Earl “The Pearl” Strickland to Pay Homage to Orton Pool Room

WILMINGTON, NC - February 2, 2006 - The historic Orton Pool Room, 133 North Front Street, announced today that it will host an exhibition by Earl "The Pearl" Strickland, in conjunction with the first annual Orton Mosconi Cup, on Saturday, February 25, 2006. Originally from Roseboro, North Carolina, Earl got his start shooting pool at age 12 in Orton's, "America's Oldest Pool Room".

Earl is six-time World 9-Ball Champion, five-time U.S. Open 9-Ball Champion, and five-time Player of the Year. Earl holds titles in the McDermott Masters, the Challenge of Champions, and the Akron Open, and strung up an amazing eleven consecutive racks, earning him the title of Million Dollar Man. Earl was crowned MVP of the Mosconi Cup in Las Vegas on December 18, 2005.

Earl's powerful presence is much talked about, and he is often called the "John McEnroe" of cuesports. After winning the World Championship in Cardiff, Wales, in 2002, Earl promptly climbed up for his now famous table dance. "I always wanted to dance on a pool table," admitted Earl, "and that seemed like the perfect opportunity."

Now a resident of Florida, Earl often tells of his beginnings at the Orton Pool Room. "Believe me, I was a straight-shooter back then," recalls Earl. "I remember beating a great shooter named Peanut (now deceased) in a tournament there. He wasn't very happy about it."

The Orton Pool Room has hosted many exhibitions since its inception in 1888, including that of billiards great Willie Mosconi, 15-time World Champion, on November 13, 1953, when he set a world record by sinking 365 consecutive balls. Originally the pool room for the famous Orton Hotel, it boasts a collection of historic Centennial and Century Brunswick competition tables, including the table on which Willie Mosconi set the record.

The Orton Mosconi Cup is a race-to-seven 9-ball tournament with a field of sixteen. The winner of the tournament will play a final round against Earl.

For more information, contact:

Eric Rylander
Marzini Restaurants, LLC

Brandy Moore