Bucky Souvanthong, 2011 Open Amateur Champion

By NYC Grind Contributor, Alison M. Fischer

The 2011 Super Billiards Expo brought together over 2,000 amateur players from across the country together for one of the most exciting events of the year.* Every year, the Expo’s Amateur Players Championship series of tournaments offers amateur players* of all levels the chance to compete in a thrilling single-elimination format, where each match is played to the best two out of three races to five.

Click here to view our photo galleries from all four of the Super Billiards Expo, encompassing the Pro 10-Ball Event, Amateur Events, the World Artistic Pool Championships, and more.

By far the largest of the seven divisions is the Amateur Open Division, which featured 1,144 players this year, divided into sixteen preliminary brackets.* Only one player from each bracket would move on to the final single-elimination*bracket, which began on Saturday at 9pm.

Rising through the final bracket, Baltimore, MD player Tony Long knocked out Greg Antonakos, Alex Olinger, and Ben Zimmer to move into the finals.* Meanwhile, one of the Northeast’s top breakthrough players on the Joss Tour, Bucky Souvanthong defeated Jorge Rodriguez, Chris Mitchell, and Gary Lutman, to then defeat Tony Long in the finals and become the 2011 Open Amateur Champion.

Final Results:

1st: Bucky Souvanthong - $5,000
2nd: Tony Long - $2,000
3rd/4th: Gery Lutman, Ben Zimmer - $1,500
5th-8th: Danny Mastermaker, Alex Olinger, Chris Mithcell, Brett Stottlemyer - $1,200
9th-16th: Phil Wines, Toshiki Kiuchi, Shane Morrow, Greg Antonakos, Jorge Rodriguez, Stephen Mack, Mike Wishwanick, Houston Rodriguez - $950
17th-32nd: Joey Arbuckle, Mike Pryzwara, Richard Molineiro, Robert Rezin, Gary Nolan, Redgie Cutler, Derek Schwager, Tommy Najar, Larry Kressel, Blari Levandowski, Wilberto Ortiz, Michael Gasper, Scott McMahon, Dave Daya, Jordan Grubb, Mike Patrowitz - $500

Tournament Director Cecelia Strain, Open Amateur Champion Bucky Souvanthong, Promoter Allen Hopkins (Photo by Alison M. Fischer)

Women’s Amateur Open

This year’s Women’s Open Amateur field featured 158 of the nation’s top lady amateurs, as well as some international names.* Having begun competition on the evening of Friday, March 11, we saw two ladies hailing from NYC make it to the final eight on Sunday.

One of New York’s toughest lady players, Diana “Snooky” Rojas made it through to the final eight remaining players, but was eliminated by top New England Women’s 9-ball Tour player Stacie Bourbeau, from Massachusetts.

Meanwhile, reigning BCAPL National Champion Gail Glazebrook came out ahead in that round versus Lonette Fox from Michigan.* Gail moved onto the semifinal, but was then also knocked out by Stacie, who moved on to the finals.

New York regional tour player Gail Glazebrook (Photo by John Yee)

In the other side of the bracket, two-time Junior National Champion and top Jacoby MALT Tour player*Liz Lovely of Ohio went all the way through to the final four before being eliminated by Li Jia of Beijing, China.* Li then went on to the finals, where she defeated Stacie Bourbeau to claim the title of Women’s Amateur Champion.

Final Results:

1st: Li Jia - $1,500
2nd: Stacie Bourbeau - $1,000
3rd/4th: Liz Lovely, Gail Glazebrook - $700
5th-8th: Lonette Fox, Diana Rojas, Grace Nakamura, Amy Theriault - $450
9th-16th: Lauren Kauffman, Charlene Harvey, Briana Miller, Colleen Stone, Aubrey James, Catherine Fiorilla, Meredith Lynch - $300

Tournament Director Cecelia Strain, Women's Amateur Champion Li Jia, Promoter Allen Hopkins, & Runner-Up Stacie Bourbeau (Photo by Alison M. Fischer)

Juniors Divisions

Two divisions of junior events were also featured at the Expo: The 17 and Under Division and the 12 and Under Division.* No entry fee was required for these young players to enter the events, which helped encourage a great turnout for these division.

