of the 1st Womens Professional Billiard Association President
personal historical knowledge of the pocket billiard community
began in 1974. I don’t consider myself to be an expert.
I am going by things I remember and pool clippings and paraphernalia
left over from my travels to tournaments from that time on. I
don’t know everything that was going on around the country
but I did have my finger on the pulse of what was happening in
and around the east coast. The BCA was king in those days, truly
the governing body of pool. Added to that, there were individual
pool promoters that were always trying to have a bigger and better
tournament than anyone else. I believe these promoters had their
hearts in the right place but their eyes were bigger than their
pocket books. They hoped to attract ticket buying spectators
and big advertisers to a tournament with a large player field.
The players, of course, paid entry fees to the event that helped
to make up the offered prize monies.
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to 1981, I, as WPBA President, worked out deals with these promoters
to add a women’s division to their events. In 1978, I worked
out an agreement with a promoter in Maryland for the WPBA to
be part of a huge tournament he was planning. As it turned out,
it would be the only event he ever produced. It worked out to
be a successful event for WPBA players, but not for the men.
The promoter added $1000 to the women’s prize fund making
it total $3000. In those days, $1000 added made it officially
a major tournament. Besides prize money, and donated prizes such
as cues, cases and accessories, the WPBA players received points
from the event that were posted to their bid to be entered into
the WPBA National Championship at year’s
.....By the second day of the event,
rampart rumors abounded that the promoter was going broke because
there were not enough ticket sales and advertisers. Since we
were a fledgling organization, it was important for me to keep
our integrity intact, especially concerning prize money payouts.
As women players were eliminated from the event, I went to them
and told them to collect their prize money in cash from the promoter
over at the ticket sales desk. I had prearranged with the promoter
to payout the women players upon their second loss in the double
elimination tournament. All the player had to do was endorse
her check and the promoter handed her cash. After the tournament
was over, I clearly remember seeing the winner of the men’s
division waving his check and saying to the crowd that he would
sell his $4500 check to anyone for $2000. My anxiety was mounting.
In those days there were no ATM machines and only a few people
had credit cards. Business transactions were by cash or check.
I felt an enormous responsibility to make sure that all WPBA
players got paid, especially the Champion.
.....At 8:00 AM the morning after
the tournament, I woke Gloria Walker, the winner of the women’s
division, in her hotel room. She was the only player that had
received a check because the ticket sales desk had already been
taken down by the time the finals ended; everyone else had gotten
paid in cash. I had already found out where the promoter’s
bank was located in town the first day of the tournament. I drove
Gloria to the bank in my car. When the doors of the bank opened
at 9:00 AM, Gloria and I walked into the bank. She went to the
teller and, thankfully, her $1000 check cleared and she was given
her cash. In our case, we laughed all the way out of
the bank. It was a satisfying moment. We had hosted a successful
major event and the reliability of the WPBA was intact. The promoter,
to my knowledge, was never seen again. Later I found out that
over half the men’s field
had never received their prize money, including the winner of