Tom DiLorenzo grew up in West Covina, Southern California in the 60s and 70s. By the age of 20, he was matching up with some of the best players in the country. He took two years away from the game when he was drafted in 1969. While serving in Vietnam, he earned the Purple Heart for wounds received in battle. He returned to the game of pool in late 1970.
In 1978, he moved to Mesa Arizona where he played at the Q & Brew in Tempe where he met Bob Jackson. The first big “State Tournament” that he won was the 1983 “Road to Tahoe Classic”, where he double dipped Don Rose in the finals. Winning this event earned Tom entry to The Caesar’s Tahoe Classic” in Reno. At that event, Tom defeated Ray Martin who had just won the Tampa 9-Ball a month before.
Tom won six Arizona State Titles including both singles and scotch doubles 9-ball, 8-ball and One Pocket.
In 1989, Tom opened Tommy’s Billiards in Mesa and he was the first room owner to bring Diamond Pool Tables into Arizona in the early 90s. Tom held both amateur and pro events at Tommy’s and attracted all of the top pro players to town. Tom also owned Tommy’s Billiards and Sports Bar in Tempe in the mid 90s.
Tom retired from pool around 2006, but came back ten years later and is still competing with the best players in the state. While he believes his glory days are behind him, Tom still enjoys playing and knocking off some of the young guns from time to time.
Chuck Evans was introduced to pocket billiards in the summer of 1967, shortly after being discharged from the Army. Chuck noticed a pool hall near 19th avenue and Camelback and stopped in to see what it was all about. From that day forward, Chuck was hooked.
Chuck learned to play golf and snooker on the 12’ Snooker Table and was soon introduced to three cushion billiards which he credits for helping his game a lot.
After getting married and starting a family, Chuck put his pool career on hold. He came back to pool in the late 1980s when he was convinced to play on the Northwest Eight Ball League. In 1989, he was voted league MVP with a won/loss record of 51 wins and 3 losses. It was at that time that Chuck began practicing as much as he could (around a full time job) and he started competing in tournaments outside of Arizona.
1990 - 2002: Competed in 12 Reno Opens, cashing 9 times
1995 - 2010: Competed in 10 Swanee Memorial Tournaments, cashing 7 times
1998: 9th place finish out of 1756 players at the BCA Open 8-Ball Tournament
2001: Finished 33rd out of 251 pro players at the US Open 9-Ball Tournament
2003 - 2004 : Back to back second place finishes at the Hard Times Billiard Open
2006: Won Arizona State Senior Billiard Championship
2006 - 2008: Three time APA Division “7” MVP
2008 - 2009: Two time Bullshooters BCA League MVP
2008 - 2010: Compete three times at the US Open 9-Ball Championship
2009: Won Arizona State Senior Billiard Championship
2012: Top points list player on Desert Classic Tour
2013: Competed in the Turning Stone Classic in Syracuse, NY where he won the 2nd chance tournament
2014: Top points list player on Desert Classic Tour
2019: Won Arizona State Senior Billiard Championship
Chuck credits his wife Cindie for much of his success. They have been married 21 years and Chuck says he wouldn’t have been nearly as successful without her support.
Scott Frost was born July 17, 1975, in Des Moines, Iowa, where he lived until he was about 25. He didn't start out as a pool player, he was first team all-state basketball in high school, but he missed one practice as a 16 year old junior (visiting his brother who was sick) and his hard line coach would not even let him ride to the next game in the team bus. So instead Scott snuck into a poolroom with a buddy of his that very day. Scott lost everything he had that day to a local player, prompting him to devote all of his energy and will to win towards pool. After beating that same local player six months later, he asked Scott to change to One Pocket. Thus began Scott's focus on the game of One Pocket.
Scott talked his mom into getting an 8' table for home, He had one video of Efren playing One Pocket which he about wore out. Mostly Scott worked on playing himself. He could stay focused a hundred or more shots into a game against himself and never forget who's shot it was. That is where he started coming up with those first aggressive power One Pocket" shots that led to his signature style.
