There’s never a dull moment at a Western BCA Tournament. The 17th Annual Western BCA 8-Ball Championships made history in more ways than one during the week of March 12-18th, 2012, at Chinook Winds Casino Resort in Lincoln City, OR. Neither rain, nor sleet, nor snow, nor wind, nor hail, nor tsunami, not even power outages will deter this event from its appointed mission: to crown the best of the best in the Pacific Northwest! Last year, players at this event had to contend with a tsunami warning; this year, Lincoln City, OR was hit with one of the worst winter storms in history. On Tuesday night, 4-6 inches of snow fell on the coast with winds reported at 70 mph. The storm knocked power out all over town, including the casino. Chinook Winds Casino’s backup generator immediately kicked in and kept the tournament room half-lit for several hours, until power was fully restored. Some tables still had light; some didn’t. Play was temporarily suspended and the tournament fell behind schedule. The storm shorted out the air conditioning system, turning the convention center into a hot box for the following two days. With a record 1,258 players in attendance, the tension level in the room was very high. And of course, the escalators were not working! Thanks to the Chinook Winds staff and Bad Boys Billiard Productions, the tournament got back on track to finish before midnight on Sunday. However, none of these issues affected Grand Master Cindy Sliva, who made Western BCA history by becoming the first-ever Triple Crown Master Champion!!
Diamond Tables and Lights were once again brought in by Bad Boys Billiard Productions and Rail2Rail Productions provided the top-notch comprehensive live streaming of this event, broadcasting every match played on the “TV table” and the finals of the events. With the other vendors setting up, Billiards 911, Billiards & Barstools, The Parlor, Hustlin’ USA and NWPA (Northwest Women’s Pool Association), along with the Western BCA’s Podium and store, the stage was set for one of the most memorable regional championship tournaments ever!
Play began Monday morning with Mixed Scotch Doubles. Master Mixed Scotch Doubles started out with 46 pairs battling it out for a spot in the finals. Making it through the Winner’s side were Sean Lewis (LTD) and Cindy Sliva (NPL). They would eventually meet repeat finalists/champions Mike Stevens and Cindy Doty (both NPL) in the final. Mike/Cindy played through the winner’s side until Kimberly Kirk (LTD) and Paul Marquez (NPL) (who would finish 3rd) sent them to the back side. Undaunted, they played their way into the final and a chance for another title to add to their collection. Sean/Cindy had other plans. They split the first 4 games before Sean/Cindy took control. Game 5 was a game of fits and starts with Sean/Cindy coming out on top (3-2). Game 6 started with Cindy D. breaking, the pair running two balls and Mike having no choice but to play a safety. Sean returned the favor only he did it better. Cindy D. fouled giving Cindy S. ball in hand. She made her shot, got a needed breakout and started the run out (4-2). Sean broke game 7 to begin their table run (5-2) and they are on the hill. Mike broke game 8 leaving Cindy D. on the rail with not much to shoot at. Sean took a solid and started a mini-run but stalled when he made two balls in the same shot taking away any shape for Cindy S. Mike/Cindy ran down to the 8-Ball ending in Mike’s uncharacteristic miss. Sean made a long straight shot up table but left Cindy S. short and a tough back cut on their last ball. Not only did she go for it and make it, she got perfect shape on the 8-Ball for Sean. Match over. Mike/Cindy had to settle for 2nd place and $1400. Sean/Cindy walked away champs and $1850 richer. For Cindy Sliva, this win was very special, as it marked her first Championship title and the first jewel in the elusive Triple Crown. Watch for Cindy and Sean later in the championships; they are not finished.
[Footnote: This would be the first time ever at a Western BCA Regional Tournament that the Master Scotch Doubles winners both went on to win their individual singles events.]
Open Mixed Scotch Doubles was up from 118 entrants in 2011 to 127 entrants this year. Mark Fenn and Stephanie Karpins (PCGP) played their way through 7 matches to take the point. Tim Desmarais and Larenda Davis (CWY) faltered one match from the big board courtesy of Mark/Steph. Never-say-die couple Tim/Larenda fought back to the finals and a rematch with Mark/Steph. Tim/Larenda, coming off of back to back to back … matches, were warmed up and took advantage of Mark/Steph who had been sitting and waiting. Tim/Larenda took the first leg of the final by a score of 5-2 and forced the double dip. Unfortunately, it was their turn to have their momentum halted. The girls were holding up the Women’s Open Singles and had to go play some singles. The final would not be resumed until Thursday at 12:30a. Starting even this time, it was a much different match with both teams hungry for the victory. Tim/Larenda took the first 3 games. Mark/Steph roared back to take the next 3 and the match was tied 3-3. Tim/Larenda said enough of this. Steph broke, making the 9-ball but Mark missed the 11 and the table was still opened. Tim/Larenda took the stripes and ran them out for the hill (4-3). Tim dry broke game and Mark/Steph ran 6 balls including two nice combos. Unfortunately, the shape on the 13-ball was poor and it was left hanging in the corner pocket. Tim/Larenda ran 5 balls before missing a long back cut on the 3-ball. Steph then made the13 but was unable to get shape on the 8-ball so Mark played a safety. Larenda countered with a safety, as did Steph. Not good enough. Tim/Larenda ran out for the match. Mark/Steph got 2nd and $1100. Tired but happy, Tim/Larenda took the title and $1450.
