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Midwest Open II In The Books

Fedor Gorst (Pool Action TV)

Some of the best players in the world were at Michael’s Billiards in Fairfield, OH this past week for the Midwest Open Billiard Championship II. 

Everywhere you looked there were recognizable faces! Milling around the spacious room was recent Scotty Townsend Memorial champ Alex Pagulayan, Music City Open champ Shane Wolford, Iron City Open 9 Ball Champ Tony Chohan, Derby City Open Ring Game champ Billy Thorpe as well as this year’s Derby City Open One Pocket Champ & Master of the Table Fedor Gorst! And then there was Roberto Gomez, John Morra, Omar Alshaheen, Sanjin Pehlivanovic, Louis Demarco, Jesus Atencio, Shane Winters, Mike DeLawder, Dee Adkins, Robert Frost, Shannon Murphy, Jason Miller and Manny Chau in addition to ladies stars Kristina Tkach and April Larson – way too many to mention! This year’s pool extravaganza was modeled after the legendary Derby City Classic and featured 9 Ball Banks, One Pocket & Ten Ball divisions with an All Around Champion Award. A Bank Ring Game, Ladies 8 Ball Tournament and a Pro Ten Ball Invitational were held as well. There was something for everyone! 

Sponsors for this $19,000 added event included Joseph Long Attorney At Law, Greg Sullivan, Aramith, Simonis, Meyer Custom Cues, Ryan Meyer Cues, Seyberts.com, Diamond Billiard Products, Fort Worth Billiards Superstore, PoolActionTV.com and Michael’s Billiards. 

Things kicked off on Tuesday evening with a 66 player field for the $3,000 added Bank Pool event. The format was double elimination, race to three with alternate breaks. 

Tuesday evening also featured a Banks Ring Game. The two finalists were Billy Thorpe and Mike DeLawder – Billy took top honors! Now back to the banks event! 

After many rounds of play, the field was pared down on the winner’s side to Tony Chohan and Louis Demarco. The hot seat match was all Tony as he sent Louis west with a 3-1 score. 

After being defeated in the fourth round by young gun Jesus Atencio 3-1, Fedor Gorst had methodically picked his way through the field to face John Morra on the one loss side – John had been upset by Chicago’s Michael Eck 3-2. 

After he got past John, Fedor then defeated Louis Demarco 3-1 leaving him in third place. Fedor then moved into the finals but with his eyes firmly affixed on the prize, the match was again all Tony as he blitzed Fedor 3-0 to claim the first event! 

Wednesday was a busy day at the Midwest Open! It was the start of the One Pocket, the Pro Ten Ball Invitational as well as the Ladies 8 Ball events! 

Tony Chohan (Pool Action TV)

The $10,000 added One Pocket event had 47 players vying for the title. As in the Banks event, the format was double elimination with a race to three and alternate breaks. Red hot Tony Chohan tore through the field leaving Jesus Atencio, Jeff Lawrence, Cody Myers, Dee Adkins and Jason Shearer in his wake. 

On the bottom half of the chart, Alex Pagulayan opened with a bye and then defeated Leo Kincannon, Jeremiah Stanfield and Can Salim before edging out the always tough Fedor Gorst to reach the hot seat match. 

And again, Tony was a man on a mission as he spanked Alex 3-1 to claim his spot in the finals. Alex headed west to await an opponent. 

In a battle of the young guns, Shane Wolford took down Gorst 3-1 to face Alex for a spot in the finals. Alex, however, was having none of it as he put Shane on ice and won the match 3-0! Fedor finished in fourth place while Shane finished third. 

The finals began between the two giants of the one pocket world. Alex won the first set 3-1 forcing a second for the title. The final set saw both players grinding it out to a 2-2 tie. However, it was again Chohan as he claimed his second title at the Midwest Open! 

April Larson (Pool Action TV)

The $500 added Ladies 8 Ball Championship had 29 players – double elimination format with races to 4/3 and alternate breaks. Angela Mears swept through the field undefeated to face April Larson in the finals. April prevailed leaving Angela with a runner-up finish and Danielle Lunsford in third place. 

The $1,000 added 10 Ball Invitational had ten players – the format was single elimination with races to thirteen and alternate breaks. Fedor Gorst and Jesus Atencio advanced to the finals. It was a close match all the way but Fedor closed it out to claim the title with a 15-12 score. Tony Chohan and Kashton Keeton tied for third place. 

