RedStrong Red (default) BlueCalm Blue GreenFresh Green

Chose your color scheme.

Bartlesville Tournament Weekend Recap

Posted on October 30, 2023 by under Pickleball, Travel.    

I played in the Bartlesville Pickleball Classic tournament again this year. As far as tournaments go, it’s just the best.

  • It is organized and well-run.
  • The tournament fee is reasonable — one fee for all events.
  • You get an awesome free shirt.
  • Lunch is provided for players.
  • You can make extra money for reffing matches.
  • The competition is pretty darn good.

When friends ask me what tournaments they should do, I always tell them to put this one on their list because they will not be disappointed. Of course, it does help that my wonderful friend Deana Holman lets me stay with her. And, as an added bonus, I get to love on her sweet dog Stella.

My partners this year were Chris Wilson (for Intermediate 50/50 and 4.5 Mixed Doubles) and Susie Ternes (for 4.0 Women’s Doubles). My schedule was 50/50 on Friday, Women’s Doubles on Saturday, and Mixed Doubles on Sunday. Since Chris and I were starting and ending at the same time, it made sense just to carpool. As luck would have it, Deana had a couple of extra rooms so I offered them up to both of my partners. Susie had several people staying with her in her giant Airbnb so she couldn’t take advantage of the free room at Deana’s. Chris was able to cancel his hotel reservation and stay at Deana’s instead, though. It worked out perfect since we were traveling together.

Originally, when I saw Kumar Krishnan at the Shangri-la tournament, he told me we would start at 8 AM on Friday so Chris and I planned on driving down on Thursday night. However, when the tournament schedule was published, our start time wasn’t until after 1 PM so Chris and I decided to drive down on Friday morning instead.

The Bartlesville tournament is very popular with the Wichita players so it wasn’t a surprise that Wichita swept the Intermediate 50/50 podium.


  • First Place – Ian Carr and Tiffany Lesperance
  • Second Place – Brady Randall and Michelle Belew
  • Third Place – Chris Wilson and me


Susie and I played together the next day. Although, she wasn’t my original partner. I was actually signed up to play with Stacy Lyon but Stacy ended up withdrawing due to a family vacation. When I was looking for someone to take her place, I knew Susie and I had several matching outfits and had talked about playing together at some point so we can wear our matching outfits and so it was a no-brainer. I am so glad she was available to play because, not only did we look great in our team uniforms, but it was so much fun!


I really enjoyed Susie’s positive energy and she just has a good time no matter what. We actually lost our very first match so we had to take the long way (or, as I like to call it, the “scenic route”) back to the podium. We had to play against some Wichita friends in the backdraw and then we met up with Roxy Schlatter and Laura Cramer, the team that put us in the backdraw initially, again. This time we were playing for medals so it was best 2 out of 3 games to 11, win by 2. We lost to them in the main bracket 6-11, 11-9, 5-11 but we were more prepared for their tricks (a lot of lobs, a lot of drive, and lob-drive combos) the second time around and we won pretty decisively, 11-3 and 11-4.

We then advanced to play in the championship match against the undefeated team of Jolinda Holt and Vanessa Palmeri. I had never played against either of these ladies before so I didn’t really know what to expect and, as always, it takes me a while to make adjustments. We went 3 games but couldn’t pull off the win. I’m not complaining, though. I had an absolute blast playing with Susie and Silver in 4.0 Women’s Doubles is nothing to be ashamed of considering it was our first time playing together.


After we were done playing, I made an extra $15 by reffing some matches. I reffed 3 and got $5 each. You actually make more if you are a trained/certified ref, which I am not. I was happy to make $15, though, and it was a great experience. I would totally go back next year and just ref. LOL.

Sunday was a quick day for us because Chris and I ended up signing up for a much higher level than we intended. I was originally signed up for 4.0 Mixed but then Chris told me to change it to 4.5 because it was labeled as “4.0 and Below” which really meant 3.5 and up. Anyway, they fixed the labels by removing the “and Below” designation but by then it was too late to move back to 4.0 division. Anyway, I didn’t make much of an effort to change it because I really didn’t mind the challenge but it was a tough group and an even tougher draw. As per usual, I ended up having to play against one of my former partners in the first round. We ended up losing to Dustin Herman (who I played with in ICT Classic earlier this year) and Fong Witte. In the backdraw, we ended up losing to Mitch Spencer and Greta Siemens. Although, I wasn’t too upset because we actually played much better this time than we did during the Backyard Pickleball Invitational (which we lost to them in that one too). I think the most disappointing part of the day was that we only got to play Wichita teams. So we traveled all the way to Bartlesville to play against people we normally play with/against at home. Again, I’m not complaining because the entire weekend was fabulous. It’s always wonderful to see, compete, and hang out with Oklahoma friends. They are good people!

I can’t wait until the next time. Until then, GNG.

Related Stories

  • My Bartlesville Results on October 31, 2022
  • Pictures from the Oak Tree Tournament on March 10, 2022
  • Mixed Doubles Mini Tournament at the Pickle Club on September 28, 2023
  • 80/100 Tournament on August 22, 2020
  • Fun Times in Bartlesville on October 26, 2022

  • « Senor Salsa in Bartlesville  « this post »  Brian’s First Time at Station 8 BBQ »