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The 2015 – ‘TOP GUN’ Finale for Mezz West State Tour!

By: Daniel Busch 

March 7, 2015

Hard Times Billiards – Bellflower, CA

top gun

noun

  1. a person who is the best or one of the best in a particular field; the top-ranked person in a group.

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The Mezz West State Tour Finale! 

On March 7th and 8th a small handful of the best of The Mezz West State Tour ‘cueists’ will face off this weekend for a double-elimination, 10-ball showdown at Hard Times Billiards in Bellflower, CA to determine the ‘Top Gun’ of its field in this inaugural season of 231 players. Reserved for only 32 players who have fought long and hard in the past 10 months, traveled to various venues along the west coast of the United States – Season 1 of The Mezz West State Tour has, by far been one of the most challenging and promising billiard tours seen in the United States in over a decade. March 7th and 8th will be remembered in pool history as another baby-step in the right direction.

32 Players Preparing for Action!

The top-ranked 32 players of the Mezz West State Tour currently consist of 10 professional players, 8 semi-pros and 14 amateurs who have all held up to each other with equal strength, brought us fast paced play and memorable moments. The 1 and 2 game handicap to respective skill levels has rendered a few chilling outcomes and very few landslides. The fact remains that, if you’re playing this event, you’ve done something great to get here. Ladies and Gentlemen, ‘Place Your Bets’!

Photo: Copyright © 2015 - POV Pool

Vilmos Foldes and Beau Runnigen – Photo: Copyright © 2015 – POV Pool

1. Vilmos Foldes 900
2. Beau Runningen 840
3. Oscar Dominguez 775
4. Rodrigo Geronimo 625
5. Ernesto Dominguez 585
6. Attila Bezdan 520
7. Johnny Kang 505
8. Amar Kang 430
9. Jaynard Orque 390
10. Kevin May 350
11. Santos Sambajon 320
12. Jaden Brock 290
13. Ruben Bautista 280
14. Phil Prentice 275
15. Ramin Bakhtiari 270
16. Dave Hemmah 265
17. Rodney Wynn 260
18. Paul Silva 240
19. Bob Jocz 235
20. Tommy Lipps 225
21. Ramon Mistica 225
22. Frank Robutz 220
23. Tang Hoa 220
24. Reid Stensrud 215
25. Fach Garcia 215
26. Melissa Herndon 205
27. Justin Logan 195
28. Jason Ferroni 190
29. Tim Daniel 190
30. Mark Whitehead 175
31. Anthony Ortega 175
32. Jason Williams 175

Live and Broadcast Coverage

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Hard Times Billiards is charging a very small gate to watch the event and parking is always free. Streaming live and free on POV Pool’s Ustream Channel, all weekend long, including some open action on Friday, March 6th. POV Pool will also be providing a supplemental, Top Gun – Real Time Feed page for those looking for bracket and player information, pics, selfies, highlights and more.

 – please like Point Of View Pool’s Fan Page!

This weekend’s event at “The Home Of Champions” opened by Chuck Markulis in 1988 is sure to carry the legacy of the great players who have come before them. The Mezz West State Tour brings talent to Hard Times Billiards with a different slant than usual. The players at this event will all have earned their place at the table, after a long haul of 11 events and all, very hungry to win.

A Little History – A Lot Of Thanks! 

Tour founders, Oscar Dominguez and Desiree Rivera, whose announcement of the Mezz West State Tour immediately attracted local promoters, venues and product sponsors from conception to launch; they were able to officially sign 9 host venues whilst partners such as Fast n Loose, POV Pool and GoPlayPool went to work on other tasks in the background: Website, Live Streaming and Social Promotion. In a way, this was a convergence of events that could almost be likened to someone who wins 9-ball tournament: It took a whole lot of skill, a little bit of luck and just the right timing.

Mezz Cues and West State Billiards, ZAN Tips and Turtle Rack are to be applauded for providing resources to the events, which made the tour possible. With many thanks, each official tour stop brought with it $2,000 added money and the hosting venues received cues, cases and merchandise to attract local talent to play and register. Thanks also to Marty Carey (Marty Carey Jump Cue) and Steve Chaplin of Virtual Pool 4 who were able to come to the table, not only to compete in many of the stops, but also to provide additional funding for the live streaming of the events on POV Pool and On The Rail TV.

