Morra & Van Boening Win It All In Minnesota

Jerry Johnson with John Morra and Roberto Gomez

CR’s Sports Bar in Coon Rapids, MN – a suburb of Minneapolis – was the place to be this past weekend! Owner Jerry Johnson and his staff laid out the red carpet for all the players and fans for the inaugural HEX.COM Pro/Am.

A total of $26,000 was added to this event. Featuring four divisions, there was the $8,000 added Open 10 Ball Championship, a $3,000 added Skills Challenge event, a $5,000 added Amateur 8 Ball Championship and a $10,000 added Open 8 Ball Championship.

Looking around the room, there were recognizable faces everywhere! Shane Van Boening, Alex Pagulayan, Fedor Gorst, Tyler Styer, John Morra, Roberto Gomez, Sergio Rivas, Jesse Engel and Gene Albrecht milled around the room.

After the players auction and the draw, play in the Open 10 Ball Championship began. The $300 entry fee format was winner breaks with races to nine. After they battled it out, there were four men undefeated. John Morra defeated Joven Bustamante 9-6 to move in the hot seat match as did Roberto Gomez over Vitaliy Patsura – also 9-6.

After losing to Patsura in the first round 9-6, Alex Pagulayan had another shot at him but to no avail. He was spanked 9-2. Bustamante defeated Robert Mattson 9-5 to move into the match with Patsura. Both Alex and Robert finished in 5th-6th place. Joven made short work of Patsura 9-3 leaving him in fourth place. Bustamante then cooled his heels while awaiting the results of the hot seat match.

The hot seat match was pretty much all Morra as he sent Gomez west after a 9-2 crushing. Roberto then survived his match with Joven 9-5 to move into the finals against Morra. Bustamante finished in third place.

As this was true double elimination, Roberto would have to defeat John twice to claim the title. Morra was having none of that as he trounced Gomez again 9-4 to take the title! Congratulations, John! Good effort, Roberto!

Both 8 Ball events began on Friday night after the players auction and draw. The Amateur 8 Ball event was open to players with a 675 and under Fargo rating. Players paid a $100 entry fee and played with BCA rules and a format of races to five with winner breaks. When the smoke cleared, it was Cornell McLean taking top honors and Sam Henderson finished second. Congratulations to both players!

And, congratulations to Jesse Engel for winning the nine foot Table Brains Skills Challenge and to Kevin McGrath for taking down the Table Brains Skills Challenge on the seven footer!

Shane Van Boening, Jerry Johnson and Roberto Gomez

Again, after the players auction and draw, the 8 Ball Open began. Players paid a $300 entry fee – format was races to nine winner breaks and take what you make.

After many hours of play, four players remained undefeated. The red-hot pair of John Morra and Roberto Gomez played for a berth in the hot seat match. This time, it was Roberto who took the match with a 9-6 score. Shane Van Boening locked up the other seat with a 9-5 victory over the always tough Alex Pagulayan.

On the west side of the chart, waiting for Morra was Russia’s Fedor Gorst. They battled down to the wire – Gorst was eliminated 9-8. Pagulayan was ousted by young gun Sergio Rivas 9-3. Both Alex and Fedor finished in 5th-6th place. Rivas then went on to eke out a 9-8 win over Morra leaving John with a fourth-place finish. Sergio then waited for an opponent from the hot seat match.

The hot seat match was as close as ever but a determined Gomez sent Van Boening packing with a 9-7 score. Shane head over to play Sergio to see who would return to the finals. Van Boening took dead aim as he dashed Rivas’s hopes 9-4. Sergio finished in third place.

Again, as this was true double elimination, Shane would have to defeat Roberto twice to win the tournament. And he did! He dispatched Gomez 9-2 and  9-3 to take it down! Congratulations, Shane! Good effort, Roberto! would like to again thank HEX.COM for sponsoring this event as well as Jerry Johnson and his staff for taking such good care of all the players and fans. We’d also like to thank Tournament Director Scott Norberg for doing such a great job running the various events.

Thanks to our commentators Larry Schwarz, Jerry Johnson and Ray Hansen for a great job.

We’d also like to than our fans and sponsors for making this all possible. Our sponsors include JB Cases, Lomax Custom Cues, CR’s Sports Bar, Diveney Cues, EnviroAssessments, Hanshew Jump Cues, Diamond Billiard Products, Durbin Custom Cues, Simonis, Aramith and Fort Worth Billiard Superstore of Fort Worth, TX.

Our next stop is Skinny Bob’s n Round Rock, TX for the 49th Annual $40,000 added Texas Open. Dates are August 27th– September 5th! Hope to see you there.

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