Sunday, February 13, 2005

Billiard Tourney in Rocky Mount, NC

Here is an article from the Rocky Mount Telegram where the WPBA is holding the Mueller Recreational Products Carolina Classic this weekend. In case you are in the area and interested, it is being held at the Nash Community College. It is a shame that they don't have an event planned for Charlotte.
Billiards or poker?By Jeff Gluck, Rocky Mount Telegram
Saturday, February 12, 2005
It would have been natural for the billiards community to panic when ESPN picked up the poker craze.
Texas Hold'em could have left the Women's Professional Billiards Association out in the casino lobby, but pool insiders insist there's room for both.
Poker isn't about to knock pool off ESPN. In fact, 2004 was the WPBA's best year yet in terms of televised hours of the sport, and the interest seems to be growing exponentially.
"Our popularity doubled from 2003 to 2004, I know that," said Tony Davis, the creator of The Spider teaching tool.
Davis knows because the fees to advertise his product have risen dramatically, a by-product of increased exposure.
Peg Ledman, a Tour organizer, said the WPBA's ESPN contract calls for 24 hours of original programming.
"With re-runs, that's more than 100 hours last year," she said. "That's more than we've ever been on."
Helena Thornfeldt has been playing billiards for 23 years, and said the sport has only touched the tip of the pool cue.
"We're only at the beginning," she said. "Everywhere we go, people know us and are getting excited. This is our first year (in Rocky Mount), and there's already a lot of people. You can imagine what it'll be like next year.
"I mean, we really put on a good show."
Besides, pool and poker don't have to be competitors. The tournaments for both activities are usually played in casinos. Pro player Kelly Fisher said there's potential for a combined event.
"The two would combine quite good, to get someting infused," said Fisher, a North Carolina resident. "They go hand-in-hand. There could be a possibility."
Davis said pool is a sport that everyone can appreciate, regardless of skill level.
"This is a sport for all ages, all shapes and all sizes," he said. "You don't have to do the 100-yard dash in 9.3 (seconds) or jump high. You just have to have great hand-eye coordination."

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