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Diamonds Found at the Beach in Lincoln City!!

13th Annual Western BCA Regional 8-Ball Championships Tops $100,000 Payout; 1220 players
Lincoln City Oregon is a beautiful place to visit and when the 1220 Western BCA pool players began arriving for the best regional pool tournament the blue waters of the Pacific Ocean were matched by the blue felt on the 80 Diamond tables in the tournament rooms. Players loved the Diamonds and the red circle cue balls. 15 separate tournaments we contested with payouts topping $100,000 for the first time in the 13 year history of this event. Chinook Winds again was alive with pool players and their entourage. Scotch doubles started on Monday evening, singles events started Wednesday morning and team events started on Friday evening. By 10:30 PM Sunday night the last ball had been struck. Between Monday evening and Sunday night tens of thousands of games had been played and Champions had emerged. Old timers and newcomers alike were excited to be in such a great environment for pool. There was something for every skill level and many new players were caught watching the veterans attempting to learn the skills that make pool such a great game. Where else can you see the old, the young, the handicapped, the rich and poor all come together to compete against each other. Pool is a sport for the masses and Western BCA tournaments at Chinook Winds have become the 'big show' for pool in the Northwest.

When an event gets to be the size of these Regional 8 Ball Championships things change. The big change this year was using Diamond tables and red circle cue balls but one other change was the filming of finals by OTBnTV. All of the finals of the master's events were filmed and the are viewable on OTBnTV (www.otbntv.com ) on the Western BCA Video Magazine. There are also photo galleries and some interviews with winners and others. Check it out. Also we had a great photographer in Dave Schelske taking photos at the championships and his photos can be viewed and purchased at www.westlinnstudios.com. Dane Lovell from Portland also took hundreds of pictures which we hope will make it to the Western BCA website at www.westernbca.org.

The first champions crowned were in the Open Mixed Scotch Doubles where 109 couples competed. The final was a study in contrasts and opposites. On the one hand were Bobby Campbell and Molly Oliver of Western Washington BCA Pool League, young, talented, fearless, and relatively "new" to Western BCA competition. On the other hand were Guy and Robbin Iredale out of Juan de Fuca Pool League, long time pool players and no strangers to WBCA regional tournaments. The final was actually the second meeting of these two pairs as they played each other in the hill match of the winner's side earlier in the tournament. That meeting sent the veterans into the loser's side of the bracket hoping to get another shot at the new kids. After waiting until the loser's side of the bracket caught up with them, the Iredales played a very tough couple (Ernie Omori and Vicki Knutson of Sno-King BCA Pool League who finished 3rd) and got their wish for a replay. The final match was hard fought and played with skill and strategy. The final score was 5-3 for Campbell and Oliver who played well throughout the match and proved to be too much for their opponents to handle on their way to the title. Bobby and Molly played their way to the top of the bracket undefeated and will both be forces to be reckoned with in their respective divisions for years to come.

The Master Scotch Doubles champions had to wait until Sunday to finish up because the 4 players were playing in singles and team events and time just didn't work out to finish up sooner. Bill Rosenberry and Faye Fang won the hill and looked like the winners but Steve Lingelbach and Carissa Biggs came through the loser's bracket and won the first final match to force the sudden death final. Steve and Carissa won the finals with solid play. When the event started Faye was an open player but after she played in the singles she finished the event as a master. The powerhouse team of Mike Stevens and Jackie Fitchner finished 3rd in their first time playing together. Russell Cearley and Kris Robbins from the Eugene area finished 4th.

After an early exit from last year's Men's Master singles, Glenn Atwell returned as the 8 Ball champion for the fifth time. Glenn beat last year's champion, Dan Louie in a classic match up. In the finals Dan jumped out to a 3-1 lead but missed a tough masse on the 8 ball when he came up short on shape in a nice run in the 5th game and that let Glenn get back in the match. Glenn never looked back as ran out several times in winning the match 7-3. Matt Horner of Salem who played Glenn for the point took 3rd and veteran Don Wirtaman took 4th.

The women's master singles champion was Jackie Fitchner with a win over the winningest woman in Western BCA history, Cindy Doty. Cindy came out of the loser's bracket and beat Jackie 7-6 forcing a winner take all match. Jackie came out firing and won the first two games and then had what looked to be a table run in game 3 but she hung the 8 ball in the corner. Cindy looked like she would get out but didn't and Jackie won the game and was unstoppable after that. Jackie took the championship by a 7-0 score showing the skills that earned her a 2nd place finish in the masters single at the nationals in Las Vegas last year. Liz Cole finished third and Wanda Plummer took 4th.

The winners of the women's master singles and the men's master singles events received free entries into the national BCA Pool League tournament in May in Las Vegas. The entries were compliments of Mark Griffin of the BCA Pool Leagues. Joining Jackie and Glenn in getting free entries will be the 9 ball men's open runner up Marvin Holmes and women's 9 ball open 3rd place finisher, Cathy Duenas.

