners’ side final. There he faced off against Blacker for the first time in the event. Blacker had notched victories over Glen Miller 5-3, Nick Lappitalo 5-2, Jerry Sotelo 5-2, and Floyd Reason 5-2. Ditoro came out strong and took Blacker down 5-2. 58 InsidePOOL Magazine ◊ October 2010
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http://bankingwiththebeard.com/?cat=6 October 2010 ◊ InsidePOOLmag.com 49
Regional Roundup Bryant and Ng Best Port Arthur Field Lone Star Billiards Tour / Port Arthur, TX by InsidePOOL Staff
Local news coverage of the Lone Star Billiards Tour’s August 28-29 stop added to the excitement, as the $1,350-added event attracted 43 open and 13 women players to Crazy 8’s Family Pool Charlie Bryant, Sylver Ochoa, Ming Ng, Marie Hall in Port Arthur, TX. Chhuon, Tony Nguyen Charlie “Hillbilly” Bryant took precedence in the open division, while Ming Ng won the women’s event. Match play wrapped up on Saturday evening and brought the final 12 back Sunday. On the winners’ side final eight, Bryant bested Will Felder 9-3, David Gutierrez dusted Dalton Riley 9-4, Sylver Ochoa ousted Brian Rosenbaum 9-2, and it was Mike Alonzo over Viet Do 9-5. After being down by a deficit of 5-1, Gutierrez sent Bryant west by a score of 9-7, and Ochoa stopped Alonzo cold. In the hot Open Results: seat match, Ochoa sent Charlie Bryant $800 Gutierrez west 9-0 while 1st 2nd Sylver Ochoa $400 the one-loss side played 3rd David Gutierrez $300 out. 4th Dalton Riley $200 5th Mike Alonzo $125 It was David Heinz Brian Rosenbaum over Rosenbaum and Do Viet Do $80 over Rodney Stewart, Troy 7th Troy Woodard Woodard bested Felder, Chuck Pham $45 and Riley eliminated 9th Will Felder Chuck Pham. Rosenbaum Rodney Stewart took down Do to meet David Heinz up with Bryant, and Riley eliminated Woodard to meet up with Alonzo. One Ladies’ Results: Ming Ng round later, it was Bryant 1st Mary Chhuon versus Riley but “Hillbilly” 2nd Loretta Lindgren made quick work of him 3rd Belinda Lee 7-0 then eliminated Guti- 4th errez 7-4. In the finals
$265 $170 $70 $40
Ochoa came on strong 4-1 and then 6-4, but Bryant gave his final answer 9-7. In overtime, Bryant wasted no time and defeated Ochoa 7-3. In the ladies’ event, Ng’s play was close to flawless, scoring wins over Love Nguyen, Belinda Lee, Marie Chhuon, and Loretta Lindgren. It was Chhuon who made her way out of the woods and into the finals but was outgunned by Ng 7-1.
Kraber Wins First OB Cues Event OB Cues Ladies’ Tour / Richardson, TX by InsidePOOL Staff
Texas wasn’t the only thing hot the weekend of August 2122—when the OB Cues Ladies’ Tour held their $2,000-added sixth tour stop, the heat was on for the competitors as well. The Billiard Den in Richardson, TX, hosted the 36 ladies, and Jennifer Kraber won her first OB Cues title. Lisa Marr went head to head with Kraber for the hot Lisa Marr, Tracie Voelkering, Marci Rothberg, seat, and the hardLarry Rothberg, Jennifer Kraber, Amanda fought win went to Lampert, Julie Stephenson Kraber in a hill-hill finish. Angela Garza and Julie Comitini finished seventh, Michelle Cortez and Lisa Henderson-Major tied for fifth, Orietta Strickland took fourth, and Julie SteResults: phenson finished in third 1st Jennifer Kraber $750 place. 2nd Lisa Marr $550 $400 Kraber, who just this 3rd Julie Stephenson $280 year has been in the finals 4th Orietta Strickland 5th Lisa Henderson-Major $160 three additional times, Michelle Cortez considered herself “al$110 ways a bridesmaid, never 7th Angela Garza Julie Comitini a bride.” This day, though, $60 she defeated Marr in the 9th Monica Anderson Kim Pierce finals with a score of 7-3. Melinda Bailey Kraber has been a con- Corina Campbell sistent player on the OB 13th Michelle Prince $35 Cues Ladies’ Tour, and Rebecca Riley with her first tour win Annie Doyle ever, she is at the top of Tara Williams the rankings.
