Prior to 1997 there was a system in play for the Billiard Players. This was sponsored and ranking was done by the Pro Billiards Tour(PBT). They had set up a system through which players play on different levels, gain points and be ranked. As they played and moved up the points scale they had a chance to play in the US Open 9-Ball event, one which now allows all players to play and not just the top players. At that time the US Open and Billiards in general was so good that you had to earn a spot to play.
When the PBT went away it left a great void for the players that were not pro but could play better than most. Local events were out of the question due to if you won too many you were asked not to play. Face it sometimes a good player is hurtful to business. At that time the KBP Tour came to exist. In 1997 and after really working hard a begging people to let them have an event, the owners Tim and Kay Higgins had stared something that was unique and needed in the billiard industry. Tim had played for several years and had built himself up to the ranking of Developing Pro before the PBT went out so he was one of the many players who didn’t have a real place to play.
Tim ran the events for 5 or 6 years while Kay stayed in the back ground and only coming to a few events here and there. When Tim’s schedule at work changed and he could not run the events Kay stepped up to make sure that the players still had a place to play. All that was ever wanted was a place where people felt they could compete and feel good about how they played without having to face someone they knew they would not win against.
On May 24, 2009 a mere 12 years after the tour had begun Kay had a hard decision to make, which was one of many these last few years she’s had to make. The first decision was to take off from the tour and take care of her ill mother. As the tour
dwindled so did her Mother who finally died from the cancer in February 2009. With small turn outs,
economy and her long absence, the tour was suffering. Along with this Tim had had a heart attack the week before and even though he was doing better she felt she needed to be home with him.
“I don’t regret making my decision to take care of my Mother while she was ill and until her passing. It was what I needed to do and I am very glad I did. What I do regret is not being here for the players and the tour.” Kay stated at the event through somewhat teary eyes and a slight break in her voice.
“I try to say I am not really shutting the tour down but taking a step back to see what can be done better and to wait for the economy to come back. We deal with amateurs which are the working people. The people who live from payday to payday and love the game of pool along with want an outlet to be able to play and have a little fun.”
“Family comes first.” Was Casey Grove’s reaction to Kay’s announcement.
“Makes me feel good that they feel that my choices were the right one and I know a lot of players do love to play on the tour. Doesn’t make it hurt any less that it is over for now. I’ve made a lot of friends both amateur and pro and I cherish each and everyone of them. We’ve been around the Billiard World since 1987 when Tim was playing for a shot at going pro. We traveled every weekend he was off and as far as we could so that he could play. To be honest I didn’t really play till we got the Ladies events going and I did that just for fun. ”
“I was hoping you were going to be able to rebuild it now that you were able to come back” was another player’s remark.
“I am proud that they have so much faith in me. Do know this, we will not be strangers to the Billiard World. We plan on coming to events when we can and seeing as many as we can. We love this, but I guess you could figure that out with how long we’ve been around. Time will tell what is going to happen. I hope to be back soon. I was missing it even before the event was over. We are available to help other tours out and run events to keep the momentum up for the Billiard Industry.”
Kay will be posting write ups and other interesting tidbits on her website at
kbpbillardtour.com so she will still not be completely out of touch. She says that she will post articles that she has written in the past and work on trying to get the info for the last points list, bracket and all caught up. She also wants to thank all who have supported her with playing in the events over the years, rooms who have booked the events and the sponsors who have helped her out with product.