And finally, Event #3 – the $3,000 Ten Ball! Featuring 106 players and played on seven foot Diamonds, the format was double elimination, races to 9/7 with alternate breaks. 

In contention with Tony Chohan for the Master of the Table crown, a determined Fedor Gorst plowed through the field and notched out wins over Todd Michael, Steve Anderson, edged out Shane Wolford, then Willie Butler, Mike DeLawder & finally Billy Thorpe to arrive at the hot seat match. 

Meanwhile, in the lower portion of the bracket, Sanjin Pehlivanovic also made his mark as he defeated Clay Carman, Tommy Stephenson, Koka Davladze, reigning Midwest Billiards bar box champ Kristina Tkach, Dee Adkins and Louis Demarco. 

Fedor and Sanjin battled it out in the hot seat match but it was Gorst who locked up his seat in the finals 9-6. 

After losing her match to Sanjin in the third round, Kristina Tkach survived her matches with Jerry Arvalaez, Can Salim, Matthew Carman, Mike DeLawder and Louis Demarco before she finally succumbed to Alex Pagulayan 7-6! Don’t think this lady can’t play! She finished in a hard earned fourth place. 

Alex and Sanjin then battled to the end before the Lion was slayed 7-6. He finished in third place as Pehlivanovic moved on to the finals. 

Always in the lead, Fedor went on to take Sanjin down 9-4 and claimed not only the Ten Ball title but also Master of the Table! 

Congratulations to this year’s champs – Fedor Gorst, Tony Chohan, Billy Thorpe and April Larson!!! And again, congratulations to Fedor for taking his second Master of the Table crown of the year! 

Thanks go out to owner Michael Medley and his staff for going the extra mile to make both players and fans welcome. We’d also like to thank Tournament Director Jason Hill and his assistants Robert Frost and Cody Myers for ably running the many events. 

PoolActionTV.com would like to thank Jeremy Jones, Larry Schwartz, Mary Kenniston, Alex Pagulayan, Dee Adkins and Ray Hansen for their excellent commentary. 

We’d also like to thank our fans and sponsors for another fantastic event. Our sponsors include JB Cases, Hanshew Jump Cues, Simonis, Aramith, Lomax Custom Cues, StraightPoolEye, Durbin Custom Cues, Diamond Billiard Products, the Action Palace of Dayton, OH and Fort Worth Billiards Superstore of Fort Worth, TX. 

Our next stop is Griff’s in Las Vegas, NV for the US Open 10 Ball, US Open 8 Ball, US Open One Pocket and the US Open Bank Pool Championships! Dates are April 3rd-14th! Sure hope to see you there!!!

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Lovely stops loss-side by Keeney to go undefeated on Midwest Ladies Regional Tour

Liz Lovely

The last time Liz Lovely and Nicole Keeney squared off in a final match, during the third stop on the Midwest Ladies Regional Tour (MLRT) in April, Keeney came out on top, defeating Lovely twice to claim the title. On Saturday, June 18, they met again, only this time, it was Lovely who came out on top, stopping a loss-side bid by Keeney in their only meeting, in the finals. The $500-added event drew 13 entrants to Miss Cue North in Toledo, OH.
 
With Keeney already at work on the loss side, thanks to a double hill defeat at the hands of Charlotte Ashley, Liz Lovely advanced to a winners' side semifinal against Cathy McDaniel. Adina Pelletier, in the meantime, faced Toni Tucker. Lovely moved into the hot seat match 7-3 over McDaniel, and was joined by Pelletier, who'd sent Tucker to the loss side 7-5. Lovely shut Pelletier out and sat in the hot seat, waiting on Keeney.
 
Keeney opened her loss-side run against Carla Herevia. A 6-1 victory over Herevia was followed by a double hill win over Angela Mears, which set Keeney up to face McDaniel. Tucker picked up Stephanie Goens, who'd completed two straight double hill wins over Charlotte Ashley and Lupe Harpster.
 
Keeney eliminated McDaniel 6-2, and in the quarterfinals, met with Tucker, who'd defeated Goens 6-3. Keeney took the quarterfinal match over Tucker 6-4, and, as Lovely had done in the hot seat match, shut Pelletier out in the semifinals. 
 
Lovely ended Keeney's run in the finals, but not without a double hill fight. As winner, Lovely qualified for the North American Pool Tour's next stop in August. A scheduling conflict led Lovely to pass the qualification prize on to Keeney.
 
