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Accu-Stats To Take Over US Open Entry Fees, Payout
Mar 18, 2015, 3:57 PM

In an effort to quell player concerns and secure critical sanctioning from the World Pool-Billiard Association (WPA), U.S. Open 9-Ball Championships promoter Barry Behrman has come to an agreement with Accu-Stats and its owner, Pat Fleming, to allow Fleming to collect all entry fees and added monies for the 2015 event. Fleming will also be in charge of distributing prize money once players are eliminated from the tournament.

Behrman and Fleming announced the new arrangement in separate press releases March 18. The 2015 U.S. Open is scheduled for Oct. 23-30, at the Sheraton Norfolk Waterside Hotel in Norfolk, Va.

“Pat [Fleming] has opened a U.S. Open Bank of America escrow account and will collect the $75,000 added funds prior to mid-July, as well as all players’ entry fees, which will be used to pay through 48th place,” said Behrman in his release.

According to Fleming’s Accu-Stats release, Behrman has until July 23, 2015, to deposit the $75,000 in added money. The total purse (player entries are $1,000) is projected to be $188,000. According to the release, Accu-Stats and Pat Fleming are the only persons on the Bank of America account authorized to receive entry fees and sign prize money checks.

The announcements should have a calming effect on players considering participation in the tournament. Behrman has a history (including 2014) of failing to pay cashing players at the end of the tournament, often having to pay players in installments over a period of months following the event. Fleming, a former pro player and Billiard Congress of America Hall of Famer, is well respected by both the players and industry members. His Accu-Stats video company has covered the U.S. Open for more than 30 years, and in recent years has offered both live streaming from the event and edited shows for distribution around the world.

While the WPA has not stated it publically, it is thought by most with knowledge of the situation that the world governing body would not have granted sanctioning to the U.S. Open if Behrman had been solely responsible for the distribution of the prize fund in 2015. WPA sanctioning means players earn world points, making them eligible for other WPA-sanctioned events and world championships. With $75,000 added, the U.S. Open would qualify as a Tier 2 event by the WPA, earning players more points for higher finishes. The U.S. Open is also slated as the final points event for players hoping to qualify for Team USA and Team Europe in the 2015 Mosconi Cup. “It is really good news all around,” said Darren Appleton, two-time U.S. Open champion and a player who travels to most big international events. “The players were losing faith, and the loss of the WPA sanction would have meant 50 percent of the players from Europe and Asia would not have come over. Now, with the money safe and the WPA points, all the foreign players will show up. Pat Fleming rescued the U.S. Open. We need the U.S. Open. It’s a prestigious event.”

The Accu-Stats release included a list of options for players wanting to post their entry fee, as well as a list of options for the collection of prize money. More information is available at http://www.azbilliards.com/news/stories/11850-pat-fleming-announces-us-open-escrow-details/