Bowlero Via Linda - 9/6/21

This weekend’s event was our 3-Day Labor Day Major at Bowlero Via Linda.  This is the first time that we have been to this center for a Major and we would see 254 total entries with 170 qualifying and 84 parlay entries this weekend.  We can’t thank the bowling community enough for all the help in making this such a successful event.  The event had 66 cashers, a 1 in 3.84 cash ratio and paid out over $18,500.00 in main and side event prize funds.  The players bowled on a 39ft Stars & Stripes oil pattern that proved to be playable but very tough if they were broken down wrong.  It seemed that some bowlers matched up well and others…not so well.  It would put a premium on avoiding splits and picking up spares.  The scores were pretty much on par with bowlers only needing to get 10 pins above average to make the cut.  The scores were a bit higher on Saturday and Sunday for the B Division, but it seemed that with each strip and re-oil, the pattern played truer and truer and got harder and harder, with cut scores remaining about the same for all three days.

We had 10 new bowlers come out and try the event for the first time!  We would like to welcome Cameron Vasicek, Tyler Grobman, Ian Jameson, Ed Taylor, Sally Taylor, Bradley Baltazar, Ryan Schwager, Kurt Kraus, Taylor Comon, Jerry De La Fuente and Jonathan Goldberg to the SFT Family.  It’s always great to see new bowlers and we had some that came from California, Utah and Oregon this weekend!  We hope you all have a good time and thank you all for coming out and trying out our event.  Congrats to Ed and Sally Taylor for making it to the quarterfinals in their very first event!  We also would like to congratulate this weekend’s Parlay Power Players in Ron Schloss and Jeremy Opp.  Both bowlers made it to the quarterfinals off their $25 economy parlay entry and all had a chance to turn that into the $1,600.00 first place prize.

We’d also like to congratulate Aaron Mendoza, Chris Adell, Terry Bandel, DJ Kneifel, Tyler Rasmussen, Don Stone, James Battista, Howard Strause, Hokey Begay, Charles Adams, Jeremy Warren, Chester Waybright, Brenda Kalivianakis, Ed Taylor, Sally Taylor, Luke Sullivan and Joan Harnish!  All these bowlers were making their first quarterfinals or their first quarterfinals in quite a while.

We would see three people win Momma’s Mystery Pot this weekend!  We had a couple of people that were not in the Momma’s pot that had their number drawn this weekend, so it pays to put in the extra $5.  Congrats to Willy Vuong (153) who would win on Saturday for $150.00!  On Sunday we would see Don Stone (141) win $275.00 and Stacy Huglin (162) would win $180.00 on the last squad of the day!!!  We also had our Memorial Day Mega Raffle, which featured more prizes than usual tournaments, and here are you mega raffle winners:

Free Track Ball of Choice

Hokey Begay

Free Plastic Ball w/option to upgrade to Track Ball of Choice for $85.00

Ron McDonald

Eric Flick

Free Main Entry ($50 value)

Jason Tunay

Steve Convirs

Free Progressive Pot ($25 value)

Mike Umstead

Eddie Wilcox

Free Economy Parlay ($25 value)

Chris Adell

Jason Tunay

Free Strikeforce Towel

Jason Tunay

Correen Acuff

Jason Tunay

The Quarterfinals was a big one with 48 bowlers on the floor.  The pattern was re-oiled before the start of the quarterfinals and it showed, as the scores to advance past the quarterfinals would be just over average to advance.

The cut ratio to advance from the quarterfinals into the first Semi-Final round was 1 in 3.  So, with 16 bowlers in all three Divisions, they would be cutting to the Top 5 in each Division.  The first Division Semi-Final matches would have the #1, #3 and #5 seeds on one pair and the #2 and #4 seeds on the other pair, with the winner of each pair advancing to the second Semi-Final match.  The winner of the second Semi-Final match would go onto meet the other Divisional winners for your Labor Day Eliminator Finals.

In the A Division, your #1 seed was Ron Schloss (+125), #2 Kevin Convirs (+88), #3 Dylan Taylor (+21), #4 Chris Tucker (+19) and #5 seed was Ben Perry (+18).  Your #1 & #2 seeds had to the option to pick which lanes the semi-final match was on and the choice of the order in which the bowlers would bowl the match.  The 1st semi-final match would see Ron Schloss taking on Dylan Taylor and Ben Perry with the highest score on the pair advancing.  We would see Ben Perry come from out of nowhere to win the match with a huge 225 game while Dylan (202) and Ron (172) would struggle with on the pair.  The other first round semi-final match would be between Kevin Convirs and Chris Tucker, this would be a nail biter!  It would all come down to the tenth frame as Chris would close out the tenth with a strike and a mark to end up with a score of 188.  It would force Kevin to double in the tenth in order to win.  Kevin would get up and crush the pocket on his first shot.  On his second shot, he would cross over and get enough carry get the second strike to narrowly win with a score of 194.  This would set up your A Division Finals match between Ben Perry and Kevin Convirs.

In the B Division, we had #1 seed Amarr Bryant (+89) vs. #3 seed Bryton Bobbitt (+61) vs. #5 seed Don Stone (+9).  On the other pair we had #2 seed DJ Kneifel (+78) vs. #4 seed Tyler Rasmussen (+20).  On both pairs we would see the top seeds win their matches.  Amarr Bryant would come out on top of a strike fest as he would put up a huge 275 game to defeat Don (245) and Bryton (218).  On the other pair DJ would get just enough to win his match against Tyler, 219 to 174, setting up your #1 and #2 seed B Division Finals match.

