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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.

Rasmussen Opens Pure X All American Tour New Season With Win

The first stop of the 2013-2014 Pure X Cues All American Tour stop – presented by the American CueSports Alliance (ACS) was hosted at 2nd Avenue Corner Pocket in Cedar Rapids, IA on Saturday, October 12.  The $500-added 8-ball handicapped tourney on 7-foot Valley bar boxes drew 24 players. 
The finals pitted once-defeated Steve Strausburger (Cedar Rapids, IA) [rated a “4” on a regional rating system used] versus undefeated Shannon Rasmussen (Cedar Rapids, IA) [6].  Earlier Rasmussen had eased through the A-side bracket, including a semifinals win over Doug Bloes (Waterloo IA) [4] 6-3 and a finals win over Alan Schares (Waterloo, IA) [5] 6-3. Strausburger on the other hand lost a second-round match to Doug Bloes 4-1 and spent most of his day on the B-side, claiming late-round victories over Doug Bloes 4-3, Tim Kindl (Cedar Rapids, IA) [4] and Alan Schares to gain a shot for the title.  The tourney finals was dominated by Shannon Rasmussen over Steve Strausburger in the first set to give Shannon the title!
By virtue of Steve Strausburger also being the highest-finishing ACS member in the event, he qualified for a free 9-Ball singles entry into the 2014 Pure X ACS Nationals at the Tropicana Las Vegas – courtesy of the ACS.  The ACS wishes to thank sponsors Pure X Cues, Championship Billiard Fabric and Nick Varner Signature Cases for their support in donating “Value-In-Kind” product for this and all stops on the Pure X All American Tour. Sponsorship opportunities and tour stop openings are still available for the 2013/2014 All American Tour by contacting the ACS.
The Tour gets busier on Saturday, October 19, with three stops around the country being produced: 1).the $250 added 5th Annual Women’s Cues for the Cure 9-Ball event at Amy’s Billiards in Stuart FL (contact Amy Poulter at 772-529-4846); a $500-added “No Masters” 9-ball event at Cue Master Billiards in Dubuque IA (contact Joel Kramer at 563-557-0875); and a $500-added 9-Ball event at Mike’s Break Room in Virginia Beach VA (contact Mike Wilson at 757-963-2229).  Further information, entry details and schedules for the 2013/2014 Pure X Cues All American Tour are available at