Once he realized that One Pocket was considered a game for older people - Scott realized he had an angle where he could make money and so he played it up. “I always used my first name Scott - it didn't matter - I put on a show. I wore gold, and always wore some kind of college shirt. I acted like a cocky kid. I made them think I was a rich kid.” People would give him huge spots. He always started with 9-ball and then let them hustle him to play One Pocket.
Scott has many One Pocket tournament wins, including several majors:
2010 Derby City Classic
2005 US Open One Pocket
2003 Legends of One Pocket
He was the 2005 Louie Roberts Award winner for action at the Derby City Classic
Scott has won countless titles in other disciplines:
2002 Music City Classic
2012 Derby City Classic Bank Ring Game
2015 Andy Mercer Memorial
Just in Arizona, Frost had many wins on the Diamond Pool Tour, Desert Classic Tour and Olhausen Billiards All Around Tour.
In 2010 Scott introduced his “Power One Pocket” DVD’s.
Scott also helped popularize the high stakes live stream challenge matches that have been a major force in building One Pocket interest in recent years, including matches with great players like Efren Reyes and Alex Pagulayan.
In 2017 Scott opened Freezer’s Sports Bar & Grille in Tempe.
Roger "The Rocket" Griffis was born on March 1, 1956 at Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma and grew up in nearby Texas. He burst onto the professional scene in the 1980's and quickly moved up the ranks to represent the USA in several World Championships. In December of 1996 Roger played on Team USA in the Mosconi Cup (Dagenham, England) along with Earl Strickland, Mike Massey, C.J. Wiley, Shannon Daulton, Allen Hopkins and Danny Harriman. The USA beat Team Europe 15-13 that year. The Mosconi Cup is similar to, and often compared with, golf's Ryder Cup. In 1993 Roger married Kirsten 'Kiki' Simonsen (then P&B's Circulation Director). Roger and Kiki had three children and returned to his roots in Texas to raise their family until passing in 2017 from diabetes complications.
Bio and photo courtesy Pool & Billiard Magazine
Mike Howerton knew early on that he was never going to make his mark on the pool world with a cue in his hand. Instead, Mike made his mark as a member of the media and in event promotion and direction.
Mike got started in 1998, building what he hoped would be a website to promote Arizona pool. With a mixture of hard work, timing and blind luck, that site evolved into the largest billiards website in the world, AzBilliards. Howerton has travelled the world covering professional billiards for AzBilliards. Also as part of AzBilliards, Howerton was involved with creating one of the first National Billiards podcasts, Run Out Radio. He is involved today with the American Billiard Radio podcast.
As he witnessed the pool scene that other states had, he wanted to help bring some of those things to Arizona. In 2006, he was part of building the first Arizona State BCA Championship to be held in a casino at the Blue Water Casino in Parker, Arizona. After that event outgrew the Blue Water, Mike was part of moving it to the Mazatzal Casino in Prescott.
Also in 2006, Howerton created Arizona’s first open regional tour with the Olhausen Billiards Desert All Around Tour. This tour evolved into the Desert Classic Tour and then the Diamond Pool Tour (of which Howerton is also involved with).
Howerton purchased the Arizona Billiard News publication in 2006 and published it for years, until selling the publication. He re-acquired the publication (now the Arizona Billiard and Dart News) in 2011, and publishes it to this day. This publication is one of the longest running regional publications in the billiards world.
Always wanting to help be involved in building the sport in Arizona, Howerton is now on the board for the Arizona Billiards Hall of Fame.
Bob Jackson was Born In New Mexico and moved to Arizona at an early age. He enjoyed playing pool and was very engaged in this game.
In the 1980's, he worked at The Q & Brew in Downtown Tempe. He promoted tournaments, leagues and Match Play. He also worked at Wally's in west Phoenix where he promoted numerous high end bar tournaments there.
