Hayes and Runnels Champs at Midwest Cup
Billiard Congress of Wisconsin 9-Ball Tour / Waukegan, IL
by Jonathan Demet
Walter Hayes Sr. of Waukegan, IL, left the McDermott Midwest Cup a hometown hero when he won the first tournament of this season’s Billiard Congress of Wisconsin Tour at Legends Billiards. The tournament drew in 29 handicapped amateurs who competed for a serious purse and the honor of becoming the first McDermott Midwest Cup 9-Ball amateur champion.
On the right side of the chart four players fought hard for the hot seat match. Chicago’s Jonathan Strzezewski bested Chris Mason 8-3, while Hayes outplayed Christopher Szarek in a double-hill nail-biter 8-4. Hayes proved to be too much for Strzezewski and sent him to the one-loss side 8-6.
Four were left on the one-loss side, and all fought with great tenacity. Szarek nipped Mike Regan 4-3, while Mason ousted 17-year-old Erick Hincks 6-4. It was difficult for Mason to overcome the handicap as he lost the quarterfinal match 4-5 to B-player Szarek, leaving Mason with a good showing of fourth place. Szarek then fell to Strzezewski 7-2, ending his battle with a third-place finish.
In the final match, Strzezewski was looking for revenge on Hayes but fell short 8-5, making Hayes the first McDermott Midwest Cup 9-Ball amateur champion.
In the open division, 18 of the Midwest’s diehard big-table players showed up, with master player Ike Runnels going home the champion. Runnels battled his way through a few close matches and came out on top, just above Jonathan Demet.
On the right side of the bracket Demet bested Bill Fowler 7-4, and Runnels defeated Frankie Bashir in a double-hill match, leaving the two winners to fight for the hot seat. Runnels routed Demet 7-1, sending him to the west side of the bracket.
While Runnels patiently waited to see who would play against him in the final match, the shooters on the left side had to play perfectly against their tough competition. Fowler defeated Jon Giles 6-1, while Henry Brodt ousted Bashir 6-3. Fowler maintained some top-notch pool by besting Brodt 6-4. Demet however showed no mercy against Fowler and got him again, this time in a hill-hill match, earning another chance at Runnels. It was a close match, but Runnels pulled ahead and won 7-5, becoming the first Open division McDermott Midwest Cup champion.
1st Walter Hayes Sr. $413
2nd Jonathan Strzezewski $255
3rd Christopher Szarek $165
4th Chris Mason $97
5th Mike Regan $55
7th Paul Repischak $34
1st Ike Runnels $700
2nd Jonathan Demet $360
3rd Bill Fowler $204
4th Henry Brodt $140
5th Frankie Bashir $80