Doug Hale wins Olhausen Desert All Around Barbox 8-Ball Event

Doug Hale

A field of 47 players were at Metro Sportz Bar in Phoenix on Easter weekend for the 3rd stop on the Olhausen Billiards Desert All Around Tour. While a number of the top players on the Poker Pool Points List were not in attendance because of the holiday, there was no shortage of "break and run" barbox 8-ball at this event.

The award for toughest draw in the early rounds had to go to Gus Briseno. Briseno drew stop 2 winner Doug Hale in the first round and then ran into Justin Whitehead on the one loss side in his next match. It was a very rare "2 and out" result for Briseno.

Whitehead's presence on the one loss side was thanks to Pete Gresh Sr. Always a threat on a barbox, Gresh made his way through a very tough draw with wins over Whitehead, Chris Adams and Evan Bishop to remain unbeaten on Saturday.

Another player who really opened the eyes of the fans on Saturday was Mesa's Michel Couvrette. Couvrette caught a bye in the first round and then defeated #8 ranked Steve Murray. Couvrette was only getting started though as he then sent #1 ranked Doug Hale to the one loss side with a 7-5 win. This was Hale's first match loss in two straight events. Couvrette then defeated 8-ball specialist Charles Peten to remain undefeated on Saturday.

Twelve players came back on Sunday with Gresh taking on Glenn Bond and Couvrette playing Derek Cumm on the winners side. Couvrette took a narrow win over Cumm while Bond sent Gresh to the one loss side. The match for the hot-seat saw Bond take advantage of multiple table runs to roll to a dominating 7-1 win over Couvrette.

On the one loss side, Gresh found Chris Adams waiting for him with revenge on his mind. Adams already had wins over Peten and David Wiseman on Sunday, and was more than happy to also end Gresh's tournament hopes. Adams did just that with a very tough hill-hill win over Gresh.

After the win over Gresh, Adams faced the daunting task of facing Doug Hale. Hale had won five straight matches on the one loss side and after a couple close matches on Sunday, was starting to look like the Hale Storm that Arizona fans are familiar with. The match between Adams and Hale started close at 1-1, but Hale then rode back to back table runs to a 4-1 lead. A careless position error by Adams led to another win by Hale followed by another break and run and a 6-1 lead by Hale. Adams put up a valiant fight in the final rack, but Hale finally won a safety battle and ended the match 7-1.

Next up for Hale was a rematch with Couvrette to determine who would play Glenn in the finals. The break turned into Hale's biggest enemy in this set as he scratched twice on the opening shot. When Hale didn't scratch on the break, he was running racks. Much to Couvrette's dismay, even when Hale was scratching on the break, Couvrette found himself unable to put away the match and Hale would run out when he got a chance at the table. The final result was a 7-2 win for Hale and a berth in the true double elimination finals against Bond.

Most fans remember Hale's amazing 7-0 win in the finals of last year's Barbox 8-Ball Championship at Metro when he ran six racks from the break. Hale looked just as strong in the first set this time as he took advantage of a couple early errors by Bond and claimed an early 3-0 lead. Hale then followed that up with three straight table runs to move ahead 6-0. A scratch late in the 7th rack by Hale led to a table run by Bond but it was 'too little too late' as Bond came up empty on his break in the next rack and was only able to sit and watch Hale run out to force the second set.

The empty break by Bond in the final rack of the first set turned out to be an omen as no matter what Bond tried in the second set, he was unable to get his break working. Bond kept the match close with run out pool when he was given opportunities, but those chances dried up after a dry break in the 7th game by Bond. Hale ran out that rack for a 4-3 lead and never looked back as he broke and ran the final three racks for the 7-3 win and his second straight victory on the tour.

With all three side pots, Hale pocketed $1780 for first place and took a 125 point lead on the Poker Pool Points List after three events. With Hale's historic absence at big table tour stops, the race for All Around Champion could be up for grabs.

The Olhausen Billiards Desert All Around Tour's next stop will be 14.1 Straight Pool on June 17th and 18th at On The Snap Billiards in Prescott Valley, Az.

The Olhausen Billiards Desert All Around Tour is sponsored by Olhausen Billiards ("The Best in Billiards"), as well as Poker Pool, Tiger Products, OnQ Cases, Whisler Custom Cues, Bebob Publishing, Joe Tucker, Billiards Digest, Pool and Billiard Magazine, Tom Simpson and Tim "The Monk" Miller.

Complete Results:
1st Doug Hale $1780
2nd Glenn Bond $955
3rd Michel Couvrette $435
4th Chris Adams $300
5th/6th Derek Cumm, Pete Gresh Sr. $175
7th/8th David Wiseman, Justin Whitehead $125
9th/12th George Rowe, Charles Peten, Evans Bishop, Jim Rabatin $75