Ginsu Knife Wins AZPL Championship

The AZPL just held their 28th consecutive Championship Tournament this past weekend at Stinger’s Sports Bar in Glendale and what a great time it was!  Starting in 15th, Captain Curtis Elifritz, Kent Bybee & Art Armijo of Ginsu Knife sliced through the competition going 10-1 including defeating the #1 seed  team of Cliff Seaton, Miguel Topete & Chris Negrin of Balls & Shaft twice to capture the title!  Starting at 1pm Ginsu defeated Raider’s Eighters 76-54 before losing to 3x former Champion Shoot the Moon 72-62.  The loss sent Ginsu to the loser’s side to then face the Black Shirts, Hit em Hard and reigning Champion Paper Weights, defeating them all to close out their Saturday competition.  Returning on Sunday at 10am they faced Shoot the Moon, who they lost to yesterday.  This time Curtis led the way with a 31, hitting an 8-ball break in the opening round and Art Armijo doing the same in the 3rd round, both against Lisa Bradford!  They won 77-50!  They defeated their next opponent Doc’s Gang, led by league MVP Doc Rogers, 70-50.  In that match Art started out with a 10-1 win and they never looked back.  In their next match they defeated the 5 Que Studs 71-58, leaving the Studs in 4th Place.  Up next were the Bus Boys.  Robin Clark cleared the tables but his 30 wasn’t enough to overcome the Knives as they held Chris & Derek to a combined 34 points to win 71-64 putting them into the Championship Game!  Coming through the loser’s side they had to defeat Balls and Shaft twice to bring home the Championship!  In the first match Chris Negrin defeated Art 10-6 to take the lead.  By his next game they were down 26-14.  After winning again, defeating Curtis 10-4, the score was 30-24.  The Knives then sliced through the next two players going on a 20-2 run to take a 50-26 lead.  This time it was Kent who led the way defeating Chris 10-4 to complete his 1st 30 of the tournament and sealing a 60-30 7-game win to give Balls & Shaft their 1st loss.  In the rematch it was tied up at 16 after two games.  Then Curtis beat Cliff 10-0 to give them the lead and they never looked back!  In the 2nd round Balls and Shaft outscored Ginsu 27-22 to pull within 5 points.  Art led the way in the 3rd round, defeating Cliff 10-3 followed by Kent defeating Chris 10-5 to give Ginsu Knife the Championship by a score of 68-51 in what could be Curtis Elifritz’s last game in the AZPL.  If that’s the case, he’ll go out on top as AZPL Champion!  Good luck in Colorado Curtis!  Thanks for everything you’ve done for the league!  Congratulations to Championship MVP Art Armijo, Kent Bybee & Ginsu Knife team captain Curtis Elifritz!  They are the AZPL Summer State Champions!!

The fun began at Stinger’s Sports Bar & Grill on Friday night at 8pm with three special events.  The first was the 8-Ball Break & Run Derby!   Nine players competed in the event with Miguel Topete coming out victorious!  In the 2nd round Derek Deffner set a new record with 45 points In one round to give him an eventual 55 points for the All Time High Score!  Derek took 2nd in the final round with Cliff Seaton finishing in 3rd.

The second event was the Top 16 MVP Tournament!  Robert Berry defeated a full field of 16 to win the MVP trophy, $120 in cash and a free season in the league! Robert went undefeated, beating Cliff Seaton, TJ Sprott, Darren Bradford, Robin Clark, Eugene Hemphill & Robin Clark again for the win!  Robin finished in 2nd with $80 and Eugene took 3rd for $40.

And the final event was the Open Singles Tournament!  21 people competed in a double elimination tournament with Art Armijo finishing 1st and teammate Kent Bybee finishing 2nd.  Should have been a sign of things to come!  Eric Danielson Sr finished 3rd!  Stinger’s also added to the pot to pay out 1st $60, 2nd $40 and 3rd $20!   The Top 3 females in the tournament were Sandra Danielson who finished 3rd, Nadine Morales who took 2nd and Dawn Atokuku closed them out for 1stPlace, the Women’s MVP Trophy and a free season in the league!

On Saturday the fun at Stinger’s began with four teams opening up the 9am round!  Six more teams began play at 11am with the full field playing by 1pm!   Starting at 11am the team of Michael Santopadre, Chad Hibbard & Michael Kerin from 5 Que Studs played their first match Vs. Raider’s Eighters with Duane Hostetler, Scott Mattson & Cal McDowell.  After 2 rounds the match was within a point but Scott Mattson nailed an 8-ball break to send the Studs to the loser’s bracket by a score of 73-60.  The Studs then went on a 7-match winning streak defeating Jester’s Jesters, Four Kings, Balls in Hand, Liars & Cheaters and Breaking Bad to close out Saturday’s play.  On Sunday they returned to face Raider’s Eighters.  After avenging their first loss with a 62-46 win in which no player scored more than 23 they went on to defeat Elks No. 2  74-55.  The win set up the next match Vs. Ginsu Knife and well…. We know how that story ends.  Art Armijo went 23-12 for Ginsu Knife to win the State Championship MVP Award!

Thanks to everyone at Stinger’s Sports Bar & Grill, located at 10040 N 43rd Ave in Glendale!  They did a great job taking care of all the league players and their guests all weekend!  It was great to see everyone at the Championships!  Thanks to everyone for showing up and making it a huge success!  The 29th AZPL State Championships will be January 4th, 5th & 6th at Stinger’s.  First Place is a guaranteed $1,000!

The Fall season begins right after Labor Day with the final week of the season the week before Christmas.   Opening Nights for the Tuesday & Thursday Phoenix Traveling divisions will be held at Stinger’s Sports Bar & Grill on September 4th & 6th respectively.  Be there at 7pm to get signed up for next season.  You’ll be playing your first match that night.  Also on the 4th the Globe/Miami Traveling division begins play at 7:30.   In the East Valley we have a Sunday In-House division that plays on the 9-footers at Jester’s Billiards on Gilbert & Baseline Rds in Gilbert that begins play on September 9th at 3pm.  The Flagstaff division begins play at Stockman’s on Sept 10th at 7pm.  The Thursday East Valley Traveling division and the Q n Brew In-House division begin play on September 13thwith all teams meeting at the Q n Brew on Mill & Southern in Tempe at 7pm for their first match!

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