Williams Crowned Platte Valley Open Champion

Charlie Williams (File Photo)

On April 2-3, the small town of Saratoga, Wyoming, population of roughly 1,500, filled the city with pool players for their fourth annual Platte Valley Open. Locals were treated to some world class bar table 8-ball. “The tournament went fantastic! I've loved pool since I was five years old and I can't get enough of it. It's a way to get everybody together,” said tournament director E.J. Glode.

In the masters division, 52 of the finest players from Wyoming and Colorado came to try their luck. The $9,000 added prize money also drew players from the as far as Portland, Oregon and Seattle, Washington. The professional team of “The Rocket” Rodney Morris, “The Hitman” Raj Hundal, and “The Korean Dragon” Charlie Williams also made an appearance.

Four players advanced from each of the original four brackets into a 16-player redraw finals board which started on Saturday night. The first round of the evening saw a finals caliber match between Morris and Hundal. Both players shot quickly and loosely with an outcome of Hundal advancing 7-5. From Denver, Tony Piazza and Rafael Ibarra both gave it a good run, finishing tied for 5th place.

On the b-side, Piazza was down 5-2 against Portland, Oregan's Glenn Atwell. The veteran bar table champion began losing his grip allowing Piazza to close the gap and take the lead. While up 6-5, a fatal scratch in the side would cost Piazza that game. At hill-hill, Atwell broke and scratched allowing Piazza another chance for the kill. Uncharacteristically, Piazza missed with ball in hand and Atwell took that match to advance. The Rocket awaited his match with the winner.

Atwell would keep the momentum going against Morris and Hundal. After several failed attempts to run out, Atwell defeated Morris 7-1 and then did the same to Hundal by a score of 7-5 after being down 5-4. Williams went undefeated through the a-side and watched as Atwell took out his travel companions one at a time, shattering the pro team's hopes of taking 1, 2, and 3.

Williams, who delivered Atwell his first loss, came out strong. He quickly jumped to a 5-0 lead. Atwell had several opportunities but could not capitalize. At 5-0, Atwell made a tricky run to get on the board then proceeded to run the next two racks making it 5-3. It appeared that he was making a comeback until he missed a 9 ball in the side pocket in the following rack allowing Williams to get to the hill. The gentlemen battled over the next couple games until Williams finally gained control in the last rack pocketing the 8 ball for the win. The final score was 7-4.

Live streaming for the Platte Valley Open was provided by OTBnTV.com. For regional advertising opportunities with On The Break News, Rack ‘Em, or Stroke magazines, go to OnTheBreakNews.com.