Everything Candlepin


Pro Series Event #3 – Kids/Pros Doubles

I want to apologize in advance for the lack of posts recently.  I had been planning my father’s surprise 70th birthday and that was taking up much of time.  If you know my story you may understand why the party was more important than most 70th birthday parties.

Frank did a great job recapping the event, and I’m going to give you my take on it.  I love this event.  It’s so much fun getting to meet the up and coming kids that are keeping the game alive.  Without the kids in the game it would surely die, and I thank them for their interest.  I have to thank Robbie Taylor and all the folks at Candlepin For Kids.  Without their hard work this tournament wouldn’t have happened AND the finals wouldn’t have been on NESN either.  I promise I won’t spoil it for you on here.

I started my qualifying on lane 13 with Random Draw Doubles champ Evan Mazzaferro.  The kids we were bowling with were Jason Gauthier Jr. and Alex Bilonas.  I want to go out and say one thing.  Both kids are troopers and battlers out there on the lanes.  I heard Alex’s dad at one point say to him, these guys are pros listen to what they have to say.  I will admit I wasn’t surprised to hear his dad say that to him, but at the same time,  I was surprised to hear that while I was on the lane.  Me? A Pro?  I guess.  Needless to say, I want to apologize.  Alex did in fact struggle the first string and his dad was giving him suggestions.  I didn’t want to overstep my bounds and I watched as Alex completely turned his game around and started throwing a crusher ball in the second game.  He bowled great and the suggestions his dad made obviously worked as he threw a great 91 string.  Alex got cheated on a couple of spares and it easily could have been a 1-teens game for him!  Should I have said anything?  Maybe.  I still think I did the right thing since Alex was already getting suggestions.  Sometimes too many suggestions are worse than none at all.

We love being a part of the action, and we are there to offer suggestions and tips, but at the same time, we all bowl differently.  It’s difficult sometimes for our observations to work for the bowler we are watching since we may throw completely different.  I know that in the next event last year, if I see something I am going to be more vocal and throw out a suggestion if I see something.  I think I did the right thing on this day as Alex improved mightily and I’m proud of how he battled.  Also, one thing to add, I wasn’t bowling what I would call great so I thought maybe I shouldn’t have said anything.  Needless to say, I learned just as much as the kids did on this day.

Jason Gauthier bowled amazing on the day.  Very consistent.  His third string he had a half for the ages as he threw – if memory serves – five marks and sat down at 70+ and a ball.  He cruised into the knockout round on his third string and it it was a pleasure to bowl with him.  It was also nice to meet his father for the first time as I have seen his name on the messages boards and around the candlepin community.  I did teach Jason one thing though.  When he finished his first half of the third game, I told him, now you turn and point at dad and say “Where were you the first two strings!“.  Jason Sr. got a chuckle out of it, but he did tell me that Jr. doesn’t always like when he watches so this was  first.  Jason was steady throughout the day, and he finished strong heading into the knockout round.

Evan and I bowled fairly well.  I was under the distinct impression I wasn’t doing all that well, when I went 115, 119 the first two.  I heard from one of the bowlers next to us that 24th place was 230.  So I was in what I thought was decent shape.  I struggled out of the gate in the third string, but sat on a spare.  I ended up going crazy marking five in a row and got tortured in the 10th box for what should have been a sixth mark in a row!  I finished with a 138 and 372 on the day in qualifying which was good enough for 7th place!  Not only did I make the cut, I managed a bye!  I didn’t have to bowl in the first round!

Now the fun part, the top eight kids are paired with the top eight pros.  I ended up getting paired with Alex Haesaert.  His dad Tim was bowling on my right, and man can he throw.  He should strongly consider joining the Pro Series.  He was putting up explosion after explosion.   The pins always seemed to be flying on his lane when he was up there.  Alex bowled great in qualifying, and I thought we had a shot to make some real noise.  The kids can really make a difference in this tournament and I thought I was paired with a difference maker.

We sat and waited for the first round matches to complete.  I will admit I was nervous.  I had bowled well in qualifying, but I was concerned sitting was going to be a detriment to my game.  After the first round game was over, we warmed up again, and started the second round match – round of 16.  I set a goal in this one, that if I make the cut I just want to win at least one match.  I feel badly if we are eliminated in the first round we bowl.  From Frank’s post you know we faced off against him and little Nate Fontaine.  Nate is a warrior through and through.  He finished tied for 24th and had to bowl a one string roll off just to get to the knockout round.  He bowled great getting a hammer in the final box to then be paired with Frank.  Nate and Frank had won their first round match and we started up.

