The story of the tournament has to be Clyde Bowles. I’ve gotten to know Clyde over the years from deliveries, playing in tournaments and showing up at tournaments. Clyde is the perfect example of a gentleman with his down home, laid back, easy going demeanor. Don’t let that fool you when it comes to shooting pool. He’s not tall, dashing or have the flash of many of the players. He doesn’t draw the ball three cushions around the table to get position, he just makes ball with consistency. Make no mistake, he can make shots that you and I may not. I think finishing second in Masters after being on the point says it all. I talked to Clyde after he had won the point and he was waiting for Glenn Atwell and Stan Tourangeau to battle it out, Clyde said that he had originally submitted to be in Seniors and he went to Masters.
It was good to see a lot of the old friends that I have made over the years as well as new ones that I have reacquainted myself with. It is always gratifying to meet new players and hear their opinions about “The Break”. I think one of the most important parts of the tournament, and you may even call them the “heart and soul”, are the referees. They may not always make the call that you would like but they are trained and conduct themselves in a professional manner. Next time you see someone reffing thank them for their time and dedication to a mostly thankless endeavor. See you again in November!
According to Webster’s dictionary, the word novice comes from novus meaning “new” and is defined as a beginner.
This letter is not about how to rank players, it is inspired by the few players who are placed (or place themselves) in a lower level tournament bracket than they should be. Let’s call it what it is—”sand bagging”. It has happened repeatedly with individuals and even some teams. What should be done? To be fair, I must take note that most of the League Operators involved in our Western BCA operations try to rate their players fairly and honestly. This letter is not meant for them. It is very difficult to monitor and rate pool players. Personally, I am not convinced there is decent system out there to help do it. There are too many variables such as the type of equipment played on, the caliber of the competition played against, etc.
Once again at this year’s BCA 8- ball event, there were several players playing in lower divisions where they did not belong. This was especially true in the Novice Division. One League representative even signed off for a player to play in the Novice Bracket. This was done under the pretense that the player had only a couple of years of experience. The problem is that the couple of years consisted of playing continually with lots of practice time. Some players advance more quickly than others, some take lessons, some practice day and night. So only considering when a player started playing is a very poor excuse to sign off on a novice ranking. To top it off, this “novice” placed high in the open scotch event. How disappointing for the true novice players to see someone like this walk up to their table in the singles. Finally, there was the glaring inequity of the use of a “jump cue”. The word “Novice” means beginner! There are some pro’s who don’t pull out jump cues. I wonder how many of this player’s opponents used one! There are no other words except unfair to describe this behavior. It is grossly unjust to all of the beginners who entered the tournament in the Novice division believing they would have a chance against players of the same skill level. Here is another example that occurred during the last BCA 8-ball regional tournament. I was told that a league operator approached an individual (who has played pool for many years and is ranked high in the APA) to join the league on the pretense that the player could sign up as a Novice!
It seems some are under the impression that just because someone is new to BCA play, they can start as a Novice—even if they are NOT a beginning player. This is just not true. A true novice is a player with beginning skill levels and not much tournament experience. The novice ranking is meant to give players the opportunity to play against others of the same ability gaining both experience and confidence. It would be shame if the Novice division had to be dropped from this venue because of such blatant abuse of the system.
Please try to be honest and fair when rating a player. It is NOT a feather in your cap or your league to have the top winners in any particular division playing for you if it is done so dishonestly. In actuality, you are performing a disservice to the player also. The pool community is not large and in general, players already know who should be ranked novice and who should not. By allowing these players to sand-bag, they end up losing the respect of their peers. They may not realize this will happen and in the end is it worth the money to them? Is it worth the loss of respect to you? All that ends up happening is the player, the division rep, the league operator, and the association all look bad.
Pool is about integrity and character. Think of the players you respect the most; do they do the right thing during a match? Isn’t it their character that you admire the most about them? Think about the players you don’t respect, the ones who won’t call fouls on themselves and are just in it for the money.
HOW DO YOU WANT PEOPLE TO THINK OF YOU?
I have just returned from an exciting week of top-notch pool playing by around a thousand WBPPA members. It was a great week, with the new divisions to this tournament being declared a huge success. The large Open division was split into an Open A and Open B and a Men’s Seniors and Women’s Seniors were new. Everyone seemed to like this change.
There were some great surprises too. Clyde Bowles, a well known player of the Seattle area won the point in the Men’s Master Division, by beating Glenn Atwell. Quite a feat. Clyde told me that was his early birthday present. (71 years young). Since Glenn has been a winner of this event several times, it changed the scenario of the competition in this category, considerably. Glenn then met Stan Tourangeau who put him out at the 3rd place position. Stan and Glenn have met many times in competition and the results are always anyone’s guess and come down to a super shot, or lucky roll, to determine who wins.
Stan went on to play Clyde for all the marbles. Clyde told me he got very tired and Stan steamrolled through the two sets needed to win the championship. Make no mistake, Stan played almost flawlessly and deserved to win. Congratulations to both Stan and Clyde.
The Women’s Master Div. featured Jackie Fitchner playing very good, solid pool to beat the rest of the field. Her final match against Cindy Doty, (past winner) was great pool. Way to go, Jackie.
The Women’s Open had Catherine Tran beating veteran Sandy Shaeffer. Sandy has been away from playing a lot of tough competitive pool for a while and its good to see her back.
In the Women’s Novice, Natasha Hook sailed through the rest to win.
In the new Women’s Senior, Jean Bartholomew came back on the B side to win over a very strong Bonita Mahaffey at the end.
Back to the men. The Mens Open A had Dana Aldridge over Dan Burdick for that title. The Men’s B featured Dillon Standley over Rodger Ardnt. In the Men’s Novice, Bob Yunker defeated Ryan Jensen. Michael Stephen took the Men’s Senior winning over Richard Konkler.
In the teams-Womens Open The Baltenders, Men’s Open Pure Insanity, Mens Master Hi-Revving and the Women’s Masters had the Noti Heartbreakers, the victors.
That concludes another exciting week of great pool at Chinook Winds, so until November when the Regional 9-Ball takes place. Congrats Everyone and see you at the next one.