5th Annual Thanksgiving Tournament

Mickey’s Cues & Brews held their 5th Annual Thanksgiving weekend tournament. This year the tournament drew 28 players to the field. The double elimination was a race to 8 on both the winner’s side and the one loss side. With the food prepared and the tournament chart ready, this show down for the dollars was ready to begin.

In the first round of play there were some great matches to watch. This year the rail was packed (I think they were there for the food and the awesome cake Michelle made…not to see the matches. ha-ha). Seriously though, this was going to be a good tournament with a lot of great players. One first round match was Mark Griffin vs. Justin Whitehead. Justin was a five to one favorite in this match but Mark was determined to show he had some skills of his own. Mark jumped out to an early lead over Justin. Mark was playing good and it looked like he might slam a nail in Justin’s coffin, but Mark missed a shot to get to game six and Justin came back from the dead. Justin took over the match and Mark was stuck on that five spot. Justin won his match and would have to play Fred Boggs in the next round.

With both side of the tournament running you could hardly keep up with all the great matches and upsets that were going on.

On the winner’s side Justin was playing good and defeated Fred Boggs to move Fred over to the one loss side. Next Justin defeated Sean Haivland and moved on to play Tyler Feishman from Arizona. Tyler was also playing good with wins over Mark Gfeller, Walter Glass and Jeff Bartolo.

Justin vs. Tyler was a great match.  Justin had an early lead in this match but Arizona Tyler could play pretty good pool. Tyler kept the match close even though he scratched on every break he had. When he had his chances at the table he made some shots that would make everyone say WOW.

Tyler wasn’t fancy with his play. His game was simple and he just kept making the balls disappear.  Justin was doing his thing and the match went to hill – hill. Tyler scratched on the break again. With the balls lying funny on the table, Justin now had ball in hand. Justin played Tyler safe and Tyler missed giving Justin ball in hand. With Tyler on two fouls Justin played safe again. Tyler had a look at the one ball but failed to hit it and Justin was one step closer to his goal of winning first place prize of $800.00 in cash.

On the bottom half Rocky Phipps was moving along in the tourney with wins over Sean Lane, Edwin Domingo and Mark Estes. Rocky would find himself playing Justin for the hot seat. Justin shot well and moved Rocky over to the one loss side and Justin was now the man to beat.

With a lot of great players on the one loss side it was like heaven for the rail birds. With good match after good match I think this was the best Tournament Mickey’s has had. As we moved through the one loss side one match to remember was Sean Haivland vs. Debbie Aarens.

Sean took an early lead and had control over the match but with a couple of mistakes he was letting Debbie keep it close.  If anyone has played Debbie they know she can play some pool. With this match going hill – hill, Debbie gave Sean ball in hand on the six ball but the seven really had no hole to go into. Sean played Debbie safe sticking the cue ball behind the nine. Debbie came with a perfect kick and rolled the seven ball in perfectly. She had great shape on the eight and looked like she was going to win but she jarred the nine and Sean would be the one to move on.

Sean found himself playing Mark Estes. Mark played good and defeated Sean.  He would move on to play Tyler. Mark was looking good and with one Mickey’s Open under his belt already he was going to be tough to beat. Tyler was still playing good but Mark out ran him sending Tyler out of the tournament.

Mark was in the hot seat on the one loss side playing Rocky Phipps. Rocky defeated Mark. Now Rocky would get another chance at the belt.

The rail was still packed with people waiting to see a true double elimination tournament. The first was a race to eleven and the second was a race to eight.  This was going to be an uphill battle for both players.

Justin with his fast play had a huge lead over Rocky. It was just like the movie Rocky IV with Justin playing the part of Drago. It looked like Rocky was going down hard and fast. Justin made two mistakes and Rocky was back in action but unlike the movie Rocky didn’t win this time. Justin Whitehead won the belt and the cash prize of $800.00.

I would like to thank all the players, staff and family members.  Also a special thanks to Amy Encinias from Las Vegas Billiard Buzz for everything she has done for pool in Las Vegas.

1st Justin Whitehead————$800.00
2nd Rocky Phipps—————$350.00
3rd Mark Estes——————$270.00
4th Tyler Fleishman————$210.00
5th Rich Burns——————$140.00
6th Sean Haivland————–$140.00
7th Walter Glass—————-$100.00
8th Debbie Aares—————$100.00

-The Pool Fly

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