Trick Shot Magic and International Speed Pool Challenge

Luc Salvas

The Premier special events in professional billiards will be hosted by ESPN Zone in Las Vegas on October 4-5. The Semifinal matches and the Championship match of both events will be telecast by ESPN beginning in November.

International Speed Pool Challenge will feature four top players from an international roster competing for a purse of winner-take-all $50,000. Dave Pearson holds a Guinness Book of World Records Speed Pool listing. Jason Kane also has a Speed Pool mark in the Guinness Book of World Records. Jeanette Lee recently established a mark as one of the premier Speed Pool players in the world. Luc Salvas holds a lifelong record for Speed Pool in regular competition.

The winner will claim the title of International Speed Pool Champion on October 4. The game is all action and offense, with players competing against the clock to run racks in the fastest possible time. A match consists of two sets, the first set a variation of Straight Pool and the second set regulation 8-Ball. Players routinely run a rack of fifteen balls in one-minute-thirty-seconds or less. Tied sets result in a blistering one rack Sudden Death.

Trick Shot Magic will present eight international stars of the sport contending for a purse of $50,000 on October 4-5. Mike Massey, the 2006 WPA World Artistic Pool Champion. Stefano Pelinga, the 2005 Trick Shot Magic Champion. Nick NIkolaidis, the 2006 Masters Artistic Pool Champion. Andy Segal, the 2005 Comet Clasic Artistic Champion. Bruce Barthelette, the 2006 Masters Artistic Pool Runnerup. Luke Szywala, the 2004 WPA World Artistic Pool Champion. Charles Darling, the 2001 WPA World Artistic Pool Champion. Tom Rossman, the 2002 Trick Shot Magic Champion.

The Trick Shot Magic winner will claim the crown and $30,000. Format for the tournament consists of four skill shots and sixteen artistic show shots in each match. Players will execute a challenge shot of their choice, and their opponents are required to duplicate the shot or lose a point. The players alternate shots in two-man head-to-head matches, performing intricate trick shots meant to stymie their opponents. A sudden death tiebreaker to decide a match will require an eight rail bank shot onto the face of a $100 bill. In 2005, Stefano Pelinga defeated Nick Nicolaidis in sudden death for the Championship.

ESPN will telecast three 1-hour programs each on Trick Shot Magic and International Speed Pool Challenge. ESPN Zone will make the events Admission Free for spectators. ESPN Zone is a 50,000-square-foot sports-themed dining and entertainment complex located at the New York New York Hotel Casino in Las Vegas (phone: 702-933-3776). The tournaments are sponsored by Olhausen Billiards, Viking Cues, Aramith Super Pro Balls, Simonis Cloth, The Association for P.O.O.L., Mueller Recreational Products, Ozone Billiards, Original Italian Slate, Liguria International and Silver Cup Chalk. The tournaments will be produced by Matt and Bettiane Braun of Billiards International, Ltd. in association with Allen Hopkins.

Ample parking is available near ESPN Zone. The INTERNATIONAL SPEED POOL CHALLENGE Semifinals and Championship Finals will begin at 4 PM on October 4. The TRICK SHOT MAGIC Semifinals and Championship Finals will begin at 4 PM on October 5. Admission is free and those attending should plan to arrive early. For more information call: 860-379-8414.