facebook twitter youtube

History of the LAPL - 1990's

Written by Administrator on 17 September 2008.


The Fall '90 Captains' Registration Meeting establishes the "John E. Isakson Memorial Award." The trophy is awarded to a league sponsor for their support and dedication to the Los Angeles Pool League. Mr. Harry Wiles, the proprietor of Mr. Mike's was honored with the first presentation at the Fall 1990 Pool Party held at the Connection. The Captains also voted during the Fall '90 meeting to increase league dues to $120, effective with the Spring '91 season. Al Ballesteros took over the production of the "GUIDE" for the Spring '91 and Fall '91 seasons. A major change in our "Rules of Play" was voted in by the Captains in Fall '91. Slop-Shot was out and Call-Shot (Pocket) was in. The seasonal Awards Banquet was delayed to coincide with the playing of the Twenty-fifth West Coast Challenge, where Paul Bussiere was to win his second top individuals trophy.


Spring 1991: The Board voted to temporarily resurrect and present the Mike LaVoie Perseverance Award at the Spring banquet as a special tribute to League Treasurer, Tony Lobene. It was expected that an honorary delegation composed of his Captain, Vern Addison;  1983 LaVoie winner and five time President, Bill Dehn; six term President and twice winner of the LaVoie Award, Marvin Beisel AND Mike LaVoie himself, would gather to personally bestow the honor to Tony. Tragically, Tony passed away the morning of the ceremony. His gentlemanly manner and good cheer will become a part of our fondest memories.


Fall 1991: Our thirty-sixth season sees the loss of three of the long time sponsors: Lela Burns (Connection), "Curley" (Little Joy) and "Buzzy (Eagle). Al Ballesteros (Little Joy), Publisher of the Guide, takes a seat for his first term on the Board of Governors serving as Treasurer. David Terrazas (Gold 9) assumes the role of Secretary. Carlos Navarrete (Bunkhouse), winner of the Fall 1976 LaVoie Award continues as Playoff Chair. Dee Anker (Hollywood Billiards) handles the Playoffs. The Isakson Memorial Award was presented to the Spike. Accepting on behalf of the Spike was partner, Manager and player, Vince Gioielli.


In Spring 1992, the production of the "GUIDE" returned to Marvin Beisel, and Jeffrey Hersh served an unprecedented seventh term as President of our league. The Spring '92 season featured more pool seminars conducted by Don Carrier and Don Lee, and another "first" entered into our records. Winners of our seasonal Hi/Lo tournament would for the first time play against their counterparts from the other cities at the West Coast Challenge. The Challenge was held at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel on July 9, 1992, and led to a victory by our Lodge team (Bussiere, Holecek, Calderone, Dreibus, and Kelly). At that time, the John E. Isakson Memorial Award honored the Bunkhouse for their thirty-seven seasons of solid support to our League. Accepting for the Bunkhouse was Richard Griffin, owner and long-time League supporter. That same evening, Special Recognition Awards were presented to Donald Cerf, Joe Dreibus and Jeffrey Hersh. Fall '92 started with a change of pace. The Captains' Meeting was held at the Rawhide on a Monday night instead of the traditional Tuesday. Jeffrey Hersh passed the "CUES/NUES" pen to then President Bill Hoover. Jeffrey's first "CUES/NUES" column, was March 28, 1985. With very few exceptions, this informative column kept us and the community advised of all league happenings for seven years. At the W.C.C. in San Francisco, Dan Klapp fought back after an early round defeat in Individuals play to win it all!


Spring '93 marked an end to an era for the L.A. Pool League. Marvin Beisel said goodbye to the League he had served so well since 1977, and moved east to Las Vegas. Over his tenure with us he had variably served as a six-term President (actually "Secretary" at the time), League Historian and the first and long time-thereafter publisher of our "GUIDE" (Spring'82), in addition to pleasing us with his humorous accounts of League activities in many issues of "CHALK TALK" and "Cues/News". Don Carrier and Bob Ames began work on designing and producing several AIDS quilts to honor and remember former League members who had been taken from us. The season ended on a positive note at the summer West Coast Challenge in San Diego where Paul Bussiere took the Individual Challenge Trophy (his third).


