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Coronavirus Update - 4-21-20
Apr 21, 2020, 2:41 pm

Hey Everyone-

Sorry, a pretty long post – I’ve got lots of time right now. FunLand’s closed temporarily, my DJ events are rescheduling left and right. My yard’s looking good, though. Playing a little pool in my garage on an 8-foot Valley table – the classic bar coin-op style. Missing the 9-foot tables big time. Lots of Kim Davenport’s ‘Target Pool’. A great game from the 90’s, look it up if you get a chance, or maybe there’s something newer out now. Either way, great for position practice – highly recommend.

This Thursday, April 23rd, would have been the third to last night of our regular season, fyi. Crazy.

First, some bad news. We lost another CMPL player. I don’t know the exact circumstances, but Rob Calderaro passed away either April 8th or 11th of this year in his home – I got two different reports, and the Chico ER obituary. He last played for the Dragons at Oasis – I think he used to play on another team, but I can’t remember now. I have him playing back in 2016-2017, not sure how much more before that he played with us. I combed through all my pool photos and at first couldn't find one of him. But Larry Hiller reached out and reminded me that he was part of a Top Shooter group photo from 2016-2017. It's the one I had to Photoshop Chris Urbach into! He mostly kept to himself and was private in nature – hence the Rob C. on the website. He had some issues outside of the pool halls, but whenever he was around a table you could always get a good smile from him, as well as a congratulatory pat on the back. Some might not remember him by name, but almost guaranteed a picture would result in an ‘Oh yeah, I know him!’ I’ll try to find a good picture to post. Those that did know him well, my condolences. Unfortunately, another player to remember at January’s Memorial Tournament.


I hope this update finds everyone well, or at least as well as can be without weeks of playing pool. But I'm seeing now, it's not necessarily the lack of physically playing the incredible sport of pool, it's the lack of interacting with others who feel the same way I feel about the sport or the game. Our community, our kinship, our affiliation. For most of us we play in a league for the weekly challenge of improving - making one more ball in a run than last week, perfecting the bank shot, getting over the 8-ball phobia, not missing the 'easy ones' – even the expensive ball-in-hands, helping our team to victory. But for each one of those reasons, there is another big thing I miss - the antonym of today's big phrase "social distance". I miss the “social closeness”. Having three friends within 6 feet of each other. Meeting up with your teammates - catching up on their past week's happenings. Seeing your opponents, your extended friends and even the ones you can't stand - catching up on their lives over the past couple weeks or months since you last played their team. Beyond that, the familiar faces at each of our establishments - Barney, Peggy, Keoni, Manny, and Dave over at the Oasis. And of course Stacy who I pray is doing good, getting government assisted help, and getting things prepped for reopening day. Man, I hope you’re doing all right, Stace! Even Marlene and her karaoke service - no matter who is singing - even sounds great right now. I'd do anything for a Jeff Wozena Saturday pool tournament, even with his crazy shredded-paper-out-of-the-hat, or mini pool ball, tournament seeding procedures. I miss Duffy's gigantic-pocket (but somehow impossible to win on) pool table, with Ed, Ice Cream, Prana, Kevin and Evan, et al, hidden away at their table in the corner. I miss getting buzzed in (then buzzed) at the Eagles - walking into a 'Cheers'-style environment where everyone sees you come through the door and they all know your name, Joanie the bartender either pouring a very tall shot or cracking open your beer can - after you sign the book, of course. The buckets-o-peanuts at the Tackle Box with Pops' "Nice to see ya' again" greeting, and Bob Cody's interesting story of the day. Seeing who Joseph added this week (lol). Then cheering our Keith on as he does a unique rendition of a song about a friendly little cat up on stage with Andy's karaoke. Most of all, I miss our 'home' on Wednesdays and Thursdays, and some Sundays, with most Tuesdays and Fridays - The Down Lo. I miss being greeted by whoever the bartender is that day - Ariel, Oscar, Mark, Haley, our Jessica - it's something I now take for granted. Dang, I might even miss the Jazz Band - I think. DJ Damien and his DJ sidekick, and open mic nights are also now being missed. Garlic tater tots, the steak sando, nachos, quesadillas - I'm getting hungry now. The Down Lo always had the same people on the same tables - the same tables Ernesto, Sean Kruger, Jason Colabove (great local commercial, by the way!), and I each had a hand on in improving - some even out of our own wallets. Charles and Bill over on table 10, Lombard and/or Kevin Cibart on the blue table 8. Sean Kruger practicing on 6. Paul and his I-Cues on table 3 or 1. Satyr, McGrill, Derek, and Tokarski warming up on table 9 with their 'Chug Whiskey, hail... (well, you know the rest) black and gold t-shirts. I miss the practice sessions with Cele, Wheeze, Madsack and I on table 5 - the only people in the bar - but then some randoms would come and play on table 6, right next to us, with 9 other tables open. Lol. Always reminds me of that meme with the 25 empty urinals, and the guy comes and pees in the urinal right next to you. Wednesday league is missed sorely as well. As much turmoil we ended up going through last season, the general consensus is that the league was a huge hit. I miss seeing Meredith, meeting up at the bar as we collectively sigh after a rush-over to the bar from our jobs - catching up with her and her work for the News & Review, not to mention her phenomenal Women's League leadership. I miss seeing Chris Singleton and what new addition he was implementing into his Wednesday league and its website. Dang, Fargo Ratings – remember those?