In 1993 he opened Main Street Billiards and spent approximately 10 years promoting the game of pool.
In the early 2000's, Bob moved to Tucson and spent another 10 years promoting the game until health issues forced his retirement.
Bob literally held 1000's of tournaments, and always gave a helping hand to all pool players.
He was truly a pioneer promoting pool In Arizona.
Ellis "Tres" Kane
Tres Kane’s pool career started in 1980 at Pasquali’s Pizza in Phoenix where he organized the league teams and ran tournaments (including some of the first Women’s only events).
In 1985, Tres began playing at Golden 8-Ball where he was introduced to a higher level of play on the 9’ tables. Tres played in all of the major events in Arizona, usually finishing out of the money.
From the late 80’s until it’s closing in the mid 90’s, Tres played daily at the new Golden 8-Ball, competing against some of the best players from around the country. Tres started winning some smaller tournaments and it was during this time frame that Tres developed his love to One Pocket after being taught to play by Jim Matney.
Starting in 1993, Tres competed in the World Police & Fire Games pool tournament all across the world, where he won multiple bronze, silver and gold medals.
From 2012 - 2017, Tres co-directed the Arizona Women’s Billiard Tour with Kristie Ortega, He also directed the Women’s Regional Tour Championship at Bullshooters in 2012.
From 2011 - 2018, Tres ran the monthly one pocket tournament at Bullshooters. He also hosted and personally sponsored the $4000 added one pocket event in October 2012.
Along with Junior Flores, Tres ran the 2018 West Coast Swing tournament, attended by many major pro players.
In 2019, Tres brought John Schmidt to Bullshooters for a one month exhibition attempting to break Willie Mosconi’s record of 526 balls ran. A few weeks later, Schmidt did break that record in Monterey, California.
Won four gold, eight silver and three bronze medals at the World Police and Fire Games (1993 - 2012)
Won the 1998 Arizona Snooker Championship at The Golden Cue in Phoenix
Competed in many national Bank Pool, One Pocket and 10-Ball events:
Derby City Classic 2004 - 2019
Legends of One Pocket 1998
US Open One Pocket 2004 - 2005 2018 - 2019
West Coast Swing One Pocket and 10-Ball
McDermott Tour Stops
US Bar Box Championship
USBA National 3-Cushion Tournament “B” Divisions (2018 - 2019)
Born 1950 in Berwyn, Illinois
Received BA in Philosophy at ASU and MA Counseling at University of North Dakota
Served a career in the Air Force and retired as an Air Force Major in 1994
College counselor and professor at Yavapai College Arizona Resident since 1975
Pocket Billiards Tournament Wins:
1979 Intercollegiate 14.1 National Champion
1977, 1981 - 88 Nine time Air Force ATC 14.1 Champion
1985 Sacramento Great Western Open 9-Ball Champion
1985 Sacramento Independence Day Open 9-Ball Champion
1992 Arizona State 14.1 Champion
2005 Arizona State Senior 9-Ball Champion
2010 Southwest Regional Masters 8-Ball Champion
2011 Arizona State 14.1 Champion
2015 Men’s Super Senior 8-Ball National Champion
Pocket Billiards Accomplishments:
Played 14.1 exhibition against Willie Mosconi at Arizona State University in 1973
Competed in the 1980 World 14.1 tournament in New York - ran 85 balls on Steve Mizerak
Finished 9th in the Sands Regency 9-Ball Open - defeated Earl Strickland 9-3, lost to Jay Swanson and Buddy Hall
Finished 2nd in points on the Arizona Desert Classic Tour in 2011
Wrote several instructional articles for Pool & Billiard Magazine in the 80s under pseudonym C. Peel
Pocket Billiard Educational Contributions:
2001 - 2013: Taught Pocket Billiards at Arizona Western College
2016 - 2018: Taught Pocket Billiards Levels 1 & 2 at Yavapai College
Created a Youtube channel with recorded pool classes from Yuma and Prescott
Conducted private lessons for students of various skill levels
Richard Mc Morran was born September 24, 1934. His family originally lived in the tiny Colorado town of Dolores; a scenic hamlet of only about 550 residents. Yet small as it was, Dolores had a little poolroom in the center of town, and the game quickly caught Dick’s interest. There were no age restrictions in Dolores at that time, but when Dick skipped school to play one day, the town was too small for his parents not to find out, and after a “real good whipping,” that was it for pool for a while.
