It would appear that Fargo Rates of 599 and lower, combined with the game of 8-ball, are a kind of ‘sweet spot’ for attracting competitors to a pool tournament. Those were the parameters of this past weekend’s (Feb. 18-19) MD State 8-Ball Championships, held under the auspices of On the Hill Productions, and a full field of 96 of them showed up.
Charlie Randall went undefeated through the field to win it. Chenxu “Frank” Wei, who lost his first match and won nine on the loss side to face Randall in the finals, battled to double hill in those finals before Randall claimed the title. Seth Harris went undefeated to the hot seat match and lost to Wei in the semifinals. Fairly impressive for a trio of competitors looking for their first regional tour title. The event drew its 96 entrants to Brews & Cues on the Boulevard in Glen Burnie, MD.
Harris, though he had to battle to double hill twice on his way to the hot seat match, ended up with a better game-winning percentage when he got there than Randall did. Harris won twice as many games as he lost; 36-18, 66%. The two back-to-back double hill matches (versus Brad Kresge and Bill Bickford) were sandwiched between two matches in which Harris gave up only a single rack (to Robert Hess and William Bracey), his opening match in which he gave up two (to Kevin Ransel) and a winners’ side semifinal in which he gave up four racks to Alex Parker.
Randall, awarded a bye, played one less match and through his first four, had decided on a score of 6-4 to advance. He downed Rob Pistorio, Jeff Spelman, Edward Mejia and Kane Miller by that score and then, in the other winners’ side semifinal, ran into Moe Mozzannar, who battled him to double hill, before Randall prevailed. He arrived at the hot seat match with an aggregate score of 30-21 (58%). He only gave up two racks to Harris and claimed the hot seat.
On the loss side, “Frank” Wei was working on his nine-match, loss-side winning streak that could have been an 11-match streak had Raymond Walters and Andres Ruiz not forfeited out of Wei’s first and third loss-side match. Four of the eight that Wei did play went double hill, including the last two that put him in the finals. He’d recently eliminated Vince Biondo 6-1 and Bill Bickford 6-3 to draw Parker. Moe Mozzannar picked up Danny Hauser, who’d defeated Joseph Sennett 6-2 and Edward Mejia, double hill, to reach him.
Wei downed Parker and Hauser defeated Mozzannar, both 6-2. Wei went on a back-to-back double-hill run, defeating Hauser in the quarterfinals and Harris in the semifinals. He locked up in his third straight double hill battle in the finals against Randall, but Randall had the last word, dropping the final 8-ball and claiming the event title.
On the Hill Productions (Loye Bolyard) thanked the ownership and staff at Brews & Cues On the Boulevard for their hospitality, along with sponsors Alley Kat Cue Sports, AZBilliards.com, Aramith Balls, Simonis Cloth, TAP Chesapeake Bay Region, Safe Harbor Retirement Planners, along with Bull Carbon, Gina Cunningham, Keller Williams, Integrity and DigitalPool.com.
On The Hill Productions will return to Brews & Cues on the Boulevard on the weekend of March 11-12 for the MD State Women’s 8-Ball Championships.