In the Pocket: New Huck Finn event drawing large field

Huck Finn’s newest event could quickly become one of its most popular.

Huck Finn’s newest event could quickly become one of its most popular.

The Huck Finn/Northeast Bowling Proprietors of New York’s Over 50-Under 50 Tournament qualifiers will be held Saturday at 3 p.m. at Uncle Sam Lanes in Troy and Sunday at 9:30 and 11:30 a.m. at Saratoga Strike Zone in Saratoga Springs. Finals follow Sunday at 1:30 p.m.

Doubles events are extremely popular in the Capital Region, and this should be no exception.

“I’ve received between 40 and 50 calls already,” said tournament director Jeff Segel. “There are a lot of bowlers interested in this tournament. The younger bowlers are looking for senior bowlers to pair up with.”

Segel said reservations, which can be made by calling 439-7628, are strongly recommended for all three qualifying squads.

“I’d like to get 60-plus teams, and I think we can,” said Segel. “I’ve probably got in the high 40s at this point.”

Entry fee is $100 per team, and the format will follow the usual Huck Finn formula. There will be a three-game qualifier, followed by a two-game roll-off. The top eight duos compete in the finals for the final four spots.

“We have some very interesting combinations so far,” said Segel, pointing to such tandems as Warren Guernsey with Karl Wolf, John Walther III with Sonny Dorstek, Tony Palumbo with Bob Smith, Matt Sherman with Mark Hilton, Nick Miseno with Tom Donato and Jason Deitz with Mike Guidarelli.

Guernsey and Wolf run a couple of pro shops together, and Walther and Dorstek are regular doubles partners, along with Palumbo and Smith, who were extremely successful in Huck Finn events last season.

But some of the new matchups are very intriguing, including Sherman with Hilton, Miseno with Redwood Lanes manager Donato and Deitz with Sportsman’s Bowl co-owner Guidarelli, who seldom competes in local scratch events.

“It’s something new, and we’re trying it so that we can stay alive. It’s not easy in this economy,” said Segel.

This will be a big month for Huck Finn events. The handicap/amateur tournament ends on Sunday, with qualifying done through leagues at various bowling centers. Bowlers only need to pay $10 to partic­ipate.

After this week’s Over 50-Under 50 event, Huck Finn turns the spotlight on the women with the Barb Leicht Bowers Ladies Classic at Towne Bowling Academy on Nov. 13. Qualifying will be 9:30 and 11:45 a.m. Any woman competing on the first qualifying squad will receive a $25 gift card from Huck Finn.

The television finals will be taped on the same day.

Following the scratch women’s event, Huck Finn switches gears to its Non-Winners Scratch Tourn­ament. Qualifying will be Nov. 13 at 6 and 7 p.m. at Redwood Lanes, Nov. 19 at Sunset Recreation (12:30 for seniors only, 2 and 3:30 p.m.) and Nov. 20 at Burnt Hills Lanes (9:30 and 11:30 a.m.).

Entry fee for the Non-Winners Tournament is only $20, plus a Huck Finn membership. Any bowler who competes on the first qualifying squad on Nov. 13 at 6 p.m. receives a Huck Finn gift card worth a minimum of $25.

“This will be a big month for area bowlers, because there is also an NBA event [Nov. 6 at Spare Time-Latham], so there is something to do every week,” Segel said.


The Professional Bowlers Association kicks off its season next Friday with the World Series of Bowling at South Point Bowling Center in Las Vegas.

According to the weekly PBA press release, a field of PBA and international stars from more than 15 different countries will try to knock off defending champion Chris Barnes of Double Oak, Texas. Barnes defeated Bill O’Neill of Southampton, Pa., 267-237. Barnes went on to become the sixth player in history to complete the PBA’s Triple Crown. He should be a lock for induction into the PBA Hall of Fame.

The only other members of the Triple Crown club (consisting of titles in the U.S. Open, PBA World Championship and PBA Tourn­ament of Champions) are Billy Hardwick, Johnny Petraglia, Pete Weber, Mike Aulby and Norm Duke — all PBA Hall of Famers.

As an integral part of the 2011 World Series of Bowling, the PBA World Championship will again be a unique test of physical and mental abilities.

In 2010, for the first time, qualifying for the World Championship included rounds on five different PBA “animal patterns” — the Cheetah, Viper, Chameleon, Scorpion and Shark. Combined pinfall totals for qualifying in those five rounds earned Barnes the No. 4 slot in the stepladder finals. He then won four consecutive matches, defeating Michael Haugen Jr. of Carefree, Ariz., 243-172; Finland’s Osku Palermaa, 246-176, and Sean Rash of Montgomery, Ill., 237-161, en route to his match with O’Neill for the $50,000 first prize.

This year, the PBA World Championship will be decided in similar fashion. The entire World Series field will bowl eight games each on the Viper, Chameleon, Scorpion and Shark patterns. After 32 games, the top 60 (based on a field of 240) will advance to an eight-game cashers round.

After a total of 40 games, the top qualifier will earn a $5,000 bonus and the top 16 will advance to a series of ESPN-televised div­isional elimination rounds named in honor of four past PBA World Champions, all of whom are among the PBA’s greatest players: Don Carter, Billy Hardwick, Johnny Petraglia and Mike Aulby. Carter won the inaugural PBA Championship in 1960. Hardwick, the initial PBA Triple Crown winner, won in 1963. Petraglia, also a Triple Crown winner, was the 1980 winner. Aulby, the first PBA Grand Slam winner, won the 1985 PBA Championship.

