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Thorpe and Kuhl win Midwest 9-Ball Tour stop

Billy Thorpe, D.J. Wolrab (Room Owner) and Tyler Styer

It was, for Amanda Kuhl and her husband, Dan Kuhl, a family affair. The two competed in the October 11-12 stop on the Midwest 9-Ball Tour; he, in the $2,000-added Open event that drew 54 entrants, and she, in the $500-added Ladies event that drew 16. Both events were hosted by the Second Avenue Corner Pocket in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Dan went home with $200 for finishing in the tie for 5th place in the Open event, while Amanda won the $500, first-place prize in the Ladies event, her first on the Midwest 9-Ball Tour. 
How Kuhl was that? One wondered whether, under the circumstances, she bought dinner.
"No," said Dan, "but she paid for the hotel."
The two travelled from Ankeny, Iowa, north of Des Moines and about an hour and a half from Cedar Rapids. Amanda's parents agreed to care for their two children, aged 5 and 4, while they were away. They had met in a pool room, years ago, and once they started dating, she began to join him in traveling to tournaments.
"We enjoy playing together," said Dan, "it's something we get to share."
They were both supportive of the results that the other achieved, but according to Dan, Amanda isn't likely to let him forget who won, anytime soon.
"In fact, she was the first female to ever beat me in a tournament," he said, "and she doesn't let me forget that, either. We were joking about in the car, and I tried to put a positive spin (on my results) by noting that I was the highest finishing married man in the event."
Amanda's win almost got derailed, twice. Jen Roling fought her to double hill in the winners' side final, before Amanda prevailed to sit in the hot seat. On the loss side, her eventual finals opponent, Karla Chorny, was in the midst of a six-match, loss-side winning streak, defeating Jessica Frideres, double hill, in the quarterfinals, and then Roling, 7-1 in the semifinals. Chorny also took the opening set of the true double elimination final 7-1, but Kuhl fought back to win the second set, double hill, and claim her first Midwest 9-Ball title.
Two teenagers, both 18, ended up battling in the finals of the Open event. Billy Thorpe shrugged off a loss in a winners' side quarterfinal, won five on the loss side and then, double dipped hot seat occupant, Tyler Styer, to capture the Open title.
With Thorpe at work on the loss side (eventually winning three double hill matches of five played), Styer had moved on to face Dan Kuhl in a winners' side semifinal, while the man who'd sent Thorpe over, Jimmy Nosadan, met up with Alex Olinger. Nosadan defeated Olinger 9-3, as Styer was busy sending Kuhl to the loss side 9-4. Styer claimed the hot seat 9-3.
Thorpe's return to the finals began with a shutout over Tim Kindl, and was followed by a double hill win over Mike Bennett, which set Thorpe up to face Kuhl. Olinger drew Jamie Fenton, who'd gotten by Jeremy Schroeder 9-7 and Timothy Krouse 9-3.
Thorpe ended Kuhl's day 9-5 (a mixed blessing, as he was able, then, to watch his wife win her first title), as Olinger downed Fenton by the same score. Thorpe then won two straight double hill matches, defeating Olinger in the quarterfinals and successfully wreaking his vengeance on Nosadan in the semifinals. 
Thorpe dominated the opening set of the finals 9-1, and though Styer would stay close in the second set, coming to within a game of double hill, Thorpe hung on to win it 9-7.

