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Day One of the US Amateur Championship

Posted by insidepoolmag on November 8, 2008

Day One of the US Amateur Championship
By Samm Diep, Pooltipjar.com

Hometown favorite, last year's runner-up and new mom, Betty Sessions is still undefeated entering round three.

Hometown favorite, last year's runner-up and new mom, Betty Sessions is still undefeated entering round three

On November 7-9, Mr. Cues II in Atlanta, GA hosts the 14th annual U.S. Amateur Champion, presented by the APA. This is the fourth consecutive year this event finds its home at “Cues,” as the locals refer to it. To prepare, the previous tables were all replaced by brand new Brunswick Gold Crown V’s and shiny, new Brunswick Centennial ball sets were brought out once the matches began.

This unique tournament format includes both 8-ball and 9-ball. The winner of the lag chooses either the starting game or the opening break, race to 7 for the men and race to 5 for the women. 128 men and 25 women qualified from 29 different states and one entrant came all the way from Toronto, Canada.

This three day event kicked off with a players’ meeting and hearty buffet at 1 o’clock. Matches were called promptly at 1:30. Last year’s champ in the men’s division, Jason Richko of Trinity, FL, is sitting pretty with two 7-4 victories after a respectable showing at the recent U.S. Open. His big win last year got him for a free ride to the Open. “I’m feeling great. I’m just here to have a good time, have fun, and play,” said Richko.
Not so fortunate was reigning women’s champ, Tina Larsen from Palatine, IL, who was sent to the left after a 5-1 defeat against Rhio Anne Flores of Jersey City, NJ. “It’s a tough crowd. It’s not easy. I’m excited to be here. I’m going for number three,” said Larsen who won in ’07 and ’03. She’ll be competing in the WPBA Tour Championships in Hollywood, FL next week as her prize from last year’s victory.

In another first round upset, Melinda Huang of Los Angeles, CA was done for the day after missing the 8 ball at hill-hill against Dee Dee Copeland of Bolton, MS. Canadian Chris Russell started off with a 7-0 bang against Dallas’s Kyle Rowland. Russell took a 12 hour bus ride to Ohio to qualify in the preliminary round. Previous winner from ‘99 and ’98, Henry Brodt remains undefeated after a tight match against Bakersfield, CA’s Brian Parks.

Play continues with 9:30a.m. matches. Visit USAmateurChampionship.com for more information, online tournament brackets, and photos.
photo courtesy of the APA

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Day One of the US Amateur Championship

Posted by insidepoolmag on November 8, 2008

Day One of the US Amateur Championship
By Samm Diep, Pooltipjar.com

Hometown favorite, last year's runner-up and new mom, Betty Sessions is still undefeated entering round three.

Hometown favorite, last year's runner-up and new mom, Betty Sessions is still undefeated entering round three

On November 7-9, Mr. Cues II in Atlanta, GA hosts the 14th annual U.S. Amateur Champion, presented by the APA. This is the fourth consecutive year this event finds its home at “Cues,” as the locals refer to it. To prepare, the previous tables were all replaced by brand new Brunswick Gold Crown V’s and shiny, new Brunswick Centennial ball sets were brought out once the matches began.

This unique tournament format includes both 8-ball and 9-ball. The winner of the lag chooses either the starting game or the opening break, race to 7 for the men and race to 5 for the women. 128 men and 25 women qualified from 29 different states and one entrant came all the way from Toronto, Canada.

This three day event kicked off with a players’ meeting and hearty buffet at 1 o’clock. Matches were called promptly at 1:30. Last year’s champ in the men’s division, Jason Richko of Trinity, FL, is sitting pretty with two 7-4 victories after a respectable showing at the recent U.S. Open. His big win last year got him for a free ride to the Open. “I’m feeling great. I’m just here to have a good time, have fun, and play,” said Richko.
Not so fortunate was reigning women’s champ, Tina Larsen from Palatine, IL, who was sent to the left after a 5-1 defeat against Rhio Anne Flores of Jersey City, NJ. “It’s a tough crowd. It’s not easy. I’m excited to be here. I’m going for number three,” said Larsen who won in ’07 and ’03. She’ll be competing in the WPBA Tour Championships in Hollywood, FL next week as her prize from last year’s victory.

In another first round upset, Melinda Huang of Los Angeles, CA was done for the day after missing the 8 ball at hill-hill against Dee Dee Copeland of Bolton, MS. Canadian Chris Russell started off with a 7-0 bang against Dallas’s Kyle Rowland. Russell took a 12 hour bus ride to Ohio to qualify in the preliminary round. Previous winner from ‘99 and ’98, Henry Brodt remains undefeated after a tight match against Bakersfield, CA’s Brian Parks.

