Cold Front Continues at Arizona All Around

Tournament director Bull Vankerwyk with Scott Frost

With Scott Frost riding a three event winning streak, the ninth stop on the Olhausen Billiards Desert All Around Tour brought out more than the usual roster of champions.

In addition to the usual crew of tournament heavy hitters like Frost, Glenn Bond, Jimmy Mendoza and Gus Briseno, this event also featured reigning Arizona State 10-Ball Champion Mitch Ellerman and Chuck Evans who has won more State Titles than most of us have even had the chance to play in. And with the points race being as tight as it is, this event also saw the return of “The Hale Storm” Doug Hale to the nine foot table.

While there is no doubt that Hale is a favorite to win any Bar Box event, it has been years since the Arizona fans have had the chance to see him compete on a big table. And it didn't take him long to show that he can still hit them just as well on the big table. Hale started out with a match against Eric Olson from Prescott. Olson is a dangerous opponent and Hale knew not to take him lightly. Olson led the match 8-7, but Hale came through with wins in the last two games to win 9-8. Things went from bad to worse for Olson as he went on to lose his next match to Michel Couvrette to go “2 and out”. Olson was not the only top player who wore the “2 and out” collar in this one. Havasu's Dan Allen lost to Brady Juve and then Main Street's own Jesse Renteria. It was the first time in four months that Allen had not cashed at an event.

Glenn Bond, who is still fighting it out with Hale and Frost for the All Around Champion Title, found himself on the wrong side of the board on Saturday after a 9-5 loss to Mitch Ellerman on Saturday. Hale made the most of his day on Saturday with two wins before facing off against Frost. This time, it was Hale that led the match 8-7, but ended up losing the last two games and falling to Frost. On Sunday, tournament play moved into the “Players Corner” at Main Street. These three tables are separated from the rest for a good reason. The pockets are triple shimmed and if a player doesn't put an object ball in the heart of the pocket, it is not going down. The pockets made a big difference as even the top players were jarring crucial balls. A missed 8-ball at hill-hill cost Doug Hale in his match against Ellerman on the one loss side Sunday and a missed 9-ball by Jimmy Mendoza was the difference in his match against Glenn Bond on Sunday.

The winners side came down to Scott Frost and Chuck Evans. Frost came out strong early in this one and took a 5-0 lead and looked on his way to an easy win as he led 8-3. But Evans has won more than his share of matches that he trailed in and he fought back to 8-7 before Frost was finally able to put the match away.

On the one loss side, Evans found Mitch Ellerman waiting. This match turned out to be a battle between the confidence and eyes of youth vs the experience of Evans. When Ellerman added a couple fortunate rolls to the mix, the result was a 7-2 win and a trip to the finals against The Freezer. The final match was a repeat of the finals from the recent Arizona State 10-Ball Championship and fans in attendance could tell that Frost was not taking his young opponent lightly. Frost came out winning the first six games for a sizable early lead. That lead disappeared just as quickly though, as Ellerman won the next five games. The match stayed close after that, but Ellerman was never able to pull even with Frost. Frost went on to score the 13-8 win and earn his fourth straight win on the Olhausen Billiards Desert All Around Tour.

The win keeps Frost's hopes alive to win the All Around Championship, but he will need some help. Frost trails Doug Hale by 160 points going into the tenth and final event this month at Alexanders Sports Bar in Phoenix. A 9th place finish by Hale in the final event will end Frost's chances to win the title. Glenn Bond though, has a much better chance to win the title. He trails Hale by 95 points. If Bond, can win the season finale, then Hale will have to finish 3rd or better to earn the title. The battle for the All Around Title is not the only highly contested race on the Poker Pool Points List. Randy Thompson leads Gary Koschnick by five points for the $250 bonus going to the top 8 rated player or below. One thing is for sure, it is going to be exciting season finale.