2012 Casino Tour Stop #2: Northern Quest 8-Ball

May 23-27, 2012

Northern Quest Resort   Casino — Spokane, Washington

A Class Act

By Robbin Iredale

Western BCA’s much anticipated 2nd Casino Tour Stop took us to Spokane, Washington. Northern Quest Resort & Casino lived up to its 4 Diamond rating and then some. The building and grounds were immaculate, the rooms were luxurious, the restaurants had something for every palate from gourmet to great burgers and the casino was gamers’ heaven. Enough cannot be said about the staff - to say we were treated like royalty is no exaggeration. This is a venue Western BCA will be pleased to keep on the Casino Tour Calendar.

The spacious tournament room accommodated the 32 Diamond tables provided by Bad Boys Billiards Productions and still allowed for plenty of seating and spectating. . Bad Boys also handled tournament direction and mini-tournaments. Billiards 911 was on hand to take care of any equipment needs the players had. Referees Darryl Farley, Hal Sparrow and Al Hart ensured rules were followed and everybody played nice. Western BCA provided staff to assist with the event and to welcome the substantial number of players new to Western BCA.

The tournament room opened Wednesday, May 23 at noon as players began arriving to warm up on the tables. Scotch Doubles play began a 3pm with two divisions taking to the tables. 6 pairs entered Master Mixed Scotch Doubles and played until two were left. Mary Hopkin (NPL) & Matt Horner (CC) [undefeated] waited for Jessi Nester & Wayne Boyd, both new to Western BCA to join them in the final. Jessi & Wayne were clearly determined in the first set. Besides the expected fine play and table runs by both pairs, the match featured a grueling 15 safety game. In the end, however, Jessi & Wayne prevailed to force a double dip. Mary & Matt fell behind 1-2, but then took control, going on to win the next 5 games, including two table runs, the match and the championship.

Open Scotch Doubles started with a field of 15 teams and battled until only two were left standing. The final was all newcomers. Steve Tamura & Benjamin Dwan (undefeated) waited for Travis Babcock & Donna Taylor to play for the title. Travis & Donna lost to Steve & Ben in the point match and went to the back side to play Thomas Mott & Gloria Villa (both LTD) for another shot at Steve & Ben. Thomas & Gloria had to settle for 3rd Place and Travis & Donna got their rematch. Steve & Ben proved to be a little too much for the newcomers, though, as they went on to capture 1st place.

Singles play began at 9am, Thursday, May 24 with 5 divisions represented. The Men’s B Singles got underway with a field of 29. New Western BCA member Rudy Boyd played his way to the point and had to wait to see who would come out of the back side to meet him in the final. Dan Hammond (INL), after losing to Rudy in the point match, decided he wanted another go at Rudy and defeated 3rd place finisher Brad Laskowski (NPL) to earn a seat in the final against Mr. Boyd. In the first final match, Dan took off and didn’t give Rudy a chance to get warmed up; winning by a score of 4-2 and the double dip was on. The second match started out much the same, as Dan took a 2-0 lead. Rudy, however, came alive at that point and capitalized on a few errors on Dan’s part to get the next 4 games and 1st place.

The Combined Singles Division (Women Grand Masters, OpenA Men and Women Masters) with 33 entries (29 men & 4 women) got started at noon. There were 11 new Western BCA players in this division and they made their presence known. The eventual finalists met in the point match with Sunny Redthunder (WWA) remaining undefeated as he sent newbie Zack Biggs to the back side to take on Yo Jones (INL) to see who would go on to the finals. Zack wanted another go at Sonny and left Yo in 3rd place. The final was even after 4 games and included some fine shot making by young Zack, including two runs. Game 5 was yet another Zack table run. Game 6 looked like a repeat, but he left himself a difficult 8-Ball shot. He had to turn the cue ball loose and it found a pocket and Sonny got the game. The next two games were all Sonny, including a table run, and Sonny found himself on the hill. The next game proved to be the final game. Zack shot into a cluster and the 8-Ball found a pocket, giving Sonny the title.

Women Open Singles also got started at noon with a field of 15. Linda Thompson, Women’s Senior Singles Champion at the 2012 Western BCA 8-Ball Championships, would play new comer Amber Foster in the final. Both ladies played well but Linda played a little better and took the match and the title by a score of 4-2.