The winner of the Men's Open A singles event was Miguel Morfin from the Seattle area. Miguel became the favorite in the field of 162 after he won the Open 10 ball ring game by showing skills that will make him a threat in the master events at the next regional tournament. Miguel's style is a shade under speed pool. Although the matches ran long in general that was not the case in Miguel's matches. He beat a tough Allan Hanson by a score of 6-4 in the final match. Rich Fearr of Yakima finished 3rd and Mike Medlock from the winning men's open team finished 4th. Welcome to the masters.

Eve Stockstill finally broke through to win the Women's Open singles. Her game has really picked up and she won the final match over a tough newcomer in Molly Oliver by a score of 5-3. Western BCA secretary Cindy Rosenthal took 3rd and Faye Fang finished 4th. Welcome to the masters ladies.

The winner of the men's open B singles event was Cody Johnson. Cody out lasted a field of 285 to become a champion. Peni Isa from Salem was 2nd , John Aranda from Portland was 3rd and Ryan Busto from Spokane was 4th.

The Men's Senior singles event winner was Jeff Baker. Owen Miller was the runner up in the battle of Tacoma players.

Women's Senior singles winner was Pam Carraway of Port Angeles who won her 3rd different championship. Pam beat Martina Nelson of Astoria for the title.

In the Novice Men's division Kasey Hamm went undefeated and won the first place plaque and a free entry into the Men's Open B singles at the next championships. Kevin Delaney from just down the road in South Lincoln County finish 2nd after losing 4-1 to Kasey in the finals. Antje McKinley from the Seattle area topped Cindy Link from Astoria in the Women's Novice singles field of 26 women. Janet Tucker for South Lincoln County took 3rd. All three ladies will receive plaques and free entry in the next Women's Open singles event.

The zenith events of the tournament are the Team Championships. In the Men's Master team event, teams can be formed from any of the players throughout the association allowing only one grand master per team. And this new conception proved to work again. Last years Team Champion had to pass the torch. The Men's Master team final pitted two worthy opponents against each other. The match featured many of the top regional players. There were a whole lot of run outs by these teams and very few shots were missed The winning team was "Wu Clan" with Dan Louie, Todd Marsh, Eddie Mataya, Tim Tweedel and Jason Evans. The final match had Wu Clan taking a early lead and holding on to win 13-11 surviving the assault from Ph.D. (Pool Hall Doctors) composed of Glenn Atwell, Pat Schumacher, Ken Dodd, Andrew Monstis, Pat Gamble and new player Damian Rebman. Wu Clan took a big lead in the match and PhD. fought back to put the pressure on Wu Clan. Last year's champion, playing as KC Midway this year, lost a chance to get back to the finals when Ph.D. beat them 13-7 in the loser's bracket final.

Women's Master team champ was the loaded team, NPL-Chix. Teammates Jackie Fitchner, Cindy Doty and Liz Cole finished 1,2 and 3 in the Women's Master Singles and when you add the talented Mary Hopkin and Andrea Saenz-Maes there was little doubt this team would be a force. But the Pond Sharks team gave them a battle. With Josie LeRoy as the only veteran master the team used the up and coming Eve Stockstill and Faye Fang who finished 1st and 4th in the Women's Open Singles. Brenda Bartholomew and Anna Busley rounded out the Pond Shark team. The Other Team with top players Phyllis Fernandez and Mary Olson finished 3rd.

Women Open Team winner was Character #2 sponsored by Quinault Beach Resort Casino. This was probably the most surprising finish of the Championships. No one predicted the veteran team from Aberdeen would win. In the finals they ran up against a tough Driving 101 Returns team captained by two time returning champion, Shirley Morgan, who was looking for a personal three-peat. But not this year, Arlene Delacruz, just 6 weeks off of major surgery, helped lead the Aberdeen gals, Joanie Beaty, Sheila Aldrich, Patsy Elders and Candy Knutson to the win. Character #2 had first class character. Robin's Chicks from Players Club in Southern Oregon finish 3rd.

Men's Open Team winner was Short Yellow Bus #6. Four players on this team of seasoned players had finished 2nd last year and they wanted another chance to grab the brass ring. John Evans, Darrell Schulden, Mike White and Steve Myers added Ron Oh and Mike Medlock to the mix and this time they came away as champions. The road wasn't easy but the final match against PC's #1 went as they hoped. PC's #1 with brothers J. Keith and Brian Johnson, Miguel Morfin, Adam Stromberg and Steve Kielow from the Seattle area had a good run to finish second. Two Tacoma teams, Q's Cruisers and Schooner Predators finished 3rd and 4th.

Chinook Winds Casino is a great place to have this event since there is so much to do in Lincoln City. The beach was great as always and Lincoln City has many nice places to eat, shop and rest between matches. Chinook Winds opened the door wide to make everyone feel welcome. When people weren't playing pool or gambling they were playing on the beach and visiting the local community.

