Pool tournaments history 1990s

Ratamon

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Hi everyone,

I'm very much interested in the history of our wonderful sports and I was just wondering if anyone had a copy of Charles Ursitti's "The History of Pocket Billiards in America 1990-99" (or any similar record of tournament results)? I only have a copy of 1980-89 - if anyone is interested, shoot me a PM and I will send across (can't post it here as the document is over 100kb).

The tourney stats on AZ go back to 2000 only. It's really sad that, unlike for other sports, there is no complete historical pool tournaments data on the Internet.

Any help gratefully received.

Cheers,
Terry
 

pt109

WO double hemlock
Silver Member
Hi everyone,

I'm very much interested in the history of our wonderful sports and I was just wondering if anyone had a copy of Charles Ursitti's "The History of Pocket Billiards in America 1990-99" (or any similar record of tournament results)? I only have a copy of 1980-89 - if anyone is interested, shoot me a PM and I will send across (can't post it here as the document is over 100kb).

The tourney stats on AZ go back to 2000 only. It's really sad that, unlike for other sports, there is no complete historical pool tournaments data on the Internet.

Any help gratefully received.

Cheers,
Terry

PM Bob Jewett....he tends to have something about everything.
 

Bob Jewett

AZB Osmium Member
Staff member
Gold Member
Silver Member
PM Bob Jewett....he tends to have something about everything.
I have copies of what I believe are all the Ursitti files. Sadly, whoever set up his website decided that it needed some kind of security and arranged to make it nearly impossible to download the files or for archive.org to get copies and now his website is gone. The files seem to still exist on scribd.com but they are marked private.

Also unfortunately, the files I have for pool end at 1989 which is what the OP already has. The copyright notice says that it was last updated in 2010.
 
Last edited:

jay helfert

Shoot Pool, not people
Gold Member
Silver Member
Hi everyone,

I'm very much interested in the history of our wonderful sports and I was just wondering if anyone had a copy of Charles Ursitti's "The History of Pocket Billiards in America 1990-99" (or any similar record of tournament results)? I only have a copy of 1980-89 - if anyone is interested, shoot me a PM and I will send across (can't post it here as the document is over 100kb).

The tourney stats on AZ go back to 2000 only. It's really sad that, unlike for other sports, there is no complete historical pool tournaments data on the Internet.

Any help gratefully received.

Cheers,
Terry

Terry, I could give you a brief history of pro pool in the 90's since I was there for most of the major events. It was the time of Don Mackey, the Camel Pro Tour, the Bicycle Club tourneys, the Los Angeles Opens, the beginning of the WPBA Pro Tour and the take over of the World 9-Ball Championships by Matchroom. Johnny Archer was named the player of the decade by Billiards Digest magazine.

Send me an e-mail to jayhelfert@yahoo.com and I'll fill you in as best I can.
 

Bob Jewett

AZB Osmium Member
Staff member
Gold Member
Silver Member
Terry, I could give you a brief history of pro pool in the 90's since I was there for most of the major events. It was the time of Don Mackey, the Camel Pro Tour, the Bicycle Club tourneys, the Los Angeles Opens, the beginning of the WPBA Pro Tour and the take over of the World 9-Ball Championships by Matchroom. Johnny Archer was named the player of the decade by Billiards Digest magazine.

Send me an e-mail to jayhelfert@yahoo.com and I'll fill you in as best I can.
Related to which, the National Billiard News is available to paid members of AZB in the "Gold Mine" on the http://azbilliards.com home page. It looks like all of the issues except maybe one that the OP needs are there.

Anyone really interested in the history of the game should look into acquiring back issues of the main US magazines/newspapers which include Billiard Digest, Pool & Billiard, National Billiard News, Inside Pool (only 2001 to 2013 or so), American Cueist, and lots of other magazines and newsletters most of which no longer are published.

I have been rereading my copies of Pool & Billiard from the 1990s and there is a lot of remarkable stuff in there.

Unfortunately, tournament coverage is often incomplete or missing entirely. That's often due to the crack publicity agents employed by the tournaments.;)
 

pt109

WO double hemlock
Silver Member
Terry, I could give you a brief history of pro pool in the 90's since I was there for most of the major events. It was the time of Don Mackey, the Camel Pro Tour, the Bicycle Club tourneys, the Los Angeles Opens, the beginning of the WPBA Pro Tour and the take over of the World 9-Ball Championships by Matchroom. Johnny Archer was named the player of the decade by Billiards Digest magazine.

Send me an e-mail to jayhelfert@yahoo.com and I'll fill you in as best I can.

Hey, Jay.....to save a whole bunch of us emailing you...how about putting it all in one
post on AZ?

Please
 

Michael Andros

tiny balls, GIANT pockets
Silver Member
Terry, I could give you a brief history of pro pool in the 90's since I was there for most of the major events. It was the time of Don Mackey, the Camel Pro Tour, the Bicycle Club tourneys, the Los Angeles Opens, the beginning of the WPBA Pro Tour and the take over of the World 9-Ball Championships by Matchroom. Johnny Archer was named the player of the decade by Billiards Digest magazine.

Send me an e-mail to jayhelfert@yahoo.com and I'll fill you in as best I can.


Quote:
Originally Posted by pt109 View Post
Hey, Jay.....to save a whole bunch of us emailing you...how about putting it all in one
post on AZ?

Please





Pretty please? :grin:
 

Ratamon

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
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
 

Attachments

  • SRO.xls
    32.5 KB · Views: 135

Ratamon

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Terry, I could give you a brief history of pro pool in the 90's since I was there for most of the major events. It was the time of Don Mackey, the Camel Pro Tour, the Bicycle Club tourneys, the Los Angeles Opens, the beginning of the WPBA Pro Tour and the take over of the World 9-Ball Championships by Matchroom. Johnny Archer was named the player of the decade by Billiards Digest magazine.

Send me an e-mail to jayhelfert@yahoo.com and I'll fill you in as best I can.

Thanks for your kind offer Jay. I will shoot you an email shortly
 

Ratamon

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I have copies of what I believe are all the Ursitti files. Sadly, whoever set up his website decided that it needed some kind of security and arranged to make it nearly impossible to download the files or for archive.org to get copies and now his website is gone. The files seem to still exist on scribd.com but they are marked private.

Also unfortunately, the files I have for pool end at 1989 which is what the OP already has. The copyright notice says that it was last updated in 2010.

Hi Bob,

Is this the Ursitti file that you have ?

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1STIFptdqx0mMUIBrs_zqdQLUj8bAMvbC

If you have more, would you consider sharing ?
 

garczar

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Terry, I could give you a brief history of pro pool in the 90's since I was there for most of the major events. It was the time of Don Mackey, the Camel Pro Tour, the Bicycle Club tourneys, the Los Angeles Opens, the beginning of the WPBA Pro Tour and the take over of the World 9-Ball Championships by Matchroom. Johnny Archer was named the player of the decade by Billiards Digest magazine.

Send me an e-mail to jayhelfert@yahoo.com and I'll fill you in as best I can.
I'd love to see someone do a fireside-chat sorta deal with Jay, Earl, Archer and whoever else would sit in. The late 80's and 90's were a cool time to be around pool. Lot of real characters and champions.
 

evergruven

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I'd love to see someone do a fireside-chat sorta deal with Jay, Earl, Archer and whoever else would sit in. The late 80's and 90's were a cool time to be around pool. Lot of real characters and champions.

that sounds great...
 

jay helfert

Shoot Pool, not people
Gold Member
Silver Member
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.
 
Last edited:

mjantti

Enjoying life
Silver Member
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! :thumbup:
 

Ratamon

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
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!
 
Top