Mike Davis wins Maryland 8-Ball Championship

Mike Davis has been on a roll recently. Adding to his victory in last weekend's Planet Pool 9-ball event, Mike became the 2012 Maryland Open 8-Ball champion.

Forty players came out to Big Daddy's Billiards in Glen Burnie, Maryland to contest the Maryland Open 8-Ball Championship. The event was played in double elimination format with races to five on the winner's side and four on the one-loss side. The alternate break format was in effect. The tables were 9 foot Diamond and Brunswick Gold Crowns. Matches began shortly after 11 a.m. and wrapped up by about 10 p.m.

Early action saw Mike Davis and Brandon Shuff, two of the favorites in the player auction, draw each other in the first round. Mike jumped out to a 4-1 lead to reach the hill first. Brandon came back with 3 straight racks to bring the match to hill-hill. Brandon broke dry in the final game and Mike ran out for the win. Also of note in early play was 68-year-old Roger Riley's 5-2 win over Shaun Wilkie. Although it was unknown at that time, Roger was just starting his run to the finals.

Roger Riley continued to move through the field as the tournament approached mid-afternoon. His matches included a win over another player auction favorite, Brett Stottlemeyer. Alan Duty was also playing strongly. In his winner's side match with Mike Davis, Alan reached the hill first at 4-3 before Mike took the next 2 racks for the win. Alan rebounded from this by moving past Matt Krah 4-1 and Shaun Wilkie 4-3.

The later part of the day produced a number of close and well-played matches. Roger Riley continued his streak with a 5-3 win over Mike Davis. This put Roger in the hot seat. Alan Duty faced off against Brett Stottlemeyer in a match where neither player missed a single ball. With the alternate break format, both players took turns breaking and running each rack. Brett came out on top 4-3 due to having won the lag and having the first break. After his opening round loss to Mike Davis, Brandon Shuff had gone undefeated all day on the one-loss side. He continued this by running out the last rack in a hill-hill win over Brett Stottlemeyer. 

The semi-final match was Mike Davis versus Brandon Shuff to determine who would face Roger Riley in the finals. This was a battle of power breaks and run outs. Mike broke dry to open the match and Brandon ran the rack. Brandon broke in game 2 and another ball kicked the cue ball in the side pocket. Mike got ball in hand behind the line and ran that rack to even the score at 1 all. Mike then broke and ran out to 2-1. Brandon broke and ran out to bring it back to 2-2. Mike broke and ran out to 3-2. Brandon then came up dry on the break and Mike ran out for the win and the right to face Roger in the finals.

The finals were played between Mike Davis and Roger Riley using double elimination format. Since Mike was coming from the one-loss side, he had to defeat Roger twice - first race to 6 and second to 4, if needed. Roger noted beforehand that he was "pretty much out of gas" by this point in a long day. However, Mike was still on form and made his way convincingly through both sets to become the 2012 Maryland Open 8-Ball champion. 

Many thanks to Big Daddy's staff (owners Cindy and Rick Molineiro, tournament director Debbie, Bob, and Crystal) and to all of the players for making the event a success.