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Archives

• 2013 Majors

CSI POOL
BCAPL National 8-Ball Championships
Rio All-Suite Las Vegas Hotel and Casino
Las Vegas, NV
first time at the Rio (adios Riviera) and things get epic
 
INDEPENDENT EVENT
Hard Times 10-Ball Open
Hard Times Billiards
Bellflower, CA
just a lil pre-Vegas warm up tournament
 
INDEPENDENT EVENT
West Coast Challenge
$4,000 added One Pocket
$10,000 added 10-Ball
California Billiard Club
Mountain View, CA
last event at this location before they close (sadface)
 
INDEPENDENT EVENT
Cole Dickson Memorial 9-Ball
Family Billiards
San Francisco, CA
for legendary road player Cole Dickson
 
INDEPENDENT EVENT
Pots 'N' Pans Memorial 9-Ball
Pool Sharks
Las Vegas, NV
celebrating hustler Bernard Rogoff, better known as "Pots 'N' Pans"
 
THE ACTION REPORT
TAR35 | Dennis Orcollo vs Shane Van Boening
TAR Studio
Las Vegas, NV
second and third days
 
THE ACTION REPORT
TAR33 | Francisco Bustamante vs Alex Pagulayan
TAR Studio
Las Vegas, NV
second (1P) and part of third (10B) day
 
THE ACTION REPORT
TAR32 | Ronnie Alcano vs Jayson Shaw
TAR Studio
Las Vegas, NV
GREAT match • Andy Mercer Memorial 9-Ball Tournament coverage
 
INDEPENDENT EVENT
Chet Itow Memorial 9-Ball
California Billiards Club
Mountain View, CA
drank too much to do good coverage, but here it is, anyway
 
CSI POOL
Jay Swanson Memorial 9-Ball
Hard Times Billiards
Bellflower, CA
let Robocop show you how to run a six-pack, Citizen
 
THE ACTION REPORT
TAR31 | Mike Dechaine vs Shane Van Boening
TAR Studio
Las Vegas, NV
ALL HAIL THE HOVERCAT
 
THE ACTION REPORT
TAR30 | Darren Appleton vs Shane Van Boening
TAR Studio
Las Vegas, NV
the boys are back in town
 
 
10+1 INTERVIEWS
» Huidji See
» Donny Mills
 
 
EVERYBODY WAS KUNG-FU FIGHTING
the best kind of New Year's Sandwich
that's not okay
 
 
READER'S CHOICE
you know that I'm no good
on being a reasonable human being with realistic expectations
 
instasham series
stories from the distant and slightly-less-distant past
 
the only people for me are the mad ones
questions, tournaments, bets, running 26.2 miles

• LINKY LINKS

PARTY ANIMALS
The Action Report
purveyor of fine challenge matches between highly-skilled players of note
 
PUBLICATION
Cue Times Billiard News
Colorado's best resource for all things pool-related
 
CASE
Jack Justis Cases
the choice of champions
 
CUE
Sugartree Customs
made by Eric "Slower Than Snails" Crisp, if and when he feels like it
 
CUE
Tucker Cue Works
"If you feel the need to ask me how your cue is progressing every week then maybe there is a better choice of cuemakers out there for you."
 
MEAT
Kurzweils' Country Meats
yes, meat

butter & bread stops here

 

bread & butter stops here

This has been a sh#tty year so far (see here if you need a refresher) for me in terms of pool. Against all odds, I made it (alive and mostly sane) to the last stop on my Tour of Insanity. This last stop was none other than the 2012 BCAPL National 8-Ball Championships held at the ever-so-swank Riviera Hotel and Casino in lovely Las Vegas, Nevada.

One of the great challenges for a hacktastic pool player with delusions of grandeur such as myself is keeping the nut rolling. If I break even on an event, I roll over the expense money I earmarked for that event towards the next event. If I win more than breaking even, sweet. If I lose more than breaking even, I have to be careful as it is easy for the money to do what I never do on a regular basis, which is to run the f#ck out.
Well, I didn’t break even on any trip. Sucks, but that’s just the way it went. As a result, I could not play in the singles event at Nationals and signed up only for the team event (because, having to choose between the two, I wasn’t going to ditch my teammates).

If I were to say I was burnt to a toasted cinder (then drenched in brandy and flambéed) on pool heading into this event, that would be a massive understatement.

Let’s see how it played out, shall we?

 

 

friends

Once upon a time, I used to be a halfway-acceptable bar table eight-ball player. That was back in the days when I played a lot of league. Then, I decided my mental state could benefit from a lack of league shenanigans (both opponent- and teammate-induced) and I quit playing leagues for a while to focus on big-table pool. Well, this year, the prodigal son daughter psychotic has returned.

