Madenjian captures Connecticut NCS Straight Pool Championship

Bob Madenjian held off a challenge from Blair Levandowski in the finals of the Connecticut State 14:1 Championship to qualify for the National Championship scheduled for July 31 at Comet Billiards in Parsippany, NJ. The NCS qualifying tournament drew 13 entrants to World Championship Billiards in Manchester, CT on Saturday, June 20.

It looked in the early going as if Danny Barouty would command the short field of 13 entrants. In the opening match of the tournament, he stepped to the table and ran 100 balls versus Paul Lucius, earning a round of applause from spectators. His winners' side run was short-lived, however, and he moved to the one-loss side in his subsequent match, falling to Levandowski 100-87.

Levandowski then squared off against Kevin Vidal among the winners' side final four, as Madenjian took on Mark Kulungian. Levandowski got into the hot seat match with a 100-60 win over Vidal. Madenjian joined him with a 100-69 victory over Kulungian. The battle for the hot seat was more or less over early, as Madenjian ran 75 balls early, never allowing Levandowski to sink more than three balls.

On the one-loss side, Barouty and Steve Lipsky were mounting comebacks that would carry them as far as the quarterfinals. Barouty got by Steve Parise 100-27 and venue owner Scott Graves 100-35 for the right to meet Kalungian. Lipsky, in the meantime, defeated Paul Lucius 100-24 and Jim Hastings 100-28 to get a shot at Vidal. Barouty got into the quarterfinals with a 100-55 win over Kalungian and was joined by Lipsky, who handily defeated Vidal 100-14. The quarterfinal matchup proved to be one of the more tightly contested, west side battles, with Lipsky advancing to the semifinals 100-76.

Levandowski, fighting for a second chance at Madenjian, used a 60-ball run to get way out in front of Lipsky and finished it at 100-11. In the race-to-150 finals, Madenjian may have been expecting a repeat of his 97-ball victory in the hot seat match, but Levandowski had a different idea. Madenjian opened with a 70-ball run, but Levandowski came back with a 50-ball run of his own and eventually closed the gap to within three at 113-110. Madenjian got out with a 37-ball run that finished it.

“Scott Graves, owner of World Championship Billiards, was a great host,” said Kevin Vidal. “It's definitely a player's room, with no competition from rock bands or pinball machines. It's pretty much all pool tables; 18 Gold Crown 9-footers.”

Both Madenjian and Levandowski qualified for the July 31 Championship event in New Jersey. Room owners interested in hosting an NCS qualifying event between now and July should e-mail Howie Ryan at


1st Bob Madenjian NCS Qualification
2nd Blair Levandowski NCS Qualification
3rd Steve Lipsky
4th Dan Barouty
5th Mark Kalungian
Kevin Vidal
7th Scott Graves
Jim Hastings
9th Rich Andle
Steve Parise
Paul Lucius
Dana Kroll
13th Bob Hayward