Alex alleviated my concerns as he went right out of the gate and gave us an early lead. And then I stepped up, and this is why bowling is fun, and torture rolled into one.  First three boxes, nine-drop, eight drop, hammer.  Total before the bonus ball – 30. Super.  I had a vertical piece of wood just to the left of the 5-pin in my first box.  Since I am a righty I figured the way I throw I should be fine as long as I didn’t nick the cap, well, you know what happened, I hit the cap, and then got the ten.  Box right after that, dreadful.  Crusher ball, eight drop, and I left the 3-10 with a piece of wood angled against the 3-pin all I had to do was hit it.  Yeah, you know how that turned out.  I had a decent fill on the strike and if memory serves, I sat on a mark.  We did well to keep the lead and we were able to close out Frank and Nate and move on to the next round.  I asked Nate an all important question – should I kick Frank off my Friday night team because he let him down.  Nate silently shook his head “no” so Frank was safe…

Next match we faced off against Jeff Surette and Ryan (sorry I didn’t get his last name!).  Ryan and Alex were in a fierce battle and it was great to watch.  I had to square off with the game’s best and as usual Jeff didn’t disappoint.  As I mentioned earlier “difference maker”.  Thank God for Alex.  He managed to give us an eight pin lead going into the final five boxes.  I tried to keep up, and Jeff simply was Jeff, and threw four nine-drop spares in a row, and finished with a 151 and we bowed out in the quarterfinals.  Jeff bowled great, and showed the kids what a Pro bowler is and what a Pro bowler can do.  He was simply on for the those four boxes and as sad as it was, it was fun to watch.  The consistency is simply disgusting.  I got the best of him last Friday night, but that’s a different story for another time. I love shameless plugs!

You’ll be able to see the semi-finals on Candlepins for Kids, and the finals will be aired on NESN on December 1st, at 11:30 AM!

Thanks to Leda Lanes, Candlepins For Kids, and the Pro Series for running a great event.

 October 16th, 2012  
 Rich Limone  
 Candlepin For Kids, Pro Series  
 0 Comment

Candlepin Pro Series Season 4, Event #3 – Kids/Pros Doubles

As the Candlepin Bowling season continues, I’m amazed by the increasing attendance and participation that I am seeing at the events. This event, The Kids/Pros Doubles was no different. I can’t remember seeing a bowling alley so packed. Leda Lanes in Nashua, NH was the venue for the Season 4 kids/pros doubles, and it was filled to the brim with Pro bowlers, Kids, and parents!  A brief synopsis of the tournament format is that there is a 3 string qualifying round in which 2 Pros are paired up with 2 kids on a lane. Three strings are rolled, and the top 24 Pros and top 24 kids advance to a knockout round. Furthermore, the top 8 Pros are paired with the top 8 Kids and receive a first-round bye.

I did not have a “personal best” day by any means. I opened with a painful 87 on lane 16. An 87? Where did that come from? Sound familiar? You’ll see in my article recapping last month’s Pro Series event, I opened up with an 86. Ugly. Perhaps I have the jitters during my first string. Who knows? I’m willing to bet there were plenty of kids at the event who bowled better than an 87. Anyway, much like last month, I came back strong with a 152 on lane 17 and finished with a 107 on lane 18. This was 346, just enough to make the top 24 bowlers. Needless to say, I didn’t make the top 8, so my name entered the random draw. This was the exciting part, waiting to see what kid I would be paired up with. It was quite suspenseful because before my name was called, all other pros had been drawn! I was last to be called, and I was paired up with none other than little Nate Fontaine, 10 years old.

If you don’t know who Nate Fontaine is by now, you’d better get familiar with him. He is featured in the latest Candlepin For Kids Commercial, and he is a PHENOMENAL little bowler. Nate has a very graceful approach and incredible accuracy. He seems to be a natural Candlepin bowler. Could this be because his grandfather is none other than the legendary Tom Olzsta?!?! For those who know me well, you know that Tom Olzsta was my childhood idol. I was honored to be bowling with a member of the Olzsta family.