Play continues with 9:30a.m. matches. Visit USAmateurChampionship.com for more information, online tournament brackets, and photos.
photo courtesy of the APA

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Record Crowds and Payouts at APA National Championships

Posted by insidepoolmag on September 4, 2008

Record Crowds and Payouts at APA National Championships

More Than $1 Million in Prize Money Awarded

by InsidePOOL Staff

American Poolplayers Association awarded over $1 million in prize money to billiards players of all skills at the National Team Championships in Las Vegas, NV.

American Poolplayers Association awarded over $1 million in prize money to billiards players of all skills at the National Team Championships in Las Vegas, NV.

The American Poolplayers Association’s (APA) 28th Annual National Team Championships saw a record number of teams compete in this year’s nine-day extravaganza, sponsored by Cuetec Cues. More than eighteen hundred 8-ball, 9-ball, doubles, and masters teams made the trek to Sin City to compete August 15-23 for more than $1 million in prize money.

In the 8-Ball Open division, “Westside” of Kankakee, IL, defeated “Secretly Sloshed” of Shreveport, LA, 3-0 in the finals to take home $25,000 in cash and the championship title. In addition to their first-place prize money, Westside also received a team trophy and individual team plaques.

As runners-up, Secretly Sloshed received $15,000 in prize money, a team trophy, and individual team plaques. Finishing in third place were “The Untouchables” of Springdel, OH, and “Vested in Pool” of Livonia, MI; each received $7,500 in prize money. In a three-way tie for fifth place were “All My Rowdy Friends” of Baton Rouge, LA, “Bobby McGee’s” of Cresthill, IL, and “Nothin Personal” of Topeka, KS; each team received $5,500 for finishing tied for fifth place.

In the finals of the Ladies’ 8-Ball division, it was “Clean Slates” of Maple Shade, NJ, defeating “New Orleans Ladies” of Westwego, LA, 3-0 to win $10,000 in first-place prize money.  In addition to the prize money, Clean Slates also received a team trophy and individual team plaques. Runners-up New Orleans Ladies received $5,000 in cash, a team trophy, and individual team plaques.

Clean Slates advanced to the finals with a victory over “Cue Tips” of Seminole, FL, in the semifinals. New Orleans Ladies defeated “Ball Busters” of Howell, MI, in the semifinals to advance. Both Cue Tips and Ball Busters each took home $2,500 for their third-place finishes.
In a tie for fifth place were “Keep ‘Em Safe” of Chester, WV, “Kiss It Goodbye” of Houston, TX, “This Is It” of Jackson, MS, and “Who Let the Babes Out” of Decatur, IL. Each fifth-place team received $1,000 in prize money.
 
In Open 9-Ball National Championship action, it was “Oh Shot” of Gastonia, NC, besting “Frank’s Team” of Leominster, MA, in the finals 52-48. Oh Shot took home $15,000 of the more-than-$200,000-guaranteed purse. As runners-up, Frank’s Team received $7,000 in cash, a team trophy, and individual team plaques.

Two teams tied for third place in the Open 9-Ball division—“Cue Tips” of Metairie, LA, and “Shoot ‘Em Down” of Waterloo, SC. Each team took home $3,500 in prize money. Finishing in fifth place were “Go Ahead” of Burlington, ONT, “Heavy Hitters” of Nashville, TN, “Jimmy’s” of Memphis, TN, and “Welcome to Your Nightmare” of Aloha, OR. Each fifth-place team received $2,000 in prize money.

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, 707 Open 8-ball, 357 Open 9-ball, and 37 Ladies’ 8-ball teams, all consisting of five to eight players, qualified to compete in the 2008 National Team Championships.

In the Open 8-Ball Doubles Championship, it was “Oop’s” of Shreveport, LA, winning $6,500 in the finals with a victory over “Tim & Mitchell” of North Braddock, PA. Tim & Mitchell received $4,000 as runners-up in the 383-team event.
 
The finals of the Masters Championship event featured “Goof Troop: of Rosemead, CA, defeating “Detroit Connection” of Oxford, MI. Goof Troop took home $7,800 in first-place prize money, while Detroit Connection received $3,600 as runners-up in the 187-team event.

In the Open 9-Ball Doubles Championship, “Sweet & Sour” of Nashville, TN, defeated “Killer B’s” of Halethorpe, MD.  Sweet & Sour took home a first-place prize of $5,500 and a trophy, while Killer B’s walked away with $2,500 in prize money.

Charlie Hans of Cincinnati, OH, defeated Michale Little of Springfield, VA, for $2,000 in the finals of the APA Wheelchair Challenge.

