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09-17-2002, 05:24 PM
Sponsorship for 9-ball tourney is in the pocket
By ROBERT MCCABE AND CINDY CLAYTON, The Virginian-Pilot
September 12, 2002

CHESAPEAKE -- City Council members agreed this week to pay $10,000 in city funds to sponsor a billiards tournament organized by Barry Behrman, who was convicted earlier this year of operating a casino-like gambling operation out of his Chesapeake home.
The city money helps sponsor one of the biggest billiards events in the country -- the 27th U.S. Open 9-Ball Championship at the Chesapeake Conference Center.

Mayor William E. Ward, who acknowledged that he's aware of Behrman's arrest and conviction of gambling charges, said the money was given because of the ``positive economic impact for the city'' of the pool tournament.

Behrman, who personally requested the money during Tuesday night's council meeting is a longtime pool promoter in Hampton Roads who was arrested in December and accused of running casino-like parties in his $625,000 Chesapeake home.

In May, Behrman pleaded guilty to two felony counts of conducting an illegal gambling operation, two misdemeanor counts of illegally selling alcohol and two misdemeanor counts of failing to file a certificate for a business license.


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Felony possession of cocaine and misdemeanor possession of marijuana were among eight other charges that were dropped. Behrman received a suspended sentence of six years and four months, put on supervised probation for five years and ordered to pay $1,000.

On Oct. 24, state Alcoholic Beverage Control officials will hold a hearing to determine whether Behrman will lose his license to sell alcohol at his Virginia Beach business, Q-Master Billiards. Because he was convicted of a felony, he cannot be involved in the sale of alcohol.

Chesapeake's contribution helps pay production costs for a three-hour, pay-per-view TV broadcast with a potential market of 30 million homes and 10,000 business establishments, Behrman said.

Customers in the United States and Canada will pay $9.95 to view the finals on Sept. 29, Behrman said.

``This money does not go in my pocket, they're not paying me,'' Behrman said Wednesday. ``It takes a lot of money to produce live TV.''

Ward asked that the Behrman's request be placed on the council agenda.

The motion to approve the measure, made by Councilman W. Joe Newman and seconded by Councilman Dwight Parker, passed 7-1. Councilman Alan Krasnoff was opposed.

Vice Mayor John de Triquet was excused. The council's approval came with a condition -- proposed by Councilwoman Rebecca C.W. Adams -- that the city get maximum media exposure during the broadcast.

The event draws 256 of the best pool players from around the world. Promoters say the seven-day event, which will run from Sept. 23-29, is expected to attract thousands of fans as well.

``We are certainly trying to promote the city as a center for conferences and conventions and certainly this gives us an opportunity to reach a broad audience of conventioners and others,'' Ward said.

``I think that the positives that can come from this are certainly worth the investment.''

``The U.S. Open is the biggest event of the year in the city,'' Behrman said. ``This is like a golf tournament for a week and it's been going on in Chesapeake for 10 years.''

But the event hasn't always been as successful. Last year's tournament failed because it coincided with Sept. 11 and many fans couldn't fly to the area, Behrman said.

Behrman said he's working on paying off related debts and plans to sell his 6,600-square-foot home on Audubon Circle in the Warrington Hallsubdivision, he said.

The events of late last year and the convictions this spring can't eclipse the enthusiasm Behrman said he feels about the upcoming tournament.

``Things are much better, all that's behind me,'' Behrman said Wednesday.


Reach Robert McCabe at 222-5217 or rmccabe@pilotonline.com

Reach Cindy Clayton at 222-5201 or cclayton@pilotonline.com

09-17-2002, 07:01 PM

MikeM
09-17-2002, 09:08 PM
Boy you gotta give Barry a hand. Convicted in May, city invests $10,000 with him in September! What a salesman.

MM

Chris Cass
09-17-2002, 10:38 PM
I personally have to give the guy a break. Not like he got away with anything and he's trying. If the guy proves himself the next couple yrs to be straight up? Well, he got my blessings. He's definitely got some spunk. Besides, his son posts here, and family is family. IMO I happen to know a guy like him too. What's that saying? The guy could step in a pile of dung and come out smelling like a rose. LOL

Regards,

C.C.

Nostroke
09-18-2002, 07:06 AM
I heard but dont take it to the bank that the City gave him a huge amount to help open his poolroom too because of the jobs, taxes, traffic to the shopping center etc.

At the time i heard this, a friend (ex) was opening a poolroom up here (North) and the City was doing everything it could to prevent it. Down there, they wanted it bad.

MikeM
09-18-2002, 08:30 AM
Just so it's clear, my post was in unabashed admiration of BB.

MM

09-18-2002, 08:11 PM
guys how do i make a thread

MikeM
09-18-2002, 10:10 PM
Go to the front page of CCB and click on post.

MM

Chris Cass
09-19-2002, 12:03 AM
Hi Mike,

You always post good stuff. IMO I think the post is really funny. Not the point of Barry's personal life but how life really is. Money talks and politicians find a way to make something bad, sound not so bad. LOL Growing up with Daley as Mayor of Chicago myself. You mess up you pay. Want a job? You pay. It all went to hell when he died. Loved the way he ran the city.

I think it was very interesting myself.

Regards,

C.C.