Nate and I were up for our first knockout match. We were facing Jason Gauthier and his kid match-up (I apologize, I’m not recalling his kid’s name at this time). They bowled very well against us, and it came down to the last few boxes. Nate threw a sensational 90 game, and I threw a 98. We edged out our opponents by a mere 5 pins. It was enough to move on. Next up, we were facing a team from the top 8, Rich Limone (hey, that name sounds familiar, huh?) and Alex Haesaert vs. Frank DeLuca and Nate Fontaine. This match took place on lanes 1 & 2. Rich and Alex had monster strings which put the pressure on me and little Nate. Did I say little Nate? Perhaps that isn’t appropriate considering that he threw an awesome 104 string! Now, for the embarrassing part. I’m not even going to try and cover it up….I duplicated my 87 string. How did this happen? Ugh! I felt so frustrated! But even more so, I felt like I let Nate down. Regardless, this event was some of the most fun I have ever had while bowling and Nate should be very proud of himself. He’s got a very bright future ahead of him and he beat me by 17 pins!

Of course, we can’t forget the most exciting aspect of this day. Due to the dedication and the extremely hard work of Robbie Taylor, Dan Gauthier,  and the Candlepin For Kids crew. The finals match of this tournament was filmed for NESN! This means that Candlepin bowling will be back on television! That’s right, on Saturday December 1, 2012 @ 11:30 AM, the final match (we will not discuss the results) will be aired on NESN. Be sure to tune in and tell all of your friends! This is the best effort in several years to get Candlepin back on television, and I think many would agree that its been long overdue. Its looking good, and I must say that the final match of the day was incredibly exciting. Mark your calendars!

As always, remember to follow the Candlepin Pro Series Twitter account @candlepinseries. You can also follow my personal Candlepin Twitter account by following @CandlepinFrank!

 October 9th, 2012  
 Frank DeLuca  
 Candlepin For Kids, Pro Series  
 0 Comment

Bowler Spotlight – Nine Pin Drop Survivor

What’s your favorite Pro Series alley and why?
Oh, God, without a doubt Bogey Lanes.  That’s my home, and it was great because I was part of the Teams Tournament in 2010-2011.

What’s your favorite Pro Series format and why?
Definitely the Ultimate ladder.  Why, because it’s only three strings long! I get a lot less punishment from the Pro Series in a three string tournament.  I was lucky this year because it was at Viking.

Most memorable Pro Series moment?
Being the last pin between Craig Holbrook, and winning the Pro Series playoffs in 2010-2011.  Unfortunately, he hit me, and like Mike Tyson hitting Michael Spinks, I went down!  At least it took more than 90 seconds!

Best match you’ve been involved in outside the Pro Series?
Hmm, too many to remember.  I would have to say, I think the best match I was involved in happened at Metro Bowl in Peabody.  I had the “luxury” of being the only, and LAST pin standing on Mark Ricci’s world record setting night.  I could have been victim 520, but I prevailed! It must have been the two pounds I lost earlier in the week.  I thought I looked thinner.  It’s the most scared I’ve ever been at work.  Thank God he missed, I can give this interview now!

Where do you think is the safest place on the deck?
Definitely the “10” spot.  Since there are so many right handed bowlers, that tends to be the best place to hide.  It’s sad to see some of my fellows in the gutter get abused a second time instead of hitting me directly.  I try to take one for the team every now and then, but sometimes, they just want to hit my friends again.

Scariest bowler?
If I had to choose I would pick Shawn Baker.  When he hits our leader, sometimes all ten of us go down at once.  We don’t even have the luxury of rolling, or hitting the ground, we just go right into the pit!  Maybe if he missed our leader more, we”d all be a little safer!

See you Sunday up at Leda Lanes!

 October 4th, 2012  
 Rich Limone  
 Bowler Spotlight, Candlepin For Kids, Pro Series  
 0 Comment

CP4K – Nine-Pin Drops

Here is the latest commercial from the Candlepins for Kids!  This is great stuff!

 October 3rd, 2012  
 Rich Limone  
 Candlepin For Kids  
 0 Comment

Big Game – Dan Gauthier

I love the fact that many of the bowlers in and around this area are humble.  Yes, I know many of you just raised your eyebrows as the word “humble” and of course “many”.

Dan Gauthier believes his 179 is not that impressive but Everything Candlepin does.  It’s impressive by any means to throw a 179 but when it includes a 4-bagger and you win a house pool it makes it even better.

Below are the two images of the big game – one the total for the night and the second is the screenshot of the first half of the big game.

One thing to note that is equally impressive is that they very well could have thrown a 2,000!  Yes, it’s the same number of strings as Lucky I’s 2000 last week, but for three people to be THAT consistent it’s worth noting.

I guess you could argue either way that three people are just as likely to throw a 2000 in five games as five people doing it in three games??

I this it’s awesome that his team was at 125 after two boxes!  That’s impressive all around.  It was a great day for Dan and his team.

Hope you throw another 4-bagger soon Shoe!

