U.S. Open 9-Ball News from Barry & Shannon

We hope that everyone is doing well as Shannon and I are looking forward to October 21-27,2012. Many wonderful changes are happening this year, including a new venue, which you will thoroughly love staying in, priced just right. If you have not already, check out the website www.hivabeachnorfolk.com for more information.

After months of going back and forth about paying for past champion entry fees, I decided to end that tradition that I started in 1979. It was not an easy decision by any means, trust me, I had many sleepless nights. All of my life I have followed my gut on most occasions and I realized it was time for a change for the best future of the U.S. Open. We will continue to pay the entry for our defending champion and provide his hotel accommodations for the week.

With the economy the way that it is these days, we are very blessed to have had a full field in 2010 and 251 players last year from over 20 countries, as well as our very loyal fan base attending. We are blessed that for many of them the week of the U.S. Open is their vacation time.

The World Tennis Association and the Professional Golf Association both have a long list of world wide ranked players from first place through several hundred. Pool also has a list of almost 500 players through the W.P.A., in addition to the lists of ranked players that the B.C.A. and A.B.P have accumulated. After discussing seeding players, I decided it was time to take a combined list to determine the first 64 best possible players. We will likely have another field of 256 players from all over the world again and 64 true seeds is the proper thing to do. No other major pool tournament attracts 256 players from all over the world so, again, we will be seeding the top 64 players this year.

This change will attract more players from all over the globe than ever before. I have discussed the seeds to our directors, Ken Shuman, Jay Helfert, and Bill Stock, who all feel the same way about increasing the seeds to 64 world wide players. After all, following the World Tennis Association and the Professional Golf Associations' guidelines is a great thing to follow.

We will have two boards of 128 players and space out all ranked players. With that in mind, and due to so many world wide players coming to the open, we wanted to pay homage to those that deserve to be seeded. For corporate America and pool industry leaders, this becomes even more attractive. This will also assure a full field and more sponsorship dollars, which will increase the prize fund and the added money to this years added total of $72.000.00. We have to think bigger and outside the industry rather than focusing on what the industry has done in the past. We know we can have the bar raised to extreme heights and very soon.

Pepsi is back as a sponsor this year and we will be announcing either Budweiser or Miller that want to be involved also. Many other outside sponsors want to come aboard as well as those within our industry, we all need each other. This is the beginning of the betterment of the game of pool and the U.S. Open 9-Ball Championships. One of my goals is to receive more sponsorship dollars and raise the bar on the prize fund. Last years $180,000.00 prize fund is now $200,000.00 this year and it will be increasing to $250,000.00 and more in the very near future.

Before I pass the torch on to my beautiful, smart, and caring daughter, Shannon, I would like to see the U.S. Open grow each year with more added money leaving it a full field at 256 players and hopefully get the total prize fund to $300,000.00 and more. I know through hard work and dedication that goal is right around the corner. Who knows how far we can take it as we seek more sponsorships each year. I would absolutely love to see it become $500,000.00 with our champion receiving $100,000.00. This is not an impossible goal to achieve. After all, again, the U.S Open 9-Ball Championships is the only major event in our sport that attracts 256 players paying $500.00 to get in. Also, Pat Fleming, ACCU-STATS, and David Thomson have received more additional T.V. coverage for this years event with more coming soon.

Shannon and I appreciate all of our loyal players, die hard fans, and sponsors each and every year. This is our 37th annual U.S. Open 9-Ball Championships and we look forward to seeing you all in October. For detailed information on the 2012 U.S. Open 9-Ball Championships please visit our website: http://www.usopen9ballchampionships.com/With much appreciation,Barry Behrman & Shannon Behrman Paschall