Sunday, June 04, 2006

World Straight Pool Championships Goes to Hohmann

World Straight Pool Championships Goes to Hohmann

by InsidePOOL Staff
The World Straight Pool Championships, which began May 31 and ended June 4, ended with Thorsten Hohmann in the winners’ circle. Hohmann came upon the international scene when he won the World Pool 9-Ball Championships in 2003, and since then he has made a strong impression on both European and American pool.
This event attracted some of the biggest names in the game, from Jimmy Mataya and Mike Sigel to Johnny Archer and Nick Varner. Germans Ralf Souquet, Thorsten Hohmann, and Thomas Engert were also present. To make things interesting, Jeanette Lee, Megan Minerich, and recent Championship winner Jasmin Ouschan of Austria also came to play.
Gabriels Tables was the official table sponsor, while Iwan Simonis, Inc., provided the cloth and Aramith the balls. The event was hosted by the Hilton in East Brunswick, NJ. Beginning with a round robin 64-player roster, the event wound its way down to a single-elimination, 16-player format after players such as Tony Robles, Archer, Sigel, and Varner dropped out.
Ouschan had the best showing of the ladies, as she reached the final eight before falling to Hohmann 200-117. Former bank pool champion Danny Harriman met Max Eberle in the same bracket and put up a bit of a fight before falling to the wayside 200-63.

Allen Hopkins also made it to the final eight, succumbing 200-32 to Germany’s fierce competitor Thomas “The Lean Machine” Engert 200-32. Engert won the Predator Florida Open last weekend and is still riding high. After a close match with Mike Davis, Mika “Iceman” Immonen advanced 200-170
Immonen went on to meet Engert in the next round and went home disappointed after a 200-20 drubbing, while Hohmann and Eberle met in the other game. The match saw the players trade innings frequently, with Hohmann retaining the lead throughout to win 200-177.
The fellow Germans met in the final match. The last time the two played in the finals against one another might have been the 2004 International Challenge of Champions, where Engert came out ahead and won the $50,000 winner-takes-all prize. Maybe in the back of his mind, Hohmann recalled this, for he was up to a 92-ball run as an opener before missing an easy 7 ball. He was soon back at the table, though, after Engert missed a break-out shot. Commentator Bobby Hunter mentioned that the two players had very different styles, with Hohmann choosing to break the balls firmly, while Engert was more “old school” and only liked to break out a couple of balls.
Back at the table, Hohmann put together another running, reaching 160 before scratching off the side of the rack. Engert returned to the table and reached a total score of 80 before missing the 15 in the side. After a quick break, Hohmann came back to the table and, with a couple of nervy shots, ran out flawlessly to win the match 200-80.
The high run for the event was Thorsten Hohmann’s run of 174. Following him were Immonen with 132, Eberle with 127, Sigel with 125, and Hopkins with 123.
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Last Updated ( Sunday, 04 June 2006 )

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BEF Scholarship Program 2006-2007 Awards Announced

BEF Scholarship Program 2006-2007 Awards Announced

The Billiard Education Foundation (BEF) Academic Scholarship Program is an annual review round administered by the BEF Scholarship Committee, under the direction and guidance of the BEF Board of Trustees. Applications are made available in the fall, with a postmark deadline of the following March 15.
The BEF Academic Scholarship Program is divided into two categories: Excellence in Education scholarship ($5,000 awarded over a two-year term) and Billiard Congress of America (BCA) scholarships (7x $1,000 awarded annually). The objective of the BEF Academic Scholarship Program is to grant scholarships to high school seniors who have benefited from the sport of billiards and are pursuing a college education.
The 2006 Winners have been announced by the BEF. Congratulations to these high school seniors, who have been named to receive a scholarship for the 2006-2007 academic year:

BEF Excellence in Education winner:

Kyle Smith, Lafayette, CO

BCA Scholarship winners:

Gregory Gaskin, South Lake Tahoe, CA
Christopher Kaltenbach, Newtonville, MA
Dorothy Mix, Camino, CA
Conor Parker, LaGrange, IL
Jessica Ray, Avon, CT
Megan Skinner, Des Moines, IA
Joshua Strazanac, Holland, MI


The BEF supports and recognizes billiard student-athletes who excel both in the classroom and in competition. All-American honors are given to those who qualify for the BCA Junior Nationals, plus earn a 3.5 GPA on a 4.0 scale. Students must complete an application and submit their report cards to be considered, and 33 students made the grade in last year's round.
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Thursday, June 01, 2006

Steve Mizerak Passes Away

Steve Mizerak Passes Away

The legendary Steve “The Miz” Mizerak passed away Monday, May 29. The Hall of Fame member suffered a stroke in 2001 and was hospitalized early in 2006 with gall bladder problems. After slipping into a coma, he then succumbed on Memorial Day. Born October 12, 1944, he was 61 years old.
Survived by his wife Karen and his two sons, a stepson and two granddaughters, The Miz was one of the most recognizable figures in pool. His game of choice was straight pool—after becoming classified as a professional at the age of 13 after running 105 balls, he went on to collect four U.S. Open Championship titles in 1970-1973. He also showed tremendous proficiency at 9-ball, winning the U.S. Open 9-Ball Championship in 1978.
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Steve was graduated from Athens College in Athens, AL, in 1968 with a degree in history. He taught for 13 years before retiring and going on to star in Miller Lite beer commercials, the most famous of which was “Just Showin’ Off.” Steve went on to perform in “The Baltimore Bullet,” which led to his part in “The Color of Money.”
In the 1990s, Steve again branched out, becoming an entrepreneur and launched Mizerak Cues, which he marketed to Kmart, Sports Authority, and other sporting goods chains. He also started the Senior Tour, a tour for 50+ players, which he ran for six years out of his room in Lake Park, FL.
Jimmy Reid, a Senior Tour participant, recalled, “At a pool table, Steve Mizerak is one of the most coordinated big men you have ever seen or will ever have the pleasure of seeing. Steve has always been a good friend, but on the green felt he's a fierce competitor. Steve addressed the cue ball and came down into the shot as well as anyone who ever played the game. When he fell in gear playing straight pool, ‘Miss’ was definitely a girl.”
A church service was scheduled for Friday.
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