In addition, the APA conducted 627 MiniMania tournaments that 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.

8-Ball Results

Maurice Runnels, Vern Penley, Robert Mingo, Earl Lane, Reggie Runnels, Jerry Butler, Kaessa Watkins, Frank Johnson

Champions - Westside - Kankakee, IL: Maurice Runnels, Vern Penley, Robert Mingo, Earl Lane, Reggie Runnels, Jerry Butler, Kaessa Watkins, Frank Johnson

Champions – Westside – Kankakee, IL
Maurice Runnels, Vern Penley, Robert Mingo, Earl Lane, Reggie Runnels, Jerry Butler, Kaessa Watkins, Frank Johnson
 
Runners-Up – Secretly Sloshed – Shreveport, LA
Raymond Procell, Glenda Sell, Gary Allison, Denise Crowe
Randy Mason, Stacy Long, April Long, Kevin Long
 
3rd Place – Vested In Pool – Livonia, MI
Robert Richardson, Charlie Ayers, Ervin Lawson, Catherine Miller, Frank Brown, Kenneth Golden, Leonard Dawkins
 
3rd Place – The Untouchables – Springdel, OH
Chris Strong, Justin Wethington, Anthony Myers, Ed Fagaly, Rudolph Boldreghini, Alden Miller, Richard Combest, Mike Siano (not pictured)
 
5th Place – Nothin Personal – Topeka, KS
Chris Root, Kent Henderson, Matthew Pfannenstiel, Leon Sylvester Charlie Snow, Heather Barnes,Joe Anderson
 
5th Place – Bobby McGee’s – Cresthill, IL
Robert Werkmeister, Gregg Graubins, Steve Matthews, Dan Cordova, Mark Graubins, Michele Byrnes
Scott Bengtson, Ronda Werkmeister
 
5th Place – All My Rowdy Friends – Baton Rouge, LA
Jennifer Quick, Randy Ballenger, Brian Scivicque, Gerald Rivett III, Michael Czindula III, Kenny Stubbs, Bryan Wheeler, Jessie Matens (not pictured)
9-Ball Results
Champions – Oh Shot of Gastonia, N.C.
Gerald Bridges, Misty Wyatt, Evan Wyatt, Bryant Cooper, Derrick Cooper, Christopher Painter
 
Runners-Up – Frank’s Team of Leominster, Mass.
Anthony Nguyen, Christopher Primeau, Joseph Sacramone, Francis Richard, Kenneth Richard, Annmarie Gaudet, Eric Delrio, Chester Ruckey
 
3rd Place – Cue Tips- Metairie, LA
Jesse Roper, William Mays, Stephen Tesvich, Scott Saucier, Leeallen Guidry, Jr., Jeremy Hempel, Tina Hempel (not pictured: Kari Hempel)
 
3rd Place – Shoot Em’ Down of Waterloo S.C.
Glen McDonald, Jimbob Jordan, Buddy Simpson, Katie Plake, Jason Burroughs, Amanda Henry, Robin Burroughs,Tony Butler
 
5th Place – Go Ahead of Burlington, ON
Bang Ha, Kevin McCann, Lisa Smith, Dan Lewis, Kristin Robertson, Yulbran Quintanilla, David Beltrain, Howard Smith
 
5th Place – Heavy Hitters of Nashville, Tenn.
Jesse J-El, Amanda Gordon, Dan Carlin, Tommicus Joyce, Thomas Johnson, Ryan Stoney , Daniel Allen, Daniel Logue (not pictured)
 
5th Place – Jimmy’s of Memphis, Tenn.
Billy McGee, Jimmy Michael, Oscar Justice, James Noel, Linda Cross, Eddie Tucker, Charles Jackson, Neil Smith
 
5th Place – Welcome To Our Nightmare- Aloha, OR
Peter Ploem, Morgan Prescott , Glen Greene, Justin Mackie, Rosemary Kaiser, Donald Greene, Jerry Tudor, Kellyn Mackie

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US Amateur Billiards Champions Crowned

