Buddy & Ewa Win Andy Cloth Legends of Pool Championship at the Florida Billiards Expo


Buddy Hall, JoAnn Mason Parker, Ray Martin,Ewa Mataya Laurance, LoreeJon Hasson, Jim Rempe surround executive producer Charlie Williams (center), creator of the Legends of Pool Championship.

The Villages, Florida-  There were numerous highlights where each pro shined, but it was the stellar play of Buddy “Rifleman” Hall and Ewa “Striking Viking” Mataya Laurance that beat out their esteemed peers for The Legends of Pool Championship. Six legends of pool reunited after 25 years, and day 3 didn’t fail to please the full house audiences of the 3rd Annual Florida Billiards Expo   at The Villages, Florida.

Ted Harris Custom Cues, Grindn Clothing, Richard Black Cues, and SharkStrokesBilliards.com were just some of the vendors featured at the FBE.
Fans can still order the Official Shirts of the Expo with the Legends of Pool players on them by calling SharkStrokes at 407-288-2656

The Legends of Pool & The Florida Billiards Expo are sponsored by Fross & Fross Wealth ManagementRasson BilliardsArden’s Fine Jewelers,AndyClothQuantum Vitality Centers, Aramith BallsPool & Billiard Magazine, Taom Tips and Viking Cue. Sponsorships are still available.  The events are produced by the Villages Billiards Club and Dragon Promotions. Event marketing and promotions by Orlando Synergy.

Buddy Hall continued his undefeated momentum from Day 1 with a 5-3 win in the singles against Ray Martin. Hall got an early lead at 4-1, but Martin fought back to get within 1 game at 3-4 before a final break and run by Hall.

“I’ve never beaten Buddy in the finals of any tournament. I beat him plenty of times on the winners side, and then he would always come back and beat me in the finals”, Ray stated even during the match.

Rempe & Hall share a moment. The legends had barrels of fun during the weekend

Next the fans were in for a treat with a 6-handed Ring Game between all the legends. Once again, it would be the Rifleman Buddy Hall taking the first game that set the tone for the entire ring game. Martin and Rempe were winless in 7 games in a row and were eliminated in game 7 with a Buddy Hall runout. This left Buddy as the lone male with all 3 lady legends still alive. JoAnn Mason Parker was eliminated shortly after with Ewa and LoreeJon trading racks to hold on. In an all in situation down to her last barrel, LoreeJon won that game and kept herself alive. Ewa found herself in the same predicament next but was eliminated. LoreeJon hanged tough after a fortunate miss on the 9-ball by Hall, but Buddy was too far ahead in barrels and cash that LoreeJon succumbed in game # 12. The Rifleman had proven once again why he is one of the all time greatest money players in history.

“A 5 handed ring game is perfect. 8 would be a lot. But 6 works just fine”, said Buddy before the match began. Guess he knew what he was talking about!

Next the pros took a break and fans were able to enjoy a well organized brunch with their heroes. After that, they were treated to a live music show in the arena.

The evening session started with a highly anticipated showdown between LoreeJon Hasson vs Ewa Laurance. The two rivals had not played against one another in 15 years. The arena was at full capacity for this one. And you could hear a pin drop.

TV host and actor Mitch Laurance watches his legendary wife.  Tennis Hall of Famer Tom Sweitzer (center) & his wife Mikel enjoy their first pool event.

“It’s all fun and games before, but now this was a match I wasn’t going to miss”, said Mitch Laurance, famed ESPN billiards analyst and golf host who is married to Ewa.

“Neither one of them wants to lose this match”, said Dave Hasson, LoreeJon’s husband.

Unfortunately there had to be a winner. Ewa came out strong just as she did in her whitewash of JoAnn. Within 20 minutes, Ewa held a 4-0 lead and only needed one game more to have a perfect 10-0 game record in both her singles matches. But LoreeJon the “Queen of the Hill” lived up to her nickname and fought back in 3 straight games and now we had a real match.

A packed house watches as Ewa vs LoreeJon reignited one of the fiercest rivalries in billiards

But a costly position error gave Ewa a final opening and she took advantage of it with a runout to seal the victory over her longtime nemesis 5-3.

