Eddie Mataya over Potier at Shotze’s Memorial Day Event

Shotze's of Everett just finished it's most memorable tournament to date. I believe we need to rename this tournament to “THE MONSTER MASH”. For the first time in its 12 year history, this tournament filled with (64) players, (9) of them women, and wow, what a field. Players from Oregon, E Washington, Idaho, surrounding areas, and also Canada, Mexico, and Japan, made up this years tournament. Our tournaments in the past have drawn the named players but this one was definitely full of them all. This is, to date, the toughest field I have ever seen for any tournament in a very long time.

Shotze's opened its doors at 9am on Saturday morning and immediately the players started pouring in. After checking in with Ford and myself, those paying the tournament fee as needed, the tables became prime territory to get it as much practice as possible before the players meeting and board being drawn.

Eddie Mataya, Tacoma, is a player I have been seeing in different tournaments over the last couple of years. He has always had a good game but it has improved along with his confidence. It sure showed over this weekend. His first match was with Richard Geiler (7-4), and then moved on to Lonnie Payne (7-1), Scott Thurston (7-3), Mike Dooley (8-4), Jim Conway (8-1) and then the loss to Paul Potier (2-8) in that all important point match. But his weekend wasn't over yet.

Paul Potier, from Canada, pretty much flew thru the board with what seemed not much difficulty. His matches were Jimmy Olson (7-0), Nick Lopez (7-1), Randy Camantigue (7-4), Mike Zimmerman (8-6), Rafael Martinez (8-6), and then the point match against Eddie Mataya (8-2).

Eddie came back from a (3-5) deficit to defeat Rafael Martinez (6-5) and put himself back into the finals against Paul. That's really hard to do on its own against a player of Rafael's caliber but when there are 30-40 people watching, its makes it just that much more difficult. I think it was a perfect way for him to come into the rematch against Paul with a mind set of knowing that he is more than capable of beating these players and that gives him a foot up right from the beginning.

As in our past tournaments, the finals is one race for all the marbles. This one was no different. One race to (9) seems like such a short race when both players are more than capable of running out at any given time. Again with a deficit, this time of (3-6) and looking like there was no way Eddie was going to pull this match out, he seemed to go into a different mode and calmed himself down. Then ever time Paul made a mistake, Eddie was right there to capitalize and make everything work to his advantage. The final score was Eddie (9) and Paul (7). Fabulous tournament Eddie!!!

On the second side of the tournament, there were (9) women competing to be named Hi-woman. This was defiantly no easy task in among the caliber of men that this tournament had within it. But one young lady stood up to be counted, from Japan, and her name is Kyoko. She came very close to doing what only one other woman, Hsin, has done in any of our past Open tournaments and that was to get into the actual money brackets. Kyoko was only one match away when her tournament finished. Kyoko's matches were Dick Trichler (7-2), Scott Thurston (4-7), Sam Hoff (6-1), Lonnie Payne (6-1) and then the last one against Randy Camantigue (1-6). Fabulous tournament Kyoko!!!