The “On the Road to Vegas” Tour continued in May with two 9 ball teams earning their place in the APA National Team Championships to be held in Las Vegas on August 16th.
Over the weekend of May 19th and 20th APA held its 9 ball Local Team Championships at Main Street Billiards in Mesa. 24 Teams competed for a chance to go to Vegas and compete in the National event. Two teams were left standing at the end of the weekend and will receive their entry fee and rooms paid along with $1100 in cash to spend when they get there. But it doesn’t end there. Winning teams at the National event will receive cash and awards totaling more than $1million. Teams consist of from 5 to 8 players ranging in skill level from a complete beginner to a seasoned player with many years under their belt. Gina Nowlin, the APA Phoenix league operator, says this is a really great way for someone who plays for fun and recreation to go to Las Vegas and compete fairly in a major tournament, and get paid for it. Everything is based on a handicap system that allows even the most novice of players to have a good chance of winning their match and help their team advance in the tournament. Gina said, we have players going to Vegas this year that have only been playing pool for a couple of months. How great is that!
Throughout the year APA runs a series of tournaments called “On the Road to Vegas”. This series of tournaments includes Singles, Doubles, and 5 player Team events that allow the winners the chance to go to Las Vegas and represent Phoenix in the APA National Team Championships. The winners of these events are provided entry fees, table fees, Rooms and travel assistance to get there. In the singles event held in April at the Riviera Hotel and Casino, three players competed for their share of $175 thousand in cash and prizes. This summer the Phoenix APA will send two Masters teams, four Scotch Doubles Teams, three 8 ball teams and two 9 ball teams.
The two 9 ball teams going to Vegas are:
“Shape is Overrated” – Jimmy Beaner (SL 4), Alex Martin (SL 2), Captain Artie Lewis (Skill Level 3), Will Sexton (SL 8), Jeff Currie (SL 5), and Bernie Lewis (SL 4). Chris Lewis (SL 4) and Abie Padilla (SL 5), are not shown.
“Wildcards” – Steve Hyson (SL 4), Mike Michaels (SL 4), Brad Andrews (SL 8), Co-Captain Polly Hughes (SL 4), Betty Johnson, and Marty Packham (SL 4). Captain Paul Ogilvie (SL 5) and Rae Helton (SL 2) are not shown.
Along with the 9 ball teams, two masters teams have also secured spots at the National Championships. Doc Rice, Tres Kane, and Oscar Avila make up the 1st place team and Steven Henderson, Steve Martel, Steve Stowers and Bill Norrish earned the 2nd spot.
During the the next month APA will be filling the 8 ball teams and the 8 ball and 9 ball scotch doubles spots through tournaments in the last of the “On the Road to Vegas” Series. Congratulations and good luck to all the teams who will be playing in the championships.