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07-19-2019, 10:54 AM

Gold Crown was the standard and Johnny Archer beat everyone. The end.
  
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07-19-2019, 11:29 AM

In brief - There were many big tournaments held annually in the 1990's; The Sands Regency had two a year (Summer and Winter), with the winner getting $10,000 in cash each time. All the best players played at the Sands hoping to get a win there to add to their resume. Earl won more than anyone else (what else is new), Sigel won a couple, Varner, Rempe, Archer and Davenport all were Sands champions. Jimmy Fusco came out from Philly only one time and won it (maybe 1993). The Bicycle Club also had two a year in the same time frame as the Sands, so players could come out here for two big events back to back. They added 25K and first prize was usually around 15K. All the best players in this one as well, with winners like Efren, Francisco and Raphael.

I put on two huge L.A. Opens with Earl winning the first one (over CJ in the finals) and $21,000 on top. Peg Ledman won the women's division and $10,000. Don Mackey didn't like all the attention the women players got and threatened a boycott if they played alongside the men again. So the WPBA went their separate way and Mackey went on to pillage the coffers of the men's association. The second L.A. Open was an all around dominated by Mark Tadd who took down two of the three divisions and scored for $26,000! The women did okay for themselves, getting mostly Indian casinos to sponsor their televised events (all on ESPN). They had 100K purses with the winners getting 15K in each one. That brought Allison and then Karen and Kelly over here to get their share of the good fortune. They could only make penny's playing Snooker in England.

The Camel Pro Tour ran for a few years in the mid 90's, until Mackey killed that with his greed. Each event was a 75K guarantee with 15K on top. Only 64 players were invited to compete. The tour had eight events each year. There was also a $300,000 bonus fund paid out at the end of the season and the best player overall got a 60K bonus! Even 10th place overall was good for $8-10,000 extra. Camel was fully prepared to up the ante until Don Mackey got sticky fingers and they pulled their sponsorship. A settlement was finally made between the men's tour and Camel for a healthy six figures. Mackey stole all that money and headed south to Florida, never to be heard from again.

Jim Willard put on some big tourneys outside Chicago in the early 90's that paid 30K to the winner. Buddy won the last one. The BCA helped launch the North American 9-Ball Championship that evolved into the U.S. Bar Table Championships. The winner of each division got $10,000 with a $5,000 bonus to a player who could win both. It was a the biggest paying bar table tourney of that era.

There was an active tour of poolroom tournaments in the 90's, all with $5-10K in added money. Hard Times Bellflower was the first to add 10K and all the top players (except Sigel) flocked to play there. The owner Chuck Markulis always paid the winners in cash. I handed out a lot of envelopes stuffed with hundreds to Buddy, Swanee, Kim, Varner and Roger Griffis. Johnny won more of these events, mostly held back East, than anyone else. He was the first guy to come along who could beat Buddy and Earl on a regular basis.

We also put on the ill fated Hollywood Open in 1993, that the police tried to shut down the night before it was to start. It took a full night of legal hassling with the city of L.A. to get it going again. Efren won that one, beating Roger Griffis in the finals (10K) and then Roger beat Efren the following week at the Sands in the finals to return the favor.

That's a short synopsis, but you get the idea. It was a good and bad time for pool in America, before all the European champions started to appear. The Filipinos were not yet able to stay here for long periods of time, and only a few of them could get visas. Jose and Efren and Luat left their mark though while they were here. Parica was hands down the best money player on the planet back then and Efren had already begun his domination of One Pocket, a game made for him and his creativity.


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07-19-2019, 12:33 PM

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Originally Posted by jay helfert View Post
In brief - There were many big tournaments held annually in the 1990's; The Sands Regency had two a year (Summer and Winter), with the winner getting $10,000 in cash each time. All the best players played at the Sands hoping to get a win there to add to their resume. Earl won more than anyone else (what else is new), Sigel won a couple, Varner, Rempe, Archer and Davenport all were Sands champions. Jimmy Fusco came out from Philly only one time and won it (maybe 1993). The Bicycle Club also had two a year in the same time frame as the Sands, so players could come out here for two big events back to back. They added 25K and first prize was usually around 15K. All the best players in this one as well, with winners like Efren, Francisco and Raphael.

I put on two huge L.A. Opens with Earl winning the first one (over CJ in the finals) and $21,000 on top. Peg Ledman won the women's division and $10,000. Don Mackey didn't like all the attention the women players got and threatened a boycott if they played alongside the men again. So the WPBA went their separate way and Mackey went on to pillage the coffers of the men's association. The second L.A. Open was an all around dominated by Mark Tadd who took down two of the three divisions and scored for $26,000! The women did okay for themselves, getting mostly Indian casinos to sponsor their televised events (all on ESPN). They had 100K purses with the winners getting 15K in each one. That brought Allison and then Karen and Kelly over here to get their share of the good fortune. They could only make penny's playing Snooker in England.

