South Dakota State 8-Ball Championships
by: Don “Cheese” and Mary Akerlow
We left as we usually do a couple days ahead for Rapid City, South Dakota. We had been commissioned to live stream the South Dakota Valley 8-Ball Championships. This is a singles and team event that draws over 1500 pool players from all across the state. Our company, OTBnTV, arrived in Rapid City on Tuesday, checked in and headed to Rushmore Plaza Civic Center. It took the crew about 3 hours to set up the booth, cameras, internet and get everything ready for the start of the event on Wednesday. Singles started Wednesday morning and OTBnTV started the Prime Time Show at 3 pm. One of the pool players had come up to me with his book, “Wanna’ Win?” This person was Tom Bourdeon. The picture on the cover was of 6 gentlemen dressed in cowboy garb and in the middle was Shane Van Boening. OTBnTV has filmed Shane a few times, the first being at the Reno Open in December 2007.
Our first match was to be Tom and Ken Nash but the table assignments were not clear and we ended up filming Pat Smith and Tom Vroman. We would later film Tom and Ken on Thursday on the one loss side. We shut down filming about 11:30 Wednesday night and were to be back Thursday at 2 pm. You can view the Video On Demand of the live streaming at HYPERLINK “http://www.otbntv.com” http://www.otbntv.com
One of the biggest hits at the tournament was the projection of the OTBnTV Live stream on to a 100” Big Screen and various other wide screens throughout the venue. Anyone could watch the live stream from anywhere on the tournament floor.
In the semi-finals of the Master/AA Division, Bourdeon and Nash met again. Tom went on to win 7-3 to meet Danny Olson waiting on the point. Tom won the first set 7-2. In the second set Danny caught fire on the wily veteran and beat Tom 7-4. Danny a mere 18 years old showed poise, determination and smoothness like silk along the table. Danny will be a force to be reckoned with in the years to come. He is calm, cool and collected and doesn’t seem to let anything bother him. Even though in the first set he seemed to be a little distracted, he was able to find his gear in the second set. Congratulations to Mr. Danny Olson, 2011 Masters Champion.
I was to find out later that I was butchering Tom Bourdeon’s last name. The pronunciation looked to be French but wasn’t. Tom would sit in on one of the matches in the team event and give a moving testimonial to the recently deceased Rick John. Just a footnote: Tom and Danny’s match had over 1,000 views after the match was done in the first two days, which is a lot of interest in this young man.
Dave Pearson, the Ginger Wizard, was on hand to perform and raise money for the VNEA Junior Nationals event. Dave holds numerous titles in the Guinness Book of World Records for pocketing the most balls on multiple tables in the shortest period of time. In total they raised an amazing $2,000, a record!
Team play started on Friday, early signups were taken Thursday night so all teams were ready to go first thing Friday morning. The OTBnTV crew arrived to start a 4:00 pm Prime Time show, had some internet problems, everything got resolved and the show started around 4:30 pm with an Open A Division Team. Cody, one of the team members sat in to help with the commentary.
That match was followed by the Women’s A Teams of Kelly’s Wild Ones vs Phoenix I. As a side note, OTBnTV filmed the Phoenix I team at the 2009 VNEA International 8-Ball Championships where they took first place in the Intermediate Division. Some of the team members were the same. Karen a team member who was not present was watching online from Singapore, China and was rooting her team on. They lost that match and continued on the one loss side.
Next up, Break Room #1 and Danny’s #1, two Open AA Division teams fought it out on the live streaming tables. We ended the evening just before midnight. Saturday’s Prime Time show would start at 3:30 pm.
The stage was set for the Ladies A Team finals. Knuckle Knockers was on the point and would meet Phoenix I who came through the one loss side. The ladies of the Knuckle Knockers were supported in the chat by Captain Kim Shama’s two daughters who were watching from North Carolina! Karen was again watching her team Phoenix I from Singapore. This is the best part of what we do at OTBnTV with the live streaming! The interaction from family and friends in the chat with a little friendly competition. The match went two sets with Phoenix I prevailing to become the Women’s A Champions for the sixth time. I had the opportunity to sit in with Cheese and commentate on the match and it was a lot of fun. This was the first time I had tried it and the banter between Cheese and myself was hilarious. We really enjoyed ourselves, having fun poking each other like we do in our everyday life. Cheese made it easy for me.
Following the ladies was an Open AA match between Danny’s #1 and The Pocket of Sioux Falls which ended out the night.
All team events were concluding on Sunday and we started the live stream at 9:30 am with the Open AA Team Finals. South City Flying J was on the point and Danny’s #1 on the one loss side. Now the Danny’s team would have to beat South City twice to take home the victory. Cheese was joined in the booth by Bob Monlux, the Professional Cue Repair guy from Sioux Falls. He had a booth at the tournament, repairing cues all weekend and knew the player on both teams.
During a short break (when the stream crashed) Tom Bourdeon joined Cheese in the booth to commentate and tell stories. He is the author of the book “Wanna Win?”
The finals went a second set and Danny’s #1 pulled off the victory for a back-to-back title!
All during the live stream on Sunday cheers could be heard off in the background for the Women’s B team finals which was also going on a few tables away. That title was won by the “Muiriggins” team from Sally O’Malley’s in Rapid City. These ladies really had team spirit. It was a shame we were not able to get them on the live stream, but there were more finals going on all morning and early afternoon.
We at OTBnTV would like to thank Lloyd Friedel and Traci of Rushmore Amusement and all of the South Dakota Coin Operators for giving us the opportunity to live stream this amazing event for pool players at the State 8-Ball Championships. It was a blast!
If you didn’t get a change to watch the South Dakota State Valley 8-Ball Championships live you can still enjoy the tournament by watching the Video On Demand matches. Just go to HYPERLINK “http://www.ustream.tv/channel/otbntv-live” http://www.ustream.tv/channel/otbntv-live
Keep checking OTBnTV.com for the South Dakota State Valley 8-Ball Championships Video Magazine (coming soon) with photos and video links. You can also see all the photos at HYPERLINK “http://www.facebook.com/otbntv” http://www.facebook.com/otbntv
See you next year at the State 8-Ball Championships and see you in the chat for future OTBnTV live Prime Time streamings.