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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 Al shaheen, 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,, Diamond Billiard Products, Fort Worth Billiards Superstore, 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. 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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Thorpe chalks up second GSBT win

Shannon Daulton, Billy Thorpe, & Mike Medley (owner of Michael’s Billiards)

Billy Thorpe battled for years to chalk up his first win on the Great Southern Billiard Tour, and on the weekend of July 14-15, he won his second in a little over a month. He won his first on June 3, and let one slip by him in Myrtle Beach before winning the second. He went undefeated both times. In his first GSBT win, he faced the same opponent in the hot seat and finals; Alex Olinger. This past weekend, he faced an opponent, Steve “Cupcake” Dillon, who’d won seven on the loss side to meet him in the finals. The $1000-added 9-ball event, on 9-ft. Diamond tables, and held concurrently with an 8-ball bar box tournament, drew 34 entrants to Michael’s Billiards in Fairfield, OH.

From among the winners’ side final four, Thorpe squared off against Lucas Hawkins, who’d placed second in the bar box 8-ball tournament. Adam Glover, in the meantime, met up with Tim Baron. Thorpe survived a double hill battle versus Hawkins, and in the hot seat, faced Glover, who’d defeated Baron 7-2. Thorpe got into the hot seat with a 9-4 victory over Glover, and watched Dillon’s march back to the finals.

Dillon, who’d been sent to the loss side by Corey Morphew (5/6th in the 8-ball), won four in a row to hook up with Hawkins, including a 7-5 victory over Chris Collins and a 7-4 win over Leo Kincannon, who finished both tournaments in the tie for seventh place. Baron drew Mike Burnette, who’d defeated Bill Trimble 6-2 and Dave Cross 6-4. Dillon and Hawkins battled to double hill before Dillon prevailed, advancing to the quarterfinals. He was met by Burnette, who’d survived his own double hill match against Baron.

Dillon ended Burnette’s day with a 7-2 win and then, dropped Glover into third place 7-4. Thorpe, though, spoiled Dillon’s bid for a successful, loss-side comeback with a 9-5 win in the opening set of a true double elimination final to secure the event title.

“We always appreciate the support and hospitality that is shown here at Michael’s,” said tour directors Shannon and Marge Daulton. “(Owner Michael Medley) has a very player/spectator-friendly room and we’re all thankful to him and his staff.”

The Daultons also thanked sponsors Andy Gilbert Custom Cues, Nick Varner Cues and Cases, Mike Davis Exterminating, Tiger Products and Delta-13 racks.

Hans wins GSBT bar box 8-ball in Ohio

Shannon Daulton, Charlie Hans, Lucas Hawkins, & Mike Medley (owner of Michael’s BIlliards)

Charlie Hans, a C-player, worked his way through a late bunch of A and B players in the $1000-added, 8-ball, bar box event on the Great Southern Billiard Tour on the weekend of July 14-15, and came away with the win. The event, held concurrently with a separate, $1,000-added 9-ball tournament, drew 44 entrants to Michael’s Billiards in Fairfield, OH.

By the time this 8-ball event had been reduced to 12 players, Hans was the only “C” standing. Among the winners’ side final four, he squared off against Rick Gymati (B), as Lucas Hawkins (A) met up with Leo Campos (B). Hans survived a double hill match against Gymati, and in the hot seat match, faced Hawkins, who’d survived his own double hill struggle versus Campos. Hans chalked up another double hill victory in the hot seat match and waited for Hawkins to come back.

Campos moved over to pick up Corey Morphew (A), who’d defeated Gary Link 6-3 and Justin Lazaro, double hill, to reach him. Gymati drew Brad Gibson, who’d gotten by Joey Koontz and Leo Kincannon, both 5-3. Morphew and Gymati advanced to the quarterfinals on the heels of double hill wins over Campos and Gibson, respectively.

Gymati chalked up his second straight double hill win in the quarterfinals against Morphew, and then ran into a determined Hawkins in the semifinals. Hawkins shut Gymati out to earn a second chance against Hans in a true double elimination final.

Hawkins gave up only a single rack in the opening set to force a second. Hans, though, turned the tables on him, giving up only a single rack in the second set to secure the event title.

Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff of Michael’s Billiards for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Andy Gilbert Custom Cues, Nick Varner Cues and Cases, Mike Davis Exterminating, Tiger Products and Delta-13 racks.