It was an outstanding 9-ball tournament. The 2007 Tenth Annual Western BCA 9-Ball Championships opened play Tuesday night, October 22 with mini-tournaments and ring games. The "real" competition started Wednesday morning with Scotch couples playing in Open and Master divisions. Singles followed Thursday and Friday and teams competed on Saturday and Sunday.
This year's tournament was bigger and better than ever. The 131 men's teams and 39 women's teams were the most ever to play. Attendance was up 20% from 2006, with 719 players this year. Total entries rose 17%, and payouts totaled $60,045. Added money increased to almost $22,000. This year event saw an added division with Men's and Women's Novice Singles play.
Master Scotch winners were new to the top spot. Jay Krause and Susan Preston tore through the brackets undefeated. Their opponents included second place finishers Carissa Biggs and Steve Lingelbach. Josie Leroy and Shane Verhaaren took third. Fourth place finishers were defending champs Andrea Saenz-Maes and Glenn Atwell. Susan snagged Jason at last year's 8-ball event after she became a master player and realized she'd have to play in masters scotch. The two came with focus and heart, and the formula worked for them. Opponents Carissa Biggs and Steve Lingelbach showed their professionalism by playing quickly and efficiently, however, Jay and Susan prevailed with their steady determination.
In Open Scotch play Jason Evans and Francie Johnson took first from J. Keith Johnson and Alisha Rogers, second place finishers. Tony Tipton and Trish Tipton took third place; and Darcy Moss and Jon Letson took fourth.
Men's Master division was won by Todd Marsh. Todd had to beat strong competition on his way to the top of the heap. Beginning with his first match he played, in order, Colin McMurphy, Ken Dodd, Steve Lingelbach, Chad Bisconer, Cedric Sloan, and Don Wirtaman (who played Todd for the point and lost and then came back around after defeating Ken Dodd). Todd went through the field in the Men's Master Singles by not losing a match. Impressive win, Todd.
As an added note, Todd finished second in this year's 8 Ball Championships in the Men's Masters to Dan Louie from the Seattle area. This year Dan was unable to attend the Western BCA tournament as he was hospitalized back East with a serious medical problem that required him to stay in intensive care for several days. The problem occurred while he was playing in the U. S. Open tournament in Virginia. Best wishes on your recovery, Dan.
Jackie Fitchner clinched the Women's Master division. Jackie's route took her through matches with Barb Thompson, Heather Bullock, Josie Leroy, Cindy Doty for the point and Andrea Saenz-Maes for the final. Jackie won the Women's Master by never losing a match and won her final match over Andrea by a score of 9-1. This win was an early present to herself - her birthday was the following day. Incidentally, Jackie took second in the Women's Masters at Nationals in Vegas this year.
It was a Sno-King BCA Pool League final in the Men's Open-A division pitting Jason Evans against Marvin Holmes. Marvin worked his way through the loser's bracket to get to the final against Jason defeating Scott Thurston of Thurston County BCA (4th) and Larry Sowell of Players Club League (3rd) on his way there. The first match of the final was all Marvin Holmes as he defeated Jason 8-1. In the deciding match, however, Jason Evans was not to be denied, holding Marvin to 5 games to get the victory by a score of 8-5. Jason also won the Open Mixed Scotch Doubles with Francie Johnson and finished third in the Men's Team event. In addition, Jason turned a lot of heads with his play in the 10-Ball ring game on Tuesday night. Scott Brasher did not look like an Open-B player when he destroyed the field of 166 and became the Open-B champion. Scott, from Kennewick, went undefeated in the Men's Open-B. He beat David Kartchner in the finals after David beat Randel Milhoan (4th) and Marc Cowling (3rd).
Dove Thompson became the Women's Open champion by beating Melinda Childers in a hard fought match. Dove and Melinda had to wait until Sunday to finish the Women's Open Singles.
One of the two new events this year, Men's Novice, saw Shane Swenson double dip Jay Rinehart for a first place win. Jay finished second and Mark Yamamoto was third.
For the new Women's Novice division, Jean Snow took first place, coming through the brackets undefeated. Second place finisher was Lillian Duren, with Liz Green taking third.
