Zak Becker Goes from Gutter to Glory and DOMINATES the ELITE Pro Shop VIP Tournament

elite-vip-16Zak Becker of West Bend rolled his first-ever clean game in the first game of the tournament; a 235, and never looked back as he lead from wire-to-wire winning the inaugural ELITE Pro Shop VIP Tournament.

In his first-ever tournament, Zak defeated Storm / Roto Grip Regional Sales Manager Chris Sand 211 to 210.  Chris was just coming off a tournament high game and series of 299 and 818.

The 299 featured one of the most awful “rob jobs” leaving a 9-pin on a seemingly perfectly thrown last ball.

In the Championship match, Chris opened early and struggled to string strikes trying to put Zak away early.  But a late run forced Zak to get 8 pins on his first shot to lock up the victory.  Clearly nerves were in full tension mode as his shot sailed way outside of target, nearly getting only 3 pins.  Somehow, he left the 1-4-5-7 pins.

Needing to make 3 of the 4 pins to win by 1 pin, Zak calmly pured his next shot and made exactly what he needed to win.  For those who were there that evening knows his reaction to the victory was pure, unfiltered, joy.

You can read about Zak’s victory from his perspective in the Gutter to Glory blog post you can find here.

The win was worth $152 plus $320 in the Bet-You-Win pot…a $472 payout.  Chris Sand received $200 for second and donated it back to our chosen charity; Rainbow Kids of Sheboygan.

Paul Gloede of Plymouth narrowly edged out PBA National Champion Jeff Carter for the Scratch Option pot game.  Not only is Jeff a PBA Champion, but he holds the USBC National average record at 261!!

Click here to watch the first half of the championship match of his National Tour win against the legend Pete Weber.  Click here to watch Jeff wrap up the championship.

The format of the VIP Tournament featured a unique points system.  Players got one point for every person they beat each game, meaning that the high point earners from the night made the top 16 double-stepladder bracket finals.

Here are the finals results round-by-round:

Round 1

#16 Scott Huenink of Plymouth upset #9 John Kraintz of Waupun 215 – 211

#13 Mike Charaus of Muskego upset #12 Kim Hoitink of Cedar Grove 255 – 206

#11 Tim Firgens of Sheboygan defeated #14 Kevin Prinsen of Cedar Grove 181 – 168

#15 Aaron Cleveland of Plymouth upset #10 Nathan Theune of Sheboygan 230 – 201

Round 2

#8 Brittney Morton of St Louis defeated #16 Scott Huenink 239 – 219

#13 Mike Charaus upset #5 Tony DelValle of Madison 232 – 216

#6 Chris Sand of Detroit defeated #11 Tim Firgens 253 – 247

#7 Ward Meinen of Cedar Grove defeated #15 Aaron Cleveland 232 – 192

Round 3

#1 Zak Becker of West Bend defeated #8 Brittney Morton 234 – 158

#4 Sarah Paasch of Sheboygan defeated #13 Mike Charaus 247 – 206

#6 Chris Sand upset #3 Jeff Carter of Springfield 299 – 203

#2 Paul Gloede of Plymouth defeated #7 Ward Meinen 198 – 178

Semi Finals

#1 Zak Becker defeated #4 Sarah Paasch 222 – 211

#6 Chris Sand upset #2 Paul Gloede 266 – 171


#1 Zak Becker defeated #6 Chris Sand 211 – 210


To see the entire playoff bracket click this link.


To see the round-by-round point standings during qualifying, click here for game 1, here for game 2, here for game 3 and here for game 4.


To see the scratch option results, click this link


Click here to see the entire prize listing valued at over $4,000


To see a photo book of all the pictures taken by Tim Merath at the event, click this link.

Chris and Jeff both provided “bounty” balls for the people who knocked them out of the tournament in their first round.  When Tim Firgens lost to Chris and Chris advanced to play Jeff Carter, no bounty balls could be won any longer that evening.

Chris and Jeff decided to have an auction on those bowling balls with 100% of the proceeds going to Rainbow Kids.  We raised $420 for the charity off those two bowling balls!

Our special thanks go to Ben Cleveland who won the Storm Fire Road and Jan Hoitink who won the Roto Grip Wrecker.

I want to thank Chris and Jeff for their time commitment to make our event great.  To Aaron Cleveland, Ben Cleveland, Scott Cleveland, Sammy Cleveland, Mike Charaus and Jenni Stein for helping with the set-up and execution….we couldn’t have done it without you guys!!