Play Pool. Have Fun. M.O.B. on!

Jack Murray

Montoya Hunts Down the Moby Dick

56 players came to Las Vegas for the 2024 Moby Dick $1,000 Entry 564 & Under 10-Ball Championship held at the Rum Runner and Putters Eastern. We had some amazing matches, some awesome shots and in the end there was one standing tall and taking home a whale-load of cash!

Atish Prasad of Sacramento, CA had a long run on the loser’s side to finish tied for 7th with a strong Savvy Nayak of Washington. Hats off to Raymond Mercado for his heart and determination he showed after losing his first match and grinding his way to a 5th place finish tied with Brian Ip of Canada.

Derek Reppenhagen of Las Vegas represented his hometown with pride. He started of great winning 9-6 over Rob Dayton of Canada and winning 9-2 over Laramie Keplin of North Dakota before falling in an exciting hill-hill battle with the eventual runner-up. Vegas is proud, Derek!

Logan Miller had a great run through the winners side winning 9-7 over a game Petar Michinov of Washington, 9-5 over Ben Young of Iowa, 9-4 over Savvy Nayak of Washington, 9-7 over Sam Montoya Jr before falling in an exciting hotseat match 7-9 to Paul Felty of Washington. Logan ran into a man on a mission in losing 1-7 to have a terrific third place finish.

Paul Felty was not going to be stopped on his way to the hotseat winning 9-4 over Todd Ganie of Canada, 9-6 over Derek “The Scorcher” Lorcher of Las Vegas, 9-8 over Derek Reppenhagen, 9-6 over Cass Hornberger of Canada, 9-8 over Brian Ip of Canada (Canada was well represented) and beating Logan to wait for his challenger in the finals.

The man of the weekend was Sam Montoya Jr of Colorado. Sam stormed out of the gates winning 9-3 over Paul Ewing of CA, 9-1 over Vern Felt of AK, 9-3 over Bill Hazuga of WI and 9-3 over Sabrina Peterson of AK before falling 7-9 to Logan Miller where he started his voyage on the loser’s side. There he won 7-3 over Raymond Mercado of CA and then survived a hill-hill thriller with Derek Repenhagen. Then he played a near flawless set winning 7-1 over Logan Miller.

Advancing to the finals to face Paul Felty in a single race to 13 where the winner was going home with over $30,000! They both had battled all weekend and it was around 11;00PM when they started and the fatigue showed a bit with both players. However, they both showed true grit and heart battling back and forth with some excellent defense and some spectacular shot making. Towards the end, Sam mustered the energy to close out the match out winning 13-8. Congratulations Sam!

M.O.B. Productions would like to give a huge thank you to Derek Lorcher and his staff at Putters as well as Geno Hill and John Miles and all of the employees at the Rum Runner for hosting this event that was the origin for M.O.B. Productions. Thank you!

Here are the payouts:

Tournament:

1st Place: $13,650 Sam Montoya

2nd Place: $8,500 Paul Felty

3rd Place: $6,000 Logan Miller

4th Place: $4,250 Derek Reppenhagen

5/6th Place: $3,000 Raymond Mercado & Brian Ip

7/8th Place: $2,000 Atish Prasad & Savvy Nayak

9/12th Place: $1,500 Sabrina Peterson, Hugo Villanueva, Cass Hornberger & William Tau

13/16th Place: $1,200 Ryan Terrell, John Moceika, Marc Gonzalez & Todd Ganie

$100 Sidepot (48 Players)

1st: $2,400 Sam Montoya

2nd: $1,200 Paul Felty

3rd: $800 Logan Miller

4th: $400 Derek Reppenhagen

$300 Sidepot (40 Players):

1st: $5,700 Sam Montoya

2nd: $3,300 Paul Felty

3rd: $1,800 Logan Miller

4th: $1,200 Derek Reppenhagen

$200 WTA Sidepot (43 Players)

1st: $8,600 Sam Montoya

Online Player Auction:

1st: $4,213

2nd: $2,648

3rd: $1,625

4th: $903

5/6th: $602

7/8th: $361

9/12th: $181

Click Here to see the Online Bracket

Have fun. Play pool. M.O.B. on!

