Tag Archives: 8-Ball

32nd Annual Seco Varani KC Club Tournament

Posted on 04. Jan, 2013 by .


Well, it’s that time of the year. Time for the 32nd annual Seco Varani KC Club Pool Tournament.  32 Players each day. 8-Ball on Saturday and 9-Ball on Sunday. Tournament directors Rich and Bev Arendts keep this event running smoothly and held the locals only event today. Here are the results.




The big player auction for the 8-ball begins at 10:30 (I think) and here’s the list of players.

Derek McMaster
Seco Varani
Mike Fieldhammer
Charlie Garza
Jeff Van Sickle
Rory Hendrickson
Tony Piazza
Jamie Pluta
Micheal Perron Jr
Dan Voeller
Matt Benton
Demi Jelatis
Gene Albrecht
Nick Marsolek
Tim Tonjum
Josh Shones
Ken Thomas
Shawn Minick
Guy Thompson
Tony Zierman
Kris Brenke
Ty Wilson
Rick Tonjum
Josh Raines
Johnny Meyer
Dustin Morris
Weston Broad
John Stich
Sean Johnson
Brandon Guse
Nate Rinehart
Matt Bussert


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My Favorite Pool Tournament – Rugby North Dakota’s Northern Lights Shootout

Posted on 18. Nov, 2011 by .


This year is the 13th annual Northern Lights Shootout in Rugby, North Dakota. I’ve been to every one of them save the first. Robert Mattson brought me to my first one in 2000. This December 1-4 the Tournament Director will be yours truly. We’ll have a $50 entry 9-Ball warm up tournament that begins Thursday night at 7 pm and continue through the day Friday. There will be no cap on the number of entries in this event this year. We hope to pay out over $1,000 for first place! Not bad for a low entry preliminary event.

The 8-Ball main event will begin Friday night at 7 p.m. and entries must be paid by 6 p.m. that evening. Mail your entry to the Chamber of Commerce if you’d rather not stress about arriving by 6 o’clock. Weather and oil truck traffic are both unknowns in ND these days. If you absolutely can’t pay by mail and know you’ll be there in time to pay on site, please do me kindness and let me know to expect you.

This tournament, the town, and all the great people of Rugby and the players who attend are all very special to me. In particular, I’d like to thank my cue sponsor Samsara Cues. Perhaps one of the most underrated cue makers in the world, they’ve been in business 20 years! We’ll have some special shop tours and you’ll get to see the guts of cues ranging in price from $500 to $10,000.

Why should you come to the Northern Lights Shootout? I know pool tournaments have been dieing out and the number of players dwindling, but this event must be kept alive. Please pass the word and make an effort to attend. I’ve got a discussion thread in the Billiard Coach Forums that has a list of players that are coming. Add your name to the list and comment on some of your favorite things about this tournament.  I’m writing a special piece in this year’s program to thank Mark Hamilton and all the local volunteers for getting this small town event a big time reputation in a dozen years. Here’s to another dozen successful tournaments!

Please contact me to register or to answer any questions about the event.

Thank you,

Mike Fieldhammer

Please pass the word on about this great tournament.


13th Annual Northern Lights Shootout

$5,000 Added


Rugby Armory — Rugby, North Dakota


9-Ball: December 1-2, 2011

Sign-up Deadline Thursday at 6pm

$50 Entry

Matches begin at 7 pm


8-Ball: December 2-4, 2011

Sign-up Deadline Friday at 6pm

Matches begin at 7 pm

Men’s Division $70 Entry

Race to 5 Alternate Break

Final 32: Calcutta, Redraw and Race to 6

Women’s Division $40 Entry

Race to 4 Double Elimination


Send Money Orders to:

Rugby Chamber of Commerce

Attn: Sharon Pfeifer

224 Highway 2 SW

Rugby, ND 58368


Hotel Rooms

Northern Lights Inn



For more information please contact:

Mike Fieldhammer


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Another Great Fargo Tournament

Posted on 28. Jun, 2011 by .


I just returned from another great event at Fargo Billiards & Gastropub.

Archived matches that Dave and I streamed are at: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/davesroom

I’ll provide more details very soon, but here are a few photos from the event. The following write up is from Mike Page.

Fargo Summer Shootout, June 24-26 2011              — Results

Eighty one players from eight US states and three Canadian provinces converged on Fargo North Dakota June 24-26 for the second annual Fargo Summer Shootout.  The tournaments were held at Fargo Billiards & Gastropub, on its 35 Diamond 7’ tables with Simonis cloth and red circle cueballs.  In the end it would be the player from Illinois, St. Louis area’s Justin Bergman, who would prevail in both the $500 added 9-ball event and the $2500 added 8-ball event.