We celebrated the start of our fortieth Season in the Fall of 1993, with a healthy thirty-eight teams from nineteen participating bars. Although losing teams from the Rawhide, Hyperion and the Boulevard, we added teams from the Pub, the Motherlode, Gauntlet II, and Detour. Such changes symbolized the evolution of a healthy organization. Glenda Davis, pinch-hitting for Marvin, put together a special anniversary issue of the "GUIDE," the first to appear in an eight-and-one-half by eleven inch format. The highlight of the season was our fabulous Twentieth Anniversary banquet at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel in downtown L.A.! Amidst a glorious decor orchestrated by John Cochran we celebrated forty seasons of League accomplishments. Special events of that evening were the awarding of the Beisel Award to Doug Heaney, the "Sportsmanship Award" to Frank Bustamante, and the presentation to the League by Don Carrier of two memorial quilts in honor of those former members with us only in spirit. Joe Dreibus and Don Lee, our Hi-Lo team, placed first at the Long Beach-held West Coast Challenge.


Spring 1994 started with a BANG! The magnitude six-point-eight Northridge earthquake on January 17th shook us all awake early (four-thirty-one) in the morning, and left behind a condemned Hollywood Billiards building and a severely damaged Club 22. Griffs and the Driveshaft joined the Hollywood Billiards in leaving us, but we were joined by the new bars Oasis and Catch One. We hosted the Forty-First West Coast Challenge in July. The event, held at the Burbank Hilton, was a great success, and was made even more so by the first place victory of our In Touch East team: Don Carrier, Don Lee, Dan Klapp, Frank Bustamante, Rick Ayres, and Jack Frohman. Club participation remained the same in the Fall of '94, but for the first time after seven seasons of Jeffrey Hersh and Bill Hoover presidencies, we had a new President, Dale Correll. This season was also the first when members of the League walked as a group in the Tenth Annual AIDS WALK. Seventeen League members raised over $3,500 for APLA in completing their ten kilometer hike. Fall season brought an interesting first in League history: two women, Doreen Federoff and Chris Yamagata, won the first place finish in a special tournament doubles competition "Lucky Draw." Lauren Ward, newly migrated from arch-rival San Francisco, took first place Individual honors at the West Coast Challenge held, appropriately enough, in San Francisco. Scott Holecek and Paul Bussiere presented to us the first of several complimentary League banners that were hung in the Challenge hall.


Spring '95 brought the Hyperion back into our fold, filling in at the last minute when Mr. Mike's left us unexpectedly. The club once known as Griffs, reopened as the Faultline and has also rejoined us. In an effort to better inform League members of League activities, the Board under returning President Bill Hoover initiated a phone "Hotline" telling of future events. Our League's performance at the W.C.C., held in San Diego, was superb with League members capturing eight of the fourteen trophies! Scott Holecek won first place in the Individuals, and our Hi/Lo team of Gary Schaaf and Tony Moya also took the first place trophy. Following Spring season of '95, the Bunkhouse,  the last of the eight founding bars and the only one to maintain sponsorship for more than twenty years, was sold and lost as a League sponsor.


Fall '95 was the start of Bill Hoover's sixth-season stint as Editor of the "GUIDE", which he adorned with handsome graphics and his trademark witty photo captions of unsuspecting League members. Late in the season came the very sad news from Las Vegas of the passing of Marvin Beisel, who began this League's history many years before. It would be hard to find any single person in the League's history who shaped and contributed more to the success of the League than Marvin. The Fall banquet tributes to Marvin by Don Carrier, Mike Calderone, Bill Dehn, and Bill Hoover were appropriately elegant and moving. It was eminently fitting that at the same banquet Dale Correll became the eighth recipient of the Beisel Award, the League's most prestigious honor for "unusual dedication" to its well-being. Dale thus joined Wayne Babin, John Cochran, Austin Griffin, Doug Heaney, Jeffrey Hersh, Bill Hoover, and John Isakson as the only winners of this honor in its first forty-four seasons. At the Thirty-Second W.C.C. in Long Beach, John Wu won first place Individuals and the Escapades team of Lauren Ward, Stevan Bailey, Frank Bustamante, Joe Nealon, and Joe Pacchanelli stunned their other city rivals by never losing a match.


