In August the Seminole Pro Tour held two tournaments, first at Snookers Billiards in Providence Rhode Island and second at Fiddlestix Billiards in Canton, OH. Both events had a stellar player’s field and showcased the best players in the country all vying for the $25,000 added prize money. Both events awarded BCA ranking points, but the Snookers event also had Mosconi Cup points at stake, which are getting extremely important with many players wanting to be on the USA Mosconi Cup team and so few ranking events left on the schedule.
First up was Snookers Billiards Tour Stop on August 5-7 in Providence, RI. This room is home to the New England Billiards Hall of Fame and it was appropriate for all the great players in the field to be playing with all the banners and trophies from past great New England cue masters in the rafters. The 64 player field included past world champions Alex Pagulayan, Darren Appleton, Earl Strickland, Shane Van Boening, Johnny Archer and Thorsten Hohmann and top ranked players Mike Dechaine, Corey Deuel, Dennis Hatch, John Morra, Larry Nevel and Rodney Morris. Who ever won this tournament was certainly going to have to earn the title and fight hard during every match played.
World Champion Shane Van Boening entered his first Seminole Pro Tour of the 2011 season at Snookers. Coming off a long trip playing through Asia and Central America, SVB was poised to make a run. SVB drew Tom D’Alfonso in the first round after the blind draw. SVB would defeat D’Alfonso in a runaway 9-2. SVB would next be matched up against Alex Pagulayan, who had defeated Shane Winter 9-5 in round 1. Pagulayan would keep the match close at first, but would eventually come out victorious 9-5, sending SVB to the one loss side of the board.
The ride down the left side would be a long and difficult one for Van Boening. He would first face Adam Smith, who finished in third place at the Capone’s Tour Stop. This match would go back and forth, but Smith came up short and would lose to SVB 9-6. Next up would be Robert Lewis. Lewis would just not have enough left in his tank to take our Van Boening and would fall to the world champion 9-3. Bucky Souvanthong would be up next for Van Boening. Souvanthong shot very well, but not well enough to send Shane home. SVB would once again come out victorious 9-4. The next opponent for SVB would be, Capone’s Tour Stop Champion Larry Nevel. Nevel had been playing very strong and appeared to be poised to give Van Boening a tough match. SVB’s shooting was just too much for Nevel to handle, as SVB would advance with a decisive score of 9-1.
Shawn Putman would be next up to face Van Boening. Putnam is on the cusp of qualifying for the Mosconi Cup, ranked in the top 5 at the time of the tournament. Van Boening, also ranked in the top 5 would show why he is considered the best player in the county in 10-ball by taking down Putnam 9-7. SVB’s dominance on the left side would continue as he would next face Canadian sharp shooter John Mora and defeat him 9-3. In his 7th match on the left-side SVB would then face Virginia native Brandon Shuff. Shuff fell flat out of the gate and was then not able to overcome the incredible shooting that Shane had displayed. SVB would move on by the score of 9-3.
The forth place match would pin Van Boening again fellow world champion Johnny Archer. Archer would trade blows with Van Boening and would keep the score tight. Again, SVB had his sights focused on the pockets and would be too much for Archer, winning by the score of 9-5. If the previous match-up with a world champion was not enough, SVB would now have to play Rodney Morris. Morris had just suffered a heartbreaking loss to Darren Appleton in the hot seat match and would now have to play the hottest player in the pool room, SVB. Morris seemed poised to finally take down the streaking SVB. Morris jumped to an early lead, but was unable to hold on to it, as SVB would come from behind to take down Morris 9-7. Morris would finish in third place and collect a $5,000 prize.
After 9 grueling matches on the left side of the bracket, SVB earned his way back into the right side to face another world champion, Darren Appleton, for the championship title, trophy, bottle of Grand Touring Vodka and the $10,000 first place prize. The finals would be one race to 11 for all of the marbles. SVB would jump out to a great start, seemingly catching Appleton off guard. Appleton was never able to catch a break and Shane Van Boening would win the match and the tournament with the final score of 11-6. SVB completed what seemed like an impossible gauntlet of opponents through 9 rounds on the loser’s side to earn his first Seminole Pro Tour victory of the season.
Two weeks later the players would descend upon Canton Ohio and Fiddlestix Billiards for another Seminole Pro Tour $25,000 added event. The majority of this 55 player field who played in Fiddlestix were the same strong players that participated in Snookers. Van Boening, Appleton, Pagulayan, Morris, Archer, Strickland, Deuel, Hatch, Dechaine and Hohmann all were participants trying to claim the exclusive title of a Seminole Pro Tour stop.
