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“Dead Money” needs new name in PBA Team Challenge title defense


A year ago, an underdog team of friends calling themselves “Dead Money,” pulled off a stunning upset when they won the inaugural Professional Bowlers Association Team Challenge at South Point Bowling Plaza.

The team, consisting of five players with a combined total of one PBA Tour title, was named after a poker term related to money left in the pot by players who have folded their hands.

But after winning the 2015 PBA Team Challenge, teammates Danielle McEwan, Alex Cavagnaro, Matt O’Grady, Matt McNiel and Anthony Pepe (the winner of the 2014 PBA Cheetah Open) will no longer be considered “dead money” when they return to the PBA Fall Classic presented by South Point, Oct. 29-Nov. 2.

The Fall Classic will get underway when Ryan Ciminelli of Cheektowaga, N.Y., opens defense of his PBA Xtra Frame South Point Las Vegas Open title, Oct. 29-30.

The PBA Tour title event will include two eight-game qualifying rounds at 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Saturday, followed by two eight-game match play rounds for the top 16 qualifiers on Sunday at 8:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. The top five stepladder finals will follow at approximately 5:30 p.m. All times are Pacific.

Team competition begins on Monday, Oct. 31, with team qualifying rounds at 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., followed by a 10-game round of Baker format match play Tuesday at 9 a.m. The top four teams will bowl in the Baker format stepladder finals at approximately 3 p.m. Tuesday.

Both the PBA Xtra Frame South Point Las Vegas Open and the PBA Team Challenge are open to non-members as well as members. The entry fee for the Las Vegas Open is $300 for members and $350 for non-members; the entry fees for the PBA Team Challenge are $500 for each member and $600 for each non-member.

In 2015, Dead Money proved chemistry among teammates is vital to success when it upset “4 Majors and 100 at 1,” a team representing 46 PBA Tour titles (PBA Tour champions Bill O’Neill, Tommy Jones, Wes Malott, Jason Belmonte and Tom Daugherty), but the underdogs upset the favored “4 Majors,” 497-452.

Both teams will return to the PBA Team Challenge as contenders for the projected $30,000 top prize along with – new this year – PBA Tour titles for each winning team member.

Dead Money returns with its lineup intact. “4 Majors” will be the unofficially-named “5 Majors” with Chris Barnes back in the lineup (Daugherty filled in for Barnes who was recovering from surgery in 2015). With Barnes joining Malott, Belmonte, Jones and O’Neill, the “5 Majors” now represent a combined 64 PBA Tour titles including 13 majors.

Also in the 2016 field is a potent team of Brunswick staff members (PBA Hall of Famers Parker Bohn III and Walter Ray Williams Jr. plus Tour champions Ryan Ciminelli, Sean Rash and Tom Smallwood); a star-studded international team (England’s Dom Barrett and Stuart Williams, Sweden’s Martin Larsen and Jesper Svensson, and Finland’s Osku Palermaa), and a number of mixed-identity teams hoping to capture Dead Money’s magical chemistry.

The entire Fall Classic will be video-streamed live, exclusively on PBA’s Xtra Frame online bowling channel.

Immediately following the Fall Classic, the PBA will conduct its 2017 PBA League Draft in the Bowling Plaza on Wednesday, Nov. 2. Thursday is practice day for Bowling’s U.S. Open, which will be contested in the South Point Bowling Plaza beginning on Friday, Nov. 4 and concluding on Wednesday, Nov. 9, with live coverage of the finals on CBS Sports Network.

The U.S. Open is the fourth of five major championships on the 2016 PBA Tour schedule. Ciminelli is also defending U.S. Open champion. Both the PBAL draft and preliminary rounds of the U.S. Open also will be video-streamed live on Xtra Frame.

Related Articles

“Dead Money” upsets PBA stars to win inaugural PBA Team Challenge title
Ryan Ciminelli out-strikes Anthony Pepe to win South Point Las Vegas Open

2016 PBA Fall Classic presented by South Point Bowling Plaza

South Point Bowling Plaza in Las Vegas, USA (Oct. 28-Nov. 1, 2016)

PBA Xtra Frame South Point Las Vegas Open
Friday, Oct. 28, 2016
1 p.m. – PBA Xtra Frame South Point Las Vegas Open practice session

Saturday, Oct. 29, 2016
9 a.m. – 8 qualifying games
4 p.m. – 8 qualifying games
Top 16 after 16 games advance to match play

Sunday, Oct. 30, 2016
8:30 a.m. – Top 16, 8 games round-robin match play
1 p.m. – Top 16, 8 games round-robin match play
Top 5 after 32 games advance to stepladder finals
5:30 p.m. – Top 5 stepladder finals
7 p.m. – PBA Team Challenge practice session

PBA Team Challenge
Monday, Oct. 31, 2016
9 a.m. – 6 qualifying games (full team scoring)
5 p.m. – 12 qualifying games (Baker format scoring)
Top 10 teams after 6 full team games, 12 Baker format games advance to Baker match play round, based on 30 teams entered

Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016
9 a.m. – 10 games round-robin Baker format match play
Top 4 teams advance to stepladder finals
3 p.m. – Top 4 teams, Baker format stepladder finals

Herbert Bickel

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