Gorst comes from the loss side to claim US Open 8-Ball title

Fedor Gorst

Gorst and Roland Garcia take All-Around titles for finishes in both US Open 8-Ball and 10-Ball

“Gorst wins an event” is one of those “dog bites man” headlines that we news folk try to avoid as we search for a more attention-grabbing, pool equivalent of “man bites dog.” On his quest to claim the 2023 US Open 8-Ball title this past weekend (Mar. 8-11), three days after he’d gone undefeated to claim the 10-Ball US Open title, Fedor Gorst lost a match. He came back after winning three on the loss side to defeat Austria’s Mario He in the finals to claim the $10,000-added 2023 US Open 8-Ball title that had drawn 42 entrants to Griff’s in Las Vegas, NV. As he makes the money he’s making at the tables, Gorst is proving to be the embodiment of a suggestion by author Maya Angelou, who wrote, “Don’t make money your goal. Instead pursue the things you love doing and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off you.” 

‘Who defeated him?’ is the next obvious headline question. The ‘man’ that bit the ‘dog’ in this part of the story was Denmark’s Mickey Krause, whose last (recorded with us) event victory was the Music City Classic’s Midnight Madness tournament in January. Since we began to record his event payouts four years ago, it is the only (known to us) victory on his Money Leaderboard resume. His third-place finish in this most recent US Open 8-Ball tournament, puts him on-target for making 2023 his best recorded earnings year to date.

Here’s how it happened. Gorst was breezing along, downing Mason Koch 8-2 and Mateusz Sniegocki 8-4 when he ran into Daniel Maciol in one of the winners’ side quarterfinals. Maciol almost made Gorst’s loss-side trip a little longer as he battled him to double hill before Gorst finally prevailed, setting himself up for the winners’ side semifinal, the David vs. Goliath match against Mickey Krause.

Krause, by this time, had sent a few rather prominent competitors to the loss side. He opened with a shutout over Soledad Ayala in the opening round of play, defeated Greece’s Alex Kazakis in the 2nd  (8-3), USA’s Corey Deuel (8-4) in the 3rd and in a winners’ side quarterfinal, Spain’s Jose Alberto Delgado (8-4). 

Mario He, in the meantime, was making his way to the hot seat match and surviving two double hill matches to get there. He defeated Alex Montpelier 8-2 before running into his first, against Edgie Geronimo. He survived that to down Oliver Szolnoki 8-4 and then encounter the second, versus Kural Szymon in the other winners’ side semifinal.

He (Mario) survived that second double hill battle, advancing to the hot seat match to face Krause, who’d sent Gorst to the loss side 8-4. Mario He did not survive his third (second in a row) double hill match, as Krause prevailed to claim the hot seat.

On the loss side, Russia’s Fedor Gorst walked into a match against Ukraine’s Vitaly Patsura, who’d followed his winners’ side quarterfinal loss to Kural Szymon with victories over Sina Valizadeh 8-2 and Oliver Szolnoki 8-3. Szymon picked up Roland Garcia (runner-up in the US Open 10-Ball event a few days earlier), who’d lost an opening round match to Valizadeh and was working on a seven-match, loss-side winning streak, which, if nothing else, had to have given Gorst, now with him on the loss side, a few mildly anxious moments as he watched Garcia knocking ‘em down, one by one and headed in his direction. Garcia had most recently chalked up loss side wins #5 & #6, surviving a double hill battle against Jose Alberto Delgado and eliminating Peru’s Gerson Martinez Boza 8-6.

Garcia defeated Szymon 8-2, as Gorst was busy downing Patsura 8-6. The quarterfinals were a rematch between the finalists in the US Open 10-Ball event. With the same result. Gorst eliminated Garcia 8-5 and then, by the same score, successfully navigated his rematch against Mickey Krause in the semifinals. Gorst completed his title run with an 11-8 victory over Mario He in the finals.

In addition to the cash prizes won by Gorst and Roland Garcia in the two US Open events , they were the recipients of an All-Around Cash award, as well. Gorst, with his two wins, collected the 1st place, $1,000 All-Around award, while Garcia claimed the 2nd place All-Around award of $500.

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