Third Hunter Classics Stop a Big Success at Paradise Billiards

Exciting times at Mile High Qualifier.  The 3rd Hunter Classics stop of the year was the usual showcase of tough competition, exciting surprises and comebacks (check out the brackets).  40 ladies from across the USA and world competed for the WPBA Qualifier Spot at Paradise Billiards in Denver, CO June 23-24, 2001.
The tour was happy to host Sarah Ellerby, Kelly Fisher, Maria Catalano and Kim Shaw – all originally from England and currently living in the United States.  In addition, Noriyo Yurino, originally from Japan, now residing in Vancouver, BC and Ikumi Ushiroda, also from Japan, living in California.   The remainder of the field featured ladies from Florida, Iowa, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Kansas and of course Colorado.
Of the 40 competitors – 25 of the players were in contention for the WPBA Qualifier spot.   Many confident ladies in this tournament!  For the 3rd straight year, Terry McFadden and his staff were gracious hosts and provided a professional environment.  For hosting this event, Terry was given a beautiful Hunter Classics Custom Cue, valued at over $1,800.  It is a beautiful example of Wes Hunter's work – Cocobolo w/5 Macassar rosewood points and ivory inlays.
Play commenced at 10am on Saturday.  Play went on until only 12 players were left for Sunday. It was a fierce battle for the top prize – with many of the local Colorado girls hanging tough and pulling through on some difficult matches.
Players on the winners side included:  Sarah Ellerby, Rose McCrory, Noriyo Yurino, and Maria Catalano  – on the one-loss side were Margie Soash, Melinda Bailey, Deb Winter, Brenda Plantz, Kim Shaw, Susan Mello, Ikumi Ushiroda and Karla Chorny.
Congratulations to local players and favorites – Deb Winter and Brenda Plantz for finishing 7th/8th.  Brenda and Kim Shaw started off the morning treating spectators to exciting double hill match.  With Brenda coming back from 4-6 to win 7-6.  Also, congratulations to Karla Chorny for finishing in the top 9 in her first Hunter Classics Tour event.
The final six players featured tight battles with many double hill matches.  Most notable was Colorado Springs resident, Rose McCrory coming back from a 1-5 deficit to win 6 straight games for a 7-5 win over Ikumi.  Rose went on to a double hill match with Florida player, Margie Soash -with Margie coming out on top to hand Rose 4th place.
Noriyo Yurino made her way to the winner's bracket match with wins over Ranee Beckel (7-2), Gail Lave (7-1), Margie Soash (7-0), Brenda Plantz (7-2), Maria Catalano (7-5) and lost to Sarah Ellerby (6-7).  Sarah Ellerby made it to the "hot seat"  via a first round bye, and wins over Liz Bernreuter(7-4), Julie  Stephenson (7-3), Deb Winter (7-2), Rose McCrory (7-1), and Noriyo Yurino (7-6)
The semi-finals match pitted Margie and Noriyo together.  Noriyo pulled out for a strong lead and had Margie down 8-3, with Margie hanging tough and bringing it to 6 games on her side before Noriyo won game 9.
The finals featured Noriyo and Sarah.  Noriyo took a commanding lead while Sarah struggled a bit with her usually flawless game.  Very quiet in demeanor Noriyo has a strong break with the 9 ball ending up near the pocket after almost every break.  She took advantage of Sarah's mistakes and confidently ran out when the opportunity presented itself.  As a result, Noriyo won 1st place* and Sarah Ellerby won 2nd place and the WPBA Qualifier spot.  Congratulations to both ladies.  *Due to an ineligibility between Noriyo and the WPBA, Noriyo forfeited her WPBA Qualifying spot to Sarah Ellerby later that month.
On Sunday 18 ladies returned to play in the 2nd chance event.  Kelly Fisher defeated Mindy Williams to take 1st place.   Congratulations to Mindy with another strong finish in the 2nd chance event.  Rounding out the top 4 were Julie Stephenson (who had to forfeit in order to catch her plane) and Leslie Rogers.
As usual, this tour stop was an exciting event.  Local Colorado residents and WPBA Touring Pros Laura Smith and Melissa Little were on hand to watch the action.  Many thanks to Melissa for giving us a taste of the WPBA by allowing the use of the Sardo Rack during the final matches.   Also, a huge thank you to our host Terry McFadden, Bob Winter for being our referee and all the wait staff at Paradise Billiards.  And once again, thanks to Wes Hunter for his continued support of the tour.
The next Hunter Classics Tour Stop will in Arlington, TX – August 4th/5th.   Visit us at