Pictures from the 2024 ACS Nationals in Las Vegas are now available to view ... See here
Pictures from the 2024 ACS Nationals in Las Vegas are now available to view ... See here

2023 Season 2 – Regional/Division Cup Tournaments Summary

The awesome 8ft Diamond tables at Big Shots Billiards.
Photo credit Chris Knowles

Over the weekends of September 9th and 10th and 16th and 17th Lights Out Billiards/ACS Atlanta Leagues held the 2023 Season 2 Regional/Division Cup Tournaments at Big Shots Billiards in Woodstock GA. The Regional tournaments were the Captain’s Tournament held Saturday, September 9th and the Individual Tournament(s) for Sniper (Skills 1 – 4) and Standard/Open (Skills 5 – 9). The Division Cup Team Tournaments were held on Saturday, September 16th for Sniper Teams (2 – 5 Sniper players, and/or 1 Standard (5 – 6) player) and Sunday, September 17th for Standard/Open Teams (2 – 5 Standard (5 – 7) players and/or 1 Open (7 – 9) player). Teams are limited to a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 5 players.

Session-end tournaments do not offer any Vegas-based rewards but pay out based on entry fees collected from the participants. Additionally, participation the Individual tournaments qualifies players to play in the Annual Individual tournament and the Division Cup Team Tournaments qualify all entrants to participate in the State Championships*, and the Vegas Cup*.

* – assumes that potential entrants meet all other qualification criteria as identified regarding matches played in the regular season(s), and any other criteria established by League Management.

For this Season’s tournaments, we paid out almost $800 between all five tournaments.

Details and highlights from each of the tournaments can be found below.

Captain’s Tournament

Saturday, September 9th

Omead Sepehrara prepares to break against one of the many opponents he dominated during the Captain’s tournament.
Picture credit Chris Knowles.

The Captain’s Tournament is open to all league captains, assistants and league staff. This is their opportunity just come and play pool without having to worry about all of the things they typically handle during the regular season. This year’s Captain’s Tournament had 7 players from the various ACS Atlanta leagues. Additionally, they are rewarded with an additional cash bonus from the league, put into the pot for the winner(s). The Session 2 Captain’s Tournament was held on September 9th, 2023.

Participants included: Dan Hilty (Mazzy’s), Brian Betenia (Mazzy’s League Coordinator), Chris Knowles (Big Shots League Coordinator), Trey Wood (Mazzy’s), Mark Beall (Big Shots), Pavan Nanaiah (Mazzy’s) and Omead Sepehrara (Mazzy’s). The tournament format was 8-ball in the Winner’s Bracket and 9-ball in the Loser’s Bracket with double-elimination.

Instead of using the modified Race Grid for individual events, the group decided to play with our standard league RaceGrid for the matches. Everyone fought hard and there was a lot of great pool played, but in the end, as the Highlander reminds us, “There can be only one!” And that one was Omead Sepehrara, going undefeated in the Winner’s Bracket and defeating Mark Beall (after putting Mark in the Loser’s Bracket in the very first match) in the Final, to become our Season 2, Captain’s Tournament Champion!

If you are a Captain, Assistant Captain, or other League Staff, make sure you plan to take part in our next Regional/Division Cup Captain’s Tournament after the completion of Session 3! It’s a great way to blow off some steam, hang out with really great people, and just play pool, without all the headaches that can come with managing a team or a league during the regular season!

Regional Individual Tournaments

Sunday, September 10th, 2023

Our Season 2 Individual Tournaments were played on Sunday, September 10th, 2023 as a 9-ball, handicapped race, double-elimination tournament. The tournaments were held on the same day, but managed as two separate tournaments, each with their own Winner and Loser brackets. To help manage time, these tournaments are played with a modified Race Grid.

