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PQQLK9
07-05-2004, 10:34 AM
Billiards proprietor has a knack for the game
By ADAM WITTENBERG , Staff Writer 07/05/2004
BERLIN -- Peter Genovese stumbled on the game of pool sort of by chance.

The former two-time state champion wrestler tore a ligament in his knee midway through his career at Seton Hall University, prematurely ending his wrestling career.


Around the same time, Genoveseís father, Joseph, was diagnosed with prostate cancer, a disease that would soon take his life.

When the younger Genovese returned to college in 1991 following his fatherís death, school was the furthest thing from his mind.

"I couldnít deal with school. There was a lot of unfinished business back home. I spent a lot of time playing pool. Surprisingly, I discovered I was very good at it very quickly," he said.

Over the last 14 years, the New Britain native has turned his affinity for pool into a full-time profession.

He began teaching lessons in 1995 and became a certified pool instructor in 1997. He also managed pool halls in Southington, Rocky Hill and Berlin before opening up his own club, Ultimate Billiards on Webster Square Road, in 2002.

"I knew one day I would want to open a club. I met some people who wanted to bring professional tournaments to Connecticut so we created a venue where everything is geared toward the spectator," Genovese said.

Genovese outfitted the club with 21 nine-foot tables and eight seven-foot tables. He and his partners also created a spectator area alongside the wall of the main pool area. The venue has already hosted several regional and national tournaments.

Last November, the club hosted the U.S. Amateurs Tournament, "the most prestigious amateur tournament in the world," according to Genovese.

Playing in his own club in front of a hometown crowd, Genovese went into the final round undefeated only to finish in second place.

Never one to give up, Genovese plans to try again this year as his club will host the competition again.

"(Winning the tournament) would be the highlight of my young career. I give a lot of credit to Bruce Choyce of Florida, who won (last year). Heís invited back to defend his crown. If you win this tournament, they send you to the U.S. Open in Chesapeake, Va. That would be a sweet final chapter for an amateur," he said.

Genovese credits watching superior pool players like Frankie Hernandez and George SanSouci with helping him develop his own skills.

"I used to spend a lot of time watching them play. I would go to the table and try to mimic everything I saw. Iíve never been formally instructed," he said.

If he wins the amateur tournament, Genovese would like to become a full-time touring pool player. He is currently working with an assistant to assemble sponsors to help him get on the tour.

Genovese already has some experience playing against top talent. Earlier this year, he beat Karen Poor, when she was ranked number one in the world.

Lucille McCarthy, a partner in Ultimate Billiards, gives Genoveseís work ethic and personality as the reasons for his success.

"Heís got great sportsmanship and class, which you donít always see in pool. Heís a great people-person. He knows how to make people feel good, make them feel wanted. A lot of people come up here to watch him play or to play him. He does a lot for the game," she said.

"I hope heíll take first place this year and get invited to the U.S. Open. That would be his dream," she added.

Adam Wittenberg can be reached at awittenberg@ newbritainherald.com or by calling (860) 225-4601, ext. 320.

I'm sure he meant Karen "Coor" /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif or Karen "Corr"

wolfdancer
07-05-2004, 05:49 PM
Poor Karen...now that she's #2, nobody remembers her name