Wisconsin Billiards Hall of Fame Inducts Inaugural Class

Jerry Briesath, Bruce Venzke, Willie Munson and Connie O’Heron
The Wisconsin Billiards Hall of Fame held their Inaugural Hall of Fame Weekend at the Mad Apple Billiards in Appleton, WI on October 12-14th, 2018.  
On Friday evening there were 135 people in attendance for the induction ceremony and dinner.  The inaugural Hall of Fame class of inductees were Jerry Briesath, Willie Munson, Connie O’Heron and Bruce Venzke.  Guest speakers included Jeanette Lee, Mark Wilson, Randy Goettlicher and others chosen by the Hall of Famers to introduce them.
This first class event was truly a remarkable one, exceeding the expectations of most in attendance.  The entire weekend was restricted to members only, who in addition to being able to attend the banquet, also receive voting rights on the ballot each year, are entered into monthly prize give-a-ways, and can play in the Hall of Fame Tournaments.
Following the banquet, ten of the best bank pool players in the state were part of the Invitational Ring Banks Chip Tournament.  Playing for chips for every bank made, the crowd watched on as Pete Heard from Milwaukee took down Mosconi Cup Team USA hopeful Tyler Styer in the finals.
Saturday and Sunday kicked off the main events with 128 players coming to the Mad Apple for an Upper 10-Ball and Lower 9-Ball tournament.  After two days of stiff competition, Sergio Rivas defeated Duncan Kaufman to claim the 10-Ball title, and Dakota Knutson took down Cody Wedig for the 9-Ball crown.
Each year, the Wisconsin Billiards Hall of Fame Weekend will take place at a new venue, and during the banquet it was announced that 2019 will move to Dave Cole’s Carom Room in Beloit the second weekend of October.  The tournament formats will also change year after year.
WIBHOF was formed on October 1st, 2017 as a non-profit organization that operates both as a Hall of Fame, but also as a foundation of support for pool players in need.  The board of directors, comprised of Jon Kramer, Gregg Andler and Kyle Boers and four other volunteers, have grown the company rapidly in its first year.  Currently with 11 sponsors and over 500 paid members, Kramer, the President of the organization said “The amount of support we have seen from the Wisconsin billiards community in our first year has been overwhelming.”  The website also hosts tournament flyers for the state, a large image gallery of historical Wisconsin billiard photos, game rules and more.  In the voting period of November 1st – January 31st members are also able to log into the site and cast their votes for next year’s Hall of Fame class.  In its first year, wibhof.org has been viewed over 50,000 times by more than 2,000 people across the country and even international viewers from 60 different countries.