The Iceman Cometh (Again) - Immonen takes Turning Stone XXV
Skip Maloney - AzB Staff
Jan. 12, 2016
Mika Immonen (Photo courtesy of Mika Immonen)
Mika Immonen (Photo courtesy of Mika Immonen)
He won the first Turning Stone event, 15 years ago. On the weekend of January 7-10, The Iceman (Mika Immonen) came back from the semifinals to defeat hot seat occupant Erik Hjorleifson at Turning Stone XXV. The $25,000-added event drew 128 entrants to the Turning Stone Resort & Casino in Verona, NY.
 
Though his draw through the bracket would allow Immonen to avoid competitors like (among others) Jayson Shaw (looking to chalk up his fourth straight Turning Stone title), Rodney Morris (looking for his second, overall), Johnny Archer (looking for his seventh overall title) and Mike Dechaine (looking for his second) Immonen did have to get by Brandon Shuff, and in a winners' side semifinal, Shaun Wilkie. Hjorleifson, in the meantime, was having his own problems (all solved), including our Player of the Year, Pin-Yi Ko, Mike Davis, Mario Morra (double hill), and in the other winners' side semifinal, Oscar Dominguez, who (looking for his second Turning Stone title since Turning Stone XIII), along the way, had sent (among others) Jeremy Sossei, Jennifer Baretta, Shaw, and Hunter Lombardo to the loss side. 
 
Immonen sent Wilkie to the loss side 9-4, and in the hot seat match, faced Hjorleifson, who'd sent Dominguez over by the same score. Hjorleifson took the first of two against Immonen, also 9-4, and sat in the hot seat, awaiting Immonen's return.
 
On the loss side, Wilkie ran into Morris, fresh off a sixth, loss-side win that had included the elimination of Jennifer Baretta, Archer, and Hunter Lombardo. Dominguez drew Yu Hsuan Cheng, who'd just finished eliminating Dennis Hatch 9-7 and Shaw, 9-3. Dominguez ended Cheng's weekend, as Morris ended Wilkie's. Dominguez then defeated Morris 9-2 in the quarterfinals, before his own short-lived visit to the loss side came to a 9-5 end in the semifinals versus Immonen.
 
Immonen, having earned his shot at the re-match versus Hjorleifson, took full advantage. He completed his search for a second Turning Stone title since he'd won the first one by defeating Hjorleifson handily 13-2.