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2018 WPA World Championship Article

The Top 3 Winners

Discipline Winners and Rising Star Winner

The WPA Medals and APD Awards

From February 8th through the 10th, Artistic Pool players from around the globe

converged on Bogies Billiards East in Houston, Texas for the 17th WPA World Artistic

Pool Championship. The field included past world champions William “The Gentleman”

DeYonker and Gabi “Mr. Perfect” Visoiu. Florian “Venom” Kohler of social media fame

was also in the field looking for his 1st world title that he has been ever so close to. Two

other players, who got their start with online videos, made their Artistic Pool competitive

debuts – Troy “The Sniper” Garten and Theo “Blood Shark” Mihellis. Theo is one of the

youngest people to ever compete in a WPA World ranking Artistic Pool event at the age

of 14 years old. The field also included two players from the Houston area in Jamie

“The Bayou Bullet” Moody, and Kaitlyn “Wonder Woman” Bonjiorno.

Day one saw players going through the first four disciplines of Artistic Pool in

Trick/Fancy, Special Arts, Draw, and Follow. Jamie Moody walked away with the first

two discipline titles with scores of 38 and 39 out of 40 respectively. Gabi Visoiu won the

world “draw” title with 39/40 points, while Marty “The Farmer” Carey earned his first

world discipline title in “follow” with a score of 38/40. The top players seemed to have

no problem with the 4-. inch pockets on 9ft Brunswick Gold Crowns that the players

were navigating. At the end of day one Florian Kohler jumped out to a good lead at 152

points. The next five players were all close together...separated by less than 10 points

with Gabi Visoiu at 129, Jamie Moody and Jason “The Michigan Kid” Lynch tied with

126, Abram “Too Tall” Diaz with 122 and William DeYonker at 120 to round out the top

six positions.

The evening of day one saw the majority of players compete in an open speed pool

tournament to benefit the local branch of the military charity called The Travis Manion

Foundation. Sixteen players from both the room and the Artistic Pool tournament raced

around the tables in an attempt to pocket ten balls first in head to head matches.

Players played a modified 8-ball game with a 10-ball rack. Players pocketed the other 9

balls first while leaving the 8 ball for last. The format was a race to two – single

elimination. The finals featured a showdown with Artistic Pool players Gabi Visoiu vs.

Jason Lynch, with Gabi taking down the title.

Day two saw players finish the remaining four disciplines in Bank/Kick, Stroke, Jump,

and Masse to close out the preliminary rounds. Jason Lynch won the Bank/Kick

Discipline title with a score of 39/40, while Gabi Visoiu captured his second world

discipline title with a 37 in “stroke”. Florian Kohler capped off the prelims by

successfully defending his world “jump” and “masse” titles with scores of 37/40 and

31/40 respectively. The close of day two saw the seeding of the twelve players who

would compete in the playoff rounds with the top four players receiving a first-round bye.

The players receiving a bye were Florian Kohler with a score of 277, Gabi Visoiu with a

score of 262, Abram Diaz with a score of 250, and Jason Lynch with a score of 247.

The evening of day two saw the inaugural Dr. Cue Cup in honor of the recognized

founder of the modern-day Artistic Pool movement – Tom “Dr Cue” Rossman. The

format was a team competition with captains choosing the teams. The team captains

were the local female players – Kaitlyn Bonjiorno and “The First Lady of Trickshots”

Stacy Mendrick. Stacy and Kaitlyn lagged with the winner receiving first pick. Stacy

won the lag and her first pick was Abram Diaz. Kaitlyn’s first pick was Jason Lynch.

The captains finished picking their teams with players from the field to have a six-person

team. Each team would put up a player to pick a shot from anywhere in the 120-shot

program, with the opposing team picking a player to rebut the shot, meaning that each

player on the teams would shoot a total of 2 shots. The player that was picked to do a

shot did not state what their shot was until the opposing team picked a rebuttal, which

tested the strategy of the teams. Coaching and light heckling was encouraged and

proved to be an entertaining time for the players, as well as the crowd. The person

enjoying this most however was Dr. Cue himself, who served as official scorekeeper. In

the end, team Kaitlyn (known as team Super K) defeated team Stacy (known as team

Too Short to Too Tall) in the inaugural Dr. Cue Cup. Tom was touched at the event and

stated that everyone (the players and the crowd), won that night, as it was what Artistic

Pool was founded and based on – entertainment and art on a pool table.