 September 17th, 2012  
 Rich Limone  
 Big Games, Candlepin For Kids  
 0 Comment

Pro Series Event #2 – Random Draw Doubles

Pro Series Event #2 – Random Draw Doubles

September 15th, 2012 – Lakeside Lanes – Manchester, Nh.

God, I love Lakeside.  I love being up there. I love the atmosphere.  I love the action.  What more could you want from a bowling alley?  Maybe having 90+ bowlers storm the place for a Pro Series event.  To add to that, it’s the random draw doubles!

The random draw doubles is  great tournament.  Everyone bowls five strings.  The top 64 qualifiers are then thrown into a pile.  Then a name is drawn.  That person then picks their partner.  Their partner select their first opponent and the opponent then selects his partner.  After all the selections are made, there is a 32 team knockout.  It’s a tough tournament having about five boxes to create chemistry with someone you may have never bowled with.

I started out as the lead bowler on lane 4, and I had a great, great group of bowlers near me.  I bowled with legend Bob Caliri – I mean he has a shot named for him.  How cool is that?  I also bowled with up and coming Billy Bloom a HUGE advocate and coach for the Candlepins for Kids.  Lane three had another CP4K leader in Robbie Taylor,  Jesse Jaques bowling second and Ryan “I don’t throw strikes” Lehr bowing third.

I hate being the lead bowler, and I hate being on the right for the first string too.  Such as life in these tournaments.  I know Lakeside I should do great right?  Well, first string was a total struggle.  I will say this much, I thought the approaches were STELLAR compared to my practice post a week earlier.  It must be a busy place as it wasn’t nearly as slippery as I thought it was going to be which gave me some great confidence starting the day.  I know that I was fighting it a little in the first string, I think I was try too hard to just be perfect, and I didn’t need to be.  I limped home at 108 for the first string, but luckily the misery ends there.

Second string I figured the place out for that day’s conditions and I bowled great – getting the marks that I needed to and capitalizing on breaks that I got.  When I moved one lane to my right, I managed to bowl against my Lakeside nemesis, Jimbo Ayotte.  We were able to feed off each other, and in that second string I managed to match him when he threw a strike.  Even Jimbo will admit mine were crushers compared to him, and again, he brings out the best in me in that building.  I finished with a 139 and took some real pressure of my first string.

The rest of the day was mostly smooth sailing.  Third string I followed with a 119, just on the outside of the top ten in the 1 PM shift at 366.  My last two strings shot me into the top ten for that shift closing out my day with a 126 and a 124 for a 616 series.   Maybe doing the early shift was the trick for me.  Things just worked for me that day, and I am thankful for it.

The later shift passed uneventfully however this exchange took place between fellow EC author Frank De Luca, bowler Chris Sacchetti, and me toward the end of the shift.

Frank: Chris said he’s not giving you an interview because you didn’t ask him first.
Rich: Really,  I didn’t see him over the summer before the first event.
Frank: Whatever he said he’s not going to do it.
Rich: I’ll talk to him.

Rich: You really won’t give me an interview?
Chris: No way.  You took too long to ask me.  Just for that I’m going to give you stupid answers.
Rich: Wow, okay, then forget it.  I don’t want to interview you .  I’ll talk to someone else.
Chris: I’m just busting them on you.  I’ll do it for you, I’m still going to give stupid answers though.

At this point Chris started off his second half of the fifth string with an insta-smash hammer.  Nick “Mr 210″ Norcross walked over to us – and said to Frank and I quote – “Chris is going to throw a double – now!”  Promptly Chris dropped another bomb and Frank’s reaction was priceless as he asked me about Nick.  I didn’t hear him since Frank was standing in between us.  Needless to say, it was the perfect timing.  Frank just kept saying “Did you hear him say that Chris was going to throw a double?  Come on you must have heard him!”

I screamed to Chris “If you want that interview, you have to throw a triple!”  Yeah, I probably SHOULDN’T have said that, another crusher and he tripled.  I followed that up with, well, now you need a four-bagger!  Chris didn’t get the four-bagger, so he didn’t get his interview, but he will, I’m sure.  I can’t wait – and since he’s a ham he can’t wait either.

The three-bagger did propel Chris into first overall with a 704.  I think that’s two events in a row that he qualified first overall.  Good job!

The qualifying round over, I waited patiently for the random draw portion.  I qualified 21st overall which was my 2nd best finish at a Pro Series event (in 2010 at the last tournament at Fairway Lanes in Natick  I finished 9th individually with a 639).  I hear more and more names being called, and I realize that the first 32 bowlers have been selected and that I was in the next batch.

