BCAPL Teams Rock the Riv at the National 8-ball Championships in Las Vegas

On Saturday at the 33rd Annual BCAPL National 8-Ball Championships, after three days of doing battle at the Riviera Hotel & Casino, the toughest teams from across the country geared up to give it their all to get to the top.  In total, 916 teams with between 5-7 members turned out for this tremendous event, which is really a mecca for amateurs, professionals, and industry leaders.

The team events here at the BCAPL began on Wednesday morning, with six different divisions of events played on 7' Diamond Smart Tables: Mixed Open Team, Mixed Master Team, Mixed Trophy Team, Women's Open Team, Women's Master Team, and Women's Trophy Team.  

The BCAPL, a subdivision of CueSports International, is known for having a standard of excellence and working to provide the best quality events for their players.  This year was no different, with their new online bracketing system, which was amazing in its live updating.  

We've got the breakdown below of the Open Team results as well as the Trophy Team results... updates on the Masters Divisions coming soon... also Click Here to Check Out the Photo Gallery From the BCAPL Team Events

Mixed Open Team:

The Mixed Open Team division could likely be the most difficult division in the BCAPL Championships to win, as it is by far the largest division (meaning the longest days of playing) with a whopping 687 teams competing for a grand prize of $11,700.

In the open division, teams are allowed one master player per team, and for team "Hustlin'" of Chicago, Ill, who went undefeated through this division, their ringer was none other than Ike Runnels.  

"Hustlin" won a total of 11 matches over 4 days, with the format being race to 13.  To get to the hot seat, they faced off against "The Little Rascals" (of Glendora, CA) in a very close match that ended 13-11.  The "Rascals" came back after defeating the winner of the loser's bracket, team "Whatever Dude" (of North Branch MN) finishing ahead 13-9.

The final match would not be so close between "Hustlin" and "Rascals"... as they closed out the set only giving up 4 games for a 13-4 win.

1st Hustlin' (Chicago, IL): Tony Gong, Jason Gongol, Gil Hernandez, Ike Runnels Jr, Shannon Schroeder

2nd The Little Rascals (Glendora, CA): JB Balan, Ricardo Buensuceso, Greg Herada Jr, Ronald Marshall, Dave Mount, Josh Ulrich

3rd Whatever Dude! (North Branch, MN): Brian Haffner, Ian Barrat, Max Krause, Ross Krmpotich, Matt Peterson

4th Bevo's Fab Five (Austin, TX): James Davis Sr, Corey Dordek, Mario Juarez, John Palmore, Brian Sanders, Tracy Sanders

5th/6th The Truth (Colorado Springs, CO): Cecil Monge, Jon Jon Rivera, Ruben Silva Jr, Nate Smith, Nick Smith, Frank Urbaniak

The Seven Dwarfs (Henderson, NV): Tre Baker III, Clint Brosenne, Brad Huffman, Terry Miller, Trick Sixty, Ray Skenadore, Davis Toothman II, Dave Whitehead

7th/8th No Chance (Grand Valley, PA) John Barbale, Gale Flick, Randy Glover, Shayne Morrow, Willie Van Guilder

West Coast Sharks (Westlake Village, CA): Joe Barrios, Randy Howell, Rudi Karraa, Sean Lane, Danny Petralba, Tommy Punzalan, David Spellerberg

Women's Open Team: Breakdown by Alison Fischer

The Women's Open Team division was loaded with 143 teams from around the US, out to represent their league, city, state, or just to play to win the top prize of $4,500.  The format was a race to 11 in 8-ball, with 5 player competing per round.

Play began on Wednesday, May 13, and my team, Kiss of Death--comprised of captain Gail Glazebrook, Olga Gashkova, Emily Duddy, Michele Li, & Borana Andoni, and myself--was gearing up to go all the way.  

The first round is always the toughest to get going, and 7' Diamond tables aren't our usual equipment.  "Ain't Misbehaven" of Ceres, CA made a close game, but we came out on top with 11-8 the final score.  In Wednesday's following two matches, we dominated with 11-1 and 11-4 wins.

Friday was our next day of competition, and it was time to bear down... it would only get tougher from there on out.  Everyone played strong in our first match and led the match to win 11-8.  

However, we had our hands full with the ladies of "No One H8," which had a stellar lineup of top West Coast players, including 5-time collegiate champion Eleanor Callado, Gloria Cheng, Salene Castaneda, Denise Domingo, Holly Robinson & Jenn Loden.  