“LoreeJon is a fighter. She never gives up. That’s what all these champions have in common”, said Rempe.  

“Ewa has a heart as big as the world in competition”, LoreeJon had stated before the match.

Rempe was not able to stop the Rifleman

Next was the final singles match of the event with Hall vs Rempe. Both players recalled the last time they had played, incredibly, which was 17 years ago. Rempe made too many unforced errors, while Hall played precise and consistent. Buddy cruised to a 5-2 victory and locked himself up for 1st place in the event.

The finale event was 8-ball, and it was the Battle of the Sexes. The ladies vs the gentlemen. The crowd had not stirred and was anxious to see this historic match-up. But during the final introductions, Ray Martin’s daughter Robyn came out and gave a brief speech about her father in celebration of his pending 81st birthday. Ray was moved to tears, as well as most of the audience watching.

“My father stepped away from the game to provide for his family first…he still came back to the game and won world championships. He always emulated the virtues of a gentleman    and embraces what is truly important in life”, said Robyn.

“Why couldn’t you have said this after I played this match!”, said Ray jokingly as he wiped tears from his face and embraced his daughter.

“I didn’t script this, but this may have been the best part of the event!” said Phil De Angelo, President of the Villages Billiard Club who co-promoted the Florida Billiards Expo with Dragon Promotions. 

In the finale match, it turned out not to be a match at all. The ladies trounced on the men 2-0 getting to the hill first. With ball in hand, the men had a ray of light as Buddy Hall studied the table for a good minute , deliberating the best pattern for his teammates in the scotch doubles format. Finally picking his path, he shot his ball in. 

“Foul.” said the referee.

“Eeeeeeee! Buddy shot the wrong ball!”, exclaimed LoreeJon screaming with delight.

“I told you I’m not an 8-Ball player”, laughed Hall to his team and the audience.

“Buddy, you are now officially a Villager!”, announced De Angelo to the laughing roar of the audience.

The ladies ran out with JoAnn making the final 8-ball for a 3-0 shut-out of the men.

Ewa and Buddy had both won their respective divisions with a splintering identical 5 win and 1 loss record. They were both crowned and announced as the Legend of Legends.

Doubles partners Buddy & Ewa won everything and are now the Legend of Legends!

“Oh I had such a wonderful time. These are such good friends of mine and I care about all of them deeply. It was such a pleasure being here at the Florida Billiards Expo”, said Hall.

“The best part was seeing everyone. That was always what I looked forward to the most”, said Rempe.

The Florida Billiards Expo is slated for January or February of 2017 and is already being designed to dramatically increase events, players, and vendors to triple the size of this year’s.
Visit FloridaBilliardsExpo.com for full stories and photo galleries.

Just Like Old Times. Ewa,Rempe,Buddy,Ray,JoAnn,LoreeJon Do Their Thang

January 29-31,2016  The Villages, Florida

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Just Like Old Times. Ewa,Rempe,Buddy,Ray,JoAnn,LoreeJon Do Their Thang

January 29-31,2016  at the Florida Billiards Expo

Just like old times. Jim Rempe & LoreeJon Hasson share a moment en route to a 5-0 shut-out win in the mixed doubles.

The Villages, Florida-  The pros never missed a beat.  The Legends of Pool Championship reunited 6 legends of pool after 25 years, and day 1 felt like yesterday this weekend at the 3rd Annual Florida Billiards Expo  . 
All six pros had their moments the first day of competition to shine in front of a packed audience at the Villages, Florida.

The Legends of Pool & The Florida Billiards Expo are sponsored by Fross & Fross Wealth ManagementRasson BilliardsArden’s Fine Jewelers,AndyClothQuantum Vitality Centers, Aramith BallsPool & Billiard Magazine, Taom Tips and Viking Cue. Sponsorships are still available.  The events are produced by the Villages Billiards Club and Dragon Promotions. Event marketing and promotions by Orlando Synergy.

