Lincoln City, Oregon is a beautiful place to visit – especially for the 1220 Western BCA pool players arriving for the best regional pool tournament in the country! The blue waters of the Pacific Ocean matched the blue felt on 80 Diamond tournament tables and Chinook Winds Casino Resort once again was alive with pool players and their entourage. Players loved the Diamonds and the red circle cue balls. Fifteen separate tournaments were contested, with payouts topping $100,000 for the first time in the 13-year history of this event. Scotch Doubles started on Monday evening, Singles events started Wednesday morning and Team events started on Friday evening. By 10:30pm Sunday night the last ball had been struck. Between Monday evening and Sunday night tens of thousands of games had been played and champions had emerged. Old-timers and newcomers alike were excited to be in such a great environment for pool. There was something for every skill level and many players were caught examining the veterans in action, looking for those skills that make pool such a great game. Where else can you see the old, the young, the handicapped, the rich and the poor all come together to compete against each other? Pool is a sport for the masses and Western BCA tournaments at Chinook Winds have become the “big show” for pool in the Northwest.
When an event gets to be the size of these Regional 8-Ball Championships, things change. The big change this year was using Diamond Tables and red circle cue balls. One other significant change was the filming of finals by OTBnTV (otbntv.com) on the Western BCA Video Magazine. There are also photo galleries and some interviews with winners and other players. Check it out – Cheese did a fantastic job. OTBnTV also donated a Predator Poison Cue, which was given away to Teresa Palmer, Cherry City League. Also, professional photographer Dave Schelske took numerous close-up photos and room shots at the championships. His photos can be viewed and purchased at westlinnstudios.com. Portlander Dane Lovell also took hundreds of pictures which will be featured on the Western BCA website (westernbca.org).
The first champions crowned were in the Open Mixed Scotch Doubles division, where 109 couples competed. The final was a study in contrasts and opposites. On the one hand were Bobby Campbell and Molly Oliver (WWA), young, talented, fearless and relatively “new” to Western BCA competition. On the other were Guy and Robbin Iredale (JDF), long time pool players and no strangers to WBCA regional tournaments. The final was actually the second meeting of these two pairs as they played each other in the Hill match of the winner’s side earlier in the tournament. That meeting sent the veterans to the loser’s side of the bracket, hoping to get another shot at the new kids. After waiting until the loser’s side caught up with them, the Iredale’s played a very tough couple (SnoKing’s Ernie Omori and Vicki Knutson who finished in 3rd place) and got their wish for a replay. The final match was hard fought and played with skill and strategy. The final score was 5-3 for Bobby and Molly, who played well throughout the match and proved to be too much for their opponents to handle on their way to the title. Bobby and Molly played their way to the top of the bracket undefeated and will both be forces to be reckoned with in their respective divisions for years to come.
The master Scotch Doubles Champions had to wait until Sunday to finish up because all four players were involved in Singles and Team events. Bill Rosenberry and Fay Fang won the hill and looked like the winners, but Steve Lingelbach and Carissa Biggs came through the loser’s side of the bracket and won the first final match to force the sudden death final. Steve and Carissa won the finals with solid play. When the event started, Fay was an Open player, but after she played in the singles, she finished the event as a Master. The powerhouse team of Mike Stevens and Jackie Fitchner finished 3rd in their first time playing together. Russell Cearley and Kris Robbins, from the Eugene area, finished in fourth place.
After an early exit from last year’s Men’s Master Singles, Glenn Atwell returned as the 8-Bal Champion for the fifth time. Glenn beat last year’s Champ, Dan Louie, in a classic match-up. In the finals, Dan jumped out to a 3-1 lead, but missed a tough masse on the 8-Ball when he came up short on shape in a nice run in the 5th game. That let Glenn get back in the match and he never looked back as he ran out several times, winning the match 7-3. Matt Horner of Salem, who played Glenn for the point, took 3rd and veteran Don Wirtaman took 4th.
The Women’s Master Singles Champion is Jackie Fitchner, with a win over the “winningest” woman in Western BCA history, Cindy Doty. Cindy came out of the loser’s bracket and beat Jackie 7-6, forcing a winner-take-all match. Jackie came out firing, winning the first two games. In game 3, she ran down to the 8-Ball, but hung it up in the corner. Cindy looked like she would get out, but didn’t. Jackie won the game and was unstoppable after that, taking the championship by a 7-0 score and showing the skills that earned her a 2nd place finish in the Master’s Singles at the BCA Pool League (BCAPL) nationals in Las Vegas last year. Liz Cole finished 3rd and Wanda Plummer took 4th.
The winners of the Women’s Master Singles and the Men’s Master Singles events received free entries into the BCAPL nationals in May in Las Vegas. The entries were compliments of BCAPL CEO, Mark Griffin. Joining Jackie and Glenn in getting free entries will be the 9-Ball Men’s Open Singles runner up, Marvin Holmes and the women’s 9-Ball Open Singles 3rd place finisher, Cathy Duenas.
