Tears of Joy

Tourney Room

I want to say how much appreciation I have for everyone involved with my 40th Anniversary. 40 years is a very long time.

Words cannot be said enough about my dear friend of 34 years, Mr. Pat Fleming, who began his passionate career back in 1982 with only one camera at my 7th U.S. Open to where he has come today having more inventory than anyone on the planet about pool’s history.

I came so very close to taking a year off, but that was something I could not do. I surely had to leave the City of Chesapeake to seek another city and venue who would truly appreciate this massive worldwide covered event and all who come to play from 30 countries this year and the 100’s of the best fans on the globe, many who have been coming 5-10-15-20-25-30-35 plus years. How do you say sorry, I’m taking a year off when so many wonderful souls depend on The U.S. Open each and every year? Well, it’s not in my blood to quit.

So when I found such a fantastic venue, the Sheraton Norfolk Waterside, who were very eager and excited to agree to each and every request I had such as all pricing from rooms, parking, and food and beverages at the lowest prices or I would not have signed the contract. No one can gouge any of you. Then having dates set as usual, I had one major task in front of me which must surely be flawless by paying all players 1st – 48th place right away without being a day late. While thinking who would be my very best choice one name stuck out in my mind and we all know who that was. Mr. Pat Fleming for whom everyone has the upmost respect and I clearly remember making the call last November and saying  I have to ask you for a special and huge favor.

So Pat had the time to sit down to hear me foaming at the mouth, we’ve all heard that before, to say, Pat the only chance maybe the W.P.A. would agree to continue to sanction The Open was for me to have the right trusting person to collect all entry fees and the $75,000.00 added funds in order to still be a Tier 2 W.P.A. points event which enables all federations to assist players from 6 continents to participate. Pat realized the utmost importance of this which must be done in order for Mr. Ian Anderson as well as all federations from the W.P.A. and Mr. Skip Nemecek who is our U.S.A. W.P.A. Board Member to all agree to allow The U.S. Open to be put back on their calendar for 2015. Well, as Jay Helfert has said many times, Pat saved The U.S. Open and how true this is. We all thank and appreciate you, Pat Fleming, very much and no one more so than myself.

Now the stage is set, already having a full field of 128 players pay $1,000.00 entry fee along with adding $75,000.00 bringing the total to $188,000.00. By increasing the entry fee from last year’s $750.00 to this year’s $1,000.00 allowed us to have, maybe, the very best prize fund breakdown which is why the extra $32,000.00 was and is “the nuts” now having more players from more countries than ever in U.S. Open history. The prize fund breakdown is perfect as well with 33rd-48th receiving $2,000.00 each by only having to win their first 2 matches.

    1st     $40,000.00            9th-12th     $4,000.00 each
    2nd     $20,000.00            13th-16th    $3,000.00 each
    3rd     $10,000.00            17th-24th    $2,500.00 each
    4th     $7,000.00            25th-32nd    $2,250.00 each
    5th-6th $6,000.00 each        33rd-48th    $2,000.00 each
    7th-8th $5,000.00 each

Players, we now will have 2 more tables in the ballroom for practice prior to your match or to be used as Jay feels when any matches run over. I look forward now more so than ever to seeing everyone beginning next weekend and I thank all of you again who have brought me “tears of joy”'.

P.S. There’s only a few VIP seats left and all 246 will be sold out, do not wait.