The race-to-7 winner breaks 9-ball tournament began Friday evening at 6 pm.  Bergman finished that event undefeated, getting through Bill Beaman (Bismarck, ND), Dean Flanders (Fargo, ND), Daryl Phillips (Aberdeen, SD), Dave Coon (Minneapolis, MN), Shane Jackson (Minneapolis, MN), Berry McClean (Winnipeg, MB), and Lee Heuwagen (Minneapolis, MN).

Play in the 8-ball race-to-5 main event started around noon on Saturday, but the day had already been hopping for a couple hours by that time.  The Gastropub provided a complimentary breakfast spread for the players and their guests at 9:30 am.  Two of the thirteen Gabriels 9-foot tables at Fargo Billiards were opened up for the weekend as challenge tables, and both had been going for a while before the 11 am full-field Calcutta that would grow to $9,300.

When a family emergency precluded OTBNtv from streaming the events as scheduled, Dave Coon & Mike Fieldhammer from Minneapolis stepped in to provide an excellent stream with dual commentators.  Archived matched can be found at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/davesroom.

The tough 72-player 8-ball field was played down the first day to four on the no-loss side and eight on the one-loss side.  Some of the top 8-ball players who failed to make the second day include  Marc Oelslager (Fargo) ,  Mario Parayno (Minneapolis), and Ryan Solleveld (Winnipeg).   In the two winner’s side matches Sunday at noon, Rory Hendrickson (Fargo) beat Felix Beardy (Winnipeg) by a score of 5-3, and Justin Bergman (St. Louis) beat Jamie Pluta (Minneapolis) by a score of 5-2.   Bergman then beat Hendrickson by a score of 5-1 to win the driver’s seat position.  On the B-side, Pluta beat Beardy 5-2 for the chance to face Hendrickson.  Hendrickson won the match 5-2.

In the finals of the tournament, Fargo Billiards & General Manager & House Pro Rory Hendrickson would need to beat the young Justin Bergman twice.  Hendrickson won the first match 5-2, setting the stage for an exciting final set of the tournament.  Bergman, the runner-up finisher in the January Fargo Midwinter Shootout, evidently returned to Fargo to close the deal, as he won the final set by a score of 5-3.

Plans are underway for the next Fargo Midwinter Shootout, January 27-29, 2012.

2nd Annual Fargo Summer Shootout – June 24-26, 2011

8-Ball Results

1.                           Justin Bergman                                 $1800  (+3270)
2.                            Rory Hendrickson                            $1100  (+2330)
3.                            Jamie Pluta                                        $700    (+1680)
4.                            Felix Beardy                                       $500    (+1120)
5-6.                        Michael Perron Jr.                           $300    (+470)
Lee Heuwagon                                 $300    (+470)
7-8.                        Vince Chambers                               $200
Jesse Engel                                         $200
9-12.                      Ryan Liebl                                           $100
Justin Volk
Jeff Sakellson
Dwight Boucher
13-16.                    Demetrius Jelatis                            $70
Darcy Gilkes
Craig  Stainbrook
Austin Sissel
17-24.                    Ryan Sollevold                                  $40
John Thorson
Dean Flanders
Shane Jackson
Ben Hill
Joshua Morigeau
Nick Jones
Dave Coon

9-Ball Results

1.                            Justin Bergman                                 $600
2.                            Lee Heuwagon                                 $400
3.                            Berry McClain                                   $300
4.                            Ryan Sollevold                                  $200
5-6.                        Shane Jackson                                   $110
Dwight Boucher
7-8.                        Rory Hendrickson                            $80
Vince Chambers
9-12.                      Dave Coon                                          $60
Mario Paranyo
Jesse Engel
Craig Stainbrook
13-16.                    Keith Malcolm                                  $30
Austin Sissel
Darcy Gilkes
Ryan Liebl

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Pool Synergy: Favourite Game

Posted on 15. Apr, 2011 by .


For all the PoolSynergy crew’s articles on their favorite games, please visit Johnny’s PoolSynergy summary here.

I nearly wrote this about 8-Ball on the common 7 foot Bar Box, but that would have been so, well, common. I’d wager that 8-Ball is the most well known and accessible game to most players in the United States. League players, like it or not, drive the biggest and most successful businesses in our floundering industry. I would have liked to write about how as an instructor and as a player I’ve elevated the game to a beautiful science. It really is my favorite game to compete and teach because of the blend of strategy, knowledge, and execution required to play it at the highest level. Going this direction with my article makes the game inaccessible and somehow highbrow in a way that depresses me. Rather than go down that road, I’m taking the easy way out and writing about something that excites me in a different way. Maybe it’s the allure of something I can’t have, but I’m smitten with snooker.

Obviously, I’m a pool fanatic. I teach, compete, sell cues, photograph, and write about the game I love. You may be surprised to hear that in the last three years, I’ve watched much more snooker than pool. The draw of it is hard to explain and it is even harder to convince others to give it a try. I get so whipped up about watching streaming snooker from overseas during a tournament that I practically become evangelistic telling every pool player I meet or teach to tune in.