Gerry Coronel Stands Tall in the Super 8 Series: 475 & Under

Champion: Gerry Coronel

30 Player met at the Rum Runner Lounge in Las Vegas for the Super 8 Series: 475 & Under 8-Ball Tournament and Gerry Coronel was the last player standing!

So many tight matches, great shots and comebacks. This tournament had it all!

Jeffrey Myers and Terri Johnson-McCaulley had great showings with a strong top 7 finish. Charles Brown and Adam “Glass Cutter” Scott went undefeated on Saturday with some spectacular play. Sunday was more difficult for both of them, but they finished well with a top 5 showing. Mike Baisdon won 5 consecutive matches on the loser’s side finishing in 4th place after falling to a surging Patrick Yacoub.

Patric Yacoub had a terrific tournament going undefeated until losing to Stefan Canales in the match for the hotseat. He played very well in the semifinal match until a costly tap of the cue ball while hill-hill with Gerry Coronel cost him a shot at the title. Stefan Canales was on a mission, storming through the winner’s bracket and taking the hotseat with a 5-1 win over Yacoub. In the finals though he ran into a red-hot Coronel and finished a more than respectable runner up.

Gerry Coronel won his first match then fell in the second match to Patrick Yacoub 1-5. He took that loss with confidence and came storming back through the loser’s side winning 4-1 over Robert Fresquez, 4-2 over Alex Varona, 4-2 over Crystal Whitehead, hill-hill over Terri Johnson-McCauley, 4-0 over Charles Brown, 4-2 over Mike Baisdon, hill-hill over Patrick Yacoub to reach the finals with 7 consecutive wins. in the finals, a single race to 7, Gerry kept playing strong and Stefan never really got many opportunities. Gerry capitalized with a 7-2 win. Well played, Gerry!

We would like to thank Geno Hill and the entire Rum Runner staff for being such a great host for this event. They do so much to support pool in Las Vegas. Thank you!

Here are the payouts: 1st Place: $800 Gerry Coronel, 2nd Place: $490 Stefan Canales, 3rd Place: $350 Patrick Yacoub, 4th Place: $240 Mike Baisdon, 5th Place: $160 Adam “Glass Cutter” Scott & Charles Brown, 7th Place: $100 Terri Johnson-McCauley & Jeffrey Myers

$20 Sidepot: 1st Place: $220 Gerry Coronel, 2nd Place: $100 Stefan Canales, 3rd Place: $60 Patrick Yacoub

$50 Sidepot: 1st Place: $550 Gerry Coronel, 2nd Place: $250 Stefan Canales, 3rd Place: $150 Patrick Yacoub

$30 Winner Take All Sidepot: 1st Place: $480 Gerry Coronel

Online Player Auction: 1st: $719, 2nd: $473, 3rd: $322, 4th: $190, 5th: $95 each

Here is the link to the bracket:

Savannah Surges to 2nd Consecutive Lipstick & Lashes Title

Thirty-five ladies came to Griff’s Bar & Billiards in Las Vegas for the 2023 Lipstick & Lashes $1,500 Added Ladies 9-Ball Tournament. As a handicapped tournament, based on player’s FargoRatings (one game for every 40-point difference), there were so many tight and competitive matches. Players from Alaska, California, Utah, New Mexico, Texas and many from Las Vegas… and ALL came to play!

Joy Hutcheson and Bao Nguyen, both of Las Vegas, played very well finishing tied for seventh place. Grace Batuigas of Las Vegas and Crystal Whitehead, a new Las Vegas resident formerly of Utah also played very strong with a tie for fifth place. Jacinta Sua of Alaska had a magnificent finish after fighting back from losing her second match to finish in fourth place.

We want to give a huge shoutout to Heather Day playing in her first big tournament going undefeated Saturday. Heather won four consecutive matches before falling in the hotseat match to Mindy Vargas. Heather finished in third place after a tough match with a determined Savannah Easton.

Mindy Vargas played superb Saturday winning 8-1 over Bonnie Rollins (8-4 race), 6-2 over Mary Hollenbaugh (6-4 race), 5-0 over Bao Nguyen (5-4 race), 5-1 over Grace Batuigas (5-4 race). She carried this quality of play into Sunday winning the hotseat against Heather Day 8-0 (8-4 race). She only fell in the finals to the Road Runner herself, Savannah Easton.

