Maryland’s On the Hill Productions, under the leadership of Loye Bolyard, went “all in” with the full range of services offered by DigitalPool.com for the first time this past weekend (Feb. 4-5). Its MD State Fargo Rate 9-Ball Open, which drew 54 entrants to Choptank Bowling & Billiards in Cambridge, MD, featured all of DigitalPool’s technological capabilities designed to make tournament events easier to run and more accessible to an audience interested in following the event activities; live streaming with cameras and microphones at every table, score-tracking tablets and mounted monitors above the tables displaying scores of the matches taking place beneath them.
All that technological equipment and personnel, along with in-house spectators, witnessed Andy Downs go undefeated to the hot seat match and then, return from a semifinal to double-dip Cambridge, MD local Will Johnson in the finals. Downs had gotten by Adam Frank, Mike Etti, Jody Cahall and John Moody, Sr. to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal against Brandon Foster. Johnson’s path went through Matt Krah, Holden Moody, David Stanley and Joe Feuka to arrive at his winners’ side semifinal versus Mike Saleh.
Downs defeated Foster 7-4 and was joined in the hot seat match by Johnson, who’d dispatched Saleh to the loss side 4-8 (Saleh racing to 10). Johnson claimed the hot seat, handing Downs what proved to be his first and last defeat 6-4.
On the loss side, Foster picked up Choptank’s own Coen Bell, who’d been defeated 7-2 by Saleh in a winners’ side quarterfinal and then defeated Bethany Sykes 7-4 and Garrett Waechter 7-1. Saleh drew Coen Bell’s father, Danny Bell, who’d been sent to the loss side by his own son and embarked on a four-match, loss-side streak that had recently eliminated Huberth Alvarado 7-4 and John Moody, Sr. 7-5. Two potential, quarterfinal rematches hung in the balance as the 5/6 matches got underway, both dependent on Coen Bell, who would face either his Dad or the man who’d sent him to the loss side, Saleh.
Coen Bell accomplished his objective with a bit of a punctuation mark, shutting out Brandon Foster. Saleh, though, defeated Coen’s father 7-4, spoiling the anticipated father/son quarterfinal. Saleh and Coen Bell battled to double hill in their quarterfinal rematch before Saleh finished it and turned to face Andy Downs in the semifinals.
With Saleh racing to 9, Downs earned his two-set, double elimination rematch against Johnson with a 5-4 victory over Saleh in those semifinals. Downs took the opening set against Johnson 7-4 and completed his title-capturing run with a 7-2 victory in the second set.
On the Hill Productions’ (OTHP’s) Loye Bolyard thanked the ownership and staff at Choptank Bowling & Billiards and extended a ‘shout out’ to Isaac Wooten and Zach Goldsmith from digitalpool.com for “bringing all of the table streaming to Maryland” and to Dave Nangle, “who spends hours upon hours bringing us our very own stream.” He also thanked sponsors AlleyKat Cue Sports, AZBilliards.com, Aramith Balls, Simonis Cloth, TAP Chesapeake Bay Region, Safe Harbor Retirement Planners, Bull Carbon, Gina Cunningham and Keller Williams Integrity. The next event on OTHP’s calendar, set for the weekend of Feb. 18-19 will be a ‘599 and under’ Fargo Rate event, hosted by Brews & Cues in Glen Burnie, MD.