The Camel Pro Tour ran for a few years in the mid 90's, until Mackey killed that with his greed. Each event was a 75K guarantee with 15K on top. Only 64 players were invited to compete. The tour had eight events each year. There was also a $300,000 bonus fund paid out at the end of the season and the best player overall got a 60K bonus! Even 10th place overall was good for $8-10,000 extra. Camel was fully prepared to up the ante until Don Mackey got sticky fingers and they pulled their sponsorship. A settlement was finally made between the men's tour and Camel for a healthy six figures. Mackey stole all that money and headed south to Florida, never to be heard from again.

Jim Willard put on some big tourneys outside Chicago in the early 90's that paid 30K to the winner. Buddy won the last one. The BCA helped launch the North American 9-Ball Championship that evolved into the U.S. Bar Table Championships. The winner of each division got $10,000 with a $5,000 bonus to a player who could win both. It was a the biggest paying bar table tourney of that era.

There was an active tour of poolroom tournaments in the 90's, all with $5-10K in added money. Hard Times Bellflower was the first to add 10K and all the top players (except Sigel) flocked to play there. The owner Chuck Markulis always paid the winners in cash. I handed out a lot of envelopes stuffed with hundreds to Buddy, Swanee, Kim, Varner and Roger Griffis. Johnny won more of these events, mostly held back East, than anyone else. He was the first guy to come along who could beat Buddy and Earl on a regular basis.

We also put on the ill fated Hollywood Open in 1993, that the police tried to shut down the night before it was to start. It took a full night of legal hassling with the city of L.A. to get it going again. Efren won that one, beating Roger Griffis in the finals (10K) and then Roger beat Efren the following week at the Sands in the finals to return the favor.

That's a short synopsis, but you get the idea. It was a good and bad time for pool in America, before all the European champions started to appear. The Filipinos were not yet able to stay here for long periods of time, and only a few of them could get visas. Jose and Efren and Luat left their mark though while they were here. Parica was hands down the best money player on the planet back then and Efren had already begun his domination of One Pocket, a game made for him and his creativity.
Wow, great post! Thanks for sharing, Jay!


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07-19-2019, 12:43 PM

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Originally Posted by jay helfert View Post
In brief - There were many big tournaments held annually in the 1990's; The Sands Regency had two a year (Summer and Winter), with the winner getting $10,000 in cash each time. All the best players played at the Sands hoping to get a win there to add to their resume. Earl won more than anyone else (what else is new), Sigel won a couple, Varner, Rempe, Archer and Davenport all were Sands champions. Jimmy Fusco came out from Philly only one time and won it (maybe 1993). The Bicycle Club also had two a year in the same time frame as the Sands, so players could come out here for two big events back to back. They added 25K and first prize was usually around 15K. All the best players in this one as well, with winners like Efren, Francisco and Raphael.

I put on two huge L.A. Opens with Earl winning the first one (over CJ in the finals) and $21,000 on top. Peg Ledman won the women's division and $10,000. Don Mackey didn't like all the attention the women players got and threatened a boycott if they played alongside the men again. So the WPBA went their separate way and Mackey went on to pillage the coffers of the men's association. The second L.A. Open was an all around dominated by Mark Tadd who took down two of the three divisions and scored for $26,000! The women did okay for themselves, getting mostly Indian casinos to sponsor their televised events (all on ESPN). They had 100K purses with the winners getting 15K in each one. That brought Allison and then Karen and Kelly over here to get their share of the good fortune. They could only make penny's playing Snooker in England.

The Camel Pro Tour ran for a few years in the mid 90's, until Mackey killed that with his greed. Each event was a 75K guarantee with 15K on top. Only 64 players were invited to compete. The tour had eight events each year. There was also a $300,000 bonus fund paid out at the end of the season and the best player overall got a 60K bonus! Even 10th place overall was good for $8-10,000 extra. Camel was fully prepared to up the ante until Don Mackey got sticky fingers and they pulled their sponsorship. A settlement was finally made between the men's tour and Camel for a healthy six figures. Mackey stole all that money and headed south to Florida, never to be heard from again.

