State Pool Tournament Recap
The State Pool Tournament was another successful event for ABATE of PA. Districts 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 8 participated with 27 shooters from all across the State beginning to arrive about 10:00am at the PA Roadhouse & Tavern. Registration was from 10:00am until 12:00noon with tournament play to begin at 12:30pm. We got started with the Pledge of Allegiance and a moment of silence. I knew with Centre Line Riders Chapter members Jeff “Day Go” Lanager calling the tournament again this year, with assistance by Mike Roan (who called the tournament 2 years ago), everything would go fine. And it did! I was only called to one table to make a ruling on a mistake made by a referee. All agreed with my decision and play resumed without incident. Thanks Day Go and Mike for a well run tournament!
The beginning procedure was to pull one name from each of the 6 District cans to put on the Winners’ Bracket and repeat the procedure until all names were on the bracket. The shooters like this arrangement because no shooter is shooting against anyone from his/her district at the beginning of the tournament.
Centre Line Riders Chapter President Keith “Mule” Muhlbauer arrived early with the door prizes. He did good work getting a lot of prizes with his budget and many donations that took up a large section of the buffet counter. Everyone got a ticket and I had a fun time calling out the winning numbers and seeing the happy faces coming to collect their prizes! Thank you Mule and also thanks to Mule and Chapter Treasurer Curt Stump for running the 50/50’s that raised $307.00 for BikePAC!
The place was full as shooters were working 3 tables with their supporters cheering them on. Roadhouse owners Tom & Carmen Potter directed their staff to provide good food at very good prices. And all went well throughout the afternoon.
And now for the good part! As I have been our State Pool Tournament Coordinator these past 5 years, I have seen shooters reappear in the “winner’s circle.” And this year they have done it again! But to get there Ed Bucko, Jr. (our champion 2 years ago) had to win against Jim “Crazy” LaCaze of Butler County Chapter, District 2. They were in the Second Chance Bracket as both had lost one time. While Crazy paces back and forth, Ed makes a good tactical move, leaving the cue ball behind others, making it difficult for Crazy. Well, Ed finally shoots the 8 ball in and Crazy’s 5 ball was left on the table. This puts Ed in the “winner’s circle.” Now Ed has to shoot Brian Woods (our second place shooter last year). Brian approaches the table with a light and determined attitude. The crowd is quiet and all watch as Brian sinks the 8 ball with no balls left on the table and Ed is 3rd Place! Now Brian, the winner of the Second Chance Bracket, has to shoot Dwayne “Smitty” Smith, the winner of the Winner’s Bracket. Now if Brian wins he has to shoot Smitty again because he has lost once already. In past years we have seen the winners of the Second Chance Bracket become the Champion. But not this year! Smitty seems cool and with a steady hand methodically gets down and takes care of business (he had already won against both Brian and Ed). With cheers from the crowd as good shots were made, Smitty sinks the 8 ball! It’s all over! Everybody is cheering and congratulating the winners!
With the tournament over Day Go proceeded to present the 3 black, red and flamed gold post trophies with an 8 ball and topped with a gold scoop showing pool shooters at tables along with $100.00 to the Champion, Dwayne “Smitty” Smith, Fayette County Chapter, District 3, $75.00 to 2nd Place, Brian Woods, Bald Eagle Mountain Chapter, District 8, and $50.00 to 3rd Place, Ed Bucko, Jr., Mon Valley Chapter, District 3. Pictures were taken and congratulations continued well after the tournament was over.
Again, congratulations to the winners and thank you all for your good spirited participation and contribution to this very special event!
Special thanks to Tom & Carmen Potter and the terrific staff at the PA Roadhouse & Tavern, Troy Breon for the P.A. system, and to Tom Donahey for creating the great trophies again this year!