Durbin Cup Match

Last Saturday (2-8-14) was the match between the Durbin Destroyers and the Lindenwood Lions. This is a friendly rivalry between Mike Durbin of Durbin Cues and Mark Wilson, the coach of the Lindenwood Lions pool team. This year Mike Durbin rallied some pros to help win the cup back. He added Liz Lovely, Joey Gray and the BCA Hall Of Famer Nick Varner!

It was a great match with amazing play from both sides but in the end The Lindenwood Lions ended up the victors with a final score of 18-14. Landon Shuffet played for Lindenwood and won some key matches as well as Sharik Sayed but it took a team effort to keep the cup. Ches Heitmeyer played excellent pool as well as Dan Otto and Sean Sommers. Some of the other players for the team that played although I didn’t get to watch them was Steven Wyatt, Jaydan Hergott and Matt Niederkorn.

This is one article I hope to revisit 20 years down the road and say “Wow, look at the pics of those great players when they were young!” There is some serious talent on Mark Wilsons Lions.

Landon Shuffet has already made some big waves in the pool world by man handling the great Earl Strickland last year in Tunica Mississippi playing 10 ball of a 10 foot Diamond table with pro cut pockets…..Landon steamrolled him to a 15-4 victory!

Then there is Sharik Sayed. This guy is one of the nicest guys you will ever meet. Very down to earth and as smart as they come. He has a love for the game and takes his work seriously. They call him Shark for a reason.

Next is one of my favorites Ches Heitmeyer. I met Ches a few years ago at  a tournament that he was running. I was impressed by his devotion to improving his game. Ches will be one of those guys that never looses his passion for the game. He works hard and takes nothing for granted. He has more heart than most prize fighters and if you beat him today he will figure out a way to beat you tomorrow.

Dan Otto is simply one of the guys you love to see in the pool room. Talented and fun to be around. Dan’s game is even better than I thought it was the first time when he and I played a race to 3 in a short rack game of banks. I won the first game and he wasn’t having it. If I remember correctly he handed me 3 quick losses in a row! What can I say, banks ain’t my game!

Sean Sommers is a guy that I can best describe as a slick player. I haven’t got to spend much time talking to him but I have watched him play enough to know that he has a deceptively great game. If he continues to take his game serious there may be no limit to what he can do with his game. By the way, Sean managed to go 4-0 for the day obtaining the best record of the day.

There are several other players on the Lions team but unfortunately haven’t had the chance to meet them all. There is a girl named Brianna Miller and I hear through the grapevine that she’s got game. Serious game. There is one other person I would like to mention and his name is  Remington Ludwig. Remmy is just getting started when it comes to pool, but if he continues to learn at the pace he is showing now he will be taking down some serious games before you know it. Remmy is the kind of person you want on your team. He is genuine in his comments, thoughtful in his actions and serious in his dedication.

And then there is their leader, Mark Wilson. I’m unsure of what I can say about this man that would make a person understand what exactly his impact on the pool world is. He is a great player and has played at the pro level for quite some time. But he is so much more than that. He is a insightful instructor that is sought out by amateurs and pros alike. He has recently be named as the captain for the 2014 Mosconi Cup team and yet that still doesn’t come close to being a worthy description.

Maybe the best thing that I can say about Mark is that he is a leader in every sense of the word. He cares for his students and would do anything for them. He dotes on them like they were his children. He is on a mission to raise their game to it’s maximum potential and at the same time teaches them how to be quality people. He respects the game and demands the same of his students….AND THEY DELIVER.  These students are some of the finest pool players in terms of skill and behavior that you will ever come across. Mark has led by example and when you are in his presence you will know what I mean. He is teaching more than pool and it shows. All you have to do is spend 15 minutes with some of his students and you will realize that never before have you met a group of pool players like this before.

Mark is raising the game and those who play it ………THANK GOD!


Well, enough about that, here are some pics from the day.

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Shark and Joey lagging.

Shark and Joey lagging.

Joey Gray and his flashy orange shoes!

Joey Gray and his flashy orange shoes!

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Ches Heitmeyer dropping the nine for his first win in a race to 3 against Nick Varner.

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Mark Wilson and Jay Hansen commentating. Jay Hansen is also known as "Big Truck" in the pool streaming world.

Mark Wilson and Jay Hansen commentating. Jay Hansen is also known as “Big Truck” in the pool streaming world.

Landon Shuffett and Nick Varner laying down the lag.

Landon Shuffett and Nick Varner laying down the lag.

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Nick pondering his shot

Nick pondering his shot

Landon Shuffett--his focus is amazing.

Landon Shuffett–his focus is amazing.

Nick Varner

Nick Varner

Nick Varner

Nick Varner


Sharik "Shark" Sayed Snapping the break!

Sharik “Shark” Sayed Snapping the break!

Me and Nick Varner

Me and Nick Varner

Dan Otto

Dan Otto




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