Wisconsin BCA League Players State Championships 2009, January 21-25, 2009
Olympia Resort and Conference Center, Oconomowac,Wisconsin
1,692 WIBCA League Entrants compete for $75,000
By Rob Hovick
What a wonderful sight it is when, after a five-day pool tournament, everyone is smiling. We ask ourselves as players, was it worth it? We know, going in, that 99.9% of us will not win and that 75% of us will not cash. We know there will be expenses: Hotel, food, entry fees, travel and entertainment costs. We know there could be snowstorms and sub zero temperatures, but we come anyway. Our goal, of course, is to be the best in the state in each of our competitive divisions. (Wisconsin has women’s Master, A, and B divisions and Men’s Master, AA, A, and B) We come because watching the balls scatter after the opening break is a pure adrenaline rush. We come because to run out is heaven on earth and a 9-ball break puts a smile where it belongs. We come because the players we see year in and year out, aren’t just fellow competitors, they are now our friends. We come because our ongoing love-hate relationship with a crazy and sometimes unpredictable game drives us, and we do believe that our time to shine could be “ this time.”
Our yearly mission in Wisconsin is to improve the WIBCA player’s experience. One example of that was to incorporate a green fee, rather than plugging in quarters. This sped up play and offered players some savings. Also, the tables being continuously available for play, was appreciated by all. Players loved the arrangement that Ric Jones of Bad Boy Productions created of the ninety, 7-foot Diamond, pro cut tables highlighted with Diamond tournament lighting. The Simonis Tour Blue 860 cloth made the playing surface fast and straight. The Super Aramith Pro ball sets and Aramith Red Circle cue balls were also appreciated.
Our tournament director, as in many past state events, was the well respected Dean (Dr. Pool) Roeseler. WIBCA, over the years, has established a unique working relationship with Dean. We are fortunate to be associated with a man who uses his talents and strengths for the betterment of pool. It’s one thing to do your job because it is your job. It is another because it is your love. Five days of competition with 1,692 entries and 80 tables could have meant “nightmare.” Dean and his staff showed that play can be accomplished with minimum turbulence.
Enough can’t be said about our gracious hosts Olympia Resort and Conference Center located half way between Madison and Milwaukee, only blocks off of US 94, in Oconomowac,Wisconsin. Owner Rick Eckert’s generosity to pool players was beyond our expectations. Luxurious surroundings, kind, courteous and friendly hotel staff contributed to our State Championships’ huge success. Our cue raffle was the best it has ever been. Something happens to people when they wear a piece of cheese for a hat. They just give like crazy. Wisconsin cue makers are seriously the best in the business. Many thanks goes out to Jacoby, Viking, McDermott, Pechaeur, and Jackson Cue companies and Big Ten Billiards for their donations and yearly support. Thanks to the BCA Pool League for their STAMP program which returns added money for our event. 2009 pushed upward to around $12,000 creating a total payout of about $75,000. We took our cheese-head hats off when we counted the money and, for the first time in the history of the WIBCA State Championships, all the winners were paid in cash.
For complete results, payouts, and finishes please visit wisconsinbca.com and click on tournaments. You will find the site informative and easy to navigate. Photos of the winners and runner-ups are available for download. If you are interested in giving feedback, you can there too. The three lucky players who had their entries in early won a free night’s stay for next year’s tourney are: Joseph Manena, Craig Harmel, and Mark Mueller. Each and every year we hope to add more names and nights to this Early Bird special.
Pool tournaments are unique as they unite families in competition. This year we had Connie and Kelly O’Heron, mother and daughter from the Wausau area; Gene Albrecht Sr. and Gene Albrecht Jr., father and son from the Chippewa Falls area; Shannon and Jackie Schroeder, husband and wife from northern Illinois. It also connected long lost, old pool playing friends like Gary Johnson, Mike Miller, and Rob Hovick who grew up playing pool together in Superior. Pool brings together old adversaries that, no matter how hard we try, we can’t get them out of our mind. We know that, on the table, revenge for past losses is sweet and remembering can be our edge.
The goal of every pool player’s life is, of course, to be the best–even if it is for just one tournament. The Master’s division, at the state level, does represent this achievement. This year, as in all previous years, we have new names to put at the top of the list. In 9 Ball, the Men’s Division champion is Chris Patterson with Jeremy Fedkenhaur the runner-up. In the Ladies division, we have champion Ronda Nelson with Jackie Schroeder the runner-up. In Men’s 8-Ball, we have a new first time champion in Billy “The Kid” Lasee and in the runner-up spot, perennial top five finisher Duncan Kauffman. For the Ladies 8-Ball, it was newcomer Jackie Schroeder as champion and in the runner-up position, one of our state’s two Grand Master ladies, Katrina Lyman. These players can and should be very proud of their achievement. On behalf of all Wisconsin BCA league players, we salute you.
The Wisconsin BCA is a strong and growing group of league players who are dedicated to their sport. Now, if some of us could get that cheese out of our eyes when we shoot, everything would be just fine. Thanks to all the players for competing, enjoying, and respecting the game and the people who play it.
Wisconsin BCA League Players State Championships 2009
Download all results and winner pics at Wisconsinbca.com
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