By Mary Kenniston

Photos courtesy PoolActionTv

Owners Jim Landrum and Randy Hanson welcomed hundreds of pool players, fans and cuemakers to Big Dog Billiards in Des Moines, IA this past week to show their stuff at their Seventh Annual Midwest Billiards & Cue Expo.

Presented by Diveney Cues, Big Dog Billiards and, the $18,000 added event featured a One Pocket Championship, a Nine Ball Championship (played on nine foot tables), a Bar Table Nine Ball Championship and a Banks Ring Game – something for everybody!

This year’s event kicked off on Wednesday with the $5,000 added One Pocket Championship. Eleven players paid a $500 entry to compete in this race to four, alternate break double elimination event. Following the players auction and draw, play began.

Coming off his big win over One Pocket Hall of Famer Scott Frost last week, Fedor Gorst shot out of the gate with decisive wins over the current Iron City One Pocket champ, Josh Roberts, (4-1) and this year’s Music City Open Nine Ball champ, “Champagne Shane” Wolford (4-0). Warren Kiamco also defeated Sergio Rivas and Pedro Botta by identical scores of 4-2.

Undeniably the hottest one pocket player this year with victories at the Southeastern Triple Crown, the US Open and  Buffalo’s Pro Classic One Pocket championships, Tony Chohan methodically dismantled Winter Classic One Pocket champ Roberto Gomez 4-3. George Walters and the red-hot Gorst were Tony’s next victims – both with scores of 4-2. On to the hot seat match he went!

After securing a first round bye, Sky Woodward blistered his next two opponents 4-0. Corey Deuel and Warren Kiamco both headed to the one loss side. He joined Chohan to await the hot seat match.

Over on the west side of the chart, Roberts edged out Deuel and Gomez 4-3 before being skunked by Gorst. Rivas outlasted Walters 4-3 and Wolford 4-2 before being eliminated Kiamco. 

And now, the hot seat match! Woodward and Chohan both fought hard and it went down to the wire – 4-3. Sky sent Tony west to await an opponent.

Struggling to survive, Gorst and Kiamco battled it out to for the chance to move on and play Chohan. The Russian proved to be too much for The Warrior to overcome. Fedor won the match 4-2 leaving Warren with a fourth place finish.

Fighting to get to the finals, this one was a real nailbiter but when it was all over, Tony squeaked out the win 4-3. Fedor finished in third place.

As this was true double elimination, Chohan would have to beat the undefeated Woodward twice to claim the title. Grinding it out, Tony won the first set 4-3. One more set for it all!

Although Sky was a tough customer, Tony showed why he is the one pocket king claiming the match and the title 4-2! 

Congratulations to both Tony and Sky for a well-played event!

Thanks again to both Jim and Randy for hosting this event as well as their excellent staff for taking care of all the players and fans.
We’d also like to thank Tournament Director Ray Hansen and his able assistant, Jason Hill, for an excellent job. Thanks go out to our topnotch commentators – Larry Schwartz, John Henderson, Josh Roberts, Corey Deuel and Ray Hansen.