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Gorst goes undefeated in delayed 14th Bob Stocks Memorial

Fedor Gorst and Shane Wolford (TTMD)

There were a lot of events going on this past Easter weekend, particularly on the East Coast and the multiplicity of them led to a few crossover competitors, reducing the numbers here, increasing them there. This past weekend’s 14th Bob Stocks Memorial (April 16), usually held on an annual basis, came two years after the last one in 2019. Formerly held under the auspices of the Action Pool Tour, ThinkTechMD picked up the reins for this year’s edition. Initially capping the field at 64, that number fell to 52 for a variety of different reasons, and when it began, there were only 30.

Fedor Gorst went undefeated through the field, advancing first on the winners’ side of a double elimination bracket and then, winning four matches in a single elimination bracket to claim the title. Gorst and junior competitor Shane Wolford advanced through the winners’ side of the double elimination bracket and were one of the eight chosen from that side of the bracket to compete in the single elimination phase of the event. Had the double elimination bracket continued, they would have faced off in a winners’ side quarterfinal. As it turned out, after the redraw to single elimination, they showed up at opposite ends of the single elimination bracket and met, for the first and last time, in the event final. The $1,500-added event drew its 30 entrants to First Break Sports Bar in Sterling, VA.

Gorst played two matches on the winners’ side of the double elimination bracket, downing Rafael Reyes (1) and Matt Krah (0) by an aggregate score of 14-1. Wolford advanced through Lenny Valley (4) and Thang Nguyen (3) to arrive at the same winners’ side spot. Joining the eventual finalists in the single elimination phase were, from the winners’ side, Chris Hansen and Nathan Childress, Derick Daya and Manny Chau, as well as Kristina Tkach and Scott Haas.

The last eight left standing on the losers’ side and advancing to single elimination were Thomas Haas, Eric Heiland, Dylan Spohr, Rafael Reyes, Matt Krah, Brandon Shuff, Bart Czapla and John Moody, Sr.

Heiland and Spohr advanced to the event’s final eight after defeating Daya and Childress, respectively. Gorst got by Reyes and was joined in the final eight by Chau, who’d defeated Thomas Haas. Moody, Sr. and Shuff advanced as well, eliminating Scott Haas and Kristina Tkach. Wolford downed Matt Krah, and was joined among the final eight by Chris Hansen, who’d defeated Czapla.

The winners in the four, quarterfinal matches advanced by an aggregate score of 48-16. Shuff and Wolford downed Moody, Sr. and Hansen by the same 11-5 score. Gorst eliminated Chau 11-4 and Spohr gave up only two racks versus Heiland.

The semifinal matches pitted Gorst against Spohr and Shuff against Wolford. Gorst eliminated Spohr 11-5. Shuff gave Wolford a run for his money, coming within a game of forcing a twenty-first deciding game, but in the end, Wolford pulled out in front, advancing to the final against Gorst 11-9.

The final match was an extended race-to-13. Though similar in age (early 20s), the combatants were quite different in how far each had come to this point in their pool careers; Wolford, more or less just starting out and Gorst, already a recognized world-class professional player. Though Wolford would chalk up twice as many racks against Gorst as any of his previous challengers (Reyes and Spohr had managed five against him in races to 11), Gorst got out ahead of Wolford and closed the 14th Bob Stocks Memorial with a 13-10 victory to claim the title. 

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Dentz goes undefeated to take Mezz Pro Am title

With an undefeated win on the Mezz Pro Am Tour on Sunday, August 9, Trevor Dentz pushed his reported 2015 earnings at the pool table into quadruple digits for the first time since his name began appearing on payout lists 10 years ago. In fact, he made more winning the Mezz stop ($700) than he'd made, total, in any single year of those 10. The $460-added Mezz Pro Am event drew 23 entrants to the Magic 8 Cue Club in Cockeysville, MD. 
Dentz and Jarrett Waechter squared off in the hot seat in this one. Dentz had sent Dan Madden to the loss side 8-3, while Waechter was sending Rick Scarlata over 7-4. Dentz claimed the hot seat 7-3.
On the loss side, Madden and Scarlata drew Bob Milane and Eric Heiland. Milane had defeated Mick Barton 7-2 and Tony Kenote 7-5 to reach Madden. Heiland had gotten by Victor Biechocki 7-2 and Rick Miller 8-5 to draw Scarlata. Madden got right back to (winning) work, defeating Milane 8-5. He was joined in the quarterfinals by Heiland, who'd handed Scarlata his second straight loss, 7-5.
Madden took the quarterfinal match 7-2 over Heiland, but had his loss-side run stopped, 8-5, by Waechter in the semifinals. The second match between Dentz and Waechter went pretty much the way the first one had gone. Waechter chalked up one more rack (4) than he had in the hot seat match, but Dentz prevailed a second time to claim the event title.

Deska wins double hill duel on Action Pool Tour

Brian Deska won two double hill matches on his way to a victory in the January 14-15 stop on the Action Pool Tour. Both were against Paul Helms, who won four straight double hill matches on the loss-side to get back to the finals against Deska. The event, which drew 81 entrants, was hosted by VIP Billiards in Catonsville, MD.

They met first and chalked up their first double hill battle among the winners’ side final four. Deska sent Helms west and moved on to the hot seat match against Abdulla Mohammed, who’d just defeated Dave Beegle 9-3. Deska moved into the hot seat with 9-5 victory over Mohammed and awaited Helms’ return.

Over on the loss-side, Helms picked up Alan Duty, who’d gotten by tour director Ozzy Reynolds and Rick Molineiro, both 7-5. Beegle drew the tour’s # 1 ranked player, Brandon Shuff, who’d been sent west by Deska from among the winners’ side final eight, and defeated Donny Perriman 7-2, and Eric Heiland 7-1.  Helms chalked up his first of four straight double hill wins with a victory over Duty, as Beegle was busy downing Shuff 7-4. Helms then ended Beegle’s day 7-6 in the quarterfinals and went on to defeat Mohammed in the semifinals by the same score.

With five straight double hill battles behind him, Helms got his second crack at Deska. In the opening set of what would have been a true double elimination final, Helms took Deska to the brink a second time, and for the second time, Deska prevailed, to capture the event title.