Bill Anderson, Howie Gordon, and Keith Brinton Going to U.S. Open Via Qualifiers in FL/TX

Howie Gordon

This past weekend, the U.S. Open qualifiers were in full force on Saturday, September 27th.  Down in Texas, Tournament Directors Doc Reyes and co-Director Dave Selbrede were manning the brackets at Clicks Billiards in Dallas.  While Dwight Sisson was helping to host another at Snookers Billiards in Tallahassee, Florida.  The details for each follow.

At Clicks on Saturday, September 27th, the $300 added event drew a total field of thirty-players.  Before we go any further, we should thank Clicks and Manager Tanya Mueller for adding money to the qualifier even though the field was two players short of filling the bracket (the added money was based on thirty-two players).

Representing the area in the qualifier were names such as Robert Newkirk, Bill Anderson, Tony Sulsar, Robert Clark, and Gordy Vanderveer.  At a $50 entry for a chance at a spot in the 2008 U.S. Open next month, you just couldn't beat the opportunity.

In the end, Bill Anderson and Jui Lung Chen came out on top in the finals.  Anderson secured his spot in the final arena by overcoming Chen for the hot-seat.  While on the one-loss side, Robert Clark and Tony Sulsar were playing their hearts out in the quarters.  Clark was extremely close to defeating Chen in his second match when the set went double hill, but Chen broke and ran the final rack.  Unfortunately for Clark, he suffered the same fate in the quarters as his day ended at the hands of Sulsar in another double hill set.  Sulsar went on to play Chen in the semis, but did not get very far.  Chen dominated the set, ending Sulsar's trek with a score of 7-2.

The final match was not played as Chen was ineligible to win the qualifier spot (which was known prior to play).  With that being said, Chen settled for second place and $300 in winnings, while Bill Anderson (undefeated in the event) will be playing in Virginia next month.

Results (Texas):
1st Bill Anderson $1200 (includes $600 U.S. Open entry)
2nd Jui Lung Chen $300
3rd Tony Sulsar $200
4th Robert Clark $100

Special thanks to all in attendance; to the management and staff at Clicks for hosting; to Kennan Keffer for his multi-tasking in the way of cue repair and referee duties; and to Melinda Bailey for sponsoring two entries for this qualifier.

Moving east to Florida, Snookers Billiards in Tallahassee, Florida, along with Tournament Director Dwight Sisson were working their way through twenty-two players in attendance.  As in the Texas event, two players ended up shining in the end – Howie Gordon and Keith Brinton.  The $100 entry event was a modified single elimination tournament.

Howie Gordon went undefeated through the field beginning with Tony Lamont 7-2, then on to Nick Spivey 7-4, Aaron Hanson 9-5, and Michael Halls 9-3.  From there, Gordon snagged the hot-seat match over Jamey Martin in a tough fought battle that went to the hill, ending 11-10.

Brinton, on the other hand, received a bye in the first round and lost in the second to Jamey Martin 7-4 taking a detour to get to the end of the road.  On the one-loss side, Brinton was fortunate to grab another bye and then defeated the remainder of his opponents with the majority not reaching more than four games in the races to nine.  This included Clint Nichols 9-3, Bob Albert 9-3, Mike Knox 9-4, John Beckwith 9-3, Nick Spivey 9-3, and in the semis the very man that made him work so hard to get there – Jamey Martin.

As luck would have it, both Gordon and Brinton are from Tallahassee.  Both men were beat after the taxing day and instead of playing out the final round, they decided to split the winnings and share a room at the U.S. Open.  You just can't beat that!

Thanks again to Dwight Sisson for spending the time to offer these guys a great and less expensive way to take a shot at the big guys! Also, kudos to Melinda Bailey for sponsoring an entrant for this qualifier as well.

Results (Florida):
1st Howie Gordon $1100 (includes $600 U.S. Open entry)
2nd Keith Brinton $600