Anbu Ravi getting down to make the shot.
Photo credit Chris Knowles

Sniper – Skill Levels 1 – 4

The Sniper Tournament started at 1:30pm and had three entrants: Randy Deemer(2), Bradley Dickerson(3), and Chris Knowles(3). Even though the number of entrants was small, all of these players fought valiantly to win. Bradley was the first to enter the Loser’s Bracket, losing to Randy 3-1. Then, Randy continued his dominance by beating Chris in a close match, winning at hill-hill, 3-3.

Playing to fight his way back to the final, Bradley then gave Chris his second loss and elimination from the tournament, winning a hard-fought match at 4-2. Bradley and Randy then played the first set of the Final, with Bradley taking it 4-2, giving Randy his first loss. In the second set, Randy fought back and was able to overcome taking the championship with a 3-1 victory in the final set.

With the number of Sniper skill level folks in our leagues, we would like to encourage everyone to come out and play in our next tournament, after the completion of Season 3. This is the perfect platform to gain tournament experience against players that you may not face very often and is also a fantastic opportunity to meet new people and establish great friendships!

Ron Deemer, President Lights Out Billiards and ACS League Operator

Standard/Open – Skill Levels 5 – 9

Dan Hilty focuses on making the shot.
Photo credit Chris Knowles

The Standard/Open Individual Tournament kicked off at 3:30pm and had 9 players.

Participants were Jill Rhodes(5), Pavan Nanaiah(5), Wes Dickerson(9), Tom Glassberg(5), Tom Zack(7), Robin Sam(6), Anbarasan ‘Anbu’ Ravi(6), Dan Hilty(5) and Parker Jones(5).

Chris Knowles, ACS League Coordinator for Big Shots Billiards, congratulates Tom Glassberg (1st), Anbarasan “Abu” Ravi (2nd), and Jill Rhodes (3rd) for their victories in the Standard/Open Individual Tournament.
Photo credit Omead Sepehrara.

The competition was fierce with many surprises along the way, including the early elimination of some of the higher-skilled players, but at the end of the night, Tom Glassberg survived as the lone undefeated player and prevailed against Anbu Ravi in the Championship match.

Think you’ve got what it takes to play with some of the best players in the league, make sure to come out for the Session 3 Individual Tournaments, tentatively planned for the middle to end of January, 2024. Keep an eye on the calendar for official dates, times, location, and registration information!

Additionally, individual tournament results are tracked in the system and can be a great help for those players who feel that they are ready to move to the next level AND, you have to have played in at least ONE Regional (Session End) Individual tournament to qualify for the Annual Individual Tournament held in February each calendar year!

Division Cup Team Tournaments

The Division Cup Team Tournaments are the first steps on the Vegas Pathway each league year, culminating (hopefully) in a paid trip to the ACS Nationals, held every May 11th – 18th in Las Vegas, Nevada. All participants in these tournaments are qualified to participate in each of the Division Cup tournaments, the State Championships*, and the Vegas Cup* (* – with certain additional restrictions see the Vegas Pathway link for more information). Session end tournaments provide cash payouts to the winners based on the number of participating teams.

The format for these tournaments mirrors the National format of Round-Robin 9-ball, in a non-handicapped race to win 14 games. Double elimination is always in effect unless the number of participating teams dictates that a modified format is used, adding single elimination after a specific round. The match is played in rounds, by three players from each team playing two-game matches. The rounds continue until either one team wins 14 game outright or the 5th round is reached where, the first two players play two games and, if still required, a final one-game match (to break a 13-13 tie) is played.

Sniper TEAM Tournament

Saturday, September 16th, 2023

The Sniper Team Tournament was held Saturday, September 16th, 2023 and consisted of three teams: Here to Drink Before Noon (Captain: Pavan Nanaiah(5), Demetri Khoury(4) Kyle Boyett(4)), ACS Murderers (Captain: Gordon Giddings(3), Karin Dewhurst(2), Brian White(5)) and Pushing Nines (Captain: Chris Knowles(3), Brian Betenia(5), Justin Jones(3)).

