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Minnesota-Vegas High Roller Connection

      Back in 1953, then-President Eisenhauer appointed Oklahoma football coach Bud Wilkinson, a native Minnesotan, as commissioner of lifetime sports.  Namely, Archery, Bowling, Golf, Swimming and Tennis.

        Minnesotans have held their own in the sport of bowling, although a few local people believe it is a recreation rather than a sport.  Over the years Minnesota has produced 23 ABC champions while there have been 10 WIBC champions.

       Over the past ten years, three men have kept Minnesota in the national limelight with their titles and winnings in Las Vegas' Mega-Buck events.


       They are Roger Blad of Burnsville, Dan Bock of Albert Lea and Chad Nelson of Owatonna.  They have won nine titles in the Nevada city, three each, while bringing back to our state close to three quarters of a million dollars.

      Blad 60, has won three senior High Roller titles one each in 1997, 1999 and 2002.  Each was worth $30,000.  He also finished second, third and ninth in other meets. Roger has also won five CBA and five MSC titles.

       He claims one ABT national championship title at Sam's Town in Vegas in 1999 and has been a member of three championship teams at the Hoinke Classic in Cincinnati.  He has two state team titles with Brown Clothing and three state doubles titles, two with Jim Lindquist.

       Roger has competed in the ABC tournament 33 times. He has won three Mpls.City titles and three St. Paul City team titles.  He has posted 15 perfect (300) games along with four 299s,two 298s and five 800 series, including a high of 846.  He is a member of the Minneapolis and Minnesota Men's halls of fame.

       Bock, 37, has competed 21 times in Vegas, mainly on Super Bowl week and July 4th week.  He was CBA Player of the Year twice, in 2003 and 2006. He also has one PBA regional title.

       He was a member of Bogart's of Mankato which won the Division I regular team and team all events in the 2006 Minnesota State tournament.  He has four state titles to his credit.

       Dan is a member of the Owatonna Hall of Fame and has posted 29 perfect games, six 299s and three 298s.  He has rolled five 800 series with a high of 858.

       Nelson, the youngest of the trio at 34, has competed in the Mega-Buck Vegas tournaments twice a year since 1996.  Most meets last a week to 9 days with numerous side events to cash in on..

       Chad, 38, has also won team and team all events titles with Bogart's. In CBA meets he has captured the title nine times and has had 14 runner-up finishes.

       He has competed in the ABC (USBC) tournament 15 times with his first meet when he was a senior in high school.  His team finished second in Billings, Mont.  Statewide he won five titles in singles, doubles and all events. His best season average was 226.

       Blad, along with Tom Havlish, Clark Poelzer and Jim Wynne will be heading out to bowl the Thanksgiving Senior Classic at Sam's Town in Vegas this November.

Over 160 Minnesota bowlers have competed at the High Roller over the years.

The following have broke the $10,000 mark. This does not include the Mini Eliminator

The following was done by mnbowling.com, not Bob Schabert, in an effort to encourage more participation from the bowlers of Minnesota.

$$ won
Roger Blad
Dan Bock
Chad Nelson
Jack Nelson
Scott Pohl
Jeff Clapp
Tom Havlish
Ben Goede
Carl Fietek
Adam Apo
Dave Freeman
Kurt Hanke
Rick Allanson
Dan Hollenhorst
Clark Poelzer

Some of the above bowled many tournaments, some only two.

I hope this public information does not offend anyone  

Bob's Past Articles  


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Photo of Bob Schabert courtesy of the St. Paul Pioneer Press
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