Billiards National Event a Success

Billiards National Event a Success Nationals Main Event
A true double-elimination tournament format was used for the Nationals Main Event at the Atlantic City Billiard Club in Egg Harbor, NJ. The top two finishers in all leagues nationwide earned an invite into the main event.
Friday morning all players were focused and ready. Straight pool players from eight states converged on Atlantic City to try to become the first national champion through qualifying in their local sanctioned league.
The hot seat match was a classic battle between two knowledgeable players who did not relinquish the table easily. John Downie managed to send Tom Acciavatti to the one-loss side in a well-played match. Waiting there for Acciavatti was Al Muccilli, who was playing well and had just put Joe Stern III out in fourth place. The match was a classic with two old-school players in battle. With Acciavatti giving up 30 balls going to 140 he pulled out that victory 140-131 to make the true double-elimination finals and get another chance at Downie.
Saturday night saw the start of the finals of the Nationals between Downie (B+ handicap) and Acciavatti (A+ handicap). Acciavatti gave Downie 45 balls on the wire going to 140, with Acciavatti having to defeat Downie twice to win. The first match saw Downie get cold from sitting and never really get going as Acciavatti cruised to win the first match 140-96.
In the second match, Downie started to get back in stroke a bit and managed to stay even in score with Acciavatti throughout. Somewhere around 100 balls each on the score Acciavatti made a long break shot while he was on a run, but the cue ball fell into the corner pocket. Downie methodically put together a 29-ball run. From there they got into safety battle, and Acciavatti got another opportunity after winning the safety battle, making the score 129-114 Downie. With Acciavatti at the table with a few balls sticking out, he got a bit too straight on the ball he wanted to use to break open the rack and elected for a combination to break up the cluster. He fired at the combo but it hit the point, and the balls were wide open. Downie had a couple of tough shots, but he became the first national champion.
1st John Downie
2nd Tom Acciavatti
3rd Al Muccilli
4th Joe Stern III
5th Steve Hathaway
Cliff Hatfield
7th Angelito Carpio
Luke Hubbard
9th Jim Hastings
Wade Hill
Rob Sumner
Tom Lazrovitch


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