Mens Team Winners, Soundview Bar and Grill of Everett Wash. (Jim Conway, Ed Slade and Lance Bauge), defeated Barely Legal (Darrold Craine, Steve Heiman and Larry Sowell) from Medford, Ore., by a score of 14 to 10. Barely Legal won the first two games but Soundview won the next five games and never looked back. Although about 500 miles separate the two teams, by the end of the match both teams had developed a great respect for each other.
In the Women's team event the finals came down to two Northwest Players League teams. Nuclear 9 Ball Nymphs (Mary Hopkin, Donna Totten and Sherrie Demke) won in a tough match against Jawbreakers (Liz Cole, Joy Pierson and Eve Stockstill). A Girl Thing (Johnnie Landis, Treya Rabel and Donna Taylor) finished third.
EQC Strokerz (Bill Coats, Bill Andreozzi, Doug Schulze and Larry "LT" Tulfo) won the Second Chance team event in a single elimination format over 18 other teams.
The popular ring games were expanded this year. Once again the excitement of the 10-ball ring game was a real crowd pleaser and a true test of heart. Different events were added for both women and open men. The $100 per person entry, winner take all format had 12 entries in the first masters ring game. Glenn Atwell and Jason Evans took honors. In the second master ring game, 11 players fought it out and Glenn and Mike Stevens came out winners. In the women's ring game, Cindy Doty took the win on Tuesday.
On The Wire produced a professional full color tournament program, giving participants vital information about the event as well as a lasting memento of a week well spent. Venders were On the Wire, Billiards911.com (formerly Beads and Billiards), Palace Billiards and Dave Lauer Cue Repair. The Chinook Winds food court and beverage bar was kept busy the entire week and was appreciated by all.
Local Head Referee Darryl Farley put together a nationally certified professional crew. These top national BCAPL certified referees are the best trained anywhere.
Podium staff Stacy and Jennifer Sherman, Alex and Dayl Stroup, Sassy Campbell, Sam Rabito, Cindy Rosenthal, Joyce Gumm, Andrew Monstis, Darcy Moss and Bill Henderson spent many hours handling all sorts of issues, announcing giveaways, dealing with paperwork, making executive decisions and doing much more to help the tournament run smoothly.
The 9-ball 2007 tournament shirts sold like hotcakes. Most were sold out before the weekend. There were still some great denim shirts left and several sweatshirts in limited sizes. Be sure and buy your shirts early for 8-ball so you can get the size you want.
There were quite a few giveaways from Chinook Winds, totaling $500 in merchandise. Darcy Moss won a big raffle for the coveted Pechauer cue. Kurt Hamm spent time prior to the tournament collecting gifts and certificates from local businesses in Lincoln City for giveaways.
Cathy Dunford developed a new volunteer force for the tournament. Some of those volunteers got some very nice gifts, one of which was a week's stay at Chinook Winds Casino Resort for a future tournament.
Shirley Morgan worked with others to come up with the "dynamite" shirt design. Joyce Gumm, Cindy Rosenthal and Sassy Campbell zipped out the payout checks, putting in endless hours so that members could collect their hard earned winnings in the shortest wait time to date. Tom Moss did a great job on table layouts. Alex Stroup and Stacy Sherman fielded as many mini-tournaments and second chance events as they could fit in, and there were plenty.
For those players between matches or out of the competition, there was beautiful weather and a windy but sunny beach to enjoy when they happened to get outside. It was a welcome change from the wet and strong winds that are usually present at the beach in October.
Gary Benson proved once again why he is such a good tournament director by keeping the tournament on schedule. Saturday night was the biggest challenge with all the teams playing in the room.
When the last 9-ball rolled in the pocket and Jim Conway let out a shout that echoed throughout the room, this year's championships finally came to an end. All the Western BCA board and volunteers hope that every player had a satisfying experience during this tournament and learned something new to add to their game for the upcoming 8-Ball Championships.
What a remarkable tournament! There were many upsets and many players reasserting their positions at a very competitive event. Generous congratulations are in order for all the players, including those who have demonstrated the talent to reach into the upper divisions, and those who come with little hopes of winning money, but with great heart and expectations of playing their best and having a ton of fun at the top regional event in the country. Thank you all for joining us in one of the biggest 9-ball tournaments in the United States. See you back in March.
For the upcoming 8-Ball Championships, Diamond tables and red circle cue balls will be used. The 8-ball tournament will begin on March 10 or 11, 2008, with the confirmed dates to be announced soon. Check on the Western BCA Web site (westernbca.org) or check with your league operator for finalized dates.