Barry Behrman to Retire as Promoter of U.S. Open

Barry Behrman has announced his retirement from being the promoter of the U.S. Open 9-Ball Championship. After 40 years under a single master the event will now be handled by someone other than Mr. Behrman. We asked him why he chose to retire now.

“Well, I always wanted to go out on high note and the 40th Open certainly gives me the opportunity to do just that. It was the best Open Championship ever and now I can look back at the event and know I left it in good shape, primed for the next generation of management. One occurence from this year that really gives me a lot of hope for the future of the game itself is what Shane Van Boening did by calling a foul on himself, an act that cost him the match and prevented him from continuing in his quest for history by winning four straight Opens. The honor that this young man displayed by calling that foul, that no one else in the room even saw, made a huge impact. When the fans were informed of his act they applauded him for so long I did not think they were going to stop. Thank you, Shane, for showing the way.”

“There was more to my decision to retire than just the desire to go out on a high note. I will be 70 this coming April and I have a few health issues I am dealing with by increasing my exercise to battle the heavy breathing after light exertion. I have lost quite a few long-time friends over the last couple of years and I want to be free to do some things and gain a semblance of semi-retirement and be able to concentrate on running Q-Masters.”

We then asked Mr. Behrman about what role he might play in future U.S. Opens. He has told us his choice for taking over the event is Pat Fleming of Accu-Stats Video Productions, the man who handled the player monies this year. When we contacted Mr. Fleming he told us he could really not discuss any details of this with us as he has not yet discussed the details with Mr. Behrman. But Mr. Behrman knows how he sees his role in the future if Fleming does indeed take over the event as he envisions:

“I would gladly assist Pat Fleming in any way he needs and I do have 40 years of advice to offer. Pat has been a great friend since 1982. He began Accu-Stats Video Productions at my 7th U.S. Open with a single camera, no commentators, and was still concentrating on gathering the statistics of the game for future generations to reference. He has done a great job along with his loyal and dedicated crew, to grow Accu-Stats into the international presence that it is today. He has earned the trust of players and fans and he did a great job this year with the money. So Fleming is the popular choice for everyone to take over the event.”

We asked how he would feel about it if Mr. Fleming got an offer to move the event somewhere out of the Tidewater region of Virginia. He replied: “I do not see the event moving anytime soon, probably never. The US. Open is to the Norfolk area the same as the Masters is to Augusta. Both events have fine homes and a loyal local base.

As mentioned before, Q-Masters will still be commanding most of Behrman’s time. As he told us: “Q-Masters is America’s largest pool room. It contains 72 tables in 25,000 square feet of pool heaven and I want to make it even better. So I am not going to fully retire as yet. I am pondering the sale of the room at some point, but that is not in the immediate future.

Barry Behrman also wishes to express his thanks to those who have remained with him as part of the U.S. Open for many years. “I have many folks to thank for making the U.S. Open the event it has become. This year found us with players from thirty-two different countries and I want to thank each of them along with the best and most loyal fans in the country. They all contributed to my tears of joy over how well the event went this year. None of this would have been possible without my sponsors. So thanks to Simonis Cloth and Aramith Balls and their American President Mr. Ivan Lee. Thanks to Diamond Billiard Products and their management team of Greg Sullivan and Chad Scharlow. Thanks also to all of the arena sponsors and to the WPA President, Mr. Ian Anderson, and American Board Member Skip Nemecek. Thanks also to all of my loyal vendors and to the owners of AZBilliards, Jerry Forsyth and Mike Howerton. For all of these I say Thank You God Above.

So Mr. Behrman has made the decision to turn the U.S. Open over to Pat fleming. We will bring you more details on this news as those details emerge.