Spring season of 1996 ended on an auspicious note. During the season, Stevan Bailey had purchased the vacant Rawhide bar in North Hollywood and renamed it Rawhide-Shooters. The newly refurbished bar and its six tables became the venue for the League-hosted Thirty-Third W.C.C. with major funding for the event coming from Miller Lite thanks to Stevan's efforts. Still playing under the Escapades banner, Lauren, Stevan, Frank, and team newcomers Jack Frohman and Richard P., once again took first place honors after Stevan ran the table in an eight-to-eight playoff tie with San Diego.

Fall '96 began with the closure and loss to the League of Club 22, the victim of earthquake damage from the Northridge earthquake many months before. That loss of one of the League's most supportive sponsors was compensated for by the addition of new sponsor Rawhide-Shooters with its superb playing conditions and eight teams, a record number from any single bar. Still more changes in club sponsorships marked Spring '97.


Spring 1997: Rafters joined the League and Mr. Mikes and Spike returned to us. The biggest news for the season, under the new leadership of long-time Board member Michael Pfannenstiel, was the sponsorship of the League by "Bud Light" of Anheuser-Busch,  a sponsorship made possible through Stevan Bailey's introduction of the League to Anheuser-Busch. Unfortunately, after a gift of several thousand dollars to the League treasury, "Bud Light" lost interest in being our sponsor and was never heard from again. At the Spring Awards' Party, Jeffrey Hersh was the witty, silver-tongued citationist for longtime League friend and friendly rival Bill Hoover. Bill became only the sixth League member to receive its Sportsmanship Award, and the last since Frank Bustamante received it at the twentieth Anniversary party. At the time of the award, Bill had served as President a record nine terms and had been a Board member for twenty-seven of the preceding thirty seasons. Lauren Ward's team, now at Shooters, with Stevan Bailey, Frank Bustamante, David Boyd, and Jack Frohman, took up where they had left off after their preceding W.C.C. miss, and once again proved L.A. the best!


Fall '97 ended on a happy note at the Lodge where Steve and Skeeter hosted us to a superb Awards party dinner and Trunks & Rafters owner Bill Holland received the John E. Isakson Award for his extraordinary service and support to the League. The League's performance in W.C.C. competition was one of its best in years as the League dominated the tournament! Lauren Ward (captain), Stevan Bailey, Frank Bustamante, and David Boyd and Roy Benavidez of Rawhide-Shooters retained the team trophy they'd won at the Challenge before. Mele De Victoria won a down-to-the-wire first place Women's trophy, the first such finish for an L.A. woman since the summer of 1991. Terry Irwin, who went to the Challenge as a fill-in alternate with only one day's notice, came within several shots of ending up as number-one, and finished a remarkable number-two. Paul Bussiere and Ron Jopp at sixth and seventh place rounded out the spectacular L.A. showing.


Spring 1998 started with another new president, Glenda Davis. Glenda wasn't the first League president to wear a dress (at least on occasion), but she does it more than most! League history was also made by the make-up of the Board of Governors (and we are not referring to Glenda's make-up). The Spring Season Board set a record in having one President and four (!) ex-Presidents (Pfannenstiel, Hoover, Correll, and Cochran) among its seven members. At the Spring '98 Captains' Meeting, the Captains approved unanimously a Board-recommended special $10 per player assessment for the Fall '98 season only to help finance the League's Fiftieth Anniversary Celebration in December. The Captains also approved unanimously the Fall season adoption on a trial basis for the W.C.C. Rules of Play, with the exception of "touching ball fouls" and "jump ball" rules.


L.A. hosted the summer W.C.C., with play once again at Rawhide-Shooters. Sponsor Stevan Bailey provided six tables for play and generously made arrangements with Miller Genuine Draft for its sponsorship of trophies and T-shirts. The surprise of the tournament was not Lauren Ward's Rawhide-Shooters team (Ward, Bailey, Bustamante, and Ron Jopp) again besting the best of the other Leagues, which they did, but Jack Frohman's winning First Place Individuals for the first time since he did the same in January of 1986!


Fall '98 brought the League into its fiftieth season of play,  twenty-five years of good friendships, spirited competition, and fine sportsmanship. At the August Captains' Meeting, the League assessed its financial health in light of the season's end special Awards' Party and post-season W.C.C. travel to San Francisco. Faced with expenses exceeding seasonal income (team dues had not been raised since Spring of '92), the Spring and Fall Boards recommended a change in the League's underwriting of Challenge hotel costs. Rather than continuing to pay one night's single lodging for League competitors, League members could gain a hotel subsidy by participating in special tournaments or by making in-season donations to the treasury. For each special tournament participation, or each $10 donation, the League would support twenty percent of one night's lodging. This change in League policy for tournaments in San Francisco, San Diego, and Long Beach was approved unanimously by the Captains.


