Immonen Captures First IPT Pro-Am Event
IPT Pro-Am / Villa Park, IL
Recent U.S. Open 9-Ball Championship winner Mika Immonen led Team Immonen to a $50,000 payday at the IPT’s first Pro-Am event, held November 8-9 at Palace Billiards in Villa Park, IL.
In the event’s unusual format, sixteen teams comprising one professional and seven amateur players battled through the single-elimination, 128-player bracket, with the top two players fighting for the winner-takes-all prize to be divided among their team. Immonen took home a cool $8,000 for his victory, while teammates Aleksander Radomski, Donny Bransom, John Golarz, Craig McLaren, Brian Hearl, Rodney Flenoi, and Randy Tenley collected $6,000 each.
The 16 seeded pros and the other 112 players, each of whom had played in a qualifier to participate, played 8-ball in short races to 3, meaning that it wasn’t necessarily a pro who was going to win the event. However, when all was said and done, it was Charlie “Hillbilly” Bryant who met Immonen in the finals. Immonen started off auspiciously with a break and run but came up empty on his following break, and Bryant evened the score. An implausible kick shot on the 15 ball put Bryant on the hill a game later, with Immonen playing catch-up after a miss by Bryant.
In the final rack, Immonen scratched on his break, and it would’ve seemed to seal his doom, but Bryant, faced with a relatively open table, sent a stripe flying off the table after missing it in the side. Reprieved, Immonen picked his way through the rack and coolly pocketed the 8 ball to the cheers of his anxiously watching teammates.
Visit InsidePOOL for the latest news in the sport of billiards and pool.