Wheeler wins Florida Fury Finale Two Years Running

Sixty-two players from the KBP Fury Amateur 9-Ball Tour's North and Central Florida divisions met up for the season finale held on December 3rd and 4th to close out the 2005 year. The $1500 added event was held at Bankshot Billiards in Ocala, thanks to room-owners Mike and Linda Kohn. Spectators were treated to two-days of some of the state's top amateur competition as players competed in the race to seven double-elimination tournament.

Before competition began, the top eight points-leaders were awarded prizes and funds for their year-end rankings. In the Central Florida tour, Julio Aquino took home top honors. The next seven finishers were Robert Noon, Adam Wheeler, Robert "Shorty" Otto, Elvis Rodriguez, Scott Howard, Jim Oddy and Marty Linzy. For the North Florida tour, Julio Aquino locked up first place as well, and received a certificate for being the points-leader on both tours. Coming in 2nd through 8th were Robert Otto, Dave Ross, Elvis Rodriguez, Ron Richardson, Bryan Pinkley, Johnny Reeves and Tim Daniel. Julio Aquino and Adam Wheeler also took home bitter-sweet certificates that graduated them from the amateur tour, meaning they will not be able to compete next season.

Twenty players remained after the first day of competition wrapped up and Steve Foster and Adam Wheeler had made their journey to the hot seat match with five match wins each. The hot seat showed why these two players made it to the front, as each player made very few mistakes. Foster took the first opportunity to run out to nab the first game. A missed 8-ball by Wheeler cost him the next game, putting Foster up 2-0 before Foster ran the next game to lead 3-0. Foster then capitalized on and empty break by Wheeler, running the open table to lead 4-0. Wheeler followed suit when Foster turned the table back to him with an empty break, letting Wheeler in at 4-1. A missed 9-ball by Foster was just the opportunity Wheeler needed to get back in the match at 4-2 and a scratch on the break by Foster in the next game gave Wheeler the chance to run out and trail by only one game at 4-3. Wheeler was quick to finish playing catch up with a break and run to tie 4-all. Another scratch on the break by Foster gave Wheeler another ball in hand to run out to lead for the first time and turn the tide to 5-4. But Foster was quick to get back in the game and run out when Wheeler scratched on the break to tie at 5-5. Wheeler played a safe on the 2-ball in the next game but Foster kicked it in the hole and ran out to get on the hill leading 6-5. Foster had the match before him in the next game when Wheeler scratched on the break leaving a 2-9 combo on the bottom rail. Foster made the 1-ball and got good shape on the combo but hit it too hard and missed, letting Wheeler back in to run the table and make it a double-hill match. Foster had the break in the case game but failed to make a ball and Wheeler ran the last table to win 7-6 and advance to the finals.

On the other side of the board, Richey Orem, a player who came from Alaska and made a shining debut on the Fury tour this season, was winning his way back after a 7-6 loss to Wheeler on the winner's side. Orem posted a 7-3 win over Chris Walls and then a 7-4 win over Dan Briggs to make it into the semifinals against Foster. Orem and Foster played a tight match and Orem was the one to come through with a 7-5 victory to claim his spot in the finals.

The finals were one for the books as each player stayed on their game making for a close match. Orem won the coin toss and took advantage with a break and run to take the first game. Wheeler got his turn in the alternate break format but failed to pocket a ball and Orem again took advantage and ran out the table to lead 2-0. Orem broke next but left the table open and Wheeler ran out to trail 2-1. Wheeler then broke and ran to the tie the match 2-all. Wheeler then took advantage to pull into the lead at 5-2 but two misses gave Orem the chance to run two tables and get the score back to 5-4. A break and run by Orem then tied the match at 5-all. Wheeler got his shot to get the lead back when Orem scratched on the break. Wheeler took control of the table and took the lead at 6-5. Orem got a shot in the next game and secured the out to again tie at 6-all. The next game seemed like it would go to Wheeler's advantage until he hung the 8-ball, leaving it for Orem to take the lead at 7-6. Wheeler made the out in his next inning to tie at 7-7 in the race to 9. Orem sized up a 9-ball combo in the next game but a miss left the table open for Wheeler to get out and take the hill at 8-7. Wheeler quelled all questions in the next game by breaking and running to close the match at 9-7.


1st Adam Wheeler $700
2nd Richey Orem $500
3rd Steve Foster $390
4th Dan Briggs $250
5th/6th Chris Walls, Tim Daniel $150
7th/8th Dan Dennis, Jason Watts$100
9th-12th Mike Delawder, Billy Schmidt, Bill Eisenhard, Jason Richko $60
13th-16th David Swinehart, Elvis Rodriguez, Robert "Shorty" Otto, Jose DelRio $40