The next stop on the MLRT, scheduled for August 13, will be hosted by 8-Ball Sports Bar in Columbus, OH.

Keeney gets by Lovely twice to win third stop on Midwest Ladies Regional Tour

In a field considerably diminished by snow and ice, still dogging quite a few Northern regions of the country, Nicole Keeney and Liz Lovely showed up to play at the third stop on the Midwest Ladies Regional Tour on Saturday, April 9. They played twice, in the hot seat and finals, with Keeney winning them both to complete an undefeated, short run at the $250-added event that drew 12 entrants to Snookers, in Livonia, MI.
 
Keeney faced Carla Herevia in one winners' side semifinal, as Lovely (for unspecified reasons, playing with a house cue throughout the tournament), squared off against Charlotte Ashley. Keeney gave up only one rack to Herevia. Lovely gave up three to Ashley. In the hot seat match that followed, Lovely chalked up four against Keeney and moved to the semifinals.
 
Herevia picked up Ali Seatle on the loss side, who'd gotten by Cathy McDaniel 6-4 and Jaki Lovrince 6-3. Ashley ran into Joset Seltz, who'd defeated Michelle Barth, double hill, and tour director Angela Williams 6-4. Angela Mears, who'd lost to Williams, and Lupe Harpster, who'd lost to Lovrince rounded out the field of 12.
 
Ashley eliminated Seltz 6-2, while Herevia ended Seatle's bid 6-4. Ashley defeated Herevia 6-3 in the quarterfinal match that followed, and had her own bid ended by Lovely 6-1 in the semifinals. As one might have expected from the finals combination of Keeney and Lovely, the match went double hill, before Keeney finished it at 7-6 to claim the event title.

McDaniel thwarts loss-side challenge by Cooper to go undefeated on MLRT Stop #2

Cathy McDaniel sat in the hot seat during Stop #2 on the Midwest Ladies Regional Tour, held on the weekend of March 19-20, as Julie Cooper worked her way through the loss side for an eventual matchup in the finals. McDaniel prevailed in that final match to complete an undefeated run through a field of 16 that had gathered for the $500-added event, hosted by Michael’s Billiards in Fairfield, OH.

McDaniel got into the hot seat match with a 7-5 victory over Amee Schmidt in a winners’ side semifinal, as Charlotte Ashley was defeating Erin Glenn 7-3 to join her.  McDaniel claimed the hot seat 7-4 over Ashley and waited on Cooper.

It was Glenn who drew Cooper on the loss side; Cooper, having eliminated Christy Dickerson 6-1 and Connie O’Heron 6-4 to reach her. Schmidt picked up Deborah Cervantes, who’d defeated Kathy Quass 6-1 and Angela Mears, double hill.

Cooper’s loss-side run continued with a 6-2 victory over Glenn. Schmidt downed Cervantes 6-4 to join Cooper in the quarterfinals. Cooper then eliminated Schmidt 6-4, and earned her spot in the finals with a 6-2 victory over Ashley in the semifinals.

Cooper’s run ended in those finals. McDaniel completed her undefeated run with a 7-4 finals victory to claim the title.

Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff of Michael’s Billiards, as well as sponsors McDermott Cues, Poison by Predator, Simonis Cloth, Ozone Billiards and Inside English. The next stop on the Midwest Ladies Regional Tour, scheduled for April 9-10, will be hosted by Snookers’ Pool & Pub in Livonia, MI.

Dickerson Wins on Midwest Ladies Tour…Undefeated!

Connie O’Heron, Christy Dickerson and Rebecca Venson

A gorgeous, modern backdrop, European Global 9-footers, and big screen TVs set the stage for MLRT Stop #6 where 18 of the area’s top talents battled at Plush Pocket in Warren, MI. Coming out strong, and making it to the quarter finals were Debbie Cervantes v Connie O’Heron, Trish Vermule v Rebecca Venson, Curtisha Alford v Christy Dickerson, and Angela Mears v Jaki Lovrince
 
Surprisingly, Rae “Young Gun” Norgaard struggled in the first round, losing to Vermule 4-7. Competitors who also didn’t play their best in the early day were Sherrlyrodaka Latterel, Angela Williams, Lupe Harpster, Shari Ross, Julie Hunter, Adina Pelletier, Janice Kumagai, and Ali Seattle. 
 
