It all began in 1996 in a cold, drafty, barn-like building in Kelso, Washington. Now, 20 years later, this event has grown into the largest Regional 8-Ball tournament in the United States. March 8-15, 2015 saw 1410 players come to Chinook Winds Casino Resort® in Lincoln City, Oregon to compete in 16 divisions for almost $122,000 in prize money. Bad Boys Billiards Productions® supplied 80 7' Diamond Tables and Tournament Direction. Lenny Marshall of OnTheRailTV® streamed matches every day. Western BCA's Head Referee Darryl Farley, Chief Tournament Official Steve Marker, Payouts Supervisor Cathy Dunford and Podium Manager Pam Carraway and their crews all worked tirelessly to make this event the best it could be for all the players. Chinook Winds and staff were friendly and eager to help in any way.
Before the 8-Ball Championships got going and much to the delight of the Western BCA players who were able to come a couple of days early, the Chinook Winds Open 8-Ball Championships, led by Tournament Directors Mike Jensen and Andrew Monstis, took to the tables. A complete story with results and photos can be found elsewhere on the Memory Lane page of Western BCA's website (westernbca.org).
As the CWO wound down on Saturday, the 8-Ball Championships grew closer. Players steadily arrived to get on the tables and get ready for the beginning of play on Sunday. Fun Night was well attended with a record number of players (84) signed up for Handicapped 10-Ball Singles. Russell Cearley (EV) emerged the winner. There were also Minis for all divisions offered and no shortage of players vying for table time.
Come Sunday morning Scotch Doubles got underway. 50 Master Mixed Scotch Doubles teams began the quest for the title and the $2000 1st Place check. Stan Tourangeau (LTD) and Sheila Clark (INL) went undefeated to the final after defeating Randy Baker (CC) and Jing Liu (LTD) in the point match. Adam Stromberg (LTD) and Phyllis Fernandez (INL) were sent to the back side by Randy/Jing and met them again in the 3rd place match but Randy/Jing were too strong and Adam/Phyllis had to settle for 3rd place ($950). Arriving at the final, Randy/Jing were warmed up and ready to shoot and took Stan/Sheila the first set handily by a score of 5-2 and were hoping for a double dip. The second set was a shorter race to 4. This time it was Stan/Sheila who were ready to go and closed out the match 4-1. Randy/Jing received 2nd place ($1380) and Stan/Sheila, all smiles, took home the crown and $2000.
There were 141 entrants in the Open Mixed Scotch Doubles division which also started Sunday morning. Tom Myers and Bonnie Russell (LCC) and Chris Sykes and Robin Adams (NPL) played through their respective preliminary brackets to meet in the point match on Monday. Tom/Bonnie prevailed (4-2) and were into the final. Chris/Robin went to the back side to play one match to get into the final against Terry Thurlow and Christy Morgan. Apparently, Chris/Robin were pretty determined to get another shot at Tom/Bonnie. The sent Terry/Christy home (3-0) in 3rd place ($940) in the short race to 3 match. Chris/Robin (1st place/ $1650) were more than ready for Tom/Bonnie (2nd place/$1240) this time around and made it a double dip, taking the first set 4-2 and the second 3-0.
While Scotch was winding down, the largest singles division, Men's B Singles with 258 players, got on the tables at 6p. By Tuesday evening, there were 32 players left and by the end of play on Wednesday, two were left undefeated. Tom Bennett (SLC) and Alex Ip (LTD) met in the point match. Alex moved on to the final in a tight 4-3 match win. As so often happens, the final was a repeat of the point match with one player hoping for a different outcome. Tom had to play Jeremy Gradwohl (NPL) for the final spot and he took that match by a score of 4-2. Alex, however, wasn't interested in a different outcome and took it to Tom (2nd place/$825), winning by a score of 4-1 and capturing the title and the $1100 1st place check.
The Men's A Singles division (198 players) got going Tuesday morning. After preliminary bracket play, 32 made it to the final bracket. This path to the final was the exception to the 'rule' in that the point match was not a preview of the final. Benjie Grow (CWY) and Travis Gutcher (LTD) met in the point match, with Travis moving on to the final by a score of 5-4. Benjie waited to see who would emerge and play him for the second seat in the final. Jason Young (PCGP) ended Benjie's quest for a spot in the final, leaving him in 3rd place ($915). Jason, having not played Travis, had only one plan in mind - double dip. The first set went hill-hill with Jason taking the match 5-4. The second set was an equally hard fought battle and, again, Jason prevailed by a score of 5-3. Travis left in 2nd place ($1240) and a very happy Jason Young, accepted the title and $1600.