The Women’s Master Singles final was between 2011 8-Ball finalist and runner-up Mary Hopkin (NPL) coming through the winner’s side and Quinault Beach Women’s Master Singles Champ Regene Lane (LTD). Navigating through a field of 37, Regene nearly made it to the semis but had to win 3 matches on the back side to gain a seat in the final. This match can be summed up in two words – Mary Hopkin. Mary just refused to give Regene a chance to get any rhythm or momentum going. After splitting the first two games, it was Mary all the way to the title. Regene had her chances but just never got going and Mary never faltered. Solid play on Mary’s part including a table run and Regene’s inability to capitalize on opportunities sealed her fate. Regene had to settle for 2nd place and $610 while Mary took home the champion’s plaque and $950.
Working through a field of 64 Master Men, Sean Lewis (LTD) and Luke Thomas (CC) made it through the front side of the Men’s Master Singles bracket unscathed until running into each other in the semifinal. Sean gained the hot seat to await either Luke or whoever would emerge from the back side. Russell Cearley (EV) fought the good fight but Luke prevailed to force a rematch of the semifinal. The two started out playing an uncharacteristically defensive game featuring 8 safeties early on before Sean took advantage of a missed 6-Ball to run out for the win. Game 2 was the exact opposite. Offense all the way, Luke broke and ran all the solids before hooking himself on the 8-ball, kicking at it and scratching. Sean wasted no time in running out and taking game 2. In game 3, Sean again capitalized on a Luke Thomas mistake to run out. Luke then showed us why he was worthy of the final by running 3 tables to even the score at 3-3. The men then split the next two games (4-4). Luke gave up game 9 when he scratched and gave Sean the opportunity to run out. In game 10, Luke dry broke to hand Sean a classic table run. Luke had his chances in game 11 but just couldn’t pull it out so had to settle for 2nd place and $880. Sean walked away with the match (7-4), his 2nd Champion title, two jewels for his crown and the winner’s check for $1300. At the same time his scotch partner was making her own mark on the Women’s Grand Master field.
The Men’s A Singles finalists were no strangers to each other. Both Lee Noble (LTD) and Stanley Ottinger Jr. (EV) made it to the finals board from the winner’s side but their first match there was against each other. Lee won that one and went on to the point to wait for an opponent in the final. Stan made his way there by taking his next three matches and the rematch final was on. Stan made it a double dip by taking the first final match. The 2nd final match started much as the 1st ended, all Stan. Lee found himself falling further and further behind until Stan was on the hill and Lee had but 1 game. Lee rallied to get back in the match and have a shot at the title. With both men on the hill, Lee broke but put the 8-ball in and elected to rerack/rebreak. This time the 8-ball stayed up and he pocketed two solids and was able to run a few balls before getting out of shape and having to play a combo and missing but opening up Stan’s 6-ball enough for him to safety back and snug Lee on his own ball. With nothing much to shoot at, Lee tried a safe but gave the table back to Stan for the last time and watched Stan run out to win the match. Lee took home the $830 2nd place check and Stan leaves wins the title of the best Men’s A Player and $1100.
Once again, the semifinalists in the Men’s B Singles were destined to meet again in the final. Aric Twohy (LTD) sent Jerald Davenport (CC) to the back side for one match. Jerald beat Tuy Singharai (CPL) leaving Tuy in 3rd place ($470) and went on to the final. It was to be another double dip. Jerald took the first set. Aric was warmed up by then and took the 2nd set, the title and the $800 1st place check. Jerald, in 2nd place, received $600.
The Women’s Open Singles final was a repeat of the Men’s B final. The eventual finalists, Jan Aust (COB) and Kristie Young (PCGP), met first in the semis. Jan sent Kristie to the back side for one match and waited for her to come back to play in the final. Kristie shot a very strong first match to take the 1st set and force a 2nd. Jan, however, prevailed to win 1st place and $800 while Kristie, finishing in 2nd place received $600.