However, Harpster and Pelletier showed great stamina and skill, blasting through the B-side. Harpster defeated Kelly O’Heron (6-3); Cervantes (6-4), and Williams (6-4) before losing her match against Mears 3-6. Lovrince showed her experience, beating out Norgaard 6-5. Pelletier beat out Kumagai (6-2) and Alford (6-4), but then lost to Lovrince 2-6. 
 
On the winner’s side, Christy Dickerson gave nothing away as she barreled through the competition, beating Mears 7-4 and Connie O’Heron 7-1. 
 
Rebecca Venson showed up, too, beating Vermule 4-7 in the quarter finals, and put up a valiant fight against O’Heron, who came out on top 7-4.
 
After being defeated in the semi-finals, Venson beat Lovrince 6-2, then ferociously battled Mears, winning the set 6-4, for her chance to get back to O’Heron. The second meeting of these two powerhouses was extraordinary. Subtlety and sheer willfulness beamed from both women, each going tit-for-tat during the semi-finals on the B-side. In the end, tied 5-5, O’Heron made a fatal error, and Venson swooped in for the kill! 
 
The finals match was simply an annihilation. Dickerson hit every stroke perfectly, pocketing each ball dead-center. Venson started strong, but her confidence faltered in the second game, giving the lead 2-1 to Dickerson. Dickerson then broke and ran the next game, only to scratch on the 9, tying the match 2-2. That was the last game Venson got. Dickerson cleaned table after table, Venson only getting up to break on her turn. Each miss by Venson was a victory for Dickerson, who finished the set 7-2, undefeated the entire day!
 
Special thanks go to Kevin Ross for taking action shots! For more of Kevin’s work, find him on flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/k_c_ross/. 
 
MLRT Stop #7 will take place on October 17, 2015 at Michael’s Billiards in Fairfield, OH. For more info, see their website at www.midwestladiestour.com and/or contact the tour directors at director@midwestladiestour.com.
 

Young Stars Shine Bright at Midwest Ladies Regional Tour Stop

Liz Lovely

Sixteen women competed in the Midwest Ladies’ Regional Tour Stop #4 at 8 Ball Sports Bar & Billiards in Columbus, Ohio.  
 
The first round competitors put up the best fight against the two young stars of MLRT Stop #5: Midwest favorite 23-year-old Liz Lovely, who beat Julie Skripac-Cooper 7-6, and newcomer 21-year-old “Young Gun” Rae Norgaard, who beat Curtisha Alford 7-6. However, these two young women delivered astonishing knock-out punches in the second and third rounds: Lovely defeated Rosanna Jarvis Ramirez (7-1) and Trish Vermule (7-0), and Norgaard won against Julie Hunter (7-3) and Connie O’Heron (7-3).
 
Spectators and fellow players alike were in awe of the ferocity and focus delivered by Lovely, as she smooth-stroked her way to a victory over Norgaard in the semi-finals (7-3). Young Gun begrudgingly took her seat in the B-side chair and awaited her chance to get back to Lovely. 
 
Meanwhile on the B-side, Columbus native and local legend Shannon Dunn (who struggled in the first round against Hunter, tore through the competition. The quarter finals saw Dunn victorious over Vermule (6-5) and O’Heron won against Hunter (6-4). Dunn then defeated O’Heron in a wicked B-side semi-final round (6-4); O’Heron finished 4th.
 
Not hitting a great stride, but proving great competition, the first players out were Curtisha Alford, Adina Pelletier, Tabitha Carmack, and Chelsea Richert. Ramirez, Angela Williams, Monica Hill, and Cooper finished 9th. Angela Mears and Debbie Cervantes went out in 7th place. 
 
In the finals of the B-side Norgaard and Dunn met again. Young Gun was ready this time, and came out of the gate swinging! The battle was fast and furious, each player running balls, hitting straight as they went tit-for-tat with a mid-match score of 4-3. However, a fatal error on Dunn’s part gave the lead to Norgaard 5-3, who broke and ran the last rack. Dunn finished 3rd.
 
Fresh off her victory, and determined to redeem her earlier defeat, Norgaard was in dead-stroke, pulling out a 9-ball break and two break-n-runs, defeating Lovely in the first set 7-2! 
 
Lovely wasted no time, took no breaks before approaching the table to flip for the next set. You could see the sheer focus from the seasoned player, known across the Midwest for her stunning juniors record and major achievements since moving up to semi-professional play. Norgaard missed a total of 3 shots in the second set against Lovely, and that was all it took. Lovely returned the favor, defeating Norgaard 6-2 for the win!
 