"No One H8" led most of this match, but we stayed right on their trail.  The score was tied 8-8 when "No On H8" pulled ahead to take the hill.  However, the ladies of "Kiss of Death" showed tremendous heart and Emily Duddy played a smart, tough game to beat Eleanor Callado and get to the hill.  Olga then came through with an incredible out in the final game to win, getting precise position with no room for error, and making some unbelievable shots.  "No On H8" was definitely one of the most talented and strong teams in Vegas, and a pleasure to compete with.

On Saturday, the final day, we started out with 4 teams remaining on the winner's side to play at 11:00 am.

Lighthouse Pub (West Bend, WI) vs Pool Party (Burnsville, MN)

Preferably On Top (Fort Wayne, IN) vs Kiss of Death (New York, NY)

Oddly enough, the teams from WI and MN on the other side of the bracket were ladies I knew from when I played in tournaments there... so when we beat"Preferably on Top" (11-7) I knew we would be playing friends of mine, which is never easy.

We ended up playing "Pool Party" of Minnesota for the hot seat position after they went hill/hill with "Lighthouse," and as this team is loaded with tough bar box players--Toni Johnson, Jenni Benson, Aimee Chastain, Chrissy Pluta, and Dana Tonjum.  We were able to maintain the edge with a 11-7 win.

"Pool Party" went on to defeat the winner of the loser's bracket, "Deja Cue" by a 5-game margin 11-6.

So again we were back in the pit with my pals from MN.  However, they came back with guns blazing and weren't about to go down easily.  While leading 4-1, Dana Tonjum played a great safe on me after I missed a cut on the 8, leaving it next to the side pocket.  I got back to the table and kicked in the 8 to narrow the gap to two games.  

From there, our luck was not improving.  From scratches to miscues to hooking ourselves, we had plenty to fight against besides our opponents, who were not making many mistakes.  However, after being down 4-1, then 7-3, then 9-6, we climbed back out of the hole to get on the hill with 3 players at the table... with Borana pocketing the winning bank on the 8 to go undefeated.

Every KOD player gave it their all and showed a ton of heart this week, and everyone contributed to the win.  There were times when each player needed to pull through to make something happen, and to see each player step up to plate was really magical.  That's what makes a strong team.  Way to go Kiss of Death!

1st Kiss of Death (NY, NY) - Olga Gashkova, Michele Li, Gail Glazebrook, Emily Duddy, Alison Fischer, Borana Andoni

2nd Pool Party (Burnsville, MN):  Toni Johnson, Jenni Benson, Aimee Chastain, Chrissy Pluta, and Dana Tonjum

3rd Deja Cue (Meridian, ID): Kim Anderson, Heidi Berthelot, Rebecca Douglass, Leslie Jacobs, Tara Vreeland

4th Leave it to Beaver (Langley, BC): Colleen Connaghan, Jodi Kensley, Tracy Monts, Regene Wentzell, Brenda Willis

5th/6th Lighthouse Pub (West Bend, WI): Sue Der, Chris Holl, Trina Lyman, Judy Ninke, Lana Tauscher and Victorious Secret (Stuart, FL): Laura Applegate, Sally Quilty, Colleen Russell, Jennie Samuel, Cathy Sparling

7th/8th  Sportsman's Ladies (San Antonio, TX): Nora Anderson, Chris Avila, Renee Benton, Audra Carter, Helen Hayes, Maria Rodriguez, Kawania Watson, Barbara Wisdom

Mixed Trophy Team:

The "Trophy Team" divisions are non-payout tournaments that give upstart or beginner teams a great opportunity to compete, with a lower entry fee.  In the Mixed division, 87 teams came out to compete for the title in a race to 13 match format.

The interesting thing about this tournament was that it appears that it had the only "double-dip" finals in the entire BCAPL event.  "Schultz's Crab House" (Baltimore, MD) took the hot seat from "GJ Boys" (Clayton, NC) with a wicked 13-1 victory.  

GJ Boys then returned from the one-loss side, beating "Slim's" (Amarillo, TX) in a hill-hill match, and then defeat "Schultz's" 13-10 and 13-9 to win the title.

Women's Trophy Team

In the Women's Trophy division, which brought out 6 teams to compete for bragging rights, "Pine Street Ladies" from Modesto, California went undefeated, with "Busters" of Amarillo, TX coming in 2nd, and "Out for Fun" of Norman, OK in 3rd.

NYC Grind's coverage of the 2009 BCAPL National 8-Ball Championships is sponsored by...

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