Pool league draws local players | CraigDailyPress.com

Pool league draws local players

Tom Schafer

For many, pool is a game played in somebody else’s cramped basement with sticks that are too long for the narrow room. At the Popular Bar, there is plenty of room for the 18-team league that meets twice a week during winter and fall.

“Pool players join the league to have fun and relax for an evening,” Bartender and District Representative for the American Player Association (APA), Susan Reeves said. “Several players come here to win the right to go to APA nationals in Las Vegas every April.”

Andy Zimmerman, a retired poker dealer who has been playing pool on and off since 1953, went to nationals two-years ago.

“It was fun,” Zimmerman said. “I won one game and lost a few more. I wasn’t impressed with the prizes that players won like T.V.s, radios and VCRs. I have all that stuff already.”

But he still loves to play.

“What’s unique about this league is we use handicap scoring so players can play others from different levels,” Reeves said.

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Level two is for novice and level seven is for the more experienced. For example, when a level six player faces off against a level three player, the level six player goes one under handicap and must win five games before the level three player wins two games. It takes ten weeks to determine a player’s handicap.

The teams play eight ball by professional league standard rules.

The pool league was started in 1989 with five teams participating. The league has grown a lot in the last ten-years, Reeves said.

“It’s great to see the league expand to 18 teams,” she said. “Pool is becoming popular across the country.”

The main reason for the leagues’ success is support from Dena Garica, Popular Bar owner, and her mother, Ruth Allen, Reeves said.

Players are preparing for a season-ending tournament where winners get team and individual trophies, she said.

The pool league meets every Sunday and Monday evenings. Tuesday night is open tournament night where everybody is welcome to play.

It cost $20 a year to join the APA, $5 of which goes to the APA traveling and trophy funds, and $5 every week during tournament play.

The Popular has six pool tables and lockers to store pool sticks and accessories.

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