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Payment Made on Desert Shootout Debt
May 21, 2008, 8:52 PM

The controversy surrounding the UPA-sanctioned Desert Shootout — held April 24-27 in Tempe, Ariz. — appears to be at least partially resolved. The top five players, who all received bad checks, have received a majority of the prize money owed to them.

At a May 15 meeting in Las Vegas during the Predator 10-Ball International Championship and BCAPL National Championships, Mark Griffin, owner of the BCA Pool Leagues and a partner in Diamond Billiards, distributed checks for 70 percent of the unpaid prizes to the players. The five players — Johnny Archer, Mika Immonen, Mike Davis, Charlie Bryant and John Schmidt — were owed $$31,800, of which Griffin paid more than $22,000.

Chuck Bobbitt, who promoted the Desert Shootout and signed the bad checks, agreed to sell eight Diamond tables to Griffin, raising some of the money owed to the players.

“All I did was buy tables to generate cash,” Griffin said, adding that he did not assume the entire debt. “We paid the players directly; we actually wrote the checks and cashed them on the spot.”

Additionally, the UPA evenly distributed $1,500 (the amount it received as a sanctioning fee) to the five players.

According to Griffin, Bobbitt has also agreed to sign a promissory note saying he will repay the remaining amount (approximately $9,000) within a year.