Archive Page

Winters/Frost come to Big Dog Billiards’ One Pocket/9-Ball tourney in Des Moines

Scott Frost (File photo courtesy of Rick Schmitz)

While daytime temperatures in Des Moines, Iowa were still in the 80s, with overnight lows dipping into the upper 50s, Scott Frost and Shane Winters came to town. On the weekend of September 10-13, the two of them, separately, won Big Dog Billiards' $2,000-added 9-Ball Open and the $5,000-added One Pocket Championships. They both went undefeated; Winters, through a 9-ball field of 150 and Frost, through a One Pocket, 'pro' mine field of 11 entrants.
Almost, but not quite, trumping Winters' undefeated run through the 9-ball tournament, was Bobby McGrath, who lost his opening match, and proceeded to win 14 on the loss side before meeting up with Winters in the finals. Winters advanced to a winners' side semifinal against Steve Boutcher. Jody McLaughlin faced Bob Andrews in the other. Winters and McLaughlin chalked up 7-3 wins over Boutcher and Andrews, before Winters chalked up a third 7-3 score to claim the hot seat over McLaughlin.
With nine loss-side wins to his credit already, Bobby McGrath got by Ron Govafenski 7-2 and Randy Hanson 7-4 to meet Boutcher. Andrews drew Chris Siefkan, who'd eliminated Mike Bennett and Mitch Ellerman, both 7-5. Among the 144 already vanquished at this stage of the game were Mike Massey, Lee Brett, Gene Albrecht, and a not-seen-lately, presumably-out-of-retirement Sarah Rousey. McGrath chalked up win #12, 7-3, over Boutcher. Andrews defeated Siefkan 7-4. And then there were four.
McGrath defeated Andrews 7-3 in the quarterfinals, McLaughlin 7-4 in the semifinals, and it was down to two. The final match was Winters' eighth. It was McGrath's 15th. Winters took advantage of a 'gas tank' that had to be running on fumes, and completed his undefeated run 7-2 to claim the 9-ball title.
The short field of 11 that signed up for the One Pocket Championships included all of the usual suspects, headlined by Alex Pagulayan, Corey Deuel, Frost, Josh Roberts, and Jeremy Jones. The other six were Danny Smith, Jesse Bowman, Justin Hall, Tony Chohan, Chris Bartram and Jason Chance.  
Frost and Roberts squared off in one of the winners' side semifinals, while Jones and Bowman met up in the other. Frost ended up getting by Roberts twice; the first time, double hill. Bowman defeated Jones 5-2. Frost claimed the hot seat 5-3 over Bowman.
On the loss side, Chance, Hall, Chohan, Smith and Bartram were gone by the time Jones picked up Deuel, who'd eliminated Chance and Smith, both 5-2. Roberts picked up Pagalayun, who'd eliminated Bartram 5-2. Deuel and Roberts got by Jones and Pagalayun 5-2, as well, and met up in the quarterfinals.
Roberts defeated Deuel 5-3, and then, downed Bowman 5-2 for a second shot at Frost, now in the hot seat. Based on their earlier, double-hill meeting, spectators and commentators on PoolActionTV's live stream (Jeremy Jones, among them) were expecting a similar struggle in the finals. Frost was not. He got out in front and stayed there to claim the One Pocket title 5-2.

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.