The Men's Senior Singles division started Tuesday at 12n. There were 58 entrants, wily veterans all, after the title and $565. Greg Cantrall (NPL) and Mike Gwinn (TC) met in the point match with Greg securing a seat in the final by a score of 5-0. After losing his 2nd match, newcomer Bill Howie (WWA) played his way through the back side to get to Mike and a spot in the final. Bill secured the spot in a 5-2 win over Mike (3rd/$290). Bill got by Greg in the first set of the final 5-3, but the second set was another story. Greg got down to business and held Bill (2nd place/$400) to just 1 game, winning the match by a score of 5-1.
Women's Senior Singles, traditionally the smallest division with just 9 entrants, started play Wednesday at 3p. Kathy Murphy (INL) beat Lynda Moore (NPL) in the point match 4-2. Lynda played Patti Hayes (CWY) for the remaining seat in the final but lost by a score of 4-1. It took two sets, but after Patty (2nd place/$125) won the first set 4-2, Kathy settled down and won the second set 4-0, to capture the title and $240.
The Open Women got underway Wednesday morning with 98 women entered into the Women's B Singles division. Eunice Sleight (NPL) and Andrea Tomma (CWY) went undefeated into the point match with Andrea winning a spot in the final (4-2). Christy Morgan (INL), after losing her second match, played through the back side to meet Eunice (3rd place/$375) for the open spot in the final. Christy wasn't ready to quit playing and won the match by a score of 4-1. Still not ready to give in, Christy double dipped Andrea (2nd place/$510) in the final, taking the first set 4-0 and, in spite of a strong effort on Andrea's part, took the second set 4-3 and the title and $685 were hers.
Also starting Wednesday morning, the 78 women entered in the Women's A Singles division took to the tables hoping for a chance to win the $900 first place prize. 24 hours later, Cassie Francois (LTD) met Christy Loehding (INL) in the point match with Christy moving into the hot seat with a 4-3 win. Cassie went to the back side and waited for Jennifer Acker (SWI), who she had sent back earlier, to play for a seat in the final. This time Jennifer reversed the 4-1 loss into a 4-1 win and moved on to the title match. Christy was ready for Jennifer (2nd place/$625) and clinched the title with a 4-2 win.
Last, but by no means least, came the Master divisions. The Women's Master division, with 37 entrants, began play Wednesday evening. Jessica Orth (NPL) and CarlaJean Beers (SWI) were undefeated going into the point match. Jessica won the hot seat (5-1) and CarlaJean went to the back side for one last chance to get into the final. Barb Thompson (NPL) was just a little too much for CarlaJean (3rd place/$435), taking the match by a score of 5-4. Jessica, however, was up to the task in the final, winning by a score of 5-2 and accepting the 1st place prize of $1075. Barb, in 2nd place, took home $690.
The Men's Master Singles division fielded 73 entrants, all with their eye on the $1800 1st place prize. Steve Tune (CPL) and Randy Baker (CC) played to the point match, with Steve edging out Randy and winning a spot in the final by a score of 6-5. Jim Conway (LTD) took a longer route to get to the final and had to beat a hot Randy Baker (3rd place/$830) to get there. The final was yet another double dip, with Jim taking the first set 6-2 and the second set 6-4 and sending Steve home in 2nd place ($1225). This was Jim's 2nd Men's Master crown.
As the singles competition came to a close, on came the Teams. Friday morning, the 75 teams in the Men's Mixed Open Team division filled the room. Two WWA teams would met in the point match, Hi Tide Tsunamis (Vince Draper, Kim Raymond, Rich Rottle, Joe Tamura, Paul Valley) and Browns, Whites and Gray (Bruce Gojetia, Mark Goodwin, Sean Gray, Jeff Lantor, Jeff Wells). The two teams played to hill-hill before Hi Tide Tsunamis won the match and the hot seat. Browns, Whites and Gray would have to get by PCGP's Playhouse(Kevin Brennan, Max Ervin, Jason Patrick, Gary Welch, Jason Young) to make it an all WWA final but Playhouse had other ideas, leaving Browns, Whites and Gray in 3rd place ($1775) and moving on to the final. It was a hard fought battle, but Hi Tide Tsunamis (1st place/$2900) won by a score of 13-11, led by Rich Rottle with 4 wins and Jim Draper with 3.
