2010 Montana State 8-Ball Championships

MCMOA – March 26-28, 2010

by: Don “Cheese” Akerlow

The MCMOA 8 Ball Championships started Friday night with just under 350 pool players from across Montana and by 10 pm Sunday night four champions were crowned. There were changes that were made to this years tournament, the location and sponsors as well as how the tournament was viewed. Billings, Montana was the host city, the Holiday Inn Grand Montana the location, Crown Royal and Bud Light the sponsors and OTBnTV Live streamed the tournament. There were 40 pool tables that were in one room, seating was the only problem which has already been addressed for next year’s championship.

The players meeting on Friday started just before 7 pm, explained the rules and play began along with the LIVE Streaming from www.OTBnTV.com and photos at http://www.pbase.com/otbntv/mcmoa2010. Play ended around 10:30 pm and the players had to come back Saturday at 9 am. There were no upsets to speak of on Friday but Saturday would prove to be another story. There was a sense in the air that something different was going to happen for this tournament and it did.

SATURDAY the 27th saw more than its share of upsets. Everything went normally during the morning hours and early afternoon, then it began to happen. Past champions dropping matches, first to the one loss side, then out of the tournament all together. The LIVE Streaming started at 11 am and broadcast its share of great matches.

About mid afternoon Jeff Boucher, a four time champion was playing on the TV Table but he was on the one loss side. Last year’s champion, Nick Douma, was not at the tournament due to previous commitments and had beaten Boucher in the finals last year. Jeff won his match easily on the TV Table and then within 1 or 2 matches later was promptly put out without winning a game. Jeff considered by many to be the best player in the state. He is definitely the most consistent. The buzz was all over the tournament floor. The gentleman who beat Jeff was promptly put out in the very next match. Other champions were also put out like Terry Bummer, Jason Tigart, and seven time champion Jerry Kohm.

SUNDAY the 28th saw the first final was the Women’s A Division. This division had three past champions, Sky Tigart who has won three championships and been in five finals of the Women’s A Division tied for 7th place. Four time champion and three time runner up, Linda Asleson was on the hot seat. Janet Dunks with one title and four final appearances in Women’s A had to beat Linda twice.

The final went back and forth with Linda coming out on top for her 5th championship and a tie for the most wins EVER with Gail Lave.

This match can be viewed along with all the final matches on www.OTBnTV.com

In the finals of the Men’s B Division was David Willis and Dave Garcia. Willis jumped out to a 3-0 lead and Garcia came back with 3 of his own. But David Willis was too strong in this match and came out the victor. You can also watch this match.

The feature match on the TV Table was the Men’s A Division. Two players from Helena, Montana, Dan Hamper and George Price. Hamper beat Price for the point and had to be beat twice if his third title was to escape. Dan had been in four finals previously. With the first game going to Hamper, Price wins the second. Then the two players decided to play a safety game or two. Dan plays a fast game once he decides his pattern and rarely gets out of shape. George is methodical and with his smooth stroke is the reason he is in the finals. Dan’s 13 year old daughter was watching online LIVE and would show her emotions in the chat room when her Dad won or lost. Dan showed his cue artistry by picking off balls and running tables once he got a shot, that brought the pride from his daughter when he won. You can also view this match.

The Women’s B was the last finals on the TV Table. Dina Winter from Billings on the point and Michelle Garcia of Butte. The first game went to Michelle as did the second, third and fourth in a race to 5. It seemed like a second set was in order. But Dina had another outcome in mind so she won her first game. Both women making some amazing shots and runs but also missing. Dina wins her second game – score now 4-2, then 4-3, then 4-4, all knotted up. Dina makes an incredible cut on the ball before the 8. This could be the greatest comeback of any Women’s B Championship if Dina could make the 8. But she misses it, leaves the 8 ball by the first diamond but a little bit off the rail. Michelle shooting a slight cut from the headstring to send it to a double elimination, but hits it fat and misses the 8, leaving Dina a straight in shot for the championship and the win. You can watch that on www.OTBnTV.com

Congratulation to all the winners and players.

OTBnTV would like to thank the MCMOA, Crown Royal, Bud Light, Holiday Inn Grand Montana, Simonis Cloth and Delta 13. We would also like to thank our local sponsors: The Frontier Club – Three Forks, MT; Rocky Mountain Gaming – Bozeman, MT; The Reno Club – Billings, MT; Hub Bar – Belgrade, MT.

We had an extraordinary audience of over 72,000 viewers. Thank you all for watching.

We had a great time and look forward to next year’s event! See ya there.


1st $1500 Dan Hamper

2nd $1000 George Price

3rd $500 Tom Milkiewicz

4th $400 Jim Ward

5/6 $300 Miral Gamradt, Jim Winter

7/8 $200 Chase Guthrie, Dan Bummer

9-12 $100 Gregg Ashworth, Coby Japp, Dave Seavey, Greg Gizinski

13-14 $75 Eddie Sifuentes, Britton Schwartzer

15-21 $50 Walter Nead, John Servoss, John Amelsberg,

Wade Thompson, Arnie Salcido, Wade Hudson, Bob Thiessan


1st $1200 Linda Asleson

2nd $800 Janet Dunks

3rd $400 Cathy Hellwitz

4th $250 Jonella Staus

5/6 $150 Stephanie Barnes, Jamie Cole

7/9 $100 Becka Larkin, Sky Tigart, Jolynn Henderson


1st $1000 David Willis

2nd $600 Dave Garcia

3rd $300 Don Salcido

4th $200 Dan Kohm

5/6 $150 Kelly Gilligan, Gary Steinman

7/8 $100 Gene Niles, Ramon Dyba

9-12 $75 Neil Christensen, Kurt Cooper, Phillip Fourstar, Kevin Niles

13-16 $50 Mike Thompson, Rich Robinson, Jack Salveson, John Barnes

17-24 $25 Jody Wilkens, Jack Barnes, Landyn Ackerman, Randy Phillips, Donnie Petty, Gary Kenny, Tyler Ackerman, Ralph Staton


1st $800 Dina Winter

2nd $500 Michelle Garcia

3rd $200 Penny Allen

4th $150 Tina Barker

5/6 $100 Theresa Johnson, Sara Grimm

7/8 $75 Theresa St Germain, Susan Maul

9/10 $50 Denise Neilsen, Connie Bird

11/15 $25 Katie Laird, Erica Wise, Tanya LaFountain, Nell Hogan, Christine McDonald

Men’s Second Chance Winner: Dan Horn

Women’s Second Chance Winner: Mary Helm