Hello everyone. We are up to our double match weekend. I think we are the last team to complete our double match. It’s this Saturday at 2 PM at Candlewood if you’re interested.
Week 22 lives here.
Dear New Palace Lanes,
You’re doing it right.
Right before I threw my first ball for the King Of The Palace tournament, you gave me a tap on the shoulder and said the handicap was based on MY AVERAGE. Correct! That’s how you’re supposed to do it. I applaud you. After registering my 118 average, it turned out I had high average for the tournament, so I get zero. I like the idea of bowling scratch. Add to that point, the number of tournaments I do on a yearly basis might actually equal all the other competitors total tournaments combined. I don’t even want to talk about Friday night. I don’t understand making an arbitrary number like 80% to 130? Why should everyone get pins, makes little to no sense to me. Top average gets zero. Done.
It just made SENSE. Again, New Palace – you’re doing it right.
So what is the King Of The Palace you say? It’s your run of the mill King of the hill (KOTH) but it comes with a twist – you’ll learn about it shortly. This tournament was the first of a series of tournaments at this house. The next one is tentatively scheduled for February 23rd. This KOTH, like others, is a three string qualifier, handicapped at 80% in this case to my 118. So if you had a 112 average walking in the door, you’d get 80% of six pins, or 4.8, rounded down to the lowest whole number – 4.
Once you bowl your three strings, the top five in total pinfall form a ladder. The 5th place bowler faces the 4th place bowler. The winner faces the 3rd place bowler, and so on until a “King” of the hill or ladder is crowned.
I can say honestly it was interesting to be what you’d call a “pro” bowler at this event. I was by no means the best bowler for 30 boxes, but I was the most seasoned. By seasoned, I mean facing competition in tournament settings and otherwise. I’m just saying, I bring a different veteran presence to the building. I think it also showed how little I got flustered when things didn’t go my way, and how I was able to make adjustments on the fly based on lane conditions. It was what it was. I’m not taking anything from the other bowlers there, just that I stick out.
Honestly, that’s neither here nor there. I finished in sixth only because I bowled poorly in the second string. I figured 360 (with handicap) to be the cut, and it ended up being 356. At one point I was the cut, at 345, but one of the bowlers handicaps wasn’t figured in, so that 326 quickly went to 356, and I was out. It was a great experience, and I’m going to be there next month to get into the ladder matches.
The interesting thing with this KOTH is that once you become king, at the next one you are automatically included in the ladder. So Billy Palumbo (who absolutely CRUSHED in the finals) will be the 5th seed and have to march up the ladder to defend. I think that’s awesome. Be different.
Again, New Palace Lanes – you’re doing it right.
Added to that, New Palace has worked out a deal with FATV in the area and the ladder matches are going to be on local TV as well as YouTube. Here we see the set up New Palace had going on before the ladder began. They had four cameras set up. One each on lane 3 and 4 over the pins, and one to the bowlers right on lane six, and a camera on lane 5 facing the bowlers. It was a great setup and looking in the camera near the ball return, it was CRISP, and it captured them throwing perfectly.
I didn’t get a chance to see the other camera in action, and I didn’t want to disrupt the action, so I sat tight and watched some great two string matches. Every now and then I grumbled about a “math error” to the owner, but I was just being a pain. Had I bowled well it wouldn’t have been an issue. I enjoyed it, and I can’t wait to go back.
Good job Billy in racing up the ladder as the 3 seed and congrats on the 180. Oh wait is that a big game? Yep.
Good job New Palace Lanes – You’re doing it right.
I was going to make it a separate post, but it didn’t really make sense. It happened at this tournament, and it’s now a high single for Billy Palumbo. His opponent stepped up and BANG, back door strike. What does Billy do? He calmly CRUSHES the 2-6 pocket and comes up the ladder from the 7 pin to the head pin for a back door strike. His next two were “Baker strikes” – no doubters. As soon as they left his hand, you didn’t need to say “double!” hoping it would happen, it just DID.
I think the thing that shocked me the most is after the three hammers, Billy threw his BEST ball of the first four boxes and left the 7-8-10 with a vertical piece of wood in front of the 7-pin with front part closest to us angled more toward the gutter than the back of the pin. What does Billy do? In a Surette-esque throw, he drilled the wood straight back into the 7- and it shot across to the 8-10, and he picked it up CLEAN. No prayer, no lean, no fist pump. Just a spare, like all in a day’s work.
It was awesome to watch, and seeing a 112 first half is just great. He got totally screwed in the 9th for a spare, and it’s a good thing it was being recorded live because I caught myself. There is a good chance you’re going to hear it on YouTube.
