Mike Howerton of Phoenix,AZ founded AZBilliards.com in June of 1998. Originally intended as an online news source for Arizona pool players, it quickly spread to national and then international coverage of all the cue sports.
In September 2000 the first forums alongside AZBilliards.com were launched, based on the platform WebBBS. It was an instant success, as every pool lover had a place to discuss topics about the game they love, exchange ideas and plan tournaments.
The site underwent its first facelift (Version 2) in 2001 when the design of the web site was modernized.
The first Major events covered live online by AZBilliards that year included the Derby City Classic as the first National coverage and the Mosconi Cup as the first International event to be covered in depth.
2002 brought more changes as new sections were added inside an even newer interface and photo galleries were introduced for the first time. AZBilliards quickly grew in popularity as its Forums drew members from around the world to chat about their favorite pastime.
2003 was highlighted by the first introduction of the Vbulletin forum structure. We still use this forum software to this day.
In 2005 we began Google Analytics tracking on the site to be able to provide our advertisers with accurate information on our viewing statistics.
Jerry Forsyth came to AZBilliards in 2007 to help AZB initiate new areas of coverage, video and audio. At first AZB did streaming on its own but soon partnered with Accu-Stats to provide better quality and to be able to truly cover an event in depth with video, live scoring and news and photos. AZBilliards first offered its now standard live brackets at Turning Stone in 2007. For the first time pool fans anywhere in the world could open a browser window and follow the progresss of players through a tournament chart in real time. This soon became one of most popular features. This was the year that AZB launched the first episode of the popular podcast "RunOut Radio" with Johnny Archer and Allison Fisher as guests.
In 2008 the first live scoring was done at the U.S. Open 9-Ball Championships. Now fans could do their desk work and open a browser on their desktop that allowed them to keep track of a tournament with real time scoring of every table in the tournament room. Combined with the live brackets this meant that for the first time fans did not have to attend a tournament in order to keep close track of the action there. No longer did they have to wait a month to find out who won and what the best matches were. Now they could follow it rack by rack on every table as well as follow the players through the charts, have dozens of daily photos and daily written news reports as well.
After this at any tournament where Accu-Stats and AZBilliards are present for its online coverage pool fans have been able to watch free live streaming video of the highest quality, follow all the tables in the room with real-time scoring, and know the position of every player on the charts. This year marked the first truly complete coverage of a billiard event on the Internet.
Also In 2008 AZBilliards released Version 3 which updated the site to modern standards and allowed space on the front page for video as well as improving the capacities for brackets and live scoring.
More improvements came in 2010 when AZB upgraded the photo gallery software. An easier and quicker interface combined with excellent display quality improved the photo experience for every viewer.
In 2013 AZBilliards unveiled Version 4 as a much larger and more interactive site to finally give the game a one-site resource that contains more information, history, pictures and news than any other source. Version 4 also introduces two new European Team members to the AZBilliards staff. JP Parmentier will of course be our chief photographer and photo editor, and is the lead designer for the new AZBilliards. Jerome Desroziers is our Lead Programmer and will continue to lead our programming efforts as we improve and meet the challenges of the future. Mike Howerton is CEO of AZB and is the rudder that controls the entire ship. He is also heavily involved in the programming effort and is the heart of AZBilliards. As our founder this is always his child to raise. Jerry Forsyth will continue in his role of attempting to do as little as possible and still be kept on the staff.
In 2017, after a lifetime spent reporting on the billiards industry, Jerry Forsyth retired from day to day operations of the website. Jerry agreed to stay on board to help with client relations, but he turned over the day to day site operations and maintenance to Mike Howerton.
Dave Bond of American Billiard Radio passed unexpectedly and Mike didn't want Dave's vision to disappear. With that in mind, poolpodcasts.com was launched with the archives from Runout Radio, as well as new and archived episodes from American Billiard Radio.