But I’m sure you’re not wondering about my selection of pool games, if you know me at all (even if only by hearsay and reputation), surely you would like to know 1). why the F#CK would an asocialite such as myself play on a team and 2). how the F#CK would an asocialite like myself find players willing to play on a team with me.

The answer: money and alcohol.

Haha, just kidding.

I don’t know the answer.

Originally, my team was to be a “fun” team. However, one of our players would have to leave after two days to go play in a big, important APA (American Poolplayers Association) shindig. That meant if our team lasted more than two days, we would be left with only three players and by that time, even a dumbass like me knew we had no chance to win if we had to forfeit one game every round in a race to nine. So, I did what any good sports team would do — I researched my free agent options. I found a great player but she was possibly committed to another team. In the end, we got her and now, we were what I considered a “money” team, that is, a team with a shot at bringing some bacon home (instead of just hangovers). My free agent did tell me she received lots of concern from other people when she told them she would be playing on my team because of my less-than-friendly reputation. I found that extremely awesome.

My team played well the first day, winning three matches on the winner’s side. All the teams we played were good sports and good players. We then had a day off. The following day, we lost our first match, hill-hill. (DAMN!) We won another on the loser’s side (against the most adorable team with an adorably witty name I wish I had come up with: “Short N Surly”) and then lost our final match after that.

Final result: 13th-16th.

Yeehaw.

I had a lot of fun playing with my team. Nobody slacked off. One of my teammates told me that after our loss as a team, she finally understood why I hated losing so much. She thought it was strange because when she lost in a tournament as an individual, it was not nearly as painful as losing with a team. It’s the feeling of letting someone else down that hurts the most, even if you didn’t let anyone down (and most certainly, no one on my team let anyone down).

*sniff*

There is one weird thing some of you may have witnessed if you watched any of my team’s matches: me NOT being an asshole. When I’m on a team of people I like, I tend to have fun and when I have fun I am generally not an asshole. Neat, eh? This is because of the shared responsibility. Just like my teammate didn’t mind when she lost playing as an individual, I don’t give a sh#t who I piss off when I’m only responsible for myself. But, if what I do will reflect on people I care about, then I am quite conscientious.

The best thing about playing teams this year (aside from hanging out and having fun with my fabulous teammates) was that it reminded me of how much I missed playing eight-ball on small tables. High heels + small tables = no need for bridge. I think I will try to dig my eight-ball game out of the grave and see if I can reanimate it into a Frankestein monster. And then unleash it on the world!

 

 

foods

I did not have a lot of free time this year so I did not go a-buffeting. That’s all right. If it is possible for me to get tired of pool, it is certainly possible for me to get tired of buffets.

I did have time (and a fellow pool player) to go have some Ethiopian food (that is NOT an oxymoron). We tripped on over to Merkato, a restaurant that had been recommended to me years ago by another pool player.
Merkato
855 E Twain Ave, Las Vegas, NV 89162
(702) 796-1231
I ordered the same thing I had the last time I was here (2007ish), lamb tibs, a stew of lamb sauteed in turmeric and jalapenos. My dinner-mate had another stew with no meat.
Both dishes were served directly on injera, a soft, slightly sour flatbread.
I like lamb tibs so much I think I will have to try making it myself very soon.

I had two more nice dinners, one at my favorite Korean BBQ joint (with Magic Water) and a sushi dinner elsewhere. I failed to take pictures because I was too busy eating. These lovely dinners were sponsored by pool players who did keep the nut rolling. Thanks, dudes and dudettes!

 

 

funsies

Aside from playing eight-ball, the other thing I realized I missed most about pool was having fun at an event. As some of you know, I am very thorough when it comes to summarizing my experiences at major events. Being that thorough takes a lot of effort and I often miss out on being a lazy, vacationing bar-pool playing hack in the name of reporting scores from the professional events and whatnot.

6:05 PM, May 19th
This has been the best pool vacation ever. Apologies for lack of updates, but dammit, sometimes you just gotta quit working.
follow me & be entertained

So, yes. I threw responsibility to the winds and ran off cackling with glee through the bars and tournament rooms. (Yep, that was me.) Here is a random, unorganized summary of random, unorganized things.

 

Maybe vampire movies are getting too popular.
Every time I went to that “Bistro” bar, there was somebody getting bit by somebody else and/or showing off their battle wounds.
Look to the left. That ain’t no joke! There are two bites there, the half-circle on top and the bruise on the bottom were the results of another bite (same person).
Other bar shenanigans included a well-known American professional player smashing a beer bottle into his forehead. Impressive(?). A piece of glass from that bottle flew over and cut my friend on the nose. Ugh.
Oh, and I punched two dudes at the bar. Not very hard, though. One asked me to (and some of you saw that), and the other was asking for it (and I told him I would — shoulda put more effort into that one).

