Grand Master Blaster

by: Paul Marquez

Paul Marquez

I was attending a five man pool team event the other day. Team pool is my favorite. Scotch, three man, five man, any team competition. I wasn’t competing, I was just watching a friend play and I witnessed a poor call by a referee. It is too bad things like this happen.


At the higher levels pool referees are needed much less because pool ambassadors make calls on themselves. Most all master level players do. The referee called a shot a push when it clearly was not. This inexperienced referee was not a master level player and in my opinion was the main reason why this call was misunderstood.


My question is how can a non-master type of experienced player tell good or bad hits of difficult shots if they have not experienced hitting those shots hundreds of times?


Pool takes experts to manage competitions correctly. Some who disagree may use the NBA or NFL to argue playing the game at a high level is a moot point and I understand some games are different than pool.


My friend Pat Mowdy is regarded as the most respected referee amongst the players for the BCA and I feel it’s mostly because Pat is also a great player and has experience playing at a higher level.


I have some questions about the new Grand Master criteria the BCA has created. Before you Western BCA voters for the Grandmaster event get overly defensive, I would like to begin this by saying I feel like all the players already invited deserve the invite. You did ten gentlemen a deserving honor and as a fan of the event I must say we the people love it. I love it, it’s cool, fun and exciting.


I feel like I must also say that for myself I truly feel like I do not deserve or should be considered to join this elite class. I’m okay with this. What I don’t understand is the vague criteria. What is the criteria?


It is known that the team event cannot have two grandmasters play on a team together yet with some protesting may be allowed to play as a grandmaster for one tournament. Is that OK?  Is it political? It’s confusing. What is the rule? Two or not? Be consistent.


Now the invitees. Past champions? What about Brad Gowin who won twice, or Ivan Doty who dominated the master event. Rick Hodge was in three finals in a row and Pat Schumacher is without a doubt in my mind the best Oregon bar box player period. Damian Ponpanik was invited but turned down the invitation. Why?  How does one get invited? Maybe you want the best players? John Morabito is pretty sporty, so is Kenny Dodd. I noticed only two Oregonians made the cut and I guess that could burn me but not as much as Timmy Tweedel or Eddie Carrido both from Washington not receiving  an invite. I talked to my pool buddies that both write articles and are established pool ambassadors of the game  and told them about my bother. They are bothered too. Many of us are. But  they also  feel like I should come up with a criteria before I complain about The Grandmaster selection process. Duly noted. Yet I’m uninspired to do so. You see,  my complaint is not that I disagree with the criteria, my complaint is there is no criteria at all. And there should be. If so, what is it?

I invite your response by emailing to

The Break at, subject line “Grand Masters”


Barb Sisneros – You Will Be Missed

Our Western BCA family has suffered a terrible loss. Pacific Coast

League Operator and tournament volunteer, Barb Sisneros passed away

Tuesday, February 16, 2010. Cancer took her life, but her feisty spirit will

live on for many of us. She was happy to have made it to the October

regional event, and hung in until she felt she needed to head back home.

She didn’t know if she would get to the March 8-ball event, but she was

“going to try like the dickens,” she said. She always was the first one to

offer to help in any way she could. She loved to sit on a corner of the

podium and talk with players and help with payouts. Barb was as real as

it gets. She was a person to respect and you knew she respected you

back because she’d tell you so. Her email signature included, “Karma

comes around and goes around…be careful how you deal with others.”

Barb met her soul mate, Tom Crump, about 8 years ago. She was an

alcohol and drug counselor with a master’s degree and he said he was

just an old fogey sitting on a barstool when they met. He was the one

who got her passionate about the game of pool. He said it wasn’t long

before she was beating him. She became a “pool-aholic,” as she put

it. Barb started the Pacific Coast Pool League in the southern coastal

region of Oregon about 2 years ago. She worked hard to bring league

pool to the community there. She faced some trials and tribulations, but

she persevered, much to her credit and the benefit of Western BCA. She

also wanted to start a Junior League for the area youth, and had worked

up a proposal to start the process. Another goal of hers was to bring the

casino tour to her area. She paved the way for Western BCA to meet with

the Three Rivers Casino people in Florence. To Barb, it was all about the

love of people and pool. ~ Sassy Campbell

You can read more tributes to Barb at