Last month (June 15-16), Chris Bruner won seven on the loss side of the Action Pool Tour’s Brown’s Mechanical 9-Ball Open (Stop #6 on the tour) to chalk up his first 2019 win. In so doing, he climbed two rungs on the tour’s ranking ladder (from 5th to 3rd). At the Action Pool Tour’s Bar Box 10-Ball Open (Stop #7), which drew 32 entrants to Peninsula Billiards in Newport News, VA this past weekend (July 13-14), Bruner won his second straight APT event, coming back from a defeat in the hot seat to claim the event title in a final match against JT Ringgold. This time, and once again, in the absence of some of the tour’s top-ranked competitors at this event (Steve Fleming, RJ Carmona and Reymart Lim, among others), Bruner took three steps up the ranking ladder to become the APT’s top-ranked competitor.
Bruner came into this most recent event, having already surpassed his reported 2018 earnings at the tables. When it was over, and he’d claimed the event title, he’d turned 2019 into his best earnings year, to date. Just a little over halfway through the year, he’d surpassed his best earnings year, to date (2014) by a couple of hundred dollars. Though Ringgold has already earned over twice what Bruner has earned in 2018/2019 (so far), he is a little behind schedule in his quest to match his best earnings year to date, which was 2018. At this time last year, Ringgold had earned about 39% of the total he’d earn by the end of the year. With his 2018 earnings as a hypothetical target, he’s at 32% now, and having now appeared in three of the APT’s 2019 events, he’s moved himself up in the tour’s rankings from #17 to approximately 7th or 8th, depending on how the math played out for some of the players above him who competed in this event. He and Bruner have each chalked up a victory in 2019; this most recent victory for Bruner and a stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour for Ringgold. The APT’s Bar Box 10-Ball Open drew 32 entrants to Peninsula Billiards in Newport News, VA.
Bruner’s path to the hot seat match went through Bethany Sykes 8-2, Bill Duggan in a double hill match and a shutout over Thomas Spivey to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal against Dave Hunt. Ringgold got by Donnie Huet 8-4, Johnny Syphanthavong 8-2, and Nilbert Lim 8-6 to pick up Mike Davis in his winners’ side semifinal. Bruner and Ringgold got into the hot seat match by chalking up identical 8-6 scores over Hunt and Davis. Somewhat predictably, the battle for the hot seat was decided by a single, 15th game in the match. Ringgold won that deciding game and waited in the hot seat for Bruner to come back from the semifinals.
Mike Davis showed up on the loss side and faced Christopher Wilburn, who’d lost an opening round, double hill match to Dave Hunt and set out on a five-match winning streak that almost, but not quite, earned him a rematch against Hunt. He’d most recently defeated Thomas Spivey and Scott Roberts, both 7-3, to draw Davis. Hunt, in the meantime, picked up Bill Duggan, who’d gone on from his early-round loss to Bruner, to win four on the loss side, including a 7-4 win over Coen Bell and a 7-3 victory over Nilbert Lim.
Hunt got by Duggan 7-2, while Davis and Wilburn locked up in a double hill fight that eventually sent Davis to the quarterfinals with Hunt. Davis took command of those quarterfinals quickly, downing Hunt 7-1 for a shot against Bruner in the semifinals.
It would prove to be Bruner’s second straight double hill match. The first had sent him to the semifinals. The second was the semifinals and the double hill win over Davis sent him on to a rematch against Ringgold in the hot seat. Bruner completed his second straight win on the APT with a 10-8 victory in the finals.
A Second Chance event drew eight entrants. Johnny Syphanthavong and Josh Harget battled twice in the hot seat and finals to win the top $115 first-place prize. Syphanthavong won them both, 6-2, 6-3.
Tour directors Kim Wylie and Tiger Baker thanked the ownership and staff at Peninsula Billiards, as well as sponsors CSI, Viking Cues, Predator Cues, Diamond Billiard Products, Ozone Billiards, Simonis Cloth, Aramith Balls, Kamui, Chix Cabinets, and George Hammerbacher (Advanced Pool Instructor). The next stop on the Action Pool Tour (#8), scheduled for the weekend of August 17-18, will be hosted by Champion Billiards Sports Bar in Frederick, MD.