Our twenty-fifth year and fiftieth season ended on Sunday, December 14th with a gala Anniversary Brunch and Awards Party held at the Sportsman's Lodge in Studio City.  Jeffrey Hersh led a committee of past and present presidents (John Cochran, Dale Correll, Glenda Davis, Bill Dehn, and Bill Hoover) in planning an extremely well-attended event that focused on League history from the standpoint of its members from the five founders, to those too many whom we have lost from illness over the years, to the current membership. Jeffrey provided loop-running digital visuals of current League members and friends. Jay Belleville recounted the beginning of the League in 1974 with teams from only eight sponsoring bars. Since that time, in its first twenty-five years, the League fielded 1,970 different teams with more than eight-thousand participants from one-hundred and fifteen (!) different sponsoring bars. Bill Dehn narrated a historical slide show and received very special accolades (a plaque) for his unique status as the one and only player in the history of the League to have played in each and every one of our first fifty seasons! Bill Hoover, with Historian Glenda's assistance, prepared a celebratory program entitled "L. A. Pool League: Twenty-Five Years." Don Carrier paid tribute to members no longer with us by discussing and displaying the League's AID's quilts. Two League stalwarts were honored for their efforts on our behalf. Michael Pfannenstiel received a well-deserved Special Recognition Award for his two-season service as League President.  Butch Gottlieb, long-time owner of the Four Star and the Palms (first Lesbian bar in Los Angeles), took home the John E. Isakson Award for his years of League support.

Newly refurbished perpetual trophies for the Mike LaVoie and Marvin Beisel Awards were displayed with most of the former award winners in attendance and called to the stage for the official re-presentation.  This was the last occasion at which all five Founders of the League were present at a League function including Mike LaVoie who had retired from play many years before. For the first time, the entire event was videotaped and photographed for the archives.


The entertainment highlight of the event was the appearance of Margaret Cho, a nationally known stand-up comic, actress, and television star, who preceded the more formal program with appropriately ribald humor and helped make our celebration a truly memorable event!

The official end of our fiftieth season came at the January San Francisco W.C.C. with a one-to-two finish in the Open Individuals by Lauren Ward and Stevan Bailey. Spring of 1999 represented the proverbial "pause after the storm."


Spring 1999: With so much energy (and$) expended by Jeffrey Hersh and the Board for the Twenty-Fifth Anniversary bash, our fifty-first season started with an unusual departure from tradition. The "GUIDE" did not appear, and as a cost-saving effort the League published only a "Players Information" handout. Dale Correll, for the first time in many seasons of Board and League service, decided to retire from the Board for health reasons. There were changes in team membership as well, with the Oxwood Inn dropping out, Little Joy returning to the League, and Mavericks joining us. At our Awards Dinner, Jeffrey Hersh was awarded the League's Special Recognition Award for his dedicated efforts at making the Fiftieth Season Anniversary the success that it was. At season's end, two teams, Lauren Ward's Shooters and Charles Brown's Motherlode tied for League best with impressive one-hundred, twenty-five to thirty-five (seventy-eight percent) records! The Shooters team (Ward, Bustamante, Bailey, Bruce Joseph, and Ron Jopp) went on to capture (once again!) the team championship at the Summer W.C.C., a success mirrored by Mele De Victoria who placed first in Women's competition.

In Fall, 1999, our "GUIDE" returned with its title "Last Season of the Millennium." Glenda Davis retired from the Presidency and Bill Hoover, who had resurrected the "GUIDE," returned (once again) to the Prez's chair. League additions in the Fall included the election of Lauren Ward to the Board and Bananas and Spike to League membership. First place finishes by League members in the end-of-season W.C.C. included Stevan Bailey in the Open Individuals and Frank Bustamante and Olive McLaughlin in Hi/Lo.

On the subject of us

The Los Angeles Pool League is a voluntary organization of individuals committed to organize and...More

Connect with us

Subscribe to LAPL

facebook twitter youtube 

Contact the LAPL Here

League Archives

You are here: Home History History of the LAPL LAPL History History of the LAPL - 1990's