Both Pro Pool Veterans school two of the hottest faces of pool, in a very exciting LIVE – International Pool Tour (IPT) Challenge match!
The International Pool Tour’s last “Extreme 8 Ball” challenge was a must see. You can still check it out on their site for free, but make sure your get the scoop in the below story for nycgrind.com’s unique insight on the event.
The feature “Ultimate 8 Ball” challenge match was between “The Silent Assasin” Tony Robles (USA) vs “El Guapo” Karl Boyes from the (UK).
The under-card “Straight Pool Match” was between living legend Mike “The Mouth” Sigel vs “Mr 403″ John Schmidt
As a last minute entry replacing World Champion Alex Pagulayan, Tony Robles flew to Hollywood just in time to represent the US in a dramatic victory of Karl Boyes of the UK.
Be sure to read this action packed story including pics, video and detailed breakdown of the challenge match. Learn who challenges who for potentially the next IPT Challenge Match!!!
The International Pool Tour is continuing it’s successful series of live streaming professionally produced challenged matches for the web. There have been some interesting match ups in the past, but in my opinion there was none more interesting to watch than this last event.
It was cool to see two accomplished Veterans of the game battle two emerging young superstar phenoms of the sport, to see who would come out ahead.
On June 24th, the International Pool Tour scheduled two challenge matches back to back.
The Feature “Ultimate Eight Ball” Match (Race to 15 games)
“El Guapo” Karl Boyes who represented the UK, came in approximately a week before the event to ensure he was ready. In that week he was gearing up in preperation to play former World Champion Alex “The Lion” Pagulayan from the republic of the Philippines. In a surprising turn of events Alex had lost his passport and wasn’t able to make it to the event in time.
“The Silent Assasin” Tony Robles got the call late to be Alex’s replacement. Tony was extremely excited at the opportunity to play one of the UK’s top player in representing the USA.
With less than 40 minutes of practice time, Tony Robles had to battle the distractions of the production crew setting up all around him.
I spoke with Tony right before the IPT match, and he had a extreme sense of confidence as he mentioned that he is playing the best pool of his life. Tony went on to say that it was because of the amount of high level pool that he has been playing in NY in his 9 Ball tour, that he felt sharp and ready for any challenge.
The Tour that Tony represents is called the (link) Predator 9 Ball Tour, and is a Pro/Am tour that tours in the Tri-State area. While Karl Boyes had time to get comfortable practicing and experiencing LA, Tony was coming in to this match feeling as if he was in dead punch.
“The Silent Assassin” as he is best known by his fans, came into this challenge on fire as he won 2 Consecutive Predator 9 Ball Tour events. In the most recent event, he was impressive in a win over former World Champion Mika Immonen, and continued to be a dominant force in the NY sports landscape.
Tony has been on fire as he currently is the points leader on the Predator 9 Ball tour by close to a 2-1 ratio, and was looking forward to showing the world his talent.
Karl Boyes traveled from Blackpool England, and was feeling extremely confident himself, as he mentioned that the real reason that Alex didn’t show was because he was scared.
Before the feature match kicked off, pool fans were treated to an awesome straight pool match up!
The two contenders are two of the worlds best straight pool players, Mike “The Mouth” Sigel and “Mr 403″ John Schmidt.
This match would be commentated by Grady Matthews and John Denny.
Mike Sigel has a highly accomplished living legend as He has won 105 Professional Pool & Pocket Billiard
tournaments in his career. In that mix he captured 6 US Open titles and 10 World Championships. Mike is also famous for being the technical advisor, choreographer, instructor for the movie
“The Color of Money” staring Paul Newman (who won an Academy Award
for Best Actor) and Tom Cruise.
John Schmidt is known throughout the pool world as one of the most dominant players in the professional pool landscape. John Schmidt is the 2006 US Open 9 Ball Champion and is a super strong strong nine ball, ten ball and eight ball player.
The Format was a race to 125 in Straight Pool.
The last time that Mike and John played each other was at the US Open Straight Pool Championships at the Roseland Ballroom in 2000. In that match emotions were high as John emerged victorious and Mike Sigel cracked his pool cue in a brief moment of frustration.
In a move that likens the heart and relentless drive of Rocky… Mike Sigel has come out of retirement to challenge one of strongest straight pool players on the planet.