What’s to like about watching snooker? The game is rarely boring. Sure, there are some dull matches where both players are performing below their norm. More often at least one of the competitors is clicking along at a world class level. The game is so complex that a variety of situations arise to add drama and excitement to the match at hand. Snooker is aptly named for if a player cannot accumulate enough points by potting (pocketing) the balls remaining on the table, he can snooker his opponent hoping to add points to his tally if the other player doesn’t make a legal hit. Depending on the referee’s call, the player might have the option to have the balls restored to the snookered position and have the player re-shoot. This can lead to 3, 4, or more fouls and enough points for the player to come from behind and win a frame. I believe that defense is valued as much only in the pool game of One-Pocket

Offense is highly exciting and respected. Snooker professionals have lifetime running totals of “Century Breaks.” These are runs at the table of 100 points or more. It only takes a 74 to Nil lead to secure a frame (game) of snooker, but players continue their inning at the table. Not so in other cue sports. I recently watched a Greek 3-Cushion Billiard player run 21 and out on Dick Jaspers and he didn’t continue his run because it is considered bad form. This was even in front of a paid audience and the way he was playing, he could have set a personal best high run. More impressively, he made the run under the constraints of a shot clock. No such thing exists in traditional snooker tournaments. Most players are accepted and loved for their personal pace of play. And snooker breaks are normally continued until a miss or total clearance is achieved. Snooker players can let out their stroke, intimidate their opponent, show off for the crowd, experiment with the table conditions, pursue the elusive maximum break or high break for the tournament, or just try to add another century break to their resume.

Old timers say the snooker characters like Paul Hunter (oops-sorry-Alive: Kirk Stevens), Alex Higgins (both deceased), young Steve Davis, Jimmy White, and others brought so much personality to the game it was captivating. The current cast of players is a little dull by comparison, yet there is much to like and admire about these professionals. It is true that Higgins lost my respect and O’Sullivan is a wild card. Still the talent that oozes from these guys is beyond reproach. Most of the other players can be summed up simply as classy and talented professionals. If every pool player was forced to watch half an hour of snooker as an etiquette lesson, I believe the world of pool would be a better place. Seeing guys compete in formal attire consisting of dress shoes, slacks, tuxedo shirt, bow tie, and vest is bloody classy. The way they carry themselves and behave is inspiring. Like Ian Flemming’s super spy 007, they are calm killers except that they treat their opponents (and ladies) with respect. Players routinely pat the rail which is equivalent to clapping for an excellent safety by the other guy. They also wave their hand apologetically when they get lucky. It is so moving to see Peter Ebdon jump out of his seat and chase down Allister Carter for a hug after he makes his first tournament 147 in a televised match. I’ve seen players on an adjacent table pause play and peek around the dividing wall to watch the last few pots of a guy’s maximum.

I’ve shared a couple of things I love about watching snooker, but haven’t really mentioned the obvious: skills and execution that have to be seen to be believed. I have shown some non-player friends and family to watch a few clips of the game. While being good sports about it, I don’t think they grasped the difficulty of the game and as such didn’t connect with my awe and appreciation of what the players do. If you’ve got enough experience and ability playing pool to know how tough and complex the game of 8-ball can be, you’re going to be amazed watching proper snooker.

I could go on and on about the things I love about these telecasts. Such as referees in white gloves. Expert commentary by lucid and well spoken ex-professional players, yet delivered with loads of kitschy British slang delivered in charming accents. The commentary is so good that fans in the stands buy wireless ear pieces to tune into the telly commentary while watching the match in person. High-definition broadcasts with computer aided virtual table view, television intros and sidebars of the highest caliber, etc. They are playing for a first prize of a quarter of a million sterling pounds. That equates to over $400,000 in American currency. That is for just one tournament!

The venue adds to the pressure of the prize purse and title of World Champion. Held at The Crucible Theatre in Sheffield, players are dropped into the frying pan with huge crowds mere feet from the playing area.  Take a look at Ding in the in-line photo gallery which shows the close proximity of the crowd to the competitors. This intimate setting puts extra pressure on players whose every twitch, gasp, or bead of sweat is under the microscope.

Get into it! The first match should be a cracker. Defending champion Neil Robertson faces 21 year-old Judd Trump who won his first professional event at the China Open just this month. This is the biggest event all year and has the longest matches of any event. It’s a single elimination event lasting 17 days. Just the first round is the best of 19 frames and the matches get longer until the finals, which is a best of 35. Let’s to billiards! Er, I mean snooker. Let’s get these Boys on the Baize!

Important Resources:

Wikipedia page on the 2011 World Snooker Championship

Television coverage listing on the World Snooker site

Look on my forums as the event progresses for links to live streaming matches

Mike Fieldhammer

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