Men’s Senior Singles is always enjoyable to watch. Gentlemen and sly old foxes; they’ve been around long enough to show us some tricks. This final was no exception. Bill Ermatinger (NPL) made his way through the winner’s side having to get by some tough competition including Quinault Beach Men’s Senior Singles Champ Chuck Hassler (LTD). Mike Jensen (NPL), however, chose a more difficult route to the finals losing his second match and having to fight his way almost all the way through the back side. Mike knew he would have to double dip to get a shot at the crown and he did just that. In a close 5-3 match that included two Jensen table runs, Mike forced the second go round. Sadly this final had to be interrupted just as the Open Scotch Doubles final so the men could join their teams and keep that bracket from lagging too far behind. When the second half of the final was played it was a bit anticlimactic. Mike was hotter than a pistol and refused to give Bill a chance to get off the ground. It was all Mike Jensen. His journey to the shut out (5-0) included two table runs and two stunning jump shots along the way. A slightly shell-shocked Bill settled for 2nd place and $350 and a smiling Mike took the champion’s plaque and $500.
The Women’s Senior Singles bracket featured 16 seasoned veterans. Again, both future finalists, Linda Thompson (INL) and Jean Bartholomew (NPL) met in the semis with Linda sending Jean to the back side for one match and then meeting her again in the final. This time, however, there would be no double dip. Linda took the title and $265 over Jean ($165).
The Men’s Novice Singles featured 14 players testing the big tournament waters for the first time. Keeping the trend going, the two finalists, Dave Lillie (EV) and John Wallpe (LCC) met in the semis with John being sent to the back side for one match. Dave and John met again in the final. John took the 1st set to force the double dip and went on the take the title and the trophy. Both these gentlemen plus 3rd place finisher David Lucia will receive paid entry into the Men’s B Singles from Western BCA.
The Women’s Novice Singles was a hard fought battle between Jeanette Ritter (TC) from the winner’s side and Barbara Rosa (MTV) coming from the back side. Barbara held on to take the two-set final and the trophy. Both women will also receive paid entry into the next Women’s Open Singles, courtesy of Western BCA.
Saturday, St. Patrick’s Day proved to be a day of awesome play and some fun side activities. Jason Boyd and Kristi Lemming from Mount Vernon, WA, got married in the Western BCA store, becoming the first couple in WBCA history to get married at a Western BCA regional tournament. The two lovebirds wore matching WBCA event shirts, the bride sported a green veil, and their friends raised their cue sticks in a military-style salute. This is sure to be a wedding that neither one will ever forget and is just the beginning of their combined family history. Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. Boyd!
Immediately following the wedding, WBCA conducted 2 raffle drawings. The first was for The St. Patrick’s Day pot-o-gold Raffle for $500. Josie LeRoy of Northwest Players League was at the end of that rainbow and happily took home the extra money. Next came the big raffle…McDermott Cues donated a beautiful Dubliner cue, with the famous G-Core Shaft® and their beautiful trademark shamrock inlays, to be raffled to help raise money to support our pool players. It was a very lucky day for LTD’s Linda Cyrus, whose name was drawn as the winner! Western BCA extends their heartfelt gratitude to McDermott Handcrafted Cues for their very generous donation!
The prizes for the players didn’t stop there; every player was also entered into a giveaway drawing for a variety of prizes, with the grand prize being donated by Horizon Rental: a 4-night stay in a house that sleeps 6 people and that very special donated prize went to Ginger McInnis of Thurston County BCA League. Western BCA wishes to thank all of the other sponsors who donated prizes for the players: Ashley Inn, Motel 6, Captain Cook Inn, Surftides Hotel, Maxwell’s, Mo’s and Gallucci’s Pizza in Lincoln City, OR. CSI/BCAPL also gave some gifts to the players: Free Entry to Nationals for the Men’s A and Women’s Open Singles Champions. Stanley Ottinger, Jr. of Emerald Valley League and Denise White of LTD will be utilizing those free entries at Nationals in May. Congratulations to all the winners at the 17th Annual Western BCA Regional Championships!