In the C Division, the #1 seed was Jeremy Warren (+80), #2 Chester Waybright (+46), #3 David Corcino (+41), #4 Robert Smith, Jr. (+19) and #5 seed Eddie Wilcox (+8).  We would see Jeremy Warren taking on David Corcino and Eddie Wilcox on one pair.  The other semi-final match would be between Chester Waybright and Robert Smith, Jr.  These two matches would see the top seeds advance on both pairs.  Jeremy was able to hit a few timely strikes to win the match with a 232, while Eddie (208) and David (181) would come up a bit short.  The match between Chester and Robert would come down to the final couple of frames as they both would struggle with the pair.  Chester was able to get a double in the eighth and ninth to win the match, 208 to 182, setting up the C Division Finals.

The Division Final matches are always fun to watch. When over 250+ entries come down to the top 6 bowlers, there is always some pressure in the atmosphere.  The A Division Finals would see Kevin Convirs would struggle on the pair and finish at 179, while Ben Perry would put up a huge 247 game, giving him the win.  The B Division Finals would be a close match with Amarr Bryant missing a 9-pin in the ninth to give DJ a chance at getting back into the match.  Amarr would finish the match up first at 187 to force DJ to mark to win.  DJ’s first ball in the tenth would come in a bit late but would trip the 3-pin to strike and seal up the win.  DJ would fill out the tenth with strikes to finish at 217 and move onto the Eliminator Finals.  The C Division Finals would go back and forth throughout the match.  Jeremy would open in the eighth and ninth frames to let Chester back into the match.  Chester would get a Brooklyn strike in the ninth, but open in the tenth to give Jeremy a chance to win.  Jeremy would need to double to win but would fall short finishing at 171 to give Chester the win.

The Final match at our Major events we use a different Finals format.  For this event we would use the Eliminator Finals format. So, for the first match we would have all three bowlers face off in a one game match and the lowest score on the pair would be eliminated.  Then we would see the final heads-up match with the winner taking home the $1,600.00 first place prize!

Going into the Labor Day Finals we would see Chester Waybright, from Bakersfield, CA, making it to the Finals in his first time qualifying for the quarterfinals.  Chester and his family had traveled out here before to bowl our Major events last year during the pandemic and was looking to continue his good run this weekend and win it all.  DJ Kneifel was making his second Finals appearance and looking to win his first title as well.  DJ had been running pretty good all day and was looking to improve on his previous Finals appearance, which he came in 2nd place.  Finally, we would see Ben Perry, a two-handed lefty, who had been bowling well all weekend, winning one of the $200.00 high game pots earlier in the day, and was looking at winning his 2nd AHT SFT title.

The Eliminator Finals match would start off with all three bowlers on the pair.  Ben would jump out to a quick lead and not look back.  Ben would cruise to a huge 247 game leaving it to DJ and Chester to battle it out to see who would meet him in the second eliminator match.  DJ and Chester would go back and forth for most of the match, with both bowlers struggling to get lined up on the pair.  It looked like DJ would make a ball change midway through the match and catch up to Chester going into the final frame.  Going into the tenth frame Chester would get a strike and 8-spare to finish at 186 and force DJ to mark and get good count.  DJ would get up in the tenth and his ball would go high and crossover for a Brooklyn strike to give him the needed pin count.  DJ would finish up with two more strikes to finish at 201, eliminating Chester in 3rd place and $475.00!

The second Eliminator Finals match would be a battle of the lefties as both Ben and DJ were going to be bowling their second game in a row on the same pair.  This meant that we would see some transition on the lanes, and it would be up to who could figure it out first that would take advantage.  DJ would start off with match with a nine-spare while Ben would start off with a strike in the first and six-spare in the second, as it looked like he was still lined up from the first eliminator game.  DJ would go on to strike in the second and nine-spare in the third to keep the match even.  Ben would then leave a nasty 4-7-10 split as his ball would pick up a bit early and go through the nose.  Ben wouldn’t convert the spare attempt and would get a second another split (2-7-8) in the fourth which he would convert.  DJ would look to take advantage of the open frame but would leave the bucket (3-5-6-9) in the fourth and would chop the 6-9 off the spare to remain even.  DJ would go on to mark in the fifth and sixth frames, while Ben would keep pace with a mark and strike in the fifth and sixth.  Ben would open in the seventh missing a huge 2-pin to give DJ the advantage and DJ would run with it striking in the seventh, eighth and ninth frames to put away the match.  DJ would cruise in the tenth to finish at 227 and Ben would come in second with a score of 174.  This would give DJ Kneifel his first AHT SFT title and $1,600.00!!!  Congrats to Ben Perry for second place and $850.00!

Thank you to everyone that came out to bowl our event this weekend.  A BIG thank you to Jenny Hoverson and Michael Bray and the Bowlero Via Linda staff for hosting our tournament this weekend.

Also, a special thank you to Tawna McDonald, for keeping us on track and who we couldn’t do this without, Michael Dragon, who stepped in this weekend to help keep track of scores and brackets, and Robert Smith, Jr., who volunteered to help get scores as well this weekend!  When people compliment on how well the tournament runs, I honestly couldn’t do it without all their help.

We are going to be off this coming weekend.  Hope you all have a great week and enjoy some football next weekend!  We will be back on Sunday, September 19th at AMF McRay for our standard 2-squad event!  Hope to see you there!

Eliminator Finals - Ben Perry vs. DJ Kneifel vs. Chester Waybright