Day 1 started with mixed doubles with Buddy Hall & Ewa Laurance versus JoAnn Mason Parker & Ray Martin. It took 7 minutes before the first shot on the 1-Ball was even made! After the long safety battle, Buddy & Ewa finally took down the game. They shot to an early lead, but JoAnn and Ray fought back to get 2 games before eventually falling 5-2.

“I can’t believe that safety battle. I thought this was supposed to be fun and games”, said Rempe.

“Oh, you are going to be trying hard,too, Jim!”, cautioned LoreeJon to her partner.

An enthusiastic and fully packed audience loved every moment 

Next Ray & JoAnn faced Jim Rempe & LoreeJon Hasson. They ran into a brickwall as Rempe and Hasson played like twin brothers and sisters. Playing fast and loose, Rempe and LoreeJon looked like kids in highschool. They won 5-0 in lop-sided fashion.

In the finale doubles, LoreeJon & Jim faced Buddy & Ewa. This was a back and forth battle that seemed destined to go the distance. In the end, at 4-4, it was Rempe who made the fatal flaw that gave Buddy & Ewa the close call win.

Ewa consoles Buddy after an error

After the lunch break, the pros paired up with the VIP Legends Experience students in a doubles ringgame which resulted in Larry Russo & LoreeJon Hasson winning. Greg Diehl & Ewa Laurance finished 2nd and Ray Martin & Zack Nichols in 3rd.

Diehl, Larry, and Zack lag

Where the doubles was more lighthearted, the singles action was much more intense.

JoAnn Mason Parker vs LoreeJon Hasson. The background on this match was that LoreeJon had only lost once to JoAnn, while ultimately dominating JoAnn the rest of their career match-ups. But this time the tables turned as JoAnn took advantage of a big miss by LoreeJon in game 1 and never looked back. Playing flawlessly and fiercely, Parker won 5-0 in buzzsaw fashion.

“I won’t lie. I practiced hard for a month straight for this event, and especially that match!”, said JoAnn.

Next it was Rempe vs Martin. These two hadn’t played since 15 years ago in a senior tour event in Naples, Florida. Though Rempe was the more accomplished 9-Baller, it was all Martin capitalizing on Jim’s errors and winning 5-1.

“I’m still playing and teaching pool 7 days a week in Raleigh, North Carolina”, said Ray who frequents Brass Tap & Billiards daily.

Ray still dabbin’ it at 81 years old!

In the finale match of the day, it was Ewa Mataya Laurance vs JoAnn Mason Parker. Obviously hearing about LoreeJon’s match result, Ewa came ready for the red-hot JoAnn. Ewa played near flawless and dismantled the cooling Parker 5-0. The same score JoAnn had won by earlier.
In a lighthearted moment at 4-0, JoAnn conceded the game and requested to give a quick lesson to Ewa on what she thought Ewa should’ve done earlier in a shot, to Ewa and the audiences delight and laughter.

Ewa got the win, but JoAnn got the last laugh!

Legends Reunite First for Fun & Sun

January 29-31,2016  The Villages, Florida

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Legends Reunite First for Fun & Sun

January 29-31,2016  at the Florida Billiards Expo

A sight for sore eyes. Buddy Hall and Jim Rempe see each other for the first time in a decade along with Ewa Mataya Laurance, Ray Martin, JoAnn Mason Parker, and LoreeJon Hasson.

The Villages, Florida-  The legends of pool started with several festivities reuniting the champions in warm atmospheres. Two days filled with wine, cheese, golf, and fun in the Florida sun brought smiles to the faces of the pro masters. The Legends of Pool Championship this weekend at the 3rd Annual Florida Billiards Expo  . A quarter of a century in the making, some of the most legendary stars of the game are reunited for the first time in decades…and fans joined them for a weekend reunion! On January 29-31, 2016 the 3rd Annual Florida Billiards Expo offered pool fans around the world the Legends of Pool Experience! An escape from the winter cold and a chance to spend 3 days of pool lessons, golf, and meals while getting to know Hall of Famers Buddy Hall, LoreeJon Hasson, Jim Rempe, Joann Mason Parker, Ray Martin, and Ewa Mataya Laurance on a very personal level. The six champions will also for the first time be competing against each other in singles, mixed doubles, and a sizzling special Battle of the Sexes 8-Ball match! The FBE takes place once again in the Villages, Florida. Formerly known as the “Billiards Expo in The Villages”, the Florida Billiards Expo will easily have over 1200+ attendees during the 4 days of the event. Activities include tournaments, the Legends Pro Pool School, Golf Pro-Am, Ladies Wine & Cheese Night, Dinner & Lunch with the Pros, free clinics, and the main event, the Legends of Pool Championship.