Gary Benson ran the brackets and he showed why he is the absolute best in trying conditions. Ted Woodward gave up playing in the tournament to help Gary keep the tournament flowing. Thanks Ted! The tighter corner pockets on the Diamond tables added time to some of the matches and that caused some very late matches almost every night. Diamond Promotions and Ric Jones provided 80 tables in great condition and they were in full use.

Chinook Winds Casino Resort added $10,000 to the event. It is a pleasure to work with the Chinook Winds crew including Bob, Keith, Kelli, Melissa and Belinda. BCAPL added $2300 and thanks goes out to the people at the top who make it happen, Mark Griffin. David Vandeberghe (who was sighted at Lincoln City) and Bill and Glenna Stock. Thank you all very much!

The best full color tournament program in history happened this year. Its high quality and professional look added greatly to raise the awareness of the Western BCA and our tournaments. It included player profiles, past winners, rules and advertisements by some of the great supporters of pool in the Northwest.

The grand prize drawing was a 5 day stay at a Horizon Rentals location on the Oregon Coast. Thank you Horizon Rental! The lucky grand prize winner was Larry Maes from Tacoma. Congratulations Larry. Many door prizes were given out including embroidered denim jackets, zip up hoodies, cues, cases, jewelry, pool instruction books and glasses donated by Rodder's Pub and Grub Oregon City. Chinook Winds provided $500 in prizes purchased from venders at event.

Best dressed women's team was "Got Rail" from Emerald Valley League. This sharp looking team helped represent the Western BCA in a first-rate way. Emerald Valley wins the most supportive league award by volunteering to the max! Stacy Sherman, Alex and Dayle Stroop, Darcy Moss and Cindy Rosenthal, when she wasn't playing, were a real workhorses stepping in and doing anything that needed to be done. Sassy Campbell, Nate and Cathy Dunford also put in time volunteering to make things run smoother. Alex ran mini-tournaments and 2nd Chance tournaments, worked on the podium and in general saw to it that if help was needed he was there! Dayle ran the Western BCA store and answered questions between playing pool and making jewelry. Dayle has become a big part of what it takes to make the podium and store work. Of course the treasure and paymaster Joyce Gumm put out checks at a record pace. More checks, more work, more happy players, its all in a days work for Joyce.

Other volunteers included Bill Henderson, Sam Rabito, Andrew Monstis, Mike and Rosie Jensen, Terry Ludwig, Jason Miller, Kurt Hamm, Tom Moss, Steve Marker and Kathi Giles. Joyce Gumm was the person behind the great shirt design and she and Sassy were responsible for the great program. Robin Iredale also runs the Western BCA web site. The Western BCA had clothing, cups and hats for sale that commemorated the event.

Booths spaces were taken up by On the Wire/Billiard and Barstools, 911 Billiards and Dave Lauer's Parlor Billiards. Chinook Winds provided a food court and wet bar and their support was appreciated.

Tuesday night was mini-tournament heaven with over 50 separate tournaments run by Stacy and Alex. Also on Tuesday night the popular 10 ball ring games were held. In the Master's ring game Jeff Jerome did it again by taking the top prize over 12 other players. Each play put in $100 and started on 3 tables. By the time the players were whittled down to one table 6 players remained, Jim Conway, Jeff Jerome, Ivan Doty, Robert Colby, Todd Speakman and Matt Bryan. Jeff got down to his last chip but turn it around to pocket $900 while Ivan took $400 for 2nd. In the Open ring game, seven players put up their $100 and Miguel Morfin took first good for $500 and Jeff Coates won $200 for 2nd. On Sunday night another ring game, bank pool, started up and many think it may be a future event.

And of course the referees, Darryl Farley, Rick Doner, Pat Mowdy, Jerry Salois, Hal Sparrow and Kelly Reynolds worked long hours to cover the late night matches. They had extra pressure on them because the rules were new to many of the players and they not only served as referees but rules instructors as well. Great job guys! BCAPL sent the talented instructor Ken Shuman to Lincoln City to give a National Referee Certification Class prior to the start of the tournament. All of the refs were National Certified and 4 new referees, Robbin Iredale, Stacy Sherman, Rodney Ward and Sam Rabito took the class and received their National Certification by getting their floor time during the championships. Congratulations!

So the 8 Ball Championships are over and players and spectators alike are looking forward to the next Western BCA event. That will be the 11th Annual Western BCA Regional 9 Ball Championships on the week of October 20th, 2008. Leagues are growing larger each year and more leagues are interested in joining in the fun. If you like pool and want to play against the best or the up and coming players in the Northwest then join a Western BCA league near you. If you don't have a league in your area contact Bill Henderson at president@westernbca.org and maybe we can find a league or help you start a league. Once you come to a regional tournament you will want to come again and again. For more information about Western BCA visit the website at www.westernbca.org.


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