Alex “Jerry” Calderon’s best recorded earnings year with us here at AZBilliards was his first, 17 years ago in 2006, when he finished 61st in the IPT North American Open Championships (won by Thorsten Hohmann) and 121st in the IPT World Open 8-Ball Championship (won by Efren Reyes). Calderon almost made 2022 his best recorded earnings year when he finished as runner-up to Roberto Gomez in the 49th Texas Open One Pocket division and 25th in that same event’s Open division. This past weekend, March 11-12, he came from the loss side to claim title to On the Snap Tour’s second stop of the season. Calderon lost the battle for the hot seat, but double-dipped Gus Briseno in the finals of the $1,000-added event that drew 43 entrants to Tailgaters (formerly Snookered) in Frisco, TX.
Beginning with his opening match against Joel Nabia, Calderon’s opponents kept gaining on him as he wended his way through the field toward the hot seat match. Nabia chalked up two racks against him, Velma Vela got three. Then came a string of 7-4 wins that began against Danny Williams, went through Justin Espinosa and concluded with a winners’ side semifinal win over tour director Jeff Sullivan. Briseno, in the meantime, was experiencing a similar increase in pressure, although his first opponent (Mark McKelvy) chalked up two against him, while the rest of them, right on in to the hot seat, got stuck on three; Sam Abusalem, Steve Lenz, and in the other winners’ side semifinal, Curtis Tidmore.
Calderon became the first opponent that either he or Briseno had faced who recorded more than four racks-against. Briseno claimed the hot seat 7-5 and as it turned out, Calderon became the last opponent either of them faced to record more than four racks-against.
On the loss side, Sullivan picked up Rick Stanley, who’d lost a second-round, double hill match to Steve Lenz. began an eight-match winning streak and didn’t have more than two racks chalked up against him (including two shutouts) until he reached loss-side win #6 against Clint Freeman. Stanley defeated him 7-4 and then, downed Sullivan 7-3 to advance to the quarterfinals. He was joined by Justin Espinosa, who’d followed his winners’ side quarterfinal loss to Calderon with wins over Pasini Taloa 7-1, Sam Abusalem 7-4 and, fresh from his winners’ side semifinal loss, Curtis Tidmore 7-4.
Stanley chalked up loss-side win #8, his last, before Calderon put a stop to his streak with a 7-3 in the semifinals. Gus Briseno chalked up five racks against Calderon in the double elimination finals, but they were split between the two sets. Calderon took the opening set 7-3 and improved on that with a 7-2 second set that gave him the title.
Tour director Jeff Sullivan thanked the ownership and staff at Tailgaters for their hospitality, along with sponsors Diamond Billiard Products, Aramith Billiards Balls, JB Cases-Custom Pool Cue Cases, Jeff Tucker, Stixx and Stones, Dallas Heating and Air Conditioning, Digitalpool.com and Outsville, Inc. He also gave a ‘shout out’ to Accu-Racks “for their support and all they do for the sport.”
The next stop (#3) of the On the Snap Tour, scheduled for the weekend of April 15-16, will be hosted by Stixx and Stones Billiards in Lewisville, TX. Registration is currently open and interested competitors can do so by visiting the tour Web site at www.OnTheSnap.org.