1st Annual GrandMasters Challenge

March 9-11, 2010

Chinook Winds Casino Resort — Lincoln City, Oregon

1st Annual WBCA GrandMasters Challenge a Huge Success!

Story by Bret Baker

Player Total Games Won Prize
Glenn Atwell 47 $2000
Todd Marsh 36 $1075
Don Wirtaman 36 $1075
Rich Geiler 35 $600
Matt Horner 33 $500
Dan Louie 32 $375
Eddie Mataya 32 $375
Bob Zack 29 $300

Western BCA introduced a new event at the 15th Annual Regional 8-Ball Championships. The Grand Master Challenge made its debut on March 9 at the beautiful Chinook Winds Casino Resort. Eight of the Northwest’s top-ranked Grand Master and Master players were invited to take part in this very special event and battle it out on the pool table for $6,300 in prize money. Cue Sports International/BCA Pool League and Western BCA Pool Players Association sponsored this event. All of the prize money was raised independently, with no money being taken from the Regional Tournament’s players.

The players: Glenn Atwell, Rich Geiler, Matt Horner, Dan Louie, Todd Marsh, Eddie Mataya, Don Wirtaman, and Bob Zack. The format: Round Robin with each player playing every other player in 10 game matches with the score recorded at the end of each match. Total games won would determine the overall winner.

On Tuesday, March 9 at 2:00 in the afternoon, action got underway with young guns Matt Horner and Eddie Mataya doing battle on table #1 and experienced veterans Todd Marsh and Dan Louie showing their skills on table #2. Many onlookers entered a “Pick the Winner” contest. For a $5 contribution they could try to pick the order they thought the competitors would finish. All money raised went into the prize money for the GMC. Some of those predictions took a severe hit when Marsh and Horner each scored 7-3 wins and let everyone know this was anybody’s event to win. Two rounds were completed on Day 1 of the event with Glenn Atwell and Matt Horner sharing the lead with 13 wins each. Rich Geiler was only one game back with 12 wins and Todd Marsh had a total of 10.

Day 2 brought more great pool action which was enjoyed not only by those who could attend the event in Lincoln City, but also by those who were unable to make it. The Northwest Women’s Poolplayers Association (NWPA) provided live streaming on the web, via U-STREAM.COM. Viewers at home were able to watch all the commentated matches and chat with the commentators. NWPA recorded over 4,100 hits in the 5 days of live streaming. When the dust had settled on the second day of the GMC, 5 of the 7 rounds were in the books and once again Glenn Atwell led all competitors with 33 wins, Don Wirtaman and Matt Horner were tied for second with 27 and Rich Geiler was still in the hunt with 26.

The final day continued to showcase more great pool action as the players finished out the final two rounds. Glenn could smell the finish line and was not about to let his lead slip away. He finished like a true champion, with two monstrous 7-3 wins over Rich Geiler and Dan Louie and a total of 47 wins overall, to take the title of Grand Master Challenge Champion and the $2,000 paycheck that came with the title. Todd Marsh rode a couple of 6-4 wins over Eddie Mataya and Don Wirtaman to finish in a tie with Wirtaman for second place with 36 total wins. Rich Geiler made a very respectable return to this event with his 35 wins and a 4th place finish. Matt Horner finished in the 5th spot with 33 total wins. Dan Louie and Eddie Mataya finished tied with 32 wins and Bob Zack, who fought through the stomach flu, hung in to battle and finished with 29 total wins.

The players were all very excited about this event and look forward to competing in it again. Many Master players were also excited and are hoping to earn their chance to be a part of this event in the future.