The winner of the Men’s OpenA Singles event is Miguel Morfin, from the Seattle area. Miguel became the favorite in the field of 162 after he won the Open 10-Ball ring game with skills that will make him a threat in the Master’s division at the next regional tournament. Miguel’s style is a shade under speed pool. Although the matches ran long in general, that was not the case in Miguel’s matches. He beat a though Allan Hanson by a score of 6-4 in the final match. Rich Fearr of Yakima finished 3rd and Mike Medlock from the winning Men’s Open Team finished in 4th. Welcome to the Masters, gentlemen.
Eve Stockstill finally broke through to win the Women’s Open Singles. Her game has really picked up and she won the final match over a tough newcomer in Molly Oliver by a score of 5-3. Western BCA Secretary Cindy Rosenthal took 3rd and Faye Fang finished 4th. Welcome to the Masters, Ladies.
The winner of the Men’s OpenB Singles event is Cody Johnson. Cody outlasted a field of 285 to become a champion. Peni Misa from Salem was 2nd, John Aranda from Portland was 3rd and Ryan Busto from Spokane was 4th.
The Men’s Senior Singles Champion is Jeff Baker. Owen Miller was the runner up in the battle of Tacoma players. Women’s Senior Singles champion is Pam Carraway of Port Angeles, who won her 3rd different championship! Pam beat Martina Nelson of Astoria for the title.
In the Novice Men’s division, Kasey Hamm went undefeated and won the first place plaque and a free entry into the Men’s OpenB singles at the next championships. Kevin Delaney from just down the road in South Lincoln County, finished 2nd after losing 4-1 to Kasey in the finals. Antje McKinley, from the Seattle area, topped Cindy Link from Astoria in the Women’s Novice Singles field of 26 women. Janet Tucker from South Lincoln County took 34d. All three ladies will receive plaques and free entry into the next Women’s Open Singles event.
The zenith events of the tournament are the Team Championships. In the Master Team events, teams can now be formed from players throughout the association, allowing only one GrandMaster per team. This new concept proved to work well. Last year’s team champion had to pass the torch. The Men’s Master Team final pitted two worthy opponents against each other. The match featured many of the top regional players. There were a whole lot of run outs by these teams and very few shots were missed. The winning team was “Wu Clan” with Dan Louie, Todd Marsh, Eddie Mataya, Tim Tweedel and Jason Evans. The final match had Wu Clan taking an early lead and holding on to win 13-11, surviving the assault from Ph.D. (Pool Hal Doctors), composed of Glenn Atwell, pat Schumacher, Ken Dodd, Andrew Monstis, Pat Gamble and new player Damian Rebman. Wu Clan took a big lead in the match and PhD fought back to put pressure on Wu Clan. Last year’s champion team, playing as KC Midway this year, lost a chance to get back to the finals when PhD beat them 13-7 in the loser’s bracket final.
The Women’s Master Team champion was the loaded team, NPL Chix. Teammates Jackie Fitchner, Cindy Doty and Liz Cole finished 1st, 2nd and 3rd in the Women’s Master Singles, and with the talented Mary Hopkin and Andrea Saenz-Maes added to the mix, there was little double this team would be a force. But the Pond Sharks team gave them a battle, with Josie LeRoy as the only veteran Master, up-and-coming Eve Stockstill and Faye Fang (who finished 1st and 4th respectively in the Women’s Open Singles) and Brenda Bartholomew and Anna Busley rounding out the team. The Other Team, with top players Phyllis Fernandez and Mary Olson, finished 3rd.
The Women’s Open Team champion is Character #2, sponsored by Quinault Beach Resort Casino. This was probably the most surprising finish of the Championships. No one predicted the veteran team from Aberdeen would win. In the finals, they ran up against a tough Driving 101 Returns team, captained by two-time returning champion, Shirley Morgan, who was looking for a personal ‘threepeat’, but it was not to be. Arlene Delacruz, just 6 weeks past Major surgery, helped lead the Aberdeen Gals, Joannie Beaty, Sheila Aldrich, Patsy Elders and Candy Knutson to the win. Character #2 had first class Character. Robin’s Chicks, from Players Club in Southern Oregon, finished in 3rd place.
The Men’s Open Team Champions is Short Yellow Bus #6. Four players on this team of seasoned players finished 2nd last year and they wanted another chance to grab the brass ring. John Evans, Darrell Schulden, Mike White and Steve Myers added Ron Ok and Mike Medlock to the mix and this time they came away as champions. The road wasn’t easy, but the final match against PC’s #1 with brothers J Keith and Brian Johnson, Miguel Morfin, Adam Stromberg and Steve Kielow from the Seattle area had a good run to finish second. Two Tacoma teams, Q’s Cruisers and Schooner Predators finished 34d and 4th.