The future of pool in America is in good hand with the high quality of strong junior players and Las Vegas’s own Savannah Easton stands as tall (figuratively) as any! Savannah came out strong with wins of 8-1 over Rebeccas Hendrix and tough hill-hill match with Julie Madlener. She fell 5-4 to Grace (7-4 race) to move to the loser’s side of the bracket. Once there she took off running like there was a coyote chasing her winning 8-1 vs Loures Deterala (8-4 race), 7-2 vs Bao Nguyen (7-4 race), 6-2 vs Crystal Whitehead (6-4 race), 7-2 vas Jacinta Sua (7-2 race), 8-0 vs Heather Day to advance to the finals against Mindy. There, needing to win two sets as it was true double elimination, she set the tone by getting up early in both sets (5-4 race). Savannah took the first set 5-2 as it looked as though, early on, that Mindy wasn’t quite settled in. Mindy ended the first set winning a couple of games and seemed to have caught her stride. The Road Runner wasn’t going to give Mindy any room to breathe. Again, Savannah wins the first few games and won the second set 5-1 to claim her second consecutive Lipstick & Lashes Title!

We need to thank the M.O.B. Productions sponsors for partnering with us to help grow the game by adding money to the prize fund.

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Click here for the link to the bracket

Here are the top 8 finishers along with the payouts:

#BeepBeep

Figueroa Fights Off Lulek to Take Down the 2023 Gunslinger

Champion, Rogin Figueroa

32 high caliber players converged on Griff’s Bar & Billiards in Las Vegas for the 2023 Gunslinger $1,000 Entry 699 & Under 10-Ball Championship. Some came to play, some came to compete, and some came to win. Only one did all of that.

Deo Alpajora and Gerardo Jamito, both of California, had great tournaments finishing well in 7th place. Tim Tonjum of Minnesota and Daniel Herring of Texas 9who lost his first match) both impressed finishing in 5th place. Caleb Schumacher of North Dakota had a great run through the winner’s side, going undefeated Saturday only losing to the eventual runner-up and finishing in 4th place. Nitin Sharma of Onterio, Canada, made it all the way to the hotseat match and finished very strong in 3rd place.

Chris Lulek of Arizona is well known in the area as a strong player that many call “Lulu” has earned a new nickname in this tournament: “The Grinder”. Lulek started off with two hill hill matches against Kurt Kobayashi of Hawaii and Lance Schofield of Texas, followed by a 9-7 win over a game Kelson Juan of Hawaii. Chris lost a tough match to the eventual winner 6-9 to move to the loser’s side. There he was on a mission, beating Tim Tonjum 7-3, Caleb Schumacher 7-5 and Nitin Sharma 7-4 to advance to a rematch in the one race finals to 13 against Rogin Figueroa of California.

Figueroa played amazing pool in advancing to the finals beating Jerry Lazzareschi of California 9-2, Charles Jacques also of California 9-4, Jerry Arvelaez 9-4, “The Grinder” 9-6 and Nitin Sharma 9-4 to advance to the finals. Facing a hard charging Lulek, Figueroa got off to a hot start getting up 9-3 in a race to 13. Then he missed a ball giving Lulek a chance and he ran with it winning that game and the next 3 games to close the lead to 9-7 Figueroa. Figueroa righted the ship and took the next game before losing again to make the score 10-8. Figueroa played well, as did Lulek but Figueroa prevailed 13-8 to take home the title.

It was a weekend of amazing pool at Griff’s Bar & Billiards. We also want to tip our cap to Ross Fregoso for hanging in there to win the $500 Winner Take All Bank Ring Game with a thrilling 3-railer to clinch it. Well done by all.

Thank you to Griff’s and their amazing staff for hosting our Gunslinger which has become an annual tradition.

