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 I want you all to know that now, at the age of 68, and owning America’s largest billiard room in Virginia Beach, Virginia I want to express my sincere and “honest emotions”.

As I approach “ole age”, I look back to 1971 when I first went into the billiard room business with $3,000.00 and 2,000 square feet holding 7, 9 foot Brunswick Gold Crowns and 2 ping pong tables. The ping pong tables were gone within a year and I then had 10 tables. Now housing 71 tables and 25,000 square feet of pool heaven is not as easy for me these days as I find myself wrapped up with much to do and, to be perfectly “honest”, I find myself not enjoying all the daily pressures. Thank God my doctor has me regulated very well with Torprol and Zocar, which regulates blood pressure and cholesterol.

This year’s 39th annual U.S. Open 9-Ball Championships is more precious to me than maybe ever before, not just to me but to all those who play, attend, our vendors, the press are all on the top of my mind and the long list to do as many changes were made this year as you all know. I’m excited, anxious, and wish it was tomorrow. It’s taken a lot of hard work, many thoughts, and many friends advice. I’d like to thank the W.P.A. for allowing my sanction and at Tier II as the increased added money puts this year’s event in a higher category with $72,000.00 added not $50,000.00.  

 I’m very happy to have received many billiard room qualifier deposits such as Jeff Pry, owner of Cross Corner Billiards in Smoketown, PA; Edward Asistin, owner of Pay or Play Tournaments in Vegas; John (Jay) Davis from Corner Pockets in Wheeling, West Virginia; Gunnar Leonardo, owner of Classic Billiards in Aruba, and many more coming in has made me a very happy promoter even more.

Having a maximum field of 128 players was the only way to conduct this year’s event in one ballroom and the wonderful people at the Marriot Hotel last year doing whatever it would take to have us back, there was no way I could say no. The Chesapeake Conference Center for 15 years was rent free, which was only fair as the Open brings in between $300,000.00-$400,000.00 each year and the priceless worldwide T.V. coverage. They wanted to start charging $35,000.00; well you can only imagine the kind words I had to say.

This year’s format of 128 players takes one day less, Monday-Saturday, with match times Monday-Friday at 11am, 1pm, 3pm, 5pm and only 2 evening rounds at 8pm and 10pm which everyone will certainly like rather than having matches starting at midnight or later, isn’t that nice.

I’m very confident we will fill up the field as now top world ranked players need an American event with the W.P.A. and for qualifying points to play in next year’s World Championships. $200,000.00 is still the total purse with payouts from first at $30,000.00 to 33-48 receiving $2,000.00 each, surely will entice more players to fill the field. Remember, I’m holding 32 spots for billiard room qualifiers so with 96 days to go keep them coming, thank you very much.

Today was our first day to receive entries online and Mr. Randy Russell from Fredericton, NB Canada was first to pay. Thank you Randy and the first round is on me; please come find me so I can shake your hand.

Lastly, we have a total of 180 VIP seats and Roberta has already sold around 50 seats just this week and she will be calling/emailing or you can reach her Monday-Friday 9am-5:30pm at 757-383-6396. I’m very glad to have her here helping me. Remember those who had VIP seats last year, your seats are safe through July 21st as they will then be available to go on sale July 22nd.