MLRT Stop #6 will take place on September 12, 2015 at Plush Pockets in Warren, MI. For more info, see their website at www.midwestladiestour.com and/or contact the tour directors at director@midwestladiestour.com.
 

Double-Tap Upset on Midwest Ladies Regional Tour

Deborah Cervantes and Angela Williams

The Midwest Ladies’ Regional Tour (MLRT) held the second stop of the tour season at BankShot Billiards in Louisville, KY on May 16th. The turnout was tiny, but the competition was huge.
 
The first round saw Jennifer Swenson, Deborah Cervantes, and Angela Williams jump out with impressive wins (7-4, 7-4, 7-3, respectively.)  Cervantes and Williams continued their winning streak to play each other in the semi-finals; Williams won 7-2 to take the chair.
 
The loser’s bracket was just as monstrous; Laura Semko and Jennifer Swenson shut-out their opponents Tonya Wiser and Tabitha Carmack, 6-0. Unfortunately, Semko had an emergency, so she was unable to defend her place, forfeiting to Angela Mears, who had lost to Williams in the second round (7-6). Mears then lost to Swenson (6-3) in the quarter-finals on the B-side.
 
Swenson’s impressive record made her the favorite to win the B-side battle with Cervantes, but conceding the 9-ball lost her two games, and put Cervantes in position to strike, and strike she did. Cervantes won that match 6-2, putting her in position to play for payback against Williams in the finals.
 
Williams and Cervantes both came out swinging, but Williams took an early lead 5-3. A few long, defensive matches later, Cervantes picked up a couple wins to tie it on the hill. In the end, Cervantes pulled out the win in the first set!
 
A wicked second set ensued with both players visibly fatigued and struggling to focus, pulling no punches, and bearing down hard. Over the first hour, the two players traded games to tie the match at 3-3, but then the tables turned…on Williams. She bobbled two key nine-balls to put Cervantes on the hill. The last game was intense, Williams playing hard defense, but Cervantes pulled out an impressive 7-8-9 close to the match for the win! A double-tap for the ages.
 
MLRT Stop #3 will take place on June 6, 2015 at Snookers’ Pool & Pub in Livonia, MI. For more info, see their website at www.midwestladiestour.com and/or contact the tour directors at director@midwestladiestour.com.

Atwell wins third stop and her second victory on MissCues Regional Ladies Tour

Janet Atwell won the opening stop on the MissCues Regional Ladies Tour, at her own location, Borderline Billiards, in Bristol, TN in March. She missed a July event, allowing Buffy Jolie, Melody Kuty, Debbie Cervantis, and Stephanie Goens to move ahead of her in point standings. On Saturday, August 18, at the tour’s third stop, she moved up three notches in those point standings (from fifth to second) by winning her second event on the tour. She faced and defeated Buffy Jolie twice to win the event, which left Jolie in first place in the point standings. The $250-added Kentucky Ladies Bar Table Championships drew 16 entrants to Diamond Pub & Billiards in Louisville, KY.

From among the winners’ side final four, Atwell squared off against Samatha Patton, as Jolie faced Chris Toohey. Atwell sent Patton to the loss side 7-3, as Jolie downed Toohey 7-5. In their first meeting, Atwell defeated Jolie 7-2, and waited in the hot seat for her return from the semifinals.

Patton moved over to pick up Angela Mears, who’d defeated Kuty and Cervantis, both 7-2. Toohey drew Rhonda Ferguson, who’d eliminated Ginny Reed and Goens, both 7-3. Toohey and Patton got right back to winning; Toohey, downing Ferguson 7-5 and Patton surviving a double hill match versus Mears. It was Toohey, who emerged from the quarterfinals, with a double hill victory over Patton.

Jolie, though, anxious to maintain her lead in the point standings stopped Toohey in the semifinals, defeating her 7-2, for a second chance against Atwell. Atwell chalked up her second win against Jolie, 9-6, in the single race finals.

Tour Director Becky Todd thanked the ownership and staff at Diamond Pub & Billiards for their hospitality, and noted that the next stop on the MissCues tour was scheduled for September 8-9, at Bank Shot Billiards. The event, she said, will be a qualifier for the WPBA Masters at the Soaring Eagle in Mount Pleasant, MI in February, 2013.