Here are the payouts, which we always post in our private group on Facebook:

Tournament:

1st Place: $11,000 Rogin Figueroa

2nd Place: $6,500 Chris “The Grinder” Lulek

3rd Place: $4,300 Nitin Sharma

4th Place: $2,540 Caleb Schumacher

5/6th Place: $1,850 Tim Tonjum & Daniel Herring

7/8th Place: $1,500 Deo Alpajora & Gerardo Jamito

$100 Sidepot:

1st Place: $1,150 Rogin

2nd Place: $700 Chris

3rd Place: $450

$300 Sidepot:

1st Place: $3,150 Rogin

2nd Place: $1,900 Chris

3rd Place: $1,250

$200 WTA Sidepot:

1st Place: $3,200

Online Player Auction:

1st: $3,625

2nd: $2,285

3rd: $1,622

4th: $954

5/6th: $477

Here is the link to the online bracket

Canales is 480 & Under Champ!

We had 37 players come to the Rum Runner Lounge in Las Vegas this past weekend for the 2023 M.O.B. 480 & Under Handicapped 9-Ball Championship and great matches ensued. We had exciting hill hill thrillers, 5-0 blowouts and some firsts.

Julian Johnson and John Schwartze had great tournaments finishing in 7th place. Congratulations to Adam “Scott Scott” Scott for going undefeated into day two. Adam finished tied for 5th, along with William Crawford, in his best personal finish and first time cashing in a calcutta. Well played “Scott Scott”! Ruairi Byrne continued his strong play following up his Puddle Jumper win with a good 4th place finish. Frank Curcio had played strong throughout the tournament finishing 3rd and only losing to the champion and runner up.

Jessie Coloma won matches 5-2 vs Tony Wong, 5-3 vs Dustin Day, then losing to Frank Curcio who he got his revenge on in the loser’s bracket. Jessie continued his strong play beating Esteban Barrera 5-1John Schwartze 5-2, Adam Scott 5-1, Ruairi Byrne 5-2, Frank Curcio 5-4 to get to the finals against Stefan Canales.

Stefan Canales was on a mission! He beat Tim Harris 5-1, Diane Meisner 5-1, Blaine Simpson 5-2, Adam Scott 5-1and Frank Curcio 5-3 to advance to the hotseat match. In the true double elimination finals Jessie came on FIRE winning the first set vs Stefan 5-0. the final set was a true battle. They exchanged games back and forth until it went hill, hill with Stefan coming out on top to take home the crown!

Thank you to Geno Hill and the whole Rum Runner Lounge staff for hosting us. One of the best pool bars around!

Here are the payouts:

Tournament:

1st Place: $1,040 Stefan Canales

2nd Place: $650 Jessie Coloma

3rd Place: $450 Frank Curcio

4th Place: $300 Ruairi Byrne

5/6th Place: $180 Adam Scott & William Crawford

7/8th Place: $120 John Schwartze & Julian Johnson

$20 Sidepot:

1st Place: $260 Stefan Canales

2nd Place: $190

3rd Place: $130

4th Place: $60

$40 Sidepot:

1st Place: $440

2nd Place: $300

3rd Place: $200

4th Place: $100

$30 WTA Sidepot:

1st Place: Stefan Canales

Online Player Auction:

1st Place: $831

2nd Place: $547

3rd Place: $372

4th Place: $219

5/6th Place: $110

Ruairi Roars at the 2023 Puddle Jumper!

39 players came to the 2023 Puddle Jumper $300 Entry 456 & Under 9-Ball Championship and battles were had! We had many exciting hill-hill thrillers. With just under $20,000 in the prize fund there was a lot on the line with every shot. (Follow M.O.B. Productions on Facebook)

We had players travel from 13 different states from Hawaii and Alaska to Florida, South Carolina and Delaware. And I would say everyone had a great time! Stace Dieckman (NM), Alan Barry (Las Vegas), Rob Salinas (TX and Casey Guell (Las Vegas) all had strong showings finishing tied for 9th place. Joshua Shumate (TX) and Justin List (AZ, Tucson – BearDown!) both played very well finishing strong in 7th place. Lawrence Thompson (HI) and Kurt Vester (DE) played very strong, and both benefitted from getting in the sidepots finishing in 5th place.

Tony Staub (TX) ground his way to a 4th place finish after losing his second match. On the Loser’s Side he beat Bryan Champagne (ND) 5-4, Mark Francom (OR) 5-0, his road buddy Rob Salinas 5-3, Justin List 5-2 and Karl Vester 5-3 before falling to Michael Haynes (SC) 1-5.

