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03-24-2002, 11:36 PM
** * 32 players, including two that came all the way from Japan, spent three days at Planet 9-Ball in beautiful sunny Tampa, Florida competing in the 2002 U.S. Open 9-Ball Wheelchair Tournament. **The matches were hotly contested and many went hill-hill. The finals came down to straight shooter Charlie Hans and host room owner Kenny "The Rolling Shark" Miller. Charlie was recently seen on ESPN's U.S. vs. Europe partners 9-ball tournament. **The finals were a single race to nine and both players were determined to win. Kenny and Charlie matched each other shot for shot and game for game. Neither player led by more than one game as the scores continued to tie each other all the way to hill-hill. It was now a race to one for ALL the marbles. The calcutta for first was nearly double the tournament cash prize. This was the largest calcutta in NWPA history. **It looked as if Charlie Hans had the final game in hand, but he turned the table over to Ken Miller. The hometown fans were clearly pulling for Ken and a hush fell over the entire room as Ken began to run the table out. As he floated the cueball to the other end of the table for position on the eight and nine, the pool Gods decided to make it even MORE exciting by letting the cueball drift past the eight on the newly installed Simonis and end up closer to the rail than Kenny preferred. A loud groan came from the locals and Kenny pondered his options. Bank it cross side ? Play safe ? Backcut it into the closest end pocket ? I've seen this same look on house Pro Buddy Hall's face many times as he silently stares at the object ball while mentally flipping through a forty year Rolodex of shots. ****Finally, Kenny had it figured. With a look of determination he lined up the backcut shot and pulled the trigger...... ****It 'nearly' went in and as if that weren't bad enough, the cueball banked into the opposite end corner pocket. Charlie now had ball in hand on the eight and quickly fired the eight and then the nine into the hole for the WIN. He received a raucous well deserved round of applause from the entire room. They both had played great for the entire tournament and noone wanted to see either of them lose. ****This was my third consecutive year as the TD for this tournament and I can't wait for next year. My thanks to all the participants and congratulations to Charlie Hans as this year's winner. 1st Charlie Hans2nd Ken Miller3rd Pat Starr4th Mark Jones5-6th Jeff Dolezal and Joe Dowling The 2nd Chance tournament was won by Yoji Mizusawa (one of two players that came all the way from Japan to play in this tournament... Doug

03-26-2002, 05:18 PM
Doug -

Thanks for running such a great tournament. Fantastic competition. Congrats to Charlie and Kenny on doing so well. Kenny smoked me 7-1 on Saturday. What an awsome player he is. I felt lucky just in come tied for 5th with such a strong field. Looking forward to playing in a Planet-Pool tournament in Sterling, VA in two weeks and hope I can build upon my good fortune in Tampa. See ya next year Doug.... Jeff D. from Fairfax,VA

Tom_In_Cincy
03-26-2002, 11:47 PM
"Bar Room Charlie" Hans has been a regular for a long time in the Cincinnati area. Prior to his days in the wheelchair, he was devastating on the bar boxes. Good to see him competing well.

03-27-2002, 12:11 AM
Tom, "Bar Box" Charlie Hans is still hitting them VERY well. I tried him some one-socket on a tight Diamond "Smart Table" on Friday night after the days action at the Wheelchair U.S.Open. He gave me 10-6 for 50 jellybeans a game and though we were 'even' after the first four games, he won the next four in a row and my entire jar of jellybeans (oy-vey). I'd like a re-match next year and expect to get AT LEAST 11-5 (imo) SmorgassBored Doug