US Open 9-Ball -- info on early events?

skip100

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I ran a Bradley-Terry model on Bob's bracket to generate Fargo-style ratings for the 1982 event. The ratings were arbitrarily centered at 600 and the algorithm has a weak prior to stabilize the results a bit, but it's designed to create the same 100-point gap for 2-to-1 odds that Mike Page uses.

It's always interesting to look for gaps between placements and ratings. Steve Mizerak didn't make much money here, but the ratings reward him for beating players who did well (Dobrowolski, Strickland) and losing to the eventual winner (Howard) and another high finisher (Mathews).

By contrast, while Zuglan was runner-up, the model punishes him for playing close matches against lower-rated opponents.

If we can get more match results it's easy to feed them into the model and re-run the numbers to see who was the king of the 1980s US Opens :)
 

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Bob Jewett

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I ran a Bradley-Terry model on Bob's bracket to generate Fargo-style ratings for the 1982 event. The ratings were arbitrarily centered at 600 and the algorithm has a weak prior to stabilize the results a bit, but it's designed to create the same 100-point gap for 2-to-1 odds that Mike Page uses.

It's always interesting to look for gaps between placements and ratings. Steve Mizerak didn't make much money here, but the ratings reward him for beating players who did well (Dobrowolski, Strickland) and losing to the eventual winner (Howard) and another high finisher (Mathews).

By contrast, while Zuglan was runner-up, the model punishes him for playing close matches against lower-rated opponents.

If we can get more match results it's easy to feed them into the model and re-run the numbers to see who was the king of the 1980s US Opens :)
Nice work. I think you might want to add 75 or so to the rankings. It's really hard to compare eras, but those numbers seem low.
 

skip100

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Nice work. I think you might want to add 75 or so to the rankings. It's really hard to compare eras, but those numbers seem low.
I agree, the numbers are likely low compared to the Fargo system - but I kind of did it on purpose to draw a distinction between them since the numbers only have a relative meaning anyway.
 

skip100

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Info added to the summary above.
I'm trying to recreate the bracket but there are definitely some issues with these scores. Multiple Browns with inconsistent first name usage, a stray White, Steve Lillis is shown in the undefeated final 8 but listed as losing his previous match.
 

Bob Jewett

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Here is the NBN issue that covers the 1984 tournament (on page 2). The article mentions the "new rules" and that one player withdrew because of them, but the changes are not actually stated. I assume they are "nothing spots, one foul gives ball in hand".

A womens' division was added and the venue was moved to a hotel. Balukas over Mataya for the women.

 

Bob Jewett

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By 1985, Accu-Stats (the pool statistics newsletter) was covering events. Here is the issue that has the Open results. It includes the full flow chart, and of course great, steaming piles of statistics.


There was a women's division. The men voted to extend matches to 11 (from 10) and short jump cues were banned.

The venue moved back to Q-Master, which seemed to have expanded so that it covers numbers 2610-2618 on Sewells Point Road in Norfolk.
 
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book collector

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I asked the Norfolk Public Library to help and they were amazingly helpful. Here is an article about an earlier tournament -- The U.S. Nine Ball Classic -- at an earlier poolroom -- Paddle and Cue -- that I'm pretty sure was the grandfather of the current Q-Masters.

From the October 16th 1974 issue of the Ledger-Star (which seems to have stopped publishing in 1995):

Shootout at the OK poolroom​

By GREG GLASSNER

NORFOLK - When the big guns of the green felt and numbered sphere set gather, there's an aura of Dodge City. There is always a "new kid" who wants a shot at beating the top man — or the man who was. A pool hall hosting a big money tournament carries with it some of the drama and tautness of a Western gunfight. Luther "Wimpy" Lassiter, once the "Elizabeth City Kid", still commands the respect and envy of young challengers. When the weapons are cues and the rules Nine Ball, the young men on the way up are usually nipped in the bud — at least temporarily.

Such was the case in the opening rounds of the United States Nine Ball Classic at the Paddle and Cue on Sewells Point Road. "If it's like a gunfight, then I've lost all my bullets," quipped the 54-year-old, seven-time world's champion. No longer a highly-rated player on the national level, Lassiter has joined Willie Mosconi and Jackie Gleason's "Hustler" as familiar figures in posters that stare down at the tables from pod parlor walls.