As I was entering the score sheets from the last weeks of Thursday league play (they are all updated and current, by the way - stats and standings at least) I couldn’t help but reminisce about so many players I'm now almost forgetting. The same players I would see each week, even consider friends, now starting to slip my mind. I could name a few but they would just lead to five more. Their name would pop up on the website when I was doing scores and I would think - "Man, I hope he/she is doing OK. I haven't seen or heard from them in a while." Just hoping they are healthy right now, that their family is good, and that they are surviving these times and will have work again when it's over. Then, of course, unfortunately skipping over Rob Calderaro's name. Rest in peace. 

Which gets us to the CMPL again. One of the best parts of the season of course is the end-of-the-year party. We get to see all those people again in one location. This year's would of course be even sweeter - as Satyr said to me, more of a pool-related 'we survived it' party. So whenever this happens, hopefully not an 'if' this happens, we have a few scenarios to decide on how we proceed. Man, proceeding with ANYTHING right now sounds so good... We can, theoretically:

  • Continue and finish the season and start where we left off, with March 19th's matches all the way through playoffs, and eventually a party, sometime in late summer/early fall, just before the next season starts in October.
  • Stop and call it a season, move all funds accumulated to next season (2020-2021) and not collect any dues (sounds dreamy to me, the not collecting dues part). No party, either.
  • Call it a season and move right to playoffs/top-shooter tourney, with the team and top shooter standings the way they currently are, then the party 
  • Call it a season and move right to playoffs/top-shooter tourney, but with EVERY team in a 13-team playoff format of some sort. Top Shooter tourney would be as it last stood/current, then the party 
  • No more pool playing - just have a party with a tournament and all other fun stuff. No awards, trophies, playoffs, top shooter, etc. 

There’s still a lot of other questions still to answer. They all, obviously, depend on when the bars open again. All the establishments in our league at least. Then, even when they are open, are all teams going to have full rosters? Will they still have sensitive players not wanting to be in community places like bars, hence making their team short? Do we still play with short teams - count/not-count the forfeits/etc. Does anybody really care about what place they are in/will be in? Will it be more of just a get-out-and-play scenario, who cares if they/we win or lose, who will that matter to? Is the season essentially an 'asterisk' anyways? There will be both types, guaranteed.

So start thinking now about what you would like to see, what you think would be best. We don't need to decide today, but eventually we will. Captains, ask you teammates what they would think. You can let me know, or if you have any questions - ask them. Email might be best: Or text, 530-966-5632. 