Things unfolded differently in Ohio than they did in Rhode Island. SVB, who dominated the field two weeks prior drew an opening round forfeit win against Minnesotan Demetrius Jelatis and whould then have to face Mike Dechaine. Dechaine did not start off the match too well, allowing Van Boening to get an early lead. Dechaine would prove to be the better player defeating SVB in a thrilling hill hill match. SVB would once again see himself go to the one-loss side in the second round. This time, however, SVB would not have the hot streak in him this time. After victories over Craig McPartlin (9-2) and Amar Kang (9-2), SVB would fall to James Roberts hill-hill and would finish outside of the money.
Rodney Morris left Rhode Island with a bitter-sweet third place finish. He arrived in Ohio wanting to show that he can finish the job and take home a championship. Morris began with an opening round bye and would have to face Chris Mitchell in his first actual match of the tournament. Mitchell put up a great fight, but would eventually lost to Morris 9-7. Morris would then have to play veteran California player Ernesto Dominguez. Dominguez would keep pace with Morris for the first few racks. Morris would then pull away and claim the victory 9-6.
Day two of the event paired Morris with Seminole Pro Tour regular Corey Deuel. Deuel seemed like he had been doing some serious practicing and preparation for his upcoming trip to the Philippines to represent the United States in the world Cup of Pool along with Mike Dechaine. Deuel was firing on all cylinders against Morris. Morris once again was able to earn a hard earned victory and move on in the winner’s side of the bracket. Up next for Morris would be fired up Johnny Archer who had some very impressive victories to reach this point against room owner Chris Szuter (9-6); Bob Weimar (9-2); Thorsten Hohmann (9-3) and Brandon Shuff (9-8).
Morris and Archer have a history of playing some epic matches on the tables. This match would be no different. Archer reached the hill first and had a difficult kick shot to sink the 10 ball for the victory. The cue ball double kissed the 10 as the cue ball fell in the pocket, giving Morris the rack and evening the score at 8. The final rack would come down to a safety battle, with Archer getting the final upper hand and sending Morris left hill-hill. This would not be the last time Archer would see Morris in the tournament.
On the left side Morris would have to play against Darren Appleton. Appleton had blanked Pagulayan the previous day and seemed as if he was making a strong run in the brackets until he was sent left by Dennis Hatch 9-6. Morris would prove to have the better aim and would defeat Appleton 9-8. Morris would then face the man who had previously sent Appleton west, Dennis Hatch. Morris out shot Hatch with a 9-6 victory. The third place match would have Morris facing fan favorite Earl Strickland. Strickland. Morris would continue his straight shooting and earn his way back to the right side by taking down Strickland 9-5.
The finals would be a rematch between Johnny Archer and Morris. The match would be one race to 11 under the live stream lights the excited crowd and all of the fans watching the stream from home would be in for a treat. The result from the second match between these two great players would be different than the first. Morris jumped out to a large lead, reaching the hill with Archer seamlessly stuck at 2. Archer would mount a furious comeback attempt. 10-8 was as close as he would come, as Morris would go on to win the set 11-8.
The Seminole Pro Tour would like to thank Steve and Regina Goulding from Snookers as well as Steve and Chris Szuter from Fiddlestix for all of their hospitality and support in making these events happen in their great pool rooms.
The Seminole Pro Tour will be having its season ending Steve Mizerak Championship on September 15-18 at Hammer Heads Billiard Lounge in Holiday Florida. This $50,000 added event is open to only 64 players. For more information, to register for the Steve Mizerak Championship please visit www.seminoleprotour.com.
If you cannot make it to Florida to see all of the action in person, you can still catch all of the action live via our live stream at Seminole Live Stream. This is one event you do not want to miss out on seeing.
Final payouts Snookers (Rhode Island)
1. $10,000: Shane Van Boening
2. $6,000: Darren Appleton
3. $5,000: Rodney Morris
4. $3,800: Johnny Archer
5. $2,400: Alex Pagulayan
6. $2,400: Brandon Shuff
7. $1,800: Oscar Dominguez
8. $1,800: John Morra
9. $1,350: Shawn Putnam
10. $1,350: Hunter Lombardo
11. $1,350: Mike Dechaine
12. $1,350: Thorsten Hohmann
13. $1,000: Mike Davis
14. $1,000: Tom McGonagle
15. $1,000: Joe Dupuis
16. $1,000: Larry Nevel
Final payouts Fiddlestix (Ohio)
1. $8,000: Rodney Morris
2. $6,000: Johnny Archer
3. $5,000: Earl Strickland
4. $3,000: Dennis Hatch
5. $2,400: Darren Appleton
6. $2,400: Alex Pagulayan
7. $1,800: Brandon Shuff
8. $1,800: John Morra
9. $1,350: Jason Klatt
10. $1,350: Hunter Lombardo
11. $1,350: Corey Deuel
12. $1,350: Thorsten Hohmann
13. $1,000: Dennis Haar
14. $1,000: James Roberts
15. $1,000: Larry Nevel
16. $1,000: George Rothrock
Click HERE for photo gallery from Snookers
Click HERE for photo gallery from Fiddlestix
Written by: Gerry Mayen