12th Annual Western BCA 9-Ball Championships

October 20-25, 2009

Chinook Winds Casino Resort — Lincoln City, Oregon

Western BCA Celebrates 12th Annual Regional 9-Ball Championships

Story by Bret Baker

Every October, players from all over the Northwest make the annual pilgrimage to Lincoln City, Oregon to the Chinook Winds Casino Resort to compete in the Western BCA Regional 9-Ball Championships.  This year’s championships were held October 20-25th with almost 700 players competing for their share of $58,000 and 11 different championships.

Equipment was brought in and set up again this year by Bad Boys Billiard Productions.  Ric Jones and his staff did a first rate job in setting up 80 Diamond Smart tables and this year marked the first year with lights over every table!  The tournament also featured THE state of the art computer program designed by Bret McKinney, which allowed players to see their draw and know when and where they would be playing before they ever left home.  Also with real time brackets posted on the Western BCA website, it made it easy for friends and family member back home to follow the progress of their favorite players and loved ones.  This tournament also was the debut of a kiosk that players and spectators could use to track the event and see when and where their next match was.  Bret McKinney is currently working on a program that will send the player a text message once the tournament board is updated telling them what time and what table their next match is scheduled for.  This truly is a first class tournament program and is connected with a first class tournament event.

Play got underway on Tuesday, October 20th with Open Mixed Scotch Doubles and Masters Mixed Scotch Doubles tournaments.  The Open Mixed Scotch Doubles consisted of 62 teams competing for the title with last year’s 9-ball scotch doubles winning team of Paul and Laurie Kinney, Medford, OR looking to defend their title and last spring’s 8-Ball team of Larry Maes and Jessica Orth, Seattle WA, looking to make a sweep of the 2009 scotch doubles events.  The field was pretty strong. 

After two days of competition, the final match came down to Maes and Orth sitting on the hot seat looking to complete the sweep of scotch doubles titles and the surprise team of Bob Robbins and Katie Moses of Eugene, Oregon who lost their first match of the tournament and then won 9 straight matches to secure their spot in the finals.  Robbins and Moses hoped to carry their momentum all the way as they took the first set 5-2 to force the second and final set to determine the champion.  The match came down to 4-4 and an exciting final game to settle things.  Each player got a chance at the table in the final game with Maes and Orth running the last 4 balls to secure the championship and become the scotch double champions in both 8-Ball and 9-Ball in the same year.  A truly tremendous feat! 

Meanwhile, across the room, the masters were competing in scotch doubles 9-Ball, racing to 6.  Thirty-six teams took to the tables for the prestigious championship.  At the end it was Dillon Standley and Jackie Fitchner, Eugene, OR, on the undefeated side facing Sean Lewis and Jo Woodward, Kent, WA, from the one loss side of the bracket.  Once again the team with the unenviable task of defeating the previously undefeated team twice took care of business in the first set 6-5 and forced the final and deciding set for the championship.  Unlike the drama seen in the Open Scotch Doubles, Lewis and Woodward took the second set by a convincing 6-0 score and were crowned the Master Scotch Doubles 9-Ball champions for 2009.

Wednesday evening as the Scotch Doubles titles were being decided, singles matches were getting underway. Play in the Men’s Open-A and Men’s Open-B divisions began and the competition was hot and heavy.  The Open-B division featured 127 players, while 119 players tried their skills in the Open-A division.  At the end of play on Wednesday night both fields were trimmed to the final 24 players coming back on Thursday.  Thursday night in the Open-B division saw Ric Couch, Coos Bay, OR and Morgan Prescott, Portland, battle for the coveted hot seat and the privilege of having to be beaten twice in the finals.  Morgan Prescott prevailed in the match 6-5 and sent Ric Couch to the one loss side where he would face Roger Goodman in the B-side finals to earn a spot in the championship match on Friday.  Couch played well and earned that spot with the hill-hill win.  He continued his strong play and defeated Prescott in the finals 6-5 and 6-2 to win the Men’s Open-B Championship. 

At the same time those matches were taking place, the Open-A singles were winding down with Martin Thurber, Eugene, OR, taking on Andy Eiden, Portland, to see who would take their place in the final match.  Thurber prevailed 7-5, sending Eiden to the west side of the charts and a match with Portland’s Brett Milburn who had been playing some strong 9-ball.  Milburn continued his strong play defeating Eiden 7-4 and earning a shot at Thurber in the finals.  Thurber proved to be too strong for the rest of the field in this tournament and won the first set going undefeated throughout the event and earning the Men’s Open-A title and the $900 first place purse. 

On the women’s side of the tournament, Eileen Stephens and Stacey Eilts, of Yacolt, WA played their way through a formidable field to meet in the finals for the Women’s Open title and the $600 winner’s check.  Stevens continued her stellar play and defeated Eilts 6-1 in the finals to take the crown.  Both Thurber and Stephens, playing from the Emerald Valley BCA League, out of Eugene, OR will receive free entry to the 2010 BCAPL 8-ball Championships in Las Vegas at the Riviera Hotel and Casino in May.  Should either of the champions decide not to go, the free entry will go to the runner up in the event.  Each year BCAPL awards free entry to the Men’s and Women’s Open champions in 9-Ball and the Men’s and Women’s Master Champions in 8-Ball to the national tournament to compete against the toughest competition in the country.

