Maurer and Briseno Start Off 2017 Season With Wins

The first stop on the 2017 G Cue Billiard Diamond Pool Tour introduced a new player to the tour’s winners circle, and welcomed a long time member back.

The new season introduced a new format to the tour stops, which are now divided into a Fargo 625 and below “amateur” event starting on Saturday, and an “open” event for anyone that starts on Sunday. The amateur event drew a field of 45 players to Bullshooters on May 27th, ranging from two players rated 401, all the way to a 621 rated player. With higher rated players giving up one game for every 25 points difference in ratings, the top players struggled in early matches against the lower rated players. Eight of thirteen first round matches were won by the lower rated player.

One player garnering attention on day one was junior newcomer Esteban Duarte. This teenager from the Tucson area turned in an undefeated Saturday with wins over Adam Kroll, Nick Kline, Mike Hamman and Hopell Ampongan. Duarte was joined on the winner’s side at the end of the day by Max Maurer, Jesse Johnson and Randy Pelton. Joining those four players in Sunday action were Hamman, Ampongan, Oscar Avila and Bob Hillen.

Sunday play saw Maurer beat Duarte 8-2, and Pelton beat Johnson 8-6. Maurer then went on to take the hot-seat with a 7-3 win over Pelton.

On the one loss side, Hillen eliminated Hamman and then went on to send Duarte back home in 5th place. The other half of the one loss side saw Ampongan defeat Avila 8-3, but then drop his next match to Johnson 8-7. Hillen then ended Johnson’s tourney in 4th place with a 4-3 scoreline. Hillen then joined Johnson in the seats, after Pelton handed him an 8-2 loss.

The finals were a rematch of the hot-seat match, but this one was pretty lopsided as Maurer ran away with a 7-0 win for first place.

Sunday’s “open” event drew 26 players, and once again the story was upper rated players trying to outrun the handicap. The first round of play saw early losses by Brian Begay, Bret Huth, George Teyechea, Bernie Pettipiece, Bobby Emmons and Pete Lhotka.

As the field narrowed, the winner’s side came down to one top player and three amateurs with Gus Briseno joining Jeremy Vicente, Fernando Prats and Nick Kline as the only undefeated players. Where other players had struggled with giving up games to the weaker players, Briseno had no problems at all, as he went on to take the hot seat after a 9-0 win over Vicente and a 9-1 win over Prats.

The one loss side came down to Prats and Pete Lhotka. Lhotka had found himself on the one loss side after one match, but put together an impressive winning streak that included wins over Joey Barrera, Chad Barber, Chris Adams, Martin Romero (revenge for his earlier loss), Vicente and Kline. Lhotka looked to be adding Prats to his list of victims when the late hour and back to back matches appeared to get the better of him. Lhotka faded and lost the match to Prats 5-6.

The rematch offered Prats another shot at Briseno, and while he bettered his earlier score against Briseno, it was still to no avail. Briseno came out on fire and took an 8-0 lead before dropping two games to Prats. Briseno then regathered himself and put the match away 9-2 for first place.

The G Cue Diamond Pool Tour will hold their second stop of the season at Skip & Jan’s in Gilbert, Az on June 17th – 18th.

The G Cue Diamond Pool Tour is proudly sponsored by…

G Cue Billiard Store

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Aramith Billiard Balls

Iwan Simonis Cloth

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