In the 12 and Under Division, where forty-four players were entered, Shane Wolford of Roanoke, VA defeated Michael Evans of St. Louis, MO to close out the championship as the winner.

Finals Results:

1st: Shane Wolford
2nd: Michael Evans
3rd/4th: Ricky Evans, Brady Paanaiven
5th-8th: Luke Wanamaker, Frank Chiodo, Garrett Leighty, Bryan Simpson

12 and Under Champion Shane Wolford (Photo by John Yee)

The older junior’s group in the 17 and Under Division featured fifty-seven of the country’s most dedicated young players.* In this division, 2009 winner of the 14 and Under Division, Kevin Sun of Harvard, MA, made another appearance in the finals at the Super Billiards Expo versus Billy Thorpe of Dayton, OH, where Kevin would again capture the cup for the 17 and Under title.

Final Results:

1st: Kevin Sun
2nd: Billy Thorpe
3rd/4th: John Grassia Jr, Nick Evans
5th/8th: Nate Zimmerman, Kyle Ray, Zach Hampton, Skylar Woodward

Tournament Director Cecelia Strain, 17 and Under Champion Kevin Sun, Allen Hopkins, 12 and Under Champion Shane Wolford and Runner-Up Michael Evans (Photo by Ricky Bryant of Inside English)

Seniors Divison

In the Seniors Division, 356 players in the fifty-plus age range competed for the top prize of $3,000.* In this division, Sy Brown of Trenton, NJ would prove to be one of the top players to beat.* After a first-round bye, Sy Brown went through the preliminary bracket with wins over James Manna, Michael Lizzio, Robert G. Young, Michael Boyer, and Patrick O’Neill to go on to the final bracket. From there, Brown defeated Ace Aughtry and Ed Matushonek to move on to the finals.* Horace Goodwin of Atlanta, Georgia would also make it out of his preliminary bracket, when he then defeated Gary Nolan and Chicago player Ike Runnels to move on to the finals and take on Sy Brown, who would come out victorious to take the title of Senior Players Champion.

Finals Results:

1st: Sy Brown - $3,000
2nd: Horace Goodwin - $1,500
3rd/4th: Ike Runnels, Ed Matushonek - $1,000
5th-8th: Mark Pantovic, Ray McNamara, Horace Aughtry, Gary Nolan - $725
9th-16th: John Jennings, Al Mucilli, Patrick O’Neill, Joe Sauro, Victor Nau, Bob Talford, Tony Mougey, Mark Hatch - $450
17th-32nd: Tom Acciavatti, Ed Chulhane, Dinko Busanich, TJ LaFlamme, Joe Stem Jr., Michael Boyer, Willie Munson, Steve Shaw, John Irons, Angelo Hilton, Marty Cicia, Allan Cannington, Robert Anderson, Larry Swaczkowski, Bob Guzik, Greg Antonakos - $300

Promoter Allen Hopkins & Seniors Champion Sy Brown (Photo by Ricky Bryant of Inside English)

Super Seniors Division

This was the first year that the Super Billiards Expo featured a Super Seniors Division for players sixty-five and over, in which 125 players were entered.* Cary Dunn of Midlothian, VA and Ed Latimer of Chicago, IL were the two finalist in this event, where Ed Latimer would win the final match to take the title.

