Amateur Cueists Battle For $100,000 Top Prize

United Billiard Leagues, Chattanooga Billiards East to Host $100,000 Top Prize Amateur 8-Ball Finals
SPOTSWOOD, N.J. [May 6, 2019] — Mike “Captain Hook” Sigel knows pressure. As technical advisor on the film “The Color of Money” (starring Paul Newman and Tom Cruise) and winner of 10 world pocket billiard titles, Sigel has had to perform when the stakes were highest. But even the Billiard Congress of America Hall of Famer and cofounder of the United Billiard Leagues is anxious to see how amateur shooters from around the country will respond when facing a potential game-winning 8-ball with $100,000 hanging in the balance at the UBL Playoffs, May 17-19, at Chattanooga Billiards East in Chattanooga, Tenn.
“We may have to keep an EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) on site during these playoffs,” Sigel joked.
Sixteen five-player teams, including a squad from Chattanooga, will square off at Chattanooga Billiards East for a shot at the largest top prize ever offered in amateur play, with the UBL’s unique handicapping system putting even the most inexperienced player on an equal level with top-level players. Following the newly formed UBL’s initial 16-week playing session, the 16 squads advanced through a week of regional playoffs that featured over 100 teams. The playoff teams will compete in a double-elimination format for a piece of the $275,000 prize fund. The winning squad will split $100,000, with the runners-up earning $40,000. Third and fourth place will win $20,000 and $15,000, respectively. Two fifth-place teams will win $10,000 each, with the remaining 10 qualified teams earning $5,000 each.
The UBL was formed in 2018 by Sigel and fellow hall of famer and former world champion Peter Margo with the goal of allowing players of all levels to compete on equal footing for eyebrow-raising prize money.
“Our dream was to have a system that allows everyone to compete, have fun and have a chance to win never before seen prize money,” Sigel added.
The UBL handicap system was devised to let players of any level consistently run the table like the pros do by allowing players to move the cue ball by hand and set up easy shots during their inning at the table. Less skilled players are given more opportunities to do this during a game. (For additional information about the UBL handicap system, go to
Action in the first UBL Playoffs will begin Friday, May 17, at 1:00 pm. Play will continue Sat., May 18, at 1:00 pm, with the final four teams battling to the event’s conclusion on Sun., May 19 at 1:00 pm. All matches will take place at Chattanooga Billiards East, 110 Jordan Dr., Chattanooga, Tenn. (423-499-3883)
The United Billiard Leagues, based in Spotswood, N.J., sanctions amateur pool leagues across the United States. For more information, contact Mike Sigel at or 352-345-9464.