Despite Lassiter's legend-in-his-time status, he had no difficulty besting one of the Norfolk's top "local players" Monday night, unerringly dropping the money ball on tricky combinations. "He's young and I'm old. I'd have hated for him to win," Lassiter confided after the one-sided match. Although Mike Segal and Richie Florence — both in the top five nationally — were battling it out on the center table, most eyes were on Lassiter. Knowing smiles and open murmurs of admiration greeted the master's moves.

The Paddle and Cue qualifies as a serious billiards establishment - as opposed to the metal flake and Muzak amusement centers found in some cities - but it is a brightly-lit, well-ventilated far-cry from the dens of iniquity mothers still fear. Norfolk, 1974, with its thorny garland of laws and vigilant alphabet agencies, is not the free-swinging boom town that Lassiter came to as a sharp-shooting 15-year-old ready to hustle the hustlers. An 18 and above law retards future generations of pool players. "The greatest 'action' there's ever been in the history of the game was here in the '40s. Everybody that was playing for money came to Norfolk and Virginia Beach," Lassiter said, a faint smile on his lined face. For those who can be a bit nostalgic about the dingy and illegal — who can't? — the 'game' has lost some of its color.

A billiard ambassador with a gentle way and fatherly thatch of white hair, Lassiter sees a new future for pool. "Pool beats all sports for television potential. How much of the action in a golf match do you see on TV? With four cameras and a fifth overhead, you can't miss a thing that goes on at a table." Consummate skill, win-or-lose drama, and colorful motion are assets that might attract television. But one hopes the clinical sterility of a studio is at least spiced up with a few spittoons, a "No profanity, please" sign and a few pool hall characters.

The U.S. Nine Ball Classic continues nightly with semi-finals and finals Saturday. The top eight finishers share a $5,000 purse. In tonight's matches, Lassiter takes on Joe Nemi of Norfolk. Both players are undefeated in the tourney. Jim Rempe plays Mike Segal, Florence plays Charlie Jones and Tom Syr faces Billy Cabalaro.

Nemi beat Ray Trivette Tuesday night. Rempe downed Terry Hubbard, Syr defeated Cisero Murphy and Dave White beat Red Hicks.

View attachment 612899
There's life in the old champ
''Wimpy" Lassiter outsticks a young challenger
Photo by Mike Williams
 

book collector

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A billiard ambassador with a gentle way and fatherly thatch of white hair, Lassiter sees a new future for pool. "Pool beats all sports for television potential. How much of the action in a golf match do you see on TV? With four cameras and a fifth overhead, you can't miss a thing that goes on at a table."
Wow, he was almost as good as Nostril Damas at predicting the future.
 

Bob Jewett

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Added to the above list of winners:

Dec 1983 -- Mike Sigel 11 -- 10 David Howard
Nov 1984 -- Earl Strickland 11 -- 10 Mike Sigel
Nov 1985 -- Jimmy Reid 11 -- 5 Mike LeBron
Nov 1986 -- David Howard 11 -- 9 Allen Hopkins
Nov 1987 -- Earl Strickland 11 -- 7 Jim Rempe
Nov 1988 -- Mike LeBron ?? -- ?? Nick Varner
 

Bob Jewett

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I ran a Bradley-Terry model on Bob's bracket to ...
The guy named Lester in that tournament is featured in an article by Tom Fox -- and I hope you all know who he is -- in the December 1986 Billiards Digest. Not that it makes any difference except to Lester, but the player variously listed as Lester Sinulourtz and Lester Smalourty in the results is actually Lester Samuel Smulowitz. (It's often hard to find good help at pool tournaments.)

He played pretty sporty as he beat Louie Roberts in that tournament. He also beat Pete Margo and Tom Jennings in the 1982 World Open (14.1). He was about 22 at the time of the US Open 9B. Lester is listed on the AZB money list for 2000 through 2008. His Fargo rating is 556 (robustness 29) so maybe he is out of stroke. I see he has played at Turning Stone and has a high run (reported) of 285.

He is also in some museum in Cooperstown, NY, for having won a Pitch, Hit and Throw contest. He only made the national semifinals of the Punt, Pass and Kick contest. Lester was the heir to the beer company that made Gibbons, Stegmaier and Esslinger's. Sadly, after coming to an understanding of the opportunities for a pool player in the 1980s, he started learning the beer business. That company is described here:

 

Bob Jewett

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Here is an interesting write-up about the 1997 US Open that includes some of the political background. It is by Jim Meador who used to be a major contributor to online pool discussions.

