Second Annual New Jersey State Straight Pool Championship This Weekend

Comet Billiards in Parsippany, New Jersey will be closed to the public this Friday, Saturday and Sunday as 32 players from across the country compete in one of the largest straight pool events held in America. Last year's winner, Ed Hodan, will not be returning to defend his crown due to a prior commitment. Last year's runner-up, Steve Lipsky, will be in the field as well as "Florida Bob" Maidhof who had a 90-ball run last year to collect the high run bonus and also Jack Colavita holder of many New York and New Jersey state titles and co-promoter of the event.

This year's field appears to be significantly stronger than last year's with many notable new competitors. BCA Hall of Fame member Dallas West and Grady "The Professor" Mathews will be joined by World Straight Pool Champion Allen Hopkins, Dick Lane, the highest finishing American in the field of the last BCA Open Straight Pool Championship, newly crowned World 9-Ball Champion, Thorsten Hohmann of Germany, WPBA mainstay Belinda Campos, the only woman in the field and a host of the best players in New England and the Mid-Atlantic including Jose Garcia, George "Ginky" SanSouci, Tony Robles, Danny Barouty, Jimmy Fusco and Teddy Garrahan.

The opening matches will start at 11 AM on Friday the third with the championship being contested Sunday evening. Spectator passes are available by the day for $12 on Friday and Saturday, $15 on Sunday or $35 for all three days. There will be seating for about 150 spectators. There is a snack bar and soda fountain plus there will be buffet meals available Friday evening and all day Saturday and Sunday.

There will be raffles held during the weekend for several special billiard items that should be of interest. In addition to a Richard Black cue made specially for the event there will be a Jacoby cue, a photo collage (approx. 24"x36") from the movie The Hustler that is autographed by all the major actors including several who are now deceased and assorted other billiard goodies. will have live coverage of the event including photos and brackets all weekend so if you can't be there follow all of the action on line.

Photo courtesy of Mark Whiteside