Final Results:

1st: Ed Latimer - $1,500
2nd: Cary Dunn - $900
3rd/4th: Joe Villapando, Dick Magaro - $500
5th-8th: Don Steele, Lee Sibley, Lyn Wechsler, David Ross - $200
9th-16th: Joe Brunett, Clayton Disotell, John Hamilton, Tom Acciavetti, Dean White, David Howard, Jerry Tripp - $200

Super Senior Champion Ed Latimer, Promoter Allen Hopkins, Runner-up Cary Dunn, & Tournament Director Cecelia Strain (Photo by Ricky Bryant of Inside English)

Pro/Am Divison

In the Pro/Am Division, which had a field limited to thirty-two players and was open to both men and women, there were numerous well-known names as well as strong up-and-coming players who got in the action.* Matches in this event were also played in the best two out of three sets, with each set being a race to six.

Florida pro and Dragon Promotions co-founder Charlie Williams went virtually unchallenged in this event.* Williams won his first and second rounds without his opponents winning more than two games in each set.* Williams’ main challengers in his bracket were Jose Parica and Tony Robles, who defeated Parica in the third set.

However, Robles was then upset by New Mexico young gun Tommy Tokoph, who went on to play Charlie Williams in the third round and was defeated by Williams, by the scores of 6-3 and 6-2.* Williams then moved on to defeat Bill Dunsmore 6-2 and 6-1 to move on to the finals.

Justin Hall was Charlie’s challenger in the finals. *Charlie took charge in the first two games, but Justin fired back and the two alternated break and runs in the alternate-break format, which ended with Charlie winning 6-4. *Charlie went on to break and run his first four racks to eventually win the second set dominantly at 6-2 to take the title.

In all, none of Charlie Williams’ opponents won a single set throughout the event. *Interestingly, this had been Williams’ first bar box event in two years, since he last played in the Expo’s Pro-Am 9-Ball two years ago, where he finished runner-up to Filipino Antonio Gabica. *Williams one-upped his performance in 2009 to win this year’s Pro-Am.

1st: Charlie Williams - $1,500
2nd: Justin Hall - $1,000
3rd/4th: M. Mochizuki, Bill Dunsmore - $700
5th-8th: Mike DeLawder, Tommy Tokoph, Marc Vidal, Shane Clayton - $500
9th-16th: Shane Winters, Ryan McCreesh, Cleiton Rocha, Andrew Attard, Ashley Nwolan, Tony Robles, Tom Cleich - $300

Charlie Williams & Tournament Director Cecelia Strain (Photo by Alison M. Fischer)

The Fury 14.1 Challenge

For the second year running, Charles Eames ran the Valley Forge 14.1 Challenge, which was sponsored by Fury Cues. *This event gave players the chance to Congratulations to our top amateur finishers this year.

1. Pat Calvarese - 85 points
2. Mike Panzarella - 68 points

The high run for the challenge was by Mika Immonen who was actually the only person to break the hundred mark with a 114. Dave Daya and John Schmidt came close with a 95 and 97 respectively.

The final 8 this year were:

1. Mika Immonen
2. Dave Daya
3. Max Eberle
4. Darren Appleton
5. Nick Varner
6. Bobby Chamberlain
7. Mike Davis
8. John Schmidt

Hall of Famer Nick Varner drew a crowd of spectators at the 14.1 Challenge (Photo by Charles Eames)

The first round action saw John Schmidt take out Bobby Chamberlain, Mika Immonen defeat Mike Davis, Dave Daya knock out Nick Varner, and Darren Appleton beat Mike Davis.

The second round matches had John Schmidt beating Mika Immonen for the first spot in the finals, as well as Darren Appleton beating Dave Daya.

The finals would see two US Open Champions facing off on the felt. John Schmidt fell to Darren in the end, in a hard-fought final that ended with a score of 150-96. You could visibly see the fatigue and frustration setting in on both players, and as the finals were set late in the evening and in chilly conditions, as the arena was being broken down and tables hauled out to trucks. *However, fans were still treated to some world-class straight pool competition, and we will look for the event to continue to grow and develop in the future.

