Willard's International Classic 1992 info needed

Rip

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I have a wooden rack with "The Woodworks" etched on the inside and
Willard's International 8 Ball - 9 Ball Classic May 11-24, 1992 etched on the outside. See attached photo. It's a well made rack that I enjoy using on my home table and am hoping to find some history of this tournament.
Does anyone have any info or stories they can recall about this tournament?
 

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Duane Tuula

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I believe that was at the Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles, IL at the MegaCenter (same as the Windy City Open the last few years). I vaguely recall stopping in to spectate on a couple of evening sessions. All the top players of that era were present. Very large fields in both events.
 

bob c

In the Eye of the Storm
Silver Member
Jim Willard of Willard's Cue Products in Aurora, Illinois held a few (I can't remember exactly how many) tournaments in the Chicago area back in the early 1990s and possibly earlier. The 1991 and 1992 events were held at The Pheasant Run Inn & Resort in St. Charles, Illinois. I think there were some earlier events at a different location. As I recall, the first year or two the events were held in banquet type rooms but after 1992 it was moved to the Mega Center. Men's and Women's tournament were conducted.

I went to the early 1990s events but can't remember one from the other except that Buddy Hall won the 9-Ball event in 1992 after coming in second in 1991. Vivian Villareal won the ladies division one year with her brand new Omega dpk cue. I think Robin Dotson (Bell) won once as well.

There was a lot of action on the tables every night and I sweated quite a bit of it. I remember Cornbread Red playing 1-pockect for $2K a set. I saw Bustamente make 6 balls on the break in one game and I remember him in action with John Wright. Efren had his man with him who negotiated for him and booked all of his action.

This was the first time I saw Claude Bernachez play. He had a lot of supporters and finished pretty high one year.

Wish I could remember more. Those were the days!
 

jay helfert

Shoot Pool, not people
Gold Member
Silver Member
Rip said:
I have a wooden rack with "The Woodworks" etched on the inside and
Willard's International 8 Ball - 9 Ball Classic May 11-24, 1992 etched on the outside. See attached photo. It's a well made rack that I enjoy using on my home table and am hoping to find some history of this tournament.
Does anyone have any info or stories they can recall about this tournament?


These were among the biggest tournaments of that time. I believe Buddy won that one, and the first prize was something like 30 or 35K.
 

uwate

daydreaming about pool
Silver Member
I skipped my law school graduation ceremony to go to this tournament. My Mom was so proud of me :rolleyes:

The 8ball event as I recall came down to Buddy v Efren and I want to say Johnny Archer won the 9ball event.

CJ Wiley played Busty here and got drilled getting the 8 fro 5k. After it was over, I still remember the corp backing Busty was trying to get down again, and Wincardona was there shaking his head and he told that group "What you got here is a ball running machine..." No bet.

A young Tony Watson was in constant action and the first matchup I saw of him was playing Dennis Hatch with the call 8 for 500. Tony had a huge knot of dough and later on I saw him in North Carolina at Mothers Billiards and he told me he had been robbed later of that 17k when someone stuck a gun in his mouth outside a restaurant.

This tournament was the closest I have seen in person to the atmosphere of the current day Derby City Classic. After hours the tournament room was stuffed with action and sweators. The tournament room had an elevated section to the right that allowed railbirds to sit above the room with a good view of the tables. As I recall this tournament, the guys stirring it up the most those two weeks were Jamie Goodwin (Saw him flip Mataya for 1k and lose. He then asked mataya to post two flips). Mataya beat a bunch of Mexican Champions like francisco Galindo and a few others. Playing an ahead session against galindo, Mataya was down on this super tough 8..looked at it for ages...stopped woofed somemore about how he was the "best in all of Me-Ji-CO".. J. Mataya then gets down and after an eternity of woofing before the shot he fired in the 8 and got perfect shape on the 9. He then ran up to the 9 and fired it in one handed behind his back. Mataya was quite the entertainer. Hopkins and Efren played 200 a game 1p and broke even.

The tables at this event were so disappointing. The year before they had brunswick gold crowns and then that second year they ran this event, in 1992..they had World of Leisure tables. Really tough, almost gaff like tables that didnt play very well. Of course that didnt stop the champions. Bustamente ran 6 and 7 racks on these tables in many of his matches but couldnt win in the end.
 
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uwate

daydreaming about pool
Silver Member
I also remembered that this was the tournament I saw Parica giving Gary Lutman the 7 and the breaks on the barbox for big money. Lutman's backer was this lady who keep yelling in between shots "BET MORE". I watched for about an hr and in that time the bet got jacked 4k more. It ended up being a five figure match. Parica won as I recall.
 

Rip

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Great stories and I appreciate each one! Keep em' coming if you got em'.
 

dogginda9

I need a vacation.
Silver Member
My memories of Pheasant Run.

This was the first and only "pro" event I ever played in. It was quite a scene for a young guy to take in. It was amazing seeing all of these champions all in one place. All the woofing and bullshitting was very cool. I actually was ahead of Rafael M. for a short while. That didn't last long. I bought a friend of mine for $50 or so in the calcutta and he ended up getting top ten somewhere and I got a few hundred back. I thought that was the coolest thing ever. It was king of strange playing pool in nice clothes. I remember slipping all over the carpet in my dress shoes. I also remember the tables being an absolute joke. All in all it was an awesome time.
 

jay helfert

Shoot Pool, not people
Gold Member
Silver Member
I helped run the tournament (relieving Scott from time to time) and I played in the 9-Ball. I went hill-hill with Jeff Carter and hung a combo on the nine ball. Oh well. Accu-Stats recorded this match and I've never watched it. I was SO disappointed! But Jeff was my buddy, and a very funny man. His Earl impression is a classic.
 