Upcoming Central Tournaments 10/9-10 Fast Eddie’s Olhausen 9-Ball Tour
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10/30-31 Lone Star Billiards Tour
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11/20-21 Fast Eddie’s Olhausen 9-Ball Tour
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11/20-21 Great Southern Billiard Tour
60 InsidePOOL Magazine ◊ October 2010
Regional Roundup Piazza Double-Dips Owen Bar Table 8-Ball Tournament / Englewood, CO by Samm Diep, PoolTipJar.com
On August 21-22, Table Steaks South (soon to be known as Billiards Ink) in Englewood, CO, hosted a $1,000-added bar table 8-ball tournament, Gabe Owen, Ruben Silva, Tommy Tokoph, the second in a series of big-money-added Tony Piazza events this summer. The tournament was held in conjunction with a Team CSI exhibition featuring Earl Strickland and John Schmidt, led by team manager Mark Cantrill. This weekend’s festivities drew a field of 57 top players from across the state, including cameo appearances from 2004 U.S. Open champion Gabe Owen and Albuquerque’s favorite Tommy Tokoph. Owen Earl Strickland, Bobby Brown, Antoinette went undefeated in Wharton, Gabe Owen, John Schmidt the finals to await his opponent, while Tokoph worked his way through the left side of the field after his third-round loss to Colorado Springs’ Ruben Silva. Tokoph eliminated a handful of tough players Results: before meeting up with Tony Piazza $1,060 8-ball expert Tony Piazza. 1st Gabe Owen $560 Tokoph had to settle for 2nd fourth while Piazza went 3rd Ruben Silva Jr. $240 on to face Silva, who was 4th Tommy Tokoph $190 just sent west by Owen. 5th Ron Lincoln $135 It was an ACUI faceoff. Silva, the 2004 ACUI champ, and Piazza, a twotime ACUI winner, put on an 8-ball clinic for the room full of spectators. The gentlemen exchanged
Sam Cordova Bobby Begey $80 Steve Chan Ed Barego $50 John Sanderfer Richie Cunningham Andy Pettinger
racks until the score was tied 3-3. In the final game, Piazza broke the balls wide open and weaved through a sophisticated run-out to face Owen in the finals. “I got fourth last time and third this time, so I should get at least second next time,” jokingly said Silva. With two savvy bar table 8-ball players in the finals, the crowd knew they were in for a treat. Very few errors were made in the first set. It was run-out after run-out. Then, in the final rack at 4-4, Owen made a critical error. He scratched on the break, allowing Piazza to run that rack and take the first set. The theme continued into the second set, except this time, Owen seemed to lose some focus. With only a race to 4, every little mistake counted. While up 3-2, Piazza finally gave up on his second ball break and blasted the rack wide open to run out.
Williams Wins in Phoenix Arizona Women’s Billiard Tour / Phoenix, AZ by InsidePOOL Staff
Susan Williams went undefeated at the Arizona Women’s Billiard Tour’s fourth stop of the season to take the title, winning over Susan Mello in the finals. The $300-added event was hosted by Bullshooters in Phoenix, AZ, and held August 28-29.
