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February 17, 2011

Seniors, seniors, seniors!  There is no stopping them, the older they get, it seems the better they get!

Ed Roberts, the 67 year-old from Braintree, Mass, picked up his 2nd High Roller title becoming only the 3rd player to have won both the February and July High Roller.  Roberts won previously in July, 2008. He represented the age 60 & Over division in the Championship Round and, although relieved and happy, didn’t think he would win as he took a seat after completing his 10th frame.

Pictured from the left is runner-up Greg Shields, 4th place Dennis Beagle, 3rd place Vernon Peterson, Champ Ed Roberts, Storm's Hank Boomershine and Sam's Town's Whit Jones. Roberts was presented with the winner's cup and $25,000 check moments after the completion of the 2011 February High Roller. It was the 112th High Roller event for the 67 year-old who bowled in the very first High Roller back in 1982!

Roberts finished first in the 10th frame, spare/strike for 208 but there were still 2 players who could pass him. Vernon Peterson, the last undefeated player in the Age 45 & Under division was no stranger to Championship Rounds, but had started his 1-gamer with 2 opens and had to play catch-up.  As he looked up in the 10th, he was just a double away from overtaking Roberts.

Also in the hunt was High Roller veteran Greg Shields, the 54 year-old from Independence, MO, and although in his first finals, is always feared on the lanes. Roberts thought he might sidestep one of those 2 players but didn’t dream that neither one would pass him, Roberts topping the Championship Round 208-203-200-171.

For Roberts, the $25,000 prize and his 2nd title.  Although scheduled for knee surgery in the coming weeks, Roberts vowed to be back for the Senior Easter Classic, bad news for the rest of the field!

Shields ended up 2nd for $12,500, just another senior taking home a 5-figure prize!  Peterson, the 38 year old from Lake Wales, FL earned $11,000 for his 3rd place finish. Peterson fired a 300 game earlier in the day in match play.

From the 215 Average & Under division, Dennis Beagle, from Lehigh Acres, FL took home $10,000 in his best High Roller performance. Earlier he had fired the only 700 series in his division and now becomes the newest member of High Roller’s $10,000 Club!


  • In the “Luck of the Draw” Department, when Chris Hester and Vinnie Atria checked in together for the early morning VIP, Atria told Hester to draw a lane for him. Hester drew lane #1A and everyone around the check-in desk roared as Atria put his hands around Hester’s neck.  Needless to say, Atria fired 258 on the pair he didn’t want to win the 1-game VIP and $1,000!
  • Traveling can be tough and when Jon Rakoski arrived in Vegas from Florida he got violently ill.  He spent the night in his hotel room but in the morning, traveling buddy Steve Calyore literally dragged him down for the early morning VIP squad. All Rakoski did was fire 255 to win the $1,000 and 2 hours later lead the 45 & Under division in qualifying and another $1,000 in the Money Round!
  • In the scoring department, despite the lower than usual scoring this week, former High  Roller champ Vernon Peterson fired 800 even for 3 consecutive match play games during the finals: 237-263-300!
  • Local Las Vegas high school up-and-comer Chase Nadeau padded his scholarship fund this week, adding $1,500 from High Roller competition to his USBC Smart Fund.  His plans are undoubtedly to follow in his dad’s High Roller footsteps. Dan won the 1991 July High Roller with a $200,000 top prize and is still competing 20 years later!

Earlier in the week, Steven J. Smith picked up High Roller title #2 with his “A Game” victory and $10,000 prize. He bested Craig Auerbach and Darwin Wimer for the honors.

Sweeper winners were Ron Nelson, $4,000 & Scott Pohl $2,000.

For complete results, visit us at and click on Headlines!

Next up is the Senior Easter Classic, hosted by Sam’s Town from April 17 to 24.  There are 3 separate Classics for players aged 50 & over and 60 & over. There is also bonus qualifying for 70 & Over!

High Roller has now paid $88,578,733 in prizes to bowlers since the inaugural event in 1982!  For more info and brochures, call us toll free 1-800-257-6179 or visit us at Enter online – it’s fast, easy & secure!