Jim Willard put on some big tourneys outside Chicago in the early 90's that paid 30K to the winner. Buddy won the last one. The BCA helped launch the North American 9-Ball Championship that evolved into the U.S. Bar Table Championships. The winner of each division got $10,000 with a $5,000 bonus to a player who could win both. It was a the biggest paying bar table tourney of that era.

There was an active tour of poolroom tournaments in the 90's, all with $5-10K in added money. Hard Times Bellflower was the first to add 10K and all the top players (except Sigel) flocked to play there. The owner Chuck Markulis always paid the winners in cash. I handed out a lot of envelopes stuffed with hundreds to Buddy, Swanee, Kim, Varner and Roger Griffis. Johnny won more of these events, mostly held back East, than anyone else. He was the first guy to come along who could beat Buddy and Earl on a regular basis.

We also put on the ill fated Hollywood Open in 1993, that the police tried to shut down the night before it was to start. It took a full night of legal hassling with the city of L.A. to get it going again. Efren won that one, beating Roger Griffis in the finals (10K) and then Roger beat Efren the following week at the Sands in the finals to return the favor.

That's a short synopsis, but you get the idea. It was a good and bad time for pool in America, before all the European champions started to appear. The Filipinos were not yet able to stay here for long periods of time, and only a few of them could get visas. Jose and Efren and Luat left their mark though while they were here. Parica was hands down the best money player on the planet back then and Efren had already begun his domination of One Pocket, a game made for him and his creativity.
Thank you so much for sharing your memories Jay! This a great post!

May I just confirm the year of the Hollywood Open and the Sands Regent that took place shortly afterwards please? According to my research, the only time Roger Griffis was in the finals of the Sands was in June 1990 (SRO XI) and he lost to Earl in the finals. He did beat Efren 11-9 on his way, though. Thanks again Jay!
  
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07-21-2019, 11:59 PM

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Gold Crown was the standard and Johnny Archer beat everyone. The end.
Mark Tadd was a beast and suddenly disappeared
  
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07-22-2019, 01:21 AM

cool thread, and nice post jay..
love to read about the history and all the great players that came through-


peace & love
  
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jay helfert
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07-22-2019, 07:49 PM

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Thank you so much for sharing your memories Jay! This a great post!

May I just confirm the year of the Hollywood Open and the Sands Regent that took place shortly afterwards please? According to my research, the only time Roger Griffis was in the finals of the Sands was in June 1990 (SRO XI) and he lost to Earl in the finals. He did beat Efren 11-9 on his way, though. Thanks again Jay!
I'm Pretty sure it was the same year. I got it a little wrong. Efren did win in Hollywood (Roger was second) and Roger knocked him out at the Sands. I remember we watched the Buster Douglass-Mike Tyson fight during the Hollywood tournament. Douglas had been a 30-1 underdog and went off at 20-1. After it was over, Danny Diliberto (a great fighter himself) said something I never forgot, "A bad fighter in good condition will beat a good fighter in bad condition!"


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07-28-2019, 09:42 AM

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Thanks everyone for your responses. I'm glad to see there are still a few us interested in the history of the game.

I'm currently compiling a list of all Sands Regency Open winners, runner-ups and 3-4 place finishers. The ultimate plan is to post an article on wikipedia. Being a gold member, I do have access to The National Billiard News but they don't cover all of the SROs.

I have attached the list with few missing names. If someone could help me complete (and, most importantly, verify) the spreadsheet, that would be very much appreciated.

Kind regards,
Terry
Here are some results (top two only) from the Cue Sports Journal, a local magazine which was published for three or four years in the 1990s. These results are from before the CSJ started publishing.

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07-28-2019, 09:54 AM

Here are the results and some report from Sands XVII. The final went hill-hill.

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07-28-2019, 12:01 PM

Thanks a million Bob. It’s great to see that these clippings from the CSJ confirm the info in my spreadsheet. It would be great if you could find any further info on SRO 14, 18, 20-22, 24, and 25
  
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07-28-2019, 12:46 PM

Well worth mentioning re 1990's tourneys IMO are the annual ones that were (and I think still are) held as part of Allen Hopkins' springtime expositions initially in New Jersey then in several Philly-area venues (Valley Forge, etc.)

I remember one match there -- crowded with bleacher spectators -- between Earl and Johnny Archer, and mid-match Earl's trailing badly and very frustrated, turns to the crowd and quite audibly says "I was doing great in all the tournaments till this guy [Archer] came along."

Arnaldo


“When the action starts, it may not go the way you planned, and you’re down to your reflexes. That’s where your roadwork shows . . . If you cheated on that in the dark of the morning, well, you’re gonna get found out now, under the bright lights.” – Joe “Smokin’ Joe” Frazier
  
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