Heuwagen and Pluta win Fargo Midwinter Shootout

With over $19,000 paid out for the weekend, the second annual Fargo Midwinter Shootout was bigger and better than the inaugural event that drew rave reviews a year ago.

The weekend kicked off with a race-to-7 Friday evening 9-ball tournament on the 35 Diamond 7-foot pro am tables that drew 60 players wanting to have some fun and gear up for the main 8-ball event. The temperature dipped to colder than -20 F that night, and the players who traveled in from North & South Dakota, Minnesota, Manitoba, and Illinois learned two things about pool and cold weather: (1) they actually play pool in Fargo inside, not outside, and (2) players get a little frisky with a full moon and low temperatures.

The two challenge tables—a tight Diamond Professional and a Gabriels Signature Pro—rocked all weekend. And sets of 9-ball, 10-ball, one pocket, 8-ball, and last-pocket 8-ball could be found all over the building.

Eighty two players began their race-to-5 8-ball matches shortly after noon on Saturday, but not before enjoying a complimentary breakfast of eggs, bacon, sausage, bagels, and a taste of Tanya's home-baked muffins, and not before a full-field Calcutta that would see the pot grow to over $10,000.

Lee Heuwagen of Minneapolis plowed his way to the driver's seat with wins over Larry Wentz, 9-ball champion Jamie Pluta, Johnny Meyer, Aaron Williamson, Dean Flanders, and Marc Oelslager. Accomplished young player Justin Bergman of the St. Louis area, who must have made a wrong turn on his way to Derby City, would win the B-side. Bergman's long ride before the weekend continued after a fourth-round loss to Canadian Jerrod Spence required him to prevail over Neal Cook, Dave Olson, Craig Stainbrook, Dean Flanders, Jerrod Spence, Marc Oelslager, and Danny Olson to face Heuwagen in the finals.

Lee Heuwagen won the first set of the finals to win the tournament and to join Shane Van Boening in the exclusive Fargo Midwinter Shootout 8-Ball Champion club.

8-Ball Results
1. Lee Heuwagen $2,000 (+$3,320)
2. Justin Bergman $1,200 (+$2,210)
3. Dan Olson $800 (+$1,610)
4. Marc Oelslager $600 (+$1,020)
5-6. Jerrod Spence $400 (+$600)
7-8. Dean Flanders $200 (+$300)
9-12. Albert Bruha $100
Craig Stainbrook
13-16. Jerrod Bernath $75
Dave Olson
17-24. Mike Decelles $40
Neal Cook
Aaron Williamson
Dave Johnson

9-Ball Results

1. Jamie Pluta $600
2. Marc Oelslager $400
3. Johnny Meyer $300
4. Craig Stainbrook $200
5-6. Justin Bergman $120
7-8. Josh Shones $80
9-12. Lee Heuwagen $60
Dan Voeller
Albert Bruha
Dave Johnson
13-16. Jim McNenny $40
Jerrod Spence