Article by Sam Rabito & Photos courtesy of Stephen Schneringer
The Western BCA Pool Players Association has done it again with its seventh annual regional 9-ball tournament at Chinook Winds Casino and Resort, in Lincoln City, Oregon on November 3-7. 2004! With newly-elected president, Mark Avlon, leading the board of directors, Western BCA organized and presented one of the best regional tournaments the association has ever produced according to the compliments received by participants of the event. The players had a great time competing in the main events, and the second chance and mini-tournaments. They offered worthy competition, displayed great sportsmanship and enjoyed the many improvements to the tournament that have been made.
The sizes of the fields and the payouts continued to be the best in the Northwest. The men’s Open singles had the largest field with 182 entries. The total payout for the tournament was over $25,500 with $4,400 added money.
A large number of strong players in all events could be seen by the number of double-dip attempts. Open mixed scotch doubles had newly-paired Vanessa Schwab and John Lewis rolling through the bracket when they came across the always-strong Bonnie Mahaffey and Ken Welch. The final score was 5–7. With determination Vanessa and John came back to play them again, but the seasoned pair, Bonnie and Ken, took advantage of every opportunity and were victorious. Kimberly Kirk and Dana Aldridge fought all night, battle after battle, in the Master mixed scotch doubles to play the well-rested Michelle Barkdoll and Stan Tourangeau. Michelle and Stan showed how they had earned the point and its advantage and became champions. Dana had his revenge, though, by sending Stan to the losers’ bracket in the Master singles. In the men’s Open singles, Jim Dray came through the losers bracket to double-dip Dillan Standly. Cindy Medina made a valiant effort against point-sitting Wanda Plummer who had a 4–2 lead, but Wanda prevailed. New to the women’s masters, Liz Cole, beat point-sitting Kris Robbins the first set, 9–3. In the second match it came down to three balls at hill-hill and Kris came out the victor. In men’s Master singles, Joe Trevino took the point and played a determined Stan Tourangeau who beat Joe once, then successfully won the Master singles champion title. With Brett Seyler leading Dillon Standly and Rick Else, Almost Left Behind fought their way through the finals on Sunday to play The Nuts, Jeff Jerome, Mike Ottoboni (fourth place winner of men’s Open singles) and Scott Thurston. The Nuts prevailed. Finally, the women’s team event had, appropriately, Liz Cole’s Lady Hawks with Eve Stockstill and Melyssa Chasteen faced Kris Robbins’ team. Liz’s team came through the losers bracket and beat Kris’ team the first set handily. With the same determination that Kris had during her Master singles victory, Kris, Bonnie Mahaffey and Denise Vaughn proved why they are the Noti Heartbreakers; they weren’t about to let go of the opportunity and won the women’s team event.
The event featured 60 tables that filled the entire main convention room. The events ran smoothly and were on time thanks to Gary Benson of High Country Promotions and to the staff of six BCA National referees who provided assistance to players.
The players showed a lot of interest in the second chance tournament, which filled up very quickly. The association is looking forward to offering second chance tournaments at all of our future events. The mini-tournaments were also popular and were offered almost anytime players wanted to play. There were mini’s for Open and Masters players, and anyone interested in playing. This allowed players to compete in fair but competitive fields. The second chance tournament included $425 added money. We expect these successful events to grow and add even more to the prize fund.
When the players were between matches, they could relax in the rooms across the hall in the smoking lounge with tables, chairs and a 60-inch television. Players could enjoy their drinks and snacks while getting away from the tournament room.
Many sponsors donated gifts that were given away to players. The gifts included a 30-minute sightseeing flight over the Washington coast, a night’s stay at the beach and many other items. Special thanks to Mark Griffin of BCA Pool League who donated two paid entries to the national 8-ball tournament in May 2005 which were readily accepted by the two Open singles champions Wanda Plummer and Jim Dray. Among the other gifts were a dozen massages that could be redeemed immediately.
In addition to the masseuse, Andrea, the vendors included AAA Pool Tables and Games, Beads and Billiards, and On The Wire. The enlarged full-color tournament program, produced by On The Wire, highlighted our sponsors and provided the players with important tournament information.
Congratulations and thank you to all players, volunteers and board members for making the seventh annual regional 9-ball tournament a success. The Western BCA is looking forward to making our regional 8-ball tournament, scheduled for March 1–6 at Chinook Winds Casino and Resort, even better yet.