Valley League Results

Valley League
Rocky Mountain Gaming
Bozeman, MT

by: Don “Cheese” Akerlow

(photo Frontier #1: (l to r) Rich Robinson, Shaye McMillian, Francis Panion, Scott Williams, Jeff Pickett)

March 12, 13 and 14, 2010 the Valley League Tournament was held in 3 locations in Belgrade, Montana. The league had 21 five person teams, which has grown in less and 6 years from only 8 teams and finding it difficult to get those, to what is now the largest league in the Bozeman VNEA system. Don Lutes the league operator for the last 20 odd years will be retiring after this year. Rich Petty will be taking over as league operator in 2011. Rich wants to initiate new growth and new ideas that he wants to include from the players. Now back to the tournament.

The Frontier #1 team who finished 2nd in league standing but with the top shooter Rich Robinson and had a second player Scott Williams as the #5 shooter, had won it’s way to the point. All matches were a 15 game rotating format, each player playing 3 different opponents on the other team. The finals saw the Frontier #1 meeting up against the Lucky Cuss #1 who won league this year and had 3 of the top 6 players in the league Top Shooter category. The Frontier had been beaten by the Lucky Cuss when they met during league handily, but had been shooting well throughout the tournament to capture the hot seat. The Lucky Cuss had beaten out the 5th place league team Hub #1 who, now with their defeat came in 3rd.

In the finals you play a 25 game rotating format, each 5 players on one team plays the other 5 players and this is for prize money and the trip to Las Vegas that includes your rooms at the Riviera, travel money and entry into the 30th Annual VNEA International Championships. Although other teams can pay their way into the championship, the Bozeman VNEA leagues from the very start 30 years ago have a unique way of sending teams to Las Vegas to participate. You earn your way there with the expenses paid as I mentioned previously. This has become a badge of honor if we did not win the championship to go with our expenses paid, we did not go.

Finals were played at the Hub Bar, Belgrade, Montana

The Frontier #1 is my old team and I was there rooting them on every shot as well as taking some photos of the tournament. I haven’t played for the past 2 years and was naturally rooting my old team on. With 3 games left the Frontier #1 was down 17 points. You get 1 point per ball and 3 points for the 8 ball, total of 10. Your opponent would get 1 point for each ball pocketed. The Lucky Cuss was able to pull off the victory and the Frontier team looked somewhat dejected. I wasn’t unable to stay because I had my grandchildren at my house and wanted to get back to them but was torn also to lend my support to my former team. I asked one of my former teammates to give me a call when it’s over and it was about 9:30 Sunday night when he called and told me the news, “We won, we won, we pulled it off” I congratulated him and told him to tell the team the same.

They will be down in Las Vegas May 27-June 5 as well we will be there with to Live Stream the VNEA 30th Anniversary.

Next week we will have the Women’s Championship to go to Las Vegas and in April the Bozeman City Leagues will be vying for the trip as well. More coverage to come.

PHOTOS from the event at this link:


Lucky Cuss #1: (l to r) Gary Schram, Travis Steward, Dan Reeves, Mike Hughes, Jamey Lewis

1.  2651  Lucky Cuss #1

2.  2577  Frontier #1

3.  2479  Hub #5

4.  2458  Friendly Tavern

5.  2455  Hub #1

6.  2442  Sports Depot #2

7.  2426  Hub #2

8.  2394  Legion Manhattan #2

9.  2390   Hub #4

10. 2376  Wolfs Den

11. 2358  Hub #3

12. 2339   Oasis

13. 2319  Town Club #1

14. 2316  Sports Depot #1

15. 2297  Town Club #2

16. 2282  Lucky Cuss #2

17. 2261  Plaza Bar #1

18. 2244  Legion Manhattan #1

19. 2224  Lucky Palms

20. 2203  Broken Arrow #1

21. 2153  Plaza Bar #2


1.  549  Rich Robinson

Rich Robinson

2.  544  Gary Schram

3.  528  Dave Tomko

4.  519  Jamey Lewis

5.  518  Scott Williams

6.  517  Travis Steward

7.  513  Lee Highline

7.  513  Rob Lemke

9.  512  Pat Perin

10. 511  Cathy Hansen