Streaming All Weekend including Friday March 6th! 

Live Stream Link: http://www.povpool.com

Stream with Chat: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/povpool

A Few Moments on The Mezz West State Tour! 

Photo: Copyright © 2015 - POV Pool

Beau Runningen – Photo: Copyright © 2015 – POV Pool

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 Photo: Copyright © 2015 - POV Pool

Kevin May – Photo: Copyright © 2015 – POV Pool

West State Billiards

Attila Bezdan and Oscar Dominguez - Photo: Copyright © 2015 - POV Pool

Attila Bezdan and Oscar Dominguez – Photo: Copyright © 2015 – POV Pool

Turtle Rack ZAN TIPS

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Vilmos Foldes and Edgie Geronimo – Photo: Copyright © 2015 – POV Pool

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Kenichi Oscar Dominguez - Photo: Copyright © 2015 - POV Pool

Kenichi Uchigaki and Oscar Dominguez – Photo: Copyright © 2015 – POV Pool

 Photo: Copyright © 2015 - POV Pool

Oscar Dominguez and Beau Runningen – Photo: Copyright © 2015 – POV Pool

Photo: Copyright © 2015 - POV Pool

Johnny Kang and Oscar Dominguez – Photo: Copyright © 2015 – POV Pool

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Amar Kang and Oscar Dominguez – Photo: Copyright © 2015 – POV Pool

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Danny Gokhul and Oscar Dominguez – Photo: Copyright © 2015 – POV Pool

Photo: Copyright © 2015 - POV Pool

Jaynard Orque – Photo: Copyright © 2015 – POV Pool

Photo: Copyright © 2015 - POV Pool

Johnny Kang and Beau Runningen – Photo: Copyright © 2015 – POV Pool

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MZWST #10 – Another Victory for “Edgie” Geronimo!

Cover photo: Chris Santana
Story By: Desiree Rivera

Mezz West State Tour Stop #10

On Cue – La Mesa, Californiaec2577e4ce7d45700645f36cffe22bac-1

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A Packed House at OnCue Billiards! 

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The Mezz West State Tour was held in gorgeous La Mesa, California at its premier room, On Cue Billiards. The Nooris family welcomed 88 players including none other than “The Magician” himself, Mr. Efren Reyes. It was quite a treat for both, players and spectators to watch and interact with the legend himself during the two day event.

Dan Wallace - Photo: Copyright © 2015 - Ashi Fachler

Dan Wallace – Photo: Copyright © 2015 – Ashi Fachler

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Watch the MZWST #10 Matches on YouTube! 

The top half of the bracket was packed with talent as it contained not only Rodrigo Geronimo, Ramin Bakhtiari, Vilmos Foldes, Johnny Kang, James Cabal, Dan Wallace, Dave Gorham, Rodney Wynn and Victor Castro but also Efren Reyes. Foldes and Reyes met up in the final 16 of the winner side in a TV table face off. Foldes fought hard, but was out matched by Reyes with a score of 9-4. Reyes’ bracket got no easier, as Rodrigo Geronimo was waiting for him following his 9-3 victory over James Cabal. This Filipino match up went back and forth to the bitter end with Rodrigo pulling away a 9-7 victory and sending the Magician to the losers side. This win secured Geronimo’s spot in the final 4 of the winners side where he would defeat Victor Castro, who had tough wins over Mark Whitehead, Ray Pajarillo and Dave Gorham. Geronimo would go on to defeat Castro 9-6 to find himself waiting to battle it out for the hot seat.

Beau Runningen - Copyright © 2015 Ashi Fachler

Beau Runningen – Copyright © 2015 Ashi Fachler

Efren Reyes - Copyright © 2015 Ashi Fachler

Efren Reyes – Copyright © 2015 Ashi Fachler

Vilmos Foldes - Copyright © 2015 Ashi Fachler

Vilmos Foldes – Copyright © 2015 Ashi Fachler

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Attila Bezdan and Oscar Dominguez - Photo: Copyright © 2015 - POV Pool

Attila Bezdan and Oscar Dominguez – Photo: Copyright © 2015 – POV Pool

 

