11th Annual Dr. Cue
Tournament; a three-peat for Sam Cordova
(8-Ball at its Best)
Once again, the Dr. Cue Tournament is but a blur of memories.
Tom Rossman gave his performance on Friday night and was his usual masterful
self. I get a bigger thrill out of watching the audience as he performs his many
feats of magic on the poll table; one can easily spot the newcomers who have
never seen Dr. Cue perform by the wonder and surprise in their eyes as they
watch his exhibition.
On Saturday morning, after the player auction and the blind
draw, play commenced at
11 a.m. The field of 106 included players from Denver, Alamosa, Garden City,
Rocky Ford, La Junta and of course our normal outburst of local talent. Names
that jump at you from that bracket include Bill Mecham, Bill Skinner. Ernie
Martinez, Randy Riensch, Chuey Rivers, Pete Mercaldi, Ruben Silva Jr., the Smith
Boys, Nick and Nate, Jeff McKeon, Scott Smith, former winners Steve Flanagan,
Carl Coffee. Dr. Cue, Sam Cordova and Sam Martinez. There were also many
unknowns from Pueblo like Mike Showalter, Ed Borrego, Roland Lucero, Gayle
Janitell, Frank and Lee Urbanick and Brad Stonerock.
The Alamosa connection was here in force with Ron Hughes,
Wedo Trujillo, Mike Porter, Jason Casiano and last but not least our local
players Keith Cavalier, John Arko, Leon Aragon, Jim Muniz. Lou Valdez, Don
Speaks, Donn Ellington, Kevin “Crutches” Williams, Mike Todd, Rick Rodriguez,
Ralph Nunez, Pete Carrillo, Rich Case, Roy Gibson, Dan Hayes, Chuck Dusbabek and
our top woman player Debbie Snook, last year’s BCA Open Women’s champion. There
were too many to mention them all, but a big thank you to everyone who
By Sunday at
1 a.m., the field had narrowed
to 32 payers. Play began at 10 a.m. with the losers’ side. Steve Flannigan/Jon
Jon Rivera, Roy Gibson/Sam Martinez, Ralph Nunez/Kevin Satterfield,
Pete Carrillo/Scott Smith, Jim Calderon/Pete Mercaldi, Rich Case/Bill
Mecham, Chuey Rivera/Nick Smith, Chris Manzanares/Fred Vigil
playing a race at 4.
Winners began at 11 a.m. with Frank Baca/Frank Urbanick,
Mike Showalter/Dr. Cue, Lou Valdez/Jeff McKeon, Adrian Ayala/Randy
Riensch, Nate Smith/Sam Cordova, Ruben Silva/Ed Borrego,
Bill Skinner/Joe Ross and Ernie Martinez/Keith Cavalier.
(Winners in bold type)
Sam Cordova won over Ed Borrego and Ernie Martinez to take
the hill on Bracket A. Randy Riensch beat Jeff Mckeon and then had five runouts
against Frank Urbanick, whose only shots consisted of breaking twice in the
whole match to take the hill on Bracket B. The play continued with Ernie
Martinez winning over Ruben Silva to take the losers’ side of Bracket B and Bill
Skinner taking the losers’ side of Bracket A by beating Frank Urbanick.
Sam Cordova took the hill and sent Randy Riensch to wait for
the outcome of the losers’ side. Ernie Martinez then beat Bill Skinner who took
fourth place and he and Riensch played off for a chance to challenge Cordova
again. Tied three up in a race to four,
Martinez had the out and got an
inch or so offline. Having to put English on cue ball, Martinez makes his shot
and scratches in the side pocket. Riensch then runs his remaining balls and wins
the match. Martinez takes third place.
Cordova and Riensch play for the championship and Cordova
wins easily. Like a shark sensing a drop of blood, Cordova smelled the win and
there would be no stopping him.
Pueblo players prevailed by
taking the top three spots. Congratulations to all who cashed and our thanks to
all who participated.
We would like to extend our appreciation to the 106 players,
the spectators, the Side Pocket’s staff and manager Tom Emerson, who has always
given us free rein to run the tournament as we wish. Also many thanks to Keith
Cavalier, who donates shirts and raffle prizes year after year, our auctioneer
for the player auction Dale Richardson, Dave Merrill for the extra table and the
Out East Club for the use of the other table.
We have many sponsors who have made donations for advertising
banners that hang in the Side Pocket year round. Classic Q’s, Rocky Mangini,
Sena’s Buffalo Bar, Buffy’s Dog Grooming, Q-Ball Express, Cue Times Billiard
News and Budweiser for their continued support and for printing the banners.
See you all back at the 12th Annual next year.