Also starting Friday were the Men's/Mixed B Teams, with a field of 71 teams. CPL's Retribution (Jason Bennett, Blake Fierro, Steve Hestmark, Isaac Norman, Evan Smelser) and SLC's Uptown and Friends (Tom Bennett, Dan Cloe, Ricardo Gonzalez, Steve Johnson, Steve McLain, Clois Mosley) were undefeated going into the point match. Retribution won the match to get into the final by a score of 11-9. Uptown and Friends (3rd place/$1300) would have to get past NPL's The Border (Manuel Arceo, Jose Ferral, Jesse Garner, Jeremy Gradwohl, Jorge Lopez) to get to the final but were unable to pull it off, losing by a score of 8-11. Retribution (1st place/$2200) wasted little time on The Border (2nd place/$1650), winning the final by a score of 11-3. Retribution was led to victory by Evan Smelser and Jason Bennett, with 3 games each.
The Women's Open Teams division had 45 entries playing for the $1640 1st place prize. WWA's Startin' Trouble (Casey Bowers, Dianne Knapp, Stacy Medina, Barb Sauls) and CPL's In Progress (Tracey Cunningham, Linda (Smitty) Smith, Raquel Walton, Tamara Whitmire) played for the point with Startin' Trouble winning 9-3. INL's Diamond Girls (Linda Cassella, Christy Morgan, Kathy Murphy, Linda Thompson, Colleen Warner) took on In Progress (3rd place/$880) for the other spot in the final, taking the match by a score of 9-6. Startin' Trouble put an end to Diamond Girls' (2nd place/$1200) day by winning the match 9-5. Startin' Trouble (1st place/$1640) was led by Dianne Knapp and Barb Sauls with 3 games each.
There were 15 teams in the Women's Master Teams division. Loonies and Toonies (Stacy Eilts, Regene McDonnell, Cindy Sliva, Brenda Willis) and Thanks for Askin' (Elizabeth Jensen, Mary Coffman, Suwanna Matarazzo, Shari Ross) played for the point with Loonies and Toonies taking the hot seat by a score of 13-8. Thanks for Askin' had to get past Dominions (Carissa Biggs, Mary Olson, Natalie Seal, Ann Zack) to get another crack at Loonies and Toonies and they did just that (13-10), sending Dominions home in 3rd place ($640). The final was a hill-hill affair with Thanks for Askin' (2nd place/$1140) coming up short just the one game. Loonies and Toonies, led by Cindy Sliva and Regene McDonnell with 6 games each, captured the title and the $2020 first prize check.
The final team event was the Men's Master Teams, with 19 team entered. DJ Cues (Pete Gates, Sean Lewis, Dan Louie, Paul Marquez, Lawrence Sowell) and A Little Loaded (Matt Bryan, Russell Cearley, Steve Lingelbach, Mike Stevens, Bob Zack) went unbeaten through the front side to meet in the point match. DJ Cues took what would be round 1 of 3 by a score of 13-11. A Little Loaded detoured through the back side to play Soundview B&G #2 (Scott Chandler, Kenny Dodd, Ed Slade, Leo Violette, Don Wirtaman) and dispatched them by a score of 13-4 with a 3rd place finish ($1250). On to the final. Round 2 went to A Little Loaded, led by Mike Stevens with 5 wins, in a hill-hill match.
Round 3 fell one game short of the maximum in another nail bitter. A Little Loaded, this time led by Bob Zack and Matt Bryan with 4 games each, again prevailed over DJ Cues (2nd place/$1925), this time 13-11. A very excited Russell Cearley clinched both sets of the final for his team.
That wrapped up the regular tournament events but there's more. There were 2nd Chance tournaments for Master and Open Scotch Doubles, all the open teams and most of the singles divisions. The winners are as follows:
That really did wrap up the 2015 8-Ball Championships. This event, now with 20 years in the books, continues to grow and prosper. Western BCA cannot thank Chinook Winds Casino Resort enough for their support for the past 18 years and we look forward to many more tournaments in Lincoln City.