David Rice wins Diamond Pub Invitational

The 2nd Annual Invitational 9 Ball Tournament sponsored by Bank Pool Hall of Famer Truman Hogue and Jeff Griffith's Diamond Pub in Louisville, Ky was held on Feb. 23 & 24, 2008 much to the delight of Campbellsville, KY"s David Rice who took the $1400 1st place from the prize list. The 2007 version of this tourney was the best event in Kentuckiana all year by far, and it inspired boosting the field from 64 players to this years booming 96 player roster. The format was races to 6 on both sides with alternating breaks on ten Diamond 7 footers. The"Invitational" part of the format was that none of the area's elite players were invited. Several local pool industry businesses added a total of $1500 to the prize fund. All this for a $30 entry fee! So popular was this format that all 96 entries were paid more than a week in advance.

The action on the tables was worthy of the money at stake. The 2007 Champion, Robert Frost also from Campbellsville, was derailed this year in a 7th place tie with Nathan Wagner of Corbin, KY. The action heated up in the winner's semi-finals. David Rice got past Elizabethtown KY's Duke Laha by a 6-4 count. Bryan Roberts of Louisville made the hill first at 5-3 in the other semi, but two tricky safeties that came just short for Bryan, coupled with a successful Minton break gave Richard Minton of Paoli IN three chances to run out, and he cashed all three to win 6-5.

The loser's side was getting very dangerous at this point. Pre-tournament favorite, Russ Edwards of Somerset, KY was lurking and proceeded to end Bryan Roberts strong bid 6-2.

Duke Laha's first appearance on the left side ambushed Indianapolis' Gary Gentry at 6-4.

The winners Final was worth at quite a bit of money at this point and David Rice rampaged through to the hot seat over Richard Minton by 6-2. Russ Edwards returned to action on the losers side with Laha and held The Duke to a very strong 4th place in a hill-hill thriller. This left just Edwards and Minton on the left side, and in another tense match, Russ prevailed 6-4 leaving Richard Minton with an excellent third place performance and $500 from the prize fund.

The Finals were formatted as true double elimination with each race being lengthened to nine. The play was excellent as no more than two games separated the opponents at any point. Russ Edwards, who was an opponents missed 7 ball away from elimination into 9th place in an earlier match, was poised on the hill at 8-6. But he would get no further than an $800 second place as David Rice won the last three to claim the Championship as the only undefeated player