Again, I hope this finds everyone well. I can't stress enough how much I miss all of you - yes, 'even you'. Pool is such an amazing sport, but it really doesn't work as well without friends and friendly competition. When we do get back to this routine - which we will, please be sure to thank your bar owners, managers, bartenders, cooks, bouncers, DJ's, trumpet players, dish washers, karaoke hosts, tournament and league directors, that crazy guy sleeping at the end of the bar, and most importantly your teammates and opponents. Thank them all for riding this thing out and trying to return to 'normal'.

Just found a good playlist while typing all of this. For those that dug the Guardians of the Galaxy soundtracks (1 and 2), director James Gunn released something I’ve been looking forward to and wondering for some time now. I always wondered how he selected those great songs, as well as what other ones he was contemplating and left off the list. He’s fortunately compiled a Spotify list of just those – 64 more songs similar to those that did make the cut: ‘Meredith Quill’s Complete Awesome Mix’. They might be used in upcoming Guardian movies, or not. Either way, good old school, almost forgotten but still recognizable, music from the 70’s/80’s. Here’s the link:


Yes, Chris Urbach was Photoshopped in!

Mar 23, 2020, 2:55 pm

In case you didn't see Meredith's post on Facebook's Chico Pool Player's site, all leagues are paused for the time being. Most, if not all, bars are closed leaving it impossible to continue at this point - whether you agree it's safe or not to keep playing.

The leagues will remain on hiatus until further notice. Once/if they resume, we will discuss what to do with the rest of the season and the pool party. 

For now, try to find a friend with a table and keep practicing. 

I'll post any updates here, and of course on the Facebook Chico Area Pool Player's site. Follow this link to its page:

See you soon, I hope!


Second Half Starts NOW!
Feb 14, 2020, 7:39 pm

It's the second-half of the season! Every team has played each other once now, and last night's matches started the opposite of the first half - the home team is now the visitor, and vice-versa. So those waiting for the second-half push, saving the best for last, now's the time to start making your move!

Stats are all entered, even for last night! Everyone got their sheets in quick so I just went ahead and did it. Top Shooter list is also up to date - even stretching it out to the Top 25 shooters. Remember, top 16 make it to the tourney this year!

I'll have game recaps added to this post here tonight or this weekend, letting you know what happened last night - week #14.

Thanks again for the prompt score sheet submissions - makes it so much easier.

Happy Valentine's Day!



Week #10 Update
Jan 23, 2020, 12:54 pm

Hey everyone - an update! Top shooter list (left hand column) has been updated - a first for this year. Kevin Cibart sits atop the list at 83.3%. Ed Theis and Joel Russo are right behind them with 81.0%, but technically just under the 75% minimum nights played requirement. Don't forget - this year it's the top 16 players competing, not just the top 8! So keep it up (games played and wins) - we're not even half way yet! All the scores are in through week #10 (Jan. 16th's games) so the standings are current - the Bulldogs sit on top with 140 points, but the Playa's are right behind them with 138 points.

Here's what happened in Week #10 - January 16th: 

The Eagles were home against the Damned last week. It was all Damned in the first half as Tony and McGrill went 3 for 3 to help their team get to a 9-3 advantage. In the bottom-half the Eagles clawed back a little, getting 2-1 wins from Chuck and Donny to make the final score 13-8 Damned. Mike Daniels and Alan beat Goran and Derek for the home beer frame win.

The Stickmen were home taking on the traveling first place team, the Bulldogs. The Stickmen dominated the match - until the second-half. Cele got all 3, Cal, Jess, and Wheeze each got 2 wins to get the Stickmen up 9-3. The momentum carried into the beer frame where Scott and Bil beat Smitty and Robbie 2-0. Cruise control, right? Nope - the Bulldogs came back with 3-0 wins from Robbie, Smitty, and Ty. That's right - a 9-0 bottom-half sweep to end up winning 12-9. That’s why they’re in first place.