 

tomatoshooter

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A billiard ambassador with a gentle way and fatherly thatch of white hair, Lassiter sees a new future for pool. "Pool beats all sports for television potential. How much of the action in a golf match do you see on TV? With four cameras and a fifth overhead, you can't miss a thing that goes on at a table."
Wow, he was almost as good as Nostril Damas at predicting the future.
It's funny, but with high definition, I think the potential is greater than it was with the TVs in the 70s. Better TVs made hockey much easier to watch. I'm not sure how poker turned into a televised sport, it seems like pool has greater potential. I think the people are capable of being entertained but the game needs to be presented in the right way.
 

jay helfert

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The guy named Lester in that tournament is featured in an article by Tom Fox -- and I hope you all know who he is -- in the December 1986 Billiards Digest. Not that it makes any difference except to Lester, but the player variously listed as Lester Sinulourtz and Lester Smalourty in the results is actually Lester Samuel Smulowitz. (It's often hard to find good help at pool tournaments.)

He played pretty sporty as he beat Louie Roberts in that tournament. He also beat Pete Margo and Tom Jennings in the 1982 World Open (14.1). He was about 22 at the time of the US Open 9B. Lester is listed on the AZB money list for 2000 through 2008. His Fargo rating is 556 (robustness 29) so maybe he is out of stroke. I see he has played at Turning Stone and has a high run (reported) of 285.

He is also in some museum in Cooperstown, NY, for having won a Pitch, Hit and Throw contest. He only made the national semifinals of the Punt, Pass and Kick contest. Lester was the heir to the beer company that made Gibbons, Stegmaier and Esslinger's. Sadly, after coming to an understanding of the opportunities for a pool player in the 1980s, he started learning the beer business. That company is described here:

I remember Lester. He was a well dressed and very polite young man. He was potentially a very good player but pretty much dropped out of sight after only a few years at the most. I did know that he was from a very wealthy family so it didn't surprise me that much. He seemed like a fish out of water in the pool world though. A well refined young man in a world of rounders and grifters. Not a good match
 

skip100

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Guess who's number 1 when running the numbers for the 1982, 1983 and 1985 US Opens? I recentered the data at 675 at Bob's suggestion.
 

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garczar

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Just curious, does QMasters own the building?? How do they fade the rent/overhead?? Place is freakin huge.
 

Bob Jewett

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Just curious, does QMasters own the building?? How do they fade the rent/overhead?? Place is freakin huge.
I've wondered about that. Maybe they got a real good lease way back when. The US Open was never held at the present location. The Q-Masters where it was held went through at least two expansions before the Open moved permanently to hotels or convention centers in 1989. I assume they moved to the present location about 1990.
 

skip100

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Can any posters help identify any of the following first names from this 1985 Resorts International event in Atlantic City? http://www.sfbilliards.com/accustats/V1_N04.pdf

T. Squadroni
B. McCoy
C. DeValliere
E. White
T. Golly
W. Stephen
C. Savino
R. Durante
M. Sica
J. Meyer
E. DellaFerra
N. Weathers
J. Kozlowski
J. Garcia
D. Daya
G. Darr
P. Wirta
D. Clausen
C. Murphy
D. Gibson
J. Nacovsky
M. Kingsley
E. Costa
D. Ascolese
A. Kiehle
M. Zowner
M. Nicoloro
T. McGonagle
T. Furney
B. McCoy
P. Gavenonis
B. Hunt
R. Coleman
B. Daniels
 
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Bob Jewett

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My guesses are filled in below...

Can any posters help identify any of the following first names from this 1985 Resorts International event in Atlantic City? http://www.sfbilliards.com/accustats/V1_N04.pdf

T. Squadroni
B. McCoy
C. DeValliere --- Charles
E. White
T. Golly --- Tom, former collegiate champ
W. Stephen -- Bill?
C. Savino
R. Durante
M. Sica --- Mike
J. Meyer
E. DellaFerra
N. Weathers
J. Kozlowski
J. Garcia
D. Daya --- Dave
G. Darr
P. Wirta
D. Clausen
C. Murphy --- Cisero
D. Gibson
J. Nacovsky
M. Kingsley
E. Costa --- Ernie
D. Ascolese
A. Kiehle
M. Zowner --- Myron Zownir (mentioned elsewhere on AZB)
M. Nicoloro
T. McGonagle --- Tom
T. Furney
B. McCoy
P. Gavenonis
B. Hunt
R. Coleman
B. Daniels
But Pat Fleming likely has the original list.
 
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