The action practice area was walled off this year. Did it improve things? I’m not sure. I did not spend a lot of time in there this year watching or otherwise.

The pro arena had some layout changes this year which were a vast improvement.

click to embiggen

The streaming table was moved further away from the skyboxes, thereby ensuring a good view of the streaming match. Last year, the streaming table was almost under the skyboxes and the TV table lights blocked any good view of the match.

The races were to 9 again, instead of last year’s 8. I liked this. I also liked that the Grandmasters eight-ball races were extended to 9 from last year’s 7. I wish I had been able to take more time off if only to watch high-level players play my favorite game in races to 9. Oh, well. Next year.
To the left is Hunter Lombardo and his amazing coif. I had a nice discussion with him about hair care. I think I liked him a little better as a blond, but that does take a lot of upkeep.

 

I visited one of the penthouse suites at the Riviera. I know, I didn’t think a place like the Riv needed to have highroller suites, either!
The one suite I got to tour was bigger than the house I grew up in and the living room had a very impressive, very high ceiling with lovely views.

Here is the view from the kitchen window:

And here are two of my favorite cuemakers after they hit a jackpot!

 

One of the sadder things about pool is that, when it gets down the finals, it’s a lonely place as most spectators (who generally also happen to be players that are out of their event) have already gone home.

Here is the finals of the Men’s Open Team event.

At least the people watching in the end are knowledgeable people and/or true die-hards. To the left are BCAPL peeps Dave Vandenberg, Bill Stock, and Mark Griffin.

Here is the finals of the Men’s 9-Ball 3-Man Teams event.

 

 

other stuffs

The next day, Santos Sambajon, Jr. graciously bought lunch for me and my travel partner at a Philippine eatery before we headed back to the City of Angels. The yum factor was quite high.

So, after a few days in the desert and having fun at a pool event, I am almost back to being not-burnt-out about our noble sport of kings. I have no billiard plans for the summer, which is different. I usually research what tournaments are going on where to make sure every weekend and my insatiable competitive bloodlust are provided for, but this summer, I’m just going to be “meh” and see what happens.

 

 

previous BCAPL National 8-Ball Championship write-ups

2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2008* | 2007 (series of posts)

 

 

t h a n k s they're pool critters too!
EMCA | Mark & Sunny Griffin | Justin Collet & The Action Report | Mark Estes | Murray Tucker of Tucker Cue Works | Eric Crisp of Sugartree Cues
first time hello & hello again
EVERYONE! (I would totally do the whole name-by-name thing, but right now, I’m stuck in a project that requires a lot of effort and I don’t have the time to make the list. If you met me, I most definitely enjoyed meeting you. Unless I punched you in the gut and you deserved it.)

 

time for a goddam vacation

20 comments to butter & bread stops here

  • Timberly

    The last time I made it out to the BCA a few years ago I was scheduled to fly out around 6 pm on the last day. That was the first and last time that I will be there for the last day, it was totally depressing. As you said and the pics proved, no one is there. The players are all gone and the vendors are breaking down their booths. Depression hangs in the air like humidity and when it’s coupled with lack of sleep and too much alcohol from the past week, it truly is a miserable time to be stuck at the BCAPL. Definitely looking forward to checking out the new venue but I can’t help but feel a little nostalgia for the Riv…

  • Chi2dxa

    Glad to see that you had a good time for a change!!! Take a deep breath and enjoy the free air!!!

  • Chi2dxa

    Last time Steve Lomax was there he hit for 87 Grand, he tried to get Joe to go with him but Joe would have none of it. Now looks like Joe is joined at the hip.

  • Rich R.

    I find it interesting that you had to make a choice to give up leagues in order to focus on your big table game. Don’t any of the pool rooms, with big tables, have leagues in your area? Maybe I’m just lucky but I’ve been playing in APA leagues for over 10 years and all of my leagues have been both in-house and on big tables. In fact, it is the leagues that are keeping some pool rooms in business around here.

    • Adhesive Remover

      There are big table leagues, but I like to play 8-ball on the small table. 🙂

  • Heath

    Think we are gonna hit up bca vegas one year. Will have to skip VF or USOpen to do that though… decisions decisions…

  • iannis

    What do you mean “Oh, and I punched two dudes at the bar” ???????
    I would popose a full length post on this alone….

    Anyway, its good to hear you had good fan. May the mood last for long.

  • Hey, did I see your name on the player list for the US Open??? :-0 Good luck this weekend!!!

  • The brackets show that she won 7 games and lost to Line Kjorsvik in a race to 9? Good showing I say. Line is an A- player.

  • Very interesting. You should come to Thailand for more experiences. :-). Hope to meet you at bangkok. Food and Pool Halls are awesome here!

    • Adhesive Remover

      I have heard about how great the pool halls are and when I find a way out there, I will definitely visit! 🙂