Room owners Kim and Tracy Sanders welcomed pool aficionados to Round Rock, TX for their inaugural $14,000 added Skinny Bob’s Nine Ball Classic.
It was noted that in addition to the Americans, the field had players from all over the world representing Canada, Poland, Bulgaria, Mexico, Germany, Ukraine, Russia, Venezuela, Switzerland, Japan, Indonesia, Iraq, the Philippines and Hong Kong.
Players and fans were treated to three main championships in addition to a banks ring game, a ladies ring nine ball game and an opening night nine ball mini. When the smoke cleared in the $500 added event, Fedor Gorst and Jeff de Luna chopped the cheese.
The event continued the following day with the $4,000 added One Pocket Tournament. Thirty seven players posted a $200 entry fee to compete – the format was double elimination with races to three.
Hot off claiming the Bayou State Classic One Pocket title, Roberto Gomez was still on fire. After receiving a first round bye and then dispatching Kristina Zlateva 3-0, Kash Keeton 3-0, Jerry (Alex) Calderon 3-2 and Roland Garcia 3-1, Roberto arrived at the hot seat match.
Meanwhile, Fedor Gorst was taking no prisoners as he tore through the bottom half of the chart. Mark Nanashee 3-0, Chip Compton 3-1, Billy Thorpe 3-0, Jeff de Luna 3-0 and Raed Shabib 3-0 were all sent west by the Russian.
The hot seat match was close but in the end, it was Gorst who edged out Gomez 3-2 to take his seat in the finals.
After being sent to the one loss side by Calderon 3-2, Roland Garcia eliminated de Luna 3-1 and Tommy Tokoph 3-2 to take on Roberto. Neck and neck, in the end it was Roland who won the match 3-2 and moved on to the finals.
Although he put up a good fight in the finals, Roland went down 3-0 and Fedor claimed another title!
Later that night, another $500 was added to the banks ring game and finalists Fedor Gorst and Blaine Barcus decided to split the cash.
The following day, the $7,000 added Open Nine Ball began. A full field of 128 players posted their $150 entry fee to play in this double elimination, winner breaks tournament – races were 7/7.
Although the field was packed with champions, it didn’t seem to matter to young Gabriel Martinez. He won his first match against Daniel Schneider 7-2 and barely survived against current Texas Open champ Vitaliy Patsura 7-6. Down went Steve Sheppard 7-5, Jon Demet and Joey Torres – both 7-2. Next was Blaine Barcus 7-4 – Gabe had arrived at the hot seat match.
However, in the other portion of the bracket, Fedor Gorst was on his way to the hot seat. He barely broke a sweat as he defeated Bart Czapla 7-4 and skunked Eric Aicinena and Roberto Gomez 7-0. Next was Naoyuki Oi who went down 7-2, Jesus Atencio 7-3 and Michael Schneider 7-1.
Gorst steamrolled Martinez 7-0, locked up his seat in the finals and sent Gabe west to await an opponent.
After being beaten by Gorst, Michael Schneider beat reigning Bayou State Classic 9 Ball champ, Roland Garcia and Blaine Barcus – both 7-4 – to face Martinez for the other slot in the finals.
Looking for a rematch with Fedor, Gabe eliminated Michael 7-3 and moved into the finals.
Since this was true double elimination, Gabe would have to win two matches to claim the title. Fedor was having none of that as he took the match & title 7-4.
The final division of this event began on Saturday. A full field of thirty two players posted their $100 entry fees to play in the $2,500 added Ladies Nine Ball Championship. This was also double elimination with winner breaks and races to 7/5.
Known as “The Roadrunner,” young Savannah Easton shot out of the gate and without looking back, ended up in the hot seat match. On her way there, she defeated Crystal Jones 7-1, edged out Sakura Muramatsu 7-6, Kennedy Meyman 7-2 and Kim Sanders 7-4.
In the other portion of the bracket, Tara Williams survived two squeakers against Liz Galvan and Jennifer Kraber 7-6. She then spanked former Texas Open champ Ming Ng 7-2 and the always tough April Larson 7-4 on her way to the hot seat match.
The hot seat match was all Savannah as she cruised past Tara 7-3 and waited for a finals opponent.
Meanwhile, after losing her second match to Savannah, Sakura mowed down both Melissa Smith and Ada Lio 5-1, Ming 5-2, Angie Payne 5-1, Kim Sanders 5-0, Music City Open champ Tina Malm 5-3 and Tara 5-0 to reach the finals.
Since this was true double elimination, the current Texas Open 9 Ball champ would have to beat Savannah twice – and she did. Sakura won the first set 7-5 and the second one 5-1 to take the title!
And, as usual, thanks again to everyone at Skinny Bob’s for a first class event! Big thanks to the local sponsors – they included Austin Pro, Diamond Billiard Products, GAF, Hanshew Custom Cues, Sanders Roofing & Exteriors, ABC Supply Co, Inc., Simonis, Aramith, Savage Billiards and Mints Amusements.
Thanks to Tournament Director Jason Hill for doing an exemplary job juggling multiple events.
And, as always, we’d like to thank our fans and sponsors! They include JB Cases, Hanshew Jump Cues, Lomax Custom Cues, Aramith, Simonis, Diamond Billiard Products, Durbin Custom Cues, Savage Billiards, the Action Palace of Dayton, OH and the Fort Worth Billiards Superstore of Fort Worth, TX.
Our next event is the $12,000 added Midwest Open Billiards Championship III to be held at Michael’s Billiards in Fairfield, OH. Featuring six events – one pocket, 9 ball banks, open nine ball, a bank ring game, ladies 8 ball, a pro ten ball invitational and mini tournaments galore – Michael’s will also crown an all around champ! Dates are March 20th-26th – hope to see you there!