Gray double dips McMinn to win stop on the Midwest 9-Ball Tour
Skip Maloney
Apr. 4, 2019
(l to r): Joey Gray & Magoo's Mgr. Shad McMinn
(l to r): Joey Gray & Magoo's Mgr. Shad McMinn
Dodd goes undefeated to take Ladies title
 
Trying to figure out how many times Joey Gray has defeated Shane McMinn in the finals of a regional tour event is like looking for two needles in a haystack. To make matters worse, it seems likely that a lot of needles, representing the number of times that it’s happened, have been left out of that haystack, not reported for any number of reasons. We were able to find one event – The 3rd Summer Heat 9-Ball Classic Open Division in Midwest City, OK in 2014 – at which Gray went undefeated, downing McMinn in the hot seat and finals. We found a few instances in which McMinn had bested Gray in the finals, all dating back to 2008. These two, along with another Midwest notable, Chip Compton, have been pounding the pool pavement for over a dozen years now, and they’ve probably traded picking up first-place cash at least that many times, but again, hard to know really. There’s nothing quite like history to make a rivalry, any rivalry, compelling to hear about, and if you’ve been lucky enough, to watch.
 
On the weekend of March 30-31 at Magoo’s Bar & Grill in Tulsa, OK, Gray and McMinn went at it again at a stop on the Midwest 9-Ball Tour, where, it’s relatively safe to say, this long-standing rivalry has occurred the most and arguably, most times not in the finals of a given event on the tour. This time around, Gray chalked up his second (known) victory over McMinn in the finals. They met three times; once in the hot seat and twice in the finals. Gray took two of the three, double-dipping McMinn in a double elimination final. The $1,550-added event drew 56 entrants.
 
In a $450-added Ladies event that drew 17 entrants, Alisha Dodd downed Jenny Shaffer twice and undefeated, claimed the Ladies title (more on this later).
 
Gray and McMinn got into their first match, battling for the hot seat, after two, 7-6 double hill matches in their respective winners’ side semifinals. Gray sent Jackie Melton to the loss side, while McMinn sent Cody Pratt over. McMinn sent Gray to the semifinals in a match that fell a single game short of double hill (7-5) and left McMinn in the hot seat.
 
On the loss side, Melton drew Ryan Robinson, who’d eliminated John Gabriel and Jonathan Kitchen. Pratt picked up Marshal Roney, who’d defeated Neil Drews and Tony Vue. Pratt and Robinson downed Roney and Melton and advanced to the quarterfinals.
 
Robinson then defeated Pratt 5-3 in those quarterfinals, before having his loss-side run terminated by Gray 5-3 in the semifinals. Gray took the opener of the double elimination final 7-5, and then shut McMinn out 5-0 in the second set to claim the event title.
 
In what might be considered a mega-event, within the tournament itself, AMC’s Remodeling in Mullinville, KS sponsored a ‘bounty hunt.’ Spectators at the event selected a competing candidate as the individual most likely to win the actual event. Any player who sent that individual to the loss side earned himself $50. If a player eliminated that player from competition, he’d earn $100. Shane McMinn was the player selected as the likely winner of the event, so when Joey Gray sent him to the loss side by winning the first set of the double elimination final, he earned himself $50. When Grey defeated him the second time, thus eliminating him, he earned the other $100.
 
Dodd goes undefeated to claim title, runner-up Shaffer collects bounty on Brittany Maynard
 
Alisha Dodd went undefeated through the 17 entrants in the Ladies event, downing Jenny Shaffer twice in the hot seat and finals. Shaffer, however, was the player who sent the spectator-selected Brittany Maynard to the loss side, earning herself $25, and then, in the semifinals, when she defeated Maynard a second time, she picked up an additional $25.
 
Dodd and Shaffer met first in the hot seat, once Dodd had sent Jessica Westbrook to the loss side and Shaffer had sent Kat Snelling over. Dodd claimed the hot seat 5-3 over Shaffer and waited on her return.
 
On the loss side, Westbrook picked up and defeated Laura McDermott. Snelling drew Maynard, who defeated her. Maynard shut Westbrook out 4-0 in the quarterfinals and then fell to Shaffer 4-2 in the semifinals. In a repeat of the hot seat match, Dodd defeated Shaffer in the finals 5-3 to claim the event title, while Shaffer collected her bounty for her two victories over Maynard.