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Gorst chalks up his 10th victory, 13th first- or second-place finish and 18th cash payout in 2022

John Morra and Fedor Gorst

Brendan Crockett Memorial draws 182 entrants to Hard Times Billiards in Sacramento.

Russia’s Fedor Gorst is about as close to a ‘sure bet’ at the tables that one has or is ever likely to see. This year alone, he has won or placed second in almost 75% (.7368) of the events in which he has cashed (19). It puts him at the top of the AZB Money Leaderboard, which would certainly make him the current ‘best bet’ of the year and while, as with all players, he doesn’t win them all, the chances of him finishing, as an example, 17th in an event are somewhere between remote/slim and none. That said, 17th is exactly how he finished at the Derby City’s 9-Ball tournament in January, so caveat emptor, as they say, when you consider a bet.

His 10th 2022 victory came at the $10,000-added, 4th Annual Brendan Crockett Memorial 10-Ball Open tournament this past weekend (July 30-31), where he and 181 of his fellow competitors gathered at Hard Times Billiards in Sacramento, CA to do battle. Gorst had to come from the loss side of the bracket, though not very far, to dislodge Canadian John Morra from the hot seat. Gorst, with a Fargo Rate of 827, faced nine opponents in 10 matches (Morra twice) with a combined Fargo Rate average of 690. Translated, in the winners’ side races to 9, his opponents had an average 2.5% chance of defeating him, although individually, the one opponent who did – Morra, with a 778 Fargo Rate – had a slightly higher than a one-in-four chance of doing so.

Gorst made it to his first matchup against Morra in one of the winners’ side semifinals, with an aggregate score of 35-5. The opponent he met in the hot seat, Oscar Dominguez, arrived at his winners’ side semifinal against Margaret Fefilova Styer with a 35-12 aggregate score.

Morra sent Gorst to the loss side 7-1. Dominguez sent Styer over 7-2. Morra played what would prove to be his last winning match, sending Dominguez to the semifinals 7-5 and claimed the hot seat.

On the loss side, Gorst picked up Max Eberle, who was working on a four-match, loss-side streak that had recently eliminated Jeremy Sossei in a shutout and Skip Nikakis, double hill. Styer drew Nick DeLeon, who had chalked up five on the loss side, including recent wins over Chris Gentile 7-3 and Spencer Ladin, double hill.

Gorst ended Eberle’s streak 7-3 and in the quarterfinals, faced DeLeon, who’d defeated Styer 7-4. Gorst ended DeLeon’s run 7-4 in those quarterfinals and then, in a manner of speaking, brushed aside Oscar Dominguez with a shutout in the semifinals.

Gorst/Morra parte deux did not begin or end well for Morra. Gorst jumped out to a 5-0 lead, at which Morra began to chip away (as generally recommended), one rack at a time. Morra got on the board with one, but Gorst re-established his five-rack lead with a win in game #7. Morra then took the next three, narrowing Gorst’s lead to two at 6-4. Gorst took games #11 and #12 to reach the hill first at 8-4. Morra took one more swing, winning rack #13, but Gorst walked it off with his ninth rack to claim the 4th Annual Brendan Crockett Memorial title. 

Event representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Hard Times, as well as all 181 competitors, who, through their participation, paid homage to the memory of Brendan Crockett and his brother, Jeff, who, travelling together, were killed in an automobile accident in 2016. An annual scholarship fund was created a year later to benefit a junior player who excelled in academics. 

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Oscar Dominguez Wins Mezz West State Tour: Season 3: Stop #1

Oscar Dominguez

The Mezz West State Tour is back after a successful end to season 2 with some improvements for season 3. Traditionally, MWST were $2000 added, however, with the addition of several sponsors, we were able to push that added money to a standard of $2500 each event, with 18 events scheduled.
 
The first stop proved to be a successful one with 106 players from all over the west coast assembling at one of America's finest pool rooms, Hard Times Billiards. Room owners Mike and Karen Markulis are some of the biggest supporters of tournaments for decades and their love for their players continues. The MWST is proud to have three events this season at Hard Times and all the players have rave reviews on playing on their pristine equipment.
 
Leading the top half of the field was Stockton, CA young gun, Francis Ritarita. Francis, rated a 7 on our tour, has improved dramatically as his play is steadily becoming more consistent. With wins over Aaron Thompson, Bobby Yamasaki, Brendan Crockett, Cole Gibbons, Rudy Estoque, and Tommy "Too Good" Soria; Francis was able to play for the hot seat with solid play for two consecutive days.
 
The bottom half of the bracket was littered with professional players by the luck of the draw. Heavy hitters such as Mika Immonen, Rodney Morris, Ruben Bautista, Sal Butera, Amar Kang, and Oscar Dominguez all were placed in neighboring positions. However, it was Hungarian sharpshooter and former Junior World Champion, Vilmos Foldes who swam through a river of sharks. His victories included wins over Amar Kang, Jason Freeman, Jaynard Orque, Rodney Morris, Oscar Dominguez, and Jason Williams to set up the hot seat match between Francis Ritarita and himself. However, it was the seasoned pro who put a temporary halt to Ritarita's Cinderalla run to the finals with a dominating 9-4 scoreline.
 
While Vilmos Foldes dispatched top players to the B side of the chart, it set up marquee matches on who would face the Hungarian for the finals. World Champion Mika Immonen succumbed to San Francisco native, Rylan Hartnett who played excellent to defeat the Finnish champ to a 9-12 finish. The current points leader to the Mosconi Cup points race, Rodney Morris had a massive run through the one loss side with wins over Brendan Crockett, Ernesto Dominguez, Skip Nikakis, and Jason Williams. It wasnt until he faced Oscar Dominguez who himself had recorded several consecutive wins where Dominguez put a halt to the Rocket's quest for first prize. It was Dominguez who then faced Francis Ritarita in the finals of the one loss side and Francis led 8-6 in a race to 9. However, with some gritty safety shots and play, Oscar took the match to end Francis' vision of being the first 7 to win a MWST stop.
 
The single race finals to 11 between Vilmos Foldes and Oscar Dominguez was an epic battle to say the least These two players fought tooth and nail for every inning and after a quick 6-3 lead by Foldes, a slight hiccup gave all the opportunity Dominguez needed to come storming back. After the dust settled, it was Dominguez who emerged victorious with an 11-8 scoreline and earned himself the first win of season 3 on the Mezz West State Tour.
 
The staff at MWST would like to thank the Markulis Family and the staff at Hard Times Billiards in Sacramento for all their hard work and continued support. In addition, none of this would be possible without our loyal sponsors which include: Mezz Cues (Mezzcue.com), West State Billiards Supply (WestStateBilliards.com), Aramith Billiard Balls (Saluc.com), Andy Billiard Cloth (AndyClothUSA.com), Turtle Rack (MezzWestStateTour.com), ZAN Tips (ZAN-Tip.com), Tony Rodriguez of RE/MAX Gold Coast Real Estate, Kurzweil's Country Meats (KurzweilCountryMeats.com), James Hanshew Custom Cues (HanshewCustomCues.com), Cue Sports International (playcsipool.com), Fast and Loose Designs (FastnLooseDesigns.com), Contact Point Media, and On The Wire Creative Media (OTWPromotions.com)