Bustamante Busts Open Hard Times Billiards
Hard Times 9-Ball Summer Jamboree / Sacramento, CA
by Rick Davis
Francisco Bustamante lit up the West Coast as he went undefeated to take the Hard Times 9-Ball Summer Jamboree title. Taking place at Hard Times Billiards in Sacramento, CA, the event had been traditionally held soon after the Reno Open, and its sixth running took place June 19-21. A 72-player field turned out, including many top touring pros and a large contingent of heavy hitters from the West. With a total purse just under $12,000 the double-elimination event was certainly the top action in the area.
In the first round current U.S. Open champion John Schmidt faced top international pro and the favorite for the event, Bustamante. After a short scuffle Bustamante moved on 9-6, while Schmidt saw the B side earlier than he was used to. Schmidt was not the only top name to come up short early on—Ike Runnels and Rafael Martinez each felt the axe fall through the early rounds. Runnels was defeated double-hill by “Marvelous Marlon” Manalo in the second round then was ousted by Schmidt 7-4 shortly after. Martinez received his early loss from Arturo Rivera, a well-known Westerner, who defeated him 9-7 then made way for Manalo, who chalked up another victim, eliminating Martinez 7-6.
For those players that managed to stay alive plenty of action could be found, and for the consistent crowds of 200-300 people it was a great show. On the winners’ side Bustamante met with Tyler Edey in the hot seat match and sent him West after another 9-6 win. On the one-loss side, the field grew narrow as a comeback brewed.
Manalo clawed his way to the quarterfinals after eliminating Edwin Montal 7-4, while Schmidt, after taking a first-round loss, took ten matches, including wins over Manalo 7-3 in the quarterfinals and Edey double-hill in the semifinals. Since Bustamante gave Schmidt his first-round loss, it was only fitting they meet again the finals. With a single race to 11, Schmidt opened with a three-pack only to scratch on the break and watch Bustamante offer a four-pack. From there the score kept even as it flew by 5-, 6- and 7-all until again Bustamante brought out his big guns and served up a final four-pack to take the match 11-7 and claim the title.
1st Francisco Bustamante $3500
2nd John Schmidt $2200
3rd Tyler Edey $1500
4th Marlon Manalo $1000
5th Gerardo Jamito $500
7th Louis Ulrich $350
9th Bobby Hunter $250