The Steve Mizerak Championship Up For Grabs
Steve Mizerak Championship / Hollywood, FL
by Raymond Linares
With the winners’ side of the Steve Mizerak Championship bracket at the end of day two looking like a virtual Mosconi Cup team, there is no clear-cut favorite yet to win this prestigious event. The final four undefeated players are Johnny Archer versus Rodney Morris and Shane Van Boening versus John Schmidt. Archer has had notable victories against Rafael Martinez 8-4 and John Rouse 7-2 to secure his spot in the final four of the winners’ side. His opponent, Mosconi Cup contender Morris has had successive wins over Dan Lavoie, Beau Runningen 7-4, Richie Pigliese 7-3, and Earl Strickland 8-4 on his way to the winners’ side semifinals. Those two combatants are sure to put on quite a show at 4 p.m. Saturday afternoon.
The second pairing of Van Boening and Schmidt will undoubtedly be a high-powered affair. Many would deem Van Boening the odds-on favorite to win the event from here. What with his powerhouse break and historical success on the Seminole Pro Tour, that pick is very justifiable. But no one in the event has dominated their opponents more so than John Schmidt. “Mr. 400” has only lost 13 total games throughout the event. With wins over James Ladeira 7-3, Steve Moore 7-3, Richard Broumpton 7-1, and Corey Deuel 8-6, Schmidt is looking very strong indeed.
The one-loss side is really heating up as well. Mike Davis, who lost a controversial match against Van Boening on the winners’ side, was eliminated by young Canadian champion Jason Klatt 7-2. Klatt will face off against Shawn Putnam at 12 p.m. Putnam is also playing very well, coming off of a win against Larry Nevel 7-5.
Florida’s presence is still strongly felt in this event with seven competitors still vying for the title. Schmidt remains as the sole undefeated Floridian. But on the one-loss side is Richard Broumpton, who eliminated John Morra by an impressive 7-3 margin. Also, Justin Hall and John Rouse are set to match up at 12 noon. Hall, the youngest player left in the field, eliminated Charlie Williams 7-6 and Keith Bennett in succession. Hall will face Hollywood’s own “Monster” John Rouse. Rouse has been having a great event thus far. After suffering a 7-2 loss at the hands of Archer, Rouse recovered nicely with an exciting hill-hill triumph over none other than Steve Moore. With that loss, Moore’s bid to repeat as the Steve Mizerak champion is over. We are guaranteed to crown a new title holder by Sunday evening.
Rounding out the list of Floridians are Hunter Lombardo (facing George Breedlove at 12 p.m.), Donny Mills, and Deuel. Mills and Deuel are still awaiting match assignments from the first round of one-loss side play.
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