The drive, the poor directions and the lack of signs pointing the way made the arrival at Quinault Beach all the sweeter. What a little jewel tucked away in Southwest Washington! The grounds were beautiful, the staff at the door and front desk were more than eager to help and the rooms were superb. If first impressions equaled success, this was going to be a great event. And it was. That is not to say that here weren’t some bumps and some lessons to be learned. Pretty much what you’d expect the first time at a new venue. Bodes well for Quinault Beach 2013.
Mixed Scotch Doubles, Master and Open, were scheduled to start at 7pm Wednesday. Bad Boys had the tables and lights in place late Tuesday so, as the room filled Wednesday, the players were able to get right on the tables. The room was abuzz, everyone anxious to get the competition underway.
Master Mixed Scotch Doubles started with 16 teams going after a 1st place prize of $1040. Slowly the field was whittled down to just two. Eddie Carrido (WWA) and Misty Saldana (TC) were waiting on the point to see who would meet them in the final. Cindy Sliva (NPL) and Tommy Sliva (NPL) after having been sent to the back side by Eddie/Misty, won three tough matches to emerged and force a rematch with the only team to beat them. The final, as expected, was hotly contested with the two teams trading wins through the first 4 games. Score: 2-2. Game 5 went back and forth until Tommy just missed making a great safety and instead gave Eddie/Misty an open table and the run out for the win. The next two games were split. Game 8 was a tough loss for Cindy/Tommy with Misty breaking and the pair running the solids but hanging the 8-ball in the corner pocket. Cindy/Tommy looked good for the run out but, after disappointing position play, gave the table back to Eddie/Misty with a open shot on the 8-Ball. Score: 4-4. Game 9 was an unusual sloppy game on both teams’ parts but Eddie/Misty prevailed, placing them on the hill. Score: 5-4 for Eddie/Misty. There was nothing sloppy about game 10. Misty broke, the team played perfectly and ran out. Match over. Congratulations to Eddie and Misty.
Open Mixed Scotch Doubles, with a field of 25 teams, got on the tables with an eye towards the 1st place prize of $750 waiting at the finish line. The team of Mike Flanigan (TC) and Lisa Foster (TC) made their way to the point and a long wait for an opponent in the finals. Mike Gwinn (TC) and Cindy Perry (TC) almost made the point, being sent to the back side by Flanigan/Foster to play one match for a trip to the finals. Gwinn/Perry prevailed over Martin Peters (TC) and Karina Harris (TC). See a trend here? Thurston County came to play, taking the top 4 places. In the end, Flanigan/Foster took the 1st place prize home.
An event new to Western BCA tournaments, MensB Scotch Doubles, was debuted Wednesday evening. Sign-ups were at the door and 7 teams signed up. When all was said and done, Jim Bolstrom (MTV) and Dave Taylor (MTV) and Tom Hoshikawa (LTD) and Jon Shimada (LTD) met in the final with Bolstrom/Taylor winning and splitting the $400 1st place prize. Look for this division to be an option on the Casino Tour Scotch Doubles entry form in the future.
Singles got started at 9am Thursday morning. There were 6 singles divisions including a new one -MensA/Women Grand Master Singles. A total 184 players were playing for 6 crowns and the 1st place money that with them.
Men's Master Singles fielded 24 players including 1 Grand Master. The competition was intense from start to finish. At the end of the day, Miguel Morfin (LTD) made his way to the point and a shot at the title. Rich Geiler (WWA) made a brief appearance on the back side, having to win only one match to get to the final. It proved to be a tough one with Ted Woodward (NPL/WWA) but Rich won and the final was set with an up and comer taking on one of Western BCA’s marquis players. It was a good one. As per the tournament format, Rich had to give Miguel 1 game. Miguel took full advantage of the small lead given him and took the first 2 games. Rich answered with a table run in game 3. Two balls into game 4, Miguel hooked himself and missed the kick for a good hit and gave the table to Rich who then ran out. Score: 3-2 for Miguel. Miguel took the next 3 games including a break and run and a run out after a well played game on Rich’s part that included a timely break out. However, he stalled when he hooked himself and had to jump, resulting in a scratch. Miguel stepped up to the table and ran out. Score: 6-2 for Miguel and the hill. But Rich wasn’t quite finished and began a classic comeback, featuring 2 table runs to get tantalizingly close. Score: 6-5 for Miguel. Game 11 was all Miguel after Rich broke and made a ball but then missed. Miguel stepped up to the table and proceeded to run out to secure the match and the 1st place prize of $700.