The bottom half of the bracket was no cake walk either as Oscar Dominguez, Attila Bezdan, Kenichi Uchigaki, Ruben Bautista, Sal Butera, Beau Runningen and Melissa Hernadon made up just a few of the great players that filled up this portion of the chart. Second round of the winners side found Beau Runningen taking on Toyko player, Kenichi Uchigaki. Beau made a heart filled effort but fell short, sending Uchigaki further into the winners brackets and himself to the losers side. Uchigaki proceeded to find wins over Branch Talley, Larry Bohn and Sal Butera all of which allowed him to face off against Oscar Dominguez in the final 4 winners. Dominguez made his way there with wins over Melissa Herndon, Amir Shoshan and Attila Bezdan. This was hard fought battle between the two international friends, but ended with Kenichi Uchigaki taking down Dominguez 9-6. This win ensured Uchigaki to face off with Geronimo for the hot seat. The match up one sided early on with Geronimo taking the win 9-5, putting him in the hot seat.

Live Stream on POV Pool! Daniel Busch and Geraldine Thibodeau - © 2015 POV POOL MEDIA

Live Stream on POV Pool! Daniel Busch and Geraldine Thibodeau – © 2015 POV POOL MEDIA

All Eyes OnCue!

ONCUE EYES ONLY

Meanwhile, the action continued on the losers’ side where team Hungary faced off. Vilmos Foldes defeated his best friend and road partner 9-4 knocking Attila out of the competition. Vilmos would then go on to beat Sal Butera in a hill-hill, nail bitter which came down to a safety battle on the 8 ball in the final game. However the hill-hill matches were not over for Foldes just yet, as Victor Castro played his heart out but fell short to Foldes in the following round. On the top side of the losers bracket, Oscar Dominguez found himself fighting back against Efren Reyes, who at one point led the match 8-2. Dominguez came with great out after great out, eventually tying the match at 8-8. In the case game, Reyes was up to break. Reyes broke in two balls and skillfully made an incredible out on Dominguez, forcing Oscar to settle for 5th/6th.

More by Ashi Fachler!

More by Ashi Fachler!

Kenichi Uchigaki - © 2015 ASHI FACHLER

Kenichi Uchigaki – © 2015 ASHI FACHLER

The 3rd/4th match found Foldes and Reyes once again. Foldes found his revenge on Reyes winning 9-6 and sending him to the losers side final against Uchigaki. Uchigaki, who was feeling ill and very jet lagged opted to allow Foldes to move onto the finals by forfeit. The finals between Vilmos Foldes and Rodrigo Geronimo was a match to be seen. In true double elimination format Foldes would have to defeat Geronimo twice to claim victory. Foldes easily handles Rodrigo winning the first set 9-3. The second set was much more of a grind with many break and runs, kicking and safety play. Rodrigo eventually grinded down Foldes and took his victory in a close 9-7 win. This win would make Rodrigo a three time tour stop winner this season. Also, a congrats to Melissa Herndon for being the top female finisher and receiving a $100 bonus.

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Vilmos Foldes, Daniel Busch and Edgie Geronimo – © 2015 POV POOL MEDIA

 

Geraldine and Daniel w/ POV Pool - © 2015 ASHI FACHLER

Geraldine and Daniel w/ POV Pool – © 2015 ASHI FACHLER

The MWST would like to thank their sponsors for their continuous support of bringing pool back to the west coast. In addition, a very special thank you to Daniel Busch, Geraldine Thibodeau and POV POOL for their hard work providing the live streaming. Mezz Cues, West State Billiards Supply, ZAN Tips, Kurzweils Country Meats, AZbilliards.com, NYCGrind.com, POVPool.com, Marty Carey Jump Q, Virtual Pool 4, The Turtle Rack, and Fast&Loose designs.

Daniel Busch, Rolando Vicente and Ray Reyes!

Commentating on POV Pool – Daniel Busch, Rolando Vicente and Ray Reyes!

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MZWST – Stop #11 at Breaktime Billiards! 

Be sure to join POV Pool and Mezz West State Tour at BreakTime Billiards on January 24th, 25th for the final open event on the tour. It’s the last chance for players to obtain a ranking in the TOP 32 for the upcoming TOP GUN event being held on March 7th/8th at Hard Times Billiards in Bellflower, CA! 

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