The Texas-based, Poison Lone Star Billiards Tour, is a developmental Tour for players who aspire to improve their game, hone their skills, and put what they’ve learned, to the test. The Tour provides low entry fee 9-ball tournaments, with open and amateur divisions, open to all players, of any age, and any skill level. This Tour is fun, recreational, challenging, and membership is always free.
The mission of the Poison Lone Star Billiards Tour is to advance the level of skill and competition for its players, encourage outside interest and participation in its events through Tour venues, players, sponsors, and spectators, and cooperate with other like-minded, billiard organizations engaged in the promotion of the sport of billiards. It is the duty of the Tour, to protect the mutual interests of its players, to cause for the creation and development of future events, and improve conditions of the game and its atmosphere whenever, and wherever possible.
In 2008, the Lone Star Billiards Tour began as a series of random, independent billiard events, directed by WPBA Touring Professional, the “Lone Star” of Texas, Kim Newsome. In June 2009, prompted by friend and published author, Carl Miller, Kim founded her namesake Tour, the “Lone Star Billiards Tour”. In its inaugural year, the Tour produced ten events, paying out over $91,000, and was well on its way to becoming one of the most successful and well-known billiard tours in the United States.
In 2009, Poison by Predator Cues, a brand of The Predator Group, became the “official cue” sponsor of the Lone Star Billiards Tour. In 2016, Poison by Predator Cues became the title sponsor, and the Tour held its first event on February 26th-27th, 2016, as the new “Poison Lone Star Billiards Tour” (PLSBT). The Tour sports a flashy red, black, and grey logo which incorporates “Lone Star” and “Poison” elements that not only symbolize excellence in billiard events, but billiard products as well.
“Poison by Predator is proud to continue its support of Kim Newsome, Poison Pro, and the Poison Lone Star Billiards Tour. We look forward to an exciting future together as the title sponsor of the tour”
– Jani Haney, Predator Group Sponsorship Manager
From 2009-11, in addition to 9-ball events, the Tour hosted 8-ball and 10-ball, with a ladies 9-ball, and sometimes, a one pocket division. In 2010, PLSBT produced nineteen, multi-division tournaments, that paid a whopping $143,830. Being the only competitive billiards tour in Texas, its popularity was off the charts. Changes were implemented to accommodate large numbers and curb late night match play; streamlining of divisions, shorter races, and earlier start times. In 2013, the Tour became a strictly “9-ball” Tour, but prides itself on its flexibility and evolution.
The Tour has drawn some of the best players in the country, including Shane Van Boening, Jeremy Jones, Rafael Martinez, Roberto Gomez, Justin Hall, Josh Roberts, Rodney Morris, and Charlie Bryant. In 2012, in an effort to encourage more amateur participation, the decision was made to split the one, open division format, into “open” and “amateur” 9-ball divisions. The move was an instant success.
In 2018, the Tour celebrated ten years with an “Anniversary Event”, drawing 114 players and paying out $12,330. The Tour reached another milestone in 2018, with the incorporation of “side-by-side”, Gulf Coast Women’s Regional Billiards Tour events. Combining venues and dates for both Tours resulted in a necessity for larger venues with a minimum of twenty tables. Although this model left many Texas rooms out of the “venue running”, it proved to be a great move for the Tours, the players, and the venues.
“Playing on this tour has definitely helped my game in many aspects. The competition level is very high and has increased my confidence and improved my game overall. Having Poison for a new title sponsor is great. They’ve supported our tour for years, and Kim does such a great job, together, they have brought some great tournaments to Texas. I’m looking forward to what the future holds for the new Poison Lone Star Billiards Tour”
– Andy Jethwa, Poison Lone Star Tour Champion
“Kim Newsome and the Lone Star Tour have provided a steady stream of events in the Houston area that are challenging and well run. As point leader for 2009, I will be the first to tell you, the field is made up of some of the toughest competitors in Texas and is hosted by some of the best pool rooms around. As long as I am not out on the Pro Tour, you will definitely find me at the Lone Star Tournaments”
– Charlie “Hillbilly” Bryant, 2009 Poison Lone Star Tour Champion
“This is a great tour that draws a diverse field of players. Players like me enjoy the Lone Star Tour because with new contenders at every event, it’s a test of skill every time!”
– Sylver Ochoa, 2008 and 2010 Derby City One Pocket Runner-Up
“It’s been a pleasure hosting the Lone Star and Gulf Coast Tours every year. Being in such close proximity to the historic Texas Open 9-Ball Championships has given those pool players the opportunity to test their latest skills on the very equipment they’ll be competing on again, come Labor Day weekend. Coupled with Kim’s professionalism in managing the tournaments, this has proven to become a treasured partnership where we look forward to these events at Skinny Bob’s Billiards every single year” – John and Sue Cielo, Room Owners, Skinny Bob’s Billiards, Round Rock, Texas
“On this tour, we believe in a standard of excellence, and that’s why Poison has been our official cue since 2009. When this title sponsorship opportunity presented itself, we knew instantly, this was a positive change for the Tour and its players. The Predator Group carries with it the integrity we want to represent and preserve in our sport. Poison by Predator is an industry leader in cue technology and innovation, and our goal is to expose our players to the best possible ways to improve their game, and their tournament-going experience. Texas continues to be one of the hottest places for pool in the U.S., and our objective has always been to offer low entry fee events, open to all players, of all skill levels. We’ve remained consistent over time and that’s something on which our players have come to depend. We’d like to thank all the players who have attended our events throughout the years, our venues, sponsors, and fans, for helping us put this Tour on the map!”
– Kim Newsome, WPBA Exempt Professional, Tour Founder and Director