8 Women Masters faced off for a 1st place prize of $460. Waiting on the point was relative new face, Regene Lane (LTD). Josie LeRoy (NPL/CPL), a familiar and feared face in the Womens Master Division, was send to the back side one match short of the point. Josie beat out Nancy Meason (LTD) to get into the final but it was not meant to be. Regene took the match and the big check. Looks like there’s a new cue in town and she means business.
45 Men's A players and 3 Women Grand Masters populated the field in the new Men'sA/Women's Grand Master Singles division. Although outnumbered 15 to 1, the women showed why they are the best of our best – all of them made it to the money with Andrea Saenz-Maes finishing 4th, Cindy Sliva 5th/6th and Cindy Doty 13th-16th. Way to go, Girls!
Making his way to the point was Mike Siplivy where he waited until an opponent made his or her way from the back side. That ultimately proved to be Brian Dietzenbach who, like others before him was send down one match short of the point. Brian had to play a tough Rick Tillett (TIO) and got the win. The final was set and was a good one. Brian took off like a shot getting the first two games including a table run the 2nd game after a dry break by Mike. Mike got the next two back and forth games to even the score at 2-2. Brian would get one more game before Mike closed out the match 6-3. He finished with an impressive table run after Brian scratched on the break and the crown was his. Congratulations Mike!
The Men's B Singles was the largest field at 52. The men battled until just two were left in the final. Roberto Zacariaz (TC) and Ramon Farias (TC) met to decide who was champ. Roberto came out on top to claim the prize of $485. There were many first time players in this division who we will hopefully see at the 8-Ball championships in March.
At stake in the Women's Open Singles was a 1st place prize of $450. All the 36 entrants wanted it. At the end, however, was Linda (Smitty) Smith (CPL) coming through on the point and Misty Saldana (WWA) coming out of the back side to meet her in the final. The first final was long and grueling, going hill-hill. Misty prevailed to force a double dip. Smitty, however, was there to win and took the match and the $450 check.
Last of the Singles divisions to get on the tables was the Men's Senior Singles. Those who were able to watch were treated to some great pool played by some of our most experienced and wily players. The men played long and hard until there were only two left, Chuck Hassler (LTD) on the point and Bill Henderson (MTV), who came all the way through the back side after losing his first match. Bill took the first game, then he and Chuck traded table runs, both from the break. Chuck got game 4 then Bill put the 8-ball in the side pocket on his 2nd shot to give Chuck game 5. Score: 3-2 for Chuck. Bill took game 5 but lost game 6 after breaking and running 5 balls before fouling on his next shot and turning the table over to Chuck who cleared the table for the win and put himself on the hill. Score: 4-3 for Chuck. Game 8 started with Chuck breaking and running 3 balls before playing a safety. Bill also ran three balls before playing a safety but when he gave the table back to Chuck, he put an end to that pattern and ran the balls out to end the match and take the 1st place prize of $380.
With 3 Scotch Doubles and 6 Singles champions crowned it was time for the Teams to take over. The MensB/Mixed Division had 13 teams entered. Boom Wrench (Jeff Webb, Patrick West and Fabian Jimenez – NPL/TC) and Elma Lanes #1 (Mike Ritter, Clark Waitt and Steve Waitt – all TC) made it to the finals and at the end of the match it was Boom Wrench with the title and the $735 1st place money to split.
The Women's Team Division fielded 11 teams. NPL Chix (Robin Adams, Cindy Doty and Debi Leelyn – all NPL) found themselves in the final against Hot Shots (Julie Gill, Bernie Foster and Sherry Griffin – all LTLD). The hard fought first set appeared to be leading up to a double dip and the Hot Shots held on to force a second go round. The NPL Chix proved just too tough, however, and closed out the second match and the title was theirs along with a check for $810.
