Kirkwood and Bartram score Michigan Tour Wins

The Michigan Players Tour held their season finale on December 19th - 21st at the Break Room in Grand Rapids, Michigan and what an event it was.

The mini event scheduled for Friday night looked like it might be canceled due to bad weather, but the blizzard like conditions and road closures could not keep the 56 players away. The field was filled with top players including Jason Kirkwood, Chris Bartram, Ronnie Wiseman, Adam Smith and Richie Richeson just to name a few.

Although there were snafus to deal with like the kitchen being closed and less tables available than expected, the players persevered and a great event was the result.

Chris Bartram made his way thru the giant field fairly easily until he ran into an "on fire" Billy Pinion.  Pinion would knock Bartram into the one loss side where he ran into Houston Rodriguez who seemed to be ending Bartrams run for the title.  In the end Bartram prevailed in a 7-6 battle.  Bartram then steamrolled Adam Smith 7-3 to set up a rematch of Bartram vs Pinion.  Bartram was determined to take the win this time.  Pinion was playing great all day until the dreaded tv table match up between himself and Bartram.  Pinion would succumb to the pressure of being watched live by family and friends and simply couldn't find his game.  Bartram  took advantage of the pressure and took the match 7-6.  Bartram then went on to play Matt Beckwith for the title.  Bartram would have to defeat Beckwith twice in this true double elimination format.  Bartram took total control of a cold Matt Beckwith and would take the first set 7-3 and the 2nd set 7-2.  

In a unique twist, the main event ended up drawing less players than the mini tournament as too many of the B players decided they didn't want to face off against the monsters in this one. But that just left the big dogs to fight over first place.

Jason Kirkwood raced to the hot-seat with wins over such notables as Ronnie Wiseman and Tom D'Alfonso. Alfonso then fell to Bartam in the semi-finals, leading to a Kirkwood - Bartram final match.

Bartam had his sights set on a repeat of his mini tourney win, but Kirkwood had other plans and scored the 9-5 win for first place.
We had some great matches and yet again, the players that come to the MPT events showed that they are professional and great at what they do.  They entertained many spectators with high levels of play and professionalism.  I cant be happier with the year end event or the players that have attended the tour all year long.  Thank you to everyone that supported us this year and thank you to the players, true professionals!
The tour is being restructured slightly to avoid sponsor problems going forward so the 2009 schedule will not be released until the restructure is sure to check our website often to see the restructure and to see upcoming events.  A couplpe of things I'm working on for 2009........9 foot tournament at Plush Pockets in the Detroit, MI area, Bar table 9 ball event at Game on formerly the Garage in Jackson, MI, as well as a 16 man invitational event, Top Michigan Players only.........8 old school players, 8 new school players.......$200 entry fee $5000 added. .  Once I firm up the details I'll publish it on the website.  If you think you should be considered for the event, please email me.
Thank you to AZbilliards for all of their help, Inside Pool, Inside English, Billiards Digest, Chalkys Que Stick cafe, Versatility Inc, Seyberts Billiards Supply, Reliable Sports, Got Action Wear and of course Break Room for hosting the event.  See you all next year!