At 3pm the Men’s Master Singles began with 9 entries, including several new faces eager to make their mark. In the end it was all seasoned Western BCA players, however, and the new kids will have to try again next time. Grand Master Stan Tourangeau (LTD) took on Eddie Carrido (WWA) for the point, sending Eddie to the back side to play Matt Horner (CC) for a spot in the final. Eddie had to settle for 3rd place while Matt went on to play Stan, who had sent him to the back side earlier. Stan and Matt came to play and put on a clinic, trading table runs throughout the match. After 8 games they were tied 4-4 with only one of them NOT a table run. Matt got the next game with, you guessed it, a table run (5-4) and that gave the match to Matt. Final Part 2 got underway and Stan proceeded to show us why he’s a Grand Master, holding Matt to two games while he ran 4 tables on his way to the title. Great shooting by both players.

Last but not least, the Men’s Senior Singles got on the tables at 4:30pm with 9 seasoned veterans playing for the title. In the end, it was two new Western BCA players in the final. Undefeated Bob Kollasch would play Ray Dwyer. The match started out with a break and run by Cowboy Bob (1-0). The two traded the next two games (2-1 Bob, then Ray made an early 8-Ball the next game and put Bob on the hill (3-1 Bob). Ray got the next game but, unfortunately for him, scratched on the break the next game and Bob ran out for the win and the title.

Next on the agenda was team play. The Men’s/Mixed Teams Division started out with 21 teams playing for the $2010 1st place check. Again, the two teams playing for the point would end up in the final for a rematch. Have Cues Will Travel (Tony Etchechoury, Joe Gilliland, Al Primm – all INL) won the point match and had to wait for Fitzpatrick Chiropractic (Zack Biggs [INL], Wayne Boyd [WWA], David Finley [INL]) to play their way to the final. It was a very tight match. After two rounds, Have Cues led by a score of 4-2. Fitzpatrick got hot and won 5 of the next 6 games, to take the lead and the hill spot with a score of 7-5. Have Cues put an end to Fitzpatrick’s surge at that point, winning the next three games and claiming the title.

The Men’s B/Mixed Teams division saw 12 teams seeking the title. Mojo Shooters (Luke Bergeron, Derek Etten, Dan Hammond & Chuck Watkins – all INL) were undefeated on their way to the final. P1P (Jose Aquino, David Cromp, Brad Laskosky – all NPL) took another path to the final, losing their first match and working their way all the way through the back side. Play was fierce, but in the end, Mojo Shooters prevailed and took the title and the $1125 1st place check.

8 Teams signed up for a single elimination Men’s/Mixed Teams 2nd Chance Tournament, all hoping to get to the final and another chance to take some money home. INL’s All In (Jason McGlocklin, Chris White and Wes Bledsoe) made it as did BD Cues (Dan Coffman – NPL, Robert Danielson – NPL and Brad Ehlers – New). The two teams played back and forth until the score was 7-7. The hill-hill game was a dandy with BD cues getting the win and $320. All In took home $160.

Last and by no means least, was the 10-Ball Handicapped Singles which was played Sunday morning. 16 players entered with all divisions represented except Grand Masters (3 Masters, 9 A Men, 2 B Men, 1 Master Woman and 1 Open Woman). This was a single elimination affair with varying races depending on rating. The final four was a mixed group. B Man Gary Wilson and A Man Cody Clark tied for 3rd and earned $60 each. Master Jim Conway was to face off against Open Woman Pam Carraway in the final but the two, after some negotiation, decided to split the 1st and 2nd place money, each receiving $260. Smiles all around.

After the last 8-Ball was made and the last checks given to the winners, all that was left was to pack up and clear the room. It is safe to say that everyone attending enjoyed all Northern Quest had to offer and were already looking forward to the 2013 edition of this Casino Tour Stop. Next on the Western BCA agenda is Casino Tour Stop #3 at Seven Feathers Casino Resort in Canyonville, Oregon June 27 – July 1. The Casino Tour is fulfilling its purpose of giving players who can’t go to a Regional Event the chance for big tournament experience closer to home and enticing new players to see what Western BCA is all about. Check out the Western BCA website (westernbca.org) for all the information on future events.

Western BCA extends a big “Welcome!” all the New Players who joined and played and hope they all get involved in league play, either in existing leagues or by forming new Western BCA leagues. We cannot sufficiently thank Northern Quest for the hospitality shown us. Many thanks to Bad Boys, the Referee Staff and the volunteers (Bill Henderson, Mike Jensen, Carl Tibbetts, Sharon Bledsoe, Pam Desmarais, Kathi Giles, Pam Carraway and Robbin Iredale) who helped make this tournament run smoothly.