|WARM UP TOURNAMENT||MEN'S CHINOOK WINDS OPEN||WOMEN'S CHINOOK WINDS OPEN|
Skyler Woodward, last March’s Chinook Winds Open 8-Ball Champion, added the Chinook Winds Open 10-Ball title to his already (he is, after all, just 23 years old) impressive list of accomplishments. This installment of the CWO 10-Ball Championships, held on October 7-9 in Lincoln City, Oregon, was sponsored by venue host Chinook Winds Casino Resort, Western BCA and Anhauser Busch, was played on 7’ Diamond Tables provided by BadBoys Billiards Productions and live streamed by Lenny Marshall/On the Rail TV. This event featured 100 players in the Men’s Division and 29 in the Women’s Division, including defending champions Rodney Morris and Rebecca Wagner. A scheduling conflict resulted in slightly lower than hoped for numbers in the Men’s Division but there were still some major players on hand to dazzle us with their knowledge of the game and execution on the tables.
A WarmUp Tournament was held on Thursday, October 6, to get everyone in the mood. 73 players, including 5 women, were on the bracket for this 10-Ball, race to 4, double elimination precursor to the main events yet to come. Skyler Woodward and Rodney Morris advanced undefeated to the hot seat match where Sky sent Rodney to the back side with a lopsided 4-0 win and would wait to see who would come through to meet him in the final. As quite often happens, the loser of the hot seat match would prevail on the back and get into the final and a chance at redemption. Rodney held off Antonio Lining 4-2 and got another go at Skyler. Rodney took the first match 4-2 and forced a second match and perhaps a double dip. Sky, however, was having none of that and took the second match by the same 4-2 score and the first place prize of $535.
A Calcutta was held on Friday evening with 29 women and 100 men up for bid. Immediately following the Calcutta, play got underway.
The main events got underway with all the players seeking the $10,000 (Men’s Division) and $4000 (Women’s Division) first place prizes. Men’s Division Defending Champ, Rodney Morris, soon to be inducted into the Billiards Hall of Fame, stumbled early on (his third match) and had to claw his way through the back side to have any hope of getting into the final and a possible repeat win. He came close, finishing in 5/6th after losing a very tight match to eventual finalist Antonio Lining 6-7. All eyes then were on Skyler Woodward and his march to own consecutive Chinook Winds Open titles. His path to the final was the direct one as he won 5 straight matches, never losing more than 3 games, to get to the hot seat match against Amar Kang. Amar fought hard but could only take 4 games as Sky moved on to the final. Amar’s hopes of a second shot at Skyler in the final were crushed by Antonio Lining in the 3rd place match 4-7.
As the final began, Skyler literally raced off to a 6-2 lead over Antonio and just needed one more game to clinch the title. Antonio came to life and reeled off 4 straight games, including a carom 5-6-10-Ball combo in game 9, Sky’s foul on the 10-ball in game 10, a break and run in game 11 and a run out following another Woodward foul on the 1-Ball in game 12 to even the match at 6-6. Skyler could only watch as Antonio broke the decider and began his run to what looked to be a win to force a second set. Antonio, shooting the 9-Ball, missed a difficult but very makeable shot and Skyler was on his feet to put an end to Antonio’s hopes for a double dip, making the 9 and 10 to clinch the title. Again. We can only hope he comes back in March, 2017 to go for a third.
In the Women’s Division, all eyes were on returning 2015 Champion Rebecca Wagner and a possible repeat of last year’s final with Allison Fisher. Was that destined to be? Short answer: no. Rebecca was only able to win two out of four matches played and there would be no repeat champion. How’d the other half of that equation fare? Allison Fisher won her first three matches easily before coming up against 17-year-old Philippina Chezka Centeno, in her first US competition following some impressive wins in the Orient, and Allison’s march to the final was abruptly halted as Chezka stunned her 5-0. Allison, the great Champion and Hall of Famer, just picked herself up and marched through the back side, winning three matches, again easily, to get her spot in the final. Meanwhile, Chezka sped through the front side, losing only 3 games in 5 matches to face Allison in the final. Allison won the lag, which would loom large later in the match and they were off. The ladies didn’t waste any time bringing out their big guns with Allison taking the first two games with impressive run outs. Chez answered back with hard fought wins in the next two games (2-2). Chez capitalized on a miss by Allison following a good safety to take game 5 (3-2. Allison answered back, winning the next two games and took the lead 4-3 and was on the hill. Chez broke and ran game 8 to level the match at 4 apiece. Allison had the break in the decider (remember the lag) and was hoping to force a second set. But that was not to be as she watched the cue ball get kicked into the side pocket and Chezka come to the table and waste no time running out and claiming the title. Was this the passing of the torch from arguably the greatest female player ever to a rising superstar? Maybe. Allison Fisher is by no means done but there can be no doubt that Chezka Centeno has a dazzling future in Women’s Billiards.
Even though this Open was smaller, there were more than enough great players to make it well worth following as they delivered many great matches and two more than worthy champions were crowned. Many thanks to our sponsors: Chinook Winds Casino Resort, Western BCA and Anhauser Busch. Tournament Directors Mike Jensen and Bill Henderson did a great job organizing and running this event with the help of Tournament Registrar Darcy Williams, the Calcutta crew, Referees Darryl Farley and Dwayne Payne, Pam Carraway on the Podium, Cathy Dunford and Staff in Payouts and Robbin Iredale, Photographer/graphic designer/advertising/website administrator.
There are some changes in the works for the next Chinook Winds Open in March, 2017, most notably that the two events (up to now, 8-Ball in March and 10-Ball in October) will be held consecutively in one 6-day event each March prior to Western BCA’s 8-Ball Championships. The work on that one has already started. Thanks to all who came to watch and support this event. If you weren’t able to attend, all the live streamed videos will soon be available on YouTube via a link on the Western BCA Website (westernbca.org). See you all in March!!
|MEN'S CWO (100)||WOMEN'S CWO (29)|