(Photo taken by Dave Thomson – Medium Pool)
There was a lot of talk about whether the 10 time World Champion still had the fire in his belly to come with a big win.
While John can play most of the popular games, “Mr 403″ is old school at heart as he will be the first to tell you that he thinks the game of straight pool is the biggest challenge of a players skill.
(Photo taken by Dave Thomson – Medium Pool)
While everyone may have a different perspective on what game can be the toughest, there is no question that you have to have the nerve and skill of a surgeon. Straight Pool is a game of perspective… you have to see the patterns, how balls in clusters will react as the cue ball collides with them as well as so much more.
John Schmidt recently “Re-Branded” himself as “Mr 403″ for running 403 consecutive balls the night before the 2007 US Open Championships in Chesepeake VA. His old nickname was “Mr 400″ for having a high run of 400 consecutive balls without a miss.
(Rebecca Grant – Interviewing “Mr 403″ John Schmidt)
Mike Sigel impressed the crowd and the viewers with jumping out to a lead with a strong 60 ball run before playing safe.
John Schmidt was looking as if he was off to the races as he was on a run of 59, before uncharacteristically missing a seven ball. The miss proved extremely costly as Mike “The Mouth” Sigel began dominating the flow and speed of the match as he came with a very impressive run of 64 balls, before ultimately closing it out after a gritty performance by John Schmidt.
In the end, after only missing a couple of times in a race to 125 Mike Sigel proved that he still has the heart, determination and skill to play pool at the highest of levels. As a fan growing up watching Mike Sigel on Accu-Stats, it was refreshing to see Mike bring his old swagger to the table in a confident and well done performance.
“I think that Mike Sigel surprised the world in his decisive win over John Schmidt. Those who thought that Sigel was way past his prime might take another look at him now.”
Deno J. Andrews, Director, International Pool Tour
After an entertaining Undercard, it was all eyes on the Main Event
The fans that were in attendance were all lovers of the game, and they were a few Celebrities in attendance.
The comedian, host and TV personality Joe Rogan was in the crowd sweating the action along with friend and World Class Pool Player “Mad Max” Max Eberle. Max is not only a IPT top pro, but is also an amazing artist.
Joe Rogan came up around the NY pool scene during a very exciting time, and understands the game, and can articulate the game intelligently from a pool players perspective.
Rebecca Grant interviewing Joe Rogan
It was cool to see how Joe made time to feed his pool addiction for this event. Be sure to check out Joe’s tour dates at www.joerogan.net
Joe Rogan mentioned that he has been getting lessons from “Mad Max” Max Eberle who lives in Los Angeles. As most of the sports world knows, Max is a world class instructor who has recently come out with a book called “Zen Pool”.
After speaking with Max after the event, he mentioned that it was cool watching these particular match ups.
“Mad Max” went on to mention that Tony Robles is suberb at approaching the table in alignment with each shot.
Since Max speaks in length about the importance of fundaments in his book Zen Pool, he knew Tony would be good for Joe to watch.
I can only imagine that Joe can appreciate seeing things from the perspective of a “Martial Artist”, as he approaches the game.
Joe Rogan ended up in the booth with John Schmidt as Mike Sigel was out on break, and ended up sticking around when Mike got back to pick up some tips and perspective from the former 10 time World Champion. Joe ended up commentating on the “Feature Match” Tony Robles vs Karl Boyes.
The world knows that Joe Rogan is most comfortable behind the mike and in front of the TV camera as he has been busy making waves in the entertainment world. Joe Rogan as most of already know is known for his “Live” on stage comedic performances, Hosting “Fear Factor” as well as being a Host of the UFC.
The feature “Ultimate 8 Ball Challenge” was set to roll out immediately after the Undercard match wrapped up.
Karl Boyes who was representing the UK has been impressive in previous IPT tournaments, and has amassed a very impressive resume. Some of Karl’s most cherished moments include being…World Cup Pool Champion, Golden Cue Champion, 3-time UK 9Ball Champion, 8th Place IPT World 8Ball Open, 3rd Place World Pool Championships.
(Photo taken by David Thomson – Medium Pool)
“The Silent Assasin” Tony Robles has a very impressive resume including being a 7 time Tri-State Player of the year. 2004 BCA Open 9 Ball Champion, Mosconi Cup Champion, Jack Colovita NJ Straight Pool Champion.
