Looking to repeat at Derby City Classic, Gorst wins four events at ‘warm up’ in Louisville

Fedor Gorst

One week ahead of the ongoing Derby City Classic at Caesars Southern Indiana Resort and Casino in Elizabeth, IN, Railyard Billiards & Sports Pub in Louisville, KY, about two hours away, held what is hoped to be an annual event, the 2023 Mini Derb Open. There were four tournaments at the January 12-18 event in Louisville; an $8,000-added One Pocket that drew 11 entrants, a $4,000-added 10-Ball that drew 20, a $3,000-added 9-Ball with 60 entrants and 12-entrant Bank Ring Game.

Looking to defend his three 2022 Derby City Classic titles (9-Ball Banks, One Pocket and Overall Championship), Russian ‘phenom,’ Fedor Gorst traveled to Louisville for a little pre-Derby practice and won all four of the Mini Derb Open events, pocketing enough money to more than pay for any and all incurred expenses as he made his way northwest to Elizabeth, IN. If he doesn’t retain any of his titles at the Derby City Classic (he has already finished in the four-way tie for fifth place in the 10-Ball Bigfoot Challenge), it won’t be for lack of practice that he logged at the Mini Derby Open.

Small in field size (11), but big on talent, the One Pocket event, which opened the 2023 Mini Derb Open, featured some of the nation’s top One Pocket competitors; Scott Frost (Derby City One Pocket champion, 2010), Tony Chohan, John Gabriel, Sky Woodward (Derby City’s 2019 9-Ball and Overall Champion) and Billy Thorpe (who’s won the Derby City’s One Pocket event twice, ’17 & ’20) among them. Fedor Gorst faced three of those five on his four-match march to the title. Following a bye, he downed Woodward, double hill, Hunter White 5-1 and fought Chohan to double hill before claiming the hot seat. Scott Frost, in the meantime, who lost his opening match to Woodward 5-3, won five on the loss side, including a quarterfinal victory over Thorpe and semifinal win over Chohan to face Gorst in the finals. Gorst downed Frost 5-2 to claim the One Pocket title.

In the 20-entrant 10-Ball Open, Gorst got by six opponents, including Poland’s Mieszko Fortunski and claimed the hot seat 9-7 over Ukraine’s Vitaliy Patsura. In the meantime, John Gabriel, sent to the loss side in a winners’ side semifinal by Patsura 9-7, got by Sky Woodward (double hill), Fortunski 7-5 in the quarterfinals and in a rematch, Patsura, double hill in the semifinals. Gorst defeated Gabriel 9-4 in the opening set of a true double elimination final.

In the largest event of the week (60 entrants), the Mini Derb 9-Ball Open, Gorst faced Poland’s Bart Czapla twice; hot seat and finals. Gorst faced a total of seven opponents and didn’t give up more than two racks until he’d faced his fourth, Scott Frost, whom he sent to the loss side 9-4. He followed that with a winners’ side semifinal win over Mieszko Fortunski 9-5 and in the battle for the hot seat, downed Czapla for the first time 9-3.

On the loss side, Louis DeMarco who’d lost his second-round match to John Farrar 9-7, was working on an eight-match, loss-side winning streak that had included victories over Vitaliy Patsura, Sky Woodard (double hill), Scott Frost and in the quarterfinals, Mieszko Fortunski 7-5. Czapla stopped DeMarco’s loss-side streak 7-2 in the semifinals, only to be defeated himself by Gorst in the finals 9-2.

Gorst wrapped up his weekend in style. He completed his four-title performance by winning the Mini Derb Banks Ring Game. He and Earl Age split the top two prizes; $5,500 total.

Event representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Railyard Billiards for their hospitality, as well as all of the players who competed in the inaugural Mini Derb Open. Thanks were also extended to event sponsors Diamond Billiard Products, Jam Up Apparel, Michelle Griffin (Realtor – Schuler Bauer Real Estate) and Pace-O-Matic.

Go to thread

4 comments

Leave a comment

Please log in to comment