Tag Archives: Tournament Reports

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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Thirty-One Tips: 30. Pro Tournaments

Posted on 30. Jan, 2011 by .


Go to see a professional event in person. If you can, compete in it too.

I think the first professional event I ever played in was the 2000 US Open 9-Ball Championships. Barry Behrman’s annual event is one of the holy grails of the pro circuit. That event was memorable for me because I played the great Ralf Souquet. I was even ahead 2-1 before I folded up like the cheap suit I was wearing. Final score was 11-2. It was early in the event and there weren’t many other big names playing in that round. Souquet and I weren’t on the TV table, but we were on table 2 which offered a decent amount of bleacher seating. It was a corner table with plenty of spectators flanking our battleground on two sides. I had never played against a world class player in such a high profile event in front of such a large crowd. The lessons I learned during that match and from watching the rest of the event were priceless.

  1. How a professional should behave
  2. What it feels like to play under the spotlight and pressures I’d never felt before
  3. How to quell the burning embarrassment of making a silly mistake in a crucial situation
  4. How to play in uncomfortable clothing and shoes
  5. Grasping the idea of intensity and focus pros exhibit every single shot
  6. Seeing firsthand how high these players skills rise to meet the occasion

Playing and watching pro events put smaller weekly or regional events in perspective. Getting used to tournament pressure is about becoming comfortable and confident in your game when it really matters. Butting heads with the best in the world can make a player not feel so overwhelmed in a smaller venue for smaller stakes against a regular player.

The entertainment and education one can get at an event like The Derby City Classic can be valuable. This year, I missed the 2011 DCC and am sick about it. It’s the first one I’ve missed in many years. I would have loved to see Alex Pagulayan win the Banks, Dennis Orcollo win the 9-Ball, and Shane Van Boening win the One-Pocket and All-Around title. I’ve told many friends and students that seeing this event in person is completely different than watching the Accu-Stats DVD’s and streams by TAR and Accu-Stats. They only capture a fraction of the pool played. Looking back, some of my favorite matches were not on the TV table.  Matlock vs. Reyes, Deuel vs. Daulton, Reyes vs. Putnum, and Parica vs. Frost were all amazing 1-Pocket matches that weren’t caught by any cameras. Seeing these types of clashes in person, I can hardly explain the stratospheric heights the execution and drama reach.

Please do yourself a favor, get to a pro event and play if you can.


Note:  In the ’90’s, I attended many of the of the WPBA, Camel Pro Billiards Tour, MPBA, PBT and PCA events around the Midwest to watch the pros play. The first really high profile event I went to was the WPA 9-Ball World Championships in Arlington Heights, IL in 1997 where Johnny Archer and Allison Fisher won.

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PoolSynergy 2011: Team Intangibles

Posted on 15. Jan, 2011 by .


Team Intangibles

The intangible rewards of being on a proper team.

If you’ve never been on a proper team, here are things you are missing out on.

  • Each thinks of the greater good for the team and puts team needs before individual needs.
  • Complete trust in one another.
  • Know there is an understanding between all that needs not to be uttered.
  • Never question another’s intentions or desire.
  • Belief that each is there to lift up and push each other ahead.
  • In spirit, we’re connected.
  • A smile, nod, or pat on the back means much more than others can fathom.
  • Recognition that each one brings unique gifts and talents and shares them freely.

These things and others that can’t be put into words bond us into what is truly a team. Greater than the sum of its parts, an entity that is an honor to be a part of.

A recap of our team winning the BCAPL Team Championships I wrote for a prior PoolSynergy column is here.

To see all of the PoolSynergy TEAM’s columns, visit Gary’s summary page HERE.

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Team Support

Posted on 15. Aug, 2010 by .


Team Support.  The sum can be greater than its parts.

My most recent memorable  experience is winning the BCAPL National Team tournament in Las Vegas in May.  The five man squad sardonically named “Who Needs a Billiard Coach?!” fought through a field of 674 teams to take the top prize of $11,000.  The whole event was an exhilarating ride for me, propelled by the support of my team:  Brian Haffner, Jared Bailey, Dustin Morris, and Jesse Engel.

"Who Needs a Billiard Coach?!"

A photo collage I framed and presented to each teammate. Click for larger view.

Team chemistry is a phrase that is tossed around, but is just one piece of having a successful team.   Chemistry implies that there may be many elements blended into a concoction of a cohesive team.  Perhaps one of the most important elements is the support of one’s teammates.

Our team was successful l in believing  in each other and affirming each action our teammates made.  Examples of this blind trust are as follows.  For example, if Dustin played an unsuccessful combination shot in an effort to continue his run instead of shooting a solo ball in a different pocket, Jesse said, “Good try, you’ll get another shot this game. Your opponent isn’t getting out here.” We never took issue with a shot or a decision made by a teammate.  Or if Brian missed a jump shot instead of kicking the ball which would have been my choice,  I didn’t say “Why didn’t you kick at it?” Placing a seed of doubt in his head or shaking his confidence could be the beginnings of a skid in his and the team’s performance.

Players on our team tried to sweat other teammates matches whenever possible.  Caring enough to watch and root them on is an obvious sign of support. Even during a team match, I could hear Jared’s voice say, “Good shot Fieldhammer!” and it would further my resolve to win that game knowing he was spurring me on.  Players on our winning team are selfless. We cared about our own performance only as it related to the team goal of winning matches.  Never was heard, “Well, I got mine” when a player came to sit down after winning a game.

At its best, unconditional support for one’s teammates can be a catalyst to launching the team to heights unattainable by the five as individuals.  Each of the five players on the team made sacrifices for the sake of the team. The team goal that we all had in mind became a truly satisfying achievement that became much sweeter because we shared it with teammates who gave and received support.

See all the PoolSynergy crew’s Support Articles here:


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