Good job Billy – you’re doing it right.
I was going to post all the weeks individually, then I thought in a batch, but I figured you want to just see the latest. I’ve uploaded week 21 for you, and hopefully the updates come in a faster fashion than they have been recently. The latest stats can be found here.
Happy New Year everyone. I know I am behind on this particular post. Not only did I not feel well after returning from Maine, but I also wanted to take some time to let everything settle down and sink in with me.
I’ll be honest. I had full intentions of doing an article telling both sides of the story. I wanted my readers to know everyone’s side – honestly and as unbiased as possible. I wanted to be a reporter. I was covering the tournament. It took me a long time, literally weeks, to go over it in my mind. This site is about the game. It’s not about anything else. I completely respect the opinions of the people I was going to interview and I thank them for the honesty they have always provided me. It is what it is, and I am going to leave it at that.
I was really fired up when I walked in the door Thursday morning, and all I saw was the above. EVERYONE was there. It was the most AWESOME feeling I’ve ever been able to witness in a bowling venue. Talk about being a kid in a candy store. Who do you watch, really? Surette? Holbrook? Ricci? Lapierre? Barber? Mallahan? Whitcomb? Morgan? Baker? Everywhere you turn, greatness. Every name you type, amazing. It’s just that good, and you can’t get enough of the atmosphere. I apologize if I didn’t include your name here as I could easily type every name that was there (and a double apology to our Canadians friends up north, as the only three I really know so far are LeBlanc, Locke, and Seary).
I ended up making it down to the end of the alley where Lucky Strike was facing off against Crazy Train. Here we see Chris Boisvert lining up his next shot before trying to pick up the 2-4-6-7-10. I learned quickly from both sides that much of the week had many a bowler looking at Chris’ particular shot. The term “shoot it over” was heard many times while I was standing there.
Yep, I’m going to say it. Boisvert totally owes me a beer – and not because the shot didn’t go – it wasn’t a bet or anything like that. I owed one, Jeff Surette, a beer. I went over to get one for him and me. As I handed Jeff his, Chris looked like a kid looking at his kid brother and said “for me” with raised eyebrows. I couldn’t deny the look, and I handed him my beer. He even played the part by saying “really?”. He’s a weasel!
You can also see above that Dave Barber and Jeff were standing right near where Chris was about to throw. I learned that the Canadians forced the United States bowlers to act like that. Many years ago the Worlds used to be super, super competitive, slightly less friendly. The Canadians would stand behind the US bowlers and try to rattle their cage – especially new bowlers. I am sure Chris would have been fine in this case as he has made countless shots over the course of his career. It was just amazing to hear that even in the world of bowling, jeering (and less than friendly jeering) can take place on all stages whether it’s the Worlds or not. I hope if I am on a team next year, I have people behind me all the way. One would hope.
Craig Holbrook said it best when I said hello to him Thursday morning. He said “The worlds are like Friday nights on steroids”. Three strings, two points per string, two points for total. Three matches on Tuesday through Thursday, and two matches on Friday. The playoffs start on Friday, with top six from each side getting in, and the top seeds getting byes until the semifinals. Another unique part of this tournament is that you can be subbed for in the middle of a string. It has to be before the sixth box, and you cannot be on a mark. Sometimes a sub can be EXACTLY what a team needs to jump start a rally. It’s an interesting concept, and there is a fine line of when to pull the trigger and when not to pull the trigger. I’ve heard from a handful of captains that it’s common to wait until at least the fourth box as that gives the bowler a chance on both lanes.
I also had my first real experience with the Canadian folks. I can say it was interesting to say the least. One of the more friendly (and flirty) bowlers was one Calvin Locke. He is a great bowler – really, really smooth with his approach. The pins explode when he throws in what appears to be so little effort. He was all smiles while winning his second round playoff match. While he came over to watch the end of the Lucky Strike v. Extreme TNT match, one of the other Canadian bowlers asked Calvin what lanes they were bowling on in their next match. He responded defiantly “whichever lanes USA East juices the most”. There was a round of chuckles, and that’s when I introduced myself and said that you don’t know who’s listening when you speak. I told him I was going to quote him – and he said “by all means, you can tell them I said that”. Well, there it is in black and white.
There’s our boy in the flesh getting all friendly with the missus. It’s a good thing he behaved because even though I didn’t play ice hockey, doesn’t mean I don’t know how to hockey fight! I’m sure he knows I’m talking a good game and it’s all in good fun.