When he was a fourteen year old freshman in high school his family moved 50 miles east, to Durango, Colorado, and “My life as a serious pool player began,” says Dick. With a population of about 10,000 at that time, “I thought I’d died, and gone to heaven. Durango supported three bustling pool rooms, and my parents soon gave up trying to keep me out of them.” The sting of the memory of his earlier whipping still kept him out of the poolrooms on school days however, but, “On weekends and summer vacations, I opened and closed the place,” recalls Dick.
Pretty quickly Dick developed into a good local player and by the time he was about 16, he was considered the best player in town. In Durango at that time, the popular games were Kelly Pool and Golf on a 5×10 snooker table, which is where the bigger money changed hands.
Dick and his pregnant girlfriend eloped at 19 and moved to Salt Lake City, Utah for a couple of years, which was another step up from Durango in the pool world, but after a couple of years he had “run out of action there,” and they moved on to San Jose, CA in 1955. As Dick tells it, “San Jose was really booming, and the poolrooms and bars were full of construction workers with fat paychecks lining up to play $2 or $5 ring 9-ball. Coin operated bar tables were just starting to show up, but a lot of bars still had at least one 8 or 9-footer in it, and also there were hundreds of poolrooms throughout the Bay Area, and each one seemed to have its local hero…I was pretty sure I’d found a place to settle down.”
San Jose was only 50 miles from San Francisco, where the legendary poolrooms the Palace and Cochran’s were located. “I used to go up there about every other weekend.” As he matured as a player and gambler, it was here that Dick went from being the ‘Durango Kid’ to ‘San Jose Dick’.
For a few years around ’61 or ’62 he was part owner of a small poolroom in San Jose called Circus Billiards and it was there that he first met Ronnie Allen. It was another great young player – Richie Florence – that first came through and challenged Dick, but Dick was able to take advantage of his extra experience to defeat the teenager. Richie came back a week later with Ronnie. That was the first time the two long time friends and combatants bumped heads, and his first real introduction to the game of One Pocket. They also played Golf on the snooker table, which was Dick’s best game at the time.
In the late 60’s Dick moved to Fort Worth, and then on to Houston, Texas, where he and Jersey Red became kind of a house pros at the Le Cue – the owner paid them $125/week to make the Le Cue their home room. That’s when he really got proficient at One Pocket. He and Billy Stroud went to Johnston City one year, but their car broke down in Kansas, so they got there too late to get into the tournament.
After Dick got married a second time, Dick gave up the game nearly completely and worked for UPS from ’74 to ’89. When he started back up he couldn’t bend over due to back/neck problems, so had to adopt a more upright stance, but he soon got his game back and probably played his best One Pocket. Dick appears in one Accustats video from Grady’s 1998 World One Pocket Championships in Baton Rouge, LA, where he wins a close one over Cliff Joyner (1P98-02).
Bio and photo courtesy onepocket.org
1987: Reno Pro Am Winner
1989: McDermott Team Championship Western Division Winner
1991: Arizona State 9-Ball Championship Winner
1998: BCA Masters Team Championship Runner Up
2005: Az State 8-Ball Championship Winner
2005: Az State All Around Championship Winner
2006: Jerry Franklin Invitational 9-Ball Winner
Born: Manchester, England, 1959
4 time 14.1 Arizona State Champion: 2006, 2008, 2010, 2013
10 Ball Arizona State Champion: 2015
One Pocket Arizona Championship, finalist: 2012
One Pocket- US Open & Derby City Classic: 4 top 10 finishes (with notable wins over VanBoening, Orcullo, Shaw, Strickland, Parica, Immonen, Souquet, Cortezza)
Snooker-century break runner
14.1-High Run 116.
