Las Vegas, NV was pool player central for the last couple weeks! Starting this past Sunday and immediately following the CSI Nationals, the WPA World 10 Ball Championship and the CSI/Predator US Pro Billiard Series’ Alfa Women’s Las Vegas Open, OB Cues presented the $45,000 added US Open Championship Series.
Hosted by Griff’s owner, Mark Griffin, the US Open Championship Series was comprised of four events – Ten Ball, Eight Ball, One Pocket and Bank Pool. $10,000 was added to each event plus $5,000 for the All-Around. Players paid a $330 entry for each event.
Promoted by Cue & A Promotions, the sponsors for the US Open Championship Series were OB Cues, Griff’s Billiards, Simonis, Aramith, Diamond Billiard Products, JB Cases, Keller Billiard Products and Fort Worth Billiards Superstore of Fort Worth, TX.
Fedor Gorst and Carlo Biado won the first two events of the Series – the US Open Ten Ball and the US Open Eight Ball.
Players for the US Open One Pocket and the US Open Bank Pool Championships included Las Vegas’s own Bob Herchik and Ian Costello. BCA and One Pocket Hall of Famer Jose Parica was joined by fellow countrymen Roberto Gomez, Carlo Biado, Lee Vann Corteza, Edgie Geronimo, Roland Garcia, and Warren Kiamco. There was One Pocket Hall of Famer Scott Frost in addition to Tony Chohan, Justin Hall, Josh Roberts, Ronnie Wiseman, Bob Herchik, Tres Kane, Jim Tomassoni, John Hennigan, Evan Lunda, Ian Costello, Robert Frost, Danny Olson, Redgie Cutler and James Davee. Young guns Sergio Rivas, Kash Keaton and Canada’s Stephen Holem joined the fray as well – not to mention Russia’s Fedor Gorst. WOW!!!
The US Open One Pocket Championship opened with 44 players – the format was alternate break with races to four. After the players auction, players meeting and draw, play commenced.
Opening round action saw Roberto Gomez defeat fellow countryman Edgie Geronimo 4-1 as did Josh Roberts over the legendary John Hennigan (“Cornflakes”). Evan Lunda battled it out with recently crowned US Open 8 Ball champ Carlo Biado – Carlo escaped with a 4-3 win. Coming out of retirement, veteran Jose Parica pounded the always tough Tres Kane 4-1.
Next round had Biado sending Scott Frost west 4-2, Ian Costello beating Jim Tomassoni 4-1 and Josh Roberts blitzing James Davee 4-0. Tony Chohan defeated Warren Kiamco 4-2 as did Lee Vann Corteza over Robert Frost by the same score. Roland Garcia smoked Kash Keaton 4-0 and newly minted US Open 10 Ball champ Fedor Gorst sent Gomez packing 4-2.
In the top half of the chart, favorite Justin Hall quietly made his way through the bracket smoking all in his way – Alex Montpelier 4-1, Bart Czapia 4-0 and Lee Vann Corteza, Ronnie Wiseman and Roland Garcia – all 4-1.
After winning his first two matches easily, Roberts breezed past Danny Olson 4-0 and followed that by beating Ian Costello 4-2 and Bob Herchik 4-1.
While Justin & Josh were taking care of business up north, Garcia was destroying the southern part of the chart.
After rolling over his first two matches, Roland tore through Gorst 4-0 and then Chohan 4-2. Garcia finally met his demise at the hands of Hall 4-1.
This set up the hot seat match between Hall and Roberts with Josh easily taking the match 4-1. Justin headed west to await an opponent.
After losing to Garcia earlier in the tournament, Chohan won four in a row on his march towards his match with Hall. He defeated Danny Olson and Tim De Ruyter – both 4-2. Getting stronger as he went, Herchik was next – 4-1 but battled down to the wire with Biado. Tony prevailed 4-3 leaving Carlo in fourth place.
Nothing stopping him now, Hall was next! Down he went 4-2 – Justin finished third.
The undefeated Josh Roberts was waiting for Tony in the one set extended finals. There was no stopping the Chohan train as he steamed to a 5-0 victory! Good tournament, Josh! And congratulations to Tony for his third consecutive one pocket championship this year and his second US Open One Pocket Championship!
The final event of the Championship Series was the US Open Bank Pool Championship. Featuring 48 players, the format was alternate break with races to 5/4. As usual, after a players auction, players meeting and draw, play began.
After drawing the coveted bye, Roberto Gomez shot out of the gate with victories over Kash Keaton 5-0, Fedor Gorst 5-4, Tony Chohan 5-3 and Scott Frost 5-2 to reach the hot seat match.
Fellow Filipino Carlo Biado was doing the same in the bottom half of the chart. He escaped a close one with Caleb Schumacher 5-4 but then defeated Tony Bloom 5-0. He then edged out Chris Lulek, Robert Frost and Stephen Holem – all with 5-4 scores!
Now in dead punch, he smashed Roberto 5-1 to lock up his seat in the finals! Gomez went to the one loss side to await an opponent.
After losing their earlier matches, Stephen Holem and Scott Frost were working their way through the fray and finally bumped heads. Scott put an end to Stephen’s march 4-2 – Holem finished fourth.
Frost then thumped Gomez 4-1 and advanced to the finals! Roberts finished in third place.
Again, the finals were to be one set – an extended race to six.
Facing the undefeated Carlo Biado, Frost had his hands full. Neck and neck until tied at four games each, Scott took the lead 5-4 and then won the final game to win this year’s US Open Bank Pool Championship! Congratulations to Scott! Good tournament, Carlo!
And, congratulations to Carlo Biado for being the points leader for all four events and taking the All-Around crown! Congratulations, Carlo!!!
PoolActionTV.com would like to thank Griff’s owner, Mark Griffin, and his staff for going the extra mile to make both players and fans feel at home during this grueling US Open Championship Series. We’d like to thank Tournament Director Jason Hill and his assistant, Eric Kintzer, for doing such a great job running things!
We’d also like to thank Robert LeBlanc, Larry Schwartz, John Henderson, Jeremy Jones, Josh Roberts, Mike DeLawder and Ray Hansen for their topnotch commentary.
And, last but not least, we can’t forget our fans and sponsors. They include JB Cases, Lomax Custom Cues, Keller Billiard Products, Durbin Custom Cues, StraightPoolEye, Hanshew Jump Cues, Simonis, Aramith, Diamond Billiard Products, the Action Palace of Dayton, OH and Fort Worth Billiards Superstore of Fort Worth, TX. Thank you!!!
Article written by Mary Kenniston
Photos & graphics courtesy PoolActionTV.com