It wasn’t actually the first and isn’t likely to be the last.
This past weekend (May 14-15), Eastern Billiards, Andy Cloth, Stephanie Mitchell’s The Corner Pocket pool room in Largo, FL and Jamison Daniels presented something of an official start to a series of Premier 9-Ball Tour events. Back in April, the first three of those sponsors held what they called a Shootout, that drew 32 entrants to The Corner Pocket. Won by Kyle Bova, the Shootout acted as something of a ‘proof of concept’ demonstration that led to the scheduling and eventual $2,000-added event that drew 53 entrants to the Corner Pocket this past weekend.
According to Mitchell, the endeavor is being designed as a series of independent events and although it bears the moniker of a traditional ‘tour,’ it will not be subject to traditional tour fees or any overall player-specific format; neither specifically handicapped (although the most recent event was handicapped) or Pro or Ladies events, as examples. The next planned stop on the tour, scheduled for July, at a to-be-determined specific date is being planned as a Ladies event.
Trenton White and Chris Daly, who was looking for his first recorded victory since winning a stop on the Poison Tour eight years ago, split the event’s top two prizes after the event semifinal between Daly and Kyle Bova. As occupant of the hot seat at the time, White became the event’s official winner.
White opened his trip to the hot seat with two straight shutouts, against Wanda Crews and Cory Wilcox, before giving up his first rack (two of them, actually) to Nathan Rose and four more of them to Mike Lear. He drew Joseph Dyer in one of the winners’ side semi-finals. Daly, in the meantime, went through Tom Mittnight, John Cohmer, Frank Costantino and Carlos Gomes before running into Kyle Bova in the other winners’ side semi-final.
Bova diverted Daly’s ‘trip to the finals’ train to the loss-side tracks 6-2 and advanced to the hot seat match. White joined him after sending Dyer west 6-4. White began the race-to-6 hot seat match with a single ‘bead on the wire’ that he didn’t need. He chalked up the five racks he needed before Bova had dropped a single 9-ball.
On the losing side, Daly picked up Mike Lear, who’d followed his loss to White with victories over Costantino and Penera Mota, both 5-1. Dyer drew Rose, who’d been another victim to White’s winners’ side exploits and then, got by Scott Tollefson, before winning back-to-back matches against Carlos Gomes and Raymond Linares, both double hill.
Daly and Lear battled to double hill, before Daly advanced to the quarterfinals. He was joined by Dyer, who eliminated Rose 5-3. Daly earned his rematch against Bova with a 5-3 victory over Dyer in those quarterfinals.
Although Daly began what would prove to be the last match of the event, the semifinal race-to-5, with one ‘bead on the wire,’ Bova’s chances of winning the match (as calculated by Fargo Rate) were just over 50%; 52.5 to Daly’s 47.5. So, statistically, almost even. Daly gave up just a single rack as he chalked up the five he needed for a shot against White, waiting for him in the hot seat. A shot, as it happened, that did not materialize, as White and Daly negotiated a split of the top two prizes.
Tour director Chad Kosier thanked Eastern Billiards’ Gary and Ruth Lucchesi for their “opportunity to keep great tournaments alive,” along with Andy Cloth, Jamison Daniels, Stephanie Mitchell and her Corner Pocket staff for their hospitality and Rob Charles for “priceless help.” He also extended thanks to Allen Ellison of Billiard Livestream for his effort in bringing the event to members of its remote audience.
As noted above, the next event on the Eastern Billiards/Andy Cloth/The Corner Pocket Premier 9-Ball Tour is likely to be a Ladies event, scheduled for a date-to-be-determined in July. For further information, you can keep an eye on Stephanie Mitchell’s (The Corner Pocket) Facebook page and initiate a Friend request, along with any specific inquiries.
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