The 34th annual Music City Open was once again hosted by JOB’s Billiards in Madison, TN – a suburb of Nashville. Played on seven feet of diamonds, $7,000 was added to the event. Owner Ricky Gamble and his staff went out of their way to welcome all players and fans.
Kicking off the event on Wednesday night was an open single-elimination 9-ball mini-tournament. Sixty-four players entered the fray – the format was races to seven, winners breaks.
Led by our very own Ray Hansen, the field was reduced to four players. Manny Perez handily defeated Josh O’Neal 7-0, while James Davee defeated Jeremiah Petty 7-3 to advance to the final. Because of the late hour, Manny and James decided to split the pot.
The $6,000-added Open 9 Ball division kicked off the following evening. 127 players paid their $100 entry fee for this double elimination event. Races were up to eleven with winner’s stoppages. After the players meeting, a rousing player auction and drawing, the game started.
In notable first-round matches, John Gabriel defeated Chris Baskerville 11-1, as did Shane Wolford over Raed Shabib 11-3. Brian Bryant had a little harder time with cuemaker Mike Durbin – the final score was 11-7. Young guns Sergio Rivas smoked Tracy Blevins 11-2 while Manny Perez defeated Steve Legace 11-3. John Hennessee blitzed Bob Ferrell 11-0 and Dave Matlock was forfeited on Jesse Couch.
In the second round and still a fairly easy time, Tulsa’s John Gabriel then defeated Dominick Iraggi 11-3. Shane Wolford, owner of the Wolf’s Den in Roanoke, VA made short work of Mark Nanashee 11-4 and Jeremiah Petty skunked Brandon Andre 11 zip. Manny Perez won Chris Busby 11-5 and Hennessee beat Michael Williamson 11-3. Robert Hall beat Ron Frank 11-7, James Davee outpaced Andrew Stroup 11-8 and Mike Gann forfeited his game against Josh O’Neal.
Legendary barbox king Dave Matlock had his hands full with straight shooting Sergio Rivas. Hoping for a flashback, Dave played well, but Sergio beat him 11-7.
In the third round, John Gabriel ran into a circular saw named Shane Wolford. Wolford caught up with the great breaking Shane a few times and eventually pulled away to a 10-6 lead. Not a clue, John clawed his way back to tie it up with ten pieces! In a game heartthrob, a relieved Shane finally managed to take him out.
In other matches from that round, Rivas passed Tab Pranee 11-5 while Chuck Raulston passed Steve Cruse 11-2. Apparently unable to find his game, Manny Perez was smoked by Rusty Jackson 11-3 and Hennessee of Tennessee took care of Anthony Gunn 11-5. Joey Yarbrough posed no threat to Robert Hall – he lost 11-2 while James Davee struggled with Lee Uhles for an 11-8 win.
With both the Open and Ladies events in full swing, Saturday night was ground zero for the Midnight Madness nine ball mini. Eight players paid a $500 entry fee. Format was single elimination with races up to eleven and winner’s stoppages. Shane Wolford and Hennessee were the last men standing – they also decided to split the pot.
After a scare in his previous match with John Gabriel, Shane Wolford rode to an 11-2 win over Scott Roberts and Rivas was in the zone with an 11-1 win over Gene Drerup. Raulston sent Kevin Ping packing – same score – 11-1.
After his big win over Manny Perez, Rusty Jackson had his hands full with Hennessee – he lost 11-7. James Davee also survived a tough one – beating Joey Yarbrough 11-9.
Wolford played great and swept past Chip Gaither 11-2. The same great play by Rivas took him past Chuck Raulston 11-6, while Hennessee sent Davee west 11-6.
As the Open 9 Ball continued, the $1,000 added Ladies Division kicked off on Friday night. Forty-two players took part in this double-elimination event – the format was races to seven with a break from the winners. As always there was a players meeting and an auction followed by the draw.
The ladies played until the last four on the winning side. Nicole Keeney defeated Amanda Huff 7-3 and Amy Theriault was defeated by Edie Dean. Edie & Nicole advanced to the hotseat match where Nicole blasted through the match and locked up her place in the final 7-1. Edie went west to wait for an opponent.
After losing her first game, Laura Kanov’s run to the final was eventually thwarted by Julie Skirpac 7-3. Laura finished in fourth place. Julie then took on Edie Dean, but lost 7-5. She finished third – Edie would have another shot at Nicole in the final.
Since this was a double-elimination event, Edie would have to win two sets to claim the title. She won the first two games, but Nicole came back roaring to win the next four. Edie managed to put two more games on the board, but it wasn’t enough – Nicole took the game and the title 7-4! Fantastic tournament for both players!!!
Finally, there was four more on the winner’s side in the Open event, Wolford made short work of Brian Bryant 11-5, while Rivas outlasted Hennessee at 11-7. Sergio and Shane went into the hot seat match – their opponents slog to the only losing side of the list.
The hot seat match was all about Shane Wolford. He pretty much kept Rivas nailed to his seat and went undefeated to the final – 11-4.
On the other side of the stirrups, Bryant and Mike Gann battled – Gann was knocked out 11-8. At the other table, Josh O’Neal and Hennessee made it to the wire – Josh was eliminated 11-10. After escaping his previous match, Hennessee tortured Brian Bryant 11-1 – Brian finished in fourth place.
Hennessee, who fought to claim the remaining spot in the final and wanted to avenge his previous loss to Rivas, took no prisoners this time. Hennessee defeated Sergio 11-6 to progress to the final. Sergio finished in third place.
Since this was a double elimination, Wolford would have to be defeated twice for Hennessee to win the tournament. Halfway through the game it was even at five apiece. Shane won the next three games to make it 8-5. Can he run out of the set?!!!
New!!! Hennessee gathers and ties it up at eight!!! Wins the next game and takes his first lead of the match!!! His lead didn’t last long, though, as Shane again tied the score in nine games each, but again Hennessee won the next game. He was on the mound – 10-9. Could he win this final game and force a second set?
Not so fast!!! He scratched in the break!!! A dejected Hennessee walked slowly back to the seat and saw Shane run off the rack and make it 10-10!!!
He made the one on the break, he had a wide open rack! Methodically letting the balls run, but leaving a little long on the seven, he took a deep breath and took it in to win the event!!! Great tournament for both players!!!
PoolActionTV.com would like to thank Ricky Gamble and local sponsor Action 24/7 for another fantastic event. Tournament Director Jason Hill – ably assisted by Steve McDonald – did an excellent job coordinating the various events.
We’d like to thank commentators Larry Schwartz, Mary Kenniston and Jeremy Jones – great job!
We would also like to thank our sponsors and fans. Our sponsors include JB Cases, Hanshew Jump Cues, StraightPoolEye, Lomax Custom Cues, Diamond, Durbin Custom Cues, Simonis, Aramith, the Action Palace of Dayton, OH and Fort Worth Billiards Superstore of Fort Worth, TX.
Our next stop is the highly anticipated Derby City Classic in New Albany, IN – dates are January 21-29. As always, we hope to see you there and in our Aramith Action Room!!!