FL Fury Finale Belongs to Wheeler

Forty-seven players arrived at Strokers Billiards in Palm Harbor, Florida to play in the $1500 added Fury Amateur Finale on December 11th and 12th, 2004. Cash payouts from the tour and merchandise from Sterling Gaming, promoter of Fury Cues was distributed to the top eight year-end points leaders.

The year-end points distribution follows: 1st Larry Walthall, Fury RP series cue and cash; 2nd Bobby Moore, Fury NR series cue and cash; 3rd Jim Sandaler, Instroke 2b/4s case plus cash; 4th Julio Delpozo, DL Series cue and cash; 5th Rick Rogers, Instroke case and cash; 6th Wayne Hutter, DL Series cue, Sterling case and cash; 7th John Hutter, DL Series cue, cash; 8th Dave Ruppe, DL Series cue and cash from the tour.

After the rewards were handed out and the first racks were broken, two players were clearly on their way to the finals. Adam Wheeler handed losses to players including points-leader Larry Walthall, recent winner Louis Altes, local favorite Jason Richko and Julio “Latin Connection” Aquino. Sandaler also had some tough matches on the way to the final including a comeback win from a 6-2 deficit against Aquino, followed by another hill-hill win over Bob Otto.

When Wheeler and Sandaler met in the hot seat match, it was a show of precision, with neither player missing more than two balls. Each player capitalized on the alternate break format until the score was tied at 5-5. Tides changed when Wheeler broke and didn't make a ball and Sandaler ran out for a 6-5 lead, which he followed up with a break and run for a 7-5 win to take king of the hill.

This sent Wheeler to the B side to face Aquino in the semifinal. Wheeler says he was determined not to lose again; it showed as he took off to a 6-3 lead, and with a miscue on the 9 by Aquino, Wheeler won 7-3 to go on to the finals for a rematch with Sandaler.

In the race to nine finals, Sandaler and Wheeler had another close match, this time knotting things up at 6-6. The players were going game for game until Wheeler pulled ahead to 8-6 but missed shape and left Sandaler a long difficult shot on the 4. Sandaler made the shot and ran out to make the score 8-7, followed by a break and run to make the match hill-hill. An unfortunate miscue and foul by Sandaler gave Wheeler ball in hand with a 2-9 combo and the win. Sandaler was overheard saying something to the effect of ‘always the bridesmaid never the bride,' as he has come in second a multitude of times, including the last two tournaments. Julio Aquino took 3rd and Tony Vicari captured 4th by winning seven matches on the B side after an early loss.

1st Adam Wheeler $900
2nd Jim Sandaler $530
3rd Julio Aquino $300
4th Tony Vicari $200
5/6th Jason Richko, Bob “Shorty” Otto $100
7/8th Larry Walthall, Rick Rogers $75
9/12th Rodel Morades, Bill Dunsmore, Louis Altes, Randy Smith $40