Due to there being only three teams, ACS Murderers won the bye through an odd-man-out coin flip. That left Pushing Nines and Here to Drink to play to determine the first team to move to Loser’s bracket. After taking a crushing defeat from Here to Drink (14-8), the two teams played again when ACS Murderers murdered Here to Drink (14-6) and sent them to Loser’s Bracket. This time, Pushing Nines prevailed (14-10) and proceeded to the finals against the ACS Murderers.

In the first match of the Final, Pushing Nines crushed the ACS Murderers (14-5) which game the Murderers their first loss and necessitated a second 14-game set. Unfortunately, Pushing Nines was about to lose one of their three required players (tournament play note – if you lose a player during the tournament and don’t have a replacement already on your roster, each two game-set that player would play are considered forfeits). After some discussion, both teams decided the best sportsmanship move was to call it a day and split prize money 50/50. Therefore, both Pushing Nines and ACS Murderers were the 2023 Season 2 Division Cup, Sniper Team Tournament Champions!

Editor’s note: Being the author, photographer and tournament participant, I wasn’t able to capture any pictures or video of this event. If anyone is interested in volunteering to help with photography for future tournaments, please let me know


Standard/Open TEAM Tournament

Sunday, September 17th, 2023

Participating in the 2023 Season 2 Division Cup Standard/Open Team Tournament were four teams: Ass Kickers (Captain: Steven Ray Adams(5), Frank Hodge(7) and Tom Glassberg(5)), Rice Rockets (Captain: Tyler Rice(7), Chris Rice(8) and Mark Jones(6)), Blind Squirrels (Captain: Brian White(5), Dan Hilty(5) and Omead Sepehrara(9)) and Sharp Shooters (Captain: Ron Deemer(6), Robin Sam(6), Brian Betenia(5) and Rohan Paldhikar(8))

Match play kicked off at 2pm with the Blind Squirrels taking on Ron Deemer’s Sharp Shooters and the Rice Rockets battling Ass Kickers. Both the Squirrels (14-8) and the Rockets (14-9) fought to well-earned victories. As a result of those matches, Ass Kickers and Sharp Shooters played in the Loser’s bracket with Sharp Shooters handing Ass Kickers their second loss (14-5) and, elimination from the tournament.

Tyler Rice prepares to deliver another monster break for the Rice Rockets.
Photo Credit Chris Knowles

Meanwhile, Blind Squirrels and Rice Rockets battled to a 14-10 victory for the Rockets and the Squirrels, now in the Loser’s bracket, fought a nail-biter of a match to just scratch out the acorn in a 14-13 win, eliminating the Sharp Shooters.

In the Championship match, Rice Rockets and Blind Squirrels battled all the way to the 5th Round-robin to take the victory and the 2023 Season 2 Division Cup Standard/Open Team Tournament Championship 14-11. They also took home the largest prize pool of the entire Regional/Division Cup, winning over $420!

ACS League and Tournament Coordinator for Big Shots Billiards, Chris Knowles, congratulates the Rice Rockets for their victory in the 2023 Season 2 Division Cup Standard/Open Team Championship.
Photo credit unknown

Wrap-Up …

In conclusion, we just want to congratulate all of the winners and participants for both their participation and the great pool they provided us with over 4 very long, but enjoyable days.

For my part, as the Coordinator for Big Shots, and your host for these tournaments, I thoroughly enjoyed meeting and getting to know the participants and I hope that you enjoyed your time in our humble establishment – we look forward to having you back again soon!

And to all of you in the ACS Atlanta Leagues community (both Mazzy’s AND Big Shots), we again invite and encourage you to get yourselves engaged and play in the 2023 Season 3 Regional/Division Cup tournaments. Keep an eye out for when the calendar information is posted here on the website.

See the other menu links in the OTHER TOURNAMENTS -> 2023 REGIONAL/DIVISION CUP -> Season 2 menu for more pictures from the tournaments!