Prize Money: Total purse of $7,280
Tournament Player Auction
Keith Cavalier $30
Tom “Dr. Cue” Rossman
Fred Vigil $50
Jeff Mckeon $70
Chuey Rivera $100
Ruben Silva $150 $150
4th Bill Skinner $300 $300
3rd Ernie Martinez $550 $500
2nd Randy Riensch $750 $800
1st place Sam Cordova $1,050 $1,000
to R) front: Sam Cordova, Ruben Silva, Frank Urbanick, Randy Riensch
Back: Ernie Martinez, Bill Skinner
Top woman Debbie Snook $260 $250
Pictured L to R: The Monk, Gerry Ross, Frank Major, Gabe
Talmadge, Samm Diep, Mike Goscha, Jeff Saccomano, Mike Ansley, and Mark
Another successful workshop
It is always an honor to be in the presence of fellow pool
players who love and respect this wonderful game as much as I do. On January
22nd and 23rd, The Monk and I were joined by seven fine players for an intense
two-day workshop at Table Steaks East in
These students traveled from all over
Colorado (and Nebraska) to
participate. Gerry came in from Telluride, Mark drove up from the Springs, Gabe
and Frank came up from Pueblo, Mike Goscha (one of our MA/PB students) came from
and Mike A. and Jeff came from the neighborhood.
It was amazing how equal in skill level all the students
were. And, even more amazing is seeing the seven humble players at their level
still hungering for more knowledge and information. After the first day of
barely getting through the orientation of the four strokes of pool, a few of us
met for dinner where one student was quoted saying, “I learned more in one day
today than in my 17 years of playing.” Wow! It’s always hard to identify what
people know and don’t know during these workshops. But, the complete Monk 101
program is sure to give even a veteran some new toys.
We worked hard from
11a.m. to 5p.m. both days. It
was tough to say goodbye to everyone even after spending only two days together.
They left with smiles on their faces, lots of new things to work on, and a new
appreciation for this game and the shots ahead of them.
On Sunday, Tom Ross, house pro at Shakespeare’s in Denver,
stopped by to give us a teaser of some kicking and banking systems. Tom is one
of finest instructors and writers around and also teaches the Monk 101 program.
He runs a free clinic at Shakespeare’s on Thursday nights. It is open to anyone.
If you’re in the Denver
area and ready to take your pool game further, get your copy of The Lesson today
and give Tom a call to schedule your lesson with him.
The Monk and I extend a formal thanks to our seven great
students for making this workshop a huge success. We would also like to thank
Table Steaks East for sharing your great pool room with us, Tom Ross for
inspiring pool players everywhere, our readers and supporters, and every player
that shares our goal to spread the good word of pocket billiards.
in the Art of Pocket Billiards.
It has been my rare pleasure to brush shoulders with a true
artist in this game. When I do, I am always honored.
the art of pocket billiards?
It is the ability to hit the perfect shot with perfect speed and
perfect stroke with no preoccupation with results. To be free to perform that
which you have been training is the ultimate art in the art of pocket
You can test yourself with the 2-7-2 program found in my training
program called The Lesson. When I teach the 2-7-2 in my workshops most students
believe it’s all about getting the cue ball to the center of the table. It is
not. The 2-7-2 is all about hitting the cue ball. The act of painting a picture
is not just about the picture It is about the brush stroke. Without the gifted
brush stroke, you will have no work of art.
The true artist knows all about discipline. Discipline is the act of
training the body to perform. Discipline is training muscle memory.
The true artist knows all about intelligence. Intelligence is the
ability to train in the art of discipline.
One of my students shot one hundred and thirty six perfect stop
shots without a miss. I consider her a genius.
Willie Mosconie ran five hundred and twenty eight balls. I consider
him a genius.
Intelligence is not about cognitive awareness. It is about the
ability to train in discipline.
The true artist loves what he is doing. A marriage has taken place
between the artist and her gifts. Neither the gift nor the artist is above the
other. They are equal and treat each other with respect. Herein comes the
I’ve known artist who did not possess intelligence. The gifted musician
who blew his brains out or died in an overdose was not very smart. Those who
washed away their gifts with drugs or alcohol were as dumb as they come. And
those who tried to rise above their gifts were destroyed by their own stupidity.
If you have discipline and intelligence, you can master the art of
The very energy that takes you to the top is your gift. As long as
you do not try to rise above your talent, you will have a chance to embrace the
art of pocket billiards. In tough times, turn to your gifts and let them carry
your through. It is a long and difficult journey, filled with many pit falls.
Those who have the intelligence, and discipline to train their
bodies to perform that which they love more than anything else, will truly
become the master of self. And in so doing, will understand the art
in the art of pocket billiards.