That left only the Mens/Mixed Teams to play out and crown a champion. Rodriguez (Ken Dodd, Ron OK and Dan Rodriguez – all NPL) and Magic Act (Mike Jensen, Andrew Monstis and Sean Stevenson – NPL/CPL) found themselves in the final, Rodriguez by making it to the point and Magic Act coming through the back side. Magic Act had to force a double dip to have any chance at the title and they did just that. But Rodriguez was too much for Magic Act the 2nd time around and hung on to take the title and the $2250 check for 1st place.
Besides the teams wrapping up there were a couple of other things going on that Sunday afternoon and evening. The Quinault Indian Nation expressed their desire to have their own tournament for tribal members only and Western BCA was happy to help make that happen. Earl Ralston acted as Tournament Director. Set up and the draw was at 10am and play went on throughout the day. 1st place was Stacy Rosalas, 2nd – Earl Ralston, 3rd – Pete Semoe and 4th – Vernon Joe.
The Open 10-Ball Handicapped Singles was also Sunday. Coming into Sunday morning there were 22 entries but by time to draw, the total was up to 30, almost a full field of 32. Mike Jensen, Special Events Director, got the bracket set up then turned things over to his assistant, Robbin Iredale, so he could get to his team match. We are all familiar with the 10-Ball Ring Games we have at the 8 and 9-Ball Championships but this version of 10-Ball was an entirely different animal. This Singles was open to any Western BCA player, $40 was the entry and it was handicapped by rating. Grand Master Men raced to 6, Master Men – 5, Grand Master Women & MensA – 4, Master Women & MensB – 3 and Open Women – 2. Regardless of the pairing, whoever got to their race number first, won the match. There were some interesting pairings and some interesting outcomes. This was single elimination and moved along pretty fast. In what seemed like a very short time we were to the money matches. Leo Violette (MM/LTD), Clark Smith (MM/NPL), Tim Haines (MM/NPL) and Buster Graham () finished 5th-8th and each got $60. John Te (MA/LTD) and Miguel Morfin (MM/LTD) beat Eric Sawyer (MM/TC) and Glenn Rickard () respectively to get to the finals. Eric and Glenn each got $120 for their 3rd/4th finish. John and Miguel played to hill-hill (4-5) with each needing just one more game. John had the first shot to put the match away but failed and Miguel did not make the same mistake. Miguel took the match and $500. John got $260 for 2nd. Look for 10-Ball Singles at Western BCA events in the future, starting with fun night at the upcoming 8-ball Championships in March.
There were also 2nd Change tournaments going on as time permitted.
Finally the last champion was crowned and the last payout check handed to a happy winner. All that was left was to pack up and clear the room. Western BCA had again given the players the opportunity to play in a quality tournament and hopefully left many with the desire to do it again, either at the regional level or at another Casino Tour Stop. Speaking of which, next on the calendar is the Regional 8-Ball Championships at Chinook Winds Casino Resort in Lincoln City, Oregon March 12-18, 2012 followed by the Northern Quest 8-Ball Tour Stop May 23-27, 2012 at Northern Quest Resort & Casino near Spokane, Washington.
Enough cannot be said for the job the Tournament Staff did before, during and after the tournament. From Event Coordinator Bill Henderson and Tournament Registrar Cindy Doty on down, everyone pitched in and did whatever it took to get the job done. Bad Boys had the tables and lights in place in record time and made sure there were no glitches along the way and Kenny Jones worked each day every day to keep the players playing and the brackets updated. The Referee Staff, Darryl Farley, Pat Mowdy and Al Hart and the Tournament Directors, Andrew Monstis, Ray Cunningham and Ted Woodward were professional, polite and made sure the players behaved on the tables and stayed on schedule. Pam Carraway, Payout Supervisor, and her assistant Kathi Giles had the payout checks processed and in the players’ hands with the rapidity we have come to expect. Mike Jensen, Special Events Director, efficiently oversaw the 2nd Chance tournaments and 10-Ball Singles. And my personal heartfelt thanks to my Podium Staff, Ford Rice, who I could simply not have gotten along without, and Elaine Eberly who jumped in and did whatever was asked of her and more.
Quinault Beach will be a tough act to follow. But with what we learned here, future Casino Tour stops should be even better. And the really good news is that we’ll be back at Quinault Beach in 2013!