Mike Davis Wins Series VII American Rotation Championship
Joe Tucker
Feb. 20, 2016
Mike Davis
Mike Davis
Yet another final match with the Touring Pro vs. the Working Joe. Mike Davis vs. Kevin West might have played the best final match we’ve seen yet, certainly the most dramatic with a final score of 138-140.
 
22 Players across the country as far away as Lee Ladouceur in Vermont to Max Adams in Alaska qualified for 2016 Derby City Finals. Play began one day prior to the 9 Ball Banks event with every player playing four 120 point round robin matches on Thursday to determine our top 8 on Friday. 
 
Shannon Fitch of Gate City Billiards Greensboro NC coming back to the game after more than a 10 year layoff had everyone saying “Who the hell is that guy?” topped Mike Davis & Johnny Archer for the #1 seed with a 4-0 record and point differential of +193, defeating his opponents by the average score of 48 points in a race to 120 points, very impressive.
 
Making the top 8 Single Elimination stage was:
1 Shannon Fitch NC 4-0 +193
2 Mike Davis NC 4-0 +152
3 Johnny Archer GA 4-0 +139
4 Kevin West MD 3-1 +146
5 Rob Hall AL 3-1 +141
6 Chris McDaniel CO 3-1 +119
7 Cleiton Rocha MA 3-1 +75
8 Jody McLaughlin IA 3-1 +14 
 
Just missing the cut at 3 wins 1 loss and a -21 ball count was Brady Norris also of Gate City Billiards. 
Players finishing with 2&2 records were;
Tom Zippler Magic 8 Cue Club Baltimore MD
Tom D’Alfonso Snookers Providence RI
Scott Rohleder Park Avenue Billiards Jacksonville FL
Tommy Najar Marietta Billiard Club Marietta GA
Tanner Nickels Teacher’s Billiard St Louise MO
 
Quarter final matches on Friday 
Jody McLaughlin (Runner up at last year’s Derby Finals) 140-123 over #1 Seed Shannon Fitch
Kevin West (Sponsored by Black Boar Custom Cues) 140-90 over #5 Seed Rob Hall Bumpers AL
Mike Davis 140-108 over Cleiton Rocha (Sponsored by J Pechauer Custom Cues)
Johnny Archer Marietta Billiard Club & Player of TWO Decades 140-106 over another player who had many wondering who the heck he was, #6 Seed Chris McDaniel Denver CO.
 
Semi Final matches guaranteed that would see a working man vs touring pro finals; 
Kevin West Great Slates Billiards MD vs Jody McLaughin Big Dog Billiards IA
Johnny Archer Marietta Billiard Club vs Mike Davis Brass Tap, Bucks & Brown’s NC!
While Kevin and Jody battled back and forth Mike Davis got the jump on Johnny and held it throughout the entire match. 
 
The final match was not looking good for our working man who also happens to be a Type 1 Diabetic. Mike started strong taking a 64-16 lead in a race to 140. American Rotation is a very tough game to come back in so we actually started to lose some spectators as they believed Mike would continue on as he did in his earlier match with Johnny. Many would soon return when somehow Kevin came back strong to make the match 90-90 & 102-98. From there both players scored exactly 20 points to make the score 118 Kevin 122 Mike with Kevin’s turn to break. He did what we all hope to do in that position, broke the 15 balls and ran them all perfectly in rotation to score 20 points making the score 138-122 and now Mike’s break. Who would rather be? The player needing just 2 points sitting in the chair or the player needing 18 but has break ball in hand? Mike broke a table that looked very difficult from the 5 ball on out. He ran 1-4 and played position for a preplanned safety on the 5. It worked as Kevin missed an off angle kick that required just the right amount of spin. Even with ball in hand on the 5 Mike still has his work cut out for him. The 6-7 were tucked under the 14 ball and would require Mike to shoot the 5 ball six feet up the left side rail while moving the cue ball forward and across a position zone about 6 inches wide and 5 ft away. The entire room was pressure packed and wondering what he was going to do and would he succeed or not. Iron Mike did no disappoint. After rebridging several times he struck it perfectly and fell on the only spot on the table where the 6 could be pocketed. From there on out we simply held our breath the see if Mike could run the rest of the table to nab the Series 7 title. Iron Mike came through with a 140-138 victory! 
 
All 22 players received travel money for attending and our top 8 earned additional money
$2,500 & Series VII Champion Mike Davis
$1,500 & a Great performance Kevin West
$1,000 each of 3rd 4th Johnny Archer & Jody McLaughlin
$500 each Shannon Fitch, Rob Hall, Cleiton Rocha, Chris McDaniel 
 
Series VII Finals was an awesome experience for all of us. The American Billiard Club helped put $25,000 in the pockets of some aspiring players and some pro players while they attended what is probably the greatest pool show of the year, The Derby City Classic. 
 
We thank all the players there and all the players at home who competed in their local 10 week Series. We thank Diamond Billiards for allowing us to come in one day early, the use of the tables, for making us feel welcome and for putting on such a great event. 
 
We thank BadBoy Billiard Productions for working with us on Friday while juggling our finals with the 9 Ball Banks Tournament, which had a record 385 players. 
 
We thank TVMike for doing a live free stream with picture in picture video allowing fans to watch 2 tables simultaneously. You really do have to watch these last 3 racks of the finals, the best finish to date. Final match is located on our Vimeo page here; Finals Mike Davis Kevin West 
 
Semi Finals Jody McLaughlin vs Shannon Fitch has been speed edited Semi Finals 
 
Semi Finals Johnny Archer Mike Davis coming soon.
 
As tour coordinator I can tell you, it’s a pretty nice feeling living up to the American Billiard Club’s mission of helping tour pros cover expenses while also helping aspiring players get to national events like Derby City for the very first time!  We absolutely love seeing these players who EARNED their way to these events.
 
The plan for 2016 is to allow just 32 clubs to qualify 2 players each (March-June & Aug-Nov) so we can have a 64 player Series VIII Championship at the 2017 Derby City Classic. Please email Joe Tucker at JTtenball@gmail.com to support a fantastic format and to secure your clubs spot as we are shutting it down to just 32 clubs, some of which will be coming from different countries ;)