Mickey Verenski came from behind to win the 69-player, amateur 9-ball division, and Will Felder followed suit, in the 64-player, open 9-ball division, at the seventh stop on the 2019 Poison Lone Star Billiards Tour. In the finals, Verenski overcame Lazaro “Little Laz” Martinez, III, to capture his first, division title, while Felder dodged James Davis, Sr., securing his first, open division title.
On August 2nd-3rd, 2019, Tour title sponsor, Poison by Predator Cues, sponsors Cyclop Pool Balls, APA of North Harris County, Vapor Fiend, and Outsville Billiards, facilitated a successful event at Skinny Bob’s Billiards in Round Rock, Texas, drawing one hundred and six players, and paying out over $6,400 in prize money. The Tour would like to than John and Sue Cielo, and staff, for hosting another stellar event.
In the amateur 9-ball division, Mickey Verenski of Temple, Texas stormed the field, claiming wins over Emmy Esquivel, 5-1, Jude Rosenstock, 5-2, Mickey Woinicki, 5-3, and first time player, Jenna Bishoff, 5-3, while Dennis Hadley defeated Chuck Adams, 5-4, Matt Wong, 5-4, Jerry Nava, 5-2, and Michael Taylor, 5-0. Lazaro Martinez, III bested Rolando Gonzalez, 5-2, Lazaro Martinez, Jr., 5-1, Ricardo Espinosa, 5-4, and Elijah Hughes, 5-3, while newcomer, Ray Porter, denied Bobby Holder, 5-3, first-timer, Aaron Gomez, 5-2, J.D. Black, 5-3, and Andrew Rodriguez, 5-3. After suffering a 5-3 loss to Wong in the second round, local favorite, John Wright, booked eight wins to reach the money, including victories over Roy Muniz, 5-1, Samal Ghimire, 5-2, and Alex Avery, 5-3. In similar fashion, Steve Zuniga won four matches to reach the final sixteen, defeating Leonard Lee, 5-2, Wally Escobar, 5-4, Steve Espinosa, 5-1, and Woinicki, 5-3. Felder blitzed Nava, 5-0, while Mike Oosse stopped Carlos Cruz, 5-3. Austin Abernathy dusted off Daniel Perez, 5-2, and Espinosa eliminated Wong, 5-3. Rounding out the final eight on the west side, Carl Honey overwhelmed Pablo Espinosa, 5-1, and Black upset Rosenstock, 5-2. The east side final four witnessed Martinez, III defeat Porter, 5-4, while Hadley dusted off Verenski, 5-1, to face off for their first, Tour hot seat match-up. Little Laz was on fire, running through Hadley, 5-1, securing his first, winners’ side seat. Back on the west side, Wright was on a roll, defeating Zuniga, 5-0, and Hughes, 5-0, while Oosse ended Felder, 5-3, in turn, losing to Rodriguez, 5-3. Abernathy denied Espinosa, 5-3, but fell to Bishoff, 5-0. Black blocked Honey, 5-3, and Taylor, 5-1, earning his spot in the final eight. Another round concluded, with Wright claiming his final win against Rodriguez, 5-1, falling in turn to Verenski, 5-2. Bishoff ended Black, 5-4, and Porter, 5-2, but faltered against Verenski, 5-2. Verenski redeemed himself with Hadley, earning himself a finals rematch with Martinez, III. In the first set, tied at 3-3, Verenski kicked in the one-ball and ran out. In the eighth game, Verenski hooked himself in the middle of the rack, kicked in the five-ball, and ran out, securing the first set. In overtime, the junior player maintained his composure, as his opponent’s momentum grew stronger. Verenski shut-out Little Laz in the second set, 5-0, to win his first, Poison Lone Star Tour, amateur 9-ball division title.
In the open 9-ball division, newcomer Mike Oosse of Marble Falls, Texas stormed through winners’ side with wins over Austin Abernathy, Steve Zuniga, 6-5, Ralph Cardona, 6-2, and David Henson, 6-3, while James Davis, Sr., ousted Mickey Woinicki, 6-2, Alex Avery, 6-1, Henry Rocha, 6-3, and Andrew Rodriguez, 6-3. Elijah Hughes tagged Jimmy Krone, 6-4, J.D. Black, 6-4, Matt Wong, 6-5, and Lazaro Martinez, III, 6-5, while Eric Aicinena defeated Pete Baza, 6-3, Marshall Butler, 6-1, Dennis Hadley, 6-3, and first-timer, Samal Ghimire, 6-2. Following a second round hit from Daniel Perez, 6-1, Felder tore through the west side, sending home Honey, Lazaro Martinez, Jr., 6-3, and Wally Escobar, 6-4, to reach the final sixteen. Felder went on to extinguish Rocha, 6-5, and Martinez, III, 6-3, while Cardona closed out Verenski, 6-3, but crumbled against Ghimire, 6-3. Also reaching the final eight, Perez dealt final blows to Hadley and Henson, 6-5. San Antonio’s Bob Pyles lost his first match to Ghimire, 6-3, and caught a gear on the one –loss side. Pyles eliminated Jason Edgerton, 6-5, Zuniga, Vance Rodriguez, 6-2, Wong, 6-1, Jacob Case, 6-2, and Rodriguez, 6-4, for a total of seven wins to reach the final eight. While the west side narrowed, winners’ side final four action was underway. The indomitable Davis, Sr. defeated Oosse, and Aicinena stopped Hughes in his tracks, by the same score, 6-4. Having won multiple division titles between them, once again, Davis, Sr. and Aicinena found themselves in a hot seat play-off. Davis, Sr. handled Aicinena with ease, ending his winners’ side run, 6-1. Back on the east side, Felder took care of Oosse, 6-1, while Hughes denied Pyles his eighth win. Felder was firing on all cylinders, edging out hill-hill wins over Hughes and Aicinena, to meet Davis, Sr. in the finals.
Vying for his first open division title, Felder was up against a four-time, open division champion. In the first set, Davis, Sr., chipped away at Felder, but the long-time Tour player held his own. Ultimately, Felder bested Davis, Sr. both sets, by a score of 6-5, to capture his first, Poison Lone Star Tour, open division title.
The final event of the 2019 season will be October 12th-13th, at Big Tyme Billiards, located at 100 Cypresswood Dr., Suite G, Spring, Texas, 77388. This event will be played on twenty-three, open Diamond bar tables. For more information about the Poison Lone Star Tour, visit www.LoneStarBilliardsTour.com.
Photos by Mille Aicinena
Open Payouts – Total $3,585
1st Will Felder $650/$655
2nd James Davis, Sr. $455/$410
3rd Eric Aicinena$310/$220
4th Elijah Hughes $185/$120
5th-6th Mike Oosse, Bob Pyles $100/$50
7th-8th Daniel Perez, Samal Ghimire $50 ea
9th-12th Ralph Cardona, Lazaro Martinez, III, David Henson, Andrew Rodriguez $30 ea
13th-16th Dennis Hadley, Mickey Verenski, Henry Rocha, Jacob Case $20 ea
Amateur Payouts – Total $2,880
1st Mickey Verenski $560/$500
2nd Lazaro Martinez, III $340/$290
3rd Dennis Hadley $260/$140
4th Jenna Bishoff $180/$70
5th-6th John Wright, Ray Porter $80 ea
7th-8th Andrew Rodriguez, J.D. Black $50 ea
9th-12th Elijah Hughes, Mike Oosse, Michael Taylor, Austin Abernathy $40 ea
13th-16th Ricardo Espinosa, Steve Zuniga, Will Felder, Carl Honey $30 ea