Lance Mason goes undefeated to claim February Freeze Event

Damian Pongpanik, Lance Mason and Eddie Mataya

Fifty-eight players from the WA, OR, and Canada descended on Malarkey's Pool & Brew in Tacoma, WA on February 19-20  to compete at the 5th Annual February Freeze 9 Ball Tournament.  The tournament was played on 10 9-foot Brunswick Gold Crown I's and the total purse for the event was $3970, including $1360 added by Malarkey's owner Clark Smith.  A full menu of excellent food and drink was available to players and morale was high as play kicked off on Saturday morning.  Tournament format included double elimination, race to 7 on both sides, winner breaks, and 3 foul rule in effect.  Tournament Director Andrea Saenz Maes ran a tight ship and made sure match times were available to the competitors throughout  the event.

Status quo performance through Saturday resulted in few unexpected eliminations.  Stan Tourangeau of Vancouver B.C. exited the tournament on Saturday, however; even though he was not feeling well he still returned on Sunday to support those still playing.

Sixteen players returned on Sunday.  On the A Side, Eddie M. v. Scott N., Eddie C. v. JD, Dumo v. Lance M., and Miguel M. v. Damian P.  Eddie M., JD, Lance, and Miguel advanced through their morning matche. In the A side quarterfinal Eddie defeated JD 7-4 and Lance defeated Miguel 7-3 to advance to the hot seat match where Lance defeated Eddie 7-3.

On the B Side, 8 players remained at the start of the morning.  Only money matches remained: Robert C. v. Ryan P., Marc V.C.  v. Dan L., Rich G. v. EZ W., and Dick T. v. Steve L.  Robert, Marc, Rich, and Steve would advance through their first round of play on Sunday, and for 3 of the 4 their morning wins were followed by early afternoon wins as well.  Robert, Marc, Rich, and Damian (who defeated Steve L. 7-2) would advance to compete against each other.  Marc and Damian defeated their opponents 7-2 and 7-4 respectively.  Fresh off their first losses, Miguel M. and JD could not stop Marc and Damian as they ended up defeating  them 7-3 and 7-6 to face each other.  Damian defeated Marc 7-5 and moved on to play Eddie M.  The winner of that match would earn a spot in the final against Lance Mason.  Consistent stroke by Eddie and a few unforced errors by Damian resulted in Eddie M. defeating Damian 7-3  to earn a rematch against Lance.

In this true double elimination format, Eddie would need to beat Lance twice.

Lance Mason- Path to the Final: Andrea S.M. (3), Clark S. (3), LT (5), Dumo (1), Miguel M. (2), Eddie M. (3).

Eddie Mataya- Path to the Final: Bye, Ed H. (5), Rich G. (4), Scott N. (4), JD (4), lost to Lance M. (3), Damian P. (3)

Lance and Eddie lagged for the break and Eddie won.  Early on both players made some unforced errors which resulted in a close match through the first four games. With the score tied at 2 games apiece, most spectators were settling in for what they expected to be a long battled final.  However; in game 5 a rattled 9 ball by Eddie seemed to swing the momentum in Lance's favor and he never looked back.  Lance went on to win the next 4 games in a row to defeat Eddie 7-2.  During the final, Lance won all but one of the games on his own break, averaged 1.0 balls/break, only had to push once, and averaged 4.43 balls per runout to defeat Eddie.  Lance played consistently great all weekend, his closest match was 7-5 against LT.  Congratulations to the Snooker Player from Vancouver.  

Finish      $$$    
1st      925    Lance Mason
2nd      650    Eddie Mataya
3rd      450    Damian Pongpanik
4th      300    Marc Vidal Claramunt
5/6th      200    Miguel Morfin, JD
7/8th      145    Robert Colby, Rich Geiler
9-12th      115    Scott Nelson, Eddie Carrido, Dumo, Steve Lingelbach
13-16th      90    Ryan Park, Dan Louie, EZ Wadsworth, Dick Trichler

Six ladies came out to compete with the men and Top Woman earnings were calculated by the number of games won, with two top finishing females being paid.
1st       90    Suzanne Smith
2nd        45    Kimberly