On October 11-17, 2011 the 14th Annual Western BCA Regional 9-Ball Championships, hosted by Chinook Winds Casino & Resort in Lincoln City, Oregon, took place. Players from Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana converged at the beach to compete for their share of over $75,000 in prize money. Western BCA volunteers organized the event and Bad Boy Productions set up 80 Diamond Pool Tables and tracked the results both on the brackets that lined the halls and the online brackets available at ctsondemand.com. The stage was set for the best competition in the Northwest.
The tables and lights were up and ready for play in record time. Players started arriving early Monday and were happy to see the tables ready for use. And use them they did. This evening before the beginning of tournament play is now known as “fun night” and it lived up to its name. The dress code was relaxed to allow just about anything that was not visually offensive and added to the casual atmosphere. The tables in the back rows were devoted to mini-tournaments and the tables up front were the scene of 10-ball ring games. Many of us see each other just twice a year at our regional tournaments and “fun night” gives us all a chance to re-connect with friends made and maintained over the years. Oh, yeah, some of us even practiced in anticipation of the up-coming competition.
Volunteer Ed Slade (LTD) organized and ran the mini-tournaments. He was very busy, offering minis in every category and configuration. Ed estimates that there were 60-70 minis played throughout the championships. Thank you, Ed and great job!
10-Ball ring games took over what would have been the “TV tables” except for a major malfunction somewhere in cyberspace. More on that later. Two ring games were organized; both with a $100 buy in. Western BCA Board member and Competition Committee Chair Mike Jensen steered 8 master men (Sean Lewis, Danny Burdick, John Cassidy, Chad Bisconer, Randy Baker, Robert Niemeyer, Zac Masiba and Mike Stevens) and 2 grand masters (Dan Louie and Stan Tourangeau) in the Master Ring Game. And a hard fought battle it was. 2 ½ hours in and the field was whittled down to four: Sean, John, Chad and Mike. Sean and John went out together 20 minutes later leaving Mike Stevens with the biggest pile of chips and Chad Bisconer not far behind to split the $1000 pot 60/40.
While the master men were going at it, Tim Haines oversaw an Open ring game with 7 players: Glen Kenny, Jackson McDonald, Larry Maes, Steve Graham, Mark Fenn, Linn Petty and Mike Bergland. After almost 3 hours of play the field finally started to thin leaving the final four of Glen, Mark, Linn and Jackson to square off for a shot at the $700 pot. When all was said and done, Mark and Linn folded leaving Glen on top followed by Jackson. They split the pot 60/40.
Mixed Scotch Doubles got underway Tuesday morning at 9am. Forty-six teams signed up for Master Scotch Doubles and a chance for the top prize of $1950. Competition was fierce. Only one team had jointly claimed the title previously, and that was defending champions Mike Stevens/Cindy Doty (NPL). After a fifth round loss to Glenn Atwell/Shari Ross (NPL/LTD), their hopes of a repeat performance were dashed by national grandmaster Dan Louie (LTD) and 1st year regional master Jessica Orth (LTD). Dan/Jessica would go on to defeat their next opponents, Marvin Seal/Mary Olson (LTD), but then came up short when Glen/Shari, fresh off their hot seat loss to Leo Violette/Angela Jensen (LTD), ground out a gutsy hill-hill nail biter to earn their spot in the final. The first set of the final would also go hill-hill, but this time in favor of Leo/Angela, who, after earning their first titles as Masters, were surrounded by friends and fellow competitors in celebration of their brilliant breakthrough performance.
CINDERELLA SPOTLIGHT: Both Leo Violette and Angela Jensen were playing in their first event as regional masters. Leo won the Open-A Singles and Angela took 4th place in the Women’s Open Singles at Western BCA’s Regional 8-Ball Championships in March. Neither player had any sort of expectations about their performance. However, considering the way in which they maintained their composure against some of the toughest players in the region, expect to see more titles come their way. Congratulations to both!
Open Scotch Doubles featured 83 couples and a top prize of $1550. The final four teams on the A side were Jackson McDonald/Robin Adams (NPL), Jason Coomes/Eunice Sleight (NPL), Tim Desmarais/Kathy Pridgen (CWY), and Mark Fenn/Stephanie Karpins (PCGP). Jackson/Robin continued their strong play defeating Jason/Eunice, while Mark/Stephanie defeated Tim/Kathy. Jackson/Robin then defeated Mark/Stephanie 5-1 to earn their spot in the final. On the B-side, the last four standing were Tim Anderson/Adrianne Beach (LTD), Dennis Hostak/Faith Morfin (NPL), Phong Nguyen/Michelle Hughes (LTD), and Carlos Cadena/Jill Wilson (CC). Dennis/Faith advanced through the B-side of the board, surviving three hill-hill matches and one 5-3 match to earn a shot at the title. Jackson/Robin had other plans as they defeated Dennis/Faith 5-0 in the first set to earn the scotch doubles title. Great shooting!