Bernie was first drawn to the game of snooker as a teenager, before moving to the USA in 1981. With an absence of 15 years from the game to establish a career and raise a family, he then began playing a variety of billiard disciplines until today.
After several years in various games, his favorites remain with an emphasis on One Pocket, 3 Cushion and 14.1.
Bernie is proud to be part of the Arizona pool/billiards scene, and welcomes the opportunity to 'pay it forward’ with any up and coming players.
1968 Midwest 3 Cushion Billiards - Champion
1975 Won Us Open 14-1 Qualifier Tournament
1976,1980,1985 3X Az. 14-1 Champion
Early 1980’s New Times Magazine Awarded - "Best Of Phoenix In Pool!!"
Don Played 14-1, 9Ball, 8Ball, 1Pocket, Snooker, Golf, 3 Cushion and Bank Pool. He was proficient in all games
Late 1980’s Retired From Competition And Took A Job As House Pro At Clicks Billiards.
Last 15 Yrs. He taught hundreds of students and was an excellent instructor.
Bernie Store is a mother, sister, grandmother and pool player. Unlike a lot of top players, Bernie didn’t pick up her first cue until her early 20s, but she fell in love with the game immediately.
Bernie relocated to Phoenix in 1984, and was always a very competitive person no matter whether it was volleyball, basketball, softball or soccer. This inner “drive to win” transitioned into her pool game as she started playing at Phoenix bars. At 26, Store was a mother of three, but started improving and cashing at local events. Although she never took a lesson, she credits her game to all of the many pool players that she has competed against, or alongside, over the years.
With her children all grown up now, Bernie has been able to devote herself more to her pool game over the last six years and it has led to invites to play in events all across the US and Canada. She committed herself to playing on the North American Pool Tour and playing as much as she can locally.
Five time Az BCA State Champion (2003 - 2007)
Two time ACS National Champion (2011, 2017)
Two time Saguaro Cup winner (2016, 2017)
BCA Nationals Champion (2011)
Two time Southwest Regional 8-Ball Champion (2016 singles and scotch)
US Bar Table Championship 8-Ball Champion (2017)
Winter Shootout Champion (2018)
7 Time US Open 14.1 Qualifier
One of fifteen invited players - World 14.1 Invitational 1969
Two Time National 8-Ball Champion (1987 2007)
Two Time Midwest Invitational Champion (1967 - 1985)
Six Time State Champion
All Around Champion - 1986
Two Time Don Rose Invitational 9-Ball (1985 - 1986)
High Run - 225
Arizona is blessed with a number of top female players. We are all familiar with the names. Paglia, Williams, Mello, Store, Miller, etc. Before all of those names though, there was Jean Vaillancourt.
Vaillancourt was Arizona’s top female player throughout the 80’s and 90’s. She won multiple AWBT Tour stops and was crowned the first Arizona State Women’s Champion.
Vaillancourt represented Arizona on the National scene, competing in numerous national events on the Women’s Professional Billiard’s Association (WPBA) in the late 90s and early 00’s.
"Jean was a dedicated professional player and participated in many WPBA events. Her membership in the WPBA was much appreciated as we were a new and budding organization. During the early 1980's, it was difficult for our organization to draw in women players from locations other than the Eastern States. Jean, who lived in Arizona, had the foresightedness to see, not only that there was a need for a women's players organization, but that we had a rich future ahead of us.
I, for one, believe she would make a great addition to your Arizona Hall of Fame.
-- Billie Billing (WPBA Founder)