For the ESPN-televised rounds, each of the four divisional finals will feature four players, seeded into the groups based upon their qualifying totals. In each divisional final, the highest seeded player will select the lane condition and all four players will bowl one game with the lowest-scoring player eliminated. The three surviving players will bowl a second game, again eliminating the low score. The two survivors will bowl the final match. The winner of all four divisional finals will then advance to the PBA World Championship finals which will follow the same elimination format. The highest seeded player remaining will select the lane condition for the championship round.

All PBA World Championship rounds will be contested on Nov. 19, in a special arena lanes setup at South Point. The telecasts will air on ESPN on five consec­utive Sundays except Christmas Day (Dec. 11, 18, Jan. 1, 8 and 15) at 1 p.m. on ESPN.

All of the preliminary rounds of the World Championship (and all other World Series preliminaries) will be webcast live on’s exclusive online bowling channel, Xtra Frame. To subscribe to Xtra Frame, visit and click on the Xtra Frame logo. Look for information on special one-day and World Series of Bowling subscription offers.

First prize in the 2011 PBA World Championship will be $50,000.


* Peter Krauss, representing Sportsman’s Bowl, rolled a 289 game and his first 800 series (802) last week in the Joey Schmidt Capital District Junior Pro-Scoring League’s Senior Boys’ Western Division at Towne Bowling Academy.

* Fred Schreyer, chief exec­utive officer and commissioner of the Professional Bowlers Association, announced his retirement Friday after 11 years of service to the organization. The PBA Board of Directors has named Geoff Reiss chief executive officer and has promoted Tom Clark to the position of commissioner, effective Nov. 1. Schreyer will continue to serve the PBA as a senior advisor.

* Matthew Olson of Schenec­tady defeated Kendall Robinson of Windsor, Conn., 207-180, to win last week’s Capital District Youth Scholarship Tour tourn­ament at Uncle Sam Lanes in Troy. Olson earned a scholarship for $175, while Robinson took home a $100 scholarship. Other scholarship winners were Casey Schoonmaker of Albany ($75), Anthony Alix of Watervliet ($50) and Christopher Hanson of Ballston Lake ($30). The next CDYST event will be Nov. 5 at 1 p.m. at Catskill Lanes.

* The next NorthEast Senior Tournaments event will be Nov. 5 at noon at Spare Time-Latham.

* Town ‘N Country Lanes will host a Scotch Doubles tourn­ament on the first Saturday of every month, beginning Nov. 5 at 9:30 p.m. The cost is $25, and the format will be four games with handicap.

* Spare Time-South Glens Falls will host the Special Olympics New York Capital District bowling regional games on Nov. 5. Registration will be at noon, followed by opening ceremonies at 1 p.m. Volunteers are needed to help with registration, scoring and assistance with lane assignments and awards. Volunteers must be at least 13 years of age and accompanied by an adult if under the age of 16. For more information, visit

* Dan Ahl’s Bowlers Advantage Pro Shop at Redwood Lanes will feature a Ball Demo Day Saturday from noon to 3 p.m. Bowlers can test Storm and/or Roto Grip equipment for up to an hour, plus get ball and layout recommendation from a Storm Rep. There are two options for participation. For $10, you can test the equipment, get tips and recommendations, and also receive $10 off the purchase price of Storm products. For $20, you can not only test Storm and Roto Grip products for up to an hour, but you can have a video of your bowling game emailed to you, plus additional tips from a Storm representative and $20 off the price of a Storm bowling ball. Call 598-9719 to register.

* Craig Morrell defeated Matt Sherman, 225-190, in the finals of the annual Troy Bowling Assoc­iation 800 Tournament last weekend at Barbecue Lanes. It was the 50-year-old Morrell’s fourth TBA 800 title.

* The inaugural General’s 2 Star Challenge will be held Nov. 12 and Nov. 13 at Uncle Sam Lanes in Troy. Top prize will be $2,500 guaranteed. One in four bowlers advance from the two qualifying squads on Nov. 12 (noon and 2 p.m.), while one in six advance from the two qualifying squads on Nov. 13 (10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.). The format will be four-game qualifiers to elimin­ators. Entry fee is $80 or $70 if paid by Nov. 6. Re-entry is also $70. Call Mark James at 470-8201 for more information.

* The New York State Women’s 700 Club Tournament will be held Sunday at 1 p.m. at Boulevard Bowl. The tournament format is doubles with a $50 entry fee. The 700 Club members also will be competing for prize money donated by the club. Entries and new members will be accepted up to the time of bowling. Call Diane McGroty at 356-2282 for more information.

* The second annual Al Heins No-Tap Tournament to benefit a Scotia-Glenville graduate will be held Nov. 11-12 at Rolling Greens. Handicaps will be based on 75 percent of a 1,100 team average. Entry fee per five-person team is $60. One in 10 teams will cash.

* Sportsman’s Bowl’s Tavern Tournament will be held Nov. 6 at 1 p.m. Entry fee is $120 per five-person team. One in six teams will cash. Handicap will be 100 percent of a 220 average. A hot buffet will be included. Call Sportsman’s at 355-4330 for more information.

* Habitat for Humanity’s “Help Build It!” Habitat Bowl-Athon, to benefit Habitat in its mission to build simple decent housing for selected hard-working low income families, will be held Nov. 13 from 1-3 p.m. at Sportsman’s Bowl. Sign up as an individual, team captain or team by going to www.schenec­ and follow the links. To bowl, be a corporate sponsor or contribute a silent auction item, call Darlyne at Habitat at 395-3412, ext. 1.

Categories: -Sports

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