Singles play got going Wednesday morning at 9am with the Open-A and Open-B men taking to the tables. In the Men’s Open-A Division 108 players had their eyes on the top prize of $1000. The crowd thinned as the brackets narrowed until only 4 still stood. On the A-side, Greg Odal (LTD) played John Brown (DOB) for the hot seat. Both players had been shooting extremely well. Greg survived three consecutive hill-hill matches prior to the A-side final, while John had dispatched his opponents by a larger margin. Greg shot with determination and sent John to the B-side by a score of 7-3. On the B-side, Phong Nyugen (LTD) played Roy Garza (NPL) to earn a spot in the B-side final. Phong defeated Roy handily to advance. Phong, who had received his first loss from Greg (hill-hill) a couple rounds earlier, then succumbed to John by the same score. The final was a rematch of the hot seat, with a similar outcome. Greg shot with great determination and focus defeating John, in the first set, 7-2 and earned the title of Men’s Open-A Singles Champion.
144 men entered the Men’s Open-B Division playing for the top prize of $750. A-side match ups were Brent Kirschenmann (LTD) vs. Chap Cook (PCGP) and Gary Lewis (LTD) vs. Mayolo Munoz (LINC). Brent and Gary defeated their opponents to square off for the hot seat. Brent then defeated Gary 6-3 to earn his spot in the finals. On the B-side, Scott Perry (LTD) played Paul Bennett (LTD) and Larry Nathan (PCGP) played Dave Avegio (CPL). Scott and Dave both advanced through their matches 6-2 and 6-5, respectively. Chap and Mayolo were eager for redemption and handed Scott and Dave their walking papers 6-4 and 6-0. Chap then defeated Mayolo 6-4 and Gary 6-5 to earn his spot in the final against Brent. Brent was fiercely determined to earn the title and did not let Chap have a game in the first set, winning the top prize by a score of 6-0. Welcome to the Open-A gentlemen!
The Open Women saw their first singles action at 12n on Wednesday. 98 were in the hunt for the title of Champ and the top prize of $775. Topping the A-side, Bernie Foster (LTD) vs. Rebecca Easley (PCGP) and Kathy Stanley (LTD) vs. Sara Moore (EV) fought to play for the point. Rebecca and Kathy both survived hill-hill battles to earn a shot at the hot seat. Both ladies shot well; however, Kathy edged out Rebecca 6-4. On the B-side, final board match ups were Julie Stallings (EV/MID) vs. Michelle Hughes (LTD) and Suwanna Kroll (LTD) vs. Lynda Moore (LTD). Michelle defeated Sara and Suwanna defeated Bernie. Michelle then played Suwanna and defeated her as well to earn a spot against Rebecca in the B-side final. Rebecca was hungry for a rematch with Kathy and defeated Michelle 6-3 to advance. The first set of the final was an epic battle, when tied at 5-5, Kathy made the 9-Ball on the break to win the set and earn the title. Great job ladies and welcome to the Masters!
70 Men’s Masters, eager for a shot at the $1250 payout to the Champion, started their quest a 9am Thursday Morning. Only eight players made it to the final board. On the A-side it was Clark Smith (NPL) vs. Rick Copeland (MID) and Miguel Morfin (LTD) vs. Eddie Carrido (WWA). Rick and Eddie both continued on the-A side to battle it out for the hot seat. Eddie won 8-4. Dillon Standley (EV) defeated Miguel to earn a spot in the B-side finals. Rick was determined to earn a rematch against Eddie and he did just that by defeating Dillon 8-3 to play in his first Master singles final. Rick was shooting well and defeated Eddie in the first set. He appeared to be in position to close out the second set as well. Rick sat on the hill, 7-3 in a race to 8 as Eddie rallied back to tie the set at 7 each. Since Eddie won the flip for the second set, he would break in the final game. Eddie broke and pocketed a ball. With an extremely tough back-cut on the 1 ball, Eddie opted for a 1-9 carom shot on the 9 and made it to win the match and top prize.
Thirty six Senior Men took to the tables at 11am Thursday and proved once again that they may be older but they lack nothing in skill and experience. The top prize of $440 was up for grabs. The A-side final four were Owen Miller (WWA) vs. Bill Ruddick (NPL) and Vernon Joe (WWA) vs. Mike Knight (PCGP). Owen and Vernon both advanced through their matches 6-5 and 6-3, respectively. Vernon shot with amazing intensity and defeated Mike 6-0 to earn a rematch in the final against Owen. Owen, however, had plans of his own and with consistent shot-making and safety play defeated Vernon 6-0 in the first set to earn his Senior Singles Title and a nice payday.
