At one time, Michigan was a hotbed of the billiard world. Home of the National Billiard News, the greats would converge on the Livonia area for the many straight pool and three cushion events that were held at one of the three Cushion & Cue rooms that were owned by Ray Abrams. In fact, it was his 1979 straight pool tournament which was the first event to which I flew rather than drive. The US Open One Pocket Championship was held for several years starting in 1994 at the Billiards Playground in Kalamazoo attracting the greats as well.
This past week, owner Issa Eadah and his family welcomed players back to Michigan for their $7,000 added One Pocket Classic held at the Rack in Livonia. Local sponsors included S.A.W. Concrete LLC, Littman Lights, 20 After 4 Delivery, Joseph J. Long, Attorney At Law, The Rack and PoolActionTV.com
Spotted was one of the most prolific one pocket champs of the last three years, Roberto Gomez, as well as the 1996 US Open One Pocket champ, Jayme Goodwin. Other well-known names were there such as Michigan’s Jeremy Seaman, Derek Pogirski, Mike Sardelli and Marty Sawinski in addition to Tommy Midena, Aaron Toth, Ilir Jaho, Shane Winters and young gun Sergio Rivas.
Thirty seven players posted their $250 entry fees to play in this double elimination event. Played on Diamond tables with Measles cue balls, the format for this event was alternate break, races to three with one extended race to five for the finals.
After the players auction and meeting, the action began. Shooting out of the gate were Sergio Rivas and Roberto Gomez. After winning their first three matches, they butted heads and, to say the least, it was a battle. Roberto finally edged out Sergio 3-2 and then went on to blitz Midena 3-0 to arrive at the hot seat match.
In the lower portion of the bracket, it was Marc Hosler and “Ann Arbor Derek” Pogirski who won their first three matches before meeting. Marc took that match 3-1, won a tough match with Shane Winters 3-2 and went on to play Roberto in the hot seat match.
Down to the case game, Hosler then upset Gomez 3-2 in the semi-finals and locked up his berth in the finals. Gomez headed west to await an opponent.
After losing his third match to Gomez, Ilir Jaho eliminated opponents Tyler Thornton, Marty Sawinski, Rick Schroeder, Derek Pogirski and Tommy Midena.
Jeremy Seaman drew a first round bye and then was unceremoniously dumped into the one loss bracket in his next match against Ned Harb 3-1. From there, Jeremy took dead aim and tore through Curtis Thornton, Chad Munson, Bobby Ballard, Jayme Goodwin, Sergio Rivas, Mike Sardelli and Shane Winters before he was stopped by Ilar 3-2.
Jaho’s run to the finals was stopped by a determined Gomez 3-2 – Ilar finished third.
As the finals was one extended race to five, fans settled in for what they thought would be another battle between these two but after a 1-1 tie, Roberto raced to the hill. Marc won the next game to make it 4-2 but that was it as Gomez won the next game to close it out & claim another one pocket title!
PoolActionTV.com would like to thank owner Issa Eadah, his family and their staff for making their inaugural event a success.
We’d also like to thank Tournament Director Ray Hansen and his assistant, Jason Hill, for another great job. Special thanks to Betsy Sundholm for all her help throughout the event.
In addition, thanks to commentators, Larry Schwartz, Scott Frost, Derek Pogirski, “Frenchie” Lunda and Ray Hansen for their very knowledgeable commentary.
And, lastly, thanks to our fans and sponsors. They include JB Cases, Hanshew Jump Cues, Simonis, Aramith, Lomax Custom Cues, Diamond Billiard Products, Durbin Custom Cues, Savage Billiards, Fort Worth Billiards Superstore of Fort Worth, TX, the Action Palace of Dayton, OH, The Rack and The Rack One Pocket Classic.
Check out the Ed Hancock vs Roberto Gomez Ten Ball Challenge at 9 PM EST on April 3rd. Held at Buckeye Billiards & Sports Bar in Mansfield, OH, they’ll be racing to 17 – Ed gets the 7! The best part – it’s free to watch!
Our next event is the Sixth Annual $15,000 added Scotty Townsend Memorial held at the newly remodeled Arena Billiards in West Monroe, LA. Featuring four events – Pro One Pocket, Women’s 9 Ball, a 10 Ball Mini and Open 9 Ball – the dates are April 25th-30th! Hope to see you there!