A record 937 individual ACS league members and 207 teams trekked to the popular Riverside Resort & Casino in Riverside IA, January 13-17, 2016, to vie for $55,765 in prize money at the Omega Billiards 2016 ACS Midwest 8-Ball Championships – produced by the American CueSports Alliance (ACS). The fifteen divisions of play broke down as follows:
Jamey Bowman (East Moline, IL) marched undefeated through a tough 52-player Men’s Advanced 8-Ball Singles field, but he outlasted a road block in Randy Tenley (Galesburg, IL) in the finals…surviving a 6-4 set- back in the first set, only to come back for a narrow 6-4 second-set decision for the title! On the distaff side – the Women’s Advanced 8-Ball Singles – Jessica Frideres (Fort Dodge, IA) outlasted a veteran field of 17 to defeat Women’s Senior champ Dee McGrath (Washington, IL) 5-2 in one set for the title.
In Open 8-Ball Singles action, Matt Hill (Iowa City, IA) bested a field of 190 players to take the Men’s crown – dominating David Machaj (Portage, IN) in one set, 4-1; while Anna Isabel Tulauan (West Liberty, IA) also needed only one set to take down Jessica Westbrook (Vinita, OK) 3-2 for the Women’s laurels in the 92-player division.
The ACS Midwest Championships added an extra day this year to expand Scotch Doubles play and accommodate Senior Singles divisions. Venerable star Milton Strack (Monticello, IL) lost his first match in the Senior Men’s 8-Ball Singles, but proved that age and endurance can go hand in hand, dispatching one B-side opponent after another to get a shot in the title match against Milwaukee’s Kenny Williams, whom Milton upended in two sets – 4-3, 4-2 – for the title! The multi-titled veteran Dee McGrath (Washington, IL) dominated the Senior Women’s 8-Ball Singles division, ending her quest for the crown successfully with a 4-2 decision over Tammie Cox (West Peoria, IL) in the finals!
In the handicapped 9-Ball Singles, Abrin Schaad (Peoria, IL) knocked off defending champ Scott Hargens (Cedar Rapids, IA) 5-3 in the finals for the Men’stitle in a 128-man field; and Abrin was joined on the podium by the Women’schampion Michelle Read (Godley, IL), who outpointed Paula Sparks (Des Moines, IA) 4-2 in the finals of a 22-player field! The handicapped Scotch Doubles 8-Balldivision evolved into an all-Oklahoma finals, as the undefeated team of Rachel Petersen & Marlan Isbell (OK) completed their undefeated run over the 38-team field – handing a one-game spot in most of their matches – with a 4-2 decision over friends Jessica & David Westbrook (OK) for the laurels.
The event sported 207 total 4-person teams, and the Advanced 8-Ball Teamdivisions featured defending champion “Gravy Train” (IA) [Jerry, Adam, Ryan and Chad Behnke] besting “Leisure Time Billiards” (IL) [Dwaine Bowman, Jamey Bowman, Frank DeCastecker and Ron Blake Baker] 11-7 and 11-10 in a two-set finals of a star-studded 17-team field; while the hot- seat team of “Witch Witch Is Witch” (NE) [Jessica Frideres, Shari Rice, Jodi Peckham and Jill Nagel] held off a tight challenge from ACS National Champions “Eddie’s Lake House” (WI) [Judy Ninke, Chris Holl, Katrina Lyman, and Kelly Nickl] to claim the title by a 9-8 finals margin in the 12-team division.
The 108-team Men’s Open 8-Ball Team division was highlighted by the undefeated team of “Favorites” (IL) [Randy Tenley, Colin Brandt, Rory Smith, and Jason Ledford] outpointing “Eights & Aces” (IL) [Tom Gonzalez, Kevin Bridges, Jeff Notestein and Tony Sifuentez] 11-7 in the finals set for the title! In the 47-team Women’s Open 8-Ball Team division, undefeated “No Drama Zone” (IL) [Dee Strack, Sue Koshinski, Rose Wells and Joyel Meadows] faced in the finals a team they had defeated earlier – “You Got Action” (IL) [Jamie Strezo, Jaymi Levenhagen, Jessica Talerico and Amy Krogh]. Receiving a 2-games spot per set, “No Drama Zone” bested “You Got Action” in two nail-biting sets, 6-9, 7-8, to claim the crown!
The ACS would like to thank the title sponsor of the event – Omega Billiards, the Riverside Casino & Golf Resort for its support and outstanding hospitality, and apparel sponsor Iowa Sports Center apparel. The event was directed by Gary & Shelly Benson and John Maestry under the auspices of High Country Promotions, and the players especially enjoyed the online Compusport tournament software service that updated all viewers on placement, schedules and upcoming matches – the same tournament software that will be used at the upcoming Omega Billiards ACS Nationals at the Tropicana Casino in Las Vegas, May 7-14. Special thanks as well to ACS referees Cecil Messer, Bob Ball, Ken Norman, and Tom Fankhauser, and to the equipment crew of Mike Peiffer, Jeremy Bush, Billy Hyde and Shane Lee. Complete results, photos, match scores and flow charts may be viewed at www.americancuesports.org and www.compusport.us.
The ACS is a non-profit, national organization dedicated to heightening the interest and awareness of cue sports through the support and sanctioning of organized competition throughout the United States.