Day three was filled with playoff matches to determine the 2018 WPA World Artistic

Pool Champion. The format of the playoffs consisted of players first shooting a shot

from either the even numbered or odd numbered disciplines (four shots), and then

shooting four shots from anywhere in the 120-shot program. Players would lag and the

winner would choose if they wanted to shoot the odds or evens. The #5 seed William

DeYonker (239 points) faced off against #12 seed Troy Garten (101 points), who inched

past Ron Percefull by one point to make the playoffs. Troy held his own but fell to the

former world champ 69-51. The #6 seed Jamie Moody (224 points) faced off against

#11 seed Andrew “The Enigma” Sozio (116 points). This was Andrew’s first playoff

match, but the experience factor was a lot to overcome with Jamie securing the win with

a 73-40 score. The next match saw the battle of the jump cue creators with #7 seed

Mark “Dr. Popper” Dimick (203 points) competing against the #10 seed Marty Carey

(177 points). When the dust settled, Mark got past Marty 82-55. The last match in the

first round featured #8 seed Brian “Superman” Pauley (197 points) against #9 seed

Curtis “The Redneck Cue Guy” Robertson (189 points). The match went down to the

next to the last shot with Curtis scoring the minor upset 53-41. The Quarterfinals were

set. Florian Kohler bested Curtis Robertson 77-24 while Gabi Visoiu defeated Mark

Dimick 68-29. Abram Diaz took victory honors over Jamie Moody 88-82. Jamie was

down 28 points at one point in the match and battled his way back. On the last shot of

the match Jamie went ahead 82-79 with the Evil Kenevil jump shot. Abram answered

by making it on his first attempt and sealing the exciting match. The last match in the

quarter finals saw William DeYonker score a slight upset against Jason Lynch 52-46 in

another tight match. The semi finals saw Florian Kohler down William DeYonker 89-63

and Gabi Visoiu getting past Abram Diaz 79-36. The finals were set with the top two

seeds colliding. Both players went back and forth making amazing shots and showing

why these two are at the top of the food chain when it comes to Artistic Pool. It came

down to the next to the last shot and Florian’s last pick. Down by 15 points, Florian had

to score points on a 10-point shot and hope Gabi would miss it to stay alive. Florian

picked the “3-2-1, 1-2-3” shot from the Special Arts Discipline, a speed and timing shot.

Florian missed all three attempts, which gave Gabi the 78-63 win and his second WPA

World Artistic Pool Championship title.

Two other awards were presented at this event. One award is the Rising Star Recipient

title. This special award was started by Tim “The Dragon” Chin for players that have

played in three or less events. At a ranking event, the Rising Star Recipient award goes

to the player of that eligible grouping which scores the highest points for 40 shots

selected. Troy Garten narrowly edged Ron Percefull to win that award by one point.

The other award given out is the Sportsmanship Recipient award, which is voted on by

the players. This event’s winner was Ron Percefull, who made a disciplined character adjustment from previous events.

A big thank you goes out to Bogies Billiards East in Houston, Texas for hosting services

and monetary sponsorship of the event, to Simonis cloth for providing the felt for the

tables after the tournament, to the WPA for event sanctioning and Olympic-style medals

for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place overall, and to the WPA Artistic Pool Division for their

continued foundational support / promotion of Artistic Pool worldwide, plus provision of

the eight discipline awards, Rising Star Recipient award, Sportsman Recipient award,

and special participation awards for positions of finish 4th – 15th. Special thanks to

Jason Lynch for streaming the event and Tom “Dr. Cue” Rossman for direction /

entertainment services! The players are looking forward to a return visit to the Lone Star

state to once again entertain the crowd and exhibit their amazing skills in Artistic Pool.