The Master Women finally got to the tables at 1pm on Thursday to begin their journey to the top prize of $950. The final four ladies on the A-side were Shawn Wolf (CPL) vs. Susan Preston (EV) and Suzanne Smith (NPL) vs. Jessica Orth (LTD). Shawn and Suzanne defeated their opponents 7-5 and 7-3 to advance to the hot seat match which Suzanne won in her closest match of the event (7-6). The remaining ladies on the B-side were Barb Thompson (NPL) vs. Regene Lane (LTD and first time Western BCA participant) and Shari Ross (LTD) vs. Jo Woodward (WWA). Barb and Shari would continue in the event, defeating their opponents 7-4 and 7-3. Barb would go on to defeat Susan and then Jessica (fresh off her win over Shari.) The only thing in between Barb and another shot at a title was Shawn. Shawn was having no part of that scenario and with great play defeated Barb 7-4 to earn a rematch against Suzanne in the final. Shawn would have to beat Suzanne twice to take the title. Suzanne took an early 4-1 lead, but then faltered when a position error and a poorly executed safety allowed Shawn to get within 1 game. At 4-3, Suzanne and Shawn exchanged racks, neither lady able to get an edge. That 4th game was the last that Shawn would get, as Suzanne played consistently to run out the final two racks from the 5 and the 4 to earn her first Master Singles Title.
At this point in the Championships a short break was taken to remember one of our own, long-time Western BCA player, tireless volunteer and all-around good guy Alex Stroup, who succumbed to lymphoma on May 28, 2011. Western BCA dedicated this tournament to his memory and extends their love to his family. Many of our players who knew him well, dedicated their performance to him. Following a moment of silence, you could almost hear Alex urging us all to get back on the tables and play the game we all love.
With Scotch Doubles and Singles in the books, the tournament entered the final lap with the three team divisions, Women’s Teams, Men’s/Mixed Teams and a brand new division, Men’s/Mixed Open B Teams. Men’s/Mixed Teams started with 102 teams fighting for a $3,000 1st place payday. Men’s/Mixed Teams are allowed 1 Master or Grand Master per team. Little Dutch Inn (CWY - Tim Desmarais, Clayton Foran and Nick Lopez), a team of all Open-A players, punished many of those teams with a Master on their way to an final 14-7 victory over Lloyd’s Team (LTD - Joe Landi, Brent Langley and Stan Tourangeau).
The new division, Men’s/Mixed Open-B Teams, featured 40 teams for its first time. Probable Cause (SWI - Dave Mackey, Jose Velasquez and David Zelany) started winning and never looked back. Facing team Egitserp (Prestige spelled backward— LTD - Paul Bennett, Brent Kirschenmann, Martin Seguin and Steve Kesting) in the finals, Probable Cause continued their streak defeating Egitserp 11-9, winning $825.
The Women’s Team event whittled 48 teams down to the final 2 on Sunday. The Gatekeepers (NPL - Michelle Barkdoll, Faith Morfin, and Andrea Saenz-Maes) emerged victorious over Marco… (LTD - Shari Ross, Talya Makus, and Kathy Stanley), and earned $1,710 by beating them by a score of 11-7.
Singles and team 2nd Chance Tournaments were offered to those who didn’t get enough the first go round.
All the action did not take place on the pool tables. We were, after all, at one of the most beautiful destinations on the Pacific Coast. Lincoln City and Chinook Winds offer an endless array of things to see and do. There were many drawings and giveaways so it was possible to win off the pool tables as well as on.
All the players and winners at this event exhibited outstanding sportsmanship and competition. Congratulations to all the winners! Head Referee Darryl Farley and his crew were professional and always willing to answer our questions. Tournament Director Steve Marker and his staff of Assistant TDs ran a tight ship to the benefit of us all. Western BCA Treasurer Cathy Dunford and her assistants processed payouts speedily. Many thanks to Bad Boys for their tournament direction. We appreciate all the vendors who come with their merchandise so that whatever we might need is right there. Special thanks to the staff of Chinook Winds who were friendly and courteous and always willing to see that our needs were met.
With all that said, there is very little rest for the tireless volunteers who make these championships possible. This one may be over but planning for the next one is already underway. If that were not enough, the Casino Tour is becoming a reality with three stops planned for 2012. Western BCA looks forward to seeing you all next March at the 2012 8-Ball Championships and at a Casino Tour Stop near you.