Michael Haynes made it to Day Two on the Winner’s Side. Won his first match Sunday beating Rob Salinas 7-2 before heading to the Loser’s Side after falling 4-7 to Ruairi Byrne (Las Vegas). Michael went on to best Lawrence Thompson 5-3, and then fell 1-5 to Ruairi again after beating Tony to finish strong in 3rd place.

Rex Major (AK) played an outstanding tournament. He went undefeated, grinding through the winner’s bracket winning matches with scores of 7-3, 7-6, 7-6, 7-4, and winning the hotseat match over Ruairi Byrne 7-6, He only fell to the eventual champ 5-9. Rex definitely made Alaska proud!

The work Ruairi Byrne, of Las Vegas, has put into his game has shown through with his strong finish in the recent M.O.B. 550 & Under and lept into the light this weekend. His ball pocketing was on point from match one and did not disappoint besting the previously undefeated Rex Major 9-5 in the finals. he was calm (at least appeared to be) and composed all tournament long. Congratualtions, Ruairi, on a great win and being the 2023 Puddle Jumper Champion! See all of the matches here on the online bracket.

Here are the payouts:

1st Place: $3,425 Ruairi Byrne

2nd Place: $2,000 Rex Major

3rd Place: $1,300 Michael Haynes

4th Place: $900 Tony Staub

5/6th Place: $550 Kurt Vester & Lawrence Thompson

7/8th Place: $400 Justin List & Joshua Shumate

9/12th Place: $300 Alan Barry, Rob Salinas, Casey Guell & Stace Dieckman

$50 Sidepot

1st Place: $600 Rex Major

2nd Place: $450 Michael Haynes

3rd Place: $300 Tony Staub

4th Place: $150 Kurt Vester/Lawrence Thompson

$150 Sidepot

1st Place: $1,700 Rex Major

2nd Place: $1,250 Tony Staub

3rd Place: $850 Kurt/Lawrence

4th Place: $400 Kurt/Lawrence

$100 WTA Sidepot

1st Place: $2,300 Rex Major

Online Auction

1st Place: $1,584.60

2nd Place: $1,056.40

3rd Place: $792.30

4th Place: $528.20

5/6th Place: $396.15

7/8th Place: $264.10

Kondo is the Kingpin of the M.O.B. Hit List Finale!

Left right: Reed Merschat (Co-Founder of Salotto), Josh Kondo (Champion ), Cher Bulanadi (Runner) & Colby Frontiero (Co-Founder of Salotto)

The Inaugural M.O.B. Hit List Shootout Went Off with a Bang

First of all, THANK YOU to all 450+ players who joined the first session of the M.O.B. Hit List by Salotto and made it the amazing success that it was.  When we first spoke with Salotto about working together to help grow pool, the first thing we all agreed on was our mission was to help get more people playing competitive pool.  Thanks to you all, that statement has held true!

We had the winners announced last week and this weekend culminated in the M.O.B. Hit List $3,000 Added 9-Ball Shootout.  We had 19 players take part and we appreciate everyone who came to play.  We had a wide diversity of players skill levels from a 307 to 669.

We had originally planned this as a tiered tournament but changed it to a traditional double elimination with the size of the field and there were some great matches played the finals was no exception!  Josh Kondo (669) made it to the Hot Seat match to face Bill Paolella (446).  Josh continued his great play to win the Hot Seat 7-1 in a 7-3 race. Simon Lee (475) made it through the loser’s side to finish 4th after beating a hard charging Steve Ernst (528) to face Cher Bulanadi (463).  Cher hit his high gear beating Simon 6-4 to advance to play Bill “Pepperoni” Paolella in the semifinal match.  After falling in the first three games, Bill caught his stride and beat Cher to the hill.  Cher won the next game to force a hill-hill thriller.  After a few back and forth in the match game, Cher came out on top to advance to the finals to face the only player who had beaten him in Josh Kondo.

In true double elimination form, Cher had to beat Josh twice to win as Josh was still undefeated.  Cher came out guns blazing and took the first set 3-3 in a 7-3 race.  Josh roared back in the final set in domination fashion to win 7-1 and take home the championship.  