philw

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
jay helfert said:
I helped run the tournament (relieving Scott from time to time) and I played in the 9-Ball. I went hill-hill with Jeff Carter and hung a combo on the nine ball. Oh well. Accu-Stats recorded this match and I've never watched it. I was SO disappointed! But Jeff was my buddy, and a very funny man. His Earl impression is a classic.
You didn't have to tell us that part about Scott Smith, Jay Too much Info!
Just Kidding Philw
 

philw

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
jay helfert said:
I helped run the tournament (relieving Scott from time to time) and I played in the 9-Ball. I went hill-hill with Jeff Carter and hung a combo on the nine ball. Oh well. Accu-Stats recorded this match and I've never watched it. I was SO disappointed! But Jeff was my buddy, and a very funny man. His Earl impression is a classic.
You didn't have to tell us that part about Scott Smith, Jay Too much Info!
Just Kidding Philw
 

JG-in-KY

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Wow, I have too much 'stuff' and time on my hands. I need a life! Here's a flyer from that tourney. 1st in 8 Ball paid$13K; 9 Ball paid $41K and the ladies paid $7K.
 

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Rip

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
It seems this was a colorful event and I can't tell you how much I enjoy learning more about it. I never expected to see a flyer from this tourney! Rep to you JGin KY!

I'm sure there are many more stories to hear about this event considering the characters who participated. :D
 

Eieio59

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Those were great events..... this one, I believe was won by Buddy, who was struggling with new contacts at the time. It also was the event that I remember most by "the buzzz" being dominated by some beautiful, black spider. She was fresh on the scene and no one really knew what to think of her.......she had some pretty neat photos out at the time that had the women a bit on the defensive. Later everyone got over it....

I also remember losing double hill to Vivian in the first round:mad: and winning like 8 matches in a row before finishing 5th:) . It was a huge field, for the women of that time.

Lot's of action...... In one night I made a bankroll that paid my tournament expenses for the next month! But that was the way it was at a lot of events then...... now...:cool:

Tammie Jones
 

Onepocket73

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Well here is my 2 cents

I was there in 92.I was a greenhorn on the pool table.I remember the tables being like home tables.You know,leather drop pockets,etc.They were like Schmidt tables.Pockets spit out the balls if not struck cleanly.
All the champions of that time were there.The new guy on the block was Francisco Bustamante.The thing he was being praised for was his big break.Everyone was calling him "Efren with a break".
Anyway,I watched a match between him and Efren.It was getting down to about the last 16 players or so.It was a winners side match.They go hill-hill and Francisco's breaking.He makes a ball and gets shape on the 1.He proceeds to run all the way to the 8.It's a slight back cut down the rail and he has to draw back about 3 feet for the 9.He shoots it and it rattles around then gets spit back out.Efren runs out for the win.It was a very well played match from both.
I personally got to practice with Belinda Beardon for a little while.She was very nice.I remember seeing Joann Mason there too.Thats how long ago it was!Some other vague memories too.Great post!Thanks for bringing this up:)
 

Hungarian

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I was working on Oak Creek Unit 7 and 8 which is a Wisconsin Electric coal fired power plant near Milwaukee on Lake Michigan. Not much to do on the weekends since we could only travel home every third weekend. So for about four extremely cold winter months I was hanging out at Romine's High Pockets most of my spare time. Got introduced to "bar dice" and the "shake of the day", bar made pork sausage sandwiches, etc. Got to meet Willie, both George's and many other cool people. Lost a few dollars, lol. Everyone there tried to buy my Schon cue since it was a rare. I had no idea and I didn't sell it. Pretty neat place. Extremely cold winters so might as well play pool.

Late in my Milwaukee stay I learned about the Pheasant Run event so I drove down on the weekend with a couple work colleagues. This was the first real pro event I attended. I didn't have a clue about anything. It was a lot for me to take in and I only have a few vivid memories. But I remember seeing Billy for the first time and I remember he was holding court by this elevated deck. I think that was either the booth for Accu-Stats or the the tourney director's area. So maybe Accu-stats was there? Again, I didn't know my ass from a hole in the ground. I think this was the first time I saw Reed Pierce play. I think he was playing Roger Griffis. And I think they both did well in the event. I might have my sighting of Reed / Roger confused with a different event since I can't remember things very well. Someone help me out here. Thanks
 

middleofnowhere

Registered
I was working on Oak Creek Unit 7 and 8 which is a Wisconsin Electric coal fired power plant near Milwaukee on Lake Michigan. Not much to do on the weekends since we could only travel home every third weekend. So for about four extremely cold winter months I was hanging out at Romine's High Pockets most of my spare time. Got introduced to "bar dice" and the "shake of the day", bar made pork sausage sandwiches, etc. Got to meet Willie, both George's and many other cool people. Lost a few dollars, lol. Everyone there tried to buy my Schon cue since it was a rare. I had no idea and I didn't sell it. Pretty neat place. Extremely cold winters so might as well play pool.

Late in my Milwaukee stay I learned about the Pheasant Run event so I drove down on the weekend with a couple work colleagues. This was the first real pro event I attended. I didn't have a clue about anything. It was a lot for me to take in and I only have a few vivid memories. But I remember seeing Billy for the first time and I remember he was holding court by this elevated deck. I think that was either the booth for Accu-Stats or the the tourney director's area. So maybe Accu-stats was there? Again, I didn't know my ass from a hole in the ground. I think this was the first time I saw Reed Pierce play. I think he was playing Roger Griffis. And I think they both did well in the event. I might have my sighting of Reed / Roger confused with a different event since I can't remember things very well. Someone help me out here. Thanks
This is not a criticism honestly, I'm just curious. How did you find such an old obscure thread and respond to it? I see this all the time and I wonder how this happens.
 
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