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
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.