Mello got past Sara Miller on the winners’ side and moved on to the hot seat match, where she faced Williams for the first time in the event. Williams had just defeated Ashea Erdahl. On a roll, Williams claimed the hot seat 7-3, sending Mello to the west side of the chart. After eliminating Barbara Lee in seventh place, Samm “Cherry Bomb” Diep faced off against Erdahl. Diep also experienced success in that match and moved on to the quarterfinals. Her opponent was Miller, who had just ousted SunResults: ny Griffin. It was a tightly contested battle, but Diep 1st Susan Williams $250 edged out Miller 7-5 and 2nd Susan Mello $150 advanced to the semifi3rd Samm Diep $100 nals. Mello was waiting for 4th Sara Miller $60 her, and it was Mello who 5th Sunny Griffin $40 won the match 7-3.
7th Jery Engh $30 The finals were a single Barbara Lee race to 9, and from being tied at 5 apiece, the score quickly seesawed to a double-hill affair. Hooked behind the 1 ball after her break, Mello pushed out. Williams pocketed the 1 ball and cleared the table to win the match 9-8.
Upcoming Western Tournaments 10/12-17 Western BCA Reg’l 9-Ball Champs Chinook Winds Casino Resort
Lincoln City, OR
www.westernbca.org $15,000 Members
10/23-24 Arizona Women’s Billiard Tour
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Down Across 27 Maryland player who 15 Often found sporting the 2 New Jersey road player’s 1 Winner of the WPBA’s carries the nickname “Get letters “RIP” savory nickname U.S. Open in 2010 Some” 17 They want brains 3 Is known by the moniker 3 ____ Kraber won her first 33 This league, the 21 The preferred Simonis “Pretty Boy Floyd” OB Cues Ladies’ Tour event American ____ Association, cloth color for professional 4 Steve McQueen starred in in August is the largest, with over this movie about an amoeba- events 5 After an eight-year haitus, 260,000 members like substance that terrorized 22 Cue manufacturer named the Mosconi Cup will return 34 “_____ the Stone,” the a small Pennsylvania town after a striped wild cat to ____ in 2010 26 She was the highest-finishing 6 Vlad the ____ is said to 10 New game combining aspects name of Freddy The Beard’s have been the inspiration for female player at the of straight pool, one-pocket, July/August 2010 column 35 Belgian manufacturer of Turning Stone Classic XV Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” 8-ball, 9-ball, bank pool, and quality polished spheres 28 “The #1 Tip Tool in the 7 Hometown of the snooker 36 ____ Leather Goods legendary Richie Florence World” 16 The spookiest holiday of manufactures the Cue Tattoo 8 Professional tour that 29 Representative for the the year 38 She won the WPA World APA began in Florida in 2006 18 ____ Billiards sponsored Women’s 9-Ball Championship 9 A wholesale billiard 30 Werewolves are said to the U.S. Amateur Open this out of a field of 128 and supply that offers a “shorcut only come out when this year defeated Allison Fisher in the occurs to savings” 19 Another name for fall finals 31 InsidePOOL columnist 11 Mika Immonen will see if 20 Francisco ____ will be 39 Winner of the World the third time’s a charm at and writer of the popular inducted into the Billiard Pool Masters in 2010 “Cue Maker’s Corner” article this event in October Congress of America’s Hall 41 California player known 32 Final resting place of 12 He successfully defended of Fame in October 2010 as “Earthquake” Edgar Allen Poe his Turning Stone title in 23 An evil or mischievious 42 First player to be named 35 Producer of pool videos August creature of legend to the 2010 Mosconi Cup offering professional 13 Lone Star ______ Tour 24 Voted Most Valuable commentary 14 The U.S. Open 9-Ball Player at the 2009 Mosconi Cup 43 Broken mirrors, walking under a ladder, and ____ are 37 “Beat ____ With a Stick” Championships are held 25 This animated Hawaiian considered bad luck 40 “Tales From the ____” annually in ____, Virginia pro is known as “Rocket” 48 InsidePOOL Magazine ◊ September 2010 62 InsidePOOL Magazine ◊ October 2010
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Published on Oct 3, 2010
Nesilhan Gurel graces our front cover. Mike Dechaine and Corey Deuel win Seminole Tour stops. Get a lessons on Z-Bangning with Freddy the Be...