Tony has also come into this match, winning two consecutive Predator 9 Ball Tour wins and currently stands as the Points leader by a margin of close to 2x any other player.
The IPT pro’s were set to begin the Race to 15 games of eight ball, on the tough IPT tournament table, which uses a Gorina slow nap cloth.
Since both players sat cold while watching the straight pool match, it wasn’t surprising to see both players miss a few balls early on in the first game.
It didn’t take long for “The Silent Assassin” to heat up as he was able to make an impressive out on the remaining few balls of the first game, and set the tone of the set by breaking and running out the next game.
Tony was getting out of line in the beginning as he was getting used to the table, but quickly started impressing with an amazing array of shots. The result leading to gained confidence and momentum as well as earning “Wow’s” from color commentator Mike Sigel on Tony’s shot making capabilities.
Tony was able to leap ahead in the race to 15 quickly as he lead 5-2. Showing the heart and determination that he showed in his impressive recent 3rd place showing at the World Pool Championships, Karl fights back to tie it up at 5 all.
The match was a methodical battle between the seasoned warrior vs the up and superstar that has something to prove. The players kept the fans in the game with a tight match, as the score was tied at 8 all in the race to 15.
Tony then shifted gears, and took his game to another level and pulled away to 11-8 winning 3 consecutive games in a row.
Karl continued to fight closing the gab to 12-10, but in the end after being down 14-12 a scratch on the break proved costly. “The Silent Assasin” Tony Robles smelled blood and confidently closed out the final rack, earning him the win and $5,000.
Tony was continued to fuel his confidence and build on the momentum of being on of the hottest pool players on the planet. Tony has built a successful Pro/Am 9 Ball tour that is driving people to play the sport which is a dream for him, but Tony still believes he has a lot to prove.
(Photo taken by David Thomson – Medium Pool)
Everyone knows Tony Robles as one of the “nicest guys in pool” as he continues to be a sportsman and advocate to the game, but tony has his sight set on something greater. Tony’s goal is to be remembered as one of the best pool players to ever grace a pool table.
“Robles has been on such a roll recently. He won two consecutive tournaments on his own tour in and around New York. He did us the favor of flying in as a replacement for Alex Pagulayan who had Passport troubles. Despite arriving in the middle of the night before the match, he again brought his A-game and beat Karl Boyes, a tremendous player from England. Mr. Robles is a true champion and a great ambassador for the game of pocket billiards.”?Deno J. Andrews, Director, International Pool Tour
A confident Mike Sigel is feeling good, and is looking to come out of retirement. Only time will tell if Mike ends up emulating the re-birth of Paul Newman’s character “Fast Eddie” in the Color of Money, by stating “I’m Back”.
Tony Robles is smelling blood after Mike’s win, and Challenged Mike Sigel to a challenge match of Straight Pool. I would personally love to see it, as in my opinion Tony Robles is on the top of his game and should make for a very well played game.
Some people don’t know Tony’s straight pool background, but it is very deep. His most recent straight pool win, was in 2007 for the Jack Colovita NJ Straight Pool Championships, where Tony ran 63 and out to beat former IPT champion Thorsten Hohmman in the finals 200-172.
If Mike is serious about thinking about coming back, he will accept the challenge and let this match be the real determinant if he is prepared to come out of retirement.
Watch Tony Challenge Mike Sigel Below after his win!
After winning the IPT “Ultimate 8 Ball”, tony continued his roll and won another consecutive Predator 9 Ball Tour event victory!!!
Can anyone stop “The Silent Assassin”???
Tony is talking with his cue, and is fired up and by winning everything in sight, now the ball is in Mike “The Mouth” Sigel’s court to accept Tony’s Challenge.
I am looking forward to see if Mike Sigel is willing to play “The Silent Assassin” in what is set to be a classic match up!
For all of NYCgrind.com’s readers who are in LA, be sure to check out Max’s Eberle’s show TONIGHT!!!
Who would you like to see play in an upcoming challenge match? Please comment below.
For more information on the Internaitonal Pool Tour, or to get info on players in the IPT – Click Here!
Who ever missed the match, can catch every rack at www.internationalpooltour.com