As time passed, I heard the name Joe Rocheleau.  Joe then selected Pro Series king Craig Holbrook.  Craig’s turn to select and opponent. “Rich Limone”.  Wow, okay.  I walked up to the counter and said “I’m signing someone’s death warrant with this selection!”  I heard some various chuckles, and then I picked my partner – Bob Whitcomb!  The immediate reaction near the table from Mark Ricci was awesome – “You might to rethink that death warrant with that pick!”

I think the thing that makes it MORE amazing is that fact I was talking to Richie Myrick earlier in the tournament.  I told him about how at the Fairway tournament I was bowling next to Bobby Whit, and he said he would gladly bowl a tournament with me in the future.  I thought I hit the lottery!  I couldn’t believe it!  Well, I picked him on this day, I thought it was fate after talking about it an hour earlier.

Needless to say, fate wasn’t on our side.  We missed shots, we didn’t capitalize on our breaks, and they outbowled us completely.  It was great to get paired with a hall of famer against his doubles partner and hall of famer, but I feel like I let myself down with how well I bowled earlier in the day.  The one good about our match is we were bowling next to Frank De Luca and Shawn Baker.  They were in a BATTLE with Dave Godwin and Mark Gregory.  Baker had a string for the ages – but I will let Frank tell you about it.

Overall it was a great day and congratulations to Evan Mazzaferro and Brian Purdy!

Thanks to Tim, and Ali, and Shane, and yeah, I guess Bob too from Lakeside lanes!

A full tournament recap will be following soon!

UPDATE: I just got this an email from Dan Gauthier – Former Candlepin for Kids contestants were 8-0 at making the cut. Current hosts (me and Rob [Taylor]) were 0-2.  Hmm, are all the students better than the masters?

 September 17th, 2012  
 Rich Limone  
 Candlepin For Kids, Pro Series  
 0 Comment

Big Game – Joshua Lowell

Well, we have our first big game from one of the kids from the Candlepins for Kids tour!

I would love to see a scoresheet if possible but I am going to post this anyway because it’s awesome.  Here is Josh’s story.

Josh bowls out of Bogey Lanes in East Brookfield, Ma and on every other night there is a doubles league with a $200.00 first prize.  Josh is one of the subs for the league, and on the first day his first match was Dan “Shoe” Gauthier and Phil Clough.  Josh started off strong with a 114, and then bettered it second string with a 145.  The third game he started out with a 52 half, and then he caught fire.  Josh proceeded to throw Shoe like numbers by going nine drop spare, strike, strike, six-spare, eight fill ten box for a 94 second half, 146 total for the string, and 405 series.

Josh – to answer you, yes it qualifies as a Big Game by Everything Candlepin standards.  You keep throwing em, we’ll gladly keep recognizing you!

For future fireballers that crush Shoe – or anyone for that matter – try to include an image so the site has more media.  I want to see INK!

Great job following up the 405 by going 130, and 133 against a legend in Steve Renaud Sr. and Ma Renaud for an unofficial 668 on the day!

UPDATE: Here’s our star just prior to starting some action on the lanes at Bogey.  Josh is 17 years old and these are his home lanes.  It turns out the first prize is actually $2000.00 not $200.00!  Good luck Josh!

 September 16th, 2012  
 Rich Limone  
 Big Games, Candlepin For Kids  
 0 Comment

Big Game Rules

I hope you’re enjoying the site.  I want to take some time to explain what I envision for the “Big Game” portion of the site.  This page will detail the “rules” that I want to put forth so it’s consistent as possible and awesome as well.

The big game portion is designed to recognize leagues outside of Men’s Pro Series, The Ladies Pro Series, and the Men’s Friday Night League.  I am sure those big games will get their own recognition from the coverage of those events.   I want these big games to be from house leagues, Candlepins for Kids, practice, other tournaments, etc.

The key is that I want an actually scoresheet.  An actual score sheet with spares and strikes is way cooler than an image of a screen (if the screen has all ten boxes, I am okay with that).  Nick Norcross’ 210 game was a thing of beauty.  The only thing people on the blog can see was his second half.

I will continue to post big games on the main site, but the criteria will be on its own page.  If there are changes to it, they will be in red, along with a date.  As the site evolves so will the criteria I’m sure.

You have a big game?  Email me at biggame@everythingcandlepin.com.  Have questions about the site or want to offer a suggestion, email me at rlimone@everythingcandlepin.com.


 September 16th, 2012  
 Rich Limone  
 Big Games, Candlepin For Kids  
 0 Comment