The Dragons hosted Duffy's at the Oasis on January 16th. The Dragons were up by a bit (7-5) at the break thanks to Steve Stulls 3-0 win in the leadoff position. Daniel got Duffy's back into it with a 3-0 win himself. Daniel's hot hand stayed the table for the beer frame as Kevin joined him to beat Jeff and John, 2-1, for the home beer frame win. In the bottom-half Walt got a 3-0 victory and Staci followed up with 2 points of her own to get their team to a 12-6 lead. But Duffy's Craig D. finished the night with a 3-0 win to get his team closer, but still a 12-9 loss.

The Original O's were also at home, taking on the 2nd place Playa's. It was tied at the beer frame 6-6, mainly due to Dwayne and Brian trading 3-0 victories. Stacy and Alex beat Troy and Kevin for the home beer frame win, 2-1. In the 2nd half it was all Down Lo - Leo and Kevin each got 2, and Joe Gall finished the night with a 3-0 win. Final score: Playa's 13, Original O's 8.

The Bankers, also at home at the Oasis, invited the Tackle Box over for a match. Ken got all 3 of his games, but so did newly acquired Jesse for the Tackle Box, to make the half-time score 8-4 Bankers. Rich Jr. and Barney beat Joseph and Jesse in the Beer Frame, 2-0. Tackle Box Rich got 3 wins to get his team tied at 9-9 - two point away from their first team win of the season, but superstar Russ came back and sealed the deal with a 3-0 victory to give the Bankers a 12-9 win at home.

The I Cue were home at the Down Lo hosting the Hateful 8 of the Oasis. In a very close match, the Oasis squad pulled out an 11-10 victory. I Cue Matt got another 3-0 victory - the only 3-0 match of the night. Literally all the others were 2-1 matches - even the beer frame. Jeremy and Matt beat Izzy and Evan for the home beer frame win.  

In another close match at the Down Lo, the so-called Last Place team (actually right in the middle in a playoff position - 7th place), were in a dog fight with the 3rd place Oasis Outlaws. Bulldog scored a 3-0 win in the 3rd match of the night, but RJ stormed back with a 3-0 showing himself in the 4th match. The Outlaws were only up 7-5 at the break. Rick and Mike beat Gary and Krad in the beer frame, 2-0, for the only road beer frame win on January 16th. Krad stayed at the table and got 2 out of 3 in the 5th match, then Jordan did the same in the 6th match to make the score 9-9 going into the 7th frame. Mike Karol put things to rest with the first 2 wins, Wozena threw in one more to make the score very close - an 11-10 victory for the Outlaws.

So on to Week #11, January 23rd - good luck to everyone. Don't forget - the big tournament this weekend at the Down Lo. Somehow if you don't know, see this page for the flier or check your email basket. 2:00pm start - first 64 players only. $900 to the first place shooter, pay outs to the top 8 finishers. Call or text me ASAP to secure a spot or for any answers to your questions.



2020 Chico Winter Open Tournament
Jan 10, 2020, 9:28 pm

Week #7 Update
Jan 2, 2020, 6:29 pm

Happy Holidays!

Sorry, I thought I was going to have all this time to get caught up on stats during the break. Nope. I think I had less time than normal weeks. 

Now that things have slowed down a little, I had some time to plug in some numbers. All the stats are up to date, current standings are up to date, beer frame is not up to date. Nor is the Top Shooter list. Yet. "I'll work on it this weekend when I have some free time."

Good luck this week, week #8 I believe. 



Week #2
Nov 14, 2019, 4:59 pm

Here's what happened in Week #2:

The Damned traveled over to the Oasis to take on the Oasis Original O's last week. The teams were tied at the break 6-6 - Stacy got 3 for his crew, Tony got all 3 for his guys. Mike Clarke and Dave beat Sean and McGrill in the Beer Frame, 2-1. In the bottom-half it was all Damned - Sean got 2, and Derek got all 3 of his. The last match was a forfeit, 3 points to the Damned. Final score: Damned 14, O's 7.

