Maidhof wins Maryland 14.1 Championship

Bob Maidhof contemplates a shot (photo courtesy of Warren Kahle)

The final day of the 2008 Maryland Open Straight Pool Championship and World 14.1 Qualifier has come to a close and this has been a great weekend here at Big Daddy's Billiards in Glen Burnie, Maryland.  Special thanks to the owners Rick and Cindy Molineiro, Tournament Director Peter Burrows, and all involved in putting on this qualifier. It would be a delight to play any game of pool as beautifully as these men have today – not only is the play meticulous, but superbly competitive.

The second round of the day saw some interesting matches.  Top seed coming into the day, Danny Barouty remained true to that distinction as he continued his dominance in this round with a win over Bob Chamberlain 125-45.  Chamberlain was down 95-14 and clawed back for another 31 balls before ending his tournament life.

Stottlemyer v. Wilkie:  final 125-46, high run 43 by Wilkie – the match appeared to be flip flopping from the sidelines, however, in the end it was clear that Wilkie held the upper hand as he finished off the set on the top end to advance

Lipsky v. Heidrich – Lipsky started out the match with a fantastic couple of racks, but after a soft roll into the bottom pocket, left the ball hanging for Heidrich to take control of the table.  This was the first time I have ever seen a bit of emotion on Lipsky's face (goes to show he is human!); safe play ensued for a bit before Lipsky mounted a comeback.  With the last rack noting a score of 103-78, Heidrich at the table, Lipsky noted that Heidrich appeared to have fouled.  The cue ball foul only rule came into play as Lipsky thought Heidrich hit an object ball and moved it – the cue hit the object ball.  After a brief discussion, the game resumed with a ruled foul.  In the end, Lipsky held off Heidrich for a 125-92 win and a high ball run of 78.

Deska v. Maidhof – both players are truly gentlemen players and worked eloquently through the racks – Drexeline Billiards (Drexel Hill, PA) owner Bob Maidhof was consistent and pushed through the racks with pure ease.  Deska was out performed in the end with Maidhof finishing off the set with the day's high run of 111 balls.  Maidhof also held the day's high run yesterday until Barouty bested him by one ball at the end of the day.

In the third round, Danny Barouty was pitted against Shaun Wilkie; and Steve Lipsky matched up with Bob Maidhof.  The races also changed to 150 balls instead of the 125 that they started earlier in the day with.

The match between Barouty and Wilkie was not as pretty as anticipated with both players making uncharacteristic errors, but both continued to grind it out.  At one point, Wilkie was down 94-44 and he mounted a comeback, but after he smashed the rack and broke the balls up beautifully, he lost control of the cue ball and scratched. From that point forward, both men struggled and at 111-67 (Barouty), Barouty missed a basic shot and scratched.  The match continued to flip flop from there on, but ultimately Barouty finished out the match 150-91 to seal his spot in the finals with Maidhof.

Maidhof  had already earned his spot after a win over Steve Lipsky.  From afar, it was obvious Lipsky was in trouble as the entire match he was sitting on the sidelines forced to watch Maidhof play his game.  The final score 150-2 saw Maidhof on top and with an additional 90+ ball run under his belt.

Just when we thought the finals would be the end of the weekend, everyone was informed that one qualifier spot was still available.  Due to the fact that Barouty held a spot already for the championships, he was not eligible for the qualifier.  Maidhof was the moment he stepped into the final arena, but for the second spot, Steve Lipsky and Shaun Wilkie had to battle it out and that they did.  Lipsky and Wilkie went back and forth throughout the entire match until it seemed Wilkie stalled out around the 100-ball mark.  It was obvious he gained the respect of those watching as he played an excellent match against Lipsky, but today was not meant to be his day.  When it was all said and done, Lipsky got the better of the match and ended with the qualifier spot and a win over Wilkie of 150-97.  

Onto the finals, Maidhof seemed to have the upper hand against the titan of the weekend Danny Barouty as he held the lead the entire match.  Barouty made every attempt to jump on top of the scoreboard and at the end of the race it was looking that Barouty might make that leap, but a few errors between the men left the table ripe for the taking and at a score of 143-140, Maidhof had the table with the break at hand.  The last few racks leading up to the end were extremely exciting to watch, but when they made it to the final rack, it was obvious that with the break, Maidhof had to take the opportunity to seize the victory and that is exactly what he did - the break was strong and opened everything up nicely – with only seven balls to pot, Maidhof ended the weekend champion of the 2008 Maryland Open Straight Pool Championship and World 14.1 Qualifier.

1st Bob Maidhof $1000 + $500 entry
2nd Danny Barouty $500
3rd Steve Lipsky $300 + $500 entry
4th Shaun Wilkie $200
5th-8th Bob Chamberlin/Brett Stottlemyer/Dan Heidrich/Ed Deska $100