In the Master’s tournaments singles play began Thursday and continued into Friday with the 25 player women’s event coming down to two players who have had a lot of success in Western BCA events.  Kris Robbins, from Springfield, OR earned her spot in the finals going undefeated through a tough field while Liz Cole of Portland needed to defeat Josie Leroy hill-hill in the B side finals to earn her spot in the finals.  Liz had revenge on her mind and defeated Kris 7-5, 7-0 to take the coveted Women’s Masters 9-Ball title and the $850 winner’s check. 

On the Men’s side, Tacoma’s Eddie Mataya showed why he is a threat to win any tournament he enters as he went undefeated through a very tough 66 player field and waited to see who he would face in Friday’s Master finals.  That player would be Paul Marquez, from Portland after he defeated last year’s champion, Bob Zack in a thrilling hill-hill B- side final.  Mataya would have no part of an upset here though, winning the first set 8-4 and taking the Championship and the $1200 winner’s check. 

Also taking place during the singles competition was the Men’s Senior Singles.  Thirty two players matched skills with Gary Bragg coming from the west side of the bracket to double dip Robert Koski in the finals 6-3, 6-3 to win the championship and the $555 winner’s check.  In the women’s Novice division, Pam Haggard prevailed in the 8-player field by defeating Mindi Henning in two thrilling hill-hill sets. 

Friday night brought in a bunch of new players as the Men’s-Mixed Team event got under way. The Women’s Team event started on Saturday morning.  In the Men’s-Mixed team event 123 teams took to the tables in a race to 14 format to vie for the $3000 first prize.  By Sunday morning the field had been trimmed to the top 16 teams.  Dusty’s made up of players Dana Aldridge, James Davenport, Matthew Denmark and James Meiers played very well throughout the event securing their spot in the finals undefeated by winning the match for the hot seat over the Bounty Hunters in a nail biting 14-13 match.  That sent the Bounty Hunters over to the one loss side of the bracket to do battle with team Hollywood.  Hollywood prevailed in a close 14-12 match to earn their place in the finals against Dusty’s.   Hollywood, consisting of players Steve Gibson, Brett Milburn and Roy Watkins made things interesting by taking the first set of the finals 14-8.  But Dustys did not let the blemish on their perfect record bother them and came back to win the second set 14-9 and the Men’s-Mixed team title. 

In the Women’s Teams, 38 teams started out with dreams of being champions.  All That Jazz, made up of players Sherry Griffin, Alisha Rogers and RoseAnn Wilson took their place in the finals with a 14-6 win over Fire Away.  That loss sent Fire Away to the one loss side to battle with Shooters From the Short Bus.  Shooters From the Short Bus prevailed 14-8 to get their shot at All That Jazz in the finals.  Shooters From the Short Bus, with players Kim Hole, Mikki Small and Lisa St. Clair double dipped All That Jazz in two 14-8 sets and winning the title of Women’s Team Champions and holding up the big $1600 winners’ check.

The 2nd Chance tournaments gave players who didn’t finish in the money another chance to win. Taking first place in the Team 2nd chance event, Soundview Bar & Grill out of Seattle took the single elimination format by storm. Players Loy Long, Ed Slade and Jim Conway beat the Bulldogs, John Evans, Jonathan Hahn and Craig Irwin, 10-5 in the final match.  The Men’s Open B 2nd Chance gave Larry Nathan from Medford, OR another opportunity to win money and he did not waste it, defeating Dean Thomas of Marysville, WA for first place.

In addition to the prize money given to winning players, Western BCA gave away over $1,000 in donated prizes. All players that entered the event were entered into a large random draw for prizes, ranging from cues sticks to key chains. The grand prize drawing, held Saturday night, gave lucky winner Treya Rabel of Spokane 4 free nights for the next event at one of their beach-side house rentals, courtesy of long-time sponsor, Horizon Rentals. Another lucky winner, Robert Osmundsen will be enjoying a free 2-night stay provided by Captain Cooke’s Inn. Western BCA would like to extend many thanks to all of our Lincoln City sponsors, who make the players feel so welcome every time we come to the Regional Championships.  

A big thank you needs to go out to Western BCA. President Bill Henderson and his staff of great volunteers made sure that play stayed on schedule, all the money was paid to the winners and that this continues to be the best regional championship tournament in the country! Many players commented how nice it was to not have to play until 2 or 3 am then come back at 9:00 and try to continue on. Henderson commented that the information he was able to get from the computer system used by Bad boys Billiard Productions gave him the information needed to schedule events so they could stay on schedule. Many thanks go to the nationally certified referees (Darryl Farley, Rodney Ward, Pat Mowdy, and Paul and Laurie Kinney) that worked this event with true professionalism, assisting in keeping this tournament running smoothly. Thanks also to Chinook Winds Casino Resort for being such gracious hosts and for adding $7,500 to the event. Also to BCAPL which added $1500 to the Championships and to Western BCA which added another $8,500 to make the total added money in this event $17,500! 

We look forward to seeing everyone March 8-14, 2010 for the Regional 8-Ball Championships!