The Tacklebox hosted the I Cue on the south side of town. These teams were also tied at the break, 6-6. Phylicia started the night off with a 3-0 win, but Pops, Jeff, and Cody all got 2's to get it tied up. Matt and Phylicia beat Nate and Xedric in the Beer Frame, 2-0. In the bottom-half, Nate made it 8-7 Tackle Box, but Howie and John Denton battled back and each got 3-0 wins propelling the 'Cue to a 13-8 victory.

It wasn't too fun at the Eagles last week, unless you were a Bulldog. Chris, Ed, Brenon, Steve, Robbie, and Dennis all had 3-0 victories. Ty dropped the ball and only got 2 out of 3 to get the night's final score to Bulldogs 20, Eagles 1. But, Chris and Terry did beat Ty and Robbie to get the Beer Frame win. 

Downstairs at the Down Lo, Kevin's Playa's were home hosting the Oasis Dragons. The game was still anyone's to win at the break - the Playa's were only up 8-4. Dwayne had a 3-0 win, but Jeff Brun kept the Dragons in it with a 2-win effort. Troy and Dwayne beat Aaron and Hambek in the Beer Frame, 2-0. In the bottom half, Jason Colabove 'only' got 2 out of 3, but one of his wins was via an 8-ball break-and-run. Kevin and Leo finished the night with 3-0 wins to bring the final score to 16-5 Playa's.

Over on Table #3 at the Down Lo, the Last Place team was taking on the Stickmen. The Stickmen were up 8-4 at the break, Scott got 3 wins and Cele and Wheeze got 2 each to help their crew. Scott stayed at the table and paired up with the birthday girl Jessica to beat Jeff Woods and Jordan 2-0 in the Beer Frame. In the final 3 matches, Santos, Madsack, and Jessica all got 2 out of 3's to make the final score 14-7 Stickmen.

Duffy's was on the road last week. They had to fly over to the Oasis and take on Barney's Bankers. Duffy's had an 8-4 lead at the break, thanks to captain Ed's 3-0 victory, and Jason and Woot's 2 point victories. Ken Forbis got 2 for his Bankers to keep it relatively close. New Duffer Craig and Daniel beat newcomer Steve and Barney in the Beer Frame, 2-0, for an always nice road win. In the bottom-half, Dave Forbis got 3 quick ones for his Oasis squad to get them really back in it, but Craig came back and got 2 of his own to get them on the proverbial 'hill', then Daniel in the last frame got the final 11th point against Russ's 2 points for an 11-10 Duffy's victory.

The Hateful 8 had the biggest week #1 victory to get them to an early first place spot, but they had to come back and play the Oasis Outlaws in Week #2. The Outlaws were all over the '8 as they won 18-3. Paul Eggers got 2 for his Hateful 8 in the leadoff spot, but after his match only Larry Hiller got another point. Kevin Lombard, Mike Karol, Kenny Duff, Greggy Bear, and Tree all had 3-0 matches. Bulldog got 2 wins to help the cause. Kenny Duff and Ricky won the Beer Frame as well, 2-0.  

Good luck in week #3. I'll be at the Eagles, but I might be out and about to collect those last dues still owed. Let me know if you have rosters and money, and I'll come and pick it up.


And they're off!
Nov 5, 2019, 10:52 pm

Week #1 - In the Books!

The Eagles were home taking on the Hateful 8 of the Oasis two weeks ago. Terry started the night on the right foot for the Eagles, getting 2 out of 3, but the Hateful 8 stormed back with 2 from Sam, Carlos with 3, Paul Eggers with 3, and Larry Hiller with 3. That made it 12-3 Oasis after the 5th match. Mike Daniels did come back with a 2-spot, but Izzy wrapped it up with 3 wins in the final frame. Donny and Mike did beat Larry and Evan in the beer frame to force the Oasis to buy a round on the road. Final score, 16-5 Hateful 8.

The Damned started the year off against the Playa's in a Down Lo exhibition. The Damned were up 8-4 at the break thanks to Philo's 3-spot. Goran and Tony chipped in 2 wins each as well. But the tide turned at the Beer Frame as Kevin Cibart and Jason beat Satyr and Sean Krueger 2-1 for free beer. Jason stayed at the table and got all 3 of his games. Kevin got 2 of his to make it 9-9 going into the final frame. Derek got 2 wins in a row - the 2nd win via an 8-ball break-and-run to emphatically get his team their winning 11th point. Final score: Damned 11, Playa's 10. 

