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Shark attack at the Riviera
Herman Weiskopf
May 09, 1977
A hustler since he was 10, Mike Berlin had what it took to win the Firestone
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May 09, 1977

Shark Attack At The Riviera

A hustler since he was 10, Mike Berlin had what it took to win the Firestone

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Berlin led the pack throughout most of the qualifying rounds at the Riviera lanes, but in the 48th and last game Mike Durbin of Chagrin Falls, Ohio tied him for first place. Durbin then outrolled Berlin 232-203 to gain the No. 1 seed in the five-bowler roll-off for the $25,000 first-place check.

In the opening match of the stepladder-style windup, fifth-place Larry Laub beat fourth-place Sam Flanagan, and then he upset third-place Wayne Zahn. But Berlin eliminated Laub 213-200, setting up a rematch against Durbin. Like the true hustler, Berlin saved his best bowling for last.

He started with four strikes, marked in every frame—picking off the 3-6-10 split for a spare in the fifth and the 2-4-5 for another spare in the ninth—and whipped Durbin 221-205. Nothing to it. Nobody dropped a pin on an adjacent lane.

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