Back to the action on the pool tables, the Men’s/Mixed Master Team final was just what you’d expect, great shooting with some timely safety play thrown in when necessary. 15 solid Men’s Master teams played until just two were left standing, both eager for the title. Malarkey’s (Bobby Campbell, Eddie Mataya, Tommy Sliva, Clark Smith, Scott Thurston-all NPL) and Misfits (Ken Dodd [NPL], Bob Heckel [CC], Paul Marquez [NPL], Tommy Rossi [CC], Luke Thomas [CC]) met in the semifinals with Malarkey’s going to the back side for one match and then rejoining Misfits in the final. Alas, no double dip for Malarkey’s leaving them with 2nd place and $1575 to split. Misfits take the 1st place plaques and a check for $2675. Sean Lewis’ Team Louie’s Bunch finished 4th, denying Sean the triple win; but not so for his scotch doubles partner, Cindy Sliva.
17 Women’s Master Teams faced off for a chance at the 1st place check of $2100. As predicted, Loonies and Toonies (Regene Lane [LTD], Tamre’ Rogers [LTD], Cindy Sliva [NPL], Brenda Willis [LTD]) and NPL Chix (Cindy Doty [NPL], Mary Hopkin [NPL], Diane Krause [NPL], Josie LeRoy [CPL]) met in the semis with Loonies and Toonies hanging on to the hot seat. NPL Chix came back but they were no match for the Can/Am girls. Led by Tamre’ Rogers and Cindy Sliva with 4 games each, L&T crushed the NPL Chix by a score of 13-4 to take the title and the $2100 check. NPL Chix had to be happy with $1460 and 2nd place.
This win gave Cindy Sliva the third jewel in her Triple Crown! No other Master Player, man or woman, in the history of Western BCA, has achieved this tremendously impressive triple win. Cindy proved that she is a fierce force to be reckoned with in the Pacific Northwest pool world! She showed unwavering stamina in playing to the very end of each of her divisions, only giving up one match in all of her matches! Her opponents commended her remarkable talent, extraordinary graciousness and superb sportsmanship. When asked about how it felt to win, Cindy simply said, “I finally broke the 2nd place curse!” Since becoming a Master in 2007, Cindy has taken numerous second place finishes, but 1st place had eluded her thus far. Well no more 2nd places for this shining star; she smashed that curse with a sledge hammer! She will reign as the very best of the best in the Northwest until another player can match her Triple Crown!
Personal note from the author: As a pool player in this organization and a true lover of this great game, I view Cindy Sliva as the epitome of what all pool players should strive to be. I admire her amazing skills, never-ending fortitude, generous spirit, true sportsmanship and fierce competitiveness. A true Champion on so many levels! –Rebecca Easley
The Men’s/Mixed Open Team field of 123 teams took to the tables Friday at 9am. By Sunday evening there were only two left. INL’s All In Balls Out (Wes Bledsoe, Dave Gest, Brian Kvasnicka, Randy Ohrstrom, Scott Schierman, Chris White) worked their way through the winner’s side to get to the hot seat. LTD’s Soundview Bar & Grill #2 (Cody Clark, Bill Irons, Loy Long, Kevin Ross, Ed Slade) almost made it undefeated to the big board but was sent to the back side one match short and battled back through four tough matches to get to the final. They weren’t finished. Soundview took the 1st set by a score of 13-4 led by Bill, Cody and Kevin with 4 games each and forcing the double dip. Soundview had to work a little harder the 2nd time around but took that match by a score of 13-8, with newcomer Kevin Ross shooting in the winning 8-Ball. Soundview took the plaques and a check for $2500. All In Balls Out split $2025.
A total of 39 Women’s Open Teams played for bragging rights and the 1st place prize of $1600. NPL’s Nuckin’ Futs (Robin Adams, Brenda Bartholomew, Jean Bartholomew, Adele Evans) lost their 2nd match to CPL’s Ballad Town Babes (Machelle Amore, Kristin Cambas, Melyssa Chasteen, Alfreda Cnossen), little knowing that they would be the team to make it to the hot seat. All they would have to do to get another shot at them was work their way back almost all the way through the back side. They did just that and the rematch was on. The Babes, led by Melyssa and Kristin with 5 and 4 wins respectively, were not interested in allowing a double dip and took care of the Futs 11-8 in one set, leaving them with 2nd place and $1220.
The snow has melted and dust has settled on this very eventful tournament and a record $106,000 was awarded to the outstanding winners at the 17th Annual Western BCA 8-Ball Championships. As we close the history book on this tournament, one has to stop and truly appreciate what an awesome event this was, in spite of all the problems with the weather and power. History was made, records were broken and the sun finally came out to shine on Chinook Winds Casino Resort, home of the biggest and best Regional 8-Ball tournament in the Northwest. The Western BCA volunteers will be back again in October for the 9-Ball Regional Championship Tournament…don’t miss it; you never know what could happen.