Calvin is an incredible competitor and he is the cohesiveness that keeps his team together was a site to behold. I can see why he leads them out of the gate. I watched during the second playoff match and into the early stages of the match with USA East how he works bowling first. He’s great at continuing where their anchor left off, and if they need a spark he is usually the one to ignite it.
I did hear some minor grumbling that people won’t miss Serge Babin (not him specifically – I promise). The entire week whenever Serge would get a mark, the entire left side of the tournament would hear Calvin’s distinctive roar “Sergio Valente Castillo Garcia, OLE!” Usually he would get the entire team to say “Ole” and their captain and anchor Brian Bernatchez would come in oh so late and say “Ole” on his own much to the chagrin of Calvin. I just had to mention his chant. I wasn’t going to let it go. I thought it was awesome. On a sad note, the video I caught with the iPhone is rather terrible and converting it didn’t help either.
I think the one thing to note about all of this, the venue made it very difficult to watch the finals. It just seemed like the place was set up in such a way that I could only enjoy the scores being written down instead of the bowling itself. Congratulations to Fairlanes A+ Pelham in their convincing win over USA East in the finals. I wish I could have watched a little more closely.
If I do get to bowl, I hope I hear “SERGIO VALENTE CASTILLO GARCIA, OLE!” all week, I’m sure no matter what it will be worth it. The worlds are unbelievable and if you can go and watch, please do. Make a trip of it. It’s an amazing experience and one you don’t want to miss. Either way I think I’m taking a week off of work to go to Halifax next year.
Bogey Lanes in East Brookfield, MA hosted the WNECA tour on Sunday, January 6. A total of 15 bowlers took the field this time around, and by golly, there wasn’t a single withdrawal!
Here’s a look at the top 5 qualifiers:
1. Brian Mayer – 658
2. Rich Bober – 648
3. Rich Myrick – 642
4. Korey Packard – 640
5. Scott Caddell – 618
Jason Gauthier – 612
Steve Renaud, Sr. – 609
Dave Dupuis – 606
Steve Vadney – 602
Steven Renaud, Jr. – 532
The first knockout match between Scott Caddell and Korey Packard was close the entire string. Caddell made the 3-5-6 late in the match for a spare while Packard left himself the 5-6-10 with little to no help. Packard was unable to convert the shot, allowing Caddell to seal up the match, 114-112.
After a ton of warm-up boxes, I took on Scott Caddell. There was absolutely nothing to see here for 6 boxes, as we were even at 63 apiece going into the 7th. Caddell threw back to back spread eagles in the 7th and 8th, and I put a few spares together to win 141-114.
The term ‘flat as a pancake’ gets thrown around less and less these days, and that’s probably a good thing, but I was pancake-flat against Bober. His hot start of 9-drop, spare, strike had me on the ropes from the first ball forward. Bober cruised to an easy 129-100 win and advanced to the finals against top seed Brian Mayer.
The term ‘flat as a pancake’ gets thrown around more and more these days, and while my breakfast came with syrup, Mayer’s came with a punch in the face. Bober put 4 marks together in the first half and Brian had so many splits I thought the automated scoreboard was going to run out of red marks. Bober going away, 144-103.
That’s 2 out of 3 for Rich Bober, defeating Mayer both times in the finals. He is an early favorite for bowler of the year, but there are still 3 more events. The next WNECA pro tour event is at Canal Lanes, Sunday February 3, at 12 pm. Walk-ins are welcome for $75, we hope to see you there!
French King Entertainment Center in Erving, MA was the place to be December 2nd as a field of 19 rocked their bodies to the left for a shot at a WNECA title.
I led qualifying with 659. Aaron Spiller and his 641 edged Dave Dupuis by a pin for the #2 seed, and there was a 4-bowler battle going into the final game for the #4 and #5 seeds.
Glenn “Oscar” Ares ended up finishing 4th with 606, while Ed Tringale snuck by Brian Mayer for the #5 seed. Brian threw a strike in the 50th frame of qualifying, but punched through twice for 5 on the fill, missing the cut by a single pin, 601-600. Fun Time event winner Rich Bober finished with 595.
Keeping with the theme of the day, Tringale crept by Oscar in the first knockout match by (guess what) a single pin, 122-121. From there, no one was beating Eddie T.
Tringale 140-136 Dupuis
Tringale 120-105 Spiller
Tringale 120-110 Myrick
Running the ladder is rare, but Ed has now done it twice over the last two seasons. Its difficult to roll 35-40 quality boxes in just as many minutes against 4 separate opponents. Congrats to Ed on his 2nd WNECA victory!
Coverage of the much more recent WNECA tour at Bogey Lanes from Sunday will be posted soon! How soon? Well that remains to be seen.