A lot has been said about how difficult it is for higher players to give up this weight (7-3 max race with alternate break).  In my (Jack Murray) opinion, in a truly fairly handicapped tournament it should be just as difficult for the top players as it is for the lower players.  The winners should be those that play to the best of THEIR ability.  Josh Kondo proved this today as he played very well, stepped up to take on the challenge, and took home over $2,000 for the championship as a reward.  Well done Josh!

Payouts: Everyone in the Inaugural Hit List Shootout scored something!

  1. $1,650 Josh Kondo
  2. $1,070 Cher Bulanadi
  3. $600 Bill “Pepperoni” Paolella
  4. $350 Simon Lee
  5. $250 Savannah Easton
  6. $250 Steve “the Geeky Stripper” Ernst
  7. $175 Dave Steele
  8. $175 Robert Reyes (400-499 Session One List Champion)
  9. $150 Marlene Macdonald
  10. $150 Justin Koetter
  11. $150 Reed Merschat
  12. $150 Bryan Champagne
  13. $50 Brandon Brown
  14. $50 Brittney Sisco
  15. $50 Chris Seawood
  16. $50 Su-Bei Yin (399 & Under Session One List Champion)
  17. $50 Reno Provine
  18. $50 Colby Frontiero
  19. $50 Jack Murray

$30 Sidepot

  1. $100 Josh Kondo
  2. $80 Cher Bulanadi

$60 Sidepot

  1. $200 Josh Kondo
  2. $100 Cher Bulanadi

$40 WTA

  1. $200 Josh Kondo

Simon Says ’Yes!’ to the 480 & Under Challenge

Simon says ‘Yes!’ To the 480 & Under Challenge!

44 players gathered to play in the 2022 M.O.B. Productions 480 & Under Handicapped 9-Ball Tournament held at Putters Eastern in Las Vegas. Largest field yet, and Simon Lee stood tall at the end. 

In its third year, and growing year over year, the M.O.B. 480 & Under Handicapped 9-Ball Tournament is designed to bring out more players from league play and to show them the thrill of real tournament competition. With real money on the line, $2,620 to an ‘all-in’ winner not counting the player auction, it gave everyone a real test. 

While Simon Lee fought through to win undefeated, it wasn’t all smooth sailing. He had two hill hill matches with Frank Curcio, including a great final match, after a thrilling hill hill win over Don Dellosa. Don made an amazingly thin cut on the case 9-ball and everyone cheered his win, including Simon, until they realized the cue hadn’t stopped rolling until it died, falling in the side pocket. A brutal loss and a narrow victory for Simon, but he held tough and got the job done. 

Frank Curcio played an amazing tournament with his only two losses being hill hill to the eventual champion. After starting with a fantastic comeback hill hill over Esteban Barrera, Frank had easier wins over John Poulson (4-2), Justin Rogers (4-1) and Jessie Colima (4-2) before meeting Simon for the first time. On the loser’s Frank battled back vs Stace Dieckman and Eman Cabo before facing a strong Crystal Tom in the semifinal match. While Crystal played a superb tournament, only losing to Simon in the match for the hotseat, Frank played strong and advanced to the finals. In the finals both players started tentatively but Simon found his gear pulling even at hill hill with Frank. Staying focused he was able to take the case game and take the title!

Thank you to all who came out to play and support the event. Thank you to Putters Eastern: Derek Lorcher, Robin, Lilly & Sue for the great service and what you do for pool in Las Vegas. 

Here are the payouts:

Tournament 

1: $1,040 Simon Lee

2: $650 Frank Curcio 

3: $450 Crystal Tom

4: $300 Eman Cabo

5/6: $200 Stace Dieckman/Jeremy Deterding 

7/8: $140 Tim Harris/William Pendergrass 

9/12: $100 Joel McCallister/Esteban Barrera/Marshal DeMoss/Jessie Coloma

$20 Sidepot 

1: $300 Simon Lee

2: $200 Frank Curcio 

3: $100 Eman Cabo

$40 Sidepot 

1: $560 Frank Curcio

2: $340 Eman Cabo

3: $220 Stace Dieckman/Jeremy Deterding

$30 WTA Sidepot 

1: $720 Simon Lee

Player Auction 

1: $780

2: $520

3: $390

4: $260

5/6: $195

7/8: $130

Here is the link to the Bracket:  https://digitalpool.com/tournaments/2022-mob-productions-480-and-under-handicapped-9-ball-tournament-at-putters-eastern-las-vegas-nv/bracket

Sandbagger vs Misunderstanding of Ratings?

