On October 29-31, 2010, The Rack of Memphis was home once again to the Mid-South PVA 9 Ball RACK Championship. This year, this tournament was Event #2 of the PVA/NWPA National Wheelchair Billiards Tournament Series Season 5. The field consisted of 14 players from around the country.
The Mid-South PVA Chapter was the tournament host, together with the cooperation and support of The Rack and its owner, Jerry Ramey and NWPA Member Don Samples. Several Viking cues were available for the event’s fundraising raffle and Paul Frankel, who is also known as “Professor 'Q' Ball”, donated a custom cue and assisted with event publicity. Shawn Interrante served as tournament director and Bob Hunt, and his daughter Shelbie Hunt provided referee services.
Following the player’s meeting and tournament draw on the morning of the 29th, play began on the 9-foot tables located in the room. In the first round of play, Ralph Burlingame and Charles Interrante, both of whom are very solid players, were paired up to play. Burlingame, who was returning to NWPA competition after a several year hiatus, won the match 7 games to 4 over Interrante. Burlingame also had little trouble in his next round, defeating NWPA regular Terry Guess, 7 games to 2. Guess had advanced to round two with a win against Mark Mann in the first round. The win over Guess paired Burlingame up against Bill Frisby, who had already scored match victories against Christie Hill-Smith and Dan Hall. Frisby was last year’s main event runner up in this event and he showed why by defeating Burlingame 7 games to 4.
This match win put Frisby in the no-loss side final against Johnny Holland. Holland had advanced to this level by defeating Daniel Young, James Winston, and Truman Suttle in the previous rounds of play. Holland was no match for Frisby, who won the tournament hot seat, with a 7 games to 2 victory over Holland. All Frisby could do then was wait for the one-loss side to be narrowed to a single player so that the championship match could be played. The hot seat also guaranteed Frisby a minimum of a 2nd place finish.
On the one-loss side, Interrante put together a string of 4 match victories over Mann, Houston Lewis, Hill-Smith, and Burlingame, before finally falling 5 games to 1 to Terry Guess for a 4th place finish. Prior to this match, Guess had defeated Leo Lawson, Hall, and Suttle. Guess then took on Holland, defeating him 5 games to 2. Holland finished the event in 3rd place.
Guess and Frisby were now ready to play the championship match, would be a true double elimination, 2 set (race to 7) match. This meant that Guess would have to defeat Frisby twice in race to 7 sets in order to claim the championship. Being undefeated, Frisby would only need to win one of the two sets to claim the title. Once the match began, Frisby took an early lead, going ahead 5 games to 2. Guess wouldn’t give up though, winning the next game to draw closer at 3 games to 5, and then snapping in on the break back-to-back 9 balls to tie the score at 5 games each. Guess went on to win the first set, 7 games to 5.
In the final set, Guess jumped out to a 6 games to 1 lead over Frisby, who refused to call it quits. Frisby worked hard, playing safe when he couldn’t run out, and eventually tied the set score, 6 games to 6. In the final deciding game, Frisby broke and ran down to the 9 ball, leaving himself with a difficult but makeable shot on the 9 ball. He missed the shot however, leaving Guess with an easy finish. Guess made the 9 and won the tournament championship, with a two set victory over Frisby (Set1, 7 games to 5, and Set 2, 7 games to 6). Frisby finished the main event in 2nd place.
A second flight points event was held on 7 foot for the players eliminated early in the main event. Dan Hall took 1st place, James Winston finished 2nd, and Houston Lewis was 3rd.
The event would not have been possible without the generous support of the Mid-South PVA, Jerry Ramey, Don Samples, and Paul Frankel. Special thanks to Houston Lewis, Sharon Mount, Shawn Interrante, Bob Hunt, and Shelbie Hunt for their assistance in planning and/or during the event.
Main Event Order of Finish
Terry Guess 1st
Bill Frisby 2nd
Johnny Holland 3rd
Charles Interrante 4th
Ralph Burlingame 5th/6th
Truman Suttle 5th/6th
Second Flight Order of Finish
Dan Hall 1st
James Winston 2nd
Houston Lewis 3rd
Daniel Young 4th
Ertemes Bell 5th/6th
Mark Mann 5th/6th
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