In another close match at the Down Lo, the Last Place squad (the team formerly known as Rack Pack) were home hosting the Oasis Bankers (the team formerly known as Team Chaos, and formerly-formerly known as the Bankers). Similarly, it was 8-4 Bankers at the half - Rich Jr. got 3 wins to start the night off right, Jim Wilson and Kevin Langstaff each got 2 of their own before the beer frame. In the beer frame, Rich Jr. got the required wins with his partner Russ, as they beat Jeff Wozena and Krad. In the bottom frames, Wozena and Martin got their team to an 8-10 deficit going into the final match, but Russ got the important 11th point to seal the win. Krad did get the next 2 points to make it a close 11-10 Team Chaos Bankers win against the Down Lo Rack Pack Last Place.

 The Stickmen were the third Down Lo team at home, as they hosted the Tackle Box Alligator Humpers (I think their name is the same). Cele started the night off with 3 quick wins, then Michael Hampton kept it rolling with 3 of his own. Tackle Boxer Jeff R. got 2 back for his squad, as did Bob Cody just before the beer frame. The Stickmen were up 8-4. Scott and Madsack lost the home beer frame match to Cody and Jesse. Santos got 2 in the 5th spot, Madsack got 2 more in the 6th spot. Scott wrapped up the night with 3 wins to get the final score to a 15-6 Stickmen win.

Meanwhile, over at the Oasis, the Dragons were home hosting the I Cue squad. The Dragons got out to a 7-5 lead at the break - Rob C. got all 3, and Jeff Brun started the night with 2 wins of his own. Jeremy and Matt each got 2 wins for their team to keep it close. Jeremy and new I Cue member Phylica beat Aaron and Staci for the road beer frame win. But in the bottom-half it was pretty much all Dragons - 2 wins each for Staci, Steve Stull, and John Chamberlain. Final score: Dragons 13, I Cue 8.

The Bulldogs were also home at the Oasis taking on the Duffy's gang. The first 4 Duffy's shooters were hanging right there with the 'Dogs - Urbach got 2, but then Woot got 2. Daniel got 2 more for Duffy's, but Brenon came back and got all 3 of his matches to make the beer frame score 7-5 Oasis. Brenon and Dennis beat Kevin and Ed 2-1 for the beer frame honors. In the bottom-half, it was all Bulldogs. Dennis got 2 out of 3, Robbie got all 3, and Ty finished the night with 3 more. The final score saw the Bulldogs pulling away with a 15-6 win.

The final match of week #1 was an Oasis vs. Oasis match-up - the Original O's vs. the Outlaws. It was all O-Team in the first-half as they went up 8-4 early. Returning player Mike Clarke got 2, Joel got 3, and Brian V. got 2 for the O's. Kevin Lombard got 2 for the Outlaws. Stacy and Dave got the beer frame from Ricky and Mike Karol, 2-1. But in the bottom-half the Outlaws took over. DJ got 3 wins in the 5th spot, and Ricky got 2 wins in the 6th spot. That made it a 9-9 tie going into the final match between Stacy and Mike Karol. Mike got the first game, Stacy the 2nd, to make it 10-10. Mike Karol got the final point in the final frame for the 11-10 Outlaw win.

That was week #1 - week #2 is coming up here on Thursday. Week #2 also signifies the point at which all dues need to be paid before penalties start being enforced. So just cough up that $25 to your captain - quick like a Band-Aid - and be done with any payments until the Pool Party raffle in June. Do it and enjoy your free beer. I'll be at the Down Lo with my receipt book, and I'll probably make a trip over to the Oasis as well at some point, to collect those final team's dues. Thank you to the other half that already paid - enjoy your night, I will not be bugging you.

Good luck in week #2 - only 25 more weeks to go before playoffs!


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