Tuesday night was mini-tournament heaven, with over 50 separate tournaments run by Stacy and Alex. Also on Tuesday night, the popular 10-Ball ring games were held. In the Master’s ring game, Jeff Jerome did it again by taking the top prize over 12 other players. Each player put in $100 and they played on 3 tables. By the time the players were whittled down to one table, 6 players remained: Jim Conway, Jeff Jerome, Ivan Doty, Robert Colby, Todd Speakman and Matt Bryan. Jeff got down to his last chip but turned it around to pocket $900, while Ivan took $400 for 2nd. In the Open ring game, seven players put up their $100 and Miguel Morfin took 1st, good for $500, with Jeff Coates winning $200 for 2nd. On Sunday night another ring game – bank pool – started and many think it may be a future event.
Chinook Winds Casino Resort is a great place to have this event since there is so much to do in Lincoln City. The beach was great as always and Lincoln City has many nice places to eat, shop and rest between matches. Chinook Winds opened the door wide to make everyone feel welcome. When people weren’t playing pool or gambling, they were playing on the beach and visiting the local community.
Gary Benson ran the brackets, showing why he is the absolute best under trying conditions. Veteran Master player Ted Woodward, kept the tournament flowing. Thanks, Ted! The tighter corner pockets on the diamond tables added time to some of the matches and that caused some very late matches, almost every night. Diamond Promotions and Ric Jones provided 80 tables in great condition and they were in full use. Chinook Winds added $10,000 to the event. It was a pleasure to work with the Chinook Winds crew, including Bob, Keith, Kelli, Melissa and Belinda. BCAPL added $2300 and thanks goes out to the people at the top who make it happen, Mark Griffin, David Vandeberghe (who was sighted at Lincoln City) and Bill and Glenna Stock. Thank you all very much!
The best full color tournament program in history happened this year. Its high quality and professional look added greatly to raise the awareness of Western BCA and our tournaments. It included player profiles, past winners, rules and advertisements by some of the great supporters of pool in the northwest.
The grand prize drawing was a 5-day stay at a Horizon Rentals location on the Oregon Coast. Thank you Horizon Rentals! The lucky winner was Larry Maes, from Tacoma. Congratulations, Larry! Many door prizes were given out, including embroidered denim jackets, Zip up hoodies, cues, cases, jewelry, pool instruction books and glasses donated by Rodder’s Pub and Grub in Oregon City. Chinook Winds provided $500 in prized purchased from vendors at the event.
The “best Dressed Women’s Team” was ‘Got Rail’ from Emerald Valley League. This sharp looking team helped represent Western BCA in a first rate way. Emerald Valley also won the most supportive league award by volunteering to the max! Stacy Sherman, Alex and Dayle Stroup, Darcy Moss and Cindy Rosenthal (when she wasn’t playing), were real workhorses, stepping in and doing anything that needed doing. Nate and Cathy Dunford also put in many hours volunteering to make things run smooth. Alex ran mini tournaments and 2nd chance tournaments, worked on the podium and, in general, saw to it that if help was needed, he was there! Dayle ran the Western BCA store and answered questions between playing pool and making jewelry. Dayle has become a big part of what it takes to make the podium and store work. Of course, Western BCA’s treasurer and paymaster, Joyce Gumm, put out checks at a record pace, with help from Sassy Campbell. More checks, more work, more happy players, it was all in a day’s work for Joyce and Sassy.
Other volunteers included Bill Henderson, Sam Rabito, Andrew Monstis, Mike and Rosie Jensen, Terry Ludwig, Jason Miller, Kurt Hamm, Tom Moss, Steve Marker and Kathi Giles. Joyce Gumm was the person behind the great shirt and program cover design, and she and Starla Mixon handled the program advertising, while Sassy Campbell was responsible for program content. Robbin Iredale is Western BCA’s Webmaster and says a whole new look is coming to the website. Western BCA, as usual, offered clothing, cups and hats for sale to commemorate the event.
On the Wire/Billiards and Barstools, 911 Billiards and Dave Lauer’s Parlor Billiards took up Vendor spaces. They worked long hours, providing products and services for all the players. Chinook Winds provided a food court and no host bar and their support was appreciated.
And, of course, the referees Darryl Farley, Rick Doner, Pat Mowdy, Jerry Salois, Hal Sparrow and Kelly Reynolds, worked long hours to cover the late night matches. They had extra pressure on them because the rules were new to many of the players, so they not only served a referees, but as rules instructors as well. Great job guys! BACPL sent the talented instructor, Ken Shuman, to Lincoln City to give a national Referee Certification Class prior to the start of the tournament. All of the Refs were National Certified and 4 new referees, Robbin Iredale, Stacy Sherman, Rodney Ward and Sam Rabito, took the class and received their National Certification by getting their floor time during the Championships. Congratulations!
So, the 8-Ball Championships are over…Players and spectators alike already are looking forward to the next Western BCA event. That will be the 11th Annual BCA Regional 9-Ball Championships on the week of October 20, 2008. Leagues are growing larger each year and more leagues are interested in joining in the fun. If you like pool and want to paly against the best or the up-and-coming players I the northwest, then join a Western BCA league near you. If you don’t have a league in your area, Contact Bill Henderson at president @westernbca.org and we may find a league for you or help you start a league. Once you come to a regional tournament, you will want to come again and again. For more information about Western BCA, visit the website at westernbca.org.