“Being able to bring these terrific people together and seeing the champions of my youth reunited once more and enjoying each other’s company again really warms the heart” , said Charlie Williams of Dragon Promotions, Executive Producer of the events.

100 ladies showed up for the exclusively female “Ladies Night Out Wine & Cheese” honoring the lady Legends on Thursday night

The legends first met in the lobby of their hotel and then rode a van together to the pool school venue. The Villages boasts over 20 first class recreational facilities that each have pool tables, tennis courts, swimming pools and more. 

C’mon kids let’s get in the pool school bus!

Once arrived, the legends did a 3 hour interactive pool school with the VIP students. Lunch followed and then off to the golf course!

“I loved Ewa. She was such a good instructor and had a great way of relaying her knowledge”, said Larry Russo of Baltimore, MD.

“I can’t pick a favorite. I learned something from each one of the champions”, said Zack Nichols of SC.

“Rempe showed me some amazing 14.1 shots. And Buddy Hall was such a great teacher! I learned more in 30 minutes with him than all the years I’ve been around pool! Now I’m going to have to get a pool stick!”, said Chicago’s Cindy Lee, CEO of Dragon Promotions.

In the golf, all the teams did extremely well, playing foursomes with the best ball style of play. Even former #1 ranked Charlie Williams joined in his only second golf game ever. He made a nice 250 yard drive on one hole and sunk a 55 foot putt with a 3 foot break on another. 

“We were shocked at how well he hit the ball for never playing. I think he was hustling us!” said Larry Russo one of the students along with Zack Nichols. Overall they shot -1 under in the 9 hole game.

The team of JoAnn Mason Parker, LoreeJon Hasson and Ron Cerelli were heard cheering and hollering at their holes. With a -6 under score they earned the right to be.

“I don’t think anyone is going to beat us”, said JoAnn confidently.

LoreeJon & JoAnn’s team had it in the bag…almost!

Unfortunately for them, Buddy Hall decided to play that day. 

“I haven’t hit a golf ball in 3 years. But it’s a beautiful day and it seems Charlie has got everything covered for us to have a good time here”, said Buddy. His team along included Dr.Gregory Diehl of NY and Don Youst, a childhood friend of Buddy’s for over 50 years from the same hometown in Metropolis ,IL.
They shot -8 under! 

The day concluded with a special dinner with the VIP students, the Legends, and staff of the FBE.

Competition would start the following day with all the Legends in action against each other for the first time in a quarter century together.

All 100 VIP seats have already been sold out with only general admission remaining for the 4 available sessions of the Legends of Pool Championship. Tickets can be purchased in advanced at (352) 753-3229. Most of the amateur tournaments have also been filled to capacity.The 2017 Florida Billiards Expo next year will be exponentially larger than this year’s. 

More on the Official Sponsors at : www.Rasson.cn ,www.AndyClothUSA.comwww.Aramith.comwww.Taomtips.com,www.VikingCue.com 

The Legends of Pool & The Florida Billiards Expo are sponsored by Fross & Fross Wealth ManagementRasson BilliardsArden’s Fine Jewelers,AndyClothQuantum Vitality Centers, Aramith BallsPool & Billiard Magazine, Taom Tips and Viking Cue. Sponsorships are still available.  The events are produced by the Villages Billiards Club and Dragon Promotions. Event marketing and promotions by Orlando Synergy.

The Legends of Pool Championship concludes tomorrow. Visit FloridaBilliardsExpo.com for eventual full stories and photo galleries.

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