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PQQLK9
01-31-2005, 12:32 PM
http://www.valleystar.com/images/uploads/9ball013105.jpg
Ryan Henry / Valley Morning Star
Amanda Lampert prepares to jump the cueball during the final match against Sophie Lopez during ladies division competition at the South Padre Island 9-ball Championship at the South Padre Island Convention Centre on Sunday. Lampert, the defending champion, finished in first place again.

http://www.valleystar.com/localnews_more.php?id=56574_0_19_0_M

In the pocket
Amateur 9-Ball tournament at SPI concludes



RESULTS

In the Open Division, a field of 76 players, Gutierrez won 11-10 ($6,500) over Jui Lung Chen of Dallas ($3,500).

Shane Harvey of Houston won third place with 11-8 games ($2,500); Erman Bullard of Fort Worth, fourth place, ($1,500); Steve Smith and Jay Hlavchek tied for fifth place, each winning $1,000; David Henson and Steve Rector tied for seventh place, each winning $800.

Winners in 9th-12th places were Barry Strickland, Charlie Mora, Darryl Smith and Dean O. "Little Dean" Williams.

Winners in 13th-16th places were Sylver Ochoa, James Davis Jr., Ted Dean and Rick Castillo.
By ALLEN ESSEX
allene@valleystar.com
956-430-6239

SOUTH PADRE ISLAND ó Serious billiard competitors watched in silence Sunday afternoon as the South Padre Island Third Annual 9-Ball Championship progressed.

Recorded country-western music played softly as balls clicked and players bent over dozens of tables in the huge room.

In the hall, Winter Texans examined fancy pool cues, billiard accessories and jewelry being hawked by vendors.

There is no sharp division between amateurs and professionals in billiards, said David Gutierrez of Houston, who won the national 8-ball championship in Las Vegas in 1992.

"I really donít know how they decide that," he said of his own status. "Iíve never played on the pro tour."

But, call it a profession or a trade, itís his job, Gutierrez said.

"Thatís what I do," he said. "I just play pool, period. Thatís how I make my living."

Gone are the days of smoke-filled pool halls with

bad reputations down by the railroad tracks, Gutierrez said. Today, well-lighted family billiard centers are in shopping malls and the sport has cleaned up its image.

"Even in (Las) Vegas, you have to smoke outside," he said. "It keeps getting better."

Minnesota Fats, the legendary pool champion portrayed in the 1961 film "The Hustler" by Jackie Gleason, died in 1996, but the deadly serious spirit he portrayed in smoke-filled pool halls is still alive, Gutierrez said.

Besides the love of the game, money keeps billiard tournaments serious, Gutierrez said. In 2001, he won $26,000 in an 8-ball tournament on South Padre Island.

"That helped pay some bills," he said with a smile.

Yvette Cox of San Antonio said she also plays in a lot of tournaments, or travels with her boyfriend when he plays.

She has been shooting pool for almost 14 years but playing in tournaments around Texas for only the past five years, Cox said.

Two San Antonio women dominated the ladies division Sunday, with last yearís champion Amanda Lampert winning 9-6 over Sophie Lopez.

There were 15 players in the ladies division, tournament official Carl Oswald said. Lampert collected $1,000; Lopez won $800; Kim Pierce, third place, took home $600; and Erin Cano, fourth place, won $400.

Jose Zaragosa of Fort Worth took first place with a prize of $1,600 in the seniors division, Oswald said.

Gerald Walter won second place in the seniors division ($1,200); Dave Mansen, third ($800); last yearís senior champion Ron Griffus, fourth ($600); Ed Lattimer and Ezra Davis tied for 5th place, each winning $350.

There were 26 players in the seniors division, with a total purse of $4,900.

Competition would possibly continue until late Sunday night, Oswald said.

DavidMorris
01-31-2005, 12:40 PM
Wish I could be there. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

This comment caught my eye though:
[ QUOTE ]
Minnesota Fats, the legendary pool champion portrayed in the 1961 film "The Hustler" by Jackie Gleason, died in 1996, but the deadly serious spirit he portrayed in smoke-filled pool halls is still alive, Gutierrez said.<hr /></blockquote>
Was that really a Gutierrez quote or a misquote by the reporter? You'd think a serious pool player would be a bit more in touch with the true history of Fats than that.

PQQLK9
01-31-2005, 12:51 PM
"Besides the love of the game, money keeps billiard tournaments serious, Gutierrez said. In 2001, he won $26,000 in an 8-ball tournament on South Padre Island."

the above seems like a stretch also ...

Cane
01-31-2005, 04:21 PM
Nick,

Thanks for the report. I just got back from Padre but left before the finals started (trying to make San Antonio before bedtime!). 11-10!!! Bet that was a great match! I watched both of them play during the tournament and thoroughly enjoyed it.

I missed Amanda and Sophie in their final... the desire for lunch took over. It's hard to maintain 260 pounds and the oysters at Blackbeards were calling my name!

In any case, it was a great tournament with some top notch players. I enjoyed playing in it (well, except for the losing part) and enjoyed watching it. I will be there again next year!

Later,
Bob