1st Annual Chuck Markulis Memorial Ends With Robert Aldana Champ

This past weekend, September 27th-28th, Hard Times Billiards in Sacramento, California, held an event we recently announced that was very close to the hearts of not only the management and staff, but for patrons of the venue (not to mention those that Markulis impacted along the way in the pool community). As stated in the article, it is and was apparent that Chuck Markulis was a fantastic advocate for the sport of pool and that many will miss his presence in the community.  This past weekend saw many dedicated pool friends make their way to Hard Times in memory of this man at the 1st Annual Chuck Markulis Memorial.

All total, ninety-two players came out to attend the memorial event.  With a $50 entry and $3500 added, the field was vying for $8100 in prize money in this open nine-ball, double elimination event.  Markulis would have been tickled to see such a great turn-out, but it speaks volumes as to the love and respect that people have for him.

The tournament began mid-day on Saturday and played down to where only money matches would be played on Sunday.  On Sunday, the races increased to races to nine on the winner's side and seven on the one-loss side of the chart.  According to one individual in the AZ forums (Tom In Cincy), almost everyone that attended Saturday, returned on Sunday to a packed room.

Top names in attendance included Billy Palmer, George Michaels, Little Al Romero, Jerry Matchin, Ron Marshall, and long time room patron Warren Costanzo.

When the chalk cleared, two Sacramento players ended up coming in first and second respectively in the event – Robert Aldana and Trevor Smith.  Aldana went undefeated through the field beating Jeff Heath in the hot-seat match by a fairly long margin.  In the semis, Heath met up with Trevor Smith and the battle began.  These two players kept the match close but in the end Smith was able to push past Heath in what was recalled as a hill-hill finish.  Although the ending was not typical, it sure sounds like fun!  Since it was so late in the evening, the finals were not played, instead, the two gentlemen, Aldana and Smith, flipped a coin and the winner of the coin toss had to break and run out for the win – needless to say Aldana did just that!

Hard Times would like to thank each and every person that make this tournament so special – the players, spectators, and those that donated items and added money to the purse.  Included in that list was Tony Hargain of Hustlin USA.  Hargain donated limited edition shirts in honor of Markulis who had a hand in starting Hustlin USA; Jesse Seaver of Allied Ink donated $500 to the pot; Mike DeWeese donated shirts and $200 to tournament; and Capitol Billiards added another $300.  The winner of the event, Robert Aldana, not only won money for taking top honors, but he received two custom cues made by Jim Pierce (we apologize in advance if your last name is misspelled, we were unable to confirm and did not want to leave you out after your great generosity).  Although not noted, payouts for the weekend went as far down as twenty-four players out of the ninety-two (100% payout).  

It is quite obvious Chuck Markulis will be missed in the pool community.  The venue not only has a website, but a myspace page as well and they plan to add more personal details in the coming week or so about the event for those of you that are interested.  For quick reference, here are those links:  website www.hardtimesbilliards.com and Myspace.com http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=326620599

Stop in and say hello to the management and staff – the best way to remember a pool player is to play, so get out there and enjoy the sport that we all love so much!  If you would like to know more, call them directly at (916) 332-8793