Darren Appleton in the 14.1 final vs John Schmidt (Photo by John Yee)

Final Payouts:

1. Darren Appleton - $1,500.00
2. John Schmidt - $900.00
3-4 Dave Daya - $400.00
3-4 Mika Immonen - $400.00
5-8 Mike Davis - $200.00
5-8 Bobby Chamberlain - $200.00
5-8 Max Eberle - $200.00
5-8 Nick Varner - $200.00

Amateur Payouts:

1. Pat Calvarese - $140.00
2. Mike Panzarella - $140.00

World Artistic Pool Championship - Press Release

The 2011 WPA World Artistic Pool Championship was held March 10th – 13th at the Allen Hopkins Super Billiards Expo in the Valley Forge Convention Center (King of Prussia, PA).* 33 finely tuned players from around the globe competed for 9 World Titles consisting of 8 World Artistic Pool Discipline Champions and 1 Overall World Artistic Pool Champion.* The WPA (World Pool Billiard Association) sanctioned this prestigious event.

The stellar group of artistic pool playing artists competed in 8 skilled and varied disciplines of the sport as follows: Trick and Fancy, Prop / Novelty / Special Arts, Draw, Follow, Bank / Kick, Stroke, Jump, and Masse.* In addition, a special Sportsmanship award was presented to one player selected by player vote.* Over $15,000 in prize money was paid out.

2011 World Artistic Pool Champion sets up a shot in the finals (Photo by John Yee)

The sport of Artistic Pool made billiard history once again as players in the semi - finals and finals were filmed for television in 3-D, which has never been done before.* Center City Film and Video did the production for Comcast, and it was absolutely amazing.* Helping the film crew, I was fortunate to get a sneak preview back stage at several artistic pool shots the players were demonstrating for the cameras – balls jumping off the screen and players moving around the table in special depth perception effects via a process that created a totally awesome and unique viewing experience.

By Sunday the field was reduced to 4 players with Andy Segal (USA) vs. Gabi Visoiu (Romania) in one semi final match, and Tim Chin (USA) vs. Jamey Gray (USA) in the other semi final match. The finals found Jamey Gray and Andy Segal battling for the title.* This head to head shootout started very close, but a little over half way through the match, you could tell that Andy was in dead stroke.* Taking no chances Andy finished strong, leaving nothing in question as to who was the 2011 WPA World Artistic Pool Champion.

Jamey Gray (2nd), Andy Segal (1st), Tim Chin (3rd)

Players and fans alike had a wonderful time as they expressed special appreciation to Allen Hopkins for hosting this championship.* Valued sponsors that made it all possible were Allen Hopkins Productions, Dr. Cue Promotions. Professor Q-Ball Promotions, the USBA, Simonis Cloth, Diamond, Mueller, Run Out Sportswear, and Crown Cues. A special thanks also goes out to the WPA Artistic Pool Division and APTSA boards and select player / staff members for their dedication and effort in making this event a complete success.

If anyone has an interest in becoming part of our growing artistic pool movement as a player, fan, or sponsor, please go to the official website for Artistic Pool – APTSA.US. Artistic Pool event and sport history, tour updates, membership options, special player and event features, and detailed information for the APTSA (Artistic Pool and Trick Shot Association) new tour initiatives program for 2011 and beyond can be found there.

1st: Andy Segal - $3,500
2nd: Jamey Gray - $2,500
3rd: Tim Chin - $1,800
4th: Gabriel Visiou - $1,300
5th: Nick Nikolaidis - $1,000
6th: Abram Diaz - $800
7th: Florian Kohler - $750
8th: Jamie Moody - $700
9th: Tom Rossman - $650
10th: Chris Woodrum - $500
11th: JR Owens - $450
12th: Bruce Barthelette - $400

Thanks for following our coverage of the 2011 Super Billiards Expo! *Every year there are new and exciting developments for the sport that come to fruition at the Expo, and it is a rewarding event to be a part of. *Stay on the NYCgrind for more of the latest news on what’s hot in pool!

NYC Grind’s coverage of The Super Billiards Expo is sponsored by Poison Billiards and London Bridge Billiards.

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