“He’s a Sandbagger!”  The Common Misunderstanding of Player Ratings:

A player wins a 567 & Under non-handicapped tournament going undefeated.  He plays to the best of his ability and it showed.  He is celebrating with his friends and family and it already is starting…  “he is easily a 650…” or “man, was he underrated…” or “he knew how to work the system.”

People get caught up in the assumption that the winner or top finishers of tournaments are “sandbaggers” or that they are underrated.  This conversation and misunderstanding comes from many places, but mostly in the ingrained belief that a player’s rating is the highest skill level at which they should perform. Obviously this is not true (see FargoRate Video on The Myth of Consistency in Pool) as we all know that we can play great one day and horrible the next.  It is one of the reasons I classify “pool” as one of the four-letter words.  I am currently rated a 582.  But I know I have played a set or two in at a high 600 level, maybe even the low 700’s.  But I also know that I have also played too many sets in the low 400’s level, or worse…

Why do so many people jump to the underrated assumption?  There are a few that have this thought as it is a guilty conscience, but the actual number of pool players manipulating their rating is miniscule compared to the assumed number.  The real issue, I believe, is ego.  That is right.  We need to feel that we were good enough to win “if only they were rated right”.  

Players’ egos have led to many things, some good and some bad.  Ego is what gets us to step up and challenge ourselves.  It gives us the confidence to get down and shoot that pressure cut shot to get shape on our out ball.  But, ego also sometimes gets us thinking there has to be a better reason for losing or, someone else winning than, they just played better.

During the 2022 Moby Dick $1,000 Entry 567 & Under 10-Ball Shootout, Sady Quezada of Utah just played better.  He is likely a solid 560ish player and was a favorite coming into the Moby Dick 567 & Under Shootout.  He played lights out and went undefeated.  I tip my hat to Sady, as well as the rest of the players who made the cash.  They weren’t underrated.  They’re not sandbaggers.  We don’t need to raise the robustness requirement.  They just played better for their ability than the rest of the field.

The next high entry tournament we are running is the Puddle Jumper $300 Entry 458 & Under 9-Ball Shootout April 30-May 1st at Putters Eastern (Click here for event information). We already have many entries flying in from all over the country. The winner will be the player who plays to the best of her or his ability, regardless what the egos say…

Play pool. Have fun. M.O.B. on!

3 Letters to Explain the 2022 Moby Dick? – WOW!

The 2022 Moby Dick $1,000 Entry 567 & Under 10-Ball Shootout started off Saturday split between the two best action pool bars in Las Vegas, Rum Runner and Putters Eastern, with 31 players (19 from 11 different states) all set with their eyes on the prize… If the winner was in all side pots and owned themselves in the player auction, they would take home over $25,000… For a 567 & Under 10-Ball tournament. WOW!

Here is the link to the tournament bracket courtesy of DigitalPool.com

There were close matches and there were blowouts. Shots fired and shots made. Safeties and strategies. This tournament had it all.

With all of the out of staters, Las Vegas was well represented. As of late Saturday there was a chance to get 3 Las Vegas players coming back in the money with Santos Alvarenga winning three straight matches to earn his spot in the final 4 on the winners side. With Jason Osborn and Constantin Alexander facing off to advance to Sunday, Vegas was guaranteed a second player in the cash. Greg Ramser, who won two tough matches on the winners side, lost a close 9-7 match to the eventual winner, Sady Quezada of Utah. Greg played very well to get up 5-2 on Mark Wright of California, then Mark found his rhythm and Greg made a few mistakes to see Mark surviving to see the money rounds on Sunday. That said, 2 out of the final 6 when there were only 12 Las Vegas players entered was a very respectable showing.

