Matt Krah Comes Back to Claim the MD 8-ball Title

Matt Krah, Big Daddy’s Billiards owner Rick Molineiro and Shaun Wilkie


35 players came out to Big Daddy’s Billiards in Glen Burnie, Maryland for the 2013 Maryland Open 8-Ball Championship. States of residence represented by the entrants included Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. The tables were 9 foot Brunswick Gold Crowns and Diamonds. The format was double elimination with races to 5 on the winner’s side and 4 on the one-loss side. The tournament was played using BCA rules and the use of alternate breaks produced a number of close matches.
Early round action saw tight matches between top players. Matt Krah pulled out a hill-hill win against last year’s Maryland Open 8-Ball Champion Mike Davis. Shaun Wilkie prevailed against Brett Stottlemeyer in a match where neither player missed a ball.
On the early one-loss side, two players notched first-ever wins against tournament favorites. Steve Lingafelter moved out to a 3 to 1 lead against Brett Stottlemeyer to be the first to reach the hill. In the next game, Steve was on the match-winning 8 ball but was unable to fit it past a stripe into the pocket. Brett took that game and the next to bring it to hill-hill. The final game was back and forth until Steve was able to clear his group for the win.
Another early one-loss side match pitted Big Daddy’s room owner Rick Molineiro against Mike Davis. It was back and forth until Mike reached the hill at 3 to 2. Mike broke dry in the next game and many of the balls clustered near a side pocket. Rick cleared this difficult rack to make it hill-hill. Rick broke and made a ball to start the next game, but 3 balls clustered below a side pocket. The cluster contained one ball from Rick’s group and two from Mike’s. Rick began running his group, leaving a ball near a corner pocket as insurance for when he attempted to break the cluster. Rick’s cluster break left him tough when he ended up with one half inch or less between the cue ball and object ball. The only available pocket was the opposite side at an extreme cut angle. Rick elevated his cue and struck the cue ball with a heavy masse stroke, pocketing the ball and ending up in line for the insurance ball and then the 8 ball for the win.  
By mid-day on the winner’s side, Shaun Wilkie had moved past Matt Krah and John Richards had advanced over last year’s Maryland Open 8-Ball Championship runner-up Roger Riley. This set up the hot seat match between Shaun and John. After some back and forth, Shaun had a 3 to 1 lead. Shaun extended his lead to 4 -1 by running out after a dry break by John. Shaun then broke dry and John returned the favor by clearing the table to come back to 2 games to 4. Shaun was not to be denied though, as he won the next game to claim the hot seat.
On the one loss side, Gary Wong had advanced past Tommy Kay and Rick Molineiro to meet up with Matt Krah. Matt came away with the win over Gary in a hill-hill nail-biter.
Tom Zippler made a strong run through the field after losing his first match and then advancing past 6 opponents, including a hill-hill battle with Warren Sunderland. Tom won that one to face Matt Krah in the next round. This was a tight match with each player taking turns winning racks until both were on the hill. Matt took the final rack and then moved past John Richards in the next round to advance to the finals.      
The final match was played in double elimination style. Coming from the one-loss side, Matt Krah had to defeat Shaun Wilkie twice – first race to 6 games and second race to 4 games. Matt won the lag and opened the first set with a break and run. He also took the second game. Another break and run moved Matt to 3 to 0. Shaun’s break in the fourth game dropped 3 balls and he cleared the table to get on the board at 1 to 3. The fifth game saw Shaun rattle a difficult ball in a corner pocket. Matt used that opportunity to go up 4 to 1. Shaun came back with a break and run to bring the score to 2 to 4. Matt broke and ran the next game to reach the hill. Shaun’s break in the following rack pocketed 3 balls, but he missed a tough combination shot during his inning. Matt cleared that table to take the first set.
The second set opened with a congested table and safety battle. Matt was the first to get free and he moved to 1 to 0. Shaun broke and was proceeding through his group when he hung a ball in the corner. Matt cleared that table to go up 2 to 0. Matt’s dry break in the next rack allowed Shaun to run his group to come back to 1 to 2. In the next game, a good bank shot by Shaun after Matt’s well-played safety allowed Shaun to run his group to tie the score at 2 all. Matt broke and ran in game five to be the first to reach the hill. Shaun broke dry in the sixth game. Matt ran his group until he was confronted with a thin slice shot past a partially blocked pocket. Matt threaded the needle and went on to clear the table for the title.         
The finalists would like to acknowledge the following for their support: Matt Krah is sponsored by Lucasi Hybrid Pool Cues, Kamui Tips, Hustlin Clothing, and Main Line Billiards of Frazer, Pennsylvania. Shaun Wilkie is sponsored by Lucasi Hybrid Pool Cues, Big Daddy’s Billiards, Black Heart Billiard Tips, Focused Apparel, and Q-Pod Chalk Holders.
Thanks go out to Big Daddy’s Billiards owners Cindy and Rick Molineiro, tournament director Debbie Davis, and the players. Thanks also to “Country Bob” who showed his appreciation by buying a drink for all of the players.
1st: Matt Krah - $525
2nd: Shaun Wilkie - $375
3rd: John Richards - $225
4th: Tom Zippler- $125
5th/6th: Roger Riley/Gary Wong - $75 each
7th/8th: Rick Molineiro/Warren Sunderland - $50 each