Posted by insidepoolmag on November 14, 2007

US Amateur Billiards Champions Crowned
Winners of Men’s Division and Women’s Division Advance to ‘08 Pro Event
The top amateur players in the country came to Mr. Cues II in Atlanta in early November to compete for the coveted U.S. Amateur Championship title.
The finals of the Women’s Division pitted Tina Larsen of Palatine, Ill., against hometown favorite Betty Sessions.
Larsen and Sessions traded wins the first two games of the 8-Ball set before Larsen was able to open a slight 3-1 lead. Sessions managed a win in the fifth game to pull within one. Larsen closed out the 8-Ball set with a win and a 4-2 lead.
Larsen won the first game of the 9-Ball set and appeared well on her way to victory with a 5-2 lead. But Sessions showed the kind of adversity that had secured her a 3rd Place finish in 2006 and led her undefeated to the finals this year. She scored three consecutive wins to even the match at 5-5.
But it was Larsen’s turn to put on a clinic in adversity. With many in the local crowd rooting for Sessions, it was Larsen taking the next three games, putting her on-the-hill.
Sessions wasn’t about to give up without a fight though, winning the fourteenth game, and pulling within two.
But in the fifteenth and final game, Larsen secured the game and the match. She becomes the first two-time U.S. Amateur Women’s Champion and now moves on to compete in a 2008 WPBA Classic Tour event.
“To come through such an outstanding field of players twice is truly amazing and it feels incredible,” said Larsen of accomplishing the feat.
The Men’s Division featured Jason Richko of Trinity, Fla., versus former U.S. Amateur Champion Robert Hall of Huntsville, Ala. The match began in the 8-Ball set with Hall getting on the board first. Richko quickly countered and evened the match 1-1 in the second game.
Hall continued to build a lead over his opponent, winning the next two games, but Richko wasn’t backing down, again matching his counterpart with two consecutive victories of his own. The pair traded wins in the seventh and eighth games of the match, and switched to the 9-Ball set tied at four games apiece.
Once in the 9-Ball set, Richko set the tone with a break-and-run to take his first lead of the match. Behind his exceptional break, Richko managed to take the next four games, barely giving Hall a chance at the table. When Hall did finally make it to the table, he didn’t have much to shoot at, thanks to Richko’s defensive play.
“Pro player Tony Crosby came out with a new break cue a few weeks ago called the Sniper II, and it really helped with my break and my jumps. I had been using a soft break for most of the tournament, but it went dry on me, so I went harder in my last few matches and it worked out well,” said Richko.
A missed combination shot on the 9-ball by Richko, and a miscue in the 14th game, gave Hall the game and a glimmer of hope. After Richko failed to make a shot on the 8-ball in the 15th game, Hall again capitalized on the mistake, winning that game and the next, and cutting the deficit to two, 9-7.
Richko would simply not be denied though, winning the next game to put him on-the-hill. Needing only one more game for the match and the title, Richko punctuate his victory with a 9-on-the-snap.
Afterwards, Richko credited Frank Touloumis, who had coached him early on in his career, and Bob Savidio, who has worked with him this past year.
“I played last year and finished 25th, so Bob has really been helping me focus on the mental side of the game,” added Richko.
He now moves on to compete in the 2008 U.S. Open.
The 2007 U.S. Amateur Championship, produced and conducted by the American Poolplayers Association (APA), was held at Mr. Cues II in Atlanta, Ga., Nov. 2-4. Preliminary qualifying rounds were held throughout the country in mid-Sept., with more than 1,500 players attempting to qualify.
Larsen and Richko competed with the nation’s most highly skilled amateur players who were all vying for the U.S. Amateur Champion title. The Men’s Division consisted of 127-players, while the Women’s Division featured 25 players. As Champions, Larsen and Richko will return next year to defend their coveted titles.
Both Sessions and Hall finished as the Runners-up. Finishing in 3rd Place in the Men’s Division was Gary Neal of Spartanburg, S.C. In 4th Place was Rusty Jackson III of Allensville, Ky. Tying for 5th Place in the Men’s Division is Brian Belobradic of Whitby, Ontario, Canada and Eddie Little of Salisbury, N.C. Defending champion Michell Monk of Palm Bay, Fla. rounded out the top finishers in the Women’s Division with a 3rd Place finish.
The U.S. Amateur Championship is a double elimination tournament that offers the nation’s top amateur players the opportunity to showcase their skills through a combination of 8-Ball and 9-Ball matches, in the only APA event that does not use The Equalizer® handicap system.
The APA, based in Lake Saint Louis, Mo., sanctions the world’s largest amateur pool league, known as the APA Pool League throughout the United States, and as the Canadian Pool League in Canada. More than 260,000 members compete in weekly 8-Ball and 9­Ball league play. The APA is generally recognized as the Governing Body of Amateur Pool, having established the official rules, championships, formats and handicap systems for the sport of amateur billiards.
The APA produces three major tournaments each year—the APA National Team Championships, the APA National Singles Championships and the U.S. Amateur Championship—that, together, pay out nearly $1.5 Million in cash and prizes annually!
The APA and its championships are sponsored by Cuetec Cues, Aramith Billiard Balls, Valley Teflon Ultra Cloth by Championship, and Valley Tables.

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