Cary Heaton wins Gateway Tour Opener

The first Tour Stop on the Gateway Amateur 9-Ball Tour took place on October 8th at Teachers Billiards in Fairview Heights, Illinois. Players came from as far as Oklahoma to add to a field of fifty-five players, to include six females and three juniors. Everything was on schedule, registration ended at 11:30am with Calcutta starting right after. First round play started at 12:30pm and the final match ended at 9:00pm.

A battle for top junior match took place between Curtis Fronchek and Jerry Kennedy. There were three juniors (under 17) that participated and it came down to one match to decide which junior packed his cues and which junior continued on as well as earning the Top Junior award of $50. Curtis Fronchek is 14 years old and is a regular at the Billiard Bullpen in Collinsville, Illinois, home of Mark Wilson. Curtis played very solid in all matches, but just couldn't string together enough wins to beat junior opponent Jerry Kennedy in the fifth round of play. Jerry Kennedy finished tied for 13th after losing to Troy Oldham (owner, On The Hill Q Sales) from Greenville, Illinois.

The battle for Top Female was decided in one round. Chantel Davis, Julia Gabriel, Molly Hudson, Sandra Rives, Wanda Coates and Brenda Whittaker were the six females that fought their way thru the brackets to claim Top Female. All six females were eliminated from play in the same round, so the $50 Top Female prize was split between each of them.

The field was filled with very strong B and C level players. "It's a tough field to beat, but there's not one player that is dominating the others", said tournament director Danny Deiters. "I'm really happy with the amount of players we got and everything is running pretty smoothly", Teachers Billiards owner Andy Quinn (2005 BCA Open Champion) stated about half way thru the tournament.

With a field of fifty-five and a payout of $2,055 with the Calcutta included, it's one of the best Amateur Events in the area. Besides having the opportunity to watch other players play and participate in a tournament, the players got the chance to play "The St. Louis Shooter", Mark Wilson in a "Beat the Pro" Exhibition. Mark Wilson is a well-recognized person in the billiard community. It was a pleasure to have Mark take the time to come out and play with the players. Another addition to the tournament venue was a "Break Shot Clinic" with Charley Bond, Brenda, Ronnie Dyer and the BreakRak. The BreakRak is an instructional or practice aid to assist you with improving the accuracy and consistency in your break. Many players don't realize how important the opening break shot is in the sport of pocket billiards. The BreakRak will be available at each of the Tour Stops for the players to use and will be a part of the "progressive break contest" held at each Tour Stop.

Tour Founder/Director Michael Zimmerman, "Zim" stated "We really didn't know what to expect for the first Tour Stop, we just wanted everything to run smoothly and the players to have a good time. Everything went well and we received nothing but positive feedback from the players, room owners, sponsors and spectators. I think we're going to have a really good Tour this season and we can only improve! We were even able to add another Cue Maker Sponsor, Chris' Cues from Anna, Illinois. Next event, Chesterfield Billiards in Chesterfield, Missouri."

Results: (including Calcutta)
1st Cary Heaton; Litchfield, IL-$750 + plaque
2nd Loren Schuette; Cape Giradeau, MO-$450
3rd Tim Waters; St. Louis, MO-$275
4th Butch LaGore; Jefferson City, MO-$165
5- 6th Raymond Romine and Charlie Bond-$80 each
7- 8th Shane Keene and Ken Morasaki-$40 each
9- 12th Troy Oldham, Dennis Garogosian, Ronnie Dyer and Bill Harwell-$20 each

We would like to take this opportunity to thank our sponsors:
Billiards Press
Billiard Sanctuary Academy of the Cueing Arts
On The Hill Q Sales
Office Depot
Pocket Lathe
Ultimate Pool Player Magazine
Zim's Rack Billiard Promotions
CAM Custom Cues
Chris' Custom Cues
Webb Custom Cues
Zimmerman Custom Cues

For more information on the Gateway Amateur 9-Ball Tour or if you would like to become a sponsor, visit Zim's Rack Billiard Promotions at