The story of the tournament was good play and drama, as it should be. Sabrina Peterson of Alaska, who was part of our inaugural Moby Dick in 2021, made a furious comeback late Saturday night to force her match with Ryan Buist (like Buick but “st”) to final hill-hill game. Ryan played well but it was Sabrina who was at the table last looking to run out in good form. Then, the cue ball came up short on the case 10-ball with the 10 3 inches below the spot and the cue 8 inches from it and straight into the rail. Sabrina studied the shot and then stepped up and split the pocket… only to have the cue ball draw off the side rail and follow the 10 into the same corner pocket. Sabrna showed her heart in battling and will be swinging again to make the cash in 2023! Ryan parlayed Sabrina’s misfortune into a strong run, besting Mark Wright in the 7th place match 7-5 and riding the wave of momentum beating a strong Alvarenga 7-2 to make the quarterfinal match.

Meanwhile, Minh Le of Washington state had an excellent tournament playing strong to make the final four of the winner’s side coming back Saturday. There he met Sady Quezada (remember that name) where he played but fell short losing 7-9. He then met Constantin Alexander, who came off of a strong 7-5 win over Cory Wheeler of North Dakota. Constantin was in good form matching Minh shot for shot and looked to be riding his defensive game to victory. As the match pulled even at 6-6, going to 7, the table broke funny and there were clusters abound. With his defense, Constantin got ball in hand from Minh and eyed a tricky 2-10 combnation. The way the table laid, this was the best shot to shoot. Constantin carefully lined it up and shot… to just barely undercut the 10. Unfortunately for Constantin, the 10 laid just off the top rail – not far from the corner pocket. Minh had a bank combo lined up. He craftily lined it up to play the 2-ball long, making the 10 a bigger ball and the 10 fell to a Russian groan and a Vietnamese shout of victory. Minh carried that momentum forward besting Ryan Buist 7-3 before facing Miguel Hernandez of Dallas, TX.

Miguel had a solid start, then survived a tough hill-hill match with Cory Wheeler to make Day 2. After beating a strong Santos Alvarenga, he faced Sady Quezada. Sady was in strong form and won the hotseat 9-5. That is where Miguel met Minh. They flipped the coin for the race to 7 to see who got to face Quezada in the finals and… in a flash, Minh was up 5-2. Henandez dug deep and fought back to win 5 games in a row to win 7-5 and advance to the final, single race to 13 against Sady Quezada.

Sady, with all of Utah pulling for him, battled and fought his way through the tournament to go undefeated to the finals. In the finals, with a difference between first and second over $13,000, it looked like it was not to be as Miguel lept out to a commanding 10-4 lead, going to 13. Then, as tough players do, he found a way to fight back and tie the match at 10-10. MIguel wins to take the lead again at 11-10 then Sady tied it back up at 11. Miguel took the hill and Sady matched him to make it hill-hill and they played one game for the championship. After battling back and fourth, Sady got his chance with a fairly open table. He skillfully started running out. Then… drama. Sady pockets the 6-ball in the top right pocket planning to pocket the 7-ball in the bottom left pocket to come around the table to play the 8 in the same pocket as the 8 was just off the rail just below the side pocket. The 9/10 were about 4 inches apart below the opposite side pocket.

Sady pocketed the 7 and looked to have hit it perfect, but the cue caught the corner of the side pocket on its path to the 8-ball leaving him a slight long angled crossed-side bank shot on the 8, but with the 9/10 in a tough position. After taking a brief moment collecting himself, Quezada measured the shot and with the confidence of a seasoned pro, fired the cross-side bank on the 8, drawing the cue back splitting the 9/10 leaving him perfect shape on th 9 in the side to get on the 10 in the corner. He pocketed the 9 and, with a pause for composure, rolled in the 10-ball to win.

This was one of the best matches and comebacks we have witnessed at M.O.B. and know there will be many, many more to come! That said, toast to Sady Quezada of Utah for taking down the 2022 Moby Dick $1,000 Entry 567 & Under 10-Ball Shootout.

In August we will be drawing for the skill level cap for the 2023 Moby Dick and, with any luck, we will see another epic comeback!

See what M.O.B. Productions has coming up next!